Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 80

Hi family!  :)

So today is transfer day!  I don't think I'm leaving because I'm training Elder Luebke, but there will be some changes in the district!  I haven't received word yet with who is leaving, but I have my guesses.  Today for preparation day, we are going to go to Mount Erie!  I'm super excited.  Looking out the window right now - it looks like it might clear up a little bit so we can actually see something when we get to the top. 

Elder Annand in the snow!!    December 20, 2013

Christmas definitely snuck up on me this year!  The Christmas devotional we had was really good.  There were a lot of musical performances, in the midst of telling the story of the birth of Christ.  Very spiritual, and very awesome.  :)   It was really nice to talk to all of you!  I can't believe how different you all look!  I guess I expected change while I'm here in Washington - it's just weird to see it.  :P  It's also weird to think that the new year is this Wednesday!  2014 already?!  That's neat with all of the projects that are going on in the house - another change!  Gah!

This week was really good.  It was strange to have gone inside at 6:00 pm twice last week, and tomorrow we need to do the same.  Gotta keep us safe!  Church was great yesterday.  Starting next Sunday, we are starting church at 1:00 pm - that's late!!!

I love you all so much.  Thank you for Skyping me on Christmas!  Have a great week!  :)


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 79

Hiya!  Merry Christmas!

From Millan.Net

Are you excited?!  I get to see your faces soon!  Haha, woohoo!!  :)  I love you all so much!  I wonder how different you all look - or how I look to you guys!  Anyway, I will be able to Skype anywhere around 2-4pm, so I hope that you will be around the computer then!

Elder Annand  
December 23, 2013

This week was awesome and a bit hectic!  So last Sunday, Elder Thompson received a call that he was leaving, and I got a call to be a trainer.  My new companion is Elder Anthony Luebke from Ahwatukee, AZ!  He actually lived in Gilbert and Mesa for a while, so that's super cool to know that he lived so close!  He is a convert - just like me!  :)  He was baptized October 31st, 2010 -  I was baptized June 12th, 2010!  He was 19 when he got baptized, and is 23 now.  I'm so glad to have him as my companion!

This letter is going to be short, sorry!  I'm just so excited today!  We are going to the Christmas devotional today and are leaving in about 20 minutes.

I love you so much!  See you soon!  ;)


Elder Alexander J Annand

From Millan.Net

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 78

Hello Annand family!

I'm doing really well.  :)  Before emailing this morning, Elder Thompson and I went to the thrift store, and I ended up buying some sweaters!  I bought a black one, brown one, and a dark blue one - they look really nice!  I'm excited to wear them.  :)

This week was much warmer than last.  Last week it hung around low to mid 20's - this week it was in the 40's!  Washington weather is so strange!  It hasn't rained too much this month, but I heard that we are going to get some rain this week - we'll see.  Surprisingly (aside from the week when the temperature was in the 20's), I haven't been freezing!

It has been harder to find people out on the streets to talk to, so we are doing a lot of knocking on doors.  We are being super blessed over here!  We picked up a couple new investigators this week - one is named "S" and the other is "C".  "S" is from New York and was raised Catholic.  He moved to Oak Harbor because his brother is in the Navy, and he came out to support him.  He stopped going to church a while ago and has lots of questions that he wants answered!  He is super sincere and really wants to check out and see what our church services are like!  A great find!  :)   "C" was a good find as well!  When Elder Thompson and I were walking on the street, the bus pulled out in front of us and dropped off this lady and her 2 year old son.  I ran up to her and gave her a picture of Jesus Christ, and we started talking about the Christmas season.  Turns out that she is trying to develop a belief in Jesus Christ and wanted to find someone to talk with about Him!  This time of year is the perfect time to invite friends and family to learn more about the gospel!  It can be as easy as giving them a plate of cookies with a card expressing your love for them while including an invitation to learn about what has brought so much happiness in your life!  Elder Thompson and I are doing "live Christmas cards" where we talk with a member family, and they give us a couple of people to go and visit, we go and carol for them, leave them with a card that expresses love and holiday cheer from the member family, and we tell them to have a very merry Christmas.  That's it!  A very nonchalant way of meeting the missionaries!  :)  Then, a couple weeks later, we will go and visit those people who we sang for, and see how their Christmas was!  It will be great!

