February 27, 2012
Well this week went WAY too fast! I think I could say that about most weeks on the mission, though. Today is my 10 month mark...I can't believe that 1 year is right around the corner already.I'll just try not to think about it haha
On Tuesday I did splits with the Utrera Elders. I always love doing splits because you get to meet all new people and see new areas. And this one was particularly good because they have a DRYER in their piso! I took all my socks and my towel so I could put them in the dryer after I washed them, haha. They also live near an American base and they got us ROOT BEER! Yes, that's right - real life A&W Root Beer. AND when we visited some members they gave us Root Beer FLOATS! It was almost too much to handle...Root Beer twice in one week. It was a truly incredible experience hahaha
Elder Wells and I had quite the elevator adventure this week. I'm not sure if I have ever talked about Spanish elevators before, but I would like to say a few words about them today. They're awful. This is just one example: On Thursday we were in an apartment building in a pueblo called 'Nueva Sevilla' and we were coming down from the 11th floor to the 5th floor. And then it passed the 5th floor so we tried hitting the 4 button to stop it at the 4th floor. It didn't stop then either. So we figured we would just go all the way down and then go back up. That is, until it stopped itself between the 2nd and 3rd floor. The elevator doors opened but the door to the outside was locked and we couldn't open it. Luckily some people saw us and went to get the emergency key. We found our way out after a little while and climbed down onto the 2nd floor. We weren't in there too long, luckily, but it was long enough! But, as much as I may gripe about the elevators, it still beats walking up 11 stories of stairs. I guess the moral of the story is to count your blessings, haha.
This week I started reading the Book of Mormon again from the beginning, but in Spanish this time. It has been great so far, as it always is. It is amazing to me that the scriptures can teach us so profoundly everytime we read them no matter how many times we have pondered them or in what language it is in. The Spirit of the Lord touches us when we study the Gospel and can always teach us the way to Eternal Happiness. I'm so grateful for that!!
I love you!!!!!
February 20, 2012
This week went by WAY too fast! We were really busy doing splits with the zone leaders and having zone conference...I ended up spending about half the week in Sevilla instead of here in our area! It was a lot of fun, though...I love being in the city!
So the food of the week would probably be tortilla de patata. We ate a lot of it. On Monday some members invited us over and we ate homemade tortilla with them AND got to take almost a whole one home with us which was great. And while I was in Sevilla with Elder Hafen we decided to try to make one. It turned out really good, actually. I've learned to love tortilla...it is a little different but if you make it right it is awesome.
We have 2 investigators who are really progressing towards baptism. Sonya is married to a member (Tito) who recently reactivated and they are striving towards going to the temple to be sealed. It is awesome to see how the Gospel is blessing their lives. Tito is an awesome guy and an awesome member missionary. And, interestingly enough, he lived in Utah for 3 years while he was in high school so he speaks english perfectly. I think I've said it before but probably half our ward speaks English really well. And one of the members absolutely LOVES the USA. He is always talking about how awesome it is. It is great, haha. The other investigator is named Orlando and he is a great guy from Ecuador. When he gets excited he'll pump his fists and say "yes we can! yes we can!" haha it is hilarious. He is a super outgoing and fun guy but is searching for something more in his life. Lucky for him we can show him where to find it!
Well, not too much more exciting to report. The work is moving on and going really well. I'm so grateful to be able to teach the Gospel and remind people of the eternal goals they set before being born. We are all striving to live worthy to enter into the presence of our Father again. We get there by living the Gospel and for it we are blessed every step of the way. It isn't always easy (in fact it hardly ever is), but it is worth it. I'm so grateful to know that and to have such blessings in my life!
I love you!!!
These photos are from the Spain Malaga mission blog and were taken at zone conference this past week.
Elders Crawford, Mockler, Pearce, and Barrett
February 13, 2012
I should start off by saying that I forgot something important in my letter last week. Elder Wells and I had to go to Plaza de España to do some residency stuff, so I can check that off my list of sights to see in Sevilla! I'll attach some pictures.
It was an exciting week! On Tuesday I got to go down to Fuengirola and stay in the mission home for the first time. We ate real baked potatos for lunch and they were amazing!! I think it was mostly because they were prepared by American hands. We had a really awesome conference for all the district leaders. Anytime we get together for conferences and meetings as missionaries it is awesome - lots of fun and even more spiritual nourishment.
Anyone remember "Welcome to my Study"? The bishop here is that guy. The very personification of that character. It is awesome.
As far as the work goes here, we set a fecha this week! A lady named Sonya is preparing for baptism on the 24th of March. Her husband, Tito, is an awesome member that recently reactivated and they are both really excited about the Gospel. We have a lot of other good investigators but they are having a hard time coming to church. We'll see how we can help them this week to see the importance of attending church!
Speaking of Tito, an interesting fact about our ward is that about half the people have lived in America at some point in their life. Tito spent a year living in Utah. With the American family we may be one of the most patriotic wards in the mission (besides the wards on the military bases)...God Bless America!
Well, I think that is about it. I love you!! The Gospel is true! It isn't easy to live but if we look at the things that we really want in the long term then living the Gospel is really the only reasonable decision. As Christ said, he is the living water that springs up unto eternal life. The water we draw from the deep well of the world won't satisfy our thirst for more than a few brief hours at a time but He can bring us water that satisfies eternally. I hope we can always remember that, even when it may appear backwards it is not. I'm so grateful to know where to go to find the BEST things Heavenly Father has given us.
Have a great week!
Three photos from Andy's visit to Plaza de España
There were lots of pictures of Andy on the Spain Málaga mission blog this week. Andy was at the mission home for training meetings.
February 6, 2012
So I've been wondering this week...do you guys have a hard time saying the names of my areas? There is a couple here that always says them with really American accents and I wonder if it is hard for y'all. I know I wouldn't have been able to say any of these places before the mission....I actually am still confused every once in a while. And, on the same theme, Aljarafe is said All-huh-rah-fay. If you can get a phlegmy sound on the huh it makes you more Spanish.
Time for the weekly food update! The other day we ate PIE with the Montoyas - a family here. Real apple pie! They lived in Utah for a few years while Hno. Montoya studied at BYU so they love the USA. Hooray! This morning I also made some chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes (thanks to Aunt D for the mix!!) and they were incredible. And we have gotten a LOT of fresh oranges from members so we have eaten plenty of great fruit as well.
Well we had a good week here! We only got lost like 2 times which was a huge improvement from last week. We have been doing a lot of finding (knocking doors, etc.) which is always interesting and fun. We don't have a ton of investigators right now but we have been finding new ones and slowly the area is growing. It is weird because unlike Huércal we can't really walk to any part of our area - we have to drive to everything - so that can be kind of inconvenient sometimes.
Well, that is about it! We are going to go bowling as a district and then eat at IKEA for lunch so it should be a good PDay. Tomorrow I am headed to Fuengirola for a few days to stay at the mission home so it will be an exciting week of travel. I'm so grateful to be here as a missionary! It is amazing how much we learn about the Gospel by teaching it. Yesterday we had a regional stake conference and President Uchtdorf spoke. It was an awesome talk and he focused a lot on living the commandments. I have said it a lot but I know it is true: living the commandments is the best path to the best happiness. Sometimes it is hard to see but if we have faith in that promise and try it we will always see the benefits.
I love you!!!!