Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Week 3 in Arcoverde!

Bom diaaa!
 
This country is really starting to grow on me! I realized the other day that everything here is starting to become very normal to me haha. It´s also becoming more natural for me to think and write in Portuguese than in English! A little crazy, but super cool! I love Brazil!
 
I´ve had a really good week! No baptisms, but definitely a week of miracles and blessings from God!
 
The first part of the week, Sister Costa and I taught a lesson with our Bishop to a Pastor of a different church! I was honestly terrified at first, but it ended up being super cool! He was super open minded and intelligent and so he understood everything we taught him! This Pastor, Pastor Paulo, and the Bishop live at the very very end of Arcoverde in a place called Vila dos Presidios. It´s a long walk to get there, but it´s super cool. It´s a little farming community and so all of the roads are dirt, with pigs everywhere, people riding horses, and donkeys are always in the streets. It´s more of what I imagined Brazil to be, before my mission haha.
 
So every Thursday, we have district meeting in Garanhuns and it´s a good 2 hour drive to get there. There´s not a bus system here in Arcoverde, and so we have to take a 15 person van to Garanhuns every week. The driver is a man named Jaquaré and he´s super cool haha. But this week as we were headed to Garanhuns the van broke down in the middle of nowhere. And so Sister Costa and I were stranded on the side of the road for more than an hour and a half with all the other people who were in the van haha. But another van passed by and we were able to get into that van and make it to Garanhuns for the last part of our meeting. When we were headed back to Arcoverde, the other van we were taking broke down too haha. We got into a different van who sadly also broke down. And it continued like this all the way back to Arcoverde haha. I think we took a total of 5 vans. It was pretty exciting haha.
 
Sister Costa and I had a miracle this Sunday! A girl named Josie, who had been taught by the missionaries years ago, showed up in church and wants to be baptized!! We had a lesson with her and she already has an amazing testimony of the Gospel! We´re going to try and have her baptism this Saturday :) It was really cool for me though, because this week, we had a lot of investigators say that they would go to church and almost none of them ended up going. And so I was pretty sad and disappointed and praying a lot, and then Josie showed up as an answer to my prayers! It taught me that people (our investigators) have their agency, but God is going to bless us (Josie) for the efforts that we are making! It also taught me that are efforts in sharing the Gospel aren´t in vain because you never know if it´s someone like Josie is going to accept the Gospel in the future!
 
I know that this is the work of the Lord! It´s so important that we always look for ways to share the Gospel with our friends and family! I know that the happiness that comes from sharing the Gospel is very real!
 
Love you all!
Sister Anderson


 I´m really battlin' those mosquitos-- Proselytin' in pants and sleepin' with my net. Sister Costa always calls me "princesa" (princess) now because of my mosquito net hahah



I made brownies!!!! They didn´t taste exactly like moms.... But they were still good





Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 2 in Arcoverde!

Is it really Monday already?? This week really flew by haha. Arcoverde is fantastic! Sister Costa and I are getting to know the área and the people more and more everyday. A couple of things that are unique about the interior of Brazil: The taxis here are motorcycles. And so it´s just you on the back of the motorcycle with the driver haha. A little weird.  Another mode of transport here is with horses or donkeys that pull carriage type things! There´s also quite a few people who wear cowboy boots and hats, and so like I said last week, I´m really feeling at home haha.
We had two baptisms this week!!! Dejanira and Gisely! I don´t know if there´s anything better than seeing your investigators bet baptized and confirmed :) Baptism is such a special and important covenant. You can always see the difference in the person afterwards. Dejanira and Gisely were both so happy. There´s really a new light that comes into their lives. 
Another highight of my week was that on Sunday, we had Ward conference! Members of the stake came to give talks and it was super good and spiritual. Generally the Ward has an attendance of 90-100 people, but this Sunday it was more than 130! There were a ton of people who hadn´t gone to church for a super long time and also a lot of people who aren´t members. Definitely a missionaries dream haha. The members of the Ward kept saying how it was a Sunday of miracles :) We had a Ward choir too, and so I was able to play the piano with the choir. There´s no one else in the Ward that can play the piano, and so I´m really grateful that I´ve developed this talent and can use it to bless the Ward.
Sister Costa helped me to realize something really important this week. All of my mission, I´ve focussed a lot on what I´m doing wrong and what I need to do better. It´s definitely important to improve, but I think I was getting really discouraged because everyday I was only thinking about what I did wrong. But Sister Costa said that instead, I should think about the things I did that day that made Heavenly Father happy. I´ve been doing that the last couple days, and it´s definitely helped me to be a lot happier and have the Spirit with me more. I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much and He wants us to be happy and focus on the things that we are doing right. He doesn´t want us to always dwell on the negative things. I know that by having an attitude of "what did I do today that made God happy?" can really bring more happiness into our lives.
I hope everyone is well back home!! If anyone is wondering what they can do more to help the missionaries, there´s a talk in the June Liahona By Elder Bednar about helping the missionaries. It´s super good!
Ate mais!
Sister Anderson


Pictures from the last day in Pina





Minha casa!! A lot bigger and nicer than my last one!!  We got new mattresses!! Super comfy!




My new bag!! It straps around the front and so the weight isn't on my shoulder! It's a lot more comfortable!


Almost all of the houses here in Brazil have this outside area with a sink to wash clothes and hang them up to dry.  

Baptism of Dejanira and Gisely

The kids are cousins of Gisely :) SOOOO cute.
They are always there for the lessons and Yasmin (the girl) always draws pictures for me

Ward Conference



Arcoverde!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 1 in Arcoverde!

Oi oi oi everyone!!
This week has been absolutely wonderful. I am loving Arcoverde and being a missionary is such an incredible blessing!
Arcoverde is super pretty! Super clean and green and it´s not hot!! Definitely a huge blessing haha. The people here are super good too. I think it´s a little more developed than my other área was, and so I´m feeling a little more at home. But goodness, we have been very blessed here in Arcoverde! Only 1 week, and the área is already progressing! Thankfully we´ve had two young women, who are preparing to serve missions, go out with us everyday this week to show us where things are. Without them we would have been very lost all week haha.
We´re going to have 2 baptisms this week! One of the baptisms is a woman named Dejanira. She´s probably in her 50´s and she is such an amazing example to me. She has had a very very hard life and has a lot of health problems. But she´s so willing to change her life and follow Christ. Everytime we give her a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read, she always writes a summary of the chapter in her notebook haha. I´ve never had an investigator so dedicated to learning about the Gospel. She lives super far from the church too. But every Sunday she leaves her house an hour early, walks really slowly because of her health, and alwalys makes it to church on time. She´s also working on quiting drinking coffee and so she´s having a lot of bad headaches. But whenever we talk to her about it, she just says "it´s good, I´ll get used to it" haha. She´s super awesome.
Our other baptism is a 10 year old girl named Gisely. She has Family that are members of the church. She´s been searching and praying for a while to know if she should be baptized and hasn´t felt like she´s had an answer. But this Sunday she said that she had a really good feeling in church and know that she needs to be baptized :) I´m grateful that we have a Heavenly Father that listens to our prayers and always answers them.
Sister Costa and I are working together really well and working really hard to find God´s elect here in Arcoverde. I´m super happy and super humbled by the incredible amount of help that we are receiving from Heavenly Father. This week I´ve been studying a talk entitled, "The Atonement" by Elder Russell M. Nelson. It is a WONDERFUL talk and I highly recomend it. I´m so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered for all of our sins and felt everything that we go through in this life. I know that He knows perfectly how to comfort us and help us and that He loves each of us so much.
Boa Semana a vocês!!
Sister Anderson

Day #1 in Arcoverde!
Left to Right: Dayene (one of our guides this week), Sister Juarez, me, 
Sister Sanguino (from Colombia), and Sister Costa (my comp :))

The road we live on and all the colorful homes! 

"The Atonement" by Elder Russell M. Nelson


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Transfered!!

Oi Everyone!!
My time has ended in Pina and I am off to new adventures and new people now! I´m now in a city called Arcoverde! It was a 5 hour bus ride this morning and it´s the most interior area of the mission! And the super cool thing is that me and my new companion, Sister Costa are opening the area! For a really long time it´s been an area of Elders, but now they´re changing it to an area of Sisters! Usually when you go to a new area, your companion has already been there for a transfer or two and knows the area really well. But with opening the area, everything is completely new for both of us and so we have to figure everything out together. It´s going to be a good adventure :) 
Sister Costa is from São Paulo and super awesome! She already has more than a year on her mission and has opened an area before, so I´m trying not to stress out too much haha. There´s another companionship of sisters opening the area with us and living with us too, so that´s nice. I think one of them´s American and the other is Brazilian. I haven´t been able to talk to them yet, so I´m not quite sure haha. I´m SUPER excited to work in this area though. It´s so different from Pina! Everything is much more open, and clean, and fresh. And there´s mountains! It makes me feel a little bit more at home haha. 
This last week in Pina was really good and I´m super sad that I had to leave! I loved the people there a lot. But I know I´m going to find a lot of good people here in Arcoverde. I had an experience this week that I would like to share. It´s nothing huge, but it helped me to remember the importance of listening to the Spirit and how God is always watching over us. So in the mission, we have pass-along cards that we give to people. One of them has a picture of Christ visiting the Americas and a picture of the Book of Mormon on the back with a number they can call to receive a Book of Mormon for free. We ran out of them this week, but I had one more that I was keeping on my desk. And the other day, before we left the house, I had the thought to put the card into my bag, feeling like I would need it that day. That night when Sister Lopez and I were walking back to our house some crazy and probably drunk man, came up to us and started just yelling things about Mormons. And then he started yelling at us to give him a Book of Mormon. I didn´t know what to do, but then I had the thought to give him this pass along card. And then when I gave it to him, he saw the picture of the Book of Mormon and calmed down and just walked away. I´m not sure what would have happened if I didn´t have that card, but I´m really grateful that I did and that I listened to the prompting from the Spirit. 
 
I hope everyone has a great 4th of July today!! It definitely isn´t a Holiday celebrated here in Brazil, but I can celebrate in my heart haha. 1 Nephi 13 in the Book of Mormon would be an awesome chapter for everyone to read today! It talks about how America and is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon!
I´m so grateful for the Gospel and for the challenges God gives to us to help us grow and become better!
 
Love you all!!
 
Sister Anderson