Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ya! San Vincente!

Hey Family,

Today (Dec. 19th) was translados or transfers. We found out on Saturday and I have left the gran ciudad of Avellaneda and am now in the....Campo. I'm in a town called San Vicente with an Argentine companion named Elder Cayata. He is incredible. A really really nice guy, and from what I've heard, a really hard worker. He doesn't speak a word of English. It is going to be the language learning experience I was looking for I think. The only down side to all this is that....there is no skype capabilities here like there were in Avellanda. BUT I CAN STILL CALL!!!!!! I get 40 minutes max to call and can call from the house of a member, the chapel, or a cyber. So I'll have to ask one of the other gringos how it all works to call out of country but I'm going to call Monday in the Afternoon between 2 and 6pm our time. So ya. Sorry for the let down, but trust me, it is all part of the plan that I am here right now. I keep getting this overwhelming feeling of excitement to be here. I don't know where it is coming from either which means it is coming from the Spirit! I'm just so excited to be here in San Vicente. I think I'll be here for a while. Elder Cayata has been here almost 10 months! We have a Rama or a branch here of 40 or so members. We have a brand new Capilla though! It is HUGE!!!! Almost the size of the Green Mountain Building which for Argentina is Massive! We are in the Campo too. Fields and clean air and grass and everything is clean. 100% different from Avellaneda and the big city life. It is crazy the difference. At first I was nervous to have a Latin Companion, but now, even after a few hours with him I feel comfortable and ready to work. It is really a huge blessing. Me and Elder Hope had a great last week in Avellaneda. We prepared 4 people with baptismal dates to be baptized one each the next four weeks. One of these choice people is named Isaac. He is about 65 and is one of the wisest most humble men I have ever met. He met other Elders on the Collectivo and they gave us the reference. He had met with missionaries before and I don't know what happened but they never went back. In the past three weeks we have taught him every other day. He has read almost half the Book of Mormon AND half of the Bible AND 5 pamflets we left AND two Liahona Magazines. The guy is on fire!!! He is truly feasting on the words of Christ and is chosen and prepared to be baptized right now. All he needs to do is get married to his almost 80 year old wife who he has been living with for 45 years and never married. She is really close to passing to the other side and very fragile but they are gonna do it. The last time I asked him how it was all going, he just said "Fine. I'm still just trying to convince the witch." Totally straight face. Here people use nicknames we would never use in the states endearingly, like witch or gordita(fatty) or fea(ugly) or grandota(huge). It is pretty funny- couldn't help but laugh. I really have learned alot form him though. In Preach My Gospel it says something along the lines of "You can know when you have taught with the Holy Spirit as your guide when you leave the discussion having learned something yourself." It is very true. Everytime we teach or learn by the Spirit we learn aun màs (that much more)! I have a testimony of that. That when we learn with the Spirit and have an open heart and mind, it can and will be filled with truths. I've had so many beautiful experiences with that already in the mission. God is so merciful to me. It is amazing. My Spiritual thought for you all this week is simple. It is found in Revelations 3:20.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

I think I've shared it before, but it is that good and that important! God is at the door (our hearts) knocking. He will not force his way in. If he did so it would be contrary to his plan that all of us have agency or the ability to choose. But he is there, knocking. If we open the door I can promise you that he will be standing there with his hand extended. This door could be our hearts, or it could be more literal. Maybe this door is your front door, and maybe the hands of Christ are extended in the form of two young men in shirts and ties. Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The next time they pass by or if you see them in the streets, call them over. What they have to say might just change your has changed mine! :) I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that through the ordinance of baptism in this church, that I have a promise. He has promised me that when I keep his commandments he will ALWAYS have his Spirit walk with me. And I've promised him that I will never forget that. Now I get to help other people make that same promise with God! There is no greater cause in Heaven or Earth! I love you all, and I challenge each of you to go outside your comfort zone and ask to talk to the missionaries. It'll be awesome!!!

Elder Anderson

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Hey All!!!

This week has been a real week of miracles. The greatest lesson I learned this week would have to be that God is love, and that it is never too late to come back and change your life!  I've seen a ton of people change. It has been so hard for every single one of them, but they did it!!!

This week I'm short on time so I'm gonna send a bunch of pictures and call it good! I love you all so much! Hope none of these are duplicates!

A car. 

