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 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.
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 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.
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!
Insert thoughts or feelings when you don’t have your….wait was that a squirrel? Those that know will get this.
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.
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
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
Sorry for not emailing last week, it was a crazy P-Day. I got transferred from my first area to the branch of Brazoria down here in the south part of our mission. It has been a complete change of pace, environment, everything. I’ve been loving it! Anyways, the week before last was pretty trash so I’m just going to write about this past week here in Brazoria.
Monday- We transferred, and I finally get a car! It was nice to be back behind the wheel again.
Tuesday- We did literally like 6 hours of service, it’s been crazy how much service we are doing down here. The city of Clute put out an order that all of the trailer homes here have to pull down their porches. So we’ve been helping a lot of people tear them down. It’s been kinda sad but also really fun. And we are starting to teach people as a direct result of this service!
Wednesday- We met this guy named Nick while out tracting. He was out on his porch smoking but he was super solid and we started teaching him.
Thursday- We had a mission tour conference with Elder Lynn G. Robbins! Gee this dude is straight baller, I was very spiritually uplifted by what he talked about. Specifically how we as missionaries need to better consider the needs of people and not pressure them too much. That’ll be something that I for sure will be working on!
Friday- We had a really cool lesson with Nick and his family, plus we had some dope steak made by Hermano Hernandez. The Hernandez family is basically my family but Hispanic, they are amazing and I love them already.
Saturday- Honestly I don’t remember what happened. But I do remember that we stopped at Sonic and I got a milkshake, so that was pretty sweet.
Sunday- We went to church. Guys the branch here is sooo small but soooo amazing. All of the active members are incredibly strong so I’m really loving it. We also were able to have a very productive evening where we got back in contact with tons of people that the missionaries were teaching here before.
Sorry I know this email wasn’t amazing, I’m still getting used to this area and P-days are a lot different than what they were in the city. Anyways, I’m finally in TEXAS, like actual Texas with hicks and cowboys and rodeos and TONNSSSS of BBQ. I’m loving it already, I know this Gospel is true, and I’m so happy to be part of it! Y’all have a great week, keep up the prayers I really feel them. Love y’all!
– Elder Saunders
It’s been a great week. Having to do service for 10 hours a week has made the work go a bit slower, but it just means that we get to be more diligent in everything else we do! Something that has been on my mind this week is how important it is that we are never content. I know that sounds like a recipe for frustration, but here me out. What I mean by this is that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can ALWAYS improve. No matter how good we think we are doing, we have to work harder to be better. And it may just be small changes, but we must always be progressing. Something that I realized is that whether it’s swimming against a tough current or swimming with it, we have to keep paddling to make it to our destination. We can’t control the current, but we CAN control how we interact with the current. Don’t float along in mediocrity; keep striving to become more!
Monday: On P-Day, I played the best game of basketball I have played in my life. Dad you would be proud of me, I was hustling HARD. We lost by 1 😦 but it was still a stinking great game. After P-day ended, we went and had a great member-present lesson with our Obispo (Bishop). Whew I love this ward so much, I think I’m going to be transferred here soon which makes me really sad 😦 We also stopped by the Relief society president and shared a cute little message.
Tuesday: We were able to go to the temple. It was such an amazing experience, I was able to really feel the Spirit as I was there. The Houston temple is really pretty, it’s not too big but it just is beautiful. The biggest takeaway I got from this temple visit was the need to EDIFY. Edify means to instruct and improve others. It means to have charity as you talk and work with those around you. I am really going to strive to edify everyone else. I know that the Lord will bless me for doing so, so I’m pumped. I’ve always had really sharp words, therefore I hope that I can do this to help make others feel the Spirit more.
Wednesday: We went to District council, where we talked a lot about our missionary purpose. It was a great council. Afterwards, we went to the mission office to drop off Elder Freebourn’s broken bike. After that we came back and studied. We were then able to go over to the Perdomo’s for dinner. After being baptized a few weeks ago, they have continued so strong! We taught the Restoration again (We teach all of the lessons again after baptism). I’m so happy with how they are doing. The Spirit is really strong in their home now. They are pumped to go to the temple next week to do baptisms for the dead. Anyways, after that we stopped by some more members. We are really focusing on working with members, plus they are like family to me at this point. With this particular family we always answer the door saying we are from a different group. I’ve already used the J-Dubs, Pentecostals, Immigration, and Solar Panel salesman @HunterSaunders. So I need some ideas for what else I can do.
