Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One week left in the MTC . . . I wonder where he'll go next, doesn't look like Brazil.

Besides having just a few days left here at my stay in the MTC, I am still constantly studying, working hard, and freaking out! I am receiving a reassignment probably tomorrow, and I leave next week. That is kind of crazy to think about! I have not taught a single lesson in English, and I don't know how I can!?! I don't even have the first vision memorized in English!!! When I try and talk in English (thanks to my 2 week long English fast) I say random Portuguese words when I am trying to talk in English, or little phrases that won't mean anything to anyone else, like obrigado, or desculpe, or so many others! What am I going to do!?! I think the biggest thing for me is seeing the 2 districts ahead of us leave yesterday, and today, and receiving pass-along cards in English. Can you tell I'm freaked out!?! I will let everyone know what my new address is when I get it! I want people to write me!

On writing, we found out that there is only writing on P-day, which we didn't know before, but considering I only did it for 10 minutes at night anyways, I'm not missing a ton. So I will respond to your letters, just give me a couple of days :) I love to hear from everyone so much! Like I said, it’s Christmas when I get them!

Other things that happened this week is that another bug started going around (I'm fine mom, I haven't caught anything knock on wood). We finally learned the pronunciations of the letters (you’d think we would have learned that in the first week...) we also just learned the accents of the letters (again same thing...) and various other first week things. You think that would have been the first thing we learned, but oh well.

In the last week I’ve seen more missionaries I know including Hannah Trimble, Sadie Peterson, the Ramey’s ( I see them all the time, one is in my building, the other eats lunch the same time as me) I have seen someone named Katie, can't remember her last name, but I will send that later, she was my next door neighbor when I was in the house, Steve or all of them will know her as Kat, I've also seen a girl that was in that ward as well named Sister Abraham, and she is going to Japan, I see her all the time. I think that’s all I have seen lately. I haven't been running, it’s a conflict because I love playing Vball instead, but when I'm in the field, I will use that time for something, not sure what yet.

About volleyball, sometimes the players switch teams, just kind of depends on the day/ week. We rotate every time the ball switches. Now funny story, I was playing it the other day and we have 2 courts here, and normally all of the really good Tongans and Samoans are on the other court, but every now and then they play with us. We have one guy named Elder Tupai or something like that who is huge, played volleyball in school, and hits extremely hard when he spikes. How do I know? I was hit by him dead on and nearly was knocked out. I was blessed with not having a black eye, or a broken nose (though I have been hit there before and normally it bruises). Yeah, everyone asked me the next couple of days how my head was :P The funny thing though was I was talking to someone about it, and they asked me how it felt, and that moment, I was hit by the same person from the other court in the same place. I told her kind of like that. Thought you would like that. My companions are basketball and football players, and are pretty into sports - we are a bit different.

People write me! :)

Elder Sean Anderson

ps. the temple cafeteria food is awesome!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

So this week has been amazing.  Since I wrote last time, we had a talk from Elder Jeffery R Holland, which was so amazing, I loved what he told us this week, mainly about the greatness of the work and what we should do. One thing he talked about that I really liked was what he said about astonishing people. For example Alma was astonished, and fell to the earth for three days. The word astonish comes from the word tondra, which means thunder. Every person should have their own little astonishment, their earthquake, their thunder when you preach the word. Our message is simple yet profound, and it needs to get across to so many.

We also had several other things happen this week, such as the switching of the MTC presidency, which it was cool to hear from all of them. I also finished the book of Mormon in English for the first time as a missionary, so great. I would hope that everybody can understand why it is so important to read the book of Mormon, because it is the most essential tool in conversion. I love it so much.

Funny story, my companion was called to a place in one of the buildings (we always freak out when that happens, cause may be there is a chance we'll get our visa) unfortunately it was for some shoes or something. On the flipside, we came back yelling about him getting his visa! People were not happy after when they found it was a false alarm :)

Week one of the English fast was hard, and I made it all the way through, with some mistakes, but I made it. He recommitted us, and I'm doing even better (except P-day, which is a bit harder because I talk to so many people that don't speak a Latin based language like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or French. but sometimes they understand, which is always fun :) I'm still going and I am going to go all the way to the end of the MTC at this point, because I can.

