Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015: Livin' On A Prayer

WOAHHHHHH!! WE'RE HALFWAY THERE!!!! WOAH, LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!!! TAKE MY HAND, AND WE'LL MAKE IT I SWEAR!! Sorry, just can't believe I am halfway through my mission, and who can resist a little Bon Jovi? I know Mom wouldn't be opposed :) You all sound like you are doing wonderful! I'm glad that you all had a wonderful spring break! Now it's back to real life. 73 days until the wedding, sheesh, time flies!!!!

Well, this week has been good! We had a really powerful lesson with a member who's mom is going to die pretty soon. We just listened to her and her testimony and told her to hold on to what she knew, and then sang her "All Is Well." I didn't think too much about it until Sunday when she was teaching the Sunday School class and told them that she was sure Heavenly Father never leaves us alone because He always sends people to our aide and talked about how much strength she felt from our lesson that helped her get through the week. We never really know how much a kind word or act will really mean to someone, so we should always just do it. We ate with Maria de Jesus yesterday; she wanted to give us food. It was chicharon, or I guess you could say pig intestine fat. GAG!!! But I ate it like a champion because you have no other choice ha-ha. The people here give us so much food!!!!!!!!! Oh goodness, I can't handle it! Even if you just eat one plate, it's still a load of food. So if I come back a little thicker, don't judge. I will drop it within the first few months of being home, so I'm just not going to fret over it. I will just control what I can and then roll with it.

This week we were contacting a man in the street and found out he was a child psychologist. I asked him if he knew how to analyze people with just drawings and he said he could. I was curious and asked him to do one for me. He had me draw a tree and then told me about my personality. It was straight on!! We knew him for about 60 seconds and he already could tell me a lot about myself. Long story short, I'm a little girl stuck in a grown-ups body because I really like to play and like to be free. But when push comes to shove, I'm very organized and know how to work hard and focus. I am a good leader but hate to be in charge, but I really like things my when I'm in charge, I'm super bossy. Hmmmm, yep, that's me!!!! I want to learn how to analyze people based off drawings, I find that super interesting.

There will be a baptism this week of a less active's husband. Maria is really excited to attend one and see, I think it will be the kicker for her, so I'm excited to see the results. We had an activity in the church house last weekend and she was wandering all around socializing. She's good to go.

Well, this weekend is conference. I hope that you all are preparing well!!! I'm super excited to hear from our leaders! Write down 2 or 3 questions to get answered in conference, you'll get your answers :)

My thought for you guys is short since I'm almost out of time. I've been thinking a lot about examples and loving people. I'm so grateful for the example of my parents and for the love I always knew I had from them. They showed me the gospel. My parents love me, so I trust them! I know our Heavenly Father loves us too! My quote is from my favorite apostle, Richard G. Scott, from last April's conference:

How can each of us become such a significant influence? We must be sure to sincerely love those we want to help in righteousness so they can begin to develop confidence in God’s love. For so many in the world, the first challenge in accepting the gospel is to develop faith in a Father in Heaven, who loves them perfectly. It is easier to develop that faith when they have friends or family members who love them in a similar way.

WE can all be an influence for good! I love you all so much!!!!!! Have a great week and enjoy conference!!!!! Till next week! XOXOXOXOXO Living the dream!!!!

Con todo de mi amor,

Hermana Anderton

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015: It's So Simple A Child Can Understand It!

Hello family!! I hope that you are all doing great! I'm so proud of Kennedy! State Champs!!! Great job!!! :) I'm so happy for you. I love Madison's dress. It's beautiful! You will be a stunning bride!!! Only 2 1/2 months until the wedding! Wow, I remember when it was 6 months away. Sheesh, life rolls on without a stop! I'm going to hit my halfway mark this Wednesday, I can't believe it! I feel like I just walked away from the car and didn't turn back to see you guys to enter the MTC yesterday. But then there are some things that feel like eternity ago ha-ha. So, time is an odd item to understand. So, I figure to just enjoy the moment you're in with all your heart.

Well, we worked hard this week and the weather is warming up. Except one day, we got soaked in the rain! I might as well have not showered that morning. Hmm, I'm really becoming an old timer because I am running out of things to say ha-ha. I am really happy in my mission and am learning so much! We talk with a million people every day! I've been in this area for almost 6 months; I'm starting to recognize some of the people in the street. I have a million friends now. I figure even if they don't accept our message, they are still my friends. I'm getting better at remembering people from off the street by name, so that way they feel more special. Maria de Jesus gave me a skirt this week that she didn't fit in anymore. It’s really pretty. We were about to leave her house after an appointment and she said, "Wait, I have something for you!" She went to her room and started shuffling with things and then came out with a blue flower-printed skirt. She told me she used to be small like me, but has since gained some weight and wanted to give it to me "with all the love in her heart." She could have sold it for money, but she just gave it to me. I love that woman! Please keep her in your prayers. She really loves the church and is changing so much! She is progressing; she is just battling a bit with accepting that she's ready for baptism. She always keeps her commitments and is so happy. When I met her, she didn't even smile. Now she's got a whole new light in her eyes and talks about how all the questions she has ever had in life are getting answered in the church. We put a baptismal date with Antonia for the 16th of May. She learns a little slow, but loves the Book of Mormon and always asks for more scriptures to be left with her. We just want to leave a chapter or 2, and she ends up reading like 5 or 6. She says it's amazing to her because she can understand it and can remember what she read. That's the power of the Book of Mormon, the doctrines of Christ: simplified and put into example. It doesn't speak in riddles. (Okay, 2 Nephi is sometimes a bit different, but I personally still love it ha-ha.) It's so simple a child can understand it! So people with kids, it's not an excuse, read them anyway with your younglings!

Okay remember: MEMORIZE THE LIVING CHRIST DAD, MADDIE, AND KENNEDY!!! Since its Spring Break and y'all will be chilling for the next week, be productive! I want reports next Monday. You will pass it off to Mom, the only person who did it so far. And punto!

Now that I've reminded you guys about the cool challenge I gave you guys to do, here is my spiritual thought for the week. It comes from a talk from David Bednar from 2012. It's called The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality. Here's the link.

Anyways, it's a really good talk! I've been thinking a lot about how much I need the enabling power of the atonement in my life. I need His grace because there is no way I could do this without Him. Really, how can any of us do anything without Him? He will make more of us than we ever can. We all have disabilities, and He can turn those into strengths (Ether 12:27). Here's the part I loved about the talk, it speaks for itself:

The enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.

I know He can help us do more than we ever thought we could!

I love you all so much! I hope you enjoy your vacation! Get ready for General Conference, its coming! (So is my birthday! I'm so happy General Conference is the same day.) Memorize the Living Christ. Well, until next week!!!! Living the dream! XOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Hermana Anderton gets to drive in Juarez!!!
The Lion King...  I'm more interested in the seafood restaurant.. mmm mmmm!

Just like the old Maxima at home....

Maria gave Raegan a dress

Yes, it rains in Juarez sometimes...

She cooks??? 

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015: I think Juarez is a bit different than Wyoming

Hello beautiful family! I'm glad you got the package!! I hope you guys enjoyed the Mexican treats, they are amazing right? Good job Mom on finishing memorizing The Living Christ. And the rest of you??? Hmmm. Good luck to Kennedy at State this week, you will do wonderful! And have fun picking out your dress Maddie! Pick the poofiest one you can find...ha-ha. I'm kidding. Let's not look like a white fuzz ball at your wedding. It's not 1988 after all. (Hehehehe, Mom :)) Oh, and a very happy birthday to Grandma Russell!!!!

This week was great, as are all the others. I really like my companion, she is a hard worker. I think Juarez is a bit different than Wyoming, but she's taking it like a champ and adjusting well. We had a really cool experience this week with an investigator. We got to Antonia's house and her two cousins were there too. She had just finished reading Alma 32 and was ranting all about how beautiful it was to her cousins. She kept repeating, "Faith is like a tree. We have to keep watering it!" Her cousins starting asking us questions and we got into a good conversation. At some point, one of them said, "Well, I think all the churches are true and come from God. Everything that's good comes from Him." Well, that's half-true. Before I realized what I was saying I said, "Well, that's not exactly right." and was flipping open my Bible to Eph. 4:5. They asked how they could know which church was true. Then we explained that there was a young boy in the 1800's that had the same question, and taught them about the Restoration. When we asked them at the end what they thought of all of that, they just said, "Wow!" So, we got their addresses and passed them along so the missionaries in their area could teach them. They were a little floored, but they said they felt really good. THE SPIRIT PEOPLE!!!

Maria de Jesus has hit a couple of road bumps, but I'm not too worried. She knows it's true. I think Jaquelyn might get baptized before her mom, but we will see if we can iron out the wrinkles we have going on. She invited her neighbor to come with us to church, but he didn't want to. She was upset he didn't want to come. She said, "He really could use help. I know he would feel more at peace if he would go." Ah, drives me crazy, she loves the church and does everything...she just has that darn man in Sonora. We are just going to pray and let the Lord take care of it. She told us the other day, "It's like magic when you come to my house." I'll tell you what that magic is: The happiness that the gospel brings into our lives!

