Monday, December 16, 2013

Gulhierme and Vitor's baptisms and the miracle of new shoes

December 16, 2013

Here’s my week!

Actually I would like to account 2 stories:

Last week I started talking about Gulhierme, and this is where it continues. This week, we followed up on giving him the Book of Mormon, and to see if he read the 2 parts we marked. Most investigators read maybe the first part. Sometimes the second part as well. Gulhierme read the 2 parts and everything between, and a little bit more, all the way to Jacob 3. We stopped, our jaws dropped, and we could tell that he already knew it was true, and wanted to be baptized. We were deeply impressed and taught him the rest of the lessons. By Friday, he had finished the Book of Mormon, and was baptized the following Sunday (yesterday :) )

But it doesn't stop there, his influence and conversion is touching the lives of other people and helping them desire to go to church too. I think this next week we will have some of his friends in church. And even better, he has a great desire to serve a mission. Plus he made up his last name which is unique to the world, so he would be the world’s only Elder Khyzask. That’s cool :P

The next story.


We got a media referral to do the following, pass by a house and give an English Book of Mormon. Seeing as we don't just have any lying around the house, we went and passed by his house to give one in Portuguese and tell him that we would get one here sometime for him. We found that the Elders already taught him 3 years ago. We also asked if he wanted to be baptized, and he said yes. The best thing about baptizing 18 and 20 years year olds is they are really open, and they are able to accept truths, and to change. And they don't have to have permission from their parents to be baptized :P so we asked permission, and we taught him all, and baptized him Sunday too. (This was my fasted baptism of approximately 5 days’ notice. I was really glad to meet someone as elect as him as well, and I will keep in good touch with him. The best part is, he speaks English, (and Gulhieme wants to learn and go to Utah and Texas and other places as well).

This week was a baptism filled week, and it was a really good week too. We rode the bus for 12 hours, which kind of sucked, but I guess I will have to get used to it.

My companion got hiccups for the first time in his mission, that was funny.

Oh and I ate a really big fish, and they fried the whole fish. It was kind of disturbing when your food looks back...

Another miracle this week, my shoes, both of them, had inch and a half holes, pretty big holes in the bottom, that I could feel the asphalt heating my sock (I wasn't careful entering the bus station bathroom one time as well). But one member saw, and took the liberty of buying me a new pair. I know that the lord has been blessing me this week, and I want to show him that I want to follow him better, so I am going to try and be better in following him in every way. I know that he only has more in store for me this next year!

Miss you all, I'm so glad to hear all these good things that are happening to you, and about 9 days and I will talk to my family again!!!


Elder Sean Thomas Anderson

ps baptism (Gulhierme right (skinny guy) and Vitor, on the left) :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Record number of contacts and finding Gulhierme

December 9, 2013

This week, there isn't many stories and experiences. Actually there are, but it’s all contacts this week. No baptisms. Here’s a few of them:

Funny contacts

1. I talked to a bearded lady. I am usually pretty good at looking past people and doing the contacts, but I started talking to her, and when a girl has more facial hair than my companion when he hasn't shaved for a week ( which in all reality isn't that much) it’s just a little too much for me. Needless to say I was a little startled and ended the contact fast.

2. The next one we did was a really odd contact. It’s odd because we asked her, “if God talked to her, face to face, would she be baptized,” and she said no, and that she wanted to keep following the catholic church. She started using an argument that the church has authority, and that Peter was passed the keys, but we blew that out of the water with our innate knowledge of the history of world churches. She then admitted that she knew the church was false, and that she would still follow it and not God. I don't want to live in this world anymore.

3. There were several where I was completely ignored, rejected and denied, to the point where people stopped, looked at me, took a long path around me, while I called to them about 6 or 7 times, and then never responded. I love when people are just completely rude to me, at least say hi back :P

4. The first 2 days we had counted up the amount of contacts we did because we were doing a competition with the sisters, and we had 37 between Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we got to a point where we had 37, and we decided that we could pull it in and completely double our number of contacts for the week. It was one of the best experiences we had this week. We were doing contacts, and 30- 36 were really hard, rejections to a couple of really mule people (people who don't want to mark appointments) and we were tired. But we were going to do the church at that point, and still had one more. Behind us came a young man, 18 years old. we started talking to him, and on the very last contact of our longest and hardest day for contacts this week, the day I set the record for the amount of contacts that I have done in one day (and week too) we found a golden investigator.


Gulhierme is a kid that just moved here from Mexico. He was an adopted Brazilian kid into a Mexican family and they lived in Brazil most of his life. I don't know when, but he moved to Mexico for 6 years with his family because their visa ran out. They went back, and he met the church there. He met a few missionaries close to the border and went with them to a church meeting in Texas, and it was right next to a temple, which I think is in Lubbock. I don't know, he doesn't recognize the city, he said one city, but it was a Mexican city, and he said it was in Texas.

He didn't understand the church that much, but he has had several experiences as of late that pointed him to the church today. He went with us Sunday, and lives just a few doors from bishop, and is a great kid. We have his baptism marked for this Sunday! I'm so excited! onwards and upwards.

Oh and just a few other facts, on average, we walked over 10 miles a day, up to 20 miles in one day (I’m averaging it up, and I am realizing that its more than 20, I think it might be as much as 26 miles that day...) I think I might be in marathon shape:P though my shoes are taking a pounding. I have an inch hole in one side, and the other is just starting. I’m gonna start looking through some used stores.

That’s the week this week! Hope you all are loving life! Write soon!

Elder Anderson

Baptizing Bruna and a trip to Londrina to hear Elder Costa of the 70

December 2, 2013

This week was great, and bad and really great again. Let me explain.

We started out by visiting a lot of people that were in our register. We were able to contact a few people that were interested in the gospel that said they would go to church.

Difficulty number one: we had to leave for the next 3 days, Wednesday, we hopped on the bus to Marilia to catch the next bus to Londrina to catch another bus to vive Xavier (live Xavier) and spend the night there to catch the bus back to Londrina at 4 in the morning and listen to President Costa of the area 70 of Brasil. Wow that was awesome.

We were able to listen and take notes about what he said, and he told us all of these stories telling us that we had to listen to the spirit.

Here’s what he taught: he said that to be a missionary that baptizes a lot, you have to listen to the spirit to know when to stop teaching. We get all excited we feel the spirit, and at that moment we need to leave them and come back another day. When we teach them all they lose that spirit and we come back and they don't want anymore.

He also talked about using our time efficiently, for example, in our planners, we always write church for the 3 hour block of our day at church. Whereas rather it’s the only time we are with the members, and we should be working with them in this time frame. It was very profound.

After that we caught a bus to Marilia again, slept at the ZL’s house, and then caught a bus to Assis the next day, and we stayed there all day to do interviews for the 2 investigators of the sisters (1 passed and baptized! woot! )

Then we caught a bus that night to Ourinhos again, and there we stayed for Saturday thankfully.

Saturday night though, the zone leaders called and said Elder Anderson, Bruna wants you to baptize her.

I got really excited at that point. Bruna was an investigator in Marilia that we taught. She was an inactive Buddhist member, and was really cool. In fact Elder Pearcy (that was the second area of his that I had passed...) had taught her. She was really cool and had a really inspiring story that I think I wrote previous weeks and is in my journal. Anyway the elders kept teaching her, and she progressed and decided that it was time to get baptized!

So last night we hitched a ride for 2 more hours and I got to see my old ward, (man I loved that ward!) and I got to perform the ordinance of baptism and It was so great being able to see her once more and be a part of that. She was so nervous, but when she came out of the water, she was so happy! It’s great to see the influence the spirit has in the lives of people.

That night we caught a ride back with Tony ( a state military police officer, who is just so cool!)

Here's the picture of the baptism!

November 25, 2013

Yeah, I feel like there’s always hard things. This week, we had a really good possibility for baptism for the first few days of the week, till the point that we had an interview marked, but they bailed on us that day. Also this week I had a few stomach problems for a few days, I'm not sure if it’s over, but I think it is, I feel a lot better. Also It rained this week, and when it wasn't it had an eerie I'm gonna rain look. So this week was a trial for us.

