Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 8 in Arcoverde!

Olá todo mundo!! 

I hope everyone´s had a good week! 
So I´m currently in Caruaru, a city a couple hours away from Arcoverde. We came here to have a p-day with President and Sister Bigelow where they teach us how to exercise and take care of our bodies! I´m super excited! BUT, they´re going to arrive late and so we hurry and came here to the lan house to email, and so things are a little rushed right now. So sorry if it´s not the best email ever! 

This week was super good and I´m super happy! We did a lot of walking this week and even some of it in rain, without umbrellas haha, but it was still wonderful and I can see God blessing us and helping us everyday! 

Our investigators are doing really well! A woman named Lira that we started teaching a couple weeks ago has already gone to church 3 times in a row and really has a desire to know if the church is true! And so I´m super excited about her. And we finally got Jessé to go to church! I´m pretty sure I already talked about this, but he´s the super religious man that says kneeling prayers sometimes for more than 2 hours haha. He loves the Book of Mórmon and I´m excited to talk to him and see what he thought about church! 

I have an experience that I want to share. It´s simple, but was still really special for me. We´ve been teaching an older couple named Zelia and Jaquim. This Sunday we went to their house to find them and walk with them to church. As we were arriving, we found Zelia on the road limping and walking super slowly because she has problems with her legs. We asked her where Jaquim was and she said that he stayed home. And so we hurry and went to their home and Jaquim was there, all ready to go to church, and said that he didn´t go because he thought that we wouldn´t go to their house to find them because it was raining. And so we all left together and started walking to church, SUPER slowly and they live SUPER far from the chapel. Zelia was having a really hard time walking, but she kept saying to me that she prayed and asked Jesus to give her the strength in her legs that she needs make it to church. I could tell that she was really struggling and in a lot of pain and so I was very touched by her faith. We kept going and Sister Costa turned around a saw a bus coming towards us-- and this honestly was a miracle because buses NEVER pass by on Sundays. And so they were able to get on the bus and ride the bus to church. But the thing that was really touching to me was that FIRST, Zelia showed to God the faith and the desire that she had, and AFTER she did this, God blessed her and sent the bus to her. So many people today want to wait for blessings from God and then afterwards change and do what God wants them to do. But it doesn´t work that way. We have to first show God our faith and our desire to keep the commandments and then afterwards, He is going to bless us and help us. God loves us and is so willing to bless us, but it is so through our obedience that we can recieve these blessings from God!

Love you all!
Sister Anderson 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Week 7 in Arcoverde!


I hope everyone´s had a good week! This week was good. Nothing too exciting, but it´s definitely still wonderful to be here in Brazil doing the work of the Lord :) 

Our investigators are doing well! We have a new investigator that I am really liking. Her name is Fatima and she´s super smart and interested in what we´re teaching her. We gave her the Book of Mormon the other day and in less than a week, she´s already halfway done! The sad thing is that she´s going to move to São Paulo in less than a month. But Sister Costa and I decided that when Sister Costa goes back to São Paulo in a couple months, she can keep teaching Fatima :) 

We haven´t been able to teach Samuel and Fernanda this week because their 3 year old girl, Sabrina, is in the hospital right now with pneumonia. But Sunday we were able to go to the hospital and visit them, and it was a super cool experience. There were other people in the room with sick children and so we were able to say a prayer with them too and share a scripture. But goodness, I am very  grateful for the hospitals we have in the United States haha. The public hospital here in Arcoverde was a little scary. 

Every week in our district meeting, someone gives a training for the district from Preach my Gospel. It was my turn to do it this week, and I was super nervous! Especially to speak in Portuguese, in front of Brazilians for 20 minutes haha. But, it actually went super well and I could really see how God helped me with my Portuguese. I was able to learn, and have been learning all of my mission, that it doesn´t really matter what the thing is that you have to do, or if you think you can do it-- If God asks it of you and wants you to do it, there is no way for you to fail. 

We were able to end the week really good with the confirmation of Joseane in sacrament meeting! It´s one of my favorite things as a missionary to see my investigators receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and be confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ. I can always feel the Spirit so strongly. I am so very grateful for my mission, for all the things I´m learning, and how my testimony is growing. I know, without doubt, that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. It´s not a Church created by man, but literally the Church of Jesus Christ re-established on the Earth. And there is nothing better than sharing that truth with others :) 

Love you all!!
Sister Anderson 

Photos with Goats

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 6 in Arcoverde!

Bom dia!! And Feliz Dia dos Pais yesterday for all of those fathers out there!  

It´s the start of a new transfer and I´m still here in Arcoverde with Sister Costa! I´m  super happy about that though, because I know that God has big plans for us here :) I´ve definitely had a wonderful week full of blessings and miracles!

Our week started out really well with a family home evening with one of the families in our Ward. They invited three other families for it and now all three of the families are our investigators! They´re all younger couples with babies and super open and willing to accept the things we´re teaching them and so I´m super excited :) They were able to go to church this Sunday as well, and so that was a huge blessing for us!

This week, I was also able to have one the coolest experiences yet in my mission :) A member in our Ward asked us to visit his cousin, Alison. And so we visited him, taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel, and it was super good. He was super interested during all of the lesson, and especially when we were talking about Joseph Smith. And so the other night, we went to his house to mark a time to visit him again and we asked him if he prayed to know if what we taught was true. He started out thanking us for teaching him the other night because he had been really stressed about a lot of things, but after we left it was like none of those things had happened. And then he said for us, that afterwards he couldn´t stop thinking about Joseph Smith and asking himself if it really was true. He´s a super religious person and really involved in the Catholic church. And so he said for us that he knew, and recognized that this pressing feeling to pray and ask God was the Spirit talking to him. And so before he went to sleep he prayed and asked God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and when he woke up the next morning he felt super good like he had never felt before and that it was like his mind was more clear and as he thought more and more about Joseph Smith, he knew that it was true. And so then he thanked us again and said that he DEFINITELY wants us to come back and teach him more. It´s hard for me to describe exactly how the experience was, but the Spirit was so so strong. Alison is definitely is a person prepared to accept the Gospel and I´m so excited to teach him more. 

The other huge blessing of this week was Joseane´s baptism!! We were able to baptize her Sunday after church, and it was wonderful! I´ve never had an investigator so anxious and excited to be baptized. The Spirit was super strong as well :)

I know that the Gospel is true and I know that this is God´s work!
Love you all!!

Sister Anderson

Donuts are a rarity in Brazil, and so I had to take advantage of the opportunity :D

Cleaning the baptismal font :)

It´s weird working in pants!!! Haha

We´ve been working a lot in the middle of nowhere! It´s exciting! Haha

Sister Costa, Joseane, and me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Week 5 in Arcoverde!

Another wonderful week down in the books! Sister Costa and I are now entering the last week of the transfer! It´s definitely gone by super quickly but at the same time I´ve grown and learned so much!

Joseane is finally going to be baptized this week!! I´m super excited for that. She´s so cute and has such an awesome testimony of the church :)

This week Sister Costa and I were able to teach a lesson with Dejanira (our recent convert) this week and it was super special. At the end, she bore her testimony about joining the church and she said something that I loved and wanted to share with everyone. She said, "I didn´t find missionaries, I found daughters. I didn´t find people, I found a family. I didn´t find a church, I found a home." It´s so true that the church is this way. It´s a home, and we´re all family trying to make it back to our Father in Heaven.

We were able to find a super special family this week! Their names are Fernanda and Samuel and they have a little girl who´s 3 and a little boy who´s 8. They´re really searching to know if the church is true. Fernanda said that when she prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet, she felt really good and had a strong desire to go to church. And then when she woke up the next morning she said that she still felt really good and calm. They weren´t able to go to church this week, but they should go the next week, and so I´m really excited for that. They´re daughter is SUPER cute though. She seriously laughs at anything haha. She´s the happiest child I know. BUT, she thinks I sound really funny and so everytime I talk she just sits there and laughs haha. And then the other day, in the middle of me talking she said "seu nariz é muito gordo!" (your nose is really fat!) hahaha. I had to remind myself that she´s only 3 years old and wasn´t trying to be mean haha.

Sister Costa and I had a cool miracle this Sunday! An inactive in our ward who hadn´t gone to church for many many years went to church this week!! When Sister Costa and I visited her earlier in the week, we felt inspired to share a General Conference talk with her. I left my Liahona magazine with her so that she could read it and so she "came to church to return it" haha. The talk that we shared with her was the talk by President Uchtdorf, "He Will Place you on His Shoulders and Carry you Home." I love love love this talk. And I love it so much that I´m going to share a part with all of you :)

"Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls.
But sometimes I think we misunderstand obedience. We may see obedience as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. Or we may pound the metaphorical hammer of obedience against the iron anvil of the commandments in an effort to shape those we love, through constant heating and repeated battering, into holier, heavenly matter.

