Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 10: Baptism!! Sickness, Tranquilizer Pills, and Pique Machu

Hola Friends and Family!

This week has been a party, except for the fact that I've been dead
sick since from Wednesday to yesterday. Because of that I've had to
spend my days in our piso playing chess, sleeping, and cleaning since
I was bored a lot. I had the flu until Thursday night, and then I felt
fine except for stomach problems after wards that kept me in (I'll
skip the details). But other than that, we baptized Jeannine! The
baptism on Saturday was packed, she bore her testimony afterwards and
called elder McArthur and I her angels(she's called us that for a
while). All the missionaries sang for her too(Come thou Fount). But
overall it was great service. She forgot to cover her nose during the
baptism, but that was the only mishap we had(I didn't get to baptize
her though since when we asked who she wanted to baptize her she
wanted the most experienced one, so yea... Next time I'll do it

Elder Islas, one of the other elders in our piso, was sick too this
week so our companions headed out to do our dirty work while we rested.
I found that it's actually quite terrible to be sick here because all
you want to do is meet new people on the streets, and that's hard to
do when you’re stuck with chills in the apartment. But good news, I feel
great now and I was able to go to the baptism healthy too.

One thing my companion and I were able to do this week was eat Pique
Machu, a Bolivian food made up of steak, French fries, cheese, pepper,
onions, and eggs. It was actually delicious and afterwards we stuffed
ourselves on some delicious desserts(mousse, pie, cheese bread).

So while the week was a little less eventful, Sunday definitely
wasn't. On the metro there I got a bible waved at me by a strangely
angry and old Romanian lady telling me that the church was false, so
that was strange haha. Then we had normal classes until sacrament
meeting, when an old lady named Mariela (she's got some great stories)
accidentally took her special needs grandson's tranquilizer pill and
passed out after the meeting ended. The EMT came and she was fine,
but add that to glass being broken in the chapel and food being brought
for ward choir, and it made for a very interesting day at church.

For preparation day today we explored the old side of Valencia. We
visited the Torres de Quart, the central Cathedral, ate really good
gelato, and just had fun walking through this cool city. This place is
really cool, there's a bakery at every corner, and cool street
musicians on violins and other instruments who are REALLY good too.

Overall it was a slowish week, but I'm excited to finally be healthy
and to be able to head out and contact tonight after a few days of
being sick. It's crazy how a mission can change you from wanted to be
sick to stay home, to making you want to be out teaching even more, so
I've definitely changed in that sense from before.

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton
Tradition of wearing white the day of a baptism
 Baptism of Jeanine

 Exploring Old Town Valencia - Torres de Quart

 Top of Torres de Quart with gang

 Dinner on our patio
Pique Machu - a Bolivian dish
 Central Mercat of Valencia

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 9: Miley Cyrus, Ditched in Xrivella, Teaching with the Mission President, and Spanish Problems

Hola family!

How's this week been? It's been crazy here in Valencia with miracles,
and random things happening everywhere. The good news is that we'll be
baptizing Janina on Saturday for sure, mainly because we taught her
with the mission president, President Dayton, who was in town by
chance(thank goodness we called him, he's an amazing teacher). She is
super strong in testimony now, and she had a dream about the church
being true so she's dead set on her baptism. Her pastor stopped
sending anti-Mormon texts too so that helped(understatement haha). She
had a dream that night too that the church was true and that the
prophet was called of God, so that definitely made our day easier. We
also have a few other investigators so we're busy. Contacting is fun
too, since we meet some weird people( I talked to someone last night
named Pedro-Pablo, that name though!)

Ok so I wrote in Miley Cyrus in the subject line because we convinced
my companion that she died. It was all going smoothly until I had to
tell someone the truth about it, and he found out so he was pretty sad
about that haha.

Another thing that was funny this week was when I switched upper
sentir and sentarse when I asked if an investigator wanted to sit
down. Sentir means to feel, instead of to sit, so you could imagine
that awkward and funny stare she gave me when I asked her that. Lesson
learned, even one letter can change a word haha.

We were contacting our in a pueblo called Xrivella (it sounds like
chili and vella), and all was going well, when the train that was
leaving the station when we got there turned out to be the last train
of the day! So instead we had to find a bus and take it back into
town, and walk the rest of the way to our piso. Lesson learned, trains
have a schedule haha.

Overall it's been a fun and spiritual week, and it's cool to see
miracles like Janina changing, and other investigators making changes
to be ready for baptism. The food here's great too, the pork I had
last night was literally like candy haha. I miss you all, and I hope
you have an awesomely spectacular week with school, xc and work!

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 Pic with companion, Elder McArthur
 This is Plaza Patraix down the street from my piso
 Park by my piso
 Zone pic from Gulliver Park last week
 Dinner at members home with Ronny - this food was amazing!  We had pork, lasagna, crepes, salad, rice, and flan latee!
 Pic with Ronny, a recent convert who goes out with us a lot!
 Pic with Janina and the mission president after we taught a lesson with her
 Getting ditched by a train!  They do run on schedules here!
Slept out on the deck last night
Best ice cream sandwich ever!  Two strawberry cookies and carmel ice cream in it!  It was amazing!
Picture on the side of the metro

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 8: Drunk Hobos, Fechas, Mama Africa, and Muesli

Hola family!!!

