Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6 Days in India

Hola family!

Wow! Sounds like some exciting things going on! Good job to you Noah, getting a B in bio! The other grades are good too, but I'm most impressed by that. :) And Abbey, it's weird seeing you at the Bishop's youth outing and not being the youngest one there! You're supposed to be the little baby! Sigh... oh well, I guess you can grow up. And happy father's day to you dad! I thought of you when last night a member in our ward was showing us the clock that he got his dad for father's day. Hopefully you got some good stuff too! Mom, I hope all is well with you too (I'm sure it is!) 

As for me.... AHHH! Being out in the field is CRAZY!!!! I don't even know where to begin.... I'll just start rambling, and tell you the first things that come to mind. 

First off, the driving in India is INTENSE! There is no such thing as having the "right of way" in India. You just do your best to avoid the rest of the traffic. My companion told me he has been paying a game ever since he got to India. It's called Don't Get Hit By A Car, and unfortunately, he says he's lost the game a few times since he got over here... haha but it's alright, people usually aren't going very fast. I kinda like the roads here, because it makes traveling a lot more exciting! 

Oh, and speaking of traveling, I am in an area that is a bike riding area. Our bikes aren't the best, but they get us from point A to point B, and I guess that's what's important! 

Okay, and you know how I was called to an "English speaking mission"? haha ya, that's.... some what true. There are people here that speak English, but it is NOT America English! The first few days here I literally could not understand anyone, even when they were speaking English! The accents are so thick! Luckily, my ears are slowly adjusting, and now I can understand like 50% of what English people are saying to me. But a lot of the time, people don't even speak English! My area is filled with people that speak Telugu (that isn't how it's spelled, but that's what the language name sounds like and I don't know how to spell it). Like at church, half of the lessons and talked will be in English, and the other half will be in Telugu, just because the new members don't know English well enough to learn Gospel topics solely in English.  

And yes, I've been working on my own accent, so hopefully when I call on Christmas I will be sounding a little bit different! :)

The members are THE BEST EVER! No joke, without them I would be dying right now. Being out here in the crazy heat, speaking to people I can't understand, eating food that doesn't make me feel all that great, and other such things can really bring me down at times... but then when I start talking with the members, I realize how much I love being out here! They have such a great love for the Gospel, and the Elders! Almost all of them (like 80-90 active members in our branch) are converts, so they are all super enthusiastic about the work. Many are more than willing to come out and help us! Referrals, showing us where things are, translating for us, and more! I love the people here! 

Even people walking around the street are great! All the kids shout "Hi! Hi! Hi!" when we bike by, because that's all the English they know but they want to talk to us white people! haha it's great! 

Me and my companion are both brand new to this area (white wash!), but with the members help and the other companionship's help we are gettin' the ball rolling pretty quickly. 

I'm also sending you guys some pictures of our apartment, outside the window of our apartment, and a restaurant that we went to for lunch today. I only spent 85 rupees there (like a buck fifty), and got soup, bread, AND ice cream! Food is so cheap here!   

I can't believe I've only been in India for 6 days... I've learned so much already, and I can't wait to start teaching even more! 

You can mark my words, India is going to be the next Brazil for missionaries in 50 years! The people here are ready for the Gospel!

Have a great week, and enjoy the start of your summer break! 

Elder Anderson 

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Ezra with President Berrett

A statue of Ghandi in the town of Kakinada

Lord Shiva temple in Kakinada

Ezra's in India!

We received two letters from Ezra's mission president's wife:

Dear Brother and Sister Anderson,

Elder Anderson has safely arrived in the Bangalore, India Mission!  He is a wonderful addition to our missionary force.  As he shared his testimony with us we were grateful for his preparation and wonderful background.  Thank you for your part in helping him be ready. 

We have included a picture of him taken today with President Berrett outside the mission office.

President and Sister Berrett


Dear Brother and Sister Anderson,

Elder Anderson is assigned to Rajahmundry Zone in the town of Kakinada. His
companion is Elder Watts.  Elder Watts is an excellent missionary and is of
Indian descent, however, he comes from Australia.   

Rajahmundry is the center of one of our districts here in southern India.
The district leaders are very dedicated leaders that love the gospel.  The
members are warm and friendly.  In fact Rajahmundry is known in our mission
as the "missionary factory" because it produces so many missionaries that
serve missions.  A ground breaking was held there last week aided by a great
missionary spirit.
We accompanied Elder Anderson to the airport yesterday morning to help him
get to his flight.  He was anxious to get to his area and begin working.  He
is a great young man and we love his missionary excitement.  

Warmest wishes,
Sister Berrett  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Have My Visa!

Hola familia!
GUESS WHO HAS THEIR VISA APPROVED?!?! ELDER ANDESON!!! :D Hooray! On Moday morning, at 11:30, my flight leaves for other side of the world.... so crazy!! I can't wait to get over to India!!
Sounds like you guys have been having a pretty nice week in the Anderson home. Happy birthday to you Mom! :) And good job to you Dad, for giving out a Book of Mormon! That's super awesome! And just because God did a good job preparing that man to recieve a Book of Mormon doesn't make your efforts any less valid. As for you Noah and Abbey, eat a few otter pops for your big bro!
This past week, I really got to know my companion, sicne we were the only two people in our class for people waiting for their Visas (until Wendsay, when more people came to join our class as they wait for their visas for Austriallia! Bad for them.. but fun for us!) It's interesting how me and my companion are WAY diffferent, and yet, we both have the exact same purpose. To bring people closer to Christ. And because of that, we are able to really synch well together, despite how different we would be if we were in any other place besides our missions.
The people we teach here are actors, but they represent real people. People act as people that they taught during their missions, or friends that they have introduced to the Gospel at some point. They then do their best to give similar respinses to what those people said when misisonaries came and taught them, so it's a very real feeling epxereince for us here at the MTC.
This week, I had an amazing realization. I remember a couple of years ago Mom told us how she didn't think people really KNOW the Gospel is true when they bare their testimonies, they just strongly believe it is true. In my mind, this made a lot of sense. Really, do we actually KNOW this is true? I thhought to myself that if one night an angle came to me and said "Ezra, the Church of Jesus Christ really isn't God's church. It's a lie.", I would have said "Really... wow... I can't believe I thought that it was true this whole time..." But now, I know differently. NOW if an angel came to me in the middle of night and told me "Ezra, the church is a lie", I would say "NO! YOU'RE the one that's lying! Because I KNOW this is true."
I really love this Gospel, and I know that it is true. Every part of it.
I can't wait to start teaching the people of Inida, and I will talk to you all next week!
Elder Anderson

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Still in the MTC

Hi family! 

WOW! That's awesome!! That's really great to hear about David. Sounds like he had an amazing farewell, and I'm glad to hear that me and the other guys got to be 
such a positive influence in his life. He is going to be a top notch missionary, for sure!

Well, guess where I am... at the MTC! I was going to leave yesterday for India, 
but my visa didn't get approved in time.... Sooooo, as of now, it looks like I 
will be staying here for another 2 weeks, and then I will get to ship off to 
India. If my plans change from that though, the MTC lets me call you, so unless 
you hear from me otherwise I will be here in Provo until June 10th. 

Yesterday morning was definitely the hardest day here. Having 70% of our district leave, and then just having 3 of us India missionaries stick around was... kind of disappointing. Our group really felt the absence of our friends, and all 3 of us really wished we were out in the field right now too. BUT, things definitely 
got better by the end of the day. Our trio companionship really began to grow, 
and as we went to more classes we realized that we still have a lot to learn 
before we are fully prepared to begin teaching. So, although we were sad to not 
be leaving, we are all beginning to see that staying at the MTC for 2 moe weeks 
might be just what we need to help us really get ready to teach the people of 

Plus, I'm in no hurry to leave the food here! A donut every morning, hot 
chocolate with a chocolate chip cookie at lunch, and ice cream after dinner! I'm livin' the good life here! :) 

This week I got to sing in the MTC choir! That was so amazing! The Spirit I felt there was extremely powerful, and plus I always love to sing! 

This week is also the first week I really began exercising/working out, and I've quickly realized that I am OUT OF SHAPE! I did like 5 pulls ups, and then I was 
dying! Maybe by the end of my mission I will not only be spiritually stronger, 
but also physically stronger! woo woo!

I've been amazed at how fast I've been able to adjust to missionary life. At first waking up at 6:30 was a dread, but now my body is so used to it that I wake up at like 6:25, because my body just knows that it's gonna need to get up in a 
minute. And I've even gotten used to being with a companion 24/7. Through a 
series of interesting circumstances, me and my companion were separated by like 4 rows of people during one of our meetings, so it was just me sitting by myself, and I felt so uncomfortable! Especially since I was in between two sister 
missionaries... the whole time I just wanted to get back with my companion!! It's funny how quickly you can change when you are on a mission for the Lord. 

On a different note, this week my and my companion Elder Singh had quite a 
variety of investigators we got to teach. One of my favorite investigators was a man named George. George is an old man that lives by himself, and has been 
inactive for about a year. Instead of teaching him, me and my companion pretty much just listened to him talk for almost an hour, asked him a question here and 
there, and by the end of our discussion he had convinced himself that he should 
go back to church. So cool! Good thing I had just reviewed the "How To Listen" 
section of Preach My Gospel the night before, because listening skills definitely came in handy with George. In particular, I really found that when I JUST 
listen, instead of listening and trying to formulate a response in my mind at the same time, I am able to give much better responses when the time comes for me to talk. When we really listen to people with love, God gives us what we should say in the very moment that we need it.
We also taught a woman named Joy this week. She has many friends that are 
members, so she already knew a lot of what our church teaches. So instead of 
teaching her all that much, we mostly just bore our testimonies of the truths 
that she had already learned from her friends. By the end of the lesson she was 
crying, and said she would start reading The Book of Mormon and pray to know if 
it is true (which of course it is). An awesome lady for sure!   

This Gospel really is amazing, and I can't wait to share it with even more 

Lots of love,
Your Favorite Missionary