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.