Happy New Year!!!!

So first off, that was probably the funnest phone call of my life!!!! Thank y’all sooooooo much. πŸ™‚ I loved talking to y’all soooo much!!!!! πŸ™‚ But there are a few things I want to say that I forgot to say in the phone call…hahaha πŸ™‚ and I realized it after I hung up….hahaha πŸ™‚

Anyway, so first off. Did you like the shirts I got y’all?! I loved all the ones I got you!!!! Mom, yours was more for the comical side…not really the best fit but hey. And same with Britt’s. But Brooke’s and Dad’s were legit!!!!! πŸ™‚ hahaha

So for the rest of Christmas, we watched Ephraim’s Rescue, I still like 17 Miracles better but it was good, and then we had dinner with the M family. They made ham, and I actually liked it! And I HATE ham!!! So that was cool. πŸ™‚ And then another member took us out to McDonalds, but the dinning room was closed and only the drive thru was open, so then we went back to their house and spent the rest of the night with them.

Then Thursday, kinda an awkward day cuz it was the day after Christmas, we had planning and that took a while. And it took a little longer because we were planning as if the areas were split again because tomorrow Elder Y gets his new marshallese companion. For dinner we went over to the W house and they fed us a nice Christmas dinner. πŸ™‚ Their family came into town the day after Christmas, so that’s the day they celebrated. They had a less active son come from Phoenix too and so that was cool talking to him about the Gilbert Temple….but he kinda shut me down when I tried to talk a little bit more about the gospel. πŸ˜› hahah oh well. πŸ™‚ They had a cool family. πŸ™‚ Then we went over to a few other families and shared a Christmas message with them (even though it was the day after). πŸ™‚

Random thought! Did I tell y’all how for Christmas Eve after caroling we went to the B dance studio, had dinner, but then how I shared the spiritual message? Yea the premise of what I kept sharing with everyone was, “Do you have room for the Savior? Are you going to be like the innkeeper or are you going to be like the shepherds?” Yea, sound familiar? Like something we sang last year in Sacrament meeting? Yea. πŸ™‚ I kept having that song stuff in my head, and I don’t have it, so I just decided to teach about it. πŸ™‚ haha

Anyway, back to the week. πŸ™‚ Friday we kinda had a slow afternoon but it was ok because the night was good. πŸ™‚ We went over and taught A and A Babout the priesthood and talked to them about R, A’s brother, and how we want them to do most of the teaching and following up so that their testimonies can grow from this experience too. They are soooo awesome!!! They were like, “Yea sure! Of Course! We’ll share everything that we know!” Yea, they are the best members ever!!!!!!! πŸ˜€ After that we met up with C cuz we were exchanging with the other elders from Stephenville (district leader) and were meeting in Granbury, but we didn’t have miles, so C offered to help us out. πŸ™‚ So we exchanged and Elder F was with me and Elder Y. When we got back to Cleburne we taught C in the church and it was a super cool experience! So he is still having a really hard time with the whole family situation that’s going on, and he’s kinda getting mad at God, and we were like, “Wow, you just made a promise with God and so he’s going to bless you, don’t like just turn on God now!” And so then we gave him a blessing. πŸ™‚ That was cool too! Because Elder Y was prompted to do a blessing of healing, when I was like, “uhh this just needs to be comfort,” but then in the blessing we realized why. The blessing specifically talked about how the blessing would heal him spiritually and physically because what he was going through was taking a toll on both. So that was awesome!!!!

Then Saturday was such a slow day!!! but we taught a lot of good lessons and had a good time. πŸ™‚ We went to the S family that day and taught them and also gave their daughter’s baby a blessing (idk why, but giving baby blessings are funny cuz the baby never holds still!) and then we went and had a baptismal interview for Elder F to do. Then we had dinner with C and we had burgers. πŸ™‚ Then we took C to the B’s with us to teach R and that was an interesting lesson. Because R is interested in the church and how it’s made such a difference in his sister’s life, and like he’ll go to church cuz he’s noticed a small difference in his life, but he doesn’t want to really learn too much right now….so it’ll just be interested teaching him. πŸ™‚ He already sees changes and sees blessings, we just need to help him understand the “WHY” behind it all. πŸ™‚ Because like he already has noticed a difference in our church versus any other church too. πŸ™‚ haha then C took us to Stephenville and we exchanged back and then drove back home. So that was a 2 hour drive there and back. πŸ™‚ haha