From Millan.Net

I can't believe Christmas is so soon!  Only a week and a half away!  Yes, we will be able to Skype.  :)  Will you remember to include my Skype information in the next email so I can use it to talk with you next Wednesday?  I don't have a time set up yet, so I will let you know around what time I will be calling next Monday when I have a chance to email you.  We have a mission Christmas devotional next Monday, so I am excited to go to that!  I will be getting my package from you that day - can't wait!  :)  By the way, I haven't bought a camera cord yet.  Fortunately, the phone charger fits in perfectly to charge my camera!  However, I can't use that cable to plug it into the computer and upload pictures.  I am going to borrow my friend's camera cable so that I can upload some pictures today for you.

The postman normally drops off mail anytime around 11am-1pm.  Normally we aren't home between those times, but we have really good neighbors.  In order to get to my apartment, you have to go through another door, so if you were to send a package directly to my apartment, it should be fine.  :)

The hastening of the work has begun!  It is so neat to be a part of it!  Wards will start to have multiple sets of missionaries, and the work is going to boom!  You can be a part of the hastening of this work by assisting the missionaries, inviting others, and being an example of all of those around you!

Unfortunately, we don't have tablets yet.  We weren't one of the missions chosen to be a "test" mission for the tablets.  I bet they are super effective, and I'm sure it makes the paperwork tons easier!  The only downside of using tablets would be the disobedient missionaries finding a way to play games or whatever and get distracted.  Don't want that!

Elder Thompson did send an email to Scotty - I'm glad he liked it. 

So last night we got a random call from the zone leaders - it's halfway through the transfer, and Elder Thompson is getting emergency transferred!  I was also called to be a trainer!  Gah!  I don't know who my new companion is, but I will be meeting him on Wednesday.  I'm excited, surprised, and still wondering why this is happening halfway through this transfer.  No idea what's going on, but I'll do what the Lord wants of me!

Hope you have a great week!  :)  I love you, family!  Talk to you soon!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 77

Hello, my awesome family!

Lookin' good in Hipster Glasses, eh?

Woohoo!  I saw little flakes of snow about an hour ago.  They were tiny little white dots falling from the sky, but I loved it!  The weather sits around mid 20's throughout the day.  Yes mom, I am staying warm.  My ears and nose get cold from time to time, but that's okay.  :)  We spend most of the day walking around.  The cold wind leaves our face too numb to ride bikes all the time.  Well, depending on how far where we are going, we will ride our bikes, but walking is fine with me.  :)

You can send the Christmas package to the mission office. We are having a Mission Christmas Devotional soon, and they'll bring packages there.  :)  Our ward had our Christmas party last Friday - it was good!  We sang carols and saw Santa!

From Millan.Net
Hope you enjoy Heather's chorus concert!  I'm sure it will be great.  :)   The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is already out?  Wow!  Have you read the books?  I've only read the first book of the series - it was really good.  The movie was nice - but as always, the book is better!  :)

This week was good as always!  Less than 3 weeks until Christmas!  Last night, Elder Thompson and I saw the Church's 2013 Christmas Devotional - it was so good!  I'd recommend you checking it out on if you haven't seen it already!

2013 Christmas Devotional

We had zone conference this past week.  I learned a lot about helping others keep commitments and being a good listener so that we can respond and teach according to our investigator's needs.  It was so great!

I love you all so much.  I love this work and am grateful for each and every one of you!  Hope you all have a great week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 76

Hi !!!

Oak Harbor is so beautiful!  It is getting super windy and rained super hard last night!  I had a rough time falling asleep because of the wind being so loud!  It's all good though - right now the sun is shining, and it is an incredible view...  I'd send you a picture, but I actually lost my black cord for my camera (the one that has the USB one end and the camera connector on the other), so I can't send pictures or charge my camera.  I think I forgot it at the library last Monday when I had a chance to email... must have forgot it in the USB slot, and the lost and found doesn't have it.  Bummer :\  

Dec 1, 2013  Walking back to the Apartment
in the Rain - I'm soaked!!!
As you probably guessed when I said the sun was shining and what not - no snow.  It's very chilly and windy out, so we have to bundle up pretty warm!  I have my scarf, gloves, heavy jacket, etc. and I still get cold sometimes!  The islanders here are thinking that it will snow this winter.  We'll have to wait and see!  I'm excited for it if it comes!  Going to make tons of snowballs and they will accidentally fall on my companion.  ;)   That's good to hear that Arizona is getting super nice temperature wise!

