Monday, November 25, 2013

Letter #56

Dear Family!!
 We had a much better week! :) This week I am happy to report! Sister Kitchen and I both left last week thinking our emails sounded pretty depressing... Sorry! It was just a tough week, but we all have them. We just need to keep pushing forward! I really do love the mission, maybe not every second of everyday, but I do love it!!! I am also trying to enjoy it more.

So this week was pretty good! We are still struggling to find new people to teach tough. I just kinda feel like we are working with the same people... over and over again. It also feels like they are not moving forward much. I want to bring people closer to Christ! I really want to fulfill my purpose here!!  

I have kinda been ready for a change... then this week, I've seen some changes :) . We have started to see some fruits of our labors, and people are progressing :) Yay!!We went and visited Brother and Sister Anderson (there's always an "Anderson" and they don't spell the name right usually! It's also weird praying for Sister Anderson! hahaha ) Anyways... we have been meeting with them for a while... I've told you about them, and I think I sent pictures. Brother Anderson (or Santa Clause as most people call him) is a returning member who has not been to church in like 40 years. His wife is not a member. Well, when we first meet with him it was just out on his porch. It was a real short meeting, and then slowly we go into his house, and now his wife is sitting in on the lessons!! :0 It is so great :) We taught him about the importance of Scripture Study last week. We also showed him how to read the scriptures online.  Well I guess we showed him how they can be read to you online. hahaha He has made it to Chapter 20 just this week! :0 Sister Kitchen and I were so excited about that! :) It is great seeing this change come over him! I love this gospel!!! 

On Wednesday we saw Sister Sykes... I think I've told you about her. She is the one that is missing her big toe. Well we were sharing a message about her not being alone from the Relief Society Session of General Conference weekend and she was almost in tears.  She said that is exactly what she needed to hear. It is the little things like that that make everything else so worth it! 

On Thursday I got to go on exchanges... Honestly I don't usually look forward to them because I kinda feel like they were a joke. All the Sisters and Elders are on their best behavior just for the Leaders being around. This one was so great!! It was the first time I left this area in a really long time too. Sister Kitchen had to take over the area for the day and was freaking out a little bit. She did such a good job! Anyways, our S.T.L.  are in Tampa Mentro... this is am area where you are pretty much just making contacts all day long. The missionaries in the area walk around school campus and Downtown area and talk to people. So obviously at first I wasn't to excited about it because it is scary going up to random people and talking with them for me. Even being a missionary it still scares me! hahaha! It ended up being so great, and I felt like I had learned a lot. I also got to do what they call "Book of Mormon" :) 

So "The Book of Mormon" show came to Tampa. The show and our mission decided to have 4 sets of missionaries outside of the theater to talk with people. So when we were on exchanges I got to do it! It was so much fun! I heard horror stories about doing it,  but it wasn't half as bad as they made it out to be. You just have to talk really fast!! Like "We are the Mormon Missionaries, here's our card. If you have any question after the show give us a call." It was real fun! I guess everyone is a lot nicer to the Sisters, but it was still fun. Sister Kitchen and I wanted to go, but we were so far away (like 1 1/2 hours). We knew they were going to pick missionaries closer to the show area. So needless to say I was excited that I got a chance to do it. I love love being in town and experiencing Tampa! :) 

On Saturday we went and visited someone in a Mental Hospital. That is always an interesting experience. hahaha We had gotten a referral online that someone need help there.  We went and tried to visit her because we just thought it was an E.R. or  regular hospital. They would not let us in, :( So we checked the visiting hours and came back the next day. We meet the sweetest lady. She had gotten herself into trouble, but is wanting to turn her life around. She stared crying when we came too. So there has been a lot of crying this week too! hahaha 

All in all it has been a pretty good week :) I am excited for Thanksgiving! We are going to the Kane's house :) They are pretty much my favorite family ever :) 