One funny thing that happened was that I was slipping in and out of sleep the whole ride there, and Elder F was just out cold, and then C and Elder Y were talking. Then C decides that he wants to scare me and F. So he slams on his brakes and screams and gets Elder Y to scream too. Well, my heart was pounding after just cuz it made me think of the other car crash in my mission, but all I did was open my eyes. And F didn’t even wake up!! haha so that backfired in their faces, but it was funny nevertheless. πŸ™‚ hahah C is a funny guy. πŸ™‚ haha

Then yesterday was nice and calm. πŸ™‚ Only three of our investigators came to church, including R. And we fasted because we have an investigator, C, who has been waiting to be baptized but she has to get approval from the 1st presidency. Well, it was suppose to take 2 weeks and it’s been over a month now. So we fasted with her for something to happen and it was a super spiritual experience! One thing that happened was that C’s main fellowshipper came up to her and she mentioned that she was fasting, and then he told her that he was fasting too and didn’t know why, he just had a feeling to do it, and then after talking to her he figured out what the reason was for! So that was super cool and she told us that even if she doesn’t get an answer and doesn’t get baptized the day we fasted for, her faith has still grown and she is so thankful for the gospel. πŸ™‚ yea she is solid too! Then other highlights of the day, Elder Y became like my favorite companion just by helping me and talking with me, A was interviewed to get the priesthood and I watched them fill out a tithing slip and they were so excited to pay it for the first time, we taught some really cool lessons, and we finally found S again!!!! She’s been like under the radar since last transfer……but we finally found her, and she has a phone now so we can actually get ahold of her!!! And she told us that she will be baptized but since she’s a minor she has to talk with her family. Yea, she told US that. She is super smart and just soaks everything up! We’re hoping that getting her to go to church will help her family though and soften their hearts to allow S to be baptized, and then later they will eventually be baptized as well. πŸ™‚ yea so it was an awesome night!

And then, because of the next week and the unknown adventures that it holds in store for me, I asked Elder Y for a blessing of comfort and it was awesome! It was cool cuz I totally could tell when it switched from Elder Y talking, to Heavenly Father talking to me through Elder Y. Blessings are awesome! πŸ™‚ hahah

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As for Hump Day…yea that’s weird…and the fact that in a year I’ll be home is even more weird and I don’t wanna talk about it. πŸ˜› Hump day is in more than a week too! It’s like next Thursday or something….so I still have time!!! πŸ™‚ But I do think that it is a blessing to have my hump day (or “I have a year left mark”) so close to New Year’s Day because my new years resolutions are directly related to my goals that I have for the last half of my mission. πŸ™‚ I’m excited for this next year, and I think it is soooo weird that last year right now, I was giving my farewell talk and preparing to leave. πŸ™‚ hahah crazy right? πŸ™‚ Time truly does fly! Especially when you are “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (DyC 58:26-27) πŸ™‚ haha

Besides that, I have nothing to report! πŸ™‚ hahaha

I love y’all to the moon and back forever and ever! πŸ™‚ I absolutely love the new scriptures and the book of testimonies! Tell Alicia and Chloe that their testimonies really touched me this last week for some reason. Yours and Dad’s too. πŸ™‚ Love you!!! πŸ™‚

And btw, I’m jealous of the blue tie you gave Elder Y……it’s an awesome tie! haha

Β Love Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚

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I was called to Texas. I didn’t expect snow….that would become ice. :) haha

How are y’all?! I love y’all so much! I hope ya know that. πŸ™‚ hahah so yea, this was a CRAZY week but it was fun. :

So first things first. Transfers. I am staying here in Cleburne, and being senior companion to Elder B No one knows who he is, but I think he has been in Temple Texas and this will be his first transfer. He’s pretty new in the mission. Elder O is going to Fort Worth Texas and being district leader there. It’s kinda funny. Last time I had a companion go district leader on me, it was B, and he also went to Fort Worth. Elder O is replacing B there.

