Semana 55: Houston, we have a problem

Howdy y’all! 

YES I’VE BEEN WAITING MY ENTIRE MISSION TO USE THAT SUBJECT!! Read 2 paragraphs down to understand. Prayers truly get answered. Anyways. 
Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve sent an email. I’ve been going through an interesting part of my mission and really don’t even know how to explain it. But I’m doing really well right now. Last Monday I was transferred to the Kemah branch. I’ll be working in another branch! I’m actually super stoked because this area seems AWESOME for me. The Elders haven’t baptized in something like 2-3 years so President sent me here to figure out why that is. We’re going to tear this area apart (in a good way). 
This area also has NASA!!!!! I live like 10 minutes away from it!! We also have this place called the Kemah Boardwalk (which we aren’t allowed to visit), the Texas City Bucees which is HUUUGE (Donald Trump voice [sorry if you have no clue what Bucees is, it’s the closest think to the Celestial kingdom in mortality 🤷‍♂️]), and we have Galveston in our zone. I’m loving my time here. 
Some other updates: 
– I finally hit my year one year mark on my mission! I actually have less than 11 months left at this point. I get home July 13th of next year so mark yo calendarios
– Our mission became famous 
– We baptized Hilda back in Brazoria
– I’m still a district leader but I’m totally happy with that. Any other leadership calling means less time spent working the area. 
– My new companion is Elder Haymore from Grantsville, Utah. He just got out of training so I’m having a fun time “breaking him”. He was trained by my good friend Elder Underwood who I was Companions with for 2 weeks and we both spent our first 6 months together in the same ward. But I am learning a lot from Elder Haymore and he is such a blessing.
– I’ve learned to heavily rely on the Lord to strengthen me and to help me overcome any fear which I face. At this point of my mission, I just wanna work my butt off. 
A cool experience that happened this past week is that we knocked into a man named Fernando. Fernando is from Guanajuato, Mexico (shout out to Elder Freebourn’s grandma) and has been here for about 17 years. He sat us down and asked us to teach him, so we did just that. We taught him the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how through the prophet Joseph Smith God restored the same church that existed in the New Testament. The spirit was really strong during that meeting. He invited us to come back the next evening, which was Sunday night. When we got there, I almost immediately asked him “Fernando, do you wanted to be baptized by someone who holds the proper authority of the Priesthood? He was really thrown off by that. At first I was worried I acted with overbearance. But then he said “I’ve talked to a lot of people like you missionaries, but no one has ever been loving enough to be that direct.” That was super cool, as I was totally being led by the spirit and didn’t know what I was saying. But I just felt so much love for Fernando and that allowed the boldness to be tempered with love. So now Fernando’s striving to learn more in preparation for the covenant path. I can just tell that Fernando’s going to progress very far. He is one of the most humble men I have ever met, and is such a lover of God. I’m really excited to continue working with Fernando, and we have an appointment with him Tuesday afternoon.
The Lord Lives. As Paul says in his epistle to the Phillipians: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I am now a strong witness of this. The Lord builds us up when we build ourselves on Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen! 
Love y’all, have a wonderful 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!!

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 32: Fetchin’ Great

Howdy y’all! 

How’s it going? Things are just chilling out here in the big TX. This will be a decently short email because this week wasn’t too busy besides just balling out hard.

Actually, I probably am only going to include a couple highlights from this week because it wasn’t too eventful.

Getting fed infinitely by members

We get fed soooo much down here. I’ve gained a solid 10 pounds or so in the 2 weeks I’ve been here. The members are few but are super strong and so they feed us everything. We get so much food sometimes we don’t know what to do with it. Which is such a blessing honestly, and it’s teaching me to learn how to EAT!

Finding tons of people

We were able to start teaching tons of new people this week! It’s a record-high for this area at least, and 5 people came to church! For sure was an amazing week for the work of the Lord.

Learning the Uke!

I’m starting to learn the ukelele. Which I suck at but it is still tons of fun and Elder Perkins is teaching me well. I can’t wait for when I learn to play the Pokemon theme song.

Loving life!

Anyways, as you can tell these are happy days in Elder Saunders’ journey. I am really loving the people and striving my best to become a consecrated servant of the Lord. My advice: Be obedient! Obedience is key to personal revelation and feeling good about ourselves. YOU WILL NEVER FEEL BAD ABOUT BEING OBEDIENT if you do it with a love of the Savior, I can promise that.

Welp, that’s it for this week folks. Between the things above, I’ve just been cracking jokes, speaking Spanish, and playing Futbol. Love you all, hope you have a great week. 

Elder Saunders
Pics
1. We found a dope bridge called The Bridge and we hopped out real quick for a photo op
2. Ya bois serving at the Lake Jackson Sea Center