Monday, November 5, 2012

This time tomorrow he'll be home. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight? I'd love to skip work tomorrow to continue sprucing up the house.  Tomorrow is going to seem longish I leastuntil we see and retrieve Colby.  I'd better try to sleep!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rhyme for a time

A few days ago I woke and was thinking of Colby's return from his mission. I was giddy, so I shared the thought on my Facebook status. "Oh thank heaven, we're down to seven"  I'm now kinda obsessed with the silly little game of sharing my lack of literary skill.  It's been fun and I 'll keep it up. It is obvious that I spend a good chunk of my weekdays with Kindergarteners. Life is to be enjoyed!!  Here are the Status that are terrible/silly rhymes about Colby's return date:

7- Oh thank heaven we're down to seven.

6 - Time ticks, now we're at six....

5 - Jump & jive, he'll arrive in five.

4 - How many more? You guessed it, 4!! :D

3 - Momma said it yesterday: "whee, only 3"...can it be?? Slap my knee.

There are still a few more days, then I will stop it with the terrible rhymes.  Probably.

Friday, October 26, 2012

13/14 October, 2012

 Well, as expected, I had a wonderful time at conference. In my notes, I put stars next to my favorites that I need to look up and study as soon as possible. Dieter F. Uchtdorf Sat. morning, Robert C. Gay Sat. afternoon, D. Todd Christofferson Priesthood, Jeffery R. Holland Sunday morning, Daniel L Johnson Sunday afternoon. One of my questions was how do I take what I have learned and become and make it stick in my old environment? I not only got answers on how to do it, but as I consistently thought of the question that I had, I received a desire to do the things that I needed to do. And I just need to say how much I love David A. Bednar. He speaks clearly and powerfully and is organized in every single word that he says. 

 Other than that, This week was pretty intense. We went on 3 companion exchanges. I am continually impressed by the quality of the missionaries in my zone. They really are all top notch. Elder Woolsey, who just moved in, is a new senior and district leader in a new area and he is doing really well. He is very crisp. That is just the word that comes to mind. Sharp.

 One of our really great investigator friends came to english for the first time. His English is actually pretty good it turns out. Every week, I teach the Advanced English which turns out to be just practicing our conversation. Anyways, he came for his first time and despite his super good english, he didn't have an english name. So I wrote three names up on the board that sounded kind of like his Chinese name and gave him the option. He picked Logan. Good name. He is really cool and has big thick rimmed glasses. He is actually from the place that my companion Elder Bailey just came from. He is progressing along quite well. 

It is always an interesting experience to teach somebody who has no belief in God and see them slowly start to believe as they do the things that we ask them to do. It may take awhile longer before he is baptized, but he has started to make that change. It really is a feeling. And it comes over time by exercising faith. I am grateful that I have had a chance to meet this cool kid, Logan. 

 My companion and I have a chance to go up to the North to do a training on the culture of our mission. There is something that we say. it is "You2 Ban4 Fa3". It pretty much means, there is a way. When we are faced with difficulties, we often say "you ban fa" and then find a way to make things work. This is a way to display faith. The presentation is going to be pretty fun and intense. We put together a monologue from the scriptures and are also giving them a book mark with the definition of "you ban fa". Elder Bailey owned a business before coming on his mission, so it is really fun to do presentations with somebody who knows what he is doing. 
 I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Elder Sanford

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wasn't General Conference glorious!!!  As the word of the adjustment of missionary ages came out of the Prophet's mouth tears streamed down my face.  I love missionary work, it's near and dear to my heart!  Colby will be returning from Taiwan in a few short weeks.  With the change of ages Claire will be eligible to serve in February.  She'll finish her Dental Assisting Course in the summer, and then she wants to go on a mission.  I'm so excited for her. Logan will be going in 2 short years. (Looking forward it seems short, but while he's out it'll probably seem long.) He no longer will have to wait a year after his High School graduation until he's 19. Honestly, it's a blessing and answer to my prayers.  I've seen friends of Colby as they've waited until they turn 19 to go on the mission.  The waiting game has been hard on some of them.  Logan said, "I'd better start saving my money now."  He had thought he'd have a year after High School to work and save. I keep rambling.  I'm so happy!!!  Jeff and I both served fulltime missions.  As I heard Conference I felt the desire to get back out there.  We plan on going on a mission, but that'll have to wait at least 8 more years. We'll just keep trying to serve here where we are.  The Lord is good!  The Gospel is true!!!!

