Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1/26/2016 Letters and PICS

Hey everyone,

Well the calendar has spoken and I leave the MTC in 13 days! Yes only 13 that is the craziest thing ever! I feel like I just arrived here in the MTC, and time is flying by! Spanish is getting better and better and I can't wait to try it out and sound like the most american missionary ever! If you didn't know I am way excited to leave the MTC even though now it feels like home! 

This week well it was pretty much as always the same with a few twist and turns as life usually gives. I was asked along with my companion to be the Zone leaders for our Zone. It has already been a fun little opportunity to lead and be the example for the newly arriving missionaries. We play a game with the new districts where we have them tell us (the zone leaders and sister training leaders) what animal we look like. They thought I looked like a bear cub which I thought was a sweet compliment, and pretty funny. We are the oldest district in our zone and it is so weird having everyone asking questions and knowing the answers. I feel like I should be the one asking the questions. 

This last week we had a worldwide missionary training meeting and were taught by a lot of the apostles it was so so so cool! The biggest thing I took out of that meeting is to always have the spirit with me and if I feel like I don't then to start to figure out how to because without the Holy Ghost I would just be wasting my time. Then on Sunday I we had a sweet devotional and then watched a movie from Elder Holland who talked on how to open your mouth. So this week I learned that we as missionaries and we as member missionaries need to have the spirit with us always, open our mouths, and the last thing was from the devotional was to focus our hearts. I am striving to put these three things into my life. I know that as I work hard and focus on the things I need to I will be blessed and you can be blessed too. I invite y'all to pray about how you can help the people around you. If it is like yard work or if it giving a Book of Mormon to your neighbor with your testimony in it I know that if you follow the promptings of the spirit you will be blessed. I appreciate all your letters and emails and packages, and can feel your prayers everyday. I am sorry I can't personally email everyone, but I know that I have the support of many and I will y'all proud. Remember this week that the Savior loves you and that prayer is the easiest way to feel his love! I know this to be true because I pray constantly here and I can feel his love everyday. I love our Savior and He loves you.

Elder Saunders

P.S. My team won the 3 on 3 basketball tournament for this week so ya know no big deal! Haha basketball is the stress reliever in the MTC!!!  

See it. Feel it. Trust it.

Here are some fun pics from the MTC

A few pics I found on Facebook....

Here's a letter to his Sister:

Hey Sis,

I love all the mail I get from you and you always remind me why I am here and that the savior is there for me. I love the idea to work on your goals for four hours!!!! That is what I did and the fact you remember me saying that touches my heart. I know that as you involve the Savior and our Heavenly Father in your goals you will be guided and blessed in your progression. I love the mail and i love you thanks for being an example in my life! Pray lots and remember your Savior Jesus Christ!

Elders Saunders

See it. Feel it. Trust it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1/19/2016 Letters

Hey everyone,

Well this week was about the same as the last. Lots of class, more class, and well more class. We are basically in class all day long. We get to leave for water and to go to the bathroom, oh and to eat don't forget the wonderful MTC food. Haha I am actually really impressed with how good the food is because they have to feed thousands of people. My spanish is getting better everyday and the gift of tongues is so real. It is crazy to speak and not really know why you know the words that are coming out. This place is truly God's training camp for his army. 

My district will soon be the oldest district in our zone so that will be fun getting called on to speak and to help other missionaries feel more at home when they arrive. The MTC is starting to feel like home and I love all the members in my district. We are planning our MTC district reunion in three years and well let's be honest it will happen. My english is getting worse and worse and it doesn't help that my roommate says y'all all the time and I kinda said y'all before so now I sound like some weird mix between a Utahn, a texan, and a very bad spanish speaker. 

This last week Elder Neil L. Anderson from the quorum of the twelve spoke to us. I never have felt the spirit of Christ so strong! He spoke about how we need to teach Christ's doctrine every where we go. So I invite everyone of you who are reading this letter to first study what the doctrine of christ is then to study that doctrine. I know that as you strive to learn of Christ he will bless your life in ways you can't imagine.

