Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015: En el Pueblo de Sion

Hola Familia! Everyone sounds like they are doing great!! Maddie is wrapping up nursing school and Kennedy is just chillin like a villan in school. Wow, I can't believe that Sharon and Ric are leaving in a few days! I remember when you guys told me about them leaving and I thought May was so far away. Time is flying. Yep, 10 months gone away....ah! It's going super-fast right now.

Well, this week was good. We had a great activity in the stake yesterday. Oh it was perfect! It was for the recent converts and the investigators. The recent converts shared their stories and their testimonies and the missionaries sang, "En el Pueblo de Sion". Maria seemed super excited and happy after the activity. There were cookies and Hershey kisses afterward and Lluvia was eating them all and stuffing them in her pockets...ha-ha children. But it was a little bit embarrassing; we had to remind her to share. Anyways, Maria is progressing adelante again, I was a little worried there for a few weeks that we were going to lose her...but she's come through. It makes me so happy!!! Missionary work is the strangest thing on the planet. There are so many hard/ridiculous things you do like walking around all day, getting sunburned, getting blisters, eating some weird food, people rejecting you, others only looking for a heated discussion about religion, sometimes really missing your family, etc.....but it is ALL worth it because you get a front row seat to the gospel changing people and their lives. It's like workouts preparing for a race, everything you do is worth the sacrifice. The gospel works miracles in people. We found a biker group this week, they were super cool. Hermana Ferrell was super excited about it because she worked in a Harley Davidson shop before her mission. One of them asked if we knew Jesus: We sure do!!!! We gave them cards to check out church videos, they didn't really want anything...but hey, seed planted. We found a woman outside of the hospital and she unloaded to us for a good 30 minutes about her life. After her rant, she said we had showed up for a reason. Her grandma was in surgery and she was scared, so it was easy to tie in gospel principles, and we sang her a hymn. Her name was Claudia. So yeah, we've had some good finding experiences this week. Funny story: on Wednesday everyone wanted to give us an overflowing amount of food. I was dying!!!! I just couldn't do it anymore!!! So, by the time we got to the last one, she made us omelets. I thought my stomach was going to explode. She went into the other room and I had an empty water bottle...sooooo I stuffed the omelet in there as fast as I could and put it in my bag after so I didn't have to eat it or hurt her feelings...yep that happened. Oh! We saw an advertisement for the big marathon that is here in Juarez in October. Since I will still be in my mission for this one, I want to come back and run it in 2016. :) The maintenance guys that our over our apartment finally came to fix our sink that's been plugged for about a month, ewwww. When we washed dishes we had to throw the water outside. It was a process. I will never ever complain about washing dishes in a sink that functions now ha-ha. But long story short, the owner that rents the apartments remembers me from when we started renting the house and stuff and asked if I would ever leave. I told him probably not. He started asking questions about scriptures and wanted to know where he could buy a Bible...and we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained that that was something he could give a whack and that it complimented the Bible. We then gave him the address of the temple store so he could also get his Bible. But I think if he opens up the Book of Mormon, he will find everything he needs.

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, that is my spiritual thought for you guys. I really believe that it's a super powerful load of scriptures that we don't treasure enough. It is a great source for testimony and strength. I love my scriptures, all of them, but especially the Book of Mormon. That book changed my life (Alma 5 to be exact). I know that if we take time daily, at least 5 minutes (if you can't manage to have at least 5 minutes for God, you're too busy and might think of rearranging your priorities. God always comes first! Our lives will be blessed greatly. We will find better guidance and peace in our lives. We will be led by the hand and receive answers to our prayers, but we must search them out :)  Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. Don't nibble on the scriptures, feast on them and don't miss out!!! Everyone read at least 5 quality minutes personally!

Well, I love you all so much! Thanks for the wonderful emails! I have the best family in the world!!! Thanks for all your love and support! Have a great week everyone and keep up the great work!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO  #livingthedream

Con Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Hermana Ferrell and Anderton

CCR!!!   A family joke!!  Memories of Cross Country

Ready for a marathon?
Raegan says she will have to go back in 2016 to participate!

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015: A Package From Italy..... Fragile!

Hola familia!!!! Everyone sounds great!!!! Mom, your emails kill me!!! I was laughing so hard I was crying....I know why you picked that quote. Ha ... ehhhh I gotta catch my breath. Hmmm Thai food? How was it really?? Happy late birthday to Grandma Anderton. I woke up on Friday and realized I had forgotten to mention it in my last letter. Please send her all the best birthday wishes and a great big hug and kiss from me. I got my package this week! Thanks so much! I loved it!!!!!!!! My comp starting eating her chocolate bunny before we even took pics ha-ha. I thought the package might have been Italian since is said, "Fragile." (think A Christmas Story with Ralphie) I pulled the Christmas Story quote ... but was the only one laughing since my comp has never seen that movie.

Well, this week was a bit tough, but we made it through alright and had a few great experiences. We have a new investigator with a lot of potential, her name is Fabiola. She really likes art and speaks a little bit of English. My comp connected with her on the art thing, she was pretty excited about it. She is definitely the better half of this companionship, she is awesome!! We are really excited to teach Fabiola. She used to be an atheist but has had some experiences that have led her to want to know more about God. She is 26 years old. Maria has had a few difficulties and so her baptismal date has been postponed. Even though she has a lot of problems, she is a sincere seeker of truth and loves the gospel. So, we will keep patiently working with her and her family. Ha, I'm so impatient. She was teaching her nephew yesterday when we were visiting her that God and Christ are 2 different people, "SON DOS!!!" she kept repeating and repeating. We went to primary on Sunday with Lluvia because she did not want to go to the second half of her class and wanted to be with us. Oh primary!!!!!! We sang "Follow the Prophet" 2 times with all 9 versus...I was all propheted out!!!!

I know that Heavenly Father answers the prayers of His children and is aware of their needs. We were walking down the street and a man came running across the street and asked if we were the Mormon missionaries. When we told him “yes”, he invited us to come visit his wife right then. Turns out she is a less active member I haven't seen before. When we walked in, her face lit up and she said, "Oh, I'm so grateful you have come! You are here when I need you most." She is going through some rough things and really felt desperate. She came to church yesterday :). We are also visiting another less active member and helping her read the Book of Mormon since she never has. We read it with her and discuss the passages so that she can understand them better. We are in 2 Nephi now... try explaining that in Spanish ha-ha. Anyways, I never really pondered the importance of our visits until yesterday when she started bawling and said, "You will never understand how much your visits and patience means to me." She had written each of us a little note and in it described how lonely she had felt until we came and helped her learn to love the scriptures. We were the answers to the prayers of these two women, and we didn't know it until after. God is directing His work! We must do more than know the gospel; we have got to live it! Heavenly Father answers prayers sometimes through us. If we are not listening, we will miss it.

So I have a quote! (Surprise) and it's from Uchtdorf. "Forget not to be patient with yourself, forget not the difference between good and foolish sacrifices. Forget not to be happy now. Forget not the 'why' of the Gospel. Forget not that the Lord loves you." I have seen a lot of sad people this week because they have forgotten; they have forgotten who they are and who loves them. Have you ever paid attention to how many times the word "Remember" or something of the sort is in the scriptures? IT'S EVERYWHERE!!!! I sincerely believe if we would put a little more effort in to remember what we have felt and learned in times past, we would be so much better off. So anyways, forget not that God loves His children. It's a simple concept really. When trials come and when things don't go quite our way ... if we just remember that ONE thing ... then it doesn't matter as much anymore because we know that the one in charge of the universe loves us. Just remember!

Well, I love you all and hope that all of you have a great week! Best of luck with all the adventures coming your way this week!!! :) I love you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much! Thanks for all the support and love each of you has given me. I really am so blessed and have the best family in the world!!! Pues, until next week!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO ... Living the Dream :)

Con Amor,
Hermana Anderton

Hermana Ferrell and Anderton

Birthday Box has arrived.....   Family joke from Christmas Story!  It's from Italy....  Fragile!!!
Robin Eggs....   I'm suspecting they were gone before sundown.

What could it be....

Hahaha...  Some outfits I sent home from the MTC!!!

A new dress...

Yes, the bunny had an ear before we sent it... haha

Hot Chocolate in Juarez?  Hmmmmm.....

Mommy/Daughter Necklace.

Now were sending Nutella by the gallon!!  Raegan could survive for years on this.

Pudding....  Nutella and Pudding!!! I'm set.

