Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 16

Yeah, the Charly situation was super awkward but it will definitely not be the last of awkward situations in the field! Our branch mission leader just got released.  We are super excited though because our new branch mission leader not only served as the branch president a year or so ago, he also served as a missionary here years ago.  He is an amazing man and we are super excited!!! His is going to be great.

That's crazy that you ran across the travel show about Santiago!!  We saw some people who I think were pilgrims who hiked there and the town of Santiago is amazing!!  Super old cobblestone streets, super old buildings, it's sweet!!  The Cathedral was amazing!!  It was a huge testimony builder too because we went in and they had a worship service going on and during it a ton of tourism and selling things off to the side, and a giant golden statue of Santiago (James the apostle).  It felt weird having tourism during a meeting, and everything just felt a lot different.  It was super cool historically and the architecture was magnificent but the spirit just was not there and it was a huge testimony builder.  Something funny that happened was we were down below in this little hallway underneath and these people were praying to the box that supposedly has James bones in it while 6 missionaries from the true church were standing right behind them.  It was really super interesting to watch.                                                    
                                                                                                         Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

left to right in the picture of the 6 of us: Elder Bercerra from Barcelona (serves in 
Santiago), Elder Gomez from Texas (A Coruña), Elder Vasquez from Barcelona (A Coruña), Elder Delgado born in Ecuador, lived in Spain most of his life (Santiago), Elder Anderson, and Elder Gentry!

Madrid was amazing!! and the things Elder Texiera taught us about street contacting we have been doing.  He taught us to go up to people, say we invite you to, then if they look at the card say, among other things, my name is Elder Anderson and start a conversation, explain what we do, our message, and then make sure when setting appointments to get addresses and give them options like, "do you have time weekends or weekdays? mornings or afternoons? 6 or 7?"  We have been doing it exactly as he told us and we have been getting a lot of potential investigators from this new method of contacting. 

To answer your question about our investigators.  To be honest this was a really really rough week. First off, Francisco. He made some inappropriate comments to some women in the branch and one of the members (a father who is an absolutely amazing guy) pulled him off to the side and said please have more respect and leave those things outside of a church, its one thing to say those things in a discoteca but in a church, please don't.  Now this member is amazing and if I would have anyone talk to an investigator to correct behavior it would be him. Francisco stormed out of the capilla and the other elders saw him on the street Monday night, he gave them his book of Mormon, all the pamphlets, everything, and said he's never coming back.  We got him to come to talk to us Tuesday and he went off saying how that man is a terrible person, he should be able to say whatever he wants, that he is a "oveja negra" (black sheep) and he doesn't belong here, nor does he need it.  We used President Uchtdorf's  "Come Join with Us"  talk and said we're all from different backgrounds and we're all different people but we all have one thing in common, testimonies of Jesus Christ and the need to follow him.  But he said he's done and he´s not coming back.  So we lost him.  It was pretty sad but he wasn't humble at all and we don't know what would have happened otherwise.  The member feels bad and is trying to contact him and tell him to come back (which just shows why this gospel is true... this member understands the worth of a soul, and can forgive. He just wants to help him come unto Christ.) but yeah that was rough.  So no more Francisco for now.  We may get him back eventually we don't know. With Ciro, he won't come to church, we have tried and tried and tried and he just will not come, so he will no longer be getting baptized.  José has had some serious problems with his home and is now completely out of money and can never meet.  He almost came to church but this guy he shares a piso with cut his finger off so José had to take him to the hospital at 4 in the morning Saturday night. That just explains our week.  The weirdest things happen.  So he wont be baptized yet.  We might have a lesson with him tonight but we don't know we shall see and we may try and shoot for the 29th for a baptism but we will see.  Last, Nadia. Oh thank heavens we have Nadia.  She is golden!!  50 year old lady who has a testimony.  Incredible lady. She is still going to be baptized for now.  Her interview is next Friday and as long as things go well she will be baptized the 28th.  She only has two hours available on Sundays and she literally runs to church (a half hour run) comes to the last part of sacrament, goes to part of Sunday school, and then a half hour run back to her work. but she does it because she has a testimony.  We have been trying super hard to get someone to pick her up in a car but no one will yet, but she's amazing.  We are super excited for her plus, the Russian warrior son I supposedly look like is coming to A Coruña in June so I plan on baptizing him as well haha.  Things are good so far with her!!

Carnival ended last week! it was nuts.  The parties here were insane and the contacting was ridiculously harder than normal and its already super tough. It was so weird to see all the people in these odd costumes and just going crazy in the streets.  We had a super rough week with numbers.  Not many lessons, a lot of street contacting time, and very few street lessons as well.  Just no one wanted to listen this week and it was a super super rough week but we are still super happy!!  as always:)  The weather has been amazing!!!  It feels like spring here too it's been great!!!

Thanks for always keeping me updated on stuff at home! i cant believe I'm halfway around the world as well!! thanks for everything!! and the package don't worry. no rush on it. Just when you can!! and yeah tell me the name of the cookies!! maybe i have!! 

As for other random things that happened this week, from people throwing fireworks at us, a giant fire in this garbage can thing that goes deep in the ground, and getting yelled at last night for supposedly trying to break in to a building (I had my hands on the handle to the door and this guy came running out screaming and yelling if he ever sees us again he's calling the cops and all this stuff) haha.  We were talking over the intercom with some members. Crazy week but it's amazing because it's like you can feel the prayers of the members from all over the world.  I feel so safe and I know all will be well.  I love it and it's great to have the Lord on your side!  I love this work and even though it's super hard at times and discouraging I'm still extremely happy.  The happiness is amazing and even if I only baptize one Russian lady my entire time in Spain, I know I helped with bringing one soul unto him.  The work is tough, but worth it.  People have their agency, and its tough, I wish they didn't sometimes.  The gift of agency is beautiful it's what we fought for in the pre-earth life and one day every person will look back and realize they should have talked to us, or shouldn't have stopped talking to us.  But most importantly everyone eventually in one way or another will be brought to the knowledge of our Savior and I just want to do it for them now so they have the opportunity to choose now before its too tough.  This is so important.  It's the only thing that truly matters, forming eternal families, bringing His children back to Him.  He wants them back and I'm so glad I can help.  Even if it's only just one.  I love it out here!!!!  Love you all!!!

((Hugs)) and kisses,
Elder Anderson

¡El reino de Dios o nada!