Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Good Times

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!! Weird... Christmas is in a MONTH. I´m soo excited to skype:) and I hit my three month mark this week too! I swear I just had my two month mark... time is flyin.
Anyways, not a whole lot happened this week but it was still an awesome week! We have some awesome investigators that have been progressing really well this week. I don`t know if I mentioned anything about Michael last week, but he`s a kid that`s my same age that I found last week during one of our interchanges. We`ve talked to him almost everyday this last week and he wants to get baptized and everything! We just need to get him to come to church... but he was texting us the other day asking us what he needs to do to be like us (as missionaries) cause he thinks that`s really cool. haha so yeah he`s awesome! And then our other investigator that is really strong is Adriana. She came to church with us again yesterday for the second time and she loved it so much. We talked with her seriously about baptism again, because we had originally set a date for this next saturday, but she doesn`t feel ready... so she has a for sure set date for the 6th of december! I`m sooo excited. We gave her a BOM this week with a reading assignment, and like two hours later she texted us and said she read it and prayed about it and it brought her sooo much happiness. She has major problems with depression and is completely alone. She said that we are angels sent to her and every time she talks to us she is left feeling peace and comfort. I love that! That`s what the gospel does for people:) 
Yesterday was amazing though. We had Adriana at church with us and a lot of less active members that we´ve been meeting with came to church too! and Carlos blessed the sacrament this week!! He was soo cute. He was really nervous but he did an AMAZING job. and then he gave us more banana cake last night so of course that made my entire day haha. I`m sad though because they´re leaving at the beginning of December to be with Natali`s family in Montevideo for the month and for Christmas. So we won`t see them much anymore... and we won`t see them on Christmas:( BUT, on Thursday we are celebrating Thanksgiving with them and we`re all cooking a bunch of stuff. It`s gonna be the most random meal of american, peruvian, and urugayo food but it will be great haha I`m so stoked.
Oh and also yesterday, I had one of thee most embarrassing moments ever. We were walking to a really far part of our area and we were walking in a street where there is like never any people, and my comp was just quietly singing some salsa song in spanish and I randomly started dancing (you know how awful and weird my dancing is) and a few seconds later I look to my right and there is a group of like seven guys sitting in front of their house and they started laughing sooo hard and whistling and saying ¨the blonde one is so cute!¨ man I was so embarrassed. and yeah, EVERYONE here thinks I´m blonde and they love it haha I´m not even blonde!
Along with an embarrassing moment that I had this week, I also had something kind of creepy happen too. We went on splits with some young women in our ward this week, and on this day it was rainy super hard so there was nobody in the street. so we started knocking doors and this super nice lady opened her door and she let us in her house and everything so we were like okay sweet she`s awesome! and we started talking to her and everything and then not after long, she started telling us how the spirit of the previous owner of the house was there with us and how she`s seen it multiple times that week. Then she got out some pictures of her husband with their daughter and you could see like hands and other creepy things of some spirit in every single one of the pictures. We were sooo creeped out and it got really cold in the house and so we asked if we could say a prayer and then we tried to leave as soon as we could. Oh man it was so weird cause the lady seemed so nice and normal but no.... ahh I was freaked out haha.
But anyways, on that note... This morning I was reading in the ensign of the conference talks from October and I was reading the talk by Elder L. Tom Perry and I love this that he said: Remember that the greatest of all the blessings of the Lord come through and are given to righteous families. I love that because I am so grateful to have you guys as my family and I`m grateful for the righteous lives that you are living. And I know that what he said is true. We are receiving the greatest blessings because of it! 
I also want to share some scriptures from what I´ve been reading in the New Testament as well. Go read 2 Corinthians 4:17 and 12:10. They are beautiful verses. We should take pleasure in our trials because it is the way that we can grow and become more like Christ. Enjoy the hard times!
I love you all so much. I am sad I can´t celebrate Thanksgiving with you guys on Thursday, but know how grateful I am for each and every one of you!
Love you sooo much.

