Monday, May 5, 2014

Not Cinco De Mayo - in Spain! (May 5, 2014)

Yes I´m pretty sure I will be transferred. A bunch of people have told me. I don´t know where though. Saturday we will find out.

No you don´t need to do anything to help with the week of consecration because it´s already over. maybe the longest week of my whole mission.

The castle was pretty cool I guess. There´s really only one castle and one old church. the rest is pretty [run down]. 

On Monday as we were going to the castle. we were wearing normal clothes, and we were walking onto the train and some lady just walks by us saying "church, the church" (in english) so we look over and she just walks by as she pulls down her shirt and flashes us. it was the weirdest thing. I don´t know how she could have identified us as missionaries.

But the rest of the week was really hard. It seemed like everyone hated us and no one wanted to talk to us. But tuesday we met with a girl we talked to in an elevator. She´s an evangelist and is the craziest person I´ve ever met. We couldn´t go in to her apartment because we didn´t have another male present, so we ast outside of her door on chairs. But she told us that she gets taken up to the heavens often and talks with prophets and casts out demons on her banjo. then she said she wasn´t surprised that we wouldn´t go into her apartment because her apartment is holy and unholy things physically cannot pass without being burnt. that made me mad, because we were just trying to follow a rule. so i had to assure her that we could have gone in if we really wanted to. but then after i prayed she said there was an angel right next to me confirming my words so that was pretty cool.

later that night after we got stood up at a lesson, we decided to go by the soccer court where a bunch of members play on tuesday nights. we were looking for an investigator but he wasnt there. we were about to leave when we saw one of our members, who´s an old man, had collapsed against the wall of the court and had passed out. everyone ran over, and luckily we were there and had oil. he regained his consciousness and we gave him a blessing. the ambulance came after about 20 minutes. luckily a young girl who was studying nursing saw him fall from her window and ran down and helped us a lot. It turned out to be a loss of blood pressure or something like that. but he´s the strongest member i´ve met on my whole mission so i´m glad he didn't die! 

The rest of the week was really boring. Full of people being rude to us. At one point I contacted 8 people in a row without a single one of them stopping to talk. they just waved their hands and kept walking. It was laughable. I LOVE SPANIARDS!!! O yeah, speaking of that, we ate with the bishop the other day and he asked why all the people being baptized in spain are south americans and nigerians. It´s frustrating because the ward council gets mad at us because we don´t baptize "normal spanish families", but if they want certain... people, they need to introduce them to the gospel and us. A "normal spanish family" [may not] let two random young americans into their home  -- without a referral. 

That was pretty much it. Nothing more exciting happened. 

Love ya


"We just stared at each other.... in horror" (April 30, 2014)

This week was fairly eventful. We had a lesson with a guy who has known the missioanries for years. He´s from Philadelphia and has lived in Torremolinos for a really long time. He really has no direction in his life. But he´s a good friend of the missionaries. He always calls the Book of Mormon the Joseph Smith Bible. Not in like a mean way. He´s just a very simple guy who doesn't understand much about the church. He has a lot of problems but he likes us and will make us fried chicken sometime.

We found a new investigator this week named M...... He´s a 20 year old Romanian kid who speaks perfect Spanish and English. We teach him in english. When we found him he told us he had been praying every night for help, because his life has been so hard. We think he´s pretty golden. We tried to see if he could get to church this weekend on his own, but he didn´t come. So next week we´ll try and get a member to take him. We´re really excited about him. We found some other really good people that we´re excited to go by. The problem is they all live in a really far part of town that we have to take a train to. But we´ll figure it out. 

Thursday we went to I... and the fam. They are doing good. L..... got the aaronic priesthood Sunday and I ordained him. They told me right before the ordination that I was going to do it and I didn't know how to do it so they had to whisper it in my ear. It´s funny, Lorenzo really loves church but his only desire is to sit and listen. The bishopric told us to get him excited to bless the sacrament.

Yesterday I gave a talk at church. The sacrament meeting was about missionary work, so the primary sang, and some returned missionaries talked, and then I talked about what it means to be a missionary. It went well, I think.

