Monday, April 25, 2011


My interjections are in orange this week.

Alright so last week, we went to the church to see if our 7 o'clock appointment would show up. Turns out that he decided to not come. That's ok because Guo Jie Fu came instead. He said that he had set up to meet with the missionaries. I guess he had called the Dong Qu Elder's old number and it was some other missionaries. That's ok because he lived in our area and we just so happen to be free. Turns out he had come back from China recently and had been doing some repenting and turning his life around and was ready to be baptised. He requested to be Baptised on Easter.

The question I have is this: Of the two dressed in white, which one is Guo Jie Fu?

It was a good Easter (: I love this work. Miracles happen ALL AROUND you. And if you tune in, you can see them and even take part in them. It just goes to show just how much the Lord really is in charge. I'm sure that Guo Jie Fu doesn't see it as a miracle, but I know that Elder Rostedt and I do, It was one of the best miracles that we've seen yet. We see them every day. And because of them, I know that this work is true. The fruit of the seed is just too sweet to say say otherwise.
One thing that we did this week was challenged a less active to read one chapter of the Book of Mormon everyday until he finishes it. It works out just about right that if he continues and does this he will have read it by the end of the year. We asked him what kind of blessings he thought he would receive from doing this and he said he would receive many many blessings. He wasn't sure how, but he knew that the Lord would bless him. We promised him some specific blessings and then invited him to do it. He committed and said that he would. I think that we will probably do this with a few other less actives and Recent Converts that we have.

Everything is going wonderfully here in Dong Qu. Thank-you for your constant help. Goodness this work is wonderful.

Yes the package came! Thank-you so much. It was all so wonderful and delicious. Elder Rostedt it especially thankful. I got the package while on Zone Leader Exchanges so I was able to share the Samoas with my awesome zone leader, Elder M'auai. He is also super thankful.

Does anyone have any more "Samoas" left --- that I could buy? I might make some "Brownie" points if I send more "Girl Scout" cookies. (Yes, pun intended) :D

I was thinking that in my next package, it'd be cool to put together a whole bunch of pictures of the family so that I can show people more of who I am talking about when I go on exchanges. If you do do that, please include a picture of the Daf, the Yurt, a picture of dad with his kilt visible and a picture of the Sorensens as well. Yeah! Thank-you for being such an amazing family.
Love Ya All!
-Elder Sanford

I'm pretty happy that Mother's Day is coming soon because he gets to call, and we'll get to talk to him. I'm not sure if he'll call way early on Mom's day or way late, .... it's irrelevant because WE'LL GET TO TALK TO HIM!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter: 24 April, 2011

A little mish mash of Easter 2011....The baskets--everyone received BLUE Peeps in honor of Colby...we missed having his blue basket (not to mention HIM). The kids had fun decorating boiled eggs. Mirielle got some good photos that captured the children's typical facial expressions. Esther decided to toast her peeps in the front room. Aren't the eggs pretty? I love Mirielle's pics!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Prom 2011

Claire went to the Provo High School Junior Prom 2011 with Chandler Flinders. She was in a group of 3 couples. They know each other from the Provo HS band. Mirielle took photos. The group photos she took at our Church building. She was on the balcony and they looked up from the rotunda/foyer. They had a fun time. We were so glad that the rain died down long enough that we could watch the couples descend the Provo City Library steps. I'm happy to report that Claire made it down the 30+-ish steps without falling. There were a few girls that weren't that lucky. Plug for Logan--he made Chandler's boutineer. (We went to the Florist and asked to buy a boutineer. Of course that was late thinking on our part, but it was early Saturday afternoon- not 10 minutes before the dance. The attendant was VERY rude and said, "We're not making anymore today". The store was to be opened for 5 or 6 more hours. I guess they weren't service-minded on Saturday....You'd think they'd make me one and charge double...Nevermind...I bought a rose and Logan fixed it up. Yay, Logan!!!) I think we'll buy flowers from somewhere else next time, and Logan can earn money fixing them for us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taiwan 16

I'm glad that he sounds upbeat even though it gets rough periodically. That's one of the endearing things about Colby--his positive approach on life. I pray he'll always keep that wonderful trait! (You'll see my interjections/interruptions in periwinkle-ish.)

YEAH to Sara (our good friend and ceramics teacher at Provo High School) for having a baby. WHOO! So cool!
This week, I relied on the Lord. It started out pretty rough actually. Like what was recently said in Conference, trials are pin pointed right to you. BUt I know that the Lord would not give people trials that do not need to grow. So I did my best to apply what else I learned from conference last weekend and go forward BEING a missionary and not just DOING missionary things. (reference to Lynn G. Robbins' talk) It is an interesting transition. They have recently gotten rid of "Nightly Follow-Ups" to be more in line with what it says in Preach My Gospel and only have Weekly Follow Ups. That means that the numbers of lessons, new investigators for the day and that kind of thing is only done on a weekly basis instead of a daily basis. Alot of people are scarred (pretty sure he meant "scared") that the numbers will drop because missionaries will not be as motivated to work as hard. But I love it. I have found that the things that we do each day are more focused on our investigators as a person and not as a number. It does cause us to need to plan out and have a weekly perspective to hit our weekly goals, but it tears away any titles of "Week A" (people to be baptised in the coming week) and lets us focus on our investigators as a person with a goal to be baptised in the coming week. I love the way that Shan said it in a letter to me: "You have to have a genuine love for the people with only the idea to help them, not increase your baptismal count".
Yes, so this week, we have a goal to particularly fellowship Zhang Hong Xuen's family. His sister is already baptized and his mother will get baptized as soon as she stops drinking tea, but the older brother and the father both need some work. Some things that we're planning on doing are putting notes with scriptures of encouragement in their mailbox each day and praying for them specifically. we'll see what else we can come up with. It will be a good week either way and I'm excited to help them gain the wonderful blessing of ETERNAL FAMILIES!!
Well, time's pretty much gone.
I have loved reading the Book of Mormon this week and seeing how the Lord sends his servants to help his people. I'm trying to focus on following Nephi's example and work in accordance with the will of the Lord. Always looking for what the Lord would have me do.
Thank-you for all of the letters and prayers from home. I hope everybody has a good week!
Love Ya All,
ELder Sanford

Sunday, April 17, 2011

a wonderful creation named Jaxon Roy Phillips

A good friend of our family gave birth to her first baby on April 7, 2011. Sara has been our friend for 5 or so years. She taught Mirielle, Colby, and Claire how to do ceramics. She's a fun teacher. She gets straight to the point and doesn't allow students to goof off. She recognizes potential and pushes the students to achieve. She's a great teacher & person, and will be a great Mommy! What a sweet little family: Marshall, Sara & Baby Jaxon ... The Phillips'.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear Colby

Happy 6 Months as a Missionary!!! This photo is of Colby on 10 October, 2010 at his Goodbye Lemonade social thingy. I'm sure his hair is much shorter now and he has a nametag in his pocket instead of Raybans.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 15 Taiwan

Yes, this week was General Conference. and it was one of the best and most spiritual General Confernces that I have had. I really enjoyed each and every one of the talks, with special emphasis on Dallin H. Oaks' talk about Desire. So good. One talk that I am excited to reread because it all just went by too fast was from Sunday Afternoon is Lynn G Robbins all about the difference of BEING and DOING very interesting.
(Sad to hear that Arnold Freeberg died)
One experience that I want to share from this week happened last night. In our mission, the standard for sit down lessons is at least 30 in one week. When adding up the totals for the week last night, Elder Rostedt said, "Oh no, we only have 29". I was disappointed. We usually get a few morre than 30. So I went about calling back some people that gave me their phone numbers but didn't set up a time, to see if they were willing to set up. Not much luck though. On the very last one, I could hear that the 19/20 year old guy that answered he said he had no interest what so ever and was about to hang up when his friend stole the phone from him. He told me his name was Liu and that he was sorry for not coming to meet us a couple of days ago. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I started talking to him, about what he believed and then asked him if I could say a prayer to bless him before we hung up. He agreed and then set up to meet on Friday this week. We'll see how it all goes. All I know is that the Lord knows and cares about our goals. He wants us to hit them. When we set goals and consecrate our efforts into hitting them, we can accomplish them with the Lord's help. This gospel is so true.
Good to hear from all of you. I'm glad that all is well and people are having fun. YEAH Joey for getting Baptised this week, so much fun.
anyways, out of time almost
Love Ya All!
-Elder Sanford
P.S. I'll be looking for the package (:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yeah, it's 14 weeks already

Yeah, it's 14 weeks already. Blows my mind aswell.
Time is pretty short today, for multiple reasons. We deep deep cleaned our kitchen. Even more than before. It's clean now. But we also had a Zone Activity that we attended where they introduce and answered any questions about a new follow-up system that is being implemented. Tomorrow, we are waking up at 6 in the morning and getting right on our bikes to "Sau Mu" or clean graves 45 minutes away. It's going to be good.
So yeah, just another hard working week here in Dong Qu. It is interesting that the Lord is always mindful of his servants. I have felt his love and his hand more and more this week as I have tried to concecrate myself more to the work. Elder Rostedt and I are having a great time though as well. Serving a mission is a blast.
Elder Rostedt told me a little bit about how the mind remembers things. I've been trying to find an efficiant way to memorize word because Phase 2 is straight vocab. The way that Elder Rostedt says it is that there are "drop-of points" at 2 days 4 days 1 week and 2 weeks before something is memorized. So I put together this chart to Memorize 50 words a day and then review those words on the "drop-off points". At the peak of the 1000 words I'll be memorizing 50 new words and reviewing 200 words each day. After coming up with this plan, I figured that it was going to be hard but I was excited about it. But I remembered what the Lord said to the Brother of Jared. That we are to try and figure out a way and then go to the LOrd to see what he has to say. It was great to pray and to tell the Lord my little plan and then ask to see what he thought. As I have been following my plan for the past couple days, it has been wonderful to feel the Spirit of the LOrd testifying to me that he is happy with me going forward and doing hard things. I know that as we all go forward and do hard things, trusting in the LOrd and always remembering him, we will be able to hit higher hights and grow more and more each and every day. WHOO!
It's good to hear that Conference is going to be good. I know it always will be, but I am so ready for it this time. I'm so excited for this next Sunday. I think that I have gained alot more of a testimony of Prophets and I'm so ready to recieve revelation from them, to me. YEAH!
I"m glad that you are all doing good and you got a chance to see Hair Spray together. Fun times. Keep doing all that you can and the Lord will bless you by making up the difference.
Love Ya All!
Elder Sanford

I think he sounds GREAT!!! We sure miss him, and it's hard to believe that in a few days he'll "hit" his 6 month mark!!! :D