Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Burn the Boats!

     Hola! It is amazing to me that we´re starting week three of this new transfer already! Hermana Rodriguez completes a year in the mission this Thursday, which is super weird because I´ve been with her basically since the beginning. Time is especially flying this transfer with all our exchanges we´re doing. This week I left on two exchanges and so didn´t see our sector for two days. On Tuesday I went to the other part of our ward with Hermana Brudnicki. Do you remember Walter, the man in the wheelchair that Hna Hernandez and I helped back in October? Well the hermanas found him and are teaching him now! He comes to church every Sunday and is progressing really well. He lives alone in the park in front of the church, so the bishop wants to learn about his situation first before he is baptized, but it sounds like he´ll be baptized in a couple weeks or so. Pretty cool! On Thursday I went to Pueblo Libre with Hna Loayza. She is from Trujillo and is super cute! I think it´s a pretty great blessing that we get the chance to meet so many different people in different sectors. It´s more responsibility yeah, but I love it! This week we´ll have two exchanges again, but this time Hna Rodriguez will be going and I´ll stay here. I´ll let you know how that goes next week!
     Two days ago on Saturday we had a ¨Noche Blanca¨ in our zone, which means we had a bunch of baptisms happening in the same night in our stake. Our ward didn´t have any baptisms, but we were able to bring a recent convert named Diego and his aunt Meche (she is investigator) to the noche blance. Six people were baptized that night and it was a great experience for Meche. She is really shy and we´ve been trying so hard to help her express her feelings about baptism, but she hasn´t accepted a baptismal date yet. She was really excited in the noche blanca and said that she wants to buy a dress to go to church in. She is reading the book of mormon and I know that the Lord will open her heart to baptism in his own time.

     We are also teaching an hermano named Angel, Angel de Jesus to be exact. Angel is 26 and will turn 27 on the 11 of March! Don´t worry, I´ve already mentioned like 50 times that that´s mom´s birthday. Angel has been progressing really well, and with a little help from Nilo accepted a baptismal date for the 11 of March! Justo on his birthday. He is having a little trouble with quiting smoking. We taught him about the power of prayer and suggested that he pray kneeling. He told us he considered that as a sign of weakness, but we testified that that would bring him more spiritual power. A few days later he told us that he had prayed kneeling in his shower... kinda weird but hey, it works! He loves coming to the church activities and asists every Sunday. He has a few friends who are members so that is helping a lot. We are working with him for the 11 of March for his baptism.

     This week in our district meeting Elder Fankhauser taught us about Hernan Cortez, the Spanish explorer who conquered Mexico. Cortez traveled from Spain to Mexico with his men in boats, and their last stop before reaching Mexico was a small island. He announced to his men that if they weren´t 100% committed to the cause that they should stay there on the island. A few men stayed, and with the rest of his men, Cortez traveled the rest of the way to Mexico. When they arrived on the shore of Mexico, the first command that he gave to his men was ¨burn the boats.¨ When the men started complaining and asking how they were supposed to return, Cortez said, ¨We will not return to Spain until we have conquered Mexico and we can return in their boats.¨ Here in the mission, the small island before Mexico was the MTC, or even New Mexico for me. I had the chance to stay behind, but I opted to come here the rest of the way. I burned the boats in the harbor and am here for just one reason - to serve! To bring others to Christ. The motto for Hna Rodriguez and I this week has been ¨Burn the Boats!¨ Leave everything behind and focus on the mission, because that´s what we´re here to do. I love the mission and even though it´s hard, I know it´s the best year and a half for my life. 

     I love you guys soooo much!! Thanks for writing and always giving me good advice. I´m so glad I get to be with you guys forever! Have a great week and keep reading the Book of Mormon together and individually. Chau chau!

Love, Hermana Anderson 

  PS Sorry I didn´t take any pictures this week, but just thought I´d send a pic of the coolest T shirt ever that I bought today!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'm Seeing a Theme Here

