Spain welcomes in the New Year with grapes. Traditionally, as the bells are sounding in the last twelve seconds of the old year, you eat a grape each time that the bell sounds. So for the last bit of 2014, we were eating twelve grapes with a bell keeping time. It was fantastic.
A couple of cool miracles from this week. Almost a month ago, we stopped a woman in the street, and asked her if she would like to hear a message about Jesus Christ. She said yes, gave us her address and phone number, but ever since then, we haven´t been able to get in contact with her. We have passed by a number of times, but she´s never been able to meet. One day last week, I was on an exchange with another elder in our district, and we knocked on her door, and her husband answered. He let us in, and we started talking about what we do as missionaries and talked about how families can be eternal. The son and the father listened and at the end told us that we could definitely come back. They seem like they have a LOT of potential.
This last week was fast and testimony meeting for our ward. One recent convert and one less active girl that we have been working with got up to bear their testimonies. One, Dana, is from Romania, and is a CHAMPION. She is the only member in her family and has to shoulder a lot of the responsibility that a sixteen year old girl should never have to deal with. She is inspiring. She got up and bore her testimony and it was so simple and sincere that you could just feel the love that she felt for the gospel and how much it has changed her life. The other girl, Valentina, is great. She stopped us in a locutorio (telephone/internet store) about two months ago and asked if we were from the Mormon church. We told her that we were missionaries, and she told us that she was a member! We were a little shocked, but it turns out that she had gotten baptized when she was nine, but she hadn´t come to church since. We´ve been meeting with her since and have been encouraging her to come back to church. She really is amazing. Her mom doesn´t think much of the church, but she comes anyway. She was really afraid to bear her testimony, but I told her that it would be my last testimony meeting in Alicante, and that she needed to, and thankfully she did. Really powerful experience to hear someone that has been away from the church testify about how much happiness the church really does bring.
It´s been a very good week. I´ve learned a lot about perseverance. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep going with a smile on our face and a really cheery attitude. But the important thing that we always need to remember to is keep going. To endure to the end, even though it may seem impossible. God asks us to do impossible things at times. But through him, all things become possible. And if we keep that in mind, our trials and obstacles that we have to confront become more bearable. The problems that we have seem smaller. We just have to keep an eternal perspective. It´s hard, but when we have that mindset, we become so much more capable and so much more ready to confront life´s challenges. The mission has taught me that more than anything. We may never know why we have a specific set of challenges, but if we do our best to overcome them, God will help the impossible become possible.
I love you all. Thanks for all of the support that you give to me. I love and miss you all a lot, but I love being a missionary and I love Spain, the Spanish language, and the culture that it here. I am so lucky to be serving in Spain.
It´s a great day to be a missionary!
|New proselyting clothes :) These were cool. Traditional Spanish suits. Each of them about $1000 each. (No worries, just looking, no buying) :D|
|Us just about to eat the grapes on New Years.|
|This was Christmas Eve night, the family we ate with are awesome. They are from Brazil.|
|Aaaand this was on our way up to the castle on our last pday.|