Elder Sanders

Elder Sanders

Monday, December 12, 2011

week 22

Hello one and all!  Ok, to start, I have 2 HUGE news items!  One is partially sad, and the other will make you guys go ballistic with joy!  First off, remember how my companion was waiting for his VISA for Venuzuela? Well, I guess it came and he`ll be leaving in a few days!  AUGH! I`ve only been with him a week!  So, I shall be receiving a new companion, and... well, I`m just not sure what day exactly or when, but I shall let you know next week!

Ok, number 2.  I cannot hold it in any longer... :D  OK!  Today, while we were eating at the Mall by our sector with other missionaries in our sector, we were approached by a woman who said she was a member.  A member from... SALT LAKE CITY!  AH-HA! Her name is Ivon, (I hope that`s how to spell it, it sounds like Ibon but could be Evon) she was born in Ecuador, and is here visiting her mom.  And now... get ready for this... she`s coming home Thursday, and is GOING TO VISIT YOU GUYS THIS SATURDAY!  HA HA!  She`s also going to bring my mega-letter that has something for everyone in the family. (if I would have known that we were to meet, I would`ve made a package of sorts, but oh well!)   SO!  she has our phone number and address, and her number is 801-358-7904.   It`s going to be GREAT!  (well, for you guys, enjoy!)

Alright, so now to ´normal business.¨¨¨

First off, this sector has been tough!  To begin our week, we only had 1 investigator, and the majority of our week has been contacting.  On Tuesday we were out contacting for 7 hours!  SEVEN!  Well, it`s been a long, and rather tough week, but we now have 2 families with a baptismal date for the end of the month, and it looks as if we may get 1 or 2 more!  We shall definitely work hard!   
And I think the hardest part of going to a new sector is that you need to re-memorize the city and re-become friends with the members.  That`s a lot to absorb!  But I shall stay true!

And to reply to the letters I received:
1- CONGRATS TO ERIK!  First fruits of baptism indeed!   I can`t wait to get your stuff, and... your Christmas package is on the way!  I`m going to send ya a letter and pictures by hand or by email, whichever I can get to first.

2- Yes, our insect-infected beds are being purged.  I have had no more recent bug-bites.
3- IT looks as if the Chirstmas party went great! Those pictures were crazy!  I wish I could`ve joined ya... maybe in a year or so. :)
4- BRANDON LEISHMAN!!! Your Christmas package is on the way too!  Expect to receive my letter Via Email soon!
5- CONGRATS TO THOMAS FAGG!  I shall be sending an E-mail to you also!  I just need to do it!
6- President and Sister Ghent are awesome.  They both are kind, give great talks, and are just great role models.  I don`t get to see them often, just when I go to the offices or during a special capacitation.
7- CHANTEL!  Thanks for those pics, they made my day!  (I printed one out to secretly stash somewhere... ha ha!)
8- Yes, thanks for the Spiritual thought mom!  It also sounds as if the group ward activity went great! Here`s some swell quotes to share:

^To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in others, because has has forgiven the inexcusable in you.¨    -CS Lewis

´You cannot convert people beyond your own conversion´  -Neal A Maxwell

´The future is only as bright as your faith.´   Thomas S Monson

and lastly (when it comes to receiving revelation during a lesson or at home...)

´God Can`t Inspire an Empty Bucket.´     -Elder Blackwelder

Well!  I`ll update everyone next week on how our families are doing, and about my new companion.  Have fun meeting with Ivon, and I shall be awaiting your packages! 

-Elder Sanders

PS; I still don`t know what day I can do the video conference, but I think it shall be either Christmas Eve or the day before.  I shall ask this week to find out!

PSS: Dinner with the president will be this 21ish, I gotta verify because I changed Zones!

