Monday, July 29, 2013

Loving Life in Leganés‏

Megan sent her new address and this awesome letter today!  We always love hearing from her!!!

Sister Megan Fowers
Avda. del Doctor
Mediguchia Carriche 12, 3 (little cirlce thing) A
28913 Leganés
Madrid Spain

Ooookkkkkk dokey... Well remember that one time I said I was understanding people in Spanish... hahahahahaha well I take that back. Yeah... I think that is all that needs to be said about that :) haha

So here I am in Leganés... I would tell you more about it,, but Dad totally beat my knowledge with that handy dandy Wikipedia knowledge.  All I know is that it is beautiful, the people are great, and I love it!!!!!!
So hmmm where to begin: basics... my trainer is Hermana Zitting (shes the one in the temple picture with the short hair) and my other companion is Hermana Christian. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM WITH ALL OF MY HEART! They are the greatest!!  We have so much fun while we are working, which is such a blessing! They have already made this experience so great and I can't wait to see what is yet to come! Like sometimes when we are going down the metro stairs- Hermana Zitting will run down the escalators and Christian and I will run down the stairs and try to beat her. . . haha so great!

Food: they have mediodia here... so basically we eat breakfast, eat lunch at like 2;00 (then we finish our studies), and people here don't eat dinner... so we eat when we get back to our piso (apartment) at night … after we have planned... at like 11... (because we are on a 7:30 to 11 schedule here). I'm still trying to get used to that schedule.. 

Soooo I've had some pretty great experiences.. soooooo yesterday one of our appointments fell through and we were calling our recent referrals trying to schedule something. We were lucky enough to talk with someone who wanted to meet right then. So we quickly walked over to his piso, he welcomes us into his house. Hahahaha ...and we walk right into the middle of a classic African gospel session. Like this was straight from a tv show with the Halleluias, Amens, and praise Jesus chants... yeah....So we just listen to 'the good word of God' for a good solid hour.... they just keeeepppp tallking!! haha and in that hour I probably said Halleluia more than I ever have before in my life.. soooooooooooo awwkkkward!  but then after the preacher left, the roomful of people turned to us to hear what we had to say... and it went so well!! Not going to lie, I rather liked all the commentary after I would speak (because this was in English :)): Phrases like:  'ain 't that the truth' 'amen to that' haha  It really took all I had in me not to laugh. But they were all really receptive, and they literally are so ready for the truth. They were whipping out all the restoration scriptures right when we needed them... we were literally just teaching off of what they were saying. So cool. We walked out of that situation with 7 new appointments. Oh God does work in mysterious ways. 

Also want to hear another awkward experience?!?!  So we were on the metro one day coming home and I started talking to this guy (like 25) who was really interested in talking to me... so I'm thinking 'sweet' and start telling him our message.... then he starts talking (haha and thatś usually when I start losing people...) but I can just see my companions start busting up... haha  I picked out the word 'guapissima' and started to feel awkward.. so I gave him a pass along card and tried to walk away.  Well he followed us out of the metro... basically declaring his love for me and planning out our lives together... haha and I'm kind of an awkward person to begin with but you throw Spanish into the mix and I'm just hopeless... I was like clinging to Hermana Zitting who is just dying laughing. Well it is clear I don't understand him so he proceeds to ask me out through my companions... haha  Who explain that we are 'nuns'.... as we walk away again he asked my comps if he could kiss me.... hahahahahaha  Oh man, I have never walked away from anyone so fast in my entire life........... SOOOOOO AWKWARD. I don't think I will ever live that down with my comps. Aye yi yi!

Well... I'm hoping the Spanish comes sooner than later.  It is kind of hard not being able to understand anyone- talk to ayone. It makes it really easy to see the hand of the Lord when you are relying on him one hundred percent! We actually have been blessed with a lot of English speakers to teach... which my comp says is kind of rare. I can definitely see how much God blesses my life and I am so glad.  He is always there to make the day brighter! 

I love you all!!

