Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas was great, getting to talk to ya'll and getting a new tie and batman shirt!  After we left the house of the member whose computer we used, the bishop stopped us and gave us two Christmas cakes called pantone.  So because the pizza shops were all closed we ate cake for dinner.  We had a big mission meeting with everyone in the area of the old mission office, where everything is really fancy.  Was a lot of fun.  Yesterday we had three baptisms and a devotional.  Was a great day.  The only hard part was saying bye to our district leader. Because only four people are leaving this transfer, and the other three are ap´s, our area is without an official DL, so until further notice I am DL.

Our area has the largest population density of churches in the world!  This week we used our Christmas Eve and morning to go sing at the local bus and train terminals, it was a lot of fun but my voice is starting to get a little sore.  Wednesday is p-day and Thursday is transfers, we are excited to see what will happen.  For New Year´s we don’t have any plans besides working. Sorry this letter isn't very long, talked about everything in our talk for Christmas; let me know if ya'll have any questions about Brasil, I would love to talk about them.  Love ya'll tons and wish the family happy new years!  Love ya'll,
Elder Anderson

Monday, December 23, 2013

Time is flying

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hello Family!!!!!!!!
Hope that everything has been going well, getting ready for Christmas and for the first part of school to end.  I loved the pics of Bethlehem, that’s always a part of Christmas that I really love, especially the bread.  This week was really good, a little weird with Monday being more or less normal and then having p-day on Thursday, but it was a lot of fun to see my friends from the other zones and to talk with them for a while.  On Saturday we had a baptism "festa", baptized 3 for our ward and on Sunday baptized another, will send pic.  We are having a lot of fun in this area; the members are helping a lot, giving us references of their friends and family that aren’t members.  Two of the baptisms were NTM which means that not everyone is a member in the family.  What’s nice about Brasil is that almost everyone lives in family here.  They have a plot of land and have tons of houses that are all family, so we just go from one part of the family to the other, so nice.  After the baptisms they had the Ward Christmas Dinner, but we have a rule in the mission that we can’t stay, we have to go work, so we only got leftovers handed to us yesterday.

We are getting ready to end this transfer, can’t believe that next week is Christmas, doesn’t seem like it at all, so weird. But we are trying to find 5 more people to baptize before the end of the transfer. This week we already found a couple NTM´s to baptize this week and are trying to end our Christmas Program strong.  Luckily it didn’t rain this week, but that just means that it’s going to come this coming week.  Tomorrow marks 5 months!  I am excited already for this coming transfer; I think that I will stay in this area for a while, up to 3 more transfers. 

Friday the 13th passed without anything bad happening; in fact it went really good, because we ordered 2 pizzas and had a party.  Thank the Hancock’s for the flashlight and the small pocket knife that they gave to me, they have come in handy the past couple of weeks with the power being unreliable.  Hope that everything is going well with the grandparents and rest of the family, tell them I said hi!  Good job to the kids with school and with sports and band and cooking and everything else y'all are doing.  I have been feeling the Spirit so strong here, there are lots of people that have been prepared to receive the message of the gospel, and this country is amazing!  Love you all and can’t wait to talk to y'all next week!  
Elder Anderson

Monday, December 9, 2013

Speed up the Work

Monday, December 09, 2013

So we got a call last night saying that we are going to the temple this week so p-day will be Thursday, not today, but we still got to write email!  This week was great.  On Monday we had a mini-hurricane here and it was crazy, I have never seen so much rain in my life.  It was impossible to see the other side of the street.  Lightning hit a tree at the end of the street and it fell on a power line, so we got to use candles for a couple days in our apartment which was actually pretty fun.

We had three baptisms this week!  Two of them are an older couple whose kids have been being baptized one by one. They were Catholic, but now all of them are being baptized here. Their baptisms were really nice, but we forgot to turn the water off and it spilled into the hall a little.   Happy Birthday Dave!  I remembered last Monday that I forgot to write you, I was pretty mad with myself.  This week we also had Training for New Missionaries.  My companion did a really good job, we learned a lot.  Also the package came!  Already ate the sour patch and one of the jelly beans, with the help of the other elders of course.  Thank you for your letters, and for the nativity, and pics; they are on my desk where I can see them.  My comp is really excited for his two packages, but we will wait until Christmas to open them.  It doesn’t feel like Christmas at all, really hot.  

This week will mark 5 months that I started my mission,  looking back on these months I have had the opportunity to see how God has planned out everything.  It’s been really cool to be able to see how he planned everything with the visa and my training to prepare me for where I am now.  I got to see a little glimpse of what he has planned, and it’s going to be incredible. President Pinho said that when President Monson said to Speed up the work that Satan was holding a general conference of his own, and said the same thing.  President said that in his two and a half years here he has yet to see so much trails and persecution as now.  Satan is really trying to bring us down, because he knows our potential.  We cut a lot of our investigators this week because they weren´t progressing, it has been hard but we know that the Lord will lead us to those who are ready to hear the gospel.

