Sunday, December 30, 2012

And A Happy New Year

It's New Year's time! That means making Mochi and partying! We had a mochi tsuki on Saturday with our ward. We smashed some rice up in a huge wooden bowl made from a tree stump with a big wooden hammer. It was really fun. I was the guy who scooped the rice back into the middle of the usu (bowl) and Perkins Choro was smashing rice with the kine (hammer). It was a lot of fun, but sticky and messy. We are going to a members house today to do it again too! Fun stuff here in Japan!

Our week was kind of slow with the Holidays, but we met with Ouchi-san again. He really enjoys the Liahona we gave him. He is doing well and we have another appointment with him on Saturday. Things will probably pick up this week because we got some potential investigators last week and everyone has time off for Shogatsu (New years).

We got word that Elder Perkins is transferring. I am really sad to see him go. He has been one of my best companions. I will be a trainer again. So I don't know who my new comp is yet. Elder Perkins is transferring to Toyota and he will be companions with my MTC companion, Koch Choro. My world is changing again. :)

Recently we have been doing the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) as a mission and it is very cool. President Baird also gave us specific instructions on how we should implement it into our personal study. Everyday we read a little bit of 2 Peter 1 and I found something really cool in verse 19 this past week as I read it. It talks about letting the "day star arise in your heart." I wasn't sure what the day star was so I went to Revelation 22:6-16, one of the footnote references. In verse 16, Christ says that he is the "morning star." I was thinking this past week about how I can let the day star arise in my heart. It's awesome that we have so much revealed truth in our day. I would encourage everyone who reads this email to study 2 Peter 1 and think about how he or she can become more Christlike. One thing that I have felt throughout this transfer as we've been doing the ARP, is an added measure of the Spirit. I have also felt the Atonement's influence in my life more fully. It has also helped me understand more of how to help the investigators here and also my fellow man.

Being a missionary is awesome, but it goes way too fast. I'm on the first day of my 7th transfer. I hit my year mark at the beginning of next transfer. It's insane. This truly is the Lord's work and He is guiding it in every land. I know Heavenly Father loves His children and I am so grateful to be a part of this work.

Well, love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Igloo Fun Fetti Cake I Made

Sunday, December 23, 2012

God Be With You til We Skype Again


We got a new investigator this week. Her name is Kenmochi-san. She lives really close to our other investigator too, so it's really convenient. We also got in contact with Tomiko-san again. She has been really busy helping students prepare for their tests to get into high school. But we got an appointment tonight.

I enjoyed the Christmas Conference we had on Saturday. Various missionaries in my zone bore testimonies and President and Sister Baird gave talks. We also got some t-shirts for Christmas from the mission. I also have taken some time to think about what Christmas means to me as a missionary. I read a talk from Elder Holland in the latest Liahona magazine talking about his Christmas on his mission and what it meant to him. I am grateful to be serving the Lord in the way that I am this Christmas.

Well, that's kind of it, cuz I'll be Skyping tomorrow. Too everyone reading this, I hope you have a great Christmas and take some time to think about how Christmas and the Savior have affected your life.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, December 17, 2012

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

Dear Families and Friends,

I made a Christmas Tree! All by myself. Where you at, Pinterest?! Please!

Anyway, this week was good. I went on another exchange in Numazu. This time with Elder Prestwich. He is on his second transfer and he's already slingin' Japanese like a pro. Ouchi-san came to church this Sunday. It's his second time in a row. He's getting closer to baptism, I can feel it. We also got two new investigators from a referral from Tokyo. Their names are Yoshioka and Ori. They are best friends and they are both 23 years old. We went and got some Indo curry with them, it was fun.

We got an email from the Mission Office saying that 12 sisters are coming to our mission in the next six months. I've also heard a rumor of about 30 or so more sisters coming soon. Crazy. We were talking to Sister Hunt in our district and she was saying that people will find their spouses on their missions. It's gonna become the new BYU Provo. 

We went to the Bishop's house for dinner last night. His wife made some tasty pizza and they let us take some home. Nice! The Bishop also has begun to trust us quite a bit. Apparently he has had trouble trusting the missionaries in the past. I've heard stories and I kind of don't blame him. 

We had our Christmas Party on Saturday and it was really fun. I helped Santa hand out presents while wearing a Santa hat. I didn't get any pics though. Shucks. 

That's kind of it this week. Thanks for the mail! Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Action, Adventure, Adrenaline

Well hello again, Family,

To answer your questions, yep I was rockin' and rollin' on Friday night in the Earthquake. I was on a companion exchange with Elder Parra in Numazu and we were surprised how long the quake was. It was about a minute or so.

Well, things are still great in Fuji. We had a lot of progress with our eternal investigator, Ouchi-san, this week. He came to church on Sunday and he had a good time. He said he hadn't been to church in about ten years. He also said he will come next week and we have another appointment with him on Saturday.

We also had a great lesson with Inaba-san this past Saturday. He hasn't met with the missionaries for about a month, so we reviewed what had been taught so far about the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. We also taught about repentance and baptism and then invited him to be baptized. He said he isn't sure about making that step right now. He said as he learns more, he will gain a stronger desire to be baptized. We have another appointment with him on Tuesday night and our dendoshunin (ward mission leader) will tachiai (help teach) that lesson.

We had a lesson with Aiyaka-chan, a recent convert, on Sunday after church. She is doing great! We re-taught lesson 3 to her.  We also had her home teacher and a member who is preparing for a mission tachiai that lesson. It is really neat to see her knowledge and testimony grow.

Did I mention I did a baptismal interview two weeks ago? It was for a 17 year old kid getting baptized in Shizuoka. He is super cool and is gonna be a killer member. Speaking of baptisms, O Ryoku-san, from my last area, has a baptismal date! Me and Gillespie Choro found him! I'm so excited for him! I also crashed on my bike for the first time in my mission this week, but I just kind of fell off my bike. I was really confused why it happened until a woman ran over to me and started brushing me off. Then she said "Your parents would be worried if you got hurt. I'm a less-active member, so I know." Perkins Choro and I looked at each other and were like, "whoa." It was pretty cool. We decided that God shoved me off my bike. We talked to the bishop about the less-active member and he said we should visit her.

So, I got the packages. The small one with Christmas music came a while ago, I just forgot to say it last week. I also got both Christmas Packages on Saturday. Speaking of Christmas, I can Skype again. I can call on my Christmas here or your Christmas there. If I call on Christmas here, it will be Christmas Eve there. Or I could call on your Christmas there. Which one?

Well that's kind of it this week. Look forward to hearing back next week!


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday

Man this week was so awesome!

I just read all the emails and they were super cool! Not to mention the video of Kim opening her mission call to Guatemala! So sweet! I don't have a whole ton of time so I'll just hit some highlights.

I made a cake last P-Day and had a birthday party. I attached some Pics. We had a great lesson with our investigator Ouchi-san. He is so close to committing to baptism. He is thinking about the 23rd right now and praying to know if the Gospel is true. I'm thinking we've got a date by next week, but it's not all up to me.

Evan's home, eh? He's looking good. Hope he adjusts to normal life well. He can borrow Gears of War 3 from me if he needs to. ;) Anyway, like a ton of people speak English in Fuji. Half of our ward speaks English and 25% of the people we contact do too. It's crazy! Speaking of English, I am gonna be on the radio to advertise English Class in January! Me and Elder Perkins cuttin up the airwaves with some Eigo (English)!

That's kind of all I have time for. See ya. Love ya.


Elder Sanderson


Well, it's official. I love Fuji!! I was pretty sad to say goodbye to Nakatsugawa, but after my second day here in Fuji, I was in love with the place. This past week, we had a lot of member lessons. We also did some Thanksgiving service for the Sato family. We had a lesson with Urushibata Kyodai. He is a very humble guy and we talked about faith with him. He asked us for a blessing because his leg was hurting him. It was my first priesthood blessing in Japanese. It was pretty intense, really. I could feel the Spirit flowing through me very strongly telling me what Heavenly Father wanted Urushibata Kyodai to know. We also visited Ikegami Shimai. She has a part-member family and loves the missionaries. We shared a message about keeping the commandments and the blessings that come from it.

