Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 26

Peace !!

I'm going to keep this one a little short, but I AM GOING TO BE ABLE TO SKYPE HOME! Christmas Day, 4:00pm MY TIME! So I don't know what time exactly that is in Arizona, 5:00, right? I'm excited to call you and say hello... AND SEE YOUR FACES! Woah...

I got your package and thank you for everything! HEATHER YOU ARE SO TALENTED! I'll be sending the SD card home with my Christmas box to you all.

I am really sorry that this is so short, please forgive me!  But, I'll talk to you all NEXT TUESDAY!


Love you all SO SO SO MUCH!
Elder Alexander J Annand

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Week 25

Woohoo!  Hello everyone!  An amazing week as always!

I'm sorry that Heather has a sore throat.  I hope she is starting to feel better!  How is your ear doing?  Do you remember when I had an ear infection in both ears?  It was INSANELY ANNOYING!  So I can relate.  Luckily, I haven't been feeling sick or anything like that - I may have just jinxed myself.  But, oh well, I'll have to work through it!

I haven't got my Christmas box yet, but I did get the boom box - haha.  My reaction in the video is hilarious...  I'm just like "uhh... what the... Oh, okay, you talked to the mission so it's allowed, great!!"  There is a "Christmas devotional" for the mission so I think my Christmas box is there, but I'm not too sure.  If it isn't, I'll be sure to tell Sister Wilson to talk to you.

President Wilson and Sister Wilson, copied from their WA-EVR mission blog.
 My mission president and his wife are so amazing!  I really hope that you will be able to meet them one day; President and Sister Wilson are actually leaving this next July, so I'm going to have a new mission president then... 

I'll have to tell you the time that we can Skype in next week's email.  Elder Talbot and I are going to talk with the family that is going to have us over to see a time that we would be able to come over.

Yes, I remember Elder Wilhelm!  I hope that he is doing great, along with his companion...

Scotty! Woo hoo!  So great to hear from you buddy brudder.  How are you doing?  That's awesome that you are doing good in school and everything.  Super weird to hear about Riot doing that with League of Legends, is it still fun?  And what?!  You aren't AD carry anymore?  WEIRD!  Good job, little bro, I hope that I hear from you soon, IN A LETTER!

I sent a letter over to Nanny and Papa's about a week or two ago, so I hope they received it.  Ask them if they did.  Tell them that I love them!

I love you all so much.  Thank you for your support - keep working hard.  Tell Dad that I love him and hope everything is going good!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 24

Hello everyone!

I hope each of you are doing great! I love you all so much and am so glad for the inspiration and example each of you are to me from so far away. Thank you for your prayers and for each of the emails and letters that I receive weekly. I am extremely grateful for them and for the wonderful blessing it is for me to have each of you in my family.

 This week has been absolutely wonderful. To start, we had zone conference on Tuesday. It was great. At the start of each zone conference there is a slideshow of all of the baptisms that have occured in the past 3 months, I saw myself twice with two of my investigators - but now recent converts! Luisa and Miguel are going to be GREAT members! I am excited for them to progress in the gospel and see how it will change their lives. It sure has changed mine. Never in a million years would I have expected myself to be a MISSIONARY for a church that I love so much. I have the opportunity to share something I adore with other people, what a blessing - right?! Anyways, so with zone conference they really emphasized on talking with everyone. Everyone is a potential investigator and has a chance to receive the gospel if you are willing to talk to them. If I try, then I will see results, so I am trying my best to be courageous and talk to everyone. I get rejected a lot, but a lot of the times I plant the seed or at the least show the person that I am a regular, masculine, handsome guy deep down.  ;)

On Wednesday I went on an exchange with the district leader's companion. Normally it happens around twice a transfer that we go on exchanges. The person I was with is very shy and doesn't like to talk too much, but I got him to open up really well. He wouldn't stop talking by the end of the night! It was really great to see him talking, laughing, and just having a good time. He and I had a lesson with this guy named Thomas. He is a heavy smoker and drinker, and probably has the worst sailor mouth I have ever heard. I couldn't believe how many cuss words he was saying left and right, even after asking him to stop several times. He was genuinely interested, but we told him if we are going to come back, he needs to make some changes with his choice of words. BOOM!

So the Christmas Devotional of the First Presidency was last night and it was amazing! Did you all get to watch it? I loved it so much! I really love something that President Uchtdorf said, "Every gift, especially when a gift from the heart, when received with excitement and gratefulness, will strengthen the bonds of love with that person." What an amazing quote, and promise! Though not word for word with what he said, that is the jist of it. I am going to try and accept every gift, no matter how small or how large, with excitement, love, gratitude, and thanks. A quote I love that President Monson said was, "True happiness only comes by making others happy." How true that statement is! I have become so much more happier out here on the mission because I am trying my best to help others discover how happy this gospel can make them, many have seen it and are coming closer to, or have already entered, the waters of baptism! What a great site it is to see.

I love you all so much, keep being amazing and keep working hard! Whether it be school, cleaning the house, or playing with Choma, work hard! Give Choma my love! I miss that pup! Did you happen to send pictures with the package? And I will record me opening the package, I am doing that from now on. Good memories.... Also, when would be a good time Christmas day to call? We need to start setting that up now so I know and can tell a member if we can come over at that time. Also, I would prefer to Skype!!

Love you all!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3-2-1 Click.... Part 1

Here's some random pics to enjoy -

Mount Rainier from the plane.

Elder Annand and his 1st companion, Elder Robles.

Elder Annand's 1st Meeting House
Cool statue and scene...

The work wears 'em out!
Somewhere in the Seattle suburbs...

Alex and Friend

Ooohh!!!  Nice tie... big thumbs up!

Looking good and ready to go!

Week 23

Dear Family!

What an amazing past week! This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, and we had a HUGE meal over at a members house. It was weird because it was like a Spanish/American mix, but I guess that's no different from having Thanksgiving at Nanny's house because she makes some delicious eggrolls... Oh, how I miss them!
From Millan.Net

On Thanksgiving day, this Sister in the branch gave us a bunch of artwork, around 300 portraits of the prophet. The portrait itself is pretty large, I think 12x38 but I'm not 100% sure. Anyway,  Elder Talbot and I are giving each missionary a copy for Christmas. I want to send mine home but don't want to ruin it in any way - how do you think I could do it? Maybe put it between some cardboard and send it as a package or something? Not too sure...

