Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 84 - 3 transfers left.

Dear family,

Wow another week has flown by and this is the sixth and final week of the transfer.  Elder Cahoon will be home next week.  Wow it has flown by. 

The best part of having the iPad's has been the access to the words of the modern prophets.  My studies have been more effective, and my testimony of the restoration has been strengthened so much.  I have come to an even greater knowledge that we have living prophets.  This is a divine work. 

I probably will not be receiving my package until the next zone training.  I don't know when that will be.  We shall see!

There will probably not be baptisms this week, possibly Will but the chances are slim.  He will get baptized, it is just a matter of when. 

Elder Cahoon is doing great.  He is not trunkee at all!  He's doing so well at working hard until the end.  We are super sad President Jackson is leaving.  We are excited for the new president.  (Sister Pack is from Louisiana!!) but President Jackson has been such an influential man in my life.  I am so grateful for having served under his direction.  He is one of my heroes!  But President Pack will be amazing as well. 

It was a slower week in regards to the work.  The weather was just ridiculously hot.  Like extremely, extremely hot.  Haha the app is definitely right.  Maybe even under by a few degrees haha but we (as always) just kept on working hard.  That's been something I've been so grateful for, many of my companions are extremely diligent and have great desires to work and we do that, simply work really hard.  I've absolutely loved serving with Elder Cahoon.  He is a stud!!! 

Vilma and Vanesa are doing well. They are reading, praying, and progressing.  They weren't able to come to church this week, but they will be coming next week.  They love our visits and love coming to church.

Lolo has been having difficulties meeting with us lately, but he is trying to find a time where he can bring a friend of his to start listening to us.  So, although it's hard to meet, he still has desires to listen, and even share the message with others. 

We have also been meeting with a less active man named Marcos, and his big doubt is wheether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet.  We have, little by little, been talking through the first lesson (the restoration) with him to help him understand it and we got to the Joseph Smith part and we talked a little bit and then we watched the Joseph Smith movie (the long one) on my iPad.  It helped him visualize things better and he understood a whole lot more.  It was super cool!  We then (as always!) challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and pray.  He is excited and wants to know.  Therefore, he will receive his answer.

This Sunday I had been asked to speak in sacrament meeting and I was told "whatever topic you feel" and so I began to prepare a message, had it all planned out but then Thursday I had a feeling to only teach the restoration and to not worry about planning it.  Trust the spirit and just get up there and bear testimony of the restoration and Joseph Smith.  I was extremely nervous.  It went against everything I know in regards to planning is important and I was like this is crazy!  Why would I feel like this? Sunday rolls around and I'm freaking out but I said a prayer right before going up, asked for the gift of tongues and to be able to stay calm and I went up and shared what I felt the Lord needed me to say, as directed by the spirit.  It went amazing.  I felt the power of the spirit working through me and the words just came.  Afterwards a woman who was visiting from Valencia came up and said to me "that is exactly what my husband needed, thank you.  He needed that more than anything.  The Lord has answered my prayers!"  As well, Marcos came up and thanked me and was really happy and it helped him with his doubts of Joseph Smith.  As we do our part to be worthy of the spirit and seek his direction, and follow the prompting we get no matter if it goes against our best judgment, it will always work out, and it will always bless at least one life.  The spirit will always allow us to bless the lives of others.  That is priesthood service and I'm so glad I am learning how to magnify my priesthood while I am here.  It will bless me for forever. 

Brothers of mine, always, always, always seek the guidance of the spirit.  Seek to understand how it works, how to recognize its promptings.  Seek to always follow it and you will be able to serve in the priesthood and bless others in ways you never could imagine.  Never forget you hold the power of God.  Always seek his guidance and you use it.

I love you all!  Have an amazing week! 

¡Hurah por Israel! 

Elder Anderson

This is us with Romeo.  He is the owner of that sign in La Puerto del
Sol (downtown) and he waved us down yesterday and we became best
friends with him.  He loved our message and talking with us.  And then
we got free pictures at his sign with him.  Haha!  Super cool guy. 
We're gonna meet with him on Friday!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 83 - Happy, Happy Birthday!! (to Me)

Study Time in the Piso

This week was a rough one. I was sick for a couple days. We stayed in
one day. But me being hard-headed, I didn't want to stay in the first
day and so I endured a day with the biggest headache ever.

The truth is there isn't a whole ton of time to write today because we
went on an extravagant journey with a member from one of Elder Cahoon's
old areas.  We went to El Escorial and went up to the mountains in the
north part of Madrid.  Super fun!!  I'll send a couple pictures!!  El
Escorial is a palace type place that was built in the 1500's and is
where all the kings of Spain are buried.  We couldn't go inside because
it is closed on Mondays (all museums, historical sites, and all
tourist places are closed on Mondays in Spain, that's why I haven't
been able to go to any cool places on any p-days.  but that's okay!)
We went up into the mountains on a drive and it was
beautiful!!  The mountains here aren't like at home but it was still
really cool!  Amazing p-day!!

