Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Week in Brazil

Óla minhas amigas!!  

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and ate lots of turkey for me! This week was a little slower... not much happened... BUT, the work goes on! 

So... Thanksgiving in Brazil doesn´t really exist. Black Friday, yes, but Thanksgiving, no. My Thanksgiving consisted of going to district meeting in Garanhuns, and thankfully there are two other Americans in my district! And so I received one "happy thanksgiving!" and one "happy turkey day!" haha. My "Thanksgiving feast" consisted of the member that said they would give us lunch, forgetting, and then taking us to a supermarket that sells sandwich type things--  a "lanche" here in Brazil. But seriously, it was all good haha. Nothing to complain about, just a little funny to me. 

Okay, I think my favorite investigator that we have right now is a woman, named Viviani. Her husband is a less active and she has two of the cutest boys! We were at her mother-in-law´s house the other day, and so we decided to talk to her and she started crying and expressing to us her desire to help her family and husband and be baptized and active in the church. She´s so cute! Her husband is wrapped up in some difficult things, but he is really wanting to change, and so it´s always really cool to teach them. After a pretty rough day that happened this week, we were headed to their house, and her 6 year old son, Alison came running to me yelling "Sister! Sister!" and gave me a big hug. It helped me to feel a lot better :) 

Other than that, things are pretty chill in Arcoverde! Something that I studied a lot this week was about prayer! And goodness I learned things I had never realized before! I am so so grateful for the opportunity we ALWAYS have to talk to Heavenly Father. It seriously saves me on the mission. I studied the talk from General Conference entitled, "The Lord Teaches us to Pray" by Elder Uceda and it has changed the way I pray! I´m going to copy and paste a part of it for you guys to read! God is truly listening the MOMENT we say "Heavenly Father" and whatever happens afterwards is truly His will for us! 

"At the very moment we say, “Father in Heaven,” He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs. And so His eyes and His ears are now connected to you. He reads our minds, and He feels our hearts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Now, the wonderful thing is that He will see you with eyes of love and mercy—love and mercy that we cannot fully understand. But love and mercy are with Him the very moment you say, “Father in Heaven.”
So a moment of prayer is a very, very sacred moment. He is not one to say, “No, I will not listen to you now because you only come to me when you are in trouble.” Only men do that. He is not one to say, “Oh, you cannot imagine how busy I am now.” Only men say that."

Love you all!

Sister Anderson 

Some silly pictures we took today haha

Monday, November 21, 2016

On the Road Again

Ola everyone!!
Like the title says, this week involved a lot of traveling... but it was still super good!
Tuesday afternoon we had to head out to Recife for Sister L. Silva´s training with President Bigelow and because of some unfortunate miscommunication we ended up getting there at 1 in the morning!! I´ll be honest, I was a little scared haha. But there ended up being a member of the church with us on the bus who knows some people here in Arcoverde and so he kept us safe and helped us get a taxi :) It was really cool too-- the assistants to the President stayed up to make sure we made it and President Bigelow was calling us the whole time to make sure we were safe. God truly protects His missionaries! We slept in the house of Boa Viagem/Pina, my old area :)
Wednesday morning we headed to one of the huge 4-story chapels here in Brazil for training for the new missionaries! It was absolutely wonderful. I really can´t express the love that I have for President and Sister Bigelow! They are such wonderful people. At the end of the training, President Bigelow was telling us about the love he has for us as his missionaries-- how it´s something eternal. It touched me a lot because I could truly feel the love he has for us. That night, we were able to do splits with Sister Lopez and her companion, Sister Hernandez in Boa Viagem, and so I was once again able to be companions with my trainer!! In one of the lessons we were able to learn that the Egyptian pharaohs were in fact obese, and not skinny like it shows in the photos... Just a fun fact haha.
We got back Thursday night after resolving some things with my visa in the airport in Recife, and the rest of the week was just full of getting caught up in our area! But goodness, I can really see God blessing our area! He is truly putting into our path people who are ready to receive the Gospel.
Sunday we had stake conference in Garanhuns! The ward rented out some vans and we all went out together! President Bigelow was there and so once again we were able to hear that inspired man speak! He talked a little bit about the campaign that the Church is doing for Christmas this year! The theme is to be a light to the world! Because really, Christ is the light OF the world. And as we serve and love like He served and loved, we will be brining His light TO the world. Everyone should check out, watch the videos and share them with your friends! I know that this can be the best Christmas yet as we truly focus on the love and light of Christ and how we are sharing that light with our friends and families!
I hope everyone has a good week and a good Thanksgiving! (if Thanksgiving is this week-- I´m not even sure haha) 

