Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Hawk in a Rainstorm-That's a sign!

Monday Aug. 29, 2016                                                   Beaumont, TX

"We started off our day by going to a Bible study at 6:00 am! At least they bought us breakfast. I walked in and they ask me who I am and questions like that. A man looked at me and said I had a Yankee accent, haha. After that we had a lesson with a preacher. He is pretty cool. His name is Pastor Jordan and he is an amazing black guy who apparently takes us out to eat every Thursday at Golden Corral. We taught a lesson and we asked our investigator to say the prayer. She prayed to forgive those who say nene, and nay, nay. Then she began to sing this song. I was caught off guard and I couldn't help but smile. 

Today we started off by all of our appointments canceling, so that wasn't good. We went and saw this less active family who wants to come back to church.They are pretty sweet. They talk a little different so it is kinda hard to understand them. We taught another lesson in the complex later on.

So today we taught this guy early in the morning. Pastor Jordan took us out to Golden Corral with this prosecutor who also teaches at the giant Baptist church. After that we did some weekly planning. We ate with these less actives. They made this really weird food. I don't know what was in it and I don't really want to know what is in it. But it tasted pretty good. 

We did our hour of power and as we were walking from house to house, it started to pour down rain. We immediately got soaked so we knock on this door and a Spanish person answers. We tried to talk to him but he couldn't understand English. We tried the next house and they shut the door on us and so we tried a couple more. Finally this guy answers and he comes outside and we're talking to him and he is really not interested. All of a sudden this HAWK flies down in the middle of the rainstorm and lands on the lawn. The hawk just stares at us and then flies away. Then this guy says, 'Man, like that's a sign!" Then he invited us in and we teach him. So that was pretty cool.

Today we taught Patrick and it was pretty sweet. After that we ate dinner and then we went to our Elders Quorum Presidents house. Pastor Jordan came along. We made ice cream and we played washers. I won against my companion after a long match. 

Started off the day by helping give people some food from the Bishop's Storehouse. It was super cool. While I was there I saw Kayla and Doug. They are members from mid county. 

After that we had a lesson with this less active family who live in the poorest area ever. It is so sad. We taught them and then as we were biking we came across this guy. We talked to him and he asked us if we could get him a soda. We said yes we would if he would let us teach him. He said yes. We rode over to the gas station and bought him a soda and taught him. 

We also taught this guy who was either high or drunk. He was crazy but he loved us. He wanted to give us all the money he had and he was telling us all these stories about his gang days. How he killed a guy and stuff like that. He was pretty funny and said we could come back. He also told us that we could write a book about him and his stories and he wouldn't mind. He said to just be sure that we use his first name and spell his last name wrong so he wouldn't get all the credit, haha. 

Today we started off by going to a huge Baptist church, which wasn't too bad, but by far the best part was the breakfast. After that we biked to go see some people cause our church starts at 2:00 p.m. While we were biking it started to pour and we got soaked. We stopped by a recent convert and then went to church. After church we hit our bikes again cause we're out of miles. As we were biking we contacted this black guy who loves us and so we taught him. He was like, "Y'all come back!" He then walked off and then came back and said, "What time will y'all come by?" He started to walk off again and then came back and said, "I really want to see y'all!" He then walked off again. It was kinda funny and sweet at the same time.

Elder Saunders

Mom wanted a tag pic so we got original and sent this one. Me and my companion, Elder Anderson Aug 2016 in Beaumont, TX

Elder Saunders and this sweet ride I found while teaching. Look at how awesome this is pieced together(bottom pic) Beaumont, TX August 2016

Beaumont Beauty-August 2016 Beaumont, TX  (mom's guess was a hot tub in the very back, haha)

Rainy Skies and French Fries

Monday, 22 Aug 2016                                            Kingwood, TX

"We went on exchanges, so I stayed in my area. We started off our day by staring out the window, cause it was dumping rain. It kinda slowed down , so we raced out to go to lunch at Subway. We arrived completely soaked and dripping wet and everyone was staring at us, so that was fun. But it was worth it 'cause the sandwich tasted good. So after that we headed out and it was still raining, but not super bad. So I was getting on my bike and the rain caused my pants to stick to my skin more. As I swung my leg around to get on my Bike, my pants ripped; like a huge rip, but the good thing is that it was at the bottom and I sat on part of it and my bag covered the rest of it, so I could bike home and change. After that we went back out, and got soaked again and stopped by a bunch of  houses and talked to a bunch of people. Then we went to dinner at this Chinese place which was pretty good.

