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

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