We met with a lot of investigators this week as well. One man, Ouchi-san, has been an investigator for twenty years. We talked to him about faith and baptism on Saturday night. He committed to pray to see if the 9th of December would be right for him to be baptized. We have another appointment with him this Saturday.We also met another woman, Tomiko-san. She speaks very good English and has been taught all the lessons in order to be baptized, but she has a hard time committing to baptism.

My companion, Elder Perkins, is an awesome guy. He likes a lot of the same stuff I do. He is 24-year-old tank. He could probably tear me in half. But that won't happen because we get along really well. He is a really funny guy too.

I threw in some pics with this email. One is Mt. Fuji from Ikegami Shimai's appartment building and the other is the oldest and fattest of Tomiko-san's six cats. It can't roll over by itself and it can only jump about 3 cm! It was so hilarious to see it lumbering out of Tomiko-san's house.

So the Fuji apartment is pretty cool. It is the same apartment that has been used since Fuji was part of the Tokyo South Mission. Which was about 30 years ago. But it's in good shape. And we have a massage chair. Oh yeah. That thing is nice. Fun fact: I can get to the Tokyo Mission office faster than I can the Nagoya Mission office. I'm almost on the edge of the Mission. The Fuji area is a lot like my first area, Kasugai. It is a busy city. It is pretty warm next to the ocean. We only live a couple kilometers from the beach. Apparently it doesn't snow in Fuji, so I don't think it will be a white Christmas. It only gets down to about 5 degrees Celcius. Not quite freezing.

So being district leader is kind of cool. I get to do a baptismal interview this Saturday. In Japanese. Wish me luck. My district is way cool, though. I'm excited for the time I'll be here in Fuji.

Well I guess that's it. Love you all. Keep up the good living on the Home front.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, November 19, 2012

We Meet Again

Hey guys,

Well it's transfer time. I have been called to (drum roll, please) FUJI! Yep, gonna be at the foot of a volcano just in time for it to blow up on December 21st! No probably not, but I really get to see Fuji like ereday. I have also been called to serve as district leader over Fuji, Shizuoka, and Numazu areas. 6 missionaries, 4 Elders, 2 Sisters, in total. My new companion will be Elder Perkins from Arizona. He came to Japan the same time that Gillespie Choro did. It's gonna be fun! Of course it's sad to say goodbye to Nakatsugawa when I'm so darn in love with the place, but Fuji will be sweet.

So this week was great. We had some good progress with our Chinese investigator, O-san. He is probably ready to be invited to baptism soon. Ishida-san came to church yesterday as well.

There is a Thanksgiving party here in Nakatsugawa that they are gearing up for, but I don't know what's going down in Fuji.

We got an email this week saying that 7 new missionaries were assigned to our mission this week. It usually ranges from 0-2. One is an 18-year-old Elder and another is a 19-year-old Sister. Neat-o!

This letter might turn out to be shorter than usual. Transfers make you think about 10 million things at once, so I'm not super focused.

The package with my coat got here yesterday and the Honbu (mission office) is holding the second one because of transfers. But no worries because we are having a special mission conference tomorrow with all 100 or so missionaries in Meito. So I will pick up my package then. I get to have a sweet training for my birthday.

Okay that's kind of it. Yep. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, November 12, 2012

And the Beat Goes On


We had another good week. It was sempai week for Elder Gillespie, so he took lead in the teaching, planning, and finding. He did really well despite saying he was really nervous. I think one thing we both learned from it was how important the Spirit is in our work. There have been many times where I go to an investigator's or potential investigator's door with no idea how to start the conversation or the contact. Then it just comes to me. It's really cool.

This week we had a really good lesson with O Ryoku-san. We did how to begin teaching and then taught about the Holy Ghost and Prayer. He prayed at the end of the lesson too. We have another appointment with him tonight. We also had a couple lessons with Ishida-san. This week we had a lesson centered on the Book of Mormon and how we can follow Christ. We then invited him to baptism, but he is hesitant because of his age. We also learned about another concern he has with prayer, so we are going to teach about that on Tuesday.

We found another new investigator this week! We spent an entire day in Ena (the neighboring city in our area) dendo-ing, contacting potential investigators, and visiting less-actives and formers. It was a long day, but so worth it. Our new investigator's name is Miyuki. She is about twenty years old and has great interest.

This week I noticed how real life is kind of like the video game "The Sims." Maybe that's why it's called that, but I noticed this week that you can't just get people to do things you ask them to without some trust and familiarity in your relationship. It's like the relationships between people in the game, but missionary style. That would be a killer video game. Missionary Sims. Copyright that stuff right there.

So anyway I was craving some Christmas music like crazy this week. Everyone should be surprised because I'm the first one to complain about Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I think it's because Thanksgiving is just a hiss and a byword in Japan, so I'm just thinking about Christmas. I did hear some Christmas music at the super market last week, but it was just the tunes, no words, done with some synthesized instruments.

I was doing service at my branch president's house when they were tallying up the votes for the President. So at first I was really nervous for about three seconds when I found out Obama is President again. But then the Spirit said, "No big deal." I'm glad to see that virtually everyone else has adopted the same idea. This isn't our world, it's our Heavenly Father's. He has a plan for it and for us. That plan is specific. We can take confidence in the fact that Heavenly Father is there and hears our prayers. He answers them, too. I would like to quote a statement from the email I got from Dad this week. He said, "I'm pretty much over it - I say what ever happens - bring it! I'll tackle it head on, I'm not gonna let an inept President and corrupt congress dictate my happiness or affect how I care for my family." I really like this. It is pretty much my same opinion. I would like to point out the word "my" said twice in that sentence. Go ahead and re-read it with a little emphasis on the word "my." This is Heavenly Father's plan and it is for us. We have control of our realm. We can't control everything, but for what is in our control, let's take control of it!

We don't need to fear, to quote Cori in her email this week. Sure it's disappointing to see something go wrong, but God has it in his hands. I studied Ether this week. I found some good verses. Ether 2:12 says, "Behold this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written."  and Ether 12:4 says, "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." There ya go, folks. Live the Gospel. Do what is right. Follow the Spirit. A million hymns just came to mind, sing those. We are in a time where solutions to the problems in this world can come by no other means than the Gospel. So live it!

I'm so grateful for the support you all give me back home. It sounds like Heavenly Father is returning the favor as he answers my prayers on all your behalf. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Suited Up!

Hey hi hello!

It's suit season here in the mission. It will be until next General Conference. This week was pretty chilly, but it's getting warmer. We'll see how long it sticks around. It was a really good week. We were blessed with two new investigators! One is named Shibata-san and the other is named Mizuno-san. They both have pretty young families that are likely to become investigators, too. Mizuno-san is a woman that teaches Kids English class, so she speaks pretty good English. Shibata-san works at the local Mitsubishi factory making electronics, I think.

Ishida-san came to church again! We also invited him to baptism this week, but he is a little hesitant because he is old. He thinks baptism is good, though. O Ryoku-san was a little hard to get in contact with this week, but we met him on Friday and set up an appointment for tonight! Wish us luck.

So after the Friday before Halloween, everything changed to Christmas. The ads on the trains, decorations at the store, even the Colonel Sanders in front of the KFC was rollin all Santa'd up. We were like, "Hey Halloween hasn't even happened yet." We thought Japanese people just assumed it was on Friday, so we asked our English class students. They knew when the day was, but everything's all Christmas-y. Our branch is having a Thanksgiving Luau though, so that will be fun.  It's in a couple weeks.

It's the second-to-last week of the transfer. I don't know if Elder Gillespie and I will be together for another transfer, but we both think it would be cool to be. Gillespie Choro and I get along really well. We have a lot of the same background and interests. He's from a family of all sisters and we both love to laugh and really like Star Wars. It's also very fun to make fun of Star Wars, too. We were kind of surpised by the new Star Wars coming out in 2015.

Well that's kind of it this week. Loves.


Elder Sanderson

Laden with Sheaves


We were laden with sheaves this week. Literally. We helped a member harvest rice. It was fun and a great service opportunity. I got to use this awesome machine that pulls in and cuts the rice stalks, binds the sheaves, and spits them out. It was way fun. But if you thought Takenami Eki had some spiders, woo boy. A freshly harvested tanbo (rice field) is literally crawling with them. You take a step and see about thirty spiders move.

We also spent some time preparing for the Halloween Party that our branch held. We had balloons with candy, a cardboard haunted house, bobbing for apples, and some sushi even made an appearance. It was really fun and it has opened the doors to our Eikaiwa students that came to hear the Gospel.

