Monday, July 28, 2014

46 weeks- trunky

Hey everybody!

The week was pretty good! Lots of mission drama going on in my zone right now, but we're finally moved out of our house and into the new house! That just means that Elder Camargos and I don't have to deal with it anymore! We're still doign great! Almost had 3 baptisms this weekend, but the adversary is definitely at work with our investigators. Two of the three are twin sisters, but their mom said that they weren't allowed to go to church yesterday. She signed the paper on Saturday night that said they could be baptized, but I guess her mind changed. We are going to try and work with them this week, and hopefully her mind changes this week. We also have been teaching a woman who is progressing more than almost any other investigator that I've had during my mission! She is reading the Book of Mormon, she likes it more than the Bible because it's easier for her to understand, she feels the Spirit when she is reading, and has kept all of her commitments (read, pray, etc.) and accepted the invitation to be baptized on Saturday! However, satan is working against her too because when I passed by on yesterday morning to walk to church with her and her kids, she said she wasn't going to go because it was cold. Granted, it was chilly for us (probably 75) and she gave an excuse that I've heard a million times here in Brazil (it's cold, it's raining, it might rain, it's too hot, the sun is out, etc.) but she said she will go to church this week. I just hope that she does, because we want to baptize her Sunday (can't be Saturday since she didn't go to church) and help her to meet the members. Pray especially hard for her! We're hoping to have about 5 or 6 baptisms this week, but we'll see what happens. 

In other news, transfers are this weekend too! I'm probably going to stay here, but it's all in the hands of the Lord. I'm hoping that I'll stay here with Elder Camargos, but he has a lot of time here in Cruzeiro, so he might leave. I think if he leaves, I'm going to train. I still don't want to be a trainer, but it's coming up haha. Also, I finally got sick. Mom, jinxed me. She's been asking for two or three weeks if I have been sick or if I am sick. The answer: Yes, this week. But it wasn't anything crazy, I think I just had a little bit of heat exhaustion. Elder Camargos had it too. We moved into our new house after a really stressful day, and then had a very hot day in the sun afterwards, and it just kind of hit us. We were at lunch with the other missionaries in our branch, and they asked if we had dedicated our house haha. It was bad enough to where they thought that we had a spirit in our house haha. I just felt sick to my stomach and like I didn't have any energy, so we went home and slept for about 3 hours before getting up and going back to work. Everything is good now, just gonna keep on keeping on!

Here's something funny from the week. We were in our lunch appointment the other day, and they had the tv on. We didn't have anything else to do while we were waiting to eat, so our eyes just happened to drift towards it ;p it was 50 First Dates. I don't know if you guys know what "trunky" is, but it's when a missionary misses home, he's trunky. I haven't been that trunky in a long time haha. Watching the different parts of the movie only made me think of how many jokes we've made from it. The part where Adam Sandler is singing the Beach Boys, "You know it's gonna be that much better when we can say goodnight and STAAAAAY together," I was cracking up. The part when she's singing and painting the garage and Adam Sandler asks, "Wouldn't you want to wake up to that every day?" and the brother says, "Not really, she sings like crap" haha we were all doubled over laughing. Definitely going to watch that movie when I get home =) 

Sounds like trek was awesome! I still have very fond memories of trek =) I haven't looked at the pictures you sent me yet, but will after I send this. You also got a little bit of the taste of being a missionary, especially when you were in the field trying to start a fire. We wear weird clothes every day, people look at us like we're crazy, it's hard to do, but you wouldn't every trade a minute of it. It's exactly what your Heavenly Father wants you to do, and that's all you care about =) I'm far from the perfect missionary or perfect person, but it's like Elder Holland said, "Heavenly Father has only ever worked with imperfect people here on earth besides his Son, Jesus Christ." And I'm alright with that as long as I can keep doing my part.

Really not too much else going on! The work is still amazing, my testimony is growing every day, and I am learnign how to be better every day too! I hope that everything is good for you guys =) Because it sure is for me!

Love you guys and miss you! Talk to you in August!!!!

Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

45 weeks -the candy man

Hey guys!

How is everything back home? Sometimes, boring is pretty good news! We had a very interesting week. It was a good week when you look at our goals for lessons and things like that, but we ended the week feeling like we hadn't really done anything significant. It was weird, I'm excited for this week! Should have lots of people to teach and if all goes well, four baptisms on Sunday! That's if all goes to plan haha,usually it doesn't, but we keep on keepin' on right? 

In the news for us this week: Brazil fired their head coach! I wasn't to happy about that, I really liked him and his personality as a coach. We did hear about the plane over Russia, but all we heard was that a plane went down and that was it. We were just passing by in the street though, so we didn't really have time to stop and listen. I bought a hamock this week! We have 3 places for them in our new house, so I decided it was time to get one! I also fell out of the hamock haha. It was funny in the moment, but my butt and elbow still hurt after about three days haha. 

Church was good for us yesterday! We had even more indians in the meetings! One of them wanted to get to church last week, but he had to travel 8 days to get here from his house! We're gonna stop by and see them this week and see if they would like to be baptized this coming week. We also had about 8 kids in Sacrament meeting with us. They were  there last week too, but we had a really hard time controlling them. However, this week, we came up with a plan that we put into action yesterday! What do kids love? Candy! What do we want them to do? Stay seated and silent. So we combined the two! We wrote down on pieces of paper 4 words: Amen, God, Jesus Christ, and Book of Mormon. The kids had to listen to all the words spoken over the pulpit and sung in the hymns; for every time they heard those words, they put a tally down on their paper under the word they heard. What Iearned: Kids are little lawyers! "What about father? Does that count for God? What about Lord? He said book! That counts right?" were only a few of the questions that they asked me, and then they began to read the hymn book looking for the words too! It took all that I had to keep them focused on just the 4 words, answer their questions, and mark my own paper to make sure that they weren't cheating! In the end, the kids in the entire branch were playing with us, and for every 10 marks, they won a piece of candy. Our new goal: Not to go broke buying candy for the kids. However, all in all, it was a huge success and the members were really impressed/entertained with the idea!

Thats really about it for the week. We didn't do anything crazy or excited, but that's how it is for us sometimes. We are really excited for the week ahead and have a lot planned! We gained 23 new investigators this week, so that should keep our hands full for a little while! 

Love you all! 

Elder Sanderson

Love you guys bunches! And yes, I can still remember you calling me buster brown =)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 months -bread and water

Hey there mom and fam! 

The week was definitely a let down when it came to the World Cup, but I've been saying that Germany was going to be in the final since the cup started. I did get to watch the Brazil games and it was pretty sad. I'm not Brazilian, but just to watch the fans and the players was heart-breaking. One of the perks about speaking Portuguese is that I can listen to the interviews after the game. David Luiz was interviewed and he cried his eyes out while constantly apologizing to the entire country. He said that the greatest experience of his life was to play in the World Cup in his home country. Even as he was leaving the field and they only had the camera on them, he was looking into the stands and apologizing. The second Brazil game (Saturday) was just a plain flop. They should have played waaaaay better than that, but there were also some bad calls too. 
For the Final, it all came down to your own personal views as a missionary. If you felt like you could watch it, you watched it. If you felt like you needed to be working,you worked. Elder Camargos and I did both.We went to our lunch apointment and missed the first half, but then we went to a family who is less active and watched the second half with them and sharing a message with them afterwards. The game was really good! But I was hoping that Argentina would win it all, Messi deserves it! But yes, I agree completely that the goal was beautiful!

