Monday, March 31, 2014

Letter #74

Dear Family ~
This week has been... Pretty normal. Nothing really crazy to report
on :) Which is a good thing! I don't want to top that lice outbreak from last week!

Daddy; You will be glad to hear we are not teaching the "ex- drug dealer"
anymore. :( Sadly, he wasn't the only one that dropped us this week!
:( We got dropped a couple of times! I hate it when we get dropped, or
have to stop meeting with someone. I just hate giving up or feeling like I can not help this person.  
What helps me is that President
has been giving direction- We need to be very upfront and bold with
people. He doesn't want us wasting time with people that aren't making
changes. This one hurt real bad, it felt like a real bad
breakup!! He just keep saying "I hope we can still be friends! I
hope there no hard feelings!" hahaha It was a pretty awkward
experience. He also confessed to us that if we weren't so cute he probably
wouldn't have keep meeting with us. So... moral of story Don't flirt to
convert! (Even if your not trying to) Only because it doesn't always work! hahha
People need to be converted by the Spirit, not by the missionaries! :)

Another sad story; We are going to have to move back James' baptism date :(
He has to move it because his vacation and then having to cancel some appointments :( So...
I'm most likely not going to get to see him get baptized :( BUT I will keep
reminding myself me being there is not what is most important! :( It helps to think that maybe Sister Wakefield could skype me in :)? Hopefully ?!? 
I'm so pumped for General Conference! :) I've really learned to love
Conference on the mission :) I have gotten so much more out of it out
here! I have heard it is harder once you get home to enjoy as much as when you are on your mission. I am determined to continue to love it, and get as much as I can out of it... :) I loved
the Women's Conference! It was so good. I loved having the range of ages, and how they used so many Primary children songs. I'm telling you... You learn everything you need in life in Primary!  :)

I got to go to "Spanish Land" again! I actually got to do on double
exchanges this week! I got to go with the STL, and the Sister in our apartment. It
was so much fun! More than I have had in a while! :) We got to go to an Inner Faith Day Camp thingy. 
I got to play games with some troubled kids. At first it was weird being around kids because as missionaries I am not around babies and kids all the time, and I can't hold them or anything. So I'm hoping once I am around family it wont be like that! haha!
Well, I love you guys!!
God be with you until we meet again :)
 ~ Sister Sharon Andersen
P.S. No one can drive their last month on the mission; just in case you get into an accident, or get a ticket, or something like that. haha!

 We mustach-you if you want to celebrate with us!!
 Happy Birthday SISTER!
 Rain Rain...
 Go Away... Come again another day!
 Pancakes before starting a Juice Fast
 Pancake FUN!
We saw an alligator at the Library . . . eek!
 Saw that LOVE was in the air...
Perfected by adding this simple word... !!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Letter #73

How do I began to describe this week!?! I'll just start with the
highlights. Things have been a little "cray- cray" (crazy) around here! 
hahaha (to say the least)

1) We have a new investigator. Yay! He is a former drug dealer. (but no
worries he is turning his life around... and we always meet him in
public places. So... haha don't worry to much daddy)

2)  5k's are no fun and not worth a t-shirt! :) The whole time I was 
doing it, I kept thinking to myself;  Why do people enjoy this again? 
People do this for fun?  And last but not least... Why am I so out of shape? 
:( the Elders and Sister Wakefield got medals though! :)

3) I almost got ran over by Sister Wakefield as she was backing up. 
She is not a very a good driver and I can't drive my last month :(

4) There was a lice outbreak in our apartment! :O One of the sisters
thinks she got it in her last area!

5) SO as result of that... We have spent one day cleaning the WHOLE house,
and at the laundromat washing ALL OUR CLOTHES!  
4 sisters in one apt=  a lot of clothes :)
And just for your info... I have a lot of clothes :(

So to sum it up... My feet hurt from walking trying to find
investigators. My legs hurt from the 5k. My head itches from the the
special shampoo we have to use (to prevent us from getting lice too)
And my hip may be bruised from getting backed into. hahah. I'm
getting old! haha

We have been doing a ton of walking the last couple weeks!  We are also
doing a lot of "finding" this transfer... which honestly isn't my favorite thing!?
Having to go up to random people and talking with them is not easy.
But it is starting to pay off. We have been meeting some pretty interesting people.