We also got the opportunity to hear from Janice Kat Perry (sorry about the spelling). She wrote many of the children songs we have today. She taught about the power of music and we sang primary songs as a whole MTC and well I cried so it was really spiritual. I love to sing hymns now and music is the best way I have found to bring the spirit into my studies. 

I will end with a short testimony about the atonement of Christ. I know that the atonement of Christ is real. I have felt this cleansing power in my life many times and know that you can feel it to if you have faith and ask in prayer for forgiveness, and if necessary talk to church leaders to help you. I know that sometimes it is tough to repent, but the gift of the atonement is a gift we need to use. I know that one day because of this Atonement we will be clean enough to live with our Father in Heaven again. I love our savior and without him I would not be a missionary today. I invite all of you to use this gift daily as I have found the wonderful blessings of Christ's atonement. I hope all is well and appreciate every letter and prayer you have offered in my behalf. Remember that you are never alone, Christ is just one leap of faith away.

Elder Saunders   


Hey dad,
Another day in the mtc and another day where the spirit is stronger than I thought was even possible. I love hearing the sport updates and my district does too, so thanks a bunch. The mtc is feeling more and more like home and my district is like a family, no joke before we pray it is like family prayer and we can't shut up it makes me laugh and reminds me of the family prayers we have has a eternal family. I have found that blessing is a blessing I took for granted. I KNOW that we will be a family for eternity and I look forward to having a family of my own. I found out one of my roommates Elder Febbo who live ten minutes away from Mckaylas fam in Houston lost his dad when he was 14. Sometimes it takes hearing something like that to make you think about how much you love your dad. I love and your example to me means everything. I think of you and feel your love everyday as I strive to have the spirit with me. My spanish is coming along better than I thought and I can give lessons in spanish without to much worry. I realized that I have been blessed with a family that people dream about and life people can't even think of having. We are blessed dad I never even knew how much we were until coming here and I have not even set foot in Argentina. 
Anyways now that I am about to cry I will talk about the fun stuff. If you could send those shoes and stuff that would be really helpful. They ask us to wear blue socks with blue pants and to match so we don't look like goons. I love getting dear elders and emails because it helps me remember why I am here. we play basketball every morning and I am known for my shooting so I love playing basketball in the mornings it helps relieve stress. we sit in class all day and have three three hour sessions of just study. Two are with teachers and the other is by ourselves. I never thought i would dislike a room so much. haha I know it is what we need but everyday nine hours a day gets old so fast. we only take breaks for food. haha the food is actually pretty good. no culture classes yet the last week thats all we do so only two more weeks of this crazy schedule than things get more crazy in Argentina. Well dad I love you and keep sending me Dear Elders I love them. Remember that when things get tough rely on the Savior that is all I do here and I know that through his atonement we can all be clean and can get through anything in our lives. I know that no matter what we have done that the Savior doesn't remember after we come unto him. I know that we are sons of our heavenly father and that one day we will live with our Eternal Father again. I love and miss you and will talk to you next week.

Elder Saunders your son


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1/12/2016 Letters and PICS

Hey everyone,

The mtc is the craziest thing I have ever experienced! Being able to feel the spirit at such a strong level 24 hours a day seven days a week is something special. My companion is amazing and he keeps me in check when I want to sleep or just give up. I feel the love of the savior in all that we do and say. We have had the opportunity to teach lessons since the second day I arrived. At first I hated it because my spanish was the equivalent of a two year old and I had no idea how to teach in general. Now that we have been teaching for a few weeks we finally can go into a lesson with confidence and know that the spirit will be there. My favorite part of the day is when I am in a lesson and I get to testify about our loving savior and his atonement. Knowing it is true and being able to confidently testify of the truth of it is amazing. I love my savior and Heavenly Father, and I know that they love me and love all of your more than you can imagine. 
Overall the mtc has treated me with a mixture of feelings. The first week all I wanted to do was go home I struggled finding the drive to keep going everyday. Then my first Sunday came and I was able to find that drive. My mom sent me on my mission with a plaque that has a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, "Forget yourself and go to work." We had an entire devotional about that quote and I cried the whole time. I have found out that I cry a lot when the spirit is really strong. 