I also cannot believe I've been out 19 months and that tomorrow I'll
be 20.  I just can't really comprehend it right now.  It's insane.

Now a couple of things have changed with the investigators.  Vilma is
not married, but the trip she is going on this summer she is planning
on getting married to the man she is living with.  The Lord truly
prepares the people at the right time.  This trip was planned, and the
marriage planned long before she knew it was a requirement for
baptism.  So she will be married legally once she gets back and will be
able to immediately get baptized!  As I have said over and over and
over this is the Lords work!!!

Lolo is trying to decide and is still warming up to the idea of
getting baptized.  He struggles getting to church but is reading and
doing what he can.  He loves the Book of Mormon and meeting with us
and the message.

Will is finishing his finals and then has a trip, but will be
attending church where he is going to be.  He is the best investigator
in this world!!  But that will leave us with only a week to teach him
everything if he is going to get baptized on the 4th of July.  So I
believe it will be later on.  But he's just a matter of when.  We had an
amazing lesson 2 with him on Monday and it answered a lot of
questions.  He is tearing through the Book of Mormon.  He will also
be moving to Provo in a few months.  So we will be living like 45
minutes apart!!!  It's gonna be so cool!!

Also, I read the talk you read last week about staying by the tree! And
we read it with a less active returned missionary we are helping out
whose name is Jon.  He's from Venezuela.

We'll have an amazing week!!!  Hope all is well back home!!  Love you all!!

Elder Anderson
¡Hurah por Israel!

Sent from my iPad

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 82 - June 15, 2015

Dear family,

You and I mom are thinking alike. Since the iPad's have come I have gone insane with reading the words of the living prophets. It's been amazing and my testimony of the restoration truly has been strengthened! 

Well it turned out to be an absolutely amazing week.  As we have been following Preach My Gospel to the T we have been able to see how this truly is the Lord's work.  He is at the helm and I have no doubt about it. 

We started off the week meeting with Will, our friend from California, who by self-initiative has been investigating the church for a while.  We taught lesson one and we discussed it in good detail due to his fairly deep knowledge of the church and its structure and our beliefs.  It turned into a lesson that filled in the gaps for him and answered a lot of his questions.  He had some good questions and more than anybody I've ever seen had a sincere desire to know.  We invited him to read and pray and he accepted, taking specific note on how to pray based on Moroni 10.  ( sincere heart, having real intent, and having faith in Christ) and then Sunday a miracle happened.  He came to stake conference on Sunday at Pavones and was telling us afterwards how much he enjoyed it.  We were talking about the temple and its purposes, and he then told us, "Well I read what you asked me to read, and I think I received my answer.  I know it's true and I know Joseph Smith was a prophet."  He explained some of his situation and the potential difficulties he might face if he got baptized and as we started to tell him about how if he decides to get baptized, and he immediately said, "Oh, I'm getting baptized!"  Tonight we will be discussing his fecha.  We are thinking it will be July 4!!  It was a very powerful experience there by the temple.  He just simply needed missionaries to tell him to read and pray and he received the answer because he tried the promise with the 3 necessary elements. 

Vilma and Vanesa are also doing really well.  This week we were able to set them with a set fecha and they are both excited and preparing well.  Vilma will be baptized the 4th of July and Vanesa will be baptized the 18th of July.  We taught the Word of Wisdom yesterday and Vilma will be giving up coffee as they have both committed to live it. 

Lolo is doing good, he just struggled getting to church.  He is still on date for the 27th but we will see.  We may need more time for more preparation.  But he's doing well. 

We are working well with the ward and have a solid relationship with both the Elders Quorum President and the Bishop.  We are continuously receiving assignments from them on things we can do to help the ward and we are truly strengthening this ward. 

We had the leadership council meeting this week at the mission home, the final one of President and Sister Jackson.  It was a powerful meeting.  We discussed the digital age, the importance of preparation, our two biggest weapons (the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel) and many other things.  My absolute favorite part was when president Jackson simply read passages from the Book of Mormon.  The room was silent and the spirit was so powerful as he read the words of the prophets. That night for thirty minutes we started to plan the zone training that we were to give to next day.  We got up the next morning and planned from 7:00-10:45 and put together the zone training.  It went amazing.  The spirit was strong and helped us transmit the message and it was powerful.  I learned so much and it was really fun as well.  The most powerful part was when we tried to replicate what President Jackson had done with reading the passages.  We asked everyone (if they wanted to) to stand up and read a "power passage" from the Book of Mormon.  They stood up one by one and it was one of the most powerful moments I've seen.  The Book of Mormon brings such a sweet spirit as every verse they read testified of Christ and of his divinity and his purpose.  Amazing experience. 

