Monday, October 13, 2014

She went to Madrid for the One Direction concert which I was pretty jealous about. (July 14 & 24, 2014)

(7/24/2014) We are teaching a kid named Kxxxx who´s pretty cool. He´s 17 and from Ecuador. He´s getting baptized on Saturday. His mom and sister are both members but are more or less inactive. Kxxxx is a super nice kid. He really likes going to church and helping others. He´s really receptive to the spirit. 

Friday night I did a baptismal interview for an investigator of Hermana Flake. We did it a week early, I´m not really sure why. But the girl getting baptized is amazing. It was like she had been a member her whole life. It was a really long interview just because she kept bearing her testimony after every question. She said she reads the Book of Mormon and just starts crying and doesn´t know why. Her Book of Mormon is more marked up than mine with highlights, notes, and post-its. Her baptism is Saturday night. Saturday there is a big ward activity all day. It´s a chapel open house and it goes from 9 in the morning to 9 at night, with people coming and going as they please. SO we thought it would be cool if we had Kxxxx get baptized in the morning at 11, and Dxxxxxx, this other girl, at 8 at night so that people would have an opportunity to see two baptisms during the activity. It should be pretty great.

O yeah, Axxxx is going to EFY [Especially For Youth]. It started today. She left at 1 in the morning. She´s really excited. I feel a little bad because we kind of pushed her to do it, but she was really excited about going and we asked her what she wanted to get out of EFY and she said "I want to strengthen my testimony" which was an amazing answer from a girl who hasn´t been a member for even a month. And she showed us a text conversation she had with her cousin that lives in Madrid. Her cousin is 12 and knows that Axxxxx was baptized and everything. The cousin asked Axxxxx if she would need to be baptized again. And Axxxxx started explaining to her the entire first missionary lesson. And Axxxxx was asking her cousin questions like we try and do like missionaries. SHe talked about how Joseph Smith prayed to know which church was true and how he was given the authority and how we have the true church on earth. Her cousin said "that all makes sense". And then Axxxxx said "will you pray tonight and ask God if what I just told you is true?" and the couisn said "yes I will. I´m crying right now and I don´t know why". And Axxxxx said "That´s the Holy Ghost telling you that what I told you was true". Elder Sharp and I were freaking out while we were reading it. Her cousin and her family are interested and are going to try and go to church in Madrid soon. They live in a small town 30 minutes away though so it´s a little tough.
The family in Belgium STILL have not heard anything from the missionaries. We have sent the reference twice already. We´re going to call President Deere today to have him get in contact with the Bishop there in Brussels. 

There is a sister missionary who is 34 so she is the oldest. I´m probably one of the oldest guys. There was a 26 year old missionary but he went home a little bit ago.

Things I´ll miss about my mission...probably having a purpose. I also like organizing and learning the cities where I´m serving. I love taking a new ward directory and figuring out who is inactive and who has family that aren't members. And then going and finding them and baptizing everyone. 

We don´t have to travel this week so hopefully it will be better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I´m going to make a concerted effort to write in my journal!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE YA,  Calvin
But one cool thing did happen. There is a family in the other ward in Elche and the mom and dad got baptized in October and they have two daughters. One of them had been studying in Barcelona that whole time so didn´t know anything about the Church. The mom and dad are really strong members and always invite us over to eat. Hermana Flake and her companion are teaching the daughter, Dxxxxxx, and she´s 18 and really nice and interested. She told all the missionaries last week that she wanted to get baptized on the 26th of July but we had to keep it a secret because yesterday was her dad´s birthday and we all ate at their house and she surprised him by telling him that she was going to be baptized on the 26th. The parents knew she was learning about the church but weren´t expecting baptism yet so they were really shocked and of course super excited. All of us missionaries are trying to convince the girl to go to BYU and she really wants to. She is studying communications. 

