Monday, March 31, 2014

"P" got baptized and I'm back in Madrid

Ppphhheeeewwwww what a week. "P" GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! :) and I got transferred.... pretty much broke my heart to leave Las Palmas... like my heart has been thrown on the floor and stomped on a little... but now I am in Madrid...I love Madrid!  We also are in the area of the temple so I´m sooooo excited about that! We actually have a pretty legit view of the temple from our piso... we live on the next street over!

Well well well where to start. I´m going to start with "P" :) He got baptized! I would like to share his whole story. 
So Hna Smith and I found him the first day of our companionship and he was baptized on the last day of our companionship! :) We were teaching his brother and that´s how we found him. He loves the Bible, loves the word of God, it really was a blessing to teach him. So we extended a baptismal date at first and he was all for it... not so sure if he really understood what we meant. So we keep teaching him and bring up his baptism a little later and he told us that he was already baptized in the Catholic church and in the Evangelical church and he didn´t need to get baptized a third time. So we kept working with him... we tried to explain baptism in every way we could think of... we explained Priesthood authority I don´t even know how many times. It got to the point that we didn´t really know what to do. We really could see the potential he had, but he wasn´t progressing.  We decided to teach the Plan of Salvation and explain our purpose here.. we didn´t get very far in the lesson before we realized that we were supposed to teach something else. We had an amazing lesson on the gift of the Holy Ghost. We taught about the blessings that we receive, the power and comfort we can feel, and how baptism isn´t complete without the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In this lesson he completely changed his demeanor. He really understood everything we have been teaching him and he then had a desire to be baptized AND receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. He really changed his life around after that. We could see it in his face, he was happier, he was feeling the spirit. He started reading the scriptures consistently, he started praying more earnestly. It was incredible to watch. He was still smoking and we were worried that that would be a problem... poco a poco he was cutting down but he still had 3 every day for about a week and he wasn´t giving those up. Then we had a lesson about the Atonement and how Jesus Christ can help us. He quit after that, he hasn´t smoked since and yesterday he was baptized with someone who holds the Priesthood authority of God! It was amazing! :)

Well yeah Saturday night I got the transfer call... Hna Smith is staying in Las Palmas and I´m heading to Madrid.  Bore my testimony and looked out at my ward that I LOVE SO MUCH. Seriously a part of my heart will always be in Las Palmas with the faithful members who I love so much, who have taught me so much, and who have changed my life for the better!  It was fun on the plane to go through and read the notes that the members and investigators gave me.  OH MAN I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!

So the baptismal service was awesome! "P" has had a rough life, but when he emerged in white I couldn´t help but smile. Everyone has that potential.. to be so clean and pure!  Oh man right after he emerged out of the water he looked over at us and gave us a HUGE smile. It was so cute! So then we were waiting in the chapel singing songs and I think it finally hit me that I was leaving and I don´t know what happened and I am still really embarrassed... haha but I just started crying! "A" who was sitting right next to me, leaned over and said ´Hna Fowers´ ´yeah´ ´I´m going to get baptized. and when I do. I´m sending you the pictures´ :) good kid, good kid... had to smile through the tears.

Also we said goodbye to "F"... tough, tough... but he thanked us for everything. Apparently before we found him he was really sad and didn´t really believe that God would answer his prayers. When we started teaching him he changed his life around, started to be happy again and regained that faith that God can answer prayers. As I was leaving he turned to me and said. ´I promise you I´ll get baptized... I just want to feel ready, but I promise.´ (we have an inside joke about pinkie promises... I´ve tried to get him to pinkie promise me sooooo many times, and he always just laughs at me....) but after he said that I stuck out my pinkie promise and instead of laughing it away, he pinkie promised me!:) haha  Such a little thing but it made me soooo happy!!! :) So many people getting ready to be baptized. I guess I just wasn´t meant to be there to watch it happen. :) God knows best.

As I was on the airplane this morning I was looking out the window... I watched as the shore approached and I thought about my time in Las Palmas. I thought about all the people, all the adventures. I was sad as the shore passed out of my view... but I looked ahead. It was dark and all I could see was the ocean, but then I watched as the sun began to rise. All across the horizon there was a beautiful line of color- bright orange and pink. It was so beautiful. I watched the sunrise. I thought about how the sun has set on my time in Las Palmas...but with a sunset comes a sunrise and the sun has risen on my time here in Barrio 6! :) I´m excited, I look forward to the people I´m going to meet here and the friendships I´ll make forever!
We´re going to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people here!!!! :)  I really am excited. Change is hard, but I´m ready to find and love the people here and build those eternal friendships here just like in Las Palmas.:)

Sending my love from Madrid. :) I stepped off the plane and heard the theta and they are speaking to us in vosotros... I am definitely back in Madrid! :)
Hna Fowers

Monday, March 24, 2014

Yeah we can paint!

