Monday, September 30, 2013

Hanga danga dang dang


Another great week in the books! We had three investigators at church yesterday! Megumi Shimai came for the third week in a row and David came again as well. Masatoshi, who is also a yakusokusha, came for the first time. He stayed for all three hours and seemed to enjoy it. We also have an appointment with him tonight.

We had a really good lesson with David and Barbie this week. We talked about setting a specific goal to go to the temple together and how we felt about it. We committed them to pray about it and David said he was thinking by 2015 they could be married. It was a really spiritual lesson and we are seeing more and more progress with them.

Megumi Shimai is still moving along. We weren't able to get an appointment for this week, but we have two for next week. She also doesn't know her schedule for the month of October, but hopefully she can come to church a lot. She has really enjoyed church every time she comes and she keeps all of her commitments as well.

We met with our investigator named Ryan. He is from Washington, but works for Boeing here in Japan. We went over to his house on Friday night and when we rang the doorbell no one answered, so we walked back to our bikes. We were standing there talking about another lesson we had and then Ryan came out of his house and said we woke him up. He let us inside, we talked for awhile and then shared a message about the Book of Mormon. He is agnostic, so he doesn't really believe in a religion but believes in God. He had some really good questions as we were talking about the Book of Mormon and we left him with a copy. He said he'll read a little bit and he promised he wouldn't throw it away. He seemed really interested and seemed like he felt something as we bore testimony of the Book of Mormon.

This past week one of our investigators, Dylan, gave us a list of scriptures from the Bible that he felt rose questions with regards to the Plan of Salvation. Elder Ludlow and I had an opportunity to study it. It came to a point where we had to tell him about the other revealed books of scripture (Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) and modern revelation that give so much light to the Plan of Salvation. Once we established that, our discussion went smoothly. We were able to share with him a section of D&C that explains the Kingdoms of Glory and he was interested in getting copies of D&C and PoGP. He seems to be opening up more to the church. Our lesson with him on Friday was one of our best that we've had so far.

Rumi Shimai is opening up to us a lot more. She feels like she has a "bad heart," as she put it in Japanese. We have stressed the importance of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon in connecting her with the grace of God and how it can help her overcome the bad feelings she has towards others and herself.

We had a comp exchange with the APs this week, which was great. We had a good day and it was a nice boost to our dendo. We also did an exchange with the Gifu Elders. I talked about becoming fishers of men with Elder Doll. We talked about forsaking all as Peter and the others did to follow Christ.

President Yamashita suggested that we do a 40 Day Fasting Relay in our wards for dendo success. We proposed it to the ward last month and we started last week. We are already seeing miracles from it. Both us and the other Elders had a great week last week full of success and big steps of progress.

We played softball with our ward on Saturday night. I was in the outfield with Elder Ludlow, which was a pretty good work out. Elder Dowe was on the opposite team and we were getting the ball to first base to get him out. He went for the slide and plowed the first baseman. Elder Dowe is a pretty big guy, so we were worried about our member on first. Later he trucked a fifteen-year-old who was guarding second, too. It was eventful night to say the least. I got a hold of one ball and set it way out to right-center field for a home run. I felt pretty good after that one.

This week we have a bunch of appointments scheduled and another exchange coming up. It's the last week of the transfer and things are changing a lot these days, so I'm thinking it's my last week in Gokiso. Stay tuned.

Well that's my bit. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Another Crazy Frog Week

Herro Everyone. I ruv you.

This week we had some great successes. We worked hard to try and open our mouths, but we ended up getting blessings in other areas because of our efforts. We got a referral from the Meito Zone Leaders regarding a Vietnamese man named Huu. We were able to get in touch with him and had a English class/Gospel lesson on Saturday and he and his wife became investigators! We are still trying to find Japanese investigators, though. It seems like we talk to one hundred Japanese people who don't become investigators and then the one foreigner we talk to becomes an investigator. We'll keep working at it. :)

Megumi Shimai was able to come to church again this week. It was a miracle because she suddenly was able to get work off. And she decided on her own to come to church. We are trying really hard to set a baptismal date with her. It might have to be in the distant future, but at least a goal will start to get her progress really moving. David also came to church. It has been a while since he came to church and I have been on companion exchanges when they teach him, so I was really glad to see him. He and Barbie are talking a lot about going to the temple, but they still don't have a specific goal. There are still a lot of obstacles standing in the way of all that stuff happening, including David's baptism, but things are looking up.