Anyway, I'm short on time, I have to go now, Hope to hear from everyone, it is the absolute best part of my day when I receive letters!

The Church Is True!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

"A great time to be alive"

"What a great time to be alive!  Today (Tuesday the 15th of January, 2013).  President Jeffery R. Holland spoke to the MTC.  The thing is he spoke at Thanksgiving as well.  The reason today was important was the dedication of three buildings (re-dedication).  He spoke so compellingly, but he always does.  Apparently, last time he spoke he talked of getting your act together, which was Thanksgiving.  Everyone said it was awesome, and made them a bit terrified.  This time he spoke about what a great time it is in the church, how we need to be better than the great prophets of old, and that we need to hasten the work.  Which is how it is now.  I am so happy to be alive and in the work at this time in my life. 

One thing he talked about is astonishing people.  While we don't want to knockem' out and have them be unconscious for three days like Alma, we do want them to have their own personal earthquake.  Astonish comes from the root tondra which means thunder.  Let's astonish people.  Let them see how great this work is so they know why it is important to them.

I know the Church is true, and God be with you till we meet again."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Learning the language and feeling the Spirit

So, another week has gone, and it feels like I just did this yesterday. We have learned so much in the last week, especially since we have a new teacher, fresh off the mission. His name is Brother Butars? ( not sure on the spelling) but he has this thing about him where he carries the spirit so strongly, and is able to convince you to do anything. For example this week we are taking an English fast. I have been speaking Portuguese since Sunday morning, with a few exceptions where I had to talk in English, and most of this morning because it’s P-day, but I think that I will do it till I am out in the field. I really want to improve so much in my Portuguese!

In reference to that, 2 weeks ago, maybe 3 I set a goal to finish memorizing the 500 words in a book that I bought, “501 Verbs fully conjugated.” I didn't memorize the conjugations, but I did memorize all 500 in the last 2 or 3 weeks, and I am so amazed at how much I have grown in the language because of it.

I would like to share one day in particular. When I started I was memorizing maybe 10 or 13 a day, since that time, I have been able to learn up to 70 words in a day, plus other concepts in Portuguese that made my life a lot easier. I know that I would not have been able to do that myself, and through the lord I have been able to grow faster and stronger. I can see the lord blessing my life with the gift of tongues, to the point where the language isn't stopping me from saying what I want to say, but it’s my own knowledge holding me back (which is where my personal study comes in to play). I know through the lord I can do all things.

One last experience: me and my companions teach 30 minute lessons every day (have since day 1) and we have trouble sometimes conveying our invitation through the spirit. As we've grown closer, we have grown stronger in the spirit, and I felt that in a little 2 minute practice. I have never felt the spirit rush in that fast, and I now have a testimony that the spirit is able to flow through you and bear witness. I have felt it, and I know that it can come and leave with the drop of a pin, that fast. I am going to strive to keep that, and I know that I can. Through the scriptures, prayer, and my Savior, I can qualify for the spirit at all times.

I love you all, I know the church is true, and God be with you till we meet again!!!


Elder Anderson

Nice picture of the Provo Temple 

Sister Elliott and Elder Anderson (one of the girls Sean used to swing dance with - she just left the MTC).  He always likes to see a familiar face. 

Another friend Sean said goodbye to was Elder Andy Hansen, a good friend of his from his Texas days.  Notice, he never hugs the sisters goodbye:)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My mission vision and goals

Ok, so first things first, I have heard the first signs of Visas!!!!! A sister in my zone got a visa Friday, and Elder Rydalch said that his mom called the travel office and they said they are expecting a lot in the next week. How it applies, my address has the potential to change very, very soon. I will know on Friday if this is a true statement. Maybe this week or next. but If not, I just hope I get reassigned to someplace warm for the time being, seeing as I only have short sleeve shirts... dang.

