Monday, June 27, 2016

Pics from this week

Josue got a hold of my camera and took some selfies :)

On Friday it was Elder Baerwaldt's birthday and we went out to eat with Raquel. We got a shake that was 8€ to share and it had a freaking donut on top! It was so good!

In the doorway thingy of the castle today :)
The JW's Scratch next to our 4F... Smh

Outside of the entrance to go down into the caves...
Pictures of the caves and waterfall/heaven  hike today!

Caves, JW's, Faith and Heaven :)

What is UP :)

Well it's been like half an hour (or so it seems) since I last wrote so this summary is gonna be kinda small!! But we had a lot of fun in the short time that it has been :) and before I forget, I have to say happy birthday to the craziest uncle on the planet JEBBERZZ :) hope you are having a great day! Here is a little about how the week went!

We had kind of a funny experience the other day, we were finishing up studies and someone rang our doorbell. So I went to answer it, and when I got there I saw some Jehovah's Witnesses! Haha so I opened it and we talked for a minute and he invited me to a big convention that they were having in Madrid and gave me a pamphlet. Obviously I'm not gonna go but it was kinda funny because it definitely caught him off guard to see 2 Mormon missionaries answer the door! Later that day when we were going back to Piso at the end of the day, I noticed a scratch by our timbre thing and asked Elder Baerwaldt if he knew what happened. Then he told me that the JW's put X's by the doors of people who aren't interested! I was so shocked! That's gotta be some sort of property damage or something! Anyways I took a picture and put it at the bottom. I got a good laugh out of it and now they won't bug us anymore thanks to their little mark :) we have actually seen them around a lot down here and they always stop us to talk and are really nice. So as long as we keep the good vibes going, I think we should be in good shape :) 

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to give a talk in church and I decided to talk about Faith. President Nelson shares a story in his April 2014 GC address called "Let Your Faith Show". He says 

"On a recent flight, our pilot announced that we would encounter turbulence during our descent and that all passengers must fasten their seat belts securely. Sure enough, turbulence came. It was really rough. Across the aisle and a couple of rows behind me, a terrified woman panicked. With each frightening drop and jarring bump, she screamed loudly. Her husband tried to comfort her but to no avail. Her hysterical shouts persisted until we passed through that zone of turbulence to a safe landing. During her period of anxiety, I felt sorry for her. Because faith is the antidote for fear, I silently wished that I could have strengthened her faith. Later, as passengers were leaving the aircraft, this woman’s husband spoke to me. He said, “I’m sorry my wife was so terrified. The only way I could comfort her was to tell her that ‘Elder Nelson is on this flight, so you don’t need to worry.’” 

Sometimes, to a certain extent, I feel like the lady on the plane. Stressed outta my mind and wondering what the heck to do! I feel like that's normal, we should be worried but not too much. I love that faith and fear cannot coexist. Every time I think of faith, I think of my wonderful parents. I would not be anything without them. They are 2 of the most faithful people I know in all aspects of their lives. They always encouraged me to work on my own testimony. Although we should have our own testimony, I have a little part of theirs hooked in with mine because they always took time to share theirs with me and were great examples to me. I hope my wife and I can be just like those 2 someday :) JUST GOTTA HAVE FAITH THAT EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT :) I'm grateful for faith and the peace and comfort it brings into my life. None of us would be able to live without it!

On a different note, today for P-Day, one of our English Class friends, Raquel and her dad took us up to some caves close to Talavera! These babies are stuffed full of stalagmites and stuff, the things that look like giant icicles! It was honestly the coolest thing of all time! Down in this cave, it's a constant 63 degrees with like 90% humidity!! Honestly the coolest thing of all time. After that, they took us to a castle and a cool little spot where we hiked up a mini waterfall that also was chuck full of natural pools! I have never wanted to swim so bad in my whole life! This place was exactly how the celestial kingdom is gonna be. I was in heaven. Oh, did I mention that the Toledo Elders came down too?? :) so that was fun. Then Raquel and her dad took us out to lunch. Honestly the nicest people on the planet. So today was probably the greatest P-Day of the whole mission :) I took tons of pictures so look out for all of those!

Well that's all I got. Hopefully more to report on next week, but I'm still loving it here in Spain! I'm dreading coming home because I feel like this is home now :) I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying a little summer vacation :) we have transfers in 2 weeks so we will see what they bring!! LOVE YOU ALL TO THE MOON AND BACK! 

