Catching Up

I am so sorry for not emailing the group email the last two weeks, I ran out of time and wanted to be obedient so I just didn’t email anything, but good thing that I am emailing now!

Elder Cooke and I have been having a great time this last week and met 78 teenagers at the fair and know all of their names and so we can’t wait to see them around, call them by their name and talk to them about the gospel. Also this week we had the opportunity to go to Zone Conference and we learned that the people we should be focusing on are:

  1. People between 15-25 years of age
  2. Part member Families
  3. People who are spiritually poor
  4. People who are temporally poor

We have been doing quite a bit of service and love it. I am learning all the ins and outs of being a cowboy so ya’all better watch out.

That is what we have been doing and we are hoping for a lot of new investigators in the coming weeks. We have 12 Potential Investigators from people we have contacted and we are praying to make them new investigators.

We have been trying to set something up with the Gallegos but that are saying they are busy so we are just going to show up one night and just teach them. haha But please pray that the love they feel will overcome the fear they have of being rejected from their family.

I absolutely love the people here and we are just trying to talk to everyone and find those who are of the House of Israel. I love the gospel and I am so grateful I was born into it, but more importantly that I was able to have my own conversion to the doctrine.

Thanks so much for all of the love and support, the area and people need them, and I know there are people everywhere waiting to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love,

Elder Saunders

Parents Addition:

We have been blessed to receive texts on a weekly basis from those where Elder Saunders is serving. They share their deep love for him and his willingness to serve. They send pictures which bring us so much joy and happiness. Here are some of those text and pics:

Great time with the Elder Cookey Monster

Parents Note: Elder Saunders was sick for almost a week so they are just getting back into the swing of things.

We want to be sure and thank both the Ibsen Family (from our home ward) as well as dear sweet Sister Carpenter (from the ward where Elder Saunders is serving) who were able to connect and get Elder Saunders a box of needed items. The blessings of unconditional love and friendship are very real.

Honestly I have just been having so much fun working hard and having fun with Elder Cooke (aka Elder Cookey Monster) these last couple weeks it has just been great!

We had a temple trip today and it was absolutely amazing and it just really grew my testimony of the peace that the temple can bring so that was great.

I have really been thinking about the importance of daily repentance lately and how impactful it can be on the companionship of the spirit. I truly am trying to be like Jesus and man I am just falling short everyday, but that is expected!

We have been talking everyone, literally and found two new investigators named Rigo and Nyla who are 10 and 12 and such good kids and we will be meeting with them this week but we are excited to see what else is to come as we talk to everybody.

I don’t want to say that I love the members here in this area just like in all my areas thus far. They are such humble, hard working and caring people. I have been blessed and taught by them in many different ways. Oh how the Lord knew exactly where I needed to be right now.

Well that is all this week. Thanks so much for the love and examples you all have been to me.

Con Amor,

Elder Saunders

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

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