Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 10 in Pina!

Ola everyone!!

I talked last week a little about São João, but this week, Thursday and Friday, were the official days of São João. Here in the North, it´s almost as big as Carnival, and so it was a little crazy and hard to work for a couple days. It´s a pretty cute holiday though haha. All the girls dress up in colorful dresses, and then the boys draw on mustaches and wear straw hats haha. And then everyone eats A LOT of corn and listens and dances to accordian music. It was a little crazy though, Thursday night, every street had at least 3 bon fires. I´m still trying to get the smell of smoke out of my hair haha. 

My highlight of this week was probably having Dalva be baptized!! I´m going to send some pictures of the baptism :) She´s so funny and I love her so much. It was wonderful to see her go from the first day, absolutely refusing to be baptized to this Saturday almost running into the water because she was so anxious to be baptized. She is a testimony that the Gospel really can change lives and hearts. There is a new happiness in her life that I can see and that I know she can feel. I really learned with Dalva that a lot of the time, we follow the Spirit without really realizing it. There were a couple times where we almost stopped teaching her because she was so closed and unaccepting. But something kept having us go there and try one more time. And I realize now, that it was the Spirit prompting us to keep trying :) 

I think I already talked about the experience of finding Isabel-- she is really turning out to be one of God´s elect! She has a lot of troubles and problems in her life, but she is so willing to change and do everything we ask her to do in order to help her make this change. She´s reading the Book of Mormon and loving it. 

Guess who returned!.... Eriko!! Turns out he´s been gone for the last month, working in Salvador. But he found us on the street the other day and asked if we could start teaching him again :) He went to church this Sunday and he´s going to start reading and praying about the Book of Mormon again! 

This week I ate one of more different things I´ve probably eaten in all my mission haha. I can´t remember what it´s called in Portuguese, but it´s pretty much chicken that´s been cooked in a blood sauce... I didn´t really understand what it was before I ate it haha. It was really good though! What really got me was when Sister Lopez picked up the chicken claw and started eating it haha. That was a little more than I could handle. 

This week I´ve been really really grateful for the mercy of God. I am SO far from being a perfect missionary. There are so many things I need to change and improve and it can be a little discouraging sometimes. But then I remember that God doesn´t expect us to be perfect-- only a little better than we were yesterday. And remembering this always gives me the strength to keep moving forward with the hope that through the Atonement of Christ, I eventually can become the person God wants me to be. 

Love you all!! 
Sister Anderson  

This was from last week.  Her district is actually up to 17 baptisms this transfer. 

Dalva´s Baptism!!

Dalva with her family :)

Our new elect family! Ernesto, Milena, Ayala, Nicoly, Samuel, and Johhny (not in the photo). They love the gospel and are so excited to be baptized!! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Week 9 in Pina!

Boa Tarde!! 

This week was good. A little uneventful, but good haha. 
We weren´t able to have the baptism of Dalva last week :( The leaders in our ward asked if we could have it this week so they could plan things a little better and make it more special for her. Dalva is doing great and is super excited to be baptized :)

The highlight of my week was probably having lunch with some of our new investigators! Their names are Avani, Izadora, and Beatrice. Avani is the grandma of Izadora and Beatrice-- Iza is 17 and Bea is 19. But theýre honestly the nicest people and I love them so much. They´re so sweet and giving and wanted us to have lunch with them! Beatrice even invited us to go to her birthday party haha. I think they have a lot of potential though. They´re very intelligent and curious, and they are reading the Book of Mormon! When investigators read the Book of Mormon, it´s always a good thing, because they´re definitely going to progress when they do that. The power of the Book of Mormon is real. 

We gained another new investigator in a very creative way this week haha. We live on the third floor of an apartment and there´s another apartment right next to ours. We like to keep the window in our room open for air, and so we can always see people going into their apartments, because it´s like a motel, where the doors are on the outside. But every morning there´s a man who works for this apartment who sweeps the floor. And so the other day we decided to talk to him from our window! Haha. His name is Izam and he´s super awesome! Turns out he´s always been super curious and wanted to know more about the Church. We´ve been leaving the little pamphlets about the Restoration, and Plan of Salvation in the mailbox for him to read. And then every morning we follow up with him! He´s actually reading them and praying to know if it´s true! Haha. It´s super cool. 

I read a scripture this morning in 2 Nephi 10:23-25 that I really loved!
"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves-- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. 
Wherefore, my beloved bretheren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that is is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. 
Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everylasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingodm of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen."
I love being able to help people "cheer up their hearts" by sharing the message that we have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior that Atoned for our sins, making it possible for us to return to live with Them and with our families for eternity! There is nothing better!

Thanks for all of the love and prayers!!
Sister Anderson 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week 8 in Pina!


First off, sorry about not sending an email yesterday!! We had Zone Conference yesterday and so our P-day was switched to today! Sorry if anyone was worried about me! haha. 

Zone Conference was super super awesome though. We received training from President Bigelow and I learned so much! The other day, he and Sister Bigelow received training from Elder Holland and so he was able to share some of the things that Elder Holland said to them. One thing that Elder Holland talked to them about that really touched me was, that he asked them if they´re happy. When they said yes, he talked to them about how they can be so happy, but yet so tired-- how they can be so happy when life is so hard. And then President Bigelow said for us that happiness is not having a life without trials. And I loved this so much because I don´t think I can describe a mission more perfectly. It´s really hard and we´re always so tired, but at the same time I feel an amount of happiness that I have never been able to feel before. And I know that that happiness is because of the Gospel. 

