Monday, July 28, 2014

Letter #61

Hey Family,
How is it going y'all? This week was really good yet really depressing! The good part is that we taught 35 lessons! I think that is the most I have ever had on the mission! The Lord has really blessed us this week with miracles. We have a lot of people progressing and we have found some new people to teach. We are hoping that it continues like this. The Canos' sister has been getting more and more interested, but sadly we haven't taught her this week. Hopefully we can teach her, and then she will get baptized soon! I love the Canos' more and more every day! Daniela (the daughter) is drawing me pictures of the Houston Temple and a graffiti of Columbia and the flag of Columbia, so I am excited for that.

The sad and depressing part of the week is that yesterday we were at the Canos' home and they told me everything is going on in their lives about trying to receive an "Acello"... I don't know the right word for it in English (asylum) but it is when you leave your country to go to another one to be safe. Apparently there are people in Columbia trying to kill them. Their son is there and they kidnapped them and told him if he ever leaves the village that they will kill him.  If the Canos' ever go back home and the government sees them that they will kill them as soon as they see them. All the stories they told me just made me feel so bad. It is going to be hard to go and try to get their "acello"  (asylum). She said that they have one more appointment with the judge and if they don't grant them it, then they have 24 hours to leave this county and they go back to Columbia pretty much to die. I am praying so hard that they can get there "acello"  (asylum) and that they can stay here and bring their son here so they all can be safe! As she was telling me the story I felt like balling, but man they are going through such a hard time right now! They are so strong in the church so that will help and that is what makes me so happy!

We have been teaching them about family history and we will be going to the temple really soon so they can get baptized for there ancestors. The coolest thing is that Hermana Cano had a dream when she was in Columbia that she came to the USA that she can get baptized. She said it was in the name of her mom that has passed away a couple years ago. That is why they came here and then when we talked about family history (about the 3rd time we ever taught them, we knew them for about a week at this time) she said she was sold that her dream can come true because we baptize for those people who did not have the opportunity to do it before. It was the coolest thing ever to talk to her about that again. I like that she had a dream about getting baptized for her mom, MAN the spirit was so strong when we were talking about it! I really am starting to love this area! I have been here for about 7 months and finally I am starting to love it, even thought sometimes the bishop doesn't help out, the members are starting to help us out!

Today we are going to NASA there has been some new stuff in there since we last went, so I hope it will be cool! The Sisters in my district really wanted to go and they begged us to go with them. I finally gave in so that is what we are going to do today! Secretly I am kinda excited about it, but then at the same time not really. But not much has gone on since that.
Love y'all,
Elder Andersen

Monday, July 21, 2014

Letter #60

Hey Family,
So as I was emailing y'all this random Indian guy came up and gave me a paper that said I should attend his Bible Study Class. It was really weird! I looked over to my companion and he just laughed. My new companion is Elder Jarvis. He is from Orem Utah! He has been on his mission for about 1 and a half years. (Just a little more than me.) He was supposed to go to Brazil, but then he received a letter from President Monson telling him that he is getting reassigned here for his mission, and speaking Spanish. He was serving about 6 months in English waiting for his visa and then got reassigned here and now is speaking Spanish! That is the background story I have from him! He is pretty cool, he is really good at playing the drums. He attended BYU- Idaho (same time as I was there) and was in the jazz band. He played the drums at a members house, and I have to admit he is super good! He is also very smart in the gospel! It is crazy, I thought I knew a lot about the Gospel, but after listening to this guy I am starting to think to myself... "Man I need to study more!" Haha He has been teaching me a lot of things. I have had questions about a lot of things I have been studying lately. I have been learning about miracles, the Atonement and what revelations mean! There is a sweet talk, (I don't remember the name) but it breaks down what will happen for the second coming and what revelations mean, IT IS CRAZY!!!!!!!

This week has been really good. The Lord has blessed us with a lot of miracles and lessons. We had 28 lessons I believe! It is really nice being here, this area is growing a lot.  We have decided to work with the members more and have them help us out. Oh, President called us Tuesday night to let me know that I am the new District Leader. That is a little scary to be a D.L.! I know the Lord will provide! I plan on teaching how to work with members, and how it is more effective than with our own efforts. I have been praying a lot and I know this is what the Lord wants! One thing that the President has asked us to do is to pray for at least 15 min every day. That has been helping me a lot! I feel the guidance of the spirit, and I can really feel the presence of God and his love! My Testimony has grown so much this last week, how this is God's work. He wants us all to do it! Not just the missionaries, not just the leaders but like as prophets have said "Every member a Missionary!" It is TRUE! 
My Challenge to y'all this week is to pray for someone to share the gospel with. The Lord will provide and put that person in your way!

