Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank you for the music

Because music is such an important part of my life I was wondering the other day what I'd hear during my last Radiation treatment. It was last treatment. Yahoo!

Strange as it may seem I was feeling a little sad. I have met some of the most caring, fun, and loving people in these past few weeks. I am sad to leave these people. The doctors, technicians, nurses and secretary were exactly who I needed to coach me and encourage me through this experience I've just had.

I thank my dear Father in Heaven for all of this! It's definitely a bump in the road to find out you have cancer, but everything about it has been a great experience, and as crazy as it sounds, I'm glad I went through it!!! I couldn't have made it through without Heavenly Father, my family, or my friends!! My "thank you" list is incredibly long!!! Thank you!

Let me get back and tell you about the music.
As my final Radiation began, so did a serenely beautiful rendition of "Silent Night". Tears welled in my eyes as I went over the lyrics in my head...."all is calm, all is bright." So it was, so it is... As I stood up from the treatment the next song to play was the "Hallelujah Chorus"...not even kidding. I thank Heavenly Father that even the songs over the radio or sound system were perfect. He is so good with the details!!! I really want to meet Him some day, and be in His presence and truly Thank Him for everything...especially the music.

Monday, December 12, 2011

this week in Taiwan

Anyways, good week! Looks like is was for you all as well. This past week, we have been working with an investigator who's mother recently passed away. Yesterday, we had a very good sitdown with him in which we were able to help him see that by living the Gospel of Christ, he would be able to see his mother again. When we invited him to be baptized though, he said that he would be too buisy for the next little while taking care of his mother's affairs. He said that he would start to read with more purpose and we set up a plan of following up with him. I think that he has alot of potential and will be ready as soon as he gets a spiritual confirmation of what we are teaching.
We also were able to meet with a former that has been to church in the past. He was doing really well and was happy to let us sit down. He told us that he was concerned that he didn't have to much peace in his life. We shared about prayer and how it can bring you closer to Heavenly Father which will then bring more peace. He was excited for this and was very willing to "give it a shot for the next couple weeks". We later shared about Baptism and the comfort and peace that it can bring. When invited to be baptized, he said that if he had to go to church, than he wouldn't be able to be baptized. He obviously didn't have that good of a time when he attended in the past. Another problem for the missionaries in the past was that they couldn't ever get ahold of him to follow up. But now he has a cell phone and is going to be expecting a call to see how his prayers are doing. I think that as soon as we turn the problem of church into the love of church, there will be now problem for him getting baptized. How did you get ahold of people to follow up on their reading when you were in Chile? Just on the house phone? Did they have house phones? Probably not cell phones...
Man, yeah it's getting all Christmasy here. I get that little excitement here and there. We are having a huge Christmas Activity on the 22nd for the whole mission. That will be fun. We also get to go to the temple on the 28th. Elder Olsen is in my zone, so I'll get the chance to ride up and talk for a little bit with him. Super fun. I love the temple. How is the new provo temple coming there? I"m excited for that.
Well, I hope that you have a wonderful week! love ya, Elder Sanford

Monday, December 5, 2011

Taiwan week 50

...This past week, we had been working hard with an investigator that had some real intent. But yesterday, half way through sacrament meeting, he stood up and walked out. After talking to him, he said that he just hurt all over because of his sickness. He also wanted to give the Book of Mormon back because he said he was done. He had been investigating for 3 weeks and felt that it just wasn't super fitting. After more observing, listening and discerning and trying to ask the right questions, he said that he really likes church, but that everybody in his home is really really rallied up whenever he leaves to come to church. When we went to his house this past week they were a little cold to us, so we thought that there was some family opposition. We are going to overcome that this week with help from the relief society president who offered to help. . We also met a man on the street that had just been fighting with his mother and wanted some change in his life. He was very open and pleaded for our help. We set up a time to meet the next day, but when that rolled around he was a little bit late. He said that all day, he was trying to convince his mother to let him come. HE is 27. He also said that he really wants to help out Heavenly Father. So needless to say, we are going to be focusing on and studying for family opposition problems. THis morning, I looked over a hand out that President Bishop gave us. With that and parts form King Lamoni's father, we are going to help these people hit their goal of being baptized this month. Yeah yeah!
So this is what was said about calling for christmas:
Sunday Christmas day or Monday December 26th. Coordinate times and numbers to call. You can purchase a phone call for a reasonable price to call your family. Phone calls should be to family only, and should be no longer than 30-40 minutes total time. We have received approval from the area presidency to utilize Skype or MSM video phone calls. These services are free, but they do require both appropriate software and hardware to work. No one should purchase additional equipment to set up for Skype. If you want to use Skype, do not go to an Internet café on Sunday. For Skype to be used, there must be quiet on both parties. Any background noise will cause disruption of the audio call and be unsatisfactory. As always, we should never place a burden on members or inconvenience them. Local missionaries have the option of calling at either Christmas or Chinese New Year, not both.
I'm excited too. It will be a fun little time. I am going to be sending a small package home. It may not make it on time I guess, but I'm sending it out today and you will get it when it comes I guess. yeah.
Thank- you for all of your love. I'm glad to hear that you shared your testimony. that is always good. The same people get up in our ward every time. I think that I am going to get up next time. Just quick and simple.
have a good week.
-Elder Sanford.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's December

Wow, it's December already. The Christmas decorations are coming out of hiding and finding their spots in the house. The beloved felt advent (that Momma made and gave to my little family about 20 years ago), "Journey to Bethlehem" has begun. I have an antsy feeling:"will everything be ready in time for Christmas?" in the back of my mind.

This morning there was a powdery dusting of snow on the ground. It's melting as the day warms, but since it's not warming too much, maybe it won't all melt off.

