Saturday, March 28, 2009

Last Note from the MTC

Hey Everybody,

I got to send one more quick little note before I leave the MTC. My preparation day will be on Mondays from now on and since my first day in Hungary will be on Tuesday (March 31), I probably won't get to send another note until the next Monday (April 6). Thanks for everything!

~Anderson Elder

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flight Plans!


So the exciting news!! I leave Salt Lake City, UT this Monday (March 30th) and go to New York City, wait 2 hours then take the longest flight ever to Vienna, Austria!!!! I’ll wait 2 more hours in Vienna then fly to Budapest, Hungary!!!! So cool!! I am so excited!!! I'll take pictures from the airport in Austria. Haha!

Now for an update on Terry. (Terry is the woman I met through the Referral Center shortly after I came to the MTC. I've been teaching her by phone.) She is so amazing. The missionaries still haven't gone to her house so she figured out a way to get to church on her own! And she's blind! She is going to take a public transportation bus that will help her and go to church herself! I mean, seriously, if she is able to follow through with this plan she's going to be my hero or something. She has so much faith and she has and is going through so much. She knows that the gospel is true because she has prayed a ton about it and she has felt the Spirit of God testify to her that it is true. So cool. I wish that I was able to talk to her some more, but that would be slightly complicated from Hungary. Haha. So she is doing great and she is much happier since she has started living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so thrilled for her. I hope that the members are nice and loving in the branch that she'll attend.

I learned some pretty cool things in the scriptures this week. First was in Alma chapter 4. Alma is preaching to the members of the church about how they need to stop being prideful and humble themselves and he says something very interesting in verse 8. He said, "...and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure." And I realized that getting angry or frustrated when people don't agree with your opinion is pride. Oops! I've been guilty of that quite a bit! Right Trevor and Parker? Haha! So that was a neat insight. I'm committed to stop doing that and to just let stuff go. I realize that I'm probably wrong a lot more than I think. So try not to get into arguments with people. Actually just don't do it. It drives the Spirit away and that's not what you want. I wish I had realized that a while ago!

Another cool insight in the scriptures is in 1 Nephi 17. That is a really cool chapter by the way. Everyone knows that "I will go and do" scripture earlier in 1 Nephi, but I like verse 3 in chapter 17 better. It says, "...And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them..." Great huh?! That scripture is so comforting. I love it. If God commands something He's going to help you out so that you can do it and everything will be ok! Cool.

Also I just want to say to everyone—especially Matt A. and Trevor F.—DON'T BE SCARED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL! That is what I regret most! I was a little scaredy cat. If you can break down that fear and share the joy and blessings of living the Gospel you will be so blessed! This goes for everyone. Look up the word "fear" in the Doctrine and Covenants. It’s pretty cool. Fear is not of God. Just open your mouth to everyone and let them be happy!

Thanks for everything everyone! I love you all!

~Anderson Elder

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Virtue of Kindness


I've only got 12 days till I leave for Hungary! I should get my flight plans tomorrow or Friday! So that is pretty exciting! It has kind of been an average week other than that. The Hungarian language is coming slowly but surely.

One exciting thing is that I finally got a hold of Terry again! (Terry is the woman I met through the Referral Center shortly after I came to the MTC. I've been teaching her by phone.) I don't know what the issues were the last few weeks, but she is still more than interested in the Gospel! Her husband is giving her a hard time though. I don't think that he's a bad guy or anything, but he sure isn't being as nice as he could be. So I invited her to be baptized and she agreed! I'm so excited for her! She has prayed a ton and knows for herself that what I have taught her is true. The Lord has blessed her life so much and I know that if she continues to follow His commandments that she will be blessed more and more. I went through all of the baptismal questions too and she agreed with everything! It is so crazy. I'm a terrible teacher, but the Lord has prepared her and she has worked hard to know for herself that the gospel is true. I haven't really done anything. It's just the Lord working miracles like usual! Unfortunately, the missionaries in her area STILL haven't contacted her. If they don't shape up within a few days I'm just going to have my teacher call the branch president in her area and have him go over to her house himself. And I'm going to try and teach her husband as well. I think that he might feel alienated or something and that is not good. I'm going to try and talk to him and help him come closer to Christ.

I've been focusing on trying to be more kind and loving and not judgmental this week. I read a really cool talk by Elder Joseph Wirthlin that he gave at a general conference called The Virtue of Kindness. At the end he said something pretty cool. He said something like: But what if someone is rude? Love them. What if they are obnoxious? Love them. But what if they are annoying or mean? Love them. He said something like that, but better. We need to learn how to love others no matter what weaknesses they may have because we are full of weaknesses too. As I have tried to become more kind and think nicer thoughts about people I've been much happier. Focusing on other people's strengths and not their weaknesses is what Jesus Christ did and is definitely the way to go.

I'm pretty sure now that one of the reasons the Lord put me in a 12 week (at the MTC) mission was to humble me a little before I go out and teach His children. I sure needed it! Haha.

Going on a mission is the best decision that I've made in my life so far. It seems like I'm sacrificing a lot of money and time, but it is so worth it. The experiences that are helping me change my character and become more Christ-like are worth all the time and money in the world. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm some super perfect person now. Haha. Because I am sooooo far from that. I'm just improving slowly and it is exciting for me.

Thank you for all of your love and support! I love you all very much! Next week I'll tell you all about my flight plans. That'll be exciting. For me at least!