Anyways, this week I've just really been thinking about how blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives. I've really noted this week how unhappy some people are, and it's because they are either not living it, or they don't know about it. I wake up every morning with a smile on my face and am always humming happy songs, because I'm happy!!!! Sure, I have had a few surprises in my life and there are many more to come, and yes the mission is work, work, work...but I'm happy. We are so lucky to know what we know, and have this blessing in our lives.

My thought for you guys comes from Romans 12:2. It says:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The world is changing fast! I know I'm in my mission bubble, but I can sense it. Standards are falling, "exceptions" are frequent, and we are starting to depend on our own wisdom instead of the guidance of God. Our “tolerance” cannot find us failing to stand up for what we believe in. NO, IT SHOULD NOT BE THAT WAY!!! May we take the stand, be firm, and be examples. We read about Captain Moroni this week. Let's be bold like him, and not conform to the trends of the world. We do have to live in it, I'm not suggesting we run into the mountains and cut ourselves off from civilization. I'm suggesting we get our noses in our scriptures, become more fervent in our prayers, build unshakeable testimonies, and stand up for what we believe. There is a world out there waiting for us!

I love you all and miss you soooooooo much! I hope that you all have a great week and that all goes well. Enjoy state, enjoy spring break, and love the life you live. We are all living the dream!!! XOXOXOXOXO Till next week!

Con todo de mi amor,

Hermana Anderton

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015: So, Apparently the Lord Thinks I Speak Sufficient Spanish......

Hey everyone! It sounds to me like you guys had quite the week. I'm glad everything has settled back down. You guys should just wrap yourselves up in bubble wrap and stay in space-hazard suits and never leave the house, that way nothing will happen. Ha-ha, live your lives, but don't have a week like this one again :) I love the emails, thanks so much for all your words of encouragement and love. I also got the package, loved it! My comp helped me eat everything except the Rolos, I told her that was something I just couldn't share ha-ha. I LOVE THOSE!!!!

To start off, I ended up naming my knitted cat: MUFASA!!! I'm kind of proud of it so I wanted to tell you guys. Okay, now the surprise of the week: I'M CURRENTLY RAISING MY SECOND BABY!!! Yeah, we got a call on Tuesday morning and Hermana Zepeda left for Casas Grandes and I am training a brand new missionary again. We packed up and in were in the mission offices in 30 minutes. I guess you could say they didn’t give us a lot of time. My companion is from Green River, Wyoming and her name is Hermana Ferrell. So, apparently the Lord thinks I speak sufficient Spanish...we are two Americans navigating the streets of Juarez and only one of us speaks Spanish ha-ha. She is really cute and just got out of high school. She is anxious to learn and is always asking for vocabulary words in the streets to memorize. She is going to be a really good missionary!!!! It was a little weird to speak in English sometimes...mine has gotten really bad. I saw Hermana Sutton in the mission office; she goes home the next transfer!!!! :( I'm so grateful for all that she did for me. I can't believe I almost have the time left that she had when I got here. I remember when I thought it was an eternity away, now time is flying! 

Maria de Jesus is the cutest thing in the world. She is smiling so much now, it makes me so happy!! She is making changes, slowly but surely. I don't think she will make her baptismal date we set, but we will put a different one. I know she will be baptized. I feel the same way about her that I did about Hermana Patlan, so I know she will get baptized. Actually, a hermana in our ward said something really stupid to her about coming to church in pants and that she was lacking respect by not wearing a dress or skirt. The mother bear almost came out of me...but I refrained from pouncing on the hermana. Maria let it roll of her back and said, "I will come in a skirt when I feel like it." Really, it's not that big of a deal. We told her everyone wears skirts, but it was okay to do what she felt comfortable with. Her kids and her used to come in hoodies, and they came this week in brand new nice sweaters. Those types of things come with time; I wish people would just understand that. That's not the important part right now in the process. So please, never say dumb things to investigators!!! We went to visit her after church and she wasn't too worried about the incident with the hermana and just started talking about how much she loves the church. She got very serious for a second and asked, "Do I have sufficient faith?" We assured her that of course she did and talked about Alma 32 and how she's nurturing her faith with her prayers, by going to church, etc. She was beaming at the end. She has invited her neighbors to come to church with us next week.