The Book of Mormon!  The Elders and young men from the ward

A Jacobson phrase on the Wall.

How they parked this car I have no idea! 

Front of the Independientes Stadium 

Us out proselyting at night

Dock Sud! I saw an american flag flying off the back of a ship here!!! Me and Elder Hope sang "My Country Tis of Thee" and kept going. Way cool!  Didn't have my camera though!

Love you! Hope you enjoy the pictures!


Elder Anderson

Monday, December 5, 2011

Acorn Grove Cont.

Dec. 5, 2011

Hey Capos!

Another pretty great week here in the Acorn Grove (Avellaneda). This week was pretty darn awesome. We had a Gira Misional this week with Presidente Aiduikitus of the First Quorom of the Seventy. He's a great leader from our South America South Area Presidency. He is from Brazil and had the funniest accent. It was awesome to listen to him speak. He talked to us a lot about faith and what it really means to have faith. I loved what he said. "Faith is doing everything you possibly can to make your goals become reality.” As missionaries we are always setting goals. Everyday we set goals for that day, and then we have weekly goals, and goals for the month and goals for the year and goals for the mission! We have a TON of goals. And they are all worthy and achievable. But as it says in James 2 "Faith without works is dead."

If I only have faith that God is going to provide a way to find someone ready to hear this message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I never leave the Pension then my faith is dead and serves no one. But if I have faith that God will help me find someone and I leave the Pension right on time, talking to every person I can, inviting every person I meet to hear the gospel and I find that one person. Well then my faith proved to be a true faith. Faith always precedes the miracle, but if we don't work for the miracle, it will never come.

I've learned here that God is a God that expects a lot of us. He expects our very best. But when we give that, he blesses us and makes everything we do that much better, that much more effective, it reaches farther and has more power. God is willing to work through me, not for me. Every great example we see in the Book of Mormon and Bible, labored hard in the vineyard. Not one person was ever rewarded for their laziness and they never will be. That is not the program. So if you’re like me and you expect to see miracles in your life, work for them. When you do that, I promise they will come. I've seen it work in my life, and especially this week.

We have found an incredible lady that is ready to change her life. That is what being a disciple of Jesus Christ requires us to do, change our lives and be better. And not just to change one time, but every day until forever. "If your life is comfortable, you aren't doing something right." I'm not sure who told me that but it has been stuck in my mind lately and it is true.

I love you all and hope you are doing well. I'm doing GREAT!!!! Getting into the Christmas Spirit! This Christmas is gonna be way different! That is for sure!

Love you all,

Elder Anderson  

Best Week EVER!!!

Nov. 28, 2011

Hi Everybody!

Sounds like you all had an AWESOME thanksgiving! We actually forgot it was Thanksgiving here and were reminded by one of our investigators that said, "Isn't it that Turkey festival today in the US?" So we went home and made some....honey and bread! And of course commented on how grateful we were for it. By the end of that one slice I could hardly eat any more. Went to bed early (not) right at 10:30 and slept in till 6:17 in the morning!!! We were out of control! So ya. Thanksgiving was a big hit here. Needless to say our Argentine companion doesn´t think it is a very good Holiday. He said, "So Thanksgiving is just like every other day?" We said yes and just left it at that.

We've seen some real miracles here this week in Avellaneda. We had a BAPTISM!!!! Three people, Abby (33), Chris (11), and Jane (8) were baptized. It was incredible to see them all making such an awesome decision in their lives. Chris before his baptism came up to us and asked if he would have to live the commandments forever after his Baptism. We said "Well ya. Of course you do!" He smiled this big
old smile and said "Oh good! I like that!" Abby has quit smoking and drinking in order to be baptized and she is really changing her entire life. It is amazing to see how HAPPY people are when they come unto Christ. In Matthew 11:28-30 it talks about how Christ will make our burdens light.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

You can see that when people make the choice to be baptized and live the commandments,  the burden of sin leaves and they look happier, brighter and less "cargado" as they say in Castillano. I
love it.

Other than that it has been a slow week. A lot of walking and knocking on doors and talking to whoever we can and getting told over and over again, "I don't need God" or "I don't have to do anything more, I've already been saved." It is so frustrating to see people wanting to remain ignorant. They tell us they don't need God but you can see in their faces and their eyes that they are sad and suffering. Everyone has their ability to choose or their agency though. That is why we are here. To choose. The only thing we can't choose are the consequences. Think about that for a minute!

Funny thing that happened this week. We have a young woman in our Ward who is putting in her  application to be a misionera! We are really excited for her! But to pay for the visa she has to send $40 US money, which right now in Argentina is really hard to buy.  She was telling us all this, and I remembered that I have $40 from when I was in the airport! I told her this and she almost shouted,  she looked so happy! So we are going to trade my US money for some pesos later this week and all her papers will be complete! Super cool! Funny experience! Glad I could help her out!

Well I love you all so much and am getting excited for December! Right now it is about 34 degrees Celsius. They tell me it will get all the way up to 39! With almost 100% humidity! Crazy! Christmas is
coming and it feels like July! Another Christmas in the heat!

Love you all,

Elder Anderson

Photo 1 the baptism!

OH YA!!!

Nov. 21, 2011

Hey Family!!!

So happy to hear you are all doing pretty great and stuff. I'm doing really great here! Life is good and the work is even better! This coming week is really big too because it is my MOM'S BIRTHDAY!!!! ¡¡¡Feliz cumpleaños mamá!!! I love you so much and am sending you good vibes and a big Kiss!! The mission is where I need  to be and my Gift to you this year is my faithful service and honoring the great legacy of Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we have in our family. We have a pretty cool tradition of that. We are all missionaries in our own sense and always can be examples to others.

This week has been crazy. I did three intercambios which means I leave my area for the day and trade companions with someone else and work in their area for the Day. So in the past week I have had the pleasure to work in the areas of Thomas Flores, Piñyero, and Wilde. It has been awesome! I learned a lot from some great Elders. In Thomas Flores, me and Elder Cowan were working together. It was really interesting because we got here at the same time which means our Spanish is at a level that is less than awesome. So we went out to go talk to people about the Gospel and stuff because that is the best thing you could possible talk about, and we found this one guy. OH MAN! We could not understand a word he said. He said something about Soldando la Vigen en una caja y cosas como asi. Pero no entendí nada. Pienso que él estaba boracho o algo. But ya. He was talking about welding the Virgin Mary in a Box or something and me and Elder Cowan just kinda stared at him blankly. It was great! We smiled and acted like we knew what he was saying and when we walked away around the corner both of us died laughing. That was a way good experience. Classic.

The other two intercambios were with Latin Elders so a little less of a disaster, but still way fun. We did some good work.

This week I've really been thinking about my calling as a Missionary. In the Manual that we use to study called "Preach My Gospel" it says that one of our purposes is to tell people and remind them that God loves them. I don't know why it surprised me so much. We do that everyday anyway, but when I really made a point to tell every person I talked with that God is our loving Heavenly Father and we are His children and he loves us, I saw people soften and change. I think deep down inside every single one of us realizes that we are special. But maybe we don't realize how much. We are literal spirit Children of God. As such we are able to inherit all that is his. Think about that. In the scriptures God says, "This is my work and my Glory, to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man." He wants us to have all he has, to be all he is. Are we living up to our potential? We have a woman we know here that is physically and mentally abused. We told her one day, "Do you realize that you are a Daughter of God? No one has the right to treat you like that!" And it was like all of a sudden she remembered! The light bulb went off and she said, "YA! That's right!! I am a daughter of God! I don't have to take crap from anyone! I'm special!" I hope we can all look deep and really realize how special we are. Each and every one of us has the potential to one day become like our Heavenly Father. To become like God and have all that he has. YOU ARE MORE SPECIAL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!!!!! DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU DIFFERENT!!!! I love you all so much. I wish I could sit down and tell you this face to face but this will have to do for now. God exists. He is Heavenly Father and he loves us more than we know.

 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Revelations 3and 20

He stands at the door and knocks. Are we willing to let him in?

Elder Anderson

Pic 1 The "Cami" Carneceria

Pic 2 Me, Brother Emiliano Perez (old) and Quique (Young) after the service project in the community version of Jeffco Action Center in Colorado- called El Quincho

Pic 3 Check out Quique's shirt

Pic 4 Putting my name on the wall for all the stuff we did. What did I do?.....

Pic 5 I burned stuff. We cleaned up a community Parque and painted the Homeless Shelter. Way awesome.

Pic 6 Elder Guzman from Tucuman. Found this street sign in Piñyero