Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 20: New Years! African Names, and Captain Salami!

Hola family!!!!

Dang your New Years sounded great! How was the food and fireworks?
This week has been a bit of a crazy one with us running across our
slightly large area between investigators, taking a taxi for the first
time(for New Years the metro shuts down at like 10.....), eating
snass (pretty interesting African pastry with surprises on the inside
depending on which one you get), and being blessed with 4 pm church!
(It's great for the missionaries since we get to actually study on
Sunday's!). But the highlight of the week had to been our
investigators specifically Rafeal (a short, spiritual Nigerian man who
loves to talk). Compared to last week not having too many lessons to
go to, this week was a welcome change since we were able to get off
the streets (which with the wind and humidity we’re freezing this week!)

For New Years we went over to Hermana Jenny's house with her kids to
eat fried chicken, the bomb. She also mistook the strawberry jam as
ketchup so I ended up putting some of that on my fries, not bad
actually buy definitely a different taste than ketchup. We stopped by
the party at the church before attempting to go home, only to find our
way blocked by there being no metros and no buses. So for the first
time for most of us, we took a taxi, which drove at about 100 mph
around some crazy skinny streets to get us back (he was trying to
follow the Hermanas taxi). In all, a pretty fun New Years even if we
celebrated from our beds (midnight woooh!!!).

A miracle that occurred this week that stood out to me happened with
one of our (now) progressing investigators named Rafeal. Rafeal and
his wife Blessing(I love African names) were old investigators of the
Hermanas a few months back, and we were handed this couple’s teaching
record just before Christmas. One of the problems that we've been
having with him has been that he's had too much pride to ask the Lord
in his prayers if he should get baptized/if the Book of Mormon is
true. So for three lessons straight we basically worked to get him to
at least pray for one of those things. However, on Tuesday as we were
teaching him, we felt suddenly that we should ask this man if he'd get
baptized on the 16th of January(even if he's said many times he's
already been baptized, and that he'll only do it in a river(there's
none here haha)). Surprisingly, he accepted!  When he received an
answer, and he told us that he's asked God twice in his prayers about
baptism! Small miracle, but the Lord definitely works in small and
simple ways to help people become better and more like Christ!

I was also given an African name! I'm Esosa, which means God’s gift (not
to brag but...), but it's kinda cool to get one, now I'm part

On one of the nights this week there was a huge costume party/run that
happened here in Valencia, so that led to some weird things happening.
On an intercambio with Elder Busath (from Ohio, pretty goofy though so
that was fun), we were walking back to our piso at 10 when we passed by 4
teenage boys dressed in salmon/meat colored morph suits with only
white capes and whitey tightys on, with the name Captain Salami across
their chests. Random, but probably the strangest thing we saw during
the week!

This week in my personal studies I've been reading in Helaman in the
Book of Mormon, which is the bomb! One of the chapters that stood out
to me was in chapter 10, about Nephi (the greeeaaaaaaaat (plural)
grandson of the first one) being blessed by God for his hard work
among the Lamanites. The coolest verses were 4-6, talking about how
Nephi always put the Lord's will over his own, which I'm sure every
missionary tries to do (even if it's super difficult!)! Overall it's
just a great chapter on missionary work, and also to learn that "faith
precedes the miracle, it does not follow it". (I read it with the
Institute Manuel so that’s where I got that quote from).

Elder Turner and I have been working great together though! We made
our New Years goals for 2016 for weekly planning, which I have some
good ones (like not getting fat, and also memorizing 3 scriptures a
week!). Overall, I'm just pumped to start my only complete year in the
mission (the consecrated year as we call it).

Happy New Years, and thank you so much for being the best family I
could ask for (and sending videos, letters and pictures every week
because some missionaries don't.... Sad but true).

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 View from the balcony of one of the Dominican members house that we ate at
 Delicious Dominican food with Candido, Rosa and this random member who had her birthday that day!
 Emenadas, rice, fish, and Yucca (super dry but good vegetable like a potato)
 Made calls here in Parque Parterre in downtown Valencia - too many people with selfie sticks haha!
 Empty bus ride at 8 pm, brought to you by the holidays in Spain!
 Empty train too!  There's absolutely no one out during the holidays!
 Snass - African for super fatty oily bread that may or may not have insanely hot chicken inside (like an evil version of that hollow chocolate ball with toys inside)
 Non-alcoholic beer given to us by an African investigator - so terrible that it literally tastes like old Malt-o-meal!
 Thanks Dad for serving in France so that we could make a crepe night to 
bring investigators to!
 You know you're in Spain when there's a huge backup to use the escalator, when there are stairs right next to it!  The crowd was there for like 5 minutes too!
 Spent our New Year's Eve with the super crazy family of Hermana Jenny

 Nights on the streets of Valencia
 This would be rabbit a bag, only at your local Mercadona!
Taxi whaaaaaat?

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