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!