Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was so cool! We had Christmas stuff! It was Gnar. It all started on Tuesday. Tuesday we went caroling! It was sweet! We visited investigators and less-actives and good stuff like that. Then came Wednesday. Also known as Christmas. The FIRST thing Elder Roe and I did was open our presents!! We put our beds around our little tree that my mom sent me and we had a blast! My parents got me a George Foreman Grill! that's probably the high light of what I got but ya'll will see pictures eventually of all that. Then after that we had a big zone breakfast at this rich lady's house. there were so many missionaries there! I made the hash browns :) After that we went and had lunch with a member then Skyped! That was one of the best parts of the day. Most people said it was kinda weird to see their families. I thought it was the most baller thing ever! Maybe it's just because I like to party. Anywho. After that we watched Ephraim's Rescue. Super Good.

Another fun thing. I'm getting transferred tomorrow to a SAMOAN WARD in LONG BEACH! Yeaaaa! I'm so excited! It's gunna be a super fun time I'm sure. That's my big news for this week. I'm probably going to get fat...Worth it...

I'm so excited to go to Long Beach. there are a ton of people there! I LOVE my mission so far. It has been the best thing I've ever done with my life and it'll keep getting better and better! I love all of you! Keep it real :D


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

This week was slow again. We worked hard though. We had some problems with sickness though. Elder Roe was sick for a few days during the week. There's a bug going around our zone right now. It's pretty rough. It only lasts a few days though. Also I had a dentists appointment so that didn't help. I'm not too upset though to be honest. Sometimes it gets to the point where I accept the fact that working hard does not always yield the fruits that I have in mind. Ideally every person I speak to will accept an invitation to learn more about the restored gospel. Ideally those people who accept the invitation will accept the invitation to be baptized. Ideally those people will follow through with that commitment and will be baptized and endure to the end. That doesn't always happen. As long as I am able to lay my head down at night knowing that I wanted to help others to come unto Christ and did my best to do so, no matter how flawed and imperfect those attempts were. Things will always get better. That is an eternal principal. Things will be better. they may not be better right when I want them to be but Heavenly Father promises us that we will be able to endure our trials and He does not lie. I know that things will improve and that we will find people to teach as long as we are obedient, as long as we work hard, and as long as we have faith. If we sow hard work and obedience we will reap success. 
I love all of ya'll. I'm so happy when I hear good things from anyone. I hope you have a great Christmas season and remember the Christ in Christmas!

Keep it real.

nosrednaS werdnA nosaJ redlE

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was slow but it's all good. We still had a good time. Elder Roe and I are all moved in to our apartment and now we finally have all the "essential" things. Such as trash cans that we didn't have before...That's cool though. We've been partying hard. They're kicking us off the computers right now so this is going to be a lame email but if you want a nice, detailed, interesting read you should pick up the Book of Mormon!
The Church is True, the Book is blue and I love every one of you!
Keeps it real.
Elder S.

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was sloooooooooooow. But that's okay. We still had fun. We moved into a new place. We got a nice condo all to ourselves so that's cool. Elder Roe and I are still together. It's hard to believe we've been comps for 4 months! I'm still here in beautiful Huntington Beach so life is great.

I've learned to true meaning of running of faith and duct tape. To be honest half the time I don't know entirely what I'm doing. We're in an area that has struggled for the last year or so and when we got here we had zero investigators and 1 month later of knocking on every door and talking to every person we see we now have.....1 investigator. Sometimes it doesn't seem to make sense at all. You would think that working hard as we can all day every day would yield a lot more fruit but that's not always true. The Lord has a bigger picture to look at sometimes and it's okay that I don't understand 100%. Some day it'll make sense and that's all that matters.

Keep being great! I love all of you!

Elder Sanderson!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear family and friends,

There are some events that are to transpire soon of great significance. In 1 month and 7 days, I will be able to make 1, just one, phone call. That being said we are going to have a contest to see who I get to call. I will be accepting care packages from now until December 20th. Send them to the California Long Beach Mission Office. Please stuff it to the brim with expensive delicacies and premium cracker and cheese tins. Also please place your preferred phone number inside in case I select you. Good luck to all.
I'm just kidding everyone knows I'm going to choose my parents. 
This week was good. We had a really cool experience meeting someone. My companion and I were walking to a potential investigator's house. As we were walking we saw a guy sitting in his front yard looking pretty bummed. We walked to him and began to talk with him. After talking for a little while he mentioned that his father had died a number of years ago. We began to teach and testify about the Plan of Salvation and how we can see our loved ones again. Instantly his attitude changed. He began to open up even more saying that he used to go to church with his family but now he has nobody to go with so he doesn't go. He told us how he has a strong faith in Jesus Christ. He even opened up enough to be willing to say a prayer with us, and offer it himself. If my companion and I had not made a goal that we would talk to everyone we see we likely would never have gotten to know Richard and we never would have been able to make an impact on his life.
Being a missionary has taught me a lot of things about how to help people. There are so many ways that we can help the people around us. I love being a missionary. I love helping others to come unto Christ. I'm grateful for all the love, support, and prayers. I would encourage all of you to seek out opportunities to help other people.
I love all of you. You better being keeping it real. I'll know if you aren't

Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dearest Family and Friends,

This week was sort of slow. By that I mean very slow. It was rough but it's okay because I'm still here and I'm still a missionary! I'm going to cut to the chase this week due to lack of time. I had an experience I would like to share with all you wonderful people.
We were out knocking one afternoon and we came across a lady who had tried attending an LDS church in her youth. She was raised Catholic but wanted nothing to do with that and she thinks it was all junk, as she thinks with all religion. Don't get me wrong, she was extremely nice, she just wasn't too interested in religion. We talked for a few minutes and we testified that our message is for everyone and that she can know for herself that it's true if she has the desire to. She said that she had already tried and declined. We asked if we could do anything else for her and she said no. We left the doorstep and went on to the next. I felt like there was something more we could have done. I kept feeling prompted to go back. Finally after feeling this prompting for a few houses more, I decided we'd go back and talk more to her. We went back and I said we didn't want to bother her but I wanted to ask her a question. I asked her if she had ever tried praying and asking God if he's there. She responded "I did. It didn't work." I tried my best to tell her that I know he's there and listening but it didn't change her mind. We left again and I wondered why I had been so heavily prompted to go back but yet it yielded nothing. I realized from this experience that we are to do many good things of our own free will and others will use their own free will too. I learned that as long as I listened to the spirit the Lord will trust me with more promptings. A lesson that unfortunately I had not learned yet through experience. I've been trying to listen more intently to the spirit and I've already seen so many blessings come from it.
I'm always grateful for the love and support I feel from each and every one of you. I love you all with all my heart and I am so grateful for my friendships with you.
I would feel weird if I didn't say "keep it real" at the end of this so....

Keep it real

Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week of November 5th, 2013

Things are going pretty good. We recently had all the ward boundaries in the Huntington Beach Stake get all rearranged and we ended up getting moved from our ward/area into one that 1) neither of us have ever been to before 2) we are sharing with another companionship of Elders and a trio of Sisters and 3) have absolutely no records for so it's been a real trial of faith. It's been tough and the last few days have been the worst days ever. We don't even have enough information on the ward to know who/where the members are. We've been working hard for the last few days and we hope that we'll be able to see some miracles. I'm trying to look at it with optomism but it's a hard thing to deal with. It doesn't help that every missionary I talk to it about says that it's a great learning experience when they have no idea how stressful and frusterating it is. But maybe I just need to be humbled and listen to their advice. On a positive note we got a car so we can drive into our area, seeing as we currently live with members outside of the ward we're serving in now. Hopefully I don't sound too negative because I'm still loving the work and we're still meeting really nice people. I still have high hopes for the area that we're serving in and I'm not too worried about things not turning out well.
In a few weeks we will be having the pleasure of hearing from Elder Alan F. Packer from the 70 here in our mission. I'm so pumped to hear him and I'm also going to be singing in the choir that they're putting together for it. We're going to be singing a really cool arrangment of "Praise to the Man" and "Joseph Smith's First Prayer". It should be a really cool experience.
I'm excited to really get crackin' in this new area, we've only been assigned to it for a few days now so we haven't had much time to work. I think that in time things will improve greatly here. There are tons of miracles just waiting to happen here. I'm looking forward to finding them.
I'm so grateful for all that you do to help and support me. There's absolutely no way I could do what I'm doing without the love and support I feel.
Elder S.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos

Como Estan? iEsta semana fue muy bien! 
Fun fact: I ordered a Spanish tag! Now I can trick the Hispanic people here that I speak Spanish and then give them glazed looks when they start to speak to me. 
This past week was pretty good. We had a really cool experience with teaching a guy named Darren. He's a really busy guy but he's also really receptive and he is able to feel the Holy Ghost when it's present. We went over to his house and began to teach him about the Restoration of the Gospel. He was receptive and he even agreed to watch the Restoration video! We are going back this week to speak with him and check up on his progress. It's been really cool to find people like him who are prepared and ready to hear the gospel. It's inspiring to see that the Lord truly does put people in the paths of his prepared servants. I'm so glad to be able to be engaged in such a great work as this. 
I've had some of the best experiences of my life while I've been here in California. I love my mission and I do not doubt at all that this is the best decision I've made and it's probably the best one I'll ever make. The blessings that come from missionary service reach far past just myself. For my service I know that you, my friends and family, are being blessed as well and that's what makes it so great. It does not matter what I get out of being a missionary it's all about what others are able to receive from my service. I can tell you right now if I was doing this for myself, it would be impossible but I'm not. I'm doing this for Heavenly Father's children and I'm doing it for Him. There is no greater work, there is no greater cause, and yet there is no greater reward than that of being in the service of our God.
My friends and family, keep smiling and keep it real.

Elder Sanderson

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Week of October 22nd

This week has been great. Elder Roe and I were able to see more success than in the last few weeks. We were able to have one really cool experience in particular. There is a less-active guy named Aaron we're working with who hasn't been to church in I don't even know how long. It's been years for sure. We visited Aaron with some members of the Elder's Quorum presidency when we went on a weekly split with them. Usually Aaron was a nice guy but wasn't too interested in coming back to church. This time, on the other hand, Aaron seemed different. He was not hesitant or defensive when it came to church, in fact this time he brought church attendance up. He said that he wants to come back to church but he doesn't want to go alone and he feels like it's too late and he's already disappointed God. I did my best to tell him that we would love to see him at church and that we would gladly wait for him and go into church with him. Also I tried my best to testify to him from my heart that it is never too late to go back to church and that Heavenly Father will never be disappointed in us if we make mistakes. I told him that Heavenly Father will always welcome his children back into the fold if they are willing.
I'm so glad that I'm able to make a positive impact in people's lives. I think back to all the times that others have impacted me and I can't help but want to do the same for others. I know I'm doing the Lord's work and I know that it needs to be done because there are people who need to hear this gospel. It's up to me to do my best to help them receive it.
I love you all and I'm so grateful to be able to be out here.
Elder Sanderson

Monday, October 14, 2013

My dear Friends and Family,

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord and to bring others to a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The calling of being a missionary is such a blessing and along with that call comes a lot of strength to overcome weakness. That being said, a tag is not a requirement for missionary work, a white shirt and tie is not the only uniform that missionaries can have. The call to share the gospel is not only extended to those who leave their homes for 2 years (or 18 months). The call to share the gospel is extended to every one. 
Now, is it the duty of every member to go out and proselyte all day every day? No. Does everyone need to spend all of their time, energy, and talents preaching? No. The Lord expects members of the church to be just that. Members of the church. Just remember that one of the things that we've agreed to is to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ.
I love all of you. I've began adopting a short phrase that a friend of mine named Elder Child. It is this: Keep smiling.
My beloved Friends and Family, Keep smiling. :)


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Conference weekend was great! We were blessed to be able to watch 10 hours of Prophets and Apostles!!! There's nothing better than that! We were able to hear so many great and powerful things from inspired men who truly speak the words that Heavenly Father gives them.
I received a fun call on Friday. Just a little background before I tell the story. This Tuesday is transfers. The Wednesday before transfers, the Assistants to the President make phone calls to those who have been selected to serve in leadership positions. I did not receive a call then. Okay, now that you know all that I will continue. I was sitting at my desk after I had finished eating lunch. I saw that Elder Dixon, one of the Assistants, was calling. I was confused but answered. "Hello, this is Elder Sanderson" I said. "Hello Elder Sanderson, this is Elder Dixon. I have a few questions for you." He said back. I was a little hesitant but I said "Okay" and he asked my the first question. He said "Why did the Lamanites knees hurt?" I replied with the obvious answer of "Because of all the Nephites!" We had a nice laugh and then he asked me the second and more important question. He asked me, told me rather, that I had been called to be a District Leader. I was very surprised, because as I said earlier, leadership calls were on Wednesdays and I never had anyone call me. Well, turns out the Assistants forgot to call me on Wednesday to tell me! So the lesson of this story is to be prepared for anything! I've been here for only 6 months now. As much as I would like to say that I am doing a good job here, I still don't know nearly as much as a District Leader should. I guess the Lord thinks that I can handle being a District Leader while training, and only being out for 6 months. If he thinks that, then I guess I have some work to do to get to the place where the Lord wants me to be. The Lord has great expectations and it's our job to do all that we can to meet those expectations. Luckily for us God knows we aren't perfect and only expects us to try our very hardest. For that I am very grateful.
I love all of you. I try my best to do magnify my efforts here in hopes that the Lord will bless my loved ones. I know that he will.
Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hello Friends and Families,

Hope ya'll are keepin it real. It was good to hear from so many of you this past week. For those who did not, I will forgive you. Don't let it happen again.
This past week was pretty nice. We had a good solid week of working hard. We didn't really have any appointment set up but we made the best lemonade that we could have from the lemons that were dealt to us and it was very enjoyable. The phrase "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is most likely one of the most used cliches to ever be used. That being said it is perhaps one of the most true. I can think of so many times in my life where I decided to, instead of making lemonade, wonder to myself 'why on earth do I even have these lemons? What could these dang lemons ever do for me?' Thinking like this is just outright silly. We may be able to justify it at the time but when it comes right down to it we can choose. "Wherefore men are free according to the choose liberty and eternal life" That's happiness. "or to choose captivity..." Unhappiness. (2 Ne 2:27) We can choose. Some of you may be thinking "You are being unreasonable, how can you just choose to be happy when something bad happens?" That's a difficult question. If I could answer it perfectly then there would be little need for me to have said the things that I have just said. Bad things happen. Of that I am quite aware. The way we choose to respond to trials determines how they play out. 
So on the subject of trials and what to do with them I would like to put my spin on the "lemons" cliche. When life gives you lemons ask for help to make lemonade. Remember that you are not alone. Remember that you have someone on your side. Remember that even if it seems like things are dark that we have someone who has endured more for our sake. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 17:33) We will have trials and tribulation but we are not alone in them. Alone it is impossible but with the help of our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ. It is.
I hope that everything is going well and that you all are doing great. I love all of ya'll!
Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Greetings family and friends,

How are you guys doing this week? I am hoping to hear from you all. 
This week has been great. We had some awesome experiences. We were able to attend a Training that was focused entirely on finding new investigators. It turned out to be just what we needed! We were able to have a great time trying to implement the things that we learned into our daily efforts.
One of the great experiences that we had was with a guy named Darren. He was a potential that we had been trying to visit. We had stopped by in the past, but he was always busy. We stopped by him a few days ago and he responded the same as always, that he wants to meet up but he's busy. We started talking with him and we asked him very simply, "why do you want to meet with us?", a question that seems to not accomplish much but helped him to open up and begin talking about how he was searching for the truth and everything. We answered a ton of questions for him and left him with a prayer. At the end of our meeting he said something to the effect of, "This didn't just happen. You guys are here for a reason". The Lord does prepare people and they are searching for truth. That's why it's so important to share this gospel with everyone.
I love all of you. You are all awesome. Keep it up!
Elder Sanderson :D

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hola mi familia y amigos

To start off I wish to tell of an experience I had not too long ago. The story of my first California haircut. In the past I have been able to get haircuts from other missionaries. When I got here in Huntington a month or so ago that was not the case. I went to a small barber shop and sat down. The lady asked my how I wanted it cut and I told her how I wanted it. She proceeded to cut my hair. She was quick and it was over surprisingly fast. This should have been my first red flag. She showed me my hair and it looked nice. I felt that it was good and so I paid and left. Upon further inspection I realized that the sides and back of my hair had been cut just fine but I saw that she had only blended in the top of my head. The top of my hair had not been cut at all. My bangs reached almost to my nose and I didn't want to go back to have it cut again out of fear of embarrassment. I had to do my best to get my hair in a good enough of a side-swept motion so as to hide the unmissionary-like length of my hair.
What on earth does that have to do with anything. It has very little relevance to anything, I just figured that ya'll were extremely interested.
This week was pretty good. We had much more lessons than usual! We were challenged to invite someone to be baptized this week and we did! She said no D: Just kidding she didn't really answer it very directly. She said that if the Book of Mormon was true then she would. So, in short she will probably be baptized soon because the Book of Mormon is true! But seriously, the Book of Mormon can really be an anchor for any situation. Do not be afraid to open it. No matter what your situation. Maybe you need help with a problem, maybe you need a voice of reason, maybe you're having a hard time with knowing if this church is really true. Never be afraid to turn to the Book of Mormon. It doesn't matter if you've read it a hundred times or if you've never even opened it before of your own free will. It doesn't matter if you grew up going to primary or if you've never stepped foot in a church before. It doesn't matter if you go to church every week or if you haven't gone to church for years. The Book of Mormon is not biased, it does not judge. The only thing that can keep you back from receiving answers from it is yourself. Read it and see if it does not speak to your very soul. I know it speaks to mine so the principal is the same for all of you.
To those of you who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, cherish the precious truths that bless you daily. To those who are not, try it for yourself and ask God if it's true. To those who have fallen away or those who feel as though the church has let them down, do not give up, remember that the Lord always welcomes change with open arms. The people may not be perfect by you can sure bet that the Lord is, and he's the one that runs this church.
I cannot express how much this gospel has blessed me. I know it blesses us all. Thank you for all that you do; for all the love and support. I cannot adequately express my love for each and every one of you. Nonetheless I will continue to try my best. My heart and prayers are with you all.
Much love,
Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My beloved friends and family,

