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.