Friday, December 31, 2010

Responsibility for the New Year

The most recent e-mail from Elder Anderson has some exciting news!
Here is the exact quote:
"Welcome to the new year (almost).  This week has been very fun and intresting.  I'll first start with transfers and how that kinda went crazy for a couple of days.  So on christmas i told everybody we are getting phone calls weather or not we get transferd and we would find out that night if we were or not. Well around 6 pm on christmas night we got a voicemail and we were pretty excited about the news and if anybody was going to be transfered. Well the message was from the ap's and it was talking about transfers but problem was they said that we weren't going to find out until monday night and that we have to wait for the news.  How lame is that :(  i had to wait for another 2 days jsut thinking about if elder morgan and i are getting split up and who my companion will be and what area we will be shipped off to war in.    Well with a long but very exciting two days that went by monday arrived and we got a few voicemails saying a few things that we were quite excited about.  We found out that with the phone call with transfers we will not just find out if we are getting transfereed but we will find out were we are going and who our companion is.  THE WHOLE 9 Yards.  So we were pretty excited. And thinking that elder morgan was district leader and that he was getting so much attention from the mission president i was like 85% sure i was leaving so on monday morning i actualy started to clean up around the house and get my stuff reall organized for the long pack for me being transfered.  But as i was doing that we got  a voicemail!!  It was transfers and there were some dramatic changes that were being made with this area.  We found out some really intresting things in those quick 3 mins.  Elder morgan is getting transfered i am staying in the evergreen ward but elder morgan is just literally going to the ward right next to me and our ward boundries are 100 yards from the house i am staying at. Also i am getting a new companion of course and i know who it is. YOu all do. HAHA he was in the mtc with me he is elder dixon and he previously served in pasco, WA and got sent over here with me.  I have alot of pressure on my shoulders now. President knows i can handle things well and he is putting me in charge of the entire area with two missionarys that don't even have more then 6 months experience together total. So i can feel the pressure but i can just feel the excitment and the anticipation for this transfer cause i know it will be a very fun one and it will be amazing!!!  
Christmas was last week as everybody knows and i was able to talk to everybody!! :D  I appreciate all of the time you guys gave me for being able to talk to you and i appreciate you maybe missing some of your time with other familys to have the chance to talk to me. It means alot. Also thank you for the presents that so many of you sent and thank you for the christmas cards. It means alot ot have the family/ friends care about me.  Thank you expecially to Britni, mom & dad, And jake and amber for this christmas and all of there efforts they put in for making it one of the best christmas's i could ever ask for. 
And so to the family i am still in my area for at least another 6 weeks so that means go ahead and keep on sending your letters directly to the house if you feel like it and a reminder to amy that she needs to send the 3 letters that she has already addressed and stamped so i can hear how she is doing and how my wonderful hooligans of necies and nephews are going.  
Thank you all for all that you do and thank you for a wonderful christmas."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The BEST Christmas OoVoo Ever

A bit of explanation after telling all who read this "Merry Christmas!"

There is a program sort of like Skype where you can video conference called OoVoo.  OoVoo is a program on the computers of the members where Elder Anderson is staying in Vancouver so we put it on our computer, too.  With ooVoo you can video conference more than two computers, so yesterday when Elder Anderson called home, most everyone was at his home, but one family was away but were able to participate anyway.  It was such a great present to see Ben.  He is supremely happy and even complained once that he was smiling so much his cheeks hurt!
Here are a couple of pictures of the family gathered around the laptop.
 He called at about 10 AM on Christmas Day.  Some of the siblings were already here, others weren't.  Britni was here all ready to go!  Ben's parents got to speak for a couple of minutes first and then each family got 3 or 4 minutes. 
 Even Shadow got a turn.  She heard his voice but couldn't figure out where he was!  It was so cute with her ears perking up and her head twisting from side to side!  Elder Anderson enjoyed this immensely!

 You can see Elder Anderson on the left and his sister and brother-in-law on the right.

Britni got her specially made by Ben crocheted scarf while she was talking to him.  She loved it.  Elder Anderson said that he spent his time between 9:30 and 10 PM many nights making the scarf!

Ben seems sincerely happy and his family misses him immensely but we are so glad he is doing such a good job!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pictures - a Great Christmas Gift!