Well we got a call this week from a member asking us if we wanted to help paint a house. Why yes we do!!!!!! :) I´ve always wished someone would ask us to do that...mainly because mom never let me paint ;) It finally happened!! So we arrived with our bag full of painting clothes and big smiles on our faces. Man oh man it was a blast. Giving service, climbing ladders, talking to some awesome members, and listening to the Spanish music that was blasting from downstairs. Big fan, Big fan.  At the end she was really sweet (she´s been less active for a while) and she really expressed her desire to know for herself that this is true and have a desire to gain a testimony and come to church.  It was a really awesome experience to help her around her house but also give her the spiritual support she needed!!

So everyone here loves futball... and when there is a big futball game everyone goes to the bars and watches the games there. So last night it was Madrid playing Barcelona.  We always knew when something big happened.. because we would be walking in the street and the whole city erupted in cheers... haha. except we asked someone today... and Barcelona won.  What a pity.

Oh man we went to the most spiritual baptism this week!! It really was incredible... The spirit was really tangible and soooo powerful. So it was a baptism for someone who has been waiting to be baptized for a while. You could really see the power of the Atonement in his eyes, and his story is incredible. I know that repentance is real, there is hope for each and every one of us because Jesus Christ is our Savior. You could feel the power of that hope as he walked into that font and was baptized. It was different because you could tell that he was truly converted, he has a determination to endure to the end and there is no doubt in my mind that he will. This week I´ve learned a lot about true conversions..we are moving forward the work of Salvation- and their need to be conversions not just baptisms. Our Mission President focuses a lot on the temple and how he wants to see eternal families... and really that is the goal for us all to be truly converted and endure to the end. There is a quote by Elder Holland... something like ´There is nothing in our church that is aimed for the Telestial or Terrestial kingdom... for us it is a Celestial goal every step of the way´. Through the gospel and through Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to return back to God and live in the Celestial kingdom. Anyway I´ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and how a lot of our investigators are in the process being converted- and even though sometimes it takes some time... they need that time and those answers from God to be converted.

We had a really awesome lesson with "A"... who is on the way to gaining a testimony to being converted.  He told us that he thinks the church is true... but he still doesn´t have the testimony that he wants before he is baptized. We testified of prayer and how he can receive the testimony he wants from God. Then at the end of the lesson he prayed... just a month ago didn´t like to pray, said the most sincere prayer I have ever heard. He thanked God for the knowledge he has already received and humbly and sincerely asked God if this was true. Man oh man. He finished and it was silent. then German stood up and gave "A" the biggest hug I´ve ever seen. haha and  I wanted to also! It was incredible.

"P" has stopped smoking!!!! :) We´ve really seen a big change in him also!  That has really been the biggest lesson that I´ve learned over the last few weeks, that people can change. That the power of the Atonement is real, and when people choose to come unto Christ- they can experience all the happiness and blessings that God has to offer. God wants his children to come back to Him, He wants true conversions and people who will endure faithful to the end.

Other than that this week was pretty typical.  In FHE we threw paper balls at people... and we made a cardboard lifesize armor of god. haha It was pretty legit, not going to lie... I make a pretty good cardboard sword. :)

Sending my love from the Canaries! :)
Hna Fowers

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bet you didn't eat in an Irish Tavern

Happy St. Patrick´s Day!!! :)
Let me tell you how we celebrated!! :) Well we ate lunch at an Irish tavern (yes, the owner was from Ireland so we got to hear an authentic accent)...and decided to spend the day surrounded by greenery.  We hiked up a beautiful island mountain complete with cactus, palm trees, and pine trees and finished it off with one of the most green lakes I´ve ever seen! God sure does know how to create a beautiful green St. Patrick´s day view.  Woohoo.  Hope you are all wearing green!

