Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31st

Today we went on a hike in Los Cocos to see a couple waterfalls--just your normal P Day here en la Republica. A couple notable things on the way up the mountain: 1) I could see my breath. YES. It was slightly chilly early in the morning and SO humid that you could indeed see your breath. b) we passed a man walking on the trail. And then I did a double take because he was dressed in an enormous black suede and fur coat, the kind that goes to your ankles. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE JUNGLE. He probably was only wearing the coat too hahaha. iii) we also passed a split pig. When I say split, I truly mean that he was sliced down the middle and then split open. Guts facing up to the sky! They even let me hold the knife and take a couple photos. What fun! Anyway, the waterfalls were gorgeous, as was the surrounding nature. I love this country. It has been so well-preserved in so many areas. Lush and flourishing trees on every side. We picked fresh oranges from one and I cannot even describe how delicious they were. Ah, the island life.

I am loving the work as much as ever and am looking forward to 2015! What a special year it will be spending almost all 365 days completely dedicated to the work of the Lord. I pray that each of you will make some resolutions to help draw closer to Christ this year. That's what He desires most for each of us, and I promise that there is nothing more joyful than living the path that He has walked and following His perfect example.

Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24th

This week has been great! I will just tell you the highlight of the week though. So we live near a mall and Hermana Vera had the great idea about a week ago that we should sing Christmas hymns in the mall as a group of missionaries and pass out He is the Gift cards to all the people. We called up all the Santiago City missionaries to see if they were interested and they were! It turned out to be a bit more difficult than we had anticipated to get in contact with the boss of the mall though. We had told the other missionaries we{d like to do it at 12:30 on Tuesday and we didnt even get in contact with the boss until one hour before! At first the answer was no because there was something planned for the evening but we politely pleaded for them to let us sing for just 20 minutes in the afternoon and they conceded. We had about 45 minutes before it was time to start. Hermana Vera and I were rapidly calling every single missionary in the city limits! I was not hopeful that many would agree to hustle over to the mall during their lunch hour, but to my surprise, almost all of them said yes! As 12:20 rolled around and no one was showing up, I was feeling discouraged and nervous almost to the popint of nausea. Where were all the missionaries that had said they would come!? 12:30 rolled past and Hermana Vera and I were still the only missionaries to be seen in the mall. The boss lady came out and I thought for sure that she was going to tell us to forget it since we hadn{t started it yet and she had made it seemed like we were pressed for time. But she was so kind and smiled widely and told us to start whenever we were ready! At about 12:50 a couple elders showed up and within 10 minutes we had 20 more missionaries with us! Another miracle was that Elder Flores was able ot bring his guitar and accompany us on all the hymns even though one of his strings was broken! We had almost 30 missionaries in the last minute choir and I directed the group right in front of the HUGE tree in the middle of the mall. All the people on the escalators were ogling as we sang and people stopped to film and take pictures and listen and feel the spirit. I was beaming as I watched the group of missionaries sing songs of Christmas praise! It was an unforgettable experience and a great reminder to me that the Lord will always help things fall into place when our desires are righteous and we work by faith.

I wish you the merriest of Christmases and invite you to take the time to look for the Lords hand in your life this season. Take time to ponder the significance of His humble birth and incomparable life. May the blessings of Christmas shower you with joy!

