Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 29th

As promised, THE TEMPLE will be the highlight of this email. We left bright and early on Sunday morning and had a fun roadtrip from Santiago to Santo Domingo. I don´t think I can overstress how beautiful this island country is. Flourishing would be a good word to describe it. Anyway, Santo Domingo is WAY bigger and city-er than Santiago. I liked it! And the temple is absolutely stunning. It´s incredible to see the angle Moroni among palm trees and ocean water. Stunning. We went down with other missionaries and beat the members so we had lots of extra time to enjoy the day at the temple. The highlight of the day was being able to see a family be sealed for all eternity. I will never forget the joyful anticipation in the sealing room as the couple waited for their children to be brought in to be linked for all eternity. Peaceful bliss filled the room as they all embraced. It was such a huge privilege. After the leaving the temple we had tons of fun too! There were TONS of people there. And it just so happened that my past ward and my current ward AND a ton of missionaries I know were all there. I felt like I knew everyone that I saw! We were all so happy and hugging and smiling and I thought, "I bet this is what the Celestial Kingdom will be like!"
News from the ward of Esperanza: Hermana Anderson is currently ward pianist and ward choir director! It is a lot of fun to use what little musical talent I have to bless the Saints here!

Awesome story from this week: so Hermana Blanch and I go running in the mornings. One morning we passed by this guy who was milking his cows and Hermana Blanch said, " I really want to offer him service and learn to milk his cows!" And so a few days later when we passed by, we asked if we could. He told us that he was milking a particularly  tempermental cow but that we should come back the next morning to milk a more patient one and bring a bottle to fill it up. And so we returned with a bottle the next morning! After waiting outside the fence for a few minutes he came up to us, took the bottle, filled it with milk, fetched some fresh brown eggs, and handed them to us for free. We. Had. Real. Milk. FOR FREE! (the milk in the stores here is powdered milk mixed with water. It has infinite shelf life) God blesses His children when they seek to serve! And now we know where to go buy delicious and authentic milk!

I love you all and know that Jesus is the Christ. We are so blessed to live in a time when the world is populated with His holy temples. Take advantage of the blessings He wishes to give you within the sacred walls of His house.

Hermana Anderson

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 22nd

Esperanza was hot like an oven this week. Thank goodness for delicious juice and coconut ice cream! Hermana Blanch and I have more and more fun every day together. We really are so similar in so many ways and sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself! (not because she isn´t listening, haha, because she responds just like I would.)
Ramon got baptized on Saturday! He is so happy and is a great addition to the ward.

We are having lots of success with less active members as well. Word of advice for all you members out there: RETAIN YOUR MEMBERS. Be their friends. Love them. Sit with them. Serve them. Nurture them with the good word of Christ. God loves them so much and He relies on YOUR help to support them in the crucial moment of falling away or enduring through trial.

On Saturday I get to go to Santo Domingo. Know why? I AM GOING TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!! That´s right. I cannot explain my excitement and joy. I will probably talk all about it next week. So excited!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 15th

My first week in Esperanza went by really fast! The people here are very humble, just like in Bonao...probably even more so. And they love the missionaries so much! I´ve been invited to eat every day---mom´s charitable act of cooking for the missionaries back home has cycled here to me! Thanks mom!

Highlights fromthis week

-Morning runs through the banana fields and rice plantations
-Juan Pablo tells Hermana Blanch he´ll get baptized on the condition that she marries him. When he discovers she can´t get married as a missionary he tells her he will wait.
-Finding lizards in the lovely apartment (it is really lovely) every night when we come home
-Meeting all the wonderful people of Esperanza
-Taking out all the youth preparing for their missions to do visits with us
-Making a lemon cake in the most....special....oven of all times. See the pictures for that one
-Interviews with President Douglas
-Washing my hair in the outdoor sink because the water wouldn´t come all the way up to the second floor
-Preparing Ramon for his baptism on Saturday
-Becoming best buds with Hermana Blanch!

I am loving missionary work here in Esperanza. I hope you all at home are enjoying whatever life is bringing you right now. I learned this week that all of us have to go through rough patches. They are ppart of life. But the rough patches help us know ourselves better and they allow us to humble ourselves and rely on the Savior. That´s where His enabling power comes in and we begin to grow. It is a miracle.

Have a great week!
Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 8th

Semana Santa was lovely here in the DR. We got to eat lots of yummy habichuelas con dulce. What is that? It is a bean beverage! Pinto beans cooked, liquified, and boiled with evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and then topped with little cookies that taste of animal crackers. SErved hot or chilled, it is delicious. I do not know why it is associated with this week, but EVERYONE cooks an ENORMOUS batch. I helped a member cook some and I felt like a witch stirring her brew because of the enormity of the cauldron--I mean pot.

General Conference was incredible. If you didn´t get to catch all of the sessions, go online and watch what you missed! Every talk was incredible! I loved the focus on the family. And the hammering they gave on cell phones in sacrament. Not cool, guys. One of my favorites was the story of the two brothers who went hiking (from Elder Holland) and how he related their miraculous story to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that He is here to rescue us from our failures and our falls and that His hands are always extended to us. 

I have been transferred! Talk about a surprise! It was really sad to say goodbye to my loved ones in Tierra Alta. I can´t imagine having to say goodbye to this country in December. Can´t handle the thought. And I was super sad to leave my hija, Hermana Funes. We had so much fun together! But I am also thrilled to be in Esperanza. It´s a lot like Bonao, much more campo (countryside). I love it! My companion is Hermana Blanch, she is from Misouri and we have already hit it off. I feel great about this change.

I love you all and beg your pardon because I forgot my camera. Next week I will send pictures!

Hermana Anderson

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 1st

This week has been wonderful. I have been meditating a lot about Passover and Easter. I want to share my testimony that I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know that before the worlds were made, He was chosen and prepared to be the Savior of the world. He condescended to earth to live among men and though He was the greatest of them all, He lived a life of compassionate service as though He were the least. In everything He did, He emulated the Father to perfection that we might have His perfect example. He suffered personally for all who have lived and will ever live upon the earth, and gave His life that we may be purified and redeemed. He died as all men must, but miraculously defied all precedents as he rose from the tomb on the third day. I know that He lives and that He ministered to His people in America. I know that He and the Father appeared to Joseph Smith and directed him in the restoration of Their church. I know that Jesus Christ knows and loves each of us intimately and profoundly and if we seek after Him, we have access to His enabling power to become like Him. I know these things to be true and share them with you in the holy name of Jesus the Christ, amen.

I hope you can enjoy General Conference this weekend! It is going to be extra special as it is Easter weekend. I am thrilled. If you don´t know what General Conference is or how to find it, you should go to! There is a great video about how to prepare for conference here
The dates are from a past conference. This year it is on Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th. I hope you can watch and enjoy!

I send all my love
Hermana Anderson