We were walking home after doing some surveys over by the library and
we saw this shadow behind us. Sister W and I both turned around and the guy 
behind us had headphone on (like everyone else!) We offered him a card and he took
out his head phones and started talking with us. (This rarely happens... 
so we were both excited!) We were walking the same direction
and we ended up walking with him for about 30 mins. We taught him about the
Restoration as we walked. He had the best questions! Those questions lead into
everything else we talked about! He has a church he attends right now but isn't 
quite sure about it yet. He seemed to be really interested or at least curious 
about Mormons. For some  reason had just picked up a Book of Mormon on 
Monday and had already read the introduction!?!  Coincidence... I don't think so! hahhaha 
I've learned even more out here on the mission that there is always a reason. :)
You have got to take the good with the bad... he also had some interesting question.
He also asked us about our magical bulletproof and fireproof underwear! haha. 
We have meet with him a couple of times this week... the hard thing with him is 
anytime the spirit is present he gets uncomfortable and makes a joke. I know he 
understands and is searching, we are just trying to help control his searching! hahaha. 
Google is not our friend! While we were teaching about the Restoration, he asked the best
question- "So why is your church the only one that has the same organization and set up 
as Christ church in the bible?" Ummm... because it is Christ Church, and he is the same today,
yesterday, and forever! We are just trying to help him pray and recognize his answers.
That is the hardest thing!

Then there is Curly. He is almost 90 years old, and we meet him just walking
around. He owns his own Heating and Air Conditioning Company. He still
installs them himself too! haha. He is in his LATE 80's and still hasn't retired. He
has some crazy stories! He also tries to be a charmer... He told me I have a pretty 
darn good face! hahaha. And he also asked if we were 18 years old? So apparently... 
we still look young. Well actually Sister Wakefield gets asked all the time if she has 
graduated high school yet haha. He also asked if we had boyfriends? haha.  He is also
meeting with the 'J-dubs' (Jehovah Witness). So that should be interesting to talk 
about too.
As always I am short on time :( I love you guys so much!

God be with you till we meet again!

Love, Sister Sharon Andersen :)

P.S. I got an email from the Mission President saying that we are allowed to read emails during our free time from friends and family. So feel free to email me, then  I could read it before p-day and have more time to write you back :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Letter # 72

Dear family!

I forgot to mention last week that interview with the Mission President were coming up. As most of you know... I not very fond, nor do I enjoy being interviewed that much. :/ Luckily for me, this time it wasn't so bad. It was a pretty decent interview. haha. I can tell President's heart has softened a little. He still told me he want's me throwing up in the bushes everyday (from working so hard haha.) and sometimes your
going to have to just "deal with it". He also said he is proud of me, I didn't leave my interview feeling like a completely horrible missionary so... it was an improvement! It was pretty good ;) We are just so different... I'm just going to have to get used to the fact that he is not as loving and caring in the way that I am used to from the last Mission President! He just shows is love SO differently. With this interview I could feel his love and concern for me. I know he loves this work, and he was called to this mission for a reason.