I have come to the realization of something quite crucial. Something that I was quite sure of but had never yet confirmed my feelings about. I will elaborate. Not too long ago I took a trip to a nice place called Walmart. While I was shopping I came across an exceedingly curious food item. I looked at the label which read: "MEGA STUFF OREOS". I paused for but a moment, then made my choice; I purchased them and then was on my way. Normally this is where our story would end; but there's more. I arrived home later that day. I decided to give my new Mega Stuff Oreos a try. I opened the package and took out one of the overstuffed cookies. I took a bite and...Too much stuff! If there is one thing that I would say I am now extremely passionate about concerning food, I would say that it would be that Mega Stuff Oreos have too much stuff. Never in my life have I said that an oreo had too much filling, but that was before mega stuff. There are many of those reading this, I would indeed not doubt most, that may think such things as, "you're exaggerating" or "it can't be that much stuff". To those people who may think this way, I implore you to listen to reason. I was once in your shoes. It is too much stuff for one human to handle.
On an unrelated note things are going pretty well here. It's been in the high 80's, low 90's and that is considered the worst that it will ever be here so I'm not even mad. We were able to teach a few new people this week. Which is always good. It's been a little tough to find people to teach in this area so it's nice to see that our efforts are beginning to pay off.There's a gentleman we've taught a few times named John. He's very good friends with a few members of our ward. He's a very involved member of the church that he attends but is very nice and respectful. We stopped teaching him a few weeks ago because it seemed like he was just talking to us because he thought we were nice guys. Nevertheless, we talked to a member that he is friends with yesterday at church and he received a very interesting message from John. John expressed that he was confused as to why we stopped visiting him and he was saying that he really enjoyed the conversations we had about doctrine. It came as a bit of a shock to us. We were so glad that we were able to get through to him a little bit. Even if it was something as little as him saying that he enjoyed discussing doctrine with us, we were able to see that we were bringing the spirit into his life. We were so grateful that John had member friends who he could contact. Otherwise, we would have had no way of knowing that he still wanted to meet with us. Now, I'm not 100% sure if this means that things will begin to progress with John, but I do know that we helped him feel the spirit and increase his faith, That's honestly enough for me.Sometimes trying to do missionary work as a non full-time missionary can be like Oreos. While the creamy filling that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be delightful when put on the chocolaty, crunchy, foundation that comes from being raised in a good family, too much pushing or pressuring can cause the partaker to be overwhelmed, wanting nothing to do with that Oreo. Remember that the Lord works "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little." (2 Ne 28:30)I cannot manage to go a week without expressing my gratitude for each of you and for your love and support. I love each of you and pray that the Lord will bless you in each of the things that you need. 

With love,
Elder Sanderson

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week of September 1st, 2013

Herro friends and family,
This weeks been pretty cool. My son and I killed it this week. His name is Elder Roe. He's one cool cat that's for sure.
On the real though, it's been kind of tough. Isaac got baptized so we don't know what to do with ourselves. We've been trying super hard to find new investigators but it's been tough. We did have the chance to teach a 100% Japanese woman. Well, we didn't really teach because she doesn't speak much English but we did have a member of our ward who served his mission in Japan come teach her. It was one of the more gangster things that I've ever been a part of. We didn't really know what was going on because, as some of you may know, I don't speak a dang lick of Japanese. But other than that I understood pretty much everything.
It's been hotter than usual here. It got up to 97 which never happens here in perfectweathervlle. Things are good though. The members are awesome, someone bought us Subway, and we got 3 or 4 new missionaries who are all baller status basketball players so mission life is good. 
I love you all. Each and every one of you. Keep it realz.
Elder Sanderson

Monday, August 26, 2013

New set of compact scriptures to carry in messenger bag.

Dearest Friends and Family,
I got the package. Both of them. I made a special little box for them. I'll show some pictures in a little bit. I've started just carrying those around. It makes my bag much lighter and hurts my shoulders less. The bad isn't too bad though. It doesn't cause excessive strain. If it was unsafe the church would not have decided to do it. I'm glad I found a bag that I liked. I'll have some pictures of it on the SD card I send home. It's a neat little messenger bag. My camera is being extremely goofy but I think I have a theory on how to make it work. All is well.

This week has been a solid week. Teaching wise not so much, but other than that it's been great! We were able to attend Isaac's baptism. It was a really really cool experience. It was especially great because his brother Sal preformed the ordinance. It's so great to be able to see families grow closer because of the gospel. The ward support at his baptism was also incredible. The whole middle section of the chapel was filled up. It was so great to be able to see how much love the ward had for him and for missionary work.
On a little bit of a sadder note, my companion Elder Roothoff will be leaving me on Tuesday.
On a happier note, I'm going to be training my very own greenie! I'm going to have my first son! I'm excited and nervous but the excitement outweighs the nervousness. I guess the Lord must really trust me to do a good job. I hope that I don't mess him up too much. I'll make sure to keep the hazing to a minimum. 

There is also something else I wish to speak of. The last 6 weeks have been tough. The area I'm serving in is not a particularly "fruitful" area. There have been a lot of long days and a lot of disappointments but what it really boils down to is I know that I am where I belong. I know that this is the right place and right time. There will always be blessings. There will always be good things to find. Remember that we are never given anything that we cannot handle. Remember that all will be well and that the gospel will always bring happiness.

I love you all and I hope that all is well.

Elder Sanderson :D

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dear Friends and Family

It's been super busy here! Fountain Valley has been so great!  The members have been so helpful and they are pumped to do missionary work. We've has some wonderful lessons because of the willingness of the members to help out.  I want to tell you how our most recent investigator found out for himself the truthfulness of the Gospel.  His brother had joined the church a few months ago.  Their mom was unhappy about this because she believed they needed to remain in the religion they had been raised in.  Through church attendance this young man knew the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints offered him more than what he had.  After a couple of lessons, he took the challenge to read and pray to know if the Church is true.  After a sincere prayer, he went to his phone to read from the Book of Mormon.  Instead of opening to the main page like he expected, the app. opened to Alma 32:31 which says: 
"And now, behold are ye sure that this is a good seed?  I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto it's own likeness.
Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.
And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good" (Alma 32:31 - 33)
This young man, as most of us would, took that as an answer that the Book of Mormon is true.  Some of us, who have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, can point to a time where a decision about the authenticity of the Book of Mormon was made; some of us cannot.  I would urge you, I would exhort you, remember the feelings that you have about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  Remember that it is an ever-growing faith. Remember that the Lord gives precept upon precept...[and] unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say;  We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have (2 Nephi 28:30).
I love you all and I keep you all in my prayers and thought.  Thank you for the love and support.
Elder Sanderson

Weekly Letter

Salutations Friends and Family!
This week has been so great. The past few weeks and months have been great actually. I cannot express how good of a time I'm having here helping people to come unto Christ. The blessings that have come from my mission have been amazing. The ward that I am serving in has definitely "caught fire" as some say. The ward members are becoming more and more involved with the teaching and fellow shipping of investigators and we have been able to see a difference. 

We have one investigator I would especially like to tell ya'll about. His name is ****** and he's an 18-year-old guy. His brother was baptized about a year ago and they've both been coming to church for quite some time. We began teaching ******officially about 4 weeks ago. He has been progressing very well. Last Sunday we set a baptismal date for the 24th of August. The only problem was he lives in a city called Santa Ana which not only isn't in our ward or stake, but it isn't even in the Long Beach Mission! We were worried with how it would work out because his brothers records are here in the Fountain Valley Third Ward and he said that he wants to go to this ward. This posed a major problem. He was most likely going to get baptized in the Santa Ana Stake. Some of you may notice I am speaking in the past tense even though this is a future event. Allow me to explain. We spoke with the Bishop of our ward and he spoke to the Mission President. Some how, I'm still not sure how, we got permission to have the baptism here in Fountain Valley. This is definitely a miracle because this process usually takes weeks to work out. It took him 2 days. We are extremely excited for******to be baptized because now we will be able to attend.

The Lord will always work things out. He always has, he always does, and he always will. All we can do sometimes is have hope that things will work out and they will. I know they will.

Thank you for all your wonderful support. You are all awesome and I love you all. I appreciate everything that you all do. Keep being the great people that you all are.
Elder Sanderson :D

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week of August 12th

Dear Family and Friends,

Hi! Our P-day got switched to today so we could go to the temple just in case you are wondering why I did not email back. The temple was super cool. I got some good pictures this time! As I'm sure you know the new video is awesome! I'm super pumped that we got to see it so soon after it came out. The shirts and ties will be much appreciated!
It's super crazy how much there is going on there in the Burnsville ward! I'm sort of used to things just staying the same all the time!  I'm still so blown away by how many awesome missionaries will be out in the field from our ward. It's such a cool time to be a member of the church right now!   I love it!  There's so much to be proud of and there's so much to share with other people.
My companion is super cool. His name is Elder Roothoff. His mom is probably going to be calling you sometime soon actually. I gave our home phone number to her a while back. That should be fun. 
I'm looking forward to having zone conference tomorrow so we can hear from President Tew again. Also there's a new rule for missionaries that we need to start using like side satchels or something like that. It's been hard to find one so if you could track one down for me that would be awesome!  Also if you could find out a way to get a military set of scriptures that would be super awesome to have. I still have the Book of Mormon one but I think that at least a New Testament one would be really useful. Other than that I'm all good.
We have an investigator that we've been teaching. I think I've talked about him a little. He's a 18-year-old guy who's been going to church for a while now. We had a lesson with him on Sunday night and we set a baptismal date for him for the 24th of August. He's facing some adversity with his mom at home but he's determined to talk to her about it. He's an awesome kid.
I say this in almost every email but members are so important to include in the work. It moves things so much more. The investigators find friends right away when members are involved. It's just so awesome to see.
Thanks for all the love and support!

Elder Sanderson

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear Family and Friends

     I think I've missed a few weeks. Oops, sorry 'bout that.  Anyway, I've been transferred to Huntington Beach, well Fountain Valley to be specific.  It's great here.  The church is way strong and the members are very willing to help move the work along.  We have a family that we've been teaching.  They are awesome and last Sunday (June 21) they came to church!  They had a great time and I can tell that they loved being there.  The kids had fun hanging out in Primary, which is usually a tough part about coming to church for investigators with kids.  The best part was the members.  They were so cool about it!  Everyone was greeting them and welcoming them and all this awesome stuff.  It was so cool to see the members be so nice and welcoming.  It makes a huge impact on the investigators when they show so much love.  The influence of members is really what helps investigators the most.  Going to church can be hard at first, but it gets a lot easier when you have constant love and support.  
     You all are awesome.  I am so thankful for all your love and suppoer.  This is a great time to be able to watch the Lord hastening His work.  Keep on being the great people that you all are.  Remember that I love and pray for you all.

Elder Sanderson

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week of July 15th, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
I found out that I'm going to be transferred to Huntington Beach! I'll be serving in the Fountain Valley 3rd ward. I'm super excited and I've heard that that's a great ward. I've also heard that HB can be pretty tough sometimes. My companion is named Elder Roothof and he's from Utah. He's another spanish speaking missionary (my third in a row) and so I'm going to have him teach me Spanish. I figured that if I've had this many Spanish companions then I might as well just ask one of them to teach me. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning and it should be a great time.
That's so crazy that Paul's leaving so fast! It seems like just yesterday he got his call. I've heard a lot from Elder Jones. He's sent me a ton of pictures already and it seems like he's having a good ol time.
Our baptism went really well! One and done baby! ***** was really excited and we had a great turn out from the ward. His dad has agreed to drive me to HB tomorrow so that'll be tight. I'm excited to see what HB is like. I'll let you know when I get there!
Love you!
Elder Sanderson

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Week of July 8th, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
      It's been a while since I've written.  Things are going well!  We will be having a baptismal service this Saturday.  The first of my mission!  Wow!  He's a 12 year old named ***** ******.  His family are members but have been less active for a number of years.  I am convinced that our success with ***** has been greatly powered by the love and fellowship of our ward.  For that I am truly grateful.  
      We have also been able to have what's called a "blitz"  All the missionaries in our district came together and we all worked in the same ward boundary to try and find more people to teach.  We have already been able to see some of the fruits of our labor and many other will come soon.  
      I'm very grateful for all your love and support.  Remember that I keep you all in my thought and prayers.  Continue to be the  awesome people that I know you all are!

Elder Sanderson

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 24th.2013

Dear Family and Friends,
All is well in this part of the Lord's vineyard.  The work is beginning to go forward.  The Worldwide Leadership broadcast was this last Sunday and it was a great reminder of the importance of member missionary work.  since I have the blessing of serving as a full-time missionary I can testify of the importance of missionary work.  The members of the ward help to ensure that investigators are comfortable at church, they provide investigators or recent converts with a friend and they can help the missionaries find and teach investigators.  
In Doctrine and Covenants we are given a promise.  We learn that if we bring one of the souls our Heavenly Father has created, great shall be our joy.  Furthermore we learn that, "If your joy will be great with one soul...How great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me." (D&C 18:15-16)  I cannot think of any more joyous an occasion than that of a baptism of someone who has accepted the gospel.  I cannot even imagine the joy of seeing that person, as Doctrine and Covenants states, "In the kingdom of my Father".
Through embracing member missionary work we can all work towards our goal of having true joy.  May we all have a fullness of joy.  Remember that it was Jesus Christ himself who said "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

Elder Sanderson

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dear Friends and Family

Today (6-10-13) I hit my two month mark!  It's gone by so fast I can't even comprehend it!  The past few weeks have been crazy.  Transfers were this last week.  My trainer, Elder Wahlen, was transferred, which is very rare.  Usually trainers stay for 12 weeks.  Since he's gone and my new companion, Elder Burns, has never been here in Whittier, I now am a lot more responsible for things like planning and getting where we need to go.  It's sort of tough since I've only been here for 7 weeks now and it's my first area.  At first it was a little scary, not going to lie.  It's not too scary anymore though.  I know that I'm being led by the Lord and I know that as long as I'm doing His work, I'll know where to go, what to do and what to say.  The Lord provides a way.  Who can forget the courageous words of Nephi?  "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."  (1 Nephi 3:7)  How often are we asked to risk our possessions, or even our lives?  How often are the Lord's commandments things such as "Love one another"?  (John 13:34) How often does he ask us to simply show our love for someone who overcame the world for us?  King Benjamin basically lays out all that our Heavenly Father requires of us.  "And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promise you that... ye should prosper in the land... therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you".  (Mosiah 2:22)  Our Father in Heaven loves us all individually.  He has a plan for all of us.  If we will "Go and do" as Nephi, we are promised blessings.  May we all "Go and do". 
I'm very grateful for all your love and support.  I appreciate everything that has been sent, mailed, etc. I pray for you all each day and I love you all.  Remember that your Father in Heaven loves you as well.

Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week of June 10th

The internet is a pretty powerful resource when used correctly. We have the opportunity to have an hour a week to visit the website. They want to make sure that we are all used to the layout and what not so we can help investigators and members use it. We've also had the chance to share some Mormon messages with people. Mormon messages are a great way to invite the spirit into someone's home. I would highly recommend using them if you ever have the chance to share the gospel with someone.
Sorry for not saying anything about the package, I tend to forget to mention a lot of things when I write so sorry about that. The package was great! I loved the Book of Mormon especially! The talks were also awesome. If I didn't love you so much I would rebuke you for sending me an Elane S. Dalton talk. I'm sure you love her a ton but I have trouble relating to her because I'm not a woman. Just in case you cannot tell, I am just being goofy. It can be hard to display jokes in emails. But I digress. The package was great. I haven't had candy in a really long time to be honest. It doesn't really seem worth it to buy anymore.
The work is going pretty well. Some days are tough but that's just part of life. Especially missionary life. It seems like the hardest days are the days that end up being the most rewarding in the end.
I'll probably be sending that SD card home this week so I hope that gets home safely. I hope that everyone is doing well. I love you guys and I pray for you all every day.
Elder Sanderson

Friday, May 31, 2013

Weekly Leter 5/27/13

Dear Family and Friends,
The last week has been pretty good.  We finally had our first real lesson!  We taught a couple named Maria and George.  The are a perfect example of how the Lord prepares people for us to teach.  Maria and George were raised Catholic (Just like EVERYONE in California) but don't go to church (just like EVERYONE in California - just kidding, a ton of people go to church here).  Even though they have stopped going they feel like church is important and they can feel something missing because they do not attend church.  If that isn't the Lord preparing someone to receive the gospel then I don't know what is!
I feel like this has become sort of a Mormon cliche, the example of Nephi is perfect!  "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandth them"  The Lord does provide a way.  There is ALWAYS a way.  I know that the Lord provides a way.  He knows us perfectly.  I would like to challenge everyone reading this to look for a way to do  something you thought to be impossible.  Share the gospel with a friend, go to church even if your schedule is tough or take time to read the scriptures for at least a little bit every day.  I know that the Lord will prepare a way.

