Monday, January 27, 2014

Two Months

Well this week was amazing!!!  We have been working a lot with a few investigators who are slightly progressing but its been slow.  First, we have Andres, he has a baptismal date for the 15th of February and he is slowly progressing.  He is very logical and is struggling recognizing the spirit but he´ll come along.  Monday we taught him about his relationship with the Savior and how through the Savior and His atonement we can be healed of anything and He knows everything we feel.  His dog died last Friday and he was really struggling so the lesson on the Savior had an impact on him and it helped, I think.  We got into his house and watched How Rare a Possession and testified of the Book of Mormon on Wednesday.  Thursday he accompanied us to a less active lesson because we needed a male to be able to enter her house and we talked about prophets and they got along really well so we may have accidentally played match maker with one of our investigators.  whoops. Then Friday we taught him the Word of Wisdom and he said he had already given up smoking 4 years ago and no longer drinks, so he's been well prepared.  We just need him to gain a testimony.  We give him chapters to read every night and so if he's diligent with his reading and praying he will receive an answer. 

 We've also been working with Davy and Lorena.  Lorena is a member and Davy is not.  They live in the piso above us and we visited them Wednesday night and she asked for a blessing because she's had problems with her legs and then we talked about the priesthood and it was a powerful lesson.  We went over to lunch the next day and talked about fasting and started a fast with them.  Problem was though we went over to visit a member later and without warning they brought out a bunch of food they made.  I'm sure the Lord understood.  We made it like three hours in the fast. but it counts if you just restart the fast after you eat, right?  We then met with Davy and Lorena last night and watched How Rare a Possession (about the Book of Mormon) and talked about our `stories´ of gaining our testimonies and were working with Davy to find his.  He´s starting to have more and more interest in the church and wants us to come over every day at noon to teach him English, and more about the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  I'm super excited!!! 

We have 3 others.  Eliot, who we met while eating with members last Sunday.  We taught him the restoration last night and he is going to be a solid investigator we feel.  He was very receptive and he's a great guy!  We also have Christian who won't come to church but he reads the Book of Mormon daily and listens to it all the time.  We may be dropping him because he won't come to church and he just is not progressing, but we´ll keep working with him as long as there is some sort of hope.  

Daniel.  He has been reading but he is an active Catholic.  He's 15 and says he doesn't have a testimony of either church but he loves the Book of Mormon.  We´ll keep working with him but we haven't been able to get into his house lately.  It's been tough.  Last is Leslie.  She's 11 and her older brother is Luis, the one who just received the priesthood a couple weeks ago.  Leslie is progressing but her parents won't let her be baptized and we may have to drop her if they won't let her progress any more.  

The work is hard here and when we contact it's tough but it's worth it!!!  I love this so much!! We had intercambios (exchanges) this week and I went with the district leader in Lugo, it's a sweet town!!  It's got this part in the middle that's got this wall around it and the inside is like this super old city, it's way cool!!!  But the thing was our district leader only spoke Spanish so that was tough, but it was a great experience for me!!!!  I was able to talk a lot more than I thought I could.  On Wednesday we had zone conference in Santiago. I saw Elder Cahoon!! That was so cool being able to talk to him. 

 As to the answers to your questions.  We buy Spanish meats and bread and then other than that it's just a lot of pretty normal foods.  We don't really buy anything too crazy.  We make a lot of sandwiches with the Spanish bread and meats and we warm up pizzas a lot. hahaha We eat on our own a lot but the members feed us sometimes.  Not too much but the people upstairs, Davy and Lorena, they feed us a lot and bring us food.  They're amazing!!  The nicest people.  Siesta (medio dia) is from 2 to 4 for us and like 2 to 5:00-5:30 for all the people in the city.  We just go to our apartment and eat, study Spanish, and relax.  Because all other missionaries in the world have two separate hour blocks for eating during the day we just have siesta with the two hours for us from 2-4.  The city just dies from 2-5.  Spaniards aren't awake in the mornings. We walked to church at like 9 yesterday and the whole city was a ghost town. Nobody was out.  So that's why our times are different.  I love it though!!!!! 

I'm glad you got to go to President and Sister Sitterud's homecoming!!!!  They were amazing and yeah!  President Sitterud came and spoke to our rama (Branch) my first Sunday here! Your prayers that the language becomes easier is being answered.  I'm understanding more and more every day and it's getting a little easier to talk, but it's still super hard and I'm struggling but it's coming!  Faster than I thought it would.  Thanks for all the prayers and all the emails of support.  I love you!!!  Sorry I can't reply to everything but I love hearing about how things are at home and what things we have going on.  Love you!!!! 

For this weeks spiritual thought, in my studies this week about the spirit I learned something I'd never thought of or connected before. The connection between the Holy Ghost and the atonement. The Holy Spirit acts as a cleansing agent and so does the atonement.  They work together.  As we bring ourselves closer to Christ and truly repent through his atonement then the spirit will be more abundant in our lives and will cleanse us with the strengthening power of the atonement. AS we pray and ask for help, through the Holy Ghost's comforting power and strengthening power, we can receive strength and comfort through the atonement.  The atonement and the holy ghost work hand in hand as we renew our baptismal covenants weekly and they cannot exist without each other. (see 3 Nephi 27:20) I love you all!!!  Thanks for everything. 

con amor,
Elder Anderson

El reino de dios o nada
P-day in A Coruña

This one is to show that everything here is wet and Elder Vasquez fell!
Elder Gentry is in the back! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 9 - The Lord Answers Prayers

Dear Family,

First of all, thank you so much for the prayers on my behalf.  This week was awesome!!  I know it's because the Lord is mindful of the faith of you all.  I cannot thank you enough for the support.

 So Monday was rough.  It rained all day and it was the day I was struggling a ton, but Elder Gentry shared some scriptures with me from Romans 8 talking about how nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and how the Lord is calling me to strengthen my relationship with him in my lonely times.  He then said you always have 2 people. The Lord, who is just a prayer away, and my companion who is attached at my hip so I'm never really alone.  haha.  It helped and once p-day was over I recommitted myself to just get lost in the work. 

We taught a family from Pere about the importance of the Book of Mormon and feeling the Spirit using 3 Nephi 11.  They've had all the lessons a couple  of times and we decided to visit them when we found them in the area book.  The mom, Lucy, won't keep commitments but we've been working hard with Daniel the 15-year-old son.  We've been dropping by almost daily and giving him chapters to read and talking with him so hopefully he will gain a testimony as he continues to pray about it.  We then taught Abdulai and his friend (they're from Senegal and Muslims).  We taught them the first lesson.  We met on the street and it was cool to learn more about Muslims and when we asked if we could offer a prayer with them they were like,  "No, we don't have time to go all the way to your church!"   ha.  We were like,  "No, we can pray anytime and anywhere."  It was pretty funny.  Tuesday we had 3 lessons fall through and nobody showed up to English classes so it was kind of frustrating. We went contacting and no one would listen to us.  BUT!  We were exactly obedient and worked up until 9:30 and right in front of our piso at 9:25ish we taught Marcos the first lesson. So working up until the last minute and exact obedience brings miracles. 

Wednesday we had district meeting.  Our district is awesome!!!  We have 10 Elders total. 5 are native Spanish speakers who don't speak English (including our district leader) and 5 Americans.  There are 4 of us in A Coruña and then elders in El Ferrol, Vigo, and Santiago. The other two elders in A Coruña are Elder Gomez from Big Lake Texas (where The Rookie takes place.  Elder Gomez played High School baseball for the Big Lake Owls so that's pretty sweet) and Elder Vasquez who was born in South America and lived in Barcelona most of his life.  They are awesome.  Later we met with Brauddy (from the Dominican Republic) he's a recent convert and we're teaching him the laws and ordinances.  He is a stud!!  He will always come with us to lessons and he's a great guy.  We taught a lesson in the street and then we dropped by Christian's.  We found him in the area book and we reviewed the first lesson and in the middle he asked, "What is your white building?"  We were confused so he took us to his room and on his wall he had a picture of the Madrid Temple hanging up, a picture of the Savior being baptized with an original baptism date for last March, and a drawing from other Elders of him with a strong body and a list of the dont's from the Word of Wisdom.  So we talked about why he doesn't want to get baptized and he said it's between his girlfriend and the church and he went off about something I didn't understand.  We left and we met with him a couple days later I'll explain what happened then.

We then met with Davy and Lorena who live in the piso above us.  She is a member, he isn't, and she is less active.  They have a son named Justin and they are awesome.  We went to go bring up Lorena's baptism and how she felt to try and re instigate some good feelings to try and get her to come back and reactivate her, but it turns out the Lord had other plans. Lorena's brother was there. (fist pump)  It was perfect.  So, we got to teach him the first lesson and now we are working with Lorena to teach him more.  He works a lot, but we will be meeting with his family soon, so the Lord definitely set that one up perfectly.  Thursday we taught a less active lady, the only reason she is less active is because she cares for her elderly mother.  As soon as she no longer has to care for her she will be back.  Her name is Raquel and she's an amazing woman!!  We read a conference talk with her and had a good discussion.  She's great and we meet with her weekly.  We then dropped by Jackeline, another lady we found in the area book.  We taught her the first lesson and it was interesting but good.  We had a memer with us and we started with a prayer and during the prayer her daughter started crying in the other room and she got up to go get her before he could finish the prayer, which is understandable, but it was awkward.  We all just looked at each other while she was gone and we were like - do we start the prayer over or pick up where we left off?  haha.  It was funny.  We then re-said the prayer and started teaching her lesson 1.  Every time I would go to say the First Vision something would happen.  It took 4 tries.  Her daughter started crying, the phone rang, someone knocked on the door, and finally the fourth time I was able to say it and it was still as powerful as ever. The rest of the lesson went pretty smooth and we're going back sometime this week so I'm hoping she still managed to feel something. 

That night we met with Andres the Gallegan (from Galicia) we talked about Alma 32 and faith and the ward mission leader was with us and it was an amazing lesson.  We were really worried about Andres because we had a lesson with him the last Friday and we were very bold in bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon and a recent convert named Miguel bore incredible testimony on it but then we couldn't get a hold of Andres the entire week until Thursday morning.  We were scared but then we had the faith lesson and it was good. 

Friday we watched the restoration with a man named Andres (we have two Andres investigators).  This one is a Venezuelan man who loves the bible and he loved the restoration video.  He loved the questions Joseph Smith asked and would comment about it during the video.  He was so excited when we gave it as a gift to him!!  He was like no way!? I can't wait to watch it again!   So were gonna continue to work with him. We then had a lesson that night with the other Andres (the Gallegan).  We discussed 2 Nephi 32, the doctrine of Christ and he has a baptismal date!!!!!!!!  February 15th.  He hasn't been taught everything but I know this should work out:)  We are so excited for him!!!!  We found out Sunday his dog died Friday and he's very very upset and lonely because he said he raised it and this dog taught him how to love.  We are going to teach him how Christ feels all of our pains, emotions, loneliness, everything (using Alma 7:11-12) and how He loves us perfectly. We want to help him through this time by helping him find his faith in the atonement of the Savior.  So keep Andres in your prayers.  Pray for all the investigators but especially him. 

Saturday we met with Luis and Leslie.  Luis is baptized and we ordained him to the Priesthood last Sunday and Leslie, the parents won't let her be baptized, but we watched some Mormon Messages with them since the parents weren't home and answered his questions about the Plan of Salvation and gave him a Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel).  

We taught Christian that night.  The one who had all the stuff hanging up in his room.  We figured from what he had said he had to choose between the the church and his girlfriend because of the Law of Chastity.  The way he was talking and what he was saying, it seemed so obvious.  So we got ready for the Law of Chastity lesson and to be bold and say it's a choice between her or Heavenly Father.  So he answers his door and he was wearing a t-shirt and a towel.  Which was the funniest thing ever.  I was trying so hard not to laugh the first few minutes cause he was just sitting there in a towel as were talking about Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.  Then we got to talking about the 10 commandments and then the Law of Chastity and we're explaining in detail what it is and we feel good about this when all of the sudden he stopped us and said, "So I can't hug or kiss my girlfriend?"  and we were like no that's fine!!  and he's like,  "Oh, I don't know why you're teaching me this,  I live the Law of Chastity already." hahaha.  It was pretty funny.  Kinda like that moment on The District we watched.  Finding that out was a relief and we now have a tentative baptismal date with Christian for the 20th of February.  Sunday we taught Brauddy about the Priesthood because we ordained him after church (we also ordained Eddie, a new convert, to the priesthood, so that's 3 in 2 weeks!)  Then we went contacting.  No one would talk to us and it was bad until finally right before our next lesson we taught a lesson to a man from Cuba.   We had a meeting with Luis and Leslie but their parents weren't home so we read a conference talk and talked with Luis about serving a mission.  He's thinking about going!!  That would be awesome:).  We had a dinner appointment with Ivan and Julianna who are from Peru. They have been sealed in the temple but Ivan is less active and the food was great!!  I've had more South American food than Spanish food.  In fact, the only Spanish food I have had has been the groceries from the store.  haha.  All the people who feed us are South Americans and so I've had lots of South American food.  We ended up teaching Julianna's cousin the first lesson and we´ll be meeting with him this week so that will be awesome!!!!   

Great week.  I got lost in the work and the homesickness wasn't there.  I love this work and the Lord is working miracles!!!  It all starts with obedience and if we are doing what we are supposed to the Lord will take care of the rest!

 For the spiritual thought this week - something I found that I loved from 2 Nephi 10:23. Cheer up your hearts because we are free to act!  The battle in the premortal life was over agency and that's still what the fight is over.  The battleground has just changed.  We need to rejoice because we have agency and the beauty of the agency we have is that all He asks of us is that we keep His commandments (Mosiah 2:22).  So remember your covenants and just choose to follow and keep the commandments and the rest is history.  I love this work!!!  I am so happy and as soon as I ¨forgot myself and went to work¨ and strengthened my relationship with the Lord I've been so happy!!!!  I love it here and this city is beautiful!!!  Thanks for the prayers and the emails this week.  It's been so great to hear of the support and prayers from my earthly home and to see the effects of the support from my Heavenly home.  I love you all!!!!  The church is true. The book is blue!!  (which doesn't sound as cool in Spanish: la iglesia es verdadera, el libro es azul)   hahaha.  The Spanish is coming along and I can understand and say more every day.  I'm learning poco a poco. Love you all!!!!

((hugs)) and kisses,

Elder Anderson

El reino de dios o nada
This is Brauddy, from the Dominican Republic!!  He was baptized in December and was ordained to the Priesthood yesterday!!  He accompanies us to lessons all the time and has a strong testimony!!  He looks angry but he just refuses to smile in pictures, hahaha!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 8 - A Coruña

Well this week has been absolutely insane!!!  We left the MTC and went to the mission home, met with President Jackson and talked with him for a while about being missionaries and just studied the scriptures with him.  We then had a meal with him and it was awesome because it was a real homecooked meal so it was nice to get away from the MTC food.  He and his wife are incredible and will be an amazing mission president and wife.  I am so excited!!!!  He is so energetic and funny and he plays the accordian so that was really random, but hilarious. 

Then the next thing you know we are in the stake center getting assignments and when I found out I was going to A Coruña I was sooo excited!!!  I couldn't believe it because, yes, that is where I wanted to go.  The Lord answers prayers!!  I then went out with the assistants to the president and went proselyting with them.  It was crazy.  We taught a guy on the street the first lesson and I shared the First Vision, then I went to a couple lessons with them.   It was an amazing experience the first day.  

That night they dropped me off at a train station and I took a night train up north.  The night trains are crazy.  They have these tiny rooms with 2 bunk beds built into them and you just sleep until you get to your stop.  So it was me and 3 other men who spoke spanish.  We left Madrid at 10:30 pm and I arrived in A Coruña at about 7:30 in the morning.  A policeman came in and told me it was A Coruña and it was the last stop so I needed to get off.  haha.  I was so scared and I slept the whole night but Ii was super groggy and I stumbled off the train to meet my new companion.  He is Elder Gentry from California and he is awesome!!!!!  He was the student body president at his school too and he reminds me a lot of myself.  He is pushing me and helping me learn the language and he is amazing.  

Now, history wise, and other stuff about A Coruña, you probably know more than I do.  We have been working so hard I have hardly had a chance to learn about it but today were gonna maybe do some touring around.  What I can tell you about it is this.  We hardly ever see the sun.  It came out one day and it's been overcast every single day we've been here.  It rains almost every day and it's just kinda gloomy.  The rama (branch) is the second largest in the Galician Zone.  We had 71 people at church yesterday and there are 4 of us elders in the city.  Our area is basically the city of A Coruña and the surrounding areas and pueblos (small towns) surrounding it.  Everything here is apartment buildings and its all very narrow roads and its like you imagine Europe to be.  All the signs are either in Spanish or in Gallegan which is the language that is a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese, so I am really confused a lot. 

 Everyone speaks Spanish and most of the work we do is the same thing every day.  We either have appointments set up with investigators, recent converts, or menos activos (less actives).  One problem, we get cancelled on or people just don't show up a lot.  We've had multiple appointments that have been set up and we have called again to reconfirm that day and then they either won't show up to the capilla (the church) or won't be home or won't let us in.  It's very frustrating.  Then, instead of tracting because we can't really tract because its apartments we contact in the street.   Most of the investigators are immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Peru, and we teach a guy from Senegal, Africa tonight. We have been teaching a guy named Andres about getting an answer from the Holy Ghost about this book.  We had a lesson the other night and we read Moroni 7 with him.  A recent convert bore his testimony and it was just an incredible experience for all of us.  The recent convert Miguel was super bold and said this book will change your life, you will get an answer!  The problem is Andres will not answer any calls from us.  We are really worried about him.  So keep him in your prayers.  

We are also teaching a family, Luis the 20-year-old son was baptized recently but the parents won't let his sister, Leslie, be baptized.  Luis and Leslie both attend church but the parents aren't very interested and won't let Leslie be baptized.  We had a lesson last night with them about feeling the Spirit and receiving an answer and I'll share what we taught in the spiritual thought for the week at the end of the letter.  They didn't really want to listen.  They committed to pray but we´ll see how that goes.  Other than that all of our other investigators aren't progressing because they haven't been meeting with us, but we just keep working hard and continue to have faith in the Lord.  We teach English classes and that is a lot of fun!! We had one person show up his name is Abdulai, from Senegal, and we taught him some things and now we have an appointment with him to teach him the first lesson tonight.  He is a Muslim so we will just try and figure out what he believes and then discuss things so I'm excited for that.  Other than that, lots of rejection.  

This is the hardest thing I have ever done and I am struggling.  But something my companion shared with me helped.  Elder Ballard visited our mission in October and he said he was on a plane and thought to himself, "What in the world am I doing?  I'm an 80-year-old man, I'm exhausted.   Why am I going to all these random places and doing this when I should be with my family?"  Then he said the reason he does what he does, and the reason we do what we do (missionaries), is because we know what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane.  We understand what the Savior did for us and that is why we do what we do.  This is so hard for me and I'm in tears right now just typing this.  I miss home, I miss my friends, I miss the U.S., but I know I'm where I am supposed to be.  I love you guys more than anything and I know this is worth leaving for two years.  It's a long time but in the grand scheme of things it's not that long.  I feel alone, yet I know the Savior is by my side.  I love this work and it gets easier to be away when I just work hard. 

Dad, the 12-week program has been good!  We just do a lot of role playing and we use the district and go over situations using examples from our real investigators.  That's been this weeks focus. Oh and Elder Cahoon is in my zone so we will see each other at zone conferences.  It's been a wild first week and I'm excited for more. 

I cannot express how much I love and miss you.  Especially you, mom.  Thanks for all you did for me and never apologize and say you could have been a better mother.  I could not have asked for a better woman to raise me.  Thanks for everything.  I love you with all of my heart!!!  Your card you gave me before I left gives me hope. Faith to follow, to bring hope into this hopeless world.  That's why I´m here and it's been interesting to see how everything in my life before this prepared me for here.  I've been asking myself why I went through what I went through in high school with baseball, and the hard times at school with student government and feeling like no one cared, would listen, or showed up to anything.  Well this is why.  Because I am serving my mission in Spain.   No one seems to care, listen, or show up to anything, but I will push through and with the Lord's help all will turn out okay.  No matter what happens.

I love you all and thanks for the support!!!!  Oh and I want to send a souvenir or two home so Hannah can use it for her country report, so I'll try!   But if i can't, I'm sorry.  She can use some pictures I'll send.  I love you all.  If you can send me my small English Preach My Gospel?  If not, that is fine.  Once again I cannot express how much I love you.  Thanks for everything. 

For the weekly spiritual thought. Read 3 Nephi 11.  In the first few verses we read that the people heard the voice 2 times and did not understand. The 3rd time they opened their ears and looked to where the sound was coming from and they understood. In our day, we need to open our ears and learn from the prophets.  Look to where the sound is coming from, read the Book of Mormon, and we will receive answers from the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost will testify when we do our part.  So listen to the prophets and look to the Book of Mormon.  I testify our Savior lives.  I know this church is true!  I love the Lord and this is His gospel. I love you all. 

with love! ((hug)) and kisses, 

Elder Anderson

El reino de dios o nada

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 7 - Final MTC Week!!

Well this is it!!!  Tomorrow at 8 a.m. we meet with President and Sister Jackson at the Stake Center and then take off to the mission home and then tomorrow evening we find out our first areas and then get shipped off!  I had an interview with President Jackson yesterday and it was a great experience just kind of a get to know you interview and then we chatted for a while.  He is hilarious but will be an INCREDIBLE mission president. 

We´ve had lots of firesides and some final in-field training classes these last few days.  It´s been an amazing experience here and I have learned a ton but to be perfectly honest I just need to get out into the field.  I'm so excited to get out there and teach.  I know nothing about the language but that's okay!!  Everything will be fine and I just can't wait to get out of here. 

We had an incredible fireside that was from a while back that Elder Bednar spoke at and it was incredible!!  He talked about how we need to learn more OF the Savior's character instead of just ABOUT the Savior's character and then apply that to ourselves and become more Christlike through learning of his attributes.  He gave an example of in Christ´s life whenever something would happen that would cause us to turn inward and become selfish the Savior would turn outward and serve others.  He was the ultimate example of selflessness.  Por ejemplo (for example), the Savior was in a way let down by the 3 apostles who slept while he suffered in the garden, and he was in there suffering for the sins, pains, afflictions, sickness, and everything else for every single one of Heavenly Father's children, directly after was betrayed by one of his disciples by a kiss. As Peter cuts off the mans ear I am pretty safe to say that no other person would ever think to heal him. But, the Savior, despite everything that had just happened to him, immediately healed the man.  That was the one example Elder Bednar gave and then he talked about how as each one of learns to become selfless and as we start realizing that this mission is not about ourselves at all that we can become powerful servants of him.  It also applies to everybody.  We need to let go of the natural man and learn to serve others and in ANY circumstance turn outward.  As we strive to live this way we will develop those attributes and it will become natural to us, but it will take time. 

 He also talked about how if we want to truly learn about who the Savior really is and learn about his character we need to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover and find the 6 places where the phrase `one by one´ is mentioned.  As we do this we can truly learn what the savior is like.  He is not about the masses, He is about the one.  We don´t teach 1 family of 7, we teach a family with 7 1´s, 7 individuals.  

Each week I come to know and love my Savior more and more and I cannot wait to continue growing closer to him. I love him with all of my heart and I know he lives! I know he suffered for us and is with us every step of the way.  

I cannot wait to serve the people in whatever area I get shipped off to tomorrow.  Whoever it is, I know the Lord has been preparing their hearts and if I work my absolute hardest and am exactly obedient to the rules that the Lord will bless my companion and I.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and have gained an even stronger testimony of the reality of his prophetic calling while being here. The gospel and the spreading of it is the most important work on this earth and I wish I could shout it from the rooftops because every single person NEEDS THIS. I don't know how someone can turn us down, but one day they will get it.  My other wish is that the people within the church could completely grasp how important this is. This hastening of the work is something that needs to be taken seriously by everybody.  We are getting close and I guess the best way to say this is the only reason there has been a `hastening´ is because time is of the essence.  Everyone needs to help the missionaries in reactivation and bringing non-members to Christ.  Everyone needs this gospel so continue to do your part at home and as you have the faith to open your mouth the Lord will fill it and will give you what to say.  He will not let you down.  This church is true.  Thomas S. Monson speaks for the Lord and the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I love this work and it is more important than anything else we could do - teaching the gospel to all. 1 day and I'm finally in the field!!!  I couldn't be more excited!!!!  I love you all!!!!!!  P-days should be on Monday now so plan on hearing from me then.
Hugs and Kisses
Con Amor,
Elder Anderson
El reino de dios o nada

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Week 6 - Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy New Year to everyone at home!!!  It was so great to talk to you on skype last week and to hear from you all this week and thanks for all the support.  I´m glad Christmas was so wonderful and I hope New Years was as cool for you as it was for me. 

We got to ring in the new year like true Spaniards (yes we got to stay up till midnight, that's just another reason I'm in the coolest MTC ever, haha, but we watched the Sound of Music and then after we turned on the tv and watched the countdown from Sol (downtown Madrid) and Spaniards truly know how to party.  In the last minute or 30ish seconds they ring the bell in the square 4 times and then it gets dead silent and then they start to ring the bell every 3 seconds or so and on every ding you have to eat a grape and you end up shoving 12 of them down to ring in the new year.  hahaha so we got to do the 12 grapes tradition (doce uvas pronounced: doe-thay oobas) and its also weird to say the first time I ever saw the Sound of Music was on my mission, and we also watched It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Day so we truly are the party group.  It's been an amazing experience here though.

The park was rough this week and literally no one would talk to us but that's okay, I was still happy knowing I was serving the Lord and rejection has gotten easier, but the spirit here is indescribable and the miracle of all of us picking up on the language has been a true witness of the gifts of the spirit. We go on `english fasts´ for a few hours at a time and surprisingly we talk quite a bit and can have very broken conversations.  I have been called as Zone Leader and now I can say I was Zone Leader over the WHOLE MTC! hahaha!  The whole 20 of us. I'm serving with Enziano (Elder) Porpurri from Italy.  He doesn't speak English but we both speak Spanish so we can still communicate.  It's been an amazing week and it just keeps getting better.

Something I learned this week was truly how going on a mission is a type and shadow of the saviors life and although we do not feel one ounce of what He went through He knows EXACTLY what we are going through and will be with us every step of the way.  He knows what it's like to be sore after a day of tracting, as he carried the cross.  He knows what it's like to have a frustrating companion as Judas betrayed him for money.  He knows what it's like to be mocked and rejected as the people spit on Him and they crowned Him with a crown of thorns.  He knows the lonely feeling of being away from home as He cried out on the cross why hast thou forsaken me? and He is there for every single missionary and every single person at home and is with us every step of the way  because He knows what it is like to preach His gospel and see people change their lives and we get to represent Him.  I am a witness of Jesus Christ.  I don't have to see Him to know He lives. I know in a way that superceeds the 5 senses that Jesus is the Christ.  Because I have had the Holy Ghost testify to me that He lives and I know He lives without a doubt.

I am a witness of Jesus Christ.

I love this work and I will be in the field in a few days and I am SO EXCITED!!!!!  I love you all.  Thanks for every thing!!
Con Amor,
Elder Anderson
El Reino de dios o nada