Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Just a week in the life

WOW it is a hot here. It doesn't really feel like we are coming up onto the Christmas season- where is the snow?! We are starting to get really creative in finding ways to stay cool :)

We had a great Sunday! All the people we are teaching came- which is a miracle. the bad news is that one one of them had 'fecha' or a date for baptism. so that was kind of foamy but...
Saturday Natalia, an investigator got married and she is progressing nicely to her baptism date on the 19th
We did have a young mom we are teaching come for the first time to church. I LOVE her. Her name is Karina and she has gotten some really strong answers to her prayers that the church is true! The bad thing is she is living with her boyfriend. (wawa) but from what she tells us HE really wants to get married- she just has a little fear we are trying to help her with. Even though her situation is less than ideal, it is incredible to see how God prepares the people we find. I know that now is the exact time we were meant to find her.

I am loving having 5 Hermanas in our house. I have really enjoyed getting to know Hermana Black this week. Being with her has reminded me a lot of what I was like right after my training. It exciting to see at least a little progress in me, at least when it comes to Spanish. (even though she speaks a whole lot better than I could ;)

I know this Church is true. I know that this Gospel is about progression and changing for the better. It is such a beautiful life. SO ENJOY IT

I Love you
Besos Cho!
Hermana Saunders

Monday, November 30, 2015

Great Thanksgiving week!
We actually accidentally had 2 lunches on Thursday so we really got in the spirit of Thanksgiving hehe.

It really does'nt feel like December. it is so HOT. We are melting. But we have been blessed with wind this last week. People have been taking pity on us and letting us in more which is really nice. It is a lot cooler inside homes. And we are getting into houses (at least for the bathroom) from all of the water we drink. The glamorous life of a missionary.

We have cambios this week! Me and Hermana Ovando are staying together! AND Hermana Black is coming to be with us in a trio! I Love trio life! I have never met her but she is just coming out of her training and I am so thrilled we are going to be together.

Other news is they opened a sector of Hermanas in the other branch next to ours so 2 hermanas are also coming to live with us! I couldn't be happier. We are going to have Christmas with 5 Hermanas in the house. It is going t be a blast.

Our investigators... well... they have seen better days. We will be going fishing this week. But we are excited. We will be drinking lots of water.

I am happy and healthy and serving my God. Really I couldn't be in a better place.

We saw lots of little miracles this week. I am learning that God always has miracles and help waiting for us in our way when we are on HIS path. What we need to do to receive those blessings is align our thoughts with his will and look with faith. 

Love you!
Besos
Hermana Saunders

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Chile



We are winding down to the last week in the cambio. I am a little scared that my companion is going to leave me. She has 3 cambios here and it is normally a little strange for missionaries to have more than 3 in a sector. Linares is HUGE I still don't know how to get around very well.

The Minches, a missionary couple in Linares left us this week. We were sad to see them go. They spent all of there mission in this branch and they will be missed dearly by everyone. We are very lucky to be getting another couple this Tuesday- The Teshes.

So this week was a break through week for some of our investigators. We are still working with the Chazes family and they are progressing so well. Diego, their son, graduated from his first year of seminary this week and gave his testimony in sacrament meeting. He was so nervous but he did SO great. He told about how his teacher had promised him at the beginning of the year that if he came everyday to class, studied his scriptures and prayed everyday that his parents would come to church. His mother who was in the audience (and who we have been the most duro) had huge tears rolling down her cheeks the whole meeting. It was really powerful.

This week I have been studying in the book of Ether. In Chapter 3 we read about the brother of Jerad pleading with the Lord to touch the stones to give them light, he ends:

Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.

I love his faith and gratitude that he teaches us here. The power of God in our life often goes unrecognized. The invitation I have for you this Thanksgiving week is to look around and see the hand of God in your life. To men his miracles may seem small but I know that if you will look hard enough with faith you will find the most specific and beautiful signs of a loving Heavenly Father in your life.
He knows are needs and is no stranger to our weaknesses but he loves us anyway.
I love you. Thank you for all of your love and prayers.
I know this church is true.
Besos
Hermana Saunders

Jannier in Hualqui was baptized


What we have been up to......





What a fast week. It was filled with so many blessings. But really sososo many blessings!

Well my dad tells me I am not talking enough about the work and what we are doing so here it goes- Here is who we are teaching and a little bit about them...

We found another family this week! they are so prepared! We always walk in and look for a 'need' to relate to baptism and really all we could find- and all they needed to hear is that they can be cleaned of their mistakes. They are catholic but they really understand the need of a baptism for the remission of sins. They have a date for Dec 12. 

We have Fernando, the dad of a family we are teaching for this Saturday but I think we are going to push it back another week. We don't feel that he is totally ready for the commitment and he also didn't come to church yesterday so... he technically has all the assistance he needs to be baptized.... We just have to have a heart to heart with him today. 

We also are teaching Diego (15) Andres (his dad) and Pamela (his mom). Digo has wanted to be baptized for a solid year now (with his brother Felipe (20) who is a convert from last December) but his parents have only just started listening to us and originally didn't want to give him permission to be baptized. His dad is ready and knows the church is true but Pamela has a hard time thinking out of her catholic roots. She isn't ready to accept a date for baptism. We are going to fast with them for the 5th of Dec that Andres and Diego can be baptized. Pamela is so sweet but she just has a really hard time understanding the whole authority aspect. It is what most people don't get. The need for ONE church and ONE baptism. They just think all roads lead to God. (Hay un solo Dios!) I have a lot of faith that she will come along. She can see a big change in her sons and Husband and I know she wants to be a part of the change.

We also have Natalia who has been investigating the church for about a year and than moved here. She is more active than most of the members. It is funny to hear her pray for the less actives in church. She is awesome. She is living with the father of her 2 children and they will be married (por fin!) on the 5th of December and she will be baptized on the 19th. She is so excited. I am only bummed that her boyfriend doesn't want anything to do with the church. poco poco she says. 

We are starting to help a less active quit smoking and another family of less actives came to church this week. We are really really seeing the blessings

We are learning that when we have faith in our goals and pray to achieve them God will help us. We saw a lot of 'coincidences' this week- that we were in the right place at the right time or that our plans fell only to find someone new or do something better than we had planned. I know that Gods plans for us are always bigger than our own plans for us. I know that he lives and directs our paths. He sees our potential and knows what we can do. He knows you underestimate yourself and he can make your efforts bigger and mean more than you alone can do. He knows our needs. He only asks to have confide in him. Have faith and he will take care of the rest. I promise. 

I love and miss you so much! but there is no where I would rather be right now. The church is true. God loves you!
Besos!
Hermana Saunders

Monday, November 9, 2015

Birthday wishes granted!


What a wonderful week! It went by so fast. There was so many awesome things that we got to do.

Monday ~we celebrated my Birthday and the year mark of Hermana Ovando. We ate pizza and slept-Basically a really awesome day in the mission.

On Tuesday~ the Elders in my zone got me a cake. It was really nice. We are the only hermanas, so they treat us well ;) Then we had lunch at the Minches which was so so good. They decorated for us and Sisrwe Minch cooked stew- which is basically my favorite meal at home--- it was like a tender mercy. They totally spoiled us.

Friday~ we had a Mini exchanges with the Hermana Leaders. I lead our sector! We got a little lost with the buses and were just a little late starting they day- but I learned something new hehe.

I was with Hermana Moraga- who was actually 'born' in Barrio Norte a few cambios before me. It was like catching up with someone from your home town. Pretty fun. She taught me a few new things that I will be working on in the coming weeks.

Saturday was kind of a hard day--  yes they happen here on a mission.  We left our cell phone in the home of  one of our investigators with all these people we still had to call for church. We had a hard time controlling the lesson and getting home on time (we made it don't worry) and getting our contacts done. Everything seemed to be going a different direction then we wanted it to go. I laid down to bed thinking “I have learned nothing in these last 9 months. I am 20 and still a disorganized mess!” In my frustration, it came into my mind that there is no progress without the trial. And I thought about all the trails that I have overcome here. While they may have been small but- I have progressed. We have a lot of weaknesses, but we can never overcome them without feeling a little crummy sometimes. It is through hard days and little victories that we grow- little by little.

I think I came on the mission thinking I would be perfect as soon as I got here. That every missionary I had met was awesome so I would automatically know all and be awesome but it is not like that at all. If I have any advice to give this week it is that you will never been perfect- but don't let it stress you out. God knows you are not perfect and he sent you to this earth anyway- he sends you trials and test sometimes because he knows you are strong enough to beat them. poco y poco. (little by little) I love you. Remember who you are. You have so much potential, but you aren't going to reach it without hard days.

Ether 12:27

Read your scriptures, say your prayers and trust in God.

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Celebration with the Minch's



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dulce o Travesura‏


What a fun Halloween weekend! We had an activity Friday and District conference on Saturday and Sunday. It was a pretty good turnout. Like at home, there has been a lot of instruction about Sabbath Day worship. It was so great. We had three people in the church with dates for baptism.

We also went trick or treating! Well, not on purpose. We had 10 min left until we could enter the house so we decided- to knock a few doors. We were all greeted with 'no thank you' but given a hand full of candy anyways. I am not sure if that shows we are dedicated or disobedient--- I'll let you decide

It has been hard to communicate with people this week because our phone ran out of minutes! It was a travesty. It is literally our life - with setting up appointments, verifying members etc. It was a struggle, but it made us think in some creative ways... Thankfully we have more for this week.

We used our bikes this week! Well... for two days until my comp's broke... but it was fun while it lasted and we hope to get them fixed today. They help so much in this huge sector. When we don't have them we have to spend money on the bus to get around.

Hermana Ovando and I have been learning to teach together. It has been interesting finding a balance. I have been studying in the New Testament the teachings of Christ (because he is the best example we have right :) and something that has stuck out to me is how simple He teaches. With questions and parables- He teaches people not just lessons.

The gospel really is not that complicated. The scriptures are so clear. It is Satan who is the master of confusion that would have us believe that the gospel is hard to understand, hard to learn and hard to live.

If I could just remind you of one thing this week- remember to delight in the scriptures. They hold the teachings of our brother, Jesus Christ. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Ready, meditate and delight in following their council. I love you all so much. You are always in my prayers

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fabian's baptism






Linares: City of Dreams‏


Okay, so this week has been great. I am absolutely LOVING Linares

It is NOT little. Everyone told me it was this little campo town, but it is at least 5x bigger than Hualqui- it is surrounded by farms so people think there is nothing out here. There is a huge city center that is beautiful. I am absolutely thrilled to be here. I got to jump right in a start teaching this week with a good of investigators. I can tell the difference in sectors in the city that are near Concepción and out here in 'campo' people are a little more friendly and willing to listen which is awesome.

We are teaching two families who have dates for baptism this next month. Right now I don’t know if either of them feel ready to be baptized, but this week we are going to do our best to help them learn how to understand the voice of the spirit so that they can know they have received an answer to their prayers and feel comfortable and ready for this big step.

Our home here is HUGE. It is so sad there are only 2 of us in it. We are actually the only Hermanas in the zone too.

