Monday, April 28, 2014

MIRACLES!

Ok first things first!!! "A" GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! :) He is my miracle!!!! I know I was in Las Palmas to teach him... :) Okkkkk story time!!
Everything about teaching him was a miracle. We found him through another investigator "L". So she is really busy and hardly ever can see us... but one day in December we felt like we needed to see her...so we randomly called her up and she answered (miracle 1), she could meet with us right then (miracle 2- never happens), and she brought her friend "A" (miracle infinity and four)... So turns out right as we called her she was talking to him about religion and such and so when we called she explained who we were and "A" wanted to meet us. He is the kind of person that likes to learn and get to know other beliefs. 

So we met with them and had one of the most spiritual lessons I´ve had on my whole mission. Very few people understand the significance of the Restoration, but he did! After we told about the First Vision and recited it, all four of us got the goosebumps. No joke, it was an INCREDIBLE LESSON!!!!  He told us later that he was really skeptical coming into our lesson, but that the spirit and the message had completely changed the way he viewed life, that he wanted to be a better person! He loved lesson two... and we started introducing him to the members and he told us that he just felt something different from the members, from the church. That he really liked it. :) Oh man his lessons were always amazing, the spirit was always sooo strong and that is something he learned to cherish right from the start.  He would always tell us that he would come into our lessons tired from work, but after he would feel energized and more motivated! :) We were talking about prayer one day and found out that he didn´t like to ´bother´ God with his prayers.. that he just didn´t want to be a burden... So we taught him about prayer and how God is our literal Father in Heaven and he wants to hear from us. We watched his testimony of prayer grow... we watched him as he began to really pray for the first time in his life- a hesitant prayer, to become confident that he was talking to God. At the end of a lesson once he said one of the best prayers I have ever heard!!! He sincerely and genuinely asked God to answer his questions about the church, that he thought the church was true... he just needed a confirmation.  Oh, he never ceases to amaze me.

So we taught him and watched as his testimony began to grow... his father is very against the church and that was a hard thing for him because he loves his father so much. When I left he was ready to get baptized but he didn´t want to disappoint his father and he wanted to have a stronger testimony. So apparently he went to the priesthood session of conference and apparently there was a talk about being valiant. So German (who was really crucial in his conversion) talked to him after the conference and told him that being baptized would be the valiant thing to do- to live what you believe - even if there were forces opposing him. 

And yesterday he was baptized! :) :):):):):):):):):):):):) No words can express how happy I am.  He is a true convert. and I´m sooo sad I wasn´t there.  The day I left Las Palmas I made German promise me that he would do everything he could to see that "A" was baptized. I knew I was leaving him in good hands and yesterday it happened.
Barrio 6 :) we saw soooo many miracles this week!
So one day we were searching out menos activos and we came across a woman's name.. so we stopped by her house. Turns out she had died four years ago... but her daughter still lives there and was sooo excited to see us!!! Turns out she had taken the discussions 30 years ago but decided not to get baptized... but she was always touched by her mother´s testimony. She has nothing but good feelings towards the church and she told us that it is a miracle that we stopped by to see her. She really needs the gospel in her life right now and she is reallllyyyy prepared!! :) Not only that but she told us that she is never in her piso at that time- like never, every day she is gone, but she was only there because her gas line was getting fixed. God brought us to her and her to us because we both needed that experience. At the end of the lesson we were giving her a hug and she told us that it was incredible that after 30 years, her life has taken a turn back to the gospel... and she felt at home with it :)

The hands of the Lord are in this work. I have no doubt of it... sometimes I think we are just wandering aimlessly these streets.. but these are the children of God. He knows their hearts, he knows who is prepared...He knows where we need to be so we can be instruments in his hands. 
This week was just full of miracles.. in the right place at the right time, sharing the right message, finding the right people.  It has just been an added testimony to me that this is the Lord´s work and it has nothing to do with me, that there will be miracles when the Lord sees fit. But I´m here to work regardless and to do my part to bring the gospel to the people of Spain. The plan and timing of the Lord is perfect.

