Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Oh my goodness what a week!!   We both got to spend a day with a General Authority this week!  I'll tell you about that in a little bit.  Yes, I met the couple from the MTC!  They gave me the gift and thank you so much!!  I'll be needing it in the next few months because I have been writing in my journal nightly so you´ll be proud of me! 

As for your questions, yeah, I'll probably be buying some sweet futbol cleats while I'm here!! haha its super fun and we play every Saturday mornings when it isn't raining and we bring members and investigators.  We play to help build relationships between members and investigators and unity between us and members, so it's strengthening a lot and helps the investigators feel comfortable!  We actually have never played sports on p-day.  We´re always out seeing stuff around A Coruña.  Last week we went to the Torre de Hercules and this week I'm actually emailing from Santiago (which means James in Spanish).  It's in our district and so 6 of us elders (the other two from A Coruña and the 2 from Santiago) we're emailing now and then heading to the giant Cathedral de Santiago today.  It's the giant cathedral that supposedly James the apostles bones are buried.  That one that i guess people do that big hike or journey to or whatever that is but it's going to be way cool - the cathedral is huge!! 

It rains a ton!!  Oh hey, it's raining right now.  We live in Galicia so it's just normal for it to rain daily but the weather has been getting a lot better lately!!  We've had sunny days and we could see stars last week!!  It's been hailing the past two days and it's supposed to be really bad weather this week!!  That's okay its gonna get beautiful in springtime!!  This place is always wet but its super green.  It's gorgeous!! 

This week was great!!  A rough week but when you're serving the Lord it's tough to be sad. We had the 4 baptismal dates but now only 3.  Ciro, who works in the ocean, we lost contact with him for two weeks, but yesterday we said a prayer right before we left the piso that we could have contact with him and we came walking up to his portal (by the way the buildings all have portals.  All the bottom floors are businesses and then the other floors are pisos so we get peoples' "direction" or address and they give us which portal and then which piso for example, ours is Ronda de Outeiro 19, 6º, so portal 19 piso 6.  We came walking up to his portal and out walked Ciro.  We set a lesson for tonight and he said I'm so excited for you to come by to spiritually feed me.  So we're having a lesson on feasting on the words of Christ and how he can spiritually feed himself with 3 things.  We call it the OLA lessons (ola is hello in Galego haha) but it stands for Orar, Leer, Asistir.  Or, in english, Pray, Read, Attend. Helping him become self-sufficient spiritually.  Francisco is doing good.  He is still set to go for the 15th of March and is progressing well!  He´s out of the hospital and is keeping his commitments so hes great!  Nadia literally runs to church every week but she has an amazing testimony and is so excited to be baptized.  That one is good to go for the 28th of March!  José, we have a lesson with tonight and he is doing well.  We aren't 100% sure so far if his current fecha (or baptismal date) will work but we will start figuring out tonight.  He's been sick but he's been reading so that's good!  As for our other investigators - we've been working with one named Bob and he knows nothing about God so we are starting from literally the basics.  We had a lesson on the Godhead and who God and Jesus Christ are. Tonight we will be teaching him about the Savior more and watching Como Hallar Fe (Finding Faith in Christ) with him and reading parts of Mosiah 3.  It's been amazing to see his growth in his relationship with God already.  We may try to help him be baptized at the end of April but we´ll see.  
We're struggling to have contacts with our other investigators because its Carnival this week and the town has been growing crazy and everyone is partying.  Fireworks.  People marching around with drums and whistles and gosh its crazy.  It's a week long festivo so its been tough but it's all good.  The work is progressing regardless.  The branch is doing pretty good.  It's struggling and attendance is down.  The people are nice but just like anywhere have their problems.  But that's what we´re here for - to help those who haven't made covenants yet make them and strengthen those who have.  So we´re working hard!!  We have 70 - 85 members attend weekly and the primary is small but there's quite a few for how small we are.  We taught the young men the Plan of Salvation the other week!  We have a really good relationship with the Young Men's President.  Juan, the one I sent the picture of me with him, to you, that's him).  So we're doing what we can to strengthen the ward.  This branch is awesome and even though we have a lot of struggles that's what we´re here for - to strengthen.

 We got to go to Madrid this week!!  We left Wednesday on a train and got there that night (it's like an 8 hour train ride).  It was so weird being down in Madrid and going to "Holy Pavones" as Elder Gentry and I call it (haha Pavones is the metro stop with the Temple and MTC). Thursday was the "mission tour" with Elder Texeria of the 70.  We all got to go give him a handshake, and yeah, I totally shook his hand.  He said, "Que tal, Elder Anderson" and gave me a hug.  Que tal basically means "what's up" haha, and then a little later during lunch break Elder Gentry and I were washing our hands and so was Elder Texiera and he asked us "is this useful? are you learning anything?"  It was so cool!!  Just to see his humility and realize he is a normal guy.  But the training was INCREDIBLE.  He taught us how in Europe our best finding tool has been and always will be street contacting.  He taught us a better way to street contact using the cards and then taught us we need to "keep digging where we have already found gold" and taught us to ask our investigators and members who we can pray for and then pray with them for whoever they say and then work our way to teach those people.  He promised we would triple our number of new investigators.  It was an incredible meeting.  We also got to go to the temple after!!!  The Madrid zones go every transfer but in the north we can't.  So it was sooo amazing to be able to go!!!  Anyway, this week was amazing and something I have learned is this:  We are sent on missions at such a young age to learn how to use this great responsibility of the Priesthood that we have been given at such a young age.  We have a responsibility as Priesthood holders to minister.   On our missions is when we truly learn to let our own desires go and learn to minister, and to serve others.  A mission is "lifelong Priesthood holder prep" to learn to serve others.  I've done a lot of studying on Priesthood as we´ve been working to strengthen the new recent converts who have recently been ordained to the Priesthood.  

I love you all!!!!  This church is true!!  I love this work and I am so happy!!!!!!  Thanks for your support!!!  and thanks for the weekly quotes mom:)  I love you!!!

((hugs)) and kisses,
Elder Jarrett Anderson

El reino de dios o nada!