Thanks for the package and the presents, in the next two weeks we should know more about skyping.  Will let ya'll know.  Stay warm!  Love ya'll; say hi to the rest of the family for me!  
Elder Anderson

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Power of Prayer

Monday, December 02, 2013

This week was really good.  We had a mission tour on Thursday with Elder Mazzagardi of the 70 and that was incredible. He said that our mission has one of the highest levels of spirit and righteousness.  The things that he talked about were so amazing; everyone is in shock because of things he said that were so incredible.  We also had stake conference this week which was really good, with Elder Graul of the 70.  This week has just been a week of good motivation and excitement for Christmas.  I totally forgot about Thanksgiving, we did nothing for it, we all forgot what day it was.

Here they cook the pizzas with wood ovens and every time we pass a pizzeria, which there is a lot of, I smell the smoke and it reminds me of the Little Town of Bethlehem.  Yesterday we were walking on the street and there was this motorcycle/spyder that was all dressed up like Santa’s sleigh riding down the road, I wish I had had my camera, it was pretty well done.  Speaking of Christmas, I still don’t know specifics on how it all works, just that we will be using Skype. They should be sending details soon.

Here the kids like to fly kites and they are really good at them.  They all have long tails and the kites have tiny shards of glass in the tails.  What they try to do is cut the string of the other kites. It is really cool to see two kites fighting and then to see one drift away.  The kid that cuts the string yells "HELLO", don’t know why.

This week I started making grilled pb and j sandwiches at home, and toast.  They had them at BYU but I always thought that they were strange and never bought it.  But my last companion taught me and now they are amazing.  Basically you make and pb and j sandwich and put butter on both sides and put it in a pan and grill it.  We don’t have a toaster here so I make toast over a fire, it’s really good.  Try the grilled sandwiches, but put a good amount of jelly for it to get good, and peanut butter too.  They are amazing.!!!

We had the baptism of a young man yesterday, he is really cool.  His uncles were baptized a couple weeks back, and they totally flipped their lives around.  One of them is 22 and was a gang leader, but this Sunday he asked the Bishop how much time he had to wait to serve a mission.  He is amazing.  

Also this week we had a problem in our house.  Our drains weren’t working.  So when we took showers it flooded the kitchen.  But we bought some drain unclogger stuff and it’s working for now.  This week the other American elder were talking a little in English and it was hard.  I kept saying things in português without realizing it.  I haven’t spoken English in 3 months!  Can’t wait to see how talking to ya'll on Christmas will be.  I am trying to teach my companion English, but I think that sometimes I am teaching with a pronunciation of português and I have to think about words for a while, my companion thinks it’s pretty funny.  We founds a couple new families this week and are really excited for this month, it’s going to be awesome, and hot!

I am learning a lot about the power of prayer.  The other day we wanted to find 8 new investigators, so after lunch we said a prayer asking specifically for 8.  As the day went on we found 7.  It was already 9:30 and we were heading home and we did one last contact and we asked this person what they were searching for in life, they said eternal life!  So we taught them really quick on the street and marked our next visit.  Ended the day with 8 novos.  The other day we wanted to find 3 families, same thing, found them.  When we tell the lord what we want and it’s a righteous desire and we work our hardest to accomplish the goal he is always going to help us.  

Elder Anderson's desk

Have a great week.  Love ya'll!
Elder Anderson
Elder Anderson and his companion

Monday, November 25, 2013


This week went a lot better.  I went on splits with our district leader who is an amazing missionary that is finishing up his mission, last transfer right now, and he taught me a lot.  Now we are doing more contacts and are finding at least 4 new investigators everyday!  This week has rained non-stop and my umbrella finally broke, it had gotten bent in the bags at the airport and finally the handle snapped, but I am still using it.  In zone meeting last week the leaders told us that while President Pinho was at the mission presidents meeting at the capital that they were told that now when we mark people within the ages of 8-16 that they have to go to church for 2 months to be baptized unless they have their family going or a member that helps them. So that was a little bit of a shock, everyone thought that they were joking at first but they weren't. But this will be a good change; the Lord will bless us with jovens that will stay strong in the faith.

Today we made brigadeira, it’s like a chocolate carmel thing.  You take 2 boxes of condensed milk and a spoonful of butter and 5 spoons of chocolate mix/coco.  Put it together over the fire and stir until it gets thick, it’s so good, good on bread and with cookie cracker things that they sell here.  

On the front and back of our planners we put pictures from the Liahona.  Mine this transfer are pretty good; it's one of Christ teaching in the synagogue and him knocking on the door.  Last time it was of kolob, chique-fancy.  Our house is an apartment that is in a large complex.  I think I feel now a little of what the American elders feel now.  But we finally got our desks and cloth rack and everything is going good now.  We will have a mission tour this week with Elder Mazzagardi, of the 70 I think.  

