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