Monday, June 27, 2016

Tchau, Presidente Kuceki

 A galera em...Outback!!!
 Comi bem, bem pra caramba!
This is good ice cream
 Tchau Presidente  e Sister Kuceki! Obrigado!
 That's convincing advertising! Just that no one here understands that...
 The Office (x2)

 Just one point...
 Skill x Style
 Eu tenho o poder

Habib's. Mom's food is better
 Cabbage and meat and rice and something
 It's a good day, Goiânia

I just about got hit by a car taking this. I'm on the street.
My future car passed right by us today

When I arrived in Goiânia, President Kuceki still had almost a year to go as mission president. That time has flown! He and his family will leave for São Paulo this week, and on Wednesday, President Bührer and family will get here. I’m sad and happy at the same time haha. A few weeks ago we had the going-away meeting with the whole mission and yesterday had the ward’s farewell. President and Sister Kuceki gave talks in sacrament meeting and after church everyone took pictures with them. They have done a ton for the Goiânia area in these three years, and I’m really, really grateful I was able to serve here with them. Friday was Presidente´s last normal day in the office. It was a strange day for all of us, knowing that his mission was actually coming to an end. I asked him for a little interview at the end of the day. He was really busy but made time for it and gave me some great advice I will use during the rest of my mission. I have enjoyed so much working closely with him for about four transfers during this last almost-a- year. It really is hard to see him go! Com certeza ficaremos em contato.

We found a golden investigator! A week and a half ago we talked to Neide when it was almost time to return home. She didn’t show interest in hearing our message at first, but let us talk with her. She has a huge story. To sum it up, for 30 years she was the wife of a big pastor in another church, with a great and successful life and suddenly he left her and sent her away with nothing. She’s been rebuilding her life for several months and has been looking and praying for help. That day we didn’t teach anything, just listened and after feeling sincere sorrow for her, we said a faithful prayer. We asked her what she would ask from Jesus if he was there. Then we prayed for those things: guidance on the path to salvation and contact with her family. We invited her to a family home evening with some members and left. A miracle happened! Monday night we went with her to the family home evening (it was great! Irmã Fabiana gave a great message about the apostasy and restoration and shared her testimony and conversion story—a great introduction to the church for anyone). Talking with Neide about her week, she said that less than an hour after we had left her house, she received a message from her daughter. It had been seven months since she had heard from anyone in her family. In that very hour, the prayer was answered! She is progressing quickly and is already well integrated with the members. After teaching the restoration we invited her to be baptized. She responded, “Claro que eu aceito!” (It’s clear that I accept!) Wow. I am so grateful we found her at the right time! She was prepared for the restored gospel and will be a great member!

My testimony of prayer has grown muito in these last few weeks. President Kuceki´s talk in the farewell meeting and personal experiences have strengthened me greatly. I am so grateful that we can communicate directly with our Father in Heaven, and I know that he hears, loves, and answers our prayers! We were making contacts yesterday, and I saw a group pass by that looked very American. We were able to catch up with them and I talked with three young men from North Carolina who are visiting Brasil for a few days for some type of church conference. Cool! I did struggle a little speaking English with them hahaha. It’s awesome but also really weird when I meet Americans (that aren’t missionaries) here. It makes me feel at home for a few minutes, but then I return to the real world, leaving my head spinning a bit. Oh, thinking about Americans, ONLY 1 MORE WEEK TILL THE 4 TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!! I will have a huge party by myself! I’ll think about you guys, all the incredible American barbecue you’ll be eating, and the amazing fireworks a lot that day, while I’m speaking Portuguese and eating rice and beans here. I miss my country, family, and friends, but not too much. Como sempre, estou amando o Brasil!!

Elder Anderson 

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Power of Prayer

 Lago das Rosas
 Where we as vezes play football (American football!)
Bom P-Day dia Goiânia!

Yesterday was Stake Conference. I was excited all week for it, yet the night before, I was stressed. We didn’t have a single investigator who could or accepted to go. In our evening planning I called everyone whose number I had in my planner to invite them to conference. A few people said they couldn’t go; one man, Paulo, said he would talk to his wife to see if it would work, but his tone showed a huge lack of interest; the rest of everyone didn’t answer.

