Monday, August 31, 2015

08-31-2015 Email from Elder Anderson (Thunder Bay, Canada)

Hi everyone. I have had a good week. 

Monday: We went on exchanges for a little bit, I was with Elder Johnson and we rode to the North side of town on our bikes. It is super busy road and really scary to ride on the side of the road. They have a law that we cannot ride bikes on the sidewalk. Well we are riding by Wal Mart and I was thinking to myself " What happens when a missionary is consistently disobedient? " And in the middle of my thought I smash to the ground. My front bike tire got caught in the train tracks and I wrecked on this super busy road. Somehow both of my ankles twist hahah. It hurt really bad at the moment, it was quite embarrassing. Not that I was being disobedient or anything. Now that I think about it, its a funny experience because it was my birthday too. 😂

Tuesday: I went on exchanges with Elder Smith. We taught a guy named Keshuik. He is from India. He is super cool! We taught him the Restoration. I recited the "First Vision" for the first time. Then we Invited him to be Baptized. He said he would read and pray about the Book of Mormon. I got really excited about that! 

Wednesday: Every Wednesday we have a District meeting at the church with just us four missionaries. That is always good to get some training in. Around lunch time I got in my first argument on my mission. Me and Elder Smith got pretty into it. I won't go into detail. But I got pretty mad. haha! Then all the Elders just started being really annoying all the sudden. I swear just to make me mad! Sometimes I just need to be away from them, but the thing is as a missionary you always are with someone.. So this week we kinda all got sick of eachother.. We will be fine though! 

Thursday: Me and Elder Hawkes had an Idea to go to a popular park and get chalk to draw The Plan of Salvation on the concrete. We went to Wal Mart and we couldn't find any.. That was a little bit frustrating. Our car that we share between the two companionships has a certain number of miles we can use per month. Since a few weeks ago we drove to Duluth and back and took off 700 miles we didn't have any. We were meeting with the Ward Mission Leader which lives super far away. So we rode our bikes all up hill to his house. It was a super long and exhausting bike ride. But we stopped on the way there and found a cool basketball court and hung around it. We took a few pictures. My favorite picture from my mission is taken there. Ill send it! It is the one with the Backboard that says " T-Bay".

Friday: We didn't do much. We went tracting for a bit, but we couldn't find anyone to talk to. Every Friday we play basketball at 8:00. This week no one showed up to play. So that kinda sucked. But it sounds like no one on the SFHS Football team showed up either Friday night ;) Hahah, Jk!! I wish I could be at every game. That is one of the things I miss most. 

Saturday: We were not too busy this day either. Here in Thunder Bay, they have a thing called the "Rib Fest" I guess it is supposed to be the best ribs in the world. It's like a super big event that everyone goes to. Elder Smith got sick, But Elder Johnson really wanted to go see some people. So we did an emergency exchange. I went with Elder Johnson. We talked to so many people at the Rib Fest. I handed out like 15 cards. It was pretty successful. We walked about 10 miles home. So that was kinda fun to see parts of the city that I haven't seen before. We came across these three High School age kids. One boy and two girls. They talked to us forever. They were cool. But then they started flirting with Elder Johnson and I. Even the guy. We found out he was gay! They asked a ton of questions about gays. So we talked about getting married in the temple. We are meeting with them again. They seemed Interested in learning more.

Sunday: I gave my talk on the "First Vision". It went pretty well! I was super nervous. But I found that I learn more for myself when I give a talk or teach a lesson. Later we had a member lesson and I gave a spiritual thought on prayer. Then me and Elder Hawkes met with a less active member. We talked about blessings that come from going to church. 

I love this Gospel! I have learned so much. I can't wait to keep having cool experiences. I love you all! Thanks for all the Emails! I truly enjoy them so much.

