Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Okay, this week was SO cool!!
Oh Monday night after P-Day ended we got a text from our investigator Tiffanie. She told us that she had been praying and knew she needed to get baptized and wondered if she could get baptized on Saturday!! We were FA-REAKING OUT!! I was so excited! We had to call our Zone Leaders and the AP's and get it cleared because it was so fast and needed to work some things out. On Wednesday night, we went to Huntingdon for her baptismal interview and she asked me to play the piano for her baptism. I didnt have my music here but I told her I would be happy to play. When we were on our way home the member that went with us, Sam (she is 19 and a student at Penn State and awesome), offered to call Mom and ask her to send the music and put it on speaker over her car speaker so I could hear Mom. We tried calling a few times and no one was answering but I knew it would take a few times before anyone would try to answer the phone so she kept calling. Finally, Mom picked up!! MOM, I HEARD YOU TALKING!! It was so cool!! I couldnt say anything but I got to listen to the whole conversation :) You sound good mom!! It was cool to hear Halle in the background and to hear from the source that you are missing me :) Sister Carter was crying in the backseat and when Sam hung up she was like "I am going to go hang out with your Mom when I get home!! I love her!!" I didnt cry, but Sister carter sure did hearing your voice!! I just really felt like we should keep calling and get a hold of you and when you answered and said that was an answer to your prayers, that was really cool for me to hear! So thank you for picking up the phone!! And for sending my music! I got my music on Friday, I am so sorry it was so expensive! My jaw dropped when I saw that. But Tiffanie cried when I was playing so if that makes up for it, theres that :)
On Saturday, Sam took us to the Church and cleaned and filled the font. It was pretty fun!! Then the Elders went and brought us lunch and we all ate and hung out at the church until the font was full. Then Tiffanie came and we took pictures and got her all dressed and ready to go. It was so cool! I was so humbled watching her be baptized. I realized that while I got to help teacher her, I really didnt do anything. The Holy Ghost taught her and I was just a tool to help. She was so prepared and ready and will be the next General Relief Society President, I know it! :)
I played Be Still My Soul as the musical number and Tiffanie really liked it. She cried and told Sister Carter how good I was. She was so sweet! I am so excited to watch her continue to grow in the Gospel. She was confirmed a member of the Church yesterday. Before her in the interview she asked if I could confirm her but then she remembered that it was a priesthood ordinance and had a member of the Branch do it. But isnt that so sweet!? I felt honored just being asked :)
This week I learned what a wonderful blessing it is to be a missionary. I am so grateful that I get to serve Heavenly Father and that He allows me to feel some of the joy He feels when people choose to follow Him. I know that Heavenly Father was excited to see Tiffanie get baptized and has wonderful things in store for her! I love Pennsylvania and I am so lucky Heavenly Father is allowing me to serve here!! Now that our one investigator got baptized we are going to get crazy with the finding!! I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people and we just need to catch 'em! I am so happy here! The Church is true!! This week Sister Adachi sent me a beautiful flower arrangement for Valentine's Day. It reminds me of how lucky we are to have such wonderful neighbors! I love our ward and am so glad that you are surrounded by such wonderful people! I know that Heavenly FAther put us there for a reason and has me here for a reason! I love you all an hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Andresen

FEBRUARY 11, 2013: Guess who is going to train...

