Monday, December 26, 2016

"Post-illumination Affliction"

Everyone remember President Holland´s talk from the General Conference in April where he talked about "post-illumination affliction"? Well... that´s a little bit of what I´m feeling after such a wonderful week! So many great and exciting things and the, BAM, it ends haha. But it´s all good because like the title of President Holland´s talk says, "tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." Good things come to an end, but we have to remember that the Lord is preparing even greater things for us! 

The Christmas Conference we had in Recife was just absolutely wonderful! It was so cool to have all of the missionaries in the mission together, singing Christmas hymns, and learning more about Christ and His Atonement from President and Sister Bigelow. It was a joy that I honestly can´t describe! After the conference, my zone was able to go to the temple and that really just topped off the night! I´m so grateful for the temple and the peace we are able to feel inside! 

When we got home Friday night, we went to visit Tamires, to find out about some things that happened that kept her from being baptized on Saturday. Pretty sad. BUT, she´s still doing really well and I know that the day will come for her-- it´s all in the time of the Lord. 

So here in Brazil they celebrate more on Christmas Eve then on Christmas! Sister L. Silva and I and the two other sisters that we live with had a little Christmas "festa". We bought 1 kilo of mini coxinhas (a food they LOVE here-- it´s in the shape of a tear drop, deepfried, and has chicken inside), made mango juice, and ate panetone (a type of cake), sang Christmas songs, and opened our presents :) 

Aaaaand to top off my week I talked to my family!! Definitely was the best part :) 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a wonderful New Year! I´m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and for our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope that this new year, we can all make resolutions to be even more dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ in following Him and becoming more like Him! 

Love you all!! 
Sister Anderson

Monday, December 19, 2016


I can´t believe Christmas is this week! This Thursday we´re going to have our Christmas Conference in Recife with the whole mission-- President is going to teach us about Christ´s Atonement and we´re gonna eat ice cream until we can´t eat anymore :) I´m pretty excited! 

This week was super good though! There´s another American in the house now! Woohoo! Sister Sanguino was transfered and so the new companion of Sister Santana is Sister Miller. She´s from Alabama, but was attending BYU before the mission too. It´s nice to have someone I can relate to a little more haha. 

I´m super excited for this coming week, because aside from the Christmas Conference and being able to talk to my family on Christmas... Tamires is going to be baptize! It´s been so so wonderful teaching her! When we started teaching her she liked to drink alcohol... A LOT. But she has made such an incredible change and now she is so excited and determined to be baptized! We´ve been teaching her boyfriend too, a man named Claudio. Wednesday night we read with them Mosiah 3 in the Book of Mormon, which explains very simply, but powerfully the life of Christ. I loved being able to watch them read together. So anxiously wanting to learn more about the Savior. I made me realize just how important He is. That it really is Him that makes the difference in our lives. And how big of a blessing it is that we have Christmas this week to remember Him and all that He has done for us! 

So, Rayane, the 9 year old grandaughter of Djanira, is just the cutest thing ever! This week when we asked her if she read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true, she said that she did "and that it was the happiest day of her life!" haha. Her prayer at the end also went a little like this... "Heavenly Father, thank you for leading me to your church. Because from the looks of it, this one is really good. And I don´t want to follow the wrong path.. so... thank you!" Haha. It´s a super big blessing to teach her too.

Everyone remember our recent convert, Fernando? Well, now he´s engaged to a woman in the church that teaches the Principles of the Gospel class! Funny how things work out like that.... But, I´m excited for them! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful wonderful week and a wonderful Christmas! Take time this week to truly study about the Savior and be grateful for all that He has done for you! I am so grateful for Him and for this opportunity I have to be a representative of Him here in Brazil! I know He lives and He loves us! I love you all!! 

Sister Anderson

Monday, December 12, 2016

7 More Weeks in the Heat.

Bom dia minha família e amigos! 

Another transfer has ended and begun, and I´m still here in Arcoverde! And this time it´s going to be a transfer of 7 weeks! But, it´s all good because I get to stay here with my daughter (Sister L. Silva) and finish her training! But like the title says-- yes, it´s still hot. And only going to get worse. And yes, all of you will continue to hear about it as the weeks go by haha. 

This week was good! We have an investigator named Tamires and she is progressing SO well! We met her a couple of weeks ago teaching the reference of a member. She´s reading, praying, has already gone to church 3 times, and right now is marked for baptism on the 24th of December! She has 4 of the CUTEST little boys all within the ages of 2-7. We taught the 2 year old, Gustavo, how to shake hands and now he LOVES it. Tamires says that he walks up to everyone now and puts out his hand for them to shake it haha. 

