Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zone Meeting Photo's

Mom found these pictures on the Florida Tampa Mission facebook page... we thought we should share them.
These are from the Zone Meeting in Odessa, FL. ENJOY!!~~

Monday, January 27, 2014

Letter #65

Dear Family!
So much has changed!!!!
I'm not with Sister Calder anymore! ( btw, Thank you Daddy for you always wise words of wisdom hahaha) I am now serving in Seminole with a Spanish sister. Crazy right? It is called a "Zebra Companionship" hahahahah it's really different. This is her first time serving in an English ward, so it's been really fun! :) 
I like her a lot! We seem to be getting along really great :) We are the first sisters in the ward in a very long time. I love being brand new sisters in a ward! Most wards usually love to have sisters! hahahahaha This ward is super excited about having sisters again! :) We are taking over an area that Elders used to be in... so in  mission terms we are "white washing" or as I like to say it "Pink Washing the area!" hahaha So we are going into it totally blind. It has been really interesting. We have also been moving into a old Elders apartment. It has not been the funnest. We spend like the first couple days just cleaning the place! hahahahah!
We have been able to meet with a few people. We have been trying to meet the ward members right now. The coolest experience we have had so far was meeting with a recent convert in the ward. Before we left our meeting she told us... "You don't even realize... You are Angels!!" She thanked us for coming and bringing the spirit into her home. :) It was the highlight of the week for sure!:0 I love hearing things like that from people. 
So far the ward seems really great! There is not to much to report on yet... but hopefully more to tell you next week! I love you guys so much! Sorry the e-mail is so short again, running short on time! :/ LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

We got this picture off of the Florida Tampa Mission facebook page... 
we are guessing this is her new companion!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Letter # 64

Dear family! 

So going along with the tradition… the week I didn't tell you about transfers… I'm getting transferred again!! I'm so sad! I wanted to stay with Sister Clader until the end of my mission, but I am guessing we were just having WAY TOO MUCH FUN together! 

We thought for sure we were both staying because we just got here... nope! President is full of surprises. I'm really sad, one transfer just is not long enough in an area. You are just getting used to everything and getting to know everyone!! It's not long enough to really get to know everyone!! :(  I only get to fall in love with a couple people and families :(  It just felt like I had finally unpacked. AND you know how I feel about packing!! 

This week was pretty crazy. We have been on "full car" almost this whole transfer. On Tuesday we got a call and they told us we were going to be "car share". I'm totally fine with it because I was on car share for half my mission in Naples… but our area here is HUGE. We have to bike about 12-14 miles just to get into our working area! So Sadly, it's been kinda a crazy slower week. Craziest part of the week was that we kinda got chased by some ducks… Calder got a video of it. hahaha!  Other than the ducks it was  kinda a slow week. We did a lot of contacting, walking around, and talking to random people. It was O.K. because I think that is always fun! :) 

Well I'm running short on time. I'll get going and try to send some pictures again this week… so "God be with you till we meet again!" Love you guys!!! Miss and pray for you always! 

Sister Sharon Andersen 

 TWINS in P-Day shopping...
 Sister Calder is SO funny! I love her faces!!
 Getting our WORK on... don't we look SO happy! haha
 Ready to RIDE!!
 Sister Calder & Sister Andersen
 THE sign we SHOULD have paid attention to... DUCK CROSSING...
YUMMMYY!! Have a GREAT week!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Letter #63

Dear Family!
This week has been crazy! (to say the least) It was also very good :) 
So we finally have a investigator!! Two actually!! :) It feels so good to be teaching again! We have been doing a ton of the "To the Rescue" which is great! ;) We have also been working with a of lot less active/returning members. That is always good, however I have missed teaching investigators. 

So their names are Ria and Will! We are not super clear on there relationship. It is actually really confusing to us!?! She says they are just friends. When we meet him for the first time... he said they are engaged!?! Weird! Anyways, we love Ria! She is really great and so prepared! She has just been searching and really is ready for a change in her life! The Elders met her just biking around and she said she has been praying for a change and she felt like we were sent from God. That is just the best thing to hear! :) I love when people recognize that! Everything happens for a reason... so we were able to meet with them once or twice and we got a really good feeling about Ria. Not so much for Will; he didn't talk much. Actually the first time we meet them, he was whispering to us! It was really weird... he said he's "saving his voice". I guess he sings or something. haha So he has been a little harder to read the whole time, a little off but harmless we thought...

