Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12: Hello!


I just talked to y'all last night.

So I don't really know what to say...?

But pictures are worth a thousand words, so I sent like 7. There you have it-- 7,000 words with the simple click of a button.

Missionary highlight(s) of the week-

Elisa-- one of our eternagators wants to be baptized!!! She said it finally feels right!!! But she is going to wait until December, when her mom will be here from Argentina.

We got to go to the temple this week! That was really exciting. I LOVE going to the temple. Misty Peery (my home slice) took us and then bought us lunch in the temple cafe. <------- That place has some DELICIOUS food.

In other news, speaking of delicious food, I am no longer allowed to eat any. I am supposed to start a sugar-free, gluten-free diet as directed by our missionary medical doctor.

What. In. The. World?!!?

I wanted "death by chocolate," now I'm going to get "death by starvation."

Apparently, there is some really good priced air around here that you can buy and eat. And water. Well at least I sure hope so, because that is ALL I'LL BE ABLE TO PUT IN MY BODY.

We just went shopping and loaded up on health foods.

We'll see how long this thing lasts.

Like I've said earlier-- it is impossible to diet on a mission.

But if it'll make my stomach  any better, then I'll just have to find a way to make it work.






P.S. Now that I just saw a pic of the Fairholms, it totally reminded me, how I haven't heard from them in FOREVER!!!

P.P.S. And now I just remembered that they sent me a package like 6 months ago and I never even wrote them a thank-you or letter back.

P.P.P.S That is probably why they haven't written me. Now I will get off of my anger box.


I just really wanted to write in another color today to spice up my letter

Sometimes trees fall over in the wind

Must always carry deo for the B-O

At the temple, with the sistas and Misty :)


What do you think? I think they go well with my outfit

These are my new proselyting shoes

decided to take a study break and chill on the sofa

May 5: Missionary Week of Miracles

Over and over and over again.

He just keeps blessing me.

And I just keep being placed in the right situation at the right time. 

I've heard it said that a mission is like a giant spiritual reservoir of experiences that will help sustain you through the rest of your life. It's true. Well, I think. I haven't lived life past a mission, but the experiences I'm having now are molding me and shaping me. And I will treasure them forever.

If anyone is reading this thing, whether over email or my bloggie, and is deciding whether or not to serve a mission-- DON'T THINK TWICE. Go on a mission.

There are people that the Lord is preparing to be specifically taught by you. There are no coincidences in missionary work.

I know I was called to the Nevada Las Vegas West mission for specific missionaries, my specific mission president, specific experiences, and specific people.

If anyone ever dares question where they are called, I am now inviting you to repent of that heresy, because in reality that is completely selfish. The Lord is in the details of His work. 

Ok. I'm off my soapbox...for now.

Let me share with you some cool experiences I have been able to be a part of.


The next evening, we met a Filipino lady who literally fell into our hands. She asked US if we could teach HER. And then she walked us to her house and invited us in. She gave us some gatorade and then we started teaching her the first lesson. Pretty crazy. I've never had an experience like that on my mission.


The next day. Dinner time. We are 10 minutes late. Of course. Because I have no sense of direction. I see a man on the 2nd story of his apartment complex. We make eye contact. I wave. I have a feeling to talk to him. But we are late. I ignore feeling. Run to dinner. Post dinner, we are in the car leaving the complex. I see him walking into the complex. This is the convo that follows between my comp and I:

"Hey! That's the guy I waved at earlier!"

"Oh really?"

"Yes! Let's talk to him!"

"Ok!" She whips a U-ie and we return to the complex. She drives the car up to him, rolls down the window and says,

"Excuse me. Can I ask you a question? Are you a Christian?" Sis N

"Uh...what? Does it look like I need Christ?" (Now take note here, he is pretty ghetto-ly dressed.) He continues "Haha. Yes. We all need Christ. I am a Christian."

"Awesome! Well we are sharing messages about Jesus Christ." Sis N

"Yea. Do you remember us? I waved to you earlier. And then we saw you as we were leaving and this is crazy, but I just had this feeling that we needed to turn around and talk to you." Me

We park the car. Get out. And walk to a bench in the middle of the apartment complex to talk with this man. His name is Tim by the way. So crazy thing. Tim met with missionaries about a month ago. He went to church and really liked it. And then he lost everything- his house, car, phone, job, the missionaries' number. Now he is living with a friend in his apartment with him. Well his life went crazy pretty fast. And he was praying the night before he met us that God would guide him in his life and help him figure out what he needed to do. The next day, he met us. He was so overwhelmed that he literally started tearing up.

It was so cool. 

