Dear family and friends,

Whew! How quickly nine months goes! I love being a missionary here in Chile. I could not have chosen a better way to spend 18 months of my life. 😀

We didn’t write yesterday because it was Worker’s Day here in Chile. We didn’t quite realize what that meant, so we left in the morning to buy groceries, and literally every. single. supermarket was closed. Apparently on this day nobody works unless they are emergency people or own their own business because you can’t ask employees to work. So Hermana Lange and I had a fun adventure downtown taking out money and finding a great little Ecuadorian market. 😀 And we wrote and shopped today.

This week we’ve seen the beginnings of winter. The weather still randomly switches to spring some days, but fall is definitely ending. Winter here is COLD, with lots of rain. Right now it just kinda spits randomly, but everyone says that when it rains here in the winter, it POURS. So this’ll be fun. 😀 Lots of fun puddles to jump in. 😉 (Don’t worry, I’m bundling up.)

It is really a privilege to find people who sincerely want to make changes in their lives. On Friday we had an attack in Villa Obispo, in which all of the missionaries in our zone came here to help us and the elders find people to teach. I was with another sister, Hermana Lobos, when Jason from Colombia contacted us in the street! He doesn’t know much about God, but he wants to know Him better and make changes in his life. And we also found Rafael this week, who wants to find his faith again and is gaining an incredible testimony of the gospel. He’s had a new light in his face since we started teaching him, and it’s wonderful to see. 🙂

Sunday was another beautiful day. Gabriel received the priesthood during church, which was an incredible experience. The Spirit was so strong in that moment, and I look back on that day with an enormous gratitude for the men who live worthily to use their priesthood to bless the children of God. And he and Lorena are just so happy–not without problems, but happy. We had a fantastic lesson about the Plan of Salvation yesterday, and Lorena said it brought her more peace to not only know that God has a plan but to also understand it. I just love her. 😄

A sister in our ward shared this with me this week, and I loved it: “The difference between who you are and who you want to become depends on what you do TODAY.” Progress is an eternal principle, and perfection is our goal. God wants us to eventually become like Him, and He gives us every opportunity to progress. However, He will never FORCE us to progress or make changes. That has to come from us. So I’ll leave y’all with this invitation: What will YOU do TODAY so that tomorrow you are closer to the person you want to be–or more importantly, to whom GOD wants you to be?

Be safe, be kind, be grateful. And remember who you are!
I love you all! Best wishes from Chile!
Hermana Saunders