I don´t think I mentioned this before, but Djanira, our recent convert, has been in São Paulo for the last 6 weeks to bring two of her grandaughters here to raise them... And she finally returned!! We started teaching her grandaughters and they´re SO cute. One of them has the age of baptism and when we invited her to be baptized she got so excited and said that she´s going to be "acheiving a dream" by "entering the waters" haha. It was super cute. 

After writing these two stories, I realized how grateful I am for children! They really bring a lot of joy into the work. Today I was studying Mosiah 3 that talks about how we need to become like children-- submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love-- and it´s so true. Everyone should study this chapter though! President Bigelow gave us some scriptures to read everyday to learn more about Christ before Christmas and Mosiah 3 is one of them. I think it became one of my favorite chapters today-- It explains PERFECTLY the life and mission of Christ. I know that His love for us is immense and that it truly is only through Him that one day we will be saved! 

Sunday we had a "multi-stake conference"-- I think it was a good chunk of Brazil that participated. We watched it via satellite. Despite some technical difficulties at the beginning... it was still really special. President Holland was there to speak and he´s been learning a bit of Portuguese. And so he started out his talk not using the translator, speaking his own Portuguese. He also ended with his testimony speaking Portuguese. I say this in the nicest way possible-- but his Portuguese was REALLY bad. BUT, the spirit was SO strong! It touched my heart so strongly! Even an apostle of the Lord has to learn and practice and progress-- Heavenly Father doesn´t just immediately give us the ability to do something if we have enough faith! But God really qualifies us-- because even when his Portuguese (and mine) had a horrible accent, the Holy Ghost carried his words to the heart of all of us. And that´s what matters. 

Espero que todo mundo tem uma ótima semana!! 
Amo vocês!!
Sister Anderson 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Suprise, it´s Tuesday!

Hi everyone!! 

So yes, I am emailing on Tuesday this week! Yesterday we had to go to Garanhuns to have interviews with President Bigelow, and so our p-day got switched to today! Sorry to anyone who may have been waiting to receive my email yesterday! 

This week was really good though! Nothing crazy happened, but things are going well here in good ol´ Arcoverde (except for the HEAT-- I think I´m drinking 20 gallons of water every day haha). 

Sister L. Silva and I focussed a lot this week on finding new people to teach! President Bigelow gave us a goal to find 10 new investigators this last week and mark 4 of them for baptism. We were praying for a lot of help and even did a fast last monday. Monday night, after p-day, we went out to work and seriously ALL of our appointments fell through. We had NOTHING to do. BUT, we knew that God would bless us if we made an effort to find new people even though it was late at night. I had a feeling to go to a road where one of the members live just to see if there would be people to talk to. So as we were walking past the house of the member that lives on the road, we saw her sitting outside with her 26 year old niece, Aline, and she waved us over to talk to her. She told us about a member that wanted us to call him, because he had a family for us to teach! And then we started to talk to Aline, who isn´t a member, and she agreed for us to sit down and share a message with her. And so she turned into a new investigator and we were able to mark her for baptism at the end!! God truly prepares the way for us when we exercise just a little bit of faith! I´m super grateful for the little miracles that we see everyday :) 

Other than that, this week was pretty chill. Viviani and Alexandre are doing well! Viviani told us that the other day, she was praying to know if the Book of Mormon and church are true, and she said that as she was praying, she felt something really strongly in her heart that made her cry happy tears. I´m SO grateful for a Heavenly Father that listens to and answers prayers through something as simple as just a feeling :) Right now we´re just waiting for them to receive a date to get married, and then... baptism!! I´m super excited for them and for all of the good choices they´re making :) 

Well. I hope everyone is participating in the "25 ways to ´light the world´ this Christmas"!! The ideas are wonderful! I know that as we really serve and love the way that the Savior did, we are going to have His light, and as we have His light, we can literally "light the world"! Christmas here in Brazil has been really cute so far. Lots of blinking Christmas lights and stuffed Santa Clauses! There´s also a special cake, "panetone", that they have here during the Christmas season... I have yet to try it, but from the looks of it, it´s fruit cake. I´ll be sure to try it out soon and let you all know haha. 

Amo vocês!! 
Sister Anderson

I realized that I´ve never sent a picture of food before! This is the usual meal here. It´s good stuff :D


This Sunday we had an activity with the relief society to go and search for people
who are members, but have left the church! Had to use my awesome selfie taking skills haha.

The graffiti here is cool. And I thought this photo was funny. Haha

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Week in Brazil

Óla minhas amigas!!  

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and ate lots of turkey for me! This week was a little slower... not much happened... BUT, the work goes on! 

