Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec. 30 -16 weeks

Oi minha familia! 

Big rumors going around that are coming from Brazil! One of the Elders who went down there already from my MTC district says that they are expecting 50 missionaries next transfer! Hopefully that means I am one of them! 

Christmas was great! I loved to see you guys and it was great to talk to you! I definitely thanked Heavenly Father for the blessing of technology! We had a great rest of our day and spent it with lots of laughter. At the end of the night, it was back to business and we received a call to go and give a blessing to someone who was sick. I didn't realize how many blessings I would be a part of as a missionary! We truly are the servants of the Lord and representatives of Jesus Christ. I'm also very grateful to hold such a great responsibility. The hard part is making sure I don't let Heavenly Father down haha.

We had an interesting couple of days after Christmas. One night, we helped two guys push their car down the street after it ran out of gas. After we began to talk to them, we realized that they were high and that they honestly didn't know what was going on. We then were on our way to the Stake Center and saw a guy cross the street in front of us to this park that is not a safe place to be. He kept looking and us and was dressed in all dark clothes. All of a sudden, he began walking towards us and saying, "Irmanos Irmanos" (brothers in spanish) and I thought to myself, "Here we go, probably going to get mugged." He walked up to us and just started to cry. He said, "I need help, I want to change my life." He had a beer can in his hand, but we asked him if he wanted to go to the church with us and said we could help him. He agreed and threw the beer can off to the side of the road. We went to the stake center and nobody was there so all of the doors were locked. We decided to check them anyways, just in case. Elder Cooper said that he said a prayer and basically told Heavenly Father that if He wanted us to teach this guy the door was going to have to be open. Sure enough, we found a door that had been left unlocked. We went into the foyer and sat down with our new friend. He kept saying he felt empty and that he wanted to know why we are all here. He then told us that nobody knows why we're here. My companion and I looked at each other and then at him and said, "Well actually, we know exactly why we're here." We then explained the Plan of Salvation and then gave him a blessing! It was one of the coolest things ever and the only reason it happened is because we did our part in talking to EVERYONE and weren't afraid to open our mouths. 

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our lives. That when we accept it and it's teachings, we will be blessed in ways that we never even realized we could be blessed. I know that as we all do our part in Heavenly Father's plan, that he will keep us all safe and allow us to be able to do all that is required of us. I am grateful to be a missionary, no matter what I do, who I meet, or where I am, I'm on the Lord's errand, and that's one of the greatest blessings I've ever had in my life!

Love you all,

Elder Sanderson
More pics from the baptism last week.  

This is our family pic when we skyped him Christmas Day.  
It was so great to see him and talk with him.  :) 

Dec. 23rd

Hey there family!

It's been a crazy week for us! The snowstorm did knock our power out and we were forced to just sit in our dark basement lol we should have gone out to shovel or something, but didn't even think about it! After lunch we did though and that was a lot of fun! However, shovelling snow in dress shoes is not very fun at all! 

We had our first baptism this weekend! That was my first on my mission and is was amazing!!! I will send some pictures of us and Aaron! I found out that 75% of our mission is out for less than 6 months! That is freaking nuts! Do you remember that game Lucky Ducks that we had when Sierra and I were little? I found it in someones basement the other day! It was pretty cool and Elder Cooper (my companion) remembered that game too.

Thank you for the boxes! I opened them all because I figured they would have the presents wrapped and loved the movie quotes! They made my day! Speaking of which, you should send me some quotes from Si! I've been telling Elder Cooper about them, but can't remember very many! I also got the Ward's Christmas box. Tell everyone I said THANK YOU and that I love them! I will send you a picture if you didn't see the box! I've also gotten a Christmas card from the Stake Presidency so if you see them, tell them I said thank you as well! 

Love you all! Send me your Skype info and I will talk to you on Sunday! I'll shoot a text when we are getting ready to get on, probably around 2 your time! 

Elder Sanderson

This is from ONE box that the members of our ward sent him!  It was amazing! 
That is a big peice of ice! 
His first baptism! 
He is at a skate park :)

Supposed to be on the equator but making the best of it.  :) 
These pics are from a couple of months ago 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An email and pictures

******disclaimer from Tara :) I have been giving him a hard time about his skimpy emails hence the sentence at the end.  I am so excited to Skype with him next week!!!!!****

Hey mom!

