Monday, April 28, 2014

Letter # 48

Hey Family,
This week has been pretty good. We were able to teach 29 lessons! We are going to have a couple baptisms in a couple weeks, so it will be fun next couple of weeks too. We have Ketzally getting baptized first, she is from a part member family. Her parents are members, but none of the kids are. Ketzally is 9 years old and she is the only one that can be baptized right now. She is very excited about it. Next is Raymundo Ola; he is the husband of Paula Ola, and she got baptized on April 6th.

This week was a hard week you could say, Elder Rockhill left the companionship! (We were in a threesome and we had so much fun) Now that he left it, it is just Elder Larson and I. (I'll tell more about him in a second) Ever since Elder Rockhill left, it has been really different. It has gotten a lot quieter, and there is not as much joking and laughing going on. He was the "joke-ster" of the group for sure! haha. We were having a bunch of fun together, then we got the transfer call and we found out that he would be leaving. We had hoped we would get a new Elder to the area and that they would keep us in the threesome, but it didn't turn out that way... sadly! Elder Larson and I still do have a lot of fun! Y'all will have to see our videos that we like to do together. We have this thing that every once in a while we do a music video! We pick random Hymns or E.F.Y. song, and we just dance to it! ahah. It is soooo fun! So, Elder Larson is officially my new companion. He is from Mesa, Arizona. He has been out on his mission for about 6 weeks less than I have! His Spanish is amazing! I am lucky that I did not get a new Elder that I would have to talk all the time! ahah. We are doing good, and we get along really well. We both love the same things so that also makes things easier too! 

We had some sweet lessons with my favorite family; The Cervantes. Y'all probably heard about them before, but we always go over and have a blast with them. They have 4 girls and 1 boy. Similar to our family, there is Aleni 19, Analee 15, Ashley 13, Ayleen 12 and Issac 5. They are so funny, they remind me so much of our family! I love being over there, and sometimes we stay over a little more that we should. We try really hard not to chill over there too much! The difference is that they have a less-active father. He is is super cool, but he doesn't go to church much because he was offended by something. We have had two super spiritual lessons with them. The first one was when we watched the video "Good things to Come", and he had a similar experience as the story we shared happen to him when someone helped him out with his car. He said it was an answer from God, then he said that he is there, and it was awesome. Then yesterday we shared the video about Forgiveness; the whole family was practically crying! The spirit was really strong, and it was really good because every lesson we have had with him he had been able to feel the spirit really strong. The only problem is that then he goes right back to the same way he is living his life, being a chavo (bum). He says that he wants to get sealed in the Temple, but he isn't doing anything to have that happen. We had many lessons with them about the Temple ordinances, and what will happen if we are not sealed forever. He knows what is going on, but it is just upsetting at times because I love this family! They all will suffer not having the father with them if he doesn't do anything about getting back on track. We have a lot of less actives we are working on. That is the hardest, because they know everything is true, but they have just fallen into a different lifestyle. I know that I am here to help, and I will! I love my area and the people I work with, it is just hard sometimes. ahah.

Things are pretty good, and I am loving the mission day by day. I just can not believe that on May 5th it will be my year mark!! That is like 7 days away!!!! I cant believe it! UGHHHH It is going by so fast. I remember like it was yesterday when Mom and Dad dropped me off at the MTC! I can't really think of anything else to say, but one thing I am currently reading is a Book by Spencer W Kimball. It is called The Miracle of Forgiveness. It is an amazing book! If any of y'all get a chance to read it, I highly suggest doing so! It really has changed my expectations of things so much!

Love y'all so much,
Elder Andersen

P.S. Dad, Congrats on your amazing missionary work! I am sure it brings you back to the glory days huh?!?Keep helping the investigators, because here in the Spanish Wards they are not that good to welcome the new people. Always be that guy to say HI and talk, and encourage others to do the same! :)  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Letter # 47

Hey Family!
Well first things first... Feliz dia de Pascau! (Dad you can translate that!) Haha. This Easter was really cool and very spiritual! Church was awesome,  we had our area's combined. We had 6 at church which is not bad at all! haha. The lessons given were super sweet and the spirit was so strong.

