Monday, August 26, 2013

Letter # 13

Que tal familia,

Oh yeah, I saw that they were engaged on facebook and I was excited for them! I think they are super cool and they will have fun and a good marriage. And its good that the wedding reception was fun, However I wish I could have heard Carly speak Spanish! haha. Dad, I am also glad you made her night, that you are a father figure to her and you would do anything for her :) (My dad's letter to Preston mentioned about friends getting married and spoke about Preston's friend Carly Kitley who got to dance with my dad at the wedding for the daughter-father dance. Carly (and a few other Young Women in our Stake) are like extra sisters to our family and our father! He has MANY daughters!)

How did you like everything in the package?!!? I have been looking for a Columbia soccer jersey to get for you but I haven't found any yet!!! When I do, I will get you one. :) How do you like that belt buckle?!?!? Pretty Fancy :) I think that the America shirt is super cool!!!

It sounds like y'all are having some fun back at home! :p I am glad y'all can have fun without kids around!?! Y'all better enjoy it because Sharon will be coming home pretty soon!:p How much more does she have left?!?! It's weird how I look at the mission and I'm like man I only have 20 more months to save peoples lives here in Houston. It pushes me harder to talk to every one!

I really like ending the letters with something cool that has happend in the last week :) So I will now end with a miracle or something spiritual. :)

So yesterday this family that was leaving for Utah had this little Ice Cream going away party. They told the missionaries that we had to bring investigators to it, so I was like OK I will! haha So the other missionaries knew they were kidding, but I thought they were serious so we brought someone to it. They were shocked that we did. However, after it the investigator liked it and we taught her a lesson about how god loves us and sets commandments for us so that we can live with him someday, we brought up baptism. We asked a member that was there why he got baptized. He brought the spirit in so much stronger, and I know that the investigator felt the spirit there with us. We told her to read her scriptures and to pray about getting baptized. She is "iffy" about baptism so we just want her to pray about it :) I am excited to hear what she has to say next time we visit her. :)

I am loving it here. I can feel all your prayers, and I know that our father in Heaven loves each one of us no matter what we do! All he wants is that we keep his commandments so we can be able to live with him some day :) So just keep them and be worthy to live with him someday :) I know we are sent here to be tested, I know that he will do anything for us but we have to ask in prayer!

Love y'all so much :)
Elder Andersen

Monday, August 19, 2013

Letter # 12

Hey Family :)
It is good to hear that you are free and now don't have that many worries in the Stake Presidency. I know that everyone does really appreciate all the hard work you did! You do so much for the church and God is very happy with your service. Now you aren't done with anything, you still have to serve for the rest of your life and throughout Eternity so don't get to rested up! :p (My father was released from the Stake Presidency in Stake Conference this last weekend and he let Preston know about it in his letter.)
So I wondered if y'all guessed where I was going, but hurry and take a guess...
I am in Galvenston!! I am opening a new area with Elder Neilsen. He is also from Sacramento, CA. He went to Granite Bay High School and he is pretty cool!! We are opening a new area and it is very hard!!! We have one member in our area and like 5 in-actives. The in-active members open the door and yell at us and tell us how we are wrong and then slam the door! So pretty much what we do is just talk to people on the street and teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel. Sometimes they want to hear more so now we have made some progress. It is hard moving from my last area teaching 27 lessons a week and then this week from Wednesday to Sunday only teaching 11. I know that is like 22 a week, but I feel like we need to work harder. I have very high expectations for me since I had the opportunity to serve with Elder Gray! BUT we do try hard and we have about 5 investigators now and hopefully we can bring them closer to Christ. (Click here,_Texas for info on his new area)
We are not on the Island, but we are pretty close. I actually went on an exchange with someone on the Island; it was super fun!!! We taught about 5 lessons then we saw a less active playing soccer and we went and played soccer with him and his friends. We walked away trying to talk to others around and these black people challenged us to a game of basketball. We were shooting around and the other 2 missionaries and I acted liked we sucked. So they challenged us to a game and then we destroyed them! We had Elder Miles who is 6'4. He turned down scholarships to go on a mission so we destroyed them! We should of had a bet like if we win then we can go to your house and teach you lessons! I thought of that after we won. haha. After they asked us if we were the missionaries on you-tube; and I was confused. I guess there is a big video on you-tube of missionaries beating some people in basketball. So check that out :p
(THIS IS NOT PRESTON, this is a link to the video he is talking about. turn down the sound there is some questionable language)
And yes I received my package and it was amazing!!! I loved everything in it :) Thanks for everything you do for me and others! :)
Keep up the good work and all y'all remember to read your scriptures and pray every day because God wants us too! :)
Love Elder Andersen

