Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tender mercies (part 1)

Elder David A. Bednar once taught us that, "...the tender mercies of the Lord are real and they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence... [they] are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ."

In the last 5 weeks I've learned that to be completely true. Being home has undoubtedly been one of the toughest trials I've passed through. But at the same time, I've experienced the very personal and individualized tender mercies that Elder Bednar speaks of. And that has made the experience a little less painful. 

My little brother reported to the MTC on September 17th. He and my parents flew out to Utah to drop him off on the 15th, the very day after I got home. If I hadn't come back when I did, it would have been three years (almost to the day) since I saw him last. That kid means the world to me, and to be able to unexpectedly see him, even for just a few hours, was easy for me to recognize as a loving tender mercy from the Lord.

My favorite part about seeing him were the moments we spent in our stake president's office. Conner was set apart before I was released, and for just a little bit, we were both missionaries. There was an undeniable spirit in the room -- it was powerful, and bittersweet. 

I'm so grateful for the time I was able to spend with my now missionary brother. And I'm grateful that the Lord knows me so perfectly to know that that was exactly what I needed upon coming home. Tender mercies are real, peeps. I can't wait to tell you more.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Happy year mark to me... not

President Jackson picked me up early - 6am or so - and drove me to the airport in Barajas. After unloading my luggage from the mission van, he walked me inside and sat me down by the check-in counter. 

"Alright Hermana, thanks for everything. We love you and we'll miss you. Get better okay?"

And just like that, he was gone. I looked around and found myself all alone, for the first time in over a year. Up until then I had been okay. But sitting there alone in the airport, everything became so real.

I was going home.

The tears came suddenly and wouldn't stop. For a second I was glad I was alone because that way I could cry silently by myself. Nobody would understand anyways. 

I made it through security and to the gate relatively composed. But after boarding the plane, the tears returned. I had a long 12 hours to reflect over the last year of my life - the best year of my life. Most people have time to mentally and emotionally prepare for their return home. But I got ripped out of the best thing that had ever happened to me and was about to be shoved back into reality, with only a few days notice. 

When the plane arrived in Louisville, I hesitated getting off and I took my time walking towards baggage claim because I knew the moment I saw my family, it would officially be over. It would mean I was home. 

The second I saw my mom's face I just started crying again. She hugged me tight and the first thing out of my mouth, and a complete surprise to me, was, "I love you, but I really don't want to be here." It was true though. My mission wasn't supposed to be over so quickly and the only place I wanted to be was Madrid.

That night, September 14th, I was released as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was asked to take off my badge...

I am home on a medical release. I have had seven internal infections in the last five months and it has become a cause of concern for my mission president as well as the European area medical authority, so they sent me back here. In the last three weeks that I've been home, I've seen doctors and specialists, had scans run and tests done, and am now hopefully on my way to a speedy recovery. 

Though I'd rather not be here, I'm trying to look for the good in my situation, and be grateful for the tender mercies the Lord has given me.

"If the bitter cup doesn't pass, drink it." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Tuesday, September 10, 2013



You're going to have to forgive me for my negativity. This week has been one of the hardest my whole mission. I don't like my area. It's huge (we cover up by the airport in Barajas area, over to Plaza de Castilla, down to Gregorio Marañón, over to Canillejas and everything in between) and there's not very many Latins.  Spaniards, just aren't very open and they never give us their numbers. We live in Mar de Cristal and it takes a million hours to get anywhere so we spend half our day in the metro. It's really really exhausting. I feel like crying every night when I get home, but I just don't have any energy left. It's so hard to be here. I feel discouraged and disappointed and I'm not happy. I wake up every morning looking forward to 10:00 when I can go home and sleep. I realize it's only been a week, but it's been the longest, most draining week ever and I don't think I'll survive another 5 weeks like this, but we'll see.

On a happy note, I really like Hermana Manner. Misery loves company, right? Neither of want to be here and we feel like we've been demoted to B4. Things were happening in our last areas - we left baptisms, families, improving wards, and companions who we felt like needed us. But all the time we're spending in the metro has let us get to know eachother and that's cool. She turned 20 Tuesday, but she's so mature and seems to have life figured out. I like her a lot and it's making being here a little bit easier. 

Today when I got to emails I had this little gem from Hermana Marshall waiting for me. We only spent 48 hours together in an intercambio, but I love her a lot and she always says just the right thing at just the right time. She went home in April and I miss her, but THIS is exactly what I needed...

''The plan is so real and so simple. We are Children of GOD, blinded by the darkness of a fallen world and often forget it. Satan does ALL he can to tell us we suck, we are lost, we don't matter or even that God isn't there and doesn't care. BUT God and His mighty power, grace, mercy and all knowing wisdom does all He can to bring us back to Him. You are part of that MIGHTY force, cause you are connected to the powers of Heaven more than you could ever believe. God has been preparing hearts and the perfect timing, so that his children you come in contact with this week will feel his love and have a greater understanding of their Father in Heaven. CALL DOWN THE POWERS OF HEAVEN IN ALL YOU DO. Do all you do with greater purpose because there is not a second of your day that the Lord is not aware of. Walk every step with a deeper understanding of the great plan of the universe. Be better than you have been, pray harder than you have prayed that you will be able to have clear eyes and an open heart to where the Lord is guiding you!!''

I know my negativity and feelings of discouragment, doubt, and disappointment come from Satan. I know that he wants me to give up and that he wants me to fail. I know that it would be easy for me to give into those thoughts and to just lay down and quit, but I also know that Heavenly Father is aware of me and that He put me here for a reason. I know that there are people here in B4 (though they seem to be hiding) that God has prepared, that are ready to hear the gospel and my testimony and that they need me. So even though it's hard, I'll keep going.

I'll leave you with one last quote, this one from Brigham Young... ''All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.''

I love you so so much. With the week I've had, the news about Charlie, and Conner leaving next week, I really just want to be with my family. I hope you know how much you guys mean to me and that without you, none of this would mean very much. I'm grateful for the plan that our loving Heavenly Father prepared for us so that we never have to doubt that forever together is possible.

Hermana Munden

Monday, September 2, 2013

Have I mentioned I hate transfers?

Hey peeps,

Well, this morning I said goodbye to Pavones. I was so sure that Hermana Heims and I would be staying together in Pavones for another transfer, but Heavenly Father had something else in mind. Hermana Heims went to Cuatro Caminos with Hermana Caballero and I'm in B4 with Hermana Manner. I don't even really know where this area is. Close to the airport I think. Remember how I was super depressed when I had to leave Leganés and come to Pavones? Well I was finally happy there and now I'm majorly bummed to leave. I love Hermana Heims a ton and we did so well together. Oh wellllll. Hermana Manner is from Idaho and has been out 5 months. She visa-waited in Provo for a little bit too, so that's one thing we have in common. We're opening this area for hermanas so we're starting from nothing. It's gonna be a lot of work, but that's what I'm here for right?

my shoes you sent me a few months ago... completely broken 

This last week was pretty awesome actually. Fátima and Luna just make me so happy. They were our little miracle this transfer and I'm so grateful for all the moments I've had with them.

me with my sweet Fátima and Luna

Fátima is opening up and she's excited for her baptism. We have really spiritual lessons with her and she's just so so ready! And little Luna... She loves her version of the Book of Mormon and she loves praying. She looks up to Fátima so much and she learns so quickly! I'm gonna miss them a ton.

