Monday, August 25, 2014

Have We Not Great Reason to Rejoice?

     Well, I can´t believe I´m saying this, but this is it! I´ve got these last couple days in the mission to visit my sectors and say goodbye to so many people I´ve come to love. Yesterday I went to Las Brisas to say goodbye and it was a very emotional day--happy, but sad, exciting, but heartbreaking. Everytime I try to explain my mission experience in words I just sound really cliche, and I probably sound really cliche right now... But I just want to say that this experience has been one that has changed my life for the better. I don´t know who I´d be or where I´d be if I hadn´t had come on my mission. I have met wonderful people who just love me unconditionally, and I have learned from them how the love of our Heavenly Father must be. I have seen miracles, and I have seen God´s hand in this work. I am so grateful for every experience I´ve had, even the tough ones. I was reading in Alma 26 today and I feel like it sums up most of my emotions about the mission. Thanks for always writing and being good examples to me. I love you SO much and can´t wait to see you in a couple days!!!!!! I know this church is the true and restored church of God. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it was translated by the power of God by the prophet Joseph Smith. There is not a doubt in my mind that these things are true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that He knows what we´re going through, He´s felt everything we will ever feel, so He knows how to lift us up when we fall.
     I´m excited to see you all. I hope you have a great couple days!  See you soon!

Con mucho amor, Hermana Anderson

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Give me this mountain!

     Hola! Saludos a todos! I´m gonna write this letter more like a journal entry because everyday has just been jammed pack with stuff!

Monday: We went to Larcomar for P day and rode bikes on the playa. It was really pretty and it was nice to get away from the city for a bit. Hermana Belt will be sending pictures ha. We had to pedal up big hills and I realized how completely out of shape I am!

Tuesday: We woke up in the morning and realized not only were we completely sore from riding bikes for 2 hours, but we were both sick with the cold. The cold air on the beach had really gotten to us. But that day we were supposed to have exchanges with the hermanas in our ward, and I decided I wasn´t going to waste a day in bed sick, so I just took some medicine and we went out to work. Hermana Belt was pretty sick, so she stayed in bed with Hna. Santillana and Hna Castillo and I had to cover all the set appointments in both sectors. So we were walking the whole ward limits. When we started out I I thought, ¨we´re probably going to have a great day, because I could be sitting in bed resting, but we´ll be blessed for my sacrifice.¨ But as the day went on, we knocked house after house after house, and nobody opened for us. We actually started laughing because even the set appts. fell through-- all of them! And then we got a call from one of the hermanas in the zone who said that her mouth was swelling up because she had had some kind of allergic reaction. We had to call hermana Borg and get her to the doctor. All of that together in one day made me wonder, ¨Why aren´t we seeing the blessings?¨ But, just as I´ve learned on so many other occasions in my mission, we can´t tell the Lord when we think the blessings should come. They come in their own due time, when the Lord sees best. 

Wednesday: On Wednesday we went to my last multizone meeting. President Borg told us a story from the old testament that has become my new favorite theme. When the children of Israel were walking around in the desert, Moses sent spies to Canaan to bring back a report. Ten of the spies came back and said it would be impossible for them to enter into the promised land. Only Joshue and Caleb came back saying they would be able to enter with the Lord´s help. Well, after 45 more years wondering around in the desert, the children of Israel finally were able to enter into the promised land. Caleb, after all his loyalty towards the Lord, and after having to deal with the children of Israel for 45 more years in the desert, is given his own portion of the promised land, a mountain infested with giants! But the only thing Caleb has to say is, ¨Give my this mountain! ...for my strength is in the Lord.¨ (Joshua 14). We all should have the same kind of attitude when faced with any trial, ¨Bring it on!¨ Give me this mountain! We really can do anything if our faith and trust is in the Lord.

Thursday:  We had another exchange and a brand new north american hermana came with me, Hermana Amis. I´ve only trained once and she already spoke spanish, so it was interesting being with a brand new sister and having her look at me every minute to know what they were saying to her ha. It totally reminded me of my first few months in La Legua. Thursday was also a challenging day and we didn´t have much success entering into people´s houses. 

Friday:  In the morning we went to help hermana Borg get lunch ready for the multizona that day, so that was fun! That night we had a noche misional and we were going to show a video but it didn´t work, so that was kind of a bummer. Hermana Belt was pretty stressed out which made me stressed out, but we ended up having a guest speaker come and he talked about family history. It ended up turning out just fine.

Saturday: Hermana Belt and I have thought a lot this week about the worth of souls. This week I personally have really learned a lot about how much a soul is really worth, and this scripture in Alma describes it for me:

   30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the
 means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be  
the means of saving some.

The mission presents some difficult trials, but it´s all so that maybe, just maybe, we can be the means of saving one soul. Hermano Juan was baptized and confirmed a member of the church on Saturday night. He gave a beautiful testimony at the end that made me realize the importance of the work we do. He said he feels like he´s found God again, and he´s put his life in His hands. It was a tender mercy after a long and stressful week to see hermano Juan enter into the waters of baptism. 

Sunday: Last night right as we were going into a stake meeting we got a call from the assistants and they told us we had to change rooms with the other sisters in our ward because we were going to receive a third sister. Woo!! So last night the zone leaders came and helped us move, and we didn´t get to bed until late. This morning we picked up our new companion, Hermana Alvarez from Piura! (north part of Peru). She already has 10 months in the mission and will stay with Hermana Belt when I leave until transfers. 

    Well there you have it. It was a challenging week, but in spite of everything we saw miracles and I feel my testimony strengthened more than ever. I love you all so much and appreciate your letters! I´m going to make the most of my time here as a representative of Christ while I can. Love you guys! Chaufa!!!

