Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a great new quote

"Don't judge those who choose to sin differently than you do."

Wowzers!!! When I saw this on an email, as someone's signature quote, It hit me hard! It's so very good!!! I immediately put it on my Facebook Status. True words to be shared and pondered by all need to get out there!

I need to be a better person and if I can keep this quote in my head maybe I'll truly internalize it and quit judging.

We never know why "people" do the things "they" do, and just because "they" choose to do something differently than I would have, it doesn't mean "they" are wrong OR right. It is what it is. "They" are who "they" are. I am who I am. I can be better--and I'm trying!!! "They" are trying to be their best self, too!

I should cut other people slack, and tighten-up on my own doings/sayings/being.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tunnel Singing

When I was at BYU I went tunnel singing at least once. Last night Claire (a Senior at Provo High) and her friend Andrew along with Junie and a bunch of others went Tunnel singing. There is an underground walkway (tunnel) near the Marriott center. She's telling me about it and it's bringing back warm memories. They sang LDS hymns a cappella. Halfway through the hour (10:30 pm) the leader said "Okay, everyone sit down. Now is the time we are going to acknowledge the Missionaries. All who have received their calls please stand." They introduced themselves and stated where they were going to be serving as missionaries. Next the crowd sang "Called to Serve". As I imagine it I can hardly stop crying. It sounds so cool. Good kids singing hymns to Him is a great way to end the Sabbath!!!

Taiwan 40

Today is a good day. I left the apartment and just had a good feeling. We have plans this week to get a lot of work done. And we saw a big miracle with two of our less active recent convert friends. Two kids who's father doesn't have a job. We went over there earlier in the week and just simply told him about the covenants his children made when they were baptized and the help that he needed to provide for them. They showed up at church. And even though he couldn't make it (to church), he was very glad to have a second sit down with us yesterday night where we shared a little bit out of the Book of Mormon about Captain Moroni. He was very willing to accept a copy and start to read. Wonderful.
So I haven't told you about any of my fixing drier experiences. All of the driers that I have had in all of my apartments have had one problem or another. In my last one, the belt broke. I took it apart and looked at it. I made a new wheel out of water bottle. I put a new belt on and It snapped again. The spring that wheel was on was bad and didn't line up correctly, so I ordered a new one. When I was putting on the new wheel, I wasn't careful and didn't unplug the machine. Yeah electricuted. It was weird and I'm pretty sure I almost went into shock, but hey, the drier works now. In the drier I have in this apartment, they didn't use the drier because it left a lot of black marks on the clothes. ALL OVER the clothes. I looked at it and saw that the main drum was loose and sagging so where it met the rim , there was a little gap that the clothes would get caught in and then pulled back out of, leaving the black marks. So I just turned it up side down. THat put the drum in the right place and the drier it working great!
So other than that, I have been trying to study "Preach My Gospel" It's been pretty good. I also had a chance to attend "Leadership Training Meeting" which is only for leaders. I am not a leader or even a senior companion, but I was asked to attend. We'll see if that means anything. I learned a lot either way.
Anyways, I hope that you have a good week.
-Elder Sanford

