Georgia Atlanta Mission

Georgia Atlanta Mission

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My Testimony

June 1, 2015...

My Final Testimony,

The time has finally come. Who would have thought it would already be here. At times it feels as though I have only been here a few weeks and at times it feels like its been a trillion years since I've been home. But all I can say is I would never trade these past 2 years for anything. I have found myself. I know who I am and more importantly I know who my Heavenly Father is and my Savior Jesus Christ and I know who I can become, and that one aspect changes everything. I am grateful for the eternal perspective the gospel brings into our lives, from the Plan of Salvation we can know our eternal destiny. And with that Destination in mind it will and should mold our desires, decisions, and our will to move forward in life. and I am so grateful I have finally understood that the most important thing we can learn and understand is that through Faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, constantly repenting and changing those things in our lives that are holding us back from progressing. Being Baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God, to receive a remission of our sins. and after being baptized we must always return to church each week faithfully and partake of the Sacrament and renew those covenants that we made. To receive the Holy Ghost in our life, the greatest gift we can receive here in this life, and to have it as a constant companion to be lead and guided everyday in our life. And to have that we must focus on the little things, daily individual and family prayer, studying the scriptures daily, and a desire to go to the temple often to receive that revelation and personal connection with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. If we can take this route and endure it faithfully have a perfect brightness of hope every single day that we wake up. Knowing our true divine nature and role in this life as a Son of Daughter of our Father in Heaven and to have charity with all those that we come in contact. I know that we will one day have Eternal Life and live with our Heavenly Father, our Redeemer Jesus Christ and with our Families Forever! What more could we want?  

I have experienced that "Change of Heart" which Alma talked about and I have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, and want to share it with the entire world. I know that I was supposed to serve here in the Georgia Atlanta Mission. I have found and touched people that God sent me to for a reason. And these people will always be in my heart, I love them so much and they have changed my life forever. But here in our mission we call this mission the M2 and we are preparing for the M3. I feel as if I have sufficiently prepared myself now to start this new Mission, the M3! I am ready for the challenge, I am ready for change, and I am ready to show my Father in Heaven that what I have learned I can put it to the test. I know it won't be easy cause nothing is in life. But I do know now that its possible for everyone. If we can hold on to the Iron Rod, and never let go. Be Faithful, and Be Obedient to the rules and guidelines set forth to keep us safe and protected from sin and pain. we can all make it, that is when you find eternal joy and happiness. That is when life becomes easy and your yoke is lifted because you are letting the Savior into your life. 

I love this work it has changed my life. and I know that if we lose ourselves in it, we will find ourselves. We will find who we really are and who we can become. I have studied rigorously the life and teachings of our Savior for the past year or so and I have found him. I know that he lives, that he knows each and every one of us personally and suffered for each of us one by one to make it back to Him. He is our Friend. He is the Great I Am. He is Everything. And if there is one thing that I know is that His Grace is Sufficient for each one of us. I want to close my testimony the same way Moroni closed his and say "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." I bear my testimony that this is true, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

With all my Love,
Elder Josh Anderson

"Bits & Pieces" from May 2015

May 4, 2015.....

Do I have a week for y'all, it has been a wild one! 
We first off had a huge miracle with David Jackson and his family. On Monday when everyone in the house started asking us a bunch of questions because they are seeing a lot of changes in Davids life. So we got them excited and now they will be taking the lessons which is a huge step for that family! And whats amazing is David this week in church Blessed the Sacrament!!! It was awesome.  He also bore his testimony. That kid is changing so much. Then on Wednesday, we had our mission council  which went really well.  It took out a lot of the day. Then Thursday was super crazy because President on Wednesday said he was calling an "audible" and was gonna have everyone hold their zone training meeting on Friday and not go to the temple and that we would be the only ones doing the training for 3 hours so all day Thursday for some odd reason so many companionships had problems and questions so we were on the phone for 7 straight hours!!! and did no work and had to scramble and plan for the meeting on Friday morning. But all the stress and preparation paid off in the end cause we had a super spiritual meeting! Because we weren't going to the temple we still wanted them to have a really good experience. So first off we had the STL's talk about faith and our barriers and walls we are facing to get over and then Elder Barnes gave a training on Obedience, sacrifice and consecration. then I taught about our teaching skills and how we need to invite and testify more as we teach and we watched a video called "A man without Eloquence" which talks about Brigham young and his conversion. Then got to practice and it was really good. But the whole meeting we were having them ponder and think about 1 thing they could acquire to bring them closer to the Savior and 1 thing they could get rid of and this is where we wanted it to be spiritual so we decided to have "The Joseph Smith Experience" where we went and buried Book of Mormons for everyone and took them out in the woods behind the church and took them out there and talked about Joseph and his experience receiving revelation and we all quoted the 1st vision and we knew that it would be from the book of Mormon and then had them dig up the "plates" and committed them to write down those things they could do to come closer to the Savior. and then to have them study from that Book of Mormon. And to close the meeting out there in the woods Elder Barnes, Shepherd and I sang a musical number "Joseph Smiths First Prayer" to the tune of "Come thou Fount" while Elder Barnes was reading the words in Joseph Smith history! It was super powerful and the first time I've done a musical number like that. But the meeting went great and we got a lot of good feedback what was sad, but great is that it was my last zone training meeting! What a way to finish!
Then the last miracle is Monica and Eric are now Married!!! We had the wedding last night and it was amazing and they are now so excited for their baptisms in 2 weeks! it has been fun to watch their countenances change! Its amazing what the gospel can do to peoples lives. But I'll send pics from all the events. I love this work! It's crazy to think that when you are at the top of your game and you finally feel like you know what it takes to be a missionary they send you home! hahaha good preparation for the real world!
I love you and miss you and cant wait to see you on Sunday!!

Last Zone Meeting


They said "I do"!


May 17, 2015....

