Livin La Vida Loca

Howdy y’all! 

Hope life has been going well for everyone! It’s been a crazy past few weeks. I’ll make this quick.
Last week were transfers. I stayed in Kemah and got Elder Maua’i from Hawaii as my companion. We’ve had tons of fun and done lots of good work. He’s been on the mission for 8 months.
This next week we’ll be switching areas with the Hermanas in our Branch, so basically we are double whitewashing our areas. I’m not too nervous, we already worked a lot of their area when I first got here ✌
We had such a cool experience finding a family of 8 this past week!! It’s the Aguilar family, and I’m so excited to teach them. I am praying so hard that we are able to help them come unto Christ and enjoy the blessings of His restored gospel. It’s been a while since I’ve found 6 new people to teach in a week.
The mission is rad as heck. Pictures tell it better than words. Love y’all, have a great week!

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 31: BRAZORIA!

Howdy y’all!

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

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Semana 28: Edify

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

Photos 1,2, and 3: Just your boy modeling in front of the temple
Photo 4: My son (trainee) and I
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Photo 5: Houston Zone Spanish Elders! Strongest force in the mission🙏🙌
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Photo 6: My new phone background
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Photo 7: A pic from zone conference a few weeks ago that I forgot to send out. The district + my trainer Elder Stites
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Photo 7: The squad + the Asian dude is an AP 🤷‍♂️
Photo 8: A picture of Joseph Smith that I really like
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Mo’ people to teach, mo’ baptisms

Howdy y’all!

Hope you’ve been able to have a swell week! This week has been a great one over here in H-Town! We have seen the Lord touch MANY hearts and the work is progressing like never before. Before I get into what happened this week, congrats to LAUREN RASBANDDD! She got her mission call to Paraguay Asuncion North this past week, and while we already know that SOUTH missions are the best (#THSM4Lyfe), she’s going to do sooo amazing! I’m so pumped. Even though there are tons of Hispanics from basically every Latin American country here in Houston, I’ve actually never met anyone from Paraguay! But anyways, esto fue lo que paso esta semana:

Monday- After P-Day ended, we went over to one of the people we are teaching’s place. She hasn’t come to church yet, so we went to go see what was up. Well, her husband who isn’t too fond of us was there, and tried to argue with us about his Pentecostal beliefs. You already KNOW your boy shut him down with one question: “Where did your authority come?” Anyways we actually really got on the same page, and we both ended up sharing our life stories with each other, as his wife and my companion just sat there listening. It actually turned out to be a pretty tender lesson, gracias a Dios.

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.

Anyways, just remember that the Lord is with you no matter how you are doing. It’s so amazing that he can always be with us every step up the way. Hold onto that. Love you all, have a great week!

– Elder Saunders
Pics
Some cool pics of some street art here
Friday night District Futbol!