What a week! There are so many things I wanna talk about, but first, I'd like to start off by saying Happy (late) Thanksgiving! I took some time and wrote down people and things I was grateful for, it's over 6 pages long! Only one more away from home :) Elder Peña cooked some Peruvian food for me which was alright, nothing like my Mom's stuffing though :) okay, here's the week!
Sunday was Michael's Baptism!! What a perfect day. We got all dressed in our white clothes, took pictures, and then had the program. The coolest part was Michael's Mom, Susan, gave a talk on baptism. She is a less-active member that was baptized in the late 1990's I think. She was very nervous but we all assured her that she could do it. It was so simple and so profound, I know that every single person in that room felt the spirit she brought. She was in tears by the end so I told Michael to stand up and hug her and he did. How awesome! After, we proceeded to the font and then the baptism took place. First try baby :) then we confirmed him and had refreshments. Such a good night for everybody :) I am pretty sure I ended up learning more from teaching Michael then he did from listening to us!
Monday night we met up with the other Elders, Nichole, and Stefany. We had one final kebab together because Stefany left for her mission to Barcelona on Tuesday! After that, we got invited to Noche de Hogar at President Yubero's house where we had hamburgers and hot dogs too, needless to say I was stuffed with food haha! We bore our testimonies on the power of missionary work and the spirit was very strong again. That's something that I've noticed in my time here, that the spirit is with us when we are testifying to the people! Superrrrrrr cool :) Tuesday we had intercambios and I was with Elder Fletcher! He's a way cool guy from Texas, and we had fun contacting and going to our appointments. We had a lesson with Susan, then after she made us "Sirviche" from Ecuador and it was SO GOOD! It was like this sauce with shrimp and I don't know how to describe it. You pour it over rice and it was the greatest thing I've ever tasted! Ecuadorians know how to cook :)
Thursday or Thanksgiving, most of our appointments cancelled on us so we spent a lot of time contacting. We had a lesson with Luís, and guess what?! He asked for another blessing!! So we talked yet again about blessings and gave him the final blessing. He loves to meet with us so much and he really is a good guy, so I want to help him but there's a limit. Friday afternoon we went to visit Michael and found him in the park working out and doing parkour!! Haha easily the coolest thing of all time. He's so strong so to watch him do push ups was very entertaining :) then, being myself, I untucked my shirt and started doing them with him! It was so much fun, then we raced to see who was a faster runner and stuff! I felt like a kid again which was much needed to relieve a little stress. Then, more contacting. You can look at it as a chore or a blessing is what I've realized. You get the chance to talk with so many cool people. God has prepared the people, so we just need to find them!
Saturday and Sunday were more or less the same, the Salamanca Elders had a baptism in Valladolid so we helped them prepare for that and then had English Class. One really cool guy named Angel came and had so many questions about religion and stuff, so the other Elders got his number to teach him. We always see him running in the streets and every time he stops and says "Mister Smith, how's your day?", then gives me a big hug. He invited me to go running with him sometime so I might need to take him up on it :) Sunday was Branch Conference, so basically Ward Conference for all you Utah people. After church, we cooked lunch with the other Elders in their Piso which was a blast! Then later that night, we met up with a lady named Carmen from the Dominican Republic who is a Testigo de Jehovah. She was just trying to destroy us with bible talk and finally, Elder Peña asked her to get her bible. So she left the room, then he looked at me and winked! When she came back in, he asked her to find Matthew 15:28 in her bible, but it was just a blank verse! I finally realized what was going on, Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have the same bible as the Catholics and us, but it's really not the same. So she skipped 28 and went right to 29! Elder Peña showed her up so bad, and she knew it too! When we got out of the house, I just died of laughter and he was laughing pretty good too. He told me "I don't like to do that, but she wouldn't shut up about her bible!" So yeah, it's a little hard to explain through email but it was so funny. My companion is a beast! The wink was definitely what made it all worth it though hahahahaha :)
This week was awesome. I'm so grateful to be here in Valladolid doing the Lord's work. It was a little slow, but we have faith that we can find more people this week to start teaching! We have transfers this Saturday, so we'll see what happens. More than likely one of us is going to leave the area, so I'll probably have a new companion the next time I write! I'm sad but happy to have a change as well. Elder Peña will always be my father in the mission and I learned a ton from him, but there are other people that I'm excited to learn from as well :) thanks for reading this far, I know I write a lot!! I hope everyone has a wonderful week :)
Elder Brady Craig Smith