Elder Sanders

Elder Sanders

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Home !!!!

Matthew 25:21

"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

Monday, June 24, 2013

My last Mission letter and testimony - Week 98, 1 week left. 8 days I'll be home !


Well well,

Before I get into my final testimony and all, I`d like to re-pass the week`s news! So, it`s true, this is my last letter to you guys! Monday and Tuesday I should follow the flight plans as says in the ticket, but I`ll call you if I can.

I also attached photos of some last minute activities. Here is me at the ECUATOR, at last! The whole purpose of ECUADOR!!! And other fun activities there, such as balancing an egg on a nail between the two poles of the earth. Good fun.

This honestly feels just like I`m having another change, and not finishing the mission. I`m content, happy, and most important, working. I`m really just trying to do as the scriptures say, `Perseverar hasta el fin.` or say, Endure to the End. And I will!

I was really moved by the mighty capitalization that we saw Sunday from the Prophet and first presidency of the church. I REALLY HOPE that EVERYONE at home saw it, because for me, it was wonderful! (For those that didn`t get the chance, 
It seems that there is a whole new world of missionary work to come forth, and the Lord truly is personally working with us to bring it forth. I did wonder why that one scripture from Daniel, the one about the stone cut from the mountain without hands, (which is a prophesy of the Lord`s church/work in the last days), was quoted about 6 times or so during general conference in May. Now I know why. With over 70,000 full time missionaries in the field, (and soon to by 70,001 with Chantel!!!!) the Restored Gospel of the Lord is bounding the land!

I cannot describe all the ways that the mission has blest me... I actually tried to make a list the other day, which consisted of 15 or so items. But it seems that the in the start of the mission, I began to gain a testimony. Before I left, I did believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the only true church on the Earth, or at least, just enough to go on a mission! But within months, as I TRULY felt the spirit, and TRULY learned and lived the doctrine, I actually gained a FIRM CONVICTION of the truthfulness of the restored gospel.

And that was only the beginning! By the spirit, and the spirit alone, did I learn that The Book of Mormon was a book from God, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ truly heals sins and changes people. Before my mission, I feel my testimony was based on human knowledge. Like Logic. It`s was logical the church was true. I thought that was enough, but as soon as you get a taste of the REAL power of God, you really know that just learning about something isn`t enough.  For me, it was a start, but a true testimony comes only by the spirit, and we must Seek the Spirit. Honest prayer, peaceful environment, and a true desire to know. that`s the formula! 
James 1:5, aIf any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that cgiveth to all men  liberally, and dupbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Step two of mission magic comes by means of Conversion. It`s possible to have a testimony, but not conversion. but it`s impossible to have a conversion without a testimony. Conversion is being true to Christ and his Restored Gospel in every moment of our lives, whether someone is watching or not, with intentions to obey not out of obligation, but of love for God and others. When one begins to be obedient to commandments, or in my case, mission rules, it seems you first do it out of obligation or duty. Good right? It`s a start. I learned that you should obey Commandments and rules not out of routine, or because it`s easy or correct by view of others, but obey because you Know God lives, that he will bless you, and you need no other reason to obey than by what it says in 3 Nephi 27:13

Behold I have given unto you myagospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you葉hat I came into the world to do thebwill of my Father, because my Father sent me.

The main motivation Christ had to obey His Father was from one reason: because God commanded him to do so. We should follow that example, to do God`s will just because God asks us to. That`s True Faith, to trust that everything will go well if we make sacrifices to keep his commandments and standards.

 And then blessings follow.  And just like it was stated yesterday in the conference:
When we act in faith, the blessings we receive are not what we expect they will be.  

