Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 17, 2014 Week 2 in Korea!

Hey everyone! 
Sadness and tears are better. Not so sad. Still having a hard time fathoming how long I will be here but I try so hard not to think about it. For some reason that really gets me. Not sure why. I don't want to wish my mission away thinking about how good it will be to see you guys again. I want to be able to enjoy it! So that is the biggest thing. Still have ups and downs though. Moments where i am so homesick, and then feeling better later.
Answering your questions: Church is right by our apartment. We just walk there. it takes like 3 minutes. The members are nice! I love the kids. I can't understand anything in church. it's hard not being able to talk to the members. i want to get to know them. my comp knows and loves all of them and they all talk to her but i can't say much. Yes we have taught quite a few lessons. Most of them are people my comp has already been teaching. One girl we started teaching last sunday. She came to church because her professor is in our ward and invited her to come. So we have been teaching her. She is awesome! Her name is Kim Hoo ee and she has come to church both sundays. She always reads the book of mormon and loves the plan of salvaiton. She is so interested. She texts us and says she has tons of questions while reading the Book of Mormon. She has been praying and said if she gets an answer about the BOM she will be baptized. She is so sweet. She comes all the way from Seoul to come. It takes her about an hour to get to church.
We have another one named Ee bo young. She is great. We have taught her a lot and she loves the gospel. She is reading the book of mormon and said she will be baptized if she receives an answer about it as well. I teach her english for the first 45 minutes and she loves it. She usually comes to church and really loves the gospel. We teach these 2 kids and they want to be baptized really bad! They always read the book of mormon stories and they love it! The hard thing is they can never get to church. They always sleep in. They have to come 3 times before they can be baptized. they understand the plan of salvation and understand that they have to be baptized if they want to live with God again. Now if they will just come to church! We have another investigator that seems like she loves to meet with us but she's not super interested in the gospel :( We taught her the plan of salvation the other day. I told her about how I am so thankful for the plan of salvation. I told her about how i was so close to grandma marva and she died and I know that I will see her again because of the plan of salvation. Those are our main investigators right now.
 We live far away from Seoul so not close to the temple. We ride the subway to seoul. We usually just walk around our area and ride the bus sometimes too. We usually only ride the subway if we have to go to another area.
The food is really different. It kind of makes me feel sick. but hopefully my body will adjust. Kimchi is so bad. hahaha and they eat it every meal! We usually eat our meals at home. about once or twice a week members invite us over. So i usually eat normal things like cereal, spaghetti, rice, bagels, etc.  haha Whenever we go to a person's house, they always feed us something. So we eat a lot of random stuff.
The language is still pretty hard. I am getting better and proselyting and striking up simple conversations. very simple. like explaining who we are and a little bit about our message. I can only say a few things in the lessons. I usually write out sentences to say to the investigator .Then share my testimony.
 When i was so sad last week my cute companion asked me what makes me happy and asked if i would feel better if we ran in the morning. I told her yes i would love that. so now we go running every morning. I love it. It helps me SO much. We have a little route we do. maybe only 1 mile or so. but even just that helps a lot. we bundle ourselves up and go into the freezing world right after we wake up!  My companion is really awesome and i love her! We have a few culture differences but they aren't that big of a deal.  Someone told me they thought she is one of the hardest working missionaries in the mission. she is always exactly obedient and it is really good. Always super strictly on time and does everything exactly how we are supposed to. So she is training me well! She is very understanding about me being homesick. I am so lucky to have such a good trainer!
A typical day- wake up and exercise. shower and get ready until 8. then study from 8 to 12 and then have lunch and then go out and either teach a lesson, proselyte, or go visit less actives. then have dinner and proselyte more and then come back, daily planning, journal and get to bed.
Rach- thanks for the email last week about trying to be positive! I have really tried hard this last week to be positive. The hardest thing for me is thinking about how long i have until i am home. But i want to enjoy it here while it's happening. So i have been trying really hard to not think about it and think about the positive that's happening right now. any cute things with Jacob lately?? :) i thought of you all weekend at simplot!!! I am glad you did awesome! Love you!
Dman- yes the food is pretty different. i loved your email! it's classic. i always randomly think of movie quotes and i wish i could tell them to you. hahaha marv sounds classic as always. That's way sweet about the olympics! The snowboarding thing sounds legit. We'll go to the olympics and watch those dudes when the olympics are here. The olympics are in my mission! cool huh? I can't really say very much but i try to say a little bit to the people! I can talk to the people on the streets and tell them we are missionaries and our message and give them our little cards. that's about it. How's school and basketball and all the girls? haha love you!
Ellie- how fun you are having a cousin sleepover at Rozy’s. That sounds way fun. thanks for writing me letters! I love them. tell Sarah to email or write me. Move it or lose it! haha is basketball over yet? how is school? I can't believe feb is half over. the weather sounds a lot like how it is here in korea. starting to feel like spring a little bit. but still kinda cold. love you tons!!
Jane! i am sorry you have been sick! that is a bummer. I just realized that you were the one that told me the story about move it or lose it. haha sorry didn't mean to put it in ellie's email! But i am glad you had fun! Did my valentines letter just barely get to you? I sent it the day i left the MTC. That's weird. But i am glad you like it! that's classic about the snowmobile on the cement. haha i love you a ton! hope you are feeling better!
Addie! how are all of the fun birthday parties you are going to? I am sorry i didn't respond to you last week. the birthday parties sounded so fun! The movie Frozen sounds way way cool! Let's watch it when i am home ok? How is school? Is English hard? Korean is hard. and i always think about you when i am having a hard time. We can do hard things! I love you so so so so much. Look at the moon and i will look at the moon too and it's the same! love you!
Kiddy Rid! I can't believe it's almost your birthday. The other day i saw a picture of Lebron in Korea and i took a picture by it because i thought of you! I love your picture of you and Dman in the heat shirts. How is school? What are you learning? I hope it is going good. How are your friends? Do you still play with Abe and Coop? I sent you a letter in the mail last week. I can't believe it's almost your birthday. I love you to the sun and back!
Mom and Dad i love you! I pray for everyone so much. I am so thankful that you are my parents and for always helping me feel better. I always read the things you say to me and it helps me feel better. I love you! Tell me about your mexico trip! When are you going? Where are you going? How fun!!! I am glad you can get away for a little bit. we go to the temple on tuesday. I am way excited!!!  I will try to listen better to the Korean on sundays.
Forever for always. I LOVE YOU :)xxxxooooo
Sister Tara Anderson

