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