Monday, November 24, 2014

Carpe Diem

I love being a missionary. To be a missionary during this time is one of the greatest blessings we could have. We have such a great opportunity to know about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In no other time in history has knowledge like this been available to so many people. I cannot describe how grateful I am to have had it in my life. It is one of the greatest blessings I have, and I have seen it bless so many other lives. I love this work, and I am so grateful I have this opportunity to serve. 

Thanksgiving. Not a thing in Spain, but we as a zone have decided to celebrate it. We are getting together tomorrow to have a big meal and eat as much as we can.  But really, we do have so much to be grateful for in our lives. We get to be in SPAIN. And in Alicante of all places. It is amazing here. 

This last week was great, but it was also difficult in the sense that we lost one of our really good investigators. Antonio, with whom we had a baptismal date, doesn't live in our area or in our ward boundaries, so we gave him to the Elders of the other ward. Tekki, who was going to be baptized last week, was unable to because of problems with her parents. Her baptism has been postponed indefinitely. Which is tough, but I know that after the trials come the blessings. Because this week we set two new baptismal dates with two incredibly prepared investigators, Rosa and Henry. They are AWESOME!!!! Rosa is the daughter of a recent convert named Mina. She, at the beginning of our time teaching them, stuck to the back of the lesson, and generally didn't participate. But now, when we decided to try and start to work with her specifically, she really has turned into a golden investigator. We are so lucky to have her, because she has Mina supporting her, and has a lot of faith. She is from Bulgaria, and has a lot of desires to do what is right. I can't wait to see how she progresses.

Henry is a reference from a member and is the single most prepared person for baptism on the face of the earth. We started talking to him, and he has already been coming to institute at the church for a while now, and loves coming to church. He told us that there, he can feel peace. He also said he loved how no one compels him to be at the chapel, but he feels like he should go. He is awesome. He committed to baptism in the first lesson, and we are definitely going to see miracles with him.

Our mission this last week had the privilege of hearing from Elder Kearon, one of the seventy. While he was here, he talked a lot about how we need to be taking advantage of our lives. How we need to utilize every moment of our missions because we have so little time. And it is so true! How many times a day do we just sit and let moments pass us by? We could be out working miracles in the lives of others, but sometimes we choose to do the easy thing and let opportunities pass us by. We need to 'CARPE DIEM' or 'Seize the Day'. Every day, we need to decide for ourselves that we are going to make this day an effective day, that we are going to take advantage of every moment so that we can progress. Time is so valuable, in fact, I think it is the most valuable resource that we waste. What we need to do is DO! Do something, don't hesitate because you feel too tired or you'll just do it later. If you don't do it now, you never will. I needed that. I know that too often I have let too many moments pass by without utilizing them to the best of my ability. That's also not to say that we need to be going 100 percent all of the time. We need breaks. We need to take a step back and make sure that we aren't burning out. I guess my point is is that we need to be the best we can be. That's what the Gospel is all about. being the best we can be through Christ. And I know that's what he wants for us. He wants us to become perfect, and we can show that we are willing to follow him by trying everyday. While Elder Kearon was here, I had the opportunity to be chosen to have an interview with him. He is an incredible person. When I am older, I want to have that sort of presence. He is really, an incredible person. I learned a lot from him as well. He taught me the importance of how we start our days. If we surrender the morning to the snooze button, we have already lost our first battle of the day. Paraphrase, but that's what one of his key messages was. It was a very amazing experience, and I feel very blessed to have been a part of it. 

I love this Gospel. It is one of the things in my life that can ALWAYS bring me happiness. I cannot even describe to you how much I have been able to learn from this opportunity. I have grown to love the scriptures. They are such a source of power, and combined with prayer, they can and will carry us through trials. God knows us. He knows us individually and knows our infinite worth and divine potential. At times, it may not seem that way. It may seem that we have not worth, and that basically, we are stunted in our progress. But I know that He sees us in a way that we cannot. He sees us for what we can be, the finished product, and that is why he will NEVER give up on us, even when we do.  

I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your love, support and prayers. I cannot describe how grateful I am for this experience. It is one that has and will continue to change my life. Anyone who is considering a mission, it is amazing. I would suggest it to anyone who has the desire because it will make you a better person and will make you come closer to our Savior.


Elder Weenig

There is somewhat of an fantastic story behind this picture. This is President and Hermana Deere, and the rest of my travel group from the MTC. Funny story. Getting here, we all took a picture at the airport. We were all really happy about it until we noticed one thing: every single one of our cameras had taken a blurry picture. We were all pretty sad, but fortunately, when we all went in to Fuengirola to get Spanish residency, it was President Deere's birthday. We all went out to Subway, and decided to take advantage of the situation and re enact our coming into the airport. The background looks nothing like an airport. And that would be correct. We are in a mall, standing in front of a screen that has a soccer game going on. But hey. We got the picture :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Alicante is Amazing

This week has been very busy. We have been praying, fasting, and working our hardest to make miracles. It's sometimes a little discouraging when things don't work out the way that you want them to, but one thing that I've learned is that we need to keep going, even though it is difficult. 

I have an awesome companion. Elder Sharp and I get along really well, and I am learning a lot from him. We have worked hard this week to apply a new method of teaching President Deere taught us. We both realized that we rely on the 'talk and tell' method of teaching, which is easier.  We are trying out President Deere's method, the method of observing, listening, discerning, and then teaching which really makes a difference.  We have been able to see the difference in how our investigators respond to how we teach. 

Last week, we had the opportunity to teach with President Deere. It was awesome! We met in our chapel and taught a recent convert and one of our investigators. He taught us to really listen to our investigators and to cater the lesson to their needs. It was a very cool experience. 

Another really cool experience that we had happened in a fruit stand. We walked in and while we were waiting in line, a man asked us if he could talk to us about our religion really quickly because he had seen missionaries like us before. His name is Jaime, and he is very spiritual, and has an amazing relationship with God.  We returned the next day and met his wife, Diana. They both said that they had seen us walk by, and had thought it was a normal for there to be a dark haired companion with a blonde one. They are from Columbia, and they had seen missionaries who apparently look just like us, one with dark hair and the other blonde. We gave them a Book of Mormon and are meeting with them tomorrow, so we are very hopeful that we will be able to teach them more about our church. 

I'm also learning to love seafood, which I would never eat before my mission.  I was on intercambios (exchanges) with my zone leader, and we were visiting this lady to give her a blessing.  We walked into her house and smell of seafood just about caused me to fall over dead. To top things off, she walks in with a fish, cooked, with the head, tail, scales, bones, and all the sweet, sweet goodness of fishiness. Plus, guess what the side dish was? Tomato. My literally least favorite (or used to be, they eat it lots in Spain so I definitely will like it when I come back) vegetable. Yay.  I prayed the entire meal. 

We are working very, very hard. Harder than I have worked in my entire life. It's very difficult being a missionary, but I know that it is very much worth it. We may have to go through a lot of trials, pains, and setbacks before we reach our end goal, but I know that God does prepare a way. It may seem impossible while we are passing through it, but I know that with Him we can do all things. One thing that has been testified to me this past week is that after the trial of our faith come the blessings, and that includes physical, mental, and spiritual. If we are fighting through a problem in our testimony, we only receive a testimony after we have prayed and tried to gain the testimony for ourselves. God answers prayers and is in the details of our lives. 

I love you all, Thank you all for your love and support!

Elder Weenig

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Love Being a Missionary

I love being a missionary. I really, really do. I can´t even express how grateful I am for this opportunity. Every day we get the chance to just go out and talk to people, to tell them about how willing we are to help them through the gospel to improve their lives and we can see it in people´s lives. Spain is amazing. The culture, people and everything here is amazing.