This week has been crazy, with tons of lessons, 2 new baptismal dates,
and a few news to make it all better. One of our investigators is
Jenna, a Venezuelan woman who's definitely a spirited evangelical. But
the cool thing is that she was the very first contact we had in the
area, so it was awesome to give her a baptismal date for the 24th(be
ready for pics of that, first baptism). We also have 2 others with
almost fechas (dates) so we are pumped for that.

The only hard thing with her is that her pastor is ripping her with
anti-Mormon texts so we have to correct all of that every lesson. We
can only really contact here through street contacts (sketchy
depending on the time of day, but still cool since we've met some
super nice people on the streets here). We can't knock doors too often
though since there's a front door with timbres (doorbells) at every
building, so unless they know you you can't get into the building (we
still knocked doors at one appointment, and we almost got eaten by
this bear of a dog when the door opened haha). The elevators here are
also super sketchy and small, so I'll send a video of one next week.

Ok so mama Africa for the subject line, is this super awesome member
here in this building, who saved our lives when we brought Janina to
church yesterday since we had no idea how she'd do alone in relief
society (they flip the church schedule for some reason here). She
dresses in these super colorful African dresses too so she's easy to
spot. She instantly befriended Janina though and helped her out to
explain the church more since she used to be evangelical like Janina.

The food here is crazy but delicious! The best snack food here though
is called muesli, a chocolate cereal with bits of chocolate bars in
it(they also have one with dried nuts and fruit). Let's just say that
if I get fat here, it'll be because of that... It's that good. Another
cool thing they do here, which you should try, is putting peanut
butter on a ham and cheese panini, it's weirdly delicious haha.

Another crazy story this week happened on Thursday. We were walking
around this park waiting for an investigator to come, when this hobo
jumped out of nowhere and asked us for money, which happens like 3
times a day so no big deal. But this guy kept walking and talking in
Spanish to us, then loudly talking to us as he followed us across the
park. My Spanish isn't that good, so I heard only blabbering as Elder
McArthur heard every swear word in Spain. He eventually left, but we
kept looking around during the lesson since he was still wandering
around drunkenly. Just a normal day in Patraix haha(the district we
work in).

Overall, it's been busy, hot, and fun out in the field. The buildings
here are super beautiful too so it's sometime hard to concentrate
contacting, but the work is awesome. Elder McArthur’s pretty awesome
too, and we've had a funny time learning the area(and getting lost) as
we find new people. We've become pretty good friends too so that's made
spending the whole day together a lot easier.

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 Lunch at Dominoes
 Picture of countryside on companion exchanges (backyard of member's home)

 Cool metro station

 Plaza de Toros de Valencia

 Piso pics this morning

My companion's favorite animal on a wall haha!
Video tour of piso (apartment)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 7: Kebobs, German Airports, and Rickshaws

Hola Family and Friends!

It's been almost two weeks since my last letter, but it's also been
some of the craziest days of my life. On Monday we woke up at the
sweet time of 2 am to get to our flight to Chicago, which was made
better by me being able to talk with the family for an hour( even if
it was 6 am your time... Sorry haha). From Chicago we took an 8.5 hour
flight on a Lufthansa 747 800(it was huuuge) to Frankfurt, which
you'll see in the pic looks straight from the hunger games. After
getting kicked out of security by a very German security woman for
having a tiny bit of water, we made it to the gate and got on a short
flight over the alps to beautiful Barcelona! This place is amazing,
crazy buildings, super nice people and very humid weather. After
spending the night at a piso(apartment) in hospitalet, we spent
Wednesday( we're 9 hours ahead so it's weird) at a devotional with
the mission pres before getting called up one by one to the map to
find out where we were going and with who( freakiest thing ever). I
also saw elder Wardle at the meeting, so it was awesome to catch up
with him. I'm serving in Valencia, a three hour train ride south of
Barc, with my trainer Elder McArthur, made even more interesting and
fun since we were whitewashed(were both new here to Valencia so we
know/knew nothing). But he's super chill and enthusiastic, and the two
other elders in our piso, elders Islas and Hemeyer, and us all get
along super well. The pisos cool though, it's a penthouse on a
building west of downtown with a 180 degree view of the city.

The food here is spectacular! I tried chicken paella(Velencia’s known
for it), vaca sandwiches, and kabobs(gut bombs of meat, pita and
happiness). It's was definitely a cultural experience shopping at the
Mercadona for the first time haha( the eggs aren't refrigerated

But we were rewarded for the last few days of combing Patrix( our
area), and the metro with conference, which we started watching
Saturday night(the time difference is weird), but it was cool watching

Finally, we as a zone rented rickshaws to pedal around the palace of
science today for preparation day, where we narrowly missed runners,
birds and also slid down a giant playground made to look like a body(
look up Gulliver park and you'll see). It was definitely a fun way to
get to know the zone and to relax after the last few days.

Thank you for all your emails and I'll be able to see all of them on
my iPad during the week, but I'll only be able to respond on Mondays.

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton
 Piso pic with Elder McArthur

 During email time at the church
 Inside piso
 Views from Piso

The park with the video below

Gulliver Park