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

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