Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Hola familia! It's my last week here at the MTC!! Can you believe it?! I can't...I feel like I just got here. I loved the cookie package, everyone downed them. I had three left when I left the classroom the night I got them, and when I came back in the morning, they were gone because the Elders had got to them first. So I'm supposed to bring those to our reunion in 2 years. Oh I sure love and miss you guys! We were bearing our testimonies last night at our district meeting and I held it together until I started talking about my family. I love you guys so much!! Ah, I'm wordless. Thanks so much for being so wonderful!!

So this week in our last lesson with Ivette, she just blew me away. She is already doing missionary work among her own family and friends. In the lesson right before, she had opened up to us and broke down when she talked about her family and was worried about them accepting the Gospel too. We didn't really know what to say, but then Hermana Storms bore a beautiful testimony about God being fair and just, so all that we could tell her to do was to pray for them, LOVE them, and be an example...and then trust God to handle the rest. Ivette said, "That sounds fair." She is full of faith. I love Ivette so much!!! Also this week, Sheri Dew came and talked during Relief Society on Sunday. You guys know how much I love Sheri Dew. I was STARSTRUCK!! I seriously was falling over in my chair with excitement! She talked about the priesthood and used a lot of stuff from her book. She said something I think is very applicable to everything in our lives. She said we needed to stop looking around to see what we need to do, and start looking up and asking what God would have us do. I think that's so true, we need to be true to our beliefs and not worry about what everyone else is doing. The highlight of my week was this morning actually...after our service project, we went to the Pillow Room. That's the picture I'm forwarding from another email. IT'S A ROOM FULL OF PILLOWS! You can dive in them and belly-flop in them. Oh it's magical! I just love my mission so much so far. I'm getting nervous to head to Mexico a little bit, but I know it's where I need to go. I'm a little stressed about the planes and stuff because I'm the travel leader and so I'm in charge of someone else other than myself. I'm the only sister going to Juarez. Elder Smith and Elder Lamm said they would take care of me, so don't worry too much about me ;) So my travel plans are attached in the picture. My first two flights are Delta and then the third is Aeromexico if you want to track my flight. It's crazy that I'm making a huge circle to get to where I need to go. I hope that the picture helps, because it's difficult to explain. I'm going to try to call from Georgia, all of the times are local times of where I'm landing if that helps you guesstimate what time I will be calling you guys. If I call from GA it will be around 7 their time, and if I call from Mexico, it will be around 10:30 their time. If I call you from Juarez, it will be around 5 their time. Umm, basically y'all just need to stay by your phones all day Monday haha. I leave SLC around 1am, I might even call you then. I am not sure yet. Ah and I can't decide. What do you guys think would be best? Write me and let me know. I hate not having a cell so we can't just talk it out and communicate. Most likely, I will try in Georgia, so that would be around 4 or 4:30 am your time. Mom will be awake, haha.

I love my mission and I love my district. Honestly, if anything I've learned to be more open and just love everyone. I used to be okay with just having my people that I was friends with, now I'm realizing I missed out with that attitude. Everyone has so much to offer!!!! So I guess what I'm trying to tell you is just LOVE EVERYONE! Ah, I am so sad to be leaving my district on Sunday night, but we all plan on staying in touch so it's okay. These people are my best friends!!

Love you guys soooooo much!!!!!


Hermana Anderton and Storm's

I have no idea?

I love packages...  send more!!!

Look out Mexico

1 month in the MTC picture

Messing with the Elders.....  You snooze, you get your shoes tied together!!

Travel Plans.....  That's a round about way to get to Jaurez!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

Hola familia! Como estan? Was Bradi's wedding just beautiful or what?! It feels like I was talking to Presli about it on a run just yesterday and July seemed so far away. I mean, I've been here an entire month! It's July! (I know, it just barely hit me and it's almost over.) Me encanta el CCM!! MUCHAS!!!!! I loooove it here. I'm so glad I came on my mission, I'm seriously speechless. I know, when am I ever speechless?? This week was really awesome and I felt so uplifted the entire week. I know I am not out here alone.

So here is the deal for this week: Hermana Storms and I have been called to be the Sister Training Leaders in our zone. I have no idea what exactly we are doing, but we are trying. The cool thing is that we get to go to the branch meetings and at those the Spirit just hits you in the face. President Doman shared some really motivating things in that meeting and all it did was set my Greenie Fire into a BLAZE. I can't wait to get down to Mexico. I know people say dumb things about Juarez and how "scary" it is, but I am not afraid at all anymore.  I am just privileged to go there. And....drumroll please...Ivette is getting baptized!!!! FOR REAL!!!! She decided to do it last weekend!!!! I am so happy. I have never felt that kind of happiness in my life before, I think I forgot to breathe for a while and made myself tired. I literally laid down on the floor in the classroom when we got back to class and smiled the rest of the night. She brought us donuts on Monday. It was so nice to eat real food that wouldn't make my tummy upset. I will get a picture with her to send you next week. She is amazing! On Monday I did something rather strange...I sewed a watch. Look at me go! Hermana Andrews leather on her watch ripped so it wouldn't stay on her wrist. Elder Smith suggested we "put some sew" on it to fix it (funny man). So we took up his idea and I sewed it back together for her. It was tough to get the needle through the leather, but I persevered and fixed it for her. Now she will always have a piece of Hermana Anderton with her. (The picture in front of the temple is us making an "S" for "Soul Sister". We are pretty much the same people.) I would dare to say we are a companionship of 4 because we do everything together. I love my Hermanas! And the Elders are pretty amazing too. They let us eat their food and stuff. Seriously, I have the best district in the entire world. We are a little MTC family and we already have plans for our reunions. It's cool to watch everyone grow and learn more. I feel like I have aged at least a year per week, I am not the same person that came here. But don't worry, I still have my amazing sense of humor and my randomness hasn't changed too much ;) Oh and my funny story from this week: I learned exact obedience. So, we can't take our bags to the cafeteria anymore, so it's kind of obnoxious with breakfast since I have my scriptures, as do the other Hermanas. The other rule is you can't just leave your stuff sitting around outside the cafeteria or other places except your classroom. And our classroom is on the other side of campus from the cafeteria. On Monday morning, we thought it would be a good idea to put our stuff in an unused building by the cafeteria so we didn't have to walk all the way to class and back. We found an unlocked room, set our stuff in there, and thought we were being super smart. Well, we got back to that room to get our stuff after breakfast to head to class and the door was locked!! So we had to go get security to unlock the door so we could get our stuff, which made us late to class. We tease now that was our chance to learn exact obedience. So now I know haha.

This week in our Devotional, I really felt the theme was hope in Christ. I loved that Devotional; I wanted it to go on forever. An optimistic attitude is definitely a must in this life. I really think I've learned to just trust more and have hope in good things to come, and love the moment I'm in while I've been here. So you guys do the same! (Even though I know you miss me soooooo much). Have a great week and thanks for all of the love and support you give me. I'm definitely blessed with the best family ever. I love you guys!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton
Hermana Andrew's and Anderton  "S"oul Sisters

Big shoes to fill.....

Lama Fest...

Planking the fridge

Ciudad Juarez here I come!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014

Hola familia! Thanks for the wonderful letters and the package. That blanket is perfect! Now I won't freeze. It's kind of fabulous to snuggle up in that softness. And the color is perfect!! I am so stuffing it in my suitcase. There is no way I'm leaving America without it. Well, I am halfway through the MTC! What? It feels like I just got here...but at the same time like I have been here for eternity. I love my district and my companion so much. They are my little family here.

So here is a rundown of this week, I will try to go in chronological order so it makes more sense. So Wednesday night we killed 13 nickel-sized spiders of all different colors in our apartment...13 in one night! I guess you could say we had a slight infestation going on. Hermana Gardner, Hermana Andrews, Hermana Storms, and I decided to extend our bedtime and kill any spiders we found searching the apartment because none of us were going to be able to sleep wondering how many more were crawling around. So, there we were at 11 at night in our PJs assassinating spiders. We found a NEST under my bed, of course. We got the Febreeze and sprayed them to death, and then Hermana Gardner attacked them with her shoe. We were all piled on the edge of my bed cheering her on and Hermana Andrews had her headlamp on so we could see them. Oh man, I'm sure we were super cute. We acted it out again for the Elders the next day. So that's what the picture with us all on the desks is. We talked to the office and they sent someone to spray our apartment, so it took a few days, but the spider killing count has gone down to like 1 or 2 every few days. We are preparing for Mexico already!!! Let's see...que mas? Oh! I got my VISA!! So I went to SLC with Elder Smith, Elder Lamm, and other people from different districts to the Mexican Consulate. I met two other Elders going to my same mission, but no Sisters that any of us know of yet. So far I'm the only girl leaving on the adventure to Juarez. This week after our devotional, Hermana Storms and I were really bored walking back from the Marriott center (we are having devotionals there until next Sunday..Mom, you were right there by me!! Did you see missionaries walking around while you were lost in Provo? I was in that crowd haha) and we started talking in Spanish in a British accent. Oh we are so pro!! It was funny to listen to each other; we stopped though because we don't want to get into that habit. We already struggle to pronounce things correctly anyway. The language is coming though! I can understand a lot, I just struggle a bit to form sentences. We got 10 new elders last week, fresh out of high school. One of them is related to Mitt Romney, so that's cool. And I met President Monson's nephew on Sunday. His mannerisms are actually a lot like President Monson's. He told us some funny stories about him, so that was my claim to fame this week.