Hermana Sanders

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Zone Conference

November 18, 2014 EMAIL

Hola everyone! 
How´s it goin? wow this extra day makes it seem like an eternity since I have talked to you guys. I´m so happy I finally get to! I hope you guys had an amazing week because mine was the BEST! Seriously mission life just keeps getting better and better each and every week. It`s crazy. I am soooo happy! This week was awesome and super eventful haha. We had so many intercambios and stuff like that. I feel like I`m never with my own companion anymore haha. Earlier this last week we did a cambio where we stayed with our own companion, but we all went and worked in one area. That was interesting, but I loved it. It was hard cause it was suuuper hot and all we did was walk and walk and walk all day, but it was really cool to see another area. And we found a guy that spoke english so I talked to him forever about all kinds of stuff, and not even kidding, he wanted to get baptized right then and there. It was cool! So that was a good reference that we got for the hermanas in that area. And I literally almost got my arm bit off by a dog that day. It fit it`s head through the fence that i was ringing the doorbell (yes this area actually had doorbells) and I felt the slobber on my arm, but luckily it`s teeth barely missed me. IT WAS HUGE! so scary haha. Then a few days later we had intercambios with the hermanas viajantes, and I stayed in my area again. So Hermana Orme, she is amazing, came to my area and we worked together and she stayed over night. She is sooo cute and she`s almost finished with her mission so I was able to learn a ton from her. Seriously my whole mindset of the mission has been changed from her and ever since that day I can`t keep a smile off of my face. I liked what she told me that her zone leader told them: People, after this life, will remember every single time that the gospel was shared with them. So that motivated me to LITERALLY talk with everyone and share my testimony of Jesus Christ. And for real, this week has made me gain such a strong testimony of the gift of tongues. you guys... I CAN SPEAK SPANISH. I never thought this day would come. It`s such an amazing feeling to finally be able to talk to these people and express what I want to say. I even participate in the relief society lessons now haha I didn`t even do that at home. We had one more intercambio yesterday and I stayed in my area AGAIN. but it`s good cause I`m learning how to find my way around on my own. It`s super hard because I`m already so directionally challenged, and then the streets here are ridiculous so it`s hopeless. But I`m learning! 
Anyways, what else happened.... we had a multi mission conference this week too! That was thee coolest thing. Elder Christensen of the seventy came and spoke to us and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I`ve ever had. One quick quote that I loved from that day: `we are not perfect, put we can begin each day in a perfect way` sorry that doesn`t translate as well into english as I was hoping but you get the point. Each day is a new beginning that we can try and better ourselves and become more like Christ! Isn`t that such an amazing opportunity? oh yeah and guess what? at the conference, I saw Austin Martinez that used to be in our ward! I had NO idea he was in my same mission. So we talked for awhile and it was really fun to see a friendly face from home.
Sunday this week was sooo great. Carlos got the priesthood! he was so excited, it was the most adorable thing ever. And I`m stoked we`re making the pumpkin cookie mix that you sent me tonight for family night. Finally I get to eat something pumpkin! And we also have a new investigator that came to church with us on Sunday. Her name is Adriana and she is so amazing. She`s been super depressed and really all she needs is friends... So that`s what we are for her right now. She`s totally getting baptized I know it!
But yeah, tomorrow is cambios but I`m not changing cause I`m staying with my trainer. Which is so great cause we are so excited to spend Christmas together. but wow... counting the CCM, I have made it through two changes in my mission! Time is flying!!! My district leader and zone leader are both going home though so that`s kind of sad... they are awesome.
Oh yeah and I received ALL of the packages that you guys sent finally! I`m super stoked about all of them and I feel sooo loved for real. You guys are the best.
I`m excited to hear all about your week!! love ya`ll!!

Hermana Sanders

Monday, November 10, 2014

First Baptism


Together again!

Pure Happiness (November 10,2014 Email)

Hey everyone!
This may have been thee best week of my life. ahhh so much happened I don´t even know where to start! My testimony of fasting is unbelievably strong now because literally everything that I fasted for happened this week.So many miracles! One bad, no AWFUL thing happened though. I watched some guy literally basically beat his dog to death the other day and I could NOT handleit... It was so sad. Oh my gosh. Pobrecito :( So that was horrible. But anyways, back to the happiness! First and foremost: I had my first baptism!!!! CARLOS WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! He got baptized on saturday and then confirmed yesterday. It was sooo amazing. I haven´t seen a smile leave his face since. He´s so happy! And the baptism was great. My companion and I sang a special musical number and everyone cried. Literally. So yeah we´re pretty cool haha but no, the spirit really was so strong. and I was able to bare my testimony as well and I was surprised that I could fully express myself and I could figure out how to say everything that I wanted. I finally feel confident about my spanish. I got lets of compliments about my spanish from the people here when they ask where I´m from. And one guy asked if I was from Brazil haha. Oh yeah, and this week we did zone intercambios, so we got a new companion from our zone for 24 hours. I was assigned to stay in my area so I had to be in charge. I was praying not to get a companion that didn´t speak english but that´s exactly what I got! I am seriously SO grateful for it now though! It forced me to speak spanish and figure things out.Turns out, I know wayy more spanish than I thought I did. And she didn´tknow anything about our investigators either so I was forced to plan and guids the lessons. It was seriously an amazing experience. We had some amazing miracles with old investigators and we found a lot of new ones! Great day! ahh great WEEK! we also had a meeting with all the new missionaries and our trainers at the mission home and that was awesome to be able to see my friends from the CCM and see the mission president and his wife. I`m stoked for this week because we have a multi mission conference and I´m singing in the choir so we have to go to the mission home wednesday night for a practice and sleepover for the conference on thursday.That will be way fun! Oh yeah and before I forget...Since changes are next week, for some reason they do P days on Tuesdays the week of changes.So I won´t get to email ya´ll until tuesday next week! Just so ya know. 
But yeah, like I said before, I truly believe that fasting was what made me have so much success this week. We´ve been teaching this guy named Leo and he´s a strong investigator, as well as a girl named Yoana. she is like 21 I think and she wants a book of mormon and she´s coming to church with us this next sunday. She´s awesome! Then I dunno if I have told you about gabriela... but anyways, we have been talking with her a lot and shes a hard one. But the day of intercambios I went and visited her and I was able to talk her out of making a really bad decision with her pregnancy! We prayed together and she had a change of heart.So she´s gonna have the baby and figure things out from there.Such a miracle seriously! I´m so happy about that!! Unfortunately, we haven´t been able to meet up with paulo and sergio again because things kept coming up but we have a lesson with them this week again. so hopefully it actually happens!
Oh yeah and I GOT MY PACKAGE!! the halloween thanksgiving one. Holy crap. CUTEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. Thank you mom sooo much. You´re super creative. I love it. and I love the clothes! I wore them for the baptism:) And all the pumpkin stuff and candy... you know me too well. And geez, thank you to everyone in the ward that gave me stuff! You are all so thoughtful. I didn´t know you loved me so much haha ya´ll are the best. Seriously thank you! And I found out I actually can open packages any day it´s just letters that I can´t read until mondays. so that´s cool! speaking of letters I got lots of letters this week too! Thanks everyone! And thanks mom for the stamps. I got that letter too.
Okay, one last thing. I was reading in the New Testament because I want to finish it at some point, and I just wanted to share that it´s definitely NOT all true. I read verse 15 in Romans 10 that says... How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tiding of good things!.... I thought that was funny because my feet are FAR from beautiful now that I´m in the mission hahaha.
Anyways, I love you guys so much and I miss all of you! I´m so glad to hear how great you guys are every week.
Have another awesome week!

