- How is the ice cream coming?
- Fortunately, we didn´t get any this week.
- Have you found any good milk yet?
- No. They don´t know what good milk is here. It doesn´t exist.
- Do they have anything like instant breakfast?
- Yeah, I´m sure they do. I haven´t bought any though.
- Have you visited with the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader (one on one) to get the engaged in the work? Have you studied Chapter 13 of PMG and shared the highlights with them? Do they have copies of PMG--if not can you get copies for them?
- yes, we have and I think they do have copies. Elder Galarza just met with them yesterday and talked about that.
- What attribute have you come to appreciate in your companion?
- He doesn´t accept anything but the right way. At first that really bugged me, but there are some things that you just can´t mess up and he knows it. He´ll always correct me when I do something wrong like that, but it a nice way.
- Do you need any more recipes?
- I´m good for now. We do most of our cooking out of the freezer.... ;)
- Any news on when you'll get ipads in your mission?
- No Idea about that. Probably not for a while.
- Are you missing Halloween?
- Not especially. just good candy.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Hello FAM! We had a pretty good week. A very different one, but good. Here it is!
Monday, after P day, we went to Barrio del progreso and didn´t have a lot of luck. We met with a Familia and shared a short and sweet message. It was a really good visit. At first when I came here, I felt super uncomfortable with them, and we had kind of a weird relationship with them, but now they LOVE us and invite us over to eat pretty much every week. We´re great friends now, and we feel perfectly comf when we go there.
Tuesday, I went on splits with Elder L (one of our Zone Leaders) which was a bit stressful since I´ve only been out for 1 transfer and he´s been out for over a year, but it went really well. We visited ... and had a really good cita with him about trusting in the Lord. I would encourage you all to read Proverbs 3:5-6 as well as Alma 37:35-37. It teaches us how we can really learn to put our will in the lords hands. He always knows what´s best, and if we realize that, we´ll live much happier lives and know exactly what it is we need to do to improve. After that, we went to ...´s house because our other citas failed us, and shared a similar message with him. He´s an awesome guy and has a great testimony. He´s basically a ward missionary. You should see how many of the investigator progress records his name is on as a reference. Just about all of them in his pueblo. After that we headed home and talked about what we learned. I learned from Elder L to really speak with humility and love. He also taught me to not be afraid to contact people while we´re on our way somewhere, even if we don´t have time. He is a MACHINE.
Wednesday, the highlight was visiting ...... and her dad. This time her dad was there in the lesson for us and we did another lesson zero with them. At first her dad was almost talking against us and telling us how it's hard for him to believe in God, but after we got to start with a prayer, the lesson really took off. We taught almost perfectly and taught by the Spirit. We were able to answer all the concerns that he had. One of my favorites so far. We left with an invitation back and a solid trust with the dadl. Awesome guy. Unfortunately, our other citas failed us that day.
Thursday, we got to eat at the O....´s house again, and they made lentil soup for us. They make a lot of that here, but it´s really good. Also, we invited one of the Hermana´s investigators to come eat with us and we had a really good message about the Atonement with her. The atonement always brings the spirit, and I think she received it well. The Hermana´s are working with her now. She´s going through a divorce right now, so maybe this is her time to accept the gospel.
Friday, we had an awesome special training meeting for our Zone with President Deere and the APs. We talked a lot about talking with EVERYONE and the Lesson 0 and how important those both are. We talked about how in General Conference it was said that "If missionaries want more people to teach, they should talk to more people". THAT'S TRUE. That hit me hard and it´s something that I really really need to work on. Our conferences with them are always awesome and so inspired. Afterward, We went on splits with Elder Flores and Elder Datwyler. I went with Elder Datwyler, who has been out the same time as me, and we went out to try and get some lessons in because we didn´t plan for 2 companionships. We didn´t end up getting into any houses, but we got a few futures investigators from street contacts. Thanks so much for the package this week! I got it on Friday when President came. That jerky is probably the most flavorful thing I´ve eaten since I got to Spain and it tasted so good. And I haven´t used the ranch yet because I have to buy some stuff to make it, but thanks a ton!
