Elder Sanders

Elder Sanders

Monday, December 24, 2012


¡MERRY Christmas!

  How is everyone back stateside?  Wonderful I hope because I am!  So!  Many news to give! 

Hm... First off... BAPTISM!!! Yes, we have 2 lovely new additions to the church!
And they have much in common: they are 9 or under in age, have a parent which is not a member, gave wonderfully powerful testimonies, and are just wonderful!  The only difference is that one is a convert baptism, and the other is a ward baptism.  Which translates as one goes to the mission, but 2 go into my personal list of baptisms.  YES!!!  So I hope in a future date their parents will eventually be members, I believe one day it shall be just like that!

But alright, so for Christmas here in Ecuador, everyone has little Christmas trees, little house decorations (as in NO ONE has anything outside), and a little Christmas music.  But, the spirit is flowing about, the stores are stocking up, and it seems that Christmas here is not focused on receiving gifts, but of making big business in sells for the year!  Rather like an unofficial Christmas bonus.    Hm.   But everyone is still joyful.

Yesterday we were in Ambato again, singing with the other missionaries, (contacting through carols, AWESOME!) and finished late so we stayed the night there.  My companion got a couple packages from home, and I got a lovely one from the Lechtenbergs, MANY THANKS TO SARAH, JAKE, AND PATTI!!!!  I just love me some Legos!!!

And today, we were shopping, cleaning, cutting our own hair, and doing laundry.  But!  We are to make a Christmas feast!  I`m going to try my hand at making Wassil, and then we`re going to make some Navajo Tacos!    Scones baby!    Today, we also plan to practice the Quena (sorry, I forgot to take a photo! Look it up on YouTube instead), draw requested pictures for investigators and members, write letters, watch The Mountain of The Lord, and lounge about.  It should be nice.  But, you may ask... why do we have so much free time today? Well, today is our P-Day first off, and we need to be inside at 4:00 sharp due to nasty drunk Christmas party riots in the streets!  Which means... it`s like 24 hours of not working!  Well, not quite like that... but like a 24-hour P-Day!  And tomorrow, we must be indoors at no later than 6:00, so we get more relaxation time! 

Not to mention: candy from members and a mighty MIGHTY Ecuadorian Fruit-Cake that actually is not nasty!  I would send a photo, but unfortunately we took it with it right after I cut my hair and all I`m wearing are Gym shorts!  So  maybe for another week, 


Good to write you all, and as always, I wish you well and thank you for your love, prayers, and support!

`Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!`

  or for a better quote:

`It`s in the singing of a street corner choir,
       It`s going home and getting warm by the fire,
                It`s true! Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas!`
                                   -Muppet`s Christmas Carol

-Elder Sanders

Week 72


Dearest family and friends!  How are you all today?  Fine I hope!

WELL!   It`s been a nice week, not too much news on mission work but plenty of news on fun Christmas stuff!

To start off, changes have come!  And what has happened?  Well, I shall explain from Sunday morning:  We were at church, and just twitching because we knew the transfers were coming, and we felt our doom of seperating was imminent!  And to add on that, Rafael, the 8 year old son of Patricia  (who was baptized a week or so ago)  came up to my companion and I, and literally crying, gave us both hand-made cards! (how sweet!  I took a photo and attached it for you guys, Mom will have to translate it) Turns out he really, REALLY didn`t want any of us to go!  But, his mom told him, that if he prayed hard enough that we could stay, it would happen!  So, it turns out he prayed well for we did not leave!  HOORAY!!!

I get to spend Christmas with my buddy in this wonderful sector!  But, it too means that we will need to work harder than ever in this next change, to finish the work we had started a month ago!  ONWARD!!!

And for other news, the dinner with President Ghent and his wife was great!  American dinner, caroling to his neighbors, seeing old friends, and sweet hot cocoa!  Not to mention home made cookies from Sister Ghent and a new note-diary.  Plus, I delivered my hand-made card to them and Sister Ghent just about died with laughter!  So they pretty much loved seeing themselves as cartoonized Mr. and Mrs. Claus.   :)

And also!  The ward talent show!  It was nice overall, but it started 2 hours late, was COMPLETELY unplanned, and ended in a stake dance kind of setting.  So, the ward loved it, which was all that mattered.  And 2 investigators came! YES!  And we also started doing free ENGLISH CLASSES!  (to help bring in more investigators and less-active members to church)  And those have been successful so far.

Hm.  What else?  Ah yes, I have been looking to buy an Otavalanian instrument called the `Quena`  for a while, which is pretty much the most rustic sounding indian flute ever conceived to man, which usually cost around $30 or more, but a handy member got us a great deal, and I got a REALLY nice one for a steal of $12.50!  HA HA!  So in the next few weeks I`m learning how to play the Quena, so I`ll send pics next week of it for you all.

WELL! I think those are all the big news, altough we are to have 2 baptisms this Saturday!  One of the ward, and one convert!  And they both are 9 years old!  SO wish us luck!

And for a spiritual thought when it comes to missionary work: 
       You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can`t count the apples in a seed. 

(let that one soak in)

-Elder Sanders

Photos: A few shots from the Talent show, the Chistmas dinner, the hand-card, the gargantuan moth we found in our house discovering the book of Mormon for the first time, and our `lovely` zone choir.  Enjoy!

I love you all and Merry Christmas

PS- what time should we do our Christmas phone call?

Week 71 !

Hello one and all! I´m VERY short on time today, due to a grand activity that we had in our zone!  And as says the title, we had our long lost thanksgiving dinner!  Odd, because instead of turkey we had Chelean-style Fettuchini with Chorisos mixed in, but still very VERY good!
Alright, since time at the moment is as precious as a loaf of bread during a famine, I shall give you this weeks news in stylish bullet points!

-Baptism indeed!  Yes, Patricia was officially confirmed!  And all her family came to church!  Not to mention, her R.M. brother from Guayaquil came down and did the ordinance himself!  So we´re celebrating, and not to mention, her 2 sons told us they want to be baptized too!  Plans are underway!

- Christmas to come! This Friday is our Christmas dinner with the mission president!  I´m also rather excited to give him a spiffy card I drew for him and his wife (attached)

-Changes! This is the last week of the change, so I hope we both get to stay together for Christmas!

-Caroling!  This Sunday, we left with our zone to sing to investigators!  It went well, especially since we had stylish home-made matching scarves!

-Christmas phone call!  YES! So, this Tuesday the 25th we are to Skype!  We just need to see what time will work out best, but we are pretty much good from the Morning up to 4 O´clock at night.

-Also! This Saturday, we are going to have English classes! Taught by the only Gringos in Latacunga: us!  So we hope it goes well, we are to do it to bring in member support and new investigators through our efforts

Well, it seems that is all that is going on for the moment, so unfortunately, I must sign out!  But, I must say, I loved the photos, and am super-jealous of all that delicious Christmas food that you had indulged!  (next year.... :)  )       But! Also thanks for the Talk, and I wish you all very well!  Good luck KT and congrats to all the new missionaries about to encounter the world!

-Elder Sanders

-A sketch I did in my companion´s memory book
- The baptism!
-Us eating late night hotdogs with two of the first counselor´s boys
- Our mighty thanksgiving lunch
- Most of our zone, ready to sing our lungs out!

¡Hasta Ver!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Week 70 - 34 left ! Wonderful Sunday !

 Edens view from his bedroom !the back: some trees, a cathedral, and in the back: A Volcano!

Edens view from his apartment ! the front with a cobble stone city street,
 He loves to cook ! Cant wait to taste all his new recipes :)

SO!  One and all!  We have had another joyous week! 

So, just so you all know:  THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE!!!

  I did take photos!  I did eat candy!  I did sketch much!  So, although it feels as if Christmas morn has come a bit early, I am just peached to know that all went well!  And for that matter, I TOO am sending a letter full of hand-paintings for you guys, kind of like the one last year, so that should be there in about a month or less.

Ok, so news of the week!  Well, I think I`ll just skip to Sunday! For it seems that is where all the good stuff happened.