Well I´m just going to tell you a few cool experiences that happened this week...
So one morning we had a lesson a little earlier than usual so we left our piso a little early and it turned out that we were exactly where we needed to be. So as we were leaving our piso I grabbed a bunch of pamphlets and we ran to the bus stop to catch our bus. So we´re waiting and this man sees the Restoration pamphlet in my hand (the cover is a picture of Christ) and he asks to see it.... haha so I hand it right over. He flips through it and then we start to introduce ourselves and our message. He´s fascinated... it´s great! So turns out we needed the same bus, so we continue our conversation on the bus and begin to explain the Restoration of the Gospel. Well turns out that the bus was really crowded so we´re surrounded by a bunch of people. At one point in our explanation this lady cuts in and asks what our beliefs are about life after death... so then I start talking to her about the Plan of Salvation, my comp is still talking to the other guy about the Restoration. Man it was golden!  Well as it turns out the lady that I was talking to...her son had died 2 years ago that day... so I´m explaining about eternal families... and another lady joins the conversation and is really interested as well!!! Well it was absolutely amazing and now we have 3 new investigators that the Lord has prepared and placed in our paths! :) Lovely!

Things are going great- we physically took "P"s cigarettes... rationed them out for him... and he is quiting smoking.  We had a little fuerte lesson with him... he wants to be baptized and now he just needs to do the steps required to be ready! :)

"F" ... man he has gone through a lot in his life... I feel like we have grown with him as well over the last few months. Sometimes I feel like I really am here to learn from the people we teach rather than teach them. But really I have learned so much from him and I truly feel like I am a better person just seeing his humility, patience, and trust in the Lord.  We had a lesson this week and he stopped us in the middle of the lesson and just basically told us that he believes everything, he agrees with everything from the church and he is ready to be baptized..  He just wants to know for himself that the prophet is a prophet. He has complete and utter trust in the Lord that he will get an answer.  It is really rather incredible... and he is also so patient.  So we talked a lot about fasting... if we do our part and earnestly seek for an answer the Lord is bound to bless us.  The Lord has a perfect timing for all of his children and the answers will come when we are ready to receive them but when we put forth all of our effort and put it in the Lord´s hands for the rest then the blessings will come. ¨I the Lord am bound when you do what I say´...  Well this week we are fasting with him. we have put pictures of President Monson all over his piso so he can think and ponder and listen for his answer! :)

Well everyone is doing well here on our pretty little island!

Well I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick´s Day full of green, leprechauns, gold, and chocolate! :)
Love you lots!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Miracles, Miracles, I love Miracles

Ok ok ok week of miracles right here! Loved loved loved it.
So "P" :) He´s the one that has been baptized 2 other times and didn´t want to get baptized again, and didn´t really understand the importance of it. So we have had like a ton of lessons on authority and baptism... and it didn´t really help. But this week was incredible! We saw a complete 180 change! So we were teaching a lesson with the Dos Santos (two members that really are like saints. Soooo legit!!) and we started teaching the Plan of Salvation again... but we didn´t get very far before we realized that´s not really what he needed to hear.  So then we start talking about the gift of the Holy Ghost.  How after we are baptized we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to always be with us. Man, let me tell you... the spirit was there! That is really what he needed to hear and he finally understood the importance. He accepted the challenge to be baptized and he decided on a day this month! :) Ohhhh man suchhhh a great feeling. . . We asked him how he felt.... He was smiling and said ´full... full of happiness... just full´ :)  Sooooo awesome!! :)

Then on Sunday Hermano Dos Santos was giving a talk in church, he mentions this experience... then he introduces him to the ward so then after the meeting "P" comes up to us alllllll smiles!! haha He loved the attention. He told us seeing the whole ward looking at him smiling made him feel like he was more part of the ward and he is ready to be baptized!! :) Oh but you should have seen him, he was sooo happy and his whole face looked different because he was smiling so much! :) Love love love it! Now we´re just working on the smoking...

"J" day this week I was calling some people and called him up to remind him to read the scriptures. Well I started to remind him... ´Yeah yeah yeah Hna Fowers... I´m reading right now. Did you know that Nephi builds a boat?´ haha.. yes!!!  Best response yet.  Well we started teaching him the Plan of Salvation and he got out a piece of paper...(side note... it was right before English class, the paper was from his English folder, and he gets side tracked really easily)... so we thought he was going to ask us a question about English (uhhhh)... but then he begins to write the Plan of Salvation at the top of the page and began to take notes about what we were teaching and how he can apply it.....(ohhhhh....:))  It was really cool. Really kind of awesome that there are people ready to hear and apply what we have to teach them! :) So we are explaining the Celestial Kingdom... and he turns to us and tells us he wants to be baptized! :) Well alrighty then! :)  We´re working on the smoking with him too... but dang he has the desire!

"F" is probably the most patient person in the world and is teaching me lots! He is continually telling us that he knows that God will answer his prayers, that He always has and always will, but it has to be in his timing! We watched the biography about the prophet and watched several talks. . . he says, his answer will come. We have to do our part and study our questions and pray to God but we also have to have the faith that God does answer prayers and for us that God will answer his.

Fun story... we get a call from "F" this week... I answer and he is like yelling and sounds a little angry... Ahhh I was a little nervous (´what did we do?´) haha ...but turns out that he had just found out that he got a job.... after 2 years of searching. and he was ecstatic!!! :) ´God is wonderful, God is wonderful. God answered my prayers. I knew he would, I told you He would answer my prayers!´ That is probably one of the happiest phone calls I´ve ever had!! I was so glad he called us!!

We saw the happiest baby I´ve ever seen yesterday on the bus. He was all smiles and would laugh at everything. I kid you not, he would look over at us, even if we weren´t making a face... he would burst out in laughter. hahaha   It was sooo cute!

We had a lunch appointment this week and I picked kind of an unlucky seat... haha everything that could happen did.... Someone was reaching over me to grab some meat... haha and she ended up dropping the meat in my water splashing all over the table.  Then there was a baby (freaking adorable) playing with a water cup.. and dumped the whole glass on me haha shirt, skirt, everything. Then as we were clearing the table all the knives fell over and landed in my lap. hahaha man it was a pretty great lunch.

What else... we´re finding a lot of really great people! Life is awesome here!! Drag queen day of Carnaval was this week... Luckily we weren´t caught in the middle of it...and I think that is all for this week!!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK´S DAY!! :) Love you all!!! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dang you Carnaval...

Well, well, well... where to start.. things are great! We survived Carnaval... just barely!

So "F" is doing well, we´ve been talking a lot about the prophets and the scriptures, and he is praying and waiting for his answer! :) One day really soon there will be a picture in white...

"P"- we´ve really been focusing on the scriptures with him, and he has started reading regularly. We taught him a story from the Book of Mormon about the Anti-Nephi Lehites burying their weapons and applied it to stopping smoking. He absolutely loved the story and the picture. In fact he took a photo of the picture and it is now the background of his phone. Also we had a member in a lesson when we talked about smoking, and this member just bears such strong  testimony about quitting smoking and about he did it and threw his cigarettes off the 13th floor of a building when he heard about the Word of Wisdom. Dang, it was powerful.  My comp and I just look at each other and nod our heads... he was a pretty great choice for a member present. :)

"E" - He is awesome and has a lot of really interesting and good questions! He told us at the beginning that he really doesn´t have any interest going to church... but we´ve been working on that! :) This week he related us to saleswomen... and says we´re doing our ´selling´ well because he wants to come to church and in his prayer he even asked for the ability to come to church!!! :) Sooooo cute!  He didn´t end up coming... but I´m going to blame Carnaval!
So we had a mission tour this week!!! So the Area 70 for Europe came and spoke to us! In addition to this... all the island missionaries were ferried into our island for the conference... and I got to see Hna Christian!!!!!! (One of her trainers)  Wooohoooo love that lady!  It was pretty fun!!! and super inspiring!!! :) He talked a lot about our investigators really understanding what we are teaching them... not just knowing the doctrine, but when they understand they are ready and willing to apply it. In order for us to teach so they can understand, we really need to work on learning and making sure our studies in the morning are top notch. When we´re filled with the spirit our investigators can learn by the spirit. He really emphasized improvement... ´The Lord is not concerned about the quantity, but about the difference!´

So that was really spiritual... and THEN Las Palmas had their big Carnaval parade.  So let me explain, the whole island dresses up and there is a parade (down our street, thank you for asking) with 120 floats and everyone just picks a float and dances and drinks and sings and parties.  Man oh man oh man. It is crazinesss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So Saturday was the day of the big parade!!! :) At about 5 we started seeing everyone dressed up and the buses are fillled with people!! :) Everything from hot dogs, to princesses, to warriors, to medieval, to well basically anything you can imagine! There happened to be a baptism in the church during this time, so that was a good distraction!

But, man oh man, coming home for the night. . . so it was for our street so we tried to avoid it as much as we could, but we ended up in the middle of the party for a few minutes! Las Palmas knows how to party and it was everyone out partying! 
Well we locked ourselves in and could still hear the music perfectly because it was sooooo loud!! Our whole building was shaking. Luckily we were towards the beginning of the parade and the last one passed at around 10:30.. . so we could sleep!
Quite the party.  Way to go Las Palmas! :)
Have a great week!!