For the spiritual thought this week, I wanted to talk about something else we talked about during the leadership council.  President Jackson in his mission president's meeting in Germany he went to a month or so ago, Elder Bednar was speaking and was saying we have a very old group of apostles, and something we need to do is carefully listen to their last words.  In the council we read the last words of some prophets such as Nephi and Moroni and I went and read the final words of L. Tom Perry and it was touching: 

     "We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to           replace the family organization that God Himself established. We also want our voice to be heard in sustaining the joy and fulfillment that traditional families bring. We must continue to project that voice throughout the world in declaring why marriage and family are so important, why marriage and family really do matter, and why they always will.

My brothers and sisters, the restored gospel centers on marriage and family. It is also on marriage and family where we can unite most with other faiths. It is around marriage and family where we will find our greatest commonality with the rest of the world. It is around marriage and family that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the greatest opportunity to be a light on the hill.

Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness."

Families are eternal, and that's our message.  I've tried my best this week since readimg that to simply testify to the world that families are eternal.  Sometimes it's hard.  It's definitely not popular and it takes boldness to defend because some people are against the family.  But let our voice be heard!! Defend families.  It's what the lord needs. 

Love you all!! Have an amazing week!!

Elder Jarrett Anderson
¡Hurah por Israel!

Elder Cahoon, Javier, Elder Anderson
Javier's brother

Sent from my iPad

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 81 - June 8, 2015

Well Lolo still is on track for the 20th for now.  He wasn't able to come to church, but he is doing really well.  We hope we can get him to stake conference next week so that we can for sure baptize him the 20th.  Vilma and Vanesa are on baptismal date!  We set it for September because she is leaving for the Philippines on a trip for about a month, but we talked about it and we are planning the baptism for the 4th of July!  Vanesa may be baptized later but we will see how the progression goes. They are excited! 

We have yet to be able to meet with Julian and Katie. But it's okay, soon! 

We met with Will.  A guy from Los Angeles here who is here studying.  He's a couple years older than us and he came to church last week.  He has investigated the church on his own for a while and he really likes the principles but doesn't feel like he has a testimony yet and has some questions about our culture but we are extremely excited to continue with him! We meet with him for the second time tonight. 

We had a lesson with Alejandro, our mexican friend.  He was wanting to back off a little and stop meeting with us, but we had a very powerful lesson and addressed his doubts and we convinced him to study a little bit and meet with us at the end of this coming week.  The spirit worked wonders in that lesson and it possibly saved him.  Amazing experience. 

We also are starting to meet with a woman named Olga from Colombia.  We had an amazing lesson 1 with her (okay, lately every lesson 1 we teach is an incredible experience.  It's my favorite lesson!)  I'll keep you updated on her! 

We went to two district meetings this week in Villalba and Barrio 1 and talked about how this will be a transfer of changes for many people (with ipads, a new mission president, many are going home, and many are being trained) and so our vision for the zone is to "Submit ourselves to the will of the Lord." and we gave a couple talks about it.  It was super good! We also went on an intercambio with the district leader from B5 and his companion who is being trained.  I have loved going on intercambios and learning from these other missionaries.  He bore some of the most pure and amazing testimony and it touched me a lot.  No matter who you are or how much or little time you have you can ALWAYS learn from other missionaries.  Super powerful experience. 

As well this week will be a crazy week!  Tomorrow is the Concilio de Liderazgo (Leadership council meeting) and Elder Cahoon and I will be giving a Zone training on the usage of iPads and the work in the digital age.  Well that's what we assume the topic will be because we will be giving out the iPads on Wednesday.  He and I get to start using ours tomorrow. It's going to be super exciting!  I've always gone to zone trainings and I've always thought it would be cool to give one, as well, everyone's been talking about the glorious day we get iPads and so it's going to be a cool mix, and be so cool to be at the front lines of this next phase in the hastening of the work. 

We finally finished the ward list!!!  HALLELUJAH!!!!!  And we went and met with the bishop and he was so happy with us, and we discussed things about the ward and he will have another assignment for us the week following stake conference. It is awesome working with Bishop Diaz here in B5.  He is a man who knows what he is doing, and trusts us.  We have a really good relationship with him.  Things in this ward are turning around and its no longer just a big ward in Madrid that doesn't work with missionaries.  Rather, it is a place with a lot of work, and the members are getting involved.  Little by little we can see the attitude of the members changing. 

