Monday, August 22, 2016

A Golden Week

 Hanging up clothes to dry, because that's cool haha
 We helped Neide move!
 Ready to work!!
 "Bagulho" - my new breakfast kkkkkkk
Always representing. GO LIONS!
 Lan housing it up
 É o tempo para e-mail!

Elder Oliveira and I were sitting on the sidewalk awaiting Neide to arrive for our lesson when suddenly we heard fireworks and screaming coming from everywhere. It was a clear sign that BRASIL WON THE FINAL! They were playing against Germany (do the numbers 7 and 1 ring a bell?) for the Olympic gold in soccer and won on the last PK, by Neymar. Nossa! Fiquei feliz demais! Teria sido feoi se Ale manha ganhasse duas vezes sobre Brasil aqui na terra do Brasil mesmo. The gold medal wone by the Brazilian men’s national team, however, wasn’t the only reason it was a Golden week. It was also g a great 7 days na missao!

Oh, my P-Day is Monday this week because we’re going to have the mission audit on Wednesday, which will be cool. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about how I really should be doing things haha. I’ll tell you all about it next week.

I learned through application an important principle this week—being like Jesus. Two mad landlords called me this week, and results of each call were very different. An old guy called me declaring that he thought the document I sent him to fill out was unnecessary and that he wouldn’t do it. It’s a document that allows him toe receive the rent payment. He was mad and hopelessly ignorant and I got mad and started half-yelling too, explaining that if he didn’t fill out this form he wouldn’t get paid and because he wasn’t capable of doing it himself, I’d do it for him and just sen tit to him to sign. At the end of the call, I had gotten my point across but I realized I felt like lixo (go look that word up).

When a similarly angry man called me about another house I changed my approach. He was even more mad (ex. I said “Hi, are you well today” and he replied in a certain tone “ALMOST!” and proceeded to complain about the contract and house taxes and stuff). I decided to just stay as nice and calm as possible, explaining simply what I needed. After hanging up I felt completely the opposite of how I felt after the other call. I was light, happy, and had the desire to treat everyone with that same kindness. I directly experienced the blessings of acting like the Savior. We should always treat others with love, respect, and kindness as Jesus surely would, even if it’s a crazy landlord on the other end of the phone.

We helped Neide move this week! I didn't remember that we're not supposed to do service projects on P-Day until we had already planned to do it, but I'm really glad we did. She moving closer to where she works and didn't have a whole lot of things to move but we made everything go much easier. She came to church yesterday for the 3rd time and loved it and next Sunday morning will be her baptism. Só milagres!

We found some other great people this week too. Last Sunday after the ward council meeting we talked to some kids playing soccer on the chapel's basketball/soccer court. We passed by their apartment a few days later (they live almost directly in front of the church). They have a good family that was having some really big problems, until the point that the parents were almost separating. So far we've been helping them understand the importance of having Christ as the foundation of the family, and doing this through family prayer and scripture study and faithfully going to church.

I am so, so grateful for my family. I love you guys! I can testify of the power of the family that prays and studies the scriptures together because every day I can ever remember our family did, and that's why we are united, happy, and well. We have Christ as our foundation, and every blessing I have comes from that. Muito obrigado Pai e Mãe por terem nos criado assim!

We also started teaching a young woman named Paula is reading well the Book of Mormon and is discovering its truthfulness. I love the Book of Mormon and the happiness it brings and am excited she is starting to enjoy the same joy. Since we taught her last week with Isabela, a returned sister missionary in the ward, she is progressing well and finding answers to questions she always had.

Today I will memorize scripture number 50! I have loved this goal of memorizing one per day. I am loving my mission! Missão Brasil Goiânia is doing great, spiritually and financially (because I can see that part!), and I couldn't be happier to be here!

Elder Anderson

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Agua dos Ceus

 Got a letter from cousin Marissa!
 Knowing this "milk" won't go bad until December is not entirely comforting
 Before church with E. Lisboa! He was on an exchange here
 Suave na nave!
 It's raining!
 Jesus, o Cristo—Jesus the Christ
I found peanut butter! But it's expensive demais...

Whoa! It actually rained this week. It had been over 3 months since water had fallen from heaven down to Goiania until it rained yesterday. We got soaked walking to district meeting. It was awesome because the rest of the day was cloudy and cool—really rare for Goiania!

I heard the USA is winning everything in Rio. Bom demias! That makes me happy. USA! USA! USA! This reminds me: the way ‘Rio de Janeiro’ is pronounced by Americans is really different from how it’s said in Brasil. Here, the R at the beginning of a word sounds like H, D followed by E usually sounds like the letter G, and J is a little bit softer. Thus, ‘Rio de Janeiro’ sounds as if it was “Heeoh G Jhaniero’ when spoken phonetically correct in Portuguese. Legal, ne?

