Monday, June 29, 2015

61 - Faith, Hope, and Charity

So much to say in so little time!

I have to be brief in some points of this week. This week was just so jam packed it seems!

We helped someone move on Tuesday. 

She's an awesome member. 

She needs to move to Utah so that she can have heart therapy there. 

We will miss her, but we want her heart to get better, so we are glad that she is getting help for that.

You know what was super cool this week? 

We were scheduled to eat with a member for dinner and they informed us that their less active son and his as of February non-member wife would be there. 

They are super awesome, and the son is super spiritual, and after doing the restoration cups lesson and inviting Hope to read the Book of Mormon to see if it was 'good fruit of a true prophet,' she became a new investigator! 

And they apparently they almost came to church the member told us, but they backed out last minute, but she asked her mother in law for help in reading the Book of Mormon because she wanted to fulfill her assignment! 

And she is excited for our return appointment tomorrow, and we are too!

So a crazy crazy story. 

Transfers were this week and Sister Barrett has an additional set of sisters she's going to be in charge of, and both of the sets of sisters she is over are companionships that have a fresh missionary straight from the MTC! 

So that's going to be fun!

These poor sisters... what a rough day for Sister Miles first night of the mission!

Sister Miles and Sister Park came and took the place of the Elders in Sydney. They got to the apartment and there were many things about the apartment that were NOT things that should be in any missionary apartment. I will just say this, that the elders there were not obedient elders. The spirit was NOT in that place. And they were freaking out and hyperventilating and crying and calling people to see what they should do, and long story short, we were called past 10:30 (bedtime) and told that the Sydney Sisters needed to stay with us that night.

Convinently we live in a motel and there were extra cots downstairs! 

They arrived around midnight and filled us in on the crazy details before we went to bed, so we didn't go to bed till after one...

But hey, they are safe now and we got to meet Sister Miles (in the front)! 


We didn't have studies that morning though. 

And it seriously effected our spirits. 

We did have an awesome lesson with this recent convert that was baptized just before I got here. 

He's African and sent us this awesome text.

So that was a good lesson, because he basically taught himself. But man, we were kind of on edge, or grumpy, and just, done with lameness, so we went out of town a little bit because we wanted to just get away so we came up with the excuse of trying an out-of-the-way family. And it turned out to be inspired because they are moving soon turns out. 

I just feel so loved because the Holy Ghost was still able to work through us grumpy sister missionaries.

We took a little tiny road trip this week. 

Had some time and miles to kill.

And this little gem was at the end! Isn't it cute???

And a road side fire!?!? 


She is doing amazing! Her husband is still out of town. But we had a lesson with her earlier in the week and she wanted to pray properly and the member helped her and she has such a desire to learn! When we checked on her an hour before church she was already in her church dress! 

She is flourishing in the fellowship people give when you are seen at church. Yesterday was the second time for her coming to church and she stayed all three hours. She just loves all the people she meets. When she was called on to introduce herself in class she said:

"I'm here, I'm from Cambodia. This is my second time coming to church here in America. I meet so many awesome people and I here with my best friends." Awww! I love her! And when we were sitting down in class she said, "Maybe I sit in the middle so you can both teach me." Awww! Man, she is just so sweet and so awesome.

We took a picture! 

That's not her baby, but she thought he was so cute. 

Then she told us, haha, that she sent a message to Flinn saying she found a boyfriend at church, followed by this picture. 

Hahahaha, so funny!

I love her so much and she has loosened up so much in the past week! We just need to get her hooked up with a friend that can actually spend down time with her! haha. She has such a desire to learn! To learn English, how to pray, and just to learn about the gospel in general! It has truly been a blessing to find her and to be teaching her. Oh! And she is willing to be baptized! She said that she needs to ask Flinn still, but that he never says no to anything. haha.

Oh, we also found two less actives that are not on the ward list. Got their full names, but not their birthdays, darn. Williston is absolutely FULL of less active members. We weren't able to set up specific return appointments with them, but we made good impressions and they are alright with us coming back.

It's been great to have so much time in our area! (What with all the MLC and Zone Conference stuff that went on a bit ago.)

Oh, also in sacrament meeting yesterday Sister Barrett and I performed "Behold Thy Handmaiden," the song that mom and I sang for my farewell. It was absolutely great, and I've always wanted to be able to perform it on my mission, and now I have! But unfortunately, Sister Barrett and I unintentionally bought a recorder that seems to be practically useless now. There's no way to plug it into the computer and send of the sound bites! So that is really really really unfortunate......


P.S. We totally met someone named Faith and someone named Hope this week. But didn't find a Charity. lol

Monday, June 22, 2015

60 - Cambodian Charm

Sister Lamborn Helped Us Clean. Thank YOU!

We cleaned our old apartment aaaaaall day last Monday. 

And we owe more thanks than anything to our awesome relief society president.

She was the only one that showed up to help us clean! And she brought all the necessary supplies. We could NOT have done it without her!

Old Apartment All Cleaned Up.  :-)

We turned in the keys this week and it's all squared away! 

Good Bye Ol' Apartment.

We don't need to worry about it anymore! 


We retired the apartment with honor.

Off with the Jesus picture on this door and on with it on our new door!

Just Because Everyone Loves a DOUBLE Rainbow!

There was a tornado warning on Sunday, but nothing actually happened, except for a bit of rain and an awesome double rainbow!

Super cool.

This Week's Planning Session

This is what weekly planning looks like. 

Snacks and planners and area book and papers everywhere. 

We had an actually very effective weekly planning this week. 


We have been trying an approach that one of the young women leaders used for dinner appointments on her mission. We bring a map that has our area marked on it and we have the family we are eating dinner with choose for us what street we should tract. Maybe they know someone on it or maybe it's a random street, whatever. Well, this family chose the street right behind their house and when we tracted it, one person became a new investigator! We set up a return appointment for this same week. We took the mom of the family who chose the street out with us to come and teach him, to meet the guy who we ran into because they suggested this street. Well, the appointment fell through, and all of our back-ups fell through too, and all of her less active sisters to visit teach just moved out of Williston. But she suggested that we go see her friend. So we did and she explained to her friend that we had had no luck with other people and if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with her and she said yes and let us right in and it was a great lesson and she is now a new investigator!!! Members are awesome!

Now the crowning story. I seem to have a lot of 'crowning stories' lately. haha. Regardless!

I wish I had pictures to go along with this story, but I don't have any yet.  (There's a picture at the end from the next week's blog...a "sneak peek"  :-)

It was about a month ago. It was Sunday evening and we had JUST figured our who's area was what at this point and were JUST getting done organizing our area book, so we hadn't really tracted at all. We had just gotten done of dinner at a member's house, and we decided it was time to tract, especially since the area that we were eating dinner in what now our area when it wasn't before!

We went down the street, knocking on the doors of the houses. Met a few people. Had a good contact at one door. Another few doors down though and this man answered.

"Hi, how are you doing tonight?"
"Good. ...Sister Barrett, and Sister Sanderson. So where are you from."

'Hm, well, you, Mr, are a less active member of the church, probably from Utah!' Sister Barrett and I thought. Sure enough, that's exactly what he was. Super nice guy. He works not 'in' the oil field, but the stuff he does directly effects the work in the oil field. And he and his wife commute back and forth from Utah. He wanted us to meet his wife!

She was short, darker skinned, quiet, though when she did speak you could tell she had an accent.

"Where are you from?"
"I'm from Cambodia."
Woooooooooooooah! So cool! Seriously, soooo many people here in Williston.

We asked if we could come in and share a message. And thus began our teaching them. They have beautiful paintings of Cambodia, all of them having a temple in them with five main tall towers which looked all too familiar to me!

