Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 4 in Valladolid

Hola Familia y Amigos :) 

Can't quite believe it's Monday again. Is the time going by as fast for you guys as it is for me?! It's a little freaky, but I'm loving it here!! Alrighty here's my week in review :) 

Tuesday, we went to visit the Family of Stefan. I was so excited to go back and be with my family away from home! We got to Matapozuel, went to the "grocery store" and bought a ton of bread, meat, and drinks to surprise them with. It felt good to serve them, give them a good meal. I'm not sure what they eat with the little money they have, so they definitely liked the sight of lots of fresh food. Right before we started the lesson, Stefan and all the other men in the house got a phone call that one of their neighbors needed help with something, so they apologized and left. Well, it's a rule that we aren't allowed to be in a house with only women, but Stefan wanted us to stay and wait for him. Haha we were stuck in a way tough situation, Stefan insisted that we were all family and nothing bad would happen. So we said okay, and when he left, we waited for about 5 minutes then decided to just teach the Restoration to the people who were there, just the kids and women. They didn't understand much and Stefan wasn't there to help translate to Romanian, but I did download the First Vision on my iPad in Romanian, so I know they understood that part which is the most important of all. After that we just said we had to leave, so it all worked out. It was a quick visit and we didn't see Stefan after that, so I felt really bad but rules are rules. Hopefully this week we can get back and have another good visit. 

Wednesday we had District Meeting in Valladolid which was very fun. Elder Peña did a good job putting it together. After, we had more intercambios, and I was with Elder Kempf from Malaga! He's a cool dude, and speaks really fast Spanish. I didn't understand him as well as I do other people but it was all okay. We went up to his area, Ponferrada, which is a 4 hour bus ride from Valladolid. I love bus rides because it gives me lots of time to think and see more of Spain. There's lots of farm land up north and it's really pretty. Once we got to Ponferrada, we had one lesson fall through so we did some contacting until it was time to go home. 

Thursday morning we had our studies, and Elder Kempf helped me a lot with my pronunciation and the Plan of Salvation lesson. It's hard to explain to people in English, and that makes Spanish just a riot too!! So he gave me some good pointers and I practiced a lot with him. Then, I had to travel 4 hours back to Valladolid by myself! A little scary but it was good, lots of time to think about life. If you know me, you know I love to day dream so it was a quality 4 hours :) and also if you know me, I get car sick so easily so it made it hard to read scriptures. After about the first 15 minutes I was ready to throw up everywhere so I had to turn on my air conditioner and chill the rest of the way. Once I got back to Valladolid, Elder Peña was there to pick me up at the station and gave me a big hug and said "I missed you, and I ate one of your donuts." I laughed so hard!!! Literally the funniest thing of all time haha. I have the best companion in the whole world :) 

Friday, we woke up and went to the train station again because we had a Trainer/Trainee Reunion in Madrid!! It was at the MTC and I was so excited to go home!! I love Madrid so much and I miss it a ton. Walking onto temple grounds again was possibly one of the greatest feelings of all time!! I saw 2 of my old maestros, it was so awesome! We received lots of good counsel about how to use our iPads effectively, how to make companionship study better, and lots of other stuff. President Pack said that all the new missionaries looked a lot more tired than the day when we left, which is so true! Walking around all day takes it out of me, and I'm so surprised at night when we get back to the Piso that my feet are still attached to my legs. They hurt so bad :( but it's all good, they still work and that's all that matters. So Friday was a little throwback, I rode the metro again and I saw a bunch of the current missionaries in the MTC! I was able to hopefully comfort them a little and tell them that it's sad to leave there but the field is awesome too. If I can do this, anyone can do this :) 

Every Saturday morning, we teach an English class en la capilla. It's a quality time! The two men, Julio and Alfredo actually have quite good English so we pick a different subject every week and then see where we end up when the time is out. It's usually really far off of where we started! The others are still working on the basics, but we have tons of fun. It's a good way to share a spiritual thought and they really seem to enjoy it! The rest of Saturday was awesome mainly because I opened my SUPER MISSIONARY package and it made my whole week! I was overwhelmed with the love from all the snacks, pictures, talks, and other stuff. Super, super cool, so thanks to everyone who helped, especially my mom!! :) Sunday was good, Stefan brought 10 family members to church and we picked up another investigator named Michael! He is 15 and his mom is inactive but older sister Nicole is active and loves to hang with the missionaries. We have eaten at their house a bunch. Michael has just a few problems we are trying to work through but Elder Peña and I have a good feeling we can get him ready to be baptized! He loves to beatbox, so whenever he sees me he shows me what he has been working on. It's so funny haha we always have good laughs together! 

Sorry there aren't a ton of way spiritual experiences this week, sometimes you have weeks like these. The spiritual thought for this week happened on Wednesday during District Conference. One of the Hermanas gave us all a picture of the Savior with a quote on the back from Gary E. Stevenson. It says "You have the Savior of the world on your side. How can you fail?" It's soooooo true! I feel like some days there was nothing that went right. We had no luck contacting, no lessons to teach, and the day feels like a failure. What's important for us to remember is that Heavenly Father is proud of us for trying. As long as we are doing our best, there's no way He will let us fail. In the end, we know who will come out on top. 

Thanks for the letters, packages, emails, and prayers. You have no idea how much it helps! Have a wonderful week :) 

Con Amor, 

Elder Brady Craig Smith

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