What a week! Things just keep getting better and better in Ferrol :) we had transfers and elder Simmons is out, headed down to Madrid :) my new companion is Elder Lowder from Idaho. I don't know him too well but he seems like a good kid! Also, thanks for the birthday wishes :) best family and friends award goes to you all! We spent the day in Coruña and went to a cool aquarium and hung out with the sea lions! Another solid year down and I'm excited for the future!! Without further delay, here is the update that you've all been waiting for :)
So the Cuban family is soooo prepared it's not even funny!! I forgot to mention last week that in gospel principles class, we learned about eternal families and we easily have
the greatest gospel principles teacher of all all time named Rosie. (She is the long lost Chilean twin of my mom, they are literally identical except for their nationalities and language) anyways, Rosie gave a bomb lesson and they were just eating it up thinking about being an eternal family! This week we taught them a couple of times and they are looking really good for the 25th of February still! The branch is doing a great job of welcoming them. The son came and played fútbol with us on Saturday morning and they went to a member-only noche de hogar yesterday :) Please keep them in your prayers!
Our other friend Robert is progressing like a machine! He's the guy from Arizona who is here for 8 weeks living with his cousin :) he now has a baptismal date for the 19th of February! We are doing all we can to help him prepare. He's had probably the most interesting and one of the hardest lives I have ever heard of. He has had 29 surgeries, cancer, got hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle, and a seizure disorder. Even with all these things, he is still so positive! On his knuckles he has the phrase "hold fast" tattooed and it is a constant reminder to never let things get to you and to trust in God. On Saturday when we went to visit him, he was in the middle of a seizure and then we lifted him up onto the couch and after settling him all in, he started to have a second one. We were able to give him a priesthood blessing and he is feeling a lot better now. This guy is a warrior and one of the coolest people I've ever met. I really hope we can help him get baptized here and if not, he will for sure be baptized in Arizona. He has a strong testimony of the atonement and is willing to change his life, after all that is why he came here to Spain. It's crazy how God moves us around the earth and then puts us together here in Ferrol, Spain out of all places :) it's gonna be really fun getting home and going down to visit him in AZ! He's also a chef and made me Chicken Marcella yesterday for my b day plate. I have to say it was the best birthday meal I've had in Spain ;) although nothing compares to my mom’s food and good old Lorena's haha! Please pray for Robert this week and that things go well!
One of our menos activos called us this week and said he wanted to meet up which was weird because he has never expressed interest before. We taught him the plan of salvation and he was feeling really good about everything and told us that he hadn't been to church in 2 years but knew that he needed to start coming back. So we invited him and he came yesterday!! Hopefully he will keep coming. The greatest part of this story is that he came dressed in jeans, sandals, a floppy hat, and a denim vest without sleeves and no shirt. It was quite a sight hahaha! We always see him walking on the street and he is dressed in the most ridiculous outfits hahaha. It's soooo great. We had a really funny experience with him a couple of weeks ago and elder Simmons wrote it down and I will attach it below so you can all read it and get an idea of what we deal with and see here in Ferrol :) ⬇️⬇️
"The longer I've been here, the more crazy people i meet. There are some really crazy people here in ferrol and i love it. I would like to share with you an experience I had this week with a man named Roberto. Roberto is a menos activo and a brother of a very strong member named Africa. Roberto really wants nothing to do with the church anymore but we always run into to him because we're teaching Africa's OTHER menos activo brother, José Carlos. But Roberto is a really funny man. Wednesday night we were returning to Piso when we see Roberto walking towards us on the sidewalk. We stop and say hi. Ferrol is very very cold at night right now and roberto was wearing nothing more than a thin sleeve less shirt on his northern hemisphere...and sunglasses at night. We asked him "aren't you cold?" He responded quickly "cold? What's that? What is 'cold'. " Anways, after he said that, there were a few moments of silence of him just staring at us and shrugging his shoulders. Then he quickly reached into the back of his pants and pulled out a book of Mormon in Russian. Oh I forgot to mention, on top of all this he was blasting very gnarly American gangster rap on his phone. Anyways, he quickly told us that he’s been learning Russian and then quickly said bye. As he began walking away I noticed that he was wearing a pair of socks over top his flip flops. A good combination of a lot of absurd things that made for a very absurd moment but it gave me a good laugh." -elder Simmons
Other interesting things this week included...
· Wehad 6 investigators at church yesterday :)
· Elder jones is training which makes me a grandpa! (I feel old haha) Pretty crazy that elder Peña, me, elder jones, and elder jones' Greenie have all served in the same area :) the valladolid legacy continues!
· We had wicked rain and wind storms this week and we were knocking doors (to try and stay out of the street and not be blown away) and some Colombian lady let us up and turns out she has met with the missionaries before and read the whole Book of Mormon! She asked us for another copy cuz she lost hers and she is coming to church this Sunday! It was a miracle. I really hope she gets baptized. Hardly anyone lets us up to talk to them in their doorway haha.
I'm very happy here hanging out and doing the Lord's work in Ferrol. I know He needs me and I know that He is putting people in my path who need to hear the gospel. I'm grateful for the experiences I'm having and I know they are shaping me to be the person that God wants me to be. We have a lot of crappy days, but the good ones outweigh the bad ones by a ton :) Thanks again for all the emails, letters, packages, and prayers sent my way. They don't go unnoticed! Have a FANTÁSTICO SEMANA :)