Week 22: in which Hermana Saunders [apparently forgot a subject line]

January 2, 2017:

Hola! Happy New Year!!! I’ll write tomorrow; it’s a work holiday today, so the cyber cafes were all closed this morning, which means that we don’t have time today to write. But I’m alive and healthy and enjoyed a great New Year’s.

I love you all!

Hermana Saunders


January 3, 2017:

Dear family and friends,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow. I’m really excited for this year. I have a lot of goals, and I’ve thought a lot about what I want to have accomplished and who I want to be at the end of this year (which will also be almost the end of my mission! Yikes!) I have a strong testimony that God cares very much about our goals and that He wants to help us. I love Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon, where it talks about how God can help us grow from our weaknesses. I’m sure every return missionary can tell you that the mission is one of the best places to learn about your weaknesses; sometimes it’s hard to feel like I could be or do enough. But the grace of God is real. While we can never “pay” God back for what we owe, through the gift of His Son’s atonement, we don’t have to. He accepts our broken hearts and contrite spirits and every imperfect effort we make to improve and live according to His commandments.

New Year’s Eve was a partial P-Day; we had to be in the apartment by 7. So the four of us in our house ordered pizza, moved our beds into the living room, and had a “sleepover.” It was so much fun, even more so when we watched the incredible fireworks in the stadium across the street. 😀 (Wish I had pictures for this week, but the computer is being difficult. Maybe later. :P)

This week four of our investigators accepted baptismal dates! The really cool thing is that of the four, three are references, and we’re teaching two families. While this week was hard and not super busy, looking back I can see that God helped us be in the right places at the right time.

I’m also learning that the really the only way to conquer a fear is by facing it. Talking to people in the street terrifies me, and I feel super awkward. (Pues, I am awkward.) But this transfer I determined that I was going to do it! I was going to talk with everyone! So every day I’ve set goals for how many people I will talk to in the street. I started small, with 4 people, and today I talked to 8! It still scares me, and I still feel awkward, but less so now, and I have the support and help of my companion, Hermana Chavez. While we have our differences, she has been a great support this transfer as I’ve set and worked towards goals. I am truly grateful for her.

I want to leave you with a thought from William Shakespeare (which is not scripture but is still pretty dang good):

What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of floating joy.
Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week,
or sells eternity to get a toy?

[This is a quote from Shakespeare’s narrative poem, The Rape of Lucrece. – AnnMarie]

This year, think about what matters most. And remember, if you’ve “sold eternity to get a toy,” the Atonement of Jesus Christ is there to let you exchange it, but you have to accept it first.

I love you all! Stay safe and happy, and have a great year!

Until next week!
Hermana Saunders