Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014: Oreo Balls with Cream Cheese

Well fam, since I will be talking to you all soon, my letter is going to be short. Also, please tell Carol happy birthday!!!!! :) Sounds like the cruise was a blast!

This week for Christmas we spent it with the other Hermanas. We made a big dinner and I was in charge of the dessert, I made Oreo balls with cream cheese. DELISH! We also had a training meeting with the President. I really have a lot of respect for him and his wife; they really challenge us to be better! No need to worry about me out here, I'm in good hands. I learned a lot in the meeting and know that I will be prepared to make the big decisions after my mission, because they are really teaching me how out here. This week was an adventure and a half, we went to the big mall here, Misiones, to contact people during a mini-choir of our big one we had a few weeks ago. We were running around talking to everyone! We got 7 references in 30 minutes! I love activities like that.

This week I was reading the General Conference talks from this past October and ran into one from Elder Cook from the priesthood session. It talked about worthy goals and it really stuck out to me with the upcoming New Year. You all need to read it and set 2 temporal and 2 spiritual goals for 2015 and then write a detailed plan on how you will accomplish your goals!!! :) I will look forward to the report on Skype :) I'm still picking mine out, too. But in the end, all of our goals should point to us becoming more Christlike okay?? (Moroni 10: 32)

Well, I'm doing well out here and living the dream! I am really excited to talk to you guys on the first! Love you all soooo much! XOXOXO Thanks for all the support you all give me. I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!!

Con todo de mi amor,

Hermana Anderton

Christmas Dinner?

Merry Christmas...  The most expensive pile of junk food ever!

Raegan's Christmas Tree.

Hermana Anderton and Zepeda

Christmas tradition PJ's

Oh Yeah..... Celebrar PJ's

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014: He is the Gift

On December 12th, members of the Ciudad Juarez Mission performed at the Central Culture Center in Juarez  (El Paso del Norte, Juarez).  The concert was based on the Christmas video "He is the gift" and the Easter video "Because of Him".

Raegan reported that it was a wonderful experience

Link to Local TV Coverage  (if you can understand Spanish....)

Raegan is in the back right section of the Hermana's (Purple Shirt)

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014: ...I ran straight into a pole.

Hola everyone! Can you believe it’s Christmas?? Can you believe I will have been out here 6 months?? Holyyyyyyyyyy. It sounds like everyone is doing really good and enjoying their lives. I'm glad that you are all well. Great job Maddie! Woohoo, only one more semester and you're done with your RN!! (Then on to your BSN, muahahaha) ;) As for Skype, I really look forward to talking to you guys on New Year's Day....around 5 should be just fine!

This week was an adventure! ...and a comedy. First things first, I literally ran into a stop-sign pole. Yeah, like in the movies...I ran straight into a pole. I was looking at my agenda to see where we were heading next and the next thing I knew, my face was smashed into a piece of metal. Hermana Zepeda almost peed her skirt laughing at me. We ate with a hermano this week who went to BYU and was roommates with Johnny Lingo, SO COOL! His name is Hermano Casavantes and we eat with him every Thursday. I feel sort of famous now. He was also the first missionary in Mexico; he is a really cool guy! Oh before I forget, our choir can be found on  YouTube, I will find out the name and let you guys now. I'm the one in the purple :) My shirt really stands out is what I have been told ha-ha.

We talked to everyone and their dog in the street this week. Literally everyone!!!!! It's interesting and very creative the way people dance around having us visit them at their houses...but we found a great golden investigator!! Her name is Claudia and she accepted a baptismal date for the 1st of February! She told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She also wanted to bring her entire family to church...but she didn't come this week because she got sick, darn it Satan! We have an appointment with her tonight and are going to talk about The Plan of Salvation; I'm stoked because it is my favorite lesson to teach!!! We are also working with menos activos who live in our area. They were a little difficult to find since we didn't have a map or a list of members...but we talked to the old Relief Society president and got names and addresses to visit and this Sunday we finally got a ward member list. And then there was the guidance of the Spirit.....somehow we always ended up where we needed to be. I have no idea how. Okay, well I do know how...but in the moment I had no idea what we were doing. We found a women and her 3 kids who were baptized a year ago and hadn't come to church since last February. She said she was thinking about her life and how she wanted to change it and we showed up 15 minutes later. I didn't know who she was when I picked her out of our small little list, but I am so glad I listened to the Spirit and chose to head to her house. Heavenly Father does guide His work!

This week I found a quote from President Benson in my scriptures that I loved so much: "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He can deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, and pour out peace.”

I know that to be true! This week I have really had to hand everything over to the Lord and just work as hard as I could. Our numbers may not be very pretty, but I don't feel bad because we worked our tails off. Our successes were quality and I know that by small and simple means are great things brought to pass. It is a big burden to try to open a new area and train a new missionary, some moments I do not feel up to the task. But I always know somewhere in the back of my mind that I can do it because Heavenly Father is helping me every step of the way.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014: "Vamos a orar por exito!"

