Friday, February 12, 2016

Sister Saunders in the Mission Training Center

Blog One (Feb 4, 2016 copy and pasted by Ryanne's mom)                          

  Day One

holy actual cow

I was dropped off YESTERDAY and I didn't look back because I thought of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and decided
that whole turning into salt life is not my style.

I looked forward instead to the work ahead

After those quick hugs and my departure with the kind elder helping me with my bags, I was whisked away to the other side of the building where the elder told me to go inside and that he'd meet me on the other side of the building

I went in and that's when the complete and utter organized chaos began

It was like a Candyland pop-up book

one space forward, and surprise, two steps forward, and here's another book!
walk and surprise, walk and here's a mandatory envelope with your comps name & your room number --more steps and a card you cannot lose or you wont be able to get in buildings
or spend the eight dollars on it you get every week. (yes!!!) 
Side note: all buildings, rooms, corridors, bathrooms, look the exact same.
The moral of the story is this: the first day is not so bad.

The first hour is overwhelming to the max.

My favorite part was the first thing I received and that was my name tag. 


It's legit now. I realize I was set apart beforehand, but that name tag really got me in the heart area.

literally ;)

I wear His name everyday from now on and it feels great.

After that I met my host who helped me to my building and showed me to class where I met my return missionary teachers who were super awesome.  Sister Yorgensen is pregnant, so yay.
 (I feel like I've been here a week)

We then had a meeting where we met our MTC President and him and his wife spoke to us. 

There was a hilarious moment where his wife was speaking and asked if any siblings/twins would stand.

These two super white siblings stood, a boy and a girl, and two very black boys stood from Haiti. 

She then asked if they would point to their sibling so that we would know who belonged in who's family..
(still don't know if she was kidding or not)

as we all looked around and realized those were the only four standing we burst out laughing because it wasn't super difficult to figure that much out;) 

Everyone is so so happy here it's incredible to see all 247 that were new today 
and nothing but smiles all around. 

Fun fact, at the MTC we refer to the Doctrine Of Christ as that, not the Gospel Of Christ.  It means the same thing (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost, and enduring to the end) but it is the Doctrine instead of the Gospel here.  Just incase you future missionaries are super confused on day one -like I totally wasn't ;) as to what the Doctrine of Christ is. 

Also: you know those flip-flops on the packing list they gave me that I wasn't gonna bring? 
Future missionaries. Please. Heed my word. 

one word: bringthem.

enough said. 

Dinner was great, to the volunteers and people slaving over the food here, I'm sorry about the stigma,
ya'll rock in my book. 

Another tidbit: Bella (In Berlin) was right about the sheets smelling like prehistoric elders.
I brought my own sheets.  Thank you Bella! 

I met my zone/district leaders they are awesome. The "investigators" we have been teaching were frustrating some of them, but it made my day to see all of us newbies bearing testimony with happiness on our faces despite what we had done that day, saying goodbye. 

WE ARE SO HAPPY I told the Japanese investigator (we were told some are acting but using real experience, some really aren't members of our church) I said, "The kindness and happiness you noticed from the member friend you have stems from the light of Christ. Most of us in this room left our families today for 18 to 24 months and look around, we are so happy to be here with you.  It sounds crazy, but it's true.  The doctrine of Christ is the source of this happiness, and we want to share that with you."

I believe it just as much now as I did that first day.

One of my fave things about day one

wearing the bright orange "dork dot" that tells everyone you're new

was yelled in my face more than several times in several different languages the whole day. 

LOL.. sorry I don't know how to check the mail yet. I'll figure it out before I leave on the 16th.

Some interesting news, most of the missionaries in my room/district of six girls four boys come home the 2nd, 8th, or 15th of August 2017 and I don't come home until the 22 of August.

They said it's because God needs me more, I joked and said it's because it's going to take me longer to be a good missionary. 

JK but it's good news, I'll be glad for the extended period when I get there. 


I didn't get my earplugs out last night because everyone seemed fine, unfortunately I should have broken them out.
There was a couple of break downs and sisters crying.  It broke my heart but strengthened me to see the sister bounce back this morning with a bright smile and a desire to work. 

Well, things are great here in the land of the Missionary Training Center. 

I LOVE YOU ALL so so much.

Love, Sista Saunders <3

Make it a good day :)

Blog Two (Feb 11, 2016)            Today Felt Like a Week

I have heard to be sure

that days on the mission feel like weeks

and weeks feel like days.

Interpret that how you want

but how I interpreted this was by thinking the days were going to feel long because they were hard.

What I mean is, the opposite to

"time flies when you're having fun"

that only makes sense

I thought the mission time wouldn't be flying because it would be no fun at all


was I wrong!

Disclaimer: everyone is different which is why people are interesting

but this is my experience


it is totes true

the days feel like weeks! 

more truth

it's in the best way

time ain't flyin'

but I AM having fun


I feel JOY

I have come to know that the reason these days feel so ridiculously long
(the first few days feel like literal eternity)

longest fetching days of my life

it's not because I retire to bed at 10:30 and rise at 6:30 

It's because

now pay attention

I am growing spiritually in one hour here, one hour, more than I would an entire week anywhere but here. Maybe even a month.

That's the legit truth!  
I'm not used to this rapid roller coaster of emotions and work, the result is
a rapid progression to who I need to be to carry out His work for His children.

So yeah.

-a day feels like a week-

Isn't it great? :)

I've also realized how unprepared I was. Mission prep needs to pattern the training after the MTC. I thought mission prep was prepping me and I suppose it was but not the extent that I needed.  
Sounds harsh. But literally, the training here is way different, and why is that? I don't know.  

(but I'll get off my soap box now)

Funny story, my childhood bud Elder Banta got reprimanded yesterday by a Samoan missionary. I don't know what was said but it was hilarious because I think it's because he was talking to me one on one in the cafeteria for so long. People were watching and I almost died laughing bc:

News for the Samoan: no we aren't flirting we are childhood buds and he's like my brother 
and also we're missionaries so.. no.  

Selfie with Elder Banta

I also see Sister Linford a lot (fellow silver wolf graduate of 2k15) but no one accuses us of talking too long so all is well in zion. 

Brother Glazier 
one of the directors of a new teaching curriculum being implemented here as of the day I arrived
taught us on Friday and something he said really made it's way directly to my soul.

Jesus Christ loves you. 
I tried to listen to him from an investigators perspective.
Jesus Christ loves you. He is grateful for your actions, for your service, especially because many of you did a lot to get here. 
and I'm not talking about the drive.

I actually shed a tear for the first time since being here because I related to what he was saying, and I felt the Saviors personal. Infinite. Love.

I also listened to part of a talk by Elder Holland he said "If you're teaching in Tokyo, or Tallahassee" and I had to smile bc. Holland, and Tallahassee. Booyah. 

Next item of business. aka fun facts/testimony builders pertaining to the life of Sister Saunders

EVERY 20 to 30 minutes
a session is done
in all 149 temples of the world

all day long
5 days a week

and the missionaries are prayed for at each one

all day long
5 days a week


Every Thursday the prophet and apostles meet in the upper rooms of the temple in part to pray for the missionaries

How humbling is that? 


My MTC District~ the district to trump all districts!

Sister Pete and Elder Saunders and I have SO MUCH HELP!

Elder Saunders in Honduras
Sister Peterson (Pete) in Washington

because we need it to help others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end.

There is such a powerful feeling here amongst my fellow representatives of Christ.

It truly is as if He is in each one of us, and we are in Him.

My teacher Sister Yorgensen told a story: before her mission she used to work in the cafeteria here at the MTC.   She was here way early preparing things and she said without fail before every meal she would be putting knives in the bin or, refilling napkins and a strong spirit of peace would fill her heart. 
She said something was suddenly different. 
She would look up, and the missionaries would be walking in to get their meal. 

I feel that peace. I feel the love. 
The MTC is one of the greatest places on Earth, the ground is dedicated, it's an extension of the temple, and the Elders and Sisters are set apart to be representatives of Jesus Christ.


For the first time in my life, my purpose is His purpose completely and we are one.

Am I great at this or even good at it?

no. but I will be.

I have faith that the Lord qualifies his servants so here I am!!
He will help me raise the bar that has been raised.

So for those of you that have kindly asked me how I'm doing

I have authority
I have help
I have Him

How could I not excel? 

There is no answer to that my friends.

It makes me want to do a jig. I think I will.

I have been assigned to be the Sister Training Leader of our zone. (My comp and I)

Did I mention how much I love my companion? and my room of 5 sisters????  Seriously.. I love them so much I feel I have known them all my life.
All five of us are headed to Tallahassee so we get to fly together 


Anyway  I was assigned a week ago as a Sister Training Leader and last night a fresh batch
of missionaries rolled in and I got to orientate them. 
My comp and I gave a tour and explained mission rules to 25 new elders and sisters; it was a blast!

Highlight of yesterday: Sister Anderson (my comp) told me she overheard two of the newbies conversation and one of them whispered to her comp "I love them." THEY LOVE US
and we love them. It's like I went from a Beehive to a Laurel in one week. LOVE IT. 

Funny moment: A couple of elders recognized me from Missionaries Coming Soon.. 
they approached me and said "are you sister Saunders?"
 "Oh my gosh it is her! Wait, you're going to Florida right?"
 "I think I followed you on instagram!!"
 "Ohhhh yeah.. you did I remember!?" ;)

"Bye, next time I write I will be in Florida, tell everyone I love them!"

Make It a Good Day :)