Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Letter #52

Hey Family,
Crystal Never sent me a message!!!(My Dad told him in his letter that Crystal and Kevin are now Engaged, and that Crystal would email him about the details.) Houston is not nice these last couple days. On Sunday it was hot and very humid, and yesterday we had a huge, bad rainstorm; every thing was flooded! Today it is raining too! The weather here is really  Bi-Polar! It is not even funny; it will be so hot one day the next day it is cold and raining, then the next day hot, then hot rain... it is so unpredictable! hahaha

OH and before I forget; Did y'all get the package that I sent yet?!?! The "Don't mess with Texas" shirt is for Mom for Mothers Day. (Sorry it is late) The beanie is for Sharon, and I have a bunch of other stuff in there. Dad you can wear the jackets if you want. I really love that Texans one because it is super soft and warm. :) Hopefully y'all got it cause Aleni told me that it had already gotten there!

This week was pretty fun! We had a birthday party for Hermana Cervantes. (see picture below) She is like another mom; In fact I call her mom now. She always feeds us when we go over for a visit! She always calls us her sons so we are definitely loved here! I recorded a funny video. Apparently in the Hispanic Culture its a necessity to put the cake in the persons face. They asked us if the "Gringos" do this and I told them "No way, the white people enjoy their cakes. They do not shove it in each other's mouths!" I got the whole thing on video, when you get it Dad you will have to translate it because of course it is all in Spanish. It was so funny. And tradition to them is after the birthday person gets cake in there face then they kiss everyone in the family to get it on their face too! It's a pretty weird tradition. I am glad that I am a missionary and they can't touch me! ahah 

This week wasn't really full of anything new. The one thing that I can think of is that we had a wonderful Ward Conference. All the Stake Presidency and their families came and it was wonderful. They talked a lot about missionary work and I was going the whole church like man this is what this ward NEEDS! They talked about how it is not the missionaries fault if we are not teaching anyone, it is the members! The members need to invite the missionaries over with their friends, and that is the most effective ways to get people into the church! If we call our friends and invite them to a family home evening and then invite the missionaries then that is when we will have the most success! That is how God has been telling us to do it, and I really  hope it clicked in all of their heads. There are some families that are willing to do anything for the missionaries, and invite friends but most don't do anything. Everyone likes lessons from us, but they are all scared of talking to their friends  and inviting.

Another cool thing is that we found out why the blacks didn't have the priesthood for while. One of our Investigators asked us about that, and so my companion and I  had a study about it. I knew that God always does things in his own time, and I thought that was just how it was. That was not a good enough answer for our investigator, so we studied it. We found in Abraham where they talks about the Descendants of Ham. And that they would not have the priesthood and we put the connection cause his wife, Egyptus (who is a Descendant of Cain (hence black skin)) So that is why. They were all cursed that they could not receive it yet. We can also see in Acts 11 that the Gentiles were banded from Repentance so there are occasions where we are banned from things, but the Prophecy that all things will be restored to its perfect order is coming to pass. The Blacks got the Priesthood, and we are still getting new and better things in the church. I love the Scriptures and all it teaches us. I know that God has order and he does everything in his time. Another thing is that the Second Coming is coming up fast! (not within the next couple years) But it will still be awhile, but we get all these stories from the Prophets be ready for persecution, and we need to be prepared for all that is coming. 
Not anything else that I can think of to tell you.
I love y'all!
Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter #51

Hey family,
This week was very good! Another very stressful baptism, but I will talk about that a little later in my letter.The highlight's of this week were being able to go to the Temple, and of course the baptism. I totally forgot to tell y'all that I was going to the Temple in my last letter! It was the best experience of my life! DEFINITELY a life changer, and quite possibly the most spiritual experience I have ever had in my life.

Temple Trip:
The only bad thing about the Temple trip was we woke up at 3:30 a.m. to go. We had to be at the 6:30 a.m. session. (just remember that we normally wake up at 6:30!) So we are going through the session at 6:30 and President told us a couple of questions to think about during the session. The only appropriate one to tell is: What is our true character?
So the whole session I was thinking: What am I, or Who am I and what is my purpose in this life? I couldn't really think because I was trying to pay attention to the things going on in the session. At the end our President and the Temple President took us into a room, and they gave us a huge lecture about Who we are. I learned we are all the same no matter if we are missionaries, or just regular people. Our purpose is to bring other people to Christ and have them make covenants with him and God. Our President told us that Temple work and the Restoring of keys are as true as he was standing at the pulpit while we were sitting there listening to him. Then the Temple President spoke to us little bit about the second coming. He shared with us that Jesus wants to come, but we are not ready for him to come. It was then that the spirit hit me, Get Prepared and Help Others!! Our Purpose is to invite all people to do better, and to be ready for that day when Jesus comes again. Since then I have changed so much! I don't waste a second on my mission! This last year will be so precious to me helping all I can to Come unto Christ and be able to live with him and their family one day! Honestly, I think I have felt the spirit more this week then I have felt in my whole life. It is because I am being more diligent and more obedient. Don't forget our purpose, it is very important.

