Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Birthdays!

It's Megan's Birthday in America and Suzuki Choro's Birthday in Japan!  Happy Birthdays!

It was a slower week this week, but we had some good celebrations. I had a kokan with Elder Perkins and I shared with him a scripture I found in D&C 94 that talks about everything working for our good. We had a good heart to heart and I think we both learned something new.

Uematsu Kyodai, a less-active member, has been doing fantastic with the word of wisdom this week! He loves Elder Suzuki and Elder Suzuki is able to help Uematsu Kyodai a lot. Uematsu Kyodai came to all three hours of church yesterday in his suit and tie, too! He's also reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday. He is recognizing the help he gets from Heavenly Father to overcome his addiction to tobacco too. His countenance has completely changed as well. When we visited this week, he said he was, "Genki, genki, genki," meaning "I'm good, good, good," and did this cool fist pump thing. The Gospel is true!

Ogasawara-san is really loving the Book of Mormon. She is enjoying it for more of it's story content rather than spiritual applications, though. She is reading between every visit and she keeps her appointments every week. There is a former investigator here in Fuji named Tomiko-san. She got really busy recently and couldn't meet with us, so we had to drop her. On Saturday morning and at lunch, I tried to call her, but there was no answer. Then in the afternoon, she called us and thought that she might not know who we were because the missionaries may have changed. I told her it was still me and she promised to come to Eikaiwa starting in April. I invited her to church after explaining briefly about Easter and she said she would come to church if she could. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it, but she's back in the pool of PIs.

I also was able to conduct the baptismal interview for Minaki-san this week. If anyone was prepared for the Gospel, it was that man. I asked him if he was willing to obey the commandments and make the baptismal covenant and he said, "Doryoku shimasu," which translates to something like, "I'll give it effort." I was filled with the Spirit and promised to him that that is all our Heavenly Father asks of us, our effort. When he said the closing prayer, he also prayed for protection and said, "Heavenly Father, I want to serve thee." He was baptized yesterday, Easter Sunday.

I got the other package with more shirts in it. Thanks! We also have a district activity today in Fuji and we're gonna look at the Cherry Blossoms and play games. I'll send pics next week.

He is risen. We had a good session of church yesterday. I was drawing the garden tomb on my electronic dictionary yesterday and the when I wrote the words "He is Risen" I felt the Spirit testify to me the reality of the Atonement and of Jesus Christ as my risen Savior. I had those words come to my head a bunch of times yesterday and the Spirit just kept burning in me telling me the truth of this Gospel.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm on the Radio

Well it's been another good week. I hope you don't think my weeks are perfect when I say that every week. We're taught in the Book of Mormon that there must be opposition in all things, so of course there are downs to every week, but the ups make it all the better and all the worthwhile.

My companion and I were on the radio this week! A member in Fuji works for the radio, so we got hooked up. I was super nervous speaking Japanese over the air waves, but it was really fun. The radio personality, Taguchi-san, was really fun, too. I got a pic to prove it. We went on air to advertise English Class. Taguchi-san said she remembers since she was a little girl seeing foreigners riding mountain bikes in suits and bike helmets. When we were riding home, a man came up to us and said he heard us on the radio! If Taguchi-san didn't say what she did, that guy wouldn't have given us a second look. It was so cool!

I got the packages from Megan and Cori this week. Thanks for the shirts and the goodies. Feel free to keep 'em coming. ;)

We invited Inaba-san to receive baptism this week. He's still mada mada about it. We did learn a lot about him from it and he is meeting with us on a weekly basis now, so there's an upside. We also were able to meet Shimizu-san for the first time in 2 months and she is ready to meet with us more now. She said her Monomi no To (a Christian religion) Bible she has is harder to understand the Book of Mormon and she wants to study the Book of Mormon. We have been meeting with Yamashita-san at least twice per week and we meet with Kawai-san about once a week. Our schedule is full, so we have some good teaching going on. It's just a challenge to help investigators keep commitments. Still working on becoming a Master Teacher.

We had at least one miracle this week. We have recently received a list of all the less-active members of Fuji ward and we usually go to visit one and 10x. On Saturday morning we went to visit a less-active member and then began 10x-ing. We knocked on the apartment next door and a woman who we found out couldn't speak Japanese or English answered the door. I said "Brazil?" and she said something regarding an affirmative response. So I told her the name of the church in Portuguese and she recognized it. I gave her a pass-along card with Elder Milder's name and phone number on it in Fujieda because he is Brazilian. When we got home for lunch, I got a call from Elder Milder saying the lady called him. She is a member that used to live in Tokyo, but moved for work. She wants to come to church and wants us to visit more. It's a good thing there are members who can communicate with her in our ward. I might pick up a little Portuguese, too.

We had leadership training this week and found out that every sister in our mission is going to become a trainer by the end of the summer. Pretty crazy. Our Sisters are going to double.

That's kind of the report for this week. Hope your week was good, too.


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thinking in Japanese


On the Tsunami Wall
So ya, I'm a trainer again. It's kind of crazy, because my new companion is Elder Suzuki from Saitama prefecture, near Tokyo. That's right, folks, I got me a real, live Nihonjin bean-chan. He is super fun and loves being a missionary. When he came out of President Baird's office to meet me, he ran and jumped onto me. We have been having some good adventures this week. And I speak 99% Japanese everyday, so sometimes I think in Japanese. It's pretty different having a Japanese companion. And Elder Suzuki is a new missionary, so we learn a lot together. But it's a ton of fun. We went and played down by the tsunami wall and water breaks yesterday. See attached picture.

