Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 72- out of the font

Hello family!

Can nobody wait a few more months before they go to the other side? I had been hoping to see grandpa Val and grandpa Allgood both, but they just decided to head on out. I'm grateful to hear that grandpa's passing was good and that Grandma Allgood was there to show him the way. He was always a fighter though, so she might of had to drag him a little bit too haha. I'm sorry to hear about Sister Hansen passing away too. I didn't know her as much as I know President Hansen, but love them both. I will try and find a way to send President Hansen an email. Tell grandma Chelle that I'm praying for her too =) 

Our week was pretty cool down here! I was sick again, with a really bad fever on Saturday night, but I think I just sweat it out. I had to get up and change my sheets in the middle of the night because of how sick I was, but I am feeling much better now =) I've also been taking medicine round the clock to help fight it. I also received a blessing from the other missionaries, so no worries! 

I also got the package that the Sandersons sent me! It was amazing! There was all kinds of good stuff, but my favorite thing would have to be the family picture. It even had the Sanderson touch because everyone was making a funny face haha. I keep it on my desk where I can see it while I'm studying =) It makes me miss home, but also reminds me that home isn't even that far away! 

We had our interviews with President Castro this week too! It was fantastic! Every time I talk to President Castro, I can just feel the Holy Ghost and know that he is guided by Him. He talked to me about my family, then asked me to tell him 4 things: 3 good things that I'm doing, and one challenge that I'm dealing with. I was the first to be interviewed, so I wasn't really prepared. I have the list at home, and have forgotten one of the three good things, but remember the rest:
1. I am praying deeper than I have before. I feel like I'm really talking to Heavenly Father and know that He is listening.
2. I am repenting in the moment. That was the advice of Elder Klebingat

And my challenge is that I'm not exercising in the mornings. I am getting up on time and everything, but I'm not exercising. He told me that I need to exercise so that I don't have problems with my knees when I get home. President explained about how muscles and cartilage work, then told me that my brain would also be able to work a lot faster. He also told me that my immune system will be strengthened and that I will have more energy. I will definitely follow his advice =) 

Lastly, here is our group of miracles from the week:

We had a very productive Saturday which included me having to pull someone out of the baptismal font by force. Yes, by force. Usually, you have to pull them IN by force, not out. (just kidding, it's always them entering by their own free will of course) But this guy was determined to get baptized that second. The only problem: there was about 4 inches of water in the font, not nearly enough to baptize him. He hadn't been interviewed for his baptism yet, and he wasn't even in baptismal clothing, but he didn't seem to understand why that matters. So, he starts to enter into the water and I grab his sleeve and say, "no, you can't get baptized right now, it will have to be tonight after we fill the font up." To which he replies, "no, there is enough water here already and I want to get baptized right now," and then proceeds to enter into the font. I grab his arm this time and once again say no. He continues into the water, so what did I do? I stepped down into the font and lifted him out of the font by his arms. It was nuts! I have never heard about anyone doing that haha. He then looked at me and said, "I don't want to get baptized anymore," and leaves the church. 

However, that wasn't the end of his adventure. We've already been teaching him for a number of weeks, but hasn't gotten baptized yet because of timing issues or problems with commandments. We went to his house yesterday afternoon because he hadn't come to church for the first time in like four weeks. When we got there, he once again informed us that he didn't want to get baptized. When we asked why, he simply replied, "because." I asked if we could simply leave a message with him and he agreed. We read Alma 7:10-16 with him and explained about the love that Jesus Christ has for him and how baptism should be his way of showing his love for Jesus Christ. We showed him a picture of Jesus Christ getting baptized and he asked us how we know that that is how the baptism works, so we turned to 3 Nephi 11:16-24ish which show Christ teaching the Nephites about baptism. He then said he wanted to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, not in the name of the Son (people have a lot of problems with that here) and so we explained that the Savior taught in John 3:5 that baptism has two parts: water and the Spirit. He gets the water part in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but the confirmation ends by saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." He asked to once again be baptized and we baptized him yesterday night!!!! It was a fight, but that's how it always goes =) 

Love you all! Remember how much the Savior loves you and that He is ALWAYS by our side, even if we don't want Him to be, He's there =)

Elder Sanderson

P.s mom, please send me an email for President Hansen if you can, I tried to find it, but couldn't. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

71 weeks! Staying in Manacapuru

Hey there family =)

The week was pretty good, but not free of the sickness. I was able to work more or less, but didn't really kick the sickness until yesterday. I just kept a fever all week that came and went, but that was about it. I am feeling better though =) 

We really didn't have an eventful week either, so I'm sorry if the email isn't too long this week. We had transfer calls last night, and I'm staying another transfer in Manacapuru! I'll be staying with the same comp, but am still excited for it. The biggest goal I have for this transfer: WORK! I just want to work, work, work this transfer. I have been feeling that we need to work more, and Elder Battraw seems to think so too.

It's still raining a lot, but it is really nice because it is getting to be almost "chilly" here. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true haha. The people are all getting sick in the city too because they are feeling the cold that comes and goes with the rain.

How is the move coming along? Who's going to the Super Bowl? Does it look like it's going to be a good game? Not too many questions, but a few I'm curious about =) When you get the chance, you should listen to Mitt Romney's talk from BYU's forum in November, it's really good! =) I'm listening to it right now. He is really funny, but it also very spiritual. 

I know this email isn't very exciting, but that is really about it for the week. I'm still doing great and loving life! We are hoping to have a baptism this week, next week, and the week after as well! =) It should be great, but we'll have to really work for it too! We also get to go to Manaus on Wednesday to go to the temple! We'll stay the night there and then have interviews with President the next day =) I'm excited to be going back to the temple, it will be refreshing and uplifting. 

Love you guys! Hope your week goes great and that you are seeing the Lord's Hand in your life!

Elder Sanderson

Monday, January 12, 2015

70 weeks -cold and rainy

********Tara here: when I emailed him I typed "hello buddy boy" and I mistyped something So it ended up saying buffoon boy lol.  Funny coincidence that I woke up in the night right around 3 not feeling well either.  Must have had some sympathy sickness for my kiddo.  :) ************

Hey everybody! I'm glad I'm not a buffoon too =p that wouldn't be very good at all.  *******

Those Cabbage Patch Kids definitely don't have to be lonely haha. I'm sure Joe just used that hat to pick up all the girls! I need to get one! 

It was pretty cold this week too! We were just trying to stay dry through it all. It rained cats and dogs this week almost EVERY DAY. It was crazy! We just tried to move fast and keep out of it. It was nice though because it got cooler and we didn't sweat very much =) Last night was crazy though. I got to not be feeling well when we were at the church for Ward Council after lunch. I just felt really tired and started to get aches and pains in my body. We went to Ward Council and then straight home. I thought I had a fever, but the thermometer said otherwise. I was just really hot before I went to sleep, but I took medicine and that helped a little. At about 2 or 3 in the morning, I woke up and was FREEZING cold. It was so weird. My body hurt any time I moved it to another part of the bed and I just was cold. I turned my fan off and shut the window, but was still cold. I was actually shivering because of how cold I was. I went to my suitcase and pulled out me jeans, socks, and a t-shirt to try and help, then went back to my bed. It was the first time in Manaus that I wanted the sun to come back out haha. I woke up and wasn't feeling too much better, but it has gotten better as the day progressed. We played basketball at the church this morning with some of the young men, but don't worry, I sat out....for the first game. It was 4 brazilians, a chilean, and an American who is a band kind of guy vs a sports kind of guy. The sorriest thing I've ever watched. It is a good thing that they didn't have a ref haha. I was just calling fouls to myself every two seconds, "Double dribble, travel, travel, foul, foul, reaching foul, double dribble, etc" haha and I couldn't let it go on any longer. They had taken about 10-15 shots a piece and it was 2 to 1. I stood up, subbed in for one of the brazilians, and then played the rest of the game. We won =) 

We went to Manaus earlier in the week too =) It was just for a Zone Training and it was fun. The travelling was kind of sucky (we left at 5am) but the bus was nice. We stayed there until about noon and then headed back to our city. It's only about a two-hour drive, and I took some cool pictures =) The worst part was having to carry a box of Books of Mormon (about 40 of them) through the streets of Manaus until we got back to the bus stop. We walked about an hour taking turns carrying the dang thing haha. I looked at Elder Battraw and asked, "Do we even need these? Why don't we just give them all out right now?" But we only had about 3 more in our house, so we had to continue on. We made it home though! 

Honestly, that's about all from the week haha. It just rained and rained and rained. We are still trying to get some baptisms this coming week, so we'll see how it works out =) We also have transfers on Sunday! I'm pretty sure I'll stay here, but I've said that before...I hope I stay here though =) I will let you all know on Monday!

Love you guys! 

Elder Sanderson

Monday, January 5, 2015

69 weeks -SEE you this year!!

Happy 2015!

I can already tell this is going to be a good year! It's like I'm going home or something =p I'm still not counting, but man is going to get here faster than I want it to...How was everyone's New Year's? I hope it was good! We had a pretty relaxing day/night that day. President didn't give us any special hours like at Christmas, so everybody just spent the day doing normal teaching and visits. We didn't really do much other than that. We did go to the public square to get something to eat (everywhere else was closed) that night which was cool because we got to see the stage set up and everybody getting ready for New Years. It was really funny when an AIDS Awareness team showed up and stood at the entrance to the square with the cops. They were handing stuff out and I thought, maybe we'll get a bracelet or something when we head out. As we passed by, the two girls who were handing the stuff out to EVERYONE who walked by them just seemed to stop and let us pass by. I thought maybe they didn't like us or something, but then looked closer at what they were handing out: condoms. Yep, that's Brazil. They were giving out about 5 to every man, woman, and teenager who walked into  the place haha. I just laughed and thought, "well, we definitely don't need those," and was grateful that those two girls could recognize that we are men of God. Gotta love it! We grabbed our food and went home around 9:30 to wait until midnight and see the fireworks from our apartment window. It was a long and boring wait, plus we were already tired, but then it reached midnight and the fireworks began. . .right behind the tree. Haha if they had been 20ft higher we would have seen them, as a result, we only saw about 1 in 5 that actually got shot high enough. The fireworks went for about 15 minutes, but these people have nothing on American fireworks. We then went to bed and that was our wild, brazilian New Year's Party.

We started off the new year in the hospital! My comp got super sick and we had to go there the morning after new years. It was just a stomach virus, but he wasn't doing so well. We're pretty sure it's because he ate "carne do sol" (Sun meat) which is meat that they leave sitting in the sun for 2 or 3 days before they cook it and sell it. Brazilians love it, but it's too fatty for me, so I got chicken. Turns out, he didn't know what carne do sol is until I told him the next day. It was pretty funny! I had a good time at the hospital though =) We were standing in line waiting to see the doctor and they had the news on TV. As I was watching the coverage from NYC and London, the receptionist tried to get my attention. I wasn't even close to paying attention, so my companion ended up saying, "Elder, she's trying to talk to you." I wondered why she would want to talk to me (since I wasn't the patient), but thought maybe she wanted me to help my comp with something about the doctor. I walked over to her and she says, "Can I take a picture of you? My daughter loves to see people with blue eyes." BLUE EYES. My eyes used to be brown, now they are a greenish, but definitely not blue. I couldn't help but smile and agreed. Now, you may think, "Wow Elder Sanderson, that wasn't really necessary was it?" But I am happy to say that I put the Book of Mormon right up next to my face so that they will always have that picture of the Book of Mormon haha. And I can't help it if I'm good looking! My companion looked at me afterwards and asked, "what was that?" I looked at him and said, "She wanted to take a picture of me because of my blue eyes," to which he replies, "But Elder, you don't have blue eyes, I have blue eyes." Haha it was great! Not a bad start to the New Year for me!

