Saturday, December 20, 2014

Week #17 in Panama!


So I may have used all my time talking back and forth with my missionary brother. Oops. So this email wont be too terribly long. Sorry about that. But not all that sorry because I love talking to my missionary brother  hahaaa. Anyway! Im getting a new comp today. Thats a story and a half. But I am very happy about this surprise change. My new comp is Hna N.? Something like that. Shes ginga latina, which means her parents are latino I think but shes from the states. Which means shes speaks english haha. Which is easier but not so good for my spanish haha. But we are going to set serious goals to keep working at my spanish and speak it as much as we can with each other! I havent met her yet but Ive talked on the phone with her and she seems really great. We are going to meet up in a little while and sleep in Panama tonight and then head back to Colon tomorrow. Im really excited about this change. Also, this is my new comps last change in the mission. She goes home after this change which means I will be in this area for at least one more change following the one we are in right now. Which ends March 18th. Almost half of my mission in one area. Super crazy but I feel good about it. I think its going to be really good. Shoot I have to go because I have to leave like right now, but know that I love you all SOO much and Im sorry that this email is so short and that Im not sending pictures this week! Talk (vie email) to you all on Monday!

Hna Anderson

Week #16 in Panama!


One of the crazy elders put that thing above because hes waiting for me to get done so he can write. Silly Mexican. I dont know what it means. Anyway. I had a pretty cool week this week. First of all, Im sorry that I dont send many updates about the work. There isnt a whole lot to tell because right now we are working with a lot of investigators, but none of them are coming to church, so we dont have any progessing. But we have faith that eventually they will!

So this week was pretty normal, just the same old stuff of contacting and teaching lessons. This email probably wont be very long, but I will try and share what I can remember. Ive been super bad about remembering to check my journal before I come here. PS!!! After this I get to see HNA P.!!!! Her comp is dying (going home) this week and Colon was her favorite area so Theyre here today visiting and we are going to see them after this!! Im SOO EXCITED!

Anywho. The week was normal as far as the work goes. Worked hard, No one came to church. Sad day, but going to keep praying and working hard! BUT on Saturday, we had our Chirstmas conference for the mission which was super cool. We all went to Panama and went to an orphanage to play with the kids there. It was sad but it was cool that we were able to help them feel the Christmas spirit. We also watched Ephraims rescue. It was AWESOME! Ive never seen it. You all should watch it. I got to see J. again and almost all of my CCM friends which is always fun. So that was Saturday.

Yesterday we got to watch the Christmas Devo in English! That was pretty awesome. However, I could feel myself holding back from thinking about it too much to keep from getting trunky haha. I do that a lot right now with Christmas coming. Also, we were at the stake center with the whole stake watching it, everyone else in Spanish obviously, and we had an investigator show up totally unexpected! It was awesome, and really showed us that Heavenly Father gives us tender mercies.

So those were the highlights of my week. We find out changes tomorrow and Ill let you know next week what happens!! Im nervous because I really have no idea what is going to happen. Please pray today that the president will be inspired to make the decisions that the Lord would have him make!! Love and miss you all soo much!!! Have an Awesome birthday mama and Brenny! I love you lots!!!

Hermana Anderson

Week #15 in Panama!

I dont have much time left, but Ill write a quick gen email.

So Tuesday was fun because we have consejos in Panama at 5 so we got to go and see everyone and I saw Hna J.!! Shes the best. I actually just saw her again a few minutes ago because we are in Panama again today. And we will be back again on Saturday for the mission christmas party, which Im really excited about! So that was Tuesday. It was also an extra awesome day because I got my GIGANTIC package. Everyone was freaking out about how big it was and telling me that my family LOVES me. I just said I know hahaa. It was awesome. We got home super late that night, but the next day I had my comp open it to get the decorations out and I decorated!!! Ill send pics! Thanks so much for the package and the decorations!!! I LOVE my tree and the cards and the santas and the balloons. I love it all. Tell gunnar I understood ALL of his little card to me, which made me feel good about my spanish haha. Thank you all for the other cards, too! Im so excited for Christmas eve to be able to see what else is in the big ol box. Everyone thinks Im crazy for waiting, but I know itll be soo worth it and itll make that night a little easier I think. 

Sooo skip to thursday. I wasnt really sad because I prayed A LOT not to be. And like corson said, its a lot easier when you just work work work and not think to much. And thats what we did. And then we went to The chirus for dinner and the made us a thanksgiving dinner!! It was sooo good and I was so happy! I didnt get to make my pumpkin pie, but we had apple pie which was good too. Ill send pics. They are the BEST. It definitely made the holiday a lot better. And I told them how I knew you guys were in the stores at that time and they thought that was so funny.

Thats about the jist of my week. Ill send pics now. I hope you all had an awesome thanksgiving!! Love and miss you all!!!

Hermana Anderson

Week #14 in Panama!

Hello mis amores.

What a week this had been!! So last monday night my comp was feeling sick again, but she didnt have a fever so we went to bed hoping she would sleep it off. When we woke up the next morning the first thing she said was for me to call the nurses. She was feeling rough and burning up. So we headed for the hospital again. We got there at 830 and were there until about noon. She had to have an IV and all that jazz. Shoot, am I grateful for the nice clean hospitals we have in the states. you guys, we are SO blessed to have all that we have. Anyway, it ended up being something with her bladder. Another infection I think because she doesnt drink enough water. So we went home and stayed home again that day. The next day she was still feeling rough and I was really stressed about not having been working in our area since sunday and having SO much that we needed to do, so we called the Pilon hermanas, which is the area next to ours, because we knew that one of them was sick too and couldnt leave the house, so we went to there house and the two sicklies stayed home while the other two of us went out and worked. We worked in Pilon, so I was still worried about my area, but I was grateful to be able to get out of the house and teach. The healthy pilon hermana came home with me that night and I left my comp with her comp (super confusing, sorry) so we could work in my area the next day, thursday. We had a cita on Thursday that was really important because it was with A., who is our investigator who came to church and is super positive. We had a really good lesson with her that day and then taught her again on Saturday. Shes really great and always asks a lot of questions which is awesome because it means she wants to learn. 

M., our investigator with the fecha to be baptized on december 6th, left town for two weeks for work, so we arent sure if he will be able to make his fecha. Theres only one more sunday left before the fecha and he still needs one attendance. When we talked to him, he wasnt sure if he would be gone for the full two weeks, but we are going to hope and pray that he will get home this week so he can go to church! He said hes been reading the BOM though, and hes also been drinking less coffee which is good! Hes so great. The reason we want him to meet his dec 6th fecha is because this change ends on the 10th and we dont know if we will both still be here next change. Prayers would be greatly appreciated! 

A member made us MAC AND CHEESE on Thursday!!! I was so excited. I just wanted to share that haha. I have pictures to share too. American food, oh how I miss it. 

We have a LOT of new investigators. We have been contacting a lot to find new ones and we did find some really positive people to start teaching. Families, even, which is best. We are really excited. The biggest struggle we have, though, is that we can only visit people once a week if at all because casi everyone here works all day every day expect one day out of the week. Some people get a day off every two weeks. Its tricky to help people progess when we only teach them once a week, but its not impossible! We are hopeful!

Thats about it for this week. ENJOY THANKSGIVING AND BLACK FRIDAY!!! Family, I dont know if you knew this, but one month from TOMORROW we get to SKYPE!!!! Im super excited about that! I love you all sooo much!! 

Hna Anderson

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week #13 in Panama!


