Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26th

This past week all people were talking about was the cyclone that was coming.  Every day people asked if we knew and were prepared. It seemed that the storm kept getting postponed and as far as I know, it´s not coming our way or no longer exists...BUT our district leader played a pretty funny joke on us. We were about to have our district meeting and he stepped outside to answer a call. He came back in saying "that was the zone leader. Apparently the strom that is coming tomorrow is a lot bigger than we thought it was, so you are all to go buy water and food and get your houses ready. Meeting cancelled." Everyone in the room was incredulous. Hermana Bradford said, "really? so does this mean i don´t have to give my lesson?" and as we were packing our things to go he said, "I´m just kidding, sit down and let´s get this meeting started!" It was such a good joke though because as missionaries we have no access to new or weather apps and so we completley believed him! We had no way of knowing!

Highlight of PDay: Star Wars Party! Elder Epperson turned 21 and so we threw him about as much of a party as you can get with missionary lifestyle! Unfortunately the pictures will have to wait for next week--stay tuned!

I had an interesting thought today. We live in such a bubble. Our life is our own world and for the most part, we don´t mix spheres with others. We are totally unaware that for one neighbor it´s the anniversary of their mother´s death today. For someone else, it´s the day of the biggest job interview of their life. For another soul it is the day their first child is born. Somewhere in the world, someone is making an investment that will permanently redirect the course of their life. All over the world there are people whose lives are changing in drastic ways and we are totally unaware. Today is just Wednesday to me. And yet, God is somehow aware of every single change in every single person´s life. He, through His Atonement, is perfectly familiar with the whirlwind of change that sweeps through each of us every now and again. I am baffled by the thought of how He can simultaneously comprehend each of our struggles and strifes and joys and triumphs simultaneously...and yet I  know that He does. He just does.

Love you all,
Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19th

My companion is a Dominican pioneer descendant. Her grandparents were baptized six months after the country was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel. Really, there are so many people in this country who have pioneered the work of the Lord. They are brave souls who have made many sacrifices. They saved their money for years to be able to fly to Guatemala and receive their endowments--and they are now blessed to host the only temple in the Area del Caribe in the capital. They are stalwart saints and it is an honor to learn from them!

I really like La Vega (everyone here makes jokes about how it is the dominican Las Vegas, even though I´ve not seen a single casino or hotel). I´m in a branch once more, but the building has two branches, with four missionaries in each one and about 10 or 15 minutes away there is another branch with four missionaries. SO MANY OF US IN SUCH PROXIMITY. It´s kind of great actually. 

One really cool thing I am learning is how we are really all the same. Sometimes you teach people who sleep on the floor and don't have bathrooms in their home and barely own enough clothing for their family. They live in the humblest of circumstances. I see them at first and think, "how unfair that they have to live in such miserable circumstances" but then I realize that they´re not miserable. Sure, they struggle much more than most of us, but they still have come to this earth to get everything they need. They have bodies that work just as well as mine, they have families and memories just as precious as mine, and they know God exists just as much as I do. Why does indoor plumbing make any difference? It doesn´t. We are all children of our Father in Heaven and He loves us ALL. 

Have a great week!
Hermana Anderson

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 12th

Some thoughts and advice from the week:
How do you know when to stop sweeping a dirt floor? Meaning, at what point can you consider it well-swept?
Advice. LOOK BEFORE YOU EAT. The other day at someone´s house, my hands were occupied, and so as Matias walked around munching on what I THOUGHT were chips, he kindly offered me one by holding it to my mouth so I could eat it. Right before that thing was in my mouth I realized that it was not a chip. It was a piece of fried pig skin. Know how I recognized that it wasn´t a chip? BECAUSE OF ALL THE PRICKLY BLACK HAIRS. So folks, look before you eat. The quick glance probably saved my life.
News! I have been  transfered from Esperanza to Primavera, a branch in La Vega--really close to my first area! I am now an "hermana leader" which basically means that I go on exchanges with the other sisters near me. This means I get to visit my old area, get to know more missionaries, and I get to see the most beautiful parts of the country because of the region taht I´m over. So happy! My new companion is Hermana Reyes. She is from Santo Dominigo and I loved her when I met her months ago! I´m really looking forward to this change :)
In my studies this week I really enjoyed a scripture I stumbled across. Jeremiah 32: 38-42. I hope you will give it a read and that you will like it as much as I did!
Have a great week!

Hermana Anderson

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5th

Coolest thing that happened in Esperanza this week? The members of the church were gospel superheroes. Every day we invite members to come with us to help us teach and to fellowship the people we are visiting. Usually it is a nice bonus to a typical lesson. Every now and then the member is a total rockstar and I just want to excuse myself from the lesson and let them have a one-on-one power-talk with the person we´re teaching. The people here are truly remarkable and have such strong testimonies. My favorite lesson this week would have to be the one we had with Jose Miguel (a 19-year-old convert with a year since his baptism) and Yoselyn (his mom). Jose Miguel is quite possibly the church´s best 19-year-old convert (not to brag or anything) and when we taught his mom I can´t even begin to explain the feeling of the Spirit as he powerfully, unabashedly testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and the need for his mom to accept it. I think what made it so different from other lessons was the fact that it was a son-to-mother message, and not a i-just-met-you-but-let´s-be-friends message. It just underscores to me the eternal importance of families. Jose Miguel GETS that. He KNOWS that his family can be eternal and he wants to be with his mom and his dad and his sister forever and he knows that the ONLY way for that to happen is through the temple and in order to get there, his mom needs to accept the gospel first. And he is fighting for her. The incredible part was that with every plea and reassurance that he gave, Yoselyn had a perceptible change. She, though unfamiliar with it, could feel the Spirit and I could sense her heart being slowly thawed by the heat of the love of her son. People here always say, "salvation is individual" and I always tell them "Yes. And the gospel is for your FAMILY." That´s why we´re all here, folks. To be in families and to make more of them and to take them all with us to the Kingdom of Heaven. I am so grateful for the restored and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ that teaches and makes possible the eternal family. 

Hermana Anderson