Transfers and Training

So this week went by SO FLIPPIN FAST I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT WENT!!!!!! Just saying… πŸ™‚
Monday we had a good day going around to all of our different appointments. Pday was fun and not exhausting, but it was tiring. πŸ™‚ We played scatterball (basically dodgeball) for a long time and then we sang a lot around one of the pianos. πŸ™‚ It was a chill day.
Then Tuesday was CRAZY!!! πŸ˜€ We had SO many appointments planned and like only 1 of them punched!!!!! I used to not like Tuesdays cuz it was like, “what do we do with so much time?” but since we’ve been able to fill them up with a bunch of appointments that are sticking, they’ve been fun!!! And because we were teaching so much the day went by SO fast. πŸ™‚
Wednesday we had district meeting and it was really fun!!! Since the mission is focusing on improving our studies, I planned this fun role play where we role played nightly planning and planning what we were going to teach our investigators (or the appointments that we had for that day) and then what we needed to study in order to be able to teach these people. πŸ™‚ It was SUCH A SUCCESS!!!! It was SO much fun. πŸ™‚ I loved it!!! And it was cool because Elder W and Elder R had been on exchange the night before and were actually talking about that EXACT thing and how they could get better at it. πŸ™‚ I was like, “sweet so that WAS revelation!!” πŸ™‚ I love those moments. πŸ™‚ Then after district meeting we went and had a zone lunch that was fun. πŸ™‚ I went and brought all of my ties to show people (because I have a lot now….hehe) and then I gave away about 20 ties….and I still have one for every day of the transfer! πŸ™‚ (so yea, I have more than 42) and that was fun. πŸ™‚ Then….when I thought I was in the clear and that nothing was gonna happen that was “special” for the upcoming transfer, I get a call from the Mission Office. So…while in the middle of talking to everyone, I looked down, my face apparently dropped (the other missionaries told me that that’s what happened after), and then I just walked out in the middle of the conversation and walked into the hallway and it was President Ames. πŸ™‚ yup… πŸ™‚ haha and he said he wanted to talk to me and Elder T so I got Elder T with me and then EVERYONE was standing on the other side of the corner in the hallway to hear what was going on. πŸ™‚ haha President told us that we were both going to train a new missionary and that I was going to be the district leader still, but in Waco. He told me I was Whitewashing Waco Spanish!!! So… yea πŸ™‚ The rest of that day is a blur because we were both kinda freaking out that we are training!!! hahaha πŸ™‚ We were like, “holy cow there is a TON of stuff that we need to teach these new guys!! there is about 18 months worth of information in our brains that we need to communicate to them. O.o ” πŸ™‚ but we are really excited!!! We told everyone else that was at the zone lunch and then everyone else started getting calls too! hahaha EVERY companionship except for 1 is being changed in our zone. So…there will be 3 new missionaries, like brand new missionaries, and then there are 3 other missionaries being transferred. And yes, Elder W is being transferred… 😦 but we’ll chill after the mission so it’s all good. πŸ™‚
Thursday we planned for the next week and I got some of my stuff together to take to Waco because we had to go up there that night because of the meeting we had for new trainers on Friday. Thursday night we went out to Belton and we were able to meet a few more of the Hermanas old investigators. It’s just SO hard for us to go out to Belton that much because we don’t have the miles to do it. Like we haven’t been able to find the good balance between biking and not biking and using the car for the appointments that we have and what not. And no one in the branch is helping us with exchanges and driving out to these hard to get places so, it’ll be interesting how things play out here in Temple. Then Thursday night we drove up to Waco because Elder R and Elder G had to go to the new leadership training meeting and we carpooled with them and a member that the Hewitt Sisters found that could give us a ride.
So Friday morning we woke up SUPER early so we could drive in a car for 2 and a half hours to go to a meeting for 2 and a half hours and then drive home for another 3 and a half hours. (that time we had to drive back to Temple) πŸ™‚ At least the meeting was a good amount of time. πŸ™‚ But driving still took forever. So then that night we went by everyone that we could, but not too many people kept their appointments. The meeting was REALLY good though and I feel better prepared for training now. πŸ™‚ Still a bit nervous about the whitewashing aspect of it, even though I’ve been in Waco on exchanges, but it’ll get better. πŸ™‚
Saturday we had a TON of appointments again and some of them fell through, but we were able to teach a ton that day!! And because we were teaching so much, the time just flew by! Which was good, but bad, because now I’m like, “where did this week go?!”
Sunday was a good last Sunday in Temple. πŸ™‚ I was able to get a few pictures with people and it was weird…because on the 20th of September there is a combined Temple, Killeen and Waco branch party/activity, so I’ll be back in Temple for that! So I was like, “no worries y’all, I’ll see you all again soonish.” πŸ™‚ hahaa and we had about 22 people come again. πŸ™‚ but then guess who showed up!! J P!!!!! After 12 weeks of inviting and inviting and everything possible, HE CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!! πŸ˜€ I was SO HAPPY!!!! And he said that he really enjoyed it too and how he felt in Sacrament Meeting!!! πŸ˜€ I was thrilled, you have NO idea!!! Then after dinner we were able to teach a few people and had some good lessons. πŸ™‚
But that was our week!!! πŸ™‚
At the meeting on Friday there were a lot of pictures taken, so you’ll probably be able to see me a few times on Sister Ames’ blog. πŸ™‚ And I also gave President Ames my other Texas Flag tie. πŸ™‚ there is probably a picture of that…hahaha
But yea so I’m excited but will definitely be needing the prayers please!! πŸ™‚ I and my new missionary (which I won’t find out who it is until Wednesday morning when President Ames tells us) will need the help because we’ll both be new in the Waco area. πŸ™‚ We’ll need all the help that we can get from heaven!!
But anyway, I love you to the moon and back forever and ever and always!!! πŸ™‚ I have about 15 minutes left. πŸ™‚
love you!
Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚
So I also failed to mention that there are 31 new missionaries coming into the mission, 8 are Spanish speaking, 4 elders, 4 hermanas, so this transfer will be Crazy!!!!
Tuesday night I am taking all of my stuff in our car and driving up to Waco because we are spending the night at their place again because of how rides are working out. So all of my stuff will be there. And then we have to drive up to Hurst and get our new missionaries and then we have to drive back and then we get to start working in Waco and figuring things out because we’ll have no real plans or know what to do. πŸ™‚ So…I have a plan of what we’ll do, so I’ll make it work. πŸ™‚ But just pray for my new companion and that we get along and that he is willing to learn and that we have a great time together!!!

