Monday, December 30, 2013

Feliz Año Nuevo :)

Well I hope all the Christmas festivities were perfectly exectuted and you are all preparing for a New Year´s Eve wedding!!!!!!! :):):):):):) How fun! I will be here wearing my orange shirt and corsage pretending that I am somehow a part of the festivities :)

All the while trying to tell people that, "no we are not allowed to stay out until midnight on New Year's Eve..."  "Yes, even if it is at a member's house."  "Yes, even though it is New Year's Eve"  "No, there are not exceptions"... haha...but she still made us promise to ask for permission... They have a tradition here in Spain... for every chime of the clock at midnight you have to put a grape in your mouth... so when it is New Year's everyone's mouths are full of grapes. haha  Makes for a great New Year's kiss I guess. . . what a pity we won´t get to see it :)

So lots of really cool Christmas miracles this week -
-"A" .. so we met with him for the first time last week and we had a super spiritual lesson about the Restoration. He really understood the concept of why this church is the only true church and he said that he was excited to read and pray about it.  He told us that he came into our lesson really skeptical... he was just curious but he ended up being really impressed because he felt something different. Thank you Holy Ghost!  Anyway so this week we met with him and had a lesson about the Plan of Salvation! :) Coolest experience... so we start the lesson and he just flat out says ´well my whole life has changed since the last meeting.´  haha  That kind of took me by surprise... you hear about all these awesome ´Ensign´ worthy missionary experiences, but I´ve never actually experienced one to this level... ´My whole way of thinking and looking at life has changed... I´ve been praying and reading... I don´t know what I´m feeling but I like it!´ HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!  Best feeling in the world... :)  Nothing can compete with this!  He went on to tell us that is Mom is worried about him because he literally is changing his life around.  I love the gospel!  We then had a suuuuppperrr great lesson about the Plan of Salvation and what God really wants from us in this life and in the next. :) I love people like him!

-"Y"- She is new too!! So last Sunday there was a baptism of a little girl in the ward and this blessed 8 year old girl did the greatest thing and invited her friend. (I LOVE MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK). Well this cute little girl and her efforts brought "Y" (the mom) and "A" (the daughter) to the church and in contact with us.  "Y" is looking for the truth. She has gone to basically every church you can think of.  She wants to raise her family (has 3 kids) in a church and go faithfully... but she just doesn´t feel  ´filled´ by any of the other churches.  In other words... she is looking for the truth and we have it. :) So we gave her a Book of Mormon at the baptism and set up an appointment. Then we went and taught Lesson 1 about the Restoration. She has a lot of questions, but we were able to teach with the spirit and convey the importance of praying and finding out for herself! Oh she has so much potential!!! She and her whole family!! :) I LOVE MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK!!!

-"H" is a recent convert and we were on the bus the other day and saw him walking down the street... haha so we start pounding on the window and by some miracle he saw us... understood our sign language to meet us at the bus stop. haha  So we had a spur of the moment lesson with him that was so great! He finished the lesson by showing us his rapping and break dancing skills. haha

Well the guagua (the buses here) kept closing their doors on me this week... haha no joke 3 times.  So It was always an adventure entering and exiting the guaguas.
We went back and ate those amazing tamales that we watched her make on Christmas Eve! Oh they were sooo good!

One last thought... so everyone lives in pisos (apartments) here and really the only decoration they can put (or chose to put) outside to decorate for Christmas is a hanging Santa Claus... so everywhere you look there are Santa Clauses trying to climb into everyone's windows :)  It kind of loses it´s effect when it is on every third window. :)
Hermana Fowers

P.S.  Everyone should invest in a Santa suit!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Red Alert!!!

Tuesday morning- we´re on intercambios...  I´m with Hna Cassinet (aka I´m in charge of directions and we´re lost).  So we´re making our way to a member´s house for lunch and we get a call from the district leader.  We´re on red alert. There is a hurricane coming this way... you have to be in your piso by three.  Thoughts of the Philippines were running through my mind. Uhhhh ok, yeah, whatever you say.  So it is 2 at this moment.  We run to the members house, eat a delightful meal of papa rellenos (ooohhh they were so good...potatoes filled with chicken and beef and bananas and peppers and cheese and bacon- basically it was like a treasure hunt.  We kept finding new things the longer we ate!! :))  The thoughts of a hurricane did kind of put a damper on the meal, however.

Then we ran back to our piso... closed the door at precisely 3 o´clock. :) We looked at each other, looked outside the window at the perfectly normal weather, shrugged our shoulders, grabbed our study materials and had a delightful 2 hours extra of study time. Oh the guilty pleasures of being a missionary.  All the while, the weather was perfectly fine- a bit windy and a bit cold for an island, but not one drop of rain. :) Better safe than sorry, I guess.  At 5 we got the call that said we could go back out... so then we continued our day of getting hopelessly lost. haha I really need to learn directions. 

Our ward mission leader has a dance studio, and this week was the Christmas program. So he asked us to come and basically be the meet and greet committee :) We passed out the flyers (all of which we stuffed with pass along cards:),  talked to lots of people and enjoyed the spirit of Christmas through an AMAZING dance recital!!!!

