Saturday, June 29, 2013

Week 53

From Millan.Net

(Elder Annand's 1 year Mission Anniversary occurred this past week!  As you can see in the picture below, he's not exactly happy about that though!  In the email that had these pictures, Alex said, "I am so glad to be a missionary, and I don't want it to end!  This has been the best decision of my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!  I feel so honored to be a part of other people's lives, and on top of that, I have the privilege to learn Spanish!  It's fun!" 

I'm looking forward to reading about the wonderful blessings, inspirational messages, and lasting friendships that Alex will gain and share with us in the coming year, and I invite you to follow along!  Many, many thanks to everyone for their prayers, love and support for Elder Annand.  I know he is uplifted and strengthened by each of you...  Now, let's move on to his weekly letter!  :P   ~June)

Elder Crowley gave me a pair of glasses that I liked - he got some new ones and gave me these orange ones.  :-D
He added post-it notes with "1/2 done" written on them...  Yeah, I "poked" him.   :-)

Picture is of our Temple trip today with
the Spanish Elders that cover the branch. :-)
From left to right:  Elder Robles, Me,
Elder Crowley, and Elder Wittmaak.
Hi there!

Oh mom, you are a weirdo - I can definitely tell you typed up an email and threw it into Google translate.  ;-)   It was funny to see how many grammar errors there were!  I'm sure I still talk like that at times, but reading a letter in Spanish from my "Gringa" mom really put a smile on my face.  Thank you!  :-)

Well, you're probably wondering - why is Elder Annand emailing today?  Our P-Day got switched this week because we went to the Seattle Temple today!  It was GREAT!  The temple is such an inspiring place where the Spirit will always touch you - no matter where you go or what you do.  From baptisms to an endowment session, it is guaranteed that you will feel the Spirit.  It is the Lord's House, after all.  Even walking on the beautiful temple grounds is such a breathtaking moment.  I love it!  The temple is always going to play a HUGE part in my life! 

Afterwards, Elder Robles and I went to Deseret Book and I bought some garments, a new Preach My Gospel, and a present for one of my recent converts up here in Marysville.  Her birthday is coming up in August, so I wanted to get a small something that would make her laugh!  :-P  I can't mention what it is because I'm pretty sure she reads the blogs!  I plan on buying some slacks (maybe two different pairs) and am debating whether or not to get a few other things.

This week was great.  It was a little stranger than most - a big majority of our lessons fell through this week, but that is okay.  We spent a lot of time knocking on doors and meeting some wonderful new people.  Most of the people that I met were English-speaking, but I really have high hopes for the Spanish-speaking people I bumped into!  :-)

I don't know if you were able to see it, but this past Sunday was the World Wide Missionary Broadcast.  It was INCREDIBLE!  I am so excited with how missionary work is going to be improving, changing, and becoming a church-wide effort and focus!  Prophets and Apostles in the past have always mentioned how important it is for the members to participate in the "finding" side of missionary work, and it seems that they are putting a large emphasis on it now!  They don't want the missionaries to be tracting anymore - they would rather us teach (obviously).  But I agree 100% with what the leaders of the Church are doing.  Tracting is (sadly) a horrible way to find people.  Though there have been times and success stories of people who have been found, taught, and baptized from knocking on doors, I feel that the missionaries can and should be using their time with more urgency.  This isn't our time, it's the Lord's!  We need to teach as many people as we can, and now with the push of members to become more involved, the full-time missionaries will definitely have more lessons to teach!  It will be incredible when the whole church is faithfully involved in missionary work!  :-)

The weather these past two days has gone haywire!  It rained super hard, something I've never seen, and actually hailed for a couple of minutes yesterday!  There aren't too many bugs, and I don't see any mosquitoes at all.  Surprisingly, I'm not tired of the rain either.  I think it is something I will always enjoy.  The smell is great, and it feels good to get a little wet while working hard.  It is better though when the sun is out...  But hey, Washington is beautiful either way.  The cloud formations here are absolutely incredible, I love it!  You will never see anything like that in Arizona.  Just the thought of 116 degrees in Phoenix is making me sweat - I don't want to think about what that will be like!

I was feeling a little under the weather this past week, but I am feeling great now!  I'm super inspired, energized, and ready to work after today's incredible temple trip!  :-)   My stomach has always been super weak, and when I eat something that doesn't agree with me, it REALLY doesn't agree with me.  So, I've been a little more careful with all of the Mexican food I've been indulging in lately...  ;-)

Click here to watch President Monson's stirring April 2013
General Conference talk "Obedience Brings Blessings".
Well, I can't remember if I have talked about this before but I wanted to share a little bit about obedience.  Obedience in scripture study, prayer, church attendance, callings, following the commandments, etc. is so key for everything!  As a missionary, I am doing my best to be exactly obedient, to follow all of the mission rules, live the commandments, etc.  As I have done the best I can, I've come to understand that obedience seems to be the cornerstone of each commandment - when we obey, we are blessed.  There is a scripture in John 14:21 that says, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."  What greater blessing it is to know that we are loved by our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ when we keep His commandments.  In turn, keeping the commandments of God shows our true love that we have for Them.  It shows that we aren't throwing away the beautiful blessing and sacrifice the Atonement was and is.  I love obedience!  I am now wondering why I haven't lived the most obedient life.  In the scriptures, it explains clearly the incredible blessings that come from following the commandments of God.  What I now understand is that these blessings are miracles that I cannot live without!  Obedience, obedience, obedience!

I love you family!  Each of you are examples to me, and I am so grateful to have our family!  I hope that you have a great week, and that you will be able to have the chance to exercise your faith, even in the slightest of ways - just wait and see the blessings it will bring!


Elder Alexander J Annand

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