In other news, I met President Castro this week! He and Sister Castro came to our Zone and had a big "Get to know your President" meeting with the missionaries! They are awesome! I can't wait to work more with them over the rest of my mission and it was a lot of fun to get to know them! He is a Spiritual Giant and knows the scriptures to the point of just quoting them whenever he wants. One of the coolest things that he said to us was about his final training meeting to be a mission president. He said that in the final meeting, they (and the other mission presidents) were able to have a Sacrament Meeting with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency! He told us that the coolest part of the entire thing was when they concluded with a prayer just for the missionaries in the world today. Every single member of the Twelve and the First Presidency got down on their knees and prayed for us. The Spirit really hit me when I thought about that; that even President Packer is on his knees praying for us because of how much they love us and how important they know we are. I'm one of the missionaries they pray for, and I don't think I can even begin to understand how much they love us. 
President Castro also gave us a bit of news from the First Presidency and the Twelve. He said that from now on, we are to teach all 5 lessons (Restoration, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Commandments, and Laws and Ordinances) before baptism! Before, it was just the first 4, but now, we are teaching all 5! It's not a huge change, but will make teaching different for sure because we will teach more about things like the Priesthood and Temples before their baptism. Usually, you touch on these things, but now we can teach them in our other lessons with more detail.

Other than that, really not much going on. We're perfectly safe, and have been safe all week. Our members are really getting into the work with us, and we should be going out with them to teach almost every night this week! If I was coming home for dinner, it would be fast food =p they have it here, but it's like $20 (way outside of our price-range). But I'd honestly be happy with any food from America. Or food at all, haha our money for food didn't come in today and we are all about out of money. It will get here tomorrow, but we don't have food in the house besides bread. Even our water is almost gone, and we don't have anymore propane, so we'll buy all of that tomorrow, Jesus Christ said not to worry about what you should eat, where you should sleep, or what you should wear, but sometimes I think that we come a little to close to the line haha. It will be much easier to teach now that the Cup is over! We are really looking forward to this week! 

That's about all for the week. It was completely uneventful outside of these few paragraphs. Actually, one last thing! We had quite a few less active kids and investigators at church yesterday, but the story is awesome! And short, not a very long story. We split up with members to go and walk with our investigators to church. I had a grand total of 0 with me and the brother I was with, but Elder Camargos came back with about 6 kids who all have less than 10 years and no dicipline. I walked into the church, and I saw two people that were just covered in tatoos, and another guy who we met in the street who has some form of mental problems that most people would label as crazy. So what ended up happening, was that Elder Camargos and I spent the entire 3 hours baby-sitting, trying to communicate with two indians (the man and woman with tatoos) and a crazy guy. I can honestly say that I don't think my hands have ever been that full in church! When the other missionaries asked us how church was, I simply said, "It was good. Six kids, 2 indians, and a crazy guy. Should be a good week." We laughed our heads off about that haha. 

Love you all! We'll see what adventures we run into this week!

Elder Sanderson 

Monday, July 7, 2014

43 weeks ~no more stingray stick!

Hey everybody!

I hope everybody had a great 4th of July and that they truly appreciated everything they have! I didn't do anything too special for the 4th, just walked in the hot sun and did the same old same old haha. However, I did wear my Captain America shirt in our house and hung up my American Flag from the bunk bed! The week was pretty good over all, still not as many lessons as I want in our week, but we had a baptism! We didn't see too many fireworks because everybody is worried about the game tomorrow. We lost our best forward and our best defender/team captain...we'll see what happens. I also received my package from dad and some letters from Sarah and the Volks! The mail was awesome, and I have another package that should get here this week (here to me, not just to the mission) because the Mission office called me and told me some stuff I'll have to do to receive it! This coming week, we get to meet our new Mission President! I'm really excited for that! He gets here on Wednesday and will stay until Thursday afternoon

Our baptism was the coolest thing ever! I was with one of our zone leaders for missionary splits, and we were working in our area because they want to see how I'm doing as a senior companion. We had just left a meeting and were on our way to another one, but a man called out to us from the window of his house. He began talking to us like we were old friends, but I didn't recognize him. I asked if he was a member of the Church and he said no, but that he was going to one of our chapels in Manaus! We asked why he hadn't been baptized, and he said it was because he's always travelling for work, but that he wants to be. I asked if he wanted to get baptized here in Cruzeiro do Sul, and he said, "They have the Church here?! Yes, I want to!" We asked if we could pass by after our meeting, but he wasn't availableuntil Saturday. Saturday is the day they have baptisms here, so we decided to pull off a bit of a miracle. Elder Camargos (my companion) and I went to his house Saturday morning and taught him every single lesson: The Restauration, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Commandments in about 2 hours. He already knew a lot of it, and remembered all of the other stuff we taught him! He was baptized Saturday and confirmed yesterday! It was the coolest thing! 

Not too much else going on! Just trying to keep doing what the Lord wants me to! I haven't gotten sick at all, and am still feeling really good. I only have soreness in my legs because our area is nothing but hills. These hills are serious business though, none of them are just a gradual climb, they are really steep. Tell Sierra I'm glad that her surgery went good! I'm gonna send her a birthday email too, I almost sent it last week, but we had really, really bad internet and it was frustrating just to even get on the computer. It's Sarah's birthday too this week, It should be on Saturday, so I'm sure she'd be happy to see an email for that =) She mentioned you in her letter mom, just said that she loves talking to you and that you're awesome! I didn't even have to tell her to say that =p 

I am still working on getting a new memory card, but I will send you a picture of the baptism when my companion uploads them from his camera! 

Love you all! Hope that everything is going great! 

Elder Sanderson

*****asked him a few more questions about his area:  
"Does your new city have a branch? A building? A font? Just wondering if you need a stingray stick at the new place. Lol"
His reply: 
"My city has 3 branches and a group. I split one of the branches with another companionship and we share the group. The group meets on the other side of the river, so that is always a fun trip! We jsut walk across the bridge, but it's still fun! We have a chapel that is only a year-old, and it is great! They have a font too, so I don't have to use a stingray stick haha."

I am glad there is no more stingray stick!!!!  :) **********

42 weeks :) Brazil vs Chile

Hey there family of mine!

Cruzeiro do Sul is great and I am having an awesome time here! My
companion is my favorite companion that I've had in Brazil, and is
just behind Elder Day (my last US companion) on my list of best
companions. We are constantly laughing and joking and pretty much have
the same sense of humor. The funniest part is that I'm only the third
American he's ever known and so he doesn't speak very much English,
but when he does, he sounds like Gru from Dispicable Me! Haha it's

The work here is going to be pretty interesting though. I told you how
I'm senior companion, well I found out that we are also white-washing
the area (when two new missionaries go into an area), so we know
absolutely nothing about our area. We have to find all new
investigators, get to know our new branch, and try to reactivate all
of the less actives. There are a lot of those because the missionaries
before us were just baptizing anything that moved and not helping them
to stay active. It's really sad, because these people were just kind
of abandoned. We spent most of the week trying to find them and teach
them, but a lot of the addresses are no good, so we ended up just
doing a lot of walking and very little teaching. That came back to
bite me when the Zone Leaders called last night and chewed me out for
not teaching enough. They went about that completely the wrong way,
now I'm just trying to be humble enough to accept it and move on. Way
harder than I thought it would be.

Everything else is good though! Even though they chewed me out for not
teaching enough, I'm still going to watch the USA game tomorrow =p and
I could care less what they say about that! Our week this week will be
a lot better though! We now know the members, and have started to find
new families to teach in our area. We also found a house, and I get to
go and finalize the contract tonight!

Sounds like girls camp was fun as usual! Welcome to my world of not
having an AC =p I have slept in the AC less than 10 times in the last
3 months, you just get used to it after a while. Tell Bishop Martin
that I said thank you the next time you see him! I'm glad that Haylee
had a good time, and if she does bring it up again about the girls
talking about her, that it doesn't matter. There are people here that
do that about the missionaries, but we don't even care what they think
because we know exactly who we are and are having a ton of fun!

That Brazil game was CRAZY! I'm going to email Constance Flake today
because she's serving in Chile hahaha. I won't send pictures this
week, because the internet here is extremely slow today. There might
be some days this transfer where I can only send a quick one. It
sucks, but that's life out here =/

Love you all! Talk to you soon!

Elder Sanderson