Monday, July 31, 2017

One Year!

Hey Mom! I can't believe either that it's been a whole year already since I left! Absolutely crazy, but I guess time flies when you're having fun, right?  
I like the questions that you asked me, and here are my answers:

Q: What eternal truth do you know now, that you wished you had known or known better before you left on your mission?
A: I would honestly just say a love for the gospel. The fact that living the gospel brings us lasting happiness and peace. Before the mission I liked the gospel, and I enjoyed church, but I didn't see the absolute NECESSITY for it in my life like I do now.

Q: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a missionary?
A: Probably my ability to accept, love, and serve others. Companions, other missionaries, members, investigators, this is something I've had to develop, but I feel as though it's a strength now

Q: Complete this sentence (it can be as long or as short as you want): "I didn't expect my mission to be 
A: I didn't expect my mission to be anything like it is. I guess I really didn't know what to expect, but any expectation I had before wasn't very accurate. I don't really know how to explain this, but my mission has been way easier, and yet, way more difficult than I thought it would be. I am grateful for the unexpected though, because that's been what's forced me to grow.

Q: What have you learned about people through teaching and serving them every day?
A: I love this quote that President Hinckley once shared: "I used to complain that I didn't have shoes, until I saw someone who didn't have feet" 
Both Spiritually and Temporally speaking, I have been blessed with shoes in my life. I have a father who loves his children, honors his priesthood, and provides us with our needs and our wants. I have a Mother who loves and teaches us, constantly serves us, and is a wonderful example in word and deed. I have brothers and sisters whom I love, they love me, and each one is a wonderful blessing in my life. I have extended family as well (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) who are also great blessings to me. I was born in the United States, a promised land with incredible liberty and financial opportunity. I was raised in the only true and living church. I was blessed with friends who are great examples to me and share the same values. I have so much, and seeing people with so little has made me so sad at times, but I know that I can offer them the best thing that will improve their life. I've also learned what truly matters, and what offers true happiness.

Q: How has your testimony changed from the one you shared at your farewell a year ago?
A: When a testimony is put to the test, it either shrinks or grows. Mine has increased DRAMATICALLY. President Boyd K. Packer said that a testimony is found in the bearing of it. I have had the opportunity to bear it a lot, and I feel a stronger conviction every time. As the result of a lot of prayer, study, meditation, and earnest seeking.

I want you all to know that I love you, and miss you all. I hope this year goes fast, but I hope that I enjoy every moment that I have to share the gospel with others here. I am so grateful for each day that I've had as a missionary and for every person I've met here, and every experience I've had both the good and the bad. I know this work is real and that it is blessed by the hand of the Lord.

P.s. We had two baptisms the other day. Brayan, and Johao Aragonès!
I'll send pictures next week if I can. 

I love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Anderson

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