Anyway, so I think I've mentioned it before but our mission is doing its own Book of Mormon read and are scheduled to finish on Christmas Day. Right now we are through Helaman 5, which is awesome! I love the Book of Mormon so much! What an opportunity it is to be out here to share something I love! With that, it has been a goal of mine this past week to talk to EVERYONE that I see. Yes, everyone... Needless to say we have gotten quite a few solid investigators from it! Everyone is a child of God and you just have to open your mouth sometimes.

I'm getting pretty close to finishing my journal! By the end of this transfer I think I'll be done with it so I'm debating whether or not sending it home and having you guys read it. Not too sure yet...

Elder Talbot and I are helping one of our investigators with a traffic ticket she got. The ticket was for $2,000 DOLLARS! THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY! She was speeding in a school zone (didn't realize it was a school zone) and got pulled over. Apparently, the cop didn't have his morning donut, so he wrote some other crazy infractions, too. Anyway, what we are doing is helping her write a letter to the police department and court in English so that she will have the opportunity to explain what really happened. Hopefully, everything goes as planned!
From Millan.Net

Anyways, I love you guys I hope that everything is going great! I hope the ward is doing good and can't wait to hear from you again!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 22

Prelude from June - Before Alex left for his mission, he added me onto his bank account so that I could monitor it while he was on his mission.  I noticed a large purchase had occurred last week, which surprised me because Alex's account was practically dormant since he entered the MTC.  Since Monday is his P-Day, I sent an email to Alex this morning to check on this as I needed to be sure he didn't get his money stolen.  And since I was writing to him, I asked where he was rotated to last week, applauded him on the recently received SD cards filled with pics and videos, and what he thought about allowing first names of his investigators & church members to be mentioned on his blog.  I think this blog is a great tool to keep everyone informed of Alex's travels and experiences, but it's also about sharing the Gospel with those outside of his mission who are following along.  He loves being a missionary, and is so immersed in the work.  Alex's emails, letters, pictures and videos testify to that... BUT... I don't want to get Alex into any trouble when I share these things with you, as I don't know what rules were given to him from the MTC or his mission presidency.  Anyhow, he replied to my questions in his weekly email below ~

Hello Family!

First of all, Mom, you're silly. It's called a transfer, not a rotation... I love you.

My new companion is Elder Talbot.  I'll explain a little more about that, and where I'm currently at, later.

Sooo...  Awkward story...  Yes, that was me spending money with my card (it was an emergency purchase).  So...  Elder Talbot and I were trying to get to Kirkland from where I am now.  He said that he knew where it was and what not, so I believed him.  NOT DOING THAT AGAIN!   Haha.. just kidding, but yeah, we got lost - big time.  We drove around for about 45 minutes and finally decided that we were lost.  We said a prayer, and let's just say that the spirit told me to go and buy a GPS.  So yeah, that's what the purchase was on, a GPS.  But hey... now I don't get lost, and I can take it with me wherever I go from now on.  So overall, I think it was a good purchase.  I just feel kinda bad spending so much without letting you know, sorry!

I didn't think that I took that many videos and pictures!  DANG!  How many videos and pictures do I have total?  Just curious.  And I am totally fine with you saying first names in the blog, but you can put up the pictures and videos that I have with other people, too.  I asked them if it was okay, and they said it was, so go for it.

I'm excited to receive your letter from Saturday.  I think I'll get it Wednesday, but I'm not too sure.  I won't be writing a letter until Thursday (that is our P-Day for this week).  The whole mission got permission to write today so that our families wouldn't be waiting too long for an email - I think the libraries are closed for Thanksgiving, anyways.


So, I was in Marysville, now I am in LYNNWOOD!  WOO!  How exciting - I AM OPENING A BRANCH HERE!  Even more exciting and scary!  It's pretty neat!  The branch covers Lynnwood and Everett, which is a pretty big area, but there are only 30-50 members here in the branch (including children).  The missionaries (and members) have quite a bit of work to do to make this branch grow!  I'm excited to help!

My companion is Elder Talbot, and I actually met him in the MTC!  Pretty neat!  He has been out 6 weeks less than me, so I am actually training him!  I am one of the first Spanish missionaries to be senior companion and train someone so early in my mission.  Needless to say, I'm very nervous.  I literally just finished getting trained a week ago!  Now I'm training someone else - weird!  It's humbling nonetheless, I'm glad that I have the trust of President Wilson and Heavenly Father to do something like this.  I hope that everything goes well!

Anyways, love you all so much, can't wait to hear from you again!  You probably won't be getting a letter from me this week since P-Day is this Thursday, so I won't be able to write you all until then.
Happy Thanksgiving!  From Millan.Net

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 21

Hello!   From Millan.Net

So I wasn't able to email home yesterday because it was some holiday. Forgot which one, is that sad? Oh well...

So, some stories you want.. eh? Sure! Well to start off, I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED! That's right! I'm leaving Marysville - it's so sad....  EB is a super awesome lady that I got to know very well and am very close with - it was SUPER hard to say goodbye.  She bought me a bunch of stuff, clothes, and even soap! I guess I'm stinky... LOL. But she is GREAT! I have some pictures of her and have been lacking on the picture captions to be honest. If you could, send the SD cards back so I can type up captions during a P-Day sometime. Anyway, so yeah, I'm getting transferred! I can go anywhere from Shoreline to Bellingham so it's nerveracking. I figure out where I'm going in like 2 hours. Scary! I wonder who my new companion is going to be?

"Crunchy like popcorn..."
Anyway, this past Saturday we had a dinner at a member's home.  They put some stuff on the table and asked us to eat it... There were bugs and grasshoppers.

No joke, pictures to prove!

I put some beetles and grasshoppers on a tortilla chip and ate it. To be completely honest, it wasn't half bad. Crunchy like popcorn. I wouldn't mind trying that again. I'm scared to try this soup called "menudo". It's cow intestine and foot in some weird broth. The description is enough for me. I've had cow tongue, head meat, etc. but I am NOT going to try intestine and FOOT! Ugh... gives me shivers!

