Tuesday, June 11, 2013

''Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven''

Hi Family!

Today is transfer day! I'm staying in Pavones and Hermana Olsen is going to Vallecas, so I'm with Hermana Stepp.

This week was GOOD. On Monday we had the activity at the mission home. All the missionaries serving around Madrid came to the mission home and we played tennis, ping pong, basketball, soccer, volleyball, the piano and guitar, and then ate pulled pork sandwiches. It was really awesome. Then that night Dr. Borras called me because I'd been experiencing the same pain as I was a few months ago and he had a new antibiotic for me to try. So we spent the rest of Monday going to his office to pick up the prescription and then picking up the medicine from a pharmacy. After all that hassle, we started calling old investigators from the phone to try and set appointments up with them and we got to talk to five!

This is our piso: Hermanas Rica, Burgos, me, Olsen, Smith (and Hansen is taking the picture)

Tuesday morning we had a lesson with Eloy. We spent the whole time talking about church - why it's important, what we do, and how it will help prepare him to get baptized. Then we set his baptism for June 29th. He is really very sweet and super sincere. He wants to learn and soaks everything up like a sponge. After that we had a lesson with this new guy named Oscar. He's Peruvian and in his late 40's. He was a reference from the MTC missionaries and this was our first time meeting him. He seemed super sad and lonely. He said he only had like 4 friends and not even his family talks to him. We shared a scripture with him and talked a little bit about our purpose as missionaries. He didn't seem extremely interested, but he committed to coming to church and set up an appointment with us for tomorrow!

Tuesday night we had a lesson with Gusto (who just barely told us his name is actually Justo after we've been saying it wrong for a month). He hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon, so we thought we'd read it with him. We picked 1 Nephi 3 when Nephi and his brothers go get the brass plates from wicked Laban. Hermana Olsen and I read in English while Ryan (the 18 yearold son of the Filipino family) read in Tagalog and explained parts to Gusto that he didn't understand. He thought the story was really cool and told us he would read the next chapter on his own to find out what happens. Ryan was really cute and gave him a magnifying glass because it's hard for Gusto to see the words sometimes.

This is me and Gusto, our Filipino investigator. He is hands down the funniest man I've ever met.

After that, we headed back to Pavones to have a lesson with David, a recent convert. Well, this night, we found him sitting with his friend Juan Luis when we showed up. David and Juan Luis are both Spanish, both recent converts, and like best friends. So basically they're the cutest things ever. And David invited Juan Luis to come to the lesson with us. We were SO glad he did, because David was friendly, talkative, sweet, and the nicest we'd ever seen him! We talked about Christ and how their relationships with Him have changed since being a member of the church. David was actually a Jehovah's Witness before we was baptized, so he told us how his whole idea of who Jesus Christ is and his role in our lives has changed since joining the church. It was really neat. He'll hit his 1 year mark on June 30th, he's getting endowded July 2nd, and he and his girlfriend are getting sealed July 11th. So exciting!

Our friend from the park, David

Wednesday morning was the temple. I love to seeeeeee the teeeemple. For real though. Best day of the whole transfer. We took pictures outside and it was the last time I'll see Elder Gonzalez because he goes home tomorrow! I hate when people leave. It's so sad.

Last night at the temple

The MTC missionaries sing on the temple steps every Sunday afternoon

The biggest part of the day I guess was our lesson with Rafa. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and then I asked him if he knew the church was true. He said he did because something had told him it was true. I asked what that something was and he said he thought it was the Holy Ghost. Ahhh so proud of him! I love when I get to see the lightbulb go on and investigators begin to understand the Holy Ghost. I invited him to be baptized on June 29th and he said yes! I loooooove Rafa. After the lesson we went outisde and I saw Renato on the phone. He waved at us and said he was talking to his dad who was in Brazil. Renato has been teaching me Portugues so I asked if I could talk to his dad. I told him, ''Hi I'm Brazilian and I speak Portuguese. Today is a nice day and I'm a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.'' He laughed and laughed and said something in Portuguese that I did not understand one bit. Haha it was awesome.

Thursday Eloy showed up at Noche de Hogar. This guy Sergio was super cute with him. He gave him a tour of the church and then took him outside to look at the temple. He had him read the front and goes, ''That says 'the house of the Lord, which Eloy will soon enter'''. I love Sergio.

Friday morning we went BACK to Aluche to get my residency card. The line was like an hour and a half long, but we got it! I'm officially a resident of Spain. I feel super official. After that we came home and made lunch for the elders. We feel bad because every Sunday we pass around a meal calendar and no one ever signs up to feed them. So last Sunday I signed us up. We made pizza and they brought ice cream AND did the dishes. Their mothers taught them right. Friday night was kind of hectic because we had our dinner for the ward. Our ward mission leader, the ward missionaries, and the six of us made food from our different countries and fed the ward. Soo many people came. We had 12 nonmembers, 15 less actives, and 50 or something members. Hermana Olsen and I made sloppy joe's, the most American thing we could think of. We almost ran out of food, but everyone who came got to eat. None of us got anything, but that was okay. Haha Rafa and Marcos showed up! I was really glad they came. I was especially proud of Rafa because his phone is broken so I couldn't even text him to remind him. He just came all on his own!

Us Barrios 6 missionaries after our Cena Cultural Misional

Saturday morning we had a million people in our English class and it was really fun. Afterwards we had a lesson with Oscar and this time he was way more open and even accepted an invitation to be baptized when he knows the church is true. He's gonna start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and he came to Stake Conference on Sunday!

Sunday was awesome. Stake Conference was really good. The Stake YM President gave a talk on the worth of every soul and at the end he said, ''If any one of you here thinks you're not important, you're wrong. God loves you and you matter to Him.'' It was really powerful and I was glad Oscar heard that.

It's so true. We all matter. Everyone is a son or daughter of God and He loves us beyond comprehension. I love my knowledge of that. It keeps me going when life seems impossible. I love you!

Hermana Munden

P.S. I hit 9 months on Wednesday. What the heck...

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