We had one baptism and 4 confirmations this week!  The work is progressing a lot here and we are getting excited for December. In the next package could you include a package of skittles?  The second counselor to the bishop likes them and is willing to trade a tie for a pack of skittles :).  

Love ya'll lots and will send some pics here in a little bit.  Thanks for your prayers; I really noticed a difference this week.  The spirit was really strong as we testified of the restoration. We had one young man ask us if what we were saying was that our church was the only true church, and we said yes with power!  Love you all!

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 18, 2013

Então, esta semana tinha muitas surpresas

Monday, November 18, 2013
Então, esta semana tinha muitas surpresas. Translation:  So, this week had a lot of surprises. Last Monday we got to our house, made lunch and decided to take a nap.  Half way through the nap we got a call from the Assistants to the President, it was for me.  I picked it up and the Assistant said, "Elder Anderson, after much prayer and fasting you have been called as a Trainer.  Do you accept?"  Of course I accepted and I was really excited and so was my companion.  So this is really rare that something like this happens, a person that finishes training being called as a trainer, only one other Elder had it happen this transfer.  

So Tuesday came and we loaded up our bags in a member´s car and headed to the mission office, not the mission home, and received our new assignments.  The AP´s stand up on the stage of the stake center behind the office and call out the names, "Elder Anderson, will train, and open a new area in Palmares!"  WOW.  This transfer we had so many new areas opened, one has 3 new areas!  We also got 2 more AP´s! So now there are 4 AP´s.  My new companion is Elder ______ from ______ in the north, he has an accent that is a little difficult for me to understand, but I am doing better.  He is a member of almost 3 years and is 22.  When we arrived in our area we didn’t have beds yet, but that was fixed, now we have bunk beds, we also are living with 2 other missionaries, one from my group in the mtc here in brazil and the other is an elder that will end this transfer, I met him the first week in the mtc here at the temple, he is really good.

Luckily I was put in a zone that got to go to the temple this past week, it was great to go there and spend time with the other elders.  We have so many elders here in the mission.  And the ward and stake here are really good.  The stake and ward are almost ready to split and it’s only been 3 years since they split.  The bad thing about opening an area is that you don’t have anyone to show you around and you don’t really have any people already lined up to teach so this week has been really difficult for me to adjust to the new area and new companion and to finally take control of everything, luckily my companion is really good and has a great spirit. Please pray for us, to help us find people that are prepared to hear the word.

Was great to hear from yall, hope all is well,  will send picture of temple.  I got the package, was perfect timing, thanks so much.  I think that it might be a good idea to put some little pictures of Christ or nossa senhora aparacida- a saint here, I think someone looked in the box, I don’t think that they took anything, but just to be safe.  Could you send me the address to McKay?  Love yall, thanks for the stickers, my comps thought that they were pretty funny.  Love yall, have a great week.

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 11, 2013


Monday, November 11, 2013

This week was awesome.  Finally finished my training!  I was in the traveling group this week so I got to travel the zone.  Went to Juquitiba which is really far away and rode a fancy bus that the inside looked like an airplane and was so nice, with reclining seats!  We had a fireside last night with the whole stake, with the Stake Presidency and President Pinho.  It was incredible. Imagine two men that are almost apostles that are so excited for the missionary work and have an incredible feel for the spirit and multiply that by two!  It was incredible.

After the fireside I got a call, I am being transferred!  It isn't much of a surprise, with zone leaders you have to be transferred when your training is up.  These past 11 weeks here in Embu have been amazing, I am so grateful for the trainer that I got.  Tomorrow I will report at the mission office in Santo Amaro at 9 a.m. and find out who is my new companion.  I am a little nervous, but it will go good.  We had a surprise on last Monday, we went to the home of a brother of one of the recent converts and he told us he wanted to be baptized!  We had already taught him everything and he just hadn't been ready two weeks ago.  So we baptized him yesterday!  It was awesome.

My Portuguese is coming along great.  I understand pretty much everything when a person is talking about the gospel.  So excited to start language study and to get better.  The rest of the week not a whole lot happened, we lost one of our long-term investigators; long term is when they have a problem, such as with word of wisdom, or aren't married, which is almost everyone. So that was sad, we had been working with the family for three transfers and because they live far away and it's hard to check up on them, we lost them.

Went on splits with a new elder from England and we had a really fun time.  His area has real flavella and it was just a lot of fun, there are really great people that live in those humble situations.  Every time that we watch a movie of The District for training we are always amazed because what would be a regular sized house in the US is huge here.  It just really makes you more grateful for what you have.  We had lunch one day at the Restaurante Popular which is only $3 R, it's basically a food bank thing, like a soup kitchen, I guess.  But there doesn't exist a better way to love the people than living like them.

