Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pictures September 29, 2014

When in Spain you've got to love Catholicism!

My roommate from BYU, Katrisa!
 She is in the CCM and is headed to Barcelona to serve.

I love the Madrid temple

September 29, 2014 Letter

Hellloooo Familia!!!

This week was SO much better than last week! Ok so last week was fine, I guess, but this week definitely got a whole lot better and I´m determined to make the next week better, too! To answer your questions first, though...

  Spain is definitely my kind of place! The weather has cooled down a TON (thank goodness). We have actually started wearing cardigans and jackets and I love it!! The trees have yet to change but I´m excited for that. Fall is in the air and it´s awesome!

Oh also I wanted to mention that I got Jake´s typed email about Mac and Cheese and I laughed for a solid 10 minutes and then periodically for days after that. He´s so cute. "Ok I have to go eat my mac and cheese now! I miss you have a good week!". Classic. I´m keeping that forever and then when he´s on a mission I´ll have my kids write him the same sort of things. :) I´m excited to get the rest of the letters! They make my week! Hopefully you will get mine soon.

This week was super awesome. A lot of work with our same investigators and some work with some new ones, as well! So life is good! V. is doing super well spiritually. He asks every single day when he can be baptized. The only problem is that President told us that he needs to be temporally self-sufficient before he can get baptized. So that is taking some work. But we have complete faith that everything is going to be alright! He has almost been taught everything and then we think we´re just going to keep going through all of the lessons until he is on his feet and we can baptize him. He´s super excited for General Conference this weekend (as we all are). We get to go with all of our investigators to Pavones (where the temple is) and watch all of the sessions there. Everyone is really excited! I can´t wait. Rumor has it that we get to watch it in English, so that will be AWESOME. There is a lady that lives in our ward boundaries but actually goes to a different ward (no idea why) who is from Romania. We got in touch with her and she offered to let us bring him over to have a lesson with her! When we were there she realized he didn´t have a home and she offered to let him stay in an extra room that they have there for a couple nights. It was such a HUGE blessing. He hadn´t slept in three days at that point and he was just so happy to have a place to shower and sleep. We´re praying that he can find a more permanent situation, so we´ll see how that goes.

 There was a concert last night in Pavones that a senior couple put on as their farewell. We were all invited to come as long as we brought investigators or recent converts. So we brought V. and K. and they LOVED it. It made both of them so happy. V.´s face when he saw the temple for the first time in real life was so awesome. We started talking about the temple with him this week and he is SO excited to go through for the first time. Seeing it for the first time was so incredible for him, it was fun to see. He just kept saying "Gracias por todo. Gracias por todo". He was so in awe. Made me realize what a huge blessing the temple really is for us. And to have 15 in the state of Utah alone?? Incredible. I love the Madrid Temple, though. It´s so beautiful. I´m looking forward to the day when I recieve an email from V. after he goes through for the first time. It´s going to be a huge day for me and Hermana Fuller (and for him, of course).

We had the FUNNIEST thing happen- it was so cute and so funny and just made me happy. So C. and V. know each other a bit. They´ve both been to Noche de Hogar together and church and everything, and we´ve had lessons with both of them there, so they´re starting to become friends. It´s cute because C. just really wants to help V. out. He´s always coming up with ideas that we could do with him. Once, this was his idea- "So I have a group of gays (I think he meant a group of friends that were all gay. But that´s how he phrased it). So what if we had them run an auction so that everybody could bring all their stuff and sell it and then all that money could go to buying Valentin a costume! Then he could wear the costume in Reterio Park and everybody could give him money and that could be his job.".... Seriously have no idea how he strung all those thoughts together into one grand service idea, but that is basically C. in a nutshell. So the other day I guess C. was on the street and ordered some churros and coffee (a really common thing to eat here). He went to eat it and then remembered that he couldn´t, in fact, drink coffee, and was super bummed but was being loyal to God so he stuck with his guns and didn´t drink it. Then, he looked down the street and just happened to see V., sitting on a bench. So he thought to himself, "Hey, I have a chance to help him out!" because C. is a bit of a sweetheart. So he gave V. the coffee and walked away. Then V., also living the Word of Wisdom and being loyal to God, just kind of sat there and stared at the coffee and eventually, once C. was out of sight, just threw it away. They told us the story together and we were laughing so hard. Our two cute investigators, being so faithful and so kind and so confused.. I love it.

