Monday, September 30, 2013

Yeah, pictures!

Chase with Elder Somerville at Sandra's baptism

Leticia's Baptism

Chase's companion is on the left - Elder Somerville

This is a close up shot so you can find Chase.  He's in the back row, right about center.
President Anaya is on the first row, second from the right.

Mission Photo!

More Baptisms!



1. I am picking up the memory card in about 50 minutes. I have pictures from my companion's camera.

2. The floods have not touched us. They are mainly in the state of Guerrero, which was devastated by hurricanes. There are a lot of people trying to help the people there.


Transfers are tomorrow! But my companion and I will not be transferred. We will remain the same, and stay here in Laureles.

I ate some weird food. I had frog legs with the Bishop of the Olivos ward. (It wasn't like green slimy legs in a bowl...rather, it was basically a chicken leg and bone, but smaller. And it tasted like chicken.)

I want you all to know something...I have had one of the most incredible weeks of my life. I worked very hard, and continue to do so. God has taught me about how to help other people be happy, how to cheer them up and make them smile. We are going forth and working hard. This gospel is so real and I love it.

I am in a trio right now. It is only for a few days because the companion of the third elder in our trio, Elder Brown, had special transfers. So Elder Brown does not have a companion. He is with us. And yes, he is a gringo. He is from Salt Lake, and is an incredible Elder. He and I have become great friends.


Rocio and Carlos were baptized yesterday! I baptized Rocio and my companion baptized Carlos. They are incredible people and I have a lot of confidence that they will remain firm in the gospel. Look them up on Facebook mom and dad!

My companion is doing great. He struggles a little with pronouncing the "th" in English. Sometimes, as we are walking, I will randomly start rolling my Rs in order to practice. Almost immediately after, Elder Somerville will start practicing the "th". It is actually so funny. Just all of a sudden, I roll an R, and he says TTHHHH...! I love Elder Somerville. He is a great missionary and loves to work hard.


Taxis are extremely common here, and we use them often. I love Mexico and the language.

Mom and Dad! I love you so much! Thank you for all that you do. I am glad that you are adjusting well to the new ward. And mom, your callings in teaching the youth are perfect for you. Girls Camp helped you prepare for such callings. Dad, I love you and am glad that you continue to move forward. I have some questions for you both.

1. Mom, how do you feel about school? Are you going to study Spanish?

2. Dad, how is it so far in High Priests?

3. Here in Mexico, we use the phrase UN BUEN to say A LOT. Did you two ever
use this phrase?

Tessie! I love you so much! I want you to come here so the people here can see you... because you are so cute...just so cute.

And I heard a song playing in a shop one day...Trey and Ben, do you know which it was? It was....Mamamamamamama Mad Mad Mad. Mamamamamamama Mad Mad Mad. Madness!

I love you all. Be strong. Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved.

I know this Gospel is true and will love it forever.


Love, Elder Anderson

Still Plugging Away



1. My favorite principle to teach would be the Plan of Salvation I think. I love seeing how people react to such a lesson.

2. I will be honest; I have hardly looked at the iPod. I often listen to the music that my companions sometimes have.

3. No, the dogs are not trying to eat me right now! That first dog goes crazy every time it sees me though through the window.

4. The avocado! Amazingly, I can't remember the last time I had one! I dont know how, but it hasn't been a problem right now. I hope I didn't just jinx it...


Rocio and Carlos are a married couple that we found. They are some of the most incredible investigators that I have ever seen. They will be baptized this Sunday, I believe.

Diana is a woman of about 20 years who wants to change her life and is progressing well. She is from Olivos, and Rocio and Carlos are too.


I love Spanish. I am rolling my Rs. I still sound American though! I am working on that!

Thanks for all that you do and for the support you all give me. I love you all.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Viva Mexico!!


¡Ay Caray! Ha sido una semana divertido, lleno de ánimo y trabajo. (Oh goodness! It has been a fun week, full of excitement and work.)


