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!

¡Hola!

ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS

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.

HIGHLIGHTS

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.

PEOPLE

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.

MEXICO

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.

DIOS VIVE

Love, Elder Anderson

Still Plugging Away

¡Hola!

ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS

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...

THE WORK HERE

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.

LANGUAGE

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.

DIOS VIVE

Monday, September 16, 2013

Viva Mexico!!

¡Hola!

¡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.)

ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS

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.

STORIES

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!
DIOS VIVE

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!)


¡Hola!
 
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. 

DIOS VIVE

Love,


Elder Anderson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

3 New Members!

¡Hola!

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!

DIOS VIVE

Love, Elder Anderson

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Area...Laureles!

¡Hola!

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 word..it means A LOT!!). Be happy.

DIOS VIVE


Love, Elder Anderson

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Transferred!!

¡Hola! 

I had a great week. We worked hard. I will mention a few highlights of the week.

HIGHLIGHTS

The office flooded! A pipe was broken so we had wet carpets, walls, and destroyed books. There is something quite amazing though. The Mexico City temple basically has an army of workers and security. We received help almost immediately in trying to get everything cleaned up, and that was quite amazing.

I am being transferred tomorrow! I am packing tonight. I don´t know where I will go nor with whom I will serve. I don´t know if I will be secretary still or not. I just know that I am leaving Zaragoza.


(As his mom, I'm handling this news like a pro.  Telling everyone who will listen, driving Doug crazy wondering where he is, hyperventilating, eating waaaaay tooooo muuuuuuch, staying busy... my house is spotless... and enjoying my time waiting for the next letter while biting every single fingernail I have.  So see, I'm doing just fine... thank you.)

This story did not happen this week, but I forgot to mention it earlier. An inactive family showed us the pit bull that they have. Trey would love this dog. I wonder if it is pure evil. No, I don´t really wonder that! It is huge, and crazy. I think that if it had been released upon us, I would be in the Spirit World. But luckily, this family is incredibly nice and they had the dog on a chain and muzzle. It was really upset, or confused, or scared...something! They managed to get the dog close to us and we tried to pet it. It went crazy and started trying to attack us but they reeled it back and put him somewhere else. Trey would love this dog!


PEOPLE

Fredy and Aarón: Both of these men are amazing investigators. Both of them are extremely close to baptism. My companion will have to be sure and baptize them, because I won´t be in Zaragoza anymore. Fredy is probably one of my best friends ever. HE IS INCREDIBLE. My family would love him and his family. He is an amazing person and I want to stay in touch with him and his family forever.

Hermano Sadot: Brother Sadot has been less active for awhile. But, he has gone to church twice in the past 3 weeks I think. I see progress and hope there. He too is an amazingly humble and kind man.

THE DISTRICT: Hermana Garcia will leave for Argentina on Wednesday. No one else, with the exception of me, has transfers in our district. When Hermana Garcia leaves and I leave, our district will be completely wiped out of all source of life from March of this year. Or in other words, everyone that was in my district when I first arrived will officially be gone. The others are dominating our district!

Elder Loveland. He is my companion. He is amazing and I love him as my brother. I get a little nervous when I think about the fact that we won´t be companions anymore. He is a powerfully spiritual man in the faith.

FOOD

Pozole is amazing! I am pretty sure that this kind of food exists in the U.S. It is a soup, and I love it.

MEXICO FACTS

There is an active volcano close to Zaragoza. Some people say that it can explode soon. I don´t know if that is true or not, but it is interesting. We can see it when we go on Alan´s roof. This brings up another point. The roof of almost every house here is merely, so to speak, the top floor. It is completely accessible, and people are on their roofs very often. I think that is interesting.

We are staying busy and happy. We are filling up on tacos (probably is not very smart, nor healthy), working hard, and laughing. Funny things happen here! I need to be better at writing them down so I can remember them!

My spiritual thought for today is, as my cowboy-of-a-companion taught me....WHEN YOU FALL OFF YOUR HORSE, YOU GET RIGHT BACK ON AGAIN. Sometimes when we fail, it is hard to get back up and keep going. But it is something we have to do. We need to do it every day, in some cases. We need to experience the pain of falling, and the utter joy of getting up. I am trying to be better at that. My companion said that his dad taught him well to keep trying. When he fell of his horse, he was told to get back on.

It is hard, but joyous and worth it. Or as we say here, VALE LA PENA. The word PENA means many things. It could mean embarrassment, pain, suffering, or things of that sort. So this phrase in Spanish literally means IT IS WORTH THE PAIN. I love that. Really, getting back up again is worth it. I know it.

I love you all and hope you are doing the best you can to follow God.


DIOS VIVE

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mud, Broken Teeth and Still Alive to Tell About It

¡Hola!

This week has been incredible. I think the past week has been the best week of my entire life. As a matter of fact, I am certain that it was the best. We were working so hard, and getting so many things done. I will highlight some of the events that have occurred today.

