Monday, April 28, 2014

5 months!

Dear Family,

I cannot believe it's been 5 months either!!!!  The time is flying by!! 

That's awesome you had the missionaries over. I always love the opportunity to go to members homes and strengthen them!!  Dad told me your talk was amazing!!  Great job mom:) and thank you for the packages!!!  There is a chance I should receive them at zone conference on Wednesday if they got here yet, but if not, I won't receive it until June at zone conference hahaha.  Or maybe if President Jackson randomly gets up here. no idea!! haha 

Well the appointment with Andres was interesting.  He has so many questions about the creation and about God, but still won't pray sincerely to find out.  He has to many ideas in his head and doesn't want to change and it is so hard to let him go but we told him we can't visit anymore because its not a wise use of our time and for him either if he won't do anything.  It's so hard to let investigators go who you work with for so long. Josefa and Cindy we will get to that later.  There is some news with that one. 

Well Monday, good p-day. Santiago was great and as always is an amazing testimony builder!!  Although I do love the architecture of the cathedral.  It's incredible!!  That night we only had one lesson with a guy named Pedro, he agreed to read and pray and accepted a baptismal invitation but we came to the church Wednesday and found the Book of Mormon out front with a note saying I've already chosen my path so we shouldn't meet anymore.  We called him and and he just said nope, I've already decided, I don't need it.  So that was rough.  Tuesday, we contacted all morning...had two street lessons but there didn't seem a ton of potential in them when we called their numbers later and they were fake. haha awesome.  Later we had 1 recent convert and 1 menos activo lesson. we read a chapter in the book of Mormon with both of them and it was interesting, the menos activo (sorry that means less active, haha there are some words that even when we speak in  English that we just never use like less active, or apartment haha) but the menos activo lesson we read 1 Nephi 16 and he expresses desires to come back and continue to read but he's only been reading with us and won't read on his own.  His name is Mario and he's a great guy but his girlfriend is distracting him.  She's also a menos activo but she doesn't show any desires to return.  The recent convert lesson was with Miguel.  The 80-year-old Gallegan who was baptized in September.  He is one of the greatest men I have ever met.  His character reminds me so much of the attributes of Christ, he really is so sincere and the only thing he wants to do is just follow the Savior.  If he doesn't go to the Celestial Kingdom, nobody will. He's incredible.  So we read Doctrine and Covenants 76 with him and talked about the "reinos de gloria" (kingdoms of glory) and it was just a very spiritual lesson.  I love that man! We had another lesson and explained the Book of Mormon to a man from Nigeria and holy cow, I cannot teach the first lesson in English.  That was so hard!!!  I couldn't remember words and it was tough haha that and praying in English are super tough for me but that's a good thing cause that means my Spanish is coming along.  I'm to the point where I feel like I could live here alone and be fine.  I'm very comfortable with Spanish and yes I've hit the point, I dream in Spanish now.  haha heck yes!!!  So I'm really pleased.  The Lord has blessed me for my efforts.  I have studied so hard and although I've got a long ways to go He truly has blessed me with the gift of tongues.

Wednesday we went out to a pueblo (pueblos are the small towns outside of a city) and visited a menos activo, he was angry at God for all the problems in his life and we tried to take him to the scriptures and help him do the simple things but he didn't want any of it.  Super rough to see that but then after the visit we ran into a lady at a bus stop who was almost baptized in Peru but wasn't because she moved!!  She works Sunday mornings now and it's the only reason she hasn't been to church or baptized here she told us.  So, we will be trying to work with her and she'll be baptized as soon as her schedule clears up.  After that though, we had a lot of contacting and one other lesson I'll tell you about at the end.

Thursday we started to do a lot of area book work and we found one guy who we had a lesson with and he accepted to be baptized on the 31st of May but he went out of town Saturday night and so now we have no idea what's going to happen there.  We will see in 2 weeks supposedly.  After we visited Raquel, the menos activo, and read with her and it's always so amazing to just go and put a smile on her face!!  I love visiting her.  She loves having us over and just talking about the scriptures.  Super cool.

Friday, we met with Nadya and she is doing great!!  She's been asking us to pray for her son and she said to me, I know the Lord will answer your prayers because you have a lot of power.  You are a powerful servant of God.  It was extremely humbling to hear that coming from a recent convert that I helped in her process of joining the church and I realize how much I truly need to live up to the standard of my calling.  We had to run to another lesson after that on the other side of the city and it went good.  He's excited to meet with us and learn more his name is Oscar and he has a lot of potential!!  That night, we knocked doors and found a couple people but nothing really came of it.  They weren't extremely interested. Knocking doors is super fun.  We've been trying that lately but haven't seen much come from it.  We also had another lesson with Josefa and Cindy that I'll address later.  Saturday, nothing.  Every lesson fired us, and we contacted all day and received nothing.  Happy 5th Cumple Mes to me!!  haha  It was a great way to celebrate with not seeing a bit of success anywhere, no members, no references, no area book success, no street contact success, literally the longest day ever as every lesson fire us.  Rough, rough day BUT we kept a great attitude and just had fun trying to talk to everyone!!  Then, yesterday, we had a lesson in the street and found like 3 other people who were super ready.  Amazing day and it was so crazy to see how one day we can get nothing, and the next find golden investigadores.  This life is crazy. haha.  I love it though!!! 

Okay, as for Josefa and Cindy, well we were waiting to find out if we got the permission, we got to the lesson and she pulled something out of her bag and handed it to us and it was a signed paper saying they both have his consent!!!!!  Ahhh!!!!!!  and then she told us a story. She said last weekend she all of the sudden had a thought to call a friend to invite her to her baptism and she was like, no, she won't be able to come but she kept having a feeling to call her and so she did and her friend said what church is it? and Josefa said the Mormons, and her friend said my whole family was baptized into that church, and let me tell you that will be the greatest decision you will ever make.  You truly are making the right decision and Josefa took that as her answer and told us how she realized she learned what the Holy Ghost is and how to follow His promptings and how she knows that this church is true through the experience she had through feeling the Spirit and she said she's felt the truth of the Book of Mormon, and it was incredible.  The Spirit was so strong!!!!  So the good news of the week. Josefa and Cindy will be baptized this Saturday if they pass the interview (which I am 99% certain they will!!!) :) AHH!! :)  We are so excited!!!!!

So that was my week!!  Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and for your love, support and emails.  You're amazing!!!  I love you mom!!  It was a good week and I have been extremely happy.  I love this work, and even though it's really easy to get discouraged sometimes I know this is worth it.  So, for the spiritual thought for the week!  Just something simple I found this week.  I found a super cool scripture in Mormon 9 verses 12-14 that teaches the Plan of Salvation really well.  I love how it simply explains the need for a Savior and the results of His atonement for us!  I know he lives and I am so glad to be a representative of Him in these last days here in A Coruña.  I am so excited to hear where janzen goes!!!!!  and, oh man, I can't believe Zach gets home.  That is wild!!!!!!  Well, I hope you all have an incredible week and I love you all so much!!!!!!

con amor,
Elder Anderson

¡El reino de dios o nada!

I put this at the end to make sure its easy to find, the 11th we can skype and we should be able to at a members house. we're planning on 4 o'clock the 11th so that should be 8 o'clock your time. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!! love you!!!!!:) 

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

Easter was really interesting.  They don't celebrate it here like [in the states] and it wasn't a huge deal for people.  They partied all week (which meant no people in the streets, and those that were didn't want to even look at us) but Sunday was just a normal day.  They didn't really even have much in sacrament about it and not much was said about the resurrection, but I celebrated it by reading the story of His resurrection and 3 Nephi 11 for personal study!  Solid study session.  Other than that it was a pretty normal, average day. 

I can't believe Hunter is a teacher already!!!  That's insane, and that always was a sacred experience to watch Hunter help Kyson.  Hunter was an amazing Deacons Quorum President.  He truly understood how to use his priesthood and I know he is a "hero" to Kyson, a priesthood hero like Elder Eyring talked about in the priesthood session.  McKay, how was the mo-tab concert?  That's so cool you got to go! (good for you for taking advantage of Saturday and making Sunday all about the Savior, that's why my family is the best).  I missed doing the egg hunt this year with you guys, it was weird thinking its Easter back home, but while you were hunting for eggs, I was hunting for people so we were on a "hunt" at the same time:)  I'm excited to hear how Hannah does with softball!! tell her to keep it up!!:)  Holy cow, elections already?  Yeah, it did seem like just yesterday we were helping him set up last year, and now He and I are like 5-7 months into our missions.

 Braedons doing well!!  We always email each other in Spanish's so that's cool!!  and Jake finally emailed us after months and months and months, haha but he's doing really good!  Colton has emailed me... he's doing really well.  Sis. Montgomery is in the field in Scotland and Veronica emailed me and she is engaged and gets married in August.  Crazy stuff.  Thanks for your testimony mom. I love you so much!!  I also know he lives.

 No matter what anyone says I will never deny the fact I know that he lives and loves us. I cannot comprehend his atoning sacrifice for us either but as I continue to learn about it my gratitude, and love for him grows.  I know he suffered, died, and rose again the third day and that brings hope.  That's what this Easter season is about.  Hope through our older brother, and Savior. 

Yo sé con todo mi corazón que él vive. él es nuestro salvador y por medio de él, tendremos la oportunidad para vivir otra vez. Este obra de que estoy trabajando es su obra. y sé también que nos ama y todas las personas aquí en A Coruña, les ama. y él quiere que regresen a su padre y por medio de él este es posible. 

As for my week it was a long one. but a great one!  We started off with having a lesson Monday night with Andres, we let him go for a while but he came to an activity friday so we set something up with him but he doesn't want to pray, he has so many questions and theories about the creation and he doesn't believe God (if he even exists, Andres still won't pray to find out) could be our father (according to Andres).  So we told him to pray and simply ask if he is there, but he refuses to make it simple.  It's sad to see someone I've spent so long working with and trying to help, turn away from the message, but one day he will know, I just hope to meet him on the other side and help him realize the truth there.  It's weird to think about but I have desires to be a part of his conversion in the spirit world.  He has a special place in my heart and it's hard to see him reject the gospel, because I've grown to love him like with just an ounce of the love Father in Heaven has for him and I have grown to learn that, learn just a little of what the father feels for his children.  Tuesday, we had a couple lessons one with Josefa and Cindy!  We taught them the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.  It went really well and she's giving up coffee!!!  We also taught them Wednesday about diezmo!! (tithing) and they accepted it, but she has some doubts and is a little scared to pay and is a little bit hesitant on her baptismal fecha and we still have to receive written consent from her husband for her and for Cindy.  So this week please please please keep them in your prayers, they are progressing so well but there are so many things that could go wrong, but I know that if we plea heavenward the Lord will take care of everything.  He will answer the prayers.  We got fed twice this week by members (which never happens, the members never feed us haha) but its because all the super solid families that love to have us over live out in surrounding pueblos (which by the way you can look up our ward boundaries to see how large our rama is, its like 2 hours to go from where we live to the farthest corner from us its massive) but we got to go out and eat this week!!  Then Wednesday to Friday we had 16 consecutive lessons fire us.  Holy contacting.  Rough days but we found a few people and I've gotten so much better at contacting and I feel so much more confident.  It's been a super good experience and that was basically the rest of my week.  For p-day we're in Santiago!!!  for the cathedral and everything.  It's gonna be super fun! and then for the package!! deodorant, sd card, and could you send like a pin drive type thing?  That would be awesome. Love you all!!!!  Thanks for everything:)

Elder Anderson

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Easter

Easter here is the semana santa and they have like a different procession every day.  They celebrate it a lot different then we do and I'm actually not really sure how they do it.  They have different parades basically for the different days of the week in honor of the last week of the Savior's life.  Super interesting. 

It's been the most amazing 4 months, but a very discouraging 4 months.  I know that your prayers sustain me.  Your prayers are what help me through.  This week we did A LOT of street contacting.  We tried to emphasize the Book of Mormon in our street contacts as we were asked to do in district meeting and honestly there were just a lot of people who wanted to argue with us.  We had some very good lessons and a couple of investigators though that helped us to continue to move forward and keep a good attitude!  We have Josefa and Cindy, the friends of the Relief Society President.  We have been teaching them and they have come to conference, a baptism, activities and church and are progressing extremely well!!  We set a baptism date for May 3rd!!  Although, she says she hasn't received a full on answer yet she's getting there and so is her daughter.  Keep them in your prayers most of all. They just need a little push and a little answer and they will be golden!!!  So hopefully in a weeks time we can say that that baptism is a for sure thing!:) 

Monday was all contacting, Tuesday we contacted all day because our 3 lessons fired us, and then we met with the Young Men's President.  Wednesday we had Miguel a recent convert, Josefa and Cindy and then more contacting.  We had one street lesson that night that went really well but she's gone this week so we will be following up in a week.  Thursday we met with Raquel, and it was amazing to go and bring the spirit into her home. She said we always come at the right time.  Her mom's health is really struggling and when we went she said we were exactly what she needed:) I learned it's all about people.  If we can just make one person smile and have a good day that's what matters.  We contacted the remainder of the day because our other lessons and back up plans failed, and found no one. Friday we had Nadya!!  Which was good as usual!  She's doing great and is progressing really well in the gospel!  I just can't wait until she has more time open to start coming to more church functions.  We had a lesson later with a guy we found him in the area book and he says he knows this church is true and loves the Book of Mormon so we set a baptismal date for the 31 of May to give him time to see if he's committed and he didn't show up to church and now he won't answer his phone.  We've got time on that one.  We´ll be good!  I hope we can just get him to church cause he would be golden!  

Saturday, was a LONG day of contacting, we got a few references but most of them were fake numbers and then people who said they weren't really interested when we called them. We had no lessons all day and it was a long day but!, we kept a good attitude all day and worked all the way up until the end.  It was good to truly put to practice "endure to the end" Sunday was good!  We had church, Josefa and Cindy were there and they loved it!  We met with a menos activo (less active) after and we are working on getting him back to church!! nd I'm excited for him.  We met with Josefa and Cindy and taught the Plan of Salvation and they loved it.  They said it makes perfect sense and they know this is true, they just need to recognize their answers.  We had a lesson with a man named Omar who told us the Pope runs all the churches, and we came to an "evil city" to teach the word of god, but we talked to him about how God loves all his children and the people here are his children and he loves them.  Then he said he wants to know more about our message, and that he´ll read the whole Book of Mormon by Thursday.  So there might be potential.  We shall see.   We thhen were contacting the rest of the night and finally found a kid named Wilson at 9:50 right before we went home who we taught lesson 1 with.  So truly persevering until the end paid off!!! Yesterday a lot of people just tried to argue with us but we stuck to our message, "You can know for yourself if you read the Book of Mormon and pray about it".  Even though it was super hard not to get frustrated it was a good testimony building week for me that as people attack my testimony of this book, my testimony cannot be shaken.  Ever.  I can't thank you enough for the prayers.  The Lord truly is answering them.  I love you all!!!!  So much!!  Happy Semana Santa!!  and Happy Birthday Hunter!!!!!:)  You're getting so big man!!  Love you!!

Elder Anderson,
¡El reino de dios o nada!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference was incredible!!!  We only got to watch 3 sessions, Saturday morning, Priesthood and Sunday morning.  The connection was terrible for the Saturday monring session and we missed half of it so I cannot wait to be able to get the Liahona and review it!! It was all in Spanish but I'm glad I've been out long enough that I could understand everything.  It was an incredible conference!!!  They are truly starting to raise the voice of warning as it says in D&C 1 and as this generation as they repeated over and over is the chosen generation and there is a HUGE work to do, I know the youth will step up and do it. It's been crazy to see how bad the opposition is while living here, seeing the world and Satan's influence all around us constantly it was a huge testimony builder to me to see these prophets know exactly what they're talking about. They truly do speak for the Lord. 

We lost all our investigators these past two weeks and we are completely working from scratch.  The finding has been hard and not many people want to listen to us, but I've been studying alot in the Book of Mormon about Alma and the kind of missionary he was. I loved after he was preaching to the people in Ammonihah and they reviled him, spit on him, rejected him, and cast him out and he was "weighed down with much sorrow" an angel appeared to him and said "Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God.

I had quite the spiritual experience.  I didn't see an angel or hear a voice but I thought to myself,blessed art thou Elder Anderson, lift up thy head and rejoice, I've got great reason to rejoice because of my diligence in doing what I have been asked.  I keep the rules with exactness, I keep the commandments and I do everything my leaders tell me to do.  Rejoice. I had a great feeling of peace that no matter what happens, the Lord is by my side.  He's there for me and while I'm in his service it doesn't matter what numbers I get or if I "appear" successful, what matters is that I work my hardest and the Lord will bless me.  It was a good learning experience for me.  Yeah, it's going to be hard but I just have to try my best.  That's all He asks. 

My new comp is a stud!!  He is from Alpine Utah.  He Fuenlabrada and Mostoles (in Madrid) before.  He's been out 9 months and was a district leader in Madrid right before coming here. He's a hard worker and we get along great!!  He's awesome and I'm super excited for this transfer!!!  We had an okay week, not a ton of lessons and a lot of street contacting with not a lot of "success" but I'm super happy.  Monday we found a family and we had a lesson with them again yesterday so we´ll see where that goes, for now they're doing good!!  So keep them in your prayers. Froi and his family.  Tuesday we had a lesson with Bryan.  We had a family come to English classes and we taught them lesson one.  It went really good and were meeting again Tuesday so I hope there's potential there!  We had some less active lessons and some recent convert lessons that were good and we made a "plan of attack" for working with the less actives in the ward last night and we are super excited to start reactivation efforts.  We have 20 people were working with right now, and some of them are part member families so we are pretty excited and ready to work with all of them.  This transfer will be huge on reactivation.  That was basically the week right there!  Conference was super interesting schedule wise.  We watched the Saturday morning session Saturday night at 6.  Watched the Priesthood and Relief Society the next morning at 10:30 (there were two rooms and we split it up) and then we watched the Sunday morning last night at 6 so it was crazy.  I learned a ton!!! 

Yes, we are still meeting with Nadya.  We watched the restoration video in russian with her and she was in tears the whole time.  I know that's why I'm out here.  Not to convert the masses but to bring joy to one person and she is doing amazing.  We're having members teach the lessons over again but we're still at the lessons to help out.   Thanks for your support mom!  I love you!!!  Thanks for the prayers and you're in my prayers every night as well. I love you!!!! Have an amazing week!!

Elder Anderson

¡El reino de dios o nada!