Monday, September 19, 2011

Taiwan 39

So this week was pretty intense. I have been focusing alot on working with the Lord and using the Spirit to Teach the people.
Last Monday, we went back to our apartments and got all settled in. Then we hit the streets running. We went to a big ward activity where I got to meet the people that I wiill be working with for the next how ever long I'm Here! and let me tell you, it is already too short of a time. Elder Liu is such a good missionary. The ward is really good about working together with us, so on Tuesday, we were taken out to one of our secondary areas by the High Priest Leader. Working with him was fun because he has a big family and alot of good stories to tell. We taught a few people out there with him.Wednesday was good. We met a few new investigators and started working with them. The people are great here. Then on Thursday, we had a really really good day. we went out and met with A LOT of people. THe last one was out in our secondary again. THis was with somebody who is overcoming "work on Sunday" problems. But we had a great member there that bore some great testimony about making the church the priority in his life and the blessings that it has brought. A big problem here is that people are farmers and the best time to work is in the mornings, so Church isn't super great for them. But I know that when we make sacrifices, that is when the Lord steps in. On Friday, We had our weekly planning session and made some great goals. Then at night, we got to go to visit this one kid who was really humble and happy. He has had some run ins with the law even though he is really young, but he is really wanting a change in his life. we had a great sincere talk about the Book of Mormon and got to bear testimony. Good stuff. Saturday, we met for the second time with this one guy who came and self contacted us earlier in the week. He is really great. Sunday, we had an activity where we met right after church and shared with the attendees the power of the Book of Mormon and then gave everybody there a copy. We challenged everybody to give a copy to their friends. I think it was a hit. A lot of people were excited to do it. I'm really excited to see the power of the Book of Mormon in the lives of the friends of the members. Should be good. YEAH!
THank you for sending the package. I'm excited to get it. The 29th we just so happen to have a Zone Conference, So they will probably get it too me there.
THanks for all of the love and prayers!
-ELder Sanford.

Friday, September 16, 2011

T38--Lost and Found

Colby wrote more on the 12th and it was jumbled in with eBay mail so I didn't find it until the 15th. He sounds happier. I'm so glad!!!

So Yes, new companion, new area. ELDER LIU in YUAN LIN. Party. He is a really great missionary and we are going to get a lot done this next move call. The apartment is cool and has two floors. I get the bed right next to the window! I really am going to miss Elder Gardner and his wonderful humble example of missionary service. But I'm really going to love getting the work done here in Yuan Lin.
So this week, we had a great time just getting to work. On Monday, we got Elder Gardner's bike fixed. Tuesday was District training meeting. Later in the night, we met with some really great people. Zhang Jie Mei. She started coming to church and really loves it. It is hard to meet with her because she is doing so many ward activities and playing with the members. Just the way it's supposed to be. Wednesday, We met this really amazing man that lives in China. He knows that the Church is true. He goes up to the mountains and prays all of the time. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he said that next time he comes back to Taiwan, he will have it read. He's getting baptized for sure!
Thursday, we met with and had an amazing lesson with an Aboriginal lady who has three kids. She is really amazing and loves the church. She even used the term "OUR church" in reference to the LDS church. Yeah. Friday.Good hard day. We did alot of contacting on the street and found a lot of people. On Saturday, I finally had a chance to eat the famous "Cold Hot Ice" in Chao Zhou. People come from all over Taiwan to eat this stuff. It like a snow cone that has a bunch of hot (temperature-wise) things in it. Like peanuts and Lu Dou Pieces. Really good. Thought it'd be good to get in before I left. Sunday, we had 102 people at church and at night we celebrated the Mid Autumn Festival. HUGE holiday. Anybody who is anybody does a barbque. cool. Got a good good bye.
Great new changes. I am loving my scripture study as well. I have recently started the Book of Mormon over again. I am taking a lot of time to write things that come to my mind and I am getting a lot of personal revelation. I love it.
Thank-you for everything!
Love Ya!
Elder Sanford.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The letter from Colby was brief this week:

" I have a new companion. His name is Elder L**. He's pretty awesome so far. He served and was trained in Chao Zhou. I'm really liking it so far. there are a lot of people to talk to and the apartment is really cool. Two floors! still small though."
"At the end of this last week, I was having a kind of hard time. A lot of things hitting together. I of course prayed. Then the next morning, in my morning studies, I grabbed a random Ensign. That act alone is a miracle because I try really hard to not just do random things too often. But I opened up to a talk given by President Eyring in 2008 October Priesthood session. It was an EXACT answer to my prayer, all about the priesthood. I read it and I loved it and I cried a little bit and I felt the love of the Lord."

So it sounds like he may be hitting one of those rough spots in the mission. (He's been out 11 months tomorrow, it was bound to happen sometime.) I remember all too well about rough spots. But he's doing the best thing by praying, recommitting and relying more fully on the Lord.

