Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014: The End of Daylight Savings Time...... or Not!

HOLA MI HERMOSA FAMILIA!!!! Oh how I love you all and your letters! I especially enjoyed the one from Grandma Anderton. I am still laughing about Maddie and jury duty...that would happen ha-ha. I was really sad to hear about John. But I do know that this life is just a spec in a big picture. Their family is super strong and so I have no doubt in my mind que ellos pueden vencer este desafio. Send them all my love!!!

Well, this week was really good. I am going to be here in Rio Nilo for another 6 weeks. We were called last night and told that we would be staying together here. SWEET RELIEF!!!!!! On Sunday, we missed sacrament meeting. Yeah, terrible missionaries!! But let me explain. Elder Temple told us the night before that is was the week to set back our clocks. So we happily did so. I guess one of the members called him in the morning before church to tell him that it wasn't this week but next. He didn't call us so we were still in oblivion!! So at 10:15, when church had already started at 10, and the chapel is 20 minutes from out house...we got a call from Elder Temple wondering where we were. They only noticed we weren't there after the opening hymn when I wasn't there to play the piano ha-ha! So, we missed the first meeting. (We can't feel bad because it wasn't our fault.) In the end, it was actually a little nice because we got an extra hour of sleep right? And the Elders felt really bad, so today I get a chocolate bar. Can't complain about that! Oh the mission, crazy things happen. You miss church! I think my Spanish is getting better. This week when I was in my waking-up in my bed right before the alarm went off, I was mumbling to myself, "Si Senor, yo te seguire." I caught myself and realized in my half-awake, dreaming stupor I was mumbling in Spanish. Cool!!! Subconscious Spanish is a good sign. Last week after I got done writing you guys, I had a funny experience. There is a place that sells really good burritos and the same lady works there every Monday. Long story short, we are regulars. She asked me where I was from last week, and then she said, "Oh, Idaho. I was telling my son about the beautiful girl that comes every Monday to buy burritos but I did not know where she was from. Now I can tell him. He lives in Dallas and will be coming here soon to visit. Maybe you can get to know him." I laughed and explained I was a missionary, but I don't know if it sunk in yet for her. She was pretty insistent. Ha, no. We will see what she says this week when we go for burritos again ha-ha.

We are finding new investigators and have had really powerful lessons. We watched Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration with a recent convert and his wife. The Spirit was soooo strong in that lesson! The Restoration is such a miracle, we need to share it!!! Also, we had a really great lesson about the Plan of Salvation with Yoeli and Eri yesterday. I think they really felt the Spirit in that lesson and are on their way to baptism!!!

My thought for you this week, "Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an effort of once a week or once a day. It is an effort of once and for all." -President Uchtdorf. We must always be the people we are supposed to be. This gospel is a gospel of action and character and of progress. It's a lifelong commitment that will change us to be the people we need to become. Don't we all have a lot of work to do? I know I do.

I love you all and miss you all so much! I hope everyone has a great week!

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Note:  No pictures this week.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014: Don't you worry, I know!

HOLA FAMILIA!!! Oh how I miss your shining faces. But it's cool, I'm all good. This week I got my someone other than Jen. Oh man I was sooooo nervous!! Nobody but her has touched my hair for 15 years. It turned out okay. He cut off a little more than I wanted, but its hair so it will grow back, right??

This weekend Hermana Patlan and her daughter Juanita were baptized! It was the best day of my mission!! Hermano Patlan performed the baptism; it was so precious seeing them all go to the font together. I am so grateful I got permission to go! We (the missionaries) sang, "When I am Baptized" and I thought it was extra special since that's what we sang at my baptism, too. I gave them my set of Spanish scriptures I got in the MTC since I already had some. Hermana Patlan was very grateful for them. I told her that it was the only way I knew how to show her my love since I can't really tell her very well. She gave me a big hug and said, "Don't you worry, I know!" I was so glad she knew. I think actions often speak louder than words, and I just always tried to show my love for them and sputter out a few sentences to tell them. We went and ate at their house after; they fed us after THEIR baptism! That's the kind of people they are...super sweet and sincere. I can't wait for them to go to the temple! I looked back in my journal and found an entry from September 19, Hermana Patlan said she didn't want to be baptized that day... and I wrote, "I'm upset, but not too worried. She is prepared and she just needs to realize it. She will get baptized." Sooooooo cool to see it happen! It made me trust the Spirit even more, because all logic would have pointed to dropping her as an investigator, but the Spirit told us to hold on and told me she would do it. Oh, you guys it was amazing!!!!!! I am so happy I have the chance to be on the Lord's errand!