Here's to a joyous, peaceful one and all.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Taiwan week 49

Ok, so this week was pretty great. Power week. THat means that all of our language study is cut out and our meals are eaten on the go. It is a little tiring, but super fun. We also have a theme and focus for each of the days as well. Like Thursday was handing out as many copies of the Book of Mormon as we could. Super fun. We had set a goal to hand out 20 copies that day. We handed out 5 before eating lunch and then slowly handed them out at or between lessons with people. through out the day. It was a constant effort through out the day. But coming into the door, we each still had one copy to hand out. So we went and talked to the door man who was very willing to take and read one of them. It was a little bit after nine at that point. Just a little bit down for just being one away, we pushed the button to call the elevator. Then somebody came around the corner and waited with us. He was on one floor below us. We talked to him all the way up to his floor and then gave him a copy and an invitation to read. He responded positively right before the elevator door closed. Needless to say, Elder Kasner and I started dancing in the elevator as it took us up the one last floor. A constant effort through out the whole day and hitting it right before stepping in the door at night. AWESOME. Great day. Great week.

The package was delivered to me on Friday by Elder Buenning who came on exchanges with us! He is the Assistant still so he goes on exchanges all the time. That day was also "Power go on Member Splits day". So I only got to be with him half of the day because he was with my companion. Planning for that was also super intense. I'll send a picture of my plan for the day. It has two plans and two back up plans. Crazy. but it all worked out great. The package was fabulous as well. I LOVE DAD'S GRANOLA!! The music is super fun aswell.

Well it was a wonderful week. Zhang Sheng Feng was baptized and confirmed! The ward was very warm in welcoming him and he already has a home teacher. We are going to be getting him into a priesthood interview asap and getting him a calling. He is already a great part of the ward. Pictures coming as well.

Lin Hui Long came to church for the second time and is looking great to be baptized this next month. He was just a little sketchy on his reading, but after a good review of his goal to follow Christ and what that means, he recommited firmly to read every day. Super good. We are working with the Relief Society President to get his wife on board as well. I can see them all getting baptized this next month.
Well, yeah I've got to go! Thank you so much for the wonderful package!
Love ya!
-ELder Sanford.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Taiwan 48th week

Today is going great.
We went to the church and a member from the ward brought his guitar and we messed around for a little bit, trying to pick out little parts of hymns here and there. There is going to be a talent show as part of our english class in the next couple weeks and he wants us to perform with him. It should be fun...
Zhang Di Xiong passed his baptismal interview this past week! We found out that there is no opposition from the mother, and that the family likes that we are coming and seeing him regularly. He hasn't had too much of a life other than the hospital and the park ever since he fell down the stairs two years ago and lost his eye sight, so it sounds like they are all in favor of it. We are going to keep focusing on the mother and other members of the family so that they can recieve the blessings of baptism with him as well. I think that a key point will be his baptism and getting them to see that. I think that it will help them see that this isn't just a club, but actually has worth to their souls.
Other than Zhang Di Xiong, we are working with a new man by the name of Lin. He is a farmer that says he has a lot more time now, so he called us up and came to the church. He is really interested in receiving eternal life through believing in Christ. When he first came, he told us that he couldn't come to church because he needed to work. So we shared with him from Mosiah 13:16-19 and asked him some good questions. By the end, he was willing to try it out. He came to church and loved it. When he was asked by the gospel principles teacher if he could come to the baptism this Saturday, he was confused and said,"But we are supposed to work as hard as we can for 6 days so that we can come to church on Sundays" I think he gets it. With a little more talking, we also found out that he has a wife and two kids. Needless to say, they are in our plans to work with next.
This past week was the Primary program. All of the kids were dressed up in white. They sang a lot and each had a little part memorized. In addition to that, some of them memorized different verses from the articles of faith and recited those. Pretty good really. It was followed up by a talk by our second counselor in the bishopric. 82 people in church too! The ward is on the rise.
I had a good experience that really kind of pushed my faith this past week. I had put into our plan to contact people all up and down this one street for 1 hour with the focus on finding somebody who we could sit down with on the spot. At the beginning of the hour, we found a spot to bow our heads and pray. We found alot of great people but as the hour passed, we weren't finding anybody to sit and teach a few principles to. 10 minutes left and my companion said that he was hungry. I was too. The place that we had planned to eat at was three houses down. I thought to myself. Alright, lets go eat. Then I realized that there was somebody standing outside of his house not to far from where I was standing. I hoped off my bike and started talking to him and pretty much walked inside. The Lord knew that I was supposed to find that man and he helped me put together the perfect plan for it. We gave him a copy of " The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and set up a next time. We'll see how he is!
Over all a good week. It is going to be a power week this next week, so we are going to have a little bit more time and get alot more done. It will be great.
I hope you have a great week!
-Elder Sanford.

47th week in Taiwan

(from the email dated 13/14 November, 2011...)

I gave Elder Kasner a little taste of what it means to be a Sanford this morning and made him some awesome French Toast. I also made some delicious Apple syrup to put on top of them. I kind of made up the recipe, but it was basically just boiling chopped up apples with a bunch of sugar until it got thicker. yeah. Simple but good.

So sorry that last week was a lame week for emailing. This week, when I sent my president's letter it did the same thing, but I was smarter than the computer and I saved a copy of it so all I had to do was copy and paste. YEAH!
Sounds like your week went nicely...
We have had a chance to study alot about family history as a part of missionary work. I'd be pretty interested to get a few pictures of you with your family when you were all young and if you have them, it be cool to see pictures of your parents with their parents. It be fun to talk to people and show them the pictures names and a few stories to get the Spirit of Elijah burning in them. Yeah, and I kind of already have the Spirit of Elijah burning in me and really want to know. Thanks!!
We have seen miracles with a Zhang Sheng Feng. He is the blind guy that came to church last week. He is very sure on his baptismal date of the 26th. After talking to his care taker and giving her a copy of the Book of Mormon, she very bluntly rejected to learn more, but I think that most of it is a language barrier, so we will be praying for the gift of tongues this week. However, the mother did bring him to church. She couldn't stay for very long, but she did say that she would get time off to be able to come the whole time. So that should be good. He is getting ready for his interview on Saturday. He is awesome.
... How about the Christmas Choir thing. How is that going? I am getting just a little bit of Christmas fever. Little bits here and there when I see little displays in the bakeries and when I drank some hot cocoa at night while writing in my journal. Christmas will sure be something this year. I can't wait.
YEah! I hope that you have a great week,
-Elder Sanford.

