Monday, February 28, 2011

Taiwan: week 9

Our friend Glen Thurston returned from his mission to Portugal this last Friday. It went relatively fast...from our viewpoint. Someday it'll seem that fast about Colby's mission too. It's good to hear Colby sounding so upbeat and happy. Here is the email this week.

This week has been interesting. I'm so glad to hear all about what is happening back at home. wait... GLEN IS HOME? He left like yesterday. That's wierd. Yeah it seems like it wasn't really that long. I guess in reallity it wasnt' that long, but it all seems so fast. It's intersting to look back at the last 4 months and see how much I feel I have grown. I feel like it really went by quickly though.
And Claire got her ears pierced? wierd.
The Bai family that I talked about who we turned over to the other missionaries is doing great. I was super excited to see them come to church and he was even wearing a white shirt and suit coat. They were welcomed over the pulpit into the ward even though it was only their second time coming. Oh and Chen Zhen Wei is getting baptised on saturday. I'll have to send you pictures. IT's going to be boss. He is so ready for it too. HE is excited to get to go to the temple as well, because he spends monday through friday up in Tai Bei. He'll have to wait a year, but he says he is excited. IT really is exciteing to se the progress he has made in the church. This last week, I was sitting next to him in sunday school and he was flipping through the Book of Mormon and making his own notes. I know that all of the progress that he has made in the church is prettymuch based off of the fact that he doesn't just read every day, but he really searches the scriptures. I feel like it is an active and exciting thing for him, so he really gets into the gospel. I have felt the influence of the Book of MOrmon in my life these past two weeks aswell. Since zone conference when the whole mission started the Book of Mormon from the beginning, I have had the great opportunity to start really search out the scriptures as well. We were challanged to mark each time there is a name of Christ, each time a Cistlike attribute is mentioned, when Christ speaks and the Doctrine of Christ in the Book of MOrmon. As I have done this, I have found alot more than just that. I have found practical aplications to myself and those I teach. The best thing that I have found so far from reading is that my day is better. My day is far easier when I have the Spirit with me for the day from this special time I get in the morning. My contacting is more powerful. Even if they do reject the message, I feel strengthened because of the Testimony I shared by the spirit. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. I am so greatful for Nephi's powerful example. I am so greatful for Jacob's wise word's to his people and his respect for the wifes and children of his people that he has. I know that they are prophets of God and that strengthens my testimony that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, which helps me to know my calling here has purpose. So each time I leave the door, I can look and say "what can I do? what can ELDER SANFORD do for the Lord today? why does the Lord want ME here today?" Yes the Book of Mormon is great and so is the Gospel all of it. From priciple of faith to the chance for Eternal Marriages. It is wonderful.
Well, I have another 20 months of good solid mission infront of me. I'm very appreciative of the prayers that are said in my behalf. Please say thank-you again to The Sorensens, The Sundblooms, The Hillams, Sam and anybody else that I forgot to thank that is helping support me on my mission. I know that this church is true. There is no doubt there. As I go forward doing what I need to do, I know that the Lord will give me all of the blessings he has instore for me. I love this work. I love the ward
Love Ya All!
ELder Sanford

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Taiwain week 8

Here's most of his email. I've decided that some things are just for family, but much of his letters are for all to see. Enjoy:

It was pretty interesting this week, still getting used to all of the changes. New apartment, new companion. and on top of that, I got called to be the English Coordinator. Yeah I don't even know english, let alone chinese. The calling just consists of running the English class that our district teaches every night at the church. We will see how it all works out.
When you decide to go forward and serve the Lord the best you can no matter the circumstances, it is interesting to see what all happens. In fact it is really fun. THis work is a blast. WHen we split the areas, it took a little getting used to, but Elder Rostedt and I are really getting the hang of it I think. YEsterday, we had a husband and his wife come to church. We were so happy that they came and when we talked to them they said that they liked the feeling of the church. We also found out that they are planning on starting a family. We got so excited to have them to teach. So we set up a time to meet at their house. Then we asked them for their address and found out that they are just out of our area. In thinking back on it, I would have thought that I might be mad or something, but the Lord gave me a little miracle. He comforted me and let me know that Elder Johnson and Elder Tate in Taiping are the exact Elders that they need to help them come into the church. He also let me know that we would need to be focusing our time on others. It was such a wonderful experience and I can't wait for them to get baptised and start their ETERNAL FAMILY. WHOO!!!
ELder Rostedt and I are having a great time here in Dong Qu and Zhong Qu. THis week the whole week had "POWER CLEANNING-DAY". So we were supposed to stay at our apartments all of P-Day and Clean. There was a huge list that we were given and the apartment looks great and the spirit is strong. It being our new apartment, we have kind-of been cleaning up after the last ELders that lived there this whole week when we had time, but it was nice to finish it all off. I can't wait to hit this week hard and serve the Lord!