So... Thanksgiving in Brazil doesn´t really exist. Black Friday, yes, but Thanksgiving, no. My Thanksgiving consisted of going to district meeting in Garanhuns, and thankfully there are two other Americans in my district! And so I received one "happy thanksgiving!" and one "happy turkey day!" haha. My "Thanksgiving feast" consisted of the member that said they would give us lunch, forgetting, and then taking us to a supermarket that sells sandwich type things--  a "lanche" here in Brazil. But seriously, it was all good haha. Nothing to complain about, just a little funny to me. 

Okay, I think my favorite investigator that we have right now is a woman, named Viviani. Her husband is a less active and she has two of the cutest boys! We were at her mother-in-law´s house the other day, and so we decided to talk to her and she started crying and expressing to us her desire to help her family and husband and be baptized and active in the church. She´s so cute! Her husband is wrapped up in some difficult things, but he is really wanting to change, and so it´s always really cool to teach them. After a pretty rough day that happened this week, we were headed to their house, and her 6 year old son, Alison came running to me yelling "Sister! Sister!" and gave me a big hug. It helped me to feel a lot better :) 

Other than that, things are pretty chill in Arcoverde! Something that I studied a lot this week was about prayer! And goodness I learned things I had never realized before! I am so so grateful for the opportunity we ALWAYS have to talk to Heavenly Father. It seriously saves me on the mission. I studied the talk from General Conference entitled, "The Lord Teaches us to Pray" by Elder Uceda and it has changed the way I pray! I´m going to copy and paste a part of it for you guys to read! God is truly listening the MOMENT we say "Heavenly Father" and whatever happens afterwards is truly His will for us! 

"At the very moment we say, “Father in Heaven,” He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs. And so His eyes and His ears are now connected to you. He reads our minds, and He feels our hearts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Now, the wonderful thing is that He will see you with eyes of love and mercy—love and mercy that we cannot fully understand. But love and mercy are with Him the very moment you say, “Father in Heaven.”
So a moment of prayer is a very, very sacred moment. He is not one to say, “No, I will not listen to you now because you only come to me when you are in trouble.” Only men do that. He is not one to say, “Oh, you cannot imagine how busy I am now.” Only men say that."

Love you all!

Sister Anderson 

Some silly pictures we took today haha

Monday, November 21, 2016

On the Road Again

Ola everyone!!
Like the title says, this week involved a lot of traveling... but it was still super good!
Tuesday afternoon we had to head out to Recife for Sister L. Silva´s training with President Bigelow and because of some unfortunate miscommunication we ended up getting there at 1 in the morning!! I´ll be honest, I was a little scared haha. But there ended up being a member of the church with us on the bus who knows some people here in Arcoverde and so he kept us safe and helped us get a taxi :) It was really cool too-- the assistants to the President stayed up to make sure we made it and President Bigelow was calling us the whole time to make sure we were safe. God truly protects His missionaries! We slept in the house of Boa Viagem/Pina, my old area :)
Wednesday morning we headed to one of the huge 4-story chapels here in Brazil for training for the new missionaries! It was absolutely wonderful. I really can´t express the love that I have for President and Sister Bigelow! They are such wonderful people. At the end of the training, President Bigelow was telling us about the love he has for us as his missionaries-- how it´s something eternal. It touched me a lot because I could truly feel the love he has for us. That night, we were able to do splits with Sister Lopez and her companion, Sister Hernandez in Boa Viagem, and so I was once again able to be companions with my trainer!! In one of the lessons we were able to learn that the Egyptian pharaohs were in fact obese, and not skinny like it shows in the photos... Just a fun fact haha.
We got back Thursday night after resolving some things with my visa in the airport in Recife, and the rest of the week was just full of getting caught up in our area! But goodness, I can really see God blessing our area! He is truly putting into our path people who are ready to receive the Gospel.
Sunday we had stake conference in Garanhuns! The ward rented out some vans and we all went out together! President Bigelow was there and so once again we were able to hear that inspired man speak! He talked a little bit about the campaign that the Church is doing for Christmas this year! The theme is to be a light to the world! Because really, Christ is the light OF the world. And as we serve and love like He served and loved, we will be brining His light TO the world. Everyone should check out, watch the videos and share them with your friends! I know that this can be the best Christmas yet as we truly focus on the love and light of Christ and how we are sharing that light with our friends and families!
I hope everyone has a good week and a good Thanksgiving! (if Thanksgiving is this week-- I´m not even sure haha) 

