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

One Year…Feeling Blessed

One year ago, I left my family in Utah to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All I can say is that was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m so grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity. I don’t know much, but here are four things that I do know for sure: I know God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know he sent his son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and overcome death. I know Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Hace un año, dejé mi familia en Utah para servir como misionero por la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los Últimos Días. La única cosa que puedo decir es que esa fue la mejor decisión que he tomado en toda mi vida. Estoy muy agradecido que Dios me ha dado esta oportunidad. No sé muchas cosas, pero yo sí sé estas cuatros cosas: Sé que Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial. Sé que el le envió a su hijo Jesucristo a la tierra para superar la muerte y expiar nuestros pecados. Sé que José Smith es profeta de Dios. Sé que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero. Yo sé todas de estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

Semana 45: Rainin’ Mighty Miracles

Hola y’all!

Hey! It’s been about a month!!! Sorry about that. Been busy fighting off alligators and life-sucking mosquitoes 
🙈
. Well… I’ll be staying in my current area of Brazoria for 6 more weeks as District Leader! I’m totally stoked for that, I love being a district leader because things are just more personal. And we have some awesome new missionaries coming into the district so I’m just full of energy. We out in Bayyyyy City!
A couple things have been bumping lately!
Hilda!
Hilda whew. I’ve been teaching Hilda ever since I got here over 4 months ago. She was super close to getting baptized and then backed out an hour before. But now she is going strong again! We are actually hoping to go over tonight and help her set a new baptismal date. Hilda has been an amazing example to me of faith even when we have many trials in our way. She has held on so strong and has come to church every week for the past 6 months! What a baller. So please pray for Hilda by name! 

Elder Robinson!
Man I love my companion Elder Robinson. We get along really well and just have tons of fun. I’m trying to turn him into a workhouse out here in the hot, humid Texas summer. And it’s working .

Lots of rain!

There’s lots of rain. And it’s humid.

Exercise machine!

TENDER MERCY ALERT. So we went to go move this one lady this past week. Get this: Elder Saunders has really been looking to get some workout equipment so that I can come back swole in a year. Well, we walk into this lady’s apartment and boom right there is an exercise machine that could collapse and fit in our Corolla. I’m eyeing it the entire time we are there, just waiting to see if there’s any chance that it’s being left behind. Finally, we get to the end of the move. All of the sudden, she comes up and asks “Hey, would you like this exercise machine, I’m not taking it” and I literally go crazy. I pick that sucker up and chuck it in our car faster than a Hispanic worker leaving the plants in Clute on a Friday afternoon. I prayed for something that would help me wake up and exercise in the morning, and it came! Moral of the story: Prayers get answered!!!! (see Enos 1 for more info)

KAHOOT!

Hahahaha I discovered a secret. It turns out the missionary department doesn’t block Kahoot on missionary devices so I made a Kahoot on Teaching with the Scriptures for our last district council! hahaha everyone went crazy when I pulled it up, it was so fun. #ThanksMissionaryDepartment!
👍

Quick question! Respond if you want!

So I actually have a question for the probably 2.5 of you that are actually reading this. What gets you motivated to do missionary work? What kind of things can missionaries do to really excite you to share the Gospel? For those of you that served or have been involved with small (15-30 active member) branches, how did you help the great Work of Salvation progress? I’m not expecting to baptize the nations, I just would like to hear people’s thoughts. Feel free to email me back, I’d appreciate it a TON!

Well, other than that, I just want to bear my testimony of a special set of the Savior’s servants. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like being an Apostle during His earthly ministry. It must have been such a faith building experience to be right there alongside the King of Kings as He ministered to those that needed healing. Imagine the indirect impact of the miracles Christ performed. Imagine how He blessed those that witnessed the healings, casting outs, and raisings from the dead. The modern day Apostles have a special sanction that separates them from all other general authorities: they are to stand as “special witnesses” of the Savior. I invite each of you to study the teachings of the modern Apostles. Whether it be Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Cook, or Elder Gong, there is so much to learn from each of those 12 men. I promise that as you study their teachings, you will come to develop a “special witness” of Jesus Christ. I bear testimony that power has come to my teaching as I have studied the words of living prophets. I love those men so much, and pray for them. The organization of the Church is definitive proof that God has restored the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days. I know that Jesus Christ looks out for you! Just… look for Him! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love y’all! Have a dandy week!
– Elder Saunders

Pictures

Elder Saunders is doing great. He continues to grow through the good and challenging times. We love being able to talk with him but it has created a lapse in his emails:). We asked him to share pictures with us so here you go.

Thanks for all those who pray for him and write him. He loves hearing from people.