So my thought for you guys is about the Atonement this week. I've been thinking a lot about it since I was memorizing that part in the end of the first half of the Living Christ this week. (Where are you all at?????) Anyways, I was also reading in True to the Faith about the Atonement. It said there that it was the most supreme demonstration of our Heavenly Father's love for us and of Christ's love for us and for the Father. We can NEVER DOUBT THAT WE ARE LOVED!!!! So yeah, come what Father and Savior love me. (Oh and my family too :)). I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Christ, without Him, there is no way I could make it through a year and a half away from you guys living in Mexico. I could not make the changes that I need to make without His help. I would still probably be that bum I was when I was 14. It makes me think of the scripture in Mosiah:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
Through the Atonement, we can have support in our trials, free ourselves from sin, and become the men and women that God wants us to be!! The Gospel, the Plan, the Atonement, it's all centered in the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

I love you all so much and miss you all a lot!! Have a great week! I'm living the dream and am happy here. Keep on keeping on and have a blast! XOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Nutella Heaven!

Hermana Ferrell straight from Green River, Wyoming

Hermana Ferrell and Anderton

Valentines gifts....

Always use a pair of Racquetball Glasses!!

Sacred Grove Poster..  Not sure where she found this?

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015: Moroni's Promise, or not.......

Okay, first things first!!!! I was not transferred and neither was my companion. We are sticking to the work here in Rio Nilo for the next six weeks! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! I'm so happy that I don't have to pack up my stuff ha-ha. I didn't feel like doing that. And the other thing: great job mom on memorizing the Living Christ!! As for the rest of you...I think you guys can see my facial expression right now. Where are your reports?!?!?!?! I hope that you're all trailing along nicely too. Everyone sounds happy and semi-healthy, keep up the great work! When is Spring Break for you guys? I am super excited to see Maddie's wedding dress :) I want photos of everything she tries, and you can't buy it until I have my opinion stated with the choices. My sister has to look mighty fine for her wedding!

Hmm, this week was great! (They always are!) But here's the funny of the week first. So we have an investigator named Antonia who was super interested in the Book of Mormon. SUPER-DUPER interested. It's all she wanted to talk about. So we left here Moroni's promise to read in Chapter 10. When we came back, she told us she was very disturbed and super confused why we left that part of the book to read. We asked her why and what happened. She then opened her book and said, "There are a lot of ugly things. I started in 10 like you wanted me to and went until the mark you put." Well, in the Spanish scriptures, Chapter 9 verse 10 is on the left page at the beginning and chapter 10 is at the end on the right. She read from Chapter 9 verse 10 until Chapter 10...oh man! She read about the destruction of the Nephite nation and all of the ugly ways people were dying. I started laughing and told her the mark was where she was supposed to start reading. She laughed too. No wonder she was so confused and a little bit shocked ha-ha. 

Maria has back-peddled pretty hard about her baptism this week. Her boyfriend who lives in 4 hours from here...doesn't want to get married. But he helps her out with money and stuff, so she doesn't really want to break up with him. Dang it, drop him woman! She told us she wasn't sure if she could change anymore. We told her change wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible. We then reviewed all of the blessings she is seeing in her life as she has kept the commitments. She said she would keep listening and keep preparing but lost a lot of animo. I was devastated!!!! I don't think I've ever had my heart break like that before. But then we had Stake Conference this week, and I think it might have saved her vision of baptism. A recent convert spoke about his experience, and it was PERFECT!!!!! I felt a huge sigh of relief when we went to a lesson with her on Sunday night. We had planned to talk about following the prophet, but she refused to focus on that and only wanted to talk about the testimony of the recent convert. She kept talking about how beautiful the stake conference was and how much she loves the people of the church. She then recommitted to baptism and seemed re-animated. We're planning a service project with the youth to paint her house this Saturday or the next!! :)

Okay spiritual thought for you guys. I'm going to finish all the standard works before I get home and am currently in the NT. I was reading in Mark 4 this past week and it really got me thinking. Question for you guys: What type of seed are you? Here are a few verses I want to share:

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty and some sixty and some an hundred.


14 ¶The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stonyground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or 
persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground;such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

We need to plant ourselves in good ground. We need to be sure of who we are and where we are going. Sometimes we can get really excited for things and then drop our testimonies and faith faster that a hot potato when things get rough. Sometimes we love our time on our phones and Facebook more than we love to go out and serve. Sometimes we let doubt trump our belief in things we know to be true. We should do a self-check frequently and always, always, ALWAYS, be strengthening our testimonies. If you don't have one, get one! Jeffery R. Holland gave a beautiful talk about building our belief in April 2013. Read it. Here’s the link:

Anyways, I just want everyone to be on sure and steady ground. So please never procrastinate the opportunity to strengthen your testimony.
I love you all and hope that you have a great week! You are really all the best; I miss you guys so much!!! But holy, half-way there...time is flying. Don't forget to memorize the Living Christ! I love you guys!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the wonderful emails!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Someone knitted Raegan a.....  something??  Hello Kittie?