1. Pictures? What pictures? No, I am joking. But, there is a problem. A member has my memory card. I know that sounds a little scary but I will explain. First, this man is Roberto, and I can trust him with almost anything, because he is an incredible person who loves God and wants to do what is right. Second, there are videos on my memory card that we have asked him to edit. They are videos that our Zone Leaders asked us to make. He asked us to film ourselves doing specific things in the daily life of a missionary. My companion and I filmed ourselves doing exercise, and teaching a lesson with a member present (every companionship was to film a lesson with a member, I believe. I feel bad because I messed up in this lesson! ¡Ay Caray!). These segments are only portions of a bigger video, which I believe we will use to show in the Stake. I think it will also be posted on YouTube, so you could all watch it. So, I don´t have my pictures, but I think I have some that I can take from my companion´s camera.
(Elder Anderson's mother is being valiantly patient as she waits for more pictures.  No, really, she is.  No matter WHAT Mistie Rash tells you, there is no weeping, wailing or nashing of teeth going on across the street.)
2. I have had strange food recently. I will talk about one type of food later in this email. I have eaten a lot of Pasoli...a traditional food for Independence Day (September 15th. ¡Viva Mèxico!). I love Pasoli! The weather is cooler, but still hot. It rains almost every night. It has been like that since day one of my mission. I am hardly ever cold. I am a little cold when I wake up in the morning, but exercise helps me to warm up. I am not using the big coat that I have, and also my suit jacket because I simply am not very cold. At church on Sundays, wearing the suit jacket is a rule, and during the week we do not usually wear it.
3. Sandra is doing well I think. We haven´t visited her but she is active. Moises and Abraham are happy and doing well. I confirmed Moises yesterday, and my companion confirmed Abraham. Alejandra is sick, but doing fine. Her husband is not member but has a lot of interest, and we hope to baptize him and complete this family. Danilo is just a really sweet nine-year-old that I am positive Mom would adore. My companion baptized Leticia yesterday, an investigator who has been investigating for a long time, and has received visits from about 20 different missionaries. We finally ended it with her baptism yesterday. She is happy and feels very content.


I have cool stories! First, today we had a Zone Activity. It was so much fun! It was an obstacle course type thing that the zone leaders created. I will describe it. One companionship went at a time. An elder counted down, and then started a timer. The companionship takes off running. They dive under some very low suspended ropes into mud, and crawl as fast as they can to the other end. Then they run over a ladder that is lying on the ground. Next, they run toward a yellow garbage bin that has wheels and is very heavy (and it is harder because it is in the grass). The two elders push the garbage bin forward until they pass a wooden board, and then they push it back again. Then they run and do 10 pushups in more mud. They then stick their heads in a dirty bin of water and try to scoop out as many coins as they can. This was very hard because the bin was big, and I was so tired. I wanted to breath because I was close to being out of breath, so I couldn't keep my head under long. The coins that we were able to scoop out determined how many seconds were subtracted from our time. Then we do the wheelbarrow. One elder walks on his hands while the other holds his ankles. At a certain point, they run to a table. The final challenge is the eating challenge. The food, to the best that I can describe it, was cooked and seasoned grasshoppers. Thats what it looked like (as a side note, it is actually quite delicious). We had to eat these bugs in a tortilla. We would split it between companions and had to eat it all in order to end the time. It was hard because we were tired. I finished my portion but I think my companion started to gag, and he spit some of his out. And then we were done! It was so fun. We then played soccer.

On Sunday, I had a funny experience. Trey and Ben I think would love this story. We were at a house eating. When we got up from the table and were about to leave, their dog (a little dog) started to jump on us a little. Okay, well that is normal. That´s what many dogs do. We knew the dog had a tendency to bite, so we just tried to avoid it. Soon, the dog began to get a little angry at us. I do not know why. The Sister picked up the dog and walked us to the door so we could leave. The dog in her arms soon began to go crazy. It was barking and growling at us so much. It made me a little nervous. It wasn´t too bad, just a little nervous. The dog really began to go crazy. As we were leaving the door, the Sister put the dog down, probably because it was so crazy. My heart jumped as I saw the dog bolt around and run toward me. It had been put down only about 4 or 5 feet away from me, so he didn´t have to run very much. But imagine this...a little dog barking and running toward a 19 year old boy who will admit that he was a little tiny bit scared. The dog started jumping on my legs and probably trying to bite at me. I started to move away from it but it followed me. I left the house. I will admit I was a little bit scared!! I know that is ridiculous. I swung my foot at the dog to scare it. It flinched and then starting trying to eat me again. So I began to run! My companion was cracking up. I ran just a little half circle around the front door. I didn´t go anywhere. I paused and looked to see where the dog was. I saw it go back into the house. Oh! I am saved! My companion was laughing. I was trying to figure out what happened! It was funny. That is my story of how a dog almost ate me.

Independence Day!!! (¡Viva Mèxico!). Mom, you are right. Latinos tend to be very loud on holidays. From my apartment, it sounded like a mini war outside. Explosions after explosions. The people here love little bomb-type-things to celebrate the 15th of September. There were things as simple as little crackling sticks that crackled when rubbed against a wall. There were little balls that sprayed sparks. There were fireworks. There were things that were stronger, that sounded like grenades, though I never saw one actually lighted. People, as I was told, often enjoyed shooting pistol bullets into the air. From the top of our apartment, we could see a lot. There was a lot of popping and exploding. At one moment, there is popping, next a few fireworks that whistle in the air, next a very loud explosion from down below, next a few sparks in the street, next another explosion, and so on. It wasn´t super, super loud but there was a lot.

