Saturday, June 28, 2014

41 weeks transferred to Cruzerio do Sul and pictures!!!

Hey everybody!

Holy cow, this freaking world cup is the best thing in the world!!! The country is just PUMPED! We just got done watching the Brazil game, so now we are just barely getting to emails. Recent news: TRANSFERRED AGAIN! I'm not in Pimenta and Rolim anymore, now I'm out in the state of Acre and the city of Cruzeiro do Sul. I am already loving the city and the members here! I still don't really have a house, or things in my house (again), but I lived with it for 2 months, might as well do it again right? My companion is a Brazilian which is awesome, and he seems like a really cool guy! It's going to be an awesome transfer! I'm also the Senior Companion for the first time in my mission, so that will be kind of interesting. Pray extra hard for me haha, I'm going to need it! 

Honestly not too much else going on, we have just been preparing for the transfer. President Castro will get here on Friday I think, but I won't see him until sometime later this transfer when he comes down for a Zone Conference. I hope his transfer to get here is shorter than mine was haha. We left at 2pm on Sunday to go to Porto Velho, we got there at 1am by bus, waited for an hour for our ride to pick us up, went to sleep around 230ish, woke up at 5:30am and then headed to the airport. My flight wasn't until 11:45, but we weren't sure if we would have another ride to the airport, so I decided to tag-along just in case. I ended up waiting by myself in the airport for about 5 hours before the Sister missionary who came to Cruzeiro with me got there. haha it was weird to be on my own and honestly have nothing to do. I just sat around, ate breakfast, and watched a helicopter practice it'sw landing and taking off. It was even weirder to just be travelling with only a Sister missionary. I've met her a few times, so that was cool, but it still was weird because I just kept thinking about how weird it was haha. 

I'm sure Haylee and Sierra will be just fine =) ME and Sierra didn't really get a ling for a long time, but now we're just peachy! They'll be the same way, even if it's not immediate. Tell Haylee when you see her that girl's camp will be just like HD's mission in Brazil, except she'll be able to sleep in air conditioning, not have to pay for anything, roast marshmellows, and talk to literally anybody she wants and be understood =p 

I will try sending pictures from this new internet cafe, fingers crossed!

Love you all, I will send details about the area next week and the email will be longer!

Elder Sanderson 

That's a big tiger!  
A little piece of America.  
The oldest members of the church in Porto Velho.  They are saving money to go to the temple and be sealed next year.  HD said he loves them and will miss them so much.  The closest temple is in Manaus a 10 hour bus ride and then a two hour plane ride away.  Wish I could pay for their trip! 
The "super Mario" house they call it that because they thing it looks like it is from that game :)
Wild parrots! 
This would be so cool to see! 
He said a lot of people travel by horse and buggy
D in his America tie
6 American missionaires watching the game 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

40 weeks!! Gooooooooooollll!

GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! Maravilhoso e fant├ístico!!! Foi muito bonito!!! 

That's what we've been saying too! 

The World Cup is probably the greatest thing in the world. I am on cloud 9 down here! We've seen just about every game, but not because we're not working, it is because EVERYONE watches it! If they aren't watching it when you show up, they usually will have turned it on so you can watch it with them haha. We watched the opening game with Brazil and Croatia in the house of our Group Leader in Pimenta Bueno, then we went out and avoided downtown while trying to teach haha. It was a freaking party! Every time Brazil scored, fireworks, cars honking, and people shouting! We were shouting and jumping right along with them! No fireworks or alcohol though. =) 

We also made it onto Facebook this week! Not our mission, but me and Elder Housely. We were at lunch with a member, and she told us that members in Brazil were going to get as many people as possible to take a picture with the Book of Mormon and post is to their Facebook and to the Facebook Page "Eu Sou SUD" (I am LDS) and see all of the pictures from around the country in one place. The member took our picture with our Books of Mormon and posted it to the Facebook page lol. She said it got a few comments and that people thought it was pretty cool. You might be able to find us on there, just look for all of the pictures from June 11th. It might be a bit of a stretch, but you never know! 

Honestly not too much else going on, just the Cup and trying to keep things moving. We have transfers on Saturday, and I think I'll be headed out. Luckily, the mission doesn't have too much money for us to travel right now, so I think I won't be going to Manaus! Woo hoo! I'll go wherever the Lord wants me, but hopefully he doesn't want me in Manaus haha. I think I'm going to Rio Branco Zone in the state of Acre. I don't want to leave the area, but we'll see what happens.

Tell Haylee that her talk was freaking awesome and that I'm going to save it in a special folder on here. I completely spaced that it was Father's Day, it's a different day down here I think. My funny moment of the week was definitely when I was kind of frustrated with Housely because he doesn't talk very loudly. He'll say something, and all I hear is fmdkmfkmdk, it's not productive in the communication process. But as I was thinking about it, I thought, "Why can't I understand him?" And then it hit me, he mumbles. My next thought: MUMBLER! From Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory haha! It made my week! (Besides the WORLD CUP! of course) Tell Sierra too that I'm praying for her and that Brother Gunnell was exactly right, the surgery will be just fine. Heavenly Father takes care of us, especially when we need Him the most. I have a personal testimony of that as a missionary. I'm also switching to reading my scriptures in all portuguese now. I finished the Book of Mormon for the third time on my mission this week, and now I want to read it in Portuguese while studying faith =) I'm excited to get started!

Love you all! I will try and get some pics to you all very soon!

Elder Sanderson

Monday, June 9, 2014

9 months! World Cup Time!

Hey there family of mine!

IT'S TIME FOR THE GREATEST EVENT IN THE WORLD!!!! The country is fired up for the cup! Our two cities have pretty much gotten a face lift with Brazil colors, flags, paint jobs, and so much more! The best part, the Cup is on the same day as Brazil's Valentine's Day! It's going to be quite the day for a good number of couples here. We will be right in front of the TV for the opening game haha. Speaking of sports, that freaking sucks that that horse didn't win the crown! I've been thinking of it all week!!!! We also have a new investigator here who likes to watch the NBA (that is pretty much nonexistent here) and he said he'd keep us updated on the Cup and the Finals haha! The members are already talking trash about the Cup to us haha. The other day, Elder Housley said something about wearing his US Soccer jersey, and one of our members said, "They have those? Does it have Mickey Mouse on it?" Haha I was cracking up!

The week was good, it seemed long, but not any longer than normal. We had missionary splits with Elder Johansen (my last comp.) and his current companion Elder Thompson. Elder Housely stayed with Johansen in Pimenta Bueno and I got put in Rolim de Moura for Saturday and Sunday. It was a pretty good few days with Elder Thompson, he has less time than me on his mission (7 months), so I was actually the senior companion for the first time in my mission. It was pretty fun! I'm really grateful to Heavenly Father because I didn't get lost or anything like that haha. It was kind of a bittersweet Saturday because we had really good lessons, but an investigator we have been teaching for 2 months said that if he doesn't receive a response to his prayers about the Church by the 11th, he's going to be baptized into another church. It was hard to hear because I know that he already has an answer. He has told us that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and is the coolest guy in the world. He did say we could still go and watch the Cup at his house though if we want. He has no problem being our friend, just wants to find the truth and hasn't realized that he's got it. I did my best to explain that he has received his answer and I think he liked it. He showed up to church for the first time in 5 weeks, so that's progress!

I haven't heard from President Klein yet, but I also haven't read my email from him yet in the missionary website, so we'll see what happens. I was talking with Elder Thompson about it a little bit and he said, "yeah, we heard about it" Haha which is awesome because he serves up in the north of the mission and we are down here in the south. He was like, "If you din't mind me asking, what did you do?" Lol it was pretty funny to talk to him about it. 

We only get mail once per transfer, and that was 3 weeks ago (more or less), I only got two letters from Sarah, a letter from the Gunnels, and a letter from Marcus Norton in the ward. No packages, should get them this month or the first week of next month probably. We basically get mail once every 6 weeks if you're not in Manaus, so that's why I'm still waiting on them. I will let you all know as soon as I get them though! When you get my package sent, send me a USB too! Doesn't have to be very much gig, just want to have a back up just in case. =)

Tell the Merrill kids that they are awesome! That made me smile more than anything has in the last few weeks! They are pretty much the smartest kids ever, but to keep my humility in check, I'll say that the first one was better haha. It's definitely going into my journal!

Here's my list of stuff to write home for the week:

Please change my profile settings on FB, people cannot see so much about me. Brazil is going to be a little dangerous over the next month or so and some people are scared there might be times that are unsafe for us. Obviously, Heavenly Father will take care of us, but I can help him out a little bit with that too.

Other than that, no pics again, I have to buy a new converter because I don't know where mine went...that kinda sucks, but oh well! This week I'm going to buy an Indianna Jones hat too! They only sell them here, so I don't know if I'll have another chance! I also ate cow stomach on stomach still turns when I think about it...It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't recomend it to anyone. But to balance that out, I also had Pineapple and mint juice! It was so freaking good! 

Anyways, that's all she wrote for this week! Only a few more days until I hit 9 months, so crazy!

Love you all,

Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

38 weeks- chastened

****Hello, Tara here :)  Just needed to put a little bit of a backstory on this week's letter.  First let me say to read carefully, HD is doing great!  (I emailed him back and forth for a minute to confirm that lol) I also asked for his permission to share the whole letter and his response was "sure, maybe someone can learn something from it"  I also want to add that I know the things he is going through are all the Lord's way of refining him and teaching him to be more Christlike.  That said this letter was not easy for this mom to read.  :)  I told HD "I get he was correcting/teaching you/using you as an example but I was feeling defensive the whole time I read that because he sure didn't do it like your mommy would have" lol  HD reacted with the humility and maturity that many adults don't posses.  Once again I am taught by his example.********** 

I'm gonna type this response in a different email because then I can look at all of the questions that you sent me!

Hey everybody! 

Alright, I'll answer the questions first:

The week was crazy as usual and looks like this one will be too! Elder Johansen (my last comapnion who is the AP) is coming back to our area this Saturday to go on missionary splits with us, that's just when another companionship and your companionship divide your area in two for the day and have 4 missionaries instead of 2 in the area. But we have two cities, so I'll be leading the area in Rolim de Moura and Housley will go to Pimenta Bueno. I'm a little nervous about that, but that's just because I know Pimenta better. The week that has already passed was good too! 

I had somewhat of a meeting with President...during the Zone Conference. He burned me like I've never been burned before. In any year of ROTC or soccer or baseball or whatever, never has it been like that. He started by burning the whole zone because we've only had 2 baptisms in 3 weeks, and then proceeded to talk about how some missionaries just can't get used to this mission because they served elsewhere. He said that the missionaries say that the missions are different, but that really they aren't and that those missionaries just need to get over it. He then went on ranting about things of the same nature and saying that we were "sleeping through the Restoration" and through our missions because we can't leave our problems behind. This lasted for about 30 minutes. Throughout the burn/rant, he would stop periodically and say something like, "Isn't that right Elder Sanderson?" or "What do you think Elder Sanderson?" or "What do you have to say, Elder Sanderson?" I was put on spot in front of my entire Zone, 15 other missionaries who I get to work around for the next year and however many months. When I tried to explain or to comment on his questions, he would let me say about two words and then cut me off before ranting again. He finished after about 45 minutes and looked at me and said, "What do you think Elder Sanderson, you can speak up. Now is the time to talk." I looked straight at him and said, "President, I still have questions, but now is not the time. I would like to talk to you afterwards." Pretty sure every eye in the group was on me, but I really didn't care. 
I had learned a lot from his speech, and was grateful to my Heavenly Father that I had been humble enough to listen. Many of my questions were resolved, not all, but many, and I felt confident that I had found my motivation to progress the Gospel here in Brazil. I did still want to talk with him, but that was just to assure him that I am not stuck in my last mission, and that I'm trying with all of my heart to find out what I can do to be the missionary that Heavenly Father wants me to be. 
We took a break for lunch sometime later and Sister Klein walked up to me. She noticed that I wasn't looking to happy and said something about President Klein. I didn't understand what she said, but I figured it was something good about him so I just said that I was good and that I was grateful for what he had said. Sister Klein then said, "I don't like it when he does that, but I do know one thing: He loves you." I already knew that, I've never thought that he didn't love me or care about me, but was grateful for her words and told her so.
A little while later, at another point in the Conference, it was my turn to bear my testimony because I've just arrived to the mission and haven''t had the chance to bear my testimony in a zone conference. As I was preparing to do so, President put his arm around me while walking up to the pulpit and said, "You can speak Elder" (it was just me and him), and the first thing to come out of my mouth was, "Thank you." I meant it too! He didn't really believe me, but I told him again and thanked him for his words. He said, "Sister Klein doesn't like when I do that" and I couldn't help but to laugh and say, "I know, she told me." 
In the end, the Conference was great. I have found my motivation to work harder. I won't do everything that I've seen these missionaries do or say, but I know how I'm going to work now. It will still progress the work here, and I think that President will be just happy with it. He told me later after the conference that he hoped I would still entrust in him my doubts, I said that I would, but I think I'll wait until I see what President Castro is all about haha. 
I'm really going to miss President and Sister Klein! Saying goodbye to them was tough, but I'm excited for President Castro too! He will be my mission President for the longest amount of time in my mission, so I'm excited to meet him! Sister and President's testimonies and final advice were great and I took lots of notes! Afterwards, Sister Klein shook all of our hands, what we didn't see coming was the hug. That was a very awkward moment haha, but it was great to see the missionaries' reactions! 