Here we also have BIKES. It has helped out a lot this week because this sector is so big. They have to be fixed up a little this week, but they are super nice to have around.

We also have our own washing machine. I am not really sure how this sector can get better, but I will let you know. It really does surpass my dreams. Well Love you. I will let you know more in the coming weeks about the sector. I am loving being with Hermana Ovando once again and excited to learn more from her.

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fabian's baptism


We had a baptism yesterday! (¡Por fin!) It might be the most beautiful thing I think I have ever witnessed. We had it after church and so many people helped out which was awesome. His family came and while we were taking pictures President and Hermana Arrington showed up! Hermana Arrington had taught him with us a few weeks back and we had invited her to come (but didn’t hear from them after so we expected them not to come) It was such a pleasant surprise. We started the meeting with two talks from a youth in the ward and one of Fabians mentors in his basketball team. Hey were really neat. We then went to the font and there he was baptized by his neighbor, Hermano Colla- It was a really emotional moment for me and Hermana Prettyman. After that We heard his seminary teacher give her testimony and then Hermana Prettyman and I sang a musical number together. The Spirit was so strong in the room when Hermana Arrington then got up and bore her testimony about how Fabian was a chosen spirit to help the Lords work and share the gospel- tears were shed.

I feel so lucky to have had the chance to teach Fabian. I know that God put him in our path for a reason

Other craziness CAMBIOS today! I am going to Linares! It is literally a dream come true! Hermana Ormeño and Hermana Prettyman have both been there and LOVED it- their favorite sectors. I am thrilled to meet their converts. It is 'Campo' or away from the city which I am really excited about. I will be with Hermana Ovando AGAIN! Crazy right?  I am excited 3 weeks just wasn’t enough together.

I want to testify that God lives and he loves each and every one of us. He has a beautiful plan for each and every one of us. He will help us achieve heights that we never could alone.

I love you!

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Fun tidbit- we woke up to the sound of meows and when we looked in our garage the tom cat that hangs around our house had kittens on an old sleeping bag in there. We now have 4 of them that wake us up every morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What sign do I want to show God


Hello Family and friends! How was your week? Mine was fabulous. Uneventful but it is absolutely wonderful to be in the service of my God.

Fabiàn is doing so great. We are preparing him for his interview this week and his baptism on Sunday. We made invites and everything.

Jannier as well continues to progress and this week we will complete all of her needed teachings before her baptism. In talking to President Arrington, he would like her to attend church for another month before her baptism, so she will be set for the beginning of November.

We have a reading chart for both of them that we are all doing together to help them get to know the stories and teachings of the Book of Mormon.

When they are both baptized we will be totally dry without investigators...So we went finding this week. Many days of a of walking and praying, but we reached our goal, only through the miracles of God. We will have some new people to visit this next week hooray. I'll let you know if any of them progress.

This week we taught about la Dia de Reposo or the Sabbath Day. In our zone conference last week we learned about how the First Presidency sent out training videos to all stake presidency in the world about the importance of the Sabbath day. They promised us that if we keep the Sabbath day holy we can increase our faith and have lasting conversion! That is a huge promise! Especially when we are looking at the number of less actives in our area.

Something we taught it that the Sabbath day it not just going to church. It is devoting ALL of our day to our Heavenly Father to do HIS work. It is a day to rest from our labors. It means using our time to do HIS work and not ours.

My invitation for you guys this week is to analyze your dia de reposo and as Elder Nelson challenged us from his last conference talk 'what sign do I want to show God?  Then with our actions show Him that he is first in your life.

Sending my Love from Chile!

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

¡Conferencia General!‏


What a wonderful week. A long, but wonderful week.

Here are some highlights

 

On Tuesday we invited our mission President's Wife, Hermana Arrington to come out with us on so visits. It was such a great day! We visited Fabiàn with her and her testimony brought such a great spirit to the lesson. We taught him about prophets and he asked us if we'd be happy if he became prophet one day. It was a joke, but we told him that we would be very proud of him if he became prophet but that first he needed to be baptized. He has always related to Joseph Smith so we joke and call him Fabiàn Smith. He came to all sessions of conference and told us of his excitement to become a teacher after his baptism. He is so incredible. He has such desires to change and please God. He is so excited to be baptized in 2 weeks.

 

We also put a date for Jannier for baptism at the beginning of November. She attended 2 sessions of conference and really liked it. Despite the fact that her mother and father do not want her to be baptized, she has a testimony of the church and is following what she knows to be true.  I love her. She so brave.

 

It is weird that our focus group has turned into the youth program! It show me that really in these final days Heavenly Father is sending his strongest soldiers to come and grow in the gospel. I look up to Jainner and Fabian so much. I feel so blessed Heavenly Father trust us to teach them.

 

We also had zone conference this week. (15 hours of conference for us)

 

We spoke a lot about helping our areas understand the importance of keeping the Sabbath day Holy. I learned so much, even about how we as missionaries can consecrate our Sundays more fully to our Father in Heaven.

 

I was so moved by General Conference, and I just want to invite you if you haven't already had the chance to listen to the talks, to do it. And then review it. I know we have a prophet of God on the earth today. I know that through the words of his servants the Lord tells us all that we need to know and do. God can answer any questions and doubts that you have if you are willing to act on the words of his prophets.

 

I love this mission. Through everything I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I know that God has a path for all of us. He Loves us and knows our needs.

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, September 21, 2015

¡Feliz semana de Independencia!‏


What a week! Well it started out wonderful with a great package from my beautiful Grandmother. In it she set lots of goodies and some band aids- to which I thought, ‘‘She must think I have blisters, luckily I don't, I won't really need these'' (foreshadowing) but all the same I enjoyed the package.


We had a good first half of the week, finding a few new people to start teaching and helping the members prepare for 18th- Chile's independence day. It is bigger than Christmas here. We spent 2 mornings baking empanadas with an Hermana for her business. We made something like 70 of them. They are time consuming little things. But SO good.
In the streets we saw lots of kids playing with these wooden dradel type toys called Trumpos. We ask a few what they were and they told us they are traditional toys that they play with around the 18th. Me and my comp bought some to give them a try and they are so hard! You wind them up with a string and throw them at the ground and they spin...well that is what they are meant to do, but all the little kids are pros. We need some practice.
On Thursday we had an earthquake here in Chile! No worries it was very far from me. About 400 miles or so. The craziness is that we felt it here. It did no damage but it shook us up a little. I think the most annoying thing about it was that is distracted our investigators and they wouldn't focus after that. We were actually giving them the 'kill' speech during it (that we aren't going to keep visiting them) I thought it was ironic that it happened during the earthquake.
On the 18th it was a pretty good day. No one let us in. But we expected that with the holiday. We were allowed 2 hours at the church activity and that was really cool to go and see all the youth dance the traditional dances of Chile. They are really serious about that here. We also went to the Plaza, which was set up just like the fair. It was really neat.


The 19th was probably the most boring day of my mission. No one let us in again and we walked all day. Holidays have their ups and downs.


We were walking past a park and I had the great idea to go down the slide (to break up the walking) it was one of those really old metal steep and tall ones. It was a lot of fun until I fell at the end and ripped up my tights and my knees. I put those band aids to use from my Gram. That is what I get.


Well I think that is just about all you want to know about my week.


Love ya!
Besos
Hermana Saunders

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lucky month 7- Letter



Long week, but a good one! We continue to teach Fabian and he is progressing so much. This week we taught him the Word of wisdom  in a  game of basketball. It was a blast. He is just like a regular youth in the ward. We are still working on his mom. She is busy and not making time for us, but praying for an opportunity to teach her.
Last changes we had the sector in deviations with the other Hermanas, but this week we opened it up. We did a lot of walking and knocking to get to know the new sectors but I really think it will be for the best. We were lucky enough to find o lot of less actives this week that are ready to progress, which is exciting.

 Sad news is that we have in our plans to 'kill' our family of investigators this week. It has been 2 weeks without seeing them at church and we have prayed and feel it is time to let them go. I am sad. I am really going to miss them. Well, we will let go with faith. that is all you can do, right?

 We were put to shame this week when a member made fun of how tall our grass was at our house, so this week we took a morning to pull it all up. We couldn't locate any clippers and scissors just wouldn't cut it so we did things the Chilean way and we pulled every bit of it up. It was quite the adventure. Now we have to huge trash bags full of grass that the garbage men won't take... figuring out what to do with it will be our next adventure I guess.

Saturday we had a mission wide service day. In the morning all of the sectors near Concepcion came in and we cleaned a bunch of the streets. We played 'what are the odds' (sort of like truth or dare) with the Elders in our zone and Elder Meza from Peru had to buy me an ice cream. It was a good day.

 This week everyone is preparing for the 18th. It is Chile's Independence Day and they go crazy from what I hear. I am so pumped.

 The weather is really warming up and it is really nice not to lug around out water gear.

 I am doing great. Happy and healthy

Besos,

Hermana Saunders

 

 

 

Lucky 7 months







Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hualqui B- Here to stay :)


¡CAMBIOS! Don't worry I am staying in Hualqui with Hermana Prettyman. I was praying for that, so I am happy. It is the most wonderful place in the mission. I am sure of it. There are so many incredible members that just love the missionaries. They have a rule that they can only sign up to give us lunch once a month because they are just so loving and giving and would do it every day if they could. What is even more incredible is that so many of them don't have work and are still so giving and firm in the Gospel. They are such examples to me. I am so grateful.

 It was a balancing act working with Hermana Heaton again this week but we did it, again with the help of the members. We will be having Hermana Pullson coming in to be her new companion this week so things will be back to normal :)

 We had an activity on Friday night- Noche de Country. We taught them all how to dance the cotton eyed joe and made fried oreos. It was a great time. We all really enjoyed ourselves.

 This week we taught a Jovencito Flabian. Our first lesson I was very skeptical about teaching a youth, but I was very pleasantly surprised about how prepared he is for the gospel. His questions are inspired. It was one of the most incredible lessons I have taught on my mission.

He told us he had deja vu, like he already knew us and he was coming home. I just wanted to scream to him: "You are home, the church is true and God loves you and you are his son and you are our brother!" But I kept my head on and continued to teach the Plan of Salvation. We got permission from his mother to continue teaching him and hopefully we can get her in on a lesson this week because the spirit was incredible.

 I am always running out of time but those are the highlights.

Love you!

Besos

 Hermana Saunders

Chinese/ Chilean Food



Monday, August 31, 2015

I just can't get enough of these trios.....‏


Well this week has been loco! I am (technically) in a trio again! WOHO! Don't listen to that anyone says, trios are the best. Hermana Heaton is finishing up her training with me and Hermana Prettyman and her trainer left to be an Hermana Leader in another Sector. So for this next week until cambios we will be together again. With the challenge of managing both her investigators, and ours we have been running around all over the place this week. It has been such a blur I really can't remember half of what happened. It has been a challenge to make time to find new people. Hopefully in a weeks we will have 4 of us again in Hualqui and all will be restored to a normal amount of crazy.Yesterday, as usual we saw so many miracles. Sundays are the most incredible days of the week. A less active that has not been to church in 30 years came! She told us that she wants her life to change and she has come back to be active again. Let me tell you this is not something that happens every day. I am so excited to visit her this week. Without fail you can find a miracles everyday on the mission- but Sundays somehow the blessings are multiplied.

I have learned a lot in this companionship. It is something that I just can't rap my mind around some days, but you are ALWAYS learning on the mission. There really is never a dull moment. You think once you can communicate with people all challenges will vanish you will suddenly be the perfect missionary. I am learning that it doesn't matter how much time I am going to have- I will never be the perfect missionary. And that is okay :) The most important thing I have learned is that you are always trying your best and trying to please the Lord. He is always happy if you are doing your best.

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, August 24, 2015

Exito en Hualqui



The week in Fast-forward
We had a killer Family home evening with our investigators. It was so fun! We watched a little video about the church and our beliefs, then played games and ate. We brought brownies and they were a hit. (They don’t have a lot of stuff like that here) We have a lot more confidence with them now and the mother and daughter came to church again. We will be inviting them to baptism again this week. I think they are ready to accept this time.
Went to the doctor on Friday (calm down mom) my feet have been bugging me and my companion dragged me there to get them checked out. It was a good idea. My arches aren’t doing to good and the doctor says I have the feet of an old lady. He said if we didn’t get them fixed up I would need surgery in the next 10 years. But we are good now. We will be going in another time this week so he can mold some inserts to my feet and then they should be fine.
The other Hermanas in our ward had a baptism and our other investigators, 2 children of a less active, came and saw it. It was great. We will be inviting them again to baptism this week. We are really seeing progress.
We had interviews with President this week and it was so good to chat with him. I am so blessed to have him and Hermana Arrington as my leaders. He gave me some really great advice about not being so hard on myself and about how we can apply the Atonement in all aspects of our lives. It helped a whole lot.
Well some crazy stuff is happening in our house. Hermana Lance, another Hermana in Hualqui is leaving early this cambio to go be an Hermana leader in another sector. She is leaving behind her 'daughter' in the mission, Hermana Heaton, to be alone for 2 weeks. Everyday she has to leave with members in the ward to work! The craziest part is that she is still in her training. When she can’t get a member to come out with her she will be coming out with Hermana Prettyman and I in a trio. The poor girl. But I have so much faith in her and her Spanish is incredible for how little time she has.


So those are the most exciting this happening around hualqui. I am still in love with the sector.


le quiero
Besos
Hermana Saunders

Six Months




Monday, August 10, 2015

adventures with hermana prettyman






Raining down the blessings of Heaven‏


Wow how the time does fly! Tomorrow is my 6 month mark!!!! What? Am I supposed to be mature now? Well I am still not. I guess I have a whole other year to work. J

This week was raining cats and dogs! (Literally I have never seen so many dead cats and dogs) We had a special conference Wednesday with all the sectors 'inside' (not in the country) and we came all pretty dressed up to see our friends. We left the house with the sun in the sky. When we left it was a different world. Without umbrellas and boots and anything else for the rain, we got SOAKED! It was an adventure. Just glad I brought a plastic bag to keep my scriptures dry.

We have been having a good time here in Hualqui B this week. I might even dare say that it is again one of the most successful weeks of my mission this far! We have so many awesome investigators right now! I feel so blessed.

We are teaching a family of 4 right now that we were just about to 'kill' they weren’t showing progress and then when we tried to call them this transfer they had changed their number and we couldn’t get ahold of them- We were thinking 'CHOW NO MAS, call us when you want salvation, but guess what THEY CALLED woho! They asked “Where are you? Why, have you stopped coming by? We want to learn more!” They came to church for the first time yesterday and seemed to enjoy themselves. We will be visiting them more this week and preparing them to set a goal for baptism date. It is incredible to see the progress of the mother of the family. Originally she was so cold to us. She didn’t even want to touch the Book of Mormon. Now she is participating in the lessons, looking up scriptures and asking questions. What is even greater is that she can see her progress. She recognizes she feels different when we come. I pray so hard for them every day.

We also had 2 other investigators at church yesterday. They are both the children of a less active women that we found when another family of less actives invited them to a Family Home evening (talk about Milagros). When we came by for the first lesson, the mother of the family set up chairs all around us and dragged her kids in to listen. They have a baptism date but first we really want to focus on reactivating the mother. She says the father really isn’t interested in religion and doesn’t want to do anything with 'Mormons' but we are going to try and meet him this week, at least to gain his confidence so that he can support his children in their decision.

I feel like the Lord is blessing us so much. I love Hualqui. We have also had the chance to get to know more members this week and it has been so fun. They are incredible.

I am finally starting to feel a little more comfortable with Spanish too. Something that Hermana Prettyman is teaching me is that maybe we won’t be able to say EXACTLY what we want, but we can still express ourselves and teach effectively if you just change your way of thinking into the words you CAN say. It has been a real adventure with her. She is a wonderful companion.

That's all for now!

Le quiero mucho!Chow!

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, August 3, 2015

my new comp- hermana prettyman



43.3 Miles Walked this Week‏


So this week was the first week with Hermana Prettyman, my second greenga companion. She is from New York and is a photography major at BYU (she is currently in the process from transferring from BYU- I to Provo). I LOVE her I have already learned so much from her. She just had her one year mark in the mission and I really want to be just like her when I have her time. I know that the Lord has put us together for a reason.