Wednesday morning was the temple and it was so wonderful. It was a really good session and I liked seeing the whole zone before I had to leave. Hermana Stepp has the pictures on her camera, so I'll probably get those to you next week. Also on Wednesday I FINALLY got my package. Thanks for that. It's been super wonderful.

Thursday we taught Belén the plan of salvation. I love her so much. She's finally warming up to us and I like being able to have more of a relationship with her. When we got to the Atonment I asked if she knew that Jesus Christ suffered for her. She said, ''Well yeah, I mean He suffered for everyone right?'' And I said, ''But do you know that He suffered for you specifically? Like do you know that if you were the only person on the planet He still would have done it for only you?'' She thought about it for a second and said, ''If that's true, that's really really cool.'' I love telling her how much she's loved and how much she matters to God.

Belén :) 

After Belén we went to the church for correlation and Noche de Hogar. The man who was in charge of it didn't show up (things like that just don't happen in the States) so they asked us to do it. We thought really hard for like 1 minute and decided to talk about the hymns. We read part of the First Presidency's prologue and talked about the importance of good music. Then we divided the room into 5 groups and had them each pick a hymn and when it got to them they had to tell us which verse they liked best, the message it taught, and then we sang that verse. It was really cool. It made me think more about the words I was singing and I really felt the Spirit. If no one else liked it, I sure did!

Friday was Mom's birthday! Don't think I forgot! I wrote it in my planner and everything, so I hope you had a really good birthday! Friday wasn't very productive cause a lot of people failed us, but the best part of it all was the JAS dance.

My JAS: Alex, Ricardo (I don't know his last name haha but he's a missionary now!) and Arturo

Jaime, Fátima, Lucero, Renzo and María came! Everyone but María was being super lame and nobody would go dance, but eventually I got Fátima and Arturo dancing together and then by the end of the night she even asked Eduardo (my recent convert Eduardo) to dance!  JAS dances here are nothing like they are in the states - they're so much better! They play songs that are on the radio, but most of the music is like salsa and meregue and bachata, and all the Latins get up and move. They're so dang good.

Saturday after English class we had our meal. Not very many people showed up, which surprised me, but it was okay because we had the perfect amount of food. The 4 of us made spaghetti and it was bomb. Elder Cataldi (the Italian) came and he gave it a 7 out of 10. And hey, from an Italian, that's pretty impressive. Anyhow, it was really fun. Later that night we watched the ''The Work of Salvation'' broadcast with the ward. We announced it at church the week before and even divided the list of members between the 6 of us so they could each get a personal invitation, but only 25 people came. Our ward has 250 members. It was a little disappointing. But all the leaders chastized everyone on Sunday about not coming, so it was okay. Haha and they're gonna show it again this coming Sunday.

Church was SO GOOD! We had 6 people there! That's more than I've ever had come while I've been here. We had Jaime, Fátima, Luna, Lucero, Renzo and Nicolás. Jack taught Gospel Principles and it was awesome. Jack is British, but he's lived here since he was 7 so if you close your eyes and listen to him he sounds like someone straight from Andalucía. But then when he speaks English, it's super beautiful too. Haha anyhow, his class was awesome. He served here (in B6 actually) a couple of years ago and the way he connects with the people is really incredible. I wanna be more like that. He talked about missionary work and it was good for our investigators to see what we're doing and why we're doing it. Then in sacrament meeting I bore my testimony because, well, I was leaving and I wanted to say goodbye. 

It was hard being in B6 - mostly because of the ward. But now that I'm gone I really miss it. I miss my companion and Hermana Smith, I miss the really awesome families that fed us and invited us into their homes, and mostly I miss the people we taught. It breaks my little heart that I won't be able to be at Fátima's baptism. She was so sad yesterday. I told her a million times that the message is the same, even though the messengers are different. That didn't really help though. I love her a lot and I hope the elders take good care of her and her family. I hate saying goodbye.

Us with Belén

I'm trying to be positive about this new transfer, but it's a little tough. I don't know anyone or anything. I feel way out of my comfort zone and like it's going to be hard to gain the trust of the members. But maybe there's a lot of things I need to learn and this is the only place that I can do that right now. 

I hope you guys all have a good week! I miss you. But I'll be seeing you really soon.

Hermana Munden

P.S. My new address is:

Hermana Munden
C/ Macuaje 9, Bº Izquierda
28033 Madrid

Monday, August 26, 2013

''Be ready always...'' (1 Peter 3:15)

Hola Familiaaaa!

What's weird is that this is the last week of the transfer. The time seriously goes by way too fast. I can't decide what my predictions are... I think I might leave because I've been here three transfers, but I also think I might stay because I'm training Heimsy. So I really have no idea, but I'll find out Saturday!

Last Monday after Toledo we taught Maribel and Fátima the plan of salvation and it couldn't have gone any better. At one point we were talking about earthy life and how it's full of challenges and trials, but that everything that we go through is for our benefit and it helps us learn and gives us an opportunity to become a little more like our Savior. Anyhow, so Maribel goes, ''Yeah, exactly. That's why I always tell Fátima about the contract.'' Obviously I was like, ''What contract is that?'' and she goes, ''The contract that we signed with God up there before we lived here. You know, saying we agreed to His plan and that we'd come back to Him.'' HOLD THE PHONE. What person who isn't a member and who is learning the plan of salvation for the first time says that type of thing !? Maribel, that's who. She's so dang on the ball, it kiiiills me! I love Maribel. Then after the lesson we went with Fátima to the JAS Noche de Hogar. It was waaaay good. This kid Ricardo who just reported to the MTC this last Wednesday gave the message. He showed us this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSwCOs-uXzU) and we talked about the Atonement. It was really powerful and Fátima really enjoyed it.

Tuesday we were at the hospital from 10am to 5pm. As you can imagine it was the best day of my life. First was the majorly awkward ultrasound of my bladder with the old Spanish doctor. Then blood tests to see if I'm still anemic. Then Dr. Mohamed Mohamed from Palestine analyzed all that junk (ultrasound, blood test, two urine analysises) and this is what he told me. My ultrasound showed nothing anatomically wrong with me and the blood test showed that my iron was normal so the anemia is gone. When he looked at the UA's though, he said each one tested positive for a different infection, instead of the same one coming back. He said that was curious so here's what's up. I'm on two antibiotics for a week and then cranberry pills for a month. On the 3rd I'm going back for another UA and then hopefully the problem will be solved.

Our district meetings this transfer have been super good and I've been learning a lot. I don't remember who said it or where they got it or anything (not helpful, sorry), but they said everyday we should ask ourselves, ''Have I increased in faith, virtue, knowledge, godliness, and love?'' Interesting. Hopefully our answer is yes. That night we taught just Fátima because Maribel was working and Luna was in Perú, but the lesson was awesome. We taught the second half of the plan of salvation and she picked everything up super quick. We also invited her to be baptized September 14th and she said yes! That's two days after my year mark. Happy year to me, hopefully I'm still here for it! She's really excited and we're excited for her!