I don't have much time because getting through the cleaning list took a little longer than we thought, but just know that I am serving hard and I am so glad that eveybody sounds like they are having a good time back home, I pray for you all!
Don't ever forget to pray.
I am getting closer and closer to the Lord each and every day and I am loving it. I know that he lives.
Love Ya All!
Elder Sanford

Monday, February 14, 2011

Taiwan: POWER WEEK (#7)

So last week a friend and I had a conversation about Missionary letters. As a result of that I decided I won't correct Colby's spelling errors. There aren't that many to begin with. He's always rushed to get the email out. Maybe things will be a little different now that he has a different companion? (The being rushed part. I don't think spelling errors will change.) So here it is. He sounds good! What do you think? :

This week was power week which means that we left the door one hour early every single day and all of our meals were eaten on the go. To say the least, it was intense. I am really greatful for the exprience though. I have seen alot of miracles because of it. We have 2 new investigators who have come and are well on their way to being baptized. I know that we would not have found either one if we were not trying to hit the higher goals that we're set. One of the investigators was even in our apartment. We were booking it home and needed one more sit down on power sit down day. We had said a prayer right before leaving to get back home that we would hit our goal. right as we were getting close to our apartment a guy on a scooter passed me and I called out to him. Suprizingly he slowed down and I sped up to talk to him. We ended up squeezing in one more sit down right before the end of the night. He is the most humble man that I've contacted and come to find out, he lives in our apartment. We have been able to visit him every night since for a few minutes right before heading in the door. It is such a blessing and I know that it came from doing all that I could durring this power week.
Oh and yes, it was move call. Elder Buenning and I knew that our area was splitting so we were getting ready for that. We were also open to the possibility that we may not stay together. We were not ready for the possibility that Elder Buenning, who is only on his 7/8 move call would be called to be Zone Leader though. Usually you go zone leader on your 11/12th maybe 10/11th. Yeah. So what was once Taiping is now Taiping and Taiping East. I have Taiping east, which consists of Dongxu and Zhongxu. It is interesting to be serving with not Elder Buenning and for sure different. I have a new, very humble companion named Elder Rostedt. He's from Austrailia. It will be a new experience serving with Elder Rostedt for this next while. It is always interesting to make new friends with people from other countries that have other goals and things, let alone serving with them and being with them 24/7. I'll update more on him next week because I have no time left, but I'll try to send a picture of us in just a second.
Like I said, I am in a hurry because we couldn't find an internet place in our new area for a while, but I just want to say that I am growing more and more in the gospel each and every week. As I talk to everybody, my testimony is being thrown out there and I am testing it. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that he is the Savior and Redeemer of this world. Nothing would even be worth it without him. I am so greatful for the chance that I have to serve him for these next short time.
I'll have alot more next week, but for now, know I'm serving hard!
Love ya All!
Elder Sanford

It's so fun to get these emails! When I get the picture of his new companion switched to not be sideways, I'll post it so you can see him, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Why am I still awake. I should be in dreamland. I'm restless, thinking about communication. It's tough being a grown up and having to edit ones words before they slip out of ones mouth or computer keyboard.

