Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015: Time Is Just Flying By!

Hola familia!! You all sound super great! It is hard to believe that school and football are on the go and that August has come to a close. Time is just flying by!!! Rumor has it that I will be coming home the 16th of December. Something about how the church doesn’t do travel the week of I will be coming home a week early before the transfer is over, because it ends the 23rd. I feel so cheated ha-ha. When we went to go renew my green card, one of the assistants to the president told me that was my release was weird to hear. I don’t know, I just never really thought about the fact that there really is a day in December that I do go just seemed fuzzy to me. But anyways, you guys can feel excited about that.

Well, this week was interesting and included a lot of walking. We contacted a lot of people and had some pretty neat experiences. We found a new investigator named Leticia, she had a near death experience a few months ago. She was in a diabetic coma and wasn’t coming out of it. She loved the way we talked about Jesus Christ and has homework to read the Book of Mormon; she was super interested in that. She said she never thought about the ancient people here in America having communication with God. (Good gravy, can I just tell you guys how hard it is to write in English right now? I have to translate in my head from Spanish to English to tell you guys my stories. How awkward.) Anyways, then there was another woman in the park that we contacted yesterday with questions of the soul cards from We asked her to pick a question and then we answered it with the Book of Mormon. She really liked the answer. We asked her if she had ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....she hadn’t. We talked a little more to her, and then she opened up a lot and told us the really sad story of her life. IT WAS HORRIBLE!! She said she was looking for a church like the one we have, and she looked at me and said, "I am a 26 year old single mother, with 2 young kids from different fathers, a dead husband who overdosed on drugs, and I live in a very dangerous neighborhood. (Don’t freak out, she lives like 30 miles from our area.) My life is way different than yours will ever be because you have this." (Referring to the Church and the Book of Mormon.) I thought about that a second and realized she was completely right. Seriously, we enjoy so many blessings. We know who we are, where we came from, where we are going, why we are here, that we have a loving Heavenly Father, and who we have the potential to become. We know how to find true happiness in this life by obeying the commandments and serving others. We know that families are forever. We know that the Atonement of Christ can not only clean us from our sins, but help us to overcome our weaknesses and support our trials. We know that there is always hope. Some people don’t know that. They really have no idea. I’m so glad I came on the mission to share this with the people here. I’ve been given so much that I almost feel bad about it, but the best way to show our gratitude for what we have is to share it with others. So to sum it up, here is one of my favorite hymns: (#219)

Because I have been given much
I too must give
Because of thy great bounty Lord
Each day I live
I shall divide thy gifts from thee
With every brother that see
Who has the need of help from me

Because I have been sheltered, fed
By thy good care
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
my roofs safe shelter overhead
That he too may be comforted

Because I have been blessed by
Thy great love dear Lord
I’ll share thy love again
According to thy word
I shall give love to those in need
I’ll show that love by word and deed
Thus shall my thanks be thanks in deed

Anyways, I love you all so much!! Thanks so much for all the emails of love and support!! You are all the best! I have been blessed with an amazing family. I am doing fabulous here and hope that you all have a great week!!!!! #livingthedream XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO until next time...

Con Todo Mi Amor,

Hermana Anderton

New "Star Wars" hairdo....

Hermana's Estrada and Anderton

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015: "A drunk man chasing us down..... quoting the Articles of Faith"

Hello family!! I am doing great and am super happy I got to stay here in Rio Nilo. The members were dying yesterday when they saw me ha-ha. You all sound super busy! I can’t believe that school starts this week! And FOOTBALL!!!! I miss football so much. But oh well, I expect lots of pics from the first day of school. I got my package, thanks so much! I loved it!!!!!!!! I was showing everyone my pics. I also wore my new outfit to church on Sunday and I’ve already downed almost half a Nutella and Hi-Chews. YUM!!! :) Thanks so much!!!!

This week has been good. Funny story first: We had a lizard in our bathroom. EW!!! We were getting ready to head out and exercise in the morning when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. And there it was....I ran to tell Hermana Estrada to kill it because I knew I couldn’t. She told me she didn’t want to do it either. We were a little freaked out. I got the broom and decided that I would rather have it dead than running around in the house. But I got scared and it ran really fast. So, one of the advantages to having the Elders live downstairs: free exterminators. We told them where it was and anxiously waited outside, then Elder Raymond walked out with the lizard in his hands. EW!! I thought they were going to kill it, but he said it was super small and why would we ever want to kill the poor little thing, and that it was traumatized from us trying to kill it. Then they let it go free outside. That is the difference between Elders and Hermanas....we view the world so different ha-ha. We visited Dulce this week and she is doing really well. We found out that she smokes...dang it. But we taught her about the Word of Wisdom, she was really receptive and said that she wanted to stop smoking and that she would make the effort. She is so sweet and sincere and tries really hard to keep her commitments. It was a really good lesson with her! Edmundo was interviewed to receive the priesthood, but will have to wait until the next week because of stake conference. He loves the church and is super happy. We had 2 activities in the church this week, a Family Home Evening with recent converts and was super fun. On Friday we watched "Meet the Mormons" as a mission activity, Jaquelyn made me super happy. This week was a little long, because that’s really literally all the highlights I have aside from a drunk man chasing us down and quoting the Articles of Faith... (He is a waaaaaaaaaaaaay less active member.) I decided I should memorize those in Spanish, if a drunk man can do it...I can. But yep, that’s my week in a nutshell. But I’m doing great and loving my mission as always.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the family this week and how grateful I am for mine. My parents aren’t perfect, but they were the perfect parents for me. They disciplined me in a way that worked for me, and really I know I was put in the home where I would be the most successful. I have two great sisters who love me and I love them. Thanks for all that you have done for me. I am so grateful that I was blessed with such a great family!!!! Boyd K Packer said:

"The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed for eternity."

As members of the Church, we know how the family should function and feel. I’m grateful for the role-model home that you raised me in mom and dad. I will never be able to thank you enough. You guys taught us well and had us well-trained...with just one snap ha-ha. :)

Well, that’s it, I have to go. I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week. Thanks for the emails and love!! Until next week.....XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Con Todo Mi Amor,

Hermana Anderton


Fun Dip... Yaaa!

The leaf was as big as my head!

Hurray!  A new outfit to wear to church.  Thanks Mom!!!

Hey, Dad had a pair just like these back in the......   80's!

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015: Drum Roll Please.......... I AM STAYING!!!!

HELLO FAMILY!!! Can I just tell you guys something.....all I want is some sticky-finger quesadillas from Winger's and lemon bars. Strange...I am not sure why that started. But I've been fighting it for almost a week now. Please bring those to the airport when I get home.

Oh and before I forget: HAPPY 27th ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD ON THE 19th!!! :) You guys make a stellar couple if I do say so myself.  <3

TRANSFERS: drum roll please..............................................................I AM STAYING!!!! I'm the eternal missionary of Rio Nilo and will complete a year here in this next transfer. They just can’t get rid of me. I am sure a lot of the members will fall over when they see me here on Sunday or when we go to eat at their houses ha-ha. I AM SO HAPPY!!! I love Rio Nilo. I was so nervous yesterday, but nope!! I am staying!! Our district is staying the same too, so that will be fun :)

This week it has been super-hot, but with lots of blessings too. We set a baptismal date with Dulce. She seemed excited! Dulce is going to live in Denver; she is here in Juarez getting her papers ready. So, long story short, I will be taking a trip to Denver soon after I get home to visit her. We also found some less actives that haven’t been to church in years. We heard their names a few times last week, found out where they lived (a little far away) and decided to hunt them down. The first time we went, they weren't there. Then we were walking on Friday, not very close to their house, and I had the distinct impression that we should go there. We decided to give it a whack. When we got there, the youngest daughter and the mom were there. According to them, they are really never home, so we were lucky to find them. Turns out, the dad died 2 years ago and it was painful for them to talk about. The mom is stone cold now because of that experience, but the daughter was really softened by our message and wants to sign up for institute now. We are going to work a lot with her and help her revive the testimony she has lost. As for the mom, we will see. She was pleasant but did not want to be at the return appointment we made with her daughter. Hmmmm, we will just let the Spirit take care of that. We are going to have 2 activities this week in the church, a FHE with all the recent converts and less actives on Thursday, and then on Friday we are going to have a Noche de Barrio and watch "Meet the Mormons"....everyone is supposed to invite a non-member friend. Hopefully we can get a lot of references from that activity!!!! :) I love work! I'm excited to see what this week brings. This past week was good.

