Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Invitation

Hola familia y amigos! Espero que todo esta bien y que cada persona tiene buena salud y felicidad.

What a week!!! I want to start by sharing an awesome experience....

I was at a Noche de Hogar (family home evening). We join other family's family home evenings to teach and strengthen the people here. Often, the people invite new investigators, so we have the opportunity to teach them with members present. I was at a Noche de Hogar with a family that is less active. There is Ruben, his sister (who is not a member), his mom, his brother, a member friend of the family, and Luis and Julio (two members that my companion and I know very well and have become great friends with). We wanted to watch the video "The Restoration", but the DVD player did not work with the disc so we taught the lesson instead. As we were teaching, I got extremely dizzy. The room was spinning. WHAT IS GOING ON!?!? My head was spinning, my sight was blurred....I am going nuts. I am a little freaked out. My companion looks at me and says something like ELDER! DO YOU FEEL THAT?! I realized what was happening...I was experiencing my first earthquake. I flipped out!!! Not so much with fear, even though I kinda was afraid, but mainly with excitement!!! The building rocked gently back and forth and I was giddy with excitement...and everyone else was so calm!!! We sat there in almost silence and we felt the building sway back and forth. And then it stopped. I was asked WAS THAT YOUR FIRST EARTHQUAKE? And I said Si!!! Everyone had a really great laugh as I made fun of myself a bit and how excited I was. It was a great time and we all shared some laughs....and then we went back to the lesson. Haha!!

Language: Coming along great! My ears are getting used to what is correct and what is not in Spanish. Just a little, not a lot. I can kinda pick out things that are incorrect in Spanish. For example the phrase LOS VIAS (the ways) is very, very weird to me. Not because the textbooks tell me it's wrong, but because my ears can pick out that it sounds very awkward. LAS VIAS is the correct Spanish is becoming more natural...that is very exciting!

Our success, when determined by our number of lessons (and really, success should never be determined by this, but rather by our efforts), we have had little. But we are happy and working SO SO SO HARD!!

Familia Romero: The mother of this family talked to us outside her door. I did not understand everything she said, so I asked my companion as we left. He said she doesn't want to meet with us. My heart shattered. Tears filled my eyes. NO! WHY! Oh my gosh it was devastating. I said a prayer as we left that God would bless that family.

But, our successes are what I want to talk about.

Alvaro: Accepted the invitation to be baptized!!! Yes!! He has such a strong desire to change.

Junue: Also wants to be baptized!! Yes!! But I am worried. This family recently moved, and they are very, very stressed. Satan knows full well that she wants to be baptized. Today, my companion and I are going to try and help her understand that she will face trials, but if she perseveres, she will be blessed and her family will be blessed.

Doing very well with Less Actives. Visiting Visiting Visiting!

I had a cool experience. I felt inspired to visit a certain family. So I told my companion this during a nightly planning session. He said he did not feel this inspiration. I kinda got a bit flustered and wondered why. Why would God only inspire me? I must have missed the revelation, and it is just me talking. The next day, we went to this family. I was so nervous!!!!! What is going to happen? Why did I feel led here? We found that this sister is struggling. We gave her a blessing. She began to cry, and we were able to teach and comfort her. Wow.

I want you all to know some things. Missionary work involves missionaries. Now, what am I talking about?  There are people in the neighborhood in Mesa that have been blessed by our religion....but have not talked to the missionaries. There are also people that we probably have invited to talk to the missionaries, and they have refused. For everyone that reads this, I invite you all to take those next steps. Talk to all of these people, even if they refused in the past. Ask them if they want to talk to the missionaries. And then CONTACT the missionaries and have them visit them. And GO WITH THEM!! The missionaries will love you for your referrals and will love if you go and teach with them. They will probably love you forever! There are people who need them. Be persistent. Do not take no for a permanent answer...just a temporary one. This is my invitation! Be involved with the missionaries!! Have family home evenings with them and nonmembers! Do other things! Invite them over to eat!! I promise it will bless every single one of you if you do this.

I love you all and will talk to you next week.


Elder Anderson

Monday, April 15, 2013

To All Young Men in the Stake

Hola mi familia y amigos!

