March 20, 2013

March 18, 2013

  One day we were driving down the road and saw a huge gathering so we stopped, 
it was a historical park ground breaking and there were people in costume all over.
Sounds like you are all doing just great!
How was the week of birthdays?!
Happy St. Patricks day! Don't worry....I still had all the green food. The sweet mission office secretaries had a little party with everything green, and even that cabbage and corned beef stuff. They are like the grandmas, and I adore them.
Thank you so much for the package!!! :)
I have been a real missionary for 3 weeks!
I can say I like it now:) Actually, I love it. There have been a lot of miracles and things this week. It just takes some time to get used to, but I am to the point of enjoyment:) But.....still hoping for a Visa!

This week I also felt like a real missionary because we walked in the mud on the side of a road. Yep, usually we just sit in a car forever. So now I have officially tested out my shoes, and they are walkable.
Yesterday a family we are teaching came to church! It was the best...we had 6 investigators there! The  kids are the sweetest ever, and they had such a good experience.  They are such good people,  Tonight is a FHE with them and a member family. Their boy, is the most sincere kid ever. He had such a good experience during the sacrament, and after was telling everyone that 'his chest just felt so warm and burning and he felt the great spirit." They are golden.
Saturday afternoon walk and talk we always meet interesting people. There was an american lady, and she was a talker. But I guess I wasn't quite following her, she said she used to go to some church, (which I later realized was the name of a ward). So I even gave her a card and told her about our beliefs...and then half way through the conversation I came to realize she has been inactive for 14 years. Haha oops. She already has a collection of BoMs from different missionaries...and just wanted to know what to do with them.
We also met some other super great people. One man was the last door we knocked on. He is VERY interested in our church, has actually been a few times in California.....but it made me realize that there are people that are prepared. Not everyone is ready to accept the gospel at this time, but there are people that are prepared to hear, and it is no coincidence we run into them.
I have wondered what English missions are's different here, because we focus on the hispanics.  I have thought a million times I wish I was english, but have realized that Hispanic people are the best, I need to be humbled, and teaching in a different language makes you focus on simplicity and sincerity.
We got a new companion. She is from Utah. She is adorable, and has been here only a few months longer than us. We went to transfer mtg this week, I got to see my MTC comp, and also the elders from my MTC zone who just got to this mission! After we went to lunch at a mexi restaurant. When we were leaving, we ran into a man. Luckily, he speaks english well:) But he was SO interested in who we are, and what on earth we were doing in Virginia. He is very religious, but could not belive that we paid to do this for 18 months. haha. He kept referring to the light about us, and that he felt so good talking to us about religion, compared to other people that he talks with. So now we have a potential investigator, we will see how that goes.
Ok Mom, for the important food update. I eat more jello here than I have ever in UT, so not sure about that stereotype....haha. We went to a fro-yogurt place here!! Oh boy I have missed that. Theres also some mexican ice cream place, with a million flavors, and we are probably the only white people to ever go there. Chicken Fiesta is the best, and it must be the top spot for missionaries because they all know who the missionaries are! They roast whole chickens over a fire in the middle of the restaurant, and it is delicious. The grossest thing I have had yet is fried pig skin, what a waste of calories. Yesterday we had dinner with a family from Purto Rico.  I will never again comment on our family being loud.....They are one of the strongest families in the ward and have 5 kids. It is funny because they are SO tech savy, they all sit in sacrament mtg with a tablet or phone in front of them the whole time.
We focus a lot on less actives and inactives. It is sad how many people become inactive, especially soon after baptism. So now we follow up with people who miss church. The ward relies completely on missionaries - for translating, doing the program, visiting people. It is cool that it is a ward full of converts, there is only 1 person who served a mission, who is in the bishopric. ( except the bishop who is american). But the youth are great, and there are 2 boys who will hopefully be serving missions soon!
This week is crazy busy...We have a baptism and boda. Mom, I am adjusting to cultural differences..haha. Wedding planning here is a little different than Magnolia Grove! There was actually a ward easter egg hunt the same day, so we are combinging everything. There is an egg hung, then wedding, then potluck. We are just hoping people show up, food shows up, and everything goes ok. haha. It has been different, as I cannot communicate with everyone, and get everything done, so I am limited in what I can do.
love, hermana andrews
p.s. Mom and Dad, I just read an article from the Liahona, July 2012, 'lesson inside the learner'. You would both like it, it's about teaching. Look it up, so good!
p.p.s. Sometimes I feel like I am at EFY, because we listen to the music all the time in the car. Yes, the mission pres does not have a lot of rules....basically we can listen to any music we feel appropriate :) , and he allows us to email anyone, it is different for each mission.
p.p.p.s. The scritpure case was made out of ducttape:)

March 11, 2013

!!! Anyone can email me !!!

What's in the gadianton dressing?

Can't tell you, it's a secret combination. jajaja.
(Maybe someday I will be able to write the whole letter in espanol...and then you will have to google translate. But for now we will just stick with 'hola' for sake of time and clarity:)....oh but my companion said I have been talking in my sleep in espanol...haha)
I have made 2 weeks in the mission field! Back in the old days, (of like 2 months ago), I would still be in the MTC for another week. Oh, and I CAN EMAIL ANYONE! Not that this will make my fanclub huge or anything....but Mom, if people ask can you let them know my email?
First of all, about some of the things about Virginia you asked about...It's so warm here today! Yep, it's like spring. Everyone goes on and on about how beautiful spring and fall are here. The trees haven't blossomed, but it's lovely enough to not wear a huge coat. So it hardly every snows here, except this last week, WE HAD A SNOW DAY! If there is even a forecast of bad snow, we are all 'grounded' and can't drive cars. Haha, ridiculous I know. So one of the days  this week (i cannot keep track of anything...) it snowed, so we stayed inside all day! I pretty much studied and read, and ate, and we played Jenga, and I got all crafty and made a scripture case I needed. And then the next day it was sunny and warm. Dad, sometimes we do split up and drop half people off somewhere else. It all gets tricky, even getting rides from members, because everything is spread out. And, this mission is splitting in July! Part of it will be the new Chesapeak mission, but there will 250 missionaries in this mission by the end of the year, as well as the Chesapeak mission.
This week I got to teach english class! Well, I didn't do much of the teaching....but the missionaries teach an english class one night a week at the church. It is all nonmembers that come. We teach basic but really useful stuff, like getting to know someone and asking questions. Thursday night is when the ward has all activities, so after is soccer. Oh my goodness this is a big deal. THey play in the gym, and it is intense. Missionaries play too, but other than that there is not an American. That's another thing where it's mostly nonmembers. Oh mom, the girl who plays the organ in our ward is 11!
We also had zone conference, which was good. After we went to Golden Corral, and then after we had a meeting where they fed us pizza. This was all within like 5 hours, and people here are just too nice in feeding us. I may have to get a second stomach implanted. We also had Peruvian food (shoutout to Pat:) at a members house, which was yuuumm. 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIEL! (p.s. we were listening to John Bytheway, and he wrote a whole song about Carriage Cove. For real. He lived there, and got married. Maybe you should youtube it?....) I'm sad to be missing the week of birthdays!!! So eat lots of cake for me:)
We have 2 baptisms!!! One couple have been investigators for a year, and their son is baptized, and they are getting baptized!  They are such great people, and we are so excited that they are being baptized.
There is another family that we have been teaching. They are the most perfect little family. They  have a boy and a girl. I had heard about them, and finally met them yesterday. We had sunday morning breakfast with them and make crepes:) The children are SO polite, and mature, and smart, and the parents are adorable. They cry watching cheesy mormon videos, spend every friday night together, already have the family proclomation hung on their fridge....basically they will be great members of the church:) Oh, and she is the best cook.
Everything is going ok. Sometimes you just have to take it one day at a time...but having a good lesson makes it worth it. One of my favorite things is having study time, which still never seems long enough. The spanish is...not the easiest. It has been a challenge being here temporarilly, because we are not trained. So it's difficult to always contribute and know what is going on, but I am trying to do all I can to improve everyday. Transfers are this week, so one hermana is leaving, and we are getting a different hermana.
Thank you for all the updates! Mom, the mission address is fine to use, I get everything at my apartment the next day. I think the last thing you sent only took 3 day to get to me?..

Enjoy the UT snow:)

Happy St. Patricks Day!
Love you all!
-hermana andrews
March 4th

Hola familia!
Ok i have about a million things to catch you up on......
So i will try to answer all the questions and let you know whats going on.
I am in Richmond Virginia! I flew here Monday. People from our district went to Washtington DC south, North Carolina, Carlsbad, and Richmond. My companion and I got to fly here togehter. There are 5 people who are waiting for visas right now that we flew with.
We arrived and were picked up by President Perry. This man is so great. This mission gets a TON of visa waiters. Luckily, he said only 1 has ever been permanetely been reassigned here. As far as the visa, pretty sure they just need bed space at the mtc. haha. We have no idea when it will get here, I got an email from the church that just said they are working on it. I realize this is part of my mission, and God wants me here or he would move me....but I do want to go to Argentina. More about that later.
There are 2 hermanas, and then me and another new sister, going to a different argentina mission, are together. Yep, there's 4 of us. And 1 car. Last week we had an extra girl. Quite the logistical challenge. And yes, it is spanish speaking.   The spanish areas are there's a ton of driving. The 2 hermanas are super great...they have both been out almost a year.The language is SO hard. Let's just say, it hasn't been the best week of my life. But I am trying to do everything I can.
The people here are great though! Let's start with one of the most important things TOday we actually ate pupusas? at a little El Salvador restaurant. THe people are from everywhere in this area - especially Guatemala, Dominican, El Salvador. Everyone is so nice in the hispanic culture, offering this hot rice milk drink. Yesterday we went to a member of the bishoprics house.It was SOO good, especially after a day of fasting.
 There is no sense of time. Like sacrament mtg started at least 10 minutes late. And we can show up an hour before or after the 'scheduled' appoint time and be fine. Different than how we schedule home teaching 3 weeks in advanced and no one would dare show up 15 minutes early...haha.
I can't even remember everything that has about a long week. It has been difficult, but obviously I am here for a reason. We study all morning, but this mission is not even as busy as being at the MTC! haha. Being able to teach people and meet and love people makes it worth it though. Everyone refers to us as the visa waiters though - so it would be nice to not be the little tag along and feel like a real missionary.
THank you for all your letters! I miss getting dear elders SO much. So feel free to send letters through the mail:)
I have no idea how long i will be here....thank you for your prayers! And please keep praying! I am learning patience, relying on others, and the power of prayer.
Thanks for all the updates!
hna andrews