Elder Sanderson

Weekly Letter 5/20/13

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was full of learning opportunities.  I had the chance to go on exchanges with our district leader.  It was great and I learned a ton.  This week was also full of some tough days.  We had almost no success in finding and we had only one appointment actually go through.  This week went by slower than any other week so far.  I really hope this next week is better.  There were some times when I was pretty discouraged.  There were some times where I wanted to just throw in the towel.  How blessed I feel.  How blessed that the Lord loves me enough to  teach me how to improve.  Trials are interesting.  It seems like the more trials, the more I'm grateful for them.  It's amazing that we can learn so much from such awful experiences.  I'm glad that things aren't easy.  I'm glad that things don't always work out perfectly.  I know that the Lord is going to help me and I know that through the Lord I can do great things.  By myself I can do nothing but with the Lord I can do anything.  Anyone can.  The Lord prepares a way.

Elder Sanderson

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dear Family and Friends

This week was pretty tough.  We again were struggling to find people to teach and to teach people we found.  It seemed like the people we met were solid but most of them ended up never following through with being taught.
We had a few people who were nice, let us talk to them and set up times to come back this coming week.  I hope those work out because if not then it's going to be a really rough week.  That being said, I'm really not too worried that things won't go well because even if we don't visit these people then there's someone that we're supposed to meet, maybe someone who lives by them or maybe a family member.  There's always a reason to what happens. We may not always understand that reason but things eventually come together.  Doctrine and Covenants Section 6 verse 36 says; "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not,"  It's so simple that it's almost difficult.  "Doubt not, fear not."  May we all remember those simple words and put all our trust in the Lord.

Elder Sanderson

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week of May 14th

Dear Family and Friends,
 I've already been out for over a month and it has flown by! I can't believe how quickly things have started going. We are still struggling to find people to teach, but they'll come. As long as we keep working hard, they'll come.
We got a chance to go to the Newport Beach Temple this morning. We had to wake up at around 3:00 am to get there though. It was tough to get up so early but it was worth it. The temple was beautiful (I forgot my camera so I don't have pictures D: I'll get some next time.) and the session we went to was really nice. They have a lot of really cool painting and murals and stuff like that. It's amazing how I just keep learning more and more from the temple. I love it and I can't wait to keep going back.
As usual, I'll send out a letter this week that you guys can put up. I hope you are able to read my writing all the time. I think it's getting better. At least I hope so.
I just want to share an experience I had. We having a rough day. Nobody really seemed interested in what we had to say and our appointments were falling through. We got to an appointment and nobody was home. It was at an apartment complex. We decided to knock on some doors around us. We went to the first door and when the guy answered things felt...Different. He was very receptive and we were able to have a great conversation. I invited him to be baptized (my first invitation). He didn't say yes but he also didn't say no so it's a start! I learned that as long as you keep trying and keep having faith the Lord will bless you.
I hope all is well at home. It was really nice to talk to you all on mothers day and I hope that was a great holiday for you.
Elder Sanderson

Friday, May 10, 2013

Riding a bike is sometime harder than it looks

I was riding down a hill on the sidewalk and the sidewalk was a little bumpy.  I hit a bump and when I landed, my handle bars freaked out and went all the way to the right.  I hit the wall but bounced off.  At this point I kind of panicked and tried to pedal, but I was moving too fast.  The second I tried to pedal, the sudden shift in wight caused me to turn right back into the wall.  This time I stayed up against the wall for a solid 3 - 4 seconds grinding my right hand and right shoulder on the wall.  Luckily my shirt protected my shoulder (the shirt was ruined) but my hand was not so lucky.  My pinky got pretty well shredded, leaving the top layer of skin, from my second to third knuckle, gone.  For a few days my pinky and ring finger were pretty numb but they ended up recovering pretty fast. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week of May 6th

Dear Friends and Family
We spoke to an older gentleman named Sox Argyle (Yes, that's actually his name). A few years ago he had an operation go wrong and he was paralyzed from the waist down. Recently he has gained control of his right leg but the left leg still will not respond. After talking with him a few times, he expressed that he thinks that if he keeps up with his therapy and exercises that he'll be able to walk again. His optimism and drive was inspiring. Sox is probably around 80 years old and he's showing no signs of ever being able to walk again but he still has hope. It's so easy to give up hope. Never give up hope. Never. The more I face adversity and trials the more I see that hope is all we have as people living in the probationary time on earth. If we give up hope then what do we have.  Alma describes "Faith as a having hope for things which are not seen, which are true." The only thing that is more important than hope is faith. It's tough to have faith. It's tough to have faith that the trials you have will be for your own advancement. It's hard to have faith that God has a real plan for us. May we never give up hope. More importantly, may we never give up our faith.
Elder S.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

As you all may know, I am now serving in Long Beach California!  I am serving in the Granada Ward.  I heard a story from one of the members here of something that happened to her brother years ago.

     This brother's name was Brother Neilson.  He was a return missionary living in Utah.  He went on a hunting trip with a friend who was going through some rough times with a divorce and being fired from his job.  While on the trip, Brother Neilson's friend took out a small handgun and was pretending to shoot small animals.  Suddenly, the friend turned on Brother Neilson and shot him.  The bullet passed  through his lung and into his spine.  His friend then took the car they had driven in, and left Brother Neilson to die.
     In Bother Neilson's moment of dispair, he saw a man, fair skinned and calm looking; a man Brother Neilson had never seen before.  This man asked him if he wanted a blessing.  Brother Neilson said "yes".  After the blessing, the mystery man disappeared.  Shortly after, a group of men in a truck came to him.  Brother Neilson's "friend" had said someone was hurt and he was "going for help".
    Brother Neilson was taken to a small hospital where Spencer W. Kimball happened to be.  President Kimball assured the injured man that he would be alright.  After being flown to Salt Lake City and after a 48 hour operation, Brother Neilson was saved, but they said he would never have children, walk or live past 40.
     Brother Neilson turned 62 recently, has 12 children and walks with only a leg brace to support him. 