Crazy week this week.  First and foremost Monica and Eric were baptized and are now members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!! And they are loving it, they are so happy and to see their journey they have made is incredible. Eric was also interviewed for the Priesthood and will receive it next week! But it was an awesome service, Elder Shepherd was able to baptize both of them and a member who set up the wedding Bro Buck was the one that confirmed them! It was great!! The rest of the week was super hectic involving us having to drive a lot for baptismal interviews.  We did 2 exchanges on Tuesday with Jonesboro and Friday with Stockbridge. Then on Thursday we were privileged to join in with the Stake and be apart of the Bishops Roundtable which was a very cool experience to be apart of and to talk about the missionary work and to help them out with some things. They have a lot of trust in us which makes it easy to have them help us. The stake President is so on board with everything right now, its awesome. and then my other miracle for the week, I told you on the call that I didn't end up buying those boots but one of my favorite members gave me 2 pairs of his old cowboy boots and they're legit! As well the sickest belt!! I'll send a pic! 
But for transfers I will be staying here for my last 2 weeks!!! I'm happy about that. Elder Barnes will be training a new zone leader for when I leave and Elder Shepherd is going to be a District Leader!! He is gonna be awesome. He is very prepared and qualified for the assignment! We are excited for him.
 


 
May 27, 2015.....

Thanks for sending me those things from President Hinkley. I have been pondering on those things for the past few months and really tried to make sure I have secured each one of them so I can be ready for when I get home! I cant believe its almost time to give you a big bear hug again!! That's awesome that that member called you, makes me feel good. And always remember that I will always be proud to call you my mommy and you're the best one 4 knuckle heads could ever ask for. I cant believe how many others are coming home in the next few weeks its gonna be crazy with all the homecomings. 
But this week has been fun, the New Elder replacing me is Elder Hanson! We have a lot in common. He is from Cedar City! He went to Canyon View and wrestled and played football. We were both trained by Elder Goss and the last area he just came from was Carrollton!! So its been fun talking and telling stories about the areas and companions and about home. But he is great and will be a great addition to the Conyers ward. Elder Shepherd went to Douglasville and what's pretty sweet, my first baby Elder Talbot is now a Zone Leader in Griffin!! Oh and my MTC companion Elder Nelson is the new AP!! lots of crazy stuff happening. 
This week was filled with a lot of meetings. We had to meet with each of the District leaders and go over expectations and all that stuff which took up a lot of time. We had a pretty sweet memorial day party at a members house and had a few of our investigators come to that. But nothing too crazy has happened. I am just ready to work to the last second and make everything count! I love the Lord and I love this work!!
and of course i love you:)
 
 
 
 

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Bits & Pieces" from April 2015

April 6, 2015.....
 
So I don't have too much time this week to write but I loved conference as well it was so sick! My favorite talk was probably Dale G Renlunds when he talked about how a saint is just a sinner who keeps on trying!! So sweet. and I loved the music analogy as well it made a lot of sense but what hit it home I feel like was Boyd K Packers, L Tom Perrys, and M Russell Ballards talks on the family and how important it really is. And how that needs to be our number 1 priority!! Which gave me some good revelation for when I come home:) but I also like Pres Uchtdorfs talk on grace. That has probably been the biggest testimony I have gained on my mission. The importance of grace and what it actually is. I had a cool experience, I had a question in my heart of what I could do for a couple of friends and I prayed in my head during the conference and then 2 minutes right after I prayed, Brent H Nielson talked about the prodigal son and how we can deal with those who are struggling to come back and what we can do. It was such a cool way to receive an answer! 
But the mission council trip was so awesome!! I wish I had more time to write about it. We hiked Kennesaw mountain where a lot of the civil war took place. At least two major battles, Pigeon Hill and Death Point at Chetham hill and we visited both places as well as the Marrietta Cemetary with all the graves. It was so cool and gave me a deeper appreciation of the land where I am serving as well as for America and what we had to go through to make it as it is today. How cool is it that Joseph Smith testified that the civil war would happen before it did!



April 13, 2015.....

That's awesome that y'all got to go up and be with Cassidy as she went through the temple, must have been a spiritual moment for sure to see another one of the cousins go through.
But my week this week was great. Elder Barnes is the new Companion!! He came out one transfer after me and he has been a ZL before so we have just hit the ground running and have connected really well. He is 23 and from Alpine as well! They stuck with me with 2 of them! But the crazy thing is they are actually from the same home ward and have known each other for 12 years.  So its fun hearing all the memories they have had together. Its just a small world. Nothing really crazy happened this week in the teaching game due to the fact we had a lot of meetings with all of our District Leaders and getting all the stuff out of the way at the beginning of the transfer so we are excited to kick it off this week! We did have some fun on Saturday doing a community service project cleaning up Conyers. The ward was assigned to clean up Old Town and we had a great time and found a lot of new people to teach from that. Ill forward some pictures and the big news of our week is they changed the bishopric in our ward!! It is now Bishop Nolden!!! We are so stoked! He is our favorite member in the ward and so focused on missionary work so its gonna change this area!


April 20, 2015....

Another glorious week here in the Conyers zone family!! I have already told you basically what happened but we just went crazy with being bold and inviting everyone we found to come closer to the Savior through baptism and we saw the results from it. Many people accepted and we went from 29 baptismal dates to 68!!! The next closest zone to that is 35! So we are so happy with what we are seeing and we are teaching way more people with members.  The zone averaged 13 member present lessons which is amazing. So that was really cool to see. It all really happened cause in our zone training meeting that we had we were planning on talking about how we need to be more bold but it was going to be in regards to the members, but a companionship brought an investigator who is getting baptized this week to the meeting and she stood and and said "Yall are selfish, you are not being bold enough with these people! You have no idea what you have!" it was AMAZING. The spirit jabbed all of us to the heart and we all committed to being more bold. and we are now seeing the results from it so it was really cool. 
But we taught a lot of great people this week and found a lot of new people. We are trying to rebuild our teaching pool cause we kind of baptized out of it. And one thing we have just implemented in the mission and I want to testify of the truthfulness of it is Singing!! We sing in every single lesson with a member or an investigator we use it as a finding tool and just sing with random people on the streets and they LOVE it!! It has helped so much and I think that is another reason for the success because what a great way to bring the spirit into an atmosphere than by singing one of Gods Hymns! So its pretty cool. I never thought in a million years that I would walk up to a stranger and ask if I could sing with them but I do it and I love doing it! 
I am just grateful that I have been able to serve the Lord for 2 years and have been able to at least bring one soul unto Christ. Myself. Its the greatest blessing ever and I will definitely cherish every minute I have left. Its amazing with all the work we've got going on I have no time to even think about home. It honestly feels like I'll never leave this place. I love it!
 
Always time for fun in a busy missionaries life

 
April 27, 2015.....
 
So crazy week this week, so much went on, but lets just say our zone is still killing it!!! There were 5 baptisms with many more to come but we had an average per companionship and we have 15 companionship with 4.3 people one date for baptism and 4.3 investigators at church!!! So sweet! That's unheard of. We had a lot of success in our own area with a lot of cool miracles. First off Sammi is doing great. She is still going strong and coming and doing family history work. The big news this week is David received the priesthood!! And his mom and uncle were there to support him! We are super stoked for him. He has totally changed. Then we had 7 of our investigators come to church!! It was crazy to make sure everybody was in the right place and having a good experience. We were pooped at the end of church but thats what its all about! And I forgot to mention that we got a new ward mission leader last week and it has been exactly what we needed to change this place around. He has previously been a bishop and knows how to do missionary work. He is amazing and he is constantly helping us and making sure everything is working smoothly. He really helped us out this week. So 2 of our progressing investigators, Monica and Eric need to get married before they get baptized. So we took the ward mission leader on a team up to teach the law of chastity with them and they are both young 19 and 21. And as we were teaching he  cued in and said we can get you married in 2 weeks if you would like to.  Ill set everything up and make sure it goes exactly how you want it and then you can get baptized!!!  Monica's jaw dropped and her eyes got super big and the first thing she said was "I dont know what Im going to wear??" hahaha so they have now met with the bishop and will be getting married on May 3rd at the church!!! We have all the members of the ward council helping and then in 2 weeks on the 16th they will get baptized!! Miracles! We are super happy. I've always wanted to marry someone and get them baptized and now its happening! All because our ward mission leader was bold with them! 
 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Bits & Pieces" from March 2105.....

March 2, 2015.....

It was a great week this week, we got our new baby!! His name is Elder Shepherd and he is from Alpine Ut. He graduated in 2013 from Lone Peak. He is our age and he knows the Card family! He is awesome, great spirit about him. We all get along great and he is ready to work.  He has that greeny fire and isn't afraid to talk with anyone so its been fun to get back into the training mode. It's been quite a bit due to the fact of still being ZL's and having to train. We just hope we don't burn him out too fast! He has been pretty tired so it's been fun to mess with him!
But that's fun that y'all get to plan another wedding while I'm out here. It's sad that I won't be there but I wish the best for them. And I can't wait to watch all the old home videos when we were kids. It's crazy how fast time moves and you don't know what to do about it.
Anyways... this week was great even though it was slowed down tremendously due to the weather. They hyped everything up over here and they thought the whole city was going to freeze over so nobody wanted to meet with us so it was a little difficult but we still had a lot of good things and hopefully we are finally finished with the cold and start seeing some sunshine. But we had a pretty cool miracle this week. Robert and his Nephew David came to church this week. Robert has been coming for forever but this was Davids 2nd time and he has been progressing really fast. We are just working on the word of wisdom with him. But he leaned over to me and asked if he could get up and bear his testimony and so he went up and gave the most spiritual testimony of how meeting with us and all the church members he has met that we have brought over have changed his life and he told all the members that they were a pillar of light in this dark world we are living in! It was so awesome!! He is amazing. It was a great way to end the week!
oh and I have been still keeping up with my Jesus study as much as I can its going great I'm loving it. I'm really hoping I can finish it by the time I get home. But keep reading that book and let me know where you are next week! Love you and miss you and have a great week!

Welcome to the newby!

The Conyers Zone
 March 9, 2015....

That's awesome that you've read through chapter 3 and the book just gets better and better. Some of the stories and ideas that he shares are so inspiring and just makes you want to be a missionary for your whole life but that's the cool thing, we can!  And that's so cool about Mike and his family. I feel like I don't know too much about their family but tha'ts awesome that dad has been able to do missionary work with them and share his testimony and God works in mysterious ways so maybe all this stuff is happening for a reason for them to become humble and have an open heart about everything. 
I'm sorry that I really don't have too much from this week because you are right, we had a lot of meetings this week so we didn't have that much time in our own area but the time that we did have was super effective. We got an investigator named Edward on date for March 28 and he is so smart. He has been studying religions for 10 years and has a photographic memory! So everything we leave with him he just soaks it all up. He came to church for the first time and loved it. And due to how smart he is after sacrament he came up to us and said how does the succession of the presidency in the church work?? haha I don't know how the man grasps all of the knowledge he does but he is super solid and we are excited for him. But mission council was great, its good to see all of the other zone leaders and yes its with the sister training leaders. Then the reason why it feels so close is because our last zone conference was super delayed due to all the weather. But it was good we combined with 2 other zones and did some great training. That was my week, nothing crazy, we are excited to have a normal week this week! 

March 16, 2015.....


MY WEEK THIS WEEK WAS SOOOOO CRAZY!! #MIRACLES 

About my week this week, let me tell you how amazing God is when he sends you someone who is so prepared and ready to listen to the message! Sammy Dunbar!! she is 60 and the sweetest Georgia Peach grandma you could ever ask for! She is amazing. She has been searching the past few years for churches everywhere to find somewhere where she can be comfortable. About 15 years ago she lived in Arizona and knew some mormons that she worked for and really loved them but never showed interest. So 2 weeks ago she had a strong impression to meet with the mormons and ask questions because she couldn't find any other church that fit her. So she left a note on our church door and one of the members called us and gave us her number we called her last Sunday and set up to meet with her on Monday. And here is where miracles happen. We teach her at the church with a member about the restoration, she agrees on everything we say and accepts a date to be baptized on March 28th!! Then we meet with her on Tuesday at the church and read 2 Nephi 31 and talk about the gospel of Christ. Then we meet on Wednesday, she reads the Plan of salvation pamphlet we gave her so she taught us the plan of salvation!!! Then she comes to our Ward Party on Friday and has an amazing time and connected really well with the relief society president and was telling everyone she is joining the church on March 28th! Then we teach her the word of wisdom on Saturday and she accepts it and is willing to drop everything! She comes to church on Sunday and loves it. We taught her last night in a members home about the Book of Mormon and tonight we are going to have a FHE in another members home!! Can you say MIRACLE!!! SHE IS AMAZING! we are so excited for her and we are grateful to just be here to help her on her journey. and we know its because we have been exactly obedient! 
So that has been my amazing story this week! Some other fun things, we went on exchanges with Elder Mcdonald-smith this week. He is from London and sat next to me on the plane coming here so it was great to be with him and we hit 23 member present lessons this week! And with Presidnent Harding we talked about finishing strong and making sure everything was in order in going home. But I did find out the exact release date for me, it will be June 3rd! so a little later than we thought but that's ok it gives me more time:)

