Thursday, January 24, 2013

JANUARY 21, 2013: One Month Down!

Hello All!
Another week as a missionary done. Its so weird how time passes here. Every day feels way long but time in general passes really fast. I had my "click day" or my month mark on the 19th. I have been a missionary for one whole month! So wild.
Sister Carter wrote me a nice message on the mirror to wish me a Happy Click Day. It is almost like a birthday here. It was awesome because I love my birthday and now I get one every month!
This week helped me understand what missionary work feels like. On Tuesday we had an appointment with someone who I gave a Book of Mormon to last week. I felt so prepared to teach him, made sure we got there early and was ready to roll. Well, he stood us up. I was totally devastated. I thought I had taught him enough in the street to make him want to show up and ask to be baptized. Guess not! But that experience humbled me really fast. Waiting for 15 minutes for my golden investigator to not show up taught we a lot. I was prepared and thats what counts! At least he has a Book of Mormon.
We have one investigator right now, Chris, who is reading the Book of Mormon and accepted a baptismal date! We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week and he loved it. It is so fun for me to teach people the Gospel. They dont even know what they are missing until we help them realize and then they love it!
After our district meeting this week we all went and ate at Five Guys. I have been wishing for one of their burgers since I got to the MTC so I was pretty much in heaven. I kept picturing when Dad would get us Five Guys and we would all sit and eat it on Mom's floor. Ripping open the fry bags and all!
Then we were listening to Enya in the car and I said "Oh I love Enya!! Wild Child is my jam! Can I borrow this CD?" and Elder Boyd goes "We will trade you Enya for Sister Carter's Missionary Mix CD." and Elder Deroest goes "ELDER! WE DO NOT TRADE ENYA FOR ANYTHING! THIS IS A BRAND NEW COPY!" hahahah
These Elders love Enya too! I was pretty much rolling in the back of their van. The Elders get to drive a nice 2012 Dodge Caravan and we have to ride the bus. Go figure.
For our service activity this week we hosted an American Red Cross blood drive Thursday. I wore my dress from Grandma Nae because it felt very "host"ish. It was so fun! I loved telling people what to do! :) While no body knew about the church or what being a missionary meant. once we explained it to them they all told us how admirable it was to leave out homes and teach people about God. And they all liked my dress. :)
Street contacting was rough this week. It was so cold that no one really wanted to talk to us. So I am learning to accept rejection really fast! Sister Carter was laughing her head off last night because I looked like Ralphie on A Christmas Story. I pretty much couldnt use my arms because I had so many layers on. But I was warmish! The weather is strange here because the temperature is warmer than UTah but the air is always wet so its colder! Its always wet! My glasses are constantly dirty or smudged because I am trying to wipe the condensation off.
I spoke in church yesterday. When we came to the library on Saturday to write and print my talk, the computer went wild when I hit print and it didn't print or save. So I had to wing it yesterday but it turned out really well. One of the members in our branch came up to me and told me he cried during my talk and appreciated the Spirit I helped bring. So nice!
I am learning to love the work. I am bone cold all day every day, and I catch myself falling asleep everywhere we go but I love it!! I am so excited to see what the Lord has planned for the coming few weeks. I hope you are all doing well. I was pretty pathetic this week when I would go to the mailbox and didnt have a single letter. Sister Carter, my companion, mailed me a letter this week. She loves me. And I know you all do too. So write me letters! I got a letter from Katie (Flegal) Jensen, Dad, and Sister Tholen the next day though, so I feel much better about that! :) Katie Jensen is the best. I love her so much. She is so in tune with the Spirit. I have a letter Im mailing her today. Sister Tholen is so great. She included pictures of the snow storm! That is crazy!! I hope you are all enjoying the snow, I am just enjoying the wet over here!
I love you all so much!! I hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Andresen

Thursday, January 17, 2013

JANUARY 14, 2013:Hello from State College, PA!

