I got one of the packages!!!! The assistants are out in the islands today and tomorrow and I was on an intercambio with them this week. They're trying to help me out and we called people in the islands to track it down so we will get it figured out haha:) The language is a little different here, like the accent, and all the signs and billboards are in Spanish which is awesome. haha I love Madrid! Yes, it was insane during that futbol game. Every once in a while the whole city would just have this giant sound start up. haha We live right above a bar (we're on the 1st floor) and the bar is right beneath and we were planning for the night and all of the sudden everyone started screaming and going nuts. Our piso literally was shaking and we were leaning out the window yelling ¿Quien ganó? or who won? We found out Madrid did and we were like yeah!!!! so sick!! I'm a Madrid fan rather than Madrid Atletico. They take soccer seriously here. Oh man, I am so excited for the World Cup. Spain better win again because Madrid would go wild and that would just be so cool!! I guess when they won last time it was a 3 day party. Just absolute madness. So I'm pretty pumped!!
That scripture is amazing!!!!! (Doctrine and Covenants 123:17) Tthank you so much:) Cheerfully is the hardest part sometimes but optimism is the only way. I can also improve on that. Thank you so much for that thought!! Something an Elder said at Zone Conference this week was, "In the difficult moments, when it's raining, you have to throw your head back and enjoy the rain!" I absolutely love that. A smile and a good attitude will always get you through and is always the best way.
Well this week was great!!! Monday, we had a noche de hogar (family home evening) with some people and an investigator:) It was super good and I've loved the members here! They're amazing. Tthat was about it. Tuesday, we met with Demiter. We then went and ate at the Bishop's and we had this Venezuelan food called Arepa. He calls it manna. The food of the Gods. haha Our bishop is awesome and is like the nicest guy ever and we go eat with him every Tuesday. Later that day we went and had a lesson with Javier and his daughter, the investigator, Anai. She is pretty much set for baptism next week! It's been an absolute miracle as last transfer she wouldn't listen whatsoever to the elders but we had a lesson with her week one of the transfer and she opened up and has progressed incredibly!! The Lord's hands have been in this and he has answered our pleadings. We now want to get the mother to listen to us and then help them get to the temple next summer and get them sealed as a family. That would be the most amazing thing ever!!!!! So keep Javier and his family in your prayers. Wednesday, we planned for the week and then after medio dia we went and has a lesson with a new girl named Carolina. She is so ready!!!! A member reference and she is so open! We also had another lesson with her Saturday and she accepted a baptismal invitation but she is moving to England in like a week and a half so we are working hard to try and get her baptized before she leaves, or make sure that the missionaries there get a hold of her. So keep her in your prayers as well!! We went on an intercambio (exchange) with the assistants to the president that night and I was with Elder Blanchard. We went and reviewed the baptismal questions with Graciela and we're helping her understand everything and answering her questions and it was just a good lesson. The spirit was strong!!! She said she is willing to give up coffee because she knows it's a commandment. So keep her in your prayers as well!!!
The next day at Zone Conference the AP's came up to me and said how impressed they were with Elder Christensen and I and how great of missionaries we are. It was a huge confidence booster. No one has really ever told me anything like that before and it meant a ton to me. He just said keep up the good work, you'e gonna go far in the mission, and far in life. It was like the coolest thing for me!!!!
Zone Conference was POWERFUL! President spoke about the love of the Savior and this is about other people and not about us. Then the AP's spoke about the love of the Savior as well. It was amazing and it was so amazing to hear from President about that and that's been what I have been learning the most about out here is the love of the Savior. Great conference. Then it was cool to get to know more missionaries! That's another cool thing about Madrid, you get to meet a lot of other missionaries. After zone conference we had an intercambio (exhange) with one of the zone leaders and it was a terrible experience. He was super rude to me and just put me down. It was terrible. I felt awful about myself and the spirit was gone. The next day when Elder Christensen got back he told me to call president and tell him what happened and that was amazing advice. President calmed me down and helped a ton. I just want to say he is the most amazing mission president ever. I love him!! He is an incredible man.
The rest of Thursday we had a few lessons, with Alina the recent convert, who is now bringing her friend to listen to us, then with Leo, then the familia Bueno. We just went and visited them and we asked for references at the end, and then, like President Jackson said to do after we received one, we asked again, "Who else do you know that would benefit from this message?" We did it again and again and we have 7 people in all that we are going to start teaching. We will be having a noche de hogar (family home evening) this next week with them and, oh man, we are excited. The Lord has been blessing us so much this transfer. It has been incredible!!! Absolutely an amazing transfer and its only been 2 weeks!!
The last big piece of news was the baptism!!! Vanesa got baptized! We had to talk to President to get permission because the parents are divorced and the dad didn't want it but we talked to President and he said that normally you need both parents permission because we try to keep families together but because they are divorced he gave the okay. She was baptized right after church on Sunday. She went to her dad's house later that night. He found out she got baptized and he kicked her out of the house. She's almost 13 and she got kicked out of her house. It was unbelievable. We were in a lesson with a recent convert when we got the call and we ran over to her mom's house as fast as we could and just talked with her. She was pretty sad but she kept saying how she is so glad she made the choice to get baptized. It was amazing to see the faith of this 12-year-old who had just been kicked out of her father's house saying, "I'm glad I chose to follow the Savior no matter what the consequences." What an amazing example to us all.
It was an amazing week and we have been working constantly. There is never a dull moment and we are working so hard!!! We're amazing friends and this has been the most incredible transfer ever. It's been AMAZING. I am so happy right now!!! I can't begin to explain the happiness I feel. This work is incredible!! So for the spiritual thought for the week lets get interactive. Go watch the Mormon Message #Because of Him. I want all of you reading this to write why you are thankful for what He did and keep it somewhere where you can remember and be reminded of it:)
I want to say this: I am so grateful because of what He did. He suffered so that we are never alone. No matter what. Because of Him we have the chance to live with our families again. He brings the hope we all look for and I am so grateful to represent him. I love the part in the video that says we can start again, and again, and again. Because of the perfect Son of God, our older brother, no matter how many times we fall we can get right back up. I know He loves us, and I know He lives. As much as I know I'm alive right now and typing this email I know he lives. I know he lives. Thanks for everything. I love you all!!!! You are amazing!!!!! Keep the faith. Have an amazing week!!!!! Hurrah for Israel!
¡El reino de dios a nada!