Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 25th

This has been a great week! We had a baptism on Sunday and pretty much the whole ward was there--it was incredible.

On Monday we spent the morning painting a house. It felt like a long time to me, because we painted for 6 hours (6 missionaries). But we painted the inside and outside and finished. Can you imagine being able to paint your whole house in a few hours? While we were painting we had to entertain a little kid too. He was adorably chubby and his pants refused to stay above his bum--he looked like a little plumber! I asked him how old he was and he said a number and then another elder asked him how many girlfriends he had. Instead of saying another number, he pointed to me and said "that one" hahaha. 

Hermana Funes and I are starting another transfer here in Tierra Alta and I am so grateful. I really love Santiago and the members here. I´m going to need more suitcases so i can smuggle some Dominicans home with me haha. This week we branched out in foods a bit, enjoying salchipapas and dominican hotdogs and cheesefries. here they put lettuce and carrots and peppers and cheese on the hotdogs and theyre really good. salchipapas are frenchfires covered in sliced hot dog with ketchup mayonaise and cheese sauce all over them. also delicious. did i already tell you what yaroa is? fries layered with meat layered with ketchup mayonaise and cheese layered with fries layered with more cheese. oh it is heaven on earth. The dominicans know how to take all of the good´n´greasy american foods and crank them up a notch. 

This week I have been really touched by Mosiah 5. I recommend you take a moment to give it a read and then ponder it. 

Lots of lovins
Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18th

It has been a really fun week! We were booked with activities, baptisms, birthdays, and dinners and we had a blast.

A highlight was definitely the baptism of Ana Mendez Gomez. Hermana Douglas even came and we did a violin and voice duet. Ana's parents are members and she met with the missionaries a long time ago, she just had to get married before she could be baptized. It has been such a pleasure teaching her, because she has such a profound understanding of the gospel and firm faith in her Savior. Not to mention, the entire family is wonderful and Hermana Lidia (her mother) has taken it upon herself to make her home our home away from home. 
Valentine's Day was a surprisingly large festivity here. We had a great ward activity and the whole weekend there was some sort of event going on. Hermana Funes and I celebrated with heart-shaped pancakes (see the pictures!)

There were lots of funny things this week, but I think the pictures will probably do more justice than written word. 

We had an awesome P Day today! We spent the night in the mission home so that we could get up at the crack of dawn and run to the monument with Hermana Douglas and a few other missionaries. It was a lovely run and the rising sun on the monument was picture-perfect! We enjoyed some time in the mission home afterwards, took hot showers (I can't even describe the simple pleasure of warm water), played a couple rounds of paintball, had lunch with some missionaries. Successful P Day by my count. And now we're off to work!
I want to bear my testimony of simple miracles. This week there were a handful of small and simple miracles. But the Book of Mormon teaches us that it is precisely these small and simple things that the Lord uses to bring to pass greater things. Miracles happen every day and are often worked through the hands of the servants of the Lord. Try participate in the working of a miracle this week!

Love you all


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 11th

This week has been really great! February is going to be a great month. We´ve got a couple baptisms coming up, some really fun activities awaiting us, and all the total craziness of Carnaval! (see photos from this week for an example)

Anthony in his Carnaval costume
This week was an exciting one for me as far as study goals go. I finished reading the Bible Dictionary, the General Conference Addresses, the talks from our Santiago Mission Folder, and el Libro de Mormon--all within a few days of each other! Now I´m not exactly sure where to start my studies, haha. But I just wanted to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is the word of God--no matter what language it´s written in. I know that to be true and I know that all who read it with a sincere interest to know of its truth will receive a spiritual witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon for themselves.

Miracle: one investigator we´ve been teaching a lot is Junior. He is one of my absolute favorite people I have taught and I have never wanted to badly for anyone to have the gospel as I have wanted it for him. Was that bad grammar? I apologize if so! Hopefully I´m semi-comprehensible. Anyway, for almost a week we felt like he was avoiding us and I was heartbroken. He didn´t answer or return our calls, he seemed to have left his house just as we were arriving. I was discouraged and frustrated. But during a fast, I included him in my prayers and that very night, he answered the phone and came to have a lesson with us! God answers prayers, everybody. I promise you that!

Funny story: Hermana Funes and I are walking down the street and a guy stops us to talk to us. This is how I think the conversation goes:
I'm an Ice Creamaholic

Guy: Hi, I´m Colic!

Me: Nice to meet  you!

Guy: I´m Colic!

Me(a little confused): Colic is your name?

Guy: Luis

I´m thinking, "if his name is Luis, then what is a colic?"

He keeps talking to us and saying all sorts of lunacies. My companion is frozen in awe-disgust at my side. Finally I just say "Nice talking to you, bye!" And we walk away. I ask my companion why she just stood there and she asks me, "why did you say ´nice to meet you?¨´ Apparently this is how the conversation actually went:

Guy: Hi, I´m alcoholic!

Me: Nice to meet you!

Guy: I´m alcoholic!

Me: Your name is colic?

You get the idea....In my defense, drunk Dominican Spanish is veeeery difficult to understand, haha.

Hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the pictures

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 4th

This has been a great week!
We currently have 2 investigators with baptismal dates before the end of the month—we are reaping the work of previous Hermanas in the area and the work of members. The teaching is going well with our other investigators, but it seems that every person we teach has one stumbling block, and not a very little one if I may say so, that is the one thing keeping them from progressing.  In times like these I remember the quote from Jeffrey R. Holland when he says that he “is convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.” Why would it be easy for us as missionaries or as the children of God investigating the church, when it was never, ever easy for Christ to atone for our sins so that we could have that salvation? That´s why we work hard!
We had the Area Conference of the Caribbean this Sunday and it was wonderful! I especially enjoyed a talk by Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the 70. He spoke on faith and used an example from 1 Nephi 5 when Sariah murmurs against Lehi because she thinks that her sons have died and believes that they, too will die in the wilderness. Lehi´s response to her is inspirational. He tells her that he KNOWS their sons will returned and that he has “obtained a land of promise.” Keep in mind that he says this in the midst of his 8 years wandering in the wilderness, an ocean away from the promised land of which he speaks. He has such faith in the Lord´s promise to bring him and his family there, that he has already obtained the land of promise, even without physically being there. Isn´t that incredible? Elder Andersen taught that we can develop this caliber of faith if we learn to align our will with the will of God.
Here in Santiago things are getting ripe and crazy for Carnaval, a Dominican festivity that involves all sorts of crazy costumes, parades through the streets, children running around cracking whips (pray for my safety please), and lots of loud music and alcohol! I think it has put the men in the city in a more….fresh, shall we say? State of mind. I am considering dying my hair black to save myself from the irritation of being “rubia” here. My companion pointed out that black hair would only make me more pale though. I´m afraid that ultimately I´m just going to have to learn more charity and patience haha.
Here are pictures from this week!
Have a great February and remember the faith of Lehi!
Hermana Anderson