Monday, May 30, 2011

Taiwan week 23

...We had Mission Conference this week, so I got to travel back up to Tai Zhong and see all of the missionaries in the mission; everybody that I came on with, Elder Buenning, Elder Rostedt, everybody. I even had the chance to ride up on the bus next to Elder Olsen. We had a good talk about how our missions were going. He is having a great time in his new area too. I hear that you and his family all stay in touch still. That is so cool! So yeah, the whole trip started on thrusday night where we traveled by train to Gao Xiong and stayed the night at Elder Palmer's apartment there (ELder Palmer was Elder Buenning's MTC companion. He is training for his second time now). Then we woke up at 2 in the morning and got on a bus that took all of the South Area Elders and Sisters up to Tai Zhong. We heard from a member of the 70's presidency, ELder Jensen. He was such a good speaker. But most of all he was an amazing teacher. I reallly loved what he said about missionary work and what it is all about. His knowledge of the scriptures was really amazing too. His main topic was just about our relationship with our investigators and with the Lord and our investigator's relationship with us and with the Lord. He drew out at triangle and put God, Missionaries and Investigators on respective corners and we discussed what the relations were or what they should be. There were alot of scriptures used and there were alot of good points made. I really liked what he said. After is was all over, he and his wife and Elder Watson and his wife (of the Seventy. THey came too) all got back into their car and left, then we were aloud to leave the building. Coming in, we all got to shake his hand. It was cool. He said it was like a little interview when he shook his hand and looked into our eyes. It was all so good. We got ushered back onto the bus right after that and we got shipped back to our respective areas. It all went by so fast and I couldn't really absorb it all, but as I remember it all and look back at my notes, I have alot of new ideas and things that I am going to use. One of which is singing more with our investigators. Elder Jensen said that when we sing hymns, it brings a spirit of reverence and reverance brings revelation. So true, so good.
So that was the cool big thing that happened this week. Other than that, just the same old happy hard working. We have a few families that we are working with right now. They all live in our second areas, so a lot of our time is spent on hour plus bike rides out to where they live. It is pretty good. I'm trying to use that extra thinking time to memorize more scriptures in Chinese. It's fun. Reading scriptures in Chinese is a little different than reading them in English. The meaning is all the same, but some times there is added meaning in Chinese. Small things. For instance, there is no way to really just say "brother" in Chinese, only "older brother" or "younger brother", so you find out that The Brother of Jared is actually the Older Brother of Jared. Cool. Little things like that.
I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON! It was such a wonderful experience. In finishing it, I flipped to one of the blank pages in the back and wrote down my testimony of it. It is so cool to look back and see how much my testimony has grown of the Savior. I know that we can be perfected in the Lord and that as we work at it, we really can develop every good gift through the atonement. I have been sharing my testimony of the book since then and I love saying that I have read it recently and seen how it applies differently to me in different times in my life. Such an amazing book, of such an amazing man. I love the Book of Mormon, and I love sharing my testimony of it with those that we meet with.
Got to go!
LOve Ya all
-Elder Sanford

Thursday, May 26, 2011

one more day

One more time at the majestic old building: Farrer. Next week it will be torn down. On Tuesday the last 6th grade class to walk the halls held their Graduation. Today we had our last Talent Show. Fittingly, Sasha Farrer was the first performer. (She did a FABULOUS rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the deep" know..."we could've had it aaaalllll, rolling in the deeeeeep.")

The last few weeks we have been packing books and records and all the classroom stuff getting ready for the move to the beautiful new school that was constructed in our south playground, nestled closer to Center street. We are retiring our school's name "Farrer"and trying out a new name "Provo Peaks Elementary". We'll see how it goes, that's the future, but for now we still have one more day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taiwan 22

How is everybody doing. Good to hear that this week was full of alot of fun stuff. Yeah June for getting into Advanced Dance for next year, that is cool. The Robin looks cool too. driving that is probably going to be a blast. I'm glad to hear that you are all still doing stuff together.
This past week was crazy for me too. On Thursday, there was a training meeting in Gao Xiong that my companion had to go to, so Elder Chung came up from Hung Chun to stay with me for the day while my Elder Braby and his companion Elder Petters went to the meeting together. They stayed the night in our apartment the night before and the night after. I spent the day in Chao Zhou with Elder Chung on Thursday and it was actually pretty fun. He lived in Draper, but he went to BYU as a music major. He played the Viola. He's Pro I guess. Thursday night, Elder Petters, who also went to BYU for a while, asked me if I knew somebody by the name of "Bee Money". Elder Petters actually listened to his music and knew a lot of his songs. It was fun to talk about Provo for a little bit. But then on Friday, they left and I went to Gao Xiong for Zone Leader Exchanges. It was interesting to serve with Elder Huang, my zone leader, for a day. Having a Chinese companion would be interesting. We'll see if that ever happens though. Anyways, good week and I had alot of good learning experiences.
One thing that came to mind yesterday was a scripture that I love in 2nd Timothy 1 verse 7:"For the Lord hath not given us the spirit of fear. But of power, of love, and of a sound mind." I wanted to know more of the context of that, so I read the chapter. Then I read the Chapter after that. Then I decided that I liked it all and flipped open to Matthew, the very beginning and started reading a few chapters there. I loved the feeling that I was reading and learning of Christ. I love reading the Book of Mormon, and the Bible too. Learning of Christ is fun. Christ is everything. His love is such an inspiration to me. I love Jesus Christ.
I hope that this week is just as fun packed and exciting as the last week was. It is so fun to hear all of the fun things that you all do. Thank-you for all of your prayers!
Love Ya All!!
-Elder Sanford

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The early bird catches the ... Robin?

It's true! Jeff FINALLY caught a Robin.
He has tried MANY times, but this time it took!

We have it at Uncle Bill's in California until we can pick it up later this summer. It will go nicely with the collection of funny small useful cars he has gathered-up. So he'll have what people think is a "Harry Potter Car" (the green daf) and a "Mr. Bean Car" ( the Robin). It just gives them something to talk about. :D

Saturday, May 21, 2011

This morning it was gorgeous outside. When I sat up in bed, without looking out the window, I could tell there were finally no clouds. That's something new for us these days. Of the last 50 days, 32 have had preciptation. I love rain so it's not really been too hard to bear. I have missed the sun though.

I decided to go out to the front flower garden and weed it. It was quite interesting to try and distinguish the plants from the weeds. We planted some perennial seeds last year and I don't remember what their seedlings look like. Some undesirable weeds look a lot like "keeper" plants. I did my best. We'll see in the next few weeks if I guessed right. I planted some of my Mom's day flowers. It's nice to "work the earth."

I sat on the swing and read afterwards. It was so pleasant.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Jamille interjections are in blue this week. I am always trying to figure out what is too private to share or not ...I hope I'm doing an okay job.

Ok, so the past week has been pretty intense. I have been working so hard in so many different aspects. One thing that I have really enjoyed though is moving into this new apartment. The missionary that I replaced was Elder Braby's last senior. Elder Braby just went senior with me as his junior this move call. ...I have been having a blast coming in .... Scrubbing, organizing and cleaning. Any free time that I have had at the apartment, which is pretty much none, I have taken to focus on bringing the Spirit into the apartment. I honestly have been having a blast doing it too. It's so fun to just have everything organized and spotless and clean. ( I hope this holds over after the mission :D!!! ... & to be fair though he has always been the child to enjoy cleaning.) We're putting alot of finishing touches and reorganizing alot of things later today. I can't wait.
Also, I am just all around loving this new area. Everything that I have learned is going into helping this place out. The branch is awesome. The Ward mission...has everything super organized. Probably the best ward mission leader in Taiwan. We go over to his house every tuesday for lunch and there is always somebody there to teach. THis past week, we taught a guy who just recently married a member and so he is looking pretty seriously into the church. They have three children from previous marriages. Only one of the kids is a member already. This whole family is going to get this gospel though. I can't wait until they can be sealed in the Temple for forever. ETERNAL FAMILIES. WHOO!
I am so greatful for the chance to work here in Chao Zhou. The spirit and everything is just right, and I know this is where I am supposed to be serving right now. I am really enjoying being companions with Elder Braby as well. He is a great teacher. I am learning so much. He has sent two missionaries home now, so he has a lot of knowledge, I'm just trying to soak it all up.
I'm reading right now in Mormon. I am just so amazed at how amazingly strong he is in the face of all adversity. He was the leader fo the Nephite Army when they were all pretty much as wicked as possible and he still was a humble hard worker that knows what he needs to do to serve the Lord and does it. Such a wonderful example to me. Right at the end of chapter three, he talks a little bit about how everybody that is a decendent of Adam will be judged before the thrown of Christ. And because of that, he says, (vs. 22): "And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgement seat of Christ." ONe of the biggest thing he wants in life is to persuade people to repentance. And I think that it is because he has such solid knowledge of the plan. He knows that we all need to repent. I really love Mormon.
Anyways, yes, the mission is going great. I am loving it and working hard. I am seeing the hand of the Lord more and more in my life. it is just to wonderful to rely on him for everything. Thank-you for all of the prayers. I know that they help.
Love Ya All,
Elder Sanford

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm so excited for Mirielle! She is once again in the Relief Society Presidency in her Singles ward. What a fun calling! She was the Secretary a few years ago and she really enjoyed it, she was on Activites committee too. She also enjoyed that. Then she was the Visiting Teacher Coordinator. She learned a lot about how things should run, and towards the end of that calling she was trying hard to fulfill it the best she could.

I love how in the Church we all get the opportunity to serve and grow. Lately, it has become very evident to me that it matters not what one is called to do. What is really important is that one should "dig in" and serve with full heart! Sometimes I get in a rut with my duties then, as if in a cycle, I realize that I am concentrating more on myself, than on the people I can serve...and then I try harder to do what I should do...and the self inflicted pity/burden is lifted, the Lord steps in and I CAN do my calling. If I keep the Lord and the people over whom I have stewardship FIRST, before me, then I can do my callings right!

I know that Mirielle enjoys her callings because she immerses herself in them. She tries to learn what she can do to fulfill what is asked of her, and then she truly tries to do what is expected. Thanks Mirielle for your good example!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Taiwan week-Yeah (19)

It was good to talk to all of you too. After I got off of the phone with all of you, we went to the mission office and we waited for other missionaries to show up. When they did, we headed over to the bus station. Then we got on the train and started our way down. It took about 3.5 hours to get down to Gao Xiong. At that train station, I got to meet my new companion. I haven't gotten to take a picture with him to show you yet, but he reminds me alot of Jacob Forbes. He is going to be such a fun companion. His name is Elder Braby. At that stop, I also got to see Elder Olsen for just a little. It was really fun and I got to talk to him for a little before Elder Braby and I had to get on the train to go to our area. I am really glad to see him. It was really fun. He is doing really well and having a great time on island. From what I've seen of the area so far, I am really liking it. I think that it is going to be a great next part of my mission. I'm excited to talk to people and see what all they are like. I'll probably get pretty good at Taiwanese. Man I am so excited. The email place here is so nice too. I hear that the food here is realy good and cheap aswell. I'm just excited to see what all it is like. Just in that first, fairyland stage still.
Mom- HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. Thank-you for being such a great mother. I was glad to speak to you and that you had questions for me because I had no idea what I was going talk about. Mirielle sounded alot like you over the phone. and June sounded alot like Claire. it was a little weird. Anyways, I hope that everybody is treating you good there. Love ya! Happy Mother's Day.
So yes, new area, new move call and new companion. I'm going to be doing alot of goal setting and re-evaluating things to make sure I'm on the right track. I'm really excited because change is always a good opportunity to learn in.
I'm looking forward to getting those photos from you all (and the granola if you can). They'll be fun.
Thank-you for all of the prayers. I really appreciate them, and boy do I need them.
Love ya all!
Elder Sanford.

YAY!! Junie-Dancing girl

This last week or so Junie has been kinda nervous. She was to try-out for a Ballroom Dance Team at her Middle School. She has embraced Ballroom dance since day one of seventh grade. She LOVEs it! It's a healthy hobby so we've encouraged her to pursue it. Word came on Thursday she will be on the Advanced Team next school year. Yay- Junie!!! I love to see her so happy. She loves to perform!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

It WAS a Happy Mother's Day!!! My family did everything possible to make sure it was a wonderful day for me. I'm not deserving, but am VERY thankful!!!

Jeff and Mirielle revamped the hallway upstairs. I now have a much more suitable place to put my clothes. The hallway is nice, too. Claire played a part in it too. She relinquished her rights to a bureau, and will now be claiming a bookshelf's going to work out just fine!
On Saturday afternoon the crew disappeared for a while and went to search out treasures for me. While they were gone I heard a knock at the door. I had a feeling of who it could be, and was very pleased it was who I thought. Shannon was here. She returned a book she had borrowed from Mirielle. We had a good chat about nothing, and everything. It really was nice. Somewhere in the middle, friends came over to show us the fabulous job they've done with the LJ20 Jeep. They bought it from us last summer. It was Colby's mission fundraiser. The Massengill's are from Tennessee and so nice to be around. Jeff and the children came home and we all stood around chatting for another hour or so.

Sunday morning the children treated me to breakfast in bed...crepes with nutella, fresh fruit, whipped cream, yogurt, granola...yummy! They brought in gifts: flowers for the garden-- cosmos, geraniums, salvia, marigolds, lobelia... and a hanging basket--wandering jew, hosta, and a waxy green jade-ish plant?...handmade soap and also Strawberry preserves from the Beehive Bazaar, 2 stain glass ornament creations, homemade cards, the new Mary Higgins Clark book-- "I'll Walk Alone." I felt a tremendous outpouring of love! Jeff had to leave for a meeting and then the children trickled downstairs in search of their own crepes. It was a very relaxed time.

I got to Visit Teach one of my favorite people (Doreen Edwards) with one of my favorite companions (Carolyn Hirz). We always have a fun time laughing and learning together. We discussed Elder Quentin Cook's talk about Womanhood and I shared my favorite scripture: 3 John 1:4. It was a lovely time.

The kids prepared a picnic lunch. Bagels, chicken salad, ham & cheese or turkey meat, carrots, cucmbers, lettuce, pretzels or was a sandwich bar. We had the picnic in the garage. It was crazy and fun!

Church is always good. Jeff conducted. I love it when it's his turn! I enjoyed the talks. They all spoke of Womanhood/Mothers/Respecting Women. Casey, one of the newest Deacons, spoke of how Jesus in his last days was sure to find someone to take care of his mother Mary when he'd be gone. Jesus treated women with care and respect, and so should we. My niece & nephew Meredith & Jake Logan also spoke. Meredith talked a lot about her mother, my deceased sister Jill. She held it together much better than I could have. She spoke of traits a woman should acquire and then teach to her children. Jake 's talk was similar, but he said that the women should be a lighthouse of direction/guidance for their children. They did an inspiring job.

I left Relief Society early. It was hard to do because the lesson was super good.....but I needed/wanted to be home by 4. Colby was calling then. The call actually came at 4:10. He sounded SOOOOOO good! He was glad to talk to all of us. Jeff and I had listened to a talk on the "Mormon Channel" and it prompted us to write down questions to ask Elder Sanford. He got transferred and is now 3.5 hours south of the Mission Home, instead of a 5 minute bike ride away. He's excited to get to know a different, more rural side of Taiwan. We laughed because he kept slipping into Mandarin. I LOVE it !!!! I love that he is becoming so immersed in the work! Missionary life and service is unbelievably wonderful!

They made Chicken Cordon bleu, boiled red potatoes, green beans, and salad for dinner. Scrumptious!!! It was cute to see Logan pounding the chicken into a uniformly thin piece, just right to wrap around the ham slices and cheese. The kids all had some part in the preparation.

I got to talk to MY Mom. I love her so much. Because of her, I have the Gospel in my life. She is a great example of service and love. She is taking care of my Daddy...people get paid to do what she does. She serves him because many years ago she fell in love with him. She made a promise and she's making good on it now. She is an amazing woman. I'm anxious to visit my folks this summer.

Junie made Grandma Jude's Brownies for dessert. It's the best brownie recipe ever!

My day was full and rich...literally and spiritually speaking. I love being a woman, wife, mother, and daughter. Mother's Day was wonderful! Thanks!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bizarre Beehive

This is SOOO bizarre! Right in my own yard!!! Where did these come from?
They are now in Orem at Beekeeper Parker's collection of 70 hives. Ann Smoot our neighborhoood hive keeper told us to call/find info through the Utah County Beekeepers. There are amazing facts and info on the website. Also,
(p.s.: this reminds me that today the "Beehive Bazaar" begins at the Women's Center, 310 west 500 north, Provo. :D )

Taiwan * 18

Here are parts of his letter:

Our Preparation day was changed to Wednesday this week because today, we are going to the Temple. yeah! so that's why this is coming not when it usually does. sorry, I forgot to mention that last week... I remember the last time, it was a blast.
So chances are that I am going to move this next movecall...It's interesting to think about the change that that means. New ward, new people, new area, new companion. Pretty much everything new. I wanted to make the most out of these last few days in my first area, so I prayed that for something to help me do that. I had the opportunity not too much later after that to have a sit down with Cai. He is a father that came a few weeks in a row to church but we hadn't heard from him because he works alot. I didn't know how ready he was until this last sunday when I had the chance to actually talk to him. I knew he was ready for a serious goal when he used the word "our church" in reference to our church. He was owning it as his church. I was so happy to hear him talking like that. Turns out he reads and prays every single day. I had no idea. The Lord prepares people who are ready... I invited him to get baptised on the 14 of this next month just before we leave. This will give me a great opportunity to focus on him a lot before I leave. He is such a great man. We're trying to get his family to come to church too. There hasn't been too much interest there, but when they come to the baptism, they will see just how amazing the church is. Eternal Families!!! WHOO!!!!

I'm starting to focus on characters now. I finished going through Phase II, so now on to Phase III which is all characters. IT'S SO FUN!!! The thing that I am most excited for is to be able to read and understand the Chinese so that I can read with the investigators and really expound on the scriptures and apply them to their lives. I can do it now ok with the Pin Yin, but some of the meaning it lost there. I also like the idea of my language study consisting of reading the Book of Mormon for an hour everyday. I can't wait. I'm going to try and get these 3000 characters needed to read the triple memorized fast. WHOO!

I'm reading in 3 Nephi right now about when CHrist comes. I am trying to slow down and really get the meaning out of these chapters with Christ's instruction in them and his coming. I'm really loving it. I know that what I read really happened. I know that Christ came and died and was resurrected for us all. When I think about it, I am filled with such wonderful feeling. The testimony of the Holy Ghost is such a wonderful treat. I is also interesting to think about all of the destruction that came before Christ and how it is all a testament of the truthfulness of the Savior and Redeemer of the world. THE GOSPEL IT AWESOME! I love it so much.
THank-you for all of your support and prayers....
Love ya all!
Elder Sanford

His letters are so inspiring to the entire family. We love hearing his stories. It's wonderful that he is part of such a great work. He truly wants to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

From President Bishop

To make the long story short, I ended up emailing President Bishop. It was so unlike Colby to not write. I was anxious to know when the Mother's Day phone call would be, too. President replied:

"Elder Sanford continues to do very well. He is very diligent and hard working. I saw him last week and he is great. Elder Sanford's preparation day is Wednesday this week since he will be attending the temple."

I'm happy to know that he is fine...and an email did come from Elder Sanford Tuesday afternoon about the phone call and other good Missionary news.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A friend recently commented that my blog is pretty much 90% about Colby's Mission. Hmmm...I guess it's the most constant easy thing to share, and so I do. I have limited time at the computer. I do write and share a lot about Colby. I'm so excited about Missionary work, and let's face it, if I share Colby's letters it takes up space and he's already done the writing...I guess I'm short on time AND lazy. I'm laughing as I write this--not down on myself. I have my work cut out for me. It's good to take a look at oneself and try to become better.

I'll try to share more about the rest of the family. I love all of my children and my husband! The whole family is busy and doing worthwhile things that I could share. So I will.

Bee still and know that I am God

Last night I tossed a milk carton and some cans in our recycling bin when I was on my way to the van to resume my Taxi Mom duties, and a bee caught my eye. Actually several did. I glanced from whence came the bee: the forsythia bush at the end of the driveway. Then I saw it. The swarmy hivey cluster. The cluster was about the size of a 4.5 quart Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Weird.surreal.amazing. Ingrid, Shannon and Julia were walking by at about the same time I discovered the un"bee"lievable treat (I had to do that at least once). I had them come look at it. The swarm was kinda hidden from the sidewalk passersby, but VERY visible from the driveway side. We had a very good chat that became an hour long+ discussion. It was a needed chat and very welcome...and it was good. I thank Heavenly Father for making it all line up just exactly right for the conversation to take place. Things like bees relocating don't happen by coincidence...and friends walking by just at the right time...and Claire needing a ride right then...and me recycling right then...

This might sound crazy but I do believe the Lord is the master "orchestrater" of all things. Things come together not by happenchance. He's there when you need Him---and He knows when you need Him before you He IS there when you need Him...

This all makes sense to me. Thanks Heavenly Father for "beeing" there for me!!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

not here yet

So this morning I woke and started the day. I remembered--"It's Monday an email should've come in the night." I checked it. Nothing. I reminded myself that awhile back his email came late. I've been calm. It should come sometime today. If it doesn't I'll email his Mission President I guess. I'm sure Colby is safe. Maybe his Preparation Day is different this week? I'm hoping to hear from him to know when he gets to call this weekend. With the time change and all he could possibly call on our Saturday, which is his Sunday...tricky 14 hour difference to calculate into this all. I'll post news from him as soon as I can, after I get it.