Semana 45: Rainin’ Mighty Miracles

Hola y’all!

Hey! It’s been about a month!!! Sorry about that. Been busy fighting off alligators and life-sucking mosquitoes 
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. Well… I’ll be staying in my current area of Brazoria for 6 more weeks as District Leader! I’m totally stoked for that, I love being a district leader because things are just more personal. And we have some awesome new missionaries coming into the district so I’m just full of energy. We out in Bayyyyy City!
A couple things have been bumping lately!
Hilda!
Hilda whew. I’ve been teaching Hilda ever since I got here over 4 months ago. She was super close to getting baptized and then backed out an hour before. But now she is going strong again! We are actually hoping to go over tonight and help her set a new baptismal date. Hilda has been an amazing example to me of faith even when we have many trials in our way. She has held on so strong and has come to church every week for the past 6 months! What a baller. So please pray for Hilda by name! 

Elder Robinson!
Man I love my companion Elder Robinson. We get along really well and just have tons of fun. I’m trying to turn him into a workhouse out here in the hot, humid Texas summer. And it’s working .

Lots of rain!

There’s lots of rain. And it’s humid.

Exercise machine!

TENDER MERCY ALERT. So we went to go move this one lady this past week. Get this: Elder Saunders has really been looking to get some workout equipment so that I can come back swole in a year. Well, we walk into this lady’s apartment and boom right there is an exercise machine that could collapse and fit in our Corolla. I’m eyeing it the entire time we are there, just waiting to see if there’s any chance that it’s being left behind. Finally, we get to the end of the move. All of the sudden, she comes up and asks “Hey, would you like this exercise machine, I’m not taking it” and I literally go crazy. I pick that sucker up and chuck it in our car faster than a Hispanic worker leaving the plants in Clute on a Friday afternoon. I prayed for something that would help me wake up and exercise in the morning, and it came! Moral of the story: Prayers get answered!!!! (see Enos 1 for more info)

KAHOOT!

Hahahaha I discovered a secret. It turns out the missionary department doesn’t block Kahoot on missionary devices so I made a Kahoot on Teaching with the Scriptures for our last district council! hahaha everyone went crazy when I pulled it up, it was so fun. #ThanksMissionaryDepartment!
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Quick question! Respond if you want!

So I actually have a question for the probably 2.5 of you that are actually reading this. What gets you motivated to do missionary work? What kind of things can missionaries do to really excite you to share the Gospel? For those of you that served or have been involved with small (15-30 active member) branches, how did you help the great Work of Salvation progress? I’m not expecting to baptize the nations, I just would like to hear people’s thoughts. Feel free to email me back, I’d appreciate it a TON!

Well, other than that, I just want to bear my testimony of a special set of the Savior’s servants. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like being an Apostle during His earthly ministry. It must have been such a faith building experience to be right there alongside the King of Kings as He ministered to those that needed healing. Imagine the indirect impact of the miracles Christ performed. Imagine how He blessed those that witnessed the healings, casting outs, and raisings from the dead. The modern day Apostles have a special sanction that separates them from all other general authorities: they are to stand as “special witnesses” of the Savior. I invite each of you to study the teachings of the modern Apostles. Whether it be Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Cook, or Elder Gong, there is so much to learn from each of those 12 men. I promise that as you study their teachings, you will come to develop a “special witness” of Jesus Christ. I bear testimony that power has come to my teaching as I have studied the words of living prophets. I love those men so much, and pray for them. The organization of the Church is definitive proof that God has restored the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days. I know that Jesus Christ looks out for you! Just… look for Him! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love y’all! Have a dandy week!
– Elder Saunders

Pictures

Elder Saunders is doing great. He continues to grow through the good and challenging times. We love being able to talk with him but it has created a lapse in his emails:). We asked him to share pictures with us so here you go.

Thanks for all those who pray for him and write him. He loves hearing from people.

Semana 41: Love My Mission

Howdy y’all!

