Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Mexico, April 29, 2013 (7)

     Greetings loved ones! I am now here in New Mexico! The reassignment was pretty unexpected, but I'm excited to be here and to start working. My first day here yesterday was crazy busy, and I was tired from waking up at 2 in the morning and. As soon as we landed in NM two elders picked us up, told us to take a few things from our bags that we'd need over night, and then hop in the car with them and head over to the mission home. When we got to the mission home we ate lunch, met President and Sister Miller (they're awesome), then had interviews and a lesson about contacting. Then, we went out tracting! I went with two other hermanas into a neighborhood and knocked a bunch of doors and got a great missionary experience of being turned away several times. I was a little discouraged and hot and tired and hungry, but then I remembered something I had learned in the MTC. I realized that I was only thinking about myself, and that this work wasn't about me. I also reminded myself that it was my very first day in the field. It actually cheered me up when I realized that I am now an official missionary!! We had a testimony meeting last night that also reminded me why I'm here and in whom I should trust. In one of our devotionals at the MTC we were told, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" I know that anything is possible with the Lord on our side.
     Last night I spent the night with a sister companionship and one of them was from Puerto Rico. She had a really thick accent, but was really nice. The other sister was nice too. We drove to the church this morning for transfers, and I got put in a trio with Hna. Allen and Hna. Cruz, who is from Honduras. We are in a Spanish speaking area called Comodora North, but the town and area that we live in is called Rio Rancho. I think we're about half an hour north of Albuquerque. We live on a ranch! We have horses in our backyard, and our house is super nice. It's hot and dusty, but I'm lovin' it. I guess the guy who lends us the house was a previous senator of NM and he is the President of the Hot Air Balloon Festival that they have every October here. Pretty cool! Some of the areas in our area are called "The Dirt," because they have dirt roads instead of paved roads. We have a car though, so it's not too bad. We are going tonight to teach a man named Andres, or at least we're going to try. We have his number but he is a truck driver and just lives in his truck... entonces, we might be teaching him in a truck? Just kidding. But really, I don't know haha. The mission is rough at times but exciting. I love my companions! They are seriously so great and we get along awesome. I'm praying that I learn everything I need to here.
     My P-day is on Monday, so that's when I'll write you next. I love you all so much! I hope you know how much I love hearing from you!! Thank you all for your words of advice and encouragement. I'll try to send pictures on Monday. Vaya con Dios!

Con amor, Hna. Anderson

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday April 24, 2013 (week 6)

     Hey hey! It's crazy to think that one year ago today I was on a plane headed to London, and now I'm flying out to Peru! Oh wait... :) We were all expecting to be on our way to Lima today, but I found out this past week there's reasons we're still here. Or at least for me there were things that I needed to learn this week. On Monday one of our lessons with our investigator didn't go very well, and we were feeling kind of frustrated. We had a chat with our teacher afterward and he talked us through how we could have done better, and that was really helpful. I found a scripture in D&C 24:8 that I really liked. It says something like, "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many, but endure them, for I the Lord am with you, even until the end of your days." That verse was just what I needed to hear, and it made me realize that trials/problems that we go through are a part of life, and they're meant to help us learn and grow. I definitely learned a lot from that lesson! I'm glad that the Lord could help me learn from it. 
     Hermana Johnson came up with an analogy for our experience here in the MTC waiting for our Visas. She said it's like when you're living away from home at school, and your dad calls you and says, "Hey, come home this weekend. We're gonna go out for sushi!" So you get all excited for sushi and all week long you prepare for the weekend by getting all your homework done. You tell everyone you know that you're going home to eat sushi with your dad that weekend. So the weekend comes and you drive all the way home, but then when you get there your dad tells you, "Sorry, it's not gonna work out this weekend. We can't go get sushi tonight." At first you're totally bummed cause you wanted sushi, but then you realize something, and you tell your dad," Don't worry, it wasn't about the sushi. It was about coming home and hanging out with you." So, in this metaphor, Peru is the sushi. Even though going to Peru when we thought didn't work out, that wasn't the point of it anyway. The point was that we were going to see our dad and do what he wanted. And I trust that Heavenly Father has something good in store for me, even though it may not be sushi right this second. Hermana Johnson says it's because he's taking us to the carnival and then Disneyland first haha. Last night in our Tuesday Devotional Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy talked to us about Repentance, but at the beginning of his talk it felt like he was talking right to our district. He said, God will put you where he wants you. We gave up 24 or 18 months or our lives to serve the Lord, and it doesn't matter how or where we serve him. That was a good reminder to me that it's all in the Lord's hands. I know that we'll get to Peru eventually!   
     We've been able to do some fun things the past couple days. Yesterday the outdoor field opened up for the first time, so we got to go play softball!! It was such a nice day and it felt so good to be playing softball again! Our district played with another district in our zone and it was way fun. Just what I needed! For the past couple weeks we've gone up to the temple for lunch right before our temple time, because we decided that we needed a break from MTC food. The food at the temple is so good! Let's see, I also saw Sister Carrigan (Angela) the other day. She said she loved it here and that she's doing well, so be sure to pass that on to Janet, mom. Haha I can't believe Spencer is working at Happijac now!! That would be cool if he wrote me and told me how his first couple of days have been.... And please tell the Jarmans that I would love to hear from them! They can write me or email me, whichever way's easier for them. Is Sister Ensign in Kennewick already?? That's where my roommate Ali Brand is serving! I hope they run into each other!
     I love you all so much!! I can't tell you how much I love getting all of your letters. I look forward to mail time everyday :) Let me know how everything's going. Write me!!!
Con amor, Hermana Anderson :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 (week 5)