So now onto the Baptism: 
So we called the Zone Leaders and they told us that the Building will be all ready for the Baptism. We headed over and made sure to be there an hour early! So we found the front door unlocked like they said, but the doors to enter the baptismal font were locked. We had to hop into the font to fill it up, but we still needed the keys to open the doors to do the baptism. We started calling people asking for keys, and then we found out that nobody was answering the call. We called a bunch of people and still nobody. Finally, people started showing up for the service but we could not start without the doors open. We had to wait 30 minutes to start the baptism. It was sooooo frustrating that we had to wait for people to get a baptism! The sad thing is we have to go to other buildings because our building does not have a font. That makes it had to coordinate with everyone about when we can do things. I am glad we had it, and after the doors were open everything was smooth. (picture below is the dad baptizing the girl) We really helped them out so much for this day. One of the other best days of the week.

I don't have too much more time, but I love y'all so much! I pray for y'all! Don't forget to do y'all scripture study. I realized how important it is to read and pray to have the spirit with us. IT IS IMPORTANT! 
Love y'all
Elder Andersen! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Letter #50

Hey family,
It was awesome to talk to y'all yesterday! I loved it! I am sad that our Mission President only gave us 40 minutes, but I know that if I am obedient I will receive more blessing. It was sad that I didn't have some people from the family on Skype, but the next time we do this I expect every one to be there!! :p haha 

So as y'all know we had a baptism. It was soooooooo nerve racking and disappointing, but it turned out good from the grace of God! ahah. Let me point out all the crazy things that happened.
Our Ward Mission Leader (which is pretty much less active) did not show up until 10 minutes after the baptism started! He was the person in charge. Then the Bishop and the person getting baptized didn't show up until 5:00 which was when we should have started. The first people that came to support was a family from another ward that Elder Larson invited. When they got there before anyone else showed up they were like were is everyone?!?! So we went on anyways and we didn't have anyone to play the piano. The first song nobody knew, so it was a horrible first song; then the speakers didn't even really know they were going to speak so they kinda went of on a whim. When it was finally time for the baptism, I baptized Raymundo. He had his thing over his arm cause he had cut off his finger. It was full of air, so it didn't go under the water on our first attempt. We had to do it again, then he lifted his arm up the second time, but the third time the a charm, Baptized!!!! It was funny, because everyone came up to me after making fun of me like man are you weak or something!?! I personally thought it was hilarious, the funniest joke I heard was what his wife said (She was baptized a month ago) "You needed to get baptized 3 times because you had so many sins!" When I heard that, I laughed so hard; luckily he thought it was funny too! ahah. It was crazy, but a fun and very spiritual experience too!

It was a pretty good day, we also taught a less active single woman living with this other guy! We taught her about forgiveness and watched a video. It was very powerful and it always touches me and helps me out!

Other than that it has been a pretty good week! We have another baptism this week so I am excited about that too! Hopefully this one will be good too! :) ahah 
I love all y'all! Thanks for everything y'all do for me!
Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, May 5, 2014

Letter #49

Hey Family, 
Sorry I am late in replying. We went bowling this p-day so our e-mailing was pushed back! Oh, and Dad I found out the word for bowling in Spanish it is boliche
The only one that remembered about the Mother's Day call was Sharon! ahah. I'm surprised, we don't know who's house we will be at, or when it will be because we have a baptism that day too. We are not sure, but we will have a member call y'all to tell y'all what is going on. If they speak Spanish, I will tell them to call Dad's phone. I'll probably have Aleni who speaks perfect English call so it might be on Dad's, Mom's or the home phone; so heads up for a call for that information!

This week was really cool, we saw a bunch of miracles and saw a bunch of progression in our investigators. Raymundo (the guy that is getting baptized this week) cut off his finger on a lawn mower and was rushed to the hospital. We went to visit him and gave him a blessing. We have seen him practically every day and have been teaching him too. Even with the cast on, he wants to get baptized! There is nothing stopping him from getting baptized. He told us that he owes so much to God, and the least he can do is get baptized even through all of these hard times are happening. Elder Larson and I thought we might have lost him as an investigator; but it just made him so much stronger. 
I have read so much of the book I spoke about before; The Miracle of Forgiveness. It is such an awesome book! I do suggest it strongly! It really has help me think about many things I am doing wrong.

I knew that Rowan meet y'all there; but I didn't know what she said! That's funny! haha

 I am so happy that Carly called off the wedding! Ben is not for her, she deserves a lot better than him.

I love going to baptisms! We just went to one the other day, the spirit was so strong and a lot of people were crying and it changes lives! It's like the coolest thing ever!

I don't know what to say to y'all cause I'm going to skype with y'all this Sunday! It all goes by so fast! I can't believe it! After this, we will skype on Christmas and then I will be home before the next one! Can y'all believe it?!?! haha It's crazy -- in exactly a year, I will be home! 
See y'all on Sunday. Love ya!

P.S. I am trying to get a package to y'all, but I'm not sure if I can! I will try though!

Love, Elder Andersen