What's even cooler, is that earlier in the day, Sis Field had confided in me that she and Sis Freer were kind of down because they didn't have really anyone to teach for their YSA ward. Well Tim is YSA age. So we were able to pass him off to the other sisters.


Heck yes.

It was the coolest, sweetest tender mercy I think I have ever been apart of. I just dumped a pool of water into my reservoir.

Also, I've come to realize, my letters are becoming increasingly less funny.

And I apologize. I still think I have a sense of humor, but I'm just so focused, and I feel like Nephi in the BoM when he says he is only writing all of the important stuff. So I'm trying to write the important things. Just remember, I'm still me. Just hopefully a better version of me.

Also, has my bloggie been updated recently?

And I got those letters! Thanks Mumma! That is so cool! I can't believe how the zoo has been growing!! And getting national attention! That makes me really happy.

I love you all!

I love my Savior!!!

Sister Andelin

The A team at MLC (including E. Aldridge...who is from the Richmond stake)

Pizza party post baptism

Karyn and Eliana and the dynamic misisonary duo

April 28: Ey yo fam bam and other lams

Alrighty. Here's the inside scoop into my crazy missionary life.

A) I received a new companion. Her name is Sister Nelson. And I  LOVE HER! She is amazing. And she loves to work hard and have fun. She's a cutie. It is going to be a great 6 weeks! We are going to tear it up!

B) We taught a bunch of lessons. Mainly to random people on the street. We've been working on our street contacting and talking with EVERYONE. We have seen some miracles. We taught a homeless man on the street about the Restoration and he was so prepared! He prayed at the end and the spirit was so incredibly strong. As soon as we were done, we started walking again, but I was still overcome with the Spirit, and I tried hiding my tears, only to turn to my companion and see that she had been crying as well. All bets were off and we both just cried happy tears of joy!

C) We committed Marina to a baptismal date. She is really ready, but is nervous as well.

D) Karyn and Ellie had their baptismal interviews and their baptism will be this Thursday! Karyn is a remarkable lady. She is a single mom of the three cutest kids in the world. And May 1st is symbolic to her, because that is when her mom was baptized. (Her mom has since passed away.)

E) I got to be taught by Brother Brad Wilcox! He was amazing! It was a special conference for our entire mission. And it was funny because Sister Nelson and I were totally trying to figure out and understand the 12 tribes of Israel. We had set out to do a comp study about that and then guess what?!?! His talk was ALL about the 12 tribes of Israel and it really shed some light on that and how we fit in to the picture as Latter-Day Saints, but more especially as missionaries. The picture with me and him and Hyrum was right after the meeting. During his lesson, he called Sister Nelson and I up, with a couple other missionaries to do a demonstration about the birthright and receiving the double portion. Before we left to go sit down, I saw a bag of peanut M&Ms on the podium from when they announced him at the beginning, saying that he loved M&Ms. So I asked him if I could have some of them before I went to go sit down. He said, "Of course!" and proceeded to pour some in my hands. 

He called my companion back up to the podium give some to her and I said, "Don't worry about it. I'll share my birthright with her." It was funny. At the end of the meeting when we went up to talk with him, he gave me the rest of the M&M bag. So he'll probably remember me as the M&M girl. After the meeting, we had a special lunch with the APs, ZLs, and STLs at President's house with Brother Wilcox. It was such an awesome opportunity!

Yes I got my new camera and I love it! Thank you so much for that!
Hey I was wondering if for my birthday, if I could get one more Downeast Medium white shirt, and then 2 white Medium half shirts as well? My other ones are kinda nasty now.

I love you all!!!!

I love this gospel so much.

I love my Savior.

Sister Andelin

Chillin with my bud, Brad. Brad Wilcox that is.

The Carlton Clan. I love them

Elie and Jax. Elie is getting baptized on Thursday with her Momma!!

April 21: Transfers

So yup. We got transfer calls. Sister Larsen is going to Pahrump. And Sister Nelson is coming here. This is what
I know about her: she is from Idaho, she is older than me (21?), she is super cute, and more on the shy side.

I am going to run up to her tonight and give her the biggest hug and tell her how much I love her, before I even know her. And then she'll probably be really weirded out- but guess what?!?! I don't care!!!!!!!

Nah. She is really cool. I'm SUPER EXCITED!!

I also would like to apologize for the lack of great writing on my part for like the past long time. I'll work on it, but today I'm getting jyped like 20 minutes of my emailing time.

