Monday, May 28, 2012

Where has the time gone?


This week flew by. I don`t even remember half of it. Thus, this email may be short. The main highlight of this week was Zone Conference in Meito-ku, where the Mission Home is. There were three zones there. About some of my doki (new missionary group) was there. One was my MTC companion, Elder Koch. He is having a fun time in his first area. His trainer is a Korean that doesn`t speak much English. It`s an adventure for him. Elder "Fly guy" Jones was also there. His trainer used to be my trainer`s companion. Anyway at the training we were taught about being committed to the work. President Baird is one of the most powerful teachers I`ve ever met. When he calls on you, you can`t help but be nervous. He called on me when I was shaking my head in reply to his question, "Is being obedient our purpose?" He called on me and my heart jumped out of my chest. Just before President Baird`s talk, however, the Zone Leaders taught us that if we are doing the Lord`s work, working hard, and loving his children, then we will be inherently obedient. It`s pretty cool how blessed we are for obedience in our lives.

After the training, I went on another exchange to Seto. This time it was with James 長老 who is on his second transfer. It was an adventure for sure. We both don`t speak Japanese too well, so our FHE that night was interesting to say the least. We also went housing the next day and that was pretty cool. We both learned a lot.

This week I had to get the gears fixed on my bike, but the people did it for free because we go there so often. I also got a beasty new headlight and a sweet rear fender. My bike is rollin hot.

This week we had an appointment with an investigator, Imamura-san. She didn`t show up, but we had like 4 members there to help fellowship and such. One was Enami Shimai. She is the best missionary I have met. She converted her husband, her father, and constantly looks for missionary opportunities. We were waiting for the investigator and we told her that we were going to check her house because she lives close to the church. We went there and found the investigator in her car taking someone to the hospital. We ran back to the church and told Enami Shimai and she was really moved. She told us that even though we didn`t get to teach Imamura-san that night, Enami Shimai`s faith was still strengthened because we met Imamura-san and our prayers were answered. Duarte 長老 and I were blown away. It was so cool.

I got the Dear Elder. It took eight days to get here. So those are good to go if you wanna send stuff that way. I also got Megan`s graduation announcement. That took like seven days. Thanks for those, it`s fun to get real mail.

That`s pretty much it for this week. I gotta go too, so love you!


That says "Sandason Choro" It means 3 rice field village. I learned from a member.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cross reference

It turns out that President and Sister Baird have a mission blog too! This post talks about Ian's group arriving in Nagoya and their first couple days in Japan. What a fun little thing to stumble upon. 

 A bunch of greenies happy to be in Japan. 

"You are exactly where you're supposed to be right now"

Well ain`t things just peachy?

I chose this subject line this week from Cori`s email. She was telling me how she has watched the mission video a bunch of times. I went on the blog and watched it. It`s biest, eh? Like Cori, I have had experiences that tell me "You are exactly where you're supposed to be right now." I remember the first time I felt that impression the strongest. I said the prayer for leadership training at the MTC and I was complimented on my Japanese. I then realized how I had started to feel the spirit in a different language. It was a testimony to me that I am needed in Japan, I am needed to teach people in Japanese, and I am going to do great things. Crap now I`m crying. I`ve cried more in the past three months than I have in the first 19 years of my life.

Anywho, I had another experience yesterday that told me that I am supposed to be here. My companion and I do a short fireside every month for the ward to help them dendo (this word literally means "proselyte", but it`s also used as "missionary work"). This month we showed them a bit from the Reflections of Christ video. I bore a short testimony afterward about Christ. I was feeling the Spirit so strong. It definitely was a testimony to me telling me that this is where I am supposed to be.

This week was packed with miracles and blessings. We got four new investigators!!!! Wooohoooo!! All of our investigators right now are Tachibana-san and her daughter, Nagisa-san, Nakao Sota-san, Yoshimura-san, Raul, Ito Megumi-san (she is in love with Duarte Choro), Hiromi-chan (she is getting baptized next month), Ariga-san, Naomi-san, Ima Mura-san, Maejima-san, and Matsuda-san. We have a good amount of PI`s now too, but we need more. Anyway, we were doing some housing and Ariga-san came to the door. I told him that we`re missionaries and we`re sharing a message about families. I testified that it has helped my family and it can help his. He was interested! We talked to him and set up an appointment for later tonight (monday). On Wednesday, we had a new Eikaiwa (English class) student. Her name is Naomi. She lived in California for ten years. She went through a 12-step program for something while there. Steps 3 and 11 include acknowledging the existence of God. She said it gave her a spiritual awakening. So the next day we taught her the first lesson and we are meeting her again on Wednesday! She is super interested in our relationship to God. neat-o!

Every week one of our Eikaiwa students brings us a story and pictures. This week the story was confusing, but the pictures were of American Fork! He went there on Google Earth and printed them out. It was weird to see that place, when I`m so far away. He printed pictures of Mt.Timp, the Temple, Lowe`s Hardware, and a double rainbow somewhere in AF. Pretty interesting stuff.

