Monday, March 14, 2016

Semana 1 en Talavera :)


Week 1 in Talavera de la Reina is over! It felt kinda slow to be
honest, but I think that's always how it is when you change areas or
companions and that kind of stuff. Just to start off, some cool stuff
that I've noticed in Talavera in the last week are... 1) It's super
tiny compared to Valladolid... Valladolid had about 350,000 people and
Talavera has just over 80,000. 2) The weather here is soooo much
better, like I can walk around in a white shirt and be fine all day!
There's even palm trees here that line the streets... I'm not sure why
they're here but I'm not complaining
3) Lots of gypsies... Lots
of freaking gypsies... Hahaha. And 4) they are known for their
ceramics, and I love ceramics! Everything you look at is ceramic art
and it's super pretty. I feel like I'm in Ms. Swann's class at Woods
Cross all over again! It's the greatest! Anyways, besides all that fun
stuff, here is some more about my week :)

LUCY!! We have an investigator named Lucy from Colombia, she's 70 but
doesn't seem that old at all. She is literally the greatest person on
the planet! We teach her every Tuesday and Friday and she is super
receptive to everything we have taught so far. Anyways, we went into
the lesson on Tuesday planning to just get to know her better and
share something small, but the topic of baptism got brought up. Elder
Johnson had told me earlier that she was super set already on being
baptized and they had decided to extend the invitation for the 9th of
April. So, we asked her if she would but she said she wants to be
baptized on her son's birthday one week after so the day would be even
more special! WOO HOO :):) she is the type of lady who isn't going to
back out of a commitment like this and now we've got her locked down
for the 16th of April. I was sooooo happy, and how awesome to set a
baptismal date on my first day in the new area!!! She hasn't missed a
week of church since she came one day in January with a member friend.
We are so excited for Lucy and it's going to be really fun to see her
progress!! :)

The members here are super awesome, we meet with a bunch of them on a
regular basis. For example, every Monday night, we have correlation
meeting and a Noche de Hogar with our Branch Mission Leader who also
happens to be the Elders Quorum President and the Secretary of the
Branch. Hahaha. If that doesn't explain to you how small the branch
is, then I don't know what does! Normally we have about 20-30 people
come on Sunday's. Super different than what I'm used to, but that's
good because I'll get to know the members on a really personal level!
We eat with the Branch President every Sunday night and then talk
about how the week went and stuff. Another cool thing that we have
started is THE MAP! We have divided a map of Talavera up into 16
sections and every week we give the map to a different member and ask
them to pray about what section we should go to and look for more new
people. This week we'll be in section 11 and our goal is to find a
family. So please pray that we can have some success in section 11 and
that the Lord will help us find a family! It's a really good idea for
finding and I know that the members are really dedicated to helping us
find the people who are prepared for the gospel!

We contact A LOT here. I think the farthest we have had to walk to an
appointment is like 10 minutes away, and in Valladolid it was like an
hour to each appointment. With that being said, I'm getting to know
the city really well! We pass a lot of the same people on the street
who have shut us down earlier in the day haha. It's tiny. But I'm
loving it! Oh and what I said about gypsies last week is definitely
true, they're everywhere! There are whole 10 story Piso buildings just
with gypsies living there. They are different people but some of them
are kinda nice :) Spain in general isn't an easy place to be a
missionary and the church is very young here. But, with God's help, we
will be led to the people who are prepared to hear the good word. The
sad part is when people don't even give us a chance to introduce
ourselves and the message that we have. A lot of the people that stop
to listen to us are asking us to buy things from them because they
don't have work or they just stop and insult us. Super awesome, right?

On Wednesday, we got to go to the TEMPLE!! W
e woke up at 4 o'clock in
the morning to take our bus and metro into Madrid. It was my first
legitimate session in Spanish because in the MTC, they do sessions in
English for the missionaries. I kept up with the whole thing and still
felt the same spirit that I always do! It made me realize how blessed
we are as members of the church to have temples. ESPECIALLY IN UTAH!!
They're literally everywhere, so if you haven't gone in a while, GO!!
After we had district meeting which went well, it was weird to have
more than 4 people in a district but I loved it! Being in an area
where it's just you and your companion is an adjustment for me but
nothing that I can't handle :)

The last thing I wanna talk about is that every Friday night, the
branch has a Noche de Hogar and this time since I was the new
missionary, I got to pick the game! And of course, I picked the Name
Game :) hahaha it's so much fun to watch the people in Spain play
because they get so intense and take it so seriously!! It was a huge
hit! I love this branch so much already and I've only been here for a
week. They take good care of us missionaries and are involved in our
work with us. I don't feel like it's a church of members and a church
of missionaries, we are all together in this wonderful cause of
bringing more souls unto Christ!! I'm really excited for what the next
few transfers are going to bring :)

Thank you all for your continued support in this journey of mine! This
mission has changed me and I have learned more in the last 7 months
(almost) than in my whole life combined! The work isn't easy, but it's
so worth it and I am loving every second. I know that with God's help,
everything is possible. He knows each one of us personally and has a
plan for us. I'm grateful to represent my Savior, Jesus Christ every
single day here in Talavera. I hope you guys have a wonderful week and
I'll talk to you soon :)



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