And lastly. A week ago, whenever I thought about finishing my mission, my initial emotion was sorrow. Interesting, right? Sorrow to leave here. Everyone says a mission in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the BEST TWO YEARS of their life. Why? All you do in those 2 years is forget yourself (EX: abandon your name and take upon yourself Elder or Sister. Try to be a representative of Christ and his church, not yourself), serve others, and do nothing but study the gospel and live it. And the result is blessings, and happiness. Thus, the best 2 years. `How sad that it has to stop!` , I always thought.   Then, in the conference, I watched how members of the Church did deeds to help others come to happiness and the church, by being an example of Christ in all times, and in all places, and in all things (Mosiah 18:9).  And then I thought, I`m not going to be missionary in a week, but a member. MEMBERS CAN DO MISSION WORK!  Those best two years don`t have to stop!!!! And again, when one leaves on a mission, he receives a blessing called being `Set Apart`, in which they are literally set apart from the world, from the carnal, from evil and worldly things.  But when you finish the mission, you never receive a blessing that ends that period of being Set-Apart... it actually keeps on going! You can STAY set apart from the world!   Just like Christ said to his disciples, `Be in the world, and not of the world.`!

And That is what I Intend to Do.

I love you all, those I do know personally and those I do not.  You are all important to me.  And I will do all I can to ensure that every single one of you has the chance to hear of the Restored Gospel and prepare to meet God during this life.  My wish is that all you make it to the Celestial Kingdom, and the only way that is possible, is by these conditions:
  19 And ano unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his brest save it be those who have cwashedtheir garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
20 Now this is the commandment: aRepent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and bebbaptized in my name, that ye may be csanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may standdspotlessbefore me at the last day.
21Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is myagospel; and ye know the things that ye mustdoin my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
22Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

This scripture came from the mouth of Jesus Christ, and was written by ancient prophets and is recorded in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I share it every week, because I know that only what it says is true, but that the Book itself is true.

Pray everyday to fortify your testimony of Christ, the Book of Mormon, the Church, and your faith.

These years have been wondrous! I`ve had both the best and worst experiences of my whole life here!  I cannot wait to share my testimony in person!

Good bye from Ecuador !
Until the airport,

Elder Sanders.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My penultimate letter, Week 97, 2 weeks left. Ill be home July 2nd

Well well well! You know it!  This is my penultimate letter, or say, second to last, for those not yet used to large unimportant words. :)

Dearest family and friends!  This has been a fine week!  And it sounds like everyone is more excited for my arrival than I am!  I feel that the reality of me finishing the mission hasn`t quite `hit me` yet. But that`s alright!  I`m not as trunky!
So, me and Elder Ospina have been working well!  We have 3 people with a specific date for baptism, and are working with a couple others to do the same.  Our next service will actually be my last Saturday in the mission, with good old Luis and Mario.  

Luis is great!  He is to be wed in a week! But alas! Problems with his marriage papers!  And he has just begun his driver`s license course, and can only find him on the weekends!  Just when it seems mission work is just slip-n-slide of fun, you realize that your plastic tarp in not laid upon an American lawn of sweet mattress like grass, but a rocky field of cactus barbs and gravel! Opposition has struck every single one one of my converts!  And once again, we will face opposition and slap evil right in the face!  (So we are resolving those problems very quickly)

And Mario, is just... well.. rolling!  He should be good to go in no time.

And so, with the mission split and everything, we did have some changes!  And today, Elder Ospina and I will be receiving a THIRD companion!  Yes... just like the Triforce we shall be a Force to be Tried with! Ha Ha!  (pun AND zelda reference... I still do have an inner nerd!)

His name is Elder Alcarraz, and he should get to our sector in about 30 minutes.  So we hope all goes well!  We still need to find a third bed though....  we`ll try to get one by sundown.

But, I really think I see these last 2 weeks as 2 more weeks on the potter`s wheel.  Never before will I be in such a high spiritually plane such as the mission, and I need to use every moment I have left to bring about the last changes needed for real life!  So, when anyone of you leave on your mission, always remember that!  The mission is meant to CHANGE you!  Both in an increased testimony as a more advanced conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  What a great opportunity it is to come here, and have no limits of progression!  The only thing that can limit you is yourself.    But it`s true, we can do that when we`re at home as a normal Latter-Day Saint, but I will say, nothing like it is being SET APART from the world!  It almost seems like the phrase being in the world, but not of the world really takes on a more literal meaning.  We don`t even have time to meddle or think or speak about worldly things such as movies or sports or politics, which is great, because all my desires to do things of that nature have greatly diminished.  Not that they`re bad things, but just as an apostle said, many of them are just `Idle Pursuits`, and halt us from heeding toward eternal progression.   