Let's see, Hermana Ramirez and I are really getting along. We have a lot of good laughs and are bonding. We are different, but we are learning a lot from each other. This week we had intercambios for a day and I learned to appreciate more all that Hermana Ramirez does! We also both really like Jane Austen, who knew?? My new area has a lot of work to do. We are getting 2 new missionaries so there will be 6 in total here.

My thought for you all is a quote, "Our testimonies, our peace of mind, and our well-being begin with the willingness to believe that indeed our Heavenly Father does know best." - Melvin J Ballard. I know that I am where I need to be and doing what I need to be doing. There is no doubt in my mind that our Heavenly Father does know best, and we need to put forth every part of us to do things His way, even when it's not easy.

I love you all so much and hope that you all have a great week! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Hermana Anderton

Football fan?

Princess Pinata

Blue Angels......

Should I or should I not?

Living the Dream.....

Love it when it rains

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014: Living the Dream!

Hola familia! Como estan todos? Estoy olvidando ingles gradualmente, en serio! Que triste...a veces yo no puedo recordar palabras! So I often speak in Spanglish when I attempt to speak English ha-ha. It's the best thing ever!! Since my new comp is from Mexico, I am learning a lot about the culture. She really likes to give me history explanations and deep responses to every question I ask. The past few weeks have been a huge adjustment for me...the first week was really rough. Getting to know a new area, figuring out new companion dynamics, learning members' names, and everything else that comes with change out here takes a lot of brain power. I will be a pro at change by the end of my mission since that is inevitable out here. Really, I have come to realize that God has adapted every part of my mission to my needs to grow. He makes me stretch!!!! It hurts a lot, but I know with Him...nothing is impossible and everything has a purpose. My area is Rio Nilo...not Rio Nila. I am on the border right by El Paso. I can see it from where I am on the computer. I am still in Juarez. I will get the church address or something for you guys next week so you can look on Google maps :) I am in the North Stake. My comps name is Hermana Ramirez. She is from Mexico City and will be 21 in a month. We are very different, but we can learn a lot from each other :)

This week I picked out my mission phrase: LIVING THE DREAM!! Here is the story how I found that: We walked for about forever to go to a reference we received from a member and the woman said she was too tired and busy to listen to us that day, but maybe another day. I am sad to report my first reaction in my mind was, "I am tired, I work hard every day...and I've still walked all this way to give you the most important message ever....don't even!!" I really get upset sometimes when people say they are too busy or too tired to listen to us. If you're too busy for God, then you are WAY too busy!!!!! Anyways, I repented. And so we said that was okay and that we would be back a different day. While we were walking back, I saw a sign on a house that said, "Living the Dream" and it was in English...woot! After seeing that I thought, "Wow! I am living the dream!! My mission is my dream. And I am here. I am living it right now!! I have dreamed of this for forever. And here I am. Oh...voy a disfrutarlo!!" So, whenever I feel disappointed, I will count my blessings that I can be here and live my dream. :) I know that the most important thing I can be doing right now is to be here preaching the Gospel. (DC 15:6).

Okay, cool part of the week. I got to go back to Ninos Heroes for one day! I got to teach Hermana Patlan. (PS...I asked permission from the President to go to her baptism this Saturday. And he said YES!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH!) Since Hermana Ramirez and Hermana Sutton are both training leaders, I was with Hermana Bunderson (who is only 4 weeks the mission) while they went to a training meeting. It was an adventure because I was the one who knew more Spanish, so whenever we talked to depended heavily on my ability to be in tune and understand. Anyways, this was the best part of my week: Hermana Patlan and Hermano Patlan are planning on going to the temple in a year!!! They were talking about it with me. Hermana Patlan's countenance has changed sooooo much. It's amazing what the knowledge that you're a daughter of God does for you and your self-esteem. I love the Patlan family!!! It was fun to go back and see people I knew and it built my confidence that I can speak Spanish because I was the one carrying conversations and talking to everyone in the street...I didn't have a fluent Spanish speaker at my side....but I sure had the best interpreter there with me. It's amazing how much Heavenly Father watches out for his missionaries and gives them everything they need to accomplish His work.

