Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter #18

Hey Family :)
So all y'all knew that I was going to receive a new companion, I was like What the heck!? This is my 3rd transfer and my 4th companion. Hopefully my new companion and I will stay here for awhile! His name is Elder Bushman and he is from Wala Wala Washington. He is very sweet, we work hard and have fun. He is also diabetic and mom he told me some cool things to help your blood sugar. He learned from his doctor the the more carbs you get the faster your blood sugar goes up and down. And the more protein you eat the less of an incline, he tells me the more he eats protein like peanut butter or anything like that than it lasts a lot longer cause it stores and uses it when its needed, so that will  help you have a more consistent blood sugar! But the Crazy thing about elder Bushman is that he served in the exact area we are in now 2 transfers ago, so when i came in the mission he moved from Kemah to Port Lavaca and then after 2 more transfers he moved back here with me!!! When the people in this area saw him, they were very happy so see him and they love him! It is probably a good thing he is here because he knows a lot of old investigators and he knows what to do.

This week has been really good, when Elder Bushman came in he said "Ok, we are going to change this whole area, and we are going to be awesome, and we will baptize weekly!" (our Mission President has a goal for us to baptize weekly, and it is very possible if we do certain things. It is a process and it takes some time to set up, but it is possible) So i am very excited to see some miracles happen!!! :)

Miracle this week: Story below
I had a feeling we needed to go see Manuel one day. We went over to his house and knocked on the door for about 3 min!  I was like man why would I get a feeling to come here if he isn't even here?!?! So I knocked one more time and then I heard "Hola como estan amigos." (Hello, how are you my friends)  I look around and there he is walking out of the laundry mat, so we walked over to him and we begin talking to him. Elder Bushman asked if we can share a quick message with him, he said yes but only 5 min. So we walked into his apartment and I brought up a story in 2 Kings about Naaman and how he had leprosy. I read it to him (see below) and asked him what the story meant to him. He hit it right on the dot with his response. I then told him the part about what I thought was cool, how I look at this story is this; Naaman is a normal guy who wants to be healed or find the truth. The prophet Elisha is God, and when he sends his messenger  to go tell him what to do, that is a prophet or missionary or a member of the church. So God sends his messengers to tell what people need to do to be healed or find the truth. So Elisha tells the messenger to tell Naaman to go to the River Jordan and wash 7 times. When Naaman heard this he was angry. First, there were other rivers closer than the river Jordan and Second, why did the prophet send a servant to tell him... why didn't he just go out and tell him?! Naaman came to his senses and then did it and was clean from his disease.
When I look at this story I can totally see the people I teach (Naaman) and Myself (the Messenger of the prophet or GOD). I know that they really want to find out if there is a God, if The Book of Mormon is true, and which church to join. We teach them what God wants them to do. That they need to pray, read the scriptures, and go to church. They always have excuses like they don't have time, or why go to the church its farther then this local church, or I don't believe this or that. The moral of the story is that the messenger sent from God is there to tell him what they need to do and then they need to act. Naaman wasn't cleansed of his leprosy until after she showed his faith, and did what the messenger had said. So my job is to show people this, that they can find what to do with their life by reading the scriptures, praying, asking questions to God, and by being baptized. It is hard to get them to do that stuff because all the worldly things make it so difficult. Oh man, do I try to get all this people to come unto Christ!
I love all y'all so much. Keep up your studies and prayers, Heavenly Father Loves You!
Love Elder Andersen

 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and awash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be bclean.
 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some agreat thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
 14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan,aaccording to the saying of the man of God: and his bflesh came again like unto the cflesh of a little child, and he was dclean.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Letter #17

Hey Family,
No, I did not know that it was the anniversary of Joseph Smith getting the plates. Man, it is crazy to think about this stuff! Whenever I think about it, I get so happy and I feel the spirit because I know it's true!