Colby's two year mark as a missionary is on the 13 of October. He returns the 6 of November. We are all anxious to see him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I miss her

She doesn't work at our school anymore.  She's helping out at the University now. Good for her! Sad for me.   I don't see her as often.  We don't get to talk to each other as much as we used to.  I know it needs to be this way.  Children need their own lives. It's supposed to be this way, but I still miss her.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy re-Birthday Elder Sanford

For Colby's 21st Birthday he got to baptize two people. Yay!!! What a fabulous gift. He's sharing his birthday with these two sisters.  It's now their "re-birthday."  That's what it's all about!  :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It seems I post most of my thoughts on Facebook these days.  I seldom am near the computer long enough to write on the blog. Elder Sanford has been the main focus of the blog these almost past 2 years.  Colby entered the mission field on October 13, 2010 and he'll be released on November 6, 2012.  A lot has happened in these years!

I just wanted to do a little update on me...I have drafts started of things I'd like to say.  It's a little scarey putting my thoughts out in the open.

I have what will be a long entry about my wonderful Father.  He passed away almost a month ago. Emotion wells-up in my throat making me uncomfortable and tears escape my ducts.  I'm not quite ready to finish that entry.

So, I'll move on to something a little less painful.  I've been trying to lose weight. It's a day to day process, but I have a program that really isn't too difficult to follow and I'm seeing results.  It's nice to have people notice and comment. I think that most people could do this on their own.  I need help to stick to a plan, and going through the company I do, I DO have the boundaries set in place that I need to help me. The program is "Take Shape for Life" fueled by Medifast.  It's working, and I am feeling more healthy overall.  I still am tired a lot, but honestly it's because I stay up too late to comfortably arise at 5 a.m. daily.  It's something I'm working on. I appreciate the encouragement of my family, especially Jeff.  They have all been wonderfully cheering me on!

Have a happy Saturday!!!   More later.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I've been trying to compose a blog entry about Daddy.  It's hard!  To write down he's no longer with us is awful! It feels like a sick twisted joke.  I know we'll be together again.  But, it's just like with my sister Jill.... When I want to pick up the phone to call and talk---- I can't.  It stinks!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Junie

My sweet June is turning 14. Wow! The other day when I learned my Father's passing would be soon, I prayed he wouldn't pass on June's special day.  I talked to her and got her blessing to come and be with Momma and Daddy and the folks here in Missouri.  She understood what I was going through.  Turmoil....missing June's Birthday versus missing the special time with Daddy.  She encouraged me to come.

Heavenly Father's timeline is perfect--a perfect tender mercy!  I am in Missouri, here with my first family.  Daddy passed away last night. Today June is 14.  Happy birthday to my darling auburn-haired ballroom dancer.  I love you!!!!

(Grandpa can now see you dance! I'm sure he's proud of you!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

this week

We did alot of planning to hit all of our goals. We charted it and made plans early to hit all of these goals. But as the week went on, we were just not hitting our goals and people would consistantly cancel. 

So on Sunday, when we wern't looking super good to hit our goals, I had a little bit of a talk with my companion and discussed my concerns. In talking to him, Elder Peel really helped me to have faith in the time remaining and mostly in the Lord. 
So we went out and saw miracle after miracle. And I know that they were all from the Lord. 

We had an LA call us and set up for right after dinner. right as we were leaving, a person who was stopped right outside of the church wanted to take a tour after talking to him for a little bit and it just so happend that the member was still there and it helped his testimony to help us accompany that lesson. Also, a man who has had a horrible life because of choices that he made called us and set up a time for that night. We shared with him from Alma 36 about repentance and as we prayed with him, he said that he felt just like the lamb that Christ was holding on the front of the Restoration Pamphlet that we shared with him aswell. 

