Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Day

Christmas Eve

Painting and other fun….

Adriana's Baptism and More

EMAIL - December 30, 2014

Helloooo! Finally! Even though I got to skype with you guys on Thursday it feels like an eternity since we´ve talked haha. First of all.... That was thee best day! I LOVED being able to see and talk to you guys! It was the best yet the hardest thing haha. This week has been unbelievable. So much has happened, but I have sooo many pictures that I´m hoping to send so I´m gonna keep the email short this week and try to send pictures!
So anyways, like I said, Christmas was amaaazing especially getting to see you guys. It was hard not being with you though. I was so worried about this Christmas being so difficult and so different. And although it was VERY different, it ended up being one of the best. We spent Christmas eve going and singing on buses and just trying to find any way that we could to serve the people and share the gospel. Definitely the best way to spend Christmas! and the members are amazing and gave us so much. It felt like the fourth of july with all of the heat, the barbeques, and the fireworks at midnight but it was cool to experience! 
We had two intercambios this week too that were awesome. On Tuesday I went to Carrasco (the reeeally rich part of Uruguay) and that was really fun cause the houses were so nice and everything and I actually saw real restaurants. But... the people were really difficult to teach. I learned a lot that intercambio. I´ve never been rejected so much in my life and had so many rude things said to me, but I´m grateful for the experience. Because I was thinking about how dang much Christ got rejected and had to suffer in His life, and how can we know how he felt and become more like Him if we don´t experience that too? I know it´s only a tiiiiiny fraction of what He had to go through, but I am so grateful for every experience I have like that because it´s a chance for my testimony of Him to grow more and more and to try and become more like Him every day.
And in this area is where Elder and Hermana Burnett live, so we got to go to their house and have AMERICAN home cooked food! Roast, real salad with ranch, spinach artichoke dip... oh man I died. Oh yeah, and come to find out Brother (Kent) Burnett in our ward is his uncle! So that´s cool:) Small world.
On Friday, we also had another intercambio with our zone and I finally left my area! It was kind of a miserable day though unfortunately because it ended up raining like crazy and I didn´t have anything for the rain cause it was so hot earlier that day. The streets literally flooded and I was walking almost up to my knees in the street in sewer/rain water without my rainboots... suuuper fun! And my comp for the day woke up in the middle of the night with a frog in her bed. We freaked out. haha but we made the best of it and actually ended up having alot of fun!
More great news... Carlos and Natali got home last night!!! It was sooo good to see them. Oh man I missed them so much. They are amazing.
And even better, ADRIANA GOT BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!!! finally! that was a day I will never forget. It has been so great to see a true change in her life and see her faith and testimony grow each and every time I talk with her. It´s crazy how your converts literally become like family to you. She is my family and so are Carlos Natali and Dante!
We finished off this week painting a members house yesterday and that was really fun! It was rough in the heat, but I loved it. I´m officially professional now so bring on the projects when I get home haha. 
We found out the changes last night... Just as we though, my comp is leaving and I´m staying! My new companion is Hermana Dìaz. I have no idea who she is but she is from Chile so that will be cool because of Nick! And I´m pretty sure she doesn´t speak English. I´m nervous about that but at the same time so grateful because it´s what I need to grow and to learn more quickly.
Anyways, that´s what I´ve got for ya´ll this week. I´ll finish with two quotes that I found during the week that I love:
¨When we assist Him in His mision of saving soulds, we too will be rescued in the process.
and... ¨The most important of the Lord´s work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.
That is so true. Even though you guys aren´t here in the mission with me right now, you´re doing the most important work there at home!
I love you guys sooo so much. Miss you more than ever!
Hermana Sanders

Zone Pics

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mission Christmas Conference

Feliz Navidad!

MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! Feliz Navidad:) Can you believe that Christmas is already here? It doesn´t feel like Christmas at all here because  of the heat but I´m still super stoked cause we get to SKYPE.
Okay and before I get caught up in all that excitement about talking to you guys and everything, so I don´t forget... remember that next week we have changes so my P day will be on Tuesday not Monday. K cool.
So anyways, this week has been great! A whole week of talking to people all about Christ and His birth and everything. I´m pretty sure I have the story of his birth in the bible memorized now (In spanish lol). It´s been fun!
It was a little hard at first cause our investigator Adriana has stopped progressing and won´t stop drinking coffee so she can´t get baptized... so our leaders told us that we had to ¨break up¨with her haha. That was hard cause we love her so much and she still really wants to get baptized! we´re gonna keep working with her but not as much as before. On the bright side, we found a ton of amazing new investigators this week that all want to be baptized and so we are really busy with them. There are two little girls that we are teaching right now that are 10 and 13 years old and they both want to be baptized soo bad but they´re parents keep saying no... so that´s a struggle. But I know a miracle can happen so we´re workng really hard!
As far as the weather here lately it´s been sooooo weird. The rain came back for a little bit so I literally go from sweating to death and getting like blisters on my skin from the heat to sleeping with four layers of clothing because I´m freezing to death. I don´t understand! haha. And geeeez I have gotten my exercise this week. All of our new investigators that we have found live in the reeeally far part of our area and so we´ve spent a ton of time there this week and we keep being late to our house at night. On Thursday, we literally sprinted 4 straight miles skirt, backpack and all to our house. I realized how out of shape I am. haha. Oh and super random thing, we had a bird in our house the other day! I have no idea how it got in but it was just flying all around our house. Just one more pet of mine that I have along with all my cockroach buddies.... ew.
This week we also had our mission christmas conference which was amazing! a lot of good music and sooo much food. and fun gift exchanges! I loved it. Made me a little homesick though. Christmas time is rough not gonna lie. I´m kinda glad it doesn´t feel like Christmas here too much. Winter here will suck though when it´s cold and I wn´t have christmas to make it fun! Oh well:) I also saw Austin Martinez again at the conference! so crazy we´re in the same mish.
Lastly, I got the December Liahona at the conference and i literally read every single thing in it and loooved it. So I wanna share my favorite parts from that!
First of all, Christ, as the ¨Prince of Peace¨ in John 16:33 says: Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I love that!
then some words from Pres. Uchtdorf:
Christ set for us the pattern for giving. If he were here, we´d find Him ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. May we through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power.
And the most precious gift we can give is our time!
Also I love this quote from Him:
sometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or will not see them... I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him on Christmas and throught the year.

We can find joy through spreading joy! We should think about what gift that we can give the Savior this year... and the ironic thing is taht anything that we can give to the Savior in the end, we end up being the ones receiving the gift.
For real though, the December Liahona is amazing. You should definitely read it! and in it, ¨the reality of Christmas¨by GAry e stevenson gives lots of ideas how we can epress our feelings of the Christmas spirit.
I love you guys sooo much! Can´t wait to see your beautiful faces in just a few days!
Have the best Christmas everrrrr!!!!!!!!!!
Les amo mucho!!!!

Hermana Sanders

Monday, December 15, 2014

Baptisms and Christmas Parties!

I found candied pecans that taste like the ones they make at the mall at christmas time at home!! I was in heaven eating them haha

December 15, 2014 Email

Heyyy guysss! Guess what? Only one more P day after this and then I get to see your beautiful faces!!! wow. I can´t believe Christmas is so soon. I´m so excited:)
So this week has been quite exhausting. Both Physically and emotionally. AND SPIRITUALLY. We´ve been so busy with all sorts of activities and other stuff and lots of different things for singing so we´ve had to practice a lot. It´s funny I swear nobody here knows how to sing so they think that my companion and I have voices of angels. It´s like.. for real? are you high? haha but it`s a good confidence booster! We had our ward Christmas dinner this week and us missionaries in the ward sang silent night and everyone died they were super impressed. So they asked us to do another song in sacrament this next sunday haha. And then there was a baptism of a little girl in our ward so my comp and I sang a children´s hymn for that and everyone cried... again. That´s what´s up lol. 
But yeah, we had lots of activities. We had that Christmas dinner, a baptism, and a Missionary Family Home Evening Night where the members could bring friends that aren´t members and have a fun night of games and a good message and all that. So we had to plan that and it ended up being really really fun! Oh and the other day, we had lunch at a member´s house and he had a guitar and he let me play it for awhile and it made me miss my guitar sooo bad. It was so much fun to play again! Unfortunately nobody really has guitars here so that was like my only chance... but it was awesome!
And then here´s something interesting... My comp and I were talking the other day about how weird it is that this mission has so many "mission specific" rules that are really strict and I asked my comp why.. and she told me that at one conference they had the president was talking about the rules and everything and he told the missionaries that here in Uruguay is one of thee hardest missions in the world because there is so much iniquity here. (I HAD NO IDEA) But now I see it... there´s lots of problems that keep the people from getting baptized that they can´t overcome. But anyways, because of that, that is why they have so many strict rules here. Because they need the most obedient missionaries here in this missionary. I thought that was interesting... I´m just glad that obedience has never been an issue for me! I´m too big of a wuss to break rules lol.
And now... Here´s the hard part of the week. So like I said last week, we were planning on the baptism of Adriana! She was so excited and totally ready. We had a family home evening night on Thursday with her at a members house and she couldn´t stop talking about her baptism, and then she had her baptismal interview on friday and passed it and everything, and then Saturday morning we went to the church to start filling the font and setting everything up, and spent all morning preparing everything, and then after we finished lunch we received a text from her saying she couldn´t do it today. She didn´t feel ready and she felt depressed and couldn´t get out of bed. We sat there in shock for a few minutes and then decided to pray. Then we went straight over to her house to talked to her. We did everything that we possibly could to bare testimony of the importance of that and to cheer her up and make her feel ready for the baptism, but at the same time, we knew that she has her own agency and we can´t mess with that. So after talking to her for awhile we told her we would still come to pick her up at the same time and if she was ready we could still do it. So we went back to her house that night and nothing had changed. She didn´t want to do it. So we spent a long day with a lot of tears and praying. It was reeeaaallly really hard. Definitely the hardest day of the mission so far because it broke my heart because SHE KNOWS THE TRUTH. We still had the other baptism to go to though so we did that. And although the whole day was really hard, we realized that it was a big test for us and I think I grew more and learned more in that day than I have in the whole mission so far. We spent the whole day asking each other, if Jesus were in our shoes, what would he do? So we were comforted to know that we did everything that we possibly could. And now looking back, it makes me think of that "footprints in the sand" poem. How the man looked back at his life and saw only one pair of footprints at the hardest times in his life, but then the Lord told him that´s when he carried him. I know that to be true and that the Lord carried me and helped me through that day. After the baptism on saturday, the two counselors from the bishopric were there and they asked us if we wanted a priesthood blessing. So we got that, and even though it made me miss my papa like craaaazy, it was really comforting. And reassurance that the Lord is pleased with my work. And then on the bright side, we went to visit Adriana yesterday and she is all excited and promising that she will get baptized this coming saturday. With her emotional issues, who knows... but if she ends up actually feeling well and prepared for it this Saturday then it will be a miracle! I have faith for sure!
Anyways, like I seem to always be saying, if we are patient through our trials the lord WILL give us success and the blessings that we need! I love you guys so much. Thanks for your constant support and prayers and examples. 
I am sooo dang excited to see you on Christmas!!! Don´t have to much fun without me k ;)
Love you!
Hermana Sanders

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Countdown!

It's Shrinking :(

Rainy Days

It's Summer in Uruguay

El es la Dadiva

Hey hey!
How´s everyone doing?? I´m so happy to talk to you guys again and read all of your emails! You guys are amazing. I am doing soo good. I love Christmas time. Although, it feels nothing like Christmas here because I am sweating more than I ever thought possible. Seriously we have been dying!!! It`s gonna be an interesting Christmas. haha. It was so fun though, last week we visited one of our investigators (her two kids are baptized) and they had just gotten back from the mall buying stuff to decorate their cute little Christmas tree, and they wanted us to help them, so I got to feel a LITTLE bit at home doing that. It was definitely something special! And we have a ward Christmas dinner at the end of this week to look forward to and get a little more in the Christmas spirit:) Plus, Sharon... oh my goodness. The little countdown thing you made is awesome. It`s making time go by even faster. You are sooo dang creative. My companion and I open each box each day together and we get a little too excited when they have chocolate inside haha. And our room looks super cute with the snowflakes and candles and christmas bell. SO THANK YOU!
Speaking of Christmas, I´m sure you all have already seen it cause it`s kind of a big deal. But there is an AMAZING Christmas video the church has out to share during this Christmas season. In spanish it is called "El es la Dàdiva" so I`m assuming its "He is the Gift" in english?? It´s soo good and I feel the Spirit stronger and stronger each time that I see it. Which is a lot because we share it with EVERYONE haha.
So yeah, this week I have a lot more just spiritual thoughts to share instead of experiences because honestly, not a whole lot happened this week. So I apologize haha. But before those scriptures I wanna share I´ll tell you the things that did happen this week. We had another zone interchange. And I of course had to stay in my own area AGAIN but it was awesome. As always. I love interchanges. I was with Hermana Marcos (from Argentina) and she didn´t speak a word of english so that was really good for me. The problem was that she didn´t talk much at all.... so in our lessons I literally had to do basically everything and it was kinda scary! Cause I`m used to just adding in my testimony here and there because my companion loves to talk so much. lol so that was a great learning and growing experience for me!
Another thing that boosted my confidence about spanish was that I opened nick and micadyns "open when you understand spanish" letter and I understood every single word! That made me happy:) And I got another letter from Grandma Sanders this week! I read it today. She´s soo cute and so nice. Tell her I`m gonna write her back as soon as I possibly can. And ask her if she really did eat an extra slice of turkey for me for Thanksgiving hahaha.
Okay, so here´s some scriptures I wanna share from my personal studies this week. (P.S. I will finally be finished with the New Testament this week!!!) Then back to the BOM full time haha.
First of all...
Hebrews 6:15
"And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise
And 10:11 
basically, trials aren´t fun in the moment but if we patiently endure them, we will receive soo many blessings and happiness and it is always worth it!
Hebrews 11
I love this chapter because it talks all about the importance of faith, and it`s really cool because it includes examples of tons of prophets and their demonstrations of their own faith in the things they did. They are great examples for us to follow! And truly, we can do ANYTHING through faith.
Lastly, I read this this morning. 1 John 3:1-2
I love this scripture so much. I read all about the importance of love this morning and how we really do need to love everyone and show it through deeds and in truth! 
The love the father has for us to call us sons and daughters of God is amazing. Although the world doesn´t see us as that because the world "knew him not." But we know when he comes, we will see that we are like him if we purify ourselves as Him.
Well, that´s it for today... Love you guys!
Let´s remember the first gift of Christmas (Christ) and feel the joy that his Gospel brings:)
I miss you! 
Hermana Sanders