Your letters were awesome this week, Wow. How do you make cinnamon rolls?  Will let you know what area I am in next letter. Rach there is a song that is awesome on the piano, it’s from the movie amelie, don’t know if it’s the theme song or what but one of the elders was playing it and it was amazing.  To your question about meals, yes we have three a day; lunch is by far the biggest.  Have a couple pics that I will send!  Love ya’ll!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pizza, singing parrots, Little Mermaid

Monday, November 4, 2013
This week was a lot of fun.  One of the funniest things that happened was that we found a parrot on the side of the road because it was speaking really funny.  My companion taught it to sing a little bit of the theme song for Lord of the Rings and it was so funny.  Halloween passed without much happening, the most that happened was a bunch of guys in masks riding bikes down the street.  But we celebrated it anyway and bought a pizza, will send a pic, it was the best pizza ever!

Summer is finally stating!  Getting warmer and warmer, and then it rains for two days.  Got over the cold, it wasn't much, didn't stay at home, worked through it.  This week we have been singing songs in Portuguese as we walk, which is sometimes really funny because my companion likes to sing and he knows a lot of songs and so we translate songs into Portuguese and sing them.  One of the songs was "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from Little Mermaid, which was pretty funny because you can translate it a couple of different ways and it was just funny how it turned out.

This week we also helped a member in school.  There was some type of competition at the school and one of the members asked us to come because one of the things was to bring a foreigner.  So they asked us to show up at the school and to call them so that they could let us in.  Well we arrived, me and the new Brazilian, and the member didn't answer their phone, because they had a sore throat and had stayed home.  So we got in somehow and they walked me down an aisle of people and had me stand on a stage while they checked my driver´s license to prove that I wasn't Brazilian.  And they decided that I wasn't Brazilian and everyone was excited and I think I won.  My Brazilian comp was dying because it was so funny.

Yesterday we had the confirmation of the girl we baptized last week and had a couple of investigators in the chapel.  This week we took a member to the home of an investigator to give her a book of Mormon and the lesson was great, she was really excited to finally have one. English class is a lot of fun too.  It’s funny to hear them speak but some of them are getting really good.

In the next package could you send some pictures of the family?  I have the little book that you made but sometimes the investigators like to know that we have a regular family somewhere and it’s good to have a couple of pictures of your family, I still have the one we took on that one Sunday, just some other pictures would be good too.  Sounds like Halloween was fun, especially Sarah and The Book of Mormon.  And the temple trip too sounds like it went good. This is the last week in Embu, probably!  Will know Sunday if I am staying, unlikely. David looks good as a Dr. Who. Will send pics in another email.  Love ya'll!

Elder Anderson

Brazilian Tongue Twisters

Monday, October 28, 2013
You asked a question, I think it was last week that I don’t think I answered.  Here all the houses have gates or walls around them, so you are never knocking on the door.  Instead we stand at the gate and clap our hands and shout the name of the person we want to talk to.  Usually we get the response, "Quem é?" "Who is it?" and we respond "Os missionários" "the missionaries", one or two times though people have thought that we said "mercenários" or mercenaries.  They are always confused and come to the door to see why mercenaires are at their door.

We baptized a sister of a recent convert yesterday, was so cool, will send pic.  The weather here is strange, one day it’s really hot and the next day it’s cloudy and raining and cold, and then the next day it’s hot and it just continues.  Because of this I had a little bit of a cold, but it’s nearly gone now.  This week was awesome, my comp and I were the traveling group this week so we visited other areas and did a lot of splits, in one area my comp went to the flavela area and marked 15 people for baptism.  We have a lot of people that we are preparing for baptism; November will be a really good month.  We had emergency transfers this past week and luckily I stayed in Embu.  This transfer only has 5 weeks so we only have 2 more weeks to the transfer.

We ran into a guy that we are helping Friday or Saturday, I had visited him a couple weeks ago and he has a lot of problems.  We said a prayer before we left and his son, who is maybe 8 years old I think, told his dad after we left that he had looked at my badge during the prayer and that it was shining like gold.  There truly is power in the authority that we hold and in the name on the badge, not our name, the name of Christ.  The family of three that we baptized a couple weeks ago, I baptized one of the sons, they received the priesthood yesterday!

One of the Hispanics asked to see my letter, he is trying to learn English, he asked what the picture was about and it was funny trying to explain what it was. Love ya'll! 

Elder Anderson

Here are some tongue twisters that our Brazilian comp taught us:

1. chão sujo, casa suja (say it fast, it means dirty floor, dirty house)

2. você sabia que o sábio sabia que o sabiá sabia assobiar   (did you know that the wise man knew that the thrush(bird) knew how to whistle)

3. o original nunca se desoriginaliza, já desoriginalizarem o desoriginalizado  (the original never disoriginalizizes itself, they already disoriginalized the disoriginalized)

Presidente tem uma meta (President has a goal)

Monday, October 21, 2013
To answer some of your questions:
Our English class is held in the church in one of the larger rooms, where they have priesthood meetings.  We really only eat one meal a day, lunch, and the other two are sandwiches or something small.  We write emails in a LAN house close to a supermarket, and it’s a Portuguese keyboard, with all the cool accent marks and everything.

