Monday, May 29, 2017

The Penultimate

I just woke up. Since our schedule was modified a few months ago we no longer have to exercise in the morning on P-Day. It’s 6:45 and 15 minutes ago I got out of bed and felt like starting my weekly letter, and so I already am. As I go to bed or wake up each day now, I realize that the days of my mission are quickly coming to an end—in 15 days I get on the plane—and I feel a certain anxious tightness inside.  In a few lessons this week I started feeling really heavy, knowing that soon I would no longer have the authority to preach the gospel to God’s children or represent the Savior as a full-time missionary. It’s hard. E duro.

After studying Moses 6:52-62 (that you talked to me about a few weeks ago mom, I studied it then and again today. What a clear and rich passage of scripture: God the Father expounding the Plan of Salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Adam, the first mortal and first prophet on the Earth. Everyone: read it!), getting my hair cut for the last time in Brasil, and cleaning the house, I’m back to writing my letter. It’s crazy that I’m doing several things for the last time during my mission.

Finishing my mission is sad, but it’s reality and also it’s really happy and awesome. I can’t wait to see all of you guys! I’m trying to express the bitter-sweetness of ending my mission in the letter so I can fill the next—the last letter--with more enriching and meaningful things.  It’s understood that the last weeks of the mission are simultaneously joyful and mournful. I am not experiencing anything unordinary.

For a matter of days now I’ve been pondering about my return home, the months of preparation before college, and the importantissimos (extremely important) next few years of my life. Without yet being in my post-mission country/society/environment or having full or frequent access to information and counsel on the subject, my planning of the near future has been limited to not much more than daydreams and mental conversations with myself.  However, after a few P-Days and nights/worth of thought and a bit of research on BYU’s website (I asked Pres. Buhrer if I could take advantage of my time in the lan house to learn about my education options; he approved), I plan to major in Finance and finish my degree in 3 years. I plan to get married in 2 years or less and also…actually, this is pretty much all I’ve planned. I believe I’ll do an MBA, work internationally, maybe study abroad in Mexico after a year of college (I think it’d be cool but it’s improbable), have 4-5 kids (that will depend on who I marry—but I certainly don’t want only a few!) and play golf frequently, but these and other details will be decided a few months or years from now. The transition from mission to post-mission life will be one of the biggest or the biggest (nah, I think the transition to married life will be the biggest…or married life with kids...I’ll only know when I get there) and starting this transition has sparked quite a variety of futurist thoughts. It’s fun.

This really was a great week of work here in Anapolis. I stayed with each of the elders in training in the zone for a day this week while E. Tanus went on exchanges with the district leaders who are both trainers as well. This week our teaching group grew a lot (which was a blessing we were needing), and we now have 2 possibilities for baptisms next month! They are two kids of a family we started teaching after a member from the Anapolis ward took us to their house; they are the family of this brother, We’ve had 2 great lessons with them so far about baptisms for the dead (the mom, Livia, had a big doubt about that…but doesn’t anymore!), the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. They all came to church yesterday, except the dad, and they loved it. The parents can’t get baptized yet because they’re not married, but the mom already asked us if her kids could be baptized in the church—“certainly!” We had 8 people visiting church yesterday, and, during the whole 3 hours we were running around helping out the investigators and planning to teach them with the members in the coming week. It was awesome!

Right now we are getting ready to go to the lan house. It will be the second-to –last time I access my email during my mission. I have enjoyed so much talking to all of you during my mission (through email) and thank you so much for your love and support. If anyone wants to send me a final email, you can until next Monday (the 5th) morning, when I’ll check my email for the last time.

This mission has been the greatest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m so grateful for who the Lord has made me as I’ve served Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. He lives.

Elder Anderson

 E. Tanus and I!
 Outside our house

 Going to get my hair cut...look at the beautiful blue sky!
  Here we go
The coolest barber in town!
 Writing my penultimate letter home :o
 Some missionary pictures taken as requested by mom :) 



Monday, May 22, 2017

Being a True Christian

It’s P-Day again! This is the first P-Day in about a  month that I actually used a few hours to sleep and rest. The last 3-4 P-Days E. Tanus went back to sleep as soon as it was 8:00 and I tried to too but I couldn’t stand laying down and doing nothing for even 2 minutes and so I got up, cleaned the house, and wrote my weekly letter. After (almost ) two years of constant, hard work, I feel like I always have to be doing something. Today I made myself keep laying down for a few more minutes until I fell asleep, and it was actually pretty great. It’ll be funny to see how I’ll be when I get home next month—I think I’ll always be looking for something to do!