I arrived in Pennsylvania!! Can you believe it? The 3 weeks in the MTC felt like the longest weeks of my life but now it seems like a blur. Crazy!! A little fun fact, when I arrived at the MTC there were about 1900 missionaries, about 350 were sisters. The Wednesday I left there were 2200ish missionaries, and around 420 were sisters. The times are changing people! Get ready for the flood. I am so happy I was out of there before the numbers got crazy. The MTC staff was panicking thinking of how they were going to house and feed and teach all these new missionaries. I was taken care of, nothing had changed when I got there :) But as I was leaving, things started getting crazy.
It was so good to talk to you mom and dad!! I have lingered on that all week. I called Sara too and talked to her for a second, then we had to bail.
We were met at the airport by President Topham and the 2 APs. They took us to this cool lookout over Pittsburgh because he said not many missionaries get to serve in the city and never see the city lights again! Crazy. He then drove us to the mission home and Sister Topham had dinner ready for us. We learned about driving cars and had interview and then finally got to bed! I felt so dead. We got on the bus at 3:00 AM at the MTC to leave for the airport so it was a long long day.
On Tuesday, the 8th, we had our transfer meeting. And guess who I saw... ELDER WARD!! Walker was there! He is doing so awesome. He is such a good missionary. Everyone loves him here. It was cool to see him. VV7 representin! **Side not to the reader (added by this Blogger): Walker Ward is a friend of Katies. They grew up just a few doors down from each other. We are so happy they will get to serve in the same mission, and that Sister Andresen can see a familiar face every now and then!**
My piano skills are highly appreciated here. I guess most missionaries don't play the piano. Crazy. So they had me play for just about every meeting.
Sister Kirk has always wanted to go to State College. Since we arrived at the MTC she raved about how cool it is and how excited she was that we could serve there and thats all she wanted to do. So Ive been praying that Sister Kirk could have her dreams come true and go to State College. President Topham told us that one sister would serve in Butler, PA and the other would serve in State College, PA and he didnt know until the day of the transfer meeting. So I kept praying for Sister Kirk to go to State College. But as the Lord would have it, I am assigned to State College!! I felt horrible until we got in the car and drove here and now I am loving my life!!
My trainer's name is Sister Carter. This is her last transfer, so she goes home at the end of our 12 weeks here. She is so funny and sweet. She and the other Sister's heart attacked our apartment for when I got there! Then she bought me dinner for my first night here because I looked like a train wreck. And she makes me dinner sometimes and is so positive and encouraging. Basically I love her!! Heavenly Father has blessed me so much by having her as my companion! We keep talking about how Heavenly Father knew we needed to be companions so he had Sister Carter go late (she is 24) and me go early! He knew we were soul sisters!
State College is unique because there is a companionship of Elders and then 2 companionships of Sisters. So we get to do a lot of stuff with the other Sisters and the Elders. This week has been interesting trying to put the things I learned at the MTC into practice. We are at Penn State most of the day, which is totally awesome. We dont have a car so we ride the CATA bus downtown to the college. Hilarious to say the least. Most of the people have never heard of the Church, which is so weird to me. I forget that everyone doesn't live in Utah. So when we talk to people, everything is new to them. I have given out 2 Books of Mormon!! The other day it was raining cats and dogs and the other Sisters stayed in. Sister Carter said we would be blessed if we went out anyways so we loaded up our rain gear and went contacting. It is like so freezing here. Like my bones are cold even. I think its because the air is always wet. My hair is out of this world. Anyways, I was cold and tired and felt so awkward talking to people but Sister Carter said that if I talked to someone we could leave. So I stopped this guy named James and explained our purpose and talked with him about God, gave him a Book of Mormon, and committed him to read and he said he would! Then we prayed, right there in the rain! It was so awesome! I felt the Spirit so strong! I wasn't cold anymore! Then I told Sister Carter I didn't want to go back to the apartment and she said "I know you dont. We werent goingto anyways so I am glad you figured it out" Haha! She is the best. We are meeting with James on Tuesday! So cool.
I also taught my first lesson this week to a guy named Chris and committed him to baptism! I am praying harder than ever to see miracles and we are! It was such a cool lesson. I shared Joseph Smith's vision and felt the Spirit so strong. It felt like I was going to barf again. The spirit works so weird with me :) It was awesome!!
On a funny note, there is this 92 year old man in our area who isn't a member. The Elders in this area have been teaching him but he is old and his wife just died so we just went over to talk to him the other night. Sister Carter was talking about how her first job was milking cows and he goes "Prove it." and she said "Excuse me?" and he goes "Come over here and milk my fingers, show me!" So sister Carter had to milk this old man's fingers!! We laughed our heads off the whole way home.
Pennsylvania is full of crazies but I love it. I am so tired all the time and its "bone cold" but I know that I am doing what Heavenly Father wants. I am so excited to see what plans he has for the people of State College, PA!
I love you all so much and miss you like crazy!! You are in every prayer I say. I know that the Book of Mormon can answer any question we have. READ IT!!
Sister Andresen



For those of you wanting to write Katie (and please PLEASE do!), here is her address:

Sister Katherine Andresen
10 Vairo Blvd Apt. 32D
State College, PA


Sunday, January 6, 2013

JANUARY 1, 2013: My last week in the MTC

Hello All!
Can you believe another week has past? This is my 3rd week here. WILD! Dearelder was backed up for a few days so I didnt hear from anyone for like four days. Then I got a package from Lisa Stephens, blessing numero uno and the rest came after that. Mom, YOU ARE WILD!! Those packages are awesome. The Elders loved that pumpkin bread. And I love those sweet rolls. And because we had three bottles of Martinelli's, we partied last night! Until like 10:30, we are missionaries after all. :) Sister Kirk's birthday was wonderful. Mom, thank you for sending her that package. That was the only thing she got that day and she loved it. Lisa, thank you for sending me a birthday package. I had a great December birthday! I am sad I missed Mason's blessing but I hear it was wonderful. Go Riley!! Im sorry Sara is sick. I am praying for her.
I had a cool missionary experience this week!! We have been teaching an investigator named Sarah since we got here. Our first attempt at teaching her ended with her asking us not to come back. I felt like I had been punched in the soul. It was rough. We taught her again (after many failed attempts to not have to teach her) and it went better. Yesterday, we taught her again and it was amazing!! We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and I all of a sudden got really hot and kinda felt like I was going to barf. I really felt like I should share something with her, and it didnt make any sense. But I was too nervous I was going to barf in the room so I just shared what I was thinking. It ended up changing the whole feeling of the lesson and she ended up sharing a lot with us and asked to be baptized!! AHHHH!! Note to self: When youre hot and need to barf... THATS THE HOLY GHOST!! So amazing. It felt like I could fly after that. Its so fun to see how the Holy Ghost will work with you if you stop being a turd! I borrow an SD car but I can only send one picture at a time. So I think we need to think of an alternative for sending pictures. But I dont know what that would be. Ill just send 80 emails this week and figure something out next week.
OH!! WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS!! I fly out on Monday morning, the 7th at 6:45am. We have a 3 hour layover in Minneapolis (remember how I always wanted to go there??) from 10:30 to 1:25. I get to call so let me know when you want me to. Before 6:30 or during my 3 hour layover in Minnesota. I am pulling for the latter probably. We get to Pittsburgh at 4:30. I am so excited. I am about to be a real missionary.
I love you all so much. Thank you for all the letters, packages, and love. This is the best thing in the world!!
Sister Andresen

DECEMBER 25, 2012: Merry Christmas from the MTC

Because its Christmas, we get to email again! This morning we had a devotional by the one and only Elder Russel M. Nelson! It was so amazing to have an apostle of the Lord speak to us! Our district waiting for an hour and  a half outside the doors because they all thought it would be the Prophet. I couldn't feel my hands by the time we got inside. We got awesome seats, though, and I was so excited it was Elder Nelson because I know hoe much Mom loves him!! He spoke a lot about how we need to be safe and to have common sense because people want to harm us. Wild. He said how proud he was of the 19 year old sisters and 18 year old Elders and that "it only took our Prophet 30 seconds to make the announcement and the world will never be the same". How amazing is that?! We are so blessed to be living on the Earth right now! Elder Nelson asked us to let everyone know that the Church is NOT opening a mission in China. He was very matter of fact about how people keep spreading rumors in the Church about a lot of stuff, and we were to be the rumor stoppers. So there you go. No China. He said, "We do not go through the back door of countries". So go ahead and let everyone know that. :) It was an amazing talk. The Spirit was so strong! President Brown (The MTC President) spoke for a few minutes too. He said that this past Wednesday, December 19 ( the day I left) was the first group of 19 year old sister missionaries. He told us that "Your service will bless generations yet to be born". I thought that was pretty cool. I am pretty much a celebrity here. Every meeting they have the 19 year old sisters and 18 year old Elders stand up and they honor us. There are only 5 of us sisters! A lot of my teachers and branch Presidency have asked to get their pictures taken with me. Its pretty entertaining--- I like the fame! :)
Last night we got to watch "A Christmas Carol" after some missionaries did a Nativity and I totally thought it was "A Christmas Story". You can imagine my horror when I realized I wouldnt be seeing Ralphie shoot his eye out, or hear those Asians sing Jingle Bells. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra....ra-ra-ra-ra! That was a shocker. I was excited for Christmas, but my companion was trying not to be homesick so she went to sleep early and I just was excited by myself :)
These past few days have been wonderful. I am learning quickly that I have a purpose and that the Lord needs my service, regardless of what others think their purpose is. The MTC is great and our teachers love us. The main reason we are to write today is to share our testimony of Christ with our families. I know that Christ lives. I know that He loves all of us. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only Church with the Priesthood keys that can bring us salvation. I know that Christ atoned for our sins. I have a testimony that the Atonement can heal us and makes everything work out. I know that Joseph Smith restored the gospel, and translated the book of Mormon, and that it is the word of God. I know because Ive prayed to know and felt the Holy Ghost testify to me that it is truth. I know that any question we have can be answered using the Book of Mormon. I know that the Lord needs missionaries and I am trying every day to be worthy of my calling. I love the Lord so much and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve Him.
I LOVE ALL OF YOU! I love my family so much!! Tell Halle Jae that I love her and sing her Happy Birthday an extra time for me. I have been thinking about her all day. She has something amazing to do in this life. I love her!! Thank you for being such an awesome family. I tell stories of all the stuff we do and did, and people just laugh their heads off and want to be in on that. I love you guys!! Thank you for supporting me in this adventure!
I cant wait to hear from you!
Merry Christmas!!
Sister Andresen

Saturday, January 5, 2013

DECEMBER 24, 2012: Hello from the MTC!!

Merry Christmas Eve!
Our P-Day is supposed to be tomorrow but because it's Christmas and we have a "very special guest" coming we get to email today. Everyone thinks it's going to be President Monson but I don't know if I believe that. Anyways!! I am alive!! The MTC is wonderful! I feel myself getting fatter by the second. After I was taken away fro the curb I walked through a building and got a little packet with my name tags and stuff. Then this cute volunteer put it on me and gave me my MTC ID tag. I walked out the door and met my host missionary, Sister Aycock, and found the Elder with all my stuff. Sister Aycock took me to my residence and to get my supplies from the bookstore and dropped me off at my classroom. I met my teachers and waited until my companion came. Sister Kirk from Henderson, Nevada! We met the other Sisters in my room Sister Mellott and Sister Crane, going to Atlanta, Georgia. We went to a bunch of orientations and class for the rest of the day. My companion is really nice, but is struggling. Pray for her! She has a boyfriend back at home and really misses her family. Today she has been struggling a lot and her birthday is on Thursday, so I am trying to figure out how to make it special. She told me that she is going to be really depressed tomorrow and her birthday and not to expect much from her. I know she can be an awesome missionary if she didn't think so much about that kind of stuff.
Mostly all we do is go to class. We wake up at 6:30 AM (keep laughing, I practically cry as I get up every morning) and go to breakfast at 7:20. Its all pretty good. I am just never fully awake so I cant really remember what they serve even. Then we go to class until noon when we eat again then go to class then eat dinner then go to class then go to bed. Mostly they feed us all day, spiritually then physically.
Yesterday we got to walk to the temple which was pretty fun. Some people meet their families there! It was like so inappropriate! I couldnt believe it. Then we had a cool devotional by Elder Stephen B. Allen about repentance.
Today we just get to do whatever we want until tonight when we have a devotional and tomorrow we have a special Christmas. I fly to Pittsburgh on January 7th for sure! So you all have time to write!
I cant send any pictures because this place is Ft. Knox and the computers have like crazy blocks on them without a card reader. So just imagine how cute I am.
I love it here so much! I am so so happy. It is amazing to feel the spirit as strong as I do, all the time. I love the rules. Last night during the talk we watched by Elder Holland he talked about how this is the Lord's work and it needs to be done in His way. That is why we need to be obedient. I totally get it.
Merry Christmas! I love you all so much! I am so grateful for the Gospel and for the opportunity to be a missionary. I love the Lord so much!! The church is true!
Sister Andresen