Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1 month in Spain and 24 weeks in the mission. What the...


I know I say this in every email, but this week was fantastic! Thursday we had a lesson with Carmen. She´s so cute. She wanted to learn more about faith, so we read Alma 32 together and stopped every couple verses to talk about what was going on. Halfway through the chapter, Jessica got home from school and she read the rest of it with us! We promised her a few weeks ago we´d bring her a present, so we gave her the child´s Book of Mormon we had for her and she loved it. After the prayer, Carmen went into the kitchen to cook and we stayed and visited with Jessica for a few minutes before we had to leave. She told us she wants to get baptized! We encouraged her to talk to her mom about wanting to be baptized and that we´d talk about it more the next time. Now Paola and Jessica have both said they´re ready, so we´re just waiting on Carmen. But she´s doing just fine, so we´re not too worried about it. We looooooove them.
Friday the elders in Móstoles were having a baptism, so we called Evelyn to see if she wanted to go, and the three of us went to that. The baptism was for a 27 year old girl from Honduras named Suany. We thought it´d be good for Evelyn to see what a baptism was like, since hers was the next day and she´d never been to one. Afterwards we hugged and kissed Suany and congratulated her and she said to Evelyn, ''Thanks for coming to support me today, I´ll be there for you tomorrow!'' It was pretty cute.

Saturday was the baptism! It was beauuuuutiful. I had to play the piano, which stressed me out un poco, but oh well. Her parents each prayed and they both cried. So that made Evelyn cry, and then we cried. Hahah there were a lot of tears. The Young Women sang a song and then Carlos baptized her. He´s 18 and he was so sweet with her. Hermana Miron and I stood next to the font to watch. The place I feel the Spirit most is the temple, but second most is convert baptisms. It´s incredible. Evelyn came out of the water and when we were in the bathroom with her I asked how she felt she said ''SUPER BIEN'' :) Carmen and her girls were there, and so was Eduardo. Evelyn asked Hermana Miron and I to share our testimonies so we did, and then it was Evelyn´s turn. She got up there and just started crying. When she could finally talk she said ''I know this church is true. And I am so, so happy.'' And that was it! But that´s all anyone really needed to here. It was such a good day.
Us with Evelyn on her big day
The Young Women

Evelyn and Carlos
Monday we were supposed to go visit Evelyn but when we got to her house nobody was home. So we headed back to the metro station and we ran into her and her parents. Her mom goes, ''Now Sisters, have you taught Evelyn how to pray? Because I think she might be a little confused.'' Evelyn got all embarrassed and shy and her mom continues to tell us that Evelyn has been praying in her bed, lying on her back, with her arms folded across her chest, and smiling up at the ceiling. Hahahaha it was so funny. At least she's praying! We suggested she should start praying on her knees when she could.
Yesterday President and Hermana Jackson showed up to our district meeting with SNICKERS BARS. It tasted like heaven. Yum.
Today we were going to go to Parque Europa, but it was snowing this morning, so we decided on mini-golf instead. Still fun. And so much better than mini-golf in the States.

That's all I got! I'll talk to you guys Monday though :)
Hermana Munden

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I officially have less than a year left as a missionary. Whoa.

Hi Everyone!
This was probably one of the best weeks I've had in awhile. Last Thursday was Valentine's Day and we had the Mission Tour. We were in Pavones (where the temple is) for Mission Conference with Elder Kearon from 9 in the morning until like 4 in the afternoon. It was a long day, but so SO good. We learned a lot and it was cool to be with almost all the missionaries in the mission (the ones serving on the Canary Islands met with Elder Kearon Wednesday). He taught us about sanctifying ourselves so we can teach with power and a lot of other really insightful things that are going to help improve our teaching. Oh, also! President Jackson told us that we currently have 110 missionaries in the Spain Madrid Mission and by the end of 2013 we'll be at 220, with 58 of us being sisters. Pretty neat if you ask me!

Thursday night was Rosi's birthday, so we went over to her house and had dinner with her family to celebrate. After we left, Hermana Miron and I put a ton of hearts on her door to suprise her. She called us later saying she felt really special and she was going to leave them up so all her neighbors could see :)

Friday night we sang in the street and contacted a little bit. We picked a spot on a street between our piso and the church and set up camp on a bench. We had some pass along cards and a few Books of Mormon and we sang hymns for about half an hour. We didn't end up having very much success. One man came up to us and said he'd heard of the church before. Hermana Miron asked him if he'd like to learn more and he said absolutely not, that he liked his own church just fine. Haha oh well, it was still really fun. Since we weren't talking to very many people, we left and walked to the church.

