Tuesday, July 30, 2013

May 6,2013

Can you believe it? I am going to leave my birthplace and greenie area. WAAH! President called this weekend and told me that I will be doubling into a new area, training. AKA a really wild thing. So I will be opening a brand new area with a brand new missionary. Pray for me :) Its been so weird saying goodbye to everyone here in State College. I have come to love this area and the people so much! This week started out pretty fun because I got to see Brint and Gage Dietrich! They came to State College to visit Brint's family, the Fogelsangers, and so they had us over for dinner! It was really fun to see some faces from home and chat about how things are going back in the Muller Park 8th ward! This week I had some really cool experiences to finish off my time here in State College. On Tuesday, all the missionaries in my area (10 missionaries total) fasted for Mom. When we knelt and closed our fast together the Spirit was so strong! I have faith that fasting brings miracles and I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to fast. There is such a great support system in missionary work. I was so amazed at how supportive and loving everyone has been to me and how willing everyone is to help. When I asked if the other missionaries would join me in fasting for mom, they were all grateful for the opportunity to serve mom and our family! Mom, I know that blessings are coming your way! I have been praying really hard to be able to see some of the ways that my example as a missionary has affected other people in my area and this week Heavenly Father allowed me to see a few ways. In our area, we ride the bus. The most effective way to spend our evenings is usually bus contacting and so the bus drivers see us pretty frequently. Every time I get off the bus I make sure to say thank you to the bus driver and wave. Some of the drivers dont care, but I always feel better knowing they know I am grateful. Well Friday night we were getting off of a bus with a driver that usually doesn't respond to us when we say anything to him. As we were getting off I said thank you, as usual, and the bus driver looked at us, and then gathered all his courage to talk to us pretty much and said "I would like to tell you something." Then with tears in his eyes he said, "Tomorrow is my last day of work and I want to let you ladies know that in all my years, you are the two nicest people I've met. Thank you." WOW! I had no idea that he cared or noticed and that it made that much of an impression on him. The next night we continued bus contacting. At one point in the night the bus was totally empty, with just us on the bus. I was trying to decide if we should get off or not but something just said "It's okay. Just stay on." So we did. A few minutes later the bus driver goes, "So are you "sisters" Mormons? I don't know much about the Mormons!" Jumping on this opportunity, we proceeded to have the 1st lesson on this empty bus with the bus driver! I shared the first vision even! I left a copy of the book of Mormon with him and shared a pamphlet of the restoration I had in my backpack. When we were getting off he looked at me and said "Sister, I've been itching all week that you would hop on my bus. I try to have the light of Christ in my life all the time and I can see that in your eyes every time you get on the bus! I wanted to figure out what it was. Its the Mormon!" I was so humbled and grateful that I was able to have my prayers directly answered. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father knows His children and knows what we need. I have loved being in State College and will miss it a lot. Yesterday was Stake Conference, broadcast from Salt Lake. After the meeting (which BTW stake conference here is still smaller than our ward meeting back home! WILD!) I was able to say goodbye to a lot of the people I was able to serve. Everyone was super encouraging and supportive and let me know I'd done a good job here. Something I have always hoped would come from my mission is lasting friendships with those I served and I already can tell I have many Pennsylvania "Families" I want to come back and visit. Tonight I get to drive the Elders van again to Pittsburgh for transfers tomorrow! I love driving mission cars! :) We get to spend the night with the Sisters in Pittsburgh again, which I am so excited about. I love the missionaries in my mission! I seriously feel like we are all Sisters, not in a lame way! I will try to mail a letter tomorrow with my address as soon as I know where I am going!! So exciting! President told me I am staying on the East side of the Mission. The 3 areas he is opening on the East are Berwick( the farthest East our mission goes), Shrewsbery (pretty much the last city before you hit Maryland) and Camp Hill (by Harrisburg, where the mission home for the Harrisburg mission was before it was dissolved into the Pittsburgh mission). When I saw the list of areas I kind of felt like I was going to Berwick. The closer it comes to transfers the more I feel that way. President wont tell me where I am going, so I dont know. But if I was to guess, the feelings I have had the past week or so would say Berwick. But we will find out tomorrow! I LOVE YOU ALL!! This week has been wonderfully spiritual and I am so grateful for the blessings of the gospel. I am so excited to Skype next Sunday! I have no idea how that is going to work with total strangers in my area, but I'll have the Spirit butter some one up so they will let me bum off their computer to talk to my family!! SEE YOU SUNDAY! :)
Sister Andresen

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