This week we saw miracles and I can feel my faith in Jesus Christ growing every single day. I trust in Him and His plan for me, as well as for my investigators. It´s incredible to see how the Atonement literally changes people´s lives. Mosiah 2:41 has been my favorite scripture lately. It just applies so much to all the people that I am working with. I love this chance to be in Spain. Spanish is still so hard and I´m exhausted every single morning when I wake up to the time that I go to bed, but I know that it´s worth it. Every day my goal is to focus on being a disciple of Jesus Christ and doing what He would do. I am His representative to these people, and as huge and as scary as that is, He helps me every day. I want to be like Peter. There is a really good talk that I want you to go find, it´s called "Doubt Not, Fear Not" by President Uctdorf. I watched it this week at a Zone Meeting and it was INSPIRING. Talks a lot about the apostle Peter. Go and read it and then you´ll understand- I WANT TO BE LIKE PETER. :) Oh, and I had a thought this morning- I think that if you guys, as a family, were to buy a Preach My Gospel and start studying from it every day, that would be SO cool. It has strengthened my testimony so much. I think that every member should have and study from one. It just helps the Gospel become something simple and understandable, as well as deep and beautiful and profound. So that´s my Seegmiller family challenge this week. :) I love you all sooooo much!! I miss you and I wish you were here! Life sounds like it´s going great. Tell the fam (extended) that I love them and that I´m excited to see Jami´s baby (in pictures, naturally).

Love you all!

Love, Sam

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pictures September 22, 2015

September 22, 2014 Letter/ A game of Rumpelstiltskin

 I actually had a really funny experience this week. We teach a recent convert named R. once a week. He is older but he lives with his mom because she´s really sick and he takes care of his nephew Ismael, who I think is about 6. Ismael is crazy and loves me, which is really fun because I love him too. So the way the lessons usually go- Hermana Fuller teaches and I keep Ismael entertained. This week, he wanted me to read him stories out of his Spanish Kid´s Bible and also do flashcards with him. It was hilarious and humbling- he was correcting me on my Spanish. Everytime I made a mistake, he thought it was the greatest thing, he would just laugh and laugh. Little kids are great in that way, they don´t care at all that you can´t speak and they aren´t afraid to laugh at you. It´s hilarious. At one point, his grandma tried to tell him to put the flashcards away because I think she felt a little bad that he was distracting me so much, but I just told her "He´s actually helping me a lot!". I love that little kid! He´s one of my best buds in Barrio 2. :)

 C. is doing great! He committed to living the Word of Wisdom and he´s actually doing it! It´s such a miracle. That kid... he´s a weirdo but he never ceases to surprise us. We actually were able to get him to committ to living the law of chastity, too, which was an even bigger miracle. We´ll see how that goes. He came with us to a lesson after we finished teaching him. We met this old woman on the street last week and helped her carry her bags back to her piso. She was so sweet and really wanted us to come back. So we came back with C. yesterday and quickly realized that she is definitely not all the way there.. it was the funniest, sweetest lesson we´ve had, probably. She let us talk and try to teach her about the lesson, but she just kept saying how worried she was about her grandchild that was sick. So we stopped the lesson and offered to say a prayer for him. She agreed and we asked what his name was so that we could pray for him, and she sat there for a second and then said "I don´t remember! How embarrassing, I just don´t remember!" She was so concerned that she couldn´t remember her grandchild´s name. So we sat there with her for like 15 minutes, thinking of all the Spanish names we could and suggesting them to her so that she could remember her grandson´s name... we never guessed it right and she never remembered. So we ended up just saying the prayer without a name. C. and I kept making eye contact and we could not hold it together... I was laughing into my hands and he was covering his face with his backpack in order to muffle his laughter. I felt bad but she didn´t notice at all. Wow. It was so, so funny. Anyways.