Hola familia! I can't believe it's been another week! Time flies by here, but it's been another great week here. You know on the movie Holes when Stanley writes home to his family and tells them how awesome Camp Greenlake is, when really it's terrible and nothing he writes is true? Well that's not what it's like here ha. I promise I am having so much fun and working hard here! We're all pretty anxious about our Visas still though. When Elder Carbee got his we were all thinking we'd leave the next day, but it hasn't turned out that way. There is good news and bad news about our Visas. We talked to the travel office this morning and they said they're hopeful that our Visas will get here soon, but that means they're going to hold us here an extra week probably while we wait for them. So, instead of leaving next Wednesday we'll probably be here an extra week if our Visas don't come. I'll keep ya posted though. I seriously love my district so much, I wish you could meet every single one of them! It makes it easier to be here longer with such a fun district and awesome teachers. I got kind of sad the other day thinking that I won't be with my district my whole mission. But it's just going to get better in Peru! I know I'll probably feel the same way about the people in Peru.
Everyday feels like a week here ha. It's hard for me to remember what I've told you about already.... Yesterday before our Tuesday devotional we were kinda bummed that we didn't get to hear from any apostles. Apparently it's been a couple months since one has come. But we were sitting there in our choir seats when Elder Richard G. Scott comes in! We were so excited! We sang "Nearer My God to Thee" in the choir and it was so cool to sing with Elder Scott there. Our choir teacher Brother Eggett who is like one of my favorite people ever told us the story behind that song. The song was written about Jacob when he was in the wilderness, and the heavens opened and he saw a ladder going up into heaven. I had no idea that song was about that! Whenever I thought about that song I just felt sad cause it reminded me of the movie Titanic ha. Now I think it's such a pretty song and I love it! During choir practice Brother Eggett taught us that trials can either make us bitter or better. I really liked that thought. He also talked about how we are the metal and trials are the fire. The fiery trials we go through harden (strengthen) us, purify us, and make us malleable and teachable. I learn so much and feel the Spirit so strongly just by going to choir. Elder Scott talked about prayer, and how important it is to say prayers of gratitude. He also talked about how cool it is that the all-knowing, all-powerful being wants us to talk with him as our Father. He wants us to tell him about everything going on in our lives, and it's not because he doesn't know, because he knows everything. It's just because he loves us! Saying sincere prayers is something I want to be better at. Elder Scott talked directly to those of us learning a language, and he said it doesn't matter if our words are clumsy, Heavenly Father knows what we're trying to say. He also kept repeating to the sisters how important our mission is, and how it's going to bless us for the rest of our lives. He gave us an apostolic of peace, that we'd have the Lord on our side, and that we'd be able to learn the language. It was a way good devotional!
It's been pretty exciting for Hna. Madsen and I teaching one of our investigators this week named Jhonatan. I was feeling like we weren't really getting through to him, and I was so worried about me, me, me. We invited Jhonatan to watch conference, and then when we met with him after conference he told us that he loved conference, read el Libro de Mormon, and wanted to know more. We were like... YES!! It was so cool to see that change in him when he read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know for himself. It bore testimony to me of the power of the Book of Mormon, and how essential it is to teach with the Spirit. We continued teaching Jhonatan about faith in Alma 32, and he really liked reading Alma 36 when Alma talks about being lifted up in his trials and trusting in the Lord. The Spirit was so strong and I just felt like it was right, so I invited him to be baptized and he said yes! Even though we're really teaching Hno. Rockwood, it felt so real and the Spirit was really there. It was such a cool experience. I learned that the spirit is the teacher and we really have nothing to do with it. Our job is just to create the right environment and invite them to come unto Christ. In our last lesson with Jhonatan we were talking to him about how he can prepare himself for baptism. Hna. Madsen wanted him to read Mosiah 18, but didn't have anything to write on, so she wrote on a square of toilet paper that she had in her pocket (we're all still a little sick) and handed it to him. Jhonatan (Hno. Rockwood) just smiled and said, "Wow, always prepared Hna. Madsen!" It was pretty great haha.
We've gotten to be pro speed walkers here at the MTC. Hna. Johnson even rivals my roomie Keara with her speed walking skills ha. There's always somewhere to be and something to do, but I love it. Are you still putting these letters on the blog? I was just wondering cause I know finals at BYU are almost over and people are leaving Provo. I'm sending some letters today so hopefully they get to you all in Provo. If not and you move back home, you can email me at jadena@myldsmail.net. They let us email friends and give us an hour now. Please keep sending dear elders!! I love hearing from you all! I'm getting over my sickness and feel much better now thankfully. Tomorrow we have in-field orientation almost all day long. They teach us how to be safe and things like keeping records and stuff. Ha wow sorry not detailed at all, but I don't really know for sure what we do. Well I love you guys so so so much! Mom, dad, thank you so much for everything! Write me letters. Hope everything's good at home!
Con amor, Hna. Anderson  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wednesday April 10, 2013 (week 4)

     Hola familia! Que pasa? This week has been another great one. Conference was soo great! I especially liked President Uchtdorf's talk Sunday morning and his talk during the YW session. I loved how he talked about the African saints singing in the dark. They used the dark for their own benefit instead of just sitting there waiting for things to be light and better again. All us sisters got to watch the YW session from last week while the elders watched Priesthood session. President Uchtdorf's talk during YW session was about how life is a journey that we're all on. He referenced Bilbo Baggins, so that made me really happy ha. He said when we were in the premortal existence we stood on the edge, looking down, knowing that what we were about to do would be extremely dificult, but that it'd be worth it. It also made me think of before my mission. I stood on the edge about ready to go understanding it would be hard, but also knowing it would be the best thing ever. It's been difficult sometimes but I've never been happier! It's like my mission is a completely different life, a totally different journey. But I'm so excited for it. Anyway, I also liked Elder Holland's talk Sunday afternoon. He's such a powerful speaker! I loved that Bible story of the father coming to Jesus and saying, "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." I liked how he said to admit your weaknesses and that it's ok to admit you don't know everything. Elder Kopishke's (sp?) talk was amazing too! He spoke Sunday afternoon I think. I love how he said that it's only the Lord's approval that matters. Thanks for sharing your notes with me dad! I liked President Packer's poem too. Elder Ballard's talk on the Priesthood was really good too. It was all good haha. It was a long two days though. Sunday night for our devotional vocal point came and sang for us. Vocal Point is a boys acapella group from BYU. Yes... acapella. I've heard them sing before, they're aca-awesome! :) And the first guy who started singing was Landon Paey! They sang a song called Noyana mixed with Come, come ye saints. Noyana is a zulu word that means "are you going?" It was a really cool song, especially mashed up with come come ye saints. The words are something like "Are you going to heaven? We are on the path. Are you going?" Being in the MTC has made me realize how much I love music! It's probably because we can't listen to our iPods here. When vocal point was singing I felt the spirit SO strongly, and I just felt so happy and peaceful. I realize now that music has a crazy strong influence for good or bad. Anyway, this last weekend was so good. It's the closest thing we've had to a weekend here, and it was way nice :) 
     So remember how I said our whole district is sick? I finally caught it too so I've been sick for the past few days. I've been trying to get better fast, cause one girl who came in was quarantined for like three days! When she came out she said we was kept in a room by herself with no scriptures, no clock, no nothing! I do not want that to happen to me, so I've been trying to get better, but it's hard cause we don't really have time for naps or anything. One of our roommates went home yesterday because she was having stomach problems and found out she has to have surgery on her gallbladder. Crazy! She'll go straight to Resistencia in about a month though, so that's good. A bunch of people going to Argentina got to meet with the Consulate yesterday about their Visas, so I think theirs should be coming soon. Yesterday at dinner Elder Carbee in our district got called up to the front desk and they gave him his Visa! He had to pack up everything last night and get on a bus this morning and ship out! He's going to Piura, but we're not sure if he's going straight there or going to the Lima MTC first. It doesn't even say! So now we're all stressing out a bit wondering when we'll all go, cause we could really be sent out any day! It's so exciting! I hope that I get to at least fly out with some people from my district, cause flying alone would be a little scary. If we get our Visas we're allowed to call home for five minutes from the front desk, so... always be by the phone? Ha no just kidding. But really. We have no idea when our Visas will get here! 
     We got a new district on Wednesday and when we went to say hello to them I saw Hna. Madison Coburn! She's my old roommate Krista's little sister! It's so cool that she's in my zone now. Hope everything at home is going well! Was Savannah able to go to Disneyland? Was Court in St. George this weekend? Is it bad that I thought of Nacho Libre when Elder Falabella was speaking? His talk was excellent by the way. Well I love you all so much! I'm loving my mission so far and I can't wait to get to Peru! Sorry I can't send pictures this week, the computers won't work today. Please keep sending me dear elders throughout the week!! Tell the whole extended family hi! Yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. Yo se que JesuCristo es mi salvador y redentor. Yo se que Thomas S. Monson es el profeta hoy.  
Con amor, Hna. Anderson

