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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 10 in Arcoverde!

Bom dia todo mundo! 

This week honestly FLEW by! I´m not even sure what happened this week haha. But I still really enjoyed it! I love being able to, every monday, look back on my week and see all of the blessings I received and things I learned :) 

This week in Arcoverde was pretty exciting! The 7th was a national holiday for Brazil and then the 11th was the birthday of the city. On the 7th the city had a "March for Jesus" where and bunch of people gathered together, walked to the center of the city together, and then ended with a concert/party listening to gopel music and people preach. Brazil is a VERY religious country! And then on the 11th, almost all day, the city had a parade with marching bands, music, and people dressed up as all sorts of interesting things haha. 

One of our investigators, Lira, is progressing a ton! This Sunday was her 4th time in a row going to church and she always tells us how important church is for her and how she can´t miss it. This week we were able to teach her the Word of Wisdom with our recent convert, Djanira. Lira drinks a lot of coffee and so at first she was a little hesitant to agree to keep this commandment, but then Djanira bore her testimony about how stopping to drink coffee has blessed her. Djanira has lots of health problems but she said that recently she went to the doctors to have some tests done, and she said that all of the results from the tests were a lot better than they were when she was drinking coffee-- especially with her heart. She said that she knew her health is better because she´s keeping the Word of Wisdom :) After that, Lira was very willing to agree to keep the Word of Wisdom. 

Zelia and Jaquim are doing well too! The other day when we went to visit them, they were kneeling together and Zelia was teaching Jaquim how to pray :) They´re an older couple and so it´s really cute to see their efforts and the changes they´re making in their lives. 

I hit my 6 months mark this week! Super crazy and a lot of mixed emotions to know I´m already 1/3 of the way done with my mission! It´s already been SUCH a huge blessing in my life. When I think about all of the wonderful things I´ve experienced, my heart just wants to burst with happiness and gratitude! Yesterday in church, I was sitting there, hoping that my investigators were having good experiences and that they wouldn´t have any bad experiences with the imperfections of the people in the church. But then I had to repent a little for thinking that because I remembered that this is the Lord´s Church. It doesn´t matter if there are imperfections in the people, because He´s going to do His part to help them feel the Spirit and to know that the Church is true. We do our part, and the Lord makes up for the rest. I´ve really learned that on my mission. I, alone, am very weak and can´t do very much. But the Lord, He is going to add His power to my efforts. And with that, I know that anything is possible and that we are going to see miracles in our lives. And it applies with anything we´re doing in our lives-- As long as we´re doing our best, and doing the will of the Lord, He is here to bless us and help us along the way :)

Love you all!
Sister Anderson

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Week 9 in Arcoverde!

Boa tarde! 

It has been such a good week! I loved it! It started out great on Monday with the P-day with President and Sister Bigelow! It was so much fun to learn with them how to eat better and exercise better and make goals with them! They´re such cool people. I´m so grateful for a mission President that cares about us spiritually and physically! 

On Friday we were able to go back to Caruaru and have a conference with President and Sister Bigelow with just the Sisters in the zone! Once again, it was wonderful and I learned a ton. I´ve had some doubts and questions that I prayed would be answered in the conference and it ended up being about EXACTLY what I had prayed for. So that was pretty special for me. At one part, President Bigelow started talking to us about our pre-mortal existence, when we were able to live with God before this world. The things he taught us were SO amazing. We have such a divine nature. We studied a little bit in Doctrine and Covenants 138 with him and at the end it talks about how before we came to the Earth, we received lessons in heaven and learned about the Gospel. And so now on Earth, when we learn about the Gospel, we´re not learning new things, we just remembering things we´ve already learned :) 

As we were driving home from Caruaru, I ended up sitting next to an older gentleman. I kept feeling the Spirit prompt me to talk to him, but I was honestly scared, because I didn´t know how he would react or if he would understand my Portuguese. But I finally just said a prayer and started talking to him and I´m SO glad I did. He was such a nice person and seriously talked to me the whole way home haha. That´s the thing with Brazilians-- If you start talking to them you never know if they´re going to stop haha. His name is João and he lives in a city 30 minutes from Arcoverde. I invited him to church thinking there was no way he would go because it was far away. But guess who was in church on Sunday! João! It was super cool :) 

This Sunday was a HUGE blessing! We were able to have 9 people go to church with us!! I always forget which investigators I have talked about for you guys or not... Sorry if no one knows what people I´m talking about haha. But Samuel and Fernanda finally were able to go to church!! They have the super cute daughter that was in the hospital a couple weeks ago. Their neighbors, Zelia and Joaquim, were able to go for a second time this week and they LOVE the church! Zelia said that she´s never going to miss a Sunday haha. They both want to get baptized and so I´m really excited for that :) Our other investigator, Fatima went to church too! This Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and she bore her testimony! It was super cool though because in her testimony she said that she wants to become a part of the church! :) 

Another huge blessing this week was that Gorete returned!! The last time we had visited her, she said that she didn´t want to be baptized and that she can´t go to church more because she´s working on Sundays. But, we were able to visit her again this week and turns out she´s been reading the Book of Mormon every day! She has a really hard, lonely life but she was able to recognize the difference the Book of Mormon and the church make in her life. And so she said that when her work ends on the 29th of September, she´s NEVER going to miss church again and that she wants to be baptized! 

Honestly was a week of blessings and miracles!! I know that church is true and that this is the work of the Lord! 

Love you all!! 
Sister Anderson

Sisters Zone Conference with President and Sister Bigelow

Best Mission President!!

Huge Grasshoppers!

​Okay. So right now in Arcoverde they´re having elections and so the city is going CRAZY. And the other night one of the people running for mayor had a party on our street and it was crazy hahaha. SO loud!!!