Hermana McKelle Sanders

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014 Emai

Hey everyone!!!
How´s it going? another pretty quick week, yeah? I can´t believe it`s november now! We get to skype NEXT MONTH!! I`m so excited. I`m just sad I won`t be with you guys for Thanksgiving... But I was talking with Carlos and Natali abouthow I was sad that they don´t have Thanksgiving here, so they want to celevrate it together! I love them so much. Seriously they are so cute. This week they made us pizza, tortas fritas, 2 different kind of cupcakes, and a cake! we see them like every single day now and they´re making me fat haha. They truly are amazing though. They were at church again this sunday and Natali bore a BEAUTIFUL testimony. oh man. And Carlos has his for sure set baptism now. ON SATURDAY!! ahh! I`m so beyond excited. Plus, me and Hermana Vasquez are singing a special musical number for that and I have a solo so that`s fun... Carlos and Natali both have thee strongest testimonies. Oh and a miracle totally happened with them this week. Carlos has been struggling with his job cause he has to work almost every sunday, and he was thinking about quiting his job so he can come to church every week. so we talked with him about the power of prayer and then guess what happened... his boss called him later this week and told him he had to start working in a different area. and this area just happens to be the only area in his job that they have Sundays free! how insane is that??
So yeah, they´re awesome. we spent the night of Halloween with them and we made a `future missionary`name tag for Dante and dressed him up. SO cute! and before that, instead of trick or treating we went around saying `dulce o escritura?`haha we`re weird. Oh by the way Nick and Micadyn, you looked SEXY in your costumes. I love it hahaha and Mom, you better start having some fun parties when I get home for halloween! I love that idea. I also decided that instead of giving out candy, I wanna bake all day on halloween and give out mini cupcakes. Fun right? two years we`re doing that mom haha.
We had a pretty crazy storm this week. It rained all night and the whole next day, and so we were walking through water halfway up my rainboots all day, holding umbrellas with lightning striking basically like five feet away. so that was suuuper fun lol. I was so scared! I´ve been freezing my butt off from the rain the past few days and it`s so weird cause I was sweating like crazy the week before. What is this??
Also, a pretty cool miracle happened this week. There´s a guy named Sergio who we have talked to before, but he`s super atheist and wasn`t interested at all. But hte other day, we just go the feeling that we should stop by his house. So we went by and talked to him and he totally opened up to us and he told us about how his daughter got cancer and him and his wife were having a really hard time. ANd so we talked about eternal families and he loved it. I felt so bad for him, but at the same time, I kind of felt like Ammon in th escriptures haha. He was excited to see the people having afflictions because he saw it as an opportunity to teach them because their hearts would be softened! So that`s my thoughts with him. I hope it works out! we took them a treat and talked with them last night, and we are meeting with them again on Wednesday!
So that`s my week :) Oh yeah Mom and Dad, I finally got letters from each of you! talking about lake powell... lol that seems like FOREVER ago. I loved it though. But it kinda sucked cause I got them on Tuesday and couldn´t read them until today. It was torture! Awesome this morning though.
I love you guys so much!
Have another amazing week you gringos!!
Hermana Sanders