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wednesday April 3, 2013 (week 3)

Que pasa calabaza?! That literally means what's up pumpkin. It doesn't make sense but it sounds funny :)
     Hola familia! So I think you should just be able to copy and paste the blog url into that status box in facebook. Hopefully that works. Thanks for all your letters! You guys are the best. And thanks for the Easter package!! I loved the card ha, you guys are so funny. I hope your Easter was good! Mine was awesome. We had a MTC-wide Sacrament meeting with 3,000 missionaries and Bishop Causse of the presiding bishopric came and spoke to us. It was a really good talk. We sang Christ the Lord is Risen Today too, and I busted up laughing as soon as they announced we were singing it. Then I realized I probably shouldn't have done that ha. I'm so glad you guys were cracking up too! I was smiling during the whole song trying to be mature ha. Anyways, Sunday night Sheri Dew came and spoke to us in a devotional. She talked about the Atonement and ways that Satan can try to throw us off track. She said as long as we know who our Savior is, know who we are, and know how to recognize the Spirit, then we'd be able to overcome anything. It was a great Easter focused on the Savior.
     So we still haven't heard anything new about visas. One hermana in another district who was supposed to go to Peru got reassiged to Alabama! So maybe I will get to go to Delaware after all! Or maybe even Maine ;) Our branch president, President Nelson, said there's still a bunch of stuff we have to do once we get to Peru, but most missionaries do all that while they're in the MTC. So, we're just going on faith right now and praying that wherever we go we'll be able to love the people and represent the Lord.
     Mom, you asked what our daily schedule is like. We wake up at 6:30 or a little earlier and then have to be in our classroom for personal study at 7. Personal study lasts for an hour, then we go to breakfast. After that it depends on what day of the week it is. Sometimes we have three hours of class in the morning and another three hours at night after dinner. Sometimes we don't have our six hours of class til evening and it's split up by dinner. During the day we do language study on our own and on the computer. We have gym everyday and we play basketball, four square, volleyball, or we go running on the track. Tuesday nights we have devotional and choir... choir is one of my favorite things here! Our choir teacher, Brother Eggett, sounds and looks just like Brian Reagan! He's hilarious. We always have a mini devotional with him during choir where he'll share a clip of a talk or just inspire us with scripture or stories about Joseph Smith. He's great. I always feel the spirit when I sing in the choir. Maybe it's also because I miss music a lot ha. Oh, if you want a good cry go watch a whole bunch of mormon messages on lds.org. Last Sunday us sisters sat on the computers while the elders were in meetings and we just watched mormon messages for 2 hours. Haha we were all bawling. It was pretty great. They're all so good though!
     All of our elders are sick right now so we've been trying hard not to get sick too. Hermana Giles and Hna. Madsen both are sick and Hna. Johnson and I are still feeling ok. I'm pretty sure we're doomed though cause we sit in the same room together for hours straight, so it won't be long til we catch something. We're praying though! Last Wednesday Sister Cassidy Carr came in and it was so good to see her! She lives on my same floor so I get to see her a lot. I also saw Melissa Hadfield, Amanda Ricks, and I finally saw Hna. Cox on Sunday during the devotional. I saw her across the gym and smacked my comp on the arm and without thinking said "I'll be right back!" Hna. Madsen said "No you won't!" so she ran after me and I got Courtney's attention and it was great. I love seeing friendly faces here! Seeing someone you know is the best. Sorry that story was anti climatic ha, but it was happy for us.
     Well I think that's it! I love you guys! Keep sending me dear elders!! I like getting letters throughout the week rather than trying to read a whole bunch on P-day. Thanks so much for everything. Vaya con Dios! :)
Love, Hna. Anderson
P.S. The attached picture is of me and Hna. Madsen on Easter Sunday. Her mom sent us gummy candy that looks like teeth, along with a whole lot of other candy to make Easter baskets. We also made name cards for our district. You can tell how creative I got with mine ha