So not much happened this week except for one thing, we had a bit of a schedule change, and we received a new teacher. I sent a picture of the brother that was teaching before, Irmao Rogers, who was gone for 2 weeks and just got back Friday to leave us Saturday, but in the time that he has been back, it has been a spiritual whirlwind. He presented me with a certain question, actually 2, but the first he asked was along the lines of what do I want to get out of my mission, how am I supposed to grow? I was called to Londrina for a specific purpose, but only I will figure out what that is, and Heavenly Father knows what it is. He also said this: the lord calls missionaries not only to teach others, but to help the missionaries themselves. If he wanted to help people, he would send angels, but he is preparing us as well as others. Kind of interesting.

The second thing he talked about was goals. What goals do I have for my mission, who do I want to be? What do I want to accomplish. He talked about having a vision, and I thought about it for a while, but I think the first thing I came up with was that I want to be visionary. (Same word, I know). What this means is I might not want to be the one who is the leader, but I know where I want to be, I can see the path that I should be taking, that I can through Heavenly Father know what I have to do, and what others can do to become greater. I want to be the man with the vision. I feel like I will revise it, and be more specific, but I think the goals that I have are to (1) track myself, see how I change, see what Heavenly Father is shaping me into, (2) I want to find out who I want to be, and find a way to get there.

I would try to write my testimony in Portuguese, but I don't know how these keyboards are supposed to work... dang. Anyway, I will try that next week. I love you all, Write me! Some of you I haven't heard from in a while, and I would love to hear from you! I love you all, and I miss you!

The church is true,


Elder Anderson
Sean and his teacher Irmao Rodgers

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas and New Year's at the MTC

Oi! Tudo Bem?

Over her at the MTC, everything is crazy, and always is crazy, but I think that I can get through what this week was like.

Of course Christmas is going to be different, especially if you are at the MTC, so considering that we got a general authority, Elder Russell M. Nelson, I was kind of excited. He talked about a lot of things, one of which was rumors. He said be a rumor stopper, not one that continues it. Such as the rumor that the church is sending people to one place to get them to be able to serve in China. False. Anyway, fun morning.

Next the performance: I had the wonderfully exciting opportunity to Yoyo in front of the entire MTC... 2000+ people. Probably one of the most exciting moments that I've had here, and one of the most terrifying. On the flip side, I was amazing, I felt like I was going to stumble at one point, but I was fine, and in fact, I caught a couple of people freaking out while I was doing it. The best part though was immediately after I stopped, and started to bow, everyone stood and cheered. I have never had so many people clap for me at one time, I sat down, my heart was pumping, I'm pretty sure the MTC president started crowd surfing... (that is the only part that I exaggerated dad.) The talent show was filled with acts both funny and talented, and I was one of 2 that were not musical talents. Pretty amazing.

Finally that day, we had the painter, Greg Olsen come and speak with us. I think from the entire Christmas experience, that was probably the speaker I liked the most. He talked about his paintings and how he's started trying to portray the Savior as a normal man, the son of a carpenter (so he is a little bit more manly), and extraordinarily ordinary. The reason why I feel this applies to me is it makes me think of the Savior as someone I can connect with, someone that I can imagine, not some person that is beautiful, but just a man. You would find him with the needy, the sick, the humble. If you were to look in a crowd, he wouldn't stand out. that’s why he understands us, that is how he was able to suffer all sins, he lowered himself below us all, he understood our pains, and he atoned for them, with every pore in his body.

That night we also watched the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Fun movie, and so much more fun when you haven't seen a movie in almost a month. Everything’s better when you are a little deprived :P

Between then New Year’s, I have been working hard, not many funny stories to report, not many things that were that exciting. In fact my family was just over the wall all week, I saw their car, but they didn't see me. So, just an ordinary week.

New Year’s (aka today)

It’s been a long time for me since I have had a regular New Year’s Eve. Nothing, nothing at all happened, just life as usual at the MTC. I think the only thing we did was right before it, we had all of our noisemakers and were blowing it till maybe 10:00 pm. So... Exciting... Like I said, no holiday is normal at the MTC. I don't think it ever will be.