Thanksgiving was great!  We went to this place called the Elk's Club where they have a free meal and feed about 6,000 people Thanksgiving Day.  It was great food!  It was also nice to talk with other people that live in Oak Harbor and show them that us missionaries are somewhat normal people.  :)  We also went to a member's home and ate more food there.  There were tons of pies and deliciousness!  Boy, do I miss Nanny's eggrolls!!  So, as of a couple days ago, believe it or not, I have gained 50 lbs on my mission!  Woohoo??

I apologize for not writing a better email this week; we have a busy P-day in front of us!  Love you bunches! (something my mission president says, and I like it.  :D )


Elder Alexander J Annand

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 75

Happy Thanksgiving!......  

Elders Thompson and Annand

This week has been great!  It started off a little interesting - so Elder Thompson got a text last week saying that he needed to pack his stuff because he was going to be transferred.  Well, Tuesday afternoon when we were on our way to Mill Creek for transfers, we got a call from the zone leaders saying that he was going to stay!  The look on his face was priceless, haha!  He was super shocked, as was I!  I've never had that happen before!  Anyway, I'm glad that I can serve with him for the next month and a half!  :)

From Millan.Net

The weather here is starting to get VERY chilly!  I think it sits around 40 degrees during the day, but once the sun goes down (around 4:30 pm), it starts to get in the 30s, maybe even 20s!  Biking is fun - you have tons more opportunities to talk with those around you.  It's awkward to ride up to someone and start talking with them, but after a while you get used to it.  :)   I will be spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas here in Oak Harbor - which I'm super grateful for!  Even though it is cold, this area is veeeeery beautiful!  I love it here!  The members are great, the work is going well, I'm just on the up and up overall!  I love the work of a missionary!

Last night, the sister missionaries in our ward had a baptism!  It was excellent!  The spirit was strong, and everyone was very supportive.  Elder Thompson got to perform his first baptismal ordinance!  He was nervous, but we practiced a lot and he did a great job.  :)  We have 4 investigators who are close to baptism.  One of them, however, is 89 years old, and it is very difficult for her to make it out to church.  We are trying and hoping for the best!

Saturday, we had a special mission conference with Elder David A. Bednar and Elders Schwitzer and Christensen from the Quorum of the Seventy.  If I could share everything I learned I would!  But that would be too much to write!  I loved it!  Elder Bednar assigned 3 talks to read before he came, "Ask in Faith", "Converted Unto The Lord", and "Seek Learning by Faith". 

"Ask in Faith" by Elder David A. Bednar   (click arrow to start video)

"Converted Unto the Lord" by Elder David A. Bednar   (click arrow to start video)

"Seek Learning by Faith" by Elder David A. Bednar   (click link to start the audio recording)

They are all very good talks, and I would recommend you read them!  On the first half of their visit, we shared insights on what we learned from the talks.  We asked questions which were answered by them during the second half.   Elder Bednar shared something absolutely wonderful about marriage - marriage is something that you create.  Love is a verb - it is something you have to put effort in and do.  You cannot expect love to happen just because you are rich, have lots of nice things, or whatever.  Love and a happy marriage comes as you spend time creating and maintaining it.  I know I'm only 20, and marriage is still a couple years from now, but I definitely will remember that!

From Millan.Net

Well, this Thursday is Thanksgiving!  Our preparation day was moved to Thursday, but we have permission to e-mail for one hour today because the library's will be closed.  I'm excited to play football (Turkey Bowl!) in a couple days!  Elder Thompson and I will be going to the "Elk's Club" with a group from our ward to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I'm excited!  They have free Thanksgiving meals every year and feed about 5,000 people on Thanksgiving day.  Another thing to be grateful for!  