A Southern St Patty's day
March 23, 2015.....

ahhhh i cant believe you already got the email from the mission office... it doesn't seem real! and surprisingly i just have no time to think about going home cause we have way to much stuff we have been juggling the past few weeks. So it has been really nice. But that's super cool y'all are gonna have a foreign exchange student at the house for a week. And that's awesome to hear about Obe! Tell him good luck for me.
This week has been Great!! Sammy Dunbar is amazing! We were able to teach her 5 days this past week and she came to both sessions of Stake Conference and she is just realizing she is the driest mormon ever! She is super excited to do family history work too so we are so excited for her and she is gonna be baptized on Saturday!! She is so awesome and we promised her we would come back here after our missions and go skydiving with her cause she has done 176 jumps!! crazy! And as well, our investigator David Jackson is preparing to be baptized this week. He is progressing very well and we are hoping we can get him in the water as well! This week we had Stake Conference and it was awesome cause we had Elder Zwick there and they had a special YSA fireside and we got David to come and he was able to meet and talk with Elder Zwick and we were able to meet him and have a good chat with him. He is a great man!  We have had just a lot of member support in teaching with us and letting us teach in their homes. We taught over 20 member present lessons again this week so it has been amazing and our zone right now is killing it. We are on track to baptize 10 people next week!! And just another cool side note, one of our investigators signed with a record label this week! So be looking out for him his name is Rusty, he is a country singer with a soul voice of a black man!
It has been so much fun though working our butts off everyday and being so pooped at the end of the day. It really shows if you work hard to the very end you will see miracles. and we have seen so many in our own area this week as well through the zone and its amazing!
 
 
March 30, 2015.....
 
CRAZIEST WEEK!! So much happened and I will try and fit it all in this email but I don't have too much time. First off that is so great that Jefferson got his mission call. I can't believe he is already going on a mission!! Time goes by way to fast when you're not home. and hopefully he gets to preach to all of our family!  And yes I'm soooo stoked for General Conference!! It doesn't feel like its already time to come. but I'm super stoked. Its weird to think that It'll be my last one and I will definitely cherish every minute and get as much revelation possible!
But the Big News is Sammy Dunbar and David Jackson are now members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints!!! Their baptism was so awesome we actually had 4 baptisms in the ward/  The sisters had 2 baptisms as well! And the one who baptized David was only baptized 2 months ago and got the priesthood 2 weeks ago!! it was so cool! David locked up like a board so it was kinda sketchy but he got him down first try and that's all that matters! haha Its been amazing to watch the growth of David quit all his addictions and change so fast and to see Sammy grasp on to all the doctrine so quick! There are prepared people everywhere! I also went on exchanges this with Elder Hope over in Snellville and that was a blast. He served in Carrollton after I did so we got to talk about everybody so it was a good time. We also put a new investigator on date to be baptized and he is BLIND! He is so funny and super prepared and has read the Book of Mormon before hebecame blind! But he said something super funny that I will use for the rest of my life, he said "all we gotta do is just hop on that Jesus Bus and ride it on back to Heaven!" so that's what I'm doin! Hopping on that Jesus Bus!! We also have a mission council lined up for this week. We are going to hike Kennesaw mountain and visit some historical civil war sites!! Its gonna be awesome! 
 
Baptism Day!

 
 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Bits & Pieces" from February 2015

February 2, 2015......


It was a great week this week, so much went on. But to your surprise I did not watch the superbowl:) Ha I really didn't even think about it. I didn't even know who won until I read your letter but dad did just gave me the play by play on how the game ended which stinks for Seattle haha.  I haven't gotten the family history stuff yet, it will probably come today so I'll look out for it. They are having a black family history seminar close to here and I might try and sneak by and see whats up. But as for your member questions the ward here is great. It's pretty small activity wise. There is probably 150 to 175 that show up each week and of that we have like 5 families that are super solid on missionary work that help us out all the time. They do feed us which is great, we average like 5 meals a week. but ya we do have some great members here that help us out a lot. 
As far as the week! Man am I exhausted! It was an awesome week. Ringston is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!! He was baptized by his friend and the greatest member we got, Bro. Baumgardner! The sisters in our ward had 2 more baptisms as well so the Conyers ward is just splash city!! I'll send the pics. And the meetings we had this week went great. The one on Tuesday was to help all of the district leaders be more effective in there planning so that was good. And ya Elder Pehrson did get moved up to AP so its fun having those 2 brethren at the top cause we get to work with them a lot. Then on Wednesday we had the privilege to go to the stake presidency meeting and sit and council with them on how the stake is doing and we are planning on a big meeting with all the ward mission leaders, the bishops, the high councilmen, and all the missionaries on how we can move the work forward better, so that was pretty cool. Then on Friday we had our mission council down in Fayetteville at the mission home and had some great discussion of new things we are going to install in the mission. So it's been a pretty crazy week still trying to meet with people and get that stuff down. But I have had a blast this week, It's moving fast, I cant believe we are in the 3rd week of the transfer already!
Baptism Day!

Work, Work, Work!
 February 9, 2015.....