Well, my though for you guys is about the Spirit. I’ve been reading in PMG chapter 4 and really have loved it. I think sometimes we make following the Spirit harder than it needs to be. It is easy really; just follow your heart and what it invites you to do. 

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil: wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge: for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade men to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ: wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

So, just listen to Moroni. I know that if we follow the Spirit we will be blessed, and we can't mess up. I know that He guides us in our lives. Seriously, I don’t know how to describe it...but you just know in your heart!!!! So act on your impressions!!! And study PMG 4.

Well, I got to go! I love you guys so much and hope that you have a great week!!! Thanks for all your emails and love!!! I’m doing great, so don’t worry about me. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO until next week!

Con todo mi amor,

Hermana Anderton

L to R:  Terre (Aurora's Daughter), Aurora (96 years young and RS President some time ago....), Hermana Anderton.  These sisters live next to Raegan.

Painting of Christ by Terre.

According to Hermana Estrada.....  This is what they look like!

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015: Edmundo's Baptism

Hola familia!! Everything sounds great at home and everyone sounds happy....and really busy. I can't believe it's almost time for school to start again. Life just rolls on. I'm so glad that you guys have kept busy and are having a great time.

Well, Edmundo got baptized as you can see from the photos. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!!!!! I will quickly tell you guys his story. Back in May, we were knocking on the door next to his house, but they didn't come out. We saw Edmundo walking into his house and decided that we needed to talk to him. He accepted our invitation to listen to our message, but when we went back for the follow-up appointment, he wasn't there because his granddaughter was in the hospital. After about 2 weeks, we were walking down the street where his house was and we found him again. He explained to us why he wasn't there when we went back and then we set another appointment. This time he was there. We started teaching him about the Restoration, and when we mentioned a living prophet that leads us today, his eyes lit up and he got really excited. We kept on with the lessons. When we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, he said it made so much more sense than all the other things he had listened to. With that lesson, we set a baptismal date, which he readily accepted. When we taught him the Word of Wisdom, I swear I have never seen anyone so excited about that in my entire mission and doubt that I ever will again. He told us that about a year ago, if we would of told him to drop the beer, he would have told us to get out. He really liked his beer before, but in December...the Lord prepared him. He had a major surgery with his stomach and almost died. That is the reason he became so interested in religious things recently, and it cut off his rights to drink alcohol...doctors’ orders. Anyway, he explained that he really wanted to leave who he was behind and was ready to take a step of faith and endure to the end with the decision. He comes to church faithfully and early. We had a member in almost every single lesson with him, so he really connected well to the priesthood holders of the branch. He is a quiet and not so expressive person....but he has really started smiling a lot and seemed just as excited as I have ever seen him the day he got baptized. I think he was super anxious for it. When they got down in the water, he started leaning back to be baptized before Hermano Bendavides even said the prayer. I guess you could say he was a little excited to become a new person. He is a year older than Dad, and lives with his sister. He was divorced like 20 years ago and has 3 kids. His family didn't support his choice to be baptized, but he knew what he wanted to do and tells us that he is very content. When we gave him his baptismal certificate, he almost started to cry. I'm so proud of him and all the progress he has made. It is so cool to be a missionary and watch the light in the peoples' eyes change. He just has a different air about him now. On Sunday, he told us he was already seeing the blessings of being baptized because he woke up and his stomach wasn't as inflamed and didn't hurt as much. (He has had a lot of post-op complications.) Yeah, I was a happy camper on Saturday. Other than that, this week has been great! Dulce came to church and readily accepted to keep the Sabbath Day holy. She wasn't coming to church and was selling in the segundas on Sunday to get a little extra money because they are struggling with paying the bills. We promised that she would be blessed if she kept the Sabbath day and that everything would work out with the money. She didn’t even blink twice and said, "Okay, I will be at church." On Saturday, she came to the field day activity that the branch had with her kids. They love the primary. They even stuck around for the baptism, and a little bit before the service, I taught her 7 year old daughter a little bit of the piano. On Sunday when I went up there to go play, Allison followed me thinking I was going to teach her more piano ha-ha.

