Monday, April 29, 2013

Letter #26

Dear family!
It sounded like it's been an eventful week. That makes me
very happy and excited; I'm so excited for Preston!!!  I wish I could
have been there....I've learned.........that's the hardest thing about
being on a mission -- is missing important milestones like that.
Missions would be so much easier if your life at home just stopped. :)
But I guess that wouldn't be a sacrifice then...

I'm so happy for you, Preston. :)  I wish I would have gone through the temple
more before I left. I went like 2 weeks before I left? That's one piece
of advice....go through the temple as much as you can before you
leave. Cause you probably won't go for the next 2 years. Unless
there's a temple in your mission? But enjoy and love the temple while
you can :) It's the best part of your P-day at the MTC. I'm glad to
hear there were a lot friends and family there to support you. It's what
I imagine heaven to be like :)  Being around everyone you love and

So I forwarded you a couple pictures from last P-day!  We went gator
hunting :)  It was so much fun :)  Scary but FUN!!!  And on the way home
we found this little rest stop and got to talking to the owner and he knew
we were Mormon (because of our name tags) and said last time there
was a hurricane or something, we handed out tooth brushes in their
community :) So he let us go in the back and see all those animals for
FREE!!! it pays to be nice :)
He let us hold a little gator and a 250 pound snake. It was so cool. I
have a ton more pictures I'll send next week; but I forgot my camera
cord. Sorry :)

So this was an interesting week! It’s really hard living with another
set of missionaries -- not that I don’t like the sisters. I love them!!
The Spanish sisters are the best!  I'm actually picking up on a couple
words; daddy would be so proud :)  But because we're both living out
of our area, we're trying to coordinate plans together and helping
each other out. It just makes it hard, because we're just on different
schedules. Like for example, they have an extra hour for language study
so most of the time we'll do mapping and updating roster during that
time instead of being out :(  But then when we don't have anywhere to
go for dinner (this new ward isn't great at feeding us yet :( ) we
have to bike an extra 10 miles to and from our apartment.  So we're
losing more of our time so that's kinda frustrating and tiring!

So we've been trying to plan ahead; but some days you never know what
is going to happen. Missionary life is so unpredictable  and then at the
end of the day, we end up talking about how our days went.....and most
of the time I feel like I’m comparing myself to them cause they have
more investigators and people they're meeting with. And we're just still
getting to know the area, the members, and the investigators that the elders
handed off to us. So I'm trying not to compare myself to others and
just continue to try to do all I can do.  Because that's all I can control.
But we had a really neat experience this Sunday.  We had a lady just
show up at church. She was walking around and happened to find our
church and decided to come in....that never happens, you just read
about that happening!!! She just showed up; so we're meeting with her
tonight to answer any of her questions and hopefully begin teaching
her :)

~ Her letter ended here. Not sure if she ran out of time or what happened! :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Letter #25

Dear family!
Just a warning: like always; I am short on time... I had a couple of e-mail's I needed to respond back to. Hopefully I can answer every one's questions! :)

1. How is your new companion :) Her name is Sister Calder. She is 20 (she just turned 20 on Friday) and Yes; I grabbed that opportunity to make her cupcakes :)  She is from Saratoga Springs, Utah (just like everyone else here... everyone is from Utah; its just me and one other Elder that are from California.) We get along really well. ;) I really like her, she's really sweet!! I've just felt bad for her because it's been so crazy this week.

2. Do you have a new apartment yet?: We have not heard anything yet...we have a couple places we've applied for, and we are waiting to hear back from them. It would be great to get into a new place, because again it is 4 sisters in one tiny apartment. It feels like deja
vu. Oh Yeah ~ because it is! The Sister's with us are great. They are "whitewashing" aka opening an new area also. They are in the Spanish Branch. It is just really messy with every one's stuff every where. We also have to share the car with them. We have different schedules so its just been a little crazy. Such is "mission life" I have found that out...! Oh Yeah btw Sorry they have to keep calling to get my social, I am really trying to memorize it. I had it right but I was just second guessing myself. :)

I can't believe Preston is going through the temple! It is all happening so fast! Have you guys been helping him prepare? Are there any classes or anything? Or are you teaching him?? Please take tons of pictures!!! I wish I could be there:(  The day when all of us can go through the temple together as a family. I can't wait!!! That is my dream!!!

3.  DO YOU NEED ANYTHING? I thought of something little I could use... those little hymn book things. Not that there is any huge rush but that would be great to have. :) Also,  I have been trying to hold off on you sending me more clothes... But I might want some soon, now that I am a third done with my mission! :)

I'm so slow at typing! I'm Sorry Mommy, I will write you a handwritten letter to answer the rest of the questions because I am almost out of time :(
I'm doing pretty good. I just don't know what I am doing; but that is
nothing new! I am just like Nephi being lead by the spirit not knowing beforehand what I should do. I want you guys to know how much I love you!! And I appreciate all your love and support!! I love you so much and pray for you daily! 
~ Sister Andersen

Monday, April 15, 2013

Letter # 24

Dear Family,
 This has been a crazy and surprising week! I guess I will start off talking about transfers. :) Guess what?? I'm not leaving Naples, :D as far as I know I'll be staying in the same apartment for the next
3 weeks. (Until I move into our new place.) So don't worry about the mail. I'll keep you updated on when I moving and get you my new address ASAP. ( the Elders will be moving in after us so they can always give me the mail too.)