Nothing else really exciting happened. Axxxxx went to Madrid for the One Direction concert which I was pretty jealous about. No one from Belgium has contacted our recent converts there which is pretty annoying. We sent the reference to the mission and have been trying to get in touch with the Bishop there. The one who didn´t get baptized told us on the phone the other day that she recieved her answer and will get baptized when she comes back to Elche to visit. 

Sorry that´s it. A pretty boring week. I need to be more exciting!!!!!

Love ya, Calvin

I love kebab! (June 9 & 23, 2014)

Someone from Elche went down to Malaga today so I should get the package from them in a couple of days. We did just talk a few days ago so there aren´t a lot of new things. We went by one girl who has a baptismal date on Saturday and we introduced the Book of Mormon. We had given her a copy of the Restoration video and The Testaments. She had watched both. She said her favorite part of the Restoration video was when Joseph Smith´s dad got baptized. That was weird because it´s not an important or cool part at all. That just means she wants to get baptized. She also cried during The Testaments. We gave her a Book of Mormon and talked about it a bit. We asked her again that if she came to know that the Book of Mormon was true if she would be baptized on the 28th, and she said she already knew it was true. She came to church wearing a "Parental Advisory, explicit content" shirt, but she didn´t know what it meant. She brought a friend and they both loved it and are coming next week again and will be baptized this month.

Also, two other investigators came to church with us and loved it. It is a mother and her 12 year old son. We asked if he prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he said he did and he felt a "burning in his chest" and then said that when he felt that he knew he was going to be baptized.

That was really it. We had a really good week. We´re excited for next week. Today we are going to play paddle which is like a lazy spanish version of tennis.

Yeah we are no introducing the Book of Mormon at the second lesson. It´s working really well.

We usually cook ourselves. I love kebab but I try not to eat it too much. I make rice a lot and cook some chicken too. We eat with members a couple of times a week usually. Yes I´ve had paella a lot...I like it very much.  YEAHHHHHHHH



HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! I hope you had a good one. This week started off pretty rough but ended well. Monday we went and played paddle which was really fun. Elder Sharp and I are going to start a paddle tennis court in provo when we get home. 
Our investigators are doing well. One of our investigators, Andrea is now getting baptized on the 22nd so this next sunday. She´s awesome. She has a friend that is an atheist and is telling her we are only being nice to her because we want to baptize her. But we talked to her last night and she is still getting ready for the 22nd. Her mother came to church yesterday too and liked it a lot. The Bishop got up to speak last and I was excited because I figured he would say something spiritual and be entertaining. But he got up and pretty much yelled at everyone for being late to meetings and not fulfilling their callings. It was pretty awkward and we apologized to our investigators for it. But I think Axxxxx’s mom is going to be baptized soon. She made a lot of friends at church and kept reciting the 5 steps to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to me. (Faith, Repentance,  Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Endure to the end) which was weird but I guess it´s good that she´s excited about that stuff. 

Yeah Friday we went to English class to give the Hermanas a blessing and all the youth from the stake were there watching the soccer game. We were there for the first half but Mxxxx and Dxxxx from Crevillente were there and I was talking to them the whole time and didn´t see any of the game. I saw that Spain was up 1-0 and then Sharp and I left and went to bed. I figured Spain would have won, but the next morning we found out they had gotten smoked 5-1. The other Elders in Elche have both lived in Holland so they were rooting for them and were really excited. It seems like a lot of people are blaming the goalie but I don´t really know anything about the game. I didn´t realize how dead the place would be during the world cup. Pretty much everyone sits at bars and cafes and watches the games. The streets are pretty dead. A lot of Colombians here in Elche so are all excited right now.

We are hoping to have 3 baptisms in the next couple of weeks. 2 are pretty much for sure, and we have 2 others that could be baptized. 

Yeah I got the package. Thanks a lot! Spanish deodorant is horrible. And the madeleines are delish. I gave them to the Hermanas.

