Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week 40


My week, as always, was great!  I don't know why I keep forgetting to add this (I've been wanting to talk about it for the past month or so), but our mission is getting split!  There are two new missions forming in July; the Washington Federal Way Mission and the Washington Vancouver Mission.  The Washington Everett Mission is going to lose 4 stakes to the Washington Seattle mission, and the Washington Seattle mission is going to lose a few of their stakes to the Federal Way mission.  A bit confusing, BUT there is a chance that I am going to be MISSION TRANSFERRED!  All missionaries who are in any of the areas of the four stakes are going to be mission transferred to the Seattle mission - CRAZY!  I've been hearing some rumors from other missionaries saying that I am going to be one of the Spanish missionaries that is going to get transferred - I don't know what to think of it!  I'm scared, excited, nervous, EVERYTHING!  I'll be sure to keep you updated on what is to happen.

From Millan.Net

Thank you for the packages!  I'm going to use the "Don't Break the Ice" game as an object lesson tonight at an investigator's home.  I'm super excited and can't wait to see how well it will work.  Well... I hope it works.  I got the CD's as well, and I LOVE the instrumental hymn one!  The Christian 2013 one has some pretty neat songs, but there are a few that are too "rocky" for a missionary, I believe.  Normally I don't listen to it because I don't like skipping songs and what not, too much effort  -__- !  Thanks for the Easter package!  I recorded myself opening it up, and I LOVED the card - so cheesy but funny.  Elder DeTavis likes the cookies a lot and has probably eaten more then I have...  There are quite a bit left - I eat one every two days or so, but I hope they don't get moldy soon.

I'm VERY happy that Dad liked the small note I gave him.  It makes me all happy inside, hehe.  That's crazy how busy you are going to be this upcoming week.  I hope the stress doesn't eat too much at you. Haha - just kidding, but that is awesome that Nanny's siblings are flying in to have a good time together.  I can imagine them now being super touristy in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon!

That's so funny that Sisters Doll and Sanders send out a daily scripture text to you.  I do that as well!  Of course, mine is in Spanish, but it is almost in that same exact format.  I give them a scripture to read, and a question or two to ponder.  It works great, and all of my investigators seem to really enjoy it.  It helps them remember to read the scriptures and also to think about what they have read - eventually leading them to pray and receive answers!  AWESOME!!

Elder DeTavis and Elder Annand     March 25,2013
My new companion is Elder DeTavis.  He is from Corona, California and has been in the mission for under two months.  He loves to do anything aquatic and was a lifeguard saving up money for his mission.  He is super dedicated and really dives into the work - which I love.  I rarely have to tell him to do or help with anything because he already has "being a missionary" as his mindset.  I love the work so much more when both missionaries are focusing as much as they can on the work.  His Spanish is absolutely incredible for the time he has been out and learning!  I am so impressed with how the gift of tongues works with missionaries.  I can't really remember how my Spanish was when I first came out to Washington, but I know that it wasn't nearly as good as his.

Gifts from God are real and amazing!

No worries about the camera - glad to see if there will be any Easter sales.  I'm excited to get it though! 

I think I'll be moving the next time transfers comes around.  I've been here in Lynnwood since November, so for about 4 months.  It is possible that I could stay one more transfer in Lynnwood, but personally, I doubt it.  As much as I would love to stay, I have a feeling the Lord is wanting me somewhere else.  We will see near the end of next month if I am going to be staying or leaving.  Either/or, but I am excited for a new adventure in a new area.

To keep some "memories" of the mission there is a pocket in the back of my journal that I have been stuffing.  I put pictures, sentimental things, etc. in there.  Sorry that I didn't send you a Christmas Card - I have them in my journal, hehe.  I don't think I would use the "smash" book too much because I have a hard enough time writing in my journal...  Honestly, it has been quite some time, and I need to start back up because I am missing many memories!!!  I'll probably start writing in my journal soon...  I've been wanting too, but by the time I get home and finish planning, I am super tired.  I'll just have to develop that habit again of writing in the journal before bed.

That's a bummer that you have to work conference weekend, but recording it and watching it later is a good idea.  I'm super excited for General Conference and have been preparing by reading different talks given in this past conference in October.  I cannot wait to hear the words of the living prophets!  General Conference has become such an amazing opportunity for me to learn and continue to progress in the gospel.  I love it!!
SCOTTY WROTE ME!  GIVE HIM A HUGE HUG FROM ME!  From Millan.Net  I was super happy when I logged onto my e-mail and saw a letter from Scott!  At first, I was like, who is... MY BRUDDER! WOOHOO!  Tell him thank you!

From Millan.Net

I hope you all have a good week and remember the importance of this upcoming Sunday!  We have an incredible privilege to remember the Savior and His resurrection!  I was reading in the Bible Dictionary this morning under "miracles" and read something pretty fascinating.  It says that "Christianity is founded on the greatest of all miracles, the Resurrection of our Lord".  How true that is!  I love being a part of His work and helping His children, my brothers and sisters, come unto Him.  What a blessing and opportunity it is to serve!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 39

Dear Family,

So this past week was AWESOME!  Elder DeTavis is the Elder I am training and he is doing a FANTASTIC job!  I am so surprised with how dedicated he is to the work so early into his mission.  All of the new missionaries that came out this past transfer really surprised me with their work ethic and how they are always wanting to work.  I love it!