As we strive to hit our goals, Heavenly Father will help us to accomplish that which is important like helping LA's regain their testimony and helping the heavy hearted feel the truth of the gospel.
It is a new move call today. We are not going to move! YEah!! It is going to be a super good move call. and a super good month aswell. Lately I have really been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to be on a mission and how wonderful the work is. I absolutely love it. Helping people change their lives. nothing like it.

THis week was a little bit tiring because we did a double exchange. We had a chance to go with one companionship on thursday over to friday afternoon and then two hours later, we went and exchanged with some other peeps from friday over to saturday. It is really great to be able to serve with the people. 

One of the greatest things was reading in Mosiah and also recently from King Benjamin with how they lead and that is that they work side by side with the people that they are leading. I had a little taste of that feeling. I think that we will probably go on alot more exchanges this next move call. It is really fun. Great missionaries.

Good to hear that peeps are moving on with their lives and getting married like james, glen and elli. I actually got an invitation from James. I was going to write him back and tell him that he forgot to put the address of the place that he would be doing a reception in taiwan. Cool cousin.
 Well, I hope that all goes well this week!
-ELder Sanford

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I have a problem blogging these months.  A while back a friend was talking to me about blogs.  She was talking about privacy issues.  Ever since it's been difficult to share Colby's Mission news and stories.  I'm not blaming my friend, but it did make a difference.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Logan's Eagle

Logan getting his Eagle pin
Jamille Adams Sanford, Logan Timothy Sanford, Jeffrey David Sanford, Norman Sorensen, BenjaminGoodrich
Sunday 27 May, 2012 Logan had his Eagle Court of Honor.  It turned out rather nicely.  It was short and sweet. I'm proud of Logan.  It's nice that there are now flagpoles standing in front of two of the meetinghouses in our stake where, before his project, there were none.

Claire Graduates twice

Claire's friend since they were 3 (Betsabe Ramirez) and Claire after Seminary Graduation

 On Sunday 20 May, 2012 Claire graduated from 4 years of Seminary. She attended early morning Seminary instruction ( the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints) every school day (barring illness and a few choir/band trips) for 4 small feat.  Good Job Clarence!

Jeffrey David Sanford, Claire Sanford, Jamille Adams Sanford
It's been almost a week.  Claire graduated from Provo High School on Thursday 24 May, 2012.  I am so happy for her. It was pretty crazy the last week, what with the rollercoaster grades.  Everything finally came up and she ended up with a 3.5 GPA for her last term of Public School.  Not too shabby!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gabriel Johnson, Claire Sanford, Amanda Ahlman, Jacob Bigler
Last week was Prom.  Claire went with a nice guy named Gabriel Johnson.  She had a great time.  her best friends were in her group.  That means they all went on a day date and then to dinner and to prom together.  I understand they even went on a stroll in the local Macey's Grocery store.  I guess coming down the majestic steps of the Library wasn't enough "airtime".

You might wonder why Claire has a black heart on her dress.  SHE DOESN'T.  It's an arrangement of peacock feathers.  She really wanted to jazz up her dress, so she did.  I think she looks beautiful.

This picture is of Claire and her best friend Amanda and their dates.
This is Colby's 69th week on the Island, and here's his letter:

I really like what you said about the Atonement. It sounds like it was really well thought out. Elder Zhuang is entering his last few move calls and keeps reminding me of how old he is. I have been in the office a lot longer than I thought I would have been. It seems like Elder Zhuang will be getting a  new guy to train as a new Recorder on Monday and that will go for 3 weeks as a 3 some. and then I think I may have as much as one more move call in the office before getting out. We'll see, it may be more. Most are in for 3 and it's already been 3.5. I'm loving it though.
 It is raining a lot here. 
 We have one guy who we have been working with that is doing good. He should be baptized in the end of the month. We finally got to meet at his house the other day and found out that it was a 9x9 room with a bed and a lap top. A little bit sad. I got to see into who he is kind of a little bit more. I could see that we need to get him some pictures of Christ to hang on his wall. We went to storage today and picked something nice that is framed. There is good power in art.
 I had a chance to help give a blessing to one of the brothers in the english branch the other day. He is in the hospital across the street. For the first time, I really felt the weight of what I was saying as I had my hands on his head. That I use Priesthood power that I am worthy of and is real and I do it in the name of Christ who makes this all possible just makes it so real. I know that the things that he was blessed with are true.
 Well, I'm just trucking along and having a good time. I hope you have a good time as well. The technique with the vacuum is tough at first but once you get the swing down it flows pretty well. It took me a while. It's hard to think I did it for so long. But yes, that was finite too. 
 Have a good week

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 63 on the island of Taiwan

Dear Family,
This week really was very good. We got most of our time out on the streets because there wasn't much happening. The computers were down. I did what I could, which wasn't much but in the end we got it up and running. We had to call in one missionary who has some sort of computer degree. I really want to know how it all works. I'm asking a lot of questions and stuff, so I am learning a little bit. I'm still really missing Macs. Did I tell you last week that I had a huge project to do with the Dan Jones Video? I got to use Sister BIshop's Mac for that. I estimated that it would take me around 18 to 20 hours to do what I was supposed to, and that was on top of all the other crazy stuff that was happening. But I think is was last Monday? yeah. I said a prayer and it came clear to my mind how to do it. It took 2ish hours and I'm all set. That is the power of working by the Spirit!
I'm having a great time here. Thank you for all of the help.

The work is coming along great. We got out every night this week! It was all on time too, other than Monday when Elder Zhuang had a few things that he wanted to finish up for the next day. I really can see what you mean when you say that happiness comes with diligence. We have seen many blessings this week. 1 member referral turned out to be very amazing. He is in sales and has had a horrible life for the past 3 years. We have met with him once. When meeting, I really tried to focus on using the spirit to teach. It went really well and I feel like he really understands why it is that we are the true church. He doesn't have that much time on his hands, but he is willing to set up his schedule to meat with us. The other great miracle is somebody who walked in off the street with a whole bunch of questions. He originally lived in Nan Tou but recently moved here. He has been thinking a lot about his after life. He wants to make the right decisions in this life. The second time that we met with him, he asked a question about why we need to follow the commandments. We shared with him out of 3 Ne 27 that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. Later in the lesson, he said to us that he would need a few weeks of reading and praying, and if he felt is was right, he would like to be baptized! His goal is for the 31st. A wonderful lesson. It was a testimony to me of 2 things. That when you are diligent, the Lord will prepare the way before you.
Also, that when you teach by the Spirit, teaching actually works and the message really is brought to the heart of the people.

Thank you so much!
I've got to fly!
Have a good week

- Elder Sanford.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

a new pic

Colby has been a Missionary for 17 months as of March 13, 2012. It went VERY slowly at the beginning, but the speed is picking up. After a busy summer he'll be back with us right in the middle of the fall holidays. hurrah!! We got a pic of the Colbster. He's still as handsome as ever.

Pic came with the following caption:
from left to right, Elder Nickell (ELder Buenning's current trainee and my "brother") Elder Buenning (My Trainer and "Father"), Me, Elder Kasner (my trainee and "son"). yeah.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

61--more fun!

Dear Family,
This week was ever more intense then last week. And it is still pretty intense.Yeah, the other day during personal study, I looked up at my calendar and saw that is was Claire's birthday. I felt bad that I didn't say anything last week. Then I almost fell out of my chair because I saw that it said 18. Happy Birthday Claire.
We are working on a lot of family history stuff recently. In May, a senior couple named "the Walkers" are coming to be Family History Missionaries. It is going to be cool we are now in the early stages of doing prep for them. I've been helping put together a cool pass along card. It's going to be pretty cool.
Last night, in the buzz of the Taiwan city streets, Elder Zhuang and I decided that we were hungry. I have been thinking about getting a new back pack because this one isn't doing what I want, so as we stepped out of the Subway with our foot-long Veggie Supreme, I thought to myself," We had a pretty sweet investigator down the street named Alex that sells back packs and some other stuff. I wonder how he is doing." In mentioning my thoughts to Elder Zhuang, he said "It's the spirit, it's got to be, we're going to go and see him". "But Elder Zhuang, we have a lot of stuff that we need to do to get ready for the surprise zone conference next week. We've got to start heading back." Despite my sudden loss of focus and loss of faith, we started heading in the direction of Alex. As we approached, he was just hopping off of his motorcycle with his dinner in his hands. Perfect timing.

