Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week 35: Drunken Gypsies, Confused Muslims, Strange Object Lessons, and Baptisms!

Hola familia!

Manresa booming! I came here in February with there only being three
lessons a week before me, and now three months later we have two
investigators ready to be baptized this next week! There's been so
much growth here it's ridiculous! While we are still working on the
Rama (ward) and getting them excited, we definitely don't have boring days
here! As you can see from the subject though, the word of wisdom isn't
a popular item on a Spaniards to-do list, especially for this one
gypsie family we've been teaching. We came in, everyone's waiting for
us, and then boom, Santi, this middle aged man who's super tan and
loud, comes in, and proudly declares that he's been drinking wine(a
lot of it). One thing led to another, and we spent the next twenty
minutes just trying to get a return visit with them as he would
respond to everything with "hombre Claro"(aka-no duh!), and his
sister, who's more interested then he is, was left laughing her head
off at this(it was so ridiculous that we were laughing too haha).
Well, they didn't come to the return visit, but lesson learned, if you
teach Santi or any gypsie, ask if they're drunk BEFORE proceeding!

We had the most amazing baptismal miracle this week! The Sunday before
last, one of the recent convert member couples in the Rama brought
this 50 year old lady named Mar that was renting a room in their house
to sacrament meeting. She ended up loving the meeting, and we were
able to set up an appointment for last Thursday with her and this
couple. When we arrived at the lesson, we asked a few questions about
her beliefs, and basically found out that the day she moved into this
new apartment, she had been told by her evangelical church that it'd
take a year or so for her to be baptized(since she's never been).
Frustrated and confused, she found this member Jose on the street that
day, who's the son of a good friend of hers, and moved pisos to his
because she wanted a better atmosphere. Long story short, Jose talked
to her a lot about baptism, Joseph smith, and the Book of Mormon, and
well she basically asked us to be baptized!!!! Manresa's going to have
a baptism!!!! Since then we've had two more lessons with her, she's
reading and praying, and she shed quite a few tears when we showed her
the video of Christ's baptism last night. That and Javier our other
investigator with a fecha for the same day(May 7th), who came to
church this Sunday, and it's been a miraculous week for baptisms in
Manresa! (And they're both references!)

We also learned to make back up plans, because you never know when an
investigator will drop on you, when they give you a fake address(there
are some really creative ones haha!), or if your lesson goes way over
because they made a pile of food for you(hard to leave for that one).
On one of our backup visit pass bys to this Muslim man named
Jawwed(who we found after a month living in the piso above his old
one, having left because I kid you not, "magnetic waves and forces
weren't working out for him there!" His words not mine haha). We found
out the reason why he's also not been answering is because he thought
we were racist, because he interpreted a scripture about people in
darkness being about people with dark skins. Once we cleared that one
up, he was more willing to meet with us(don't know how to explain the
magnetic forces though haha, that's a new one haha).

We also had a fun lesson with an investigator named Augustine, a poor
spanish man with a wife who's literally crazy, and a house filled
with cockroaches...
😧. What made the night fun though was him trying
to explain something to us by him running over to the fridge, dragging
it across the room(it's a pretty small place so it wasn't overly
necessary haha), and comparing it to the bread and water representing
Christ. Random but hey it works!

The conference talk of the week is from April 2000 conference titled
"The Power of Self-Mastery" by James E Faust. I found this one
completely by accident, but the title stood out to me so I decided to
read into it a bit. It was basically a call to all the priesthood(and
everyone else too), to look back on themselves, trim the unkempt
branches that have grown over the years, and be true to who you are!
I've been needing that, since as missionaries we always have the
constant struggle of personality versus productivity, and knowing that
the best missionaries have both of these things! He quoted David O
McKay in saying "Spirituality is the consciousness of victory over
self, and of communion with the Infinite. Spirituality impels one to
conquer difficulties and acquire more and more strength. To feel one’s
faculties unfolding and truth expanding the soul is one of life’s
sublimest experiences". We as God’s spirit children have been blessed
with many things; love, materials, family, and many others. But God’s
greatest gift to us through the gift of Agency has been and always
will be the ability to gain more faith and spirituality by our own
will! Because faith isn't faith unless we really love doing it, so why
not work to be more faithful and happy? I invite all of you to look
back on yourselves, trim those branches, correct the things that need
correcting, and become true, happy and loving disciples of Jesus
Christ. I promise you that while the journey and the path to do so
will be tough sometimes(I would know, Spaniards can be pretty critical
of our Spanish, even after 8 months haha), the blessings are there for
those who are trying to do so! Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best "That
which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the
nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is

Overall a miraculous week! From finding new investigators who
conveniently have friends who've been on missions, to last minute
contacts becoming a whole family of investigators, Manresa is the
place to be(even if we are the tip of the spear out on the edge of the
Barcelona zone).

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 Plaza Espana in Barcelona on our first day trip there this week!

 Katie, the bird of Javier, who's getting baptized next week!
 I really don't know haha - make up a caption I guess
 When nobody by home haha (ghetto rigged)
 I'll try knocking..... haha
 Plaza San Domingo at night
 San fruitos de bages on the bus back from an appointment
 San Jordi Festival, with giant people, tons of books, and roses for days!
When you say you need to leave but they need to give you something to eat.......

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