Anyways, loving you guys from here! It's rainy and gets dark at around 4:30 in the afternoon, how awesome!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Week 20

Hello, hello!

Another great week!  Didn't get a letter from you today, so I hope everything is okay back at home.

I hope you are enjoying your calling. I heard that you were up on the stand for the primary program! That must have been so fun to be with all of the little kids in the primary.  It's so cute to watch them all sing and what not. The Branch President where I'm serving was debating whether or not to have a primary program because we don't have too many children in the branch, but as of yesterday we are going to have a primary program! Woo! I'm so excited to see them all sing, haha!

I'm running super behind so I haven't been able to write you too much. It's crazy that on my P-day I still have so many things to do! I'm so happy to be out here on my mission though - it's so great! A lot of neat experiences happened this past week that I don't want to include in the email, so you gotta wait until the (what you like to call it) snail mail comes! Mwuahahaha, you have to wait!
From Millan.Net

Anyway, I was thinking about sending a big Book of Mormon to dad, and a  few smaller ones to Scotty and the girls with my testimony written in each of them. Do you think that would be a good idea? Maybe that would motivate each of them to read from the Book of Mormon a little bit more. I wish that I worked with dad more before my mission, it's tough. But I know one day we will be a forever family! That's going to be great!

I love you mom and family! And Choma! Can I get a few more pictures of you guys, Choma, and (I suppose) Tucker? Is he adapting to house life good? Does dad it? Hehe - I can only imagine what he says... Oh, I love you guys so much! Keep being such an amazing example to me! It's crazy to think how far (not too far) away we are from each other and you can still be an incredible example to me. Thank you all.

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week 19

Hey there, Family!

What a wonderful week it has been! I am so happy to have this opportunity to serve! Literally so blessed EVERY single day! I guess I just have never realized the blessings of the Lord - I feel bad because I must have taken them for granted... I've come to realize how much Heavenly Father helps us out. It's amazing! I am so glad to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ. I honestly don't want to stop, every single day is a brand new adventure.

I'm glad that the girls had fun at Trunk-or-Treat! That's neat that they decorated the back of the Excursion -  noob on you for forgetting to take a picture, haha! How is Scotty doing? Did he go? Does he plan on going trick or treating? How is he with school? Just worried about him is all. AND I HEARD YOU MADE SOME AMAZING PUMPKIN COOKIES! Where is my share?! I LOVED the letters from the kids.

Thank you for the coat, I'm excited to wear it! It's starting to get a little cold.  I'm glad that you got the letters, seemed like they must have gotten stuck somewhere or something. I still have the SD cards, I've been wanting to print off some pictures at Wal-Mart and haven't had a chance to go these past few P-Days so I've been holding on too them. Don't worry, I still have them, but if I lose them, prepare for tears! So many sweet pictures and memories! I love the mission... I've been keeping a daily journal, too. It's amazing to read back on what seems like yesterday. The journal I'm writing in is actually almost full! I should be done by around Christmas time, maybe I'll send it home as a little present for you all to read on your free time, how does that sound?

Ciera told me she saw you up there on the stand during the Primary Program. How awesome! I loved watching those... How do you like your new calling? I'm sure it's great!

Had a baptism this past week. WHAT AN AMAZING MAN! He and his family are all members of the church now! One year from now, he and his family will be sealed in the temple for ALL TIME AND ETERNITY! WOW! The baptism was great! Elder Marsden had the opportunity to baptize him, neat!

Is Parker Awerkamp back from his mission? It should be around that time, I remember sometime in October, and there's only two days left, so I'm going to assume that he is already back. Yay for him! I wish I could be there to listen to his homecoming talk, but sorry Parker, I'd rather be out here! I'm sure he understands!


Anyways, I love you all, hope you are all doing GREAT! Keep it safe everyone!

Elder Alexander J Annand

P.S. There was a pretty sweet hail storm a few days ago, I put it at the end of this email because I didn't want you to go all "mom-mode" and be scared. Don't worry, only the car is messed up. Well,  SEE YA!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week 18

Hello there!

Emailing later today, Elder Marsden and I cleaned up our apartment a little bit, and not to sound conceited or anything but you would be so proud! It is SPOTLESS! He and I were singing different hymns and what not and we had a rap battle - bahaha! Needless to say, I am the champion - but not really, I totally lost. Must have something to do with me being a quarter Japanese, thanks mom ^_^.

Had a pretty sweet week though! Our investigator "M" was put back on date for this upcoming Sunday, and he had his interview and everything, Looks like he's going to be entering the waters of baptism! Woo woo! I'm so excited for him. I've been teaching him for about two months now, and he's finally ready to be baptized. How amazing is that! There are a few other people that are progressing well, too! "I" is an amazing woman who has a daughter that's a member of the church. Her daughter was baptized when she was 14 years old, 20+ years ago while she still lived in Mexico. "I" is a little bit on the crazy side, and ALWAYS says that she is sad that she can never give me a hug. Anyhow, her daughter is super awesome! She made me a scarf and is making me a purple and black one now.  She always calls me by my first name too, which is SUPER weird… I'm starting to prefer Elder Annand! She says I remind her A LOT of one of her children that live back in California, so that's pretty neat I guess.

So I finally ran into some Jehovah's Witnesses, interesting experience. They go around proselyting just like me, and these particular Jehovah's didn't really like us too much, haha. They were trying to condemn the Book of Mormon by using some scriptures from the Bible. Elder Marsden simply told them the true meaning behind the scriptures (he is a scripture genius) and bore testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. It didn't really do anything but make them more upset, but I'm glad I had my mouth shut or I probably would have regretted saying something… Oh, the life of a missionary! Which brings me to a one line song that I sing throughout the day: "I LOVE THE WORK OF A MISSIONARY, DA NA NA NA!" If only I could add the tune to it, you would have it stuck in your head for hours! At least it gets stuck in the other Elder's heads.

Anyways, another awesome week out in the field, can't believe it's almost NOVEMBER! Wow! Gotta love it! Finally starting to rain!