Having fun-T46

All LDS meeting houses have the same look to them. I'd like a close up of the EXIT sign above the door. I'm guessing this is a Preparation Day activity. Pingpong in Yuanling...of course.
HEy Family!!
So yeah, I pretty much failed this week at emailing you all. I spent a good amount of time emailing President Bishop. Giving a good accounting of what you are doing to your leaders is very important. And after slaving over that letter for a long while and pushing the send button, a lovely little screen popped up that said... "ERROR IN SENDING". And that lovely little letter went poof. Yeah I pretty much was crying while rewriting it really fast.
Here are some bullet points .

-Elder Kasner and I saw a miracle with Brother Zhang coming to church. A blind man who we only invited to church. Elder Kasner led an amazing first lesson that I was very proud of and Brother Zhang accepted a goal for the 26th
-We had previously through the week had all of our other progressing investigators drop. Which was sad.
-We fasted to be able to work better with the ward. We will be sitting down with five families from the ward this week and seeking referrals by teaching the message of the Restoration.
-Pei Ke's were low due to dropped investigators. We exceeded our goal for other sitdowns and lessons to recent converts and less actives as well as lessons on the street. Good week as far as diligent work goes.
-Elder Kasner is amazing. He did the first Evaluation for Phase 1.
- We had a great activity with the ward. We broke our fasts right after church together and then it was my pleasure to give training to the 25-30 people that were there. Then we paired up and went to work. My companionship alone received 11 referrals from the members that came. We are going to focus on working with these referrals and publicizing what fruits we are going to see to increase the wards faith to do missionary work.

I also went through my 'DRAFTS' box and found out that I'm super pro at pushing the send button some times. Sorry.

I will make sure to spend some good time emailing everybody next week individually. I'm sorry.

He's a handsome boy! ( Not sure about the tie though... ;D)

a little about me

Here I am in the middle of catching up with all of Colby's Mission letters...but I should tell other stuff. I, Jamille, started radiation on 31 October, 2011. Daily I'm thankful that in August I got a mammogram & that the technician really looked at. They had me come back for an ultrasound and performed a biposy on the spot. The day after June turned 13 (30 August) I got word that I did have Invasive Ductal Carsinoma. I was not surprised and also not happy, but I didn't feel all "Doom and Gloom" either. I knew things would work out as they were supposed to, and I just needed to take the most optimistic approach.

I had a Lumpectomy on September 12. My surgeon is none other than Jennifer Tittensor. She is amazing. She performed a fairly new operation method. I had a teeny radioactive seed implanted in my cancer. During the operation she used a Geigher counter and found the cancer and scooped it out, some of the surrounding tissue and the three lymph nodes nearest the spot. A test was run on the nodes. They were clear which means the cancer hadn't spread to other areas. HURRAH!!! All of the cancer is out of me! Another test was done and they determined I would not need chemotherapy. Radiation is enough to keep the cancer away. I feel almost guilty that my cancer experience has been so bearable...Don't get me wrong--I'M THANKFUL!!!! I just wonder "Why me, Why did I get this, the "easy version" of cancer and others get it full on hard!???" I'm so oooo thankful that I got what I got. I don't think I would've been able to handle it, had it been any other way! Thank you Father in Heaven!!!

As I write about this, it's not easy. All of my emotions about this whole ordeal are still close to the surface. SO many people have helped so much, without asking they've stepped forward to offer rides and meals. Listening to me babble... It's been so nice. It's strange, too, that others whom I wished would've talked to me, to see how I am in the very least, have said nothing, nothing at all. It's weird. I feel awkward even mentioning that, and yet it's true. We all deal with stuff differently from each I need to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Fast forward to now. I will have my radiation appointments until the 15 of December. Things look good. Radiation makes me a little queasy for about 30 minutes. It has given me a "sunburn" and made me tender. It makes me tired too, but I can live with that!!!! Naps are nice! As soon as I'm done with radiation I will start taking a medication, for years apparently. I think it's called Tamoxifen, or something like that. I think I'll wait to take it until after the holidays. What if it makes me sick? I'm handling tired and tender ok, but if this other stuff gives me the urge to regurgitate I'd rather wait until after Christmas.

This letter came AFTER week 45, but it was talking about week 44

" ...Nope, our trees have no autumn. Just green all the time.
 So the time is a little short. But I'll just say that this week has really been great. My companion is super great at testifying and telling people how much the church means to him. I am giving him as many chances to do this as possible. Last night we went and visited an active member's family just to introduce Elder Kasner and ask for a member referral, but ended up that the non-member father cooked us dinner. Really cool guy. We are going to teach him more this next week. All over the place, we are finding cool miracles. I am loving it. I can see that the Lord really does love his missionaries and helps them out.
 I'm glad to hear that your birthday went all well. We had a party here for english here aswell! It was really great and alot of people showed up. I was incharge of doing it all, but I didn't plan super well. That being the case, I saw the hand of the Lord work miracles as we had a very wonderful turnout. and everybody had a very fun time. I'm interested to see how many people come to this next week's english class.
 Well I've got to write the other's quickly. I hope you have a wonderful start to your next year of life!  Loves
 -Elder Sanford. "

In case you were wondering ...

We received this email from the Mission Office. We've had people ask about packages, so here's what we've been told. (By the way his address is in the rightsidebar...Scroll to the bottom) He'd enjoy a letter anytime!! We email him weekly, but I'm not sure how often he gets "real live letters".

Dear Parents,
Each year many of our missionary’s parents send a package to their sons or daughters at Christmas time. We want to do all we can to make sure none of these packages get “lost in the mail.” Here are three things you can do to help your son or daughter get their package:
1. Do not use any mail service other than U.S. Postal. No Fed Ex. No UPS. No DHL. Why? Taiwan’s mail service is very good, but they will only Forward U.S. Postal mail and packages.
2. We highly encourage using the “Flat Rate Boxes” available at your local post office. In nearly all cases they are actually more inexpensive, and they are very easy to forward from our mission office. Odd shaped packages are hard to “re-write” an actual missionary’s address on them for forwarding.
3. Get your package off early. Most packages take about ten days from the states. Holiday mail in the U.S. could easily add more time to that.
We love serving with your missionaries and we wish you a wonderful Christmas, knowing your missionary is faithfully serving the Savior, whose birth we celebrate.


