Sunday, November 30, 2014

Feelin' 22



First, thank you to all that wrote me for my birthday! I was quite honestly blown away by all the digital love I got. And yes, I do feel 22, and I will probably sing Taylor Swift's "22" all week. 

Transfers! I am in a new city, area, and state! I am now in Los Mochies, Sinaloa, and I am really excited. My new companion tells me that this area is really awesome and blessed with a lot of success. I definitely feel like this is a birthday present. 

Because of transfers and so many other emails, this is all I have time for this week. But I promise highlights next week, as well as pictures of my birthday, including when my companion shoved my face in my cake. (They do that here. It's fun.) 

Love you all; enjoy some turkey for me!


Hermana Anderson


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Time Flies When You Have 12 Thousand Gajillion Things to Do

November 17, 2014
Hello all!
So, we have reached the end of another transfer (hence the title of this week's blog). Since I have six months here in Sochiloa it is very probable that I will be changed, but who knows. President told me the other week "Sister Anderson, don't worry. The longest you can be in an area is 10 months." Thank you, President. That was uber-helpful.

-Something I think is funny: When people see us in the street they feel the need to cross themselves. Some are really subtle about it, but there was one woman this week who was all sorts of exaggerated. As soon as we were out of ear shot I laughed hysterically.
-Remember how a few weeks (months?) ago I told you that I had successfully avoided eating cow stomach? Well, Tuesday we were scheduled to eat with Hermano Beto, who works in a meat shop, and let’s just say that we have different ideas of what parts of animals we should eat. He told us he was going to make it for us and I was all prepared to eat it, but then turned out he didn't have time. Whew! Just kidding. The next day – my six-month mark in Mexico actually – we "discovered" an inactive family while looking for an address, and they invited us to eat menudo. Or in other words, cow stomach soup. So close. It actually tasted fine, but when I thought "I have stomach in my mouth," that's when I almost flipped. But I didn't. Yay, good missionary manners.
-Dirt gets everywhere here. Everywhere. Even above the light bulbs in your ceiling, and then it all falls on you.
-Fun fact: Here, and also in Peru, if you don't do your Visiting Teaching in a skirt it doesn't count. SO quit whining and just do it!
-Today I played ice soccer! Basically we just kicked around big pieces of ice to get the floor all wet so we could mop it. The floor ended up dirtier than it started, but good heavens was it fun.

-I found out that the American Elder in my district listened to rap music before his mission, which really surprised me because he just doesn't seem the type. But when he asked me if I listened to it and I responded "No, I was more of a Jane Austen type" he didn't know who that was and I think I facepalmed. But it was mostly my fault for mixing song artists and classic authors.
-Speaking of Jane Austen, I was trying to practice my British accent to teach Hna Gonzales, but it just kept coming out like Miss Charming in the movie "Austenland." So I stopped.
-Also, we took this picture this week, and it pretty much defines our companionship. Me being weird and Sister Gonzales laughing at me.

And the funniest story of the week to finish: We are working with the ward directory to try to find people to teach as well as the many less-active members, because the list has 200 FAMILIES and we usually have about 80 people in attendance. Yeah … there is room for improvement. So while we were sitting on a bench trying to decide who we were going to visit next, Willie, one of the kids who lives on the block, came over and asked what we were doing. I told him that we were looking for names, and he said, “Oh. Well there's Hernan” (he's the son of the lady we rent from and the assistant Ward mission leader). This confused me, but then I figured it out. In Spanish the word for name is "nombre" and the word "hombre," which is what Willie heard, means man. So he thought that we were looking for men. Ha. As if we have time for that.
Love you all!
Hermana Anderson

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bitter Sweet

November 10, 2014

¡Hola queridos!

Another fabulous week here in Sochiloa (insert hair flip here). Here's the good stuff.


-It rained early this week and I got COLD! Good thing I brought my sweater that day.

-While we were on the bus, a couple a few rows in front of us was making out hardcore. I really, really wanted a squirt gun. You have no idea. Moral of this tale: I am still very much myself. Also, don't make out in public transportation; it's icky.

-I saw my first Mexican fire truck! I dunno why but that made me really happy!

-I also ate my first churro here in Mexico! I can't believe it took me so long! I also just kept quoting Minion from the movie Megamind saying "Who wants churros?!"