So, if we can always put things such as personal prayer, scripture study, and sabbath day observance BEFORE all that worldly stuff, then All Is Well in Zion!  Because don`t get me wrong, Movies are great!  Drawing superheroes is great! Working as a creative director at Trafalga is great!  But ONLY when placed in the right order in the chart of Eternal priorities.

SO! Do wholesome things, choose the right, and may you all have a great and stirring week!

-Elder Sanders

PHOTOS!- Me and good comp at a baptismal service in our zone,and us with some other missionaries, making them a delicious Ecuadorian

griddle-style Quiche as a reward for having the most street contacts last Saturday.  All is well,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 10, 2013 Week 96, 3 weeks left

You had better believe it! I just feel as great as a grape! (which are pretty great by the way...)

So this has been a rather busy week, but quite well.  Elder Ospina and I are tearing it up here, making delicious exotic foods and trying not to get too Trunky! ( home sick )

To begin, Email Answers!:

1-I am fine, our week was fine, and our investigators are fine.  Hm.  At least, most of them are fine, but only one of them is GREAT!  And that is because only one has a baptismal date, good old Luis Z! He is to be wed in 2 weeks!  So we hope all goes well for him. And for everyone else, it`s usually pretty easy to find them during the week, and then when the clock tolls 12 on the transition from Saturday to Sunday, they all turn to dust and vanish! And they don`t materialize again until exactly 9:00 PM Sunday, because that`s when we are no longer outside of the house. So we hope that we can find them soon so that they can attend church!

2-What am I doing for the last 3 weeks?  Well, I plan to bring others to Christ and the Atonement through the laws and ordinances of the gospel, or say, just plain missionary work.  I hope that just like a runner in a marathon, I can burst my lungs on the last stretch of the racetrack and live the end of my mission to the fullest.  And in fact, in our ward we have 2 great young lads preparing for missions also!  So great things are in store!

3-And although I live 40 minutes from the Ecuator, I have only seen it from a distance, but never visited it.  WHOOPS! I can`t leave Ecuador until I do that!  I`ll get to it soon enough! (And never fear Mom! I will buy your hammock!)

4-Well, the reason that no one knows about the travel plans is because they haven`t bought the plane tickets yet!  I heard that we should be leaving Monday night, VERY LATE Monday night. But I`ll keep ya`ll informed.

So, that`s the news!  It seems that especially today I`ve been getting really longing for home, Brandon coming home from his mission, 4 other missionary's in my zone finishing, and so on and so forth.  But I`m glad you all have planned how it`s going to be when I get back, because I have no idea!   (Ugh, there`s this guy sitting next to me with the worst rat-tail haircut if you know what I mean... poor guy)

But with some events for the week, it seems that Ecuador just can`t stop making poor power lines. Remember the story of how the transformer exploded 2 weeks ago? Well, this morning, whilst we were studying in our house, FOUR OF THEM EXPLODED!  Within the course of an hour, from different directions from our house, making our lights go out 
for a few seconds on each one.  (That must mean there must be 4 more pigeon grilled delights out there in the street for some lucky street vender!)

But, leaving the unnecessary topics, this has been a fine week.  I`ve been seeing many efforts made by myself to share my testimony with the world. It seems that lately, we`ve been having the knack to teach families in which everyone is a member with the exception of the dad.  And every single father seems to be clinging on to the doctrine of Nehor, saying such things as: `Oh, I don`t believe in a true church. Everyone says their`s is true, has their own bible, and believes in God.  I think that all Christians will just be saved, so long as you believe in God.`   WRONG.   What about baptism? Temple work? The fulness of the Gospel? Hasn`t anyone read 
Matthew 7:21-23?
 21 ¶Not every one that asaith unto me, bLord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that cdoeth the dwill of my Father which is in eheaven.
 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we notaprophesied in thy name? and in thy bname have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 23 aAnd then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: bdepartfrom me, ye that work ciniquity.