Love you all! 
Sister Anderson

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lessons Learned

Bom Diaaaa!
I hope everyone back at home is enjoying the cool November weather as we´re burning up here in Arcoverde! Haha
But this week was definitely a good one-- lots of lessons learned for Sister L. Silva and I.
The week started out a little rough... All of our lessons were falling through and it was a little discouraging. But, I learned a big lesson in staying positive! Because when we stay positive and keep working, God really blesses us! And I was really able to see that as our week just got better and better as we stayed positive and did what we needed to!
So we have a super cool investigator that we were able to teach a couple times this week! Her name is Francine-- she´s a biology teacher, super smart, and loving the things we teach her! For those of you who know me well, I LOVE flowers, and Francince, she loves flowers too and decorates events with flowers as a side job. And so this Tuesday when we went to visit her and she gave me some flowers that she had used at an event on Saturday-- that made me super happy :) And then on Friday we were able to visit her and read the Book of Mormon with her. The Spirit was super strong and we were able to mark her for baptism! I´m super grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon!
District meeting was something that I really needed this week too! We learned about how we need to be bold in speaking the truth to people. Because a lot of the time it´s really difficult to let someone know the consequences of not accepting the Gospel-- we don´t want to hurt or offend someone. But it´s the TRUTH! This is the Church of Jesus Christ! The only true church on the face of the earth with a living prophet and the fulness of the Gospel! And as we speak this truth, we really aren´t alone, because we have the Spirit that´s going to testify to the heart of the person that it really is true. After realizing that, it really changed our week. The following days, we were able to mark a ton of people for baptism and see God blessing us for doing our part in declaring the truth.
Does everyone remember about the cemetary activity we had last Wednesday? Well this Saturday, we were able to teach one of the people that other sisters here in Arcoverde met at the activity! First off, it was honestly a MIRACLE that we found their house. A lot of asking people if they knew them, and then finally finding someone who knew them and took us there. They´re a super young couple called Joeliton and Dayene. The lesson with them was super spiritual and then they went to church with us yesterday! Usually that never happens where people go to church after only teaching them one time. Definitely was a huge blessing.
So at the beginning of the week I was SUPER tired. More tired than I have been in all of my mission. And I remember before going to bed, in my prayers, just telling Heavenly Father how tired I was. And honestly that night it felt like I slept FOREVER. It was something little, but helped me to really feel God´s love for me and to know that He is listening to my prayers. I´m grateful for the miracles I am seeing in my life big and small! I know that Heavenly Father is real and loves us more than we can imagine!
Love you all! 
Sister Anderson

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Week that Lasted a Lifetime


I hope the title of the email doesn´t give the impression that I´ve had a bad week! It was great. But my goodness, it was long. I´m definitely the most tired I have been in all my mission, but still extremely happy!
On Monday, after p-day I was able to work in my old area with the Sisters of Pina!! SUCH a huge blessing! I was able to visit Fernando and Camila and Milena and Ernesto! It was SO very wonderful to see them again. It´s really a happiness that you can´t describe.
Tuesday was a day just full of emotions! In the morning we went to President´s house to have a training on being trainers and eat WAFFLES. And monkey bread. It was glorious :´) And then afterwards as President went to the airport to pick up the new missionaries, we got to go to the temple!! FINALLY, in my 8 months on the mission, I went to the temple. And it was wonderful. The Recife Temple is gorgeous with all of the flowers and mango trees outside. But some sad news... I forgot my camera. But no worries, I´ll be going again in December and make sure to take LOTS of pictures! After the temple we returned to President´s house to meet our new companions! I almost died I was so nervous! haha.

The sister I am training is WONDERFUL though! Her name is Sister L. Silva and from the Bahia, a state in Brazil. She´s 20 and super cute and super goofy haha. She makes me laugh. The first night we went out to work in the area, in the prayer before she left she thanked Heavenly Father that "her heart was exploding with joy" :) She also says "good day", "good afternoon" and "good night" to EVERYONE we pass on the street haha.
Wednesday was a holiday in Brazil, "Dia dos Finados" where everyone goes to the cemetery to visit family and friends that have passed away. And so we stayed in Recife to participate in an activity of the mission where we go to a cemetery to teach people about the Plan of Salvation! The spirit was super special as we testified to people that they could see their loved ones again, and I think it was a good way for Sister L. Silva to start her mission :) And then after that we got on a bus and returned to Arcoverde!
The rest of the week was filled with catching up with our investigators and lot of Family home evenings with members! On Sunday we were able to give a training for the ward on our responsibilites as members to help people stay in the Gospel, and that went really well too.
Training is definitely a new challenge, but it´s also a new blessing! It´s been amazing to see God helping me in every way-- in my ability to teach, in my ability to know what to do, in my ability to speak Portuguese-- it´s amazing and I´m super grateful. I know God qualifies us and helps us to do what He calls us to do!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! Love you all!

Sister Anderson

Visiting Milena and Ernesto
Visiting Fernando and Camila
Sister Anderson and her new companion, Sister L Silva

Trainers and new missionaries

New missionaries being assigned to their trainer

Monday, October 31, 2016

Back in Recife!!

Ola everyone!! 