Love, Sister Sharon Andersen

 Sister Kitchen with a baby turtle...
 Sister Andersen with the baby turtle
 The New Elders in the Area ~
 Beautiful Dock 
 Sister Andersen thought Matt would like the name of this boat...
 Willy's Cafe... she LOVES the food there!!
 Nametags in the sand...
 toes in the sand...
sandy toes!!
 Beautiful Day with Beautiful Girls!
 Florida Scenic View
 Ocean Scene
 Land and Ocean Scene
 Sister Andersen and Companion on Exchanges
 Building in Tampa
 Beautiful Girls
 Silly Girls
 Gracie in Sister Andersen's basket on her bike...
 Sister Andersen teaching Gracie how to ride a bike.
 They make cakes for the Elders on their birthdays!
 Enjoying "the best burger ever!" in Sister Andersen's words...
 Another Scenic View with the Sisters!
 about to eat Alligator!!
Then enjoying The BEST ICE CREAM EVER!!
The Sister's in the Area. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Letter #55

Dear Family,

This has been the longest week! I don't know why, but this transfer seems to be going by so slow... This week we had interviews with President. (which wasn't my favorite) hahaha  He is so business like, and the interviews are completely different than the ones we had with President Summerhays. It just felt like it was a job interview and I did not do well!!! We had to fill out this questionnaire thingy before we went into our interview. The very last question was: If the savior was your companion, would you be comfortable with your service. So needless to say, that was not fun to answer! i just left the interview feeling like the worst missionary because I am so not prefect :(  Our DL (District Leader) said half his zone called crying after interviews on the last transfer. hahaha but....

Besides that it has been a kinda slow week. Not much going on... we are really trying to find more people to teach, which is always fun haha. We have been biking around and talking to everyone we see. We have this new potential investigator that is also meeting with the "j-dubs" (Jehovah Witness') hahaha. So that is going to be very interesting.  We are also still working in our new area and trying to get to know everyone there. All in all it has been a pretty boring week. Not much to report on. Sorry this letter is pretty lame... Last week we did go to the beach with the Elders. It was way fun!! I'll send a couple pictures and hopefully send more different ones next week. I love you guys!!! God be with you until we meet again! :) 

Sister Sharon Andersen

Monday, November 11, 2013

Letter #54

Dear Family,
This week has been so long. Real LLOONNGGG. Partly because we ended up "on bike" again :( haha~ somehow it all works out :) 

We meet a ton of cool people biking around so it all worked out! hahaha. It really helped because 
our 'teaching pool' has turned more into a 'Kiddy pool' haha.  We are still keeping pretty busy working with a lot of returning members and recent converts. However, most of our investigators have either; 
1)Gotten really really busy all of a sudden! IE: Matt. He has gotten really busy, and doesn't return our phone calls. He is also never home. We kinda felt him slipping away. :( We had a really great lesson on The Word of Wisdom at our WML (Ward Mission Leader's) house. The spirit was strong, and we committed him to live by the teachings of the Word of Wisdom. He committed to cut everything out cold turkey! He was even going to go to the doctor and a specialist to help him stop. Now we haven't heard from him in weeks, and he hasn't been to church! :(  We are trying to work with him, TRYING being the key word :( 
2) Going out of town... Miguel. Have I told you much about him? He is going out of town for like a month and a half to visit his wife for the Holiday Season. 
3) No longer in our area or boundaries. With us getting new missionaries, we had to split up our areas a little bit.  We are having to give some people we were previously working with to the new Elders :( So once Miguel gets home, we will be handing him off to the Elders along with the Kelby Family. :( They are the sweetest part-member family we have been working with. (they have the gross dog with a huge tumor ;/ hahaha)  We had to break the news to them last week, and they were very sad! :( Brother Kelby asked us "So is this the last time your coming over?" Sister Kitchen and I just wanted to cry! :( They said they will have to come to church now so that they can see us! (maybe it is a way to get them back! hahaha) I guess we will see, we told the new Elders to take very good care of them... or else!! hahaha 

So we biked around a lot this week, and we were just talking with everyone! You can meet a lot of interesting people that way. That's for sure! hahaha. It has been really great. The new "to the rescue program" has helped us be super focused on the less active members. It is nice doing some finding there and it beats knocking doors! hahaha We are pretty excited about the change. Now we have different people to teach! We got the car back on Sunday which we were very thankful for! It is funny how after we have been on bikes for a little bit we always thank the Lord in our prayers for the car! hahaha Not having one for a few days makes you thankful that's for sure :)  We now have the car again full time, but we plan on still biking so we can constantly to meet more people. Having to bike in Spring Hill is the worst! (because like I have said before; it is very hilly.) It is the sink hole capital in the state also is what we have heard. There are no sidewalks so we are biking right next to cars, which isn't always fun. We get honked at a lot! I'm a little bit more used to it since I was biking in Naples. Sister Kitchen thought she was going to die! hahahah Story of the week was we biked 9 miles to an appointment!! It was on a road where the cars we're driving 50 mph! :/ It was a great lesson that we got to give! We might start teaching her less-active boyfriend :) Everybody needs to gospel!
I love you guys so much!!! I also miss you too! I am glad to hear you got my pictures, I hope you enjoyed them!  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH... and I think and pray about you always!!! 

God be with you till we meet again! 

Love~ Sister Sharon Andersen 

P.S. I'll try to send pictures next week :) love you!!! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letter #53

Dear Family! 
I loved all the pictures!! :) It sounds like Mom and Dad had a great Anniversary! :) Daddy, your email made me hungry! haha I also love the picture of your tie :) and that you wore it. I think I gave it to you for your birthday.... I am always glad to hear you are doing well :) 

My week has been an interesting one! haha I mentioned in the last letter that we ran out of miles and money, so we have  been making do! Honestly it is fun! I am trying really hard this week to say organized and mange better.  We were on our bikes pretty much all this week, you really feel like a missionary "on bike"! However, OH MY... I forgot how hard and EXHAUSTING it is! I think it's harder in Spring Hill than in Naples! (because Spring Hills has LOTS of hills!! Naples was pretty much flat) We are going to have to get used to it because we are going to be on "car share" yay!! hahaha We got another set of Elders in our ward, so until we get another  car we will be sharing! :( They said we are just going to try it out for a little bit... so we'll see!

The new Elders are awesome! We had to redo all our boundaries though. This meant giving up some of the people we have been working with. :( We got a huge chunk of an area that hasn't been worked very much,  Weeki Wachee :) We are really exited about it, but the down side to that is mapping! As you may know (well dad does) I am not very good at reading maps! That is why they invented G.P.S. for me... come on! On the mission I have gotten better! Not really good, but better. So almost all of Sunday we spent with he new Elders going over the Ward Roster and seeing who in what areas and mapping things out. hahaha 

This week was kinda slow since we were "on bike". It takes about 3 times as long to get to places :( Everything  is so far and in between. We helped one of our investigators move two people. We pretty much help someone pack up their house or move every weekend without fail! :( Hannah and Gracie are moving this week to Orlando. We went to say good-bye to them before the move. Of course we were "on bike" and when it came time for us to leave Gracie did not want to let us go, so she hopped in my basket and I was riding around with her for a little while hahaha! I found out she doesn't know how to ride a bike... So we tried to teach her! :) We got pictures and maybe I'll sent them next week. It was so fun running back and forth down the street with her. I felt like such a mom hahaha. She is so sweet, I am sad to see her go. We learned that the Elders helped unpack them when they go to Orlando, so I am hoping they can pick up where we left off. Gracie would like to get baptized really bad. 

We also did some service this week. We helped Sister Evan with gardening. I found out I do not have a green thumb! Sister Evan assures me that once I get married all these things will just come naturally. It comes just automatically I guess! hahaha. 

Halloween was kinda hard! Holiday's are hard on the mission. :(  What can you do? Matt reminded me it my last Halloween dressed as a missionary!! :) I love you guys! My time is running short! LOVE YOU!! God be with you until we meet again!
Sister Sharon Andersen