Elder Anderson

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy Birthday, Taylor

We made a fun video to send to Taylor for his 19th birthday! Here it is:

08-24-15 Email from Elder Anderson (Thunder Bay, Canada)

Hello everyone. I am doing well! This week went by so fast it is crazy.  Monday we hiked this mountain/hill haha. We couldn't think of much else to do but it was really cool. It had a cool look out view of Lake Superior. Tuesday we cleaned the house like super good and cleaned out the car and vacuumed everything because the next day we were traveling to Duluth for a Zone Conference. Later that evening we had a Member meal. Which are always good, but they feed us so much food it is hard to handle.. Wednesday we drove all day like 8 hours in total. That was not too enjoyable. We played a few games on the way down but other than that it was pretty boring. We ate at Culvers and I always forget that Fry Sauce is only a Utah thing so I asked for it, and he obviously didn't know what it was. So I am still getting used to things haha. When we finally arrived I got to see some other missionaries which was nice. We played some board games and there was another Elder Anderson that loves baseball so we talked about that for a while. :)

Thursday we woke up and went to the Zone Conference. It was actually amazing. We got taught like 5 different things. They were all really good. I learned about " How to be a Preach My Gospel Missionary " And how to study it better. I got to see all these different Missionaries. I realized how lucky I was with my amazing companion. Cause some of the trainers other new missionaries got, were really odd..  I also learned my Mission President absolutely loves Baseball. That made me so happy! In the lesson he taught us in the end, he talked about it, and related it to the Gospel and it helped me a lot. Going away from this conference I was super motivated, I wanted to teach a lesson the next day. Friday we got up in the morning and got on the road back home which kinda sucked driving that long. But we got home at about 4:00, unpacked, ate dinner, and kinda relaxed a bit. Every friday night we go to the church and play basketball. So then we did that for a few hours. That is always fun.

Saturday we woke up did our daily things and then Elder Hawkes said lets say a Prayer and ask Heavenly Father for him to prepare someone to hear our message. So we prayed and immediately started knocking doors.  I was really nervous.. People slammed the door a lot and yelled at us. A guy answered the door naked which was disgusting.. 😐 We finally saw someone that looked like they wanted to talk to us. This guy was from India. As we were walking towards each other Elder Hawkes said " You got this guy " So I went and I talked to this guy and talked about the Book of Mormon he seemed interested. We set up an appointment for Tuesday. He is taking us to StarBucks hahah. But it made super happy that we found someone to teach.  Man it is such a good feeling! 

I found out yesterday my Topic for my talk this next Sunday. " The First Vision " Which I am glad about. All four of us are speaking. We are singing " Bring the world his truth" too haha. Busy Sunday. I am having a lot of fun out here. But it was hard knowing this past Fridaynight SFHS had a football game and I couldn't be there chest painted and all. I would love to know how each of those games go.  So let me know :) 

Today is my Birthday I can't believe I am 19 years old haha. Wow! I love you all so much. Thanks for all the emails. I love hearing from all of you. Have an amazing week. Good luck Football team! 

Elder Anderson🚀

Friday, August 21, 2015

Zone Conference in North Branch, MN

08-17-2015 Email from Elder Anderson (Thunder Bay, Canada)

Hi everyone! This week has been the toughest week of my mission. We did not have a lot of success I met a lot of people that did not want to hear anything we had to say. We were sworn at a lot and just multiple people that were so rude to us. We rode bikes a lot so that is really fun. :) I told Elder Hawkes that I want to try and teach someone that plays Basketball on the street courts, or baseball on the baseball fields. So about everyday we ride our bikes and go by the court and field. We saw two guys that looked about 20 years old playing basketball. But we were on our way to an appointment so we could not stop and talk to them.. It was a little bit frustrating. But I will keep having faith that someone will be there one of these times. :) We talk to a lot of people on the streets but most of them are drunk so it is hard to actually have a normal conversation. Lately it has been super scary out on the streets. 
This week we got encountered by a bunch of drunk people. We were riding down May, the main street after 6 (something we usually try to avoid). And this guy asked if we could talk to him. We stopped at just about the only place we would on May St where a bunch of people are mulling around at the bus stops. We quickly realized this guy sitting on the bench was crazy and we're going to leave, when another drunk guy came up to Me and asked if I had cocaine... "No." I answered. "Why you dressed up so nice then?" Only a few seconds later and we are surrounded by drunk people asking for drugs! It seriously felt like we were getting swarmed by Zombies. They came from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The Crazy guy stood up and started yelling at them. "They ain't got cocaine!" "They church people, go on!" That lost a few of them but they kept asking for cigarettes or anything. "They ain't dealers, now get!" The ones left at this point started confronting the guy "we are going to put you in jail." "I haven't killed a man in 10 years I am not going to jail." With the opening there was we left.. Man it was one of the scariest moments of my life 😮

We had been struggling the whole week and so i had the thought that me and Elder Hawkes needed to pray to find someone to talk to. So we prayed and then went out on our bikes. We went to a near by golf course and we found a guy to talk to it made us both so happy. We didn't end up sharing a message with him, but we talked for about 20-30 minutes. I know that was Heavenly Father answering our prayer. Elder Hawkes has taught me that really every question that we have is in the scriptures somewhere. Personal study has been so essential for me with teaching lessons and all. I have came to love the Book of Mormon more each day I read.