I definitely also had a part in the Primary program yesterday... still trying to decide if that is because I act like a child sometimes... haha :) kidding... (kind of)  So they sang I Am a Child of God... and each verse was in a different language :)  We´ve been teaching the primary the verse in English and so they asked me to sing with them in the program. :)  It was soooooooooo cute!!!! We had a lot of investigators there and it was soooo good for them to see the sweet pure testimonies from the mouth of children!  Especially the testimonies about baptism! :)

Which I have been studying a lot about this week... want to hear a cool quote: ´Baptism is not optional if one wishes the fullness of salvation.´ Bible dictionary. So this week we had a different attitude and a different approach as we went into our lessons. This really is their salvation. I really love every single one of the people we teach. How would I feel if we were in the Celestial Kingdom and they weren´t there. No. They need to be there. So we were a lot more bold this week and we made a lot more progress!!! We also found a lot more new people to teach. One of these people is from Africa and is a friend of a recent convert. So before the lesson we decided on a fecha bautismal (baptismal date)... the 19th of January. Perfect!! So we start the lesson and he is suuupperrr interested and it is just a great lesson! So I´m feeling like we need to ask him to be baptized... so I ask him to be baptized, ´we have a baptismal service on the 16 of January -  will you prepare to be baptized on that day?´ and Hna Schaumann looks at me kind of funny and I´m wondering what I said wrong... then Fi gets all excited and says ´´that is the day of my birth!´ (I love Africans) :) So we finish the lesson and it is super good, spirit is super strong and as we´re walking away Hna Schaumann starts laughing and says, ´that was super inspired and you don´t even realized what you did, do you?´ I legitimately thought I was giving him the date we had planned... Well, yeah, now he is going to get baptized on a Thursday... haha because God knows his children and knows exactly how to reach them.

We were walking down the street one day and this drunk man stops us and starts speaking blabber... not comprehensible.  He says something like ´are you hurt´ haha so we´re trying to figure out what he is saying... catch the word heaven and start explaining about what we believe about heaven. Well come to find out he is using a pickup line: ´because you look like you fell from heaven´... Eeeewww.  We kept on walking. haha.

The Elders baptized an 80 year old woman yesterday and she is soooo adorable!  This gospel is for everyone!
IT IS CHRISTMAS TIME!!! ;) I´ll see you later... and there is some truth to that sentence!!! "See" you on Christmas!! I love you all!!! :)

Pictures 1 & 2 & 3- Last Pday - All the missionaries went on a full island tour

Picture 3 - She said, "Everything around me is telling me that it is Christmas, but I just can´t believe it because it feels like summer... haha" 

Pictures 4 & 5 - She is loving the opportunity to serve and teach the gospel to all the wonderful people of Gran Canaria 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Zone Conference Fun

Well Zone Conference!! Wooohooo... it is a party! So all the missionaries came from all the different islands to Las Palmas on Monday, we spend pday together and then instead of going out to proselyte Monday night, we had a big devotional with the mission president (and we watched 17 miracles!!!).  Then on Tuesday we have a big meeting where President Jackson, Sister Jackson, the new Stake President of the Canary Islands, and the Assistants to the President spoke to us!! Needless to say... it was incredible!

First things first, it was super weird to sit down and watch a movie. At the same time, it was really cool to be in the same room as 30 plus missionaries and feel the spirit super strong as we thought about the experiences the pioneers had and all the experiences we are having. Then we had a testimony meeting... dang... super powerful! Woooohooo  Zone conference was incredibly spiritual too... one thing that President Jackson emphasized was asking for a reference from everyone we meet with-talk with. Then he asked the Assistants how many references they got from one lesson... 11!!!!!!!!! 11.... that is insane.  So we´ve been putting that into practice this week! Also President Jackson is a surgeon and he had a video of him doing the same surgery that they did to Joseph Smith (you know the one when he was a little boy)...ummm and he showed it to everyone who wanted to see it... ugh...I thought I was going to die. haha... I didn´t stay for very long. haha

We had some really good lessons this week! with "R"... she is 20 and is the Harry Potter fan. We are friends! We had a super spiritual lesson 1 and she came to church! So we´re excited about her!

"J" we FINALLY got to meet with, after like 3 weeks...haha we gave him a Book of Mormon in Tagolog... and we wanted to share a scripture with him, so I open up to the scripture so he could read it. hahaha no he wanted me to read it.  So I made a fool of myself trying to read Tagolog... haha "J" was cracking up.  Yeah, I gladly switched back into Spanish. haha

"O"...we had a lesson with him about eternal families this week, and brought a super great member with us! This member just straight up testified of how through the death of 2 of her children the comfort of eternal families was priceless. Her testimony was so powerful we legit couldn´t say anything for such a long time because the spirit was so strong. Then we talked about things we can do down to strengthen our families... and "O" was all ears.  It was super good for him to hear her powerful testimony.

So the Elders had a baptism this week and the story is super cool!!! So really fast: his name is "D". He is a genius, knows 6 languages, is an engineer, and is an orchestra director in Madrid. Well he was...he came to the islands for what he thought was a 2 week vacation. In that time, he was fired from his job, all his possessions were robbed (including his passport), and he was basically stranded here with no money or documents to get back to Madrid. So that was like a month ago and he has been homeless and has been going to the Red Cross to get food and help with his situation.. in his words... ´from the top of the top to the low of the low´.  Well he saw the Elders contacting one day and just wondered why they looked so happy. Well a few days later he saw them again... so he followed them to see what they were doing.  Well one thing led to another and they started talking. He came to church, read the entire gospel principles manual, and most of the Book of Mormon within a few days. He was baptized on Saturday after 2 weeks. Incredible!!! He is incredible! ...and he plays the piano like a boss... almost as good as Branson Bell! :) 
I would just like to say that I bought a Santa Claus suit! :) 5 Euros... ($6.75) best purchase I think I have ever made! My companion keeps telling me that I won´t be able to wear it anywhere... but I think I can think of some reason ;)  Also we bought a ream of paper a few weeks ago... and I´ve been making snowflakes in my spare minutes here and there! Today we set up our winterwonderland.  Oh it is magnificent!  Bringing snow to the beautiful Canary Islands... just part of the experience.  :)  

Well Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Love you all

Monday, November 18, 2013

When in doubt... testify of Joseph Smith

Allrighty folks… here's the dealio...
So last week we hardly got anyone at church… so I decided to try a new plan of action for this week. This week I sang, danced, and did the hula... and that is only a slight exaggeration. I sang to people on the phone, I was super excited when I invited them… all that jazz.  Which generated quite a few funny looks from the people on the streets, but I don't care… because it worked!!!!!! :):):)  We got lots of people at church!! Woooohooo!!!

