Friday, November 28, 2014

November 28th

Wow, so I´ve had so little time these past few p days because I´ve been SO busy because WONDERFUL THINGS HAVE BEEN HAPPENING. 

1) I went back to Bonao for a baptism. Ahhhhh the joy! I saw SO many people who I love SO much. And it was only for a few minutes because the baptism started late and there was a mishap with transportation so we had to leave early. I didn´t even get to witness the baptism! But I´m not disappointed in the slightest because that wasn´t the part that mattered to me. There was such strong love when I got to see Paola and all the other ward members. Ah the gospel unifies us in ways we don´t even comprehend.

b) We had the most adorable primary program here in Tierra Alta. My favorite part was definitely when Perla (who reminds me a bit of a slightly younger Hannah Kaloi) got up to give a short talk. She had worked and practiced and you could tell because of her flawless execution. At the end she was going to conclude with an unscripted testimony. She got about 7 words about before bursting into tears. I mean that as literally as possible. She kind of shouted a little sob in the middle of her testimony, covered her face, and ran away from the microphone. Strangely, this made me incredibly happy. It was kind of cool how she felt the spriti so strongly and immediately was overcome--it totally took her by suprise and I loved it.

iii) I WENT TO THE BEACH. That´s right! The Carribbean beach. Be jealous. But not too much because Thou Shalt Not Covet. And also I was only there for like 20 minutes and I didn´t go swimming or read a book on a chair or build a sandcastle, so it wasn´t thaaaaaat awesome. But it was thaaaaat gorgeous. We got to go because we were visitng Hermana Allen´s old area. It´s super far away. Look up Samana´. We had to drive like 3.5 hours to get there. But I didn´t mind because AIR CONDITIONED CAR and also it was 3.5 hours driving through the most beautiful country on earth. Ah la republica, she sings the song of my soul. Prettiest beach I´ve ever been to. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19th

Sorry I have no time to write this week. Just know that I love you all and will have a super great email for next week to make up for it all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Letter to the Vint Hill Ward, dated October 15, 2014

Dear Vint Hill Ward,

     First things first: I love you all! And miss you! And am giving all of you hugs in my mind -- handshakes for the men:)  To jog your memory, I'm currently serving a full-time mission in the Santiago Dominican Republic Mission.  For those who don't know, the DR is a country on the second largest island in the Caribbean. Yes, I am living in a tropical paradise and loving it! I didn't know the world had so many delicious fruits to offer!  But more awesome than the fruit is being a missionary.  Sometimes in the morning when I put my tag on, I pause for a moment and think, "Wow! I'm a missionary!"
     One of the best things about being a missionary (and there are lots of great things!) is witnessing the gospel change people's lives. You teach them one day, ask them to read from the Book of Mormon before you return, and when they do, there is a perceptible difference.  They're beginning to experience the "mighty change of heart" spoken of in the Book of Mormon and it is such a privilege to witness.
     Something I've been learning as a missionary is the importance of families keeping their covenants.  Most of them pertain to families that have been sealed in the temple -- and how blessed you are! Please don't forget how significant that is! And please remember your covenants and cherish them.  For those of you who have not been sealed to your families in the temple, I want you to know that it IS possible and that in the meantime Heavenly Father still wants to pour out blessings if you'll let him.
      Primary kids, you have such a huge influence on your friends when you act as an example of Jesus.  Never be afraid to choose the right.  And don't forget to remind Mom and Dad about family prayer and scripture study!
     Youth, let your faith show?  Try to listen to the voice of the Spirit -- that may mean you have to unplug for a moment but I promise it's worth it.  As you prepare to serve missions my advice would be to stay awake in seminary, LISTEN, and read your scriptures like your teachers ask. Be a facilitator of the Spirit at home.
     Brothers and Sisters of the Vint Hill Ward, support the Elders! They have been called and ordained with authority to do the work of the LORD here in your ward and they need your help to do it! Offer your time and talents to them and offer your love and fellowship to those they are teaching.
     The Lord loves you and is watching out for you always.  Remember your covenants with Him.  Put your families first.  Participate in missionary work.  I promise you will receive heaps of blessings as you do these things.
     The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness on the earth by the prophet Joseph Smith.  The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and He lives!

In His holy name, Amen.

Con todo mi amor,

Hermana Anderson

November 12th

So yesterday we had a really great zone conference. Hermana Douglas asked us what our life plans were. After listing several items she then asked if any of us have planned for the loss of a child or the development of cancer? Have we planned to have depression or to get divorced? Have we planned for our personal Gethsemanes? Of course no one actually plans for those things, but we encounter problems when we look at life and say "That wasn't part of my plan and that's not fair and now I'm angry/giving up/blaming God." We have to learn how to live through our Gethsemanes and receive the trials we face with full knowledge that God is providing us an opportunity to become perfected. He tells us "behold the marks of the nails in my hands and feet" because that was partof his perfection. I read a while ago in The Continuous Atonement that we are like marble. We are beautiful not in spite of the dark veins that run through us, but because of them. Without those veins, marble would like plastic-y and artificial. But when we let the atonement enable us through our trials, we become beautifully polished and authentic. 
I think I might have given you guys a little too much to do with the family missionary plan, but if you guys can try to do something weekly, even if you don't finish all the assignments within the month, I know it will be a huge blessing.
I hope you guys have a great birthday celebration for daddy!
And a great week!
Enjoy the cold weather for me!
Much love

November 5th

Hola! So this week has been a really fun first week in my second area! It´s much more hilly here, so my legs are getting nice and toned (meanwhile, my waistline seems to have morphed to accommodate the rice and fried platanos of the island). And I´m in a stake! In a large chapel! WITH AIR CONDITIONING. Ah, the little pleasures of life :) My companion and I are doing a lot of work getting used to the area and finding investigators who seem to be quite scarce here. But I feel that we are rolling along! One really awesome thing right now is that we are in the city. In Bonao, I had to take a taxi to get to the store (there were colmados everywhere, but I´m talking a store with tile floor and aisles of food). Here, there are two “super target” stores within 10 minutes walking distance of my house! And one of them is in a MALL with a FOOD COURT that has GELATO. Oh boy oh boy oh boy am I a lucky little sister missionary.
I can´t think of anything too awesome to report. Except that we made the cake mom sent and shared it with the zone and it was a total hit. Thanks momma ;) I´ve broken into the oreos in the spirit of Halloween...although it´s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here. Seriously. Lights and wreaths and Santa Clauses pepper every house in this hilly labyrinth of a city.

I´ve really been enjoying my personal studies lately. I just want to share a quick testimony of the power of studying the scriptures and the peace that accompanies it. I thrive on my scripture study. I love reading church articles. I can´t get enough Conference talks. I´m lucky to have hours blocked out of my day to study these things, but I promise each one of you that if you make time for your own sincere and heartfelt personal study, even if it´s a matter of minutes, that you will see immediate blessings in your life. The church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball :)

Love Hermana Anderson
PS I have published part 3 of the Family Missionary Plan. Hop to it and good luck!