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!