Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015 Hello my Lovelies.

Well my dearest ones, I do say that it is lovely to be able to email you today and give you a sneak peak of my life here in Brasil. 

Well you should know that I am quite pleased with the retention as of late in our ward with the baptisms that have occurred. My companion and I were able to visit an investigator with Weverton and he is absolutely incredible, teaching, bearing testimony, after the visit he mentioned how good he felt- wow. His wife also overcame some fears to go on a visit with us in which we discovered on the way that the very investigator we were to visit is a friend of hers. It was a wonderful little miracle. I know that the Lord knows us and our weaknesses and our desires. He is happy with our efforts to serve him and delights in righteousness and loathes iniquity. My head was hurting yesterday after lunch and we decided it better to return home and take some medicine. I had been feeling a bit over exerted from the busy weeks, as a trainer and district leader and everything else and in the pathway to our home would encountered a man who told us a few years ago he had been meeting with the missionaries and told us that now he wants to be baptized. It was another little miracle in my life, showing me that God is pleased with my effort and the effort of my companion. 

A few days ago I found myself studying the Plan of Salvation specifically about the Spirit World as one of the suggested scriptures I studied the 138th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph F Smith recounts a vision and some studies about the Spirit World and the missionaries serving there that brought me to profound gratitude and emotion for the opportunity I had to know some of these special missionaries, including my dear brother Nolan. I would invite all of you and especially my family to sit together tonight or maybe on the 13th and read this section of the doctrine and covenants together. Our Brother is a missionary of incredible power and faith. I can only imagine how similarly we are working together in this work of salvation. 

This experience recalls my mind to another experience this week in regards to Family History Work. I saw a man in the Street that I have seen previously in two other occasions. I stopped to speak with him and asked if we could visit him. He is an Israeli-an man, I believe a Jewish Christian who has a profound interest in researching his ancestors and wants help from the Church to Discover some of his lost ancestors. The other day I called him to see if we could mark a visit and he told be that he had already received a Book of Mormon due to the friendship card I left with him. 

I really feel that I am realizing my patriarchal blessing that says I would be able to after a difficult transition be able to share a powerful testimony with the people who I am called to teach and lead people in darkness to the path that leads to eternal life. 

One of these people is a 30 year old man named Rodrigo. Rodrigo is half crazy, and has an incredible Spirit. He has a problem with the law of Chastity, but I feel so good helping him, in his desire to follow Christ. He is begin to change some of his habits of poor media choices and praying every time with more faith and desire to change. I feel so blessed to help these people get to know the Gospel. Last week in church he explained about faith and repentance and baptism in the gospel principles class so clearly and beautifully, I was shocked and pleased beyond measure. 

Today I spent some time in the kitchen and made rice cooked with sweat potatoes and potatoes, with beans and a fried egg, homemade mango juice and a fruit salad with condensed milk for desert. Yah I feel pretty independent cooking stuff- it is really fulfilling. But what is even more fulfilling is to see my son eating healthy stuff! He bought a melon and fruit today for the first time and made a salad and I was so happy for him. He is an awesome companion and I am so thankful for his talents and capacities. But sometimes I really do feel like mom or dad must feel, you know. But there are only 2 more weeks of training and I still feel that he has trained and is training me more than I have trained him- such a privilege.

Well I love you all and look forward to speaking with you in 2 weeks via Skype

Com Amor

Élder Anderson

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 Hello!

My dearest ones, I can't believe that in a few weeks we will be talking to each other again face to face or rather screen to screen! Granted, I have to work out exactly were I will have access, but their are many opportunities, I'm thinking the Bishops house might be a good option. I will get the info and inform you next week, okay?

Well you happy couple and If I remember correctly Andrew and Clarissa were also married about this time- HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! Isn't marriage just great!? well I don't think I have the right to say that I haven't a clue yet just living with a guy 24/7 is hard enough, jokes jokes, as Parker says. I love my companion, we live and we learn right? However, i agree with the prophets when they say we should hold to the iron rod which is the word of God, because it will safetly guide us through, right? Of course right! Well speaking of Iron rods and such, I helped plan an activity for the ward about Lehi's vision and it turned out to be pretty awesome with the help of the bishopric, but a lot of people didn't come so that was a bummer, but I thought about how the lord's people were always out numbered and really we do have to be courageous not to leave the tree after we have partaken of the fruit. I also was able to speak with our investigator that was progressing so much and who is know so lost in his own doctrine it is so plan to see how the doctrine of men is an abiss of nothingness and it is sad that he won't accept the gospel right now, but we won't lose hope, we are just going to focus on the more pure in heart and ones that have real intent. 
This week I attended a special meeting for District leaders and to my dissmay we arrived late! We were miss informed of the starting time, but fortunately arrived to hear the President speak and I was able to participate in a practice of daily reports from district members- it was great! The President talked about how the mission isn't just about saving the investigators, but the scriptures tell us that part of the work is to save the workers. Unfortunately one of my previous companions went home recently, and it may have been avoided if his compainon had reported to the president what was happening. Well, this work is rough and in a district and as the district leader it is important to realize that the rules must be followed, but I'm finding that asking myself what would Christ do before I try to intercede, I'm always prompted to do some sort of service and privately and directly express my concern and the rule when appropriate. I also was looking the the English hymn book you sent me this week and found the hymn that was written by our ancestor WIlliam Willes "Come Along, Come Along" man I feel like he wrote that for me- I want to translate it into Portugues, but it may be a bit complicated because come along doesn't translate perfectly in Portugues as far as I know- we'll see. 

