Semana 11: His name is Jeff

Howdy y’all!

This week Elder Jeffery R. Holland came and spoke to the three Houston missions here. It was amazing and so uplifting, he didn’t roast us as much as I thought he would. We also had the chance to shake his hand and meet him. What a cool experience.
This past week I realized I like never talk about the actual missionary work I’m doing so I’ll take a bit to talk about that.
So yeah when I got here things were decently rough, they hadn’t found good people to teach in a while. And those that had been found weren’t progressing in faith. But good news! We’ve found some solid people and by the looks of things should have a solid 2 or 3 baptisms by the time I’m done in this area. Where we once had struggles, the Lord has blessed us with success. One of our investigators is named Roudy. He was in an accident in California a couple of years ago and lost the use of his legs. So he’s in a wheelchair. But it’s SICK because he travels around the country playing wheelchair basketball, I guess he’s pretty good at it. Anyways haha he’s a cool guy, and loves God.
Then we have Carol and Fredt, our most promising investigators. I love these people they are so cool. They have one son, and they had a daughter that passed away about a year ago. They want to get sealed in the temple, and they’ve come to church 30+ times. They are basically members, they just want to get baptized in December around Christmas. But we’ll see if they will accept a date earlier than that. This past week we found this stud named Manuel, from El Salvador. He’s a cool dude, has a wife and a cute baby. I’m excited to see where that goes.
Well, the Lord has humbled me a lot this week! Seriously, just completely destroyed any pride that I had. And I’m so grateful for it. I’m growing and learning more than ever, and I’ve already seen so many miracles that it’s impossible to deny the Lord’s hand in this work.
Love y’all, have a great week!
Elder Saunders
LAS PICTURAS
1- Elder Stites making me chocolate milk like a good companion 😊
2- LIT studies
3- ooh ooh ah ah

Semana 5: The Alamo

Howdy y’all!

The MTC has been quite the experience. It feels like I’ve been here forever, but also that it’s been no time at all. This week has been especially uplifting for me, I’ve been able to see the Lord’s hand in my life sooo much.

Our room is called the Alamo because we are all either going to Texas, Mexico, or Salt Lake City (yeah, that last one is a bit of a stretch). Elders Pershing and Beus leave on Monday so we are all pretty sad about that. They’re both going to the Mexico Veracruz missions, and I know that they’ll do great. We’ve all been able to get really close and it has been a humbling experience to have so many role models around me as I begin this journey.

On the topic of humility, that has been the Christlike attribute my District has been working on this week. Now, you’re probably thinking like “Wow that must have been really hard for Elder Saunders” and it WAS. But as I studied and worked on becoming more like the Savior, He has truly made my weaknesses strengths. Here in the CCM, I’ve been able to do things that I know I otherwise couldn’t without the Lord’s help. Like memorize 2,500 Spanish words and 500 phrases in 5 weeks. Or 9 scriptures. Or about 20 grammar topics. Like, PEOPLE, I still sometimes forget my name tag walking out in the morning. I definitely know that this isn’t me doing all this work. But I’m putting in all the work I can, knowing that He will make it worth it.

Welp, I only have one week left here. To all of those still in school, stay in school. To any of you not, don’t be a fool. That… is what’s cool.

I have no clue, I just started rhyming while writing that, sorry.

Anyways, I want to leave you all with my testimony that Christ is the redeemer, He is why I’m here, and I’m grateful that he trusts me enough to wear His name on my chest every day. A scripture I memorized in Spanish this week was Moises (Moses) 1:39, I testify that God wants us to return to Him. Through our trials, we can do so.

Love y’all. Thanks for the support.

– Elder Saunders

Photos

Semana 4: La Iglesia

Hey everyone! Had a great week this week, don’t have too much time so I’ll keep this short.

It’s been an amazingly spiritual week. On Tuesday, Elder Christofferson came and spoke to us about the name of the church. It was a really cool message and I testify that if we use the correct name of the church, the Lord will be well pleased.

Another thing is that I was able to gain insight into a lot of questions about the Gospel that I previously didn’t understand. Especially on Wednesday, I was hit by an overwhelming feeling of purpose. I know that this work that I am doing is true. I’m so grateful for it!

Another cool thing that happened Wednesday was that I was able to host (welcome) Elder Lazerson! That was such a cool experience, I’m so proud of him for making it out here and I know he’ll have a great time here and in Mexico.

Sorry, like I said I don’t have tons of time. But I just want to let each of you know that I know without a shadow of a doubt that this church is true! The Lord has blessed me with so much strength these past few weeks, I’m pumped to get out to Houston. Love you all!