Crazy story: Last night Elder Preece, Huntsman, Neilsen,  Mcory and I stayed up talking about random things. They told me a story about how they went to this house where people had been seeing spirits and feeling very weird whenever they were there. So they called the missionary's over there. Elder Huntsman just felt horrible the whole time he was there, he said the spirit was definitely not there. So he cast out the evil and then dedicated the house. He said it's feels better to be there now. So I learned how to cast out devils and evil spirits. That might come in handy some day.
This week was a crazy and fun week. On Thursday Elder Neilsen and I went and played volleyball with our Rama. (= Branch; I feel weird calling it Wards and Branches so I will just say it in Spanish) It was really fun. We also set up rides for our investigators to come to church, however those ended up falling though. It is very sad when we have 3 investigators that WANT to come to church but all of them don't have a car and they live 15 miles away. We can't give them rides or else we would! And unfortunately all the families out in the area have full cars and have no room. It is very frustrating that the president of the rama sets it up then they don't follow through. Now I can understand why the Lord wants us to work with members,  because we need to strengthen them so they can have courage to take investigators to church. I know that if we have faith that it can happen, and it will.
One example of faith:
Yesterday Elder Neilsen and I went around to all our appointments and no one was home. We parked the car and just sat there thinking It's going to be a horrible day!!!! Then I remembered what my president said "If we have faith, the Lord will make up for the rest." So I looked at Elder Nielsen and told him that we needed to go visit them all again. We did and one by one they were all home!! We ended up with 6 lessons that day, we were also able to set up for this guy that wants to go on a mission to do a "mini mission" with us next week! I am very excited for him to come, because he wants to go on a mission. It is sad because family situation is very hard, they barely making enough money to survive. He has to work to help around the house! When he comes out with us we are going to go have fun teaching lessons and all, and at the end discuss how a mission can HIGHLY benefit him and his family. I know that since Sharon and I left on our missions that y'all are blessed! I feel the need to tell him about my family and how they are happy and love that I am on a mission. I just want to show him that a mission is all pros and no cons.
I am thankful for all you do! Keep up being awesome and do what is right.
One last thing I want to tell y'all is on the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast they had a video of s family and the song is "I will go where you want me to go" was playing. I would like y'all to watch that and think about what it means. When I watched it the other day, I think it meant that we need to pray for service opportunity's or for people to help in daily life. Maybe even pray for someone that you can refer to the missionaries. I wish that more people would refer us to their friends. I have found that when members refer their friends, then those people are always willing to listen. I think it is because they can see the change and why we are so different from the members. This week y'all should pray for people to serve or people that you should send the missionaries to go visit!

love y'all and pray for y'all often!
Para siempre Dios este con vos  (Forever God be with you)
Love Elder Andersen

Elder Andersen sent me a picture. I sent him a t-shirt that I thought would be perfect for P-Day. I made Sharon a special shirt, and I was going to make one for him too (I still will) but I saw this and HAD to get it for him! We both LOVE Duck Dynasty, and this one had a great saying on it... 

"Family First... Business Second" I thought he could remember all the family that loves him and then GET to Business of serving the Lord! :) ~ Melissa

Monday, September 16, 2013

Letter #16

Hey how is it going Family!,
Dad, we went over to the Campo Family's again. They made us this amazing soup and its called consome, I guess that it is a Columbian dish, it was super good! Brother Campo made us play Sapo. I guess it is a famous game in Columbia; you try to throw rings on a frogs mouth .:p It was pretty fun!!
Oh, yeah my bad... I spelled bularia wrong. However bularse means to make fun of if you didn't get it. You never said it was just a joke to them because I was very bad at Spanish at home before I left. I just told them that you would make fun of me because I was horrible. haha! They think I speak OK, but I know I still need a lot of work on it :p

Dad told me he likes to listening to music. I would suggest you buy this CD. I sent the link to mom they are an acapella group from BYU called Vocal Point; and they are amazing!!! I have listened to 'Lead Thou Me On' one of their CD's and it is super good! My favorite songs on the CD are Danny Boy, Lead Kindly Light, and He is Born! Look them up on youtube. ( that is the link to their website.) They are sooooo good! I think you would love Danny Boy and He is Born! That would be something that I want. You should send one to Sharon also! :) It's really good!!!
My companion and I have a new date for baptism! He is super cool, we met him while he was drinking but he told us he wants to change and be better. He went to church and he liked it! He is from El Salvador and he speaks super fast, I can barely understand him!! haha.
Sad week too! We had to give our best investigator to the English missionaries... :( She is going to get baptized soon, and she is awesome. I just hope the Sister missionaries will be good to her :) Other than that its been a good week :) Love all y'all!
Elder Andersen
This is a summer sunset that I took on the way home one day :)
(Preston sent this picture to me in an email - I told him I wanted more pictures... Isn't it BEAUTIFUL!)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Letter #15

Hey family how is it going?!?!

I'm glad y'all had fun at gold rush days! I remember going and was always bored, but maybe when I am older I will appreciate it :p It's also good that BYU won. I do miss watching games with dad! Here it comes to Sunday and I'm doing my daily routine and another Elder tells me how BYU is doing and tells me everything and I'm like "Oh they did play, I can't remember what day is what here!" they all feel the same except for Sunday and Monday haha! 

And I didn't know that she got married but that's cool :p It is crazy to hear about things that is happeing at home. I am shocked Ryan Froude is already leaving! It feels like he had 4 months to leave when I gave my talk, time flies while you are on a mission. haha.