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 10, 2014 First Week in Korea

 I am at this bizarre pc place that smells like smoke. haha with some of the other people in my zone :) how are you all? I am about to read all of your emails :)

i have cried a ton. it's so hard. but it feels better when i get it out. my companion is understanding and tries to help me feel better.
 i am getting past the point of caring. i just have to get it out and then i feel better and i am able to continue on. My companion is korean though. Her name is sister Koo. she is from an area in the seoul south mission. she is very nice. But her culture is different from mine so i am trying to get used to that. She is very blunt and just kind of says whatever. which is fine. She is helping me a lot though. We got assigned on thursday. so my 2nd day here. But she is great. Thankfully she speaks fluent english. otherwise i would probably die. haha. but she tries to help me feel better. She has about 8 months left here. I live with a Cambodian sister and another American sister. I like to talk to the American sister a lot especially since she kind of understands where I am coming from. She said she was really homesick for the first little bit too. I never knew how mentally hard a mission would be!

I feel like any sign of america helps me feel better. I was really happy to see a few of the elders that were in my mtc group today. anything that is familiar helps me. Everything is just super different.

Meeting Pres and Sister Christensen was good. We met them at the airport. they were with the APs and some sister training leaders. Sister White was there. the girl whose mom you talked to (in kar's ward). She was nice. We went to the church by the temple and stayed in the temple dorms. They were nice. We don't stay at their house because there are too many of us. so i am not sure what the mission home is like. we met them and then we got on the subway and they gave us book of mormons and we had to go talk to people. then we went to the church and had some snacks and went to sleep. I cried and cried that night. Sister lynn my companion helped me a ton. she was really sweet to me and i miss her a lot.

I woke up and felt a little better the next morning though. the next day we had interviews with president and it was good. He was super sweet and understanding. we had a little bit of training that day and then later we went and proselyted by the city hall in seoul. it was actually a lot of fun! I just talk to everyone and they think it's weird 1. because it's not normal to say hi to people if you don't know them and 2. because i am american and i am speaking to them in korean. so it's kind of funny to see the looks on people's faces when we talk. we went to a museum about korean history after that. then we all went to dinner with president and sister christensen and the ap's and some sister training leaders. it was fun. then president showed us some slides of his mission and we played a game. I was seriouly half asleep though during the slides and game. I have way bad jet lag!!! still. at about 6:30 or 7 it hits me hard. and i can barely stay awake. it feels like 3 or 4 AM because that's the time in america! the next day we did training and met our trainers. We had a lunch and then they sent us on our way with our trainers. 

 my apartment is pretty nice. it is in a high rise apartment building. there are tons of high rise apartments. we sleep on little mats on the floor. they are super uncomfortable. haha but we feel like we are having a sleepover every night when we bring out the pads and blankets. ha ha. The meals i have eaten at members houses are usually pretty different. The first night i was here with my new companion, we ate at a member's house.  I ate some stuff and i still have no clue what it is. it is really spicy! but when i am at home, i usually just eat cereal and toast and stuff like that. i am hoping to go to costco soon so i can get some more normal things. 

 my first impressions of korea: yes it smells really weird!  but i am getting used to it. haha most of the signs are in korean and english as well. everything is really close together and there are signs going up and down and across and everything is so colorful. there are really modern places and then super bizarre places like little markets and things where they sell food and stuff. it is crazy!! The culture is so different. Kimchi is wayyy gross. haha it smells so bad but every korean loves it! My companion likes to eat rice and kimchi for breakfast sometimes.  I definitely struggle eating with chopsticks. luckily when i eat at home, i eat with a fork and spoon, but eating at members houses is a struggle. hopefully i will learn how to use them. We eat on the floor. they have these mini tables and you sit on the ground and eat.  

Overall, I am doing pretty good. I have major ups and downs. moments where I am extremely extermely homesick and moments when i am ok. so basically what i expected. I am so homesick for america though! everything is soooooo different here. but it will just take some getting used to. It feels good to email you. I was so so sad and homesick this morning but now i am feeling a little better. :)  There are times when i am like wow! this is so crazy and different and i enjoy it. it's not like i am sad all the time. It is good sometimes. There are just times when I have major lows. thanks for everything to help me feel better! i love you so much. thanks for every prayer. i need them.

I am almost out of time. :( sad news. i only get mail when my zone leader goes to the mission office! so only 2 or 3 times each month :( So try to send as much as you can so that when he goes and gets it, i have some :) i love you! and i love every letter you send. Sorry i didn't have a time to answer all of the questions you asked today. i will try and answer the rest next time. Rach, good job with your track meet! you did way good! now do the same thing at simplot! you will do great. Will you guys print off the email or write the email that you talked about all the things to help me feel better? I like to read those. and i don't have a place to print emails :( i have to go now. I LOVE YOU!!!!! xoxoxoxoxox 
Love Sister Tara Anderson
Sister Anderson, Sister Koo and a little Korean girl that hopped in the picture. :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January 30, 2014 - Goodbye America!

Wow. This week is flying by. Probably because I have so much to do and I feel like I am running out of time! It was a great week though! We got our travel plans last week! We leave the MTC at 4:30 on monday morning, then our flight leaves SLC at 8:30. We fly to Detroit and land at 2:10. Then we fly out of Detroit at 3:45 and then fly straight up and over to Seoul. We are supposed to land at 7:35 pm (tuesday night) so the flight will be pretty long. Sister Bagley and I are the travel leaders and we are convinced that somehow we will lead our group to end up in Russia or something. ha ha. I am excited and freaking out for Korea. ahhhhhh!

