Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28: Hello

Where to begin. Where to begin.

I feel like every pday, my mind goes in a craze because all week long, I've been thinking of monumental or funny things to write and then I sit down at the library and my mind goes blank.

Now I remember a funny story.

We were at dinner at a member's lovely home. I was sharing the spiritual message and I was relating how God has promised us that the "field is white, already to harvest." And that we are no longer using a scythe (spelling?) rather now we are using "concubines."

Yes. I called a combine a concubine.

I'm a spirit killer. They just burst out laughing. There was no hope for redemption from that one.
Anyways. Geesh. So I told you that I was invited to attend a leadership conference with Brother Donaldson. It was truly an incredible meeting. I learned so much. Missionary work is really changing.

He held up a mini ipad and said "Do you guys want this?"
We all got excited.

He said "Too bad. You're not getting them until the beginning of next year sometime."
But he went on to explain what we would be able to do with the ipads. Everything will be on it. Our area book, the lessons, scriptures, GPS, our planner. In fact, if an appointment falls through, your planner will tell you what the most next effective thing you could be doing at that time would be.
We will be using skype and teaching people from all over the world.
He said that it is not a matter of "when" the Lord will hasten His work. He said, that time is now. It is being hastened.

And it is through technology that a lot of that will happen. He said that is how we will be able to teach people where missionaries aren't allowed to enter.

He also shared with us that when the idea for missionaries to use technology was presented to the Quorum of the Twelve, someone asked "Well is there something wrong with it?" After "no" was established, Elder L. Tom Perry jumped up and said he was for it. Elder Russell M. Nelson seconded it. Elder Boyd K. Packer (who is the most senior of the Quorum) said "Well my next two senior apostles are for it, so I guess I'm for it, too!"
That was the 4th item in the past 20 years to pass on a unanimous vote.

Elder L. Tom Perry also said that the recent world-wide mission broadcast of "Hastening the Work" is a significant event ranking up there with the First Vision and the Restoration.

Crazy. I got the chills when I heard that.

Ok. I've thought of a couple more things to share.
I think I'm going to be getting transfered. :( I have a sinking feeling in my gut. BUT alas, I'm ready to move on. I think it'll be good for me and I can continue to learn and grow.

The vitamins you sent me Mumma smell so disgusting. But I think they're actually helping me. I'm conducting an experiment on myself, so it'll probably be a couple more weeks before I can come with a valid conclusion. Also, kinda crazy, but I feel inspired to try a gluten-free diet. So at least for breakfast and lunch, I'm going to eat gluten-free. I think I'm particularly more affected than most people, by what I eat.

We did service this week. It was so fun. We had a sleep-over at the STLs (Sister Training Leaders) house and then went over in the morning to clean up one of their investigator's yards. We had a pathetic meager collection of various yard tools to begin with. Then came two elders and one of their members. He is a landscaper. And he brought a truck full of toys. It was so fun.


For Trunk-or-Treat, Sister Thornock and I are dressing up as lovely angels. We might even decorate our bikes and hand out candy to the little kids. (We don't have a car, so we improvise.)

Some things I'm learning-

I'm learning that God is in control. He knows what is best for us.

We shouldn't judge others. We never know their circumstances.

You can learn to get along with anyone with the help of God.

A concubine is not the same thing as a combine.

Learn to keep a big (eternal) perspective.

I think that pretty much covers it.

I love you all.
Keep on praying for me, I need it.
Sister Andelin

Sister Rasmussen and I working really hard

I've got the big guns

October 21

The baby cheetahs are SO CUTE!!!!!!! I want to hold them.

And the ropes course is awesome! So much will be different when I go home.

 There are already members/converts who liked the facebook page and they're pretty good about keeping me updated on all the latest news. Like I already saw the pic of the otter babies, because last night at dinner a member pulled it up for me.

Hello family, friends, and loved ones.

After my panic attack last week, all is well.

I'll have to detail that in another letter. I am writing an actual letter that I should like to finish today and send soon.
The baptism went so well. We had over 50 people there to support them and welcome them. The spirit was so strong. Our pianist is 8 1/2 months pregnant and half way through the baptism, she thought she was going into labor. So guess who had to step in and play? Yup, that's right. Yours truly. I trudged through it ok. Plus, I was grateful because Mikey Diaz (he is 4 years old) had come up to the piano and was banging on it, so his wrong notes masked my wrong notes.