Okay so I have quite a bit to write about today. First of all, some members here are going to cook us Thanksgiving dinner for next week!! Im really excited about that because Im a little nervous for how Ill feel on the holidays. Itll really help to do something special for them. Im going to make a libbys pumpkin pie and bring it because they dont eat pumpkin anything here haha I bet theyll hate it, but thats okay more for me! Also funny thing, they have black friday here too. They actually call it black friday, in english and everything. I know our ZLs wanted to ask president if we could move our P day next week to friday so we could go to Panama and shop but I have a feeling theres not a very good chance thatll happen haha. Mom I hope you and Whit are planning on going and shopping!! Black friday is the greatest. 

So let me tell you a little about whats been happening in the work this week. We have been leaving a lot with Hna G., the recent convert who just got sealed to her family a few weeks ago and she has introduced us to sooo many of her friends and theyre so positive!! We have had some really awesome lessons this week. One of them was with A., who visited with the missionaries before but nothing ever came from it. We visited her twice this past week and yesterday she came to church with Hna G.!! So that was awesome. M. also came yesterday so his fecha is still good for December 6th! We just have to get him off coffee haha but we taught him the Word of Wisdom this past week, too, and he seemed really receptive to it. Hes receptive to everything, really, hes just so prepared. We are really excited about him and A. both. We are anxious to see what happens the next three weeks of this change! 

So Thursday and Friday we were having lots of trouble with the water and power in the city. Both kept going out. For a while, most of Friday, we were without power AND water. We were out working so we didnt know it until we went to a members house late in the afternoon and they told us. I knew something was different because EVERYONE was outside hanging out. I loved it. I told my comp how the power going out is the greatest because everyone is forced to spend time together because theres no tv or internet hahaa. Its so true. I told her the story, as best I could in Spanish, about the ice storm that took the power out for so long and how we hung out talking in the living room by candle light for most of the night. I have some awesome memories with the family when the power was out! So we had a noche de hogar that night and when we got there the power was still out, but I had ran home and got my flashlight so we were able to see with that. My comp had been asking me before what we were going to teach if there was no power and I remembered that I just read a story in a liahona about a little boy asking his parents if they could have FHE (family home evening) in the dark and they did and used a flashlight to teach a lesson on the light that the gospel brings into our lives. So we taught that same lesson and I think it went pretty well. It was fun. I dont mind when the power is out, but Im not a big fan of showering with bottled water when the water is out!

Ive learned a little about cutting and cooking with raw vegetables this past week. I always used canned at home, so I had to learn. I thought I knew how to cook a little until I came hear and tried to help them cook latino food and looked like I had never cooked a single thing in my life haha. But Im learning!

I made banana bread for a baptism the elders had on Saturday!! It turned out weird, I thought, but everyone loved it. I think only because its something different haha. It was fun to bake something again though. I miss that!!

Okay well thats about it for this week. Its been a full one! Im excited to see what this next week brings. I love and miss you all lots!!! Enjoy Nana and Papa for these next couple of weeks!!

Hna Anderson

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Week #12 in Panama!

Hola mis amores!!

Soooo the first thing Im going to share is something that I realized last monday but forgot to tell you all. So Last monday was my first p-day with my comp and when we were doing laundry she told me my soap isnt good for cleaning, it only makes my clothes smell good. So I got a little frustrated and was like nooo Ive been using this for ten weeks and my clothes have been clean. Come to find out, she was right. Id been using fabric softener to clean my clothes the entire time Id been in Panama. How embarrassing and how gross right? My clothes never smelled bad, so I think it still cleaned them but obviously not as well as actual laundry detergent haha. I couldnt read the label, it was in spanish. Ahhh my little confusing spanish life. =)

Ohhh I wanted to tell Corson that I downloaded that talk and put it on my mp3 and have listened to it many times this past week. Its SUPER good. I love it. Hes funny. Im learning a lot every time I listen to it.

So this week I squeezed lemons, a lot of lemons, to make real lemonade. It was lots of fun. Ill send pictures. I did it with the grandkids of our mama sanchez. People here always serve us real lemonade but this was the first time I helped make it. So many things Im learning to make for you guys when I get home!

So we are still working a lot with M. and M. They're so awesome and love learning about the gospel. They had to go to Bocas for a funeral this past weekend and we taught them a couple of hours before they had to leave and we left them the word of wisdom folleto to read before our next lesson and manuel was like Okay Im going to go put this in my bag right now so I can read it on the bus to bocas! Hes the greatest. We have really high hopes for them. Just gotta help them understand the sabbath and the importance of attending church, but theyll get there!

So my comp woke up super sick on Wednesday and we had to go to Colon to the emergency doctor place. She had an infection in her throat. Super rough. We stayed home wednesday thursday and friday, doctors orders. It was good because she got better, but needless to say I was a little antsy by day three. I was a much happier camper on Saturday when we got to go out and teach! Haha I learned that teaching is what brings me the most happiness and peace here.

I had my first interview with the president yesterday since my first day in Panama. Hes so great!! And I really enjoyed getting to know him a little better. We are so blessed to have such a fantastic president!

Okayy well thats about it for this week! Looking forward to the coming week! Love and miss you all lots!!

Hna Anderson

Week #11 in Panama!

I have a lot to tell this week! First of all, I have a new comp! Her name is Hna C., Shes from Ecuador and she speaks absolutely NO english. My mission just got a whole lot trickier haha. Shes super great though because shes so patient with me and my Spanish. I have to ask her to repeat herself a lot if she talks to quickly for me to catch what she said and shes so good about doing it. Shes super sweet, but shes also super direct. Shes more direct than me even haha. I like it though because shes all business so I think we are going to have a lot of success together. Its a little tougher now, but its soooo good for me because not only am I going to improve so much with my spanish, but I know shes going to teach me so much about patience and the work. Shes really smart. Its going to be a challenge, But I can already tell that its going to be well worth it. 

We can actually communicate pretty well. Better than I thought we would be able to. Im seeing the gift of tounges in action SO much with her. Especially in the lessons. Since Ive already been here for 10 weeks and shes new to the area, Ive had to take the lead quite a bit in the lessons and when we are talking to members because she doesnt know anyone very well yet and doesnt really know their situations yet. Its super interesting listening to myself try and explain things and situations with my very small spanish vocabulary. I sound a bit like I child Im sure, but Im learning. And the important thing is that I CAN do it! Spanish is super cool and Im so blessed to be learning it. I cant wait to learn more and to really master it, no matter how hard it is. Because I know that some day, I WILL know spanish. 

I was a tad trunky on Friday night because of Halloween because you guys know how much I love that holiday! Our dinner got cancelled that night so my comp and I decided to go to McDonalds to celebrate halloween! I hadnt eaten chocolate for over a month because its bad for my skin, but that night I needed a TREAT, so I got myself a hersheys kisses mcflurry =) it was delicious and so worth it! It was a pretty good halloween for the mission haha. I enjoyed it.

We cant seem to get our investigators to understand that they have to come to church to get baptized haha. We had four people accept fechas this week, but two of them already fell because they didnt come to church. So we are going to try and explain that again haha. Panamanians are so great. I love them and their quirky ways. One of the members in our ward who we went to the temple with last change to help her understand sealing and feel more comfortable in the temple told us this week and she wants to get sealed in January!! Im so happy about that and am really hope it happens. Thats such a big step for her. Her husband is ready, but she just wants to be sure so we are helping with that.

This work is so cool and the results are like nothing else. The mission isnt easy, but no one ever said it would be. Its teaching me so much and I wouldnt trade it for anything. I love you all and miss you all so much!!!!

Hna Anderson

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week #10 in Panama!

Hola mis amores!! 

How are you all doing? Family, I thought we had an understanding about weekly emails. Wheres this weeks? =) (Family did email, but she did not receive.). Shoot this past week has been such a cool one. So many things have happened. This email is going to be a lot better than last weeks!

