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 millan.net
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 millan.net
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 millan.net
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 millan.net

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
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