Week 43: in which my sister comes to town

Dear family and friends,

I’m working with my sister now! Hermana Custódio was trained by my trainer, Hermana Bazaes, which makes us “sisters” in the mission. I love working with her: we’re a lot alike, and she’s a really hard worker and just so incredibly patient and wise. She has half as much time as I do in the mission, but you wouldn’t know it. She says she’s really timid, but she talks to everybody! 😀 We’re going to have a fun cambio.


This week has been one of lots of little miracles, like finding the back of my nametag right after it fell and the fact a member gave us milk instead of juice at lunch 😀 (earlier Hermana Lange and I had told her that in the our families, we were accustomed to having milk or water instead of juice or pop at the table. Here it’s ALWAYS juice or pop). Another miracle is the confidence I feel as I lead the sector. I’m learning that when I’m waiting for something big to happen (cambios, leaving on the mission, a test), the waiting is always worse than the actual thing. Especially in the mission, after the change comes, you just keep working, and God keeps helping you. I know I’m not leading perfectly–nobody is a perfect missionary–but I know that I’m living worthily of the Spirit, and I’m learning to confide in him more. I once made the comment that some of the greatest miracles we see in the mission is our own progress, and I still feel that way, especially as I work here in Villa Obispo.

Hermana Custódio and I have decided that our motto for this cambio is “¡A la batalla con la fuerza del Señor!” (To the battle with the strength of the Lord!) I love the examples in the scriptures of the prophets and youth who trust in the Lord rather than in their own strength. We may be imperfect people, but with the strength of the Lord, we can do–and are doing–incredible things.

This week was really cool because we found two more “news” who are good friends with youth in our ward! We had a short lesson with Javiera, her boyfriend José Manuel, and her cousin Martin on Friday. When we asked why Javiera agreed to meet with us, she said “I like being around Mormons.” She and José have been at several Family Home Evenings with a family in our ward, but this is the first time they’ve had an actual lesson with the missionaries. I’m so excited to teach them!! They’re so honest and open, and I love their questions. It was also fun to show them my pictures from home; they loved the mountains. 😀

None of our investigators came to church on Sunday, but we did have a wonderful miracle: an inactive family came to church for the first time in years!! The dad has been going for a couple months now, but yesterday they all came together. On Saturday we had a lesson with them, and we talked about the Atonement. I shared Alma 7:11-13 and asked what they would be willing to do this week to show Christ that they love him and accept His sacrifice. They all talked about being better with prayer and scripture study, and then I said, “We’d like to make a goal for when we can see the whole family together at church.” They all looked at each other, and to our great surprise, the mom responded, “Let’s go tomorrow.” The first time we met this family, she told us she had absolutely no intention of going back to church. But yesterday she and her daughter thanked us for all we’ve done for her family. It’s a beautiful experience to be part of the changes that the gospel makes in the lives of these people.

I’m out of time, so that’s all for this week! I love you all! I leave you with the same invitation I made that family: As you think about what Christ has done for you, consider one thing you’ll do this week to show Him that you truly love Him and accept His sacrifice. I promise you that you’ll find a wonderful difference in your life as you apply this. I know I have.

Be safe, be smart, be kind. And remember who you are!

Hermana Saunders