So first off, a bit of bad news, our one investigator who we thought was going to progress super quickly didnt come to church yesterday so his baptism cita fell. That was sad. But we are going to keep working with him and hope and pray that he will someday get there! Hes so awesome and is in a really perfect time in his life to accept the gospel.

So last Thursday night I think it was, we were leaving a cita in Nuevo Mejico 1 and we needed to get to Nuevo Mejico 2 for cena. So we started to walk and then my comp asked if I wanted to go by taxi since we were already late. So we stopped and not 5 seconds later a man called over to us from across the street and wanted to talk to us. Hes about 25 or so. So we started talking to him and he told us that hes been looking for us and he asked where the chapel is. Turns out his girlfriend lives in another part of panama and shes LDS and hes been learning about the gospel with her. Hes been going to church faithfully with her and hes been reading the book of mormon! And he lives SO close to us!!! We couldnt believe what he was telling us. It was such a miracle. So we are going to start teaching him and he said hes going to start coming to our church here. We are so excited about him. We feel like he is so prepared. 

So we have cambios this week because this was a short change of only 4 weeks. We are 99.9 percent sure that my comp will be leaving me because she only has two cambios after this one before she dies <goes home> and shes been in our area for 7 months, so shes due. Which makes me sad, but Im also super excited to experience another comp, possibly a latina who speaks little or no english. Ive learned SO much from J. and I am SO SO grateful to have had her as my comp. From what Ive heard from basically everyone is that you eventually come to really not like your trainer during your training just because its a difficult position to be in as a missionary, but that has not been the case AT ALL with her and I. Shes so great and Im going to miss her so much but Im so excited for this next phase of my mission!

Also, something you should know about latinos is that they are super blunt and a very popular talking point with them is the weight of others. Its not offensive to them. At all. They will tell you if youve gained weight or not. The other night we were at Hna S.'s house and she just looked me up and down and said Id gotten fat. I just said yo se hahaaa. And everyone always comments on the tummy pooch Im getting haha. Its not offensive though somehow because its just so normal here. I embrace it haha. I just hope I dont come home calling everyone fat, my comp is really worried that shes going to do that when she goes home because shes so used to it here haha. Its awesome. Latinos are awesome. 

We have a menos activa that we are working with who is sooo ready to come back, she just doesnt know it yet. We have been working with her for a couple of weeks and the other day when we went to visit her she was reading the bible so we asked her what she had been reading and she said she was studying it with a folleto that some <person of other faith> brought by to find out, get this, what the true church is. She asked the <people> that question and they told her no one knows what the one true church is. Silly silly. WE KNOW!! She was baptized without a testimony when she was really young, which is why she doesnt have a testimony of the true church yet but she really wants to know and she will realize it. We are going to work a lot with her.

I made patacones all by myself in my apartment!! I really wanted to cook something because itd been so long since I had so we bought the platanos and the oil and I made them. They were ugly but oh so good. I will send pictures.

Okay now for the best part. We went to the temple on Saturday to be there for the sealing of a family in our ward who were baptized a year ago. Oh my gosh you guys it was the most amazing thing ever. We all bawled. Id never seen a whole family be sealed together, it was so wonderful. It made everything so real listening to the words of the sealer. We really can be with our families forever. It was amazing to witness such a beautiful and spiritual moment for that family. Im so grateful to have been a part of it.

I love you all and miss you SO SO much!! Have a great week!

Hna Anderson

Week #9 in Panama!

Okay I had a ton of emails to read this week so this email is going to be a little shorter.
First of all, I FINALLY got to go to the temple this week! It was all in Spanish, but it was so so amazing. I couldnt believe the feeling I had there. It was unlike anything else. Does that make sense? My english is starting to suffer. But seriously, it actually hurt me to have to leave the temple. I was so sad! But we get to go again this saturday because its the stake temple day and we also have a family of recent converts in our ward who are getting sealed!! They are soo great  and we are so excited for them! They invited my comp and I to be there for the sealing so we are extra excited!
I did divisions again this week. I went with our new zeta ella. Shes so great but I have a super hard time understanding her spanish for whatever reason. haha. We had some super awesome lessons though. We taught almost all of our current investigators that day actually. That always seems to happen to me on division days. She really pushed me out of my comfort zone though because she basically made me run all of the lessons! It was super hard and I was super tired by the end of the day, but my spanish definitely got better after that day. I really want a latina comp next change who speaks no english because even though it will be SO hard, it will be so worth it in the long run because I know my spanish will improve so much.
Ummm. I cant remember what else happened this week. I know there was more haha but I didnt have time to look over my journal this morning, so this is all you get this week! Haha sorry! But I love and miss you guys so much and next weeks email will be better I promise!!
Hna Anderson

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week #8 in Panama!


So I received a TON of emails this week, thanks so much you guys!!! i love hearing from everyone. Okay so ... this computer is super slow so im not going to have as much time as usual. But Im going to try to respond to a few emails anyway after this one. 

so First of all, I finally have some things to share about the people we are working with because we finally have consistent people! Ever since I got here we were really just looking for new people and working a lot with menos activos. But now thanks to some really great references from other missionaries who have served in this area and from members, we have steady investigators! First of all, we have m. and m. and they are just SO sweet! We love them. They are brother and sister and theyre older and dont really have good memories so every time we go back and ask them what they remember from the lesson before, they have forgotten haha but we´re working on that haha. M. came to church on Sunday and he seemed to really enjoy it. He said he learned a lot which is really good. The only problem with M. is that she has a tienda in her house that she runs all day every day so we are really going to have to figure out a way for her to be able to come to church. Prayers would be appreciated!! then we have O., who I told you guys about least week and shes still super positive. She told us this week when we visited her that ever since we started coming by shes felt something different inside her. Yay! We told her about that being the Spirit and she was super happy.

So the other night was a rough one for my stomach. We did a service project in the morning of cleaning another house and we expected it to only last through the morning but we ended up not getting done until 2p so we didnt get to out lunch cita until 4p <or so>. I think maybe thats what freaked my stomach out because my body is super used to getting food at very specific times since we have the same meal schedule pretty much every day. But my stomach was feeling a little weird right after we ate but it wasnt until we were walking to dinner a couple hours later that it hit me. Super painful stomach pains! So what do you do when that happens as a missionary? You bathroom hop. The first time we were by a members house so we went there so I could use their bathroom and I thought I was good. But when this happens, it comes in two different rounds and I knew that but I was hoping it wouldnt come back for the second round. Well it sure did so we went to a random house and asked to use the bathroom. It was super interesting haha. My comp was able to contact the lady while I was in there though and we found out that her brother is LDS. Super cool and super funny that entire experience. And then I felt great and went and ate a whole other meal.

We had a stake service project cleaning up colon centro last saturday that went really well. We had a really good turn out. We cleaned and painted. However they forgot to tell us that the paint we were using was oil <based>paint not water <based> paint. Which means water and soap does not get it off. Only gasloine and other ridiculous things like that. So of course by the time we found this out, we were a mess in this paint and my comps leg was on fire because she spilled a ton of it on herself and its super bad to have that much of it on your skin. So we ran to the store to get paint thinner to get it off. She was in so much pain. Dont get oil paint on your skin! Just use water paint like normal people. 

We get to FINALLY go to the temple tomorrow! We are taking a couple from our ward who are married and have both only been through the temple the first time and thats it. They also havent been sealed so we´re taking them to do a session to help them make that decision. Im SO excited. Its been WAY too long! Itll be super interesting in Spanish though.

Okay thats probably good for this week. Im going to try and respond to some emails now. Love and miss you all!! Talk to you next week!

Hna. Anderson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week #7 in Panama!