Hi everyone! Sounds like you are all doing great and getting excited for Christmas break. Ahhh, it doesn't look a thing like Christmas here so I still can't believe it's just around the corner! I'm glad to hear that everyone is happy!
Well, this week was definitely one I will never forget. At some points I did not know if I should laugh or cry ha-ha. Luckily, I only cried once really hard and let it all out, prayed, and then I just chose to laugh at the rest. When we moved into our new house, we found it filthy dirty without light, gas, warm water, and to top it off at that minute...our new cellphone did not function. I wanted to just sit and eat a jar of Nutella at that point ha-ha. I was standing in that front room going, "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING AND THIS IS THE ONE THING I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT!!!!" But really, I learned to apply the scripture that says not to worry about where you will sleep when preaching the worries though, the tender mercy is that the other Hermanas live right below us in the apartments so we just moved in with them for the week while we have been trying to fix the house problem that we have. So in the end, it wasn't that big of a deal. Oh my, it's a crazy house with 4 hermanas. As for the phone, I just had to remind myself that missionaries navigated and communicated without them in the past so we would be fine. And now it's working so WOOHOO!!! My journal entries from this week are hilarious; I can't wait to read them to you guys. Oh my goodness, I have rock solid abs from laughing so much this week at my situations. They make for a good story.

We started from ground 0 with investigators since we are opening an area. As a result, we talked with EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the street. It was pretty fun. I really am getting over my fear of approaching random people in the street. I used to be a little timid and have to talk myself into it every time, but now it's becoming instinct. It's also a lot easier since we have the "He Is the Gift" initiative. We just do a survey to see what comes first to everyone's mind when we say "Navidad" and then invite them to investigate the real meaning of Christmas with us and to come unto Christ. We had interesting experiences on Saturday; a woman actually literally ran away from us to her house, I didn't think we were being that insistent. We had talked to a billion people it felt like, so finally I pulled my new companion, Hermana Zepeda (she is really a serious person and doesn't talk or smile much, but she has a really really strong testimony and is really obedient! And once you break through her rock-solid wall and talk to her, she is actually really funny, too. I think we are going to get along just fine.), over to the side and said, "Vamos a orar por exito!" So we prayed for success in finding someone and within the next 5 minutes someone accepted!!! Hallelujah! I am a believer of prayers....especially this week I have become convinced of their power.
Our Christmas concert was amazing! I loved it! We sounded like a herd of cows, but I think the Spirit was still there. I saw the Patlans in the crowd, oh how they make me happy!!!! I also really love performing, so I felt right at home on the stage. It was fun to do something familiar. Hmmm que mas, oh I gave a shot to Hermana Ramirez yesterday...I have photos but forgot my camera cord today. I am keeping up my skills ha-ha.
This week was a very testing week for me, but I have never ever felt so much the influence of the Spirit in my life. I just really had to let go and give the reins over to the Holy Ghost for what we should do. I really am a firm believer that God never leaves His missionaries alone, EVER, and comes quickly to their aide. I had a firm answer one night when I was laying wide awake thinking, "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING???" that said, "Let me make you who you are." I know that we should be grateful for our trials and for all the opportunities that our Heavenly Father gives us to grow. Often times, the easiest way is not the best way for us to grow. I know that I am doing my darn best so I don't feel bad anymore. Furthermore, the Atonement of Christ gives us an enabling power to accomplish things we can't even imagine possible. We exercise the power of repentance through the atonement all the time, but I think this week I finally learned how to utilize the empowerment of the Atonement. I will forever be grateful for the gift that our Father in Heaven gave us, the best one we will ever receive, His Beloved Son, Jesus the Christ.
I am happy and living the dream, being stretched a little ha-ha, oh mannnnnn, but I am happy. I love you all and hope that you all have a great week :)
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO You are all the best, I am so blessed to have such an amazing family!!!!
Con Todo de Mi Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014: You remembered things I liked that I forgot I liked........

Hola familia!! You all sound super great which makes me super happy :) Happy Birthday Kennedy on the 11th!!! :) 16...not sure how I feel about that ha-ha. My baby sis is going to be dateable and I am going to be too far away to chase off the boys. Good luck Dad ;) Thanks for the package! It was the biggest one ha-ha. The President actually came and dropped it off at my house because it was sooo big! (Normally, we take them back to our houses after a meeting or something at the offices.) So I feel extra special and missed. I loved the butterscotch pudding and you remembered things I liked that I forgot I liked, so it was cool! No worries, the presents are still intact and haven't been opened, just a little bit of the food has been downed. Good luck Maddie with finals! You will rock them :)
Well, this week was great! We had a very powerful lesson with Rosario about the Plan of Salvation and really demonstrated how the Book of Mormon has all the answers. We left 2 Nephi 2 for her to read because she had a lot of questions about why bad things still happen to good people. We are so blessed to know where we can go to find answers to the toughest questions: always, always, always, always in the Book of Mormon. The entire mission is practicing hard for our big Christmas concert this Friday that will be in El Paso del Norte (it's like the Performing Arts Center....NICE!) We are going to sing one of my favorite versions on the planet of the song: "Joseph Smith's First Prayer “sang to the melody of "Come Thou Fount." I first heard it last January when Elder Christofferson came to USU and fell in love with it. All of the songs we are preparing are beautiful. Cool part, I get to sing by Hermana Sutton a lot of the time so it's really good to talk to her. She has really helped me build up my confidence to train. I was so lucky to be her companion!!! Hmm, I've really been blessed in every manner out here in the mission.
Speaking of training, cambios are tomorrow! My companion is Hermana Zepeda and she is from Mexico. I am going to be moving to the apartment above where I am now and will be opening up a new area: Paraguay 2. Hijole!!!!!!!!! I'm a little bit nervous. I've been thinking a lot about my email from Dad last week that talked about people praying for the strength and ability they need for the situations they are put in instead of praying for their situations to change. I know that this upcoming adventure will be a lot of work and I really have no idea what I'm doing, but it will all be okay. Heavenly Father thinks I can do it, so I can. I will just pray to be equal to the challenge.
Well, I hope that you all have a fabulous week and that you're all enjoying the Christmas season! I love you all soooooooooooo much!! Can't really express my love very well with letters, dang it....but here I will try ha-ha. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO I am doing well and living the dream, I'm happy to hear all is well at home. Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Con Todo de Mi Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014: And guess what was cooking........ MENUDO!!!!