Today, my companion and I made Paella and tortilla de patatas. AMAZING. This food isn´t like anything that I´ve ever tasted, but I love it. Paella is rice, with other ingredients added, generally seafood in Alicante. Alicante actually has hundreds of different distinct forms of Paella. It´s incredible. An awesome member showed us how to make it, as well as tortilla de patatas. Tortilla de patatas is a Spanish tortilla, and is not your regular tortilla that you envision. It is about an inch thick, and is made from eggs and potatoes. It´s something I want to make for the rest of my life.

This past week has been pretty busy. We have a baptism this Saturday, whose name is Tekki. She´s great, she´s ten years old, and has a lot of desire to get baptized. She´s also incredibly smart, she really understood what we taught her, and knows how to apply it in real life, which is more than I would be able to do at ten years old.

This gospel that we are involved in is amazing. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to be able to a part of this work, because it is literally the best thing that we can do with our lives.

My companion and I are setting up a game plan to make our area grow in a huge way, and we are really excited. We just had interviews with our mission president, who has given us a lot of great ideas on how we can make it grow. We have the opportunity tonight to have President Deere come with us to some appointments that we have with investigators, so he will be giving us a lot of pointers, and I am really excited to see how we can make this area grow and bring lots of God´s children to him.

I love this work. I can personally testify that God is in the details of our lives and that he really wants us to return to live with him and to be happy. I know that by living the Gospel, we can be happy, even though it will be difficult. I know that God will work miracles in our lives, if we only ask. He wants to give us blessings, and will give it to us, if all we do is ask and give him our all and what we do is not a huge part. He just asks us to do our best and when we do, he will provide the way for the rest of everything to come about. 

I love you all so much. I can´t tell you how grateful I am to be out on a mission, and I thank you for your love and support, it really means a lot to me. 


Elder Weenig

Monday, November 3, 2014

First Transfer

Wow. The weeks fly by out here. We say a lot that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I LOVE being a missionary. Everyday we get to go out and teach the people about how to be happy. How cool is that? We get to constantly try to help people. I love it.

This last week, Elder Flint finished his mission! I´m really proud of him, he was a great missionary and I´m sure that he will keep doing great things when he gets home. My new companion is Elder Sharp, who is a rockstar. He has been out in the mission for about a year and eight months.We have set a goal to work as hard as we can to try and work miracles here in Alicante. We know that the Lord works as hard as we do, so we have set goals to follow the schedule as closely as we can. 

This last week was tough with our investigators. For one reason or another, they couldn´t meet, or weren´t home when we got there. But the best part about it is, is that after difficulties and trials come the blessings! All we can do is consistently do the best that we can, and try and persevere even through extreme difficulty. 

One thing that I have felt in my life more than anything these past few weeks on the mission is the gift of tongues. I have such a testimony of that now. I prayed throughout the MTC and my whole time here to have the ability to speak the language enough to communicate, and I have seen the results. God really does care about us and will help us if we ask in faith. This is what started our church, someone asking for help from God. That is what is different about our religion. We believe in God´s continuing relationship with His children. He is the one that is going to help us in our times of need and the one who is going to always be there when we need help. All we have to do is ask in faith. Just ASK, it is all He wants from us and then he will make up the difference. I know that we are going to need that in order to bring souls to Christ here in Alicante. We really do need him every second, every minute of every hour of every day. We cannot go throughout this life without him.  I know that He lives, and that He loves us. If you ever feel down or need help, kneel and ask, and you will receive.

I love you all! Thank you for all of your support and love, and for this opportunity to be a missionary.

Elder Weenig
Elder Flint´s going home!

Spain is amazing. I am so blessed to be here.

The trainees and trainers. In the mission, your trainer is your mom or dad. The oldest Hermana in your district is your mom (for Elders) and District Leaders are dads (for Hermanas). So here is our happy little district family.