Friday, June 28, 2013


Okay, this change caught me way by surprise. As we waited on tuesday night to get the changes from the assistants, we got a text. It had the names of the people getting changed. I was NOT on the list. So we celebrated a little bit, and Elder Martin was super happy. He even called to confirm the changes. But it didn't quite feel right to me, so I told them that I wasn't going to take anything for sure until 10:30 when all would really be said and done. Sure enough, about 25 minutes later, we got another text, and all it said was 'and Andreasen'. So I finished packing (I had already had one bag packed for 2 days in anticipation of the changes), and we went to bed. My companions did not accompany me to the change meeting because we were a trio and they could work that whole day. So I was alone (not really, just not with my companions) at the change meeting. I had a million ideas in mind as to where I would go, but I just kept thinking that I would go where the Lord needed me to be. When my picture popped up next to Elder Vaughan and President Glazier announced that I would be trained to be the new financial secretary of the San Salvador East mission (the same one I was in), I was completely shocked. Excited, but completely shocked. Since that moment things have been a little bit crazy. That night, the missionaries who finished their missions stayed in our house. There were 15 of them I think, and we already had 4 missionaries living there and 2 other office elders who stayed the night because their things were in our house. So we had 21 people in our house that night. On top of all of this, this week was change week and this coming week is the division of the mission, so we have been super busy in the office. And this change is a short change, only 4 weeks, so my training to be the financial secretary will be only 4 weeks instead of 6. So I have a TON of things to do and a MILLION things to learn. And very little time to learn/do it all. But I am excited. It is way different being an office elder. I have a desk and a computer! And air conditioning! And a safe! And regardless of the air conditioning, the weather here is a lot nicer. Less rain (but still rain) and not nearly as hot as Apopa, which is not surprising because there is only one zone hotter than Apopa. We work in the office from10:30 until 4, and then we leave, but we haven't left until 7-7:30 since I have been here. Our proselyting area is called Los Lencas, and it is an hour away from the office! We have to leave in the morning and take a bus to the house and do the same at night. And technically the office building is in the boundaries of the other mission, so after Monday, we have permission to leave the mission every single day until we find another office building for our mission. So I am coming in right before a whole lot of crazy stuff. This morning, an accountant from Guatemala came in to have a meeting with Elder Vaughan and I (even though it is P-day.....). Since our mission is technically the new mission, we are getting all new accounts and such, which will be nice. P-day on Friday is a little bit odd, but I can't complain. We don't have people to cook for us, and we can't leave during the day so we order in lunch every day; subway, KFC, Papa John's Pizza, Wendy's, etc. So I think I am going to gain weight here...But we don't have a dinner cocinera either, so we can either make ourselves food or not eat. And so far it has been the latter. Anyway, I feel a little bit spoiled being here and a little bit guilty. I am used to working in normal missionary work from 11-9 every day, and now it is WAY different. But I know that the Lord needs me here, and that His hand is in this change, I just have to find it. That is the thought for the week. As long as we are being obedient and doing what we should do, the Hand of the Lord will guide us through everything that comes along, we just need to look for it and be open for Him to act in a different way than we expected. I am still looking. Love you all, have a fantastic week!

Elder Andreasen

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24th

Whew! This week was a little bit crazy. I'll start by saying that it rained. And that it still rains. Here is what a normal day is like: wake up, its a little bit cloudy. 8 am, sunny, blue skies, HOT. mid morning to afternoon, still beautiful blue skies with almost fake-looking, beautiful white fluffy clouds; still miserably hot. 4pm, things start to get crazy. Clouds roll in, it gets dark, FAST. Then the rain comes. Sometimes lightly, and for a little while. Sometimes lightly and for a long time. And sometimes the rain is torrential. It literally rains 9mm bullets of water. And nothing can stop it. My umbrella keeps my head and shoulders nice and dry, but from the waist down, there is no hope. NONE. And a few not so great things happened this week due to the rain. My shoes got wet. Like really wet. And they are waterproof! But waterproof means nothing when you have to walk through streets that become rivers. triple got wet. I was so sad. I had it in a plastic bag in my backpack. Normally my backpack keeps things dry. And the plastic bag is a precaution. But I guess from taking it out and putting it back in my backpack, there were little invisible holes in the bag, and it couldn't save my scriptures. I have dried the triple out and put it under the leg of my desk at night to try to flatten it back out, but it has only worked so well. I figure I'll just get a new one. I only have 4 months of notes and marking, which is a blessing. I probably would have cried if I had 20 months and it got wet. But no big deal, the work continues regardless of the rain. This week we had baptisms! Seven baptisms in the ward, FIVE from our area! It was a crazy night. One of our investigators was baptized by her boyfriend. It took him at least 7 tries to submerge her completely. And then Elder Ibarra from the other area was nervous and baptized their two investigators in such a way that President Glazier (who attended because we had 2 families baptized) called it a 'wrestling move' and said that he never wanted to see that kind of baptism again. I baptized Emma Mendoza de Jimenez, the wife/mother of the Jimenez family. She was so nervous after seeing Fatima baptized 10 times and the other two slammed down and dragged up. So I had to talk her down a bit and explain that it was going to be really easy and that there wouldn't be any problems. Luckily, it WAS really easy and there were no problems. The next day in church, I was supposed to give a talk (they informed me of that saturday night after the baptism at 9 oclock!), but the confirmations and announcements took so long I only had to give a short talk/testimony, even though I had prepared an entire talk. So with all of this stuff, needless to say it was a stressful week. Luckily, my Mom is awesome and had sent me a bunch of goodies. I ate a whole bag of chips in one day, and a whole bag of m&m snack mix in another day! So that helped the stress. Also, I felt really good this week because I beat everyone in my district who would arm-wrestle me. However, the stress is not over. We do NOT know our changes yet. Tomorrow night we should know. And on top of that, I am feeling a whole lot of responsibility because my training is over, and now I am a trained missionary. No excuses now. But there is also a lot of hope before me now. I am a missionary! And with the worldwide training (which was AWESOME!), I feel like I am ready to go. One thing I really liked about the training was the perspective that missionaries are only there to assist in the missionary work of the ward. That is my though for the week; the missionaries are only full-time employees of the ward mission. They NEED the help of the members in teaching, and especially in finding people to teach. Missionary is the Lord's work, and it is to be done by all members of the church in everyday life. So help us out. Introduce us to your friends and neighbors. Think of all of the blessings you have received, the stability that you feel in your life that allows you to have peace and assurance in all of the business and bustle of each week, and pray to know who you can help by sharing the gospel, and for opportunities to share it. I know that the Lord wants to bless us and our friends and families, and He will do so as we reach out in love and act in faith. Entonces, id y trabajad! Hay mucho trabajo que hacer en la viña del Señor. Les agradezco por su apoyo y amor, y siempre oro para que ustedes reciban las bendiciones que están buscando, y que tengan oportunidades de ver las manos de Dios en sus vidas. Los quiero mucho, amigos

Monday, June 10, 2013


¿¿Como estais vosotros?? This week went by so fast I cant really at all beleive it. Last P-day we had a normal pday. My first! We played soccer with some of the other missionaries in the zone. It was so so SO hot, but it was a lot of fun. I don't think I have ever worn a shirt that was so wet. Tuesday I got my package. 100 days out, WOOHOO!! My family sent me a list of 100 things they love about me. 25 each, that must have been tough! I also got my umbrella, which was put to use right away. It works great, but the magic here in El Salvador, is that you can get wet from the ground up because it rains so hard that the rain splashes up pretty high. It's almost like you need waiters or those leg thingies that people use in the snow to keep snow out of their boots. But my pants dry quickly and my feet have not gotten wet even once yet. This week was pretty interesting. We had an investigator who started to have some doubts. Turns out she has had someone telling her all sorts of wacky stuff about the church, and we had to spend an entire appointment doing damage control. We are hoping she is still on track for the 22nd. AND JORGE AND EMMA ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!! Tomorrow is the day. It is Jorge's birthday, and he wanted to get married on his birthday. We have been running around getting all of the necessary documents, in fact, we found out saturday that he was divorced, and we need the act of divorce document as well, so we have to get that today and turn it in to the lawyer in San Salvador. So goodbye P-day! But their wedding is much more important, and they will also be baptized with their two daughters on the 22nd. Jorge is such a great man. When we told them that they need to get married to get baptized, he talked with Emma and told her 'I want to marry you. Tell me if you don't want to, but I want to marry you.' (we found out about this conversation last night). Also, he has family members who have told him not to get married, but he told them, 'I want everything to be alright with my Heavenly Father.' What a champ! And I learned how jaded we are in the States. Emma needed to get a DUI (national ID) to get the marriage documents, and it cost 12 dollars. Between the two of them they had 6. So we chipped in the rest. It really was a touching moment for me. They wanted so badly to get married, but they couldn't afford it. The wedding is being paid for by the ward. It will cost around 20-30 dollars.  This week we found another familly that is looking super positive. We taught a small lesson because we didn't have too much time, but they just listened and want us to come back. As we left, it started to rain...the hardest rain that I have ever seen in my entire life. (SEE PHOTO)  But as I left, there was a huge smile on my face and I couldn't help but sing 'Praise to the Man' out loud. ALSO, I got a letter from Beebs this week. Only like a month and a week after he sent it, but better late than never! If you are reading this Beebs, I am so proud of your decision. The mission is tough, but not much tougher than getting to anatomy when we woke up 10 minutes before class started. Two years off is exactly what you need to figure out what it is you are going to do afterward. And lets be honest, your mission is awesome. It suits you well. So congrats! September 5th will be a tough day, but it will be a landmark that will change your life forever. Another thing: everyone needs to give Zach a huge hug this Wednesday because it is his BIRTHDAY!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACH!! I sent your letter. I hope you have it. But if you don't get it until after, just know that I love you and that I hope you have the best day of your LIFE. You are an awesome brother. And I am going to choke you out so hard when I get home. In other news, I have been going through the new scripture masteries. They are awesome. I was wondering why they changed them, but as I have been studying them, I have realized that they are great missionary scriptures. LEARN THEM! They will make for more knowledgeable, better prepared missionaries. I thought I was 'ready'. I don't think you are ever ready, but the more preparation, the better. I still think of myself as a new missionary, but I have 3 months already, and my training ends in two weeks! I'm old. And I still feel like I am learning and preparing every day. And the time is just flying by me. Here is the thought for the week: 'My promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you will have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family. But I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best. You will have the comfort of the His Love and feel the answer of His drawing closer as you reach out your arms in giving service to others. As you bind up the wounds of those in need and offer the cleansing of His Atonement to those who sorrow in sin, the Lord's power will sustain you. His arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father, including those in your family.' --President Eyring. Let's be the people who 'pray and serve the Lord' so that we can have these beautiful and much needed blessings in our families. If we do that, we don't need to worry, because we will know that what happens is what is best for us, and we can faithfully and hopefully rely on the Lord and his infinite love for each of us. I love you all. Have a great week (especially Zachary!).


Elder Andreasen

Monday, June 3, 2013

Briggs Andreasen
8:51 AM (9 hours ago)

So apparently I have been out over 100 days. I didn´t know that until I was told in an email. Here we count by weeks or changes or months, and even then it doesnt mean much. I am about to finish up my 2nd change in the field in a few weeks. crazy how fast it goes. It sounds to me that there is a lot going on at home! Graduations, the division of the mission, and all of the other more normal stuff that seems to fill our days. I still love hearing about everyones lives. It is kind of like a little escape for me. Not that I need an escape, I just really enjoy the short time on Mondays to hear about everyone back home. This was kind of a crazy week. It has rained like crazy. I don't think I have ever seen rain like this before. But the work goes on! And all is well. I have to admit, I was a little homesick this week. My companion Elder Martin goes home in one more change and he is getting ¨baggy¨as we call it here. It kind of rubs off too, so I have been thinking about home a little more than I should. I figure it works both ways though, so I am trying to work super hard and stay super focused so that it might rub off on him. But he makes the decisions as the senior companion in our trio so many times we are subject to his bagginess. Something pretty funny and scary and crazy happened this week. We were walking down a street on the way to dinner, and a drunk man (the son of a member...) was walking toward us. All of a sudden, he just looked at Elder Castillo, and as he approached he pulled his arm back and took a huge swing at him!! Because he was so drunk, he was slow, and Elder Castillo had plenty of time to get out of the way. We then just kind of navigated our way out of that situation, as there was plenty of room to run around him and get out of there. Luckily because we had space, we got out without incident. But believe me, I was ready and willing to put him down had it been necessary. Also this week, President Glazier came and did our morning study and weekly planning with our companionship. That was pretty intense. It was amazing to see that he received the same inspirations for our investigators, even though he has never met them. He was quite satisfied by the way we do things in our companionship, and it was a really neat opportunity to study with him. We also did a pretty funny activity this week. An appointment fell through, and we were near the chapel, so we put out a table with some pamphlets and videos and passalong cards and such and talked to people who passed by. To draw a little more attention, Elder Martin and I sang hymns while Elder Castillo explained to people a little bit about the church and gave them one of the materials. And yes, I did sing harmony. And yes, we sounded awesome. I got my package this week. Not the umbrella yet, but the one with the perfect pushup thingies in there. Thank you Mom (and I assume Dad or Zach as well). The treats are well appreciated. And I don´t know if it is just my weakness, but perfect pushups are hard. Way harder than normal pushups. Elder Martin and I have been doing pushups lately. Tomorrow Elder Martin and Elder Castillo have a meeting, so they´ll pick up my other package if it is there. Right now I don´t need anything else. This week in my Preach My Gospel study, I started underlining all of the promises made to missionaries, and I started circleing every time it uses a form of the word ´apply´. I have also been studying the Book of Mormon in every free moment I get. Studying in Spanish is so awesome, because I have to pay much more attention to the meaning of each word, and I notice a lot of stuff that I have never noticed before. Read the Book of Mormon! I promise you that you will like it. You will. Because it is awesome, and you will feel the Spirit of that book. You will. I don´t have a nifty little quote this week, but here´s something. In I Nefi 8, in the vision of the Tree of Life, Lehi sees that there are innumerable concourses of people, and that many of them are pressing forward to the rod of iron. There are MANY people who are looking for the gospel in their lives. If you are one of those people looking, talk to my family or to the missionaries. They can help you figure it all out. And if you are already walking on the path, help others, because there are many who are looking. Be like Lehi, who when he made it to the tree and had found the perfect happiness that is the Love of God, turned and shouted to his family, and they found the path and were reunited with him. We have some shouting to do. We all know people who we wish had the same happiness we do. Let´s call out to them. Have a great week people!! Pray to know who you can help this week. Then, do all you can to help them. I love you guys. Adios!

P.S. - A few minutes after the picture was taken in the rain, that street was literally a river. Crazy!

Elder Andreasen

Briggs' Zone June 3rd, 2013