That's crazy that a snake almost bit that lady! I have only seen dead ones since I've been here. They are usually just flat (literally) because they got run over by a car. 

Here's a random note: Go to youtube and search for this: episodio 2 - visabr (there should be a commercial for visa with a dolphin, that's all I'll say)

That is great that the new family moved in and that they are exactly what Haylee needed!!!! I'm really glad to hear that! Sounds like those two can be two peas in a pod now at all the church stuff! That's freaking awesome too that Brad Paisley was with the plane! That would have been awesome to meet him! 
The Harry Potter name is cool too =) I wish I could pronounce it, but I agree with the career choice. I think Brazil has it's own magical creatures, I've probably seen a handful of them! 

I'm really happy to hear that so many of the people are reading the blog =) The adventures never stop, but the experiences are amazing! I'm really thankful to Heavenly Father too because I have the chance to help people or at least be a means of explaining what it is that missionaries do. I'm amazed by how our lives effect others' because if I wasn't serving, there would be so many things that have happened or been said or shared. I know it's not the "All about me" show, but I'm grateful to help Heavenly Father in whatever way I can =)

Another funny thing from the conference: During lunch, we got this really good dessert afterwards. It was this weird pink stuff that tasted really, really good, but I'd never had before. I looked at the Brazilian Elder across from me and asked, "What is this?" He looked right back at me and said, "I don't know, but it's good" Haha I usually don't ask what it is that I'm eating, but that was a highlight of the day. After the conference, another Elder and I were talking about my burn, he said, "Dude, I actually wrote down in my study notebook, 'Sanderson just got BURNED' and just kept thinking, 'somebody should just go give him a hug" Thanks to Sister Klein, I got that hug =)

WE GOT CLEARANCE TO WATCH THE CUP! If it's your home country or Brazil you can watch! We just have to be smart and, "Don't do anything stupid." CAN'T WAIT!!!! 

We went on a missionary split in a different city on like Thursday, and it was a lot of fun! I almost got kissed by a girl.... I was with one of the Elders from that city and we were going to their different teaching appointments. We got to the one and it was a mom with her 20 year-old daughter. The mom shook my hand just like normal, but the girl tried to kiss me on the cheek when I shook her hand. That is part of the culture here, but only between friends, and usually just between girls. I didn't know what to do, and was kind of frozen in place. She apologized and sat down in one of the chairs nearby. I was so worried that I had offended her! I didn't now what to do, nobody has ever told me! But it turned out that everything was okay and she asked really good questions during the lesson. I told the other Elder from that area about it later and he said, "She didn't do that when I met her!" and I said, "I'm better looking than you" haha it was great! While in that city, we also painted a house (now I'm tan as a mexican-brazilian) and I ate a banana that smelled like an apple (nobody knows why they smell like that) and an apple-tomato hybrid that had the consistency of an apple, but tasted like a tomato! 

That's all folks! Elder Sanderson has just said EVERYTHING that happened this week. Don't ask for more, because there isn't!

Love you guys!

Elder Sanderson

******one more note as HD and I were emailing his mission president emailed him and apologized for being so direct.  I take that to mean he was frustrated with something as a whole but took it out more on HD as we have all done to someone at one time or another.  I am thankful for the president humbling himself and apoligizing even though it probably wasn't necessary. :)   ************