Monday, March 30, 2015

Cue Aladdin "It's A Whole New World"

I am finally here! I am so happy. This week has flown by! On Wednesday I flew all night from Mexico to Santiago and from there to Concepción. We were picked up at the airport and went to the mission office with the crew. The Arringtons are so kind. They are from Clinton and LOVE Grandma and Grandpa Saunders. They were so complementary. It is nice to have a little bit of home in them. At the mission office we had a little orientation and them went contacting!!!! Craziness! That was so weird, but a really cool experience. Even when people were rolling their eyes at us and shaking their heads I could feel the spirit with us so strong. That spirit is so important to have each day. As missionaries we are so blessed. From there we came back to the office and got our companions! Hermana Howe is my trainer. She is from Arizona and SPEAKS ENGLISH! thank goodness! She is so understanding of what I am going through, I really feel so so lucky to have her, she is incredible.

Through out the week I have been learning about our investigators and the members in your ward. We have SO many less actives in our area which is really sad to see. We do our best to contact new investigators, but a big focus of our work is reactivating people who have stopped coming to church. 

I naturally can't communicate much right now, but I am studying and practicing so much. Right now I am learning how to show my love in ways other than speaking. I love talking with the little kids here. They are always very patient and they love to asking me what things are in English. The members are pretty use to greenies like me and love teasing me about my Spanish. We have a great ward. So loving.

I have to be quick, but here are some fun facts about Chile...
-When we greet people we do it with a kiss on the right cheek. I LOVE it. I think it is so sweet. (Of course with the man we only shake hands.)
-DOGS everywhere! (and there poop... gross) My sweet aunt gave my a little gadget that repels dogs with a high pitched noise that humans cant hear. Lets just say I use it about every 5 min. Most dogs are friendly but you never want them to get too close because many of them have flees.
-The homes are much humbler than I expected. Most are made of tin and wood. I will have to send picture next week but they are all pretty small. People are not poor, they just know no different than they have. 

I am out of time, but I will write more next week. I love you all!!!
Cho Que le vía buen!
Hermana Saunders

Herman Howe- Frist Companion

Saying Goodbye to the MTC........Off to Chile

my district
hola hermana saunders

elder lundell

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

favorite pics from week #5

Celebrating the 80's

Adios CCM

Next Monday I will be waving goodbye to the CCM and flying to Chile! Hooray! I am nervous. I really don't think I have enough Spanish under my belt but I have been working very hard and I know the Lord will help me to measure up to the needs of my investigators.

This Week has been so fun. We finished off Spirit week and by Saturday a lot of people in our Casa had joined us. I won't include all the pictures because Friday and Thursday were pretty typical as far as wardrobe.

It has been a bit cold here. The last two day the skies have finally cleared up but most of the week has been really rainy. I guess I am just being prepared for Chile.

On Monday, Mexico celebrated the birthday of a president who brought religious freedom to the country. Some how a boy in our district managed to sweet talk our favorite cook into baking us a Cake to celebrate too. It was yummy! We love our friend Esteban in the kitchen.

I am no athlete but gym time has become one of the funnest times of the day. This week, we were looking around for things to do in the gym and all the sudden Hermana Wagstaff started dancing like a lunatic around us. We began to call out request for dance moves, for example- frozen jellyfish to which she would make up a goofy move and we would watch and follow along. Boy, did we look like a bunch of idiots but we surprising worked up quite a sweat. (Don´t worry mom no one was in the gym except the sweet girls in our zone.)

Things here are starting to get slower. Less people have been coming in with each week and so our ward merged with another district this week. My Friend from home, Elder Lundell has sacrament with me now.

Other than that nothing super exciting is going on. We are wrapping up our Spanish Classes in the next few days and having infield orientation on Friday. I hope all is going well at home. Love you!
Hermana Saunders

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Spirit Week" pics

Polka dot day

Granny Day

Every Week is "Spirit Week" here at the CCM, but this week we took it a little further...

Hola From Mexico City,

Last Saturday we taught TRC for the first time... Admittedly I don't remember what TRC stands for but it is when people from the city come in and we teach a short lesson on a gospel principle.
Most are members or less active people. We were suppose to teach last Saturday but there was not enough volunteers so we ended up just practicing with our district. This week however our teacher made sure we got to teach twice to make up for lost time. Both of our volunteers talked so fast.(It makes me worried to hear what Chileans will sound like) With our second volunteer I tried to say 'How are you?´ But mistakenly asked her 'What time is it?' These two phrases are not remotely similar but I some how always mix them up. Oh well, we all got a pretty good laugh out of it.

