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!
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.
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!
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.


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


Hermana Saunders