Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014: "and that they should choose me, their Father"

Hola familia! I hope all is well at home. It sounds like everyone is doing great. I will be sure to keep you in my prayers. I know that blessings to you will come from my service here. I sure love you guys a lot! This week was great, but a little more difficult than last week. We have not found a lot of new investigators this week and a few others are not progressing anymore. Hermana Sutton and I are going to work extra hard this week and pray a lot more fervently to find the elect.

Okay spiritual stuff first. So I did get to see a bit of the Women’s Conference, it was AMAZING!! Even in Spanish ha-ha. I hope that you guys were able to enjoy it too.  Uchtdorf’s talk almost made me lose it. We are all so special to our Heavenly Father. I know He loves me. I have seen so many miracles out here and I have felt His support in moments when I really wondered if I could do this, or if I am doing it well enough. (Perfectionist problems ha-ha.) I really cannot tell you guys how loved by my Heavenly Father I have felt out here. It is amazing! Speaking of that subject, we were reading in the Pearl of Great Price as a companionship, and I found a scripture that touched my heart, and the phrase that stuck out to me was this: that they should choose me their Father. (Moses 7:33) What is going on here is Enoch is seeing Heavenly Father worry about us and our sins and things and He is weeping over us. I just really had it whack me that our agency just is that choice...choosing our Father. I was thinking AHHHH I NEED TO CHOOSE MY DAD!!!!! So anyways, that is my spiritual thought for you. I am stoked to see what General Conference has in store! WATCH EVERY SESSION LIVE!!!! Once you guys get the Ensign in English from conference, will you send it to me? I am going to watch it in Spanish and I don’t have the patience to print them all off from online.

Even though this week was hard, we saw quite a few miracles. One happened one night when we had found NOBODY. We were on our way home and were one block from our house and ran into a woman named Arecelli. We set an appointment with her and were really excited. We started to walk away and a man yelled out in English "You’re LDS right?" We turned around and ran back. Turns out he is a menos activo and really struggles with a testimony of Joseph Smith. He loves everything about the Gospel but cannot get past the Joseph Smith thing. HA!! ENTER HERMANA ANDERTON! I have got this one. So, we actually ended up going to Aracelli’s house, she just invited us all in, and we had a mini lesson since we needed to be in our house in 10 minutes. I shared my testimony of Joseph Smith with the man who struggles with that. I simply told him that I know with every ounce of my heart that he was a prophet. No man would have gone to his death for something that was not real. No 21 or 22 year old could have written The Book of Mormon without the power of God. And no man would endure all things that Joseph Smith did if it wasn’t true. I expressed how when I had asked if Joseph Smith was a prophet, I received “yes” as my answer. End of story. Manny sat back for a bit and went, "I never thought of it that way. Nobody would go die if they were a fraud knowing bleep well that they were going to meet their Maker."

Anyways, I am running out of time. I hope that you all know I am very happy here and I am learning a lot. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve my Heavenly Father with everything I am for this small amount of time. Seriously, I am already 3 months into this thing!! I love you all and miss you lots, but this is worth it! Have a great week, be safe, and enjoy conference!! LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014: Chili Powder on Fruit

Okay, this was definitely the best week on the history of the planet. WE FOUND OUR MIRACLE FAMILY!! RED TOMATOES ALLLLLLLLL THE WAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! But first, let me comment on your emails. It sounds like everyone is doing great which makes me happy. This week you guys can keep studying PMG! I'm glad mom is enforcing the rules of reading ha-ha. I hope that all goes well with the doctor this week for you, Mom. And Dad, I'm glad your ankle is progressing. Tell Grandma not to stress so much about the letters it. I'm really busy and so I understand. Tell everyone “hi” for me and that I love them all. (Grandmas, Carol, etc.) That's a great idea with the binders! I'm happy they will be able to keep up on what's going on down here.

Okay, this week was fabulous! I'm really starting to feel comfortable navigating the routine. A sister in our ward named Reina told me I'm starting to act like a Mexican, best compliment ever! Now I don't stand out so much right?? But it's happening; I'm even starting to put chili powder on fruit ha-ha. Hermana Sutton and I have a little bit of a system going so I think that helps with everything, too. She is awesome! I'm so glad she is my trainer. It's so much easier to work hard and be obedient when your companion wants to, too. Well, this week I gave a cortisone shot to one of the members that lives by us. She asked me if I knew how and I told her sure. Sooooo I put my skills to practice this week. We also went and saw the Cathedral in El Centro. I was in EL CENTRO PEOPLE!!!! Super cool! There were a lot of people there because they were preparing for the 16 of Sept. (Independence Day here). And....I BOUGHT A MEXICAN DRESS!!! MY DREAM CAME TRUE!! It was like 35 bucks, so that will be coming out of my account. I figured I better get one I like while I had the chance, since Hermana Sutton bargained for a lower price! I now have a legitimate traditional Mexican dress. I wore it at the fiesta this Saturday with the ward. Speaking of which, Mexicans sure know how to have fun! We had 13 investigators come to the party and really enjoy it. Oh man, we were so happy I teared up! I also got to see the temple last Monday. We were so happy to be on temple grounds. It felt like coming home. I miss the temple soooo much!! So go a lot, okay?

