Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December 30: See ya next year!! 2014


Hey Hey Hey!

Ok, before I begin this lovely letter, I realize I must start with an expression of my gratitude! I do not believe I even thanked yall for the Christmas presents/love I received. I truly do appreciate everything everyone gave me. It means a whole hecka lot. I had a great Christmas.

Also, random cool side note. I was doing a little bit of some genealogical research this past week, and I never realized..but the namesake "Farley" can be traced back all the way to the 1500s! It probably even goes further, but we don't have the records for it yet. Isn't that incredible! So Justin, you need to pass "Farley" on to one of your son's or else you'll our ancestors will haunt you forever. Just kidding about that last part. But seriously, isn't that fascinating?!

An update on my new area. Things are still going great here. We've tried a new experiment, that we like to call "making appointments with God." Justin actually inspired me with this idea. I remember him talking about it one time. But basically, we pick a street in our area, after we pick the street, we decide a specific time that we will be on that street. Then we pray and ask God to bless us with someone ready to receive the restored gospel on that street at that time.

And let me tell you, we have had miraculous experiences doing so. We've only tried it twice, but each time, people have been placed in our path. It is incredible. One of the days, we were walking down the street and saw a mailman parked on the side of the specific road we prayed about. After not having talked to anyone yet, we determined he must be the one. From friendly conversation, we determined it was God, because he told us that is was odd that he stopped on that particular street at that time, when we were passing by. However, he told us he was not interested in learning more and refused a Book of Mormon and even a card. A little discouraged, we walked on. 

However, as we turned the corner, we saw a man sitting outside with 4 little kids running around him. We said "Hello!" from across the street and went up to talk to him. He recognized that we were some sort of religious people and he broke down in tears. He said that he was going through a nasty divorce and struggling with alcoholism and needed to find God. Surprised at his reaction, we sat down with him on the side of the road and listened to his struggles. We set up a time to meet with him. Only minutes later, a lady walked out of her house and greeted us. Telling us that she was baptized a couple of years ago but had fallen away. She welcomed us to visit her the next week.

It was just so incredible! Then we turn the next street corner and walk by two guys. We greet them and come to find out, one of them is a member from another stake helping his buddy out. We have a lovely conversation and then the buddy's wife comes out. We meet her. She is Jewish- from Israel. And she invites us in to feed us a late lunch and talk to her about our religion. We will be going back to visit all these people sometime this next week. GAHHHHHHHHH. So cool. Love it.

We have been enjoying walking around a lot more as well. And talking to everyone. Very cool.
I've had some very neat experiences this past week and feel truly blessed. My testimony has been strengthened and I know that God is real.

Sister Andelin

P.S. That is so cool about the cheetah cubs!

Service--in the fridge


Me n' my homie-Santa
 **Also, here are some old pictures Melissa just sent us. This is from her old area. **

December 24: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Welp. I am currently sitting in the family history center, typing this email.

The libraries up here in the north end of town are very small and are bombarded with missionaries, so we escaped here and don't have to wait to email home.

I miss my old area and companions. The Diaz's drove me to transfers and then to my new house. And when I had to say bye, I just cried and cried. It was truly like I was leaving home again- for the second time.

Northern Vegas is VERY different from where I just came from. Like very different. BUT I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

I live with an 88 year old lady, named Donna. She is the funniest person alive. She has so much energy that it is ridiculous. She is a little firecracker. She treats us very well here. And we love her so much and she loves us. We call her Grandma D. 

I love my new companion, Sister Larsen. She is incredible. Very talented. We get along great and have had many hilarious moments thus far.

We've had a pretty busy week this past week, considering that we're both new and just trying to get to know the area. We are blessed with some good solid investigators. One of them has MS and is confined to a wheelchair, so we had the privilege of walking her to and from church on Sunday because she lives so close to the building. Another is from Argentina and has been coming to church pretty solidly for about a year or so. And another is in her 80s, from the Virgin Islands, and has also had a good record of church attendance.

The ward here is incredible. They have just opened their arms to us and welcomed us with so much love. And they're so missionary minded! They constantly invite people over for dinners, to church, etc etc. 

Oh and guess how many sets of missionaries are in the ward I'm in now....


One set of young elders. One set of young sisters (us). A set of single sisters. And an older couple.

But the other two, have specific missions-- welfare services and addiction recovery.

But still.

It's weird sharing a ward with elders. But kind of cool.

Guess where we are spending Christmas Day???? 

At Uncle Alan Ozaki's :) He lives in my new zone boundaries, so he is letting us spend Christmas with him. Elder Andelin might be coming over as well for a little part of the day. So I'll probably call closer to 12/1 my time, but I'm not sure. I'm so excited to call yall!!!

Speaking of which, it is so funny having him as my district leader. We had a district breakfast the other day and I started a transfer-long competition. The district is going to have to determine who the better Andelin is at the end- the female or male version. :) Haha. Also, people in his old ward, still remember him and so they'll ask if we are related. I like to tell them, "Yes, we are. In fact, I'm his better half." And then proceed to tell them I'm just kidding.

My new zone is awesome. There is so much musical talent, it is ridiculous. We went caroling last night to our investigators, by our districts. Then we went to the mission home (they live like 10 min away from us) as a zone and we caroled to them. They were so excited and they let us in and we spent some time there. And then all these missionaries showed off their musical prowess to them. I thought of Thom-butt Fairholm and how much he would have enjoyed/appreciated it :)

So I have had an experience where I have literally feared for my life. We have been going through our area list and hitting up LA and DNCs (those are my favorite). Well we saw these words written next to one of the DNCs--- "Attacked a missionary. Bit him. Dangerous!" So what do we do after we read that? We go to that house of course. The outside is covered in anti-government like-shrines. We slowly walk to the doorbell and press it. After standing about 10 feet away from the door, with no sign of movement in the house, we get ready to leave. Then we hear a voice from beyond the door say "Who is it?"

Dang it. 

"The missionaries!"

"The who?"

"The sister missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!"


She opens the door. But we can't see her because of the storm gate in front.

Then she opens the storm gate.

"Come on in! It's cold out there!"

Really dang it. My heart is pounding....I scramble for the phone-- " know what, actually someone is calling us right now and we..." There is no ring and I am holding the phone up like an idiot.

"Well come on in and take the call. I don't bite." (Ironic, right?)

She grabs Sister Larsen's arm and welcomes her in.

I figure if my companion is going to die, I'm going to die with her.

.......To be continued.......

I'll have to tell ya the rest of this story on Christmas day!!! Tehe. I hope the suspense is strong!

I love you all. Things here are going great. 

God is great. The gospel's good. And Vegas is crazzzy. (Sing to the country song)

Love yall!

EEEEEEKKKKKK. I can't wait to see yall....auhwiueryhauihskdfhsek


Sister Andelin

P.S. Thanks for the hand-written/scaned ghetto letters- Justin, Amberlie, and Taylor! Haha. It made my day

December 16: Two is Better than One


From the sounds of the latest email, I do not believe you have gotten my latest hand-written letter. I sent home a Christmas card that my companions and I put together :) And in the note, I explained that I wouldn't need the boots/coat anymore. Oh well.

I did get the CD from ya Mumma! Thank you!! The funny thing is, it is a Sing-a-long, which means there are no lyrics...but it is nice instrumentals :)

There is so much to tell to yall today!!!

Well let me explain why I didn't need the jacket/boots anymore. We were at a members' house the other night and we were freezing. She was asking us if we had warmer clothes and we explained that we didn't. We returned back to our house for daily planning, when all of a sudden we hear a knock at our door at 9:15 at night. Imagine our surprise and gratitude, when we open the door to see that same member with an armful of jackets, hats, and scarves to give us. She said she went through her closet and found those items and if we wanted them and they fit, we could keep them. The next day she brought over more, including boots, from her mother's closet. It was the sweetest thing. My heart swelled in gratitude. The members here are so incredible. They would literally give you the clothes off their backs if you needed it. I love them.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm leaving.