Sounds like everyone has been doing good! I have been too! This week was hard and I missed you guys a lot, but I really learned that the Lord will get us through our hardest times, if we just trust in and pray to Him! He answers prayers. I love you guys sooo much! I wrote a lot more in the mega letter that is coming your way, so hopefully you´ll get that this week. Keep my investigators in my prayers and know that they hear a lot about you, too! Life is good! Spain is grand! Have a great week!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Pictures September 15, 2014

My new pixie cut!!

With V. and Sister Fuller

Excerpts from September 15, 2014 Letter

Well my week was the best week I´ve had so far! It was the last week of the transfer and we definitely didn´t crawl to the finish line, we raced! We had such a successful, happy week this week. I loved it so much. 

Later that day we had our first lesson with V.! He came to church and Noche de Hogar last week, but I was a little bit nervous to start teaching him because I didn´t know how much he would undertand or even like the lessons.  But mom, he LOVED it. Holiene. He loved it so much. We have all the folletos in Romanian (we haven´t been able to find a Book of Mormon yet, but hopefully we will this week), so we read them with him, us in Spanish and him in Romanian. He LOVES it. Loves the Gospel. We talked to him about God and Jesus Christ and how they are our family and how them love us. We also talked about how we can see our families again after this life, which he just loved. Both of his parents are dead and it really affects him, I think. But he understands now that he can see them again, and that just made him so happy. We asked him if he would like to be baptized and he immediately started crying. He wants it so bad! We gave him a fecha and he´s planning on baptism on the 18th of Octubre. If we can get him into the waters of baptism sooner than that, we will, but for now, that´s his goal. Since then we´ve finished teaching the first lesson and he just loves it. He always tells us that he feels emotion in his heart, in his very broken Spanish. But he just loves it. He cries during every lesson, and Hermana Fuller and I cry too. He´s our miracle here. He´s trying so hard to find a job, he only has one pair of clothes, and sometimes he has to sleep at the park because there is no where else to go for him. But I think finding us and finding the Church has been his miracle, too. He came to Noche de Hogar again on Saturday and we gave him a little picture of Jesus and wrote him a note about how we loved him and we are grateful to be his friends. When Hermana Fuller gave it to him he almost started crying and said "Nobody has given me a gift like this before." Like, it was just a dumb little note and a picture of Jesus, but it meant so much to him. He´s had such a hard life- it´s so humbling to hear about what he goes through on a daily basis. On Sunday we were planning to meet him where we usually do and walk to the capilla with him for church, but he wasn´t there. So we ended up just leaving so we wouldn´t be late, and we were kinda worried about him. But he showed up after Sacrament meeting and stayed the whole time! It was just so cool- we´ve talked about him a lot as a companionship and we both feel like he loves us and the other missionaries, but he LOVES church as well. He doesn´t just come because we are there, he comes because he feels something there. And that is so special to see. So V. He´s amazing. I´m attaching a picture of him at the bottom! 

On Thursday, I went on splits for the first time ever! Hermana Fuller went to Barrio 6 and the Hermana Training Leader, Hermana Hadley, came and stayed with me. We had three appointments and correlacion, which is where we meet with the ward mission leader and tell him all about our investigators and how we are doing that week. So it was my job to know where to go for all of the appointments and to do correlacion all by myself, since obviously, Hermana Hadley doesn´t know any of our investigators. I did it! I did it all by myself, all in Spanish, and I found all the of the investigator´s houses AND I lead all the lessons. It was such a miracle. I didn´t think I was going to be able to speak that much Spanish but I totally did. Hermana Hadley told me that she was super impressed with me. She said that she would have never guessed I was in my first transfer if she didn´t already know, based on how well I did with my Spanish and with teaching and with everything. She taught me a lot and it was a super good experience! I was grateful to get Fuller back, but now I know that when she leaves in 6 weeks, I will be able to do this without her. It was such a boost of confidence! I still have sooooooo much to work on and to learn out here, with language, missionary work, EVERYTHING, but I know that as long as I work super hard and rely on the Spirit, I´ll be just fine! 