Dad sent her a mint from the Red Iguana (SLC)

Searching for more loot.
I smell pretty

District before Cambios

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015: Dirt in the Eye!

Hola familia!! Everyone sounds great :) That rocks my world. Congrats to Kennedy for making varsity and for getting her back-tuck. I was always such a chicken...and look at her go! Madison's engagement pics are really cute!!! You guys look really happy :) Speaking of pics and happiness, Hermana Lievano tried to send you pics mom and dad through Facebook I think she also sent you both a friend request; at least that is what she said. So she doesn't speak English or anything, but y'all have google translate...and when I get home, you'll have Hermana Anderton to translate ha-ha. Anyways, I hope things are getting wrapped up for the wedding, its coming up!! AHHHHH! I need a cardboard cutout for pics. Summer is just around the corner too right? Wow, it seems like just yesterday we were moving me out of my apartment from college after finishing up the semester.

This week was the week of cambios. Ummmmm, I don't remember how to say those in English......wait......wait........AH! Transfers! Well, I'm sticking here in Rio Nilo still and finishing training Hermana Ferrell. I decided I might as well buy a couch and a toaster since I'm never leaving here ha-ha. I've been here for 7 months. But I'm cool with it. I really like it here :) It's been really windy, I've ate lots of nutritious dirt. Seriously, sometimes we would get back to the apartment and I thought, "Whoa, my wicked tan is coming in!!" but....then I take a shower and it goes away. So much dirt! I'm really glad I have my glasses to help with that. This week we put another baptismal date with Maria for the 25th of April. She always loves having us come and the Spirit we bring. We have really caught her attention with the idea of the gift of the Spirit and enjoying it all the time after her baptism. She is the coolest woman on the planet!!! Her life has changed so much. The mission is wonderful because you get to watch the effect of the gospel in people's lives. It's such an opportunity and a blessing!!! Funny story about her: her children NEVER listen to her and she used to not discipline them...but that's changing. One day we were coming up the stairs and came to her shantily covered porch out the back of her house and found 2 beds and bunch of toys and Lluvia and Abram sitting there. We asked what happened and they said their mom kicked them out for 24 hours because they were being bad. I know I shouldn't have started laughing...but I did. She opened the door for us and said, "Please come in sisters. I was waiting for you. Don't mind them." So, we went in the house and she said that they were going to learn. She told us she didn't yell at them or anything and calmly moved their beds outside and locked them out. I know it's horrible, but I could totally see it happening and Hermana Ferrell and I laughed. You must understand, these kids are out of to them it was a total shock. Other than that, we talked to a bunch of people in the street and have been really busy. Somehow we always end up right where we need to be!! It's cool to watch miracles and tender mercies happening every day.

I bought a Sudoku book on the internet last week. I decided I really don't want to be an old crazy lady....I've met so many of those! Also, I'm a bit of a nerd and I guess you could say I was thrilled to have some number puzzles to solve. My comp took a nap last week and I played Sudoku.

Well, my spiritual thought for you guys is from President Kimball. He has a book called "Faith Precedes the Miracle" that I keep finding quotes from in my scriptures. Hunt down that book and read it! I've loved every single quote from it. Anyway it says:

"Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to strengthen our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified? ... No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education ... builds our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called children of God."

I love that! Anyways, I know a few of you are feeling a little buried right now, but roll with the punches :) There is no moment in our life that goes wasted if we go about with an attitude to learn and with a mind open to the promptings of the Spirit. Life is a miracle, life is amazing!!! Hard, but absolutely wonderful!!!! Everything has a purpose and God is aware of each of us and what we are going through. He will support us in every moment of our lives. Of that I am sure!! :)

Well, I love you guys so much and miss you all greatly!!!!!! Oh, I just want to bring you all here with me!! I love my mission!!! Thanks for all you have done for me and for the wonderful opportunities that you have given me. I love you all!!! Have a fabulous week, keep calm and keep the faith. WE are all living the dream!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO till next week!!!

Con todo de mi amor,
Hermana Anderton

Birthday Gift....   Not sure if they are telling Raegan she talks too much??

She was calling a masterpiece??

Birthday gift from Hermana Mercado

Raegan says that Hermana Mercado eats popsicles like a little kid..  haha

Raegan's companion Hermana Ferrell from Green River Wyoming....  Way to represent.