Right before Christmas! I'm sad because I have grown so close to the people here in Southern Highlands. And we had Christmas Eve and Christmas plans :/

The trio is getting split up and Sister Thornock and Sister Tuia are both staying. They have been so much fun to work with. We've shared many laughs. Ok. I've got to tell you a funny story that happened this past week. So, we have been working with this lady J. She is...unique. I love her, don't get me wrong. But she is different. Whenever we leave, we always say a prayer(s) with her. But she likes to do "rolling prayers" where everyone gets to pray one after the other. Well this particular day, she was feeling very talkative and she prayed for literally 13 minutes straight. (I timed her) At about the half-way mark, Sister Tuia FALLS ASLEEP AND STARTS SNORING! Sister Thornock hits her, to wake her up...and then it takes all that is in us, to not bust out laughing. I think

I probably burst some veins, trying to contain myself. 

Well it hasn't hit me completely yet.  Sister Tuia described leaving your first area is like leaving home for the mission. It really is true. Because I love everyone here so much. It was really sad too, because at church yesterday, a guy we've been teaching found out I was leaving and he started crying. He literally got up out of his chair and left the room. Later, he gave me this little pendant that is dear to him. It broke my heart.

Also my dear sweet Diaz family fed me my last supper. I had the sinking feeling I was leaving this whole transfer, so I made sure to save the last meal on the dinner calendar for them. Bro. Diaz had a work party in California where they were giving away giant gifts and money, but he and the family skipped so they could be there for dinner with me. He said "Why should I worry about getting fed monetarily, when I could be fed spiritually by you sisters??" They are so cool. They even bought a Christmas tree that they wanted us to help decorate. Gah. I'm going to miss them. And Sister Diaz gave me this beautiful ruby ring that she said she has had since she was 20 years old. So I was thinking I would wear the rest of my mission and then one day, if my daughter wants to serve a mission, I could pass it down to her :)

I'm getting double transferred to the Vegas Stake. My new companion will be the lovely Sister Larsen. I don't know a whole lot about her, but we've talked a few times and she is super cute and cool. But because we are getting double transferred we won't know anyone...we'll just be poor little lonely missionaries on Christmas. Haha.
I'm not too worried about it. We are going to be living with a member in her house, so that'll be fun.

I've been packing all this morning and I've accumulated so much rubbish! I have gotten rid of a lot of things, but I still have a TON. A ward member gave me one of their old suitcases. So I now have 3 suitcases. And also some boxes of STUFF. I'm probably going to be mailing some STUFF home to yall soon.

But the crazy thing is, guess who is going to be in my zone?
Elder Hyrum Andelin.

Guess who is going to be my new district leader?
Elder Hyrum Andelin

Guess whose old ward I'm taking over?
Elder Hyrum Andelin

Guess why the sky is blue?

I have no idea.

I'm super duper luper excited to be around him ALL the time. I'm going to bug him ALL day long.

Also, that is why the subject line is what it is---- because "two [Andelins are] better than one."

Well it is bittersweet.

I am ready to move on though and have new experiences. It'll all be good.

And yes, we can Skype or facetime on Christmas day. The calls are supposed to only be 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure what time to call. When would be best for yall? Are yall three hours ahead of me? Maybe I'll call like around 12 or 1 my time?

That is so sweet of Sister Paul to have emailed you. We stopped by her house last night. And we shared our Christmas message and I got all chocked up during it. And then I was crying as I was hugging her and told her that she was my mission mom. She has taken really good care of me here. I'm really gonna miss her a lot. On a happier note, she has a really cool collection of nativity sets from around the world! She has like 50+ nativities! So cool!

Well I love yall.

See ya next week!!!!!

<3 Sister Andelin

These are the glamour shots we had done :)

Mother and daughter love

Christmas "mice" I ate :)

The beautiful ring

December 9: Let it snow?

Christmas season is here!

And I get to see yalls faces in less than 20 days. Weird.

In honor of the Christmas season, my tri-panionship, prepared a special Christmas message. It is really special and spiritual.

So we tell the story and prophecies of Christ's birth, using the Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon. Sister Tuia only reads from the OT, Sister Thornock reads only from the NT, and I read only from the BoM. It is really powerful, because it shows how the Bible and Book of Mormon support each other and compliment each other.