Sister Liston 劉姐妹
Taiwan Taichung Mission Secretary


(from 30 October, 2011)

... I'm training Elder Kasner. And boy is he sharp. He's really doing great in testifying and inviting people to be baptized. This past week, we focused alot on increasing our number of Investigators with a Baptismal Date. This week, we are going to be focusing on Church attendance. We want to get 8 investigators there. I know that we can do it as we have faith and focus. We also are going to be involving the ward alot more. We got a new ward mission leader. He just barely got off of his mission in Taibei. THe old ward mission leader is going to the english ward in Tai Zhong right now. I think that he will probably do a wonderful job at that there. He's a good man.
One thing that I've been doing better and better at that I was super afraid of when I knew that I was going to be the senior companion is planning. It was always a super hard thing for me to do, but I have been able to get a plan done every single day pretty quickly. I do not entitle this to my own ability increasing but that I have been relying on the Lord more to know what to do. It actually comes pretty easily. I really need to start doing better in my journal though. I have been writing everyday, but not in a whole lot of detail . I guess that that is better than nothing, but I'd like to get a little more detail.
This week, we got to watch a small segment about using Family History in our missionary work. It was so good. I really want to start using it more in my work. I didn't get it. Now I do. There is a reason why everybody is getting more and more internet capabilities. It's so that everybody can gain interest in Family History and then be baptized. Yeah!!
...I love you and am so glad to write you this week. ...
Your son,
Elder Sanford.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It just occurred to me that I haven't posted in a while. I need to post several weeks of Colby letters. Someday I'd love to take my good friend Jessica's lead and get a BOOK book printed of the blogs. That's one of the reasons why I post most of Colbs' emails--or portions of them. Someday he'll want a record of it all...our whole family will--and most probably his family,too. When he comes home in less than a year it'll be time for him to think about that part of his life. I think he's got all of that on the back burner now. He makes no mention or hint of that at all. He's being a missionary right now, and that's all he has time for right now....and that's the way it's supposed to be right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So strange. I must admit, I don't understand. In times past there was so much gush...sickening sweet. And now, when one would expect some sort of recognition, or remembrance...just SOMETHING....nope, nothing. Worlds change drastically in one year.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Perhaps he's trying something new. Perhaps he's busy training his new companion (he's unnamed at this point, but we do know his nationality: Canadian). Perhaps he doesn't know there are peops who are interested and like to hear of his comings and goings? He didn't send a "public, passalong" email this week. In fact I didn't get a letter from him. I'll passalong snips from emails to Jeff and Lila.

Colby was grateful for Tofu recipes Lila sent. The Internet place he went to had no USB ports or if they existed, they were disabled. So no new pics this week.

Colby said :" read a talk by Elder Bednar this past week. It is called "Things As They Really Are". I think. Well it's just how computers and simulation should be used to enhance life and not be a substitute for it. We have an investigator who just spent three days at an internet cafe and nobody knew where he was. Very addicted."
Colbs has had a fun time showing his new companion around the area. There are great places to eat.

He also said, "it is interesting training. After every contact, I am trying to stop and talk about what we did, things that he might have wished to say. and that kind of stuff. I'm really grateful for the chance to train. He is for sure my best friend right now, and he will always be a great friend. THank you for all of your love and advice.

The good thing is that we DO get contact from him weekly. I think I'd go really nuts if I had to wait for paper letters. Some might argue that I'm already nuts. You know what I really mean.

Monday, October 24, 2011

oh no...this is too funny.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taiwan week 43

Hey mom!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! this week.
The Chinese hymn book does have "Once in Royal David City". It is page 126 in there.

Well it has been a pretty good week. Elder McAllister have been learning alot and eating really healthily. I found out how delicious and cheap tofu is. Great stuff. You can get two pounds for 30 cents american. AND YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH IT. Also, it is a great source of protein. Good stuff.

Nothing particularly special happened this week until last night until about 9:30 when Elder McAllister and I got the call that we will both be training next move call. Cool stuff. We are going to be splitting the area that we are in. He is going to move to the other Elder's Apartment which is being turned into a 4 man and I am going to be staying right where I am. (Yeah! I don't have to pack!) DId you ever get to train on your mission? How was it? Any tips? I'm really excited. We will be going to a training meeting on Wednesday and then we will go back to pick up our the new missionaries on Friday morning. After that, we will just get to work like usual! There have been some changes recently about the way that the church is having people be trained. There is a strict 12 week program that is going to be followed, so I am certain to be with my new companion for two move calls. I'm really excited.
In thinking back to General Conference, one thing that really hit me was that I didn't have a huge source of memorized scriptures in my mind to pull from. So this week I have been taking a little bit of personal study time to memorize some. I have been loving it alot. I memorized D&C 121:34-46 because it has always been a favorite of mine. I also have been starting to take a bite out of the Book of Mormon Scripture Masteries. I have the first five or six of them. I love it. I also find that as I am thinking about the scriptures that I am memorizing, I can very easily apply them to my situation RIGHT NOW. It has strengthened my testimony of the Scriptures even more. I have a plan to memorize all of the Book of Mormon Scripture Masteries in the next two weeks and then hopefully start into memorizing all of Moroni 7. Good stuff.
Well, I'm glad to hear that everything is going well.

Thank-you so much for all of the prayers and insights this week!
I hope you have a good this week.
Love ya!
-Elder Sanford

Thursday, October 13, 2011

13 Oct., 2010 to 13 Oct., 2011 equals ONE YEAR

Well, it has been ONE YEAR since Colby began the life of a fulltime Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As you know from my posts of his letters---he loves it and enjoys it.

We ate Chinese food, ate with chopsticks and had fortune cookie fun. (I wonder who comes up with the fortunes inside the cookies. They are generic enough that they could be applied to almost anyone, and they are true enough that you're sure it was meant for you.)