 So I'm moving up north about 10 miles. :) I'm in the Vanderbelt Beach Ward and I'll be training again. :) What a surprise!!! President said I'll probably be training the rest of my mission :/ crazy!  But seriously the shocking news is that Sister Westberg is leaving. :( Her and Sister Godwin are moving North; to a place called Highlands.
Apparently it almost as North as you can go without leaving the mission. It is 30-45 minutes from Orlando.  We we're all shocked!!
 President had been hinting for the last couple of weeks about transfers and then we get the call on Saturday and had no idea what was was going on.
So are you guys ready to get confused? . . . Here is the LONG super confusing story.
 So a couple of weeks ago President called, and told us we needed to divide up the new Vanderbelt Ward, and we needed to start looking for a new apartment. Pretty much get everything ready for the New Sister...
 So when the President asks you to do something; you get on it done!! So we talked about the area and divided it up and meet with the bishop and got everything figured out.
 So this last couple of weeks we've been looking for apartments. By the way; I never know how tiring and exhausting looking at apartments can be. Driving from place to place, taking tours, filling out paper work. Did I mention we're also looking for apartments not alone for me and my new trainee, we are also looking for the Vanderbelt Ward Elders and Sisters. ( since the ward got split, our apartment is in the worst area; at the bottom corner of the area.)
Then to top it all off; the Spanish Elders we're waiting for us to move out because they wanted our place- apparently we are keeping our place
better :) weird?  It works for the Spanish Elders bounties/area.
 So last transfer remember when all four of us shared a place- it was super crowed and the Sisters couldn't unpack... So the Spanish Elders felt bad for us living 4 sisters in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom place. Two sisters have been sleeping on the couches, and it is a mad rush to the showers in the morning. So they offered to move out of their place so the sisters could move in. (they did not like where they were living anyways; for them it was to far South, and it was away from all the Spanish Members.) It was prefect for the Sister's because that is where they wanted to be. So Sister Williamson and her trainee Sister Larbee moved into that place. So the Spanish Elders have been staying with the Haitian Elders for a transfer and a half waiting for us to move. That's not even the whole story... how confused are you?
 Well add on transfers with Spanish Sisters moving down here, and other Elders taking over our area, and me and my trainee moving up north
and that's been what I've been dealing with this last week... I'm going a little crazy!!
I'll hand write a letter and explain more... I'm out of time LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  P.S. Carly I got your letter:) I'm writing you back, but with transfers it might take a little longer than usual... but I am working on it! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! LOVE YA GIRLY :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Letter # 23 PLUS pictures

Dear Family!

I'm so excited Preston got his call !!! I can't believe that he
going to the same mission Grandpa Smith went to. That is so neat!!! Crazy? Wait a second... don't we have another cousin going to Texas as well? Are they going to the same mission? He leaves on May 22, to the M.T.C. How long is he staying at the M.T.C. for?? I only ask because I know they have shorten the stay for English missionaries to 12 days. (from 3 week to 12 days!!) We just had a Spanish Elder come out this transfer and I think he said he was only there for 6 weeks. I've heard that a couple people are being sent to the mission early if they know Spanish well enough... I think they'll make you take a class to see if your beginning, intermediate, or advanced? If you are in the advanced Spanish class you only stay for 2 weeks!! I knew he was going Spanish speaking!!! What did Preston say?  How excited is he? What does Grandpa think? So what all does he need?? Everything... please keep me updated I'm so excited for him :)

So are you going to be transferred? Do you know anything yet?  (she is answering a question either my mom asked) We can't wait to hear. Transfers aren't for another week :( President
Summerhay's has been hinting at it a little... I don't know if I told you about our ward being split?
Well I'll tell you anyways...Once upon a time our ward was huge and the missionaries couldn't get to everyone. This made the members really sad. It was about an hour drive from one end to the ward to the other end! So Sister Westberg and I said that this ward needed to be spit all transfer long... and then magically; one week we came to church and the ward got split.  THE END! So before the split there was 3 sets of missionaries in our ward. A set of Elders and 5 Sisters :) When the split was done, it made it so that both sets of Sisters are in the Naples Ward and the Elders we're all alone in the new ward. (the Vanderbelt Beach Ward) President said he likes having a set of Sisters and Elders in each ward. So he was "thinking" about sending me up North to the new ward and bringing a new Sister down to serve with me. :) That would mean that Sister Westberg will finish training Sister Godwin. I would be moving maybe 10 min. away. But I'll be in a new ward... or at least that's the plan for now, but we won't know for sure until next Saturday. SO don't hold off or worry about sending mail.  I'll still be in the
same address for the time being; or at least for a while. (We have been looking for a place for a while and have no luck.) Right now the plan is to share with the other Sisters. Which I'm honestly not super excited about. Don't get me wrong; I'm excited to see Sister Westberg still :) but 4 sisters to one apartment... It isn't my idea of fun!! Plus I will be 6 miles away from my area... the bike week is going to be fun :) I'm excited to get a new Sister though.