   Greetings loved ones! And Happy Valentine´s Day! Hna. Rodriguez and I bought some Hershey´s and snickers candy bars for our Valentine´s Day. It´s still super hot here in Lima and I feel like I just burn everyday.. I could probably be better with putting on sunscreen ha. Today for P day we went to el Cercado de Lima to visit the Catacumbs of Lima. I just realized that last week we went to visit a cemetary and this week we went to the Catacumbs... haha our mission is so small that I think we´re just desperate to find something new to do! But it was actually pretty cool. Once in a lifetime thing I guess!
     Nilo received the Aaronic priesthood this Sunday! ..But wasn´t present in Sacrament meeting. He showed up for the second hour and when we asked where he was he said he had taken some of his friends to a sacrament meeting in the Magdalena chapel. Nilo got his hands on a Preach my Gospel so who knows what he will do next ha. He asked us if he could go out as a missionary and teach little pueblos in the provinces of Peru. We told him that he can start as a home teacher first. He is awesome! He is super excited to go out and teach with us, and actually tomorrow is going to accompany us. Tomorrow we are doing our first exchange of the transfer with the Hermanas and it´s my turn to leave the sector, but luckily I´ll just be going to the other part of our ward with Hna. Brudnicki. Hna Madsen (my companion in the MTC) is in our zone now so I´ll get to do exchanges with her pretty soon!! This transfer started out a little rougher as far as sister training leader responsibilites go. We had transfers almost a week ago on Tuesday and we got a call from a companionship of sisters that wanted a change on Thursday. We went to their room to visit them and help sort things out, but they just wouldn´t budge! They asked for a transfer, so now we have a brand new hna named Hna. Lopez from Buenos Aires! This transfer four new hermanas from Argentina came in, so that was exciting! We are having to open up new sectors like crazy, and even hermanas from the states who only have about four months are having to train! There´s just so many missionaries coming in and our mission is so small. But it´s exciting to see the work grow! 

     Yesterday we had a couple really good lessons with some less active members. We went with two hermanos in the ward to the house of the Familia Padilla to give a priesthood blessing to the Hna Padilla who has cancer. They both got pretty choked up and emotional and thanked us for coming after so many years. The two hermanos that came with us were amazing and also caught the missionary spirit. We also went to visit an hermano that hasn´t been to church in a while, even though he served with Elder Uceda in a mission presidency! The hermano also got pretty emotional and thanked us for sacrificing this time in our lives to serve a mission. The spirit was really strong and we were able to testify that as representatives of Christ he would be blessed if he turned to the Lord and learned to depend on him again. The hermano said that he wanted to return to the church, but needed a little more time. We are going to keep visiting him and teaching him, and I know with time he´ll return to the church!

     Well I think that´s about it for this week. Thanks for always writing (mom and dad.) Haha I hope to hear from Courtney and Colton soon! I love hearing about what you´re doing. Courtney´s got her UVU thing this week right? Good luck with that! And have fun with baseball Colton. Love you guys so much! Til next week!!

Love, Hna Anderson

   All my gringa friends!
   Hna Gomez and I. She is also from Argentina
   My cute little valentine from Hna Rodriguez
   Outside the cathedral and the catacumbs

Monday, February 10, 2014

"I Will Find You Dear Friend"

     Hello all! This week was a growing one here for me in "The Breezes." It had its ups and downs, but mostly ups! First of all I want to mention our hilarious P day we had last week as a zone. Our zone leaders wanted to do something different, so we of course went to the biggest, oldest cemetery that there is in Peru! Yes, cemetery. It reminded me of the cemeteries in London and Paris cause the tombstones are pretty much all above ground, except that here it's just brown dirt while over there there were trees and vines and lots of green. Ok, but the funny part is that apparently we entered without paying the right amount, so the guards started chasing us and we had no idea why!! Our zone leaders just told us to run so we ran throughout the graveyard! It reminded me of when I was in Paris and we were also running around the graveyard at closing time at the guards were chasing us around haha. Good times! Everything turned okay though, we got all our money back.. so that's my testimony :)
     We had our last exchange of the transfer this past week. Hna Rodriguez went to the zone Maranga while an Hna Sanjines came with me to our sector for the day. She is from Buenos Aires! Her accent is super super strong ha, but it's cool! She is 28 years old, one of the older missionaries in our mission, so she was really mature and easy to work with. She was really excited to find out that I had mate cocido and so we drank that for breakfast in the morning. I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'm actually starting to like it more! We also drink anis, manzanilla and other tea like stuff here in Lima, so that's probably why.

     On Saturday Nilo was baptized and Sunday officially confirmed a member of the church. It was an amazing baptismal service! Nilo asked Elder Fankhauser to baptized him, which was cool since he was in the MTC with me. Our whole district ended up coming so it was a fun night! Nilo asked us missionaries to sing something, so we sang the primary song "Cuando yo me bautice," which I think is "When I Get Baptized." Also the young women sang a song called "I Will Find You Dear Friend," which says that in the pre earth life we made a promise to our friends that we would find them here on earth and bring them the message of the gospel of Christ. It is a really beautiful song and I feel like we made this promise to Nilo before. He was just glowing in his baptism and I could feel that he was a new person, born again in Christ. I am excited to see what Nilo can become and what he can do here in the church.