But the good news is that it’s a new week. New goals, new people, new experiences. Also we are going to go to Londrina on Wednesday to hear from a general apostle, Elder Costa from the quorum of the 70. We have been receiving new rules, new ideas and new trainings all this week in preparation for that day, so we will get there and be all ready.

Seeing as there is no exciting news I'll tell you a bit about what’s going on in my mission right now.

I am currently at 11 months and 3 weeks now, getting closer and closer to one year, and I am doing an evaluation on what I can do better. I'm seeing the things that I need to do to be a better well versed missionary and to teach the gospel to a better extent. I have been starting to study the scriptures looking at them in a different light to try and see which ones I can apply to my life and to my investigators lives. I also am trying to pick up on habits that I have that aren't mission worthy and become a consecrated missionary.

To be a consecrated missionary? What does that mean? It means to be fully dedicated to the Lord in his service. But I thought to myself, does that mean that I have to be 100 percent serious all the time, am I not allowed to joke around a little, to help others smile every now and then? It seems that I have this personality that helps other people out sometimes, but I need to know if there are some things that I can put in harmony with the Lord.

What I've decided is that you have to be 100 percent serious, focused and dedicated, but at the same time you don't have to lose who you are. I want to live my life in a way that will lift up, and help others, that will allow me to be an example in every moment and everyplace. The Lord while he was on the way to help a 12 year old girl that was dying spared his time and his talents to help a lady who also had a problem her whole life. We too should be less focused on what’s going to happen next and be aware of the present, or these moments can pass us by. I found if I lose my focus, then I stop talking to people as frequently, which means that all those people don't have the chance to hear the gospel. If I focus my personality and learn how to always be focused, 100 percent focused, I can help many people come to the gospel. I know that the lord is guiding this work. That it’s hastening, and that we are his servants.

This week may be hard, but bit by bit it gets better. I am so thankful for the mission and the opportunities that it’s given me.

For my family who lovingly support me.

For my friends who consistently write me every week

For my companion who endures all his trials and sets a standard for me

For my Heavenly Father who knows and loves me

Elder Anderson

Sean doing paperwork the old fashioned way!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013: Cleaning house in Ourinhos

November 18, 2013

Do you get much exercise (besides walking everywhere) each day?

We should, I am a little lazy half the mornings. It’s worse when it’s cold. If it’s hot, I just hop up and go.

How are the bugs down there? Very many in your apartment?

Ants, and spiders, we have a ton.

Who are you teaching now?

Nobody, we just opened an area

Do you have favorite scripture stories that you like to tell when you are teaching?

I love the story of Moses, it really describes the purpose of a prophet. Also Zeezrom has the best repentance story in 2 verses :P

This week!!!!

This week was a crazy week. I was transferred because we lost a lot of elders, and I was moved to Ourinhos. For the first couple of days, we taught my old investigators in Marilia because we couldn't get to our area till Thursday. We got there, and we had the worse house ever. It was so terrible; I don't know how anyone lived there. So we cleaned the house. Also we got new supplies, a new map, and a few other things to help us with our work. Seeing as we didn't have much time, we kind of hit the ground running, and in the following days we walked all over the city, visited their old investigators, and we found a lot of new ones. We also have been getting a lot of media references lately because of Facebook that we had to pass too. So all of these things were things we started doing when we got here.

We had this miracle today as we were able to overcome a lot of our goals this week, and we were extremely obedient. (it’s a little hard sometimes, but I think that my companion, Elder Christensen is the most obedient guy on the mission. though I'm still curious to know if all these rules are actual rules or not...)

But as to who we are teaching, we kind of just taught everyone, we haven't really had a list of potentials yet, so we are gonna work really hard this week to find people with desire to go to church, and those people will have desire to get baptized!!!

I'm so excited for this transfer, we are all ready to go, just have to clean house a little more and everything will be already!!

Miss you all, and this week will have more to say, and some more pictures, but for now, here’s me fighting a tiger!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 11, 2013: Teaching Bruna and Dimitri, learning some sign language, and got transferred again!

Nov 11, 2013

What miracles did you witness this week?

We passed by Bruna and Dimitry, and they wanted to hear more about the gospel, and they went to church again. They are ex Buddhist and atheist, and they are very smart. Very very smart :)

What made you mad this week?

Hmmm, not sure. Little things when you don't get that much sleep seem to put me on edge sometimes

What made you happy?

Helping Bruna and Dimitry and finding some really cool people that will go to church.

How is your luggage holding up?

Its small. I have 2 suitcases, and one duffel bag that was really cheap and is dying. I might leave something here.

Did you learn anything new this week?

There was a guy in our ward that does sign language. Old funny man. I started trying to talk to him, and he taught me some things that I could say, so next time that I talk to someone, I can do it in signs. (Still don't know barely anything, but I can say a few basic church vocab.)

What skills that you possess do you find most useful on your mission?

Being excited is the best, smiling helps find the best people that are ready to hear the gospel, and to attract others. I found you have to talk to everyone and you will find the one sheep that still needs a Sheppard.

So it was a good week. We worked with a few people, including Sarah, Bruna, Dimitri and Ana Paula. It was a good week; though it was a really, really long week. The best part though was the fact that we were really blessed in various ways, in the fact that we now have desks and the fact that we had some really awesome people go to church this week.

The other news is I was transferred to Ourinhos to be with Elder Christensen, (not the same one, and in the same zone as I am)

That’s all I got, but I'm out of time, everyone write me soon!

Elder Anderson

November 4, 2013: Baptized Anna Paula, and teaching Sarah. The miracle of the new old shoes.

Nov 4, 2013

Well here we are one more week, and one harder week at that. I am just so worn out, and here’s what we did.

First Tuesday, we cleaned the old house. This day we had a few chores to run, things to get, and had to run to the old house.

(This part is important)

So at the old house, it was really dirty. We had to scrub, sweep, and just do some really hard work. One of the things I found was the old shoes of Elder Rodriguez, which were practically new. Like a little worn, but perfect otherwise. So I took them cause my old shoes were a little worn down.

The next 2 or 3 days I wore the pair I got at the old house. We lunch on Friday and I decided to use the other pair. It was odd because my foot seemed to have pain, I looked at it and there was a huge hole in it, probably an inch wide. It was the first time I had worn them since I got the new old pair, and they were gonners. I know that the Lord watches out for us and answers our prayers and our faith.

The other great blessing is that my companion and I baptized Anna Paula this week. I was so happy to see her take that step, because she has been having a lot of fear this week and wasn't sure if she was ready to go get baptized. The great thing was that we were able to have the help of several members, and to get her willing to baptize. The best part was she received her own response. On Thursday, I believe she prayed, and that night she dreamed that she was in the church, and someone handed her a white handkerchief. She woke up still holding tight to it on her chest. She decided that was an answer and was baptized this Sunday. Here are the pictures!

The other great thing is that we are starting to get through to the other investigator that we have, Sarah. She decided that she wants to get baptized, but the problem is that her mom is openly and totally against it. She will have to make her own choice, because she is over 18. It will be hard, but I think she will get baptized, because this was her 4th time in church. she’s cool!

Anyway, gotta go, 11 months party tomorrow, almost half way! Hump day in 1 month!

Elder Anderson

October 28, 2013: Teaching Anna Paula and baptizing Patricia and Francisco

October 28, 2013

First of all this week was a really hard week to work, my companion had to go to Londrina to get his visa renewed, and so I was stuck in a trio 2 days this week. But what we did, we worked a lot with 2 people. One was Sarah. Sarah is a snake. This means that she is very flirtatious with my companion, and she isn't afraid to show it. Thankfully she respects our rules, and she is making some really big changes in her life. I like working with her, but it can get a little awkward sometimes, and she is a bit ditsy, but we'll get past that. She has been to church 3 times, and she loves the lessons, but doesn't want to take the step for baptism. Here is a picture of her and her mom.