Saturday, all the missionaries from our Zone went to Cartagena for a Cosecha or "Harvest". We all split up with about 24 companionships and contacted for a few ours and I think we got about 115 futures from it. it´s a good activity. I went with Elder Berry (From Draper UT) and we got about 3 I think. There were hardly any people in the streets, so we knocked a lot of doors as well. After coming home from that, we visited .... again, and shared a message about Grace with him from 2 Nephi 25 and it went really well. Still trying to work hard with him, but he´s not progressing much. No luck the rest of that night.
Sunday, was a good day in church, but at the capilla I always have a head ache because I feel like 230498025 people are talking at once and I can´t understand anything anyone says. After lunch, I went on splits AGAIN with a member who went on his mission to Madrid. We did it so Elder Galarza could attend a meeting and we could still get our citas in. His name is ..... and he´s such a cool guy. He does work contacting too! He was a teacher in the MTC when I was there, so that was pretty weird to go proselyting with him, but lots of fun. All our citas failed us again that night, but we knocked some doors in a couple buildings and got some futures out of it, so that was good. We also taught a lesson at a door, which I had never done before. Pretty interesting... ha ha.
Here´s the answers to your questions dad!
That´s all for this week. ¡'Que tengan una buena semana! Les quiero mucho y espero que todo esté bien con vosotros!
Monday, October 14, 2013
This week has been
pretty weird and we got stood up a lot, so this letter might not be my most
On Tuesday, we went to
El Palmar and met with ... and when we got there he surprised Elder Galarza and
I with a DVD of all the songs we sang together. Kind of cool, hopefully
that will make for some good memories. I´ll hold onto it for now, but
maybe later when I´ve got a few more things to send home I can send a package.
We shared a message with him as well, and still has some excusing for not
going to church. We haven´t been able to help him progress really very
much yet, but we´re going to keep working with him, because he doesn´t really
have any friends in the church besides ..., and he´s menos activo too.
Later we went to the ...´s house and shared a short message and had a
good chat with them, They´re an awesome family.
Wednesday, we had Elder Anguaya
with us because he had to wait for his new companion, so he came with us to our
visits. We went to a lunch cita with the Familia A... again (I´m pretty
sure they´re going to invite us like every week...) and it went really well
this time, and we didn´t go over time or anything. Later, we worked some
more in Barrio del Progreso and went to visit a future named .... He is a
REALLY good man. So polite and respectful to us and so sincere as well.
We taught him a lesson 0, but since I was the only one who wasn´t
ecuatoriano there, I didn´t do much of the talking in that lesson, but I was
still involved. I really hope we can keep working with him, because he
looks pretty golden. After that, we didn´t have more time to visit people
so we headed back to the bus station to drop Elder Anguaya off. While we
were waiting there, I got to see Elder Farrell, and I was SO pumped about that.
He got off the bus and I gave him a huge hug. He´s doing awesome,
I´m sure, and he just got transferred to Alicante, and he´s going to DO WORK
there. Later that night, I taught English classes. It was tons of
fun and I´d love to do it again. Usually the hermanas do it, but they had
citas that night. The bishops wife is awesome and brings like 3 non
member friends every time, but unfortunately, none of them are in our area. :(.
We ended with a short thought about the Plan of Salvation and that was
that! Good day.
Thursday, was another
ice cream day. We were on the bus on the way to visit J... but half way
there, we called us and told us he couldn´t meet anymore, so we got off the bus
and tried to visit pretty much everyone we could, but had no luck. We
lost all 3 of our fechas this week because J... couldn´t go to church this
week. We tried to visit our other two investigators with fechas, but when
we called on the intercom, they straight up lied to us and said they weren´t
there, but it was ... and he´s the only man that lives in that piso.
Pretty irritating, but we can´t do anything about it. I got fresa
flavor that day... haha.
Friday, ALMOST another
ice cream day. All our plans fell through in Barrio Del Progreso, but we went
to visit one of our back up plans, and she was home, and we taught her a lesson
0 and we got a pretty solid new investigator. Her name is ... (Also from
Ecuador) and she´s 17 or 18 I think. She has really good questions and
seems to be sincere about them. Normally, we wouldn´t be able to visit
her, because we would be alone with her, but she has a little patio outside
with a couch and everything which is super guay, because we don´t have to have
another male with us to teach her. That was about all we got that day
Saturday, we played
fútbol again with the new Elders and members and it was lots of fun. I
managed to sneak a couple goals in, somehow. After lunch, we went to El
Palmar and visited ... again, and tried to visit some antiguos, but didn´t have
any luck with that. El Palmar has lots of potential, because there are
tons of members there, but we only have like 2 investigators there, 1 is
progressing. We´re trying to find more there, but no luck yet. Just
have to keep working with the members there.