So please remember him in your prayers, and a letter to him might be just what he needs, too. His address is in the side bar-----> at the bottom. :D

I love Colby!!! (Lila, Clarents, WilliamPeterman, Whacki & Googlah)

As a parent one of the hardest things is knowing ones child is having a difficult time. I wish I could take the pain away--go through it FOR him..., but I find comfort in knowing that the pain will be eased as he passes through the trial, and he'll be that much more strong for having passed through it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day

On Monday we had a fun thing happen. We were roasting hotdogs on our driveway in our fire ring, and the fire department--with a bright shiny red truck--came to visit. Apparently the Head Fire Chief from the Provo Fire Department received a text that we were having a bonfire of yard waste. Jeff and Logan were pulling dead branches from the tree to use in the fire. I'm wondering if the good soul who called us in was concerned about that? The firemen talked to Jeff and then one came over to see our fire. He saw that it was contained in a "commmercial pit", snickered and walked back towards the truck. They went on their way. I'm guessing they went back to the normal Firemen Labor Day activity of collecting money for MDA.

Later in the day I got an email from someone I didn't recognize. I also got a Facebook friend request from the same person. I was a bit leary. I looked further and realized that this person is a friend of Colby's, a recent convert to the Church (just a few weeks) in Taiwan. He sent a picture of Colby and his companion Elder Gardner with his family. This friend's non Chinese name is "Gene". How nice of him to contact our family!

We kept our fire going all day. Our new friends Brandon and Mary Reas came over. They wanted to play the piano and study . Mary played showtunes and Brandon studied (and sang falsetto to the tunes---multitasking! :D) for a few hours and then we had another hot dog roast, this time sharing with our friends. It is so wonderful when we find friends who love us as much as we love them. They are keepers for sure!

Wow. Taiwan week 37

Wow. Taiwan week 37.
It went like this:
Monday, Elder Gardner's bike fell apart, so that took alot of our time away. And we were recovering from a Typhoon that hit last weekend. We went and ate at Wang Shang Ming's house. He's the First in the Bishop Ric. Tuesday was exchanges in Ping Dong City. One and a half hour bike ride one way. It was a good experience though and we had some really amazing Curry and Vegtibles. We also met with a reall cool simple man that is progressing. Wednesay, we switched back and went back to work. Met with Sun Bei Bei which consists of reading a chapter of the Book of MOrmon with him and Eating Crackers. HE's a reall cool old old man who got baptized a few months ago and raises fish for a living. Thursday was a day of absolute miracles. We had many great opportunities to teach. Mr Xie from Taipei at his food shop. Tornado Chen who want's to help his family situation with the gospel. Which is totaly cool because that is exactaly what we can do. Booking it out to secondary and having a sitdown with Chen Mao Nan who really wants to come back to church. Friday, we found a few old formers. and had a good talk with a recent convert on the steps of the churhc. We also had a good time practicing contacting people two by two. On Saturday, we had ASSISTANT EXCHANGES. So yes, Elder Buenning came down from Tai Zhong and came around with us and had an absolute blast. We had a mass meeting of alot of people tha we got up and taught in front of. THen we had a really cool experience with one guy who completly rejected us at first and then came back and told us to pull into his home. We sat down with him and found out that he has had the worst few days and really just needed somebody to talk to. He's going to get baptised soon. Really great guy. Sunday, our goal of 100 people at church was completely destroyed. yeah. 117. yeah. Intense. We almost didn't have enough seats. So good to see the growth. ANd then today, we went out to Ping Dong and had lunch with the Elders there. It was at a pretty fancy place. It was fun to just talk to them though. I love doing missionary work.
SO yeah that was my week. I hope you liked that overview. not too much detail. sorry just a little pressed for time, we still have to get Elder Gardner's bike fixed today.
Thank-you for all of your help and love.
Love Ya!
-Elder Sanford