Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy and Working

Ok, so first I will answer the question about Junue's confirmation. The confirmation must be during a sacrament meeting. Her baptism was AFTER a sacrament meeting, so we had to wait one week. But, the next week (yesterday) was stake conference. So we have to wait another week. Her confirmation is this Sunday for that reason. 

Life has been good. We played futbol (soccer) and basketball with some elders and others (including one investigator of ours) this morning for P-Day. We have been working hard and trying to get things done. The week has challenged us so much. But we are going forward happily and hopeful.


Aaron: He is a young man probably my age. Very nice guy and genuine spirit. Sincere interest in the church. We found him maybe two weeks ago. He played basketball with us today. He is hilarious and is always smiling. He is a tremendous young man.

Victoria: I don't think I have ever spoken about Victoria. She was an investigator my first two weeks, and then told us she didn't want us to return. She had been taught by my companion before I came. But yesterday (I think it was yesterday), the Lord gave us a miracle. We walked by her house toward another visit, and found her outside her house. She greeted us and freely invited us to return. We have the opportunity to visit her again and keep teaching her!

Alvaro: Struggling. We are trying to help him. If he is diligent, he will succeed...I have no doubt in this. It is all about diligence. He is so great and I know he can do this. I know God loves him so much.

Leonore: Progressing very, very well. Huge interest in the church. Going to church most of the time, and went to stake conference. Baptism for her...we are shooting for this Sunday. She is very great and genuine.

Lourdes: The sister of Rosio, another investigator. We found her maybe 3 weeks ago. She is interested. She struggles a bit. She is accepting our message though and is doing well overall. Lourdes is very caring and kind. She has a very sweet spirit.

Ishmael: A young man, the grandson of Ruben, a member. He is also doing very well. Loves videogames and cooking. Is keeping his commitments, but hasn't gone to church. I am sure of a baptism...I hope I didn't just jinx it!!!

Less actives:

Ian: I challenged him to be good (read BOM every day, repent every day, avoid bad things every day, and pray every day) for 8 days. I gave him a paper with 8 boxes so that he could check off the days that he does these things. Hopefully he will have the desire to do it. Because if he can do it for 8 days, maybe he can do it forever. Ian is awesome and I love him to death. I know he can do this.

Villanueva Family: Remember the word "planchar"?? It means to scold. Well, this family really is so great, but the father doesn't go to church. We have taught him so much and tried so hard to help him come. In the past, we kinda "PLANCHARED" him. I told him he had to go to church. He didn't go. But it is okay! We are still trying and I know that this man is very good and has good desires.

My Mission President kinda "planchared" me a bit... haha. He says I need to comb my hair different. HAHAHAHA! So, my hair no longer is spiked in the front. It is combed over to the side.
I have a poem. Okay it kinda isn't a poem but it is .... well... it is something. Here it goes: 

Diligence is not the perfect living
of your flawless perfection.

Rather, It is the imperfect refining
of your constant imperfection.

The key?
Do it with perfection in mind.

Haha, not the best poem but oh well.
Two more spiritual thoughts: 


We can follow these steps and receive revelation. It is something that I have come up with and also that my companion has contributed to. Relaxing invites the spirit. Peace of mind. Then we pray and read the scriptures and other good books. Then we meditate and pray again. AND THEN, WE DONT SIT THERE FOR HOURS WAITING FOR ANSWERS. GOD DOES NOT WANT THIS. THAT IS SOMETHING I HAVE LEARNED. WE SIT THERE FOR A LITTLE BIT AND THEN WE GET UP, AND GET GOING WITH OUR DAY, DOING GOOD CONTINUALLY. WE HAVE TO ACT AND BE PATIENT.

In Stake Conference I learned something like this: "Cada paso para Dios es un paso firme hacia la presencia de Dios."

Every step for God is a firm step toward the presence of God. Every step.

I love each and every one of my family and friends. All of you are loved by a Celestial Being. Be good and do good. Do missionary work.


Elder Anderson

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Junue's Baptized!

(We Skyped with Chase for Mother's Day.  He looks good and sounds good.  He's happy and loves the work.  We got to "meet" his companion.  Chase even bore his testimony in Spanish for a full 3 minutes!!  And his Spanish was "buenismo"! )


We are happy and we are doing so great. We are working very, very hard. The work is continuing onward and we are trying hard. Got some cool news from the President....if we have time, we can contact in the streets. YES! For those of you who don't know what that means, it means that we can stop people in the street and talk to them about the gospel. This is not the focus of the mission. It is only something we do on the way to lessons when there is time! Awesome!

Junue: Junue was baptized last Sunday! My companion baptized her. I will confirm her in 14 days, two Sundays from now.