So yea, no worries! You can send whatever you want, whenever you want! Cuz I’m staying here in my nice amazing area in my car!!! Poor O is going to be in a bike area… And Elder Y is training here in Cleburne and Elder T is going home…his two years are up. πŸ˜›

Oh and yea, haven’t gotten anything because of the crazy weather. But I’ll explain that. πŸ™‚

So first I’ll answer your questions, go on to the week, and from that explain the storm that hit Texas. πŸ™‚ haha

Christmas lights at the temple. Does the Dallas temple do that? We can’t go. We can only go to the temple if we switch our pday and all that stuff and we have to live within 45 minutes from it…and Cleburne isn’t in that range. And our Christmas Conference for our mission is next Wednesday, the 18th, and its in Bonds Ranch. It’s northern Fort Worth. And then on the 20th we have interviews with President. Christmas day is the exact same as any other day for us. The only difference is that we get to call our family. But we’re still working and doing everything the same. And even pdays we are working. After 6 we need to be out and about doing the Lord’s work. πŸ™‚ And we’re not sure what we’ll do Christmas day yet. But we probably will try to be with members a lot that day. Not many investigators want us over on holidays…and tracting won’t, but might, who knows?, be effective. πŸ™‚ haha The white handbook says that holidays are the best day for proselyting, but that’s iffy for me. πŸ™‚ haha I’ll just trust them!

Quick thing about your lesson! So, you do not know how many lessons that I have prepared to teach, and they were a minimum of 30 minutes, some closer to 40, that I haven’t been able to teach. We’ll be let in and they’ll tell us, “Ok you have 15 minutes before I have to leave.” And we’re like…. “Uhh….” So in those circumstances you just need to follow the Spirit! You’ve filled up your “well of knowledge” that the Spirit can help you draw from. πŸ™‚ That’s how I look at it. So you are prepared. That is ALL that matters. And if the Spirit is there, it really doesn’t matter what you say because the Spirit will testify to their hearts the things that they need to hear. πŸ™‚

And that is cool, side note, that y’all can be part of the Temple celebration!!!!! Please take lots of pictures and videos for me!!!! That is soooooo exciting!!!!!!! The Temple is SO AMAZING!!!!! I’m SO excited and I’m not even gonna be there! hahah πŸ™‚

Our Christmas party is this weekend and hopefully that will be good. πŸ™‚ And we were able to go watch the Christmas Devotional from the First Presidency with A and A B! They are amazing, you have NO idea. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

And I’m feeling better. Pretty much over my cold. I depleted half of my emergen-c supply but that’s what its for. πŸ™‚ haha and today we are going shopping and just chilling. We were going to go to Weatherford for a zone pday thing, but we can’t find anyone willing to drive all the way to Weatherford in this weather….haha. πŸ™‚ Even though it’s SO much better. πŸ™‚ haha so just a bunch of chill time today. πŸ™‚

As for hanging out with the other elders, we work a lot with them because they are in our ward. And like this weekend because we walked everywhere we had to plan together so we didn’t go see the same members and less actives and stuff. But yea, we work with them a lot. haha πŸ™‚ It’s good and bad. Good cuz it’s fun, bad cuz we’re not always 100% focussed….hahah πŸ™‚ but we repent and do better the next time πŸ™‚

So here is my week!!!

Ok first off, Monday was crazy. So we had an exchange and all our plans fell through except Sister B. And that lesson was AWESOME!!!! I just remember being filled with the Spirit and that everything that was said was perfect. There was a reason that everything punched!

