Monday, July 29, 2013

Chicken Feet?!?!

Dear Family,

This week was pretty good.  Thank you for your emails.  This email will have to be pretty short because we are in a big rush today.  Yesterday we were able to participate in the baptism of a young man named Wilson!  He is a great kid a was very well prepared.  We have been working with him and his mom for a while and yesterday was his baptism.  His mom will hopefully get baptized in the near future but first she needs to marry or seperate from her boyfriend.  To not be legally married is a pretty common thing unfortunately.  Also last night we got to try chicken feet!  It honestly didn´t taste that bad.  The lady that made them for us is a really good cook so they tasted really good.  However the experience of sticking a chicken´s foot in your mouth and sucking on it is REALLY strange.  So it was more the texture that was a kicker.  We took a lot of pictures so hopefully soon I will be able to send them haha.  This week was really great and we are going into the last week of the transfer!

Love you all!

-Elder Caleb Anderson

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hump Day

Dear Family,

Thank you once again for the emails and the support.  This week was a good week but it was a little bit slow because Elder Bracken was sick.  He talked to the doctor and the doctor diagnosed it as a stomach bacteria that he most likely got from something he ate.  Anyways he had to stay home and rest a little bit during the week but now we are back to 100 percent!  We are teaching some excellend people and are excited about their progress.  This last Thursday (July 18th) marked one year that I have been here in Brazil.  It is really weird to think about how fast the time is passing.  This week was full of hard work and yesterday we had a good set of church meetings.  Elder Bracken is doing much better.  There is a lady in the ward who said she is going to make us chicken feet this week for us to try!  Apparently it is pretty good but I have never tried it before.  Hopefully next week I´ll be able to let you know.  The closest I´ve ever gotten to trying it was one day when I was stirring around this chicken stew stuff that a member made for us.  I was stirring it around with the ladel and a chicken foot popped out of the water!  Other than that there is not much to report this week.  I hope everything is going well at home!  Thanks again for the letters and emails!
Love you all!

-Elder Caleb Anderson

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nice Try JWs

Dear Family,

This week went well.  We had our interviews with President Ferrin which went really well. We also did a division with Elder Cleveland this week which was fun.We also had a really cool experience this week that I sent to President so I will include it here at the end.  However only 3 more days until I officially have 1 year on the mission.  It´s pretty crazy to think that it has already been a year.  I am looking back on this past year and realizing that I really have learned a lot.  I think the most valuable thing that I have learned is to see the Spirit of the Lord working in our lives.  Moroni 10 describes the gifts of the Spirit and looking back on this past year I can say that I´ve seen a lot of them. Verses 8-18 say

8.And again, exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not theagifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the sameGod. And there are bdifferent ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the cSpirit of God untomen, to profit them.  

aFor behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he maybteach the word of wisdom;
 10 And to another, that he may ateach the word of bknowledge by the same Spirit;
 11 And to another, exceedingly great afaithand to another, the gifts of bhealing by the same Spirit;
 12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty amiracles;
 13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning allthings;
 14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels andministering spirits;
 15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;
 16 And again, to another, the interpretation of alanguages and ofdivers kinds of tongues.
 17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and theycome unto every man severally, according as he will.
 18 And would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that yeremember that aevery good bgift cometh of Christ.

I can confidently say that I have already seen many of these spiritual gifts.  The Lord still works miracles as long as we have the faith!  Here is one miracle that we saw this week.

The story started on Wednesday when we were walking in the street.  There were two women on the side of the street talking to each other.  On of them was inside the garage of her house and the other one was outside talking through the garage door.  We felt like we should do a contact with them.  We started talking to them only to find out that the lady outside of the garage door was a Jehovah´s Witness and the one inside of the garage door was a lady who is receiving the lessons from the Jehovah´s Witnesses!  Without talking too much about the church, because we weren´t looking to argue with them, we thanked them for their time and left.  Later that day we were back in the same neighborhood on the same street.  For some reason we felt like we should knock the door of that house.  We knocked and the lady who studies with the JWs came out.  We started talking to her about our church and she admitted to us that she didn´t think she would be able to be a JW because she didn´t agree with a lot of their doctrine.  We asked her if we could come back the next day to teach her and her kids a lesson (she has 4 kids).  She accepted to have us back.  We went back the next day and started teaching her and her kids the restoration.  At the end of the lesson I was writing a message in the Book of Mormon for her when she randomly said ´´I´m feeling something really, really good right now.  I can´t really explain it, but I´ve never felt this before.  I´ve been to a lot of church´s but I´ve never felt anything like this.´´ We explained to her that it was the Holy Ghost testifying of the truthfulness of our message.  She said ´´I believe you.  Yesterday after I talked to you guys I was kind of afraid to let you guys come back.  After all there are a lot of bad things that happen in the world these days.  So I prayed and asked God to not let you guys come back unless you were truely his servants.  Today when you guys came back I felt that I should let you in, and I guess now I know why.´´  Then out of nowhere I heard Elder Bracken (the greenie with barely 2 months in the field) invite her for baptism and she accepted!  Now we are helping her prepare for baptism.  It was an awesome lesson and one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission.  It was especially awesome to see Elder Bracken mark a baptism!!  

