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

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