Picture 1 - Hermana Fowers with President and Sister Jackson
Picture 2 - With her new trainer Hermana Zitting in front of the temple... ready to head off to the field
Picture 3 - Pday fun with Hermana Christian in Leganes
Picture 4 - Eating "kebabs"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Off to the field...

Well the time has come!  I´m leaving tomorrow for the mission field!!!!! WOOHOOOOO.

You know... in my mind I think I imagined myself knowing Spanish as I went into the field... haha but this MTC experience has been great!  I really have learned a lot, and I can feel the help of the Lord every day. This last week at the park I was amazed that I could hold actual conversations with people... I could be sincere and have a little bit of personality! So that was a very encouraging experience... and I was pretty much understanding... haha miracles happening everywhere!!

Going and having conversations with people made me so excited to go into the field and talk to everyone... get to know the members and work with them... and really just start this missionary experience of mine!  So on Sunday President Jackson came to give us all interviews and then speak at our fireside!  He really is just one of those people that you can´t help but smiling around! :) I´m so excited!!! Also for our talent show he played his accordian! 

We sang on the temple steps for the last time!!! IN THE RAIN!!! It was sooooo coooll!!!! So we sang a few songs... and our last song was Army of Helaman... So as soon as we started singing that song the rain cleared up, the clouds parted, and the sun shone down on us and the temple. Incredible. It made the song all the more powerful. We are NOW the Army of Helaman.

So tomorrow... we meet at the stake center (also on the temple grounds), go to the mission home for an orientation (where we find out our comp/area), go back to the stake center to meet up with our companions :), maybe go to the temple... and head out on our way!

Wish me luck. haha I might need it! :) All is well, I have the Lord on my side... ´Be still and know that I am God´   I´m so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

love love love love love love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! muah!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting... in Spanish?!?!?!

Every week we are given a topic and told to prepare a sacrament meeting talk about that topic. Then when Sunday rolls around they call up random missionaries to give talks. Last week was fast and testimony meeting and I was going to tell you all how nice it was not to have to worry about giving a talk… but I didn´t because I thought that might curse me and I would have to speak the next week. Turns out I shouldn't have even thought it.  So Sunday morning Elder Dunn is just convinced that I´m going to speak… but I just brush off that thought because they have been choosing people that can actually speak Spanish…but  I looked over my notes just in case.  Sure enough, President Sullovan gets up to announce who is speaking… and I´m the first one they call… aye yi yi- -  haha I´m sure my face was priceless… you know what...I´m sure that´s the main reason they picked me to speak….  But I gave my first Sacrament Meeting talk in Spanish…   Here´s to new experiences!!!

Honestly one of the highlights of my week (slash entire life!!) was when the British elder in my district told me my British accent was ´superb´
:) :) haha  so even if I leave the MTC not knowing Spanish… I have picked up a British accent!!! Now I can cross that one off the bucket list!! Next goal, go to Hogwarts!

All joking aside, the highlight of my week was a devotional by Elder Holland! I thought Elder Holland was passionate about everything he speaks about, but when he´s speaking about missionary work it is at a whole new level!! He LOVES missionary work and it is so inspiring! We´ve watched a few of his devotionals and every time he will get emotional and say ´because this means everything to me.´ It just really makes me want to be better, to utilize every second of this opportunity I´ve been given!! He urged us to prepare now to tell your children about your mission: how much you loved it, how much you learned, and how hard you worked. This truly is the greatest gift that God could possibly give me at this point in my life. There are people here that I can help that I couldn´t help in any other way at any other time in my life. There are blessings here that I can´t receive at any other time in my life.

For the park we usually get assigned new companions..( for the first few times it was to help us out with our Spanish I think) but this week we got to go with our real companions… which was amazing!! It was great to go and contact with people that we know really well and know how they teach-interact with people!!