Então, first the spiritual experiences this week and then the everyday ones.  So this week we had a special conference with the whole mission, we are the second smallest mission in Brazil, SP Norte is smaller I think, if not then we are the smallest.  But we have the second most baptisms in Brazil, behind Manaus which is the size of half of Brazil.  Our mission has the best numbers for contacts and obedience and a couple other things, our stats are one of the best, if not the best, in Brazil.  

At this special meeting we had close to 150 missionaries, which will only increase because we gain 30 more and lose only 2.  But it was a meeting from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.  It was a meeting to plan for December.  Our President has a great plan for baptisms that goes along with the talk that Elder Ballard gave at General Conference.  Our President believes that we can pass up Pedro (Peter) in the number of baptisms that we will have, 3001 in December!  The whole meeting was learning how to make the program work and getting us excited, it was the most amazing thing that I have ever attended.  We are going to involve the members as much as possible.  Yesterday we had 4 investigators in the chapel!  3 of them will be baptized next week I think, or the next.  

And now the other things that happened.  On Saturday we were walking to the church for our class and we have to pass a river.  Someone had placed some kind of soap in the river and there was a HUGE pile of bubbles, probably 20 feet tall, by 30-40 feet wide by 40-50 feet long.  It was so big.  Later that day we were walking in a neighborhood and there was this horse walking down the road without a rider or anything on it.  A couple minutes later a guy in a cowboy hat comes walking down the street with a bridle in his hand, I hope he found the horse.  

We have been making our own deserts, mousse.  It is really good, we take four small boxes of milk cream(I think in Portuguese its creme de leite), one of condensed milk and 2 packets of juice mix and put it all in a blender and then in the freezer.  It is really tasty.  Already half way through the transfer and almost done with my training.  Everything is great here, yesterday we moved our clocks up one hour, so we lost some sleep, and summer is finally starting!

Got a letter from Nate and Sarah, tell them thanks and that I will write a reply, loved the picture that Aiden drew.  It was great to read your letters, I will send ya'll one this week, probably.  Love you all and have a great week!
Elder Anderson

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Temple, ice cream and English

Monday, October 14, 2013
This week was amazing.  First a story that happened in the house of the bishop last week.  So like I said, we had that beans and pig parts stew thing,  but for dessert we had ice cream.  In Portuguese the word for ice cream is “sorvete”.  They gave us a strawberry sauce to put on top and so I started to put some on and one of the elders asked if I liked strawberries.  I said "Yes, in fact one of my favorite types of cerveja is strawberry."  The problem with this sentence is that “cerveja” isn´t “sorvete”, it’s beer.  And for some reason the two keep getting mixed up in my head, but everyone thought it was very funny.
Elder Anderson (r) with his companion, Elder Gillespie

This week we started involving the youth, we started a mini ctm.  What this is a mini MTC (missionary training center). We taught them how to invite their friends to church and to bear testimony on facebook and things like this.  We have points for every different thing and after 2 weeks the person with the most points gets a prize.  One of the things is going out with the missionaries for lessons, we already have a couple of the youth that have gone out with us.  

Also this week we started Aula de Inglês, English Class.  It was a lot of fun because of the three Americans that are here now, (one of them got transferred and we got a Brasilian that is really cool),  I am the newest. The other two forgot a lot of English and we all had to think about how to speak, it was funny because we had to try different sentences because English is a little weird now, even now writing this is strange because everything looks wrong and everything is underlined red because they don’t have an option to change the keyboard to English, so if there are mistakes, sorry.  

But this Saturday we ran into two couples from America.  One had served here 17 years ago and was here visiting and the other lives near the mission office.  The couple that live by the office gave us 50 reais for dinner, and we were so excited that we talked about it for at least 20 minutes.  We went to one neighborhood to teach and later that day walked to the other side of the city up the mountain to teach some more.  It was about 8 at night and I asked my companion what we were going to do with the money.  He reached into his pocket and realized he had lost the money.  So we spent the next hour and a half walking our past route looking for the money, but didn´t find it.  So now we pray for the person that found it, that they can use it righteously.

Last night we had a meeting with our new stake pres and President Pinho.  It was so amazing, imagine two men that have the spirit of God and can hear it clearly and that have visions for the area.  It was incredible.  We now have a plan for every companionship to baptize at least 1 man per month and in two years by doing this we could split the stake.  

The temple was amazing!  We rode the bus to it, took about an hour and went to the Walmart that they have across the street.  Our zone leaders bought us all donuts for our hard work the past 2 weeks.  While in Walmart I saw one of my friends from the Provo mtc riding up the moving sidewalk, it’s like an escalator, but flat like those moving sidewalks.  It’s in a three story Walmart, and I was so excited.  At the temple I saw two other friends that got their visas this past week!  Soon everybody from our group will be here!  The temple was awesome though, so nice to be there.  Afterwards we went next door to a Fogo De Chão type place that was amazing, I had to learn all the different types of meats, but it was incredible. Was only 20 reais, $10, and so good!  Can’t wait to go to the temple again :)  Hope all is well at home, love y’all.

