Monday, November 28, 2016

"Back to Faculty"

 Cakes = Bolos (x2)

 We helped Zé Elho push his car hahaha
 A galera!
 Eating with gloves makes this a lot cleaner
 Tchau, Lago das Rosas
 Essa comida foi boa
 Spines/thorns/spiky things on the inside
 Tchau E. Murry, boa sorte!
 The view from our house in Patos (x2)
Elder Gómez!
 Zona Staff!
 Tchau para vocês!
I'll miss this view

I packed my bags, got on a bus, and said goodbye to Goiania on Thursday. Now I’m in Patos de Minas, a city in Minas Gerais that’s on the eastern edge of the mission. IT’S AWESOME HERE!!!

I consider this past week one of the big transitions of my mission, finishing my 7 months in the office and returning to the field for my last 7 months. I’ve passed the 2/3 mark. Que doido.

My last of many, many Sundays in the Goiania ward was memorable. We brought a good family to church (they ran late and as a result, E. Murry almost missed his talk hahaha) and later we were invited by a member to a family home evening to which she had invited a non-member friend. It turned out being a surprise going-away get together for me. President Buhrer had told all the missionaries not to do farewell activities like that when we were transferred, but it was a surprise which I knew nothing about! Haha, I loved my time in Goiania and loved the members. I’m honored that they were grateful for my service and so thoughtful to put together a little farewell celebration.

My last few days in Goiania were kind of weird. Elder Murry assumed full responsibility of the finances (he’s already doing great!), and I just had to wait a few days for the leadership meeting and the trip to Patos de Minas. I helped out in the office, worked a little in the field, and thought a lot about how I could effectively lead the zone here.

Leading a zone is a lot of work! At night we get home and finish our daily planning and before we can get ready for bed, we have to call the district leaders and evaluate the day’s work. I’m still getting used it haha. I’m really grateful that I was transferred here. It’s the beginning of my fourth day and I’m loving it, for several reasons:

The area – Patos de Minas is a city of about 125,000. There’s a district of the church here with 3 branches: Guanabara (our branch), California, and Patos Centro. The average branch size is 40-50 members. The city reminds me of Araxa. (ARAXA!! I miss that place.) There’s a ton of hills (on some I think we do more climbing than walking) and a lot of green/forest/mato areas. There are a lot of farms nearby, and the other day we saw 10 cows crossing the road.

The zone – There’s two companionships per branch here – 12 missionaries in all. All of them are great. One of the district leaders is E. Baltazar! It’s been almost a year now since I trained him and he has become a great missionary.

The members – They’re awesome! They all love the missionaries. The group of youth here is really strong. We’ll be teaming up with young men a lot.

My companion – Elder Gomez! He’s from Guatamala, is in his last transfer, and has one transfer’s worth of experience as a zone leader here so he’s been helping me get to know people, places and things. He’s easy-going, hard-working, and teaches well. It’s been a good few days with him so far. I was really hoping for a Hispanic companion so I could practice Spanish. I’m already getting way better.

The field – I knew it would be nice to get back to the field, but it’s even better than I imagined! I was in the office so long I had forgotten what it was like. I love dedicating all my time and effort to FINDING, TEACHING, and BAPTIZING! I joke to myself that, like Dad did a few years ago, I’m leaving administration and going back to faculty kkkkk.

My testimony of the Priesthood power was greatly strengthened this week. We ate lunch at the house of Irma Nara on Saturday. Due to past experiences she has a deep fear of driving on the Estrada (freeway). She asked for a blessing because that night she needed to drive to another city. I, with E. Gomez, gave it.

Yesterday she came up to us at church and said she was able to drive completely calmly and felt that our blessing helped her immensely. I’m grateful to have been an instrument in the Lord’s hands to help one of His children.

This week was awesome! I’m loving my mission and am so excited to keep working hard here in Patos!

Elder Anderson

Saturday, November 19, 2016


 Salão sacramental, the chapel on Rua 9-A
 Lots of missionaries/amigos!
 We sure fill up the restaurant
 Our apartment has wood floor
 Last day all together in the lan house!

