Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter # 83

Hey family,
This week we found out who is getting transferred and guess who is leaving..... NOT ME!!!!!! This will be my 9th transfer here in this area. I am a little disappointed, but I guess the Lord has better plans for me here! I guess we will see what this transfer has in store for me! 

But the coolest miracle just happened on Friday - Sunday! We had a miracle baptism this week! This is what I wrote in my letter to the Mission President this week:
This week was really good! We had a lot of success this week even though we had a lot of meetings and stuff happening. We had the coolest miracle with our baptism this week. He did not have a date set at the start of the week, and we saw him on Wednesday and set up an appointment with him on Saturday. We had happened to see him on Friday because he lives at a members house. The spirit told me to ask him what he was doing on Sunday! So, I did and he said "Nothing." Then the spirit told me to ask him if he wanted to get baptized on Sunday, so I asked and he said "Yeah!" and then he asked us what he needed to do to be able to be baptized. So we told him we would see him the next day to finish the lessons, and then ask him the interview questions to see if he was ready! So we went over and taught the rest of the lessons and asked him the baptismal questions and he knew them perfectly. He was so ready! We set up the time for the baptism and then the time for his interview. He told us he was going to get home late the night before and that he might need some help waking up. I asked him if we could call him to help and he said that would be fine. We called him about 5 times to help wake him up and he didn't answer. We decided that we should drive to his house to make sure he was awake. Luckily we did because when we got there we learned that he wasn't. We knocked on the door and the member opens it and told us that he wound not be baptized that day because he was still asleep, and that he had not heard our phone calls. In that moment I knew that he was going to get baptized that day, so I asked the member to go knock on his door. He did, and then he came back saying that he was still asleep and that the baptism isn't going to happen. We were then able to talk the investigators wife into going to try to wake him up... well she did it after awhile. And guess what?? He came down and said that he would get ready! We showed up to church late with all the waking up stuff, but he still got his interview done and passed and was ready to be baptized! After I heard in the Christmas Conference the part about "Our faith will be tried, and the storms will come in..." I knew I had just kept my faith in that moment and hoped for the best!

Needless to say it as a pretty cool miracle! It was amazing for me to see!

It was really nice to talk to the family on Google, it felt really weird to me. I don't know why but I think it is probably because I am coming home really soon to see y'all ... Man the mission really does go by fast!

This week we had the Christmas Conference, it was really cool and fun! We had a bunch of food all I ate was meat and man was it delicious! I have missed having meat, I am still not tired of beans and rice yet so I guess that is a good thing! Hahaha! 

Thanks for everything! I love y'all!
Elder Andersen

Monday, December 22, 2014

Letter #82

Hey Family!
I see those cars all the time! If a truck here does not say "Texas Edition" then there is something wrong! As the saying goes... Everything is bigger and better in Texas! Haha! I see at least 100 Texas Edition trucks daily! I am soooo going to buy one and bring it to Cali when I get enough money after the Mission!! :p Haha! (In response to my Dad asking: While driving the other day in Clovis, I noticed this car ahead of me at the traffic light.  I think I noticed the license plate first; but then I saw the "Texas edition Yukon" logo at the lower left side.  Do you ever see that kind in Houston?)

This week was pretty cool! Not too much going on to report, but we have been eating a lot of food! I guess that is the normal around here! Haha.

As for Skype: I sent you an e-mail with the member's phone numbers. We will put your "Spanish Skills" to the test to set up a time and talk to them! Actually the father does speaks English so you can communicate with him if you don't remember a couple of the Spanish words! Haha.

I can't believe that Nolan is engaged! -And to a Chilean girl! Does he know Spanish? Or  I guess does she know English well?!?! Neat.

But nothing really crazy happened this week! Oh, except that I was Santa's Elf at the Ward Christmas Party! Only because the Santa costume didn't fit me! Haha! It was a fun party!

Talk to you soon!

Love, Elder Andersen

~ fun district picture!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letter #81

Hey Family,
This week was not as exciting and action packed as the last week! However, it was still pretty cool and fun! Honestly, I cant think of anything that has happened... Except there is a Member in our Ward that is a GENIUS!!!!!! Man, I asked him so many questions, and he was able to answer them all! They were all deep doctrine questions, I asked a lot about sealing's and how that works, and I asked him about wayward children. What I learned is pretty much that the kids can ride off of the parents merit to be exalted! How crazy is that! We shouldn't do bad things and then just rely on our parents because it will only be your family; not the family of the wayward child! So it is worth it to gain your own salvation! You will have to suffer to be able to be exalted from that, and it is just better if you earn it here! I thought that was pretty crazy to hear! He talked a lot about the Temple and the Egyptians and how paintings and symbols are similar so man I was so mind blown!

We had this really funny O.Y.M. with a Black guy that wanted to kill us... So, I tried to go and talk to him and what happened is that he started making fun of us. After he did that we started walking away and then he started saying things about Joseph Smith. I turned around and asked him if he knew who he was and he said yeah... l Joseph, Jesus' dad and Smith & Wesson! I heard that, and it got a little smile on my face, and then he started walking to us and said "I got 2 hands for a reason, come and see them." talking about he wanted to fight us now... So me being myself, I turned around and looked at him thinking he was going to try to fight us... to our amazement he has a sword in his hand! Haha! I nudged my companion and said that he has a sword, so we just started to walk away! As we were walking away he was cussing at us and calling us names. I told my companion that if he didn't have the sword I would have beat the crap out of him! Haha That was my funny story of the week!

