Monday, November 30, 2015

A surprisingly eventful week. The week was been pretty slow in terms of missionary work because not many people want to, or can, meet with missionaries on and around Thanksgiving. But, not to worry, we managed to stay pretty busy most of the time.

We helped Brother Shoemaker put all of his food storage and other things back into his storage room from his garage because his daughter was living with him and his wife for a couple of weeks and wanted to give their sons a room of their own. Ever since they moved in, we've spent probably close to 20 hours helping him out and we loved every minute of it. I knew Brother Shoemaker from before I came to this area because as he's one of the ASL temple workers and really popular in the valley amongst the Deaf.

We went by for his wife's birthday on Monday, had dinner at their house on Thanksgiving, and spent 6 hours at their house black Friday moving all of their things. Since day one I've been there to help him out when he's needed it so for my birthday, he gave me this really nice pen as thanks. (see pic)!

And yesterday the Stake had a musical Fireside (Evening of the Arts for those of you in the Spokane Stake) and they had me play in it! I played Snowfall for the stake and they loved it. It’s been a while since I’ve preformed like that! I also played prelude for our ward for the last couple of weeks and will be playing a special musical number for church on the 13th and for our ward Christmas party on the 11th. What an exciting surprise!

Music is such an amazing thing. Yesterday it was the bishop's daughter's farewell. She'll be serving in New Jersey and in honor of this, her family played a wonderful song titled "Redeemer" by Paul Cardall. They had a piano, a viola, 2 cellos, and 2 violins. It was so powerful and they played it so wonderfully. Everyone was saying, "Wow those people really know how to play!" and of course I’m thinking, "Those violins did a wonderful job accompanying the piano!" But seriously, music can express feelings and thoughts probably more effectively than any language can and hence comes the verse in D&C 25:12: "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart, yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

Keep Singing/Playing everyone! You never know whose life you may effect for the better.

Elder Sands

Monday, November 23, 2015

Training is going great with my companion! The amount of teaching we're doing has dropped a bit since our ward boundary change moved many people to other wards and gave none back in return. But this has given us the gift of time that we did not have before. We've really been focusing on building member trust in our ward and its working!

This last week, we were biking by a member's home that I didn't know very much about, but we saw that there was a huge pile of pebble rocks on their lawn. So we stopped in and asked if they needed help spreading it out. They were so appreciative for the offer and we came back Tuesday to help them. They said it was about 4.5 tons of rock. And the greatest part? Their child's name is Asa! That kid is so nice!

Doing service for others, I have found, is one of the fastest ways to their hearts. We've been doing tons of service for our members, and in doing so other members want to help us even more. It's amazing the effects of selflessly helping others. Yes, this is a simple example from my mission, but this has application all through our lives as well. Try it out, you might actually make more friends! :)

Have a very wonderful Thanksgiving, remembering the reason for the holiday.

Elder Sands

Monday, November 16, 2015


Last week was a pretty good one. My new companion and I are getting along well and things are going smoothly. We have 2 more investigators, which is surprising since our ward boundaries just got shrunk, and they are interested and want to progress. We went around and visited all of the people who just left our ward because of the boundary change and some were really sad about leaving our ward. The ward will miss them and so will I, but the Lord knows what's best.

Let me share a story of service. We helped a member of our ward (who is the official ASL expert in the valley) move his daughter out of his house and into her own. She had to live with him for a few weeks while they figured out a housing problem, and then they asked if we could help them move her out. He asked for some elders, and we got the entire district there to help him (10 missionaries, including sisters). His daughter was almost in tears when all of us showed up to help her out. It's wonderful to see what happens when we help those in need.

Love, Elder Sands

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Last week was transfers and everything in this zone has changed. The transfer before this one, almost nothing changed; only 2 companionships were changed, but this one was the complete opposite. All but 2 companionships in the entire zone were changed, including mine. My trainee, Elder Catmull, was transferred to Scottsdale and I received another missionary fresh out of the MTC. His name is Elder Carlson. He's really wants to learn and become as good as he can.

This last week we went to the Mesa temple with several other stakes to set up the grounds for the temple lights that will be starting there soon. Elder Catmull and I actually went into the temple for the first hour and a half because it was Shawna's first time in the temple. She was doing baptisms for the dead and she was so ecstatic when she was going through the ordinances. She was just glowing when she left.

We then helped getting all the lights in and around the trees. So there we were, helping out in our church dress in the trees getting weird looks from everyone else because we were the only ones dressed up.

I'm now one of the technology experts in our mission. I seem to understand the iPad more than anyone else in the mission. If anyone has problems with their iPad, specifically with it running slow or if it has other system operation errors, then I diagnose it. Elder Morgan is in charge of a couple specific app diagnostics but I take care of the rest. I think it's really fun teaching other missionaries how to run their iPads to the best of their ability. They really are a nice tool, especially when spreading the Gospel.

Have a great week!

Elder Sands

Monday, November 2, 2015


This week's certainly been quite a rollercoaster. We said goodbye to my companion of almost 2 transfers as he headed back to his home state of Missouri. Elder Catmull and I will be together for at least one more week before transfers as well.

Our ward is getting split and from what we've heard, the areas where we have the most work in are being given to other wards. Now we'll have to start focusing on other areas in the ward that aren't as rich in people ready to hear the gospel. We're going to start focusing away from converting people and more on reconverting the not-so-converted.

When I was in ASL work, it was so hard to find people to teach. Now ASL work is so down that the missionaries are over an English ward as well. Now the mission president is saying that he's going to make ASL work a sister's area and if that doesn't turn it around, then our mission won't have ASL elders anymore. That may mean no more ASL work for me no matter how it turns out. Oh well, the members there were so wonderful to work with, but I’ll probably never see them again. Maybe in the future more deaf people will be interested and missionaries can start coming back.

On Halloween, I spent 6 hours in the Mesa Temple doing work for the dead. I did a few baptisms and other ordinance work and even took one name all the way through the temple. That was such a wonderful experience. I truly do testify that the temple is the place where the most important work of this world is done.

Have a great week everyone!