Love you all, thanks!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Week 17

Dear Family,

E-Mailing a little bit late today, had some errands to run and what not. Also, P-Day is today for this week because we had interviews with President Wilson yesterday. It feels weird to have P-Day on a day different then a Monday, but it'll do I guess.

Smiley from
Going to play baseball IN THE RAIN in about 20 minutes, SO EXCITED FOR THAT! IT FINALLY STARTED RAINING! I guess this has been a record in Washington - no rain for 80 something days! Just a few days ago was the first time I saw rain for the whole day in Washington, crazy huh?! Anyways, I'm excited - overcast is my favorite type of weather!

I just want to let you know that I did not send a letter last week, I was writing a letter but then I got called in for some meetings and what not, so I wasn't able to finish it. The rule is that I can only communicate on Preparation Day, so I can't write throughout the week.

Smiley from
I got the package this past Saturday, thank you momma. I was extremely sick this past Friday. I threw up over TWENTY times! I keep catching small colds here and there, but that medicine and hand sanitizer will help me for sure. I guess I'll have to start actually using the hand sanitizer though...

That's awesome that you, Ciera, and Michelle are going out to eat, I hope you have a fun time! Ciera is a bit stressed because of how busy she is, but I pray for her! She is doing such an amazing job, she is awesome!

I'll be sending a big letter home today because I need to finish up the one from last week, and then the one I am going to write today with the choices of the coats and what not. Thank you for writing me so often, mom. Get the kids, and DAD to do it too! Koda as well! I don't care about Tucker ;)... Haha just kidding, Sierra!

I love you guys so much, keep being an awesome example to me! Keep working hard in school, work, and even at home!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, October 8, 2012

Week 16

Hi family!

What a great week it has been! I am so thankful for this opportunity and blessing it is to serve the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength! It can be a strenuous work at times, but it pays off every single day. The feeling that I receive while inviting others to come unto Christ is something unexplainable. I am so happy for this opportunity.

Thank you for your letter, Mom. The SD card, however, doesn't work! When I put the SD card in the camera and turn it on, it says there is a system error, then when I do it with the other SD card it works perfectly. For the next package, can you please find my small red Spanish book that I sent home the week I left the MTC? I feel like I am going to need that to help me learn Spanish about different topics I teach to my investigators. Thank you!  :)

So a pretty neat week! I had transfers! I am still in Marysville, but I have a new companion - Elder Marsden! What an amazing missionary he is! He has helped me in so many ways and is such a faith-filled person. He continues to help me when I need it and gives me advice on ways I can improve. This is going to be an AWESOME next six weeks with my new companion! Elder Robles went to Shoreline, and is finishing training my MTC companion - Elder Fiala - so that's pretty neat!  :)

I gave one of my investigators a blessing this week. She was having problems with her leg and had surgery on it a few months ago. She has metal plates around her Achilles tendon and it aches from time to time - this specific time was just unbearable for her. Elder Marsden and I went upstairs and said a quick prayer before giving the blessing, and as it became time to give her the blessing, the Spirit was SO strong in the room! I said words in Spanish that I have never heard of before - I have all my gratitude going to the Lord for helping me be a faithful servant in his hands. Before the blessing she was moaning in pain, but as I finished the blessing, the pain was gone. She said that she felt better, and is thankful to have missionaries in a time of sincere need. What an opportunity it was to be a true instrument in the Lord's hands. I've had many more awesome opportunities here this week, and I'll be sure to write about them in this week's letter home.

One thing I need to mention about Conference this past weekend:


That is SO SWEET! EIGHTEEN FOR YOUNG MEN AND NINETEEN FOR YOUNG WOMEN! Oh my goodness, that is going to be SUCH a huge change for the missions around the world! I am SO EXCITED for everyone who will be coming out even earlier to serve!!!

I love you guys so much, you are each a huge example to me. Keep up the good work, all.

Elder Alexander J Annand

(click the picture above to read about President Monson's announcement... ~June)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Week 15

Dear Family,

So another week out in the field! Transfers are tomorrow and my companion Elder Robles is leaving me, haha. It's sad to see my first companion leave me, normally they are supposed to train you for 12 weeks (2 transfers).  He got called to be a district leader in another area (not to sure where), so I am going to have a different Spanish missionary train me for the last 6 weeks. After that, I don't know if I will be transferred out of Marysville or stay for a few more transfers, we will see...

But it's amazing how fast time flies - IS IT REALLY OCTOBER?! I can't believe it! I read through my journal the other night, and it's crazy to read about all of the experiences that I've had, and how it seems like those experiences happened yesterday when in reality it happened the first week I was here, haha. I still remember getting on and off the plane clear as day, but that was over a month and a half ago!

Smiley from
I had a baptism this week! She lives in Japan, but she was here visiting her daughter for a little over a month, so we caught her just in the right time! We met her at English classes and it just progressed from there. It was so amazing to be apart of her conversion, the light she now has in her eyes is something I don't think I will ever forget. It's my first baptism out in the field, how amazing! Elder Robles nor I was the one who baptized her; the person who baptized her was the first person that she met out here in Washington, Brother Rierson. He served his mission in Chile so he was able to speak Spanish pretty well. I am so happy for her - what an amazing blessing that she decided to follow through with! She is going to have SO many more doors open up for her, it's amazing. Though she leaves for Japan in less than two weeks, I'm excited to hear different things that happen with her because the church is going to be involved in her life from now on.

Smiley from

Elder Robles and I gave a blessing to this woman who is in a care center here in Marysville. Her daughter is a member of the church. "M" is EXTREMELY interested - she asked us questions about different things about the church for over an hour! The people that work at the care center are very strict with letting people take their patients out of the care center, so she didn't come to church this past Sunday, but once she is released (hopefully soon) she will be coming to church.

Conference is this next Sunday, I am so excited for it! It's going to be AMAZING! I'm preparing myself now by reading past conference talks and just continuing my studies as a missionary haha. Can't wait for this weekend, it's going to be SPIRIT-PACKED!

I love you all, I hope you are all doing good. Thank you for everything that you all do, keep your heads up and work hard.

Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 14

Super sweet week!

I went hiking today! We went to Mount Pilchuck, but took a different hike called Lake Twenty-Two. The hike felt like 6 miles round trip or so, but it probably was more because when we got to the top we walked around the whole lake for a while.