O yeah one funny think happened this week. We had to go to Malaga for a meeting on Tuesday morning, and we were running late to catch the train from torremolinos to malaga, and so we were running and I jumped on the train just as the doors were closing, but Elder Marchant was a little farther behind me than I thought, and he didn't make it on the train, and the train started leaving immediately. So we just stared at each other through the window in horror as the train left. The train goes by every 20 minutes, so he just waited until the next one. And then I got off at the first train stop I could, and waited there until the next train came by with Elder Marchant on it. So we were only apart for about 20 minutes. I called some other missionaries to let them know we were separated, and then talked to a nice Austrian couple while I waited. All is well.

For Pday we are going to the castle in malaga. I´ll try and take some pics. Things are going well with Elder Marchant. He works hard and we get along. Not much of an age difference except a year ago he was in high school. I heard you emailed his mom you stalker...

Well that's it for the week!

Love ya all


Monday, April 21, 2014

"Just kidding" (April 14 & 21, 2014)

[At a time when he know Suzie was on-line and, after initially telling Suzie that the Baptism they'd been planning/working on for weeks had fallen through, he followed up with this:]

Add caption
just kidding. the baptism went really well. we met with "I..." every day during the week and she came to the baptism really excited. i included a pic. also right after the baptism the city was having a Ku Klux Klan rally/adoration of Jesus party. Very spiritual. I put some pics in the dropbox. I was able to baptize "I..." and "L...." so that was really cool. We had a really good program, a lot of the members and family that spoke talked about the temple which was awkward because we hadn´t taught them about the temple. The aunt and sister-in-law of those being baptized bore her testimony and said that she had had a dream the night before that the whole family was in the temple in switzerland, so that was really cool. We had a really bad week lessons wise, but it ended in two baptisms and confirmations. That was really it. We spent all week preparing for the baptism. Elder Marchant sang I need thee every hour. "I..." took my towel on accident when she left the water so that left me without one.
now that its getting hotter there are a lot more people here. we spent a lot of time outside of our area last week, but this week we should be working here more. we need to find people still. it says the package is there. we went to fuengirola to play softball as a zone so i probably could have gotten it today, but i will be able to get it on friday.

the new comp is good. a lot of people think i´ll leave after this transfer but i´d be ok staying i think. i do feel like ive done everything i needed to here. thats what is tough. i joked around with elder marchant that after these baptisms i was done here. but i think we can still get one more baptism before the end of the transfer which is mothers day.

o yeah there is a sister missionary here named hermana bangerter that is family friends with the calderwoods.

April 21st
Yeah it was a pretty slow week because every night people were out watching the holy week celebrations. i got the package on friday so i´ve been eating the candy, thanks! the new comp is good. the transfer has been going by really fast. i went to nerja this week and he was able to figure out the area by himself. it was fun holding a lacrosse stick. it was weird seeing it. i thought for a second about the significance of the moment. i wanted to take a pic but i forgot my camera. for easter dinner we didnt have anything. after church yesterday the missionaries in the building all had a lunch, so hermana flake was there too. we ate some ham we bought at the grocery store, and some other people made sweet potatoes and rolls. it was fun. have you seen the video, "Because of Him", that the church made? its really really awesome. we´ve been showing it to members this week. its super cool. 

nothing too exciting happened this week. a lot of catholic processions. we went and taught "I..." and "L...." and the family about temples, and they were really excited. i dont really know how to explain eternal families very well but they were really excited. maybe in a year i´ll come back and can go to the sealing...

sorry thats it...boring semana santa week

"...Con muchas ganas de bautizarme" (April 7, 2014)

New comp is good. He speaks spanish really well and is a good missionary. The members and stuff seem to like him a lot. My spanish is fine. I can usually understand everything or at least pretend like I do. It´s not something I have to worry about too much anymore.
celebrating the warmer weather - inside (?)
 So Monday our mission president texted us saying he wanted to have a lesson with us and "I..." on Thursday. 'I..." had to work but we scheduled one with Lorenzo who also had a baptismal date for the same day. The lesson went well, but "I...´s" mom and dad told us that we were going to have to move the baptism back 'because "I..." had smoked a few times and drank coffee'. We said ok, we were going to have a lesson with "I..." the next morning so we´d talk then. But the lesson with president went well. Very spiritual. We talked about the importance of the priesthood and the holy ghost.