We ended up sitting and eating our dinner with him and getting to know him a lot more. He asked a lot of great questions, even though he hadn't been reading the Book of Mormon at all for the past few days. We found out though, that he is really great friends with a member of our ward named Stallion. Next time, we are going over there, we are taking him along as well. On our way back, I was saying a little prayer of thanks for the perfect timing.

At that time, a nice looking biker passed by me and waved. I waved back and smiled. He passed me and then went to pass my companion who was in front of me. Elder Zhuang did the same thing that I did, but the wave turned into a motion to pull over and talk on the side of the road. We all stopped and I took off my helmet. The kid was 19 and super cool. He was a performer in a band that played at another church and a third generation Christian. He has been having a little bit of problems with his family lately. We testified of how the Lord loved him and invited him to come to church. Even though he declined, due to his solid belief in the church he currently attended, he asked us to pray for him and what he was going through. We bowed our heads and prayed with him right then and there. He said that later, he would come and check out the church.

It really is fun to see what the Lord has in store for you as you serve him. I'm glad that I have such a great companion that is always focused on his purpose. I know that the Lord will continue to bless us as we focus in more.

So the adventure this week started on Tuesday night. The conversation went like this, "Hey, Elder Sanford, if we were to have a zone conference next week, would you be able to have Costco Bags ready by then?". And then I said, "Umm..." and that was the end of the conversation.

The next day, we had two apartments to move. I was told that it took 2 hours to move an apartment. So I thought that it would probably just be done super fast. We got to the first one at 9. After 15 trips back and forth from apartment to apartment and up and down the elevator and taking the bed frames down the stairs and having a fight with the man that was moving the air conditioners to the new apartment for us (interesting fact: it is illegal to touch your air conditioners. you need to have a professional come and move them for you yo ) and then we had him take the fridge for us as well, because everybody knows that you can't tip fridges because of the freon, yes after all of that, it was about 9 at night and we were taking the last trip back to the old apartment to get the table, dryer and washer.

We were a little bit frustrated because everything was going wrong and we were planning to have this and another apartment 3 hours away also moved and done that day. Need less to say that when we found out that the faucet that the washer was connected to was broken, I wasn't super happy. We turned it all the way off, and it was still spraying out water. We went up to the roof to turn it off, but the key that we had didn't work and the person at the front desk didn't have the key either. So I went to a quiet room and prayed. It was a pretty sincere prayer. After the prayer, I was pretty calm too. and I knew exactly what to do. I slipped a hose onto the end of the spout because that is pretty easy to get on even when it is all spraying everywhere. Then I kinked the hose. It was still leaking out pretty bad, so I got the handle of an old toilet scrubber and snapped it in half and shoved it in the end of the hose. That brought it down to a steady little stream. So I grabbed some zip ties (the old hose was held on with a string of 4 or 5 zip ties all together so I cut the the head of one and the slipped the one that was on that off so it was usable again) and I zipped it all down in 3 places. That stopped it all together.

It was 10:15 by that time, so we ran to the closest elder's apartment and crashed there for the night. we woke up, moved the last couple things and were out of there,and drove 3 hours down to Tainan. The second apartment went way fast. We had the help of another couple of missionaries and we called the air conditioner mover ahead of time. We got in the door at 11:00pm. Only a full day behind schedule. Lots of fun though.

