Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015: The Golden Seal To The End Of My Mission!

Hola Familia!! Surprise!! Change of travel plans, I leave tomorrow morning really early, so I have time to write today!!! Well, I cant believe how fast this week flew by. It really went by in a dream. Everyone keeps telling me goodbye and I feel like its a lie and that I will see them in this upcoming week, but I wont. I just am going with the flow and trying to keep my nerves under control. I'm really excited to see you guys, but Im nervous to leave the mission and I don't know why haha. But I will be okay. I just might cry a little bit, so don't judge me haha.

Monday we had my last zone conference and I just felt strange saying goodbye to the missionaries of my zone. Ive made some great friends on the mission, and the majority are Mexican, so I will be traveling here a lot haha. Anyways, the sisters (Hermana Zepeda, Callahan, Teisina, Mercado, and Minalla) bought me a cake and a few sweaters to wear when I get home....and lots of Starbursts haha. They came around the corner during the break singing a hymn that only comes in Spanish (Placentero Nos Es Trabajar Number 88 of the Spanish hymnbook), and I almost cried. The third verse is the one they sang. Its really a great hymn, look it up and put in google translate haha. I will send pics. I went to Juarez on Thursday and came back late Friday. I went for a meeting of the missionaries that are going home. They told us about how much luggage we can bring, a few tips for going home, and stuff like that. I heard about half of it because the only thing I could think the entire time was, "Oh my gosh!! I'm really going home!!!! This is happening." But the most important event of the week: EVELYN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!! She was so excited!!!! But first I must share the experience of getting permission from her mother. We went to her house on Wednesday to have her sign papers. We had had verbal approval from her at the beginning, she told us that she could care less and that we could teach her daughter. So we did, but we needed to make it official and explain to her why Evelyn wanted to be baptized. When we got to the house, her mom was screaming at someone in the phone and was obviously very upset. I think she said a lot of not so nice words because I didn't understand everything. We sat down in the other room to wait for her, and once she got off the phone, she yelled at Evelyn to put her shoes away. I was starting to feel a little nervous, but I just prayed in my heart that we could change the feeling of the house and help her mom to feel the Spirit before we asked her to sign. She sat down and introduced herself briefly, then started listing off all the reasons she doesn't like religions because everyone is a hypocrite, etc. I thought, "Okay, this might be a little more tricky than we hoped." But, we just listened for a bit....then we asked her to tell us about herself. She shared when of the most difficult stories Ive heard in my mission, I understood a bit more after why she was so cold and didn't like religions. She has had it rough and is now a single mother trying to raise 2 teenagers on a low salary, and shes been burned a few times by people who were religious. After listening and making a few comments, we invited her to sit on the lesson we were going to give to Evelyn. She said okay and then offered us soda. We taught Evelyn the 10 commandments, and her mom participated and everything. We were winding it was time to ask her. I prayed again, then cleared my throat and started to speak with her. I explained that we wanted to respect her role as a mother and that we wanted permission to baptize her daughter on Saturday. I explained what the form was that we wanted her to sign and then we sat and awaited her reply. I'm so convinced that the Spirit really softened her heart, because she said, "Okay, where do I sign then?" She then asked what time our services were on Sundays because she was interested in coming. I about dropped dead. About 30 minutes before she told us she didn't ever want to step foot in church again. So yeah, I'm so grateful that the Spirit takes care of all the hard work, I know that if we wouldn't have had the Spirits help, there is no way we could have pulled that off. When Evelyn arrived to her baptism on Saturday, she was smiling and shining. She had taken out her extra ear ring, and when we went to go change her to her white dress, she started crying. But she was glowing!! She was so excited and almost ran to the font when it was her turn. She was so happy after. It was so wonderful!!! She is a great girl with lots of great things ahead of her!

