Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Last Week in Valladolid :/


Happy Leap Year Day or whatever it is today haha! I cannot believe and
refuse to accept the fact that this is my last week in Valladolid!! To
be honest, I am not looking forward to a change but I know that it'll
be great. I have come to love this area and branch just like I'm in
Bountiful and the Val Verda 4th Ward! Elder Galvan has been a great
help to me and a wonderful companion, I've learned a lot from him in
these short 5 weeks that we've had together!! This week was better
than last, we didn't have to drop anyone and no one said anything
about not being a member anymore! So already you can tell it was a
better week than last :)

On Tuesday we had intercambios and I was with Elder Tree!! I love
Elder Tree :) he is such a good missionary, I have learned a lot from
his example in the 3 transfers that we have been here together. We had
a few appointments set up and they went well, but I wanted to focus on
contacting with him because he can get almost any person to stop and
talk to him. He taught me his ways and they have come in handy as I've
been walking the streets this past week. We visited Hermano Julio and
his wife Yailia for medio día (us 4 missionaries) and they made us
some amazing Colombian food! This soup they prepared for us had fish
in it and Elder Fletcher is allergic to fish but he ate it anyways. I
have never seen someone in so much pain in my whole life!! The poor
Elder was in the bathroom for hours just sick as a dog. This was only
funny because Elder Fletcher didn't want to tell Hermana Yailila to
make him something else hahaha. Other than that, I felt super bad for
the poor guy, but luckily now he looks back at it and laughs :)

Wednesday we had district meeting and then Hermana Fernandez has been
dying to take the missionaries to Burger King so we went with her. She
is such a good lady and is so eager to share the gospel with anyone at
any given moment. I have learned a lot about the importance of good
member support in my time in the mission field and would encourage all
of you at home to help the missionaries!! I can promise you that
blessings will come, this is the Lord's work and he is hastening it
right now! So if you get the chance, help the Elders and Sisters!
Later that night, we passed by Elsa who is Michael's grandma. I don't
know why but I just had a feeling to go by and see how she was doing.
When we got there, she let us right in and said "Oh Elders, I'm so
happy to see you! I've been waiting to talk to you!" She told us she
feels a little lonely now that Nichole and Stefany both have left for
their missions. Her husband José, sleeps all day and when he wakes up
he goes and smokes then goes back to sleep. She told us that one day
she wants to be baptized in a river just like Jesus was, so we will
have to see what happens with her! Even if she doesn't ever get
baptized, she's like a Grandma to me and is one of the coolest ladies
that I have ever met :) she calls us her sons hahaha.

Thursday and Friday were a blur, we had quite a few of appointments
fail us so we spent lots of time contacting. Friday we went up to
Palencia to see if we could visit the Familia Berrios from Honduras,
but they weren't home and neither were any of the members that live up
there. So, it was pouring rain and we ended up walking around all day
drenched and freezing cold with nobody wanting to talk to us at all.
But I was still happy and it was a day that I'll never forget.

Instead of English Class on Saturday, we taught one of our
investigators, Carmen, the Restoration! She lived in England for a
year or so and she speaks English, so we taught her in English which
was fun. She is still working on it but keeps up with us Americans as
we talk. She has a lot of questions about the gospel and that makes me
happy because she is actually thinking and praying about the things
that we are teaching her. The next step is to get her to church this
week, so hopefully all goes well there! For medio día, we ate Dominos
Pizza with Hermana Isabel León. She's a branch missionary here and
loves us Elders. She is a very cool lady and we enjoyed an afternoon
talking with her and sharing a thought. As we were leaving, Bon Jovi's
famous "Livin' on a Prayer" came on and us 4 Elders just broke out
singing super loud in the restaurant! We got lots of people to laugh
and then just apologized to everyone and said we needed an "American
Moment" hahaha :) good times.

Sunday was pretty normal, we taught Sunday School and then had Ward
Council meeting after priesthood. Our branch is super involved with
missionary work and that makes us so happy because apparently there
are other areas where they aren't as supportive as they are here.
That's definitely something that I'm going to miss about this place.
We had a Noche de Hogar with a sweet family from Bolivia later that
afternoon, they shared a short thought about humility and Ether 12:27.
We got a picture with them and then headed right to Preach My Gospel
classes. In the picture I put at the bottom, you can see that there is
a kid in a wheelchair. His name is Israel and he passes the sacrament
to us every single week! A different deacon takes a turn each week to
push him around and he passes it to the whole congregation :) I'm sad
I haven't gotten a picture sooner, but he is literally the coolest
person I've ever met in my life. He always gets super excited when he
sees me and gives me a huge hug! I am so glad to call Israel my best
buddy here :) I know I say that about everyone but I just have too
many best friends to pick only one. Sorry, I'm a people person ;)

Huge S/O to all those Seniors in High School who are starting to get
their mission calls, I'm so proud of all of you! And to anyone else
who is getting ready to serve, my Mom and sisters send me screenshots
of Instagram pictures with your calls and it makes me so happy :)

Today for P-Day we went to the highest point in Valladolid called
Plaza Parque Sol.  I bought the ceremonial Real Valladolid jersey as a
parting gift for myself. And then we took a trip to the Soccer stadium
where they play. We went with Angel again and he is the best tour
guide this city has ever seen! We took some good pics and I attached
them at the end.

That's the week from Elder Smith. I'm gonna be super emotional when I
have to leave this beautiful place :( I've been here for almost 6
months and I can' thank my Heavenly Father enough for the things I've
learned and the experiences he has provided me. The countdown is on to
my next area, companion, and adventure! I know the Lord has prepared
more people for me to find, and I have more future best friends and
long lasting relationships waiting for me :) thanks for your love and
support, I love you all more than you'll ever know.



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