Elder Adamson is serving the Lord as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Spain Málaga Mission. His weekly letters and updates will be posted here. If you would like to receive an email when there is a new post, submit your email in the box below.
This has been a super great week and I´m excited to tell you all about it. We´ve only got a few days left here and I´ll be out in the field like the REAL missionaries!! Here´s the week for ya!
Thursday we didn´t have an excursion so me and a few others from my district went to Alcampo which is like a Walmart type deal I guess. We just went and got a few things like note books and pens. Nothing too exciting about that. The highlight of that day was when we watched ¨the Character of Christ¨devotional with Elder Bednar which is pretty famous among missionaries. It was so incredible. Probably the most inspirational talk I´ve ever seen. Really makes me want to change more to be like the Savior. His talk was all about turning outward when the natural man turns inward. It was really touching and if you get a chance to see it while you´re in Provo, WATCH IT. I was teary eyed pretty much the entire time and I´ve been thinking about it pretty much every day this week.
Friday morning I was reading through Moroni 7 and it applies so well to Elder Bednars talk. It´s all about Charity and becoming like the Savior and I think it might have just bumped its way into my top 3 favorite chapters. Also on Friday, we were surprised with TONS of Domino´s pizza in celebration of the Sitterud´s anniversary. I have been craving something like that since we got hear and we all feasted. A lot of us Elders put our hands over our hearts and recited the pledge of allegiance in honor of the pizza. Later that night I just kind of listened to Elder Pamazón (Peru) and Elder Guarcax (Guatemala) talk because I feel like I learn a lot of Spanish from them. They´re really awesome Elders and they both have very strong testimonies. Very fun to have them in our room. Also, Elder Pamazón is a really big fan of the Backstreet Boys, so we have some common ground in that way.. jaja.
SATURDAY WAS SO GOOD! My companion for the park was Elder Gentry (From Orange County California) and it was an amazing time. We got two referrals on the metro on the way to the park and missed our stop twice in the process. So worth it though. We almost wanted to just ride the metro back and forth all day because the people can´t run away and they haven´t been bombarded with other companionships. We also talked to some super nice people in the park and not a single really rude person, which is quite a rarity. On the metro home we talked to another family and got another referral. Missed our stop once more and were late for lunch, but still worth it. 3 BOMS placed and · referrals total. GREAT DAY. After actividad física (physical activity) Elder Allsop and I belted the Start Spangled Banner at the top of our lungs while we were showering. We were the only ones in the baño (bath), but it was so funny. Between taking breaths and laughing it was an all around good time.
On Sunday Me, Elder Brownell and Hermanas Munns and Rawle got to sing ¨Lord I would Follow Thee¨ for the devotional and it was so much fun. We sang a four part harmony and people told us that they loved it. We sing every chance we get in Alma district. Later we watched an old talk from Elder Holland called ¨Don´t Go Home¨ or something to that effect. SO bold and so powerful. My favorite part of it was when he said "Missions have to be hard because then you can truly be a representative of Christ and experience a few seconds of Gethsemane". That was a really cool thought and it´s been on my mind a lot this week as well.
Monday, not much interesting happened but Elder Sorensen and I have been teaching about commandments and stuff which I love because we actually get to see a little bit of what it´s like to help the people change their lives for the Lord. I love teaching about the blessings of following the commandments. I also finished the BOM for the 2 time since October so that was cool. I´m trying to read like at least 1 or 2 chapters in Spanish every day and I´m actually understanding a ton of it now. Very satisfying to read in my mission language.
Yesterday I was just thinking about how weird it is that a week from now I´ll be in my mission area with my companion. I still can´t even believe it. Time has been flying and I love the CCM but I´m ready to move on now. Pretty nervous too though.
Dad, I´m trying to keep my room clean but the Hotel elders kind of come in and trash it every day, so I´ll get back to you on that in the field. Sorry I'm out of time now, but I love you! Have a great week.
Les quiero y estoy animado para ir al campo blanco.
(I love you and I'm encouraged to go to the white field.)
This has been an absolutely great week! I hope everything´s gone well at home! Here´s the summary.
Thursday we went to El Prado which was cool, but I mostly just learned that I´m not really an art guy. They have lots of pretty famous stuff there I guess and a lot was cool, but after an hour I was burned out from seeing so million ladies in poofy dresses and naked statues. Later that night we watched the Provo devotional from Elder Scott and it was soooo good. All the devotionals they show us here are so inspired. My favorite part was when he said something like"Be thankful God lets you struggle. Character grows and faith increases".
Friday was an average day. I laughed a lot at Hermano Del Molino. I decided that if I were a Spaniard, I would be him. He´s my kind of guy. I repaired some Elders´pants this week (3 pairs). Aren´t you proud mom? Sport sewing class is really coming into use. I sewed on a button, and fixed two seams in the pants. Pride level: HIGH.
Saturday was a super good day. My companion at the park was Elder Rasmussen, one of the other Malaga Elders, and we had a great day. Started off pretty normal and got shewed away but we saw a lady that looked like she wouldn´t run away so we went over to talk to her. At first I thought she wasn´t interested at all but the more we talked the more interested she seemed to be. We basically gave her the first lesson and she told us that she felt confused like Joseph Smith about which church was the right one. I was able to recite the First Vision from memory and it was so awesome. One of my most spiritual experiences yet even though it was a little loud around us. She was really interested so we gave her the info to get to the church, gave her a Libro de Mormón and 2 pamphlets. We also got her info so the Madrid Elders could contact her. Her name was Pepa Cerra. I hope something comes of that! After we finished talking to her we almost skipped our way around the park because we were so PUMPED, but we calmed down and said a prayer of gratitude that we got to talk to someone who was so prepared. After that we talked to a lady who was there just to tell us that the Bible was the only word of God and basically that we preach about José Smith and the Bible teaches about Jesucristo. There was definitely a spirit of contention there and we didn´t know how to defend ourselves anyway, so we just got out of there. I bore testimony before we went thought and just told her " Dios vive y yo sé que nos ama. Gracias por su tiempo y buenos días." (God lives and I know that he loves us. Thank you for your time and good morning) After that we talked to a Catholic priest that was really excited to see us and told us he was glad we were here. Really friendly man. We got both ends of the spectrum that day but still an awesome day.
Sunday was amazing too. I had to give a talk on Sunday in Spanish so that was an adventure. I did my best though. I talked about arrepentimiento (repentance). The Zimmermans also gave a really good devotional at night. When we sang outside the temple our district got to have a little special song and we sang ¨"Señor, Te Necesito". We´re probably going to be touring soon ;)
Monday was Elder Adams birthday and we got him some more goodies and stuff like the others.
Tuesday I was feeling super confident in my Spanish and then on Wednesday we had the natives move into our room. Then I realized that I know now spanish jaja. One is from Peru and one from Guatemala. I learned I can make them laugh though when I say "No sé Español" (I do not know Spanish) and "Soy estupido" (I'm stupid). They´re super nice and friendly though. I just spent the night listening to them talk because I want to learn from them. One is 26 and the other is 18. Not sure of their names yet. Nice Elders though.
I actually forgot to tell you that we got new leaders. Elder Allsop and Brownell from our district are the new Zone Leaders. Elder Bird is the new District leader and he´s a really cool guy. Only active member in his family but he has a super bright testimony. The milk here is boxed and not very good, but it does the job for cereal.
Gotta head now but I love you SO MUCH and thanks for all the support!
Just to answer more questions, I love my district because we´re like a little family. We all take care of each other and we get along really well. Elder Sorensen and I get along really well and I love that we´re both on the same level of Spanish together because we learn pretty well together. I haven´t really loved anything I've been eating here so far, but there´s always these little loafs of bread that are pretty solid. But I always try everything at least. I can stomach most of the fish now, but one day we had this soup that literally just tasted like liquid fish with no other flavoring. I thought it was gonna be like chicken broth or something nice and salty. Couldn´t do that one. They don´t use a lot of seasoning here so we like to keep a salt and pepper shaker handy.
