Wednesday, February 25, 2015

76 weeks- Surprise!

Hey there country folk! That should be your new code names or something, I can be jungle boy haha. 

I'm so glad to hear that you guys are doing good and loving it there! I'm so glad that the youth program was welcoming and that Haylee liked it! I've been praying for her every day this week =) Heavenly Father answers our prayers, without a doubt. He has been blessing Elder Battraw and I like crazy, but I'll to that later in the email. I've been praying for all of you =) I'm glad to hear that the neighbors are welcoming and that the town is better than PG county haha. I've considered moving back there one day, but on the Virginia side I think, we'll see how it all goes. 

The house looks really nice! I feel like we've reached a new level of fanciness (is that a word?) because of the fireplace. We're moving up in the world haha. The house looks really nice though =) When are grandma and grandpa Huhmann moving in? Haha

And on to my adventures! You can share this one with the new ward: We are planning on NINE BAPTISMS this week! It is going to be awesome! We have a potential of 11 or 12, but are pretty sure we can get these nine in the water =) It is going to be amazing! The week will be full of work, fasting, prayers, and tons of running! We also got our transfer call this week, so I will be staying one more in Manacapuru with Elder Battraw. We are pretty excited about it, but were also wanting a bit of a change. This is three transfers together and that doesn't happen very often during the mission, so it's weird that we'll be together one more. But, with nine baptisms, it really doesn't matter that much haha!

We also got kidnapped by a member this week. He was visiting from Manaus and his extended family lives in Manacapuru. We thought we were getting a ride to the church, but he instead took us to a surprise birthday party for his nephew. We got there and he declares to everyone, "These guys are doing exactly what Pedro (his son who is serving a mission) is doing and are going to start visiting you guys." That was it, we then made friends with all of them, ate cake and pizza, and marked days to go back and teach them all. Three of the guys who were there are going to either get baptized this week or next week, and the others will be sure to follow =) 

We also went to a wedding for two people who are in the other ward. They got married and then were baptized right after! It was awesome to see and get to be there with them. They know us really well too, and that's how we scored an invite. Brazilian weddings are pretty much just like American ones, but we didn't have any music or dancing. It was just the ceremony, baptsim, and then food =) There was food, so we didn't complain =) 

Other than that, we are just doing a mission-wide fast today because Elder Cook is going to speak to us tomorrow! It is going to be awesome! The entire mission is getting together for the first time in more than 3 or 4 years for this! We're already in Manaus and are just waiting for tomorrow morning =) It will be cool to see all of my MTC District! It will be the first time we're all together since the MTC in Provo! I don't know Elder Herrera, but Elder Battraw (my companion) says they were in the same MTC district together. I'll keep a look out for him tomorrow. 

That's really about it for our week =) I could maybe write more, but that was all of the important/exciting stuff from the week!

Love you all! Keep sending pictures!

Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week 75 -Carnaval isn't for kids :)

Hey there everybody!

Did you guys already buy shirts that say, "Don't mess with me, I'm local" haha you need to if you didn't! It was weird to see the living room empty after it having things in it for the last 10 years. I'm excited for the change though, even though I'll really just be more of a visitor =) How is everything today? Have you guys made it to the base yet? How is the weather today? Hopefully it's great and going good. By the way, you guys should have all told that guy three different places haha that made me laugh.

We had a pretty relaxing week down here. It was HOT, but that's been normal since the day I got here haha. We seem to be lacking rain, but that's normal across the whole country. It's pretty bad when the Amazon Rain Forest is out of rain...

I don't have too much to report on, but I'll share some bits and pieces of the week. Sorry, if it's not very much, but that's life these days. 

We taught a less-active member of the Church this week who is 88 years-old. That is almost unheard of among brazilians. Usually, if they made it to like 65 or 70 they lived a good life. She is going to keep going for a good number of years to come too! She was there with all of her great grandkids who are older teenagers, but was working more than they were in the bakery that they own. She gave us juice, cake, water, almost coffee haha and was really nice. We tried to leave a message with her, but every time we started to share it, she would say, "Of course you can share a message, come back whenever you'd like." haha and we didn't really get anywhere. She likes to talk a lot too, so the appointment lasted about 2 hours... We're excited to have found them though and are going to try and baptize her grandkids =) It will just be hard to get a word in!

We also had an interesting experience at lunch during the week. We were eating and just making small talk with the member. Somehow, it came up talking about how after the mission your next job is to get married. My companion says, "Elder Sanderson, is going to get married really quick after his mission." The member replies, "My daughter's almost done with school!" Hahaha it was hilarious! We just quickly changed the subject to something else and then left afterwards. So, if it doesn't work out with Sarah, looks like I've got options down here. 

Thursday, we had a crazy lucky day! We were leaving a lesson and then a member pulls up in his car and asks, "Elders, where are you going?" We told him we were headed to the chapel to do some contacts in the street and then he asked us if we wanted a ride. That doesn't EVER happen, so we gladly accepted (especially since it was 3 in the afternoon and 95 degrees outside). He then gave us 20 reais to get something to eat! That wasn't the end of our luck though, we also ran into a family from my comp's first area that is visiting our city. They saw us and pulled over to talk. They took our number down and then said they would call later and order a pizza for us! We had already decided to get some ice cream using the money that the member had given us, so we ended up getting pizza and chocolate shakes! It was one of the luckiest days I've had in Brazil haha. 

Carnaval started this week's just a party from 8-2 every single night until Thursday. We had to walk through it to get home yesterday, but apparently we were are the "family friendly Carnaval" because as we got to the other side, they made an announcement that all people who were less than 18 had to leave because Carnaval isn't for kids. It was crazy, there were already people who had been drinking way too much, but then they basically said that was just the tailgate party haha. Luckily, none of the serious partying starts until later at night after the missionaries are already at home. It's going to be a hard week to teach though because people will just be hung-over and partying. Hopefully, we'll have a baptism though =)

That was really about it for the week! Turned out longer than I thought it would =) Next week we get to see Elder Cook, so everyone is happy about that! It should be interesting because the first thing that President Castro told the mission in his email today was, "Dear Elders and Sisters, I am happy with the work that you all are doing in this marvelous Brazil Manaus Mission, but I'm not satisfied with the results. We need to be more productive." Haha should be a good conference =) 

Love you all! Send me a ton of pictures next week of everything!

Elder Sanderson

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 74 -pizza pizza

Hey there everyone!

Sounds like it was a week full of happiness and tears, hope you guys are doing better now though. Tell Haylee to try and imagine moving every six weeks...that's about what I'm averaging in the mission haha. It's not any easier for us, but just like us, Heavenly Father will bless you guys too! 

I hope you told everyone goodbye for me when you were at church! I'm going to miss all of them too. I will try and get better about sending emails to them =) As much as that rock idea is interesting, I think I'll stick to my journal, then I don't have to carry a rock around with me. We can only have so much weight in the suitcase and a rock is just extra weight. Speaking of which, I'm going to try and send a package to grandma chelle because I have too many t-shirts. I've gotten some shirts from the mission, Christmas presents, etc and now have like 14 t-shirts. I'll try and get it sent once I figure out how much it's going to cost me. 

We had a pretty good week this week! My birthday was awesome and it still feels weird to be 21. We ate a lot of food and one of our member families made me lasagna and cake for my birthday! They sang happy birthday to me and it was a great way to end the night. We had wanted to get a baptism that day too, but it ended up having to happen on Sunday instead. I still count it as a birthday present from Heavenly Father =) 

Our zone training in Manaus was awesome and we had a fun time with the missionaries there. The apartment where we stayed only has one bedroom and so we crammed six missionaries in there. We were as follows: two hammocks one on top of the other, two mattresses on the floor underneath the hammocks, and then two missionaries in the bunk-bed. I was in the hamock on top and was higher up than the top bed on the bunk-bed. It was crazy! We also almost froze to death because of how cold it was with the AC haha. Nobody got up to turn it down, so we just kind of froze lol. I had to put my towel over my legs and then put my arms inside of my shirt haha. 