I am so humbled for this opportunity that I have to serve a mission, help others others come closer to Jesus Christ, and to help them experience the same joy that I have felt through living the gospel in a righteous manner.  I am grateful for the love that our Heavenly Father has for us, and for the love that my family has for me.  I am grateful for the miracles that I have seen in my life, and for the daily blessings that I receive.  I am grateful for the Book of Mormon, and for the restored church of Jesus Christ, and for all of the knowledge that has been restored to the earth.  I am grateful to be a Mormon!  :)

What are the things that you are grateful for?  

I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving.  I love you all so much!

From Millan.Net


Elder Alexander J Annand

From Millan.Net

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week 74

Hey there family!

This week flew by!  We did a lot of less active work, and our investigators are progressing big time!  We are hoping for two baptisms early next month, and a couple of more towards the end of the year.  Gotta love a white Christmas!  :) 

One of our buddies, RH, had his 30th birthday this past Friday!  R is an awesome guy and has the sweetest spirit anyone would know!  He always greets you with a smile, shaking your hand, and I can't help but give him a big hug every time I see him!  We celebrated his birthday on Wednesday and had a great time.  :)  We also did quite a bit of service!  This past Saturday was the Relief Society and Young Women's Super Saturday, where they all met together and had a fun arts and crafts day.  They made tons of different projects and some of it turned out really neat!

Drinking Smoothies !!
Today is the start of a new transfer!  We will be receiving a text in about an hour to see if I'm staying or going.  I've only been in Oak Harbor for 6 weeks, but I could be going back Spanish speaking, or stay English!  I'm excited to find out...  Transfers are flying by, but I'm making the most out of everything!  This experience is GREAATTT!  Who knew that giving of yourself completely for two years could be the most rewarding opportunity anyone could be given?  I sure didn't!  Everyone always says that because you serve a mission, you will be blessed for the rest of your life.  It wasn't until just a couple of weeks ago where that really clicked with me.  I am trying my best to become a righteous son of God holding His priesthood power.  If I live obediently and follow the Spirit, I will be able to reach my goal.  Well, a lifelong goal.  :)

So I was thinking this morning why so many people think and ponder so much on negative things that happen to them or others, instead of all of the positive instances that you should be proud of.  It seems that whenever someone slips up and falls, they want to give up and hide their face from the world.  Whenever someone makes a mistake, people immediately judge and forget about all of the incredible feats someone could have done in their life.  For example, I always notice people say that Peter was "unfaithful" when he started to sink after walking on water.  True, he did stray his sight from the Savior.  Yes, he was told to not doubt.  But why do so many people forget about the miracle he just performed?  He just walked on water!  He did one of the most incredible acts of faith anyone had ever done in the history of time!  I sure don't have a sufficient amount of faith to go walk on the Pacific.  The same goes for people nowadays.  So many people I meet say they aren't worthy to go to church, or aren't thought to be a success, etc.  Remember, please, especially when we are struggling, that the most loving being we can have a relationship with is our Heavenly Father!  The Atonement is made for us, particularly when we pass through those negative, depressing times.  It helps us get back up on our feet, shake off the past, and be forgiven for anything that we have ever committed.  I love Jesus Christ for that.  He has done so much for us and has made it possible for us to return to live with our Father forever.  How I can't wait to weep at His feet and thank Him for everything He has done for me!

Just got the text for transfers!  I'm staying!  My companion, Elder Thompson, is leaving, so that means I'll be getting a new companion tomorrow...

I love you all so much.  I hope whatever I rambled on about makes sense.  Have a beautiful rest of the week - Arizona must be nice right about now!  Over here, it's really windy and cold - haha.


Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 73

Hello, hello!  :)

What a great week it has been!

Battle Hymn of the Republic  (lyrics)   
Click the pic to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing it so beautifully!

Looks like that it went very well for you too - I'm glad!  Isn't Sunday amazing!?  This past Sunday we had some great talks on service, and all of the members who have been in the military sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" because of Veteran's Day.  It was really powerful to see all those who have served our country, or are currently serving our country sing that wonderful song. 

