Monday, December 5, 2016

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ 11/30/16 ~ I'm a Mission Dad!


Ok welllllll I had an awesome week with Elder Quinto here in Escarcega, Morelos, Libertad, and Division del Norte! Elder Quinto is one of my best friends in the mission and the week went by ridiculously fast. I got to meet someone who makes ice cream cones and it made me feel like i was in the mexican shack version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. He kept speaking in paraboles and it was really funny talking with him because he had reasons for not joining the church and every time i asked him a direct question he answered with a parabole, and for a second I was tempted to laugh as I felt like the scripture when the disciples asked the savior why he always taught in paraboles. I thought man it probably was really confusing for them, I want a straight answer:D

The highlight of the week was definitely seeing a monkey named Max in Division del norte. Elder Quinto and I were just walking in the street and we realized that there was someones pet monkey tied up, and so we contacted to play with the monkey. The lady told us it bites but i won over its friendship, and by the end it was holding my hand, wrapping his tail around my leg, and swinging from Elder Quinto´s rag!
On Sunday it was pretty tiring, but I played the song If the Savior Stood Beside Me in the stake conference to help the choir out, and I couldnt do the whole thing with both hands playing but i still made it sound somewhat decent I hope haha:) We had three sacrament services to attend and i was so ready to hit the bricks that night because i felt exhausted buttttt at 10:15 they gave us the transfer news. Elder Quinto and I were going to Merida leaving at 2:00 am because I am training, and he went to another area. We didnt sleep that night at all, we just packed, showered, ordered some food at 1am, and did a midnight run to the chapel because we had left our suit jackets there!
I am training now, so I am now a mission Dad. My son is from Bolivia, and its a whole different culture and spanish to be honest. It will be a great learning experience for me and if I end up training the whole time of his training I will have around 16 months in the field which is crazzzyyy.
I got the packages and thank you so much!!! i feel spoiled hahaa and now i might need to get rid of some stuff because i have more clothes than Kim Kardashian hahha ok maybe not so much but I am set for a  while now:)
Love you guys a ton and hope you are getting ready to enjoy this Christmas season!!!
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ More Pictures! ~ 11/21/16

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Love Seeing Pics of Our Missionary! ~ 11/21/16

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ 11/21/16 ~ Missionary Style & Birthday Pictures!!

Officially saying goodbye to the teenage years! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE ELDER!

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ 11/14/16 PICTURES! Baptism Day :)

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ 11/21/16 ~ Baptism in Alligator Water!!

Y su compañero Elder??

Well this week was very tiring and full of travels but it was a good week:) We had to travel to campeche yet again for a zone conference and when we came back we came back with Elder Martinez who is my zone leader to do divisiones. We went to Libertad the next day and as we were traveling there we got a phone call from the assistents telling us that Elder Colin had special changes and so we headed back to Escarcega and packed his things up. We left at 5 the next morning on a bus bound for Merida and its like a 6 hour drive.

The good thing about being in Merida is that I got to buy Dairy Queen and it was so good. The Dzul Ek family or in other words Bianca´s family sent a package to the offices with socks, and a belt, and letters for my birthday which was really cool to see. 

My companion is Elder Quinto now officially and we are just one companionship managing four areas. Every person we see asks us, "and your companion elder?" ummm... he is right here next to me. No but like who is your companion? once again... right here next to me.... no but who is going to be your companion so you arent alone... oh my goodness what do you guys understand by the word companion hahahhahahhhaXD Seriously we must have heard that question around 100 times this week no joke and its really really funny. 

We baptized Elizabeth this week, and we went to a lake lagoon place to do it, and almost the entire branch of libertad pooled into the van we rented and we all went together. That was definitely alligator water but I told her that nothing would happen and that there was nothing in the water, but hahahaha it reminded me a lot of Florida. We were going to try to rent a restaurant that has like a coast part of the lagoon but when we went to ask I went with one of my Zone leaders Elder Hanke and I think they got excited to see two gringos because the told us 3000 pesos a la hora, and im thinking thats a no fly zone. We said thanks but no thanks. We found a cool little spot, and it was definitely one of my favorite mission experiences. I went to test the water first and it was deeper than it looked so i got the excuse to take a short swim hahahah:)) it was awesome:))

And yes I am 20. Honestly I think I could say I had a Jehovahs witness birthday because I didnt do anything lol. We had 3 sacrament services because we are helping out all the branches here,and Elder Lambert send me a happy birthday text, and Elder Lopez called me to say happy birthday, oh and a gay guy and a crazy girl from the ward here invited me to eat cheeseburgers last night but hahhaha that is about the extent of what we did:) It was kind of cool though because we got to help confirm Elizabeth as a member of the church yesterday and hear her testimony and gratitude for the Gospel in her life. 