Ok Sunday was so great. For Relief Society, Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke to us. She spoke a little bit about the mission she served with her husband in Chili. She also had a little medley of primary songs that she wanted us to sing. It was so cool. There is something so powerful about hearing all of the sister missionaries sing together. Sister Perry shared an experience that happened to her after she was in a bad car accident. She was at the hospital and they were about to do a test on her and she was very nervous and panicking because she could barely breathe. She said a prayer to Heavenly Father to help her. Suddenly these words came to her: "Pray he is there. Speak He is listening. You are His child. His love now surrounds you." She said there are times we just can't deal with on our own. She said to say a little prayer and ask Heavenly Father to bless you in some way. At the very end of her talk, we all sang a song that she wrote. It is "As Sisters in Zion" but a version especially for missionaries. We sang it with a soundtrack that she had and it was incredible. The spirit was so strong. I can't even describe how it felt. Everyone was in tears. The last verse was extra neat. I don't think I have ever felt the Spirit so strong in my life. I wish I could capture that little moment forever. 

Sunday night devotional was way cool. I think the speaker's name was Steven Allen. He is over the missionary department under the direction of the General Authorities. He got up and said that he tried preparing things to talk about but he couldn't ever find something that he should talk about that felt right. So he said he had nothing prepared and that he was going to teach by the Spirit. He said to say a little prayer in your heart if there is something you need to hear, and Heavenly Father will prompt him with the things to say. So, I said a little prayer in my heart. and he talked about exactly what I needed to hear. He talked about how the adversary knows how to "push our buttons." and how we are being made smooth through the Savior. Being made smooth causes a high level of stress and strain. He talked about how we can deal with such hard things and how we can find peace. We all sang Where can I turn for Peace and then after, he talked about the words to that song and that we can find peace through Jesus Christ. HE is the one you turn to for peace. In the song, it says, "who, who can understand, He, only one." He said Christ knows us and understands us better than we understand ourselves. HE knows what we are thinking about, what we are worried about. and what we are happy about. Then he talked about how we cast our burden on the Lord. The same way we invite our investigators to. Through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. If you need more peace, pray more. Be worthy of peace. Repent. We sang the song Be still My soul and he talked about being patient. He said one coping strategy when you are having a hard time is to focus on others. Where can we turn for peace? The Savior. He said, "some of your prayers are being answered without you realizing it. He said stick out what you have been called to do. Don't let satan push your buttons. Christ is proud to have you in His army" Then we ended with singing Abide with me. It was such a good devotional!! I am sad to leave the MTC because I love the devotionals soooo much!

Mom and Dad, You are the best. Thank you so much for the packages you sent me this week! I loved the valentines package! It was the best suprise. And thanks for the treats and other cute things you sent me. I love you so much! Thanks for all of the things you send me to help me. Love you!!
Rach. Love the dear elders. Keep telling me everything. I love it. Good job at your track meets! I am glad your YW lesson went well. THanks for the quotes and things you send me. Love you!
Dman- Get feeling better!! Hope basketball and everything is going good! You better write me back!
Ellie- How is basketball? I hope your game is good today against Kaysville!! Love you tons!
Jane- Did you guys get my letters? I hope so. How is b-ball and violin? let me know! Love you!
Addie- I am glad you got my letter. Did you like the story about the blow up cat? haha how is ballet? I love you!!
Isaac- thanks for the emails! You are classic. I think it is really neat that Jesus touched the stones so the guys could see inside their boat. What are you reading in the Book of Mormon now? I love you!!!
I love you all so so much! I will talk to you on monday morning! Have the best week!  Love you!
Tara and Sister Driscoll on their run... around the MTC. :)

January 23, 2014

Ok this is going to be super fast because I don't have a ton of time. But here are a few highlights of the week! This week has been good! I am freaking out that I am leaving for Korea in a week and a half!! AHH! We get our flight plans tomorrow!!! I'm dying.
Friday night we did our lesson with a Korean over Skype. It was awesome! I loved it! We talked about the Book of Mormon. He is a member so it is a practice type lesson. We couldn't understand a ton of what he was saying, but we felt the Spirit and we were so happy!!

Sunday night Devo was Sheri Dew. She was awesome!!! She talked about the powers of Heaven and the power of heaven that we can receive as missionaries. It was really good
We watched the Testaments on sunday night and i forgot how good it is! You should watch it for family night. Ahh. I just love it.

On tuesday we got 12 Native Korean missionaries. They are only here for a week and a half and fly back to Korea with us!! There are 6 native Koreans that are going to my mission! They are the sweetest girls. We love practicing our Korean with them. They probably think we are so dumb but they are always so sweet! I am so excited to meet the people there!!

Tuesday night Devo was Gerald Causse, from the Presiding Bishopbrick. His talk was about how important it is to know Jesus Christ. We cannot be representatives and testify of Christ unless we know Him. We also need to LOVE everyone! Anywhere you go in the world, there is always someone to love.

We got our Korean name tags this week! I am so excited!!!!

Yesterday, I hosted some of the new missionaries. We are required to do it our last two weeks here. I loved it! Not gonna lie, I'm probably the worst host ever because i was trying not to bawl watching everyone crying and saying goodbye to their families! It is hard to see it again! But i tried to be as cheery and happy as possible and make them feel better. I actually hosted Aubrianne Boseman. She was super cute. She went to Davis and I kind of knew her. She is a few years younger. Said she is friends with rach. We took a pic and she is going to send it to me.

Ok really quick. One way funny story. We were teachign our progressing investigator and he read a scripture out of the Book of Mormon. After he finished, I asked him what he thought of the scripture. ( I said it in Korean though) and he looked at me weird and asked me to say it again, so i did. In full confidence. "What do you think about that scripture?" and then he corrected me and answered my question. Afterwards, he told me that I asked him "What do you think about the soy sauce" two times. hahahah. apparently scripture and soy sauce are two similar words. haha classic. can't wait to see what bizarre things i will say in Korea.

Sister Driscoll and I have been running the perimeter of the mtc lately. We love it! I think it's about a half mile. It's so nice to get some fresh air and kind of feel like we are out on a run. it's fun.

Ok i have to run. We went to the temple this morning and it was so peaceful. It always is. I love it. We went to the cafeteria after and got some food. It was nice to have something other than MTC food for a change :) One more temple day and then we will be at the temple in Seoul!! SO excited.

Ok I have to run. I love you so much! Have a wonderful week!!! 
Love, Sister Tara Anderson

Tara's korean name tag!
Grandma and Grandpa Anderson sent two dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts!

January 16, 2014

Hey everyone!

