Week 23: in which Hermana Saunders goes treasure hunting

Dear family and friends,

My favorite miracle of this week was Saturday morning. We left with the intention to visit a member who usually needs help. On the way, we stopped to talk to a lady who was waiting for a bus. As we talked, we discovered that she’s an inactive member! She gave us her address, and we’re planning to visit her sometime this week. As we continued on our way, we stopped to help an elderly lady with her bags. It also started to rain, and she didn’t have an umbrella, so Hermana Chavez offered hers. As we walked with her to her house, we discovered that her sister-in-law is a member in our ward! She invited us in when we got to her house and offered us soda and cookies. We asked if we could share a little of our message with her, and after the prayer, I asked her what she’d like to ask Jesus Christ in an interview. I had started to pull out the Restoration pamphlet when she said, “I’d ask if the people who die live again.” Hermana Chavez and I looked at each other as I hastily stowed the first pamphlet and pulled out the Plan of Salvation [pamphlet]. She also asked why there are so many churches, and we where like, “Well, we have that answer too!” we had a pretty good lesson with her and set a return appointment. She told us that she is “Catholic forever,” but I really believe that she’ll find something she needs in our lessons. We’ll see what happens.

In our zone we’ve focused on finding families to teach. We’re looking especially for “golden families,” a family that consists of a mom, dad, and kids who are willing to listen and progress. Hermana Chavez and I did a lot (A LOT) of contacting this week without a lot of success, but we still have a a goal to find this family that is waiting for us in Temuco.

This week I’ve learned a lot about the Atonement of Christ, and it’s become so much more personal to me. In our zone conference on Friday, the training hermanas shared a parable of a father’s sacrifice for the salvation of the world. The story was that a disease covered the entire world, and millions were dying every day. After months, the doctors discovered a cure, but it required the blood of a person who was completely clean of the disease. When the doctors found a cure, the first and only match was the only son of this father–and it required the son’s life. As the hermanas described the feelings of this father and the reaction of the world, I thought in the Savior, how He willing obeyed His Father so that we, His brothers and sisters, could be saved. How our Father loves us so completely and perfectly that He created this perfect Plan. How I can turn to Him in moments of pain and grief and receive comfort. While I still really struggle with insecurities and frustration, this week I’ve sought to trust more in the Savior’s atonement and in His saving grace. Also, as I’ve met various people here in Temuco, I’ve come to know and understand more suffering than I ever realized before my mission. And like the hymn says, I stand all amazed at the love of Christ, at the depth and power of His atonement. “There is no pain or sin too great. All may be healed at the Master’s gate.”

I leave you with my testimony that God loves you. He wants you to come home to Him, and He is always on your side when you strive to follow Him. He sent His Son so that YOU might be saved, and the Atonement is for YOU. Christ knows exactly how you feel, and He’s waiting with the peace and comfort you need. “Come unto Him,” and be healed.

I love you all! Remember who you are!

Hermana Saunders