October 27, 2012
Well, here I am in the mission office, having PDay on Saturday. It has been a pretty crazy week (well, 5 day week). But a pretty crazy awesome one at the same time. On Monday we started doing the typical last-week-in-your-area goodbye's and kicked it off well eating a delicious paella with our investigator Daniel. He is from romania but makes some mean Spanish food. I took a picture but forgot my camera in the piso so I'll try to remember to send it next week. He put some really good seafood in it, including some of the biggest shrimp I've ever seen. They almost never pre-peel shrimp here so that has been a valuable new skill that I've developed. Tuesday was pretty similar but in the afternoon we went to visit Leidy, Katerine, and Lizeth and got their baptismal interviews done! Woohoo!! They passed with flying colors and we finished preparing and planning everything for Leidy's baptism that happened on Wednesday. We also visited Regalado on Tuesday evening. He finished reading Doctrine and Covenants this week which was pretty crazy. He's definitely the most studious investigator I've ever had...he is way awesome. Wednesday had all the craziness of a typical baptism day...we ran around all morning trying to get things prepared and fill up the font and got everything prepared just in time to go pick everyone up and start the baptism. The service was really, really awesome and Leidy was super happy. I'll send pictures of the baptism next week, too (sorry!). There was a really sweet spirit there and it was awesome to see how brave Leidy was to set the example for her sisters and follow Jesus Christ the best she could. Wednesday night we had some good Ecuatorian food with a big Ecuatorian family, I finished packing my bags, and slept super well for the last time in La Mancha! I seriously can't believe all my time there has already come and gone. Easily the fastest 5 months (almost) of my life.
So on Thursday we had specialized training and then I caught the AVE one more time in Ciudad Real and came down here to Fuengirola!! It has been raining on and off since I got here but it looks like it is done now and it is really beautiful out. Our area goes almost all the way to Algeciras (we'll probably go to Gibraltar again in a few weeks...how cool is that?!) and includes Estepona, Marbella, Mijas, and lots of other awesome tourist beach towns. It is great to be back in a BIG CITY as well! La Mancha was nice and calm, but I like the pace of the Malaga area a lot more. It reminds me a lot of California around here sometimes and I'm loving it so far. I haven't had too much office work so far since yesterday was the only office day I've had but so far I have been working on a lot of residency and translating a few things for the weekly mission bulletin. As I figure things out I'll let ya know what else I'm doing around here! Haha.
Well, I'm gonna wrap up for this week. I'll probably have lots to talk about next week as well. I'm so glad to be a missionary! It is a great blessing to be here and to be able to grow closer to my Savior. I am thankful for his example and hope we can all follow Him.
P.S. The new Bible videos are the bomb! http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/?lang=eng
October 22, 2012
Well, this is the last email I'll write from Alcázar. Pretty hard to believe that these last 3 weeks are already pretty much come and gone. I got my train ticket to go to Fuengirola this morning so that makes it pretty dang official haha. Elder Pallas and I have just been having a blast (Except for when he got stuck waiting in a train station for 6 hours on Wednesday...poor guy. At least I was here with the other Elders! haha) and making the most out of these last few weeks here. I'll attach a few pictures from today and last PDay.
On Wednesday we are going to have a baptism!! Leydi, the youngest of the Columbian girls we have been teaching, is going to get baptized. We are super excited and hoping that the service will help her sisters decide to take the same step. We'll be running around getting everything prepared for that and doing my last visits to everyone this week so time is just going to fly by. We have a lot of awesome investigators right now and Elder Jones, Elder Pardo, and Elder Pallas are going to have lots of success in the next few months. We have an awesome Romanian investigator named Daniel who came to church yesterday. He has a 14 month old girl who walks and talks and is the most adorable thing on the planet. She was awfully popular yesterday at church haha. He is going to make us Paella tonight in the church and tells me and Elder Pallas that we are his best friends. Elder Pallas doesn't talk a lot in the lessons and on the way out the other day he said he is going to pray so that Elder Pallas' spirit can 'travel among us' more hahaha the guy awesome.
