Monday, February 29, 2016

2/29/2016 The Week with well everything‏


This last week has been really crazy, fun, enjoyable, full of learning, and well just flat out missionary work. The first few days of the week were normal. We had lessons, knocked doors, and just had a good old time down in the end of the world. On Tuesday we were just knocking doors and were about to knock this one house when this nice old lady comes running out and sais to come in like fifty times. we then taught her the Word of wisdom and baptism and invited her to be baptized. she said yes and is just the perfect investigator. the work her in calafate is prepared and of guided by our Heavenly Father.

we then went to a conference with Elder Bednar and 6000 other missionaries in the south america missions. it was really good and i learned that i will be okay before the meeting i was feeling pretty dumb and i felt like i knew nothing about what i was doing. however i now know that i just need to keep on working my butt off. 

The next cool experience came from our branch family home evening. we invited maria our investigator that i mentioned above, and she ended up coming. we had a good time played games and felt the spirit of course. all was seeming to go well until maria started to have a seizure. it was crazy and we gave her a blessing and all went back to normal. she is an older lady and we were really scared for her health. we took her back to her house and gave her another blessing and all is well now. the power of the priesthood is real and we need to be ready to use it always.

we then traveled to 28 de noviembre for a zone conference. we stayed there until yesterday and we just got back to calafate last night around one in the morning. so i am really tired and full of the knowledge of my misión presidente. i learnded more about how misión life Works and how to just be a better missionary. I left the conference with a new found confidence that all will be okay and that i can be a the missionary that Heavenly Father needs me to be if i just do the things i know how to do. yes that simple. we just need to do the things we know we need to be doing. we had the oppurtunity to witness a two baptisms and i cant wait for my  first baptism. i will probably cry because well i almost cried during the other ones and they werent even people i know. i have found out i am a big cry baby and i am proud of it.

well that was the week full of traveling, priesthood blessings, informaiton, and the good old espíritu santo. my companion and i are doing good. some of yall asked for more informaiton about him. he has been in calafate for three months so this will be his last transfer. he is moncloba Coahuila mexico and has been a member his whole life. his parents were baptized as teenagers and he is the youngest in his family. he is the biggest joker ever. we show our love to one an other by messing with each other. we are the cleanest missionaries ever, and i found that out this week while going from house to house of the other missionaries in the different áreas.

next week is my birthday and so i get to play golf. i am way excited. thanks for the support and the prayers. all is well here in argentina and i will talk to yall next week. I know that this church is true and if we do the simple things we all know how to do we will be blessed. i love the scriptures and invite yall to read from them just one more minute tan you did yesterday. i know you will be blessed. i love you all and i know our savior does too.

Elder Saunders 
See it. Feel it. Trust it.
this is Devin's place

Monday, February 22, 2016

2/22/2016 First Full Week in Calafate‏

Hey hey hey,

Well the first full week here in Calafate was crazy. I still dont know a lot of Spanish and the people here dont know English. The only English I here comes from my mouth or the other two Elders in Calafate. However Elder Cortes my companion can understand English pretty well and his English is very broken but is getting better. We help eachother with the new languages. Oh since Calafate is a tourist town I get to contact in English once every one million person. Hey but I kill it when I get the chance. 

This week we put Baptism dates like crazy. The people are being prepared daily here in Calafate by the hand of the Lord. On Friday Elder Cortes did not feel well so we did not leave the pension until after lunch. We started contacting and our third house this nice old lady let us in. She was so receptive and we invited her to come to church and be baptized. She said yes and I know we will be able to help her find the happiness and peace she is looking for. These small miracles bring peace to my mind and knowledge that our Heavenly Father is in control. I know that he has a plan for all of his children and all we have to do to know that is have Faith. Remember that faith is not just a believe it is an action. We have to act on this believe to find and live that plan that our loving heavenly father has for us. 

Lets see what else did we do... oh the fiesta del lago. I have a love hate relationship with the fiesta. Contacting sucked this week because everyone was at the fiesta but we ate really good food so that was way chill. Elder Cortes is a great teacher at teaching me how to teach. haha that was fun to type. I am going to be able to do this missionary thing hopefully here in a few months. I just want to learn the language so i can relate to the members. that is the hardest for me. I only know gospel spanish so i cant talk about the normal things in life. Hey i will get with the help of our Savior and a lot of hard work. 

Oh something cool that I found this week that does not apply to missionary work at all is there is Golf Course here in Calafate soooo ya i am going to play it on my birthday. Yes God does love me because if you look on your calendar you will notice the 7th of March is on a monday which just happens to be my Pday. Also since the brach is only a solid like 25 active members we the missionaries are the young men and young women leaders and well just about every other calling. haha anyways we played ping pong and made banana pancakes for mutual this week. That was a lot of fun because well i love me some píng pong. 

Calafate is a tourism town. so a lot of the people here work on Sunday which kills our attendence at church so we thought of the idea to hold two Sacrament meetings one in the morning and one at night. We will see how that works. The other elders in my disrict are from California and Utah so they know English which is nice. We have to make like all of our food and so we eat a lot of pasta, rice, popcorn,random meats, and whatever we decide to buy in the store. Everything is expensive in Calafate. 

I walk everywhere and just like Herriman but only a little worse there are hills EVERYWHERE my legs are going to be so huge after this area. I am planning on going to the Glacier here in a monthish so that is cool. Well i think that is all this week. Calafate is slowly feeling like home. I miss home a lot but the little things here help the homesickness fade. I know that our Heavenly Father loves all of us. He is aware of our thoughts feelings and actions. He knows us very personally. We are His sons and daughters and will one day live with him again if we are Faithful. I know that the through the Atonement we can be cleansed from sin. All sin the small big whatever it is through Christ and his Atonement we can and will be clean. The Book of Mormon is true, and because of this book we can learn the way our Heavenly Father wants us to live. I invite all of you to set a new goal to read more from the pages of the Book of Mormon. The blessings are endless when we show our desire to know the truth. I promise that you will feel closer to the Savior and Heavenly Father if you do this. I love all of you and I can feel you love and support here in Calafate. Thank you sooo much and remember that you are only one prayer away from your Savior and Father in Heaven. 

Elder Devin Jay Saunders 

p.s. The wind here is crazy!!!!!!!! yes worse than Herriman.  
See it. Feel it. Trust it.

Monday, February 15, 2016

2/15/2016 The Longest Week of My Life‏

Hola Everyone,

Well, the first week of real mission life was crazy. I traveled for about three and a half days. I have never done that before and well I never want to do it again. I prayed for well forever in gratitude when I was finally able to unpack in my pension. My first area is the truly like really the best area in the mission. It is called Calafate. If you look on the map of the Comodoro Mission it is just above the island and right on the border of Chile. It is perfect weather right now because it is summer. The views are so pretty we live on top of a hill above centro which is really nice. It is one of the nicer areas in the mission and hence the work is a bit slower but I dont care what they say i am going to change that. My mom should be putting some pics on the blog if yall want to see how my life is now. 

Okay now i will go through a quick run down on how my last week was. Monday... we left the MTC around 830. we traveled through bus, tracks, and frontrunner. We got the the airport around 1030 and were able to call our families and such. We then flew to Atlanta. We only had one hour in Atlanta so we had to run because our connection was the farthest terminal from where we laneded. That was really funny. We then had a 10 and a half hour flight to Buenos Aires. I lost feeling in my butt and had to walk around while my buddy Elder Febbo went pee. We slept well tried to sleep the whole flight because well missionaries are always needing more sleep. Then we landed and had no idea what was happening because well everyone spoke spanish and the only missionaries that could understand were two that only stayed a week in the mtc because they grew up speaking spanish. We relied on them to guide us. the ariport was so crowded and my suitcases were way to heavy. I wanted to give away all my stuff. I dont need half the stuff i brought but hey i can give it to natives. we then went across town to the domestic airport where we had a fiveish sixish hour layover. That was wierd because again we didnt know spanish so we just talked with eachother. oh i traveled with my half of my class in the MTC. we then took that flight to Comodoro. We landed around 1200 in the night Argentine time. so now it is Wednesday morning like one in the morning... i was driven by my mission president to a pension in comodoro where we ate pizza with egg on it and went to bed. it was sweet. We then had our welcome meeting and learned how the mission should work but i was so jet lagged and dont remember anything. We then had the best Ravaglioli ever. Then we were assigned our companions and areas. As i said my area is Calafate and my companion is Elder Cortes from Mexico. We then had dinner and got on a Bus for 16 hours yes 16 more hours of travel. So now it is Thursday... We get to our pension around 1230 my time here in Argentina. I did not know what was going on because my Companion does not know much English so that is cool. My spanish is getting a lot better because of this but at first i felt alone and scared and wanted to cry about every ten seconds. That night we unpacked ate food and then went to work. In the first night we gave a blessing, had three lessons and someone committed to baptism. so ya the work began the first day. I was tired and slept well. Friday... so first night in my pension was nice i slept wonderful and it is cold enough to use sleeping bags YAY!! Friday was nice we do P90X every morning so i am going to be huge in in well give me 90 days. Haha i think i am funny. We did a lot of Contactos which is knocking doors. I actually like this. It reminds me of home when i knocked doors for window cleaning but in Spanish. Most houses dont have a clear door area like we dont know where their doors are so you clap. Its cool. We then met with the branch president here in Calafate. There is only one branch with about 20 active members. but because i am a great missionary and the lord loves us we had double that my first sunday. i will talk about that later. Saturday... this day was normal well that is what my trainor said. we had a 3 lessons and a bunch of contactos. I was given the challenge to set a baptism date my first week so during our first visit with this perfect family i just out of the blue invited them to be baptized and well they said yes. They have a lot of work to do but they said they want to work towards baptism which gave me excitement. Sunday... okay first sunday was crazy. I bore my testimony in Sacrement meeting and we meet in a old pizza resturant building. it is funny and i love it. the missionaries take turns teaching sunday school. so once i learn more spanish that is my duty. besides that we just had another normal day teaching the gospel. oh no we made ñoquis which are a potato pasta and well i am going to gain weight. yes i know you are saying Elder Saunders your metabolism is way to fast. Nah that is gone i have already gained about 7 to 10 pounds so ya it might be muscle but ya i dont know. Monday... today is monday and it is pday so we just chill and then around six tonight we have a few lessons. 

Well that was my week in a whole i went up in down emotionally. I broke down Saturday during lunch and cried in the Bathroom because i did not understand anything. That includes my companion. I have learned to just nod my head and follow. HAHA I prayed my guts out and felt better. our savior is real i feel his love everyday and i know he loves you. oh and I gave my first blessing to a sister who is from Bolivia!! ya dad from Bolivia i dont know what part because well i could not understand her very well that first time when she told me so i will ask her again. My blessing was in spanish and i dont really know how i spoke but hey ya know the church is true and the Gift of Tongues is real. The food is great but we have to make most of it ourselves because there are not a lot of members. so the skill of cooking is going to come in handy. If you have any recipes that are cheap we would love them. The water in calafate is clean so i can drink it and not get sick which is nice. There are only four Elders in Calafate so my companion and i and two others. the closest elders are four hours away my bus so ya we are close to each other. I like meeting with the others because they are from the USA. 

I apolgize for the spelling and grammer my head filled with spanish and the keyboard is a spanish keyboard which makes it hard to type. I will usually not write this much but I had a bunch of emails asking for a VERY DETAILED explanation of what happened so here you are. I only spent like 40 minutes typing this. HAHA again i think i am funny. 

Overall this week was long, spiritual, hard, confusing, fun, crazy, tiring, and basically the hardest thing i have done in my life. I want to end with my testimony that I know that this church is true that when things get tough if we rely on our savior Jesucristo we can do anything. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know this because i have read it and prayed to our heavenly father and felt through the holy ghost of its truthfullness. I know you can do the same and invite you to do so. I promise if you do this with a true desire to know you will find out for your self and have a testimony. I love our Savior and I know he loves all of us and through the Atonement we can overcome all. 

Thanks for the prayers i need and can feel them. Thanks for the support and letters and i am sorry i cant reply individually to all. If you have a specific question let me know and I will do my best to answer it. Love you and can feel your love here in the end of the world. 

Your missionary,

Elder Devin Jay Saunders 

p.s. My companion Elder Cortes says i have to say this. my first day here while we were eating ice cream a girl asked to take a selfie with me and apartently in spanish which i did not understand tried to flirt with me so ya there you go. Enjoy your week and pray like crazy. Prayer is powerful.   

See it. Feel it. Trust it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Devin made it to Argentina!

hey fam,

just wanted to say hi and that i am all good here in Argentina. it is crazy and we are just going from house to house with our stuff. last night was nice and I am crazy excited to learn spanish. i have met members already and a bishop. I will email yall and tell you more about everything on pday. Dont know my trainor or my area but i will let you know as soon as i can. love you and i know all will work out because i am a represtative of jesus christ. 

Elder Saunders  

See it. Feel it. Trust it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2/1/2016 letter - last week in MTC

Hey Y'all,

This week has been the best week personally and not such a great one for our Zone. Being Zone Leader I get to know all the fun wonderful personal stuff in everyone's lives. I enjoy being able to help people, and doing so helps me realize how lucky I am. The hardest thing I deal with is being tired and every missionary is tired, it comes with the name tag! 

I received my flight plans and my entire district is traveling together which is rare and really awesome. I leave Salt Lake at 2:20 pm Monday heading to Atlanta. We have one hour to catch our connection so most likely we will be running. We then have twelve hours to Buenos Aires and then we don't know we are told that our mission president is there, but Comodoro is way further south so I will be really tired by the end of all this traveling. Anyways I am way excited and my Spanish is getting better everyday! I took a Speaking test on the computer this last week and did the best in my district which scares me and shows me how much faith my district has because if I am doing the best with the language I can't imagine how my district feels right now because I am so nervous for Argentina. 

This week my companion and I had the opportunity to give our first blessing as missionaries. An Elder in the Zone had no feeling in the left side of his body and could't walk. He came to me and asked what we could do and of course I thought of a blessing. I cried the whole blessing and like you might have thought today he is just fine. We gave the blessing Saturday morning so it did take some time and through the faith of this wonderful elder he was able to get through this tough physical trial of his mission. I am so grateful for the priesthood and the blessings that we receive from the priesthood. I know that if you are struggling ask for a blessing and it WILL help you. No matter the circumstance if you do you part and have faith you WILL be blessed. Faith is the action word in this promise. The things you do to show Heavenly Father your effort are your actions of faith. It can be simple as a pray or reading scriptures, or for this elder I asked him what he could do physically to fix his numbness. Whatever you believe it is for you I know that as we show our faith our Heavenly Father he WILL bless us. 

Thank you for all the prayers and I can't wait to go to Argentina in six days. I love all the letters and apologize for not being able to send everyone personal emails. I know that through the Savior all is possible and that he is just one leap of faith away with his arms opened wide!! Next email will be from Argentina so wish me luck and Hasta luego!!! 

Elder Saunders 

See it. Feel it. Trust it