Monday, November 28, 2016

Season 12 Episode 2: Medicine Lake with Elder Newbold

Hello Family and Friends,

   I am grateful for this past week and the great miracles that we saw and the blessings that we are receiving.

Since I emailed on Thanksgiving, I will just talk about what has happened since then. So thanksgiving morning we played football. I love turkey bowl haha. It was pretty cold at first but after running around for awhile it was like perfect weather. During the day we went to the church and played some sports. The Peniata's a Polynesian family in the Ward were playing volleyball and basketball at the church and so we played with them. Volleyball is so much fun, they really are way good and Elder Newbold and I just loved it. Then in the evening we had dinner at the Wilsons, we had our investigator Johnny there. It went well we had a really good dinner! Then we went to the Greene's for an active member lesson.

On Friday we had a pretty good day lined up, in afternoon we had a lesson with a less active member we showed him the Christmas Video. Then we met up with the Assistants to go on exchanges with them. I went with Elder Jones from Lehi. We went to his area in Bloomington. We had an okay day, we did not see a lot happen. We did some stop by's.. Elder Jones is a cool guy and I am glad I went on exchanges with him. We actually had one Lesson at the end of the night with a man named tony. He had an interesting concern, he thinks that angel Moroni was a demonic spirit.. It was a good lesson but he just needs to humble himself.

Saturday, we had lunch at Smash Burger and then we exchanged back. Elder Newbold and Elder Kozlowski had a lesson with our investigators Antoinette, Ednet, and Elrad. They had an amazing lesson with them and set a baptismal date for December 24th!! They are an amazing family and are so excited for their baptism. Miracles like this just make me so happy to be a missionary!! They are from Liberia and are just wonderful people!

Sunday, church was amazing!! Antoinette, Edet, and Elrad came to church again. At the end of our gospel principles class, Antoinette (The Mom) said "Now how do I become a member of this church? Do I sign papers or what? I want to do that soon!" She didn't fully understand that when she is baptized and confirmed that she becomes a member of the church. How sweet is that? She is a wonderful lady and is really gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Elder Newbold and I were so happy after church! We just love that family so much. We had dinner with sister Jones and her family. Sister Jones has helped us so much in this Ward, she invited anyone we tell her about over for dinner, or over for family home evening. She wants to go joint teaching all the time. She is no doubt the best member missionary in the state of Minnesota. We love her family so much! They feed us like once a week:)  After dinner we had a church tour with our investigator Johnny. He enjoyed it, he has a fear of groups of lots of people, a fear of his head under water, and a fear of churches. So for him to come to church he wanted to check it out with no people in it! He does want to get baptized but not my immersion hahah which he needs to do. Anyway, it was a really good church tour! The spirit was there. We had Brother Thompson who is pretty much our older brother there with us. He was great and bore a powerful testimony. We had a lesson after that with our investigator Steven who's really hard to teach. It was pretty intense, he asked us to bear our testimonies of our missionary work so far into our missions. The spirit was there! He is a little bit  contentious and even said next Sunday he is going to bring his pastor to the lesson, so this should be good.. I will let you know next week how that goes! We both said at the end of the lesson that we felt more love for this man. He is hard to teach and a bit frustrating, but if we don't love him and teach to his needs then he will never progress in the gospel.

We have been seeing miracles left and right, I love this area, this Ward, and Elder Newbold. I cannot wait for the baptism on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful day to look forward to. Also, how great is the Christmas Initiative that the church put out. If you have not seen it,
I would encourage to you go and look at it right now. #LightTheWorld The advent Calendar is something that would be beneficial for anyone to do. I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Anderson

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Season 12 Episode 1: Thanksgiving Day!!

Hello Family and Friends,

        I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We have been having a great time here. The work is really moving forward!

        We had our investigators Antoinette, Elrad, & Ednet at church. They are so cool! They came to church this week and the Ward was great in fellowshipping them. Miracles come from tracting!!! We found them on October 22nd and we are just starting to teach them. We have a lesson with them tomorrow and we are going to set a baptismal date with them :):) this past week we got a lot of new missionaries to the zone. It's sad to see the missionaries leave the zone, but it is fun to make friends with other missionaries. We are going to have a great transfer! Last Friday we had a meeting as a zone and talked about what we think a good zone focus would be for this transfer and we came to the conclusion that working with the members should be the focus.