Here is the outline. You should try it using three separate people (it is more powerful that way)
Old Testament
New Testament
Book of Mormon
Isaiah 7:14
Alma 7:10
Luke 1:31,35
Isaiah 9:6 ; 2 Nephi 19:6 (read together)
Luke 2:11-14
Numbers 24:17
Helaman 14:5-6
Matthew 2:1-2 ; 9-10
3 Nephi 1:21
--Brief Pause--
3 Nephi 9:15-18 ; 21-22

We've had some really cool success with it.

I'm a little bit sad, because I really think I'm leaving this time with this new transfer. I'm a little bummed because it is right before Christmas and I've gotten really close with the people here in my area and we have special plans with some of them. I love them all. I love my companions. I love the area. I love the work. And I realize the work moves forward and that involves change. So I'm not too bummed. It'll all work out how it is supposed to.

We had a really special lesson with two less active members. From the very beginning of the lesson, the spirit was so strong. We were teaching using the pamphlets and I asked K what he saw on the front cover. (It is a picture of Christ tenderly holding a lamb) He answered and said "My brother." It was really cool though, because the spirit was there throughout the entire lesson. I am a little bummed, because during the lesson, I had the random thought "Ask him about the Law of Tithing." But I thought "What in the world? How do I ask him about that?" And I didn't. We committed them to coming to church on Sunday and they came! I was so excited. But what do you think the topic was for the talks on Sacrament meeting? Yup. Tithing. I was bummed and realized I should have just trusted in the spirit.

I've been studying a lot about charity recently. And trying to develop that Christ like attribute. I figured I really need to gain that attribute, especially because the scriptures tell us that if we don't have charity, we are nothing. It can be difficult to love people all the time, unconditionally. Especially when they don't keep their commitments or they flat out reject you. But I've had some very fervent prayers to be filled with that "pure love of Christ" and sometimes I catch a miniscule glimpse of how our Heavenly Father and Savior feel about us. I've had some very sacred moments when I channel that love and can hear Heavenly Father whisper to me "This is my child and I love them." I've been getting better at letting go of anger and hurt and jealousy, all negative feelings, and just relying on charity to fill me up. I am by no means an expert...yet...but I have improved a whole lot in my ability to love.

I love you all!

Sister Andelin

Evidence that Vegas is freezing--literally. It's freezing water--into ice.

December 2: Thanksgiving

This week has been a very good week.

It was kind of odd to not be at home for Thanksgiving, but I guess it isn't my first away from home.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I had exchanges with Sister Rasmussen. Her area is super different from mine, but I loved it. We had the opportunity to meet a part member family who lived in humble circumstances- a mobile home. And I had the  distinct honor of meeting my little friend- Christian. He is a 6 year old who was badly burned in an apartment fire when he was only months old. He has scarring all on his head and arms from multiple surgeries, where they had to graft his skin. And he will continue to have surgeries until he is done growing. They were explaining this to us when we came and he shyly hid his face.

I said "Christian that is so special! That makes you unique! Look at me- I have freckles all over my skin and not that many people have them as much as me!"

I just felt this instant connection with him as soon as I met him.

Later on, he had gotten in trouble and got sent to his room. When we went to teach a brief lesson, I asked his parents if he could join us again. They said "Yes" and proceeded to yell for him to come out. As he walked out, I called him over to me and whispered "Hey, I got you out of your room. You're welcome. Are we best friends now?"

He said "We are friends?" He seemed shocked that we could be.

I said "Of course we're friends!"

I took a picture with him and hugged him. I even started tearing up a little bit when we had to leave, because I realized, I'll probably never see him again. :( It was just such a special moment, because I felt like I knew him---like we had known each other for a very long time.

He taught me a lot in that hour I spent with him. He is a special spirit, housed in a broken body.

I attached a picture that I took with him.

On actual Thanksgiving, we had the annual Turkey Bowl, where all the missionaries in our mission assemble and play flag football, competing zone against zone. This year was the first year they let sisters play--of course, only against sisters. They divided the sisters up into 2 teams. My team lost :( But it was so much fun!

I also went a little crazy, because I nominated myself as head coach over the elders team. (I even had to call all of the companionships and determine that they'd let me be the coach.) And I went to D.I. and threw together an elite coaching outfit. It was complete with aviators, a clipboard, and whistle. One of the elders even wrote me a "pump-up" speech that I gave before they played. It was really fun--I was a little shocked when they actually expected me to determine subs. I wasn't really planning on doing anything, just yelling random nonsense at them. We actually won our first game- I was so proud. Then we lost our second.

So we had t-shirts made for our zone--Spring Mountain. And they even put on the back of mine-- Coach A . So kindly of them.

Hey did I ever tell you that I'm learning Taekwondo?!

Hey- I'm learning Taekwondo!

I broke a piece of plastic in half today...and now I have a lovely bruise on my knuckles.

It's pretty fun---although I'm pretty terrible at every thing else. (But at least I can punch things hard, right?)

Well things are going well here.

Yea, transfers are right before Christmas--on the 16th. I can't believe it's already December!! Where does the time go??

I love you all.

I know that the Atonement is real. The gospel is true.

Sister Andelin


Thoughts on Thanksgiving.
Alma 34:38  "..and that ye live in dthanksgiving daily, for the many emercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."
There shouldn't be just one day-- ie Thanksgiving -- where we recognize all that God has done for us. We should live in "Thanksgiving daily" by constantly counting our blessings and being grateful!

-- I got a hair cut! It's just a couple of inches shorter and I have side bangs now :)
-- And I'm so excited for Lindsay and Chris!

Christian and I

The Spring Mountain Zone at Turkey Bowl

The Andelins
The back of the t-shirt

Thanksgiving with the Pauls :)

November 25: Rain, rain, go away... and never come back ever again

From the subject of this letter, you have probably assumed (and if so, you'd be right) that we had rain here in Vegas.

It was kind of odd. It rained for 3 days straight.

Actually, contrary to the subject line, I did indeed enjoy the rain. It was something different.

But no one actually warned me that Vegas does indeed get cold. I have not been very prepared for the cold weather and have been freezing, especially at night. I need to go shopping and get some warm gear.

We've had a pretty interesting week here.

I have learned how to "speak in tongues." Let me explain...we went to our teenage investigator's house and she was skyping her boyfriend. All of a sudden, from the voice beyond (on the computer) we hear "bla-ble-da-bla-bla-blu." We just stand there and pretend like that didn't just happen. To our surprise, she responds back with "ble-bla-blum-de-ba-bu" At that point we have to acknowledge that there is a made-up language going on and take that as our que to leave. We set up a return appointment and then go. We have enjoyed "speaking in tongues" since then. Hahaha. Ble-bla-du-da-de-ba.

We also taught a lady, whose house smelled like weed. We believe it was her 17 year old son who was smoking it, upstairs. I did not know that smell before my mission. Kind of ironic, that I'm learning what it is, on the mission. So hopefully, it did not infiltrate my lungs too much.

Also, we got a referral from a ward member. So we went to her house--turns out she is an ex-Mormon! She was a really nice lady, but she was basically telling us we were going to go to Hell. And that the Bible is 100% accurate and there are no flaws in it. And that the Book of Mormon and the Bible can't go together. And that we believe in a different Christ. I was starting to get frustrated, but I knew I couldn't bash. So we just stood there and listened.

And then I bore my testimony to her and said

"I believe in the Bible as well. I believe the Book of Mormon and the Bible, can go together. And that the Book of Mormon better helps us understand the Bible. I believe in Christ- the same Christ as you. Look at my name-tag- It has Christ's name on it. He is our only hope for salvation." She then went on about some other skewed things.

My companions bore their testimonies and then we thanked her for her time and left. It was just an interesting experience. As we were standing on her doorstep, I was actually overcome with love for her. And sorrow. My heart hurt for her. She has denied the truth. Now twice.

We were at the mission office earlier today. I got to see President Ahlander's office. It was so cool. He gave us some candy as well. Then he proceeded to show us the transfers board and explain how he coordinates it through inspiration. I love that guy. He told us that this mission is getting 17 new sisters next year and 4 of them are Spanish speaking! I told him that I'd love to go Spanish speaking, and he told me to "study up!" So I'm hoping that he'll randomly assign me to be Spanish speaking :)

I love this gospel. I love the simplicity. I love our Savior. I love the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The scriptures are so delicious--I could study all day!

Love ya.

Sister Andelin

We made S'mores at the Diaz's for dessert

We helped one of our investigators put up and decorate her Christmas tree