I also snapped the sole of my shoe in half! I don't know how, but it happened. I can't really describe it, but I've got the pictures of it on my camera =) I'm still good on shoes though! I have two pairs that are in perfect condition =) 

As we walked back to our house, we stopped by the Zone Leaders' house to pick up the mail. I got my package from the ward! It was great! They sent so much cool stuff! I got nilla wafers, socks, PEANUT BUTTER, oreos, chips ahoy, and so much other stuff =) Can you send me the Merrills' and the Goodes' emails? I want to send them emails to say thank you for their cards. I'm also going to send an email to you to print out for the ward. I can't even begin to explain to them how great it was =) 

That's really about it for the week. Pray for our investigator Anderson. He is 17 and really lost. We think he is a little special, but he has just been confused by how many churches he has been to in his life. He kept asking us, "You're not lying to me are you?" We assured him that it was the truth, but still pray for him. I know that the other churches are going to tell him that we're lying, and we won't be able to talk to him again until Saturday. We just want to show him where the truth really is. He can see, he just doesn't know it yet. He keeps telling us that he can see something different about us, the bishop, and the members of the ward, but he doesn't know what it is. We're going to show him how much his Heavenly Father loves him =) 

Have a great week everyone! I love you all and will SEE you this year! (Promise I won't say that in all of these emails haha)

Elder Sanderson

68 weeks -AWKWARD!

Hey everybody!

Happy New Year! Hope Christmas was great for everybody! 

The weekend was good, but we didn't do anything too exciting, so this will probably be a pretty short email =) It was great to talk to all of you guys last week! An than you again for all of the great gifts! We already broke into the starburst and jolly ranchers! There is also a bag of goldfish that already got eaten too =) And thank you for the ties, shirts, and pants! I am washing all of them today, so I will start wearing white shirts this week (all of the others are a yellowish haha). 

We honestly didn't do anything this weekend haha. We just walked in the sun, the rain, and the sun. Church was good on Sunday because we had one of our investigators there, he seemed to like it! It was the Primary Program, so who wouldn't like it? We are going to keep teaching him this week and see if he prayed about the Book of Mormon yet. We also found a new family that we are teaching. It is a dad an his five kids. They are really great and the Church is going to help their son. I don't now exactly what it is, but the son has three holes in his neck from some kind of blood disease. He is able to eat and breathe, but can't talk very much and needs to see a specialist. The Church is going to help him get the help he needs, because the hospitals only do the basics. 

I also had an awkward experience last night...we were walking home from some lessons, and a lady stopped us in the street. She ased if she could talk to us, and of course we agreed. We hadn't been talking to her for more than 5 minutes when she started to cry her eyes out and say that she had lost her son. We thought she meant her son was lost like if a child goes missing, but that's what makes this story awkward. She was saying she would never see him again and crying and crying and crying. We asked the son's name, his age, when the last time she saw him was, etc. Then I asked her if she knew where her son was staying. She looked at me and said, "the cemetery." AWKWARD. I felt so bad, so I just tried to change the subject really fast and teach her about the Plan of Salvation. We told her that she will be able to see her son one day and that she doesn't have to be sad that he's gone. She seemed to calm down, but was also a little drun, so her emotions were all over the place. We found out later that her son died a year ago, but we are going to visit her this week and teach her about how our families can be eternal =) 

Way to go with your missionary experience too! It is fun to be a missionary for a little bit =) And tell Sam Lee that I understand about wanting to hit a guy too haha. I would have felt the same way. Going to the game would be awesome! I'm definitely going to all the Provo games! I want to buy the sports pass again, so if you could loo up when that is going to be on sale, that would be great! I can't wait to go back to BYU and go to the sports games! Go Broncos! We're gonna put a beat down on the Seahawks this year! 

That's really about all I've got for this week =) Just keep praying for Joe and I know it will all work out! 

Love you guys! Have a good week and a Happy New Years!

Elder Sanderson