Monday, July 25, 2016

Another Transfer

 Os Elderes de Araxá! (menos Elder Oñate)
 With Elder Zeballos and his parents!
 Tchau, Elder Badu e Elder Farias
 Our road
 It's always a good day in the Lake of the Roses (x2)

With my first two zone leaders! Elder Morales (from Chile) came to visit Brazil

Boa tarde pessoal! Como estão vocês!? This week we had the transfer and, as I was sure, I'll be staying another month and a half as financial secretary. Woohoo! I'm still learning a ton, and everything is a lot easier now because I actually know what I'm doing. Knowing how to do what I need to do is a nice feeling hahaha. Presidente told me this week that I need to start thinking and praying about who should be the next missionary to take care of the finances because next transfer I'll start training him and then in the next I'll get back to the field! YES!!!! I'm excited demais to return to the 'campo.' The office has been great, but I miss pure missionary work. There's nothing better!

This transfer a ton of missionaries went home and a few arrived. Elder Zeballos finished his mission and left this week :(. I was sad haha. It wasn't that big of a deal when people I didn't know were leaving the mission, but now good friends that I've worked closely with are going home and it's crazy. One day that'll be me. I'll be way excited to see all you guys, but also pretty sad to leave Brasil. I'll wait to think too much more about that bittersweetness for another 11 months. Anyway, Elder Zeballos's parents came to pick him up and I got to meet them! It was funny because they don't speak Portuguese, just Spanish and English, and so I really had to concentrate to communicate with them. E. Zeballos will likely be going to BYU and it'll be way fun to meet up again with him someday. He was definitely the best friend I've had so far in my mission!

The four 'novinhos' that arrived in Goiânia are all really great. The two Brasileiros were excited to get to work and the two Americans had already learned some decent Portuguese. The American elder, Elder Lloyd, is going to be trained in the best area in the world.......ARAXÁ!!!!!!! Man I miss that place! It was fun to talk to him all about it and, in my little office, show him pictures from my time there. The group in Araxá is growing and now have over 20 people every Sunday. The most we had when I was there was 17! The stone cut out of the mountain with our hands, that marvelous work and a wonder that is the full and restored gospel, is rolling and filling the whole Earth! Man I'm so glad I had the chance to serve there and I hope I can return at the end of my mission.

I'm tired. That fact doesn't change. I'm the happiest I've ever been. That fact also doesn't change! I love this mission! I'm so grateful for the chance to represent my Redeemer and fulfill God's Will. Helping people to grow in their testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored church is the most rewarding work that exists. A miracle happened this week—Neide was able to trade shifts at work and came to church again this Sunday!!! She loved it and is so happy that we found her and have been helping and teaching her the truths of the gospel. I love this mission. I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are guides sent from our loving Heavenly Father to us, His children, and that through our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, He gives us His current revelations and guidance. I am converting myself more everyday as a servant of Jesus Christ and want to serve Him my whole life. Thanks for all the love and support!

Elder Anderson

Monday, July 18, 2016

Almost Burning a Shirt

 The corridor in leading to our house
 The heart burger (x2)

 Eating the heart burger hardcore
 District meeting!
 Inside the chapel
 The church on Rua 9-A, home of Ala Goiânia
 In the taxi :)
 In the elevator :) :)
 I ate this whole Habib's pizza for lunch. It was the equivalent of $4.60.
 The office building of our office. We'e on the 11th floor.
 The entrance of the office building
 I haven't lost my art skills yet (Mark 16:15)

With Elder Zeballos, o increível! He goes home this week :(((( e Elder Banz atrás kk

Almost Burning  a Shirt

I can’t believe I forgot to write about this last week, but last week I knocked the best door on my mission! It was 8:40 at night and I was on that exchange with Elder Souza. As always, we were trying to find “os eleitos”. After a few unsuccessful doors, we knocked (or actually, we clapped. In Brasil lots of houses have gates in front and you just clap your hands loudly for people to let you in) and a woman came out and asked us if we were the Mormons. Sin, nos somos! She then said “Oh, the people here are Mormon. Do you want to come in?” Alright. We passed through the house to the area behind it and found a huge extended family having a barbecue to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the family members. Some of them were members of the church from the USA! We were given a bunch of awesome food (including picanha – the best cut of meat here) and as we talked to the people there, found out that it was the extended family of our ward mission leader. He wasn’t there, but his dad, who’s less active, was and we talked to him and invited him back to church and he came! After eating a ton and meeting everyone we went home, really grateful and excited that we had knocked what we thought was a normal door and in turn, won a churrasco! Hahaha!

This week I reached one year on the mission!!!!! It has been the nest year of my life.  For years I’ve been excited for the day when I would reach one year on my mission and follow the missionary tradition of burning a shirt. I was way excited to do it on Friday and had everything ready – the white shirt, the camera, the super flammable water-proof aerosol product for shoes – when it was discovered that we had run out of matches. NO! I looked around the house like crazy but only found am empty match box then went to the neighbor’s house but she wasn’t available and then it was almost 10:30 and I had to abandon the search L. I was sad. It’s only once in your life you hit one year on your mission. And…we were out of matches. Anyway, I’m happy again and at least had the certainty that I wouldn’t burn anybody’s house down.

That’s something different. Houses in the US are made of wood and burn easily. Houses here are made of a type of blocky clay brick and mortar and even if I had burned a shirt and the aerosol can had exploded (IF), probably none of the house would have burned because they can’t.

Oh! I started an awesome goal: memorize one scripture everyday. Last P-Day was the first day and so far I’ve memorized 12 (I’m a little behind). They are the following: Ether 12:27, Mosiah 2:17, D&C 82:10, Alma 5:26, John 3:16, 2 Nephi 2:27, 2 Nephi 2:25, 2 Nephi 9:28-29, 2 Nephi 25:23,26, and 2 Nephi 28:7, 8, and 9. It’s been really cool! I’m more constantly thinking about good things, getting to know the scriptures better, and strengthening my ability to memorize. I don’t know how long I’ll keep it up, but I think at least the rest of my mission will be a good goal.

On the news on the elevator TV this week I saw that there was a riot in front of Governor Deal’s house. I thought it was cool because I went there once and Georgia made international news. Hopefully next time I get a Georgia news update here it’ll be a little more positive hahaha.

Beans here have risen a ton in price and everybody here is going crazy over it because Brazilians eat rice and beans every single day of life! Hahaha, Brasil!

It was a good week this week. I took a ton of pictures for you guys to enjoy! I enjoyed learning some cool things in the scriptures this week (especially how D&C 20:35 and 2 Nephi 14 explain the verses in Revelations 22 that people often use to try to discredit the Book of Mormon) and of course, reaching the famous one year mark! Life is great, Brasil is great, the gospel is true!

Elder Anderson

P. S. I ATE A HEART BURGER. It was alright. Kind of like liver. A little tougher but not as bad tasting as liver is. Oh yeah, people eat liver here sometimes too.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bencaos, Milagres, Felicidade!

 My July 4th planning 
 P-Day lunch com o cara e PÃOZÃO!
 Letters from the fam!!!!!!!!!!
 Digitizing the taxi receipts...Chato demais!
No fluxo executivo/financeiro

Ola ao meu povo! It’s  Friday right now and I’m at home. Elder Vercosa, who has a problem in his feet and does physical therapy every day, is staying with us and since he can’t walk much, he has to just sit at home each night with one of us. Tonight’s my night. It’s been nice to take a little break and have time to clean the kitchen floor, work out some more, and now, write to you guys! Each week it’s been a rush trying to write my letter and so I’ll take advantage to cover some things that I’ve forgotten here or there in the last while.

One Sunday afternoon we were looking for a less-active member’s address. We found it, but it was an apartment building and the address we had didn’t list the apartment number. I didn’t want to not find the person (double negatives are not grammar crime in Portuguese) and so for 10 minutes I used the doorbell/intercom to call to every one of the 16 apartments. We didn’t find the person or family, but it was funny, haha.

I believe it was in March that Pres. Kuceki gave the mission the goal of finishing reading the Book of Mormon before Pres. Buhrer got here. Since that time I read a lot in the Book of Mormon every day. I actually started reading it in Portuguese before I left for Brazil, though I didn’t understand it, and as I read more and more and strove to reach the goal that Pres. Kuceki gave us, not only my ability to read Portuguese but also my testimony of and love for the Book of Mormon grew tremendously. The last two weeks before Pres. Buhrer got here I had to read a lot every day to get on track, but I  (I’m really losing or at least having difficulty finding, my English right now) finished the morning of the day he arrived. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God—along with the Bible—and that it is the most correct and true book on Earth! How I am grateful for it and also for an inspired mission president who led me to strengthen my testimony.

The 4th of July was awesome wasn’t it!!? I did get pretty homesick here BUT throwing the American pigskin with American Elder Banz talking some American English about stuff in America helped me celebrate the day well. I love American football. Yet I love the gospel more! There’s nothing better than being on the mission here in Goiania!

That’s something I thought about this week—how grateful and happy I am to be here. I think it’s the mission call letter that says something like “more happiness that you have ever experienced awaits you as you labor among the children of God.” IT’S TRUE!

The joy of sincerely helping people, teaching people the restored and full gospel, seeing lives changed and testimonies built, losing myself in the work, growing in my conviction of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and knowing that I am doing exactly what God wants me to do is the greatest I have ever felt. I love serving this mission and fulfilling the will of my Father in Heaven, just like the Savior did!

(Now it’s P-Day) The weekend was excellent! Saturday I was on a division (exchange) with Elder Souza, the district leader’s companion. He only has 4 months on his mission but is already teaching and working well! We really didn’t have a plan for the afternoon, we just prayed to be led to a good person or family. We walked around and talked to some people. I saw a guy in front of a house and started to talk to him, but stopped when I realized he was talking to someone inside the house. I waited to talk with him when he finished, but as he left, he said to the person inside “Tem dois rapazes aqui para voce.’ (There are two young men here for you.) Well, it wasn’t our intention to talk to the person inside, but we went with the flow of things and ended up meting a humble and legally married family that was looking for a church to belong to! We taught them and invited them to church. They were planning to go to another church Sunday morning but changed their minds and came and loved the meetings yesterday and already committed to come next Sunday as well!  Milagre! I knew we had been guided to find them.

Another miracle happened! Neide is still progressing excellently but couldn’t come to church because of work. She and we have been praying that somehow she could go, and on Saturday one of her co-workers asked if they could trade shifts on Sunday. She happily accepted and loved attending igreja ontem tambem! Miracles!

Man it was a great week! There are even more great stories, but there just isn’t time sufficient to tell them all. That’s a good problem to have: so many blessings that you can’t count them! This morning I read all the letters from the Anderson reunion! I loved them and love you guys a ton! Thank you! I am always so grateful for my wonderful fan club of friends and family.

-Elder Anderson

Monday, July 4, 2016

Bem-Vindo, Presidente Bührer

 Tchau :(
 Bem-vindos! :)
 Pastel with banana, cheese, and cinnamon/sugar
 É nóis!
 E aí
 E. Meireles e E. Diniz!
 Tirei todo este lixo da salinha! (x2)

 Another good day in Goiânia
 Falling out of the chair trying to take this picture kkkkkkkk

 Patriotic demais
Alright Mom, I'll start being safer on the roads

Well, my longest not-getting-robbed streak yet was almost up to 5 months until it was broken Friday night. We were walking on a big avenue and all of a sudden a motorcycle pulled up in front of us, amidst several cars in the lane. Here we go again! The guy on the back hopped off and demanded our watches and money. I gave him my watch (the one Josh gave me right before I left :(. It's survived 3 assaults and on the 4th it was taken...) and told him I left my money in the office. After grabbing E. Oliveira's phone and E. Freire's watch, he hopped back on the moto and sped off. E. Oliveira said he was holding a big knife, yet I didn't see it. At least 5 cars passed and saw it all happening but it's so normal in Brasil that even the police at the nearby gas station weren't surprised when we ran to them and said what happened. They went off to try to catch the guys but surely didn't. Brasil...

Presidente Bührer chegou! He and his family arrived on Wednesday. I'll send the pictures we all took. Presidente Kuceki and his family left that afternoon—triste. Pres. and Sis. Bührer are awesome! They're really young, only 40, and are excited to be here. We had a meeting with him and the staff the following day. He talked about how this is a mission of miracles and we are going to see the miracles of people changing their lives through this gospel as we work diligently to serve the Lord. He made a new logo for the mission which is pretty sweet, maybe next week I'll send a picture. On Friday morning we had a meeting with all the missionaries from Goiânia, Anápolis, and Barra do Garças here in the Goiânia stake center. Pres. and Sis. Bührer shared their conversion stories and testimonies. They are hilarious and also really dedicated to the Lord's work—a lot like the Kuceki's na verdade, just younger haha. It's been a great week of transition, and the whole mission is excited!

IT'S THE 4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I woke up excited and sang the national anthem and when I got here to the office put my little American flag in my shirt pocket and walked everywhere with it even when I went to the bank and went to pay bills and I'm wearing a red tie and blue pants and thinking about fireworks and barbecue and the peachtree and red white and blue and AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man I miss my country! The best in the world!!!! After living foreign for almost a year, I have grown incredibly more grateful for the amazing country from where I am. For those of you who haven't yet really experienced another country, you have no idea how blessed we are to be Americans. The USA is a heavenly country and even with the several problems that exist there, it is much better than anywhere else. Eu amo os Estados Unidos de América!

Life is good here. I payed some bills and did the other normal stuff this week here in the office. In the mission field, Neide is progressing really well and is really loving learning about how the principles she understood only in part for so long make sense within the restored gospel. We're continuing to work hard and find more prepared people!

Enjoy the 4th America, I love you!

Elder Anderson