So, in the morning, we passed by Gisela , the one who 3 weeks ago was baptized, yet never confirmed.  We arrived, and found her outside, in pajamas and sandals, and she expressed to us how once again (fourth time!) she could not attend church, and her much-needed confirmation would have to wait another week.  So, feeling that I would not leave there without her, I explained how every week `things` would get in the way to not let her attend church, that the adversary was doing all in his power so that she could not get confirmed, and that would keep happening each week until she took a step of faith/sacrifice to attend.  But, we did leave without her, heavy-hearted.     BUT- about 20 minutes into sacrament meeting, my companion burst in surprise, and motioned for me to look back, and there!  In neat clothing, hair washed, was her!    We were astounded!  So, she was confirmed, and THEN!  (yeah, there`s more!)  she went up to bear her testimony, odd because she`s REALLY shy, and literally sobbing said she was thankful for the help of the members, and the missionaries (Super Feel-Goods) and shared how the gospel had helped her marriage.

So, that was probably the best part of the week, not to mention that Sunday we also had SEVEN investigators attend!  Which is lovely because normally only 1 or 2 attend each week, so...  I think I can safely say that your fasting for our investigators truly worked wonders!  THANK-YOU on their behalf...

And I did get to go the Christmas devotional, and it was mighty!  We got to make a `gringo` room for the english speakers, and after we sung some carols in Spanish!   So it was  very nice...

Hm. It seems I`m short on time!  So, until next week to all! I have places to go and people to convert!

-Elder Sanders

PHOTOS:  Well, it seems we`ve done a lot of cooking this week!  A man-sized  Hash brown/Keish pie and me making some Patacones, which are rather like thick, mighty banana chips.  Also, 2 views from our house: the front with a cobble stone city street, and the back: some trees, a cathedral, and in the back: A Volcano!  Ha ha!  Until next time!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Week #69 has 35 left

Hello family! 

This has been a good week, plenty of lessons and the work of the lord is progressing!

So first off, it sounds as if Thanksgiving was a blast!  What would I do for some of that food here, apple pie, gravy, turkey, and more!  Actually, we`ve been making instant mashed potatoes about every other day in our sector, and they are just wonderful!  Or for that matter, we`ve been eating and cooking like kings!  Hash-browns, french toast, spaghetti, and Monte-Cristo sandwiches!  (for those that don`t know, it`s a ham/egg/cheese sandwich, dunked in pancake batter, deep fried, and then sprinkled with powdered sugar and syrup!  You sure feel guilty while cooking it, but once tongue meets sandwich- MMM!!!)

And, unfortunately for us, there was a member family planning on making the zone a thanksgiving dinner, but at the last minute they flaked out!  So my first thanksgiving  was without the, well, Thanksgiving dinner!  :-/

But other than that...

First on our list of events is a confirmation of Jorge Arequipa,  the member that was baptized 3 weeks ago!  But, as happy as we were, only he was confirmed and not his wife!  I guess that morning she felt rushed and oppressed to do, and didn`t go to church, but that  night we were able to visit with her and now she seems alright again, so NEXT week she`ll be as clean as  snow!

And as of right now, here are our investigators:
-Patricia Maldonado, a sweet mom from the coast who had listened to the Elder`s earlier and now lives here, and has a burning passion to enter the waters of baptism!  Her husband and sons are soon to follow!

-Jaime , a dad of a family composed of members that were baptized about 6 months ago, but he never did.  For many weeks, we had been trying to get him to church, and he never did, BUT last week we shared a powerful lesson on the atonement and how we go to church to show Christ we`re grateful and respectful for his sacrifice for us, and what happened on Sunday?  HE WAS THERE!!!   We were rather surprised and happy that he pulled through for The Lord!

- Family V  was a reference who we taught in the hospital 3 weeks ago, and now we are visiting him!  He doesn`t have a baptismal date yet, because he`s still recuperating, but we hope he can soon!

-Lorenzo , brother of a new convert, he wants to be baptized but works about 90% of the time available in a week, quite literally, but once we find him, he`ll be good to go!

So, those are the ones were focusing on for the moment, just to give you all a taste of who we`re working with, so keep them in your prayers too!

