Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ich Bin Bereit Für Meine Kleine Ewigkeit in Erfurt

"Me in front of the Erfurt Dom" (cathedral)
" I am ready for my small eternity in Erfurt."
Me and Elder Gamble (new comp).
 It's cold!!

So I am just gonna cut right to it. (by that I mean the title of this email)

This week we had our interviews with Präsident Schwartz. I love that man, he is so caring and I swear he can just stare into your soul and see everything that is going on inside of your head. I have never met anyone that is so in tune with the spirit. He is an amazing mission Präsident. So in my interview, it was pretty normal, just him asking about me and the area and so on. But then it got sort of intense. And he said  "Elder Anderson. The Lord is happy with you." I was just like oh good, thank you, that’s nice to hear. And then staring into my soul with his piercing blue eyes he said "Elder Anderson, do you know why you are here serving in Erfurt?". And I said, “No, not really.”  And then he said "It is because the Lord wants you here because you can help this area." I was just like oh sweet, thank you Präsident. Then he asked, "Elder Anderson, do you like Erfurt?" I said, “Yeah, its a pretty city and the people in the ward have been really nice to me.” He then said "Oh good Elder Anderson, that is good. Because Elder Anderson, unless an Angle appears and tells me otherwise... You are going to be in Erfurt for a long time." Hahaha! So yeah, I am going to be here for a while. Not sure how long. But according to Präsident, I will be here a long time. I asked how long is a long time. And he just laughed and said he didn’t know, he just does what the Lord wants. So yay! Erfurt. 

Concentration Camp
So, yesterday I wasn’t able to get a message out to you guys because they said we only had 15 min to send messages to everyone telling them that we had to email tomorrow. We are emailing today, because our P day got moved to today because the Concentration Camp is not open on Monday. I just got back from Buchenwald Concentration Camp. It was a really interesting day. Buchenwald is near a city called Weimar. Almost our entire zone came out today to see this place.
It had a sacred and still feeling there. As I was walking around I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this is where it all really happened.” It was morbid going into the crematorium where so many people lost their lives.
Sad, but I am glad I got to go an see just a little bit of History in the Area. Made me realize how grateful I am for everything. Even the little things. My life in general.

So yesterday was also a super eventful day. I was on a split with Elder Brown (not my old comp) . We went out to contact a referral, we got to the house and knocked on the door. The lady answered the door and was like, darn it, the Mormons are here. You could tell she was annoyed. So we asked her if she had any interest in our message. She said "No it’s my birthday I’m busy". To which we said "Exactly! (we had no idea it was her birthday)  We are here to give you a book for your birthday! Its from your friend, she said we should come by for a visit." The lady laughed and we gave her a Book of Mormon and then went on our way. Hopefully she reads it and feels the spirit.

That means,
"To Each His Own"
It is on the front gate of the concentration camp.
Then after that we went to the University in Erfurt. It was our first time there so we were just getting acquainted with it. We got lost in this little building, so this young lady came up and asked us if we needed help. 5 min later and we are talking about Mormons and what we believe and everything. Her name is Judith and she is 24 and married and she said that we could come by sometime and talk more about the gospel. And she also said that anytime we were on Campus to call her and see if she is free to talk some gospel. She has been to the BYU Jerusalem center and knows about Mormons! Wow, it was just a miracle running into this girl.

So right after that amazing little thing, we are walking home. And I remember I need to buy some Dish soap. So we go into the store and see some cologne. I start smelling some. Then this guy walks up to me and says, "Oh, so Mormon missionaries are allowed to wear cologne, it’s not a sin !?" I was caught off guard. I was like who is this guy. He was this 22 year old guy. Super cool. We talked for like 5 min about life and where we are from and then he said, “What are you doing after this? We said, “Oh just going home to make dinner.” He then said, "Well, hey, you seem nice enough. Let me take you guys out to Pavarattis." And we thought he was joking because this place is famous for being one of the nicest places in the city. But he was dead serious, and after just 10 min of being with this guy he takes us to this restaurant and we are teaching him about the restoration and the word of wisdom (because we were offered Alcohol). But how crazy is that!! Met this guy in a store and 10 min later we are on our way to this Restaurant!