Oh and we also took advantage of the black friday or good weekend here and bought some new shoes and ties to have our companionship Domingazo;)

Love you all, and have a great week!
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ 11/14/16 AND MORE PICS!

A veces se gana... a veces se pierde... y a veces tienes una semana loca:)

Hey everyone!!!!!

So this week was a crazy week! We had an 8 principios meeting in Campeche and we were there for 2 days. It is always super fun to have stuff as a multizone because you get to see so many people and learn so much! I was able to teach the principle of revelation through prayer and it was a great learning experience for me. 

On Friday night we found out that my companion had special changes and was going to go to Progreso, so on Saturday we had to get up at 3:30in the morning to make it to the bus on time. We traveled to campeche once again and now im in a trio with Elder Colin and Elder Quinto! They are awesome and I am still loving life here in Escarcega. We are managing three area and so its a little challenging, and also tomorrow we are headed down to a zone meeting in campeche again so its been really travel heavy.

We had a stake conference on Sunday but it was something that was broadcasted all over mexico and it was interesting to hear Elder Russell M Nelson speak in spanish... it was funny and cool at the same time. Us missionaries in the ward and our ward mission leader sang special musical numbers in between. 

So yes Everyone here does hate Donald Trump, and all that, but its kinda funny. The best was when i heard someone say, ¨lets go¨quiere decir vete a tu pais hahhaha it was great:))

I hope you guys are all doing well and I love you tons!:))

Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ TONS OF PICS!! ~ 11/14/16

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ ONE YEAR, BABY! ~ 11/7/16

Hey everyone! It has officially been one year since I left home. One more time and then its gone.... that is such a weird thought honestly. My district leader bought me pizza on the day i finished one year, and my comp wrote all of the companions i have had on an old white dress shirt I had and we burned it. It was fun.

Ok so unfortunately the flu shot is required in missionary work. On Wednesday we had to go to Campeche to get the flu shot but thankfully this time i didnt get sick afterwards like the last time. It also gave me a chance to buy a gorgeous tie that will be perfect for our 8 principios meeting this week. I have the job of teaching receiving revelation through prayer and I really do love these meetings because we can learn so much. 

This week was super tiring because we traveled almost every single day. It was also a week of bad luck which might have something to do with the fact that i broke the mirror but it might also be coincidence. On Saturday we went to our pueblito of Libertad and when we tried to come home at night there was no transport so we stayed the night there in an extra house of one of the members there. It was good but we got eaten by mosquitos and we had to get up at 5 in the morning to come back to Escarcega and get ready for church at 8:30 and then go back to Libertad at 3. It was a tiring week with not nearly as many fruits as we had hoped to see but we did what we could and at the end the bad luck was funny.... even when the keys were left inside and we couldnt catch a bus back home to save our lives...:)

Ok and my favorite experiences of the week happened with our investigator that speaks english that is like a gangster that is 20... he honestly reminds me a ton of my friend Richard from Orlando. He told me everytime he prays he starts joking around with God because he likes to talk to him like he would talk to his dad here on earth, and then he told me that God is kinda like your Dad mixed with the weed man because its like... I hope he comes through because ive been asking for a lot hahahhahaha He about killed me when he said that, and then proceeded to tell me that sometimes he joked with God so much and then God joked with him too. He had asked us about the gay 15 year member of the branch named Caliche the week before and then when we went to teach him again this is what he tells us... I have been praying to find a girl, you know, the one and so I decided to try to do all i can to find her. So i heard about the family home evening in the church and so i told God, ok the first girl that talks to me there... its her. So i sit there the whole hour of family home evening, and nobody talks to me. They finish with the prayer and still not one girl had talked to me. I started praying and asking God what happened when I hear this feminine voice in my ear.... Hey, Fernando. And he starts to say, yes baby i love you, you are beautiful, and he turns and sees the gay kid Caliche. He then was like ok God I see how it is... you have a sense of humour too. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH awesome missionary experienceXD

Sorry if that was hard to understand... 
Love you all!
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN! ~ 10/31/16

Hi family!!!! This has really been a great week. I am really starting to love what we do. We worked really hard this week but not in a way that like kills you, but in a way that helps you to teach and preach and work as missionaries do. We actually hit over our goal of 50 lessons this week and it payed off. We had 6 investigators in the church and it is really wonderful to see how people progress. 

In our little pueblo we work in of Libertad we have a recently returned missionary who is helping us out a ton and we are really seeing the benefits of working with members. In particular we have a 20 year old guy named Fernando that is from Cancun that we teach that is the funniest guy I have met in the mission. He speaks fluent english and sometimes he accidentally says words in english. He lived in the US for almost his whole life and so he speaks english really well but he lived in Chicago so its like a ghetto english hahah. He told us that he loved being in church and he has never been excited and waiting all week to go there. He said he felt this warm feeling all over and it was like a buzz but better and he hadnt felt that way since he stopped doing drugs and he couldnt wait to feel that way again. He has a lot of funny questions but they come from a sincere desire to learn and he accepts them and loves to improve. The question of the week was our stand on gays. He asked us because he was surprised that we allow one of the youth who is definitely gay, be there in the service. He was like you guys are the greatest church ever you accept everyone. And as fate would have it.... that beforementioned youth spoke on Sunday haha:)

We have an 8 principles meeting in Campeche next week and so I have to present one of the principles which is Revelation through Prayer. Elder Piper is coming the first week of December and so that is another cool meeting that we will be having.

I cant believe that I am coming up this week on my year mark. I have felt this huge desire to study and learn all i can lately and its like unquenchable so i invite everyone to really read their scriptures and get to know them. Its amazing how much they can teach us.

And what has been on mind to share with you family this week are two quotes... first.. come what may and love it. The second... let us oft speak kind words to each other. Food for thought:) 

Love you more than you guys can imagine!!!!:))))) 
Ansley love you tons and I am waiting for you to learn how to email so i can talk with my lil baby genius of a sister;)
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Parangaricutimicuaro ~ 10/24/16

Yeah try to say that one ten times fast. Well family one week down in the new area. We had to go back to Merida on Wednesday and come back on Thursday for Immigration stuff and so I have traveled about 28 hours this week in a bus. That is super tiring even though you dont do anything. The good news is that i could learn that word in the title from my comp and I am trying to practice the whole phrase cuz it is a super hard tongue twister haha.

I really love being here. We go to Libertad on Wednesday and Saturday and there is just this tiny little house of prayer that looks about 2000 years old there, but it was full! There is a missionary who just finished his mission who is from Libertad and he seems like an awesome guy. Everytime he talks to me he speaks in english and its cool to see him practicing. 

On Sunday I got to give a talk two different times... because we attend two different sacrament meetings. We have the first one at 8:30 in the Morelos ward and then we go to Libertad and have sacrament meeting there. We had 4 investigators in sacrament meeting and its really wonderful to see the work here.
Oh and today I had one of my best pday activities.. we went and played pool! I officially feel mexican... I played pool in Campeche, México.

I love you all, and hope everything is going great.
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ TARZAN?? ~ 10/18/16

Hey everyone!!! Sorry for not writing yesterday. I got my transfer call at 10 on sunday night and spent the next two hours packing. The following morning i got up at 5 to get ready and head out early to arrive at the offices because Hermano Cordova brings the missionaries that have transfers there for free. It is way nicer standing in the back of truck with your luggage than trying to figure out how to fit everything in a terrible bus. 

My new area is the farthest area that exists in the mission. I feel like Tarzan... far from civilization. But its actually really awesome!!! Its modern and its basically like a different world. I am in Escarcega, Campeche. I am so far away from my last area that I am actually closer to Guatamala. My companion is Elder Lopez and he is from Durango. He has 22 months in the mission and we actually have a ton in common. He is an awesome guy and I already know I am going to love this change. We have air conditioning in our house and we used it last night and I froze... I am not used to ac. I seriously feel like this might be my favorite area. I saw the beach yesterday from the bus window and its gorgeous and peaceful. This area has bikes too. We have a pueblo named Libertad that we also visit and so we have two different branches that we will be helping. I have also heard that people here own monkeys and sell them as pets.
On Saturday we baptized a young kid named Carlos and his family that hadnt been to church in years came to the service.  I have really seen many blessings from the mission. When I left my area of Kanasin I had the cell phone overloaded with messages from everyone telling me good luck and they will miss me. Bianca is planning on getting sealed with her husband next summer, and I am so excited to be a part of that. 