Well, that`s all the news for the moment, for I`m a little low on time due to some radical shirts my companion and I made with the first counselor, (who works on the first floor of where we live), and they turned out just MEATY!!! I`ll see if I can wear that new tie to a training meeting sometime...

SO!  Keep your scripture goals thriving, enjoy the most gnarly Christmas tree the Sanders house has ever experienced, and be thankful!

Elder Sanders

Hm.. Spiritual thought:  What if you woke up one morning and only had the things that you had prayed you were thankful for, and everything you neglected to thank God for had vanished? 
                    -Is this not how we should always pray?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week # 68 -Latacunga 36 wks to go

Hello!  Well, Here I am! 

This has been a good week! Full of many good surprises and few disappointments! (and I only have little time today, so I`ll write fast!)

But first, sounds like all is well in Utah, plenty of snow, and work!  Yes, it`s too bad Romney didn`t win the election, but I guess that means the church won`t have as much opposition now!

Alright, so the big news:  The Family Areq are baptized! YES!  We had to work around many things to get everything ready, but they were indeed baptized. And the service turned out to be really spiritual too, many members showed up, and at the end, the wife was crying.  So, we were pleased.  But, unfortunately, due to an emergency funeral service, they were unable to be confirmed Sunday, so we`ll be doing that the next week.

So, I`m well!  We`re working, and tired, and doing just swell together!  And actually, in this sector it rains a lot.  So, just a smidge cold, but Sunday, during church, it actually started raining so hard that the power went out, and both the streets outside turned into powerful rivers over a foot deep in water!  Neat huh?  It was actually kind of nice because we said it just cleansed out the street filth of the `Mama Negra` celebrations.  And because of the `Mama Negra` Parade, we got to spend the day in Ambato with the zone leaders, (actually, it was with Elder Galloway, Mom`s mission mom friend`s son) 

So, we got to do some lessons, and we had a baptism with him that night.  And then... we had to empty the font with buckets so it could drain quickly, because the baptism ended really late and we had to get home.  We had made a 3-man bucket hauling train to the bathroom when just as the font was about empty.. . *CRASH!*  The poorly made Ecuadorian sinks could not handle so much water and it broke free of it`s glued frame and shattered to pieces!  So, it was a surprise for us, but we did take responsibility for our mess!

And it does seem Thanksgiving is around the bend... I think our zone is going to do a dinner this Thursday during our zone meeting.  So we hope it does go well!  OH! And thanks for the donuts  recipe, we`ll be sure to try it sometime soon!

So, I`ll be expecting your package, and YOU TOO will be expecting one also... YES!  I did send you all a Christmas package today!  It should arrive there just in time for Christmas!  It`s not as big as I`d like it to be, but I know you`ll like it nonetheless.

But, we do have a couple new families with a baptismal date!  But, I think they lost it because no one could attend church Sunday!  Much opposition indeed!  But this week, we have a couple new references to work with, and one of them we have been teaching in the hospital!  Apparently he had dirt and rocks in his system due to bad food, but for the past week we`ve been teaching him and his family, and he`s very interested!  We hope his surgery goes well!

Well, I think that`s all I can give for the moment, but have a spiffing week!

-Elder Sanders

PHOTOS: Baptism of the familia areq, what I imagine would happen if we contacted Carl Frederikson from UP, and a 10 min. sketch of President Monson ( our neighbor makes T-Shirts and I want to put it on a Tie!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

week # 67 Latacunga


  How are you all this fine evening?  Over here, it`s rather rainy.  BUT- I do hear it`s been just a smidge more troublesome with the weather over in the US, right?  Super storm Sandy actually has been part of the news down here too! So luckily, I have been informed and I am as pleased as a peach that our cousins in New York are doing alright! Er, mostly.  Good to hear they`re all safe is a better response.(My companion and I are keeping you all in our prayers!)

And what fun at home!  I loved your guy`s costumes, (especially yours chantel! That rocked !), it looks as if all is good over yonder!  And Barbara Quittner, I got your letter!  I guess it don`t know if I mentioned that before, but I did thoroughly enjoy it!

