Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pray Always

Dear Family,

Thank you for the emails, prayers, and support.  I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here on the mission and more importantly to have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I have been thinking a lot recently about the importance of being obedient to the prophet and doing the simple things that we are asked to do.  Reading our scriptures, praying, serving our neighbors.  These are the little things that help us build are testimony.  Every day we are either building our testimony or we are letting it die.  There is no middle ground.  You are either increasing or you are decreasing.  In chapter 32 of Alma faith is compared to a seed.  That when the seed is planted it is our job to nourish it and cultivate it.  Because it is either growing or dying.  

 37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
 38 But if ye aneglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.

How do we nourish the tree?  Doing the simple things like prayer, scripture study, fasting, and praying.  Notice that the scripture says to nourish it with great care.  Why do we have to nourish it with such great care?  Because this tree means everything to us, it is the difference between life and death, salvation and condemnation.  And just like any tree, if you stop giving it the nutrients that it needs, it dies.  It might die soon or it might take a while but you can be sure that it will eventually die.  It doesn´t matter what you say or think, the tree is going to die.  We can pretend that it´s not, we can tell everyone that our tree is just as strong as it always was, but when the trials come, our tree won´t withstand them.  How many times do we just read our scriptures instead of really study them?  How many time do we kneel down to pray and say the same prayer that we did the night before without thinking?  When we do this we are killing our tree and giving the enemy a chance to try and uproot it.  I have seen this here on my mission and I thank God that every day I have the chance to nourish and strengthen my tree of faith.  Please do the same thing so that we can receive the blessings described in verse 41.
 41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and withapatience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree bspringing up unto everlasting life.
Love you all!
-Elder Caleb Anderson

Love you guys and hope you are all well!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Week

Dear Family,

Thank you for the emails and letters.  This week was a pretty good week.  I am getting used to my new responsibilities as District Leader.  It basically just includes calling up the other missionaries in my zone 3 times a day to see how they´re doing, reporting the numbers to the zone leaders, doing baptismal interviews for the areas in my district, and preparing trainings to give during the district meetings.  So far I have been really humbled to work with such great missionaries.  My district has some of the best missionaries in the mission.  This week every area in my district baptized!!  It was awesome.  In my area we were able to baptize a kid named Gabriel.  He is the brother of Elida, the girl who was baptized last week.  It will be really good to have them strengthening each other and helping each other stay active.  Also on Saturday I did my second ever baptismal interview.  It went well but it was a little bit strange because the man didn´t speak portuguese or english!!  So we had to have a translater in the room, I spoke portuguese to the translater and then the translater spoke french with the man being interviewed haha.  The guy was really awesome, he came all the way here from Haiti to get to know the church.  He couldn´t go to our church in Haiti because he dad is a pastor of another church and wouldn´t let him.  It was really awesome to be able to meet him.  The sacrifices that some people here make to be members of the church are inspiring.  
That´s all I´ve got for this week! Love you all!

-Elder Anderson

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mais Uma em Vila Industrial!

Dear Family,
This week was really good but it was crazy!!  Transfers were on Tuesday but Elder Bracken and I both stayed here in Vila Industrial.  So it looks like I´ve got at least 6 more weeks here in the area.  Which is good, I am starting to really love the area and the members of the ward.  The only difference is that now I have the extra responsibility of District Leader.  I am the District leader of two other companionships.  One set of sisters and one set of elders.  So far so good.  Tonight we will have our first district meeting.  I hope that you are all well. Thank you so much for your emails as always.  Also on Saturday night we had the baptism of two AWESOME people.  Elida (17) and Nathan (16).  They were both member references.  The baptisms were awesome and they were both confirmed on Sunday in sacrament meeting.  I don´t have much time to write today so I am going to have to go.  Hope you are all well!

Elder Anderson   

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fast Week

Dear Family,

This week went by super fast.  We were working a ton and trying to find new people to teach.  We found some really great people to teach.  Tomorrow is transfer day so tonight Elder Bracken and I will get the call telling us if we are going to stay or go.  

Recently I have been thinking quite a bit about a story in the Old Testament.  It is the story of Naaman  in 2 Kings 5.  It talks about how Naaman was a captain of the Syrian army had leprosy.  In summary Naaman went to the prophet Elisha because he had heard that Elisha was a prophet of God and could cure his skin.  

So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and awash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be bclean.
 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some agreat thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
 14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan,aaccording to the saying of the man of God: and his bflesh came again like unto the cflesh of a little child, and he was dclean.
Sometimes the hard part of obeying the commandments is not the actual doing part.  Sometimes the hard part is humbling ourselves enough to do the will of the Lord.  Humbling ourselves enough to obey our prophet and other church leaders.  To admit that the Lord knows better and if we want to be cured or if we want miracles in our lives, we are going to have to do things HIS way.  No matter how riduculous it might seem.  
That´s all for this week!  Hope you are all well and thank you so much for your emails, letters, and prayers!

Love you all and hope you are well!
-Elder Caleb Anderson