At the end of his conference with us, Elder Sidukaitis bore his testimony, slowly pacing around the cultural hall to look into the eyes of every elder and sister. Undoubtedly it was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission. He said “My Testimony of this gospel is “Inabalavel. Inabalavel.” Unshakable.

I feel that each day my testimony is becoming more unshakable. As we learn in the scriptures, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, is the Rock, and if we build our testimony on his firm foundation, certainly we will not fall when Satan throws his rains and might winds and hails upon us (Helaman 5:12). Through our loving Saviors’ Atonement we can be strengthened and build a testimony that is “inabalavel”.

Not only was this one of the most memorable weeks, but also one of the craziest and busiest (or most busy? I should pray for my English kkkkk). We, the secretaries ran around like beheaded chickens trying to organize the entire event and confirm that it ran smoothly. On the financial side, Elder Murry and I had to contract a transportation company to bring the three zones from Minas Gerais (that’s a funny name for a state: “General Mines” ) to Goiania and back on a charter bus and another company to bring and return missionaries from Jatai and Rio Verde via van. There were also a lot of normal bus tickets we had to buy for the missionaries in other cities. After weeks of careful planning with Elder Antunes and Presidente, all went smoothly and we saved close to 4000 reais. Good stuff. 

The conference, or "Mission Tour" with Elder Aidukaitis was divided in 4 meetings: one leadership meeting and three similar meetings with groups of about 50 missionaries each. I heard in the leadership meeting he "queimou" (burned...but we use this word here as like reprimanding, disciplining, correcting directly) the leaders of the mission about planning and organization. The regular meeting was great. Our zone was part of the last session, which was nice because after making sure the first ones went alright, we were able to relax and focus.

It was just incrível. Elder Aidukaitis is really direct and serious. He taught us about how to invite people to baptism., how to invite people to pray at the end of a lesson, and how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and a book that is absolutely and undoubtedly true. There is no crafted explication capable of proving it and its divinity false. I know it.

I took about 5 pages of notes and would love to send them to you guys, but there in Portuguese. Ha! It was really a spiritual feast and a unique opportunity—we were personally taught by a member of the Seventy! A general authority of the church! It was awesome, and it's clear that he is spiritually advanced and has a whole lifetime of leadership experience.

This week I went to see one of my best friends here—Lucas the Dentista! I noticed a top canine tooth was starting to twist and so I called him up. Two days later (yesterday) I visited him and he made me a top retainer. When I get home (in....only 7 months now! Whoa...) I'll be able to get any further care I need, but for now this will keep things from getting worse. He does everything for free for the Elders and is gente boa demais!

I took a ton of pictures this week. We visited a graffiti museum and did some other cool stuff BUT all those pictures are now on my flash drive which is in the office and so I'll have to send them next week.

Next week.......... I'LL BE BACK IN THE FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know exactly what my assignment will be, but I have a pretty clear idea, based on the hints Presidente has given me hahaha. I'll tell you guys all about it next week! I know I'll be leaving Goiânia and leading a zone, though I'm not yet sure which.

Amo todos vocês! Tudo de bom!
Elder Anderson

Feliz with my new "plaquinha"

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Some Worldwide News

 Chimarrão no pacote
 Almoço with the Maia's
 E. Lisboa gives the message
 I'm liking making fruit salads lately
 E. Nelson!
 Ready, Set...
 Clearly, I lost kkkkkkkkkkkk
 A gurizada!
Trem bom
 Elder Murry is learning well!
 A tri-lingual study
Matching ties

This week something of international importance happened: Mom turned 41!!!!!!! A big Feliz Aniversário to you, Mom :) I love you!

At 6:29 on Wednesday morning I got a call from Elder Lagunas, the secretary who takes care of the baptismal records and mission journal, who had gone really early to the office with Elder Antunes. He said something that sounded like "TRumfFganhooUD" It wasn't because of how he pronounced it but because my ears just hadn't woken up yet. I asked him to rephrase. "Trump ganhou!"

