Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Week 70: Preachers, Fried Chicken, Recliners, and the Mammans are coming!

Hola family! Merry late Christmas!

Well, a lot happened this week. The week went super well for it being
the week before Christmas! We ended up inviting 6 people to be
baptized this week, four of which accepted and now we are helping the
family of Geraldo to be baptized the 14th of January. The only thing
they need help with at this point is leaving their last church
behind (since he was the pastor there) so for that he's going to have
to take a leap of faith, and we're going to pray for a way that this
can all come about smoothly. Besides that we had two miracles, Evelyn,
the mom of the part member family we found two weeks ago, gave her
first prayer with us (she offered, apparently she hadn't prayed out
loud in years). The other miracle is Judith, a less active who's
coming to the noche de hogar (game night) this Friday, and who we found out lives
with 10 members of her family in the house and nearby. She's super
great, she's from Columbia, and we hope to have a lesson with all of
them this weekend.

For some reason we encountered about every preacher in this city this
week. A preacher couple who just wanted to argue (an Ghanaian
couple, party), the pastor of another Christian church, another who
owns the African church under a members house (he investigated the
church years ago and says he stopped because "it says in the
scriptures "you cannot serve god and mammon"", with him thinking that
meant Mormon. I'll give him a bit for that, pretty clever. They were
prowling, and I don't think coincidentally President Dayton talked in
our Christmas conference about how to answer hard doctrinal questions
without bible bashing. Good to know if you ask me!

I also took a five minute break in a recliner while waiting for a
member before Christmas Eve dinner. Shout out to Abel for that, Elder
Bowles and I ate Christmas cookies, and it was perfecto.

For Christmas we spent the noche Buena (Christmas Eve) with the ward
mission leader and his family, Christmas lunch with a Bolivian couple,
and Christmas night with Geraldo, his daughters, a recent convert
family and President Godofredo our branch president and his family.
Also good to know, alcoholic chocolate exists here in Spain. Look at
the bag next time! It was a different experience though to spend the
day contacting the empty streets, passing by members to wish them
Merry Christmas and singing a lot. There's no better way to spend
Christmas then serving. Or translating the talk of a Ghanaian member
for the congregation into Spanish.

To make this last week here with Elder Bowles fun, I checked off
my bucket list the following experience. Picture this. After receiving
two full Nigerian suits, eating freshly fried chicken (it's was soooooo
goood), French fries, juice, listening to the family speak over us in
their tribal language, all while we watched the restoration video
super loud. I love Vic.

My spiritual thought to you this week is this. After all we've done
now to remember the Savior, what will you change this coming year to
become more like him? Will you be more patient? Will you pray twice a
day? Will you serve a meal to a family in need? Will you try to share
pass along cards or Mormon messages with your friends? Will you pray
for ways to become more like the Savior every day? I know that as we
try to become more like him, that 2017 will become an even bigger
blessing for you and your families!

Also my new companions Elder Tobias, from Sao Paolo, Brazil. Doesn't
speak much English. But he's fun and is into working hard.

Love and miss you all!

🇪🇸🌴Elder Taylor Moulton🌲🇪🇸

 Blood sausage, blue cheese, and fried onion hot dog!  Don't love it til you try it!
 Christmas Eve dinner with the family of President Marchan
 Nigerian suits yes!!

 The Roman temple in downtown Vic
 Christmas Day lunch with Antenor and Lucha, the Hermanas and Phillip and Jarom (from Sri Lanka)
 Oh Phillip!

 New companion!  Elder Tobias and I

 Distance pic!
Had such a fun time talking to Elder Moulton Christmas morning!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Week 69: Hop the Fence, it's 10:28, Colorful Lyrics, and Foggy Flojos!

 Querdo familia,

I'll apologize now for this email, it's been a pretty normal week for
missionary work, but I'll share the fun things. Gerardo and his family
aren't getting baptized this week, since 1, they didn't answer this
weekend and 2, we need to help them progress a little more
spiritually, but it's all good, he answered today and we're going to
pass by him tonight. Other then that, we just found a bunch of
flojo(shaky) news in the fog and cold(hovering around freezing most
days). We also knocked a lot of doors, talked to some funny Spaniards,
and oh yea we found a menos activo! Her names Judith, she's from
Columbia, and we found her when her and her friend watched us get
rejected by a spainish girl late one night and remember the
missionaries! Boom. Milagros...

The fun thing about lessons at night is getting home on time. We had a
member with us for this one lesson, so luckily they could drive us
home. Except there's construction on our street. So he couldn't get
there. And with only 2 minute to when we really needed to be home, we
ended up taking extreme measures. Hopping the three foot fences(a few)
that blocked our road . But hey we made it!