        Today we played turkey bowl football. Wow was that fun! Seriously flag football is the best thing ever! I have lots of cool pictures that I will send from it!

        I am grateful on this day of thanksgiving for the opportunity to be a missionary. We are so blessed. I am grateful for my testimony that strengthens each day of this gospel. This work is Jesus Christ's work. We are his representatives! I love you all! Have a wonderful week! 

Here is Photos :
1. Sister Forbes and I
2. The District
3. Elder Newbold took this sweet picture at the church.
4. Our investigators Ednet and Elrad
5. Elder Newbold and I
6. Weaver Lake Elders


Monday, November 21, 2016

Season 12 Episode 1: Thanksgiving Week: Medicine Lake with Elder Newbold

Hey everyone, our p day has been switched to Thursday this week. So I
will send a big email then! :)
Here are some photos:
1. Directing Traffic at Stake conference.
2. Zone service
3. The Thompson's :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Season 11 Episode 6: Medicine Lake with Elder Newbold

Hello Family and Friends,
This week has been really good. Let me tell you about it!

On Tuesday we has a Zone Specialty Training in Elk River with the St.Cloud Zone. Elder Newbold and I were asked to prepare and hour long training on Faith to Find. So we prepared our training and man was I nervous.. But it actually went really well. I enjoyed being able to instruct some of the missionaries that are newer and answer some of there questions. President Forbes actually came in a big van that holds like 12 people so we drove us to and back from Zone Specialty training. I talked to him for awhile about baseball, it was pretty cool. I really love that man! How does an amazing job as mission

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Maple Grove Elders, Elder Kershaw (Elder Newbold and I have both served with him before) and Elder Mcniel. I went with Elder Mcniel in our area. We had quite the day, we taught a man named Joseph Pongay, he referred himself. We went over there and taught the restoration and he totally understood it. He committed himself to reading 5 pages of the Book of Mormon everyday. We are excited for him to progress! In the evening we taught a man named Jerome Quaye. He has been a less active member ever since I have been here and we showed him the video "The Will of God" and he broke down to tears and the spirit was so strong. We testified and without us saying really anything, he told us with a smile on his face " I need to come back to church " We were so stoked! Man what a lesson! Elder Mcniel is a great missionary and I like him a lot!

Thursday we went to the Brooklyn park chapel so elder Newbold could practice with some other missionaries their song they are going to sing at stake conference. Then we had dinner with Brother & Sister camp. Brother Hubbard came out with us in the evening to go joint teaching. We met with our Spanish investigator named Dago and had a short good lesson with him, then we went to Todd's house. He is a member who had been inactive for a while now and Elder Newbold and I have been able to see him change tremendously.  It is really such a blessing to be apart of that!

Friday we planned for a really long time. Weekly planning takes a long time sometimes, but is so essential if we want to reach our goals each week. So I have come to love it honestly! I hate sitting around for a long time, but it is necessary. In the evening we had dinner with Josh and Katie. I don't know if I have told you about Josh, but sometime last transfer we were getting our haircuts and this guy walks in and he sits next to me and I just started talking to him and then Elder Newbold and Elder Lowell started talking to him about basketball and we invited him to basketball on Wednesday nights and he came quite a few weeks in a row. He then asked us if we played basketball in the mornings so we would play one on one on one in the mornings and this guy is a beast. He played professionally in Germany. Anyway, on Friday he invited us over for dinner and we had a really cool experience. They immediately just started asking questions about the church and we were answering them. We then started to teach the Plan of Salvation and Restoration in one lesson. They had quite a few concerns. They believe in the Trinity which to me makes no sense. We had a good hour and a half long lesson and it just built my testimony. We truly have the church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We bore our testimonies and I realized a pure heartfelt testimony can't  really be questioned. It was a good visit though! I know that one day they will join the church. They are the coolest family ever!! :)

Saturday in the morning we had our coordination meeting then we went with the Sisters to help rake some leaves at brother Haggens house who is 90 years old. We noticed his next door neighbors house had a lot of leaves on their yard so we decided we would rake their yard as well and the sisters ended up finding a new investigator out of it! It was really great! Then we had lunch with David Smith who is really less active and has been since before I was born. He knows how to fix anything. So when we go over there he likes to teach us how to do things around the yard or around the house. He told us to about a  month ago that he would never step foot in the church. There were some problems with the toilets at the church so we thought that we would ask him to help us fix those and he accepted, it was a miracle. I can't believe that he came into the church building. It was wonderful!  We had dinner with Brother Toribio and it was feast as usual haha. Then in the evening we went to the Brooklyn park chapel for the adult session of Stake Conference. Elder Newbold and the other missionaries did a really good job on the musical number. Elder Spackman of the seventy was there and it was cool to listen to him speak.