Love, Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recuperating the Faith

     Saludos a todos! Well, each week has its ups and downs and this week sure had some big ups and downs. The week started out good with mission counsil. That´s where all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, assistants and President and Hna Borg get together to talk about the zones and the goals we have. It was a great meeting as always and helped us realize that we need to focus on baptisms as much as on the less actives. Something great happened too! We got a new assistant and we are, finally, changing our key indicators to be just as they are in Preach my gospel. Before we had lessons in calle (street), lessons in the house of a member vs. with a member... it was so complicated before and in every intercambio I´ve had with the new missionaries we´ve had to work a lot to explain them.. but now we´re doing away with the ¨vain traditions of our fathers¨ and going traditional. It will be great for the mission! It´s already helped us to focus more on what´s most important.
     This past week I went on an intercambio to Maranga, and I think it was the 6th or 7th time I´ve been there on some kind of intercambio. All the members recognize me which is pretty funny, it´s almost like another sector that I´ve had. But it´s a great sector! I was with an hermana from Ecuador named Hna. Zumba and she´s super funny and energetic. Hermana Belt stayed here in Escardo with hna Almodovar from Mexico. They were able to put a date with Juan for this Saturday el 16 de Agosto! He accepted the principle of diezmo which in itself is a huge blessing with all the medical expenses they have with Eliane. But he realizes the blessings he will receive and has so much faith! They are such a great family and I know some day the rest of his family will follow him into the church.
     So yesterday in church we were sitting in ward counsil when the bishop announced something that just kind of threw Hermana Belt and I for a loop. Apparently this last week in a young men´s activity a cell phone went missing and they found that a young joven named Gabriel had stolen it. Gabriel is one of our investigators, he is only 15, and he had been making such wonderful growth in his conversion! Or so we thought. We´ve been working with Gabriel since we arrived here, and he´s always had trouble with reading in the book of mormon and praying, but he´s come almost every week to church! He had made friends with the young men and was involved in all the activities, he even came early to the activity on independence day to help with the decorations. It was really hard to hear that he had fallen like that. The young men´s president was really sad too, because he had grown to really love Gabriel as well. Hermana Belt and I left just feeling shocked because we had no idea. I spoke in sacrament meeting about the missionary work and the members and how they can help, and lots of people came up to me after and told me it had really animated them to share the gospel, so we´ll see! Our ward needs a little boost. But all day long we were thinking about Gabriel. Last night we stopped by to see him, and he didn´t tell us what had happened, but he opened up more than ever and told us, 
I´m not one to believe in God. I´ve just never had good luck. My dad is a person who believes in God, he´s a good person... why don´t good things come to him? Why do the bad people win?
It was so hard for me to see such a young kid with only 15 years have to grow up so fast and feel so lost. I prayed for the words to tell him and testified with the spirit that I KNOW that God lives and loves us so much, and that those bad people will get their reward someday. I told him that sometimes we need faith to carry us through. He told me, I´m trying to recuperate the faith hermana. 
  After talking to him and walking down the street, I just felt heartbroken. I had grown to honestly care about Gabriel and I had seen that he was progressing! I started asking if I had done everything I could have. I was reminded of the Lord in Jacob 5, What more could I have done for my vineyard? I think I felt the tiniest sliver of the pain that our Heavenly Father feels everytime one of his children shakes his fists at heaven in anger or sadness, or is disobedient and breaks a commandment. God loves us all SO much! I can´t explain why bad things happen, but I know one day we´ll understand and we´ll see that they weren´t stumbling blocks as much as stepping stones. We just need to trust in Him and His love for us.
     Each week has its ups and downs but all in all we saw blessings and saw the spirit guiding us. We were in the right place at the right time several times, running into people in the street that needed our help. I´m so grateful to know that the Lord is using me as an instrument in His hands.
     I love you all so much! Thanks for writing. Give Brynn a big hug for me this week!! Have a fantastic week!

Love, Hermana Anderson 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Time is short

     Helloo!! I wrote my title line not because I am ¨trunky,¨ but because I literally have ten minutes to write today! Our P day went a little longer than we thought...

Here are the highlights for the week:

   On Tuesday was my last transfer meeting of my mission. I am staying here in Escardo with Hermana Belt! Hermana Aguero had cambio which was sad, but the new hermana is way nice. This was the transfer meeting where I gave my testimony in front of the whole mission. I was feeling nervous and all, but then when we all got up on the stage and sat down, and I saw Hermana Madsen get up to bear her testimony, it just hit me. I started with Hermana Madsen in the MTC, so to see her get up to bear her last testimony really made me realize that this is it! This is my last transfer as a servant of the Lord! I, who usually don´t get all emotional, started crying when nobody else was crying! When I got up to bear my testimony I will still kind of emotional, but I bore my humble testimony that this is the true church. I know that Joseph smith was a prohpet of God and that the Book of Mormon is true. I have seen countless times in my mission that if the blessings don´t seem to be coming, they are just right around the corner and we need to have faith in a bright future. I have learned that the family is the most important thing, and that I have the most wonderful family. I bore a simple but sincere testimony and as I listened to the other testimonies of my friends who have served along side me for almost a year and a half, I felt a calm and peaceful spirit. It was a great spiritual booster to be able to give my all this transfer.

     Celso has kind of gone A wall for the last 2 weeks... we have no idea where he went to! Hermano Juan didn´t come to church for the first time in 2 months yesterday so we´re worried about him and Eliane. We haven´t been able to find them yet. We had a miracle this week when we met up with the elders and they passed to us and investigator they had who lives in our sector. His name is Jesus, and he is the only person in his family who is not a member. He told us he finally just felt like it is his time, and his family is thrilled that he is taking that step. We are going tomorrow to verify if he will be in town on the 16th to have his baptism. It was a blessing to be able to teach him!

     Last night we had a charla with Elder Uceda, who is the President of the area of northern South america. It was for all the young people in our whole mission, and it was awesome cause I got to see friends from my previous wards! I saw Angel who was baptized in February, and I got so excited to see him that I was kind of bouncing up and down haha. It was just so great to see him active and happy in the church. I also saw Natalia and Mauricio, two of my good friends from Miraflores. It made me so happy to see my good friends, but it also made me realize how hard it´s going to be to say goodbye to them all. BUT I´m not thinking about that yet...

    Well, sorry there´s not much time! I love you all! Please tell grandma Jean thank you for writing and I loved her letter. I will write her back next week. Thank you so much!! Chau!

Con amor, Hermana Anderson

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Those who do not learn from the past..."

     Buenos dias a todos! Another weeks has passed by so fast it´s just crazy. Things are going well here and Hermana Belt and I are loving our area. Lots of good things have happened this week! For ejemplo we put a baptismal date with Hno. Juan Vicuña for August 17th at last! He´s so ready, he comes to church every week and we can see him progressing. Funny story is that we were at his house yesterday and when I opened up my backpack to pull out my scriptures I saw that I had accidentally put a remote control in my backpack... We had put on a video with the family that we had just come from and I didn´t realized it and put the remote in my backpack! Hna. Belt and I started cracking up and then we explained to Juan that we needed to run something back... so we went running through the streets of Lima to take back an accidentally stolen remote control. Haha good times!
     This week I feel like had so much to do with the past. We went this week to visit a joven in the ward who is leaving on his mission to Argentina soon, and we talked to his dad who is not a member. Hna. Belt invited him to come to the church on Sunday and he started explaining the last ten years of his life to us, and all the experiences he´s had with members of the church. Basically he told us that he couldn´t forgive people for what they had done in the past. We gave him the talk by Elder Holland that´s called ¨Remember Lot´s Wife,¨ but we haven´t gone back yet to see how he liked it. We should LEARN from the past, but not LIVE in the past. Elder Holland talks about how we need to let those old mistakes go, our mistakes as much as others´ mistakes. 
     In the mission now we have the privilege of using the internet for one hour to get on to do the family history work. And we had the coolest experiences this past week! First of all we found in both our family lines kings from Germany, France, England, and Denmark! And I found out some of our family on mom´s side comes from Ireland! I had no idea... I read some stories from Ireland and Scotland that they shared and it was way cool. Then I found that our ancestors are all the kings of Judah, like king David! We traced our family all the way back to Adam and Eve! It was crazy! We were kind of yelling in the internet cafe cause we got so excited ha. It would be great if you could get on familysearch and look at our family tree and read some of the stories, cause they´re awesome! 
     Today is Independence day for Peru so we´ve got a P day even though tomorrow is the reunion of cambios (spanglish I know). We´ve got a ward activity in the church so we´re running over there after writing here. We went there this morning a little to help set up and one of our investigators, Gabriel, was there to help. Then we saw his family walk by on our way here so we´re excited to see if they´re in the capilla! 
     Welp I think that´s about it for this week. Missionary work is exciting and I´m try to make the most of what I´ve got here in Peru. Everyday an adventure! I love you guys! Have a great week!
Love, Hermana Anderson


Monday, July 21, 2014

Ordinary Miracles

     Saludos a todos! Hola familia, thanks for all your letters this week. We´ve had a great week! To sum it all up, I´m happy and healthy and learning lots. I am grateful for all the little lessons that I learn each week. We´ve had some pretty crazy experiences this week, as well as little ordinary miracles.
     This week we finally got a ward directory! Whoo! Our baby ward is growing up. This week as we went to visit the members we had some pretty cool experiences. For example, when we visited the hermana Julia Flores she thanked us for coming and almost started crying when she said that missionaries had never come to visit her in her new home before. Another hermana, Lucy, also thanked us for coming and said that she was going through a tough time with her teenage sons and health problems. She felt alone and scared and had prayed to heavenly father for help, and then we showed up at her home. Another menos activo, Francisco, told us that in the week he had felt overwhelmed with all the work he had to do, but then our voices came to his mind with words of comfort. This week Hermana Belt and I have really left like we´ve been instruments in the Lord´s hands-- not only for investigators, but for members and menos activos who have needed a hand and just a plain old hug. That might sound silly, but really this week we´ve just seen a ton how God has been directing us to strengthen his children and comfort them in times of trial. We heard several times people calling us angels, and it´s very humbling knowing that God is working through us.

     This week, yesterday actually in church, we put a baptismal date with Celso!! When we invited him (in english) he got all flustered and was like, don´t look at me! Are you really asking me? But he accepted the date for the 16 of August. We´re excited for him! 

     I know every week I talk about the familia Vicuña, but this week I learned yet another amazing lesson from Eliane. When we went to visit them the other day Eliane was in the middle of her physical therapy.  Her physical therapist was helping her do exercises with an exercise ball, and it looked pretty rough for Eliane. Her mom was sitting on the floor next to her. At first the exercises were light and she didn´t need much energy, but as the exercises progressed Eliane started to cry out in pain. She looked up at her mom sitting at her side as if she were saying, ¨Mom, why aren´t you helping me? Can´t you see I´m hurting? Why don´t you do something?¨ But her mom would just tell her, ¨Breathe. Be strong, I´m right by your side.¨ It was really powerful because we were all silent, the only sounds were Eliane crying and her trainer telling her to stretch farther. At one point Eliane´s mom had to leave her side, to let Eliane focus and be by her self. Eliane kept going, taking a pause every now and then to wipe her mouth with a towel. I likeded it to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Sometimes when we´re hurting, going through a hard trial, we look up at our Father and ask, ¨Can´t you see I´m hurting? Do you not care? Why aren´t you helping me?¨ But our Heavenly Father knows that in our trials we grow strong, we grow our spiritual muscles, and we can´t grow to become strong like him without them. Hermana Belt and I just felt like crying several times cause it was so hard watching that little girl struggle like  that, and I´m sure it´s hard for our heavenly father too. But he knows it´s for our good. 

     Next week I might not write til Tuesday cause Monday is Peru´s day of independence and the internet might not be open. And plus on Tuesday we have cambios! I can´t believe how fast this cambio has flown by. Next week I´ll be giving my testimony in front of the whole mission, bearing testimony of the things I´ve learned in my mission. I can´t believe this time has already come. But hang in tight next week and I´ll write on either Monday or Tuesday.
     I love you guys! Hope you have a great week! Chau!

Love, Hermana Anderson

Elaine (14 years old)

With Healing in His Wings

     Good morning from Lima Peru! I hope you´ve all had a great week this week. Thanks for your emails-- I love hearing about your experiences. Things are going well here in Escardo! 
     This whole week has seemed to have the same common theme: the power of the Lord to heal. Hermana Belt and I have had quite a few experiences this week with people that told us stories of healing, physical as well as spiritual. We met a man named Eduardo who works as a security guard in an apartment building. Eduardo told us that he had had an accident and was blind for a year before he realized that he needed God to help him restore his sight. He said, I started to go to church again and I started to pray. My sight was returned to me without the help of any doctor. When Hna Belt and I left after talking to Eduardo that night, I started thinking to myself, What does it really mean to be healed? Just to be fixed and made better? What does someone need to do to be completely healed?
     I started reading in the scriptures and in my trusty Jesus the Christ to help me out with my questions. I read about the miracles of healing that Christ performed throughout his mortal ministry. One of my favorite stories is in John 5 when he heals the crippled man at the pool of Bethsheda (sp?). Christ asked the man, ¨wilst thou be clean?,¨ perhaps reminding the man of his long forgotten hopes of being healed. Christ tells him to ¨rise, take up (his) bed, and walk.¨ The man is immediately healed and goes to the temple to offer his love and gratitude. Christ meets him there and then tells him, ¨Behold, thou art made whole.¨ The man had been healed physically of his malady, but it wasn´t until he had gone to the temple to give thanks that he had been made ¨whole,¨ or spiritually healed. Being healed doesn´t mean being put back together again. Being healed means that we are made ¨whole,¨ we are complete. The maladay, whether it be physical or spiritual, is cleaned away as if it had never happened. We are made better than we ever were before.
     Another story of healing that I love is the woman who touches Christ´s robes in the throng of people, believing that if she can only just touch his clothes, she could be healed. Christ stops and asks who has touched him, for he perceived that ¨virtue had gone out of (him).¨ Talmage explains that this virtue is literal power, that when the woman touched the robes of Christ ¨there was an actual giving of His own strength.¨ Faith is a principle of power, the Lord is and was influenced and in great measure controlled, for he ministers according to the law. I was a little shockdto learn that faith gives us so much power, but it´s true! Faith is a divine law, and if we have sufficient faith that Lord is bound by our obedience and faith to bless us. I don´t want to make it sound like we control the blessings that come from the Lord or that we can tell him when we have enough faith. What this means is that we have to give everything to Him, sacrifice every drop of doubt we might have and ask not, ¨can Christ heal me?¨ but rather ¨Will Christ heal me?¨ In Mark ¨6:5 we read that Christ ¨could there do no mighty work.¨ Every blessing that we receive is first based on our personal faith and obedience.
     In all of my reading of healing I read words like ¨fully restored,¨ ¨restored whole,¨.  Just like in the story of the woman who touches Christ´s robes, we can be made ¨whole of (our) plague.¨ We can receive personal strenth from the Lord Jesus Christ and from his perfect love. His atonement and love are our ¨balm of Gilead,¨ and we can be made whole again, the slate wiped clean as if we were never stricken with our enfermity.
     Confidence is a stepping stone to belief, which in turn is a stepping stone to faith (Jesus el Cristo 321). In Doctrine & Covenants we learn that our confidence will wax strong if we are clean and virtuous before the Lord, so in order to have that sufficient faith we need to first do the little things: read the scriptures, say our prayers, and go to church. Then will our confidence wax strong which will lead us to sufficient faith.
     Last night we went with one of the counselors in the bishopric and his wife to give Eliane a blessing of health. For me it was another manifestation of the power of priesthood. The priesthood is real. It is a power that is also bound by the personal worithiness, diligence, and faith of the person giving the blessing as well as those present. I know that in the Lord´s time Eliane will be healed. In the meantime the Lord is helping her family to be healed spiritually, giving them his own personal strength and love.
     I love you all so much! It´s a little scary sometimes thinking about all the new things coming up-- all the changes and everything happening around me--bt I know I´ve got the love and support of you all :) Thanks for everything! Hope you have a great week. Peace!
Love, Hermana Anderson