One such family is the Fuchino family. The father is pretty against the Gospel, but we talked to him yesterday about holding a Family Home Evening. He said that it would probably be alright! We are so excited because the Fuchinos have been in contact with the missionaries for awhile, but it has been difficult to get the Gospel in the door. We are shooting for an FHE on Sunday with them. Hooray!

This week while preparing for the Halloween Party, we had to blow up some balloons that came out to be as big as my torso. Shoda Shimai, Jindo Shimai's 95-year-old mother, was terrified of the balloons. Jindo Kaicho's son, Achi Kyodai, blew up a balloon really big and said, "Grandma, Look!" Were face turned to sheer terror and he started laughing super hard. Shoda Shimai was also our welcome witch at the Halloween Party.

We went to Jindo Kaicho's house for dinner on Saturday night with Kato kyodai and his family. Kato Kyodai, now Kato Choro, left for his mission this morning, so we had dinner with his family. During that time we were talking about Kato Kyodai's grandma that lives with them. She is 85 and Shoda Shimai said, "Oh she's a lot older than me." Jindo Shimai turned to her and said, "How old do you think you are?" (Believe me, it sounds nicer in Japanese) Shoda Shimai said "I don't know" then Jindo Shimai told her she was 95 years old. Then Shoda Shimai said, "Oh really?" It was really cute and funny.

I noticed that night at Jindo Kaicho's house what a profound love I have for Nakatsugawa and the people here. It's hard to discribe, but I love all of them so much. It's pretty crazy, really, this feeling is. Sorry for the weird sentence. Sometimes Japanese is spoken like that.

Well that's it for now. I read the other Elder Sanderson's blog and I'm happy to hear he is doing better. Good luck to him out there. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, October 22, 2012

I did have a witty subject line...


Let's get down to the business first. We were blessed to find a new investigator this week. His name is O Ryoku-san and he is Chinese. He is a college student and we were able to meet with him twice last week. We're going to visit him again today and invite him to pray. We also met his roommate, Ko-san. They are very nice guys. I'm excited to help O Ryoku-san progress in the gospel.

This week we had Zone Conference with Elder Aoyagi. He is a member of the Seventy. It was so neat, because I got to have an interview with him and get to know him on a personal level. We talked about how the Lord gives us strength, which he also mentioned in his talk. It was very instructive and Elder Gillespie and I have already started applying the things we have learned in our companionship and our dendo.

This week Ishida-san came to church! He could only stay for sacrament meeting, but he had a great experience. It has been interesting to see his heart change as he comes to know this gospel. I asked him the other day if he would read a passage in the Book of Mormon on his own and he said "yes" without a hitch. It was so cool! I have really noticed how involving members in his progression has helped him a lot as well.
I had a comp exchange this week with Dunn Choro again. This time we were both in Nakatsugawa. It was good and Dunn Choro gave me a "gift" plaque like President Eyring made for his sons of which he spoke in Priesthood session. It was really cool.

So we made cookies a couple times this week. The first time were chocolate chippers and they turned out okay. The second time, we made peanut butter cookies about the size of an oreo and put chocolate frosting between two of them and son of a gun, they were tasty! We also got our kids English class students a little wired on them, too.

Well this week's is a little short, but it was a good one. We are suiting up for our Halloween party on Friday. Elder Gillespie and I might just switch nametags for our costumes, but I don't know yet. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

With each death comes new life

Heyya family & friends!

So about the subject line this week. Duarte Choro "died" this week. For those of you who need a reminder, he was my trainer. It was sad, but he lived to see his "grandson", Gillespie Choro. The new life is Gillespie Choro's birthday! It was on October 14th. We got to watch conference, go dendo, then eat spaghetti and make birthday cake. It was so much fun. He said it was a great birthday.

Who loved General Conference? Ooohh, ooh, pick me. Me, me, me, me, me! I really enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk in the Saturday AM Session and Elder Christopherson's talk in Priesthood session. President Monson's and Elder Holland's talks were really good, too. It's hard to pick a favorite. It was fun to watch, because it was just me and my companion watching it on Jindo Kaicho's computer at the church while it was on in Japanese in the other room. All the other missionaries went to Nagoya, but it is kind of far for us, so we watched it here.

This week at district meeting, a member from Kasugai came. He is preparing for a mission. Actually, I have mentioned him before. His name is Kan-kun. Our meeting was in English, so I told him I would translate for him. I translated about 85% of the whole hour-and-a-half meeting for him. It was so cool to see the Spirit help me know how to say what was being said, while continuing to listen in English. And then if I would miss a part I would summarize it to him in Japanese and Kan-kun said he got a lot out of it. Man isn't this Gospel awesome?

Dendo was good this week. No new investigators yet, but a lot of potentials. One such man called us on Sunday morning and said he wants to study Christianity. We took that as a sign from Heavenly Father saying that He's gonna help us out a lot this week. We are very optimistic to say the least.

The work is moving here in Nakatsugawa. I can feel that it's going to erupt like a volcano soon. I am so glad to have Elder Gillespie as my companion. He really loves Nakatsugawa and together we are working hard and trying our best to be worthy of Heavenly Father's help. We have set a goal to get a baptism this transfer and we have told Jindo Kaicho as well.

I hope things are fantastic back home. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, October 7, 2012

That was quick...

Well there goes another transfer. Whoooooooosh! Gillespie Choro and I are still together. Yay! Sounds like things are awesome at home. I heard about the Debate this week from our Branch President Jindo. He said Obama failed hard. And he told us that he heard President Monson's announcement about missionary ages! Woohhoooooo!!! I hope they call me on a mission, and then they call me on a mission, and then they call me on a mishawnaaaaa!

Things are great. We had interview with President Baird, which were awesome. We taught Ishida-san a few times this week and he said he will read the Book of Mormon. We also had a good less-active member lesson about prayer. Good dendo.

Hey guess what! We made such good food this week. Gillespie Choro got gravy mix in a package so we made chicken, mashed taters, and gravy with some salad. Man, it was tasty. We are pretty much out of food, so it's a good thing we are going to the store today.

My companion and I were talking about the new ages of missionary service. Megan also mentioned that it will change Utah culture as we know it. My companion and I were talking how BYU will be completely opposite now. They freshmen guys will be looking for wives, because they haven't gone to school before there missions. The freshmen girls, however, will not want to date in order to prepare for a mission possibly. Kinda funny. We watched the clip of President Monson's announcement today and the whole conference center (more likely the whole church) was like "What?" I saw one kid on the video turn to his older brother and say something that made him look terrified. Yay! The work is moving, isn't it?!

I don't get to watch Conference until this weekend, but I'm excited now. Good luck and have fun and work hard out there, you little saints, you!


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Hey there,

So this week was a good one. We got to dendo with President Baird on Tuesday and, man, was it awesome! It was just what we needed here in Nakatsugawa. Literally the first man we talked to at the door became a new investigator. His name is Ishida-san. He is doing well and we have met him almost every day this past week. President Baird taught us principles of how to set a plan and goals together then asking Heavenly Father for help with them. It was amazing to see the miracles that resulted throughout the week. Our potential investigator list has literally doubled.

We have been dendo'ing a lot more effectively since Tuesday and it makes me wonder why I didn't do it before. I plan on working this way for the rest of my mission.

So, our investigator list is a little short right now, but we're working hard and President Baird's training is definitely going to help us with it. Right now we have Ishida-san and Kojima-san. Right now we've got appointments with both, so that's good.

This week I learned an interesting Japanese tradition. When someone loses a tooth, they either bury it or throw it on their roof. If it's from their top gum line, they want it to grow down into their mouth well, so they bury the baby tooth. If it's from the bottom gum line, they throw it onto their roof. A little girl lost her tooth at our Kid's English class, so that's how I learned it.

Yesterday the former Tokyo Temple President, Fukuda Kyodai, came to our branch. He also happens to be Japan's first male, native missionary. He stayed at Jindo Kaicho's house for Saturday and Sunday night, so we got invited over for dinner last night. It was so much fun and Fukuda Kyodai told us stories about his mission. The Relief Society in our branch sang "Love is Spoken Here" during sacrament meeting yesterday, too. It was cool to listen to the lyrics in Japanese. Words work different in Japan, so sometimes in Hymns they have to be more concise with the way they say things. It makes it really powerful though. Man, I love Japan!!!!