The Young Men and Young Women in our ward had a Valentine's dinner/activity thing to raise money for EFY. They fed us dinner for 3 euros and there were cards and flowers for sale and then an auction. Oh my goodness, it was so much fun. There was singing and dancing and games and husbands went up in front of everyone and told their wives how much they loved them. Ahhh it was the cutest! Eduardo, Carmen and her daughters, Nicol and her parents, Evelyn and her parents and Lorena all came. It was awesome.
Bishop getting lipsticked

Fabian getting lipsticked

Eduardo at the Vday activity
 Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference. Hermana Miron and I were the only missionaries there Saturday night and the session was about missionary work. President Jackson spoke and he asked us to stand up and then called us angels. Haha it was cute. Also we learned that 45 years ago, there wasn't a single member of the church in all of Spain. Now, we have 3 stakes (one being formed in the islands), 1 temple, and 10 missionaries serving just from our stake. After the session on Sunday, everyone went outside and took pictures by the temple. It's so preeetty. I love the Madrid temple.
Ana and me after Stake Conference

Monday and Tuesday were the best though. Evelyn had her interview and everything is set for her baptism Saturday. She's so excited, and I can't wait! Monday night we visited Eduardo. We taught him HOLA (cada hombre tiene que orar, leer, y asistir la capilla - every man has to pray, read, and go to church) to help him understand the importance of daily scripture study and prayer and going to church every Sunday. It was a really good lesson. He said he's still waiting to feel "fire" but that it comes when he reads the scriptures, so he wants to get baptized soon. We ended on a good note and he offered the prayer, and we went home.

Then... LAST NIGHT WAS THE BEST EVER. We had another lesson with Eduardo. Hermana Miron shared a scripture in Proverbs about gaining wisdom and knowledge and then we somehow got back to the topic of baptism. I love when that happens. She was bold but not overbearing in asking him why he didn't feel ready to get baptized. He said he didn't want to take this step and then mess up and not be worthy anymore. We expressed to him that Heavenly Father doesn't require us to be perfect. He just asks that we try our best and then use the Atonement when we fall short of that. We then felt impressed to go over the baptismal interview questions with him. He answered them all perfectly. I knew we needed to invite him to be baptized, but I hadn't done it in Spanish since the MTC and was freaking out. Hermana Miron told me to just use my own words. Eduardo said to not be afraid, that he would understand me. It was like he was just waiting for the question. Then I said, "Tendrás tu bautismo el 16 de marzo?" and he started laughing. I asked him what was so funny and he said that was the same day he was thinking of after our fast a few weeks ago. He ended up saying yes, he wants to get baptized. AHHHH I CAN'T WAIT FOR MARCH 16TH. It's three days before my birthday and two days before Hermana Miron goes home. Happy Birthday to meeeeee. What a miracle. Eduardo has been meeting with missionaries for 7 months and he's finally getting baptized. I love being a missionary.
Us with Eduardo at the temple

Today we went to Pavones with the Elders in the district next to ours for Elder Sepúlveda's birthday. We made rice with chicken and peppers and it was yummy. Tonight we have a lesson with Lorena and Ruben and then tomorrow one with Carmen and her daughters (finally) after almost 2 weeks of not being able to meet with them.
Elder Rodriguez and Elder Sepúlveda on Sepu's birthday

Nilson (my visa waiter buddy) on Sepu's birthday

I can't believe I come home a year from yesterday. That's so weird. Time is going by way too fast. But I'm enjoying every second of what I have left :)
Hermana Munden
P.S. Starting March 4th our P-days will be changing to Mondays. Hooray! Wednesday P-days are just too dang weird.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Galatians 2:20

