Monday, February 24, 2014

February 3: This is Heaven


And I can't wait to play on Treetop Zoofari.

Well this week has been another CrAZy week. Too much stuff to tell.

We have been incredibly blessed again. 

We had a lesson with a man named D. He was in a severe car accident 6 years ago and has lost all mobility. The only way he communicates is through facial expressions and occasional words. His wife is C. She has been a member her whole life. They've been married for 30 years. He took the lessons once, but didn't join. His wife believed he would be interested in taking the lessons again, she asked and he said yes. She invited his two home teachers over for the lesson, because they have known D for the past 10 years and knew him before the accident. We were a little nervous about teaching him, because we didn't know how much he would be able to understand and we would have to really alter our teaching method. But I know that we were not the only ones in that room that night. The spirit was so strong. And I knew that he knew and understood exactly what we were saying to him. We asked him if he believed in God. He said, audibly, "Yes." I got chocked up at that and then asked if he believed in Jesus Christ. He replied "Yes." to that as well. As the lesson progressed, he really was listening and focusing on what we were saying. Our eyes met a couple of times and the coolest feeling overcame me. It was such a special experience. He wants to be baptized, but we don't know if it will be possible for him in this life, because of his circumstance. We have talked with our mission president and discussed the situation and he is nervous because of the wheelchair and health problems. We will continue to teach him and assess as we go.

This week, I have been having some chest/heart pain, so Sister Forred was nervous and sent me to the doctors. I had to strip off my clothes and put on a paper shirt, but I decided it was important to still wear my tag :) The nurse came back in and I could tell she was pretty puzzled as to why I was still wearing my tag...and then she took it off. The did some tests and told me that everything looked fine and that it was probably just heartburn. Yes. You read that right. HEARTBURN. Seriously? What the heck? So they got me some mega-tum medicine that I'm supposed to be taking and I've actually been good at taking it, mother :) But it hasn't really helped too much. Oh well. Probably JUST ANXIETY...although I haven't been feeling anxious.... life is life.

OH and we moved from Grandma Davis's to the apartment with Sisters Field and 'Ofiu. They are so cool. I love them so much already. It is going to be a blast living with them. SO EXCITED.

And then of course, I got to see my Apostolic crush, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I was so excited to see him. He was sick, so I didn't get to shake his hand, but I did get to elbow his elbow. And we got to talk for like 10 seconds. Sigh. He is such a stud. I almost told him I had a crush on him, but then I realized that may be inappropriate. He gave an excellent talk on how we need to reach out to all of our members. He said he is tired of the STP problem... Same Ten People... He said in the church, the leaders always tend to use the STP for callings, he said we need to reach out, especially to those who have strayed. Then he shared a personal story about his father. This is the story that I'm stealing from Sis Larsen, so I don't have to retype it, plus it's better than what my version would have been. In her words......

One evening is 1951 there was a Bishop, an Elder Quorum President, and a Sunday School President who went to go visit a less active man, Frank. [Elder Holland Excerpt: A very interesting group of men to go make this visit] When they knocked on the door a man greeted them with a cigarette in his hand. The Bishop said Hello Frank. Frank invited the 3 men inside the house and they all stood awkwardly in the room while Frank put out his cigarette in a cup of coffee. [What a sight to see. You would think there was some word of wisdom issues. This coffee table really was to put a cup of coffee on not just postcards] The Bishop then tells Frank that they would like to call him to be a Sunday School teacher. Frank holds up a cigarette and says "But I Smoke" [Thank you Frank, like they didn't already know that. The 3 men knew that Frank smoked, drank coffee, and had an alcohol problem. Everyone in the ward knew that.] There came a long moment of awkward silence. The 3 men now are all feeling awkward and possibly even re-thinking about their decision. The Elders Quorum President is looking at his shoes, as he has been the whole time. The Sunday School President is looking to the side, studying some random object, who knows what the Bishop was doing. Frank was feeling equally as awkward and so to avoid any awkward stares he turned 90 degrees and saw me. I was just standing there (Elder Holland stands with his arms by his side and makes an innocent looking face) I probably shouldn't have even been in the room. I shouldn't have been there, but I was. My 10 year old self was just standing there. The first real revelation my father ever got through the Holy Ghost was right there at that moment. In that moment the spirit spoke to him and said "They are talking about Jeff's class" No one had mentioned what Sunday school class it was. Frank looked at the men, then back at me. Back at the men and then back at me. Frank then turned to the 3 men and said, when do you want me to do this. The Sunday School president then said if your asking when do you start, you will start this Sunday [This day happened to be a Tuesday]. But as an answer to your other question I guess that is why we are here. To see if you'll do it. Frank stood there for a moment. Then took the package of cigarettes out of his shirt pocket,  and tossed it into the fireplace and said, I'll do it. [I didn't know that they made white short sleeve shirts without a package of cigarettes in the pocket. Growing up I had always seen a package in the pocket so I thought you just bought the shirt like that.] Right then there was the biggest crash in the kitchen. My mother was "inconspicuously" listening to the whole conversation that was going on. When she heard Frank say I'll do it, she didn't just drop something, she had taken everything out of all of the cupboards, all of the pots and pans were on the floor. It was a very loud crash. That next Sunday my father taught my Sunday school class. I had learned later on that after that night he told my mother that he didn't want to be a hypocrite while teaching, so he cleaned up his act and stopped smoking and drinking coffee and his beer.

After this story Elder Holland put on his Apostle voice and said with all the conviction of his soul. "Don't you ever think that just because someone has a problem that they aren't capable of doing something great!" He said that in the church we tend to stick to the STP syndrome. the Same Ten People. He said that if it wasn't for those 3 men taking a chance on Frank, that Elder Holland's chances of him being active later on in life were almost non-existent. And that it was because of these 3 men that a wife and mother's prayers were answered. For the last 20 years his mother had been praying for her husband, and that something in him would change and that he would want to come back to church. Many lives have been blessed because of these 3 men. 

It was just so cool. Loved the story!

Well. I'm learning many things about myself. The Lord is good about doing that. He'll tell ya exactly what your weaknesses are and I've had my eyes opened this week. I'm trying to be more Christ-like in every aspect of the work and it is really tough. I'm glad I don't have to be perfect, because I'm realizing how far from perfect I really am. I'm coming to understand how I need to rely more on our Heavenly Father and His strength to get me through. And be willing to accept His will. Humility. Yes- I'm working on that.

A mission is a great learning experience. I just keep learning and learning and learning. And I LOVE IT.


And I really love my family. I miss y'all, a lot.

Love ya.


Sister Andelin

Repping the badge with the paper shirt

Picture with my Apostolic crush.
These are the 3 other sisters I am so lucky to be living with

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