"Y"....  Oh we just had the best lesson with her!! :) So we had a lesson about something and then were asking her about baptism.. and she was just kind of so so about the topic… not excited at all.  I was just wondering 'how do I get her excited, and help her see how important this is'…. and my mind went back to my mission prep class where we learned that 'when in doubt, testify of Joseph Smith' and I just felt soooo strongly that I needed to testify of Joseph Smith and the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. So I did and it was incredible.  The spirit was super strong. We talked about how her answer is going to come not as she asks about baptism, but as she prays about the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of this church. As she comes to know that this church is true, she will have the desire to be baptized, the desire to be changed.  It was incredible!

The next lesson we had with her we watched the Restoration movie! :)  Soo hopefully she reads and prays… but she gave us a reference this week! haha   That was super great!! A cute 20 year old girl that loves Harry Potter.  I mean really we are already best friends, whoever said Harry Potter wasn't a missionary tool…

Uummm we went to a members house this week for lunch… they have the 4 cutest little girls that all speak English!!! :) They did our nails, and we had a cute lesson about princesses and we made crowns because we are all Daughters of God. I died… I loved it so much!

So Hna Schaumann was sick on Mon/Tuesday so I had a fun day in the piso… haha I read out loud in Spanish until I had basically lost my voice, read scriptures, cooked, listened to conference talks… then I tried to have a little dance party by myself to keep myself sane… but I couldn't find an upbeat enough fey song on my iPod… haha so I settled with a yoga session to Paul Cardall…

Also we have a new investigator named "S"   That is all! :)

Tuesday is zone conference… which is a huge deal on the islands… all the missionaries are traveling here today …we had a sleep over in the Buhlers house and all!! :) Soooo great!!!

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!!! :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas lights... on palm trees...

Well people are starting to get ready for Christmas!! :) haha because you know, palm trees aren't complete without Christmas lights... and turns out people set up their big Christmas trees on the beach! :) Maybe if it were actually cold I would feel like it is Christmas time. We were having a lesson with a family... and a little girl saw a picture in the Liahona of Lorenzo Snow and thought it was Santa Claus... :) haha 'Papa Noel'

Let's see...what happened...
"Y"- we made cookies with her!!! haha  It was the greatest!!! So our relationship with her and her mom has skyrocketed this week!!  It's been golden! She broke her phone so this week we just went over to her house a bunch and taught her basically every day!!!  We've been talking about good old American cookies and promised we'd teach her one day. The day finally arrived... but ummm haha they didn't have a real oven just one of those little microwave ovens. So we could only make 4 at a time... and a lot of them ended up burnt... but it was fun!! She had a baptismal date for this week.. but she just doesn't feel like she's had an answer yet. 'I feel good I just don't feel convinced' . . . so we're working on that... but on the bright side... later on in the week we came over to find that "I" was making cookies all by herself. :)

"J"- oh he is so legit! He only has one day free each week (hmmm that sounds familiar...:)). So we can only meet with him every so often, but he is rock solid and has a real desire to learn and get an answer! He has a fecha!! (date-for baptism)

"R"-  so remember that one week when he was reading and praying and being super receptive... yeah well then he started working and he hasn't been reading and praying and he is back to his unreceptive state... hmmm.  He has a lot of questions and we're working on addressing those... it is just a little hard when they stop doing all the things that provide all the answers.

We have found a lot of super happy people this week!! A lot of new people to teach, so that is fun!! One lady in particular, was super happy and smiley and just all around good company. At the end of our lesson she asked us to guess how old she is. Ugh... that is a scary question! :) Well... we legitimately guessed like 15 years younger than she actually was.  Her secret to youth: smiling!  Alright, whatever you say!!

Fun fact about Las Palmas... all the streets are one way. I keep getting reminded that I probably don't need to look both ways on a street that only goes one way.  Old habits die hard! 

We were late to an eating appointment this week and the member was joking about he wasn't going to give us dessert... he may have quoted Seinfield without knowing English 'No postres for you!' haha

Well I hope you have a great week enjoying life  :)
Love you lots!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, croissants and testimonies

I would like to formally wish everyone a Happy Halloween!! Now I would like to explain to you how we celebrated this holiday.
- We spent mediodía (siesta time) making sugar cookies and orange frosting and decorated them for Halloween!!! This turned out to be quite a bad idea because we put ourselves into a sugar coma without even having to trick or treat... we then gave plates of Halloween cookies to everyone we met with the rest of the day. ´Here is our spiritual message... now let us explain to you what Halloween is´... I think it was quite a success.
- we used Halloween as a contacting conversation starter... I got lots of people to talk to me :) 
- There was a jas (ysa) dance! so it actually felt like Halloween because the Buhlers decorated all out!! Pumpkin desserts and all!! It was all worth it because everyone had a great time!  Anyway Happy Halloween!!

So this week we had a first lesson with this man named "J"! We met him on the street last week and had set up an appointment in a park. So we go to this park and he´s not there... classic. So we decide to contact in this park for a while and wait to see if he shows up. He doesn´t answer his phone... and so like half hour later we decide he´s not coming and we head towards the bus. Just as we were about to get on the bus I had the thought ´you have someone here to teach´... and it was like a super strong thought... so I turn to my companion and say we should go try the park one more time.  So we turn to walk back to the park and as we do "J" calls us! :) We then had one of the greatest lessons!!! He is from the Philippines and has a super strong testimony about prayer! We had a heart to heart about how God speaks to us and told him about the Book of Mormon.  We had brought one in Tagalog for him and he was soooooo excited!! So I just bore testimony to him about how if he reads and asks God, God will give him an answer. ´Will you pray and ask if this is true?´ ´I WILL!¨  He is super solid and I´m so excited to see all the potential he has!!  We´re meeting with him tonight actually!

