Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26th, 2015 Letter

So this week has been amazing. Seeing the way that the Lord answers prayers and helps us to grow inspires me everytime. First off, I LOVE HERMANA JUDD. She has seriously become my best friend and we have enjoyed our time together so much. We always always always turn off the light on time to go to bed, but no matter how tired we are, somehow we ALWAYS end up just laughing hysterically for at least 20 minutes before we finally fall asleep. She is fluent in French and has learned Spanish incredibly quick- we speak basically the same level. She´s so great with the people and she is just so down to be obedient and work hard and aprovechar la misión (ok I cannot remember the English word for aprovechar, so you´re gonna have to go look that one up). It´s just a breath of fresh air to have a best friend as a companion again. She´s just so happy which makes me SO happy and it just goes well. It´s really helped this week, especially, because guess what, there´s like zero investigators here. We´ve been contacting a whole lot. I´ve had to really step it up in that area- we both have- because in the past, we´ve both really let our companions basically take the lead in that area. So we´ve both stepped up and it´s brought results! I´ve actually grown to love love LOVE contacting. Remember how much I used to hate it? Well. Yeah. It´s changed. It´s a challenge and I love the challenge. It´s hard not having Hermana Irigoyen there at times, because she was just a really good teacher on the street, but it´s forced me to become better at it myself and that´s been a really huge blessing. This week we talked to a lot of people on the street. A few came to English classes and one guy came to church, so that was pretty sweet.

The most memorable contact was this Atheist Spanish guy last night. He didn´t believe in God and really wasn´t interested at all, but he stopped so we talked to him. He tried to pull the whole, "Well, God makes you happy right? That just proves that God is all in your head" sort of deal, and I don´t know why, but something snapped inside of me. I just was tired of people not knowing about Heavenly Father and not realizing that He´s real and that He loves us and it´s just hard to hear people hide behind their own opinions and excuses and fears because they can´t believe what they can´t physically see. So, I just.. snapped. I don´t know how to describe it, but I just started testifying to him hardcore and crying mientras. And then I recited the first vision, and we were standing on the side of a busy road on a Sunday night, but as I told that experience, the cars stopped passing and it was SILENT. He listened. For a brief second, something touched him. But then that moment was over and he just refused to have any of it. He ended up grabbing my shoulders pretty aggressively and was sort of pushing me around, so I just shook him off, said "Que tenga un buen noche" without really meaning it, and we walked away. I was SHAKING. It was a really powerful moment for all of us, and it built my testimony SO MUCH because it was one of those times when you just know without any shadow of a doubt that what you are saying is true and that God knows it, too. A really cool moment.

There are some really cool people here in Barrio 8! The members are super amazing and a lot of them recognize me already as "la Hermana que juega futbol!" so that´s pretty cool. They do a thing here when, on the first Sunday of our time here, the new missionaries get up and introduce themselves and bear their testimonies. It went well, and afterwards a lot of people came up and complimented me on my Spanish, which felt super good. The better I get, the more I realize how much I have to learn. But, as I´m leading the companionship and training my sweet daughter (doesn´t actually feel like I´m training but, whatever, it´s fine), Heavenly Father has blessed me so so much in this area of the mission. Well, in all areas, but with the language very notably so. I understand everything and I can hold my own with anybody. It´s been an incredible blessing. I love Spanish so much. Still gotta get better. That´s why we study.

I miss B2 tremendously. It´s weird not to be homesick for Utah but to be homesick for a different part of Spain. I miss my district there, I miss the members, I miss the bishop and my investigators and just everybody. Didn´t realize how much I loved them until I left. I kept catching myself talking about "my piso" or "my district" or "my investigator so and so", without realizing that they´re not mine anymore! Super hard but, again, I love B8 and I´m so happy to be here.

 I just am so happy here. I love this experience so much. Highest highs and lowest lows but through it all you know that- as long as you´re being diligent, obedient, and working hard- you´re doing the right things. I feel like a different person than I did 7 months or even 1 week ago. I change everyday, and I know that it´s an incredible blessing from the Lord. He´s my biggest strength, my best friend, my confidant and just the one that gets me through it. I¨m super grateful to be doing His work and I pray everyday to do it well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My new companion!

January 19, 2015 Letter


I have been transferred!!!!! I am so so so excited. It may not sound very cool, but you have no idea how cool it is. I got transferred from Barrio 2 to Barrio 8. Not a huge jump, but a very different part of Madrid and I´m so stoked to be here- what I´ve seen in my last 30 minutes here has been BEAUTIFUL. I´m going to be training a new missionary here, as well, so that´s pretty dang exciting. Her name is Hermana Judd and I´m actually half training her. She´s been out for one transfer and her first trainer is going home today, so I´ll be taking her spot as mommy number two for the next transfer. Training is two tranfers long, so I´ll be doing this half of it with Hermana Judd. OH MY GOSH SHE IS SOOO COOL. I´m so excited about this new transfer and what it will bring. She´s from Sandy, Utah and went to Waterford High School and then to BYU for a year. She said she knows Casey, which is super cool, and she is just such a sweetheart and her Spanish is seriously so good. I´m so excited. I can´t believe I´m training, I really can´t, but it´s going to be such a great opportunity to learn and grow and become more of the missionary that the Lord needs me to be. 

 I was praying ALL WEEK to just be happy about whatever transfers would bring. I really was hoping to get to go to the Islands or to the North, but when I found that I was going to Barrio 8, it was pretty incredible. I didn´t want to serve in the Barrios anymore! I really, really wanted to have a super cool, exotic area, but as soon as I heard where I was going, I just got this overwhelming feeling of excitment and happiness and peace. The Lord really did answer my prayer there. I know that this is where I need to be, with the companion and people that I need to be with. Gonna need to rely on the Lord A TON because I seriously don´t know what I´m doing (like, why the heck are they entrusting me with a new companion...) but I´m so excited to just get going! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. It´s the hardest and the very best time and I have a feeling this tranfers is just gonna be a great time for me. 

Leaving my area was such a heartbreaker. I LOVE Barrio 2 so much. The people there are just seriously incredible and I will never forget my time there. There are some members and investigators that I will always consider some of my closest, dearest friends. It´s such a special relationship to have with somebody- to be their missionary. Not something I was expecting in the mission at all, but something that I have really come to cherish. 
Something that I learned this week is the importance of focusing on other people and that successful missionaries really come in all shapes, sizes, and forms (same thing with successful people in general, I suppose).  I am finally realizing that I can be a good, successful missionary as well, being myself. By being Hermana Samantha Seegmiller, I can be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. He´s given all of us the formula to find that success (obedience), and as long as we do the very best to be as obedient as we can be, He will bless us to become the people and missionaries that He needs us to be. The other very important way to become the missionary that He needs me to be is by literally forgetting about myself. That doesn´t just mean forgetting about my desires and my distractions and everything else that doesn´t pertain to missionary work at all, but by forgetting about my inadequacies and my struggles and my fears and just putting all of it aside and by doing all that I can for other people. Because this work isn´t about me. It´s about the Lord and about His children, so I´m going to do the very best I can do exemplify that in the way that I work. This transfer is an opportunity for a fresh start and I am so excited to just do the very very very best I can and be the best I can be here. Oh I cannot express to you all how very truly excited and happy I am. 

So, funny story of the week (I will include pictures of this as well, don´t you worry). So, as you know, I chopped my hair at the end of my first transfer in the mission. I really liked it, but when it started growing out I realized that I really missed being able to do different things with my hair, so I made the decision to grow it out. So it grew and it grew and grew and grew and this transfer, I realized (with the helpful and not so subtle help of the Elders in my district) that I was rocking a pretty nasty mullet. Like, I´m talking buisness in the front and a very long and super sketchy party in the back. I knew I needed to cut it but I just kept putting it off because I never have time and because I was really embarrassed to go back to the haircutting place that I went to the first time and ask her to fix the lovely haircut that she gave me... 18 weeks ago (I know, I get embarrassed about really stupid things.) Finally, Elder Williams, who happens to know how to cut hair, basically told me that either he was cutting it or he was making me go somewhere to get it cut. Not in those exact words, but I got the idea that my hair was a lot worse than I was realizing. So, after eating lunch with the Bishop and his wife as a district on Friday, he borrowed her haircutting scissors and we all went out to a park near their house. He sat me down on a bench, I used a scarf to cover my neck, and as homeless people walked by and watched, he chopped my hair. WHY IS MY LIFE SO WEIRD. Here I am, sitting on what I am pretty sure doubles as a homeless woman´s bed during the night time, getting my mullet chopped in the freezing cold by an Elder who really actually has very little experience cutting hair. He actually did a pretty decent job, though. So, yeah, hair is doing better. The comments ranged from "Wow your hair actually looks decent" to "You better keep growing it out" to "You were way more sexy with long hair" (that was from my Hermana Irigoyen, who is both very blunt and doesn´t realize that sexy is sort of a weird word to use to describe people in English). So, yes. Priorites on the mission: 1) The Lord. 2) Other people 3) My hair (sort of a joke. But sort of not at the same time). 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 12, 2015 Letter