That´s it for this week.  Let´s hope that this next year is even better than the last one!
Love you all and hope you have a good week!

-Elder Caleb Anderson

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Agora Sim

Dear Family,

I hope you are all well.  Thank you for the prayers and fasting.  I know that they help a lot.  This week we were able to have the baptisms of Andrea and her son Nathan (10).  It was a really special baptism and the Spirit was really strong.  She is the Mom of the family that I wrote about last week and Nathan is the son.  The father, Reginaldo, also has the desire to be baptized but needs a little more preparation.  Anyways here is the story of these two people.  One day I was on a division and Elder Bracken stayed here in Vila Industrial to work with one of the Zone Leaders.  They were on the street close to one of the member's houses when a lady randomly came out of one of the houses on the street.  She indroduced herseld as a member of the church from Bahia (another part of Brazil which happens to be the same part of Brazil that this Zone Leader is from).  She was in town to visit some family, nobody in this family was a member of the church.  So she invited them to come back the next day to meet her family and eat food from Bahia.  However the next day the division was done and I was back in the area.  Elder Bracken and I went there and we met the family, the entire family is really awesome and SUPER friendly.  We started teaching this family and the lesson just wasn't going well at all.  None of our questions seemed effective and they didn't seem to really understand our message.  However at the very end of the message another member of the family walked in named Andrea.  She is about 32 or 33 and lives in the house above the house of the family we were teaching.  Anyways we met her and marked another day to come back and teach.  When we came back we met her two sons Nathan(10) and Kauan(4) and also her husband Reginaldo.  We taught the family and they were super receptive!  Andrea and the sons went to church last Sunday and liked it a lot.  However Andrea didn't know if baptism was the right thing to do.  However she accepted our invitation to pray about it and she said that when she prayed about it she felt a "really good sensation of peace and joy".  We explained to her that this was the Holy Ghost answering her question.  After that she was set on baptism and Nathan was baptized with her!  We even had a suprise visitor for the baptism, President Ferrin!  He and Sister Ferrin surprised us by showing up during sacrament meeting.  They were able to meet Nathan and Kauan and watch their baptisms.  It was an awesome experience and show how the Lord puts people in our path to teach and baptize that sometimes we don't even expect.
Other than that story there is not much to tell about this week.  This morning we played a ton of soccer with other missionaries and it was really fun.  However now I am super tired.
Love you all and hope that you have a good week!

-Elder Caleb Anderson  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Dear Family,

This week was pretty good.  Everyone here was really excited because for the last couple of weeks the Brazil national team has been playing in a tournament called the Confederation Cup.  It is an eight team tournament and last night Brazil won in the championship against Spain.  Everyone was pretty excited.  We were blessed this week with some great people to teach.  I think the highlight right now is a family that we are teaching of 4 people.  The mom´s name is Andrea, the dad´s is Reginaldo and the boy´s names are Natã (10) and Kauan (4).  They are a really awesome family that we are helping to prepare for baptism.  The mom and the two boy´s went to church yesterday and really liked it.  The mom has a lot of close family that is catholic which might be tough.  Sometimes the biggest obsticals for investigators come from within their own families.  We are seeing this a lot right now.  People who have real testimonies of the church but are held back by their families.  A scripture that Elder Bracken showed me this morning I think explains it really well.  This is from Matthew 10.

34 Think not that I am come to send apeace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
 36 And a man’s afoes shall be they of his own bhousehold.
 37 He that aloveth father or mother bmore than me is not worthy of me: and he that cloveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
 38 And he that taketh not his across, and followeth after me, is notbworthy of me.
 39 aHe that findeth his life shall blose it: and he that closeth hisdlife for my sake shall find it. 
The work is moving forward here in Vila Industrial.  It seems like Elder Bracken is doing a little better this week.  We were blessed with some good people to teach.   We hope and have the faith that soon we will get some more baptisms.  
Hope you are all well!  
Elder Caleb Anderson