Thursday, July 24, 2014

MTC P-Day #2

Good morning!
I just had to read back through my journal over the last week to remind myself of all the things I need to tell you guys! First of all, before I forget, there are TWO elders her going to Corson's same exact mission and they have RED HAIR! How cool is that. So naturally, they're my friends. Haha. They are actually in the same district as the other elders here who are going to Panama so we see all of them a lot. So mom, Corson won't be the only red-head there haha. 

Anyway, about my week. So to start off, the investigator that I think I told you all about last week that we were teaching is now our 2nd teacher. Her real name is Hermana Young and she's fantastic. We have the BEST teachers. Hermano Stewart, our original teacher that we started off with, also doubles as our new investigator now, so that's a little strange haha. He also speaks insanely fast so most of the time I just nod my head and bare testimony. hahaha. But he's great. He's all business. When he was in the MTC he spoke ZERO english because he wanted to learn the language so bad. Everyone hated him and he regrets it a little I think because he says he had absolutely no fun in the MTC. But his dedication still inspires us all to be better.

Church on Sunday was fantastic. President Lindahl (he was a mission president for one of the Argentina mission, Gunnar have you heard of him) came and spoke to us and he is AMAZING. He absolutely loved his missions and talks about them with such enthusiasm. He lit a fire in all of us after he spoke, I think. He also told us about this way to learn the language that I think you should try too Corson. He learned this from Elder Holland who learned it from the world class spanish teacher person who taught him spanish. Anyway, you get a little tiny notebook and on each page you pick a category (such as grocery store, banking, or barber shop) of something you'll need to know about in the field that doesn't have to do with the gospel. and that same page you write up to 15 words in spanish that you'll need to know for that specific category, not phrases but just single words. And then on the back side of that page you write the english translation for each word on the same line as that word on the front page so you can just flip the page back and forth. My branch presidency told us they'd NEVER heard this kind of advice given and that we'd all be so dumb not to do it. One of the counselors in my branch presidency is a world renowned psychologist so he doesn't beat around the bush haha. But President Lindahl told us that the reason this works so well is because you learn how to talk about things that aren't related to the gospel so you can just have actual normal conversations with EVERYONE in your mission, not just your investigators. He said it's the best way for the people in your mission to love you and the best way for you to love them. You should try it and tell your district about it Corson! I'm going to start making my book today.

Devo <devotional> on Tuesday was sooo good. Stanley Ellis of the seventy spoke to us, along with his wife and nine children who ALL served missions. Three girls and six boys. They all just bore testimony to us about their experiences on their missions and I took like three pages of notes because there was just so much to learn from them! One of the things that the oldest daughter talked to us about was an analogy about a train. She said that in this gospel we're all on God's train and His train never stops, and then when you get on your mission the train all of a sudden starts going EXTREMELY fast (so true). She said that NONE of us can afford to get off this train because it will not stop for us and it will just pass us by and we will miss out on way too much. Basically saying that now that we're in this, we better finish it out. I haven't had any problems with that yet, because the Spirit is giving me more strength than I would've ever dreamed possible (ABSOLUTELY NO homesickness at all up to this point, and I didn't even get that lucky at college. A.K.A. the miracles of the mission), but there is an hermana and an elder in our zone who came in last week who were really struggling with this and after this talk, they both said they felt so inspired to just push through. It's incredible how the spirit prompts others to say things that so many people need to hear right at that time.

I've been praying a lot to know what I should do during my personal study time (1-2 hours every day) that would help me be most prepared for the field, and I received my answer yesterday! I felt that I should just re-read the entire Book of Mormon every time I have personal study time. I just don't know it nearly as well as I should in order to testify of it's truthfulness, so I know that re-reading it will prepare me so much to teach about it! I've always struggled understanding the scriptures, but now when I read them I feel like I'm reading one of my Nicholas Sparks books because I understand them THAT much. They're so much more clear to me than they ever have been before. Another way the spirit is helping me, and another miracle of the mission. I actually look forward to reading it and am so sad when it's time to stop. It's so great.

That about sums up my week. Now let me respond to your DearElders. Thanks so much for sending those by the way! I actually really like to receive your responses to my email via dearelder instead of on here, that way I can get those during the week. So keep doing that please! Does Corson get his DearElders? If you do Corson, is it as much fun to get them for you as it is for all of us here in good ol Provo? hahaa it doesn't take much to make our day here! 