Oh and Elder Balls ripped his pants... he was jumping over this bayou and ripped his pants at the crotch! We were over a mile from the car too! It was a really funny walk back to the car needless to say! Hahaha!

Nothing else I can really think of! I hope all you are going good!
Love y'all,
Elder Andersen
check out my # I WILL SHARE the GIFT by... picture!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter #80

Hey Family,
Christmas is my favorite time of the year! It is the best to see members so happy! I hate to admit it, but some times they get a little too generous, and give us everything! They are especially generous in this area with food! We did not buy too much this week because our members fed us way to much! I am full every day and I have started to just ask them if we can take it to go when they offer more food! I have found a way to get around that! Haha!

It is funny Dad, because my companion is still having side effects from the Habenero Pepper! haha Yesterday a member came with us to a dinner appointment and I told them about the Habenero Pepper story. We were eating fajitas so the topic came up, everyone laughed! The member that came with us is from Guatemala and they don't have much spicy food, so he said he wanted to try one! The people searched in their fridge but they were not able to find one for him to try. So, sadly he did not get to get on the prank too! 

This week was really cool! One of my recent converts  daughter left for her mission! It was really cool to say goodbye to her. She told us a cool story about when she get her endowments! Her father had passed away about a year and a half ago and she wanted our bishop to go through for him, so he did. When we were in the Celestial Room. I  looked at Grisleda (the new sister missionary) and saw a man right next to her, but I did not think about it.  When I spoke with her about it on Tuesday she told me what had happened. In the celestial room the bishops wife was asking her what her father looked like, and she described him to her, and then the bishops wife told her that her father was right next to her! So I totally saw an ANGEL!!!!!! Man how crazy is that! When I heard the story from her I almost cried the spirit was strong in that moment!

We taught a lesson to a new investigator in front of Home Depot... (funny thing is he stands in front of Home Depot just waiting for people to come tell him they need work!) I guess it is funny to me because it is just stereotypical Hispanics! ahha It was a weird lesson outside., but it was cool because he came to church and really wants to get baptized.

On Saturday we went with the Canos to the temple. The whole family and Hermana Canos' sister all had to fit into a Camero! We were able to fit 6 in a 4 seater car! ahah It was really cool and funny! We laugh so much. The next day at church the family bore their testimonies of what had happened at the temple!

This week I was able to bear my testimony and I started off saying "Nobody knows when your last testimony will be..."  but according to this ward it will never be like that with me because I am never leaving! Haha  I was able to get one of the Cervantes' daughters to cry! She thinks that I am leaving soon! I guess we will see.

Casting out the demon went really well! I didn't feel anything dark when I walked into the room. We sang Nearer my God to Thee in Spanish, and then we read 3 Nephi, chapter 11. Then I dedicated the house and when we left I could definitely feel the spirit really strong! I really hope that what we did helps the family out!

Also the Canos' threw a surprise Birthday Party for Elder Balls! That was really fun!

Love y'all!
Elder Andersen
(I tried to turn the picture, but it won't work... sorry...)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter #79

Hey Family!
This week was pretty cool and really funny!
To start off the week, we had a lot of food! On Thanksgiving we had 2 and a half dinners! I was so full at the last dinner appointment that I had my pants un-buttend the whole time! Haha! I realized when I got home that I had them like that! For the dinners we had turkey that was super spicy! It was like a hot turkey, we also had tamales of course! And for dessert pecan pie! I was so upset that they did not have any Pumpkin Pie this whole week! I was a little sad because that is my favorite Thanksgiving treat! Hispanics know how to party, but not how to do the food for the party! Haha!

On Friday we received permission from our Mission President to go to the Temple because Griselda (recent converts daughter) was going to the temple to take out her endowments! it was an awesome experience to see her go through for the first time! She will be leaving for her mission to Tucson Arizona on Wednesday! I know she will be an amazing missionary!

On Saturday we went to our recent converts house to eat dinner, and OH MAN was it funny! One of the member's brought over a Habenero Pepper; which is one of the spiciest peppers in the world! Of course I dared my companion to eat it! He said OK, and the members were like... "Wow he is really going to eat it..." but they thought he was playing. I put it in his mouth and he chewed it and swallowed it and I busted up laughing because I knew in the next couple minutes he would be crying, and his face would turn red! I kept eating normally and was trying to hold in my laughter, then I looked over and saw that he was soooooo red and crying! The members started asking what was wrong and I told them "He really ate the pepper!" they all thought he was joking when he said he would it it! He was struggling the whole day! He told me he didn't know what the pepper was and so he ate it! Man... did he suffer that whole day for sure!

To top off the week we got a call from the Sister Missionaries, they asked us if we could go and cast out a demon from the house of a Ward Family Member. We called the phone number the Sister Missionaries gave us and they asked for us to come over the following Sunday at 5pm.  They offered to feed us dinner first, and then we could cast it out. When the member told me this, I was like... "Uhmm this is a little weird... but alright!" So this upcoming Sunday we will see what happens! Apparently there is a demon that haunts this family and the kid when they play with this ghost!??! The member tried doing a Dedicatory Prayer on the house and left a picture of Jesus Christ, and the next day the picture was all scratched up. I am a little scared to go in, but I have to do it! I am just really surprised that they want us to wait a whole week to come do it, but ok... Haha!

Other that that the week was good! I can't believe that I come home in about 5 months.. it goes so fast! Almost too fast!
Love y'all!
Elder Andersen

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letter #78

Hey Family,
This week was pretty crazy! As you know we had transfers, and then add everything else normal going on... but it was a good week to say the least! I got a new companion! Don't laugh at his name... his name is Elder Balls! He presents himself as "Elder Pelotas" (which is balls in Spanish) and it was funny the first member we got to visit he presented himself and I started busting up laughing and the member looked at me and so I said "los chimes nunca van a acabar!" (the rumors will never stop) It was really funny because every house we went to he says his name they all laugh and he totally get smirks when he talks! Haha He is a funny guy, and he likes it when people make fun of his name! I.D.K. why but its funny! He is a newer missionary, he has been out for about 4 months! So he is a little baby!

The last couple of days has been really funny! Elder Balls always keeps me laughing, but he is serious when we need to be serious and we really enjoy our time! That is helping with my stress, I am learning to relax and have a good time! President told me that he is willing to take more responsibility so I am looking forward to having him do a lot and me relax more, than me doing everything!

I can't think of anything that happened this week except that Elder Jarvis and I took some cool videos and pictures on our last day together! There is a sweet picture at the church when Elder Jarvis was planking on my back! I will have to send that one!

One cool thing that happened is that we got home in 5 min from the Penillas house! They live about 10 minutes from our apartment with normal driving time, but we were needing to get home in time so I went full out trying to get home! Man it was crazy how we were able to get home, all you can here is TIWI saying check your speed like 40 times and me slamming on the brakes to get in the speed range then speeding up and man we made it home with 30 seconds to spare! It was a crazy miracle that all the lights happened to turn green as soon as we got to all them! 

But other than that I cant think of anything else to tell you!

Love y'all!
Elder Andersen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter #77

Hey Family,
This week is just full of crazy stuff! First, my companion is leaving the area which means that I am staying here for another transfer! I don't know what to think of that! I am kinda happy, but also kinda sad at the same time! I think I just want a new start out here! I am pretty sure the next transfer I will leave, but we will find out I guess!

It is starting to get a little cold out here in Houston! I will have to send a picture at the end of my letter! We visit the Cano's every day, and the husband is always working so we sit outside to give the lesson.  MAN it is cold being outside! They bring us out blankets as you can see in the picture I am sending! Today I bought some thermals, a beanie and a scarf to help keep me warm! For about 4 days I wore my PJ's under my clothes to keep me ward! It was still cold and they made my legs look huge! Haha! Luckily my pants are getting smaller because I was able to fit my PJ's so I am happy about that! Haha.

On Monday we had a Zone Activity. We played some games and it was a lot of fun! As some of you may know, as missionaries we like to buy the weirdest shirts and bring them to activity's. In fact I have a lot of weird shirts to bring home to show y'all! So recently on our p-day we went to Rue 21, it was just after Halloween and so all the stuff for Halloween was discounted! Most of the things were like $3.00! Of course I had to buy a costume at that price! I  bought a Robin costume... it comes with a cape and I think it is super cool! I will have to send a picture of that one too! It is funny how the missionaries like to dress at these activities! I have found some outrageously funny shirts... like today i saw this awesome shirt with Spongebob and Patrick riding on a cat through space. I wanted to get it, but it was too expensive! Haha! I love the activities we have! They are super fun! 
I cant think of anything else that happened this week!

Love Y'all!
Elder Andersen
 After our Lesson at The Cano's House...
The superhero Gang...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter #76

Hey Family!

First of all; if I did not reply to y'all this week then I am sorry! We have a Zone Activity and we are not able to be on for too long this morning. However, I hope you all can read this instead! :)
Man, I can't believe it already happened! I can remember just 6 months ago when Kevin and Crystal got engaged!! Now I will go home in less that 6 months! Time sure does fly! That is so cool of all that has happened for you all in the last weeks! Not too much has happened out here in the mission!

The Guillen family just got the machine that they needed for their son, and they will be flying out to El Salvador to give it to him! The cool thing is that they were able to come to church this week!! It was awesome! It just happened to be the Sunday for the ward Primary Program! Everyone loved it! The theme was "Families can be Together Forever"... it was a little sad to listen to what the kids were saying because it made me "trunky" (wanting to go home) but it was still really good! We had a lot of people go to support and watch the kids! There were a couple of English speaking people there too, and they watched it and they seemed to like it even though they did not understand what was being said!

Our trip to the Temple was super cool! I learned a lot; and surprisingly. I didn't fall asleep! Hahah I sat right next to President Ashton in the session and I think that helped make it very spiritual for me! I learned a lot about my identity, and what my goals are and what I need to be doing in my life! We talked about different things like~ Why does God direct Jehovah and Micheal to create everything in the creation! It was cool to learn about that part! It is very simple but very powerful to learn about! Next, we learned about the Atonement and the symbolism of that! I never knew that the Atonement works in everything! In every single thing the atonement is used! I have heard that before, but it never really actually impacted me like it did  hearing it this time at the Temple! We have everything because of the atonement of Jesus Christ!

Like I said before, not much happened this week for us! I did get to talk with the president, and he is having me talk to the specialist about everything going on! After I am done with the interview with him I will be all clear! I don't know exactly what is going on, but I hope to find out soon!

Love y'all!
Elder Andersen

My Zone in front of the Temple!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letter #75

Hey Family,

This week was pretty good! Going to the see the Doctor added a little stress. I am going to talk with the mission President today to see what we are going to do with all that is going on! ahhh. This week was just full of what I would consider "a bunch on unnecessary stuff that we needed to do"! However, next week I am so excited for! Do you remember the last time that I told y'all we went to the Temple as a Mission?? Well... we are doing it again this week! We are going on Thursday and the thing the Mission President has asked us to focusing on is this:

1.       What does the endowment teach us about Jesus Christ and the Atonement?

2.       What is our true identity?

I am excited to learn more about this stuff!

So the Christ-like story is: The Guillen Family.
I believe that I told y'all last week that the family has a son that is still living in El Salvador. He has "Cystic Fibrosis". The machine that he was using to help him broke, and we were trying to help get it fixed, or find somewhere that would be able fix it. Last week we had NO luck. But this week, we had success. A member on the board is actually a Senior Missionary serving here with his wife. He has been helping us out a- ton! He has been on the phone all week as well as speaking with the members on the board, owners of the corporation, and doctors too. Through it all we found a new machine to send down to the families son in El Salvador! It is a refurbished machine, that was only used a couple of hrs. We have been on the phone getting all the legal stuff figured out too. We had to help get a prescription for him in the United States, and in El Salvador. Luckily to get to him the machine in El Salvador there is actually no need for a prescription. It is only a legal term enforced in the United States for patients. He lives in a different country so the legal part is not enforced. But he needs a prescription for the medication that is taken while using the machine. So that is the part that we are working on.
This has been the "Biggest Christ- Like Attibute" of Christlike love I have seen here on the mission! They are calling day and night to get this kid a machine and the thing I am telling y'all is he is paying for most of it... These machines are not cheap at all! We have been in constant contact with him trying to get this all figured out! It has been a big burden but it will all be worth it in the end!

This week was Halloween, I wore the same costume as last year of course~ the number one choice was the Duck Dynasty Beard (picture at the bottom) It was a fun ward party! Every one loved the beard... well that is what they told me! It was a really fun! There was a bunch of candy there but I did not dare touch it because I know it would do a lot of damage to my stomach~ so I left those alone! ahaha

But other than that I can't think of anything else to tell y'all!
I hope y'all had a good week and a fun Halloween!
Oh and this week a member bought all our food! this week we filled up our cart with food! so SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahah and we bought a big fat turkey because it was on sale!
Love y'all! 
Elder Andersen

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter #74

Hey family!
So this week was good! We tried to get the Moys to the Court House to get married, but it did not happen. His work did not give him the time off this week! Dad, you should know about the Hispanic culture; if the missionaries don't do anything about it then nothing gets done! I have learned that with a lot of Hispanics! You have to ask them to do something and you constantly need to be on their backs about it. You need to tell them to do it or it wont be done. Sometimes you have to drag them to do it! In missionary work we drag people to do stuff, but we don't force them to get baptized! That is always their decision! We drag them to do stuff, or it will never get done! I have especially learned that in this ward, if we don't say anything about it and remind the people all the time then nothing gets done! Sometimes we have to do everything, but as long as it does gets done I am Happy! Hahah

So another miracle I saw this week is about Christ like Love! (I will have to put the story in the letter next week, I just don't have enough time to put the whole story in today!)

One thing I forgot to put in last weeks letter was a Family Home Evening we had with the Orellanas! We had a small lesson and the girls in the family have been wanting to play a game called Chubby Bunny with us! It is a game where you see how many marshmallows you can fit in your mouth! I asked Griselda what her record was and she said 7! I then told her I would beat her of course! She has been talking smack for awhile now about it! I just told her we will have to see! So the time finally comes down at the end of the F.H.E. and she brings out the big marshmallows! I look at them and asked her how she fit 7 in her mouth and she showed me that she has stretchy cheeks! I think I started off with a disadvantage because my cheeks do not stretch... but man I had a lot of determination to win! We go around the circle one by one putting more and more marshmallows in your mouth. I got to 7 and I barely was able to say "Chubby Bunny." (I forgot to tell you that you have to say Chubby Bunny after every marshmallow) then I thought I was done, so I put one more in and tried to say it and I couldn't! I ended up spitting it all out and Griselda looked at me and I quickly threw it all back in my mouth and managed to say it and then spit it all back out! Everyone was laughing so hard that everyone had to spit out their marshmallows too! So I guess we actually tied, because she made up a rule that if you spit them out then you cant put them back in. BUT I so got 8! I so won! Hopefully this is considered a funny story and not a gross story for you!

I cant really think of anything else that happened other than this stuff! Thanks for all you do! I love y'all so much! Keep up the good work!

Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter #73

Hey Family, 
This week has gone by so fast from last P-day! I don't really remember what has happened this week! Of course there were a couple cool miracles that happened this week!

First, we found the Guillen Family again! We had a really good lesson with them too! They are a super cool family, we found out that they are divorced so now they can easily get married and then baptized! The kids and the Mom at least, the Dad does not have a lot of interest in the gospel. We are hoping that he will soon! They accepted baptism dates and we are super excited! The only thing we have to do is help her change her job so she can have Sunday's off and be able to come to church! We have a job lined up that is perfect for her :) So I am excited to see their progression!

Secondly, we found the Moyas' again! ( They were recent converts and the parents have been members, but we baptized the daughter) It seemed like they were not answering the door every time we knocked so we stopped for awhile. They answered this week and said "Man missionaries, it has been a while since you were here!" They talked about how hard their lives have been, and how they don't feel worthy enough to go to church. The biggest reason is that the to parents aren't married, and they don't want the members to judge them. We got in and asked them how can we help them. I specifically asked them how can we help them get married! Elder Larson and I always ask them how we can help them get married, and they always say that they will do it, but they never did. This time they asked us if we can call the Courthouse to set up an appointment, because they don't speak English! We told them OF COURSE and asked them what date we can do it... so we are helping them get married :) I am super excited!

Something funny: We were talking about Eternal Marriage with The Canos' and they are sooo excited to get sealed in about 9 months! We went on to ask them about who they think we will marry, and then she brings out these tiny statues and said~ This is you and your future wife, and left it at that. Here is a picture of the statues that she told me my future wife is! Haha She told me that I can marry a Hispanic girl if I want! Hahah! It was a funny conversation! (see picture below)

All joking aside, this was a short but fun week! I don't have to many pictures to send, I need to get better in taking pictures! I love y'all and thanks for all you do!
Love, Elder Andersen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Letter #72

Hey family!
I do like receiving letters from the cousins! Sometimes I have time to read them, and sometimes I don't. Please keep sending them because I do like reading them if I have time!! :) (My dad has been forwarding Preston letters from our cousins that are also on missions right now.) 

This week was pretty sweet! We had one of the 70 come and give us a wonderful Mission Conference. (So Sorry for not telling you about the change of our P-day. It was changed to today because of the meeting and the Holiday on Monday!) His name was Elder Schwitzer, and OH MAN was it an amazing message that he gave to all of us! The main topic was about extending baptismal dates to people. He talked about how we need to make it more presentable; like we are baptizing in the name of Christ, and not getting baptized in the church! He said the reason we are baptized is for us to make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ! Then the Confirmation is for membership in the church! It was super good!
He talked a lot about his testimony about the Book of Mormon, and told how he saw original papers of the Book of Mormon! The same ones that Oliver Cowdery wrote and he said there were no crossed out words, and that there was nothing in the margins. It was translated perfectly! He also talked a lot of the different things the book has and comparisons to the Bible. The Book of Mormon was translated by a man with like a 4th grade education. He said We can't do that without a college degree, and the help of God! I was shaken and man my testimony grew so much of the Book of Mormon! I thought I had a good testimony of the Book before, but man I was wrong! It needs to go a lot more!  Haha 
At the end of the Mission Conference he bore his testimony as a special witness of Jesus Christ. That was powerful too, I really hope one day I can have a powerful testimony like him and my Mission President!

This week we found Jose Luis, but I think his friends have gotten to him. He wants to get baptized but has a lot of doubts again. We resolve doubt after doubt and it just goes on...  We told him to pray about it and he said he would! Hopefully we can help him get baptized soon!

This week was awesome! I got a special present from the Canos'! They bought me a Columbia Jersey! (like the legit World Cup Adidas one! It is super nice! They also gave me a Columbia flag! (not the flag, but it has the Seal of Columbia in the yellow) I still love it! (Picture on the bottom!) I love it and them so much!

Other than that I can not think of what else happened! It was a good week! I love you all!
Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter #71

Hey family,
Well first to start off my letter, we received transfer calls and I am staying here again! This will be my 7th transfer here! There is something I am doing good here, or something I am doing bad and I need to correct it before I get leave! Haha. I am excited to be here for a little while longer! I love this dysfunctional ward, but man they are lazy! Hopefully "Yo puedo poner las pilas!" as the Hispanics say! In English it means "But the battery's in them!" Hopefully I can help wake this ward up! haha.

This week was of course a good week because General Conference was on! Man, I learned so much and was surprised how good it was. I think this has been was the only Conference that I did not fall asleep during! I was totally awake the whole time! Haha. My favorite talk was of course Jeffery R. Holland's about helping the poor and the needy! It put a lot in me, and I was like; I cant give money because I have got nothing to give, but I do have the GOSPEL to share! haha. When people ask me for money I will be able to tell them that I have something better than money to share! I have got Eternal Life! ahah. We will see what happens. Y'all would be surprised how often people ask us for money. I tell them that we don't have any, and they always say "Well if you are a representative of Jesus Christ you will give me a dollar." I think what I am going to say to the next person that asks me that I will ask them to show me once in the Bible where Jesus give people money!?!? I am sure they are going to make up some story or be like; Oh man, I guess he knows what he is talking about! Haha!

This week we did not baptize who we wanted, but we did get a Miracle baptism! The Aguilera's are a less-active family we always visit. They come to church about once a month. It all started out when I was looking through our Ward List and I noticed that we did not have a record for her, but she was baptized before. I asked our ward clerk and he said that she doesn't have a record, so she needs to get baptized again. I called the Mission President and he called Salt Lake to check and said her records are not there so go ahead and baptize her! I was like OK! So the good streak with baptisms continues! We could possibly have another one next week with Aracelly Alveranga!

Aracelly was supposed to be baptized this week, but her passport expired so she could not get a marriage license and we could not do it this week. She has an appointment today and hopefully we can get all this situated so she can get baptized this weekend! 

About Jose Luis; we haven't seen him for a week, it seems like he fell of the face of the earth. They told us they were moving, but that they would keep in contact with us. I don't know whats going on with that... hopefully they haven't moved yet so we can help them out. They have been going through a lot!

This week we are going to have to find a lot of people to teach because we have already baptized everyone we have been teaching! Haha! I know with the help of the Lord we will find people!