     Yesterday at church we didn't have too many investigators come, but two less actives came that I wasn't expecting at all! One hermana named Hna. Marayahua came to church after a year of not attending. We've been teaching her and inviting her ever since I got to this sector, and she finally decided to just get up and go with her kids yesterday! That was a mirace in and of itself. Another Hno. named Hno. Padilla also came to church. He hasn't been to church for about 18 years, but told us that the news that his wife has cancer helped him realize that he needs and wants God back in his life. The hna. Padilla is also a member and they're both so amazing! They have so much desire to return to activity in the church. So I feel like this week we were blessed with new, progressing less actives :) 

     We have our transfer meeting as a mission tomorrow. I can't believe this transfer has already come and gone! I'm thinking that I'll have one more transfer here with Hna. Rodrgiguez as hermanas capacitadoras. She's still awesome and we get along so well. I know we'll be good friends for life. Well family that's about it! I love you so much! Thanks dad for doing all that stuff for BYU for me. It's weird to think about things at home. It sounds like you're all doing well! Thanks for always writing!! Hasta ver para siempre dios este con voz :)

Love, Hna. Anderson

Intercambio with Hna Sanjines in our room

Nilo and I with our crazy faces
All the members who came to support Nilo's baptism.  This ward is awesome.

The district with Nilo
Biggest cemetery in Peru
Knock off brand of Inca cola called Isaac Kola
Night of Nilo's baptism

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Catorce Carnivals

     Hola familia! I can´t believe another week has passed by and we are already in February! Time is flying. Here the whole month of February is a big party that´s called ¨carnaval.¨ Every Sunday kids run around throwing water balloons and stuff like that, but all the members told us that in our area it´s not allowed anymore. So yesterday, the first Sunday of February, we were walking to a fireside when all of a sudden we started getting pelted by water balloons! Some kids were throwing balloons at us from the third floor of a building, and not just a few, but tons! So, we got soaked, but went to the fireside anyway ha. We just laughed it off, so it´s just a funny experience now. We thought it was funny that we didn´t even make it past the first day of carnaval without getting soaked!
     This week was a great one as far as the work goes. The members here are awesome! Our ward missionaries are all teenagers who are preparing for the mission, so they all want to come with us to do our visits. This weekend was stake conference, and we had a bunch of members come up to us and offer to take our investigators with them! I think this is going to be my favorite ward in the mission. 
     Here is the update with our investigator Nilo... we had a lesson with him in the week where he told us that he had been really worried about his job and being a member of the church at the same time. He told us that his job wasn´t in harmony with the teachings of the Savior, and he just didn´t feel right keeping his job and being a member of the church. We had a lesson with our ward mission leader, and Nilo told us that he had made the decision to quit his job! He said that what he really admired about us (members) is that we base our beliefs on faith, our feelings, and not so much reason. He said that he just FELT that he needed to quit his job, that the Lord wanted him there in the church. Nilo is such a great example to me! He´s only found the church about two weeks ago, he´s already read the whole book of mormon, and he´s willing to leave everything behind to follow the Savior. It reminds me of the scripture in Mark 8 34-36 
       ¨Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his            cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but          whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and for the gospel´s, the                 same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the            whole world, and lose his own soul?¨
The Lord asks us to give up the very things that we love the most, that are the hardest things to let go. It wouldn´t be a sacrifice if it was easy! 

       This week in stake conference President Borg shared something that really caught my attention. He told a story of when he had gone boating with us three sons, and that their boat and flipped over and they were all thrown from the boat but one of his sons. President had been thrown from the boat and was far away, so couldn´t immediately help his son that had been trapped under the boat. He was comforted by the knowledge that he had taught his son how to swim. Finally his son came to the surface and said that he had been tangled up in the mast and the cables, but had faith that he could escape and rise to the surface because his father had taught him how to swim. We are seperated from our Heavenly Father here and sometimes he can´t help us the way we want him to. But, we can have faith that he teaches us how to swim, how to overcome the trials that we are faced with and resurface. I read a talk from Elder Richard G. Scott in the Liahona for this month, where he says that ¨our character doesn´t develop en the moments of great difficulty or temptation, it is then that it is used.¨ We can´t learn to swim in the moment that we are trapped under the boat, we learn to swim little by little everyday so that when the test comes, we are ready to swim.
     I hope that all made sense. Just something that I learned that I thought I´d share! I love you all so much!! Thanks for writing me always! Have a great week. Hasta luego! 

Love, Hna Anderson