As far as I know my P-Day will change to Saturday in the office, so I think I will be emailing again then. I'm so excited to go down there and learn all kinds of new things. The mission is such a great experience and I'm really grateful to be here and to be learning so much. What a great blessing! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he loves us and cares for us personally.
Love you all!!
One last trip to the molinos.
The Cathedral in El Toboso
October 15, 2012
Well, we had a pretty good week. Still a bit slow because we're 4 missionaries here in this area but we are still making good progress. It has gotten REALLY cold here today, so I guess fall is here. Luckily I'll be down in sunny Fuengirola in a few weeks :)
Well, Friday night was one of the more interesting times of my mission. Why? Well, we were coming home from Tomelloso, a pueblo about a half an hour away, and Elder Pallas was driving. We stopped behind a car that was turning left, waited a second, and then I just hear Elder Pallas say "Oh no.." and BOOM! the car behind us slammed into us. We weren't harmed at all except for a little bit of nerves and our car is pretty much fine - just some scratches on the bumper. The other car was pretty bad but the people were fine. The lady who hit us was an insurance agent (miracle!) and helped us fill out the accident report because here in Europe the police don't usually go to scenes of smaller accidents like that. After a stressful hour of filling out paperwork and trying to make phone calls, we were able to drive away just fine. It was pretty amazing that nothing more happened to us or the people in the other car. I guess we can cross "get in a car accident in Europe" off the list now.
Before the accident we had a really good evening! We visited a less-active lady that we found in a pueblo and met her husband and her daughter. They are really great people and really prepared - they had even gone to mormon.org (which is now in spanish as well) before we came over and watched a bunch of videos. Alejandra was baptized when she was 15 but when she went to college and moved here she lost track of the church and has forgotten a lot of things. We are excited to be teaching them and helping them come back to church. Lizeth, Katerine, and Leidy, the 3 Columbian girls we are teaching are doing really well, too, and we are hoping they will get baptized before I leave here! I sure am going to miss Alcázar a lot...
Well, I hope you all have a great week. I know the Lord protects us and helps us always. All things are part of his plan and under his control. I'm so grateful to be part of his work here in Spain. The church is true! The Book of Mormon is true as well and contains the words of Christ through his prophets.
October 8, 2012
Hey! This week is going to be really short! We have had a crazy week saying goodbye to Elder Rodríguez and welcoming Elder Pallas, Elder Jones, and Elder Pardo, a new missionary from Barcelona. We have had to go to a lot of appointments all together which is SUPER weird, but we're getting everything squared away and dividing up the area. It has been great having 4 people in the piso...tons of fun. And Elder Pallas can drive! So I have been getting some nice time in the passenger seat for once! haha.
Hope all of you enjoyed General Conference. It was a great opportunity to listen to the Apostles and the Prophet. I loved it! I know that this is Christ's restored church and that our leaders speak with authority from God against the evils of this world and give testimony of Christ, our Savior.
October 1, 2012
Well, like I said last week, this week is transfer week. And, like we knew, Elder Rodriguez is leaving to Sevilla. But, the mission can never be so simple, and there were a few other changes as well. 3 more Elders are coming to Alcazar and we are splitting the area for a few weeks. I'll be with Elder Pallas (I don't know if I ever mentioned him, but he was in my district in Sevilla for a while and we did splits and drank root beer together once). And, in 3 weeks, I'm going to the mission office in Fuengirola to be the mission secretary. Ah! Elder Rodriguez has always said I have the hair of a mission secretary...whatever that means. But I guess he is right! Anyway, looks like I'm going to have a busy couple of months ahead of me. The Zone of La Mancha is getting changed so I will have a 3 week break from being zone leader, which will be nice...the calm before the storm! Haha.
On Friday morning we took our final road trip to Cáceres. It was raining almost the whole time which was a bit miserable, but it has hardly rained all summer so it was needed. We had good splits despite the moisture and came back on Saturday. On Sunday we had 5 investigators in church which is a lot here in Alcázar and we were super happy to have them all there. We are hoping that the 3 girls we are teaching will be ready to be baptized before I leave!
We're in Ciudad Real right now doing a district PDay and everyone else is wrapping up so I guess that means I should too. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He loves us! That is the most important thing we can ever know and the most important thing we can ever work for. I'm so grateful for him!