We had some super great contacts this week!! People that straight up asked us how our church or the Book of Mormon can really help them in their lives! The beautiful thing about questions is it gives us the opportunity to flat out bear our testimony! haha  Honestly, there is nothing I can really say to help these people... but testimony is a way God can speak to them. So I like that option!:)
Like this morning... we were on our way back from the grocery store and this lady stops us to ask us for directions. She sees our name badges and we explain a little about our church. Then she asks if the church could help her in her life.  Why yes, yes it can. . . and then she just started bawling... I reached out to give her an awkward hug with groceries in my hands... like ten minutes later once she stopped crying, I just bore testimony about how God loves her.  Incredible the hand of the Lord in our lives.

Ummm... a few more random stories and I´ll let you go...
- so the Buhlers always feed us after district meeting, but this week they were going to be in Madrid... so they had chicken salad ready and asked us to go get the croissants right before the meeting... haha but turns out the bakeries don´t really have 30 croissants ready at all times... so we had to end up running to 3 different bakeries to get enough croissants.  Just imagine... two sister missionaries... 6 bags of croissants.. running down the streets of Spain. haha  Let me tell you what it is a recipe for... a lot of funny comments, laughs and looks... but we had a yummy lunch, that´s all that matters right?
-there was an elderly man that said ´buenas tardes´ in a really weird accent and I still swear he said ´Plan of Salvation´ I vividly heard those words.  Anyway so I was a little shocked... then started a conversation about the Plan of Salvation.  Yeah, that´s not what he said...
-we were walking to an appointment and it started to downpour... why does this always happen to me :) haha well she opened her door to two soaking wet girls... and just busted up laughing! haha  It was pretty funny!! I think it made her realize how much we love her! :) Good bonding experience! :)

Well that´s all folks! I don´t have to give a birthday shout out until next week... haha why are there so many birthdays!!! :) HAPPY NOVEMBER!!! 
Love you lots!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pinkie Promesas

I am pleased to inform you that as of yesterday Las Palmas is now a ward! :) Wooohoo!! So The Canary Islands became a stake in September and it was announced that Las Palmas would become a ward.  It became official yesterday in church when they called the Bishopric!!! :)  It was a really cool meeting, all the members were so happy. Marta (we include her a lot in lessons) leaned over to me and told me that they have been a branch for forty years and they have been praying and waiting for this day for a long time!! History is being made here in Las Palmas. :)

I am also pleased to inform you that Kennedy (from Leganés) was baptized last week! :) :) :) Oh I am sooo happy!!! When I found out I was leaving we went and visited him and it was sooooo sad to leave! He kept saying ´This is really painful... this hurts my heart.´ Oh it was terrible!  You just build so many friendships with these people and I´m so happy for the opportunity to have these experiences and build relationships with people as they build relationships with God.

So one cool experience this week was with "O"! So he is one of our investigators and when I first got here he wasn´t super interested in the gospel... just in the English classes we teach. So this week we were having a lesson and it wasn´t going super well and he wasn´t really receptive, but then we started talking about the Book of Mormon and bearing testimony of how we came to know it was true and the blessings we have in our lives because of that knowledge. During that lesson the spirit was so powerful. It was one of those experiences everyone talks about where the words just came and you knew what to say. Let me clear about something... haha I still struggle with Spanish and when I say that I knew what to say doesn´t mean that it was eloquent.  It doesn´t mean that it was super profound, but it was what needed to be said to bring the spirit into that lesson. It was amazing to see the change in "O" after that lesson. He had a desire to know, he had a desire to learn. He is now coming closer to Christ and it is because of the power of the spirit and the Book of Mormon. The Lord can change hearts and I witnessed that this week!

So we visited an elderly member this week that was basically we knock on the door, she answers, and we start explaining who we are... and she points to her ear signalling that she can´t hear us... so then I yell in her ear: ´somos misionaras de la Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los santos de los últimos dias´ ... and she just did the cutest thing. She broke into a huge smile, said ´Mormones´ and grabbed my hand and pulled me into her house!! :)  It was super cute and we had a visit with her that was much needed... mainly consisted of her talking and us nodding and smiling because she couldn´t hear us... haha but after 4 months of Spanish... I´m REALLY good at smiling and nodding :)

They had daylight savings here yesterday... so we gained an hour of sleep !!! WOOOHOOO!!! Except I woke up by myself at the original time... haha I was sooo mad.. but then I got over it because I got another hour of sleep... and I did the same thing again today... just too used to the schedule I guess :)

Fun fact... we can´t drink the water here... so we have to buy big jugs of water to drink! :)
So sometimes I say ´yummm´ a lot... and this week I was wondering if there was a Spanish equivalent other than saying like ´this is so good´ (sometime you just need to say yummm) well... I asked this week.. and apparently when I say ´yum´ the members think I am saying ´ham´... so haha maybe I should stop saying that.

Spanglish at it´s finest: I made a ´pinkie promise´ with a little girl this week... she renamed it ´pinkie promesa¨ yeah... making a difference in Spain!

Well that is what I have to report for this week!
I hope you all have a fabulous Halloween and celebrate it in the good old American way. :) Daniel have a fantastic birthday! I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU ARE TURNING 12!!! :) Studly boy
OK I love you all!!! :)
Hermana Fowers

Monday, October 14, 2013


Well I am currently on island. This morning I could see my breath in Madrid... and now... well you know how island temperature is ;)

This week was legit... let me see if I can compose my thoughts... hmmmm   
CESAR WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! That was such a miracle!!! He has been investigating since May... I've been teaching him ever since I got there. He had soooo many questions and sometimes it was a struggle to help him realize the importance of feeling the spirit rather than knowing EVERYTHING! ...but he really has changed and it is incredible to see how his life is now. :) Ahh he is a member of this church!!!!! Woohoooo!!!!

Okokok wellll... he really was like a man of many outfits that day.  He arrived in what we thought he brought to be baptized in... but they were beige pants and his white shirt had colored embroidery on it... haha and we didn't have anything his size.  So we were stressing out, turns out he just thinks he is super funny and had an all white outfit in his bag all along... haha typical.  That basically describes our relationship with him, so then he got all dressed in white and it was a beautiful sight!!!!!!! HEY CESAR GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!

