Monday, February 29, 2016

Esta Semana Voou!

 ​P-Day with the staff!
 The richest missionaries here: os secretários financeiros!
 ​The office, with E. Zeballos e E. Oliva
​A bela vista do escritório. Bom dia Goiânia!
Batismo na Ala Goiânia!

                Rapaz, this week flew by!  We worked really hard, and I don`t even remember what happened…  I’ll try to remember a few parts.
                We have two investigators progressing towards baptism in two weeks!! Woohoo! We found both of them by contacting them in the road. Falar com todo mundo traz milagres—talking with everyone brings miracles! We found Marcos about a week ago and have been teaching him often. He came to church the first time yesterday and liked it a lot. He’s as excited for the 12th as we are!  Andressa was taught a lot by the missionaries over a year ago and lost contact because she moved. She worked and was hardly ever able to come to church, but now she doesn’t and she came to church with her neighbor yesterday. Her neighbor, Anisse,  is actually a friend of a member who has already invited her to church a few times, and we’ve started teaching her also. She’ll have to get married before accepting a baptismal date, but she`s liking the lessons a lot. Andressa has a date for the 12th also. We should have a great reunião batismal that day!
                We also had a great first lesson with Flavio this week. I was on a division Tuesday with Elder McBride, a new American in the mission, and we walked out towards the edge of the area to his house. I had spoken with him in the road a few days earlier. He understood everything we taught, and while his view of religion and salvation is slightly different—that faith is all we need—he is interested to know more about the message we bring to the world as missionaries. We had a good conversation about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We return to his house hoje (today)!
                It’s so, so, so nice to find someone who understands very well what we're teaching. Often, we teach a good lesson about the restoration and first vision to someone and at the end we’ll ask them what they learned. Not uncommon responses are “It`s good to go to church” or “The word of God is good.” Nada ver! Haha, I guess it’s hard for people that don’t have basic doctrinal backgrounds to understand the restoration the first time. I think that’s a big problem of religion these days, especially here. The majority of churches don’t teach doctrine nor principles of the gospel, just that God is good and he’ll save us and stuff. True, but significantly lacking structure.
                Also, William, the son of Roberto whom we started teaching in my last area, was baptized this week! I was so happy, knowing that a road contact that Elder Zanuttini and I made turned into a baptism. His parents should follow his example soon! Even though we didn´t get to finish the process of teaching him, the joy was the same. This work is the best!
                Man, Brasil is great! It’s easier to speak and write Portuguese than English now. Even though I don’t have the same vocabulary or grammar, I’m so much more used to it that I really have to try when I do things in English. Tudo bem. Vou ajustar-me quando eu voltar!
                This week we have a multi-zone conference in Goiânia, and leadership meeting, and a zone conference in Anápolis. It’ll be a busy week (like every week haha) but it’ll be great! I`ll have lots of things to write about semana que vem. Esperosamente não vou esquecê-las! Keep me updated and enjoy all the American food you can for me this week! I love you all!

Elder Anderson

Monday, February 22, 2016

Trabalho Duro e….BATISMO!

 New weight set...!
Tchau E. Zanuttini!


Tchau E. Antunes! (Meu segundo LZ)

 Pedro's baptism

Esta semana foi boa! Com certeza o melhor parte foi o batismo de Pedro Henrique!

This week was good! The best part was for sure the baptism of Pedro Henrique. Only a month or two ago, his girlfriend introduced him to the church and by the time we started teaching him a week and a half ago, he pretty much knew everything. During the lesson, we just reviewed haha. I’m really grateful that we had the chance to be a part of his proves of baptism. One thing I really want to do on my mission is help baptize someone who will serve a mission too. He fulfilled that goal and hopefully will be the first of many! How awesome it’d be if everyone we found and taught was as prepared as he was!

That was definitely the highlight and best part of the week. Besides him, we didn’t have much success with the other people we found. After talking to tons of people, we ended up teaching people that just won’t keep commitments, and won’t progress. Yet, it’s all part of the process. When the Lord sees that we’ve continued working our best in spite of not finding many people, He will bless with miracles because of our effort. I’ll be patient and keep working my hardest so they’ll come!

