Monday, May 27, 2013

The Clock is Ticking

Well it's the beginning of my last week in Fuji. Maybe. That "maybe" is attached to everything as a missionary because we let Heavenly Father decide things around here.

This week we found another new investigator! His name is Higashi san, but he's Brazilian. His parents are Nihonjin, so he speaks perfect Japanese. He was born in Brazil, lived there until about fifteen years ago and then came to Japan. He doesn't have a religion himself, but he doesn't think that religion is a bad thing. We met with him twice last week and we've got another appointment on Friday. We also have our last appointment with Ogasawara san this week. At least until after the summer, that is. She has a summer house in Yamanashi prefecture (Tokyo Mission), so we can't meet. But hopefully we can help her to continue to read the Book of Mormon and meet after the summer. This prior Thursday we went and checked up on her Book of Mormon reading. She read 1 Ne 17 and connected it to 1 Ne 3 where the Lord prepares a way to keep the commandments. She is interested in and understands the Book of Mormon very well.

Ouchi san is slowly picking up more speed. I felt like Ammon when the Spirit helped me read Ouchi san's mind during our lesson. For lack of better expressions I'll just say it was awesome. Ouchi san has heard over and over that God loves him, but I could tell he didn't believe it. So I shared with him what Christ taught, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." We helped him understand that we can show our love, faith, and real intent through keeping the commandments. He made the resolve the obey the Word of Wisdom because he wants to know if God is real. It was a very powerful lesson.

I ate so much at Shakey's last week that I didn't need any food until I woke up on Tuesday morning. It was really fun. We also had a Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Ringwood of the Seventy and Asia North Area President. It was awesome. I have shook hands with three members of the Seventy now. He gave us some great insight on how to fulfill our potential. Sorry, I don't have time for too much detail. We also had a lot of fun visiting members this week because I'm leaving soon.

We biked about 30 km the other day to the College. Waste of time. The campus is about as big as AF High. No one was there. We did get to see a cool historical park near there, though. And I got a sunburn that will turn into a sexy tan. Well that's all for this week.

Love you all,

Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hey there!

Two investigators came to church this week! President Baird gave a talk, so it was great. Ouchi san and Ogasawara san seemed to enjoy the meeting. Unfortunately Ogasawara san had to leave early, but Ouchi san enjoyed meeting President Baird. We hope Ouchi san felt something during Sacrament Meeting and we will follow up with him this week. I was also grateful that President Baird took some time to help us figure out how to get the work moving more effectively here in Fuji. I hope I leave it with a bang.

We met with Sakaguchi san this week, which put her back into the investigator pool. I hope we can hang on to her this time. She might be getting a little bit of hantai influence from her husband, though. We paid a visit to Shimizu san this week too. She has been a little under the weather lately, so it's kind of hard to meet with her. She is the only investigator that we don't have a set next event with right now. We're working on keeping her in the regular rotation.

This week I had a kokan with Elder Kuwahara in Fuji. We had a cool experience while doing our language study on top of the sea wall. A man named Kitagawa san walked up the stairs near us and we recognized each other. I said, "We've met before, haven't we?" He said, "You're Sanderson." Elder Roney and I found Kitagawa san on the street through opening our mouths about a month ago and Elder Kuwahara and I were able to talk to him for about 40 minutes. We have his phone number and he said we can meet again sometime, so we are going to call him this week.

Things are rollin' and burnin' out here. We have a district activity today at Shakey's in Shizuoka. They have Shakey's in Japan, too. This week is full with dendo at the college and Zone conference.

Sorry it's kind of short, but I gotta go. Love your faces!


Elder Sanderson

Monday, May 13, 2013

Reporting in...

Elders Sanderson and Suzuki --Cracking up the Family for 2 hours!
Hey there. This is just a quick report of what's going on here in Fuji because I get to talk to you on Skype!

I've noticed this week that the Spirit is more present in our lessons than ever before now. I think Elder Suzuki and I are doing what we can to have the Spirit with us and be worthy of the Spirit. It has fulfilled the promise in PMG that our investigators understanding will be influenced by our worthiness. I have seen some big changes in a few of our investigators recently. Ouchi san is reading the Book of Mormon when he can and praying everyday. Ogasawara san is still reading the Book of Mormon and we committed her to come to church this week because President Baird is coming to Fuji ward. Ouchi san is also planning to come to church because he wants to hear President Baird's talk. We just are trying to get him to come to the other two hours as well. We are meeting with some other investigators this week who have a strong possibility of coming to church on Sunday as well. It is going to be great.

My companion and I taught Hirano Shimai's husband again yesterday. He prayed! It was really good. He feels a little pressured by all of the stuff, but I think he will realize that it's good stuff. Elder Suzuki and I will try to be less "all business" with him, but we are getting into a good back and forth in our lessons now too. We talked about how we could improve that during our companionship inventory last week.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Gospel is True


Well it was another good week. I'll admit, because of Golden Week it was a little slow in terms of lessons and there was a point where I was wondering if what I was doing was effective, but I was trying to put my shoulder to the wheel. In the end we were blessed. We got a lot of appointments scheduled for the upcoming days and we also got a new investigator.

We have been working with Hirano Shimai lately to help her husband receive the Gospel. He isn't hantai at all and they have prayers when they eat meals, so he has some pretty good exposure to the Church. We got to visit them last night and Hirano Shimai's husband is now an investigator! We committed him to pray with Hirano Shimai, with him saying the prayer.

We also had a fantastic lesson with Ouchi san last Saturday. We all felt the Spirit so strong. It started with us expounding some scriptures in Helaman (where Ouchi san is currently reading) and it moved from there to the Plan of Salvation. It got to the point where Suzuki Choro and I knew we needed to invite Ouchi san to be baptized. Ouchi san recognized that it was coming, so he told us to not invite him to baptism. We continued talking and eventually found ourselves reading Moses 1:39. The Spirit was thriving in all of us at that moment. I could tell Ouchi san felt something because he said if what we read is true, then we need to live the Gospel. We helped him recognize the Spirit's presence there that night, but we couldn't get much else out of him. He has been an investigator for 20 years. I didn't know how to help him, so I fasted for him yesterday. In Priesthood meeting the teacher was sharing his conversion story. I wished so bad that Ouchi san could have been there. I did, however, receive revelation to help Ouchi san. It was a really neat experience.

So ya, Skype call. I will call on Monday here, so it will be your Sunday evening. That's the plan. 7:30. Can't believe another call home is already here. I'll have one left after this one. Eep!

Recently we have been finding lots of Brazilians that we can't communicate with. They are usually pretty interested in the church too. So, I have started studying Portuguese. It's pretty funny to say phrases in the apartment and Suzuki Choro gives me a strange look. I can say that I'm a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that I don't speak Portuguese. I can also refer them to someone who does speak Portuguese. But this week I am getting more language material, so that will help. I am still mainly studying Japanese still though. I have also figured out recently that if ever there is a large word in English that I don't know in Japanese, I can just say it in Katakana (the Japanese alphabet used to turn foreign words into Japanese ex. Komputa=computer). If I say the word in Katakana, it is usually understood. Of course you can't just speak in Katakana. For example, I didn't know the word "reaction" so I said "riakushon". Boom, Japanese. Big words like that often have a Katakana equivalent, I have found.

This week we found out that we have been okay'd to take the Bullet Train to Nagoya when we have conferences now. I'm super stoked. It will only take us 1 hr 10 mins to travel what used to take us 3 and a half hours.

Kind of random stuff, but I get my excitement off of these things. The life of a Missionary.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson