Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Well it was an INCREDIBLE week!!!:)  A lot of contacting because we will go contacting get a lot of references and then everyone goes out of town. haha  Everyone in Spain basically goes on vacation for the entire month of August so its been month filled with street contacting.  But thats okay!!  The members have turned around 100%.  It's a different ward here and I know it's a blessing of our obedience and trying to be unified with them. 

So anyways, we have some solid new investigators!!  Belen, we found her knocking doors. We taught her lesson one and we are heading back this week.  Luisa, she's super cool and was doing great but she went back to the Dominican for two months.  Antonio and Margot have been out of town all week but they get back tomorrow!!  We found a lady named Marcela on the street and she has a friend who is a member of our ward!!  We set up a lesson and we are just super duper pumped to meet with her.  We did an area book pass by and found a man named Humberto.  He is so solid!!  We taught him lesson one ( he remembered most of it because missionaries taught him for a while) and he loved it!  He's from Peru, his wife is a member and we are just super excited for him!  We started to teach a man named Jasan from Morocco the other day.  We brought him a Book of Mormon in Arabic and he is awesome!!  It was so cool, he started to read the names of the eight witnesses from the Arabic book and they sounded English.  It was so crazy!!  haha!  We have also been meeting with some more members this week to get to know them and as always the less actives and recent converts.  Hermana Bueno will be headed to the U.S. here soon and we are a little nervous for that one.  But it's all good, just keep them in your prayers and all will be well.  Graciela is the happiest woman on earth and she makes me super happy every time I see her. She is struggling to read because she gets tired but she really wants to do it and is trying hard to live the commandments.  It's been so incredible to see the change in her.  Anahi has kinda been lazy lately but I'm pretty sure it's because she is a teenager haha and it's summer so she´ll get over her  "I don't want to go to church because I was out too late last night and I'm tired"  ("But I wanted to go to toshi station to pick up some power converters" teenage attitude).   It will stop once school starts.  But everyone here is incredible.  We are working hard.  Being obedient and doing what the lord has asked us to do and that's all that has been required of us.  To get out here and give it our all.  I hope to have more news on investigators for next week and I'm sure I will!!  Probably the highlight of the week was Friday.  Elder Tyler Cahoon and I may or may not have gone on an exchange. HAHA!!!!  It was SOO COOL!!!  He's in the office and in our district and he came here to B4 to work with me for a day.  Oh my gosh, it was probably the coolest intercambio ever.  We contacted the whole time but we just tore it up together and just had a TON of fun!!  We got 20 numbers and addresses in 24 hours which is the most I have ever gotten in one day.  WE worked super well together and it was just so much fun!!!  haha it was awesome.  My computer won't let me send pictures but I will get some to you as soon as I can:)  SO cool!!!! Well this week was amazing.  Lots of progress with the ward members, with the work, and a lot of starting with investigators.  I am so excited and just beaming with joy.  I love this work so much!!  Keep it up at home and keep living the commandments.  This gospel is true and the Lord ALWAYS fulfills his promises. 

So for the spiritual thought this week it's something simple but a principle that we can all apply.  Doctrine and Covenants 130:21-22.  It is the principle that governs everything.  This all comes down to our willingness to obey. The lord only requires that we keep his commandments (Mosiah 2:22) and it all comes down to our willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and do what he has asked.  So read that verse in D&C and ponder to yourself, how can I improve and submit myself to the will of the Lord because there is always room for improvement.  I testify that as we repent, align ourselves with God's standards and simply obey that the blessings come because of the law that has been irrevocably decreed.  The Lord cannot go back on his word and He never will (Mosiah 2:22) and we have the ability to bind the Lord according to our obedience and He will be required to bless us. (D&C 82:10) But the thing is our Heavenly Father wants more than anything to bless us.  He loves us, he cares for us, and he wants to bless us in every way possible.  But the blessings come in our willingness to obey.  It's up to us. and that's the beauty of agency.  So choose today to live how god wants you to live and keep the faith!!  Love you all!!!  Have an incredible week!!!!:)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gathering Zion


Well all I can do is thank you.  Thank you so much for the support, and for what you have said in your emails.  I cannot even begin to give you the proper thanks for what you have done for me, and how much love you have shown me.  The quotes were perfect. I loved the one from President Hinckley.  It is so true, and we really do need to learn to give thanks for what we have.  Gratitude is the key in all and gratitude is a principle we can all live by.  Thank you mom.  You are the greatest mother any son could ask for and I hope you know I see no faults in you.  Not one.  I couldn't have asked for a better woman in my life than you, and I am so grateful to say you are my mother.  I hope I make you proud.  If you could see me now I just hope you would be proud to say "that's my son!"  Every day I strive to live up to that.  to make you proud.  I want to be able to have the same said about me from our Heavenly Father, that as he looks down and sees me he can proudly say "that's my son!"  I hope I can live up to that for my mother and father here, and my Father in Heaven.  I love you both!! 

Sounds like a really fun week!!  I'm glad the primary activity went well!!  and that the pictures were good:)  Woah, Veronica is married. I remember taking her to prom.  She should not be married. hahaha!!!  That literally just blew my mind.  I knew it was coming up, but wow. Things are a little different back home. haha:)  I forget its been over a year since high school ended and 2 years since senior year started.  I can't wait to hear more about Brittany's baby!! Keep me posted. 

Well this week was INCREDIBLE!!!! although it was a little bit of what President Hinckley described: 

“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

This week may have been a lot of delays, sidetracks, dust, cinders, and jolts.  There was a lot of rebuilding and a lot of good old-fashioned hard work that will eventually turn into a transfer full of beautiful vistas and bursts of speed and that is what makes this work so amazing.  Although these past two transfers were not at all what they should have been, and as we settled for mediocre.  All it takes is a little bit of hard work and focus to get back on the path and that's exactly what we did.  We started off the week with figuring out what we want to do with the work here and our vision of how we will bring it about and Elder McFarland has so many good ideas about how to work with members and be organized and so we are starting those up. We did absolutely 0 work with members the last two transfers, and honestly I was terrified of what the members thoughts were about me, but we have been going by their houses almost every day (at least 1 member every day) and building their confidence, and getting to know them, we have a giant list of possible member references that is getting bigger and bigger and they are starting to invite their friends to come listen to the message.  And the members (now that we are out there serving them and loving them) have confidence in us and the work is changing.  I have a strong testimony now that truly this work is impossible alone, and without the members.  It flourishes with members.  Apart from member work, we have done a lot of contacting and building up the reference pool.  We didn't really have much but we have a LOT of names to work with now and we are continuing to find in every moment. The Buenos are still doing good although she is still most likely going to America but they have been talking a lot about it and they don't think it will end if she goes.  They weren't able to go the temple together but she went and did a session alone and she had an INCREDIBLE experience!!  She said she just bawled the whole time and felt the Spirit stronger than she's ever felt it.  She's making changes, and things are still looking up.  Continue to pray for them but things are little by little getting better.  The thing with Danny and Alejandro is we have only been able to meet once a week but the lesson went great this week as we watched the Restoration video, and Merly, the mother  (who has never wanted to listen before) accepted a Book of Mormon and is going to read and pray!!!:)  So that was a miracle in and of itself.  They didn't come to church.  In fact, no investigators came. But that's okay because things are still going well:)  We found one guy whose name is Antonio.  We found him on Monday and we have had 2 lessons with him since.  He is a Spaniard, has a wife from South America and 2 kids.  He really likes the Book of Mormon, wants to read and pray and is working on inviting his wife to listen to the message as well. We talked about baptism in the way that Christ showed us and he said he wants to be baptized like that.  So we are super excited about him.  A lot of potential.  The new ward mission leader has been coming with us as much as he can to lessons that we have planned and is an absolute stud, he said we've got a lot of work to do and he is doing so well.  Just a humble guy who wants to just work hard.  Last night we found a guy in the street named Christian and we had a lesson with him.  We taught lesson one and he loved it.  At the end he said, of course, I'll read and pray, it makes sense there would be Prophets today and I'm really curious.  So hopefully we get started with him real soon.  Oh!!  We also were in a park the other day and saw some teenagers playing futbol and we were like let's go play.  Not so we can play but so we can get the reference after.  So we went and were like hey, lets play! We played for a little and then started talking about the church.  Turns out one was baptized when he was 9 by his Grandpa and they were all cousins and the others weren't members. They all took Book of Mormons.  They're super excited to read and were so excited for missionaries to come over to their house (they don't live in our area) and so that was super cool!!!!  The baptized one said, yeah I'll go home and read, I've never forgotten where I put that book and I know exactly where it's at.  Super cool, and hey, a little futbol for salvation? Sounds like a great idea to me!!! :)  This week was amazing, we have been striving to be perfectly obedient (except I forgot to shave one morning, woops) and honestly I have been so much happier than I have been this summer.  This work is amazing and honestly the secret is WORK.  I'm so grateful I've got a comp like Elder McFarland who just came here to work hard and that's exactly what we are doing:)  Amazing week:)

For the spiritual thought this week I came across a scripture I loved about our trials.  We need 4 things to make it through all trials.  The scripture is in Mosiah 24:8-22.  They were persecuted extremely for what they believed in, but what did they immediately do? (verse 10) They began to cry fervently (or mightily in English, I believe) unto the lord and then AFTER they did that things began to get worse (verse 11).  Even though we may cry unto the Lord things may still get worse.  But they did not back down and still continued to do what they knew was right (verse 12) and cried unto the Lord in whatever way they knew was possible, they did anything they could to choose the right, and poured their hearts out to him.  Then he heard their cries (verse 12) and promised them comfort (verses 13-14).  He reminded them he knows them and remembers their covenants with him and tells them to "lift up their heads and be of good comfort" and then (in verse 15) just as the Lord promised, he eased their burdens.  He didn't completely take them away but he strengthened them and got them through.  Our burdens and trials may not always disappear completely but through the strengthening power of the Atonement they can be eased and they cheerfully submitted to the will of the Lord and in verse 16 so great was their faith and patience that the Lord promised to free them in the morning.  He did and they gave Him thanks as they were freed (verse 22) and as they didn't forget the Lord once, He never forgot them. 

So through all of that we need 4 things in any trial:
3.The ability to never forget the Lord
4. Gratitude

1. Faith- faith and doubt cannot exist in the same person at the same time, so hold on, trust in the Lord and his promises and have faith that one day all will be well.

2. Patience- sometimes we won't get a "quick fix" and we will not see the immediate complete lifting of our burdens.  Sometimes they will be eased, or sometimes it may seem to get worse but if we can have the great patience then they will be eased, and eventually lifted.

3. The ability to never forget the Lord- they did anything they possibly could to include the Lord in all they did. Cried fervently to Him, cried in their hearts and always remembered Him (which, in fact, meant they were keeping their baptismal covenants).  So remember him always. (Moroni 4&5)

4.Gratitude- Immediately after everything they gave thanks and didn't forget the Lord afterwards.  We need to give thanks in all things. 

So keep the faith and never forget you Father in Heaven!!  I love you all!!!  Have an AMAZING week!!!:)  Love ya!!

Elder Anderson

¡El reino de dios o nada!