Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015: Hermana! Su Falda!!!

Hola familia! You all sound like you are doing super great, which makes me super happy. :) Yeah, I've been doing this gig for 7 months. Time is really picking up!! (Stop counting ha-ha.)

Well, this week we worked in a trio for the two areas!!! It was fun, but I'm glad to be back down to just me and Hermana Zepeda. Hermana Mercado's companion's mom died, so she went home for the funeral on Tuesday and returned last night to the mission. Her name is Hermana Hernandez, she is really amazing!! So, yeah....we ran from appointment to appointment across the entire area! I didn't realize how big the 2 areas were. We found a new investigator this week named Ricardo. He listened to the missionaries in El Paso 12 years ago! He was outside of his house with his mom, who we went to contact. She was not very interested, but he was! He said the sister missionary who taught him was Sister Anderson and she was blonde too. I asked him if he thought it was a sign that it was time for him to act on what he learned 12 years ago. He said he would pray about it :) sooooo we will see how it goes this week! We worked a lot with the Young Women this week. Hermana Bustamante also really helped us out a lot. (She's the YW President.) There are only 3, but they are a powerful little bunch and accompanied us to 2 of our lessons this week.

IT SNOWED HERE THIS WEEK!!! I will send pics! We made it fun. It was super cold and windy, but in the words of Hermana Zepeda, "The pioneers survived. We can walk on!" We actually had a blast! But oh the things that happen to me - catch this: I walked 30 minutes that day on a main road with my skirt hiked up to my hip without realizing it!! HOW EMBARRASSING!!!! I mean, I know I have fabulous legs, but I don't think that they should be showing like that out here ha-ha. When we reached our destination, Hermana Mercado gasped and said, "HERMANA! SU FALDA!!!" Nobody noticed because I was on the left side and it was my left side of my skirt. Oh goodness...I think it happened when we climbed the fence to cross a huge puddle of water and my bag kept my skirt up. Oh goodness!!!! Everything awkward always happens to me!!!

This week I have learned that the only thing people want is to be loved. Just like Carol always says. There are some very sad and lonely people. We need to serve always!!!

My thought this week comes from General always.  It's from the talk, Trifle Not with Sacred Things "...I had a choice to make. Some of their questions created doubt and uncertainty. The choice was an important one. Where would I turn for answers? There were many who wanted to convince me of the error of my ways—“riptides” determined to pull me away from the peaceful current that had become a wonderful source of happiness. I learned very clearly the principle that there is “opposition in all things” and the importance of acting for myself and not forsaking my agency to others."

Always we need to know where to turn when questions arise. The only person who knows the truth of all things is our Heavenly Father. I know that lots of questions will arise and test our testimonies. For this reason, we need to always strengthen our testimonies and take our stand!!!

I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week!! Living the dream!!!



Con Amor,

Hermana Anderton

According to Raegan, this was one "fat" cat!

Trio of sisters for a week... 

Navigating the mud and water....

District just before transfers

Snow in Ciudad Juarez..  Hermana Zepeda looks genuinely cold!!!

Raegan's reminder to work hard....

Seriously....   I still got mud on my shoes!

Found enough snow for a snowball!

Trio of Hermana's. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015: The Lord Has A Plan For Us

Hola familia! You all sound wonderful. The pictures from the dance look really fun! Kennedy, that boy is pretty dang cute. Nice job ;) I really miss you guys though, too!! But yeah, I'm pushing 7 months now and time is really picking up. I won't lie, the first 2 months I thought I would be here forever...but the past 5 just happened soooooooooo fast. Hmm mas bien, it's been a rollercoaster with my time perception. Sometimes I think, "Holy! It's going by so fast." and others "That was today in the morning? Are you sure it wasn't 5 months ago??" ha-ha.