"Is this Angkor Wat?"
"Yes! You know our temple?"
"Yes! Wow, I really want to go there someday."
I didn't tell her however that I only know about Angkor Wat really because of playing Illusion of Gaia. haha.

I will call her Korwa. :) They met because of his cousin actually. He married someone from Cambodia and he was watching the marriage tape and he asked, 'who's that?' and he went and married Korwa! They were married nearly five years ago in November, and Korwa has been here for almost two years, so they had a long distance marriage for awhile. They had a traditional Cambodian marriage and she showed us pictures and they are absolutely beautiful, and holy cow does he have a crazy sideways smirk smolder face! So I will call him Flinn. haha.

Korwa comes from a Buddist background, but Flinn has taken her to temple square before. Flinn knows all about the Mormon culture, but he knows very little about the doctrine. He asked us what the difference between the old and the new testament was. We are excited to teach them! They are both open to learning!

We have invited Korwa to church, but we were afraid she wouldn't come because she was feeling sick when we called her Sunday morning. She sounded sick, everything. She has some sort of medical thing that has been going on for awhile that she gets sick spells randomly. 

Picture from Korwa's second week at church
BUT MIRACLE! SHE WALKED INTO THE CHAPEL BEFORE THE SACRAMENT WAS PASSED!! She was THERE! She CAME to church!!! And she enjoyed the people, you could tell. And she enjoyed the last song. I honestly don't know how much she retained of what was talked about at church, but you could tell she had a great experience! (Flinn always works on Sundays, so that's why he didn't come.) It was sooooo special. She started feeling sick again right before relief society, so she went back home and was sorry to leave, but when we texted her to make sure she was safely home, she said:

"Yep I'm now and thanks for teaching me."

YAAAY! I love her so much! I'm so excited for her!

That's it. Till next week!

Monday, June 15, 2015

59 - Moving On

We have SO little time today. 

Only thirty minutes. 

Sad face. 


Because today has been crazy.

We moved everything to the Motel apartment! 

It's very homey now.

The members that manage the hotel (I will now call them Brother and Sister Manage) live in the door on the right and we live in the door on the left. 

That's the window by my study desk!

It's weird to think that on the other side of our beds is the big lettering of the name of the Motel. But hey, it's home 'suites' home.  ;-)

As far as the other apartment, we got all the stuff out of it, but we still need to clean it, which the relief society is helping us do at 2:00 today, which is why we have so little time.

The elders came and got all the furniture out and took it for themselves. 

Goodbye Handicap Accessible Bathroom
This house that they are/were living in is really run down. 

They are looking for other housing.

They left a big junk pile. 

We threw it all away. 

Except for me of course. 


Bismarck Ward List--For my Keepsakes
Exchanges with the Minot sisters were this week. 

It's cool because Sister Cleg came here to Williston, and she's served here before, so that was super cool for her, 

AND she just served in Bismarck in my same ward! 

So I had her bring me the ward list because I forgot to grab a copy of it before I left Bismarck. Yay tender mercies!

And at our dinner appointment they had a violin, and Sister Cleg just happens to know how to play the violin, even though the E string broke, 


But one of the crowning events of this week.
We've been teaching Goldin (intentional spelling), and she's just as excited about the gospel as always. Her not-even-husband though (she's not married to him but working on it) is not. He is Pentacostal. He is off Sundays, and he hasn't let her come to church. We stopped by before church and he said she was sleeping. We told him that it was a promise that she made to God to come to church and asked if he would help her keep that promise and just shake her awake to let her know. He wouldn't do it. He gave us her number for us to call and set up an appointment.

We called as soon as we got out of there. He answered. He said she wasn't up yet. How silly. Why did you answer the phone!? I will call him Sylver. She didn't come to church. But we had already set up a week before that we would drop by after church this week.
We came with our ward mission leader and his wife. Goldin was there. She let us in. Sylver walked past us in the hall. Goldin told us she didn't come to church because Sylver was very upset about it. She was sad and troubled.