These poor husbands are so wrapped up in their personal pride, that they don`t even believe their own wife and kids when they say Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true.  Life would be so much better if they just gave them a chance!  But, one way or another, they`ll get there.  In fact, that`s how it is with Luis Z!  His wife had been inactive for a while, and he always didn`t feel baptism was necessary yet.  Until now!  That`s one down, four to go!  (Yes, we have 4 other families with the similar situation) And every time, my testimony burns like a mighty forest fire!  

Well, stay true to the truth, read your scriptures, and like the apostles, always be ready to give your testimony in any moment, and in any time.

-Elder Sanders

PHOTOS!: Here is part ONE,

Some shots of the baptisms of the family Cortez, us with some rad new tie knots, my companion after cooking delicious potato balls filled with meat and vegetables,


-Elder Sanders 2x

Week 95 , Mountain Cayambre 4 weeks left

Well well, greetings to one and all!  But I`m sorry to say, that today we had a mega activity, and arrived incredulously late, and thus have no time to write!  We went as a zone up to Cayambe, which is a giant mountain (for once, not a giant active volcano! That`s a first...) which is absolutely cold, wondrous, full of snow, and mystically enthralling! I`ll send photos and I will un-thaw my camera...    ...that was a joke!   

Us in Cayambe, yet another majestic mountian of Ecuador.  TWAS QUITE FREEZING!  You can`t tell, but the reason we are screaming in half the photos is because the wind was so strong it could have easily knocked you over (and carried you to distant and daring lands... )  

But what I can say is that: Robert C was baptized!  And then he baptized his 2 daughters!  What great news!

-Tomorrow is my last Leaders council, and I will get to bear one of many `last testimonies`

-And Elder Ospina and I are just doing swell, life is going quite well.

Well, I`ll see if I can get some photos, but for the moment: 

-Elder Sanders

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week # 94, 5 weeks, 35 days LEFT !!!

Why, Hello UTAH!

   This has been a swell week, but it`s always weird getting a new companion, changing all the patterns of behavior, inside jokes, way of doing things, and stuff. It always takes a week or so to re-adjust to each other, but so far, we are just doing peachy!
But, let`s get to know Elder Ospina: He has 2 years of membership in the church and 9 months in the mission, he is the only member of his family, and is from Meyelling, Columbia. (I hope that`s how to spell it, it`s pronounced like May-Day-Zzzhhing! Rather like a quote from an action movie or something)  This is his first time as a zone leader, and is a pretty calm guy. He`s good.

SO!   Let`s start with Email Questions!

1- About the release date!  I assume it`s July first, but my paper last week said June 28th.  And I`m unsure when I get my official flight plan papers... maybe next week during our zone leader council. I guess we`ll see! (35 days!)

2- Yes, I got the school schedule, and it doth look good! Thank you Chantel and your rad planning skills!

3- A mighty congratulations to every one of my sisters for their grand extracurricular extravaganza! You are all making me so proud!  Keep doing good things!  According to Elder Oaks, wholesome recreation brings variety, happiness, and relaxation to life, and are very necessary, just as air or food.

So it`s good to see everyone is well, and may I just wish a Very Merry
How wonderful! 

So why was this week so good?
6 People with a baptismal date and 7 that came to church!  It was very grand!  Here`s our current star players:

Family C: the father refused to be baptized for 14 years and his wife later became inactive, and then later their parents.  And then what happened? Two stalwart Elders came along, activated the parents, which activated the daughter, which renewed flow of blessings enticed the husband to be baptized.  And he wants to so bad!  He has been prepared for years!  So we are thrilled to baptize him and his 2 daughters this week!

Luis :  he`s a 35 year old son of an old investigator family we had.  He is very artistic, and very philosophical.  We say one thing to him, and takes that one simple thought, and complexifies it with bizarre comparisons and tangent theories.  But aside from that, he is great!  He truly needs to gospel. for his past life has led him quite astray, and now he is making a grand return.

Luis : Another husband of a less active wife.  He`s just good.

and last,

Mario :  The one we found while contacting last week.  Since we met him, he`s been diligent in reading and praying, and has great desires to guide his family to choose the right also.  If we can get him, then his family will follow.

So that`s the mission work here at the moment, and we also did a service project with a couple other Elders in Condado (one of them was Elder Housley!) We made waffles in an electric sandwich maker, (they turned out more like little pillows of happiness!), and went to do service moving bricks and shoveling sand and cement for the bishop building a new house. It was dusty and great!  And actually, right when we got got there, we went to knock and the door and before we knew: BAM! BLAM!
Had a couple of tanks gone off in the street? It sounded as if the electric box on the power line had exploded twice right in front of us.... AND IT DID!  Yes, two unfortunate pigeons landed on the cheap electrical box on the telephone pole and made it burst into a spray of sparks!  It didn`t blow into little pieces, but it did manage to literally FRY to poor birds!  It was quite the spectacle of the morning.

And as a final article for the week, a quote from our Annual Stake Priesthood Conference:

`People generally are happy, when they decide to be happy.`
-Abraham Lincoln
Elder Sanders the Brave

ps_these are the only photos I managed to take this week, it`s us making the most delicious homemade burritos ever known to Ecuador

!Boy Elder Sanders got some SUN !!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week # 93 The end is near 6 weeks left !

Greetings family!  Well, I do not much time to write today, for it is:


So what happened?!  Elder Bloxham is no more!  He has left to my old sector in Guamani!  And now I am with the mighty Elder Ospina, a fine lad from Columbia who has about 9 months in the mission.

But, I say the end is near because now my last Change in the mission has officially begun!  Like camping, it is `in-tents`!

SO! As for news, the family Z were at last baptized!  And may I say, one of the most spiritual baptisms I`ve ever had!  
All the testimonies were powerful, and all the messages as sweet as honey with brown sugar.

So! Instead of writing, I just have some photos:

-Me rather sad that Elder Bloxham has left me to fend for myself.

Until next week, I love ya all, now I must use the rest of my internet time to fill out my TRUNKY PAPERS as they are called.
(All the stats the mission needs to know so I can finish my mission.)

-Elder Sanders

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Week 92 Mothers Day , 7 weeks left !

Good evening one and all!

What a fine day it is to be here and writing to you! 

And might I say what a pleasure it was to speak to everyone yesterday!  It was good to see you all and hear your luxurious (yet 2-year aged) voices!  And that game of BOMB did make me quite jealous, for I may be the only one in Ecuador that knows about that game!  Perhaps I`ll teach it to the missionaries someday...  

    So I hope the call will keep you all in tune for the next 7 weeks, for it shall be a grand 7 weeks for me!

So, all in all, this has been a busy yet good week.  So you may ask, what happened?  Here we go!

-Marriage!  Yes, the family Z are officially married and ready to be baptized for this Saturday!  ( I would send photos, but just this morning my SD card got a virus and all my recent photos are trapped in an invisible jail cell of misery!)  So we`re way excited for them.

-Then, baptisms!  Not for us, but for a lovely little zone!  3 different sectors baptized thus ending a 4 week no-baptism drought, and this next Saturday we are expecting 7 more in the zone!  So all shall go well!

-Zone Interviews!  So, last Friday president Ghent and the assistants had a visit to our zone. We had a training meeting on how to teach lessons more effectively and had interviews with the President, which are always very refreshing.  And it is odd, the next time I have an interview with the President, It will be my last!  EGADS!  Not too many trunky thoughts for this letter!

-We also had an activity in Cangahua on Saturday, which is a sector of our zone up on the mountain, in which we left with all the members there to go `rescue` some 150 less active members!  We split off into about 10 groups, and conquered the area!  It was very nice indeed.

-And for a final announcement.. this is the last week of the change! Next Sunday are changes, and whoever will be my new companion will be (as the missionaries say) killing me!  The term kill as in they were my last companion in the mission, not literally nor in a bad way!  Just like your first sector is where you are `born`, so is the last sector where you `die`.  