Long Story short: They came to church on Sunday and we think he is schizophrenic (sp?) haha He had an episode/attack in church... it was the craziest thing... so I'm going to forward Sister Calder's e-mail with all the details! haha  I type slow and the Elders pretty much took up all our time... :( 

Either way, the coolest thing is that during all this craziness; Sister Calder and I we're kinda freaked out and didn't know what to do? We were driving with member to drop them off at home... and I was just questioning like... what is going on!?! Why am I here!?!.... and then a car pulls 
next to us. They had a bumper sticker on it that said..."I love my church" and I just knew that Heavenly Father was listen and was well aware of me and my thoughts. I am out here because I love this church so much! This gospel is what makes me happy! I know it! I live it! I love it so much! I want to share that happiness with as many of God's children as I can!! I may forget that when things get hard, but I know Heavenly Father loves me and is watching over me! He has a plan, and I just need to let him lead me... and have faith in his timing. I love you guys so much! I can't believe that I have been out for 15 months! :0! I also can't believe that you are already getting info about me coming home!! I just feel like I just got out here. I have felt green my whole mission!! :) and I plan to feel that way till the end. I love you family! Sorry my e-mail is so short! Hopefully the pictures make up for it... I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! God be with you till we meet again! :) 

Sister Sharon Andersen 

P.S funny/ hilarious video on Facebook: It doesn't really fulfill my purpose  as a missionary... to put it on my Facebook (that's why i haven't posted it)... but it's so funny! haha and thought I might share it with you... I haven't done a church tour quite like this. Actually, I haven't done a church tour since Naples! But anyways... enjoy :") 


I think the hardest lesson I have had to learn on my mission so far is that I can't change people. I came out thinking that I could baptize the world! If only people just knew and hear me testify to them, they'd know the truth… yep. I totally thought that. And in a way I still do haha because there are people out there who need ME to testify to them. But it's just been hard because I realize that no matter how much I tell someone, they still can't find out until they ask for themselves. And you can't push that on someone and you can't make them feel the spirit. Even though you know 110% that it's true, they can only know for themselves and that's the hardest thing ever. I can't imagine having kids. This really is preparation!
We had the craziest Sunday ever. I thought when church was cancelled in Naples because of the pipe was bad, this FAR exceeds it. But I really don't think I can do it justice over writing or even telling. It was a "had to be there" sort of thing. 
We have these 2 investigators that we got from the Elders who were covering part of our area. The girl is SO cool and we love her so much! She has this friend that she's living with. When we met him he was whispering while talking to us because he was "saving his voice". We thought it was kind of weird, but didn't think anything of it. He also said that she was his fiancĂ©… so we thought just some weird relationship problems were going on or something. We had 2 really good lessons with her, while he just kind of sat there. So they wanted to come to church on Sunday. We still hadn't found them a ride on Sunday morning. As we were searching Sister Canulette came in and we ran over to ask her if she could pick them up. She said yes than goodness (20minutes before church). So Sister A and her went to pick them up while I stayed in our ward counsel. Apparently some really weird things happen on the way here. He was acting really strange and she was acting normal. They ended up getting here right before they passed the sacrament. So they were doing fine, he (sorry, I can't use names so it might be a little confusing…) was acting weird so she didn't want to sit by him… so Sister A sat in-between them… then while someone (our WML actually) was doing this amazing piano piece he just jolted up and left. Really weird… so then she chases after him. We just stayed sitting not knowing what to do. Then after the piece was over we decide to go and check on them. They were outside walking across the street! There house is 12 miles away. We had no idea what to do! So we just watched them from the window. Then they got more down the street and soooooooo we did what anyone would do. Ran and grabbed our sandwiches and watched… we were starving because it was 1:45 and we hadn't had lunch. Then they were going up and down the streets. Some members sitting on the couches were just watching in anticipation with us. THEN, they started coming back! So we ran and put our sandwiches away. AH. They were outside and she was just watching him while he talked about the bubble around the church, the internet in his head, the smells that were in the church, and how we had our own ecosystem…. 
Then we knew something was totally up. She was so calm and collected though. She just let him talk it out. I can't really even explain all what he was talking about…. but we just let him talk and he kept saying he wanted to go home and that he was going to walk. She just said she wanted to stay. SHE LOVED CHURCH. So then there was some more stuff where we talked to him. Then we grabbed Sister Canulette and had her drive them home with us. He then was talking about his nails and things like that. So I just talked to her about how she liked church, she loved it and we explained a lot of things (side note, we totally had Texas Roadhouse rolls for our sacrament bread. No joke) about sacrament and stuff. She wants to come back, but he couldn't handle it.
Here's the miracle, Sister Canulette used to work with psych patients. So she was asking him questions and things like that. On the way back to church she told us that she's almost sure that he's schizophrenic (no idea how to even spell check that…). Everything he said and was doing pointed to it. It was insane. We made it back halfway through RS…. everyone after was asking about it because it was like this big show that was going on and we were just running around like chickens with our heads cut off not knowing what to do… I still don't think I've done the story justice because it literally was insane. 
Also, I was able to explain why we are called Sister to a 5 year old this week. I explained it EXACTLY like we do to investigators. It's SO simple :)
Also- I love Sister A :) she's pretty much my favorite! I love working with her and I hope this Saturday doesn't rip up apart!!!!! Also, since I'm getting SOOOOO many letters (cough cough) just to let you know there is transfer calls this Saturday so if you don't send it in the next few days wait till Monday to know if I'm still here!
Before I forget I wanted to tell the Primary in my ward thanks for the package! I loved it so much and it totally made my day!!!! :)

HASTEN THE WORK. Since this email is already a mile long I'm going to throw this in. 
Hastening the work isn't just to bring people in now- it's to prepare the missionaries to be strong mothers and fathers united in raising and fighting for the Army of Helaman! The cool thing is, we're an army. This is a war. And we know who wins. All you have to do is pick your side, and stick with it till the end! 
This. Work. Is. True! 
It's real and I love it more than anything! I love being a missionary! :) 
I love you all! 

Love, Sister Calder :)

Spread the joy! If only you knew how much joy comes when you bring someone in :)

 Sister Andersen by the Sarasota Sign
 Sister Andersen & Sister Calder by the Sarasota Sign.
 she dropped their food on the floor... had to capture this moment...
 treats in the car
 sharing an XL t-shirt
 not sure what she was doing here... LOL
 She got a text and HAD to help out a missionary... see below...

It say's "Well... Momma Andersen is on duty call... Bike wreck..."
Haha. She is always taking care of others!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Letter # 62

Dear family!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Everyone :) 

I can't believe it's 2014, crazy!!! I had just gotten used to writing 2013, but no biggy... So my New Year's Celebration this year was so much fun!! (No we didn't stay up!) :( We set an alarm to get up, but we were so tired that we both slept through it! haha.  We partied "missionary style" for sure! :) We went to the Parisi's house to celebrate! They are the sweetest family and I just love them! They are one of my favorites in the ward… They have 5 girls and it just felt so much like home! It was great!! We played games, and one of the little girls tried to teach me to play the guitar. TRIED being the key word! haha. Oh, and we ate a ton of food. :) It was just exactly what I needed. The Holiday's are so hard on the mission and this helped me feel so much at home. I made best friends with the youngest girl... who was pretty much me! :) She loves and looks up to all her older sister's! :) Oh yeah, and we won at apples to apples :) Another thing that also helped is that brother Parisi reminds me so much of dad! He is so great at dealing with and loving all of us girls. haha! 

We were sitting at the dinner table and the girls we're telling us jokes, we were having such a good time... THEN their Dad wanted us to share some stories with his daughters. He asked us "Why are you out on your mission?" then "Why did you give up school, friends, and family to be here for a year and  a half?" I always love those questions :) So Sister Calder and I both told stories about why we wanted to come out on missions. We shared how much it has changed our lives, and how we finally decided to come out. It was just the heated experience! I know that young girls look up to us, and it helped reminding each other why we are out here. Towards the end of the night the older kids were listening and we found out later that they are thinking about going on mission themselves! :) 

So sharing those experiences with them was the best! :) Then the family shared with us their conversion story because they are all converts. (Most of our ward is actually.)  During it the little kids were running around and playing... but what I loved is that the spirit was so strong in their home. Even with the kids being loud and playing, the spirit can still be present! That is what I love about the spirit. It is the coolest thing! I love having it so strongly with me, I think growing up in the church you can get so comfortable with it. You have always had it with you. That is one thing I have always worked on in the mission; relying on the spirit and relying on it for missionary work.  It just reminded me, and made me feel so much at home! :) 

I found the coolest thing in my studies the other day. What I read said only the home can compare to the temple with sacredness. Not church buildings or sights... but our homes! I have totally seen that! I loved going into so many homes and being able to feel the spirit there, it is so different in every home. That is one of the many things I have loved!!! I am just always so thankfully for the spirit in our home. All the things that Mommy and Daddy did to always have the spirit there. I know it is in our house, I always remember it in our home. Almost automatically, i can completely feel it. 

We had another party… Sister Calder hit her half way mark!:) It is so crazy being with her again! I love it, we get to see that change and growth in each other. At least for me it's been so hard to see that in myself, but  I can see it in her. It is easy seeing how much she has changed, I guess it is just hard sometimes to see it in ourselves. I love serving with Sister Calder! We are hoping we will be together until the end. I guess we will just have to wait and see. :)  That would be a long time to be together, we were just surprised we got to serve together again in the first place! hahaha. 

So, as you may know... We have been on Facebook! President said he would send an email to everyone about the rules and stuff. So Cool story: Sister Calder and I had our first online lesson! It was the best!! I still like lessons in person better, but it was nice to have some time to think about what we wanted to say. It was also cool to be able to look up info on the spot without having to get back to them. I'm just feeling so blessed to be on a mission at this time, and to be able to see and do all these new things! I love it!!!!  This week we have been starting to get in with more people. Hopefully next week I will have more people to talk about!! haha. Well I love you guys so much and miss you even more! :) 
God be with you till we meet again!! :) 

P.S. Daddy, I totally remember going out with brother Young! We always visited him when we were on Marco Island! :) He has taken us out to eat! He took us to this German place once, but usually would take us out for burgers! haha. It is such a small world!

P.S.S. Mommy, Thank you for all the pictures! Sierra looked like a beautiful bride:) I so want to go to the Salt Lake Temple! :) Well... really any temple!! haha I miss the temple so much! :) 

Sister Sharon Andersen

 Her new Best Friend ~ Playing Apples to Apples together...
Playing Don't Eat Pete!!
 It got a little cold... so they put on sweaters and got hot cocoa!!
 Sister Andersen and Sister Calder being GOOFY in the car! 
Ready to mail some letters!!