Scott and Beverly Zimmerman addressed the missionaries at a fireside on Sunday evening. (Scott's mother married Ben's grandfather They have been keeping us posted on Ben as they serve in the Madrid Temple) What a treat for Ben to hear them speak. This is a picture of the Zimmermans, Elder Adamson and Elder Sorensen.
These two Elders look like they are ready to win all the hearts of Spain. Look out when they leave the MTC!!
HOLA. This has been another great week for me and I can´t believe i´m already half way done with my time here in the CCM. Crazy BIZ. Anyway this is how my week went.
Thursday we went to Bernabéu Stadium where Real Madrid plays which was super awesome. We got to tour pretty much the whole stadium and see the locker room, press room, the trophies... THE WORKS. Pretty cool to say i´ve been in the stadium of one of the world´s biggest teams. Later that night our devotional was with Elder Bednar about recognizing the Spirit and it was really a good one for us to hear as missionaries. We don´t need to worry about whether or not the Spirit is prompting us, just be good missionaries and the Spirit will guide our steps. We had another really awesome district meeting afterwards and we talked about D&C 84:88. That scripture is such a good motivater for me and i feel the Spirit so stongly when i read it. Check it out.
Friday was pretty normal but we did a lot of singing as a district. Our district is so dang good at singing. Every time we find a hymn that we recognize in spanish, we sing the heck out of it in a four part harmony. I wish you could hear just our district sing together. Tears would fall. Promise. Also that day, Elder Del Molino was being funny and talking in an english accent. He doesn´t speak very much english so when he does try any it´s hilarious when he tries to talk like is.
Saturday my companion was Elder Wilson at the park. He´s from Logan and he´s really nice, but unfortunately we didnt have any luck at the park or on the metro this week. We didn´t get past Buenos Dias with most people, but there was a little Argentine lady who talked with us for a while and told us that she respected us for doing what we were doing, but she didn´t really want to hear our message because she had her own Catholic beliefs. There are a lot of people like that here. People come back from the park with stories like that every week. We started on lessons with our new pretend investigators and we´re doing a lot better this time around. Hermano Merchán hid a camera in our lesson and showed it to the class so we could learn from our mistakes. Really good learning tool, though. Afterwards we got to just sit outside the temple and read and ponder. I read Alma 26 because it´s one of my favorites and it got me more excited about getting out in the field.
Sunday, we got to hear from Hermano Cerrano and Hermana Torres. They had super cool stories about their conversions and Hermana was baptized after 4 days of talking with the missionaries. Hermano Cerrano however took 5 years to get baptized. They´re now married (they don´t change names when they marry here) and they are both spiritual giants. They told us that there are prepared people everywhere for us to find.
Monday Hermano Texiera, the Area President came to speak with us and he was a very nice and fun guy. After him and his wife spoke to us we were all just super pumped to get out in the field. I don't remember all he said, but he was a very good speaker.
Tuesday I got to role play teach with Hermano Del Molina. We taught the Hermanas and it was cool to teach with someone who is fluent in spanish and actually knows what a mission is like. I felt so awesome while teaching with him because he knew just what to say and just how to say it. Can´t wait to be that experienced.
Wednesday was Hermano Merchán´s Birthday so we bought him some treats and stuff. He´s only 22 and pretty fresh off his mission, which makes him really easy to relate too and he´s always willing to give us some personal advice. No much else besides that one Wednesday.
Today, we got to go to the temple again and after the session one of the sister workers gave us a tour of the other parts. We got to check out the sealing rooms and the baptistry as well. The Madrid temple is so beautiful on the inside. You would love it. She explained some things and talked about a little of the symbolism they have there. Later today we´re going to El Prado which is guess is like the second biggest art musuem in Europe, so that will be cool. Not sure what to extpect because everything we hear is kind of just word of mouth through the teachers, but i´m excited!