Next is Anna Paula, she is a really, really happy person. I love teaching her; it is like our go to person to get animated. She has one daughter and we helped them move to a new house (just 2 blocks from our house thankfully, it’s a lot closer.) and we were joking and laughing the entire time. She understands, and wants to get baptized, but she just has a little fear of what will happen. She always says that people got to church, then stop and become bad people. But she said she will baptize if she is ready, and she consented to baptize if she passes the interview, and we set a goal for her, and we will try and baptize her this Saturday. It will be a really exciting day for her, especially since it was a holiday! Here is a picture of her.

But the best of all, we had a double baptism and a marriage this Saturday. Patricia and Francisco. They have been going to church for over 2 years and they finally were able to get married (he travels a lot) and we were able to be a part of it all. We went to the Cartorio (the marriage place) and we took pictures of them signing the papers and all of the good parents as well, and it was really cool. That same night we baptized them, and it was a really cool experience, the whole ward was there. Here is a few pictures of them (next email)

But that’s about it. We had a great week, our numbers were low, but I know that I exerted my forces to talk with everyone, so while the numbers were low, I did a lot more than it showed. It was a good week.

Here's Elder Doan

Anyway, I miss you all, write me soon! Your favorite missionary is anxiously waiting!

Elder Anderson

October 21, 2013: New companion, new area, new opportunities

Oct 21, 2013

I had an emergency transfer, and I am with Elder Doan now.

How are things this week?

Well they were good, I like my new area though it’s definitely hard being a missionary. It got hot again, so teaching in the street is terrible. But we managed to teach 44 lessons this week, without entering a house. (We might have entered a few, but max 5) and we had less references than lessons. Go figure. I feel like I've talked to at least a million people since I've been here.

I know your seasons are different than ours, is it getting hotter as we are getting colder?

Yeah it’s hot now, and just getting worse

Did you already find a new shoulder bag?

We found out about changing bags the last week, and I went to some stores, found a couple things, but most were a bit more expensive, but I managed to strike a deal at a little used thrift shop thing. It was 20 and I worked her down to 15, and that’s about 7 dollars, for a pretty sweet shoulder adventure bag.(seriously I feel like Indiana Jones with this thing!)

But it’s a little small, just big enough for the things I need to carry around through the day, I might go look for 1 of 2 things for days I need a little more space, find a briefcase or just a bag a little bit bigger so that I can put folders and things in it for meetings like zone conference and meetings and divisions.

Tuesday we went on division, I went with Elder Barton, who is from my group, and it was pretty awesome, we talked to 150 people that day (and got about 25 references) and it was a bomb division. We had a guy tell us I’m tired of you Mormons, if you have courage take this - and handed Elder Barton his pipe. (At this point he was wigged out). And he was like whoa you’re courageous. Give it to him. So I took it. And he was really impressed by us, and told us he was sorry and walked off.

The next day I found my bag, I’ll send some pics latter, I don't know if I have time right now, but Elder Doan is really picky, so he is trying to find something he likes, and everything is expensive. We’ll see what he gets.

Also I had a dog pee on my shoe this week, that was annoying. We had a person tell us that he was the only prophet in the world, and he was gonna go on the bridge and start prophesying.

Also we had 2 good possibilities, Anna Paula who we met Saturday and went to church last Sunday, and Sarah, our hard core snake for Elder Doan (who can resist blond hair blue eyed Elder Doan?)

But that about sums up my week, I gotta go now, but hope to hear from all soon!

Love you!

Especially you mom!

Elder Anderson

Elder Anderson, Anna Paula, Elder Doan

Elder Doan

Elder Doan, Sarah, Anna Paula, Elder Anderson

October 15, 2013 - Transferred again

Oct 15, 2013

So I'm not sure, but I think it was a bit of food poisoning, and motion sickness together, because I just don't throw up because one or the other. But I'm okay now.

Do you have many opportunities to serve?

Yeah, but nobody wants us to serve them, it’s funny. Prideful Brazil.

How much time do you usually spend serving as opposed to teaching?
Mostly teaching. All day. We had about 40 lessons this week. About as many references that we had. We try and get people to go to church first before we teach them, then they will have a desire to baptize. :P

Why did they decide to put you back with Elder Millet?

President is inspired, though the following story will explain a bit more.

How is your new area?

It’s great, I got put in a city again, with 4 Americans, me and 3 others. it’s a really cool house, one is even from my group, Elder Barton, so it’s a good bunch!

What does it look like?

Middle class brazil, not poor, but not rich either. Some rich every now and then

How does it compare to your other areas?

Not sure, I've only been here 4 day :P explanation below

Have the members received you well?

So far yes, I taught with a bunch of members the last few days, even though my companion complains about the members. it’s been going well. I'm gonna work on working with the members a lot this transfer. I want to have a week with over 20 member lessons, that will be the best.

So this week was hectic. Last pday, after, we got a call saying pack your bags, you will go to Marilia, which was the bus ride back to where I was, the same ride that I got sick on last time. So I packed, and got transferred to Marilia, and on the way, my bus was late, didn't make it that day, and had to stay in the bus terminal for a few hours alone (I think that must be how it feels to be going home, so alone...) and finally at 8:30 someone showed up and got me to the secretary’s house. That was a good night. But when I finally got here, we started working a ton, doing a lot of finding work because they had cut all of their old investigators and were looking for new. With 3 days of work, we were able to find 4 new people to go to church, and they all went and felt the sprit, and hopefully will want to get baptized! It will be a good week this week.

Also we had zone conference this Friday, which was good, I learned a lot, found some things that I will keep with me and use as I teach and move forward with my mission. I know that our president was inspired. I won't lie after when we watched 17 miracles, I cried. I felt the spirit so strong the entire conference, and can't wait for mission tour next month.

Also, new rule, we have to use saddle bag kind of deals. I don't know how to call it, but we are no longer allowed to use backpacks, So I will have to go shopping... dang.

So sorry mom that I have to go and use a little personal money :/ also between having to buy medicine this last week and killed my funds with the transfer, so I used a bit of money to buy supplies and food to live...

Anyway gotta go now, miss you all! write me soon!

Elder Anderson

Transferred again, got really sick, met some great members.

Oct 7, 2013

So this week we got transferred. We both got transferred to the same zone, but I'm with Elder Millett again, and he (Elder Altamirano) is with Elder Carlos.

(Elder Carlos is kind of funny, he speaks a bit of English, but he likes the phrase “oh no” a lot. I don't know why.)

Here’s how this week went: I hoped on the bus Tuesday, and went to Londrina. That was about 6 hours I think. Something like that. But that day, we ended up getting a bunch of natural juice, explored the city and went to the stores. (Didn’t get anything, I didn't have any desire yet.)

It was kind of cool, I got to spend the day with Elder Caldeira and Elder Oliva and Elder Poore, all realy funny guys. It was also a treat to see Elder Delgado that night with his new trainee. Both elder pore and elder delgado are from my group, so I had a god time talking to them.

The next day we got on the bus again to Cascavel and Foz where they went. That was another 6 hours, and I felt really sick. I hate riding the bus, especially the cheap bus that shakes you around all the time and stops every 30 minutes to pick up people and let them off. So that night when we were at the house of an investigator, I threw up. I felt really bad. The nice thing is she’s a mom, and she was right out with a cup of herbal tea, and some medicine, so I took it gladly.

The next day I threw up again, (Thursday now) and I went to lunch and ate very little. And after that it started getting bad again, and the member had me lay down, and I talked to Sister a bit, and she let me sleep and go to the hospital. I slept almost that entire day (which was good cause it was raining) but I am so glad that people here treat me like their own son because they know how hard my own mother must feel that she can't help me out (though she would probably just laugh ;P )

But after the day of hard sleep, I was finally able to eat again with the thanks to some really nasty medicine, and I am back up working again. 100 percent.

The next day we left with the son of that member (who is American, 3 of their kids are and speak perfect English), got chewed out by our investigator that doesn't want to give up coffee... :/ it was sad.