We're somewhat busy and somewhat warm haha, just depends on the day really! It's been about 35-40 lately which is practically the Caribbean for us! But then on other days, we about freeze to death I think. The last two days have been extra rough. On Saturday we had 3 ward Christmas parties and they were at 9am10am, and 6pm. They were a lot of fun (kinda) but after the first two my stomach just wasn't feeling well at all. I felt like I had to throw up but hadn't eaten very much food at all. I've been a little under the weather because of the cold, but it hadn't been anything like this! I had a really hard time walking around on Saturday and was not feeling like another party at all. But we still went and I just tried to show the members how excited we are about the work. I didn't sleep at all on Saturday night, and felt even worse on Sunday. The nausea hadn't gone away at all and that was probably the worst part! I was on the verge of throwing up for 40 hours and couldn't ever get through with it. Finally, at about 2am this morning, I made it over that hurdle and feel a lot better after throwing up for an hour! I don't say any of that to gross you out, but because Heavenly Father really did strengthen me! there is no way I was going to make it through the weekend without His help and I was praying at least 5 times an hour I bet!

I did get grandma's packages! I opened the box, but none of the envelopes or the wrapped gifts. Those will wait until Christmas. Speaking of which, Christmas is a normal day for us, so is New Years and Christmas Eve. None of the missionaries quite know why, nobody wants to have us come teach on Christmas. We're gonna do a lot of walking that day. But, on the bright side, we get to Skype for Christmas! My companion and I have had a family that already gave us the go ahead to go to their house and Skype whenever we want that day! They are from Brazil and have also fed us twice in the last 2 weeks! Brazilian food is awesome! I love it! We will probably be skyping around noon my time. I will confirm that next week though. If you haven't already wrapped my package up, please send me my white soccer cleats! I don't want the yellow or black ones because I care about them too much haha, but the white ones please! If you already wrapped the package or if they won't fit then no worries!

We also had our Christmas Devotional this week! Elder Summerhayes of the 70 came and spoke to us! He was awesome and I really enjoyed getting to listen to him! He told us that Satan has triumphed in all other dispensations, but that he will fail in this one. He said that he could say that not as an enthusiastic statement, but as a witness and a fact. It was also great to see my old companions and friends from around the mission! Everybody was giving me a hard time about how many people know me after only 8 weeks and also about my visa. I just said that the visa will get here once the weather gets warmer haha! Our President and his wife also gave us all new journals for our Christmas present! They are black leather and have the Salt Lake Temple stamped into the front with the words, "Utah Salt Lake City Mission 2014" around it! They were awesome!

I had a chance to speak portuguese today at walmart. We were getting shampoo and this lady walked up and asked for our help finding something. She said, "I'm from Brazil and don't know how to find it". My first mistake was telling her that I spoke Portuguese haha! She spoke so fast that I could barely catch more than a few words! It was crazy! Then the lady she was with started talking to me too and I thought my brain might explode lol. But it was cool to talk to them (talk is a strong word) and I was limited to a very small vocabulary so I couldn't really communicate outside of church stuff and introductions haha!

Love you all, hope this email is long enough =p

Elder Sanderson  

With his companion
Trying not to freeze.  Poor guy is supposed to be on the equator! Lol 
Some of his Christmas so far.  
So happy he has a tree!  :)
The temple

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hey family o mine!

Sooooo...Life is freaking crazy when you are a visa waiter. As i said, I've been in 3 areas, had 4 companions, and have only been out for 8 weeks haha! It's ridiculous really, but will be a story to tell my kids one day. Especially when I tell them that I served my mission in temperatures that ranges from 0-110 degrees, across rivers and mountains, and in cities and jungles! It will be quite the story and I may just write a book.

Cannon Stake is supposedly the ghetto of Utah. That's cute. I think that Utah needs to see where I come from before they try and declare something a ghetto! There are mostly Hispanics and Islanders here so I'm kinda unique haha. We get fed so much food by the Tongans! They won't let us go hungry that's for sure! We also live with some Tongans and almost every night when we come home there is food on the steps that lead to our basement! Elder Cooper is my new companion. He's another East Coaster and has been out for 20 months! It's kinda nice though because people give him a harder time about being so close to home than they do to me about being the new kid on the block. And yes, that is my address! Thanks for sending it to Sarah! 

It's also freaking cold here! We don't have a car so we walk everywhere! It's been down to 11ish the past few nights, but we try to forget that as we freeze our butts off haha. It's been an interesting week because we are "whitewashing" the area. That means that neither myself nor my companion were in this area before. So we don't know anyone and we don't know where anything is, but we just keep on truckin. The sisters who were here before us kinda threw us under the bus. They didn't update the area book very well so we have a lot of useless phonenumbers and a lot of addresses with only half an address. That makes contacting people very hard on us because we don't know anything about them or how to contact them or who even knows them! But we already have someone on date to be baptized and I am learning a lot from Elder Cooper! 

Nothing else to report on, just a lot of walking!

Love you guys,

Elder Sanderson

****Tara here :)  - he had some time today so we went back and forth for about 15-20 minutes which was awesome!  It was right when I was picking Haylee up from school so she got to say hi too.  :)  Wrapping all of his gifts tonight.  I got him lots of food and treats and I am wrapping those too!  lol  I even wrapped tic tacs! :) waiting for a few things to come that I ordered him and then I will send the boxes off.  Only 16 more days until we talk to him!!!!!!!!!  Yahoo!!*****

Monday, December 2, 2013

Another transfer...

Hey there family!
I'm still not sure of my address because i got tranferred again this kinda sucks. I am getting transferred to Cannon, no idea where that is, but that's how it goes! I loved this week in Bountiful so I'm bummed that I'm leaving here.
Everything else has been good, it's been getting cold here, but that's alright! We have a car now which is really nice! I'll still have one in Cannon too!
Last minute requests for Christmas would be warm socks and also a few CDs if possible! We can only listen to things that involve the Tabernacle Choir except on Pdays, P day we can listen to any LDS artists (Piano guys are awesome!). But if you don't send them then no worries!
Two from my district in the MTC got their visas this week! I'm extremely jealous of them! I think that's probably the first time since I've been out that I actually questioned why the Lord put me here. I think that it was mostly because one of them was the Elder who came out with me to SLC. But, I know that the Lord has a much better plan than i do! I also know that His plan involves me being exactly where I am at this exact time!
Love you guys,
Elder Sanderson

****got this email and I emailed him back really quick hoping to catch him I told home I wanted a longer email!!!! :) **** his response:

And i want to stay in an area for more than 5 weeks, but that's not happenin =p

****I told him he was a bum (for sending me a tounge out face!) and then told him that he is so amazing The Lord must need him all over the place!  :) 
also checked the city Cannon, Utah since I had never heard of it and nothing came up so I googled cannon stake and that's where he is going it is in Salt Lake City.  I emailed him that back and he said:   ****

I am going to SLC. I thought cannon was a city, but it's a stake just like you said. I'm going to the "ghetto" of Utah lol I can't wait to see what that's like! 

***I emailed him again and said it should be just like home :) that's all for this week!  Hopefully we will have an address next week!****

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Indeed

I have been tinning about HD all day today.  Missing him extra.  This afternoon I got this text :)
"We just had dinner with your wonderful son and his  companion. You would very proud of how he serves. Happy Thanksgiving!"

I am so proud to be his mom!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Save for D

Please put these names somewhere I can find when I get home!

Stansbury, UT

Kyp Porter 
Chad Jarvis (Picket Lane Bishop)
Brock Griffith (WML)
Clint Knudsen (Ponderosa Bishop)
Kathy Webber
Jen Klenk
Jason Dent (Ponderosa WML)
Andy Oblad

Love you!

Monday transfer

*****Tara here: I was extra happy to get this email today because I got a text last night-from a memember of his ward that told me he was being transferred quickly and unexpectedly so he may not have time to email today and he didn't want me to worry :) so glad he emailed!! ****

Oi! Como vie minha familia?

So, I've been transferred to Bountiful! I found out yesterday and then left this morning haha! From the 2 hours I've been here, it seems like a pretty nice place. I was able to see the Wood family a few days ago and they said to tell you hi! They thought I was Krissy because they could remember another kid besides you and Ty lol but i said that wasn't me, but that I was your son. 

I'm really going to miss Stansbury! Those members and the people we worked with were awesome! But, a perk from going to BYU is that I can go visit them when I get home. Did you get a text from Sister Jen Klenk? They are the family that is going to get my suitcase whenever I leave to Brazil and said that they would take it to grandma because Brother Klenk works in West Valley. They are such a cool family and treated us like their own kids! I'm gonna miss them a lot, but like i said, will go see them when I get home!

Not much else going on lol just getting ready to start the day. But Bountiful seems pretty cool! There are 17 wards for me and my companion so that is going to be wild, but we will for sure be working quite a bit! We also have a car which is AWESOME! I won't get to drive, but I still get to ride around! I might actually start gaining weight for Brazil now (grandma Huhmann said that I'm "so thin" lol). 

I don't know if Bountiful will be my permanent place for the next transfer, but will be here at least for this week. I'll send you my address when I find out where I'm going next Monday. Until then, the Lord needs me here!

Tell Haylee that I'm always praying for her and that Heavenly Father is watching over her even more than usual because I'm a missionary and that's part of the blessings a family gets for having someone be on a mission! At least that's how it goes if you are an obedient missionary lol but I'm obedient so there's no worries there! 

I love you all so much and thank Heavenly Father every day for giving me the family that I have in my life! There is no one who I'd rather call family than all of you! Have a great Thanksgiving! And make sure to watch Christmas Vacation for me! 

Love you,

Elder Sanderson

Monday, November 18, 2013


Hey momma and family!

Everything is going great out here! We are loving life and have been on a spiritual high since meeting with Elder Bednar on Friday!!! The entire 3.5 hours was Q and A! We learned so much from him and from the Spirit that was in the meeting with us! He was really funny because he could relax a little more in front of us, but you could feel the authority that he has from the back row (that's where we were)! I got to speak with him in a kinda one-on-one way because he called on me to make a comment. So cool! A few minutes before hand he had almost called on me, I know that because he seriously stared into my soul and it was crazy haha, even my companions noticed! The coolest thing we heard him say though was when he bore his testimony: he said, "With the Holy Apostolic Authority which I hold, I bear record of these things..." I know with all of my heart that that is true. I can't even describe the feeling in that room because of how strongly the Spirit was there. Every person froze, I tried to make myself move and I couldn't. It was awesome! 

We're getting ready for T-day! Have at least 3 dinners lined up so far with more on the way! I haven't gotten your package yet, but will keep an eye out for it! I don't have anything specific for treats besides sunflower seeds! That's what i really miss and can't afford haha! That's fine if you send presents whenever, I have no problem with that. Awesome to hear about Joe and his last class! Haven't heard from Chris, but i saw Sarah Cheney the other day at church! It was hilarious and she said she'd get me Chris' email!

Thanks for writing Sarah, haven't heard a word from her family! Haha so you're the favorite parent in my opinion =D I have heard from most of the fam except for Grandpa Terry, but I'm gonna write him next week! I promise I'll write this week and tell you all about Elder Bednar and the miracles I've seen! 

Love you!

Elder Sanderson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Monday!

Hey family of mine!

I am doing great still! Can't even believe how fast this transfer is going! I've already been in Toole for like 4 weeks (this week)! The members are rockstars and take very good care of us! 

That is awesome that Haylee is doing such a good job at being a missionary! I would be more than happy to place a Book of Mormon for her! When I go to Brazil, I'll make sure to leave my stuff with the Klank family. They love us to death and would be more than happy to hold my stuff until grandma can go and get it! I really don't need much for Christmas haha but I will let you know! Sweaters would be cool =) but not too many obviously since we don't know when I'm leaving. Ties are always good for missionaries and so are stamps! Other than that, there really isn't much that we need!

We live in a house that the Church rents from some less actives that live next door to us! The family doesn't really interact with us, so it's just like we have our own house. We live with the Zone Leaders so there are 5 missionaries total in our house. It's really old and kind of ghetto haha but we make do with what we got! Last night was really weird. We were in the house and it was like 10:30 so we were about to go to bed. All of a sudden, there is a knock on the door and apparently some teenage(ish) girl was at the door asking if we could give her a ride to SLC because her grandma was in the hospital there. We told her that we weren't allowed to drive the cars after 10:30 and that she should ask the neighbors if they could help. It was kinda creepy so the house went into lock down after that. We locked all doors and windows and then shut all the lights off and posted ourselves next to doors and windows so that we could try and hear someone outside. We stayed up until about 11:30 and then went to bed. I slept with a baseball bat and everybody else slept with a knife or something haha. 


Elder Bednar is coming to visit us on FRIDAY!!!!! We are so freaking excited that we can hardly contain ourselves! That will be the 3rd time that i've met an apostle! I seriously can't wait!!!! =D

Thank you also for the sports news! I love it! How's the NBA season going? Tell Larry and Roxy I said hi! Been thinking about them lately! Also, where exactly is Larry from in NC? It might be near my companion Elder Jacobs.

Love you all! 

Elder Sanderson

Ps I'll get pictures sent soon i promise! 

****Then I got several emails with pictures!  Yahoo!!! I have no explanations for any of these so your guess is as good as mine :) some of these are from the MTC.

I do know this is the Salt Lake Temple
No idea which temple this is...Utah friends??? 

Salt Lake Temple from a different angle
The Provo Temple
So gross!  

Until next time friends!! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Finally an email from the field!

A little preface to this email from me-Tara -the mom :).     HD got an email Friday that the church needed one more bit of paperwork to send to the consulate. Our bishop called me -he was cc'd on the email and let me know. I emailed HD to tell him not to panic that I knew what was needed and sent the document today but he didn't read my email he read the email from the church and panicked and sent me a text!  Kind of fun to get a text from him, but so hard to have a phone number for him and not be able to communicate that way.  I responded to his text but just to let him know I had taken care of things.  Anywho his email is after he read my response to his text.

From HD:

Thank you!!! I just texted you haha (dont worry, my ZLs said it was okay). 

how are you guys!? I'm doing awesome! I love Tooele and we have 5 people on date for baptism right now! That's not a guarantee, but it's a good start! Halloween for us was pretty boring, we had Pday and then did weekly planning. I didn't email because we couldn't get a ride to the church -_- but thats how it is when you don't have a car! Our area is pretty big and just to get to the neighborhood where we are assigned we have to walk 3/4 of a mile! But it is so great to be out in the field! I'm learning more and more every single day and have even been teaching lessons in Portuguese! There is a foreign exchange student here who isn't a member and lives in Sao Paulo! It's awesome! 

