Monday, February 20, 2017


Monday we played basketball for like.. three hours.

<to be honest>

I have never actually played a game of basketball before

I have shot hoops, played pig, and done some dribbling exercises with my dad. 

That's really it.. but lately we've started to play legitimately and I'm not great or even good, but I'm not bad and I'm getting better.

I can relate my basketball story to life.



You only miss the shots you don't take.

You only lose the games you don't play.

You only lose the doors you don't knock

the people you should've and could've talked to. 

You only miss the shots you don't take

It's not about the ones you actually make

But we are promised that if we practice then we will see the fruits

but even if we never did (see the fruits), do we practice for success? Or at least our version of success.

Or do we practice because we love the game, and we love the coach.

So let's all ask ourselves a little question

 shall we?

Am I practicing because it's my duty?

Am I practicing because my family expects it of me and they remind me everyday to practice?

Am I practicing because I don't want to regret it at the end of the day if I don't?

Motivated by guilt, rather than fulfillment?

Am I practicing so that I can get into the NBA and if I can't then I'm never going to touch the ball again?


Am I practicing because I love the game and because I love the coach?


we never see the fruits of our labors.

We never change that young women's life as her teacher. We don't get any credit for our hard work as a CTR 6 primary teacher at church, or our home and visiting teaching efforts are met with rejection and cold response if any response at all. 

Would we still practice?

Do we still practice?


Probably sometimes it's a yes and sometimes it's a no.

But as we continue to do what's right regardless of the outcome and visible worldly success, the Coach has promised that even if we aren't great. Even if we aren't even good.

 We definitely aren't bad, and we will get better.

as we practice.

and that does take work.

We are not saved by works but our works can help the building of the kingdom and they can change us to be more heavenly.

"We are not trying to earn heaven, we are trying to learn heaven."

After all I can do, even if I was an NBA status player, I  could never win a game by myself.

 That would be against the rules of basketball! Plus, my abilities could never be as good as a whole other team against me and brothers and sisters there is a HUGE big bad muscly team against us..

but we have a team working with us. We have the only Coach. We have our Brother who is the MVP every year, we have leaders, home/visiting teachers/prophets/scriptures and more all on our team so that together, we not only CAN

but we will win.

I might not be the greatest missionary, sometimes I'm not even good
(Sister Jamison says she kindly disagrees with that statement^^ she is the sweetest) 

I KNOW however, that I am far from a bad one, and I am getting better.

all the time.

Team Jesus 

before I move on to the things that happened this week I have to mention the fact that I taught some ballet technique with the Elders on Monday.

 It was one of the most hilariously rewarding things I've ever attempted.

Monday night Brother Tews wife was out of town so he had his mom over so that we could be there, and cooked us a bunch of meat for dinner because his wife is not a meat eater.


We had some delicious smoky beef and delicious chicken.

That's it. Just meat. IT was divine.

Brother Tews mom has dementia and she is the sweetest thing, and she asks us where we are from every time we see her and a few times after that during that hour.

Then she tells us where she is from "Santa Ana, you know, where the pool is. I lived right by a pool."

So the family has started to get a little creative when she doesn't remember them.

Grandma Tew-  "Now where are you from?"

Lu-  California

Grandma Tew-  You are kidding. I'm from California!

Lu-  For real? What a coincidence. I'm from Santa Ana. By the pool.

Then she just loses it; she's so excited that someone is from the same place as her, it's so cute. Then about ten minutes later

"Now where are you from?"

she asks again.

Isn't it interesting that we as humans ask that question to build relationships.

Have you ever asked someone having just met them,

 "What are your goals and aspirations for the future?"

NO. Because that'd be weird.

But we almost always ask.

Where are you from.

I'm from West Haven, Utah


It's by Ogden

Ohhhh! Ogden! Yeah I know where that is.


Where are YOU from.

"I lived in heaven a long time ago it is true.."

I am from the tribe of Ephraim and I am one of those mentioned in the Book of Abraham, one of Gods children who fought in the pre-mortal war for agency through the power of Jesus Christ, I helped cast satan out and restore balance to the universe. 

Try that one next time you're asked

"where are you from?"


I shook hands with an apostle of the Lord

One of the 12 sustained around the world as special witnesses of Christ 

I was floating walking up to where he stood shaking the hands of the Florida Tallahassee Missionaries, and I was a little nervous.

Elder Holland said that part of their calling is that they get a five second interview with every person they shake hands with as they look them in the face. They know you.

That. Is a little intimidating.

Well not meaning to, I was standing apparently too far away, as I reached out to shake his hand.

It's not like I was arms length away, just far enough for him to reach out grip my hand to shake it, but then he pulled me a couple of steps closer and looked me right in the eye.

as intimidating as that sounds..

I felt so much peace and love of the Spirit. I saw so much in the expression on his face as I had my own five second interview with Elder Gary Stevenson. 

He said, "Hello Sister Saunders." I said "Hello. It's good to meet you." He said "It is so good to meet you too."

He squeezed my hand and I moved to the next two people in line which also happened to be general authorities.

 The area seventy Elder Parker who I met my first Sunday in Crestview when he surprise visited the ward, and Elder Maynes of the seventy.

They said things like thank you for being here, and thank you for your service.

Then I shook the hands of my dear mission president and his sweet wife.

Now. I don't blame some of you for possibly not understanding the depth of this experience. Nor do I expect you to remotely grasp how truly those 60 seconds meant the world to my life, but let me at least explain the things I felt.

I've been learning more now than ever, the most powerful things we remember are not words said. Not even things done. But they are the feelings we felt when something happened.

I felt close to how I would picture feeling in the presence of Christ, Jesus.

Overwhelmed/inadequate feelings were melted away and replaced with LOVE.

The Spirit testified so sweetly as he bore witness of the importance of his call to be a special witness of Jesus Christ. 

Tears filled his eyes as he bore it, and as he gave us an apostolic blessing.

I know. That I was in the presence of and being taught by a man of God for those precious couple of hours. 

When I went up to sing, I was sanding behind Elder Stevenson with the other 7 people singing Come Thou Fount and I noticed something kind of cool.

He was looking through his preach my gospel and he was flipping through and stopped on a page that had little notes in it, but on one side he had written one very large very bolded word.


As an apostle of God, I am sure he understands that principle. 

And I thought it profound that of all the notes and insights he could have written on the side of the page in the notes section, all that he felt was necessary to write about missions and sharing the gospel on that entire page was 


After the song was over he said:

"Wow. That was beautiful -there are two more verses in that song."

He looked over his shoulder a couple of times and I had to remind myself not to pass out because an apostle was two feet away.

Then we sat down on the front row left side facing the pulpit and what does he do? He comes down and pulls a white board right in front of us and starts teaching. 

Sister J and I were sitting a few feet away from a white board that was being used to teach our entire mission by an apostle.

Did I mention he is an apostle?

What is life. I was just in a bubble of Spirit and love from God.

One of the highlights of this meeting has a backstory.

Last week I found out the sad news that the baptism for the twins in Gulf Breeze that I had permission to attend was postponed because of some trials of faith and trials of love going on in the family.

My heart was broken. 

I'm ashamed to say, after a long depressing conversation with Elders the very next day about how disobedient a lot of missionaries are, and after dwelling on the sad news that I wouldn't be going to Gulf Breeze that week, I felt the d word probably stronger than I have my whole mission.


What even is the point. 

 I was thinking right about then a 24 hour nap and a pity party sounded like a good idea.

But in comp study with Sister Petersen (on an exchange) I opened my Preach My Gospel manual and the first thing I read was this

"You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation. You should not however, become discouraged; Discouragement will weaken your faith. If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit."

I read that to Sister Petersen and she actually thanked me for being discouraged.  

She told me she needed that just as much as I did and I felt a little better about life.

Well guess what... 

Elder Stevenson opened up Preach My Gospel and had us turn there and read that exact part.

And told us to push discouragement out.

A huge highlight of this meeting was when Elder Maynes told us that all the people we teach that are true investigators, searching for truth, are as Joseph Smith in the grove. 

He represents all of the people around the world looking for Christ and questioning what the truth really is.

God the Father and Jesus Christ were the first missionary companionship of this dispensation 

to bring Joseph Smith truth.

 We are walking in their footsteps as we answer the questions of the soul by bringing the Spirit unto the hearts of those we teach and sharing truth.

The Restoration of The Gospel Of Jesus Christ is not an event

 it is still happening and we are still "bringing the world His truth"

It was an amazing time and it was so wonderful to be able to see all of my mission buds there.(well the ones that are still here.. everyone is home practically)


SO fun to see EVERYONE

Crestucky District Reunited plus beautiful Sister Wilde in the background:)

I spoke in church yesterday about the Plan of Salvation, it went well and I loved sharing my testimony with the Crestview second ward. They have become another family to me. I love each one and sitting up there looking around I could pinpoint specific ways each person has impacted my life. 

I'm happy and healthy and meeting so many interesting.... people... everyday and even some interested ones. :) Angelica has committed to be baptized and Q is still getting some things worked out.

He confided in us the other day that he is in a gang... so we showed him a video called "Gang member to "good man" 

but I don't actually think Q is in a gang... like a dangerous one...

Pray for him

Have a fantastic day <3 LOVE YALL SO BIG

Spent lunch on Main...


oh.. I forgot..

Valentines day was amazing I made muffins my mom sent, and we took spiritual messages and valentines to widows in the ward and military wives whose husbands are deployed. 
It was so sweet to see them light up when they answered their doors. <3

Joe bought us a cake for doing family history with him:)

P.S.  Congratulations to my cousins Braden & Haleigh and welcome to the family Beckam! :) 

Make it a great day <3

Sister Saunders

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