I can't believe I've been out 5 months. It feels like I was in the MTC just yesterday. It's incredible how fast the time flies. I don't want this time to end.
We had a pretty good weekend. Friday night we ate with this family from the ward, whose oldest son is actually going to baptize Evelyn. They made us pizza and sandwiches (yay for normal food) and then we shared a quick message before we left. Hermana Miron was talking about reading the scriptures and the importance of immersing ourselves in daily study, and then the husband said something I really liked... "You can't love a person without knowing them." I've been thinking about that a lot lately. We say we love Heavenly Father and we love our Savior, but do we really know them? That's what I've enjoyed the most about being a missionary - this time I get to ready and study and serve and strengthen my relationship with my Father in Heaven, to teach what the Savior taught and to learn to see people the way He did.
Saturday we went to Carmen's to help Paola with her English homework. Afterwards we ate lunch and I shared a scripture in Mosiah about the covenant we make with God when we're baptized. Hermana Miron bore her testimony and then asked them what they think about all this. Paola told us she knows that what we've been teaching her family is true. She doesn't just believe it, she knows it. As soon as she said that I felt this intense feeling and I became super aware that I know it's true too. I know that God lives. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel. And I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church that Jesus Christ established when He was on the earth. And Paola knows it too! Ahhhh I'm so excited. I can't wait til Carmen and Jessica know it too.
Monday night we visited this lady Lorena. She's less active and she lives with her boyfriend Ruben who isn't a member. She made us dinner and we visited for a little bit. Ruben tried to help Hermana Miron with her foot. He did this weird thing to "clean her aura." It was a good opportunity to talk about the Priesthood and how it's the power to act in God's name.
Today we went to Sol, which is basically the center of Madrid and a big tourist spot. There's fountains and magicians and old buildings. It's really cool. We ate churros and drank hot chocolate and walked around. It was pretty fun. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and it's the Mission Tour. A member of the Seventy is coming to check out the mission and we're gonna have a conference with him. I'm excited.
Life is good. Really good. And I got the best news ever today. When I got to the Locutorio to do emails I had a message from Sister Cha. CONNOR IS GETTING BAPTIZED MARCH 2ND!!! I cried. Haha it's seriously the best news and I'm so so so happy for him. I'm just super bummed I can't be there for him. It's been a long time coming and I can't believe it. Yay for Conman.

Well, that's it. Hope you all I have a great week :)
Hermana Munden

Friday, February 8, 2013

Watching people run to catch the Metro is my new favorite hobby

I've been in Spain almost 2 weeks now, and my 5 month mark is on Tuesday, so that's pretty neat. We got transfer calls Saturday night and I'm staying with Hermana Miron here in Leganes. Yayyyyy!
Our zone last week before transfers
Hermana Zitting got transferred to the Islands. I'm soooo jealous. But after two more transfers here I feel like I'm gonna go be her companion in Las Palmas. We'll see.
Sunday we fasted with Eduardo. We asked him Saturday night what he wanted to fast for and he decided he wants to feel something inside that tells him this church is true and that he should get baptized. I like that a lot (and last time we did that, with Zach, homeboy got baptized two weeks later... so I was feelin pretty good about that). Sunday morning during Sacrament Meeting two of our investigators got up and bore their testimonies. One of them was Evelyn who is getting baptized the 23rd. How cool is that?
Miron, Coakwell, Evelyn, me
Monday night we ate with this Armenian family from the ward. She gave us soooo much food - soup, chicken, sausage, rice, vegetables, carrots, bread, cheese, and like 5 different kinds of desserts. Out of control. But it was so good. Tuesday morning we had district meeting. It's so weird having meetings in Spanish, but I'm getting used to it. Afterwards we went and got Chinese food with some elders from another district. They made Miron and me try this nasty slimy fish/worm thing. I asked what I got if I did it and they just said it would be a "mission experience." Lame. But I did it anyways. Disgusting.
Wednesday we went to Avila, an hour and a half west of Madrid, where they have all these castles and stuff. We left the piso at 7:30 and spent the morning there. It was windy and cold and miserable, but really really pretty.
Miron and me in Avila

The group of us that went: Elder Foster and McKeighan, Mitchell
 (a member here who comes out with us sometimes), me, Miron, Andrea (a recent convert)

And then yesterday we went to Carmen's house for lunch and a lesson. She fed us tortilla de patata. It's like onions and potatos and eggs in this big cake thing. The lesson we had with her was really cool though. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and when we were done her oldest daughter Paola said she felt like she knew God created that plan for her. She thinks it's just and fair, makes a lot of sense, and her goal is to get to the celestial kingdom. I just love them so much. It's hard not to love investigators who tell you they spent an hour and a half on Sunday reading the Book of Mormon as a family. They're incredible.

We saw Eduardo last night and I shared D&C 6: 33-34, 36-37 with him. We talked about replacing fear with faith. He recognizes that he's not going to get the feeling he wants inside until he starts reading the Book of Mormon and praying. So that's our focus right now - helping Eduardo to have a spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon, and we're going to start by getting him excited to read it.
I'm happy. Life is good. I still miss my hair. And I'm tired all the time. But I only have one year of my mission left and I want to make it as good as I can.
Hermana Munden