Crazy food of the week:
We went to this family's house for food and every time we go there they always ask if we are hungry. The majority of the time we are hungry when we go there, but we wanted to go talk to their son who is planning on going on a mission. So we walked in and the mom asked "Are you hungry?" and we are like Yeah so she got the food out and guess what?!?! It was Piel de cerdo (pig skin) and she had us try it. I was thinking like man that is gross; then she made us this huge dinner of it!!! All I remember from the M.T.C. is no matter what they give you; you better eat it!!! So I sucked it up and ate it all! It was the worst thing I have ever eaten in my life!! When they asked if I liked it I always say YES, and when they ask if I want more I just say I am full!! There has been another time in my last area where we went to 4 different houses and they all fed us and after the last one while we were riding home on our bikes I just threw everything up!!!!! Lately I have developed a skill about eating things and look like I enjoy it. In my last area they knew when I didn't like it, but here I think I have learned to adapt to gross food! haha. Oh and they also fed us Pitaya juice. It is from mexico and I got used to the taste about the 3rd time they kept filling my drink! haha. Have you had that before?!?!
Oh and Dad I met this family from Columbia and they are from Cali (Cali in Columbia not California) I could not really understand him it was kind of a different pronunciations. They understood me very well. They were telling me my Spanish is very good for 4 months into the mission. They also said your Dad must have taught you Spanish while you were at home. I said "No me no gusta hablar con me papa en espanol porque me papa se burlaria de me porque me espanol no es bueno." (in burlaria the i has the accent) "No, I don't like talking with my dad in Spanish because he would make fun of me because my Spanish is not good." and they got a nice laugh out of it. They love when we come over! Their last name is Campo.

I love you all and hope y'all are doing good :)
Love Elder Andersen

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Letter #14

Hey Family!!!

Glad to hear the baseball game was good, and y'all had fun on Labor Day. It is sad to hear that BYU lost, but there are many more games to come. Speaking of that, one of our investigators invited us the the BYU vs. Houston game on Oct. 19th at Reliant Stadium. We asked President in our letters to him, so we MIGHT get permission to go :) How awesome will that be if President lets us go to that game :))))) That would be so awesome!!!!!

We are having so much fun!! I am loving it here!! President keeps telling us to work with the members... work with members! So we are setting up talking to them and lately our hard work is paying off. ALL the members love us! We visited this less active family and they normally don't like the missionaries visiting. We have gotten in good with his brother, so the brother told the less actives that we are cool and so we asked if we can go over and teach them. The less active said "Yeah, my brother said your cool So I'll give y'all a shot!" So we went over there and talked and taught a lesson and he LOVES US!!! He told us whenever we want food or anything or to teach him a lesson we can go over any time! So we learned that we just need to work through members and keep up the good work!

Like I said we are working through our members so we haven't been really finding new people from the street. Last Monday we had a very successful Family Home Evening (F.H.E.) with a family that invited over a friend. We taught them about el evangelio de jesucristo. (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) We talked highly of baptism and we extended her a date and she excepted it!!! The spirit was very strong in that members home and I knew she could not deny it!! We also set up another lesson with that same girl, so soon we will see how she is doing. We also set up another F.H.E with another member and she is inviting a friend from work that is trying to find the truth! This last week we have seen the blessing of working through the members and helping them out. One day after we got a lesson with a member we received a text from Salt Lake (they send referrals to us when someone calls a number asking more about the church) and we got the names and address to visit. Sadly I was on splits with other missionary's but Elder Neilsen y Preece (our zone leader) went and visited them. They taught them a lesson and they were like finally you came we called 2 months ago to get people here to teach us! But they loved the lesson and want us back for more. Right as the missionaries were leaving the grandparents in the house hobbled out thanking them for coming over and teaching them. I look at that as a miracle that God has blessed us if we are obedient to what he wants us to do. We find in 2 Nephi 2:26-29 that we can be obedient to God or the devil.  We can chose Eternal Life or death! It makes it very clear that we need to serve God and do his will! Choose you this day what you want, eternal life or death? I know that this church is true and that we can live with God again. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the father and his son Jesus Christ! I testify of it every day and I feel the spirit when I tell these people here in Houston. I know that angels are watching me at all times, and testifying that what I say is the truth! I know Jesus died for us so we can have the opportunity to live with god again, and I hope we all can be there someday :) Love y'all

Love Elder Andersen
P.S. Dad you can write me a long letter if you want I have plenty of time :)
P.S.S Where is Ryan Lopez going on his mission?!?!?!