Sunday, October 30, 2016

James The Mormon.....

Monday Oct 24, 2016                                                     Beaumont, TX

"We had a lesson again with Debra. We taught the word of wisdom and we found out that she does smoke, so now we are working on trying to get her to stop. She said she doesn't smoke a lot so hopefully it will be easy to quit. 

Taught Michael Penegar, today. We talked more about the Book of Mormon. We even had him commit to read a chapter tonight and pray about it and to send a text when he is done. He did it and we got a text about 9:30 saying he just read it and he is now going to read it.

After that we went to dinner with some members and it was sweet. We found out the members son does the instrumental/lyrics for 'James the Mormon'. So we were talking to the son that does the lyrics-instrumentals and he's flying up to Provo to do a concert for like 6,000 people in a couple of days! I asked him if he could get us some autographs and he said yeah. He even said that if I got home sooner, he'd set up a time for me to meet him. But he's a super cool guy. He's only eighteen and he is writing lyrics and instrumentals-he has a pretty good thing going, but he is going to stop for a while and go serve a mission!

Today we had this early appointment that was pretty far away-a good six miles. The only way to get there is on busy roads with no sidewalks. We arrived and they aren't there, so we biked around and found a person to teach. She didn't seem super solid but at least she'd hear us out. After that we went to the less actives funeral of the baby that died in childbirth. It was a good service. 

We biked around forever and then we rode up on these two guys working. As I pulled up, one of them asked, "Y'all Mormons?" So I told him, yeah. He told us that he was, too. I thought he was kidding, but then he went into his conversion story. He told how the missionaries came and helped him. It was pretty cool. Apparently he hasn't been in years and his records aren't in the ward. We are trying to get him to come to church. After that we taught this person named KaSandra and her son, JaHarlod. 

Finally we biked a super long way to Ernest whose apartment was thick with smoke. It was so hard to breathe. We taught him the restoration and all three times he really didn't seem interested and it didn't get any better throughout the lesson. We asked him to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and we would get back to him. Later we called him and he didn't read it, so we had to drop him, cause he wasn't in the proper mindset. That is always hard to see. 

Elder Saunders
A sweet text from a member in Beaumont whose son left for a mission-Elder Saunders, Elder Worley and Elder Jones Oct 2016

Elder Saunders and Elder Hill in Beaumont, TX  Oct 2016

**note from parents-'he is slowing down on pictures lately. Hopefully he is just in a slump....

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Let The Savior Be Your GPS (Global Positioning System)....

Monday Oct 17, 2016                                     Beaumont, TX

"On P-day one of the elders got his dad to ship him down a Sams Club card, so we all went and got these great deals for buying in bulk. Like we got 72 waffles for $10! And stuff like that. 

Tuesday we taught Rita. We went over to her house and she prepared for us a feast. Homemade fried chicken, fried fish, chili, corn, greens, fruit salad, turkey. Then she gave us cake and ice cream. It was so good we ate a ton. There was still a ton left and she made me eat more. It was so good and so bad. Her favorite show came on, 'Let's make a deal," so we had to teach her between commercials, haha. 

We started off our day by having two appointments fall through, but after that we went to the church and taught one of our members friends. He is a really cool guy. He met us at the church, so we gave him a church tour and then taught him the restoration. He seemed really sincere and he said he'd come to church, but he ended up not making it but said he would come in two weeks.

We went to the Episcopal church Bible study. I was pretty mad because they ran outta breakfast and that's one of the reasons we go. They read outta the Bible, but what everyone finds interesting or new, we have already heard about it in Primary. That is how far ahead we are, haha. At the end of the day we did hour of power. My son choose a really scary street. It was this super long street clear in the ghetto. We knocked about every door and we talked with an atheist that tried to prove that that Christ didn't exist with astronomy. It was really weird, but when we ended we asked if we could come back and he said I could. We also had some other stuff happen but I will talk more about that after my mission. We had to walk about 1.4 miles down this ghetto dimly lit street at 8:00 p.m. So here we are walking down this pitch black street, and right as we walked past them, they turned off. So that was kinda creepy. We did help a Mexican guy get his dog after it escaped, so that was cool.

On Friday, B team picked us up for zone meeting. They told us that a person broke into their car and stole both of their GPS's, so after Zone meeting, we went with them to a few pawn stores to see if we could find them. We did find a store that they said a guy came in with two GPS's but that pawn store doesn't sell them so they turned him away and we had no luck.

We went on exchanges with our zone leader so we made sure we were nice and good, ha ha. It was a super long and hot day. We wore out our Zone leader. At the end of our day, our members made us these huge steaks and baked potatoes. It was super good and a great way to end the day!!

Sunday we were contacted by these less active members and they told us that she lost her baby in delivery. So sad! We contacted the ward cause no one knew about it. We talked with them and hopefully helped. That was our week.
Elder Saunders
I think I wore my companion, Elder Jones out. He is hardly moving. Beaumont, TX Oct 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Man On A Mission.....

