Monday, August 25, 2014

50 weeks!!! On the mend

Hello everybody!

How's Haylee? Tell her that I'll keep saying extra prayers for her! I'm doing A LOT better than I was. Luckily, it wasn't Dangue and everything is good to go. I didn't get an official diagnosis because when I went to the hospital (3 times) they were out of doctors. One of them was travelling, and the other wasn't at work for some reason. They had doctors there who were specialists, but nobody who could just see me as general medical care. So, I went to the doctor, and they were out of doctors...apparently that is a problem in Brazil haha. However, I know it's not Dangue because I had the energy to get out of bed and keep on working. If you have dangue, you're in bed for two weeks. Lots of prayers that I don't get that! Now, they only thing that I have is just a stuffed nose still. 

The week was really slow and really uneventful. I was sick until about Wednesday, but then my companion got sick too, so we were stuck inside every day until Thursday. We did get out and teach a ton of lessons though! And I'm way excited to keep on working this week! I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Once a woman kisses a cowboy, she'll never again kiss a playboy" that I'm going to buy =) It was pretty awesome! My companion didn't know what a playboy was and I was trying to explain it to him with very little success, he finally said, "I'll just Google it on Monday" to which I exclaimed, "NO!" haha it was pretty funny. 

We also get to watch a little bit of the movie Cars this week before one of our lunches. I was cracking up when they were at the part where Lightning McQueen drives away before Mater hooks him up to the road paving machine. He drives away, and Mater sits there for about 5 minutes before saying, "Maybe I should have hooked him up to Miss Bessie and then taken the boot off." That part, and where he says, "Maybe this isn't the best time, but you owe me $32,000 in legal fees" haha

Also, I once again saw that candy works magic with children! One of the kids in our branch didn't want to go to his class. He is coming to church with his siblings, but hasn't been baptized yet because he is only 6. He's really small, maybe 3 feet and a few inches tall, and just didn't want to go to class. He wouldn't talk to me, so I asked him if he wanted to see the candy I brought for the game the kids play every Sunday. He nodded yes, and followed us to the Gospel Principles class where my bag was. He saw the candy and seemed to cheer up. I asked him if he wanted one and he said yes, so I gave him one. As soon as the candy was in his hand, he went sprinting to his class. I don't think I've ever seen a kid run that fast in my life haha. 

We also encounterred a great new investigator this week! We were visiting some less actives and seeing if they needed anything when she started talking to us. She is living with the less actives, and wanted to learn more about the Church. We were teaching her about the Great Apostasy and how it all worked out after Christ's death. She asked us, "Why is it that there are so many churches? I want to find the one true church and go there for the rest of my life. But how can anyone know?" We about fell out of our chairs, and I told her that I was positive we could help her with that concern. We'll see how she feels after reading the Book of Mormon, and hopefully she's going to go to church this week!

That's about all =) Everything is going great and life is good!

Love you and miss you all!

Elder Sanderson

P.s. Tell the ward how grateful I am for their prayers and all they do =) I can feel them every single day.

and thanks for the sports news!!!!

**********still no pics this week.  He said he would do his best next week!  :). **********

Monday, August 18, 2014

49 weeks -sick :(

Hey everybody =)

First off, Thank You for all of these awesome pictures and for all of the information about our ancestors! I'm really excited to hear more about it and how I'm related to all of these people! Grandpa looks great! I hope you told him he's gotta stick around for at least another year so that I can visit with him one more time =) But if he decides he won't stick around, I'll just have to wait and be happy that we have the Plan of Salvation!

You guys went to Sarah's house? How did you know where it was? What did her parents say? They are really nice people, I'm glad that Haylee liked them =) I'm glad that you guys liked them. I hope that they are used to my family just dropping in haha the same thing happened the first time that I met them. They didn't know that I was coming either. Hopefully they don't think we're crazier than we already are =p 