Soooo great news! I got to keep my comp for one more change!!! I´m super happy about that and she is too. However, this change is a short change. Its only four weeks so it will end the last week in October. Sad. But that just means we have A LOT of work to do in the next 3 weeks! We have some big plans and ideas for the people we are working with. We wont have any baptisms together because people have to attend church 3 times before baptism and the only one of our investigators who can still do that this month isnt married to his girlfriend and they live together so marriage has to come first. Our goal this change is to get a lot of our investigators married actually. Such an interesting job we have as missionaries hahaa.

So last week we did a service project at a members house whos really sick and whos mom is also fighting cancer. Its a really sad situation. We had to just show up ready to work because they wouldnt accept our help otherwise. Good thing Im bossy and the member we went with is bossy too haha. So I was cleaning off the kitchen table that had all sorts of goodies on it and I lifted a bag of rice and cockroaches scattered everywhere from underneath it. The elders were determined to make us not afraid of them so they made us squish and kill them. We killed a lot that day. And those suckers are the size of my thumb. Ill send pictures. So that was fun.

Its felt really good to be in the second change. Way better than the first change. I think its because I know Im making progress now and time really is passing afterall haha. This past week has been really cool because Ive really started to understand the Spanish. Even Panamanian Spanish. It blows my mind how much more I understand than even just a week ago. Gift of tounges! Super real. I also know its real because my spanish goes in and out. One lesson I wont be able to speak for anything. And then the next lesson Ill be able to speak again just fine. I know thats the Lord humbling me. 

Conference was AWESOME wasnt it??? I LOVED it! We watched in in the church in English upstairs in a classroom and the rest of the stake watched it downstairs in the chapel in Spanish. It was so nice to listen to in English. I was remembering how I was THERE in the conference center last year. Its insane how much has happened and changed since then. I want to hear what you guys thought of it and which talks you liked best!

It was superrr cool because in the last session, we had an investigator come for the last hour of it and it was PERFECT because of Elder Bednars talk specifically for non-members. We couldnt believe how happy we were. It was so so perfect. We hope she was able to really hear it and that the spirit testified to her of the truth of what he was saying! We didnt get to talk to her much after because she had to get going quickly, but we are hopefully going to see her tomorrow so we will have to see what she thought.

Well I think thats about all I have for this week!! I love you all and miss you lots!!! I hope you all have a GREAT week!

Hna. Anderson

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week #6 in Panama!

Hello my wonderful family!!
I am going to keep this email very organized because I received lots of emails this week and I want to respond to them! So first of all, I had divisions again this week except this week I stayed in my area and my comp left. My new temp. comp was one of our zeta ellas, Hna. A. She speaks zero english!! It was such a good experience for me though because she doesnt know my area so it was really a test for me on my knowledge of my area and my spanish. I know a lot more than I thought I did! We went to a members house for dinner and I was obviously speaking spanish because I had no choice and they got mad at me, jokingly, because they said I speak way more than they thought and I need to be speaking more! Theyre definitely right. I will learn so much quicker if I just SPEAK. And listen. The gift of tongues is so real though. I really shouldnt know or understand as much as I do after just three months.
The day after that we had a service project with the whole zone bright and early in the morning. We went to the Wako Mormon, this big <area> where all the mormons live, and carried heavy buckets of mud back and forth. It was lots of fun actually and it felt good to work out. My body felt like it got hit by a bus the day after though. Totally worth it. Anyway we got SUPER dirty and muddy and sweaty during this project and as we were leaving and saying goodbye to the members, one of them told me la agua se fue. I knew what that meant, that the water left, but I didnt put it together that it also meant there is no water in the city and we would not have water in our house when we got home. So yes, after the messiest day of my mission, I did not get to shower. Luckily, we had a water reserve for an occasion such as this and were able to rinse off with 2 liter soda bottles filled with water. It was quite an experience haha but I rolled with it. Until we got home that night and still had no water. Thats when I started getting a little concerned. Right after my comp said the prayer before we started planning, I started complaining about having to go to bed disgusting. And sure enough right as I was whining we heard the water come on. Sweetest sound ever! Definitely taught me a lesson on faith!!
As far as the work goes, we are still moving along trying to find investigators who are going to progress. We found about 5 new investigators this past week, though, so hopefully some or all of them will progress this coming week! The focus of Colon is Menos Activos, so we work a lot with them, but its always wonderful to teach investigators. We actually found these two sisters yesterday from a reference and they seemed super positive. We teach them again this week so Im really excited for that. The problem, though, is that one of them just had a baby a few weeks ago and she believes in this myth that her mom told her that says that she cant take her baby out of the house in the morning or night time for three months. So we are going to have to really rely on the Lord to help us figure out a way to get her to church at 9 in the morning!
We watched the Womens General Broadcast on Saturday in ENGLISH!! The gringas in our zone all watched it together. It was amazing and somethings I will never forget. We had so much fun listening to it together and being uplifted. I cannot tell you how excited I am for conference this weekend. We will get to watch it in English too, which is such a blessing. My heart is sooo happy. I cant wait to learn from the prophet and apostles. GET EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE!!!
Soo we had shrimp. Again yesterday. But I got creative. So heres what I did. I peeled all of them. They were smaller this time which meant he gave us more. So I peeled them all and took all their little legs off and put them in a pile. I took my time doing this. I was trying to buy time figuring out how to get away with not eating them without offended him. Once I peeled them, I looked at the pile and got the GREATEST idea. I put all the peeled ones under the pile of shells and legs and nastiness. It was genius. It all blended in and I didnt eat a single one. Haha my comp said Im evil but I think Im just creative. hahahaa
My comp might leave me this wednesday! Its cambio week and shes been in this area for almost 7 months so theres a good chance she might go and I might get another comp. The president knows we want to stay together on more change, though, so we know that if she does go itll be because the president received revelation that she needed to go. So even though we both do want one more change, we will be content with whatever happens!! I will let you all know next week! I love you all lots and Im going to try and respond to some of the other emails now!!
Hna. Anderson

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week #5 in Panama!

Hi all!!

So I usually make a list before I come here of the things I want to talk about, but I forgot to this week, so if this email is crazy and confusing, I apologize.

Anyways, this past week was a good one. Very different. Tuesday was just a normal day and I don´t remember anything special happening. Just lots of work work work!! My poor body hates me. Nothing I do here is good for it. Ive gained weight already for sure. Its inevitable with the food we eat here! I just dont want you all to be shocked when I come home 50 lbs heavier haha. Mom, you´ll have to sign me up at your gym!

Wednesday we had our first Zone Conference. It was actually a multi zone conference so a lot of the missionaries in the mission were there. This computer has auto correct in Spanish, so if you see random spanish words its because I was trying to say something in english and the computer changed it. Sorry haha. Anyway, it was fun because we got to see a lot of the missionaries that we came here from the CCM with. It was good to catch up on how our missions have been going. It was also cool because the mission pres and his wife spoke to us and his wife cant speak spanish so her talk was in english which was a nice break. She told us that Pres Carmack went through the WTC 25 minutes before the first plane hit on his way to work because he worked a couple of blocks from there at the time. How crazy is that! Its insane to think that the Lord protected him because he still had so much work to do here on this earth, including being our mish president. Super cool. After the conference we went to Albrook, which is one of the bigger malls in Panama City and is actually where I am right now, and ate as a zone. It was fun but it felt strange because we kinda felt like a bunch of college kids out for the night haha. Oh the strange life of a missionary.

