Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25th, 2015 Letter

Oh, I should probably tell you, I´m in the North!! I got transferred to a little city at the very top of Spain called Gijón. It´s so beautiful here and so far away.. I´m so glad to finally be here!

It was my last week in Madrid, and in B8!! And I loved it. We worked really hard and even though we had a ton of lessons fail us and so many things go not according to plan, it´s ok. We had a few really cool experiences that I´ll try to outline in this email, and leaving was probably one of the saddest things. But it´s gonna be ok! Everything is all good. I´m SO excited to be here in the North! The train ride up here (without a companion.. so weird!) was incredibly beautiful. Being in the city for so long really made me forget that there was life outside of Madrid, but now I´m starting to see the really beautiful parts of Spain and I¨m so excited about it. My new companion is AWESOME, I can already tell that we´re gonna get along really well. She´s from Payson Utah and her name is Hermana Stevenson. She´s been out for 7 months. I´m really stoked.   I´m sad to leave Madrid because I know I won´t be going to the temple for awhile and just in the fact that all my favorite peeps are still there, but I´m so grateful to be starting something new. It´s beautiful here and it´s gonna be a lot harder, work wise, but I feel like that will help because the expectations in a barrio are so huge.  So anyways, I´m really excited. Feeling good!

So this last week, we went from having 0 baptismal fechas to 4. Which is a huge jump that we weren´t even expecting to make at all, but it just sort of happened like that. A. and J., investigators from El Salvador that I sent you a picture of just barely, accepted a fecha for the 27th of June. That was an INCREDIBLY spiritual lesson. They came to a baptism that the Elders had on Thursday morning and loved it, although they had a lot of questions about authority and everything. Then, following a spiritual prompting that we had, we took them into a little room in the capilla and watched the Jose Smith Restauracion pelicula (movie). It was seriously incredible, from the time the movie started till the time it finished, the spirit was just TESTIFIYING. Like, I would say that´s one of the most spiritual experiences that I´ve ever had. It felt like we were in the Celestial room. Then, we started talking to them about baptism, and we let them choose the date. A. said that the 27th would be a really significant, special date for them, and then the member with us, Victor Brun who is the BEST, challenged them to pray right then and there to get an answer about that date. So, A. prayed and asked, and after the prayer, they just went silent. I looked up and realized that they were both crying. And then A. said, "Yeah. It´s the right thing," and then turned to J. and she said the same thing. Holy cow. It was so beautiful. I didn´t want it to end. But it did, eventually. They´re amazing and I wish so much I could somehow make it down to their baptism. When they found out that there were transfers coming up and that I could potentially get sent away, they FREAKED. They were so scared!! They did not want me to leave, at all. They´re so cute, they actually went to the Bishop during a ward activity that they went to and asked him if he could make it so that I could stay. He obviously has nothing to do with that, but it was just the sweetest, cutest thing. A. cried when we said goodbye last night, and J. just wouldn´t stop hugging me. They´re amazing people and I was so grateful that we found them, through the amazing member that brought them to church. I´m so excited and I hope I can make it back to B8 for their sealing someday.

Getting the call from Elder Bybee that I was leaving was so.. weird. I was so sad and yet so excited. I just couldn´t believe that I got sent to the North!! I was so excited. I AM so excited! It was so hard leaving the people, though. I promised about a million people that I would be coming back, and seeing their faces when I said that made me KNOW that I needed to come back. Dora cried when she found out. She said, "But I just love you so much!" And Diego was so sad... as was I! It was the hardest thing. I felt like I was leaving home, more so than I felt leaving B2. But I´m going to keep in touch with them and stay updated on their lives and everything. I love them all so much. BUT. I am so excited to be here. Can´t wait to start getting to know how it goes up here.

I love you! I´m so grateful for this Gospel and I know it´s true. I know it´s the only way to really, truly have sure happiness. Leaving B8 was actually a huge teaching moment for me. We were talking with Dora and Diego about how nothing lasts forever, even things that are good and that you love. If I could have been forever their missionary, I would have been. But that´s just not the way life works. But as we were talking about it, the phrase, "Families are forever" popped into my mind, and in that moment, I realized for the first time ever just how special of a promise that is. That the very BEST thing about life is the one that never ends. So even though our lives move on and people come and go, we can be with the most important people forever, and that promise doesn´t go away, as long as we follow the commandments of God. I was so grateful for that moment- the Spirit taught me a lesson that I needed to learn. So thank you for providing the forever family that we have. It´s so incredible.

 Patience is key, and optimism!! And laughing at the dumb things. I love to laugh, and it´s something that has helped me a lot out here. Whether it´s laughing silently through the 15 minute prayer from the Nigerian member to start a Noche de Hogar or the sweet little Argentine lady who starts off the Relief Society lesson by singing a teary, acapella solo, there are always things that can help us smile. Maybe moreso here because lets be honest, people here are nuts, but there are good, happy things always. I love you!! Just keep on keeping on.

Me and Eliyana, a recent convert of the Elders that I LOVE

Me and my district

My Nigerian Friends