But conference came and we watched 2 in Portuguese and the others in English, it ended up being a really really good conference, and I took over 20 pages of notes (and I still haven't watched the priesthood session, I’ll have to study that in my own time.)

Between all, it was a really god week. I met some really cool people, including Manuel and his family, the Americans, and Susie, a 3 year convert return missionary, and some really cool members and investigators. I already love this area; everyone is just asking to be baptized!!!

I miss you all, and I love the work here, thanks for all your support!

Elder Anderson

September 23, 2013 Videos

Sept 30, 2013

How are you?

Well, that is a very broad ended question. We’ll start with the feet this week. So they are a little red, but they got better, and still are. The cream is a bit weird, but it’s kind of funny describing it to people. So better. The shoes I have are wonderful too, though I might look into getting another pair around Christmas to have 2 good pairs, one to air out and one to wear.

My body is sore, but that’s because I started doing pushups again (it warmed up enough that I can get out of my bed in the morning without being freezing cold.)

Our new member (Silvia who was confirmed this week) gave us suits, she had a brecho (used store) and they are really stylish. (imagine old man style :P) so I'm gonna send a few pictures of that.

My mind is tired, but I think that’s from all the contacts that I've done and the fact that I've been studying Isaiah in Nephi. (It makes sense this time!) And also that we did a lot of contacts this week and had a lot of nothing. It kind of was a slow week. The area was moved back to just the zone leaders now. I think it was because of the lack of investigators in our area, which is kind of sad.

But as for transfers, so I will be with my trainer again (Elder Millet), in Cascavel (right next to where I trained here :P with elder Altamirano in my district. this is going to be a weird transfer, but I'm excited!)

My area Coqueiral!

Who is your favorite Book of Mormon prophet?

Gonna say Jacob (he saw Jesus Christ too :P)

Bible prophet?

Moses or Isaiah, (they have some really cool stories!)

And I don't know about modern day prophet, that would be hard to say, but I have a few that I like, like Ezra Taft Benson, and Joseph Smith, or our prophet today! (Gordon B Hinkley was also up there :) )

And why? What inspiration to you get from them?

I really like the things that they taught, some of the miracles that they performed, and there is a lot of other things, I don't know. I really love Alma too. I think his life is an inspiration to anyone.

Anyway, gotta go, thanks for all the letters. Time to pack!!!

Elder Anderson

Foot issues

Sept 23, 2013

Questions and answers:

How are things down south?

Well, this week was a really short week, they all seem to blur together, I don't understand why, but it was a good week, because we had a really strong baptism this week, her name is Silvia, I'll write more about her at the bottom :P

Was last week an up week or down week?

It was mostly an up week, though I’m not gonna lie, the cold kinda put a damper on it, but I powered through it, still holding strong. :P

How is your suit holding up?

My suit’s fine, I only use it once a week if I use it - so not very often.


Pants are fine, though I found a gaping hole in the pocket of one of my suit pants (good thing I only wear them every now and then - that could get a little annoying).

But, as for pants, my companion - all of his pants have huge holes in the crotches (I'm not sure how they got there on all of them, and why they are so big... seriously, I don't know how I don't notice them all day, but he manages to hide them.) He got a pair of pants the other day from another elder, so he's gonna make it fine.


I had to get some stain remover, (for my pit stains that look like someone poured rust on my shirts...) and the stains are gone, just missed one shirt, so I need to wash that one really well.

Are you washing clothes by hand, or with a machine?

Machine, though I have washed by hand a few times here, it just is a lot harder and takes a bit longer. (kind of annoying too, glad I live in the 21st century ;)

How big is your refrigerator?

Smallish, doesn't hold a ton of food.

Do you have a stove and microwave?

Thankfully yes, I don't have to cook in a pit over a handmade fire (that’s called barbecue/churrasco here. it’s just about the best thing ever :P )

How many elders are in your apartment?

Just us.

What three things do you love about Brazil so far?

Churrasco, fruits, and terere (though it’s been a few months since the last time I had terere). So pretty much the foods here are really good. I'm working on learning how to cook like they do here.

What three things are the most challenging?

People not wanting to hear anything about the church or wanting to bible bash with you; the heat; and teaching classes in church. I just can't capture attention yet. I'm still learning though, I found I can give a really good discourse on improv :P

As for our baptism, so we found Silvia last week. She was walking along and we did a contact with her, inviting her to go to church. She said she would, we passed by her that night, confirmed, and she decided she would go with her granddaughter. The next day when we woke them up, they almost decided not to go, but they did. So it ended up going well. We taught them all week, and she brought us food from the place she works all week (salgados/ colaches) it’s kind of like sweets, but they are snack food, like hotdogs or ham and cheese and other things like that in the form of a nonsweet donut. I really don’t have a way to describe it.

Anyway, we taught them, she always calls us her soldiers, and she always talks about us highly. She is really happy, and it’s really cool to see what she is doing to change her life (like giving up all of her coffee and alcohol and tea the 2nd day). she is also bringing her mom to the church this next week (she slept in this week :P) and she wants us to teach her niece and her girlfriend too, (we taught the girlfriend Bruna, I think she's cool with us, though I don't think the niece likes us quite so much). So we'll work on that the next week, see how that goes, and try and find someone to baptize, maybe this man that we invited and went to church that had this huge accident with his back. He is kind of cool.

Anyway, today we're going to the zoo, so it will be fun, I'm kind of excited, glad to hear that you are all doing great! Write me soon!

Elder Anderson

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Juliana and Palbo get baptized and our ward mission leader is stepping it up

July 22, 2013

So here I am, in sunny Brazil, and my day just got better finding out that my dad got a job offer, so, naturally I'm a little antsy. (Though it’s going to be weird returning to another ward...) I'll manage.

Anyway, we'll start with the exciting news first. Primarily, I'm loving my companion and we just finished baptizing 2 out of 4 in a family (1 is having problems with drugs, the other has major issues with age.) so we'll talk about them for a second.

Juliana and Pablo. These two are awesome, I'm glad we found them. I will say that the Lord put them in our way, and at the right time, because now our ward mission leader is doing a lot of stuff with the missionaries of the ward. Which means on top of that, our retention rate of members of 25 percent will be more like 50 or 75 percent. I'm kind of really excited for the work he is doing.

anyway, they have given up a lot of things that you have to do to be baptized, and on top of that, they are doing daily study of the scriptures, prayer, and I think that we will start helping the father more and more, and they will be baptized as a family, and be sealed in the temple someday, (way cool).

So anyway the baptism was good, here’s a photo:

Also, we had a few really cool experiences where we found cool people with questions ready to get baptized and everything, (we'll see).

For example, while we try and touch some lives, even if it feels really uninspired, the Lord puts others in our way. The other day we were talking to someone, and it got into a quick awkward silence, so I asked a question in my awkward way: “What would you ask God if he were here?” She says, “Well, I have lots of questions, but not one in particular.” Then at that moment, some girl that was leaving from in the house, asked us a question that we could tell made her really confused and sad. So we got her number, and will try and teach her one of these days, it’s going to be great.

Now for some funny news:

I talked about this in the video, but this bird dropped a huge poop on me the other day during a contact. I had just finished getting the guy’s information, and put away my planner, and it happened. I think the worst was it was green and gooey, and warm. Though all I could do was laugh and go and find a house we could ask for water. It all turned out well.

Also some other cool things is I have been working on learning how to take some really cool pictures (Cool camera = cool pictures, just need to learn how)

Here’s some cool one I took this week:

And I think that’s it for space on this email, but here’s some others!

Miss you guys, write soon

Elder Sean Anderson!

New companion, Elder Altamirano

July 15, 2013

This week, I got my new companion, Elder Altamirano, who is from Buenos Ares in Argentina, so still not my first companion to be Brazilian, but we'll keep trying

Secondly, I have started trying to learn more about the church’s program for addiction recovery because we have an investigator who is doing drugs. Well, at least he is trying to stop, so I want to do everything I can to help him with his choice. My part is to study and help him understand how the atonement can make a difference in his life, between sacrifice and repentance. He is so awesome, but I felt so bad for him when he made it 3 days after the first day we met him where he didn't do drugs, but I know it was so hard for him.