The weights and bar I got from the house of the other elders have taken morning exercises to a whole other level. That’s been fun.

Last P-Day night we taught a lesson to a missionary couple from a volunteer organization. They were nice—they gave us a good snack of toasted peanuts and lemonade—but it has been a long time since I’ve taught a lesson to people so hard-hearted and closed-minded. I have found that atheists, agnostics and Buddhists are generally more respectful, receptive, and open –minded (even if they don’t believe in our message) that extreme “Christians” I put “Christians in hyphens because Christians are those who profess belief in and follow Jesus Christ as the Son of God but there are unfortunately quite a few “Christians” that don’t act like Christ showed us to. We invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon—if it’s true, God will tell you, and if it’s false, He’ll tell you too. They didn’t allow themselves to conceive the possibility of anything besides the Bible being capable of being the Word of God. We bore our testimonies and left. I know, by the power of the Holy Ghost that testifies of all truth, that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. During my mission I’ve studied and pondered about the Savior, and I hope to be, now and during all my life, a true Christian—not just believing in Jesus, but becoming like Him. Why should we ever limit ourselves to merely professing belief in Christ when, through keeping His commandments, repenting of our sins, and dedicating our lives to serve and follow Him, we can be completely transformed from our natural and carnal state in His sons and His daughters! I invite you all to look up and read Mosiah 5. This letter will not be complete without it.

BUT we taught some receptive people also this week. I love teaching the gospel and know I'll miss it a ton. I really hope to baptize a family before the end of my mission, and I believe it will happen!

Last night we had an awesome activity with the young single adults of the ward. We plan to do several activities with them to involve them in the work. We played a game where we filled a cup with flour, turned it upside down on top of a plate, and put a 5 cent coin on top of the cup-shaped form of flour. Everyone had to use a knife to cut away an edge of the flour with his teeth. Yep, I ended up having to put my face in the flour! Hahaha it was fun.

Elder Anderson

 Planning out the rest of my mission and post-mission life!

 some pics of the activity with ths YSA

Monday, May 15, 2017

I Love Skype and Hard Work!

This was the most important week of my mission so far with respect to preparing for my return home. The nest part of all of it was SKYPE!!!!!

Mom, Dad, Tyler, Heidi, Natalie, Katie, Bryce, Grandma and Grandpa at home and Dallin in Portugal, it was awesome being able to talk to you all! I’m so happy President Buhrer gave us an hour and a half instead of just 40 minutes. It made a huge difference. Next month I’ll be able to speak personally with all of you for 24 HOURS a day! Hahaha I can’t wait.

I had a ton of fun speaking Portuguese with Dallin and watching the family go crazy because they couldn’t understand. Hahaha speaking another language is the coolest thing. I’ll teach you guys when I get back so that you can participate in our conversations a little bit.

 I went to Goiania this week for the self-sufficiency class that missionaries do a month before they go home.  I’m getting old in the mission :o. We learned about how to prepare ourselves to enter the capital world, studying resume, interview, and presentation techniques that should actually be pretty helpful. My experience as financial secretary really looks great when professionally explained and will certainly help me my whole life.

Oh! Last P-Day we went to the chapel for an almost –the-whole-zone P-Day and played football and basketball (with the balls you sent me for my birthday) and ping-pong. Near the end of the activity I decided to kick the football across the parking lot to see if my leg could handle it (it’s almost 100% now) and see if I still had the skill I had in high school. I warmed up a little bit, and told an elder to go to the other end of the parking lot to catch the ball. I took off my shoes and, with memories of the “glory days” passing through my mind, kicked. The football went over the elder’s head, over the plants behind him, and over the 15 foot wall behind the fence :o. I measured the distance after recovering the ball and it would have been good from 45 yards—and my leg didn’t hurt. Maybe my NFL dreams are still alive…not! Kkkkk.

Saturday morning we went to a member’s house for a service project. Here in our mission we rarely do service projects; I like the opportunity when it comes. The member, Euri was digging out his backyard to put a pool in. We dug a big chunk out of the corner of the yard in 2 hours. It’s been a while since I had had so much fun doing yard work! I remember I didn’t like it and tried to avoid it before my mission, but now, the new and improved Scott Anderson loves working hard in the yard. The biggest miracle of my mission is who I’ve become as I’ve dedicated my time and effort to the Lord. He has done so much more for me that I could have imagined. I like manual labor now. That’s a big and good change, though not even near the greatest, which is my spiritual development.

Jefferson, the 10 year old son of the family of Gilvan who has the busted car we’ve ridden to church in two times now, was baptized on Saturday! It has been really rewarding to see how his family has changed the last few weeks as the light of Jesus Christ has returned to their lives.

