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