Once again, I am back in my old area! But only for a couple days... because I´m going to be a TRAINER! Yesterday, Sister Costa and I arrived and I´m going to pick up "minha novinha" tomorrow!! 

So this week was Sister Costa´s last week on the mission! I´ve already said bye to her and for right now my temporary companion is Sister Garrick :) She´s from Texas and super cool. It´s funny though, because before my mission, I always read her blog and now I´m sitting next to her as she writes the group email for her blog! Haha. I´ve had a super good week though! I´ve loved having Sister Costa as a companion and I´m super proud of her for giving it all she´s got until the end! 

These last couple of days have been super good though! Fernando was able to pass the sacrament yesterday in church, and so that was super cool! He didn´t have church clothes before (and recently quit his job) but still bought church shoes, pants, a white shirt, and tie, just to be able to fulfill his priesthood duty and pass the sacrament. I´m super grateful for the faith that he has! After church, we ate lunch, and got on a bus to go to Recife! It has been awesome though, because we´ve been staying in Boa Viagem, where my trainer, Sister Lopez lives! It´s been SO wonderful to see her and talk to her again! And tonight, I´m going to be able to work with the sisters of Pina, and so I´m hoping I´ll get to visit Camila and Fernando, and Milena and Ernesto again!!! 

Tomorrow´s going to be super awesome too. In the morning, we´ll go to President's house to eat breakfast (waffles!!! :D) and have a training on how to be trainers haha. And then after that, I´ll get to go to the temple! And then we´ll return from the temple and I´ll get to meet the new sister I´m going to train for the next 12 weeks!! 

Do I feel inadequate to be a trainer? Most definitetly, yes. 
But do I know that God will help me and qualify me? Most definitely, yes :)

I´m honestly a little nervous and don´t know exactly what I´m doing... But I´ve been able to feel God´s love so much and I know that He´s going to help me and qualify me!! If I´ve learned anything on my mission, it´s that. If it´s something God wants us to do, it´s all going to work out.

Can´t wait to email you all next week and let you know who my new companion is!! 

Love you all,
Sister Anderson 

Attatched is a photo of us saying bye to Sister Costa and the Sisters that I´m staying with for the next couple days! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 16 in Arcoverde!

Booooom dia todo mundo! I hope everyone had a super good week!
This last week was good! Nothing TOO exciting, but good :) Super crazy though! Today is Sister Costa´s last p-day and today she starts her last week in the field! She´s super happy though, and I´m super happy for her too :)
This week I was really able to see how God has been preparing the people we are teaching to receive the Gospel! It´s so cool how God puts the right people into our paths! This week we started teaching a woman named, Dayene who did Sister Costa´s hair last week haha. She said that recently, she doesn´t have anymore desire to party and drink, but that she really wants to do the things that God wants her to do. And when we taught her about the Book of Mormon she LOVED it! We talked to her about how the Book of Mormon is about God´s communication with the people in the Americas and how Christ visited the people here and she said that that was a question she´s ALWAYS had. It was super cool!
The Book of Mormon is SO powerful!! As missionaries we always promise people that it can change their lives and we testify of how it´s already changed ours. And one of my investigators, Lira, helped me to have a realization this week of WHY the Book of Mormon changes lives-- It´s because the Book of Mormon is "another testament of Jesus Christ". It´s not the Book of Mormon that changes our lives, but it´s CHRIST that changes our lives. As we study the Book of Mormon, we come to KNOW the Savior, and as we come to know Him, that is where the change happens :)
This week I got a package from my mom (she´s pretty wonderful ;D) with a bunch of CTR rings. This week, we visited a family with a young man who´s 17, and named Moroni, but is struggling a little bit in the church. And so we shared a message about choosing the right and gave them all CTR rings and it made Moroni SO HAPPY. He told us that when he was 7, he lost a CTR ring and was SO sad and had always always wanted one ever since then! He then told us that "he´s never going to take it off until the day he dies!!" haha. It was really cool though to see the difference in him and in his family afterwards! By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week of reading the Book of Mormon and always Choosing The Right! Love you all!
Sister Anderson

Somos um pouco doentinhas ;)

So the turban things is something that EVERYONE uses here and it´s super funny hahahaha

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 15 in Arcoverde!


It all started Monday night at a Family Home Evening we had with Fernando (super cool young man that we met at General Conference and started teaching), Bruna, Cristiane, and her two daughters, Jessica and Julia. We shared a message for Fernando about prophets and the priesthood, and at the end we asked him if he prayed like we had asked him to the week before. He started to talk about how ever since he learned how to pray, he hasn´t stopped. And then he started to talk about the church and how it started out as curiosity, and never imagined that it would turn into such a big desire for him to learn more. As he was saying all of this, I felt really impressed to invite him to be baptized on Saturday (only 2 week after knowing the church), and even though I was super nervous, I did it and I am SO glad I did. At first, when I said, it all he said was "this Saturday???" and honestly my heart dropped. But then after a couple seconds he said, "I can?!?!?" with the biggest smile on his face :D Goodness, it was the best thing ever! And he just kept getting happier and happier the more we talked about the baptism! 