Con Amor,
eLdeR sMiTH

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pics from this week

It was Mar's birthday last Thursday so we got her presents and had a party :)

Fútbol today after the temple with all the Elders!

Plaza de Toros yesterday in Madrid on intercambios...
 Huge bull 
fighting arena!

ME AND MY DAD :) love this guy so much

District meeting last week #TALEDO

'Twas another week in Talavera :)

Hola folks :)

Well it's been a while since I last wrote but that's okay. Today we
went to the temple as part of our p-day and that was so much fun! I
just love the overwhelming peace that I feel when I'm in the house of
the Lord. Its now been over a year since I went through with my
parents, family, and friends for the first time and I'm looking
forward to many, many more to come! It's such a blessing to have one
in our mission and back in Utah on every corner haha! Today there were
people in our session from Portugal and France, and it made me realize
that I'm so lucky to have the Bountiful Temple just 10 minutes away
from my house rather than having to go to a different country!
Anyways, this week was pretty long and interesting, the work in
Talavera is slow but we are doing all that we can and trusting in the
Lord. Here's a little bit about what happened!

We honestly don't have investigators haha. It's really sad and quite
discouraging to be honest. We decided to drop Pedro for a little bit
because we felt that he wasn't progressing and other than that, we
have "investigators" but I'd consider them more as friends. For
example, Adelina. We meet with her about twice a week and sit down at
a bar and have a coke and talk about God and other religious subjects.
Adelina has been the bomb in helping us find new people! She gives us
references of all her friends that aren't of her faith but sadly, none
of them have amounted to anything yet. Another example is our friend
Guillermo. He likes to meet with us about 3 times a week to practice
his English and talk about the church. He is so fascinated with us and
loves the things that we do, especially the missionaries. He lives in
Talavera during the week but in Madrid on the weekends because of his
job, but I honestly think that if he were to come to church with us,
he would be baptized. He is totally all about family and God, plus he
doesn't drink or smoke or believe in any of that other stuff. So we
really enjoy talking with him and helping him learn and I know that we
are planting seeds for the future! One day he will make the decision
to change for the better :) so as for now in Talavera, we've got lots
and lots of contacting to do :)

Yesterday we had a district meeting and focused completely on Chapter
6 of Preach My Gospel, the attributes of Christ section. I love that
chapter so much and so naturally, I loved the meeting too! Everyone
was assigned 1 or 2 attributes to talk about and relate to the mission
and we had such good participation and comments. I got to talk about
patience which is something that I have been focused on a lot these
past few weeks. I learned bunches and bunches and am really striving
every day to become more like my Savior. It's a long process and I'm
far from perfect, but with his help I know it's possible. After that,
Elder Baerwaldt and I went up to Madrid for intercambios with the Zone
Leaders. I went with Elder Wade (Dwayne, just kidding hehe), a cool
guy from St. George and I learned lots from his example. It was also
the first time that I have ever legitimately worked in Madrid! After
10 months of being in Spain I finally worked in the biggest part of
the mission :) I don't want to say that it's easy, but compared to the
North and Castilla-La Mancha, it's a lot easier haha. We walked around
for about 30 minutes and got 5 references. To put that into
perspective, last week in Talavera, we only received a total of 5
references. That's 7 days versus 30 minutes and the exact same number
of received! Hopefully you all get the idea :) we also extended a
baptismal invitation to one of their Russian investigators and he
accepted for the 30th of July! Then the rest of the day we passed by
lots of less active people and had some really cool spiritual
experiences with them. Overall it was a pretty awesome day and I
definitely wouldn't mind serving in Madrid for a change :)

Today after the temple we played soccer with all the Elders in the
zone it was so much fun! Even though by the end we were all super
dehydrated and sun burnt way bad, we all had a good time :) I almost
had 2 of the coolest headers known to mankind but I just need to get
better at my aim haha. They were both SC Top 10 quality. Something
HIM and my goodness, I love and miss that little Peruvian so much. He
finishes his mission in 2 short weeks! Oh and before I forget, a big
thank you to the Oswald Family for making the trip out to Madrid and
bringing me that package from my family! I got it this morning and it
made my day even better :)

Well that's all I got this week. I am loving it out here in Spain and
having experiences that I know I couldn't get anywhere else! I love
this work, these people, and my Savior. I hope you all have a
fantastic week and soak up summer and all the sun :) go swimming for
me please hahaha I about jumped in the public swimming pool yesterday
because I was so sweaty! Nothing has ever been more tempting in my
whole life! Talk to you all soon :)

Con Amor,
Elder Brady Smith

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pics from this week

We helped a lady with a service project this week and she lives in
a pueblo outside of Talavera. So naturally, I climbed on top of her
roof and took a picture :) what's service without a selfie?!


