Monday, September 28, 2015

Passing the Month Mark

First, a few pictures......
​Probably the best lunch I've made so far! The equivalent of about $3.20.

​Enjoy your cars, bikes, and planes; I've been walking 10 miles a day for 3 weeks on these!

​The beautiful and unending Goiânia skyline

Three days ago I hit one month in the field! It feels like it’s been about a month since the CTM, so it hasn’t gone by too fast, but the speed of each week is getting faster and faster. I feel like last P-Day was only three or four days ago, and next week, it will be the end of the transfer already! Wow.

Like the CTM, every day here is so similar they all blend together, and it’s hard to remember what happened this week haha. Right after emailing last week, we got on a bus to Ipianga for a Zone P-Day and almoso (lunch). It was way fun! We played some games and ate some food, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

Missionary work was good this week. Walter (in Portuguese, Pronounced Valter), the non-member nephew of Joaquim who moved into the ward a few weeks ago, is going to be baptized this week! He’s receptive to everything we teach and ready to join the church. Bruna has been our best investigator so far, I think, and this week her fiancé came back from Portugal. Clayton is an even stronger investigator! While in Portugal he had most of the missionary lessons, he already has a strong and powerful testimony of the church and The Book of Mormon, and he studies the Bible, all the scriptures, and even conference talks, often. As soon as he and Bruna get married, they’ll get baptized and be awesome members! Cicero and Maria are another couple that are progressing well. They were references from the ward mission leader, Sebastiao, and are really interested and brought their family to church yesterday. Hopefully they’ll get married and baptized soon as well! We had 18 investigators at church this week! It was awesome! Most of them were friends and relatives of members. It was well more than the first four weeks combined! Blessings!

Portugues esta melhorando! Portuguese is getting better! I understand about 40-60% now, sometimes more, and speaking it is becoming way more normal. I tried speaking some English to Elder Meireles the other night, and it was so weird! My mouth is used to the sounds and words of Portuguese, and so I’m already losing my English haha. Elder Meireles said he knew on American missionary who, about a year and a half in, had forgotten almost completely how to speak English! I’ll be sure to keep mine up, so I don’t lost it entirely haha.

Here are some of the annoying things about Brasil haha:

They’re everywhere man. Elder Meireles and I killed 3 or 4 giant ones today. He used aerosol cologne and a flaming piece of paper to torch a few of them hahaha. I didn’t approve of that method, but it was hilarious. Luckily, (or maybe unluckily since this is a pretty serious safety hazard) there’s no fire alarms, so we didn’t set off any alarms or bells. Also, if there ever were to be a roach Olympics (I would actually like this. They would all congregate in one place, and we could kill them all!), Brazil would be a super fusion of Jamaica and Kenya, winning all the track events. Seriously, the roaches are way fast and run forever here hahaha.

They’re everywhere man. Every time I kill 10, 50 more pop out of the wall. I’ve just gotten used to them. Keeping my desk all clean has really helped to avoid them, as well as frequently taking out the trash and washing dishes daily.

Old Ladies
They’re everywhere man. Thus, we contact them on the street often and invite them to church. They usually say what translates to something like “If God wills it, I’ll go.” No! That’s not how it works! God has given you your agency so you can choose to go to church! He’s not going to give you a sign or drag you there! You show your faith by acting on it and going to church! Hahaha, oh man.

Unmarried people
Yes, following the established pattern and previous information in this post, they’re everywhere too man. It’s just the culture of Brazil. So, quite often we have to focus on marriage, then baptism, since if a couple lives together outside marriage, they can’t yet be baptized. Anyway, it’s a conquerable hurdle!

I hope you guys are enjoying the blog, America, and life! Amo voces!

Elder Anderson

Monday, September 21, 2015

It’s Only My First Transfer And… I’ve already had a gun pulled on me!

It’s Only My First Transfer And…
I’ve already had a gun pulled on me!
I love Brazil! Haha.

On Tuesday, I saw two guys sitting by the road (this was completely normal, all people do here is sit by the road…) and went to go talk with them. I had no thought or feeling that I shouldn’t. I introduced ourselves “somes missionaries da Igejo de Jesus Cristo…” One guy got up and left, and the other, entirely drunk, said in equally drunken Portuguese: “Since you can’t speak Portuguese, I won’t either! Eu achoeQUELIVORBREXARISSEOUCABONES…” Oh man, he was crazy. Anyway, he got mad at me since I didn’t laugh at his jokes (I had no idea what he was saying in the first place, and on top of that he was probably not funny at all), and he walked behind the counter in his bar (I didn’t see they were sitting next to a bar when I walked up to them) and pulled out a two-foot long knife. He pointed it at us, said some stuff and put it back. Then, probably since I wasn’t intimidated by the knife (throughout all this I just stood there and looked at him blankly), he opened a drawer and pulled out a gun. He held it up, pretended to shoot it twice in the air, and put it back. From what I understood and what Elder Meireles told me, he had told us about a time when he got mad at some guy and killed him with that knife and then told us another story about seeing a robbery occur and the robber shooting the gun twice in the air. On top of that, he had been trying to scare “the American”. I wasn’t ever really scared, only worried that if he pointed the gun at me I would then be really scared. Anyway, he said “Preach to me!” and we said we would talk to him another time and left. We definitely won’t return.

Do I feel safe in this country? A week ago I would have said yes. Now, my answer is an honest and justified “sometimes.”

Overall this week was good. Wednesday to Friday was tough. No one was home and few people would listen to us. Yet, I persevered. We are promised in Ether 12:6 that we “receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” After a few trying days, we were able to find tons of people Saturday and Sunday and teach some great lessons. What a blessing! The gospel is true.

I started teaching on Aulade Ingles (English Class) this week! Any member and investigator is invited and when we contact people on the street, we invite them as well. It’s only once a week for an hour and a half or so, but it’s a great way to get people together at the church and teach some basics of English. It’s nice being able to speak, for a short time, the one language I’m fluent in.

This week I’ve studied a lot on how to improve myself as a missionary, and I’ve learned a lot! I love serving the Lord full-time. I want to do the best job I can, for these two years aren’t  mine! We can always improve and become more like Christ. This life, mission, and gospel are awesome. As are all of you back home! Have a great week, tenho muito saudade para voces!

Elder Anderson
A birthday party at a part-member family's house. Sorry for the blur!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


It's actually raining right now!
Wow! This week was quick! I’ve decided that, for this blog, I’m going to focus less on what I’m doing each week and  more on what I’m learning. I’ll highlight the main events, but not cover everything in detail because it’s pretty repetitive.

I feel like this week will be well-represented in numbers:

7- The number of investigators that came to church yesterday! In the last two weeks combined we had 3. It was awesome! Most of them could be baptized soon! What a blessing.

4- I ‘played’ all 4 hymns for sacrament meeting yesterday, haha. The piano has most the hymns pre-recorded, so I just press any key over and over and keep up with the tempo of the congregation.

25-About the number of minutes I had to mentally prepare a talk in Portuguese for sacrament meeting. The Bishop asked me to fill in 5 minutes before it started, haha. I talked about how the gospel is like really good sorvete (ice cream) and like the fruit of the tree of life in Lehi’s dream, and when we experience the joy of Lehi’s dream, and when we experience the joy of the gospel (like the joy that come from great ice cream) we will want to share it with others. I love speaking about missionary work, especially as a missionary! It was way fun.

2- Before going to the store last P-Day, I got all my money together. I had 7 ten real bills, and a thought came into my mind to bring a 2 real bill also (only about 60 cents in American dollars). I thought why not, and brought it. After getting all the food I wanted, I checked out, and the total was 71.96, which, because there are no once cent coins and they round up, is exactly the amount of money I had with me! It was a small miracle that strengthened my faith and assured me that Heavenly Father is looking out for me and guiding me through the Holy Ghost.

3- The number of lives I have: family, gospel, guarana. 

-Family includes of course, my immediate family, and also my extended family and great friends. Thanks so much for your love and support! I miss you guys a lot.
-The gospel encompasses the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, and the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as those I am teaching it to. This is my purpose here.
-Finally, Guarana! It’s actually a fruit here in Brazil, some type of berry I think. It’s the best flavor of soft drink ever! Guarana Antarctica is the most popular in all Brazil and is amazing, and Guarana Mineiro, made by a drink company in the Goiania region, might even be better! I’ll try to bring some back in two years. Don’t worry Mom, I’m not drinking it too much; I’m making sure I’m eating and drinking healthily.

20- Days I’ve survived the field!

1- We have 1 hour for email each week. It’s the most fun and the most stressful! I’m so rushed for 60 minutes straight, haha!

A lot- The amount of fun I had playing ping pong, basketball, eating food, and hearing American music at the ward churrasco  (Brazillian barbecue) last week. It was great to reunite with ping pong for a little bit and to enjoy Independence Day with the ward.
Happy Brazillian Independance Day! (Sept. 7th)

0- The extent to which I’ve enjoyed  this sore throat the past 3 days…I’m thankfully feeling better today!

3- Weeks into my first 6 week transfer. Many more great ones to come!

A ton- How grateful I am to be here right now. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Every day is a blessing!

Hello America!
Ate a proximo semana!

Elder Anderson

Monday, September 7, 2015

I Survived the Second Week!

I’ve survived the second week in the field! It was definitly a faster week than the first here in Jardim Curitiba. It was easier too, but still pretty hard, haha.

We found some new investigators this week! In general, the people here are open and receptive to our message, but getting them to fulfil their commitments to come to church, read the Book of Mormon, pray, and study the pamphlets we give them is tough. Often I want to explain the them the magnitude of what we are teaching—that the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest they will ever hear, that God will confrim the truthfulness of it to them through sincere prayer, and that it will change and enhance their lives more than they can imagine. I wish I had the Portuguese to be able to do it effectively!

That is the hardest thing..Portuguese. Not being able to communicate, one of humanity’s basic functions, is quite a humbling, stressful, and overwhelming experience. Thankully, Heavenly Father is blessing me greatly, and everyday it gets easier. While last week I was only understanding about 15-20% of what people were saying, now I can get about 30-35% except for when someone is talking directly to me or asking me a question, and I hardly understand at all, haha. There are some words and phrases in which I’m already fluent. For example, ‘acho que si’ which means ‘I think so’, ‘sobre’ – ‘about’, and ‘por certeza’ – ‘for certain’. It’s going to be a long few months until I can speak and listen well (80+%), so I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and be patient.

To sum up shortly what we do all day, we walk, talk, and teach. We walk forever, haha. Yesterday we got a ride after church to a member’s house for lunch, then the Bishop drove us to teach families in the evening, so we walked less than 2 miles all day. That was a miracle. During the average day, we walk 8+ miles in 90+ degrees (and it’s winter) in pants and tie. The good thing about walking so much is we can contact a lot of people and make appointments to teach them. Usually we teach 5-7 lessons a day and gain 1-3 investigators. It’s all hard work, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else for the next two years!

After we email today, we’re heading to the church for a churrasco (Brazilian barbecue)! It’s Independence Day in Brasil.

I’ll try to send more pictures this week, haha. I’m really enjoying all your emails every week. Thanks for them! Keep me updated on how everything is going in the Estados Unidos! Ate o proximo P-day!

Elder Anderson

A Brazillian $20 bill
The view from our apartment stairs...Our chapel with the city of Goiania in the background!
Me and my companion, Elder M
The outskirts of Goiania