Thanks to everyone for what y'all do for me! Y'all are in my prayers! I wish the best for you and hope you take something from General Conference and apply it to your life! Love ya!!
Love, Elder Andersen

Here is a picture of the baptism!
Here is a picture after we worked on the Cervantes car... man it was hard and dirty!

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Picture

I always tell my brother that I want to see PICTURES!! He has been pretty good about sending them in the family letter, but I LOVED this one he sent me...

He said this is a picture of Two Sisters and His current Companion in Texas. One of the Sisters went home last week to CALIFORNIA. He said they were both really Cool Sisters!! 
Just wanted to share! ~ LOVE Melissa

Letter #70

Hey family,
This week was really good too! :) We baptized Yolanda, the coolest Miracle ever! It was a good baptism! The Zone Leader that interview her said she cried the whole interview, and that she was super excited for her baptism! He also told us that she said she wanted me to baptize her because I have more muscles them the other Elders! Haha! So I guess those 4 years of football paid off! :p ahah

Sadly, we did not get to baptize Jose Luis. He had work this week on the day of the interview, and then when we went to his house on Sunday he was also working. I have to admit it was a little weird, I think he might of been avoiding us... I hope not, and I have faith he was working and he will get baptized this upcoming week :)

This week we got a "shout-out" from our Mission President in the weekly letter to all the missionaries! It was cool except he spelled my name wrong :( Hahah
he said:

"Dear Elders and Sisters,
Miracles happen every day in our mission!  I thought that I would start this morning by sharing one with you.  Elder Anderson and Elder Jarvis in Houston 8 South have been baptizing regularly including each of the last three weeks.  They had been trying for months to get an appointment with a woman by the name of Yolanda for weeks.  When they finally did last Sunday (she had attended church with a friend for a while), she was ready for the gospel.  They were able to teach her all the lessons this past week, and she was baptized yesterday!  God is in this work.  He is preparing people.  They are out there.  We just need to get God’s help to find them when their hearts are right."

It was a cool thing to read, and I like where the Lord Is preparing his people, it's nothing we are doing but the Lord is in charge and he is blessing us with these people to teach and baptize!

This week I went on an exchange with Elder Romero (bike area) he is from El Salvador so it was cool to talk in Spanish for the whole day! One thing that our President has asked us to work on is our "Chirst-like Attributes". This week I choose humility! Every house we went into they are like... "Look at this gringo!" then I talk to them, and they all say I have perfect Spanish! I am thinking "No I don't, it is not that good!" and then Elder Romero told me "No Elder, you have the best Spanish in this Zone other than the Hispanic Elders!" the same thing  happened in every single lesson, and almost every person we talked to complemented me on my Spanish. I would say it is not that good, but that I am still practicing. Then Elder Romero comes in and says that I am amazing! It is weird how the Lord works in those ways to help you practice humility! A girl at church told me yesterday that I was handsome. Then my companion told me that everyone hits on me and has a crush on me! It is hard being humble with all these blessings! Haha I'm sorry I had to say that! I get it from Dad! He always tells me that he is the one of the most humble guys he knows! haha! 

This week has been full of miracles! I can't Thank everyone for all you do for me and all the prayers! I know this is the true church, and that the Book of Mormon is the most true book on the planet! It helps us come closer to God! Studying Christ-like attributes makes me feel like I am worthless because I don't think I have any of them, but as we try we receive grace day by day!

I love y'all!
Elder Andersen
P.S. Don't mind my nasty white feet in the picture :p

Monday, September 22, 2014

Letter #69

Hey Family,
Dad thanks for that! I was reading that of course, and I was crying. That seems like a good song, I have not heard it! (My Dad sent the words to "In the Hollow of thy Hand " in his letter to Preston. One song you and Mom should listen to is called "Bless my Son". It is on "The Work" by Nashville Tribute Band! You should listen to that one. Whenever I hear it I picture you and Mom praying for me! Hahah! It is a good and humbling song! It reminded me of the lyrics you put up! Super sweet song!

Last week we went to the Zoo! I got so many pictures, you will see them all when I send my card home! It was really cool and huge!

This week Fanny got baptized! Oh man was it a wonderful experience! Brother Cano (my recent convert that I baptized about 2 months ago) was able to baptize his sister in law! It was the coolest thing to see my recent convert baptize his family and another one of my converts! When I saw them walk into the water the biggest smile came to my face! I knew that their lives are changed for good, and it felt good that I was a part of helping them. We did the confirmations there, and Fanny said that her knees wouldn't stop shaking when she received that confirmation. Then she said that she felt this overwhelming peace come to her! After the baptism, the Bishop came up to them and congratulated them. Brother Cano said that this was the most amazing experience he has ever had! Hearing that from him really put some tears in my eyes! I am able to see the Atonement of Jesus Christ work in them, and I see such a change!

After the baptism Sister Cano was talking a lot about her son coming from Columbia and that she hopes that Brother Cano will baptize him. That will be a dream come true for the family and me!!!!!! I hope that works out for them!

With that baptism, there were three other 8 years old getting baptized along with Fanny. We taught all the kids the lessons (Apparently the Hispanics wants the missionaries to teach them all the lessons, not them.) Haha. So this last month we have been helping out 3 family's to got their kids ready for baptism. :) It was a wonderful experience. Like always, Hispanics don't know how to plan; so I had to reserve the building and get all the clothes ready and get everything put together. It was fun doing it though! I feel like I will be a lot more responsible after my Mission because I have to pick up all the slack of these Hispanics! :p hahah
So this week we had a miracle (see below) we should be baptizing Jose Luis from Bogota Columbia! I hope everything goes good for him this week!