I was a Missionary in Chile from 1985 May to 1986 November and I can tell you it was wonderful!!! There is nothing greater than to give ones complete existence to the Lord. 24/7 . 365 x 2....

I'm so glad he gets to give this service. He'll never regret this time away from "normal life". It'll be a help to him every day of his life in one way or another!

Time has started going more quickly. We'll get 2 more phone calls from him and then he'll be home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

42nd week in Taiwan

Hey !
Yeah, Conference was really good. I got the impression that we all just needto work hard and endure to the end, be a testimony of Christ at all times and read/memorize the Book of Mormon. I am personally going to start memorizing alot of scriptures. I am also going to write in my journal alot. I have been a little bit behind lately, but I know that it is important.

Last Tuesday, we met with our ward correlator who is also american. He doesnt' know any chinese because he teaches english here. We ate these really great egg roll rice things. We also were lied to and drank just a sip of hong cha or red tea. Ooops. Accident.

Wednesday was cool. we are planning this big English open house thing for the end of the movecall to invite more people to come to take part in the English program.... so that we can get more people to come to the church and get more people baptised. yeah. It will be fun. I have to put together a play of the Three little pigs.

On Thursday, we met again with one of our progressing investigators who is pretty much done with smoking. He is the one that I got the chance to fast with afew weeks ago to help him over come this problem. His addiction is going away! he's a really cool and happy guy who I will be so happy when he is baptised.

On Friday, we took a train to meet with a 14 year old. We shared with him about what the Lord expects of him. He set a goal to be baptised in a few weeks. Cool. He brought two friends with him as well. I thought that they would be a distraction, but they actually did really well and helped us read.

Saturday: CONFERENCE. I really liked the saturday sessions. I got alot of personal revelation and I know that the things I learned will help me with my investigators aswell.

Sunday: what? yess... CONFERENCE. It was all very good. I really liked Elder Bednar's talk. I think that it makes so much sense for kids to get into family history work. I also really liked all that was said about The Savior. I am excited to read over the talks again. Favorite? Maybe Ian S. Ardern's talk.
Good week.

Today, we had an interesting Zone activity and went up to the zone leader's area. We first played Ultimate Frisbee and then had a little devotional followed by going and eating at a huge all you can eat Steak place. When it was first announced, I was a little bit frustrated. It sounded like the exact opposite from what I wanted to do at the time. I'm not super fond of playing sports or eating meat at all, but I went into it in the right spirit and really had a good time. and alot of salad! It was a good day in which, despite the circumstances, I strengthened my relationship with the Zone, which was the idea of it all.
I have been loving waking up and having granola and cranberries. It' pretty much all done now. THanks again for sending me such a wonderful birthday package.
I hope that you have a good week!
-Elder Sanford

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

41st week in Taiwan

That's SO COOL I am so happy about the Temple. It's like the best birthday present ever! I am so excited. I really am so stoked I don't know what to say. Wow. I can't wait to go!
Yes, this week was pretty great. We worked really hard and had a great filling of the Spirit in Zone Conference.

The most interesting thing that happened is that Elder Liu and I got a call from President Bishop at the end of the day on Saturday. He moved to Tai Zhong to be a Zone Leader there and the other Elder that he replaced came here. So yeah. My new companion Is Elder McAllister. None of us expected the change, but I'm really excited. He's here now. He used to serve here at the beginning of his mission, and he is going to be training next move call here, so I'm going to be kicked out at the end of the move call. I don't know what all is going to happen, but I"m going to work my hardest. Yeah!.

I am so happy for the temple.

Other than that, we have been seeing the work moving well here. There is one investigator who we have been working with that has a problem with smoking. Other than that, he is all ready to be baptized. This past weekend, he, his family and Elder Liu and I fasted together. Last night. I cooked up a HUGE pot of pasta and we broke the fast together and we are ready to see Christ work some miracles.

I am really excited for this next week and having General Conference. I made a flier for the stake to advertise General Conference. I included a picture of it. I really hope that as many people can attend. On it is just says "Ting Ta Shuo" which means listen to God speak. Pretty direct. I'm super excited. Conference is going to be great.

Oh, my birthday was great. I got the package on tuesday at Zone Conference and opened it on thrusday morning. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I really needed these wonderful shoes. and I am really excited to have cranberries to eat. The package was wonderful. Apart from hitting up the streets with the gospel, my companion took me to a nice waffle dinner at this one cool waffle place. Very good. Great birthday. THank-you.
-Elder Sanford.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a great new quote

"Don't judge those who choose to sin differently than you do."

Wowzers!!! When I saw this on an email, as someone's signature quote, It hit me hard! It's so very good!!! I immediately put it on my Facebook Status. True words to be shared and pondered by all need to get out there!

I need to be a better person and if I can keep this quote in my head maybe I'll truly internalize it and quit judging.

We never know why "people" do the things "they" do, and just because "they" choose to do something differently than I would have, it doesn't mean "they" are wrong OR right. It is what it is. "They" are who "they" are. I am who I am. I can be better--and I'm trying!!! "They" are trying to be their best self, too!

I should cut other people slack, and tighten-up on my own doings/sayings/being.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tunnel Singing

When I was at BYU I went tunnel singing at least once. Last night Claire (a Senior at Provo High) and her friend Andrew along with Junie and a bunch of others went Tunnel singing. There is an underground walkway (tunnel) near the Marriott center. She's telling me about it and it's bringing back warm memories. They sang LDS hymns a cappella. Halfway through the hour (10:30 pm) the leader said "Okay, everyone sit down. Now is the time we are going to acknowledge the Missionaries. All who have received their calls please stand." They introduced themselves and stated where they were going to be serving as missionaries. Next the crowd sang "Called to Serve". As I imagine it I can hardly stop crying. It sounds so cool. Good kids singing hymns to Him is a great way to end the Sabbath!!!