There are a few awesome things about this area. First, there’s actually some workout equipment at this house! At all the others, I could pretty much just do push ups and abs every day. We have an awesome bar here made up of PVC, rebar (I think) and rough concrete cylinders. I use it almost every day. The fact that I’m grateful for old, homemade workout equipment show how my lifestyle has changed haha. Also, there is a great place of asai here! I’ve already eaten asai 3 times here. Man it’s great! (Sorry guys. My English is probably a pain to read by now…) Parque Amazonia is also a safer and richer part of Goiania, which is good. We ate almoso at the house of a family who is part of a huge family business. Their house is one of the very few I’ve seen here that are as good or better than houses in America –very rare!

There’s a woman from New Zealand visiting the ward who hardly speaks Portuguese. I’ve talked to her in English and discovered that now I hardly speak English, haha! It’s a struggle!

We thought we were going to be going to Patos de Minas and Uberaba with Presidente Kuceki this weekend, but because Sis. Kuceki’s car hadn’t been fixed yet, we had to postpone the plan. For just about all of March, we’ll be traveling around the mission, checking the houses, having zone and district meetings, and giving trainings. It’ll be great!

I’m still working towards my goal of reading all the scriptures this year. I’m almost done with all the books of Moses, and I’ve learned a ton. There’s a lot of things that nada ver (I don’t know how to say that in English. Probably ‘not relevant’ would describe it well.) like describing the details of the law, but I’m learning a lot about the House of Israel which has really helped me understand what the 12 tribes, Abrahamic covenant, and Levitical Priesthood actually mean, among other things. The scriptures are awesome!

I’m working hard, growing a ton spiritually (and hopefully physically), and loving this mission! The church is true! Tenham paz e alegria nos Estados Unidos!

Elder Anderson

Monday, February 15, 2016

Transfer Week

Eu e Elder Zeballos!

Thanks for the awesome chocolate Uncle Spencer!

Rapaz, escrever inglês é dificil demais!

Every day this week I’ve fallen asleep within like 30 seconds of laying down. Going from here to there and back and doing all kinds of stuff and working as hard as I can is cansativo demias! Man I’m worn out haha.

This week was transfers. As part of the mission staff, we helped with every part. Every 6 weeks missionaries are transferred to another area of the mission or stay in their area for another 6. The logistics of moving 150+ missionaries around is a huge task—the secretaries stay busy! At the beginning of the week, (can I just write in Portuguese…? Por Favor? Haha!) missionaries arrived in Goiãnia. It was way fun to see Elder Stafford, the only friend from the CTM whom I haven’t seen since we all got to Goiania. Tuesday all the ‘novinhos’—new missionaries—got here. It was cool picking them up at the airport. We had a great lunch and testimony meeting with them at Presidente’s home. You could definitely tell they hadn’t been in the mission field yet haha.

Wednesday was the actual day of transfers. In the morning, E. Zeballos (my new companion) and I gave an over two-hour training to all the district leaders, new trainers, and novinhos. I thought we might not be able to fill up the time and E. Zeballos hadn’t been there when I prepared it all, but tudo deu certo (it all went well). We had an awesome lunch at Presdient Kuceki’s house again but this time with all the missionaries that were finishing their missions, including Elder Zanuttini. The contrast between them and the novinhos was huge and was really cool to see. The mission really transforms people.

Thursday morning we woke up at 3:45 to go to the airport with all the leaving missionaries. That was a tiring day. E. Zanuttini, E. Sanchez and two sisters almost missed their plane hahaha. They had already closed the door, but they got there just in time! I sense that many missionaries think that getting on the plane to return home at the end of the mission is like a huge magical thing. Nope. It’s just getting on a plane, haha!

We got to Parque Amazonia Thursday too. It’s great here! One of the richest areas of Gonia. One of the strongest wards here also. I haven’t heard anything negative about it. We already have a baptsim for this week, Pedro Henrique. He’s 17, way excited, and wants to serve a mission! So awesome. His girlfriend introduced him to the church a month ago, and he already knows everything we’re teaching. We’re pretty much just reviewing the lessons for him haha. We’re going to find a ton more people also! Missionary work is the best!

E. Zeballos, the new assistant, is from Chile! He has six months left here and was serving as branch president in Catalão. If you want to see his dad, open up the conference Ensign magazine to the middle and look of the last row of the Seventy. Way cool! Haha, we’re both way excited to work here and lead the mission in building the kingdom of God!

I’ll take some good pictures of the area this week so you can all see what it’s like. Brazil is awesome! I’m loving the gospel of Jesus Christ more then ever. I wish I could study the scriptures 3 hours every day, but it’s even more important to bring the message of the restored gospel to the people here! This week I got a package from Uncle Spencer—a huge box of chocolate. IT WAS AWESOME. Comi tudo ja! Thanks to all of you, my family and friends, for your constant love and support. Ate mais!

Elder Anderson

Monday, February 8, 2016

And Now Parque Amazonia

 Elder Stafford! Good friend from my district in the CTM. I hadn't seen him since we arrived in the mission!
 Above and below are some great pictures from lunch the other day. Beautiful view!

Sim! I’m actually going to Parque Amazonia this time haha. I’m excited! I’ve only heard good things about the area. Also, it’s a lot safer there. I like that! I’m tired of getting robbed. This week I was on an exchange with E. Sweet, the financial secretary, and E. Zanuttini and E. Olicia, who were on the other side of the area, were assaulted. It made me mad. Anyway, the area around our house is pretty dangerous, so E. Zanuttini and I just packed everything up and moved to the house of the secretaries. I’ll stay here until the transfers end and then go to Parque Amazonia. We’ve been walking all together (the 4 secretaries and us) at night to be safer haha. I also found out who my new companion will be! I’ll save that as a surprise for next week though.

This week we got ready for the transfers. Friday we called all the missionaries who were transferred. It took a long time but was fun. It’s cool knowing where everybody is going ahead of time, being on the administrative side is a whole different experience! President Kuceki took the whole staff to Pizza Hut for lunch which was awesome! Every opportunity to eat American food is a huge blessing.

This Wednesday we’re going to have a training for all the new trainers and all the district leaders. This week I’ve been preparing for it. The focus of our part of the meeting is the importance of the ‘Preach My Gospel’ manual. As missionaries, everything we need to best fulfill our calling is found in the principles of Preach My Gospel. I remember when Elder Costa came to the CTM and spoke to us. One of the biggest things he said was that if we followed the principles of PMG, we could baptize every week. Overall, I think the missionaries here need to improve how much they study and apply what PMG teaches. Hopefully the training will inspire them to do so.

This transfer flew by, and I’m grateful for the short 6 weeks I had here in the Goiãnia Ward. While we only had one baptism, I think we did good work here. Pedro is doing well. While we used to pick him up every Sunday, he came to church on his own yesterday, on his new bike. Dusilene and José Neto are doing great. They’re coming to church every Sunday and hopefully will both accept baptism soon. The investigators we bad will now be taught by the secretaries, since no one is taking the place of E. Zanuttini and I. They’re all great missionaries and will continue to teach them well. President K. said that if they find a better house for us here, we’ll probably move back to the Goiania ward the next transfer. I’d like to, as this is the most involved ward I’ve been in yet!

This week I finished reading ‘Our Search for Happiness’ by M. Russell Ballard. Man it’s a great book! It so clearly and simply explains the beliefs of our church-a valuable tool for missionaries and members alike. If you’re reading this right now, read this book! It will answer your questions about basic Mormon belief and our great and eternal search for happiness.

I’m so grateful for this knowledge of God’s Plan of Salvation; it is such a source of peace to know where we came from, why we’re here, and where we’re going after this Earthly life. I’m so grateful for the scriptures and the words of the ancient and modern prophets—direct guidance during our mortal journey. This gospel and this church are true! This mission is the best! Jesus Christ is our Savior!

