Monday, September 29, 2014

55 weeks -starting over

*****from Tara:  sent him a bunch of pictures from my sisters wedding and reminded him the importance of getting married in the temple****.  :) 

I love every single one of you =) You're all crazy and awesome at the same time! Thank you so much for all of the pictures mom =) They were exactly what I needed! These last two weeks have been really really hard. Our entire area came crashing down on our heads. I've never seen or heard of anything like it in the mission. Every single one of our 40ish investigators dropped us or we dropped them with the exception of about 4. Our district and zone leaders don't even know what to say or have any advice to give besides, "Start over." Well DUH haha I don't really have any other option than to start over haha. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster with many, many prayers said and almost a few tears to go along with them. I don't know if I've ever come so close to crying on my mission as I did when we were walking in the streets this week and last and just getting rejected. We are just going to go at it this week and try and get a few baptized conference weekend! I also had another small miracle in what our Elders Quorum President said to us the other night, he said, "Just remember that after all of our trials, the bigger the trial, the more we will grow." That helped me out a lot over the last few days =) Tender mercies from the Lord are great.

How is everybody doing? It was great to see pictures of everyone! Krissie and Ammon looked great and very happy! No worries mom, I'm getting married in the temple no matter what. The crazy part, it's probably only about a year or so away. Sarah wouldn't let me get married anywhere outside of the temple anyways haha. I'm excited to meet Ammon when I get home and just to see everyone. Haylee and Sierra look good too! I'm glad Sierra made it there safe and sound, she had told me she was a little worried about going on the Salt Lake Shuttle or something like that. 

I can't believe all of the sports history that is happening on my mission!!!! Zimmerman throws a no hitter, I'll never see Jeter play again, Gordon is first in points (with the other 11 haha), the Broncos are still on fire, and BYU is undefeated!!! The sacrifices we make for what's really important... ;p haha I'll just watch it all when I get home haha. But seriously, the list has begun of things I need to do! You didn't send me that picture of Jeter at his last at bat, or at least the article with the picture. Please send it if you get the chance =) 

I'm excited for the b-day package! I should get it in about January =D Perfect timing for Christmas and my birthday! I'm more excited for the Nats hat than anything haha. If you could throw in a baseball that would be awesome! They don't exist in Brazil. Footballs don't exist either, but I don't know if that would fit. The other day we had a service projext and took a break to sit in the shade and relax a little. It was underneath some coconut trees, so we decided to grab a few and drink coconut water and then eat what's inside. We ended up having quite the adventure and took upon us some of the native culture. We didn't have a ladder, and it was impossible to climb the tree in flip-flops, so we just had to throw stuff up into the tree: sticks, rocks, other coconuts, whatever we could find. We ended up throwing sticks like they were spears, and it was awesome! One Elder threw his so hard that it flew up into the tree and got stuck in a coconut! However, this wasn't showing us much success, so we tried a new tactic. I climbed on the district leader's back, and had a really big stick to try and knock down these coconuts. I told him not to worry if one fell because I would save him; as I said that, the "spear" fell out of the tree and missed us by about 6 inches, so we decided to stop haha. In the end, the neighbors had a ladder and we used it to grab the coconuts: mission accomplished. 

Other than that, I really don't hve much. Like I said, the week was really rough and it's hard to have a bunch of excited or interesting stories if you only were getting rejected. The only other thing I can think of is the first councilor in the Branch Presidency gave a talk on Sunday and he started like this, "Hello brothers and sisters, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Brother Ary. And for those of you who do know me, it's the same." I was busy controlling the many wild children we had with us, but found that intro to his talk to be really funny. I'm going to save it for the next time I have to give a talk. 

That's all I've got, hopefully it wasn't too boring, but if it was, thanks for reading anyways =) Mom, if you could send me Sister Brookes' email that would be great! I hope that everyone enjoys conference and that they go with open hearts and open minds. I'll probably be listening in portuguese again, but I'm much better prepared this time around! 

Love you all! 

Elder Sanderson

P.s. Check out the new Piano Guys version of Batman!!! It was awesome!

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