Last week , as I was leaving a store, someone called my cell phone.  She asked for "Sister Anderson" and I replied that was me.  She said she was a member of Elder Anderson's ward in the Evergreen Stake in Vancouver, Washington and that she was having the elders over for dinner that night.  She wanted to know what sort of food he liked to eat (I told her he'd eat just about anything) and she then proceeded to tell me that Ben and his companion were really good missionaries.  She said she wouldn't call his parents if he were a mediocre missionary like some of them were!  She also said that they seem to get along great and work well together.  Ben had previously said that they love each other like brothers and that they fight like brothers, too haha.  (He always adds those "hahas" just like he were texting on his phone!.  The best thing she said was that 98% of the time she can tell who the new missionary was but with Ben she most certainly could not!  She said he just doesn't seem new.  That was great news to Elder Anderson's family!

We were then so excited on Saturday when we found an envelope in our mailbox with a return address of Vancouver, Washington!  It had been over a month since we had gotten something like that in our mail.  Inside was an SD card of pictures including a guided tour of Elder Anderson's place.  Here's how great he looks!

He said that this was the first snow Vancouver had had in two years and everyone there was so excited!  You can still write him a Merry Christmas card and send it if you do it soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No sugar at Christmas? That IS a miracle!

Elder Ben seems to be doing good in Vancouver, Washington.  He says that the weather is better in December than it was in October and November, less rainy.  He says he is NOT missing the rain!  
(Note - Ben types like he texts!  His mother has been fixing the lower case i's and turning them into I's and fixing the words that aren't capitalized, but she's tired of doing that.  So partway through this blog, Ben's mom quit fixing some of his misspellings!) 
Here are some more comments:
  1. "The holiday season is finally here and I am getting into the spirit of Christmas.  I have been listening to Christmas songs and have been singing along and loving it. But as a sister of mine had said she missed the Christmas songs that home played. Well I'll admit it. I am missing Christmas music alot."  He asked for The Forgotten Carols and his big brother, Jake and big sister Amy, found it an alot of other Christmas CD's and over-nighted them to him!  We're sure he'll be so happy because as he says in the next comment -
  2. I'd love to have that CD and "preferably before [Christmas] so I don't have to listen to it just on Christmas day and then put it away for a year haha."
  3. "Congratulations for a certain little somebody that isn't so little anymore and that has now been accepted into the fold.  Little Isabel. . . has been baptized as of Dec 4th and i would like to say to her how proud i am of her and i wish i could have been there but i am helping others do the exact same thing that she did and it is very important. I am so proud of her and want to tell her that her favorite uncle is out here supporting her." 
  4. Last but not least i would like to brag about myself haha.  I want to tell you all that i have officially been on i would like to say a sugar diet for about a month and a half now. My companion and i are not allowed to eat sugar unless it is desert at a members after dinner because that would be rude if we didn't take it ;) .  But i am proud of myself. And would like to put out there that i have lost 10 lbs sense i have left the MTC and i am planning on losing another 10 before christmas.  I hope so. And with hope anything can be possible.
 What an example - dieting at Christmas time!  Wow! 
Elder Ben asks for all who are reading his e-mails or this blog, to send him your questions so he can let us know things we are interested in.  Here is his address again.  The next transfers take place after Christmas.
Elder Benjamin Anderson

Vancouver, WA 98682

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Temples, Car Accidents and Grey Days

We waited and waited for e-mail to come on Tuesday this week, but it came later in the day than usual. Why?  Because the missionaries were able to go the the Portland Temple.  He spent Thanksgiving at the bishop's house.
Here are some excerpts from Elder Ben's last e-mail:

1. While in Portland, they got to some famous places for a few minutes.
2.  Also "I was able to see my first car accident right in front of me today on the freeway. I now agree with some other people that I really do not like to drive in the pouring rain."
3.  "It's starting to get really grey here all the time and the sun sets by around 4 PM and rises around 7 AM so I am starting to miss the vitamin D. 
4.  We also got some bad news for the family and friends back home :(  Andon has not quit smoking as of now and so we have to postpone his baptism and set a goal to have it on Britni's birthday :D.. But I'm also scared because by then I could be out of the area and I won't be able to see him get baptised if I leave. But I know I was lucky enough to see him and help him progress.