Love you all! 
Sister Anderson

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lessons Learned

Bom Diaaaa!
I hope everyone back at home is enjoying the cool November weather as we´re burning up here in Arcoverde! Haha
But this week was definitely a good one-- lots of lessons learned for Sister L. Silva and I.
The week started out a little rough... All of our lessons were falling through and it was a little discouraging. But, I learned a big lesson in staying positive! Because when we stay positive and keep working, God really blesses us! And I was really able to see that as our week just got better and better as we stayed positive and did what we needed to!
So we have a super cool investigator that we were able to teach a couple times this week! Her name is Francine-- she´s a biology teacher, super smart, and loving the things we teach her! For those of you who know me well, I LOVE flowers, and Francince, she loves flowers too and decorates events with flowers as a side job. And so this Tuesday when we went to visit her and she gave me some flowers that she had used at an event on Saturday-- that made me super happy :) And then on Friday we were able to visit her and read the Book of Mormon with her. The Spirit was super strong and we were able to mark her for baptism! I´m super grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon!
District meeting was something that I really needed this week too! We learned about how we need to be bold in speaking the truth to people. Because a lot of the time it´s really difficult to let someone know the consequences of not accepting the Gospel-- we don´t want to hurt or offend someone. But it´s the TRUTH! This is the Church of Jesus Christ! The only true church on the face of the earth with a living prophet and the fulness of the Gospel! And as we speak this truth, we really aren´t alone, because we have the Spirit that´s going to testify to the heart of the person that it really is true. After realizing that, it really changed our week. The following days, we were able to mark a ton of people for baptism and see God blessing us for doing our part in declaring the truth.
Does everyone remember about the cemetary activity we had last Wednesday? Well this Saturday, we were able to teach one of the people that other sisters here in Arcoverde met at the activity! First off, it was honestly a MIRACLE that we found their house. A lot of asking people if they knew them, and then finally finding someone who knew them and took us there. They´re a super young couple called Joeliton and Dayene. The lesson with them was super spiritual and then they went to church with us yesterday! Usually that never happens where people go to church after only teaching them one time. Definitely was a huge blessing.
So at the beginning of the week I was SUPER tired. More tired than I have been in all of my mission. And I remember before going to bed, in my prayers, just telling Heavenly Father how tired I was. And honestly that night it felt like I slept FOREVER. It was something little, but helped me to really feel God´s love for me and to know that He is listening to my prayers. I´m grateful for the miracles I am seeing in my life big and small! I know that Heavenly Father is real and loves us more than we can imagine!
Love you all! 
Sister Anderson

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Week that Lasted a Lifetime


I hope the title of the email doesn´t give the impression that I´ve had a bad week! It was great. But my goodness, it was long. I´m definitely the most tired I have been in all my mission, but still extremely happy!
On Monday, after p-day I was able to work in my old area with the Sisters of Pina!! SUCH a huge blessing! I was able to visit Fernando and Camila and Milena and Ernesto! It was SO very wonderful to see them again. It´s really a happiness that you can´t describe.
Tuesday was a day just full of emotions! In the morning we went to President´s house to have a training on being trainers and eat WAFFLES. And monkey bread. It was glorious :´) And then afterwards as President went to the airport to pick up the new missionaries, we got to go to the temple!! FINALLY, in my 8 months on the mission, I went to the temple. And it was wonderful. The Recife Temple is gorgeous with all of the flowers and mango trees outside. But some sad news... I forgot my camera. But no worries, I´ll be going again in December and make sure to take LOTS of pictures! After the temple we returned to President´s house to meet our new companions! I almost died I was so nervous! haha.

The sister I am training is WONDERFUL though! Her name is Sister L. Silva and from the Bahia, a state in Brazil. She´s 20 and super cute and super goofy haha. She makes me laugh. The first night we went out to work in the area, in the prayer before she left she thanked Heavenly Father that "her heart was exploding with joy" :) She also says "good day", "good afternoon" and "good night" to EVERYONE we pass on the street haha.
Wednesday was a holiday in Brazil, "Dia dos Finados" where everyone goes to the cemetery to visit family and friends that have passed away. And so we stayed in Recife to participate in an activity of the mission where we go to a cemetery to teach people about the Plan of Salvation! The spirit was super special as we testified to people that they could see their loved ones again, and I think it was a good way for Sister L. Silva to start her mission :) And then after that we got on a bus and returned to Arcoverde!
The rest of the week was filled with catching up with our investigators and lot of Family home evenings with members! On Sunday we were able to give a training for the ward on our responsibilites as members to help people stay in the Gospel, and that went really well too.
Training is definitely a new challenge, but it´s also a new blessing! It´s been amazing to see God helping me in every way-- in my ability to teach, in my ability to know what to do, in my ability to speak Portuguese-- it´s amazing and I´m super grateful. I know God qualifies us and helps us to do what He calls us to do!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! Love you all!

Sister Anderson

Visiting Milena and Ernesto
Visiting Fernando and Camila
Sister Anderson and her new companion, Sister L Silva

Trainers and new missionaries

New missionaries being assigned to their trainer