Sok szerettel,
Anderson Elder

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

19 Days to Go


Nothing real crazy happened this week. Our building had to be renovated so we got to move to another building that had just gotten fixed and the showers are sooo much better!!! It's great. Haha.

Teaching in Hungarian isn't scary at all anymore, it's just difficult. I can usually say a simplified version of what I'd say in English, just really slow. I can't wait to see all of the "I have no idea what you are saying" looks that I'm going to get in Hungary for the first few months! It'll be hilarious! That's why I'll have a more experienced missionary with me to help me out when I start to confuse someone too much.

This is sooo exciting! I leave in 19 days and I should get my flight plans sometime next week! Probably around Thursday or Friday. I can't wait to go!

So I'm really sorry about writing letters. My stack of letters that I need to reply to keeps on getting bigger! I write super slow by hand.

Everyday my faith is strengthened a little more and I am seeing my prayers answered. It really is amazing to actually know that there is a God and to notice the experiences that He gives that helps me realize that He really is there.

So about the nice lady that I've been teaching in the Referral Center. It has taken a bad turn. She was super excited every time that I called and she said that she had felt the Spirit of God and that she knew what I was teaching was true because of that witness that she received. She was really happy and was excited to learn more. But her husband isn't quite as excited. I'm pretty sure he really doesn't like me for some reason. Now when I call he says that she's not there and hangs up on me and one time I swear that she answered the phone, and in a quite awkward voice said that she wasn't home. It is SO NOT FAIR! Earlier she had given me her cell phone number so that she could talk to me in private, but now I can't get a hold of her. She was so happy, but now something has gone wrong and she can't talk to me anymore. ARG! If her husband would let her make her own decisions I'm sure none of this would have happened. Huh... Oh well. I know that the Lord is looking out for her and will continue to bless her life. There isn't much I can do now.

Other than that everything is going great. After that experience I was confused and I didn't know what to do so I was going to call some of the other people that I had talked to previously, but it didn't feel quite right. So after a while I decided to just follow up on people who had ordered something from our church, but I got nothing except for answering machines. Then in the last 5 minutes that I had before lunch started I finally got a hold of someone who was interested in learning more and wanted me to call her back tomorrow! The Lord planned it PERFECTLY! I had just 5 minutes left and nothing had been going right, but then the very last call that I had time for was the one He wanted me to take. It was great. The Lord really does watch out for us. You just have to look and realize that it was Him and not just a coincidence.

If anyone wants to learn more about what I'm doing or about the Book of Mormon or if you want to learn more about Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father email me or just go to That's a really cool website that has a ton of good information. Just take 5 minutes and check it out. I promise that you won't regret it!

I know that God lives and that He has restored the church that His Son Jesus Christ set up on the earth during His ministry in Jerusalem. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God along with the Holy Bible. I know these things because I have studied them and prayed hard about them and God actually answered my prayers. I have felt powerful feelings of peace and love while reading the Book of Mormon and praying about Joseph Smith and that can only come from God.

I love you all very much!

~Anderson Elder

Wednesday, March 4, 2009



Hey! Another week has flown by. First I want to thank everybody for all of the letters that I have received, I really appreciate them! But at the same time I need to apologize because I don't have very much time on Wednesday to write back, so it might take a while for me to write back, if at all. Sorry!

So my goal of only speaking Hungarian this week fell through, but I have spoken a lot more than usual, which is still great. I'm going to keep on trying and at least one week here I am only going to speak Hungarian. I need the practice.

Oh, Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke to us yesterday at the devotional. It was really cool. He is such a humble man. At the end he told his conversion story in Japan and you could really feel the love that he had for us. His father was killed in World War II by an American submarine while he was on a commercial fishing boat and because of that his family fell into deep poverty. He hated Americans for that. But a few years later two American missionaries from our Church told him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he knew in his heart that what they were teaching was true. And so now he can stand in front of a crowd of mostly Americans and tell us that he loved us and it didn't matter so much as what he said, but what we felt. We knew that he was sincere. All that hate that he had is gone and has been replaced with Christ-like love. I hope that I can achieve that level of humility and love someday. It is a testament to me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives and improves lives and brings true, lasting happiness into the lives of those who earnestly follow His commandments.

In an effort to become more humble and kind and loving I have been studying 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Nephi is such a great example to us of how to become humble and loving. His brothers hated him many times and made his life very difficult, but Nephi didn't allow their hatred to bring him down. He truly loved them and cared for them and wanted them to choose the right and be happy. He didn't get angry at them or belittle them, he tried his best to be a good example and to lift them up and help them to follow Jesus Christ's teachings. He just wanted them to be happy. Many times when it would have been so easy to get angry at his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, when it would have been so easy to give up on them and give them "a taste of their own medicine" Nephi chose to follow the perfect example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and he was "grieved" in his heart because of their wickedness and tried to help his brothers with love and kindness and not with an attitude that he was better than them.

If we follow Nephi's example and, more importantly, Jesus Christ's example in our lives I know that we will be blessed. Being with my companion 24/7 has proven this to me. During the first few weeks we argued a lot over a lot of things, important and not important, and it was not fun at all. After I finally stopped being contentious and was more loving and kind to my companion things got way better. I am still trying, and will always be trying, to improve. Trying to get rid of the attitude that I am right and others are wrong is the best thing that I have done!

I love you all! Thanks for your love and support! I have to go now! Sziasztok!

~Anderson Elder