Monday, December 8, 2014

One day more

Put every emotion imaginable into one week... and that was this week. One last email and I´m not really sure what to say... so I´m just going to tell about the week... It was an incredible week of ´last lessons.´

-"R"  we have been teaching for the whole time I´ve been in Alcalá... and she is still very very Catholic... so we read this talk about the ´blueprint of Christ´s church´and we made a whole object lesson out of it to show how our church really is the church that Christ established... on Tuesday we met with "R" and had a super great, super powerful lesson, during that lesson I just felt at peace, that we had taught everything we needed to teach- that it is still up to her to choose, but the message is out there. 

-"M"!  So I definitely pulled the ´I´m leaving´ card and we got to see her again. She has always told us that her husband doesn´t want to meet with us, but when we went we asked if we could meet her husband... he came out and was the nicest man ever!!!  After her husband came out and showed interest in the message "M" got so excited!! They both came to church and they are going to be a family strong in the church-I just know it!

-We´ve met with "J" a few times this week... he really is a great guy with such potential. We had a few lessons that were super powerful. super profound.

-So we are teaching a wife of a member, "U", she doesn´t really believe in God- but she likes hearing about the church... So she had a baby this last week.. We stopped by this weekend to visit and see the baby. Soooo precious. We bore testimony of eternal families... and the spirit was palpable. There is no way you can look at a newborn baby and not feel how important families are and how important God is in the families. We´ve been waiting for the baby to be born... now we´re going to hit hard the Plan of Salvation :) Woohoo.

Well a few funny stories I suppose...
-We got on a bus to go to a lesson... and saw a member- so we went and sat by him and started talking. After a good bit of conversation he asked us where we were going. haha  He started laughing at us and told us that we were going in the wrong direction...haha  Well that is awkward.

-We went to eat with an investigator... and she had made me a sister missionary doll.  It had so many details that it really looked like me... I love creativity!!!

Well this is my last email.  I´m freaking out... haha... but I´m so grateful for the mission. I have learned, grown, and loved more than I could´ve imagined. The Lord has helped me change my heart and become more like him, and I wouldn´t trade this experience I´ve had for anything in the world. I know that the Lord has a plan for every one of us... and it is perfect. The more we rely on his timing, the happier we will be. He truly does love each and everyone of us and is ´pendiente´(... ummm mindful?) of us all. I´ve never realized how much until I´ve come here and seen it every day for the last year and a half! He works miracles.

Hey guess what... I will see you all soon!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

I love to see the temple

It was a missionary week for the seminary students of our ward! So what that means is that each young man/woman got their own mission call... they had to live by mission rules... and they had to help the missionaries with lessons. :)  Do you know what that means??  We got lots of help in lessons... woohoo!!!  There was one day we were invited to the early morning seminary to give a presentation on missionary work... super cool, but can I just tell you how grateful I am that I didn't have early morning seminary. :)

So I went to the Madrid temple for the last time this week... haha. That was pretty rough... after serving in the area of the temple for 6 months and always having the temple there when I needed a little boost- I have really grown to love this temple. As I was sitting in the Celestial room I was looking up at the ceiling- there is this design that starts out really small and then grows bigger and bigger as it approaches the wall. I thought back to the MTC when I looked up at that design and had a scripture come to my mind... ' by small and simple means are great things brought to pass'  I sat there at the beginning of my mission wondering how in the world I would be able to do anything 'great' in this language, but trusting that with the Lord's help I could start with the small things. As I looked up at the ceiling one last time I reflected on the last year and a half, everything the Lord has helped me do, all the little things that with time and patience have become great. It was more humbling than anything, just seeing how much the Lord has changed me and how much he has changed the lives of the people I've been able to teach.  The worth of souls truly is great in the sight of God.  Then President comes over to me, puts his arm around me and tells me 'I hope you are taking this all in' ... hahaha thank you President. At this point I completely lost it.  Then we went to my last district meeting and I had to give my 'last testimony' haha and I lost it again. Wooahhh... I promise I am not a crier... but man oh man I am losing my marbles.

