Monday, February 23, 2015

Letter #91

Hey Family,
Man; these weeks seem to go by faster and faster every week! I don't like it!!!!!!! Hahaha! It needs to slow down! I am trying to enjoy my time I have left here... like nothing left, but it's going really good! I am going to be so sad to leave this! It has been the best life ever!!!!!!!!!

And; I can't believe that I am going to be 21 soon!!!!

I can't think of many things that have happened! We went to a part of our area called Palacios which is a tiny town too! It was 30 min away! I learned that we are very isolated from everything! It is crazy! Haha I am starting to fall in love with this new area! There is a young man here named Hugo! We have gotten very close so far, and he wants to come on a "Mini Mission" with us for a week! I am super excited for that! We have everything in common the only difference is that he is Hispanic! Haha.

One thing that I have been thinking about a lot is future jobs! I don't know why, but it has been bothering me for a while! I am going to need a lot of help when I get home! 

One cool thing is that I got a knife belt last week! I will have to take a picture next week and send it to y'all! It is super sweet! Dad; you will be jealous!

Oh, and this week I got to translate for the Branch. Oh man, it is hard!!!!!!! I guess God has blessed me with the "gift of tongues" but not the ability to translate! Haha! 
We made a meal calendar for this week, and now the members all want to feed us, so I am excited about that!:) They all ask me what I want to eat, and oh man do I love Hispanic food!

I cant think of anything else! But I love y'all!
Here is the funny picture of the week! 
Man I love Texans!

Elder Andersen

Monday, February 16, 2015

Letter #90

Hey family!

I did get Mom's package, and I loved it! I am glad that y'all got my package! Now I am scared to come home because I bought a lot of shirts! Haha. I was worried that Mom would freak out at me!  I got a lot of them as memorabilia from Texas! I also bought a couple so mom can make a quilt for me later too! THEN there are just some that I thought were too cool, so I had to buy them! I think I have a suitcase full of things that I bought out here... Hahah!

And yeeeeaaa, a new trampoline for when I get home! I am excited. :)

So... to finally tell y'all, I was transferred  to Port Lavaca. It is the farthest away area in the mission! It is in the middle of nowhere, in like "the boonies!" Hahah! Luckily for me it is a bilingual area! I can still talk in Spanish, practically all the branch (of 30- people) speak Spanish! There are like 5 white people though so I can work on my English a little bit too! So it is really fun! The Elders get to translate every Sunday, which will be fun! I will post the new address at the very end of the letter!

My new companions' name is Elder Mckague. He is from Washington, and he is pretty cool. Luckily so far we get along just great! This area was pretty much dead when I got here so there will be a lot of building up this last TWO and a half months I have here! AAAAhhhhh!

We have already had  some cool miracles that happened this week in the area, so it is looking pretty promising with me being here.

Oh and Dad; Do you know a Claude Bassett? He attended B.Y.U and played football there in 79'. He said that you sounded familiar. He was actually coached by coach Frank Negri at Foothill. He was really excited to know and I guess meet me! If you have Negris' number you should call him and let him know who I ran into! That would be cool! 

Like I said before, thankfully I can practice Spanish with the members. I guess they normally try to speak English with all the missionaries here, but they all spoke to me in Spanish! I prefer Spanish more than English... which is weird! Hahah!

There isn't too much else I can think of to tell y'all!

But,I love all y'all!

Love, Elder Andersen

120 Haviland St. Apt. A
Port Lavaca, TX 77979

I took a bunch of pictures with everyone before I left! Here is the cutest little girl you will ever see! haha! Her name is Camilla Vega.

This is on transfers Day. I got to see a few missionary friends that I served with in the last area that were also being transferred. Hermana Heckel, myself, and Elder Rockhill. I was his companion for two weeks!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Letter #89

Hey family!
Man this week was full of surprises!
First, I am getting transferred! I will be finding out my new area on Wednesday, and I will send y'all an email with my new address next week on p-day! It kinda sucks though because it feels like when you want to leave you don't get to, and now that I want to stay here (I was hoping for the rest of my mission) you don't get to stay! I am a little upset, but also excited for a change! 
This is what president wrote to me in his email:

"Congratulations on the upcoming baptisms! Your new area is a really good one. We are putting you with a solid young missionary. He will be the senior companion. I'd like you to teach him how to help people be converted and get baptized. He can use some additional training on this. You are a terrific missionary! I love you."

I am looking forward to being Junior Companion again! :) Just because I won't have as much responsibility's! Haha!

Second, the baptism this week was only for one person. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks Elder Balls will have a other one with Heiliey Penilla. They are a family that I have been working with my whole time here! She finally gave permission for her daughter to get baptized, too bad it is when I leave! It is O.K, I will still be able to go back for it! I guess it is just sad to see all these miracle as I am leaving! But back to the baptism: It was really good! Fabiola Valencia is the lady that got baptized! She is from Columbia! It was a good baptism, but the hot water was not working!  We had to boil a bunch of water in the kitchen and then add it to the font. When it was time for the baptism; I got into the font and it wasn't freezing cold, just cold enough to make you shiver! (So, it was still really cold!) It was a good thing though because now I can say I know what it feels like to baptize someone in cold water! :p 

Another surprise happened when we were at a members house and I found out that they had a trampoline. I told them how much I love trampolines and they said to me that I can't do anything on a trampoline! So I showed them!! They video taped me and put it on this thing called "Snap Chat" so I guess a bunch of members saw it too! Hahah! It was pretty funny.

I was able to go on two exchanges this week. One was with Elder Graff, and we stayed up till 3:30 in the morning just talking! The other was with the Vietnamese Elders. I was so lost that day, they were all speaking Vietnamese and I was going crazy! Haha.

Then, for District Meeting we went out to lunch at Freebirds Burritos! It was really good! They have a tradition that people make things out of the tin foil from their burrito and then they put it up on the wall. I decided to put up a tie with a plague, and we put a Book of Mormon under it! I will attach a photo of that on a different e-mail today! 

Over all, this has been a really good week! It has been really cool serving here, and I already started taking pictures with a bunch of people and saying good-bye! It is really hard!

That is it, I think!
Thanks for everything that you have done!
Love y'all lots!
Elder Andersen
 Myself, Fabiola Valencia, and Elder Balls just before her COLD baptism!
 The Perez Family
 We helped the Penilla family move a piano to the Villalobos' house. We rode like this the whole 15 min. drive to the house it was super funny!
The goodies I left at Freebirds Burrito!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Letter #88

Hey Family!
Man a lot of things have happened this week! First, we had to go to the Mission Office today. We had to switch out our car for a brand spanking new one! They gave us a 2015 Chevy Cruze and OH MAN it is sweet! Haha! Too bad I will most likely be leaving next week. I think that was what President told me, but I guess we will see! However, it sure was a fun drive home! :)

This week we went to the Machuca's house (the genius guy) As always he had me "mind blown". It wasn't on Gospel this time, but he knew me pretty well. It was all from a simple test he asked me. He had me draw a tree, and then name three animals and why I like them. What he had to say about me was spot on! I was really surprised! He is super cool! They were looking at the family pictures I have and they said "If you dropped weight to what you were like in these picture you would look really good!" Haha. So now everyone is telling me to loose weight; but then they give me a bunch of food to eat! Haha.

Another thing that happened this week is that we got a phone number of someone that was "interested in the church". We realized quickly that all they wanted to do was "Bible Bash" with us! Long story short, we argued over texting for awhile, and we shut him down. Then he asked us what color Jesus was and I didn't want to answer him because I was tired of this guy already, so I asked him what he thought... and then he said well God created man (Adam) from the dust so he must be black from his descendants! I asked him why does he think that then he sent us Revelations 1:14-15.  When I read this I was thinking Wow, how bad can he interpret the scriptures!?! So, I sent him a text with my testimony then wrote that whenever he wanted to hear about the truth that he can text us back humbly and that we would be happy to show him answers to his sincere questions! Since the beginning of our text conversation I knew all he wanted to do was bash, so I answered his questions. Later I got bored with it and decided that all I can do to people that don't truly want to listen is to bear my testimony and stop talking to them. After we bore our testimony we haven't talked to him. He still tries to send us random scriptures and ask things but we aren't replying to him because he isn't worth our time if he is just going to continue to try to bash!

On a good note; this week we will have one baptism for sure, and we might have as many as four! I think I told y'all about The Guillens'.  I have been working with them since I got to this area! They have a baptismal date for this weekend! All they have to do is get married so we are going to work with them to help them out, and then get them baptized! Man, I love them so much! I really want to see them baptized before I leave the area!

This ward is starting to pick up since the new people came in. It is starting change and the members are willing to do things! We are starting to animate them and they are being really cool! We will see how they continue. It is sad to see that just when I leave everything is starting to fall into place! I have seen so much change so it is pretty cool! 

Thanks for all that y'all do! I love y'all so much!
Love, Elder Andersen

Here is a picture of The Molina Family! I am starting to take pictures with the families here! Haha!