-Sad things about being the only American missionary in the ward; when I jump down from the curb and say "Parkour, parkour!" no one thinks I'm funny, just weird. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, look up 'The Office parkour' on YouTube). [For your convenience I tried to insert the link here but was unsuccessful, so you're on your own. ed.]

-We have an investigator named Fidius (it's a Hebrew name, he tells us every time). Each time we see him, I just want to ask him where Ferb is. 

-We finally have hot water for showers! It wasn't a big deal during the summer but it's been progressively colder. Now it’s hot, though, and it's a beautiful thing. 

-We were with a member for lunch and her daughter and grandkids were over. After a while, one of her grandsons asked me, "Do you know English?" "Well, yeah," to which his immediate reply was "Say a bad word!" Ay … no.

-Today while doing our shopping, they were playing Christmas music. I was ok with it, because we've started to sing Christmas songs every once in a while during lessons. Sorry, Dad … I just can't help myself.


Well, aside from the highlights I'm not sure what to say about this week. There were some really wonderful moments, like when the wife in a couple we're teaching told us about how prayer has helped their relationship strengthen, how they hardly fight anymore and when they do it hardly lasts, how she's regaining affection that she'd been losing. But also there was the really awful moment when our "golden" investigator didn't 'pass' his baptismal interview because he wasn't honest with us about his struggles with the Word of Wisdom, and now he is unsure about his desire to be baptized. Or when I watched the Relief Society President cry because she's trying so hard to serve well in her calling but is receiving so little help from her councilors and nothing is turning out as she plans. That was really, really hard.

But, despite everything, I miraculously still find myself at peace. The blessings are real my friends; the blessings are real.

Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and tell your friends and family that you love them. 

Until next week!

Hermana Anderson


Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Third Part

November 3, 2014


Another week down!

I don't have much time so here goes: 


-During lunch this week, out of nowhere one of the elders asked me "Sister, what does ratchet mean?" Other Americans like to use/teach such words to the Latino missionaries and then not explain them. I, however, am much more forward than that and explain what others have not. But to be honest I nearly died laughing because I'd forgotten all about that word.

-I ate meatloaf here for the first time and learned that it is called pastel de carne which literally translated means meat cake. I thought of Sage in that moment and really had to work hard to not just burst out laughing. 

-Some guy on the bus randomly asked us what religion we were from. We explained and he said, "Oh the Mormons! Cool. My name is Lehi. I also have a brother named Nephi and Moroni." 

-I learned that rated R movies don't really exist here. I dunno what the rating system is, but it's not the same. I was happy to learn this because it all of the sudden explained why such awesome members thought it was ok to watch such awful movies.

-A sister in the ward told us about what it was like for her kids to go on dates. I don't remember all she said but the only word that came to mind was "awkward," because she went on all the dates with them. All of a sudden potential dates having to recite D&C 4 or the Oath and Covenant to my dad doesn't seem so bad...

-Last night it rained really hard for the first time since August and, after a stressful week, of course I went and played in it! But it was weird because this time I was almost, almost but not quite, cold. Weird, right?

-Children here don't say "trick or treat". They just say "Halloween" or "We want Halloween." I had a good giggle at all the munchkins running around yelling "¡queremos halloween! ¡queremos halloween!"


Alright; an announcement! I officially have less than a calendar year left on my mission. Can you believe it? Nah, me neither. This time next year I can talk to you all face to face. Or Facebook to Facebook. Either way, I am one-third of the way done with my mission. How crazy is that? 

-We took dramatic mission photos at sunset. This is how I look when I am receiving revelation. Just kidding!

-We also celebrated Hermana Capp’s birthday!


-And we took a super awesome Zone photo with the balloons for the youth dance. Best part is the blurry guy on the left with the mop is one of the Assistants to the President. The other ran in shortly after with the bucket. 


Other announcement!! This transfer continues to be difficult! Not a surprise to me but there was an unexpected blessing, namely an outpouring of love from my leaders. Like … all of them. I got a random happy text from my STL (the fabulous Hermana Mendez!), a call from both my zone and district leaders, and a visit from the Mission President and his wife. And they brought cookies. Don't worry, nothing dire happened, I was just, well, living the mission life, which is rough and we can't do alone. To be honest the only ones who actually knew I was struggling was President and his wife. But I was super blessed to receive the comfort and council that Heavenly Father knew I needed.  

Never forget that Heavenly Father loves you and that He is so willing and ready and waiting to help!  

Love you all!!


Hermana Anderson