Sunday morning we were invited to the stake leadership meeting at 7:00 am. That was really good, then we had stake conference and I really enjoyed it! It was really focused on temple attendance. I loved it! In the afternoon the sisters recent convert invited us over for lunch ahaha that was good. Then we stopped by a couple of people. We had a lesson with Steven our new investigator. He has a real understanding of the Bible. He does believe some things that definitely are not true. It was a little bit hard to teach him this time, he was not really listening to what we had to say. Brother Willis our joint teacher was awesome. Something I learned from this lesson was the power of a testimony. He couldn't say really anything to our testimonies. It was cool! He definitely felt the spirit!

We have not found out transfers yet, but I am getting really nervous haha. I want to stay her with Elder Newbold. This area is really picking up now! :) I love the gospel! The mission just keeps on getting better!

1. Us with the Weaver Lake Elders.
2. Directing the traffic before stake conference.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Season 11 Episode 5: Medicine Lake with Elder Newbold

Hello Family and Friends:

This week was a little sad. Our investigator who had a date for baptism dropped us because she doesn't believe in tithing. Also, our other date set Johnny is away in North Dakota for a month. So this week was a little frustrating, But things are still good.

This past Tuesday we had MLC. It was good, Elder Newbold did a musical number singing "Oh my Father". He has the voice of an angel haha. It was super sick though someone was playing the piano and another playing the guitar and it was great:)

We helped Todd our returning Less active member clean up his yard. On Thursday we went on exchanges with the Weaver Lake Elders. That was really good! I went with Elder Miller in our area. We had a good day, we found 2 new investigators and taught the restoration to them. That went well! We were able to see one of those investigators last night (Sunday Night). Bro Willis our joint teacher was awesome for Steven. He really wants to know the truth and it was just so cool to be able to teach him. I am loving every bit of the mission and really becoming more converted. As a zone we are doing a 40 day fast. Where we are all giving up things and making sacrifices that will help us become more consecrated and help us have the Holy Ghost as our companion. I will send the little story that goes a long with it.

Here is the story:

The verge of success
I was excited to have so many people to teach. Finally I was going to be successful. Then the phone rang. The mission president was transferring me. It seemed inconceivable that at this moment I would be transferred. On the other hand, I was being transferred to the most fruitful area in the mission. It was not until later that I would understand that going to the new area would be a critical variable in my spiritual development.

I went to the new area and continued to work. In terms of spiritual things, I was starting to understand more deeply. Yet there was still something missing. I began to read the Scriptures more thoughtfully. More accurately begin to search the Scriptures. As I did I became aware that there was still something missing.

One day a member informed us that he had an investigator that was ready to be taught and he volunteered to attend the first discussion. The discussion went along as usual. At the conclusion my companion and I bore witness of Joseph Smith and then turned to our friend. He paused for a moment, looked at the young lady and said "I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God." The room filled with an extraterrestrial fourth. The investigator started to cry.

As we walked home, I was baffled. That man said the exact same words that we had said, but the result was dramatically different. When he spoke he had an influence that we did not have. There was no question, that was the influence of the Holy Ghost, but this man seemed to have it in a different way. There was still something to be learned. I had to find out what the secret was so I returned to the Scriptures. It seemed like we were so close to being effective yet we just could not make it happen.

A challenge to purify

After several weeks of searching and praying, we attended a meeting and heard a well-known church leader. He spoke about the scriptures as a source of strength and about the process of spiritual influence. His words caused a burning in my soul. When he finished his address, I intentionally lingered behind. When I was finally alone with this man I asked him for a few moments of his time. I explained my desire to be effective. I told him about the lessons I have learned. I told him that something was still missing. Finally I asked him if you could tell me what it was.

He looked into my eyes and said nothing. Nearly a minute went by and I began to feel very uncomfortable. Finally he spoke. He said, "Elder when these pretty young ladies pass you on the street, what do you think about?"