I’m going to create a program today called “Terminar no Pique” or “Sprint to the Finish” which will be made of my goals and plans to finish as well as I can my mission and prepare myself for the transition to returned missionary life. I have learned on my mission that planning and organization are what brings success. I plan to apply this knowledge my whole life.

After this letter I’ll only wrote three more! They will certainly be full of miracles and blessings. Amo voces!

Elder Anderson

 Self-Sufficiency Training for Post-Missionary life

Zone P-Day!

 The bench I made in Pq. Amazônia is still there!
 I set the record for reps: 48!

 With Elder Gorman!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Redneckin’ It to Church

The ways we got to church the last two Sundays were pretty funny. Neither was planned, nor imagined, but we showed up on time and didn’t sweat as much as usual doing it. Two Sundays ago we were halfway to the chapel (a 45 minute walk) when the non-member husband of a woman from the ward passed by us on a carroca (go look that word up on Google—“Carroca”) towed by a horse!!! We waved to him and a few seconds later a lightbulb lit up in E. Tanus’ head. He yelled for him to stop and we ran up to him and asked if he could give us a ride. We went to church riding on a carroca with suits on—it was great! Hahaha. Yesterday we passed by the house of Gilvan, the dad of a less-active family whose 10 year old son we’re teaching, to talk to them real quick and walk the rest of the way but they said “No, y’all can fit in our car.” (This central/western region of Brazil is the “caipira” or “redneck” region of the country and so I believe the use of “y’all” in the translation of what they said to us is appropriate). We almost didn’t, but we did fit. All 8 of us packed into their nearly destroyed car. The battery wasn’t functioning and so the car had to be pushed to start it manually. Elder Tanus and I were squished on top of each other in the back seat of the car and even though we asked him to open the door for us (only the driver’s door opened from the inside ) so we could push the car for him, Gilvan just let his wife push the car with one hand while holding a 4-month old baby in the other, and after several mental prayers that we offered, the car started and we hobbled,/rolled/bounced to church—and got there right at 9! I’ve felt more redneck these last two Sundays than I did living in the Deep South of the United States for 15 years. At church yesterday Gilvan and Nidia’s baby was blessed, and we marked the baptism of Jefferson (the 10 year old son) for this Saturday. He and his family are excited! It’s been neat to see the change in their family since we started visiting them (after a great family home evening at the home of a member who invited them). Last Sunday they didn’t come to church because the dad was hung over and the rest of the family without desire to go as a result. This Sunday when we arrived at their house they were ready to go and Gilvan went in a white shirt and tie! The gospel blesses families.

We continue teaching Josy and her family, and we had an awesome lesson with them this week about baptism, temples, baptism for the dead, and eternal families (they are the family whose son recently died) and we marked a baptismal date with her and 3 of her kids. They didn’t come to church this week, and we discovered that Josy and her husband actually aren’t married (but have lived together for 25 years and have 7 kids together…), but we’ll keep helping them in spite of these obstacles.

Yesterday we had a meeting with the ward mission leader and the 4 new ward missionaries and established a plan to work closely with the members. I almost wish I could stay 6 more months on my mission to work with the members of this ward and baptize their family and friends! However, my time is almost up, but I’m not complaining—I can’t wait to see you all, my dear family and friends!

Ate entao.

Elder Anderson
Image result for carroca
Here is a picture of a Carroca that I (Mom/Kristy) found on Google....adventurous way to travel to church! :)
 At the lan house!
 The best rice I've ever made (that being said it was only okay)
 Planejamento semanal...with strawberry juice
I love talking to you all!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Beginning of the End

JOSÉ CARLOS WAS BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! President Bührer interviewed him and called me right after the interview to tell me that he would be baptized to following day. I received lots of pictures of the baptism from José Carlos and a letter in which he told me all about it. Even though I was transferred well before he was baptized, my joy is the same. I can't fully express how grateful I am to have known and taught him and helped him discover and follow the truth. He will surely be an eternal friend of mine! He sent me a birthday package which I got this week. It contained a bunch of chocolate and a jersey of Cruzeiro, a soccer team from Minas Gerais. After a long while living in Brasil, now I've decided which is my team hahaha. CRUZEIRO!

This is the first week of my last transfer. It’s crazy to think that in 6 weeks I won’t be organizing the logistics of the transfers within our zone or packing my bags and taking a bus to a new area. All this will have ended and I’ll be back in the USA. I’ always knew the end would come, but it still seems a little sudden. I’m so happy to be able to look back at my nearly complete mission and know that I tried my best to fulfill my calling and serve the Lord. I will continue to work as well as I can so I can enjoy this same peaceful feeling of accomplishment, to a greater degree, when I come home.