My companions are really cool! One is from PA and the other from NC! So they put the East coast together! I also got your guys' package! Thank you! The jeans fit perfect and the gloves and stuff have already been used! 

Yes please to another sweater! See if you can find one for me that goes under a suit coat because that is the requirement with them! Also, if you are going to send Christmas stuff (i know it's super early) our mission president wants them sent to our mission home before thanksgiving because we will be having a mission-wide christmas devotional on Dec. 11! I know with my visa that is pretty random, but if the time comes up then you can send it (i'll let you guys decide). Please send the under armor too please! 

I am doing great! Like i said, I love it here! I have already seen so many miracles and I can feel the strength that heavenly father gives me every day! The Spirit runs through us like I've never seen before and it is amazing! I know that this is where I need to be and that I have been sent here to learn and to grow in preparation for Brazil! 

Love you all!

Elder Sanderson

PS I will write this week with some of those miracles!

Monday, October 28, 2013

New email day....

Hey! Didn't have time to read the email, but i will thursday!

Here's a quick run down:

Pday is monday, but we're emailing this thursday because Halloween is our Pday this week (but it will be on Mondays from now on)

I'm doing great! Loving the mission and my comps are awesome! I'm in Toole right now and am here for the foreseeable future! 

Love you!

Elder Sanderson

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Heavenly Father sent me a text message

*******This whole post is from me -Tara- none of it was from HD but it is relevant to his mission.  Read to see why. *******
You probably read that title and thought "ummmm....yeah this nut has def cracked!"  While the cracked part may be  true so is the text message part!  Here is the story....
So Tuesday HD left the MTC and headed out into the big wide world of the mission field he was temporarily reassigned to the crazy town of Salt Lake City, Utah.  Not kidding. When I saw his email last week stating he had been called to SLC I just couldn't quite believe it...our whole family lives there.  HD was born there....he just spent a year of his life just south of there in Provo.  How is that where he is supposed to be? These along with other things were amoung the thoughts I had.  Then I realized that Heavenly Father knows all of that stuff. He knows who lives there, where HD was born and where he went to college.  I also read a great talk by elder Ronald A Rasband about how missionaries are assigned.  So I felt better.  Mostly. Peaceful. Mostly. I was still trying to get used to the idea but I know that he was supposed to be there. Tuesday came and I expected to hear from his mission president (each mission has a president they are always married and they watch over the missionaries in that mission sort of like a mom and dad for the missionaries) most people get a picture and an email from the mission president once the missionaries arrive.  I was 100% fully expecting to hear something. So Tuesday I waited.....nada....Wednesday I waited.... I checked my email every five minutes all day and NADA!  I was so anxious to hear something.  I wasn't really worried that he made it or that HD was ok I know he is under the protection of The Lord but still why wouldn't the mission pres. Email me? All of last evening I went downhill I was so sad, just missing my kiddo and feeling really disconnected.  I cried and went I bed early.  I woke up at 2:30 feeling really sick I ended up getting up and coming downstairs to search for something that would help me NOT toss my cookies and I checked my phone to see what time it was.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a text that read....
"Hi! This is ......[not posting her name for privacy reasons] We had the privilege of feeding your son and his 2 other companions tonight. Elder Jacobs and Elder Shoaf. Your Elder arrived here [......,Utah] just today (maybe it was last night) while waiting for his visa, but I am sure you probably know that already. If not, now you do. ;) He was a joy to have in our home! So excited and willing to serve and some great stories. ♥ He was ecstatic  that I asked for your information to send photos and info. He wanted me to let you know this was his first meal with a family out in the field and he is doing well. ♡ I asked if it was too late to send this text, but he said with excitement, "You can send it tonight! " I sent them home with lots of leftovers and some other extra stuff. The Elders are helping me with my sharing time in primary this Sunday. I am going to try to snap some more pics then. ;) I will text and/or email them to you. Let me know if you don't get 2 pics on this text and/or pics in your email Sunday. So that you can watch for my email it's And PLEASE, please don't hesitate to ask me if you need me to get and/or do anything for him. (Or your family) It would be my pleasure. :) Thanks for sharing such a wonderful young man! ♡ My family and I appreciate it."
This is not typical! Members rarely contact the missionary's family. So there you have it. Message. From. Heaven. That sweet lady was an answer to my prayers.  Such a profound moment where I was reminded once again that my Heavenly Father is aware of me.  That He LOVES me.  I actually told Joe when he called to say hi "Heavenly Father LOVES ME!" He said he was happy about that lol -friends just want you to know that I know for sure that Heavenly Father loves us and cares about us.  He is always aware when we are hurting and while the comfort doesn't always come immediately never doubt for a second that He is there!  Amazing my friends. Simply amazing.  Here are the two pics she sent 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Letter and temporary reassignment

Hey mom,

Got your email about matt's dad, sorry to hear that and they are definitely
in my prayers!

I got my reassignment yesterday!!!! I will be serving in the Utah Salt Lake
City mission! So excited!!! I leave the MTC on Tuesday, but probably won't
get to call home because we are taking the train and won't have to be at
the airport. I haven't heard much about my mission, but I've heard rumors
that we get to spend A LOT of time at Temple Square! That would be so
freaking cool!!!! There is one other Elder in my district going with me.
The rest are like this: 5 to CA, 1 to FL, AZ, PA, VA, and ID! We cannot
wait and everyone is so excited!

We also got to talk to a teacher at the MTC who just got back from Manaus 6
months ago! This mission is going to be hard lol Here's some of what he
told us:
Manaus is the hottest mission in the world. President Klein LOVES the rules
and will push you harder than you've ever been pushed in your life. Your shoes will melt (not sure if i believe that part) and you spend most of your time in Manaus. You also go to the temple a lot! President Klein loves for us to go to the
temple as often as possible! They also said we will probably teach anywhere
from 60-80 lessons a week! Most of them with members present! You do not
knock on doors, President Klein thinks it is a waste of time, but you go
and the members will give you all the investigators you need.

Everything else is great! It was such a cool devotional on Tuesday! Elder
Oaks was here! We got to sing Praise to the Man for the choir number and it
was the same one they did in Conference when David Archuleta was there,
such a cool version! My ankle is doing great, I got cleared to play on
Monday and it hasn't hurt unless my weight comes down on it really hard.

Another cool thing from last week's Sunday film (after devotional on Sunday
we get to go to a film, usually a General Authority talk or a church video
of some kind) and Elder Pixton went to one by Elder Holland! A few things I
really liked were this:

Don't say your mission is hard, all missions are hard. One of the reasons I
think that this is hard is because the Savior's mission was hard. How could
we call ourselves His soldiers and not expect to feel some of that same

Another thing he shared was this poem:

Come to the edge, I cannot I will fall

Come to the edge, I cannot I will fall

Come to the edge, I went to the edge...

You pushed me and I flew.

Elder Holland said that missionaries need to stop hiding in the bushes when
they see another pastor or when something hard comes along. He said to go
to the edge, get pushed, and fly. Go to where missionaries find their
purpose, where prophets walk, and where the Savior resides.

I feel the Spirit so strongly when I read these notes! There is a fire
inside of me that will burn for the rest of my life because of this mission
and because of the desire I have for everyone to have what I've been
blessed with. This Church is true, the Prophet Joseph Smith was the second
greatest man to ever walk on this earth. He restored the fullness of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.
Heavenly Father loves us all and wants the best for us. I know that the
only way we can gain Salvation is through the gate that is baptism by the
proper authority and that that authority has been restored to the Earth.
The message is simple, but the most important one you will ever hear in
your life.

Eu amo voces!

Elder Sanderson

Friday, October 11, 2013

email today :)

Hey mom =)

This week has been great! Listening to General Conference with missionary ears is probably the most spiritual things I've ever done in my life! The Spirit was so strong and the whole Saturday session seemed to be aimed at missionaries! =) We all had devotional afterwards with our districts and we all agreed that Conference was AMAZING! Even just when they mention missionaries in the prayers, you can feel the Spirit running through your entire body! So cool to hear about Joe, so lame to hear about the Elders. I'm tempted to send them an email through you, but it's not my place to judge.

My ankle is doing great! I've been rehabbing for the past two days, so it's been sore, but otherwise great! I can walk just fine and have been off crutches since Sunday. Heavenly Father was just teaching me a lesson, not putting me out of commission =D Portuguese is still hard, but nothing I can't handle (I might be Elder on the outside, but still HD on the inside). We get better and better every day. We have memorized all of this in Portuguese: Our Purpose, The First Vision, Moroni 10:5, James 1:5, and the Baptismal Prayer. Our teachers are awesome and really inspirational! 

Being Zone Leader is fun! We have 3 meetings this Sunday, and are going to get to do orientation for two new districts this Wed! Our District also got to be Hosts this week. Basically, that means we get to escort the new missionaries to get their supplies, see their room, and take them to class once they get dropped off. I was a traffic director which was really fun! We just helped keep the chaos down and i got to wear an amazing bright orange vest lol.

Yes, I got the pants and am good to go for the yellow fever! Great to hear from you all!

Love you, tell everyone I said hi and that the Church is still true!

Elder Sanderson

Ps: I am singing in the MTC choir (have been since we got here) but this week is going to be awesome! A General Authority, pretty sure one of the 12, is coming here on Tuesday for devotional! The entire devotional will be played at every MTC in the world! So cool! And the choir gets to sing Praise to the Man! 

Love you,

Elder Sanderson

Friday, October 4, 2013

An email and some pictures

Week has been a very interesting one! We lost one of our teachers because of scheduling so now we have a new teacher and have lost the only female prescence we had at the MTC lol but our new teacher is really cool! He speaks very eloquently which makes it waaaaay easier to understand him! We have got most of the lessons down in Portuguese so when we get questions from our investigators that are outside of our lesson plan we can usually make the transition pretty easily! We were teaching Prayer, Faith, and the Holy Ghost the other day, but then he asked who Joseph Smith was so we completely abandoned our lesson and taught the Restoration instead! 
I'm so sorry to hear about Matt's dad =( i will definitely say some prayers for them! Mione sent me a really cool postcard the other day so tell her I said thank you!!! 
I'm not sick anymore, but I am on crutches. Don't freak out! I just sprained my ankle playing soccer on Wednesday, but it is already getting better! I was chasing a ball down but we aren't allowed to wear cleates and my foot slipped out from under me. I rolled over the top of it and heard it pop twice. When I couldn't stand up, I had two Elders in my District help me to the Medical Center to have it checked out. They said i probably sprained two of the 3 ligaments on the outside of my left foot. I received a blessing from my companion and roommates that night and I have 100% faith that I will recover in no time! I can already walk on it a little bit which they say is amazing!
In other news, Elder Pixton and I got assigned as Zone Leaders! That means that we are in charge of all the districts in our branch, right now that's only two, but we are hoping to get more Elders this coming week! It's prety cool and we are looking forward to it! 
I don't need anything, but it's getting cold here. If you send a box please send me a sweater! If you're not sending a box then don't worry about it! It's not that bad and we only go outside for a little bit during the day!
****Tara here :) this next paragraph is in reference to what I wrote him about Sarah's letter to me****
Of course I have this on lock down! I'm HD remember? =p I'm really glad you guys talk because her family hasn't said a word to me haha

Love you guys, tell everyone i said hi and that they are in my prayers!

Elder Sanderson
His district with his last Portuguese teacher Sister Dangerfield
Him on crutches. 
The Provo temple
His name tag with the temple
His and Sarah's name tags together.  Lol he is a goof.  Dang he loves that girl.  :) 

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Long Letter!!!

We got a letter this weekend!!!  Oh how I love hearing from my missionary boy.  Here it is:

Hey everyone!  
How is everybody?  Thank you so much for your letters and for the pictures too!  I got yours and Haylee's letters a few days ago, but we have been extra busy lately and I haven't had time to reply!  
     For the yellow fever card, yes it is separate from my immunization card, the paper will be about the size of a passport and I think it is a tri-fold.  
     The missionaries in my district told me last night that my mom must really love me because she sent all of the football scores lol!  They're just jealous I think.  
      MTC life is still just as crazy as ever, we get our 8 hours of sleep every night, but you are still really tired when you get up!  We have two new investigators instead of our old one, they are both our portuguese teachers, but have assumed about 6 different personalities based on their own investigators. We are trying really hard to teach them what they want to know as well as what they need, but its really hard with the language barrier.  My district watches training videos every now and then and they are pretty cool.  Our teachers always ask what we learned and usually the first answer is,"Teaching the Gospel in English is way easier than in Portuguese!" But we do the best we can!
      Sometimes it also seems like we aren't focusing as much on the Gospel as we are on learning the language.  That's kind of a bummer, but we just make sure to study a lot during personal study. 
      Our favorite days of the week are Sunday, Tuesday and Friday!  Sunday is pretty much your day off and , outside of your meetings, you just read the scriptures all day.  Tuesday is our service day!  We get to dress down and don't have to really do anything until 9 (when our service starts).  We cleaned bathrooms last week and sang classic rock the whole time, it was awesome!  Friday is P-day so that's always a plus!
    Every Sunday and Tuesday we have devotional.  The Sunday ones have been good, but we look forward to the films they show afterwards!  The films are usually talks General Authorities gave here at the MTC.  We have seen Elder Bednar's and Elder Holland's talks so far!  Both were fantastic and it was really cool because both of them were really casual and joked a lot with the missionaries before giving two of the best talks I have ever heard!
     Elder Bednar have a very good Cookie Monster impression when he said the Cookie Monster is the natural man "I want a cookie! I want cookie now!"  He then told us "GET OVER YOURSELF! This mission isn't about you or how good or bad you think you are doing"  He said we need to turn our hearts outwards and stop being like the Cookie Monster.  
     Elder Holland, as usual, was fantastic!  His whole family was here and 4 of his grandchildren participated in some way.  He told us not to take for granted that we are here in this last dispensation.  Especially when you look at the history of the world.  Elder Holland also chastised us for saying things like, "When I get back to normal life..." He said very passionately, "Don't you dare think this is a two-year break or that its just something you owe the Lord.  THIS IS REAL LIFE.  Nothing you ever do will be more important than your mission.  Getting married and having a family are just as important, but they are never going to be more important.  These two years are the closest most of you will come to being an Apostle.  When you wake up in the morning, you are thinking 'How can I better the world? How can I save as many souls as possible?' Everything we (missionaries) do 24/7 is work to save the world, and that is the same work that God has done since the beginning.  We are the people who have been chosen to bring in the Latter-days we are the favored people." 
     He then wen ton to say, "All other dispensations, every prophet before Joseph Smith, knew they were going to lose the fight to save the world.  They knew that no matter how hard they worked, they were going to watch the world apostasize.  The reason they never gave up is because they knew that we (the favored people) would not let them die in vain.  We were going to save the world.  You are going to hit it out of the park.  They knew that you were destined to win."
     It brought tears to my eyes when I get to that last part.  I am so grateful for this opportunity. I know my Heavenly Father loves me.  I know that He has called me as a missionary at this exact moment in time so that I can do my pat to help save the world.  And I know that I'm never going to give up.  There are many souls who need to hear what the Lord would have me teach.  
        Eu se que meu Pai Celestial ama seu filhos.  Eu se que O Livro de Mórmon é verdadiero é Jesus Cristo é meu Salvador.  O evangelho é muito importante e é verdadeiro.  Eu ama meu familia.  Em nome de Jesus Cristo, Amen. 
       I love you guys, please share this letter on my blog and with Sarah (If you have time) because writing it out again would be really hard.  Tell her said thank you for her testimony and the example she is.  
            Thank you for everything!  I love you guys so much,
                                        Elder Sanderson