Here is an insert I sent my Mission President which talks about "The Miracle" of the week!
We had a Miracle this week with one of our baptism dates; Yolanda. The first time we taught her we extended a baptism date, and when I was thinking about a date, September 28th just stuck out in my mind. I second guessed it thinking that it was to close and with it being 2 weeks away and that we were only able to meet with her on weekends. I ended up extending the 12th of October. After the lesson, Elder Jarvis and I were thinking, and we decided that she could do it on the 5th of October. We prayed about it, and we knew she can do that date! Then we saw her at the "Fiestas Patrias" and Elder Jarvis was talking to her and told her that we have been praying about her and we think she can get baptized on the 5th of October or possibly the 28th of September. She quickly said she wanted to do it on the 28th! He said "Well, we will have to come over and teach all the lessons soon and then we can do it." She agreed very happily, and is excited to get baptized! We went over on the Sunday before the Baptism date and we taught her all the lessons. At the end, she said the spirit was strong and she knows this is all true! She is all set to be baptized this upcoming week! It was definitely a miracle from the Lord! I have learned so much these last couple weeks about how the Lord blesses us so much, and also about the love he has for us! I know the Lord is Hastening his work and we are just tools in his hands!

Thanks for all y'all do for me :) I love you all! The picture I am attaching shows the baptism we just had with Fanny with Brother Cano baptizing her! MAN... a wonderful experience it was for me!

Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Letter #68

Hey family!
This week was really good! Thanks to all of you that prayed for the Orellana Family. They were able to get baptized! Man it took a lot of work, but we ended up making it happen! I was on stress mode the whole week until I saw them dressed in white taking family pictures. It was then that I just felt calm and peaceful. All that hard work payed off, and made a difference in a family! As you can see in the picture below they are all very happy! Elder Jarvis baptized sister Maria Orellana and I baptised the father Rafeal Orellana! It really was an awesome baptism! Their daughter Marsela or Griselda (the one next to me in the picture) gave the talk on Baptism and it was very powerful! She talked about how she set aside her mission for a little bit to help convert her mother and her step-father! Her testimony was powerful and at the end she came up to my companion and I and thanked us for all that we did! I was telling her that we did not do anything, and told her that she is the one that helped her parents do this! This is a cool family! I love them to death!

Fanny Cano went to the baptism this week. At the end she gave her congratulations to the Orellana Family and then came to me and said "So this upcoming week I will be in the baptism font!" I am so excited for next week to have another baptism with Fanny! I really hope she chooses me to baptize her because I have been working with her for the last 4 months!!!!!!! She was so stubborn at the beginning, but we softened her heart and now she is humble and willing to be baptized! She will be getting baptized with 3 children and she is so excited about that too! :) She also has not been coffee since we taught her... so she is golden!

This week we have got a couple new people to teach and one that I have been teaching since I got here! She has been wanting to get baptized for the last 7 months, but her husband didn't want to get married to her. We told him that to get married he did not have to get baptized. He said "Ohhh, all this time I thought I was going to get baptized, but I don't have to!" So now he will get married to her so she can get baptized! I am sure eventually he will get baptized, but just in his time! They are the Alveranga's Family (or soon to be) and she is going to get baptized on the 28th of September or the 5th of October. I am super excited for her and what she is doing! 

This week my Mission President talked a lot bout having faith. The Lord is hastening his work and Apostle Cook said that there is 100,000 people in our mission that are willing to accept the gospel if we talk with them! So I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us!
Nothing else really went on, besides my stressful week to get the Orellana's baptized! It was worth it!

I love y'all!
Elder Andersen

Left to right in picture Elder Jarvis, Emily Orellana, Maria Orellana, Rafeal Orellana, Griselda, Me! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Letter #67

Hey family,
Man, I miss football!! I love to hear that the BYU Cougars are going strong! haha! I walked into the dinner appointment on Sunday to the 49ers vs Cowboys game. Oh man did that rip my heart in two! I miss football so much! I was so sad that I couldn't watch it that I ate the pizza in sadness! ahah!
Please keep the updates going on BYU and 49ERS for me will ya!?!~ :)

YES, Hermana Jones was in my district forever! That is crazy! She told me that her family lives in Preston now, and I told her that I have family there. She told me that she will probably see them and be in their ward! I guess she is in the ward of Grandpa & Grandma Andersen! What a small world! That is pretty cool. 

This week has been very busy for y'all! It sounds like you have been running around everywhere doing a bunch of things from your letter! I feel the same, we have so much to do! With the new bishop being called here (who has been putting the ward straight I might add) is asking us for alot things! We are teaching members and investigators, so I feel like we are running without a stop!

This upcoming week we should have 2 baptisms if all goes well! The Orellanas' will get baptized and they are super excited for it! Please pray that everything will go well! They still need a couple of lessons, and then the interview; I am just praying that everything goes well!

Another miracle this week: It was with Fanny! We had a lesson about the WOW (Word of Wisdom) and we traded her coffee for apple cider! Haha. I have a sweet video of me throwing away all of her coffee along with her coffee machine! It was soooo cool to do! She is progressing well, and will definitely get baptized in 2 weeks! I am so excited for her!

