Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hello All,

Man, I have a little over a week left. That's weird to think. For this weeks email I'm going to cheat a little and send what I wrote for our missions newsletter. All the missionaries going home write a little article for the newsletter. Hopefully it's not stupid...

My mission has been such a great experience. I don't even know what words to 
use to describe that enough. It seems that anything I have to say about it doesn't 
do it justice. One thing I do know is that my mission has been more fun than 
anything I've done. Honestly, if my mission had been any more fun it would be a 
bad thing. All of the experiences, all the lessons, all the crazy things that have 
happened have been more fun than I ever imagined. Now, my mission has also been 
full of experiences that weren't so fun. There's been a few times where I was convinced 
I wouldn't make it through the day. The crazy thing is, here I am! It doesn't matter 
that sometimes I thought I was going to drop dead on a side walk in Long Beach! 
Heavenly Father asks us to serve 18-24 months and he provides a way for us to 
do it. Nobody can stop God's work from moving forward. Not even the weaknesses 
of those he sends to teach his gospel. Heavenly Father wants his missionaries to b
e happy! Teaching and finding and having awesome experiences make missionaries 
happy! The Lord will never leave you alone. 

I can remember in particular one investigator we had in Fountain Valley. The whole 
6 weeks we taught him we had powerful lessons where the spirit testified to him and 
us that what we were saying was true. We had members actively involved in the 
teaching process and eventually he was baptized by his brother who had joined the 
church a year or so before. Along with all that it was super fun! That's what missions 
are meant to be like. You should have the time of your life teaching and testifying! 
Life is meant to be enjoyed but you're the only one who can decide to enjoy it. I love 
ll of ya'll and I know Heavenly Father does too. Keep on fighting, keep on pushing. 
he world needs what you have to say.

Keep it real.
Yeah that's right, I put keep it real at the end! I ain't no robot!!

Keep it real.

Elder Sanderson

Monday, March 16, 2015


This week was pretty crazy. We had a ton of problems with our car and trying to find lost gas receipts and going to the DMV and getting the registration renewed because the tags never came and they expired and all that crazy stuff. Along with the crazy there were tons of awesome experiences though. We had a really really good Zone Conference (my last one!). It was all about helping investigators progress. That's the focus here for March. In Southern CA there are TONS and TONS of people. That makes finding and teaching a little bit easier. There are enough people who are open minded that we are able to add to our teaching pools a lot, thus making our teaching pools bigger and we can teach more. The hard thing however, is helping investigators to progress. A lot of that depends on their agency but we can create and environment where the spirit will be the strongest and will testify the most to them. Then, when they feel something hopefully they will do something. At the end of the day if we do all we can and prepare and practice and execute it's all up to their decision. That can be hard but as long as we do what we can then we know that we're successful and we're doing what the Lord wants us to.

I hope you guys all have a great week!

Keep it real

Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dear Family & Friends

This week was pretty cool. Elder Miura is awesome. He's told me a ton already about cool Japanese stuff. Turns out they have 3 alphabets and one of them has like thousands of letters! It's very uncommonly used though. They really only use the other 2. Also one of them is used specifically for writing out words that have heavy American influence. It's cool.

We also had a great lesson with a new investigator named Debbie. She goes to one of those really really big Christian churches where they have super famous pastors that are all over tv and stuff like that. She was pretty blown away by the Joseph Smith story and in particular the 1st vision. She definitely felt the spirit and we made sure to point out that she was feeling the Spirit so she would be able to recognize the Spirit more. I've found that is a great way to help people to understand the Holy Ghost in later experiences. One of the most powerful ways to bear testimony is to say something along the lines of "I know that [insert topic here] is true by the same feeling that is in your heart as we talk" after pointing out that the spirit is testifying to them. The times where I or my companion, or anyone I've been around for that matter, have said something like that it's been a very powerful statement. Being bold is the best way to testify. If you're going to testify make it bold! They're going to feel the spirit either way, you might as well add some extra juice to it! That's my personal philosophy at least.

Well, I hope you guys all have a great week! I love you all!

Keep it real.

Elder Sanderson

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hello All!

So transfers came in and I'm staying right here in the Woodruff ward! I'm going to finish my mission here! Great! Also I'm getting a new comp. He's from Japan and his name is Elder Miura. I checked and yes, his name does have "Yoshi" in it. Best. Comp. Ever. We're going to have a blast I already know it. He's been out for about 3 months so he's straight fresh out. I hope that keeps me from getting "trunky" #april7. I also found out that one of the Elders I came out with who was in the zone is also staying! And to add to that there's another Elder coming into the zone who is "dying" this transfer! It's going to be a bunch of old men hanging out together. It'll be a blast.

