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