But, it`s been very fine here in Latacunga, we have a handful of investigators, but this sector is full of opposition!  And the opposition isn`t in teaching, but in just trying to get lessons!  This is the largest sector in the mission, and A LOT of our time is dedicated to just traveling to visit investigators, and if they`re not home, we lose a lot of time!  Plus, we don`t have a cell phone!  So, it`s been a little harder, but at the same time, really good!  We received about 11 references last week!  Yes, about half of them were `duds`, but it`s still good that the members are willing to work with us!  (which, By the way, woot for Dad for looking to share the gospel to friends and airport travelers, and we meet people like that Jehovah`s witness member practically every day!)

Ah, what else?  So, we didn`t have baptisms this last week because we didn`t have the baptismal interviews!  So, we have the baptisms for the Familia A planned for this next Friday, so it all should go well. 

And this next week, Latacunga will be celebrating something called ¨Mama Negra´ where someone paints them self like a richly adorned jet black skinned woman, and leads a parade down the streets of the city, full of parties, fireworks, and celebrating.  I guess it somehow connects back to a time 200 or so years ago when the virgin Mary appeared and stopped the local volcanoes from erupting, but I am not too sure how that relates to a parade led by a black lady? Odd origins I suppose. Oh well!  I guess the party gets pretty riotous, so we`ll have to spend the weekend with other missionaries outside of our city!

BUT!  It was a good week, Sacrament meeting was really spiritual during testimony meeting, and our neighbors cooked Cui, guinea pig :( (and Ashlyne don`t read this next sentence!) as twisted and funny as it sounds, to kill them they hung them outside on the water spout!  Like an 18th century executioner!  That was a Sunday morning surprise...

So, it`s been good.  And I`m sending some photos!  One of me in front of our sector and my companion eating Granadilla (super good!)

Until next week!

-Elder Sanders

Week # 66 from Latacunga

Here I am! 

 Calling in from Latacunga!  So, it`s been a fine week, and as fine as it was, I don`t think I have too many big stories, but it was definitely pleasant! 

So first off, congrats to Courtney Evans!  A mission faithfully completed!  It sounds like it went wonderfully, and good to hear the family is doing well too. 

So, you may ask what`s going on in our sector? Well, first off, we live in a nice little apartment, and our building consists solely of members!  Yes, it`s only 2 other families, but still nice.  One is our ward mission leader, and the other has a T-shirt store on the first floor where he makes, prints, and sews his own soccer tees, and pretty soon we`re going to commission him to do another zone T-Shirt!  We thought I`d be fun to do the one from the general conference talk from Ann Dibb, the one that says, `I`m a Mormon. And you?¨
It would be great!  Where we live is just full of stores, catholic cathedrals, and many hills and parks, but if you venture out a little, it`s just pure flat  land with some scattered trees, not to mention the towering volcanoes that hovers above the city!  It`s great!  But I don`t think we`ll be seeing any eruptions any time soon,

And!  As for investigators, right now we`re working with some families, the family Are, and the family G The family Are are what missionaries call, `un familia de oro` or for those that only speak gringo: golden family .  And they have plans to be baptized this Saturday!  YES!!! As of now, they`re testimonies are doing well, but they have some marriage issues that they still need to resolve, so pray for them that they can overcome past errors to change into better people!  And the family G, well, they love to listen to us, but they changed houses and we don`t know where!  We`ve been trying to get a hold of them by phone, but we`ve been a little out of luck.  But I think sooner or later, we`ll find them again and see how their doing with their Book of Mormon study.

  So, those are the main things that happened, we had a small ward activity, found some new families, and I`m just trying to train my companion while he trains me on the new sector. 

Hm.  I feel my mind is refusing to give you information!  Think! 

        WELL!  I do have one more thing that my companion and I are going to try out, which is based on a big story given to me by Elder Housley, but essentially it entails the story of how 2 missionaries purged their lives in order to have the FULL company of the spirit.  How? They started with a fast, and wrote a big list of all the things that kept the spirit away, or that simply distracted them from feeling the spirit (such as playing golf Mondays, speaking sarcastically to thier companions, obeying all the mission rules etc etc) and then did a 40 day fast of all those listed items.  And what happened?  Their most basic desires changed, and they became spirit weilding druids!  They had a flood of baptisms and really big spiritual experiences happened many times a day. 
And so, Elder Kingsford and I are putting the challenge to the test, just today I finished my fast and have made my list of things that inhibit me from having the spirit at times, and starting today, we are going to purge ourselves!  So, I`ll give you updates every now and then on how that goes, so wish us luck!