It was so weird, we were walking down the hall at church and he calls me by my first name... "It's Sharon right?" So I give him a weird look. He looked pretty confused. haha. When I came home I am going to have a serious identity crisis! haha. Being called Sharon does feel right anymore, it doesn't sound right. I feel like Sister Andersen fits me so much more. haha. I'm going to have to face the fact sooner than later on that one! It didn't help that this week I got my Travel Itinerary (you will have both of your missionaries in Texas for a couple hours) I was freaking out a little to say the least. I fully understand this is my last
transfer, but... I don't think it has really hit me yet. It hasn't sunk in, I didn't think I would have to worry about that until April. It's really happening! Where did the time go? I don't know if I am ready to go home. Every time I think about it I focus my mind back on now, and the time I have left. I got to talk about this with President during our interview a little bit, and that seemed to help me. Sister Wakefield was laughing at me, because I was so happy that President gave me permission to lie about how long I have left! haha. She gives me a hard time every time, haha and everyone asks me! Once they find out how short of a time I have that is all they want to talk about. So... I've been out a little over a year for a while now! I might start saying I am new! :) Sister Calder had this book of advice - one of the things said work like you have a year left even when you only have a few weeks.

So speaking of working hard :) We are running a 5K this week! :/ Well, more like I will be jogging a 5K! haha. I don't know if I mentioned this, but Sister Wakefield is super into fitness. Like a lot! That is what she was studying in college; Exercise Science. There is no way I could keep up with her, so luckily the other sisters in our ward our doing it too! So Sister Erkambrsck and I are jogging and passing out cards the whole time. So then Sister Wakefield and Sister Fox get to be beasts and RUN! Haha! A lot of the missionaries are doing the 5K. President just wants us getting our name out there! So
we have been training for that the last weeks. I have decided I hate running! I'll be running and think to myself Why do people enjoy this? Haha. The only reason I am doing it is for the experience on the mission. Oh yeah, and the free shirt (well it's actually not free because you have to pay to run? Anyways... I'm getting 2 shirts out of this deal :) It is probably hard just because I am so out of shape. I have gotten a little rounder on my mission. All the Sister RM's say it will come right off when I get home.  I am hoping for this because my "6 months to sexy" didn't work out too great! haha What can you do? I just keep reminding myself that it is not my focus right now, and I have more important things to worry about...

So... I also forgot to tell you last week about our complex block party that we went to. We were really just being lazy and didn't want to cook dinner AND we thought it would be good to meet some of our neighbors and get our names and faces out there. Well long story short... Sister Guan almost got a spiked drink! haha Good thing we wear our name tags! :)
James finally came to church! :) He looked so nice all dressed up, and he brought his mom with him. haha. It was so great having him there! I am twice as tired when investigators actually come to church, because I am always sitting there worried about what everyone is saying, or if they are enjoying themselves. It seemed to go well. He just got back into town this week, so we only got to do a church tour with him but we are seeing him twice next week! :) Lydia has fallen off the face of the earth! We haven't seen her at all this week! :( So like always,  I am running short on time!

I love you guys so much and miss you even more :)
 As always; God be with you until we meet again! :)
Love, Sister Sharon Andersen
P.S.- Mommy I ordered you a name tag. :) They said it will be a couple of weeks :) I want to see a picture of Preston, I mean Elder Andersen!?!
P.S.S.-  Daddy Sister Calder called dibs on my bike once I left if I wasn't going to be selling it. Her's is breaking down. haha. She is going to be excited! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Letter # 71

Dear family!
There has been a lot of change again this week! :) They are very good changes! We got another set of missionaries in the Seminole Ward. Yay! So we have 3 sets now... kinda. Crazy! Sister Wakefield and I got even more excited when we found out they were sisters!! The only sad part of getting new missionaries is that you have to give up a part of your area. What is more sad is giving up the people you have been working with. :( I love to see the work hasten! I have to remind myself that we were so happy and thankful to be moved into our new place before they came. Four Sisters and 1 bathroom doesn't add up!! hahaha. So with 4 sisters in one apartment, it's feels just like a sleepover all the time. It is pretty much the best. It's hard though to get anything done. (mainly at night) Only because we just sit around and talk and gossip :) It has been so much fun. I haven't written anyone back :( Sorry! At the beginning of my mission I hated living with so many sisters. Just because there wasn't enough room and I let it stress me out, but
now it is just like a party!