Happy thought for all of you, the next coming December will mark my homecoming. So whenever you miss me, just remember I will be back before you know it :) As for me, it's A LOT OF TIME!! I don't want this to end :) I am having a great experience here and love the work. Happy Birthday on the 6th Maddie! And congrats on the engagement, I'm really happy for you both and am excited to have a new brother. Sounds like Thanksgiving was full of food and good times! Everyone sounds like they are doing well! Good!!!
Well, Saturday had the most events so I will tell y'all about it. I was putting on my makeup and felt like I should ask Hermana Ramirez why Elder Temple called last night because she didn't tell me. I was going to wait until we started breakfast, but then decided to ask her anyway. She turned white and gasped and said, "WHAT TIME IS IT?? I FORGOT!!!" I told her it was 7:20 and she said, "Oh Hermana! We have got to go!" I asked her why and she said we had choir practice in Pradera and needed to leave in the next 10 minutes to catch the buses. So we ran and ran to the bus and got there on time for our big Christmas choir practice with the President. Good thing I can run fast for a while. I am so happy we got there on time because if you are late with the President, you get sent back to your area. (Good training to be on time.) Anyways, we had a baptism that same night for the Elders of a young man they were teaching named Edgar. For the baptism ordinance, the man performing it did it with his left arm instead of his right arm. The Elders must have been sleeping while acting as the witnesses or something because nobody took note of it and they finished and went to go change after the baptism. When we stood up and turned to walk out and go back for the talks and musical number, I was still thinking that something was off with the baptism but couldn't put my finger on it. Then it hit me and I told Hermana Ramirez that we needed to talk to the Elders. Long story short, we had to gather everyone together again and have Edgar change back into his baptism clothes and do it all over again. After the baptism, we had a dinner. And guess what was cooking: MENUDO!!!!! I was really excited to try it! All the ward members were very excited and were telling me all the things I needed to put into the soup to make it taste good. Hmmm, in the end it was really chewy, interesting, smelled really gross, and did not settle well in my stomach. I don't want to say it was horrible, but it was ha-ha. :) I had to finish though because everyone was soooooo excited about it. I put on my big girl pants and downed that thing....but never again!!!! So Saturday in a nut-shell: we got ready and arrived to Pradera in record time, taught lessons, fixed a baptism, and ate menudo.
There is an initiative the Church is taking called, "El es la Dadiva", which I think is "He is the Gift" for you guys. It's super cool! The Church is having the missionaries world-wide do the same thing because they want to bring Christ back into Christmas. They have announcements in Times Square, cards to hand out, a hashtag, a video, EVERYTHING!! As a matter of fact, you might get a little surprise in your Facebooks sometime this month ;) It's that important....long story short, we are going to be busy at this special time trying to help bring people closer to the most precious gift any of us have ever received in our lives. You guys should check out the video and share it!! :) I really love it, and right now I know that I am right where I need to be, sharing this message with the people here in Juarez. I am so grateful for Christ and all He has done for me. Christmas is really a special time to remember Him and show our gratitude by serving others and by sharing what we know. When Christ is the center focus of our lives, mind and all, everything has so much more love to it! :) Sure, life has a few bumps in the road to roll over, but there is so much happiness to be found when we remember Him and who we are too. We are blessed!
Well, I love you all and hope that you all have a great week :) Living the dream! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

El Libro De Mormon.... Read it!

Our Christmas Tree

A statue of Abraham Lincoln!

Hermana Ramirez Birthday!!!

Thankgiving feast at Hermano Casavantes's

I love Root Beer!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone...

Blast from the past....  Sister Sutton and Hermana Patlan with Raegan.

Cooking Pancakes?
Birthday pizza with Hermana Ramirez. 
Menudo... bring it on!!!
Menudo is made from cow stomach....  Let it be known that Raegan is a very picky eater!

I can't believe she at that!!
Making cake!!!

Selfie... Hermana Anderton and Ramirez.
Happy Thanksgiivng....