Dad, that's crazy how empty it was at church on Sunday! It doesn't surprise me though, I'm sure it's insanely hot there by now. I'm glad work is going well and that you're delivering new buses. That is definitely a good thing. Side note, any news on the house? I haven't heard anything so I was curious. That's a bummer that you have to go to Reno for so long, but it'll be a quick week and then you'll get to be home again. That's exciting that football is starting up. I bet Bryson and Peyton are ready to get started. That's great that Bryson will be on JV. Record some of those games! I'm sure Brennon is just ready to get to wrestling. That definitely needs to be recorded to!! He's going to be so cute (don't tell him I said that hahaa). Tell him thank you so much for his message and that I loved making him food too and that I promise to make him more in about 17.5 months :) Also tell him I miss him soo much too and that I'm always happy here and that the only time I cry is when I feel the spirit. :) Tell Bryson and Peyton that I miss them soo much too!

Did you get my letter yet? Mom, I definitely get full here. I eat too much. haha, it's great though. I'm just trying to enjoy normal food now while I still can. And mom, you're definitely in the right place. I still pray all day every day that your house will sell soon and I have soo much faith that it will. Trust in the Lord's timing! He has a plan and it's a perfect plan!

Hi Whit!! These two weeks have definitely gone by fast! I'm already sad about the day I have to take my name tag off, though. I can't think about it because it makes me want to cry. I LOVE being a missionary and I'm only two weeks old. Shoot, does the Lord know me or what?! I'm so excited that Teagers is trained!! I knew he'd pick it up quick, he's so dang smart. Send me pictures of the boys either on here on in the mail! I'd prefer in the mail so I can show everyone my dang cute nephews! I want to see how Taeson is growing! Sounds like he's a chunkers for sure. I wish I could hear him talk! Record it! Record everything and we'll just spend an entire month when I get home watching all of the videos :) That's really cool that you'll have a fitness trainer. You'll do a lot better with that than I would. I don't like someone telling me what to do, did you know that about me? hahaa. But you'll have to definitely tell me how you like it! That's exciting about Limestone! Is it on the market yet? And have you sold your other flip yet? Thanks for the DearElder, keep those coming!!

I love and miss you all soo much! I'll be on for about 5-6 more minutes if anyone is online and wants to chat :)

