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