The Grind Never Stoppeth

Howdy y’all!
This week was great. Things are finally starting to look up in all aspects of the work. It’s just the grind to get people to turn their hearts to Christ.
Had an amazing miracle happen this week!
Saturday morning, we got a call from some Sisters in Austin, and they gave us a referral for a family that was previously being taught, they had lost contact with for quite some time, and now they reestablished contact, but they live in our area now. Anyways, we stopped by later that night and this family is GOLD. The parents are Alejandro and Yuri, then they have 3 kids: Hector, 13; Jana, 10; and Carina, 9. They sat and just listened to us teach and were super engaged. Then the mom bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon, and she started crying. Then Alejandro started talking about how much he wants them to live this gospel, and how he wants to follow the example of Christ. It was truly amazing. So we have another appointment tonight, and we’re going to try to extend a baptismal date if possible. But I’m super excited.
I think about all of you a lot. Many of you have had such a big impact in my life and have helped me become the weak, submissive servant that I’m able to be for my Father in Heaven now.
Thank you all. I love ya!
Elder Saunders

 

 

Pic- lol my dad’s same kinda car. Right after I took this picture I learned a bit of Ki’che from a lady that spoke both that and Spanish. Ki’che is an indigenous language from Guatemala that I’m teaching myself! It’s a fun pastime.
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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 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 9: Como le frijole?

Howdy y’all! How ya’ bean?

This week was pretty normal. We have been grinding away here in the Houston 2nd Ward, just trying to find people that God has prepared to listen to this message. It’s been humbling as I’ve had the chance to work with the members of this area, they are amazing and so faithful.

On Tuesday, we were able to have Zone Conference. It was a great experience, especially as we received the invitation from President Guthrie to study the Doctrine of Christ every morning in our Personal study. This includes Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. It’s been a great experience to act on this invitation for the rest of the week and further deepen my understanding of these topics.

On Friday, while we were out tracting, we stopped at Taco Bell. Well, a member from another ward that we know came in behind us, told us he was paying for our food, and threw a $50 bill at the cashier like a G. It was sick haha.

RIP I wrote out my entire email after this but then my computer crashed. I’m livid right now. 

OK I guess you guys get the abbreviated version. Sorry that this isn’t high quality, I promise the version I had before the crash was way better.

Saturday, we moved people for like 7 hours. Then we taught a super good lesson to some of the people we’re teaching.

Sunday, I gave a cool talk completely in Spanish. Although I have work to do, I am feeling more and more comfortable with the language and can say that I truly love the people. I am so thankful for the Holy Ghost as it provides me with direction, comfort and confirmation.

Love you all!

Elder Saunders

PHOTOS
1-Pic after TACO BELL
2-Not too sure, took a pic because I was bored. 
3-President owns a pair of Micheal Jordan’s first baseball shoes 

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Semana 6: Estoy Saliendo

Howdy y’all!

This past week has FLOWN by. It’s been really nice because I’m ready as heck to get out into the field. I leave the MTC this coming Monday at 4:45 am! I’ll fly from SLC to Houston, and get there somewhere around 2. I’m SO PUMPED. It’s going to be such a cool experience, I’m smiling just typing this out.

The MTC has treated me well. At times I got sick of it, and it got sick of me, but it’s all good because in the end, it provided me with experiences that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. The Lord has allowed me to learn so much Spanish here. And also has taught me how to recognize the Spirit more than ever.

Something I learned that I want to share with y’all this week is just how important member missionary work is. Missionaries are the ones that teach repentance, baptize converts, and prepare for ordinances. Members + The Spirit literally do everything else. Take every opportunity you can to fellowship those around you and invite the Love of Christ into their lives.

I’d like to extend a special invitation to any of you reading this: Pray sometime this week SPECIFICALLY to see how you can better become a Disciple of the Savior. I promise that as you do so, and as you listen for an answer, you will be amazed to find out that the small changes in lifestyle lead to large improvements in happiness.

Welp, don’t have much else to say, nor do I have too much time. I have to finish packing 🙂 But I want you all to know that this mission has already changed me so much. I’m still the same old goob that makes stupid puns and gets cranky a lot, but I’ve really been able to realize just how real this Gospel is.

Love y’all! I’ll make sure to get some stories ready for next week when I’m finally out in the field! Email me if you have any questions!

Elder Saunders

Yes, that is Elder Zach Hair and me holding a picture of our dads when they served their missions together in New York City. Such a cool moment.

Friend Elder Danny Hatch.

Friend and awesome cross country runner Elder Benson.

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.