Ummm Thursday I dont remember much happening either that was anything different than the normal day to day stuff. Actually Friday or Saturday either. I really need my journal to remind me of these things because my days just all blend together! Oh wait! Friday, we taught the seminary class here. Actually my comp taught and I agreed with what she was saying haha. It was fun. The Jóvenes here, the teenagers, have such strong, awesome testimonies!! A lot of them are converts, too. Im so impressed by them, especially since they have so much working against them here. Three of the jóvenes in our Ward who are also recent converts did visits and contacting with us yesterday and it was really good and the spirit was so strong when they bore their testimonies. I loved it. Speaking of yesterday, I do have a Little bit to say about that. First of all, church was good. Probably because I took the Liahona in English and read it during Sacrament meeting because I just really wanted to learn something at church haha. But I did and so it was good! Im starting to build stronger relationships with the members here, even though the language barrier makes that a super tough thing to do. But Im trying!! Also, yesterday when we were contacting we contacted this lady who has apparently read the BOM and was telling us we are evil and of the devil. I didnt know she was saying this until my comp told me after. I could tell though that the things she was saying weren´t positive about the góspel though by her tone and the way my comp was responding. While I was listening I just felt that I needed to bear my testimony and so I did and it was probably super confusing and made no sense, but Im glad I did it. I hope she realizes the truth some day.

Today we had a multi zone p day here in Panama. We played sports and had a real good time. However, the sun was super strong and Im fried. Not too Smart, but I really didnt even think to put sunscreen on when we left this morning. Im going to be feeling it tomorrow though! Its okay, Im a missionary, its part of the job!

Okay well I think thats all for today. Ill talk to you all next week!

Love and miss you all!!

Hna. Anderson

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week #4 in Panama!

Hello ...

First of all, today was super cool. We got to go to Portabelo, not sure if thats how you spell it, but it was soooo pretty. its a touristy place. We went as a zone. Lots of fun, I will send pics!!

Okay now for this past week!! It was a really good week and I have some pretty great things that Im excited to share with you all! Okay soo in the beginning of the week I was trunky for the first time since I left home. So that was a bummer. But I prayed A LOT for help with that, and the Lord came through! Any time I felt trunky, I just prayed and it didnt last long. I could NEVER do this without Him. Never. 

Then on Tuesday we started an English class! We taught it with the other gringo elder companionship in our area and it was super fun. I didnt actually teach that much, because I dont even know enough spanish to teach an english class. Way sad haha. But it was still fun and it actually helped me with my spanish to see it taught in reverse. 

On Wednesday we went to menos activos house and her son taught us how to make platanos, also not sure if thats how you spell it, but they are my FAVORITE here in Panama and Im determined to find them in the states because theyre fried and delicious and Im going to need them when Im home haha. I just love the food here. Everything is better in Panama. Everything. I eat a lot. WAY more than I ever ate at home. Which I thought was just because I exercise here a lot more with all the walking, which it is, but other hermanas were telling me that its also a mental thing. Since eating is the only normal thing left in your life, you love it SO much more. Same with sleeping. Haha its the best. 

So we were contacting on Friday, I think it was, and we had just visited a lady who gave us this nasty drink that I totally dumped out when she wasnt looking, it was the worst, and we were kind of bummed because we just could not find investigators for anything. Super discouraging. But then we were walking in this different part of our area that I had never seen before so I asked my comp if we could stop and take a picture. And then after I took it my comp asked me if I wanted to contact the house we stopped in front of. I said yes and we did and she let us right in and we had the coolest lesson. It was a woman and her two daughters, 17 and 10, and theyre jehovas witnesses or something like that but theyre really religious so they had lots of fantastic questions. They were like those perfect questions the investigators ask in the District. It was really cool and we really needed it because we kept getting people who would listen but then just say that we all worship the same god 
<etc.>. But these three were REALLY listening. And in her prayer when we left she prayed for the Lord to let her know if this church is true. We were super excited. We teach them again tomorrow night so we will see what happens!

Okay so now for my super cool experience that I had this week. So we were at dinner and the elders who share our area were at dinner at the house right below us. When we were leaving we past the house they were eating in and I just had this super nagging feeling that we were forgetting to tell or ask them something. But when I asked my comp if we were she said we werent so we just kept walking. But then when my comp started walking up the stairs to the street I still had this super nagging feeling except this time it was that we should wait for them. So I told my comp and we went back to where the elders were and asked them how long they would be and they said a while because they still hadnt eaten. It was already 830p and we needed to be home by 9p so I just said that we could go. So when we got up to the street my comp said that we would pray before we started for home. So I said the prayer, in english so I could say what I wanted to say, and in my prayer I asked Heavenly Father to protect us and to let us know if we should change our plans to walk home. And keep in mind that we walk home alone like every night at this time and its really safe so the fact that I was feeling like we shouldnt wasnt normal. So anyway after we said the prayer, we took not five steps down the road and the entire city went black. No power anywhere. Right as we happened to walk by hno and hna s.'s house, who are our super awesome <friends> here in colon. So we immediately went in their house with them. The power came on like five minutes later but we definitely waited for the elders after that. It was insane you guys. I have never experienced anything like that before. Missionaries are SOOO protected. We will never know if the Lord was protecting us from the power going out because that wouldve been super scary to walk home without street lights or if that was His way of telling us to wait for the elders, but regardless we know He was watching over us!! It was so cool. We were in awe the whole rest of the night haha. The mission is so cool.

Hmm what else. Okay so I locked our keys in the house. That was a bummer haha. We called our landlord to bring us a spare and he was like okay Ill be there in like ten minutes so we waited like an hour and called him again and hes like oh I forgot! And he drove all the way to work with them an hour away and wouldnt be back until after midnight. And then he started talking to my comp about us staying in his wifes house or something ridiculous like that. that was never going to happen, so I went to the neighbor and asked for two wire hangers and started bending those to use as a hook to get our keys from under the door because we have this slot under the door and the keys were just in the door. I tried for SO long, but I could make it work. I kept telling my comp that Corson would be able to figure it out! haha. But it all ended up okay because our super nice landlord asked his friend to bring us a spare so we were able to get in. It was an adventure though.

I had some super nasty food experiences yesterday, also for the first time since Ive been here. A lot of firsts this week. We had fish for lunch, which was fine and doable but then we went to a menos activos house and he insisted on cooking for us. He made shrimp. Big shrimp. I had a real hard time getting that down. My lovely comp even took one of mine because she just drowns it in hot sauce and it able to get it down haha. And I think I ate a bug that was in the rice. I brushed my teeth so much when I got home. It was a rough day for my taste buds yesterday haha.

Well I think thats about the gist of my week!!! I love you all and hope youre all doing fantastic!!

Hna. Anderson

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week #3 in Panama!

Okay I responded to a few emails before I started this so I dont have much time but Im going to try and share as much as I can! 

This past week was pretty uneventful, but it was a good week and I learned a lot. So I started the week out feeling kind of down about just myself as a missionary. I didnt feel like I was doing enough or being the kinda of missionary that I could be. During comp study I think on Tuesday I talked to my comp about it and I just told her to push me harder because I want to struggle. I want to be uncomfortable because thats the only way Im going to learn. She agreed and after that we really started to change the way we did things in a way that would force me to learn more. Like we decided to only speak spanish outside of the apt. Its tricky and frustrating and sometimes just really quiet haha but its worth it because I learn the language a lot better that way. 

I had my first division this week. I was nervous about it because I didnt know what it would be like to go somewhere else and be with another comp for a day. Mom, I brought all my bedding with me because I wanted to sleep on it and I didnt want anyone else to sleep on it haha. But I actually got super lucky because I got put with Hna. A. Shes Gringa too and shes super fun. She has 10 months in the mish. I really liked going with her because I learned so much from her. When we were contacting I talked A LOT more than I ever had and its because I made myself do it. Ever since then, Ive definitely been not as afraid to talk to people with my very minimal spanish. I just do it because I know thats how Ill get better. Hna. A. is also a very different missionary than my comp, which made me realize that I get to decide what kind of missionary I want to be. Ive been spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to be a certain type of missionary that I think I SHOULD be, when really I just need to figure out what type of missionary I WANT to be. Im excited to do that. 