So the baptism was awesome... and so we're waiting in the chapel for him to come out and he emerges in a full blown suit!!!!! haha  Where did that come from!?!  He looked sooo nice and clean and when he got up and bore his testimony he looked like a General Authority!! :) It was the best feeling in the world to hear him bear his testimony and bring the spirit into the room!! I got a shout out in his testimony.  I'm pretty proud of that.

Then after the ward had an activity for the 12 of October!!!  So here it is a holiday to celebrate all the different countries- so all the different countries from the ward represented by bringing food and doing a dance-song/dance from their country... it was quite the party!!! :)  Cesar went home and came back in a complete Peruvian outfit... haha outfit number 4 for the day! :)  We brought rice krispies to represent the USA... haha...hey it was easy! This party was sooo legit. 

I was just relishing in all the food and music and celebration... and then we got a call from the District Leader telling me that I'm GOING TO LAS PALMAS!!! Soooooo it took me a second to realize that that is on the Canary Islands...(70 miles off the northwest coast of Africa) so in my mind I'm freaking out 'WAIT I'M GOING TO THE ISLANDS?' and then Hermana Zitting starts freaking out 'THAT IS MY AREA!!!!'  (where she had served before becoming Megan's trainer) haha and it was like a complete hour of freaking out. :):):):):):):):) Woooohoooo

So I could only take one suitcase... so I spent a lot of time packing- weighing, realizing it was way overweight... then unpacking, repacking, weighing etc...quite the experience!!!  Hna Zitting, Hna Christian and I just were living up our last moments together!  Love them!!!  Well then this morning I got on an airplane and flew to the Canary Islands!!! :)  The Buhlers (the Senior Couple she has heard so much about) picked us up... gave us chocolate chip cookies and homemade enchiladas.... and I am on as island!!

Well I am sooo excited to get to know all these people that I have heard so much about from Hna Zitting!!!  This is going to be such a great experience and I couldn't be more excited!!!!


Muah, Hugs and Kisses

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conferencia General

Well how about conference?! :) Pretty great, no?!  Well let me tell you how Conference happens here in Spain.Basically it is a big party on Temple Square! On Saturday we watched the Relief Society Session at 4... and then at 6 they showed the live session of Saturday morning!!! So I watched it at the same time as you!! Just without the pjs... the scones... and the orange julius...

After two sessions of conference I decided I needed to do something to keep the General Conference tradition going... so I dug out the cookbook I brought and found a recipe for pancakes and syrup. :)  I don´t think I have ever been more pleased with myself as I did the moment I found those recipes! :) yay for being prepared!  So Sunday morning we had a nice General Conference breakfast of pancakes and hot chocolate! woohoo! 

Then we were ready to go to the temple at 2 for the Saturday afternoon session... and 6 for the Sunday morning session.  Due to the fact that the Sunday afternoon session was shown from 10 pm-12 am... we didn´t watch that one... haha  But everyone who lives around Madrid just comes and camps out at Temple Square all day :) There is food, people walking around the temple, and just relishing in the spirit of it all!!  Sooo great!

I was definitely uplifted with all the talks that we heard!! ohhhh it was sooooooo goood to listen in English! I don´t think I will ever take that for granted ever again... I didn´t even zone out at all because I was just so amazed that I could understand everything! :) I agree with President Monson: super uplifting sessions!!!!! :)  It was cool to see our investigators come and feel of the spirit and see what the gospel can offer them!!! Also to listen and apply the talks not only to myself but to the people we are teaching was also a really cool experience.

Well, want to hear a funny experience!?
So... we are teaching this lady... she is a street contact and was really interested. So we had Lesson 1 (Restoration) with her last week.  It went really well... but she had a lot of questions. Great!  So we come back and teach lesson 2 and invite her to be baptized. She tells us that she has already been baptized. So we start explaining how it is different than the Catholic church blah blah blah...  ´No I was baptized in your church´... I opened my mouth to say something... and then I comprehended what she said...´wait what?!´ haha 
Apparently she was baptized in her country like 30 years ago and failed to mention that when 1. we met her on the street and 2. we had our first lesson and 3. invited her to be baptized the first time.... haha she didn´t even know anything about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith...(she´s the one who was teaching her daughter that God is like a spirit)  We were super confused!  I guess 30 years is a lot longer than it appears... :) So now we are working with her to get back to church and working with her 8 yr old daughter.  Never thought that would ever happen...

When we were coming back from conference Hermana Christian came up from behind me, covered my eyes, and ´helped me´on to the escalators... haha one of the scariest moments of my life...´it´s like walking with faith...´ ´but I don´t trust you´

We ate Armenian food again this week! super good... but I´m pretty sure it is entertainment in her house to see how much we can possibly fit in our stomachs. haha They give us sooooo much food and see how much we can eat... and then give us more. This week was Kebabs, potatoes, curry-cauliflower, pizza, and spaghetti...
If everything goes well this week we should have 2 baptisms this week!!  Woohoo!!!  :)  Yay for the gospel!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Rain in Spain!!

Well the rain in Spain definitely doesn´t fall mainly on the plains...unless I happen to be on the plains... haha I´m not really sure!
So let me tell you a story: One day this week we´re on our way to visit a less active member. So we have our map in hand and are a little lost, but are definitely on our way to have a fabulous lesson. That morning the weather had been great so we don´t have any sort of jacket or umbrella (mistake number 1). So on our journey, it starts to get really cloudy and cold... we start joking about how it might rain (mistake number 2). Then it does start raining... awesome!!! We head over to the nearest apartment complex and wait for a few minutes to see if it´ll pass. If anything it gets harder... we take a good look around- we are pretty far from where we need to be, neither of us have jackets or umbrellas... so 'well should we knock this apartment building?´ Then it starts absolutely pouring. haha  I guess that is a 'yes'. So we are let into the building by someone who feels sorry for us, but isn´t interested in our message so we go to the first floor and start knocking on the doors. To add to this beautiful picture- the electricity is out. haha  So when people open their doors all they see is darkness and two outlines of two very wet girls. hahaha  It wasn´t super successful. :)  And so this continues as we go from building to building trying to avoid the rain. Then we ran out of apartment buildings and continued our journey again to this less active member. We FINALLY arrive at her building, completely soaked head to foot. ready for this great lesson... haha and her floor doesn´t even exist. hahahahahahaha  One of those moments you just can´t but help laughing. We looked sooo ridiculous and I´m convinced God has the greatest sense of humor :)