4th Of July!!!

Hola Familia!!! πŸ™‚
So I really want to write a whole email in spanish one of these times….but I know y’all won’t be able to understand it….and it won’t translate it write if you put it through google translate….and I know someone could just help out with it but…english is easier anyway. πŸ™‚
So this week was another good one full of jokes and learning and trying to find stuff to do on the 4th. πŸ™‚ haha the 4th of July is like the worst day for spanish speaking missionaries because NO ONE wants to talk to you and they’re all drunk……….yea….haha πŸ™‚
But anyway. πŸ™‚ So on Monday we went over to the C like normal for our Noche de Hogar. πŸ™‚ It was good!!! We watched the Restoration and then Special Witnesses of Christ to talk about prophets and how Joseph Smith was a prophet and so it President Monson. πŸ™‚
Tuesday we had an interesting day. πŸ™‚ But it was one of the best for the entire week!! Which that NEVER happens for spanish speaking missionaries. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are like the worst days for us to work with….they’re just hard. No one is usually home. BUT we had an awesome day. πŸ™‚ How you may ask? πŸ™‚ We contacted people and just followed the spirit!!! We had a feeling to go to a few different places. We didn’t know why, we just knew that there were people in that area that needed us to find them. πŸ™‚ So we went there and we talked to SO many people!!! People were EVERYWHERE!!! Hispanics and others alike!!! πŸ™‚ We taught a bunch of different people too. It was cool because I kinda was afraid before, like “what if we have a feeling that we need to be here but we aren’t guided to the right people?” So…we said a pray before we left the car….and then we got out and decided that we’d talk to EVERYONE no matter what. πŸ™‚ So we did!! And the first person we talked to looked white….but then she told us her name (speaking English to us) and then we’re like….that’s SO a hispanic name πŸ™‚ So we started to speak in Spanish and then we taught her the first lesson!!! It was a SUPER awesome spirit filled lesson too. πŸ™‚ She has NO religious background though so it was a little difficult teaching her but it’ll be good. πŸ™‚ Then that night we had out English classes which were good and successful like always. πŸ™‚ Afterwards Hno R came with us to M S’s (the guy who randomly came to church one week!! but hasn’t come back since….) and we had a VERY good lesson with him.
Wednesday we had district meeting again and it was good. πŸ™‚ Not the best (in my opinion) but still good. πŸ™‚ We weren’t necessarily distracted…but we were all over the place with out ideas and what not. Which if it’s directed by the spirit that’s fine!! I just still can’t figure out if it was or wasn’t…..but…..after district meeting I had the BIGGEST prank pulled on me….. yea……by my whole zone…. But it was funny…so this is what happened!!! πŸ™‚
Backstory!! On Sunday Elder W was in Hewitt on exchange with those elders (for whatever reason). Well, what Elder L told me is that he was being interviewed by President Ames to be the assistant….well….I believed him just cuz I thought that was bound to happen!!! hahahahhah πŸ™‚ Like ever since we both got to Texas together. πŸ™‚ So then on Monday I see elder W at pday activity and I’m like….wait…is this a joke? But then he plays EVERYTHING off like it’s still legit and he’s leaving… So that night we got a bunch of pictures together because he was “suppose to leave” on Wednesday after district meeting. Well I’m in like this limbo of “do I believe him or not?” but I had no reason not too so… I believed him! Well…after district meeting comes around and everyone is talking about how Elder W is leaving. EVERYONE!! So I’m like ok yea it’s for real. Well….we’re inspecting the cars and then I see elder W’s suitcases. Yea. He had suitcases!! haha and then he opens them…and they’re empty. Yea. It was a joke the whole time! Well, the funny part was that he got the ENTIRE zone in on it without me knowing…and they were all outside and taking videos of me when I found out that it wasn’t true. And…I didn’t even notice until after!! haha but my reaction wasn’t too good because I had suspicions… πŸ™‚ hahahaha but it was all good and funny in the end. πŸ™‚
Thursday, oh let me tell you about Thursday!! Because it was AWESOME!!! But we were dumb…..or en espanol, tontos….or fools. πŸ™‚ hahaha that’s all I kept saying!! So we did weekly planning and that was good! Then we went out on bikes because we had NO miles. πŸ™‚ Well that’s fine right?! wrong…because there were a TON of storm clouds and there was thunder and lightning everywhere. Well it was far away from us so we’re like, that’s fine and we have dinner in like 15 minutes anyway. Well we get to dinner and they tell us that they are afraid of lightning so they’re gonna send us with the food because they don’t wanna eat under their patio (it was two single sisters that we couldn’t eat inside with) and we’re like….uhh…ok? So then we are waiting for them to give us the food and it starts raining. That’s fine. πŸ™‚ I’ve biked in the rain before. Well then it starts POURING as we are leaving….and then the ladies are like, you have your car right, and we’re like no, and instead of saying oh well we can just eat under the patio, no they say, well good luck!!! So…we waited for about 30 minutes hoping it would let up and it didn’t and then there was like that weird sideways rain so we got soaked through but then the next door neighbors told us to go hide under their porch so we did and had a VERY good discussion with them about Mormons. πŸ™‚ Booyah!!! hahahahahah πŸ™‚ And then we just were like, it’s not gonna stop so lets just get soaked and get it over with, so we biked to the church (it was close by) and dropped out food off and then we biked home and changed. And we got a hilarious video of the aftermath of the storm (what it did to us) πŸ™‚ hahaha πŸ™‚ then we drove back to the church and had our english class and that was good. πŸ™‚ And to end it, I don’t know what came over me, but I taught about the plan of salvation!!! πŸ™‚ We’d been looking for a way to break the ice with these people saying, hey we want to teach you and your families about the gospel, not just teach you about the gospel a little bit with these english classes. πŸ™‚ Well that’s how we did it!! And we are most likely going to be teaching these families this next week πŸ™‚
Friday we had a pretty good day…kinda….it was the 4th of July and NO ONE would let us teach them. And yes, almost every hispanic person here in Temple got drunk. πŸ˜› it’s a day that they don’t have to work (well most of them don’t have to work) and so they get drunk…yea I don’t understand it either. Well we did the best we could to teach people but everyone just wanted to spend time with their families and not with people from God. So we tried. That night we went by a few members and investigators that said it was ok to go by, but then when push comes to shove they realized that it was the 4th and changed their minds when we were on their doorsteps. And….then we didn’t even get to see fireworks… Next year, right? πŸ™‚ hahaha
Saturday we had a bunch of plans!! And they actually didn’t fall through. πŸ™‚ We made some real progress with our ward mission leader so that he can actually start helping us more and so that he is actually more involved with the branch. πŸ™‚ And thankfully when we talked to our Branch President about it he accepted it….but he was very skeptical and not really wanting to help us out….so we’ll see what happens!!! But then the rest of the day we had a few good lessons. πŸ™‚
And then yesterday
jG came to church again!!! That’s the most that he’s ever come in one transfer!!! πŸ˜€ 3 times (almost consecutively!!!) πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ No one else came becasue of the holiday weekend…not too many people were in town. And then the rest of the day wasn’t bad either. We were able to go by a bunch of investigators that kinda just dropped off the face of the planet but now they’re back!!! πŸ™‚
With transfers, nothing is happening. πŸ™‚ I’m staying here with elder Taylor for another transfer. πŸ™‚ And basically everyone in the zone is going to be the same! Including Elder W….. hahahah πŸ™‚
And I can’t find any Texas ties. The one I’m trying to find is like one with just the Texas flag on it. It’s like blue on one side with the star and then it has the red and white on the other side. πŸ™‚ so if you can find one like that I guess that’d work. πŸ™‚ please and thank you! πŸ™‚
and I love the tie that Brooke picked out πŸ™‚ I hope it wasn’t $55 though……….but I love it!!! And I’m wearing it right now. πŸ™‚ And the inhaler is helping!!!
And I love you to the Moon and Back forever and ever and always!!! πŸ™‚ I’m excited to stay here in Temple for another 6 weeks!!! But that means that I’ll basically be for sure transferred after that…. πŸ˜› hahaha πŸ™‚
loveyou!
Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚

Rain is amazing!!! Humidity is not….. :) haha

So another CRAZY week here in Texas. πŸ™‚ I’m sure Brittany told you, but it rained in Texas like almost every day this week! πŸ™‚ Which is nice…when it doesn’t get humid after. πŸ™‚ Which it wasn’t too bad last week but….now we’re feeling those consequences. πŸ™‚ lol
But yea, so this week was crazy!!!
Monday night we went with Brother R over to the C family to have a FHE with them but C wasn’t there…. They hadn’t been able to get ahold of her. So afterwards we went over to her place and we found out why we couldn’t find her last week!! We had the wrong address…. it was apartment T, not D….and over the phone those two letters sound VERY similar when they are said by a Hispanic person. So we were able to find her and talk to her for a bit and then we set up an appointment for Wednesday. πŸ™‚
Tuesday we had an exchange with the Waco elders and it was fun and interesting. πŸ™‚ I went to Waco with Elder G and we did a lot of contacting and knocking on doors. πŸ™‚ It was funny though because I thought we were going by potentials that had talked to missionaries before so EVERY contact I went and said (when children answered the door) “hey so missionaries have talked to your parents before! Are they here right now?” And then they’d go get their parents. πŸ™‚ hahah and while they were gone then Elder G would tell me that it was just a random house he decided to knock… O.o hahaha so it was interesting and fun. πŸ™‚ And then that night it stormed!!! First there was just lightning so that was weird, THEN the rain came. And when it came, it POURED!!!!! πŸ™‚ But we had a good lesson with the person who is going to be baptized there. πŸ™‚ It was good because I, being naΓ―ve and never teaching her before, just started talking about her baptism! And then she told us she wasn’t sure anymore…. O.O uhh ohh…..so then we had an AMAZING lesson on how she can be sure and she was SUPER excited for her baptism afterwards. πŸ™‚ We found out that she wasn’t doing everything that she could do to find out if this is true and to prepare herself for her baptism. And so now she’s hopefully going to do that!!! πŸ˜€
Wednesday we exchanged back at district meeting and we did that in Temple this time thankfully!! πŸ™‚ Helped us with miles. πŸ™‚ hehe and right before district meeting it started pouring…well actually….Downpouring… It was bad!!! haha but we were already inside so that’s fine right?! Wrong…. the sisters needed things out of their car and of course they aren’t going to go get it and so who does? An elder. Which elder? Elder Andersen. O.o So… I may or may not have gotten SOAKED while helping out the sisters. πŸ™‚ But it was refreshing. πŸ™‚ and district meeting was AWESOME!!! We were all called to repentance by a training that Hna R gave and it was really what the district needed. πŸ™‚ It was about how all of us can improve our language skills in Spanish. πŸ™‚ and in English for one of the missionaries. :):) But I didn’t have like ANY time for the rest of the district meeting so we just had to go STRAIGHT into role plays and they were SO MUCH FUN!!!! πŸ˜€ The ideas that come into my head…they are awesome and hilarious and have to be inspired because it really helped everyone learn how to teach with unity in our companionships. πŸ™‚ After district meeting we had a pretty good day planned. πŸ™‚ That night we taught C and M about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. πŸ™‚ It was a great lesson, but we started to notice that there might be a few doubts about things….so we set up a return appointment for Friday and then we asked her to pray specifically about the Book of Mormon and if it was the word of God.
Thursday we had our weekly planning and we did it in exactly 3 hours!!!! πŸ˜€ Which has been like impossible!!! And it may have helped that we had lessons to get to right after planning so we HAD to be done. πŸ™‚ The plans we made were inspired though and it was cool because while we were planning for C- I just got the feeling that we needed to fast for her the next day, so Friday, before the lesson with her. The English class was a success too. πŸ™‚ And….we found out that Hispanics cannot say the word “beach,” or in Spanish, playa…..and they might say a bad word that is kinda similar to beach but as an English speaker you’d never even think about the two words sounding similar!!! So now we are going to focus on pronunciation. πŸ™‚ hahahahahahaha