with Elder Marchant and 2 new members
   Then the next morning we had the lesson with "I...", and she told us right when we got there that she wanted to move the baptism back a few more weeks. We were a little bummed but said OK and moved into the lesson. We talked about being free from bonds and stuff like that. Then we read Alma 36 together and we didn´t notice at first but she started crying like crazy. We talked more about the importance of baptism and stuff. She just kept crying and crying because she said she had never felt any of this before. We decided not to have her cry anymore so we started to end the lesson. I asked her and her father when they thought they´d be ready for baptism. I started naming dates, April 19, April 26, May 3...and "I..." just says "the 12th". And I said, "what?" because the 12th of May is like a thursday. And she says "the 12th. Next week. I´ll be ready." So we were really pumped about that. We told her we were going to make sure we see her everyday, and the next day we went to see her at work and she said she felt really really good "con muchas ganas de bautizarme" which means like a lot of excitement to get baptized. She said the lesson we had with her was a beautiful experience. She didn´t come to conference which was annoying but she watched a bit of the relief society online and said she was crying. I made a mistake of saying we could meet with her anytime today and she asked to meet in the middle of P-day so we´re gonna have a weird P-day today...
Missionary March Madness?

Yesterday morning we had the priesthood session, but then all the 30 missionaries in Malaga just stayed in our capilla and all day they were showing the sessions of conference. so we watched 4 sessions of conference yesterday which was a ton. we got permission to stay and watch the sunday night session at 10 pm. but the last train to torremolinos leaves at 11:30 so we only saw the first half of sunday afternoon. But it was a pretty fun day in the capilla. we all had brought food and had a missionary party. 

the rest of the week was pretty normal. elder marchant and i are getting along well. he´s a good missionary. we had 3 terrible weeks before, and our area seemed so dead, but now it seems to be picking up. 

Send it to the mission home. I´ll get it eventually. but i cant think of anything i really need. the little picture book domineau sent me is breaking. maybe one day you guys can make another. but with more photos of all the fam, and cato...

love ya


"New Comp this week..." (March 31, 2014)

Electric Scooters on P-Day
I wish I could accurately explain how big of a miracle we've seen here in Torremolinos! The daughter of a non-member father and inactive mother has stopped smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee since the day we taught her the Word of Wisdom will be getting baptized in couple of weeks. Her father (who [didn't really like] Mormons before we came) has a baptismal date for the same day, her mother and grandmother are reactivating themselves, and a long-time friend of the family who has been inactive for decades came to church yesterday because she couldn't believe that this was all happening. And to top it all off the extended family have strengthened themselves an unbelievable amount. 
I wrote that to someone else but copied it to you. "I..." is going super well. She´s not smoking or drinking coffee, and although it´s a struggle she knows it´s for the best. 

Elder England is leaving for Torrevieja
Other than that it was a really slow week. All of the blessings of missionary work are going towards "I...", and so everything else has been terrible. All of our other investigators have been flaking out on us, and we´ve had a hard time finding new ones. It´s ok, new companion this week and we´ll start fresh. His name is Elder Marchant or something like that. He has 4-6 months in the field. He´s been in Sevilla. I´ve heard he´s nice. I saw him once at a meeting and he sings REALLY good. He made an impression on me with his voice. Elder England is going to Torrevieja which is in the East. I went there once to visit someone in the hospital when I was in Crevillente. Also this woman I taught twice a week for my whole time in Crevillente ("C.....", dominican) finally quit smoking and got baptized last week. That was super cool to here. 

with Elder Vosters (on his way home)
Thursday we had a meeting with President and three zones were there. Elder Vosters was there so it was fun to see him before he goes home in a couple days.

That was really it. At church Yesterday a [less-active] sister came to see the family that are investigating and she hadn't been in a church for years, but i talked to her for a bit and she said that they sang her favorite hymn in sacrament and she started crying a ton. She said she was actually [formally out of the church] but I don´t know why. She said she has no problems with the church. Now she just has probs with herself because when you have a lot of knowledge God expects a lot from you, and she has a lot of knowledge but didn't live up to the expectations. But she asked for a blessing of health and asked me to do the anointing and the stake president to do the blessing. It was cool because the stake prez had absolutely no idea who she was, or that she was a member that [been out of the church], nothing. yet, in the blessing he basically told her everything that I would have said, knowing her past and her problems. It was really cool. Then after we got to set apart the new Elders Quorum President, who´s a really cool 24 year old guy who just got married and has a baby. He served his mission in Italy.

Then last night we went and watched The Prophet of the Restoration with "I..." and the kids. The kids were wild but it still went well. "I..." really liked the movie. O yeah and at the lesson on Thursday "I..." prayed out loud in front of us, finally. It was a really good prayer too. I was very happy.

