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

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book of Mormon Challenge

Start reading the Book of Mormon on September 1st and end on December 31. This is a good challenge and a great way to end this fabulous year! I'm in!

Sep 1 1 Nephi 1-3

Sep 2 1 Nephi 4-7

Sep 3 1 Nephi 8-9

Sep 4 1 Nephi 10-11

Sep 5 1 Nephi 12-13

Sep 6 1 Nephi 14

Sep 7 1 Nephi 15

Sep 8 1 Nephi 16

Sep 9 1 Nephi 17-18

Sep 10 1 Nephi 19-20

Sep 11 1 Nephi 21-22

Sep 12 2 Nephi 1

Sep 13 2 Nephi 2

Sep 14 2 Nephi 3-4

Sep 15 2 Nephi 5-7

Sep 16 2 Nephi 8

Sep 17 2 Nephi 9

Sep 18 2 Nephi 10-13

Sep 19 2 Nephi 14-17

Sep 20 2 Nephi 18-20

Sep 21 2 Nephi 21-24

Sep 22 2 Nephi 25

Sep 23 2 Nephi 26

Sep 24 2 Nephi 27-28

Sep 25 2 Nephi 29-30

Sep 26 2 Nephi 31-33

Sep 27 Jacob 1-2

Sep 28 Jacob 3-4

Sep 29 Jacob 5

Sep 30 Jacob 6-7

Oct 1 Enos & Jarom

Oct 2 Omni

Oct 3 Words of Mormon

Oct 4 Mosiah 1-2

Oct 5 Mosiah 3

Oct 6 Mosiah 4-5

Oct 7 Mosiah 6-8

Oct 8 Mosiah 9-10

Oct 9 Mosiah 11-12

Oct 10 Mosiah 13-15

Oct 11 Mosiah 16-17

Oct 12 Mosiah 18-19

Oct 13 Mosiah 20-21

Oct 14 Mosiah 22-23

Oct 15 Mosiah 24-26

Oct 16 Mosiah 27

Oct 17 Mosiah 28-29

Oct 18 Alma 1

Oct 19 Alma 2-3

Oct 20 Alma 4-5

Oct 21 Alma 6-7

Oct 22 Alma 8

Oct 23 Alma 9-10

Oct 24 Alma 11

Oct 25 Alma 12

Oct 26 Alma 13-14

Oct 27 Alma 15-16

Oct 28 Alma 17-18

Oct 29 Alma 19

Oct 30 Alma 20-21

Oct 31 Alma 22-23

Nov 1 Alma 24

Nov 2 Alma 25-27

Nov 3 Alma 28-29

Nov 4 Alma 30

Nov 5 Alma 31-32

Nov 6 Alma 33

Nov 7 Alma 34-35

Nov 8 Alma 36-37

Nov 9 Alma 38-39

Nov 10 Alma 40-41

Nov 11 Alma 42-43

Nov 12 Alma 44

Nov 13 Alma 45-46

Nov 14 Alma 47

Nov 15 Alma 48-49

Nov 16 Alma 50-51

Nov 17 Alma 52

Nov 18 Alma 53-54

Nov 19 Alma 55-56

Nov 20 Alma 57

Nov 21 Alma 58-59

Nov 22 Alma 60-61

Nov 23 Alma 62-63

Nov 24 Helaman 1-2

Nov 25 Helaman 3-4

Nov 26 Helaman 5

Nov 27 Helaman 6-7

Nov 28 Helaman 8-9

Nov 29 Helaman 10-11

Nov 30 Helaman 12-13

Dec 1 Helaman 14

Dec 2 Helaman 15-16

Dec 3 3 Nephi 1-2

Dec 4 3 Nephi 3-4

Dec 5 3 Nephi 5-6

Dec 6 3 Nephi 7-8

Dec 7 3 Nephi 9-11

Dec 8 3 Nephi 12

Dec 9 3 Nephi 13-15

Dec 10 3 Nephi 16-17

Dec 11 3 Nephi 18-19

Dec 12 3 Nephi 20

Dec 13 3 Nephi 21-23

Dec 14 3 Nephi 24-27

Dec 15 3 Nephi 28-30

Dec 16 4 Nephi

Dec 17 Mormon 1-2

Dec 18 Mormon 3-4

Dec 19 Mormon 5-6

Dec 20 Mormon 7-9

Dec 21 Ether 1-2

Dec 22 Ether 3-4

Dec 23 Ether 5-7

Dec 24 Ether 8-9

Dec 25 Ether 10-11

Dec 26 Ether 12-13

Dec 27 Ether 14-15

Dec 28 Moroni 1-5

Dec 29 Moroni 6-7

Dec 30 Moroni 8-9

Dec 31 Moroni 10

Friday, August 12, 2011

Claire is back!!!!! Yahoo!! We've been following the World Scout Jamboree Blog and it's been fun to imagine what she was doing. Once someone blogged about Germany and their Yurt. I imagine she felt very at home there, since we've had a yurt for years now. Jeff built it (and we all helped) several years ago when the Ward was having a camp-out. Anyway, it was hard to have her away for so long. While she was gone Junie went to and returned from Girls Camp, and the second week of Claire's trip Logan went to and returned from Timberline, which is a Scout leadership/training camp. There were a few hours one day when the only children at home were Mirielle and Esther---and Mirielle really doesn't fall into the category of children, as in "young children", she's an adult. It was strange to have so many of the children gone. It'll be that way some day, "for reals". weird.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Taiwan Week 33

Hey--So we had a pretty cool week. Mostly full of seeing the Lord work miracles. The Lord really is too good to us here in Chao Zhou. One of the coolest things was when we were deciding to go with the back up back up plan or the back up back up back up plan; either Lin Jie Mei or this one Hong guy that Elder Braby and I didn't think had too much potential. We decided to go to Lin Jie Mei's. BUt the Lord had other plans. We were stopped by the train and took that as a sign to go to the Hong guy's house. It turns out that he was sitting there asleep. We had a great sit down with him and then he came to church on sunday. Why? Because the Lord led us there. We were going to go to Lin Jie Mei's but the Lord knows what we need to do, and he will lead us in doing it.