Anyway. different topic.
"J" has turned out to be super awesome. He is the one we contacted on his birthday and gave him the Book of Mormon as his 'birthday present' without knowing it was his birthday. .. so that has become our inside joke... that he better read the Book of Mormon because after all, it was his birthday present :) But he is super great, we've met with him a few times, walked with him to the church and he even came to a baptism. :) Saweet... I'm pretty sure he's making us tacos this week... so I'm excited for that.

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving!! :) We went over the the senior missionaries house and had a typical Thanksgiving dinner. It was so beautiful and today we came to Pavones and ate another big Thanksgiving dinner with the temple workers... I'm not really sure what we did to get an invite to that because we were the only younger missionaries in a midst of probably 30 senior couples. haha   For my birthday I wanted to go to a restaurant... so during mediodia we headed over to a restaurant and my comp had planned it so all the missionaries in Alcala were there to surprise me for my bday!! Super cute. Super fun.  We definitely decorated for Christmas. I kept up with my paper snowflake/birthday tradition.

Funny story... we were waiting for a lesson with a man named "E"... so this man approaches and looks like he was waiting (to be completely honest we couldn't quite remember what he looked like... but we thought it was him) so we approach him 'E'?... then the man kind of jumps looks at us really funny and says ' how do you know my name' haha... so definitely wasn't him, but it was his name. haha   We ended up with his number so it was meant to be :)

We also had a super interesting lesson. so the Elder's have an investigator named "S" and she is hosting a foreign exchange student from Japan.  We met a member a while ago from Japan and so this week we planned an FHE with the two to start teaching "A" (the foreign exchange student)... haha it was a good intention. are you ready for this: So "M" (the member) speaks English and Japanese. "A" speaks Spanish and Japanese. We speak English and Spanish. haha  So there was not a common language. haha  It was a fun adventure.  Nick, I was definitely thinking of you - wondering how in the world you understand this.

Well that is about it! :)
Love you much

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Aggresive, faithful, harmless, and yet cute"

This was a week of very interesting lessons...
- Let us start with "T" and "S". They are from India and are Muslims. We met "T" on the streets with his little 2 yr old son...we started talking about eternal families and he invited us over to eat (Indian food... woohoo) and talk. Sweet. So we go over and eat some very very delicious food. and start talking about the gospel. Come to find out they are Muslim. Very Muslim but they belong to a branch of the Muslim church that actually has some ideas and beliefs that are similar to ours.. just with one key factor missing: they don´t believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. It was a great experience to testify of Christ and everything he has done for us. We ended with a prayer...before we prayed they both ran out of the room to grab something. We were kind of confused what was going on... they came back into the room with full out veils and hats- apparently that is how they show respect while they pray.  It was a super cool experience.

-Then "C".. this is our investigator with the blue hair who is very unique, but interested- so it makes for great lessons. At one point in the lesson she was trying to explain how strange-inspiring we were... and she couldn´t quite get it into one word... so she used four ´you are so .... aggressive, faithful, harmless,,, yet cute...¨ haha.. I mean how do you really respond to that?!

-"I" and her chicken... I never really thought you could have a relationship with a chicken, but she certainly does. One time when we went over this week her mom was over with her pet dog. haha  Who do you think was ruling the house: the dog or the chicken?  I would´ve thought the dog but turns out that chickens can peck really hard haha so the dog was hiding under the table the whole time.

-We were talking to this man, "J", on the streets and were explaining about the church and the Book of Mormon. At one point I handed him the Book of Mormon and said ´Here, Happy Birthday´... you know just something normal I say. haha  He gave me the weirdest look and asked me how I knew it was his birthday. haha   I thought he was kidding, turns out he wasn´t. The spirit works in mysterious ways :)

Well so remember "M" and how awesome she is... well last week she kind of dropped off the face of the earth. At one point we were stopping by her house, and she wasn´t there. . . so we went down this random alley to a bench to call some people. Not 5 minutes later we saw "M" walking down this random alley to her house.  Can you say miracle!!!  So we stop her and ask her what happened. so she is now working basically all day everyday and doesn´t have much time.. so that´s a bummer. but a miracle that we saw her!