I love being able to get to know my district. We spend pretty much all day together because we have no joke NINE HOURS of class... yes nine hours... that is a lot of hours to be in a classroom. So we know each other really well now. We share stories and experiences that have helped us get to where we are today. We also joke around a lot and make up raps to help us memorize certain passages. Spanish is a really annoying language but I am getting better and when we teach I can remember everything. The gift of tongues is so real. I feel like I have a photographic memory when I am teaching, but only about spanish so it is not as cool as people who can remember everything. However I thank our Heavenly Father after every lesson. My companion is really smart and is way better then me at the language and so he helps a lot in lessons. I am so grateful for everything our Heavenly Father has blessed me with and I hope y'all can feel his love in all that you do. 

In a whole my mission so far has been great, but like life there are ups and downs. I never have been so tired and so happy at the same time. The food is great and I don't know how they serve 1000 missionaries three meals a day. This place is truly God's training camp for his army, and I am so pumped to be apart of it. Tonight one of the apostles are here to give a devotional and I am singing in a choir because well I found out I love to sing... well my companion loves to sing and it is growing on me. Also five other apostles have been here teaching all the mtc presidents world wide, so the spirit is super strong today. 

Well, I love and miss everyone, but I know this is the place I am supposed to be. If any of you want to contact me please do it through DearElder.com and include your email address in the letter they don't put those on the print outs. DearElder prints off the letters and I get them the day you send them. That helps me know what to write in these letters and well gives me something to be happy about. I love getting letters so send away. Love you all and I know that our savior live and we can be clean through his atonement. 

Elder Saunders

Elder Whitehead (Devin's Companion) in laundry room

Elder Bulloch

dorm room at MTC

Hey Mom,
I sent a huge email for the blog. but i thought i send you one. This week has been better and I love getting your letters. thank you for doing all the random things I asked you. Tell dad no culture classes quite yet, and that the sport updates are gold and my district loves them. Tyler is in my branch/zone and we sleep two doors down so I see him a lot. it is so awesome.  My roommates are all going to my mission and the other elders are going to one north of us baia blanca. one sister is also going with us to comodoro. I miss you guys but I have a new family my district. we bond a lot and I will be able to get to argentina. your prayers and fasts are felt daily. my companion is tall six foot one and we are the bomb at lessons. well the spirit is the bomb but we do say stuff. haha my schedule is class teach class teach class class class class and more class. it is hard being in the same room all day long. we are not aloud to go outside for gym but we play basketball every morning right when we get up which is nice. the temple is amazing and we go every p-day. I have got really close with my roommate from houston texas. we have become really good friends and help each other daily. Sundays we have morning class to prepare talks because two missionaries get chosen five minutes before so we prepare every week and yes in spanish. then we have sacrament and then priesthood which my companion and I taught this week. then we have district meeting. then we have a night devotional. we also sing in the choir because we like it.   i love my district. and tyler is in my Zone how sweet. love you guys.