Taiwan 40

Today is a good day. I left the apartment and just had a good feeling. We have plans this week to get a lot of work done. And we saw a big miracle with two of our less active recent convert friends. Two kids who's father doesn't have a job. We went over there earlier in the week and just simply told him about the covenants his children made when they were baptized and the help that he needed to provide for them. They showed up at church. And even though he couldn't make it (to church), he was very glad to have a second sit down with us yesterday night where we shared a little bit out of the Book of Mormon about Captain Moroni. He was very willing to accept a copy and start to read. Wonderful.
So I haven't told you about any of my fixing drier experiences. All of the driers that I have had in all of my apartments have had one problem or another. In my last one, the belt broke. I took it apart and looked at it. I made a new wheel out of water bottle. I put a new belt on and It snapped again. The spring that wheel was on was bad and didn't line up correctly, so I ordered a new one. When I was putting on the new wheel, I wasn't careful and didn't unplug the machine. Yeah electricuted. It was weird and I'm pretty sure I almost went into shock, but hey, the drier works now. In the drier I have in this apartment, they didn't use the drier because it left a lot of black marks on the clothes. ALL OVER the clothes. I looked at it and saw that the main drum was loose and sagging so where it met the rim , there was a little gap that the clothes would get caught in and then pulled back out of, leaving the black marks. So I just turned it up side down. THat put the drum in the right place and the drier it working great!
So other than that, I have been trying to study "Preach My Gospel" It's been pretty good. I also had a chance to attend "Leadership Training Meeting" which is only for leaders. I am not a leader or even a senior companion, but I was asked to attend. We'll see if that means anything. I learned a lot either way.
Anyways, I hope that you have a good week.
-Elder Sanford

Monday, September 19, 2011

Taiwan 39

So this week was pretty intense. I have been focusing alot on working with the Lord and using the Spirit to Teach the people.
Last Monday, we went back to our apartments and got all settled in. Then we hit the streets running. We went to a big ward activity where I got to meet the people that I wiill be working with for the next how ever long I'm Here! and let me tell you, it is already too short of a time. Elder Liu is such a good missionary. The ward is really good about working together with us, so on Tuesday, we were taken out to one of our secondary areas by the High Priest Leader. Working with him was fun because he has a big family and alot of good stories to tell. We taught a few people out there with him.Wednesday was good. We met a few new investigators and started working with them. The people are great here. Then on Thursday, we had a really really good day. we went out and met with A LOT of people. THe last one was out in our secondary again. THis was with somebody who is overcoming "work on Sunday" problems. But we had a great member there that bore some great testimony about making the church the priority in his life and the blessings that it has brought. A big problem here is that people are farmers and the best time to work is in the mornings, so Church isn't super great for them. But I know that when we make sacrifices, that is when the Lord steps in. On Friday, We had our weekly planning session and made some great goals. Then at night, we got to go to visit this one kid who was really humble and happy. He has had some run ins with the law even though he is really young, but he is really wanting a change in his life. we had a great sincere talk about the Book of Mormon and got to bear testimony. Good stuff. Saturday, we met for the second time with this one guy who came and self contacted us earlier in the week. He is really great. Sunday, we had an activity where we met right after church and shared with the attendees the power of the Book of Mormon and then gave everybody there a copy. We challenged everybody to give a copy to their friends. I think it was a hit. A lot of people were excited to do it. I'm really excited to see the power of the Book of Mormon in the lives of the friends of the members. Should be good. YEAH!
THank you for sending the package. I'm excited to get it. The 29th we just so happen to have a Zone Conference, So they will probably get it too me there.
THanks for all of the love and prayers!
-ELder Sanford.

Friday, September 16, 2011

T38--Lost and Found

Colby wrote more on the 12th and it was jumbled in with eBay mail so I didn't find it until the 15th. He sounds happier. I'm so glad!!!

So Yes, new companion, new area. ELDER LIU in YUAN LIN. Party. He is a really great missionary and we are going to get a lot done this next move call. The apartment is cool and has two floors. I get the bed right next to the window! I really am going to miss Elder Gardner and his wonderful humble example of missionary service. But I'm really going to love getting the work done here in Yuan Lin.
So this week, we had a great time just getting to work. On Monday, we got Elder Gardner's bike fixed. Tuesday was District training meeting. Later in the night, we met with some really great people. Zhang Jie Mei. She started coming to church and really loves it. It is hard to meet with her because she is doing so many ward activities and playing with the members. Just the way it's supposed to be. Wednesday, We met this really amazing man that lives in China. He knows that the Church is true. He goes up to the mountains and prays all of the time. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he said that next time he comes back to Taiwan, he will have it read. He's getting baptized for sure!
Thursday, we met with and had an amazing lesson with an Aboriginal lady who has three kids. She is really amazing and loves the church. She even used the term "OUR church" in reference to the LDS church. Yeah. Friday.Good hard day. We did alot of contacting on the street and found a lot of people. On Saturday, I finally had a chance to eat the famous "Cold Hot Ice" in Chao Zhou. People come from all over Taiwan to eat this stuff. It like a snow cone that has a bunch of hot (temperature-wise) things in it. Like peanuts and Lu Dou Pieces. Really good. Thought it'd be good to get in before I left. Sunday, we had 102 people at church and at night we celebrated the Mid Autumn Festival. HUGE holiday. Anybody who is anybody does a barbque. cool. Got a good good bye.
Great new changes. I am loving my scripture study as well. I have recently started the Book of Mormon over again. I am taking a lot of time to write things that come to my mind and I am getting a lot of personal revelation. I love it.
Thank-you for everything!
Love Ya!
Elder Sanford.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The letter from Colby was brief this week:

" I have a new companion. His name is Elder L**. He's pretty awesome so far. He served and was trained in Chao Zhou. I'm really liking it so far. there are a lot of people to talk to and the apartment is really cool. Two floors! still small though."
"At the end of this last week, I was having a kind of hard time. A lot of things hitting together. I of course prayed. Then the next morning, in my morning studies, I grabbed a random Ensign. That act alone is a miracle because I try really hard to not just do random things too often. But I opened up to a talk given by President Eyring in 2008 October Priesthood session. It was an EXACT answer to my prayer, all about the priesthood. I read it and I loved it and I cried a little bit and I felt the love of the Lord."

So it sounds like he may be hitting one of those rough spots in the mission. (He's been out 11 months tomorrow, it was bound to happen sometime.) I remember all too well about rough spots. But he's doing the best thing by praying, recommitting and relying more fully on the Lord.

So please remember him in your prayers, and a letter to him might be just what he needs, too. His address is in the side bar-----> at the bottom. :D

I love Colby!!! (Lila, Clarents, WilliamPeterman, Whacki & Googlah)

As a parent one of the hardest things is knowing ones child is having a difficult time. I wish I could take the pain away--go through it FOR him..., but I find comfort in knowing that the pain will be eased as he passes through the trial, and he'll be that much more strong for having passed through it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day

On Monday we had a fun thing happen. We were roasting hotdogs on our driveway in our fire ring, and the fire department--with a bright shiny red truck--came to visit. Apparently the Head Fire Chief from the Provo Fire Department received a text that we were having a bonfire of yard waste. Jeff and Logan were pulling dead branches from the tree to use in the fire. I'm wondering if the good soul who called us in was concerned about that? The firemen talked to Jeff and then one came over to see our fire. He saw that it was contained in a "commmercial pit", snickered and walked back towards the truck. They went on their way. I'm guessing they went back to the normal Firemen Labor Day activity of collecting money for MDA.

Later in the day I got an email from someone I didn't recognize. I also got a Facebook friend request from the same person. I was a bit leary. I looked further and realized that this person is a friend of Colby's, a recent convert to the Church (just a few weeks) in Taiwan. He sent a picture of Colby and his companion Elder Gardner with his family. This friend's non Chinese name is "Gene". How nice of him to contact our family!

We kept our fire going all day. Our new friends Brandon and Mary Reas came over. They wanted to play the piano and study . Mary played showtunes and Brandon studied (and sang falsetto to the tunes---multitasking! :D) for a few hours and then we had another hot dog roast, this time sharing with our friends. It is so wonderful when we find friends who love us as much as we love them. They are keepers for sure!

Wow. Taiwan week 37

Wow. Taiwan week 37.
It went like this:
Monday, Elder Gardner's bike fell apart, so that took alot of our time away. And we were recovering from a Typhoon that hit last weekend. We went and ate at Wang Shang Ming's house. He's the First in the Bishop Ric. Tuesday was exchanges in Ping Dong City. One and a half hour bike ride one way. It was a good experience though and we had some really amazing Curry and Vegtibles. We also met with a reall cool simple man that is progressing. Wednesay, we switched back and went back to work. Met with Sun Bei Bei which consists of reading a chapter of the Book of MOrmon with him and Eating Crackers. HE's a reall cool old old man who got baptized a few months ago and raises fish for a living. Thursday was a day of absolute miracles. We had many great opportunities to teach. Mr Xie from Taipei at his food shop. Tornado Chen who want's to help his family situation with the gospel. Which is totaly cool because that is exactaly what we can do. Booking it out to secondary and having a sitdown with Chen Mao Nan who really wants to come back to church. Friday, we found a few old formers. and had a good talk with a recent convert on the steps of the churhc. We also had a good time practicing contacting people two by two. On Saturday, we had ASSISTANT EXCHANGES. So yes, Elder Buenning came down from Tai Zhong and came around with us and had an absolute blast. We had a mass meeting of alot of people tha we got up and taught in front of. THen we had a really cool experience with one guy who completly rejected us at first and then came back and told us to pull into his home. We sat down with him and found out that he has had the worst few days and really just needed somebody to talk to. He's going to get baptised soon. Really great guy. Sunday, our goal of 100 people at church was completely destroyed. yeah. 117. yeah. Intense. We almost didn't have enough seats. So good to see the growth. ANd then today, we went out to Ping Dong and had lunch with the Elders there. It was at a pretty fancy place. It was fun to just talk to them though. I love doing missionary work.
SO yeah that was my week. I hope you liked that overview. not too much detail. sorry just a little pressed for time, we still have to get Elder Gardner's bike fixed today.
Thank-you for all of your help and love.
Love Ya!
-Elder Sanford

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Junie

happy birthday sweetie!!!

She's 13-a real live certifiable teenager.We love you so much June!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Taiwan 36

I've really liked that I get the chance to work out and run in the mornings and it is something that I will do for the rest of my life.
Yes I did get new shoes, but I really want to get my old ones resoled. Is that possible? I like the old ones alot more, not to mention that they are alot more comfortable and waterproof and awesome.
Wow, sounds like there is alot going on and alot of people are getting old. Man.
So yeah, one quick story. There is a kid on our convert action list that we haven't been able to track down ever since I've been here. I was thinking about how Iknew that he was out there somewhere. I remember saying a prayer to find him one night. His family all used to be investigators of the church, but weren't really ready to make the full commitment. The son was the only one, but without that backing, he quickly fell away. Elder Gardner pointed out who we thought the kid was yesterday at church on our bulletin board. His baptismal picture was still up. Standing next to him in a red shirt was his father. I only looked at his face for a matter of seconds. But later on the street, I recognized it as I was riding home quickly to get some food in before the baptism. I passed him and kept riding for about a block before I made the connection. I slammed on my brakes and biked back to him and started up a good conversation. We are going back to their place later this week. The Lord has been working on them for a while and now we're going to be going in for try two. I'm excited.

The coolest thing was that we have been working with a part member family and the oldest son got baptized yesterday. Yeah! The mother is really close behind him and the father expressed strong desire to follow in his son's footsteps as well. The younger brother is going to get baptised in January when he turns eight. So yeah, really great family, really great week. So yeah, the tall one is Zeng Di Xiong. BAPTIZED! party (even though it looks like I was photo shopped in, I was really there)
Thanks for all of the love from home! Tell everyone hello from me. I'm working hard out here! I hope that all is going well with school and stuff back there. Time for another good week of hard work!
-Elder Dib Sanford.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To St. George FAST!!!

It was a quick trip!
A week ago today I made a yummy dinner -- worthy of Sunday dinner status. Sister Carol Crilley and her friend with a granddaughter showed up. What a treat to have a decent meal to share (and the house was even clean--miracle!) They brought an ice cream cake for dessert. Delightful.

