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

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