So another change is that they have 6 full-time Facebook Missionaries! It is crazy to see how much the mission is changing! All they do is go on Facebook trying to find people to teach and baptize. We are able to message them to ask questions about what talks or videos would be good for our investigators. It is kinda cool! :) 

So I don't know if it is "official hurricane"season but we have already had our first lock down. It was only for a couple hours, but it was still so much fun! I don't pray for it... but I really want to survive a 'big one' while I am here. I am trying not to regret my words (so that why I won't pray for it) and because obviously I don't want anyone to get hurt at all. I just want to be humbled and more willing to listen, or at least allow us to do a lot of service in the community. Maybe is could soften a couple hearts :)  We have a newer-ish sister living with us. :) So this was her first lock down. She was freaking out a little. hahaha. We had like 8 warnings in an hour period, and then we got a call saying we couldn't leave the apartment until late that night. Luckily it cleared up and we were only stuck at home for a couple of hours.

So Lydia is as cute as ever. She is making a lot of progress, just very slowly! She came to church again this week. :) We have met with her a couple of times. It is always an interesting experience. haha. In the best

way, that is one thing I have learned on my mission: Accepting people where they are at. I have learned to just go with it, we will read with her and take it slow explaining thing as we go. I always ask her to pray, I love hearing my investigators pray.(her especially). They don't get caught up saying the "right things" or the same things every time so you can always tell it is from the heart. She never worries about what she is
saying. So when she was praying this last time, she was praying for you guys! She is so sweet :) She asked for my family and asked to bless you and thanked you for sending her precious angels to Florida :) Oh yeah, she calls us angels all the time! haha! Her dog was barking at us when we walked in and she said "I will not let you bark at my precious Latter Day Saint angles like that!" hahaha So somehow this week she found out that I would be leaving in April. (cough cough Sister Wakefield) ha. She became really sad about it, I had to reassure her that once I am home I can stay in contact with her by phone and Facebook. Man I love technology! So in her prayer she also Included for my travel home and for my future husband... (haha) that will be able to find a precious Latter Day Saint husband, and have adorable Latter Day Saint children. She is getting a little ahead of her self... She is kinda crazy, but that makes it fun!

So... exciting news! James is getting baptized on the the 11th of April! I am so excited! He went out of town this week so we have not had much contact with him. :( He has been reading and is still loving it all. He did bring up his main concern of being able to stop smoking. We are a little worried about too. He quit cold turkey and lasted about 22 hours. So our plan is to get someone to give him a blessing and do a lesson on The W.O.W. hopefully later this week. Pray for us and him! He needs it!

General Conference is coming up soon! I can't wait it is pretty much like the Super Bowl for missionaries! :) I am trying to start thinking of what question to take with me to conference. :) 

I love you guys so much and miss you even more! :)  I cant believe it is already March!!! Time is going by way to fast. I try not to think about it...
So this year on Saint Patrick's day I'll also be celebrating my 17 month mark too! 
LOVE YOU GUYS!! Miss you!! 

P.S. We are teaching these returning members who grew up in Preston Idaho. :) Could you ask Grandma and Grandpa if they know the Peacock? or Bosen? or Hansen family? They own a bed and breakfast names "A Touch of Yesterday" or the " The Rocky Mountains Red Brick Inn"?

P.S.S Mom- I'll order you a tag no problem. :) That sounds adorable! :) I can't wait!! I just don't know how I feel about cutting up my clothes though! haha!

P.S.S.S Mommy & Daddy-Could you please figure out something with my bike... Other missionaries have tried to send their's home. I would love to have it but I am pretty sure it very expensive. I didn't know if you wanted to try to sell it? Or donate it to anther missionary? IDK? Just wanted to give a heads up and  let me know. :)
 sidewalk artwork!!
 haha! So sad for him!!
 Her favorite 'returning member' she painted this for Sister Andersen!!
 The Sisters in the Seminole Ward!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Letter #70 !!!

Dear Family!
It has been a crazy week! :) Lots of new stuff!! The last week of the transfer is always weird, only because you don't know what is going to happen! But guess what... I'm staying in Seminole :) Luckily I don't think I could handle another move. But sadly Sister Wakefield is not training this transfer! :( I was hoping to be in a trio, and with a "greenie" before I get to go home! :(  It is OK though! So this week was great! :) The main highlight of the week was finally setting a baptism date with James!!! We also moved into a new apartment! haha! :)

My new address is:
3306 Columns Circle 
Seminole, FL 33772
(It is just down the street :)

 So it is a New Transfer! And  it is already March! Crazy!!
A lady is my first area told me she would countdown the Fast Sunday's instead of months because it's goes by faster! I was tell Sister Wakefield that and then I realized I only have 1 more Fast Sunday! It is already March!! I don't know what is happening with time. The time on the mission is the weirdest! I can't even explain it!

So we had the best lesson with James this week ! He is a paramedic and had been up for like 48 hrs. However he did not want to reschedule with us again. So...for "whatever reason" we were all a little more sillier ( I hope that is a word) than usual. Well besides Sister Wakefield, she is usually the "bad cop", that keeps us focused! haha  :) (her words not mine haha) The more and more we meet with him, the more I like this guy, he is the best. A part of me feel's like he is the reason I am here in Seminole. He is great and gets us excited about sharing the gospel with him. :) He is like a sponge and absorbing everything we teach. So... this week we set a baptism date with him! :) We'll... not an actual date, but a couple of
dates. We committed him to a date, and without even thinking about it, he pulls out his phone and starts looking at his work schedule! haha. We were just waiting for a yes! We were trying for the 12 of April, but because of work that date did not work. So Sister Sims (his friend:) suggested the 14th which I was all for!! I would love to have a baptism right before I leave! :)  Then they also mentioned about the 18th or 19th being a possibility. I didn't have the heart to tell  him I wouldn't be here. (I don't usually tell people how long I've been out;  Sister  Wakefield laughs at me because when people ask "How long have you been out?" I always say a little over a year haha) I'm just hoping and praying I can be there! But if not, that will
be fine too. He said he was going to pray about a date. I know the most important part... and that is that he is getting baptized! :)I did not want me leaving to interfere or sway anything for him. We also let him know that he has the options (A.K.A he can get baptized at the beach.) I have selfishly wanted a beach baptism my whole mission! We have always offered everyone the option with no takers sadly! I mean if it was me, and I knew I had the option I would totally go for it! :) It was funny though because he
said no one would want to see me in my swim suit! haha! Sister Sims explained that he would have a jump suit to wear. Speaking of my baptism... Could you send me a picture of my baptism? I want to try to use it for my teaching :)

Lydia is so sweet! :) She is the sister that came to church last week. We get to talk with her, or go over and visit with her every week. :) We went over and read early this week. We were reading in 3rd Nephi  11 when Christ comes to the Americas. And she was loving it! I love reading that
chapter, it's one of my favorites. She did admit she had just gotten up. It was like 1:30... oh how I remember those days of sleeping in! ;) Maybe not that much? So we stopped and talked as we read. But she get a little distracted and off topic sometimes. The how the other day we were meeting with her and she started talking about music... Sister Wakefield and I were dying. Lydia is a country girl so we assumed she liked country music. Nope! She liked soul music and jazz! And that usher song..."Yeah" hahaha. She started singing it for us. She is a little crazy! Which makes it fun. I love seeing how The Lord is slowly softening her heart. She currently is working on stopping smoking, and drinking right now. We are doing that by checking in on her and having her read daily from the Book of Mormon. We have seen such a change in her already. And growth too, there was a light  about her at church. I love the power the Book of Mormon has!

I love you guys!!! God be with you till we meet again~ :)

Sister Sharon Andersen

P.S. A sister in our ward takes pictures of all the missionaries for the "missionary board" :) I guess it is so everyone will know what we look like...? :) She was really sweet and gave them to us so we could send them to the family :) Hope you enjoy :) Love you!