Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crazy Week

Dear Family,
This week was pretty hectic but it was good. The week started our
with a two day division where I was sent to work with Elder Corrêa
(one of the Zone Leaders) in Gopouva. The first day of the division
(Tuesday) I worked in a trio with Elder Corrêa and Elder de Mendonça
who is my district leader. It was a really long day but I think I
learned some valuable things. I think I learned some portuguese and
also learned some good teaching techniques. Also since Tuesday was
Elder Bangerter´s birthday, one of our good friends Marcelo (a member
of the Gopouva ward) took all three of us back to Vila Galvão and we
had a birthday party for Elder Bangerter. Marcelo had bought Elder
Bangerter a Corinthians soccer jersey and brought a cake and cheese
bread for him. It was fun and Marcelo surprised me and Elder
Cleveland with soccer jerseys too! Mine is a Corinthians one and
Elder Cleveland´s is a São Paulo one. I don´t know if I already told
you guys but a few weeks ago I officially chose Corinthians as my
soccer team, it was a hard decision but I feel more like a Brazilian
now that I have a team. Corinthians is the most popular team here in
the East part of São Paulo and frankly I wouldn´t feel very safe
walking around in a soccer jersey that was anything other than
Corinthians hahaha. So even if Corinthians isn´t the ``safest`` team
to support as far as soccer success goes, I think it´s the ``safest``
team to support as far as walking around on the street goes haha.
Anyways Marcelo got us soccer jerseys last night and then I went back
to Gopouva that night and the next day I was in a trio again with
Elder Corrêa and Elder Cleveland who are the zone leaders. On
Wednesday night I returned to Vila Galvão and Thursday morning we hadportuguese lessons. Marcelo (the member from Gopouva who gave me the
soccer jersey) is a successful english professor and gives people
english lessons for his living. However sometimes he also teaches
foreigners portuguese and so every Thursday he comes over and teaches
me, and any of the other missionaries who want to come, portuguese.
It´s really helpful and he said he really likes teaching me because I
am the first person he has ever taught who came straight from the U.S.
so he said he is learning a lot about how to teach the basics. He
also said that since he´s started giving the portuguese lessons to the
missionaries his salary has increased by 30 percent and that he won´t
let us stop taking them hahaha. I´m grateful to have him as a teacher
because it´s really helping me a lot.
We had two baptisms yesterday of two men, Carlos(22) and Denilson(19).
They are the first men that I´ve baptized and Elder Bangerter has
nine months on the mission and these were the first men that he has
baptized as well so yesterday was a big day for both of us. Both
Carlos and Denilson have girlfriends who are members of the church so
both of them randomly came to church one day. They were both really
excited to learn and they both accepted baptism on their first
lessons. Denilson was ready to be baptized about a month ago but
could never get a Sunday of work until yesterday so yesterday we
finally had the baptism. Carlos showed up to church three weeks ago
and we gave him a Book of Mormon after sacrament meeting. By the time
we had a first lesson with him on that Saturday he had already read 40
pages of the Book of Mormon, by his baptism he had already read 100
pages. At random times during the week Carlos would call us or send
us text messages with questions about verses that he read. It was
really awesome and his questions were really easy until he got into
the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi and then they got considerably harder
hahaha. However we were able to come up with answers for all of them.
Both Denilson and and Carlos commented after their baptisms that they
felt like they had more energy. It is always awesome to ask our
investigators how they feel right after baptism and to hear their
responses. They were both rock solid investigators and I really hope
that they will stay active in the chruch although I worry about
Denilson because he job requires him to work 2/3 of Sundays. However
I´ll pray for him and maybe we can work with him to try and help him
find a better job.
One spiritual story to wrap this email up. A few weeks ago we were at
a members house teaching an investigator. Another member (a 12 year
old boy with no family in the church) happened to be there at the
house. After the lesson he told us that his grandma lived close by
and that her arm was seamstress. However because she used a sowing
machine all day she had chronic pain in the arm. He asked us if we
could come give her a Priesthood blessing for her arm. We went to the house and taught the grandma and the grandpa the restauration and
afterwards gave the grandma a priesthood blessing. The Spirit was
very strong during the lesson and during the blessing and after
leaving I was sure that the grandma´s arm would be cured and that both
the grandparents would eventually be baptized. However this we still
have not been able to teach the grandparents again and it looks like
we might never be able to. However in the last fast and testimony
meeting the 12 year old boy got up and bore his testimony about how he
now knew the church was true. He said the reason that he knows the
church is true is because when the Elders were at his house they gave
his grandma a priesthood blessing and that he felt something different
while they were giving the blessing. He said he felt something
different and he knows it was the Holy Ghost, because of this he knows
the Church is true. It was then that I realized that the reason we
went to that house might not have been to bless/convert the
grandmother or the grandfather but the reason we were in that house
was to bless/convert the 12 old boy who was already a member. It was
a witness to me that God´s ways are higher than our ways and his
thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Thanks you as always for all of the encouragement through your letters
and emails!
Hope you are all well! I can´t wait for Christmas when I get to skype home!

Elder Caleb Anderson

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