Well that's kind of it this week. Hope your week was good! Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Heyya, kazoku! (That means family)

So things were a bit crazy this week. We had to drop some investigators and also got dropped by some other ones. I guess it's time to trust in Heavenly Father. Not that I am having trouble with that, but sometimes we need a reminder.

We were blessed to find a new investigator through 10x-ing a former investigator we visited. Her name is Joanne. She is from Manila, Philippines. She is Catholic and is married to a Nihonjin. We shared our testimony about and a message from the Book of Mormon. When we gave it to her, she said, "I will read this." We set a follow-up appointment for yesterday, but when we went there we found a note taped to the door. It explained that her mother-in-law has become ill and they have to go to Fukuoka for a few months. She also said she will read the Book of Mormon in the mean time. It was kind of a punch in the gut. But later that night we went to 10x an appartment next to her house and found her outside! We stopped and talked to her and she told us the whole details of the situation. We got her phone number and gave her ours, so we will definitely stay in contact. We also offered to help her get in contact with the missionaries in Fukuoka while she is living there. It was nothing short of a miracle.

That's like the main highlight of this week. Other than that, it was a lot of finding and praying and studying. Which are all great things to do. The cool thing about finding Joanne was that the night before when we were planning the next day, Gillespie Choro and I didn't feel too confident in our plan to just go knock doors in a random area. It was probably one of the only times where the Spirit definitely said, "That's not right." We had no idea what else to do, so we called our District leader, Dunn Choro. He suggested visiting a former investigator and 10x-ing. And that's how we found Joanne! Just goes to show, following the counsel of your leaders brings blessings.

We got a lot of good less-active member dendo in this week with Jindo Kaicho. We have also changed our regular events around so we have more dendo time at night. Which means more people will be home when we go housing. Good deal. Yep working hard, having faith, seeing miracles.

This week we had some taco rice again. And more burgers. We also had our first bowl of real, non-instant ramen. It was way good.

Tomorrow President Baird is coming to Nakatsugawa to dendo with us! I'm a little nervous, but super excited to have President Baird as our companion for a day. I'll make sure to write about it next week.

Well that's it, folks. Love you.


Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mail time, Mail time, Mail time... MAIL TIME!

Blue's Clues...

This past week was another great one. We got two new investigators! Which is good, because we've lost one due to health problems. Ito-san has gone in for surgery, so she can't meet with us for a while. We will remain in contact with her so we can meet up again after she recovers.

The two new investigators we found are a man named Sato-san and a woman we found 10x-ing in Takenami. Sato-san is a referral from the Mizuno family. He has a Book of Mormon and has met with the missionaries a little bit. He is very interested in the Gospel and we are meeting him again on Friday and Saturday. The other woman, whose name we forgot to ask, let us into her house and share a message. It was while I was on an exchange with Elder Dunn in Seto, so Elder Gillespie and Elder Burnett found her. She said we can come back on Tuesday night.

We also have another appointment with Tachiki-san tomorrow during which we will talk about the Book of Mormon. I sincerely believe that as Tachiki-san reads the Book of Mormon, she will experience a change of heart and want to learn more about how to live the Gospel.

On Tuesday of the past week we did a companionship split. I worked with Kato Kyodai and Elder Gillespie worked with Achi Kyodai. We dendo'd in Ena all morning long and found a bunch of Potential investigators and got in contact with a lot of other people, too. We will be working a lot with the potential investigators tomorrow when we go to Ena again. During the split I was counting miracles. between Monday night and Tuesday morning I probably prayed thirty times. Not exaggerating. The first place Kato Kyodai and I went was to find a Potential investigator. I couldn't find her house before, but I found it in no time at all on Tuesday. She was home, which is very significant because it's her relative's house! She read the whole Restoration Pamphlet and loved it, so we are going to talk to her again some other time. We went to lunch at McDonald's and Achi Kyodai bought us lunch. Kato Kyodai turned to me and said "Miracle number three." (I've forgotten what number two was at the moment.) But then after we finished our food, Achi Kyodai said, "Maku sheku hoshii hito (People who want a Mac Shake)." Everyone raised their hand and said, "Hai," all in unison. I was hilarious when Kato Kyodai looked at me with huge eyes and held up four fingers to indicate miracle number four.

This week we were able to successfully combine our Jr High Eikaiwa and Normal Eikaiwa. With them on separate days, it was eating up too much proselyting time, so now we have Friday night to proselyte. We are also going to change our FHE with the Mizuno family to a once-every-two-or-three-week event, so we can have Monday nights to proselyte more.

So I mentioned another comp exchange with Dunn Choro. It was definitely eventful. On Friday night, we ran into a member at the store and he bought us $25 worth of junk food. Then on Saturday morning as we were returning to the apartment for lunch, Dunn Choro got hit by a car! It wasn't bad, but it scared the Bible out of us both. He is fine and the guy in the car was like, "Are you ok?! Sorry!" Then the interchange ended and we were so adrenaline-rushed and bewildered that we had to get off our bikes and walk. It happened really fast and I thought, "Crap! My companion just died!" He was definitely protected that day.

I gave a talk in Sacrament yesterday about rescue. It went really well and I told an experience from Heritage Tours I had. I only had one day's notice to prepare, but I still came out with a ten minute talk. And I was complimented on my Japanese, so that was nice.

Well that's pretty much it this week. Hope you all are happy and well.

The attached pics are Achi Kyodai, Gillespie Choro, Me, and Kato Kyodai on our comp split. The other one is the contents of a package that Elder Sanderson in Seoul, South Korea sent me. So nice! and the Oreo O's are amazing!!!

Love yous.


Elder Sanderson

Elder Sanderson with his "son" Elder Gillespie and the rest of the group just fresh off the boat.

Off to our area, Bye Bye!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Hear ye, hear ye!

Another week in the books. Whew! Time is going quick! We were able to do a lot of finding this week. Primarily through 10x (The form of housing we do in the Japan Nagoya Mission). We found some potential investigators that said we can come by some other time and share a message. We have also been working with some less-active members, the Hosoe family and Taguchi Shimai. We were able to visit Taguchi Shimai on Saturday with Kato Kyodai and share a message about the Book of Mormon with her. We talked about how the Book of Mormon testifies of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. We commited her to read the Testimony of the Three Witnesses and think about how she can better apply the Book of Mormon in her life.

Elder Gillespie and Elder Sanderson
We had another FHE with the Mizuno Family and it went well. We also got a referral from them that we are trying to get there help with contacting. Our plan right now is for us to visit them together and invite them to an FHE at the Mizuno's house. We had our Bishop Interaction yesterday and it went really well. We planned when to contact less-active members and how to work with the part-member families we are focusing on right now. We also planned to go on missionary splits this week with Kato Kyodai and Jindo Kaicho's son who just returned from serving in the Kobe mission. We are going to dendo in Ena a lot tomorrow with them. We also planned a BBQ activity in about two weeks and a Halloween party near the end of October. We will work with the Priesthood Executive Commitee more on how to fellowship less-actives, investigators, and potential investigators during those activities.

Yesterday a potential investigator named Ogura-san came to church. After Sacrament Meeting, she said she wants to learn our doctrine and that she would give us a call sometime. We also have her phone number, so we can follow-up with her. Today we have an appointment with Tachiki-san. We weren't able to visit her last week because she was visiting her daughter, but I don't think we'll have trouble meeting with her in the future.

If you couldn't tell from all that, Kato Kyodai is back from America. He doesn't have a job anymore, so he called us up and said, "Let's dendo." So we are going to work with him a lot in the next two months until he leaves on his mission. As I said before, Jindo Kaicho's son got back from his mission. He is awesome. I'm pretty sure he's the Japanese clone of Evan Scott. He is really tall and even talks like him, except with not such a low voice. He said he can only speak a little English, but his English is like perfect and he's fluent. He said he can work with us a lot too, so that's awesome.

We had a Zone Meeting this week, which is just a bit different than Zone Conference. The Zone Leaders present all the training instead of President Baird and the APs. It was way good. We talked about Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel. I love studying that section of PMG because there's always a way to improve.

Well that's kind of it for this week. We're working hard, having fun, and seeing miracles. Thanks for the prayers; they help. Love you all.



Monday, September 3, 2012

Baby Shower in Nakatsugawa

Heyya hi ho!

