I absolutely and 100% hit a midlife crisis this week. I realized that I was halfway done with my mission around Wednesday, and basically just had ganas to cry till, well, till today. It´s been messing with my head. I don´t want to come home (nothing personal, but I just don´t want too), and I feel like I´m starting to be able to see the end of the road and I DON´T WANT TO SEE THAT PART OF THE ROAD!! It´s scary! I´m way more comfortable here, as a missionary, then I will be at home, as a non missionary, in 9 months. AHHH.. ok let´s not talk about this anymore.
Sorry, I´m a little bit on edge today. It´s been a really stressful week, to be honest. People have failed us SO MANY TIMES. We literally had one day where we got failed 8 times. We walked around in the rain, all day, and it was really, really hard. We came home and the other hermanas that we live with were there and they had had a bad day too and we all just sat down together and cried on my bed. There´s days like that, a veces. I feel like I´m doing what I can but it´s just getting frustrating. It´s frustrating because it´s like, people! We have the truth! We have what you are looking for! We have peace and answers and hope and it´s all REAL!! And they just don´t listen, don´t believe, or worst of all, they just don´t care. There were a lot of little miracles in this week, too. A few examples:
We have been trying to find new menos acitva families to teach and we found one! They live super, super far away but they are amazing and they want to share the Gospel with people and have noche de hogars in their house and it was just such a tender mercy. They were thrilled to have us there and we had some really deep, interesting doctrinal conversations while we were eating lunch with them, so that was cool.
D. is on track for the temple! She has an interview with the Bishop coming up on Sunday to get a recommend and go do baptisms with Diego soon. I´m excited for her and she´s so awesome. She takes every opportunity to bear testimony at Church and I love listening to her. She´s been an awesome example to me.
A woman named J. who we have been teaching for a really, really long time finally came back to Church on Sunday, with her two kids! She´s a member and she´s wonderful, but something has been really holding her back. But she came. It was a beautiful moment and we´re hoping that that trend can continue and she can continue to be an example for her kids and her family.
We played futbol in the rain this morning and it was the funnest thing I´ve done in a REALLY long time. D. skipped school and came with us. We had a blast and I managed not to hurt myself too badly.. it was fun. I wanna change the dicho a little bit from "Learn to dance in the rain" to "Learn to play soccer in the rain"... get it? :)
This week should be better. I´m really hoping so. I found some amazing scriptures this week that really helped me and helped me know what to do better. I know that the Lord speaks to us through His sacred scriptures and that they are our guidance for every situation. I know that weeks like this are huge blessings, in the end, because we can´t change without a little bit of pressure. I´m grateful to be a missionary and to be doing this work! I¨m so humbled by the Atonement and I hope to continue to understand it better and better in my life.
So I just finished playing frisbee in the park with our district and also getting robbed by a homeless guy in KFC (don´t worry, I was tough. He only got 30 centimos off me), and now I´ve got about a half an hour to write you peeps a letter. This could be a very lame email.. I´m sorry. I know there have been a few too many of these as of late. But I will do the best that I can.
This week has been AWESOME. We had an incredibly beautiful baptism with D. and D. D. baptized his mom, which is such a cool opportunity to have. They came into the capilla and he walked right up to me and I looked at him and said, "How do you feel?" and he just started to cry. He was so overwhelmed with everything, but it was really sweet. He was just so excited for his mom. She held herself together a little bit better, but she was just SO excited. She sent us a text that morning and told us that she had been praying and reading the Book of Mormon all morning and that she was just so ready! She kept thanking us for being there. We really didn´t do much of anything for this baptism- she was prepared the moment that she got back from Peru and we started teaching her again, but it was such a blessing to be there and experience it and have some part in her day, however small. After D. baptized her, she started crying and just hugging him. He was crying and after a second, he tried to let her go, but she wouldn´t let him. The Spirit was there so strong and we were so excited for them!! They both bore their testimonies afterwards and the Spirit was there.. it was like a wall. It was honestly one of the most spiritual and beautiful moments of my mission so far. She got confirmed the next day and it was a really beautiful blessing. We´re praying everyday now that her husband can get baptized soon (in Peru, he´s studying with the missionaries there) so that they can all get sealed in the temple together after their sons both serve missions. It´s a far off goal but we´re hoping that they can see it realized. It would mean so much to them.
So I´m basically out of time, I´m so sorry!! But just know that I´m happy and doing so well. Love you all sooo much. I know that this Church contains the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He can bring peace to our hearts and light to our lives. I´ll keep working hard and doing the best I can!! Thanks for all your love and support, it means the world. Love you with all my heart.
FREAKING LITHUANIA ARE YOU KIDDING ME. That was the last place on my mind. I seriously thought he was going to Africa. That´s so cool. There´s CCM teacher here that´s from Lithuania that comes to our ward sometimes, so I´m going to try to find her and talk to her this next week and get some info. I was so excited all week, but I kind of thought it wasn´t gonna come, so it really caught me off guard when Hermana Jackson called me Saturday afternoon. We were eating lunch at D´s house and when I saw the phone ringing from her, my heart about stopped. I was so excited!! I can´t believe Elder Seegmiller is heading out in a few short months. Literally every member of the family has emailed me about it except for Parker... haha. But it´s ok, I´m super excited for him, as is everybody here that I tell. I do not envy having to learn those languages, though, but who the Lord calls, He qualifies. I know that´s true.
Ok so my week was awesome. Well, it was super normal until the weekend, which was awesome. We had some really great experiences and I wanted to write about. So, to answer the question about the sister training leader thing, yeah. It´s not a huge deal, but basically what I have to do is go on intercambios with the sisters from our zone and they report back to President. We also have concilio once a transfer when we all get to go to President´s house and meet with them. Then I have to speak at zone meeting and that´s awesome. I´m excited but also nervous because I feel super inadequate in regards to this calling. There are sisters in our zone that are way more experienced than I am and most of them are native Spanish speakers, so that´ll be interesting. I´m grateful, though, because it´ll be a great chance to learn. I´m excited! We´ll see how it goes.
Our investigator, D, had her baptismal interview this week. She passed with flying colors and she is so excited for her baptism. She got sicker than she ever has, of course, the week of her baptism, but she isn´t phased! The district leader got hit by a car on the way to her house to give her her interview... yeah. I´m not kidding, he literally got hit by a car. He´s ok, just flew like 10 feet and hit his knee super hard on the concrete. I just think that the adversary is trying really hard to keep her from baptism, but I know that everything is going to work out! We´re really grateful to get to be here for her on this super special day. D, her son, is baptizing her, and he´s seriously so sweet about it. He´s nervous and I think it means a lot to him that he gets to do it. We had a lesson with them right before her interview and we all cried (except my companion that never cries because she´s just too dang happy all the time). The Spirit was there really strongly and I´m just humbled to be able to be a part of this experience. She´s so prepared and ready for this next step!!
Also, D and E finally came to church!! They walked in late, but they came and stayed the whole three hours. D made her presence known her first time in Relief Society by effectively starting a war about repentance. All she did was ask a really good questio- "If we sin all the time anways, what does true repentance really mean?", and jolín, you would not believe the reaction. There was this older Spanish woman just YELLING at her... patience, Hermana Seeg, patience. It got to the point where the Relief Society president, who is wonderful, had to get up and calm everybody down. It ended up ok, but throughout the entire lesson, I couldn´t even look up. I was dying. I occupied myself by making some little origami missionary shirts for people and writing them notes... I still don´t handle contention very well. D didn´t care at all though- "They just didn´t know the answer, either!" What a trooper. Oh, and E fell into one of the temple fountains after church. I was talking to D outside of the capilla and looked over, and whaddaya know, E is face down on the concrete wall of the fountain, reaching in with his right arm and holding himself out with his left. I looked at Daisy and she was just like, "Oh, he likes to swim," and I was like, "holy crap this day couldn´t get weirder". So I took initiative and ran over to him to try to get him to leave the fountain alone, and he just goes, "hold my arm! Hold my arm!" So, like a good missionary, I supported him as he tried to keep from falling into the fountain, but I failed, and he fell in. He didn´t seem to care at all, though- he just jumped right out and started trying to reach in again, which I didn´t get. Finally, he goes, "I´m trying to get my euro!" Sure enough, there was his coin, right in the bottom of the fountain. So I had to reach in and get it for him and long story short, it was probably the funniest experience ever. That´s what happens when we don´t teach the investigators about the temple before we bring them there- the fountains become pools.