Hermana Anderson

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MTC P-Day #1

Hola!! I'm so excited to be writing! It's been a long 8 days waiting for this day to get here. First of all, thanks to Dad, Nana, and Aunt Robin (Please forward this to Aunt Robin, but I have Nana's e-mail so I'll send it to her, too) for the Dearelder letters! Please keep writing those because we get them almost immediately and it's so fun to get mail. Okay, now I'll move on to my experience. I am LOVING this life. It's such a strange life though, haha. I'll try to help you understand some of the things I'm doing here. Day one was crazy and overwhelming, followed by the same thing every day until Sunday. But it was also exciting and inspiring. Here's a little about how my schedule goes: We wake up at about 6:10, get ready, go eat at 7:15, go to class at 7:45, stay there until lunch at 11:35, eat, go to change to gym clothes at 12:15, have gym from 12:30-1:20, go back to change to mission clothes, back to class by 1:50, in class until 4:55 for dinner, eat until 5:40, and then back to class until 9:30 when we go back home for the night, and in bed by 10:30. EXTREMELY scheduled. I love it. Also, I didn't know that most of your CCM (MTC en espanol) experience is learning to self-teach. In the classroom we only are actually taught by our maestro (Is that right, Gunnar?) for like 2-3 hours. The rest of the 9 or so hours are divided between personal study, companera study, and language study. It's definitely been an adjustment, but I'm learning to be better at it! Our district is really great. There's eleven of us, and I'll try to send pictures before I get off here of us all. There are 8 elders and us 3 hermanas. We all get along really well, which is nice, because we spend A LOT of time cooped up in a tiny apartment a little smaller than my colonial apartment because that's our classroom and our district is our class. All 3 of us hermanas and 4 of the elders are going to PANAMA, so we're hoping to all be able to fly out together in t-minus 5 or so weeks! SO EXCITING! Last week took a little while to end, mostly because it was so much information all at once, but this week is absolutely flying by! Which is great because we're all so anxious to get into the field, but also a little scary because the CCM is my safe zone and I know I still have sooo much that I need to learn before I can feel even somewhat okay about mi espanol. (Like my spanglish? Our maestro is alll about us using the espanol parables (I think that means words) that we know whenever we can). So mis companeras are FANTASTIC! We all get along so well. Hermana Hall is 21 and is from Utah and is just sooo sweet. She levels me and Hermana Patrick, who is 19, out because we're both a little sassy haha. Hermana Patrick is sooo funny. I laugh a lot when she talks. She says I'm gonna be so black by the time we get into the field because of her hahaha. We really have so much fun together, though, all three of us. We all laugh a lot. We probably have a little TOO much fun some days because we get distracted from our studies, but we're trying very hard to work on that! The elders in our district are great, but we can all definitely tell they're 18 some days, haha, but it's great anyway. Our maestro told us hermanas that we are to be the examples to them, so we're doing our best! So espanol. Shoot. Where do I even begin. The first few days were tough, like I said, mostly because Gunnar was absolutely right, Spanish is hard!! But we pray every day for the gift of tongues and we can already see it coming to us because our maestro will talk and we'll understand about 75% of what he says, and there's no way we could do that without the Lord's help. It's difficult, but it's also so cool to learn it. Mis companeras y yo spent one day, after being challenged to do so by our maestro, only speaking espanol. No ingles!! It was really hard, and we were A LOT less talkative than usual haha, but it also forced us to learn new words, which was great. We've set a goal to only speak espanol when we are in the cafeteria and some days we're better at keeping that goal than others, but it definitely makes a difference. I can pray and bear my testimony en espanol! They're very simple, but like our maestro just told us yesterday, we were called to learn this language because doctrine is SIMPLE and it forces us to teach it in the SIMPLEST form possible, which I think is so true. By the way, our maestro ONLY speaks spanish to us (unless we REALLY aren't getting something haha), so that's helpful, too, even though it's a challenge and a little frustrating sometimes. So let me tell you about teaching. We've been teaching an "investigator" (she's an actor who is already a member...), since day 3. It's so hard. She only speaks spanish to us, absolutely no ingles. And we can only speak spanish to her. SOOO hard. Shoot! Quick side note before I forget, I was called as the District Sister Training Leader on Day 2, so that was pretty cool. I attend branch meetings (our zone is our branch) to report on our district, the hermanas mostly, along with our district leader. Mis companeras were just called as the Zone Sister Training Leaders on Sunday, which is also really cool, and that also meant we were in charge of welcoming in the 4 new hermanas that joined our zone last night. It was SOO nice being the "experienced ones" (it's amazing how experienced just one week can make you feel!) and being able to help the new ones especially since we literally we JUST in their shoes. In the CCM, your age is described by how long you've been here. For example, we are no longer the "youngest" missionaries, but we're still pretty young. The older missionaries are the ones who've been here for 5 or 6 weeks. It's really funny how it works actually. Also, everyone is SOOO friendly on West Campus, which is only Spanish speaking missionaries. We say Hola, Como Esta to like EVERYONE we see as we're walking on campus and everyone else does the same. It's so much fun. Everyone is so friendly.... Also West campus is just fantastic because we get APARTMENTS! Did you get my letter I sent on day 2 about that? It's really awesome. Man, I have a lot to say, but I'll try to write letters during the week and mail them, too, so I don't have to catch up so much in my e-mails. Anyway, back to teaching. Alma is 24 and is so sweet (I think, I can't really understand what she's saying a lot of the time haha). The first lesson was difficult and simple, but the second lesson was better. We talked to her about prayer and we asked her how she felt about Dios and she said she feels like He's far away and she can't really connect with Him. So we tried to explain to her that He isn't far away when she prays, and that he loves her so much. We bore our testimonies to her about the love Padre Celestial has for all of us, including her and SHE CRIED! She understood our broken spanish and was able to feel the spirit even though we could barely say what we wanted to say clearly. It was the most incredible experience and I wrote all about it in my journal. And then yesterday happened, our 5th lesson with her. No bueno haha. We tried to talk about families and temples and being together forever with her and basically all she heard was that we were telling her that she 'wasn't sure about her family after death'... So that was rough. That's a hard thing to explain in English, let alone spanish. It ended with her saying "no me gusta" and waving her hands over our books and scriptures haha. So sad. But we get a new investigator next week, so we'll keep trying and keep learning to be better! Okay, I think that's good for now because I want to upload pictures and I only have 10 more minutes! First though, CORSON! How are you doing!! I've been thinking about you sooo so much!! When's your p-day? How's mexico? How's espanol? How's your companero? How's the food? Are you as exhausted as me?? Someone dear elder me how he's doing so I don't have to wait a whole nother week to hear! I love you soo much and pray for you all day everyday! I'm sure you're kicking butt down there! I love you all and miss you all a lot, pero mi Padre Celestial KNEW I needed to come here and He was so right. This is going to be a hard next 18 months, it wouldn't be a mission if it weren't hard, but it's going to be soo great!! Post this to my blog please and let family read it! Gracias :) Love, Hermana Anderson

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Website - Sister Anderson

Check out the website for our Panama missionary! It is a great way to stay connected with her. You can also write her a letter and have it sent directly to her - NO COST!!! It is so easy to do and it will be delivered to her approximately a week later - except during her time at the Provo MTC; where she will get it by the next day (M-F). It is done electronically and without going to the post office or worrying about stamps and envelopes. She will receive an actual letter addressed to her.

Give it a try! Missionaries love receiving mail!

MTC Box #: 839
Mission Code: PAN-PC
Estimated MTC Departure Date: AUG19

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

E-mail Address

You can e-mail me for my physical address if you'd like to have it! :)