Monday, April 25, 2016

I´m in Recife!


It has been quite the week!! Early on Tuesday I and three other Elders left the CTM and flew to Recife! President and Sister Bigelow were there to pick us up at the airport and then take us to their home. They fed us waffles and pancakes and it was SO nice to eat some American food haha. But right after that we got our companions, headed for our areas, and have been working hard ever since!

My trainer/companion is Sister Juarez. She´s from Mexico and she is AMAZING. She´s been on her mission for a year now and she is a pro at this. She is so kind and helpful and I know I´m going to learn so much from her. We´re in an area in Recife called Pina. And I´m pretty sure it´s the most beatiful area ever haha. The area runs right along the ocean and so everymorning when we walk from our apartment to the area where we teach people, we´re right next to the ocean and beach and it is so beautiful. In our apartment we have another set of Sisters-- Sister Parraga and Sister Rondon. Sister Parraga is from Peru and Sister Rondon is from São Paulo and they´re both wonderful. 

The people here are amazing and we have some really awesome investigators. My favorite is a family we are teaching and wants to be baptized. Kamila and Fernando and then 4 kids, Davi (8), Louisa (5), Ezekiel (3 ), and Miguel (2). They are such cute kids. Everytime we go and visit them I probably get at least 20 hugs haha. They just love to attack us with hugs and yell "sisters! sisters!". We´re waiting for Kamila and Fernando to get married before they can be baptized, but they are so ready to be baptized. They have amazing testimonies of the Gospel and I can truly see the light in their eyes. It´s amazing how the Gospel changes people. There isn´t a doubt in my heart that the Church isn´t true. We see miracles every single day. 

Something that has really touched me is being able to see how God prepares people for us. There really are people who are ready to accept the message of the restoration of the gospel. The people here are so good. They love God and Jesus Christ and most people are very willing to let us into their homes and hear our message. I´ve also learned a lot about agency though. We can teach people of the truths we know and help them to feel the spirit, but it´s really up to them to accept it. 

Things are extrememly different here, but I love it. The thing I´m probably struggling with the most is the language. People here talk SO weird. In São Paulo, I could understand people for the most part, but here I pretty much understand nothing haha. It´s a super weird accent, but I´ll get the hang of it eventually. We do most of our proselyting and teaching in an area right next to the ocean with tons and tons of houses. People here love to sit outside of their houses, and so there´s always tons of people in the streets. They also REALLY love their music. There is always someone blasting their music and shirts don´t really exist here for the men haha. But it´s all good. It´s definitely a new experience, but I´m loving it. 

I hope all is well with everyone! I know the church is true and that missionary work is SO important. It´s so important that we share the message of the Gospel with every single person we can. We are definitely blessed for doing it!

Love you guys!
Sister Anderson

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Uma Semana Mais! (One more week!)

Olá! I hope everyone´s had a good week!
It´s crazy to think that next time I email, I will be out in the field!! It honestly worries me a quite bit because my Portuguese isn´t where I want it to be, but I know it will work out. Yesterday, the CTM tried something new and we did splits with Brazilian missionaries. So for a couple of hours, Sister Klimes and I split up and got new, Brazilian companions. I was pretty nervous about it, but it ended up being super great! We had lunch together, then planned a lesson together, and then gave the lesson to some "investigators" and it all went super well! There were a couple times where she had to repeat things over and over, but for the most part we were able to communicate! Haha. It gave me more confidence to go out to the field!