So I don't know if I told you on my last letter or not but we had
interviews with President and he said most likely I will be training for the rest of my mission. So I'll be the senior companion always. Which got me thinking... at the end of this transfer I will have been out for 6 months... That is a third of my whole mission! Time sure does fly, I mean I still feel like a "greeny". President has to keep
reminding me that I'm going to be one of the older Sisters out before
long... I think there are two Sisters that came out a transfer or so before me and the rest of the Sister are brand new or about to go home. Its crazy to think about! I want you guys to know how much I care and love you all!! Preston I'm so proud and excited for you! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! TILL WE MEET AGAIN :)

Sister Sharon Andersen
I am guessing; but I think this is who is in this pictures...
 Sister Williamson, Sister Westburg, SISTER ANDERSEN, and Sister Godwin
 Sister Westburg, New Sister, SISTER ANDERSEN, Sister Godwin, New Sister
New Sister, SISTER ANDERSEN, Sister Godwin, Sister Westburg, Investigators?, New Sister

Monday, April 1, 2013

Letter # 22

Dear family!!
I'm so glad you got my letter already :) I was worried you wouldn't get
it until after p-day... I felt so bad since my email wasn't very long
last week. And I didn't get to tell you half the things that I wanted
too :)  I feel like so much has happened that I haven't given you the
full scoop on...

Well, our Easter was great :) We ate at the Thompsons again (we went
there for Thanksgiving). He's in the mission presidency and loves us!!
His daughter just left on her mission to Spain. It was such a surreal
experience seeing her get ready to leave. It just seemed like it was
such a short time ago that I left to enter the MTC; time is going by
so fast. I think the best way to describe it is: "the days are long, but the
weeks are short". A couple people told me that before I entered the
mission -- can't remember who; but it's so true. You're busy all day teaching,
finding and serving :) that you're so tired by the end of the day. That's
why I haven't been writing a ton of letters because by the end of the day
I'm so tired but I want to start writing more letters because I love
getting them, so I'm going to try to write more.

Preston, you still haven't got your call!!!! I can't believe it has taken
this long; you must be going crazy? My guess is still somewhere out of
the United States Spanish speaking; I don't know why? But that's my
guess :) I can't find out. I think I'm as excited as Preston
to know :) Preston, I'm so proud of you :) You're going to be such a
great missionary and you're going to learn how to work hard. Keep me
updated on everything; i can't wait :)

Well I don't know if I've updated you on all our investigators lately. I
told you about Leon a couple weeks ago, i think?  We met him during
Christmas time and had been teaching him for a while and thought he
was going really well. We were meeting with him probably 2-4 times a
week and we thought he was really progressing but then out of nowhere...
he snapped, it was kinda scary!!! a 50 year old man yelling at
you! Not our highlight of the week. I don't know even where to
start...we were trying to set a date with him and then he just started
going off saying that we don't think the Bible enough and that we're asking
him to throw away his Bible and only read for the Book of Mormon...At
one point of the meeting, he was slapping himself with the Bible and
then the Book of Mormon. It was BAD!!! We were all in tears, because we
kept trying to tell him we weren't here to argue and he said we're not
arguing and continue to yell. So we were all trying to end on a good
note; but he wouldn't even let us bear our testimony . It was the worst
drop known to mankind :) And then last week...wait, maybe 2 weeks again
we got dropped from Rachel and Samantha and Eric (did I tell you about
them?) That's a long story maybe I'll start a handwritten letter and
tell you about that. But compared to Leon it was to look
at the bright side, but honestly we all had the feeling it really isn't
over, she just needs a little space to miss us. She'll want the spirit
back in her life again :) And, at worst, we planted a deep, deep seed,
that when she's ready maybe she'll accept our message.

It's not all bad news; we got a couple solid new progressing investigators
:)...Gary and Georgeann! They're awesome. We were going through our
area book and were looking at people that were taught by the
missionaries more than 2 years ago and seeing if they're interested in
learning more....or might like being taught by sister missionaries :)
(Sorry to say it, but there are just some houses sisters can get into
that elders can't; but I guess that goes both ways :) But anyways...we
just showed up to their house and she let us in and we're like best
friends already! I love her so much already! She's got some problems
we're working though but I think she's ready.. Well I'm out of time
again :( Like I said, the fastest 1 1/2 ever!  Well, I love you guys! And
I'm going to try to write some more letters (and pictures) this week :) 

~ Sister Sharon Andersen