June 25, 2012
Oye qué pasaa!
Well, this week the La Mancha zone had the best week it has ever had. But really! It was quite the incredible week here. One of our areas set 13 baptismal dates this week and overall we found more than 500 future investigators. Here in Alcázar he had an awesome week as well. We did splits with the APs and with the district leader in Puertollano and we were SUPER busy, but those are always the best weeks as a missionary! We saw a lot of miracles and we're super excited right now!! This week we get to drive to Cáceres which is about 5 hours away from here so that will be a fun little ROAD TRIP on Wednesday and Thursday. We are trying to work as hard as we can before we lose a few days next week in Málaga.
I'm attaching photos from various adventures over the last month. One of us (Me, Elder Barahona, Elder Nuñez, and Hna. Moreno) eating at Taco Bell in Málaga, our glorious Maple Syrup victory with our homemade syrup cleverly disguised in an Aunt Jemima bottle, a famous La Mancha windmill (Molino), and me looking out over La Mancha.
While I was on splits with the APs I had an awesome conversation with Elder Hall about the Atonement. We talked about how we don't understand how one man's suffering could pay the price for all our mistakes and shortcomings, but that we know it is true. We talked about what we must have felt as we reverently looked down on our older brother suffering to save us.And about the profound joy and gratitude we had to have felt when He said "It is finished" and completed the Atonement. In that moment, we knew we would be able to make it. I imagine that then we all told ourselves we would never sin, that I could never make Christ suffer like that because of ME. We still make mistakes everyday but His love is infinite and can reach us even in the darkest abyss. I read Mosiah 26 and 27 this week which talk a lot about repentance as well. The Lord is always, ALWAYS, willing to forgive us, no matter how long the road to repentance is.
I'm so grateful to be a missionary, especially in the Spain Málaga mission!! I love you all!!
June 18, 2012
Well, we had a really crazy week this week! A crazy but good week. On Wednesday we went down to Málaga for President Clegg's final Zone Conference which was pretty sad but we had a good time and it was great to see them one last time. It'll be weird to switch presidents but that's just the way it is and I'm excited to meet President Deere!
We went to Málagaon Wednesday in the AVE and stayed the night in a piso with 8 Elders! It was crazy..the piso was PACKED! But it was a lot of fun as well. We came back in the train on Thursday night, stayed over in Puertollano, and then I came back here to Alcázar with Elder Nuñez to do splits. While we were out contacting we passed a gas station and a beer truck started pulling out....without closing the back doors!! So a ton of bottles fell out and shattered all over the place. The truck driver got out, looked at the mess, climbed into the truck and drove off. So we ran over and started sweeping it up until the city cleaners got there to help us. In the process we got to share the Gospel with a police officer, a garbage man, and 2 gas station attendants. And got to step in a whole lot of beer, haha. In the end we got it all cleaned up and headed off (and I think the gas station ladies fell in love with us...uh oh). Saturday morning I drove to Valdepeñas to pick up Elder Rodriguez and we finally got back to normal on Saturday afternoon. It all felt like a whirlwind! Whoo!
Well, that is all for this week. I love you all SO much! The Gospel is true and answers all the questions we have...we just have to look for them. It isn't easy to do what God requires but it is worth it and is is necessary. I'm so thankful for the Gospel and for the Spirit that we can feel when we live it!
Zone conference (picture from the mission blog http://spainmalagamission.blogspot.com/)
June 11, 2012
First and foremost, CONGRATS OWEN!! I'm so excited for you!!! Mom sent me a few picture of Emma and I hope you can send some more this week!!! :)
Well, this morning I had great triumph. Missionaries have lived in our apartment for a long, long time so there are many strange treasures to be found. The other day I found artificial maple flavoring and today Elder Rodriguez and I made....get ready for it....drumroll.....maple syrup!! That may not sound so exciting to those who live in a land where syrup flows like the waters of the Great Mississippi, but here in Spain it was quite a triumph. Syrup is incredibly expensive here and we made it for FREE!! (not to mention our bottle of flavoring serves for 24 liters.....woah.)
A little news from Aljarafe...Jesús and Angeles should be getting baptized next week! Wow! I'm super excited for them!! I wish I could be there but such is the mission...hopefully there will be pictures on the blog soon!
We had another crazy week. I don't think I'll really have a normal week as long as I'm up here in La Mancha. We had a new missionary in one of our areas decide to go home so we spent a lot of the week talking with him and with President trying to figure out what to do. It was really, really sad to see him make the decision to go after just a week or so. He is from Chile and just felt too homesick to stay. It made me realize how much the last 13 months or so have changed me and how awesome my mission is. And how excited I am for the time that is left!! It also made me think a lot about how God feels when we make poor decisions and don't follow the counsels he gives us through scripture and prophets. He knows what Eternal Life is like and is sad when we make choices that take us farther away from that goal. He knows how to arrive there because he has acheived it and has done everything he can to give all his children the chance to make it as well. I know He loves us perfectly and that he is always just waiting for us to make the decisions that allow Him to give us amazing blessings.
I think that is all for this week! We're going back to Málaga on Wednesday and don't get back until Friday morning so we have another busy week with lots of travel ahead of us. I love Spain!!
Have a great week!
June 5, 2012
Well, I officially live in Castilla-La Mancha now! Yayy! It's the greatest place ever! We drive here and the drive between our pueblos reminds me a lot of Indiana. Pretty flat and lots of wheat. We live in a pueblo called Alcázar de San Juan that I think has about 40,000 people. My companion is named Elder Rodriguez and he is from Madrid but his mom is Colombian so he is half South American. He speaks English pretty well but doesn't like to so it is 100% Spanish all the time betwen us which has been pretty darn neat! It makes for some pretty hilarious situations sometimes too.
Well, we have a crazy month ahead of us! We just got back today from Zone Leader Concilio in Fuengirola and we get to go back to Malaga next week for zone conference. Then when President Clegg leaves and Pres. Deere gets here at the end of the month we go back twice agin for concilio and zone conference. Lots of trips on the AVE (the high speed train)! We're super excited for everything that is coming up but we'll definitely stay plenty busy!
The branch is pretty small here...between 15 and 20 people in church every week, so it reminds me a lot of Huércal-Overa. I definitely miss having a mature ward like in Aljarafe but small branches are awesome as well. Just last week 5 people were baptized here so we are hoping to find lots of new people and keep seeing great things. I love being a missionary! The church is true! Following Christ's teachings is the way to fulfilment now and in the eternities. We are so blessed to have prophets and apostles and scriptures today to guide us to Him!
I Love you so much!!