I was sick last week, so I wasn't able to go to church for fast Sunday, but this past Sunday was awesome!  Because I didn't fast on fast Sunday, I fasted this past Sunday instead.  Some cool miracles came from it!  We had 3 investigators at church - each of them are super close to baptism!  Two of them normally don't make it out to church, so it was really nice to see them there.  :)  Each of them have small hold ups that has been keeping them from getting baptized, but I'm sure that they will be in the water soon.  :)  Elder Thompson and I were biking on Thursday to go and see a less active, when a lady in a white truck yelled at us asking for help.  She needed some help moving a couple things to a new place - it turns out that she went to church while she lived in California and has only been up here for a little while!  She wants to continue meeting with the missionaries and (hopefully) progress to baptism!  It feels so great to know that you were at the right place at the right time!

Transfers are next Tuesday!  I'll know Monday afternoon whether or not I'm leaving.  Even though I've only been here in Oak Harbor for 6 weeks, there is a possibility that I'll be leaving.  We'll see what the Lord desires!

Man... Chris is home already!?  Time is flying so fast!  I worked with him at Plastic Engineering for a small while, where I think we developed a pretty nice relationship.  I've known him for a long time, but never really spent too much time with him.  You'll have to get his email for me so I can say hello.  You can probably tell that he is such a spiritual giant - I love Chris!

That's awesome how much you got out of the talks on Sunday!  Man, I love this church so much!  It has done so many incredible things in my life.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have to share what I hold so dear to my heart!

Well, I gotta get going...  I have an appointment soon and haven't had lunch yet.  Hope that you have a great day and week!  Love you all so much!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Week 72

Hey hey family!

Scott was stung on his little toe by an Arizona Bark scorpion
last weekend.  He's fine, but what a surprise!  Here's an pic from the
internet....  and Scott wants to keep it as a pet?  Eeeewww!    ~June
Man!  That is one crazy story about Scotty and the scorpion!  Did you read what he sent me?  Seriously, it was the funniest thing ever - just the way he described it - haha!  Maybe it's because we're boys, but I would so keep that as a pet as well!  'Atta boy, Scotty!  Hope he's doing okay!

The extra hour of sleep was nice.  It was really strange though, waking up and seeing some light - I thought I slept in!  It will start getting dark around 4-5pm - which is crazy!  Washington is really interesting... but I've grown to love it here.

I got the package!  Thank you so much!  :)  Seriously, you know me too well!  I got sick this weekend, and I needed some medicine.  It was so cool to see that you sent me that in the package!  I feel better now.  Bishop gave me some "green smoothie" which was full of vegetables and what not - it was really tasty and healthy!  It inspired me to be eating healthier and not stuffing my body with trashy things.

Cricket was my Green Rump Parrotlet that came home with
me in 2001.  He died unexpectedly Sunday evening.  Cricket
was full of sweet personality and playfulness.  I miss him,
but I know I will see him again in Heaven.    ~June

That is such a bummer hearing about Cricket.  It's so true how so much change happens while you are on your mission - and that is a type of change I wasn't expecting.  I'm going to miss that little fella chirping it up, laughing, feeding, and running around in the cage...  Aaahh, good times. 

So I've been wanting to tell you about some pretty cool stuff about our family history!  There are two members in the ward I'm serving in who love doing family history, so I asked them to do a little bit of research.  Well, it turns out that a little bit turned out to be a lot!  Annand is a Scottish last name.  With what we can find right now, it goes back to the late 1700's to a man named John Annand who was born in Scotland!  Isn't that so cool?!  I can't wait to do the temple work for these guys!  I'll have to send you all the paper work that we have found for these guys - it's so neat!

This week was pretty good.  Aside from getting sick over the weekend (and I wasn't able to go to church either), it went well!  Elder Thompson and I have been teaching a less active member who just had a baby about 2 weeks ago.  It has been an amazing experience for he and his girlfriend, and they had the baby blessed just yesterday at church!  I heard it was a really powerful experience for them.  The non-member girlfriend is now interested, and we will be pushing for them to get married, then baptized!  Then, in a year from that moment, they can be sealed as a forever family!  :) 

Last week, we had some extra time before going in to the apartment, and we decided to walk around to see if we could find anyone interested in the gospel before ending the night.  It turns out that we did! We found a woman named "G" who has a two year old daughter.  She is searching for religion and is trying to get her life back on track - a complete miracle!  She's doing great!  :) 

Well, I gotta get going.  My shoes are super torn up, so if I have the opportunity today, I might end up buying a new pair of shoes.  I love you guys so much!  Have a great week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 71

Hi family!

