Monday, January 11, 2016

Spain BABY!!

Hi Everyone!! :)

Wow! Time is flying here in Valladolid!! In just 3 short weeks, we
have transfers and I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen.
I'm a little sad to be honest because I love my companion and
Valladolid is like one of the greatest places on the Earth!! I really
have come to love the mission and just thinking about leaving my first
area makes me sad. It's gonna be even more sad in 19 months when I
leave Spain completely! Anyways, here's my summary!!

Tuesday was Día de Reyes which is like more popular than Christmas
here, so there was absolutely nobody in the street until night time!
There were so many people, I actually wondered if we were in the right
area haha. Everyone poured out of their houses and into the street to
watch the parades and stuff. It was crazy cool to see! We ate with
Hermana María José and the other Elders too. Of course since she
cooked, we had amazing traditional Spanish food. She's literally the
coolest lady and loves to help us missionaries out. I could try to
explain to you the reason for this "Day of Kings" but I'd just confuse
you guys and myself too. All I know is that it's a PARTY and I like to
PARTY :) oh another funny story... I bought a drink that looked like a
Martinelli's Sparkling Cider that said specifically on the sign NO
ALCOHOL... but when I popped it open, the smell of alcohol filled the
room. So I poured 10 Euros worth of "non-alcoholic" drink down the
toilet. Hahaha it was actually funny but kind of a waste.

This week, we visited a lot with Claudia and Mabel. They're both doing
alright. Mabel is struggling with some things and we are working with
her a lot, maintaining daily contact definitely helps. She walked us
outside one day after our lesson and then pulled out her cigarettes.
It was like an arrow to the heart because we just barely finished
talking about that. We made a commitment with her that out of the 14
she had in the box, she had to give us 7 and she could have the other
7. She handed me 7 of the cigarettes which surprised me a lot but she
did it! It made me not as sad because she was willing to give up half.
She knows it's wrong, but she feels like she needs to do it because
it's the only way to calm her down. After, I turned and booked it to
find the closest trash can so nobody would see a missionary with
cigarettes in his hand haha! Claudia is doing good too. 
 We had to change her baptismal date to later this month because 
of her situation, so keep your fingers crossed for that!! Every time 
we invite her to do something, she always does it which is so awesome. 
Her prayers make me laugh too because they're usually on 
average about 10 minutes long. She prays for things like penguins, 
the legs of all the homeless people, and that the Holy Ghost can 
sleep with her in her bed. It's really sweet and she means well, she 
just prays for weird stuff. Oh and she will pray for Elder Peña, but when 
it comes time to pray for me, she just calls me José Smith. 
So that's awesome :)

We visited la Familia Brozovich this week in Urueña, the coolest
pueblo in Spain! They love the missionaries. They had so much food for
us hahaha it was incredible. I'm not fat not but I'm definitely a bit
thicker than when I left haha! After we went on a tour of Urueña which
took about 15 minutes to go around the whole thing. It's super tiny
and ancient! The architecture here in Spain is the coolest in the
world. I attached a picture of us 4 missionaries so you all can kinda
see what it's like! Also this week the weather was rain, rain, and
more rain every day. It's not good weather for contacting, but we
still have fun and get more chances to teach which is awesome! Friday
night we had a lesson with Nicole Ramierez's mom, Sandra. She brought
a friend because she thought that her friend might enjoy the message
too! YES! Anyways, we taught the Plan of Salvation and when we asked
Nicole to share her testimony, all 3 of the ladies were in tears! They
all felt the spirit sooooo strongly and it was awesome! Her mom has
told us that she doesn't really want to change, but with little
testimony builders like this, I don't know how someone couldn't
change! Poco a poco :)

Yesterday I had the chance to speak in Sacrament Meeting. Haha it was
a little scary but good. I talked about the importance of missionary
work and got lots of compliments after! I love the branch here and
like I said earlier, it's going to be a hard goodbye. I've made so
many life long friends and I'm so grateful for these people! Later
that night, we had a Noche de Hogar and I taught everyone how to play
THE NAME GAME! It was so much fun, and to do it in Spanish was really
cool! I'm not sure if you all know what this game is, but for those of
you who do, it gets intense fast! And even more intense with the
Spanish people  we had abuelitas getting fired up and it was
hilarious! I could not stop laughing hahaha! I almost won with the
name "Barbie", but our ward mission leader ended up taking the cake
with some person that I'd never heard of before. Super awesome Noche
de Hogar and now everyone wants to have another one to play the game
again :)

I'm so thankful to be here in Spain. I'm experiencing so many things
that I wouldn't experience in any other way. It's so much fun, so
frustrating, and literally every other emotion too. This week, I
really felt the role of the Holy Ghost in our lessons and it made me
appreciate this sacred gift that we as members of the church have. I
love being a missionary! Thanks for all your love and support, I have
the best family and friends in the whole world!! Have a wonderful week

Con Amor,

Elder Brady Smith

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