To answer your questions: No, I didn't get electrocuted this week. My legs are as good as new. No, I'm not quite all healed up...I finally got really sick! I was in a Priesthood meeting on Saturday night and my nose started to get stuffed up and to run a little bit. I went home afterwards and took some medicine that I have for that and thought everything would be better the next day. Yesterday (the next day), I woke up and felt horrible. My nose was stuffed up and running, and I just felt tired. However, it was my luck that it was Sunday, and Sunday is not a day of rest for the missionaries. So, we went to church and were hoping to have a baptism, but he didn't show up. By the time church was over, I was feeling worse, so we went back home and stayed there for the rest of the day (this was about 1ish that we returned home). I got home and just went to bed. We were supposed to go to our other meeting at 4, but when the time arrived to leave, I couldn't do it and we just stayed in the house. A few hours later, I had aches and pains all over my body, I felt exhausted, my nose was stuffed, and I had a headache, so I called the other Elders to come by and give me a blessing. The Zone Leaders called about 15 minutes after I fell asleep, so I had to wake up and talk to them (wasn't too happy) but they were calling to see how I am, so I'm grateful they called me. I feel a little bit better today, but I still have a fever, a few aches, and not too much energy so I'm gonna go to the hospital after lunch and see what they say. Hopefully it's not dengue because you can only have dengue two times and then you have to go home. But, I don't think it will be anything major, so no worries!

On to bigger and better things! The week was really good! We didn't teach as much as I would have liked, but this week will be better! I received three packages!!!! Amy and Davis, Grandma and Grandpa Huhmann, and Matt and Mione all sent me one! When you talk to them, make sure to say THANK YOU!!!!!! It definitely made my week! I received peanut butter, drink mixes, gum, old spice, candy, and all kinds of cool stuff! Have you sent the package you put together yet? If you haven't, could you send me a baseball too? No worries if you already sent it! I was just wondering =)

We also had the chance to meet with President Castro this week! He came to have interviews with us and see how we are all doing. He is great and is speaking my language. Before, the attitude was baptize, baptize, baptize! And now, it's still baptize baptize baptize, but also temple temple temple! Our goal is eternal families, not just cleaned of sin. I am learning a lot from him and he wants all of us to be on the same page. He's even going to send us the training he received to become a mission president. Talks from the Presiding Bishopric, 70s, and either a talk or testimony from every member of the 12! I am really excited to get my hands on that and to read all of the things they had to say about the missionaries and this great work!

I also had the experience of helping the Sisters here in my Zone. We were all leaving the church the other night and the Sisters and we had to use the same road to get back to our houses. As we were walking, a drunk and his buddy (who was also drunk) called out to us saying that we are very special people and very important people. This isn't an uncommon thing, so we just kept walking. However, the guys then decided to cross the street and try to talk to the Sisters. Elder Calcangoto and I weren't going to let that happen, so we got to the drunks before the drunks got to the Sisters. The Sisters took the hint and began walking faster to get ahead of us. Elder Calcangoto and I began walking slower to try and delay the guys. I began talking to the main drunk just as if I were making another street contact: what's your name, where are you from, my name is, I'm a missionary, etc. but he definitely didn't want to talk to me haha. He said that I'm not important and that the Sisters are more important than me, so I responded by saying that I am important because I'm a son of God and that he is too. We continued like this for a few more minutes and he wanted nothing to do with us, only the Sisters. I handed him a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and explained about faith. He just put it under his arm and kept walking. By this time, the Sisters had reached the corner and were out of sight. We arrived at the corner a minute later, and the Sisters were nowhere to be found, they had ran as soon as they were out of sight. The guy was not happy about this haha and tossed the pamphlet on the ground. His friend picked it up and then said how much he likes to visit churches. I told him that the door is always open to him and to anyone who wanted to visit. I was waiting for the other guy to try and hit me, I could tell he wanted to, but he knew better than that and so he didn't. We left and I called the District Leader of the Sisters and explained what happened. He called them and then called me. They had made it home safe and sound and now I have one more adventure in the mission haha!

That was about it for the week, tell everyone that I said hi and that I love them =)

Elder Sanderson

Monday, August 11, 2014

11 months -the rains came down and things stayed DRY!

11 MONTHS!!!! What in the world is going on with the way time works? I seriously have no idea how this is going by so fast, especially this last month, time flies when you are having fun! And preaching the Gospel too!

Hey everybody =) 

Everything is going great here in the jungle and this week was definitely one of the most adventurous of the mission! I'm talking blood (only a little), electric shock, and mission impossible! I'll explain here shortly, but firstm I'll reply to your part of the email.