The cool thing was we brought his wife to church that week, and she loved it, and already wants to bring a friend, who we evidently already talked with, and the friend is really excited about it too! It’s all going to work out great in that neighborhood.

Oh and other funny news, there is a road that we walk every day (no this isn't some sort of poem) where there is a lot of space. It runs along the highway, or whatever the road is, and every day we pass, there are pipa (kites). The thing about the pipa is that they have these huge kite battles, where they cut the line when they fly them, so it gets really dangerous. The other day I saw the biggest gathering of people that I have ever seen there, and the skies were filled! I'm not gonna lie, it was one of the craziest things I have seen.

The next day we were driving past, and there is a bar there, and it looked like a huge party, to the point that the road was packed full of drugged up and drunk people. (We decided not to walk back that way).

Elder Sean

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Birthday!

So this week, I would like to start with my first party as a missionary in Brazil. We celebrated 4th of July and that day we did divisions. My companion that day was Elder Gregory, (jazz band guy) and we decorated with the wonderful decorations my mom sent me, and ate some American candy (didn't make it to the other food) and we took some pictures and some videos of us singing the national anthem. (pretty much it was an awesome night).

I'm sending a few pictures of us that night (me and Elder Gregory)

Next, we have transfers right now, so my companion is going to Marilia. I'm staying here, and am getting my first Brazilian companion. I don't know his name (dang you secretaries that decide not to send my info... ) and he will be (district leader) leader de distrito, so I will continue doing lots of divisions with people. I'm actually kind of excited, ‘cause that means I will work with lots of people. :)

It also means I will probably stay here for at least 2 transfers, so who knows what will happen! But I will write about him next week, tell how we get along, and how frustrating it is to speak Portuguese 24 7 :P I’m gonna die you guys!

Now the good stuff. I have had a couple of really awesome experiences this week, I'm going to refrain from talking about my investigators until next week, but this week, we were teaching Rosie and Junior (brother and sister, they are long inactives, but loving the church we think. they are great ‘cause they have lots of questions!)

One thing that stood out to me this week was how I am beginning to recognize God’s voice in the scriptures.

When we talk to people a lot, we start to recognize their voice, just like a shepherd and the lamb, or a mom and her son, or a husband and his wife, or best friends. You can come up from behind and cover their eyes, and say guess who, and they will always know it’s you. The same thing happens with God. We read the words of God in the scriptures, and as we read more and more, we start to recognize His voice. The voice of the Master.

"This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you." (Joseph Smith Jr. the King Follett sermon)

Anyway, basically my point is when we read the words of God, we actually learn the nature of God, we recognize God in our lives, not as someone that we could never understand, but as someone that’s there with us! It’s so cool!

Anyway, thank you all for the happy birthday wishes, and I hope to hear from you all soon.

God be with you till we meet again!

Elder Sean

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Record contacts!

July 1, 2013

This week, I had the opportunity to work with Elder Hoskin and Elder Porter as well as my own companion, so that’s a little about who I worked with. But what we actually did was awesome.

With the two divisions we did, we did 8 contacts where we got addresses, and the with Elder Hoskin we did 15. That’s my record so far, but I think I could get as many as 20 in one day if we tried, because the 15 were all in 2 hours! Holy mackerel! I felt kind of proud.

We worked a lot with a couple of people this week.

Leandero and Livia, brother and sister, they both went to church this week, and when we first started teaching them, Livia read all the parts in the scriptures that we marked for her, and Leandero really likes us and what we talk about. After church, Livia was asking about a book or something. She was asking for a bible, the teacher’s manual and wants to go to seminary. She said most likely she would get baptized :) What great investigators!

Next we had Luis and his daughter Rachel (I think) and they both loved church, though his daughter is really shy and looks sad/angry all the time. But they said she liked it and would go next week :) Luis we met Friday, and we saw him again Saturday, and he had shaved his beard.

Also, I have learned a lot from Elder Hoskin with his desire to work until the end. He decided to serve an extra transfer, and had to beg and plead President to serve more (he's only let it happen 2 times) and he got the extension. He did it because he felt like he needed to, I would love to have the same opportunity that he has and serve more, but I have school right when I get back, (not to mention Christmas and all).

I have seen him just working and wanting to do the work even though his companion doesn't and he has found every way possible to do it.

Next, we had worldwide training. I would recommend if you have the chance go watch that. It talks a lot about working with the missionaries and the new things that missionaries will be able to do, such as work with members and pesquisadors via Skype or Facebook or other technologies like that. I'm really excited to see the new ways they want the members and missionaries to work. Way cool!

Anyway, so that’s all that I have time to write this week, I just want you all to know that I’m glad I'm here, and I love you all!

Write me soon!

Elder Sean

Of Blisters, burns, and sweat. (A journey into the life of Elder Sean Anderson)

June 24, 2013

Wow, so what a week. I would like to tell my lovely mother thank you for sending the packages (though I only received the one with the card in it as of yet, I am hoping to receive the other in just a matter of weeks).

First thing this week, I would love to say between P-day and District meeting where Elder Wheeler made a fabulous batch of cake, and the next day with Elder Crowther and Elder Bodhoin and the cookies they made, this week started out pretty good. (oh and the recipe for mac and cheese/alfredo that my mom sent me was the highlight meal of my week pretty much.)

Funny stories first. I kind of met Elder Bodhoin this week, I saw him and shook his hand before, but if someone asked me who he was I wouldn't put a face to a name. So the day I met him was the day before we had zone conference this week. Zone conference we got any and all letters awaiting us, and I received one letter from Elder Bodhoin and it had a picture of him in it. So that’s just how cool he is, one day I meet him, the next I'm getting pictures of him.

Another funny story this week is my feet are just about to die here, kind of. I got home last night, and my feet have the biggest blisters right now that even hurt if nothing is touching them. I've kind of been developing them for the last week or 2, and it’s just kind of peaked yesterday. I'm thinking they will start callusing pretty good here.

As for things I learned this week, yesterday I did a division with the honey badger himself (term stolen from Elder Delgagillo who went home) Elder Hoskin. I Love him ‘cause he is more or less a great example to me of how a missionary should be. He has 23 months, and will leave in 2, (he got an extension for one more transfer a year ago) and he is still going strong. But I get to talk with him a lot and see what he is doing to improve himself and the lives of others. This week I saw a journal that he has, that I bought one exactly like it in the MTC. I asked him about it and he called them his small plates. It’s where he writes everything that’s of worth to him and wants to remember as a spiritual experience. I have plank plates right now for myself, but I think that after seeing that I know what kind of format I want my small plates to be.

He is also such a good example right now ‘cause his companion (who has been on a mission for the equivalent of 3 years) is slacking off and not wanting to work. I've noticed that every moment he has, he is still trying to teach, trying to work, and trying to better his life and others, despite his companion and everything that is working against him, I know that I can keep looking up to him to see what I can do better!

One thing I love is that he is constantly trying to find ways to feel the Spirit, to obey the rules, to be diligent and patient. He told me to study chapter 6 in PMG and to learn from the Christ-like attributes in my own life as a missionary.

So my questions are

1. What would you write on your small plates?

2. What can you do to magnify your calling?

3. How can you develop Christ-like attributes?

Love you all, and hope to hear from you soon?

Elder Sean Anderson

Karini, the wife of Alexandre, gets baptized

July 17, 2013

What is the hardest thing about being a missionary?

hmmmmm, answering this question.

I think the hardest thing about being a missionary is finding a balance of everything. Some things like humility you can't have enough of, but on the other hand you have things like time management, being forward and asking questions to people, but not too forward, things like that. I don't know. I think everything has its moment being the hardest thing, for example if you need to develop one trait, the Lord will put trials in your way to develop that trait, and that will be the hardest. Then on the other hand it will switch from time to time, the Lord knows what you need to be the hardest thing for you. Right now for me it’s doing contacts.