Thursday we had a lesson with this reference named Paula. She's from Colombia, here with her husband, and super wonderful. She had all sorts of questions and my favorite was, ''So how do I become a member?'' She's from heaven. After the lesson she stayed for the Relief Society activity which was María Elena teaching us how to make arepas. Then we headed to Sol to meet up with the Hermana Leader Trainers for intercambios. I stayed in our area with Hermana Caballero and Hermana Heims went to Vallecas with Hermana Olsen.

The intercambio was good. I'm always nervous about them cause I'm not a fan, but it was good! Hermana Caballero is Spanish and has been out 9 months. I love Hermana Caballero, but I was happy to have Heimsy back Friday night.

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting they announced that Elder Ballard would be in Spain next month! Someone get more info on that for me! I wanna know where he's gonna be and if I get to see him :) Also came the announcement that starting the 15th our meeting schedule changes from 10am church to 3pm church. Who wants to be at church from 3-6? Not this guy. This good news is though that none of our investigators will be able to say it's too early! Last night we had a really spiritual temple tour with Jaime. He's opening up and we're making him think. I like it a lot.

Well, that's all I got. This week is temple week! And our ward is FINALLY watching ''The Work of Salvation'' broadcast. I hope it gets our members pumped about missionary work.

I don't know if anyone besides you guys reads these emails anymore, but for those of you who do, send me your missionary experiences! I've gotten a couple lately and it makes me really happy to see what's going on in other parts of the Lord's vineyward. Be ready always to tell people why you are the way you are; why you're happy, how you've found peace, why life matters. There's people out there waiting to hear :)

I love you!
Hermana Munden

Monday, August 19, 2013

The end is near... work harder

Hi there ;)

How weird is it that 6 months from yesterday I'll be home? I really don't want it to end! However, knowing that my time is almost up, I only have 4 transfers left, motivates me to work harder and be better. My companion also helps me with that too. She is so good - obedient, always positive, diligent, patient, easy going, super kind, and she likes to work hard. I seriously feel like she's training me. She's got some baby magic or something.
Anyhow, so one of the few highlights from this week was the lesson with Maribel, Fátima, and this time Luna too! We taught them the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and they understood everything pretty quickly. At the end we talked a lot about prayer and how it's the way that God has given us to know truth.  We talked about how the Holy Ghost works and how God answers our prayers through Him. We also bore testimony that along with prayer, an answer would come through continuing to meet with us, reading the Book of Mormon, and attending church.  Luna was all giggly and shy and I asked if she had any questions. She thought for a minute and then said, ''Just one. Hermana Munden... did God answer you?'' I teared up a little bit and told her that He had answered me, over and over again. I told her that I was baptized when I was about her age and that even though I didn't know everything, I knew that I wanted to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized and that's what God wanted me to do too. I love their little family so much and I can't wait to watch them progress.

On Thursday we were chilling on Temple grounds waiting for a lesson and met some Americans who were visiting Spain. They were cool because a) the son served in Thailand and b) they knew April McMurray! That night we had Noche de Hogar with the ward and for the first time in weeks it was actually fun! The elders were in charge and we read Alma 47:2-19 and acted it out. People got super into it and it was good change.

there's this store here called Taste of America and it has everything good and holy


Friday night we had a lesson with Belén, Karolina Herrerra's friend. She was super shy, but really nice. She said she likes coming to YW's because she learns how to be closer to God. Karolina was really helpful in the lesson - she bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it helps us when making decisions and fighting temptation that's all around the youth these days. She also said the cutest prayer at the end asking that Belén will read the Book of Mormon and know that it's true. We have another lesson this week and I'm pumped. She's 14 and in 5 years she's gonna be my little missionary.

So that night we invited Fátima to the JAS activity and she came! Afterward we went outside and looked at the temple. She asked what the gold statue was on top and I said, ''That's Angel Moroni. He's the prophet from the Book of Mormon who-'' and then she cut me off and said, ''who buried the gold plates in the Hill Cumorah right?'' She's so dang good! She's been reading the Book of Mormon! I love Fátima!

On Sunday we were supposed to have like 8 people at church, but only Oscar and Fátima showed up. Actually, we got a text from this lady Veronica saying she was coming with her 2 sons, their girlfriends, and her father-in-law, but she never showed up. I think she may have gone to the wrong church. Awkward... But yeah, so we waited outside for Oscar and as we started to walk in with him he goes, ''Girls, I know where my class is. I can go alone.'' Aw he's so cute. Haha he took care of himself all day yesterday! He didn't even sit by us in Sunday School or Sacrament Meeting because he wanted to sit by his friends Gregorio and Inussa. Oscar is the man, and I'm glad he doesn't need us so much anymore, that's a good sign. We were way happy that Fátima came! She was a little late and we missed half of Relief Society, but that's okay! Maribel didn't come because she had to help Luna get ready for her vacation with her cousins, but Fátima was awesome. She loved all three hours and met lots of the JAS. We're having a lesson with her and Maribel tonight and then taking her to the JAS Noche de Hogar. She's so wonderful.

Well, that's about it. 14 of our 20 lessons this week failed us, and contacting was hard because a) everyone is on vacation, and b) Thursday was a Catholic holiday so literally nobody was in the streets. It was a rough week in that aspect, but this one will be better for sure. Tomorrow we'll be spending most of the day in Mirasierra at the hospital so I can get bloodwork done and an ultrasound to figure out why I've had so many problems the last 5 months.

I'm happy! And I'm happy life is good back home. I'm so bummed I won't be there on Friday to go through the temple with Conner, but I have it written in my planner and I'll be thinking about him allllllll day.

I love you!

Hermana Munden

Monday, August 12, 2013

ELEVEN months and the loves of my life

Hola familia :)

First of all, today is my cumplemes and I've officially been out 11 months. That blows my mind. It feels like just yesterday that I was a little baby at the MTC! This has been the most fantastic 11 months - I'm a happy camper. And to top it all off I got the best news ever when I got on my email. Cha told me that our Connor from BYU who got baptized in March baptized his whole family on July 13th! It was January when Cha and I sent the missionaries to them, and 6 months later the whole family is baptized! I'm beyond excited. And how cool that Connor was the one who got to baptize them. I can't wait until next summer when I can go to the temple with them and see them sealed as a family for eternity.

