Monday, November 24, 2014

1 year down, 1 to go

Dear Mom,

Wow. I cannot believe it has been a year either.  This is absolutely insane!!!  I'm probably gonna burn a shirt or something. Not sure yet!!! haha:)  I'm gonna figure something out:)  Elder Overson is awesome!!!  We are very different personality wise but we get along really well and I am loving serving with him!!  I have been very blessed with good companions:)  Well we all live in separate pisos.  The mission has a goal to have us all in our own pisos so we can focus better.  So I have never shared a piso during the mission but we see the other elders almost daily.  They live pretty close to us so we run into them all the time.  It's super fun serving with so many other missionaries!!!

Well this week was an amazing one!!!!  We have been working hard and had a lot to do.  It was a busy week!  Tuesday we met with Esther.  She's doing good!  We talked about modern prophets.  It's sad because she is waiting on divorce papers and is living with another man so she cannot progess, but she has been coming to church the past couple weeks so she is doing what she can.  We have been meeting with a girl named Noriko.  She has investigated the church for a while.  She is trying to receive an answer from God about the Book of Mormon but her pastor from her church has been feeding her anti- mormon stuff so she's not really too interested anymore.  But were working on it!!  So hopefully we can resolve her doubts. We are meeting with Ismael, the 20-year-old.  He has been struggling wanting to read, pray, and doesn't want to get baptized (his parents are really pushy) but there is a newly returned missionary in the ward who was there when the parents were converted and helped and is going to start coming to lessons with us so we are extremely excited for that! Wednesday and yesterday we met with Luis and Ines.  We taught them the Word of Wisdom one of the times and it went incredibly well.  Luis sat and stared at the pamphlet and simply said, "I have to drop coffee" and then said, "I know the Lord will prepare the way.  I'll drop it."  (We had read 1 Nefi 3:7 with them) and we took their coffee with us as we left the door. (I'll attach the picture later)  Thursday we contacted in the street basically all day.  Then right before going home we found a couple in the street who listened to lesson 1 and we are going to meet with them tonight!!!!  

We also had a chance to help out an 80-year-old lady who has cancer, and heart problems. We had asked for help with directions and after finding the house and finding no one home we asked if she needed help with her bags and she accepted and we walked her home. They are going to be kicked out of their house and have to move so we offered to help with the move and they said they needed boxes so we went and found boxes for her the next day and she was in tears when we came back. She said, "I'll never forget you." and was so grateful for the help.  It was touching to be the hands of the Lord and help her get what she needed.  A lot more has happened but those were some of the highlights.  It was an AMAZING week!!!  I am so grateful to be out here!!  This work is amazing!!!

For the spiritual thought, I read a scripture in 3 Nephi that I loved.  3 Nephi 9:13  I want you to pay careful attention to the words and remember this one phrase.  The Savior wants to heal us!  I know He does and He is asking us to come unto Him so that He may heal us. 

I love you all!!!  Have an amazing week!!!  1 year down. 1 to go!!!

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

This week was a good one!  Monday we decided to leave the Family Home Evening at the church early because no one was there and we found ourselves contacting for a few hours and finally someone talked to us.  It was a little miracle.  His name was oscar and from the Dominican Republic.  He was really sad that night and was thinking about things and was just really upset because his 1 year-old-daughter is in the hospital because she got scalded by something on the entire right side of her body.  We found him and talked and got his mind off things, said a prayer and then after we said goodbye, I gave him a hug and said, "Don't worry, everything will be okay" and he looked at me and smiled.  To put that smile on his face meant the world to me.  It made me feel so good and our conversation helped him.  I will be referring to this experience in my spiritual thought.  Tuesday, we met with Ismael, a 20-year-old Dominican.  He has not been doing to well lately but this week he showed major improvement.  He is reading and praying and is starting to come along.  His family are already members so he's got good support.  On Wednesday's we go over to the family of a lady in the ward - Esmerelda.  They are from Bolivia.  Joaquin and Jose are the brothers of Esmerelda and they are less-actives and we are also teaching Joaquin's girlfriend and son, Clementina and Mateo.  They are doing amazing.  They are coming to church and Clementina is super super excited!!!  We made Sloppy Joes with them and they LOVED THEM!!  So thanks for the recipe mom:)  We have also been meeting with a man named Julian from Peru.  He was found in the area book and he is really excited about the church.  He comes and loves the hymns and we taught him the Word of Wisdom this week and he accepted it!  He is going to live it.  He is just a cute old Peruvian man and is so willing to follow the Lord.  This week we also put 3 people on baptismal date.  Luis and Ines an older couple from Ecaudor.  We taught them lesson 3 (The Gospel) and then challenged them and they accepted.  They are loving the Book of Mormon and are coming to church on their own.  We don't have to invite or call to remind.  They just show up.  They are on date for the 20th of December. 

 We kept running into a guy in the street named Jon who was an old investigator of theirs and he kept saying Saturday at 11 we'll meet!!  We went there and he said,  "Ever since i have been hearing your message.  My life has changed.  When is your next baptismal service?"  We said, well tonight. (because Jaime was getting baptized.) and he said no no, for me.  So we talked for a little bit and set the goal of the 27th of December.  It was a miracle and it was amazing to see the Lord's hand in all of this.  He has a lot of work to do, but he has amazing desires.  

Our God is a God of miracles.  I can testify of that. Every day we have the chance to be a part of and see miracles. The Lord is at the helm of this work.  Amazing week.  We haven't been able to meet with all of the investigators.  We are still working on the whole meeting more than once a week thing.  But we are getting there.  I'm so glad to hear all was well at home!  The work is amazing here and I am loving every second of it.  

