Friday, May 31, 2013

Week 49

Hello family!

I am doing great!  As always, it was a great week as a missionary!  As you probably already figured out, the libraries were closed yesterday so we got permission to e-mail home today. 

That's great that Bishop Carroll is a Gospel Doctrine teacher now!  He understands the doctrine of the church so clearly and can teach it with even more ease.  I loved learning from him.  Mom, have you started your temple prep classes?  I don't know who Bishop Brock is, but he sounds like he has got a calling in store for you!  I am excited to learn what it will be...

I heard about the I-5 bridge collapsing about 3 days after it actually happened.  Missionaries just don't get the inside scoop of the worldly things, but I guess that's okay.  I hope that nothing like that happens again!

Lego Baptism!    (I Love This Pic!!!  - June)
For P-day, our district went over to this park in Granite Falls called Cascade Park.  It was really neat!  I only took a few pictures, but it was a blast!  The place is owned by members of the church, so missionaries are allowed to get in for free!  I don't know how much it costs regularly, but it would be a nice place to camp!  The zone also had dinner over at the Stake President's house, and it was reaaallly good!  We had "Big Daddy's" which is like fried Indian bread topped with chili, cheese, lettuce, etc.  You should try making it one night!

Elder Marsden and I are working super hard, and we hope to have a few baptisms in about 3 weeks.  I don't want to say anything about it now, but I am praying for each of the people we are working with consistently throughout the day.

The Piano Guys
On Sunday, we had a mission fireside.  Elder Schmidt's dad, Jon Schmidt, is a famous piano player, and he came and gave a fireside.  It was beautiful!  He is a member of the group "Piano Guys", and apparently they have about 200 million views (total) in about two years of being on You Tube.  They are a Mormon group, and their music is absolutely inspiring.  Because Elder Marsden and I translated, we got to sit right in the front!  There were about 1,000 people there - with (my guess) around 300 investigators.  The spirit was so strong that night, and I'm positive that those investigating the church felt it.  You'll have to check him out - he is SUPER talented! 

Transfers are a week from today, and I'll be staying in Marysville.  Because Elder Marsden is leaving, I'll be getting another companion to be a zone leader with me.  Elder Marsden will stay with me for a week, and then his parents will come to pick him up.  They are going to take me out to get a quick bite to eat when they arrive, so I'm grateful for that.

Anyway, I have a lesson to get to!  I love you all so much and hope that you have a great next week!  Remember, life is tough, but with Jesus Christ, burdens will always be lifted.


Elder Alexander J Annand

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Week 48

Oh Mom and family...

Honestly, it surprises me how fast this past year has gone by.  Sad thing is, is that it's gone by so quick while being a missionary.   :(   Well, I've been doing my absolute best this whole year!  I do not have one day where I regret working too little or not doing my best.  I am proud of myself for that...

We found a "LDS Mobile"!
This week was great!  We had zone conference this week, and it was very good!  I am happy for the guidance and council we receive every time we have the privilege of listening to President Wilson, Sister Wilson, and his assistants.  They are great!  We focused a lot about repentance, and how important it is in conversion.  Transfers are coming up in a few weeks, and it surprises me how fast this transfer has snuck up on me!  This Sunday, the mission is having a fireside with a man named Jon Schmidt.  He plans on coming to play for the missionaries, members, and investigators, and will also be sharing talks, experiences, etc.  He is a famous piano player and is a member of a band called "The Piano Guys."  Apparently, on Amazon, they are one of the most recommended instrumental groups, which I think is cool!  Funny thing, his son is in the mission!

My buddy Elder Cook says "hi".

Love you all!  Have a uplifting, inspired, and blessed week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Week 47

Hi family!

What a wonderful moment it was to talk with you all on Mother's Day!  It was great to have that small chat and see how everyone is doing.  I wrote in my personal journal, "Everything's changing while I'm out here which I think is super exciting!"  It's so cool to see how much can change in such a short amount of time (ie, Length of Heather and Sierra's hair O_O!).  It was super nice to see Choma running around and having a good time - I miss that pup.  I am seriously so blessed out here; it is incredible!  You're right, the people I have become friends with and those I teach are a blessed sight to see.  They are each so amazing, loving, and treat you as a part of the family.  I love the Hispanic culture!  Recently, I've been praying to "account" with Heavenly Father with things that happened throughout the day and pray for His approval with what I did.  It is amazing how close I feel to the Spirit as I get down on bended knee and offer up my heart to our Father in Heaven.  He is so willing to give help and provide for those that are in need in their personal search for salvation.  I love this work!