Monday, Oct 10, 2016                                              Beaumont, TX

"So my son's name is Elder Jones. He is cool and a quick learner. He is from Kaysville.
Our area is now a bike area. The area boundaries are 35 miles long and 10 miles width, so it's a big area. It's starting to cool down.....Finally. Training is like the best thing ever though. 1. Your companion has to do what you say-so you get to make all the plans, haha. 2. You get an extra hour to study while he does this training thing.

We start off our day by helping some members clean out a storage unit which was big. They fed us lunch so we can't complain. We taught Debra and she told us that she wants to be baptized but she has to wait because: 1. She has to get surgery on her foot and she's not sure it can get wet and 2. She wants a friend to be there and he will be gone for about a month. After that we went and taught another guy and then had to hurry and bike over to our dinner with a part member family. We taught him and had a good discussion, but he's really hard headed so that was frustrating.

Early the next morning we visited this apartment complex and we talked to a lot of people and taught a couple of them. We taught this Bible referral person who actually invited us in and listened and invited us back. Another one of our investigators told us that if we got into any trouble to tell him, cause he has some contacts. He assured us that he wouldn't hurt them, just make our problems go away, ha ha. He was part of a gang a while back and has some serious contacts. 

Today we started out by teaching our investigator, who loves to talk. He talked for about 90% of the conversation but he told us how to make doughnuts and a bunch of other things. He's a super good chef. Like he's cooked for 3 Iron Chefs, so we are trying to get him to feed us one day.

After that we taught a person and it was going good and she stopped us and said that we have to cut it short cause she has to drink a beer. She told us to come back, ha ha. We biked to this investigators house and he's like 17. We get there and he's not home, but we ended up teaching his brother. As we were saying the closing prayer, his mom comes out and pretty much orders us inside. We get inside and she's like, "Why didn't y'all invite me to join?" We get to talking and she's saying how appreciative she is of us. She grabs some groceries and tries to get us to take them. We refuse but she wouldn't give up. She gave us toothpaste and a bunch of other things. She fed us a quick snack and then we taught her and we're coming back next week. 

We taught Stan and we had a really good lesson. He said he found an answer that is leading him on the path. Then we went to go teach this Bible referral. We go to the door and knock and he comes out and says, "Guys, let's sit down. So we all sit and then he says, "What do you want to share with me?' I just start teaching him and every now and then he sidetracks the conversation with some random subject. I then bring it back and he takes off again. We're doing this like the whole time. Finally he points at me and he's like, "Ya know, I really like you. You're a man on a mission. I gotta admit I've been drinking one too many so come back next week when I'm sober." Ha ha so we're coming back next week.

And yeah, those were the highlights of our week!
Elder Saunders
Me and my greenie companion, Elder Jones. Beaumont, TX Oct 2016
( *note from parents. No pictures with his email and lo and behold-this is the third time it happened-A sweet Sister W sent this picture when she was feeding them dinner :)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I'm Now A Dad!

Monday Oct 3, 2016                                       Beaumont, TX

"First thing is my companion is getting transferred. I'm getting a son. In missionary language it means that I am training a brand-new missionary. The bad news is they are taking away our car(they are five short in Salt Lake), so we're going to be a bike area. Our area covers 40 miles, so this is going to take a lot of faith. 

Today we had a pretty solid day. We taught Martha Washington. (y'all heard me right-Martha Washington). Our member that we brought was golden, so all that worked out. We had a sweet lesson with her, and afterward I gave her a blessing. After that we taught Debra and she's always super solid and said she would watch conference but she would have to see it late cause she works. We brought June to that and she was good at fellow shipping. Later Genesis made us dinner and I also got this sweet hat(see pic below).

We went to a place today called Sour Lake. It is honestly the closest place you can get before you hit the telestial kingdom. Okay, maybe not that bad but pretty bad. We spent five hours there and on the plus side we got 3 potentials, and we taught a less active. On the down side, we drove 80 miles round trip!

It was a good day today. We visited this referral who ordered a bible, but she wasn't home so we decided to stop by this potential investigator who we contacted this past week but he seemed really not interested. We stopped by his house and he was super friendly and we ended up teaching him and he told us to come back on Sunday. He is this sweet big black guy who rides bulls for rodeos. We stopped by this apartment complex afterward to teach some less active members. After we taught them we walked around the apartments and we ended up talking to these kids. There was about five of them, so we taught them. Every now and then their mom would pop out and one of those times she was like, " Man, they're actually listening. My companions like, " Oh yeah. Kids, what are prophets?" They shout, "MESSENGERS FROM GOD!" It was super cool. After that we biked to this ghetto street and we talked to a lot of sweet people on that street that seemed somewhat promising.

Elder Saunders
Fire and Rescue Station in Beaumont, TX Oct 2016
He's da bear! Me and Smokey- Oct 2016 Beaumont Texas

Me and my bud Smoky-Beaumont, TX Oct 2016
My Sweet hat-Beaumont, TX Oct 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Let God Take a Pikachu.....

