Monday, May 30, 2016

Hello again Everyone!

Things are going well here in the valley of the sun. By the end of the week we'll be enjoying a nice and crispy 115+ degrees and endless amounts of blue skies.

There's this one person we're working with who's just "blossoming like a rose". We came across her through her family and with encouragement visited her the first time. During that visit, she had a hover board sitting down on the ground and so Elder Kaufusi wanted to try it out. For about a half an hour we just tried getting used to the hover board and just talking about random things, set up a time when we could come back, and then left.

After we left, we were evaluating the 'lesson' we had just had, and we thought that it was probably a waste of time. But none of us really felt the need to teach, and we didn't feel bad about not teaching, so we didn't think much of it. During the week before we came by again, she had gone around to almost her whole family and talked about how the missionaries just came by and did nothing but ride the hover board. Not in a disappointed way, but a surprised way, like missionaries can be normal people. Now we're teaching her regularly and she's wanting to move on towards the temple. Now that we look back, if we had been serious about teaching her that one day, she probably wouldn't have been interested, but she got to see that missionaries aren't robots. Kind of uncanny how the Spirit works sometimes.

President Sweeney will be leaving our mission for good on the 30th of June. That will be a sad day, but we also saw a video with our new mission president and companion the other day. They are similar, but different, I can't quite explain it.

Well, talk to you all later!

Elder Sands

Monday, May 23, 2016


This last week has been quite slow. We've had set seven appointments every single day this week, but we've had close to 95% cancellation rate. That means that almost every single one of our appointments except for four, canceled on us. Out of the 23 set appointments that we have this week and for that actually went through that comes out with a percentage of: 90.8% if only that was a success number!

I also had a meeting with President Sweeney this last week, and we talked about the state of the ASL program in the Arizona Scottsdale Mission. He then informed me that he will not be transferring me back to the ASL program while he's president. :(

My only chance of going back to the ASL program now is if President Robinson (the new mission president coming next month) wants to throw me back in there. Apparently they have two new missionaries in the program right now, and neither of them know how to sign.

But other than that, a member in my last area, Sister Densmore, received her endowments in the temple! It was so great to see her again and to be able to attend her session. We also went on the ward campout to Camp LOMIA. Many people showed up, and it was a really fun experience. We are able to help out with a few things and I think we build some trust with a few new members. We also visited the Tonto National Natural Bridge up there. It was really cool to be able to see that national park. It is literally a land bridge made from water flowing underneath it. It's really cool to see Xclamation point we got to climb below it and have water following us like it was raining.

Hope everybody has a great week!

Elder Sands

Monday, May 16, 2016


Lots of meetings happened this last week. One of them was called Zone Training Meeting (ZTM). Our mission president will be going home in about a month, so he has set a goal to get 40 baptisms the month of April, 50 for May, and 60 for June. In January-March, we averaged about 36, so our mission has much to do so we can permanently increase our baptisms. There's a natural somberness going on in the mission right now because we will be losing our beloved mission president and the weight to do better. Almost every missionary I've talked with doesn't know exactly how it's going to happen, but this is where faith and hard work comes in.

One of the people we've been working with just made it to the temple for the first time a few days ago. It's always wonderful to see how people seem to glow after getting their endowments. It's such a privilege to teach and accompany individuals to the temple.

This last Saturday we had dinner with a member who was looking for a new dog. Some previous missionaries had promised them a rez (Indian reservation) dog but they never came through. The next day we were at another member's home who had a number of rez dogs just hanging out in their yard that they fed every now and then. We saw one that looked pretty decent so we asked if we could take it for this family. They let us so we took it to the member's home and they were ecstatic! They named him Spot.

Have a great week!

Elder Sands

Monday, May 9, 2016


So, sorry I haven't written anybody in a while, Things have been really busy here!

I'm staying in the Papago Ward for another transfer but by all indications, I will be returning to ASL next transfer (I’ve been away from ASL longer than any other missionary has in the past). I love the Papago Ward and its wonderful members. This will be my 3rd transfer in the Papago Ward and my 7th transfer in this zone, the Maricopa Zone. Quite a long time to be in one area.

One funny fact: (almost) every morning we go to this high school track to work out. When I first got to this area, school had started that week. By the time I leave this area, school will have been out for at least 3 weeks. That's a long time to be in the same place on a mission!

We've been working with a lot of people, trying to get them to the temple, either for their first time or going back after a long absence, as well as teaching people to be prepared to get baptized, but so far very few are moving quickly towards their goals. Life gets busy and the gospel falls in priority and eventually never gets the attention it needs to grant them eternal life. I hope none of you are cutting yourselves off from such amazing spiritual blessings by letting the gospel fall by the wayside under the onslaught of the distractions of life. The gospel is the most important thing in the world.

(I think it was) Richard G. Scott who said that you should not yield to Satan's lie, which is that you do not have time to read the Book of Mormon. Read it! It's wonderful! It changes lives!

Have a great week!

Elder Sands