Monday, November 28, 2011

Taiwan week 49

Ok, so this week was pretty great. Power week. THat means that all of our language study is cut out and our meals are eaten on the go. It is a little tiring, but super fun. We also have a theme and focus for each of the days as well. Like Thursday was handing out as many copies of the Book of Mormon as we could. Super fun. We had set a goal to hand out 20 copies that day. We handed out 5 before eating lunch and then slowly handed them out at or between lessons with people. through out the day. It was a constant effort through out the day. But coming into the door, we each still had one copy to hand out. So we went and talked to the door man who was very willing to take and read one of them. It was a little bit after nine at that point. Just a little bit down for just being one away, we pushed the button to call the elevator. Then somebody came around the corner and waited with us. He was on one floor below us. We talked to him all the way up to his floor and then gave him a copy and an invitation to read. He responded positively right before the elevator door closed. Needless to say, Elder Kasner and I started dancing in the elevator as it took us up the one last floor. A constant effort through out the whole day and hitting it right before stepping in the door at night. AWESOME. Great day. Great week.

The package was delivered to me on Friday by Elder Buenning who came on exchanges with us! He is the Assistant still so he goes on exchanges all the time. That day was also "Power go on Member Splits day". So I only got to be with him half of the day because he was with my companion. Planning for that was also super intense. I'll send a picture of my plan for the day. It has two plans and two back up plans. Crazy. but it all worked out great. The package was fabulous as well. I LOVE DAD'S GRANOLA!! The music is super fun aswell.

Well it was a wonderful week. Zhang Sheng Feng was baptized and confirmed! The ward was very warm in welcoming him and he already has a home teacher. We are going to be getting him into a priesthood interview asap and getting him a calling. He is already a great part of the ward. Pictures coming as well.

Lin Hui Long came to church for the second time and is looking great to be baptized this next month. He was just a little sketchy on his reading, but after a good review of his goal to follow Christ and what that means, he recommited firmly to read every day. Super good. We are working with the Relief Society President to get his wife on board as well. I can see them all getting baptized this next month.
Well, yeah I've got to go! Thank you so much for the wonderful package!
Love ya!
-ELder Sanford.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Taiwan 48th week

Today is going great.
We went to the church and a member from the ward brought his guitar and we messed around for a little bit, trying to pick out little parts of hymns here and there. There is going to be a talent show as part of our english class in the next couple weeks and he wants us to perform with him. It should be fun...
Zhang Di Xiong passed his baptismal interview this past week! We found out that there is no opposition from the mother, and that the family likes that we are coming and seeing him regularly. He hasn't had too much of a life other than the hospital and the park ever since he fell down the stairs two years ago and lost his eye sight, so it sounds like they are all in favor of it. We are going to keep focusing on the mother and other members of the family so that they can recieve the blessings of baptism with him as well. I think that a key point will be his baptism and getting them to see that. I think that it will help them see that this isn't just a club, but actually has worth to their souls.
Other than Zhang Di Xiong, we are working with a new man by the name of Lin. He is a farmer that says he has a lot more time now, so he called us up and came to the church. He is really interested in receiving eternal life through believing in Christ. When he first came, he told us that he couldn't come to church because he needed to work. So we shared with him from Mosiah 13:16-19 and asked him some good questions. By the end, he was willing to try it out. He came to church and loved it. When he was asked by the gospel principles teacher if he could come to the baptism this Saturday, he was confused and said,"But we are supposed to work as hard as we can for 6 days so that we can come to church on Sundays" I think he gets it. With a little more talking, we also found out that he has a wife and two kids. Needless to say, they are in our plans to work with next.
This past week was the Primary program. All of the kids were dressed up in white. They sang a lot and each had a little part memorized. In addition to that, some of them memorized different verses from the articles of faith and recited those. Pretty good really. It was followed up by a talk by our second counselor in the bishopric. 82 people in church too! The ward is on the rise.
I had a good experience that really kind of pushed my faith this past week. I had put into our plan to contact people all up and down this one street for 1 hour with the focus on finding somebody who we could sit down with on the spot. At the beginning of the hour, we found a spot to bow our heads and pray. We found alot of great people but as the hour passed, we weren't finding anybody to sit and teach a few principles to. 10 minutes left and my companion said that he was hungry. I was too. The place that we had planned to eat at was three houses down. I thought to myself. Alright, lets go eat. Then I realized that there was somebody standing outside of his house not to far from where I was standing. I hoped off my bike and started talking to him and pretty much walked inside. The Lord knew that I was supposed to find that man and he helped me put together the perfect plan for it. We gave him a copy of " The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and set up a next time. We'll see how he is!
Over all a good week. It is going to be a power week this next week, so we are going to have a little bit more time and get alot more done. It will be great.
I hope you have a great week!
-Elder Sanford.

47th week in Taiwan

(from the email dated 13/14 November, 2011...)