I don't know if you told Scotty to send me an email or not, but I got an email from him today!  :)  It made me really happy to see that he is doing good, and that he is helping out Dad a lot with the cars and stuff.  Sounds to me like he is changing a lot!

Enjoying the beautiful weather before rainy season...

That's a bummer that you weren't able to make it out to church yesterday.  Your work schedule really does mess with your internal clock.  I'm sure it is very hard to be changing that all the time.  Keep reading the scriptures daily, praying, and living righteously.  Then pray for more energy to be able to go to church, and I know that you will be blessed with it.  In order to receive blessings, we need to be spiritually worthy.  To be spiritually worthy, we have to be doing the things mentioned above.  Of course, Heavenly Father will bless us with many things that we don't deserve (because He loves us), but when we are doing what we should, and then plead for something that we need, He will bless us according to His will.  :)

My week was awesome!  It is so great to be a part of the hastening!  Miracles are happening day-by-day, and I'm grateful to have this opportunity to serve during such a vital time of missionary work.  Although I don't feel different as a missionary, the members are starting to take a larger role, which is a missionary's dream!

We should be having a baptism this upcoming Saturday!  However, it might have to be postponed a week, just to make sure that all the people who want to come can be there. The person we are going to baptize is super ready.  :)  Her name is E, and she is 11 years old.  Her mom is a returning member who does our ward bulletin every Sunday.

For all Minecrafters out there...   a Creeper!!

We had the ward's "Trunk-or-Treat" this past Saturday.  It was awesome!  We had several less active members there, and they had a blast!  Then, on Sunday, we watched the primary program which was even more awesome!!  A bunch of people came to that as well, and I'm positive that they felt the spirit!  There is something special when a little child, between 3-11, goes up to the pulpit and shares something that they believe in.  And then, hearing them sing is awesome!

I love you all so much!  Hope that you have a great week and keep your head up!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 70

Hello family!

First time over Deception Pass   Oct 15,2013

That is so cool that Uncle J was here when he was in the Navy!  I've been giving the service some thought, but I'm not sure yet if that's what I want to do - we'll see I suppose.  Almost everyone here has ties to the Navy.  There are lots of people retired here (who were once stationed on the Island while they were in the Navy), so it's fun to always talk about the different branches of service with the people.

Have you had a chance to look at pictures of Deception Pass yet?

Oak Harbor is soooo beautiful!  It is located in the perfect spot where the weather is nice almost all of the time!  Last week it got pretty foggy and cloudy, but we still haven't had any rain (which is interesting...)!  We'll see what comes this upcoming week!  Icy roads coming up?  Uh-oh!  Everyone is saying that the winter is going to be bad this year.  I'm excited for it.  :) 

I don't know if I mentioned this last week, but I'm not using a car - I'm on a bike!  It was super tough at first (because of my overweight, out-of-shapeness), but now it's great!  Going up a huge hill? No problem!  Okay... maybe a little bit of a problem.

Well, this week went great!

We helped a member move this past week.  It's always sad when we have to help members move because they almost always leave the ward, but in this case the members didn't.  :)  Afterwards, we had some Taiwan food (I think) called lumpia and penset (definitely spelled wrong).  Lumpia is like a skinny eggroll and penset is almost like fried rice, but noodles instead of rice.  Both were very yummy.  :)

There was a baptism this past Saturday, and it went great!  The person who was baptized was 9 years old, and his family are returning members from inactivity.  I love this church so much - there are SO many miracles!!

Carving Pumpkins   Oct 2013

So this past week I taught the oldest person so far on my mission.  Her name is L, and she turns 90 this upcoming April!  It is so neat because she has such a desire to learn more and become baptized!  Makes me so happy that the church is for everyone who is willing to follow and keep the commandments of God - it doesn't matter how old you are!