I dont know much else to write about this area. I am so sad to know the things that are going on with Ansley. I think about and pray for her every single day. Her name has been in temples all around the spanish speaking hemisphere, from Merida, to Ciudad Juarez, to Guatamala. Keep praying hard, and expect miracles. Love you all tons.
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Fun Missionary Pics! ~ 10/18/16

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ The World's Hottest October! ~ 10/10/16

Hey Family!!
This week was a really fast one. One of the blessings that we were able to see this week came as a result of fasting. We were finally able to find and talk again with our investigator Pepe after a month of not seeing him. He has been passing through some hard challenges lately but we went to see him at his house and he couldnt attend us at the moment, but then he called us like 15 mins later and said we could meet at the chapel. We went over the plan of salvation and he is almost intimidating to teach because he is so smart. I told him that we had been fasting for him, and he perked right up and talked up how amazing it is that the bible taught us to fast, long before we knew its health benefits. He told us that his record for fasting is a week.... ummm wow. He said and I quote, ¨Day three you are scratching at the walls, but day 4 you have a perfect clarity of mind and you no longer have hunger.¨ That was a very impressive statement, especially after he explained the science of it all. Very intelligent guy and really wants to learn and progress. 

We have a family of kids that we are teaching... and it keeps growing. We went to visit this group of kids that we are teaching and this time another 10 year old was there and loves it. He is super smart and speaks at the speed of light. He was explaining something about minecraft and my comp jokingly said he didnt understand because we dont know Mayan ¨mission joke¨, and he was like thats fine ill say the word in English. He then proceeded to translate the word ghost and I bust up laughing.. I like smart kids. We put a baptismal date with his cousin for this Saturday so we should have a baptism this week.

This week we also had a very funny lesson with a former Jehova´s witness because when we explained that Jehova is Jesus Christ she started saying oh my gosh thats right, I never had understood that part. 

All is going well here. This is the last week of transfers so we will see if the next pday im in my same area. I have loved being in my area and I am proud to be part Kanasinero;) It is still ridiculously hot all the time, but we happened to find a barber shop with air conditioning today and that was my first hair cut with air conditioning since I left home! I definitely prefer short hair in this climate. 

Love you all!
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Conference Week AND 11 MONTHS!! ~ 10/3/16

This has truly been a great week! My companion and I have been working hard to be more diligent in talking with everyone and we have seen a difference. It really requires you to step out of your comfort zone but it has tangible benefits. 

One of the coolest experiences we had this week was teaching Ernesto, who is the nextdoor neighboor of Bianca. He is 22 years old, and loves the Book of Mormon. After only one visit, he read all of First Nephi, and he was telling us how he didnt understand how Laman and Lemuel were so stubborn! He was like, how are you complaining you guys have seen an angel, why dont you listen to your dad and your brother. It was by far one of my favorite mission experiences.

This week we got to eat Burger King with Yazumi, and the next day chinese food with Nahomi and her family. That was a really good stroke of conference weekend luck!

We watched conference in english and in air conditioning and believe it or not... I was really cold. I think we had the air at like 73 and that felt really good but I definitely felt cold. We had four investigators in the church and they want to get baptized so we are seeing the results of our hard work here. It is weird to think that we only have two more weeks in this transfer, so we will see if I am here to see the baptisms happen:)

I loved the repitition of conference. I know that many of the thoughts that were shared were similar because that is what the church needs at this time. I invite you guys to study the talks again and pay attention to the promptings you receive. 

I miss you guys a ton, and I know that things are hard right now as a family. I know that the Lord will bless us as we faithfully strive to trust in him. I pray for you guys every day and I think the world of you.

Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Pre-Conference Week ~ 9/26/16