Well, I am happy and doing well. I hope you all are too. That was some interesting news that you told me about, about the ward changes. How weird. I have learned that there aren´t many coincidences in this life. You are in this ward for a reason. Perhaps you all are supposed to help someone, or they are supposed to help you, or both. Or maybe God just wants to test us. Whatever the reason, I know you can continue forward with the same talents that you have to bless the new ward.

I love you all and hope you are happy. Trust in God. Apply the scriptures to yourselves.

¡Viva Mèxico!

Love, Elder Anderson

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Got the Camera!!

(After you read this you're going to wonder why I titled this entry "Got the Camera!".  I mean, after all this good stuff, all I care about is that he got the camera we sent him?  Well... uh... OK, fine!  I admit it!!  Yes, I cared about the camera!!!!  I need to see his face!!!  Come on, I'm just a MOM!)

No hay desvíos en el viaje al cielo. (There are no detours in the journey to heaven)

1. I have gotten the package, eaten all the Peach Rings, and taken many pictures. Thank you so much for the package.

2. I will describe each of my companions that I have had.

Elder Cardona is from Columbia, very loving, hilarious, loves soccer, patient, confident. He has returned to Columbia.

Elder Merino (I was with him for about 2 weeks in a trio with Elder Loveland) is extremely knowledgeable, a leader, confident, hates to waste time, understands almost everything in English but doesn't like to speak it, from El Salvador, very understanding. He will end his mission in a few months.

Elder Loveland is an Idaho farm boy, very confident, funny, very down-to-earth, has a solid understanding of doctrine, knows how to keep things simple, taught me how to shine my shoes, loves to work, is constant and obedient. We arrived in Mexico on the same day, and in the same group.

Elder Somerville: Has about 6 and a half months on the mission, extremely patient, loves to have fun, works hard, very accepting, speaks with a type of demanding attitude (because he is from northern Mexico and they tend to speak a little strong...but he doesn't do that to be demanding. It is just the way he talks.) He knows how to get things done, and he highly emphasizes the need to be happy.

3. Sandra is probably more than 50 years old. She was a referral. She was highly prepared and was baptized within a week. Alejandra was my companion's investigator. She is probably in her 30's. Her son is Danilo and is a really great kid. I did not baptize nor confirm anybody. My companion and brothers from the wards did these. I do not have their last names written but will be sure to do that.

4. Probably one of the biggest things that I have learned is that when you have a duty, do it and do not stop until it is done.

5. Funny experience: Today we played tackle football with water balloons. That was absolutely hilarious and fun. We would hike the water balloon, and just mess around until we scored. There wasn't too much tackling, just a lot of water balloons exploding, but it was so hilarious. Elder Murphy is an American elder, and is a big man. There were two elders trying to tackle him, but he wasn't going down. So I came by and pushed him and he fell, and the balloon exploded. That was very funny as well.

6. The church buildings are like ours, but a little bit different and smaller. The chapels are not often lined with benches. They are tile-floored and we set up chairs for the people to sit on during Sacrament Meeting.

We have a baptism on Saturday as well.

Robert Baños is a member in the ward. He is one of the most incredible and willing servants of God I have ever met. And he has a simple testimony that seems to rock my soul when he bears it. He accompanies us a lot to lessons.

On Sunday, we baptized two children. They were 12 and 11 years old, if I remember right. They are named Moises and Abraham. Their parents were less active, but have been trying to get active again for about 2 months now, even before we found them. Moises reminds me of Trey, and looks like him. I have pictures.

The bishops in the wards are also very good.

There is a new rule in the mission. We cannot baptize someone until they have been to Sacrament Meeting 5 times. This is so that they can remain active after their baptisms.
I am very happy and doing fantastic. I love you all.

Mom, I can totally imagine you trying to fight off the sleep during the Dibels. It makes me laugh.

Tess, thank you for your messages! I love them! I showed one to Elder Loveland when he was my companion and he thought it was funny to. I wish you could come here and we could play Horsey. 

Trey and Ben. I love you both so much and hope you are both very happy. I will send you both some letters.

I LOVE THE MISSION! AND I LOVE MEXICO! I feel so happy and am progressing! I love you all so much. My mission president said that it is okay for me to write my friends on email. So I will send a separate email for them. 



Elder Anderson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

3 New Members!


Okay, there are a lot of things to talk about. I will begin with answering the questions. 

1. The apartment is huge. It is the biggest that I have seen so far, I think. We are on the very top floor of a building. When I walk out, I see clothes hanging out to dry, and a massive city in front of me. We have access to the roof, and we can see much of Mexico City. I am not in a village area. I am still in a MAJOR section of the city. From the roof, I see thousands of houses. Thousands and thousands and thousands of houses. I see mountains (Do you remember that picture of Christ when he comes to the Americas? Look at the green mountains in the background, and that is what the mountains look like from my apartment. It makes sense, because the Nephites were here!). The mountains are not huge. There are many houses on these mountains. In the morning, I almost here a slight grinding noise from a nearby TORTILLERÍA (tortilla shop). I hear music blasting from my neighbor's house, who are almost constantly drinking (we are also teaching them the gospel). I hear my companion's music in the apartment playing. I hear cars. I hear business. We have a great view and can see a great amount of the city from where we live. Yes, we have access to a Wal-Mart.

2. My companion is from EL ESTADO DE DURANGO (The State of Durango). We are getting along great. I love that he is so patient. He is one of the most patient people I have ever met.

3. I have not gotten the package. I think that I can get a thumb drive. Don't worry, I will figure everything out. It is normal for the mail to be delayed.

4. The most surprising thing about the mission is how we don't have to be perfect here. After being around missionaries for 8 months, I know that they are certainly not perfect, and neither am I. But the mission changes people. It is incredible. There are elders who have been less active almost all their lives, and now are stellar and powerful men of God. I met a missionary that is a member as of about 1 year and a half. And he is a hard worker and extremely spiritual man. The mission changes people. It has changed me. 

5. I do not know why the temple will be closed.

The members are very helpful, and I have many new friends. 

We had 3 baptisms on Saturday (Yes!). One is named Sandra. She is from Olivos. She was so prepared. We taught her in less than a week and then baptized her. The other two are Danilo (9 years old) and his mother Alejandra. They are from Laureles and are doing great.

I am happy and doing very well. I am trying very hard. I am sorry again but there simply isn't time. I love you all. I will try and write you all. I know that some of you are waiting for me. Sorry!


Love, Elder Anderson

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Area...Laureles!


OK, I have very limited time right now. Here are some of the highlights and answers to your questions.

1. My area is Laureles, in the Anáhuac Stake. My companion is Elder Somerville. He is Mexican, and yes, I understand that it is a weird Mexican name that he has! He loves to work and be obedient. My area is in Ecatepec. It is in the State of Mexico.

2. We can almost never go to the temple. As far as I know, we can go on Christmas...sometimes. And if we have recent converts entering, we can accompany them. It is very weird though because soon this temple will close for 18 months. That will cover the rest of my mission.

3. I have not received the package yet.

By the way, I am not secretary anymore. I am just a normal missionary, trying to teach every day like I did with Elder Cardona. I love it. We have a great number of lessons every day so I am happy.

Sorry, I do not have a lot of time. I am doing very great. I am happy and working hard. We have a goal to baptize 8 people in September and I am determined to do it. Also, we will work in 2 wards! Laureles and Olivos. We will be extremely busy. I am so excited!

Sorry this isn't much, but I want to work!

Spíritual thought:

I have learned something about faith. My other companion, Elder Loveland, taught me something. In lessons with other people, we take an object. It could be a pencil. We place it in front of the people and ask them to move the pencil with their faith. Of course, this surprises them. They often smile, laugh, and say that they dont have the faith to do it. We often ask them why not. And they often say that they simply can't. I love this example because of what happens next. My companion or I say that we can move the pencil by faith. We then stretch forth our hand, touch the pencil, and move it a few inches with our hand. The people we teach often laugh when we do this. And then we explain the purpose of the example.

FE ES ACCIÓN. Faith is action. If we want to move a pencil, then move it. If we want solutions to our problems, work. If we want to move our spiritual mountains, then move them. We too often think that faith is a passive belief. But rather, it is a belief AND an action. We must work. If we don't have the grades we want in school, we don't pray for help and then hope everything improves. We pray, and then we do everything we can to improve. Sometimes, I think, we don't need to wait for God while sitting in our chairs waiting for inspiration (I highly encourage all of you to read Elder Oaks talk on revelation in this month's Ensign). We need to ACT. We need to get up and get to work, and then God will provide the way. In 2nd Nephi, I think, we read that God's grace comes after ALL THAT WE CAN DO. I love this. I invite you all to work, to act. Many people feel that to move the pencil, they need mind control. Well, that would be incredible, I will admit. But we don't have that. But we do have hands. We do have legs. We have Spirits. We have hearts. Let's use them.

I am learning SO MUCH that we are here to LIVE THE GOSPEL. Everything else we do must be of lesser importance. The Gospel is everything. We often are blinded by the things of this world, but if we open our eyes, we will realize why we are really here.

I testify this is true. I know it.

I love you all BASTANTE (Bastante is my favorite means A LOT!!). Be happy.


Love, Elder Anderson