This week was only a little bumpy in the idea because I think I may have found something that I am alergic too, not sure what yet, we'll see.
I hear that Shan is getting pretty big into rock climbing. Sounds pretty cool.
My companion right now is a Cello player and he was pretty good. I have been listening to a lot of his classical cello solos and they really are great. Some cool stuff from Bach. yeah.

There was an old missionary that came to visit. He was cool and brought his wife who also speaks Chinese. I think they go to BYU? Anyways, just fun to talk about the differences in the ward and mission from a year and a half ago to right now.
Yeah BAPTISM! Cool stuff.
Thank-you for all of your prayers and love! Have a good week.
-Elder Sanford

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wow --I feel like crying!! I hope that all is well with Claire, and with Colby. Sometimes as a mom I get sad feelings and then I find out that a child of mine was/is passing through a rough time at that very moment.

Claire is on her way home from the Jamboree. I'm guessing she's missing a crew of people already! Hugs to Claire!!! ...and Colbs--well, y'all know he's on his mission in Taiwan. I hope he's feeling an outpouring of love and the Spirit, so the Missionary work will go on, AND that he will be truly happy. I love all of my children so much. One of the hardest things a parent lives through is seeing/knowing that their child is hurting/suffering and not being able to take that pain away... no matter how diligent one tries to ease pain, it is something that all must endure and rise above.....Prayers are the only way to help a smidgen.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Taiwan 32

His letters are getting shorter (he's working harder--right?!!!), and are directed to specific people instead of the general audience.
Basically he said hello to all and said to Esther:
I have been having a great time here in Taiwan! Have a good week too!

He was glad that June had a good time at Girls Camp. Here is some advice he gave June:
Strengthening your testimony is very important. Keep up the great work. Any time that you want to get away from the world, you can find a nice quiet place and read the scriptures. Opening up your mind to revelation is VERY important. Don't ever be afraid to ACT on that revelation either. YEAH!!!
Here's my entire message from him:
Hey Mom!
Wow crazy week. I hope that every thing is going well. Yeah, the humidity was a little much at first, but I'm used to it by now. I really love just going out and working. The humidity makes me feel like I am working harder than I am because I am constantly sweating, but yeah, I"m used to it.
Wow, Claire is in Sweden. Cool.
Yeah! This past week, we had 4 Baptisms! I don't have any pictures though because I had a run in with a card machine and a picture printing shop... I'll do my best to send those pictures next week :)
Yeah, Start of a new move call! Elder Braby is in Tainan with my trainer as the Zone leader there. So cool. ELder Gardner is my new senior companion. He's really cool. I'm going to love serving with him. He only has 3 more move calls, so he is pretty experienced. I'm going to learn alot from him :)
Sorry, a little short on time today I'lll tell you more next week.

and part of his letter to Jeff:
Hey Dad!
Thank-you so much for sharing that story with me about the lady. ... I have actually had a couple people who just started living the word of wisdom recently because we taught them. We also have a lot of other people who have been working a long time on keeping it and have failed.
... Does the ceramics room still have the full wall of windows? ....

Thank-you for all of the help and encouragement.
-Elder Dib Sanford

He sounds busy and happy---just the way a Missionary should be.
Have a happy week all--Love ya, Jamille

ps--I have his address permanently on my "side bar". I'm sure he'd love letters from all of you....however his writing back isn't a guaranteed thing. "write at your own risk" :D