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Embodiment of Freedom

     Greetings loved ones! Sorry we weren´t able to write yesterday, we had to change our P day to today because we´re going to a museum that´s not open on Mondays. Hermana Belt and I have had another great week here in Escardo 1. Hna Belt and I are getting along great and I feel like it´s a great blessing to be able to serve with her. This week was busy and full of meetings and trainings.
     On Tuesday we had our meeting ¨consejo de la mision,¨ which is like mission counsil with all the zone leaders, assistants, President y Hna. Borg, and the STLs. I know I´ve mentioned before that it´s my favorite meeting, and this one didn´t let me down. We were talking about what our mission needs to start progressing, because we´re having success but President feels like we´re not reaching our full capacity. We were talking about things like baptismal dates falling, people not coming to church, investigators not keeping their commitments, etc. I was reminded of all my years of softball, how in the game there are physical errors, and there are mental errors. Physical errors are the things that we can´t control, like a bad hop, the wind, the sun- but mental errors are the things we can control (knowing where to go before the play in every situation). I applied these errors to the mission. We can´t control for example the accions of other people, they have their agency and these are only physical errors in the game. What we can control are the mental things-- our attitude, our obedience, the way we serve others with humility and love. I made the comment of the analogy I made in the meeting and President Borg, along with all the elders who have played baseball, agreed that it was the same :)

     On Wednesday Hermana Belt and I, along with the zone leaders, taught the zone what we had discussed in the mission counsel and we set goals as a zone. Something I´m learning in the mission is how to set real goals. Goals are the desire of our hearts, and if we put a roof on our goals we´re only putting a roof on our desires! We still need to be realistic, but we shouldn´t limit ourselves on what we´re capable of.
     On Friday for the 4th of July, we went over to the chapel and celebrated with a tres leches cake, investigators, missionaries, and members. I taught everyone how to play octopus, which is a game I used to play with Blue crush back in the day. Everyone loved it and it was way fun! Afterwards we taught about how we were celebrating freedom, but not just for the United States, but for the freedom that the gospel of Jesus Christ gives each one of us. I read in Jesus the Christ that ¨the gospel of Jesus Christ is the embodiment of freedom,¨ that it´s what frees us from temptations, trials, and death. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us, through Him that freed us. It was a great activity and it was great for the investigators as well.

     Celso: Celso came to our activity on the 4th of July (he´s actually the one who brought the cake). Celso´s family is from Peru, so that´s how he decided to come here to work. He works in the airport for a Peruvian airline I think. This week we also taught him the plan of salvation and he´s excited to be sealed to his family, who are all members except his dad. Celso gave to me and Hermana Belt a piggy bank and colored pencils as a 4th of July present. He´s a crack up, but really wants to learn more and take that step to baptism.

     Joseph: Joseph is a new investigator that Hermana Belt and I found yesterday! He was a contact of the elders in the neighboring sector, and we went over to visit him and his mom yesterday. Joseph´s mom is Catholic, but Joseph says he doesn´t believe much of what his mom believes. He had lots of questions and we were excited to give him a Book of mormon. Joseph´s eyes lit up and I loved seeing him flip through the pages and look at the pictures at the front. I never get tired of teaching about the book of mormon or the restoration-- I love seeing the light of understanding in people´s eyes as they hear the truth. Joseph also said that He didn´t understand why God would let so many hard things happen, especially to people who are doing everything right and are praying for help. That´s the million dollar question. We bore our testimonies that God does hear prayers and will answer in his own time. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ everything can and will be made right. Our heavenly Father has a plan for us and loves us SO much. We´re going to go back on Saturday to teach Joseph and I can´t wait! 

     Juan Vicuña: The family Vicuña was pretty busy this week with Eliane´s therapy, so we didn´t get to see them until Sunday. Also, they´re now putting Eliane´s case on TV since the taxi driver who hit her 6 months ago just drove off and they feel that´s unjust. On Sunday we were able to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Juan said he wants to take the step to baptism but around the end of August. He´s so concerned about Eliane right now it´s hard to find time to just sit down one on one with him, but we can´t blame him for all that´s happening with his daughter. We need to find a way to help him know that it was unjust what happened, but that Christ paid for all that as well with Atonement. I love the Vicuña family so much and I just want them to have the light and hope of the gospel in their lives. Poco a poco.

     Ok well that´s it for this week. Dad, I can´t remember when you´re leaving, but have fun in Guam! Well I don´t know if fun is the right word, but you know what I mean :) It sounds like you´re all having a great summer. Have another great week! I love you soooo much!