So we got soaked again, then we explored some more green belts. We didn't plan that but we got lost on a couple of green belts and that took us to other green belts. The good thing is that we found a short cut to an area we go to a lot. After our 'Adventure' , we stopped by this inactive members house. We knocked and he answers and he's super friendly and invites us in. We're joking around and both me and my companion are thinking, man it's going to be easy to get him back to Church. We sit down and start talking about the Church, and man he changed in an instant. The saying goes, 'Never bring a knife to a gun fight'. Well that's what happened. This is a guy that was in the Church for 30 years, served a mission and held callings. He spent the last 5 of those 30 years researching everything anti you could ever find... And I'll admit he knew a lot more about the Church than me and Elder Dial. He asked us a lot of questions that I had never thought of. This guy was very good and you could tell he's spent a lot of time thinking of questions and stuff like that. Now with all that said, we weren't dumb. We held our own pretty good. Both me and my companion have been bashed constantly and though most of what he said was pretty new to us. We still testified and answered many questions, and actually somehow made friends with him. He wants to take me golfing and also take us for a ride in his brand new Jaguar. But I am sad to say that the only way he's getting active again is if he decides to go. He's pretty set in his ways. Anyway later in the day we stopped by our investigator Mary Ann and her family, and she's doing really good.

We had weekly planning today and Elder Dial made us K 1 French Fries. After that we went out and biked in the rain and stopped by this less active and he was pretty cool. He said we could come back and talk, but now is a bad time. After that we went to dinner at the Deans and then we over to Nancy's house and played ball with the kids. then Nancy came home and we actually played ball with her. Then we came in and we were able to teach Rosalee and she told us that she would pray about the Book of Mormon and read.We now found it late at night so we went without our helmets and we rode past the AP's house and they saw us for the third time without our helmets. There were kinda frustrated, but we distracted them by telling them about our day. They seemed to forget, so that was good. *parent note: I made him promise to wear his helmet...)

On Saturday we had an okay day and spent most of it doing service. Part of that was helping this member package Rubber Ducks, I mean she had $1000 worth of plastic Ducks. She does this for her job and delivers them to Hospitals and Dentists places. It was super cool. There were so many crazy Ducks and she said we could grab one we liked. I grabbed one, but then forgot to take it when we left.....So no Crazy Rubber Duck for me. After that we visited some other members and then rode around  and then tried to see other people. Then we got Transfer Calls. I found out I was leaving! So it was kinda sad. I really wanted to stay. But that's not my choice. 

On Sunday we just visited and said bye to people and stuff like that. It was horrible.  I got really close to this Ward. But, I got a lot of email addresses. yeah.

Love, Y'all 
Elder Saunders 
My last district picture in Kingwood. Top Row L-R: Elder Kohler, Elder Scow, Elder Dial, Elder Penrod, Elder Storey              Bottom Row: Elder Bigler, Elder Asay, Elder Saunders, Hermana Archuleta(David Archuleta's sister) Hermana Miller. Kingwood, TX Aug 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I Love to See the Temple

Monday, Aug 15, 2016                                                 Kingwood, TX

" This week was a really, really, really slow week. On Tuesday, the only highlight was a member took us out to eat. He is an older guy and he asked us if we knew John Denver. We told him, he started to sing it. Not playing it, singing it. It was so funny. He actually has a really good voice, too. I was surprised.

The following day I went on exchanges to Kingwood 1st ward, with Elder Scow. We start off the day at the physical therapist cause he hurt his knee a while back. I spent the morning sitting in the lobby, in full missionary clothes. Everyone who came in would stare at me. Occasionally there was a person who sat kinda close to me, and the Olympics were on, so I started to talk to him and he was legit. But then he left and after a couple of minutes a girl came in and sat down. She was on her phone, so it was kinda awkward cause I couldn't talk to her cause she was on her phone. I just sat in silence forever. 