Quote of the week... from a 15 year old to me ´When I look at you I see a child... but in a grown up body...´   hahahahahaha   If he only knew...
Love you lots!! 
Hna Fowers

Monday, April 21, 2014

La Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Happy Easter one and all!!! Hope the celebrations were grand and I would like to point out that Spain knows how to celebrate!  One complete week of celebrations! One full week... we need to step it up a bit.
So we started out Easter with m&m pancakes... (thank you mom for the m&ms and the Easter chocolate... kind of against our diet but we ate it anyway ;)) :) and we had a wonderful day of Church- investigators came, some random people from the street showed up, just wonderful. Actually there is a story with that. 

So I was in Relief Society (Sacrament is last, Relief Society is first here)... and I decided to sit by someone I didn´t know (which is basically everyone here.. :) but I chose well... the member next to her asked if I could translate the meeting into English for her, so I start talking to her--it is her first time in church and she just decided to come in to see what we believe. :) Awesome!!!  So the meeting starts and I am translating.  (which, sidenote, is a lot more complicated than you would think, because they say something and then you translate, but as you are talking they are still talking- so you have to talk and listen and switch languages all at the same time. haha)  But it actually was really fun, and it just took a bit to get into the groove of all the multitasking. So the meeting was great, the spirit was strong, all went well.  At the end of the meeting I turned and started talking to someone else, and when I turned back around the lady that I had translated for was speaking Spanish to someone. Say what?! haha  I was like, ´Wait, you speak Spanish´... haha ´I just wanted to make sure I was understanding everything´... hahaha funny, funny,  She´s not actually in our area, but we passed off the reference. :)


On Tuesday we got to go to "T"'s sealing!!!! It was so beautiful! Let me tell you a little about "T"... so she is just the cutest member in Las Palmas and I love her to death. So about the same time that Maddie got engaged, "T" got engaged... and all my sisterly excitement about a wedding was poured out on her. haha  It was often the joke that I was more excited for her wedding that she was! So she always would help us with English classes and I would help her plan her wedding. :) fun fun fun, and so even though I´m going to miss TWO WEDDINGS!!!!!!!!!!!! (shout out to NICK and MARCI who just got engaged!!!)... I got to go to the sealing and be a part of one wedding at least! :)  It was incredible, and the spirit was soooooo strong! I am so happy for them!!! :)

Alrighty la obra misional! 
"E"- We have had a few things set up with him and he has failed us a few times... (kind of understandable because he is 16 and it was basically a party week this week)... but there was one day that he called us... we pick up, a little confused, hoping everything is ok... and he said ´Hey... do you have time to meet today?´and just set up his own appointment. :) Great spiritual lesson!!! He really has so much desire... just a typical 16 year old boy!
"A"- So we are visiting this family, the mom and children are members and the dad is just a little hard hearted. He has learned about every church and his beliefs are kind of a compilation of everything.  He has a hard time with the concept of faith. So most times our lessons are us attempting to bring the spirit and him giving us hypothetical situations.... fun.  But we went over this week to have an FHE and the lesson started out fine- scriptures, testimonies... but it was just the same old, same old... and then the wife bears this amazing testimony that completely changed the course of the lesson. She just kind of called him out for having a hard heart ´we have 3 living beautiful children. Our daughter was cured from bone cancer... What more miracles do you want. Our life is a miracle. What more do you want´... man oh man the spirit was soooo strong... and his attitude changed. He started listening to us... it was incredible. The power of a testimony! :)
And the weekly update of my street stories: :)
-So there is this older Spanish lady waiting for the bus who was holding a big potted flower.  So I sit down next to her and comment on how I like her flower... :) and she just went on and on about this flower and I was just nodding and smiling... and then she was like, you know what I´ll give you a branch and you can grow your own plant too... ´Umm, no I´m ok...´ ´no really.... here´and she rips off a whole branch of her flower and hands it to me... ´ummm thanks...´ and then she proceeds to tell me all the steps I need to take to grow it.  Then we moved into the conversation about the temple gardens... and the temple... and the gospel. :)
-To some it is fascinating that we speak English... so we were talking to this guy and he wanted to practice his English.. He asked us ´do you like futball?´... ´ummm yeah sure´.... ´or do you prefer to dance´and right after he said this he broke into this intricate Spanish dance step (like Flamanco style), ending with a clap and everything... ´hahahaha  Yeah we love futball, we just love it so much´.... we are soooo awkward.
-We were leaving the chapel from a lesson and found two men standing looking up at the temple... so we stop and start talking to them. They had come just to see the temple. Awesome. We´re thinking it is this big miracle as we start to give a temple tour. haha  Well turns out they are very, very Athiest and kind of just wanted to argue.  Wow it was just an adventure...It is sad when people don´t recognize what Christ did for them and what we can become through Christ. 
I was thinking about that a lot due to the fact that it is Easter and all, and I am just really grateful for the Atonement and for the mercy of God that we can return back to his presence because of what Christ did for us. I will always ´Stand all amazed´. It makes all the difference to be completely focused on Christ during the Easter Season. I loved it!
Also "A" (from Las Palmas) is getting baptized this week! :) He is my miracle story and I´m soooo happy for him!!! :)
Well I love life and hope you all do too!!  Love you lots!