That's right, ladies and gents, I'm daddy now. My baby's name is Elder Gillespie. He is from Colorado Springs, CO and his dad is in the air force, so they live in Rome, Italy right now. He has some awesome dendo fire and it is just what Nakatsugawa needs. He has no problem with me running him ragged each day, because he has a great desire to serve. He's way good at Japanese and already understands a lot. He's gonna be pera pera (fluent) in no time.

Yesterday at church a man named Brother Jorgensen visited with his family. He was a missionary in Nakatsugawa about 13 years ago. It was cool to talk to him and watch him have some good reunions with members. This week was also a great week for dendo. We were blessed with four lessons, three on Saturday and one yesterday. It was another successful trial of the "Hard work + faith = miracles" formula. The coolest part about getting the three lessons on Saturday was that the lessons weren't exactly what I had expected. The Lord still did His work, but it wasn't how I thought it was gonna happen. I'm just glad I am here to be an instrument in His hands.

Being sempai (senior) is an awesome experience. I have noticed a lot, like A LOT, of how the Lord strengthens our weaknesses. We have been able to keep busy rather easily and I know it is because of our faith. It's fun to show Elder Gillespie the ropes and help him get to know Japanese bunka (culture). I got a letter from the Mission HQ talking about my responsibilities as a trainer and senior companion. I'll admit, the task was daunting at first. I didn't feel confident. But I know that Heavenly Father is helping me and Gillespie Choro. There was one day where I really felt the weight of being senior, but then it passed as I expressed my confidence in the grace, or divine power, of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.

If you can't tell I'm very optimistic about being senior. I know that the Lord will help me do it. And He can do the same thing for you guys back on the home front.

Well that's it for this week. Have a good one. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's that time again...

Well it's transfer day again. I'm not transferring, but Farnsworth Choro is. He will be going to Yokkaichi in the Nagoya zone. It's a pretty big area in a big city. He will also be district leader there. My new companion is....I don't know yet. Because I'm becoming a TRAINER!! What? Remember how I was a bean just a second ago? I talked to President Baird and he gave me some great encouragement and counsel. I'm really excited to see who I get to train. I will miss Elder Farnsworth for sure, but he will be a great district leader in Yokkaichi. He has done a lot in Nakatsugawa for the Lord and I have a lot to thank him for.

As you may know, the email time has been limited to 30-45 minutes, so emails may become short and I may not respond to your individual emails. If I don't respond to your individual email, however, I will print it out, read it, and write you a letter.

By way of food this week, we had a pizza party yesterday. We went to Jindo Kaicho's and made the pizza, then took it to another member's house for eating. It was really good. We also had torikatsu. It's just pan-fried chicken breast. Needless to say, it's tasty. Throw it over some rice and eat it with some cabbage and goma (sesame seed) dressing and you're ready to rock.

This week was another great one. We had our weekly appointment at Tachiki-san's house on Monday and our FHE with the Mizuno family was great. We were able to commit Tachiki-san to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We just had another lesson with her and she has committed to pray about the Book of Mormon and whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet.

We have found some new potential investigators in Ochiai and we plan to visit them. One family would definitely benefit from an FHE. Another man, Taguchi-san, agreed to meet with us, too. We weren't able to visit them again, yet. We are going to soon, however.

Ito-san has been in the hospital for the last few days. She has had some health problems lately. Hopefully, she can get well and we can continue teaching her.

Other than that, there's not much else. Oh, just kidding. I had another comp exchange this week. I went to Seto and dendo'd with Dunn Choro from Heber, UT. I love Dunn Choro. He's the funniest guy ever and he is such a strong missionary. He has been out for nine months, so his Nihongo is pretty good. He and I are a little insane together. We had to stop riding our bikes up a hill while we were laughing, so we didn't hyperventilate and die. Fun stuff. 

Well, I think that's it for this week. I'll put the SD card in the mail soon.


Sanderson Choro

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Six Months

Hey all!

I guess this marks six months for me. It's not officially til Wednesday, but I don't email on Wednesday. Anywho, the matsuri last Monday got rained out, so there was no parade. We did get to go to the little booths and stuff, though. I ate a beastie crepe roll-up fruit thing and a choco covered banana. It was tasty. 

We got two potential investigators and a new investigator this week! We biked a couple Kilometers near a less-active member we were going to visit and did some housing there. The neighbors are really nice and it was blistering hot, so they gave us fruit and drinks. Farnsworth Choro was saying it's like that part in D&C where the missionaries will be provided for. It was pretty cool. We also met with a woman named Kojima-san. She is a friend of Jindo Kaicho's and we taught part of lesson 1 to her and now she is an investigator! Woohoo! Hard work + faith = miracles. Remember that one, kids.

That day was full of dendo with Jindo Kaicho. We visited two less-active members and had two investigator lessons with him.

On Thursday, we got to work in Abe Shimai's field. She has a plantation of tomatoes, watermelons, strawberries, pumpkins, and more. We were mowing the grass around the fields, but not with your average mower. In Japan they use a device similar to a lawn trimmer with the vinyl thread, but instead of the thread, it has a saw blade. Like a circular saw blade that brings doom to any frog that decides to jump out of the grass at the wrong time. We got a pretty good sunburn that day.

This week there was an emergency transfer in my district. Our district leader got transferred to Ogaki, so Elder Burnett, who used to be in Nakatsugawa, took his place in Seto. Since our district leader got transferred, my companion is the new district leader for the rest of the transfer. This week at District Meeting, President Baird came. It was so fun to have him there and participate.

Saturday was awesome! We had kids English class in the morning and in the afternoon we visited Ito-san. She is an investigator who we haven't been able to visit in a long time because of her husband had some health problems. Well he passed away this week, so that's kind of sad. But now it opens up Ito-san's schedule and she wants to meet a lot. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Saturday afternoon/ evening we had a BBQ! It was fun and we had some good food. We also played basketball with some kids at the park. They wanted to play us two verses the 8 of them. We won. I think we had the foreigner fear factor on our side, though. Later, we played soccer with some of them too. The Fuchinos came to the barbecue and so did some other less-active members.

This week we went to an imported goods store. Guess what I found. Taco Seasoning! I looked at my companion and he said, "We need that!" So this week we whipped up some super good taco rice. Lettuce, cheese, tomato, the whole nine delicious yards.

Well that's pretty much it for this week. I can't believe it's been six months already. This is the last week of this transfer too. Holy moley time flies! Hope you are all livin' it up in the good light of the Gospel. Love you all.


Sanderson Choro

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Partyin' partyin' partyin' YEAH!

Heh anyone know that one ^^?

We visited the Mizuno family this week again. We talked about following the example of Jesus Christ and living to be worthy of the Holy Ghost. We don't have an FHE with them tonight because they are out of town. On that same Monday we visited the Mizuno family, we also visited Ito-san. We haven't been able to teach her for a while because of medical problems that her husband is having. It was nice to meet her and also go over there with Watanabe Shimai and Jindo Kaicho. They expressed their love and concern for Ito-san. We hope we can meet with her again this week.

On Tuesday, we went to Takayama to teach some Boy Scouts at the Camporee there. We talked to about 150 scouts. Jindo Kaicho came with us and he was feeling the dendo fire as he testified of truths to those people. It was a great opportunity to plant seeds in the hearts of those people. Thursday, at Priesthood Executive Commitee meeting, we made a large list of less-active and part-member families we are going to help. Jindo Kaicho began immediately the following Friday after we visited Tachiki-san. We visited two members on Friday to talk about bringing their family members to church and helping them receive the gospel.

We also visited our newest investigator, Tachiki-san. It was our second visit with her. We taught about the Savior's Earthly Ministry and The Great Apostasy. We had a lot of help from Jindo Kaicho clarifying the things we were saying and the things that apply to her. We tried really hard to help her see how Christ's teachings can help her.

When we visited Tachiki-san on Friday, Farnsworth Choro was praying that she would understand what we taught. He meant to say "rikai suru" which means "comprehend." Instead he said "rikon suru" which mean "to divorce." So we accidently prayed for our investigator to get a divorce. Oops. She still agreed to meet with us, so I think she got what we meant. Funny stuff though.

