A special visit

Howdy y’all!

It’s been a fun week. Honestly not very much special happened besides a member of the seventh coming to the Houston Stake’s stake conference this past weekend. He went and visited some of the people we are teaching and will be baptizing next week, and it was a really special experience for them. Elder Torrez is clutch, he actually extended a baptismal invitation to our investigator’s super-Catholic dad, which the dad accepted. So he got someone on date for us haha.
Anyways, I just want to share my testimony that we CAN become like Christ! Choose an attribute of His this week and WORK TOWARDS IT. How will you become like him?
Anyways, love y’all!
– Elder Saunders

Oh Remember, Remember

Howdy y’all!

It’s your boy Elder Saunders back here with some more of that Tapatio-infused goodness that is my weekly email. Sorry I didn’t email last week, I was too busy enjoying la Navidad. I was able to talk to my family and that was SUCH a good experience. I’m so grateful for them, y’all already know they’re super lit.
Happy new year! Wow, time has flown this year. This year, I made my last Blue-And-Green week video, won Spirit Bowl, received my mission call, became an adult, received the Melchizedek Priesthood, graduated, received my endowment, helped my family move houses, built a shed with my dad (haha, that is my proudest accomplishment), worked a ton, left for my mission, flew threw the MTC, arrived in Texas, got trained as a missionary, took over an area, and started training my own missionary. This, without a doubt, has been the best year of my life. I am sitting here typing this telling you all that the Carson you knew back 5 months ago isn’t the same Elder Saunders that has been completely transformed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The biggest thing I have learned out here so far is my reliance on Him. My pride – which was my biggest stumbling block for most of my life – has been stripped down as I have biked in the rain, against the wind, just to share the beautiful news that is this Gospel. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for His sacrifice, which allows us to have new beginnings. Another big thing I have learned out here is this: Forgive Yourself. 
President Guthrie shared this parable with us recently, and I love it:
“Imagine if there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. Is carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against tomorrow. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost health, happiness, and success. Make the most of today.”
Build yourselves on Christ. As Helaman taught his son Nephi in preparation for the latter’s mission: 
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” [Helaman 5:12]
My prayer this New Years’ Eve is that you may all feel the love of Christ pierce your soul like it has mine. It compels. It transforms. It saves.
I share these, and my love with you all reading this, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
– Elder Saunders

It was so wonderful to speak with my family.

 

Howdy y’all!

What a week! Last Monday, I was able to pick up my new trainee, Elder Freebourn! He is from Washington, and he’s super cool. We’ve had quite the week biking around and teaching people in our area. It’s been really stressful to have to train this early in my mission, but it also has been a huge blessing to realize exactly what I should be doing as a missionary.

One fun experience we had this past week was teaching a lady named Laura. My trainer Elder Stites and I were able to teach her a lesson two months ago, but then she fell off the face of the planet. We’ve stopped by every now and then, but never found her home. Well, Elder Freebourn and I were able to find her this past Friday, and we taught her a super spiritual lesson. She committed to being baptized on January 5th, but then it turned out that she was baptized over 20 years ago in Mexico! It’s crazy how many people are prepared. We’re still figuring out exactly what the situation is, but it’s still super cool to just be able to have miracles like that.

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about how the Holiday season is such a good time of the year for missionary work. Our area alone will be baptizing 9 people this transfer, so we’ve been able to find a lot of success as we’ve trusted in the Lord to guide us through the Spirit.

If any of you missionaries out there are reading this, BE BOLD and INVITE PEOPLE TO BE BAPTIZED. As long as you prepare them for the invitation, the Spirit will work and will help them know that it is what the Lord wants for them. So just DO IT!

And to everyone back home, just know that the mission is such a good time. It’s so spiritual, it’s so stressful, it’s so rewarding, and I love it all.
Love y’all, have a great week, and don’t forget to #LightTheWorld!
– Elder Saunders
Here are some pics:

Trio Power

Howdy y’all!

Hope you all had a great week! I sure did! We were able to have the Vazquez family with us at church, and they loved it. We are planning on baptizing them January 12th. I’ve been running our area by myself, but luckily I’ve been in a trio. It’s been a lot of work but luckily the Lord knows how weak I am and that I needed a lot of help. There’s only one more week in this transfer, so that is exciting! Next week I’ll know what I’ll be doing for Christmas and the New Year. Amyways.
Houston is such a cool city. There are literally people of every kind here. White people, Hispanics, Ethiopians, Nigerians, Muslims, Jews, people that walk, people that breathe, EVERYTHING. It’s pretty cool. I like learning how to say hello from each new person I meet in their native language, so I’ll keep you updated on how many different languages I learn!
The Lord strengthens us when we need it the most. Sometimes I wonder how I get up and do this everyday, and then I realize it’s only because I have the privilege to do it for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is YOUR Savior too, and if we have faith in Him, repent of our sins, make covenants with Him, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end we can do ALL things which he commandeth us. I love you all, thank you for your examples to me. I hope you have a great week.
– Elder Saunders
Here are a couple pics:

Happy Thanksgiving

It has been quite a week. I have learned a lot this week about patience and staying focused. Although transfers weren’t this past week I have had a change in companions. I am now in a trio with another companionship in our ward, so I’ll still be able to work with our investigators up here. This is important so we can continue to keep the area alive. President let me know that I’m going to take over the area next transfer. This is such a blessing as we have 3 baptisms planned and the work is going good. I am so blessed to serve and receive so many blessings on my mission. The Lord is mindful of each of us and our situations. If we have faith and then do what we are supposed to He will provide miracles and blessings. This I can testify to.

Thanks for all the continued love and support. Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Saunders

Photos
1- The district (minus hermanas)
2- Ward Thanksgiving party!

I Believe In Christ

Howdy y’all!

Boy, time sure does fly by down here in Houston. It’s been a pretty rough week, but this next week is already looking a lot better so that’s good! I’ve been able to really improve with my Spanish this past week, I’ve been focusing a ton on learning new vocabulary. I feel bad because I haven’t been writing too much in these emails.

Miracles at this point are regular, but they’re still just as wonderful. Miracles like your companion having a flat tire on his bike, leading us to meet a guy that invited us over. Miracles like stopping last minute to talk to a passing Hispanic, and having it turn out that they are familiar with the church, know members from our ward, and commit to be baptized that lesson. It’s been real great. These miracles are what keep me going when it feels like everything else is falling through.

This week I’ve really been pondering on the nature of the sacrifice of our Savior, specifically when it is described as “infinite and eternal.” In my short time here, I’ve already met so many people that have struggled through stuff that I can’t even imagine. Sometimes I wonder how they are standing there in front of me; I wouldn’t be able to go through the same thing. But nevertheless, no matter the trial, Christ suffered it. And his Atonement applies to EVERYONE, ALWAYS. Infinite=Everyone; Eternal=Always. All you have to do is follow Him, and you can be covered under this infinite and eternal umbrella if you open up your heart to His message. The storms of sin and death cannot compromise this umbrella, and its only because he’s the one that is holding it. See what I did there?

Anyways, I love you all. I believe in Christ, I love Him and I know He loves me and all of us. Keep up the good work, thank you for all the support.

Til next week!
Elder Saunders

Just a couple of pics!

1- Elder Loar and I on exchanges. I met him on Instagram before the Mish, and now we’re in the same district and total homes.
2- Studying late Halloween night because it’s too dangerous to go outside past 7:30 pm 😁

Semana 12: First Transfer D U N DUN

Hola a todos. I love you all. Don’t have like any time, but here is a miracle I saw this past week.

This past week we were knocking 8 times on an investigator’s door. He had loud music playing when we got there for our appointment, so we knocked. And knocked. And knocked. No answer. We sat there in the pouring rain trying to figure out what to do. I knocked 3 more times out of desperation. Defeated, we went to another apartment in that we had visited before. That guy wasn’t home, so we just decided to go back to our apartment. We passed by the original investigator’s house one more time, and I decided to knock one last time. Lo and behold, our investigator opened the door. We entered and had an amazing lesson. I learned to just rely on the Spirit, even if it seems pointless.

Another mini miracle.

We were just biking along between apartment complexes in our area and I was leading so we stopped to talk to this one guy outside this complex we visit occasionally. We get talking, turns out he’s talked to the missionaries before, he seemed pretty interested. Then I felt inspired to ask if he knew these recent converts that live in the same complex. Turns out he does, and then he gave us his wife’s number and we gave him ours. Then last night she called us at like 10 and was like really wanting to have us come teach them. We will see what happens. Miracle for sure.

Anyways, have a great week! If you want to send me mail or a package, my address is

602 Eldridge Road
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Welp love ya!

Elder Saunders