Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 97

Hello !!

I'm doing so great!  This past week was awesome!  We have transfers next week, and I think I will be staying here in this area to finish off my mission, but we will see!  It truly is amazing to look back on my mission and see how fast time has gone by.  I can't believe it - it shocks me every time it crosses my mind.  I'm am so incredibly grateful for everything that has happened to me these past couple of months.  I have learned so much more then I ever thought imaginable. This is and will always be an experience that I am forever grateful for...  :)   I still have 6 weeks, got to finish strong and stay faithful and diligent to what I have been asked to do!

I CAN'T BELIEVE ERIC AND KATHY GOT MARRIED!  Congrats, friends!  I don't ever remember talking to Kathy before my mission, so it will be neat talking and getting to know her and to see Eric when the time comes!  Dad and Eric are lookin' good...  ;)    I love them!

Still have snow on some nearby mountain tops...
I bet it is starting to get really hot over there!  I'm enjoying the very nice sunny weather with a light sprinkle every now and again.  :)   I'm going to be going to the doctor's tomorrow so that he can help me with the migraines that I have been getting every now and again.  I'm going in with lots of questions to see if we can narrow down the reason why they happen.

This past week we taught a lot of people who seem to have good potential.  My companion and I are excited to help them progress in the gospel and be a part of their conversion.  There is a very well known restaurant in Utah called Cafe Rio, and one just opened up this last week.  I got to try it!  IT WAS DELICIOUS!  Hehe, other than that, and helping other people come closer, there wasn't anything else too exciting.  :P

I love you family!  Love you all so much!  Hope you have a great week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 96

Hi family!


Oso area -  chickens on the loose!

I'm in such a good mood right now - can you tell?!  I had a great week!  Like I mentioned in my last email, last Monday we went to the Oso area and did some service for the day.  It was a neat experience, a real eye opener to see the damage that the mudslide had on people.  We cleaned out a man's home with the help of the National Guard.  It was cool to work alongside them and swing in a few church things here and there.  :)

The rest of the week went very well.  We taught several lessons and are seeing great progress with a handful of our investigators.  We are teaching three families right now and about 10 other people are moving along very well.  Something that I wish I had learned early on in my mission is how to separate wheat from tares (those who are ready vs. those who are not).  I have had an incredibly more active teaching pool as I have learned to help those understand what our expectations are as missionaries.  My companion, Elder Cottle, and I are hoping to have several baptisms before the end of May or early June - can't wait!

Ice skating with another district.
I'll answer some of your questions that I missed in last week's email (sorry, last week was a lame week for me, haha).  Yes, this is Elder Cottle's first time being a zone leader.  I was pretty surprised when I received another zone leader call because most older missionaries don't serve as zone leaders (rather as a district leader, trainer, or even a senior companion).  A zone leader helps the mission president supervise the work over a specific part of the mission.  We go on exchanges with other missionaries and help the district leaders with their districts and other missionaries and with how they are teaching, etc.  We are also to do our best to lift, encourage, inspire, and bless the lives of the missionaries.  We teach at monthly training sessions for the zone, and also have a mission leader meeting with the mission president monthly to discuss needs of the mission and to receive instruction to bring back to our respective zones.  Elder Cottle and I cover the south half of the mission for all Spanish speaking missionaries.  It's neat because all of our meetings are in Spanish - which is really great for everyone to practice and better their language skills.  It's really fun to serve with him because we are both learning so much from each other and are applying so many different principles that we have learned over the course of our missions.  He has been out for about 14 months now and has a very great work ethic and desire to serve - I love it!!  :)   So, I am back serving as a Spanish missionary!  I think I will be serving as a Spanish missionary for the rest of my mission, but I have no idea.  I am back in the same Lynnwood area that I served in a year ago.

I went on an exchange with another missionary this past week and read a really neat quote that was on a magnet on their refrigerator!  It was a quote by Elder Neil A. Maxwell that read, "Faith in the Lord includes faith in His timing."  I love that!  We know that faith is a belief in things which are true, which we cannot see - but I feel that often times we forget that putting our trust in the Lord is a huge step of our faith.  A quote from Preach My Gospel says, "Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required."  The natural man always wants things here and now, but a true disciple of Christ understands that persevering faithfully brings greater blessings and miracles.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."  The Lord has guided each and every one of us whether or not we see it.  He will continue to guide it as we study the scriptures and put trust in Him.  His timing is always what is best for us, and for some reason, we never realize it during the trial, but always realize it after we have overcome that obstacle.  Another quote says, "Wise men [and women], learn from their experiences. Super wise men [and women], learn from others experiences."  The scriptures are full of others' experiences, and we need to dive into them so that we can receive knowledge and understanding that everything will be okay.