Do you feel like your testimony is growing all the time, or does it sometimes stagnate?

My testimony is almost always growing. There is some times where it does slow to a stop for a little bit, but that’s only when I'm walking (apparently I can't read, do contacts, and walk at the same time.)

The best part though is I always have time in the morning to study the gospel and strengthen my knowledge and testimony of the gospel.

What is the most important thing members can do to help in the missionary effort?

I would say at least getting to know the missionaries would be a good start, but I would say it was really helpful for me in Texas and here too when members would bring nonmembers to their home and we got to teach them. As missionaries we do a lot of searching, and if we could have anything from the members it is references from friends that could be interested in the gospel, to know your neighbors well enough to help that way, or even better set up a time that friends and the missionaries could be in FHE together.

If we had a group of people and talked to everyone, most likely they would all reject the gospel, but if a friend took just a couple of those people and said these are the most likely ones to accept the gospel right now, it would save the missionaries time, letting them do other things, and would help bring someone to the gospel faster than if they just knocked on the door of that person.

Are you writing in your journal pretty faithfully?

Some days I'm better, I was really good in the MTC, then I got to the field, it got a bit harder to do every night, and then Brazil was even harder (try living without a desk for 2 transfers...).

But as of late, I have been getting in a few every week, so, it’s not once every 2 weeks or month like the last while.

This week:
This week was good; we did a lot of hard work, mostly looking for people to teach again. We baptized two people yesterday; one was the son of the family last week, Neto. He is really cool, is 15 years old, and when we went to teach him the restoration, he asked us when the interview would be, we told him Saturday. That was really cool getting to see the whole family together ready to enter the temple for all time and eternity!

The other was Karini, the wife of Alexandre. Alexandre is one of the strongest members of the church I know, and the teacher of Gospel Principles. (It's cool when the principles teacher knows Hebrew... :P) and it was so cool to see him and his wife in the water as she got baptized, and as they cried coming out of the water. I will be so happy to hear when they get sealed in the temple! :)

Other than that this week we were trying to teach a few people, but they all seem like they aren't ready to accept the gospel, so we're going to do a lot of searching this week so that next week we can have people in church :)

Oh yeah. So I also bought a few things this week. One is some rope (about 1 dollar) for doing jump rope in the morning. Next is a vest for about $1.50 dollars and a shirt for .50 cents. Now that’s what I call thrifty.

Other news this week is that we had a festival that was pretty cool, but really awkward (I think it was the Brazilian Valentine ’s Day or something...) and we did a few divisions, (I got to go with Elder Gregory!

(By the way, he's from close to Logan, and has 1 more month than me on the mission, and we have decided that we are going to create a jazz band and live together off of our missions :P It was a good division).

Hey if you have any cool Ideas for a jazz band name (or want to get in on it too :P), you should send it to me!

Anyway. There really wasn't much that happened this week besides the divisions, and the baptisms. I'm good, loving the mission because of the cool experiences I had this weekend with the baptisms and all.

Anyway gotta run, It's P-day! (I'm gonna wear that cheap vest I found :P), write me you guys! I love reading your letters!!!

Elder Sean Anderson

Learning a lot from Elder Hoskin, and seeing old friends

June 10, 2013

Questions & Answers:

Is the weather/area much different in the city you are now serving in?

It’s warmer. Has more hills, (at least our house is sitting on the bottom of our area and the rest is all uphill...)

Are there many elders in your area?

In my district we have 8, 4 in Santana, and 2 more in that house, and 2 more on top of that in another area. We have 3 districts in our zone.

Who are you teaching right now?

We have a few people that we are teaching right now, first is a family we baptized this Sunday, (Paulo, Alini and their son Gabriel) we want to end up baptizing the other son in a week on Sunday, Neto.

Next we have Karini, recently married to a member. she is 19 years old, he is 35 I think, has served in the military as a sniper, been all around the world, speaks several languages including Portuguese, English, Japanese and Hebrew (Don't ask me, I don't know where this guy came from) he just started going to church when he was 4 years old, and is a firm member of the church. He is the Gospel Principles teacher, and she is going to get baptized this week we hope :P

Rafael, Edinias and the parents of Rafael. Hard to get a hold of sometimes, all very intelligent, but I think that Edinias is listening to the pastors more than he is God.

Dorneval and Ju. They are "married" (brazilian standard) and are really cool. I think that Ju is really taking our message to heart, but I think that Dorneval is having a hard time accepting our message. The good news is that last night I think our message might have hit home. We teach them in a house they are living in with 2 members (both served missions, and I think might move to the states... Oh and the wife is one of the most happy and hyper people I have met on the mission)

When you get discouraged, what do you do?

What I try and do is to pray to my Father in Heaven. I just got some advice that I will write about in a bit that I will try and take to heart even more so now, that has to do with listening to the spirit. But basically in the world of stress, confusion, drama, and everything else, the one thing you can rely on is the prompting that you'll receive from the Holy Spirit.

Do you see changes happening in yourself, and if so, what?

I talked about humility a few weeks ago. I am not saying that I am humble, but I am seeking for ways that I can become humble, to let myself rely on the lord, rather than the arm of man. One thing that I have started doing is trying to be more open for advice. I find that it’s really hard to accept advice from others. Even when I ask for it I find that my natural self wants to be really defensive and impulsive, so what I have been doing is trying to let myself think more before speaking and acting. Another is to accept my leaders, no matter if what they do or say may not be what I like to see or hear, and a few other little things.

Are you taking time regularly to recognize God's hand in the work you are doing?

I try to recognize every moment of my day. It gets hard sometimes because all you want to do is think about how tired you are, or what you remember from home, but when you start thinking of others, it gets all better, everything lightens up, and time goes by quicker. Pretty soon, you forget that you went to bed 6 other times that week, and you just finished p-day for the second time in a row. (Oh I hate how fast p-day flies)

Anyway, this week has been a really strange week. I just want to start by saying that I love my district.

This week:
First thing this week, we did a bit of searching for people we contacted, people to talk to, and try and get new investigators (I think that has been a lot harder lately for some reason). But it was a good day of good hard work.

Next did divisions, me and Elder Pedro de Sousa (same guy I rode the bus with for 18 hours to get here.)

Just to note, when I say his name, people seem to get this annoyed face, and ask how is he...

That day was fun. We ended up bible bashing with a TJ (JW) and it felt like I was stopped a lot more than normal (Elder Mcguire walks really fast, and a lot. I wish I was tall sometimes). Anyway, somehow made it through the day, and the next day we had zone meeting.

Zone meeting was good, learned how to present church, and I got to see Elder Rydalch, Elder Poore, and Elder Clark from my group in the MTC. I love those guys.

Anyway that day we tried to contact people again, say hi to our investigators, people that we baptized, just good hard missionary work.

Everything got interesting the next day, we met up for lunch (like always), I got told that I was going on divisions again, with Elder Ramos. I like Elder Ramos, he seems to love people, music, and jokes around with people. He's one of my zone leaders.

The problem with that day is right after lunch we ended up sitting in the church for 2 or 3 hours because he was sick. We then went to a recent converts house and their investigators house (same house) and talked to them for an hour and gave her a blessing (she was sick too) and then went to a members and spent the rest of the night there. I hate when people waste my time like that.

That night he got a call from President, found out that a member let a lady and her 3 children who don't have a place to live live in the missionary house. Elder Ramos got very bitter about this, and the next day we took everything from that house to the house that they were moving into. Everything good and broken.

This is where I gained a new perspective. Elder Hoskin (other ZL) who I did divisions with the next day showed me that he got President to let us take things to them and have charity for this family. He also told me things that I will take to heart, like don't be a so batiza Elder, but to look for the spirit rather than use techniques and methods to manipulate people. He told me to study chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel and some other things. Basically, he showed me how to be better than just a regular missionary. He showed me that a leader is here to show an example, to help the people they are in charge of and most of all to look for the Spirit of the Lord, not the natural man.

Oh and he is also really funny.

Anyway gotta go, love you all, write me soon, returning with honor.