Well HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Good news on my part... there was a senior missionary couple that just moved to Alcalá... so we got invited over!!! I´M SOOO EXCITED !!!
Well I´m grateful for all of you!!! and for the gospel and for the opportunity to serve a mission!
Lots of love,
Hna Fowers

Monday, November 17, 2014

Best Sacrament Meeting of the year

Want to know what the best sacrament meeting of the year is?!  The primary program... :) It was so perfect... I was tearing up, and I don´t cry very easily. The theme was "Families can be Together Forever" and kids are just so darn cute. One of my favorite songs they sang was ´Armies of Helaman´ for the chorus they turned to the audience and had us sing too  ´We will be the Lord´s missionaries´... It was killing me.  Loved it so much.

We had quite a few rainy mornings this week and we made a new tactic (because when there is rain... people don´t really like to stop and talk ...) so we made a few big batches of cookies and have made a new focus on working with members. It was really cool to see the different ways the spirit works on the different members to help us with the missionary work. I´ve thought a lot about how different missionaries have different approaches and strengths with the work... and this week we saw that in the members as well.  Some members were all excited about starting an FHE in their home where we could invite investigators, menos activos and such... other members would go through the ward list-giving us members that we could stop by, some that maybe needed a little extra help, or would have some friends, some members gave us the number of their friends, and some helped us out of the cold and gave us some hot chocolate.  I really like this ward... it was really cool to be more part of the ward and see them work in their own ways according to their own strengths.

Anyway... we were really guided by the Lord this week... haha  I feel like you have to be when it is always raining and there is no one really on the streets. haha but I can just tell that God loves his children, just to see the way he works miracles to make sure everyone is taken care of and gets their needs met. It is the greatest to be on both sides of it... God is always answering my prayers, and He lets me be part of answering the prayers of others.
One really cool thing this week: we were meeting with a member that is starting to come back to church... we were teaching the Plan of Salvation and it was really sweet to see her true intention to come back. We started talking a lot about the temple... she got really quiet-really thoughtful and then said ´I miss going to the temple... I want to go back, and I don´t want to go alone- I want to be sealed with my husband´  Her husband isn´t currently a member... so we are working on that but the spirit is so strong in that house. Incredible. True intent at its finest.

Well... one of our investigators has a pet chicken. Like a full fledged, full grown chicken... inside her house. haha  Say what? During the lesson she picked him up, set him on her lap and just started stroking it. I may have thought it was maybe somewhat normal if it didn´t keep trying to peck at me. haha

We went over to an FHE and they were making these cool corn tamales (they weren´t tamales... but I don´t remember what they are called)... so I definitely learned how to make them... and they are super good!

Haha we got dropped by an investigator this week.... haha He invited me to come to his house-without my companion... after explaining that we are missionaries and that I never go anywhere without my comp, he didn´t want much to do with the message. haha dang. The elders keep making fun of us for that one. 
Well that´s basically all :) Cuídense mucho
Hna Fowers

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blue eyed... blue haired... super golden investigator!

So I think I definitely took for granted how wonderful it was to be on an island last winter... because now it is cold... and haha I feel like I´m such a baby but I´m bundling up!

So "M" is just incredible... I´m just going to keep writing that every week because she is like the highlight and miracle of our lives at the moment. So we went over this week and she told us that one day she was thinking about the church and was looking at the Book of Mormon and was wondering ´can this really be true´... so she thought about it for a moment and then turned on the tv (haha she also told us that she probably should´ve picked it up and read it... well at least she knows it).. but when she turned on the tv it was a show about the Mormon church (fancy that) and it was talking about baptism... haha  How perfect is that??!!!!  So we talked a lot about her baptism and she is excited for it! She came to church yesterday for the first time and loved it, she loved the messages, the people, the spirit!! Man I´m sooo excited for her!

Hey guess who else came to church... "R"l!!! You know, super Catholic "R" that didn´t want to come to church because she goes to mass... so last week we had a super fuerte lesson with her about how she needs to come to church to know if it is true... and she didn´t come. Then this week we had another fuerte lesson about how she needs to come to church... and then we were really annoying and kept calling her and walked with her to church, but hey- she came!!!! Woohoo.... that is a victory, let me tell you.

We found an investigator this week that is so legit... we contacted her and started telling her about the church and all...come to find out she has researched all about the church and has read the Book of Mormon... crazy right?  She is also such an interesting person- she has blue hair, blue eyes and is a tattoo artist.  Good thing the gospel is for everyone!

Lots of funny experiences this week...
-we met a guy who quoted Princess Diaries to us and then made an analogy from the movie to the gospel... haha so legit.
-We were teaching this lady who would mid sentence stand up and start dancing with her pillow... we invited her to church and she flat out said no... but hey we got an invite to her church!!! :)
-We found this lady whose son is on a mission, and she isn´t a member, so we went to her house for lunch and she absolutely pampered us... super cute

Well love you lots.  Enjoy the winter and the fact that you don´t have to be outside in the cold :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cinderella moments

Things are just going splendidly here! We are starting to see real progress in our investigators and we have some great potential!!! One thing I think I´ve learned on my mission is that sometimes you just have to work and work for awhile without results before the Lord sees fit to bless you with the people that are truly prepared... the best part is that I´ve learned to truly appreciate the miracles because I´ve learned and grown in the process of receiving them.
So thus begins my list of the investigators I´m sooo grateful for: (we made thankful leaves this week and I might be on a thankful kick :)
-"M".... continues to be incredible! We sit down to teach her and she begins to tell us about the dream she had... the dream that we were in. She said that in her dream we approached her and were telling her that she needed to keep meeting with us (good to see that our persistence seeps into her subconscious as well)... and when we said that she just felt overwhelmingly peaceful about learning about the church. :) woohoo! Then she goes on to explain how her faith right now is like a seed and how it needs to grow... (I was thinking this was too good to be true) turns out we had given her Alma 32 to read and she had really applied it to her life. Man oh man she is so incredible. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was so strong... she told us that she loves when we come over because she feels so good, and she wants to come to church and feel this feeling more in her life!!! Woooohooooo.  She is incredible!!

-"W"... he is new as of this week but super prepared as well... we contacted him in the streets like a month ago and he never could meet. We were calling some of our old numbers this week and set something up. He has so much faith and he loved the message of the Restoration. His point of view is that all the churches that talk of God and Jesus are good and true... so we taught about the importance of the Book of Mormon, how we can truly come to know if this is true. He has a super strong testimony of prayer- how God answers prayers... so it was fun to apply his story to the story of Joseph Smith- how we can receive our answers when we pray with faith. Since that lesson we have run into him every day on the streets. :) It is just meant to be.  He wants to get baptized too!

-"A" has been coming to church! which is a big deal for him because he has some doubts and doesn´t really believe in the organization of churches... but he keeps coming, and he loves it... his heart is softening. (and he brought us chocolate when he came to church... not complaining :)

-"R"... "R", "R", "R"... she is super Catholic... we´ve been meeting with her every single week... she always reads and she always prays but she is still very Catholic and won´t come to church. It has been getting to the point that she can´t really progress anymore unless she comes to church. So we had a pretty fuerte (strong) lesson with her. We focused on Christ. . . bore testimony of Christ, the spirit was there, and then we explained our purpose here is to bring people unto Christ... and the only thing she was lacking to know if the church is true, if we truly are bring people to Christ is by attending the church.  It was pretty powerful. She committed to come... haha.. well she didn´t end up coming but I´m holding out that there was a pretty good excuse :)
So yeah, things are just going super well right now!! I´m super excited to see these miracles continue to unfold! :)

Ready for some funny moments of the week...
-We were talking to this man in the street.. in the middle of my comps testimony I see this man taking a picture of us... haha  It was a member that works in the MTC and is used to taking pictures of the MTC missionaries who contact in retiro park... it was just super weird to see... but anyway this contact had a little bit of time so we sat on a bench and talked about the gospel for a bit, and then he insisted on buying us Halloween cookies! :) It was probably one of the most ´rewarding´ contacts... in the sugar aspect at least. 
-Some members wanted us to make them some American food... and their request was French toast :) haha.. the irony!  So we were making French toast and the member thinks they would be good rolled in cinnamon and sugar. haha we had very very dessert like ´American´ French toast. 
-For all those who don´t know... we have a curfew as missionaries... so we were at a lesson and we needed to run to get home on time.... some of the investigators were confused why we were in such a hurry. One of them compared us to Cinderella... so to them we are now the Cinderella girls that will turn into a pumpkin past curfew. Such a grand life we lead! :)
Lots of loves... 
Hna Fowers
Also here are some pictures of "M", who got baptized in Barrio 6 right after I left!

Monday, October 27, 2014

To be clean...

Good week good week.
"M"... she is super prepared... we share the gospel with a lot of people, and there are some that are just so prepared to hear it it is ridiculous. You can really feel their desire to learn in the lesson and that ´real intent´ brings the spirit so much. Well "M" is one of those chosen few. We go to teach her and we could just sense that there is something different about her. She loves to hear the word of God and recognizes that there is something currently missing in her life. So we teach her about the Restoration of the Gospel... how through Joseph Smith the priesthood authority was restored to the earth. Very few people realize the importance of this concept- but she did. I could see it in her eyes- that she truly understood and had even more interest to learn more. As we were explaining the Book of Mormon and how we can receive an answer through prayer she made such a profound comment: "I think the answer we receive depends on our faith too, if we have real desire to receive an answer then God will give us that answer more readily"... haha I couldn´t believe that came from an investigator's mouth and not from the mouth of a missionary.   ´Exactly... actually there is a scripture just about that... Moroni 10:3-5´. She is incredible and I´m sooo excited for her! We set a baptismal date and I truly believe that it will go through... she is just that awesome!!!! :) Woohoo!!!

We also have this awesome investigator named "A"!! We met him on the streets a few weeks ago and haven´t been able to teach him again for a while.. but this week we taught him and had an awesome lesson! :) He kind of came into the lesson with his mind set that he wasn´t really a church-going type of guy. So we started to read with him from the Book of Mormon and he had kind of surface level questions-like he just really wanted to learn but not really apply anything. So then we had a detour in the lesson and we both bore really powerful testimonies about why we know the church is true and what the church has done for us in our lives. After that he was like a completely different person- he was more open not only to learn, but to apply as well. and something stuck with him because he came to church yesterday and loved it! :) The members were so awesome with him and he made some pretty great friends. I´m excited for him too! 

"D"... so this is investigator "D" number 3.... I´m fairly positive the Lord wants us to baptize a "D"... because "Ds" just keep popping up. :) So this "D" has had a hard life... and it shows... but the gospel is for everyone and so we were sharing... actually we started with the Word of Wisdom... it just seemed right in the moment.  Well the next lesson we taught him he looked like he had shaped up at least a little.... we taught about the Restoration and were very specific about what the requirements are for baptism... haha I started out by telling him that he had to be completely clean and that required him to give up some of the things he is doing at the moment. .. haha and my companion is hilarious, she took the clean comment to the next level and told him he had to be clean physically too and shower everyday. hahaahahahahah  I guess that´s what happens when you are sitting closer to a smelly man.:)  I was trying so hard not to laugh :)
We carved pumpkins last Monday!! in honor of Halloween!!! (which they totally celebrate here in Madrid... I guess it was just an island thing that they didn´t celebrate it). but haha it is super humid here I guess because within 4 days the pumpkins were all molded over... very Halloweeny :)