Cue Arial because I want to be where the people are... in Chile.So two more weeks until I am out of here and my district and I couldn't be more excited. We knew this week was going to feel like a long one, next week we will have a few more preparation meeting to break up the studying.In an effort to make the week feel more fun and fast we decided to make it 'Spirit Week.' Each day we dress up according to a new theme.
The Scheduled:
Monday: Old school(aka Granny Day) (Basically wearing the frumpiest outfits we had)
Tuesday: Too Many Polka Dot Tuesday
Wednesday: What the Crap Wednesday/ Wacked Out Wednesday (It is p day so we are just dressing silly as possible- while staying appropriate)
Thursday: Throwback or 80´s Day
Friday: Funeral Friday (The boys came up with that one... who knows why)- We wear all black
Saturday: Swaggy Saturday- Dress Classy
You are all welcome to participate ;) hehe

It seems that God wanted to join us this week because he sent too many dots from Heaven last night as we had a huge hail storm. Oh boy. I was so grateful I water proofed my shoes already because it was a down pour. All the girls were running around with their shoes off to protect them but I didn't have to worry about that. We were so grateful for our warm beds last night. We only hope God will not participate in Funeral Friday. We have a strict no dying policy here at the CCM.

The language is coming little by little. I am learning how to have patients with myself. I am nervous for Chilean Spanish but I have faith that everything happens for a reason and it will all work out.

I am so incredibly blessed here to be surrounded by such great people. I feel I have made some life long friends here in my district.

I love you all. Thanks for the prayers, letters and love sent this way!
Hermana Saunders

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Favorite pics-week #3

Some girls in our zone that are leaving for Nebraska and Reno. They have been such awesome mentors to me *Me, Hermana Wagstaff, Graham, Reynolds (Nebraska) Grubbs (Nebraska) Salazar, Casenuola- no idea about that spelling (Nebraska) Barker (Nevada)

My room! *My comp has a hilarious dog calender that we laugh at quite frequently*-seen on the right 

Favorite treats at the tienda

favorite pics from week #2

Mexico City Temple

Sister Call

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Carta #3 It's like the Hunger Games Up in Here!‏

So one day this week was a Saint's Day. Our Teachers say that they are so frequent here - but the Mexicans just love a reason to party. They shoot off these cannon sounds through out the city day and night (Basically Fireworks without the fire part) Here at the CCM we joke that they sound like the cannons in the Hunger Games. Every time one is set off groups of missionaries raise 3 fingers to the sky and do the HG whistle. It has become quite the joke.

So I said in my first letter that I thought my room was better than my college dorm that may have been a little over exaggeration but I think that is because I am so spoiled here. Why CCM is Hogwarts # 16- we basically have little house elves that take care of our every need. They bring us new sheets every week, leave little treats on our pillows, clean our bathrooms and cook us amazing food.

Speaking of food in the cafeteria I have found myself growing disappointed when they serve American food. I crave Mexican food. They do things right here. And lunch is always the best meal.

Another thing I love here are the Sunday night devotionals. We have recorded ones from general authorities speaking in Provo (Usually pretty old ones, but I'm not complaining) They are rad. Elder Bednar is SO powerful and so passionate about missionary work. I love his talks, I always feel the spirit and learn new things. My testimony that God calls living prophets and apostles on the earth today is strengthened so much when I hear them speak on Sundays.

I'm still plugging along with the Spanish. I am SO glad they no longer have 12 week programs for Spanish. As much as I am learning here, what the teachers keep saying is that you really learn the most when you are submerged in the culture.
I did feel really happy in a lesson this week when I suddenly was able to remember all these new words I had been studying. It was a real testament to me that if you study the spirit can recall things to your mind. I have been trying really hard to be diligent with my studies this week and while some days it feels like I am learning nothing, that nothing is getting through my thick skull there are other moments when everything just clicks. These moments are rare but I think it has taught me a lot about how God works. He expects a lot from us but when we do all that is required we will be blessed.

While I am on obedience I think I am starting to learn a little bit more clearly what people were talking about when they said live with exact obedience...
We have been asked not to lay on the grass here at the CCM. We may sit on it or walk on it but not lay. I thought that they had probably put the rule in place so that no sisters would look indecent as they laid down and possibly struggle with keeping their skirts modest. One day when no one was around me and my companion were sitting on the grass and decided it would be fine to lay down. Just for a minute, I mean no one was around and we were sure to make sure our skirts were in place. It wasn't until we got back to the classroom that our arms started to itch. We remember seeing the workers put down fertilizer in the grass earlier that morning and than realized that perhaps the rule was not so we would look indecent but because they didn't want us to get fertilizer on our skin. The itching was not too persistent and after a shower we were fine but it made me realize that even the seemingly stupid rules have a purpose and that it is important to follow them with exactness.

We had to say goodbye to some awesome friends in our zone this week which was sad. They have been amazing mentors to us. Hermana Graham and I have been put in as Hermana leaders now for our district. I love her. I feel so blessed to have her as a companion. Her, Hermana Wagstaff and Hermana Salazar are seriously the COOLEST people. I love them so much. I am so blessed to have them around.

I think that is all for this week! I love this time I get to read your letters. thanks for all the love and prayers headed this way. I can feel them. I am praying for all of you. .
With Love, Always Hermana Saunders