Love, Hermana Anderson
Fourth of July gifts from Celso

Sister missionaries with Celso

Enjoying ice cream at the zoo

Our zone at the zoo

Friday, July 4, 2014

See the World Through Him

     Hello family and friends! I know I probably say the same thing every week, but this was another great week here in Escardo. Every week and every day actually I learn so much. There´s no way I can write everything that happens or all the impressions that come to mind, but I hope I can highlight at least a few of the great things that happen here.
     Well first of all Hna. Belt and I are loving our new sector and seeing lots of improvement in our new investigators. This week we went and visisted Juan, whose daughter Eliane was hit by a car and is now handicapped. When we stopped by their house to visit, Eliane was in the middle of her physical therapy, so the family showed us how they needed to massage her weak muscles as part of her therapy. They asked us if we wanted to learn so we said sure! We massaged the muscles in her face, neck, arms and legs, and it was crazy feeling her tiny little muscles. She´s recuperating pretty fast they said, but she still can´t do anything on her own. She´s completely dependent on her family. When Hna. Belt and I were giving Eliane her massages, her mom was in the next room cleaning. She asked us to sing some hymns, so we started singing in both English and Spanish. Any time Eliane wants to talk about God, she always crosses herself (her family´s Catholic so that´s the sign she knows to talk about Christ), and while we were singing she pointed to us, crossed herself, then pointed to a picture she has of Christ on the wall. Hna. Belt and I looked at each other and just smiled. It´s such an amazing feeling to wear Christ´s name and be representatives of Him. I know that if He were here we wouldn´t hesitate to help Eliane in any way He could. Eliane´s family just adores her and I think that will help her in her healing process. Eliane´s dad, Juan, came to church yesterday so now has 3 attendences and is ready for baptism! He has a date for the 26 July, so we are helping him strenthen his testimony to be ready for that day. 
     This week Hna. Belt and I also had our first exchange with two hermanas in our zone named Hna. Chaparro and Hna. Zavala. In the past I´ve had 7 or even 8 companionships under our care but this transfer we´ve got 5, so it´s nice to be able to have just one exchange in the week. Anyway, I went with Hna Chaparro to her sector and we had a super great day! Hna. Chaparro is from Logan so it was fun to have some things in common. We taught an investigator of theirs named Jenny-- Jenny is 17 and when she started reading the book of mormon she said she felt something in her heart telling her it was something good. She had a lot of questions about Joseph Smith, so we explained more about him and she said he must be a very special person to have seen God the Father and the Son. We invited Jenny to be baptized and she said yes without hesitating! I think when someone feels the spirit that strongly they just can feel that it´s right and it´s what Heavenly Father wants them to do. It was a great experience with Jenny and I´m grateful for all the opportunities I have to meet such amazing people! 
     On Sunday was our first Sunday as a brand new ward, and the turn out was awesome! We got a new ward mission leader that had served for almost 3 years in his old ward as mission leader, so he´s excited to work with us. Yesterday in church we were in the middle of giving the class when a young guy walked in, around 23-24 years old. He told us that he was an investigator, that he had just walked in and the members had told him to come in our class. Hna. Belt and I started talking to him, and he told us his name was Celso, that he was from Georgia, and that he wanted to be baptized. We said, Okay then! Ha Celso is so, so funny. He told us his family and his girlfriend are members, but he had just never felt like it was his time to be baptized. He had come to Lima to work and had met a member in his job--the member told him there was a church nearby so he came on Sunday and feels like it´s time to be baptized. He told us that he had a doubt though, something about the church that he had looked up on google but he could never figure out. He asked, ¨Why is it that all the Mormon churches have a basketball court? Do the guys in Utah really like basketball or something?¨ Haha he´s super funny and just has lots of ¨ganas¨ to learn about the gospel (he´s really excited?). Sorry again that I can´t speak in English sometimes ha.
     This week a thought popped into my head, I don´t know if I heard it in a song or if it just popped into my head, but the phrase is, ¨See the world through Him.¨ If we can see the world, everything that happens to us, all the hard times, heartaches, disappointments, everything, through the Savior and his sacrifice that he gave for us, everything can be made right. Everything will make sense if we try and see it through the Savior and the plan of salvation that God has for us. I know that Heavenly Father loves each one of his children and is just waiting to bless them. Sometimes we´ve got to wait til the fourth watch in the night, when it seems like the very last second, but the blessings come. 
     Thanks so much for your letters! I love you guys more than you know! Hope you have a great week and are enjoying summer. Until next week.
Con mucho amor, Hermana Anderson  
*Next project, Escardo 1!!
*with Hna. Chaparro and Jenny
*Pic with Celso on Sunday

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Opportunities are Usually Disguised as Hard Work

Querido Familia,

     Just when you think you´ve got everything figured out and know the best way to work in a sector, the mission throws you a curve ball and you have an unexpected transfer. Which is what happened this last week! Dad and Colton, I´m glad to hear I´m not the only one who had a crazy week. So, on Monday we got the call for cambios and I was super surprised to hear that I had cambios! I had only been in Santa Cruz for 2 transfers so a cambio was not in the game plan. But, on Tuesday, day of cambios, I got a new companion, a new sector, and a new ward! And I mean brand new, as in we´re opening a new sector in a brand new ward that was just created yesterday! So, what they did is they created a new ward from two existing wards, and now we are the missionaries who are starting the new barrio. So, my new companion is Hna. Belt, which I am so so happy about! Hna. Belt is from American Fork, Utah and has about a year in the mission. We have a lot in common and get along great. Something cool is that she is Native American from her mom´s side, from the Zuni tribe. They come from New Mexico which is where I served the first part of my mission, so that is pretty cool. 
     So, Tuesday after transfers we got in a taxi with all our suitcases and headed over to our new sector. Oh, our sector is called Escardó 1 (it´s pronounced escargo), in the zone Maranga (I totally jinxed myself last week when I said I should just move into the Maranga zone ha). Hna. Aguero (the hermana from Argentina that I trained!) is also in our ward, and she is training a new hermana, so I now have a ¨nieta¨ in mission terms. Whoo! Entonces, Hna. Aguero helped us get to our new room. We got all our suitcases in and Hna. Aguero said, Okay, good luck, we´ll see you! and then left. Hna. Belt and I just looked at each other and laughed at the situation. We had a brand new carpeta, with 0 registros, 0 nombres, nada. The first few days we honestly just walked around our sector, contacting in the street and writing down the names of the streets because our map didn´t have all the little street names. We didn´t even have a ward directory because we are starting a brand new ward, so one doesn´t exist yet. The first few days we just enjoyed the adventure and walked around all day joking and laughing, contacting, and drawing our map. Finally, we met up with the elders and got some registros to work with. I´m sorry, registros means... registers? (The paper where we write the information about investigators, less actives, and recent converts ha). SO, we finally had something to work with and started to visit a few investigators. This is what we have so far:

*Gabriel: Gabriel is a 15 year old who has been taking charlas from the elders for quite a long time now. We found him at home and taught him for just a few minutes, and then invited him to come to church. On Sunday he showed up in a white tie and shirt (which the elders said he´s never done before), and he was there half an hour early waiting for us to arrive! He is awesome and we´re excited to teach him more.

*Flor: Flor´s daughter Ana is a member and was baptized in Nebraska when she was a teenager. Flor loves everything about the church and considers herself a member, but says she doesn´t need baptism to be a good christian. We explained that even Christ was baptized to be our example, and when she heard that her face changed and she said, I never thought of it like that. I guess you´re right. She agreed to let us come over to the read the Book of Mormon with her, so we are going tomorrow to read with her. We´ll see what happens!

*Familia Vicuña: The Vicuña family is a very special family. They suffered an accident in their family when their 14 year old daughter was hit by a car 6 months ago. The daughter, Eliane, is doing physical therapy to recuperate her ability to walk and to talk. Right now she is in a wheelchair and can move her hands to communicate. She is the cutest girl ever, and I have never met such a humble family. They are not mad at God and know they are passing through a trial of their faith. They have come together as a family, and throughout our whole visit Eliane´s parents never left her side or stopped holding her hand. We taught them about the Atonement, and that thanks to Him, all of our suffering can be swallowed up and made better. It was a very powerful lesson and the Spirit was very strong. They promised to come to church next week as a family. We are also very excited to teach them and see them grow as a family.

     All in all, this week was quite a different one. It was full of new experiences, new people, new companion, new ward, new zone, new district, new bishop... but it was also a week full of miracles. And it´s only been the first week! I know this transfer will be tough since we´re starting from scratch, but I´m excited for the challenge and know that with Heavenly Father´s help, we can do all things. It´s a new adventure and I´m ready to learn what Heavenly Father has in store for me personally. 
     Thanks for all your letters! And thanks for the birthday package you sent!! Hna. Belt and I have been thoroughly enjoying American candy. I also got a letter from Amy Jarman, could you tell her I will try and write them a handwritten letter today? Tell them thank you, they are the greatest! 
     I love you SO much! I´m glad Court made it back safe from Fiji. It sounds like she had a blast and had lots of good experiences. Welp, have a great week! Chaufa!

Love, Hna. Anderson
At transfer meeting with Hna Rodriguez.  She's training so I have a new sister!!

Me with Hna Belt.  She's so cute.

Our brand new room.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Continue Ye In My Love"

      Saludos! Well, this past week here in Santa Cruz has been... memorable. We´ve had such a mix of emotions these past few days, it´s hard to know where to start. It was definitely a fun week, a good week, but at the same time a week of learning and changing. 
     This has  been the last week of the cambio, tomorrow we have our transfer meeting (when I say cambio I mean transfer), and it is my second to last transfer meeting in my mission. We finished the cambio with two exchanges, and I left the area both times. On Tuesday I went to Callao with Hna. Wolfgramm who is another norteamericana from Florica. I have to admit, after three months in Miraflores I think I got a little comfortable with my shopping malls and fancy restaurants. I felt like the city girl heading into the ghetto when we met up with the hermanas in Callao. But, it was a fun day with Hna Wolfgramm who is the ¨hija¨ of Hna Nuñez, she´s only got one transfer less  than me in the mission so we´ve known each other for a long time. We had fun and she also will be going to BYU, so we´ll also see each other up there.
     On Thursday I headed over to Maranga with Hna Barreiros from Buenos Aires, and I realized it was my fifth time in Maranga for an intercambio! Ha I don´t know what it is about Maranga, I just always end up over there for some reason or another. It was cool to see that the hermanas are working hard and that some investigators that I visisted in past intercambios have baptismal dates. So that was also a fun day and I loved getting to know Hna Barreiros better. It´s a fun part of being an hermana capacitatadora (sister training leader). 
     On Wednesday was my big day and it was definitely a day I will never forget!! Haha so first of all, we had zone meeting in the morning, and the zone surprised me with a birthday cake. In our zone we have the tradition of the ¨mordida,¨ which is basically getting your face smashed into your own birthday cake. The whole zone started chanting ¨mordida, mordida!¨ so I went to take a little bite, and my zone leader and another hermana cake and smashed my face into the cake! Don´t worry, I´ve got pictures :) Later on in the night time, a family in the ward surprised me with a little party in their home with the elders. We ate cake and then Elder Castro (Uruguayo) asked me if I wanted my fortune read for my birthday. Unfortunately I said yes, so he ¨read my fortune,¨ but really I just ended up painting my whole face with black candle wax... I´ll send pictures and you´ll understand ha. It was a fun night and a very unforgettable birthday!! I feel blessed for the members here and all the love they have for us.
     So all of that was the good part of the week. We started out the week with five investigators with baptismal dates, but then ended the week with only two with dates. 

*Darlene: Darlene was supposed to have her baptismal interview on Thursday, but due to a cold front here she got sick and couldn´t make it to her interview. She didn´t come to church yesterday either, and wouldn´t answer our phone calls. She finally sent a message thanking us for our time, but saying that she wants a little time before coming to church again. It was a complete and total surprise, and we were completely thrown off track with her change of pace. We are going to visit her tonight to see what happened.
*Pedro and Nelly: Pedro also got sick this week due to the cold front and we haven´t been able to see him at all. We talked to his wife Nelly and she wants to take things slower with their wedding. Their wedding has been a little harder than we thought, because we are having trouble finding thier birth certificates since they are both from little pueblos in the north of Peru. We are praying for them and trying to find a solution.
*Alejandra: Alejandra is a 16 year old girl who has been attending church for about 6 months, but doesn´t have permission from her mom to be baptized. We put a date with Alejandra for her baptism, and she was SO excited and said she was going to talk to her mom again. Then next day she came and told us that they are now going to move to a different city in a week or two.
*Julio: Julio has been a real blessing this week. He found us in the street about a month ago, and told us that before he had been hearing the lessons and wanted to be baptized! But, we lost contact with him until this last week. He finally came to the church and has a date for the 12 of July!
     With all the things that happened this last week I found myself asking, Why aren´t things going better? Why can´t the people see this? Why don´t they want to change? Then, I remembered one of my favorite talks by Elder Holland, Missionary Work and the Atonement. We are missionaries of Jesus Christ and we are doing his work. We are wearing his name over our hearts and representing him everyday. If we are asking these kinds of questions, we need to remember that someone a lot greater, and someone a lot better has already asked them. If we are representatives of Jesus Christ, we have to at least experiment a little of the pain he felt, shed one of the tears that he shed for us. Salvation is not a cheap experience, and missionary work is not easy for us, because it was never, never easy for him! I have especially been thinking that now, closer to the end of my mission, things are going to be harder, much harder. Those final days of the life of Christ were his hardest, so these will be probably be among the hardest days of my mission. Elder Holland says in his talk that if we understand the atonement of Christ, his atonement will be able to carry us through our mission. I am so grateful to wear Christ´s name over my heart, and I know I will never, ever experiment anything close to what he suffered for me, but to be able to serve side by side with Him, I have to pass through something of what he passed through. It was a great lesson for me this week to remember that the purpose of my mission, and the purpose of life really, is to learn to become more like Him.
     Well, thanks again so much for the birthday wishes and your words of love and encouragement. I love you all so much!!!!!! It was fun to see all the pictures of the guys at Happijac mom haha. Tell them all thank you!! I´m so glad Court had a great time in Fji!! Send pictures if you can. Love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Hermana Anderson
P.S. John 15:9 ¨continue ye in my love.¨
The whole district in the last district meeting of the transfer
Elder Castro preparing to ¨read my future¨ 
My future looks pretty bright

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Continent of Undiscovered Character

