Wow time is moving fast! I can't believe it, I'm almost done with my first transfer! It's been different to adjust and what not, but overall I've had a ton of fun getting to new a new area, new people, and new way of life. Here are the highlights of my week :)
On Wednesday we had District Meeting via Skype with all the other cities in our District which was good. After, we did some pass-byes and stopped in on some less actives in the branch. One of the lady's names is Mabel. She is super cool, a convert to the church but now she is inactive. I feel really sad for her because she has really bad back problems so it keeps her from doing a lot of stuff. Anyways, we had a good chat with her about how she got to meet the missionaries, the Book of Mormon, and then we bore our testimonies. She said if she needed help with anything she would call us so that's good. I think things are getting better with her and hopefully by us reaching out to her, she will want to start coming back to church.
Thursday we visited with Beatrice! Haha I love her, she is so awesome. She shared some really interesting stuff with us this time too. That morning, she woke up and said "I had this realization that my smoking is a terrible sin. I think I'll go to hell for all this." I didn't really know what to say, so I just kept listening to her. She said the first thing she ever remembers smelling was smoke because her parents were smokers. And get this, she told me she remembers smoking when she was 5 years old! She said her dad used to bring home a carton of cigarettes every week and she didn't know what else to do so she just smoked them. I didn't know what to think when she said carton, but how sad that she started at such a young age! She is such a good lady who is very religious and loves the bible and Book of Mormon too, but just can't seem to quit smoking. I picture her lungs look like they're lined with asphalt :( We left her with Alma 32 to read since she complains she has nothing to do and she called me later that night and said what else should I read? She read it super fast so I just gave her more assignments! Haha it was awesome, such an awesome lady. Later in the evening we went to visit the Familia Tamayo. This is Michael's house and his older sister, Nicole, is the one who helps us teach Michael! Long story short, we had a tiny lesson with Michael that went well, then Susan (the mom) fed us and Nicole got her mission call that day too! She is going to Manchester, England speaking English :) I was so happy for her! Now I get to help her with her English while she helps me with my Spanish!!
Friday we had intercambios. I dropped Elder Peña off at the train station early in the morning then hung out with the branch mission leader, Julio, for 4 hours until I got my new companion for the day. Guess who I was with?! ELDER GALEANO :) my brother! I love him soooo much. Anyways with Julio, he took me to this chocolatería in Downtown Valladolid where I had the greatest thing in my whole life. It was the thickest, richest, warmest hot chocolate I've ever had. When the waitress brought it out I thought it was steaming pudding! And churros to dip in the hot chocolate. Look at the picture attached... My goodness I was in heaven. So when we got Elder Galeano, we went and contacted for a bit and it is incredible to watch him contact people. You would think he knows the people because they stop for him and shake his hand like they're his best friend! It's very cool and I'm going to be like that some day haha. He only has 1 week left before he goes home!! After medio dia, we did a bunch of pass-byes and more contacting until about 8 that night when we met with a girl in the branch named Virginia that lived in Provo for 2 years (she went to Timpview) and was in the MTC with Elder Galeano! She is really cool and we had a good chat with her. After nightly planning, Elder Galeano cut my hair! Hahaha sounds strange but he is like a professional barber. Like legit, he laid his kit out on the couch and went to town! I attached some pictures, definitely an experience I'm never going to forget! He gave me what's called a "fade". Haha I like it!
Saturday I dropped Elder Galeano off at the bus station and he said the 3 things that I should do in my mission are 1. Love the People 2. Work Hard and 3. Be Obedient. I couldn't agree more! It was a sad hug goodbye but I think I get to see him one more time before he leaves. Julio and I got more hot chocolate and churros after while we were waiting for Elder Peña to get back to Valladolid! I love Julio, he calls me his little grandson haha it's awesome! Later that day we had a couple appointments set up but Elder Peña didn't feel too hot and I had a bad head ache so we visited one less active family and shared the Family: A Proclamation to the World with them. They are from the Dominican Republic and are super cool people, they fed us too! Then we got in bed early, Halloween is a night full of parties and drunk people here so I'm not sure how much good we would have been out on the streets.
Sunday was a good day at church, the branch is awesome! I remember how lost I felt in my first week, but now it's totally different and we have lots of solid members who like us and who are willing to help. We taught Michael Sunday night about the Plan of Salvation. He has already had all of the missionary lessons and told us he wants to get baptized, he just has a hard time thinking about leaving all his friends who aren't such a good influence on him and other stuff. But, with his sister preparing for a mission now and we are constantly at his house, we think that things are going uphill and are super excited! Oh and yeah, the mom Susan fed us food again :)
The spiritual thought for this week came when Elder Galeano and I were walking around contacting people. He said something that I thought was really cool, "your mission call says 'Called to Serve', not 'Called to Teach'." It brought peace to my mind that we don't have to be teaching the gospel 24/7 to be successful missionaries. I hope that now I can look for more ways to serve others and be thankful for the opportunities to teach when I have them. I invite you all to look for the ways you can serve others, even if it's something small.
Happy November and thanks for the emails, letters, prayers, and love! I have the best family and friends a Missionary could ever ask for :) Have a great week!!
Elder Brady Smith