Monday, April 27, 2015

Come Thou Fount of EVERY Blessing

E aí meus QUERIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDOS! Well this week was insanely fast! My new comp is Elder P. Silva from Londrinas, Paraná. He's only been out for about 6 months but he's a super hard worker so we're working hard out here with the citizens of Pelotas.  We've been working super hard in 2 parts of our area, Laranjal (the beach) and Umuharama (a rich neighborhood next to the shopping mall). We had tons of experiences this week as we have been working hard to accomplish a goal of mine and knock every single door in Umuharama during this transfer. We were able to teach a large variety of people, such as a legit hippie, a professional volleyball player, a baptist church pastor, a Japanese family, and a bunch of others.  The mission is great for stuff like this.

As you can see in the pictures, I experimented chimmarrão in an orange (yummmm), saw some cool sunsets, Zona Pelotas is being taken over by sisters, and I had some sweet meditation time on the beach #ReceivingRevelation.

I discovered that my biggest "pet peeve" on the mission is when someone interrupts me during the part of the First Vision. I know I shouldn't get mad at people and need to have patience BUT that is prime time for the spirit to testify like crazy and at times it gets cut short because someone wants to ask a question like, "Does it snow a lot where you live?", "Have you ever met a movie star?", or "My pastor speaks in the language of angels. Do you speak in the language of angels too?" Yeah that really bugs me. It happened once this week and I just wasn't havin it so when we got home, I decided to have a spirtual moment to myself and watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" to remind myself of how awesome the restoration is without interruptions. I invite all of you to watch it as well and feel the spirit! No matter whether you've seen it a billion times or have never seen it in your life, WATCH IT!

On the mission I've been able to see how much I've really been blessed in my life. The other night we got a call from the same elders that passed us a ton of golden references and the elder says, "Elder Sanok, you are the luckiest elder in the world. A family showed up to an activity in our ward tonight and they all want to get baptized. They live in your area." I started laughing because I couldn't believe it. It's not luck, just blessings. God has blessed me in numerous ways throughout my life. I have been blessed with an amazing family and friends, great health, the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, talents and abilities, and good hair. I pondered a lot about my blessings that night and made a huge list. I invite every single one of you to make lists of the blessings in your life and I promise you that you'll feel happy and see how much our Father in Heaven loves us!
"Come thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace,
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise".

God loves you. Jesus loves you. Dan loves you too.

Have a great week or not, the choice is yours!

Elder Sanok

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Another Transfer Come and Gone

Another transfer out of the way! It's pretty crazy looking back and seeing how fast these 6 weeks went by. Unfortunately, my companion was transferred but it's to the zone right next to us. I'll be comps with Elder P. Silva, a Brazilian. I look forward to the work this transfer. It's always nice to have a fresh start and create new goals.

This week we had a cool experience with a fast that we did in which we were fasting for help with where to work in our area and to find new investigators. On Monday night we got a call from some elders in the other zone that they had accidentally been working in our area and had a ton of investigators but since it is our area, they had to pass everything to us. They took us there the next day and introduced us to a ton of new people, three in which have baptismal dates for this month! It truly was an answer to our prayers and now this transfer we're gonna have a ton of work to do!

The transfer is gonna fly by, I know it (especially because it is only 5 weeks long). One of the areas in our district closed because it wasn't progressing much and another area of sisters was added to our district. Now I'm gonna have one pair of elders to take care of and three of sisters.... #Pray4ElderDan

I called the secretaries this week asking them to make me a name tag that says "Elder Sanok III" and they said no but when I explained that it is my birth name they said that they'll see what they can do!

Mother's Day is coming up!! Crazy to think that it'll be my last Skype call....

Yesterday when we were having our meeting with the Ward Mission Leaders and ward missionaries, the stake president came in and said that the mission call for one of the young women came in the mail and we were invited to watch. It was a spiritual moment and gave me a really good feeling about what I'm doing here. I think the last mission call I saw was my own so it was definitely cool to feel that feeling again of opening a mission call.

I won't lie when I say that I'm trunky (8 MORE MONTHS) but I can assure you all that I'm working hard.  I'm grateful to be here serving the Lord. I know that these two years are definitely what my life needed. 

Here are a few pictures too - pics of my tie collection, a super good lunch that i made (my cooking skillz are improving), me on a bike, and my district during a distrito amigo at the beach!

Elder Sanok

Monday, April 13, 2015

Gambit Style

What's up y'all? Just wanna apologize in advance for not taking any pictures this week... We were super busy and of course when I wanted to take pictures I didn't have my camera.  But I did make a pretty funny video this morning about how to do street contacts with pass-along-cards "Gambit" style. I learned how to throw cards in a really cool way and now there's about 200 Christmas pass-along-cards on the floor in our apartment. Yeah, we get pretty bored on P-Days... (but I forgot my memory card because I didn't have any pics to week!)

This week was mostly spent helping out the district by doing divisions, Distrito Amigo, baptismal interviews, etc. Honestly I feel like we hardly worked in our area because we were so busy running around Pelotas. But the work in our area is going great. We did a fast this week to receive inspiration for our area to see how we can help it progress and we've been inspired to work in certain parts of our area that we haven't before; we'll see how it goes! One thing I've learned on my mission is the importance of following spiritual promptings even when we don't know what the outcome is going to be. We've been prompted to work in a much richer part of our area because we feel like it is what our ward is needing.

Another thing I'm super grateful for is the gift of tongues. It is amazing how fast I have conquered Portuguese and can communicate fluently with the people here. We teach an English class once a week and this week we had a good amount of people that came. It is so cool that I am able to teach my native language in a different language. Not only that, but I am able to understand Spanish now! My companion is from Chile and has been teaching me a few things about Spanish every once in a while. I remember how painful the beginning of my mission was when I was trying to learn Portuguese and I wanted to give up so badly but I am so grateful that I pushed through and gave it my all!

We're now entering the last week of this transfer... The time is going by so fast! I can't believe I'm 8 months away from what seemed like an eternity a while ago. I love you all and pray for you always!

Peace, love, and churrasco,

Elder Sanok

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Because He Lives!

My dear brothers and sisters, FELIZ PASCOA! I hope you all had a great Easter Sunday full of chocolate, Jesus, and General Conference! This week was one of those better weeks on the mission that comes every once in a while. I hope that for you all, it was a great week as well!

So the beginning of the week was slow and normal but on Thursday we had Distrito Amigo in our area which is when we take the entire district to our area to work and help us out for the day. We took the district out to our part of the area on the beach which was way cool for everyone. Yes it was a good day in terms of numbers but for me, what made my day was seeing the huge smiles on everyone's faces when we took everyone down to a beautiful part that overlooks the water right as the sun was going down and the sky was an orange and pink color.  

General Conference was AWESOME. It's crazy how fast it came and went. ONE MORE to go! I hope all of you were just as spiritually uplifted as I was. After all them talks from the Saturday session on marriage and family, I'm anxious to put what I learned in practice.... 8 more months till the search for the next Mrs. Sanok is on!!! I kept the tradition alive after conference by grabbing some burgers and fries! 

Sunday was full of powerful talks on the Atonement, something that I've been gaining much more appreciation for since being out here on my mission. I'll never be able to know what Christ went through and how it must have felt but I've been able to feel a little bit of that sacrifice as I've left my life behind to serve Him for these two years. I'll never be able to pay Him back for what He did for me but I feel that by doing this mission, I'm able to make a small contribution. I know that my Redeemer lives, and because He lives, I am who I am and can be all that I can be. Check out this awesome video that the church put out, "Because He Lives". I promise you that these 2 minutes and 26 seconds are worth your time.

I love you all and I love my Savior!
Have a great week!

Elder Sanok
p.s. I got chocolate and energy drinks for Easter. :D