I was sad. I absolutely can’t stand going to church without bringing anyone! And the weekend of Stake Conference is an excellent opportunity to introduce people to the church. Yet, we had no one.

Sunday morning, I prayed. Remembering what Jesus taught in Matthew 7 (and 3 Nephi 14) about how if our earthly fathers are willing to give us what we ask, how much more willing is our Heavenly Father to give us the good things that we ask for, I asked that we could be blessed with some non-member showing up to church. We went.

5 minutes before the meeting started we were in the hall welcoming everybody. Suddenly, I saw Paulo—the man that seemed so uninterested just the night before. He had come! Twenty minutes into the conference, he had to leave, yet how grateful and happy I became to have my prayer directly answered! By the power of prayer we were able to bring someone to church yesterday, and my testimony that God answers prayers was strengthened by real evidence. Que Maravilha!!

There are tons of amazing things in this mission that show the greatness and miracles of God, the love of Christ, and the charity among us brothers and sisters. There are also things that clearly exemplify the stupidity of humanity. A drunk guy said to us yesterday: "Vocês são escoria do mundo!" (you are trash of the world). He was drunk at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, barely making it down the road and called us, missionaries of Jesus Christ, the trash of the world. Hmm, I think he's got things backwards. I said "Obrigado irmão!" (thanks, brother!) and we left happily, to go invite more people to learn about Christ's true gospel. Kkkk esse povo!

I FORGOT TO TELL YOU GUYS! When all the missionaries were here during the transfer, a bunch of us went to that hamburger place and Elder Snell tried the 3 hamburger 2 milkshake challenge. It was great hahaha!! He's a huge guy, but only made it through a hamburger in a half before he couldn't take anymore. That hamburger challenge may be the biggest in Brasil! It was a fun night haha, and maybe it discouraged me from trying it one day.

This was my best week so far as financial secretary! I'm finally getting comfortable. Paying the bills, handling the contracts, balancing the accounts, and everything else is so much easier than it used to be because now I'm actually understanding all of it. I've learned a ton, a TON, and I'm enjoying so much this calling!
It's great here in Goiânia! I wish all you guys could take a trip down here so I could so you around. Since that might be a little difficult, I'll just keep sending more pictures. Amo vocês! Tenham uma ótima semana! Até mais! Prayer works!

Elder Anderson

Monday, June 13, 2016


 Life at work
 Selfie time
 With Elder Pearce, from Georgia!
 The best group in the mission! Desde o CTM
 Com Elder Banz! (x2)

 The missionaries of ARAXÁ!
 Presidente Sousa!!
 Elder Snell!
 Elder Meireles!
 Elder Banz e Sister Smith!

Organizing the reeimbursements (in all, took me 6.5 hours Friday...)

The whole mission

Rapaz essa semana foi doida! Sabianos que seria. I wish I could just continue writing this whole letter in Portuguese. That’d make life easier! Haha.

This week we had transfers! As part of the transfer, we brought the whole mission to Goiania for a big meeting with Pres. and Sis. Kuceki before they leave. Buying the passagens for everyone to get here was financially straining, but in the end it worked out. Oh, I’m being transferred to….!!!!, I’m staying here as financial secretary—woohoo! I think I’ll be here awhile.

It was tough this week trying to help with the transfer while still handling the weekly financial tasks. For example, Thursday afternoon we were eating lunch at the bus terminal after helping a bunch of missionaries leave. I suddenly realized that I hadn’t yet done the caiza pequeno (the fund used for weekly expenses that I have to send for reimbursement every Tuesday and Thursday). I have to turn it in before 3, and the moment I realized it, it was already after 2. I called for a taxi as fast as I could, we ran to the office, and I was able to finish it just in time! It was crazy haha.

The going away meeting for the Kuceki’s was great. President K. gave an excellent talk about sincere and focused prayer. He said that by focusing more intently as we talk with our Father in Heaven about what is actually important for us and the people we are teaching, we will be blessed with the power and revelation needed to fulfill our purpose. It was just what I needed! Being so tired, it’s easy for me to lose attention and even start sleeping as I pray or listen to someone’s prayer. Praying so often during the day—as we wake up, study, leave the house, eat, start a lesson—I had fallen in the pattern of going through the motions. As President Kuceki spoke about focused prayer I was inspired to act, and now, I pray more meaningfully. The difference was immediate! Now I feel the Holy Ghost stronger, am closer to His whispered guidance, sincerely look for the Lord’s help, and realize even in a greater sense how blessed I am! President Kuceki is such a great leader and example for me, and I’m grateful for his inspired messages.

Also as part of the get-together, we ate cake. It was probably the best strawberry cake I’ve eaten in my whole life—or maybe the year-long drought of the awesome cakes that Mom and Grandma make, made this one seem so good. Afterwards, I took a ton of pictures. It was great being able to see so many friends from the mission! Having the whole mission in one place was really a cool experience.

This week I’ll get back to normal work—running the financial side of the best mission in the world! MISSAO BRASIL GOIANIA!!!! Life is great here, how could it not be?!

Elder Anderson 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Presenting the Mormons

 Um bolo legal
 Com Elder Zeballos!!

Opa! (Don't worry, we're in the process of cleaning the office...)

 All day everyday (Tues-Fri until 5pm!)
 Banana e chocolate!
 A galera!
 Pastel é TOP
Pequi and guariroba - Sou Goiano demais!

The whole mission together with President and Sister Kuceki (mom found this on FB and added it to this blog post!)...can you find Scott?! :)

First part in Portuguese: Essa Semana foi boa! Ah, cada semana e boa, mas essa semana foi boa mesmo!

Odrei, the Ward missión leader, Works at a school that has a religión program. The religion teacher chose to focus on the ‘Mormons’ as part of the course, and we secretaries were invited to speak to all the second year students (high school –ensino-medio- in Brasil has only three years). So, Tuesday morning, after some late night preparation, we presented the church and its beliefs to 300 kids. What a cool experience! We explained who we are –as missionaries—showed a video that explains the doctrine of the restoration, and answered questions, which was fun!

Afterwards we had a table set up with Books of Mormon and pamphlets for people to take and the thirty Books of Mormon we brought disappeared in like 3 minutes—everybody wanted one!

It was an awesome event and I really hope that lots of the students have the desire to learn more, contact the missionaries where they live, visit the church, and get baptized. Telling 300 people at one time about the restored gospel was a rare experience, and I’m grateful to have been a part of it. Should have brought my camera…

This week Elder Oliveira and I were at the bus terminal (rodoviaria) buying the passagens for everybody to Goiania for the transfer. It’s been crazy because the whole mission is coming here for a big meeting with President and Sister Kuceki before they leave. It’s a ton of work being a secretary! E. Oliveira and I talked one day about how, being that it’s his first transfer and executive secretary and my first as financial secretary, we don’t have a choice—we have to learn fast how to do our job! If we don’t, the whole mission falls apart. A little bit of pressure.

I’m tired x 50. I’ve been falling asleep during evening prayers frequently, and in one of our lessons and in church last Sunday, comecei dorrir demais hahaha. There’s a constant pattern in missionary life: tired, stressed, and happy!

I went to see Lucas the dentist this week (the friend of E. Zanuttini and I) and he took out the broken metal wire from my bottom teeth and put in a new one. It was a huge blessing because my teeth were already starting to move. Also, this new wire lets me floss alright, which is great!

I forgot to write this in another letter, but a few weeks ago, Elder Oliveira and I went with irmao Ricardo to another city to visit someone from the ward that had been arrested and put in prison. Last time I was in the Goiania ward he was always helping us out and inviting us over to eat. We gave him a blessing—a direct answer to his prayer the previous night—and comfort him. We’re not sure one way or the other if he is guilty of the accused crime (we think he’s not), but we hope the best for him. It was a spiritual experience.

This week will be absolutely crazy! The whole mission will be here in Goiania! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures. Sorry I don’t have many pics this week. Semana que vem havera! I hope you all are happy and well. Ate Mais!

Elder Anderson