In preach my gospel it says:

During His mortal ministry, the Savior “took upon him the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). He went about “doing good” (Acts 10:38) and “preaching the gospel” (Matthew 4:23).

As the savior talks to his disciples at one point in his ministry he states (or roughly translated through my head) Ejemplo os he dado, or I have given you an example. And that's what we need to do.  We need to follow His perfect example.  Lift up the broken hearted, put a smile on someone's face, serve others in the way the Savior did.  Go about doing good.  That's what I challenge you to do this week.  Look for opportunities every day to do good and serve others.  It's one of my weekly goals and I'd like to invite everyone to join me!  (and hear about your experiences from the week)  I promise the lord will bless us and others as we go about this. 

Love you all!!!! have an amazing week!!!:)


Elder Anderson
¡El reino de dios o nada!

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Hello family!!!  What a week it has been. Wow!! Ethan's home?  Tell Shelby I say hi as well!  In response to the haircuts, the Bishop in B4 (the one who sent us World Series updates) owns a haircutting shop!  So he did them sometimes or if he didn't have time, my comps just shaved my head. haha   

Well as for our week it was a long one but really fast.  We have a lot of good stuff going for us.  We have a lot of investigators but they had a system before of only meeting with them once a week.  I'm still getting the hang of the area and starting to get to know everybody really well. We are teaching a lot of people and it's been extremely good.  I'll give you a solid update on more of them next week but the greatest thing has been being able to really help these people.  I've never seen it as much before but how much a visit and a message about the Savior can lift the spirits really has strengthened my testimony of what the Savior did for us.  We do have one baptism this weekend.  His name is Jaime and he is from Bolivia.  We have been working on helping him understand the priesthood this last week.  It's been really good for him and he loves coming to church.  Just to give you an idea of what's going on here we had 9 investigators in church. The most I've had my entire mission and we have found some incredible people on the street that we are starting to meet with.  The work is incredible.  I love it here and I love being here and representing the living God and helping others feel of His love.  This work is amazing!!!

In regards to education and getting good grades that will be my spiritual thought.  Well, my advice is two fold.  You will one day hit the point when you will realize how important it was to study and prepare yourself.  Based on your acts now you will receive your recompense later on.  Comparable to the Plan of Salvation.  As we act now we will receive our reward later on.  So act now.  As Alma taught.  Now is the time for men to prepare to meet god. (Alma 34) so do not procrastinate anything. Extra curriculars are important, friends are important, but trust me.  The Lord will provide and bless you with plenty of incredible memories as we dedicate time to studying.  Put the Lord and the gospel first.  Then comes school. Make it a priority.  Secondly, my advice is study the section in chapter 8 of Preach my Gospel that talks about goals and read D&C 11:7 and remember this one principle.  Faith=action.  You have to act now and it will be done.  Set goals.  Make plans. (like we do in our weekly planning every single week  - I promise it helps)  and then the key is having the faith to make it a priority and act.  So go study those 2 references.  I promise that it isn't too late.  Keep studying hard.  I promise you'll regret it if you don't. So study hard and live up to your potential.  Live up to what the lord gave you.   

Love you all!!!! have an amazing week!

Elder Anderson

¡El reino de dios o nada!

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

Well since I don't have much to say 'cause I have been extremely lost here in the new ward I'll just answer your questions and add anything else I think of. 

That's so cool you talked with Elder McFarland's mom!!  and got to hear the parts I didn't talk about.  Don't worry, we weren't starving.  We had rice.  haha  It all worked out good and I have lots of food now.  No worries!!  I have not been to the museum but I've heard about it!!!  and yes!!  The nativities are here in Madrid!!  I'm going to be keeping my eyes out this Christmas:)  We get to go do a session at the temple next week and as always I am stoked out of my mind.  I love going to the temple so much!!!

We lived in the metro stop San Lorenzo. and how Madrid works is it has like the outside pueblos (for example, Alcalá, Alcobendas, Guadalajara, towns like that) but then within madrid it has different "districts",  I think is what they are called.  I lived in the district of Hortaleza and now i live in the district of Carabanchel.  Carabanchel is known as the "ghetto" of Madrid.  It's not that scary though because Spain is extremely safe.  There is just a lot less money down here but the ward is awesome.  The people are awesome and I'm super excited to work with them.  We have had a couple of dinner appointments including one with the ward mission leader yesterday.  (although the dinner appointments aren't anything like B4 hahaha) but our ward mission leader is awesome.  He is the son-in-law of Tad R. Callister and it was weird speaking all English at the dinner appointment.  But it was super cool!!  He works hard and knows how to do the work.  His name is XXX XXXXXXXX.  He served in Barcelona years ago and he's a stud so this is going to be awesome!  The teaching is going good!!  We have quite a few investigators and there are actually 6 other missionaries in the ward.  The work is exploding!! and my comp has been here for three months.  Ever since he got to Spain (his visa waited in Salt Lake for 3 months)  Elder Overson is awesome.  His family lives in Mexico and he is originally from Oregon.  He already spoke Spanish before the mission and he is just a stud.  I am so excited to work with him!!! 

For the spiritual thought this week I wanted to share a scripture from Alma 32. Verse 19.  Read it.  What I love about it is it shows how much our Father loves us.  If we didn't have to walk by faith, because we live in a fallen state we would sin and would have no way to get back.  But because we have to walk by faith it gives us the best possible chance to return to him. 

I love you!!!  Have an amazing week!!!!  Thanks for everything!!!

Elder Anderson

¡El Reino de Dios o Nada!