One more thing I want the family to know is that we need to have faith! Faith that the Lord can lead us to were we need to go, what to say, and how to act! I will forward my president message to you. Its super powerful!! Just remember y'all need to have faith then act!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Letter #11

Hey Family,
So I received a call today and unfortunately I am getting transferred :( so if y'all send something send it to the mission office till I get my new address that y'all will know next week.
Dad: It is good to see you are living the glory days of teaching, and preaching! It is really the best feeling in the world to feel the spirit so strong and to have someone come unto Christ by accepting a baptism date! Elder Gray and my goal is for every lesson to invite them to do that because then they have something to think about, and something to work towards! I feel the same way when people take that step to finding the Book of Mormon is true and then keep taking steps to come closer to Christ!
Thanks for sending the package to me and doing all you do for me. Everything I have is a gift from God and he has blessed me with so much! I leaned some of that in college but on a mission is way different because we know we can't teach without the spirit and the Lord; kinda like we are worthless without him. I have turned all my trust to him that I know that only through him I can do anything that is in his will. I know eventually I will be training and I will have a horrible companion and I will have to rely on the Lord a lot more!
I don't think I told y'all but last week Elder Gray, Elder Preece, Elder Craven and I went and did some family history! Grandpas Andersen's parents are put in incorrectly. It is like he has multiple wives so I would advise y'all to go fix that just because I don't know what I am doing yet! It is pretty fun doing family history work! Who would of known? I thought it was just for Grandpas and Grandmas, but it's for everyone!!!
Funny story of the week!!! Elder Gray and I were walking home and this drunk guy came and talked to us. I was pretending that I didn't know any English and I only spoke in Spanish to him. (he was white and didn't know Spanish). I was just messing with him saying: "Yo naci en Espana." ( "I was born in Spain" is what the online translation was) and just telling him a bunch of things in Spanish. I also bore my testimony in Spanish too but we did not waste to much time with him. I like how I can be funny and talk to drunk people and get a laugh out of it; then we can go to a members house and had a powerful lesson. Which we did!!!
The lord is hastening his work and wants us to help missionary's so don't be afraid to talk to people!!
Love Elder Andersen

~ This is a portion of what my Dad wrote to him so you can see why he responded to my dad in the beginning of the letter!