We knocked a lot of doors this week haha!

Our dinner last night without light #rhyme and we have the best
neighbor in the world

Me and my buddy Jim after soccer on Saturday :)

Happy birthday dad :)

PEOPLE it's so hot here hahaha

Hi people I love :)

Wow! Things have gotten extremely better from last week and extremely
hotter as well! In fact as I write this, I'm soaked in sweat! haha!
Our piso is a consistent 87 degrees Fahrenheit and outside, we hit 98
this week!! And apparently it's only supposed to get hotter from here
so please pray for me that I don't die :) we had an awesome week and
like I said, mucho mejor! And before I forget... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE
OLD MAN ON THURSDAY... gonna hit the old HALF CENTURY mark :) party
hard!! I love you so much and you are the greatest dad in the whole
world :)

So this week, we hit the streets hard with contacting. We kinda took a
look at we have and realized it's nothing to be completely honest, and
so we decided to go hard in the street and find some new people. One
funny story, we were about to go in for the night, but I felt like we
should talk to one more person so I said the next human I see, I'm
going for it. Next guy I see, he was on his phone and as soon as he
looked up, he must have seen how pumped I was to talk to him and he
was so not happy to see us, so he swore and turned directly around and
walked out into the middle of the street. The dude almost got hit by a
car trying to avoid us! I was a little mad but also had to laugh
because some people here just avoid the Mormons like the plague!
Another cool contacting story... I felt super prompted to talk to this
somewhat younger guy in English, which was weird because when I have
tried that before, people just look at me like I'm from Pluto!
Anyways, this guy ended up speaking fluent English and lives here and
now wants to come to English Class and has some interest in the
gospel! We will see where that goes :) moral of the story, talk to
people and follow the spirit! And some people still don't want to hear
what you have to say so they just walk into the street instead

On Thursday, we had a zone conference up in Madrid and President Pack
came up with a new system to measure our progress. We have to check in
every day with our district or zone leader and report to him if we
have been exactly obedient, met our daily contacting goal, had an
effective daily planning session, and prayed for ourselves and others
often throughout the day. At first, I thought it was a little childish
that we had to do it every day but I then found myself trying to go 4
for 4 every day, even if it means staying out a little late to get the
last few contacts! As a mission, we are trying to focus on obtaining 3
Christlike attributes that will help us with the work... Diligence,
Obedience, and Faithfulness. I have noticed a big change already in
all aspects of the work, and I am so competitive with myself! It's
been great and I'm soooo excited to keep it going :) Elder Baerwaldt
has been pushing me too and I'm so grateful to have him by my side! He
is a great support and huge energy boost to me :) he's ecstatic about
the work and full of love for these people! Things are looking good in
Talavera :)

Yesterday during sacrament meeting, I bore my testimony to all 15
members that were present and the spirit was so strong! I love that so
much about this church, it doesn't matter where you are in the world
or what your conditions may be, the church and spirit are exactly the
same :) funny story... Yesterday our power went out and we were
without light or hot water (it's not like we need hot water, you could
leave a cup outside on the cement and 2 minutes later it would be
boiling) and we didn't know what to do, so we knocked on our neighbors
door and she came over and helped us so much! She called the electric
company and demanded that they come right now to fix our light
situation hahahaha. She is probably the greatest, sweetest Spanish
neighbor I could ever ask for! She stayed with us the whole time while
we were waiting for our landlord to get there and then she asked us if
we were hungry, and brought us over a whole tray of food! So we ate,
showered, and did everything else with 1 flashlight and 1 candle! It
was definitely a night I won't forget anytime soon! They came early
this morning and literally flipped one switch and it fixed everything.
But it was a fun experience and I got to know our neighbor a little
better :) her and her husband are literally Gordon and Roma Thomas,
just the Spanish versions. Such great people :)

Well that's all there is for this week :) just out here loving
everything and everyone. And sweating my guts out. But it's all good!
Next week we are headed to the temple, so my p-day will be changed to
Wednesday. Happy birthday again to the greatest old man of all old
men!! Hope you have a great one :) I'll talk to you all next week, YOU

Con Amor y calor,
Elder Smith

Monday, June 6, 2016

pics from this week

Me and the B Man after district meeting in Toledo :)

Me after making my first successful Morir Soñando! I made it in a
bucket. It was yawesome.

Bowling today. I wrecked them both.

Somehow I Manage...... and #sick

Hello family and friends J
Well to say the least, this was quite the week.  I’ve expressed it before and I’ll say it again, I hate changes hahaha, I just don’t do well with them, so this week was pretty rough.  I got pretty stressed with the new companion and that just isn’t a good thing.  But we still had a productive week and somehow I managed to have fun J Here’s a little bit of what went down in the most tranquillo city on the planet….(Kenna and Ellie…. If you don’t get the somehow I manage reference, I’m not coming home haha)
So Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I took Elder Baerwaldt around to meet all the members that live in Talavera.  They all seemed to like him which makes it nice and super easy.  He misses his old area and companion a lot which is understandable, but it definitely didn’t help with my stress level hahaha.  We met up with Pedro 2 times this week and he is coming along slowly but surely.  You know what they say that slow but steady wins the race, well that’s Pedro.  I don’t really know what else to say about him, he always gives us a ton of food when we visit him so we basically have a 3 year supply of food storage in case anything ever happens.  So that’s a good thing I guess!! We’ll be eating a lot of noodles, rice and crackers in case of an emergency haha!
My comp is different, but in a good way.  He is really excited about the work and has so much energy and love for the people and it’s been rubbing off on me!  I’m thankful for him and his energy, he is a great example to me of a dedicated worker.  We both support each other in special ways that I haven’t noticed before in other companions.  My testimony this week of companionships has been strengthened a lot.  When I get stressed, I think about it, I’m the one in the wrong.  So, I ask him for forgiveness and repent and we are buddies all over again.  The mission is totally preparing me for marriage hahaha and I’m so glad that I’ll be able to pick my companion when that time comes!
Well Thursday and Friday were extremely uneventful, we had weekly planning and then I started to feel sick Thursday afternoon, so I lay down and slept for about 6 hours and then woke up and felt worse.  Friday rolled around and I ended up in bed all day long until 8 that night when we had our weekly Noche de Hogar.  Just imagine everything that can go wrong in the human body and then apply that to me.  That’s what I had this week.  It was the worst.  I don’t want to get into details because it probably doesn’t really matter to all of you what wasn’t working in my body J but I woke up on Saturday morning with a nasty fever…. I was sitting in bed, sweating, but I was cold.  And then I would get hot so I turned the fan on full blast and then I got freezing cold!  I couldn’t figure out what was wrong so I just said a prayer and asked for some strength to get out of the Piso and walk around.  So we went to sports on Saturday morning and I just sat under a palm tree with all the moms and ladies that come to watch because I had absolutely no energy.  It was kinda sad.
The rest of Saturday, I still felt like crap but I was sick of being in the Piso so we went out to eat with one of our English class friends, Raquel.  She’s the best!  And then we ended up spending the rest of the day helping our Branch Mission Leader fix a ton of furniture in his house and help him with his computer.  His wife Taty, or my Dominican mother, officially taught me how to make Morir Sonado J Needless to say I’m a pro now.  That’s probably the greatest part about the mission in Spain, you get to experience so many different Spanish and Latin cultures with just being in one country!  On Sunday, I was feeling quite a bit better and we had some Stake Conference broadcast thing directly from Salt Lake City but specifically for the Europe West Area of the world.  I loved when Elder Christofferson talked about his favorite attribute of Christ, pure love.  I feel like that’s something that I need to work on more, whether it be with my companion, circumstances, or the stingy Spanish people who want nothing to do with the missionaries here.  So that’s what I’ll be focusing on this week J
It was a bit of a humbling week for me, I realized that it’s not all about me and maybe I was stressing myself out a little bit too much.  Although it was much needed rest, I would rather have been out working!  Today for P-Day , we went bowling with our friend Raquel again J It was super fun just to have a little break and work on my game…Yes, I’ve still got it when it comes to bowling as well L) I am extremely grateful for my health, companion, and this opportunity to serve for 2 years.  I love you all!  Congrats to all the seniors who just graduated J I can’t believe how fast time is flying out here.  I will talk to you all soon! Have a fantastic week and stay healthy and I’ll try to do the same J

Con Amor,
€lder $mith

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

pics from this week

Hello Elder Baerwaldt!

Toledo-ing with Elder Gearig after some intense balling out!

Good Bye Elder Johnson!

My buddy Elder Hale and I at the train station this morning!

Sports on Saturday :)

The Crew