   Hello everyone!! Thanks for all the birthday wishes! On Wednesday I´ll be one year older and wiser too :) We´ve had a great week here in Santa Cruz and seen a bunch of progress in our investigators:

*Darlene: Darlene has a date for the 21 June but still struggles a little bit with the word of wisdom, especially with her coffee. We went in this week to teach her again the word of wisdom, and she said she understood that the commandments are given to us because God loves us, they´re not just things to restrain us and limit us. She agreed to live the word of wisdom with a stronger determination. I also felt impressed to have her watch the conference talk for Presidente Uchtdorf ¨Forget me not,¨ where he talks about the worth that each one of us has for Dios. 
     Later in the week when we stopped by to visit her in her office, she popped her head out of her cubicle with a big smile on her voice and motioned us over saying, ¨look! look!¨ We went over to her desk and saw that she was watching the movie ¨Joseph Smith prophet of the Restoration¨ all on her own! She told us she had listened to the talk by President Uchtdorf and after had watched several other videos. Darlene was so impressed by the sacrifices that Joseph Smith and Emma had to take to bring to pass the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. She told us that she felt more and more ready for her baptism every day, and that she can feel that she is progressing spiritually. We were so happy for her!! She´s so ready to take the first step on the pathway to Dios, and ready to progress even more. 

*Pedro y Nelly: We went to visit Pedro y Nelly this last week and planned to teach them lesson 3, the gospel of Jesus christ. We taught them about faith and repentance, and when we got to baptism, Pedro looked up at us and said, ¨Well now I know what we´re lacking in our family. Baptism!¨ He said, ¨We have faith, we´re trying hard to repent, now we just need to be baptized!¨ We promised them that they would have more family unity and amor in their home if they were obedient to the commandments of the Lord, and we invited them to be baptized. Pedro said without hesitating, ¨well, as for me, I´m going to be baptized.¨ Nelly is a little bit quieter and we don´t always know what she´s thinking, but she said she´d support and follow her husband in his decisions. They need to be married first, so we offered them two different wedding dates that are close to here. Pedro basically proposed to Nelly right then and there and asked, ¨Ok dear, when would you like to be married?¨ As of right now they are getting married at the end of June and getting baptized at the end of July. They still have a few things they need to sort out before their baptism, but now they are progressing and were so happy with their marriage date. We´ve just gotta keep praying for them!

     One day this week Hna. Nuñez and I were standing outside of a referral´s house, and all of a sudden we felt the ground start moving and the fence behind us start rattling. A little temblor (earthquake) came rolling right on through Miraflores! We moved into the street away from the buildings, but it only lasted a few seconds. But it was pretty strong! I think they said it was a 5.5 on the richter scale. 

     On Saturday we had an activity called Puertas Abiertas (open doors) that we´ve been planning in consejo de barrio (ward counsil?) for about two months now.  It turned out FANTASTICO!! Each organization had a room and themed it around what they do each Sunday in the capilla. There was such a spirit of unity in the church among all the members! We were all helping and supporting each other and cleaning and preparing all week long. Any time anyone came walking into the church everyone ran to their places and were so excited to welcome in their friends and strangers alike. It wasn´t so much the number of people that came as much as the actual people that came. Darlene came with her 18 year old son Jesus who left contento with a Book of Mormon and some church DVDs. Saturday night a woman came walking in who lives right next to the church. She heard all the commotion in the church and decided to walk in. Her name is Violeta. When we talked with her about the baptismal font she went quiet, and finally said, I never imagined anything so beautiful. The spirit overcame us so strongly it was almost tangible! We were about to close the doors and end the activity when a family of mom, dad, and three kids came walking in. They also live in front of the church and had actually been invited by one of the young men knocking on their door. The dad was just blown away when he heard that Christ had come to the Americas. They also loved hearing our message of how families can be together forever. All in all it was a great day and we get some fantastic new references. I am very happy here in Santa Cruz and even though it´s very hard work being a missionary, it´s all worth it.

     I´m pretty sure Father´s Day is this Sunday, so I just wanted to say FELIZ DIA PAPA!! I love you so much and hope you have a great day!! 
     I love you guys and thanks again for the birthday wishes. Hope you all have a wonderful week! Take care!

Love, Hermana Anderson

P.S. The title has to do with the quote that dad sent me this week that I love. Ëvery man has within himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who proves the Columbus of his soul.¨ Goethe. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

In His Plan, there are no real endings, only Eternal Beginnings

     Greetings loved ones! The weather is definitely turning colder here, but it´s not any worse than what we have at home, so I´m still doing fine! Glad it´s all hot and sunny up there at home. We´ve had a great week this week! Full of fun activities and learning experiences.
     On Tuesday we had an exchange, and I stayed in Santa Cruz with an Hna Almodovar, who is from Mexico. We had a great day, walked a lot, but it was fun! At the end of the day we had a lesson on the complete other side of our sector and we were all ready running late, so we went in taxi. The taxi driver charged me more than normal, but since we were running late I accepted and we got in. I felt kind of irritated to be honest, cause I knew that he had just charged me more because I´m ¨gringa,¨ or North American. I felt the impression that I should talk to the taxi driver, but I talked back to my impression ha. I remembered a talk I have by Tad R Callister that says, Consecrated missionaries talk with everyone. So, I swallowed my pride and started talking to the driver just about the traffic, and then we started talking about who we were and why we were in Peru. He told me that he was very interested and wanting some material to be able to read. I was very surprised, but very grateful that I had followed the impression of the spirit. What if I would have let my pride get in the way of someone who was ready to hear our message? I was grateful for that lesson I learned.
     On Friday we had a Multizona meeting, which is a meeting we have with other zones. We were with the zone San Martin, which has Hna Wardle, Hna Gomez, and a whole bunch of Elders who I know. It was way fun! Hna Borg taught us how we should treat the members with respect, and she asked Hna Nuñez and me to help her with a sketch. We had to act like the ¨bad missionaries¨ who visit the members and do everything wrong. So... I started going crazy ha. Hna Nuñez was super shy, but I started asking them for food, if we could play with their kids, if we could watch TV and use the internet... I talked in ¨jergas,¨ or informal language that´s not appropriate for missionaries, I started calling Hna Nuñez by a nickname, ¨Nuni¨... haha it was so funny! Later on we also sang a musical number with two other hermanas, Hna Rivera from Honduras and Hna Terry from Orem. We sang ¨Faith in every footstep,¨ which reminded me of trek. The song actually turned out great and was fun to sing. Elder Castro, one of the assistants, also trained us about how to use family history work as a means of finding new people to teach. On Familysearch I printed off our family tree and was able to talk a little bit about how we´ve done the work in our family. So, thanks grandma Jean and grandma DeAnn for all the family history work you´ve done and are doing! It was a fun meeting and I learned a lot. 
     After the meeting, we had another exchange with Hna Bennett from Provo and Hna Sanjines from Argentina. I went with Hna Bennett this time, and it was a super fun day! Hna Bennett is one of my good friends in the mission, so it was fun to have a exchange, the first one we´ve had together. She´ll also be going to BYU after the mission, so that´ll be fun! I love all the people I´ve been able to meet in my mission and all the things I learn from them everyday.
     In my personal study this morning, I read in the Liahona the conference talk about gratitude by President Uchtdorf. He is an amazing speaker. I was comforted knowing that if we are grateful IN our circumstances, and not only FOR things, we will be able to find real JOY in this life. Being grateful in our circumstances doesn´t mean we´re content with our trials, but it means we have the hope and faith that we know we can overcome them and grow from them. I love what President Uchtdorf said, that In His plan, there are no real endings, only eternal beginnings. Endings are not are destiny. I encourage you all to read his talk again, it´s amazing! 
     Congrats Courtney on your graduation!!!!!!! I am so excited and proud of you!! Hope you have fun in Fiji!! Be safe ok? I¨m sure someday I´ll hear from Colton haha. Love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Hna Anderson