So then Tuesday. That was a fun night. πŸ™‚ That’s when Elder O got the call that he was going district leader from President. We were in a lesson with A and A and then Elder O went pale and answered the phone. It was kinda funny. πŸ™‚ But he found out he had a meeting on Thursday and so he needed a haircut, but pday was already over, so guess who gave hime a haircut? πŸ™‚ hahah me!! but that wasn’t until Wednesday night. I also gave Elder Y a haircut. Lets just say that O was practice… I didn’t do a bad job, but he moved a little bit and “whoops!!!” he got a part that was a little shorter than the rest of his hair. And it was right next to his ear so it was noticeable!! But he still had hair…so yea. πŸ™‚ hahah Elder Y’s turned out a lot better! haha O was a little mad that night…but then the next morning you couldn’t even tell. His hair grows fast aparently. And then Wednesday we also went back to the S’ and apologized to them and I got them to like me again. πŸ™‚ They told me afterwards that they never didn’t like me, but they’re glad that I’m staying. πŸ™‚

Thursday Elder Y and Elder O had their leadership training meeting that morning, so I was with Elder T again. It was a fun exchange! haha we didn’t have like anything to do though because it was planning day, but I couldn’t plan without O, and he couldn’t without Y…so…. we went and did Mormon.org time and also cleaned my apartment a wee bit. Then O and Y got back, and we planned. And when we finally got out of our apartment at 6 we went to our appointments and after the first one we got a call from our Zone Leaders telling us that President wanted all of the cars parked. Well, we went and parked the car. But it was already too late to walk anywhere so….we had to stay in that night. πŸ˜› But it was crazy!!! It was just misting and then like freezing super fast!! Like after our appointment that was 30 minutes long, our car was COVERED in ice. It was only like half an inch thick but still!!

So then Friday morning we wake up and…. Our power is out. O.o the storm took that out! So we had to wait until like 8:30 to do anything cuz we had no power. And then we saw outside. It snowed!!!!!!!! There was SNOW IN TEXAS!!!!! πŸ˜€ haha but it had partially melted and become ice. So that day we had to walk. But it was like melting while we were walking so we thought Saturday would be fine. Anyway, we walk an hour over to our area that we really work in, and then we kinda get stuck in a time problem cuz we had to be somewhere in 15 minutes…and it’d take like 45 minutes to get there. So, guess who came to the rescue! The S Family!!! So they helped us out. And then they took us to our dinner appointment and then our dinner appointment, the S’s, took us to our appointment with A and Al. πŸ™‚ He was a truck like dad’s dual wheeler so it was like a tank in this weather!

But then Saturday was worse….eveything that had melted became solid ice and it was thick and not breaking at all!!! So what took us an hour to walk the day before took us an hour and 45 minutes because O kept slipping. I can honestly say I did not slip once! πŸ˜€ haha but I got close several times. πŸ™‚ hehe and that day we taught A and B and their daughter S again! It was an awesome lesson!!!!! S just like called her parents out for not reading and not going to church and not taking her to church because she had already read the Book of Mormon a little bit, wants to read the whole thing, and already received an answer that it was true! She is awesome!!!! And she is only 14!!! So hopefully everything will go well with them. πŸ™‚ But after that, we were stranded on the east side of town, everything food wise was shut down, so we needed help….so we called A!! And he came to our rescue so we were able to eat dinner at our apartment. πŸ™‚ And we were slipping left and right in his truck. I’m SO glad that we weren’t able to drive the cars this weekend!!! haha but then….we couldn’t find a ride back out, and it would have taken us all of the time we had just to walk to and from our appointments, so we were told to stay in that night. πŸ˜›

Then yesterday was better. πŸ™‚ Church was cancelled….but everything started to melt after 1 so that was good. A and A helped us out so much yesterday! They saw us walking and so they gave us a ride to the East side and we had awesome lessons! Pray for J and S that they can keep feeling the Spirit as they read! And thtat they’ll still be free to come to church this Sunday. πŸ™‚ And then around 3, we got permission to drive the cars again!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!! But just until sundown…but that was fine!!!!!! haha πŸ™‚ So we had a last lesson with the B’s, all the daughters and the mom, they’re preparing for missions, the one’s who like Once Upon a Time, yea they’re moving…sad day…but the lesson was awesome cuz guess who our exchange was!!! A!!!! πŸ˜€ and he was LEGIT!!!! He is like the BEST EXCHANGE EVER!!!!!! Yea and then we had dinner with the B’ again and then we went over to the Ba’s to watch the Christmas Devotional. πŸ™‚ We had to walk there, but they gave us a ride home. πŸ™‚