We see the Canos' every single day! Every day I get to see them the more and more I fall in love with them!!!!! They are the coolest family ever! They are so strong, and I know that I was put here just for them. Well, for other reasons too; but they are the family I really needed to help. What Dad said at the end of his letter really hit me... I look around at what I am doing and I am excited to bring the Cano Family in the Gospel. I will definitely enjoy Eternity with them! :) The longer I am on my mission, the more I feel like I am learning how to be a better missionary every day! I wish I would have taken the mission more serious before and tried to learn more. I would give up anything to start my mission over again!

I love all y'all!
Love Elder Andersen

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Letter #66

Hey family,
This week was really good! I believe we had 32 lessons! The most important thing is that everyone is progressing so well!
We went to Jose Luis house to teach a lesson on Sunday. We knocked on the door and his son told us that he was sick and hurt, so what we asked if we could give him a blessing. We entered the house and then we proceeded to his room. He told us that he was in pain, and that he could not hear a lesson that day. He told us that we could come back later, so we asked him if we can give him a blessing so we did. Elder Jarvis anointed him, and I gave him a blessing to be healed. When we were done, we told him that we would see him at church the next day and he said that he would come if he felt better. He didn't think he would at all because he was hurting so bad! Guess WHAT? So I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting, and I looked back and saw him walk in and it looked like he was pain free. It was a huge miracle to see him walk in! We plan on visiting him tonight so we will see how everything is going. I am hoping that as we walk in he will ask us how did we do that!?! I hope we can help him understand that we have the authority to do these things through Christ and that he needs to get baptized!

The other cool thing is with the Orellanas Family. They came to church and they loved it! We finally got our new bishop too!!!!!!!:) They asked why so much was changing , and so I just said that the church gives callings to people in the ward and we rotate getting new calling every so often. That was a good explanation for them. The  Stake Presidency taught the third hour, and they talked about the Covenants we make, and the importance it is to do these things, then they talked about baptisms and all the way through to temple sealing's! It was amazing, the spirit was strong. When we went to the Orellanas house they said "Man those were some good talks today!" we got to extend a date for them to be baptized for the 14th. They looked at each other and asked each other what they have going on then they both said nothing, so they could do it! So I think they will progress to that date for sure!

Then we have Fanny. We had an amazing Plan of Salvation Lesson with her, her family and Hmo Diaz. Hmo Cano was there and he bore his testimony about becoming converted to the gospel and how he knows this is the only true church. The spirit was so strong. Then Hmo Diaz commented that he has seen a huge difference in her these last 6 weeks. She has come to church, and she is stronger than half of our regular members. The whole family told their conversion stories, and all I said to her was to listen to the people that love you and pray to God and ask him if baptism is your next step to take. She excepted to do it, so I am excited to go back and see how she is doing soon! 

So this upcoming weeks will be very good! Yesterday we played baseball with the Ward Members. It was fun! They were like... "Man, Elder Andersen is an allstar!" and I was like NO I have not played for 3 years almost I am horrible! Haha. It was really good, but now I am super sore today!

I can't think of anything else cool, just the people we are teaching are progressing and that makes me super Happy!
I love y'all!Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter #65

Hey family,
This week was really good; first off, what happened that made me really happy is that we received our calls to see who is leaving and found out that i am staying here for another 6 more weeks :)  By the end of that,i will be here for 9 months :)  I love this area even though it's pretty difficult! But me and Elder Jarvis have been thinking and we should have at least 5 baptisms this transfer, so i am very excited to see this!

We talked to our leaders in the ward and still no news on the new bishop, it makes things a lot harder, because nobody wants to do anything because they are like, well, we don't have a bishop so why try! Which is horrible, and we already have people in the ward that have stake callings that talk bad about the old bishop! So hopefully we get a new one soon!

And dad talking about Rivercats reminds me that i was telling some people in the ward about baseball and they said we need to play baseball so we have a game scheduled for labor day (and btw my Pday next week will be on Tuesday).  And they are like, Elder Andersen i hope you stay so i can go play, i am super excited to all i need to do is find an investigator to come play with us! so hopefully we can find some new people to come! But man i miss those days at the Rivercats was so fun! i definitely miss baseball alot! I get to play catch with the 1st counselor in the bishopric; so that's cool!

And dad, i do not remember who the Presslys are, or their daughter Jamie... do you have a picture of them, maybe i can recognize them, but it doesn't seem familiar at all! But it's good to hear that alot of missionaries are leaving on their missions! The mission is the best, i am going to bawl all night the day i get home! ahah But i didn't know that Trevor got his call and has left already; that's sweet! 

I heard about the new video, i talked with the sisters about it because they went on the going home trip to the temple and  they told me all about it, so it was cool to hear! i haven't been for about 4 months, so I'm due to do a session! i have been learning alot about the gospel lately, reading alot of talks about the atonment, one of the good ones is by M. Russell Nelson, he talked about it and different languages and it put alot of thoughts in my mind! When i think of reconcilliation in English, it translates to re- again, con-with, cillia or close to silla- to sit or chair and in spanish the root words mean to sit again with, like when we make it up to the heavens and through the atonement of christ we will be able to sit on the throne again on the right hand of god or something close to that, so it's cool to think of it in that way! But studying in 2 different languages is cool because sometimes different words have different meanings so you have 2 ways to look at it sometimes!

this week was really busy we had 29 lessons, and we have members asking so much of us, we are running in every direction to help everyone out, i hope this hard work pays off :)
Love all y'all
Love Elder Andersen