Brother Hermansen,the member who gave us the referall for them, was the guy who baptized and confirmed them. He is on the far left in the picture.

All in all the baptism was a really spiritual experience. After they were baptized, they had a chance to bear their testimonies and they did beautifully. Sister Diaz started crying and I couldn't help but cry, too. President and Sister Ahlander came as well and President welcomed them and bore his testimony after theirs.

The confirmation on Sunday went beautifully as well. During Aliss's confirmation, the spirit was so strong and the whole time I kept feeling Heavenly Father telling me how lucky I am that I got to work with such a special spirit of his. And that she is going to do great things for the church. In fact, at the end of relief society, a complete stranger came up to Aliss and said

"Hi, you don't know me and I don't know you. I'm just visiting from Canada. We probably won't ever see each other again, but I heard your blessing in Sacrament meeting and I felt really impressed and prompted to come tell you that you are a really strong saint and will do incredible things for the church. Congratulations and welcome."
It was just a really awesome experience.

I love the Diaz's. They have a really special place in my heart and they always will.

I love you all.

No need to worry about me. Everything is going well.

I have an awesome mission president and awesome missionaries (plus companion) and awesome ward members and awesome investigators who support and love and help me. Plus, I have an awesome Savior who knows me and knows how to help me.
Sister Andelin.

Elder Andelin and I at a special Gladys Knight fireside meeting. (Did I tell you that she is performing here? It's been over 7 years since she has performed here in Vegas) We got photobombed by some elders

The flowers I got from Mommy. Thank you <3

A member dropped us off dinner one night..a 20 in sub..yumm

The Diaz's baptism <3

October 14

I don't really even know what to say. I could pretend like everything is well here, but alas it is not.

I've been hit with a huge wave of anxiety and I'm hoping to just ride it out. I was doing great a couple of weeks ago. I actually had written a letter to yall that I never got a chance to send. And in it, I explained how my anxiety had gone away and that I had conquered it. Welp. I haven't.

And I can't take the medicine, because that is what is giving me anxiety in the first place.

But I don't want you to worry, especially you Mumma. Because I know now you're like super worried right now.
I just wanted to be honest. And let ya know that I'm struggling here.

It's kind of ironic, because other than that, I've had a great week.

I had interviews with the mission president and he told me he wants to keep me in the mission forever. He also invited me to a special leadership training that you have to be specifically invited to because he said that it is for the leaders (and future leaders) of the mission. I just feel bad because I didn't tell him about the anxiety.  Gah.
These are my internal battles.  

Sister Diaz told me how much she loved me and my personality and how the ward loves me.

Our bishop spoke in stake conference and name dropped Sister Thornock and I and how he wants sister missionaries in our ward from here on out. (With the mission president and his wife there. They later told me "It sure looks like your ward loves you. And I think he wants you to stay in this area! It is easy to see why they love you.)

The D family had their baptismal interviews this past Saturday and I got to ride in a hummer (their hummer) to the church building. That was exciting. We are really excited for their upcoming baptism this Saturday. It'll be awesome.

I get to meet Gladys Knight this upcoming week--we have a special meeting with her because she and her choir are singing in Las Vegas in the beginning of November. I'm excited about that as well.

I love you all.
Sister Andelin

October 7

This week has been good.

The D family is still on track to be baptized on the 19th. I am so excited for them, I can hardly stand it.

I'm drawing a blank as to what to write.
Don't worry about us being on a bike. We are in a nice part of town and we obey most of the traffic laws :)

Oh ok. Here's a funny story. Last night, we were coming back from a dress rehearsal meeting at the stake center. (We are joining the YW in singing in a choir for Stake Conference this upcoming weekend). So Sister W drops us off at her house, because we put our bikes in her garage. As we are getting on our bikes, I say to Sister Thornock-- "Man, I really hope Sister Taylor is going to remember to bring us some pie."

Let me explain. We had to leave dinner early to go to that meeting, so we didn't get any pie. Sister Taylor said she would drop some off at our place.

Doo doo doo (That is me trying to sing over typing) We are riding our little bikes home and all of a sudden, this big black truck starts slowing down next to us. I just figured he was trying to turn onto the street next to us. No. He is following us. The windows roll down and I hear "Sisters!" Turns out the "he", was a "she" and not just any "she" but Sister Taylor herself. She continues to say "I heard you say you wanted pie! So I'm bringing some over!"
Her windows were down in her house and she heard me talking about the pie.
However, the pumpkin pie was delicious, so it was totally worth it.

The members here totally spoil us. They are so good to us. And I love them. I think we've really gained their trust and friendship.
Also. I didn't realize, but Vegas gets COLD! I don't know if it is really actually cold, or if my body is acclimated to the 115 degree weather and so it feels cold? Either way, my body doesn't like it. And neither do I. It is especially freezing in the morning and night-time. And it is WINDY. I'm starting to have to put on chapstick every day, multiple times a day.

Luckily, I have the sweetest investigators in the world. They bought Sister T and I headlamps for bicycling, (They are our "brights") and gloves and a scarf. I think I'm the luckiest missionary in the whole world. I'm sorry every other missionary, but Vegas is the best.
Mumma, you asked about the girl from the side of the street. We've been trying to teach her, but it's been difficult. She wants us to come back, but her mom's boyfriend isn't too happy about the situation.

We have two new investigators! They are another ward member referral. MEMBERS ARE KEY TO MISSIONARY WORK! THERE IS NO OTHER WAY THAT IS MORE EFFECTIVE! HINT HINT HINT HINT

We also received an electronic referral (via text) and we have set up an appointment to go teach her tomorrow, Tuesday.
I've been feeling kind of down lately. Just going to be honest. I'm not going to sugar coat it and make it sound like a mission is fun 24/7. A mission is awesome 24/7, but not because it's easy 24/7. It's actually really, really hard. I've learned some tough lessons- the hard way. And I know Satan is working on me really hard, especially recently as well. Satan is real. He is very real. And he is powerful. But I recognize that 

Heavenly Father is real, too. And he is even more powerful. I have never prayed so much and so hard as I have the past 4 months.
On a lighter note, I love teaching. I love teaching the gospel. I love teaching the gospel with the spirit. There is no other way to teach it, except by the spirit.

Also, I LOVED conference. Especially Holland's talk. :)
We watched it at different member's houses.
The Sunday afternoon session, we were at the Paul’s. They used to live in Australia and they were good friends with the Australian speaker. And then the fly kept flying all over the place and we were laughing pretty hard.

I almost forgot about this story.
We went over to Sister D's house to read the BoM with her this past week. She was really upset when we went over.
She had ordered something online and it went to her old house. The lady who lives there now, would not give her the box she had gotten. She refused. They tried calling and stopping by. Problem is, she lives in a guard gated community so they can't get in.

She was just really upset. She said that she didn't even care about the package, but she was so upset that people like that exist in the world. And it made her sick to her stomach.
Then I received some inspiration. I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and told her she should send it to her with a note saying something like this:

"I don't appreciate that you won't return what is rightfully mine. But here is a book and you can keep this, because I am giving this to you. It's changed my life and it can change yours."
We also found a scripture in 2nd Nephi for her to mark so that she would see it. It is the scripture mastery scripture about choosing eternal life or eternal death.
She was so excited and said she is going to do just that. She felt empowered and loved the idea.

I love you all.  Love, Sister Andelin

Last pday, Sis T and I were the queens of the world. We love each other very much

Sister Rasmussen and I here at the library. Picture taken approximately 5 min ago

So Sister Diaz gave Sis T and I gifts. She gave us head lamps to use while biking, gloves, and a scarf.
She is too sweet. I stinkin love her

September 30: Bike or Hike

Where to begin. Where to begin.
Too many funny stories.

This week was awesome though. My companion and I absolutely love riding bikes. We are still learning how to master riding a bike in a skirt/dress. But it is possible. And Mumma, I don't need a clip anymore. We bought "chip clips" from Wal-Mart and use those. (One time someone thought we said "Chic clips." When I get back from the mission, I'm going to design some and use that name and sell them to sister missionaries and become a millionaire. It'll happen.)

Let's start at the beginning.

Within the first two days, I managed to break 3 bikes. But not really, they all had issues to begin with. But my lovely first bike, is the one from the pictures. She was a blue beauty. With a basket (Very convenient for a sister missionary, because I could throw all of my things in it.) Tuesday was our first full official day on bikes. We had an appointment early in the morning. We prepared ourselves mentally to conquer the bike. We get on the bikes, not very gracefully mind you. Good thing we wear shorts underneath. Also, a very pertinent part to this story is that Tuesday was an extremely windy day. Seriously, the winds were probably blowing 20 miles an hour.

Currently, I am borrowing an elder's bike helmet. Sister Thorncok is borrowing one from the house we live at...and it is like a little girl's flowery helmet. (It only furthers people's suspicions that she is only 14 years old.) I hadn't fully adjusted the helmet to fit my head at this point. So we leave this lady's house. The wind is blowing so strong, that we are literally fighting to move forward in a straight line. We fail and are moving at a precise diagonal line. The wind is also whipping my helmet off of my head. It is slowly moving from the center of my head, to the side of my neck. I look in front of me and Sister Thornock's little girl's helmet's visor in continually flapping up and down in the wind. (See picture below for full illustration.) Please just try to picture this in your head. Two girls on bikes. In skirts. Wind is blowing so hard that the skirts are flying in the wind. Can't even bike straight. Helmet's flying every which way. It was literally so funny, that I was dying of laughter and almost had to pull off on the side of the road to recompose myself.

At another point of this windy day, I had traded the blue beauty for the green machine. However, the green machine was also not functioning properly. We were going uphill and the wind was pushing on us so hard that I think at one point I was going backwards instead of forwards. And I was pedaling my little guts out. I was petaling so hard and not going anywhere. It was so frustrating. Luckily, I came to understand that it was actually the bike. 

Thankfully, people in the ward have taken us under their wing and let us borrow more bikes. I am currently using the black beast. He is a fancy and expensive bike from the Morrison's. Their son recently returned home from his mission and this bike is his mission bike. I've also learned, that I'm not in actuality a terrible biker, I just had bad experiences with terrible bikes. It was funny because Sister Thornock was worried the first two days that I was going to be the infinitely slow missionary on bike, until I got the black beast and she realized that I can bike. And bike fast. With a legit bike.

Sister Thornock and I are thoroughly enjoying our biking experience. We have shared so many laughs over ridiculous moments. I have three more that come to mind.

1. The first day of biking, she was talking to me and I thought I heard her say to me
"I look like a snocone." (It was fitting, because her helmet is very colorful.)
I started laughing and she was confused. Apparently she had really said
"I don't know where I'm going. You should ride in front of me."
I have no idea how I heard snocone in any of that, but it's become a funny joke. So anytime her helmet visor flaps up, she yells out "Snocone!"

2. As I was booking it up a hill one day, I looked around to see no one on the sidewalk. So I started belting out "I believe I can fly!!!!" (in the song version of course.) To my embarrassment, as we passed a gate, I look down to see a maintenance worker on the other side, fixing some mechanical thing. He looks up at me. My companion who was behind me told me later that he was laughing.

3. Sister B is the older widowed lady we visit every once in a while. I walked into her house, of course equipped with my helmet on my head, and her two dogs started freaking out at me because of the helmet. Sister B was really ill and lying in bed. I was trying to have a decent conversation with her, but the two dogs were yapping away at me. I kept giving them the death glance look and telling them to be quiet, all the while still wearing the helmet, mainly because I was too lazy to take it off when I knew we were leaving again so soon. As I turned to leave, Fluffy came up to me and took a chunk out of my leg. I was so mad. It actually started bleeding. If the poor older lady wasn't in sight of me, I probably would have kicked the dog across the room. In a loving manner of course.

Oh man. Too funny. Too funny. I've also enjoyed getting rides with members to church and meetings and such, because then we get to build closer relationships with them as we ride in their cars. I've gotten really close with people here in Southern Highlands. It's going to be really hard to leave all of these great people behind. Speaking of getting closer, a lot of people have recently found out about the zoo. And they are shocked and mock upset that I didn't tell them earlier. And they want pictures. Problem is...I literally only brought one picture out on my mission. And it is of the family at the beach. Could yall potentially send some cool pictures of the animals and me with animals? Supposedly, I was supposed to bring pictures anyways because you're supposed to show the people you work with that you're human? I don't think my investigators have a problem knowing that one, considering how much I mess up. Luckily, they still love me. I think?

I love being a missionary! It's so hard! And I love it! And I love being a missionary on bike!
I'm so excited for conference this weekend! What a wonderful opportunity we have to hear from God's chosen servants here on the earth. I'm challenging all who read this, to write down a specific question you have about life/and or the gospel and take it with you to conference. I promise that it will be answered!

I love you all.
I love missionary work. I love my Savior. I love my Father in Heaven.
Sister Andelin

We are saying farewell to our car

How cute we wished we looked when we ride our bicycles

What we really look like

P.S. Remember that older lady's dogs from the picture last time? Well fluffy bit me. Stupid dog.