I had a good study this morning on the Atonement. It seems that the more I study it, the more I know. It's not that I am leaning anything new I don't think, but that the Spirit testifies again and deeper of the need for the Atonement. We are all fallen and imperfect. We need to be come perfect in the far future and the only way that that is possible is through the Savior. It is as easy and complex as that.
Anyways, I've got to get going. I'm going to start filling bags for Zone Conference this next week probably.
I hope you Have a good week,
Elder Sanford.

Monday, February 20, 2012

week 59 on the Island

So I don't know if I have told you or not, but Cruise Control is illegal in Taiwan.

This week was almost all full of driving. Monday wasn't too bad, but then on Tuesday afternoon, we went down to Tai Nan to get a new apartment figured out down there. We did that last week too, but the one that we wanted was sold to somebody else. So this time, we went with money in our hands to put a down payment on the apartment. That only kind of worked... while down south, we set it up to do more than just a normal trip. We drove a little further south and stayed at a zone leader's apartment there over night (I also fixed their shower while there) we woke up and we had to turn a 2 man apartment into a 4 man. We bought all of the things there and had orchestrated it perfectly to pick up some extra mattresses from a sister's apartment that had 2 too many. We also had to get shelves for sisters that needed more.

So it went like this.
1. fix shower
2. pick up stuff needed for the day
3. see that something was falling off the back of the car and going back in to the store to buy tape to keep it on until we had time to think about that
4. dropping of a set of weights for some Elders somewhere (we didn't have time, to actually run them up, so we put them in their mail box)
5. getting to sister Peterson's apartment, taking off my backpack and putting together 2 shelving units in a record 21 minutes.
6. getting horridly lost and confused because the GPS was being unclear (let's face it, it was probably user error)
7. One hour later, we got to the Gao Xiong elder's apartment and dropped off the stuff to turn it into a 4 man.
8. Stopping for lunch and realizing that, yes, Elder Siebert would have to spot me for late afternoon lunch because, drum roll please, my back pack was still back at the other sister's apartment along with the wonderfully constructed shelves.
9. Yeah, getting my back back after another couple hours of back track and GPS madness.
10. getting a call from the person that we gave 5,000 dollar down payment yesterday telling us that the actual land lord had sold the apartment that we wanted to somebody else the previous day, just before us. (Just an awesome side note. and the real miracle of the day: Because of all of the back tracking and crazyness with parts of the car falling off, right at the time that we got that car, we were positioned about a 20 minute drive from where we could drive to and talk to the guy and find another apartment. Good timing or God's timing?)
11. Getting to the 3rd apartment that we had to look at and approve in Tai Nan in the past week and signing some stuff.
12. driving up to Yuan Lin to get a different apartment for another set of sisters.
13. driving home. Goodness, it is a good thing that I love to drive and that I just so happen to be driving one of the best cars.
I know that God loves us and is looking out for us. As we do the best we can, he is setting up the way.

Thank you to our wonderful access to Costco, we went the other day. I was a little surprised but pretty happy at what I found. Tillamook Cheese. Medium Cheddar. Great stuff. They don't really have Cows here in Taiwan so most dairy products are a little expensive. Cheese especially just really isn't as developed here as it is in america. Milk is 3 times as expensive as soy milk. Crazy stuff. They also usually don't have flour products. Mostly Rice. You can't find flour in your usual grocery store. But thanks again to Costco, yes, I found some Flour Tortillas. Not quite up to the Don Julio par, but the same idea. Good stuff. My mornings are filled with cheese and have a nice crunch to the outside.

Two weeks ago, we had some exterminators come to spray for cockroaches. Pretty intense. We were pushed out of the office for a few hours. We didn't look too well ahead of time and were actually pushed out for a few hours. Just at that time, we got a call from a few of the sisters in an area not too far away. They said that they kind of smelled a little bit of gas. We went over and checked it out because we had time and were out and about. Usually we would have written a work order for it and got the Land Lord on it. But we went over there. We thought that we could kind of smell it as well. So we turned off the gas. The Land Lord later came and said that there was no problem. But then the Sisters kept saying they smelled it. So we had a person with a meter go in. we found out this week that it turns out that if we hadn't had gone in and turned off the gas, the sisters probably wouldn't have survived. Good thing that the Lord loves and is looking out for his missionaries. One of the pipes was bad or something. It is all replaced and OK now. Yeah!
The work is good.
Have a good week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

58 weeks

Hey mom & dad
I'm excited for your letter and the box. I haven't gotten anything in the mail for a while.
It's weird that people are getting engaged. and married. Being in the office, I hear bits and pieces of missionaries that went home and how they are doing. One of my favorite old AP's is getting married in April. Stuff like that. It's pretty fun.
Yeah, time is going by super fast here as well. I'm not used to writing on Saturdays yet.

Yes, my load is a little full for the next two weeks. We are getting ready for next move call when we have a huge number of missionaries coming on and not many going off. I've been looking into the phones thing. It seems that most of what I have found is for people that are visiting taiwan for a short amount of time. I'm going to go and talk to some of the cell phone shops around the corner this week as well. Alot of people will call you up and say nothing more than "call me back" and then hang up. I was thinking about it and I think that is usually because "their phone has no money on it." If I remember correctly, it is pretty common to get a phone and just "put money on it" to be able to call other people. I need to research more, but that seems like probably the best idea.

I have been trying to keep track of all of the people that I meet here and their information. Everybody from people that I taught down in 潮州 to my trainer to the person who I did his baptismal interview the other week. I'm wanting to keep tabs on them and keep up a friendship. Keep that circle of friends growing.

I've been reading a lot of D&C lately. Pretty good book. I'm finding a lot about missionary work that is nice. I like where it says. I like what it says in D&C 38:41 and the way that missionary work is in this verse. I picked out 3 points. 1. Let your preaching be a warning voice. We should go out and tell people of what happens if they continue not doing what the Lord wants them to do. 2 Every man to his neighbor. I think that the best and most powerful sharing of the gospel is to the people that we know and live close to us. That is why working with the members is the best thing to do. and 3 let it be in mildness and meekness. This is how it should be. I have had a few times when I just get mad that people aren't listening to what I am saying to them. and at that point, the Spirit is gone. It's got to be mild and meek.
ANyways, I've got to go.
have a good week.
-Elder Sanford.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 56 on the Island

Yes! Get June and Esther going at piano! That will be super cool. Have you gotten the piano Tuned lately? I know that learning to play a tuned guitar is a lot better then playing an out of tuned one.

Wow! Isaac is in the MTC. You should get me his address. I would love to be in contact with him!

I have been putting a lot of prayer and study into setting some goals that I want to focus on for this next little time in my life. I had the chance to share them with President Bishop last night in a nice chat. (It is really nice when you are right next door and will occasionally have small talk with the President at the water cooler). He liked what I had come up with and gave me some ideas and pointers. I also had the privilege of asking my companion for a blessing for me to focus on these goals. I have basically taken a look at who I am now and really examined. After that I came up with a list of things that I would like to change and really see improvement with. Not just while I am still in the field but for the rest of my life.

Thank you for praying for my safety as I drive. It really is a stressful thing sometimes. This past week, we had zone conference. It just so happens that it is also Chinese New Years. Huge celebrations. And EVERYBODY goes back to their ρ產 or the place their parents live. The streets were horrible. On the drive down on wednesday night, It took 5 hours to get from い to 蔼动. That is usually only a 3ish hour drive. And it was just as bad on the way back up on Thursday night. So yeah, driving was crazy.

I did get a couple of cool pictures of the cello. It's going to be really cool it looks like. I'm excited to see how it turns out. I hope that the pick-up is good too. Sometimes, you can luck out on cheap things from foreign countries and sometimes they steal 4 dollars from you. I remember how sad lila was when she got that violin that wasn't super great. But hey, 4 dollars is definitey worth it.
Just a short story and then I need to be finishing up here. Yesterday, a man from New Zealand walked in and asked, "Do you believe in Zionism?" Elder Siebert went and got Elder Liston, the senior missionary that does finance. It was mine and his privileged to talk to this man about the beliefs of the church and our ties to Israel and Politics. It turns out that he is writing a book. He had been in Taiwan for 5 years doing some studies of the people from a foreigner's point of view. It was something that he was really caught up in and I could tell he had taken a lot of time on this. Although Elder Liston did a lot of the talking, I was happy as the discussion turned to a topic that I actually knew about; the Restoration of the Church and the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the simple testimony that I have that the Church is true. As I shared a short bit of my testimony with him of how God really can answer your prayers, I know that it caught him off guard and was different to him. I hope that he takes the chance to read the copy of the Book of Mormon we gave him. I know that is will help a lot. Put a good focus into his mind and life. Something of eternal worth.

