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...

New investigators

April 22
Questions from Mom, answers from Sean:

Q: Do you have plates to eat and pans to cook in yet?

A: Got them just a few days ago.

Q: Someplace to cook?

A: Got that 2 weeks ago, but didn't have the pans.

Q: Are you still with the same companions?

A: Maybe, we have transfers... and we still don't know.

Q: Are you headed into winter now?

A. Yupp, so I might use that jacket after all, I will wait till after winter to decide if I need it or not :P

Q: Are your seasons opposite ours or the same?

A: Opposite

Q: Are you loving rice and beans?

A: Oh yeah, they are the best rice and beans I have ever had in my life! I could eat this for the rest of my life.

A regular meal consists of rice, beans, some sort of pasta with sauce, meat, and usually a salad and potato or manjioka frita and succo or guarana

Oh and guarana is the best. Go look for it in the stores Mom, it’s not very common, but it is the best. Ask Brother Kooyman, or someone that served in brazil, they will know. Elder Millett says it’s in Boise.

Q: Have you figured out how to make them so you can show me when you come home?

A: Working on it.

This week we have been working on finding a lot, working with our same people, and trying to find people to teach. The most promising right now are the one family that will soon be married so they won't have problems with the law of chastity anymore - they are so awesome. Marian and Dirley (sounds like jerry-lee really fast) and they have a 2 year old daughter Natalie who is so funny all the time. We have had a member here named Anderson, who him and his wife have been helping us a ton with them. They love church, and love the missionaries. Oh and maybe the brother will be baptized too (brother of Dirley).

Second is Renaldo. Fun loving, jokes all the time, has terrible eyesight, but I love him and his family, because they are always ready to invite us in. they made us popcorn the other day which was a blessing for that day. But Renaldo went to church the other day, family didn't come, but he went and the branch president came and talked to him and started trying to help us out, and so I have decided that this branch is awesome. Everyone is glad that the missionaries are back after 3 years, and want to help get people going to church so it can be a ward!. Maybe get a new building! Woot, hope I can help with that.

Other news is our house is almost completely ready, we still need some tables and our sink, but that’s about it! Close! Then I won't be so homeless.

That’s about it for this week, not a whole bunch, just a lot... lot of walking and talking to people.

Miss you all! Write soon!

Elder Sean Anderson

Sometimes you have to go to the poorest places to find the best diamonds.

April 15, 2013

This week was grand! I spent it in our new house with our new furniture, stove, fridge, clothes washer, and a few other things and we finally have a table. The worst part is we still don't have anything to cook with, except a few Tupperware containers for the microwave (oh and we just got a ton of cereal that is so delicious - store brand frosted flakes. Haven't had that in a while! Oh, and I just found a cookie that tastes relatively like Oreos... still not the same, but close.

We worked our tails off this week. Between finding and teaching, we had a bunch of new investigators, walked across our city a number of times every day, and had 2 investigators at church. Wasn’t the most exciting thing ever to only have the two, but it was still a good week. Next week will be better.

I think one of the funniest lessons this week was with a contact. It wasn't that long, maybe 15 minutes, but I don't think the girl we were teaching broke eye contact with my companion... awkward.

Also, we found this place where we taught a couple of families. It is a flavela, (very poor area) but on the outside we are allowed to teach, but to get to these 2 houses that we have been teaching we have to cross the sketchiest bridge that I have ever walked across. That thing is just waiting to give up.

So the weather here is starting to drop. It was about 60 when I woke up this morning, and considering we don't have heaters here, and the walls keep in the cold... it’s going to be a cold winter. Not like that of the states, but getting there. Still looking for a hammock, haven’t found a place that sells them yet, but maybe I will get lucky and find one in the city.

I just have to say kids with handicaps are awesome. Here in brazil we meet quite a few, but we went to a house the other day and they had a kid named Tiago, who was so happy, though I didn't understand a single word that came out of his mouth.... I know the lord has a special place for them in heaven.

Anyway, this week was good, hope all is well on your end. Hopefully I get letters this week.

Elder Sean Anderson