This week was amazing, we taught 29 lessons this week! I have to admit it is so much easier with a car! It also helped that we had 3 missionaries, because then we can get into any house and teach a lesson! We taught a lot about Easter, and we shared a lot about the Atonement as well. (Alma 7: 11-15) It really just hit home that Christ loves us and he is willing to do anything for us! I am so grateful for his example that he gave us! I know that he felt every pain, affliction, and every thing that we have ever gone through. He is there every step of the way, and it is wonderful to know that he will always be by our side! 

This week we found a new lady to teach. Her name is Lydia Burns, and she is the Grandmother of a member family. Her grandson is currently serving a mission in Mexico. She is from Panama. She loves having us over and teaching her lesson. Before every lesson she tells us how Catholic she is, but that she really loves our lessons. Her son (the one that is a member) and all of his family was at her house when we visited her on Easter. We shared a super powerful lesson to them, we taught about the Atonement and the mom was bawling. Then she told us how much our family misses us when we are out on missions. So I guess now I know how y'all fell sometimes! :)

Yesterday we had a Easter egg hunt, after that the missionaries decided to get a little soccer game going. We played with all the kids before and after the hunt. My camera was in my pocket, and at the end of the games I tried to use it, and the screen was cracked. So it would only half work... Soooo I leaned my lesson to not leave things in pockets while playing sports! I bought a new one for $79.00. It is a Sony DSC-W730 so hopefully I got a good deal on it! haha. It is nice from what I have used!  

It is cool to hear that Sharon is back! It feels like just yesterday we all had sushi to say goodbye to her! I am out of time!
I love y'all so much!
Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Letter #46

Hey family,
So, I am sad and happy that Sharon is "coming home" because I know how she feels right now. The mission is the BEST, but then there is a time to go home, and it is her time to go! Tell Sharon I can send my Spanish
stuff home so she can learn it to be able to go out with the Sister's in the ward! Haha. I actually have a bunch of Spanish things that I don't use and I am ready to send it if she needs it! aahhhhh.

The deck looks super sweet! It looks a lot better than I could have ever done if you wanted me to do it! Putting that little bench and planter box was a sweet idea! I bet mom is super happy about all of that! haha.

This week seemed different for us. It is mainly because my companion went home and EVERYONE asked where he was! ahah I was annoyed by the end of the day getting asked "Donde esta Elder Cassiano?" I was like he said
he was leaving in his last talk... did you listen?!?! ahah So, now I am with the other set of elders in the district, and we have so much fun!!! We got a lot of work done! In face we got 20 lessons taught this week (Even though we wasted a couple of days dropping Elder Cassiano off at the airport, and getting a car. It has just been crazy, but we worked our butts off to get those 20 lessons! We hope President will just keep it like this so we can do better! :)

I normally don't read the lesson for Church on Sunday either. It always comes down to the last minute and the missionaries have to talk or teach a lesson in church. This ward is so un-prepared, and our Ward Mission Leader is not doing a good job! Sometimes I just don't like this ward that much. I guess when I pray for patience everything falls apart! :P haha jk. I am trying really hard to help get this ward functional! We have a lot of cool members, and also a lot of weird ones! haha. We are getting work done though! :)

I miss baseball so much!!!!!!! Oh, and by the way I broke one of the
gloves. It is the old one, the stitching ripped, so I will take it in and get it re-stitched! That is one of the first things I am going to do when I get home... watch a Rivercats game! Crazy that the first baseman played when we watched the A's game!

The news for the week is I am going to by a new suit!!!! There is
a grand opening at a store here and they are selling suits for like $75.00! I wanted to jump on this deal for sure! One of the other companions and I want new suits so we are going to do it! :) haha!