Monday, Sept 26, 2016                                                   Beaumont, TX

"We went on exchanges today. We didn't get a lot done. We biked around forever and nothing. We came back home and grabbed the car and went to our lesson with Debra. It went amazing! We taught her and she was very open. She now wants to be baptized but can't yet because she works on Sundays. We talked to her about how she could still do it. We set a date to come to church and she even mentioned that if she has to she will quit her job. She is so solid! Debra already has the 16th of October off , and is planning on coming to church today. With General Conference coming up, if she comes to that-it counts as church-she can get baptized! 

After that we had dinner with Bishop and his family. It was pretty good. At the end of the day we had a referral, who we haven't even contacted yet, send us a text and say that she has a family for us to teach. So our referral give us a referral!

Today we were on exchanges with one of the zone leaders. We had a pretty interesting day. It starts off by one of our crazy dropped investigators texted us and asked if we could stop by so we stopped by. He told us that he has had all these white blurs talking to him. He said that they told him that he is Christ and that he was born to do some purpose. He talked about the moon and the sun and stuff like that. He wanted us to let our church be aware that he is there. He said some other things but I couldn't really follow along cause it was pretty weird. The he started to say that every time he opens the scriptures and reads a story in them, the story happens to him. So I made a little joke and was like, "Well, whatever you do, never open Jonah." He didn't find that amusing so pretty soon we left.

We had dinner after that and had the best Mexican food I ever had. It was so good. We knocked on a bunch of doors and then knocked on this one potentials door. Another person answered and said that they weren't home. We thanked her and left and knocked on the door across from them. As we were knocking, I looked back to the house we just came from. We see both of the people who "weren't home" walk out of their home and get in their car and drive away. Sad!

We did Bishop's Storehouse today. Stan came and we talked to him for a bit. He told us that the doctors say that his cancer came back! We're going to go over and give him a blessing of healing. He was a champ and worked super hard to help out other families get their food. Love that guy.

Next we met this kid named Elijah. He is about 9. He was freaken sweet. I stopped next to him and fixed his bike cause it was broke. He was joking with us and telling us all the people on his street. He turned toward me and is like, 'My names Elijah but my friends call me Deshawn. I just laughed and he's like, "What?". I'm like, "Your name is Elijah not Deshawn. Then he told me that  I could call him 'Lil E'. So I told him sweet-imma gonna call you 'Lil E. We told him that we gotta go. My companion was driving that day so he hops in and starts to back up. I'm standing outside with Lil E and my companion is going literally one mile an hour in reverse. He asked why he was going slow and I explained that we needed to be careful. Lil E said, "Well my grandma goes faster and she is 90 years old. I laughed and then we left.

Today we went to a Presbyterian church and after that we attended our church...of course. Then we went home and put a roast in the crockpot. (*note from parents-Holy cow, he's using a crockpot! He said he would never use one-ever, ha ha.) We quickly ate lunch and then went to an appointment with a referral. 

As we were talking to the referral she says, 'Y'all aren't the bad guys? I thought it was a joke but she was dead serious. She explained saying that everyone says we tear people away from their faith and try to force them to to join us and she said some more stuff. We cleared up some things and we're teaching her and she is more involved now and asking questions. We get to the Book of Mormon and we ask her if she's heard about it. She's like, "Well, yes I have. I've  heard not to read it cause it messes with your brain and takes you away from your faith." Once again we were able to clarify some things but she wouldn't take the Book of Mormon so we asked her to take the restoration pamphlet and read it and pray about it and about the Book of Mormon before we come back. She agreed and then she changed a lot and she was joking around with us. It was really cool. I think she finally got past everything she heard about us...At least I hope she did.

To end the day we went out with the temple President. (*note from parents: What? Like President Hayes of the Houston Temple? He casually said yes and we were surprised. How cool is it that President Hayes takes the time to go out with the missionaries!) We took a less active to the cemetery to see a loved one who had died. We tried to find the grave and we couldn't. We drove to the funeral home and there was a Mexican funeral service that just finished, so we had to weave our way through all of that. We asked the workers where it was and then the worker started to talk and ask us questions. We found the grave and she started to cry. The temple President gave a short spiritual message and told her to do his family history for his grandparents who are waiting for her to do their temple work. It was pretty powerful. 

After that a guy called us over and wanted a Book of Mormon. He had been taught some years ago by missionaries and wants to get back in with them so we ended up teaching him and we are coming back in a couple of days. We were pretty busy, today....

Love ,
Elder Saunders
Found this sign, 'Stop being rude." after we knocked a bunch of houses and not one of them listened to us. Beaumont Texas Sept 2016

Pokemon go is alive and well in Texas. We had to laugh at this Evangelical church sign in Beaumont, TX Sept 2016 'Pokemon Go: Stop here. Come let God take a Pikachu!"