Elizabeth's baptism was great! I have pictures I would like to send, but they're on Sister Larsen's camera.
The service was great; many people from our ward came to support her. Even a bunch of missionaries did as well! (She is like friends with all of the missionaries around this area and invited them all to her baptism-- it was super cute!!) The spirit was really strong! And her parents came as well. Her father even offered the closing prayer! They are Catholic and are so excited for her, because they have noticed the complete 180 that she has made with her life and how extremely happy she is! They also came to her confirmation on Sunday! But Elizabeth is just positively beaming! Her birth sisters from Utah, whom she had never met, also came down for her baptism and now they have a friendship developing! Gah. I love this girl.

Y'all should come pick me up after my mission (or just come visit with me some other time) so that you can meet all of these wonderful people whom I love so much.

We had a great lesson with Kathy this week. And she has finally committed to a baptismal date! May 24th is what we are working towards. She is the coolest lady.
Missionary work is so hard! But I LOVE IT!!!

Yesterday was Easter and it was so special, because the members took such great care of us. We were invited to a morning-side with our WML and his family. Then one of the members in the ward gave me an Easter basket and said she was going to hide it, so that I had to find it, because she knew that is what Dad does for an Easter tradition. So cute!

Speaking of candy though, I have gotten SO much candy these past few weeks! I was so lucky to get a couple packages from family and friends (thanks by the way!!)  And pretty soon I'll be "6 months to sexy" so while I appreciate all of the love in packages and such, can I please not get any candy from anyone? I literally have so much candy, it is ridiculous.

I love you all so much!!!

The new "Because of Him" video is awesome!!!

I know it is truly because of Him that we have hope in this crazy world!!!

April 15: Good Week

Good week fam fam.

Hey so I was going through the area book this past week and I saw an Elder LaJoie in it. Is this you RS counselor's son? I am serving in the Palmhurst ward. It would have been the Sandstone Stake then.


The fireside went really well last night! I still was super nervous, but I made it through :) There is this one elder who wrote the song he sung, and it was amazing! Everyone stood up in the audience, because they were so moved.

We have some good potential people to work with this upcoming week! Super excited! Alona has a really good Russian friend who is also interested in the church. She came to church yesterday and she has a 19 yr old daughter in Reno going to school. She showed me a pic of her and then said that I would be her daughter. It was so cute. She is like the cutest lady ever!

We also recieved a referal for Donna McDonald. She is this hilarious black lady in her 60s. She met with missionaries about 20 years ago. She calls us "her girls" and we are calling her our "Grandma Donna". We are so excited to teach her. She wants to be baptized!

We had a cool experience street contacting. Sister Larsen felt impressed to go talk to this lady. She wasn't interested, but then we met a man named Draws. He was just sitting in his garage. He has tats all over his body and pierces all over his face. Your initial reaction of him would be to run away cause he is kinda scary looking. But, we started talking to him. He wasn't very friendly at first, but then he really opened up to us and he is super legit. In the middle of our convo, his roommate came out and said that his sister called and his mom (who lives in Illinois) is in the hospital and to call asap. So he called right then, but they didn't know what was going on...some kind of heart attack or something. We taught him a little lesson, left him with a BoM, and set up a return appt. During our prayer with him, he asked us to pray for his mom. I told him right before we lef,t "You know Draws, you probably scare a lot of people with how you look. But you don't scare me. I like you. You're a cool guy." So we're excited to hopefully start teaching him this next week.

Elizabeth. Oh how I love this girl. She has taken out the piercings on her face and tongue!! And she is literally radiating. Everyone in the ward just absolutely adores this girl. And she adores them all right back. Her life has just completley changed in the last few weeks. She got a job (and she said the first thing she thought was "Yay! Now I can pay tithing!"), a car, got her GED, started college, bought new church clothes and is about to get baptized on Saturday!!!!! Her parents are super supportive of her and have noticed the changes in her life and how happy she is--they said that they've never seen her so happy before. She has been planning her baptism and has just been absolutely excited. It is so fun. I have loved being a small part in this process. She told us the other day on the phone, "Sisters. I just love you guys so much. Am I allowed to say that? And I told my mom the other day how you guys keep saying you're going to come back after the mission and hang out with me and I hope you're actually being serious." We assured her that we are.

Speaking of, I am definitely coming back after my mission. I have to. I have to come visit all these people who have stolen little pieces of my heart. I absolutely love the people I work with. I can't even describe how much I love them- it is like my soul belongs here. There have been so many kindred spirits that I have met, that I instantly felt connected to. Transfers are coming up and it makes me really sad to think about the possibility that I could be leaving. Because last time I left an area, it was like leaving home all over again.

I have the best mission in the world. Sorry everyone else. But I really, truly do. And I don't ever want to leave.