So something kind of funny-- I guess I´ve been talking in my sleep a lot and doing weird things in the middle of the night. We have two new Brazilian roommates, Sister Silva and Sister Vicente. I love them both a ton! But I guess I keep waking Sister Silva up in the middle of the night. She told me that one night I kept sitting up in my bed and then laughing and saying something and then laying back down haha. But I guess it was scaring her that I was going to fall out of the bed (I´m on the top bunk) and so she kept getting up to make sure I didn´t fall out haha. She´s so sweet. She speaks a little English and so she always tells me to "sleep with care" or "sleep with the angels" before I go to bed haha. 
So I think I´ve talked about this, but every Sunday and Tuesday night we have devotionals. Before the devotional we have choir practice and all of the missionaries get together to learn a song to sing for a musical number-- I love it! And for yesterdays devotional I had to play the piano with the choir and for the opening and closing songs! It was a little nerve wracking, but a lot of fun! It was cool to look out over 200+ missionaries and think of how much goodness and light they are going to bring into peoples´ lives. Sister Snyder who directs the choir was telling me that President Grahl was telling her how he believes angels comes down and sing with the missionaries and I have to agree with that. The spirit is so strong when you hear so many missionaries singing together. 
On Sunday, because it was fast Sunday, we had a special CTM Conference in the morning and it was so good. I´ve been having a hard time with a couple of things, but the messages that were shared were EXACTLY what I needed. God is so aware of us and our needs. But anyways, there was something that stood out to me so strongly and will probably be something I´ll hold on to for the rest of my life. One of the speakers had us watch a video with parts from talks by Elder Holland and President Eyring. Elder Holland was talking about how hard missionary work can be-- but the reason it is so hard is because salvation was never easy. Christ suffered for us, more than we can ever imagine so we can be saved. We´re not meant to go through life without feeling at least a little bit of what He felt-- without shedding at least one of the tears of sorrow that He shed. And then the video went to a clip from President Eyring and this is what hit me so hard-- When life gets hard, when we´re struggling and want to quit, remember Him. Remember Christ. I realized that when we are going through trials but choose to remember Him, it suddenly makes those hard things okay. Because He has felt exactly what we´re going through. And when we share some of that suffering and pain with Christ, it´s only going to bring us closer to Him. And I want nothing more than to be close to my Savior. 

I love you all! 
Ate mais! 

Sister Anderson 

Stay calm!!! Don't freak out!! Instructions from Irmao Santos
Sis. Klimes and Anderson with roommates Sister Vicente and Sister Silva

Sis. Anderson & Klimes with Elders George, Nicolson, Romero and Hulme
District Sisters with Instructor

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

One month down!

Bom dia everyone! 

So today I´ve officially been in the field for a month! That is so crazy to me! It feels like I was leaving just the other day! But when I look back on everything that´s happened, it also feels like an eternity haha. Time in the CTM is weird.
I had a really good week though! On Friday my district had the opportunity to go proselyting!! Each companionship was given 10 Book of Mormons and then we took a bus to the center of São Paulo to pass out the Book of Mormons! I was SO scared at first because I am far from fluent in Portuguese haha. But on the bus I decided to sit down next to a guy who was sitting alone and I actually had a conversation with him!! In Portuguese! He was so nice. I explained to him what the Book of Mormon is and how important it has been in my life and he was super happy and willing to accept one of them. So that gave me a lot of confidence. Most of the people we talked to were super willing to listen to our little message about the Book of Mormon and then accept one. I loved being able to ask people if they believed in Jesus Christ and then telling them that I also believe in Him and love Him. I just felt so good as I bore my testimony about how the Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Jesus Christ and how much it would bless their lives if they read it. We talked to an older lady and she was super excited and said she wanted the missionaries to go and visit her and teach her! So that was super cool! A super crazy thing happened though-- Sister Berg got proposed to! Hahaha. I guess her and Sister Thacker were talking to an older man and he just kept saying that they should get married and then he wouldn´t leave them alone. So it was a little scary, but also really funny haha. Our instructor Irmão Santos was with us, so he went and helped them out. 
Another highlight of this week was General Conference!! It was so nice to listen to the messages of the Prophet and apostles. And it was especially nice to listen to something in English! Haha. Before conference I wrote down questions I had and wanted answered, and during conference, every single question was answered no matter how specific the question was. I know that Thomas S. Monson and all of the apostles truly are called of God. I know that God is aware of each of us and loves each of us so much and is so willing to answer our questions! 
I love being a missionary! 
I hope everyone has a good week! 

-Sister Anderson