Ok, so first things first. I am better. To clarify, we were never really sure if it was pneumonia, but I think it is safe to assume that it was. The infection was very small, and it was in the tube that connects the lungs to the TECHNICALLY it wasn't the lungs. But yes, I'm pretty sure it was pneumonia. It is pretty much gone. Doing simple things was absolutely exhausting, and my breathing would be really heavy when I was outside. I rested for Monday, Tuesday, and much of Wednesday. On Tuesday, we had a class we needed to attend, so we went...and it really affected me...I was exhausted. During the beginning of this week, my throat hurt, head hurt, eyes hurt, chest hurt....everything hurt! But now, I am totally fine except for a little cough. Wednesday, I rested and worked because I went to the doctor again and he said I am so much better. I'm still not totally better, but I am back to full working hours and am fine. So Thursday was the first full day this week.

First, two weeks ago, I learned some more about this mission. Mexico is very, very unique. Here is what has happened. In the past, missionaries did their jobs...they baptized, and they baptized, and they baptized. And Mexico is just thriving with baptized persons. But, maybe less than 10 percent are active. This is very bad, because they are breaking their covenants they made at baptism. This is worse than not being baptized. So the focus here is threefold....rescue inactives, retain actives, and baptize investigators. We don't contact and tract because we are focusing on the inactives. We need to save them because the Second Coming is very close...and they aren't ready for it. So, no tracting and no contacting...this is only for Mexico, because of the greatness of the number of inactives. We did, however, receive word from the mission president that if our plans and our backup plans fail for a one hour block, and no members live close, we can contact in the street for 30 minutes...but absolutely no tracting....ever! We get new investigators from referrals from the ward. So that's pretty interesting!

Okay, here are updates on people:

Ian: Haven't met with him since, we might today. I will tell him that you are praying for him. He has broken the Law of Chastity and is not doing good. Ah! We need him to understand how important it is to follow Christ! We will keep working.

Ruben: Ruben is inactive. We had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with him and his mother and wife, and others. It was very powerful and he is ready to be more active.

Julio Cesar: Active. His mother is Catholic. She is so sweet, and it is funny because she sees us all the time! We taught her once and she humbly accepted the offer to pray about this church. Then she saw us help her son move into her house. AND, she came to the Noche de Hogar, so we are basically drenching her in Mormonism.

Freddie and Junue: Oh the success here! We spent almost all of Saturday helping them move out of their house, and into the house of Freddie's mother and brother...his brother is Julio Cesar. We hauled things out of the house, into a pickup truck, drove to the new house, unloaded, and repeated 3 more times. It was very, very tiring, but we got it done and it was great. They thanked us with tacos....oh my gosh, I think I fell in love when I ate those tacos...they were absolutely incredible....oh my goodness, it was so good!! Man! We are going to convert the whole Cesar family! And you know what? Junue says she might want to be baptized...we didn't even ask, she just said it! Oh man, there is success in the future for this family!

Refugio: Brother of Martha, who is active. Refugio has arthritis and it is pretty severe. So we talked to him about the Book of Mormon and stuff like that, and we have given him a blessing.
Josue: New investigator! Met him today. He is very humble and has graciously accepted the invitation to pray about the Book of Mormon. 

By the way, Martha has this awesome dog named Pochako!!!!! He is a Men In Black Dog and he is so funny! He has this massively chubby face and his eyes are huge!!! I love Pochako!

Victor: Still the man with tons of pointless questions. It is so frustrating when he says...OH, BUT THIS IS NOT IN THE BIBLE. OH, BUT I DON'T READ THIS IN THE BIBLE. OH, BUT THE BIBLE DOESNT HAVE THAT, OR IT DOESN'T TALK ABOUT THIS.... ah!!! Yes, it is because the Bible has been changed for a thousand years by men!!! Of course it is missing things!! It's why we have the Book of Mormon! Ah!! We have one more visit with him and we will invite him to be baptized again. If we don't see improvement, we might have to stop working with him.

Obispo (Bishop): We met with him again...once again, nice and easy! I don't know what the other missionaries are talking about...our bishop is great! He hardly ever lets missionaries attend ward council.... so, we came to his house to see if we could change that. I suggested we talk about unity. So my companion and I shared scriptures and then I asked the dreaded question: COULD WE ATTEND WARD COUNCIL? The Bishop said sure, and that there is no problem! Yes!!


On Sunday, I was so hungry after church!!! I wanted dad's roast beef and potatoes! Guess what we were fed for lunch at a members house???? Steak and potatoes!!!! Ya buddy! Steak and potatoes in mexico! Hahahaha!!!

I still continue to be fed absolutely incredible food. I have eaten, not this week but in the past here in Mexico, shrimp and mushrooms. My first time for both, I think. I will be honest, they weren't terrible...haha! Not my favorites though!!

The mission has changed my life. It has been, what, like 12 weeks? That's it. But I can say with absolute surety that the mission has turned me into a new man. My desires, my understanding, my views, my actions, and everything has absolutely changed. All I want to do when I get home is serve, make my family so happy, and be the missionary's best friend because I always invite them over and give them referrals. I am serious. I know it sounds cheesy and dramatic, but I am not the same. I now have a real sense of urgency to work and serve. The second coming is close. No time to lose! And I now look at life as a truly temporary state in the eternities. Video games, sports, and other stuff like that have become almost nothing in my view. People are what matter. People, obedience, and Jesus Christ. I am a new man, and will continue to become so. I have testified up and down about the gospel to other people, and I have promised God that I will never depart from it. I am locked in the gospel. This mission has sealed my destiny and it is impossible for me to turn back.

I do not have the words, nor the time or eternity or means to describe what God has done for me in this mission. He has prompted me to do things through His spirit that leave me standing all amazed. Helping a lady move stuff across the street. Visiting Refugio. Both of these were inspirations from God to me. I have been sent to my bed in tears, thinking of myself as nothing more than a stump of a tree. And then I would get up feeling like a man of God, having received His comfort. I have never been so close to Him. My tears almost begin to flow as I merely write about it. I cannot believe the things He has done. The miracles I have both seen and worked. I think that before my mission, I was converted. Now, there is no question. The gospel is my life and forever will be. I have changed.

To all young men in the stake. I testify that a mission is worth it. I testify that there is no "doubt" strong enough to keep you from a mission. A mission will change your life, and it will transform everything about you! It will work wonders for you, and you will work wonders yourself. I cannot tell you the mere fraction of what God has done for me. He has taught me things that I never thought I could learn from Him. He has given me so much peace and comfort, and I cannot deny He lives. He does live. And he is calling you now. Go and Serve! I promise, in the name of Jesus Christ, that if you go and serve with everything you have, He will bless you more than you can imagine right now, and you will find satisfaction and joy that is lasting and complete. I promise you this thing.

I learned a new word: PLANCHAR. This means "to scold". It also means to iron, like iron a shirt. So, when my companion and I say that we want to scold someone and tell them what's up (which by the way, we are wanting to do, in righteous indignation of course, to Julio y Vania! Oh, watch out! OK, no we won't scold. But we are going to be a bit more stern with them), we make a hand motion like we are ironing a shirt and say TTSSSSSS like the sound of the steam. Haha.

Language is still coming along. I understand a lot more. By Mother's Day, we can probably have a conversation in Spanish... haha.
I love you all. Words of wisdom for this week. There are two. First: NO TIRAR BASURA! I saw this on the sidewalk. It means DON'T THROW TRASH!! Haha. And second: DIOS VIVE. 
I know that is true. 

God lives.

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, April 8, 2013


Note from Mom:  Elder Anderson's letter came much, much later in the day than I was used to.  So - tongue in cheek - I wrote this little tidbit about what it was like waiting for his email today:

3:03 p.m. Monday, April 8th - Come home from work, give snack to Tess, sprint up stairs... almost trip, open email, waited with baited breath... no email from Chase. Oh. Well, that's okay. His last email was a little later too.

3:30 p.m. - Trey comes home, say hi, sprint up stairs again, gleam in my eye, open email... no email from Chase. Mmm. He must have had a full day. I'll check later.

3:45 p.m. - Go to bank to get Chase new debit card, wait impatiently in line, taking too long, must get home to check email, finally get new card, go home, jog up the stairs, open email... no email from Chase. I'm not panicked. I'm not panicked. I'm not panicked.

4:45 p.m. - Check mail, go through mail, do not check email yet... you can wait, no I can't, power walk up stairs, check email... no email from Chase. Oh no! Has the time come? Is this the day when we don't hear from Chase because he's so busy?? Should I call the mission office?? Should I call the SWAT team?? Should I walk to Mexico, find Chase, and tell him that he's grounded?? No, just give me a paper bag to breath in. Besides, I need to make dinner.

6:22 p.m. - Crawl on my hands and knees up stairs. Must. Get. To. Computer. Breathing is shallow. Sweat beads on my forehead. No Tess, I can't get you your 60th snack of the day, I'm too busy trying to get to the office. I reach the threshold. Trey wonders what I'm doing. Not now Trey!!! My LIFE is on the line!! Tess thinks I'm playing horsey. She climbs on. I fall flat. Tess, no horsey right now. Get back up. A-L-M-O-S-T there! Climb into chair. With shaking hands I open email... THERE'S AN EMAIL FROM CHASE!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything goes into slow motion. Mom is doing ballet moves in the air. Roses are falling from the sky. Angels are singing! Can you hear them? Aaaaaaaaaah! Tears come from the shear joy and rapture of the moment. Reality sets in. Time to read. WHAT?? My son has pneumonia!?!?!?!?! How DARE he get pneumonia so that his letter is late. Must remember to tell Chase to time his serious illnesses better. Heart softens. All is well. Calm down. Enjoy letter. Walk around the rest of the evening with a goofy grin on my face.

Now on to what ya'll are REALLY reading this blog for:


This week was very, very good, and very, very crazy! First I will talk about General Conference:

I watched most of conference in English, with the only other 3 people in my zone that speak English. We went to the stake center and watched it in a separate room. On Sunday morning, however, I watched it in Spanish because we had no TV and we could not watch it on the Internet. And Ben, to answer your question, I could not understand very well!! I am still not very good at understanding Spanish...yes, sometimes I think I asked something like OH MY GLOSH (Note from mom... again:  "Glosh" is an Anderson Family word.  It's a variation of "gosh"), WHAT DID THAT GUY SAY!!!!??????? The prophet told a funny story but I did not understand companion explained it to me later. :)

Conference was crazy because we kept having to run back and forth from the stake center, to the house, to lunch, and was so tiring!!!

Here are some updates on other people:

Ian is not progressing. He went to conference, and I think my companion said that he was a little drunk. He went to a party right after conference, and texted the entire time at conference. He is not going anywhere good right now, or at least not progressing very quickly. I don't know what to do. But God does, so I will seek His wisdom. Please pray for Ian.

Luis is a less active member. He is relatively young and a return missionary. I love Luis! He has become such an amazing friend. He is progressing incredibly well. He is going to church and he watched conference on the Internet. He has a great desire to be obedient and to change. I have felt the Spirit work through me as I have taught him.

Julio y Vania: Less active. Oh boy, this situation is quite the complication. Julio used to be the ward secretary. He no longer is. He is living with Vania, who is not his he is breaking the Law of Chastity and needs to be excommunicated....but you know what? He still has the keys to the offices at the chapel....and yet he is not the ward secretary....What The!!! This is MaMaMaMaMaMaMa Madness! We taught Julio about the Plan of Salvation. We talked to him about how the Second Coming is very close, and we need to repent...I think we scared him a bit! Hopefully, he will have the desire to change.

Junue: Investigator. We are still teaching her. Oh my gosh, I absolutely love teaching the Plan of Salvation. It is amazing to be able to tell her that her sister, who passed away, is being taught the gospel in the Spirit World. This is probably my favorite of all the lessons.

Fernandez Family: Remember this family? The Potipher's Wife family? Well, we taught the Law of Chastity here...awkward!!!! But it was okay. I felt the Spirit. We were clearly targeting the Potipher's Wife woman - haha.

Alvaro: No lessons since our first one :(

Rosio: Investigator. Haven't had a lesson with her for awhile.

Victor: He is not progressing much. We might need to give up on him. I know this sounds terrible, but when someone is not progressing, we cannot waste our time. We need to find someone else who has been prepared. He is doubting his answers and has many doubts that, in reality, are not important for baptism. We will have to ease off if we don't see any signs of progression. He did not go to General Conference...few of our less actives went. I think none of our investigators went. But we are still happy and still trying!

There are many other people that we are working with, but I can't write about them all.

Okay, a little bad news now:

I have not been feeling well. I have had headaches, sore eyes, and I have been throwing up for the past two nights. I also have a cough and a weird pressure in my chest. This pain climaxed today when we were playing basketball with the elders in our breathing was heavy and I had to sit down. I went to the doctor and he gave me a check-up. He says that there is a rattling sound inside my chest when I breathe, and I have a fever of 102.8. The pressure in my chest is an infection in my lungs, and probably means I have pneumonia. He is not certain. It is not very serious. What is more concerning is the fever, because it is a result of the infection, as is all the other sickness symptoms I have been having. So, I am stuck in the apartment, with the exception of sending this email and shopping and a class tomorrow, until I get better. No missionary work. I have antibiotics, and will get better soon. But I just need to wait! Don't worry. All will be well!


Still learning! Understanding is still difficult. But, speaking English is so weird now!!!! I am not used to it!!! We speak English in the apartment and Spanish outside, so that my companion and I have opportunities to learn the languages. Oh my gosh, I cannot get into the English mindset. There are just some things that come to my mind in Spanish first than in English! It is so weird! hahahaha! Once, I taught a lesson and they wanted me to say the prayer in, I had a hard time! I had to pause and think sometimes because I didn't know what to say! Spanish is just becoming a part of me I guess!

What is going on with Korea? People are telling me about a war? What is this all about?

Food:   Mole. Mole. Mole. Mole. Mole is this very gross sauce stuff that I hate. Ah! It is nasty! I have had that twice. I love tortas!!! Tortas are basically sandwiches, and they are really good!
Daylight savings time is throwing me off - haha!! 

My companion is so funny. He says that the answer to many of my questions is "IT'S MEXICO"...for example...

Why are there dogs everywhere?
Why do people sometimes park their cars on the sidewalks?
Why are the roads so crazy?
Why this, why that?

The answer? It is Mexico!

I am loving it here! I am very happy and doing very well in general. Yes, I can Skype on Mother's Day.

Mail. I get it every week, or at least I should. The timing is kinda weird.

I can print emails. I do that because I have little time to read them all!

I want to do spiritual thoughts like those I sent last time every week.
Until next time, 

Elder Anderson

Monday, April 1, 2013

Inspired Advice

This week was really, really good. Guess what we did for Easter? We worked! We did not do anything very special. We worked hard as always! But I was happy to read some letters that I have received and happy to remember the resurrection of Christ.

Here are some highlights:

I gave a talk in church yesterday. Only 10 minutes. But I was so nervous!!!!!! Of course it was all in Spanish so I struggled. We only had maybe 40 people there, maybe more. As I began my talk, I tried to be funny. I don't think anyone in that room even smiled when I tried to be funny. Either they didn't understand my Spanish, or they didn't get the joke, or maybe I'm just not funny! Well anyways the talk was on the Palabra de Sabiduria (the Word of Wisdom), and it actually went very well.

This week my companion and I met with the Bishop at his house. I have heard stories about this man, and how he refuses to work with missionaries. We are not allowed to attend ward council (which is a huge bummer), and he always says that he has no time to talk with missionaries. We have stopped by his house many times before and he has never been there. Well, this past week, I saw a miracle. I give thanks to God, as well as the weather, and the Bishop's wife. Here is what happened: We showed up at his house. It was raining a little, so we were a little wet. The Bishop's wife answered the door. I think she felt bad that we were in the rain so she let us in! Sweet! We came into the house and there is the Bishop on the coach with his garment top in plain view with a doctor's mask on (people wear the masks when they are sick...this is very common...and strange). A little weird sight to see a bishop in... anyways, thanks to the weather and God, we were in the house...and thanks to God and, in my opinion, the fact that the wife was there, the Bishop eventually lightened up and we had an incredible discussion. We went to lunch at his house on Sunday as far as I can tell, the Bishop is incredible and we can work very well together! Elder Cardona says I'm lucky! Apparently, he has not always been like this! Even my zone leader says that he didn't like the Bishop! haha! Well, I love him!

Junue was not baptized. She is progressing slowly because we cannot get enough times to meet with her. We also met with her husband when Junue was not there and this complicates things because they are both on different stages of progression, and we want to teach them together. So we need to keep working at this.

Victor. We are leaving Victor alone for awhile. Elder Cardona, both with another companion and with me, have taught all that needs to be taught....there is nothing more for us to do. Victor has to show signs of progression on his own. If he doesn't in about 2 weeks, we may have to call it quits, because he is not moving forward. If he does progress, we can go forward with baptism.

We have not met with Alvaro since the first time...again, cannot get a time to meet with him.
Ian is still not progressing much. He went to church yesterday, so that is good...but he is not making good decisions, and that frustrates me. But we are still working. 
I had Divisions this past second time. Divisions is when two companionships trade companions. So for one day, I left my companion and went with Elder Ramirez, and Elder Ramirez's companion went with Elder Cardona. This was pretty cool. We did some good work and had great laughs...I love Elder Ramirez, he is so cool. 

The language is coming along. I may be able to understand almost everything by the end of this month, and fluency could come just a few months after! My companion needs to learn English for two, as stated in the Preach My Gospel, God can use people who know English to progress the work of the Lord after their missions...because in reality, English is the language that the gospel is taught in the most, I would assume. The second reason is that Elder Cardona wants to go to BYU, and he needs to be able to pass an English test in order to do so. So I am helping him with this.

Also, I can kinda roll my R's, but it is not very good. Also, people just love the fact that I speak English...they always want to hear me speak it. Of course, my white skin and blue eyes stick out tremendously here, so every once in a while someone will look at me and say "HELLO!" hahaaha!!
Okay I need to go! I love you all! 

Elder Anderson