Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 15: Attack of the Romanians, New Traditions, and Teaching the Africans

Hola family!!!!

This week has been weird but great! We had a delicious dinner provided
by the American couples in our ward going to graduate school here at
Berkeley, so we had all the thanksgiving foods (even sweet potatoes!).
We had all the Valentian missionaries there too so it was a party of a
meal, kinda like the Moulton family thanksgivings back at home.
Overall we were just happy to be fed food, and it was great to have
the day to be thankful here in the field celebrating with friends!

One thing that we struggled with this week was that absolutely no one
was answering their phones! We always sit on park benches for a few
minutes between contacting to call about appointments, but this week,
out of like 100 calls, we only had like 6 that was sort of
depressing. But the good news is that we had some amazing lessons with
the African women from last Sunday, and we also brought one of them to
church yesterday! She couldn't have come to a stranger day of
church (primary program, fifth Sunday lessons, Sunday school on the
gathering of Israel... It was pretty different!), but she loved the
sacrament and wants to invite more of her friends to church next week,
so we're pumped for that!

One thing that Elder Turner and I have started doing is making new
traditions. One of them is Sunday night crepes, which are delicious,
and we are always thinking of new toppings for them(ice creams the
bomb). Another tradition that we started last night was the monthly
burning of the planners. It's so great to see each of those things go
up, which has been used for a full month of contacting and planning,
and it's a cool thing we hope to keep doing(don't worry about me
forgetting about daily things though, I've kept a pretty good journal
so far).

In addition to the lessons we had this week with an atheist Spaniard
who loves the Book of Mormon, recent converts and a lot of street
lessons, we also had a crazy encounter with one of our contacts from a
few weeks ago. We had met this Romanian with Akim, one of our members,
during Elder Turner’s first week here. We gave him a Book of Mormon,
our number, and we were on our merry way. That is, until we suddenly
found this Romanian, with a name I can't pronounce, with his friend
on a street in the other elders area (long story with that too). We
recognized him, and were about to ask him when we could stop by since
we were on our way to an appointment when he quickly invited us to his
piso, and in order for him to show us where he lived, rather than
giving an address (he had to be drunk, his friend too), he grabbed
Elder Turner over the shoulder and literally dragged/walked him down
the street. Since we thought he was being friendly, we played it off,
trying to tell him in simple Spanish that we couldn't meet right
now, until I watched the man reach his free hand to his back pocket
slowly. Freaking out, I got up right next to him and was relieved to
see that he was only grabbing keys, not anything that could possibly
harm Elder Turner or I (his friend kept staring at me too so that was
unsettling). When Elder Turner was finally set free from his arm he
pointed out his floor and window and suddenly turned to grab Elder
Turner again by the arm, only to have me slide in front of him, and us
saying more firmly that we couldn't meet. After a while of still
trying to pull us inside (he was quite strong) and have us talk with
him, he finally agreed to another day. So we shook their hands and
quickly ran the other way. That is, after he let go of mine, which he
wouldn't let go of since his friend and him were trying to pronounce
my name. Anyways, sorta a scary and weird experience, but now we know
that we need to be super duper firm when telling someone we don't want
to meet. He also appeared during another lesson too later that week
so that was annoying.

Overall it was a fun, weird and interesting week, and even though we
learned about the touchiness of the Romanian people, it's been an
awesome experience working with the people of Spain, and from all the
other countries around here.

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 Our Thanksgiving feast!

 P-day with fries and delicious sauces from the Frietshop
Christmas decorations

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