MTC PICTURES!!!!!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageWe got a nice long letter from Josh today with his SD card and downloaded 72 pictures.  Great pictures of his room, breakfast, classroom, companions, district, temple walks etc. 

He is doing great, enjoying the MTC and the incredible spirit that is there. 
” Spanish is coming pretty well. I can understand it better than I can speak it. I can say little things and phrases but I still have a lot to learn. Everyone keeps telling me to focus on the Spirit and the doctrine while I’m here. I’ll have 2 years to learn how to speak the language, I only have this time to learn in the MTC about the doctrine. Once I’m out in the field all my time and focus will be on other people. I wont really have the time to learn too much more about the gospel or different doctrines. So yea, I’m learning Spanish, but I’m not worrying myself too badly. I trust the Lord will help me in whatever thing I need.”

“Did I tell you that I’ve met no one, besides Sister Bush in my district, who is going to Texas, Fort Worth? Many Dallas and San Antonio missions but no Fort Worth. I’m starting to doubt the mission even exists! No ones heard of it! Okay just kidding, but it is kinda strange.”

Just a bit of his letter to share-He is amazing and it is so fun to see his testimony growing already. We are so thankful for his desire to serve the Lord and his dedication. Thanks again to all of you who have emailed, written Dear Elders, and written letters. As a mom I appreciate it so much and I know these are the things he really enjoys at the end of his very long days.

 

We got another great email from Josh on Friday (his P day) sharing some things from his 2nd week in the MTC.

 

Hola Mi Familia!! 

So… I’ve gotten use to the schedule a little more, and the language is coming along…kinda. Sundays are amazing in the MTC! 
Sundays are very personal. Just a lot and a lot of personal studying and doing church stuff. Priesthood was awesome and so was sacrament meeting. I learned that basically God is perfect and unchanging and the only way he progresses now is through us. When his creations progress we progress. I also learned that Jesus obtained the title of God in the preearth life and so that is why he is our Savior, he was the only one that could do it.

At the gym I run and work out on the machines. It was cool when the noobies came on Wednesday because I was running on the track and could see all of them getting dropped off! 

So…. As you may know, I love when Elder Holland speaks. His talks are amazing and I get a lot from them. So every Tuesday night there is a Devotional and I was really hoping that he would come, ya know? Well as it got closer and closer to the devotional everyone kept saying that it’d be some boring lame person from the 70. WELL!! I was in the choir and so I saw who came through the doors before everyone else could see, and guess who it was!!! Not Elder Holland….. JUST KIDDING!!!!! IT WAS ELDER HOLLAND!!!!!!! IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING TALK EVER!!!! I LOVED EVERY PART OF IT!!!!!!

My understanding of the Gospel is increasing so much! Praying is so different here because the Spirit is so strong and reading the scriptures is really eye opening. I love having so much time to just focus on the scriptures and studying them. 
So Mom you will love this. When I came to the MTC there was this little special musical number to help welcome us. After it they told all of us that if we wanted we could prepare a musical number and then audition to see if we could sing in front of the new missionaries or maybe even the whole MTC. Well… I auditioned!! I sang Savior, Redeemer of My Soul and thankfully one of my zone leaders, Elder Nay, is amazing at the piano and accompanied me! It went really really well!! Afterwards the sisters that were judging me, I guess that’s what you’d call it even in a church setting, said that my voice was amazing and brought the most powerful spirit with it!! They said they could have just pictured me growing up always singing in church and were surprised when I told them I had only sang in public once before. So, hopefully I will be able to share that spirit with someone while I am here at the MTC. They really liked it so I’m hoping!!!

Elder Holland also gave us a commandment! He said, “I command you to come home with at least one convert. And it better be you!” Just picture Elder Holland saying it and its extremely powerful.
He also told us that it is super important for us missionaries to now be better than anyone ever before. He told us we needed to be better than he was, than Nephi was, and even Mormon and Moroni! Yea, no pressure right?
He gave so much good stuff! I wish I could share it all! But one last thing he said was that if we are obedient, then we will have the spirit, and then we will be able to teach with power and authority! Awesome!!!