Yesterday during our nightly session of pillow talk, Hermana Judd and I started talking to each other in Lithuanian (our version). Basically it was just 20 minutes of us snorting and hissing at each other, and then defining what we were saying. Solid 20 minutes. Parker, I think you´ll do great.
Missions are personalized, like you said. They are what we need, when we need it, and I know that. I needed Madrid, Parker needs Lithuania. It´s an amazing opportunity to do purely the Lord´s will, or try our hardest too, for the time that He needs us to do it. He wants us here, He wants us doing what we´re doing, and we have nothing but time to do it. And it´s a really incredible blessing. I´m doing really good. I learned a lot from this week and I will continue to learn and grow more and more. I´m grateful that I still have so much time on the mission because I really can´t imagine life not here- sounds super weird to me. I love being a missionary!!
Today was fun- we played basketball and soccer with a bunch of missionaries from the zone, and then went to lunch with my elders from my old district. There´s three elders that I served with in B2 that really did become my best friends out here, and one of them is going home today, so it was good to spend some time with them again. One of their families just moved to Riverton. He´s a good friend and a good missionary. The friends that I´ve made here are some of the best I´ve ever had, it´s a part of the mission that I wasn´t expecting but that I love a lot.
We´ve been working on contacting more on the bus and on the metro and that´s brought some success. We had a really interesting lesson on a bus with this Spanish guy the other day. He didn´t want to give us his number, but we casually chatted about the Plan of Salvation and how he can be with his family forever. I hope something pricked his heart.
Something that we´ve been working on, as well, are our mornings. We´re good at waking up on time but it´s hard to get going a veces. The solution, we´ve found, is running. We exercise a lot in piso but going running is really the only way to truly wake up and get going. Jeffery R Holland once said "Tell me how your mornings go and I´ll tell you how your mission goes". Pretty fuerte, but it´s true! When your mornings are crap, your day is crap, and when your morning is spot on, your day is spot on. So we´ve been having spot on mornings lately and the days have been awesome, as well.
What else, what else... tranfers were this week! Nothing to huge happened. I got called to be Sister Training Leader in my zone, which I¨m nervous about. It´s not a huge deal, but that´s the only thing that changed. We got failed a lot this week, as well, and given a lot of false numbers. Not sure what the difference was, but sometimes that just happens. We´re working on contacting better, not just more, but having quality contacts. It´s something hard, but worth it. I had some great studies this week and I´m so stoked for General Conference that´s coming up!! It´s gonna be awesome.
Also, we got to go to the temple with our zone and that was beautiful. There were 2 zones of missionaries there and we were all in the Celestial Room together. Looking around at all the missionaries was something really special. I´m so grateful for the temple here and the blessings that it brings to the work. People really can feel the difference there, in the grounds and everything. It´s beautiful.
What else.. really, just a normal week. Hard work, happy days. Nothing too funny and nothing to crazy. I got spit on. That was cool. I love Madrid a lot. Have I mentioned that before?? Haha. It´s a special place and I´m so lucky to be here. I love my companion and the ward here. They´re special people. I wish I had the time to tell you the story of each and every person that I´ve met- every person is loved, every person is special and every person has a story. It´s something that I´ve learned and that I´m so grateful for.