This first week as a District Leader and as a trainer has been pretty amazing!  I am loving it so far!  It is a little more stressful at times because I have to look over some other missionaries, but I love being a part of their missionary experience.  I like giving them advice and helping them grow.  I want to share something from my patriarchal blessing (I don't think it would be appropriate to say it word for word), but it talks about how being in leadership will help others in many different ways.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity now as a fairly new missionary to be helping other missionaries progress and become better; it's great!  Elder DeTavis is doing  absolutely fantastic as a newer missionary in the field, I am still surprised with how well he speaks Spanish for being so new!  I for sure didn't know as much as he does, so whatever they are doing in the MTC now is working great!  He shares great insights during lessons and I love his willingness to continually serve.  I've never had to nudge him to try harder, walk faster, or keep his head up - he is doing terrific!  That's my boy!

MOM, YOU WENT TO THE MESA TEMPLE?!  THAT IS AWEEEEESOMEEEE!  I HAVE THE BIGGEST SMILE ON MY FACE RIGHT NOW!  Congratulations!  WOW!  It must have been so awesome!  I remember my first time at the temple when I went to do baptisms for the dead, it was such a spirit filled experience!  Some of the words you may be looking for is "proxy" or doing baptisms "vicariously".  Let me know if any of those two were the ones you are looking for... Mom, I seriously am so proud of you - the other covenants that you will make in the Temple are powerful and life-changing.  I LOVE the Temple, and am so happy that you were able to experience the baptistry.  I hope I'll be able to be there when you get endowed, but if not, I'll be there in spirit!

That is so awesome that you taught about baptism in your Primary Sunday School class!  It is one of my most favorite things to talk about when I am teaching about the gospel.  I love helping others learn more about the sacred ordinance and love sharing that I was in their shoes not even 3 years ago.  It really helps them realize that people can change and change for the better - I love it.

I was reading an article in the Ensign today during personal study and really loved a quote that I read given by President Spencer W. Kimball, "We must discover the scriptures for ourselves - and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again."  What a powerful quote!  It helped me understand why we don't just read the Book of Mormon once and say that we are good, but why we must continually study from the Book of Mormon and other scripture.  It helps us grow!  It helps us become better disciples of Jesus Christ!  As we diligently study the scriptures we are more converted to the gospel and are more prone to the promptings of the spirit.  How amazing the scriptures are!  I love how the Lord "works from the inside out" (President Ezra Taft Benson).  He helps us grow spiritually, which in turn helps us become better people and examples for those around us.  I really wish that I learned these important doctrines before I came out on a mission, but I am grateful to have learned it now!  I love being a missionary for the Lord's Church!!!

March 2013 - Snow Fall

That is CRAZY that it hit 95 degrees this past week over there!  It was SNOWING this past week; I'll be sure to send a picture.  The snow didn't stick, but it was still super awesome to see it fall.  I love Washington.  Surprisingly enough, it is very sunny out, which is great.  In a few more months we will be getting a lot more sun with very few rainy days - I'm ready!!!

Anyway, I love you all so much!  Thank you for being awesome examples to me and for helping me out when I need it!  Have a super awesome next week and don't get too sun burnt!

Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Week 38

How is everything going?  Tomorrow is transfers, and I figured out that I am going to stay in Lynnwood for at least 6 more weeks.  I have been called to be a trainer and a district leader!  I teach my first district meeting on Wednesday, and I get my "greenie" tomorrow!  I'm super excited to be the example for my "son" as I help him learn the ropes as a missionary in the field.  It'll be pretty intense, but I'm sure that with the help of the Lord, I'll be able to do a somewhat decent job.

Some of our Washington-Everett Missionaries

Troubles, trials, and tribulations covered this week.  Overall, it was amazing as always!  We had a baptism scheduled for Maria this past Saturday, but it fell through.  She is going through a pretty rough situation and is putting gospel related things on hold for now.  I've been thinking about how I can handle the problems she is going through, but I think some of them might just have to play out...  We'll see.  Our friend, Jadid, has accepted a baptismal date for the 20th of April!  He is going to be attending General Conference in a few weeks and is excited to hear and listen to the prophets.  I'm jealous!

President Thomas S. Monson

I read a talk this past week given by President Monson, titled "Be Thou an Example".  It was such an awesome read!  The talk was originally given to the Relief Society, but as I changed it around and applied it to missionary work, it really had a huge effect on me!  Something I love the most from that talk is that he emphasized that we need to fill our minds with truth, fill our hearts with love, and fill our lives with service.  How true that statement is!  I'm excited to apply these principles that I learned for this upcoming week and see how this next week will play out differently - we will see!

Anyways, sorry that this letter is a little bit short.  I hope that each of you have an awesome week and hope that everything is going great!  I love each of you so much and thank you daily for the blessing that I have to have a family like you all!  Now if only I could get more letters from the kids... ;) !

Love you all!
Elder Alexander J Annand
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