Okay, miracle of the week. We found a family that is so ready it's ridiculous! They were actually not going to come to church on Sunday, but their car broke down at the fiesta and so when we got to the chapel they were there fixing their car. Hermana Sutton told them if they wanted to see a miracle, they should come inside for sacrament meeting and then their car would start....and that's exactly how it happened! They are so ready!!! They're from Veracruz so their Spanish is a little hard for me to understand, but I can feel that they know this is true. I am so happy here. We are getting the work rolling in our new area so everything seems so much better! Also, you know how Personal Progress is kind of my thing? Well, we found 2 youth of a less active family and they want to do Personal Progress, so we helped them do an experience last night. I was thrilled because I LOVE PERSONAL PROGRESS!!!

Spiritual thought: Heavenly Father knows our diverse natures and varied capacities. So, figure out what yours is, stop comparing yourself to others, and then use your gifts to bless others. I am working on that.

Hope everyone has a great week. I love you all soooooooooooo much!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Central Cathedral

Our "picky eater" loves the food!!

Raegan shopping in the city center.


Testing her nursing skills on their neighbor..

All Smiles....

Raegan at the Juarez Temple

Hermana Sutton and Anderton at the Juarez Temple

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014: Where is September Going?

Hola familia! Como estan?  How is everyone’s life without me? Dreadful, I know. I am the life of the party ha-ha. But really, I hope everyone is as happy as they sound in their emails! As for packages, I will take an inventory for the month of October and send a list next week. And I didn't get my package yet...but I haven't been to the office this week. So, when I get it I will let you know. PS, thanks soooo much for the other package! I really appreciated it and look forward to the next one. It's like Christmas in a box!!!! :)

This week was probably the best one I have had out here. I have tried to talk more and have tried to be a little more immersed in the culture. We learned "Las Mananitas" which are basically the birthday songs here. Hermana Sutton knows it better than I do, but we practice them a lot. We have had great food this week too. Oh, the food…IT IS SOOOOO GOOD! I had something called Mole Verde this week that I am going to learn to make for you guys. You will love it! It's delicious. It's like guacamole but better! This week I was fingerprinted and everything for my green card. I'm officially a temporary resident of Mexico! Woot! And when I was there, I got to see my district from the MTC because we all were going there at the same time. As you can imagine, I was stoked to see some familiar faces from one of the best places on earth I have ever been. They all were doing well. It's weird to think about how much has happened to all of us in just one month. This week it rained like crazy on Friday, or Thursday, I don't remember what day...but it was pouring! And I love rain, so I was super excited!!!! I got to wear one of my sweaters because it was....COLD... :) :) :) outside. The weather is cooling down and so I am super grateful for that. We had really great lessons this week with the Bishop's neighbors and with the guy here who speaks English. Oh, I love the people here! There is so much I do miss about home (well, you guys), but so much I love here too. We talked about the Book of Mormon and its importance and the Holy Ghost a lot this week with investigators. There were 86 people at the chapel this Sunday, normally there is like 50 or 55. We were pretty excited! This weekend we have a fiesta to celebrate the 16 of September at the chapel (Independence Day). I am pretty stoked!!! Hermana Sutton and I are looking for clothes so we can dress like real Mexican Women...or at least a sombrero. We are pretty sure one of the members is going to help us get that stuff.

Okay, spiritual thought for you lovely ladies and for my favorite man on earth: Faith must change your actions! Okay, so I have been reading "Jesus the Christ" and it talked about not being able to be saved by knowledge alone. Then Hermana Sutton and I were studying Lesson 3 on Faith in Jesus Christ in PMG. You can know all the things you want, but unless you apply what you learn in your life, it doesn't do you any good. It's not enough to just know what you have to do and half-heartedly do it. So, whatever you're learning: Apply it! Do it! Change! LOVE IT!  So, I decided I'm going to start giving assignments to you guys to do, and then in your emails you can tell me how it went, cool? Cool. Okay, this guys will study Chapter 5 of PMG and it's about the BoM. So while you are reading the BoM as a family, read and then discuss what you have learned and how you will APPLY it in your week. Then you guys can tell me about your week and then just a short bit about how the challenge went. This will be fun people! I am learning so much and really want to share it with you guys! The mission is amazing, I am so glad I came!! I've really learned so much in just the few months I've been gone. I love you guys so much!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Love your little missionary,
Hermana Anderton

Hermana Sutton and Anderton at the border.  Raegan is now a "temporary" resident of Mexico!!!