Anyways, I Love and miss you all, and the thing that makes me the most excited is when I receive letters. It’s like presents when I get them, I get all excited. I can understand why they only give missionaries mail right before we go to bed, so we don't waste the rest of the day. I do respond to them all, sometimes I have to take a day to finish it, or wait till P-day, but I do respond. (PS Katie Alder, you need to send me your address, cause the return one you put doesn't exist.)

Write me soon, and the Church is true, I love you all!


Elder Anderson

Aunt Amy's house is right next to the MTC.

Elder Pierce with Elder Anderson (another face familiar face from Boise)

Noisemakers at 10pm . . . Happy New Year's

Elder Hoff accompanied Sean during his spectacular yoyo performance

MTC group in front of the Provo Temple

MTC group at the MTC

Classic missionary photo (when will Elder Anderson make it to Brazil?)

Provo Temple

Elder Anderson with MTC companions

Elder Anderson at the Provo Temple

Too cool in Provo!

Homemade yoyo string.

The gingerbread house was part of Sean's 12 days of Christmas in the MTC (thanks Aunt Amy!)

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone, or in my new native tongue, Feliz Natal!

So this week has been so crazy and busy, if anyone wants to know, I have responded to every letter I have received, so keep them coming, I love to hear from everyone!!!

This week has been crazy and fun, I've done so many things, learned more about the scriptures, and more about Portuguese, and I have heard some amazing talks, including the one we received last Tuesday from Elder C. Scott Grow of the 70, and this week from Russell M Nelson! So fantastic, I am so much more ready to get out in the field and tell everyone about the gospel, but alas, I still have a few more weeks.

I think the greatest thing that has happened this week is we got new chairs! Let me quickly describe the old ones. They were hard, had uncomfortable bumps in the middle of the seat, so it was uncomfortable any way you sat, and oh the tiny desks that they had, our stuff slid down the desk, and didn't have enough room anyway. We received new chairs, that have padded seats, a large, non-sliding table, and they roll, and the seats lean back! So much easier to fall asleep in! I don't, but if I were to...

On that note I have a funny story to tell, my companions and I periodically rotate around reading a paragraph at a time in PMG(Preach My Gospel), and several times I will read, and they go around, 30 seconds later, I'm asleep. I am awake all day, study diligently, but it always happens once a day, for 2 minutes, at any given time, I just get super tired, and after the 2 minutes, I'm fine. Weirdest thing ever 0.o

Russell M. Nelson today gave a great talk about missionary work (go figure), while it wasn't any huge doctrine besides invite others to come to Christ, with some advice on how, I loved the spirit that I felt this morning from him and all the music that we got to hear, It is so uplifting to hear the choir which encompasses a quarter of the gym singing praises to god in this Christmas season.

Other things of note include the getting to see several movies, including Joseph Smith, The Testament, and last night, a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (which if you haven't seen, it's so much better when you haven't seen a movie in months) Go watch it. And tonight we have the pleasure of seeing one more, It’s a wonderful life. And I have my yoyo performance today as well... yikes. I think that this will be the most terrifying moment of my life, next to the first time I make a street contact... I'll see when I get there. I sent my mom a couple of pictures of the string that I have made, you all should check that out, it is quite amazing what you can do with a few strands of thread.

On this fine Christmas day, I would compel everyone to remember the Saviors birth (if you aren't already) and to try to be like him. He wants us to come unto Him, and through Him, we can be made clean. Do something for a friend a neighbor, just out of kindness, not because you want them to think you are better than anyone, if you see someone along the road, stop and help them, when others paths you cross, don't be afraid to help them on their way, and maybe in so doing, you may meet them later on in different light, where their hearts are softened and ready to receive the light of Christ.

I love you all, and hope to hear from you all soon! I know that Christ is my savior, my redeemer, and my friend.

Feliz Natal!!!