Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19th, 2015 Letter


Today we hiked the Cristus statue in Oviedo again, but this week we did it a little differently. We took off at 5:45 in the morning so that we could see the sunrise. Expect there was one problem- there was no sunrise. It was cloudy and rainy and sooo cold. But we did it! It was a great adventure. The pictures I sent basically describe pretty
accurately how freezing cold and cloudy and foggy it was. I only fell down once- and have not ceased to receive crap about it from every single member of my district. I enjoyed it. But I'll probably never do it again- hardest 30 minute hike of my life. Holy cow.

Also, this week, we got permission from President Pack this week to visit the Seventh Day Adventist church. We have an investigator who is a really active member of their church, T. We ran into him on the street and he invited us to come, seeing as he's come to our church once. So we got permission  and went. His family invited us over to
eat with them afterwards, so it was a really full Saturday with the Adventists. I don't know why, but I was really nervous walking in! We definitely got some weird looks, but the people were really nice. I think I was nervous that they were gonna pull out some weird stuff from the Bible that I had never heard about and make me doubt things
in my testimony or something. But it was so the opposite. They are really, really good people with great beliefs and there are a lot of active families that come and seem really happy. They practice their faith and have a really great faith in Jesus Christ which I admired a lot. But I didn't feel the Spirit there. Not at all. They talked a lot
about the Bible. They know a lot about Bible. They talked about why they worship the Sabbath on Saturday and not on Sunday.  They sang some songs but as I was sitting there, I just got this overwhelming feeling of peace and I had the though, "I know my church is true! Nothing they can say could sway me from that. I know what I know and
what I've felt and I have no doubt that it's true". And it was a really relieving moment for me. I think we hear a lot about the importance of keeping our testimonies strong and our faith strongly rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we hear that so much, at times, that I think we forget that maybe we really DO have strong testimonies. We should never be content with our testimonies, it's a daily nourishment thing. But we can trust in what we do know. I need to give myself more credit, I think! I know the Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I know that Christ lives and is always here for us, in every moment. I know it through experience, prayer, fasting and faith. And it makes me grateful to be able to say that. Lunch with his family was really wonderful. They're an amazing family that they were so kind and welcoming to us. They asked us a lot of questions about our beliefs and we did our best to answer them and bring the Spirit. I don't know if they will ever change their beliefs. I don't know if that was the purpose in all of this. But they accepted us into their house and listened. And that meant a lot. We created a great friendship with them and I was grateful for that. It was a good experience. 

This week I was so grateful for my Heavenly Father and His love and patience for me. I love Him and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know they live.
I love you all, have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015 Letter


I was working on this email and then somehow the draft that I was typing got deleted... Ughh. So frustrating!! So I'm gonna have to be brief with a few asuntos of interest, I'm super sorry! I'll answer the questions as quick as I can and then tell you about my week. 
Ok this week was really good! It started off with Concilio. We had to get on a train last Monday at 8 in the morning and we got to Madrid at around 3:30. When we got there, we realized we had a little bit of time to go and have an adventure, so we went downtown (my companion and I) and just enjoyed being back in our home city of Spain. It was really fun. I love being there. We then did splits with the Hermanas in Alcobendas, a pueblo outside of Madrid where President and Hermana Pack live, and I enjoyed that a lot. We found a really prepared lady in the street and I'm hoping that the Hermanas can continue to teach her. Then, on Tuesday, we had our Concilio de liderazgo. It was a 7 hour meeting of just pure Spirit. I loved it SO much. I gained a testimony of, you're not gonna believe this, folding my clothes. We talked about personal grooming and cleanliness and I realized that having wrinkly clothes is not the best. We also learned a lot more about the Sabbath Day and about finding people. It was SO spiritual and I loved it so much. We then planned our zone training meeting that we give with the Zone leaders, hopped on a train at 8:30 that might, and went to Leon, where we stayed with the Hermanas up there. On Wednesday, we did intercambios with the Hermanas. Hermana Jimenez and I were together and it was awesome. She's only got a week in the mission field but she's just such a natural! Perks of going out with the missionaries before the mission. She's from the South of Spain and we just had a blast. Such a spiritual day. We found a golden family on the street, which was exactly what we had prayed for as we left the apartment. Our companions were together, as well, and they had an equally miraculous day. It was so cool. One of the best intercambios EVER. 

Then, on Thursday, we had our zone meeting! It went really well. All of our zone came up and we trained them what we had learned in Concilio. It was really cool. My companion and I talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy and how it really is what makes the difference between strong families and falling away from the church, eventually. It was a really good thing for me to study for in depth and gain a greater testimony of. We then ate together, packed up, and headed for the bus station with the Elders from our area, SO ready to get back to Gijon. We were thinking we were gonna get on the 5 o'clock bus, but jokes on us, it was sold out by the time we got there. So we're freaking out, super stressed, and we realize that there isn't another bus that leaves until 9. So we're stranded in Leon until 9. We were gonna go out and work again with the Hermanas,  but we didn't want to interrupt their schedule or anything, and we also had our luggage with us that we would have had to haul around. So we sat down with the Elders and proceeded to play UNO for 4 and a half hours. In a bus station. In Leon. It got pretty competitive... Between everyone else. I only won one time. My uno skills are lacking! It was such a weird day but, hey, they come around every once in awhile. We FINALLY got to Gijon at 11 that night, were asleep by 12, and then proceeded to work the rest of the week. Luckily we were able to meet with a lot of people and see progression in a lot of them. We ran from cita to cita to cita. It was amazing and it felt so good after almost a full week of traveling outside of our area. We met with a Lot of members and investigators.