This week was so good, last Monday especially. We went to Sol and did some shopping and ate at Subway (which by the way, is so good here... probably because of the bread) and then came home and napped. We went to the JAS center for a little bit and helped Hermana Sullivan set up for their Noche de Hogar, and then later we went to our lesson in San Cipriano with Maribel and Fátima. They were a reference from Elder Pizarro and Elder Castaldi, so we didn't know a whole lot about them, but we fell in love so quickly. We buzzed the front gate and they let us in. When we walked through we saw three little girls and a tiny white cat hanging out of the window and we hoped so badly it was them. We knocked on the door and 9 yearold Luna answered the door with Nala the kitty in her arms. Then 19 yearold Fátima walks in with her and Luna's mom Maribel. I fell in instalove with Maribel. There was no awkward introductions or ''what are you doing here'' conversations. She sat down and expressed the most sincerest gratitude that we had come. They said they had been waiting for us and they were so happy God had sent us to them.  She had been searching for the truth and she knew that when she found it she'd be able to feel it. She expressed her excitement to learn the teachings of Jesus Christ and how to follow Him. She went on and on and every word that came out of her mouth was pure gold. Hermana Heims and I sat there with probably the dumbest smiley looks on our faces, mumbling under our breath how awesome she was. We talked about the Book of Mormon and when I handed Maribel her copy she looked at it, smiled, and then hugged it to her chest, not letting go the rest of the evening. She promised to read it and to pray to know it was true. Then we talked about prayer and how when we pray we're having a conversation with our Heavenly Father. She said that sometimes she calls Him Padre Azul because He's our Father and the heavens are blue. Haha it was super cute. She said she was grateful for everything she has because it all comes from Him - even the stars, and she and Luna sing ''Happy Birthday'' to the stars every day. I mean really, I couldn't make this stuff up. I'd be here all day if I told you how wonderful she is and how incredible that first visit with them was. After we said our goodbyes and they closed the door, Hermana Heims hugged and then prayed, thanking Heavenly Father for answering our fast and prayers and allowing us to be blessed with such a beautiful family to teach. I love them!

On Tuesday we contacted a lady who we were sitting with at the bus stop. We gave her a Book of Mormon and then when we got on the bus, we saw her reading it from the beginning, like legitimately sitting their reading it. She doesn't live in our area, but the missionaries who get to teach her and her family are super lucky. We had to buy a few things from the grocery store to make dinner for a family in the ward and Elder Riggs (a senior missionary) who was behind us bought our stuff! What a guy.

On Wednesday this sweet Peruvian lady Virginia invited us over for papa ala huancaina (I've probably eaten it 20 times but it's the best and I plan on eating it every day when I get home) and told us these awesome stories about her conversion. Then that evening we made sloppy joe's for the Herrerra family and took it over to them. The dad is the YM President and they've got 5 flipping awesome kids. They're one of my favorite families in the ward. We had a good evening with them and then the 14 year old daughter Karolina told us her friend wants to get baptized, so we're going to meet with her this week!

Friday morning we dropped Oscar off at the employment center. Elder Riggs took good care of him and Oscar called us afterwards and he seemed really happy! Friday night we went to Michael's baptism and we took Daniel. Afterwards I asked what he thought and he just said, ''Beautiful.'' We're seeing him tonight and we're going to invite him to be baptized!

Yesterday was awesome. And Maribel came to church! She showed up early and paid attention the whole time. During Relief Society she just kept turning to me and smiling. She was so happy there! During the lesson this woman had shared an experience about her son and was crying and afterwards Maribel went up to her and hugged her and said she'd be praying for her. She's so golden. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HER TONIGHT! I still feel like I'm dreaming with how wonderful she is.

Ahhhh I have more to say but I gotta go! Just know that I'm happy. Baby Heims is the biggest blessing and we're being blessed here in Pavones. God loves His children and we're seeing every single day that He's preparing the hearts of the people here.

I love you!

Hermana Munden

Friday, August 9, 2013

Trainer letter

3 August 2013

Dear Family ,

This letter is to inform you that your daughter, Sister Jordan Paige Munden, has been called to be a trainer. She has demonstrated her ability as an effective, obedient missionary.  As a trainer, Sister Munden will be responsible for teaching and training a new missionary. This is a 12 week program, which includes an additional hour of daily study, including language study. Both your daughter and the missionary she is training will be responsible to report their weekly progress to the President. Only the best and most dedicated missionaries are called as trainers. She will serve as a role model for her new companion, and will hold a special place in the heart and memory of that companion.

Thank you for sharing your daughter with us.  Sister Jackson and I love her and pray for her continued success in this important calling.

Our best wishes to you,

President Scott T. Jackson

Spain Madrid Mission

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.

Hi Family!

It's been an awesome week. On Monday I got an email saying the office elders wanted us to find a new piso. So we spent a good chunk of Tuesday afternoon piso shopping and the second one we looked at is the winner. I'm sooo excited to move - even though I hate moving. But this is gonna be a good move - six of us in such small living quarters is really hard sometimes. It's small, but it's clean and new and it'll be awesome.

We had a really good lesson with our new Portuguese investigator Daniel. I don't know if I mentioned him last week, but he was a reference from the MTC. We talked about the Book of Mormon and why it's important to pray to know that it's true. Last time we met he wouldn't pray in front of us because he was embarrassed, but this time he did it no problem, and it was such a sincere prayer. He wants to read the Book of Mormon because he knows it'll bring him peace and help him become a better person.

Elder Ward came to our Zone Training Meeting this week and he looked a million times better! He's so dang positive and super funny, I can't even handle it. He got up to tell us a little about his experience and said, ''This last week I've been interviewed by 12 major news networks - it's been a real train wreck.'' He's so happy to be alive and he's wonderful. In our meeting we talked a lot about families and how as a mission we're gonna put a bigger focus on families. We've been asked to pray to find families and to contact those families we do see. Ever since ZTM, Hermana Heims and I have been praying for families and sure enough we've been running into them. Actually, every family we've contacted has given us their number and it's been really awesome.

Thursday evening was really...interesting. First we got a call from this less active guy named Victor asking us if we had time to meet with him. We were at the church about to have correlation, so we couldn't see him then, but we invited him to Noche de Hogar and he said he would come. Noche de Hogar was good. The JAS were in charge and they talked about the blessings of living the gospel. We were about to sing the closing hymn when Claudia leaned over and asked if she could say something. I stopped Elder Valenzuela from announcing the closing hymn and we gave Claudia time to talk. She put everything out in the open. She told us all how she felt - that she thought God had abandoned her, that she was miserable and suicidal and that she couldn't find peace. At first I felt kind of embarrassed that she was telling the whole world something that seemed to me to be really personal and private. But then as she continued to share I realized that this woman was desperate for help. After she was done speaking, Oscar chimed in and said, ''That's what we're here for. We don't just come to church to hear the word of God, but to help those who need us - to lend a hand, to mourn with those that mourn and to comfort those that stand in need of comfort.'' He said, ''Don't feel alone Claudia. Your Heavenly Father loves you and so do we. He's with you, and we are too.'' Then this guy José talked about how he'd felt that way too before, but he found consolation in the scriptures. He encouraged her to plead for help when she prayed and to look for God's voice in the scriptures. He shared the scripture that helped him when he was at his lowest point and told her that she'd find one that would lift her. That Noche de Hogar turned into one of the most spiritual experiences I've had on my mission. Almost all of us were in tears and the Spirit was so strong. I knew that God loved Claudia and that He was aware of her. I knew He wanted her to be happy and that He had inspired her to call us.

The next morning in companionship study we prepared our lesson for Claudia. We found as many scriptures as we could about love, peace, comfort, and support. We wrote them on paper hearts and stuck then in a jar with chocolate. We took our jar of paper hearts and met up with Claudia in a park near her piso and read them with her. It was really awesome. When we got to Alma 31:31 she started to cry. ''O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me.''She looked up at me and said that that scripture was the one José had been talking about last night, and that it had touched her heart. I was happy we could help her and that she was able to find the scripture she needed.

That night we had a Noche de Hogar with the López family - a Spanish couple who are here as missionaries working in the temple. None of our investigators or less actives could come, so we brought Juan Luís - the other hermanas' recent convert. Since he's going to hit his year mark this month and he's preparing to receive his endowment, we figured it'd be a good idea to talk about the temple. We found a copy of the dedicatory prayer of the Madrid temple and read it together. I feel like the Madrid temple is my temple: 1) I'm serving here... duh. 2) I turned 8 on March 19,1999, I was baptized on the 20th, and I was confirmed on the 21st. The dedication services for this temple took place on those three days. Anyhow, the dedicatory prayer is beautiful and reading together with the López's really invited the Spirit and it made for a wonderful Noche de Hogar. Then she made us some bomb homemade pizza and fried ham stuff. Haha it was really good.

I'm really grateful for my companion. Hermana Heims is so wonderful and I try my hardest every day to make sure she knows how much I appreciate her. She's such a good missionary and she only has 2 weeks under her belt. She has taught me so much with her awesome example of obedience, diligence, and the desire to be here. When I don't feel like contacting she tells me, ''We have nothing to lose, and they have everything to gain.'' She's struggling a lot with Spanish right now and I wish there was more I could do to help her. She's incredible though and I hope we're together for a long time.

I love you guys! I can't believe how fast time is going. I never want this to end.

Hermana Munden

Monday, July 29, 2013

Train Wrecks and Miracles

Hi Family,

This week was insane - so much happened. I'll get to all that eventually, but right now I want to talk about Elder Ward. I'm copying and pasting what was said in our weekly bulletin because it says it better than I would... 
''In our mission this week, we have truly seen the hand of God, protecting one of our missionaries.
You have all heard about the horrible train wreck in Galicia on Wednesday, and that one of our new missionaries, who arrived in our mission on Tuesday, was involved. Elder Ward was on the train to A Coruña, final destination El Ferrol, when, just as it approached Santiago de Compostela, the entire train derailed. He was unconscious for a short period of time, then was helped from the train.
One third of the passengers on the train were killed, and the rest were injured, most of them very seriously. Elder Ward was taken to A Coruña by ambulance. After a long 24 hours in the hospital, he was released late Thursday night. We brought him back to Madrid, where he will receive more medical attention, and recuperate.
We feel so blessed that he has been protected and will be able to recover fully. His injuries were less severe than almost everyone else on the train.
Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones in the accident. Many do not have a knowledge of the plan of salvation. Imagine not knowing that you would see your loved one again! They are thirsting for the light and knowledge that we can bring them.
Thank you all for your faith and prayers on behalf of Elder Ward. He expresses his gratitude to each of you and to many, many others who were praying for him to be all right. He even received a call from President Uchtdorf to wish him well and thank him for his service. Elder Ward was faced with an onslaught of reporters from all over the globe over the 48 hours that followed the accident. He has been a true ambassador for the Church and represented you and all missionaries as a witness for Jesus Christ.''
I'm so grateful Elder Ward is alive and recovering. Wednesday night we heard about the wreck and that Elder Ward was on the train. We had no idea whether he was dead or alive until Thursday morning when we got a text from the AP's saying his situation was very serious and that he was unstable. They asked us to pray for Elder Ward, his family, and President and Hermana Jackson as they were in charge of making important medical decisions for him. We knelt down right then and offered a prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father that Elder Ward was alive and we asked that if it be His will, he could make a full recovery.
The following morning we got another text saying that our prayers had been heard and had helped immensley. Elder Ward was discharged and the doctors said he would make a full recovery. At that moment I was reminded of the power of prayer. We're almost 200 missionaries here in Madrid and it was incredible to know that we were all praying so hard for the same thing. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. It's an incredible thing Elder Ward has gone through, but he has been so positive the whole time. Everyone in Spain has heard about it and I'm grateful for his example.
On Monday night I felt like I needed to call Oscar and even though I was nervous, I followed the prompting from the Spirit. I was glad I did because he answered and we had an awesome lesson with him! Long story short, he's working now to get his life on track so that he can continue to work towards baptism. I can't say enough about how incredible Oscar is. I'm really proud of him for making the necessary arrangements to follow the commandments of God.
Tuesday I met my baby! Her name is Hermana Heims and she is incredible. I feel like she's training me! Haha she's from Reno, she's 21, and she's wonderful. We've worked really hard this week and had some pretty neat spiritual experiences contacting...
Hermanas: Stepp, Smith, Shill, Hansen, Me, Heims, and Gabriella in front

We testified to José Antonio about the plan of salvation, to Teresa about the power of faith and prayer, and to Angela about living prophets that lead and guide us. Sometimes I forget about how much I love contacting and all the neat people I meet doing it!

Saturday morning we were waiting for a lesson and then all of a sudden I saw Kassi Reid! She's in the MTC right now headed to the Barcelona Mission! Super nuts.

KASSI REID IS HERE! She's going to Barcelona. How craaaazy.
Kassi was in our Ward when we lived in Overland Park, Kansas in 2002 – 2006.

Basically I still love being a missionary. I love it more every single day. I never want this experience to end and I'm sad it goes by faster and faster. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church and that this work is the most important thing we will ever do. Pray for missionary opportunities. Please pray for them! I know that if you do so, and you act on promptings you receive, Heavenly Father will put people in your path that are ready and receptive. It happens for me every single day and it's the thing that makes me happiest in this world.
I love my Savior and I love all of you.
Hermana Munden

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



Ever since things with Oscar I've been really down. I haven't been excited about anything and it's been hard to work. I didn't think it would affect me so much, but it has. Elder Pizarro suggested I read the page in Preach My Gospel that we read every week during weekly planning about what it is to be a successful missionary. There's a part that's really helped me: ''Remember that people have agency to choose whether to accept your message. Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make a correct choice. Some may not accept your message even when they have received a spiritual witness that it is true. You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation. You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith. If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit.'' I let that happen a little bit this week, but I'm coming out of my rut and I'm okay.

This last transfer was the fastest of my mission - it flew by so quickly. We received our calls on Saturday night and here's what's happening... Hermana Hansen is going to open A Coruña and will be training (again)! Hermana Smith and Hermana Stepp will be together, and I'm staying in Pavones and training. I'm not super pumped about staying in Pavones, after this transfer I'll have been here for four and a half months, but I'm a little bit excited to train. I'm a little nervous too though, I hope I raise her right :)

Sorry this is so short, it was just a really lame week. Today we're helping Hermana Hansen pack, cleaning the piso, and I'm getting things ready for my baby. We're going to the trainers' meeting tomorrow at 4 and then it's time to improve the area. I'm still happy. I love being a missionary!