District Meeting -

This meeting is a time for each individual district to have a class. A district consists of about 6 to 12 missionaries. Mine has 7. We get together and learn about a lot of things. We have these every Tuesday with some exceptions. The people in my district are...

Elder Anderson (Hey, that's me!)
Elder Loveland
Elder Long (District Leader)
Elder Alva
Hermana Garcia
Hermana Tagle
Hermana Barraza

You may have noticed that there are three sisters. That is because it is a trio. Sister Garcia and I are the only people that were in this district since March. The others have been transferred at different periods of time into our district. All of these people are incredible. Elder Long is a humble, funny, and spiritually powerful missionary. Elder Alva is from Mexico, and is a very funny and energetic missionary. And he is great at soccer. Sister Garcia will be going to Argentina soon...she is currently waiting for her visa. Sister Tagle and Barraza are relatively new, so I am still getting to know them. But so far they are great.

Soccer -

For P-Day today, we went and played soccer. There were about 7 of us there, and not all were missionaries. As we were walking to the fields, a man approached us and asked if some of us wanted to join a soccer game that he and his friends were having. We agreed. We all went. After seeing their jerseys, the referee, and the size of the field, I realized that these people were probably near-professionals. I started to get a little scared, because they just invited us, and some of us are Gueros (Do you remember this word? It means "white boy".) So, I realized that me, a Gringo, would probably fail in a game with very skilled Latinos. My companion and I joined in. The field was very, very muddy in one area. I began to realize even more that these people were very, very good at soccer. They had positions and rules all figured out, and they were quite serious about the game. The game eventually started. I had no idea what I was doing. I kept running back of forth trying to do something useful. But these people were good! I couldn't really do anything. Once, I found myself running very fast toward the ball, which another person had in his possession. And soon, I realized that I was running on mud. I think I tried to slow down, but it was too late. I slipped and fell into the mud, dirtying my face, shirt, shorts, name tag, watch, legs, and shoes. The right side of all of these things was generally dirtier because that is the side I fell on. So I was dirty. It is a good thing that I was in normal clothes and not a white shirt and tie. The game continued. My companion did very well, but he fell probably 3 times! We eventually went to some basketball courts and played there, and it was very, very fun.

I am getting better at soccer. I find success when I play like I play in basketball, but using my feet instead!

The ward has had a huge boost. My companion and I have worked hard, and the ward is very active in spreading the gospel...with less actives, recent converts, and sometimes non-members.

Luis

I have seen an incredible growth in this man. I will miss him dearly when I leave. He is almost fully active now, and is actively magnifying his calling as ward missionary. Times like these, when you see men and women change, are times that testify to me that miracles truly exist.

Freddy

Freddy is very good at reading the scriptures. I have asked him what he is learning from the Book of Mormon, and he has laid out the story of what he has read, almost perfectly. He is doing very well in his progression.


Leonor

She is doing very good as well. She has family home evenings with other members so often. The ward members invite her so many times to participate in these activities, so she is very busy with things like that.


Julio Cesar

I dont think I have talked much about this man. Julio is a spiritually powerful, caring, rock star-type person who plays the drums. He is also a ward missionary and is doing very well.


Brother Sadot

Brother Sadot went to church 2 Sundays ago! I think that is the first I have ever seen that in my time here. He didn't come yesterday, but I see a spark of hope for him.

Hey, Mom and Dad? Do you remember how you would tell me to not eat very fast? I now have a testimony of that. This happened about 2 weeks ago, but I forgot to mention it in the other letter. I was eating French toast that my companion and I had made. And I was eating very fast. Well, soon, I bit down very hard and immediately felt a cracking sound. I bit the fork. I went to the bathroom, in a little bit of pain, and realized I moved one of my front teeth. But dont worry. It is almost nothing. It hurt a little, but it is fine. It is a little tiny bit loose, and it is a little more forward that before, but all is well. My companion says the root will grab hold of it again and it will be solidified soon. My mouth has adjusted to the change. I just thought that I would mention this. Sometimes lessons are learned the hard way when I don't learn them the first time!

I love Spanish. It is so much fun to speak. I am learning to adjust the way I speak so that it is more Mexican. Because as an English speaker, there are some things that I would say certain ways. But I am trying to mimic more what others would say, so that I can speak more fluently. I am not fluent yet. I still have moments where I think...¿QUÉ DIJO? (What did you say?). I feel I am getting close. Rolling my Rs is getting easier. My vocabulary is expanding, slowly, but it is progressing nonetheless. I even feel (I could totally be wrong, but I dont know) that my accent is getting better. I really have no idea. I probably sound more gringo the more I try!


By the way Mom, I remember that you always used the phrase Ay! Chihuahua! I dont know if that is spelled right. But people here say it all the time!

I love you all. Sigan adelante, y el Señor los bendecirá con cosas que sus imaginaciones no pueden comprender ahora. (Go forward, and the Lord will bless you with things that your imaginations cannot comprehend right now.)

I know that God loves us and cares for us. If we do our best, He will take care of the rest. I know it.

DIOS VIVE

Elder Anderson

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lots of Learning

Hola! 