Soooo I did something super weird on Friday night because this country is confusing my body. Like a lot. My poor body is getting stressed out with all this change haha. Anyway. So we were asleep like normal and all of a sudden I jumped out of bed and started screaming apparently and jumping around. Its weird to tell this story because it was such a weird experience. I remember it happening but its also kind of a blur because I was almost completely asleep. Its like I dreamt it. Like I probably would have thought it was a dream if my comp hadnt been there to witness it. But anyway I was freaking out and my comp was like whats wrong whats wrong and apparently I just kept screaming and then I finally came to when I sat next to her all I said was snake. Apparently I thought there was a snake on me. Ive never been so confused in my life haha. It was the weirdest thing ever. I was soooo out of it. Then we said a prayer and my comp sprayed bug spray everywhere and then we just went back to sleep. I wonder if this sounds as weird as it actually was because it was super weird haha. Im telling you, Panama is messing with my body in every way possible.

Also, this week while we were contacting, we contacted a man from Denver who retired here. So he knew English. He rejected us, in English, and it was strange because it was the first time Id been rejected on the mish in English. I didnt like it. It sounds a lot harsher in English. It made me super grateful for the first time since Ive been here that Im NOT in a cushy clean states mish because I know Id have the hardest time hearing rejections like that all the time. Heavenly Father knows me all too well.

Right now in the work we are just doing a lot of contacting because we have no progressing investigators right now. We are just trying to find that one person who we know is just waiting for us to find them. We are going to keep trying hard every day!! Its super hard to see so many people reject our message when we know that we have exactly what they need to be happy.

Okay well thats all that really happened this week aside from the usual Panamanian craziness!! I love and miss you all so much!! Thanks for the emails!!


Hna Anderson

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week #2 in Panama!

Hello all!!!
I cant believe I will have already been here for two weeks tomorrow. Dad, it does feel like its going fast in a way. So much has happened since Ive left home though so it kinda feels slow in a way too haha. Regardless, its wonderful. Im going to try and be smarter with my email time and share the important parts of my week first and then do details later if I have time. I didnt bring my journal this time because I realized how sad Id be if I lost it between here and home somehow so Im just going to keep it at home from now on and just try to email based on memory haha. But dont worry, anything I forget to tell you I wrote about in my journal so you can just go back and read it in a year and a half haha.
So first of all, I realized that last week I didnt tell you anything about the food here. Its actually super nice because we only have to provide breakfast for ourselves and then members make us dinner and lunch every day. I love the food here. It could be because Im so hungry by the time we eat that anything will taste fantastic to me, but either way I really love the food. Im going to get so fluffy here. I can already feel my body expanding from the mountains upon mountains of rice that we eat almost every meal. Im pretty sure Im going to always have to have rice in the house when I get home because I am in love with it right now. Either that or Ill be so sick of it that I wont even be able to look at it haha. But my favorite part of the day, aside from bedtime, is when we are walking to or from dinner at night and the streets are just filled with the smell of rice cooking. I love it. I love Panama. I hope I always love it this much. So we eat a lot of pollo and rice and pasta. However, Ive already had fish twice haha. The Lord helped me a lot during those two meals because it literally looks like they chop the fishs head off, fry it in a pan, and put it on your plate. It wasnt bad though because one of the elders showed me to just squeeze a lemon over it and all you can taste is the lemon because theyre so strong here. A member gave me three lemons yesterday and it made me so happy. AND she had salt so I was able to have salt for the first time since Ive been here. They dont use salt here at all haha so thats been rough. Sugar is also pretty scarse haha. Nothing like the states. But its fantastic.
Okay now about church. The chapel is actually fairly normal. The actual chapel has air conditioning which is wonderful. But the classrooms dont. And neither does my house by the way mom. We each have our own fan though so that helps a lot. I have not had to bear my testimony in church yet. Probably because theyve all already heard my testimony over and over because its the only thing I can really say in lessons when we teach haha.
Corsons house is way nicer than mine by the way haha. But I love my house and feel super comfortable there. Like I said, the Lord is helping me SO MUCH. We have only cold showers and will always have only cold showers. Be grateful for the warm ones that you have Corson! However, I dont mind the cold showers because its a relief from the heat.
I sweat a lot here so thats why Im always shiny in my pictures haha. Im constantly sweaty. And as a result, my skin hates Panama. But good news! This is apparently a problem for like all gringos here and my comp is taking me to a dermatologist that they go to tomorrow so Im super excited for that.
I love the rain here. The thunder is my favorite and it rains sooo hard. I love walking in it. I just smile the whole way. The rain is the greatest.
I made a decision this past week to try really hard to just always be happy while Im here on my mish. Im going to face some really challenging things, I know that, but I also know from talking to other missionaries who are older in the mish that your attitude makes all the difference. So Im determined to have a positive attitude and to make the best of every situation. Im not okay with looking back on my mish after Im done and having regrets so Im deciding right now just as Im getting started to make it as great as it can possibly be.
We read in my comps journal last night of the entries from when she first got here and it sounds almost IDENTICAL to mine right now. It really inspired me and helped me to see that everything Im feeling is absolutely normal and that nearly everyone feels the same way when just starting out. Shes so great though and I asked her if she is happy with her mission and she said she really is. I want to be able to say that when I turn a year old.
My Spanish is coming slowly but surely. This week we are going to work really hard on it. I realized earlier this week how much I miss talking to people and connecting with them, so Im determined to learn this language so I can do that again!!
Well I think thats about the jist of my week. I hope I answered all of your questions! I want to send a few pictures and possibly respond to you guys a couple of times if youre on.
Also. You can send packages here, mom, to the address my mission mom sent you. So I was wondering if you could send me a few things sometime this month. Can you buy (with my money) the cheapest ipod shuffle that there is? I say cheapest because they charge you dues here if you ship in stuff thats worth a lot. So just the cheapest one that they make. And before you send it, will you load it up with uplifting music, church music, talks, and my 2013 EFY CD that should be in my stuff somewhere please? My comp has one and a speaker and we listen to it every morning and I love it so just in case my next comp doesnt have one Id really like to have one of my own. And I can get a speaker here so dont worry about that. Also, in the same package, can you send me some more skirts? like 4 or 5 from goodwill or like half price day. Maybe just bring whit with you and if they go to her mid calf, they should be a good length. ... Buy all this with my money including shipping. Thank you soooo much. And let me know when you send it so I can watch out for it.
Whit, whats your email again? I keep wanting to attach you to these but I cant remember your email address. Also, its now september so Ill be expecting my next batch of pictures of my nephews!!! You can send them in moms pkg for me if you want :) please and thank you!!!
I love and miss you all so much and I hope youre all doing GREAT!
Hermana Anderson

Monday, August 25, 2014

First week in the mission field!

Hola from the jungles of Panama!
I don´t even know where to begin with this one. there´s so much to tell and so little time. Excuse my grammar, the keyboard is spanish haha. Anyway. So when we landed in Panama on Tuesday I felt the greatest feeling of peace. So calm and no fear whatsoever. The humidity was and is gross but I´m rolling with it haha. So they put us hermanas up in this way nice hotel that first night and gave us pizza haha little did we know that would be our last even somewhat american experience haha. Our worlds changed SOO much that next day but it´s all good. 

