Monday, January 30, 2017

Beaches & I'm Happy


Hola from your favorite elder smith serving in the Spain madrid
mission! 🇪🇸 Hope y'all have had a fantastic week and I'm sure it was

almost as good as mine :) before I forget.. just a quick early b-day
shout out to my brother in Málaga elder tHamNer on Thursday. I'm still
looking forward to that 50 year old birthday celebration cruise with
our wives in just 30 short years!! Love you bud! Anyways, this week
was jam packed with tons of fun stuff. I'll see if I can briefly
summarize what has happened this week!

So to start things off, we spent Wednesday and Thursday in Vigo for a
few meetings which included the world wide missionary broadcast,
interviews, and Zone Conference! In the broadcast, we got some good
instruction from our missionary executive committee/council and some
cool new changes to switch normal missionary life up! We mostly just
talked about what we learned last year which was to teach repentance
and baptize converts. There are a lot of good things I learned and I
got some good notes from it :) they also made a schedule change which
gives us more freedom with our time and they made p-day longer!! WOO
HOO :) everyone was stoked about that haha. Then on Thursday morning I
had my interview with president pack, what a great guy :) he gave me
some good counsel on how to keep things going up here in Ferrol. Then
during Zone Conference on Thursday, we mostly talked about repentance
and working with the younger people in our areas. We can't teach
something we aren't practicing ourselves, so the invitation they left
us with was to repent of the things we have done wrong or are
currently doing wrong and head in the right direction :) I really
enjoyed the conference and we have already seen some little miracles
from the things we learned! And not to mention that Vigo is such a
beautiful and cool city. I'd totally live there after the mission. But
those were some very good eventful days! 😊

So I think you all remember Antonio, right? Well he was that old
Spanish guy who we started to teach and was really interested in the
church. Anyways, this weekend we got a call from him saying that he
was going to drop us and the church because "he was catholic and is
going to die catholic". It was really sad 😭 I was pretty frustrated

by it. I feel like I did everything I possibly could so that he could
feel the spirit and know that this is the true church but I guess we
can't control people. It's really hard to get someone to change here
especially when those catholic roots are planted soooooooo deep. Oh
well. I still love the guy! We extended a baptismal invitation to him
in the second lesson and it didn't feel right, but it's what preach my
gospel says to do so we did it. We did it because we loved him and he
just didn't feel that was the path for him. He read almost half the
Book of Mormon and prayed about it too but said he just couldn't keep
going forward. But it's okay, we are over it now and moving on :) we
planted the seeds and maybe in the future he'll come around!

On the bright side... we have 4 people on date for baptism on the 25th
of February!! Last week I talked about that member reference who is
the little Cuban family?? Anyways, we visited them on Friday night and
taught them the plan of salvation and they ate it up!! They were
seriously sooooo happy the whole lesson, the mom was smiling so big :)
at the end of the lesson when we asked them if they had thought about
baptism, they all said yes and that it was something that they needed
to do :) so the 25th of February is gonna be a pretty awesome day here
in Ferrol! They all came to church yesterday and during gospel
principles class, we talked about eternal families and they loved it
soooo much! The members did such a good job of welcoming them at
church and they felt right at home. The other person on date for
baptism is named Rocky and he is from Peru :) he's a really neat guy
with a cool background. We will see how things go with him!! We also
picked up a new reference from a member named Reyes who is from New
Mexico. Her cousin, Robert, is here staying with her for 8 weeks in
Ferrol and he is from Arizona! Both Reyes and Robert speak perfect,
beautiful American English :) Robert came to church yesterday with us
and we visited him last night and he was so excited to read the Book
of Mormon and knows that he came to Spain for some reason. He is
looking for change in his life, so hopefully in these next 8 weeks we
can help him out a bit! He was repping his Arizona Wildcats gear last
night and is an avid PAC-12 sports fan so we've already got a lot in
common :) I seriously love it up here so much. I don't know what I'm
going to do when I get home because it's not gonna be nearly as fun as
it is being a missionary!! 😐

On Saturday we had one of our good friends named Joaquín take us on a
paseo of Ferrol. He took us to a really nice beach and another place
called Cabo Prior! Galicia is by far the prettiest place in the world.
Cabo Prior had probably some of the prettiest cliffs and biggest waves
I've ever seen in my life. I'm 100% sure of it. Today we went with a
member to a couple of different places, including another old light
house and Valdoviño! We found ourselves talking to some old Gallegos
on the beaches and in old lookouts for ships on the horizon. It was
such a fun day/weekend and I am in love with Spain. I hope you all get
the chance to visit some day :) I'll be your tour guide if y'all want
haha. I'll attach a bunch of pics, no os preocupéis 😎

I want you all to know how much I love this work. Things are
progressing here very nicely and I am so happy here in Spain :') There
is no other place I would rather be in the whole world and I want to
make every second count here! Don't worry about old elder smith out
here... I'm doing just fine :) my testimony is strengthened every day,
whether it's from a zone conference, teaching our investigators,
contacting in the pouring Galician rain, or visiting more of this
beautiful world our Heavenly Father created for us. I know he lives
and loves every single one of us. I know he sent his son, Jesus
Christ, to suffer for our sins so that one day, we may return to live
with them both in the celestial kingdom. I know this is the restored
church of Jesus Christ and that missionary work and sharing the gospel
is the one of the most important things I will ever participate in.
What an honor it is to be a missionary!!

I love you all, sorry for the long letter but I'm feeling really good
lately about everything :) transfers are next week (where did this
transfer go?!?!) and I guess we will see what happens!! YOU ARE ALL
THE BEST :) keep it real wherever you are 🙃

Con amor,
€lder b.c. $mith

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