Nobody else has been eaten by jaguars lately, but they also haven't found the one that ate the guy either. No worries about the vacationing, I know how it goes after being on the move so much. How was the temple? I'm jealous that you guys got to go inside it, but am really happy for Sierra and Haylee too =) I haven't been to the temple in about 5 months, the longest since I received my endowment, and will definitely going weekly when I get to BYU. We have a caravan leaving for Manaus this weekend to go and seal families and couples together for the eternities =) This coming year, there will be at least another 7 families that can go too! It's really cool to see how much planning they put into it, and how excited they are to go. Since it is way expensive to fly there, they will be travelling several days by car/bus to get there. 

Utah Mormons can just be happy to be where they are. I served with many of the greatest members I've seen in the Church, and many who were among those not as greatest. It all depends on the person, and in the words of Elder David A. Bednar, "You choose to get offended." So they can just put a sock in it. Serving outside of the US is great! But both missions inside the US and outside the US are full of their own perks and challenges, I think I know that better than most people. But I am really happy to be serving outside of the United States, and to be here in the Jungle. 

I'm glad you got to see Grandma Millie and Grandpa Val, I really miss them a lot. I need to send them a letter or something like that, could you send me their address please? Sarah has written more to them than I have haha. 

And now for my week. First off, Elder Calcanghoto and I are doing great! We are working our tails off and having a blast doing it! He's not as good as Elder Camargos, but everything is still awesome! I also received four letters this week! Two were from Sarah, one was from Constance, and one was from Jared Williams! Did you know the Flakes moved to Australia??? It was great to hear from them all and I am definitely going to keep touch with Jared and Constance now that I have their addresses! Both are doing great! Jared is serving in an area that crosses into Brazil and is learnign a little bit of Portuguese! Constance decorated her envelope with all kinds of stuff from home. She wrote things like, "DC Life!" and even a song the youth made up when we went to Kirtland SIX YEARS AGO! I couldn't stop smiling after that. I then opened one of Sarah's letters and she Dear Johned me...just kidding =p *knock on wood* but she sent me a deflated balloon that  had writing all over it. When I blew it up, it was a really long letter that she had written on the outside of the balloon. Seriously one of the coolest things ever!

Onto the adventures! We were in a lesson the other day and had our portable dvd player with us to watch the Restoration with an investigator. We were about half way through when the battery died. However, we were prapared and had the charger with us and ready. I plugged it into an outlet that was hanging from the cieling (already not the best idea) and we then found out that our charger was broken. I reached out to unplug it, and felt a jolt go through my fingers, up my arm, and into my head! I didn't shout or even jolt, but my companion could tell what had happened. The investigator then says, "Oh, be careful, the copper wire is exposed at the top" to which I replied, "Well now I know that," and we laughed for about 20 minutes about it. I tried to continue teaching, but honestly couldn't because of us laughing haha. No wories, I'm alright and it was nothing. 

I mentioned the minor bleeding, that was nothing too. We were in a service project and were cutting the grass with machetes. Not the best tool to use to cut the grass, but it's all they had. If you hit a rock, it usually chipped and hit you in the legs. There was a little bit of blood from that, then I kicked the crap out of a metal bar that I didn't see, and was bleeding from that too haha. I told the member that I hope she knows we love her enough to give sweat and blood. She said she does =)

Finally, mission impossible. We had been teaching a teenager named Ricardo this week and he had accepted the date to be baptized Sunday (yesterday). He is an all-star and was pretty much in the water. The only problem, he isn't 18, so we have to get permission from the parents. He called his dad on Saturday nightto ask if he could be baptized (we were teaching him in the home of his extended family who have members in the home) and his dad said no. We couldn't believe it, but that's how it goes sometimes. We wanted to talk to his dad, but he wouldn't come home from work until midnight and would leave again at 6am to go to his other job. We were planning to baptize Ricardo after Church (noon) on Sunday, but wouldn't have been able to get the signature from his had if we did that. We were really discouraged and didn't know what to do except talk to his dad this week and keep teaching him until his dad said yes. However, my district leader wanted to go and talk to Ricardo to see if there was anything we could do. We returned to the house where he was and found out that we could visit his dad at work. My district leader and I went to the dad's work on the other side of the city and when we got there, everything was locked up. We pounded on the front door for about 15 minutes waiting for someone to come and answer. No one came, so we had to think about what we would do. I saw a short wall off to the side of the building and realized that if I jumped it, I could walk around to the back and see if there was anyone there. My district leader said I could go, so I went. I felt like James Bond because I was in my shirt and tie, only needed the suit coat. I arrived at the back, and sure enough, there was someone there. He gave me the number to Ricardo's dad, and we gave him a call. His dad said that he could get baptized if he wanted to and he was baptized yesterday!!!! MISSION COMPLETE! And an adventure that I will remember for a long time!