How are you? Thanks for all of the emails this morning. I love printing them off and reading about what everyone is up to. I love you so much. Thanks for the cute emails.

Well. This week has been filled with ups and downs. Sister Holmes summed it up perfectly when you shared what she said in her blog. Major high's- where I am way excited to get to Korea and teach and this is the best thing in the world, and then major lows when I am extremely homesick. But all in all, I am doing pretty good. 

On friday night we taught TRC. We taught Sister Song again. We asked her if she had been praying and doing the things she committed she would do. She said no. We were so sad! We had the best lesson with her two weeks before and she seemed so sincere and then this week she seemed like she didn't care. So we were pretty bummed. Hopefully we will see her again tomorrow or the following week. Tomorrow we Skype a member in Korea and teach them a lesson. I am freaking out! I think it might be a rude awakening for how much Korean I don't know. haha. I am excited though.

On Sunday, we had church and it was good. President Lindahl spoke in our branch Sacrament Meeting. It was awesome. We had our usual Sunday walk to the temple, but this time there were some protesters right outside the temple grounds. They were holding up massive crosses and yelling way mean things at each of the missionaries. It was slightly alarming. Hard not to feel bad about what they say about you even if you know that it's not true. I think the missionaries all felt a little shaken after that. There have been a bunch of protesters that come and stand right outside of the MTC and yell things. It's actually sad.

Sunday night devotional as it always is. Richard I. Heaton spoke to us. His talk was so cool. He talked about how the Lord is preparing people for the gospel. He had a few converts come up and share their story. He pointed out little things throughout their stories that showed that the Lord is preparing them. It's not the missionaries that do it. It's the Lord who has prepared them and it may or may not be the right time for them.

Tuesday night devotional was great. Elder Bednar came again. He answered some more of the questions that were asked on Christmas. He bore a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was so neat. Sister Bednar spoke as well. She is so cute. My companions and I got to sit on the 4th row with the newly called MTC presidents for MTCs throughout the world, as well as Visitor Center directors that were just called. We talked to a lot of them and it was really cool to see where they are all headed.

So the other day, we learned a super confusing grammar concept in Korean. I was SO confused. My companions and I were stressing out way bad because we didn't understand it. We got super overwhelmed and frustrated. After class was over, we had companionship study so we went into another room and decided to study a Christlike attribute. We studied patience. We read about the Sons of Mosiah in Alma 26. Ok can we talk about how great Alma 26 is? Anyways, I loved reading about them. They were solid! Such good examples of missionaries. They went through so many major things, but were so humble and so devoted to bringing the people to Christ. I love them!! Reading that gave me courage to do this! We also read Mosiah 23:21. I love this scripture because it talks about how the Lord has tough love to strengthen us and to make us better. He tests our patience to make us stronger. We also read Mosiah 24:13-15. Love them.

So the other day, I came to the realization that I am starting to treat my scriptures like my cellphone. Haha I take them everywhere with me! Seriously. Even if i know I won't be reading them. It's like my security now. I feel like it's an extra connection to Heavenly Father. I love it. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon. I have the strongest testimony of it. I know that the stories in the Book of Mormon really did happen. I know Joseph Smith translated it through the power of God. I just love it!!! 

This morning we had the chance to go to the temple. It was awesome, We were sad to leave. It feels like home when I am there. I love it. I can't wait to go to the temple in Seoul!! 

Well I need to run. I love you all so much. Thanks for everything. Baba and Grandma, thank you for the packages!! I have a letter I am sending you today. Hopefully you will get it tomorrow or saturday. I love you!

Mom and Dad- I don't know what I would do without the best parents in the world. Thanks for the letters and packages. I LOVE YOU!!!!!  
Rach, Dman, Ellie, Jane, Add and Isaac, I LOVE YOU TOO!! Thanks for the letters! I am sending you your own letters today so i will write more to you in them. Thanks for your dear elders!!! You are the best. Love you and miss you tons!!!

Love, Sister Tara Anderson

January 9, 2014

Hey everyone!  I hope you are all doing awesome :) Thanks for the package you sent me on monday. I loved it. Jane, the peanut butter bars were delicious. It is always great getting some homemade food in the MTC. Thanks for sending the sheet music and everything. You're the best. Addie and Isaac, I loved the finger painted pictures! I showed all of my friends here. Thanks for the dear elders too! I look forward to dear elders and letters you send. They make me so happy!!
This week has been good. I jotted down some of the eventful things that happened to me this week. Or just some thoughts I thought I would share with you. So it may be kind of random. haha

On Sunday we had Mission Conference and it was awesome!! I loved it. There were a few talks that I really loved. One of them was Sister Hacking. She talked about "faking it" practicing what we are afraid of. If we are lacking confident, act confident, if we are lacking faith, practice exercising faith. She talked to us about having courage, remembering that Heavenly Father is in charge, and relying completely on Jesus Christ. Awesome talk. Her husband is in the MTC presidency, and he gave an awesome talk as well. He talked about being as a child. He shared a story that I thought was so cool! He said that when he was serving as a bishop, one night their family decided to go visit a man who lived in their ward. His wife has just passed away a few weeks before, and he was having a hard time during the holidays. So he took his wife and 3 little kids and they walked down the street to drop off some cookies to the man. The man was home all alone and greatly appreciated the visit from their family. As they were walking home, one of the kids asked their dad who the lady was sitting on the couch. The dad said there was no lady sitting on the couch. Then another one of the kids said they saw the lady as well. Then his wife, (sister hacking) said that she saw the lady and recognized her as his wife. (keep in mind that his wife passed away weeks before). He could not see her, but his children could. The little man was all alone but his wife had come to be with him. He said that taught him a lesson about becoming child-like. I loved that story. I thought it was so cool. He talked more about being childlike. He said "Our father wants us to return to him with traits of little children embedded in our souls." Mission Conference was so great!!

On friday nights we usually have TRC where we teach members who speak Korean. Typically we teach people who are actually from Korea and I LOVE it! I feel so much love for the Korean people and I cannot wait to get to Korea to meet them!! I taught a sister who is going to the U who is from Seoul. She was super sweet. She asked my companions and I for our emails and wants to stay in touch. She sent me a super sweet email. It made my day!! I love Korean people!

Devotional this week was so good!! Actually I say that every week. It's always way good. Bishop Stevenson came and talked to us. He is the presiding Bishop of the church. He talked about finding our vision. Finding our vision for ourselves as missionaries, and finding the vision for the people we serve. His talk was incredible. Just what I needed to hear. He talked about sharing our testimonies. We can teach all we want but it does nothing if there is no testimony. Testimony is our offense. I loved that!

Lately I have been studying the characteristics of Christ. I bought a little mini BOM and I decided to read it focusing especially on the characteristics of Christ. It has been really good so far. I was reading in 1 Nephi 3:7 the other day and the line "he shall prepare a way for them" stuck out to me so much. It kind of hit me. Christ prepares the way for us. He will prepare a way for us to do anything that he asks. He not only provides a way for us in the things we ask, he provided THE way. If it wasn't for Christ, there would be no way. He prepares the way for us. For some reason that really stuck out to me. I love being able to study the scriptures for hours each day. I am growing so close to the Savior as I study and learn about him in the scriptures.

Ok this is random but kind of funny. So in gym, they have a record board full of some records that people have set. At the beginning of each year, they wipe the board clean. (kind of dumb, because it's not as legit, but whatever) So Sister Glauser and I decided we want to set some records. Even if they just last for like a week. haha So this week I set a record for girl's vertical jump. I think they are putting my name up on the board. So maybe i'll take a pic by it for the one minute that it's up. Also, the mile record has already been set by someone so sister glauser and i are going after it. We have been timing ourselves each day in the mile. Hopefully we can get there. It's bringing out the competitive side in me. haha. We'll see if it actually happens though.

Well. that's about it. Sorry I don't have anything super exciting to share this week! 
Mom and Dad- thanks for being the best parents ever. Your letters are the best. I love them. I love you. 
Ratch- love your letters. good luck in your track meet this weekend. Think of me when you are barfing after the 400. good times. You will do awesome though!! :) Tell Talley and everyone hi from me. I love you!! Jakey boy sends his love. HAHA
D-man- loved the letter about s-bob. That's classic. How's basketball going? Hope it's goin good. How is BYU basketball this year? And the jazz? Are they still just as bad? ha keep me posted. Love you!!
Ellie- How's basketball? I heard you played in the jv game for a little bit the other day! How awesome is that? Dad said you have a game today. Good luck! Thanks for the cute letters you send. I love getting letters from you!!! Have a good week!!
Jane- thanks for the cute letter!! I loved hearing all about how you had to wear jeans with the big jersey to school. I can picture having to wear ugly sweats in jr high for track. haha. I am glad violin is going good. I love you so much! i will write back today :)
Addie- I love you so much! thanks for telling me about everything that is going on! How is your new primary class? I hope it is good. I will write you back! love you so much! ps. love you more than all of the water in the sea!
Isaac- thanks for the finger painting picture. That is SO cool. How is kindergarten? Are you learning a lot of stuff? Tell me what skill sets you are passing off. I am learning how to read in korean like you are learning how to read. I love you! 

Well I love you all! Thanks for being the best family in the world. I am so thankful to be apart of our family. You guys are the best. I love you!!! CTR always!!!

Love Sister Tara Anderson
Tara and one of her companions, Sister Driscoll

January 3, 2014

Thanks for your emails! I love them. I loved hearing about all of the festivities this week. Mom I hope you had a great birthday. I thought about you the whole day. Love you! Bunnies how was your birthday?! I can't believe you are 13! That is so crazy. Hope you had a good day too :) New Years Eve sounds like it was a lot of fun! I loved the picture of Brig and Brent. Tell them congrats from me! I can't believe they are married. That is so exciting. Brig looked beautiful in the picture! And tell Heidi that I love her and I will be thinking about her tomorrow! Her reception sounded beautiful! 
This week was good. On Sunday we had an awesome Relief Society. It was a lady named Camille Fronk Olsen. She is an ancient scriptures teacher or something at BYU. She spoke about women in the scriptures who were good missionaries. It was a great talk. She was super enthusiastic and fun to listen to. 

Monday was an interesting day. In class, we practiced teaching each other in Korean. Sister Lynn and I taught Sister Driscoll. We did our very best to teach in as much Korean as we could. Sister Lynn didn't say much and so it was mostly me doing the talking. I tried my best to have the spirit there and know the things to say to her. After we were finished, we evaluated it. We talked about the things we said and then Sister Driscoll said she did not feel the Spirit and didn't feel like there was unity between Sister Lynn and I. I was so discouraged. I tried my hardest to bring the spirit and say the right things. And then she just flat out told us that she felt nothing. After that I was pretty down. I went to dinner feeling discouraged. Wondering how in the world I am supposed to teach the gospel if I don't have the spirit? After dinner we had to teach our practice investigator, Paul. We were teaching him about the Book of Mormon. We testified to him that we know that the Book of Momon is true. After that, he asked us how he can know if the BOM is true. Instantly Moroni 10:3-5 came to my mind. I knew I had to share that scripture with him. I had my Korean Book of Moromon in front of me. I opened it up and it turned straight to the exact page. (It would have seriously taken me 5 minutes to find the scripture in korean. haha) so i had him read the scripture. He pointed to one of the words in the scripture and asked what it meant. I had no clue what word he was saying in korean. Let alone how to explain what it means. Sister Driscoll and I sat there staring at our English BOM and tried to figure out what word he was talking about. We couldn't figure it out. I said a quick little prayer in my head asking Heavenly Father to help me to know what word he was talking about so we could explain it. As soon as I finished my prayer I looked at my scriptures and knew exactly what word it was. It was exhort. I knew that to exhort pretty much meant to ask so I pulled out my little English- Korean dictionary and looked up the word ask, and explained it to him. He understood and then we continued on. I know that Paul is not even a real investigator and that he already knew what exhort means. But it taught me a lesson that Heavenly Father was looking out for me. I was pretty discouraged. It was a reminder that the spirit is guiding and directing me. And that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. Even if they are tiny little prayers like that. It was a cool experience.

New Years was good!! We had a great devotional by Elder Stanley Ellis. He talked all about repentence, and voluntary change. He all tied it in by talking about the new year and how it is a great time to start fresh and make changes in our lives. To set goals and leave our past behind and become better. It was awesome. I loved it! He told us not to be discouraged by failure and that we can always start over again. I loved it. We had a district devotional review after and we all set goals and discussed them. One of my goals is to give it my all as a missionary. I realize that this is the only whole year of my life that I get to devote to serving the Lord. So I don't want any regrets. I hate the feeling after running a 400 and knowing that I could have pushed a little harder. So that being said, i don't want to look back at my mission and think, I could have given it a little bit more. So I am going to give it my all and do my very best :)

This morning my district was able to clean the Provo temple. It was so awesome! I felt like I was at home. For the first time since I have been here, it felt like home. It was peaceful and it felt good. We got to tour it afterwards and we got to sit in the Celestial room for a while. I loved it. The spirit was strong there. I am excited to be able to go for the next few weeks because it opens on monday!

Well I better go. I love you all so much! I will write you individual letters and send them to you!!
Mom and dad will you tell Scott and Tiff and family thank you so much for the package? We had a blast on new years. We ate treats and the cheese and crackers and had our own little party! It meant a lot to me. And of course tell Baba and Grandma thanks for the cute packages they always send!  I love them. I will write and tell them too. Dear elders, letters, and packages are the best thing in the world. They make my day!!!

I love you so much! Thanks for doing the chapter a day in the Book of Mormon so we can stay together!  I love reading about Christ with the Nephites. 

Rach- I will write back to your email in a letter. Loved hearing about everything. Keep me posted!
Dman- Loved hearing about the Snowmobile. Sorry that you ate it and hurt your face! :(
Ellie- Send me dear elders and tell me about your b-day! I love you! Hope you had a good day! Thanks for the thoughtful letters
Jane- Love you! I hope you liked the b-day card! :) I hope basketball and violin are going good!
Addie- that is so neat that you got an american girl case! And you finished junie b jones. I loved reading those books.
Isaac- I can't believe you lost another tooth! That is SO cool. I am glad you emailed me this morning. And I am happy that you are doing hard skills sets. I think of you doing hard skills sets and it makes me be brave and do hard korean.

I love you all so much! Thanks for being the best family. I am so thankful that families are forever. I am thankful for the gospel. I am thankful that I get to share it with Korea.
Have a good week! I love you!

Love Sister Tara Anderson

New Years party! They celebrated it eastern time.
The oranges Grandpa and Grandma Anderson sent her to share with her district.
At the Provo Temple with some friends in her district.

December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I loved hearing all about your Christmas. It sounds really neat. Christmas was good here at the MTC. Very busy but awesome. I wrote in my journal that "today was a Christ filled Christmas." Which was so cool. I have never had a Christmas that was completely focused on Christ. So it made it really neat. I feel a greater appreciation for the Atonement and for Christ's birth after celebrating Christmas this way.

 On Christmas Eve, we had regular classes all day, then that night we had a devotional. David F. Evans of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He taught us all about letters from Mormon to Moroni and read us letters that his father sent to him on his mission. He taught of the importance of letters and the impact they have on people and the missionary work that can come from them. He told us stories from his mission and talked about being good missionaries. It was really cool. I mentioned that all the missionaries sang silent night that night and the spirit was so strong. It was incredible. I could barely sing because of the overwhelming feeling of the spirit. It was so peaceful. Anyways, after the devotional, we watched the Nativity and Mr. Krueger's Christmas.

 As we were walking back to our dorms, we all took pictures by the lights and sang Christmas songs like Feliz Navidad and I'll be home for Christmas.... (hahah) and stuff like that. We had a blast. We went to the dorms and popped pop corn and opened our new pj's. We went up to the front desk to get something so we took pictures by the big map in our christmas pj's. (we had permission cause they wanted the packages to get picked up) hahah (I know every missionary has taken a picture by that map pointing to their mission, but how many people have taken a picture by that map in their pajamas?) haha so anyways we had a ton of fun. 

On Christmas morning, we went and got breakfast and then studied. We had a talent show and it was a lot of fun. We had a devotional and Elder Bednar and his wife came and spoke to us. It was really neat. Elder Bednar made it a question- answer type of meeting. So he passed out 200 cell phones to the missionaries and we texted in questions to his ipad and he answered as many as he could. It was cool. He talked about feeling inadequate as missionaries but also about the enabling power of the Atonement that allows us to do hard things. I definitely needed to hear that because I feel so inadequate to do the Lord's work. Sister Bednar gave us some great advice. She said "Remember who you are. Remember that you represent your name. Remember that you represent your family name. Remember that you represent our church. And remember that you represent our Savior." I loved that. She gave a great talk.   After the devotional with Elder and Sister Bednar, we had lunch and then some other programs throughout the day. At the end of the day we watched the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. It was a busy but great day. A day I will never forget. 

We had a devotional on sunday, with Brother Randall, who is the director of Administration of the Missionary department. He talked about focusing everything on others and loving our investigators. We watched a clip of The District, and then he had Sister Payne, who was one of the missionaries on the district come and talk to us about loving our investigators and yielding to the spirit. Brother Randall also talked about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us. He said "Remember Christ's love for us-- especially when we are unsure, confused, or bewildered about the future. Remember God loved us so he sent his son. He still holds a place for us in His heart." It was a really neat meeting. The devotionals are always awesome.

My classes are good. Korean is coming along. Very slowly. haha I can now say my testimony in Korean without having to read it! So i am excited about that. We have been teaching a few pretend investigators and that has been good. We always teach a lesson and then each of us share our testimony to the investigator. Our testimonies are very simple. But testifying always brings the spirit. It is really neat. Yesterday we practiced contacting. It was actually really hard! We would have scenarios and then have to strike up a conversation (this is all in Korean) and then lead into the gospel and ask if we could meet with them later on. It was so hard! and in major broken Korean. But I realized that I know a lot more than I think I do. I think the more we practice that, the easier it will become. 

Every sunday we have a guest speaker come and talk to us for relief society. This week we had a lady named Laura F. Willis. She gave a great talk about the true meaning of Christmas. She also spoke about giving the best gifts for Christmas. She taught us that if our lives are centered on Christ, then nothing can ever go wrong. We watch music and the spoken word every sunday morning and I love that. It is always so peaceful listening to the Tabernacle Choir. 