Let me first tell you about my new comp, Hma. J. She´s gringa which I had said in the CCM that I wanted a latina comp, but now I am SOO grateful that I have my gringa because we can actually talk to each other! It´s made all the difference for me this past week. She´s from Utah and has a year in the mish. She´s the sweetest most selfless person EVER. I want to be her when I turn a year old in the mish. She´s seriously so great and I thank Heavenly Father every day that he put us together. Cool story about that by the way. When we met the mission pres he told us that he hadnt yet decided our comps and that he would during our interviews with us. Super cool. So I was the first to be interviewed because I volunteered because I was ready to go haha. So he asked me a few questions about myself and my family and then he just sat there for a minute looking at his ipad and he tells me I´m just waiting for the spirit to tell me who I should put you with. SUPER COOL RIGHT? So it was like half a second after he told me that and he´s like okay you´re going to be with Hma. J. Guys, Heavenly Father knows us all so well. I know he knows me sooo much better than I know myself because He knew I´d need to have Hma. J as my trainer. I don´t know what I would´ve done if I had gotten a latina comp and not been able to talk to her. It would be even more <difficult>than it already is. 

Which brings me to my next point. This is HARD. I´m living the hardest days of my life right now up to this point and that is a super difficult realization to come to. Suprisingly, it´s not really hard because of not knowing the language because I know that if I work hard to learn it, it will come. What´s hard is the culture shock. This is a different life than I´ve EVER experienced or will ever experience again. Also. I think I stink. haha. Like all the time. This humidity is a killer and you sweat constantly. Literally the only time I´m not sweaty is during the 5 minutes right after I´ve showered. You can´t smell anything really in Panama because all the smells just blend in together, but I know that if I were in the states right now no one would want to be near me because I´m sure I just smell so nasty and sweaty haha. But it´s honestly so great. The mission is humbling me so much and I´m having to rely on the Lord SOO much. I could NOT do this without Him. He sent me here for a reason and I know that He also sent me here because He knew I could do it. I´m here for Him and I´m here for the people who I need to share this wonderful perfect gospel with. I KNOW I can do this and I KNOW I´m going to learn so so much. I´m excited for all that is to come.

I LOVE the people here already. I´m going to try to send you some pictures that I´ve taken. Mom, don´t freak out about the surroundings in the pictures. My casa is a really good casa and super safe. This entire place is so safe and I really am so happy to be here. Panama is a great place for me to be serving my mission! Anyway, about the people. They are just so kind and loving and welcoming! I love them so much and they try their hardest to talk to me, and are so patient when I don´t understand what they´re saying. I´m getting super good at acting things out haha. Also, the children are the BEST. I have so much fun with them, even with the language barrier. I teach them english and they teach my spanish. It´s the greatest. When I leave them I say chowwww and they say byeeeee haha. It´s the cutest thing ever. 

It´s insanely beautiful here. So so green. I wasn´t kidding when I said I live in the jungle. Smack dab in the middle of it. It´s fantastic. I love my life here, even if it is hard, it´s so so worth it. Plus my comp has experienced every feeling that I´m having right now and she helps me a lot. I know that I´ll become better adjusted to this new life of mine day by day.

Hma. H <previous MTC companion in Provo> is in my ZONE!!! She´s actually sitting next to me right now. It´s the BEST. We´ll see each other at least once a week for the next 11 weeks while we´re in this area, possibly longer if we stay in Colon longer. Colon is my area by the way. So we were both born in Colon. As a missionary. You´re born in your first area and it´s called dying when you go home so if I ever talk about a missonary dying, I don´t actually mean they´re dying. My comp freaked me out with that when I first got here haha. 

Sooo we went contacting the other day and had the coolest experience. We were about to start and we were on the corner writing our names and phone number on our pamphlets and this man pulled up in his car and asked us IN ENGLISH if we were looking for someone. We said no and told him that we were missionaries. Come to find out he lived like two houses down and we asked if we could come visit with him and he said yeah so we went and seriously had the greatest lesson. He´s super heavy catholic, but he said he´s been wanting to know if he´s on the right path in his life, and he felt like we are an answer. It was so good and he spoke english so I got to contribute so much more to the lesson than I usually do. We´re meeting with him again on saturday so hopefully he keeps the appt. and opens his heart to our message because I can just see him in white!!

Anyway, I gotta get going on sending pictures, but know that I´m doing great and I´m powering through! I know my Father in Heaven is mindful of me, just as He is of each and every one of His children. He has so much love for all of us. I don´t have time to respond to any other emails today since I had so much to write about, but for those who emailed me, I´ll try my best to respond next week! Love and miss you all so much!!

Hermana Anderson

Friday, August 15, 2014

MTC Final P-Day


These last week at the CCM has been sooo great. First of all, last Friday we found out that we would be getting new teachers for our final week at the CCM because of some administration change. We LOVED hma. Young and Hmo. Stewart so we were pretty bummed about it at first, but our new teachers hma. Noyes and hmo. Glock are pretty fantastic, too, so we're pretty happy about that. 

Sunday's devo was so cool!! We had the same speaker that we had our first devo here, but instead of speaking to us he actually had two missionaries who have been converts to the church for just over a year come up out of the audience and share their conversion stories with us. The first was a girl who just started to read the Book of Mormon because she hated this LDS girl at her school and wanted to find out what she believed so she could make fun of her for it haha. But jokes on her because she ended up getting baptized and becoming best friends with that girl, and now she's on a mission! It was such a cool story and she was so funny when she was telling it. And then the next was an elder who grew up in Utah, but who was just introduced to the church formally by a couple of super rude business men haha and now HE'S on a mission. It's just so crazy to hear these stories from real converts because it testifies to me of how Heavenly Father truly knows ALL of his children and has a specific plan for each and every one of them. 

On Tuesday, we got to ... devo and there was security outside the door and there's never been security before so we were all convinced that it would be someone from the Quorum of the Twelve. Turns out, it wasn't haha, but the speaker was from the Seventy and his talk was really good. He spoke a lot about submitting our will to God's will, which I can always be better at. Being on this mission has definitely been a whole lot of my submitting my will to God's will, and I've never been more grateful for anything in my life. I love being a missionary and I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is God's plan for me. I know He loves me and has a plan for me that I NEVER would've been able to plan for myself. My companions and I were just talking about that last night, and we were saying how much we'd miss out on if WE were the ones who decided our plan instead of God. It's SO important to submit our will to God's. That's something that I will always be a huge advocate of because it's just so so important. It's difficult, but SO MANY blessings come when we're able to do it.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my companions. I seriously can't say that enough. We have SO much fun together and we learn so much from one another every day. I'm going to be so sad when we have to separate next week, but we'll just pray that we'll somehow be able to be companions again in Panama eventually! Hma. Patrick and I have already made plans to live together at BYU-I after the mish, so we're really going to try and make that happen. :)

We leave for Panama on Tuesday!!! We can barely stand the excitement. It's super scary because it's going to be all Spanish all the time, but it's also so great because it's going to force us to really pick up the language. None of us can believe that we'll be falling asleep in Panama City, Panama on Tuesday night. It's insane and it's so wonderful. I can't wait to teach and love the Panamanian people!! :) I know there are going to be people there who are SO ready to learn about and accept the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have never been so happy in my life.

I love and miss you all so much!! Next time you hear from me, I'll be in PANAMA! :)


-Hermana Anderson

Saturday, August 9, 2014

MTC P-Day #4

Well heyyyyy!! ... I'm already in Alma 40 in the Book of Mormon!! I should definitely have it finished by the time I leave here if I'm able to keep this up. Which I will because I'm determined to finish it. I'm learning SOOO much and my testimony of it is growing so so much. The Book of Mormon is SO true!! It's the true Word of God and I love it so much. Read it!! We read Ether 12 last night in class together and we couldn't even get through half of it because we all had so many promptings of things to say. But I think that's partially because of other things that happened over the last few days to a couple of our Elders. It was so great though, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start with the end of last week (I bring my journal to e-mailing to help me remember what I did over the last week haha).

