Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014: "The Work Here is Eternal"

Hi!!!! I loved all your letters! You all make me feel so special! I can't believe it’s Thanksgiving this week. Kennedy already promised to take care of my food portions by eating for the both of I feel much better ha-ha :) It sounds like everyone is doing well and is happy. That brings me a lot of happiness, too. I like that you guys are busy and living your lives, because I am doing the same here! I did end up buying some winter gear...should have been around $200 dollars :/  I needed Under Armour to sleep in and to put under my skirt, tights aren't enough. I also bought boots, gloves, etc. Nothing too exotic, but what I needed to be warm.

Well, this week miracles were abundant. A family we are teaching came to church for the first time, and for the entire 3 hours. Normally people don't stay and only come to sacrament meeting. People, I am teaching a complete family!!!!!! The wife, Elisa, is as prepared as they come. She loves the Book of Mormon and really thirsts to learn more. Her husband, however, has a lot of doubts about religion in general and really has a difficult time accepting the Prophet. However, I think we finally had a breakthrough with him on Saturday night with some Mormon messages so he actually came to church!! They have 2 little girls; they remind me of Madison and me when we were little. They are so cute and love to play and sing with us. I see a lot of potential in their family, and so I have a lot of hope! This week we had intercambios and I was with a Hermana who came to Juarez at the same time as me. She said she was blown away by my Spanish because she remembered the first night in the hotel when we communicated by pointing and hand motions only. We had a good laugh. We visited someone in their area who is the wife of the patriarch; she is super cute and really, really old. She reminded me of the people I used to work with at Highland Hills. We sang her Christmas hymns and she fell right asleep. We also had a training meeting with the President this week for those who are going to train, it blew me away. He said if there is anything you want to change about yourself, you better get it done out here in the mission field because this shapes our lives. I started to think about all the things I want to do better and thought: Oh no, I don't have enough time ha-ha. But really, the mission field is a great opportunity to learn and grow, it's like no other! I am so glad I made the choice to come out here!!! I actually read an article this week, it was in the Mexico Liahona and I can't find the link to share with you guys...dang it. But basically it said that the seeds we plant in ourselves and others out here have eternal consequences. THE WORK HERE IS ETERNAL!! The person who wrote it was an area 70 and shared the conversion story of his parents that was so beautiful. Many years later, he hunted down one of the missionaries and got to meet him, it was such a sweet story. But the thing that caught my attention was the end....

Summary and translation of what he said at the end was: If there is any young man or woman who is wondering whether or not they should go on a mission, get on your knees and ask the Lord what he wants you to do. He will give you the answer that is best for your personal progression and will have eternal consequences, which is a sure promise. Heavenly Father will never ask anything of us that isn't for our benefit and growth because he loves us more than we can ever understand.

I bawled when I read it! I tore it out of the magazine and put it in my scriptures! It reminded me of my choice to come out here. Everyone was giving me their opinions and I was super confused. I finally came to the conclusion there was only one person I needed to counsel with in the end, and that was Heavenly Father...and after that I realized I already knew what I wanted/needed to do. I remember that clear as day! Long story short, I am so happy here and know that this is where I am supposed to be!! I also testify that if we counsel with Heavenly Father in all things, He will always lead us in the right way and we will be happy. Of that I am sure! Trust Him always!!

I love you all so much and miss you all. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving and gobble till you wobble! Challenge: List 100 real things you are grateful for. Love you all sooooo much!! Tell everyone hi! XOXOXO

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014: "La Sanya" it is!

Hello family! How is everyone?? Sounds like the adventures with Maximus never ever stop! Ha-ha, he was always a bit fussy of a car. Your plans for Christmas killed me. But I really do hope that you enjoy them! How I love you all!!!! Okay a few item requests for Christmas: granola bars, Nutella, and butterscotch pudding.