On Saturday, we were able to contact a nearby less-active family, the Hosoe family. They are very nice and we talked to them for about twenty minutes and invited them back to church. That night we had a Gyoza Party with the Fuchino family. (Gyoza are pot-stickers, they're called jozu in Chinese) It was way fun because Wu Ying invited her Chinese friends over to teach us how to make them. They were really good. Afterward, we played around with their son, Tatsuyuki-kun. He is an only child, so it's really fun for him to hang out with us. We were fighting with the pillows on the couch and he would try and block the pillows, but with the two of us he just would start laughing too hard. Then he would just lay on the couch and we would still be wailing on him with the pillows. It was really fun.

This week we made a Banana cake three different times. It's a way easy recipe and it cooks in a rice cooker! Perfect! We made it once for us, once for the scouts, and once for the Fuchino family. It's tasty. In other food news, I made burgers again this week. Oh, man, were they good. On Friday one of the members we visited gave us each a watermelon. We cut a hole in the top and hollowed them out like pumpkins. We have eaten a lot of watermelon this weekend. But yesterday, we carved faces into them and now they are sitting in front of our appartment. They are actually a good way to strike up a conversation with some one, too.

Yesterday, Farnsworth Choro caught a cicada and stuck it in the fridge until it fell asleep. Then he tied a string to it and stuck it on our balcony to fly. Once it warmed up enough it tried to fly away and just hit the end of the string and stopped. It did it a couple of times but then I think it tore off it's legs and got free...

Well there's your big weekly report to make up for the shorty last week. Oh one more thing. It's Nakatsugawa's matsuri this week! (That means festival) Yesterday we watched fireworks and tonight we're gonna watch the parade and go have some fun. I'll make sure to send pics next week.

The Gospel is true, The Book is blue, and I love you.


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Well, Here we go!

This might be short. I'm low on time. Most likely like a bulleted list, but lots to cover.

Tuesday we had interviews. I had a great opportunity to receive counsel from President Baird. I love him so much.

Wednesday I got the package. Thanks! Jill, I ate one bag of those taffies in like two hours. My jaw was sore the next day. The CDs were a good addition too. I also was looking thru a book of past missionaries in Nakatsugawa. Guess who I found? Elder Pulley! From our stake. Cool, huh? I wonder where else he served.

Friday was Hideki-kun's birthday, so we made a pineapple upside-down cake at Jindo Kaicho's house. It was fun and the cake was tasty. I also gave a Kanji lesson to a Japanese guy. Weird. I want to tell you about Jindo Kaicho's mom. She is ninety-four and hilariously cute. She can never remember who we are and she always asks what to do when the sacrament is passed to her. Funny.

If anyone can get me Elder Taylor Smith's address (I think he's in Frankfurt, Germany) it would be much appreciated. I wanna know how he is.

Yesterday we got two lessons. One with the Lucero family and one with a new investigator! It was really good.

Sorry for the shortness, but the pic is a door we found whilst housing.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Letter

What a week! Lot's of teaching, finding, working, and being a missionary. We found a new investigator yesterday. We forgot to ask her name, so we are calling her Yasashi-san. That means nice. We are meeting with her again this coming Sunday along with the Lucero family from the Philippines.
One member we did lessons with this week is named Kato Kyodai. He has been a member for just under a year and got his mission call to Kobe, Japan. He leaves in October, so we have been talking to him about becoming a missionary. He is also going to visit New York and then Utah on Saturday. He will be in America for a month. He's super good at English and he's really funny. I think he's about 25 years old.
This week we spent a lot of time with the Fuchino family. They aren't investigators, but they are way good potential investigators. We just need to build our relationship a little more with the father, so he will let us start teaching them. On Thursday, during English class I did interviews with the mom, Wu Ying. As you might guess by that name, she's Chinese. She teaches me a lot of Chinese like how to say my name and different words and things like that. She has a great sense of humor and she is really interested in the gospel. She also calls us missionaries "onisan" or "older brother" because we have such a good relationship with her 11-year-old son, Tatsuyuki-kun.
Small tangent, but I did interviews and she said she would like to take the lessons. Her husband said that he didn't have interest in the gospel and he's not okay with us teaching only Wu Ying and Tatsuyuki-kun. Hence we must strenthen our relationship with them. But they already treat us like they're members. They took us to a festival in Ena on Saturday night. It was so much fun. We watch a bunch of fireworks and ate some takoyaki and snowcones.
The way they do fireworks are cool. They do it over a lake, so there are boats with like two people on them and a million dollars worth of fireworks and they just anchor in the lake and torch up the sky. It was so cool to watch.
Yesterday at church I met a guy we call Jun-kun. He races cars. He was telling us that the night before he outran a cop and got away. He probably wouldn't have been at church if he didn't get away...
Yesterday we also had dinner at the branch president's house. His name is Jindo Kaicho (President Jindo). He built his own house in a year and it's a really big American style house. Which means it has carpet!!! I walked into his house and almost melted. He took us down to the basement (which also never exist in Japan) where it was very cool. He let us sit down and study and I passed out. He came in later and asked "Are you ready to eat?" I was out cold. He saw me and said "hey. Hey! HEY!" I didn't wake up. He kicked me and then I woke up, but I didn't know he was there. I turned and was like "oh, hello." I sat up and he started slapping my cheeks saying "Okinasai!" (Wake up!) I was like "I'm awake now." It was really funny. He is a very cool guy and his wife and mother are very nice too.
In other news, I caught a caterpillar today! I want to know if it turns into a moth or a butterfly, so I'm going to feed it cabbage until it makes a cacoon and see what happens.
Pictures are on the way too!
Thanks for the letters and emails. Love you all.

Elder Sanderson

Monday, July 16, 2012

Movin' On Up

Movin' on up (Movin' on up)
To the east side
To that deluxe appartment in Nakatsugawa!

That's right ladies and gents! This bean is sprout legs and movin' to Nakatsugawa. I got the transfer call this morning. It was kind of surprising, but we expected changes. I am still in the same district, so the transfer won't be too hard. I also have gone there a few times on exchanges, so I know a lot of people there already. It's a bigger area than Kasugai, but it's a little cooler. I'm excited to go there and be companions with Farnsworth Choro. He is a great missionary, and a powerful teacher. I'm gonna miss Kasugai, but Nakatsugawa will be good for me. Duarte Choro is staying in Kasugai and he will be Gates Choro's companion. 

This week was good. I had two exchanges. One with Clark Choro in Seto and one with Burnett Choro in Kasugai. They were fun. While on my kokan (exchange) I read a talk in the Feb 2008 Ensign about living a balanced life. Every one who reads this email should read that talk. It's super good. We dendoed hard this week. One of our former investigators, Naomi, called us up on Friday and told us she wants to meet with us again. She had been going to another philosophical group and she said she doesn't like it as much and she came to church on Sunday. I hope she will see the truth of the gospel. 

On Friday, we tried to visit the Bolivian woman, Barbarita. I understood what she said to Duarte Choro! And she speaks Spanish! I understood "manyana" (I know that's spelled wrong), saw her shake her head, understood her say "domingo" and then "noche." I turned to Nishimura Kyodai and said "we can't visit her tomorrow, but Sunday evening is okay." It was the gift of tongues for sure! I was super excited. 

Well this week's email is kind of short. I'm sure next week's will be longer and my email will probably be earlier. God is great, gospel is true, I love you all.


Sanderson Choro

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Fourth of July?

Herro and wercome!

So on Wednesday at English class, one of the students said it was Independence Day in America. I looked at the date on my watch and said, "Oh, ya. It is." It doesn't have the hype being outside of the USA. I was describing our traditions for the Fourth of July and the students thought it was all very weird. I thought it was funny. The next day, I made those crazy good burgers for lunch. When I told Brother Hall that we had burgers, he said, "If you were blind in the north pole, you would kill a polar bear and rip a hamburger out of it because it's written in your DNA to eat a hamburger today." It was pretty hilarious. 

We helped Brother Hall load some Miatas (a car made by Mazda) into a container to go to Australia. It was fun.

We found a lot of new investigators this week. A Bolivian woman named Barbarita has been listening to our message and we invited her to our volleyball activity on Friday night. Barbarita's daughter, sister, and niece came to the activity as well. Their names are Hiromi, Madelene, and Michi respectively. They are all investigators now and all four of them came to church on Sunday. When Madelene asked Michi if she wanted to go to church, Michi said, "Ikitai!" (I want to go!) It was awesome. We have an appointment with them on Friday this week. 