MASSIVE DAMAGE done these past few weeks. Sorry I haven’t sent out any weekly emails, I’ve forgotten half of the English alphabet and so it takes a lot of work to write. Welp we remodeled our entire apartment today and so I don’t have tons of time. I’m just going to give a breakdown of what has happened the past few weeks.

Elder Robinson

2 weeks ago were transfers and I got a new companion named Elder Robinson from Chandler, Arizona. He’s only been out for 4 months and he’s taught me all about what’s happened in the outside world. It’s crazy! Tons of albums dropped. He keeps on quoting raps and I look at him confused and he’s like oooh that came out after your left. But for real Elder Robinson and I get along really well. We have a similar sense of humor and we just have such a good time. Literally my favorite start to a transfer so far.

District Leader

So I also got called as a District leader which has been an amazing opportunity. Our district is on fire right now in all aspects of the work. I love all the members of my district. It’s been so much fun and I actually want to share a cool experience I had just last night while on a call with the Zone Leaders. So the zone leaders are in our district so they account to me on how their week went, how the area is, goals for this next week. So at the end of the call I had an impression from the Spirit to ask an Elder a question about how he loves the people of his area. Since it’s his last transfer, he actually opened up and admitted that he’s struggled a lot with connecting with people especially with such a short time left. The SPirit filled me and I promised him that if he put every effort into connecting with the people, he would end his mission feeling like he did all he could. He expressed that what I had said was an answer to a question he has been asking the Lord. It was so cool, and I was grateful to be an instrument in that experience.
Meditation

One thing that I have been doing lately is when I have felt stressed, I have stopped and meditated for just 10 minutes. It has been a total game changer! I don’t do any weird hum chant or anything, just focus on having a clear mind. Elder Stites if you’re reading this, thanks for teaching me to slow down to speed up! 

Anyways I’m super happy with how my mission has been going lately. I know that the Lord is looking after me and that he is blessing all of you for your prayers. I know the Savior LIVES! He LIVES everyone! His hands, marked at the palm, are extended to catch you when you fall. His legs, pierced at the feet, take every step along side you. Look to Him, and He will carry! That’s my testimony that I would like to share with the world. I stinking love this work!!!!

Love y’all!

– Elder Saunders
P.S: Congrats to all my graduate friends! Let’s goooo!!

The Lord’s Hand

Howdy y’all!

It’s been a good two weeks. There are some weeks that just pass by without tons other than missionary work. That’s basically what it has been like recently. I’ll share a quick experience from this past week.
So the English elders gave us a referral two weeks ago for a lady named Blanca. They had knocked her door, and even though she didn’t speak much English, they managed to find out that she has interest in learning about the Gospel. So we decide to pass by to get to know her and to invite her to the English classes we teach her. At English class, we were able to introduce her to the Relief Society President. We also showed her the chapel which was a cool experience.The next day we went over there. They just moved in to their apartment so they don’t have any couches so we ate dinner sitting on the floor. We taught her the Restoration. After sharing the First Vision it was really cool because her eyes brightened up and she said “Yo creo que Jose Smith fue profeta y que el vio Dios.” which is “I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he saw God”. I was like what the heck that took me 18 years to figure that out!! So it was awesome to hear her testify of what we had just taught. She then expressed that she has been looking for the truth her entire life and she think she has finally found it! So stay tuned to see where that goes. It is so humbling to see the Lord’s hand in this work, His work. When we act, blessings will enter our lives.
Anyways I don’t have tons of time. But I love you all! I hope you all take care this week, don’t forget the Lord loves you!
– Elder Saunders

Semana 39: I TRAVELED TO CAMBODIA (not click bait!!!)

Howdy y’all!

I had a dream last night that I was the DJ for a dance back in high school, it was super dope. Anyways now that that’s out of the way, how’s it going? Over here in Brazoria, we just chilling doing missionary work and the such. Actually, we’ve been working hard to keep the work progressing. Something that bothers me is that a lot of people call this zone “exile” because it’s so far away from everyone else and because they say the work is a lot slower. But we are the only zone hitting out monthly goals, so we are literally just flexing on everyone. For any of you other missionaries that get sent to “exile” areas, don’t even listen to that kind of stuff. The Lord prepares people EVERYWHERE, EVERYDAY. Just go in with the mindset that if you are obedient and work hard, the Lord will bless you with success. But also remember that SUCCESS DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL NUMBERS.