Monday, April 14, 2014

The Finger Wag

So it has suddenly turned to summer... haha  I don´t really know what happened to the concept of spring, but there was a very distinguishable leap from winter to summer and I definitely got sunburned. :) Oh the joys of being outside.  Also I kind of feel a little like Pocohantas because there are a lot of little tree leaves that have fallen and when the wind blows there are big sections of flower petals and leaves swirling in the wind.... I´m working on a song to contact people to the tune of ´Paint with all the colors of the wind´ ... got to keep Disney in my life somehow. :)

Well basically if I were to sum up our week in one sentence it would be:  we were in the streets contacting.... :) fun fun fun... you do get to meet quite a few interesting people...
-"P" for instance.  She was really nice. She actually let us teach her all of Lesson 2... quite the accomplishment. After quite a while talking at the bus stop we asked her if we could pray together before we left and is there anything in particular we should ask for.... She said we could ask for her health...and the health for her family... and the health for the whole world while we are at it´...

-There was this really sweet lady whose son (who was a Mormon) died a while ago and she really was so grateful to talk about the Mormon church because she saw the good it did in his life. We had a really great lesson with her about eternal families and she is really ready to hear the gospel.  Unfortunately she doesn´t live in our area.. So other awesome missionaries get to teach her! :)

-The best is what we have come to call the ´finger wag´.... so generally when people wave their finger at you  (you know, in like the ´you did something wrong´ way) they extend their pointer finger and wave and shake their whole hand... but in Spain... they extend their pointer finger and only the finger moves side to side as the hand stays in place... haha and when two missionaries approach,  it is very probable that they will receive this signal.


So I have officially become the English teacher here! :) Kind of fun, I get to write on a chalkboard, which takes me back a while. 


We got stuck in quite the rainstorm this week! :) haha so just imagine this... we are on a bus and the weather is just fine... then out of the blue it just starts downpouring. we look at each other and just start laughing. haha  Due to the hot weather we were in very summery clothes, but don´t you fear I had my handy umbrella... so we get to our stop, get out of the bus (and as I´m opening my umbrella I don´t watch where I step) and I step in a huge puddle. haha  So shoes are soaked, socks are soaked, (my umbrella really isn´t meant for 2 people) so half of each of our bodies are soaked. hahahaha  I haven´t laughed that hard in a long time.  It was hilarious... until the sun went down and it got cold.... haha then we stopped laughing ;) but it is funny because when it rains people just gather in the doorways of stores and wait for it to pass... :) Makes it easier for us... they're all in one place :)  Fun times.


We did do some good deeds this week... we were waiting for a lesson and noticed a lady enter the temple and then come back out and then walk up and down the street, looking a little lost. Well we approached her and asked her if we could help... well they had come from out of town to go to the temple and were trying to make the 12 o´clock session (in 15 min), but she had forgotten the money for the clothes and her husband was trying to find parking... so it seemed like they were going to miss the session... so we were able to help her get to her session on time, something that she had come a long way to do! :) I felt happy that we were there to help her out.  The Lord knows where he wants us.


Well yeah. lots of funny moments. lots of laughs, lots of time on the street.  If anyone has a really good idea of finding new investigators I would absolutely love to hear your ideas! :)
Love you lots!!!!!

Hna Fowers

Tomorrow we are going to a sealing of one of my best friends from the islands!! :)  Woohooo my reward for missing two sibling weddings !  :) haha


Monday, April 7, 2014

Welcome to Temple Square

I don´t think words can adequately describe how much I love the temple.. after 6 months of not even seeing the temple... now I live the next street over, have the most amazing view of it, and pass it on our way out to work and on our way home every day... talk about keeping the main goal in perspective!  So along with having the temple in our area we get temple tours!!! :) SO my first day here a man who works for the church called us and told us that he was bringing four of his friends to see the temple and wanted to have a temple tour! Okey dokey!! :) I firmly believe that it is the best way to introduce the gospel... you get to see the beautiful temple, feel the spirit, and hear some of our beliefs!

So temple tours go something like this:
-We start out briefly explaining the Restoration of the church. How the true church of Jesus Christ was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith
-Then we go to the statue of the family with the inscription  ´Families can be Together Forever´... we talk about eternal families!!!
-Then we go to the olive tree (that they brought over from Jerusalem :) pretty legit... and talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how through him we can be clean and return back to God
- Then we go to the cornerstone and tell how a prophet of God dedicated the building (Gordon B Hinckley) and how we believe in modern day prophets
-Then we go to the entrance of the temple ¨House of the Lord´ and talk about what is the temple for us.
-Then sometimes we can even go into the front waiting room. That is my favorite part... because you can feel the spirit super strong! There we bear testimony of Jesus Christ! :) and answer any questions they have. We end with a prayer... get their number ;) and go on our way! 
It is incredible!!! :) I love love love it!!! We´ve done it a few times this week... and I loved every one... even the one in the pouring rain. haha

So we have this new investigator (well for me everyone is new..  but he is new, new). So his name is "E" and he has truly been prepared to hear the gospel. He is a friend of a recent convert and his friend invited him for a temple tour (I LOVE THE TEMPLE). so we gave him the tour and then went and showed him the baptismal font in the stake center! He loved it and asked us what kinds of things he needed to do to get baptized... :) He really wanted to watch the Joseph Smith movie (because his friend had told him all about  it).. so our next lesson we watched it with him... He had read a chapter of the Book of Mormon that we left him and had amazing questions.  We watched the movie and he was really touched. He told us he believes that it is true... that the first vision really happened and that our church is true. Man oh man, you should have seen how eager he was to learn!!! It was incredible!!! He LOVES that we have a modern day prophet (perfect timing for conference) and at the end of our lesson he set up our next lesson. He is so excited and it makes me sooo excited!!
It is just another testimony that God is preparing His children!! There are people ready and we have the truth, we just have to go out and preach it. :) and we have the temple which is a great too!!! :)
I love conference! and I love how everyone gathers to temple square to have an all day spiritual party!!! :) Also!!!!! People from Legan├ęs came for the conference and I was able to see them!!!! OHH IT WAS SOOOO GREAT!!!! to see "C"!! who is strong in the gospel and is a ward missionary!!! To see members that I love so much!!  The weirdest part was that I actually understood what they were saying... haha and could talk to them. I was just so used to not understanding them that it took me off guard at first. Love them!! :)

So I definitely saw a man walking a pet ferret on a leash.

I love it here, it is so beautiful and it is beginning to be spring!! (a LOT colder than Las Palmas... had to break out the jacket and the tights... haha).  It is definitely different that Las Palmas... we were teaching a lot more in the islands, and here we are finding and contacting a lot more... so we are in the streets a lot. But all is good! The church is true and Madrid is beautiful! :)
Sending lots of love!!
Hna Fowers

Look at that view of the temple. . . it is BEAUTIFUL!!! :)