Elder Tanus and I had an excellent meeting with the stake president of Anápolis this week in which we talked about missionary work in the stake and planned to do a fireside next month about the Book of Mormon (an idea I've thought about for a while). It's marked to be on the last Sunday of my mission! He's also going to fast with us this Sunday for us to baptize two families soon! I thought about how Dad is fulfilling the same calling in our stake and how grateful I am for his example.

On Tuesday the whole zone went to Goiania for a special meeting with Sister Cordon, the first counselor in the Primary Presidency! It was awesome! I’ve been blessed to meet and learn from several great leaders of the church while on my mission, (in addition to two excellent mission presidents): Elder Costa (twice!), Elder Aidukatis, Elder Bassett, some area seventies, and now, Sister Cordon. After her husband transmitted an inspiring message, she gave us a dynamic training that involved some creative and fun examples. She talked about how faith is a principle of proactivity, complete confidence in God, and miracles, how as missionaries we need to have FOGO NOS OSSOS (FIRE IN THE  BONES), how we fully focus on the work when we use all our heart, might, mind, and strength, and how the great miracle is our personal conversion—becoming like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Excelente!

Elder Tanus and I were back in Goiania on Thursday for the monthly leadership meeting. Time flies so much between leadership meetings that it feels like we have on every week. Inda bem—ama estas reunaios! President Buhrere spoke about agency and how we are constantly being enticed by good and by evil. Which side are we on? He briefly referenced it to the opposing sides of the force in Star Wars, hahaha. The second part of the meeting was about using time wisely, from chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel. Wow! I was inspired to manage better the precious gift of time that I have—especially time on the mission because it’s almost out!

I have been really, really blessed with great mission presidents.

The day after the leadership meeting, Elder Tanus and I put into practice what we learned and had a great weekly planning session—the best on my  mission, I think.

Another part of the meeting was the transfer. President hadn’t completely finished it but told us just about all of the changes. When he said that we would stay in Anapolis I got way excited!! Flamboyant is a great area, E. Tanus is a great companion, and we’re teaching a special family and have faith that we will have lots of success in this transfer. I’m happy that I’ll finish my mission here!

We hope to mark a baptismal date with Josy, the woman whose son passed away recently, and some members of her family this week. We’re going to have a powerful lesson tomorrow about eternal families, temples, and baptisms for the dead. I’m excited and hope that it goes well. Being guided by the Holy Ghost, I’m sure it will! We’ve developed a good friendship with their family and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help them.

One afternoon we were walking to another area for a baptismal interview (it was the 3rd interview I’ve done on my mission—he passed and was really excited!). We passed in front of a members’ home to stop and ask for water real quick. We entered and she said “Elders, you came at the right time!” She was needing to move the stone top of a kitchen table and had actually thought just a minute or two before “It would be nice if the Elders passed here right now”. Haha, it was a cool little experience.

HAHAHA- Elder Tanus and I laughed a lot this week and one of the reasons was the following: We were at a bus stop and there was a homeless guy washing his clothes in a fountain in the park behind the bus stop. E. Tanus felt pity for the guy and bought a Popsicle from a man selling them next to us and went and gave it to the guy washing his clothes. Not 20 minutes later the homeless guy went and bought another Popsicle for himself and we saw that he had almost more money than we did, hahaha! We had a good laugh.

Family, I miss you guys so much. My love for you all has multiplied on my mission. I didn’t know how special you were to me until I came to the other side of the world and haven’t been able to see you all for a long time. Mom and Dad, Dallin, Tyler, Heidi, Natalie, Katie, and Bryce, I love you and can’t wait to see you next month (except Dallin, that’ll take a bit longer). I pray for each one of you by name every day. I’m excited to speak with you all on Mother’s Day and plan what we’ll do when I get home!

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. I’m loving my time here, and I’m preparing myself for a big transition to a new phase of life that will begin soon.

Elder Anderson
Pictures that Jose Carlos sent me of his baptism!

 Birthday package from José Carlos!

 Agora sou Cruzeirense!!!!!
 Our health food
 At home
 Up early and excited to go to Goiânia 

This bag of chocolate never ends :o
 At least we tried kkkkkkk
 Suco de Maracujá!
 It's cold!
 Writing my letter on P-Day. Coisa boa.
 Açaí with E. Tanus
 Açaí with a horse kkkkkk

  Cícero— this guy has been selling bananas for 60 years! He told me to put this picture on the internet for the whole world to see hahahaha
Água tônica! Faz tempo.