I have grown so much over the past 9 months. I don't really even recognize myself. Well, I do. I am still Melissa Andelin. But I am a lot better version than the one you last remember.

Speaking of transfers, I have no idea what is going to happen. President wanted to speak with me before transfers happened and there is a good chance I'm staying. And a good chance I'm leaving. So 50 / 50 %. Haha. Sorry, no help. I'll find out in 6 days though! But I am ready for whatever the Lord wants.

I love you. I know Jesus Christ is real. I know He lives. I am so grateful that He is our Savior. And I can't wait for Easter, to celebrate His Resurrection. And I can't wait for the day, when I get to just give Him a hug and thank Him for everything and then fall at His feet and bathe His feet with my tears.

Sister Andelin 

April 7: Another Odd Week

Alrighty. This email is a sequel to last weeks.

And before I begin, I really hope that no one got the impression from last week's letter that I was bragging about our song. That was not the intent-- I was just really excited! 

Anyhew, we got a phone call from the APs again this week. I chatted with one of my favorite missionaries-- Elder Crapo (remember the picture from a couple of weeks ago??)-- and he invited us to perform our musical number this upcoming Sunday- the 13th-- for the first mission-wide musical fireside. 

[The past musical firesides have kind of been the pilot firesides for just our stake. But because of the success of the past 2, they have decided to adopt this idea as a whole mission. Now the firesides will be for the 10 or so stakes on this side of the valley. ]


That will be sooo many more people there. Yay---now I get to relive the fun anxiety ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

Oh and Mumma-- can you send me a new camera, por favor? That can be my birthday present :)

Ok. So I also want to update yall on some things that happened this past week and the week before. (Because I ran out of time, last time)

So last week we went to the Palmhurst ward with Elizabeth. We wanted her to try the YSA ward, just in case she would like that better, but she said she would only go if we went with her. So of course, we went with her. It was fast and testimony meeting. We sit down, and I nudge her and say, "Ok. It's your turn!" She turned to me and laughed, while saying, "Heck no!"

Minutes later, she stood up and went to the pulpit.

Shocked, Sister Larsen and I looked at each other and shrugged, then turned to look at Elizabeth. 

This is approximately what she said. 

"Hi everyone. My name is Elizabeth and I'm a ....." She looks down at us and we whisper,


She continues, "Investigator! Thanks. Yea so I'm an investigator. I've been meeting with the sisters for the past few months. And I just wanted to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it has changed my life. I love it! It is so delicious! But before I started meeting with the sisters, my life was really dull and had no meaning. Once they started teaching me and gave me a Book of Mormon, that all changed. I really struggled to know when the spirit was speaking to me and if I was feeling it. At one of our lessons, Sister Andelin asked me,

"Well how do you feel about the Book of Mormon?" And I said, "I love it!" She then said, "That's the spirit!"

 And then it dawned on me. It is also changing my daughter's life as well.I have a four year old daughter, Aaralyn, and the other day I was taking her to gymnastics. She asked me, "Mommy, am I like Jesus?" I was thrown off guard by the question and said, "Yea. You are." And then she said, "Good. Because I have been trying so hard every day!" Oh and I'm getting baptized on the 19th! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

It was so cool! When she sat back down, I turned to her and asked her why she got up. She started laughing and said, "I don't know! I just had this feeling to get up and then all of a sudden, my hand was on Sister Larsen's leg, and I was propping myself up. Next thing I knew, I was walking to the pulpit!"

Gah. I love this girl. Like so much. She has changed my life. And her little daughter, Aaralyn, is amazing. She is the cutest little girl- see picture for confirmation.

Also, when we watched Women's Conference the other day, it was super good. But Mumma, it made me miss you. Especially when those little girls were holding their mommy's hands. And I thought about you and wanted to hold your hand and give you the biggest hug.

Ok. Now on to some funny/weird stories.

I went on two exchanges this week.

I've come to understand that being an STL, really is a sacred calling. A lot of what you do for the sisters is to help build them up and inspire them. I've spent many an exchange crying with the sisters as they release the stress/worry/concern that has built up in them over the past weeks.

I've also come to realize that about 95% of the exchanges that I go on, something crazy happens. True to this statistic, the 2 I went on this past week were crazy.