That morning our district leader had to end up going to the hospital… (he´s been pretty sick this whole time and no doctors can really figure out what is wrong with him).  So before the park our whole district said a prayer to bless him, but also to bless us to go to the park with the strength-confidence-courage that he would have had. It brought a new light to this work, that we aren´t doing this for ourselves… we aren´t even doing this with our own strength. We are here because the Lord called us to be here and the Lord has provided a way for us to do this work. He bore his testimony that night about the will of the Lord and how if he was meant to come on this mission just so someone else would have a renewed desire to serve than he would accept the will of the Lord…. He has one of the strongest testimonies about the will of the Lord. It´s incredible.
It was Sister Heim´s birthday this week and it was so fun to celebrate!!!! Haha I don´t know what it is… but at least twice a day someone will say the phrase ´I don´t know about you´ and all the missionaries will finish with… ´but I´m feeling 22´ Taylor Swift has effectively penetrated the Madrid MTC… I´m convinced there is no where she hasn´t… haha... anyway we changed the lyrics for Sister Heim´s birthday and said ´but I´m feeling 21!!´

I love the people here!! They are like my family here while Spain is my home! I love the people here, but as much as I love them I know the Lord loves them more… and that´s why I´m here… to let them know how much the Lord loves them and what we can have because he loves us!!!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Constipado (which means stuffy nose!)

So we´re teaching our investigator and in the middle of the lesson he tells us he has to leave for a minute because he is ´constipado´ haha... so my comp and I are just confused as to why in the world he is telling us this…  Now I know what you are all thinking… but turns out ´constipado´means congested- stuffy nose.  Haha  Glad we got that one cleared up.
So on Thursday nights we always have a devotional and because we have access to all the missionary devotionals ever given, President chooses the best ones to show us!!!!  Last Thursday's was by Elder Bednar about the spirit.  It was amazing.  He said that he always gets the question ´how do I know if it is the spirit or just me´. ¨If you are being a good boy-girl, if you are keeping your covenants, if you are always pressing forward, I promise the Lord will direct your path.  Your words will be inspired, your path will be guided, and it mattereth not which way you go.´  Basically what I got out of this devotional is that you don´t have to know it is the spirit guiding you as you are acting, you just have to always be pressing forward and you will be inspired.  It was so good.

So the park… I never realized how beautiful it was!  The other weeks I was kind of preoccupied with the Spanish and the stress of it all I guess… but this week I went into the park with the attitude that everyone needed to hear this message and I have the opportunity to share something that means so much to me.  Also, the Lord wants me to enjoy the beauty of this opportunity while I am sharing this message....and beautiful it is!!!  There are trees everywhere (which is nice because that means there is shade from this insane heat!!!!!) but it kind of makes the park look Sacred Grove-ish… which I thought was very appropriate.

Also there is this rose garden, I don´t know what it is with Spain and their mazes… but mazes of roses and bushes with gazebos and arches.  It is just perfect.  Perfect setting for this beautiful message.  Haha also, this old couple that we were talking to was trying to set us up with their son. They even pulled out a picture of him… it was awkward on too many levels.

I think subconsciously we always are looking for someone that speaks English because we always manage to find at least someone…  So this week we were talking to this guy from New York and even though we could actually talk to him, it wasn´t as natural to testify to him.  Whereas in Spanish… that is all I know how to do, so our conversations always turn to our testimonies.  Which is such a blessing.  It is sometimes hard to see the blessing in not knowing a language, but the ability to testify and bring the spirit is a definite plus.

I met President Jackson this week!!!  He was in the MTC for some reason and we ran into him as we were going to lunch!!  Wooohoo!!!  He is so nice and Sister Jackson is just the cutest and I am so excited!!!  They knew us all by name and told us that they had just barely put our pictures on their missionary board.  This still is not real. :)

My teacher was talking to us this week and said some really inspirational things… ´this is not words, it´s real.´ This gospel is not about fancy words or eloquent speaking, it is about people: how it helps our lives, and who it helps us become.  This gospel is amazing.  And even though I can´t truly express it well in Spanish, I know it is true.  ´when you say ´I can´t. I can´t´  I want to thunder out ´don´t you know who you are? Haven´t you learned that you are a child of God? Don´t you realize the power that is available to you? You can.¨ (President Packer).