Actually, transfers are tomorrow! I feel like I just started training still. This is probably because my brain is always racing 100x a minute thinking of where to go and what to do. These 6 weeks have gone by pretty fast. (Okay, the first two were an eternity, but then it flew) I'm staying in my area and will finish training Hermana Zepeda. That makes me feel a lot better; it means I didn't fail and that I'm doing a good enough job. What a relief!!!!!! The only sad thing is that Hermana Ramirez is going to leave for Casas Grandes!! NOOOOO!!! I'm sad about that. She has been in my same area for the ENTIRE time I've been on my mission (she was in Ninos Heroes when I got here, and then we were companions in Rio Nilo, and then we lived upstairs from her this past transfer) and was my companion for 2 transfers. So, it will be weird to have her gone. It was hard being companions in the beginning, but really she turned out to be my best friend! We are so different, but when we really opened up to each other, we really connected. I have plans to visit her in Mexico, and she has plans to come and visit us. She is going to help me keep up my Spanish on Skype. Oh and my son is going to marry her daughter ha-ha :) 

I'm very excited to keep rolling here. We found 4 new investigators with really great potential this week!! of them wants her family to listen to us too. So, I'm praying by next week we will be reporting that we are teaching a young family. Another cool experience from this week: we had been hunting down a reference for about a month, but never could find her. Normally after multiple attempts of trying to find them, we drop them for a while. But her name would NEVER leave my mind. So we kept going back. We found her Thursday night, turns out she had been in Guadalajara visiting her father she had never met and just barely got back. She invited us in, we got to know her, and then taught lesson 1. She was really open and very receptive and very excited to learn more. I finally feel like we are making headway in the area, the light has finally broken through!!!! We are still working pretty hard with lots of less actives and trying to animarles a regresar a la capilla. (Sorry, I can't remember how to say a few things.)

My thought for you guys once again is from General Conference and the talk "The Lord Has a Plan for Us" I love it!!!! I really have grown a lot the past 6 weeks, it wasn't an easy road. But now I look back and think, "Oh, that wasn't that bad was it??" I love this talk because it talks about fulfilling promised blessings of our Patriarchal Blessings, the only road we are supposed to follow - even if it's not the easiest. I have seen a few things from my blessing apply to the situation I was in this past transfer when everything seemed to flop on its face. I learned to have a little more faith to DO and BELIEVE. I learned not to be afraid of difficult tasks because with the Lord I can do anything. Mom and Dad, you know some of the phrases from my blessing, so I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. But here is the quote I want to share: 

"The best paths in life are rarely the easiest. Often, it is exactly the opposite...I know that the Lord has a plan for us in this life. He knows us. He knows what is best for us. "

Long story short, the best thing in life is to be tested and to be pushed. Our Heavenly Father is making us run those 350 meter dashes as fast as we can not to be mean or to have us fail, He is trying to prepare us for what lies ahead next in our lives. He is helping us be stronger. He will never ask anything of us that is impossible, He knows we can do it. Of this I am sure!!!!!

I'm doing well here, I love my mission and am living the dream. I'm super happy. I miss you guys a lot. I love you all so much! HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK!!! XOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Pseudo Skyping with Dad...  haha!  (Raegan and I exchanged selfies real-time)

Spanish Study........

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015: Graham Cracker Houses on the Roundabout

Hola Familia! Como estan? I love your letters; you guys do a great job of keeping me up to date! And they are always inspirational. Seriously, you guys make me feel like a superstar and I'm always so thrilled to see your spiritual growth. Holy, wedding venue all picked out for the reception already? You guys are quick!!!! Mom is a professional planner. Ah, you better send me a whole lot of pictures! I'm super excited for you Maddie. Oh Kennedy, I think you’re trying to reenact my fabulous childhood with graham-cracker houses on the round-about. Its fine by me that you follow in my footsteps, my life was and is pretty great. :) Oh PS, I'm still writing your letters, so I still haven't sent the package to the house yet. I'm thinking I will probably get them to the person who can take them to El Paso to mail for me in the next few weeks or so. I don't have a whole lot of time to write the letters, so they are coming along pretty slowly ha-ha.

Well, this week we had interviews with the President. I think it was good timing to have them. It was really good to talk to him. The perfectionist attitude I have has definitely come out, ha-ha - thanks mom. I think I've always been unjustly successful with everything I've ever done in my life without much effort....this transfer the Lord has shown me who is the boss and that I really can't do it alone. The President told me to be patient (OH BROTHER!!!!!!) and then gave me a very inspired blessing. The promises he made were ones that I have full faith will come to pass, and his words of comfort were answers to all my questions about how I was doing and what I am supposed to do next. I felt so much better when we left there and now feel like I can sincerely say I'm not failing on the Lord's errand because I'm trying my best and He knows that. He's just teaching me right now.
We had a lesson last night that started off as a bit of a disaster, but then it turned out all right after many many many silent prayers. We were teaching a new investigator, Juan, who's the boyfriend of one of the members of our ward. Her mom wanted us to teach him, and at first he was less than interested. I thought to ask him if he liked movies, of course he said yes. So, we watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" to spike his interests. I think the movie really caught his attention and he agreed to listen to us now! Yay for movies!!!!

My thought for you guys comes from General Conference....again. Sorry, I just love it sooooooooooooooooo much :) It's from Pres. Monson's talk:

"As we strive to place Christ at the center of our lives by learning His words, by following His teachings, and by walking in His path, He has promised to share with us the eternal life that He died to gain. There is no higher end than this that we should choose to accept His discipline and become His disciples and do His work throughout our lives. Nothing else, no other choice we make, can make of us what He can."

Soooo, I really like this because it talks about how He can make so much more of us than we can and that the only way to attain that is to do what he asks us to do. The only way to achieve it is through a life-long process of completely changing or fine-tuning aspects about ourselves. It's the only right choice to make.

Well, I love you all so much and miss you all like crazy! But I'm doing well here and living the dream. Have a great week everyone! Love you!!! XOXOXOXOXO

Con amor,
Hermana Anderton

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015: I'm just applying the Pokémon theme

Hey all! It was great talking to you on Skype! You all look smashing!!  I just love you all sooooo much! But I love the Lord too, so I'm just fine out here. Wow, I can't believe Maddie will be a married woman on June 12th! :) And Kennedy is growing up so fast! Mom and Dad, you both still look young as ever ;) I love the Spanish language! Actually, we were reading something in English and the word "intersperse" showed up...but I read it as a Spanish word and was trying to figure out what it was. I thought it was some reflexive verb and was super confused why it was in the English text...then I realized that it wasn't a Spanish word. Oh cielos!!!

Well, this week I just had to "Keep Calm and Preach the Gospel" (Ehhh, shout out to Mike and Kristi for their awesome package, loved it…especially the bookmark ha-ha). We didn't have a lot of success with investigators, but success is on its way! I can feel it! We are trying super hard and I know that the Lord will bless our efforts. I'm just applying the Pokémon theme: GOTTA CATCH EM ALL!!!! So, we just talk to everyone and ask everyone for references. We found Claudia again, finally, and were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation!! She is progressing, slowly, but progressing. We did have some really cool experiences with menos activos in the ward this week. Two of them are old women who live alone; oh it broke my heart visiting them because they are sooo lonely!!! :( All 6 of the missionaries went to go visit Hna. Hinojosa together and we brought her some food that didn't need cooked because she has been living without gas for a week in this cold weather!! Right before we left, she asked the Elders if they could give her a blessing to help her not be sad. She knew that a blessing would help her feel better. What faith! She also said she was sure that a league of angels had entered into her house and had lifted her spirits. I started to cry, oh my goodness, I just wanted to take her to our house! Another visit happened when we were trying to contact references without any luck. I had Hermana Irene come to my mind randomly, but I could not remember in the least bit where she lived, nor did I know her very well because I've only seen her once for 5 minutes...but her face came to my mind! Before my mind could catch up with my body, we had taken a left-hand turn and found ourselves in front of her house. I recognized it and we knocked on the door. We had a good visit and asked for references. When we left, she started to cry and said she knew that Heavenly Father was listening to her prayers because we showed up. It's amazing to see how the Spirit can direct the work of the Lord so perfectly. I am certain that Heavenly Father is always looking out for His children and will find the means necessary to help them out...ALWAYS!

Well, my spiritual thought for you guys is about the prophet. I've been reading General Conference talks still, and have been re-surprised by what I've found. A story of service about President Monson made me really think. He had given the very shoes off his feet in Germany when they went to visit there right after all the problems they had, and he flew home in his house slippers. I couldn't help but think, if a man who will serve his fellow-men like that is not a prophet of God, then I would be blown away. I know that from President Monson, we receive untainted guidance from the Lord. That man IS a prophet of God.

I hope that you all have a great week and are loving the snow! It's getting really cold down here, but I know in 6 months I will be melting from the I will try to enjoy the cold on my face ha-ha. Oh the adventures of a mission, I will never have another experience like this one for sure! I'm living the dream.

I love you all soooooo much! Please remember that!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Raegan listened to a lot of "Journey" with her dad.   She found the mother ship!

Keeping warm with Hermana Zepeda

Juarez is a little cold.....

Taking a break in the playground!