We also found a few ice caves! Sweetness! Yes yes, I have pictures - and just a few videos! I probed and forgot to charge my camera so I couldn't get too much footage, but pictures - over 100! I'm sure you will like seeing them along with the captions!

Thank you for the package by the way! I love the music, book, and the letters of course! THANK YOU SCOTTY! And thank you for typing your letter, too. I probably couldn't have been able to read your 2nd grade handwriting. Trololol!

Just a random side note, there are TONS of people wearing Seattle Seahawk apparel because they are playing a home game today. Pretty sweet to see the amount of fans that support their team here! Don't see that much with the Cardinals in Arizona!

You've had more rain than me up here! It rained all day a few days ago, but then after that, nothing. I'm hoping for something soon! The cloudy days are FINALLY coming in! I'm so happy for that! Cloudy/rainy is my FAVORITE!! 

I am SO EXCITED for General Conference! WOW, IS IT GOING TO BE AWESOME! I cannot believe that it is in just two weeks! How SWEET IS IT GOING TO BEEEE! I hope I can watch it in English so I can get the most out of the conference, but if it's in Spanish, I'm sure the Lord will help me.

Love you all so much.  Keep up the good work - with ALL things!

Elder Alex Annand

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 13

Why, hello there family!

I hope everything is going great! I am LOVING it! I got some AMAZING pictures of the sunset last night; hopefully, I will be able to take sunset pictures one last time before it's cloudy for the next nine months. Elder Robles and I went to a member's house for dinner and they live right along the ocean side. It is SO beautiful. If I were to move to Washington or anywhere else besides Arizona, I would have a house near the coast. It is BEAUTIFUL! The sunset was so amazing!!

(stock photo, fyi... ~June)

I'm glad that you got my SD card and everything:). I haven't gotten your package yet; it might be at the mission office so I'm sure I'll get it soon. I'm curious to what's inside!

This week was amazing though! I am happy to teach investigators in a different language! It is slowly coming along. I have a hard time understanding what people say, but I am able to share my mind with ease. I can conjugate verbs decently, but I am still learning everyday. I don't think there will be a day where I will learn some more Spanish…  It's crazy to think how much Spanish I have learned in less than three months time. WOW! I can't imagine what it will be like by the end of my mission!

Elder Robles and I were tracting and ran into a homeless lady. She used to be a member of the church! She doesn't speak Spanish, but we still talked to her and got to know her a bit. She was baptized when she was in high school (I would say she is in her 50s or so now) and loved the church when she would go as a student. She has been wanting a Book of Mormon and the weird thing is, I put an English Book of Mormon in my backpack that morning just in case. I knew it was the right time to give it to her.  I wrote out my testimony and invited her to church on Sunday...


She was a bit embarrassed because she wasn't in her 'Sunday Dress', but I told her that it's fine. It's not about what you wear; it's about whether or not you are actually at church!  I hope everything works out with her. It was an amazing experience!

I've been writing in my journal everyday! Just thought I should share that! I am excited to reread all of the entries when I'm older and have my own family one day.  :)  How amazing that's going to be!

I love you all so much and thank you for everything that you have done to help me be who I am today!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 12

Hey there! 

This has been a great week! Very spiritual and uplifting! 

Yesterday, we had SIX investigators at church! It was weird having that many more people, it was surprisingly noticeable! There were over 60 people at the Spanish branch yesterday and it was way cool to feel the Spirit that much stronger.  :)   I don't want to give away too many details because I want to write about it in my letter haha. But last night we had a "cottage meeting". It is when missionaries bring investigators to the Mission President's home and there are some recent converts there that share their story and experiences. It was amazing how diverse every one of them were! I loved hearing about it, and it reminded me of my baptism a little over two years ago. I cannot believe how far I've come because of this church. Just imagine - where would I be without the church? Definitely not serving a mission, haha. I am so grateful for this opportunity to invite others to come unto Christ. This next Saturday we had a baptism scheduled, but I think we are going to have to change it because she hasn't talked to her husband about it yet, and we don't want any problems starting. Hopefully, Elder Robles and I will have a baptism this month!

I cannot believe how much a mission really works you! We are literally working FULL time, from 6:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night we are doing things that can help us invite others to come unto Christ. It is pretty amazing now that I think about it, I'm very excited to change people's lives for the better. It is such an amazing sight to see people change and receive that light that they have been missing. 

I have this investigator named "M", and he is a pretty heavy drinker and loves coffee. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this past week and he had the hardest time accepting it during the lesson. We told him to pray and promised him that he would receive an answer that he will know that the Word of Wisdom is a commandment of God given to us to protect us from harmful substances. We visited him the next day to see how he was doing and he has this alcohol stand once you walk in to his home, but something was missing, THE ALCOHOL! We asked where he put it, and he told us that it is all in the garbage! He is trying his best to follow all of the commandments of God and the commitments we give him, it is truly a blessing to watch him change before our eyes.

There's not too much else to say, other then what I will write in the letter home today. I love you guys so much and thank you for your support!

Kids - help out around the house! 
Choma - Keep being a good boy puppy! 
Tucker - Meh... 
             Sierra, TUCKER IS A NOOB! 

By the way... How is Tucker handling "indoor" life? Does he run away from dad all the time still or what? Anyways, I love you guys so much, and I hope that you are all doing great! See you next time!  :)

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 11

Hola mi familia!

So sorry for the day late email! Yesterday was Labor Day so all of the libraries were closed so we couldn't email at all! I bet you were freaking out haha! Anyway, another awesome week here out in Washington! Marysville is an amazing place and it's pretty cool how diverse the area is... Since I am Spanish speaking, I go over two different stakes. It's pretty neat!  :)

My Spanish is improving quite nicely! One of my investigators "L" says that I am getting better and better every lesson, so it's good to hear that from a NATIVE!  :)

Now to tell you a little bit about my week:
My district leader, Elder Kordsiemon, challenged me to invite at least two people to be baptized, and I accomplished that goal! I invited "M", who is a man in his forty's, his wife is a recent convert, and we have set a goal for him to look forward to - the 26th of September. Another investigator, "L" (the one that say's I am improving with my Spanish), accepted a baptism date for September 29th.  :)  Her husband lives in Japan and she is here visiting her daughter, she leaves early October so hopefully this would be just in time!

