Same Area, New Companion

This week has been absolutely crazy! On Monday night we got a call, Elder Castellano and I needed to go to Boise and so we left at 9:30 in the morning. We weren’t sure the reasoning but found out soon enough. After leaving Elder Castellano with the President Bartlett, I was made companions for 2 days in Kimberly with Elder Stokes and Elder Ethington and it was great! They are great missionaries. I am so humbled to serve with so many awesome, obedient and spiritual missionaries, IBM is the greatest mission in the world.

On Thursday I finally received my new companion Elder Cooke and man he is awesome! He is like a carbon copy of me except he is tall and lengthy and I am somewhat short and, ummmmmm, husky. He LOVEEESSS GOLF and Ping pong, and played baseball his Freshman year, and picked up golf late when he was a sophmore. He listened to rap a lot before the mission and loves people, and honestly is sooo cool, man I love him!

I do miss Elder Castellano, and it was an honor to be companions with an Assistant, thats right! He got made assistant!

Elder Cooke is from Hannibal, Missouri by the way and yeah he is so awesome. We were able to teach the Gallegos and tried to resolve some doubts but now I know that what we have to do is shower them with lots of members so they can feel how much love the ward has for them so they feel welcomed and now that the Lord will take care of everything.

I know that this church is true and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to declare the word like the sound of a trump. I love the Spanish people and hope that the Lord will help us to find people that are ready for the gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con Amor,

Elder Saunders

 

Elder Cooke and I

Staying Focused

We had a good week this week. On Monday we played Ultimate Frisbee and that was way fun (see pictures). It is always an interesting balance the week leading up to transfer calls. You try and stay as focused as possible but its hard not to have your mind wonder about what might happen. I am just thankful the Lord is the one who oversees this important work and I know I am and will be where I am supposed to be.

We were able to have the Gallegos come to church for all three hours and we think that they enjoyed it and they are back on the train to baptism and we are really excited for them! We hope that we can resolve any doubts and teach them the rest of what they need to be ready for baptism.

This week we were able to also have the Barrett’s come to church and we had a great lesson about the importance of the sacrament.

I invite you to read the talk from Dallin H. Oaks Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/sacrament-meeting-and-the-sacrament?lang=eng). There is such great spiritual power that comes from being able to worthily take the sacrament each week. I have seen this in my life many times.

Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support. I testify of the sacrament and the importance of the sacrament. I know that he suffered on the cross and in Gethsemane for me, and for that reason I thirst after righteousness so he doesn’t have to suffer more than he needs to. I know that Jesus Christ is my friend and that we have a loving Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con Amor,
Elder Saunders

Great week grinding 

This week we had an awesome week, mostly because we had a Zone Conference on Thursday and that was amazing and just what we needed to hear. We talked about the power of the Book of Mormon and also talked about deciding each day that you are going to make it a great day, and lastly about leaving meetings not being a turkey, but rather leaving soaring like an eagle by applying the stuff we learn in the meetings. I had exchanges this Tuesday with Elder Willis and they were way fun and we ended up contacting and meeting a lot of new people, and met this lady and her son on the street named Sister Juarez and we taught her about our purpose as missionaries and have an appointment for Thursday at 1 so that should be good hopefully. The picture is inside the waiting room of a car shop while our car’s ac was getting recharged. We finally met with the Gallegos Tuesday night and they expressed their doubts and why they haven’t been coming to church and keeping commitments and so now they are ready to start up again and get serious. Because of that, we had to move their baptismal dates to July 15th but pray that they will come to church so they can be baptized please!
We had a great lesson on Sunday about the Gifts of the spirit in Sunday School and the spirit testified strongly of what was being taught was true. Pam and Kenyon Barrett came to that class and I think they really needed it so that was awesome as well. We have been painting at a family’s house named the Hutchings and I will send pictures of when it is done but they truly are awesome. He is a veteran from the war, and they are a great family. On Monday we had an awesome time in the Rupert Stake Center playing Frisbee and soccer and the best part was when the sprinklers came on and cooled us down. There is a picture of that as well. Well that is pretty much all for this week but thank you for all of your service and the power of your prayers. Love you all so much!
Con Amor, 
Elder Saunders

The Spirit of the Work

This week was great and really have felt the spirit testify and tell me what I need to work on to become a better missionary. We found two New Investigators and one of them is named Sofia and she is baptist and absolutely loves talking about God and Jesus Christ and gets really emotional when she does so, but the great thing is that she has said that she doesn’t have faith in the religion, but faith in God and Jesus Christ, which is awesome!

We taught the Barrett’s a great lesson. They asked a lot of questions and we responded to the questions by saying “Now the real question you should be asking is if Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, as you come to know that and read the Book of Mormon to gain that knowledge, you will know that all of the teachings of Joseph Smith and the current prophets are the word of God.” The spirit was super strong.

I am absolutely loving the area and the people. My companion is amazing and we have really found what works and what makes us in harmony and that is such a blessing! We are hoping to set up a baptismal date for one of our investigators Lakeisha so please pray the spirit can touch her heart.

I know that the key to gain the spirit is simply, to obey ALL of God’s commandments. I testify that those who are baptized, as they live worthily of it, will have the spirit to guide them to follow the will of the Lord, which is the best path we can follow. I know that Jesus Christ established his gospel on the earth through the prophets and apostles and that through Joseph Smith, the gospel has been restored in its entirety. Thank you for all the love and support.

Con Amor,

Elder Saunders

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Received these on Father’s Day:)

Blessings Galore!!!

This week has been great! We are seeing many blessings from being obedient and striving to let the spirit guide our efforts.

On Monday we went bowling and went to DI (Deseret Industries) and got some stuff. I had exchanges with Elder Yarber in Emerson and it was great! We did a lot of service, Elder Yarber is a great missionary.

On Wednesday we did service for Bonnie West and we talked about her spirituality level. She said she is tired of giving up the gospel for her husband so now she is going to start receiving again, in other words, she wants to start coming back. We met with a Less Active named Brent Nicholas and this guy is awesome and super strong, in fact, he tore a license plate into 11 pieces and yeah he is awesome. He is really softening up to the gospel so that is great! Wednesday night we taught the Jimenez family about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and man they believed every thing and were so happy to hear how they can improve their life through the Atonement.

On Thursday we went out with Brother Kobayashi and taught Sister Flint, a less active, about the Atonement using Alma 7:11-13 and man she has a great goal to go to the temple but she just needs her husband to want to do the same.

On Friday we shared a spiritual message with Clint Robbins and man he is super awesome and really has a desire to change! We visited with the Rodriguez Family as they are getting ready to go to the temple and are going to start their temple classes here really soon and they are so strong in the church. We have not been able to contact the Gallego Family because his mom is in town but we will get in contact this week.

We found 3 New Investigators this week. The first one is William and he has really had a spiritual awakening and is ready to hear the gospel. The next one is Sister Jimenez and that is the one we taught on Wednesday, and then you have Brother Casarez who Elder Castellano and Elder Wade taught while I was on exchanges.

Any who, that is pretty much it for this last week. I absolutely love you guys and thank you for all of the support and prayers! I know that this church is true and am so grateful to have the gospel in my life. Have a great week!

Con Amor,

Elder Saunders

Amber received the following message on Facebook this past week, we feel so blessed from Elder Saunders service.

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Loving Rupert

This week has been a awesome week and I have really enjoyed it! We had some service opportunities with picking weeds and painting houses and that is great to gain the trust of members through selfless service.

We found a new investigator named Epi and man he is a great guy! He doesn’t go to any church but he has a strong belief in Jesus Christ and God and the Bible and he said multiple times that he doesn’t see how the Catholic church lines up with the Bible so that is great! We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he was interested and would read it but yeah I guess we will see how much the spirit works on him and if he keeps any of the commitments that we left him with.

We also were able to meet Annette Hirsch, who is the wife of one of our New Investigators we found a couple weeks ago and they are some of the best bowlers ever. Their son is going to nationals in July and his average score in Bowling as an 11 year old is freaking 194!!! Like whatttttt. The highest game he has ever bowled was a 291! I was astonished and yeah they are super nice and we hope that we can find a time to meet with them and teach them more about the Plan that our Heavenly Father has for us.

We also taught a family that went missing for like 6 months named the Jimenez Family and the kids are baptized but the parents are not. The great thing is that the mom wants to be baptized but the bad thing is she can’t until she gets married to the guy that she is living with soooo we need the Lords help to get her baptized along with her boyfriend. Well the Gallegos have been super busy because their Mormon Family got married and so they went to Utah to go support them but we are meeting with them on Wednesday so that will be great!

We had the Idaho Falls Temple Rededication this Sunday and man it was great to experience that. President Eyring spoke and also gave the Redidicatory prayer and something really cool in the prayer was that he specifically blessed the young people listening with a vision of their eternal potential and purpose. It was so powerful to hear that and we live in a time of miracles, angels, and visions, with a prophet who leads the church today. How grateful I am for that and the knowledge of a young boy of 14 who had a question and asked in faith nothing wavering. I know this is the ONLY true church on the earth, that the Book of Mormon is where we can look for guidance, answers, and peace in this life and salvation in the life to come. In the name of our Advocate, Savior,  Jesus Christ. AMEN

Con Amor,
Elder Saunders

Love our leaders

We finally set a baptismal date with the Gallegos for July 1st but we think that they are going to want to do it earlier so that should be good! We found this guy named William and he has had a really hard life and knows that the Lord saved him for a reason so we asked him if he wanted to know that reason and he said of course so we set a appointment with him. We also met this family named the Gomez Family and they are amazingly nice and there is a certain type of spirit about them so we are going to teach them this week and that should be great as well! We had back to back exchanges this week and I really learned a lot about myself and the other missionaries I am serving around. We met some other cool people this week so I guess we will see how it goes and who is interested.

On Thursday, we had our mission tour and Elder Randall K. Bennett attended and we had a really amazing time. We learned about the true importance of our calling, and how to talk to everyone that we see, and also the effective way of street contacting. We have already implemented a lot of the things we have learned and can’t wait to see what else we can apply into our daily mission life.
Thank you for all the prayers, love, support, and examples that you have shown me. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that prayer is essential to getting to know your Heavenly Father.

Con Amor,
Elder Saunders