Hello All!
First of all, Happy Birthday to Coco! I cant believe she is 13! I remember Sara and I talking in the car on the way to the hospital about who gets the title "Big Sister" because to us, clearly only one of us could have this title. I think Sara probably won.
This week was... WILD! I had so much fun. WE had a zone training at the beginning of the week this week and President Topham informed me that next transfer I will be... TRAINING! Can you even stand that?! I have been having a panic attack all week. I cant believe it. I will go from being trained to training instantly. With the increase in missionaries President told me to expect to be training for the rest of my mission and to get my training in now because I wont have another chance. Humility at its best. I am praying every night that a get a Sister that just wants to work and to let Heavenly Father do the training and me be there. I am going to use the next 6 weeks to prepare as much as I can because March 27, Ill be training! AHHHH!!
We had a super fun week. We have been trying to contact less-active members in our branch and area this week and every time we go out it turns into an adventure. One evening we tried to contact a family and ended up at this abandoned cabin thing. There was this broken, hilarious bike that we were playing on and got some funny pictures. We found this farm place too and there was a frozen lake, boat in it and all. Pennsylvania is full of fields and farms, I learned that by experience this week.
We had a great lesson with our investigator on Thursday and she committed to be baptized!! Because she lives about 45 minutes away it takes some extra planning to get to her lessons but if all goes according to schedule she will be baptized the first week in March!! I am so excited for her and to see the growth that she is having. She is 19 and a student down in Huntingdon, PA. I just adore her and love teacher her and watching her start to recognize the Spirit teach. This week we taught her the Plan of Salvation. After we went through the lesson she looked at us and said "I love this. It makes so much sense. Can you teach me another lesson too?" Sister Carter and I looked at each other and tried to pick our jaws up off the floor and taught her The Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is just wonderful and I am excited for her to be baptized.
This week we celebrated Chinese New Year with the Elder's recent convert, Jane. I am not a huge fan of Chinese food so this was hysterical. They made dumplings for us, like 100+. I dont really like dumplings but it was like a special thing they made for us so I choked down the dumplings then thought I was safe. False. Then Jane made us "Hot Pot". Brace yourselves for this. It is this spicy, SPICY broth stuff that they put cabbage and seaweed and lamb and these weird noodle things and these Chinese root things and other stuff in. Its a pretty big deal to have "Hot Pot". Jane said that families dont have it, its a special meal to eat with special friends and she was honored to have us. I couldnt tell her I didnt like Chinese food, she was honoring us!! So I ATE IT!! I ATE HOT POT!! My mouth was on fire and I was humming hymns to myself the whole time I was eating it trying to distract myself and keep from gagging. And she just kept refilling my bowl. "You like? You like?" "Yes, Jane. It is delicious." Oh my heck. Sister Carter was so proud. Everyone should be so proud of me! Missionary moment at its finest. I still cant believe I survived. But I did. And we went back later and had an "American" celebration with hamburgers and root beer floats. Jane and her friends were such good sports but they really didnt like our food, so we are about even.
We also got to have a Mardi Gras party with a member family this week. I think real Mardi Gras is Tuesday but they wanted us to celebrate true New Orleans style since they were from there. We got beads and ate "red beans and rice" and had a "fat cake". They like hide this plastic baby in the cake and if you find it you get good luck. Weird. I didnt find the plastic baby but I think it was beceause I was praying I wouldnt.
Things are going just great for us here. We had 5 people show up to the ESL class last week and it sounds like there will be an even bigger turn out this week. I know we are going to get more investigators. We are out and about every day.
We found this shopping cart on the side of the road and I decided we should turn it into a finding activity. So we are going to decorate this shopping  cart and put copies of the Book of Mormon and other materials in there and ask people if they would like to go "shopping for Salvation". I think it is genius. At least people should think twice about what we are "selling".
We will see this week! I love you all! The Church is true!
Sister Andresen

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FEBRUARY 4, 2013: Happy February!!

Hi Family!
Can you believe another week has come and gone? I seriously felt like yesterday was P-Day! Crazy!! This week was pretty good. I came home Monday night to a package from Nana. Guess what Nana sent me?? HOMEMADE MR. GOODBARS!! I was freaking out! So excited. Mikie Flegal sent me a pretty sweet package too, including a homemade headband! Mom, I got your package this week too. Thank you so much for all the letters and gifts. Sister Carter really likes the necklace you sent her. Will you let Mati know that I will mail her a letter today? I am happy to hear things on the home front are going well.
This week Sister Carter and I had a case of the flu. I didnt throw up, but my companion sure did. So we were out of commission for one and a half days. But I was able to read all of Alma in my time inside!! The Book of Mormon is so amazing. Ive read it before but this is the first time that I can picture in my head what is going on as I read. I totally understand what is happening and that has never happened before. The stories are so cool! I am entertained as I read, and I feel the Spirit! SCORE!
We had rain and snow for most of this week so finding was still pretty tricky. Its understandable that peoplpe dont want to stop and talk to us or take their hands out of their pockets to accept the cards, but it doesnt make it any easier for us! We have our one amazing investigator that is helping me stay positive. We were able to teach her this week and it was a great lesson. She hadnt read the Book of Mormon this week so instead of teaching her the lesson we had prepared, we read the Book of Mormon with her. Once people gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and understand the importance of reading it daily, things start to click. I have learned that I am nothing without the Book of Mormon. We wouldnt be here without the Book of Mormon. I just love it. I try to read the Book of Mormon in all my spare time, which is like never. But I read on the bus!
Our ESL class isnt going well. No one has showed up yet. But we are advertising it hard core and the branch fasted this week to help us find success. We know that there are people out there that need help speaking English and we can help them and introduce them to the Gospel. I am hoping that Thursday night our class will be full! We have put flier up all over campus, at the bus stops, and in the grocery stores in State College so hopefully more people will at least know when and where it is.
The work is progressing! I am happy and back to full health. With Sister Carter going home in March all of the missionaries in my district started "The Biggest Loser: Missionary Edition" today. We are having a competition to see who can lose the most weight before she goes home. The first reward or weigh in is two weeks from today. I am confident that I will win. We stopped in GNC today and I bought a 14 day cleanse. Ive never done a cleanse before but the lady said its the best way to start getting healthy. So the next 14 days I will be sugar, flour, and preservative free so I can win! And I will just feast on the words of Christ instead of food :)
I love you all. I am so sad to hear that Cal Jenkins passed away. He was such a good man and truly was my best friend when we lived next door. Will you tell Judy that I lover her and I am praying for her? I am so grateful for the friendship I had with Cal and wont forget the influence he had on me when I was little. I love the Jenkins and am grateful for the time we had to live by them.
Till next week,
Sister Andresen

Background information on the picture: This week we stopped at Walmart to get cold medicine and there is an Auntie Annie's pretzels in the Walmart. It was their 25th Birthday Celebration so I made sure to stop in and have a pretzel. Cinnamon sugar with cream cheese, just like what Mom and I used to get at Cottonwood Mall. People thought we were a little old to be celebrating but I couldnt pass up the opportunity to get a pretzel and reminisce on the good old days!

JANUARY 28, 2013: I biffed it this week. Whatever.

Hello Family!!
This week was hilarious. Lets just start from the beginning...
Monday night we ate at this nonmembers house. After we ate subs, we played Yatzee. The elders were taking too long to roll and she just kept swearing at them and calling them names. It was wild. I think its the Vegas in me that helps me because that was my first time playing and I came in second place! Holla!
Tuesday night we ate with this funny old couple in the family ward. They took us to Hoss's Steak House. Apparently they used to be detectives back in the day and know all about how to be safe. They gave me a can of Mace to keep on my keychain and told me all these safety tips like "Every woman should carry a firearm. 44mm perferably." I said "Sister, do you carry a gun?" and she winked at me and nodded! SHE WAS PACKIN HEAT!! She is like 80 years old and carries a gun! It was so cute.
Wednesday we had an awesome AWESOME lesson! She was a referral from Las Vegas. She just moved here to go to school in Huntingdon, PA which is like 30 minutes away from us. So we had a member drive us to her dorm. The Spirit was so strong as we taught her and she pretty much asked to be baptized. She committed to be baptized on February 16!! So cool! I felt like I was going to barf during the lesson and got dizzy, so I was feeling the Spirit. :)
On Friday, we visited former investigators with the Elders. It was pretty cold and it rained then got cold so it was kinda icy but I had done okay all day until the last house. This house was like a trailer on stilts pretty much. It was in horrible condition and was so sad to see. The "stairs" were pretty much rotten 2x4s. So I let Sister Carter start down the stairs first, with the Elders behind me. Well, I stepped on the ice and slipped. My scriptures flew out of my hands and I slid down the entire staircase. I ate it. HARD. Sister Carter and Elder Boyd just started laughing their heads off. Elder DeRoest was like "Oh my gosh! Sister Andresen! I HEARD that! Are you okay? Of course you aren't! You should cry. You really should! Let me get the door for you!" I peeled myself off the driveway and got into the car and Sister Carter was like "Sister Andresen, Lets go to Sheetz and get you a Diet Coke. That sounded pretty nasty." My whole right hip is black and blue. Its the worst bruise I have ever had. Like my entire right side is a lumpy bruise. And my right arm has a pretty big goose egg on it. But it was hilarious. I just walk a little funny and I am careful where my skirt sits so it doesnt rub my hip. Saturday it was freezing cold and we met this guy named Todd who was giving bicycle tours of the city. So, true to Katie fashion, I whipped out my cash and got a tour on the back of this guy's bike. It was the funniest thing I have ever done! He was playing Irish music and kept yelling "VAMOS! VAMOS!!" to people. It was a great tour of "Happy Valley, PA" (aka State College). People were laughing and waving. It took him like an hour. On the hills he would be like "Okay, Sisters! Pray to feel lighter!" Haha! Totally worth it. I havent laughed that hard since I fell, and before that! A long time!! It was good.
It is so so cold here so its hard to get anyone to stop and talk to us. So I am getting good at accepting rejections. But I know that the Lord is preparing people to hear the gospel soon, so we just keep putting ourselves out there for when people are ready to listen. I got ten letters this week and 22 emails!! The wave hit!I dont feel lonely anymore!! Thank you all for loving me! I am mailing responses today! It was like Christmas when I opened the mailbox the other day to find all those letters. I love you all so much! I am starting to see how lucky I am to have been blessed with the Gospel my whole life. Nothing can make us happier than following God's commandments.
I love you all, till next week!
Sista Andresen