Jesus teaching the People
Elder Marsden and I have been teaching someone who wasn't very interested in the church when I first started my mission.  I knew this person just a little bit, and knew this person had family members who were members of the church.  I was disappointed when I learned I would be leaving Marysville to Lynnwood because I had a huge desire to help this person come unto the gospel.  I was in Lynnwood for 6 months, and in that time the Lord prepared this person and their family in miraculous ways.  I am not 100% sure about what happened, but when I returned to Marysville, this person was open to being taught.  I was so curious, previously, to why the Lord would have me come back to Marysville, but now I know why...  It is to help this person and their family, and to continue progressing in this work as a more experienced missionary.  The first time they came to church together was great!!  It was incredible how strong the spirit was and how much love was felt.  Tears filled everyone's eyes as they realized what was going on - it was such a powerful experience.  Since then, they have come a handful of times and are continuing with amazing progression in the gospel.

About the week...  As a zone leader, we go on exchanges with the district leaders.  I went on an exchange in an English area, and luckily, they had a car!  As you probably see, I don't want to ride a bike...  :)   I like going on exchanges to see how the work is going in areas other than my own.  Each companionship is different, but the work of the Lord is the same.  I love it... 

The Scriptures
It is so nice reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish because there are so many more little insights that the English copy doesn't give.  Just with how the structure of the language is, you know exactly who is talking and who they are talking to.  It makes it much easier to understand!!   We had some Spanish training this week, and it went very well.  It was great to be with all of the Spanish speaking missionaries in the mission for a small amount of time.  We discussed the Hispanic culture, mix-ups with the language, etc.  Simple training, but very effective.  Just trying my best to work as hard as I can!  I love the work of a missionary!

Thank you so much for writing me and keeping me in your prayers.  I love you all so much, and thank you for the beautiful and uplifting example each of you are for me.  Keep your head held high, and remember that we are never alone when we stand up for what we believe in.


Elder Alexander J Annand

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week 46

Dear Family,

What an amazing week it has been!  As always, I love the work of a missionary! 

The new camera is AMAZING!  Thank you so much, I reaaaallly do enjoy it!  It is so much better than the other camera I had.  I cannot believe the quality on it! 

I want to share some cool inspiring quotes that I found this week:

"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.  It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility.  All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God... and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire."  ('That We Might "Not Shrink" ' by Elder Bednar)

"Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better...  My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need.  There is help.  There is happiness...  Don't you quit.  You keep walking.  You keep trying...  It will be all right in the end.  Trust God and believe in good things to come...  Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."  ("An High Priest of Good Things to Come" by Elder Holland)

Ponder those quotes and read the talks that they come from.  They are absolutely incredible!  It will help you have a greater vision of why we go through trials, but how there is always hope.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel; I can promise that!!   :)

I love you all so much - hope you have a great week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 45

Hi mom and family!

Well, it's weird to be back in Marysville! But it's a good kind of weird... I like being able to be in an area that I am already familiar with. It is also nice to know the members that are in the branch. Though the area and members are the same, it still feels so much different! It might be because it is April almost May, I honestly have no idea. I like it though... I still miss Lynnwood a bit, especially the investigators that I left back there. However, I trust the missionaries over there - I'm sure they are doing a great job!

It has been nice to be able to see people and see how they have progressed in the gospel! We have a few investigators that I didn't teach while I was here, so it is nice to teach new people and watch them progress as well.  I will share a super cool experience that happened just yesterday in my letter home to you guys!

I can't believe that it is Mother's Day in less than two weeks! Crazy! I'm not positive that I'll be able to Skype again. I'll have to talk with Elder Marsden, but I think I might just call home this time. I'll be honest, it was too hard to say goodbye after seeing your faces! I'll e-mail you next week with details.

I sent a package home last P-day and it should have gotten to you guys by now... Let's hope today. I FORGOT to put the SD card in the package! So I wrote out a sticky note with a reminder, and it's on my desk so I'll be sure to slip it in there in my next letter.  I am so happy that I have been doing a decent job taking pictures and videos - it is going to be nice to look back and see all of the memories.

Anyway, love you all so much! Have a good week and hope you all don't roast over in Arizona!  :D


Elder Alexander J Annand
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