Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey there. It's weird to say I'm 21 years old now.

This week was great. A less-active member, Jessyka, came to church yesterday and she brought her boyfriend, Wellington, who is an investigator. They came to see Jessyka's kids in the primary program in Sacrament meeting and Jessyka's daughter translated the meeting into Portuguese for Wellington. Two other less-active sisters came to Sacrament as well. We have been visiting them a lot recently and they showed us a notebook that they have had since 2007 recording their church attendance and visits from missionaries or members. They have been really diligent with it, and I think they ended up encouraging themselves to come to church with it.

It was a good turn out at the birthday party.
We had a really good lesson with Wellington this week. We talked about Christ and Repentance and had Jessyka share what she felt about repentance. Then my companion, inspired as usual, asked what Wellington thinks. He shared some really good comments and we were also able to ask him to say the closing prayer before we left. Wellington was nervous, but we encouraged Jessyka to help him. He is progressing well.

This week we were able to meet up with Matias at the McDonald's again. We actually ran into him a lot this week. The first time was at Nagoya station during transfers, then at the mall two days later. We were able to say hello to him and each time we ran into each other, he was happier to see us. We talked about various things and we have a pretty good relationship to start a real good teaching/learning experience. We have another appointment at the McD's on Tuesday.

This week we were able to meet a lot of member and less-actives. We also did some finding at Nagoya Castle park yesterday. It seems right now we have about 10+ PIs, but we're just working on getting them into the investigator pool now. It's a little bit of a test of patience, but we're working on it.

I really enjoyed the mission conference with Elder Evans this week. We had some missionaries from other areas stay with us the night before, so that was fun too. At the conference I learned a lot about what I need to do as a missionary in order to endure to the end of my mission. I felt the Spirit tell me that I need to have faith and not fear.

Sweet Birthday glasses
I had an awesome birthday on Wednesday! We had a pretty successful day of dendo and then we were getting ready to go to the church for a planning meeting with the Sisters before English class. I heard an Elder's voice outside the window. When I looked out I saw the Matsumoto Elders there, too. I thought they were way early because they said they couldn't come until late that evening. I jumped out on the balcony/veranda and told them to come up to the apartment. It turns out there wasn't any planning meeting at all, they were just going to the church to surprise me. I kind of spoiled the surprise party, but it was still a surprise to see them early. And ELDER PERKINS came over!!!! It was soooo good to see him. I haven't seen him in a while. Anyway, we went to the church and the Sisters made us tacos and a cake. Then we had a party at English class, too. I ate four different birthday cakes in one day and we still have some in our fridge. It was such a sick birthday. My companion was bummed the surprise didn't work out, but I love him for making my birthday awesome.

American Thanksgiving in Japan made by a Canadian
Have you ever had an American Thanksgiving in Japan made by a Canadian? I have. Brother Hall got crazy with the Costco goods and made a delicious turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Holy crap, it was good. I had three plates of food before I even started eating. People were making fun of me, but I showed 'em how it's done.

That was our week. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

PS I call the one with Elder Perkins and I "Sugar and Spice"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

See Ya Later Transfer 14!

Hey there, erbody!

We were able to crack down and really get to work this week and it paid off. Brother Hall gave us some Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa so we started doing Hot Cocoa Dendo. We hadn't met with Shirakawa and Naoko in a while, so we took some hot cocoa to their apartment and left a note for them. A few hours later Shirakawa called us and said he was drinking the hot cocoa and he was really thankful. We were able to set up an appointment for the next day at the Mister Donuts. When we met the next day Naoko asked us how much a Book of Mormon was. We were like, "They're free! Have one!" and gave them each a Book of Mormon. We were then able to talk about Christ's ministry and baptism. The lesson went great and we were able to share Ether 12:27 which ended up really helping Shirakawa -san.

On Friday we went down to Sakae to street contact some people. At first my companion and I were a little timid about talking to people, but we finally got into our groove so we could talk to people more naturally. After that our conversations more naturally turned to the Gospel. We got some awesome contacts on the street and then when it got later we decided to ride the Meijo Line on the subway because it runs in a loop. As we were getting on the train, we met three Vietnamese people who couldn't speak Japanese who were trying to get to the airport. We stopped a man and asked him how to get to the airport and he was going through Kanayama station, which is on the way to the airport. My companion was able to talk to him about what we do as missionaries and I was able to talk to the Vietnamese people. The Japanese man spoke some English, so he was able to help the Vietnamese people get to the train that would take them to the airport.

We started talking to basically everyone we could and an older man came up to us and asked us if we were Mormon missionaries. We of course told him we were and then began talking to him. He had to get off the train before us, but we were able to give him a pamphlet. We talked to a lot more people and got some good PIs.

On Saturday night, we had a dinner appointment with the Kashima family. They told us that they invited the Mizutas, another member family, over along with one of their non-member friends named Kasugai-san. Kasugai-san is the insurance salesman of three different families in our ward, but he is also their good friend. We had a great time talking with the members and becoming friends with Kasugai-san. Towards the end of our visit, Kashima Shimai asked Kasugai-san if it would be okay if we shared a message and he said it was ok. We shared a message from the Book of Mormon about families and he was pretty impressed. Then he started asking questions and all the members started answering his questions perfectly. Kasugai-san said that he thinks religion is important and then Mizuta Shimai asked what he thought about meeting with the missionaries to learn about the church. He said it sounds interesting and set up a meeting with us! We have an appointment next week and he is coming to our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

Thanks for the birthday package! I got it yesterday. Those soups are gonna be nice for the cold weather these days. I was pretty stoked about the Japan Nagoya tie tack too.