Last night, Elder Thompson and I carved pumpkins!  I did a cat, while he did an owl.  It was the first time ever carving a pumpkin on my own!  I'm not as artistic as you are, mom, but I think I did pretty good!

(Elder, you and your companion did a fabulous job!  ~June)

Happy Halloween !!

Hope everything is going good!  How are the kids doing with school?  How are Scotty, Sierra, and Heather doing?  It was so neat getting those pictures last week!  Super weird to see how much the kids have changed!  You mentioned that you wanted to send a package - go ahead and send it to the mission office because I still don't know my apartment address (SORRY!).  Also, I'm jealous of Heather's Reptar shirt!  If it's possible, can you send me one?  :)

Love you all so much!  Hope you have a great day!  Talk to you next week!  :)


Elder Alexander J Annand

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 69

Dear Family,


I'm glad that you are liking the videos!  I'm excited to go through them all one day, it will surely bring back tons of memories!  I don't mind you reading my journal at all - that's what they are for!  I'll be honest, I slacked in a few points of my mission with journal writing.  Recently, I've been good.  I've been writing daily for a couple months, and plan on doing it for the rest of the mission!

Each "success" that happens in the mission field is a huge miracle that our Father in Heaven blesses us with!  There's a couple verses in Alma that I absolutely love, Alma 7:23-24, "And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.  And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works."  So awesome!  When we always return thanks unto God, for anything that happens - good or bad, we being to discern blessings with a much more grateful heart.  We are so much happier when we recognize His help.  I love the next verse as well which talks about the three Christlike attributes: faith, hope, and charity.  Those are ESSENTIAL attributes to develop - attributes that I don't think I will ever master in this life.  Obedience comes from faith, diligence comes from hope, and love comes from charity.  For me at this moment, an obedient, diligent, and charitable missionary is going to have a successful, life changing mission.  :)

J is baptized!  That is awesome!  That must have been such an incredible experience for the C family.  What a pleasant surprise that Scott, Heather, and Sierra all attended...  Slowly but surely, mom - they will come!  President Uchtdorf's Saturday morning session talk really got me thinking about our family; patience is a virtue!  It will be tons different to come back to a ward that I am very unfamiliar with, but that is how the church works.  When it grows, people gotta move to different congregations in order to provide the best administration and organization for the benefit of all. 

Elder Christofferson's talk about the morality of women was incredible.  It took me a long time to recognize and understand the importance of morality.  Matter of fact, I didn't learn the importance until I became a missionary.  His talk, along with President Monson's talk during Priesthood session on home teaching, really got me thinking that I want to find someone who is truly converted to the gospel - and an easy way to figure out whether they are converted or not is if they do their visiting teaching.  I also want to find someone who will love God more than me, because I know that if she loves God more than me, she will trust Him through every trial, obstacle, etc.  Okay, enough talking about girls - cooties!  :)

So this week was great!  This past Saturday we had a baptism!  I don't have too much time to talk about it, but I taught her since the beginning (about a month ago), and she just got baptized!  Super neat experience! 

I got transferred, and am serving English speaking!  Woohoo!  So many Spanish speaking missionaries, when they are transferred to English speaking, are very upset, but I'm glad for this opportunity!  To be honest... Tuesday night (when I got to the new area), I prayed to know if this is where the Lord wanted me to be, and I didn't really receive a confirmation.  However, Wednesday morning when I prayed again, I not only felt that I was needed in this area, but I felt that I might be needed as English speaking for the rest of my mission.  Scary to say that the rest of my mission could be spent as an "English speaking missionary knowing Spanish".  This past Saturday we had interviews with President Bonham, and I told him about it.  He was surprised as well!  He told me he never has prayed for anyone to stay in a different language that their call packet says, but he is going to see if what I felt was an impression from the Lord.  I know wherever or whatever happens, that it is what the Lord desires.  I wish I could say more about what happened, but I'm not good at explaining everything through type.

Deception Pass Bridge under construction in 1934
The area I am in is called Oak Harbor - I'm in the Oak Harbor 2nd Ward on Whidbey Island!  It is the most beautiful area that I have been so far on my mission.  Google image "Deception Pass in Washington" and you will be blown away by the beauty of the view.  Deception Pass is a bridge that connects Whidbey Island to the mainland, and I am just astonished at how incredible it is...  :)  The weather is very nice, and because of the geography, Whidbey Island has less rain and more awesomeness!  ;)

Deception Bridge at Sunset

Canoe Pass and Deception Pass Bridges
A foggy Deception Pass and Bridge...   How Beautiful !!!!   ~June

Elders Annand and Thompson serving on Whidbey Island
My companion's name is Elder Thompson; he is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  He's great!  He has only been out for about 3 months, but he is rocking it!  A pretty funny story - so the Bishop in the ward I am serving within is named Bishop Lay.  I actually met his sister-in-law in the MTC!  When I told that to him and his wife, they started going crazy!  It was kinda cool.  :)  

Love you mom and family!  Hope you have a great week!  Stay strong and don't burn in the heat!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 68


I cannot believe how awesome this week was!  I'm on a spiritual high right now - LOVIN' IT!  Before I talk about how amazing General Conference was, I want to tell a little about my week.

In the church library before General Conference...

So... We have a baptism this upcoming Saturday!  We filled out the baptism record yesterday, and we are going to have the baptism right before a ward activity so we will have a better turnout.  Everyone in the Spanish group is super excited because it will be the first baptism in the group in over a year!  I'm glad to have been a part of Y's conversion - she definitely has set her foundation upon the rock!

I taught district meeting about talking with everyone, and how nothing starts in missionary work until you find someone to teach.  The whole district is on fire and wanting to talk with everyone!  I've been collecting the districts totals, and we are doing great!  Loving this!  :)  After district meeting, we had a "dead party" for one of the missionaries finishing his mission this past Wednesday.  We decorated the church kitchen and cooked up some pizzas, haha.

UPDATE: I just received notice that I am getting transferred.  It's so interesting because I was only up here in Bellingham for 6 weeks!  I have no idea where I am going - I guess you'll know next week!

Elders Jones and Annand

We did some service for this guy named R.C.  He is a less active member that Elder Jones and I have been working with for a while.  It's incredible how doing service softens someone's heart.  He has been showing so much desire to come back to church, and I think this next Sunday he will be coming!  So excited for him!

So... General Conference was absolutely AWESOME!  Wasn't it?!  Every session was such a blast!  I want to share bits and pieces from every talk, but I'll share points that really struck me:

1)  I loved Elder David A. Bednar's talk on tithing.  Tithing is one of the most important commandments that we need to live!  We pay tithing to show our faith and help God's kingdom grow on the earth.  Elder Bednar mentioned that tithing is much more than a duty - it is an act of faith and sanctification. The blessings from tithing come significantly, but subtly.  The blessings are not often what we expected, and many times we totally miss the blessing in the first place.  However, as we are spiritually worthy and observant to our own lives, we can have the opportunity to discern the different blessings that we receive as full tithe payers.

2)  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a fantastic talk about the church as a whole.  How this church is so true, and how here we will find what is "precious beyond price".  He mentioned that we should "doubt our doubts before we doubt our faith."  I LOVE THAT!  Whenever something goes wrong, we often tend to doubt that something automatically isn't from God.  This is one of Satan's tricks.  We need to realize that before we can get an answer to anything, that we must study it out in our minds, then ask the Lord in faith.  Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith.

3)  Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk the Sunday afternoon session was awesome.  :)  I love how he mentioned that every day is a day of decision, where we need to decide to keep the commandments, be obedient, etc.  To be honest, I have definitely had those times where I had to choose to be obedient as a missionary.  I realize that I will face the decision to choose right or wrong for the rest of my life.  In times when we fall, we must remember that our Savior, Jesus Christ, knows the depths of our problems and is willing to shape us as we turn to Him.  Only He knows the depths of our despair, and only He can pull us out of it.  I love Him.  We can never stop being a child of God.

Look!  It's a missionary!

I love you all so much.  You are each incredible examples to me.  I am excited for my new area, and for the new experiences that I am about to endure.  However, I am very sad to be leaving Elder Jones.  I am reluctant to accept this transfer call, but I know this is where the Lord wants me.

Have a beautiful week.  :)


Elder Alexander J Annand
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