That´s it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As far as favorite scriptures, I share Alma 7:11-12 a ridiculous amount. Also Mosiah 2:41.

Mountains to Climb (March 17, 2013)

Birthday cake with friends and Elder England
That´s nuts about the airplane [MH370]. 

Transfers are in 2 weeks but I´ll be here for at least another 2 months. Elder England is leaving. 

Yeah, I´ve seen “mountains to climb”. I watched it last week actually. really good!

Last P-day we went and stuck our feet in big bowls of water and fish ate the dead skin off our feet for a half hour. It was pretty fun but we chose the wrong bowls and the fish weren´t as hungry as in other bowls.

We had a lesson with a woman and gave her a baptismal date. She is sincerely reading and asks good questions, the problem is that she just got this dog that is about 4 months old and is just the worst dog in the world. It literally doesn’t stop biting, jumping, peeing, barking the whole time we´re in the lesson. I won´t describe all the ways I want to deal with that dog. So it´s really hard to get anywhere in the lesson because the dog is always messing with stuff and we have to stop. But she has a baptismal date for the 30th. I think it might be hard getting her to church the first time. But she doesn´t really have any other problems.
A message for the Missionaries who like to climb this peak just above Malaga

I had a good experience that God answers prayers. We were having a terrible week as far as amount of lessons because we were so busy preparing for the ward activity Saturday, and Thursday night we only had 2 hours to work because we had to go to Málaga for a baptismal interview and then had to stay and eat at a members house. We were really stressed but before we left the house I said a private prayer that we would work hard for those 2 hours and have success, and it was incredible. We ended up having some really good conversations with the first people we began talking to, and then two times while we were walking someone came up and asked us who we were and we talked with them for about 20 minutes and had lessons with them and got their info. It was really cool. 

The view from the climb.
Saturday we had the activity that we as missionaries planned. It was a bunch of “minute to win it” games set up around the church. We all worked hard getting it set up but only about 35 people showed up...and they were pretty much all primary kids. We did everything we could to get the whole ward there, so it was pretty disappointing. But the people who came had a really good time. The ward needs a lot of help to get more involved. So now we´re back to the drawing board.

That´s the week pretty much

Love ya


Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy 23rd Birthday, Calvin!! (March 3, 2014)

Posing during a Pre-Dawn Birthday Run
Yeah I got all the packages last week dont worry. And yes I waited and opened the birthday package this morning! This morning we went running to the beach and waited for the sunrise and took some pics. Thats what the 30 pictures of the sun are from...I think we might go to Malaga after we email to go ride bikes or meet up with some other missionaries. Im not sure. Then tonight a family is making a birthday dinner so that should be fun.

The Package
 This week went by really slow. We thought it was a terrible week but it didnt turn out too bad. I think it was just that our investigators didnt progress as much as we would have liked. We went and talked with the mother of the two kids we baptized. She´s been coming to church and likes it a lot. We asked how she was liking church and her grandpa blurted out "she loves it. She´ll be baptized any day now!" And she got kind of embarrassed but didn't deny it. She said she had some doubts about religion in general and of course wanted to learn more about the church, because we've never been able to really teach her. Cl... (the 8 year old) was practicing the talk she had to give in primary and she ended by saying (in spanish) I say these things in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen". It was so funny/cute.

Tuesday we went to the apartment where these 3 argentine people live. They´re all in their early 20´s but really like us. We got there and they were saying how stressed out they were because of work and their families. And then we read 2 nephi 4, and then Enos and talked about and shared all of our favorite parts. It was a really good discussion and even they mentioned how much better they felt after reading those scriptures. They´re super nice kids, they just arent very [educated]. That´s the problem. We´ll try and get them to progress a bit more though.

Sunrise on the Mediterranean (3/3/14)
Yesterday in Church L.... (grandpa of the kids) came and was crying in gospel principles talking about baptism. I talked to him after and we talked about him getting baptized on the 22nd with his daughter. He said we have to talk with her but he knows its important. So this family of the grandpa and the daughter and her two kids have family that are super active in the ward. and every time we talk to this active family they tell us how its a literal miracle that the grandpa and his daughter are accepting the gospel like this. It doesnt really feel like a miracle, but it´s cool to hear them say that I guess...

That´s it!!!!!!!!

love ya, thanks for the birthday stuff!!