Friday we did fast and it was an amazing experience because God is just awesome and knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows what to bless us and everyone else with. πŸ™‚ So we fasted specifically that C would get an answer and that she would know if she should get baptized on the 5th of July, which was her goal before. Well the entire day I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I just kept getting this feeling that, “no, she’s not ready and she isn’t going to be baptized on the 5th of July.” Which I didn’t want to think about!! But then that night we went to our lesson with her and she told us that she didn’t read the Book of Mormon…but she did pray!! But not about the Book of Mormon… She prayed to know what she should do. So we taught her what she needed to do to get an answer to that because God usually wants us to put in effort on our part and then he’ll tell us if it’s right or not. Well, this is why God is amazing!!! I’m like 99.9999999999999% sure that the fast that we did was more for Elder Taylor and me, so that we’d be able to accept C’s answer. I had been prepared ALL DAY LONG for that answer. It didn’t come as a surprise. So…fasting is awesome and just like any prayer, the answer comes, but it is according to the will of God. πŸ™‚ Like I love to say, God has 3 answers to prayers! 1. yes, 2. not yet, 3. I have something better in mind. πŸ™‚ We also were able to set a different goal, that C chose, for the 2nd of August. So pray for her and that goal that she’ll know for sure about these things by then!!! After that lesson though we had a ward activity out in Rogers and so we went to that with Brother R and it was awesome because there were SO many non members there. πŸ™‚ And a few of them we are going to start teaching. πŸ™‚ Our members are awesome!!! We had a little BBQ and we had to leave before the FHE but it was still fun. πŸ™‚ And the property that we were on had a little lake…….private lake…..yea….only in Texas. πŸ™‚ haha
Saturday we had a SUPER productive day and we were able to visit a BUNCH of less active members and investigators. πŸ™‚ and it was one of those days that I just felt like everything I said was influences by the spirit and it was weird….I shared the experience of Grandpa and when he passed away to like 3 different people and how I have a testimony know of the plan of salvation and a testimony of the atonement and the resurrection!! πŸ™‚
Sunday was a good day….but no one came to church…except a less active family that we visited on Saturday!! So that paid off. πŸ˜€ And it wasn’t the best turn out at church either….half of the branch who normally comes didn’t come….both because of summer vacations and then the other main thing about yesterday….the World Cup game of Mexico vs. the Netherlands….yea……when did it start?? 11am…when does church start?? 11am…..so yea….. Hispanics though and their Soccer….it’s crazy!!! So the rest of the day wasn’t the best for visiting people because all of the Mexicans were sad and drinking their sorrows away because Mexico lost. πŸ˜› But we were able to go out to Rogers again and teach C and M. πŸ™‚ Oh…and no one came to church because their rides didn’t go to church. So ya know what! Maybe it was really a blessing that Mexico lost because now all of the Hispanics have no excuse with the World Cup!! πŸ˜€ hahahaha πŸ™‚
And BTW!!! Next Wednesday is transfers again…yea I know…where did the time go?! So….don’t be sending me anything after Thursday or Friday just in case I am transferred. πŸ™‚
And for the 4th of July…we don’t know what we’ll be doing. Working?? hahaha…. we found out that there are going to be a few parades but not sure if we’ll go. They’d be a good time to contact people though!! And then the fireworks are at 9…when we need to be home…so we’ll see if we see anything!!
We haven’t been fed too much lately…but there is a member in the English ward, Sister P, that is TOTALLY helping us out with that. πŸ™‚ Yesterday she guilt tripped her ward into signing up for us every day this week so we won’t starve!! haha we wouldn’t starve…but mac and cheese is only good for so long…. and if we do have to eat on our own, we just make whatever we have. I usually have chicken or chicken nuggets or like pasta of some type….I LOVE fettuccini alfredo now πŸ™‚ just btwz
This week all we have planned is for a district meeting this Wednesday. Today we have an FHE with the C family and C. πŸ™‚ We’re gonna watch the 20 minute restoration video and then the Special Witnesses of Christ video segments with President Monson. πŸ™‚ And then for an activity…we’re not sure. We don’t think we’re gonna have one…so Elder Taylor and I are going to go hunt down a Texas Flag tie. πŸ™‚ It’s a tie with the texas flag on it!!! So….depending if I have enough money I may or may not use my credit card….just fyi!! thank you!! and thank you for letting me use that in emergencies like my bike tire last week. πŸ™‚
And Elder Taylor and I go running every other day. And we just run to the church and back which for us is about a 1.1 mile run. We rest for a bit when we get to the church.
I love you to the moon and back forever and ever and always!!! πŸ™‚
Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚

So once again we had an AMAZING week here in Temple Texas!! :D

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First off, we’ll talk about Monday. πŸ™‚ So pday activity was fun. Nothing too spectacular I think. Just chilled and played piano and sang and had fun with everyone. πŸ™‚ I tried a Mexican fruit thing that Hna R….. bought….yea….still got the fruit allergy. πŸ˜› haha thankfully the pain didn’t last that long though!!

We had a very interesting dinner too…haha they kept trying to get us to talk about politics, especially since I’m from Arizona and they didn’t agree with the politics there so…just plain awkward and we did EVERYTHING we could to not talk about politics. I don’t like politics as a missionary. Period!! haha After we went by a few different people and set up appointments. πŸ™‚ Then Brother R…. took us out to Rogers for our Noche de Hogar with the C…. and C…..and M……! haha and it was an AWESOME lesson!!! We did an object lesson to teach to the understanding of M….. and it worked perfectly because C….. understood it too!!! It’s amazing how when things are taught simply, people understand them easier. πŸ™‚ At the end of the lesson we invited C….. to be baptized on July 5th and she said yes!!! So that’s the plan!!! πŸ˜€ C…. and her son M….. with be baptized on that date and they are progressing so well!!! πŸ™‚ The funny thing though was even though she is going to the Spanish branch she wanted a book of Mormon in English (we actually have a few investigators like that, only happens when they speak both), but we only brought a book of Mormon in Spanish…so we had to wait to give one to her….but how that part of the story turns out is just awesome and funny!! But I’ll get to that later. πŸ™‚ And as a nice desert for the Noche de Hogar the C….. made us arroz con leche!! πŸ™‚ yum!!