We have been so blessed while doing the ward list and we have been finding a lot of new people with potential.  For example, we will be teaching our doorman.  We start with him on Tuesday.  We have been so blessed in every way in the work.  At times it was hard, but the blessings were worth it!! 

Just a little experience, we contacted a man who was sitting on a bench, as we approached he started shaking his finger at us and saying NO NO NO!  I don't want anything!  Elder Cahoon said, "No we are just here to serve.  Is there anything we can do for you?" and he said no there wasn't and started to get emotional and we all of the sudden started to testify to him about how the plan of salvation brings us hope and how it helps us in any of our trials, and how families can be together for forever.  It was amazing because he didnt hardly say anything to us, but with tears filling his eyes we could tell the spirit was touching his heart.  We both talked afterwards and we both knew that someone in his family had passed away, and he just needed someone to bring him a little bit of hope.  He had no phone, nor house, but we decided to meet Sunday at the bench he was at.  He never showed up but that's okay.  We touched his heart once and it will provide the way in the future for him to find the gospel.  I know the gift of discernment is real.  I felt like Ammon as he perceived the kings thoughts.  I knew it was the spirit working through us as we read his thoughts and as the words left our mouths.  Miracles are real, the gifts of the Spirit are real.  Our Father is worried about every single one of his children.  All of us.  Without exception.  I know that!  So never forget that he cares for you. 

Love you all!!

Have an amazing week!!


Elder Jarrett Anderson

Elder Anderson (second from left)

p-day at the park

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 80 - June 1, 2015

What a week it was.  Well honestly it wasn't as fast as it probably was for you.  But now looking back, it's another Monday, and it's June and I can't believe it.  So yeah, it's flying by!  It's scary!  It was a long week though when it came to the work, but it payed off on Sunday!

The truth is it was just a lot of walking around all week.  Continuing our work on the ward list and contacting.  ¡vaya tarea! What an assignment!  But its coming along.  Just about done.  Kind of.  haha.  We didn't have many things set this week. We taught A LOT in the street, but didn't feel like we saw a ton of progress with investigators.  Until Sunday.  Lolo told us he would come to church and he did!  He LOVED it!!  He told me afterwards, "I just feel good, I feel peace, I feel amazing, I can't describe it.  Thank you so much.  I can only say thank you."  He was so happy.  He should be getting baptized within the next three weeks.  Pray your hearts out for him!!

As well, Vanesa and Vilma (our two investigators from the Philippines) showed up!  They even brought with them a less active lady.  It was so cool!  They really enjoyed it, and they are really enjoying our visits.  They are slowly but surely progressing.  Pray for them as well. 

We also went to go help the daughter of the man we met last week when we went and blessed the sacrament. (Julian, and Kati the daughter)  We helped the daughter with English, and then at the end, the mom, whose name is Gladis came in and we began to talk, and we ended up being able to share the Book of Mormon with her and she invited over to eat on Tuesday during mediodía.  Now why is this such a miracle?  It began with priesthood service, we got the invite, and we were going on Saturday.  As we got there Saturday we didn't have a member with us and there was no man in the house so we couldn't go in.  They were not happy at all because the daughter had an exam on Monday and she needed help.  It was a messy situation.  We were not on the mom's nor the dad's good side (we come to find out later on the phone) and we said we´d come back the next day to help.  But we left knowing that exact obedience brings miracles.  We left the piso on Sunday, and in our prayer we begged for a miracle, for a chance to talk about the gospel and to soften their hearts and the Lord answered our prayers.  I've said it many times on my mission but its true, Our God is a God of miracles.  We are so excited! 

Its been a week of bearing testimony and I've come to realize that we have the two biggest weapons on our side. 1. The Book of Mormon and 2. Our Personal Testimonies.  As we have done a lot of contacting, we have come in contact with mostly atheists, or skeptical Christians, and the testimony we have borne has been some of the most powerful testimony ever.  Testimony borne with the spirit is what softens people's hearts, or at least touches them.  It's allowed us to be able to plan to return to people.  A lot of missionaries think we have to be cool, be their best friends, that the gospel is secondary to the relationship we can build with them in the street.  This is false.  When the missionaries of the Book of Mormon taught with power and authority, it came from pure testimony.  And it worked!  So my brothers, all of you, since you are all in the preparation to serve missions, I have a question for you to ask yourselves.  What do I do to strengthen my testimony daily? Think about what you do and think about what you can do.  The answer is found in Alma 17:2-3.  Look it up!  and do it!  You will have countless opportunities to bear the witness you have received from the spirit, so strengthen this testimony in it's preparatory stages now and it will bless the lives of all you meet. 

Love you all!!


Elder Jarrett Anderson 

¡Hurah por Isreal! 
¡El reino de Dios o nada!