Sometimes, and it usually happens when I'm driving, I really do let the words (g-rated of course) come holding back. There are other times when I am free to open my mouth and not worry. When my heart is beating in my ears and my bosom is so full it nearly bursts--I bear my testimony, and I don't worry because I'm testifying. But most of the time I mull things over that I feel I want to say....and often conclude that I might hurt someone, or someone might take offense or not understand things the way I meant to explain them, so I end up not saying anything...hmmmm...I just take a breather. Perhaps I've been the one who has misunderstood.

Communicating ... something to think about.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Taiwan Week 5? (it's 6)

Fun stuff. Because of the New Year Holiday he didn't get to do as much Missionary work as normal. Things should pick up this week though. He loves letters and, of course, packages. Let me warn you: the packages are pricey to send (but he's worth it!) If you can keep the weight just under 4 pounds the package will be around $30. It's so good to hear that the package we sent arrived finally...that he got it. Jeff has horror stories of shoes being sent in separate packages to insure he'd end up with the pair...and a Honduran postal worker had to steal one of his packages back from a another postal employee, so Jeff could get it. So far Colby hasn't had that happen, but he did have some close calls of another sort. Keep up those prayers for safety. They help!!! Well, here's this week's installment. Enjoy! :

So this week was Guo Nian, or new years. Very intense. We got "Qing"ed out for every meal. Yes six days straight of real, authentic, as Taiwan as you can get food. Yeah. We had the rice, the noodles, the stir fry. But we also had the shrimp (that we had to rip the head and legs and stuff...) and the "Lion's Head" which I still don't know what it was but I doubt it was really lion. I hope. The Chicken's feet was a usual at every meal. Pig knuckles. Little octopus things... We still have two more meals worth because today is officially the last day of Guo Nian but I'll keep you posted. Elder Buenning and I enjoyed washing it all down with the cocoa that we got in the boss package. Yes is got here. THank-you so much for it. The mugs make me think of home. THank-you.
THis week, it was pretty low on sit downs with people because for Guo Nian, EVERYBODY goes back to their parent's house. THe streets were practically empty except for random people and the usual pack of stray dogs. Oh yeah, and the Crazy guy that grabbed me. Drunk of course. I shook free and booked it on my bike and he ran after me yelling "Wait! Please! (or maybe police? I couldn't tell)" He was holding some fox pelt and had a ripped old wife beater that Elder Buenning said had the characters for "the angels have come" or something on it. He also had a few stress balls in his other hand that he was shaking at me. Yeah intense. Oh and last night, Elder Buenning stopped and was checking an address so I rode over to a Taxi that was stopped at the light and was rejected by the driver. Then the passenger rolled down his window and said "Hey are you American?" then the Taxi driver looked at me and said in perfect English "He's in the Taiwan Mafia and he's drunk, don't talk to him" needless to say, I rode off. Intense.
Well my time is short now, but I just wanted to wish you all a happy new year! I love getting and reading letters about what is happening at home. Thank-you for keeping me updated. I know that this Church is true and that the work it hard, but necessary. Please do all that you can to build yourselfs and others around you to be strong in the gospel. I know that as we do this, the lord will help and we will be blessed.
More from me next week,
I Love Ya all!
Elder Sanford

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a Chinese new year

little Goo made a mask for the event

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BYUtv - BYUtv "Shorts": Innovators: Jeff Sanford

BYUtv - BYUtv Shorts: Innovators: Jeff Sanford
We love Jeff!!! The day Jeff did the interview we'll never forget! After the interview he went directly to the Stake Offices, where he was called as a counselor into the Bishopric of Provo East Stake, Provo Peak 11th Ward. Good day!!! :D

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I want to write.

There I said it. I'm just not so sure what I want to write. Ever since I was 14 when President Spencer W. Kimball encouraged us to keep a Journal, I have. There were a few years when I was a new Mom that I stopped, but even that was years ago. I'm not so much a new Mom these days. I'm an old Mom. I've been reading the blogs of my good friends daughters. Words flow off of their fingertips, or so it seems. It's enjoyable to read.

Today I was asked to "coach" ( ha--not sports) students. I am to help them understand what they could/can do to improve their writing. Every week they have to write a short paragraph in response to a "prompt" given them in a test. This should be interesting. I love the 4th grade brain!