I had to go with one sister to Urgent Care. And they almost sent us to the hospital. But we avoided that and just went to a normal doctor instead. As we were in Urgent Care though, the doctor said he was going to give her a shot. The nurse came back in with a rather long needle. I had a pretty good idea where this shot was gonna go, but the poor sister did not. I started laughing and she looked at me confused. Then she asked, "Wait. If I may ask...where is this shot going?" The nurse, who didn't speak too much English, said, "The bum." It was so. darn. funny. I was trying to restrain my laughter as I covered my eyes, so as to allow some privacy. As soon as the nurse left, the sister jumped up with a horrified expression on her face and mouthed, "THAT HURT SO BAD!!!!" Then we both burst out laughing.

On my other exchange, I got to be an Hermana misionera for 5 hours. I was so excited. They are the first 2 Spanish sister missionaries, but one of them was in the hospital getting her gall bladder removed, so I had the privilege of going out with the other Hermana. We had 2 lessons- one in English and the other in Spanglish. (The sister I went out with, has been an English sister for the past 8 months and doesn't know Spanish too well) It was cool though, because I got the gift of tongues for about 2 seconds and I formulated a couple of sentences in Spanish. 

Later on, we had to call our President to verify something and when he picked up I said, "Hi! This is Hermana Andelin!" He was a little confused and then I had to explain :)

It was so cool though, because while we were at the hospital, we got to talk to the nurse for about 35 minutes and she was pretty interested in the church! So we got her information and passed it along.

We have a couple more potential investigators that we'll be meeting with in the next few weeks. We're pretty excited about that :)

Conference was great. We got to watch it with 2 investigators!


I love you all! Thanks for your love and support!

I love Jesus Christ!


Sister Andelin

P.S. **Another story.

When I was on one of the exchanges, we got to break glass plates and cups on the driveway!! It was so epic!!!

Sis Larsen n I in a moving box!

4 piece box

March 31: Abide With Me

"Abide with me 'tis eventide. The day is past and gone.

The shadows of the evening fall. The night is coming on.

Within my heart, a welcome guest. Within my home abide

Oh Savior stay this night with me, behold 'tis eventide.

Oh Savior stay this night with me, behold 'tis eventide."

These are the lyrics to the song that I sang last night at another one of our missionary musical firesides. The theme of the program was "My Soul Hungered" (prayer). We assembled a musical group together and threw this arrangement together this past week. The piece started with me singing the first two lines a cappella. The third line, the piano came in. And the fourth and fifth, an elder sang a duet. Then there was a musical interlude with a violinist and the piano. The second verse, another elder joined in for a trio. The very end, the violinist joined us and we broke into a 4 part piece. And it ended with an elder singing a cappella and then the violin did one of those high note hold thingys.

I was so incredibly nervous. Of course we performed last, so I had the whole time to worry and pray. I literally prayed pretty much the entire time. HaHa. Which is ironic because the whole theme of the fireside was prayer.

But it turned out really well!!!! I was so happy and relieved when it was done.

Let me explain a little bit more of the back story. During our rehearsals, I kept telling Elder Bowser and Elder Short that I didn't want to do the solo. And I kept trying to pawn it off on them. But they wouldn't let me. They said I had to do it. But I was literally sick to my stomach with nerves. I don't know if I've ever been that nervous.
Elder Bowser told me, "Sister Andelin, you have a beautiful voice. All you are lacking is confidence!"

I didn't believe him and continued to be nervous.

Elder Short told me, "Sister Andelin. Think about the words and what they mean."
Later on Elder Bowser said,

 "Sister Andelin. You are being selfish. Stop thinking about yourself. Forget yourself and get to singing! This song isn't about you. It is about the Savior. So sing for Him! You are hiding your talent under a bushel and what does the Savior say about that?"

That really hit me. And I realized I had to sing the song. And I needed help from God :)
But it all went really well.
We got so many compliments afterwards and people just kept coming up to me. Some people said they were brought to tears.

A man brought up a RC (recent convert)  and INV (Investigator) and told me, "You have a lot of admirers here tonight. You have a beautiful soprano voice- so clean and soft. These ladies here loved it and were brought to tears and wanted to meet you."

I started talking to them, but it had to be translated because they are Tawainese. I offered that we could sing that song again at the Investigator's baptism and she said she'd love that.
Another guy came up and said, "WOW! That was amazing. You should try out for American Idol!"
A missionary told me, "Man. I am still just blown out of the water from that song!"
And then another missionary told me, "Sister Andelin- honestly, I didn't think you could sing before. But that was amazing."

I'm not trying to boast or glory in myself, like Ammon says in the scriptures, but I am just so grateful that God helped me through this experience. I know that He helped amplify my talents last night.

One of the elders got a recording of it...I'll try and get a hold of that sometime and send it to ya!

Oh and on another awesome note, Elizabeth is getting baptized on the 19th!!! I am so excited for her!! She is amazing. She bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday on her love of the BoM. She said it was delicious to her and she loved it! (Afterwards she came up to me and said-- Sorry I stole your term.) (I say the scriptures are delicious all the time)

Ok. I'm running out of time.

The gospel is real and true and I love it!!

Sister Andelin

March 24: Dearest familia y amigos

Too many stories I should like to share.

So little time.

I'm sorry that is the common theme of all these letters.

Let me start with a funny story.

We had a leadership training meeting and I was talking to an elder. This is how our conversation went.

Him- "I will never marry a returned sister missionary."
Me- "Oh really? And why is that?"
Him- "Because I don't want to be junior companion for the rest of my life!"

I didn't have the heart to tell him that, that would be the scenario whether she is an RM or not. Haha. That made me chuckle.

At that training, the APs called Elder Andelin up to the stage. They proceeded to go around and offer a chocolate chip cookie to everyone, and regardless of whether the person wanted the cookie or not, Elder Andelin had to do 3 push ups for them. There were over 80 people there. Needless to say, Elder Andelin was exhausted. At one point, his companion was able to go encourage him and help him. It was really hard to fact, I couldn't watch most of it. They related this to the Atonement and how much our Savior loves us. The price has been paid for each of us. Now it is up to us to accept it and then share it. It was really touching, that's fo shizzle.

We had stake conference this past weekend and Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the 70 came and spoke. He is the one who gave the talk "Game Plan" at General Conference. He got us all pumped uo in Vegas about MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!! It is so funny, because ever since then, members are much more willing to help out. We have gotten offers and calls/texts about when they are available to come out.

But he gave some amazing talks. Elizabeth was there and in one of his talks, he mentioned her favorite scripture-- Moroni 7:41. I talked to him afterwards and explained the situation. He was so excited. He said "The Lord is so merciful. And He was speaking to her. We don't know what He was saying, but He was speaking."

During the adult session, he played an epic video and then asked for people's inputs on how they felt about missionary work. I raised my hand and said, "It's game time!"

And he said, "Yea! It's game time exclamation point!" (Do you remember his talk in conference? His was all about the Exclamation Points!!!!)

PLEASE PEOPLE. Help your local missionaries out. If you do not, you are neglecting your responsibilities. Feeding is nice. But NOT ENOUGH. Go out with them!! Get the spirit of missionary work in your life. (When you do go out with them, let them do the teaching though. They are set apart to teach the gospel. And they are trying to teach it simply. Don't complicate stuff.)

Ok. I'm off my soapbox...for now. ;)

We also just had a really neat experience last evening. We were going to a referral and we saw these 5 little boys outside playing soccer. In my mind I thought- Go talk to the boys. So I yell "Hello" at them and they stop playing and all look at me really weird without saying anything. So then I say, "It's can say Hello back!" (Sometimes I still am sassy. Ok...let's be real. I pretty much always am. Hah) So then they start coming up to us and ask why we're going to that lady's house. They explained that she had giant dogs that could pretty much eat us. So then we play along and say, "Really?!?" And they get all excited and say, "Yea! And they can jump over the fence and attack you!" So we start talking to them and they are this little ragtag bunch of boys ranging in age from 7-13 years old. Some of them have had pretty tough lives. We pulled out our pamphlets and showed them the picture of Christ. We asked if they knew who that was. And they did. We testified that He loves them. I sat on the driveway and they proceeded to follow my lead and sat down. We started teaching them some more restored truths. There was one little boy in particular, Hansel, who was such a special spirit. You could tell he wanted to hear what we were teaching. He would shush the other boys when they got too rowdy and he intently listened the entire time. We taught them how to pray and Hansel offered a prayer. It was such a tender moment. We got their information- address's and some of their parent's numbers- and set up times to go back and visit. We don't know how their parents will react, but I am just so grateful for the experience and that we taught them how to pray.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord blesses us when we open our mouths. It can be scary. For instance, today at the store, I felt to talk to the man behind us in line. He is 84 years old and from Russia. His father had a ticket to board the Titanic in 1912, but for "some reason" he didn't board it. We started talking and he looked at me and said, "You're a Mormon, aren't you?" I replied, "Yes! Did you see my tag?" I looked down at my tag and realized my hair was covering it. He said "No, I didn't. I could just tell looking at you." So we proceed to have a conversation until we go outside to the parking lot. He was a kind gentleman, but he was really confused. His thinking wasn't very logical, yet he professed to believe in logic. I tried the love analogy again (pretty dangerous, considering how it went last time) but it worked on him. I said, "You say you love your kids. But I can't see that love, therefore, by your logic, it doesn't exist." He said, "Yea, but I.." I interrupt him, already knowing where he is going. "You show your love to them. You buy them things, you hug them, you take them places...these are all manifestations of your love. But it is not the actual "love" itself. Love is intangible. I can't hold it in my hands or see the actual love. You only feel it in here (point to heart).  That is how it is with faith. You can't hold my faith. You can see the manifestations of faith, because faith causes us to act. But faith is a feeling." He paused and thought for a second. Then said, "You have a point. You got me there." But he kept trying to give us anti-literature. I declined and he said, "I know why you won't take it. It's because you're scared." I said, "No. I'm not scared. I know what I believe...."  We then bore our testimonies, thanked him for his time, and then left. I don't know if he'll ever listen in this life. But I am grateful that I had the courage to speak with him. If anything, it strengthened my faith and for that I'm grateful.

