Monday, March 18, 2013

Leaving Londrina


So here are my answers to my Mom's questions for me:

How is beautiful Brazil?
Oh my goodness it is beautiful, but ugly, but beautiful because of how ugly it is! (Thats the best way I can explain it.) Basically, everything here is either brand new or old and broken down. they have large buildings and then they have houses and they all are made of concrete and have a gate in front. (Oh and dogs... everywhere...) But the houses are so cool and so beautiful in their own way, even if they are all broken down, and where there aren't buildings or houses there is lots of trees and lots of fields full of plants and it looks like the countryside. Best of both worlds.

On the map it looks like you are in the middle of no where. Is that how it feels? 
Not sure yet, we go to our area tomorrow (9 hour bus ride...) but yes I think it will be out there just a bit in the middle of nowhere.

Do they still have internet? 
Yes they do, they have these places called lan houses where you can go and rent computers for a couple reis for however long you want to use them.

The mission address for us is:

Elder Sean Anderson
Av. Higienópolis,
1100 sala 61
86020 - 911 - londrina, PR, - Brasil

Are the members feeding you there or are you preparing your own meals. 
To be answered later, but as for now, I've only had one (though every member has fed us succo (Juice))

You said you are opening a new area? 
The area has been closed for 3 years and we are going to have 4 baptisms right when we get there, but as for the area, we know nothing. we don't have a house yet.

How do you like your companion, Elder Millet? 
My companion is awesome, I am having a good time with him, but more importantly I'm learning a lot from him (though frustration with learning the language will be a bit natural with him for the next few months). He is from Washington, and is a snowboarder, photographer, goes to school at BYU-I and is really laid back and just likes to work and to have fun while working.

Do you only speak Portuguese? 
Not yet, but I do my best to speak as much as I can. We still talk in English a lot, because I'm trying to figure out this culture of people.

Are you walking or riding bikes? 
Only walking and buses. My legs have only been more tired from my marathon, and these are different muscles that I'm using.

What is public transportation like? 
Crazy, I don't understand the way they drive here, they have stop signs, but they don't stop, and they are the craziest drivers I have ever seen, and I don't understand it!

Do you attend a ward or branch? 
It will be a branch, but its a pretty strong branch. 

Do they have you blessing and passing the sacrament, playing the piano, or leading the music yet?  
No, but I hope to do one of the above soon.

I'll write more about my first 2 weeks next week, because I'm out of time this week, but it will be a good letter next week. Finally, my name on my badge will be Elder Sean :)

Talk to you all next week, keep writing me!

Elder Sean

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Brazil, finally!

So, here I am, in sunny, hot, muggy, Brazil, and it’s been kind of awesome. I have already had a mishap with where my stuff was sent . . . but its ok, we will get it from the place it’s at tomorrow, and I have my change of clothes here already.

After hours and hours of flying and sitting on a plane, I have been fed and am returning to my original sanity, so that I can serve in the right capacity.

My new companion is Elder Millet from Washington. I will be serving in the Medianeras do foz Iguaco, (Which I believe has the Iguaçu Falls in it). We are opening the area, and I have been surprised to find out that here they have a goal of baptizing 200 this month in our mission, and we have a bunch that are ready to be baptized already, so I am going to have a busy next few weeks. Also, we have a brand new place we are staying in.

That’s about all that I have to say besides my mission is so freaking gorgeous, I will send pictures of it later on, but I am loving it.

Talk to you all Monday!

Elder Anderson

Iguaçu Falls

Monday, March 11, 2013

Goodbye Houston, hello Brazil

According to my dad, I say every week is a crazy week. So as such, crazy is the new normal, from running around getting stuff I needed for Brazil, to losing stuff (Elder Chollet’s backpack) and meeting and teaching, and comforting and visiting, and all manner of other things that we did, I would say it was a full week.

The story of the backpack. We were running around doing errands and stuff, and we had to stop and drop something off really fast and go to another place. In the process of doing this, we left the backpack on the back of the car, and drove away. After about 30 minutes we realized what had been misplaced, and proceeded to lead a search in vain. Needless to say, his work as a missionary had almost all been lost such as his scriptures, his camera, Elder Brown’s hard drive, and some other things that were of value to him. We were super upset over it all night.

The next day, our phones weren't working at all, unless we went outside of our apartment area by about 10 minutes. Later that day when we got in range of a place with cell reception, our phone starts going off the wall from voicemails and texts that we received that day, and we received the news that someone had found it, and apparently they had found it lying in a ditch. Apparently, when your things are found lying in a ditch and nobody can get a hold of you, people tend to think you've been jumped, and are probably lying in a ditch nearby. Luckily they held off on giving our parents phone calls long enough so that we could give them a call back. So yes, we are still alive.

Other news, I've been yelled at, then in the middle was given a flashlight for no apparent reason. (Oddest part of my week.)

And that's the biggest news besides the fact that I'm leaving on a jet plane, and I don't know when I'll be back again. :)

Write me, because the new policy is friends can email now!

Elder Sean T Anderson

Our apartment

Service at Tony's

Service painting Sister Gissemans house (celings)

Sister Foulsom and Sister Orosco are both awesome and have helped with service a couple of times.

Our investigator Zach, me, and Elder Yu

Typical Elder Chollet

Elder Yu, Quinn, and me

The Gittens. Tony is from Trinidad, and the others are from Antigua. Tony is one of the hardest to understand native English speakers I have ever met.

Some of my friends: Quinn Bohn and Kendra Wilkstead

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Got my Visa!

So this week has been a crazy one, (have I said that before?). I have gone from driving everywhere, to getting a bike (borrowing it from Elder Brown), to finding out that I received my visa to Brazil and am leaving Houston March 11. (The picture of the car is from the first week when Elder Chollet got us stuck doing a U-turn).

From the beginning: first off, on Tuesday every week we do service at a food pantry called Society of Samaritans, (SOS). We move food around and do all the heavy lifting cause we are young and haven't killed our backs yet. It’s kind of nice because we get to pick food while we are there and stock up for the week. Considering we get food from members every day, plus that, we are set. I don't think that my next area will be this nice :P

We also have a guy named Zach that we go with to a bible study every week. It was very different from what I am used to. First off while we were there, we had the pleasure of having Elder Brown and Elder Yu along with us to help us out, but we were all teaching someone after we were done, and correcting misconceptions about the LDS religion. They were all super excited about it.

On Thursday I got my visa, which really strengthened my testimony because I prayed to receive it, then 2 days later (when I imagined getting it), I received it. It kind of went like this: Elder Chollet telling me as he is listening to voicemails that I got it, and me not believing him. Turns out he wasn't lying and he claims I smiled for 2 hours. I think it was longer, because I am still smiling.

My District.

Elder Chollet, my fearless companion who I love dearly, having such a different back story than I do has been on his mission for a year, and is very knowledgeable in the bible and in different doctrine. So needless to say I learn something from him every day (whether I want to or not). He has been to Dixie for a number of years, and has been studying communications and dancing all the time. We work hard, and try to find ways to bring people to reactivity. Oh, and he is quite the lady killer.

Elder Brown, the district leader. So while I can honestly say his cries of “aiiyaa Jackie!” ( from Jackie Chan Adventures) drive me up the wall sometimes, I have a deep respect for him, and I am glad to have met him on my mission. He is a Cache Valley resident, and will be attending Utah State in a year (he came out with Elder Chollet). He is a bit of a nerd, plays Pokémon with Elder Yu all the time, does magic tricks, and I could see this guy in shorts wearing long tube socks and flip flops to the beach. While it might not be that bad, he is a great guy, and will be missed. 

Finally we have Elder Yu, the Asian. (Yes we do find songs that say “you” in them all the time and sing to him). He is so awesome, and I love this kid, just ‘cause he is so laid back and so funny. He is from Hong Kong, and he has been on his mission for 2 years now, and leaves back to China in less than a week, so essentially he is very very trunkie (a term used to describe someone who know he is leaving so he is living out of a suitcase)... (I'm getting there). His English first name is Rex, which is awesome, and he will be attending either BYU Hawaii, or BYU Idaho, we're not sure which at this point in time, but he wants to go to Idaho so he doesn't have to worry about the Visa as much. Elder Yu is always goofing off, but when it comes down to it, he is a strong example to me, and has a good testimony of the church (though he hates going to church because it is so long :P ) I hope our paths cross again. 

I have been loving it out here in Magnolia, the people are so nice, even though it can be a bit dramatic now and then. Lol. I am going to miss them as I leave, even though I am ready and really quite happy to go to Brazil, I am sad about leaving. I guess that’s what happens as a missionary, you go to a place, love the people, then you leave.

My itinerary is as such: fly from Houston to Atlanta from 12:30 to 4:00 pm? (it’s 2.5 hours I believe, plus the time diff.) Then I hop back on at 7:30 pm till 6:30 am (again a time diff) for a 9.5 hour flight to Sao Paulo. Then another flight from 8:30 am ‘till 12 pm to Londrina. The times aren't exact, but they are within an hour or 2 of the actual flight times. I counted it out, I'm at the airport for 22 hours, plus 2 hours I would guess.

That’s my life in a nutshell from the last week, I miss you all! Please write me, I love getting letters!

Elder Anderson

Friday, March 1, 2013

Meeting Sister Grabow in Texas

Well hello again! Here I am, in Magnolia, Texas, working hard as I can, and it is fantastic!

The highlights of the week:

1. We had exchanges this week, and I worked with Elder Wright for a day. That was cool.

2. Our top investigator dropped us... darn.
3. Went to a bible study, and got to talk with one of our investigators and try to prove to him that Mormons are Christians, and that the bible is supported by the book of Mormon... he wrote us an essay against that belief. So funny.
4. Did service all of Saturday, and got blisters all up and down one of my hands :P Beleza!
5. Had a full Brazilian meal on Sunday! Oh my goodness gracious that was my favorite meal so far, beating out a steak from last week, but only barely. We had feijuata, and guarana, and marague? and guiavara? It was a jellotonized fruit called guiava, I believe, and cheese. And we had sugar cane, and so many other great things! (Learned how to make the beans and rice... :) ) I'm not sure on all the spelling here, but it was all delicious! Brother Beckstead, who made the meal actually served in the area that I am going to, under a different mission name now. Kind of cool :) so I'm going to keep in touch with him!
6. Saw Sister Graybow from my ward in Boise. I used to take the sacrament to her husband at their house. Apparently she is related to one of the families here! Ha ha so funny! I was super surprised when I saw her!

A spiritual story, then a funny one I guess. We were helping out a family that has been struggling this week, and both me and my companion were listening to the mother of the family, and we both had the same promptings, and that night the spirit was so strong and we both knew what to do because of it! Kind of cool!

Funny story, we went to this bible study, and some guy walks in and see us, and starts walking out, and people start asking him what he is looking for, and he says the bible study, and he replies, no this can't be it. Back and forth a bit they tell him it is, and finally he reluctantly says okay and sits down :P Apparently people don't think we believe in the bible. :P Awesome!

Well, just want ya'll to know life is great! Write me, and I will tell you the specifics about the mission :)

Elder Sean Anderson