I am already sure Elder Suzuki is needed in Fuji. We had a lesson with Inaba-san on Saturday. We haven't met with Inaba-san for a long time. Now that a native speaker has come to Fuji, Inaba-san has changed a lot. He definitely feels that the Gospel is important and I think that Elder Suzuki and can be a big instrument in Inaba-san coming to the Gospel. We also had a lesson with Brother and Sister Uematsu who are both less-active. We committed them to live the Word of Wisdom and they put a sticky note defining their commitment on top of the coffee can to help them not drink it. We asked to take the coffee from them, but they were worried about what to do when company comes.

Elders Suzuki and Sanderson
We got a new investigator this week! We had an FHE with the Yamawaki Family who are all members except the father. We told him that we want to share the love, joy, and peace that comes from the Gospel with him and he said it would be alright, we got a return appointment and had a prayer, and now he's a new investigator.

I was riding my bike yesterday to got to the Yamawaki's house and I saw a Japanese guy that looked exactly like Robert De Niro. I thought he was gonna turn to me and say, "You talking to me?" when I said "Konnichiwa" but no such luck.

We have a spike of 45 missionaries coming into our mission this summer, so we have leadership training on Tuesday. Basically anyone who is transfer 6 or higher and all the sisters are going to become trainers if they aren't already or if they're filling a leadership position. Actually, that doesn't even disqualify them. Right now two Zone Leaders in the same area are both training. Crazy.

Well that's kind of it for this week. Good night and good luck.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, March 11, 2013

I am your singing telegram...

Dear Familyses,

Zone Pic
This week was great! We had at least one lesson per day, got a new investigator, and got a soft yakusokusha! We found a new investigator this past week and his name is Yamashita-san. He is home all the time so we have had two lessons with him already and another appointment on Friday. Wada-san accepted the invitation to be baptized when she knows the church is true. We hope to set a date with her soon, but until then she is reading the Book of Mormon and praying. We had a great interaction with a member and her non-member husband, the Hirano family. We went over for dinner last night and just talked to the husband. After dinner, Hirano Shimai (the wife) turned to her daughter and said, "You are a member, so you've never seen a missionary lesson, right?" Then she turned to us and we just jumped into the Restoration. We taught all of Lesson 1 and involved the non-member husband really well. He would've been a new investigator had we set a concrete return appointment. But I don't think it will be difficult to meet with the Hirano Family again soon.
Sister Baird's (Mission President's Wife)  Birthday Pic

So it's getting pretty hot in Shizuoka prefecture right about now. We're counting down the days until we retire the suit coats. Short sleeves are gonna be nice. We already wear short sleeves under our suits because its warm.

One awesome thing about Japan that I will probably be complaining about America for for the rest of my life is that Japan doesn't do daylight savings and America does. I figure God made the world, so let's just let it turn and not change the amount of time I sleep. Sounds good to me.

So we had transfer calls today...

I'm staying in Fuji and Tsukamoto Choro is headed to Inuyama. It's kind of sad to see my baby leave me behind, but he's gonna do great. My new companion is... Actually, I don't know yet. Because I'm training again! I'm like the freakin' Brady Bunch, missionary style. My third baby with two in a row. I'm still district leader, too. My district is changing a little bit. Sister Breck is going to open up Kanazawa Sister area with Yamada Shimai, a sister who came to Japan with me. (We call that "doki") Yamada Shimai is in my doki. Fujisawa Shimai in Shizuoka will be training again. So two more beans in our district and The Numazu Elders (Roney Choro and Perkins Choro) are the same. It's gonna be some good times down here in Fuji District.

Well that's kind of the headlines this week. Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Birthday, Sister Baird! Happy Birthday, Hermana Sorensen!  (I don't know if they'll see that) Love you all.


My favorite companion, Elder Perkins,  and me
Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This one might be a bit shorter than others. We had our mission conference. It was really fun to see all the other missionaries and meet the new ones. Elder Callister taught us some awesome stuff about the Plan of Salvation. Elder Aoyagi also said that there is no reason not to be happy because we have the Gospel. My companion and I set some goals to level-up our dendo here in Fuji and we're seeing blessings already. We had a great conversation with a younger guy on the street yesterday talking about the Restoration and what he believes about God. Hopefully we'll hear back from him soon.

The night before the mission conference we went to stay with the Elders in my bean area, Kasugai! It was pretty fun. One of the Elders in Kasugai is Elder Gillespie, so both my babies were in the same place. Cool, huh?

So there has been news floating around the mission recently of a bajillion missionaries coming in soon. I overheard President Baird talking to Sister Breck in our district and he said that all sisters in our mission will be at least senior companions by July, if not training a new sister. Pretty sick. The Tokyo Mission split is becoming bigger news among the church members, too. They are pretty excited about it but it won't affect Nagoya Mission boundaries at all. Shizuoka-ken will still be Nagoya territory. (Yes!)

We met with Wada-san again this week. It has been a while, but she read the Book of Mormon and she wants to know if it's true! We committed her to read from the beginning and pray to know the truth. She also said a great prayer to end our lesson and said that she felt good when she prayed. Other investigators are doing well, but we could use some new investigators in our investigator pool.

That's kind of it this week. Short and sweet. Bye Bye.


Elder Sanderson