So another round of transfers has flown by. Things here in Fukutoku didn't change too much. Elder Wilcox and I are still companions and Sister Brady and Sister Kartchner are still kickin' it. We are getting two more Sisters as well. Sister Smith and Sister Avarell. That makes us six here in Fukutoku and our district is ten people with the Ichinomiya missionaries included.

We have an all mission conference this week with Elder Evans of the Seventy. So that will be cool. Well that's what's up. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

88 Purple Baseballs

Hello! This week went by really fast.

So Fukutoku now needs a Portuguese-speaking missionary. A less-active member's boyfriend, Wellington, became an investigator and he only speaks Portuguese. We can do lessons with the less-active member translating for us, but we had a companion exchange with Elder Doll this past week so he could teach him in Portuguese. Wellington is very prepared for the Gospel and he said he wants to come to church. I know a handful of Portuguese words and phrases, but I haven't studied it that much.

In other news, we were able to meet with Mattias this week. We had a great talk about agency and the nature of God. He is from France, but his parents are Muslim. He doesn't know the true nature of God, but has a lot of interest to learn. It will be interesting teaching him because he doesn't want to feel forced to do anything. His progress in the Gospel will come from his desire to live it. It is mine and my companion's job to teach Mattias in such a way that he desires to live the Gospel.

On Saturday we went to an orphanage and played soccer with all the boys there. It was way fun, but there were wee tots everywhere. I'm like three times their size, so I had to be careful not to plow them over as I was running up the field. That afternoon we helped clean up Brother Hall's junkyard. We had to lift up an engine block with nothing but our man-strength. It took four of us and Brother Hall was saying that we can get that hernia we've always dreamed of. It was a good time. We also got to play softball at a stake softball activity that night. So it turns out I really like playing sports.

It's a short one this week, but that's the highlights. Looking forward to another good week. Hope you all have a good one too. Love ya.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, November 4, 2013

We Didn't Start the Fire

That was the first thing that popped into my head^

Well, hello!

Let's get crackin'! We got two new investigators this week! Last week Elder Wakamatsu and I were on a companionship exchange here in Fukutoku and we met a Vietnamese man named Sohn in front of the Mister Donuts near our apartment. I could tell he wasn't Japanese as I went up to talk to him. We talked for a bit and exchanged phone numbers, then this Friday my companion and I called him and set up a meeting for this Wednesday. He will probably bring a friend, so we may get another investigator as well.

The other new investigator is Mattias from France. He speaks English really well, though. The Gifu Elders stopped at the McDonald's at Nagoya Station one day and met Mattias there. Mattias told them that he wants to meet the missionaries, but he lives in our area so he was referred to us. We set up an appointment for this Thursday at the Mac Shack. :)

We were able to meet with Lumbe on Saturday with a member, Brother Hall. (Remember the Brother Hall I helped in Kasugai? He lives in Fukutoku ward.) Brother Hall was being super friendly and testifying of the Gospel powerfully, so the lesson went great! We talked about Alma 32 with Lumbe and committed him to experiment on what we say. We commended him for his own righteous beliefs and faith in Christ and also give our words a test. Lumbe seems to be looking forward to the next time we meet and so are we.

We met with Chen at the Mister Donuts on Friday for a lesson. Mister Donuts is magic; we don't spend a lot of time there, but we get a good number of contacts. Anyway, Chen was kind of scatter-brained with all of the things he wants to talk about, but he told us that he wants to know what the big deal is about Christianity. We were able to talk a little bit about Jesus Christ, but we didn't have enough much time to cover a lot of stuff. His work schedule is busy, so he doesn't know if he can meet this week but we're going to try to get in touch with him later this week.

I went on a companion exchange here in Fukutoku with Elder Jones on Thursday. We visited a less-active member named Shams from Iran. He goes on for a long time how he doesn't like Japan and he wants to go to America so bad, but visa issues are standing in the way. He likes to talk a lot so we were there longer than we planned to be, but Elder Jones was really nice to him and helped us strengthen our relationship with Shams.

We got to help Brother Hall at his junkyard this week. We packed a shipping crate full of Skyline parts and the front end of an old Mini Cooper. We actually got to tear apart the Mini and cut off the front end. It was super fun! We also had an awesome Halloween party with the ward. The four of us missionaries made a photo booth (it was mostly Sister Brady, but we helped) and it came out way good. I went to the party a 1920s Gangster and I was yellin' at people in my Jersey accent to get their picture taken. I think I scared some girls because I was just barking at em in loud, difficult English, but it was way fun. The young men brought their airsoft gear and it made me want to play airsoft so bad. Check out the pics.

On another note, I read something interesting in the Liahona this week. It said the more specific you are with your prayers, then the easier it is to recognize Heavenly Father's blessings in your life. So now I am trying to be more specific as to what I pray for so I can be more thankful. I am also trying to stoke my dendo fire so I can work hard.

Well that's this week. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson