Monday, November 11, 2013

Nov 8th

Good Morning!!
I hope this email finds all of you awake and busy! That shouldn't be too hard for you guys though, I'm sure Zach is off to some class *cough, chem lab* (just got your email...) and that Alix is sitting in some class bored and that Dad is in the middle of a surgery and that Mom's fingers are flying just as fast as mine to get in her email before my 30 minutes are up. This week was a good one. To start off: some crazy news. Last night we had a visit with the familia Rodriguez. They are the greatest people, but they are struggling to keep commitments (dang it!). We visited them with our ward mission leader and we left after having taught the Evangelio de Jesucristo. Elder Soza and I headed down the hill a bit to go to our next visit. Shortly after entering Mauricio's house, Hermano Rodriguez called me. Even though we were in our next appointment, I answered. He started rather worriedly by asking "are you guys ok??". I told him that we were fine and that we made it to our next appointment without any issue. He then told us that 6 or 7 shots had been fired into a pupusería (one that we visit frequently) down the road and that someone had been killed. As we had just left their house and were heading in that direction, they were very worried about us. Such great people!! But luckily we had passed a few minutes before and didn't even hear the shots. In other news, a less active single mother that we visit is a great person also. She had remembered that Sunday was Mom's birthday (even though I only mentioned it in passing), and when we visited Sunday, she had a little cake and everything! We celebrated a little bit and watched the Restoration video, as her daughter has not been baptized and we are working with both of them to get them back in church. It was an awesome visit. I have pictures, but they are on my computer and I forgot the key to the back financial office and I am writing on Elder Soza's computer. I'll send them next week. In shorter news, our meetings with Elder Duncan of the Area Presidency has been delayed until January. Apparently he has been super sick and was not recovered in time :(. One of my favorite parts of this week has been something Elder Soza and I have been working on. We have been having trouble with people keeping commitments, so I was studying in Preach My Gospel and felt that we haven't been giving them enough motive to keep commitments. So this week we have been including in our planning and in our lessons blessings to promise them if they keep commitments. It is AWESOME! When we promise specific blessings to investigators who really need those blessings, they really listen and we can see greater commitment in them right in the moment of the invitation. It has gotten away from me a little bit, though, as I find myself daydreaming about promising blessings to our investigators. We do still have a few investigators who are struggling with accepting the gospel, and one who is a little bit held down by his past beliefs (he was a Jehova's witness, but he was expelled/excommunicated because he had/has alcohol issues). He is a great guy, but he is going to need a lot of help. Anyway, I love you guys and I pray for you. I hope that you are feeling the Lord's loving guidance in your lives and that you are trying to be what He wants you to be. Be good. Have a great week!!

See you in two,
Elder Andreasen
Nov 1st
Hola Friends,

Ok, first, the bad news. Bad news is first because it is the limiting factor of everything else. A new rule in from the area presidency is that we only have 30 minutes to write our families...... I bet you can tell how I feel about that. BUT, a new rule like this is a new opportunity to show the Lord that we love Him and we love to obey him. So my fingers are literally flying across this keyboard! This week was a little bit depressing in terms of the field-work, and super busy in terms of the office work. That juxtaposition of success and struggle still throws me for a loop. I guess we are the "jacks-of-all-trades", but haven't quite become master of either. But, it is always nice to be able to hear words of gratitude and love from President and Hermana Glazier. They pretty much think we are super heroes. The conference that we were supposed to have this week was postponed. Elder Duncan has been sick (I bet you can guess with what.....GRIPE!) for the last 2 weeks, so we have pushed that back until the 14th of November. In other news, this past Sunday was the Primary presentation in the ward. If you think primary presentations are funny and awesome in the HAVE to come check one out in El Salvador. We were seriously trying not to bust up laughing at times. They had primary kids doing everything. There was one kid who led the whole thing, and he got up there and just started off, "Tenga muy buenos dias cada uno de ustedes y bienvenidos a la presentacion de la primaria. Esta reunion esta siendo presidida por el obispo Carlos Villalta y dirigida por su servidor, Kevin Caceres...". That is EXACTLY how the bishopric members start the meeting. In few words, it was a riot. There were kids crying, singing with all of their hearts, reciting scriptures. It was quite the experience. I could feel the Lord's love for me and for those kids in that Sacrament meeting. Mom, I did get both packages this week. The white box arrived and everything made it ok. I have been enjoying that treat every morning. It is as good as I expected it to be! Thank you for that. Also, thank you for the Halloween treats. We had a little bit of fun with some of the stuff in there. I made a little treat package for each of the other office elders, and one for President Glazier. It definitely made a day of very exhausting interviews a little bit brighter for him. The Frankenstein mask was a nice touch too. This week has been a little bit tough in our area. We now only have one baptismal date; December 7th. However, President Glazier has challenged us to baptize in November. So...let the headless chicken running begin. We need to find someone that is ready to go. So we'll get on that. Our other investigators have stopped progressing as well. It seems like they always hit the wall of faith, and they don't exactly have the desire to square up and climb over it. Maybe its because we haven't taught them how well enough, or maybe because they won't let themselves open up to taking the big question to the Lord. Either way, we will be helping them this week, and after we have done everything we can to push them up and over the wall, we'll see if we continue with them or if we'll let them have some time to work on it. That is a euphemism for dropping them. However, the area presidency has always said that one of the biggest misuses of time for missionaries is working with investigators who are not progressing. We did meet a new guy this week. He was drunk when we found him - that doesn't bug me too much, Hermano Jimenez was drunk when we found him in Apopa and we ended up baptizing the whole family - and he was drunk again when we passed by a few days later to visit him. He is a really great guy. His comments and questions are more insightful than most (even though he was drunk...), and he has had a hard life. He "was" a Jehovah's witness, but they kicked him out for not being able to overcome his drinking problem. He says occasionally he goes to their meetings and listens from the doorway - they don't let him in, and they ignore him completely. His biggest issue (aside from the drinking) is that he is pretty studied and stubborn with regards to JW doctrine. So that will be a challenge, even bigger than the word of wisdom challenge in my opinion. We had a cool experience this week, Elder Soza and I. All of our plans had fallen, and we were basically just wandering around when we decided to visit a family of members. We went in and shared a quick thought and invited them to share the gospel with those around them, so basically what we normally do with members. However, at the end of it all the hermana started crying and told us that we had showed up at exactly the right moment and that they are going through some hard stuff with their family, but the Spirit that she had felt in that moment helped her to feel better and trust in the Lord. She asked that we pray for their family. It was a cool experience, because Elder Soza and I had been praying that we would be guided to those who needed the Gospel in their lives, and we had felt that we were still wandering because we were expecting to be guided to new investigators. It just goes to show that we as members of the church have needs too, and the Lord has us in mind as well as his other children. Well, that is basically a short summary of the week, I hope I am not forgetting anything important. I love you guys. I love being able to write and talk to you. 30 minutes isn't much, but I am grateful for every one of those thirty minutes. I hope you are all feeling the power of the gospel in your personal lives, and that you are finding answers to your personal concerns in your prayers and in the Book of Mormon. Keep reading it. Let's finish by the end of the year. I have to read my butt off to do that, I am not even through Alma yet... Love you guys. Have a great week. See you in two!

Elder Andreasen