This week has been good! We had a ton of lessons on the street, which was a huge blessing. There was one hour where we were trying to walk down Calle Alcalá, the main street in my area, and it took us and HOUR to get from one Metro stop to the next because as we tried to talk to people, they actually stopped and listened. It was a huge blessing and it just shows that when you talk to as many people as you can, the Lord will bless you and them. It´s so cool. Hermana Irigoyen told me something cool a few weeks ago that has really stuck with me- "If you are obedient, you don´t find people, people find YOU." It´s so true. She´s taught me a lot about the beauty of being exactly obedient. I had that goal coming into the mission, but earlier, I saw how easy it was to be lax in the little things. Hermana Irigoyen came in and whipped me into shape with thigns that I didn´t even realize mattered, like how long we spend in lessons, food appointments, starting studies exactly on time and things like that. I love obedience! It´s so hard and sometimes it´s hard to obey with your whole heart, but blessings really do come from it. It´s somethign that I´m going to try my hardest to do until the end. Obedience is not easy, but it´s worth it. We´re still trying to get all of our investigators to progress. I´m starting to see that I truly can understand and communicate  in Spanish.

 I was on intercambios this week with a girl from Sandy Utah that has 3 months in the mission. She actually speaks incredibly well for the amount of time that she has, but she still struggles a little bit (which is 100% normal at 3 months). So we just contacted and taught and did everything normally, except, for the first time in the mission, I was the one with more experience. And I feel like it acutally went really well. God helped me understand people, and I learned AGAIN that intercambios really do bring miracles. It was so good for both of us and we found some really good people. I´m so excited to see what next tranfers bring and to see if I will have the chance to use what I learned to maybe help my companion a little bit too, like I was able to help Hermana Toone. And she helped me SO much. We became really good friends and it was just such a great day. 

 My testimony isn´t perfect, but it´s growing. I have a testimony that God is our Father and He loves us. We can find strength, redemption, and new beginnings through His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I KNOW that God knows what He is doing. Everything is all good. I´m feeling a ton better today, after a lot of prayer and patience. I´m ready for this next week. One of my biggest goals is to forget about myself, forget about my wants and worries and issues and EVERYTHING that makes me me and just focus everythign I have on other people. It´s the only way to have success in this work, and it´s what I´m determined to do. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 Letter

Ok I am so sorry but we got stuck in the mountains today on our self-proclaimed snow day and we weren´t able to get back till really, really late so I literally have like, no time to write. We got out of the city and were there for awhile and it was the best!! So you´ll have to all forgive me for not writing too much this week, I´m so sorry! But I will send pics and stuff next week, so no worries. I´m doing great! We had a great week this week and I felt the Spirit a lot in our lessons. We found a new guy from Dominica who is golden! I´m really excited to be teaching him. New Years was spent contacting for hours and then sleeping a LOT. But happy año nuveo, everybody!! Hope that this one is even better than the last. I have this whole year to committ to serving the Lord and I couldn´t be happier. :) Life is good. I have two more weeks left here in B2 and I´m excited and sad at the same time. It´s time for me to go, I feel like, but it´s so weird to think about basically starting over somewhere else. But I´m just planning on working hard! I love you all!! Sorry again, have a GREAT WEEK!!!