Elder Anderson

Conference and stuff

Monday, October 6, 2013

So this week flew by in anticipation for conference.  This week our district set a goal to make 1,500 contacts.  Our area took off and ended up doing over 300 compared to 46 the last week. We had splits with another district and one of my Hispanic friends from the ctm came to our place.  We made a bet that whichever companionship made more contacts wouldn't have to buy pizza that night.  So my comp and I took off running talking to everyone and made 53 contacts, we would have done more, but we had 2 hours where we went to a far away area. We got back that night and 9:30 came and the others hadn't shown up. So we called them and told them that for every minute late they would lose a contact.  Eight minutes later they ran in and they had 60 contacts- minus the 8 and so my comp and I won, but they didn't agree to the rule and so we had to buy the pizza anyway. Our zone ended yesterday with 1,081 contacts, which was the secret goal of the leaders all along.  I don’t know if I have already talked about the pizza here.  They don’t use tomato sauce, but it’s so good.  Our favorite is called “portuguesa” with an accent in there somewhere.  It has cheese, onions and hard boiled pieces of egg on top.  For dessert we order a border filled crust of chocolate.  Oh my goodness!  It is so good.  I know it might sound a little weird, but it is so good.  

I finally started to read the letters that you guys wrote for me before I left.  Sorry.  I haven´t had any time at all, you literally have to schedule in time to use the restroom, that´s how busy we are. 

Conference was so amazing!  First one that I stayed awake for the whole time!  We had investigators show up. Our sessions are at 1 and at 5 with priesthood at 9.  The four English speakers watched conference in the relief society room on a tv.  I loved all the talks about missionary work, especially Elder Nielson and Elder Ballard. Did y’all hear the shout outs to the Santos mission next door (during conference)? And the elder that gave the last prayer (in General Conference) was in our ward last week and is our area authority We had to wake up before 5 to get to the rebroadcast at 6 in the morning.  Then we went to the bishop´s house to have lunch at 11, which was "feijoada", again with an accent somewhere in there probably, and if y’all don’t already know about it I will describe it.  First, you have black beans, which by themselves are great, add in some sausage, even better, and then just dump in the rest of the pig while you're at it.  I still don’t know exactly what I ate.  My comp is convinced that ear was in there, and I think I saw an eye.  There is a lot more in it, but I couldn't identify it.  It was the first time here that I only managed one plate.

Everything is holding up great.  We have enough food,  don’t  worry, we just work a lot.  The ward I am in is called Embu das Artes and is also the name of the stake. Our building is the stake center.  We also had transfers yesterday.  The comp of the other zone leader in our house got transferred and so we will have a new missionary in our house on Tuesday.  I didn't get transferred this time, but I will next time because with the zone leaders they are always training and you don’t usually stay with your trainer anyway.

A weird thing about Brazilians-   a lot of them have problems with their hands and fingers because of work.  Almost every third person that you see either has a piece of finger missing, or a broken arm.  I met one man a couple weeks ago that owns a tire shop, he is missing the tip of his right middle finger and you can see the bone.  It doesn’t bother him at all though. He uses that hand to move tires and acts as if nothing is wrong.  One other quick thing about  Brasil is that “Anderson” here is a first name, already met two people with that name.  It’s pretty cool. Sometimes people just assume I am Brazilian because of it!

The mission is small when compared to the others in Brazil, but to get to the mission home is still 2+hours and we are pretty close, mainly because of traffic and things.  Language is great, understanding and speaking more every day. It’s getting a little hard to write and speak English, I still think majority in English, but when I am typing my fingers move to the Portuguese words. Sometimes I dream in Portuguese.  I dream I am teaching lessons.  Trying to switch over all thoughts to Portuguese too, but when I speak I don’t have to translate in my mind I can just speak it now.  Still need to learn a lot but I can testify that the gift of tongues is real.  I know that it would have been impossible to be as good as I am now without the help of God. It’s incredible to see it work in your own life and in the lives of other missionários.  

We drink a lot of guaraná because the water here is sometimes not good to drink so we usually have guaraná or another type of soda for lunch.  We didn't have another baptism last night, but we will have a couple this coming week, so excited.  I don’t think that I need anything, will think about it and let you know this coming week though.  Thanks for sending the package, will tell you when I get it.  I get to go to the temple this week!  Will send pics.  Good luck with everything this week!

Love you lots,

-Elder Anderson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hey honey! Do you want some molasses?