We also found another man named Kun from Vietnam. His Japanese isn't very good yet, so we have to speak very simply. We have an appointment with him on Sunday. We were going to meet him yesterday, but He had a friend over. 
On Friday night we had a companion split with some members. I taught a lesson to Ito Megumi-san with Ina Kyodai and had an FHE with the Murphy family. Duarte Choro went to the volleyball activity with Nishimura Kyodai. It was a good learning experience for me and learn how to really take the lead in a lesson. 
I found out that everyone is a nerd in Japan. By American standards anyway. I know a woman who plays video games a lot and an 18-year-old who plays Yu-Gi-Oh. I fit right in! They also read a lot of anime comics. No matter the age. Pretty funny.
Sorry for writing so late lately. We have been "isogashii" (busy, BTW the kanji for isogashii means "mind dies"). I will try to get to emails earlier next week. 

Today we had an epic adventure! With the Mission President's permission, we went to Toyota Factory with an Eikaiwa student. It was soooooo cool. We felt like we were in the Star Wars movie when we were watching the robots weld the bodies of the cars together. There was also a robot that played "Over the Rainbow" on the trumpet. It was sooooo weird because we took an English tour, so all of the gaijin (foreigners) were there. I felt so uncomfortable with all the white people around me. It felt almost like I was breaking the rules to talk to them. I wonder if that's how I'll feel in two years when I come home.

We also saw some sumo wrestlers practice this morning. The national tournament started yesterday, so we have been seeing the wrestlers riding their bikes around Kasugai because the training arena is about 500m from our apartment. It was cool. Sumo wrestling is intense and they slam into each other sooooo hard! We also went to a Shinto shrine this morning. The Japanese are so Christian, but they don't know it. 
Love you all. Thanks for emails and letters. 
Sanderson Choro

This chair is actually a car

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Two of Us!

It seems like ten minutes ago I was writing to you about last week. Time sure flies when you're doing the Lord's work!

This week we had a baptism! Hiromi-chan got baptized on Saturday evening and confirmed on Sunday. We also had a party for her after the baptismal service. We made a video for her that I will need to send home, so you can see it. She was excited about her baptism. She has begun to be really good friends with the other kids her age and her mom now has visiting teachers. We are grateful we are able to help them. Hiromi's mom, Ella, is a convert of four years from the Philippines. She lost the church when she came to Japan. She bumped into the missionaries one day on a street corner and invited them over. We helped Ella-san get back to church and Hiromi-chan got baptized! Her baptism was done by Duarte Choro and her confirmation was done by Bishop Ishikawa and he also gave her some scriptures and a Bible picture book. The ward has seamlessly stepped in to take their family into the fellowship and support of the gospel.

While I was at Hiromi's baptism, I realized what I am a part of. I am helping people return to Heavenly Father. It's very humbling and powerful that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to help his children learn about Him and enter the path back to Him. I am so glad to be a part of it. These people's eternal reward is hanging in the balance. I am glad that I can help them find it. As of right now, my language and teaching isn't perfect and probably never will be. But that's why I'm so glad to have the Spirit to testify of the truth of the gospel and to convey the message to the hearts of the people.

We served a member named Brother Hall this week. He is from Canada and owns a Junkyard here in Kasugai. We helped him clear debris and fix up the place in order for a container to come in today. He is a very strong member in the church and I am glad to have been able to help him. Brother Hall was telling me that Obama-care passed and was saying that the world is running out of heroes. I told him that at least we can always count on God. He replied with, "The Lord never fails a test, but sometimes we fail to test Him." Duarte Choro and I were like whoa. I told Brother Hall that I had to write that down. So there ya go. The gospel truth I learned while clearing out a pit in a junkyard in Kasugai for a Canadian. Brother Hall is super cool.

We had a short companion split with the Toyota Zone Leaders on Friday while we were doing Hiromi-chan's interview. I went with Pedersen Choro to help Aoyama Kyodai home teach the Hisaka Family. Aoyama Kyodai's home teaching companion is also our dendoshunin, Nishimura Kyodai. Nishimura Kyodai had to go to the interview with Bardzinski Choro and Duarte Choro, so Pedersen Choro and I went home teaching. Aoyama Kyodai shared a message from the Liahona about sustaining our leaders. Pedersen Choro related it to helping our ward with dendo as well. Hisaka Shimai told us that she has been praying for her fish. Then she reached into the fish tank and grabbed the fish! She said, "He's sick." and then threw him back in the water. I watched a seventy-year-old woman pull a fish out of her fish tank with her hands. Pedersen Choro turned to me and said, "Having fun?" It was quite memorable.

Jill, I forgot to tell you something. I played Cat's Cradle with an eleven-year-old Japanese girl. Her name is Lilika and she speaks better English than I did when I was 11. Cat's Cradle is called "Futari Ayatori" in Japanese. Lilika is super good at it and can do it by herself! She just shuffles the strings on her fingers! It's mind-blowing. She also taught me some new ways to play it. It was fun and it reminded me of when I play with you.

It's hot! July is crankin' up the heat. It's humid too so it feels like you're riding your bike (at an average of 25 mph) through a sauna. Woo doggies! Some days it rains, so we get a little cooler, but it's still humid. I feel like I'm melting sometimes.

I've been dendo-ing so much that I get a slight sun burn like twice a week. It's good though. Everybody needs a little cancer and it's for the Lord. We finally got in contact with our newest investigator again. Furuya-san is meeting us tomorrow and we got her phone number, so we can contact her easier. We also saw her at McDonalds (Makudonarudo) today. We got in contact with Naomi-san again. She is super busy lately, so we haven't heard from her in a while. She is scheduled to be baptized tomorrow, but she hasn't come to church. We will reschedule her baptism soon.

We made pancakes for breakfast this morning. They were tasty. We also made Sister Baird's homemade syrup. It was even tastier. I had to improvise for the buttermilk (the recipe suggested putting lemon juice with milk and let it sour for a bit) but we didn't have lemon juice. I cut up an orange and used 100% OJ instead. It turned out fine. We have some syrup left over too, so we'll probably do those again soon. Last week I made burgers. They were soooooo good. I put salt and pepper and finely diced onions in the hamburger and made the patties. I then wrapped them up and stuck them in the fridge to "marinate" for a few hours. I fried them in a pan and put cheese and bacon on top. We had em with the works, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc. They were so good and so tender. We are gonna have those again sometime too.

Well, I hope your week was fantastic, cuz mine was biest! Love you all. Thanks for the support!


Elder Sanderson

Engrish funnuy

Monday, June 25, 2012

No Sympathy for the Devil

G'day mates.

I made it through the typhoon fine. I got wet, but it was fun. Apparently it came up from Okinawa, but it wasn't terrible in Kasugai. Anyway this week was good. We found a new investigator named Furuya-san. She has the cutest two-year-old daughter named Itsuki-chan. She wasn't home when we tried to visit her again, but we are gonna keep visiting this week. We met with our two yakusoku-shas (people to be baptized) this week. We meet with Hiromi-chan every week at least twice. We have her baptism scheduled for this week, but we need to bump it back a week because we have to much to teach her still. It goes a little slower with her because she is only nine years old. She is super smart and way spiritual though.

We also met with Naomi-san this week. We need to schedule her baptism. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays daily though. She has also begun to recognize answers to her prayers. Good stuff. Every Friday, we have an FHE at Matt Kyodai's house. He always makes amazing food and desserts and then we share a message. Last week we had twelve people there. Awesome. Two were investigators, Ito Megumi-san and Maejima-san. They have been investigators for a while, but getting involved with other members and building those relationships will help them make that step to baptism.

This week I learned that I like to cook. It fun because you get to control how good your food tastes. It gets me really excited to eat the meal too. I always help Matt cook at the FHE and tonight I'm cooking up some burgers. Exciting! I like changing up things too. Like making a bowl of ramen freakin' fantastic with an egg and some veggies in it. MMMMM!!! We made cookies this week too. They were good. We gave some to a recent convert when we visited him. His name is Tan, and he is from China. He ate the cookies with some chopsticks. It was interesting.

So last week Mom told me about Brother Empey's talk at Seth's farewell. He told a story about going to get ribs and meeting someone who needed the missionaries. He related it to how the Lord knows us and puts things in our way to make his purposes come to pass. That exact thing happened to me on Saturday. I received revelation from my stomach, I guess. We went to a place called Chateraise to get an eclair. While we were in the parking lot eating eclairs an investigator and her daughter parked by us! She has been a little distanced lately, but it was funny to see the Lord make our paths cross. She said that she will come to Eikaiwa (English Class) next week. Cool stuff.

