The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Twenty-two years ago, President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, invited Elder Neil L. Andersen — then a General Authority Seventy — and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, to his office.
President Faust asked Elder Andersen if he was familiar first with guaraná, then maracujá and, finally, churrascaria. Elder Andersen answered that he knew nothing about any of the three words.
“Neil, you’ve lived such a very small life,” said President Faust with a smile, quickly adding “but you’re going to receive such an amazing blessing, and that blessing is that you are being assigned to Brazil. These are the most marvelous people — you will love your experience. You will love them. You will never be the same. It will shape the rest of your life.”
Fast forward to today.
President Faust passed away in 2007, but not until after Elder Andersen had served from 2001 to 2005 in the Brazil South Area presidency, the last three as area president. Elder Andersen worked hard to learn the Portuguese language and quickly learned to love guaraná (a national favorite soft drink), maracujá (passion fruit), churrascarias (Brazilian steakhouses) — and the Brazilian people.
As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from 2005 until his 2009 call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he — along with Sister Andersen — made a half-dozen return visits to Brazil to minister to Latter-day Saints, missionaries and leaders. However, there have been no such ministry assignments in the last six years, with the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting one scheduled visit.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.