On Tuesday we were distributing chirashis (fliers) for Eikaiwa. We were at the Kasugai eki (train station) and we saw Hannah Montana! Not really, but a girl looked exactly like her. We also met a woman who speaks great English and said she learned it from her Mexican husband. We were laughing so hard that she learned English from her Mexican hubby.

In other events, I tried yakuniku this week. It literally means grilled meat. It`s good! I also had Japanese sushi for the first time. It`s way better than American sushi. We had tuna, squid, shrimp, more squid, seaweed, the whole 9. It was tasty. I think my taste buds are starting to adapt to Japanese food. On Friday and Saturday I went on an exchange with Bardzinski Choro in Toyota. Toyota is pretty quiet for such a big city. B-ski Choro (that`s his nickname) is from Australia and he is funny as heck! He taught me some really cool stuff about kanji. The kanji for boat includes the kanji for “boat”, “eight”, and “people (counter)”. What boat had eight people in it? The Ark! Crazy, right? The kanji for emperor includes the kanji for heaven, white, and king. Does that remind you of God or Christ? Insane-o right?! The best one is the kanji for kin. It includes two tress and the kanji for the verb “to show.” Any guesses where someone was shown two trees? The Garden of Eden! It blew my mind! The Japanese (and Chinese) have had these kanji for thousands of years. It can’t be a coincidence that they are that.

I got a super nice camera this week. It has sixteen megapixels, 18x zoom, pnoramics, video, the works. Guess how much? 9700 yen. That’s only about $100! It’s so cool and was so cheap.

I will send some pics shortly after this in another email, so get ready for those. This week was really fun and I hope yours was great too.


Sanderson Choro

  New camera

He got to see the solar eclipse too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Japan Nagoya Mission Video

Ian's mission president sent us this video. It shows some pictures of the landscape and people of Japan, and then shows Ian and his group of missionaries arriving in Nagoya and teaching on the train ride. I think our family could watch it a million times.

Happy Mozzah's Day

Hey hey ho ho hey!

It was so great to Skype home yesterday! My companion keeps saying how awesome my family is. I have to say I agree.

This week was fun! I went on an exchange in Nakatsugawa, helped teach Eikaiwa (English Class), and got some new investigators and a yakusokusha (person who is going to be baptized)!

Something funny I noticed this week. We live about a block away from an elementary school, so we hear the bells everyday during study time. The one that rings at 8:05 is that classical spring time morning theme. I wish I knew the name. But at about 3:00 a Mario theme plays! It`s awesome! It`s probably for recess or PE or something, but it`s super cool. I heard it play when we were having a late lunch one day. It is funny to hear all the different bells everyday.

On Wednesday nights, we get to teach English to Nihonjin at the church. We read a bit in the Book of Mormon and then listen to a song and have the students fill in words in the song. This week we listened to "I Gotta Feelin" by The Black Eyed Peas. It was hilarious because everyone was super frustrated by the end of the song. No one could understand what they were saying. Duarte Choro was thinking we should`ve chose a different song. I was just laughing to myself.

We met with a woman and her daughter this week. Ella (the mother) is a member, but hasn`t been to church in a long time. Her daughter wants to be baptized! They were at church yesterday! It is so cool! We have the baptismal date set for June 17, but we are going to try to bump it up a bit. They are rock stars!

We also met with a man named Raul this week. He is Bolivian, so he speaks Spanish. I thought I couldn`t understand Japanese.... Let`s just say I`m gonna need some time to get some Spanish under my belt. It`s good though, because my companion will translate for me and Raul knows that we are missionaries, what are purpose is, and he is interested in what we have to say. It`s so great.

On Thursday I went on another exchange. This time I traveled to the far away land of Nakatsugawa. It`s about a hour to an hour and a half to get there by train. It`s more country side-ish than Kasugai. The area is about twice the size of Kasugai too. I was with Farnsworth Choro and we helped a member clear an irrigation ditch so he can irrigate his fields. We found some crawdads and frogs while we were working. After we were done, Keiji Kyodai (the member we were helping) took us fishing. He is an avid fisherman, but we couldn`t get any bites. I would walk up to him and say "Do desu ka?" (How is it?). He would reply in a funny accent, "No bite." It was fun. After fishing, we taught Eikaiwa and had a meeting with the branch president. He is very cool.

On Friday and Saturday night we went to a bye-bye party for Hiroshi-kun. He leaves on his mission today. He is serving in Fukuoka. We had a lot of food and some good spiritual thoughts.

That`s pretty much my week this week. It was fast and fun. Hope yours was good too. Keep readin` those scriptures and keep fighting the good fight back home.

Ai shite imasu (I love you),

Elder Sanderson

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Pictures

Here's a new picture we got from Ian's mission president. 
This is him with his trainer, Elder Duarte from Sao Paulo.

 Gotta love those English translations!

 Ian's new bike

 Ian posing in front of some statues. 

 More posing.