I love you all so much!  Hope you have a great week!   Thank you for your prayers!


Elder Alexander J. Annand

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 95

Hey hey yo yo FAMILY!!!!!

This week was pretty good!  I got sick TWICE!  I got a migraine on Monday night, and then Wednesday morning - it was horrible!  It hurt so bad, and I wasn't able to go out and be a missionary!  I never got migraines before my mission so it was super weird to start having them.  My mission president thinks that it could be because of the drastic climate change, diet, or because my grandpa has them as well, but I'm not too sure.  I think I'll go to a doctor and see what may be the cause after my mission.  But hey, I'm feeling great now!

Helping out in Darrington

Yesterday, I went to a city called Darrington for the whole day!  So technically I didn't have a preparation day but President Bonham gave me permission to email for one hour today.  I was in Darrington because they had a mile wide mudslide a couple of weeks ago so I went up with a couple of other missionaries and did service!  It was crazy to see how much damage was done and how much it took a toll on the city.  Normally, it would take about an hour to get to the city but we had to take a huge detour and it took 3 hours going through back roads and what not. 

Providing much needed service in Darrington.
The hike last week was really neat!  It was nice and sunny out and I took quite a bit of pictures.  The place was called Lord's Hill, and it was in Snohomish (about 30 miles from where my companion and I live).  I love being in the nature!  The view at the top was awesome!  

Something I love so much about our Father in Heaven is that He is so willing to talk with us and answer our prayers!  Our Heavenly Father answers us according to our righteous desires, based off of our faith and hope in what is to come.  Also, depending on the circumstance we are in, answers will come in many different ways.  We can receive answers by how we feel, thoughts that come to our mind, or even through a friend saying something.  Sometimes, because our Father loves us so much, He won't answer and will let us freely choose (agency) to see if we will follow Him always.  Promptings are hard to notice, and many times (at least for me) when I receive a prompting it makes me have to put action into something.  For example, I'll be walking down the street and have a small feeling to go up and talk to a person.  Sometimes you may not feel that you are receiving many promptings or that God is being silent, but I promise you that He is listening.  He doesn't desire anything more than for you to follow Him and talk with Him.  He loves us SOOOO much!  I only wish I could comprehend the love He has for me so that I could try and explain it to you.
United in Service!

Sorry that this letter is so wimpy - hope you know that I love you!  I'll do a better job writing next week!


Elder Alexander J. Annand

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 94

Panoramic - Group hike

Gooood morning!  :)   It's beautiful out!  Nice and sunny and my companion and I plan on going hiking in Snohomish with some other missionaries in a couple of hours.  It's going to be great!  I haven't been hiking in a good while so it's going to be nice getting out and enjoying the nature!  I love Washington so much because it is so green and beautiful all the time.  I'll be honest and say I could deal with a little less rain but hey, I need to always have an attitude of gratitude!  :)

This week was amazing!  We had two families come and see General Conference with us over the weekend, and they all enjoyed it very much.  We received a random text from one of our investigators saying how much he learned and how grateful he was to have made time to come and see conference.  Elder Cottle and I should be expecting a handful of baptisms in the coming months...  :)

Group hike on a beautiful day!

All of the talks from General Conference were amazing.  I loved how Elder Holland talked about defending our faith.  In this day and age, people are losing sight of God and replacing it with temporal, worldly items of no particular worth or value.  So many people try to degrade what we believe as Christians, and seem to be even more vile when they learn that we are Mormons.  Standing up for what we believe in is a great step of courage and a huge way to show our love for our Father in Heaven.  As we develop Christlike love and live in accordance to God's commands, we will begin to develop unshakable faith.  As President Eyring stated, every day and every hour we must choose to keep a covenant of God.  Agency is one of the most beautiful gifts Heavenly Father has blessed us with, and as we choose righteously, He will bless us beyond our own comprehension.

I'd love to sit and talk more about what I learned, but I need to get running because we are going to go hiking!  I love you all so much!  Have a great week - don't get too crazy Mom on your motorcycle!  *gulp...*


Elder Alexander J Annand
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...