So why would missionaries use these type of terms to describe mission life?  BECAUSE! The mission is just a mini-plan of salvation!  Our life before is related to pre-earth life, and after is just like post-earth life, and just as our life choices prepare us for the eternities, so will those 2 years be like a preparation for our home life.  The mission is just a life-preparer, in many ways!  So serving a full time mission faithfully will ensure that you can serve the rest of your mortal life faithfully!  Neat, right?

So this week we hope to find some new investigators and meet with many members!  And we are going to contact like crazy!  Many doors are just itching to have our soft knuckles rap them!  So we`ll share our success next week.


-Elder Sanders
And, a bonus mother`s day gift!  Tis a video from LDS.org, I hope you haven`t seen it yet, for you will enjoy it!

Sat. Activity

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It snowed ! week 91 / 8 weeks left

A great and mighty greeting to one and all!  It`s a pleasure to write you everyone once more!  

So, first things first!  
-Congrats to everyone that made the temple trip this last weekend!  What a great experience, our ward is going to go the temple at the end of the month, but it`s a shame that we won`t be able to go with them.
-And I`m greatly enjoying the spoils from last Monday!  I started to read the book you sent me for my birthday, about the continuous conversion, and it is great.  We also managed to find and buy a strawberry cheesecake on Monday to finish off the celebration, but unfortunately, I remembered we live in Ecuador and that $14 cheesecake was awful! Blaugh!  But we still had a jolly good time.

AND ALSO!  This Sunday is the Mother`s day call! So, we are going to do it in the afternoon, around 4:00, so be ready!   

And as a notice to the title of the email, we did get snow here in the Ecuador!  It`s just a little harder and more frozen, accompanied with a violent lightning storm.  Most people just call it hail.  So yes!  On Thursday our sector got totally destroyed!  (Not literally, but the storm was a once it a lifetime kind of thing!)  We had to run home through the cold little hail pellets, and it was rather like running through a hundred man air soft war, and then the front of our house turned into a river of ice and water!  And was sweeping mightily!  We were very glad we were inside.  I hope you enjoy the photos.

But aside from that fun day, we have to wait yet another week to baptize the Family Z!  They were just waiting for one of their clients from work to pay them so that they could get married, but the person didn`t show up until the weekend!  Too late!  The wedding place closes on Friday!  So we must wait another week, but they WILL BE BAPTIZED!

We also did find a sweet Haitian family last week, who consist of 2 sisters and a brother who are from Haiti, and whose mother lives in the Bahamas. During the first lessons, the eldest sister named D (french name) told us that only a week ago she had lost her baby daughter, and through the doctrine of Christ we explained about the plan of salvation and how living the gospel of Jesus Christ ensures that we can live with our families together forever.  And they accepted baptism!  All went well until Saturday, when D later explained that she actually felt anger towards God and would not attend church, but would keep listening to us.   So we hope this next week she will change her heart!

We also have been teaching a few other investigators, a family of Adventists from Peru, a husband of a less active member, and the 9 year of from the partial member family.  

So many good things are happening, but Elder Bloxham and I are striving for more!
  Lately, although we`ve been having success, we`ve been poorly using our time and not being as successful as we could be.  SO, once again, we are going to do a 40-day fast-like purification.  So, during fast Sunday, we made an extensive list of all the things that have been inhibiting us from being the best missionaries that we could be, and then covenanted that we would strive to Not do those things for the next 40 days, which is pretty much until the end of our missions.  So, we hope that by the process, we can be, in a sense, more purified.  We just started today, and will be updating you on how our process is doing.

Thank you all for your prayers and support, you all mean so much to me too!

-Elder Sanders

ps.photos: my last birthday cake of the mission, some shots of the hail storm that struck the city, and some homemade corn dogs we made today

Monday, April 22, 2013

A day and a life of a missionary, Week 90, 10 wks left

What a wonderful Week!

So to begin, I would just love to say...