I love y'all!
Elder Andersen

Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter # 45

Hey family,
To answer all the questions from your e-mail before I forget :p
General Conference was really good! And I agree praying for answers really works! I really learned a lot during the last one in October. This one i didn't come with to many questions, but the ones I had were answered. It is just so cool how our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he answers our personal questions through his servants; the prophet and his counselors! It is sweet! Thanks for giving the address to Maijai! I hope I get a letter soon! Adele said she sent me a letter, but I still haven't gotten it yet, so hopefully I will get it soon! :) I will get a Thank You letter to Brad and Julie. Would you be able to mail me a family directory? I would like to know all the addresses of the cousins and Uncles & Aunts too so I can send them stuff too! And can you let me know which ones served Spanish Missions, or at least what ones  know Spanish so I can write the letters to them in Spanish! (don't worry dad I will start sending y'all more letters in Spanish. I recently found out that we can write letters in Spanish for our Spanish Study time!) Man, I am so out of the loop with sports! I don't know anything that is going on!! I have members tell me what going on so I can stay somewhat in the loop! haha. I read most of the scriptures you leave me at the end of your letters. :) They are always super good! This last one you are sent, I KNOW this one. We shared it as lessons to all members on Friday to get them excited for the upcoming General Conference! ahah 

General Conference was super sweet! My favorite talks were given by President Holland (I do not think there has ever been a talk that he has given that I do not like) And I liked Elder Nelson's talk too!!! So good!
This week we had two baptisms! You can see the attached photo! On the left is Paula Ola and she is from Guatemala. The guy on the right is Nicolas Rosadio and he is from Peru. I was able to baptize Nicolas. Man, it was the coolest thing ever. I think it is coolest to see the changes from all the people!

We  also went to the Temple this week. I saw the newer video! It is sooo sweet! And you definitely don't fall asleep anymore! haah. It is crazy because I have a different perspective about everything as a missionary! It is a little weird, but I think so much differently! I love it though :) I don't have much time left ... Sorry! Love all y'all!!
Love, Elder Andersen
Elder C, Paula Ola, Nicolas Rosadio, Elder A

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Letter # 44

Hey Family,
So this week was super cool! We had 19 lessons again! We had 2 lessons cancel on us yesterday, or we would have broken the "20 lesson barrier!" That is the standard of excellence, and it is the goal for the missionaries to have every week! I feel that next week we will break it because Elder Cassiano and I are going to work our butts off! Yes, he is the one from Guatemala and he is going home next Tuesday! (a week before Sharon!!!!) It is crazy how much he does not want to go home! He wants to stay and serve for all his life! I want him to do that too, but his family misses him to much! He has been on the mission for about 24 months and 3 weeks! Crazy right!!

Sadly, my bike has no brakes now! I will have to fix that this week, so my winning streak with the bike has come to an end! Luckily it wont be that expensive! I am just going broke here on the mission, but it is OK because the blessing are more important and I will have to rule out bankruptcy! :p

I can not believe Sharon comes home so fast!!! I remember the day we got sushi when she left! That is crazy!!!! I bet all y'all are so excited! Just wait in a little over a year I am going to come home and that is going to come up sooooo fast too!!!!

So this week has been very hot, and then one day out of NOWHERE came a thunder storm and a rainstorm! The mission President told us to go inside. We did but we were really far from our apartment, so we rode all the way home in the POURING rain! The attached picture is to show how bad it was! My tie and my planner were soaked! I was able to wring out so much water from my pants and my shirt when we got home! Man that was the nicest warm shower I ever had after that experience! The rain was cold! It was pretty funny! That was a good night, we had about 4 lessons that day besides all that went on!

This week we will have 2 baptisms, I am so excited! We have been working with Paula for about 2 months, and she finally decided that for sure she will be getting baptized! We had a wonderful Family Home Evening with them and we taught Paula and her husband about temples and how we can be Sealed! I felt like I needed to share about an experience from the Sacramento Temple. I told them about how the Temple President saw a light on, when he was about to go and turn it off the prophet called him and told him that Jesus was in there and not to worry about it. After I told that story everyone was silent. The spirit was so strong, and it was one of the coolest experience's ever! The husband told us that he will get baptized in 3 weeks. The other guy getting baptized this week is Nicolas. He was a miracle find, a referral from the Elders. We found him last Sunday, he is getting baptized this week. He is what most would call a golden investigator! The DL told us after his interview that he had a cool experience talking with him. He told him how lucky he is that we found him, and how excited to get baptized he is! Man I am going to LOVE this week!

That is all! I will have baptism pictures next week for y'all to see! No se precupen :)
Love ya, 
Elder Andersen

SOAKING WET just got home...
Hermana Allen & Elder Andersen