But yeah, Evelyn's baptism was the golden seal to the end of my mission. So grateful I could end with that. I'm so grateful I came on my mission. Ive never felt happiness quiet like I've felt here. Ive learned so much about myself and have changed a lot. Sooooooo I'm still me, just improved haha. I cant believe this is over....but really I will never forget all the wonderful experiences Ive had and the amazing people Ive met. Thank you so much for supporting me and helping me out every step of the way. Thanks for the prayers especially. I know that the work of salvation is the best work to be involved in, and there is sooooooooooo much to do!!!! But everything else I will tell you guys when I get back....Okay....well see you all on Wednesday at there or be square!!!! I love you guys!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO until next time....

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Evelyn's Baptism

Evelyn and Hermana Anderton

Quebec's Baptism


Cutting the cake......


Evelyn and Raegan

"going away party"

Going away cake!

Hermana Anderton and Zepeda
Christmas Spirit

Internet Cafe' signature on the wall

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015: Becuase It's Home!

HOLA FAMILIA!!! Como estan? First off, happy birthday Kennedy on Friday!!!!’re getting old! Well, this is my last letter....CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I can’t.....time went by so fast. I’m pretty sure this is my last letter since I will be traveling to Juarez next Monday.  I doubt I will have the chance to write. Everyone is asking me how I feel. I honestly feel like my life is passing in a dream right now, kind of like my last week at home before I went to the MTC. It’s strange. Anyways, a few ideas for the airport....I’m really dying to eat Sticky Finger Quesadillas from Wingers...could someone please bring them? Thanks.

I hope you guys have enjoyed the posts for Facebook. We put them in a program so they post automatically...I’m not in internet all day ha-ha. Evelyn will be baptized this week on Saturday....she is super excited and so am I. She said the funniest thing when we asked her who she wanted to perform the ordinance, she said, "I really want the prophet to baptize me." We told her his schedule was pretty full. She loves the idea of a living prophet. I went to Juarez on Thursday and Friday for leadership meetings and the bus ride gave me some time to think about my plans when I get home. Could someone find the Lion King in Spanish? Watching that is on my to-do list...and sledding, too. As for school, I’m still just rolling with the punches ha-ha. But this week flew by. I was only in my area 2 days the entire week. On Tuesday, I went on intercambios with Hermana Zepeda, we had fun. It was a companionship reunion!!! She is really a great missionary. It was fun to see her progress from when she first got here and didn’t say anything, to a missionary that testifies and invites people to make commitments with power. I love her so much!! I hope you guys will have the chance one day to meet her. We committed one of their investigators who battles with an addiction to tobacco to fast. Hermana Zepeda told me he did fast and sounds a lot more motivated. So, yeah, that’s my week super-fast. I’m going to keep busy this week and work hard until the end. I can rest in one week. I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU ALL!!!!

Well, my thought comes from what I learned in Relief Society this Sunday. The RS president, Lily Gonzalez, shared the Tale of the Three Trees (check the link ) Anyways, I loved the familiar story, I’ve read it before. But it meant a lot more to me this time. As I’ve been wondering about what the heck I’m going to do when I get home, I’ve really not worried too much. Because in the end, I can make plans and have hopes...but Heavenly Father has His own purposes in mind. Really what I hope is that He will help me fulfill my mission in life, even if it wasn’t what I exactly had planned. Here in the mission, I’ve learned to trust Him more than anything. So, I hope we can all make the choice to prayerfully make goals and plans, then hand it all over to the One who knows exactly what we need.

Well, I guess that will be all. I love you all so much and will see you all soon!! December 16th at 10:30pm....don’t forget!!! Thank you all so much for the love and support, I couldn’t have done it without your support, love, and prayers. UNTIL NEXT TIME IN THE AIRPORT.....XOXOXOXOXOXOXO   #livedthedream

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Why? because it's home......

Christmas spirit in Casas Grandes!

Raegan with Hermana Marino.  You always pray their is a mission mom in every area!

Intercambios with Hermana Zepeda

Who knows?