Raegan loves to sleep...  with her prized "air" mattress.
At the border for fingerprints.  L to R:  Elder's Velazquez, Lamm, ?, ?, and Smith with Hermana Anderton and Sutton

At the border with MTC friends Elders Lamm and Smith

A rainy day in Juarez...  I get to wear a sweater!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014: We Found Captain America in Juarez...

Okay people, business first. The Texas address is going to change to this:

9420 Escobar
El Paso, TX  79907

So, if you could change that on my blog too that would be fab. (And thanks for keeping that up, from what I hear.) I will still get the other package you have sent already, they are in the process of trying to change it to this one, so they will check the other one, too. Don't sweat it. But for the next package, send it to this one :) Anyway, I got my package!! Thanks so much! I about died from happiness when I saw the Nutella. And everything else was perfect!! Mom, you read my mind!! Please send more Nutella if you would like...I've already finished half the jar. Hmmm, maybe you shouldn't....I have an addiction to that stuff ha-ha. So for packages what happens is they take the package to the mission headquarters, and then when I go there for training or anything else, they hand it to me and I take it back to my house. So basically it goes from El Paso, straight into my hands. I am excited to get my music! Thanks for doing that for me!!! I love my family!!

So this week: I am becoming a cook I think. The hermanas here are quick to show and tell us how they make their delicious food. I am so glad there is hope for me ha-ha. I am really learning a lot about myself out here. Luckily, I've got Hermana Sutton to keep me in line. The intercambios were a little tough, nothing went as planned in our area, but it was good for me to learn a little more how to take the lead. I sincerely tried my best and so that was all I could do. I am finally moving into the "I can do this!" stage of adjusting to missionary life. I was discovering the unexpected for a while...but now I feel comfortable navigating my way around and I am not as intimidated to talk to people in my broken Spanish. I am able to understand a lot more!! I actually can follow along enough to speak to people because I get a little summary in my head of what they said. It's crazy how much I have learned in one month here. Can you believe your little baby has survived Juarez Mexico for a month? SWEEEET! I never really feel unsafe here, it’s crazy I know, but I always feel guided about where to go and what to do. Soooo cool thing this week about my awesome companion, she called me out on something this week: my lack of self-confidence. She told me to fix it. Only she could get away with that ha-ha. She said, "Hermana! You need to realize the gifts you have! Doing that isn't being prideful; it's recognizing the gifts God has given you and using them!" I sat back and went, "Oh! Oh my goodness. She's right!!!! Developing your talents is something you're supposed to do." So, I'm working on that now. Thanks to Hermana Sutton. The Lord knew what he was doing when he made us companions. It's crazy how much I am discovering myself out here. I've changed so much in a month. At a meeting with the President this last Friday, he told us that the habits we form out here are going to follow us for the rest of our lives, so we better form good ones out here and then keep them. He encouraged us to prepare to be the moms we will need to be and to really soak in everything the mission has to offer and to work hard. I really feel ready to let my old-self go and improve into the person that I need to be. I can't tell you how happy it has made me so far!!! SOOOO HAPPY HERE!!!!

We found Captain America in Juarez too!!!!! Well, a piƱata of him. I will have to send you the picture later because I don't have it on my camera. Hermana Ellsworth...who I had an intercambio with… has it. I will send it next week. Well, I love you all so much and miss you guys like crazy!!! I am not homesick or anything, but I do miss you guys a lot. I am so grateful I am part of a fabulous family. Watch "Because of Him" this week on the Mormon channel. It's amazing! It's changed my view on life! Everything we have is given to us by Christ and Heavenly Father!! Everything works out because He is in control. Love you guys so much and thanks so much for everything! The package was great and your prayers are felt. XOXOXOXOXO

Hermana Anderton

Note:  Raegan did not send any pictures this week so I "borrowed" some from her companions blog.  We sent her a package with various items.  Her mom sent her one of her favorites including "Nutella".  Raegan would often eat it by the spoonful and it appears that nothing has changed.


Happiness IS Nutella!

I can eat the whole bottle in one setting!

Hermana Anderton and Sutton with their neighbor.