OK, now to tell you why it was a glorious day...
The Laotian elders are Elders Horsman and Cheney.  They came to eat dinner with us along with the English-speaking elders a couple of weeks ago.  I told them about Mom's sewing abilities and we showed them Mom's sewing room.  They got really excited because they had a few mending projects that they needed help with.  Mom said she would be happy to help with that.  So, we have been talking with them quite a bit ever since and this week they brought over their mending needs.  Mom finished those last night.
Anyway, they had invited Mom to got on a teaching appointment with them to a woman named Boua a few days ago.  Well, the appointment had to be changed so that they didn't need Mom to go; however, they kept teaching Boua and set her baptismal date for today, Sunday because that was when she and her family members could be there.  You may be aware that the Laotian elders have a tough time getting baptisms; so Elders Horsman & Cheney were so happy about the baptism.  They were inviting people to come to the service and they specially invited us too.  We said, "Of course, we would love to come."
When we gave them the mended shirt and pants after church today, they were very grateful and asked what they could do for us.  I said, "Just have a good baptismal service this afternoon."  That made them even happier to hear that.  :-)
The service was very nice.  Bro. Gil Amavisca gave the talk on baptism and he also performed the baptism.  In his talk, he said that he was glad for the opportunity to do the baptism.  He baptized his kids; but they didn't have a choice. :-)  So he was pleased that she asked him to do the ordinance.  During the changing time wait, the elders showed the part of the DVD Restoration where Joseph prayed in the First Vision.  The spirit was strong in the room.
After the service was over, Mom introduced herself to Boua and later I introduced myself to her.  I asked about her family, etc.  Her husband was there, they don't have kids, her sister in Elk Grove is a member.  So, I welcomed her into the ward and congratulated her on her decision. 
Then I wanted to meet her husband -- he was talking to the elders and I joined their conversation.  As I introduced myself, I found out that his name is Martin and he speaks Spanish!  I had assumed that he was Laotian too...  So, I spoke some Spanish to him and told him that I was in Colombia 35 years ago.  He is from Mexico.  Then the elders asked me to tell how I came to know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I told Martin that I read it and then I prayed to ask if it was true.  I testified that I felt a burning feeling in my heart that it was true.  The elders asked if he had been reading it.  He said that he had and that he had felt that type of feeling too about the Book of Mormon.  He also commented that he felt that same feeling and spirit there at church.  As you can imagine, the elders were so happy to hear him say that.  You will be glad to know that they did not hesitate -- they immediately challenged him to be baptized.  (I'm sure that you know that drill very well.)  As they asked him that, he said that he wanted to pray about it and receive his own answer.  So they asked if he got his answer, would he be baptized on Sept. 14th.  He said he thought he could if he got the answer. 
Wow!  It has been a while since I have been involved in a baptismal challenge!  And it felt so good -- the Spirit was so strong.  Tears started to come for me and it seemed that Martin was trying not to cry too.  So, I commented about how the Spirit can also make us very emotional and that is not a sign of weakness; rather, it's a blessing.
[ There's that blessing of weeping that you and I both have... :-) ]
There, now you know why it was a glorious day... I was involved in missionary work!  I felt like I was doing a small part in the same type of labors that you are doing 24/7.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Letter # 10

Hey family,
To answer your questions; Dad, I should put some of the stuff on the beans, but I had some for breakfast at the Olivas' house and it was good, I think I just needs seasoning!!! But yeah, it's good. And about the bike, I just bought 2 new inner tubes that have thick slime; so i should be good for the rest of my mission :p It was about 10 bucks and I think it will be worth it!  I also got license plates for our bikes. Mine says "i am loved" and my companion's says "Jesus loves me!" hahah It's awesome!!! When I get the new sd card, I will send this home and ya'll can see it!!! :P
And yeah, I do remember Jessica; she is super cool!!!! If you ever see her again, tell her I said hi :) But how are ya'll doing?!?! (i really like saying ya'll now) I am developing a Texan accent in English and then for Spanish a Mexican accent :p  It is sooooo awesome here! We had service this morning and helped these people move and it was fun. He is from Mexico and he is super nice!!! I love the people in this ward! I might just want to go to the Spanish ward when I come back; Dad, will you come with me and we will only speak Spanish when i come back? :P  The rest of the family will be like stop :P  But I will love to do that, but I can see how different the Spanish stakes and the English wards are, it's crazy how they do things different!!
Some things I have been praying for is charity and acts of service! So today we got asked to go help people move and it was fun and it felt good!!! And then this morning Elder Preece and Gray went on a run and I was left with Elder Preece's companion and we were supposed to clean the house; but it ended up that I cleaned the house as he talked to me. The whole time while doing that I am like, "Why doesn't he do this?" but as I thought about it, I heard a voice say you asked for this not me! So this is my service and charity! But I don't really care as long as I am happy on this mission it's awesome. :p
So how are ya'll doing?!?!? I don't have much time left; but I will try to get some last things in here! I love ya'll and hope that the Lord is blessing you! I pray for ya'll every morning and night and throughout the day! :) Keep up your prayers and scripture study:) God speed and always strive to be like him.
Love, Elder Andersen