We also had our Rama Christmas party on Saturday. While we didn't
really think it'd work out too well(not much planning done by the
people), it turned out pretty good! Over 40 ish or 50 people came,
including like 5 or 6 investigators and a few less actives! We ended
up watching a video of the ysa in the Rama they made, which since they
don't speak too much English had music with some colorful words(our
Ghanaian and Nigerian brothers and us were the only ones who noticed,
lesson learned, don't play foreign music if you don't know what it
says!). We all left full of chicken and rice, and with the Christmas
spirit with only 6 days until Christmas! Boom!

We also had a surprise miracle with Miguel(an older Catalan gentleman
from a pueblo), a reference the hermanas passed to us everyone's
suprise(he's an antiguo) came to church! He even stayed for gospel
principles, where we talked about the apostasy and Restauración. He's
got very good questions, and with the friendship of the branch
president and members, we hope to have a good lesson with him this
week. Nicest man though, I love older Spanish people who want to learn
about the gospel!

Elder Bowles and I have been entertaining our selves by buying good
smelling candles, finding every cacatio in vic, and also getting the
hookups on where to buy morracan apparel and kuskus. Hey if the
Muslims don't want to listen, at the very least you can get one of
those great Muslim shirt skirts they wear!

Merry Christmas family! I'm pumped for FaceTime, and celebrating with
his great rama(it might also be elder Bowless last week, we get
transfer calls Christmas Eve. Who planned that?). Remember who the
reason for the season is!

Love and miss you all! (Silent night stuck in my head in Spanish)

🇪🇸🌴Elder Taylor Moulton🌲🇪🇸

 Soccer Saturdays
 Last district meeting together before Elder Byington left

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Week 68: Book of Mormon Stories, Working at fever pitch, and Cats!

Hello family!

This week has been a miracle of finding families, yea you better
believe it, families. Like more than just a lonely Spanish or African
man. Families. I'll just start off with the big one. Gerardo, the man
we found last week, accepted a fecha for Christmas Eve, and during an
intercambio this last week with Elder Byington, we were able to meet
and teach his two daughters Jasalina (18) and Aresli (12). They both
seemed pretty timid at first, but through the lesson (and the lesson
after), they were marking the scriptures we were reading in the Book
of Mormon, and they read the chapter (2 Nephi 31). We also followed up
with Gerardo with him reading the Book of Mormon, and he had read the
folleto on the restoration, and read all the scriptures in the Bible
and the footnotes to chapter 31. I've never seen anyone do that, my
jaw dropped a bit when he told us. The week was made all the better by
them three coming to sacrament meeting and the other meetings
yesterday. Tonight we plan to read with them a little, teach about the
plan of salvation and invite the daughters to be baptized the same
day. Amazing progress and faith with this family.

With the help of some members (Jerandy and Jessie), we also found a
less active family, who apparently moved from their last address a few
years ago and live just two doors down from us. What? They also have
two kids, a son, Aaron, and a daughter, Carla, who could get baptized
too! They're coming to the Christmas dinner this week with the Rama so
we are praying that they have a good time with the members!

Also discovery of the day, the post office here is just as crazy as in
the U.S. You'll find some Christmas goodies at the doorstep soon

Also, at a members house while doing service (our branch president, his
names Godofredo, or President Flores for short), I got attacked by
their cat. We were waiting for lunch, Elder Byington and
I (intercambio), and well, to fill time I started poking the cat with a
remote, and it kept meowing. So I kept doing that, until it jumped out
and scratched my hand, leaving me to have to clean up blood with a
paper towel during lunch. Lesson learned; don't bother cats.

Saturday night while visiting that part member family too, I was
coming down with a fever. I started getting the chills after lunch,
and well, I ended up having to push through the night with what
eventually came out as a high fever by the end. Luckily we were fed
lots of hot chocolate so that helped with the chills. But come time to
go home, I passed out, barely making it to church the next morning. As
you read earlier it was worth it though, and were super pumped to
hopefully baptized this family on Christmas Eve! (Also my sleeptalking
worsens when I have a fever).

It's been a great week, lots of little miracles, characters (crazy
street guy, Quigbe, an old woman who kept touching my stomach, I could
name a lot), but I know that this is the Lord’s work. I know that as we
serve as Christ did (and it's not hard to find those moments if we ask
Him for them), living the gospel just becomes that much easier!

I love you family! Stay safe and have a merry second to last week
before Christmas!

🇪🇸🌴Elder Taylor Moulton🌲🇪🇸
 A lizard we found
Sad day when the family of Yinyer leaves to England - they're the best!

Week 67: Rainy Miracles, Alot of Cold, and Cacatios!

Hola Family!