I love y'all and here is a funny picture for the week! Man Hispanics crack me up! :p
Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Letter #59

Hey Family,
This week was really good. It made up the bad times of last week! As you can see in the photo Daniela decided to get baptized too! We went to her house Monday night with Hermano Diaz (the fellowship-er) And we talked about blessings we get from baptisms.  Hermano Diaz bore his testimony, and told his conversion story and it was everything that she needed to hear. The spirit was so strong and we told her this is your answer! Then she told us "I want to get baptized!" Man the spirit was so strong! It was the coolest experience ever! I knew the Lord wanted her to get baptized and we just did what the Lord told us and it was what she needed!
The Baptism was amazing even though most of the people there were just friends of the Cano Family from other Wards. Barely any one from our Ward came, but it was still really good! The spirit was so strong and at the end when everyone was congratulating them on the baptism. It really hit me and I saw the family crying because everyone was just so happy for the decision they made!!! I was fortunate enough to be able to baptize the parents, and then I confirmed the Mother. It was a good experience for me, and then after the Sacrament Meeting the next day a lot of people went and talked to them. They are receiving some help there too! :) By the way... Am I looking any darker in the picture? The sun is getting pretty bad, but luckily we have the car for now.

Today we found out who is leaving, and my companion is being transferred... It is a sad day because we get along so well, and now its coming to an end! This will be my 5th transfer in this area! I will be going on 7 months in this ward soon. Like Melissa said in one of her last letters, there must be something I am not getting out of this ward! haha It is crazy to think that I am getting a new companion, I really hope it is someone cool, and someone I can get along with :) I found out my comp from the M.T.C. is leaving his area so I hope he comes to me! :) That would be sweet!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe my time here goes by fast and faster. I feel like I am counting down the days when I come home! It is going toooo fast! It needs to slow down! I feels like all the days go by faster, all missionaries say that your last year fly's, and now I believe them!!! ahaha
Love y'all!
Elder Andersen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Letter #58

Hey Family,
The Cano's were a little upset about the Columbia game. I am not to upset, I have to much on my mind to think about the World Cup right now! This week has been very hard and stressful! (more info coming up in the letter)It seems like y'all had fun with the Bird's, and also with the Ray's and Richardson's! I'm glad to see that y'all had a good 4th of July! On the way home driving in the car it was raining a little bit but we could see some fireworks in the air; which were pretty cool. We did not see many, but I am looking at how much time I have left and I am realizing that I have already missed TWO 4th of July Celebrations at home!! That is crazy! Another thing I thought about is that I only get to Skype with the family ONE more time before I come home! That is crazy too! Only because I come home like a week or 2 before Mother's Day!

This week has been pretty good. We are going to have at least 2 baptisms this week! Hopefully three, and one of the girl's gets baptized too! The Cano's are getting baptized on Saturday so that is the happy news of the week! Their daughter doesn't know if she wants to or not. She knows that it is true, but she went to Girls Camp and had a bad experience.  Now she doesn't want to get baptized! All we can do is tell her to pray and ask if she needs too! Her parents are already set to do it, so they are good; but we are praying hard so she can receive an answer! I just love them so much!

The sad news of the week is that the Aguilera Family (we have been working on for the last 6 months to get back active) don't want to come back because our ward does NOTHING!!!!! They walked out in the middle of church and went home because of what some members in our ward did! We asked the bishop for help with them, and then he brought us excuses why not to help them. That just made me upset. He doesn't help at all! The bishop seems like he does not want to do anything to help with anybody but himself! I am so embarrassed to be in this ward at times, there is not much support and we feel like they don't care about anyone but themselves!!!! Sorry... since I got that off my chest I feel better!! ahah My time in this ward has been very challenging because the members aren't willing to do help us out either! We are trying so hard, but they won't budge! The only ones that are nice to the investigators is a couple of the family's. The rest of them have like there own groups or cliques and they just don't go outside of their groups/cliques!

Something I have been praying for is Patience... and it is getting TRIED a lot in this ward! ahahha. I know that God will come up with some way to help us out!

To end my letter I have included a picture, it was take at the Aguilera's. They painted out faces for the Columbia game! (Don't worry we did not watch it, and we washed our faces right after the picture...) I have a number 3 on one side and a Columbia flag on the other! Hope you like it!
Love y'all!
Elder Andersen