Clearly that's the biggest news in the world right now. Everybody knows it. I had members calling me and missionaries calling me and the velocity of information in our modern world is an incredible thing. Even the homeless people know about the election results. In general, the Brazilians aren't happy, and while clearly a lot of Americans share the negative attitude, I bet there's a good bit of celebration going on in the States too. Surely I'll be returning to a different America.

One day this week we went to visit someone who wasn't at home so we talked to his neighbor. She wasn't interest in having us teach her or in visiting the church, but she was kind enough to give us water. It was hot that day. It's been really hot lately; some nights it's hard to sleep. Anyway, when I looked down in the plastic cup of water, I saw a few dead ants bobbing up and down. The first cup I drank I just avoiding letting them into my mouth and threw them out with the last drops of water. I was still thirsty. When about to drink the second cup,I looked at the floating ants and remembered my first battle with the ants in Jardim Curitiba when they invaded my cereal and I ate them along with it. I decided I couldn't let the ants beat me and drank the whole cup. Then I went for a third and took in a few more ants. Elder Anderson 2 - Ants 0. Take it, ants.

After that we ate some mangos we got off of a nearby tree. Brasil is great.

This week I had a good study. There was a scripture I wasn't fully understanding in Portuguese opne morning, so I looked it up in English. That didn't help much, so I looked it up in Spanish. In Spanish it was clearest. It was really cool to have three Book of Mormon's open on my desk in different languages. I realized that learning Portuguese and being able to pick up a little Spanish have been great blessings of my mission. I love serving the Lord—there is nothing that brings greater blessings!

Goiânia has a team of American football. It's called the Goiânia Rednecks! I think that's a very important thing to relate to you all hahaha.

Time is passing quick! It feels like everyday I'm returning to the washing machine to throw in a batch of sweated white shirts. I'm grateful for a washing machine! In Araxá I didn't have one and now I'm a more grateful person.

This week will be our meeting with Elder Aidukatis, and I will also learn which will be my next area! It'll be incrìvel!

Tenham uma semana abençoada!

Elder Anderson

Saturday, November 5, 2016


The Goiânia Theater
Mind on the future
Fonte na Praça Cívica
 President made me laugh so hard I about died!
 União de chimarrão
 O Staff!
 In the carro with Pres. Bührer
 Pizza Hut! 
Happiness (Scott didn't drink soft drinks much until his mission....water is too risky there....!)

It rained gatos and cachorros this week. It’s great to have rain here because it cools things off and raises the humidity from about 0% to around 5% haha. The drawback is getting soaked. I’m grateful I have two pairs of shoes that I can switch between because it usually takes two days for a pair to dry out. Really, the wetness isn’t that bad, considering the great blessing of getting rained on while on your mission—they say the more rain you walk through, the prettier your future wife gets. In that case, I’m fine if it rains all day every day hahaha. During half the year it doesn’t rain in Goiania and so during this last rainy season of my mission I’m going to take advantage and get all the rain I can!

Although I can’t wait for the field, I’m enjoying my last weeks in the office. Presdient Buhrer is hilarious, Elder Murry is learning well, and I really like the other secretaries. We’ve had some good times in the office lately. I do admit that I’ll miss sitting at a computer in the air conditioning for most of the day. That’s been a nice blessing during these 6+ months haha!

Let's see. What happened this week that didn't happen during my other 27 weeks in the office? Halloween!! It's not really that big here, but there are a few costume parties and probably a few kids that decide to knock doors just like we do except with the purpose of obtaining sugary treasure instead of sharing the gospel. I think both of those door-knocking related things are pretty critical in having a fulfilling life. What would primary and youth Sunday school classes become if teachers didn't reward participation with mini Reese's?

I started reading A Marvelous Work and a Wonder this week. It is incredible! I really appreciate its logical and clear perspective on how the gospel was restored. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest message on Earth! I wish more people would sincerely search after it. Having my invitation to hear about how God called a prophet in these latter days rejected by 9 out of every 10 people on the road everday is tough, but I work hard and will keep working hard for that 10%!

Heavenly Father has a perfect eternal plan for us, His children. Above all the tumultuous events of these modern times, that is what matters. Let us never lose our eternal perspective!

Elder Anderson