This week we got a new REAL investigator named Ivette. She is 100% real! She is not a role-play!!! She is super sweet and is from NYC and speaks beautiful Spanish. She came out here because her friend going to BYU told her she could come here and find a happy change. (She wasn't doing so well in NYC). Please pray for her to feel the love of God and see His hand in her life. She wants to find truth, but fights against herself. I love her soooo much though!!! Oh boy, all I ever worry about is, "What can I do better to help Ivette?" She claimed to be Catholic growing up and became an Atheist in her teenage years. Long story short, she thought maybe God could be real and began investigating the Church. Our first lesson, we just listened to her and got to know her so we could better adapt our lessons to her needs. The second lesson, we went to teach the Restoration, and it kind of went there but not haha. We shared Mosiah 4:9 (Believe in of my favs!) with her and she said, "Oh that is beautiful! I feel something. What book is this in?" We told her it was from the Book of Mormon (whoops, we should have said that before) and she said she really liked it and took a picture of the verse with her phone so she could print it out and put it in her room!!! So we ultimately spent half the lesson explaining to her who God was with scriptures. After, we moved on with our lesson and she asked the perfect question that led to us sharing Joseph Smith's story. We opened to James 1:5 and she LOVED IT!!! She went on to read 1:6 without our cue and really took off on her own. It's amazing to teach her because she thinks out loud and answers her own questions a lot of the time. All Hermana Storms and I really do is plop out a scripture and she finds everything on her own. The Spirit really works wonders if you let it. Anyway, we asked her what she was thinking about that scripture and she said, "I should follow Joseph's example I guess and ask God what is right and what I need to do." I almost leaped out of my chair. She figured it all out herself! She agreed to read the Testimonies at the beginning of the Book of Mormon and to pray. She said she would with so much enthusiasm I was going to cry. It was the best feeling ever! I'm really starting to learn I'm not here for myself; my testimony would have been fine without a mission. I'm here for the people, and I love my people already so much! I can't wait to teach her again tomorrow! I live for 4:20 pm now! (that's our appointment time.)

Other than that, I know I'm where I'm supposed to be with all my heart. It's so wonderful when you know you're on track, and I know I am. So I'm just at peace with that. This is probably the best calling I will ever have aside from being a mom, so I'm just soaking it up! I love you guys a lot and sure miss you! But time flies like crazy, so I will be back before I know it. I hope Dad's ankle is getting better and that all is well at home. Have a great week!!

Hermana Anderton

Reenacting the great spider hunt.....   Notice Raegan is supporting from as far away as possible.

Sisters at the Provo Temple

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014

Hola familia! Como estan?! Did you get my letter yet? I sent it out on Saturday...but I don't think the mail was running since it was the 4th of July. I'm snail mailing the letter for Grandma Anderton to you; can you please type it up when you get it? My handwriting is absolutely atrocious because I was writing super-fast because I needed to get all my thoughts down. I will drop that in the mailbox tomorrow morning probably. Thanks for the letters and packages. I really appreciate them, you have no idea. Even though I don't have time to write back very much, I really appreciate receiving letters. I pretty much marched around showing the family pictures to everyone; I was super excited to see them. We are the cutest family on the planet...I'm pretty sure. How is the car from the guy in the gas station on the 4th of July? I started laughing out loud reading that letter Mom. You are funny even in writing. Dad, your letters make me soooo happy! I love them! I know my daddy loves me :)