I gave Elder Kasner a little taste of what it means to be a Sanford this morning and made him some awesome French Toast. I also made some delicious Apple syrup to put on top of them. I kind of made up the recipe, but it was basically just boiling chopped up apples with a bunch of sugar until it got thicker. yeah. Simple but good.

So sorry that last week was a lame week for emailing. This week, when I sent my president's letter it did the same thing, but I was smarter than the computer and I saved a copy of it so all I had to do was copy and paste. YEAH!
Sounds like your week went nicely...
We have had a chance to study alot about family history as a part of missionary work. I'd be pretty interested to get a few pictures of you with your family when you were all young and if you have them, it be cool to see pictures of your parents with their parents. It be fun to talk to people and show them the pictures names and a few stories to get the Spirit of Elijah burning in them. Yeah, and I kind of already have the Spirit of Elijah burning in me and really want to know. Thanks!!
We have seen miracles with a Zhang Sheng Feng. He is the blind guy that came to church last week. He is very sure on his baptismal date of the 26th. After talking to his care taker and giving her a copy of the Book of Mormon, she very bluntly rejected to learn more, but I think that most of it is a language barrier, so we will be praying for the gift of tongues this week. However, the mother did bring him to church. She couldn't stay for very long, but she did say that she would get time off to be able to come the whole time. So that should be good. He is getting ready for his interview on Saturday. He is awesome.
... How about the Christmas Choir thing. How is that going? I am getting just a little bit of Christmas fever. Little bits here and there when I see little displays in the bakeries and when I drank some hot cocoa at night while writing in my journal. Christmas will sure be something this year. I can't wait.
YEah! I hope that you have a great week,
-Elder Sanford.

Having fun-T46

All LDS meeting houses have the same look to them. I'd like a close up of the EXIT sign above the door. I'm guessing this is a Preparation Day activity. Pingpong in Yuanling...of course.
HEy Family!!
So yeah, I pretty much failed this week at emailing you all. I spent a good amount of time emailing President Bishop. Giving a good accounting of what you are doing to your leaders is very important. And after slaving over that letter for a long while and pushing the send button, a lovely little screen popped up that said... "ERROR IN SENDING". And that lovely little letter went poof. Yeah I pretty much was crying while rewriting it really fast.
Here are some bullet points .

-Elder Kasner and I saw a miracle with Brother Zhang coming to church. A blind man who we only invited to church. Elder Kasner led an amazing first lesson that I was very proud of and Brother Zhang accepted a goal for the 26th
-We had previously through the week had all of our other progressing investigators drop. Which was sad.
-We fasted to be able to work better with the ward. We will be sitting down with five families from the ward this week and seeking referrals by teaching the message of the Restoration.
-Pei Ke's were low due to dropped investigators. We exceeded our goal for other sitdowns and lessons to recent converts and less actives as well as lessons on the street. Good week as far as diligent work goes.
-Elder Kasner is amazing. He did the first Evaluation for Phase 1.
- We had a great activity with the ward. We broke our fasts right after church together and then it was my pleasure to give training to the 25-30 people that were there. Then we paired up and went to work. My companionship alone received 11 referrals from the members that came. We are going to focus on working with these referrals and publicizing what fruits we are going to see to increase the wards faith to do missionary work.

I also went through my 'DRAFTS' box and found out that I'm super pro at pushing the send button some times. Sorry.

I will make sure to spend some good time emailing everybody next week individually. I'm sorry.

He's a handsome boy! ( Not sure about the tie though... ;D)

a little about me

Here I am in the middle of catching up with all of Colby's Mission letters...but I should tell other stuff. I, Jamille, started radiation on 31 October, 2011. Daily I'm thankful that in August I got a mammogram & that the technician really looked at. They had me come back for an ultrasound and performed a biposy on the spot. The day after June turned 13 (30 August) I got word that I did have Invasive Ductal Carsinoma. I was not surprised and also not happy, but I didn't feel all "Doom and Gloom" either. I knew things would work out as they were supposed to, and I just needed to take the most optimistic approach.

I had a Lumpectomy on September 12. My surgeon is none other than Jennifer Tittensor. She is amazing. She performed a fairly new operation method. I had a teeny radioactive seed implanted in my cancer. During the operation she used a Geigher counter and found the cancer and scooped it out, some of the surrounding tissue and the three lymph nodes nearest the spot. A test was run on the nodes. They were clear which means the cancer hadn't spread to other areas. HURRAH!!! All of the cancer is out of me! Another test was done and they determined I would not need chemotherapy. Radiation is enough to keep the cancer away. I feel almost guilty that my cancer experience has been so bearable...Don't get me wrong--I'M THANKFUL!!!! I just wonder "Why me, Why did I get this, the "easy version" of cancer and others get it full on hard!???" I'm so oooo thankful that I got what I got. I don't think I would've been able to handle it, had it been any other way! Thank you Father in Heaven!!!

As I write about this, it's not easy. All of my emotions about this whole ordeal are still close to the surface. SO many people have helped so much, without asking they've stepped forward to offer rides and meals. Listening to me babble... It's been so nice. It's strange, too, that others whom I wished would've talked to me, to see how I am in the very least, have said nothing, nothing at all. It's weird. I feel awkward even mentioning that, and yet it's true. We all deal with stuff differently from each I need to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Fast forward to now. I will have my radiation appointments until the 15 of December. Things look good. Radiation makes me a little queasy for about 30 minutes. It has given me a "sunburn" and made me tender. It makes me tired too, but I can live with that!!!! Naps are nice! As soon as I'm done with radiation I will start taking a medication, for years apparently. I think it's called Tamoxifen, or something like that. I think I'll wait to take it until after the holidays. What if it makes me sick? I'm handling tired and tender ok, but if this other stuff gives me the urge to regurgitate I'd rather wait until after Christmas.

This letter came AFTER week 45, but it was talking about week 44

" ...Nope, our trees have no autumn. Just green all the time.
 So the time is a little short. But I'll just say that this week has really been great. My companion is super great at testifying and telling people how much the church means to him. I am giving him as many chances to do this as possible. Last night we went and visited an active member's family just to introduce Elder Kasner and ask for a member referral, but ended up that the non-member father cooked us dinner. Really cool guy. We are going to teach him more this next week. All over the place, we are finding cool miracles. I am loving it. I can see that the Lord really does love his missionaries and helps them out.
 I'm glad to hear that your birthday went all well. We had a party here for english here aswell! It was really great and alot of people showed up. I was incharge of doing it all, but I didn't plan super well. That being the case, I saw the hand of the Lord work miracles as we had a very wonderful turnout. and everybody had a very fun time. I'm interested to see how many people come to this next week's english class.
 Well I've got to write the other's quickly. I hope you have a wonderful start to your next year of life!  Loves
 -Elder Sanford. "

In case you were wondering ...

We received this email from the Mission Office. We've had people ask about packages, so here's what we've been told. (By the way his address is in the rightsidebar...Scroll to the bottom) He'd enjoy a letter anytime!! We email him weekly, but I'm not sure how often he gets "real live letters".

Dear Parents,
Each year many of our missionary’s parents send a package to their sons or daughters at Christmas time. We want to do all we can to make sure none of these packages get “lost in the mail.” Here are three things you can do to help your son or daughter get their package:
1. Do not use any mail service other than U.S. Postal. No Fed Ex. No UPS. No DHL. Why? Taiwan’s mail service is very good, but they will only Forward U.S. Postal mail and packages.
2. We highly encourage using the “Flat Rate Boxes” available at your local post office. In nearly all cases they are actually more inexpensive, and they are very easy to forward from our mission office. Odd shaped packages are hard to “re-write” an actual missionary’s address on them for forwarding.
3. Get your package off early. Most packages take about ten days from the states. Holiday mail in the U.S. could easily add more time to that.
We love serving with your missionaries and we wish you a wonderful Christmas, knowing your missionary is faithfully serving the Savior, whose birth we celebrate.


Sister Liston 劉姐妹
Taiwan Taichung Mission Secretary


(from 30 October, 2011)

... I'm training Elder Kasner. And boy is he sharp. He's really doing great in testifying and inviting people to be baptized. This past week, we focused alot on increasing our number of Investigators with a Baptismal Date. This week, we are going to be focusing on Church attendance. We want to get 8 investigators there. I know that we can do it as we have faith and focus. We also are going to be involving the ward alot more. We got a new ward mission leader. He just barely got off of his mission in Taibei. THe old ward mission leader is going to the english ward in Tai Zhong right now. I think that he will probably do a wonderful job at that there. He's a good man.
One thing that I've been doing better and better at that I was super afraid of when I knew that I was going to be the senior companion is planning. It was always a super hard thing for me to do, but I have been able to get a plan done every single day pretty quickly. I do not entitle this to my own ability increasing but that I have been relying on the Lord more to know what to do. It actually comes pretty easily. I really need to start doing better in my journal though. I have been writing everyday, but not in a whole lot of detail . I guess that that is better than nothing, but I'd like to get a little more detail.
This week, we got to watch a small segment about using Family History in our missionary work. It was so good. I really want to start using it more in my work. I didn't get it. Now I do. There is a reason why everybody is getting more and more internet capabilities. It's so that everybody can gain interest in Family History and then be baptized. Yeah!!
...I love you and am so glad to write you this week. ...
Your son,
Elder Sanford.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It just occurred to me that I haven't posted in a while. I need to post several weeks of Colby letters. Someday I'd love to take my good friend Jessica's lead and get a BOOK book printed of the blogs. That's one of the reasons why I post most of Colbs' emails--or portions of them. Someday he'll want a record of it all...our whole family will--and most probably his family,too. When he comes home in less than a year it'll be time for him to think about that part of his life. I think he's got all of that on the back burner now. He makes no mention or hint of that at all. He's being a missionary right now, and that's all he has time for right now....and that's the way it's supposed to be right now.