Before I could answer, He asked, "Do you ever speak sarcastically to your junior companion?"

"Do you get up at 6:00 AM every morning?"

"Do you keep every mission rule?"

His list of questions grew longer. Finally he said, "These are things that keep the Holy Ghost from being your companion. If you want the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, then you must purify yourself. I will tell you how to do it. Go home and fast for a day. In the attitude of fasting and prayer, make a list of every behavior in that pokes at your spirit. Once you have made your list, then go to the Lord. Promise the Lord and that you will fast from the things on that list for 40 days. In other words, for 40 days you will do nothing that appears on that list."

"You cannot just stop the old behaviors and start new ones. You need the help of the Lord. So each morning go to the Lord and specifically promise him that you will avoid or start each item on the list. Ask for his help so you can have extra strength and then at night to go over your list with the Lord. If you have failed on some items, figure out why. Tell the Lord. Ask for more strength the next day."

"Go through the process for 40 days. If you do, you will find that your most basic desires will change. Your spiritual Flourish and the Holy Ghost will become your constant companion. You will become an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord."

The process of purification

We went home and determined to make the concept of work. We began to fast and we began to make a list. It grew much harder than we assumed it would be. I would pray and then I would feel impressed to write down some item. Then, arguing that there was nothing wrong with the particular item, I would fight the impression. For example, I felt impressed to put golf on the list. My response was "There is nothing wrong with golf. We only play on preparation day." I ignored the fact that on the other six days my mind was continually dwelling on how to play better. I wrestled with the spirit and then finally wrote "golf" on the list. It is interesting that from that moment I wrote it on that list, I experienced the most intense desire to play golf. Everywhere I turned there was some reminder, some temptation to break the commitment. So it was with each item on the list. Each day I had to fight all my natural inclinations and turn to the Lord for the help necessary to overcome myself. Sometime between the 30th and 40th day I suddenly realize that my desire for the things on my list had disappeared. It was as if a great anchor had been cut from me.

The process of surrender

The morning of the 40th day my companion and I knelt in prayer and then started out the door. I was impressed to go back and pray again. With unusual confidence I addressed the Lord. "Father these are thy children. We are now doing everything within our power to live the gospel. We turn the burden over to thee. Please carry us the rest o the way."

The gifts of the Spirit

We went to our first appointment. Halfway through the discussion, our investigator began to make an excuse that he would not be baptized because he did not believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I interrupted them. "That is untrue. You do know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Your real fear is that your mother will disapprove if you join the church. In the name of Jesus Christ, I promise you that your entire family will embrace the gospel because of your courageous example. The Lord wants you to be baptized now and it is necessary that you comply."

I have never before done anything like that. In fact, I knew nothing about his mother. He had hardly mentioned her. While I can hardly believe what I had said, a familiar spirit filled the room. This brother began to weep. He committed to be baptized the following Sunday.

The experience repeated itself. At our very next meeting with each investigator, there was a celestial manifestation and every one of them committed to be baptized. In an eight week period, 16 people were baptized. It was an unusual number for the mission. While the number of baptisms was a large, the truly impressive thing was the change in my companion and myself. We were different people. Our most basic desires and motives had been altered. Credit and recognition were no longer of any consequence. For the first time in our lives, the things of God were more important than the "things of this world and the honors of men."

Our sensitivity deepened and we noticed how often we would cry. Several times a day we would be brought to tears by a prayer, a talk, a discussion, a scripture, or almost anything that would deeply touch us. Our concern was continually focused upon others. For the first time we understand Nephi's claim. "For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night because of them." We could understand that sentiment because for the first time we could understand Nephi's motives.

The Holy Ghost became our constant companion. Because our motives had changed, because we have an eye single to the glory of God, the Lord could trust us and we experience the power of the priesthood and became effective tools in his hand.

I really love this story! We felt that as a zone if we do this then we can become more powerful and more successful missionaries. I love this work! Jesus Christ is he head of this church. I love him and am grateful for this chance to serve. I love you all! Have a great week! 

1. Eating at Zupas with the Weaver Lake District. We got a free meal from the owner, because he is a Mormon :)
2. Sister Jones. One of the most powerful member missionaries ever!
3. A picture right before church a couple months ago.
4. Minnesota State Fair with my favorite missionaries
5.Aubrey Jones is a priest in the Ward and we took him out with us for a full day.