I had a companionship exchange with Elder Jones in Inuyama this week. It was really fun to be with an Elder who was in the MTC with me! He was kind of sick, but I was able to teach English class and make good friends with the students. The exchange was short, but we had a good opportunity to talk about the future.

We also got another Yakusokusha this week! (An investigator with a baptismal date) His name is Ishizuka Masatoshi and he is awesome! We hadn't met for a few weeks, but when he came he had read the Book of Mormon a little and read the Lesson 1 Pamphlet. He was filling in the blanks as we were teaching him the Restoration and he compared himself to Joseph Smith in his personal search for the truth. We showed him the Baptismal Font and invited him to be baptized when he knows this is true. He said yes and we set his date for October 27th! Hooray!

I have been riding the crap out of this mamachati (standard issue Japanese bike) they gave me while my bike is in the shop. It's a workout to push that thing as hard as I can push my bike. I found out that I can sit back on the fender and ride it like a motorcycle. It has a basket too, so that's convenient for picking up groceries. I can't wait to get my mountain bike back though.

Well, it's been another exciting week out here on the front lines. I'm loving my mission and loving my companion. Hard work is really rewarding. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tropical Storm Man-Yi


There is a tropical storm that's supposed to nail our mission pretty good today. It's pretty rainy so far but we've got a date with all you can eat parfaits. Stop that. Hopefully we can still dendo tonight, too.

We had a good week. We got a new investigator named Ryan. He is from Washington. We talk to a lot of Japanese people every day but it seems like the ones who become investigators the fastest are always Gaijin (foreigners). We have about half of our investigator pool as Japanese and the rest are Gaijin. Well Ryan is agnostic, so he believes in God but he's not sure if there is a true religion. We are going to talk to him about the Book of Mormon with him on Saturday.

Megumi Shimai came to church yesterday! We are focusing on her praying for her boss so she can have days off on Sundays starting in October. We also had a great lesson with Nilesh and invited him to compare the Book of Mormon to the Bible. He took a copy and said he will give it a look. Weijing is still in China, but we send him emails to read sections in the Book of Mormon. We are regularly meeting with a less-active member, Adachi Shimai, and Shito Kyodai, a recent convert, to continue to strengthen them. We watched Finding Faith in Christ with Adachi Shimai and the Hottas (members) bore their testimonies and brought the Spirit into the room. We watched The Testaments with Shito Kyodai but he didn't understand it very well. He said he wants to study with us more. He was also making some really good connections during Gospel Principles class yesterday.

I went on a comp exchange in Fukutoku, another ward in Nagoya, this week with Elder Waddell. He is the definition of fun dendo. He maintains a great balance of being 100% obedient, using his talents, working hard, and having fun. It was a good learning opportunity for the both of us. We also had a member appointment that the four sisters came to as well. We made potsickers (called gyoza in Japan) and shared Elder Waddell's favorite scripture, 2 Ne 2:25. I love dendo.

This week we have a Zone Conference with Elder Aoyagi. It should be sweet. We also have a good week lined up with appointments and such. Well, this one's a little shorter, but I hope you like it.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Sunday, September 8, 2013

ABC, 123, Baby You and Me

Hey, hey, ho, hiddle, hiya,

This week was another good one. We got to participate in Leadership Council, ZTM, and some service. My companion and I feel that our ZTM went great. We talked about being an Ammon Missionary because that is our focus as a mission now. We had every missionary rate themselves on how Ammon-like they are and how they can improve personally and in each companionship. We also talked about the power of the Lord being on our side.

We got two new investigators this week! One is a friend of Weijing Xuan named Ban. He is really interested in the Gospel as well and he came to Weijing Xuan's lesson on Monday. We watched the Restoration DVD in Chinese with them and they both felt the Spirit. Ban has a lot of great potential. The other new investigator, Rumi Shimai, has been a potential investigator for almost two months, but we just haven't been able to meet her. We were on our way back to the apartment last night and Elder Ludlow said, "Isn't there a PI near here?" So we went and visited her and she only had a little time. She told us to come back the next day. So we visited her this morning and our lesson went pretty well. Our investigator pool is pretty decent right now, but we're working hard to keep adding to it. We definitely talk to way more Japanese people than foreigners, but it about half of our investigator pool is foreigners. Hmm. Maybe we can get referrals, or something. Wish me luck.

Any who, we met with David and Barbie again! We haven't seen each other outside of church for at least two weeks, so it was good to follow up with them. We had a good discussion about the Atonement. We also were able to meet with Fukuda Shimai again this week. The lesson went pretty well and we talked about baptism, but she still has some concerns regarding it. The members we had there helped answer her questions a lot. It's so nice to have members at lessons. Megumi Shimai is doing well, but still just kind of the same old, same old. She does seem to have taken a liking to our tachiai for her lessons, Norihito Kyodai. He is very smart and always helps her understand things. Once again, members are great.

We were able to jump around to a lot of less-active members homes and share messages with them this week. We also visited Shito Kyodai, who was baptized in May. Lately his activity in the church has been a little spotty, but we shared a message and invited him to church. He was there for all three hours yesterday, so that was good. My companion and I decided we need to show him more love and help members make friendships with him.

We got to do service at the Fukutoku church on Friday and it went really well. There was some stupid crazy rain on Wednesday and the basement of the Fukutoku church flooded. Apparently the water was thirty centimeters high at one point. We had to tear up carpet, move furniture, and clean out gutters, among other things. All of the missionaries who participated worked hard and we were able to get things done quickly. The members even gave us some snacks afterward. It was fun to help out and get my hands dirty.

That's kind of our week. I'm still loving Gokiso and my companion. Missionary life is sick. Amen.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Even Though this Life is a Test, We are Never Alone

Hey, hi, ho!

Elder Ludlow and I were able to see a lot of miracles and success this week. We had a total of twenty lessons. Yesterday we were able to visit three inactive sisters that had not been visited in a long time. That was a miracle in itself because they said that their schedules recently have been busy. We were able to have a Gospel discussion with each of them and two of them have potential to come to church this next week. One sister has a problem with her leg, so if a member could go pick her up and take her to church then she would probably come.

We also found a new investigator this week. We were having a lesson with one of our investigators named Dylan at a food court and I noticed a man sitting at the table next to us. He isn't Japanese and I could tell he was listening in on our conversation. After our lesson with Dylan (who is progressing pretty well) I turned to the man next to us and asked him if he spoke English. We talked to him and he said his name was Nilesh. He said he is from London and he had some questions about the Book of Mormon. We were able to teach him and he became a new investigator. I was definitely guided by the Spirit to talk to Nilesh.

We had a really good lesson with David and Barbie this week. They are setting a goal for the temple and are getting close to doing anything to get there. David also said that he felt really strongly that he needs to get baptized. Megumi Shimai also committed to pray for her boss so she can ask for Sundays off at work. We had a great lesson with Masatoshi this week as well. We did a tour of the church and he seemed to like it a lot. He said he doesn't know if God exists but he has some questions. We told him about the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy. We plan to meet with him later this week.

We also got an investigator with a baptismal date this week! His name is Weijing Xuan and he is amazing. We did a tour of the church this week and we stopped in the Chapel and talked about the Sacrament and Jesus Christ. We began to talk about baptism and showed him a picture of Christ being baptized. Weijing asked us if we had the water like in the picture. We took him to the Baptismal Font and continued to talk about baptism and the cleansing that comes with it. We were all feeling the Spirit strongly and Elder Ludlow asked Weijing how he felt about baptism and entering into the church. Weijing replied that it would be good for him, so we committed him to be baptized on October 20th! We also have another lesson with him today where he will bring his friend who is interested in the Gospel.

My subject line of this email is something I read in the Liahona today. I just liked it. I like Church magazines. I kind of wish I had read them more before my mission. It's kind of like conference talks all the time. Just another testimony that the Gospel is true.

That's kind of the news from last week. We will be busy again this week, but who's complaining? Love you all.


Elder Sanderson