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:

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

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

Branding cows and other stuff in Acequia

This last week was great and we had lot’s of fun branding cows as a service project and also having the opportunity to go to the temple. The temple was amazing and we had a super full session and man that was great, I really felt the spirit and know that the temple is the house of God. 

We went out to this really good food place called Stevos with the Neubars and they are an amazing couple. 

We were able to teach the Gallegos about the Word of Wisdom and they were willing to live the Word of Wisdom and man I am super excited we think that we are going to extend a baptismal date to the Gallegos this week. 

We are really trying to make the Lord’s will our will and to see his timing instead of ours. I have so much love for the Lord and am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. We have really been trying to contact as many people as possible in Rupert and we are hoping to get a lot of new investigators this week. Also the boundaries for the Rupert Stake and the Declo Stake changed last night and there are some HUGE changes. Raft River is now part of our stake and part of Declo so man it is crazy! We are pumped and can’t wait to see what is to come of this. 

Keep praying that we will be able to find some new investigators this week and that we can set a baptismal date for the Gallegos. 

Thanks for all of the support and love.

Con Amor,Elder Saunders

Learning the area, loving the people

This week was a pretty good week. We taught the Gallegos and man we could feel the spirit so strongly after we taught about the Law of Chastity and then also talked about being sealed. After teaching that we invited them to be baptized because we both felt the prompting, they didn’t accept but we know that they will it just needs to be on the Lords time. I testify of that.

We have been doing a lot of research and extracting names from the old Progress Records and we have like 30 names or so right now that we need to go contact so it is hopefully going to be a good week with a lot of new investigators. I have really had a good time so far with Elder Castellano and he is a great missionary and example for me. We have been doing a lot of service this week and man it feels so good to do service I just love all of the people here. I have been getting to know the area a little bit better but Rupert is pretty confusing for me so I am just trying to study up on the maps and to get myself acquainted with the area.

I just wanted to take some time out to congratulate Ben Lewis for getting his mission call. He is going to have a blast there especially if he serves in Virginia Beach! I also am super pumped for Becca Olsen getting here call to Washington and all the rest of the kids in Senior class that have gotten their calls. A mission is such a blessing in so many ways.
I really love serving and teaching. I hope everybody has had a good week and thank you for all of the prayers and support.

Con Amor,

Elder Saunders