Monday, July 29, 2013

Some Mexico Facts

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.


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.


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 means donkey and ironing board....Isn't that just the strangest combination?


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!


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.


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!)


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...


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


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.

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.)


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 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.


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.


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!)


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.


Elder Anderson

Friday, July 5, 2013

Like Father, Like Son

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!


Love,  Elder Anderson