Life is great here in Conyers!  And yes, this week finally felt like somewhat of a normal week considering all the days we have had. Some of the investigators we are working with, Robert and his 3 nephews, David, Chris, and Dorian,  we got them into a members home this week to have dinner and a lesson and it went very well. They are progressing and coming to church. Robert has been coming for a very long time, so hopefully we can get them all in the water but the ward loves them and they are doing great. Kevin  is our other big priority right now. Awesome kid who is 16 and a friend of a member family that has been coming for a few months. But he is such a sharp kid who understands everything and really wants to be baptized. He is just making sure he is doing it for himself and not for anyone else. He just doesn't want to be forced. So we are taking it a little slower with him. But he is great and the ward has really latched on to him. 
But things are going great. I love it here in Conyers.  The people are great.  We had dinners with one of the greatest families I've ever met on my mission and I hope I can always stay in contact with them, the Pierces. She cooks the best food I've ever had. She said for you to send your soda cracker pie recipe so she can make it for me cause I was bragging about it! So you should definitely do that. But we do have the big stake meeting this week with all the bishops, ward mission leaders, high council, stake presidency and president Harding so that'll be great and hopefully we will see a big shift in working more closely with the ward councils and missionary work to combine the members and missionaries!

February 16, 2015.....
   
Things went well this week, it was different cause we had so much going on that we didn't have time to work in our personal area much. That, and I've been dealing with a crappy head cold the past 3 days and its now just starting to leave so its been a "blast" dealing with that. But thanks for the package. I did get it and I loved the picture. That was super cool, it made me remember all the good times.  It's crazy how long I've been out and how far I've come its so cool. But the stake meeting went very good!! We had all the missionaries, the stake presidency, Pres. Harding, all the bishops, and all the ward mission leaders and talked about expectations and new things that the stake was implementing. It was basically a reproving with sharpness and love to do better! But it went very well and I'm glad all the planning for that is now done. Then we went on 2 exchanges this week.  I was down in Jonesboro on Tuesday with a greeny, Elder Clay from Idaho. That was a blast, we did a lot of great work down there. and then on Friday we did a blitz down in Jackson which is super country and I got to be on bike down there so it was good to do that again.  Other than the fact that it was below freezing.. (probably why I'm sick) but it was good they have been struggling a lot and we got to help them with a bunch of stuff.  
Overall it was a good week we are still working with a lot of the same people, nothing to new with them. We had 5 people come to church this week, a few part member families as well as Kevin. So we are excited for this week to be able to work more in our area and get things going. And last p-day was so sick. I'll send some of the pics of the cars. dad would have loved it. and today we are having a zone elders P-day so that should be fun just playing a bunch of different games!

P-day fun
 February 23, 2015.....

Have y'all had any missionary experiences or opportunities lately? I there is something I can testify of its the power of Member missionary work. It's so vital! I have learned the good way to do it and the bad way since I've been out here.  And I have also learned if you want to have the spirit more with you in your life all you need to do is share the Gospel. That is why us missionaries have it all the time is cause that is all we do 24/7.  But when we share the gospel it gives us the opportunity to bear our testimony of what we know to be true and as we do so we will fill the spirit testify through us to those that we are sharing it to. So I invite you to always be looking for the opportunity to bear your testimony and share the gospel. It might be hard in Utah but there are plenty of nonmembers there. Read the book 'The Power of the Everyday Missionary's". Its the best book ever, I love it! Its how we need to live our lives. That,s my testimony for the week.
This week went great. We got to teach a lot of lessons which was awesome!! We are working with the same people. Not to many people that are new just trying to help the ones we have progress. The sick bug got most of our people for church. But Elder Clayton and I got some exciting news today. We are staying together another transfer! Weird to think its already been a transfer... but we are getting a new greeny!! So we will be training as well! So I'm excited for that, to help push us even more. Pres. Harding has been doing that lately, having the zone leaders train as well. So it will be sweet. We are going to create a monster in the mission field! So that's the exciting news this week! 
 


Friday, April 24, 2015

"Bits & Pieces" from January 2015

January 5, 2015......
 

Happy New Year!!! 2015! Its crazy I cant believe it.  If there is one thing I will take away from President Harding, its to ALWAYS have a positive attitude about everything! Anything that is not faith filled, uplifting, or good is from Satan and as easy as it comes into our minds it's just as easy to cast it out and lift our thoughts to a higher plane of thinking. It seems harder said than done. but its been cool to see since I've been out here, that if any temptation or negative thought comes into my head if I let it sit there then it gets more and more negative but if right from the start I change that thought to a positive one and try to lift my thoughts, the difference it makes is awesome. And he is the best example, I swear that man is never negative or unhappy and will always lift your spirit. 
But this week for us was pretty good we didn't get back with that family cause they have been out of town but we should be seeing them tomorrow. and as for the church attendance and most of our meetings with our progressing investigators were shot down by the sick bug! But because of that we just hit the streets hard and found a lot of new people to teach so that was good. We also had a new missionary training which are always fun to go to. Then this week we have zone conference and another trip to the temple which I am always grateful for!
Some of my goals will go along with the mission and some goals that President set out for us. Each missionary wants "15" in "15" so 15 converts in the year 2015! I got half the year but I know I can do it with some faith. 10 baptisms 4 less actives returning and the big 1 is going to be me! So that will be my big mission goal and hurrah before I leave. and I set some other ones for coming home too. But the new year is great for all of us to reflect and think of what and how we can become better. I wish as a people we would do it more often than just the new year. But I am excited for 2015 and what it will bring, enduring to the end of the mission, returning home, football, school and many, many more! I am excited!
 
Hitting the Streets!  


January 12, 2015....
 
The work is going great here. We did have a cool miracle this past week when we have been trying to teach this 16 year old kid and his family. We met him in the street, but on friday night he texted us and said come pick me up for church on Sunday!! So he came and loved it and we should be teaching his family this week. we also had 2 other people come this week so it was a really good week for us in church attendance.
Zone conference was awesome as usual and before President Harding had us study our patriarchal blessings and try to receive some revelations regarding questions to the work and our own personal questions. and I don't know if its a gift of mine or what but it was the 3rd time that I have had a scriptural revelation in the temple of where I just flip open the page and look at a scripture and there is my answer. And this time it led me to ponder a little more and to dig, but I found a chapter that explains my patriarchal blessing in full and it was awesome! I love the temple! It's the best place
But as you probably already know I'm leaving the city! I am going o be a Zone Leader somewhere! I'm pretty excited to just work my butt off for my last 3 transfers it will be fun. We are thinking I am  going either to Conyers or Powder Springs so I guess you will find out next week for sure! 

