Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's tough for three people to be one

What a week! Since the last time I was on, I gained a second companion, his name is Elder Rydalch. He is a fun, happy young fellow, who is a bit taller than me. Unfortunately, our district also lost a member of our ranks, which was a bit upsetting, and threw us all for a loop, but I think things are back to normal. Our trio is getting along well, though it is significantly harder with 3 people than it is 2 (I've found out). Between having to drag people along everywhere and doing things together all the time, it gets kinda difficult. In the pictures of us together, Elder Christensen is on the left (my right) and Elder Rydalch on the right.

Last Tuesday I tried out for the talent show, and I'm pretty sure that I'm in, because they were asking me if I could take up a 2 minute routine, and some other things. So my new project began, I needed string. I am happy to report, the first round was a success, but in a backwards way, I twisted the string the wrong way. oh well, I guess I have left handed string :) The first was a white navy blue mix that I got from the book store, 'cause apparently those are the only colors they have. I asked one of my branch presidency to get me some thread, and his wife ('cause she wouldn't let him) got the string I needed. They are fantastic! I'll send a picture of the finished product next week!

This weekend, was also a new experience, We got our second teacher, Irmao de Grooch, who was the investigator we had for the first week. He is kinda awesome, and a bit more laid back then the other teacher, more ready to joke with us. I love them so much though the one thing though is apparently Brazilian Portuguese doesn't come naturally to him, so he has to work hard to speak with an accent.

Also, my district has been doing that snapping thing, where you whip your finger or something, (Sam Welker, you know the snap...) and i am proud to say after a week and a half of trying, I got it! ow my arm and finger hurt :P

I'm gonna say one of the hardest things here so far are the stupid chairs! We sit in them for 13 or so hours a day, and others when we aren't. They are the most uncomfortable seats ever, and also don't hold your stuff, but rather allows it to slide down the desk part. I never want to sit in one of those chairs again. Only 7 more weeks of the pain...

Thanks everyone for all the letters you have sent me! I am trying to respond to everyone, so expect a letter a few days after I receive it. I am so grateful to you all, and your inspiring and uplifting words!

I know this church is true, I'm so grateful for everything that I have done here, and how much I have learned! I would like to end with a challenge to everyone to read the scriptures, If you want to try and finish it before I finish my Portuguese version, that's the commitment I extended to my family. I know it will bless your life to prayerfully study it again.

I love you all, and hope that I can hear from you!


Elder Anderson

People I've seen:
Sister Kayla Alder
Sister Amelia Bruneel
Elder Andrew Hansen
Elder Brandyn Pierce

*and a few others, but i can't remember now, I'll write their names next week.

Elder Christensen, Elder Anderson, and Elder Rydalch

Elder Washburn and Elder Delgado

Elder Bodhaine and Elder Clarke

Elders Poore and Trussle

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Week 2, Life in the MTC

Wow, what a week. the first three days, my mind was thrown in a portugese blender, chopped up, and then some spiritual experiences were thrown into the mix! The good news is once saturday and sunday hit, everything slowed down, and I finally was able to start feeling the spirit and understanding miniscule bits of portugese! the first few days, I felt like the new kid at school, where everyone notices you, and they all say Hi, in their respective languages. which by the way, I have never had so much fun saying Oi! in my life :) Saturday, was more of the same, study, breakfast, study, lunch, study, dinner, and study till you go home, then you write in your journal prepare some stuff for the next day, then sleep. The biggest plus though was I got to do some service in the morning, we cleaned out the gym. sunday was the biggest refresher, because I didn't have portugese shoved down my thought, but I got to go to devotionals, and here the mens choir sing from byu. If you haven't ever heard it, go look up elder Bednars talk, the character of christ. During those two things, I have felt the spirit the most strongly then I have this entire time. Oh and P-Day, the wondrous day where I don't have to dress up!!! So great.

My companion, Elder Christensen is a great guy, I've gotten along with him so well, though he can be kinda laid back and reserved. he is from preston Idaho, has a great spirit about him, and is growing so much while he is here. for those ladies out here reading this, sorry, but he is taken.

I also got to enjoy recieving letters from several of my friends and family, and I can tell you I love getting them so much!!! please write me, its the highlight of my night when I get handed a letter by my district leader :)


Elder Anderson

Monday, December 10, 2012

First Letter

Day 1.  I think that my biggest revelation today is the fact that I lack confidence.  I feel like I know the doctrine that I will be teaching, but I am so overwhelmed with everything that has occurred in the last 24 hours.

Last night, I was still packing, then I couldn't sleep well, then before I knew it I was on a plane, somehow on first class, and hurled into this place where people started yammering off in a language that I have no idea how to understand.

It's awesome!

Besides the part where I was thrown into a whole new world, which is already something that I've gotten used to in previous years, it's great.  I'm paired with Elder Christensen from Preston, Idaho.

So to sum it up, I feel like someone has taken my brain, scrambled, fried, overcooked, blended with some humility, and finished it off with a bit of excellence on top.  And it tastes fantastically tiring.

Well, I hope to hear from you soon.  Tell me how you all are doing since my departure.  I'll be able to check my email Tuesday, but if you send through (MTC box #220), then I'll get it the next day or that day.