Here are the answers to the questions...

1. I am in the Zaragoza Ward, Montezuma Stake.


2. Elder Loveland is the senior companion, partly because he has office experience and is teaching me. By the way, I learned that the mission office DOES pay the rent. I never knew, because Elder Cardona would always give money to the sister that owns the house. So I simply assumed that the money was his in the first place. But I have learned that that money came from the offices, and was put onto his card in order to pay the rent.

3. Yes, I realize that my mission is 1/4 done. This fact scares me a little.

4. The offices are extremely close to the temple. I could walk there in maybe 6 or 7 minutes. There are 3 elders in the offices. Me, my companion, and Elder Hicken. Elder Hicken and his wife are a senior couple that you all in Arizona would love. They work here as well, but will leave in September.

And yes, our mission is almost all in the major city. After the division, our mission is incredibly small. Do you remember that map that I received when I got my missionary call? You could probably put your two thumbs on the map, and you would have probably easily covered the scale of our mission, as it is now in the present. It is small, but filled with thousands of people.

Freddie: Freddie is the wife of Junue. He is opening up quite a bit, and I can see excitement building in his character. I taught him once with a member from the ward. My companion was in another appointment with another member. We did these divisions because the appointments were at the same time. In this lesson, I invited Freddie to be baptized. He refused, unfortunately, but helped us understand that that could be an option after he has felt the joy and peace that we are promising him. He hasn't felt these feelings to the degree he would like, so wants to feel those feelings first.

By the way Mom, Junue is looking for you on Facebook. Keep an eye out for her! Her name might be spelled Yunuen.


Aaron: Aaron is doing well, but I am worried. He continues to go to church every Sunday, but I feel that his progress has leveled off, and the next step is probably baptism. But he is hesitant about accepting the invitation. He wants to be absolutely sure, and wants to feel that he is ready.

Maximo: Maximo is the father of Leonor. He is a new investigator.

The parents of Junue: These people are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. They are the parents of Junue. We have visited them 3 times, I believe. We face a few obstacles with trying to convert these people. First, the mother is Jehovah Witness. Like us, the people in this religion are often very firm in their beliefs. The other obstacle is their love for talking. They love to talk so much. But my companion and I both felt that we should keep visiting them, and try to help them feel the power of this message of the gospel.

The ward here is really starting to do missionary work. Really, missionary work can be very, very hard when the ward doesn't help. I love it when people come to us and tell us that they have family home evenings planned that they want us to attend. When the ward works, lives are touched, and missionaries have their agendas filled a lot more.


The past two days of my life have been some of the best that I have ever had. Our lessons are filled with the Spirit. I would like to emphasize again the power of a mission. Young men, if you truly want to learn how the Spirit works, GO ON A MISSION. I have learned incredible things from God, especially about how the Spirit works. My companion has helped me a lot to understand these things.

The mission is a lot of work. Looking back, I see that I have been gliding on Gods guiding hand the entire time. There have been times on my mission when I have looked back at a trial and have thought something like, HOW DID I GET THROUGH THAT? I think about the things that could have gone wrong, and I marvel at the fact that God was there the whole time so that most, and sometimes none, of those things really would go wrong. I have learned about the Spirit. I have learned about the plan of salvation. I have learned about peace. I have learned about true joy. I am discovering that joy. Why do we feel certain ways? Why do certain people cross our paths? How can we truly be happy forever? These are questions that I am finding answers to.

I learned some new phrases...

Ni Modo = it doesn't matter

De vez en cuando = every once in a while

en cuanto a = As for...


I will be honest, Nacho Libre is very accurate. There is a part when he gets smacked and is called a "Guero" (There is supposed to be two dots above the U but I dont know how to put them there on the computer...this word is pronounced like this...WERO). This word means White Boy. This word is extremely common here in Mexico, and I am called it all the time. I do not think that it is rude. Sometimes, I think it could be. But more often than not, I feel that this word is just an indication that I am white, but not in a rude way. Also, in Nacho Libre he is always eating corn with a lot of spice and sauce and cream on it. That is very common here as well, and it is delicious.

I can't imagine my life without the mission. It has been hard, but it has been worth it. I am convinced that if a young man is worthy, but does not choose to go on a mission, that man is making one of the worst decisions of his life. The progression I have experienced is phenomenal. God has taught me many things. He has taught me how to prepare to be a father. He has taught me how to be a friend. Many of the lessons I have learned were not without trials. The mission is not a walk in the park. But it is worth it. The mission changes lives. I stand all amazed at the things that happen here.

Work in the offices is going well. We have so many things to do, but we are getting it done.
Work in Zaragoza is progressing. We had a 24 people jump in attendance at the chapel last Sunday, if I remember right. The ward members are helping us. 
One of the most incredible things that I have taught is this...IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE HAPPY. Every day can be the greatest. I don't know how He did it, but God has opened my mind and eyes to things that are incredible to me. 