"I'm Christian. I'm not baptized I know. But I know that I am Christian. And that is enough..."
See was so sad. Sylver called her. We asked if we could still meet with her.
"I don't know..."

After a bit we all knew that we wouldn't be able to see her again. ...I asked for a picture.

A picture truly does say a thousand words. She is so sad and tired. She was wiping away tears after the picture. Her kids have classic expressions that are so 'them." The four year old's name is a combination of her and Sylver's name and the two year old is named after her sister who died in her 30's in Africa. 

This picture was taken on the couch. She had just gotten a couch from her friend. She didn't have a couch until today. She always apologized for us having to sit on the floor. She always apologized for not having a couch...
We got to sit on it once at least.
We are praying for a miracle to happen with Sylver. A miracle similar to Alma the younger's experience perhaps.

"And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard‍ the prayers of his people, and also the prayers‍ of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed‍ with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge‍ of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince‍ thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers‍ of his servants might be answered according to their faith," (Mosiah 27:14).

...But the work goes on. We will continue to pray for her. The work is still great here in Williston.

Monday, June 8, 2015

58 - Why Not Minot?

Wow. Why no time! I cheated last week and had two hours, now it's back to an hour. Darn. Till late August.

We drove up to Minot on Monday. That was our P-Day. When we got there, Sister Barrett left all by her lonesome with the zone leaders (the only time when a sister can be alone-if she's a sister training leader traveling in the car to missionary leadership council (MLC)) and I was dropped off at the bowling alley with the Sisters in Minot!

So I bowled in a dress.

And Sister Cleg, we discovered, is a bowling ballerina.

Then we went to the mall in Minot.

And Sister Williams, we discovered, is really a flower child.

And I? I don't know what I am, but I took a picture of me with crazy rings on!

Being in a trio with the Minot Sisters was SO FUN! They are so funny and we get along great and we had some adventures while Sister Barrett was receiving training. While Sister Barrett was in Bismarck, we decided to go to one of the outskirt towns of Minot.

We went to Velva, and we waited forever because of construction. But we met a couple people, including the catholic father guy of the city, and he was super nice!

Then we went to the neighboring city, Sawyer, and went on this long dirt farm road looking for this address.

We stopped at a farm house thing that looked like this and there were these kids just playing outside and they just ran up to us all excited. We asked their grandma for directions, and while she was looking on her phone, one of the little kids pulled down the other little girl's skirt! haha. We slipped a restoration pamphlet into her hand after we got the directions and as we drove away she was holding up the pamphlet to the kids, as if saying, "you see, this is Jesus, and Jesus doesn't ever pull down people's skirts!" hahaha. It was awesome.

And we went to an airforce base for dinner!
Pretty Normal on the Base. :)

It was super cool. 

Minot. It's where all the nuc's are. So when WWIII happens, DON'T come to North Dakota! Serious. 

It was super cool to see how secure the gate is but how normal it looks on base.

We picked Sister Barrett up Wednesday night after dinner on the base. 

Thursday we spent most of the day planning. Sister Barrett had to plan with the zone leaders on how to best take the training that they had received and give the same kind of training again to our zone, but catered to their needs. 

Sister Barrett and the Zone Leaders

So we did that for a good few hours.  

We also taught a few lessons with these sisters, and we also had time to just sing together.

Us four Sisters are all musical, so guess what we did for Zone Conference on Friday! 

A musical number! 

It was so awesome and fun.

We went back to our area after eating out at a Chinese place, and taught a lesson before bed.

And when we woke up... Sister Barrett opened the package that she got! Because it was her birthday! Yay!

Twenty presents for twenty years! And they were all blue, one of her favorite colors!

And the crowning pic, a camera! She needed a new one desperately.

Opening all those presents wore her out.