Sunday was great and we
got to hear some awesome testimonies from the members, LOTS of them were
about missionary work. I´m hoping that our ward can really catch the wave
here, because we could use lots of help. We need them TONS here.
Once again, all our citas failed us in Progreso again. We´ve got
lots of people to visit there, but they keep canceling appointments.
Later that night we went to the Despedida of Estefanía. She is
going to be an amazing missionary, and her and her mom already are awesome
missionaries here. Great examples. She´s going to be serving in one
of the SLC missions. Not sure which one. but she´s going to be at the
Provo MTC, mom and dad. So if you happen to see a Sister T... tell her
hello for me. I think she´s going next week.
This week has been a
little tough because we weren´t able to get a lot done. There are so many
things that I want to do to be a better missionary, but I just don´t know how
to do them yet. It´s really frustrating, but yesterday, I was reminded by the
Spirit, that I shouldn´t try to run faster than I have strength. I´m
doing my best right now and I´ll keep doing it until I´m the missionary I plan
on being. I´ll tell you right now, I´ve got a long way to go, but I´m
going to keep working hard. I would encourage everyone else to do the
same. Don´t get discouraged when you´re not accomplishing something you
want to. You can only do your best and work hard to get better.
Heavenly Father understands.
Thanks for the letters,
hope you´re all doing really good and I love you un montón!
Here´s my week for you!
So on Monday, we just kind of walked around the Gran Vía and got Kebabs. Nothing too exciting, but it was fun. Later that day we went and visited La Familia A... and had a good little message with them about keeping our baptismal covenants. It went really well, but we weren´t really able to get much done that day. On our way home, ... (homeless man) came and asked us for money...which we can´t even do in the first place. We pass him like every day on our way to our pueblo so it´s a little awkward now. At times we take an alternate route.
Tuesday was a bit of a rough day for me. It was another one of those days where I just feel totally lost and I can´t say the things I want to in Spanish. We had a lunch cita with a super awesome family se llama la familia M.... Awesome and super nice people. They made us this really good ecuatoriano dish and it was really good, After we shared a short message with them, we went to another cita and I was lost again. I think my brain just shuts down after hearing so much Spanish. It´s happening a lot less often than in the MTC, but it still happens every once in a while.
Wednesday was a really odd but really good day. We went to a cita in the morning with a member named C... and she is a referral MACHINE. We first visited a man from .... in her house named M... or something like that, but he was super muslim so I don´t think we´ll be able to teach him more. After we went there she took us with M... to her other African friend´s house. No one knows why, but C... is BFFs with pretty much every single African. We visited with a couple named ... and ... from Nigeria and it went super well. We taught them a lesson 0 and they were really receptive of it. The best part was that I got to teach in ENGLISH for the first time. I was like " Holy Cow, put me on the "District" videos, I´m ROLLLIN". It really wasn´t THAT good, but definitely made me feel better about myself after a day like Tuesday. It helped me remember that I really do know how to teach, I just need to keep working on the language, and I know that will come. We set a fecha baptismal with them for the 2 of Nov that day too. Hopefully we´ll get to keep working with them.
Thursday, we had another lunch cita with la Famila A... and it was awesome, but we were there for a super long time. Our 10 minute message turned into like 45 because they had a lot to say. We were super late for our exchange with Elder Webb and Elder Clark, but everything worked out. Elder Clark came with me to my area and Elder Galarza went with Elder Webb to their area. The lessons I had planned for that day fell through, except for one. We met with J... and taught him lesson 3 and it was awesome. I was like the senior companion for a day and I felt a lot better about myself knowing that I could do all of that by myself. Elder Clark is an awesome teacher and we worked really well together. J... is still working for his fecha on the 2 of Nov as well.