Now it’s time forrrrrrrr theeeeeeee newwwwsssssssss.

Monday

Monday was super awesome, we got to go play baseball with our mission president Presidente Guthrie because our zone hit our monthly baptismal goal in March and April. It was super fun, after hitting around a little we played a game of baseball with the tennis ball. Our team was the Little Squeezers, that’s what Elder Perkins and I call Little Caesers and so it caught on quickly. We won the game because President Guthrie hit a walkoff home run, it was super clutch and just a good time overall.

Tuesday

We went around and put up some fliers for English classes. We then helped Hermana Reyes with her yard. While we were out walking around, we talked to this super awesome lady named Jennifer. She has tons of faith and really connected with the message we share. We talked with her about the Come Follow Me program and how it blesses the home with a Spirit not felt before. She is interested in learning more, and said she loved what we do. People down here are usually super awesome, I love Lake Jackson. We wrapped the night up by teaching English Class and then talking to Hilda, who is going to be baptized May 17th.

Wednesday

Wednesday we had district council as usual. During district council, we were told that the Mission-wide policy for music has changed: we can only listen to music that would be appropriate for sacrament meeting. Oof that hit me hard. Because I have a tons of missionary music like raps about the Gospel and parodies (like one of Justin Beiber’s “Boyfriend” called “Convert”). So I immediately deleted any music that wasn’t approved by these new standards. It was really hard, but one of the best lessons I have learned on my mission is when the Lord commands, DO IT. Later onWe met this kid named Kevin, he is actually the son of a lady we are teaching named Ana. Anyways this kid is super solid in the Baptist church he goes to, even though he is only 8 years old. His parents don’t even go with him or force him to go. He’s just been going there for like 3 years or something like that. But I’m praying he will be open to listen and come to church.

Thursday

We helped this one lady move and her house was kind of freaky. She literally had a shrine to Dolly Parton, had tons of picture of her son photoshopped next to Dolly Parton, had statues of her, it was actually hilarious. But she was a nice lady so it was all good!

Friday

Insert thoughts or feelings when you don’t have your….wait was that a squirrel? Those that know will get this.

Saturday

DUDE SATURDAY WAS TIGHT!!! So we went and drove up to a service project where we helped America Red Cross install free smoke detectors in a bunch of Cambodian and Hispanic homes. It’s literally this place called Little Cambodia right in the middle of nowhere Texas. They had a freaking MONASTERY here! Plus we met some super cool Hispanic people that were all from Guanajuato (think I spelt that wrong but too lazy to check) Mexico. It turns out they were all family. The best part of the service is that a bunch of missionaries from other zones showed up, so I got to see a lot of old friends including my trainee Elder Freeborn. It was really good to see him. There was this super cool Cambodian guy that played these magical instruments that I didn’t know existed. He was getting dang HYPE on these things.  It was soooooo lit. Anyways Saturday we also had dinner with the Stake President, call me fresh 😎. And at night, we found this cool guy from the Caribbean named Alex and started teaching him.

Sunday

Normal Sunday activities. Plus we had a General Priesthood Session of Stake Conference over in Bay City. It was pretty dope because they talked about missionary work and a lot of stuff I have been talking about with members recently in order to get them involved in missionary work in natural ways like just inviting people to things.

There is the rundown. Sorry I’ve been flakey on sending out weeklies, I honestly am too lazy to write out an email sometimes. Jajajaja así es. I want to hear from people this week though! What’s been going on in your life? What’s been bumping? I can’t wait to hear from all 3 of you that read my emails 😍 Welp, that’s it for today folks. I love the Lord, He has helped me become a tool in His hands. I want to invite you all to check out these DOPEEEEE new videos about sharing the Gospel that can be found in the Gospel Library App. To get there, you just gotta go:

Missionary > Sharing the Gospel > Come and See Videos.

Here’s a link to one of the videos: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/video/come-and-see-videos/2019-04-0010-inviting-others-to-come-and-see-1080p-eng

The “Inviting Others” videos are honestly super awesome, I love them and know that if put into practice the Gathering of Israel will hasten.

Anyways, love y’all, have a good week!

– Elder Saunders

carson.saunders@missionary.org

Pics

1. A super lit Cambodian dude playing an instrument
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2. Elder Perkins has evolved
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3. This one is super random lol. I was going through some pictures from my Farewell, and found this one of one of my best friends, Elder Taylor “T-Dog” “Tay-Tay” “T-spence” “Pizza time” “New Jersey’s Finest” Spencer. What a hot kid. Love ya Tay.

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Semana 37: Consecration

Howdy y’all!

How’s it going? It’s the one and only Carsauce Elder Saunders! We just out here in the Bay CIty Zone chilling, baptizing some dudes. Yep that’s right, I had the amazing opportunity to baptize my little buddy Javier last week. It was super awesome, and I actually did it right. Some of the other highlights from the past two weeks: 1) General Conference was pretty bomb, I’m pumped to still be staying out for 24 months hahaha, 2) Transfers happened, I’m staying and so is my companion Elder Perkins, 3) the work of salvation hastens.

Here in the Brazoria Branch of the church, the work has been going really good. Since we really started pushing the work here when I got here a month and a half ago, the sacrament attendance has increased by about 15-20 people than normal. #BlessingsofObedience. I’m really enjoying the work; and I feel like each week counts for one whole year of development in my testimony if I wasn’t on my mission. For any of you preparing to serve: the best preparation is to pray every morning and every night. Literally, that is the only advice I can give that I feel like is universal. For any of my homies currently serving: email me, I have a talk that I would love to share with you to help you out

One of the miracles I have seen recently is that I’ve been able to really focus on becoming more consecrated. The Law of Consecration is a law of Heaven. For any of you that don’t know what exactly consecration means, it means devoting everything that we have and are to the Lord. Back when Joseph Smith was around, he received revelation from God commanding that the Saints consecrate everything to the Lord for the building up of Zion. That got me thinking: how good am I doing at remembering the Lord in all I do? What stuff do I do that I wouldn’t necessarily want to consecrate to Him? That’s when the great realization came that as a Servant of Him, I need to be better and consecrating myself.

The question I invite you to ponder: how consecrated are you? If there is anything you can do to better devote yourself to the Lord, may I suggest something simple: DO IT. The principle is simple: we give up a little, we are blessed with a lot. To slightly change a quote by my man Donald Trump: “This is the best trade deal, in the history of trade deals.” Mic drop.

I can’t believe I just quoted Donald Trump in my weekly email.

What has Texas done to me?

– Elder Saunders

 

Semana 35: 8 Months!

Howdy y’all!

Your favorite Elder turns 19 this Wednesday! That’s basically the only cool thing happenin’ down here in what I call Beastzoria. Hahaha I’m proud of that one.
It’s been an amazing week and an amazing month! This has been pretty much the best month this area has seen in YEARS! SO that’s pretty dank. Welp, I’m just going to share a cool experience from this week.
March 29th, 2019
8:32 pm
Richwood, Texas
We walked up to the door of this trailer. With only one light on inside, we assumed that there was no one there. Knocking after 7:30 at night rarely goes well. So half-doubting that anything would come of it, we knocked the door. We waited. We knocked a second time. Then a short Mexican lady opened up the door. We talked for a second, and realized that she was a formerly taught person who was deleted from the system. So she and her husband let us inside and they let us teach them the Gospel. Sometimes you just gotta send it. Miracles happen! The Lord’s work goes ooooonnnn! 
Love y’all, thanks all for the birthday wishes. Have a wonderful week!
– Elder Saunders

Here are some pics