Monday, April 25, 2016

El Reino Nazarí

In the history of Granada, there is a story. Some say that it's real, others say that it's fake, but regardless, I am going to tell it. It's the story of the last king of Granada, Boabdil. Boabdil reigned in the Moorish kingdom of Granada before the reconquering of Spain by the Christians. Legend has it that as he was fleeing from Granada, he looked back on the burning palace of the Alhambra and began to cry. As he cried, his mother, turned and said, "Weep like a woman for that which you could not defend as a man." It's a pretty sensational story, and a lot of historians actually disagree with it. But, I sympathize with Boabdil. Leaving Granada is difficult. It has been a fantastic time here. It's going to be difficult to leave. But unlike Boabdil, I won't be going south, I will actually be going east, to a place called Elche. I'm really excited. Elche is one of the most talked about places in our mission. Why? Because it's the city with the most amount of palm trees in Europe. It will be amazing. Forests of palm trees. I am very excited to serve in this new area.

Also speaking of the Alhambra, we visited the Mirador de San Nicolas today. Fantastic.

So to continue with the story of Lili. She was talking with us and said that she would prefer to be able to be one hundred percent sure about baptism before committing herself. She is great. She understands the gospel so well. For that reason, she wants to wait. Ah. It's hard, when you know the gospel will change someone's life, and yet, we have to respect other people's agency. But, she did say that she is seriously considering baptism still, and will likely be baptized. Things are going so well in this area. I have loved being here.

I am out of time, but I love you all. It is a great day to be a missionary.

Elder Weenig

The Mirador de San Nicolas

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Few Lessons From Last Week

What a crazy week.

I'm not really sure where to begin, but I think I will just share some lessons that I have learned this last week.

First, not everything is what it seems to be. We were teaching a man named Manuel, who seemed like gold. He was telling us that he wanted to find the truth and especially wanted to join the true church. In missionary terms, golden. But unfortunately, as we were driving out to an appointment with him on Tuesday, we got a call from him. Generally, when someone with whom we have an appointment calls, it's tempting to not pick up because often, the result is the same, a canceled appointment, and an hour of time that we now have to create a new plan. This time however, it was slightly different. We got a call and he began to explain that he didn't just want to cancel the appointment, but he never wanted us back at his house. It's hard, even after so much time in the mission to see people reject something that you know will help them. It can even cause you disappointment and discouragement. But the reason why I wanted to share this wasn't just to show you that Manuel wasn't exactly what he seemed to be. It showed me that it wasn't Manuel's time. For now, there are others to seek who are prepared to hear the gospel.

Second, we have to make the most of the time that we have. We had interviews with President this last week, and he told me that I will be leaving Granada. Not this week, but the following week. I have been in Granada for a long time. Much longer than is normally allowed, and for that I am very grateful. But for this upcoming transfer, I will be changed to a different area. So I have decided to make the most of the time that I have left here in Granada. I have loved my time in this city. It has kind of become my second home, and I really love it here. I will be sad to leave, but I'm glad that Granada will always be here. So there is no time to lose. I can't wait for the miracles that are going to happen these last two weeks.

Last, miracles really do exist. Lili has committed to be baptized. Finally, after working with her for six months, she is getting baptized. She has set the date for the 29th of April, which is a little complicated as it's two days after transfers. She has asked me to baptize her, so I may be able to stay for the baptism. But if not, I'm so grateful for this miracle. There were a number of times in this process of conversion when she wanted to drop us or we weren't sure if we were going to keep going with her. But little by little, "precept by precept", she got there. We can't move the date any closer because that is the very day that her sister gets here from 
Alicante. What a miracle. I say that in all sense of the word. I had no idea that it would be even possible for her to be baptized. With the amount of doubts she had, with the opposition that she faced, it seemed impossible. But for that reason it is a miracle. Something impossible made possible. It's been amazing. It's hard to tell how happy I was when Lili finally decided to be baptized.

I don't really know how to describe how it is to be a missionary. It's the hardest, but the best thing that has ever happened to me. It really is a great day to be a missionary.

Elder Weenig

Rosemary's birthday (Lili's little sister)

Monday, April 11, 2016


So this last week.

We had mission leadership council (Consejo) this last week. I really like going because you get to see everyone from all around the mission and see old friends and companions. Really fun. We also talked about how to improve the mission and how we can improve as missionaries. I really enjoyed it. It actually takes place in Fuengirola, so it's a little bit like going home, getting to go back to a former area.

Big news! Lili wants to be baptized! Somewhat less good news: she wants to get baptized in November. But it's huge. I am so happy. It has taken a lot of time. We met her after just two weeks in this area. So it has been a long time. She has had to overcome a lot. But what a miracle.

We just finished a long water fight, and there isn't much time today. But thanks so much for everything. We are working very hard. We have seen a lot of miracles this last week. I love this, and I love being a missionary, what a great day to be a missionary.

Love you,
Elder Weenig

The closest thing to swimming

With Elder Ylimaulo (Finland)

With Elder Black (Scotland)

On the Road Again

On the road again. I'm so glad that we have iPads now. Without them, writing emails on our way down to Malaga for our conference would be impossible.

General Conference was great, we were able to watch all, of the sessions. It's kind of like Christmas for missionaries. We love it.

What a week. Crazy, crazy, busy. Things are going so well. We are running (driving) all day to get to the appointments we need to. I love it. I love Granada. There's a song here that goes something like this "Granada, the land dreamed for me, my song becomes gypsy when it is for thee" (I'm not really exactly sure what it's supposed to mean, but I like the song) and it really is true. Granada is amazing. The dream-land, I guess.

Lili. We were so worried for her. She wasn't sure that she even wanted to keep coming to church, but then during one of our meetings, she began by saying, "Could you play something on the piano?" I said yes, then suggested we also sing a hymn to begin. She instantly lit up and said yes and that she actually had a hymn that she really loves. Surprisingly, at least for us, she said "Praise to the Man". This coming from someone who did not want to believe in an organization of a church, and subsequently, the hymn about a prophet surprised us. We sang it, and we began to talk about the conference. All of a sudden, she says, "Yeah, one of the reasons I want to get baptized is because the church helps you steer clear of sin." My reaction wasn't really surprised, or even really shocked, I just kind of sat there and thought "Elder Weenig, this isn't Lili's normal attitude about baptism"  so cool. She hasn't committed to a date, but it is a huge step in the right direction.

The less active member with whom we are working has come to church three weeks now. After fifteen years, she is finally coming back to activity. It's amazing.

I don't have much time left, but I just wanted to say that I love you all. Thanks so much for all of your support, and for everything that you are doing. I love to be here, I love being a missionary. It really is the best time of my life. It really is a great day to be a missionary!

Love you all,
Elder Weenig

(No captions were given for these pics.  I guessing this one is a meal during conference.)