Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

​My future TV


​Brazilian hot sauce isn't hot enough for me


Even though they don’t have Thanksgiving in Brazil, I still thought about all that I’m grateful for this week! Among many other things, I’m thankful for:

-THIS MISSION! It’s the greatest thing I have ever done! I could not be more happy and honored to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ here in Brazil.

-Portuguese! Cada dia e melhor! I no longer feel like the language is a significant barrier. Actually, it is, but it’s way, way better than a few months ago. I can understand and reply to a lot of things, especially about the gospel and mission, just as quickly as English, which is awesome!

-Everyone who’s reading this right now! Thanks for keeping up with my foreign adventures. I hope you all are learning from and enjoying my weekly posts. Thanks for the support!

-Uberlandia. I love it here! It’s cooler than Goiania, and while I still sweat a ton, it’s not as much! It’s a lot flatter too (at least in our area) so walking miles every day isn’t as bad. I’ll try to take more pictures this coming week so you guys can see what it’s like.

-Rice and beans! Still eating it almost every day!

-Our investigators. After a week and a half of hard work, our teaching pool has grown, and it looks like we’ll have some baptisms soon! Pray that we will! Eudes, an old guy we met on our first day, came to church yesterday and like it a lot! He is progressing towards a baptismal date on December 12th. Also, the first time we invited to read part of the Book of Mormon, he read like 10 pages more than we told him to. Muito bom! This week we’re going to try to mark a baptismal date with Eduarda, the granddaughter of Maruam, a recent concert. Hopefully all will go well!

-Elder Baltazar. Even though it’s his first transfer, he’s doing a good job of teaching and making contacts. He’s learning well and liking the mission. Also, his Portuguese is great! That’s probably because he’s Brazilian.

-THIS CHURCH! I am so, so grateful for the truth in my life. The restored gospel is the greatest thing in the world, and I’m so glad I have been raised to know and love it. It’s hard having the greatest truth the world has ever known, trying to share it with people, and being rejected, but I won’t give up. Everyone needs this, and I will find those ready to accept it!

-My family! Thanks for your continual love and support. I’m overwhelmed every P-Day at the number of emails from you all that fill my inbox, each with edifying messages and words of encouragement. I’m grateful you’re all keeping me updated on what’s going on at home in America!

-All of my friends. I thank you guys too for your friendship and support. I wish you all the best with whatever you’re doing in life!

-All my experiences and memories. I have been so blessed to be a part of so many awesome experiences in sports, school, church, and life. Walking up and down the roads here I often reflect on the great memories of growing up. How blessed I’ve been!

-Email! It’s so nice to be able to communicate with you all weekly. There are many blessings of technology! It’s crazy that it’s only a matter of weeks until I’ll be skyping the family! (Christmas Day!)

-America! Man I miss it. Enjoy some patriotic music, the American flag, and a big hamburger for me this week haha. Brazil’s great too, but the USA is the greatest!
Have a great week and always be grateful! Every day of this life is a blessing!

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 23, 2015


​Pizza! Made by Elder Gerson

​Last day with Bishop Serpa

​On top of the world in Jardim Curitiba!

​What a vista!

My First Son, Elder Baltazar! (Son is what they call the Elders they train...Scott is now a trainer...!)

It’s been a big week! I’ll go in order today.

Monday- Last P-Day in Jardim Curitiba. Elder Gerson made pizza which was awesome and I packed my bags.