Elder Sean

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Transfer and a new companion - Elder McGuire

June 3

Let’s start with wonderfull transfers. Last Monday I packed all day (no letters guys I'm sorry, thought I would have time, but didn't). I got to say goodbye to a few people in the ward and a few recent converts. It kind of made me sad to go because Maria just about cried seeing me go, and they were all telling me watch out for druggies and the whole bit because São Paulo is a bit more on the dangerous side. (Oh we got a really good cake at one of the houses we passed too, thank goodness for birthdays!)

Then came the 2 days of misery. Yes, I repeat, feeling sick on a bus for about 12 hours, and wanting to puke the whole ride and not being able to sleep. (No mom, there were no live animals on the bus, it was just really jerky.)

The buses, by the way, are like our charter buses in the states, the only problem is the roads in that area still need a bit of attention.

So we stayed in Londrina one night, hung out with Elder Finati and Elder Llianis for a bit, (me and Elder Pedro de Sousa) and the next morning got on another bus that was a bit better...

Now with Elder McGuire, we have had a few investigators, at least one we want to baptize – a family. The kid Gabriel is reading the Book of Mormon like a boss, and the mom stopped smoking and coffee after being severely addicted for 14 years (maybe longer, I forget the number) in one day. Loco! They just need to recognize their response and be baptized

I’m still just getting the feel here. We met a guy that I would like to baptize, a little crazy, but Edineas is a really cool guy. We met him as we were trying to get a hold of another Maria (recently moved in and didn't know where the church was. she fed us dinner one night after we passed by, oh my gosh deliciousness.)... (One more thought. that was the first time on my mission I went back for seconds on the salad. Wow!)

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about our investigators, we have a few other good options, just need to teach them. Anyway, love the ward; love the people here, not too many druggies (though the first contact I did here we think was a drug dealer...)

Here’s some responses to my Mom’s questions:

How do you like your new companion?

Elder McGuire is fantastic, and all I could have asked for. He's ginger, and tall, (Just so you know the zone leaders who always are with us at lunch are really tall too, so they make me feel really short all the time, and I just have to kind of deal with it.).

But he is a worker, just finished training Elder Cox (arrived the same time that I did) and just turned DL, so he is kind of learning as we go. It’s cool getting to see him in action, and seeing how he cooperates with everyone. I get to learn a ton of new things all the time. He is from Vancouver Washington, was the companion of Elder Millett (who is also from Washington) and played basketball and is really chill. I love how much he loves sharing the gospel with others, and I feel like we teach really well together, (or at least I can speak the language a bit better now)

Are their four of you in an apartment again?

Nope, just us.

What is your new place like?

Well it’s not the prettiest place I have ever lived.... let’s just say I was counting the spiders in the bathroom as I was taking my daily shower. I lost count.

It’s pretty big for just the 2 of us, but would be small for 4 of us, so it’s just right. Not a ton to work with, but at the very least has everything the last house didn't when I started, like tables, a bit of food, and beds and dressers. I'm set :) so basically its home.

Do you feel wet all the time?

Since it’s been raining all week... yes. But thanks to my wonderful mom who thought ahead and sent me a light raincoat, I'm all set to battle the elements! (I love how it is packable...)

How are your feet holding up?

They stink, but I’m living still, so the smell obviously isn't that bad.

Anyway, if you have any more questions, I would be happy to answer them, it makes it easier for me to write these letters long :)

Love you all, and write me soon!

Elder Sean Anderson

(My name is officially now Elder Sean. when I say my name, people always think Jackie Chan. I’m not sure why. Maybe I should just change my name to Elder Chan).

There's a reason you do things the right way, and glimmerings of a transfer

May 27

Here I am again, just living life as a missionary, and how great it is! Well sometimes. (I`m pretty sure anyone who has been a missionary knows what I`m talking about).

To start, this last week we played some basketball on p-day, as always I have the worst hand eye coordination, (I swear I must be a lefty, cause this right hand isn`t working for me so well all the time.) and just kind of chilled on p-day. we ended up doing a bit of work, but didn`t have a ton of time, so we just visited Maria, making sure she was ready for the interview the next day.

The next day:

We had our weekly district meeting, and after ran over to get her so she could have an interview with the zone leaders, who are in our district. We got there, brought her to the church, and later that night ended up baptizing her.

Cool thing about it, we did the baptism twice cause she didn`t go all the way under, (Elder Millett did it) and she didn`t want to do it again ‘cause she didn`t feel like it made a difference, but after the baptism, she felt this relieved feeling come over her. So far she has been firm, and hasn`t given in to anything even though we think she is having problems with at least one of her sons. Man she`s great!

The rest of the week we just looked for people to teach, baptize and such. One guy we found, Alimao (German in English) was one guy we found as we passed his house and he invited us in. Seemed a bit crazy after talking to him telling us that he works at the wall right outside his house (don`t know who pays him) and such.

Oh and that brings me to the big news. I`m going to Bauru! wooooooo!!! That’s going to be so much fun, can`t wait. My new companion is Elder McGuire, kind of really excited! But I`ll have to write about that next week.

Funny thing is, we finally got the tables and almost everything sorted out - that’s the funniest thing about all of this.

I don`t have a ton to say this week, ‘cause it was mostly just a “looking for people” week, new people that we can teach, though I don`t have any more to do in this city except pack and leave. So that will be coming up really quick.

Stay tuned in next week for the new companion and how we get along!

Elder Sean Anderson

(ps write me you guys, I miss hearing from you (though I should get letters here really soon))

Learned a lesson about putting off the "natural man"

May 20

Well this week was pretty fun, and also a little difficult. We had a lot of rain for a couple of days, it got so bad one day that we returned home for a bit and studied and dried off waiting for it to calm down. After that it was a lot better, we talked to people and set a baptismal date for Sunday.

The problem with the baptism was she didn't show up.

Maria, I believe I talked about her a few weeks ago, but she stopped us in the street to tell us to help her son and her with the gospel. One of her sons was baptized previously, and so we came and taught her. Everything was going right, except she didn't think that she needed to be baptized again, or that she could be baptized again. Other than that she was all ready to get baptized and to make the covenants with God.

So Sunday, we had a member pass to try and look for her - she wasn't there. So we passed by later on before sacrament, about 3 times. Each time wasn't there. So the baptism at 12p.m. was canceled and good thing, ‘cause earlier that day we tried turning on the heater which hadn't been turned on in years and the font turned really dirty. That was problem number one with, the other was it took an hour to try and figure it out and turn it on. So it was a good thing it canceled in a way. We passed almost every hour after trying to get in touch with her and have the baptism that night. Ended up being a no go because we finally got in touch with her at 7p.m. that night, and she wanted to wait a bit longer.

We'll wait untill Tuesday, and hope and pray that nothing goes wrong.

There really wasn't a ton this week, we talked to a few new families, did some searching for news. Oh yeah, we went to an English class and talked with the students there, and that was really fun. the teachers were both really cool and were glad we came to talk to them, and the first the one that initially came in contact with us was super cool and made us cookies!!!! Both regular and chocolate chocolate chip (2x times the chocolate :P) and it has been so long since I’ve had chocolate chip cookies! (Hey Mom can you send me you're favorite recopies for that and just in general, I need more things to make at night besides pasta and rice :P). The second class we passed was smaller, but still cool. (Though it sounds like all the students here like to party, get drunk, and hang out with friends. They need more hobbies). They also talked about passing the church on Sunday but they never showed. Sad day.

The other really funny story: we passed a lady the other day who came out of the house when we knocked and she started talking to us (it doesn't help me when people talk fast to me). At first she seemed really crazy, and my companion told me to make it simple and fast, but she ended up being really cool, gave us a ton of references telling us to pass and teach the whole world another day. And she brought us coffee, we had to turn it down, I feel bad when people do stuff for us like that and we have to say no, though also glad that this wasn't the first time I had to drink coffee :P

One thing I learned this week is that people get mad at little things a lot. I am starting to notice that people get frustrated easy at little things and it hasn't really helped me. for example, the other day I was making rice, and was just about done, and one of the members of our household gave a little suggestion to do something that I could have done 10 minutes before, but didn't make a difference at that point, and on top of that it didn't end up making much of a difference in the end anyway. The thing was he gave me the advice expecting me to do it, and he blew up when I didn't.