Yeah... Well... People here are super good at soccer. It´s incredible.
Love you all!!
Hermana Fowers

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Well... I ate a shark

Sometimes I really wish people wouldn´t tell me what I was eating.... but the rumor is that in honor of the 4th of July we get KFC today!!!! woohooo... HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!   My comp and I are in charge of all the music... so we´re singing all the patriotic songs today and asking all the British missionaries to lead and play the piano!!  The people here are so great!!!

So on Tuesday my district decided to only speak Spanish... all. day. long. haha  woooahhhh boy.  That was quite an adventure!  I really did love it though!!!  We basically are all beginners so it was fun to see how much we really did know and how good we are at charades... :)  Planning lessons in Spanish was probably the hardest part, but hey- we did it!!!!  At about 11 we kind of all got used to only speaking Spanish so we got super talkative and excited about speaking Spanglish (oh, i mean Spanish)... but by dinner time our conversations were dead... and I don´t think anyone said anything :)

So yesterday there was a group of young women that came and toured the MTC.  At the end of the tour all the missionaries sang for them!!!  Ohhhhhh my gosh it was such a spiritual experience.  All my life I´ve looked up to missionaries... and suddenly I am the missionary.  We sang ´We are as the Army of Helaman´ and 'Called to Serve'... and I don´t think I stopped smiling the entire time!!!  At the end all the girls came and gave us hugs as they left and it just made me so determined to learn this language so I can go out and serve the people. ahhhh... AND so there was this 6 year old girl that was a daughter to a leader... and as she was walking out the door she stopped, turned around, looked up at us with a huge smile and gave us a huge wave goodbye.... OH MY GOSH MY HEART MELTED!!!!  I don´t know why I am so lucky.  It is hard, but I am so lucky!!!!

Ok sorry, we have lunch right now... I can have another half hour after lunch. :) until then-
So the rumor was true!!!!!!! We got KFC!!!  I don´t even like KFC and it was so good!!! And it was all decked out for the fouth of July.. .we got ice cream, cookies, hotdogs, the whole works. And to add on to it there were flag center pieces and oh, it was beautiful.  The holiday spirit carries on even in Spain!!!

Ok so this week the park was a little more difficult than past weeks… I don´t know what I was expecting, but I still can´t really understand Spanish. Haha. Go figure. But I really am so surprised by how nice the people are and I´m so confused on why they keep talking to us even though we have no idea what they are saying...but I am so glad they do!!!  On average they repeat things at least three times.. haha…..

On Saturday night my district talked a lot about how we view success (it was kind of slow for all of us) and it was really good to remind ourselves that a lot of the times we are planting seeds. On average, people talk with the missionaries 7 times before they will take the discussions and none of our efforts ever are wasted.  And about Spanish… I was reading in 1 Nephi 3:7 and it took on a new meaning for me. The Lord doesn´t give any commandments that He doesn´t provide a way for THEM to accomplish what he has commanded. The Lord knows what we all can do, he has a destiny for all of us that we can´t even comprehend. He gives us commandments because He knows what will help us become the people he wants us to become. In the plan He has for my life, I am supposed to learn Spanish. And he has already provided a way for that to happen. I just need to do everything I can on my part to learn Spanish, and the Lord will make up for the rest!

I love you all. This work is amazing! I can´t wait to see what is in store!!
Hermana Fowers

OK to answer a few of your questions:
Q- So is Thursday your P-Day every week? 
A - Every Thurday is my pday... I get to go to the temple and email and go on an excursion.  It is beautiful!
Q - We're so glad you're liking the fish!  Daniel says now you will be able to come eat sushi with us when you get home!!!???
A - Fish.... hmmm, there is no way Jose I will be joining on the sushi trips back home... haha this fish is at least cooked... and the shark was a bit much for me. Yuck!  but thanks for the invite :)
Q - Where are your MTC teachers from?  How many MTC teachers do you have?
I have 3 MTC teachers. one is from the USA (served his mission in Russia. married a Spainard), the other two are from Spain- they are both converts and have way cool stories (one served in Madrid, one in the Canary Islands)
Q - How many missionaries are in your room where you sleep?
In my room there are 4 sisters... basically my district.  We sleep on bunkbeds, each have our own closet and share a desk with our companion. ... which we don´t use because we study in our classroom all day. :)