Well, I love you all it is time to go

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 A Visão‏

Hello dearest ones, I received my card and my caixa, box of Easter joys and the chocolate has been devoured already and the presents being enjoyed. What love and care I feel from you all even though I am far away. I wrote some cards to be sent to Clarissa and Mom, so I hope they arrive although, I think I already passed the ticket for Clarissa's birthday. Sorry CLari-boo-boo ahaha , what a nick name. It wasn't me who made it up it was Andrew. Just Saying.

Wow well, I have to tell you all an experience my companion and I had yesterday.

We arrived to visit a recent convert who is struggling with finances, a son involved in drug distribution, and I husband that disappeared and left her with nothing. She doesn't know what to do. She told us that she couldn't do it anymore and was very sad. We sat with her and cried with her and listened to her. After a while, I asked if we could say a prayer and we entered into her house and prayed and spoke about the Atonement of the Lord and of our Lives here on Earth. We read the scriptures, and she prayed that like Jesus had an angel to help him and support him in the Atonement that the Lord would "SEND AN ANGEL". We left the appointment with heavy hearts, and teary eyes, sad for the burdens of this woman, but grateful for the Lord and his infinite  atonement. 

We were confused of what to do next, with our planning mixed up and our heads and hearts inside out the only thing I could think to do was talk to people and try to help them. After talking with a young man about the gospel we found a grouping of people seated in the Street. Knowing my companion was tired of me talking to people, but unwilling to let the opportunity pass I approached them and shook the hand of each one briefly explaining the Restoration. They asked us to pray for one of the ladies in the group and led us into their home. Until now I feel the prophetic words of my mission President in my first interview, to bless the families and their homes. My companion and I proceeded to bless every individual as according to their faith to receive them. The Spirit testified of our sacred calling as servants of the Lord I could see it in their Eyes. I asked them "Do you believe we are servants of the Lord?", Yes was the reply, "And you will believe in our words?" Yes. And we proceeded to teach the Gospel more clearly and simply than I hadst been able before. We invited them to be baptized by the authority of God and marked a specific day for the 10th may. We will return to visit them tomorrow about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. 

I never felt so much like Ammon when he was teaching Lamoni or Alma when he blessed the family of Amuleque in my entire life.

Afterwards we proceeded to marked appointment with a new family in the ward the absolutely inspired me in accordance to the importance of family and applying the Gospel in the home and arming the children with the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit which as we learn from 2 Nephi 32 that the Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost therefore they speak the words of Christ therefore feast upon the words of Christ- tears filled my ears as I listened to children recite scripture and explain the restored truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This Church is True, I know that God Lives and that we may not return to His presence if we do not wash our garments in his blood; for it is his blood that saves us "after all that we can do". We cannot judge, but we can serve and show our love for others and towards our Father in Heaven. The Savior came not to serve, but to be served. This is my Testimony in the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Élder Anderson

Monday, April 6, 2015

General Conference in Portuguese

Dear Family, I love you all and would first and foremost like to congratulate Clark on a wonderful presentation of faith and formation of those lovely cheek muscles! Isso ai rapaz! What an amazing experience! I wasn't able to watch the conference because of the lateness of the hour, but I watched the music today and downloaded the talks. I watched conference in Portuguese this time and I felt a wonderful Spirit supporting me and an over whelming feeling of the truthfulness of the universal Gospel. Some talks I would get a bit lost, but the Spirit never left me and all of the questions I had previously prepared where answered. I love General Conference.

During the interval Sunday I had the opportunity to accompany a choir from another ward, they sang wonderfully and I was pleased to sharpen my abilities as an accompanist. I had the opportunity to become acquainted with some amazing members of the Church sharing a pan of casserole which was the makeshift lunch that my companion and I acquired shortly before were to take the bus to Conference- yes we arrived late- missed the prophet. Yet we are saved by the Grace of God after all we can do and I feel we gave a valiant effort to arrive in time. One of the most special moments from conference for me was during the congregational hymn in the last session in which I sang shoulder to shoulder with a mixture of I don't know how many nations between we three members of Zion and felt the brotherhood that the Gospel brings, even if they were acquainted those very hours. Shortly after the Hymn I believe Elder Andersen said during the hymn he was overwhelmed by a spirit of unity amidst nations and tongues and I felt I was a part of that Prophesy and Blessing.

We had our top investigator at Conference Saturday afternoon who came with his neighbor. We caught a ride with him home and talked about the conference and how the Gospel could bless his family. He will tell us tomorrow if he wants to be baptized or not. Well he wants to be baptized, but if he is willing to obey the prophets and everything. My companion and I are fasting for him now.

Well, the transfer has come and gone, I will continue to train my companion, but the other companionship in our district has been switched and I'm excited to continue the work here in São Sebastião! My companion and I are so excited to baptize and strengthen the Church and work with the leaders and rescue the less actives and the Lord is doing His work Here in His time as He always does. I'm grateful to be a tool in his hands in this work of salvation.

Te Amo

Élder Anderson