Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Adios Valladolid y Hola Talavera :)

Hola familia y amigos!!

So as you can tell by the title of the email, I'm no longer in
Valladolid!! Holy cow after a good almost 6 months there it just
naturally became my new home. Now I'm in a city called Talavera de la
Reina, it's south of Madrid and kinda by Toledo. My new companion is
Elder Johnson from Ogden, Utah and he is a super good kid! He has been
out for 2 transfers and so that makes me the senior companion!! Hahaha
I'm so nervous!! But it will all be good, the Lord knows what I need
and that's why he sent me down here :) sorry I don't have a really
structured format this week but here's what has happened in the life
of Elder Smith!!

So one funny experience... We were out contacting one day before an
appointment and this big group of teenage girls stopped us and asked
us if we wanted to be their boyfriends hahahahaha. They looked a
little sketchy and then they told us they were gypsies!! That's not a
joke, they were literally gypsies. So I took my name tag off and
showed it to them and explained to them why I couldn't be their
boyfriend and that I was a missionary. They didn't like that excuse
and kept asking but I just kept saying no haha. Finally they just left
and I got a laugh out of it after. Apparently in my new area,
Talavera, the place is crawling with gypsies. So pray for me, this
could be an interesting few transfers!!

This week was just mainly filled with goodbyes. And you all know me, I
don't like goodbyes at all. So it was kind of a sad/emotional/weird
week. Elder Galvan and I pressed forward to the very end and had a
successful week. He will do great in the area that I so dearly love
and my new replacement is Elder Dover from Texas! He seems like a good
guy so I'm not too worried about the area, it'll be in good hands. On
Wednesday we had our last district meeting in Valladolid and I put a
picture of it at the bottom, but it was also Elder Galvan's birthday
so we went to an American restaurant called Foster's to celebrate!! It
was a fun day. I'm actually sad to leave Elder Galvan because he
taught me a lot of things about being a missionary. I learned from his
example and loved how he was so humble. He was always focused on the
needs of the people we met with and we have finally stared to see some
progress with them.

Luis, the guy who we have been helping since day 1, started up smoking
again :( he went 16 months without doing it but then one day he got
stressed and pulled out the cigarettes again! So we sat down with him,
gave him a blessing that he will be able to withstand the temptations
to smoke, and then created a plan. Now every night before bed we call
him to see if he has smoked that day or not and it has motivated him
to not smoke anymore. He wanted to talk scriptures with me the other
day and I was so surprised at how much he understood! I said, "Luis,
when did you read all this?" And he just responded, "well I didn't
want to make you disappointed by smoking again so I read my scriptures
instead." I hugged that guy so hard!! It's awesome when someone really
wants to change. I know that with the Lord's help, he'll stop smoking
and continue on the path that leads to eternal life.

Saturday and Sunday were days filled with goodbyes, and I didn't
really want to do it but you can't avoid it on the mission. We went to
Palencia one last time to visit the Family from Honduras and committed
them to come to church but they didn't end up showing because they got
called in to work last minute. It was a bummer but hopefully they will
be able to find something that doesn't conflict with the Sabbath. It
was a bitter sweet moment to bare my testimony in front of the branch
one last time, I really have come to love these people. Haha oh and
the hugging rule for missionaries... Yeah I got so many old ladies to
hug me. It was the best!! Oops :) I'm not too stoked to talk about all
the goodbyes but I pretty much said bye to everyone and that's that.
I'll put pictures but yeah, it just makes me kinda sad. It's a little
fresh still!! But Sunday night we went to a funeral of a lady who was
in the branch. She passed away but I never knew her because she was
always in a care facility. The way the members talked about her, she
seemed awesome!! I wish I could have gotten to know her, none of her
family is LDS except for her so the majority of the talks were focused
on the Plan of Salvation and how we can return to live with our loved
ones again. It brought peace to my mind as I thought about how I
really will be able to live with my family for all eternity!! I can't
imagine life without them :) we ate with Presidente Yubero and his
family one last time after the funeral then I got all packed and this
morning I took a train, metro, and bus to get to Talavera! It seems a
lot smaller than Valladolid but that will be good because I'll get to
know the members super well! Bring it on baby :)

Overall, I have absolutely loved my time in Valladolid and it will
always have a big special place in my heart. I'm really excited to be
here in Talavera with Elder Johnson and we will see what the next few
transfers bring! Please pray for me because you all know how I don't
like change a whole lot but I'm doing good so far haha!! That's all
for this week, I love you all and thanks for your support!! And, my
good friend Elder Gearig just got moved to Toldeo so we will be in the
same district and I'm very excited for that :)


Con Amor,
Elder Brady Smith


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