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!****