Well, good to hear that all is well, and I shall write later.  But first, some quotes!

                     ´If it is to be, it`s up to me.`

             `I cannot teach a man anything, I can only help him to find it within himself.´  -Galileo

 `I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it my primary and chief duty to accomplish small and humble tasks as they were great and noble. The world is not just moved along by the mighty shoves of it`s heroes, but also by aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.`        -Helen Keller

 -Elder Sanders

PS: Hooray!  The camera is at last coming!  So, in the box, I always do primarily love letters and photos from you guys at home, but you could also toss in some things like: beef jerky, root beer extract (yeah, I can make it down here with carbonated water!), and any art supply. It could be markers, pencils, or it could be a pocket sketchbook, but make it a surprise! 

Week # 65 Return to AMBATO !!!


Dearest friends and family!

Sorry my email was a bit delayed, but before all: I am fine and made it to my new sector and new companion!

Alright! Now, where to start?    So, I have returned to Ambato, the zone I was in last April!  But, a new sector, actually the largest one in the mission if I understand correctly, and it is just peachy!   And not only that, I am now a father again!  Yes, I am finishing the training of a new missionary!  Dear Elder Kingsford is now my companion, soaring in from Bountiful Utah, and we are just doing swell.  I´m writing late because Monday I was on the bus all day, literally from the morning, to the night time.  It was RATHER LONG.  But, I made it to Quito, met up with my new companion, and stayed with some other missionaries, and the next day was the new-missionary-verification.  So we were in training meetings all of Tuesday, and then, at last, we got to leave this morning and now we are here in our sector! 

Whew, so those are the recent news.   BUT! I would love to share some past highlights of last week!

-First, we had a baptism!  Yes, in the family V, the parents are still lacking papers to be married, but their 11 year old son was completely ready to be a member, so we asked him if he wanted to be baptized that weekend, and he agreed!  So Saturday we got to have our last baptism of Lago Agrio, and he was confirmed Sunday.  It was rather sad to have to leave all of my investigators, but I know that they´ll be in good hands.  (and I´ll get some photos of the baptism as soon as I write to the other missionaries to send them to me)

-AND! Great experience.  Usually, in Ecuador, every time you get on a bus there´s always someone in the front selling something or preaching or asking for money or something, and last Tuesday there was someone who stood up the front and starting speaking.  I was far back and couldn´t hear what he was saying, but saw he had a ´Watchtower´, the magazine of the Jehovah´s witness religion, and thought he was just preaching.  And then, I noticed he also had a magazine from our church too, and then when he started walking down the bus with a hand outstretched for some money, I thought I´d see if I could get a teaching opportunity from him.  Well, turns out I started speaking to him, and he was a tourist from Peru who got stranded in Ecuador because the day before he got mugged, beaten and lost all his possessions that he had with him, and was just looking for a coat or something for the long trip ahead. (and even worse, it all happened on his birthday!) He had received some money from other people and the church magazine from a member (spirit points!), but we told him our house was nearby and we´d see if we could bring him something to help.  And we did!  We stopped at home, made him a ´travel bag´ with food and clothes, and a half an hour later we very luckily found him again outside on the sidewalk. (small prayer answered) We gave him the bag, then thought we´d get him some food, and we ended up taking him to restaurant.  It turned out he hadn´t eaten or drunken all day and was very grateful for the help.  We fed him, helped him count out the money he collected on the bus, and shared with him about who we were and a little about the restoration and the book of Mormon.  And later, something impacted him, and he told us, ´I want to read the Book of Mormon´  WOW! Without even explaining what it was!  We quickly got him a copy, helped him get ready to leave to Peru, wrote down his name, direction, and showed him how to find the church in his country.  
So, all in all, it was a very VERY special experience for us, and from our good efforts in little than an hour he had a burning desire to learn about our church.  Your modern day good Samaritan story!