P-day Rugby


January 19, 2015.....


So you will be happy to see that this letter will be a super long email.  I feel like I have so much too talk about and hopefully I remember everything to put in the email. So where do I start with the new transfer!! It's been crazy, I am now in Conyers! My new companion is Elder Clayton. He is from Farmington and he has been out the same amount I have been, most of his mission he has been a spanish speaking missionary but they moved him to be a zone leader 2 transfers ago. He is such a great missionary, very organized and on point with everything and we get along great so its been fun to learn a lot from him these past few days. Our zone consists of 17 companionships and 4 districts and we got to travel around to each district leader and talk about the transfer and what we expect. But I have just loved being able to serve and love and uplift all these missionaries in the zone and try to create the high level of faith that we need to accomplish what the Lord wants. Our zone is the top performing right now and we are just focusing on how we can maintain and increase and achieve greatness! But at least in our area we have SO MANY families that we are working with that are progressing towards baptism! We have 8 on date right now. Kevin is an awesome kid who is a members boyfriend.  He is 16 and is getting baptized this weekend! So pray for him, then a family who have 2 little kids are so prepared and love the book of mormon will be baptized on Feb 7! We have some others as well but this has been the first area I have been able to come into that has some great things already prepared so its been fun to be able to jump right in! Being a zone leader I really feel has been a great call to repentance! It has been great to reflect on these past months and see what I have needed to change and I feel like it came and the right time to push me through these last months and show me how much I can really accomplish. 
I just want to testify of the power of being exactly obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot fail if we do so. If we can do all in our power and run the faith cycle talked about in Alma 32,  trust in the lord with all our heart ( Prov. 3:5) and look unto the savior in every thought we can achieve greatness!! It's amazing and I have seen it since I have been here in just these 5 days! Its incredible!
Oh and my last day in Atlanta, one of the members came and wanted the missionaries to get the Thomas S. Monson award for scouting so you would be proud of me cause I did it:) now I have a nice necklace:)
 
Receiving the Thomas S Monson Scouting award

Elder Anderson and Elder Clayton

 


January  26, 2015......

I think that's so awesome that you have been able to see a spark with the family history work! It's nice having something to drive you, but thanks for sharing your experience with me I think that is so awesome. You gotta love the scriptures and what an influence they can have in our lives and I just think its so cool how we all can receive personal revelation cause that's what its all about! I have been reflecting on that too for when the time comes when I will leave this time out here, that if I can live my life worthily of a temple recommend and be able to fulfill those covenants and ordinances for my family then I will be successful and happy in this life and in the life to come! 
This week was probably the busiest week I have had on my mission. We accomplished so much in the little time we had. We were running constantly but I've never had so much fun! It's so cool to see how God can just keep you going even when you don't think you have enough energy to do something. We were able to connect with a lot of our investigators except for one. We had 6 people at church on Sunday!! My new record! so that was awesome.  We had Ringston who is a friend of a member. He is from Kosrae which is in the island in Micronesia he will be getting baptized this week!! So we are excited for him. He is such a humble loving guy that has been soaking up everything. And then we had a guy named Robert and he brought 2 of his nephews and they have been taught for a lot of months now we just have to get him living the word of wisdom and he'll be baptized. And then we had my favorite family come. Rusty and Kashia and they brought their 3 little boys but they are so awesome. It was their first time coming and they loved it! The ward did such a great job fellowshipping them and loving them and I guess Kashia said in relief society that she was a future member! So we are excited for them. Their date is for Feb 7! and whats cool is Rusty is a country singer and putting together his first album. He is sooo good, has a super deep soul country voice! It's cool to see how much these 2 have embraced the gospel. 
But this week is gonna be even crazier! We have an all day leadership meeting tomorrow when we are going to help the district leaders with a bunch of new things that we are implementing and then we will be going on exchanges on Wed. and then on Friday we have our mission council with just the zone leaders and that's when we'll discuss the issues of the mission as well as plan on what we will be teaching in our zone training meetings which will be next week and then we will have our baptism on Saturday! I don't know when we will have time to breath! But our zone has been incredible. We hit all time highs on the indicators this week so its been real fun to see the success and the happiness of the missionaries! As for p-days here in Conyers, we play ball like everywhere else. I think today we are just gonna chill cause we are pretty exhausted from last week. Thanks again for getting all of that family history stuff done for me. I love you and miss you and I hope you have a great week!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Bits & Pieces" from December 2014

December 1, 2014....
 
I'm glad to hear y'all had an awesome Thanksgiving! I wish I could have been there. But next year I will be:) Thanks for the package.  We loved it and all the elders say thank you.  I'll send the picture of the tree, and the pies did hold up. They were a little smashed but they were sooo good. I've missed them so much. It has been too long since I've had some soda cracker pie. And it was funny when we were sitting on the Marta Elder Lanier and I were talking about our families and what we did and the one thing that stuck out in my mind was "up the river down the river!" I can't wait to play it again and just beat you! It'll be good.
I spent my Thanksgiving with two families. The first one was the Hinkle family, which was so good. She invited her daughter and her kids so it was really fun. We just hung out with her two boys and it was good cause the daughter really wanted a blessing so we were able to give her one. Then our second one was sooooo good. Sis Reams, who was in the Carrollton ward when I was there recently moved over here to Atlanta, so when she saw me at church she invited us over and all her family came so it was good to see some old faces. She is just an older lady that lives there by herself but she makes the best food!!! We had  a smoked turkey with duck, the best mac n cheese, and some real good collard greens.  We had so much food, and then she sent us home with like half of her kitchen!! She is so funny, I love her. We did have some cool miracles this week. We found a family of 6 that were open and willing to learn more! but transfer news, Lanier is leaving and I am getting a missionary who is 6 weeks old! I'll be 2nd training him so it'll be a blast and I know who it is because he is serving in college park which is still in the ward. His name is Elder Clarke. He is from Grantsville.  I am staying in the apt with Elder Clarke and they are white washing us into Elder Marriott and Elder Hansens area so I'll be in a different proselyting area and they are white washing them down to college park. Then they are bringing a trio into our apt. and one of those will be the DL and another Elder will be training as well so there will now be 5 in the apt! Crazy, I know
 


Thanksgiving with Sister Reams


 December 8, 2014....