"What's the grossest thing you've eaten so far?"
Fermented soybeans.
They have the consistency of snot.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Called to know the richness of his blessing

Hey all!

First off we`ll get the business out of the way. I`ve sent some letters. I heard they take about 2 weeks to get to the states. I don`t know for sure though, so let me know. I`ll report back on when I get your letters too. Next week is Mother`s Day, so I`ll be calling home again. I`ll be calling at about 8 am here on Sunday. That means it will be about 5 pm there on Saturday. I`ll be at a member`s house using their Skype, so you can get that hooked up this week. I am pretty sure my username is ian.sanderson30. You can probably add me as a friend through Facebook anyway. If I can`t get that to work right away, I will call Dad`s phone again and we`ll work it out. Plan A: Skype, Plan B: Cell phone. Ian, if you can help get that stuff sorted out, it will be much appreciated.

Congratulations, Megan. Graduating college! Beast! And Welcome Home Danielle! I`m sure you miss your mission already. I think I`m gonna hate leaving this place. I hated leaving the MTC and all the friends I made there. I already don`t want this to end.

I want to say something about the strange concept of time. Everyday is so packed that they seem to go on forever. But when you look back, you think, "Where did this week go?" We gotta make the most of our time here, eh?

Anyway this week was fun. It was Golden Week here. It`s like the only days that Nihonjin take off of work. Some of our investigators were out of town, but this week will be better. Yesterday when we were going to see a potential investigator (PI), he came out in nothing but his boxer shorts. He exploded! He was yelling at Duarte Choro in Portuguese saying to stop bothering him and to get away from there. I was scared. We actually have a lot of Spanish and Portuguese speaking PIs right now. I guess I`ll be learning some Spanish and Portuguese too. This week we were 10x-ing (it`s like tracting, but we establish contact with at least ten people) and we met a woman named Oguchi-San. She studies the Bible and already has great faith in Jesus Christ. She said she wants to come to church so we are visiting her again today. (It`s Monday here. Idk if I said my P-Day was Monday yet.)

I love my new bike!!!! I got it on Friday. It has a beasty paint job and disc brakes. 24 speeds too, baby! It`s so fast too! I am always trailing Duarte Choro and I have to slow down so I don`t smash into him. I took some sweet pics of it and me on it by a kombini (convenience store) with some sweet anime statues in front. I`ll see if I can get some pics emailed and printed and sent soon.

It is heating up here already, but it does rain sometimes. Thanks for sending me with that kappa (rain coat). It is so nice to not get completely soaked as I ride in the rain. This week we rode to a members house to practice teaching and practice some Japanese. They were super nice. They hung up our rain gear for us and dried off our bikes before we left. They are super funny, too. When I was teaching about Joseph Smith praying, Fukunaga Kyodai asked if Joseph prayed at Costco. I thought it was funny.

I tried some interesting food this week. I had takoyaki (octopus), shabu shabu (boiled meat that you cook at your table), cold udon (noodles you dip in some sauce), and some mugicha (wheat tea). They all tasted at least decent.The worst was probably the udon because it`s super weird to eat because it`s cold. The takoyaki is pretty good, just rubbery. The shabu shabu is funny to eat because it`s soggy bacon or pork. Mugicha is pretty weird. Most missionaries don`t like it at first and think it tastes like cigarettes. It`s an acquired taste. I thought it was okay, but it tastes like Cheerios in water. Yesterday we got a load of food from the ward. They gave us sooooo much fooood! We have more cereal and sausage than we know what to do with. We also got some food from Dominguez Shimai from the Costco in Nagoya. Kasugai is nice to the missionaries.

Speaking of Kasugai, I`m loving it more and more. It`s a big city and it`s really fun to be in the hustle and bustle everyday. My comp and I are working hard, so it`s good. We`re gonna get a lot done together. His English is pretty funny. It`s a mixture of Book of Mormon and 20 year old English speaker`s slang.

Anyway, regarding the subject line of this email. I was singing "Called to Serve" to myself when I was riding my bike and this line really hit me. I had never thought of it before. I realized that we are meant to have the blessing of the gospel. That`s why this work is so important. I wrote this to Cori, but I want to say it to the masses as well.I definitely have noticed a greater capacity to love my fellow men since I have become a missionary. We had a testimony meeting when we got to Nagoya. I told everyone there that same thing. Because we are helping bring Heavenly Father`s children back to Him, we feel that love that he has for his children. I know that is true. There are so many things I have learned already on this mission. I want to live this gospel because it alive. In an ever changing world, it stays the same. It`s our rock, like Helaman 5:12 says. No matter what the Devil throws at us, as long as we have our foundation in the gospel, we will be taken care of.

I love you all. Keep reading the Book of Mormon, because it is the best thing to ever happen to us. I don`t know how we can survive without it. President Baird issued a challenge to me to read it for the rest of my life everyday. I want to keep that promise.

Have a Jesus-filled day! (That one`s for you, Sister Capua)

Elder Sanderson