Elder Saunders

Here are some pics:

The one and only Elder Lewis.

The awesome Elder Eaquinto. He is off to Columbia, South Carolina and is going to rock it.

My awesome companion Elder McCaann.

Semana 3: Los Cambios

Howdy y’all! Wow this week went by fast. Once you get adjusted to the schedule, stuff starts flying by sooo quick. It’s been a roller coaster of a week.

On Monday, one of the Elders in our district went home. It came as a huge shock, and it was pretty difficult for all of us. But he’ll be coming back out in 6 months, so I know he’ll do great. With this change, our companionship got shifted around a bit. I used to be in a trio, but now it’s just me and Elder McCann. He’s such a fun dude, and he’s starting to get really good at Spanish.

Tuesday, we had a devotional with Elder Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy. He is straight up hilarious, plus he has an English accent which made it all the more better.

Wednesdays are weird because we get new missionaries. Our zone didn’t get any this week, but Elder McCann and I DID have our second visit with our TRC person of interest Andrea. It was a good experience, and the Spirit was way strong. But it was nothing compared to

THURSDAY. What a great day. We had another appointment with Andrea. So for our TRC’s, they’re only in Spanish. Luckily I speak Spanish already so it’s not incredibly difficult or awkward. But man it was just so amazing on Thursday. We taught the Restoration, Elder McCann went ham compared to what he normally does. Then I recited the First Vision in perfect Spanish. It was super cool.

Friday. Lol it was literally yesterday and I can’t remember what we did. Sometimes that’s just how days are here.

Soo yeah it’s been a good week. Email me, I love hearing from friends and family.

Anyways thank you all, love you guys. Just want let you know that I have a testimony of this Gospel and of its greatness. El profeta Jose Smith restauro el sacerdocio y a traves del Libro de Mormon podemos sentir el Espiritu Santo. Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad para venir y ensenar la verdad a las personas de Houston.

Love you all.

Elder Saunders

Semana 1: The Penguins of Madagascar

Hola!

I entered the MTC (CCM en Spanish) on Wednesday. It was a crazy experience, but eventually things settled down and I was able to meet my companions Elder Johnson y Elder McCann (that’s right, a trio of Elders in the MTC. It’s dope). Both of them are so great, they love the Gospel and I’m excited for what the next 5.5 weeks have in store for todos de nosotros. If you didn’t know, I LOVE Spanish. I know a decent amount, but I just love the people and how it sounds. It has so far been pretty easy to get everything down, and I’m just getting started! I’m honestly pumped to see how it all turns out by the end of my 6 weeks here.

Elder Johnson is from Riverton, Utah. He’s coming to Houston South with me which is exciting. He’s a real chill dude and he is a really hard worker. We agree on a lot of things which really helps our dynamic.

Elder McCann is from Spanish Fork, Utah. He’s super outgoing and he also works really hard to get the language down. He’s super cool and is pretty funny too. He’s supposed to be at the Mexico MTC because he is going to the Mexico Pueblo North mission, but his VISA is delayed. I’ve been praying that they can get it figured out because I want him to be able to go where he was assigned, without having to get reassigned somewhere.

Mis companeros y yo somos the Penguins of Madgascar. McCann is Skipper, our fearless leader. Johnson is Rico, the one that is the spirit of the team. And I’m Private, the small and strange one. Not too sure why, but one of the guys in our district called me Private and then it all started from there. Our Zone Leader literally calls us by our penguin names.

Our district is also pretty awesome. We are all hard at work learning the language and how to preach the Gospel. I attached a bunch of pics below.

I love this Gospel, I love this work, I know it is true! As missionaries, we invite others to come unto Christ. I invite you all unto Christ. Evaluate how you can better invite the Spirit into your life. One thing I tried to do this summer was listen to General Conference talks instead of loud music in the car. That’s something that helped me feel a lot more spiritual. Whatever it is, I promise that if you commit to it, the Lord will grant you blessings. Thank you all for the prayers of support, I can feel them. So far it’s been easy, but I know that times will get difficult.

Love you all!!

– Elder Saunders

Pics

1- The view from my classroom.

We’re on the top (6th) floor of T4, one of the new buildings!

2- Some of the elders in the district. From left to right, it’s Elder McCann, Elder Richins, Elder Merkley, me, and Elder Johnson.

3- With my best friends Elder Spencer (headed to New Jersey) and Elder Harris (headed to Calgary Canada)

4- Another one with Elder Harris

5- Elder McCann after realizing he got the wrong hot pocket from the vending machine

6- Also Elder McCann falling out of his chair after saying repentance wrong in Spanish. For the 500th time. (but he’s got it down now!)