So I guess you could say that life is going pretty swell right now. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to serve here. Präsident is an inspired man, and I know that I am here for a reason.

The ward is doing pretty well. There is a bit of fighting but its ok, nothing that cant be changed. 

Have you guys looked up pictures of my area? It’s actually really is super pretty.

OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH MY GOSH. This guy that met us yesterday just called as I was writing in this email. He wants to meet in 40 min! YESSSSSSS! Man, blessings. He was like, “Hey it’s your buddy Marcel from yesterday. Wanna meet up and talk some more?” So Stoked.

Thank you all for your continual support. I love you all! But I gotta go now. Pray for me and the area!

-Elder Nikora Philip Anderson

Monopoly Night with the missionaries and some of the young ones in our ward!
Of course, I won. Hahaha, dad would be proud.
Older Pic, last night in the Düsseldorf Zone.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Erfurt JaWohl!‏

Servus (they say that word out here, yay)

So I’m starting to get into the grove of things here in Erfurt! It’s different, but I know that President Schwartz was inspired to send me here. So all that I can really do right now is work hard and make the most of it. I’m really excited about the potential that this area has and the growth that I believe will begin to take place. 

I was reading this paper the other day about the plan of salvation and it got really deep. It was interesting, but the thing I enjoyed most was them talking about us as individuals and how powerful the mind is. It said "cogito ergo sum--I think therefore I am".  Got me thinking about the area and what I can do to help it out. I am just going to take it day by day and turn this place around with a positive attitude and a hard work ethic. I know that I am needed here, otherwise the Lord wouldn’t have had me placed here at this time.

In terms of people to teach, nothing is really happening right now. So prayers would be really appreciated in that aspect! We will find some people to teach soon, and that will be a really good day.

One thing that I am super grateful for was the opportunity that I had to serve with Elder Ruff. He really opened my eyes to a new way of working with members and getting them really involved in the work. I am going to use a ton of the stuff that I learned with him to try and get this branch moving forward.

This week was a really good week . We had a Mexicanische Abend "Mexican Night" and we made a bunch of Mexican food for the ward and told them to invite friends. It was super successful, we had a good showing. A lot of the time last week was spent prepping for that night.
Other than that we have been trying to contact as many members as possible so that we can strengthen our relationship with them.

Also, I turned 20 years old this last Saturday! Woooooooo 20. It was just like a normal day as a missionary!  My comp bought me an ice cream cone. He’s a good guy.

Well that was my life this last week!

Life is good , thanks for everything guys!

Love Elder Anderson 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Meine erste Woche in Erfurt‏

"Saying goodbye to Domingo and Stan!
Stan actually cried. Love that dude, I wanna introduce you guys to him one day."
“My First week in Erfurt”

Well here I am, the East part of the Frankfurt Germany Mission. Haha. Serving in Erfurt the largest city in the Erfurt zone. I am pretty excited for the opportunity that I have to learn and to grow out here. This place is legendary for being a tougher zone!

First off my New comp. His name is Elder Gamble. He says he is from all over the place. He likes zombies and guns. He also likes Ballroom dancing. He is a great kid and I have the wonderful privilege of killing the kid (that means I’m his last comp because he goes home next cycle). We are getting along pretty well. He is a really nice kid and I am excited to learn a ton from him.

The ward out here is really interesting. Well actually it’s just a branch, but there are less than 20  people showing up to church each week. And I thought Erlangen and Solingen were small, haha! But the people out here are good people and I am stoked for the opportunity that I have to work with them.

It was hard saying goodbye to everyone in Solingen. I made some really good friends out there and I learned to love old people, haha. Solingen was really good for me and I learned what the lord wanted me to learn!

I’m excited to give it my all out here in Erfurt. I know that with faith and prayers (a ton of prayers on your end) and the help of the Lord we can make Erfurt an even better stronger branch of the Lords kingdom!

