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.

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