Ask me if I will ever forget an umbrella ever again? ...because the answer is no :)

 And hey look on the bright side- fall has begun, the weather is beautiful and the next day I got to pull out my boots and cute rain coat!! WOOOHOOO FOR FALL!!!! :)

Want to know something else funny that happened this week: so we had a lesson in the mental hospital... yes. yes. you read that correctly. So we´re visiting this less active who was about to visit her friend and asked if we would come with her. So we did some rearranging and went with her. Well, fully expecting to go to an apartment or something... no she takes us to the hospital... ok ´well she´s sick´ we´re thinking... no we are led into the pysch ward- haha  They had to unlock the big heavy prison door and everything! :) haha ooohhh the things that happen on missions.  It was quite the experience, I don´t really know how much you could feel the spirit due to all the people yelling on all sides of us, but you know, the Lord knows the needs of each of his children. 

Also yesterday we walked into an apartment where a couple was watching Little Mermaid together! wooohoo! How adorable is that!?? That is my kind of couple... I´m done with all the teenagers making out on the metro- a couple that watches Disney together stays together... haha that was a super fun lesson!

We met with an Armenian family that just moved from Belgium... so they fed us an Armenian dinner with Belgium chocolate! :) yuuuuummm!!!! ...and they are suuupper sweet and the spirit was super strong!

I am continually amazed by how the spirit works! The spirit can speak to us all individually and give us all the comfort and peace and knowledge to know for ourselves that this church is true!! It is truly amazing!  GENERAL CONFERENCE is coming up!!!! wooohoooo!!!!  ...and I just found out I get to see it in English! Soooo relieved!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Peruvian food, paella and green olives

Sometimes I really like quotes: ¨It is not your responsibility to convert anyone. That is the work of the Holy Ghost. Your task is to share your beliefs and not be afraid¨ (President Uchtdorf). I just really like that! 
So we got this Amish bread starter... so we thought it would be a good idea to 1. make some yummy bread and 2. give it out to members when we asked for references. haha  So we followed the instructions, put the base in the jar and then headed out to give it away.  Well turns out that when put in small container the dough will first expand... and then explode... hahaha and explosions on the metro... quite hilarious :)

Pilar: she is the daughter of a less active member we are visiting.  So we were meeting with her again this week when her husband came home from work.  He ended up loving the gospel too and we scheduled to come back for an FHE with their family.  So we show up for FHE and there were a ton of people there!  Pilar, Marcos (her husband), Josefa (her mother), Luis (who lives with them and turns out he had taken the discussions 2 years ago... we looked at his record and he is totally golden and is sooo ready to learn, he was just working a ton back then), and their friend Pedro. So it was quite the FHE with yummy food, (side can make lasagna- Mexican food style and it is SOOOO GOOD!!!!), good company and super strong spirit!! Ok so we gave the first discussion about the Restoration and watched the Joseph Smith movie.  Every single one of them loved it!! ...and now we are teaching them all! Woohoo..  And cool story so at the end Pedro asked for a copy of the movie so he could watch it again when he got home.. so we gave it to him and were asking for his info: he doesn´t have a number, and he is never at home. basically if I would have met him on the street I would have thought that he was not interested and there would have been no way for him to hear the first discussion. but because he randomly came to his friend's house the day that we were there he now knows about the gospel and we are now teaching him! God knows each of his children and how to reach each of them.

Maria: so we met with her for the first time this week and she has 2 adorable children (5 and 8). She basically is just looking for a religion and doesn´t know where the truth is... :) I have never seen anyone connect to the Joseph Smith story so much! When we were describing how he didn´t know which church had the truth.. she was like ´yes, that is exactly how I feel!´ She is great! haha  And from the mouth of babes: so there was some confusion about the trinity... so we´re talking about God and she turns to explain to her 8 year old daughter how Jesus has a body but God is a light-energy. haha  The daughter totally called her out ´mom, that doesn´t make any sense¨ and then goes on to explain how God does too have a body... Yes little girl, how right you are!  :)

So we got invited to this birthday party slash family reunion thing. haha  I just really love Peruvians. So just listen to this... so they start out with some appetizers... chicken wings and potatoes.  Then there is some singing and dancing.  Then they bring out some tamales :) yummm super good.  Then there is some more singing and dancing while we recovered from our burning mouths... so we´re super full and getting ready to leave and that is when they decided to bring out the main course... say what? haha  People just keep piling us up with food. so then we ate beef-rice & potatoes... at this point we really have to leave so they box up a cake for us! haha  Which was probably good because if I had to eat anything else I would´ve exploded! and to make it worse it is allll soooooo delicious!  Also this week I had real Spanish Paella :) yummmmmy! and fun fact... they snack on green olives here... we saw a girl on the metro snacking on them and commented on how strange that was. I need to learn never to do that. The very next day we were fed green olives before we ate... yummmm...????  Armenian food is super good too :)

We had a woman approach us this week... pointing to our name badges and ask us where our church is! haha  That doesn´t just happen!! It was amazing! Turns out her sister is Mormon in Columbia and this woman has been looking for the church here...and we were just in the right spot at the right time! Amazing!!! We are teaching her today after we go have an adventure in the center of Madrid!

Woohoo!!  I love you all!!  Have a great week!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Want to guess who I shook hands with?!

