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

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