I'm glad to hear y'all had a great stake conference. The scriptures have been my favorite since I have been out. I never thought I would like to study or anything like that but I wish I could do it for hours. I hope I stay the same when I get home and that I don't let other things distract me.
The new area is pretty good, a lot more run down and ghetto than my last area:) but its still nice. We are just lucky at least one of us is half black and big cause if not it might get a little weird. But I do love it and we are working with some incredible people. A few of them are on date. One guy is so open and wanting to learn. He was taught when he was in DC and moved down here and wants to be baptized. Another man, who is an uncle of a member who has been taught for awhile now.  He needs to work on the Word of Wisdom and he'll be dunked. Then this week we were knocking and found a family of at least 3. We were talking to them about coming to church and they said that their aunt went there and she is an awesome member who is just getting back into activity!! It was so cool and the 2 young ones have already been to our church so we were pretty stoked on that miracle. So we do have a lot of great families we are working with right now.
My new companion is Elder Clark from Grantsville UT. He's a great kid with a good heart. I'm excited to work with him. And the new five man is awesome. Elder Webster is the DL. He was an assistant to the President for like 9 months. He only has 6 weeks left and then Elder Meservey who is one of my homies of the mission are training elder Kalosi who is super chill so its fun. We are both training. and Elder Webster is my new running partner and we have been hittng it real hard since he is going home. But everything is going good I'm excited to get more familiar with the area and get things rolling.
 
Elder Anderson and Elder Clarke


December 15, 2014.....

I'm sorry this email might be a little short. We don't have to much time to write today. That's so cool y'all get to go to Virginia!! And y'all are going to be in Atlanta!! Just think when your'e in the airport you will be about 10 miles away from me!!! How scary is that! You could hop on the Marta train and be to me in 4 stops! haha JK don't do that...
Thanks for the early Christmas present with the 12 ways of Christmas!! Its super cool. We enjoy it and we read it each night before we go to bed. I have opened the Increase, Shelter, and Rescue ones. I really enjoy it so thanks. This week was pretty good and ya we did teach that family and they are super cool and want a change in their life. They were supposed to come to church this week but 2 of them were isick, so they all just stayed home. Everyone else is doing good. We are just trying to make sure everyone we teach are keeping there commitments. I love being here in Atlanta, we get to see some crazy stuff everyday that I'll never experience again so its fun. I'm just soaking it all in.
I hope y'all have a great safe trip to Virginia and back. Let all of the family know I say hi and love them and to write me so I can get to know them better.
 
 
 December 22, 2014....

So I know you said that this cant be a short one but.... it might be:)
I can't believe its already time to skype again. And to think when the next call comes it will be time for me to come home! It's crazy! 
The week was pretty good. We got the usual "hit me up after the holiday" thing which I hated, and the family wasn't able to come cause the mom got sick. But we will keep trying on them. A lot of people here have been catching the flu bug which is aweful cause it makes it tough to get in to the homes. But we are still working hard. We have a lot set up for Christmas Eve and Christmas so I'm excited for those days. On Christmas we are seeing one of our solid investigators at lunch, then going to Sis Reams (the lady from Carrollton) to eat, then going over to the Bishops house to eat, then going to the Cottrells:) so it will be a good Christmas, I'm excited. But I can't wait to see y'all I'm so excited!
 

 
December 29, 2014....
 
 
Elder Anderson showing off his Christmas present to himself

Christmas dinner, Southern Style!
 
 
 

"Bits & Pieces" from November 2014

November 3, 2014.....

I don't know if you heard, but here in Georgia it has been a frozen tundra! The past 3 days in the morning has been like 30 degrees! And the high is at most 50. With the wind it has been real bad! But we haven't let it stop the work from progressing! But this week was awesome! We taught some amazing lessons. The first one we taught was a former investigator that we found who had been on date before but they just lost contact with her and she was so excited when we came and saw her.  We taught her the plan of salvation because she had some questions and it made so much sense to her and she was really excited and accepted a date to be baptized. Now, we just have to get her work schedule changed so she can come to church. Another guy, who actually used to be a professional golfer let us right into his house and fed us (which never happens!) But he sat us down and said "I'm going to ask you a question and depending on how you answer it will determine whether I'm going to listen to you or not.." ( gotta love some pressure) but he asked about why there were so many races and languages and and why God divided us. Elder Lanier jumped in and gave a great detailed answer about the tower of babel. It was good. Then he looked at me and said do you have something else. And this is why I love being a missionary, cause during the time Lanier was answering I was getting a huge prompting from the spirit to focus on faith. So I said, "it all comes down to faith. We honestly don't really know. All we know is God's ways are higher than our ways and he has a purpose. And all of our messages that we want to share with you come down to faith, and praying to come to know it to be true. We dont want you to take our word for it." And he looked at me and said "that's exactly what I wanted to hear   Now I can listen to you, so share with me your message!" It was so awesome! We had an awesome lesson with him and he's gonna read and we will see him this week! One more cool story, we had a really smart member with us on a team up and we went to see a lady we met a few days earlier and we showed up the same time they did and went in and got to know them a little more. Her boyfriend was there with them and he is so prepared for the gospel. He looks like a thug but is so smart and knows a lot about Jewish and Egyptian history. So while we were sharing our message and the member finds out this guy knows his stuff he just went off on how the Book of Mormon is so key and how it came about and they connected so well but it was such a spiritual lesson because this guy at the end was like "I feel this burning in my chest and it feels so good!" We all started laughing and brought out the scriptures and showed him that that was the spirit testifying that this is true!! It was a very good week with lots of awesome things happening. Oh and during the lesson with them, they have a pet cockatoo, and I taught the whole lesson with it on my shoulder!! haha it was cool. But the Atlanta ward is still crazy, you can always feel the spirit with them!

Josh and his new companion

November 10, 2015...
 
