Monday, February 24, 2014

Letter #39

Hey family!
Dad, to answer your questions before i forget :p I didn't know Sacramento had the nickname of Camellia City, (funny thing is when I asked the other missionaries, I said it like it was Spanish and they were like whaaa?!?! And they still didn't know it when I said it in English. Pronunciation skills are going out the drain while learning Spanish :) And I don't think we are permitted to donate blood on our missions, so I never had any opportunity, and nobody has asked me if I had. And do tell Tracy and MaiJai to write me! I like letters :) Give them my address :) Tell all the cool youth that i like receiving letters and emails! ahah And yeah, deposit my money in Wells Fargo. Are they still taking out 3 dollars a month?!?! Because I asked if you could talk to them about that but idk if they fixed it or not, cause I am not allowed to check on that so I don't know what's going on right now! Thanks for doing my taxes! :)

This week has been super slow! We had 4 non-productive days but still had 12 lessons. 3 days we didn't teach a single person. We had this funeral that we were in charge of.... we got put in charge of it last second. It was for an Inactive family and they wanted to use the building; so the church allowed them to and then they told everyone to be there at 2. The funny thing was the family didn't show up till 4 so we had to entertain the guests for 2 hours. We played Mormon messages and listened to Mormon Tab! They all were like, what's going on and we didn't even know what was going on! Our bishop was like, just watch videos and keep them entertained; I was so stressed and frustrated that day!  We had some Catholics walk out because they were mad because we didn't have crosses hanged up in our church! And then we had a Muslim leave after a Mormon message video. She asked the sister missionaries what it was about and they said about Jesus and she got mad and left! So it was pretty crazy!!! Over all, it was a spiritual experience, even though it was very unplanned and off on a whim. It was good, there was free food after and it was pretty good!

Cool Experience this week:
We taught one of our super cool investigators -- their names are Paula and Raymundo. They are husband and wife and I thought that they needed a baptism date. So I came up with the scripture in Matthew 11:27 to 30 and it talks about how Jesus' yoke is easy and he can take ours upon him if we learn more about him and come unto him. As I was explaining what the yoke is I just was talking and not thinking what I was saying, and the words just flew out of my mouth. And I told them that the only way Jesus will help our yoke is if we get baptized. When we get baptized, we show him that we are willing to follow him and do what he wants us to do. And I promised them that they were ready and that when they are baptized, all their weight will be helped by Christ and told them that they can get baptized in 3 weeks if they did their part. She was like, you really have confidence in us and we were like, we know y'all are ready. The spirit was super strong and when we left, Elder Cassiano told me I did a amazing job and I'm like, wait what happened, I forgot what I said! ahah I know that the spirit told me exactly what to say in that time of need! This is an example of gift of tongues. I know how to talk good enough; but that time I had no problems talking to them and I said everything clear. I felt like every word popped in my head and I just followed the prompting! It feels amazing when you can really teach lessons according to the Holy Ghost! 

Other than that, my week was good!
Mom and dad, did y'all get my letter? I put the SD card in it; I hope everything is there safe and sound with all the pictures and videos! 
I love y'all! I pray for y'all all the time.
Love Elder Andersen

Monday, February 17, 2014

Letter # 38

Hey Family,
So this week has been pretty slow but has been very cool and very spiritual! This week we had Zone Conference and it was all in Spanish! It was pretty crazy to hear President Ashton talk Spanish after he has served his mission 25 years ago. He sounded very gringo (probably a lot like me) and he was actually pretty good. He knew the grammar and knew most of the words, there were very few words I didn't understand. That helps remind me that there are always things we need to work on... Right!?! The funny thing is that our Mission President was instructed to talk about our future life plans! My companion hated going through that cause he was like ughh I am going home soon and will have to do this! I was thinking and he gave us time to ponder what we want and I still feel like the C.H.P. is what I want to do. The rest of the Conference was amazing! The spirit was super strong and I definitely received alot of revelation for my life and my investigators. One thing we did was teach the Restoration, and President just happend to sit in when we were teaching it. He was falling asleep when we taught so i hope we weren't boring. I hope it was more like he was just tired :p hahah He really commented on how well we are teaching. That was one of our main focuses; to have strong powerful lessons that the spirit can testify about! So we have been practicing it, and he told us that as a mission we are doing pretty good!

This Valentine's Day wasn't too special this year. We had a party and it was supposed to start at 7. My companion and I showed up at 6:45 willing to help with something and showed up to nothing. We were the first ones there... so we set up the tables and the chairs, then all decorations and everything. The next people to show up were the other set of missionaries and after them was the sister missionaries, then the bishop showed up at about 7:30 and started stuff. The other people started showing up at about 830 and food started at about 845. I guess this always happens in our ward. The missionaries do everything and keep everything going! I don't know why, but when you tell Hispanics to be there at 7 they show up at 8 to 830. So just for future reference if you have a party tell them an hour earlier so they can been there kinda on time. haha! After that we went home and I got my package from Mom! :) Thanks!