Thursday: We helped old people learn Spanish at the Senior Center. Doing service at the senior center has been really fun, and the people there love us. We help out with a chess class, 2-3 Spanish classes, some computer classes, and a Spanish club each week. Anyways, after that we had a 3-hour long weekly planning session. But it was really baller and we got some good plans going. The mission has really taught me how important setting specific goals is. Thursday night, we taught the most dope English class. We taught about Houses and Rooms. By the end of it, we basically had our 3 students ready to graduate from real estate school.
Friday: Elder Freebourn and I decided to stop by a store to buy some lunch. This place was called Aldi’s. It is a grocery store but the building is like a CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid building so I just thought it was another one of those. Boy was I wrong. This place has deals out the wazoo! Like stuff here is so cheap, it’s amazing! But it’s like really nice! Brothers and sisters, you don’t know how big of a deal that is for a pair of 18 year Olds living off of $140 individually every month. So you already know that today (Monday) we hit that place up SO HARD.
Saturday: We got a call from some sister missionaries at the LA Visitor’s Center, turns out they had a referral for us through Mormon.org. We were super siked, because these kinds of referrals are super fire, they almost always lead to something great. Welp, we got the referral and it turned out that it’s the nephew of another dude we were teaching like 4 months ago but decided to stop teaching. And they live in the same apartment! So we basically got a referral for a dude that we already know. But we are still siked, we have an appointment with him tonight.
Sunday: Your boy Elder Saunders woke up with a stomach bug that made him absolutely destroy the bathroom. That was fun. At least I had my Spanish grammar book to keep me company as I was unleashing the wrath of the God’s. Because of that, we missed church 😦 It feels really weird to not be at church as a Missionary. Luckily I’m feeling a lot better though. I decided to suck it up, so at about 2 pm yesterday we left the apartment and went HARD. We found three new people to teach, and knocked tons of doors. And visited a couple of members, and set up appointments, and also helped this one lady with some yard work for 30 mins. It was awesome.
Life is good. The mission? Call me McDonald’s because I’m (buh-duh bah-bah-bahhhhh) LOVING IT! Sorry that was cheesier than their new Cheesey Bacon fries. But the mission has brought me so much happiness and so much growth. Keep swimming! Love you all!
– Elder Saunders
Also here are some pictures
Tuesday- I was able to go on exchanges with my boy Elder Underwood. He’s just in the south area of the Houston 2nd Ward. He came into the field with me and we both have been here in this ward for 4 transfers together. We were also companions for 2 weeks because of a weird situation. Anyways, it was basically like hanging out with a best friend. We went and did service at a Senior Center, then ate some gucci hamburgesitas at a member’s house.
Wednesday- shoot I just looked back at our schedule for Wednesday and we did literally one thing of note: went to a Relief Society Party!! Jajaja at least I didn’t have to wait for my mom to get done talking so we could finally go home #ThrowbackToTheDays sorry mom I love you.
Thursday- We did weekly Planning. Real talk (whenever I say Real talk, it means that I’m actually being serious), one thing that the Savior has really helped me with is my planning skills. A lot of the Elders that have come on exchanges have said that we have good weekly plans. I’m really grateful that the Lord has blessed me with the ability to plan.
Friday- We taught a homeless, wheelchair-bound dude we are teaching in the Denny’s parking lot. I’ll probably talk about him in a later email, when he really starts progressing. But not much happened.
Saturday- I was feeling sick so we didn’t really get out other than at night to go teach this one lady named Mari.
Sunday- What a baller day. We had 3 of the people we are teaching randomly show up to church, then we got all 3 of them on date. And we also got that one lady back from Monday on date for baptism. The grind never stops, even on the Sabbath.
This week was great! It was also pretty cool because my trainer Elder Stites was able to be with us for a few days this week. It was nice to have him back, and I’m pumped for what he will be doing after the mission. Anyways, you’ll notice I’m taking a different format for my weekly email this week. I know it seems extra, but here is an account of each day of this week. Hopefully this will help you all see the wonderful joy my mission has brought me.
Monday: After P-Day ended, we tried to get out working as quickly as possible. We went to a nearby complex to try by a few people. As we were walking towards the first door we were going to knock, a less active family whom I had never met before despite being in this area my whole mission, two people came up behind us. As we were walking, the Spirit said “Yo dude, those are the people you are looking for” SO I turn around and sent it. Turns out it was! They kindly let us into their homes and we were able to share a spiritual Thought with them. We will be working on reactivating them going forward! We were able to go over to a members place after and have a super bomb Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with tons of members and also the Perdomo who were baptized this last Thursday (see below). I shared a message about Ether 12:27 which I guess made sense. But it was a good night! We ate Heavenly taquitos and chocolate cake. We also manages to setup some other appointments for later in the week.
Tuesday: We helped out with this service for setting up for the Houston Marathon. I set up toooons of chairs. SIDENOTE: My mission is participating in a pilot where, starting February, each companionship is required to “prestar”-(sorry I forgot the English word for it)- 10 hours of service each week. So that’ll be really cool to start doing here soon. We are scouring for opportunities to begin regular service. Anyways, Tuesday I also had a doctors appointment that took up a good chunk of the day.
Wednesday: Réunion with Elder Stites, my trainer and previous companion! Had some fun re-destroying our area together. We were able to knock a door and immediately have it lead to teaching somebody new. Which doesn’t happen too often. And that was the VERY first door we knocked that day. #milagros
Thursday: The Perdomo were baptized! It was such an amazing experience, they have been being taught for over a year now. They were supposed to be baptized a month ago, but there was a car accident just hours before their baptism, and as a result it got moved to the 17th of January. But what a cool experience. They’ve been through so much in the past few years, and seeing them enter the waters of baptism brought me soooo much joy. For any of you reading this that are considering serving a mission, DO IT FOR THE BAPTISMS. You’ll understand what I mean when it happens, and you’ll thank me later.
Friday: We tried to follow-up with some of our contacts without a lot of success but that’s how the work goes. I did get to eat some good McDonald’s chicken nuggets and pedal a bike that only had one pedal. My companion’s pedal fell off his bike rest in peace #rip.
Saturday: I was able to participate in an MLK March. I even got a certificate for it. No for real, we did some service helping with Houston’s MLK Honorary Children’s March. It was a great experience, I love how deep the culture is here. No matter what race, God loves all of his children the same. That was the main message, and boy is it true. The rest of the day we got schwhacked (pronounced shh-whack-d, basically means we got wrecked) by bike problems so it was super hard to be productive. Sometimes, it do be like that.
Sunday: The Perdomo’s were confirmed. I was able to stand in the circle for all 3, and whew was the Spirit strong. What a baller family, I can’t wait to be with them when they take out their endowments and are sealed as a family next year.
This week, I was able to have the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th baptisms of my mission. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve a mission. It has changed who I am for the better in almost 6 months. I know that mission will benefit me for the rest of my life. As I’m writing this, the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour” comes to mind. We all depend on the Savior so much. Where some might see that dependence as a burden, I have been blessed to recognize it as hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a bright future despite the darkness that increasingly looms over us.
Family and friends, no matter how you feel right now, please look to the light of Christ. Realize what he has done for you. I BEG of you. With all my heart, I tell you that THERE IS HOPE IN HIM. I love you all, and may hope carry us through to brighter days. Amen.
– Perdomo’s baptism. The one kneeling in white is Hermano Fernández, Fredy Perdomo Sr’s brother that baptized them.
– RIP Elder Freebourn’s bike pedal
– Just your boy looking fly in downtown Houston. This was Tuesday after doing the service for the Houston Marathon. PC: Elder Freebourn
Enjoying some comida with awesome members and missionaries: