Monday, March 6, 2017


Well here I am in the Crestview Family History Center crying

no big deal

yeah there are ups and downs of being a missionary

there are ups and downs in life

momma Jamison had it right when she said life is a roller coaster

well right now I am on the highest high I could have and the weirdest low

I am crying 

have been since I told Ashley I was leaving and she yelled at me and all but cussed me out because she's so mad. But she was crying so I think that means there's a teddy bear in there somewhere. ;)

Elder Nunez said this was going to be his weekly email:

"Sister Saunders is leaving Crestview District and it sucks. Have a good week. -ElderNunez"

I absolutely LOVE Crestview

I love the people

I love their southern accents

the fishin' folks

the hunters

the guns

the deep fried everything

the politics

the football fans

the church goers

the great and spacious buildings

the ward.

oh my goodness.

this ward.

oh my heart. oh my heart. 

There are way too many words to express how I feel but there are a couple of experiences I have to talk about in order to get along.

Some very sacred experiences happened this week.

One in particular, I will tell ya'll about when I'm home because I honestly don't feel like now is the right time. I wrote about this miracle in my journal for about an hour one night, I went to bed late because I knew God wanted me to have it in writing. 

The reason I even mention it now, is so I will remember to tell you later. If you ask, and if the setting is right I will gladly share because I believe God has allowed me to experience the many things I have to be able to help His other children when He tells me to. Whether or not they are miracles, or tripping on my face because I make a mistake, knowledge is for us to help others.

I bore testimony about that on Sunday. How lucky am I that I am able to bear my testimony in this ward I love a couple of days before leaving. 
"I know that our Father in Heaven answers our prayers many different ways, but most often He answers prayers through people. I want you to know, all of you, in more ways than you can imagine, you have been the answers to some of my deepest most sincere prayers. Thank you."

Oh yeah. I should mention why I am sitting here listening to efy (Especially For Youth) songs and crying.

I am being TRANSFERED 

feel free to listen to the new efy album free!  
most especially "Thy Will Be Done" if you'd like to feel the feels with me

I have been on a mission for.. just over a year. I have been so blessed to be able to serve in only two areas. 

This is a TM. (tender mercy)

*last week at the Shaws home for dinner one of my favorite humans Brother Shaw who lives with his adorable wife in the middle of nowhere backwoods of Laurel Hill Florida

"We got ourselves a TM"

tender mercy.

The reason this is such a tender mercy to me that I have been in just Gulf Breeze and Crestview and each for a long time, is because Heavenly Father knows that my love language is Quality Time. 

(Comes in handy with the whole companion situation.)

I show love, and receive love the best, by spending Quality Time with people.

I NEED that kind of time to build relationships of trust and love with people and that's exactly what I have been able to do in each area because I have been blessed with time. Time to love.

I love these wonderful people.

I love my companion(s)

I love my greenie who is currently in the MTC

that's right :)

I am training a brand new missionary again!!!

I am so excited to train. I love the light and love for the work that comes straight out of the Missionary Training Center, the faith, and the miracles that God shows these precious new disciples of Christ so that they will have what they need to keep them fired up and pressing forward through the mourning period.

I am going to learn so much from her.

about myself and about Jesus Christ

I am white wash training in Brewton, Alabama which is only an hour north of Gulf Breeze

hahaha my three areas make a cute little triangle

I'm going back to the Pensacola Stake/Zone


I will love Brewton

I already know it will be a challenge, especially because Brewton hasn't had full attention from missionaries for a couple of transfers. So I will basically be opening this area.

Faith. I feel my faith growing already. I love. it. 

I love being a missionary.

You always wonder if you are really making a dent. As much as others might see it, or tell you about it, for some reason it can be hard to fully grasp what you have really done until you are gone, or going to leave.

Well a wave of humility and realization for what I have done for Crestview hit me yesterday. All. Day.

It has been obvious for the most part what Crestview has done FOR ME mostly the whole time I have been here (7.5 months)

but it has been very murky as to what I may have accomplished for these people.

Well yesterday at church, testimony meeting started with Brother Howe breaking the news to the ward that I would be leaving followed by tears. Straight tears at the pulpit and on the fourth row left side of the congregation where I was balling as people continued to get up and bear their testimonies with tears because "Sister Saunders is leaving."

"We will miss her very much. There are many missionaries that go through here, but she is special."

"I hate that Sister Saunders is leaving. She is such a sweet spirit, she is so kind and has inspired me. I haven't bore my testimony for many years, I have felt like I needed to, but today I'm up here."