Life is so good. 

Share some happiness.

Typical cousin pic

Happy 9 months- Did I not tell you I was gestating? Haha

March 17: Happy Saint Patrick's Day Yall

Congratulations on your successful talk giving!

I actually am really coming to enjoy giving talks, especially when I channel the spirit and the revelation just pours through as I am preparing. It is really exhilarating.

I am so proud of you Taylor for getting into show choir! YAY!! I always knew you'd do it! That is something that I regret not doing--trying out for show choir. You know, since being on my mission I have really developed a love of singing...probably because that is the only thing you really can do. haha

Dennis's baptism was this past weekend! It was so incredible- the spirit was so strong! It took 4 missionaries to carry him into the font and then Dennis's friend Calvin was in the font as well and performed the actual ordinance. Our investigator, Elizabeth, came to the baptism and she is so sweet. She went to the store to pick up Dennis's favorite candy Milky Way (we meant to get some but ran out of time) We had over 70+ people there in attendance. Gah. It was just amazing.

Speaking of amazing, God is in the details of our lives. He knows our fears and anxieties. Elizabeth came to a RS activity and was nervous to bring her 4 year old daughter, Aaralyn, because we told her there probably wouldn't be any other kids there. We said not to worry about it, but she was SO NERVOUS! So then she decided to show up and guess who pulls up at the same time? The bishop's wife with her 4 year old daughter. I talked to Sis. Doxey later on and asked her if she had talked to Elizabeth before she came and she said, "Nope." So then I asked her why she brought her daughter and she said, "I actually wasn't going to bring her. I told her it was an activity for mommies, but she was at soccer practice and kept saying, "Mommy! I want to go! I want to go!" So I decided to bring her." It was such a neat experience. And that same night Elizabeth said she wants to be baptized!


Love Yall.

Also, don't forget about me please-- I still like mail :)

Sister Andelin

March 10: Russians and Wheelchairs

Dearest people of whom are reading this.

Wow. My heart is full and a little bit sad.

I am so excited for friends leaving on missions and coming home.

I have made some awesome friends here in the field that are going home tomorrow, namely my trainer- Mama Dewey.

At Alona's baptism (I'll tell you more about that shortly) on Saturday, an elder came up to me and said "Sister Andelin! You've been out for 9 months! You're half-way done!"

And I just stood there, thinking, "Way to ruin a priceless moment, Elder. Thanks." Haha. But I was a little overcome with sadness thinking how fast time flies. It still amazes me how much I don't know, for how long I've been out. I guess that is the whole fun of it all.

Sometimes, I feel like a greenie still, not really knowing what the heck is going on around me. As one elder often says "I'm just a little boy in a big world." And that is how I feel most of the time, except more like "A little girl in a big world." Especially more so now, because we are learning a whole new way of teaching instituted from Church Headquarters. I have nick-named it "NETS" (New and effective teaching style). (I'm also trying to get that nickname to catch on in the mission) But it's fun. I love it. I'm just taking each day, one at a time, and loving it.

Anyhew. Let's recap the week.

I had the chance to speak at a morning side for some seminary kids here in Vegas the other morning. I was so excited to speak, because I got to share my story of how I decided to serve and how everything just fell into place in the end. Also, one of my favorite elders (the one from the picture last week) also spoke as well and he did a great job. Also, just for your informations, he was just called as the new AP. Haha. But it was just a cool experience and I hope that I can have inspired some young women (and men) to go on missions one day. At the end, I said "Heavenly Father is preparing people in your missions to be taught by YOU one day."

Which speaking of, I got the best email from Sister Diaz today telling me that she was asked to speak in stake conference this upcoming Saturday evening on her conversion story. I am just elated and I wish I could go, but we have a baptism at that time. 

OK. OK. OK. 