Well, this week my schedule didn't change much. Dad's's a lot like "Groundhogs Day" here. But it's a good day every day. However, there are quite a few highlights and thoughts I will tell you guys about. Once again, please forgive me for my scatterbrained-ness. There is limited time here! So here we go: On Monday the other Hermanas and I were going crazy. We had been studying super hard and it was HOT in our classroom. I mean, we would laugh about everything. So in our crazy-state, we decided to give everyone in our district "Spirit Animals" which are basically what you would be if you were an animal. So here's the list, it's awesome: Elder Lamm is a mountain lion because he is an outdoorsy guy who knows everything about nature, Elder Pinder is a panda bear because we just adore him (he's like the baby of the district and we all want to take care of him), and Elder Smith is a puppy because he's eager to please people and is very obedient. Hermana Andrews is a sea-otter because she is attached to her baby blanket (just like sea otters get attached to their favorite rock). Hermana Gardner is a dove because she is super graceful and fluttery. Hermana Storms, aka the best companion on the planet, is a bumbstermel (a bumblebee, hamster, and a camel. she drinks water like crazy and is super cute so yeah...that's where we got that animal haha), and I'm a fainting goat because I get really excited about things and stuff. (Go look up fainting goat on YouTube and you will totally see me as a fainting goat. It's so realistic it's ridiculous!) SO yeah, that's what we do for fun. To celebrate the 4th of July, we watched "17 Miracles" which reminded me of trek and stuff...then "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" started playing during the middle of the movie...that's my favorite hymn...and I cried for the first time since I've been in the MTC. Haha, most people cry for the first time for other reasons...and I cried because of a movie. But really, the pioneers hold such a special spot in my heart because of the sacrifices they made and their legacy of faith they left. So I guess I was just not prepared for my 4th of July celebration to leave me in tears, and that's why I probably cried harder than anyone else during the movie. Anyways, after the movie we went outside and watched the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire and we could hear Carrie Underwood singing! So that was cool and fun. We got to stay up past our bedtime, hooray! I really am struggling with this sleeping schedule, I won't lie. I'm not a morning person. But luckily my companion is, so she just turns on the light and then I can't sleep anymore so it all works haha. A funny thought the hermanas and I had this week: We have no idea what everyone is talking about when they say you will gain weight in the MTC. If anything, I'm losing some because I can't keep the food in me for more than 20 minutes, none of us can haha. So we are super excited to see what Mexican food does to us! So if you want, feel free to send me food! (Hi-Chews, green apple flavor would be FABULOUS!) On Sunday, Hermana Storms and I were called to be the Online Coordinators for our zone...we had no idea that those existed, but said yes anyway. The mystery was solved and now we can do our job. I also was asked to pray for the beginning of fast and testimony meeting in Spanish, I cannot tell you how terrified I was to pray in front of people in Spanish. Oh man, I about peed my skirt. I am super nervous to pray in front of people in English...let alone a language I'd been learning for only 10 days. But I just went up there and words came out and it was fine. My Spanish is actually coming along pretty good. I have to try hard, but my efforts are paying off fast. I don't feel too stressed about the language at all, so that's been a great blessing. I seriously struggle for some English words now. Today we went up to main campus and I seriously can't say "Hello, how are you doing?" without thinking about it. Down here on West Campus we have our own little Spanish village, so saying stuff in Spanish or at least Spanglish is just the way we roll.

That's pretty much my life this week in a nutshell: Working hard and playing kind of hard. I know I'm where I am supposed to be! I keep having Deja vu moments like crazy. I can't tell you how much I love this. I mean, I already loved this gospel so much, but I'm just growing to love it more. It's crazy. I just want to run around the entire world and tell everyone! Elder Andersen came and spoke to us for Tuesday evening devotional and he talked about the Holy Ghost. I was sitting there just thinking about all the opportunities I've had to feel His influence and His comfort this week and reflected on how grand of a gift it really is to have a member of the Godhead with us always. SOOOOO SPECIAL!! Saturday was actually a little rough for me and the Holy Ghost really just assured me that being myself was sufficient and that I was going to be okay, it was awesome. I just really can't explain how excited I am to be on the Lord's errand. I volunteered to be here, and I'm so happy I answered the call extended to me to come. SO HAPPY! Well, I hope all is well with you all. Don't worry too much about me, I am being watched over and my district is my little family here. I love them so much. The hermanas are my soul-sisters, pretty sure! Well, have a great week! XOXOXOXOXO I miss you guys! But I will see you every day for the rest of my life, so we are all good :)

Hermana Anderton

Study or blow bubbles?  Blow bubbles!

Raegan insisted I post this!

Who knows?

Mustaches for everyone!

I'm guessing 4:00pm and have had enough with class!!

Raegan and Samuel Smith (first missionary)

USA.......   Happy 4th!

Watching the fireworks on the 4th.