(Oh by the way, I have learned that people look really ridiculous when they get angry and yell. That was something that Elder Chollett taught me.) From that I have tried really hard to never yell back at people. and to couple that I read the next day in mosiah 3:19

19: For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

So what I learned from this is that with the natural man, the first reaction is the one that destroys. In this instance, both he and I could have avoided this situation and little argument by putting off the natural man, by not giving into the first reaction.

Also, we also need to give up our own pride sometimes when we see that someone will blow up like this, to do our part to help avoid the situation. It’s kind of sad how it happens, but if we can all learn to put off the natural man, we can also get along better with each other and have the peace that our Heavenly Father promises us.

Well I'm out of time, got to go, miss you all, and write me soon. I might have to resort to some other method of sending letters than through scanning them into emails the next few weeks till I can figure out what’s wrong with my camera, but I will still send through snail mail. See you all in a year and a half!

Elder Sean Anderson

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Got to talk to my Mom!

May 13

I hope you are all doing well!!!

I know I am :)

This week we worked a lot with finding newbies and a certain young man named Mateus, the brother of Ronaldo. He was a very very muley kid, and to explain, he didn't want to get baptized, but then he did, then he didn't - switching back and forth. Barely didn't get baptized this week, but we got him in the water on Sunday, and so now we have had two baptisms two weeks in a row, which is really cool, I'm glad to have been a part of it. On top of that we also got to talk to our Moms!!!

So, my mom is fantastic, she is looking very beautiful (as always), and I would also like to say happy birthday to her, and between the stress of life, they are all doing well. It’s weird though, ‘cause I expected to feel differently after we talked, ‘cause I felt like I didn't have enough time to talk to my family, that it was really short, and that I need another 10 hours to feel satisfied. But it was kind of fun getting to talk to my family, despite Elder Gutemberg asking every 10 seconds what they said. Psh, can't I talk to my family in a language they understand? :P

Today, I'd just like to talk about the difficulties of life. I feel very often here that life is a lot harder than it should be, that there are things that just stress me out. For example, if someone yells at you for some reason or another, it just raises tension in the house, and you just want to hide. The only problem I have is there is nowhere to hide. I had one of those moments recently, where someone became frustrated with me for one reason or another, and I went out and found a place to just sit and talk with my Heavenly Father. In this moment, it started seeming a little bit easier, I could feel the presence of my Heavenly Father, and I sat and talked with him and opened up my thoughts to him, and it’s been a bit easier to feel love for others, and to have as my friend Steve says - charity.

I've been finding as of late that some of the hardest traits to develop are 1) charity, the pure love of Christ, and 2) humility. Whenever I feel frustrated with others, I sit down, and think why am I frustrated and I think of humility and the promises of happiness when we have humility. And as president Benson or president Uchtdorf remind us, pride is trouble, and they warn us of the traits of pride. If we can throw off our pride, we can be humble. The problem is when you are frustrated with someone else, the automatic response is pride. Thinking that you are right and they are wrong. This is the huge mistake. While it may be true, they won't see it that way, ‘cause they will be thinking the same thing.

Basically, what I'm trying to get at is if we can learn to have love for all man, we can start to develop this trait of humility. The best tool to get this when you are feeling frustrated is prayer. When we pray we are talking to our Heavenly Father. When we read the scriptures, we read the teachings and revelations of the master teacher, Jesus Christ. When we stop and do that, we can start overcoming the difficulties we have. We can start opening up channels that only come through love and humility - that will allow blessings. When we pray we show our Heavenly Father our faith in him that he will help us, and we allow him to lift us up again.

I've had some thoughts about this recently as well. The lord doesn't need strong men, he needs weak men, that way he can break them down easier to build them up. That’s what humility is, we get rid of the rickety foundation of pride to have our lives build upon the foundation of Christ. Also, to be a good winner you have to be a good loser first. I have noticed this playing chess lately (cause that’s what we do in the house) when someone is willing to play again even after many times of losing, they will improve, but if someone gets frustrated with losing, they won't progress cause they won't want to play.

Just a few of the thoughts I've had lately. Gotta go, I have more I have to do such as submitting this baptism :P

Love you all, write me soon!

Elder Sean Anderson


May 6

This week has finally been much better. I had my first baptism - Ronaldo. I talked a lot about Ronaldo last week, and this last week he finally gave up cigarettes, long enough to be baptized, and he is still going! So that’s the biggest news so far.

On top of that, we were able to get their whole family there, and he has brought friends with him to church as well as his brother to church, so we're going to work a lot with the brother, Mateus this next week to get him baptized as well.

About the baptism (it happened on Thursday)

The day before, Elder Millett got really sick, and had to stay in the house, so me and Elder Gutenberg went out to try and get a hold of Renaldo, and weren't able, but we heard good news that he was not smoking still, so we decided to give the heads up to Elder Delgagillo to come down here. The night before the baptism we shipped Elder Delgagillo to Medionera to do the interview, but that night was a holiday and Ronaldo forgot about the interview, so all we did that night was worry. The next day Elder Millett was still sick and was working on getting better, but they decided to try and get a hold of Renaldo one more time, and ended up finding him, and doing the interview.

Ronaldo is so awesome.

After the interview, they talked about the date and time of the baptism and set it for that night, but after 8 so that his dad could make it. And at that point we started calling people like the bishop and a few people to talk at the baptism. In total we called maybe 3 or 4 people. I don't know what happened in the time between, but somehow they got a hold of a lot of people, so many in fact we were counting how many people weren't at the baptism rather than were. We just about had the whole ward! On top of that, they brought cake!!!! OH MY GOSH, that cake was so good, I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve had something like that.

Anyway, the baptism turned out amazing, better than I hoped it would be! It was the best first baptism I could have hoped for. As for Ronaldo, he is holding strong, doesn't have a desire to smoke any longer, and has said several times that he wants to serve a mission. He is funny, and a freaking stud (sorry Megan, you have a total of 3 Brazilians that are attracted to you now... I'll work on someone that’s a little closer to your age).

After the baptism it just gets better, there were a lot of members that have been asking to have us take them to their house and try and get to know the family, and make friends with them, and show that they are very welcome in the church! So we are working a lot with the members all the time, and they love working with us a lot, (I guess that’s what happens when you go three years without missionaries)

Experience # 2,

We had this lady stop us on the street this week, who said her son was an inactive member of the church and said that she wanted us to come and teach her and another son about the church, and we went a couple days after. They seem like a really good family. They even showed a picture of the other son getting baptized with one of the members, about 12 years ago. It was kind of cool seeing the member in the picture, and I think we might even try and bring him along with us to this family. I just think it’s cool that the Lord puts us in the right spot for people when they are ready to hear the gospel! It was funny because Elder Millett knew she would talk to him for some reason. We'll see what happens with them in the future :)

All in all, between the great experiences that we had this week, and the rain that we got on Saturday (thank you mom for the rain jacket! cause without it, that day would have been even more miserable :P ) this week has been a really good week. Next week we are going to make it that much more awesome!

Anyway, love you all, and I hope to hear from you all soon!

Elder Sean Anderson

Just a quick response to the questions, I don't have much time left:

Q: Isn't it always busy?
A: No, there is a lot of time that we have where we wonder what to do, because knocking doors isn't very efficient, and there are hardly ever people in the street to talk to, so we try and work with what we have.

Q: How are things going with your investigators?
A: Depends on the investigator, Ronaldo is going very well.

Q: Are you staying warm enough?
A: It's about the same as Texas in the winter right now, but a little warmer. They never see snow here.

Q: Do you have heat in your apartment? Do you need heat in your apartment?
A: No, and No :P

Q: What is the most spiritual experience you've had?
A: Mmmm, not sure right now...