We also saw another miracle this week! When we were teaching that investigator who got me electrocuted, it started to rain harder than I've seen since Manaus. Thunder, lightning, and lots of wind. We even lost power for about an hour. The storm raged for a good hour and a half, and we shortly realized: the windows are open in our house. We were freaking out because all of our things are on the floor, we have no shelves or tables yet, so it is ALL on the floor. We both said silent prayers and quickly returned home after the storm had passed. We got there and everything was perfectly dry! Nothing was even the slightest bit wet! Truly a miracle from Heavenly Father in order to help his missionaries =)

That's all I've got for the week! Hope you enjoy!

Love always, 

Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

47 weeks -Bill Gates

Hey there everybody =) 

The week was good, and we've almost survived our transfers! I am still in Cruzeiro do Sul and still the senior comp, but Elder Camargos left for another area. He's an example of what our transfers can be like here in the Brazil Manaus Mission: He left on Saturday at 7pm on the bus, got to Rio Branco at 7am on Sunday, stayed Sunday there, then caught an airplaneat 4am to Porto Velho, after that, he caught another bus for 15 hours to go to his new area. GOOD LUCK for all of us haha. I am going to miss him as my companion, but I know my new companion already and he's a pretty good guy too. Plus, he's another Brazilian! 

I'm definitely missing home with all of the pictures and fun stories from Cali! You guys are there having a blast and I'm here having a blast, still not the same though haha. The week was pretty good for us, really slow teaching-wise, but that will change this week. We have 3 or 4 young men now who are preparing to serve missions and all want to go out with us. One of them is only 11 haha, but he's determined to be at at least one of our lessons. His family is really iffy in the Church (dad is strong in the Church, mom thinks she's catholic, older brother is just a typical teenager, and his little sister isn't old enough to understand), and so he is having a hard time staying active too. However, he's all of a sudden really picked up the desire to come to church and was even playing volleyball with the missionaries and others from the community today. He bore his testimony in church yesterday too! There is a big rumor here that Bill Gates founded the Mormon church and so many other lies, but he said in front of everyone, "I may not know who Bill Gates is, but I know who Jesus Christ is" from the mouth of babes right? Why the rest of the world is so closed off to the Savior, I will never understand, but I do know that I will continue to help everyone grow closer to him. It doesn't take a genius to know who Christ is, it just takes a little faith, after that, you'll see all of the miracles that He has in store for you.

In other news, I'm definitely in the jungle! A jaguar killed a guy the other day in Rio Branco! It's 12 hours from here on the bus, but still pretty sweet! I also was talking with one of the Indians who we are going to baptize and he has a necklace of jaguar teeth! I want one of them if I can swing it. I doubt I will get one, but maybe if I'm lucky! We're also teaching a guy named Francisco, and the only thing I can think of every time I talk to him is, "Francisco, that's fun to say" and then I can't help laughing to myself haha =) Life is definitely good =) I don't have very much to write this week, because it really was just a lot of walking and a lot of teaching. Make sure to say some extra prayers for the missionaries out here and around the world. We go through some extremes when it comes to weather and things like that, and we can't do anything about it. It's going to get really, really hot here over the next few months, and we just have to suck it up. The other day, we were all kind of hit by it, and it was the first time that I could actually feel how tired I was after walking in the sun for two or three hours. Nothing to worry about, we just make sure to drink a lot of water and find people to teach (so we can stop walking in the sun and sit inside) but prayers will definitely help =)

Tell grandpa that I said hi! I miss him too and am very much looking forward to the baseball game when I get home. I don't take very much time to think about stuff like that, but it's nice to remember and to look forward to. I tried sending him an email the other week (probably more time than that), but I'm not sure if the email was right. 

I love you all! Remember how important you are to Heavenly Father, and nothing else matters!

Love always,

Elder Sanderson