Yo testifico que esta vida es una vida de felicidad. Nunca olviden que Dios nos ama, porque es verdad. No importan los desafíos que tengamos. Dios nos ama y nos ayuda. Si nos enfocamos en las cosas más importantes, esforzándonos con todo que tenemos, con una sonrisa siempre, podemos ser felices. Yo lo sé. De hecho, este es el propósito de Dios....hacernos felices. La oración no sólo es un grupo de palabras que tiramos en el aire. Es comunicación con Dios. Y Él nos escucha. Las escrituras no sólo son buenas historias. Son testamentos de Jesucristo. Yo espero que todos nosotros podamos encontrar la felicidad que Dios tiene para nosotros todos los días. En la vida preterrenal, Él quería que estáramos felices y fuertes. Por eso nos envió aqui. Como dice el himno, Soy un hijo de Dios, Él me envió aquí. Me ha dado un hogar y padres buenos para mi. Guíenme, enseñenme la senda a seguir. Para que algun día yo con Él pueda vivir. Yo sé que este es verdadero. Ahora es la prueba. Hoy. Haga este día el mejor día.

TRANSLATION. I testify that this life is a life of happiness. Never forget that God loves us, because it is true. It doesn't matter what challenges we have. God loves us and helps us. If we focus on the most important things, putting forth effort with all that we have, always with a smile, we can be happy. I know it. In fact, this is the purpose of God...to make us happy. Prayer isn't just a group of words that we throw into the air. It is communication with God. And He listens to us. The scriptures aren't just good stories. They are witnesses of Christ. I hope that all of us can find the happiness that God has for us every day. In the premortal life, He wanted us to be happy and strong. That is why He sent us here. Like the hymn says, I am a child of God, and he has sent me here. Has given me an earthy home, with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must know to live with Him someday. I know this is true. Right now is the test. Today. Make today the best day.

DIOS VIVE

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, July 29, 2013

Some Mexico Facts

Hola!
It was very nice to hear about all the fun stuff happening in Arizona. I am glad everyone is having fun.

Junue is doing well. We are trying to help her husband, who has lots of doubts. But he is opening up more and more.

Leonor isn't active in the church right now because she has classes about how to repair cell phones on Sundays. She says she will return. According to her, she is reading her scriptures every day.

THE OFFICES

I am making ID cards, sending emails, calling families, replacing cell phones, assigning and receiving referrals, and doing whatever else I am asked to do. It is a lot of work but I am doing well.

LANGUAGE

I am doing well with Spanish. I need to learn to speak at the front of my mouth, because Americans speak at the back. So I am trying to DIRECT THE SOUND OF MY VOICE, or so my companion says! I am not entirely sure how to do that, but I will do it! My companion says that I pronounce every letter of every word, and though that is good, that is not how people speak. So I need to imitate the natives more. My accent is also very, very Gringo. So I will work on those things. I learned some interesting words...First the word "burro" means two things...it means donkey and ironing board....Isn't that just the strangest combination?

INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT MEXICO AND THE MISSION

I am not sure if you knew, but our mission was split awhile ago. The other mission includes Pachuca.

The houses here are very, very interesting. I am not sure if I have mentioned this before. Often, when you open the door, you are led to a courtyard that is surrounded by walls. And those walls contain homes. So when we knock on a door. There is sometimes a 1/20 chance that the person we want to see will open the door because so many people use the same door!

Cross the street when there are no cars...that is the rule!

Sometimes we will see dog fights in the street. There are also people that have many dogs, and they will feed them meat and bones outside on the sidewalk sometimes...Wow!

There is a giant market in my area. It is the classic Mexican market, with all kinds of food to buy.

Remember in "Nacho Libre", how the man always rode this little bike with a giant basket in front? That is incredibly accurate, because that is exactly what people ride here!

Obviously, soccer is extremely famous. As we walk the streets on game days, we can see the same game playing on the television in almost every shop on the street.

Often when you want to say GRACIAS (thank you), you could lift up your hand and show the person the back part of your hand. That means thank you. But if you do it a certain way, it means thank you, but extremely sarcastic! It depends how you do it. If you lift up your hand and role your eyes, you are being sarcastic. But if you lift up your hand and do something gracious, like nod your head at the person, then it is a sincere thank you. I think that is interesting, and I sometimes do it when a car lets us cross a road.

In the United States, hand shaking is a normal way to greet someone. Here, it is the same, but there is more. You shake hands, and then give a hug, with normally two pats on the back. Then you retract, and shake hands again. That is very normal and expected here, and I love it. Obviously, we don't do that with the sisters. With them, it is just a handshake. With missionaries, the handshake is often replaced with a hand slap and fist bump. This is also very normal among missionaries.

The food is dew from heaven. I love chilaquiles. I love tacos. By the way, tacos in Mexico are often just a normal tortilla with meat. Lime is used in almost every meal, and I love that as well. Milanesa is a type of delicious meat. The soup is incredible. Tortilla shops smell incredible. I love chilies...but not the super spicy ones. The sisters, who often feed us lunch, often warn me when a certain type of chile is at the meal, it is very spicy! I am thankful for that. Fruit is used in almost every meal. Bananas with cream are probably my favorite. Noodles are common. Chicken is very common. Mole is common, but not my favorite. I do enjoy it somewhat, however. The quesadillas are the most incredible quesadillas I have ever eaten. They are absolutely incredible. There are also lots of burgers here, believe it or not. Chicharon is pig skin. And it is horrid. But it is very, very common here. Nopales (cactus) is also very, very common, and tastes very bad. I am not a fan. When it is served with sauce or meat, it is sometimes very good. But alone, I dont like it so much. Enchiladas, often very different than the ones in the US, are heavenly. Mexico has incredible food.

It is incredible how much English has integrated itself in Spanish here. Words like Sticker and Ride (like I NEED A RIDE) in English are the same in Spanish. The words Pain Killer is also the same in Spanish. The people just say it in English. My companion is Elder Loveland, and the people sometimes pronounce it as Lublub! That is a little funny! By the way, my companion is great. He is a muscular Idaho farm boy, and loves country music. And he always has something funny to say!

SPIRITUAL THOUGHT

I have learned recently that God will likely not help us very much unless we do all we can do. I invite you all to ask yourselves, whenever you are faced with a decision...which is quite often by the way...., ask yourselves WHAT WOULD GOD HAVE ME DO HERE? I am trying to do that as well.

I love you all and hope you are all happy. Remember always that God lives.

DIOS VIVE



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Office Life


(It's been a busy week and we got three emails from Chase within the span of a week, so getting letters caught up has been tedious.  Sorry to make you wait!)


Hola!

Here are the answers to the questions:

1. Friday was great. I took the elders to get fingerprinted and it was nearly flawless. It was so awesome and I am so thankful to God for this. It was in Polanco. One micro (a little bus), 3 metros, one big bus, the fingerprints, the bus again, the 3 metros again, a micro, and back to the offices...all elders survived. I got lost at the end, but after a phone call I was able to get it figured out, and found my way.


2. We are hardly in the area. Saturdays and Sundays and Mondays are generally just the area, and no offices (today was a huge exception because we have a lot of things to do). We are in the offices now. We are rarely in the area during the week.


3. Yes, I pay rent and bills....well, all missionaries do. The mission office does not. However, bills have piled up in my life so the mission office helped me get back on my feet and will give me some money to pay them all. I have gotten a small taste of dept, or near dept. But outside the mission, people don't often just give you money and understand that you are learning, and do not expect you to pay them back. On the mission, this can happen if you don't take unfair advantage of it. I am glad that the mission gives second chances.


4. There are no typical days in the offices. Sometimes we have to leave and do things for visas. Activities change and depend on the day. For example, today I called some families and let them know when and how their children are returning from their missions, because they have completed them. That was a cool experience. We also sometimes receive referrals from other missions, and I am to send these referrals to the correct mission or area in our mission so that the elders or sisters there can find and teach this person. I also order furniture and name tags on emails, make ID cards for new missionaries, and whatever else I am asked to do. I am enjoying it.

5. The apartment is big. I like it. There is a lot of space.


Junue is devastated at the fact that the elders come and go. She wants them to stay. She did not go to church. We want her to trust more in God and less in us. I have plans to surround her with members in the next few weeks so that she can have friends and such.

We met with the ward missionaries and made some plans for the missionary work in Zaragoza. I hope they are on the same page as us and have desires to serve.

Villanueva family: The brother still doesn't go to church. We have a huge family home evening with them tonight.

Irene Torres is an older lady who is becoming active again. We had a family home evening with her as well.

Elder Loveland and I are doing great. We are great friends. We laugh and are enjoying the mission.

I LOVE CHILAQUILES. This food is heavenly. It involves a sort of chip, cheese, and cream drenched in salsa. I love this food. I also enjoy Posole. It is a soup. It is very hot but I like it.


I understand almost everything. There are times when I don't understand, but for the most part, I know what people are saying. I think I am at the point where I could live here by myself and be able to associate with others relatively well. Dont get me wrong though, because sometimes I really have no idea what people are saying. On the phone, I can hardly understand a thing. But maybe 70% of the time, I am able to understand what people are saying.

I can roll my Rs. It is not perfect and often sounds very forced. But, I can do it. My name has a rolled R so sometimes I struggle to say my own name! As far as I understand, the letter R is rolled when it is at the beginning of a word (like REVELACIÓN), at the end of a word (like COMER), or before a consonant (like ANDERSON). Or if there are two Rs, like "rr", then it is rolled also. So the R is rolled A LOT. I am getting used to it.


Me siento muy bien. Estoy experimentando muchas cosas increíbles en mi vida. Veo milagros todos los días. Mi testimonio de este Evangelio ha crecido mucho. Yo sé con todo mi corazón que Dios existe, que Jesucristo existe, y que Su obra y gloria es hacernos felices. Yo lo sé. Sí, tenemos problemas. Sí, tenemos tristesas y otras cosas fastidiosas que nos molestan. Pero, testifico que Dios nos ama y quiere que nosotros estémos felices. Podemos ser felices. El himno dice...

TU CAMINO PUEDE SER
UN SENDERO DE PLACER
SI HAY GOZO EN SU SER.

Yo sé que hay un plan para cada uno de nosotros. Y sé que podemos lograr todo que Dios nos manda, para que vivamos con felicidad eterna.

(Translation....I feel very good. I am experiencing a lot of incredible things in my life. I see miracles every day. My testimony of the gospel has grown a lot. I know with all my heart that God exists, that Jesus Christ exists, and that their work and glory is to make us happy. I know it. Yes, we have problems. Yes, we have sadness and other annoying things that bother us. But I testify that God loves us and wants us to be happy. We can be happy. The hymn says...(I can't remember how the English version goes! Sorry! It is the hymn THERE IS SUNSHINE IN YOUR HEART.) I know that there is a plan for every one of us. I know that we can accomplish all that God commands us, so that we may live with eternal happiness.)

I love you all. I would like to invite you all, if you haven't started already, to start reading the Bible and Book of Mormon. I especially invite my family. I will read 4 pages from each every day. And I invite you all to join me if you would like.

DIOS VIVE (by the way, if you dont know what this means, it means GOD LIVES!)


Elder Anderson

New Companion, New Home

Hola!

Good news! I am to stay in my area in Zaragoza. I was overjoyed at the opportunity to serve more in this area. At transfers, President Anaya called my name. I stood up and waited to hear the name of the new companion. Suddenly, he announces TWO names, and announces that I am a secretary. I see Elder Loveland and Elder Merino stand up as well. I was shocked. I HAVE TWO COMPANIONS AND I AM A SECRETARY. I was stunned!

By the way, I met Tyler Gardner. He's very cool!

Well, things began to unfold. We got to work immediately after transfers. At this point I should explain that with Elder Cardona, I had my own little world. I didn´t know how to do many things, but I didn´t care very much because he knew how to do it all. All of a sudden, he is gone. I don´t know how to get to my area from the temple. I don´t know how to pay the rent and the bills. I 

don't know how to do many things that Elder Cardona always did. We finally got back to the house, and they almost immediately began to discuss moving and finding another house. I asked, "Why do you want another house?" They told me that it was too small. "We have a floor." I said. "We can sleep on the floor. We don´t need another bed." They decided to move anyway.

Moving houses has been horrible. We are almost settled. Elder Merino was transferred, so now it's just Elder Loveland and I. I have learned that I just have to stay humble and learn. I have been taught to just go forward. Decide now to do my best. In high school, a freshman shouldn´t drop out of school for getting C's his first semester. He goes forward and gets A's the rest of the time. And with time, those C's fade away because of the amount of A's. It is the same on the mission. There are many missionaries who struggle at first and soon finally turn around and serve with all they have.

Here are the answers to the questions...

1. Yes, I am in the offices a lot, and rarely in the area.

2. I am secretary over materials, so I work with getting materials for the mission, and I support my companion in getting visas figured out. I OFTEN have to leave and do things in order to help other missionaries get their visas renewed. Tomorrow will be the first time I do that on my own, by myself. I will take a group of elders from another mission to Polanco, which involves taking the metro, a bus, getting their fingerprints, and then returning. I am a little nervous but it will be fine. I will do this sort of thing very often.

3. The whole BASICS OF LIFE deal, like cooking, is coming along. Well, cooking, no. But other things like rent and how to rent a house are coming along. I am learning a lot.

4. P-Days are still Mondays. It changed because we were so busy on Monday. 


6. Yes, our mission has a website, but I am not sure what it is.

7. I have not seen any camera. I am in the offices so I might be one of the first people to see it when it gets here.

Ok, I don´t have much time but here is an amazing experience that I had.

Once I was walking in Zaragoza with Elder Vera. I was with him for awhile while Elders Merino and Loveland were doing other things. We were heading towards the "combies"...small buses....where we could go back to the offices and meet up with Elder Merino and Loveland. As we walked, I felt impressed to not go to the "combies". I ignored this impression unfortunately. It returned every once in a while. I kept walking, however. We had to get to the offices - that was the plan - and there is no reason to stay in the area. So I kept going. Then a thought came into my head and it told me to call my companion. With time, I stopped and called my companions. They told me that they are 1.5 hours late. Wow. I officially have no reason to go to the offices. If we go, we will sit there for one hour doing nothing. That isn't happening. So, I told Elder Vera that we would stay and teach. He didn't want to. He wanted to go to the offices. I think he was tired. I began to think....what is happening? I have suddenly been given 1.5 hours. Missionaries don´t just suddenly get that much time by COINCIDENCE. I began to think. This has happened for a reason. I have been stopped in my tracks with Elder Vera, and have been given a lot of time. I began to look around at the people on the streets. Am I supposed to talk to someone? Soon, I told Elder Vera that there was someone that we needed to meet. I didn't know who. I decided to visit a less active member at his car shop. We got there and met a man I have never met before. We talked to him and found that his is a member, but very less active. As we talked, Elder Vera and I felt the Spirit tell us what to say. We have his address and will send other missionaries to his home (because he lives outside our area). When we walked away, Elder Vera thanked me for stopping him. He wanted to go to the offices but he felt the Spirit calming him down when I said we had to see someone.

