Monday, April 25, 2016

Bicarbonate Spaghetti

Saudade da fam!

Tchau! Jady and her fam

Tchau! Marlon (um rapaz que ensinamos) and his fam

Last day with Matheus!!

Beautiful Brazil

Zona Uberaba!


 The Araxá group! (and some church leaders)

I got bit by a dog this week! A black mutt lab barked at me and then bit my leg as I walked past it in the road yesterday. Woohoo! It didn’t hurt, and now I have another good story to tell.

As I’m writing this, we’re all in a full van returning from the Uberaba Stake Conference, the baptisms of Jady and Matheus, and a great, simple lunch of stroganoff and salad (with kiwi and mango!). I’m happy, tired, and pensive. What a memorable final week it has been in Araxa!

All week I was nervous for Friday when E. Zeballos and E. Sweet would call about transfers. Em Jeto memhum (in no way) I wanted to leave Araxa. I’ve loved it! The pure hard working—uninterrupted by following up with others or meetings, the small yet devoted group of members, our investigators—our friends, and the whole, new, tranquil city of Araxa to ourselves made this my favorite transfer and definitely my favorite area thus far. Presidente Kuceki had told me I’d be here for one or two transfers. I was hoping for two!

Friday afternoon, walking down Avenida Imbiara, the principal avenue of Araxa, I felt the phone vibrate in my pocket. My heart sank as I saw the call was from “AP Zeballos.” He could tell I was nervous hahaha. In short, he said I would be the mission’s new financial secretary. I became excited and sad.

I was pretty triste (sad)—for 15 minutes. I didn’t want to leave this place! I felt like I had more to do here. BUT with every tick of the minute hand, my thoughts and feelings turned away from my unfulfilled wish to stay and towards my yet greater desire to be the most effective instrument I can possible be in the hands of the Lord—whenever and wherever. Rapidly, I got happier, and as I received the spiritual confirmation that this was what the Lord wanted me to do, my perspective evolved and becamse solely positive. EU VOU SE O NOVO SECRETARIO FINANCEIRO DA MISSAO!!! WOOHOO!!! Estou animadao! So felicidade! I’ll cover the details next week.

A lot of things made this week the best of this transfer. On Tuesday, we cooked our own food for lunch. That’s a horror story in itself! As the noodles boiled on the stove, a slightly chemical smell filled the kitchen. We had bought sodium bicarbonate instead of NaCl (all the chemistry people laugh) and hadn’t realized it until the noodles were almost ready. Well, we ate it anyway. The taste wasn’t even that different, and I haven’t died yet. Entao, all’s good!

The scripture Moroni 9:6 has been in my mind this week. In English, the middle part of the verse should read something like ‘While we inhabit this tabernacle of clay, we have a work to execute’. Man it’s so awesome! I realize that in about 90 years I’ll be able to rest all I want, but during the mortal life I have work to perform and these 2 years are the most concentrated of them all! I was so tired this week E. Lisboa said I looked like a zombie hahaha! In spite of exhaustion and a whole day of fasting, this week I worked my hardest, and how rewarding it is to look back and know it! This was by far the hardest working transfer of my mission, and I loved it.

Batismos!!! The baptisms of Jady and Matheus were fruits of our labors. I remember interrupting Matheus as he listened to music, giving him the chance to hear the restored gospel. Watching how he has grown spiritually since that day has been amazing. He'll be a big help in the group and possibly serve a mission! Jady (who, like I’ve already said, reminds me a ton of Heidi) was ready for baptism ha muito tempo. We pretty much just reviewed the lessons, and I was grateful for the privilege to baptize her! Both Matheus and Jady will be great members!

Probably the biggest miracle of the transfer was finding less-actives here. Just by being in the right place at the right time—surely under the Lord’s guidance—we found 7 members who were less-active only because they hadn’t found the church. One, Bruno, already has the Melchizedek Priesthood, and another, Davi, is preparing to receive the same. We found him as he was selling popsicles haha. As a result of finding them, it won’t be long before we have a branch here in Araxa!!!

Even though this transfer was only 5 weeks (to help with visas or something) it was the greatest of my mission! I loved having the entire city, brand-new to missionary work, as our area. I grew more spiritually here than anywhere else. It was in Araxa that my testimony of the Book of Mormon turned from firm to rock solid and I really lost myself in the work. I grew closer to the Holy Ghost and became more sensitive to his promptings. Here I became closer to my Savior Jesus Christ and know more than ever that He Lives! I will never forget my experience in this city that I’ve loved so much.

I’m excited for a change and am, as always, so grateful for all the endless love, advice, and support you all give to me. I hope that these weekly letters become of some spiritual worth to you all.

Oh, I heard that Batman won. Let me know about that!

Elder Anderson

Monday, April 18, 2016


Ugly, tasty fruit

A sweet park in downtown Araxá

Almoço com Davi and Mateus!

Centro comercial


The best two missionaries in Araxá!

The centro!

A Igreja Matriz no centro

Ensinando Mateus! (x2)

Hard work, happiness, tiredness, trials, hard work, happiness, tiredness, trials, hard work…That’s the pattern! After 9 months of these letters, you probably all know this. This week followed the pattern as well as the other 40 or so!

I’m so tired. But that’s part of the mission. I’ll keep working my hardest for a year and a little bit and after that I can rest all I want. For now, It’s just work and man it’s great!

I talked to an older middle-aged couple on the road this week, and the lady said they had ‘studied’ about the Mormons. Hmmmm. After hearing (many lies) that the Book of Mormon disagreed with the Bible, that it was just a story made up by Joseph Smith, and being called children because of our relative age, I defended the truth. Looking right at her I said “I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.’ She didn’t have much with which to respond and just said “if that’s what you believe then follow it.’ That I will do! She and her husband left with half-smiles, and thought that we were brain-washed and deceived. I’m grateful to know with certainty that we weren’t the blind ones in that encounter. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and inspired by God and also that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. The Holy Ghost confirms this, and this testimony I will carry forever!

Woohoo! Quite a few people this week thought I was from the southern part of Brazil! People there are whiter and have a different accent. I’m glad I’ve reached a certain point with Portuguese that, to some degree, I seem almost half-way Brasilian. I keep working on my accent every day, and one day I hope to speak exactly like they do here!

Rapaz, there’s a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses here. There’s like none in the US but a few in every corner of Araxa. It’s funny every Sunday morning because we pass a lot of them on the road as we’re both knocking doors and visiting people.

We worked like crazy this week and had a big group progressing and we got to Domingo (Sunday) and only had two investigators at church L. I was sad/stressed/disappointed/frustrated. BUT, Mateus came and he’s super ready for his baptism at the end of this week! I don’t think I’ve ever found anyone as ready as he was! He understands and believes in everything, is good friends with the members, and will be a big help to the group. Even feeling down a little bit, I’m counting my blessings and am always grateful to my Heavenly Father! We won’t have a ton of baptisms in these first weeks in Araxa, but we will have a few!

Mother’s Day is coming up!!!! I can’t wait to skype again! My English will be really bad, but it’ll still be great! Hahaha.

Espero que tudo esteja bem nos Estados Unidos! Keep me updated and thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers! While you guys are enjoying the greatest country in the world, I’ll be working as hard as I can here! Vida e boa!

Elder Anderson

Monday, April 11, 2016


Bom dia 19!


That moment when you realize you are really Neopolitan ice cream...

Só felicidade! Thank you tons!!!

Nossa! I’m one year older! I think this was the first time I’ve actually felt older on my birthday. Maybe living out of the continent for 9 months is the cause.

So trabalho duro aqui! Only hard work here! This week went by really fast. I feel like last P-Day was yesterday. After 7 days of hard work we’ve narrowed down our teaching group to people that are sincerely interested, started inviting everyone to be baptized in the first lesson, and met our contact goal of 251 (this took about a whole Sunday of pure contacting haha). Because I forgot to put on sunscreen yesterday and we were in the road all day, I got way sunburned hahahaooww!

Since we can only read letters on P-Day, I just read all of your awesome birthday cards! Man I’m so happy! Haha, it’s so great to hear from family and friends—it reminds me that I actually have an entire life outside of Brazil. Thanks so, so, so much for all of your endless love, prayers, and support. They are felt DEMAIS!

Early in my mission, if someone passed by in the road listening to music, I wouldn’t talk to them, not wanting to interrupt. Eventually I realized that undoubtedly sharing the restored gospel is way more important than listening to music, so now I talk to people with headphones too—with miraculous results! The other day I saw a guy listening to music in the road, and I stopped to talk to him. After teaching him (Mateus) the first time, he prayed about the message, felt strongly that it was true, and is excited to be baptized this month! He loved the church meeting yesterday and wants to introduce his family to us as well. Woohoo!

A cool experience this week: one night we were at a bus stop and talked to a guy who was drinking. He said he and his wife had separated the day before. I felt like I should give him a Book of Mormon, but I didn’t want to because he lived in another city so we wouldn’t be able to visit him and we only had a few left. A thought came into my head: “Voce acha que nao conheco meus filhos?” (You think I don’t know my children?). Oh man, I realized Heavenly Father knew that man and his needs way better than I did. I gave him a Book of Mormon and he thanked us. He left it or forgot it at the bus stop, and someone we were teaching passed by and happened to see it. We picked it up from him later. I learned I need to trust always in spiritual promptings! Maybe he didn’t actually need it, I just needed to learn that lesson.

Suco do ceu! We’re teaching an awesome family—Ze Antonio and Livia. We had a family home evening with them Wednesday and Livia made strawberry juice. IT’S SO GOOD! Why don’t we have this in America? Maybe I shouldn’t ‘reclamar’. Although the USA lacks quite a few fruits and drinks, I’d much rather live there.

I made a contact with an American this week. She’s here teaching English. I guess I’m not the only on in the city!  Haha.

We had three youth investigators at church on Sunday, it was great!!

Man this was a good birthday week. Thanks again guys! Also, at an activity we had with the members on Friday (of the small group here, two have their birthday day 8, and I day 7 haha) Paula, a member we found a while ago, gave me a sweet tie! There’s not much missionaries like more than ties hahaha. I was grateful!

Also this week, we had a good zone meeting in Uberaba. It was good. We also got vaccinated against the swine flu. That was good too. It was a great, full week! I love you guys! Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Elder Anderson

Monday, April 4, 2016

Trobalho Duro e Conferencia Geral!

Eating acerola!

Washing clothes by hand

Tuna for lunch!
(General Conference is broadcast around the world 2x a year, in October and April). Member of the church around the world gather to hear inspiring talks from church leaders. Scott got to watch it online in Brazil)
Rapaz, conferencia geral foi bom demais! General Conference was awesome! The only drawback was that it went by way too fast. I’m excited to download, listen to, print, and read all the great talks that were given. Some of my favorites were given by Sister Oscarson (the true church and it’s essential role in God’s plan), Elder Bednar (the Priesthood and it’s ordinances), Elder Ballard (family councils), Elder Uchdorf (Priesthood session—marriage and families), and Elder Holland (the blessings and guidance for those who love and serve God). I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better talk to finish up conference than Elder Holland’s yesterday—humorous and spiritually powerful. General Conference on the mission is the best!!

I’m so grateful for a living prophet and apostles. What a great blessing it is to be led by men called of God and given his divine authority to receive revelation and guide the children of God through this mortal journey and back to our heavenly home!

In Araxa, things are going well! It’s only pure hard work here. It’s tiring and tough, but building the kingdom of God in a city where His church never before has been, isn’t and shouldn’t be an easy calling! I think it was Tuesday night that I was so tired I fell asleep during our prayer to end our nightly planning session. Elder Lisboa thought I was just praying personally, but after 30 minutes he woke me up hahaha. Never been so tired, nor happy and grateful!

The big miracle occurring here is that we’re finding several people that used to be members of the church but moved here and became inactive because the church wasn’t established here. Both times we’ve gone to the center of Araxa, someone stopped us, saying they had been baptized a long time ago and never found the church here. Yesterday morning, a woman called us saying we had made a contact with her daughter who then told her that she had seen missionaries in the city. After about 14 years, she’s excited to have the church here! The Lord will keep leading us to these people, or He will lead them to us!

We had an awesome experience this week with Guilherme, who we found our first day here. When teaching the Restoration to him a second time, we emphasized the importance of praying to know if this is the true church. At the end of the lesson, we said a kneeling prayer, and he asked if all we had taught and the church was true. All of us felt the peace and comfort of the Holy Ghost super strong, and after the prayer, he said “It’s the truth. This is the true church!” (translated). Even though he didn’t come to the church meeting this week (in between the Sunday sessions of conference) we’re hoping to help him continue to grow his testimony.

The granddaughter of Maria Lucia, the member in whose house we meet on Sundays, has wanted to be baptized for a long time, only never had the church close to home. We started teaching her and she’ll be baptized this month! She reminds me of Heidi a ton haha!

We are working hard. Exercising hard too. Elder Lisboa told me, after I decided we’d go running up the biggest hill around one morning, that he wrote in his journal “Acho que men companheiro esta tentanda me matar!’ (I think my companion’s trying to kill me!) Hahaha, there’s nothing like pure hard work , and I’m glad E. Lisboa is willing to work hard too.

Have a good hard-working week America!

Elder Anderson