Sorry this one is a little bit shorter, but you guys are all amazing. I love you so much!

Thank you all for everything and the Happy Birthday wishes!

Love you!

Elder Anderson

"Hey look what I finally got my hands on!  MTC pics from Hawker and Muller."

(It took a small miracle to get those matching German flag colored ties out to these 

boys before they left the MTC.  This is literally the day they got them and the day before
 they left for Germany.  Nik had taken pics of his District with their ties, but in transit
 the memory card somehow got corrupted and nothing was to be retrieved.  It made me
 so sad!  Way back when, I asked him to try to track down pics from the other Elders
 in his District. Especially from that day.  He got it done!)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Verkundet meine Evangelium Seite 45‏

"Preach my Gospel page 45"

First of all if you don’t already have a Preach My Gospel, I recommend getting one. It’s full of wonderful teachings and it will help you on your way to becoming a better Member Missionary. So in Preach my Gospel, the English version, page 45 it talks about world Religious Leaders and Reformers. One of the Reformers that it mentions is Martin Luther. The man who nailed his 95 theses on the Door of the Catholic Church pretty much denouncing everything that the church was doing at that time. Pretty cool guy. In Preach My Gospel, the paragraph that talks about him starts out by saying    "Martin Luther: Born 10 November 1483 in Germany. Studied at the University of Erfurt and Wittenberg. Guess where I just got transferred to.... Erfurt! 

It is really crazy how fast time flies out here. It’s been about 5 months in Solingen and now I am out. It feels like its just been a couple of days. I have really grown a ton in this area. My German is way better now. And I’ve really just learned how to buckle down and push through things out here. I’ve learned a lot from my two comps Elder Brown and Ruff I’ll miss them. Also I’m going to miss my Buddy Elder Muller. I’ve gotten even closer to that kid out here. He is like a brother to me. His comp for 3 cycles now, Elder Swan will be joining me in the east. Love that kid too. So it’ll be cool being able to see him still. I’m really gonna miss this ward. The bishop here is so awesome and the ward was a really nice one. I’m gonna miss my Deutsche Opa Stan the Man. All in all this area has been really good for me and I have learned what I needed to learn. So the Lord saw fit to send me off! 

Elder Swan, Elder Anderson, Elder Ruff, Elder Muller
 holding Kevin after his baptism.
Good story, so I have been pretty scared of speaking in front of big groups of people in German. This Sunday the first counselor in our mission presidency was in Solingen for sacrament. Since it was my last week in the ward I was asked to speak again! That is 3 times in 7 days! But I guess that old saying "practice makes perfect" is true. I got up and gave a really good talk! Good enough that President Egly of the mission presidency pulled me aside after the meeting and told me that my German is really good! So that made me happy! 

Oh man, Happy New Years Guys! This was a pretty good one. We went up to Wuppertal to spend the night with the Wuppertal, Duisberg and other Solingen Elders . It was really cool because the Wuppertal apartment is on a hill right next to a big Catholic Church. So at midnight we went out on their balcony area and watched fireworks as the church bells were going off behind us. I am really happy that I was able to start off the New Year with my bros Muller and Hawker. As we were leaving in the morning we walked down the street and it looked like a riot had gone down. There were thousands of Alcohol bottles everywhere and burnt out fireworks and other party items! Germans really get into their New Years or Sylvester as they call it. 

This week was good. We did a lot of doors . One lady we knocked into let us in and as soon as she saw who we were she said "Junger mann sie können schön knicken" Haha the lady was like 80 years old and she told us literally "young men you can go get bent over”. Sassy Grandma haha. So that made my contacting story of the week. 

Spiritual thought of the week! 
“As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” 
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf. 
I saw this quote earlier this week and it really touched me. Helped me remember why I am out here. I know that as we always strive to help others and serve we will find happiness! 

Well, I’m off to Erfurt this week. I’m really excited for all the adventures that lay ahead! Wish me luck! Love you! 

Elder Anderson