Despite the fact that we got EXTREAMLY lost just about every 5 minutes this week we had (what I would call) the most exitoso semana(most successful) in my mission! WOHO! We did so much finding and now have several new progressing investigators! It has just felt like all my prayers are being answered. It is a little disappointing none of them made it to church yesterday but we have lots of faith that with some more preparation they will be able to make it this week. They are at least doing there reading and praying.

A difficulty we have been having is getting the members come out with us. This is a super important element to our work, because really we (the missionaries) are only here for a few months and then Chow no mas! It is important that our investigators and less actives have relationships with the members to help them keep coming to church. The reason we haven’t been leaving with many members is because we don’t KNOW many members. It is funny how huge this ward is but I still haven’t actually gotten to know many of them. We have it in our weekly goals to get to know at least 2 families every day. I am looking forward to developing a stronger relationship with them and working together :)

Something I really love about Hermana Prettyman is that she loves to look for the fun in our days. This week we played with some kids in the street as they twirled ribbons and danced, we had a 10 min 'date' where we ate cheese sandwiches and talked about girl stuff, we found a new part of or sector that looks like muddy St. George and took lots of fun pictures. She is teaching me that in order to give all of our heart might mind and strength to God we have got to love ourselves, we have got to enjoy ourselves and feel comfortable where we are. We are not robots. If that were in effective method of teaching, God wouldn’t send people! This Gospel is about happiness not just endurance. They are things that work together! My goal this week to you guys in to find some happiness in your journey. We are most effective in our work when we are happy. Remember that your happiness is your choice. I want to promise that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can find happiness in every moment of our life. Even during trials and difficulties we can find a way to look on the bright side.

I Love you guy!

Besos!

Chow

Hermana Saunders

A NORMAL Cambios... Pretty sure they don't exist.‏





CAMBIOS THIS WEEK! And boy are things changing. As I have previously mentioned I am in a trio currently with 2 beautiful, wonderful Argentines. With Cambios we expected Hermana Ovando to leave and Hermana Tejarena to stay with me and work in Hualqui... but these things never turn out as we expect hehe- they are both leaving me!  I get to lead or sector with only 3 weeks in the area! yikes! BUT the good news is I will be with Hermana Prettymen! I adore her! We were in the same group of Hermanas when I was is Barrio Norte (We had the same Hermana Leaders and had activities together) I can't wait to work with her.

This week we were able to find a ton of new people to teach!

It started out super slow Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We were knocking doors all day with no exito (wa-wa) but after Zone class and mini cambios with our Hermana Leaders on Thursday we had new energy to work! On Saturday we found 4 news and also have even more promising appointments for the coming week! It only shows that with faith the Lord will fulfil his promises. Sometimes he lets us squirm a little. He lets us have hard days but the blessings always outweigh the cost.

Hermana Lance and Hermana Heaton are both staying in Hualqui with me and it will be really great to have their help with this Cambio. We will be living with all greengas, and I have to say I am a little worried for my Spanish. I promise I will be continuing to work hard on improving :)

A funny thing with the Spanish is that I really can understand what is important. Somehow, when things really matter, when we are in a lesson or contacting someone good- I can understand super clear. I have really been learning that relying on the spirit is the key is all things. Something that is becoming very clear to me is that the Spirit can't be with us to full capacity when we are afraid. It works much better when we have the faith to not fear. When we depend on the Lord and know that he will help us on all things, he will come through. There is no such thing as coincidences, every milagro (miracle) is from Him. This is my invitation to you this week (Sorry I am a missionary and we always leave behind and invitation)- Be brave, have faith that the Lord can take care of you and help fix whatever you might be facing right now. I want to testify that God is real and he really knows your challenges and your trials. Through him we don't have to feel the stress of this world. Through him all is possible.

I love you!

Besos Chow!
Hermana Saunders

Monday, July 20, 2015

Disfruta la flea bags‏


What a week. ¡Tan rapido! I am seriously loving every minute of my life! To think I have 5 months in the mission scares me to DEATH! I am not near ready to be this old. It isn’t fair girls only get 18months, I want 2 years! But I guess I will take what I can get and love it.

 

I am loving living with 4 other Hermanas. We are always laughing. It probably is a little inappropriate how much of a good time we have together. My name here is Hermana Sandra- after one of our investigators who mistakenly calls me that. Trio life is the best. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but I think it must be terribly lonely in 2- I don’t want to go back :) but changes are coming and it is likely things are going to change. shoota.  

 

Well this week I want to talk a little bit about the flea bags of Chile- perros (dogs)! That’s right. There are literally 100s more dogs in Hualqui! (10x more gross!) We saw a pack of 12 of them all chilling together yesterday. I wish I would have had my camera. Anyway, this week we had a little run in with one of our fury friends in the street. Normally they just want to play, but this week one was out for Hermana Tejerina`s blood. She got a nice little rip in her jacket from where it bit (don’t worry it just got her jacket) we were cornered for a minute when a neighbor came out and saved us. Of course it was the one day I forgot my secret weapon – dog repeller ... this is not Barrio Norte.

 

It is so beautiful here in Hualqui. The whole town is surrounded by trees. The people are warm and friendly. I am so impressed with the members. I learn so much from their examples.



Besos Chow!

 

Hermana Saunders

Monday, July 13, 2015

Huakqui my new home


Wednesday I went on a mini cambio with Hermana Lance. She lives with us and works in the same ward. I first met her in my first cambio here in Andaline. I love her. She is so incredible. She is training right now Hermana Heaton but has given me some awesome advice and has already helped me a bunch with Spanish. It was a great day together.

We got a call early in the week that because I had moved sectors I had missed zone conference. President wanted me to go to one so on Thursday night me and Hermana Tejarina stayed in Collao and on Friday morning President picked us up and we drove for an hour out to compo to attend the last one in the mission. I learned so much I am so glad President and Sister Arrington had thought about me. Another blessing was that I got to see my 'mom' Hermana Howe. I feel really lucky. It was great to catch up with her.

We have had a chance to teach more which is wonderful. We are working with two families right now and they are both showing progress. (Admittedly it is a little slow but progress is progress)

We are looking for more Less actives right now (a problem we did not have in my last sector) We are teaching about 3 people who have been baptized in the last year too (something we also didn’t have in my last sector.) Members are so awesome here. They are coming out with us every day which is helping us complete the vision more which is sweet!

I feel so blessed to be where I am. Hualqui is so wonderful. I don’t think I have ever been more humbled by the language than I am right now- it has been tough but I am learning work harder and I have faith it will come.

The Hand of the Lord is so prevalent in my life. It is unreal in how specific he is in answering my prayers.

I love you! Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, July 6, 2015

Loco Semana- Crazy Week


Big changes!

Okay Monday:

We watched the futbul game with the Elders at the house of some members and oh my gosh it was a blast. They served us a TON of food (ALL CARNE). One of the Elders in my ward is from Peru and it was hilarious to hear him go on and on about how great the team is only to have them lose (hehe)

Tuesday: Zone breakfast and district class. Super great.

 Wednesday: We promised an old lady in our ward we would chop her wood, but when we showed up she was super surprise. She didn’t think we would actually do it. We did. I learned a new skill that is for sure. I also taught English to a girl and we started a class for every Wednesday night, Super cool. All was normal and then POW right after planning for the night we got a call from the assistant EMERGENCY CAMBIOS!

WHAT? yep a new girl came in late this cambio and my comp was chosen to train! And for me: Chou no mas! Loco! Headed to Hualqui (wall-key) just 40min-1hr. south of Barrio Norte.

 Thursday: We planned for the church and then visited a bunch of my favorite members to say goodbye. Oh it was so loco.

 Friday we went to the ultimo class (a class taught of the married couples in the mission- they are leaving after this cambio. And after that we got a ride from a member where we did the exchange and then Hermana Ormeño went to pick up her new comp at the airport.

 I am in a trio now with Hermana Ovando and Hermana Tejerina two Argentines! Woot woot!

 On Saturday we watched the game at the house of a member and it was a crazy game but in the end Chile Won! It felt just like the 4th in the USA with all the festivities after the game.

 Sunday was a bit of a shock. The ward in Hualqui is HUGE. (120- but I guess it was a low week) compared to my last ward it is a big change. But a good one. They are super sweet here. So many people are willing to teach with us so that is awesome. I don’t know how I am going to remember all their names but I can pray for that :)

 Today we hiked a waterfall as a zone. It was fun... we got really wet and muddy from all.  It was a cool experience.

 Well that is just about it for my crazy week. Love you all

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Barrie Norte






Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The lessons we learn..............


Hola Familia y amigos! Como esta?

Spanish is coming... for real I understood all of sacrament yesterday... now I just got to get the speaking part down :)

This week the Copa America continues to rage on here. They completed the stadium in Concepción as well, so that means teams are playing here too! Sadly, that means nights spent in the casa even when Chile isn’t playing (because my sector in semi close to the stadium) but it is a blessing because we get to use the time to study, read scriptures and clean--- all things that normally don’t get enough attention.

This week we had mini cambios with our Hermana Leaders. Hermana Garces came to Barrio Norte and I showed her around. I learned so much from her. I love mini cambios, it is fun to mix things up and see how other people work. Hermana Garces is super awesome too, she had some wonderful advice for me and our sector.

Last night we had a lesson with a less active sister, Maria. I have learned so much from teaching her. Her son died about 5 years ago, just before the earthquake and she has really been living in bitterness ever since. It is so sad. She has spent a lot of time angry with God, but it seems this is her moment. It is like she has been waking up from a long sleep of sadness, and is ready to change. It is wonderful to see that as she slowly applies the teachings of the gospel into her life, she has more hope and faith that she will be with her son again.

Many of our other less actives ember we have been working with are 'graduating' and becoming 'full time members.'

Yesterday 2 of our vijitas (little old ladies) came to church on their own without help from members. It was such a pleasant surprise to see sweet Sister Smith in the Chapel after we had realized that her ride would not be able to pick her up. She had walked because she didn’t want to miss the sacrament. Que linda.(How wonderful)

As far as investigators... we are still in the market for some more. I have been learning so much about finding. It is true that we have not been very successful in finding for the last little while (well let's be honest I have yet to have a real progressing investigator in my mission) BUT I am learning a lot about what works, what doesn’t and how to be braver. I have learned a lot about how God helps us grow. He never gives us more than we can handle, but he always gives us tasks to stretch us. And we are stretched until we can handle more. I am learning that the mission, and this LIFE is all about learning. All about improving and being stretched to improve. God qualifies us for the tasks we are assigned by letting us take responsibility, letting us mess up and trusting us to do our best. He trusts in us. Scary, but true. Love you all!

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Monday, June 22, 2015

Waiting for the Rain


Wow- not going to lie, tough week. We are still keeping faith to find but this week we came up dry. I really am not sure what more we can do. Continue on, always aspiring to be better. I guess it is has been a good life lesson.

Last Mondays we had Cambios and many sectors got terminated. We spent the night in Santa Sabina to help an Hermana clean out the house and pack up her things because there are no longer going to be Hermanas in the Area. I was very surprised. The area is 2 or 3 times bigger than Barrio Norte. I think the apartment was becoming too expensive and we are getting fewer and fewer Hermanas coming in here.