I can't believe that it is ALREADY September! Crazy! It has gone by so quick this month! Elder Robles (my trainer) says it only gets faster. :(   I'm sure Brother Robert Gregory can testify to that, haha. I don't want this experience to go by this quick though. Good thing I'm still a noobie out here and don't have a month left or so, but before I know it, it'll be over!  :(  AHHH! Don't want to think about that!  I've been doing a great job with everything though. I'm surprised how much more focused I am when I read and study.

I bought some Vitamin D (refered to as the "sun" vitamin or something like that...) because I guess that is supposed to help you out here in Washington since there isn't too much sun everyday. Surprisingly, I have seen the sun everyday so far on my mission, so I don't know too much about what other people are saying, haha. But starting mid-October, I will rarely see the sun for the next 8 months, so I'm enjoying it while I can!

Smiley from
There was a huge church BBQ for the Arlington stake the other day. A live band, TONS of people, and even more food! Another thing I noticed out here on my mission is that my appetite has grown so much! I don't know if that's a good thing though... I'm still up 5 pounds, I've been jump roping like crazy when I go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This may be TMI, but do you remember the picture where I'm in the MTC jumping super high in the air? I believe in the caption I said I ripped my pants. Well, since there was a small rip, it kinda ripped more at the BBQ and needless to say... embarrassment for life. Luckily only the kids saw it while I was playing soccer and football with them, but I was wondering what they were laughing at for 10 or so minutes. I'm glad to have a branch that has people that know how to sew - Mission Hole in Pants has been quite the embarrassing ride.

Since I'm now out in the field, I can record more videos - in fact, I have been. I don't know how many I have, but they are there.  :)  I recorded a 19 minute or so video yesterday giving a small tour of my apartment and talking about random stuff, so I hope you like it!  I'll be sending the SD card probably this next P-Day, since I should have the other SD card you sent back to me from home.

Anyways, not too much else to say.  I love you guys, stay strong, because I'm trying to!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week 10

Buenos dias! Estoy en WASHINGTON! WOOT!

It is SO beautiful here, I can't believe it! It's like Payson times a million! Everywhere is super green and it is cloudy for most of the day, which is sweet! It does rain a lot here, but it's a drizzle if anything, nothing too big. Surprisingly, it has been sunny the past two days, people say that almost NEVER happens - haha - especially coming so close to the winter months. That gives my companion and I more people to contact though, so I'm fine with that!  :)

Elder Robles is my new companion and trainer. He is from Guatemala, so is fluent in Spanish and can help me when I need it (phew). He is super funny and is very humble as well, a VERY good first trainer if I may say so myself.  ;)   I'm glad that I have the opportunity to be companions with him OUT IN THE FIELD! He says that my Spanish has gotten better in the 6 days that I've been here, so I'm glad for that. I've been trying as hard as I can to speak in Spanish ONLY, but sometimes I need to say some things in English. I never would have thought I would have learned so much Spanish in under 2 and a half months time! Crazy!! My first area out here in Washington is Marysville/Arlington. Didn't Doctor/Brother Brooks say that he lived here or something while he had a practice in Washington? I'm not exactly sure, can't remember the details.

Okay, this is random, but I think Spanish is infesting my brain because I had to go and fix 20 grammatical errors, should this be a good or a bad thing? I don't know... Anyway, the Spanish speaking missionaries get to cover more area, so we get a CAR!

Smiley from

VROOM VROOM! It has it's ups and downs, such as me not having to ride a bike :D, but probably going to gain weight :(.

So I went in the MTC weighing 166 pounds, and guess how much I am now? 174! But no worries, it's all muscle...*cough*. Elder Robles and I get to go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday which is awesome. I spend most of the time jumproping, running on the treadmill, and lifting various weights. I need to cut down on my Buddha belly as dad would call it.  Luckily though, I haven't gained a belly at all. I was told in the MTC that jumproping everyday for 10-20 minutes in the morning will cut down on your gut, and what do you know, it's true! Hope to stay Buddha belly free on my mission, but who knows, the Hispanic people feed you TONS! We had 3 dinners this past week and it was INSANE how much food there was! I couldn't believe it! They stacked my plate with like 4 pieces of fish, some salad, and rice, after I finished it all and was dead full, they asked if I wanted more. I wanted to say "no" but Elder Robles said it's rude if you say you wouldn't want seconds; let's just say I almost die every time I go to a members house to have dinner.

Smiley from

Another plus out in the field, AN HOUR OF EMAIL! Half an hour was NO time at all to tell you about how things are going, but I am absolutely loving Washington! People say it's really humid, but I really don't feel any different. I just love the 60-70 degree weather, and it's only dropping! President Wilson said that this winter it should be snowing anywhere from 4 to 8 inches in Marysville (which is where my apartment is), so I am SUPER EXCITED! Also, did President Wilson call you like the weekend before I flew out here? He told me you did and if so, AWESOME! He is such a humble man and even though I haven't known him for even a week, it is crazy how much he has helped me. When I first flew in he asked me if I had any questions and I asked him, "How can I be the absolute best missionary for my Father in Heaven?" He simply replied, "Love the work, love the people, and love the gospel, if you do those three things, you will be a success in the eyes of our Heavenly Father." I've been taking that to heart and trying my best out here! It's really hard work, and I get tired quite easy, but I keep pushing through and I can see blessings given to me and my investigators! It is SOOO great!  :)

Elder Robles and I have 5 progressing investigators (which means they keep commitments and have been taught at least two lessons). These Spanish names KILL me! I'm normally good with names, but only AMERICAN ONES! Hopefully, in time, I'll be able to do better with the names haha :). Yesterday, two of our investigators came to church! Woot woot! It was so exciting to see their faces of amusement and confusion, LOL.  :)  I remember my first time to church too haha :). I'm so happy to share this message with other people, I just wish people would listen and not slam their door in my face. Oh well, for those that listen receive blessings!