This week was really great!  And yes, you read it right: I am going to be a mommy! This next cambio, I am going to train a brand new missionary. You can bet your bottom dollar I am really nervous, but I am really excited too! I found out Sunday night, I couldn't believe it. Funny story of the week: my brain is officially Spanish-ified. We were eating lunch with a member who is also going to feed us next Sunday. Since Hermana Ramirez's birthday is next Monday, she asked what she wanted. Hermana Ramirez said, "Lasagna." and the member said, "Lasagna it is!" I was super confused and asked, "What is La Sanya?" I COULDN'T RECOGNIZE THE WORD BECAUSE I WAS THINKING IN SPANISH!! Elder Temple said, "Hermana! It's lasagna...not la sanya." I felt pretty dumb ha-ha. We all had a good laugh. I have said a few weird things this week. Another example: we were walking down the street with the sun in our eyes and talking about how bright it was when I greeted someone, "Buenas noches!!" Que estaba haciendo?? We had some really great lessons this week with our investigators; it's amazing to watch people change into who they have really been for their entire life! Hermana Coti is the sweetest little thing. We talked to her about repentance (about her smoking problem) and she said, "Well, I just need to do these steps then I will feel better about where I stand with Heavenly Father." She is a just-do-what-is-right kind of gal, I love it! This week was the primary program, sooooo precious!! The theme was "Eternas Pueden Ser Las Familias" and it was so beautiful! I  ALMOST cried....ALMOST. I miss y'all sometimes ha-ha. A missionary just got home in our barrio from Provo, she is really sweet and wants to accompany us to lessons. Her name is Sarah and she speaks perfect English, but I really prefer to talk with her in Spanish. Speaking of missionaries in my barrio, one of them is in Comodoro with Mitch! I eat with his mom every Wednesday...small world we live in. 

This week I have been learning about faith. Read PMG Lesson 3, section about faith. It completely changed my view! We have a long heritage of faith to find in the scriptures! I also really am starting to understand that faith without works is dead. It's not enough to believe in something, you have to live it! Faith is power in the end. If you believe in something enough and want it, it will move you to action. (AKA acting on your faith). I know that the Lord expects us to act with everything we have; He wants us to be self-sufficient. But as always, we can rely on Him to bless our efforts and help us. We can't really do anything alone, we always need Him, but we have to do something! So I invite you guys to search out the balance and increase your faith this week by studying that section :) I know that miracles can happen if we always act in faith, in-line with the Lord's will.

Well, that's all I feel like writing. I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week! :) XOXOXOXOXOXO


Con Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014: "I look like Hagred from Harry Potter"

Hello familia! Your emails are awesome! I am glad to hear that everyone is doing alright and is enjoying their Hermana Anderton-less lives. Ha-ha no se crean ;) But really, I am happy that all is well for you. That's so crazy that Meghan and Marissa are home! Thanks for the family history things; they are just what I needed! Okay one item of business, December 13 is going to be our big missionary Christmas choir concert here in Juarez at the El Paso del Norte building. I am super excited!!! You can check out the building online, it's super nice! We are going to sing with investigators too, it will be super special. STOKED!!!! And Mom, you are one inspired woman, this week temperatures dropped and it was time to pull out the coats. I didn't have my package yet so I found a coat in the closet at the house to use. It was rather large, but worked for the 48 hours I needed it until I got my package. Thank goodness you sent it because according to Elder Temple, I looked like Hagred from Harry Potter in the coat I found in the closet...que amable. Thanks so much for that package so I now look cute instead of like Hagred. I loved the Nutella especially ;) Oh one more item of business, they are now requesting that you put a printed list of things that are in the package in the package so when they cross the border with them, it is easier. No biggie really...just type up a list and say what's in there and we are good to go :)

Okay let's see, this week I discovered my obsession with the moon. It was full and HUGE one night when we were walking to a cita. I told Hermana Ramirez that we needed to stop and just enjoy it for one yes, I stood on a street corner for 60 wonderful seconds just soaking in the view and Heavenly Father's creations. I love the night sky. (Thanks Dad ;)) I have really learned to enjoy the little things in life and how to take a breather, there is so much to be grateful for and see in this world!

The Elders had a baptism this week that was super special, a brother baptized his paraplegic sister! What they had to do was carry her into the font and have 2 people there to help baptize her. The poor thing had to be dunked twice because her dress kept floating on top of the water. The second time, they stuffed her down in the water for a good 10 seconds. Hermana Ramirez, me, and Jackie Leivano sang a special musical number at the service too. I've really had to get over my fear of singing in front of people because I really have no choice. We brought Yoeli, one of our investigators, with us and she really enjoyed the service. She is 19, only one month older than me, and is expecting her third baby next month! I think she will be baptized soon because she has every desire to do what is right....she is so sweet, we just need to help her get some confidence in her answer and get her married to her basically-husband. He is taking the lessons too and he talks about his baptism like it's a sure thing in the future. We have a family home evening with la familia Benavides con ellos hoy. I am pretty excited for it!

My thought for all of you is this: "Be kind. Be grateful God is kind." Too often, we are quick to become annoyed, angry, or upset with people around us when they do something that bothers us. Or we are too busy in our own lives to recognize opportunities to help others. We need to love and show love to everyone because that is what Heavenly Father does for us. He is always quick to forgive, and always grants us forgiveness every time we ask for it. He loves us no matter what, and He loves us all. Let's show our gratitude by trying our best to do as He has asked and loving everyone.

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Hermana Ramirez and Anderton with their Book of Mormon stash!

Raegan has a new coat!!!   Bring on the cold.....

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014: "Como no. Si, yo creo."

Hey all of you fine-looking family! How is life? I really enjoyed your emails; they always put a smile on my face. Kennedy, I was dying laughing at the computer. Really, I could hear you saying it to me.....but just one thing....don't hurt Maximus again. I am kidding; it's your car now anyway.

Well, this week was great! I have been studying the Plan of Salvation, with a focus on the Atonement. I have really wanted to change to become the person Heavenly Father needs me to be, but it's super hard! There is so much work to do ha-ha. I have a perfectionist attitude (thanks Mom ;)) and have really been stooped by my inability to do everything perfectly the way I want to. But, I really have learned how to use the power of the Atonement in my life to be able to do that and to have patience with myself. I know that the Atonement can help us change for the better. It can help us overcome our trials and desafios (que es la palabra en ingles? quien sabe!). My favorite hymn in the entire world has become my theme in my life here (I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go). I always think about it and how I really want to do what Heavenly Father wants me to do, nothing more and nothing less. He is giving me every opportunity to change out here and I'm going to take it. There was a quote that President Christofferson used in General Conference last fall that I think sums up my desires about who I want to be:

 "We have enough women that are tough; we need more women who are tender. There are enough women who are course; we need more women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need more women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed, we need more goodness. We have enough vanity, we need more virtue. We have enough popularity, we need more purity."

We set a baptismal date with a hermana named Coti. She is in her late 70's. Her son is a member and has been trying to talk to her about the church for quite some time. She has cycled through many missionaries without much of a breakthrough. Her problem is that she never feels "ready." Finally, one day after she bore a beautiful testimony to us about how she has seen many miracles in her life, I told her, "Look, you believe in miracles. I believe in miracles. I believe that Heavenly Father can prepare you by the 20th of December to be baptized. Do you believe He has the power to do that?" She looked at me and said, "Como no. Si, yo creo." And so there it was!! I am super happy for her. I am praying she will continue in this course because she is a lovely lady of faith! We didn't have a whole lot of lessons this week because Hermana Ramirez was sick Tuesday and Wednesday (oh how I hate being cooped up in the house ha-ha). We had a meeting with all the missionaries this week on Friday. It was a really motivating meeting. The President is really awesome and is all about obedience and efficiency. I walked out of there ready to take on the world! (Otra vez ha-ha).

Well, my time is up. Gotta go and love you all soooooo much! Sorry that was a short report of my week, but that's the highlight reel.

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Elders Luna, Smith (MTC), Hermana Anderton, Ramirez at a Mission Conference