So you know... Elder Ballard came and spoke to us. As in Elder Ballard from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles... and I shook his hand. It was a pretty great moment in my life.  So we had to be in Pavones at 7:30 am... so we woke up bright and early, (and when I say bright I really mean it was pitch black outside :)) and got to the train station at like 6:00 am-- I was fully expecting it to be deserted that early on a Saturday morning... but we get there and every single teenager in Spain is there... we´re super confused wondering why they are up so early.  It didn´t take long to realize how drunk they all were and we put it together that they were just coming home from a long night of partying. haha  I have never felt so out of place.  It is amazing the perspective we have.  We were going to go hear from an Apostle of the Lord.  We know what will really make us happy.  We know why we are here and where we are going.  This gospel is amazing!

Want to know what else is amazing?! ELDER BALLARD!! Ohhh he is just the greatest!!! It was amazing to hear from him, to feel his spirit, and to know that he is an Apostle of the Lord. He spoke to us about D & C 11... how our desire to do this work is directly proportional to our success. How even though there are sometimes challenges and difficulties, we do everything we do because we love the Savior. Then he just told about his week, how they had been to London, Paris, Spain and was going to Rome all in one weekend.. how he is turning 85 next week and how he is tired. He told us that sometimes he wonders why someone of his age is running around ´like a young boy´... then he was quiet for a few minutes and said, ´it is because I know what happened in Gethsemane´  He then bore the most powerful testimony of the Savior and His love for us and his love for the Savior.  He told us that anytime we feel discouraged, to look at a picture of the Savior, to ponder the love He has for us and the sacrifice he made for us... and then to turn outward and share that love with someone else.  Incredible!  Also he took the time to shake all of the missionaries hands! What a great guy!

So this week we ate at a members house like every single day... that is slightly unheard of!! :) and haha none of it was Spanish! :)  Want to hear which countries food I ate?   Well let me tell you... Monday we ate Mexican, Tuesday we ate Equadorian,  Wed we ate Peruvian, Thursday we ate Honduran and Friday we ate Peruvian... hmmmmm  It was so good!  It was super nice for everyone to be so generous! Cesar had us over for mediodia... and it was just hilarious.  He just pulled a bow and arrow out of nowhere... and so we played dress up with all his sweet Peruvian paraphenalia.  

We have a new investigator as of this week! Her name is Pamala... her mom is a member and less active, so we were visiting her and met Pamala. So she just barely had a baby- like 2 months ago and he is PRECIOUS!! :) They are so cute and humble and so receptive to hearing this message! She loves how family centered the gospel is and she loved hearing about the Restoration and the Priestood and she is so full of the spirit!  Also miraculously her baby sleeps through our whole lessons... this is when you know God wants to you listen.

We were talking to this woman (Rosa) on a bench earlier this week and she said she was interested in coming to church... long story short we got her number, called her to set something up and reminded her of church- and she came!!  We haven´t even met with her, and she lives in Getafe, which is far from the chapel!   She is so cute and I can´t even wait to meet with her!

This young woman in our ward was showing me her back to school supplies... oh my goodness gracious...I love school so much and may or may not be going through withdrawals at not starting school.... haha but it was so fun to be excited about her new stuff!

Also... we called a member and turns out our number is the same number that her mom had when she was alive...  so she answers the phone thinking we were her dead mother...hahaha crazy!

Lots of cool experiences this week- we met with this member and shared a message about family history work. She was kind of quiet the whole time and then at the end she is just smiling and said ´thank you, I was thinking about that a few nights ago... I got the strongest urge that I needed to start, but I didn´t know where to begin´ (or something to that effect). Then she thanked us for being angels in her home! :) soooo cute!!

Love it!  Well got to go!  Have a great week!
Love you much,
Hermana Fowers

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wedding Cakes and Spanish Swords...

Want to hear a cool quote?!?!  "You were called to the mission and the language in which you can most powerfully bear your testimony"  Wow... hmmm and that is my encouraging message of the week.  So this week has been a little crazy, we lost some investigators- because Hna Christian left our companionship but all is well! (with the transfer her companion Hna Christain received a new missionary and Megan stayed with Hna Zitting)  We did a lot of contacting and walking this week... haha

Here are some highlights:
Cesar- He has a baptismal date!!!! I´m hoping and praying that that date will work out, but we have made huge progress with him!!! We were having the lesson about baptism and we were asking him about how he feels... basically he knows that he needs to get baptized and he has the desire. Guess what, we actually got him to say that he wants to get baptized!!!!  That doesn´t seem like a big deal, but for him that is huge!!! It is a big step of faith for him.  He also told us that he is afraid.  When he said that I thought of a scripture I had read earlier that morning Moroni 8:16, "perfect love casteth out all fear."  When he read that scripture he was quiet for a long time, you could just see it in his eye the desire he has. The spirit was so strong and long story short he now has a date!!!! Woohoo!!  What a champ!  Also at church yesterday we went to go talk to him after Sacrament Meeting and we didn´t know where he had gone... so we walk out into the hallway and he is sitting on a bench, in the midst of tons of people, listening to a conference talk on his ipad... and I repeat, what a champ!

Three different people this week have showed us their wedding pictures... haha so I would like to thank Maddie for giving me a story to contribute to the conversation :) Anyway want to know something cool about Spain... they cut their wedding cakes with swords and then feed it to their spouse with the swords as well.. haha   It makes for a super awesome picture and I´m thinking Maddie should implement that... haha

We had the most adorable FHE this week!! So it is a family with 4 kids (14, 12, 10, 9)... So we were explaining the Restoration and were using the pyramid cup object lesson! (which is super sweet by the way) and the kids were so cute the entire lesson, so actively engaged and everything! So at the end we were talking about reading the scriptures and we left them with a competition... we left 2 reading calendars, one for the girls and one for the boys.  We told them that whoever read the most would win a prize... you should have seen their faces, it was almost like a Ben Fowers competitive look!! They all started making plans and trash talking the other team, haha (and then the best part) they all pulled out their Books of Mormon and started reading right then and there!!! haha  It was THE CUTEST thing I have ever seen!!