One of the biggest things I miss is just being able to sit down and play the piano! Luckily I have been playing the hymns in Sacrament meeting so that has been kind of fun. It gives me an excuse to go play the piano sometimes. It is a little tricky when Everyone is singing in Korean though! It's really cool though :) Mom, could you possibly send me some LDS sheet music that I could play? Nothing too hard because I don't have a ton of time to practice. But that would be great! I think Sister Glauser and I are going to play a song together. She plays the violin so I will play the piano while she plays the violin. Maybe audition to play in a devotional or something like that. Anyways, all of that being said, D-man, bunnies. keep practicing! I miss playing the piano a lot.

Mom and Dad- thank you for all of the letters. Every piece of mail makes my day! So thank you! I love you so much! Mom happy December 28th! I will be thinking about you the whole day. Have fun shopping with the girls today! I love you so much. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.
Ratch- keep me updated on everything! I love hearing about your cute dates with Jacob. Thank you for the quotes you send. And the talks! They are just what I need to hear. Please keep sending things like that! Sorry every elder in my Zone is writing you. Seriously they all want to write you. Ignore them if they are annoying. They all make jokes like "All I want is mail from the Anderson house" hahah so dumb. you can totally ignore them. sorry. haha

D-man- congrats on the Basketball championship!  That's awesome. I am so glad you beat Kaysville. I still have bad feelings towards kaysville ever since they always killed farmington in basketball. Way to de-throne them. hahah. Keep me updated on BYU sports! I can't believe that the Utes worked BYU in basketball. So sad. haha :( Tell me how the bowl game is tonight.
Jane Catherine! Thanks for the cute email! I am so happy you and Ellie made the Centennial Basketball team!  How neat is that?! Tell me all about it. I hope you had a great Christmas! What did you get for Christmas? Keep updating me on your cute stories! I love love love getting letters from you! And Happy Birthday on December 30th!! Have the best day ever!! Love you so much!

Ellie Christine! Thank you for such thoughtful letters you sent in my Christmas package! It makes my day when you guys write me. Let me know how basketball goes!! I think that is so cool that you made the team. I didn't even make first cuts when I tried out. ha ha ha. How is school? Just kidding don't think about school. it's christmas break. Have a good birthday!!! I will think about you all day. Ps we still need to do our nails! :'( I promise I wont forget. only 17 months and we'll do them ;)

Addie Rose! I loved your cute letter you sent! I love when you tell me the story about the Big Friendly Giant. Keep telling me what is happening ok? How is Rebecca? and your twin dolls? What did you get for Christmas? Tell me everything! I hope you are doing so good! I love you to the sun and back 10 times :)
Zeus! Did Santa come on Christmas? I hope you remembered to turn off the fire place because that was your job. Did you get a new bike for Christmas? I can't wait to see it. Will you send me a picture of it? How is your fort? Is is covered in snow? I saw a picture of you watching the Polar Express. Remember how we watched that right before I left? That was so fun. I hope you are being a good boy. Thanks for the cute pictures you send me! I am going to send you a picture back. I love you! (ps- would you rather be hulk or superman?) send me more would you rathers. I love you more than all of the sand on the beaches!

Well I need to go, but I love you all so much! It sounds like you had a great Christmas. I love you so much. Thanks for being the best family ever! Keep doing missionary work. Send an email to the lady from Israel. I will pray for you to know what you should say to her. I know Heavenly Father will help you! Thank you for doing service on Christmas Eve! I loved hearing all about it. That's the real meaning of Christmas. Don't forget we are on 3 Nephi 13 today! Love you so much! Thanks for all of the support!! xoxoxoxox

Sister Tara Anderson

December 20, 2013

Hey Everyone!

Thank you so much for the emails. I love hearing about what is going on. And I love the pictures!! I seriously stared at them forever. I love seeing everyone! I love you guys and miss you so much!

Ok so let me tell you a little more about everything here. I will tell you about a typical day and then go into detail about some other stuff. We wake up at 6:30 and have to be in our classroom for studying at 7:00. We usually study for 45 minutes, then go to breakfast, then come back and study for 2 more hours. We have TALL which is language learning on the computer. Then gym and lunch. After lunch we have 3 hours of class. This is typically when we learn the most language stuff. We have a 45 minute break for dinner and then 3 more hours of class. Then we are done at 9:30 and to our rooms and to bed around 10:30.

 Class is good. We have been learning all of the Korean grammer forms so we learn them and then try to practice them. Our teachers mostly speak in Korean to us, especially when we are learning Korean. When I first got here, it drove me crazy that they wouldn't speak any English to us. We would ask questions and they would respond in Korean. So frustrating! haha But now we are used to it and we can understand a little bit. Just picking out a few words here and there, and starting to pick up on the grammer forms. I am trying to memorize as much vocabulary as I can and then trying to learn the grammer forms as we go. The grammer forms are so confusing! It is like doing a math equation. Seriously. I have to do it on paper half the time before I can even say it out loud. Haha it is starting to make more sense though. 

You asked about our lessons with the investigators. They are getting a little bit better. They were really frustrating at first, but now we can say a little bit more. It helps that we can read Korean now so we can say more of the things we want to say. We teach almost everyday. We have 2 investigators. Tonight we do TRC- where we teach people from the community. (Like the Korean girl that is staying with the Christensens) and just give them a little lesson.  My teachers are good! Davin Christensen is going to be teaching my class for a few days since my teacher will be gone for the break. He is a great teacher. He has already taught us some important lessons about yeilding to our companions while teaching so we don't offend the spirit. It will be fun to have him as a teacher for a few days!  Devotionals- They are so great! I love them. We had Elder Rasband come on tuesday. He talked about focusing on spiritual gifts instead of physical gifts this season. It was really good. He told us that if we share our spiritual gifts this season that we would not miss the physical gifts.