Beth and Maren two little girls wrote me cute notes saying "We miss you already" and passed them up during the meeting

 AND we had two investigators at church for the first time since I've been in Crestview

then little Jackson Hart, ten years old got up

"I know that the Savior comforts us when we are down. Because of what He did for us, we can be lifted. Sister Saunders is a good example of that and I'm thankful for her."

Madison Corbin bore a powerful testimony, Sister Amanda Fetters blew me away.

Their testimonies of Christ. Wow. 

These people are STRONG

Brother Tew got up and said he is thankful for the Langston, Saunders, Jamison, and Wood families in Utah that allowed their kids to come to the Crestview Second ward. Then he quoted what I have made my motto here "Just keep knocking" because I had told him about the time the Spirit told me to keep knocking when someone didn't come to the door, so I knocked constantly until a man finally answered the door to get me to shut up and we ended up teaching him on his porch. 

Sister Ferris has been signing up to feed us like crazy because she had intuition that I was leaving. I LOVE HER. 


Sister Miller cried and cried, The RS president cried and told me "There are people waiting for you in Brewton." The Spirit touched my heart and I cried some more.

Then Sister Hart hugged me SO tight and just started to sob. So I did too.



lots of tears okay don't judge

"Cowboy Up"


This week was awesome. We had a Zone training where we trained on the importance of having faith, how to work hard, and it went really well.

I have to admit, I will not miss spending time planning for those trainings, nor will I miss teaching forty missionaries things that they are probs old pros at. 

It DID take me out of my comfort zone however, and now giving talks in Sacrament meeting at church is like a walk in the park so I am grateful for that and how much I have learned from the Sisters I served in the Fort Walton Zone.

Crestview has built me in so many ways. I feel like a pile of sand that was shaped into something beautiful in Gulf Breeze, then in Crestview I was torched into a solid glass work of art, left to be painted and better used in Brewton. I pray I stay in Brewton the rest of the MISH

I can honestly say I love both of my areas thus far equally which is something I am grateful for, they have both been incredible. I LOVE being a missionary and I cannot fathom my life without these people. Not for half of a second.

My last week here has been SO killer like... whale status

Wednesday we had a fish fry cookout at the Steele's because we had to eat the fish we caught of course!! 

Deep fried Brim/Catfish
Fried Zucchini
Nanner Puddin'
Cheese Grits
Fried Taters
Hush Puppies
Chocolate Cake 


now THAT'S how you fry out 

also took bunches of pics with Clyde the donkey which was one for the books


Ashley took us to Cracker Barrel. Not looking forward to that goodbye. 


We had a miracle moment one night we knocked on a door that we thought was another family, and a guy opened it up, let us in, and we taught his girlfriend and him the restoration of the gospel. It was so amazing. The Spirit was there, they asked many questions, and we taught them again a few days later. Looking forward to hearing how that goes from this point on.

This just in. I just received a call from a Sister who had been working in Brewton. I will be covering TEN cities. 

Lots of time spent in the car eating on the road and working in ten little Alabama towns.



Lower Alabama is the place to go

I'm happy to have the chance to serve there because so many of my kin folk are from there.
My great-grandma was born in Decatur, Alabama.

Evelyn Louise Burleson Wilkinson aka Honey

I want you all to know that I know that there was a preexistence where we met people, we gained relationships with people, made people promises that we didn't even know if we could keep.

We meet people all of the time here that we knew before this life and yet there are still a select few that we will ever have the pleasure of knowing without the slightest doubt in our minds that we knew them before the veil of forgetfulness. That we were very close. That we made promises to them, we didn't really understand if or how we would keep these promises. But we had faith that when we met them, and we knew we would, that we would. know. not necessarily who they are, but that they are someone that we used to know very. well. 

I have met one of those here in Crestview. She lives in a tent. She has a bike I found out when I sat by her at the soup kitchen. It's the same lady I talked about a few weeks ago. The spiritual experience I had was at that table in the corner feeling Gods love for her. I'm excited to share this conversation when I am home.

At the end of it, she had her hand clasped to the side of my head, tears hitting the ground, and she said
"You are an angel. You are my angel."

I then told her that she is in fact mine. I promised her that she has changed my life, and that through the atonement of Jesus Christ she can be made whole.

God has promised in Doctrine and Covenants

"mine angels round about you to bear you up"

I know that is true. I feel my Grandpa Lyle walk with me as I walk with the Savior.

I know this work is real. That He is the center of all. That our paths though different, lead us to Him and if we let Him, if we love Him, we. will. be. whole. 

-Sister Saunders

I <3 Sister Jamison


Crestucky. I. Love. You. 




Paul, Paula and Sweetie came to say Hi:)