Yesterday (Sunday), we had Stake Conference. It was a broadcast to all of Japan. Sister Wixom, the Primary General President, Elder Yun Huan Che, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke. They spoke about the church in Japan and encouraged the members to "relight the fire of personal conversion." They spoke about strengthening the church around them and helping reactivate members and fulfilling responsibilities. It was cool to listen to from a missionary's perspective.

On Saturday, we dendo'd almost non-stop. It was awesome. I fell asleep that night in about two seconds.

That's pretty much it for this week. Love you guys. Thanks for the emails and support.


Elder Sanderson

Happy Fazzah’s Day!

Hey Howdy Hey!

Thanks for all the emails! And the package. It got here in ten days. The CDs are awesome and the sour gummy worms were AMAZING! Feel free to send more of those whenever you want to. My comp said he hasn't seen sour gummy worms in Japan, so I might miss those. Guess what? This week was good! After our Pday on Monday, we dendo'd with a recent convert for a couple of hours. He wants to be a missionary so it was cool for him to contact people with us. On Tuesday, we went to visit Hiromi-chan and her mom and found two new investigators in their apartment building. One, Ayoko, is from Brazil. We got the cops called on us for being to loud while talking to her on Thursday.

Our Ward Mission Leader is such a beast! His name is Brother Nishimura. He is a convert of two years and is so willing to help the missionaries. He goes to lessons with us about four times per week and drives us everywhere. He is such a good example to us and makes us want to treat missionaries well back at home.

On Wednesday, we had an FHE with a member and her non-member husband. It was a good lesson and gave us a good chance to build our relationship with them. They gave me a new Kanji name though. It's epic! 雷尊 It means Thunder and Noble or Royal. Sanda (Thunder) son. Killer. On Thursday, we had lessons with four investigators! Three were with Nishimura Kyodai, too!

Meg, here is where I'll answer your question. My favorite scripture (this week) is Mosiah 2:41. It talks about the blessed and happy state of the people who keep the commandments. It talks about how we will gain eternal life for living righteously. I advise you to study it for yourself. That was one of the scriptures we read with an investigator on Thursday.

Friday, we had more training in Meito! We were taught how to interact with investigators, ward members, and ward leaders in order to maximize effectiveness of our dendo. It was really good. We had an FHE demo from President Baird and he busted out the Spirit like a G. After the training, Duarte Choro turned to me and said something in Portuguese. I just looked at him and said, "I don't speak Portuguese." All of the Elders around us started laughing as Duarte Choro realized he was speaking the wrong language. He has been mixed up this week because he has talked to Brazilian Elders and investigators, Me, and Japanese people. His language center in his brain must be going insane.

Saturday was rainy, but we had a basketball activity at a gym. There weren't a ton of people there, but it was good because we built our relationship with the less-active member who came. He is way good at basketball. Yesterday was nice and sunny. We had Hiromi-chan at church which means if she comes one more time she can be baptized! We have her scheduled for the 1st of  July. Woohoo! The rest of the day was planning and visiting an investigator, but he was busy. We will try him again tonite. I also go on another exchange tonite. Dunn Choro (who is from Heber) is gonna kick it in Kasugai with me until tomorrow.

In the field, the missionaries use funny vocabulary for different things. Since I am only in my second transfer I am still "young." A missionary's trainer is his "dad" and his second companion is his "mom." When you are near the end of your mission, you are "old." When you go home, you "die." I was a little scared the first time I heard Elder Clark tell me that a missionary "died" in Seto.

I'm learning more and more everyday. Japan and the people are amazing. The Lord blesses his missionaries. With Christ, we can do all things. I love you all and thank you for your support while I am out here.


Elder Sanderson

“Here I go again on my own”… With a companion


I can't believe how fast this week went. I have a lot to write about though. Here goes.

We made good progress with some potential investigators and investigators this week. We have been trying to contact a potential investigator named Kobuki-san. He lives near our church building and found him one day while we were 10x-ing. He is interested in our message and we have set an appointment with him.

Our investigator named Naomi-san met with us three times this week! It was so great because on Saturday night we invited her to be baptized and she said yes!We have her baptism lined up for July 3rd, which is a Tuesday. We also plan to invite a long-time investigator, Maejima-san, to be baptized on that date too. He has been coming to church for three years, but hasn't been baptized because he has trouble with sake and coffee. He reads the Book of Mormon and prays, so we plan to help him with the Word of Wisdom and invite him to baptism. We are meeting with him this Thursday night.

Our other yakusokusha (person to be baptized) is Hiromi-chan. She is set to be baptized this Sunday, but she didn't come to church this week. We will push her baptizm back to July 3rd as well so we can make sure she understands everything well.

We also had an appointment with a man named Raul. He wasn't home, so we talked to his wife and she said we can come back. We have appointments set for Friday night and Saturday afternoon with their family.

We taught Kan-kun English this week and also had a short lesson. He is a recent convert that loves the missionaries and wants to go on a mission. We also met with the Murphy family in our ward on Thursday night. We had an FHE with a less-active member and his non-member girlfriend. We plan to meet them again on Friday night.

This week we have another FHE lined up for Tuesday with a member's friend. We hope to help her see the blessings of the gospel and help her come closer to Christ.

On Tuesday, we had another training for trainers and their beans in Meito. It was like a Spirit bomb. President Baird also told us about the new missionaries in Nagoya. One got a double major in music and Japanese in three years!!!!! Crazy!! President Baird taught us with his powerful spirit and brilliant inspiration. We all learned a lot that day.

Wednesday afternoon we were passing out English class fliers and I went to hand one to a man and he threw his hands up in the air and said, "I believe in Lucifer, the Morning Star!!" Duarte Choro and I were almost rolling from laughing so hard. It wasn't a very well constructed sentence, though because if he believes in Lucifer, then he believes in God. What he meant to say is that he worships Lucifer. We were thinking we should have said, "We believe in Lucifer too. We just worship God." It was funny. Later that night we had English class. We had nine people there and five of them were investigators. It was really good to talk about the Book of Mormon with everyone. I also talked to Naomi-san about the plan God has for us and our purpose in life. She is what we call a "kinjin." It literally means "gold person" but it's how we refer to golden investigators. She has such a big appetite for the gospel.

Thursday I made up a super hero named the Human Locker because I carry my big backpack and Duarte Choro only has his small bag, so I carry all the papers and folders and stuff. I was trying to think what the Human Lockers powers would be. Probably a bunch of compartments in his body and like a seventh grader side kick that sits in his chest cavity.

Thursday night we had an appointment at Matt's house with a less active member. We had the best waffles I have ever eaten in my life. They started out plain and Matt kept adding stuff like bananas, blueberries, and chocolate. It was amazing. We had a good spiritual thought too.

On Friday and Saturday, I had another exchange. This time I stayed in Kasugai and Farnsworth Choro came here. We had some good adventures tracking down less actives and contacting PIs. The next morning we went out early to check a PI, but he wasn't home. On the way back to the apartment, we went to a Buddhist shrine. There were also some Shinto things there too. It was cool. There was a statue that was like 30 feet tall..

Saturday night we had children's English class. We played tag and did the Hokey Pokey. There is one student that is ten years old. Her name is Lilika. She speaks better English than I do. She is super smart. We also talked to her mom, one of our investigators, and she promised to go to church before Duarte choro leaves. We don't know when that will be, but she will come to church at least in the next six weeks.

I also had the opportunity to give some healing blessings this week. It's pretty much the same in Nihongo, just a little more difficult to remember what to say.

Cori asked me what new foods I have tried. Since my last food report, it has been tako-yakisoba. It's grilled noodles with cabbage and other veggies, but also octopus. I had it at shokujikai (the potluck after church that is held once a month). It was pretty tasty.

Megan asked me what the biggest difference of living in America as opposed to Japan is. It's the beds. Futons are a lot different than normal beds. They are even a lot different than American futons. They're super hot because of the huge comforter they have. They are surprisingly comfortable for just being a thin pad on the floor.

That's pretty much the whole deal this week. I haven't gotten the CDs yet, but they will probably be here soon. I hope everything is going well for you guys back on the home front. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson