Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Conference

Monday, Dec 21, 2015

" Today we played basketball and I played the worst I have ever played. We came back and as I am still getting better, I fell asleep and woke up to the other three elders trying to get each other to drink a raw egg for protein or something. I walk in and Elder Lawrence said, "Saunders, drink this." So I look in it and it's a raw egg in a glass. So I am like," If I drink it, will it make me sick?" They said no , and I was like YOLO. ( mom's note: I admit I had to look this one up and was relieved to see it means "You Only Live Once). I drank it and honestly it wasn't that bad. I have had worse green smoothies then that egg. Elder Lawrence was impressed so then he took courage and cracked an egg and drank one too, except he took too long to swallow it and he almost lost it. 

We went to Orange County Services today and sorted toys. Some of the toys were so awesome. Nerf machine guns, a polar express train set, and race cars-stuff like that. It was actually pretty fun to open other kids presents. After that we drove around in the back roads of Texas trying to find a referral and 47 min later all we found was six confederate flags and some really funny street names, but no house.

We had Christmas conference today. We woke up at 5:00 am and left early so we could make some stops along the way. We stopped at Buc-eey's( It is a giant gas station with over 100 pumps and a giant store that is kinda like a mall, with a restaurant inside.) It really is amazing and unbelievable. We arrived in Houston at about 8:45 and we talked with friends until the meeting started. They talked to us for about 3 hours and then we had lunch. I met a sister who is from Layton. Honestly, there is two of us representing Layton. We then took a mission picture. We went back into the chapel and they talked to us for another 2  1/2 hours. We watched a 30 min. slide show. We also watched "The Cokeville Miracle". It is a really good movie. I almost cried. The sisters were crying so bad that I thought the chapel was going to flood. I was the worst rain storm I've seen yet. Some famous Mormon guy skyped us and I took some pics with other missionaries and gathered my presents. We spent about 10 hours there. We went to eat with some other missionaries and got lost trying to find Panda Express(I haven't eaten there forever and I missed it). We were exploring for an hour and then we had to go rescue the sisters. We saved them and then we started for home and it was cool because we saw a bunch of other missionaries on the road. Since we all have tiwis, we had to stay pretty close to each other. It was like a Mormon squad driving up the highway. We got back at about 9:20. 

We woke up the next day and went to Orange County Services again. We were asked to be in charge of the toys. People would carry in cards that said the kid's gender, age, ethnicity, and clothing size and with that we would pick a toy for that kid. It was so cool. We gave one boy a bike. It was the last bike and we all thought it was a good idea to give it to him. A little bit after that , the person in charge came in. She told us that the kid we gave the bike to, cried when he got it. The mom told her that his dad passed away about a week ago. It just doesn't get better than that. 

That same day a Pentecostal preacher named Derick took us out to eat. He lives quite far. He loves the missionaries and he always takes them to lunch. He knows Elder Hunter , so we got hook-ups. After that we drove to Louisiana to help out one of the members there. We moved a ton of stuff out including all kinds of furniture. We then had a huge bonfire and burned it all. For dinner we cooked a whole ham.

After district meeting we all had a district lunch at this Mexican place. I got the Tex-Mex burrito, which for those of you who don't know what Tex-Mex is: It is a Mexican dish that is covered in Velveeta cheese. So much cheese that it is almost impossible to eat. After that we went and taught a lesson .

We went to Shangri La Botanical gardens to help them out. It is a really beautiful outside garden that has a bunch of exotic plants and around Christmas time, they set up 100's of Christmas trees and many lights. So Orange County Services was doing this food drive where if you brought in a can of food, it was half off the ticket price. We were helping collect cans and we did it for two hours and it was super busy. A guy came out from the office and told us they had 1, 512 people come through with a can of food. Then he told all of us we could go in free. We explored it and it was so amazing. It started to snow... Just kidding, but they had this machine that made fake snow so we took a picture in it. That is the closest I will get to snow in 2 years. We also found out that West Orange won state in football. It was a pretty good day. 

We sang in the ward choir on Sunday for the Christmas Program. It was us four elders and then there were 3 other guys and 24 sisters. Then we went to a rest home and sang for the residents. We just bought chicken hearts because so are going to cook them and find out how they taste. Stay tuned in the next post for how that turned out.
Elder Saunders
 So excited to eat these chicken hearts we found for really cheap! Dec 2015 in Orange, TX

We cooked a whole ham-yum! Dec 2015 in Orange, TX

My MTC buddy, Elder Andrew and me, Elder Saunders at the Christmas concert -Dec 2015 in Kingwood, Texas

Elder Saunders and his first trainer, Elder Knebel. Christmas Conference in Kingwood, TX Dec 16 2015.

Nativity @ the Shangri La Botanical gardens in Orange, TX  Dec 2015

Elder Venche, Elder Saunders, Elder Hunter, Elder Lawrence @ the Shangri La Botanical
Gardens in Orange, TX Dec 2015


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