Hello everyone :)
So yesterday was my first real day in my own ward!!! How crazy!! It was so much fun and the people are so loving... I feel right at home! Anyways it was fast and testimony meeting and the counselor in the branch presidency invited me and elder Peña up to share our testimonies... I don't think that's legal but nevertheless haha!! So I don't think my heart has ever pounded more in my life... Or faster... Or I've ever had that much adrenaline!! I have been waiting my whole life to have my own ward, on my mission, and to talk to the people for the first time!! Dream come true :) anyways, I introduced myself and told them how long I'd been here and what not then I shared my testimony!! I felt pretty good about it, then after the meeting I got so many compliments on my Spanish!! I felt so overwhelmed, I really don't feel like it's good yet but people kept saying "you've really only been out for 2 months?! Your Spanish is excellent!" So that made me feel really good :) then we got to help the teenagers with an exercise about inviting friends to church which was good, then we went to the primary and talked to the kids about preparing for missions! I showed the little kids a picture of Kenna and Ellie and told them that my sisters are getting ready for missions too and they were obsessed with the picture! Haha so Kenna and Ellie, people here love you guys :) we went to priesthood which was good, we talked about leadership and then after church we had ward council and that was also good! So I was very glad we finally had a real meeting! We have lots of work to do though, but I'm so excited!!
Okay this is like a funny and cute story, but more funny because it's weird to call my 21 year old companion from Peru cute hahaha... So, the other night I was just absolutely starving so I was in the kitchen just chowing down on tons of nachos and he walks into the kitchen and says... "You wish I have chip also?" Haha!! He was trying to say "can I have some nachos?" But he doesn't know how to formulate sentences very well in English so whatever he thinks just comes out... It was awesome. So I gave him chips and cheese and he was happy :)
So in Spain you can't knock on doors because there's no such thing as houses, so you ring the number on the keypad and they answer their phone in the apartment and decide if they want to let you in or not. So, we were going to visit an old investigator and we rang the keypad thing and the door opened without even anyone asking us who we were, which was odd. So I was all pumped to knock on my first actual door! We went in and up to the door and when we knocked, a lady wearing nothing but a bra and underwear answered the door and we were like "hi does Fernando live here anymore?" She said no and we were like okay thanks the just turned and booked it out of there!! When we got back outside Elder Peña and I just started laughing!! Elder Peña yelled "Oh my gosh!!" It was the weirdest, strangest thing that's ever happened but we got a quality laugh out of it.
This week on Thursday, we had Zone Conference in León, so we got up really early and went to the bus station to catch our 2 hour ride. Once we got there, all the missionaries started to show up, and I found Elder Morris (Gabe)!!!!!! Holy cow it was good to see him :) Zone Conference was awesome, it was good to be with tons of missionaries again! It made me miss my friends from the MTC for a little bit but it was all good. Then after, we had "Intercambio's" which are exchanges, and my companion was Elder Galeano from Omaha. He has been out for 23 months, so he is legitimately a professional missionary. He speaks fluent English and Spanish, it was so incredible! Within the first 15 minutes of us being in the streets of León, we had already seen like 10 members and one of them took us into a bar and bought us a Coke and this really good meat, cheese, and bread! We had some good conversations with the members and tried to do some pass-byes but not many people were home, so we ended up contacting. It was so much fun to be with someone who speaks English, and not to mention he was literally a perfect combination of Kyle Peay and Uncle Jed, who happen to be 2 of my best friends! So Elder Galeano was the bomb. Literally intercambios were so incredible and I was so happy to serve with one of my new best friends now :) I want to be just like Elder Galeano, he can get just about anyone to talk to him and he understands what they need perfectly!! when I gave him a hug before my bus ride back to Valladolid, I started crying because I didn't want to leave him (I'm kind of a baby and I cry a lot) and because he was just such a good example to me in the short 24 hours we had together.
Sorry my emails are really long, but there's so much I want to tell you all about! I am loving it here :) I learn so much every day, i know that Heavenly Father is watching out for all the missionaries in the world. He has people prepared for Elder Peña and I to find and every day we walk around in Valladolid talking to everyone. Elder Galeano shared something with me that I want to share with you to finish... “Lots of days you feel like you have no success. The mission is not easy nor was it ever meant to be.” He invited me to look for the positive things in every day, whether it's you learned more Spanish or held the door open for someone and had a small conversation with them. Focus on the positive that you have in your life and you will be much happier :)
I love you all tons and tons, thanks for reading this far, I promise I'm done now.
Elder Brady Craig Smith