Church this week was a little weird. The first speaker talked for 5 min so then the bishop got up and told the congregation that Sister Allen (a new missionary) and Elder Andersen will be bearing their testimonies. He did this to make up for the short first talk. So Sister Allen goes up there and doesn't know much Spanish so she talks for like 45 seconds and leaves. So I  go up feeling like I have to take a little bit longer so I bore my testimony and told a story. It was a couple of minutes, but I just think its crazy that whenever there is a time to be made up that he always calls on the missionaries to bare their testimonies. Well I don't really care about it because it's something cool to do, but the bishop expects us to do everything for him. It seems like I like him less and less every week. Hopefully while I am here I can do something to help this bishop be a better person.

Not that much in this weeks email. But I love y'all and keep up all y'all's good work!

Elder Andersen

Monday, February 10, 2014

Letter #37

Hey Family,

So to start off, I am sending a picture of my companion before I forget it! The picture is of Elder Cassiano. He got pooped on by a bird, it was funny so I had to take a picture of it. The funniest thing for me is that he looks like Clint Thomas!!!!

This week was pretty cool! Even though we have been walking around this week; we left our bike at a members house and we could never catch them home to get them back so we just walk everywhere now! haha My feet are getting tired by the end of the day! Oh and Dad, in Columbia did y'all talk in "vos"? (Not Vosotros but vos. It's kinda like Tu but  different). Elder Cassiano is teaching me, and it is so fun to learn! I talk to all the missionaries I know in vos and they don't know it or understand it. I will have to teach you later if you don't know it! haha I know Mexicans don't talk in that form. but I guess all the other countries talk in it!

Whenever we go to Walmart to shop lately I see something about the Winter Olympics! I want to see it soooo bad, and I want to snowboard really bad too! That is one of the things I am going to do when I get home :) Hopefully there is snow at the beginning of May!!! :p Being in this area really makes me appreciate everything I have. My companion is from Guatemala and his family is poor. He tells me all his stories from home and I'm like man I never went through anything like that! I have realized how lucky I am in my life!

This week was super cool! I meet 2 people From Bogota Columbia. I talked to them for awhile, one was an O.Y.M. and one is a member and he loves me! I told the member that my father served in Columbia on his mission, and ever since I told him now he likes me. I guess you have to make good connections with them. I have been meeting the members here and they are so cool! I still don't like the Bishop, but everyone else is super cool!!! There is a family in our area named the Cervantes' and they are so nice. They have 4 girls and one baby boy that's 5 so it's kinda like our family! haha They are from Monterrey Mexico and everything I see them in reminds me of Addicion (a group that follows the Monterrey soccer club around)! They are a die hard fans of them, and every time I go over I make the sign and say Addicion! The member's here are really nice and friendly, and this area the members like going out with the missionaries! We also get a lot of member presents here!

Cool story of the week:
We had this investigator and she is super cool. She wants to get baptized and she wants her husband to have a better relationship and to be better. She invited her husband to talk to us and we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ, and HE LOVES THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!!!! After our lesson he asked "What do I need to read?" So we left him with a bunch of scriptures to read... and he read them in 2 days! We went back and taught the Plan of Salvation and emphasized that we can be together forever. I asked him is this a goal for you; to one day be sealed for eternity with your wife and your kids?!?!? He was like "Yes!" so we told him his first step is baptism and he accepted a date! Sadly he has to work so he can not go to church! But we invited his wife to the devotional, and I would suggest all y'all to go to one too. They are really fun, and soooooo spiritual! We have recent converts give their testimonies and then we have a member talk, this time our member did sooo good! He told about his conversion story and the spirit was strong! It is defiantly a testimony builder to me showing that god loves us and wants all his children to be happy! The church is true! My Mission President tells us that every time he sees us! I know it is! There is no way its false! My testimony has grown so much since being here and I still have so much more to go! I love my mission and I might never want to go home :p ahah 

I love y'all! Keep up the good works!
Love, Elder Andersen

Elder Cassiano

Monday, February 3, 2014

Letter #36

Hey family,

So as y'all know, I have been transferred and this is my new address:

12735 Whittington Dr # 1
Houston, TX 77077
This area is super big and it's a "bike area". We live 10 minutes away from our area on bike and the farthest part in our area is an hour by bike! Unfortunately for us that is where most of our investigators are; so it is going to be crazy!!!! haha

I love my new companion -- his name is Elder Cassiano and he is from Guatemala! He speaks perfect Spanish and helps me a lot! haha  This week I really have grown to not like the bishop! I heard many stories of how bad he was and I was like ok; I have to give him a try. Well I gave him a try and he FAILED!!!! He doesn't let us participate in Ward Council, but he will talk to us in PEC.  When we tried to ask what we can do to help these certain families, he skipped over us on purpose and went to the Sisters! He is soooo horrible; but that's not the worst part!!! We had an investigator moving and he told us that he got people to help and them move; then he cancelled 15 min. before, and now she is locked out of her apartment, without her stuff. So I don't like him one bit!

I don't have much time left; but I will send a picture of my companion and I next week. I'll also tell you more about other things on my mission. Just know I love y'all and y'all are always in my prayers!
Love, Elder Andersen