On Saturday, as you can see by the pictures, I cut all my hair off. I officially have a true pixie cut and I actually am in love with it. Short hair trumps long hair and it feels so good to have it cut!! Anyways,  back to missionary work update. 

On Saturday, we also found out about transfers and everything. I was so scared that Hermana Fuller would get transferred but she wasn´t! Our whole district is the same except for Elder Diaz leaving to Barrio 4. So all is well. Yesterday we have FIVE investigators at church. FIVE INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH. It was the coolest, best thing ever. I was so excited about it. K. is still coming every week, V., N. (our little girl that we teach), W. and J.L. came! We found a member with a car that was willing to pick him up and he picked him up and he CAME!! It was so great and he LOVED it. He came up to us after Priesthood and asked us what a priesthood blessing was and how he could get one for his health. It was so cool. So that night, in our weekly Sunday lessons with them, we brought Elders Lloyd and Elder Nash with us and they gave both the JL's blessings. It was so spiritual and really amazing. They blessed them with the health and strength to be able to keep coming to church and to be able to follow Jesus Christ. Ahh. So cool. They loved it and J.L. #1 loved Church and they invited us to come eat with them next Sunday. So that will be really fun. They make me SO HAPPY every week we get to see them. So yeah! That basically sums up my week, and the end of my first transfer in the mission field!! So awesome. 

I´m doing really well! I miss home a lot and sometimes it feels like I can´t do this for another year and a half, but then a miracle happens and I remember how cool it is that I´m out here and how important this work is. My companion and I have so much fun while working super hard and being really focused. I´m so grateful for how good of friends we have become. Spanish is still coming, slowly but surely, and I´m starting to feel a lot more confident when I speak and I am able to understand a lot more. Reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish every day helps so much. I´m on track to finish by Christmas! I love you guys all so much! Fall is coming in and that makes me miss the pretty Utah mountains and all the leaves and trees and beauty. But Spain is beautiful too, in it´s own way. I love it here, so much. I feel so blessed. I am so blessed! Being able to share the Gospel with other people in this beautiful place in this beautiful language- it´s a really huge blessing. Onto the best transfer EVER!! Can´t wait!! I love you all so much!! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pictures September 8, 2014

Picnic with Hermana Fuller for medio dia

Our friend R.

Dos J.L.'s

Excerpts from September 8, 2014 letter

 Well, this week was super awesome! Probably the best week that I´ve had since getting out to the field. We actually made that our goal when we were planning for the last week- we wrote BEST WEEK EVER above our weekly goals so that we would have to live up to it. It worked! So on Tuesday we had a pretty normal day. We work with a lot of menos activas and conversos recientes, which is super good and something that I really love doing. 

Los J. L. are doing GREAT! They love the Book of Mormon. J. L. #1 said that he feels something in his heart everytime he reads it, which is so beautiful. The hardest things with them will be finding someone that can pick them up and drive them to church (nobody has cars here), helping them quite smoking, and also helping them see that believing in the Saint is not a part of the Gospel. But they love us, they love the Book of Mormon, and they both know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. So that´s going so well. 

