Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What A Week!

Dear MOM and DAD,
What an amazing week!!!! First THANK YOU for the package!!! I LOVED all the wood toys, and everyone I give one to love them too.
My new companion is AMAZING!!!! We've seen so many miracles just this week, it's set a good tone for the rest of the transfer. She is so positive and happy all the time, I find it very infectious and I'm loving the missionary I am as her companion. She is such a good example of humility and kindness towards everyone, she never says a negative word about anyone. My goal this transfer is to be more like her! 
Well as you know Christina was going to be baptized this week, the day of her baptism came and we got a call from Brad saying she was gone. Her family said she had run away and they didn't know where she was... talk about panic attack!!! So after our VC shift we went over to her house and got more info from her mom. Apparently the night before her abusive ex-boyfriend had shown up and she got in the car with him and they hadn't seen her since. But they had just got a call from her saying she was okay but that she needed to work some things out with him before she came home. Her mom said she wasn't planning on getting baptized this night.  She still wanted to get baptized, it probably just wasn't going to happen tonight. After talking with her mom some more about it being the advisory that was causing all the chaos we told her to tell Christina that she was still getting baptized that night and that the font would be full and ready for her so she better be there at 7 (of course this was all in a very loving way c: ). As we left we called Brad and told him we were going to show God as much faith as we could by filling the font and making sure we did everything in our power to make the baptism happen, he then told us he would go over when he got back into town and feel the situation out. Well to shorten an already long story, Brad called an hour later and said he had Christina and they were on their way... HAPPY DAY!!!!! What a neat blessing to express all the faith we had and working to our fullest extent and then letting God make what He wanted to happen, happen. 
Another miracle was at the Visitors' Center, Sister Vause had given me a name of a non member friend she had been thinking about ever since she had called Doug, to call and invite to learn about the gospel. I was very nervous that I would mess it up and that I would disappoint her, but she assured me that she had faith that what ever happened was what the Lord wanted to happen. Well it just so happens that the Lord knew he was ready because when I called he accepted missionaries!!!! It was really cool to be on both ends of giving a name and having them confirm and receiving a name and having them confirm. 
So in Sister Everette's last area none of the investigators had been progressing. She had expressed to me she was a curse because nothing had been happening in her area. So I've been praying that during her last transfer, we would see miracles and that it would be her best transfer ever. I really wanted her to see that she was an amazing missionary and that God will bless her with miracles. So one answer to my prayer was Isabel. We were out contacting referrals one night and saw them talking on their front porch, so we started talking to them. We found out she had been praying to be happier and when we walked up she said she felt peace coming from us and that she knew we were the answer to her prayers. We (mostly Sister Everette, because this was someone God knew she could touch) taught the restoration and committed her to baptism for the 22nd of next month.  She said that she would because you don't ask God for something and then not listen when he sends it!!!! All this within an hour, how awesome is that??? We had another lesson with her yesterday and she is bring her family to the Visitors' Center to watch General Conference on Saturday!! It really has been an amazing week and I have such gratitude for Heaven Father.
Speaking of General Conference, I think this will be the first big holiday that I'll be sad I'm missing at home. I love Conference so much and I love our family so much and they will all be together (except maybe Kristy... when is she due?).  Give everyone my love!!!!
Miss you much, LOVE you more!!!!
D&C 18:38
Love Sister Anderson
Sister Anderson and the Birch family

Sister Anderson on P Day

Sister Dyer, Sister Anderson at Mission Office

Christina and Elder? Christina's Baptism
Sister Anderson, Christina, Sister Dyer

Monday, September 19, 2011

Transfer News

Dear MOM and DAD,

Kember's a "stick" driver now? WOW, does she just love it, you don't know what you are missing until you start driving a manual then you understand. So who has my car?