Right now there are about 90 missionaries here but next week we get like 16 natives so it´s gonna be packed. i´m just hoping i dont get sent to the hotel. We get to leave campus avery day for excercise time down to la cancha which is a soccer park. i can talk with some natives now, but not very well. once they realize i´m american they slow down and use smaller words... haha. The best way to contact me other that email is mail for sure. I have more time to write back with snail mail. I have talked with Pres about highland a little bit, but not a ton. He always gives me little shout outs here and there and refers to me as his neighbor. All the new places i´ve been are pretty much on P days.
Well, that´s it for today. Dad thanks for putting all your questions together. That helped lots. I´m doing really well here and getting a little more spanish in my noggin everyday
I LOVE YOU and MISS YOU. Hope everything is going well.
Elder Adamson We are sharing these pictures thanks to Elder Adamson's companion Elder Sorenson. Ben's picture didn't download this week. We're grateful his mom shared them with us.
This is what Elder Adamson sees when he looks out at night from his room at the CCM. What a blessing!!
here´s the play by play of the significant points of my week.
So on Thursday we went to Sol which is the very center of Madrid and Spain too i think. There were so many cool buildings there and i loved seeing the arcitecture. I got some good pictures too, but i wont send them home yet because it takes a long time to upload. There were also a TON of gypsies begging the heck out of us for money and they were relentless!. Crazy big city and lots of weird magicians and street performers and stuff. We also visited the plaza mayor which was awesome too. You should check it out on google or something. We also bought some ice cream since it was about 129038208957394 degrees that day. Later that night we watched a devotional from Elder Holland and it was really awesome. It was from this january and he was super bold and said that we need to convert ourselves before we can convert anyone else. He also told us about how Preach my Gospel was made and how it was going to be called Preach my Gospel With the Spirit, but it was too long. We had a really powerful district meeting afterwards.
On Saturday, we went to the park to talk to people again and my companion was Elder Hansen who also went to Lone Peak. We were pretty put out because we didn´t really get a chance to talk to people because pretty much everyone just shooed us away before we got the chance. After, on the metro home i prayed that we´d be able to find someone to teach, and not a minute later a lady came and sat across from us. We had some good conversation and she said our spanish was very good. I told her we were missionaries and i gave her a passalong card with the Madrid Temple on it and she thought it was beautiful. The Lord really answered my prayer quickly that time!
On Sunday we had a super good devotional with the Lopez family and they told us there conversion stories that were INCREDIBLE. Sister Lopez told us to be persistent and to never forget that we need to be bold because she was a hard one to convert, but because of the missionaries, she was able to feel the spirit very strongly and eventually be baptized. Brother Lopez is now like the area contractor or something (probably the wrong term), and he picked the plot for the Madrid temple. I love hearing peoples conversion stories and talking to members here in Spain because they have such strong testimonies and it reminds me that not everyone here is stiffnecked and prideful. We got to sing outside the temple again on Sunday which is one of the highlights of the week for me.
Monday was Elder Allsops b day so we all pitched in in the district to buy him some scripture covers. I also bought some spanish scriptures here because i figured i probably wouldn´t come across another distribution center after the MTC.
Tuesday was a bit discouraging because i was just having a hard time with the Language. My Maestra, Hermana Garcia was making no sense and i couldnt understand a word coming out of her mouth, it seemed like. You just have to pull throught those days... haha. i decided i need to focus on the BOM and studying the language because i don´t know how to say everything i want to communicate in my testimony with investigators. We got to sing for the EFY kids here and they looked like they loved it. It was cool to see some of them singing with us and a few crying. I can just see the power of the members here and i hope every one of those kids goes on a mission.
Wednesday was a super awesome day. Elder Sorensen and I got both of our investigators to commit to baptism so we were on cloud 9 and super pumped. Not sure if they were just going easy on us because we´re still newbies, or if we really were convincing...haha. I was feeling the Spirit a lot while we were teaching Santiago and I hope someday i´ll find a real investigator someday who´s as prepared as he is. We were really focused while we taught and it was by far our best lesson yet.
Today we get to go to the REAL MADRID stadium, so were all pretty hyped up about that. I´ll report next week.
To answer soem questions, The district is doing GREAT. Now there are 8 of us in our room, but the missionaries that got moved to the Hotel also use our room during the day, so we´ve got like 12 peoples stuff in there sometimes. We haven´t seen a Provo devotional yet, just reruns from the apostles so far. Laudry is going well, mom! Elder Sorensen knows how to do it and i think i´m pretty independent in that aspect of my life now. For that reason i know we really have an inspired companionship... haha The best thing we´ve eaten here has probably been the chicken. The cook that really well, but they still like to slide fish in to some regular looking food. BUT I WILL ENDURE.
Love you guys so much and i hope everthing is going well at home.
keep the questions coming!
Elder Ben Adamson and Elder Dana Sorensen
Together Again ... Elder Adamson and Elder Farrell
im finally getting time to write a decent letter, but i only have 30 minutes to write and i still dont really have this keyboard figured out. But I have love the MTC so far. Elder Sorensen is actually from Alpine and he went to UCAS at UVU. He´s really a great guy and we get along really well. So far we´ve taught really well together. he just told me that you met his parents at the temple? There are so many connections out here once you start talking to people about things. on our way to Spain, i´m not sure how many missionaires there were, but there had to be at least like 40 or 50. It was so much fun because we were all pumped to get here, even though we had an eternal flight.
I´m just starting to really get settled in here and I love my distict! I was made district leader and we all get along so well. The other Elders are Elder Allsop from Bountiful, Elder Brownell from Washington, Elder Bird and Elder Adams from somewhere in Utah...The Hermanas are Hermana Rowle and Hermana Munns, both from the Provo area. Like I said, we all get along really well.
Our days in the CCM (that´s what it´s called here) really feel long but i´m understanding a lot more spanish as the days go on. I´ve been teaching investigators which is pretty tough, but our last lesson with Santiago felt really good and i feel like i´m really starting to learn how to meet investigators needs while teaching a lesson. Being a missionary isn´t as glamorous as you would think, and it´s definitely hard, but i love it and i know it´s gonna be woth it. Also, as a side note, Elder Dallin Farrell is our zone leader and I see him probably a couple times every few hours. It´s so much fun to see him around and no one can believe that we were best goons back at home. He´s doing really well.
As for the food, it is INSANE. Every day no one knows what we´re eating but we just eat it anyway. A few things that i´ve head through the grape vine are that we´ve eaten shark, swordfish, and squid. Squid is so crazy weird. it was fried and it literally tasted just like a mozzerella stick, but a little chewier. On the other hand, there are a lot of tasty things here too. This morning we had some sort of really advanced toaster strudell and i was in heaven.
Today is our first P day and we get to go to the Temple every morning on P days. The Madrid temple is absolutely beautiful and it´s unbelievably white. The temple really helps to keep me encouraged and keep me going even though the work is tough.
The weeks fly by here and i can´t believe it´s already been a week! President Sitterud is an awesome guy and he really has been looking out for me and snapping some pictures periodically while Elder Sorensen and i are teaching our investigators and what not. I also met Hermano Zimmerman on Sunday night after we sang outside the temple. That was a really cool experience. We got to sing while the Madrid missionionaries who are already in the field contacted people that were walking by. That was probably one of my favorite parts so far. The day before we went proselyting in a park in Madrid and Elder Sorensen and I were able to get some contact information from a girl there to give to the missionaries in her area. We spoke to her in spanish, but luckily she knew some english too so we could communicate better. Most everyone here knows at least a little basic English.
Sorry this is so unorganized. At exercise time we get to go to La Cancha which is a little soccer court about 2 blocks away and we love playing even though we´re all a perfect example of terrible americans. Lots of white boys running around kicking a ball in every which way wearing running shoes and name tags.
Last night we moved rooms ar 10:15 right before we were supposed to go to bed because we had some new hermanas come in. A bit of a hassle, but at least I still have a bed. They have to pack us in like 8 to 10 people per room because we have so many of us.
Anyway, they´re about to kick us out of here for the next group to stampede into the lab.
But, I love you guys and miss you! if you want to know anything more about how things are working here, just ask and i´ll try to answer your questions.