Right now I’m in a taxi going to the rodovianria (bus station terminal) of Goiania. We’re going to buy tickets (is that the best word?) for some missionaries who need to travel for medical purposes. (Alright, we got here and now we’re actually buying them.) Serving in the office, it’s tough having a nice, predictable schedule—impossible almost –because of all the urgent things that we have to resolve, but the experience I’m obtaining is great. When I grow up life won’t be any more predictable or easy! I say ‘when I grow up’, but I’m 19 and living on the other side of the equator speaking Portuguese. Even so I still feel like a kid hahaha.

What I most want to strengthen on my mission is my testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve started focusing my personal study on Him, the greatest topic of all, using Book of Mormon references from Preach My Gospel and ‘Jesus the Christ’ by James Talmadge. I’m reading ‘Jesus the Christ’ in Portuguese, using the English edition as reference—muito legal! The life of the Savior was amazing! Certainly the manner in which He taught and ministered is incomparable. His parables were literary marvels and explained great doctrines so that everyone could understand them on his or her own level of understanding. His teaching was academically and spiritually perfect, and as His missionary I hope to develop my teaching to help people change their lives, as He did.

This morning I studied 1 Nephi 19. Here Nephi prophesies about the suffering and judgement that Jesus would willingly pass through because of His love for us. I can’t fully imagine how it was, yet I’m so grateful for the infinite love the Savior showed as He fulfilled the will of the Father for our sake.

Sunday I was informed I would give a 5 minute talk 5 minutes before I had to give it. I tried to think quickly and decided to talk about how much God loves us, using Mosiah 2:20-22 (I love this scripture—I invite all of you to look it up and read it right now!), John 3:16 and Grandpa Anderson’s story about how the newly paved road caved in under his car and how the Lord completely protected him while his car was destroyed. It went well! I like giving talks.

There’s a member here that works at the best churrascaria (Brazillian bargeque restaurant) in Goiana. He said that a few weeks ago Neymar and other players from Brasil’s national team went there. THAT’S SO COOL! Hahaha, Brasil is great.

I’m way excited to get to the Lan House and read your emails! Oh, thanks cousin Marissa for your letter! I got it this week. I also received Rose’s wedding invitation from the Wildings. Thanks a ton! I love letters from you all! Wishing a great week to everyone from Goiania to the world,

Elder Anderson

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

As Olimpiadas Tem Chegado!

 Animadão para a reuniãozão
 In front of the chapel, clearly
 Off to church
 Elder Didericksen's in town!
 Two of my favorite things!!
 Time to cut my own cabelo
 Making some eggs

 With tomatos and fresh green beans....healthy demais!
Sunrise in Goiânia

For the last two months, the little tv in the elevator of our office building showed a daily countdown to the Olympics (or in Brazil, Olimpiadas). I remember when we had 57 days remaining. That time flew and now…as Olympiadas tem chegado! Every TV in the city has them on and everybody is excited. We don’t watch them, but we get updates from the members haha. It’s really cool to be here with such a big event going on!

The best part of this week was our multi-zone conference with Presidente and Sister Buhrer on Thursday. It was awesome! Presidente presented his vision and goals for the mission. He’s inspired! He wants us to have Preach My Gospel in our bones and veins, focus on the Book of Mormon as the powerful instrument of conversion, and, according to his most-quoted scripture, D&C 82:10 (I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise) obey always. His focus of conversion is not the investigators, but ourselves. "Don't study for the investigators," he said, "Study for you—you are the first convert!" As we convert ourselves—no, I’ll adapt this personally—as I convert myself and grow in my conviction of the restored gospel’s truthfulness, I will have the power to bear firm testimony and the Holy Ghost will confirm my words to the people I teach. No logical explanation, no matter how eloquently crafted and presented, of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, eternal families, the Priesthood, other restored truths and, above all, the Savior Jesus Christ, could make anyone develop a personal, spiritual testimony of them. However, simple, powerful testimony, from the converted heart can lead souls to feel the Spirit and start building a foundation of faith in Christ and his gospel.

The principle of personal conversion on the mission, as Presidente Bührer explained, relates directly to D&C 18:16: “And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me.”

The “one soul” isn’t one baptism. It’s you! Elder Holland explained this once, that as missionaries, there is one sure convert of your mission, you, and there is no excuse for that not happening!  I feel that I have grown greatly in my conversion to the gospel this past year and I want to grow even more in this last year of my mission. Man, it's been awesome to focus so much on what really matters—o evangelho eterno!