Tuesday- Finished packing up, visited o bispo, started working. Right when we were going to start visiting people, we got a call about a meeting for trainers at the mission office which no one had told us about haha. We hurried back to the apartment and jumped on the bus. At the office all the new missionaries were there, and I met my new companion, Elder Baltazar. I asked him if he was ready to work and he said something like “Yes, I’ve been resting for 18 years!” I loved hearing that and was grateful he was ready to start working! His career plan is just like mine—chemistry and medicine—which is way cool haha. I remembered being in the same office three months ago as a novinho, and it was crazy going back to prepare to train. I felt, and still feel sometimes, a little unprepared, but with the Lord’s help I can do anything! We were able to take a taxi home which was sweet.
Wednesday- Transfer day! Left the area early in the morning and arrived at the Rodoviara—a big transportation/shopping center where we meet for transfers. We were the first group to arrive, and the second was Elder Meireles and his companion. It was fun to talk to him for a bit. I said to him “I speak Portuguese now!” He was like “Wow! You do!”  Hahaha! The bus ride to Uberlandia was about 6 hours, but it wasn’t bad at all. It was nice to get some rest and see the countryside of Brazil—nothing but grass, trees, and hills for hours. We arrived, the Bishop brought us to our house, and Elder Baltazar and I went on a short division with Elder Oldsen and Elder Sanchez, the other missionaries in our area and the zone leaders here. Elder Olsen, an American—woohoo! Got to speak some English hahaha—showed me around Bairro Tibery, which would be our area. Every day we walk about 30 minutes to get there, work all day, and walk back to the house at night. It’s a nice area, cleaner, nicer, and safer than Jardim Curitia, which now I realize was pretty much the hood of Goiania haha. Great day!

Thursday- Now—We’ve been working hard these last few days to find people to teach, since before the elders had hardly any investigators here. We’ve talked to a ton of people on the road and knocked a ton of doors and have a few people to teach now. Our teaching group will continue to grow in the following weeks. Being senior companion and trainer is a whole new feel! I like it and it’s going well so far. Elder Baltazar is adjusting well and is willing to work and talk to people. The area and the ward are great, and we will be able to do a lot of work here. I want to work closely with the Bishop to reactivate lots of less-actives, find new people, and grow the ward. Hopefully after a few weeks of diligent effort and faith we will have some baptisms!

I don’t have much time today to write, but I hope tudo o bom em America!

Love you all tons!

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 16, 2015

What a Wildly Wild Week!

​That looks safe. Right outside our window


Boa Tarde Trinidade!

Visited the Basilica on P-Day (Huge Catholic church)

Half of the Zone GYN Norte

​Won't let my hair get this long again!

Muito melhor!

​Stolen and Found

Alex (Dad of Gabriel, our first baptism) and Alex (President of the Elder's Quorum)

Whhhhhhhooooooaaaa!!!! Everything happened this week!
Friday night we got a call from Elder Zanuttini, one of the assistants to the mission president. Elder Gerson talked to him for a minute, then handed the phone to me. He said I was transferred to Uberlandia, Area Tibery 2, and that I would be training a missionary right out of the MTC! Whoa!! I haven’t even finished my training yet! I’ll pack my bags today, finish my own training Tuesday, and on Wednesday, hop on a bus to Uberlandia and start training an elder who’s only 3 months younger than me within the mission. Crazy! I’m really excited and a little nervous haha since I pretty much just got here too, but I’ll do my best and rely on the help of the Lord! It will be a great experience.

It’s triste leaving Jordim Curitiba after two great transfers here. The ward members, the people we’re teaching, and the area have all been awesome, and it’ll be weird to serve in another area because this area is all I’ve known of the field so far! This last transfer was tough, lots of hard work with few results, and I feel like we’ve reached the point where baptisms will start happening—and I’m transferred out haha. But you have to plant before you can harvest and I’m grateful I was able to plant a lot while I was here. Really, I didn’t want to leave the area because the work was picking up. As soon as I heard I was transferred, however, I was instantly excited and ready to go!

This Sunday probably could not have been a better last day of church in the area. We had three families there, and some members brought friends—12 people in all! A great blessing after only 2 last week. President Kuceki says to leave you area better than you found it. I worked hard, and I think I accomplished that. These last 12 weeks have been a great training!

I’ve really been trying to improve my teaching. I want to teach by the Spirit with power and authority so people can know and feel the truthfulness of our message. With the Lord’s help, I have already become a way better teacher, or, rather, a better instrument in the Lord’s hands. Our lesson with Gustavo, a 15 year old 7th Day Adventist, was a good example. After 15 minutes of him reading verses out of the Bible trying to prove why Saturday should be the Sabbath, I said “We’re going to put our scriptures down and talk about the real reason we’re here” (Translated and paraphrased). Then I talked about the three main parts of why we were there--to teach that 1. Jesus is the Christ, 2. He restored His church through the prophet Joseph Smith, and 3. How we can know of a surety because of The Book of Mormon. It took a while to get him to realize that he wanted to know whether or not the church was true; that if it was (it is) what a difference it would make in his life and that through The Book of Mormon, which is either true or false (it’s true), he will know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, but when he finally realized that, it was powerful. The spirit was so strong! He asked us how we gained our testimonies of the church, and Elder Gerson and I explained and bore our testimonies. Wow. After that, I asked him how he felt. He said “touched, by the things you guys have said.” He accepted a baptismal date. I believe it was the most spiritual, powerful lesson of my mission so far. I’m so grateful to be a tool in the hands of God—there’s nothing greater! This work is the best!

Why do we keep getting robbed man? Friday night we were walking back to our apartment from Tremedao, one of the most dangerous bairros in likely the most dangerous region of Goiania, the noroeste (our area is right inside and takes up most of this region J )., and two guys pulled up on a motorcycle. The back guy hopped off, knocked the phone out of Elder Gerson’s hand, grabbed his bag, patted us down, grabbed out of my shirt pocket my planner, Portuguese verb card, and MY NAMETAG, jumped back on the motorcycle, and took off. What the heck. Walking home, we saw them pass by again without our stuff. Early the next morning, we looked for our stuff, and I found my name tag and verb card in a nearby road! I’m really grateful my bag wasn’t taken and that I was able to find a few of my things that next morning. Don’t get robbed, but if you do, be grateful! I’m glad Uberlandia is a safer, calmer city.

Also this week, we got stuck in the rain! We were walking one day and it started pouring. We took shelter under a couple different overhanging roofs, but even the best one wasn’t much help as the wind drove the rain right into us haha. WE got pounded and drenched! Fun stuff!

Tambem esta semana, we enjoyed P-Day with half the zone at the zone leaders’ apartment in Trindade. We had a churrasco (barbeque) and visited the Basilica, a huge Catholic Church there on top of a huge hill. It was pretty cool! I got my haircut, there as well, which was much needed! I like the city of Trindade. It’s much cleaner, more open, and newer than Goiania. Good P-Day!

I hope you all are doing great! Don’t get too worried about me here, as we have the Lord’s protection and nothing too terrible will happen. I hit the 4 month mark yesterday! Time flies!

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ants Can't Stop Me

Last P-Day I bought two big boxes of cereal. After opening and eating some of the first one, I closed the top of the box and put it on top of the fridge. In spite of the bag being folded/rolled up inside and the box being shut, the ants found a way in. One morning, I went to eat breakfast, and about 40 ants were there to wish me good morning haha. Now, in America, I would never do this, but after living in Brazil for 3.5 months it wasn’t as crazy…I couldn’t let the ants win, so I just poured the cereal in a bowl, added some milk, and started eating. It looked like someone had sprinkled a little pepper in the bowl, but the ‘pepper’ was ants, dead and alive. It’s always great to start the day with a little extra protein! Elder Anderson 1, Ants 0.

Also, on P-Day, two guys almost got in a fight on the bus hahaha. It would have been pretty fun and crazy and memorable to see, but I would have had to break it up so I’m glad it didn’t happen haha. Brazil’s crazy man!

Here’s some written Portuguese for you: Portuguese e muito bom. Gosto desta idioma musto. Ainda e difícil, e continuara ser difícil, mas cada dia e melhor, mais fácil, e mais fluente. O Senhor esta me abencoando muito com o dom de linguas, e son muito grato!

Going into this week, we had 8 baptismal dates for this next Saturday. Now, we have one. One. It really is frustrating when you’re trying to teach people about the greatest thing ever—the restored gospel of Jesus Christ—and its eternal blessings, and they’re too blind and deaf to accept it fully and too lazy to go to church…Oh well. Vida missionaria!

Our one remaining date is solid at least. We found Lucas batendo portas (knocking doors) a few weeks ago. He’s 15 and honestly wants to find and follow the true path of God. I wish everyone we taught was like him! He’s come to church twice and liked it, and his brother came once and is interested too. He lives with his grandparents, who have been receptive so far, and hopefully they’ll completely support him I his decision to be baptized Saturday! I love missionary work!

Man this week was quick! It’s crazy we only have one more week in the transfer! It feels like a few days ago that Elder Gerson arrived here. I want to stay in the area, but who knows what will happen. More than anything though, I want to do the will of the Lord. Thus, wherever I go and with whomever I serve, I’ll be happy and grateful and do my best! I love this mission so much; I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else for these two years. Every day is a blessing!

Elder Anderson
View from the Goia Missionary apartment (where Scott went for a day with the Zone Leaders)

Good Morning Goia!

Bus Stop. Seems Legit.

Divisao in Goia!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Hard-Working Week

Man! This was the hardest working week of my mission. It was hard, and it was worth all the effort. Finally, after a few tough weeks, blessings and miracles are coming! You have to plant before you can harvest, and we’ve just begun to harvest the blessings of a few tough weeks of planting.

I didn’t get robbed, sick, or dehydrated this week! Woohoo! I’m grateful!

The principle of Ether 12:6 is so true, “Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” I know that when we give our full effort and strive to do something more (fazer algo mais) the Lord WILL bless us. Here are some of this week’s miraculous experiences:

-Wednesday we set high goals to make 30 contacts and knock 20 doors. After lots of work, we accomplished both of those. Instead of calling it a day, I kept going. My interest wasn’t in meeting daily goals but in trying to do all I could to find people to teach and baptize. Our 32nd contact and 22nd door was a woman who five years ago was taught by the missionaries and attended church frequently but was never baptized. We taught her the next day, she already knew “dentro sen coracao” (inside her heart) that the church was true, and she and one of her daughters accepted a baptismal date! ALWAYS do something more!

-Usually if we walk by people that seem busy, I don’t try to contact them. I knew I needed to fix this about myself, since the restored gospel is more important than anything else that would cause someone to be busy. The other morning there was a woman walking towards us holding a motorcycle helmet and some grocery bags. I initially thought she’d be too busy to listen to us, but I overcame that thought and went up and talked to her. We got her address and visited her Friday. She accepted, and the next day her brother and sister accepted, a baptismal date. She and her sister both came to church yesterday. I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone to talk to her.

-Elder Gerson and I knew we needed to find more people. One day we prayed and separately chose 3 roads in a bairro. When we compared, one was the same—Rua Silca Prates. There, we knocked the door of a nice old guy who was receptive to our message, accepted a date, and wants to know more about and experience our church. Awesome!

Life is so much better when you work hard. I’m becoming ever more grateful for missionary work and the blessings of this gospel.

Whenever I’m stressed or discouraged, I just look around. How can I ever doubt that Heavenly Father loves me when I’m able to look out the window and see this great city, colorful and full of trees and life during the day and lit up in patterns of street lights at night; while I have a solid roof over me and a place to live, however small or ant-furnished it may be; and when I can look down and see on my shirt pocket the name of the Savior and know I am a called representative of Him and His Church. As the beloved hymn “I Stand All Amazed” sings: “Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me!”.

I’m so grateful to be hear (of man…I meant to write ‘here’…maybe I should just write in Portuguese haha) in Brasil. Portuguese is going well. I can listen, understand, and respond to a lot of things in real time now, and fewer people ask me “You’re not from here are you?” each week. The rice and beans everyday are great as always, and it’s actually starting to rain here! We’ve had rain about 3 times this week. Also, I saw the first Christmas decorations up this week! It made me happy haha. I love Christmas! This year will be way, way different though, since I’m thousands of miles from home and it will be in the middle of summer. Anyway, it’ll be great! I’m looking forward to skyping the family! Keep it real in the USA!

Elder Anderson

View from the Mission Office