Elder Anderson

Monday, February 1, 2016


Pedro's baptism last week 
​Lago das Rosas, downtown Goiânia


Antes de sair de Rio Verde!
The Assistants with Elder Costa and Sister Kuceki (holding her son)

Até mais Rio Verde!

Esta semana foi TOP demais! On the bus ride back to Goiãnia yesterday, I wrote 5 pages in my journal about the trip. I thought about just sending that as my weekly letter, but then I realized I wrote it all in Portuguese… Haha, I’ll try my best to sum it up in English! (note from Scott’s mom: He handwrites his weekly letters and takes pictures of them, then sends me the pictures…I type them up and post them)

Quarta-feira (Wednesday) we went to the roto-viária and got on the bus to Rio Verde, about 3.5-4 hours away. The first half of the ride I just read and studied the scriptures—one of my favorite things to do now! I got some nice rest the second half. We arrived and went to the house of the zone leaders of Rio Verde Centro. We went on exchanges with them for the rest of the day. I was with E. Whiting who is from Illinois and has one more transfer than me in the mission. We made a bunch of contacts and taught a few lessons.

It was nice to experience a little bit of another city. I’m now familiar with São Paulo, Goiãnia, Uberlãndia, and Rio Verde. Rio Verde is pretty small, about 1/5 the size of Goiãnia, and is more like I thought Brazil would be—with more mata, or forest/nature areas. To get to the area where we worked, E. Whiting and I walked down a road that crossed over a stream and had a bunch of cool plants and palm trees. I took a few pictures with my phone (I don’t like bringing my camera with me because, well, I think that’s clear now) that I’ll try to upload and send by next week. It was a pretty calm and laid  back are which was a nice contrast from working in the center of Goiania. While the city’s name means ‘Green River’ I never saw a river….

The next day we did the same exchange and left and went to the other side of Rio Verde, with the zone leaders of Rio Verde Popular. We went on exchanges for two days there. I was with E. Romero from Paraguay. We didn’t teach a whole lot, mostly just talked with people in the road, so the days felt pretty long,  haha.

The first day in Popular was awesome because I met and talked with Mauro, a recent convert of Elder Romero. He had been a strong leader in the Christian Congregation  in Brasil (a widespread church here with fanatic members…) for 30 years and was the leader of the church in 7 cities. After 3 years of depression and feeling lost he stopped to talk with E. Romero and his companion in the road. They started teaching him, and after six weeks of profound lessons he and  his wife were baptized and all the anxiety and despair he had felt for so long went instantly away. Because of his extensive experience in his other church, he knows the Bible expertly and uses it like no one I’ve seen before to explain and support the principles of the restored gospel. Hearing his testimony of Joseph Smith, the true church, and especially Jesus Christ was inspiring, and I will do all I can to find more people like him to bring to the restored true church of Jesus Christ. Listening to him for an hour that day was the best part of the trip, along with the…

FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE RIO VERDE STAKE! Oh man it was awesome! Elder Costa of the Seventy came to call the new stake president—PRESIDENT ANDERSON! I remembered you, Dad! In addition to having a great name, he gave a great talk, and so did President and Sister Kuceki, Elder Dias—an area seventy, and a few other leaders. For sure though, my favorite talk was Elder Costa’s! I already heard him talk when he came to the CTM, but this time I understood him haha. He talked about the stake, not becoming addicted to technology, the importance of celestial marriage relationships, and his testimony of President Monson as our Prophet today. It was a great, funny, and instructive talk and I took a ton of notes. Afterwards, E. Zanuttini talked to him and got a picture with him (which Sis. Kuceki has on her phone…maybe it’ll be put on the mission’s facebook page). It was so awesome to hear and learn from great leaders of the church chosen by the Lord, in Rio Verde this weekend!

We only have a week and a half left in this transfer, and it has flown by! I may or may not know if I’m going to be transferred and where to, but I’ll keep that as a surprise for next week J. It’ll be crazy to get my 5th companion in 5 transfers and sad to see E. Zanuttini return home, but it’ll be great! As always, I’m grateful and excited!

Clearly my English is deteriorating, but hopefully you guys will understand this all just fine and have an awesome, blessed week wherever you may be!

Elder Anderson