Ok, I saved the best for last this week! We had a miracle in the form of a homeless Romanian guy. His name is V. and we met him on a bench last week. He speaks hardly any Spanish, but we talked to him anyways and managed to set up another cita with him, on that same bench. Thing is, though, is that we then had something with the Ward get planned at the last minute on that same day at the same time, so we couldn´t meet with him. But then, walking home from futbol the other day, we ran into him again! We apologized for not being able to come and invited him to come to Noche de Hogar with us that night. He came! He came to both English class and Noche de Hogar and LOVED IT. He´s 25 and he´s recently homeless. I´ll explain. From what little we could understand and what little he could say, it turns out that his whole family was killed in Romania, and he moved to Spain to a) save his life and b) find work. He can´t find work, is the problem. His friends with an apartment disappeared so he now has nowhere to live but the streets. He´s so shy and so, so nice. We ended up buying him dinner with the Elders after Noche de Hogar and he was so grateful. I think it was the first food he had had for awhile. He came to church with us on Sunday and stayed the whole three hours and we have another cita with him on Tuesday of this week. He loves us, and the Elders. He feels like we´re his friends, and you can tell that he´s just so grateful for it, because he´s alone right now. Completely alone. So pray for V! There´s a member in our ward from Romania that speaks Spanish and English, so she´s going to be helping us teach him. He´s amazing and this Gospel is going to change is life. I´m so excited to see where he continues to go in his life, hopefully we can help him get back on his feet, a little bit. 

Spain is my favorite place ever! I kept having moments this week where it would just hit me that I´m a missionary for La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias in Madrid Spain and it just gives me the chills every single time. I love it. I´m starting to feel at home here in Metro Stop Quintana. I love my life and I really just love this Gospel. This week I learned a lot about the life of Joseph Smith and about the Book of Mormon, just by reading it in Spanish more and more. I love the Prophet Joseph. I´m so grateful that we have a way to know whether or not he was a prophet of God, and that evidence is something that we can hold in our hands and close to our hearts. I love the Book of Mormon. I really do. It answers every concern that an investigator could have. It´s pretty incredible. It´s just the best work ever and I am so blessed to be a part of it. 


Excerpts from September 1, 2014 letter

      Spain NEEDS the Gospel. So much. Everyone has given up on this little country. People don´t think it´s in their power to change anything, education is a joke, and what little religion they hold on too is slowly dying. It´s really sad. The biggest light that I see here is the youth of the Church. I love the youth in our ward so, so much. They´re the ones that I feel like I´ve been able to help and work with the most. I think that the Gospel, along with people working hard and believing in themselves and the power that they could hold, is the only hope that Spain has. And people are starting to realize that, too! The Gospel is definitely growing here. It´s really amazing to see. I´m so grateful to be in this beautiful place. I love the people here- it´s so incredibly diverse. Like, so diverse. We meet South Americans from every South American country that you could ever think of, Spaniards, Africans, Muslims, French people and even a few Americans, here and there. It´s incredible. And I love sharing the Gospel with them! They love it. Even if they don´t accept it, they love the light that it brings. 

Another favorite part of this week has been los J. L. They´re these two, extremely old Spanish men that we teach ever Sunday night. They´re best friends and live across the hall from each other and they LOVE our visits and what we teach them! They´re so funny. I´ve started to be able to talk more and more in the weeks that have passed, and they´re so funny. They never understand me, but they try super hard. And they just love it. They love the Virigin Mary (super Catholic, los dos) but now they also love the Book of Mormon. They´re just so cool. They make me happy. 

This week we had my first ever Zone Meeting! It was a couple different zones, and the APs and President and Sister Jackson gave talks. I played the piano, which was really awesome. I love playing the hymns at this point in my life, because it´s all I ever play anymore. I´m starting to forget them in English.. I think they´re prettier in Spanish. At the conference I got all the postcards, which was SO awesome. I was by far the missionary with the most mail. It made me so happy! So thank you for that! We´re only allowed to write letters on P-days and p-days go very fast, so I´m sorry that I haven´t written a family letter in awhile. I´m going to write some tonight, though! So hopefully that will all go according to plan. Spanish is still coming slowly, but surely. I feel better this week than I did last week, and hopefully I´ll feel better next week than I do this week. It´s just poco a poco. The language that everyone understands, though, is the Spirit. So I´m grateful to be able to access that at all times in my day. It´s a beautiful thing! 

I love this work and I LOVE my mission! I feel like a new person and I know that this is the work of the Lord. It´s hard and I have so much to improve on and be better with, but I LOVE SPAIN AND I LOVE THIS GOSPEL! Life is good! I miss you guys and I love you so much! Keep the emails coming, they´re awesome! Can´t wait for this week!