Tuesday I had my first exchange as a district leader!! πŸ˜€ It was AMAZING!!! So I was with Elder G….., who is from Houston Texas, but not Debra’s mission. He is 22 and been out almost a year now. πŸ™‚ He’s a really good missionary and we just had a blast all day long!! Haha something I’ve noticed is that when I’m with Elder T……., we only speak Spanish outside of the apartment, but sometimes we just have fun with it and use Spanglish. πŸ™‚ haha well, Elder G…….. doesn’t like to speak ANY English, which was good for me to practice obviously, but then I realized that he speaks so much Spanglish!! hahahahaha πŸ™‚ So now Elder T….. and I are trying to not speak Spanglish anymore because it sounds weird and we know it’s not right. Even if we were doing it just to have fun. πŸ™‚ haha

But yea, so we started the exchange in the morning and then we had a bunch of appointments planned!! And they didn’t all work, but we taught SO many lessons that day!! It was full of miracles!!! We were able to go by people that we hadn’t seen for a very long time and teach them. πŸ™‚ Then that night we had an AWESOME English class with Brother R….. πŸ™‚ We had 3 members come to the class to learn and then there was one other lady that came who sometimes comes and then J…. P…. came! At the end we all talked about J….. wanting to be baptized and it was awesome because all of the members testified about how awesome being baptized is and how it is SO important! πŸ™‚ I felt kinda bad because the lady that came, who isn’t a member or investigator, just felt awkward and we could all tell, but we told her when we started the class that “we are missionaries and the principle thing that we do is help others come closer to Christ, and we teach of Christ.” And she said she was fine with that. So….yea. But it was good. πŸ™‚

Then Wednesday we had zone training and it was awesome!!! We talked about everything that we talked about in DLC and it seems like everyone is getting it. πŸ™‚ The 7 step planning guidelines that President Ames has made us is just awesome!!! I love it!!! πŸ™‚ It was a good meeting. πŸ™‚ Then that night we taught a few lessons and were able to set a lot of stuff up. πŸ™‚

Thursday we were able to put into practice everything we learned from the day before and it was an amazing planning session!!! We had a lot of stuff to do, so we had to finish up on Friday a little bit, but it was awesome what we talked about and planned. πŸ™‚ We made AMAZING plans for this week and so I’m so excited for everything that’s going to happen!!! πŸ˜€

That night with the English class, two ladies that normally come came and J….. P….. also came. πŸ™‚ Brother R…… helped us with an AWESOME lesson with J….. that we had in the chapel. We read 3 Nephi 11 and the spirit was SO strong. We talked about what J…… needed to do to change and he told us that he knows what he needs to do, and the first thing is find a different house and different friends. Now, that’s not the easiest thing to do though….so we need prayers for him!! He knows what he needs to do he just needs help from heaven to do it. πŸ™‚

Friday we had a bike afternoon. πŸ™‚ Because of the many plans we have made including going to Rogers (30 mile round trip) 3 times this week to teach C……, our exchange that we’re gonna do (40 mile round trip) and then our trip to Hewitt for interviews (60 mile round trip), we have to save a few miles… πŸ™‚ hahaha and it was SUCH a hot humid day but it was good. πŸ™‚ We were able to teach a lot of people and also contact a lot of people. Then we finished planning, then we headed out again to teach people. πŸ™‚

And that dinner was the most funny dinner every. πŸ™‚ So because so many of the Temple 1st members are doctors or residents, it’s always fun for me to talk to them. πŸ™‚ Well, this brother was a doctor for digestive system stuff and so it was like 100 questions about my fruit allergy thing. πŸ™‚ hahahah it was sooooo funny cuz I kept stumping him in his prognosis’. πŸ™‚ lol and after we had 2 awesome lessons that DIDN’T punch on us!!! πŸ™‚ and we were able to visit them with our ward mission leader!! That night after the awesome lessons we exchanged with the zone leaders. πŸ™‚

On Saturday I was with Elder L….. in Belton. πŸ™‚ It was a pretty good day. We did a lot of contacting and didn’t teach too much, but we set up some good stuff for his area. πŸ™‚

So while I was on exchange with Elder L…., there was a branch activity that C….. and M……. went to with the C…….. Elder T……. and Elder W…… went to it and went to try and give C……. the Book of Mormon, but this is what she said. “So I went online and was just gonna order one from the lds.org website and then I saw that I could get this app on my phone so I just did that and I’ve been reading it ever since.” SHE IS THE MOST SOLID INVESTIGATOR EVER!!!! She truly has that true desire to know if this is true!!! πŸ˜€

And then we exchanged back that night and it was a good day. πŸ™‚ Oh!! The dinner we had too was with a family from Arizona!!! πŸ˜€ Fun stuff. πŸ™‚

Then yesterday, Sunday, was a good day. πŸ™‚ C…… and M……. came to church, but then another investigator who has been an investigator for FOREVER came to church as well!!! J……..G…………. πŸ™‚

After church, we didn’t have as much success…but it was still a good day because they came to church!!! πŸ˜€ We also took a bike night because we’re trying to save miles. πŸ™‚ And we almost have enough miles saved. πŸ™‚

And get this. So I played in sacrament again yesterday in church and guess what song I played for the sacrament hymn?? “There is a green hill far away.” Yup. No joke. I didn’t do the best job, but for some reason I had the feeling to play that song. πŸ™‚

And this is what I’m doing this week. πŸ™‚

So today we are going to Rogers again with Brother R….. to teach C….. with the C…….. Then on Tuesday and Thursday we have the English classes as well as we are going to teach C…..which means that we are doing double exchanges where Elder T…… and I split up so we can teach more people at the same time. πŸ™‚ It’ll be fun and crazy!! Especially since we have two set up. πŸ™‚ We set them up in planning on Thursday. πŸ™‚ On Wednesday we are doing another exchange with the Waco elders. Elder R…. will be coming here with me and then we’ll exchange back on Thursday at interviews. On Thursday, you guessed it, we also have interviews with President Ames in Hewitt!! haha πŸ™‚ I feel like we JUST had interviews…but that was like 3 months ago…and I was in Cleburne still! O.o hahahah πŸ™‚ But yep, so that’s what I have planned for this week!

