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.

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