I have came to know some members of the ward pretty good. There are some really nice members that I really like a lot! We have been going to members house everyday for dinner and man they feed us so much food.. We have little time for exercise so i feel like i am getting fat haha. I don't think I really am but If I keep eating at members houses everyday I will..  This past Sunday Bishop asked me and two other missionaries to speak in two weeks haha I am excited about that!

If I have learned two things out in the mission field number one : I am so grateful for what i have back home. Seriously I am so blessed. Seeing how rough some peoples lives are out here make me feel very blessed at home. All of you guys have blessed my life in some way or another and I want to thank you for that. Number two : Never judge someone by the way they look, we never know what they are going through. 

I love you all and would love to hear from all of you :) Have a great week! 

Elder Anderson

This is the view from my backyard.

This is the hoop I bought for the house. 😂

Monday, August 10, 2015

08-10-15 Email from Elder Anderson (Thunder Bay, Canada)

Hello everyone! I made it! I am in the mission field :) My first area is Thunder Bay Canada. The Mission President and his wife said that the last time a missionary got trained in Thunder Bay was over two years ago haha. So that made me a little bit nervous. The day that i flew to the Minneapolis Airport literally was the longest day of my
life. We woke up 2:30 and then got to the airport. Then we got the opportunity to call home which i was super excited about :) But also  it was really sad because i had to say goodbye again.. 😥 But our flight was about 2 and a half hours and i slept the entire time even though it was in the most uncomfortable position! Then we got there and we didn't hesitate to get started with training. We trained for a few hours and then we got the opportunity to meet our companions and we were all so excited. So we got introduced to all of the trainers.
When i found out I was going to Thunder Bay I didn't realize actually how far away it is from where we were it. So that night we drove 5 hours and oh my goodness it was sooooo long. I found out that the ward boundary here is bigger than the state of Utah 😂 so crazy. Then the next day me and my companion had to drive 3 more hours.. But he is super cool so it was not that bad. He is from Aurora, Colorado. He is a very good missionary and has taught me a lot since i have been here.

I stay with two other missionaries. Elder Smith and Elder Johnson! All 3 of them that i stay with only have 2 or 3 months left in their mission. So to be honest it is really hard to know they are so close to going home. They always talk about what they are gonna first do when they get home and it makes me a little sad because i just left.
But it is okay, I am doing well. We have played some basketball and some soccer and that gets my mind off of things.

So the first day i got here, me and Elder Hawks went walking around trying to find people to talk to and wow was i nervous.  He had me try to talk to this one girl that was just standing on the corner walking back and forth. I accepted the challenge. But before we got to her, a random guy drove by and yelled " GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE " (Pointing to the girl) not knowing what that meant i just kept going and was about to talk her. So i said "hello, how are you?" She said good and just walked away. I found out later that night that that girl is a Hooker..😁 I felt so dumb hahaha. Here in Thunder Bay there are so many of them haha. It is a super ghetto town!

Saturday morning my Companion got a call from a ward member giving us a referral! He told me that we were meeting with him that night at  7:00. His name was John Paul. Elder Hawkes told me that i was going to commit him to be Baptized and to read the Book of Mormon.When he told me that i got super scared and was not confident in myself at all. Right before we went Elder Hawkes had to go back to the house and get his stuff for the lesson. So i got on my knees and a said a Prayer asking Heavenly Father for help in this lesson. One of the most
sincere Prayers that i have said. When we got to the apartment his door was already opened. So we knocked still and he came to the door with a cigarette and he said " COME ON IN BOYS" very loudly. We got in there and he told us his whole life story and what he has been through. He has been shot, stabbed, 3 strokes, 19 DUI's, He broke his right hand 43 times and his left 15, his dad did not treat him right as a kid and so on. He told us that he was wondering why he is still here and that he is looking for a church to join. We taught him the Restoration and then we showed him a Mormon Message called "Mountains to Climb" ( I recommend watching it ) and the Spirit was so strong there. I could tell he felt it. After that I invited him to be Baptized one of the days in September. He thought about it for a second and then said "Yes." That made me so happy. Then after talking about the Book of Mormon for a little bit i invited him to read it and Pray about it. He accepted the invitation. I bore my testimony right then and man the Spirit was just so strong. I felt the love of our Heavenly Father for John. It was so amazing!

