Monday, January 25, 2016

Batismo! E Muitos Peixes (Baptism! And Many Fish)

Selfie at the Lan House (where we go to email each week)

Missionaries serving in our district (Distrito Jardim America)

Mais uma semana chei de bênsãos, apredndizagem, e experiências maravilhosas! We baptized and confirmed Pedro! Every day this week we taught him and helped him prepare. We had a funny moment while teaching the ten commandments. Reading from Exodus, we said “Não matarás.” (Thou shalt not kill.) Then he said, “Já matei” The room got quiet. ‘Ja matei’ means ‘I’ve already killed.’ Elder Zanuttini and I started getting nervous and thinking ‘who are we teaching?!’ Then Pedro said “Muitos peixes!” Hahahahaha-lots of fish! We breathed again hahaha. He was really excited for his baptism and to begin a new life.

Dusilene wasn’t baptized because she didn’t stop drinking coffee in time :/ . BUT, she’s stopped now and is ready for her baptism this Saturday! We’ve been teaching her almost every day and her son most days too, and every time we visit she makes a ton of food for us. Haha, it’s great! Also we hardly found Helin and Nilva, the parents of the less-active family, at home this week, but we’ll try to keep working with them so their kids can be baptized soon too.

Wednesday was cool. All the missionaries in Goiãnia got together to watch a broadcast from Salt Lake to all the missions in the world. It was focused on Teaching Repentance and Baptizing converts. Hearing from apostles and leaders of the missionary department was instructive and edifying and I learned a lot. It was great seeing some old friends and companions also!

Tuesday, all the secretaries, Elder Xauttini, and I went to Outback Steakhouse with President and Sister Kuceki to celebrate Presidente’s birthday. IT WAS SO GOOD To HAVE AMERICAN FOOD! Oh man, it was the best steak, potato, chicken, and fried onions I’ve had in 6 months. A huge blessing haha!

Oh yeah, a few weeks ago I got bit by a dog. It was a little tiny dog that bit my thumb and it was funny haha.

We didn’t get robbed this week! Many prayers of gratitude reached os céus from Elder Anderson.

Also, I think I forgot to say this a while ago, but—I met my goal of 1000 contacts before Christmas! (Dec.1-24) It was tough, but I worked hard and made it. When we set difficult goals and do everything we can to achieve them, the Lord helps us, we achieve them, and we are blessed with spiritual and temporal growth.

Something really cool—we ate almoso (lunch) with a sister in the ward who lived in Atlanta for 3 years! She was in the Glenridge Ward and went to the Atlanta temple a bunch. It was fun talking to her about it! When Brazilians go to the USA, the city they most commonly go to is Atlanta. I’ve talked to a few who have lived in Marietta, Sandy Springs, and other areas. I never knew before my mission, but Atlanta has a huge Brazilian population. When I get back I’m going to drive up there, find an area of Brazilians, and speak Portuguese all day haha.

In two days we go to Rio Verde to go on exchanges with the zone leaders and be there for the organization and first stake conference of the Rio Verde Stake! It’s been a district for almost 30 years and will become a stake this weekend. I’m excited to be there! It’ll be a good week. Até mais América! Tchau!

Elder Anderson  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Burning a Tie

Burning the tie
Haircut by E. Zanuttini
Eating healthy (Avocados in America are way better)

Estamos na dentista

Respecting missionary tradition, I burned a tie on Friday to celebrate 6 months in the mission, Rapaz, esta missao ta voando! Man it’s been a great half of a year. Living in Brazil, learning Portuguese, and teaching the restored gospel have definitely made this the most eventful and exciting 6 months of my life! It’s crazy how fast it’s going! Thankfully, I didn’t burn the house down.

Last week I was feeling sick. The beginning of this week was even worse. Tuesday I could hardly make it walking around, and that night Elder Zanuttini dropped me off at a members’ house and visited all our appointments with Pedro, who leaves for his mission in just over a week. We’ve been teaching a lot with him lately; he’ll be a great missionary in Sao Paulo North. I just slept as soon as I laid down and two and a half hours later, they returned, we went home, and I went to sleep. I started getting better after that day—the extra rest was a blessing—and now I’m 100%. I’m so grateful to be feeling and working normally again!

The road leading up to where we live is really dark and empty. It was only a matter of time, before two guys on a motorcycle drove up out of the dark and assaulted us. Saturday night that happened. We were just about to enter the darkest part of the road when a single headlight lit up and sped towards us. I already knew what it was. I put my hands up automatically—it’s habit now—while E. Zanuttini took off running. I thought about doing the same but just stayed put. Patted me down, found my phone, took it out of my pocket as I tried to just give them my money ($10 only), ended up taking my whole bag, and left. Ran down through the dark part of the road, around the corner, and found E. Zanuttini there hiding with some of our nearby neighbors. Crazy stuff.