It's freezing here holy heck haha! You can see the snow in the
mountains around the city, and it averages 40-ish in Fahrenheit most
days (but with humidity...), so I've been wearing a sweater, gloves,
hat, two pairs of socks, a coat, scarf, and a pair of basketball
shorts under my dress pants to keep warm. I'm buying thermals. Enough
said. But that hasn't put a damper on our spirits as the Christmas
lights have gone up, the Cacatíos appearing in the streets (logs with
painted faces that look like the troll meme, at Christmas Eve the
children will come out with broom sticks and things to beat the logs
so that the log poops candy and gifts. Welcome to Cataluña haha!). And

After specialized training on Tuesday in Barcelona, Elder Bowles and I
picked up some food before running back to Vic to meet with a
reference from a few weeks ago named Areceli. Story behind her, she's
a friend of the branch president’s wife, she's from Ecuador, and her
and her family investigated the church a few years ago, but because of
the disinterest of the husband (he was an evangelical preacher). Fast
forward to our visit, she didn't answer the phone on the train ride
up, so we decided to pass by in the rain and see if she was home. We
didn't find her (she and her daughters went to Zumba), we ended up
talking to the husband, Geraldo. Through the twenty minute
conversation in the family room with him, we found out that he had
retired from his preaching job, that he works in construction, he's
being having family problems and turned out to be the opposite of what
was said in the registro. He also told us that the night before we
came, he prayed to God for someone to bring him on the right path
again, to find the true gospel, and to help him see the fruits of his
faith in his family (because he hadn't seen them in his other church).
Long story short, while his wife isn't too interested still, he is (he
gave us brazos of thanks before we left), we have a lesson with him
tonight, and I know for a fact that it wasn't an accident that we came
to that man’s house that night!

Elder Bowles and I are having a pretty good time together. He's a
farmer, his dad owns a dairy ranch and teaches economics at Utah
State (I guess he dabbles), and lives in a tiny town next to Preston,
Idaho where Napolean’s from. He's a super good football player, was
studying to be a nurse, loves kebab, and yea. He's been one of the
most relaxing companions I've had so that's been a blessing. He also
love mate so yes.

One thing that l learned in our specialized training was that we all
could have more faith. Faith in our prayers, faith in leaving in the
morning to teach, and that nothing, nothing at all will get done in
missionary work until we have the faith that God will help us be
instruments in His hands. Pretty big when the mission president says
our mission needs more faith, but I like it. Also this quote to get
you thinking, thanks to President Harold B Lee, "Life is God’s gift to
man. What we do with our life is our gift to God.”

Other than that, Christmas is almost here, the ramas getting ready for
the Christmas dinner, and I'm sending you all some Christmas goodies
this week!

Have fun on the cruise and all your other Christmas activities!

🇪🇸🌴Elder Taylor Moulton🌲🇪🇸

 A hamburer with Elder Orantes

 Jose Antonio and I with some chocolate milk (and Hermana McCeseny!)
 Oh yea!  That's a Cacatio!

Europe's hot chocolate??!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 66: Lightning Strikes, Leaky Trains, Turkey, and African Prayers!

Hola familia!

Sort of a strange week here in Vic. Right off the bat the weather
turned for the worse and we found ourselves with soaked feet and cold
wind, and the Pyrenees Mountains covered in snow! I haven’t seen snow in
so long, it might snow here by Christmas though so I'm praying for a
white Christmas. On Wednesday we met as a district for district
meeting, talked about language study and inspired questions (we had some
fun with that, practicing on Muslims and other people we find here),
and then had a huge Thanksgiving dinner as a district (hermana Carollo
baked turkey, we brought ice cream, and we ate a pile of potatoes and
gravy, so good!). Elder Orantes and Maurer (pronounced mora since he's
from Australia), divided and I went with Elder Orantes to Badalona,
where, on the way there, we hit one of the biggest lightning storms
I've seen in a long time. We hit the cloud, it turned to night, and by
the time we hit the tunnels in Barcelona, it was a torrential
downpour. So much so, the lights in the train were flickering, and
rain came pouring in through the doorways. And there was lightning.
Lots of it.  Definitely made it weird to teach while the windows kept
flashing and the thunder echoing through the city. We had fun though,
may have been wet but we had good lessons and we made it up and down
the hills without slipping.
The power went out in Vic for half an hour too I found out while I was
gone, which made contacting a bit harder for Elder Bowles haha. So
yeah, fun times.

In other news, Phillip, our Ghanaian brother came to church again,
along with Angie, this less active lady from Ecuador who had given
birth recently and hadn't come much since getting pregnant. Phillip’s
the best, doesn't understand much Spanish but we've been stopping by
the library and the church to help him understand a bit more (he's new
here). This tiny town’s crazy! You can find people from Morocco,
Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, every country in South America, Romania, it’s
a cultural fruit salad most days. We've gotten in the habit of me
saying hello in Spanish and Elder Bowles saying hello in English so
that we cover our bases (because you never know). I'm also learning
twi. It's the Ghanaian native tongue, so I guess I'm learning more than
just Spanish here haha.