Elder saunders 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

1/5/2016 Letter

Hey Family,
Sorry I would send a email to all of you but I don't have a lot of time. Logan I don't know when your i-pod is but I love you and please let me know how tennis goes. I miss just hanging with you. Austin I know how hard it is to do homework and school work. But the mtc is harder then I thought and i have to learn a knew language. we study like all day so I ask you for just one day to study with me and knock out the homework. yes be a missionary one day no tv phone and do your own laundry. haha well megan can do that. Just work hard thats my motto. megan i sent you a email but i have more. Thanks for being my big sister. you have helped me on my mission. when things get tough i think of you and how hard you work to just be around people and talk and when i get nervous i pretend to be you. I love you sis. Dad i loved the sport updates keep them coming. and the story was a big help too. mom well your quote is the only reason why i am still here. I woke up sunday morning determined I was coming home. I hated the mtc. I had no friends no family and I was jealous of the english speakers. Then the lord took me by the hand and showed me why i am here. I felt the love he had for everyone in Argentina. I saw why i am here and felt the Espiritu that is spirit in spanish more than i thought was possible. I cried my eyes out and this was all in sacrament meeting. haha we were all crying three districts left this week so tyler might be in my zone. My district is sweet by the way. Anyways I got confirmation my mission is not for me its for well about everyone else. haha we had a devotional on your quote mom and I cried so much. you passed that trait on to me. I know this church is true and that the mtc is going to make me the best missionary that I can be. I know that book of mormon is true and that joseph smith saw god the father and Jesus Christ. i testify about that basically every lesson because I don't know much besides testifying but hey we all start in the beginning. please send packages a lot and dear elders a lot. Getting those made my day and I want more. haha any pics you want to send send them. We need decorations haha. Dad my room is freezing and I sleep with a sweater on so worrying about me getting hot. I also need grandma and grandpas email. I share a room with three elders so four of us. Sundays are the best and are for rest and spiritual enlightenment. Mom I did nothing on new years so ya that was lame but hey we are obedient which is key here. I miss you guys and I wish i could have been able to bring you with me. We leave Feb 8th so ya we are counting. my district is so cool and we all get along well. I took your advice and wrote down everyones name and we are getting address through email once we leave. I miss the little things but the little things here are just as good sometimes. Teaching lessons are my favorite and class is actually not to bad now that I have a serving attitude. I have bonded with a elder who is not getting along with his companion very well and I love just hanging with him. Well please send more pics and whatever you may think I want in packages because I like getting mail. Haha dear elder comes to me when you send it so USE IT for my sanity because twelve hours of class is a lot. The gift of tongues is real. When Elder Whitehead (my companion) and I bring the spirit we can understand our investigators and when not ya we don't. I know that this church is true and that we are an eternal family and I want to share that with others. Love you fam!!!!!! 
My p-day is now tuesday so ya talk to you next week. 

Elder Saunders
see it. feel it. trust it. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

First letter - 1/1/2016

Hey mom and family. 
The mtc is crazy and has been since the first moment. I have a pic of me con mi nametag.I'll send it when i can. my spanish is getting better and my english is getting worse. the blessings of the saviour are already coming. I miss home and yesterday I wanted to quit a lot. Your quote from hinkley is helping I try to forget myself often in service and study. My companions name is Elder Whitehead and he is from colorado. He went to BYU this last semester so he is helping me get used to not being con mi familia. We are asked to use our language as often as we can everywhere. This helps us qualify for el don de lenguas or the gift of tongues. It is hard but fun. I miss you guys so much and not being able to talk to you sucks. I am one of the annoying elders who is doing well in class learning spanish. it made me feel good knowing people look at me as doing well for i have tried hard. Days feel like weeks here we accomplish a lot and go to meetings like crazy. I met my branch presidency last night and my branch presidents wife went to peru on her mission. I don't know her maiden name but there name is price. Remember our saviour and heavenly father are just one prayer away. I pray about every two seconds here and try not to cry when I miss you guys. My companion loves to run which makes me know that it is no coincidence we are companions. I am tired way tired we just go go go and go. Logan Austin and Megan please know our saviour loves you and you can be forgiven for anything in your life. I know and feel that everyday. Tonight we are teaching in a role play setting that we have been preparing for the for about a day. his name is victor and even though it is role play we are invited to try to act as if it is real. yes it is in spanish so tonight ill be teaching in spanish which is scary but exciting . Estoy animado. haha I miss and love you guys. While im in the mtc please send all letters/ emails through DearElder. if you do i get it that day printed out so i can think about your questions and feel like im at home. please write and send pics of our fam and calapp fam and mckayla please. i can't chew gum so im sending it home but can you send me mints instead any will do? Thank you. Ill talk to you in a week next friday. Love you lots 

Elder Saunders
see it. feel it. trust it. 

Devin is off to the MTC

DEC 30th - What an emotional day!  And just like that he is gone.