I don’t like getting robbed. In my bag I had a Book of Mormon (they can learn about the gospel and not stealing, woohoo!), pamphlets for teaching, Our Search of Happiness (which I just started reading), my Portuguese-English dictionary, Portuguese verb card, missionary handbook, mission debit card, health card, and 10 reais. Thankfully it’s all replaceable. Also a huge blessing is that I forgot my umbrella at lunch and so it wasn’t in my bag! It’s really important right now since it’s raining almost every day. Don’t get robbed, but if you do, be grateful!

Now, I’ve had 3 baptisms and 3 assaults here. However, those numbers should never be the same again. We’re probably going to move to a safer house soon, and we’re preparing a big reuniao baptismal (don’t know the best way to say that in English) for next Saturday!

We should have 4 baptisms dia 23! Pedro, whom we found in front of his house a week or two ago, was praying for guidance from God only a few minutes before we talked to him and taught him the first lesson. He likes church, stopped smoking in 3 days, and is excited for his baptism! Two weeks ago I made a road contact with Jose Neto. The next day we visited and taught him and his mom, Ducelene. They came to church the next day and felt a sense of peace there that they said they had never felt in another church. We’ve been teaching them frequently with members and Ducelene will be baptized Saturday! Jose Neto should be soon too; we can’t teach him as much because he works late. Also, yesterday we visited a less-active family with two daughters old enough, ready and excited to be baptized Saturday as well! We have a lot of work to do to prepare all of this and so it’ll be a good, busy week!

I’m so glad I have another year and a half to serve here in Brasil. It’s dangerous and busy and awesome! I do, however, miss America—especially lately good American food! With new responsibilities, I have even less time to email you all than before, and while my replies are short, I appreciate every one of your emails! Thank you all for being great group of support from the USA! Tenha uma boa semana! Tchau!

Elder Anderson 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pictures that the mission posted which include Scott (who is the new assistant to President Kuceki)

 Elder Zanuttini, The Kuceki's with their youngest son, Scott (the new AP!)
 This was right after the moment Scott (Elder Anderson) was introduced to a new incoming group of missionaries as the new assistant (which was how Scott learned about it as well!...Surprise!)
 Some fun pics of the newly arrived missionaries and with the Kuceki's and the AP's (there are 2 assistants in the mission and Scott is one of them)

 President Kuceki and his assisants. Scott really looks up to this great man!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another Big Week

Eu e Elder Zanuttini, at the predio of the mission home

​Eu e Elder Banz, amigos desde o CTM!
(Me and Elder Banz, friends since the CTM--Missionary Training Center. Elder Banz played golf for BYU before his mission)

What a week! Adjusting to my new responsibilities, preparing for and giving a training in our leadership meeting, and being sick all contributed to a tiring but profitable week. Right now I’m pretty worn out, but as always, I’m happy and grateful to be here doing the greatest work there is!

The biggest part of the week was the leadership meeting. After praying and seeking inspiration, Elder Zanuttini and I thought we should talk about faith for our training. At a members house a day or two later we were talking to a returned sister missionary about the training and she had a great book about the role of faith and mental effort in obtaining heaven’s help to fulfill our righteous desires and goals. She gave us an outline, on which we based our training. The focus was “A Mente” –the mind and how with strong faith and pure, positive thoughts we will receive in a much greater measure the Lord’s help in our work. We spent most of Tuesday putting together our power point and organizing a role play about how our thoughts affect our work as missionaries. Wednesday morning, with all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, Pres. Sousa (1st counselor of the mission), and Pres. Kuceki, we presented the training. It went great! I believe it was exactly what the mission needed and everyone learned a lot. I really liked delivering the training, and I’m grateful I’ll have the opportunity to lead many more. The main thing I learned throughout it all is that our mind is powerful. Everything starts with our thoughts. Thus, if we learn to control our thoughts, we can control everything! Almost haha. I’ve already improved a lot on being conscious about what I think during the day and making sure it’s all faith-filled and positive. The results – the miracles—are and will be coming!

Life is busy man. I’ve thought about what the equivalent of what I’m doing right now would be in work hours per week, but it doesn’t even compare. Every hour and minutes is focused on the work. I frequesntly dream about it too. I think it’s safe to say I work 168 hours a week, with a salary of heacenly blessings and a Christ-like life. Nothing could be better!

Portuguese is going great! Saturday night I spoke Portuguese in my dream hahaha. Also, before my mission, I thought there would be a day where I would feel like ‘I got it’ with the language—not a day when I would be completely fluent or speak without an accent, but when I would feel comfortable and used to Portuguese and using it all the time. I think that was yesterday! Portuguese now is so natural that speaking and writing English is a challenge haha. I’m so grateful I have the chance to learn another language. It’s lfe changing and awesome.