***Sorry for the change in font at the end I wanted to do the letters how he wrote them in Portuguese but I could not figure out how to do it on the keyboard so I copied and pasted it from another site.  :) ***** 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Email Friday!!

I am on a train to NYC with some girlfriends and so when I emailed D this morning they each asked him a question.  Hence why he answers them by name :) 

Hey mom =)

I haven't replied to any of the Dear Elders because they are pretty much just quick updates from you guys! But I do really like getting them! I am definitely not fluent in Portuguese and it seriously feels like we are learning a lot, but that we haven't even began to learn enough (which is both true and false). Elder Pixton is a lot better than me at vocabulary, but it seems like I'm the one who can buy us time in our lessons whenever we freeze because we can't remember anything. This week has been up and down for me, but I know that Heavenly Father is going to make sure everything is just fine! I've been struggling a little bit with staying focused on Portuguese and it seems like we have so much else to worry about, but like I said, everything is still going great! I can definitely see how missionaries have troubles with their companions lol mine can be a slight pain in the neck sometimes, but I'm sure that I'm no walk in the park either! It's just the little things that you start to notice after being with someone 24/7 for two weeks. Sometimes he seems to think that only his way is right and that my ideas aren't as important because he has a really good idea. When that happens I try not to get angry with him and instead I just keep on pushing my idea (as well as working with his) and then somehow it all works out and we get it right.

My shoes are  very comfortable, but not the ones we got in the mail! I've only worn them twice because they cut into my ankle pretty bad so I'm working on a solution to that at the moment! I haven't even needed the inserts! The shoes rock and are so light! I can relate to the feeling of blah, I've been sick for over a week and a half now. They say that once we get sick in the MTC, you don't get better...oh well, it's mostly just a bunch of congestion but I'm doing a lot better than i was!

Mione: They have everything you could possibly want! It's pretty much a buffet and we can get as much as we want. We have had everything from hot dogs to sirloin steaks! Yes, they do have cookies, but only the chocolate chip ones taste very good. 

Michelle: My typical day is this:
get up at 6:30
breakfast at 7:15
personal study 7:45-8:45
Class (portuguese) from 8:45 to 12
Lunch at 12
TALL (online portuguese) from 12:45 to 1:45
class (portuguese) from 1:45-5
Dinner 5-5:45
Prep for gym until 6:20
Prep for class 7:10-7:40
Language study 7:40-9
Planning 9-9:30
Golden hour 9:30-10:30 (we write letters home, shower, etc)
Lights our at 10:30

Molly: Yes I know who you are! I've only been gone for 2 weeks =p

You honestly dont have to call Sister Wood if you don't want to mom, Sarah tells everybody to call her family on their birthdays! So don't worry about it, I think it's weird too, but it's up to you. She probably told me to email her mom which I may or may not do.

Everything else is going great! We are just waiting for laundry right now and trying not to freeze when we go outside! It snowed on the mountain yesterday so it's been pretty cold in the mornings. 

Love you mom and will write home sometime next week, by the time you're back from NY you should have a letter i sent earlier this week, it was addressed to Haylee so she could get one just from me and be the one to open it, but there is also a letter for all of you.

Love you all!

Elder Sanderson

REALLY missed him this week!!  So happy to hear from him again.