I know God guided me to that man. Jose Juan. I needed an experience like that. And I will testify that we don´t need a mission in order to have those experiences. Follow the Spirit.
DIOS VIVE

Elder Anderson

Monday, July 15, 2013

Change in P-Day

We got a very short note from Chase today.  His P-Day has changed to Thursday, so we will hear from him then.  There have been major changes for Elder Anderson.  He has moved, but is still in the city.  He is now a secretary for the mission and has two new companions.  It's been a learning curve!  We'll have more on Thursday!  :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chase's Zone


This is Chase's zone.  It will change today.  He and Elder Cardona 
are in the back row on the far left.  Chase's MTC companion, 
Elder Kearle is in the front row, third from the left.

Getting a New Companion!

(In the following letter you'll hear about a Tyler Gardner. I received a sweet email yesterday, through this blog, from his mom. Her son, Tyler, was flying into Mexico City that morning and will be serving in the same mission as Chase. Yesterday was P-Day so I mentioned this to Chase in my weekly letter.)


Hola!

OK, I will start with answering the questions...

1. Saying goodbye to my mission father was weird. He is one of my best friends. I didn´t cry...ok, well I almost did...but it felt like a dream. Like a brother just walked out of my life. To this day I still feel like I am going to arrive in the apartment and see him there waiting. I feel like he is still my companion. But I am getting over it. All is well and I am so excited to receive my companion tomorrow! Who knows, maybe it is Tyler Gardner!

2. My companions right now are Elder Long and Ramirez. They are in my district so they are people that I have known. Things are going great. Working in a trio is a bit difficult, but I am having a blast serving the Lord with them. Both are very awesome...Mom, I am sure that you would love both of these missionaries to death if they were in Mesa. They are the sort of people that you like to be around.

3. I am in a trio because I do not have a companion. I will receive him tomorrow. Until then, I am with the two other elders.

4. The new president is great. He is Latino, but knows a lot of English. He is very firm in the faith and one of the nicest people you can meet. When I first saw him, I felt an incredible sense of peace that assured me that this man was going to bless my life.

5. Yes I attended the mission broadcast. AND I AM SO EXCITED TO USE THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!! The second coming is really close!!! Because of this, every nation will be introduced to the gospel very quickly. We will begin this new program maybe at the end of this year.

6. Thank you for the camera. I should have told you this, but I could have gotten a camera very, very cheap here. Sorry. That should have been mentioned. But thank you, and yes I know where my memory card is...it is secretly hidden! Don´t tell anyone! ;)

The story about the puzzle was so funny. I can just imagine the pieces being destroyed. It was very funny and I agree with the significance behind it and how it relates to our family.

PEOPLE

Leonor: I am a bit worried. I don´t think she understands the importance of this. She isn´t doing much. I am staying here in Zaragoza for the next cycle, so I plan to surround her with members so that they can support her.

Junue: Still doing great. We visited her parents, and her mom is Jehovah Witness. By the way, this religion is immensely common here. I plan to baptize both of these very kind people. :)

Luis Valverde: Doing well. We have a Noche de Hogar with him tonight.

Romero Family: Not sure if you remember this family. The mother of the home said she did not want us to come anymore. They are less active. Well, the Ward Council had a spectacular idea. They had ward members, and us as well, go and visit less actives and recent converts and give them cookies and a Liahona. Me and Lalo (a priest from Mixiuhca; he was my companion for a few hours) visited the Romero family and watched the face of this same sister light up when she saw that we brought cookies and the magazine. She invited us over on Wednesday. I hope that we will find success here.

FOOD

Oh boy! I have had quite the menu. 2 items of food that was quite weird. One is a type of bug, and it looks like a grasshopper. It is covered in flavoring and stuff, and there are many. I tried one of these bugs...I enjoyed it! I also had a taco, and Alan (member of the bishopric, loves to pull pranks and joke all the time) later told me that it was meat from a bull´s...well...certain body part. I will be honest, that wasn´t half bad either. I wouldn´t recommend putting the part about the bull on the blog! Probably isn´t appropriate. (But it sure is funny... therefore, it's on the blog!)

STORY

Alan loves to joke around. When he took us out for tacos, he introduced us to a friend of his! I thought, "Yes! We can teach and baptize him!" We started talking to him.

This man asked us something about how many wives we are able to marry. I was a little stunned at the question. He said that Alan, THE MEMBER OF THE BISHOPRIC, told him that we can marry multiple women. I thought in my head something like, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" I was so shocked that Alan did this. The man continued to ask questions, and with time, I leaned over to my companion and told him something like "ESTO ES UN CHISTE" (this is a joke). And with time, we found out that the man is a member, and it was a joke from Alan to stress out the missionaries...and it worked. But it was very funny! And I love Alan to death.