For about a week now, I haven’t been feeling good. I went to the hospital Saturday and after waiting two hours they took some tests and we picked up the results that night. Turns out I have tengue and a week to life—hahaha, they said it’s probably some type of virus, and I need to eat more greens. I think it’s clearing up, but I’ll be sure to buy some good vegetables today. I’m grateful for the blessing Elder Sweet (financial secretary) gave me before I went to the hospital, saying that this would not interfere with our work. It gave me a lot of peace because I was pretty worried about wasting hours in the ER instead of working and visiting all our investigators. It was the same hospital I went to with Elder Meireles my first transfer, only it didn’t appear so shockingly run down or inadequate this time because I’m accustomed to Brazil no haha. Brasil is great!

It was a good, busy week and I’m ready for more like it (except for the sick part)! President Kuceki said in the leadership meeting, by divine inspiration, that there are 500 eleitos (elects—people prepared and ready for the gospel and baptism) in every area. E. Zanuttini and I are working hard to find as many as possible! This mission is the best! Though it’s way hard, it’s even more rewarding and I’m thankful for every day!

Almost forgot—this year I set a goal to read the entire standard works! (That means the Old and New Testament, The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants) I’m trying to read 7 pages a day and I’ve almost finished Genesis. I’ve never loved the scriptures or this gospel more! Have a blessed week.

Elder Anderson

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Really Big Week

Happy New Year's Eve from the Assistants and Secretaries!

​Elder Zanuttini and I

​Early morning hot chocolate before transfers!

Feliz ano novo para voces! I will spend 2016 completely outside the U.S. Wow. It’ll be great!

I think this is a good week to go day by day.

Segunda-feira (Monday) – We had our last study time in Tibery, and afterwards went to the center of Uberlandia to the Lan House to email. It was awesome seeing tons of Christmas pictures, especially of Bryce! J Afterwards we cleaned the house, visited Wilson, a great recent convert of the other companionship, and went to a noite familiar (family home evening) with him at the apartment of Manoel e Vanessa Foibom.

Tersa-feira (Tuesday) – This day was big. Elder Baltazar and I finished packing up our stuff and got on the bus to Goiania. It was about a 6 hour ride, which wasn’t bad. It was nice to get some rest and talk with other missionaries. As soon as we got to Goiania, Elder Santos, the executive secretary, told me we had a meeting to go to. While another secretary took care of my bags, we went quick and got a taxi. Instead of going to the mission office, we went straight to the mission home. Elder Zanuttini, one of the assistants to the President, was there waiting for me. In the elevator, I asked who was there and what kind of meeting it was. I thought it would be a meeting for all the trainers, since I would be training again. He said all the novinhos were there (new missionaries) but I was the only trainer there. I didn’t have time to think about what was going on before I walked in, greeted Presidente and Sister Kuceki, and entered shock as Presidente said to all the new missionaries “Aqui e o novo assistente da missao!” (Here is the new assistant of the mission.) I was so surprised haha. It turns out that E. Tenorio, the assistant that just finished his mission, completely made up that I would be training in Porque Amazonia haha. After dinner at the mission home, E. Zanuttini and I helped all the novinhos get to their hotel. I had no idea I would be serving as the new assistant, and man, I don’t even speak Portuguese right yet-haha, but I know it’s where the Lord needs me, and I will do my best.

Quarta feira (Wednesday) – Transfer day. Instead of meeting my new companion and going to Parque Amazonia, I helped everyone get to where they were supposed to be. It was different being on the other, more administrative side of the transfer, but I liked it. We ate lunch with the secretaries of the mission, Elders Olica, Sweet, Correa, e Bandeira, and eventually got to our area. We visited members with the ward mission leader. Afterwards, walking back to our new house, we got lost haha. It’s tough when two missionaries get to a new area at the same time. Eventually we made it home and to sleep.

Quinta-feira a Sabado (Thursday – Saturday) – Being that E. Zanuttini and I are both new here in Ala Goiania, we visited most of the investigators that the sisters had, and talked to tons of people, trying to find people ready for the message of the restoration. We followed up a lot with the zones and branches of the mission, ensuring that everyone has good goals and plans in place. Elder Zanuttini is from Argentina, and this is the last transfer of his mission. Though it’s only been a few days, I’ve learned a lot from him and we’re already great friends. We’re going to get a lot of work done here, and I’m excited!

Domingo (Sunday) – Church went well. It was good to meet lots of ward members and hear their testimonies. We brought one couple that we found this week, and they seemed to like it and want to return. We had a good meeting with Odrei, the ward mission leader, in the evening and afterwards visited some members.

Overall, it was a great week, with lots of changes. This is a really good ward – I haven’t seen members so willing and excited to help us before. I’m grateful for this new responsibility to lead and serve and especially for the opportunity to work closely with President Kuceki. This mission is the best and I’m loving it every day! Hope all is well and everyone’s having a great 2016 in the USA!

Elder Anderson

Melting the Freezer with an Iron!