Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mom!! I got my package last night. It was the perfect ending to the
perfect day. I want to tell you how much I love you and how much I now
appreciate all that you have taught me and all that you have done for
me. I have realized lately that there are so many great people in my
life who have made me who I am, and I can always feel better by
thinking about how many people love and care about me. On Saturday, my
companions and I made a goal to speak totally in spanish that day. It
was awesome. We havent kept up as much as we should lately (we have
the CCM equivalent of senioritis because we only have one more week!)
but we wan't to ramp it up this week. One thing that would be really
awesome is if you guys can send some of your favorite talks as you
read and find them. It's hard to get ahold of them for us. That way I
can always have something new to study. Want to hear something crazy??
Remember when you sent me that video about the San Salvador temple
when I got my call?? It was about a family whose children went to
church and fasted and prayed for their parents to reactivate in the
church. They were eventually sealed in the San Salvador temple. THAT
KID IS HERE IN THE CCM!! I'll try to get a picture with him to send
you guys. He told me the story again and it is just really awesome to
see how his family has been blessed. His nickname is Elder Smiley
because he is always smiling. That'd be awesome. There was an earthquake here. 6.3 I
believe. We were out playing for our sports time when it happened. It
was LOUD. We thought it was thunder!! But then they went around giving
flashlights to all of the rooms because apparently they have
aftershocks that kill the power. We made it through the night without
any problems. This week we got to go contacting outside the CCM. We
walked around a bit and chatted with some people, but most of them
were already members! Probably because the temple is right here... But
we did talk to one man and we gave him a Book of Mormon. This week I
have just felt so blessed to have met so many great people here. My
teacher Hermano Bonilla reproved us again this week, saying that we
are getting complacent. I love when he does that. I always feel so
motivated afterward. I told him later that I have so much respect for
him, and that I am grateful for his instruction and example. He told
me that he fully expects me to be able to understand all of Spanish
and be able to pronounce perfectly soon. He said that he feels that
within 6 months I will be speaking as if I was born here and grew up
speaking Spanish. I hope I can make him proud. I love being here. This
week I have not been able to get enough of my study of Preach My
Gospel. I love that manual. I still have a lot to learn, but I am
absolutely excited to teach the people of El Salvador. Love you all
lots!!!     Elder Andreasen

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Hey Mom,

I have one I think of just me in front of the CCM sign. I will email
it when I can. P-day got switched again to tuesday. I will try to log
in tomorrow if I can. This should be the last time this happens, but
just in case, start emailing on monday nights. It will switch again
once I am in the field. I will say a few things today though. today we
got to go to Walmart! But it was not even close to Walmart in the
states. I couldn't find some stuff I wanted. But it's ok, I'll try
again in El Salvador. This week was a good one. I got to give another
blessing! But this one has kind of a funny story. I asked Hermana
Hansen for her full name, and she said Sara Nicole Hansen. As I
repeated it a few times, my mind just slipped and I said Sara Nicole
Andreasen! Luckily it wasn't in the blessing, but it was still kind of
funny. She just laughed and said 'not yet...'. Everyone in the room
laughed for a bit, and then we started. It was one of the most
powerful blessings I have given. I felt super comfortable, and I could
just feel the Savior's love for her. Anyway, Mom: those ocean spray
packets you sent me are awesome! Thank you so much for thinking of me.
One thing we decided as a district (rather jokingly, but I hope
someday it could happen) is that we want to go on a trip to a Spanish
speaking country after our missions. We decided Cabo sounded like a
good choice:). Also, we watched two devotionals this week. One was
Elder Holland, and the other was Elder Bednar. I loved them both.
Elder Holland talked about how your mission should change you life
forever, and that a great many people are praying and thinking about
the missionaries. Elder Bednar talked about how missionaries need to
stop worrying if they are being guided by their own thoughts or the
Spirit. He said that if you are trying to honor your covenants and
keep the commandments and 'bee a good boy', the Spirit will guide
certain actions that you would never think were promptings. I needed
to hear that, as I have been waiting for a Spiritual manifestation of
some sort while I have been teaching. I don't think that was a fair
expectation for me to have, and I know that I just need to work hard
and do everything I can to be obedient so that I may have the Spirit
with me always. Anyway, I don't want to write much today if I am going
to tomorrow. I love you all and I hope that you are doing well.
Tomorrow I will have been here for a month. CRAZY. Anyways, I'll try
to chat tomorrow. Love you!!
Mission life is great, I love every day of it. My companions are
awesome. We are learning and growing together, but like every
companionship we have some things we can each work on. Mi habilidad
para hablar en español está aumentado! Puedo entender y hablar más
cada día. We didn't get to see much of Guatemala. We just went to a
mall and walmart and to a stake center to play basketball and such.
The level of poverty that I have seen is nowhere near Kenya, but isn't
too terrible. I'm sure I'll see my fair share of poverty in the field
though. I'm glad Zach is studying and Scotty is dating.
 Be sure to keep me posted about Beebs' mission call! I love you. I'm glad I got to write
today. You guys keep busy at home and I'll keep busy here and we'll be
back together again in no time. It's already been a month! only 23
fast sundays left (I hear that's a good way to count). I love you mom,
and I love hearing about your life. Make sure everyone is happy and
healthy at home. And if you want me to get pictures quickly, you can
email them. tons of the other missionaries have gotten pictures in
their emails. Anyway, have the best week! I love you! Elder

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Loving my time here in Guatemala

Hey everyone! How's everything going in the States? I am LOVING my
time here in Guatemala. It is such a wonderful blessing to be able to
be serving and learning alongside many people who can't even speak
english! My Spanish is really progressing. But teaching the gospel in
Spanish is still hard. I worry so much about what I am going to say
that I end up not 'really' listening to what our investigators are
saying. We don't have any real investigators anymore. We just teach
our teachers who role-play certain people, and they take notes and
such so they can 'progress' in that character. My last lesson went
really well. I was able to listen and communicate exactly what I
wanted to say, and i was able to pull out a few scripture references
that I hadn't planned on sharing. Such a cool experience. My companion
Elder Tarin reminds me so much of Holden (speaking of Holden, I have
NOTreceived his letter) (sorry, the email sent automatically again!). He
smiles like Holden, he talks like Holden, and his sense of humor is
similar. He is a great guy. Both of my companions are great guys. We
feel like we've known each other for years. I have had some other
really cool experiences this week. One of the Hermanas asked me for a
blessing. She wouldn't say what is going on in her life, but I was
able to give her a blessing and she has been doing better. Also, one
of the latino missionaries came into our room early in the morning and
asked if I would give him a blessing. I told him that I would have to
give it in English, and he said that was fine. And one day this week
another Hermana in my district got really sick and we had to run
around this place trying to find Presidente. He wasn't here, so again,
I had the opportunity to give a blessing. When Presidente arrived, he
asked us urgently: Have you given her a blessing? When I told him that
I had, he became really calm, and simply said 'Then I'm not worried.'
Within 40 minutes she was back in class with no problems. It was
pretty cool. I LOVE my district. I am so grateful that I get to be
their District Leader. Last night we had a district meeting to discuss
a devotional that the former temple president of the Guatemala City
temple gave. We just chatted about it for a while, and then I was able
to share some thoughts and bear my testimony to all of them. It amazes
me that a group of 18-21 year olds can sit down without any
supervision and have such a mature, powerful meeting. I felt the
Spirit so strongly as I told them that each of us has been called by a
prophet to take the name of Christ upon us literally; we wear it
everyday on our tags. I told them that I have learned this week that I
need to leave Briggs Andreasen in Redlands California for the next two
years. I am Elder Andreasen now, and any time I spend thinking or
speaking or acting like Briggs Andreasen is not time that is spent as
well as it could be. During that devotional, our district had the
opportunity to sing a special musical number with a latino district.
We sang the EFY medley of 'as sisters in Zion' and 'Army of Helaman'
in spanish. It was really cool, and I felt the spirit as I sang (not
to the level that I usually do when singing it in English, but I still
felt it!!). I am so excited to be speaking completely in spanish soon,
and to be in El Salvador among children of the Lord who are prepared
and waiting for me. I love you all! Thank you for your support!
Love, Elder Andreasen

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Field Trip

Hey guys! So turns out I do get to write today. They switched p-day for us, but only for this week. Mom, I got your package last night. Thanks a ton! Our investigator José is not our investigator anymore, but we have referred him to the missionaries in this mission. He is a great guy. Anyways, at one point this week, I had 11 mosquito bites. ELEVEN. I sleep on the bottom bunk, so I rigged a blanket to drape down and create a ghetto mosquito net type contraption for my bed. No new bites so far. It has been kind of cold here lately. I have no idea why, but the weather is pretty inconsistent. Rain some days, blistering heat others. But always beautiful. This week, our teachers became our new 'investigators' and we have been teaching them. We are teaching completely in Spanish, without written scripts. It is pretty cool. Yesterday we got to leave the CCM!! The CCM needed to be completely cleaned out, so we went to a big 3D relief map of Guatemala. Presidente Nicolayson talked about different aspects of Book of Mormon history and how Guatemala very well could be the place where a lot of it took place. As I pondered my knowledge of the Book of Mormon stories, the Spirit testified strongly to me that this is the place, and that the descendents of those ancient people are here waiting to have the gospel preached to them. After the relief map, we went to an underground market that is 3 stories deep. Presidente and his wife simply told us to always make sure that the hermanas are with at least 2 elders (for safety) and they told us that we needed to be at Wendy's in a few hours and then they left!  So we walked through this huge market, which had hundreds of little shops, similar to the vendors in Kenya. I walked around just to look, but a couple of the hermanas wanted to buy a few things. Because I speak the most Spanish, I helped them barter for stuff, which was really cool. I have done that before, but always with my family, and always in English. Then we got to eat at Wendy's. I got a spicy chicken sandwich and a coke zero. When we were finished, Presidente let us walk around the town square and talk to people. And I placed my first Book of Mormon, in Spanish!! It was a pretty cool experience just talking to people. I wrote my testimony in the front of the copy of the Book of Mormon and I hope that something good comes of that. Other than that, everything is pretty much the same here. A new batch of Nortes came in today. 30 of them, 14 Elders. I am going to miss being one of only 4 Norte elders here in the CCM, but they seem like a good group. My spanish is improving every day, and I am just wanting so bad to be fluent already. But I do have 4 more weeks. There was a chance that I would get pulled up into an 'older' district this week and leave 2 weeks early, but a few reasons (such as me being district leader and the El Salvador transfers not lining up right) made it so that I will stay here until we ship out. I love my district. They are all such great people, and we have learned and grown a lot together. Many days, we laugh for 10 minutes or so because we are just having so much fun. The last 2 weeks have really flown by. It is crazy! And I'm loving (pretty much) every minute of it.

If you want to send any more packages, you probably have to send them this week. If you could buy me a Spanish verb book (with english definitions and all conjugations) that would be GREAT. I have wanted one for the past week, but I can't get one here, and I am dying to have one. But I guess I can wait the 3 or so weeks it will take to get here in the mail. How is everything at home?? Dad, nice work with the diet progress. I myself am keeping in pretty good shape by riding a stationary bike and reading the BOM in Spanish. You'll have no problem memorizing your script. Mom, I want you to know that I am in really great hands. the CCM president is an amazing man. Every time he speaks i just want to hug him. My teacher Hermana Garrido is awesome too. She is about 5 feet tall, and we call her Hermana Madre. Also my district is awesome. We help each other keep in good spirits. And on top of all of that, I am in the Lord's hands. And I have already seen how he takes care of His missionaries. I love you all and I hope that you have a great week. I know I will!!
Lots of love. Elder Briggs Andreasen