And then today we got permission to drive the car after 11 so that’s why we got here a wee bit late! πŸ™‚ And thankfully the library wasn’t closed today! Everything has been closed this last weekend! It was SO crazy. πŸ™‚ hahaha it was like the end of the world aparently. Members were telling us that Walmart looked like people were buying stuff just to buy it and shelfs were comepletely empty all over the place. The Post Office shut down, most things shut down. There were TONS of car accidents. The fire department put chains on their tires. πŸ™‚ That was funny to see and to hear. πŸ™‚ but yea, good fun week and I have never been sooooo thankful for a car and that I don’t live in snow! πŸ™‚ haha

Investigators!!

So yea, I told you about all the investigators that are progressing a little bit right now. Just pray that they can all come to church! And pray that we can find Z again…cuz he has disappeared…. πŸ˜› And yea. πŸ™‚

I hope y’all have a great and marvelous week!!!! πŸ™‚ I love y’all so much and can feel y’alls prayers!!! Keep them up, they’re always needed! And don’t forget to be member missionaries and to always look for opportunites to share the gospel!! Like sleep overs and ugly sweater parties. πŸ˜‰ hehe πŸ™‚

I love you to the moon and back forever and ever!!!! πŸ™‚

Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚ImageImage

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P.S. from Shelley—as a mom I am so thankful for a Mission President who clearly has each of his missionaries in mind and ‘grounded the fleet’ when the ice storm hit, put my worries at ease.

Please let me know if you want Joshs physical address to write or send him anything since the address on here is for the Mission home and he will not get it as quickly

Happy December

So Happy late Thanksgiving!!! I can’t remember if I said that last week…haha πŸ™‚

This week was crazy and awesome and more crazy. πŸ™‚ Especially Thanksgiving….haha But since you asked first, I’ll let ya know about Thanksgiving. πŸ™‚ haha

So Thursday we had planning and yea…Planning and Thanksgiving do not mix….I have decided that. Why? Because we had to start planning at 11, usually takes us until 2 or 3ish, but we had a Lunch, Linner, and Dinner that day. :O So we had to keep leaving and coming back and leaving and yea! πŸ™‚ haha So the Lunch was at 1 and it was with the Farmer family. They remind me so much of our family and the Holmes! Because the Farmers have a bunch of kids that are all in the Cleburne ward here…so kinda like us with the Ness’ and McLean’s. πŸ™‚ So that was fun to see so many people and be with them! It was awesome cuz it honestly felt like a Thanksgiving at home. πŸ™‚ And I still don’t like ham for the life of me, but I really like turkey as long as it has good gravy. hehe πŸ™‚ So that was crazy and fun. Then we had Linner at 3. :O I was still stuffed from Lunch…..but we went anyway. And it was alright? It was with this cool family, they’re hispanic but the kids are basically white, and the Sister basically is too, but they invited a few hispanics from the ward and so…things were just awkward with the different languages going on at the same time. And I didn’t eat too much cuz I was already full. Well…Dinner was suppose to be at 5, but we pushed it back to 5:45 because we found out a non member was going to be there so we could eat after 6. We did that for planning’s sake and also because we couldn’t fit anything else in!!! So we go and eat dinner…..and I look at my food and I’m like, “How on earth am I going to do this?” So I take a few bites and it’s delicious! But like disgusting because I’m SO full…..so we ate what we could but they didn’t force us to eat more than we could handle. That was nice. πŸ™‚ And I definitely was full like for the whole next day…like no joke. Not hungry at all!!! haha So yea, that was Thanksgiving. The night wasn’t too productive cuz everyone was with their families and didn’t want to talk to the missionaries. πŸ˜› Except for the members that invited us over.

And as for the weather, it’s been cold, but been warming up, but then it gets cold, but then it gets warm, so it’s just normal Texas. πŸ™‚ hahahahaha

Now for your other questions and then onto the rest of the week and the fun baptism and craziness of everything!

We didn’t really have too many teaching appointments this week cuz of Thanksgiving….which was sad. And like the White Handbook tells us that holidays are the prime proselyting time cuz everyone is together as families, which is TRUE! But…and this may just be hispanics…people don’t want people of God coming to your house sharing a message with you when you’re with your family and that doesn’t happen too often, that’s why it’s a holiday. Anyway.

Investigators. Well, technically A and A went to church, but that’s because we confirmed them after their baptisms so their no longer investigators. But no one else came to church. Right now our investigators are kinda in between being investigators and not, because we’ve taught a bunch of people, but they punch on the other lessons we set up and so we lose contact with them. Right now Z Β is dropped because we have no idea where he is, we don’t have a way to contact him, and his wife doesn’t know anything either. His work took him somewhere and he hasn’t been home for over 2 weeks now. So that’s a bummer….hopefully we’ll find more people and be able to find him again!!!

As for the people that we go and visit and teach, as like an assignment from Bishop or something, that’s going good. πŸ™‚ haha kinda.

Like President Ames said, we are like the Lord’s Special Opps in his army. We are everything in one! We are the medics, the infantry, the marines, the secret agents, everything! So we’re there to get stuff done, but also to heal. Basically, we just do as the Savior did. πŸ™‚

Transfers we find out next Monday. The Christmas mission thing is sometime after transfers. We have a Christmas party/fireside on the 15th.

And today I’m gonna try going Christmas shopping and then we’ll go to the post office and send the stuff. I’ll just get it here so you don’t have to worry about anything. And I’ll just put it on the credit card. And I haven’t used the credit card lately so no worries! πŸ™‚

And we just know that we are getting ipads and stuff sometimes this next year… President knows, but won’t tell us! haha he wants us to be focused. πŸ™‚ haha and I heard the ipad mini’s are fun and cool too! It’s like a better, less awkward size than the ipads. I hope those are what we get for our mission! And What if they gave us our own?! And we got to keep them?! πŸ˜€ hahha see? This is why we don’t know yet. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Today we are just doing this, shopping for food. Elder Y and I are going to try and go Christmas shopping and then just relaxing. πŸ™‚

Ok so now for the week!!!!!

Monday and Tuesday. Nothing cool happened worth mentioning for times sake. Wednesday we had district meeting and we taught A and A! They were SO ready for their baptism. πŸ™‚ and so excited!!!

Thursday, well already told you. Thanksgiving!!! haha

Friday we did service for the W in our ward, a white family who is SO AWESOMELY REPUBLICAN!!!!! Dad would love them. πŸ™‚ hahah we put up their Christmas lights and then after… Brother W showed us his gun collection. Oh My Gosh. I didn’t think I missed guns…but I SO DO!!! haha he has sooooo many!!! And he also has a crossbow and a compound bow. haha πŸ™‚ And he also has like all these supplies to make his own bullets. So we learned how to! But you need this complicated little thing, but after you have that it’s easy. So maybe dad should look into that. πŸ™‚ hahahahhaha

Then Saturday. The Baptism. πŸ™‚

So the day started off interesting cuz I was sick. BTW I’ve been like sick with a stupid cold/cough/sinus problems all week long. But anyway that morning was bad. πŸ˜› But we took dinner at 4 at Braum’s, an ice creams shop, and it’s like tradition throughout the mission to go to “Sister Braum’s” to celebrate a baptism. πŸ™‚ haha but we go to the church early to set up at 5 cuz the baptism was at 6. The baptism was amazing!!!! Brother L, our Ward Mission Leader, baptized A and a priest in the ward who goes on exchanged with us, baptized A. It was just awesome! The looks on their faces when they came out of the water, priceless. I was a witness so it was awesome!!!

Then Sunday we confirmed them! I confirmed A and Elder O confirmed A. And they told us that they felt amazing and like something was missing in their lives before, but they didn’t know it until they got the gift of the Holy Ghost. πŸ™‚ so…. yea testimony builder!!!! It was awesome!!!!!

So yea, that’s it. πŸ™‚ I love you to the moon and back forever and ever!!!

Have a great week!!! I love y’all sooooo much!!!

Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚Image