Thursday, March 27, 2014


This is IT. Memories, experiences, and lessons learned are flying through my mind from these last marvelous 18 months. How do I wrap it up all in one email?

I'm afraid I do not have much to say in this final email. I now understand what Jeremy, then Elder Annen, had been talking about just before he left. Have I done enough?

I am SO happy that it's bursting out of my mouth as laughter and bursting out of my eyes as tears.

All I can say is that I love my Heavenly Father. I love Him so much.

All of my love each of you and ALOHA,

Sister Annen

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Life is Good

Ni hau and aloha everbody!

This week was packed full of great, wonderful things. The goodness in my life really just never ends and it's a day in day out kind of a thing. Whether I deserve it or not, I have a testimony that "men are, that they might have joy".

I had my exit interview with President Warner on Saturday. It was so great and so needed! We talked and talked about my mission, and lessons I have learned, and experiences I have had, and my goals for the future. He gave me the most wonderful advice for my life ahead and he helped me to be just excited for life. He helped me to see that rather than being sad about leaving my mission, how happy I can be to live what I have learned these past 18 months. We finished at 3:40 pm, just in time to race to our dear Brian's baptism at 4:00!

Yes, Brian was baptized last Saturday! It was such a wonderful day. His uncle Travis just received his priesthood after years of inactivity and so he was able to baptize Brian. It was such a special day for the both of them. It was so wonderful and I felt so blessed from Heavenly Father to have this experience at the end of my mission. I was also able to go to TWO call openings from two amazing girls whom I taught a year ago! It was such a special day to see them bear testimony and to be called to serve Heavenly Father. Bri is going to Washington Everett, and Pare is going to Baltimore Maryland! Both leaving April 23. I've been just overwhelmed at the blessings I have seen, especially as I have looked back on my mission hoping I did everything I could.

On Sunday, the Visitors' Center had a fireside with Brother Quinn who is a professor at the University of Michigan and was the MIssion President in Australia. It was fabulous! Wow I learned so much. Even with the huge amounts of people there, he told us that he would be specifically talking to the full-time missionaries. In the end, I felt like he really should have said, "I will be specifically talking to Sister Annen." because it was hand written for me! I needed to hear every word of it. As I talked with the other missionaries afterwards, they told me they felt he was speaking directly to them, and I thought, "but wait, he was speaking to ME!" Hey, that's what happens when the speaker is inspired of Heavenly Father. How grateful we all were to him. There are so many things I want to improve on as a missionary and listening to his talk helped me to know what I can do better. I wish I had more than one week to work on it that's all! But it's all good because I'm going to make this last week, the best week of my mission. 

After Brother Quinn spoke, they had me sing for the last time. I have never sung a solo before, and I was planning on singing with another sister. But it was unanimous (except for me, which isn't unanimous, but what can you do 100 to 1? :D) that I sing "Where Can I Turn for Peace" on my own. I was terrified! But as I sang, I just pretended I was teaching a lesson about the Atonement which I get to do everyday. And I survived! :) I was really glad I did it, even though I'm not sure I want to do it again :) haha we'll see. It was a great experience though.

You see what I mean by my life being packed full of wonderful things? Goodness, I feel like I'm dreaming everyday! Life is good.

I love you all so very much and don't you ever forget it!


Sister Annen

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ni Hau!

Aloha nui loa!

How are we all today? I just have so much to say so here we go!

First off, this is a total shout out to my man Hunter Annen!! Alpine German-Speaking Mission?! YES! Wow I am so so happy for you and couldn't be prouder. I actually met a couple whose oldest son was called there and will leave the same day as you! I wonder if you'll ever be companions. You know what's cool is that I have an investigator that I'm teaching online right now who is in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission boundaries so maybe you'll get to meet her! I'm just so happy right now. Sharing the gospel is the greatest thing you could ever do Hunter boy. Way to be :)

I had my last Zone Conference last week. It was wonderful and also a bit emotional for me. Whenever it's your last zone conference, they have you bear your testimony and so I had the chance to go up and say a few things to my La'ie zone. I wasn't sure how to express all that I had learned and gained a testimony of in the last year and a half, but I got up there and pretty much cried and closed my crying in the name of Jesus Christ and sat down. Ha there had to be some words said in there, but I can't really remember. 

I can't say I've ever been applauded for after testifying at the Visitors' Center...til now :) ha remember how I was telling you about how I have been practicing my double testifying in Chinese for when the day came? Well, it CAME :) A group of about 30 Chinese came to the VC the other day and Sister Su began the lesson/tour by showing the Christus and teaching/testifying of the Savior. She always does an excellent job especially doing it all on her own without a companion to help her out! It's why Heavenly Father called us to go two by two because it's really hard otherwise! but when you don't speak Chinese...Sister Su does all the work. Ah I just love and respect her so much. 

Anyway, so she did a wonderful job, and then in Chinese, she told all of them that I would be saying something to them in Chinese. I could tell when she said that, because all of a sudden 60 beautiful Asian eyes stared right at me just shocked and waiting to hear what would come out of this white girl's mouth. I began my spiel by telling them my name was Sister Annen and that I was learning Chinese, and that I knew what Sister Su said was true. Three sentences! Nothing big! But once I thanked them in Chinese, this ROAR of applause filled the Christus room! It was unreal! Ha all of the sisters were in shock, I was in shock, it was the greatest moment of my life :)

Once everyone dispersed and started looking around on their own, this one Chinese woman came up to me and started talking to Chinese! Ha since I had said a few words at the beginning, she figured I could speak fluently! So here I am just standing there staring at her hoping that I would just suddenly understand what she was saying; but I didn't, so I turned to Sister Su to save me and the woman said, " don't understand?" I should've just stopped her at the beginning, come on Sister Annen, but that didn't happen. Sorry that was kind of a long story! But it was such a great day and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many of Heavenly Father's children from all over the world. I can see why He loves all of them so so much! Why wouldn't He? I mean, I've only met wonderful people in my life.

I love you all so much and just couldn't be prouder of all of you. I couldn't ask for better examples in my life. What did I do to deserve this :D

Hugs and Kisses!

much Aloha,

Sister Annen