Heavenly Father really does love all of his children! He loves each and every one of you guys I want you to know that! This work is hard. It really is the hardest thing i have done. But i know with the Lords help i can do this. I want to thank all of you for all the emails I really enjoy hearing from each and everyone of you. Please keep em
coming It seriously makes my week! 😊 This is my Address: 840 McMillan St, Thunder Bay ON P7C 3M1, Canada. Again I love you all!

Elder Anderson

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

08-03-15 Email from Elder Anderson

Hey everyone! I can't believe I have almost been out two weeks. It has flown by wow! Every tuesday night we have a devotional, and me and my roommates had a long day, so we get to the devotional all tired and we ended up all falling asleep.. for the entire devotional. Little did we know after that we had a devotional review right after with our district! Our branch President, President Brady asked us all to bare testimony on what thought of the devotional. We all looked at each other and thought "CRAP" and i had to go first. So we all told him the truth and said we fell asleep and it was really awkward. But i just learned I need to be focused the entire time, during every lesson and devotional while i am here.  

I have had a tough week! I missed home a lot and thought about everything that i could be doing at home and just missing all of you! I was losing confidence as a missionary because me and Elder Richins lessons were not going very well.. I then came across a scripture in book of Ether. It is Ether 12:27, It says - "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if the humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I read that and immediately was comforted. Ever since then I have been much happier and my lessons have been awesome! I never realized until i got here that all the answers are in the Scriptures. Personal study is one of my favorite parts of the day. You can really get so much out of it.

This week I taught two investigators. Ny is a girl and she is from Madagascar. She was super quiet during our lessons, so it was hard to teach her when we did not know if she was understanding what we were talking about. The second lesson went well until me and my Companion started baring testimony on the power of prayer and the Book of Mormon and she started laughing like super hard. We didn't really know how to act so we ended it quick and after that lesson I was actually super mad about the whole situation because she made us feel so stupid. The third lesson did not go well either because we both had a bad attitude from the last lesson. After that third lesson my companion had a thought that if we want to be successful missionaries we have to love our investigators. We have to make them feel of our love or else they won't want to hear our message. We hear here all the time that " We teach people, not lessons." So as soon as she felt of our love, our lessons went so well. The last lesson we committed her to Baptism. I felt so happy! I still will never understand why she was laughing at our testimonies because I felt the spirit so strong. 

This past week on wednesday I wanted to welcome one of my best friends Elder (Zak) Harrison. I saw him and his family pull up into the MTC and I could not stop smiling. It was so good to see him and his family! I see Elder Harrison around and we talk a little bit and it is just so fun to see someone from home :) Every Sunday night we have the opportunity to watch a movie (about Church obviously) Me and my roommates chose " Meet the Mormons" because none of them had seen it, and i told them how much i loved it. It got to the last story about the missionary leaving his family and his mom being a convert to the Church and we all just started crying and couldn't stop haha! We we are just saying how much we miss our Moms. It was the first time crying about home here in the MTC. But because all four of us were it wasn't as bad. 

I found out my Zone Leader is going to be a Dixie State baseball player. I also found out he brought his glove so that has been so much fun throwing the ball around the dorms. I will send a picture of me fielding a ground ball haha :) This morning i went through the Provo temple. It was such a good experience to go through another temple. Also it was nice to get outside the gates of the MTC. Because sometimes you feel like you are in prison here. The only difference between here, and prison is prison gets visitors ;) haha, I actually love it here! I thought i had a super strong testimony before i got here, but man has it grown each day. I leave Wednesday morning at 3:30am to Minnesota and i cannot wait! I would like to send handwritten letters and packages to you guys! So I would love for all of you to send me your Address. I will let you know what my mission home address is as soon as i know. I love you all! The Church is true.

Elder Anderson