Love ya,


Deodorant Can't Give you Cancer!!! (June 5, 2014)

Sorry for emailing so late. It´s been a crazy week. I had to go to Málaga Sunday morning to renew my residency card early Monday. I had to leave church early on Sunday and take an 9 hour bus ride to Málaga without Elder Sharp. I was with a couple other missionaries. The bad part was that it was Sunday so we couldn´t buy any snacks along the way. We were starving. We stayed at the mission home Sunday night and then Monday morning we went to do our residency. After, we were able to have the day off, but Elder Sharp was then traveling to Malaga so I didn´t want to email without him. So we walked around Malaga for a while. I went and saw Inma who was working that day in Malaga. She seemed happy to see me and I gave her a letter that I had written and also some letters for the family. 

After that we had a meeting in the mission home for the night. We heard some good talks about how to be better missionaries and stuff like that. Then the next afternoon we headed back to Elche in a car. We did intercambios with some missionaries in Malaga, so Elder Sharp stayed in Malaga and I went with an Elder Olsen back to Elche. I was a little nervous because I still don´t know the area very well and I had to figure it out. But we stayed busy that night and set three baptismal dates with new investigators. One is with a really cool mexican kid named Cxxxx. His mom had spoken with missionaries before, and her ex-husband back in Mexico was Mormon and so she has close relations to the church. The date is for the 28th of June. Then after, we went by two other investigators and had our first real lesson with them. They are an ecuadorian mother and her 16 year old daughter. We invited them to be baptized and the daughter said yes right away. The mom is a little less convinced but more or less agreed to a baptismal date for the 28th as well. The daughter for sure is getting baptized. It might take a little more time with the mom. 

Then the next day Elder Sharp came back and we went to visit a reference that a member gave us. It was a family of 4. Two grandparents, a woman and her 12 year old child. We taught them about the restoration and then committed them to be baptized on the 28th if they recieved an answer that the church was true. Just the mother and her child. The grandparents are a little tougher. We´ll get them though. Then after, we went and visited another investigator. She had had a few lessons before but this was the first time I had met her. We taught her the restoration as well, and then invited her to be baptized on the 5th of July and she accepted. So in 24 hours our area changed a ton. We still have other investigators we want to invite to be baptized, so we´re hoping to make June a great month. 
O yeah, our Romanian family that we found and were making good progress with: We went and were planning on giving them a baptismal date, but they informed us that they were getting kicked out of their house in 3 days and were going to have to live on the street because they would be unable to find a new apartment in time. We calmed them down and told them they would find one. We decided not to talk about baptism because they had other problems at the time. A couple days later they found a new apartment, but it is right on the other side of the border with the other ward here in Elche. So they don´t even belong to our ward anymore. We arenñt sure what we are going to do with them. We of course will have the other missionaries teach them. But they won´t really understand why it has to be that way. O well. We´ll figure it out.

But yeah. That was the week.

Elder Sharp is 20. So I guess that´s average? We came here at the same time, yes. The other companionships in the zone are doing well. May was a rough month for the whole zone but June will definitely be better. we have a goal of three baptisms as a companionship, and 6 as a zone. 

I guess we´ll be talking in a few days now.

One thing we´ve started doing in lessons is teaching very simply about the restoration on the very first visit. i don´t know why this started writing in italics. But we just say that in the history of the world, when there was a prophet, there was also the true church of God. When there wasn’t a prophet, there wasn’t the true church of God. We beat this into their heads a million times. Then we talk about Jesus and how he gave his apostles authority and established the true church again. But then he died and the authority was lost. because there was no longer a prophet, there was no longer the true church of God. Many people looked for the true church but because there was no prophet, there couldn’t be one. Joseph smith asked, and was called to be a prophet. Because there was a prophet, there was also the true church of God. Then we tell them to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Then we invite them to be baptized. And that’s it. We don´t talk about the Book of Mormon or anything. And it´s working like crazy. So good. Tell all your friends.

Love ya, bye


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