This week was pretty good with a great ending! We found some pretty cool people this week, one of those being Big J. He reminds me so much of Tyrus, its scary. but he said 2 weeks ago that God was leading him out of his old ways ( hustling) and trying to show him a better life and then he said and then ya'll came up and talked to me. God had something to do with it! Sadly he lives in a different ward, but he works in our area so we will be keeping up with him. The great ending was K and her 2 daughters came to church!! They loved it and they stayed all 3 hours and the girls were saying they loved their classes and the kids in there and K had a great time. She said she learned a lot but we had a member pick them up and take them home and after he dropped them off, he called us and said that she is so ready to be baptized! He said that she was saying that she loved the church and wanted the change in her life and knew that this is how she could do it! So we are super excited for them. Oh and I also got to go to the temple which was great. But this is what I am really excited about and I want to let you know what I'll be doing with my studies for basically the rest of my mission or however long it takes mixed in with all the other stuff that I have to study. But you sent that blue journal to me and I wanted to use it as my own personal study/doctrine and covenants where I receive my own revelation But I wasn't using as much as I wanted to but I received revelation a few days ago when I was reading over my favorite talk from the last General Conference, "The Reason for our Hope" by Boyd K Packer. Through the whole talk he bears testimony of the Savior and what he can do in our lives. At the end he talks on how the most important thing in the church and how we know we have "true succes is by the spiritual strength of its individual members" which is so true, but in the beginning of the talk he talks about going to Oxford University to find an ancestors name, but he went back to give the University a set of the Standard Works. and at first he said "they were a little confused not knowing we were really Christians, but before he handed them over he opened the Topical Guide and showed them one subject: 18 pages, very fine print, single spaced, listing references to the the subject of 'Jesus Christ' One of the most Comprehensive compilations of scriptural references that has ever been assembled, a testimony from the old and new testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price."  So I received revelation on what I needed to do. I am gonna go line by line, scripture by scripture, showing all the references and seeing how each book fits perfectly together and seeing that the Church really is the only true and living church on the earth today! I am so stoked! I'm hoping to gain just a pure sound testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Savior for the entire world! and learn more about his life his teachings and the his atonement. and whats cool and I didn't realize this till yesterday but my Patriarchal Blessing states many times that I need to become learned in the scriptures and to come to know the importance of the Savior Jesus Christ in my life and in the lives of those I will come in contact with and it will prepare me for my future tasks and responsibilities. I think its cool how the Holy Ghost can work to lead you exactly to where you need to be or what you need to be doing at a certain time in your life! but im so excited
Elder Anderson & Elder Hansen
 November 17, 2015.....

Sorry for how late this email is but we just had an awesome p-day! We went to midtown and walked around and a member in our ward got us into the Aquarium! It was sweet. A lot of cool stuff  is in there and there is a sweet dolphin show we got to watch as well so it was worth the waiting email. This week was pretty good. It was slow at times cause we had a lot of things going on. They took our car so we are now just on the MARTA and bike.. which isnt bad but it just takes a lot longer. On Tuesday I went on exchanges down to college park and had a great day. We helped a member build a green house and then we did get to see one of our investigators. He is doing great. He's been reading a little bit but we had a great lesson with him again and hopefully we get him to church. K and her kids couldn't make it this week to church because she had to go to work but they are coming next week and we are seeing them again tomorrow. They are awesome and so easy to teach. but on Sunday this week was super cool.  We had a HUGE surprise for sacrament meeting.  Sis. Soares, Sis Kopischke, and Sis. Zwick of whom all of their husbands are in the first quorom of 70!! They all were there and spoke to us! Then President and Sister Harding were both there and spoke. It was soooo sweet and we did have one investigator there and he really enjoyed it! But it was super spiritual and this week we have Elder Kopischke taking a tour of our mission so we have a big conference with him on wednesday. I'm so stoked for that. 




November 24, 2014.....
 
That's great y'all are keeping it traditional and getting together at home! It'll be nice to sit around the dinner table again with the whole family! Such small things that we take for granted every single day. That's been what I'm so grateful for, my Heavenly Father blessing me with such a great family and leading me in the right direction to lead me where I am today without me even knowing it. And for my Savior, Jesus Christ. This study has been awesome so far. It's going by slowly but surely I probably won't finish it till right when I finish the mission, but I couldn't be more grateful for what I have in my life! And yes, you don't have to worry about me getting fed. We are gonna be playing in the turkey bowl in the morning!!! Then we are going to the Hinkles house and then a big surprise, a member in the Carrollton Ward, an older lady named Sis. Reams who is sooo amazing just moved to the Atlanta ward so now we have 2 dinners! Hopefully we get some more this week! haha I finally feel like I can splurge myself cause I'm getting back in shape so I'm happy I can enjoy myself! But Elder Kopischke was awesome!!! We all had so much revelation in those meetings it was crazy! At the start of the meeting he said that it would be a meeting full of revelation and invited every missionary to write down 3 questions they wanted answers to and promised they would get answered! and it was so cool that when you prepare yourself to receive revelation and are listening for the Holy Ghost to give you that answer you will always get it! All of mine were answered. He talked about some amazing stuff that this mission really needed to hear about faith and about Form vs. Power (JS-H 1:19) it was so cool. We were missing Gods power in the work so I cant wait to see where the mission will go now! But the investigators are doing great, sadly no one came to church on Sunday due to the stupid huge rain storm that came in the morning. No one wanted to go outside... and a lot of our people have to take Marta so they didn't come. But its all good, we had great lessons with Kesha and her family and with Royce and we are seeing him again tomorrow night.My new family that we are working with is so sweet!! It's a part member family. They had us over for dinner last Monday. She has been a life long member and he is not a member. They have had 10 kids! and I think half are members. but the husband played in the NFL for a few years for the Falcons but he has been a coach in the NFL for 28 years!!! So sick!! You know me and him connected real well! He was telling me a lot of his stories, one cool DYK(did you know) is when he was the defensive coordinator for the Jets, he has been the only person ever to shut out Peyton Manning in his whole career! He has the game ball and I held it! He still works for the NFL a an appeals officer or something like that. He works with the players who get fined..  The wife's big goal is to get them sealed. They remind me a lot of you and dad. So pray for them.
But I love you so much and miss you. I hope y'all have a great thanksgiving!! Don't miss me too much. and I'm so grateful to be able to call you my family!