It made me wonder why they have not decided to close Barrio Norte. There has not been a convert in the Ward for over a year now, which is bad. I know there are many logistical reasons for why they do things but I have to think there is a bigger picture as to why they need two sets of missionaries in the area. I have faith that there are people ready for us and that is why we are here. I don’t know if my faith has ever been tried more.

The Copa America Continues and Chile is advancing! (Whoohoo) So that means more nights spent in the apartment to avoid problems (only 1 hour mas)

In good news, the 27 of October they will begin construction on the Concepcion TEMPLE! Yes!

Hopefully in 2 or three years in will be ready. What a blessed opportunity to be here and help people prepare!

I love you all! I am working harder than I have ever worked, while things are tough, the hand of the Lord has never been more prevalent.

Besos

Hermana Saunders

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chile is Wet

Two Sister Saunders
A little rain

Officially Junior Companion

Hola! Wow this week was fast! I am officially 4 months old in the mission! And A JUNIOR COMPANION! I finished my training! What the what? Today is cambios but I am staying put- couldn’t be more thrilled to have another month with Hermana Ormeño! We have a lot of fun together. Last night we had a 'PJ Party'
This week Started the Culpa America, which is a soccer bowl for all of South America (Basically all of America without USA... whatever I am over it) it has been really fun to see how excited everyone is over it. During the times that Chile plays we are not allowed to leave the house for safety reasons. We can watch the game if we are with a less active or an investigator but this week me and my comp desired to stay in, clean and eat pancakes. It was a much needed break.
Wow we have been working so hard. Sadly all of our hopeful investigators fell this week. We started the cambio with no investigators and we are ending the same way (SHOOTA) but despite that I feel surprisingly really energized. This drought of investigators has been so long that I know it is going to rain soon! I just feel it in my soul! Because of this lack of people I am learning to be a lot braver. Not in desperate but I am starting to realize that EVERYONE needs this gospel and not one in our area is actually hearing about it! What a blessing I get to tell people about this great work! I just got to find them first... :)
Spanish... Am I supposed to know it by now? haha well I am definitely learning to laugh at myself and not stress the small stuff. My companion has helped me so much and I am so glad to be with her another cambio (change) to grow even more. It is true that I have progressed a ton since the CCM. I am learning that it just takes time for some things to sink in and you can study and study but it still won’t come all at once, often your brain just needs time to take it all in.
I just want to bare my testimony to all of you that I know this church is true. I know that with the Lord Jesus Christ we can overcome any and every challenge life throws at us. It is important to have an eternal perspective about life but remember that God wants us to enjoy this journey! Enjoy where you are right now! We are so blessed to live in this time where God speaks to us through living prophets. Never forget how wonderful your life, this Gospel and your Savior's Sacrifice is. I love you!
Besos!
Hermana Saunders
 
 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last week of Training



Well I am going to try to be a bit better about telling y’all what life is like here on the other side of the Equator.
First of all in Chile people talk about the earthquake that happened five years ago. "Ovi" was a big deal- and everyone has a story about it. It can be to our benefit on days when you are sitting at an awkward lunch table trying to make small talk- just asking about the terremoto and BAM you get an earful. It makes lunchtime more enjoyable when you are not the one trying to talk.
On another note- Chileans can TALK and they do talk. It is a blessing. In general they are a very open people- as missionaries our job is to find their needs and help them through the gospel of Jesus Christ- 'looking' for the need is hardly necessary because people will often just hand it to you. One problem that can arise, though is helping people listen to the message. It can also make timing a bit of an issue when you plan for a 45min lesson and a person wants to talks for an hour and 30min. I am learning though that it is not as offensive to interrupt people here- if the timing is right.
The Food- I got a lot of mixed reviews about the food here and my first comp didn’t really love it, but I enjoy most of what we eat. It is true we eat a lot of rice and chicken, but we have a lot of good cooks in my ward and I love all of the soups they make for us. Super rico! One thing Chile could improve on- the desserts. Lots of fruit and jello. All of the greengos have our Latino Missionaries hooked on cookies and cakes... (I have definitely been doing my bit with showing my comp microwave brownies :) we might be addict.
Dinner is a meal later in the day about 7 o’clock where people eat bread and hot drinks. I think it is the sweetest thing. Family is such an important thing to people here. For every meal- but more especially- you eat with your family - I love it. We can't eat with members unless we have made an appointment a head of time and teach something as well, but people always want us over- it feels so often that I have a family here!
The weather- We have had our fair share of cloudy days here, but I hear the rain is only going to get worse in the next few weeks. My agenda is totally water logged already! Without the help of plastic bags my scriptures would be toast too! I actually enjoy the rain but it can make contacting people on the street a bit more challenging. I hate to feel like I am bugging people and when we make them stand out in the rain to listen it is always harder to open my mouth. My comp always reminds mi that their salvation is the more important thing. She is right :)
This week- We have been finding a lot of people WOHOO! Sadly, none of them are progressing.... but on the bright side we are having a little bit of success with the less actives we have found in this week and the last. People are starting to recognize the need for Christ in their life. Honestly what more could I ask for in helping them in that journey (other than maybe a baptism....)
My Spanish is better, I know I say that a lot but really. I promise I have been talking a lot more. I am learning that even if it stinks, it is better to try, and make a mistake than not try at all.
 This is the last week of my training and I am not really sure if I am ready to be a junior comp but I have faith that the Lord knew what he was doing when he sent me there, and I am working hard- so there is really nothing more to worry about.


I love you all!
Besos!
Chuo!
Hermana Saunders