I have some pretty neat pictures that I had another Elder take (he stole the window seat, grrr!) while we flew into Washington. There are two pictures of the Cascade Mountains (I believe...) and they are B-E-A-UTIFUL! I've been taking some pictures here and there out in the field, but have been slacking a bit, I'll pick it up... I just don't want to look like a tourist!  :P

For Preparation Day today, I'm probably going to be playing some sports or something, not too sure. Normally you go shopping, clean the apartment, study, and write letters to your friends and family, so we'll see what goes on today. I'm hoping we can play sports with the district today.

I hope that you are all doing great, I love you so much and hope everyone is getting along well back at home. I'm super happy to be here to share His word and gospel among the people here in Washington. I wonder how long it takes to receive letters from Washington to Arizona, any idea? Anyway, thanks so much for letting me be out here.  :)

Love you all,
Elder Alex J Annand

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alex is now in Washington!

Hello Everyone!

Alex was able to call home this morning and speak with all of us for a few moments before boarding his plane for the flight to Seattle, Washington.  Hearing his voice was so comforting!  He has such a strong conviction in serving this mission well, and is so passionate in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you for sending letters to Alex.  They help him tremendously!  I've updated the mailing information page found above with his new address for quick reference, and it's here below:

Mailing Address for Letters -
Elder Alexander Annand
Washington Everett Mission
P.O. Box 13390
Mill Creek, WA 98082-1390

Mailing Address for Packages -
Elder Alexander Annand
Washington Everett Mission
16124 35th Ave SE
Mill Creek, WA 98012

Although the district he will be serving in is quite large, I did a search on Mill Creek, Washington and it's about 20 miles north of Seattle.  Check out the average monthly temps - the high today is 63 degrees!

It's so wonderfully GREEN there!

Wow, the snow is so beautiful...

I found this random photo of a water wheel mill located in Mill Creek.

And to close this update, here's a photo of the Seattle Washington Temple -

Alex mentioned that his Preparation Day looks to be switching to Monday's, so we should be getting an update from him soon.  Thanks for visiting today!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week 8

Hello everybody!

Well, it's my LAST Preparation Day before I head out to the field! I CANNOT believe it! I am scared, worried, excited, nervous, happy, sad, and more all at the same time! I don't know why, but it's like I'm leaving my home all over again! The MTC really grew on me and I learned so much from this 9 week stay here. I have been so blessed! I have learned SO much of the Spanish language in just 2 months time, there is no way I would have been able to do this without the Lord's help. He is all I can thank. I am so thankful to be serving Him and to have this opportunity to go out for two years and do what He wants me to do.

There's a quote from the devotional this past Tuesday that Elder Evans of the third quorum of the Seventy said and that was, "This work is the most important work that we can be doing right now. You are in the right place, and are here at the right time for the people wherever you have been called to. The Lord will not let you fail, He will only let you succeed."

I love it. Like I said, I am just so grateful to be here! I know it must be tough not having that big muscular ninja man around the house, but I know that you are receiving blessings whether you know it or not! There has been so many different occasions here these past 9 weeks where I know I couldn't have gotten through it normally. The MTC really teaches you how to rely on the Lord, use his Spirit, and act on His promptings. I started the Book of Mormon the first week here and just finished it yesterday. I have learned SO much more then what I ever thought I would. After the first time finishing it (this is now my second) I didn't think I could learn much more. Boy was I WRONG! I learned SO SO SO MUCH MORE! I bought a scripture pen and now my scriptures almost look like a coloring book, I don't know if that should be good or bad, but let's go with good.

Smiley from

I am so happy to have my testimony strengthened by finishing the Book of Mormon again before entering out into the field. It has taught me so much, and I am trying my best to apply these different principles I learned from both the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel into my life. Because of this opportunity to serve a mission, I am going to be blessed throughout my whole life. I don't think that there will be a time where I won't be able to refer some decision I made back to my mission. I know the Lord will and is blessing all of you and I for the chance I have to serve.

The temple was great today (like always). I met a man named Brother Miller while my district and teachers went to the temple to eat breakfast today (by the way, temple breakfast IS AMAZING!!!!!!! GRAAHHH!). He is an elderly man that works in the temple, and he and I started to get talking a little bit while waiting in line for our food at the temple. We were sharing different stories that we've each had and grown from, and he told me that I'm in the right place. That I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. He helped me re-understand that the work is of the Lord, and no one else. I am there to help other come unto Christ, but the Holy Ghost will testify to them if they are willing to listen. Brother Miller was such a humble and loving man and I'm lucky to have gotten his address so I will be able to write him out in the field. He shared with me a poem titled "The Plowman." He said he would read this out on his mission, which was over 40 years ago, whenever he felt discouraged and let down. It always brought him back to his feet. I gave him my email address to send me the poem, so hopefully it will come soon and I will be able to send it home with the family letter.

Thank you for the package! :)  I received it yesterday and enjoy everything that was in there. :)  Thank you for the gummy worms (they are already gone, some mouse probably got to them, who knows) and the other food. Thank you for the album, too! What a good idea! And thanks for those pictures in there, I love them all! Especially Ciera and I at prom, and CHOMA!! Boy, I miss that little puppy, hope he still remembers me when I get back!
Smiley from

I have about 50 or so pictures on the other SD card and will be adding captions to them and send it home with my family letter so expect it sometime next week. Thank you for telling me Nanny and Papa's correct address by the way, I couldn't really read it in the address book so took a stab at it.  Luckily the letter got to them. Don't send me any more Dear Elders or letters because I don't think I will have time to receive them. I leave at 5:00 in the morning Tuesday and I forgot what my flight is! I'll do a quick 30 second email later today when I have the opportunity to get back onto a computer later to tell you all the information. I WILL BE ABLE TO CALL YOU! So expect a call from me between 5-9 in the morning. I know it is a big gap, but I don't know when I will be situated and everything at the airport. I'm sure they do a few things a little bit different with missionaries, but I'm not too sure. And don't worry, I'll be taking a lot of pictures!

Tomorrow is Field Orientation, and I'll be in a room for TWELVE hours. I am telling the future: I'm going to fall asleep. Buuuut! Let's hope that doesn't happen! I've been doing really well not needing my nap and let's see how it goes tomorrow. :)  I can't believe that my 9 weeks here is already gone by. It feels like just yesterday that I was crying like a baby saying goodbye. Just goes to show has fast time flies when you are on a mission, people aren't kidding! It kinda makes me sad that I only have two years to serve, let's hope I can get a lot done in that short amount of time! Anyways, I love you all and am so happy for everyone's support! Tell the ward I say hello, and tell them that I love them!  :)

Elder Alex Annand

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week 7

Note from June - Thank you so much for your support by following along on Alex's journey with his mission.  I would love to encourage you to leave comments on the weekly entries that have touched you in some way - Alex will be reading each and every one of them when he returns home from his mission.  What a great surprise is in store for him!!!  Please feel free to forward this blog address to folks - especially those within our ward... I added a quick slideshow of when Alex opened up his mission paperwork in the gallery section - check it out!  I'll be updating the gallery with MTC pictures and video soon, now that I've figured out Movie Maker!  Tee Hee - I'm so NOT tech savvy!

***********  Now on to Alex's letter ***********

Hello everyone!

Another great week at the MTC! Thursdays are so great because it's Preperation Day, which means Temple time! I just got finished with my endowment session just a few hours ago and I loved it (like always). Each time I go through a session, I learn something new, but there is so much to learn it's amazing! I love it so much:). President Laney told me that out of a whole table of knowing what the endowment is and what we can learn from it, he probably only knows about a corner, so I'm glad that I don't feel totally lost sometimes! I'm glad that I have the opportunity to even be endowed though! It is such a touching moment in my life that I will never forget. This church has brought so much happiness in my life I have no idea where I would be without it. It certainly has made me a better person and is helping my discover who I am supposed to be. What an opportunity it is to serve a mission for the Lord, to invite others to come unto Christ and help them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement:). Just planting that seed would be totally fine with me! I know that someday that seed will grow and they will find the church some way or another, the Lord always seems to help others in mysterious ways:). It is such an amazing feeling to know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ trust 19-24 year old people to go out and spread His gospel. Why, I don't know, but I do know that I am doing the right thing by being out here. I feel the spirit everyday, and my faith is continually increasing. I've been on a spiritual high since the day I arrived at the MTC, and I honestly don't think it will ever go away... At least I hope it doesn't!

This past week has been a big blessing for me. I have been having some of the best personal study sessions I have ever had. People would tell me that I should start and end with a prayer (which I have always done) and to also ask a question about what may be on your mind. This whole week I have not gone a day without my questions being answered. Oh how the Lord works in mysterious ways! I finished 2 Nephi and all the other books leading up to Mosiah. When I first joined the church, I would cry reading through Second Nephi, but now, it's my favorite book! Once you figure out what Isaiah means and how his symbolism works, the stories he tells are absolutely GREAT! Granted, all the books in the Book of Mormon are great, but I'm going to have to say Second Nephi is the best hands down. Read 2 Nephi 25 and it talks about how you can understand Isaiah better :)!

There has been A LOT of contention in my district lately too :\. Four or five guys out of the eleven are yelling at each other constantly, starting fights, calling each other names and other stuff. It gets ridiculous and instantly kicks the spirit out of the room. Elder Fiala and I have to resort to leaving to a different room to study almost every time. I don't know why the contention has started, but my guess is that 7 weeks is too long for them to be together. To be honest, I love it all! My companion is great, the studying I've had since I've been here has been the best, and the food helps me gain weight and upset my stomach, I mean, WHO WOULDN'T want that?!  Haha :) , all jokes aside, I am ready to go to the field! Only 12 more days, and I'll be off to Washington baby! I can't believe that it has gone by this quick! Good thing my companion is going to the same mission as me, because I would have missed him the most. I just hope we will have the opportunity to be companions out in the field one day! Who knows!?

Sunday night I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in Spanish since it was fast Sunday. I talked about eternal families, how I will have one with my own, and my wife someday :). I also talked about Joseph Smith and the troubles he had to go through just to keep this church alive. If it wasn't for him, this church would not exist today. My Spanish has improved so much, and I can only thank the Lord for doing so. He has helped me receive the gift of tounges, and I know that it is real. There is NO way I could have learned as much as I know in seven weeks time if it wasn't for Him and the different gifts of the spirit. I cannot thank Him enough for the price He had to pay for us and for the blessings He has given me in my life. The church is His church - no one elses. If it wasn't for Christ's Atonement, we would have no way to return to our Father in Heaven. It is because of Christ that we have this opportunity; but we must use it. In Preach My Gospel it says that we should repent daily, and I have been trying my best to do so. No one can have a perfect day no matter how hard they try. None of us is perfect, except for our Savior Jesus Christ. He was the perfect example for everyone on this earth, and I am so glad that I get to share His gospel to the people in Washington.

There was a talk I read the other day called "Teaching By The Spirit" by Elder Lund. See if you can find it, it was very inspirational and very very good! Also look up, "Slow to Anger" by Gordon B. Hinckley, and "Meeting Your Goliath" by Thomas S. Monson. They are each so amazing and inspirational and I love them so much!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a New Missionary Host! WOOT WOOT! It was SOOO fun! I got to show the missionaries around and help them when they got dropped off at the MTC. Remember when you had to do that to me, Mom? :)  I almost started crying seeing how many mom's that started crying. Such a sad sight! But I know that they were tears of joy for their beloved son or daughter! They are all in the right place! I KNOW I am in the right place! I thank you all for your support and love!  :)  It is such an amazing feeling to know that I have a support group back at home cheering me on. Trust me, it helps a ton!

Anyway, I love all of you and thank you for being an awesome example to me :).

Elder Alex Annand

*********** UPDATE **********

Here are the links that reference the talks mentioned above for your convenience.  Just put your pointer over the author's name to activate the link and click away!  They do contain powerful messages, and I can understand why Alex was drawn to them -

"Slow to Anger" by Gordon B. Hinckley
"Meeting Your Goliath" by Thomas S. Monson

I could not find a talk given by Elder Gerald Lund titled "Teaching by the Spirit" - however, I did find one given by Elder Dallin Oaks titled "Teaching and Learning by the Spirit" which I found to be most excellent!


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