Victor: We lost victor. He feels that God has called him to be a pastor in another church. He says this church is called "Christian Church". So, it is weird because we as missionaries need to be careful with this term. When we tell everyone that we are Christians, or people that believe in Christ, many people immediately connect this to the "Christian Church" here. We need to clarify that we are NOT of this church but that we DO believe in Christ. Victor is joining this church.

Leonore: Investigator. Progressing so well. Going to church, except for one time. She is doing very, very well.

Angeles: We had a noche de hogar with about 15 people! That's a lot! I was so nervous. But it went very well.

I've had more avocados...I will never escape them! A lot of chicken. A lot of cereal. haha! A missionary's favorite food.

My friend Luis gave the following example to describe the Gospel of Christ. I have added some parts of my own, and am applying it to revelation.

Revelation is like a gigantic chocolate cake. And it is delicious. But we have a choice. We can receive it with a clean plate and fork, or we can receive it with a filthy napkin and muddy hands. Obviously eating a cake with muddy hands is kinda disgusting. But the cake is the what changed? THE WAY YOU RECEIVE IT. If we receive revelation with an open heart and no doubts (or with a clean plate), the revelation will be so great and we will want more. But if we receive it with doubts and hard hearts, (or muddy hands) we will not enjoy the full value.

Okay, I have no time so I need to go. Bye!

Elder Anderson

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Get to Talk to My Son...I Get to Talk to My Son... I Get to Talk to My Son... Oh, and here's a really great letter too.


Ok, so first of all, Mother's Day. Mother's Day here in Mexico is Friday. And, and my companion says we will Skype on Saturday. He says we can't do it on Sunday. So, we have to do it at 6pm on Saturday. I believe this is 5pm in Arizona. I hope this doesn't mess up any plans but it has to be on Saturday. Also, on the day I last emailed, I found out it is actually 45 minutes, not an hour. So, ya, these are the changes, but I hope all will still work out. 

(Note from mom:  If you're wondering if I'm having a hard time containing myself over the  prospect of SEEING and TALKING to my son on Saturday... well, YA!!  I mean, DUH!  Of course I am.)

Junue: Still as stressed as ever! We have taught all the lessons, except for a few commandments that we need to go over. Otherwise, she should be ready for baptism soon.
We have 3 new investigators that we found in the last week or so. Eva, who we found in the Area Book as an Old Investigator. Aaron, a young man interested in the church, and Lourdes, the sister of another one of our investigators. We have about 13 investigators, and with the progress some of them are making, some of their futures look very bright. 

Ian: He is spiraling downhill. He is not doing well. We talked to him and told him that he has a chance to go on a mission, but he has to get worthy. He took us seriously, so we will see what happens. If he acts now to change, he could leave on a mission before I return from mine.

Luis: Recently found a job, and is doing very, very well. He was more inactive before, and is a lot better now. Lots of trials in his life. He is a returned missionary. He is more active and is helping us in missionary work. Luis has become one of my best friends...not just a less active, but a sincere and true friend.

Alvaro: Working to overcome alcohol. We will catch up with him to see how he is doing.

Juan Pablo: He is an investigator who was losing interest in his church. We visited him and tried so hard to recommit him and reanimate his desire to learn more. It worked. We have another appointment with him on Tuesday I think and we will do what we can to help him.

Fernandez: The "Potipher's wife" family. They are going to church so we are seeing progress with them.

The language is coming along. I will admit, it is hard. It is weird, because in the US everyone told me that Spanish was easier than English. Here in Mexico, many people say the opposite. My companion says that Spanish is the 3rd most difficult language in the world, and that English is easy in comparison....well, I really have no idea, but I will admit, Spanish is not easy. I am getting there, and I am understanding so much more....but truly it is difficult. Rolling my Rs still is a work in progress. Pronunciation is difficult. Some people have a hard time understanding me. Grammar, in some cases, just blows my mind, haha!! Why this? Why that? My companion just says I DON'T KNOW!!! IT JUST IS!!! hahaha!! So it is a struggle. But I love it. I am learning so much and it feels great when I can speak it easily without worry. Spanish has become more natural to me than English in some cases. On Mondays, we speak English (it is a mission rule) so that our companions can learn. I don't know if I have ever gone one Monday without saying something in Spanish. It just slips out. So obviously it is coming along.

I have had some really good foods. Nothing too out of the ordinary yet. We are given lots of fruit from members so we often give this fruit to homeless people.

In John 9:1-3, we read about a blind man. The disciples of Christ wanted to know whose fault it was that he was blind...his, or his parents. Christ, of course, said neither. But rather, he was sick so that God could show his power to that man. I interpret this to mean that God let this suffering occur to the man - let him be blind - so that God could show the man that He has the power to heal him. Christ wanted to use the man's suffering to show him that He is his Savior. That He is who He says He is. That He can redeem us from all things in the world. In our lives, God sometimes lets suffering and trials occur so that during or after them, He can show forth His power and show His children that He loves them and that He can help them. Have you ever suffered a lot and later received comfort or a tender mercy from Heavenly Father? Maybe some of these experiences reflect this principle. When we suffer, God takes the opportunity to show us His power, and His love for us. So during trials, we can always be sure that God will help us. Why do we have trials? I don't know all the answers. But one answer may be that God wants to show us that He can save us from our sufferings. In the story in the Bible, the suffering was allowed so that God could show the man that He could redeem his sight. Today, our suffering is allowed so that He can redeem OUR that He can show us just how much we matter to Him. We need to fall in order to be lifted up...and I believe that a grand part of the glory of God is His joy in seeing the smiles on our faces when we ARE lifted up. 

I love you all and pray for you. Thanks for all you do. 


Elder Anderson

Friday, May 3, 2013

This is Where I Live

Apartment Pictures!!  

Really?  THIS is the kitchen?

Chase's desk

Puchako the Wonder Dog (belongs to a member of the ward)

Chase in his apartment showing off some of Tess' work

To the Deacons


I am excited about this week! I have pictures, but pictures are limited...I can't go crazy with pictures for two reasons...ONE, I look like a tourist, and that is not good when you are a missionary, haha. And also, my camera could be stolen. So I don't have it with me often. But yes, I can try getting pictures of investigators. It is hard because we are so focused on working, but I will try. 

We get about 1,800 pesos every month. But, you have to realize something...dollars are extremely different than pesos. To understand the difference (according to my mission president), take the number of pesos, and times it by 8, then move the decimal over twice. This is about the dollar value. So 1,800 pesos is about 144 dollars. Weird huh?  They are quite different. Our budget is for laundry, shopping, food, and whatever else we need, as well as fast offerings. 

Junue: Still has the desire to be baptized but is not keeping her commitments. We are shooting for this weekend for baptism. She is adamant about how she wants us as the missionaries to baptize and confirm one else! She has a member in the family, but she wants us to do it! Exciting! 

Ishmael: I was on divisions with our district leader (for those who don't know, divisions means that two companionships split up for one day so that different companions can go to new areas and learn to work with another person in the district). Well Elder Ceballos is our district leader and he is intense. We went to a recent convert's house and he just drenched their grandchild, Ishmael, in the gospel. My companion and I will follow up with him for baptism. 

Victor and Rosio: Continue to struggle with recognizing answers to questions. 

Spiritual experience: One day I was praying about something. During personal study I was looking for the answer. I received one and it was very confusing, unusual, and scary. I went to my bed and prayed for help to understand. Why was God doing this to me? I want a straight answer!! Well a thought came to my head..."How do you feel?" I thought to myself "Horrible. Confused. I don't understand what you are trying to tell me." And then another thought passed through my head. "It wasn't me that answered." BOOOM. Holy cow that hit me so hard. I later had another thought that clarified this "I allowed Satan to answer first so that you could understand the difference between how he answers you and how I answer you". That day was filled with peace once I got past Satan's confusing answers. God truly knows what is best for us.

To all Deacons Quorum Presidents in the stake: As you all probably know, there was a General Conference talk addressed to all of you. DO GOOD. Your role is one of the most important roles in the church, in my opinion. A faithful and loving Deacons Quorum President can really help young men. Because if a young man is inactive in the church as a 12 year old, you can rescue him early so that he can live the rest of his life in activity. I promise all of you that you can receive revelation on how to help the people in your quorum. HELP THEM! They need you! Find every single young man, or at least do all that you possibly can, and help them! I have seen what happens when young men go there life without good friends...and the result is devastating. God will guide you as you strive to help everyone in your quorum, active or not. I love all of you and invite you to live in greater adherence to the principles of THE PURPOSE OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD. These will help you prepare for a mission and more! God loves you and will help you. Have no fear. If you seek to call for the ministering of angels, they really will surround you. God will help you know that you are doing what he wants you to do.

Poems I made up...I know poems are a little weird but I love them so here ya go!

Though dark be your room
And shadowed be your sight
The fear only lasts
Until you flip on the light.

Though your Troubles invite the frown,
It will only hang around
Until you flip it upside down. 

One last interesting tidbit about Mexico... Dora the Explorer is the opposite! Instead of being in English and teaching Spanish every once in a while, it is in Spanish and teaches English!! haha! I thought that was interesting.  I'll write next week!

Elder Anderson