Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24th

Julian got baptized! It took him a while to muster up the level of commitment he needed but he pulled through and you can tell how much he LOVES the gospel and how happy it makes him.
We are always on the run. Life moves crazy fast some days here. I don´t know if I´ll be able to accurately portray the hilarity of our almost-missing-the-guagua story, but I´ll try to sum it up. If you wanna catch a guagua (bus) you have to be waiting on the side of the road right when it passes. There are no stops. We wanted to catch the latest guagua possible (risky) and we were told it´d pàss between 6:30 and 7. Well at 6:30 we are totally loaded down with overnight bags, backpacks of scriptures, cases of food, and boxes for mailing as we´re speed walking toward the main road to catch the guagua. We are almost there when we see the guagua approaching. We both break into a run and I was shouting likea  maniac "LA GUAGUA!!!!! LA GUAGUA!!!!" we didn´t make it, but I did manage to almost get hit boy four motorcycles trying to chase it in the street (don´t worry mom, it wasn´t THAT close of a call. Totally fine!) and then we sat on the curb like hobos hoping there was another guagua. Luckily there was and we scurried on in a very discombobulated fashion very content with ourselves despite having missed the first guagua.
Today we spent the morning at the beach. See photos. Remember the commandment "thou shalt not covet" too. Don´t worry, we can go to the DR together sometime! I´ll be your personal tour guide and it´ll be great.
The Lord loves you and looks out for you. Never forget it! And never forget to tell other people the same!

Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 18th

A year ago today I was on a plane to the MTC, a newly set-apart missionary who felt out of place without her tags, roaming through airports without companions, and fearing, imagining, and anticipating the 18 months ahead of her. This year has been incredible. And fast. I think the most important piece of advice that I can share with this hindsight is that every moment matters. Every instant is precious. In every second of every day you are changing--and you must consciously decide that this change will be one for the better. Seize every moment.

Esperanza is great. We are surviving the heat by drinking lots of water and juice and keeping the fans on at high speed. I´ve officially started using an umbrella for sun protection (it is kind of a laughable thing here among the missionaries because that´s how you identify the Jehovah´s Witnesses) because I don´t want skin cancer. And it´s cooler that way! (only in the temperature sense of the word, I´m afraid.)

Highlights of the week: pancakes. Lots of them. Especially the coconut banana macadamia ones. Forget birthday cakes, that´s what I want for dessert for every birthday that comes my way.

A funny moment happened in a district meeting. The district leader teases me about being nerdy a lot (it´s cool, we´re friends and it´s the truth) and during his presentation he was talking about focus when he decided to use me as an example. He said, "Hermana Anderson, what is your mind focused on when you´re playing a spor--I mean, reading a book?" My jaw dropped open and I said "I play sports too!" hahaha the whole district was laughing.

Another funny thing. We´re teaching and there´s this HUGE rat that scurries across one of the wooden poles that holds up the tin roof. I say with surprise, "wow, that is a BIG rat." and then to lighten up the situation I guess, Miguel says "Rat? Oh, that´s just Juancito." Suddenly, Melody, who was not paying any attention, heard the name "Juancito".She looked up at the ceiling, saw the rat, and a huge smile lit up her face. She shouted with glee "Juancito!" and gave him a happy wave. Melody is 5 by the way. 

Thought for this week: remember to seek the Lord´s counsel instead of seeking to counsel Him as you pray this week. When was the last time you got on your knees and sincerely asked for revelation? Gave thanks? Made a covenant? Don´t forget the power that you can access through sincere, consistent prayer.

Love you all,
Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 10th

Esperanza is the town where I am serving and translated to English it means "hope". Hope is on the rise every day it seems. I believe more in people and myself and especially in the miracles of the Lord. One miracle we saw this week occurred as the people we teach decided to take a step of faith and fast with us. The most notable miracle happened to Emilia. She is investigating the church with her not-married-by-the-law husband Gerbinson and they really love the church but are struggling to decide if they are convinced enough to change their lives by getting married and baptized. They agreed to fast with Hermana Blanch and me this weekend and as we kneeled in their living room to start the fast it was a very peaceful moment. Emilia told us the next day that as we prayed she felt and saw a bright light fill the entire room and just knew that God was communicating to her that she was on the right path and that she should continue forward in this church. Miracles happen once in a while when you believe.
Two intriguing things from my week
-I met a woman who is 108 and still kickin. She uses a shortened broom stick as a cane and lives alone. For the most part she cooks and cleans for herself, using the cane to load and remove the clothes from her washer. She fluidly speaks spanish and english, effortlessly switching from one to the other. And she wrote her name and address down for me, along with the date of her 109th birthday. If I´m stil in Esperanza in September I am baking her a big cake.
-I determined that boy in the ward named Wilson strangely resembles a young Justin Bieber. Look at the photos and video from this week. 
Have a good one!
Hermana Anderson

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 3rd

Apparently "the first rains" are always supposed to come to Esperanza in May. Well, the rain clouds blew by us in May and have now decided to dump some serious downpourage on us in June. The Elders showed up to a meeting yesterday SOAKED. Imagine that movie scene where someone bursts through the door and all of a sudden the floor is covered in rainwaiter that is streaming off their face and their clothes look three sizes too big from being so drenched with water. Yep. That was them. Hermana Blanch and I have become very good at employing garbage bags as impromptu rain ponchos. I had a white one on  the other day and it was pointy at the top of my head. My first thought was "KKK" but all the Dominicans who saw me said, "Ah, la virgin Maria" with a happy smile. Talk about a culture difference, haha.

In other news we had a ward conference which was ill-fatedly planned for Mother´s Day. In this country, Mother´s Day is almost like Thanksgiving. EVERYONE leaves town to go to their mom´s house or to the cemetery. Translation: nobody came to the conference. But other than the low attendance, it was a nice service.

Two great successes of the week: we climbed a really cool tower! AND I made a squash brownie (almost like pumpkin cake) and a member was eating it and when he found out what it was made of he said, "This is made from squash?! And it actually tastes this GOOD?!?!?!?" 

Just a reminder to you all that the small in simple things are how God works His miracles. You may not be able to see them developing along the way, but small, consistent acts of faith are what propel the work forward every moment of every day. Keep up the small and simple things.

Hermana Anderson