Friday morning we had a Zone Conference and we ended our intercambio there. We talked a lot about obedience and receiving revelation and it was a good meeting. Afterward, we went to Dominos with a bunch of us from the Zone for lunch. Here, Domino´s is like a buffet. I ate a ton of pizza, but as a missionary, I eat what I can get (excluding the MTC shark bites). Later we went to Barrio del Progreso to meet with ..., but he wasn´t there, so we tried a few antiguos with no luck. Elder Galarza wanted to ring the doorbell of a house where he has seen ecuatorians go in, so we did. We got to meet a joven named S.... He was super nice and welcoming when we came and seems to be a really genuine guy. I´m telling you, South Americans are super open people. They let us talk to them about religion way more than Spanish people. Spanish people are awesome and super friendly, but when you bring up religion they put on the afterburners and get outta there. We taught a lesson 0 with S... and it was good, but kind of fast because he had a friend waiting for him. Next time we meet with him hopefully we´ll get to meet his family as well. Later on our way home, we tried to visit a future that we´ve had for a while, and it turned out that he wasn´t home, but his brother who lives with him was. He came down from his piso to talk with us and then decided to let us in after we talked about our message a little bit. His name is G... But he seems to really be looking for something to believe in and we´ve got it. 2 nuevos en one day!! Later we tried to visit a menos activo, but they weren´t there. Meanwhile a very drunk man hobbled over to us and told us he was a member of our church (Don´t see that every day). He was sooo hard to understand, but he just started listing off things like "El Libro do Mormón, Jose Smith, Moroni". He told us he wants a LDM and that he was baptized in Cartagena. We took down his address and told him we´d visit him later, because we had to get back to the piso.
Saturday, we went to the capilla to play fútbol with some investigators and members again but our investigars didn´t show up :( I watched a little bit of Conference while Elder G was playing because I am awful at soccer compared to these guys. Put me in a 6th grade Rec league and maybe I could do some damage, but Spaniards... No way José. After that we went and visited ... and he took the music to a new level this time. After singing a song he pulled up this Karaoke app he has on his computer and we sang a few songs. After, we talked about him going to church again and he still has a few excuses up his sleeves, but we´ll get him there somehow.
Sunday, we had Stake Conference in Cartagena in this big conference center there. The Theme was " Un paso de fe" or "a step of faith" and it was really good. There were some really good faith inspiring talks from the stake presidency. We took a bus there and back with some others from the ward and it was about an hour ride home. Then we went back to the piso and studied, ate, and then went to a despedida for ...... He´s going to serve in Mexico and he´ll be an awesome missionary. The meeting was pretty long, but it was cool. Lots of missionary spirit there. .... is actually part of Elder Galarza´s conversion so it was really cool for him to be able to go. That´s my week!
I´m loving the mission and my testimony keeps growing the more I study. There is always something more we can learn. Testimonies come when we look for them. We have to work for them and search in faith in order to really gain our own. Try to strengthen your testimony every day and I promise that you´ll receive a stronger witness when you work for it!
We just finished a transfer! I can´t believe it. I still feel like I know nothing, but I´ve learned TONS just from one transfer. Also, Elder Galarza and I are both staying here for now, but our DL Elder Webb is leaving. :( He´s awesome and we´ll miss him.
That´s all folks!
Monday, October 7, 2013
¡Hola Familia! ¿Qué tal la semana? This week was pretty different from others because of conference and all, but here it is.
On Tuesday, I left to go to Fuengirola to pick up my DNI card, which shows that I´m a legal resident of Spain for now. We took a 3 or 4 hour bus ride there. The first day we were there, we just got to hang out at the mission home with the
Deere´s and a few pals from the MTC (Elder Allsop and Rasmussen). There were about 15 of us in all. When we got there, Hermana Deere already had a Cafe Rio style meal prepared for us, and there was much rejoicing among the missionaries. I ate so much I thought I was going to kill over. After that we just hung out for a little while with the Deere´s son Cameron who just got home from his mission in Arizona. We´re awesome and it was fun to talk to an RM while we are on our own missions. Later we had a little Q and A Session with President and Hermana Deere and talked about how our first few weeks have gone. They are such nice people. They made us feel right at home and made sure we were all doing well. Presidente also gave us a little counsel on finding people as well, which is really what we need in Murcia right now. After that Hermana Deere whipped out some brownies and, once again, there was much rejoicing. Way better than the ones we made for Super Noche de Brownies. We talked some more that night and went to bed in a little dorm room they have for missionaries.