This week was fantastic though! Fernando and Camilla were finally baptized!!! Saturday night we had the wedding and then right after had the baptism, and then Sunday during church they received the Gift of the Holy Ghost :) They are all SO happy. I love them so much and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be in instrument in helping them receive the Gospel. They have changed their lives so much and are truly living in harmony with the Gospel and the happiness that has come into their lives is proof of that. 

Now that Fernando and Camilla are baptized we are searching for more of God´s elect to teach and baptize! The other day we had a period of time just to do contacting. We started with a prayer that God would put into our path someone who is ready to receive the Gospel. It was almost time to go home and we hadn´t found anyone yet. But as we were walking home a lady named Isabelle stopped us and asked what time it was haha. But we started talking to her and she said that she had been praying to find a way to change her life and follow God! I know that God hears our prayers and that He put Isabelle into our path :) 

We´re going to have another baptism this week! Her name is Dalva and she´s the mom of a less active in our ward. But it has been absolutely wonderful teaching her! The first time we taught her she wouldn´t talk, wouldn´t smile, and wouldn´t accept anything. But we kept trying and showing her a lot of love and it´s incredible how much she has changed. She is so happy, loves it when we visit her, and wants to be baptized so much! She went to church this Sunday and loved it! I´ve learned that the reason why she was really difficult at the beggining is because she has a lot of "vergonha". Vergonha is a word in Portuguese that I think is a combination of shy and embarassed haha. She has a lot of insecurities and has a really hard time talking in front of people. In church, during Sunday School, she got called on to give the opening prayer. When she was talking to us yesterday, she said that she was so scared and didn´t want to, but when she got up to say the prayer, she said she felt God take away all of her vergonha :) Kind of a simple thing, but I was still really touched by her story. God knows our weaknesses, and He is always there to help us and support us in doing His will. 

I think that´s about it for this week! I had my 3 months anniversary this week! Kind of crazy! Brazil is great though. Right now they´re having a holiday called São João! I don´t really understand what it´s about, but there are a lot of cool decorations in the streets haha. It´s a little weird though, because a part of this holiday is having fires. So there´s always just chunks of woods or boxes burning in the streets haha. 

Love you all! Thanks for all the emails!

Sister Anderson

Wedding and Baptism of Camilla and Fernando!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Wk 7 in Pina!

Oi todo mundo!! 

This week was absolutely WONDERFUL. I love Sister Lopez and we are having so much success! God is definitely blessing us! 

We´ve been blessed with a really large group of wonderful investigators and we were able to have 11 of them in church this Sunday! Usually we only have 2 or 3, and so it was super cool to have 11! We have 3 different families that we are teaching and I love all of them so much! One of them is the family of Fernando and Camilla, and they´re going to be baptized this week!! I am SO excited. We´re going to have the wedding on Saturday, and then right after the wedding they´re going to be baptized! The ward Pina is awesome and planning everything! There´s also going to be a ton of people. Even some of our investigators who don´t know Fernando and Camilla say that they´re going to go even before we invite them. I honestly have no idea how they know about it, but it´s awesome haha. 

We also have the family of Arnesto and Milena and they are wonderful! They accepted our invitation to be baptized this week! But like Fernando and Camilla, they have to be married before they get baptized. But it´s awesome, because before we even taught them why they have to get married before they are baptized, they started doing all of the paper work to get married haha. They truly have a desire to be baptized. They also have 3 kids who are super cute and attack us with hugs like the children of Fernando and Camilla. Kids love us a ton and it´s probably one of my favorite parts of being a missionary :)

On Monday we taught a reference of one of our members-- Iva Paula and her 9 year old son Gabriel. Gabriel is seriously the cutest thing ever haha. During the beginning of the lesson he was really shy, but he slowly started to warm up to us, and by the end he was seriously quoting the Bible to us haha. At the end of our lesson we invited Iva Paula to be baptized once she knows our message is true and then before we said the closing prayer Gabriel hurried and raised his hand and said "I´m going to be baptized too when Jesus answers my prayers". After the prayer he said, "wait, I want to sing for you guys!" and then picked up his notebook and sang a solid 5 minute song for us that he wrote about Jesus and being forgiven of his sins haha. It was so cute. And then as we were leaving, when we shook his hand, he kissed our hands hahaha. Goodness. It was very cute haha. 

Another super cool thing-- in our area of Pina, there´s a company called Green Valley Health, I think... But they drive around Brasilia in a van and have a bunch of salesmen and women that work in the streets and go from house to house. But the cool thing is that the owner of this company is a member of the Church, and so almost all of the employees are members too haha. They´re always in pretty large groups, and so everytime we bump into them they all get super excited and yell "sisters!!" and talk to us and it´s great haha. But everytime we talk with them they give us references of people they meet! It´s great! It´s like we have a bunch of minions helping us with the work! Hahaha. Sister Lopez and I like to call them our squad haha. 

I am absolutely loving my mission. It is such a huge blessing in my life. I love being able to see families like Fernando and Camilla completely change. I truly can see the difference of light and happiness in their lives. They always call us their angels and it makes me super happy haha. But really, it´s not us that´s made the difference in their lives, it´s them living the Gopsel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel truly blesses families and I am so grateful to be apart of this work where I can be an instrument in bringing this happiness to families. 

Have a good week everyone!!
Sister Anderson