Hermana Luly...  Takes care of Raegan...  We love mission moms!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015: Coolest Candle Ever

Now that is a "Birthday Candle"!!!

HOLA FAMILIA!!!!! You all sound like you are doing great and enjoyed the General Conference ALMOST as much as I did. It was awesome! I did have a good birthday out here, lots of members kept giving me cake, so I just started giving it away to my comp and other people. I was all caked out ha-ha. So we sat around eating cake and watching conference and then went out to preach, so I would say my birthday was great. Rosario gave us lunch that day and on my cake she put a firework, coolest candle ever! Good luck Kennedy with cheer tryouts, you will do great and will be in my prayers. Mom and Dad, we HAVE to travel all over Mexico!! Seriously, I've made a list of all the places we need to go as a family. Everyone was just talking about that this week, so right now I have traveling syndrome. So anyways, I have a list of about 10 places we need to see here in Mexico.

This week was good. We were pretty busy contacting people with the "Because He Lives" initiative that the Church is doing for Easter. I hope you guys have seen the video. If not, go check it out and share it. I really like the music. We found a family to teach! We were passing by a house of an old reference that we had back in December and could never find. I had a distinct impression to turn back and knock on her door, even though I had high doubts that she would be there...because she wasn't EVER. But I figured I would rather follow the impression than wonder if I should have. When we got there, she had just barely come back from her LOOOOONG vacation. We asked if we could visit her for a little bit right then and she let us in. We chatted for a while and then showed the "Because He Lives" video and they really liked it. Her name is Armida and her husband is Juan...and embarrassingly, I can't remember their son and daughter's name right now. Whoops. Anyways, Juan is a Bible junkie and was asking a bunch of complicated questions about the Bible trying to stump us the first few minutes we were there. But luckily, the Spirit helped me remember things I've learned and I found myself really grateful that I went to seminary and took my scripture reading seriously. THANK YOU BROTHER HILL!!!! We gained his trust after that and then he relaxed a bit. We left them a Book of Mormon and taught them how to pray and we will be visiting them later this week. Maria went to the baptism and liked it a lot. She started listing off all the things she would have to do if she got baptized to me and expressed her concern that she couldn't follow through on a few things. I assured her that she could, and that we can't be perfect. She's ready, she just doubts we will keep working. We found a woman who talked with the missionaries at a hair salon 4 years ago. She asked us for a Book of Mormon and hugged it when we gave it to her. She said she had always wanted to read it. Her name is Ampara. She's a future investigator we have, so hopefully this week she can be a new one :) So yep, we are just talking to everyone and the stray dogs in the street trying to find the people who are seeking happiness ha-ha.

I found a new favorite game I like, it's called scripture baseball. Summary: you have to guess book, chapter, and verse to get a homerun. OH BRING ON THE CHALLENGE!!! Hermana Ferrell showed it to me, I'm addicted. I love that game. I also am still using my Med Tech skills and gave Hermana Mercado a shot for her allergies this week. She was worse than Kennedy!!!! She wouldn’t calm down. After the shot, she almost passed out. Good gravy, we had a good laugh at her afterward.

General Conference was amazing! I loved the focus on families and on testimonies. Focusing on what we do know instead of what we question was a good point that Rosemary M. Wixom made. I loved her talk!! I think because I've worked with a lot of less-actives and have found that trend to be so true. I think that's something we can all apply, too. We know the simple truths of the gospel to be true, sometimes we get caught up on the things we cannot understand and lose our love for the things we do know. Questions are good, they are how we learn. But we need to be careful what type of questions we ask, and be prepared if the answer is, "You cannot know yet." I know that this church is true, that the BoM is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Christ is my Savior. So...even though there are some other things I don't understand or question, I cannot deny the basic truths of my testimony. So if anyone ever doubts, just remember to go back to where it all started: the basics. (This can all be found in Preach My Gospel, I love that manual!) Anyways, enjoy and the conference talks. Study them, apply them, and make goals!!!! :)

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all the love and support. I have the best family and friends on the planet. I love you all soooo much! I'm doing well here and living the dream. I hope that you all are too!!! XOXOXOXOXO till next time!

Con amor,
Hermana Anderton


Mission issued transportation....... not!
Lets go contact people!!!

Happy Birthday Raegan!!!