Who knew? Paraguay!  It looks like we`ll all be Spanish-speaking-masters in no time at all, I bet everyone is way excited! I will spread the good news to everyone,   And I am very glad to hear that I`ll be able to get home to see her before the Grand Departure. Life is just an adventure of excitement!

 In accordance to the title of the email, this has been a very Rainy Week!  We`ve been traveling in cascades of water all week!  So we`ve been a bit wet, but happy. :)

So!  A news update on the family Z.  They haven`t got married yet, but they are doing their papers today and will be ready to marry late this week, and if all goes well, Baptized by Saturday!  So we are excited!  

We also have another person with a baptismal date named Luis Z (no family relation!)  He heard the missionaries a few years ago, and his wife is a less-active member.  So we hope that he`ll be able to progress and baptize! It seems as if he wants to know which church is true, and is just begging to be taught about Joseph Smith and the Restoration.  So we will be ready!  We go back this Wednesday.

Aside from that... hm.  Nothing really happened this week.   I`m just not too sure what to write on!

So... here is an overview of a normal day in Carclen, but Dramatized!:

´The day was tranquil, and the soft sky warmed as the sun brimmed above the skyline.  The early morning was quite serene, and we did find our two Elders peacefully dreaming soundly of memories of home.  But their serene sleep was shattered by the violent blaring of the alarm clock!  The Elders were recklessly launched out of their beds by gigantic hydrolic springs and they were cast to their knees onto the hard, cold, tile floor.  They shivered and blinked sore eyes, they were so tired!  But the time to rest was over, for the day had begun!

Hands clapped together and their groggy voices rang out in humble prayer.  But the prayer ended quick, good things cannot last for too long!  And they found themselves on their feet, straining their bodies in cruel exercise!  They breathed hard for the air was so cold and dry, but soon began to warm as blood began to speed through their numb limbs.  Then it was over!  Beads of sweat ensured that it was time to shower!  The electric shower head sparked and sputtered out smoke as cold water went through a pathetic heat transfer, issuing a slow trickle of warm water.  But it was enough to carry out the deed!  Within minutes the Elders were dressed in sharp, ironed suits.  With shining shoes and taut ties, they commenced to cook a mighty breakfast, but halfway through they realized their feast had robbed them of time, it was time to study!  

Dirty plates shattered as they were thrown into the sink, and the study sessions began!  Their minds became encased in an orb of spiritual energy, and they filled their craniums with precious, prized knowledge of the gospel wonders!  After hours of being enriched by this ritual, they stood stalwartly at the door.  It was time to head out!  Another prayer ensured the spirit would be with them during the day, and with a large stride they embraced the world!

The first item on the list was to contact.  They walked up to a mighty fortress, with tall spiked walls and heavy bolted doors.  They rapped three times upon the metal surface, and a figure partially emerged from one of the high towers above.  `How goest thou?!` yelled the stranger.  `WE BE MISSIONARIES!` came the reply.   In disgust and fear the fortress keeper slammed shut the partially open window. What a loss!  But they did not fear, for there were many more fortresses to be contacted! 10 houses gave the same raw rejection, but alas!  The eleventh house had been softened!  The bay doors opened and a heavy bridge dropped across the moat, and there stood a young family.  They let the Elders into their castle and they did teach them the wonders of the Gospel, and they were enlightened!  Veils of doubt were thrown from their heads so that their spiritual eyes could be opened, and though the light stung their retinas at the start, they did see the glory of the church as they adjusted to the new light!  

The first job was over, a new family had accepted the Gospel!

The next task that lay ahead of them was to teach the family with a baptismal date.   They continued onward, the noonday sun scorching their soft gringo skin, but they did accept it with joy!  Soon they found their way to the designed location, and did teach the family!  They were well and happy.

Only a few hours left in day!  Too late to contact, no lessons planned, what is a duo of missionaries to do?  Visit and strengthen the members of course!  On they go their abodes!  The houses are strong, but some of the bricks have become brittle as wafer cookies!  The missionaries Spackle the cracks with the cement of Family Home Evening, and build stronger their foundation! (gospel symbolism) The members become thrilled at our service and provide with them with more people to visit and teach, to the Elders they give maps and strategies of those that are lost in trenches who need their help and caribeaners! !  But they will have to wait until the next dawn, for the day is at it´s peak!

They rush home, knowing if they arrive late all our missionary powers will disparate!  The Elders made it on time, and throw heavy packs to the ground, and slam their planners to the table.  It is time for battle strategy!  They plot and plan until their attack strategy for the next day is complete! but their planning has gotten the better of them for it is time to return to their soft beds. They change out of their suits and into more comfortable clothes, but in bed they wiggle, they just have too much energy within them!  At last, they finish with one last prayer, and then feel the heavy waves of sleep drag their eyelids closed.  They switch on to sleep mode, and wrap into cocoon like shapes in their warm beds.  The day has been won, and lucky for them, another one waits in the morn!

Well!  I hoped you liked it!  that´s a day in the life of a missionary in Carcelen. 
Until next week!

-Elder Sanders

Monday, April 15, 2013

Zone leaders to the Max!‏ Week 89 , 11wks left

What a week it has been!  This has been a rather busy week for us, plenty of contacting, lessons, and other things to do!

So first off!  Responses to the letters!  So congrats to Mom and Dad, teaching Sunday school as power-teachers!  Those are always nice callings, and also it`s good to hear everyone else  is doing well also. And For Chantel! This Wednesday is the special day?  I`m betting that she`ll be serving stateside, and I`ll guess that it will by New York!  So let`s see if my predictions are prophetic!  The best of luck to ya!

As for the mission work here, much of the people here have rather hard hearts, but that makes the receptive ones just that much more special!  The best ones are the family Zam Vand his wife M, who have made incredible progression in these past 2 months.  This Friday, they are getting Married so they can get baptized on the 27th!  They are wonderful!  So they have by far been the examples for true investigators.  We are also working with a couple of other people, but they aren`t really progressing because we just can`t find them!  They are never home!  So we hope that we can target them down so they can accept our message into our lives.  Too often I feel people avoid us, which is odd because, who doesn`t want authorized Missionaries to visit their family?  By any means, it can only do people good.  So we`ll keep looking.

Alright, so it seems this week has had many lessons learned, especially in fast and prayer.  
Although it`s a little outside of mission work, I`ve been signing up for classes this week and very soon realized that I had been making graduation and career choices based on my own desires and knowledge, and had not included the Lord in making a career choice! I had always planned to go to BYU in the animation program, and everything would work out great.  It really dawned on me because my patriarchal blessing had always said that, but it never occurred to me to heed to it until now.  

So what`s a missionary to do?  D&C 8!
`You must study it out in your mind and in your heart, and then ask me if it is right' 

So that`s what I did!  (yes, my personal prayers have also been in part dedicated to investigators, so worry not, I am not trunky!) 
Daily, I have been praying to know if I should follow that career choice, and readily learned that receiving revelation is more than just asking a vague question from the beginning. I soon found that my prayers were not receiving answers because I hadn`t really tried to figure out for myself what to do, so I studied it out in my mind.  I considered my options, made a few plan options, prayed, and verified which would be right. And then at last, Sunday, right before church, the process was complete. I got an answer to my prayers
Armor of Righteousness

Catch the wave

Dwell in Gods light
It turns out that I`m alright  following into that career choice, and for the moment, it will be up to me to decide how I should plan it out.  

Just in like in Alma 45, `Do ye suppose that I know these things of myself? Behold, I have prayed and fasted many days to know these things are true.`

So, It works!  Even for something that isn`t spiritual, such as my case, but none the less necessary.  We must do ALL we can first, and then the Lord will fill in what we lack and cannot know for ourselves.

So I wish you all a happy week, and I wish thee all well!

-Elder Sanders

Photos: Conference Sketches!  They all relate to a talk that was given in the sessions, besides the bear-wombat thing, but all good!  And the other photo is us after playing Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee this morning, celebrating with a fresh batch of homemade chapel chocolate chip cookies.