PSSS: Photo 1- The view from our house.
Buenas Tardes!  I`m writing here from a little town called Guamani (I`m not sure if that`s the right spelling...)   So yes... I WAS CHANGED!  No More Elder Gomez!  AAUGH!  I wanted to spend Christmas with him in our sector with our families soo.. badly...
but, I suppose there is purpose in everything, so I shall tell you when cool things start happening.  Well, my new companion is Elder Manrique, a 25 year old missionary from Quayaquil, Ecuador, awaiting to receive to his visa so he can go to Venezuela.  He has been here for about 8 months.    SO! That was that.  I guess now I`ll really have to brush up on my spaish, because it`s 0% English from here on out. 
Time to answer questions!  Weather in Ecuador is quite nice, it`s either warm, sunny, or rainy.  And when it gets rainy, it is intense. My rain-coat that looks like a WWI trench coat does wonders!  Pretty much the weeks switch off from being hot, to rainy.  So, all my shoes and clothes check out ok.    And our investigator that was going to get baptized was unable this weekend, becasue this week is a thing called, Fiestas de Quito, which is a 2 week long celebration of the city.  It`s all pretty mellow, except for the dance parties which are 3 days in a row and are just bursting with gigantic speakers, way to much alchohol and smoking, and everyone goes with thier entire families. Kids and all.  There are plenty of parades, dances, and just a communial feeling.  Pretty swell, but I fear that Michelle will have to wait until next week to be baptized.  We shall see! 
So, our investigators are doing well, but the majority of their baptismal dates fell because they didn`t attend church! GAR! I despise it when you tell them the whole week that they need to attend, they agree to, and when you go to their home sunday morning to pick them up, they just don`t even answer the door.  Lame. 
But it sounds like things are exciting at home! Argentine dinners, the whole State of Utah destroyed by the God of Wind, our chickens have given the gift of omlettes,  a great 80`s murder myster dinner, and the Atonement is still giving blessings.    Oh, and can I have your old washing machine? That would be so much easier than a lavanderìa (laundromat).:)      But yeah, life`s going pretty well, and it turns out our beds were infested with microscopic bugs. A week ago,we started getting tons of little bug bites and later learned that they were indeed from miniscule insects that live in beds.  Not bed bugs, but I forgot the spanish name for them.  Our beds shall be disinfected soon, it`s good timing that I left!              I`m also going to send out a Christmas letter soon, I`ll have to ship it off next week, it`s almost finished!   The holiday season down here is going to be great!  I`ll have to tell you about the video conference once I figure out when I can do it.  I guess also this month we get to go caroling in a shopping mall and eat a christmas dinner with the mission president and his wife later!  Alas, since I just got here, I`ll need to tell you later who is ready for baptism and our new investigators and familes.  I shall conquer again!   (I hope)
-Elder Sanders: Missionary on the edge.
1-the most pointless fence ever conceived
2- Elder Gomez and I enjoying the fruits of fresh Ecuadorian salsa
3- The extent of our christmas decorations:  a deranged snowman that we found under our desk, which we both think could be used for both Christmas and Halloween
4- La Familia Calvas!  They gave us the thanksgiving feast, and are just plain awesome!  (I shall miss them..)
5- My old zone, Goodbye friends!  (PS, the guy with Blondish hair is from LEHI!  he went to school with me!  Elder Tuckett!


Week 19

Why, hello there!  This is Elder Sanders, reporting in for the week!  Well, first off, happy Thanksgiving!  By the photos, it looks as if you all had a stupendously joyous time together.  I´ll admit, I really want one of those indian hats now.  (The indiginous hats here are rather like fedoras...literally)  BUT! Thanks for the letters, and I always love when you guys write to me. 
And BEN IS ENGAGED? Nelly! That´s stupendous! And Amanda? ¡Doble Loco!  It sure looked like quite the joyous day, espcially those pies... 8!?  What I would´ve done for 1 slice...   and I think I do remember Emily, I´ll be sure to have confidence next time we make cookies together.  Well, anyways, I´m attaching some pics of our ecuadorian thanksgiving and some other fun ones.  As of right now, we have 1 person with a baptismal date (because all of our other ones fell because they didn´t attend church, so we´ll have to set a new one with them) and we have about 7 investigators.   I´m doing ok on health, I´m eating very well, and as for meats, I have chicken every day, I had a an entire fish deep fried (entire as in I believe they took it out of the water and put it in the pan.), and some duck, which is really good! (and to answer your question, I´ve stopped gaining weight and my body is now equalizing.)  Plus, Elder Gomez and I made some homemade raspberry syrup and salsa.  MMM!!! 
So, we did have a baptism planned this last Saturday, for the sister of H that we baptized last week.  We started the day out good, set up in the chapel, called members and investigators to attend, visited her in the morning, and filled the font with warm water, (no buckets this week)!  Essentially, all was going well.  A half an hour before the service, we gave her a call to see if we could pick her up.    Instead, her mom answered, and said that we was at her college giving a presentation.  Apparently, she had this huge end of the year thing at her school planned for the evening, until 10PM, and throughout the whole week was too shy to tell us!  GAH!  While this was going on, members and Investigators started arriving.  The whole evening was going to shambles!  So, essentially, we waited a half an hour to she if she could get out early, and in the mean time watched videos with all the guests that had arrived to attend.  Well, she never showed up, and the night was sort of a bust.  So, we planned to re-do the service Sunday before church, where she could attend with us and get confirmed the same day.  And in order to have the font filled in time, we had to get up at 5 to begin filling the font.  We waited until it was reasonably early to call her and see if they could make it... and the reply was no.  That after a week of interviews, visits, and meetings, she didn´t feel ready and wanted to push it until next week.  So, essentially the jist of the weekend was dissapointing, but hopefully by this Saturday, she will be a member of the Church.  :)
Well, everything else is good, and changes are next week!  ACK!  I hope we don´t seperate, Atahualpa & Elder Gomez and I are such a great team!  And as for Christmas... People started putting up their trees and lights at the start of november.  It´s gonna be good!  But alas...  I am robbed of those cheeky christmas songs playing in every public venue possible. *sniffle*   BUT! I can skype you guys, so start researching it now so I can do it with ya!  And they still have not told me when or where I can call you, so stay tuned!  (right now, I´m preparing a mega-letter with christmas letters for you guys, so stay tuned! I shall find a post office!) 
And yes Erik, I am jealous that you had Wassil.
-Elder Sanders
PS i´m attaching the other pictures in a seperate email!
PSSS- Do you now if Erik and KT got my letters? I don´t know if they´ve written back yet... the suspense is immense!

Elder Sandes first baptism

week #17

Hello to one and all! Today is a glorious day!  Why?  Guess who helped bring in 3 new converts to the church?  HAHA! I`m attaching photos of the glorious event!  But first, I`d like to say thanks to Eli, Chantel, Mom, Dad, Patti, and Grandma & Grandpa Sanders for all of your wonderful letters, they were quite the surprise.  And: Chantel is 21?! Meghan is in the MTC?!  Tristian is a `huge ham`?   What glorious events!
And now, I shall recount the event that was Saturday:    First off, we had 3 people planned for baptism at 3 PM: G, T, and her neice H Gon and T were good to go, but apparently we never quite got the written permission of her mom for baptism, so we went in the morning to quite literally teach/convince her enough to let her daughter get permission. (without going into details, the mom is a crusty lady). But! It worked out, although Heidi had a huge fear of all the people watching her, so we scheduled a baptismal service at 8:00 for just her and her family.  We were over there for over 2 hours, and needed to run over to the church to start filing the font.  We got there at about 12:40, and turned on the water.  At 2:30, we returned to start setting up. And to our horror.. the water was only 1/3 full!  Frantically, we started hauling buckets of water from the underground resevoir of the church, and soon enough, people started showing up.  But, the great thing was, everyone started helping us, even the some of investigators showed up and started to help too!  Synergy! 
So, we were able to fill it quickly, and although it was cold, it was ready.  Everyone arrived, and we started the service.  G`s friend baptized him, and I baptized T.  YAAHH!!!   The service soon ended, and as we were closing up, we learned that while I was baptizing T, beforehand she misunderstood us and didn`t give me her full name, (which you NEED to recite in the baptismal prayer for it to be valid), so... technically... it was invalid!  ACK!!!  So, we quickly planned to re-do it later in the night when we were going to baptize H So, by the end of the night, everything worked out, we figured out how to make the water warm again, and we had 3 baptisms.  The next day at church, Elder Gomez confirmed G, I confirmed T, and our bishop confirmed H.  It was a Great Weekend. 
And how can you top off the perfect baptismal Sunday?  A surprise THANKSGIVING DINNER from our Mamita, that`s what!  Turkey, potatoe balls, and more rice than should ever had entered my plate. But I was SO thankful.  And yes, while carving the turkey, I did feel a pang of sorrow that my family was about a continent and a half away.  But, I shall remember you all! 
Well, I shall be sure to share any other Thanksgiving stories this Thursday, and wish you all a very happy Dia de gratitud. 
-And while I have time, question answering session!-
-our area is good, we`ve been avoiding anything potentially dangerous, our families are well, and we should have a couple more this Saturday for baptism!
- For the Christmas package, I can`t say there`s anything else that I need, just the peachios, Trafalga T, and... LEGOS!  Well, I also need to start trying to get presents for my friends, so I`ll write you next week if I need you to send anything.  (I`ll probably do something for Brandon & Erik, and see if I can do anything for the family.  I know sending packages here is UBSURDly expensive, and I still need to find a place close to my house that I can send it from) 
-OH, for light and gas, the owners of the building pay the big bills, and divide the pay out between those who live there. 
And:  my address:
Ecuador Quito Mission
Calle Robles 640 y Amazonas
Quito, Ecuador
Well, I believe that is all.  See ya later!
-Elder Sanders
PS- congrats to David Tolman on his gloriousl re-entry

Week # 17

¡Buenas Tardes!  Somos misioneros, de la Iglesia De JesuCristo, do los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Yo Soy Elder Sanders, y esté es mi compañero.¨
Yup, that`s what it`s all about. 
Ok!  So, this week has been just peachy.  No earthquakes or other hazards to missionaries.  And before I dig into the meat of the letter, I finally recieved those `Dear Elders`!   I`m not quite sure how long it took for them to get here, but yes Ashlyne, just like water in a desert.  (And!  Thanks to Jodi, Mike, Jennifer, Julian, Alexandra, Mom, Dad, Chantel and Erik for your letters! Just like magic!)  And Ashlyne is dating?  Egads!  Plus, I hope your throat and test are ok now Chantel, life is quite exciting, is it not? And it sounds like Dad`s trip to Philadelphia went swell too.  Send my love to Meikayla and Madison too!   AND- Hooray for Sydney and Meghan!  New steps in life indeed!
Agite, this week has been quite focused on our investigators.  Right now, here are those who have a baptismal date: for this weekend, the Familia Q, (A Grandma and Granddaughter who were a reference and are totally loving the gospel!), Hmo. G, and for the rest of the month, the familia M, and hopefully an older couple named G y R. Plus, we may also baptize a person named Al who has been attending church for 5 or so years, but isn`t baptized yet.  We were going to, but we soon found out that there may be complications with that because we heard he used to lie to missionaries in his sector and it`s just mixed up,so we`ll have to see.                           It is just quite busy with them all!
AND!  I got to give 2 blessings this week, the first one was a blessing of council for one of our investigators.  For a week or so, we`ve been teaching another older couple who had a tendency to argue alot during the lessons with each other. We had a good lesson last Monday, and returned Tuesday afternoon to visit them, and found people moving out.  Quickly offering if we could help, we soon discovered they were moving stuff out of our investigators` house.  They had gotten divorced practically overnight!  The husband was quickly out of there, and the wife was left in shambles.  It was then that I got to give her a powerful blessing.  And I shall say, alot of the words I said did not come form me.  (The priesthood is power!) And the second was for the wife of Alfredo, who has cancer and will be living in a hospital for a couple months. I too was able to give here a blessing of health, (which coincidentally was the same day as the first one I gave to the divorced wife) and that one too, I felt was very strong.  Essentially, I was just on a Priesthood roll that day.      It was great.
So, I can`t say I have any `fun` stories to tell like the banana spiders, but this week we also had a Zone Conference with a member of the 70`s.  It was way good, and I was able to see Elder Redd again along with his new companion.  And- the familia Castillos from Carapungo, are now baptized!  YES! Although I didn`t get to do the actual baptism because I was in Carapungo, I definately was a major part in their conversion.  Then, at church, we had another member of the 70 visit! Surprise!  
Yeah, so all in all, a good week.  This one should be equally as busy, but we shall see.  AND!  I have one more thing I want to share with you guys, this is a recipe I got from Elder Redd, and I pretty much live off of it now.  Here it is:
Elder Redd Cereal  (double or triple as many times as you like, and it doesn`t need to be exact either, just general)
-4 cups instant oatmeal
-2 cups granola
-1 cup panela (I don`t know the english equavelant, it`s pretty much raw sugar cane and looks like brown sugar)
Mix in a container, and eat with milk.  It`s also stupendous with bananas, yougurt, or whatever else you can find.   We make a huge carton every week.. and its... so..  GOOD!
Well, that`s about all I have for now... but I do have one last thing to say:
I`ll have to draw you something or write you a poem... but may all your wildest dreams come true!
-Elder Sanders
-And yes, I do wear my shoes everywhere I go. ESPECIALLY in the shower. And I call my district leader every day, and we don`t have a phone.  If you go bearfoot, `you`re gone`!