Elder Trent, who was the financial secretary one year ago and who finished his mission in December, came to visit Goiânia! It was cool to see him and his family and was tough trying to speak English with them haha. I didn't have my camera with me or I would have gotten a picture. That's one thing that's pretty chato here: I can't bring my camera everywhere because it might get robbed. I would have like 3 times as many cool pictures to send you guys if it weren't that way here. Anyway, other than that detail, Brasil's pretty great.

One piece of advice that Dad gave me at the beginning of my mission is the following: "If you are becoming who the Lord wants you to become, you will be doing the work the way He wants you to do it." I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Lots of times I don't know if I'm doing exactly what I should be, if I should focus more on this or that or try something new or if I'm just completely missing things I should be learning, etc..., but I know and feel that I'm becoming to converted more fully to the Lord, and that reassures me. Thanks for that, Dad!

Vide é boa, o evangelho é verdadeiro, estou feliz. Amo vocês! Tenham uma boa semana. Abraço!

Elder Anderson

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Kid Abelha de novo!

  Foi um bom dia.

E. Sweet made peach cobbler!!!
 Trying to kill a five-pound roach...
An elder tried to steal our door-knob... Hahaha

Opa!!! Ja e agost!? Como assim?!

In last week’s hurry I forgot to write about a cool experience. Two Fridays ago I was doing the missionary reimbursements and after finishing all 86 of them. I realized there was a 41 cent difference between the spreadsheet where I first put them and the church system where I had created the payments according to the spreadsheet. Uh-oh. I really didn’t want to spend 30 minutes trying to find the problem, so I sought greater help. I kneeled down and prayed for guidance. Then, the first thought that came into my mind as I looked to review the spreadsheet was the song from the Sound of Music (at least I think it’s from the Sound of Music…) that says “Let’s start at the beginning, for that’s a good place to start!” Kind of funny, but as I started doubled-checking the values of the reimbursements from the  beginning, I quickly found the incongruency. It was number 5 out of the 86. Heavenly Father helped my save a ton of time and effort, and I was extremely happy and grateful to have seen a miracle of personal revelation in my office work! Que maravilha!

Alright, that was an excellent experience, and the miracles kept coming this week as I applied and enjoyed the results of the principle of goals—metas! Since the day I decided to memorize once scripture a day, I’ve accumulated a small mental library of 30 scriptures that I can think about and recite whenever I want. I think it’s just the coolest thing! Inspired by this, I’ve made a few goals for this month of August (Agosto!) that I’ll share with you all:

-Continue memorizing one scripture per day.
-Memorize ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ (I’ve already done the first 3 paragraphs, woohoo!) and ‘The Living Christ’.
-Keep track of everything I spend. As financial secretary I see how important financial organization is.
-Never drink refrigerante (soda). It’s just terrible for you and they drink a ton of it here. I want to see what difference abstaining completely from it will make!
-Write in my journal every day. I haven’t done very well at this lately, but I really want to be able to remember one day everything that happened here in Brasil, so I’m going to start.
-JUMP OUT OF MY BED AT EXACTLY 6:30! I think the wake up at 6:30 rule is the most important for missionaries. If you start the day with obedience and energy, it can’t not be a great day! (Once again, double negatives are legal in Portuguese J.

I’m excited for another great month of my mission. I am growing and learning so much here. As we walk in the road, my companion doesn’t talk to me (he is not a talker at all!), so I have a lot of time to reflect on my mission, the gospel, and the scriptures I’m memorizing. The joy of good thoughts is a great thing!

Also another big thing happened this week –the P-Day of the secretaries was moved to Wednesday. I’m way excited to get to the lan house today and see how all of you are doing. It’ll be weird with P-Day on Wednesday, but I guess I’ll get used to it.

I realized I haven’t written a lot lately about our proselyting work. I think a big reason is that half of my work is sitting in a little office room. I also think it’s because we’re not having a whole lot of success lately. Neide is progressing bem demais and will be baptized as soon as she can change her work schedule!  We don’t have anyone else that we’re consistently teaching. It’s tough, working without immediate success, but I have to realize and am recognizing more every week that success does not always equal results or numbers. Like Abinadi and Ammon: they were both incredible servants of the Lord, but one was burned and killed while the other converted an entire people who later took on his name. This stunning difference in short-term results doesn’t change their eternal reward. Certainly the Lord will bless them both, hereafter with the greatest blessings of eternal life. The eternal perspective is always most important!

I love Brasil and life in the mission! I’m hoping and praying always that you are all fine and well. Until next…Wednesday!

Elder Anderson