No doubt about it, there are times when we need a stern call to repentance. Certainly, there are some who may be reached only in this manner.

But perhaps there is a different metaphor that can explain why we obey the commandments of God. Maybe obedience is not so much the process of bending, twisting, and pounding our souls into something we are not. Instead, it is the process by which we discover what we truly are made of.

We are created by the Almighty God. He is our Heavenly Father. We are literally His spirit children. We are made of supernal material most precious and highly refined, and thus we carry within ourselves the substance of divinity.

Here on earth, however, our thoughts and actions become encumbered with that which is corrupt, unholy, and impure. The dust and filth of the world stain our souls, making it difficult to recognize and remember our birthright and purpose.

But all this cannot change who we truly are. The fundamental divinity of our nature remains. And the moment we choose to incline our hearts to our beloved Savior and set foot upon the path of discipleship, something miraculous happens. The love of God fills our hearts, the light of truth fills our minds, we start to lose the desire to sin, and we do not want to walk any longer in darkness.13

We come to see obedience not as a punishment but as a liberating path to our divine destiny. And gradually, the corruption, dust, and limitations of this earth begin to fall away. Eventually, the priceless, eternal spirit of the heavenly being within us is revealed, and a radiance of goodness becomes our nature."

 I´m going to put a link to this talk and also to another talk from General Conference that also talks about remembering our divine destiny. I was really touched by these two talks and everyone should definitely read them :) I know that God is our Heavenly Father. We´re literally His children and we have more potential than we know. It´s so important that we always remember that. We are here on Earth with the purpose to make it back to our Heavenly Father one day and live with our families for eternity. And I´m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that prepared a perfect plan, making all of that possible.

Love you all!! Boa semana!

Sister Anderson

He Will Place You on his Shoulders and Carry You Home

I am a Child of God

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 4 in Arcoverde!

Olá! Happy 1st of August everyone and happy birthday to my brother, James!!
Sister Costa and I have had a super good week! We weren´t able to baptize Josie, BUT it´s all good because she just wants a little more time to prepare. So we´re going to baptize her on the 13th of August. She is wonderful though! She´s 20 years old and told us this week that she wants to serve a mission :) 
This week, on Wednesday, we were able to have splits with our Sister Training Leaders in Garanhuns! Goodness, it is cold there!! I didn´t know it was possible for Brazil to be that cold! I ended up getting pretty sick though, and so we had to head back to the house a little early :( But, it was still super good and I was able to learn a lot!
We stayed in Garanhuns for the night and then had District Meeting and interviews with President Bigelow in the morning! The interview with President Bigelow was WONDERFUL. I´m pretty sure he´s the best mission president ever haha. He helped me a ton. I was still feeling really sick and feverish Thursday morning though and so I asked my district leaders to give me a priesthood blessing before we left. Elder Johnson gave me a super cool blessing and honestly, within hours after the blessing, I was perfectly fine and healthy again. I know that the priesthood is real. That experience was a huge miracle and testimony builder for me. 
One of things that President Bigelow asked me in my interview was, "how has my relationship with the Savior changed in my mission". I´m really grateful that he asked me that because Í´ve been able to think about it a lot and realize just how much closer I am to the Savior now. I know that He is always here with me, working along side us. It makes sense that His is, because I wouldn´t have been able to do any of the things I´ve done on my mission without Him. Even if people don´t believe our message, they always are able to recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ. We have an investigator that says that every time we visit her and talk to her, we share with her exactly what she had a question about that day. And I know that we are able to do that because Christ is at the head of this work. We are only instruments in His hands. I know that He lives, and that even though we can´t see Him, He is always here with us. 
I´m so grateful for my mission and that help build God´s Kingdom here in Arcoverde. Our other person marked for baptism, Gorete, is doing great too :) We stopped by her house early Sunday morning to take her to church and she had pieces of cake waiting for us haha. She always, always gives us food. The other day she saw a picture of Joseph Smith and commented for us that he´s really good looking hahaha. She funny. But also has a super great testimony and love of God. 
Thanks for all of the e-mails and prayers! I love you all!
Sister Anderson

Sister Costa wanted to build a "mosquito net" for her bed
Watch tan line almost at the level of James (her brother who always wears a watch)
This is a cool square in Sao Cristovao with a super pretty Catholic Church! This pic doesn't do it justice