Monday, March 28, 2011

Taiwan week 13-best week of the mission yet

I love that Colby sounds SOOO good!!! I love how committed he is. I'm so thankful that he is experiencing growth and gets to see, and be a part of, miracles. Here's his letter--I interject in orange:

Let me start off by saying that this week has been the best week of the mission yet.
Today is the start of a new move call so that means alot of people are moving around and on thursday, all of the new Sisters and Elders arrived. One of the best things was seeing an old friend come on island. On "Dan Jones" night, I had the chance to take him around, and so we talked for a little bit. He is doing great. You'll never guess who it is. Remember at the MTC there was that one Atheist ELder in my District. Yeah Elder Hansen! He went home, studied alot of Chinese, got his act together and decided to try again. This time, he got further than just one week in the MTC. He's going to be a great missionary. I am actually really happy that he came back. He's already a great missionary.

Yahoo Elder Hansen--the Sanford's are soooo happy for you!!!

But that is only one of the miracles that I saw this week.
Let me tell you a little about my Elder Rostedt and my new investigator. Elder Rostedt actually found him. He was one of those that I didn't think much of because he didn't give us a phone number, only an address. Elder Rostedt and I went and visited him. We went over to his house every single day this week. Each and everyday, he was drunk as can be. But another thing was noticable, he really loved Chirst and wanted to be helped, wanted to be saved.

For the first few days, we just testified to him that we were representatives of and sent by Christ to help him. He came to the CHurch a few times at 10ish, so we got permission to step out the door early and talk with him. Still always drunk. (One time, he even asked to use the bathroom and came back smelling like smoke. We asked him and yes, he had smoked in the church. oops). So we couldn't really do anything because in this drunken state, everything would go in one ear and out the other.

This part confused me until I remembered the Elders teach an English as a second language class. Maybe that's when the man came to talk to them?

On saturday though, we were determined to get him to sacrament meeting sober. So we thought that if we got him to come to the church, he could watch movies there or something until he was sober and then he could stay at his sister's house or something over night. We spent 4 hours trying to get him to come to church with us to help him. He was the most drunk I had ever seen him though. he wasn't willing to come so we let him go and stay at his house. Saying a prayer, we went about our day. We saw alot of miracles just that night and got a few great lessons to make up for the amount of time that we used on Huang Jia Wei.

On Sunday though, was the best miracle of all we went to his house just to see him and if he happened to not have drunken yet that day, he could maybe come to church. But when he opened the door, he was fine. Had a bottle of water in one hand and said that he had just been drinking that because he promised us he wouldn't drink alcohol. He was able to come to church and he loved it. When we went over to his house later, we found him sitting and reading a gospel priciples book that he had slipped into his bag from church. He said that since church, he was just sitting and reading that and drinking water. Then we were able to teach him a powerful first. He is well on his way to baptism. Heavenly father is a God of miracles.

When we do all that we can, then He will step in and help us with our goals. I know this to be true and I feel it everyday. I love it. This gospel is so cool.
The language is going well. It being the start of a new move call, I have a plan to get all the way done with Phase 2. I'll be memorizing about 50ish words a day. Before my mission, there would be no way I could do that. But I realize now that can rely on the Lord's help, so it is totally possible. If there is anything that you want to do in life that is productive, good, virtueous, lovely, or praisworthy, then I guess, in reality it would be a waste to not ask for the Lord's help. That is a principle that I didn't take full advantage of before my mission. Anyways, yes, the language is coming along. There are still countless times in the day when I have no idea what people are saying to me, but less and less every day.
I know that this gospel is true. I have seen miracles and I can not deny it. THank-you for all of the prayers.
Love Ya All
-ELder Sanford.
P.S. I love to hear that Marco (Vergaray his best friend since birth) got his call (to Portland Oregon, Spanish speaking. He enters the MTC June 22). Say congradulations to him for me. WHOOO!

I can tell by his English wording that Chinese is coming easier for him. When I got home from my Chilean mission I spoke "backwards English". I hear that already in his English and it makes me smile!!! I love our Colby and the joy I feel for him and his successes is great!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I miss Colby. Don't misread me--I'm so happy for him and I love to hear of his successes and growth. That is the greatest joy any parent can have: To hear that one's children walk in truth.

But I miss him. I know when he comes home, he'll come to our home for a short while, and then he'll continue on with his life. I still want to be a part of it, and I guess I always will be in his life (because we are biologically connected), but it'll be different. It's supposed to be. We raise our children to leave home and have a good life.