Love you all dearly,

Sean :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Address for Elder Anderson at the Provo MTC

Mail letters (or packages) to Elder Anderson at:

Elder Sean Thomas Anderson
MTC Mailbox # 220
BRA-LON 0205
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Letter from Mom

Dear Sean,

At church on Sunday, two new babies were being blessed at it brought me back to the days of our one bedroom apartment in Austin, Texas.  I was working at the Howard Johnson Hotel as the Controller (a title your father finds very fitting for me), and Dad had just finished school and had gotten a job with Valley Research.  It was a big change for us.  Both sets of your grandparents came for the blessing and your dad blessed you.

Even as an infant you were a joy and a frustration.  I remember rocking you one night in the middle of the night about two weeks after you were born, and an overwhelming feeling of love warmed me from head to toe.  I still get that feeling when I hold you in my arms, and nothing you will ever do will change that feeling.

You have made us exceedingly proud (notice the nice use of scripture type words) over the years, accomplishing much and continually moving forward in your growth.  Thank you for always being a great example to your sisters and encouraging them to make good choices too.  Their emotions were evident during the night the Stake President (President Alder) came to set you apart as a missionary.  They love you and look up to you and will be praying for you daily while you are away.

I have kept my emotions in check over the last few days, but with difficulty.  I will miss your smiling eyes, your teasing, your quick hugs, and your "I love yous".  As President Alder expressed, I feel a little of what it was like for Heavenly Father to send his son away to Earth to be tested and tried.  I know you will do amazing work.  I know you will change and be changed, but I also know it will not be without pain and trial - real change never is, but it's worth it.

I love you son.  You are my first born and we have always pushed you to be your best.  As all parents, we have made mistakes, but I am always grateful for those others around you who have made up where we may have failed.  We will attend the temple often while you are gone, we will pray for you daily, and sometimes hourly, and we will miss you until you return.



Departure Day

December 5, 2012

It's not exactly what Sean envisioned . . . he had hoped to be headed to balmy Brazil.  Unfortunately, his visa did not come through in time so instead of the Brazil MTC, he left the Boise Airport at 6:30 am on a very rainy Wednesday morning for Salt Lake City and the Provo MTC.

Everyone went to the airport with him, leaving the house at 5:09, then 5:13, then 5:20.  After we were sure we had most of his stuff, we set out for the airport.  The ticket agent recognized what a boy in a suit with his family hovering close around meant (having served a mission herself) and kindly helped us get everything in order.  His big bag checked in at 49 lbs (just under the limit) and the other bag with plenty of poundage to spare at 30 lbs.  Another missionary bound for Houston on the same flight was checking in beside us with two huge bags and some weight distribution to take care of.  

Once Sean was checked in, he nearly sprinted for the gate with his family frantically calling out for him to slow down.  After waiting 168 days to go - he was anxious to start his adventure.  Catching him just before security, he was hugged and kissed repeatedly, and mom barely held back the tears as he turned for one final wave.  We found out after the flight that he flew first class, probably due to the rescheduling of his ticket from Brazil to Salt Lake.  Lucky!  The other missionary was back in economy.

Sean had a few tense moments at the Salt Lake Airport waiting for his Aunt Amy to pick him up (she was about 20 minutes late), but they found each other and he spent the morning breakfasting with his Uncle Ryan at Kneaders before heading into the MTC at 12:30.

Good luck Elder Anderson!

Dear Elder Anderson . . .

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned in the Brazil Londrina Mission.

You should report to the Brazil Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. You will prepare to teach in the Portuguese language.

Sean's mission call came June 20, 2012 to his apartment in Logan, Ut. He invited friends over to watch him open his mission call and had his family on Skype so we could watch the big moment. He was super excited as were all those who predicted he would go to Brazil via his Facebook page.

Here were some comments from his Facebook announcement:

That moment began a 168 day countdown (extraordinarily long due to wait times for Brazilian visas) until Elder Anderson would enter the MTC.

During the wait time he continued to work at the Space Dynamics Lab in Logan, Utah doing computer networking and enjoying a few more months of single life. He managed to acquire a girlfriend just two months before he left which made his final months fun and maybe a little bittersweet in the end.

He returned home to prepare for his mission November 20th (just before Thanksgiving). It was a great opportunity to spend a little more family time with him before he left. With his farewell on November 25 - Thanksgiving week was packed to the brim with food, family, and friends. Sean's Grandparents, John and Ellen Burnside arrived Thanksgiving day to enjoy dinner with the family and family friends the Stephersons and Ken Hainsworth. Friday, Sean's Aunt Michelle and Uncle Greg arrived with their children Madison, Amanda and Sadie, and Saturday Sean's friends from Logan arrived (Jeanne, Jaycee, Andrew, Steve, and Tristen) to spend one last night out dancing. It was a great weekend!

Sean's farewell was November 25, and he was asked to speak on Service.

Here is a link to his talk: Farewell talk on service

Grandma and Grandpa Burnside left directly after Sacrament meeting, but everyone else stayed for dinner and then left. It was a sad few moments as Sean watched his friends drive out of sight.

With just a week and a half left to get things finished, including have Christmas, the house was a whirlwind of activity: decorating the tree, finishing up paperwork, ordering shoes, hemming pants, and running to the store for last minute items (at least three times), it was finally time.