Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Saw Many a Pony at the Rodeo

Dear Family,

How is it?

Sorry for not sending my email last week! Here it is:

(2013/7/15) I Went to Space... And Took a Nap

Helloooooo. Tralala...

We went to the Nagoya Science Museum today. My email may be shorter than usual and I forgot my SD card reader, so I will send pics next week. We saw a man-made tornado, everything you could ever want to know or not want to know about the human body, and then did some star-gazing at the planetarium. Well, the man's voice was very gentle and soothing, so all six of us fell asleep. It was still fun though. I love district activities!

Anyway, things are changing again! We had transfer calls on Saturday and Elder Roney is leaving me. Shoot! I thought we were safe. He is going to Okazaki to continue to be a Zone Leader there. My new companion will be Elder Ludlow who has been a Zone Leader for a while. Elder Benzon is also transferring and Elder Schade is going trainer for his last transfer. Crazy. Our district got cut down to two areas as well. Gokiso and the Fukutoku Sisters. The Sisters are both becoming trainers, so we still have eight people. It's gonna be crazay.

We had some good happenings this week despite the lack of numbers at the end of the week. Megumi Shimai told us that she wants to be baptized,... but not until next year. We were able to go with her to the baptism in Kariya and she enjoyed it a lot. She also liked talking to Mai Shimai who was just baptized. I also got to do a Peruvian man's baptismal interview this week. His name is Celman and he's awesome. It was cool because Elder Moretti translated to Spanish for me. It was way cool to see the Spirit speak beyond the power of our words. Celman was baptized yesterday!

We got a new investigator and we set an appointment with a man we met on the train for Tuesday night. Good stuff.

Hope you all enjoyed that. Now on to this week.

We had a good week this week. We were blessed to find four new investigators and one former investigator is back in our teaching pool. We had a total gain of five investigators. One man, Iwai Kyodai, was found about two weeks ago when we talked to him on the train. We were able to schedule a meeting with him and we have a church house tour scheduled with him for this Saturday. We found Goe Kyodai and Suzuki Kyodai through housing and they live two doors away from each other in the same apartment complex. Yesterday we visited a potential investigator named Saroj from Nepal. He said he wanted to go to church yesterday but was sick, so he couldn't make it. We ended up teaching him about prayer and he said he is really interested in Christianity, so we got an appointment and he wants to come to church next week!

We visited a lot of members this week. Elder Ludlow is new and I'm still slightly new, so we can visit and introduce ourselves to a lot of new members and less-actives. I am loving Elder Ludlow as my companion. He is a power house. He is only one transfer behind me, so he speaks really good Japanese. It's nice being in a companionship where both Elders know whats going on and what we need to do.

We had some good lessons with various investigators. Particularly with David. He has been taking the lessons for almost a year now and he wants to be baptized really bad. There are some complications with visa requirements and marriage complexities between he and Barbie, his girlfriend. They both want to get married, but they are both technically married to another person for their visas and then Barbie would have to go to the Philippines to get her divorce finalized. It's a little messy, but we told them yesterday that we are looking for a miracle. It will take a lot of prayer, fasting, and keeping the commandments to show our faith to God and gain the worthiness for His miracles to occur. We left the lesson with a commitment to fast together next Sunday. We will also meet them again this Wednesday to continue to encourage them.

So in other news, we got a green bean in our apartment. His name is Elder Dowe from Australia, Tasmania. He's pretty cool. He was informing me on all the goings on in the Down Under. Elder Ludlow and I were pretty busy this week planning companion exchanges and getting the interview schedule worked out for this Friday. I'm sure this Zone Leader stuff is riveting... Anyway, moving on.

We went to a sick "rodeo" next to the apartment complex that Saroj lives in. It was actually a Ferrari Shop. There were some sights to see, I tell you what. See the attached pictures. There's also a good shot of me and Elder Ludlow.

We also went to a Matsuri (Festival) at one of our investigator's work place. It was way fun. Our investigator, Seina Shimai, played keyboards in the band and Elder Ludlow and I were the life of the party. Check out the pic.

So a couple weeks ago I heard that Dad gave a talk about America being the promised land despite the down turns that have occurred recently. I've been thinking a lot about that stuff lately because I just finished Alma and I'm starting to read Helaman in the Book of Mormon. I was reading about the Nephites getting whipped in Helaman chapter 4 this morning. But by the end of the chapter (spoiler alert) they get half of the land back because Moronihah preaches to the people and brings them to repentance.

I really liked verses 11, 13, and 25. At first glance, they aren't too special, but it inspires one to do the right thing. Verse 11 talks about how the great loss was as a result of the Nephites wickedness and then verse 13 talks about how they boasted in their own strength, so they were left in their own strength. I was thinking about how we as members of the Church need to stand up for what we believe in. In verse 11 it says the iniquity was also among the members of the church. That means repent and do what's right. Then verse 25 reminds us that without relying on the Lord, we must unavoidably perish.

Now all this may sound a little heavy or scary. On the contrary, I am filled with hope as I read these verses. As long as the Saints are doing what they are supposed to, we have no need to fear destruction. My invitation to you all is to live the Gospel to the fullest by keeping the commandments and serving your brothers and sisters.

Love you all. Enjoy the pics.


Elder Sanderson

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