Ah, yes.  So those are the big news of the week, we hope that we´ll be able to have success here, and that I´ll be able to adjust from hottest zone in mission to one of the coldest!  Whew! 

Stay spiffin!

.-Elder Sanders

PS- President Ghent s wife told me that her daughter will coming to Ecuador in a couple of weeks, and that you can send me a camera with her! So, be expecting an email in a day or so in how to coordinate that.

PSS-  Did I say it before?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!
I hope you got the photo from sister Ghent of us and the birthday sign!

Week # 64 leaving Lago Agrio

Hello one and all!

 Here I am, enjoying what is to be known as my last official preparation day here in Lago Agrio!  Do you wish to know why? 

YES, once again we have received emergency changes!  Egads!  So, how it`s going to flow is that last Friday 2 new Elders came down to work with us, Elder Cantera from Uraguay and Elder Carrasco from Peru, who will will work with and train for a week, and then they will take our places!  So Elder Plùa and I will be shipped off to other zones to work!  From what I know, we`re getting changes because of a mix of things: missionaries finishing their missions and heading home with us filling their places, possible danger for `Gringos` in the areas by Columbia from a Colombian political group (I don`t really remember what their deal is, but, oh well!) and from what I suspect, disobedience too!   So from a mix of things, I will be leaving the beloved jungle-city next Monday, the 22, and will be heading off to a new sector! I`m not sure where, but I^ll be there!

So, that was the biggest news of the week, but I may also have something that may be it`s equivalent:  Baptism!!!
Yes, this last Friday our investigator Joana  was officially baptized and confirmed after 3 months of work and 3 sets of missionaries!  We got to baptize her in a river, and it turned out wonderfully, although it was really rainy, and we only had a handful of people attend, it still was a very very neat experience. 

 Plus!  Our baptism we had 2 weeks ago, Angela the 8 year old, was finally confirmed!  And not only that, we had 2 baby blessings Sunday also!  One of some members, and the other: A family of part investigator part less active too!  So many spiritual bonus points for us indeed! 

Ok, so right now we are doing very well with the missionary work, for we doth have 3 families with a baptismal date!  2 of them we`re planning to baptize on the 20th, but they just need to get married!  (we`re so close, if everything goes well it should happen this Wednesday!) and lastly the family Gong they are a lovely couple who had listened to the missionaries before, whom we contacted on the street.  After a week of teaching, they now have a testimony of the church and the book of mormon!  And even more, they had a spiritual experience with it too!  Normally, his wife has much difficulty reading because she has poor eyesight and needs glasses so  she doesn't gets horrible headaches, but one day she did not have her glasses, and happened to start reading in the Book of Mormon, and little did she know, she could read it perfectly !! and clearly!  WOW!  They were so excited when they shared the story with us!  Miracle !

And also: Interviews with President Ghent!  For those, we all traveled to Coca, met up with our zone leaders and then went to the hotel where President and Sister Ghent were waiting for us.  We got to sit outside in a gazebo by the poolside, and had some very refreshing interviews and a mini-training meeting with him.  All in all, it went well.  And actually, during the interviews, you kind of feel like the investigator in a lesson, where all you have to do is express a concern and they expound many answers for you through the scriptures, and all you need to do is sit there and absorb it all.    So it was a good weekend,
So this week my companion and I will both be training the 2 other Elders and then we`re off!  I will miss this sector, but my time has come!  Until next week dearest family!

-Elder Sanders

PLUS: Your letters this week were stupendous!  From the zoo to fishing to birthday joy!  What a fun week!  So, good to hear that the Evans are doing well, and good luck to Tanner in his mission,  and I hope Chantel feels better!  I`ll keep you all in mind, Ashylne Meikayla and Madison alike!  And you too Mom and Dad!
¡Les queiro mucho y espero que tengan una buenisima semana!

Oh yeah, PHOTOS!!! Yes, I am still without camera, here are  some pictures copied from my comp, so here`s a random batch from the past 3 weeks.  Enjoy! 
 (oh, BTW Ashylne your Bon-Bons were a hit! ¡Que Rico!)