Cultural experience, we were teaching Abraham, this Ghanain man, in a
Muslim house of a less active lady named Samira (interesting story
there), when it came time to pray. So Abraham wanted to give the
prayer, so him, a lady on the couch who turned out to be the Christian
wife of the Muslim man(huh?),and us kneeled down, held hands and
listened to one of the most colorful and interesting prayers I've
heard in a while. ("Recieve life, receive life!!!!"). It was fun,
Elder Bowles, who already has hurt knees, almost lost it half way
through (he kept squeezing my hand haha). Good times in Vic.

Also an old lady (like 85 something) got really excited talking to Elder
Bowles while we were looking for the library, and wouldn't let go of
his hand (when we got a way I just hear in a sort of scared/exasperated
tone "She wouldn't let go!" under his breath). Well hey she found us
the library.

If there's anything I've learned this week through district meeting,
climbing Catalan mountains, eating polverones, is that we need to live
life with real intent. Just like Randall R. Ridd says in his 2015 YSA
devotional, "This simple idea of the compounding effect of daily
disciplines, with purpose and real intent, can make a big difference
in all areas of your life. It can mean the difference between
struggling through an ordinary life or being immensely successful and
filling the measure of your creation". Live life, live the little
moments, and don't just do things out of habit, figure out why the
heck you do those things (taking the sacrament, exercising, spreading
the gospel, praying), and then go through them with real intent (Moroni
10:32), and live these short few years with purpose. This will make
even the boring days a little more interesting!

I love and miss you all, I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving, and
that you take advantage of this amazing time of year known as the

🇪🇸🌴Elder Taylor Moulton🌲🇪🇸

 Visiting Sant Marti de Canolleres
Thanksgiving dinner as a district and zone leaders - we even had turkey!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 65: Rastas, Ripoll, and the African country of Vic!

Hello family!

Fun week here in the land of leche and miel! To sum up the area, it's
basically a few Spaniards and an army of Africans from several African
countries that fill at least half the city. But in just a week I've
learned so much about Ghanaian, Moroccan, Nigerian, and Senegal
cultures, you'd have thought I'd switched countries. But with Elder
Bowles, my new companion straight out of Preston, Idaho (actually a town
next to it) from Elder Perry’s group. But the members are strong, we
are surrounded by farms and mountains (it looks like Colorado or Utah a
bit), and I'm surrounded by Catalan again! I feel like I'm back in
Manresa (it's just over the ridge so kinda).

Fun story, last night we were walking across town looking for people
to teach (Sunday nights are pretty dry around here), when we came
across this African man named Joseph from Ghana on a bench in a lonely
plaza. As we talked to him, we noticed his very large red hat on his
head, and before he could say anything else he loudly declares
"Rastafari! Like a lion!!!"as he threw out a pile of dreadlocks. He
calls himself a Muslim, but follows numbers 6 which teaches that we
cannot cut our hair if we follow god (this is also coming from the man
smoking "Hhherb", so don't know about that). He's got some good points
though, and we're meeting with him today at 7. But, hey, goes to show,
you never know who you'll find out there in the dark streets of Vic.

Another miracle I saw this week happened after we had passed by a less
active member, and upon finishing a quick lesson with the Maurecan
family that lived there now, we headed down the stairs again. At the
very bottom was this twenty something year old woman named Rosio, who
upon talking to her, told us of her goal of becoming clean from
substances for her four year old daughter. We had found her smoking
tabacco, but found out that she's now down to only two a day! Even
better was the receptiveness she had to there being a plan of God for
her and her daughter, and because of this she accepted a folleto, we
wrote down her number and we're going to visit her later this week! I
know just from a week of working in this miraculous city of Vic that
the Lord is preparing people wherever we may be serving, or where we
might find ourselves during the day.

The area, along with a collection of cultures, food, and jóvenes, has
some beautiful little towns in the mountains called ripoll where our
amazing, and I mean probably the best Rama mission leader lives,
President Marchan. Baptized in Ecuador, with a family now and who's
been the Rama president for 6 years before being released last August,
he literally gave us a whole list of less actives and references for
us to teach. He's that good. But without him, this Rama wouldn't be
growing as much as it's been.

Other than that, the district’s fun, we had a get to know you game of
fishing out funny questions out of a bowl of chocolate, whipped cream,
olives, arroz con leche, and then answering them. Pretty strange, but
it definitely made the district meeting interesting haha. Great people
here for sure, so it's going to be a great Christmas transfer.

Love and miss you all family!

🇪🇸🌴Elder Taylor Moulton🌲🇪🇸

 Going to a Roman ruin in Vic in the rain!

 First District meeting - boom!