I don't know if I told you this last week, but we decided that West Campus is WHERE IT'S AT. It's like BYU-I compared to BYU (which is Main campus in this analogy haha). The spirit is just different and it's just more close knit. We love it and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Last week was a little interesting because it seemed that our teachers were chastising us like every time we had class. Probably because we deserved it haha. We all have a lot of fun together, which sometimes distracts us from the Lord's work, but we've gotten so much better since those talks from our teachers about knowing the right time and place for fun haha. We love our teachers soo much!! They know the perfect balance between love and structure in the classroom. If that makes sense. It's just perfect and we really couldn't have asked for better teachers. 

Last Sunday was good, as always, but it was Fast Sunday (one down!), so our schedule was a little different so we all kinda felt a little off all day. But it was still great. One of our Elders was being really quiet and sad, which if you knew him that is completely abnormal. He's also the kind of kid that when he's feeling off, the entire district is feeling off. Also, the strange thing that happens (but good thing) in the mission is that your job is to constantly analyze the people around you and make sure they're doing okay. So we're all hyper-sensitive to any abnormal moods of anyone in our district. We all were worried about him all day because he didn't really open up about anything to anyone, but it ended up being a really uplifting Sabbath regardless. 

Monday was also weird because again this same Elder was having a tough time so we were all kinda down and just feeling weird. Like I said, you become hyper-sensitive to the feelings of others when you get on the mission! At least we all have. But he ended up going to go talk to someone in the branch council and when he got back he told us everything was great and he was back to his normal self, so we were all grateful for that. So get this. We do TRC (Teaching Resource Center, I think?) every Monday night, which is where we teach a member of the church. Like they aren't acting like an investigator or anything, they're just themselves. It's still in Spanish, which is great practice, but every time we do it, we feel like they end up teaching us more than we teach them, which we personally LOVE. :) So this past Monday was our first time doing Skype for TRC and we were told they'd be from somewhere out of the country or something ridiculous like that. Well the lady we taught was from, wait for it, SURPRISE, AZ. Haha what are the odds of that? And guess what else. She's in Willow Canyon Ward! Isn't that your ward Whit and Gun? I wrote her name down but I left it at home so I'm trying to remember it. It's Maria and Oscar for sure but I can't remember their last name. ... I don't know. But I told her about you guys and you should find her! She'll tell you all about how bad my Spanish is haha. I thought that was so crazy though. 

Now we come to Tuesday. It was a really good and normal day until Tuesday night. We have Devo on Tuesday nights, and this particular Devo was about temples and why missionaries go to the temple before they go on their missions. I loved it. I love the temple. We went this morning. I can't get over my love for that place! Anyway, pardon my side track. After Tuesday Devo, we go back to the classroom for Devo review with a member of the Branch Presidency. Basically we just spend the time going over how we felt about the Devo. Kinda like a testimony meeting. Well this week we had our Branch President come to ours and he's a little bit of a talker haha so we were all prepared to just listen, because he really does have great thoughts. He's pretty interesting to listen to. Apparently, though, someone told him to stop taking over meetings (probably his wife haha) so he opened it up to us to share our testimonies.


Hopefully we'll have a fairly normal week this coming week since the last two have been a little crazy! I definitely know why I'm here in Provo though, and it's because I needed to be here with this district. We have been able to help each other through soo much and I KNOW that the Lord wanted us to be together during our CCM stay for that reason.


TOMORROW WE ARE SUPPOSED TO GET OUR TRAVEL PLANS!!! I can't wait!!! We're ten days out now. I've loved my stay here, but I seriously can't wait to get to Panama and start teaching REAL investigators!!

Sorry for all the drama this past two letters hahaa, but it is what it is! The life of a missionary is ... so amazing.

I love and miss you all!!! All of you who deareldered me this week, I'll be writing you back very soon, so watch the mail! And Whit, MAIL ME PICTURES OF MY NEPHEWS PLEASE! :)

Hermana Anderson

Saturday, August 2, 2014

MTC P-Day #3


First of all, thanks sooo much for the half way package!! I busted open that sparkling cider last night since it was P-Day Eve (which I think is totally a thing now and I SWEAR I made up the expression haha. Is that a thing in Mexico Corson?) and it was SO good!! It made my week getting that package! Also, thank you Mom, Erin and Kim for the dearelders! Kim, I'll write you back in a physical letter so watch your mail! Mom, has your shoulder got any better? I was sorry to hear that that happened to you, I hope it's been feeling better. I definitely wouldn't be going back to that trainer either!

There isn't much to say about this past week since all of our days are basically exactly the same. I've been told it's a lot like a movie called Groundhog's day that I've never seen. But it gets a little old sitting in class alll day long. We will definitely be ready to get into the field in 19 or so days!! I can't remember if I told you this last week or not, but I decided I would finish the Book of Mormon before I leave the CCM, which means 20 pages a day which comes out to about 75 minutes of reading. Not bad at all! So I'm already in Mosiah and I'm learning SO much. More than I've ever learned from reading the scriptures. I'm loving it and I know that this knowledge will help me so much in the field. 

I had an experience this past week that really strengthened my testimony of the Gift of Tounges! I was doing a demonstration of getting to know your investigator for our district with our teacher Hma. Young, and we were of course speaking Spanish. And after it was done I sat down to practice teaching with Hma. Hall and realized I really didn't know a lot of the words I had used while I was doing the demonstration but apparently they made sense! It was so cool and the spirit was so strong. I'll never forget that.

Sunday was fantastic, as always. Sheri Dew spoke to us for relief society on the Priesthood and it was SO good! I love Sheri Dew anyway, but her talk was just incredible. Our devotional Sunday night was also great. It was given by Stephen Allen, who's someone important in the missionary department and he's soooo funny. He basically just interviewed the MTC president and his wife as his talk. I don't think they knew he was going to do that haha, but that made it all the more better.
Tuesday night's devo was amazing too! I can't remember the guys name who spoke, but he's the guy who that Disney Movie about missionaries "The Other Side of Heaven" is about. I remember watching that movie a long time ago, but you guys should watch it! I wish I could watch it again now. He shared some clips from it and it's such a good movie, and pretty cool that it's about LDS missionaries and distributed by Disney.

The other thing that happened this week was that we found out that the second counselor in our branch presidency, Brother Hartman, wrote the "The Color Code" or something like that, not sure of the title. But it's that thing where everyone is a different color based on their personality. I'd heard of that before the mish and I can't believe he's the one who wrote it! I had heard he was a world-renowned psychologist, but now I understand what that means. Pretty awesome. Anyway, he color coded my companions and I and I bet you can't guess what color he coded me as. RED. hahahaha I laughed a lot and you will, too, once you google it and read the characteristics of a red. I got color coded by the color coder himself so there's no more denying it haha. I'm definitely a red. But he told me such great thing's about red's and you better believe I'm gonna rock it! :)

Anyway, that's about all I have to say about this past week! Oh, we went to the temple this afternoon and it was wonderful!! I love the temple so much, and I missed it A TON last week. I don't know what I'd do if I were in Mexico and couldn't go to the temple. I learned a lot today and feel completely refreshed and ready to become the best missionary I can be! GO TO THE TEMPLE! It's SO important!!

I hope you're all having a good week! Dearelder me always!!! Those letters are THE BEST! Love and miss you all so much!!

-Hermana Anderson