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just Another Week in Paradise

     Hey family! This week went by pretty fast as usual. On Monday we went to Pres. and Hna Borg´s house for a family home evening with a married couple that we are teaching.  The wife is a member but the husband is strongly Catholic and tells us he´s not going to change. Well, we went to President´s house and we started talking about families and how they can be strengthened through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the couple (Juan and Ketti) started arguing and it got pretty awkward. But President and Hermana Borg are fantastic and  just shared their testimony about how families can be together and how we can work out any problem with our spouse if we just love them enough and forgive them. Juan was especially just blown away by their sweet spirit, especially of Hna. Borg who is just amazing, and after the noche de hogar Juan thanked us and told us he was sincerely impressed. I think the noche de hogar really helped them, although we haven´t been able to go back to visit them this week.
     On Tuesday we had the blessing of going to the temple!! Inside the temple there´s just an indescribable feeling of peace that´s just so different from  outside. I realized what a blessing  and a privilege it is to be able to go to the temple, especially in  the mission. I learned more about myself  and god´s plan of salvation for all his children, and I felt so grateful for having a temple so close.
     We got a call on Friday from the assistants telling us that a handful  of hermanas  were traveling to Lima from the Peru Huancayo mission and that we would be having two of them come stay with us for a day. We picked up Hna Macias (from Malibu) and Hna. Pickett (from St. George) in the office and had them stay  with us Saturday and Sunday night. It was kinda fun going to church with four hermanas! It was fun for me having two norteamericanas for the day--  I´m pretty sure we were just laughing and smiling all day! They had to go back this morning, so we had  to wake up  early  to  take them back into the office. Just another day  as an hermana capacitadora in santa cruz  :)
     I wanted to tell you about a few of our investigators...
*Darlene: I´ve been teaching Darlene ever since I got here with Hna Gomez. Darlene is about 40 and  lives apart from her children. She has lots of  desire to learn more about the gospel, but was having problems keeping her commitments. She told us the other day when we dropped by to visit her that when she tried to drink alcohol she felt sick and couldn´t drink it. We were like... that´s God helping you keep the word of wisdom!! She said, I guess so. Ha but she came to church yesterday and she was super excited. She now  has a fecha for June 21, but still needs a little bit of help.

*Pedro and Nelly: Pedro and Nelly are a 60 year old couple that were references from a member in chile.  Pedro is a little more willing to listen than Nelly, but they´re both excellent! The main problem is that they need to get married, and that they both work on Sunday. We´ve got plans to help them get married in a massive matrimonio that´s free, so there´s hope!

Well I think that´s it for this week. We´re still busy with our exchanges, which are super fun and I always learn a lot. It sounds like you´re all doing well!! I love you so much! Have a great week! 

Love, Hermana Anderson

Diana's baptism!!!


At the temple with mah friend Hna Terry.  She's from Orem.
Beach in our sector (aka el parque del amor)

Pier at the beach
Us four playing the skittles game :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"A God of Miracles"

     Hello family! Another week has flown by here in the Santa Cruz ward. Earlier in the week I got a call from the assistants giving me permission to head over to Carmen de la Legua (my first sector in Peru) for the baptism of one of my investigators I had been teaching almost a year ago! I was so surprised!! The hermana´s name is Diana, and my whole time in La Legua she was always at the top of our list in our weekly planning, always so close to baptism, but she never wanted to accept a date. La Legua was were I started my mission in Peru-- it´s where I was trained, where I first learned the language, where I struggled to learn and to grow... it was so weird going back to la Legua! I felt so many emotions come flooding back, but mostly I just felt love for the people and for the ward. The members there in the church were so friendly and most of them remembered me. They all wanted to know where I was serving and what companions I had had. It´s a very humble ward and I was impressed with their spirit and their love. Diana told me that her grandma had passed away and she felt that that was God telling her she needed to be baptized. After her baptism, when she came up out of the water, she was smiling so big and her face was just glowing! It was so great to see! The Lord has a plan for each one of his children, and in the mission we just need to be humble and work hard, and the Lord will do his part. He knows what each one of us needs to progress! Sometimes we need to take those ¨uncomfortable¨ steps to move forward and to change. It was a cool experience to go back to the La Legua and to see how much I´ve grown since I left. I learned a lot in the time I was there, and I could see how much I´ve learned in each one of my areas.
     Last night we went to visit one of the ward missionaries, an hermana that lends her house as a hostal for travelers ¨huespedes¨. She invited us in and in the kitchen we met two women visiting her from Thailand. After a little bit of small talk we explained to them that we were missionaries of Jesus Christ, and we explained a little about the church. They spoke a little broken English, and nothing of Spanish. They were both so cute! They told us they were Buddhists, and hadn´t read much of the Bible. We explained a little about the Book of Mormon and gave them a card with the website of the church. They thanked us by giving us packets of dried soy milk, which were actually really good! Santa Cruz is a pretty cool area, because we get to meet people from all over the world. I hope that someday there in Thailand those two women can talk with the missionaries.
     Yesterday at church in sacrament meeting I saw someone sitting a few rows in front of us that looked like he was from the states. At the start of our gospel principles class he came up to me and I realized he was one of my friends that I had worked with in the Marriott Center!! His name is Zach. I was just a little surprised ha. He told me he had served his mission in Paraguay, but was in Lima for three months for an internship. It was SO weird but way cool to see someone from home here in the ward. My roommate Krista also wrote me and told me that her dad (he works as a pilot) had landed in Lima for a few days and had assisted our ward. It was the day I had spoken in church and he was going to come talk to me but never had the chance. How crazy is that!! This ward must be pretty popular ha. 
     Well I love you guys!! Congrats court on your seminary graduation! And it sounds like Colton is still going good in baseball. Love you guys! Good luck with everything! Work hard til the end of school ok? Chau!!
love, Hermana Anderson
P.S. I´ve misplaced the thing to send pictures, so I´ll have to send them next week. Sorry!