We had a really cool experience with a brand new investigator named Jenny. We have talked with her before but never actually taught her. The first time we ran into her was just before Christmas. We happened to be in her neighborhood just out of the blue. From what I remember we just took a random turn down a street because we though a potential lived there. We were walking by Jenny's house and she gave off every indication of being someone that we shouldn't talk to (just based off of past experience) she was on the phone, smoking, and looked like she was having a bad day. She ended up being really awesome and we had a great talk with her. So now fast forwarding to this past week: she had a close friend pass away and we were able to teach her about how trials are hard but God has a plan for us and we can make it through anything. It was a great experience for sure.

Well, I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week!

Keep it real.

Elder Sanderson

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hey there errybody,

This week was a pretty fun week. Lots and lots of fun times for sure. We accomplished something great this week! We had NO people sign up to feed us on our calendar so we went ahead and took matters into our own hands and somehow managed to have a dinner (or at least someone dropping food off or something like that) every night this week! Where there's a will there's a way! That was cool. The members here are very loving and a lot of them are willing to feed us but somehow don't get to see the calendar. I guess some people get skipped over when it's being passed around? 

This week our Mission President had challenged every companionship to teach every night and we were able to do it! We had some really good lessons and things kinda all fell into place. We were also blessed to be able to have a lot of members from the ward come out and teach with us. Having members take us to lessons is the BOMB. We love it. We finally started to officially teach a guy named Oscar that we've been trying to visit for a month or two. We were finally able to teach him and focus on his family and how much of an impact they have had on him. They moved a few years back to a completely different place because he and his wife wanted their daughter to be in a safe place. Now that's some commitment to helping a child. That was super cool to hear from him. There are so many people that we meet who are worried about their families and who want the best for them. Finding and teaching those people are my favorite things to do! It really makes me love being a missionary and doing this work. 

I hope you guys all have a great week! Love love love

Keep it real.

Elder Sanderson

p.s. I got my flight plans this week...Turns out I have a 5 hour layover in Salt Lake City....That'll be fun...I'll just spend that time playing with my phone and all that fun stuff that dudes coming home from their missions totally have.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Talofa O'u aiga ma uo!

So this week was pretty cool. We had a lot of fun for sure. We helped a few people do some service. One type of service we did was taking apart pallets so that this lady could make furniture out of it. Look it up on Pintrest that's where she got the idea from. That was extremely difficult. We didn't even finish it either. Turns out those things are dang hard to get apart. I only broke 4 of the panel things on it. You know what it is. We're going back tomorrow to finish the job. Hopefully we can do it without breaking everything we try to take apart.

We also got to teach a lot more than usual this week. Our Mission President has really been focusing on making sure that every companionship teaches every night. In this mission that's sort of tough to do but we're working on changing the culture of this mission to be a mission where missionaries teach. We hope to be able to look back and say "the missionaries in the California Long Beach Mission teach every night". Everything we do has a culture. A culture is a way of life, an expectation or a standard that you hold a group of people to. Along with groups, individuals also have a culture. I think that could be better worded as a character. President David O. McKay said “We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.” Changing your character to be someone different, someone better, starts one thought at a time. Trust me. My mission has changed me more than I could have ever known but my character didn't start to change for the better until I dug deep and started to change who I was, starting with what I thought.

I hope you guys all have a great week! I love you guys!

Elder Sanderson

Monday, January 19, 2015

We moved this week!

Woo! Our last apartment was tiny. This one is nice and spacious. Also moving allowed us to use this!

We got to drive the mission truck! It's a 2014 Chevy Silverado! Sick! That was a ton of fun. We loaded that bad boy up and took care of everything we had. 

Well that's all I really have time for this week! Have a great week!

Keep it real.

Elder Sanderson

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hello Erryone!

Transfer calls came in an I found out that Elder Van Kammen and I are staying together again. It's pretty cool. This ward is the bomb. It's going to be a great place to die. Unless President Tew decides to send me back to HB for my last transfer. That's pretty much all I'll ask him to do every week this transfer. Just kidding I'm glad to be wherever the Lord needs me to be. This week we were able to teach a lot more than the past few weeks. It's good because it seems to be a trend that the end of the transfer is always a really slow week but we've kept things pretty consistent. This week should be pretty fun. It's cool to get to see all the new missionaries who come into the zone. Our zone is pretty "stacked" right now. There are a ton of awesome missionaries here. There are quite a few brand new missionaries in this zone. It's always awesome having brand new missionaries (not greenies, Elder Baxter from the Quorum of the 70 told us not to use that term anymore when he came here last month). They always seem to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the zone instead of being old washed up cynics like me. Just kidding that's not how I am at all. 

Well, I hope all of you have a great week and remember how much I appreciate all of your lives. 

Keep it real.

Elder Sanderson