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

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