Thank you so much for all of you love and caring from home. I ‘m focusing and doing the best that I can, especially in this great new position. I hope that you have a wonderful week! -Elder Sanford

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Week 55 on the Island

Hey !
So after Elder McAllister, it was Elder Kasner and then I came the the office and I started out with 3 companions (all of the office Elders), Elder Jensen (who was training me at how to be operations manager), Elder Zhuang, and Elder Siebert. Elder Jensen got done with training me and is now a Zone Leader in Tainan. So now, we are in a 3 man companionship (or TRI-panionship?). It is really nice so that Elder Zhuang (the mission Recorder) can stay and record things and crunch numbers while Elder Siebert (Special Projects) and I can do crazy cool things like going and opening a new apartment down in Chao Zhou like we did this past week and stuff like that. I am really liking this really busy crazy missionary life style. I get confused with who my companions are ever since Elder McAllister as well.
So yes it is now "Chinese New Years" This last like 8 or 9 days. It is common for people to give "Hong Bao" for this wonderful occasion to their children who are not employed. This is because usually this "Red Envelope" is just full of money. They don't ever know what to get to help the younger generations of people gift wise, so they just get them money. Smart in some ways.

So for this past week, the huge project has been ordering things and getting ready for ZONE CONFERENCE. It is going to be pretty insane. At big events like this, everybody gets a big bag of stuff full of proselyting stuff for their area. And I am the one that has to fill them all. I didn't know what I was getting my self into when I first thought about it. I think that I will be able to get it all done. I took a picture to send of me standing next to all of the bags that are going to the south half of the island. It doesn't look like much but, boy is it hard. And on top of all of that, the monthly order of copies of the Book of Mormon still hasn't come yet. It was supposed to be here forever ago. I've been talking to a few people up in Tai Bei and they should be on their way today. The only problem is that today starts the whole Chinese New Years festivities, and so the world has shut down. I'm surprised that email still works in Taiwan frankly. Literally everything is closed and people just all migrate home to their parent's house for a couple weeks. Kind of cool, but a little bit inconvenient.
On top of that, I need to get a plan done to make everybody on the island have a 72 hour kit, and do the normal reports. I am a little behind, but I'll probably take a little bit of my preparation day to finish up. It is really a lot of fun. Different, and fun.
Well, the others want to go out and see the festivities.
I hope that you all have a good time there in the cold weather (60's?). It's still pretty warm here.
Have a good week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We have had several email from Colby since I last posted. I just don't get near the computer very often. I seem to do my computer communicating mostly on my phone.

It was so fun to talk to Colby on Christmas. He is doing well. Right off the cuff he told us of his new assignment. He is the Mission Operations Manager. He fixes things and/or finds people to fix things. He will go around and do cleanliness inspections, and he makes sure maintenance is done on the cars. He is an Office Elder and now is in a foursome. If you ever need an International permission to drive, go to AAA. That's what we had to do. He now has his permission and is driving. We're pretty excited for him to be able to see more of Taiwan and interact with more of the people there. He will still be proselyting in the evenings. During the day he'll help the Missionaries and in the evening he'll help the Taiwanese. The best of both worlds.

He's pretty happy that he will be able to use his Art skills to make a new pass-along card too.

Time starting to speed away from us. I pray he's enjoying his mission to the fullest! It's such an honor to dedicate ones entire time, energy and talents to the Lord.

I still plan on sharing parts of his letters, but that'll need to wait for another day or two. I need to be in bed.