It is so great to have our Elder Anderson back in the States, AND he has a bike! Anyone that knows our family, will know that Nathan is right at home on the seat of a bike. The work is going well and he is serving, teaching and striving to bring hope and joy to others.
Some dogs are cute and cuddly and some are just ugly and bite! This beauty of a dog wasn’t the one that bit Nathan this week, that dog looked more like a “little hyena.” Hoping he doesn’t get some gross disease from the mutt!! Thankfully Nathan has also met some awesome people (not just ugly dogs) who have been looking for something good in their lives and have been receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has a few investigators that are working towards baptism.
Nathan has been with a trainer companion the past 6 weeks to help him “learn the ropes.” Every 6 weeks, there are mission transfers and the missionaries may be moved to a different area and assigned to serve with a different companion. The Mission President felt inspired to transfer Nathan’s trainer and so he has a new companion now, but he is still serving in Yakima. I absolutely LOVE his Mission President and his wife. They are such wonderful, loving people and I know my son is in good hands.
I love getting Nathan’s emails, he is still the same funny boy that always makes me laugh and is so thoughtful, caring and good!! “Good Ol Nate!” We miss you but glad you are bringing joy and happiness to others. Looks like all those years of mowing our lawn and grandpa’s has paid off.
Excerpts from Elder Nathan Anderson’s letters:
August 22, 2016
Yo what is up! I am back into the united states, and couldn’t be happier. The whole city of Mexico smelt like poop, and it is so nice to not have to worry about water and all that jazz! So yeah Yakima Washington…Yakima is like super freaking ghetto in some parts, and then in random little subdivisions it is really really nice. There are fields like everywhere. All sorts of agricultural stuff. I am in the Yakima South area. I have one of three walking Spanish speaking missions in the whole mission. There are about 45. We live with two other elders in a freaking nice apartment!!(at least for a missionary) It has a living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a washer, dryer, etc… So that is good! And there are weights here to workout too! Man I keep getting lucky with that!
So the first day we went out and just went to work. We went finding and met some pretty interesting people. One lady with the last name Shotgunn. (with 2 n’s) The next day we had a couple lessons that fell through so that was disappointing. But we also went to the salvation army, which is like a food bank and a thrift store, but we just handed out lots of food to the homeless and stuff so that was a way cool experience! Some people were very grateful, and it was so amazing to see their smiles, and then there were other people that were like mad that they weren’t getting better food and stuff, and it was cool to see the contrast.
The next day was so good!! We were on our way to a referral when my companion decided to knock on a house. A lady about the age of 25ish answered the door, and we ended up having such a good lesson with her outside in the shade. It seemed like she had been prepared to hear our message, the spirit was there so strong, and she was smiling the whole time! She has a little boy with cerebral palsy and it was amazing how good of an attitude she had! We briefly talked about the restoration and the love that our heavenly father has for each of us. I bore my testimony throughout a couple times about families, and just the joy that can come from the gospel. We taught her how to pray and invited her to pray with us before we left. It was amazing. Her first prayer was just full of gratitude, she gave thanks for her son, and listed all the blessings in her life that most people take for granted. It made her start crying, and by the end of the prayer I was crying as well. She didn’t ask for one thing during that prayer, it blew me away how happy and grateful she was.
The next day was alright, a few lessons, and the same with sunday. Except sunday was so amazing because I got to go to a normal church for the first time in 6 weeks. It made me feel human again to see families and it was great to see that people actually do believe in this church besides us. One of the speakers talked about the power of the atonement and did a great job! This is what I got from it- If we want to be happy forever (including after this death) we need to start now. We are going to be the same person after this life, and I hope that that type of person enjoys each moment that is given to them. I freaking love you all so much!! Keep it classy yall!
September 5, 2016
So this week in my studies I have been studying about hope and want to share a little with you guys. In PMG it says, “Hope is believing that something will occur.” It also says, “When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good.” Remember that. In Ether 12:4 it says, “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surely hope(work through there trials and difficulties with confidence and assurance that all things will work together for there good) for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” In this scripture and also in Hebrews 6:39 it uses the analogy of hope as “an anchor to the soul”. So on this idea that hope is an anchor, what does an anchor do? An anchor holds down a boat in the same spot while waves and storms come. So someone that is hopeless is getting tossed to and fro, representing getting “beat up by the storms and waves”.
This gospel is hope people. It allows us to make it through our trials and difficulties. It gives us confidence and assurance through our trials. This is one of the reasons that I am out here on a mission. You can see the effect of someone that is hopeless. You can recognize them. Their body seems devastated. I would encourage everyone to humble themselves enough to look for these people in work or school and give them something to smile about.
Anyways this week has been a lot of shut doors and fallen through appointments, but that is how the mission goes. It also has been full of fun with the companion, and lots of carne asada. We have so many potential investigators but nobody progressing. Oh well. You do all you can do then God helps out.
So real quick, the fruit and vegetables here are like crazy good. The branch is so awesome, and we have received probably somewhere in the range of 10 grocery bags full of fresh fruits and veggies. Like it is so great! I will end with a quote from elder Holland, “I testify that bad days come to an end, and that faith always triumphs.”
September 19, 2016
So this week I played skip-bo with some old ladies at one of those old people homes. Freaking Bertha was a savage. Like she would look over at my cards and see what card I needed to play, then lay that same one down. And then she would give the people at the table that innocent empty old lady smile like she didn’t know what she just did. It reminded me of playing with Grandma Miller hahaha good times. But for the record I won so yeah its whatever.
Anyways, this week has been a long one, every time we meet someone that seems cool its like they just fall off the face of the earth. And right now we dont have anyone that is progressing, my companion and I are going to try and be more diligent and urgent and hopefully our efforts will be rewarded. Its like, don’t you know what Jesus Christ did for you! Are you really not interested in knowledge that will literally shift your life into a happy state. Man I just hope that at least I leave a good impression on people so that they will be open to talking with the missionaries in the future.
Also this week we ate cow face and pig skin. Oh my gosh that pig skin was like the nastiest crap I have every had! I literally might have stayed home if I knew I was going to eat that;) But anyways the first presidency message by Deiter F Uchtdorf in the ensign this month is bomb! ya’ll should go check it out, its super short. It goes along the lines of “If you love, me feed my sheep” which I have been thinking a lot about lately.
September 27, 2016
So this week was awesome. That scripture ether 12:6, the one about faith sure is dead accurate. That man must have been in tune with the spirit. Like this whole transfer we have been working pretty hard to find people that are willing to listen to the gospel. The first 5 weeks it seemed like there wasn’t a single person in all of Yakima that was willing to hear the gospel, especially last week. But this week we just worked even harder and our investigator pool went from 2 to 10.
Well…the gunshots here are becoming more frequent, but it is still sooo much better than Mexico. This week we are going to try and get a few investigators with a baptismal date, so hopefully that all works out.
Oh! And one of the old ladies from skip-bo made me a loaf of zucchini bread! So that is pretty dope! I guess loser makes bread..;)
Anyways I am still my good old weird self! Just living in Washington. Later.
October 3, 2016
I hope and pray that everyone enjoyed and took full advantage of conference. It is hard to take in that much revelation and doctrine all at once, but at least you remembered the way you felt while listening. Here are a few of my thoughts.
Every testimony given directed thoughts towards Jesus Christ. Work with God in doing what he wants with you and let your will be his and you will become like unto Jesus Christ. And if we do this we will be built on a rock and have a promise that when the storms come we CANNOT/will-not fall.
But anyways this week was another good one. I love the Holy Ghost and he truly is my best buddy out here on the mission. He has always got my back..what a good dude. We have three on dates for baptism that we ran into knocking doors and the work is good.
Love you all- Elder Anderson