Elder Anderson

Elder Anderson

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hello everyone,

Good news, I'm already weird. I knew that when I got home I'd be a bit of an oddball, but I didn't realize that the transformation took place so soon. Not that I was really normal before but I can tell by the things that I think are funny and other things that I say or do that I'm already a weird missionary. Oh well I suppose it's a good thing. 

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, was really neat here at the MTC. We started off the day with a great devotional from none other than the one, the only, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve. That was pretty awesome. As soon as he walked into the room you could feel the Spirit. I've been having a hard time staying awake in some of the devotionals or even my classes but not that one. I was wide awake and taking notes the whole time. What a cool person. I also heard that we will be hearing from more General Authorities throughout December and especially on Christmas. Later in the day, we had a nice Thanksgiving program where people played some musical numbers (not necessarily spiritual but certainly fun) and Sister Roach, the wife of a member of the MTC presidency, directed a nice little Thanksgiving skit. Afterwards, we participated in a service project where we prepared 350,000 meals for local children who need food. We also got to watch a movie, Ephraim's Rescue. That's part of what made me realize that we're weird already because I saw that show before I came out here and specifically remember a couple of parts not being funny that we laughed at whilst in the MTC. Good old missionaries.

Things have been going really well with my new companion, Heilein Elder. He works really hard and wants to learn the language really bad. We spend most of our free time reviewing vocabulary or conjugating verbs or preparing for the lessons that we have to teach in Hungarian. I sure appreciate him. Also, when I get home and start a band and become famous, he's gonna join me. So it'll be Jake and I, two very white Americans, and Heilein Elder, one medium white German. We're gonna go places. 

We got two new investigators this last week, Adam and Gabor. Our lessons with them have been 100 times better than our first couple lessons with Anita and Peter. However, that doesn't mean that they're good, it just means that we can now express our ideas and thoughts in a way that they probably understand. However, our Hungarian continues to get better and better every day. I have faith that the Lord will help us learn it and that we'll know everything that we need to by the time that we leave. I just hope I need to know plenty. 
I have a question related to our investigators that I would like to pose to anyone with some advice. In class one day, we were talking about why someone would need to get baptized, and I couldn't think of a single reason. I mean, sure its a saving ordinance and it'll help us to be happy, but how do you explain that to an investigator or anyone who doesn't understand eternal life and thinks that they already have a happy life? Its something I've been pondering a little bit and would like to hear some feedback on. Thanks very much.

The other day, I was in a leadership meeting and an Elder shared a scripture from Jacob 5. I'm pretty sure it was Jacob 5:20-24 or there abouts. It's talking about how the servant says to the master, why would you plant in such terrible ground? And the master says something to the effect of "I knew it was poor ground but it will bring forth much fruit. And look at that spot of ground, it was more terrible than this and it brought forth much fruit." I'm not sure exactly how it goes but the missionary talked about how before he came, a lot of people said that he wouldn't be successful because he was going to Finland. I remember having a lot of the same thoughts thinking about my mission in Hungary. But when he read these verses, I realized that the Lord might just have plenty of people to convert in Hungary after all. Maybe he doesn't and I'll still come home with brand new baptism pants, never before used, but regardless, its His work not mine and I'll do the things He asks me to because He's trusted me to do it.

I love all of you. Thanks for your well wishes and you're prayers. 

Send me letters. I like them.

Boldog Halaadas.

Anderson Elder.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dear Everyone,

There are so many unforeseen blessings that come into your life from serving a mission. The other day, I noticed some really masculine looking hairs growing from my chiny chin chin. I shaved them off and felt like a real man. The church is true.

I love the MTC so much. I even kinda like the hard parts which doesn't really make sense, but something about the Spirit makes things make sense that otherwise shouldn't. For example, my first companion's name is Bauer Elder. He is a nice enough guy from Snowflake, Arizona. He had this habit of running away form me on occasion and not wanting to obey the rules all the time. I had a really tough time getting along with him for the first few days, but then a couple of things happened. 1-I found out a little more about him and where he comes from and some of the things that he likes or doesn't like and really got to appreciate who he was rather than what I didn't like about him. 2-I heard this talk from Elder Bednar about how to be more Christlike and it changed my whole outlook on my mission. I no longer think about how I'm having a hard time or feel sad or unappreciated or can't learn the language or can't be patient with my companion or whatever and instead think about how the Savior would treat that person or act in whatever situation I'm in. It has helped me to have a much better attitude about the work I'm doing here. 

I was called to be the district leader over about 9 missionaries. Actually 8. But I'll explain that in a second. My first companion's name was Bauer Elder (in Hungarian, the title comes after the name. Freakin cool). I already explained a little bit about him. I've never loved someone so much that was so different from me, that I didn't really get along with and that I'd only known for a week. But unfortunately, he got sent home this morning. I hope he gets his life together and gets back out here as soon as he can. My new companion's name is Heilein Elder. He is from Bevaria, Germany and he's way cool. I love to listen to his accent and talk about music with him. I can't wait to work with him a little more while I'm here at the MTC. Whats cool is that he's not even the only foreign missionary in my district. There is another elder who is from Austria. His name is Hoferl Elder. He is really funny and really good at speaking Hungarian. He probably knows the language better than all 8 of us other missionaries combined. He is also a really hard worker and pretty spiritual. His companion's name is Loveland Elder. He is from Virginia and is a little bit of a different kind of guy. He studies the language really hard, but it usually doesn't relate to gospel topics. He loves looking up words that relate to wolves and none of us really understand why. Whatever though. Some knowledge of the language beats no knowledge of it. The other two elders in the district are Driggs Elder, from Orem, and Barbour Elder, from southern California. Driggs Elder is a really cool guy with probably the driest most sarcastic sense of humor I've ever heard. Barbour Elder is cool too. He is a pretty stereotypical Californian. He has blonde hair, good looking kinda guy, surfs, and loves to have fun all the time. We also have two sisters in our district. Their names are Naegli Nover (Sister Naegli) and Erlandsson Nover (I'm sure you can figure it out). Naegli Nover kinda reminds me of Tegan except she's blonde and is a little bit older. I like em all though.

Hungarian is probably the most difficult thing that I've ever tried to learn. After being here for a week, I feel like I don't hardly know anything. On the very first day, they taught us how to say our testimonies kinda. Then on the second day, we learned how to pray sort of. Then on the third day, we taught an investigator in Hungarian. I felt really bad that we damned his soul to eternal suffering because of our terrible language abilities (we seriously could only bear our testimonies poorly and say a weaksauce prayer. I don't think we even said hello.) but it turns out he was just pretending to be a missionary. He is really one of our teachers. I would rather learn French, Spanish, and German at the same time than try to learn Hungarian in 9 weeks. It all makes me miss Mrs. Early. However, I'm doing the best that I can and I've learned that the more you put into studying the language, the more the Lord puts into you. I also learned the all I can do is the best I can do. I heard that in a devotional on Sunday. The lady who was speaking said that she went to the Philippines on her mission and in her first lesson she only said a few things but the Spirit helped the investigator hear that a young boy named Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He translated the Book of Mormon, which is true scripture, and restored the fullness of the gospel to the Earth. I hope that I'll be able to speak with that kind of spirit in Hungarian one day.

Thank you all for you're prayers and your support. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you. Also, if you feel that way inclined, I really love mints.

I wish you all the best wishes that can be wished. 


Anderson Elder.