Priesthood blessings are real.  The power to act in God's name is real.  Those of you who are Priesthood holders do as Elder Holland advised.  Sanctify yourselves.  The time will come when you will need to give someone a blessing.  Be ready for it.  Those of you who are women or for another reason do not have the Priesthood, know this:  Priesthood blessings will only have powerful effects on those who have the faith in Christ to be healed. 
I testify of the powers of the Priesthood.  I have seen what those blessings do .  Remember how blessed we are to have the Gospel.  You will never know how improtant it is until you see people reject it.  May the Lord bless each and every one of you .  I love you all and I pray for you. 

Much Love,
Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Week of April 28th

Family and Friends,
Long Beach California has been awesome! I'm going to have a lot of trouble typing. I was in a bit of a wreck and have sort of limited use of my right hand. I can still bike around just fine I'm just in a little pain is all.
Our area has been tough. My companion, Elder Wahlen, and I are both new to the area (Elder Wahlen has been out for 9 months tho) and we are struggling to find people to teach. So far we have had no lessons and have not been able to find new investigators but it will come in time. I am grateful for the things I've already learned. I've had to learn to be patient since we have not been able to actually teach and that we have to stick with tracting and contacting. It's been tough but I've already been able to feel like I'm growing.
I'm serving in the Grenada Ward. The ward is mostly people over the age of 60. Our bishop is 76. It's a great ward and all the members are really nice and we get fed pretty much every night so thats awesome!
I have a ton more details and what not in a letter that I will be sending out today. In my letter I will be sharing a story I heard from a member that especially touched me.
The plaques look great and so do Tommy, Paul, and Kellen!

Much Love,
Elder S.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekly Letter

Dear Friends and Family,
The MTC has been good to me the last week or so. I've learned so many valuable lessons and I've come so much closer to Christ. I've been studying like crazy and it has payed off. I always thought of myself as having a pretty good knowledge of the gospel but I learned so much more. The MTC really is such a blessing. That being said, my time of departure has come. I will be in Long Beach California as of April 24th. I can't wait to get out into the field and start really teaching people.
I want nothing more than to be able to teach this gospel. It's harder than I expected and I have to try a lot harder to keep myself motivated than I though but it's all been for the best. My companions have taught me so much and the spirit has taught me even more. Luckily I am speaking my native tongue so that's something that has made this much easier. Along with that I have my family and friends to thank. Honestly, I would not be as prepared as I was and I would not be as motivated as I am without all of your love, prayers, and support. I appreciate you, I pray for you, and I think about each and every one of you. May the Lord bless all of you, I know he will.

I would like to share something with all of you. It's my favorite scripture. Omni 1:26

"And now my beloved brethren I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel and partake of his salvation and the power of his redemption. Yea, offer up your whole souls as an offering to him and continue in fasting and praying and enduring to the end and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."
Family and friends, come unto Christ and endure. I know the Lord will bless you for it. This Church is true. The Doctrine of Christ is real. The Love of God is real.
Much Love,
Elder Sanderson.

Week of April 13th

Here is the latest letter we have gotten.  Written on April 13th, mailed from Provo on the 15th.

Dear Family and Friends,
     The MTC has been wonderful.  I have already learned so much.  The Spirit here is so powerful.  It changes hearts and it can bring some powerful revelation.  I've had the opportunity to serve as a zone leader.  I haven't had to do much yet but I will be helping out the new Elders that are coning in this coming week.
     I've stared teaching some "investigators" that are teachers that act as nonmember.  Even though it's not the real deal, I have learned a ton of things.  It's been very humbling and I am so grateful for the experience.
     My district here is awesome.   We all get along really well and it feels like we've known each other forever.  It's like the fun of EFY mixed with Spirit of the Priest/Laurel trek.  I have 5 other Elders with me in my room and we have another set of Sister in our district.  Another fun fact is my former zone leader and the rest of his district are all going to the Minneapolis MN Mission!  If you see Elders Burnside, Olson or Thomas make sure you tell them Elder Sanderson says Hi!
     Another thing that's great are the teachers.  They honestly care so much about each and every one of us.  The are awesome teachers and the Spirit they bring is incredible.  We do a lot of role planing and even though it's sort of hard to get into, it actually helps a ton.
     I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me.  The hand of the Lord is very apparent in all of the lessons and teaching.  I hope everyone is doing well and I hope that the Lord blesses each and every one of you.
                       Elder S.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pictures from the MTC

Here's some pictures that I got from one of my companions. The guy on the left in the first picture is Elder Murphy, he's not my companion but he pretty much is. (Mom he's from Magrath, Alberta, Canada!!) The Elder on the left of the bottom pic is Elder Murphy again and the Elder in the middle is Elder Nez, he's my companion and I love that guy to pieces!

So far everything is great! I love my district and my companions. Everything has been super cool! I hope you guys are all doing well. Tell everyone I said hi!
Elder S.
The learning has been crazy but the last few days have been pretty chill because I had a mini p-day Sat and Sunday was church. I sit on the stand next to the branch president now because my companion and I are the zone leaders right now! That means we get to teach all the new missionaries on Wednesday when they all come in. That should be pretty fun!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Check in at the MTC

Elder Sanderson has just check into the MTC. He has a wonderful Aunt and Uncle who took care of him for the past 24 plus hours to get him where he needs to be.  Reporting to the MTC today are 556 new missionaries.  What a great Army!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mission Area Map

This is a map of Elder Sanderson's mission area.
This is a small area geographically, but over 2 million people live in this area.  

"This mission represents the best of two different worlds. You will have the opportunity to have a truly international experience while living in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States.  In the mission you will get to teach children of our Heavenly Father from all over the world.  The Lord is bringing people here to the communities of Southern California so that they will have the opportunity to receive the restored gospel in this free land."
                President Ted F. Bubert II