Love you all and hope that everything is going great!
That's about it for our week! We had a blast, but are excited to work even harder. The members are giving us lots of references and we are excited to go and see them all! Tonight we're going to contact two new families and will have a family home evening with another. It'll be a great way to start off the week!
We also visited a less active family whose 19 year-old son passed away this week. He drowned in a river that passes through our area. The bishop asked us to stop by, and so we did. I have never had to deal with a situation like that. When my friend Carmody passed away, it was almost the same, but not quite. That was with people I knew, this was with complete strangers. I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to guide me. That's exactly what happened. We went to the family and asked if we could talk to them. They received us really well and invited us in to their house. We talked about what had happened, about their son, and then asked to share a message with them. We started with a prayer and then I just tried to follow the Spirit. We taught about the Atonement and shared Alma chapter 7 with them. I like that chapter a lot because it shows that Jesus Christ suffered for ALL of our problems, not just our sins. He suffered for our trials, difficulties, sadness, pains, etc. We then shared the scripture in Matthew chapter 8 (I think it's 8), which talks about Jesus Christ's invitation to come unto him and he will make our burdens light. To finish, we talked about the blessings of the temple and the plan of salvation. The Holy Ghost was there to comfort that family, and we were blessed to offer words of comfort as well. Many tears were shed, and the family thanked us for our visit and for the love we have for them. It was an experience that I don't want to forget.
We also had interviews with President Castro. It was my second-to-last interview with him before I go home. His first question, "Elder Sanderson, are you excited to be training?" Second question, "Elder Sanderson, how do you feel now that your mission is ending?" It was a very strange question. I told him that I feel a little bit of everything: sad, happy, excited, nervous, scared, confident, etc. but that I'm not going to stop working until I go home. He told me that that is how it should be and that he knows I'll do a good job. I told him about the Dear John too, but he didn't really comment on it, which was funny. He just said he was sorry to hear that and then moved on. But that's how President is, if it's not getting in the way of your work, it doesn't really matter.
Sounds like the 4th was a nice, small town American event. I liked that sign too. Were the fireworks good? I had a fairly American 4th. I wanted to baptize, but it didn't work out, so I did some other cool stuff. I wore a tie that has about 15 bald eagles on it, watched Beyoncé sing the national anthem at Obama's inauguration (the members we ate lunch with showed it to me), we ate brownies (also at the members' house), and I showed them the fireworks from the Mall last year. I also heard a country song that someone was listening to on the bus! It was "need you now" by Little Big Town? I don't remember the band, but I remembered the lyrics. It's a trunky song, but I was happy with country music =) Finally, I ended the day drinking root beer (which an American family gave me last week) and eating sunflower seeds that I'd been waiting to eat since Christmas. Don't worry, they aren't expired. It was a pretty good day! My companion tried the root beer and said it tastes like toothpaste haha.
5. SPORTS!!!! I can't wait to watch Sportcenter again, it will be the greatest thing in the world. I want to play sports too! Just in case you guys wanted to know. How did Gordon do in the race? I hope he did good.
4. Congrats on the dream job! Now you just have to get me one! I'm going to try and teach at the MTC in December, but for now I think I'll just do something else on campus. It's hard to get into the MTC when you're not there in person, but I'm confident about December.
3. I miss shark week...it's always the same shows, but it's the tradition of watching that counts!
2. I was just telling my companion that I wanted to know how the cup was going! I'm glad to hear we won, and not at all surprised. How did Brazil do? I'm going to brag about this all week.
1. I already knew that it was Sierra's birthday today, I've had that planned for several weeks now, thank you.
Let me respond to your four points of interest really quick:
Hey there everyone,One more week down, and yes, I do know how many are left, but what's the point in saying it here? Haha, but this week went by waaaaayyy too fast. It actually was uncomfortably fast. My son is loving the mission and we've already has some experiences I'm sure he won't forget haha. It's even weirder for him because all of the Elders in our zone are old-timers in the mission, but nobody seems to be giving him a hard time for it. The members are pretty funny when they ask him if this is his first area, and he always has to respond that it is (obviously). I asked them how they knew that and they all say, "Elder, it's your shirts. Yours is yellow and his is white." I try not to take offense =p A yellow shirt just shows them that I'm experienced and wise.