Monday, September 30, 2013

P-day já?
Wow.  This week went so fast.  I had new missionary training on Tuesday and it went really well, I realized how great my trainer is.  All the new missionaries in the field come to the chapel by the office and they have this pop quiz that asks about all the lessons and the topics and the commitments.  I finished with ten minutes to go and spent the rest of the time helping the other missionaries.  Then we played a game with the topics and my team almost won,  but they had a caixa (box) of bonus questions that were supposed to be really hard, like what are the chapters of PMG (Preach my Gospel), what are the fundamental principles, teach the first lesson with all topics in order in two minutes, and others.  Everyone should know these. One of the questions that my group got was the questions for the baptismal interview, which new missionaries don't need because they don't do the interviews,  but we got it and luckily my companion is zone leader so I already knew all of them and everyone was really impressed.  Because my companion is the zone leader it means I get to be senior companion. So I get to carry the phone around.

Here we walk if we can, but if it takes more than 30 min walking we take the bus.  Spring started last week and today it's raining and the power went out here.  We baptized a family this week!  And I got to baptize one of them!  Here some people stay active and others don't, but the retention rate is horrible.  Almost everyone that you see here is a first or second generation member.  Our bishop is a convert of maybe 10 years, I think a bit less, but he is awesome! General Conference is this week and we are really excited. They will be showing it in the stake center, which is our building, and during the breaks we will go out with the members because we will have 20 missionaries and contact less active members.  Because the priesthood session is so late we have to watch it at 6 in the morning on Sunday.  My talk went good this past week, felt like 5 min or less, but the others said it was close to 10.

Transfers are this coming week, but new missionaries have a program called the first 12 weeks that you are trained with.  So generally a missionary stays in an area for at least 12 weeks if they are new.  So I won't be leaving this time. Since we will be having so many new missionaries coming they need almost everyone training.  This past month our mission baptized 155 people, this month we plan to baptize 500!  

Funny story:  the other week I was looking for honey and I found the cheapest kind and bought it. It totally looked like honey, the color, consistency and the bottle.  Of course I had no idea what the bottle said, I thought it said honey from Cainan, kind of like a fancy name thing.  So I tried it and it was terrible.  I only got down about half the sandwich before I had to throw it away.  So I put it on a shelf and left it for anyone.  Today I found out that it's really molasses.  Now I don't know what to do with it.  Can't really make sandwiches with it, maybe syrup, we'll see!  Hope everyone has a great week!  I think Meg owes me 500 :) Good luck in school and work and life. 

até próxima semana! chão.

-Elder Anderson

"Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?"

Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

It's so incredible to be out and working with real people.  In the CTM (Brazil MTC) it feels weird to practice and to speak the language, but once you are actually out it's so nice and a lot easier actually. The language just comes, it's incredible how fast you learn and how quickly you understand.   I remember the first day in the CTM and trying to apply my Spanish and now I don't really remember Spanish and the little bit that I do remember sounds weird because Portuguese is just that little bit different to make Spanish sound incorrect.  The work is going so fast.  This week we will baptize a family of four.  Here it's the first lesson that you commit to baptism.  The other day we got a referral and saw the person on the street.  We walked up to them and I was smiling the kind of smile you get when you know something is about to happen and you just can't stop smiling.  We stopped them and less than five min later they were committed to baptism.  A few seconds ago they were a different person and now they have a date.  It's just weird and cool to be standing in front of someone saying "Will you follow the example of Jesus and be baptized on this date three weeks from now?"  because as a missionary you know exactly what they will have to do and the changes they have to make and it's a great feeling to have them say yes and you walk away and mark them in your planner as a new investigator. 

About my talk this week: I didn't really have time to prepare one so I was working on it at random times and we had to get up at 5:30 yesterday for ward counsel.  So tired yesterday, but we got to sacrament and learned that we only had 5-7 minutes instead of 10 each.  So the other elder and I cut some parts, and then he got up and talked for 20 minutes and they moved my talk to the next week! So everything went great!  Here they do have Halloween, it's called Dia das Bruxas, it means day of the witches.  It's not as big a deal here as it is in the US.  This week we have our baptism of the family of four and its likely that I will do at least one of them! Last p-day after lunch we decided to go to cidade das abelhas, but it was closed, it's a 45 minute bus ride there and we had planned on being there for a while so we decided to hike through the jungle for 12 km to a waterfall and then we hiked out and went and taught a lesson with the bishop.  It was a long day, but fun.

Dad-I wish now that I had asked you more about your mission (Gary served in Las Vegas). Whenever it's hot here, I always think it was probably hotter there. Remember those belts that we bought thinking that they might not be big enough?  Now it may not be small enough, I am on the last belt hole :) The BYU game is sad (reference to BYU's loss to University of Utah), especially since they beat UT (University of Texas).  Happy birthday Meg!!  Have a great week!

Elder Anderson

Monday, September 16, 2013


Monday, September 16, 2013

So this week was our turn out of the two sets in our area to travel.  I was in another area this entire week and did my first 24 hr exchange.  We went to the furthest part of the mission called Juquitiba.  Part of it is mata, jungle. We walked for thirty min to get to a family and encountered a bull and a couple of horses.