Love Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17th

This week has been great!
We had a really fun multi-sone conference for Christmas yesterday. Each zone prepared a fun skit or performance and our zone did a dance...but it was no ordinary dance! It was  a dance de los enanitos! A dance of the midgets! What you do is dress the bottom half of your body and then wear a plastic bag on top and you look like an enanito! We wiggled around the stage to Mariah Carey´s All I want for Christmas is You while one of the Elders who is waaaay funny was dressed as Santa Claus, lip syncing and dancing like a maniac. It was hilarious and clearly (and without any bias whatsoever) the funniest skit of all!
We had great lessons from both President and Hermana Douglas. Sister Douglas talked about having Christs image in our countenance. Do people truly recognize us as His disciples? Have we truly taken His name upon us? I would encourage all of you to read Alma 5 and ponder the questions therein. President Douglas talked about becoming like Peter. We analyzed scriptures about Peter pre- and post-resurrection of Christ. It seems that Peter was always one to follow the beckonings of the Savior without second thought, but that he had fear and doubt at times, specifically fear of man. But after the resurrection all of the stories with Peter feature him unabashedly and valiantly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ at whatever cost. President then related each of us to Peter. We have all heeded the call of the Savior to leave our boats and become fishers of men. We have all stpped out onto the stormy sea not really knowing exactly what will come. We all doubt at times. But how can we personally realize the change that Peter experienced? How can we become strong and converted and fearless as he was? I suspect that each of our answers is different. But I would challenge each of you to ponder about what you can do in your life to become more like Peter and make that your Christmas gift to the Savior this coming year. Write it down and keep it somewhere until next Christmas and then evaluate how you´ve done. I promise that the Lord will bless you and enable you in your efforts.
Guess what we did for P Day this week? We went paintballing! And it was suuuuper fun! Tell Brendan we´re totally going paintballing when I come home and that I will SHOOT HIM mwahahahahaha. Because I love him that much. 
Hermana Vera is teaching me to dance bachata and salsa. Im gonna have Latina hips when I come home, so be prepared!
Hey if you want to see a cute Christmas service video that took place in the DR, check this out!  This is basically what the country looks like everywhere, except the beach is an extra touch.
Have a great week! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Love Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10th

This week has been LONG! But overall good. I don´t usually look back on a week and think that it was hard, but this one was. I´m learning a lot about how different trials can blind us to our true potential and how important it is to trust in the Lord as much as possible. For all you people who think you can´t--you CAN. That´s a promise.

So I´m on my first DIET! And I am not doing so hot haha. It´s not a crazy insane diet. It´s about cutting back, not cutting out. Eating loads of fruits and veggies which is super easy here and a lot less carbs which is super impossible here because RICE haha. But our fridge is stocked with delicious fresh produce and I feel great! I´m still working on cutting back on ice cream though....
Good news: an investigator that I feared had died is alive! And not in the hospital anymore. HURRAY FOR LIFE. 
10 days until CHRISTMAS and I´m so excited. The package mom sent me is tempting me.
I was unvoluntarily volunteered to direct the ward choir.
Our zone is coordinating a ¨dance of the midgets¨for the  Christmas zone conference next week so hopefully I will have a video to share.
Funny story of the week. We were in the mission office with several other missionaries. My Mexican Zone leader had a question for one of the Senior missionaries who doesn´t speak Spanish and askeed me to translate for a sec. I was like, ¨sure I got this¨So the elder asked me the question in Spanish and then I turned and asked the same exact question to the senior missionary In SPANISH. They both looked at me and I was like "oh sorry!" and I tried again and got it. Then the senior missionary responded to me in English and I turned to the Elder and repeated exactly what he had said IN ENGLISH. They stared at me again and I was like "oh wait! let me try again!" hahaha. Any hopes and dreams I had of coming home and being a translator have been flushed down the toilet haha.
Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 3rd

What a great week!

One of the really fun things that happened was a Stake Fashion Show. At first I thought it was just going to be an activity about Modesty (mostly because I didn’t know what the Spanish word for fashion show meant…haha) and then it was like a full-blown SHOW. They started with a dance number and had a fancy runway with women of all ages, shapes, and sizes modeling modest clothes for any occasion to fun, up-beat music. Everyone was cheering and applauding the whole time. They had commentators talking about the styles and the clothes and it was awesome. You guys should definitely copy this idea!

Another awesome thing is that we have started sharing pass along cards with people to show the church’s video about how Christ is the real gift of Christmas. Have you seen the video yet? If not, here it is watch it and then share it all over facebook and twitter and instagram and whatever new social networking things have surfaced in the past 6 months. He is the Gift!

So I killed another companion today! And I’ve got a new one. Hermana Vera. She’s basically Jamila. I love herrrrrrr. She only has one transfer in the mission so I’m sort of her trainer but not really but sort of. I’m super pumped for our time together!!! How does President Douglas know exactly who is so perfect for me???? REVELATION IS REAL.

I ate my first street food and survived. They said it was chicken and it tasted like chicken, but it was unidentifiable haha. But I’m alive and well!

I love you all! Happy December!