So transfer news... Well Sister Dyer is going to another stake in East Mesa with Sister Parker (she's a sister that came out with me and she's AWESOME) they will have lots of fun, I'm staying in my area but it's been switched a bit. I still have the two family wards Harmony and Emerald Acres but they gave the YSA ward to the full-time elders because singles wards have so much work that they need as much attention as possible, and I got another family ward, Solomon. I'm really sad to give up the YSA ward because we have been working so hard to build it up and we have so many strong investigators in that ward, but the Lord knows what's best and I just have to have faith that the elders are what Gable needs right now.
An interesting side story about one of our investigator in that ward; JD is an investigator that we got this last week and he has been progressing so much but in the last couple of days I found out that "I'm a distraction" for him... weird, that right there is one reason he needs elders (even though he doesn't want them). Most of our investigators in the Gable ward are men in their 20's with Law of Chasity problems... ya, we aren't the best missionaries for them. But we are really excited to see them all progress to baptism with their new elders. And the ward will be so one top of things.
So with all the changes in the stakes we thought that they would split the areas so that we were in one stake... I guess not, as of Wednesday I'll be in two different stakes CRAZY!!! But Sister Everett (my new companion) and I are so excited to just put our shoulder to the wheel and explode our areas with work!!!
Speaking of my new companion... Sister Everett is from Connecticut and is on her last transfer, so I'll be "killing" her, but she is AMAZING!!! I'm super stoked to work with her! Sister Dyer and I had our struggles and what not but we both grew so much and now it's time for a change. I really don't think I can tell you how excited I am to get Sister Everett, we are going to ROCK her last transfer!!!!! 
Me, Nicci, and Sister Dyer
So Nicci got baptized this last week and that was fun, she hasn't seem to excited about getting baptized, more apathetic than anything but the day she got baptized you could tell that she was excited and was ready. We are still going to teach her after to keep her strong in the church, but she's a great
little girl and this will bless her life so much.
Me and Nicci
 Christina is having her baptismal interview today with President Ellsworth and she's scheduled to be "dunked" on Saturday, so that will be a good weekend, and next week is Evan's baptism. Last week his mom called us and said that he was ready and excited to get baptized and that their family will be in Arizona on the 29th. We are so excited for him. Four baptisms in a month... CRAZY, but I guess it makes up for the first 3 months of my mission. President Ellsworth wants each companionship to be baptizing once a month, that is actually another reason we work so closely with the members.
Alex is still doing great, that was a bitter sweet good bye yesterday because he said that no one could replace us because we where his missionaries. But he will do good with the elders. We were so proud because he made a comment in Sunday School, he never does that!
We had our mission tour this week. Elder Jung Choi of the seventy and his wife came and spoke to us and it was a really neat experience.

Well that's all for now, glad everything is good at home! I love you all so much!!!
Miss you much, Love you more!!!!
Alma 48:17 Let us all be as Moroni!!!!!!
Love Sister Anderson
Me, Sister Mickelson (a awesome member missionary), and Sister Dyer
Pioneer Zone, zone soccer in the mornings

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Miracles Left and Right

Dear MOM and DAD,
What a week!!!! There's lots on my mind so I hope i can express it all.... Here we go!
The weather has been amazing, it hasn't gotten above 100 degrees in almost a week and it's about 85 in the mornings. It makes me even more excited about the winters here (I think I will still miss snow though, there are places here you can buy snowballs.... really?)
I don't know if you've heard anything about the mormon.org media blitz but it's going to be so cool! The church has selected areas in the country to play 30 second, back to back, prime time, "I'm a Mormon" commericals on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc. from October to March. There will also be ads on facebook, twitter, YouTube, billboards, and buses. The greater Phoenix area has been chosen to participate. We were told that 50% of LDS Adults and 100% of LDS Youth WILL be asked about why all the mormon media. It is such a great opportunity to do missionary work, that is one of the reasons they are doing it. The three reasons for the media blitz are 1) To dispel myths 2) Merge "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" (who people have a very positive view of) and "Mormons" (who people think is a cult) together 3) To Invite. So the question is do you have your mormon.org profile up yet? It's amazing how our mission president has been making changes and encouraging us to work with members and all of it has applied with the mormon.org stuff before we even knew  it was happening. It just increases my testimony of our Mission President and how inspired he is.
Last week we had a sister come on exchanges with us. Sister Hoyt is AMAZING!!! We went on splits and we got to be companions, she is headed home this transfer so she is super experienced and we had a lot of fun and success that night. After one of our lessons she said that she felt like we had been teaching together forever because we had such good teaching unity. That was a confidence booster!!!
So I have one none member friend (Doug) and I've been avoiding giving him as a referral because I was writing him and I didn't want to push him. Well this last week Sister Dyer challenged me to refer him and that he would accept and I would see miracles... so I did (mom that is why Sister Vause called, isn't she AMAZING?) and he accepted missionaries! I'm so excited for him to see how wonderful the gospel is and to see how it can improve his life. That was my biggest miracle this week, it was so neat to hear about the conversation Sister Vause and Doug had and how much the Spirit was involved in the whole thing.
Another miracle was that Christina's brother Ray told us he wants to take the lessons and get baptized!!!! Ray reminds me of Alex in that he has had a pretty sorted past but is now trying to correct his life and turn to Christ, he can't get baptized till March but he is so ready and would this week if he could! 
Alex is doing great he's just working toward getting the priesthood and is being a missionary himself. He brought a non-member to church with him last week. Christina is also doing well, she's slowing coming to Christ and is trying to do the things that will bring her there. She is set to get baptized next Saturday on the 24th. Evan's baptism has been moved back because we haven't seen him enough to plan his baptism, but after he saw Alex get baptized he decided it wasn't that scary and that he was okay with getting baptized.  Nicci is getting baptized this week and we are very excited for her! She's still a 9 year old girl and acts it sometimes but we know that the Holy Ghost will be such a blessing in her life and help her improve.
So our stake got dissolved and combined with two other stakes, so we now have wards in two different stakes. That is going to make transfers next week really interesting... we have no idea what they will do because both the stakes only had elders so our wards may just go to them, but we still don't know. Our sad little singles ward just got bigger because of all the change so that is exciting!!! It is kind of bitter-sweet because our area is exploding with work and I don't want to leave it but I'm also very ready for a change. I know that what ever happens is the Lords will and is what is best for all concerned.
The church IS true and we DO have a loving Heavenly Father who sent His only begotten son to suffer and die that we might live! How blessed are we! I love you both very much!
Miss you much, Love you more!!!! Ether 12:27 
Sister Anderson
(Check out this video, I cried!!!)
This is an amazing story.  It is too bad that these types of stories can't be Headliners instead of what we get as head lines.  Colleen


This is Sister Anderson's post of Sept 6.  We got busy with the Arts Festival and other things and then the internet went down for 3 days.  I will probably be posting again today or tomorrow.  MOM
Dear MOM and DAD,
Well most of this last week I've had a nasty head/chest cold but it has been a pretty good week otherwise.
The MOST exciting news of the week was Alex's baptism. It was such a neat day and I even felt mostly okay for the morning during the service. He had so much support there, there were three different wards represented. Sister Dyer and I have been to several baptisms that she had helped teach, but it was really cool to see his progression and be involved in his conversion.  The next day he received the holy ghost and it was really good! Satan has been working on him so hard, the day before his baptism he got kicked out of his halfway house (conflict of interest) and he told us later that the police had found his missing aunt's body the morning he received the holy ghost. We had a lesson with him the next day and you could just see the light of Christ in his eyes, he really has changed so much and he can see how it has benefited his life. He had gone to his dad's house on Sunday night (in the "slums") and said he was so grateful that he wasn't at that place in his life anymore.
Christina is such an interesting puzzle, she is changing but not.... it's really weird, but she actually may be moving to Denver because they are struggling financially so we may not get to teach her anymore. Which is really sad because just the beginning of this week she had set a baptismal date. 
We have 4 investigators and all 4 have baptismal dates in September. Alex of course got baptized on the 3rd and Evan's is still the 17th, but now so is Christina's (if she stays) and Nicci's. That's 3 baptisms on the same day!!!!! Nicci is a 9 year old that just hasn't been baptized yet ("unbaptized member"). We've been working on her mother for a few weeks so it was really exciting when she called us and asked us to teach Nicci the lessons.
So as I mentioned before I've been sick for a few days, it started off as just a chest cold but progressed pretty fast to my head.  Sister White (the visitors' center Director's wife) took me to their house during one of our VC shifts and let me sleep on their couch. It was such a blessing (we had a ton of appointments that evening that we couldn't miss). I'm almost positive that my mission experience is nothing like the norm because of the Visitors' Center.
As you can see in one of my pictures I got my hair cut, it really needed it and now it doesn't take me as long to fix. The Other two are from Alex's baptism; Me, Alex, and Sister Dyer and Me and Emma Birch, she's like a littler sister and she's such a doll.
A kid came into the VC the other day needing tweezers... he was from Germany with his exchange family checking out the temple. He had never seen a cactus so he decided to touch one... yeah he knows now to never touch a cactus. It was really funny, I felt bad for him though.  He spoke 4 languages and when he goes home I bet he'll convert. The mom and I talked for a bit about introducing him to the church and she said he really like it (the government won't let them convert on exchange programs). 2 Nephi 5:27
Miss you much, Love you more!!!
Love Sister Anderson
Hair Cut Yeah!

Sis. Dyer, Alex, Sis. Anderson  Alex's Baptism!!!   

Emma Birch  Sis. Anderson loves little sisters.