Just like helping someone move that day wore us out.

And you now what's crazy though? We taught five lessons on Sister Barrett's birthday. AND everyone that we taught just happened to have chocolate to give her, even though almost all of them were drop by visits!

And we then ate at one of her favorite member's house for dinner and she sent a picture of us to our moms and Sister Barrett's family sent back a recording of them singing their happy birthday song to her and that was super special. And then!


And Sunday, our Philaphino recent convert is doing SOOO good. She got a job and she's not working on Sunday and we all started crying as her husband told us that the first thing that she would do coming home was separate 10% from her tips. WE ARE ALL SO PROUD OF HER!!!

This is the song that Sister Barrett and I sang at her baptism. It was written by Sister Barrett's mom. :)

Well that's it! Bye!

P.S. The hallway to Golden's apartment looks like the hallway that turns upside down in the Forest Temple In Zelda Ocarina of Time. lol

Monday, June 1, 2015

57 - Absolutely Golden


Sister Hannah Sanderson
North Dakota Bismarck Mission
101 Slate Dr #7
Bismarck, ND 58503

The mission office will be all moved over come June 8th. So start sending your mail to this address today! President and Sister Anderson are already moved in here, so start sending your mail to this address today!

It's weird seeing the new mission office address and having it be the same zipcode as the address I had in my greenie area, as well as on a street name I recognize.

We are moving out of our two room apartment and into this.

What "this" actually is is the spare room you could say at this motel/hotel called Maddocks's.

Remember back when Kossi and Valorie were baptized? And I talked about these members being awesome and loaning him their spare car for awhile and how they also ran a hotel and got robbed, not horribly, but it was still not cool? Well that's who we are moving in with! The room is the only upstairs room and it's separate from all the other rooms and yeah! It's gonna be awesome! So start sending mail there too! haha.

Some things that I never got to mention that happened last week:

I got this sweet shirt that is so awesome! 

The first week I was here we watched general conference with this recent convert and her cutest-thing-ever daughter, Brooklynn, that has cystic fibrosis, and I bought a shirt and the proceeds go to helping her out! YAY!

And there was another cool story about resolving concerns from last week.

You remember Kossi and Valorie's baptism not to long ago? Well what happened is they moved right before they got baptized and so they actually got baptized into 1st Ward, so we only saw them in passing. 

Well now I serve in 1st Ward, so I get to continue teaching them! YAY!

So I went over to teach them, with Sister Barrett, and Kossi was really struggling, and is still really struggling. 

He wants to find a better job than just working at Papa John's, but he's not having luck because his ability to speak English and have people understand what he's saying is not very good. So he was just venting to us, very very frustrated, and I did the best I could to comfort him. We expressed our love and concern, shared a few scriptures, and left him Ether 12:27 to read. But before we left, Valorie asked us to come back tomorrow because she had a question. We wondered what it was.

We came back the next day to see Valorie and she had questions about baptisms for the dead. The elders did say that they taught them that just recently. So we pulled out the Plan of Salvation visuals and started explaining it that way. Though she was still confused, trying to communicate her question, which is difficult with English not being her primary language at all, and she kept talking about dead, and in Africa, and people calling people and seeing people, and selling and buying and we assured her that there was no money used to do things in the temple, only tithing used to build them. And she nodded at that, but she still was trying to explain, and finally it clicked!

"Oh! Voodoo? You're afraid that what we do in the temple is voodoo?"

"Yes! Yes!"

Oooooh! Wow, yeah, that would be a concern! I'm so glad we figured that out and could clear it up!

Now for this week. 

We were notified of this one person who hadn't been taught in awhile and who was called on the phone by the elders and they set up an appointment and then the person was actually in our area. So we went over there and she kept the appointment! Yay!

It was actually the first ever sisters in Williston (Williston has had sisters for almost a year and a half) that taught her.

