Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 99 - October 12, 2015

Dear family,

What a week it has been. Another one has flown by and I've been very grateful lately for the every moment I have to be a part of this great work. In the service of our King. 

First off I wanted to let you know, there will be a zone training the last week of the transfer , so if you want to write me one last time you can send letters to me through the mission office and I will get them, my last Thursday. 

Well, I don't really even know where to start. I'm learning that things don't always come quite as fast as you want them (a lesson I feel like I've learned over and over again in the mission but it's been a good reminder).  We are working extremely hard and I feel like we are laying the foundation and I'll be leaving before its dry but that hasn't stopped the desires to work hard.  We are searching for people to find like crazy.  We have been doing a lot of work in the area book and talking to a lot of people in the street.  It's a hard process but we are slowly but surely finding the people that are ready. The miracle of this process has been that as they've basically thrown us out here and said, "Alright!  Go find!"  We have found. The Lord is truly preparing the hearts of the people and I am constantly reminded of the words in Alma 13:24  "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."  The lord is preparing His people.  He's trying to touch all of his children's hearts, and the elect are listening and being gathered.  We have found two men and a woman who I am extremely excited for.  Pepe, a nice Christian man who is from Tenerife.  who at first said "I don't really share your beliefs" and then at the end accepted a Book of Mormon.  We will meet with him on Wednesday.  We found another man named Miguel, also a Canario, who was very nice and we will be meeting with him tonight.  We also found Blanca last night.  A lady from Quito, Ecuador and she accepted a Book of Mormon and is excited to meet.

We have also been teaching a man named Miguel (from here, from Tenerife) he said to us during our first lesson while we were reading about Christ's gospel in 3 Nephi 27:13-20 "you know I feel like I haven't been able to truly live the gospel with past missionaries, but this time will be different.  I want to live this gospel".  So we are going to help him make the changes he wants to make.  Super humble man.

My companion is awesome!!!  I love him so much.  He's a great missionary.  His Spanish is improving every day and he is working hard.  He's got a great understanding of the gospel and is well prepared.  The training program 12 weeks is really fun and it's been great for both of us to review the basics of the work.  We are doing the Lord's work, in the Lord's way and he's doing awesome!

We were finally able to start meeting members this week.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned it but I have been so impressed with the faith of the members here.  They are an amazing example of faith, sacrifice, and love for the Lord.  They endure so much social pressure from family and friends just so they can live the gospel.  It's amazing.  I love the saints here in Spain, the Canaries, and Europe in general.  They are an amazing example to all.

An amazing example of this faithfulness to the Lord is the example of the Hein family.  From Germany.  They are a retired couple living here.  He speaks a little English and are in the very beginning of the process of learning Spanish yet they come every single week to church, despite not understanding anything, to partake of the sacrament and share their wonderful smiles.  They are members of the ward family despite their inability to fully communicate.  He can say a few things in Spanish but she doesn't speak Spanish nor English yet they go to every activity and social because they love the Lord and His church.  Every Friday we go and eat with them and this Friday we were going to a lesson in their town and we needed a man to get in to a lesson and we called him and next thing we know this 70 or so year old man comes sprinting around the corner with a huge smile on his face.  They're such a faithful couple.

We also met with Fiona, a 27 year old less-active member originally from Scotland.  She has been inactive for a few years and has gone away for work reasons and a couple little doubts.  She expressed her testimony and love for the gospel during our visit and we testified of God's love and how he simply wants us to come unto Him.  We invited her to church. Called to remind her to come on Saturday night and she came!!  She showed up and loved it.  It was awesome to see her partake of the sacrament again after so long without it.  So that was another miracle for the week.

I cannot express with words how beautiful this Island is.  From the east side of our island you can see Gran Canaria (another island) and when we are on the west side we can see Teide (a giant volcano) and La Gomera (Another island). The houses on the cliffs next to the ocean make me feel like I'm in Greece at times and the beautiful black sand beaches are amazing.  The ocean is gorgeous and it's somewhat of a desert.  Just my beautiful home off the coast of Africa.  I love it here.  It's unreal.

Spiritual thought for the week is found in 2 Nephi 9:13-14 it says the following:

"13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.

14 Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness."

Through the power of the resurrection we will also live again. And we will be restored to a " perfect knowledge". I found in verse 14 a blessing I yearn for. It's the part I put in italics, "and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousnessAt times we have a hard time seeing the good we do. Seeing how our efforts to be righteous are worth it. It's hard to see the good in us. But as we keep trying, keep moving forward, living the gospel of Christ, the day will come when we will be able to recognize the good we did and realize we did a lot better than we thought we did. Don't get discouraged if you think you're not doing very well at being a disciple. Our father loves us and the day will come when we see what we did through different eyes. Just one more blessing through the atonement and resurrection of our savior.

 Also I'm so glad that my service has blessed you. Means my prayers have been blessed.

I love my Savior and I love His work. 

Have an amazing week. I love you all!!!

Elder Anderson