Monday, April 30, 2012

WAHOOOOO! I'm in Japan

Well, first off, Japan is baller biest rebel sin crazy awesome!

It`s so much fun. Nihonjin are so nice and super polite. At the Tokyo Airport, the lady printing my boarding pass called me "Sanderson-san Ian Derik-sama." I was like "What?!!!" Number 1: The title "san" at the end of a last name is very polite, but usually used for people older than yourself. Number 2: the title "sama" is super polite and very honorific. God in Nihongo is "Kamisama". Jesus Christ is sometimes called "Iesu Kirisuto-sama" or "Iesu-sama". I was blown away at how polite they were. Every time I ride past a cop on the street, he`ll stop the traffic as we cross and say thank you to us. And everyone says you`re good at Nihongo even if it blows super hard like mine. It`s funny too, because no one here takes a compliment like Americans do. In America, when you compliment someone, it`s polite to say thank you. In Nihon, you say "no no no no no" and then contradict their statement. They are very humble and loving compared to Americans.

So anyway, the flights were good. To Seattle was fun. Across the Pacific got a little long, but it was okay because I slept a lot. Then the flight from Tokyo to Nagoya was like nonexistent. I remember being in the Tokyo airport and watching all the vehicles move around on the tarmac. I felt like I was on Yavin 4 in the Rebel Base from Star Wars as we were loading up ships to go liberate a planet. When I boarded the plane in Tokyo, we had to wait to take off, but I was out like a light. I remember waking up for about 45 seconds to tell a flight attendant "Yes, I would like some apple juice." I then drank it, thought to myself "This apple juice is terrible," and then fell back asleep. When I woke up we were on the ground in Nagoya. Some people thought we were still in Tokyo. It was pretty funny.

When we got to Nagoya, we were picked up by Baird Kaicho (President Baird) and his wife and all the APs. We then did some proselyting on the trains back to the mission home. You`ll get a video of it sometime that the APs made for us. There is a scene where I am on one side of a man talking to him with Jones Choro on his other side. That`s the first time I thought, "Holy crap. I`m in Japan talking to a real Japanese man about the gospel in Japanese!" It was such a great experience. And I`ve had more too!!

My trainer is Duarte Choro. He`s from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a beast thug G. He is super loving and way funny. He loves doing the Lord`s work and he works me to death everyday. But it`s really good. He is a great example of relying on the Lord because he has been out here for a year and a half and has learned Japanese and English. He`s pretty much fluent in both.

We`ve been teaching investigators, visiting members, and contacting less actives. It is so much fun. Since I`ve been in Japan we have met two potential investigators. One is from England and his name is Raji. Another is an American named Katherine. They are both excited to have someone to speak English with. 

Well anyway my first area is Kasugai. It`s like a thirty minute bike ride from the Nagoya Mission home and is already really hot. But hey, I`m in Japan! My apartment is pretty big for a Japanese abode. It has a full five rooms, although small. My bike is being special ordered because (surprise surprise) they don`t have one big enough for me at the bike shop. Right now my comp is riding a loaner bike and I`m riding his.

 I`m taking lots of pictures, and I`ll send them home sometime soon. Thanks for the emails and such.

 Oh by the way, packages need to be sent via US Post Service so they can be forwarded to my address. They also need to be sent at least a month before the intended arrival date. If that makes sense.

Well I gotta end now, so love you all. Stay true to the faith.

Sanderson Choro

Mondays are P-day, so you`ll get my emails at about midnight on Sunday there.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nihon ni ikimasho!! (Let's go to Japan!!)

Heyya! I actually get to write today because I have a two hour lunch break. Today we are doing In-Field Training. They teach us about our purpose, finding investigators, coordinating with members, and some other stuff. It's pretty cool to learn about all the stuff I will do on a daily basis to talk to people about the gospel.

The last couple of days, we have been looking at all of our teachers' pictures from their missions. I am getting super excited to go! They share a lot of cool experiences that I can't wait to have myself. On Monday, former Fukuoka Mission President Mills gave us a lesson about our expectations. It was one of those "Whether you think you are going to succeed or you think you are going to fail, you're right" kind of things. It was really cool because we talked about the power of the expectations we set for ourselves.

My mission is starting to get real. The MTC is part of the mission, but it definitely isn't Nihon. I've packed up a ton of stuff already, so I'm realizing what I'm about to jump into. Kore o shimasho! (Let's do this!) It's gonna be sooooo fun to wreck the streets of Japan (not literally). I can't wait to find the Nihonjin waiting for the message of the gospel. It's gonna be so much fun learning Nihongo in constant immersion in the language too.

On Sunday night, Elder M. Russel Ballard came and talked to us. He spoke about expectations too. Elder Archuleta sang "The Spirit of God" for us. It was awesome. He can melt butter with his golden pipes. I was really impressed by the Spirit when he sang "armies of heaven" because that's what we are. We are the army of heaven. We have this wonderful, fantastic, super baller message to share with the world. We are doing the Lord's work. I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

To end our Sunday night fireside, we sang the Called to Serve Fanfare. I described this in a previous email, so you all can imagine how epic it is. I love singing the song like that. I feel the Spirit so strong when we do. Hymns are awesome like that. I love singing hymns and catching a line that I have never thought about before. It's so cool!!

Tuesday we had Elder Gibbons of the Seventy speak to us. I don't rightly remember the topic about which he spake. After, during our district devotional review, Elder Akau bore his testimony. Seven weeks ago he left a devotional review with the intent of packing up and going home. His testimony is so strong. He bore his testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon and how he has come to know that Heavenly Father loves us and knows us. I testify that that is true.

On Wednesday, Panganiban Sensei, bore his testimony to us. He promised us blessings and success in Nihon. The Spirit was like KABAAAAMMM! You could cut it with a katana. (See what I did there?) I love all my teachers so much. They are such great examples to us. They are also really patient and helpful with us.

Anyway, how are things on the homefront? Thanks for the packages, pics, and letters this week. I am always glad to get mail. Mom, I realized that I haven't ever talked much about your mission with you. As I've come to know the sisters in my district, I have thought a lot about what it may have been like back in the days of your mission. Write me about it. How was it in the MTC? What was your favorite part of your mission? I've heard a lot of stories about Dad's mission, but not much more than a couple stories about yours. I'm just curious. (That's Sister Brotherson's catchphrase, by the way.)

I hope you all are doing great and strengthening your testimonies. Have a Jesus filled day. (Teehee)



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hehhhh?! Gaijin desu ne?! (You're a foreigner, aren't you?)

Konnichiwa, minasan!

I got travel plans this week!! Woohoo! Nihon ni ikimasho!!!! (Let's go to Japan!) I leave Monday, April 23 at 4:00 am. I'm super stoked! We talked to a temple worker who went to Tokyo on his mission. It was great to hear about his experience as he first got there and how he came to really understand Nihongo. Today I am on a split with Williams 長老 (Choro) and Jones 長老 because my companion, Koch 長老, is in Salt Lake doing an endowment session there until 3:00. The MTC thinks he is from Germany because his family lives there now. That's why he gets to go there today.

Easter Sunday was baller. President Boyd K. Packer and his son, Elder Alan Packer, spoke to us. President Packer spoke about replacing fear with faith. Something I'll need to do when I get to Nihon, for sure. On Sunday night the BYU Men's Choir came and sang for us. They sang great hymns and also some folk tunes from Israel. They also sang the popular Mexican folk song "La Cucaracha" with fake moustaches. It was phenominal! I realized how strong I feel the Spirit when I listen to music. It makes me greatful for hymns, even though I do miss normal music every once in a while. I really like to sing hymns when I am walking around campus just to keep the Spirit with me.

Tuesday night's devotional was with Bishop McMullin, who was recently released. He and his wife spoke the Holy Ghost a lot. I definitely learned a lot about recognizing the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Bishop McMullin reminded me of Sister McMullin in our ward. Only because of the name, but I think I should say hi to Sister McMullin and wish her and her family well. That was just something I thought I should do.

Tonikaku (Anyway), I hosted new missionaries on Wednesday, and I get to again this Wednesday. It's pretty fun to see families say goodbye to their son or daughter. They are always emotional of course, but one crying mother said to us, "This is the best thing I have ever done." It kind of caught me off guard, but then I said, "He's in the right place." There is really no better place to be right now in a time like this. Doing the Lord's work is so much fun! I get to help people come closer to our Savior. What better calling is there?! I thought about that mother as I wrote in my journal that night. It was interesting to me how she has already recognized the blessings of her son serving a mission. I hope all you guys have too. I know that I am being blessed for sure!