And I know both of these Sisters! Sister Gogan is on the right and I served with her on her last day as a missionary while I was in Bismarck, and she is such an inspiration to me because of how she acted on her last day, that Bismarck just felt like her new area. And Sister Iono (I know I'm spelling it wrong...) was Sister Stephens trainer. She served in the same zone as me when I was in Bismarck, and Williston is actually where Sister Iono was trained.

It's surprising that this lady was still here in Williston! It's cool though because she's actually moving in the middle of June, and we got the address where she is moving to, so we can send missionaries to her down there. Super inspired!

This week it also rained really good which was cool!

And also this week, some major highlights:

On Thursday our Philippineo investigator fed us a Philippineo feast! 

It was SOOOO good!! 

And THEN! 


YAAAAAAAY!!! Her husband is an active member, has been forever. She started meeting with the missionaries a little over a year ago. She was catholic and after the first lesson she said she never wanted to meet with the missionaries again. She dropped the missionaries for awhile, but she still came to church occasionally, and then it was more. They even named their now four-month-old baby Ammon after the Book of Mormon character for crying out loud. Two months ago she did NOT want to be baptized, because she wasn't ready. A big worry was her family, going against them. But then, and it wasn't a switch of a button, nothing necessarily triggered it, but all of a sudden she decided she really wanted to be baptized. She felt different when she came to church and when she read the Book of Mormon. And when she told her family this, they actually supported her! And now she has been SOOOO excited!

During her baptism the opening song was "I am a Child of God." And she started crying, and I've never seen her cry yet, and I was conducting the music darn it! So I was up there almost crying, ah! The spirit was so strong! And her husband gave a talk and he's so happy, and when she came up out of the water she said thank you to everyone and ah! It was so spiritual and just, yes! It was awesome.

The next most exciting thing this week! 

We were trying formers and on Monday, Memorial Day, we knocked on this one door and the person who used to live there moved, but this new family from Africa just moved there and WOW! There is a mom and she has two girls ages 2 and 4. The dad works a LOT so we haven't been able to teach him and see where he is at, but we had a lesson with the mom and her two girls and brought a recently returned sister missionary with us and the mom is SO receptive to the gospel! She knows it's a sin to not be married and to have kids and they've actually been working on the paperwork of getting married. She wants to come to church, wants to be baptized, speaks English very well, though we gave her a Book of Mormon in Swahili and she says she can read it in less than a month and she is so excited! She didn't come to church because she got called into a job interview, but she was sad she missed church and yeah! I've never met somebody more golden! Wow!

We invited her to the baptism, and she was so excited! But she didn't come... And she was so excited to come to church... but she didn't come. We went over to ask why and she didn't come to the baptism because she couldn't find nice clothes for the kids and she didn't come to church because she had to go to this job thing. I suspected to was things like that, aw. But it's ok! She's going to read the Book of Mormon all this week and share her testimony when she sees her husband!

I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!! Her name will be Golden. haha.

This week we will be spending the week days out our area. Monday through Friday. Because it's Zone Training Meeting and Sister Barrett has to do all sorts of things and I will be in a trio with the Sisters in Minot for some of what she has to do. Five days is a lot of time not to be in your area. But the Lord is taking care of the people there and providing a way for us to be here. Fellowshippers are such a wonderful thing, especially concerning our investigator who is an older women who really had a lot of questions answered the other week when she was taught the plan of Salvation, who is wonderful friends with the members who were at that lesson and they are bold member missionaries, teaching simply and powerfully and she told us we can't meet this week because she is taking this time to give up smoking, and her member friends are going to be a wonderful support for her! Wow!

So things are wonderful. This has been a wonderful week! Till next time!

P.S.  Here are some AWESOME pictures of this member who has a hawk!! What!? He let us feed it before dinner. This was actually taken before we figured out our areas, so he's not in the ward we are serving it turns out, but, it was so awesome that we got to see his hawk while we still could!