Hermana Zepeda and Anderton

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015: Hermana Sutton Brought Me NUTELLA!!!!

Hola familia!! How is everyone? I really enjoyed your letters! It sounds like it was a great Thanksgiving, even if the football game was freezing cold ha-ha. First off...HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADISON!! There, I didn’t forget. Also, another subject I need to hit before I forget: our mission will now be a Facebook authorized mission for the new Christmas initiative that the church is doing. We will be posting things about it. I’m not sure if we are going to start tomorrow or next week. Long story short, don’t freak out when you guys see something from me on Facebook. I’m obedient ha-ha. And yes, it was SO FUN to see Hermana Sutton!!!! It was great to meet her family too. She gave me the big hugs you guys wanted to send...and a Nutella!! WOOHOO!!! Thanks for the pics of the apartment. It looks great! Thanks so much for getting everything for school lined up for me. That really has helped me feel a little bit calmer about coming home.

Well, this week was another great week and it flew by! I was really only in my area 1 day of the entire week. I went on intercambios with Hermana Clark, she knows dad’s nephew Brady Anderton. Anyways, her area has hills in it...I’ve been in flat areas my entire mission, so I was dying about half-way through the day. But it was fun! We visited a family that has a baptismal date for January and we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. The dad wouldn’t accept that the Fall was part of Heavenly Father’s Plan. I was really bothered by it...he was SO stubborn!! He said that we could have all just lived there and stuff. I pulled out the Book of Mormon and asked him if he thought it was true, "Ummm, yes." Okay. So we read 2 Nephi 2:22-25. He didn’t get it the first time, he still said it was their fault we were here suffering. So we broke down the verses a little bit and took pauses. It finally clicked. "So, we wouldn’t have been able to progress there, we wouldn’t have even been born? And we are here not just to suffer? And God knew that was going to happen?" "Yes." Power of the Book of Mormon made manifest. I spent the weekend in Juarez for another meeting...then came back on Saturday night. I’m going to go back this weekend too. I’m really getting to know the highway between here and Juarez ha-ha. Overall, I can’t believe how fast this week has flown by!!! And even more, I can’t believe how little time is left. I am really having contradictory feelings, I’m so excited to see you guys and watch the Lion King....but I’m so sad to be leaving my mission!!!!!! So yeah, I really am not trying to think too much about it, but I’m trying to make friends with the unchangeable fact I’m on my way out.

My thought for you guys is going to come from my personal study. I’ve been re-reading Jesus the Christ. I just got through the part where after His baptism; he was tempted during his 40 day fast. A pattern I saw, every time He was tempted...He overcame it with a scripture. And that reminds me of a quote (surprise) from Richard G. Scott:

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly. They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.
Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."

I love my scriptures and wish I could just plant in everyone the understanding of just how wonderful they are!!! The ponderizing challenge is still on people! I know that the scriptures are a powerful source of inspiration. So, keep picking ponderizing scriptures and read your scriptures daily!!

Well, I love you guys so much and am so grateful for the wonderful family I have! Thanks for all the love and support you all give me. I love you all so much and am getting really excited to see you again!!! Have a great week!!!!!!! :) XOXOXOXOXOXO until next time....

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Making Tortilla's

Dublen Zone

Dublen Zone
Hermana Sutton was Raegan's trainer.  She visited the mission over Thanksgiving.  A special delivery was made.  Nutella!

A long distance hug from Mom and Dad delivered by Hermana Sutton!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015: My English Is Super Shaky!

HOLA FAMILIA!!!! Everyone sounds great!! And like they are counting the days....crazy how little time is left! I can’t believe it!! I’m really having mixed feelings. I am so excited to see you guys, but I’m going to be so sad to leave my mission. Oh well, I am just going to soak in the moment I’m in!! I also want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!! Give everyone a big hug from me!

This week was super weird! I was only in my area 3 days this week. I went on intercambios with the sisters in Dublan. That place is a mini-U.S., everyone speaks English and for lunch we ate chicken pot pie. My English is super shaky, so don’t laugh at me when I get home. It’s a super beautiful area; there were orange and yellow leaves everywhere!!!! Their house also had a little farm to the side of the guy who owns the land. (He's the one in the pic with the goose that wanted to eat my face.) Anyways, I took the legit chance I had to feed the raccoon! I have a video of it. I will show you guys when I get home ha-ha. Well, after intercambios, I had to pack my bags and go to Juarez! We had a meeting with the sister training leaders and the district leaders. We crashed at the sister's house in Pradera Dorada, and I met Hermana Creer. She’s from Utah and read my blog before she came. She said she was excited to meet me ha-ha. I shared a few "how to survive the mission tips" with her. She was so sweet and will be a great missionary! Our meeting was a great meeting and I took a lot out of it. After the meeting, Hermana Camejo (my traveling companion) broke her glasses. The President took us to an optical shop to fix them, but they couldn’t do it. The President was determined to fix them, so he glued them together. But anyways, cool part: Hermana Camejo's brother was marrying a chick from Juarez and was getting married the same day we were in Juarez. The President asked at what time, and then told us we were going to go. I couldn’t believe my luck!! I wanted to go to the temple soooooooooo bad. Hermana Camejo was in shock. We told him our recommends were in Casas Grandes, so he just gave us other ones....then told us to hurry off and that he would pick us up around 830 pm at the temple and take us to dinner. Hermana Camejo wasn’t sure of her way around, but I know Juarez like the back of my hand and what bus routes we needed to take and how long the traveling time would be. We went home and fixed our faces and hair a little bit, then went to the temple to wait for Hermana Camejo's family to come. We took pics and wandered around a bit. It was strange to be in my Rio Nilo area again, but we didn’t get to wander around the area, so I didn’t get time to say “hi” to anyone. Anyways, the sealing session was really beautiful and it was fun to meet Hermana Camejo's family. The temple inside is super pretty!! When we come to Juarez to visit, you guys have to see it! After the wedding, the President picked us up and took us to dinner as promised. I really have a lot of respect for him and his wife, they really are stellar people. Then, Saturday morning, we traveled back to Juarez and I crashed the entire ride home in a deep slumber. Hermana Camejo and I were talking until about 12 in the morning, so I lost a little sleep and needed to catch up. Anyways, it was a super fun and strange week.

My thought for you guys is from Neal A. Maxwell:

“If, in the end, if you have not chosen Jesus Christ it will not matter what you have chosen.” – Neal A. Maxwell

I love this quote! It’s true. It doesn’t matter what we do, if Christ is not the center of our lives, we cannot be happy, and that is that. His way is the only way to be happy now and have celestial glory in the life to come. We are so blessed to have the Gospel, which helps us put Him first in our lives and acts as a guide in all we do. Thank you Mom and Dad for teaching me the Gospel, and about Jesus Christ so I can have the chance to choose Him.

I love you all and miss you all! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for all the love and support. You’re all wonderful! Have a fabulous week! Keep up the hard work! Until next time...XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Hermana Anderton at the Juarez Temple  (not sure about the angle??)

Hermana Camejo and Anderton.  Hermana Camejo's brother was getting married and they were allowed to attend.

Yes, that is the border and El Paso in the background.  Hermana Camejo and Anderton wandering Juarez.

I'm supposed to feed the sheep?

Goose attack!

Hermana Camejo and Anderton.  They traveled together to Juarez for some training.

Hermana's Reynoso and Anderton with Hermana Mary Garcia  (A Missionaries Mom away from home!)

Raegan stayed the night in Juarez.  With Hermana Creer

Old mission friend Hermana Mecado

Hermana Tiesina

At the Juarez Temple

Hermana Anderton at the Juarez Temple

Juarez Temple

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Juarez baggage cart!

Rocky Raccoon!

Yes, that's the rooster that woke me up!