Another thing I learned is that basically all missionaries do is invite investigators to do stuff. The spirit does the rest and the spirit is what is so important. Our focus is to help investigators establish a relationship between themselves and God. That is what is most important. “Eternal salvation is on the line.” – Elder Holland again 🙂

 

He is doing good, loving the MTC! Thank you so much for everyone who writes to him, uses DearElder or emails. The support means so much to our family. Hopefully we will get pictures soon to share as well.

2 letters in 1 day=Happiness

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Josh is proving to be a great letter/email writer. Very detailed and legible! The 1st letter I got today was the form letter I made for him to mail his 2nd day in the MTC answering most of the questions that he answered in his email on Saturday. The main thing is his feeling of being overwhelmed, which I am sure will get better as time goes by. Spanish is hard but he has great faith that it will become easier and I know that as we pray for him to learn the language he will be more comfortable with it. His testimony is strong, so I just pray that he is comfortable with the lessons in Spanish so that he will be able to teach the things he wants and convey his testimony in Spanish.

He ended one letter with:

Obedience brings blessings, Strict obedience brings Miracles!!

Thanks to everyone who writes and prays for our missionary-he feels those prayers and needs them.

first email

Josh is having a great 1st week, sounds really busy but he is doing good. I have put a few parts of his email here:

 

Hey Guys!!

So my first week has been really really really busy. We have had no spare time whatsoever!  So I have two companions, we are a trio. Elder Fine is Polynesian and super cool and from California, but originally Tonga or whatever. Elder Parker is from Las Vegas and we are pretty similar. These guys are definitely building me up while I am here. My PDay isn’t actually today, its Friday, but for the first week we have a weird schedule that I’m trying to get use to. Next week will get better. I’m sort of remembering Spanish, but it comes and goes at all times of the day so there isn’t any consistency. We taught an investigator last night….in Spanish, and that was hard. The Spirit was there, and if it hadn’t been there I think we would’ve been worse than what we already were. So my district has 8 people in it. I’m with my district pretty much all the time like for classes and what not. There are 5 elders and 3 sisters. The sisters are really nice and the elders are cool to spend the rest of my time with. Everyone likes each other, there isn’t a single person who doesn’t like another person
So the first day was hectic. We just had orientation after orientation and were thrown into the work. I honestly am having a hard time remembering everything because days just flow into each other here. We started learning a little bit of Spanish Wednesday, but on Thursday we were thrown into the deep end with that. Our teacher only spoke Spanish. He wouldn’t speak English at all…….It was very frustrating. We picked up on bits and pieces though. I know how to say a simple prayer and bear a short testimony in Spanish now, basics for teaching an investigator…which we did like I said. Like I said, all of our time is taken up. And the Spirit like extends the days I think. I don’t remember days ever being this long before.

The food is pretty good here, I mean its not bad. I can find at least one thing to each at each meal. We are almost never in our residence halls. We’re technically only allowed to go to them after gym each day and at night when we go to bed. The bed isn’t too bad either. They had bedding and a pillow when I got here, so I’m guessing the reason I needed one will be more for the actual mission. Oh and they have everything a missionary would ever need at the bookstore. Clothes, food, meds, laundry stuff, etc. And apparently we get a missionary discount. We should’ve just waited to buy everything here! Oh well. There are two gyms and they both have a bunch of stuff to do. I’m glad I went to the gym with mom for a few months before here or else I’d be absolutely lost. 

I love it here at the MTC! There is no place like it and I know I’m suppose to be here. Thank you for all of the Dear Elders and for the letters too.
I love and miss you guys a ton!! But I am also super busy at the MTC so I haven’t really had too much time to dwell on home and get homesick. So be grateful for that! Love you tons!!

Elder Andersen

MTC

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Grandpa Nevin took Josh to Tucanos for lunch and then to the MTC-his host was right there to greet him and help with his luggage and take him off on his Mission adventure. Thanks so much Nev for taking care of our boy-it made me feel so much better knowing you were with him and take such fun pictures!!

Josh in Utah

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Thanks Grandpa Nevin for picking Josh up at the airport, taking him to Tucanos for a wonderful lunch and then on to the MTC. We were able to talk to Josh on the phone a few times before he was dropped off at the MTC, he sounded excited, anxious, nervous etc all the emotions you would expect. Cant wait for our 1st email……