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So I love you to the moon and back forever and ever and always!!! πŸ™‚ Thank you for everything you do for me and for all of the love and support. πŸ™‚

Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚

!!!Cinco De Mayo!!! :D Just kidding…. Mexicans don’t really celebrate this… :) haha

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So this was a CRAZY week. Like I’m not joking. We had SO much stuff to do that we didn’t really get too much time to actually be missionaries I feel like. :S

Anyway. πŸ™‚ It was a great week nevertheless. πŸ™‚

To answer your questions… πŸ™‚ I’ll do that first. πŸ™‚

So I will be calling home between 3 and 4 my time, so 1 and 3 your time….sorry about church!!! That’s the ONLY time I can do it though… πŸ˜› And, UPDATE ON WHAT IS ALLOWED!!!! This is directly from President Ames:

Β Β Β Β  Page 37 of the Missionary Handbook says, β€œYou may telephone your parents on Christmas and one other time during the year (usually Mother’s Day), according to guidelines from your mission president. Take care that these calls do not pull your thoughts away from your service or create a financial problem for your family. Keep them short (preferably no longer than 30 or 40 minutes). Other than these calls, do not telephone family members or friends unless you have permission from your mission president.”

Β Β Β Β  To that end, here are some answers to common questions about the phone calls

Β Β Β Β  1. Every missionary is allowed a total of one hour to speak with your family. You don’t need to use all that time but please be disciplined and use no more than the time allotted. I’m giving you an extra 20 minutes to allow for those of you with large families.

So I am allowed 1 hour to talk with y’all. πŸ™‚ The white handbook that we have says to keep it preferrably between 30 and 40 minutes, so of course I see that as a suggestion. But now that President has said 1 hour, that’s that, I’m ok with that. πŸ™‚ Especially cuz it’s an hour and not 40 minutes!!! πŸ˜€ And knowing that, Elder L is planning on calling first and will call around 2:30 here, so if he takes an hour I’ll call around 3:30 here (1:30 there) and that’ll be good because that should give us enough time before dinner and stuff because we are eating dinner with a family that night. πŸ™‚ So does that answer your questions? πŸ™‚ And BTW lets try to make it just be an hour, but I’m not going to hang up on y’all…just so you know, k? πŸ™‚

And Temple is pretty much like a big suburb. I’m pretty sure Gilbert is bigger, but yea it has a lot of trees (we’re in Texas…there are trees and fields everywhere) and the weather has been hotter…a lot hotter. haha

And I’m sleeping better. πŸ™‚ And running is ok…still hate it. πŸ™‚ lol but I do it

And my bed is awesome cuz I have a 3 inch foam mattress thing. πŸ™‚

And as for transfers, in my mission only the missionaries who are being transferred go to the Hurst stake center to meet up and then they head off to their new places. πŸ™‚

And btw, Elder L just found out his family won’t be home at the time we were planning so I don’t know who will call first or not. Just pray everything goes well! πŸ™‚ haha

So this is what’s new in the life of Elder Andersen! πŸ™‚ (or in other words, this is my past week πŸ™‚ haha)

So Monday we just had the pday activity at the church and we did some biking. We had an AWESOME family for dinner, the AndersOns. πŸ™‚ haha and that was fun talking to them. Then we taught N, a less active from the Dominican Republic too.

Tuesday we had district meeting up in Waco…and that morning we got the phone call that we could go get our car!!! They finally got the check!! haha πŸ™‚ but we didnt’ get the car until after district meeting because we already had a ride set up and it would’ve taken too much time, etc. District meeting was good:) So after District meeting Brother R took us to go get our car and that was fun. πŸ™‚ I love that guy! He has such awesome stories! And we were able to teach him a lesson in McDonalds πŸ™‚ haha and then that night we taught M and S. πŸ™‚

Wednesday we had to do weekly planning because we had the Spanish Conference on Thursday, and then because of the exchange I wouldn’t be back until Friday night so… Wednesday it was!! haha and then after we taught a few people and then that night there was a baptism too. It was one of the recent converts baptizing his son! It was pretty cool and I played the piano…kinda getting tired of it cuz I DON’T have time to practice and people ask me to play stuff I can’t play and so then it sounds bad but whatevs… I just wish I had time to practice so I could actually do a good job! haha πŸ™‚ But everything will work out. πŸ™‚ After the baptism we actually helped out Elder C, our zone leader, and Elder W (my old zone leader in Weatherford) who is now the assistant. πŸ™‚ haha So after our car was done getting fixed from the hail damage, the Zone Leaders got called…so they were carless and had to do the monthly mileage reports so we got to help them…so we had a late night helping them do that. πŸ™‚ But it was fun. Then I got ready for my exchange because we had to leave around 6:30am Thursday for the meeting!!

So Thursday, we wake up SUPER early and Presidente Sandoval, branch president, took us up to the conference. M came too which was SUPER cool!!! And we picked up the elders in Waco on the way too. So after a 3 hour car ride….we finally get there and it was an AMAZING CONFERENCE!!! πŸ˜€ I loved it and it was soooooooo cool to see all of the spanish speaking missionaries together for the first time. πŸ™‚ There are only like 50 of us in the entire mission too. Weird right? But it was good seeing most of my old companions. πŸ™‚ No, it was good seeing everyone. πŸ™‚ Apparently my area in Denton was closed because nothing was happening in it πŸ˜› And Cleburne just fell apart after I left. I know that has NOTHING to do with me leaving, but it’s sad. 😦 Then we exchanged and I was with Elder B for the rest of the day. All we did was speak Spanish and it was actually fun because I didn’t feel judged for my spanish! πŸ™‚ haha we taught a ton and applied everything that we learned in the conference into our teaching and it was AWESOME!!! I feel like I’ve never had such successful lessons! πŸ™‚

Then Friday there was the MLC (mission leader council) and so I had to go with a different companionship for that time until it was over and my zone leaders could take me home. πŸ™‚ So I was with Elder Band Elder H! Elder B was in my district while I was in Cleburne. πŸ™‚ He’s cool. So I got to spend the day with them and what not. They had weekly planning and I just studied. And we talked and caught up on what had been going on in our missions. πŸ™‚ Oh! And they are bike elders, so I was a bike elder again for a day! Definitely don’t miss it……haha πŸ™‚ Then we went back to the Hurst Stake Center where the meeting was so I could get home and the car ride home with my zone leaders, Elder C and Elder W, was SO MUCH FUN!!!! I loved it!!!:) Elder W and Elder C are my FAVORITE ZONE LEADERS AND MISSIONARIES EVER!!! πŸ™‚ haha that night when we finally got home I got to help them talk about how they are going to help the zone and stuff. πŸ™‚

Then Saturday we went by a TON of people. And we also had to help the zone leaders again, and again, and again because they didn’t have their car.

P.S. they still don’t have their car…hahaha πŸ™‚

But yea so we went by a ton of people and it was an alright day. πŸ™‚ This one family in our branch, the A, fed us dinner and it was good. πŸ™‚ I love mexican food! The real stuff….not any of this fake restaurant try to be mexican food stuff. πŸ™‚ hahahahaha After that though brother R took us to the ward firework activity. πŸ™‚ It was in Holland Texas, so a bit of a drive. πŸ™‚ We had already started our fast so it was definitely tempting to go get some food and homemade root beer but….. we were strong and I had a purpose behind my fast so it was all good!!! Fasting is always SO MUCH BETTER when there is a purpose behind it. πŸ™‚ But yea, we had to leave before the actually fireworks happened because we had to give the zone leaders a ride home from the church so that was sad…kinda….BUT!! I was able to operate this hydraulic lift they had and give rides to kids and stuff. πŸ™‚ So not a thrilling ride, but the kids loved being up super high!! πŸ™‚ haha it was our branch and then the Temple 2nd ward that were part of it. πŸ™‚

Then yesterday, Sunday, we had a good day at church. πŸ™‚ M came which was good!! He is getting baptized on the 17th of May and then how cool is this?! the 24th is the branch temple trip so he’ll be able to go do baptisms for the dead and so we will be able to go with him!!! πŸ˜€ The rest of the day was good too. πŸ™‚ I will admit, I was irritable because I was hungry, but I powered through it. πŸ™‚ The people we had dinner with totally opened my eyes too!! I am just gonna be an ER surgeon. None of this PA stuff anymore. I’m just gonna do it. πŸ™‚ It’ll be worth it in the end! haha πŸ™‚ The guy is an ER doctor and he was gonna do PA but then changed his mind so I was able to see his point of view now. πŸ™‚ haha after we taught — and — too and they are awesome!! πŸ™‚

And that was my week!!! πŸ˜€

This week, today we are going to Cici’s pizza (all the missionaries in Belton and Temple) because they feed us for free once a month! Then we have a few lessons planned for tonight. πŸ™‚ Then on Wednesday we have Zone Training here in Temple and then on Friday we have Zone Conference with President Ames!! That will be in Hewitt and it will be my zone, the Waco North zone and then the Killeen zone. πŸ™‚ So there will be a LOT of missionaries there. πŸ™‚

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Random thought!!! Go look up the video on lds.org under youth that talks about the girl who had a bunch of modest prom dresses and stuff. She is from Arizona and guess what!! I’ve met her!! She is in the Temple 1st ward here. πŸ™‚ haha so yea that was funny figuring out! πŸ™‚

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And I can’t think of anything else. πŸ™‚ I think I covered it all!!! hahaha πŸ™‚

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Well, I love you to the moon and back forever and ever and always!!! And I can’t wait to talk to y’all on Mother’s Day!! Wow where did the time go?! It’s like I just called you!! πŸ™‚ haha

Love you so much!

Elder Josh Andersen πŸ™‚