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

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 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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