I am finding more and more joy every day. I realized something. Sometimes I feel like I'm not progressing as much as I should. But if I look back, like Mom mentioned in my letter, I can see how much I have progressed. I am not perfect at getting up at time, but I don't get up at 11:00 a.m. like before my mission. I have progressed. 6:30 a.m. is easier and easier, and even a desirable time to wake up. I am more organized, and all I want to do is spend the rest of my life making my family and others happy for eternity. The mission changes lives. AND ONCE AGAIN, I URGE EVERY YOUNG MAN, AND WOMAN, IF POSSBILE, TO SERVE A MISSION AND EXPERIENCE THIS CHANGE. I cannot describe my feelings. I am filled with joy!

I hope all of you are happy and well. I have learned something recently. If you want to be happy, do it. FOR ALL OF YOU WHO STRUGGLE WITH SINS OR WITH WEAKNESSES, I URGE YOU ALL TO DO SOMETHING THAT I HAVE FOUND AMAZING...START OVER. JUST DO IT. RIGHT NOW. FORGET THE PAST AND GO FORWARD LIKE TODAY IS THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. I promise that it can be.

I hope Tyler Gardner´s transition into the field is filled with joy, and I am sure I will meet him tomorrow.

God be with you all until we meet again.

DIOS VIVE

Elder Anderson

Friday, July 5, 2013

Like Father, Like Son

Hola!
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 31:6

This week was very good. I feel like God has guided me through the fires of affliction, and I feel that I have learned and grown so much. I could be a trainer within the next week, so I am excited for that.

Aaron is a young man who will almost for sure be baptized this Sunday. He is so prepared. He lives the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, serves other people, plays sports with us, and is just awesome. He is ready to be baptized.

Junue is doing well. Very excited about many things, but devastated by the fact that Elder Cardona will leave soon...and I am also a bit sad. In the mission, our trainers are called our Fathers, and the trainees are their Sons. So my mission father is leaving and I am nervous, but I am so excited for what is ahead. Funny story: Once, we were playing volleyball with other missionaries and I was going to serve the ball. I wanted to joke around and so I said to my companion: DADDY! WATCH ME! (yes, I know that is extremely cheesy but it is funny because of the whole father/son thing!). I served the ball and Elder Cardona shouts YES BOY! IT'S MY SON! in his broken English. It was funny! I will make him a grandpa when I train someone.

Luis is struggling with staying active. But, I love him to death and he is awesome. Everyone in our family would love him.

There are a lot of people here who know tidbits of English, so I sometimes hear things like: WHAT'S UP BRO? and WHAT'S UP WITH YOU? in English. Some people tell me GOOD MORNING as well....I stick out like a sore thumb here!

I will be honest; it is hard to speak English!!! Can you believe that? For example, the word COMO means LIKE in English. When I speak English, the word "como" is thrown in my sentences all the time - ha ha. I also say things like WHO MORE CAN WE VISIT? rather than WHOM ELSE CAN WE VISIT? because I am so used to Spanish grammar.

Everything's going great here. Really, I can testify that the mission is hard...but I have touched heaven. And it has touched me. I cannot imagine life without a mission.

I invite you all to continue in missionary efforts and love everyone. Miracles are seen everyday...believe in them and look for them!


DIOS VIVE

Love,  Elder Anderson

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stolen Camera, but Great Attitude

Ok....quite the week.  I will just get right into what happened today...my camera has been stolen. We were at an activity with the zone playing volleyball, futbol, and ultimate frisbee in the mud (I am very, very dirty right now - ha ha).  I put my camera in my companion's bag, which he and I accidentally left in another area.  And it was gone when we were looking for it.  I was devastated. But it's okay.  I don't need a camera in order to save souls!

Let me testify to all of you that a mission is worth it. Why? Because when you see your converts growing in the church, you feel joy that exceeds any other that you have experienced in your life. Nothing tops it. We had a lesson with Junue, and brought a member with us from the Relief Society. I sat there in absolute joy as I watched Junue highlight her Book of Mormon and talk to us about the answers God gives her in response to her questions. I watched the member promise Junue that she would visit her every month. I feel we are transferring Junue from our hands and into the hands of the ward. This is very, very good. I am very happy. I made her a promise that I plan to keep. I told her that I would return to Mexico and visit her after my mission. Already I have one vacation trip planned... ha ha!

This letter has to be short as well. The robbery threw off the whole day. Our keys are stolen, so we need to receive copies. We have a lot to do and need to work hard.

I want to testify to every soul that this church is true. God has a plan. I am learning things all the time. Every day can be the best day of your life. Today, I am happy and filled with joy. The mission is hard. But it is worth it. It is possible to ask God every day if my day was acceptable in his sight, and have him tell me yes. You can do it too, and right now. Make every day the best. I hope to have more time next Monday. Love you all.

DIOS VIVE


Monday, June 17, 2013

More pictures!


These are members of two families Chase has Noche de Hogar with:  
Angeles Family and San Vicente Family


Glad to see he's getting some exercise... although I think he's supposed to lift up his legs. :)