Hermana Munden

Monday, July 15, 2013



It's been a rough week. Well, just a rough couple of days I guess. This week has pretty much been all about Oscar. After our miracle with him last week things have just seemed to get better. Wednesday we had an intense lesson with him. We planned our lesson in the morning and felt prepared to invite him to be baptized the following weekend. The lesson went super well. We talked about faith to work miracles and faith to be healed and repentance and then when we got to baptism I asked him to be baptized on the 20th of this month. He laughed. Haha I think just because he was surprised or nervous or who knows why. But he said he didn't think he would be ready. Also because he wanted his friend to be there to support him and she wouldn't be back in town until August 2nd. So then I pushed it back and said, ''Okay then, the 3rd!'' He agreed to the 3rd. Then we talked about the Holy Ghost and how one of His most important roles is to comfort us. Knowing that Oscar likes the tranquility and peace he feels at church, I figured the idea of having that with him always would be important to him. And it was. By the end of the lesson he said, ''What day did you want me to be baptized?'' I said the 20th. He said, ''Alright, the 20th it is.'' The Spirit was strong and we all knew he would be ready for that day. And even better, he was so excited. He felt good about the decision he made and he was ready to do whatever necessary, to be prepared for that day. It was a miracle.

On Friday we taught him the word of wisdom. We knew we were going to need another miracle because even though Oscar wanted to quit smoking on his own, we knew it'd be hard and that he'd need a lot of support. We knew that the hardest for him to quit would be cigarrettes, so we agreed to give up something ourselves; I would stop cracking my knuckles and Hermana Stepp would stop apologizing every 5 seconds. Haha it sounded good to him, and he committed to living the word of wisdom. Another miracle.

Saturday we called President Jackson to be sure Oscar would be able to get baptized because he has a complicated personal situation. It's really difficult. So we asked President if there was any way he could be baptized Saturday and he said only under very specific circumstances.  We needed some divine intervention, so we fasted Saturday and Sunday to be able to know what to tell Oscar and that some how, some way, he could still be baptized the 20th. Church was awesome. The classes and talks were perfect for him - even the hymns seemed to be handpicked. After sacrament meeting Oscar went up to Marcos (the secretary and one of his friends at church) and asked him if he would baptize him. Marcos was super honored and of course said yes. They hugged and it was really really sweet. 

Last night we had the make-it-or-break-it-lesson. I was super nervous all day. When we broke the news to him that he couldn't be baptized on Saturday, he didn't take it very well. At all. He said we'd embarrassed him and tricked him and he didn't think what he was doing was wrong. He said if he couldn't get baptized Saturday, he would never get baptized. I started to get really emotional in the lesson and it was hard to stay in there with him. I've put so much time and energy into this man and I love him so much. I know he knows this church is true and he's changed a ton in the last couple months because of it, so it's hard for me to see him give up. I want him to be happy and to receive all the blessings of the gospel, and even though that's not possible right this second, it doesn't mean it's not worth waiting for. I expressed to him my desire for him to stick to what he knows is true and to continue coming to church and meeting with us because we are willing to do all we can to help him get things in order.

I don't understand what happened. Especially because I prayed and fasted more intensly than I ever have in my life that things would turn out well and that he would be accepting and understanding. And in the end, we've lost him. It was such a hard night and I was really upset. But I've tried to remind myself that if it had been the Lord's will, things would have turned out differently. I guess it's not Oscar's time right now and I'm having a hard time accepting that and not blaming myself. He was my miracle this transfer and he was scheduled to get baptized Saturday, but now he won't even answer our phonecalls.

It's been super hard, but I know God loves him and hasn't forgotten about him. And neither will I.

I love you!

Hermana Munden

Monday, July 8, 2013

''...and they were few.''

Hi people :)
This week literally flew by. Seriously, it went so fast.
Monday: I fell and basically killed myself. I think I've gotten even clumsier these days, which I didn't know was possible. Anyhow, so I was getting on the bus and had a bunch of stuff in my hands and was distracted by a number of other things and well, I missed the step. It was suuuuper embarrassing. So I fell and cut up my left leg pretty bad. Basically it felt like someone took a hammer to my shin and blood was running down my leg. We went home and cleaned it up and went back out to work. From right below my knee to right about my ankle is all bruises and it's all swollen and it looks pretty awesome.  It's a week later and now the bruises are finally starting to turn yellow, but I think the cut is infected though so that sucks. I've developed a little bit of a limp, but all is well.
Tuesday: We spent mediodia at my favorite Bolivian restaurant to celebrate Eduardo's (my recent convert from Leganes) birthday and it was really fun seeing him. We've decided to start singing with the Sullivans in the park every Tuesday evening and it's been awesome. This particular Tuesday I had two really spiritual experiences. The first was with this couple from Boston. I was excited because they were American and I could talk to them in English. They hadn't heard a whole lot about that church and asked for the basics. When I got to the Joseph Smith story I felt the Spirit so strong, like soooo strong. I almost started to cry as I testified of the boy prophet when the man stopped me. He said, ''Sister Munden, thank you for telling us about your church. I think this is the longest I've ever listened to someone talk about Mormons. But don't go on. I've already zoned out and I don't want to hear anything more. Please stop.'' And then just like that they walked away. For some reason I was so hurt. I've gotten so used to rejection that normally it doesn't hurt anymore, but this time it stung. I was confused as to why I had been prompted to talk to that couple. I was stunned that even though I was feeling the Spirit so intensly, they weren't. And I was sad that they'd asked me to stop. I returned to the group and i got choked up as I sang, but then a few minutes later I felt a similar prompting, and had another experience.
His name wa José Antonio and he was Spanish. I sat next to him and explained why we were singing in the park and what we're doing here as missionaries. I said he believed in God and I asked him how he'd seen the presence of God in his life. He counted to me an experience (is that how you say it?) he'd had when his wife was dying in the same hopsital his mother had passed away in. He had to leave her for the night and he said he was suffering on his walk home alone. He wasn't sure she was going to make it and he was really low, when all of a sudden he felt someone walking with him. He looked around and nobody was there, but he knew that God was with him. He knew he had a Father in Heaven who loved him and his wife and that, no matter what happened, everything would be okay. We both had tears in our eyes and I knew that this man knew God. I testified of the plan of salvation and then it was time to go. Unfortunately, José Antonio doesn't live in our area, but I passed his number along to the missionaries who work near where he lives.
Wednesday: One year since I went to the temple! It was actually a super lame day and not a thing stands out as cool. Haha except we ate with the bishop's wife and she made us some bomb Peruvian food.
Thursday: We had Zone Conference and it was super good. President and Hermana Jackson were wearing red white and blue and we started the conference by singing the national anthem. It was an awesome conference. We read parts of Jacob 5 and President talked about the allegory of the olive tree and how we're the people talked about when the Lord goes to nourish his vineyard for ''the last time.'' At the end of verse 70 it says the laborers were few and then I love what it says in verses 71 and 72. We are laboring with the Lord and we have finding joy in the fruit. This is His work and it is a joyous work. We talked even more about miracles and then we had our own little miracle on Friday...
Friday: We had the best lesson ever with Oscar. This man is seriously incredible and things just keep getting better and better with him. The one thing we have been nervous about though is that he smokes a lot. We've been really anxious about bringing up the Word of Wisdom and aren't sure how he'll react to it. So in weekly planning we asked Heavenly Father help us find a way to help Oscar with his addiction. And then the answer to our prayer came in our lesson that night. We just got done teaching him the plan of salvation and he was about to say the prayer when he pulled out his pack of cigarettes and set them on the table in front of him and goes, ''You'll see in a second why I took these out.'' Then he says the most sincere prayer. He expressed gratitude for us and for the change that is taking place in him. Then he told Heavenly Father he wants to quit smoking and asked for help to ''get rid of this vice.'' I was shocked! And so grateful at the same time! We didn't have to bring up the smoking issue, he did it on his own! We told him about this cool 15 step quit smoking program we have and told him we'd bring it to him on Sunday. He also asked me if, when they day comes, I would baptize him and even thought I explained that I couldn't, it was super sweet!
Saturday: We went to Hermana Hansen and Hermana Smith's baptism and then we had English class. It was show and tell! People brought the most random things, but it was super fun. When it was my turn I talked about my tag and why it was special to me. Then afterwards we invited two people to a baptism we were going to that night. Jaime's baptism! I'm sure you remember Jaime. I taught him with Hermana Olsen and then we found out he didn't live in our area. Well, he got baptized! He was so cute and I was glad I got to go.
Madrid is on fire. It was 41º the other day and I think that's something like 106º. We're dying - especially because we don't have air conditioning. We just have a bunch of fans and turn all the lights off. We go to bed sweating, we wake up sweating, and we're basically just gross all the time. Haha it's super fun. But life is good. Transfers are in two weeks and I'm really hoping I get to go to the north.
I hope everything is good back home! I can't WAIT to hear when Conner is going so I hope he gets his call reeeeaal quick. I love you!!!!
Hermana Munden

P.S. I have pictures, but I forgot my cord. Next week!

Monday, July 1, 2013

I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it,...

Hi Family!

This week went by super fast. It was good though. Well, for the most part.

I had a really spiritual experience at our Zone training Meeting. At the end, the Zone Leaders talked about how as missionaries we're trying our best to help Heavenly Father's children make it back to him, and how sweet that reunion will be for each of us. We watched this video of military moms and dads suprising their kids and at first I didn't understand what it had to do with anything, but then I realized that we're going to be even happier than that when we see our Heavenly Father again. I read a talk this week from the last General Conference and someone quoted President Benson when he said, ''Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us.'' I just get chills reading that! I can't wait to get to that day and I like helping others get there too. After the video was over there wasn't a dry eye in the room. We quietly went outside and sang ''The Spirit of God'' as we faced the temple. It was really powerful.

Oscar is quickly becoming my favorite investigator. He says that he feels more calm and at peace since he's started coming to church and meeting with us. He feels a change in him and he said other people have noticed it too. I love hearing people bear their new testimonies. Oscar came to Inussa's baptism and to the talent show we had this weekend!

Inussa's baptism was awesome - and he looked so good in white! The Elders' Quorum President came up to Oscar and said, ''That's gonna be you one day - future member right here!''

He just smiled and said, ''Yep, that's why I come. I wanna live better. If I didn't I wouldn't keep coming.'' Ahhhh I love him! During the service the four of us hermanas sang ''Lord, I Would Follow Thee'' and it was really cool. 

Saturday was the talent show! We had planned to dance the Macarena the 6 of us missionaries, but Elder Castaldi got all embarrassed and weird like half an hour before the show, so we had to come up with something else. 
The only talent the 4 of us have that's worth sharing is our voices. Haha so Hermana Hansen and I thought of something reeeeaaal cool. We had them turn all the lights off and from backstage with microphones we sang ''Acompañame'' which in English is ''Abide With Me.'' It was really awesome because the Spanish lyrics are better and part says ''Todo es oscuro y temor me da'' which means everything is dark and it makes me afraid so it was cool that we were singing in the dark. I don't know man, maybe you just had to be there. Anyhow. Well then after like half an hour Inussa wanted to do something with us, so he, Juan Luís, and Adelson danced the Macarena with us. Haha it was pretty funny.

Then Sunday I gave my talk. It was pretty good I suppose. I would send it to you, but you probably wouldn't understand it :) I told a story about you Mom! Don't worry, it was a good one. The lady who was supposed to feed us completely forgot about us, so that was awkward. Aaaand that's about it. It was a hard week because of a lot of different stuff, but there's no time for negativity today.

I hope you all have a happy 4th of July! We taught our English class the national anthem and they liked it. It's just a normal day for us, but I plan on wearing red, white, and blue. AMURICUH.

Hermana Munden

Monday, June 24, 2013

I may not make it til morning it's so flipping hot.

Saludos de España!


Things that made me happy this week...

  • Talking to Sister Cha who's home from her mission now. All my trainers are home now and it's cool to be able to talk to them. I can't believe that's going to be in 7 and a half months. Ew.
  • Receiving 39 referrals. Most of them came from the old area books. There are teaching records of people who were taught anywhere between 1 to 6 years ago. We went through them, called some people up, and we have plans to meet with them this week. Who knows, maybe now is their time!
  • The talk the AP's gave at our district meeting about faith, power, and miracles. They talked about how God has the power to make absolutely anything happen. We just have to have faith and show Him we believe miracles can happen, and then be the means by which those miracles are brought to pass. Our mission goal is 1000 baptisms this year and we're only at 174, which means it'll take a miracle to reach that goal. But it can happen because the Lord is on our side and He is a God of miracles.
  • Gusto came to the baptism we invited him to. It was Hermana Rica's very first baptism and she was super nervous but everything turned out perfectly. The kid's name was Noslen and he brought his parents who aren't members. It was really cool.
  • Remembering it was Mom & Tom's anniversary on Friday and thinking about Hawaii all day. Happy Anniversary by the way! So weird that I was 11 when we went to Hawaii the first time, and here we are 11 years later.
  • MARCO calling US and asking to meet, which never happens. We read the Book of Mormon together and afterwards I asked him to come to church. He said no, that he couldn't because he would be at a friends house. I said some things that made him think about his priorities and he agreed to come. Then he came and stayed all three hours!
  • The sweet ladies who fed us lunch after church - one of them turned to me and goes, ''You know, I used to think you were stuck up. But you're actually really nice!'' ...that always happens to me
  • I SAW RAFA AT THE TEMPLE! It's been a whole month or so since I'd seen that dude. But we had a little heart to heart while we watched the MTC missionaries sing and I told him he was gonna serve a mission one day and when he does, he's be up there singing with them. He said he'll go to the New York Manhattan Mission :) He's also coming to Inussa's baptism on Friday! 

It was a good week, but I'm hoping this one will be even better. On Wednesday evening we're going to sing in the park with the Sullivans. They are one of the senior couples I flew out here with - he's in the MTC presidency and they work with the JAS (YSA). Anyhow, so they were in the MOTAB for like 15 years and obviously they have beauuuutiful voices, so I'm excited to sing with them. On Friday is Inussa's baptism. He's the other hermanas' investigator, but we see him all the time too and I love that man. I'm so happy he's getting baptized! Then Saturday is the ward talent show that the YM and YW are in charge of and they've asked us to do something. We'll see how that goes...


Then Sunday is our ward's Missionary Sunday. The original plan was for Elder Pizarro, me, and two ward missionaries to speak and then have a musical number by us and the Primary, but President Jackson just sent us an email saying we're going to watch the worldwide missionary broadcast in our wards this Sunday, so I'm not sure what on earth is going on. Haha if I do have to speak though, I'm going to be super nervous. I can talk forever in English, but 10 minutes in Spanish in front of 200 people is going to seem like an eternity. But speaking of the missionary broadcast, I'm super pumped to watch it. No one tells us anything, so we didn't hear about it til last night when Hermana Sullivan mentioned it. But it sounds really cool. It's incredible how the Lord is hastening His work with more missions, more missionaries, and all these new missionary tools. We're turning into an unstoppable force, and that's just as it should be. I can't wait for Conner to get his call! You must email me immediately okay? I secretly hope he gets sent to the Spain Madrid Mission - that'd be neat. It's an exciting time to be a missionary and I'm happy to get to share this experience with him.


Well, I love you all. So so much. Don't forget that :)



Hermana Munden


''And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.'' (D&C 15:6)


I can't wait to rest with all my Provo and Spain people ''in the kingdom of my Father'' :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

9 months down, only 8 to go... me encanta ser misionera

Hi Family!


I am so glad this week is over, not because it was particularly bad or anything, but because the first week of every transfer is always awkward, stressful, and challenging. Monday was busy with cleaning, organizing, rearranging, and helping Hermana Stepp get settled in. We had to say goodbye to Hermana Burgos, who got transfered to Oviedo in the north, and that was really sad. She's incredible and was there for me last transfer when I needed cheering up.


Hermana Stepp is very sweetEvery morning she makes my bed for me while I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth, and on days when I don't have time, she surprises me with an omlet. We've been out the exact same time, except I have more time in the field. She visawaited in the Idaho Pocatello Mission until she came here in March which is cool because she knows some of the elders from my MTC district! 


The highlights from Tuesday are seeing Mari and José, two new investigators, and Hermana Stepp finding me. While we were sitting on the temple steps waiting for an appointment to show up, someone came up from behind me and covered my eyes. I turned around and it was Mari from Leganés! I was so happy to see her and she said Evelyn talks about me all the time. Mari has a calling and José had just had his interview to receive the Melchizedec (not sure if that's how you spell it, I've been spelling it in Spanish for awhile...) priesthood. It's so awesome to hear how well their family is progressing. Later that evening we had a lesson with Marco and Iván. I had called Marco's home phone to remind him about the lesson, but Iván answered so I just invited him to come as well! They both showed up and we had a really good lesson.
At some point during the day we were contacting in the metro. We were in the same metro car, but in different spots so that we could be more efficient contacting, but I told Hermana Stepp that we were going to get off in Estrella. Well the Estrella stop came up and I got off, but I noticed as I was walking out, that she wasn't getting off too. I watched the metro go by and didn't see her anywhere! I've made it 9 months without being separated from my companion so I was a little nervous. I went up the stairs and out of the metro station and just hoped and prayed that she'd somehow find me. Not even ten minutes later I saw her coming out of the station. The Spirit had led her back to me :)


Wednesday I hit 9 months! It should be my halfway mark, but since I'm only serving 17 months and 1 week, my halfway mark was last month. I come home 8 months from tomorrow. During personal study, Hermana Hansen and Hermana Smith came in with French toast and sang ''Feliz Cumplemes'' to us. They're pretty dang cute. The rest of the day was good. We had a lesson with Oscar and then did some contacting in the park. My favorite African David bought us some strawberry popsicles for our cumplemes and then we ended the night at the chapel for an activity.


Thursday I woke up sick (I've never been as sick as I have these last 9 months I've been on my mission), but Hermana Smith drugged me up and took care of me. After studies, weekly planning, and mediodia, we had a lesson with Hortensia. And it went greeeeaaaaat because she told us that things with her daughter are improving! She said her daughter bought her a pair of shoes, wrote her a sweet poem, and has been helping out around the house. It's amazing what multiple people praying for one purpose can do. After Hortensia, we had a lesson with Marco and then he ended up coming to Noche de Hogar. Hermana Stepp gave the spiritual thought, and then we taught them all how to play hangman. It was pretty fun. After the Noche de Hogar, Elder Pizarro and Elder Castaldi gave me a blessing. I'm so grateful to be serve with elders who are worthy of and honor their priesthood.


Friday morning we had a lesson with Eloy. We stressed the importance of faith as a principle of action and that faith leads us to make changes, sacrifices, and goals that bring us closer to God. We recommitted him to being baptized on July 6th and he knows that if he wants to make that happen, he needs to start making church on Sundays a priority. That afternoon we had a lesson with Antony. He's 20, so we brought along Arturo and Bianca who are his age and who knew him before when the elders were teaching him. We were going to watch a movie, but his laptop wouldn't accept the DVD, so we each shared with him our favorite scripture and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The other appointments we had that day failed us, but at 8 we went to meet this girl Raysa. Her dad had been taught by the elders like 6 months ago, but she'd never listened very much. It was awesome meeting her and we're seeing her again on Tuesday. 


Saturday morning we had English class. We taught them some tongue twisters. My favorite was when we did ''fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, fuzzy wuzzy had no hair, fuzzy wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy was he'' because this guy Carlos turned it into a rap and it was hilaaaarious. Then I picked up my package from the B8 hermanas! I love mail sooooooo much. And I just considered that my 9 month package. It was a very nice surprise. Thank you! We got a call from Sergio and he goes, ''Hey hermanas, what time is your lesson with Eliesque?'' I told him it was at 5 and he said, ''Okay, I'll meet you at the church at 5 then. See you later!'' Sergio is the man. I told him a week ago that we had a lesson with this dude, and then he just called and said he wanted to come! I love that guy. Eliesque ended up failing us, but it was super nice of Sergio to offer to come!


Yesterday was good. Oscar and Eloy both came to church! The ward has been 150% better about talking to our investigators when we bring them to church and I'm really happy about it. I took a bomb nap during mediodia and then we had a lesson with Vic. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and then she brought up baptism.  I told her that her Heavenly Father has a ton of blessings prepared for her, and a lot of those will only come from being baptized in the true church of Jesus Christ. We invited her to pray about it because really it's between her and God and we don't want to make her do anything. Hermana Stepp made a good point that it's our responsibility as missionaries to make sure she knows the truth and help her understand it and that the way she'll know what's the right thing for her to do is to pray. We only see her once a week so I'm hoping after a week of praying about it, she'll feel more sure of what she needs to do.


I'm happy. I love being a missionary. I like it so much. It is the hardest thing I've ever done and I've felt frustrated/discouraged/sad/angry/homesick and like I wanted to give up and times, but I wouldn't trade the last 9 months for anything.



Hermana Munden