Mata (jungle) in Juquitiba

Will send pics.  Also had chá, tea, not actual tea though. Here only black tea is not allowed.  It was kind of minty and lemony, but it wasn’t tea like we think, so don’t worry. This week we had stake conference and got a new stake president.  We also finally had our two baptisms!  They
finally made it to church.  Last week the car was being used by the father for work.  But they came and were baptized.  We have some investigators that are amazing and are preparing for baptism in October I think.  The language is coming great.  I can understand the majority of what people say depending of the person.  Everyone says that my language is really good for the amount of time I have been here. 

As to your question about what is above our house,  it’s three other houses. We are at the bottom of a hill and there are three other houses above us. Ours is the very bottom.  A couple cool/strange things here.  For candy they like to eat Halls cough drops.  For some reason they really like these and sell them at candy stands.  Members will come up and say "you want a Halls?"  It’s actually good after you try a couple.  Another cool thing: here instead of using the nos, (we), form of the verbs, a lot of the time they will use "a gente", (the people).  So the first time I heard it was from my companion and he was doing a street contact and said "Você já conheci missionarios como a gente?" which means literally: do you already know missionaries like the people?  I was really confused and couldn´t figure out what he had said so I asked and he said that it means us.  So what he really said was "do you already know missionaries like us?"  It’s nice because everyone uses it and it means one less conjugation to worry about.

Also if you get the chance look up "The Character of Christ". It is a talk by Elder Bednar at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and it is amazing.  Watch it for family night or something, will change your life.  Thanks for the letters and the pictures.  Happy birthday Meg, have fun at the dance.  Have a good week of school. It was great to hear from ya’ll, have a great week.  Pray that my talk on preaching the gospel will go good!

da mata do brasil (from the jungle of Brazil)

Elder Anderson

Monday, September 9, 2013

Milagres sao real

Monday, September 9, 2013

Milagre desta semana (miracle of this week)
This week the Bishop told us of a family whose father had been in the hospital and he had visited.  They lived out in the jungle pretty much.  To get there is a 20-30 min. bus ride on dirt roads passing ranches and people riding horse drawn carriages, really cool.  But we got there and were thinking that there is no way that this family will come to church because of how far it is.  So we find the house, everyone was home, all 6 of them.  We brought them all into the living room, if you can call it that, and taught the restoration.  It went so well, best lesson here yet. Everyone was feeling the spirit and my companion and I were working so great together.  After the lesson we committed them to go to church and to get baptized.  All said yes to baptism, 2 sons have work on Sunday which is really common here.  So we were really happy, but still worried that the family wouldn't show up to church because the mother is a nurse and works the night shift and wouldn't get done until 9 in the morning and church starts at 8:30 in the morning. So we went back to our house and the next day got to church and were waiting for them, luckily Sacrament is last.  And they all showed up!  They really had a good time, and the father said that he had read the chapter we had left with him and that when he prayed about it he felt really good.  They are so excited.

The bad thing about this week was that we had two baptisms scheduled.  The same ones that didn't make it to church last week.  This week the parents said that they would have a car and that they would be able to make it to church.  Sunday come around and we´re waiting for them and they aren't showing up.  So we try to call them, cell phone's not working, they only have one cell phone and no house phone which is common of the really small flavellas.  So we were really worried and were waiting and waiting, but they never showed up.  We hope that it is just a problem with a car.  Haven´t been able to go over there yet, on the plans for today.  

Went on splits for the first time this week.  Was with a Brasileiro from Rio who has only been here 6 more weeks than me and has only been in the church for almost 2 years.  He is really cool and we had a great time.  We found 3 new families that said we could come and teach them.  Saw a "gypsy" the other day too.  She was dressed in really colorful clothes and had only gold teeth and gold jewelery, and a high school musical backpack.

Went to the federal police on Thursday to get registered.  Was a lot of fun because we were sitting waiting for them to call us to get registered and up the stairs walks a group from the CTM, all people that we know.  They were pretty excited to see us.  They kept asking us questions and were so excited because they leave this week.  They all said we looked so much older after just almost two weeks in the field.  Also got to see some friends from the CTM that are in São Paulo Sul missão.  One of them was in the same stake as my companion and was super excited when he found out who my companion was.

Everything is going great here.  Sounds like a crazy week with cross-country and the sealing and trips and everything.  OH! Another thing-Dave I got your letter finally!!!!! And I got the letter that the young women sent.  Tell Sister Leavitt thanks for the talk.  Speaking of talks, this week my comp. gave a talk.  Afterwards the bishop asked me and the other new elder to give talks the week after next, because it's stake conference next Sunday.  So I have two weeks to find time to get a talk together.  Should be fun.  Would love to see pictures of the first day.  If you already sent them I didn't get them, got the email about them though.  

Love y´all,
Elder Anderson