This week I have learned that our testimonies need to be based in the Holy Ghost, not logic. We need to ask in sincere prayer if everything we "know" to be true is in fact true. That is where a deep and abiding testimony that cannot be swayed comes from. We can say, "Oh it makes sense. I believe." and be satisfied with that...but it's NOT ENOUGH! We need to think, ponder, and ask. (Alma 5:45-46) Keep reading the Book of Mormon as a family...and then ask if it's true. I know your testimonies will be strengthened.

Trust in the Lord, He always knows what He is doing and has a plan for each of us, whether or not we may like it at first. I am doing just fine! I love you all and miss you lots! I hope that blessings from my service are coming your way. XOXOXOXOXO

Con Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014: I Lost My Human Interpreter

Hello everyone! I hope that you all got to enjoy conference!! I know I sure did :) Even if I watched half of it in Spanish, it was awesome. a big surprise happened to me last Monday and I was kind of sad about it: We had changes in the middle of the six week cycle. I will not get to finish my training with Hermana Sutton. Yes, it was a huge surprise. I am now with Hermana Ramirez in an area called Rio Nilo. I suppose the reason it happened was because I was very happy and comfortable where I was and the Lord saw fit for me to stretch myself. Yeah, it hurt a lot. I know that God knew what he was doing when he made Hermana Sutton and I companions because she has taught me so much and I really miss her already. It is okay for now; we already have some things planned to do when we are all done with our missions. Still, it was a huge surprise because we weren't supposed to have transfers for another 4 weeks. But hey, my Spanish is taking off like wildfire since that is pretty much all I hear now. (I lost my human interpreter ha-ha. Now I am going to have to rely hardcore on the Holy Ghost.). Thanks so much for the package! I got it this week and I love the music! Great job Dad!!! THANKS SOOOOOO MUCH!!

Okay so our miracle for the week. I was super sad about changes and really wanted to go and see a few investigators we had before I left. One of them is named Hermana Patlan. She refused for a while to be baptized, but completed all of her compromisos and always was at church. Her husband is the only member in her family, and he is the sweetest guy on the planet. Anyways, they have a 20 year old daughter with autism, so we have been teaching Hermana Patlan and her daughter together. (And they have 8 other children, holy!) I think it helped that she saw our love for Juanita (the 20 year old) and it helped us gain her confidence. Anyways, even though she refused the invitation to be baptized the first few times, we didn't feel like we should stop teaching her. So we kept on going and really broke down the doctrine to a primary level. She can't read very well so we read with her. Really, the key to people is loving we did just that. One day we invited her and her husband to accompany us to a lesson...I remember watching them walk towards the lesson together and I knew that she would be baptized, I just knew it!!! So about a week later, we went to go say goodbye on Monday before I left. When we got there, she said, "Sit down!! I have something to tell you!" So we sat down and she tearfully told us, "I want to be baptized." I LOST IT! I WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! This woman used to run from the missionaries and now here we were 30 minutes before I was leaving the area watching a miracle. She hadn't even told Hermano Patlan yet, so we had her got get him to tell him. I told her that this was exactly what I needed that day because I was going to be changing areas. It was my miracle. I know that I won't get to see her be baptized most likely, but that doesn't matter to me. The important thing is that I know she finally made that choice and I know she will do it and I know I was a tool for the Lord in helping that happen. What an honor it is to be a missionary! Her date is set for October 18. Yeah, I am going to come back and visit that family after my mission. :)

Okay conference: I cannot pick my favorite talk. But I can share a few of my favorite lines :) "A personal testimony is the quest of a lifetime." –Uchtdorf, and "Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers." -Andersen. I really felt that one theme of the conference was gaining a personal testimony and strengthening any testimony that you have. I know I probably missed a lot of it since I watched it in Spanish, but that's what I got from it. Did you know Richard G. Scott speaks Spanish? I always knew he was one of my favorites ha-ha. And when they announced the number of missionaries I was like, "Hey! I am one of those!!!!!" So that was cool. And I really liked that talk with the 6 things to do; I can't remember who gave it. It was a nice smack in the face don't you think? I like when people are straightforward like that. Make sure you guys review the talks online since they will be there this week!

Anyways, I really love you all so much! I sure miss you guys, why do you have to be so awesome?? Ha-ha. But it's all good out here, stretching, but good. I am growing in my testimony and am certain that God loves each one of us. He is so aware! I have really felt his love even when I have felt utterly alone...which is actually really ridiculous because we are NEVER alone. I love you all soooooo much!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con Amor Para Siempre,
Hermana Anderton

New companion and area:  Hermana Anderton and Ramirez.