We then packed up the car and waited for Junie to get home from Young Womens. Mirielle, Esther, Junie, and I didn't have plans until Friday afternoon, so we were able to MAKE and execute super fun plans: a roadtrip to St. George to visit my sister Jonna, her husband Kimand as many of their children and grandchildren as we could see. Junie came home and it was about 9 p.m. before we could start the trip.
We headed off to my sis' house. When I am the "sole driver", I tend to get a little nervous. I can NOT get tired, well I CAN, but I MUSTN'T (that's a weird contraction!). SO I am glad that someone (I think it was Jonna) years ago told me about the miracle of the Sunflower seed. If you put the seed in your mouth, suck the salt off, crack the shell, careful--Don't swallow it, pull the shell out of your mouth, and eat the seed, you can drive for hours....The reason it's a miracle is I CAN do this and never get tired, not even in the least. I remain alert and functi
onal as a driver. YAHOOO!!!

We got to Jonna's at 1:30 a.m. Thursday. We got in the beds (--comfy!) and slept the night/early morn away. Rebekah had to get her Wisdom teeth extracted so Jonna didn't get home until after 10 a.m. Then Eliza and Elise came. Shortly after, Amelia, Lincoln and Sydnee came. I love my nieces and nephews and the grands, too. It was so good to see and hug them. Here's a pic of Sydnee and one of Grandma Jonna with Lincoln. I didn't get one of Elise. :(

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Taiwan 35

So here are those wonderful pictures that I promised to send.
I hope that you all enjoy them alot.
There is also a picture of my companion ELDER GARDNER.
He is a beast. And an awesome missionary.
Then there is a picture with Zhuang Jia Rong and his family (minus the father)
and then a picture of Zou Jia Rong and a member that helped her a lot named Han Jie Mei and her little grandchild who likes to look different places and sing and dance on occasions
Then there is a picture of Huang Yu Fang who is was baptised not by me but by her boy friend who used to be a less active but now comes every week and was baptized on the same day as Zou Jia Rong (not Zhuang Jia Rong, I know they're close) which actually turns out to be the same day as a "How to Make Jam" Social that was taught by Zou Jia Rong... (not Zhuang Jia Rong, I know they're close).

So this past week, we had the chance to have Combined District Training Meeting. It was a really good experience. Each time we have CDTM, we have a chance to have a face to face interview with President Bishop. We talked a little about some of the recent converts in the area. When we were done, he said "Well enjoy Chao Zhou while you can, you may not be there for too much longer." So we'll see what happens. It is half way through the movecall and at the new movecall, there will be 25 new missionaries, maybe more, coming on island.

Wow that rush before school starts feeling came back for a second when I was reading your email. Well I hope that you all have a good time getting into the new school year.
-Elder Dib Sanford.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sweet Grand nieces/nephews of 2011

Our family has truly been blessed with babies this year (...and one more already announced for 2012). Bryson Glunt came first this year on May 11th. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get a picture of him. I'm still trying to negotiate one. Next came Hazel Cooper on May 15th. In third was Sydnee Miles on July 28th. Last week three offspring from the Merrill's arrived. Scarlett Merrill was born on August 8th, then came Mikey Logan and Alicia Merrill on August 10th, a mere 6 hours apart. Here's a glimpse of five of them. I've only held Mikey so far, but hopefully by the end of this week I'll get to hold Sydnee. Babies are such a blessing and so sweet!

ps--I love ALL of my grand nieces and nephews. All have come to our family in the last 9 years: Jillian, Paige, Joanna, Matthew, Elise, Lincoln, Reagan, Keaton, Katlyn, Sean, Faith, Celeste and Jude. WOW! What a decade of delight!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taiwan week 34

Yeah, the whole Allergy thing is done with. They say that it is shellfish. I had eaten a dish with shrimp that I picked out and didn't eat, but I think it still had some sort of an effect. Yeah, whatever it was it's all over now.

So yesterday, I ran into somebody who spoke english. He was from washington. He had recently been in Hong Kong for a year so his english was a little weird, but I talked to him a little bit about the church and found out that he had been to our church a bunch and that in washington his family had been meeting with the missionaries. He said that he liked it but that they didn't have missionaries in Hong Kong. So I took his number and am sending it in the referrals system. I thought that it was a pretty good experience. He was a cool kid. I hope that his family finally gets baptised. I bet he didn't think that he was going to run into missionaries while on vacation..

Ok, yeah, so this week was a good, hard working week. We're going to see some good results from this week, but mostly because of Heavenly Father's help. The more and more I go out and work, the more and more I remember that this only has a little bit to do with me and pretty much everything to do with the Lord and what work he does.

I always hear about being an instrument in the Lord's hand, but this week, I was thinking about it and I got it. I had to turn it into something that I knew a little bit better. All I am is a brush. The Lord is the Painter. You don't ever hear about how amazing that little brush was that Rembrant was holding. No, you hear about Rembrant. And yes, it does matter what kind of a brush I am. I have tried to use brushes that I have made myself or that are cheap and not that great of quality and let me tell you, nowhere near as good. I may be able to put out something that looks good in the end, but if the brush were better, then the finished picture would be of better quality and chances are, it would have taken alot less time. So as I sharpen up my skills, the work WILL be able to move along better, but only because I am a better tool for the Lord. Yeah. Just something I had been thinking about.

Yeah. Good hard working week after getting over the itching. Elder Gardner and I are working hard and trying to focus as much as we can on establishing the church here in Chao Zhou. We took one morning to go and visit an old farmer that lives way out in our secondary area. I didn't think that he would be home, but it turns out that he actually was. Since the last time that we met, he had a lot of stress because of a second home that he needed to sell. He said that he had prayed and that in the end Christ helped him to sell the house and now he is alot more comfortable and happy and less stressed. We're going to try again with him because he actually has a testimony of Christ and how he can help.

Yeah, Esther's talk sounds so good! I remember having to give talks in primary in spanish. That was interesting. I'm sure Esther did a great job.

Well, I hope that you have a good week and get a chance to swing down to St. George. Chou Zhou is a Taiwanese version of St. George. Yeah. Tell them all hello.
Love Ya!
-Elder Sanford