Monthly Archives: August 2013

President Anderson’s Letter – 18 August 2013

I enjoy reading and sharing these letters of inspiration each week. It helps me to remember to wear my missionary name tag on my heart…

“I ponder on the Scriptures at times when Jesus Christ performed miracles that not only increases our faith, but teaches us our responsibility as missionaries. I recall the miracle when He goes to the home of the ruler of the synagogue and raises his 12 year old daughter from the dead:

“And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straightly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” (Mark 5:39-43)

When she was raised, he told the others to give her something to eat. It appears to me that this young girl was hungry that she had an appetite for food. We, as missionaries, go through understanding, and learning, even the glimpses of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and our appetite for wanting to know more becomes stronger. I think about this young girl who after being raised from the dead, to being alive, and how as missionaries, when we feel the power and the testimony of Jesus Christ, we become alive too. Our appetite for wanting to know more then becomes stronger. I was talking to the leaders of this mission and reminded them how before their missions they weren’t paying attention to the Gospel in Sunday School, Seminary, Young Men and Young Women as much as they should have. You were distracted with other things (world, friends, ourselves) and you really didn’t take advantage of learning the doctrines that were being taught.

Now we as missionaries have a much stronger hunger and desire to understand and to know more about these truths. The evidence of our conversion is our increased appetite to know more and to learn more concerning Jesus Christ, therefore our personal studies and companionship studies become more precious to us and more important to us and we can’t wait to get to them so we can find out even further “light and knowledge”. Our investigators are the same way. Once they receive and feel the power and testimony of Jesus Christ, their desire and appetite to know more becomes stronger, the evidence of that is obvious. They come from a type of spiritual death, compared to the girl that Jesus raised from the dead, to a new life and desire to understand more what Jesus Christ is about. They become hungry and we become the source of the food that will help satisfy their hunger.

When Christ taught his disciples “The Sermon on the Mount” He said:

“ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

We are the agents called of Christ, His representatives, to help fill those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness”. Many are praying to find this spiritual food that we can provide:

“My companion and I knelt down and asked God to help us find someone who has been praying for us, someone who is ready for the gospel and needs to be baptized. And then we went to work. We harvested  different houses with little to no success. We were able to leave blessings in homes, but we knew that we were supposed to find someone else. By the end of our harvest, we were pretty discouraged because we didn’t find who we asked for. We got into the car and started to leave when we saw this woman walking her dog in the distance. We drove over to her immediately and asked if we could leave the prayer. She told us how surprised she was because she had just moved 3 days ago from another area and was very scared to be here. She said that she prays everyday but that day she prayed to receive peace somehow. This was when we showed up. She believes in God, but has never been baptized before. She told us that she wants to be baptized and she really wants to learn more. We are so excited to teach her and prepare her for baptism.”

Many are praying to be filled with “Light”:

“Another huge miracle we saw was with a lady that came to church on Sunday and is set with a hard baptismal date for this upcoming Sunday. It all came about yesterday as we were teaching her. A lady walked past and asked about us. We got her information and told her we would stop by later to pray for her because we were teaching our investigator with a baptismal date. But then our investigator jumped up and said, ‘Elders, we need to go pray for her now!’ She then led us down the stairs and we prayed for the lady. After we finished the prayer our investigator began to testify. She talked about how we are one of the greatest things God has sent to her. How she was in darkness, she prayed for God to send her someone, and then we came. She then began to testify of church and baptism and invited the lady to come to church. By the end of the lesson the lady was set with a date and for church, as well our investigator was even more solidified as she bore her testimony.”

Many are praying to be filled with the knowledge of God:

“We biked a ton and I was sweating like crazy. Prior … I was praying and asking the Lord to please give us a miracle to start off our day on the right foot. On our way out I saw a couple walking down the street heading towards us. We rode passed them. As we were a distance away I was prompted to go back and contact that couple. I looked back and were a good distance away from them. I stopped and called out to my companion, ‘Elder lets go back and contact that couple!’ So we did. We introduced ourselves as Representatives of Jesus Christ and the girl stopped us mid sentence and said, ‘Really? Because I’ve been praying to God to show me that He’s truly there. Now I know he’s real and that he lives!’ I then dropped the bomb immediately right off the bat with a solid invitation to be baptized, ‘So will the both of you show God your love and appreciation by following the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?’ They replied ‘We will with all our hearts! Can we do it tomorrow?’”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is teaching the apostles and told them about his being hungry and naked and in prison. When they asked Christ “when did we see thee hungry and naked?” He teaches:

… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Mathew 25:40)

We are spiritual providers for those who are hungry, those who have an appetite, those who are in need to be satisfied spiritually. We are the source of that food which will give them life, strength, sustenance, and purpose. We not only fill ourselves and them, but we fill the Savior as well. When Peter in the New Testament saw the lame man on the steps of the temple begging for alms, he realized that this man was more than just physically hungry:

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:6-8)

Peter is sharing with this man food and riches, but not in a physical form, he was providing it in spiritual form based on faith, testimony, Spirit, power and authority. We in many ways are providing that same sustenance to our investigators. Things that they are hungry for, things that they are in need, that will fill them and give them eternal life. This food that we are sharing with others is the doctrines of salvation, it’s the truth of Jesus Christ, and it’s His Gospel. When we have received relief with His food, then we must help others to relieve their appetites with this food as well. There will be many times where we will be having a feast together with our investigators. That spiritual feast will fill both of us, and will give satisfaction spiritually of the appetite that we have that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can satisfy.

The evidences of those that are still hungry for the world are those that do not repent, do not care to change, and do not want to hear and understand more of what God wants them to know. Those that are hungry and are truly showing forth evidences of repentance are those that are hungry for more inspiration, truth, teachings, and understanding of the Gospel. Evidence of those who truly want to repent will be those that are hungry for more truth and doctrines and want to change.

13 August 2013 – Transfer Pictures

Thanks to Sister Boice I am able to post some pictures taken at the transfer meeting. It was a large transfer so only a portion of the new companionships are here, but for those of you who find your missionary, a big thanks should be given to Sister Boice for her diligence.

The Boices Aloi-Nimer

Elder and Sister Boice who are serving as Employment Specialists in the FFLM area. And of course sister Boice is the one who took all these pictures so we could share them. Sisters Aloi and Nimer are now companions serving in the Fort Lauderdale Zone.

Barbosa - Lee Bean-Tuai

Elder Barbosa is the new companion for elder Lee serving in the Coral Springs zone. It is good to see the smiling faces of sister Bean and sister Tuai as companions in Fort Lauderdale zone. Sister Bean is the one who bakes birthday cakes for missionaries in her district.

Biggs - Merrill Buckley-Thorne

Sisters Biggs and Merrill are moving luggage from one car to another as new companions serving in threesome with sister Amiolemeh in the Palm Beach zone. I am sure sister Stegelmeier will miss her daughter who she trained. Elder Whitney is now the companion of our dear friend elder Thorne and they will serve together in Stuart Zone with elder Thorne as DL.

Dougal-Johnson Duncan-Dean

Two great sister missionaries – sisters Dougal and Johnson – will serve together as STLs in the Stuart zone. Elder Duncan strikes a pose with his companion elder Dean who will serve the next 6 weeks together the Fort Lauderdale zone where elder Dean will be a district leader with three awesome sister companionships in the district. That should be a powerful district. Sorry there is no picture of sister Stegelmeier who with her new companion sister Dunford will be in that district.

Duncan, Harrell, Dean Flores - Richardson

Elders Duncan, Harral, and Dean get together for a picture. However elder Harral’s new companion elder Woodward did not get his picture taken. Elders Harral and Woodward will serve in the Fort Lauderdale zone.  I notice that one of the APs, elder Jones is shown in the background and I am wondering if that tall missionary with his back to the camera is another AP elder Williams? Elders Flores and Richardson are new companions serving together in the Miami Zone.

Krikava-Call McMullin-Passey

Elder Krikava will be trained by elder Call way up in Stuart zone. Elders McMullin and Passey will serve in the Fort Lauderdale zone with elder McMullin as a district leader.

Merrill-Amiolemeh-Bigs Millett-Ovard

There will be the awesome threesome of sisters Merrill, Biggs and Amiolemeh serving together in the Palm Beach zone. Who is going to say no to hearing a message from those three smiling sisters? Elders Millett and Ovard will serve down in the Homestead zone with elder Ovard as a district leader.

Orton-Brown Orullian - Pingree

Sisters Orton and Brown will be serving in the Palm Beach zone. In the background can be seen elder Pond who will continue as a Hialeah zone leader with a new companion elder Burgon. Also I notice that elder Thorne got in the picture as well as elder Fanika and elder Singleton who seems to have a rather surprise look on his face. Elders Orullian and Pingree are together in the Homestead zone.

Pick-up-Monsuy-Sommerfeldt Torres-Harris

Sister Pick-up will be the trainer for sister Monsuy while they serve in the Hialeah zone. It was nice that sister Sommerfeldt, the mission nurse, also got in the picture. Sister and Elder Sommerfeldt just got back in the mission for the second time. They had such an uplifting first 23 months that they immediately put in for a return engagement when they got back to Canada in the early part of the year. Elder Torres and Harris are together in the picture but not serving together. Elder Harris is one of the ZLs in the Coral Springs zone and elder Torres should be home by now.

Wilson-Chartrand Outside 1

Our old friend elder Wilson will serve as a district leader in the Hialeah zone with elder Chartrand as his companion.

Outside 2 Outside 3

President Anderson’s Letter August 11, 2013

Well once again it is catch up time for the President’s letters. Here are the last two.

We will be blessed with additional revelation and miracles when we prepare our members to help us “do” in teaching and making commitments:

“We had a family investigating and they were pretty cool. However, they did not come to church last week. We took a member with us to the last lesson before this Sunday. We trained her. We talked to her about what we were going to talk about with the family and what commitments we wanted to provide. We talked to her about her purpose and how she could fulfill her purpose in this lesson by providing testimony and invitations. We said a prayer and we were off. The lesson went great. We taught about the Restoration. The member provided wonderful testimony. And at the end of one of the testimonies, one of church, she invited the family to church. They said yes! But they didn’t have a car. Our member provided that as well. She even got their number and committed to call them Sunday morning to see if all was ready. And then the family came to church. We know for a surety that they came in the largest measure because of the friendship and support provided by our member.

We will be blessed with additional revelation and miracles when we show forth faith and round-up our investigators for Church:

“When we were going out to round up and pick up people for church we went to the apartment of a lady we met last week. I knocked on the door and a little girl answers and I ask ‘Is your Mother here?’ The little girl said ‘Yeah she’s coming, we’re all coming!’ I thought ‘Who’s all of you?!’ Then I see two more young men come out and then our investigator follow after! I was simply astonished at what the Lord had just done! We got them to church and after sacrament I asked them if they would all prepare for baptism? Our investigator said ‘I’ll think about it but I love this church I love how it makes me feel, it’s so wonderful.’ They all came to our baptism and it was an awesome experience! When our new member left to change, the meeting was opened to testimonies. After a few members, our investigator got up and began telling us about how she had a dream about the missionaries and how wonderful they would make her feel. Never had that before! It was powerful! After the closing prayer I asked her again about baptism this time she said ‘Yes, I’ll do it next week and I want my children to be baptized too.’ All four were baptized Sunday.”

God will lead and guide us with additional revelation and miracles as we go and do:

“Some of our appointments fell through…  so we decided to do some Harvesting. We weren’t anywhere near the place we’ve been working on so we weren’t sure where to go. My companion just smiled and said, ‘Follow the Spirit.’ We drove for about 2 minutes before a road caught my eye. As we drove down it we found a man who had been to church several times when I first got here but we hadn’t seen him in weeks! He would never tell us where he lived so we could go teach him and we had no way to contact him. As we saw him outside by the road we had a brief moment of panic and then a ton of excitement! We pulled over and got out to talk to him. We found out that he really wanted to be baptized! We had asked him before but he never felt ready. It’s amazing how the Lord puts us in the path of those who are prepared! He came to church and was baptized on Sunday! I’m so grateful for the promptings of the Spirit and being led to where we needed to be!”

President Anderson’s Letter – August 4,2013

Sometimes we get stuck in the rut of not doing those things that are priority and promote our purpose, instead we surround ourselves with menial and tedious things that distract from our purpose and cause us to be “found wanting” when it comes to bringing souls to Christ. Last week I received the following letter from one of our missionaries:

“This week was full of miracles! We had the opportunity to bring 8 souls unto Christ through baptism this Sunday! It was amazing! They came from 3 separate families and 3 different finding methods. One family came from a member referral, another came from street contacting his wife (who should be getting baptized this upcoming Sunday), and another family came from an inspired harvest. We only had time for one door so we prayed and both agreed on their house. The member referral we believe were indirect blessings for all of our hard work. Our OYM, we believe, were blessed with because we street contacted his wife immediately after, what we could have taken as, a discouraging experience, but instead of letting it get us down we contacted the first person we saw. And for our harvest family we became their friends and always helped them feel and recognize the spirit. With all of them the moment we found them we were sure to offer a prayer of gratitude. And because of the gratitude the Lord continued to bless us.”

I love the “balance” of finding that these missionaries were able to implement in their work. They were able to employ several ways to find and therefore “balance” out the power that comes by being faithful and diligent in finding. In Proverbs we read:

“A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)

A righteous, organized, and inspiring planned out balance of our work will always be a “delight” to God. Uninspired busy work, work without our Purpose, is an “abomination to the lord”. A good, even balance also shows our integrity to God as Job teaches:

“Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.” (Job 31:6)

Elder Ballard teaches us:

“…  Maintain balance. Free and open doctrinal discussion is important in gospel scholarship, but remember that most things have been put into place by God and simply are not subject to change. The doctrines and principles of the Church are established only through revelation, not legislation. This is God’s plan; we do not have the prerogative to alter or tamper with it…Our task is to integrate the principles of the gospel into our lives so that our lives will be in balance. When our lives are in balance, before you realize it your life will be full of spiritual understanding that will confirm that your Heavenly Father loves you and that His plan is fair and true and we should strive to understand it and enjoy living it. (M. Russell Ballard, General Conference, October 1993)

Balancing our priorities with our member referrals to do “all” we can to help them keep commitments, even magnifying our “power and authority”:

“We showed up at the house of our investigator, a really elect member referral, but she does not look happy. We go in and find out that she slipped and yesterday and is in a lot of pain.  She is 75 and already has back problems so that was not good.  As we talked I was really worried about seeming insensitive by trying to still get her to come to church that day, she honestly wasn’t looking good at all.  Then the thought came to my head to give her a blessing.  I took out my oil, freshly blessed a few days before, and we gave her a blessing.  As we left the blessing the thought came to my head that, ‘You might not be able to change someone’s agency, but you can heal them.’ She came to church and stayed the entire time.  She is getting baptized next week.  I love this work!”

Helping our investigators balance out their commitments with our members, will give them the desire for more:

“Our amazing investigator got baptized yesterday! It was an amazing baptism! Last Sunday we taught him the word of wisdom knowing he had a problem with smoking, coffee and tea, our branch president was there which helped a lot too. He completely accepted it but didn’t know if he could do it. So we gave him a priesthood blessing. Then the next morning he got up to smoke, like always, not thinking about it and he said it made him sooo sick he almost threw up for a good 30 minutes. Then he crushed them and threw them away and took the trash out and hasn’t touched them since… He gave up tea and coffee in the next 3 days too. Boom! The priesthood is real! What a miracle! He also got a hold of the D&C and loves it. Especially loves the priesthood now… and also is doing his genealogy on family search, has made it pretty far already AND ordered the ensign…. is listening to Motab on Mormon channel all day… and the list goes on… He is amazing!!!!!!”

Balancing and following up with the commitments and priorities we have been taught and given, will guide us to those the Lord has prepared:

“Last week you challenged all of us to look up an old investigator from the Area Book and give them a second chance. We pulled two people out and the first one was in the Hospital. You also have been teaching us about the importance of leaving the “how” to the Lord. Well I’ve been struggling to do this without really realizing I was struggling with it until a few days ago. Yesterday my companion and I were able to fast. It’s so very true that fasting make us so much more receptive to the Spirit! I found myself being able to look past the “how” and knowing that if we gave our absolutely best effort and worked our hardest then the Lord would make up for the rest. As we walked back to our car,  my companion opened her mouth to a woman who was walking behind us. She told us her name and was very kind as we turned the corner to a quieter street and she accepted a prayer. After the prayer, tears rolled down her cheeks and she gave us both big hugs. We asked her to follow what she felt and be baptized; she then told us that she had met with missionaries before. My jaw almost dropped because then I realized that she was the 2nd name we had pulled out of the Area Book and hadn’t had a chance to go visit yet! God had helped us be obedient to the commandment He had given us through you as we left the ‘how’ to the Lord!”