This week we had a multizone conference and it was a good but different experience. We now have the rule of not eating sugary cereal, or saying the word like in my mission... ok:P The magic number to be able to baptize every week is 18 new investigators every week, and we should be contacting at least 10 people a day. That means we have lots of work before us but I know that having high goals helps us to progress and to be able to accomplish what we want to in the mission field.
This week was difficult in lots of ways and really good in lots of ways. As much as us missionaries look forward to hearing from our families, and talking with them, I can honestly say seeing your dad`s phone number on the screen unexpectedly is not something one looks forward to. Its kinda one of those phone call at 3 in the morning feelings. It was a very scary thing to hear that your baby sister has cancer. It is not something I would wish on anyone.  In spite of that I have felt peace this week, and I really feel like everything will ok. This was a very neat fasting experience because to be honest I generally dont like fasting in the mission, because its always so hot and we walk a lot and its very hard to run on empty, but this time I was happy to do it, and didnt even notice:) I cant wait to see some of this fasting power in action;) C`mon Ansley kick its butt!
Sunday we got to church a little later than we usually show up, but we happened to get there right as one of the ward missionaries Naomi showed up with not only our investigator of 12 years, but also his two younger cousins. It was such a cool feeling to see a family of kids come to church. They were nervous but had such a good time that they asked us to come visit the house in the afternoon. We ate lunch with Paco and somehow he aquired chex mix and i ate almost the entire bowl it was so good to eat those again.
 We went and visited the kids after and they were all fighting for who could get baptized first. It is a family of some members and some non members that we have been working with since i got to Kanasin. When it was time to go they didnt want me to love, and were asking at first for two more minutes, then till they died, then till the earth ended. It ended up being a tug of war between them and my companion and I was the rope. We had to trick them and then run to get away hahah so that we could make it to the appointment we had afterwards. The appointment we had afterwards was a wonderful family that just recently moved from another ward and are new here. They are originally from Mexico (here that means like distrito federal) and are really a cool group. And they have air conditioning in their house which was like a first for me...:D
I hope everyone is doing well, and preparing for the conference this weekend. I know for sure that I have some questions that I want answers to and so I will be applying the advice of our savior Jesus Christ that is found in 3 Nephi verses 2 and 3. The prophet and apostles are most definitely doing all they can to prepare to receive revelation to give us this week, but the hearer of the word has the same duty as the one who preaches it, to prepare spiritually to be able to receive it. I love you all and although I am very far away from you, my heart is with you guys:)
All my love,
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Y Como Estan Asi? ~ 9/19/16

Hi everyone!! Well this week has been pretty low key and we have had our fair share of sicknesses but it wasnt me this time! My comp got sick and had to go get a shot in the butt at the doctors offices, and on the way there it poured so hard and we got drenched. My pants changed into jeans because they were so wet. When it rains here you can basically see Noah and his ark because it floods.
We did a super cool service project with Bianca´s family making some sort of papermache  movie set. Her brothers in law work with styrofoam to build projects and are contracted everywhere to build stuff, so we went over to help them. They are the other two chel that are with me and Elder Christiansen in the pictures I sent. 
We had a ward talent show night this week, and it was so fun to see all the young kids dressed in traditional mayan clothing and trying their hardest to go and dance. We went with a taxi driver that contacted us, and told us he wanted to change his life. He told us the stuff that have happened to him and man some people have it hard. His family kicked him out, and burned his clothes and he has an addiction to alcohol. He went with us all afternoon to our appointments and stuff as our personal taxi driver just because he wanted to be with us and truly change. He bought us some juice even though he hadnt eaten in like 2 or 3 days. We really dont realize how blessed we are sometimes.
On Friday we had our zone conference and we wore our fake mustaches and yes i bought the biggest sombrero i could find. It was fun except the new rules we have... which include but are not limited to, not eating sugar cereal, and not using the word como unless it is actually needed. That was an interesting zone conference. We had a baptismal interview afterwards, and on Saturday the other elders (our zone leaders) had the baptism for the wife of a member that is no longer living in our area but is one of the coolest guys ever. His name is Amir and he is a stud. His wife is very sweet and has really spiritually progressed since I first met her.
I really do love sundays here, and partially its because I am in air conditioning for three hours, but I also love being in church honestly:)
I hope you guys all have a great week and I love you!
Elder Jordan Saunooke

Elder Jordan Saunooke ~ Independence Day Week ~ 9/12/16

Ok well so the last time we spoke, I was suffering from what I was sure was dengue... it wasnt but it still was a terrible first few days of the week. 
The highlight of my week was definitely yesterday at church, when two of my favorite less active members showed up. I have visited them since I got here, and have tried so hard, so imagine my joy when we passed by their house in the morning and they were actually dressed in white shirt and tie, and dress, and ready to go to church. They sat next to me in gospel principles and the brother Mitchell was like, hey guess what... we have already finished this whole book.. twice. He is hilarious hahahaha.
As we were going to Paco`s house yesterday he starts singing the song Rock of ages, which in spanish is Roca de Eternidad, but he started singing... Ropa de Maternidad.... i love that guy.
There is not really a lot to report on this week, but yesterday we helped some ward members that are in highschool with some homework, and I am so glad to not be in school hahaha and definitely forgot everything.
I really love being here, and time is sure flying by. I really hope to be able to accomplish what our Heavenly Father wants me to do. I have felt a little frustrated that I do not speak fluently yet with almost a year in the mission, but I do understand a lot.... and its a blessing to be able to learn more every day. If you wonder what kind of music we hear besides hymns, it would be the song Ay vamos which is always playing everywhere...hope you guys have a great week!
With love,
El Chel de Kanasin,
Elder Jordan Saunooke