We went to our training and it was good, then went back to Manacapuru. The rest of our week was the usual, just running around and trying to teach everyone. Here's my "trunky" moment of the week: I GO HOME IN 6 MONTHS!!! As of Wednesday! It's crazier to try and imagine that than it is to try and imagine being 21. 

I'm feeling good. I was feeling a little iffy last night, so I think we'll go to the hospital later. They'll just stick an IV in me and then I'll be better =) What made me laugh this week was when we were in Manaus. We went to a pizzaria to get some dinner and they had a large pizza for 15 reais! That is waaaay cheap, so we all decided to get one. The waiter walks up and says, "what would you like?" Elder Thomas replies, "I want a large pizza." The guy writes it down and starts to walk away, Elder Thomas goes, "wait, they want something too." The guy looked confused and then we all ordered a large pizza for ourselves. It was awesome! The guy made us move inside because the tables we were sitting at were too small to hold them haha. We ate every single bite! We've laughed about that for the rest of the week =) 

My favorite person this week was Lucas! He's my favorite because he got baptized! =D

That's about all I got folks =) The week was good, thank you all for your prayers and birthday wishes and everything!

Love you all,

Elder Sanderson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 73-happy Birthday to me!

Hello everyone!

Happy early birthday to me haha. We are excited for my birthday and even have a member family who is going to make me a cake and lasagna! Lasagna is really good here in Brazil =) 

You guys had a crazy week! I was pulling for the Seahawks...but I'm glad it wasn't like last year's super bowl... I was surprised to see Jeff Gordon will retire too, but glad I'll get to see him in his last races, hopefully he wins the cup this year! 

Haha why is it that every time I go somewhere you guys meet the President or go to the White House? I know that it was always just you and Joe, but I didn't even stand a chance in Brazil. That is a hilarious story! You don't look like the mom of a 21 year-old and I feel like I have the body of a 60 year-old. The mission will do that to you. But, I'm not sick anymore, so it's all good! The fever has been gone since last Sunday =) 

That house looks awesome! I'm excited to go see it! And I won't have to sleep on the couch when I get home! That was honestly a big concern of mine for coming home. Is it close to the base? The neighborhood looks nice too =)

I'm glad Grandpa got such a nice funeral =) I have been thinking about him a lot this week and how great of a guy he was. He did a lot in his life, if I can do half as much I think I'll be okay =)

Tell grandma that I'm praying for her and thank you for talking to Dick Cheney for me! Don't lose that note! I think that is awesome =) I'll try and send her an email, but I got a lot of emails this week.

And now on to my adventures!

 We went to the hospital again...because my companion almost broke his foot playing basketball last week on p-day. It swelled way up and was purple from bruising, so we decided it would be good to get it looked at. Everything turned out fine and he is just fine now. While we were there, a lady asked me to write my name down on a paper because she thought it was pretty. I basically gave her myautograph haha. I made sure to write the name of the Church at the bottom so that she would know where to find us and then get baptized!

I also got a package from grandma Shirley =) It had an awesome tie and a new BYU shirt! There were also new pictures of the family. I especially liked the picture she sent of grandma millie and grandpa val. I have them all up on my study desk =)

Remember Anderson? I told you all about his baptism last week. He is WAY better! We went and visited him yesterday and you could just see and feel the Light of Christ inside of him. He smiled more than we've seen him smile and was just happy. It is amazing to see how different of a person he is now that he has the gospel of Jesus Christ blessing his life =)

Mom, could you send me Sarah's address? I don't have her home address and have some letters to send her. 

Also, we found out yesterday that Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve will be visiting us at the end of February! He is going to meet with all of the bishops in Manaus and then requested a meeting with the missionaries as well =D We're excited for that!

That's about it for the week! Love you all and thank you for the birthday wishes and love!

Elder Sanderson