This week (I think it was Monday), Kim sent me an Easter Egg full of Warhead candies. With the candy came a challenge. The challenge was to spray 4 sprays of the Warhead spray and immediately follow it with 5 warhead hard candies. After the sour flavor was gone, I had to throw in 6 sour gummy cubes. My companion also threw in a bonus round of four more sprays of sour spray. Fun times. I'll mail home the pics we took. They're pretty intense. My tongue was pretty dead after that.

Well I hope all is well. If I forgot anything, I'll write home later. I wanna hear about Jill's new wheels, if she got some yet. I hope you all have a nice week. I'll write home on Saturday next week, because we have In-Field Training on Friday next week.

I love you all!

サンダーソン 長老
(Elder Sanderson)

 The Elder Sandersons at the Provo Temple

 Best buds for life!

Beau's district + Ian 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hello there!

Strange weather eh? I guess that's Utah for you. It makes me wish I had a real coat. A bunch of Elders here have the one from Mr. Mac. It's pretty nice and it has a detachable waterproof liner. One of the Brothers I did sealings with this morning said "merry Christmas" to us. I thought it was because of the snow at first, but then he reminded us that is Christ's birthday. So happy birthday to him. Also Happy Birthday to Seth Wynn yesterday. I hope it was great.

This week was great! (Surprise, Surprise) Elder Beau Sanderson got here on Wednesday! (He's my cousin for those of you who don't know him.) I wasn't able to host for his arrival on Wednesday, but I did see him and talk to him at dinner. We have the same meal schedule, so we see each other a lot. He has two companions and is already learning some Korean. Sugoi desu ne?! (Isn't it great?!) He said he is enjoying the MTC already and it's getting even better. I'm glad he is taking well to the change of pace. His residence is in the building I do service in on Thursdays, so I might see him there too. He doesn't live near me though. He'll get to email on Saturday, but I don't know when his P-day is.

In other news, we got Kohai (juniors) this week! On Monday we got 27 Nihonjin (Japanese) Elders and on Wednesday we got 25ish other missionaries. Our branch has 105 missionaries in it! The whole fourth floor in our residence hall is Nihongo missionaries. It's super fun to practice my Nihongo with the Nihonjin. I had a fairly coherent and comprehendable conversation with Shimizu Choro last night. He is from Kobe and he was washing a stain off of his cuff. With the help of my dictionary, I told him he could borrow my Shout stain remover when he does his laundry. It was pretty cool. Meeting the Nihonjin missionaries makes me want to go to Nihon (Japan) really bad. They are super friendly and have great senses of humor.

How did you all like General Conference. They played it in the auditorium where we have firesides. We watched all of the sessions in there. I too enjoyed the "Stop It" talk by Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Holland's talk about a similar subject just before that. I have access to all the General Conference stuff on so I watched/listened to the YW conference while doing TALL (Tech Assisted Language Learning). I saw you, Jill! You have a beastie close up! Davis Shimai (Sister Davis) in my district said that Jill is really cute. I said that Jill looks just like me. Davis Shimai gave me a pity laugh. Anyway, I enjoyed Pres. Monson's talk about Believing, Obeying, and Enduring even though it was directed toward the young women.

Priesthood Session was baller as usual.I enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk about Honoring the Priesthood. He spoke of how we are entitled to the help and power of God if we live worthy of it.

Two and a half weeks until I'm on my way to Nihon! Super stoked! People keep telling me my Nihongo capability will plummet when I get there. Ha!! I'm sure my comprehension of fluent Nihonjin will be less than ideal, but my abilities will only improve. That's why I talk to the Nihonjin Elders so much. Get as much practice as I can.

My comp's friend had a saying that whenever something awesome would happen, he would say "The Church is true!" He's use it in situations like getting double meat on a sub for free. Now we use it for everything, but we say "Kyokai ga shinjitsu desu!" Our branch pres. said it randomly while we were in devotional review with the Nihonjin on Tuesday night. My comp and I turned to eachother, fist pumped about three times and then fist bumped. It was great!

Well remember that the Church is true. I love you all. Keep on keepin' on!

Ai shite imasu (I love you)

Sanderson Choro