Saturday, July 16, 2016

Goodbyes and Madrid... I miss Talavera!

Good Afternoon from MADRID :):)

Well transfers came andddddd... I'M IN MADRID :) I'm super excited to
be up in the biggest part of the mission. My area is called Barrio 3
which means "Ward 3" and its kinda around the area of Carabanchel.
It's kind of in the south of Madrid and I am already loving it and
I've only been here for 6 hours! I am really sad I'm not in Talavera
anymore though, it was one of the hardest days of my mission yesterday
to tell all those wonderful people who I love goodbye! I honestly
wasn't expecting to be transferred so it came by complete surprise.
Talavera will always have a special place in my heart :) I don't have
a ton of time today but I'll try to fit some of the highlights in!

First of all, my new companion is Elder Stout. He is from Morgan, Utah
and graduated the same time as me. Something that is freaking crazy is
that Elders Stout, Baerwaldt, and Johnson were all a trio
companionship in the MTC and now that Elder Stout is my new companion,
I have officially done the impossible! The trifecta has come to pass
haha! And it wasn't like it was over the course of my mission, it was
one after the other after the other! So I feel pretty accomplished :)
I've seen Elder Stout around a bit in the mission and always joked
that he would be my companion some day and now he really is! We
honestly have all the same interests in sports, music, clothes, you
name it. So we are going to be getting along really well and I'm super
excited to see what we can do here in B3 :)

On Wednesday we had a huge mission wide conference on how to use
Family History better and invite all the people we work with to find
their ancestors. It was honestly way cool and this family from the
states flew out to do a special workshop with us. While we were
sitting there in the conference, I was on my iPad doing indexing and
actually found a couple of people who I can request ordinances for and
I got kind of an adrenaline rush! There were a lot of really cool
stories shared of people finding ancestors and the spirit of Elijah
just taking over. So my invitation, thanks to the cool conference, is
to get familiar with the church Family History program and start
helping your family members get their ordinances done! One day when we
are reunited with them, they'll give us a big hug and say thanks :)
after the huge conference, I had some fun intercambios with my boy
Elder Wright :) we partied. Hard.

Well yesterday I stood up to bare my testimony for the last time and
before I could get my little introduction part out, I was bawling
haha. I'm a cry baby. I talked about the importance of families and
the role they play in our lives and how ever since my first day in
Talavera, the branch has been like a little family to me. Even though
they aren't the biggest branch in the world, they definitely have a
strong spirit and I learned how to love every single member. And in
the process I made some lifelong friends too so that's always a bonus
;) visiting the families individually last night was not easy either.
We had a couple of appointments set up and just spent the day saying
bye to a lot of people. Again with the tears thing. The hardest
goodbyes were with my 2 favorite families on earth, our branch mission
leader and the family from El Salvador. I cried as I hugged them all
goodbye (especially Mar and Esther, my two little Spanish/Dominican
sisters) and when my little friend Josue read the note I wrote him, he
broke down in tears and tackled me on the couch and just said I love
you haha. Then he wiped his tears off with my tie :') it was something
I'm definitely never going to forget. I love that place and those

Well that's about it for me this week! As excited as I am for a change
and stuff, I really am going to miss the people in Talavera. Crazy how
fast time flies and how quickly you can get attached to people. 2 of
my other companions, Elder Galvan and Elder Peña are both going home
tomorrow and luckily I got to see them to say goodbye to them as well.
I HATE GOODBYES so I prefer to just say SEE YOU LATER :) wayyyyyy
better and I have a firm testimony that God puts people in our paths
for a reason. He knows what we need to learn and grow and change and
be better. The quicker we accept his will, the happier we will be :)
I'm grateful for everything. Literally everything. I can't put into
words how much I love this church and being a missionary. Sorry this
letter might be a little all over the place but we have been on the
metro and sight seeing and switching companions and all that stuff all
day. It's been crazy. But I'm ready for another week so we will see
how everything goes :) LOVE YOU ALL AND HAVE A FANTASTIC WEEK!!

Con Amor,
Elder Brady Smith

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