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

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Week 67


I'm doing great!  That's crazy that fall break is already just around the corner!  I cannot believe that tomorrow is already October and that General Conference is this weekend!  YAHOO!  This week was so great!

Late Summer Views    August 2013
(To interject - I had watched part of a documentary on TV a couple weeks ago about how the Holy Bible had come into existence, and how it had taken a long time for scholars and religious leaders during those eras to finally settle upon the scriptures contained within the Bible.  Before this occurred, however, books were added, removed, and many were lost over time.  I admit that I am ignorant on this topic, but I found it very interesting that we know and accept many scriptures were lost during the establishment of the Bible, yet many people deny even the possibility that the Book of Mormon is scripture and had mentioned this to Alex.... The following paragraph was his response...  ~June )

I've come to realize that so many people deny the Book of Mormon to be scripture because they just don't know what it is.  Anyone who sincerely searches to see if the Book of Mormon is true will come to an understanding that it is - it is promised in Moroni 10!  It is so true that many books were taken out of the Bible, look in your Topical Guide and look under "Lost Books" and you'll find many interesting scriptures that prove that the Bible is not complete.  In fact, the books of the Bible were not compiled until 300 years after the death of Christ.  Interesting, huh?

This week was great!  Elder Jones and I are doing fantastic, and it is exciting to see how much has happened this past transfer.  We have a baptism coming up the 12th of next month, and we just received word not too long ago that she feels like she is ready for baptism.  I am so excited!  We also have a couple of other investigators who are interested in General Conference and baptism!  Today is district preparation day so we will be playing some sports, hopefully in the rain.  :)  Tonight we will be having a family home evening with an investigator and are also planning on doing tons of unplanned service this week!  Rainy days are coming, so people are trying to do as much as they can before it comes!

From Millan.Net

Love you so much!  Hope for the best!  Have a great day!


Elder Alexander J Annand
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