Hna Christian´s new companion is a native speaker- from Equador! and she cooks really well!! Well this week I have kind of felt like my Spanish has been getting worse... haha which is not a good feeling. Anyway I was talking to Hna Zitting about it and she just told me that ´no, it is just that you are noticing more when you make mistakes... which means you are getting better... before you just didn´t notice´ haha  I kind of like that way of looking at it.. makes me feel like there is at least some hope for me even when I don´t realize it :)

I know that I am supposed to be here learning Spanish. I know that God helps me everyday, and that somehow, someday I will be able to bear my testimony in the most powerful way in the Spanish Language to the Spanish people. :)
Love you much!!
Hermana Fowers!! :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

And thus concludes Transfer 1...

So good news... I´m staying in Leganés :) with my companions!!! Except we won´t be a trio anymore- I´m staying with Hna Zitting... and Hna Christian is moving downstairs and getting a baby! haha but we will still be able to party in the piso! woohoo!!

Also speaking of partying.... so there was a ward party this week! woohoo for ward parties. So we were told to come ready with games to play with the primary... except it turned out to be more like a talent show haha and we ended up being the entertainment.  Let me explain... so the nice spiritual message turned into this primary girl doing this dance... and Hna Christian and I start dancing in the back... haha and the Bishop saw us and thought it was hilarious... so the next ´act´ for the talent show the Bishop and all the members were begging us to dance.... haha can´t disappoint the members, right?  If that doesn´t strengthen relationships with the member, I don´t know what will! :)  Also more people talked to me after that than ever have before, success!!!
Anyway, for some reason my companions thought it would be a good idea if I was in charge of directions for this week. hmmm... hey remember the first time I drove a car and I didn´t know how to get to Bountiful High... yeah.... so we´ve been lost a lot this week. haha  But I have learned a lot.  You can´t win them all...
We had lots of yummy food this week :) I still wonder what Spanish food is like... because I feel like everything we eat is not Spanish: Peruvian, Armenian, and Chinese this week!  Funny thing about the Chinese- we were talking about the Mandarin restaurant that very day, and we show up to an appointment and he had made Chinese! :) haha miracles happen I am telling you! Also I am pleased to report that everything we ate was stupendously good! including stuffed peppers- stuffed with like this meatloafy goodness, and these seasoned chicken legs. yummmmm. hey we also had American food!! the Day of transfer calls we went to this cute little old fashioned diner and had good old hamburgers!

Anywho enough with that! Maria has been making the goals we set for cutting back smoking, so we set new goals! wooohooo! She is so great! She has a niece and a nephew that come to the lessons we have with her and it is just so cool to talk about a topic and explain how it can apply to each person individually! This gospel is for everyone and has the power to change-heal everyone!  We also played soccer with her little 7 year old nephew... OK I´m pretty awful at soccer in the first place, now add a skirt and missionary shoes...hmmmm! That is a pretty picture! haha   I was on the ´SPAIN´ team... pretty sure we won...

Cesar is a rockstar... haha he is the funniest person! Dang sometimes our lessons with him go on the most random tangents because he has so many random questions... but I really just love him so much. It is crazy to think that 6 weeks ago when I came here I didn´t know any of our investigators and members and now I just love them so much and have such a strong relationship even though I can´t really speak Spanish. 
I really am so glad I am staying, I couldn´t imagine starting over when I feel like we just barely begun! It really is a miracle to have the opportunity to teach the people we are teaching. I am learning from them and it is amazing to see the change the gospel can bring in their lives. My comps and i were talking about what we like doing the most as a missionary... ´Telling people why we are so happy!´

I love you all!!! Have a great week, and don´t party too hard! :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Temple... Toledo...Terrific

Okedy dokedy....... first things first... MADDIE IS ENGAGED!!!!?!?! say what???? AHHH I AM SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!! THAT IS SO GREAT! :)

So want to guess where we went this week.... TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!! OHHHH MAN I LOVE THE TEMPLE SO MUCH!!!!!  Want to know something else super cool... I did the whole session in Spanish!!! ...and understood the whole thing!!!  I really love people that speak slowly and clearly :) haha  It really was so great and such a confidence boost that I know more than I think I do...There is no better place to go to feel so much peace and comfort, oh man I love the temple so much... well until next transfer... I am so glad I have a temple in my mission and I have the opportunity to go.:)   Such a good refresh!!

Umm Thursday was basically a day of miracles!  Everything that we studied that morning we were able to apply and teach and really touch some people... Sometimes I feel like I don´t make that much of a difference because there is so much of a language barrier... but this day I felt like I was able to say what they needed to hear, I just felt completely guided and I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!  Also we had contacted this man on the street and met with him on Thursday, we end up meeting with his whole family, including his son who is going through chemotherapy right now... They definitely need the hope and joy this gospel can bring and I was so glad to have the opportunity to teach the beautiful message of this gospel and be where I needed to be both when we contacted them and when we taught them. Seriously the hand of the Lord is in every step!! It is just amazing when you get to see the fruits!

This week we ate with this AMAZING MEMBER ... Arus is the mom´s name and she is basically an angel!! She is the most sincere and genuine person and she is always so nice and considerate to the missionaries. Anyway she is Armenian and we had some pretty spectacular fish and these amazing tortellini/potsticker things... dang!  Good food just makes the day all the more better! :)  Also she gave us ice cream.  I am totally justifying all the ice cream I am consuming in this heat. :)

So we are meeting with a lot of people from Nigeria... haha sometimes they just say the greatest things like ´go ahead and unleash the good word of God!´ Also today for pday we went to Toledo!!! Oh my goodness gracious it was soooo beautiful!! So historic and beautiful!! Everything was so old and historic... this is kind of what I pictured when I envisioned Spain... haha  It was soooooooooo pretty!!!  I loved every second of it!!  Hey guess what... I am in Spain!?!?!
I love it here! The people, the experiences, the language, the food, the places!! Everything!! 
Well have a great day!!  Love you all!!!!!
Pictures of Pday in Toledo...

I am holding the good word of God...