After the appointment we went out and met this Baptist teacher of religion who wanted to bash us right off. So we went at it and he was talking about the Trinity and I told him that we believe that they are 3 separate beings but one in purpose. He looks at me and says, "No, its not three. It's one." Then he just stops and stares at us for three seconds waiting for me to respond (probably the most awkward three seconds of my life). Finally, I told him, "Sorry, man, but I don't believe that." The guy got mad and started going off and asking questions and it was the funniest thing cause I could answer his questions with the simplest answers and he couldn't contend with them....The horrible thing was it was 120 degrees outside so my arm was dripping sweat and I was soaked. He went on forever and finally I just ended the conversation as it was going nowhere and we left. We ended the day by going to a BBQ place and that was really good. 

On Wednesday we went to the temple. It was pretty fun. So great to be able to go. I think this is my fourth or fifth time. 

The next day we found out that one of our investigators who was going to go to Indonesia for schooling in a week-her trip got canceled. So now we have time to baptize her. So that is pretty cool.

We had one investigator come to church and our other investigator, who is close to baptism, got sick so she couldn't come. After that we had dinner and then we walked around in the rain. We stopped by a less actives house. They love us and so we got them to sign up and feed us next week and they want to feed us breakfast next week, too. Our numbers are down for reporting to leadership cause it's been a rough week. 
Elder Saunders
Houston Temple-Kingwood Zone. Houston, TX  August 2016. Top Row: L-R: Elders Bigler, Scow, Asay, Kohler. Bottom row: Elder Saunders, Hermana Miller, Hermana Archuleta, Elder Dial

Kingwood Zone Elders. August 2016 in Houston, TX.

Me and my awesome companion, Elder Dial. Houston, TX Aug 2016
The Saunders and Dial Duo. Two elder at the best place on earth. Aug 2016 Houston, TX

Elder Dial and myself on some trees looking over some trees on a stream off a greenbelt. Aug 2016 in Kingwood, TX

Man, this is pretty high up! Elder Saunders in Kingwood, TX August 2016 ***note from parents: "One has to wonder how he/they got out on these trees in their good missionary clothes without getting a hole or snag in their pants, and in Dress shoes? , lol. "

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Suffer No More...Our Savior, Jesus Christ Is The Answer.....

Monday, Aug 8, 2016                                                  Kingwood, TX   

" Me and my companion have been switching off every other day calling the atheist in our building that left a letter on the door. It was my companions turn and so he called him and he actually answered. We talked to him for about 35 minutes about a lot of issues and problems he has with God. My companion felt impressed to commit him to baptism, but he said, no. 

A member gave us this $25 gift card to a French cafe. We went there to do our weekly planning. Pretty much every customer that came in was a woman, cause it is kinda that kinda place. After that we hit our bikes and we went out in the heat and we stopped by so many houses and nothing. We found a Jesus Van and a cool bike trail. We talked to a lot of people. We went to our dinner appointment and found out that the heat index today reached 110 degrees! It was crazy. We were biking from about 12:00 to 9:00 (minus an hour for dinner).

On Friday we had a meeting and I had to give a ten minute talk cause I was talking smack to the zone leaders in a kidding way. I got a call the next day asking me to give a talk. So I gave the talk and killed ya.

We taught Michelle and had a pretty good lesson. She said she would start coming to church. After that we went and did some service for the Snow family and then they took us to dinner at Joe's Crab Shack.

Sadly no one came to church, except for our recent convert kid's cousin. She is not a member and she stayed the whole meeting and even came to Gospel Principles and participated in it. We even got a chance to go by her house later on in the day and we taught her and gave her a Book of Mormon. We also went back to Mary Ann and she is ready to be baptized. Her only hold up is she's waiting for her husband to be interviewed by the Bishop to be worthy enough to baptize her. She fed us brisket, creamed corn and this surprisingly good salad. So we had a bomb end to our day.

Elder Saunders
Elder Andrew Saunders on St Andrews street in Kingwood, TX August 2016

A sweet Jesus Van! August 2016 in Kingwood, TX

San Jacinto River that runs through Kingwood and Humble Texas. Aug 2016

San Jacinto River in Kingwood, TX August 2016


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Frozen Bratwurst, Teaching, and Turtle Soup?

Monday, Aug 1, 2106                                                Kingwood, Texas

" On Monday a member bought us these enchiladas, but we had to cook them in the oven. So we had a great idea to cook them at the church for p-day. We got dropped off at the church and went to the kitchen. We found out that the ovens were turned off , so this began 2 1/2 hour journey to try to turn them on. We pulled them out, checked the breakers, and called many people. We could never get them on, so we had to give up and leave them in the freezer. After p-day we had a real BBQ with some members, brisket and all. We came home and another set of missionaries stayed the night with us to prepare for zone conference. 

Today we had zone conference so we had to wake up super early cause we had another set of missionaries that drove over and stayed the night. All of us had to shower and then drive about an hour and it started at eight. We make it there and the conference was so long. I mean it was really good, but no kidding we were there 8 hours with only a 5 min. break. It was so hard to stay awake and I'll be honest and say that I failed to do it.

Starting out today we got soaked from rain and then it got really humid and we got soaked from sweat. No one was home so we pretty much spent the day just trying to contact people. As we were biking to our dinner appointment, we biked past a guy. He gave us a thumbs down and said that's for you and other not so nice things. We biked on because we were late for dinner. As we were biking, Elder Dial almost got hit by a car. I got a gatorade bottle thrown at me from a passing car. So yeah, it was just a friendly reminder that Satan is still there. After that we saw a member that needed some help and then we played some games with him.

So the day starts off with us going to eat lunch with Kingwood 1 cause that is a normal Thursday for us, to go and cook sausage mac and cheese. The only problem is that we didn't remember to buy sausage. We looked in our freezer and found this huge frozen bratwurst-still packaged up. Who knows how long it had been in there? So we brought that and cooked it up and we mixed it in the Mac and Cheese. So we eat it and it doesn't taste bad, but its not really good. I'm eating it and the meat is weird. You can have an okay chunk of meat and then a really really bad chunk of meat. I came to a piece and I put it in my mouth and it was by far the worst thing I have ever tasted. I almost lost my lunch and stopped eating. We gave the rest to K1 and Elder Dial said he had the same experience so he gave his away. K 1 ate a ton of it and we had to confess that the meat was a couple of year old at least. They were pretty mad but no one has gotten food poisoning from it so that is amazing. We have since repented but I am pretty sure we lost their trust in us. 

After that we biked in the rain and finally we stopped by this part member family and the mom answered the door and invited us in. As we were talking to her, her nineteen year old son came in and sat down with us. While we were talking to both of them, her 21 year old daughter came home and she sat with us, too. We taught the whole family and it was sweet. 

We stopped by Turtle Bridge and we are trying to find a turtle soup recipe but none of the members will make it for us, haha!

Today we stopped by Jennifer's, a person who we've done a ton of service for. We asked if we could do anything for her and she said, " Yes, you could tell me about your religion".  Of course after she said that, our jaws dropped cause that's definitely not a phrase we're used to. After the surprise, we went into her kitchen and she was asking a bunch of questions about the plan of salvation, so we taught her about that, too. We committed her to baptism and she said, not yet. So this all went on and after that we went to a members house, who are good friends with Jennifer. We told her that we taught Jennifer and the member started to cry and said that it was the best news she has heard all week. She said she had been praying for her to be interested but lately she was starting to lose hope. 

On Saturday we went over to the Snows and we ate breakfast there and then worked on Clay's garage to turn it into a game room. We ate lunch at the Snows and left to teach a lesson and then he wanted to know if we could come back and they would feed us dinner, too. It was sweet. 

Today we had 5 set lessons and all of them cancelled. We ended up going to a part member family and taught them and then they talked about trucks, football and other American things. 

Elder Saunders
This picture is on what everyone calls, "Turtle Bridge". All those circles are actually turtles, and there's actually a lot more turtles, but I couldn't reach the iPad around enough and still get my face, so y'all only get to see part of them. Kingwood, TX  August 2016