Well, that is how my week went in a nutshell. I am super happy here and am doing great. It is super-hot, but I figure it will start cooling down in a month and I have survived 3 months of heat so far. I am really happy in my area and am super nervous for transfers next week. I can't believe this is week 6 of this transfer. It is going by way too fast. I love the mission life!!!!!

Thought for the week is from Jeffery R Holland and his talk from the April 2013 conference:

In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.  

Everyone has questions and we all need to have a little faith. Hang on to what you do know and keep going.

Well, I love you all so much and hope that you all have a wonderful week! Thanks again for all your support and love and emails. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Until next week....

Con todo mi amor,

Hermana Anderton

Hermano Benavidias (Ward Mission Leader), Edmundo, Hermana's Anderton and Estrada

Hermana Anderton, Edmundo and Hermana Estrada

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015: One Year in Juarez, Mexico!!!

ONE YEAR IN JUAREZ MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe it!!! Your little girl has survived Juarez Mexico 365 days. ;) I’m glad that you guys enjoyed the birthday photos. Hermana Cisneros was all over the place. She made me put on a party mask and everything ha-ha. When we got to her house for lunch she said, "Rodney’s birthday was the 30th. Let’s send him a pic!" More like 50...ha-ha. Sounds like everyone had a great week, which makes me happy!! I can’t believe it’s time to go school shopping, didn’t school just end? Oh well, that’s the way time just doesn’t stop for anything.

This week has been great!! Edmundo is getting ready for his baptism this Saturday, he is pretty excited!! And so are we...We had intercambios this week and I left Rio Nilo for a day. That is the 3rd time in almost 11 months that I have left the area to proselyte. I felt sooooooooooo lost. I love my area. I never want to leave it again. I hate not knowing where everything is. Seriously, I know my turf here better than I know my hometown now. But I had a good time and really got to know a great hermana named Hermana C. She is super sweet and doesn’t have a lot of I spent most of the day complimenting her and trying to get her excited about the work and to realize how big of a blessing it is to be a missionary. She seemed a little more excited at the end of the intercambio. We have headed back to visit Maria de Jesus a few times, she broke my heart. We walked into the disaster we started with. She really took a turn back to where she was. Lluvia, her daughter, is the only one coming to church now. She’s 11. The ward takes good care of her and makes sure she gets to all the activities. Maria said she wants things to be the way they were before when she was going to church. We told her she had to put in her two cents. We are going to attempt to work with her again and help Lluvia with her Faith in God book. I just wish people would understand that the Gospel changes lives when you live it!!!!!! We are going to convert the boyfriend of a less active member and Ricardo’s sister.  They are our other priorities in investigators. We are having a blast and working hard. I really love my companion, she’s chill as a cucumber. Other than that, we have just been talking to a lot of strangers (ha-ha) and inviting everyone to come unto Christ. I love being a missionary and watching the people who are progressing change their lives. They get a new pep in their step. I’m so grateful for the chance that I have to help out my Heavenly Father in His work. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, but one of the most rewarding. I will never regret coming out here!!!!!! I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people. I love Mexico!!! I will come back to visit....that is an absolute must!!!! :) I’m doing great out here, so don’t worry about me. I’m so happy!

Thought for the week from my favorite author, Sheri Dew:

"When we turn our lives over to the Lord, the power behind us is always greater than the obstacles before us."

I know that if we turn our lives over to the Lord, He will make more of us than we ever can imagine!!! So keep calm, pray on, and go with the flow. He has a plan, and even though we may have one that is pretty good...He has a better one. :)

Well, I had better get going. I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week!! Keep up the great work and smiles. I’m so proud of you all. Thanks for all the love and support you give me. I love my family!!!!!!!! Well, until next time....XOXOXOXOXOXO

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Anderton
Happy Birthday to Dad!

I love cows.....

Hermana's Estrada and Anderton

Rio Nilo District with the Hernandez's

Hmmmmm....  Elder Raymond!

She says she did not start it!!

"Sunday Selfie"
One way to get Raegan to stop talking.....  put ice cream in front of her.. haha!