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 ( 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