 One of the coolest experiences was with R. She's an active member and was coming with us to a lesson that we had set up in the capilla with F. He ended up not coming because he got called into work at the last second, so we asked R.if we could sit down and teach her a little lesson, because we have the goal of teaching all the members about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, seeing as the apostles are focusing so much on it as of late. We got to know her so much better and she ended up opening up to us about some insecurities that she has as a mom. She's an AWESOME mom, but she is just so down on herself about little things, like having to work and not being able to make homemade cookies for her sons class and not being able to go to his performances. It was so sad because it's so obvious to us how wonderful she is. So we left the cita that we had with a plan. We went during Medio dia, bought some cookie ingredients, and whipped up some cookies for her. Then, at church the next day, we brought the cookies and had her son secretly write her a note about how much he loved her and how grateful he was for her. Then we gave him the cookies at told him to give them to her when he got home. She was SO happy. She texted us and was just really grateful. It was a really sweet little moment. It taught me, again, that what we do as missionaries can take a lot of different forms. R. isn't MA, she's not an investigators. She's an active member with a great testimony. But she's a daughter of God and she needs help, just like the rest of us do. We all have our issues, and as missionaries, we're here to invite people to come unto Christ so that He can help us through our issues that we have. We do that through serving, following the Spirit, and opening our mouths. Im so grateful for the chance that I have to teach Gospel principles, to study them, and then to serve people and help them see the changes that the Gospel brings into our lives. I see it in my own life and it's so cool to see it in the lives of others. I'm praying to see Paola and Fernando get baptized before I leave here, but I know that if I continually do my part, I can accept the Lords timing. :) 

I love you so much! Thank you for all that you do for me, mom! You're an amazing mom and person and I'm so blessed to have been sent to you. I'm doing the best I can do be the best I can be and I know that the Lord, thankfully, is patient with us. I love you! Have a great week! I'm ponderizing Mosiah 2:22 this week- exact obedience in everything. 

Love you!! 


Service with a peace sign

Beautiful Pueblo

Leon Cathedral

District Pic

Zone Meeting-the food was awesome!

Leon Zone Hermanas

Good times at the Mission Home

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015 Letter


We got to spend Saturday and Sunday watching Conference in the capilla that we have in Gijon. We also got to watch it in English which was AWESOME. It's sooo much better listening to their actual voices. There were a few members and our investigator F. that came and watched it with us in English and they all loved it. It was like a spiritual feast. We didn't get to watch Sunday afternoon session but we're hoping we'll have the chance to download it and watch it sometimes this week. It's always a bummer to miss Bednar. But hey, the new apostles seem great! I loved their testimonies. Something that really stuck out to me was how humble they all are. They're Apostles of the Lord and they still are overcome, almost, by their feelings of inadequacy and "painful self-examination". But I loved what Elder Stevenson said about focus on what you can do. And those men can testify with the Spirit. 

Something that I've really seen out here is it doesn't matter who we are, where we've been, what our strengths or weaknesses are, our interests, where we are from, what language we speak- it's not important. What sets us apart is our testimonies of Jesus Christ.

Anyway, my favorite talks (of those that I listened too so far): I loved Elder Hales. Such good advice for me. I felt like he was talking right too me. I love Elder Hollands, as well, because that man is BRILLIANT. His control of the English language makes me want to drool. He also just about scared me out of my desire to be a mom- I WILL NEVER BE READY FOR THAT. It just made me grateful for you, momma. :) I loved Elder Nielsons talk about womanhood. It inculcated a desire in me to be a better, more virtuous, more valiant woman because I know that I was born into this time of the Church for a reason. And loved President Monson, but the fact that he just about fainted on the stand was not cool. I was so scared for him! Ok honestly I loved all of them. Such a spiritually bomb conference. I felt close to Heaven and that confirmed to me that these men truly are in direct and frequent
communication with our Father in Heaven- He's closer than we think. 

We had investigators there and menos actives and they all loved it. One is a Catholic friar and we didn't think he had come until the next day, when one of the members told us he had been sitting next to him and that he drove him home. Our investigator LOVED it. He told us that he wished he would have brought paper and a pen to write down all the inspiration that he had received. Like... Wow.  He was inspired and that was a testimony to me. Ahh. Conference is the super bowl of missionary work. I loved it.
The rest of the week was great. We did trio intercambios with the Hemanas of Leon while waiting for the new missionary to come. It's a little bit weird contacting in a trio but we found some bomb people. One guy was from Zurich, Switzerland and he spoke English and was just so chill. I hope they're able to get somewhere with him. He was chill. We also had a cool experience with this old man we found in a bench in a park that we were contacting in. We approached him and he said- no, no, no, I'm not interested. I don't want anything, thanks anyways. But then we persisted and persisted and we were finally able to share something with him, get to his core beliefs and write down his information. The reason it was cool for me was because this guy looked homeless, smelled really bad, and just didn't seem that interested at all. But as we started to talk to him, I said a prayer, asking to help us have charity and see him through Gods eyes. And it worked. I got a brief glimpse of how much the Lord loves him. He loves all of His children so much. I don't know- just confirming something that I already knew.