And so after that our week was filled with teaching him all of the lessons and me being amazed by his spirituality! Lots of the things he would say to us during the lessons left me completely amazed! He already understands spiritual truths that took me YEARS to understand! 

And then Saturday we had the baptism!! It was super cool too, because Julia, the daughter of Cristiane turned 8 recently and was baptized with him! Well, it was more like Fernando was baptized with her as we intruded on the baptism of Julia haha. But they were totally cool about it. The Spirit that is always present during baptisms is so wonderful. I think the best part for me, was after the ordinance, when Fernando came back into the room. I was conducting a hymn and he sat down in front of me and looked up at me and gave me the BIGGEST, happiest, brightest smile ever! He was honestly radiating happiness.  

Sunday was just as wonderful with his confirmation and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. After church, we asked him how it was to receive the Holy Ghost and he said that it was something indescribable. And then he started to talk with us about the baptism and how strongly he was able to feel the Spirit confirm to him that he was making the right decision. He said that he had to hold back tears as he entered the water and that afterwards, he turned around so that no one would see him crying haha. Sorry to talk so much about Fernando, but it truly was such a HUGE blessing for Sister Costa and I. He was a person extremely prepared by the Lord and I´m so grateful to have been the missionary to teach him. The happiness of the Gospel is real!!! 

In other news... I ate chicken feet this week! I don´t know why Brazilians love it so much, it was quite gross haha. I also learned this week that a type of meet that I LOVE, called charque (sharky), is DONKEY or HORSE meat. I really wish someone would have told me that before... BUT, I´ll probably keep eating it because it´s super delicious haha. 

Love you all! I hope everyone has a great week! 
Sister Anderson

 picture from the family home evening

 Fernando and Julia! 

Fernando, Bruna (friend that introduced us to Fernando), Sister Costa, and I!

I thought everyone would like to see a good ol' Brazilian Fiesta!!! 
It´s the birthday party we had for Julia after the baptism!! :)

​I love coconut water!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 14 in Arcoverde!

Olá meus amigos!

Once again, I´ve had a wonderful week and am feeling super blessed! Serving a mission truly is the best thing ever!

Everyone remember Fernando, the young man that went to General Conference, that I talked about last week? Well he is doing WONDERFULLY! We were able to teach him quite a few times this week and then he was able to go to church on Sunday! On Wednesday we were able to meet with him and talk to him about what he thought about General Conference, and he said that as he listened to the prophets speaking, he was able to find a peace and comfort that he´s never been able to feel before. And then as we continued talking to him about the church, he said that it´s like he´s found something that he´s been searching for all of his life. SUPER cool. It makes me so happy to teach him and I am still amazed by the incredible spirit we are able to feel everytime that we teach him! Bruna, his friend that´s a member and works with him, says that he´s always super quiet at work now because he´s constantly on his phone on the app of the church reading and learning about everything haha. What a blessing technology is!

Something that I´ve loved on my mission is seeing how God answers our prayers and how He is so aware of us! Some answers take longer than others, but I know that God will always listen and that He will always answer! Something that I´ve been wanting and praying for a ton is to have more charity-- love people like Christ loves them. It´s been a long process of studying about charity and praying to be blessed with it, but this week I´ve finally been able to see God blessing me with this gift! This Sunday, in fast and testimony meeting, I was able to bare my testimony for the ward, and afterwards I was able to feel such a strong amount of love for everyone in the ward! Charity truly is a gift that God gives to us as we ask for it! Everyone should read Moroni 7 in the Book of Mormon and seek to develop charity! It truly is a wonderful feeling and can bring so much happiness and light into life!

Here in Brazil, I am always amazed by the sacrifices that these people are willing to make for the Gospel. A woman we started visiting this week named Cristiane, woke up super early to get her 4 little kids dressed and ready for church and then walk super far in the super hot sun to arive in church. It definitely was a sacrifice for her, but I know that God blesses us immensely for the sacrifices we make for Him.

I hope everyone back home is enjoying the nice fall weather! Because here in Brazil it´s just getting hotter and hotter and hotter. BUT, I´m definitely not complaining because I absolutely love Brazil-- even with the ridiculous amount of sunscreen I have to use everyday haha.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Amo vocês!

Sister Anderson

my american lunch!! (SUBWAY IS A BLESSING)

My face in this photo hahahahahaha
I saw Danilo (the brother of dayene) outside and so I was motioning for him to join us hahaha. SO creepy! 

Some of the lovely people from the Arcoverde Ward! 

 I LOVE DAYENE. She´s 19, recent convert, preparing to go on a mission
 and the absolute SWEETEST person I have ever met.

This is Agatha. She is absolutely adorable. And absolutely hilarious.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 13 in Arcoverde!

Bom dia!! 

It´s been an exciting week of General Conference, elections in Brazil, teaching hippies about the Plan of Salvation, and seeing God bless and help our investigators! 

But really, it has been a wonderful week, and I am so very grateful for the love I have been able to feel from my Heavenly Father. He is truly blessing us and helping us in this work. 

Our investigators are doing well! Zelia and Joaquim went to a couple sessions of General Conference with us and they were even able to do a fast with us this week, and so that was really special! 

So Sister Costa and I have two investigators named Carmen and Genildo that we have been working with for a while. They´re an older, married, couple and pretty funny. Carmen is always SUPER excited about everything haha. And Genildo is a lot more serious and stubborn, but super intelligent. The problem is that they LOVE to talk and so it´s been hard to find a good opportunity to teach them all of the Restoration in one visit. But finally this week, Genildo stopped talking and said he was ready to listen to us. And so we started to teach the Restoration and it was honestly one of the cooler experiences I´ve had teaching about the Restoration of the Gospel. I could truly feel God helping Sister Costa and I to teach with power and authority and with the Spirit. It was incredible the way that Genildo changed as we started to teach-- he suddenly became VERY interested in what we had to say. At the end of the lesson, we asked Genildo if he would read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true and he just sat there staring at us. And then after a lot of silence he finally said "Well, if this thing here is true, it´s going to change everything!!!" haha. And it´s so true. The message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ definitely changes everything. 

I hope everyone loved General Conference! Here in Brazil, because not everyone has access to computers and internet, everyone goes to the church to watch it! Listening to it in Portuguese was a little bit of an adventure, but I know that God blessed me to be able to understand. And more than anything, He taught me the things I needed to learn through the Spirit. Something that I love about General Conference is that it´s an opportunity to be connected with all of you again! Even though I´m here in Brazil, we are listening to the same prayers and singing the same hymns and it made me super happy to know that! 

After the Sunday morning session of Conference, a member of our ward introduced us to a friend of hers that´s interested in the church, named Fernando. We were able to teach him with her in the church and it was SO COOL. He is definitely one of God´s children prepared to receive the Gospel. The Spirit in the lesson was so incredibly strong, and at the end of the lesson, he accepted baptism without hesitation :) 

I hope that everyone paid super good attention to Elder Oaks´ talk about missionary work!! Study it this week and then APPLY the things that he taught! This truly is the time for missionaries and members to work together! We were only able to find Fernando because of the member in our ward! The role of the members in missionary work is ESSENTIAL! 

There´s been elections going on all month and they finally ended yesterday! But that meant that after leaving General Conference we found all of Arcoverde partying. Brazilians get really excited about things haha. There´s always a lot of drinking involved, super loud music, and HUGE groups of people together. It was a little hard leaving General Conference after feeling the Spirit so strongly and returning to the world. But that´s the purpose of General Conference-- to prepare us to return to the world and have the strength and faith to do what is right and find JOY in our journey! 

Love you all!! 
Sister Anderson

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week 12 in Arcoverde!

Once again at the start of a new transfer, and I´m still here in Arcoverde with Sister Costa! This is Sister Costa´s last transfer and so after that I´ll stay in Arcoverde even longer to teach the area to my new companion! It´s a good thing that I like Arcoverde :) 

This week was super awesome though! The highlight was definitely the Zone Conference we were able to have in Caruaru on Wednesday with President Bigelow! Him and Sister Bigelow are SUCH wonderful people. The main thing that we learned about is the importance to learn the "why" of the Gospel. Why parts of the gospel are important, why God gives us certain commandments. Because when we understand WHY we should do the things God wants us to do, and teach our investigators why, we´re going to have a lot more motivation to do these things. Because everything that God has for us, is to bless us and help us. President Bigelow also talked about how a testimony is more than just faith. It´s faith AND knowledge. There´s so much to study and learn about the Gospel and when we have a lot of faith and a lot of knowledge, we´re going to have super strong testimonies. 

Sadly, we weren´t able to baptize Dieny this Saturday :( She wasn´t feeling super prepared, and so we´re going to give her a little more time. BUT, we were able to have a ward activity this Saturday to integrate the members and investigators and it was super good! We focussed on the importance of the Book of Mormon :) I´ll be sending pictures! My trainer, Sister Juarez, finished her mission this week, but Saturday night, she was able to call me and talk to me for a little, so that also made my week a lot brighter :) 

Sunday, I had to give a talk in church! I´m super grateful for the help that God always gives me with my Portuguese, because I definitely couldn´t do it alone. Sunday night we were able to have a Family Home Evening with Zelia and Joaquim and three other members of the ward, and it was super cool! They´re progressing SO much. We were able to focus on the importance of families in the church and how we can have them for eternity. The Brazilian people have touched me SO much with how much they love and care about family. Whenever we have to choose a hymn to sing, "Families can be Together Forever" is always the first one they choose :) A couple that was there with us shared some stories about sacrifices that they made and another family made to have their families sealed in the temple-- There used to be only one temple in Brazil, in São Paulo, and so they traveled a week on a bus with a bunch of other members to get there. And when they were traveling on Sunday, they were able to have a sacrament meeting and partake of the sacrament on the bus! I thought that part was super interesting. They also shared a story about a family from Manaus, with 13 children, that traveled 12 days in a boat and 5 days on the bus just to make it to the temple. The dedication of this people is so incredible to me! They also LOVE family home evenings. One of the members mom´s is 94 years old and lives alone, but she still, every Sunday night writes an itinerary for family home evening in her notebook, and then every Monday night has a family home evening alone where she says the opening prayer, sings a hymn, shares a message, and then has a closing hymn and prayer. Families truly are SO important in the plan of God and I´m so grateful that the Brazilian people have been able to teach me that :) 

Once again, sorry for the long email! 
But I hope everyone is excited for General Conference this week! Make sure to write down questions that you have and see how God is able to answer them through His inspired servants!

Love you all!!
Sister Anderson

This is Gil. He drove us to Caruaru and then wanted to take a pic with us hahaha

The Elder to the right side, was trained by Jesse Jorgensen!

Zone Conference!

Ward activity

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 11 in Arcoverde!

And once again, we´re at the end of a transfer! It´s crazy how fast time is going by! This next transfer will be Sister Costa´s last, and so I´m pretty confident that I´ll be staying here in Arcoverde with her :) 

This week has been super cool! And it´s looking like we´re going to have a baptism this Saturday! It´s going to be a girl named Dieny :) She´s super cool and I love her a lot. She was one of the investigators of the Elders that served here before us. We started teaching her, but after a couple weeks, she went on vacation and just got back recently. She´s 17 years old and SUPER hippy. She even has a couple of dreads haha. We had a lesson with her at the beginning of the week and invited her to read the Book of Mormon and to pay attention to the feeling that she had while reading. Afterwards, Sister Costa and I decided to do a fast for her to be able to have a spiritual experience reading the Book of Mormon and receive an answer that it´s true. When we returned the next day, she said that she hadn´t read the part we left with her and I was honestly pretty disappointed, thinking that our fast hadn´t worked. But then in our lesson with her the spirit was super super strong, and we were able to mark her baptism! And so even though what happened isn´t exactly what we had fasted for, God still answered our prayers and blessed us with the Spirit in the lesson. But we´ve been able to teach her everyday this week and it´s been amazing to see the faith she has and her willingness to keep the commandments! 

Sister Costa and I had another super cool experience this week! On Tuesday we were walking down a road and saw an older lady on a porch, holding a baby, and so we decided to talk to her. We started to talk to her, and after a while she had us go into her house to talk her 20 year old daughter named Darley. We started talking to Darley and it didn´t take to long to realize that she is a super sad person. We were able to find out that her husband, the father of the baby, had died 5 months ago and that now she doesn´t want anything to do with God. We were able to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation and at the end we invited her to pray, but she said that she doesn´t pray to God anymore. As we kept talking to her, I kept having the thought to give her a Book of Mormon to read. I kept fighting this prompting, because it didn´t make sense to me, because we only give Book of Mormons to people that we´ve known for a while or that we know are going to read it. And I thought that there was no way that she would read it. But finally I listened to the prompting, gave her the Book of Mormon to read before we left. We returned a couple days after and when I asked her how she was doing, she said "better". When I asked her why she was better she smiled at me and said "I read the book". Afterwards, she started to explain that as she was reading she was able to feel a lot of peace and a lot better. And this time when we invited her to pray she agreed that she would pray and to talk to God. It was incredible to see the difference in her. She was so much more happy and smiled so much more-- all because of the Book of Mormon. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. There is such a special power and spirit in it and I know that it has the ability to change any persons life. 

Sorry about the super long stories, but I just had to share! :) I love being a missionary so much! I love the opportunity to study the gospel EVERY day! It´s seriosly the best! There is so much to learn! I know that the gospel is true and that this is the Lord´s church! 

Boa semana todo mundo! 
Amo vocês!

Sister Anderson

Sister Sanguino made Colombian Guacamole and it was SO good. Sorry about the blurry pictures!

Garanhuns Zone