I am praying that after the mission he'll have a little part in his heart for our family still and that he won't just run off into the sunset with never again a thought for us. I will come to grips with this by the time he comes home, but it's lonely-ish now as I think about it.

Do our heavenly parents experience this type of melancholy, too?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The day has FINALLY come!

This is my Brother John in front of the KC Temple. Today the Angel Moroni came to live atop the Temple, and John was there. Now it'll be another 10 months or so until the Temple is completely done. I say I can't wait, but wait is what I have to do. Time is passing quickly, and before you know it, it will be time for the Open House. :D

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Dapper Dad!!!

Happy 77th Birthday to my Daddy the handsome Marine in the center--next to his gorgeous Bride Jude--My momma. I love you and miss you! Thanks for being such a great example of what a faithful Priesthood holder and member of the Church should be. Thank you for looking for the true church and thank you for finding it and Momma in the process. I love you both SOOO much! I'm sending hugs your way. Hopefully, I'll be able to come and visit again this summer and give you hugs in person.
You're wonderful, and the best Dad I could ever ask for - - - seriously! Always remember that!!!

(About the Photo: The Adams/Lippold Wedding-- 19 December 1953, in St. Joseph MO. Left to right: Walter Samuel Adams, Thelma Marie Metz Adams, John Franklin Adams, Jude Marie Lippold Adams, George Leroy Lippold, Clara Constance Abbott Lippold)

The Beautiful LDS Temple in Kansas City

Jason just took this picture about 15 minutes ago (12:15 pm CDST) Gorgeous!! Thanks Jace!

This is what's happening in Kansas City...The Temple and new Liberty Stake Center fewer than 24 hours ago. Thanks to my Brother John for the photos. Thank you my wonderful brothers!!!!This is cool to see it all coming together. The faithful saints in Missouri have waited SOOOOO long for this beautiful Temple and now it's nearly ready ( on the outside. The inside will be completed by years end or early 2012).

Taiwan week 12-"Xiang some Ban Fa"

"Xiang some Ban Fa"--So I put this in Google translations and it switched it into Chinese script instead of translating it into English. From the context I'm guessing it means: they are going to put their shoulders to the wheel...they are going to really work it harder! What do you think it means? Here's the letter this week:

Well, this week was good. it was tiring but it was good. At the beginning of the move call, Elder Rostedt and I set a goal to Baptize 4 people. It wasn't just a goal that was scribbled down on a piece of paper and not looked at again. Elder Rostedt and I prayed about it and both got the number 4 as an answer. We baptised Chen Zheng Wei at the beginning of the month, so we still need 3 more this month. so needless to say In the past week, we have been putting a lot into thinking about how we can find those last three souls that are out there, ready to be baptised. We found one very special Brother. We met with him multiple times visiting him at his house and meeting with him at the church. But this past saturday, I was actually pretty sad. He couldn't commit to never drinking Tea. I guess it is good that he admitted it. We know where to work with him now to prepare him for baptism and enduring to the end. We also met with an investigator who comes and brings his mother along with him everyweek. Elder Rostedt and I decided that we should probably sit down with him and ask him a few questions. What he said was that he reads and prays every single day and feels the Spirit alot in his life, but he hasn't gotten a direct answer from God if he should get baptised or not. In asking him if there was anything that we could to do help him, he said that we should probably just pray for him. We're going to try and meet with him about once a week too. He just needs to realise that Baptism is the start. It's not the end, but only the beginning to a much more wonderful life. I guess it all comes down to if he believes it is true or not as well. I'm still in the process of praying and studying for him every day. We need to talk to the bishop too, because I think he may have more light on the subject. Anyways, the total is still 1 for the month, so my wonderful companion Elder Rostedt and I are going to Xiang some Ban Fa and hit our goal for this month. Yeah!

I'm glad to hear that everybody is fine and that Dad is up and running again. Yeah to June who went to the temple for the first time, super exciting. It's good to hear that Logan is getting into cars and stole my old blue jump suit (that I stole from dad who found it on the side of the road forever ago?) Yeah, no St. Patrick's day in Taiwan. But yes, they do have Fuhuo Jie or "Resurrection Day" So that will be fun...

I know that Christ lives. I feel his influence and guidance in my life each and every day. Thank-you so much for all of your prayers and for your mail. I hope everything goes well this next week
Love Ya All
-Elder Sanford

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taiwan week 11

So as for news of the Earth quake/Tsunami or what ever it was, I am just fine. In fact, I think that if nobody had told me about it, I would have no idea anything was even going on. The weather is nice here and just slowly going up and up in temperature. I am used to the humidity and it is actually kind of nice. I haven't had a bloody nose since I've been here!
So yes, I figured out the secret of missionary work! The key is the Spirit. I feel like I have had the spirit before, but not really focused on having it all of the time. As I have been taking alittle bit of time to do a spiritual check every so often to see if I have it with me, I have found out some things that detracted from the spirit that I didn't realize before. Elder Rostedt and 15 minutes here and there this week in companionship study and read a talk called Faith as a Principle of Power. I really loved what it said in there and look forward always increasing my faith, and increasing my spirit. In reading the Book of Mormon this week, I really loved what it said in Alma 4:19. Alma is very good at baptising people and I found it very interesting that in this verse, he saw "no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them." I know that as I use my time as instructed in the white missionary handbook, I will be making the necessary sacrifices to purify myself spiritually so that I can give testimony that will point to Christ, even if they don't understand me. It was an interesting thought that hit me, but I'm enjoying it so far and, let me tell you, I love to feel the power and guidance of the spirit.
Yeah! Go Sara and Marsh! I want to see pictures of the little guy as soon as he's here!
Love Ya All!
ELder Sanford

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taiwan week 10

Colby's letter this week talked of the chance to go on "splits" with the Zone Leaders. That means he got to be with his former companion, Elder Buenning. He was happy about that. There was a baptism, too. Yay!!! :D He says:

"It is interesting to see how the time passes so quickly. Looking back on my mission so far, I can see just how much I really have been blessed. Looking forward, I want to continue to progress and obtain the goals that I have set for myself... I know that as we follow the plan that the Lord has in mind for us, we will be blessed, and become what we need in order to best serve him."

He also told us about a nut that many people in Taiwan are addicted to. When they chew it their saliva turns blood red. People buy it from scantily clad vendors. The boxes usually have pornographic pictures on it. When people buy it they rip open the boxes and throw them on the ground. SOOO EVIL!!! What a waste!!! He says:

"Luckly, it is actually an illegal drug in everyother country in the world, so it won't be popping up anywhere else. BUt I do know that it is a huge problem that is holding the people of Taiwan back from the gospel. It's completely against the Word of Wisdom and leads people to breaking the Law of Chastity. Any ways, super lame thing that just goes to show that satan is working very hard to lead away the hearts of men. But luckly, the Lord is here working just as hard. The Lord can not fail. Whoo! Who's on the Lord's side, who? Well, I know that I am.Thank-you for the prayers and love from home, I'm going to keep working hard here. Keep up the good work at home.
I know that the Lord blesses every good effort and makes up every loss in the end. He is my Reedemer and my All. Trusting in him makes you invincible."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday ramblings

Even though I much prefer the Sunday meetings starting at 9 a.m., I am getting used to the 1 p.m. version. I get to stay in bed a lot longer than any other day. It's nice to lie in bed and not have to jump out and get going immediately.

Today is the 5th Fast Sunday that Colby has been a missionary. It's his "Golden Month". He is 19 years old and he has 19 more months as a missionary. Isn't that a milestone of sorts? It's not too much longer before we'll get to talk to him on Mother's Day. Yeah! I wonder if his English will have an Oriental twang to it?

Well. I ramble.

One last comment. On Friday the Thurston's came over for Pizza. Glen got home from his mission a week ago. It was Junie's turn to pray. She said, "we're so thankful that Glen is here with us and that Colby is ... not". A golden giggle escaped from Claire and the rest of us, too. June was trying to say that we're thankful that Colby is in Taiwan as a missionay, it just came out THAT way. We love June and know what she meant. We love Colbs and miss him dreadfully, but we are glad he has this time to be a missionary!!! We'll have a big pizza party when he gets home. :D

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The still small voice

I remember on my mission waking up and thinking, "I get to go back to sleep tonight". That was my motivation for that day. I had more than one day like that. That's how I feel this morning, too. But wait---I remember something else...the Mormon Channel. I listen to it during my lunch break. The radio programs are so good. It uplifts me and gives me the oomph to get through the rest of my school day. I believe it'd be uplifting to ALL people. Give it a listen. It doesn't cram religion down ones throat. It's peaceful and hopeful.