We had Elder Quentin L. Cook come and talk to us last tuesday. It was SO good! As you know, last week was pretty rough. And I was having a really bad day on the day of devotional. I was having a hard time wondering why I was called to Korea and why I have to learn Korean and wondering why I can't just share my testimony in English. I was so frustrated with Korean and just having a hard time. I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me feel better and understand why I was called there. I went into devotional and sat on the 3rd or 4th row right in front of Elder Cook. I was slightly teary as the meeting began and I am sure he saw me crying. I was right in front of him. He got up and talked all about how inspired our calls are and about the process of making assignments. He explained that sometimes they feel that we need to serve with a particular president, or a particular people, and other times they just feel very strongly about a certain assignment and they don't know why. He told us that we are going exactly where we should go. Then he went on and gave his talk about how we can be successful missionaries. I know that what Elder Cook said was an answer to my prayer. I know it for sure.

The BYU mens chorus was the devotional for sunday night. It was really good. They just sang for us. They are awesome. One of the songs they sang was Come, Lord Jesus from Savior of the World. The spirit was so strong. It brought back so many incredible memories from Savior of the World. I loved it.
The MTC really is great. I love it when all of the missionaries sing. We sing prelude for about 20 minutes before devotionals start. The MTC presidency says it sounds like there are angels singing with us whenever they walk in. The spirit is always here. You can feel it. It is especially strong at certain times, but it is always here- kind of like a church. 

I love you all so much! Thank you so much for the letters, packages and dear elders! They mean so much to me. Seriously! Keep updating me on everything. Even just the same old stuff. I love it.
Merry Christmas!!! I get to email you on christmas for an hour so I am excited! :) Will you guys do something for someone in need on Christmas? Even if it is something small? Some way to serve someone else :) Also, watch "Families can be together forever" Mormon Message. It is very simple but I watched it and got teary thinking about how much I love you and how I am so thankful that we are sealed forever. I love you so much! CTR always! xoxoxoxo
Love, Sister Tara Anderson
Sister Anderson on Christmas.... I think. :)
Sister Anderson and some friends in her district on Christmas Eve in their new Christmas pajamas. 

December 13, 2013

Dear Family,

Mom, so the girl that said we should room together after our mission is Sister Bagley. I love her! She is the girl that Phil Fuchs introduced me to. She is so sweet. She is from American Fork. We love talking whenever we can. She is going to Seoul South though. So technically we aren't even in the same mission. But the missions are super close so we should be seeing each other at mission conferences and stuff. The sister that I run with is so sweet! I love her. She is from Salt Lake. We are really similar and it is so nice to have someone to run with! We love showing each other pictures of our families and stuff. Because sometimes we feel like we are lone wolves out here. haha So it's fun to see the other sisters' families. There is another sister but I can't remember how to say her name. She is the sweetest girl in the world. I cried to her one night because I was so overwhelmed and she was a doll. She cried with me. All three of those girls are a trio. Love them. Sister Holmes is the best. She leaves for Korea on sunday and I am SO sad to see her go! The good news is she is in my mission so we will definitely see each other. My companion and I are complete opposites. She is sweet though. I think I will be in a trio on wednesday because Sister Gowens in my district is being reassigned to a US English speaking mission. So I will likely be in a trio. I think that will help out a little with our companionship. Hopefully I wont feel like I am babysitting as much.I am trying so hard to love her and see the good in her. I try not to get frustrated. She is constantly drawing and drawing pictures of japanese anime. (or however you spell that). I am sad to see sister Gowens leave though. She is so sweet. She is my go to whenever I am in tears and freaking out about everything because she completely understands how I am feeling. The other sister is sweet as well. Just very quiet and never shows emotion. She is good though. I am definitely learning to be patient right now. :)

The pretend investigators are good. But it is terrifying teaching the lessons to them. They sit there and answer us in Korean and we can only get a few words out of what they are saying. It freaks me out. But it is good practice. The Korean is SO HARD. haha seriously I want to cry everyday just thinking that I have to learn this just to be able to communicate with people. It is hard because I want so bad to be able to share what I know with our investigators but I can't because I dont' know how to say it. It will come though. I keep reminding myself that the Spirit is the teacher and that I don't have to be able to speak it perfectly. I get overwhelmed with the Korean though. I feel like it takes me a long time to catch on.  Their grammer is bizarre and so it is confusing to me. But I am slowly understanding it a little more. I know random words like Book of Mormon, prayer, companion, Hello, Thank you...etc. I can say I read the book of mormon in korean and a few little things like that. We have to pray in korean and it is honestly terrifying. Most of us just try and read. The reading is good. I can slowly read. but the problem is that I don't understand 95 percent of what I am reading. haha

I have learned a lot. I wish I was learning more about the gospel instead of so much Korean. But this time is not about me. It's about the people in Korea. That always helps me feel better. I have already come so much closer to the Savior in the last week though. I know that I cannot do this without Him by my side every moment. I am thankful that every time I fall apart and feel like I can't do this I can go to Him in prayer. This is honestly the hardest thing I have ever done, but I just keep thinking about the people in Korea. The letters and everything help. I think time will help too.. Hopefully getting used to the routine will help me. Thanks for all of your support! Every single letter I get makes my whole day. It honestly keeps me going. I love you!!!  Yes, Mom, I saw Kim Vandemerwe's email. Honestly anything helps me feel better. I love her. Thank you so much for all the encouraging thoughts. I can't tell you how much it helps :)

Tell everyone thank you for the packages and letters (like Rozy for the package) getting mail like even one dear elder or just one piece of mail is like Christmas. not even kidding. so thank you! I am doing pretty good. Right now I am. Yesterday I completely melted down. I was so sad because I was hoping that because of the fasting and prayers that I would feel a little better but I started freaking out. I went and saw one of the members of the district presidency and talked to him to see if he could give me a blessing. He helped me feel a ton better. He was so sweet. He said all kinds of things that helped me calm myself. He said he was a mission president and would have loved to have me as one of his missionaries. That really stuck out to me because I have been feeling like I am one of the weaker missionaries because I am struggling so much. So a lot of the things he said just helped me feel so much better. he was so sweet and helped me a lot. I am just trying to take it a day at a time. Thank you for all of the encouragement. Thanks for the email you sent just barely dad. Those things are what help me and make me feel like I can do this.

I LOVE YOU!  thanks for everything you guys have said to help me feel better!!!! forever for always. Helaman 15 today. Don't forget to do a chapter each day. even on the weekend. love you!!

Sister Tara Anderson

This is Sister Anderson on December 4, 2013 When we were dropping her off.