As you can probably tell by the title, it was fairly interesting this week. First off, we had five investigators at church, even our former Jehovah's Witness Ninfa! All went well there, except Ninfa was a little offended by the priesthood giving the sacrament to everyone, not just the elected or something like that so that was odd, but the good news is that her boyfriend and her might be separating so she could possibly get baptized! We also had a bunch of second lessons with our investigators, one with Rocart, an older Spanish man who's got a hunch back like nothing, and Yaga(yes that is a name), from Senegal, who we have a French Book of Mormon too and will meet with him this week! The only thing against us this week however, was rain. We had a huge thunderstorm come through all of Saturday and most of Sunday, leaving us drenched and with no one to talk to in the streets, but hey there's always more door bells!
We also had our specialized training this week in Barcelona with the Barcelona and Badalona Zones. It focused mainly on testifying whenever we can, the dress code, and on how we can be better examples of prayer with our investigators. Those are always fun though since with us being up in Manresa, we don't see other missionaries too often(Valencia had the opposite problem). Coming up this week is our monthly zone meeting and transfers, so I possibly will be back in Barcelona twice this week!
While not a miracle so to speak, I did want to mention a spiritual experience we had with a member this week. We had stopped by to help this man, names Jose, with his talk since he wanted some "missionary guidance" on it. After eating with him for a bit however, we found out the real reason for us really being invited there. His wife, also a recent convert, has been in South America with family for a while now. Over the last few days however, Jose found out from her that she's lost her testimony, and her and their son that's with her want Jose and his son here in Spain to fall away also. Jose however, in probably the hardest of spiritual circumstances that I've seen in my short life, told us resolutely after explaining this that he couldn't deny the faith that he has, his testimony of the restoration and this church are too strong, and even though his wife sent a pile of anti-Mormon things from a pastor there(which we helped to explain), he wouldn't give up the happiness he has now. So we gave him a blessing of comfort and headed out into the night. The miraculous part of this story is that for his talk that he gave yesterday, fittingly on baptism, he invited his nonmember brother and some friends of his to come and see him, showing that even in the hardest of circumstances, we can be examples to others. I was just floored with this man’s faith, and I am so grateful that I was able to spend that evening with him, hearing his fervent testimony, and helping to grow mine at the same time.
On the menu this week, I had Spanish chicken noodle soup with the Garcia family, meatball subs in piso, and Blood Sausage and lentil soup with the family of our branch president, President Tiberi from Argentina. While it doesn't taste like blood, it wasn't my favorite thing in the world, but the dessert of crepes with Nutella made up for that, along with their six year old daughter's crazy stories about sharks haha.
On Friday we had the crazy experience of trying to read the Book of Mormon with a gypsie family of 7, all while the dad was flat out drunk. Dang this guy was out of it, even his wife Carmen seemed a bit off at the moment. But the blessing of that lesson was that while Elder Olaso distracted him and Carmen, I was able to teach the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon, in a very streamlined way, to their 14 year old daughter Sarah. She even committed to reading it! While it may have looked like a failure of a lesson with the dad, we now are coming back to teach Sarah and her mom this next week, hopefully when their dad isn't totally intoxicated.
Now for a spiritual tidbit for you all: Enthusiasm; a word that before the mission I thought signified a peppy high school cheerleader or a crazy camp counselor, actually has a very spiritual side to it. In El Clarin, the weekly newsletter that our mission president sends out (it's on the mission blog I believe), the message from Hermana Dayton was all about Enthusiasm in the work, and in life. A quote from her message sums it up pretty well; "Genuine enthusiasm is not something we activate by our own energy. It is harmonious interaction with the Holy Ghost that produces enthusiasm". And it's true! Before the mission I felt that I could be pretty enthusiastic with many things, food, running, finishing homework so that I could sit in the hot tub, normal things I guess. But as I've been here in Spain, I've found that just as Hermana Dayton said, true enthusiasm is when we have the spirit with us, and as we look to life in a positive way. This two together are what make up a happy, positive missionary (and person too). A good scriptural example of this is in Galatians 4:18. So my challenge to all of you is to be enthusiastic about something, life, your work, school, nap time, something, and I know that as the spirit is with you, you'll have genuine enthusiasm in your life!
Overall this has been a very interesting and fun last week of February. While we still don't have a clothes washer after a whole month(hand washing is pretty tedious!), there we so many moment when I saw God’s hand in my life this week, and I've been made more grateful for what I have here in Manresa and Spain!
Love and miss you all!
Specialized training with the Barcelona and Badalona Zones
They have a very strange style of advertising here in Spain haha!
Blood sausage and lentil soup
Asian style door knocking
Fake address level 100,000
Hail storm during contacting!
Medieval festival here in Manresa this weekend
When there's no one out.....
Our branch with President and Hermana Dayton - President Tiberi (Branch President from Argentina) is the man to the left of President Dayton