Remember Dennis that I've told you about? Maybe I haven't. Well Dennis is awesome. He was in a really bad car accident 7 years ago and has very limited communication. He communicates mainly through head nods "yes" and "no" and occasional one word answers (like last night we asked him what his favorite color is and he said "blue") He is definitely there, but can't really communicate. His wife is a member and they've been married for 30+ years. She is amazing. She is his full-time caretaker and she loves him unconditionally. It is like the sweetest love story. EVER. He is getting baptized this Saturday evening at 7pm, but he had not been in water ever since the accident, so we decided a "practice baptism" would be appropriate. (He has a lot of family and friends coming in from around the country for his actual baptism, so that's why we didn't just have the baptism then) So we summoned a group of elders to come and help and they figured out how many people were needed to help carry him and be in the font. It was so neat. I can't wait for his actual baptism this Saturday. It will be an incredible experience.

Speaking of baptisms, Alona was baptized this past week. Alona is amazing. Downright amazing. She is Russian and has lived in the states for only about 12 years. She has a thick accent and it is so cute. She never really had religion growing up in Russia. She tried different churches, because she was curious, but never felt anything. Then when she came to the states, some of her Russian friends started joining the church. She became somewhat curious. Then she went to SLC this past fall and wanted to visit temple square. One of her friends warned her not to go, because he said "The Mormons will brainwash you if you go." She dismissed him and said, "I will not be brainwashed and I want to go." She went and while there an important man (we are assuming a general authority, because she said everyone kept staring at them all wide-eyed) heard her accent and started talking to her. He dismissed the sister missionaries there and said he would show her around. They spent the next 3 hours touring temple square. She said he wasn't pushy, he just shared his love for his church with her. And she felt something. When she returned home, she figured out how to get the missionaries to come. My MTC comp and her comp taught her the first couple of lessons. And then she took a break. When my comp and I came in, she contacted us and said she was ready to start the lessons again. Her baptism was beautiful. She bore her testimony and told her story. She is a very logical person, very sharp, and independent. (She owns her own construction company) But as she bore her testimony she said, "I finally felt something when I came here. And I am very logical. I need to know whys. But I just felt it was right. But it is like the lights (she pointed to the ceiling). I don't know how they work, they just do. And I am ok with this." (Read in a Russian accent, it is much cooler) She was just beaming. So excited. She literally glowed.

The next day at church, another one of our investigators, Elizabeth, was sitting with us in the pews. She is also super awesome. She came to the baptism. She caught a ride on the bus to get there and she said she wanted to be spiritually prepared for the baptism, so she brought her triple combo and started reading it on the bus ride over. She went to look up baptism in the index and opened to Joseph Smith History. She read a line that said "the laying on of hands." She was really excited because she remembered us teaching her about that and then she read a few verses back and it was all about baptism. She was so excited to tell us this at Alona's baptism. Now fast forward a little bit.Before Sacrament meeting starts, Sis L and I normally hand out programs to people as they walk in. Elizabeth got there a little bit early and she came up to talk to us. So naturally, we put her to work. We gave her some programs to hand to people as they walked in. (It was a great way for the ward to get to meet her.) It was hilarious, because she would say to everyone "Hi..I'm Elizabeth!" Then the meeting started and she sat with us in the pews. After the opening prayer, she turned to me and said, "I'm so excited for Alona to get the Holy Ghost!" And then as she went up to receive the Holy Ghost, Elizabeth clapped her hands together and said "Woot! I'm so excited!" (We're hoping she'll be baptized by the end of this month.) 

Right before Alona's baptism, our phone rang. The APs called. They asked what we were doing that afternoon. I checked our planner-- a baptismal interview. "Why do you ask?"

"Do you want to go to a special meeting with Elder Teh of the 70?"

"Yes. We'll rearrange our schedule."

Haha. We got to go to a special missionary training with stake presidents, ward mission leaders, ward missionaries, and bishops in the surrounding areas. There were about 10 other full-time missionaries there. When the meeting started, I turned around, to learn that we were literally the only two sisters in the room. Haha. The meeting was really good--- just all about how missionaries and members can work better together and HASTEN THE WORK!

Transfer calls are out.

And the verdict:




I am actually really excited for this next transfer. It's gonna be a good one. We have some really exciting things that are going to happen.

I am so blessed here.


Ok. Bye.

Love you too!

Sister Andelin

District picture after breakfast at Bishop Larkins!

Dennis's practice baptism


Sometimes when their outdoor gate is locked, you use a random pole to ring the doorbell!

Kathy, one of our inv, broke her FEMUR. Ouch.