On Wednesday, we woke up and had a breakfast of cold cereal and chocolate filled croussants. ( I spelled that so wrong). That was a good time. Not too long after that the Deere´s took us to the police office where we picked up our cards with the office Elders and Elder Castillo. Not too long after that, we hopped back on a bus to Murcia. That trip was tons longer because the bus stopped at stations about 4095345 times. We were on the bus for about 6 hours that day. When I got home, Elder Galarza and Elder Flores ( The elder he was on splits with) picked me up from the station and we went home. While I was gone, they set a fecha with J..., the son of .... Wooooooo! I forgot to tell you last time that our Fecha with ... isn´t going to happen any more because he hasn´t come to church yet, but we´re going to set a new one and work with him more.
On Thursday, we had our weekly planning session and afterwards, I cooked up some chicken fingers that I bought at Día (our supermercado) and they tasted EXACTLY like Wendy´s chicken nuggets. I was very pleased. Later that day we went to go teach J... the Plan of Salvation. He brought a friend to the lesson named ... (who is Evangelist and his abuelo is a pastor). They we´re both very attentive and the lesson went really well. Half way through the lesson, our good ol pal ... showed up with ... because he was helping her take her groceries up to her piso. He lives in the same building and gave the missionaries the reference of ... like 5 years ago. He sat in on the lesson and even bore his testimony at the end. ... is super nice and has a good testimony, he just needs to go to church. In the pueblo El Palmar, he is the member reference on almost every Antiguo Investigator progress record. He´s a maquina. We want to focus on him and help him get back to the capilla.
Friday, We ate with a member named .... She is the only active member in her family right now, but she is VERY humble and receptive to the gospel. We taught a short lesson about the Libro de Mormón and it went well. Her husband was there as well, and we need to work with him too. He´s been menos activo for quite some time and he told us he´s never really had a testimony of the LDM. We´ll work on him too. Later that day, we went to another puelbo called La Alberca, which was not a fruitful trip. We tried visiting just about every member and antiguo we had with no luck. Afterwards we were kind of put out. Hermana Deere says that when we have a bad day to just go get some helado. So that we did. We stopped by a heladería before going home and it was a good decision for sure. haha.
Saturday, we played soccer in the morning at the capilla and hoped to have some investigators come, but no one came except for members. After lunch and studying, we went to the capilla to watch the first session of conference. it was sooooo awesome to be able to watch something about the gospel in ENGLISH. I loved it so much. We all watched it together as missionaries in a room in the capilla. Lots of fun. I almost felt like I was in SLC for a minute.
Sunday was even better. We got to watch all the sessions of Conference except for the Sunday afternoon session, but
I´m hoping we´ll get to watch that some time soon. Maybe we can track down a copy of it for a P day activity. We were at the capilla pretty much the entire day and in between sessions, Josefina brought some paella for us to eat so we didn´t have to go back to our pisos and make food. Gooood deal.
My two favorite talks ( I think...) Were the one by Pres Uchtdorf in priesthood session about keeping our faith in the Gospel and Pres Monson´s address about holding on at the end of the Sunday morning session. Pres Uchtdorf said " Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". WOW. That really taught me that we always need to remain true to the faith we have if we want to have a firm foundation in this life. If at one point we´ve had a stronger testimony than we have right now, we need to do what ever it takes to get it back and keep working on it. Christ is the ONLY true and sure foundation that we have in this life and in order to endure to the end, we need Him and His gospel. Second I loved Pres. Monson's counsel of never dwelling on what we lack but delighting in the blessings we have. " Whether it is the best of times, or the worst of times, He is always there". I know that is true. When I have worked to see God´s hand in my life I have always found it. Testimony doesn´t come by praying and waiting but praying and acting. We have to look if we´re going to find anything. Christ is always there and He never has and never Will leave us. We are the ones that distance ourselves from Him. When we draw nearer to Him, He will draw nearer to us. I love that principle.
This week has been great. I can´t wait to be able to read the words of our leaders again soon when the Liahona comes out. It´s such a blessing to be able to hear from the servants of God.
Hope all is well, thanks for the letter!
Love you all and have a great week!