Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 39: Moldy Washers, Confetti Cannons, A Change of Mind, and Cupcakes!

Hola familia!!!

This was a tough week. Dang, I feel like I've been through a washer
machine filled with shoes. It's when hot here in Manresa, highs in the
mid 70s(we're wimps), but the humidity here is what kills us. We
usually get a giant thunderstorm every day or two, with lightning. Not
the thing you want when you're holding an umbrella with an iPad in
your hand haha! But besides that and losing a few investigators, and
ones with baptismal dates, we have Mar, who's getting baptized at 6
pm this Saturday!!!

The miracle I chose to share is week is that hearts can be softened
through fasting! That is something I've never had too much experience
with, until Thursday before our lesson with Mar! She had been
convinced for the last week that she had received revelation that her
baptism should be on her birthday(November 21st), and even through
three separate lessons, she would not budge on that day. So on
Thursday, seeing that her date that we had for her(the 28th) was just
over a week away, we decided to get serious. We had received the
revelation to baptize her on that day, and she had already been taught
all the lessons, making it very clear that she needed a little push.
We began fasting Thursday in the morning, praying for any help to
soften her heart and personal desires so that the lord could get in.
We showed her the Joseph Smith movie that night, and after wards, we
invited her once again to be baptized on that day, testifying of the
Lord’s plan for her, and the cleanliness she'll have after this sacred
ordinance. It took a bit, but to our surprise and amazement, she felt
the same thing, that the 28th was her day! Fasting works!!! She's now
amazingly excited for her service, and she's got a very loving Rama
behind her to support her in this! I know, that through faith, prayer
and fasting, the Lord makes his hand even more plain in our lives,
especially when we are blessing others!

We also did some service this week! We helped out this crazy catholic
family move their appliances out, even though she told us it'd only be
a few pieces of furniture. She lied, so we showed up in white shirts
to end up lifting their appliances down three flights of steps,
finding some moldy fun stuff on the bottom of them too! They had this
man named Jordi, who looked just like the giant from the Princess
bride, so we had a little help! But yay, because of that service,
we've been invited back for more lessons with them, and just from that
visit we have three new investigators! We are also teaching the lady's
mom, named Julia, who's a tender 83 years old, loses things easily,
and with some help from us, gave a prayer! So yea great success with
fun catholic families!

Birthday shoutout this week to our now reactivated less active 61 year
old man Angel! As a former Jehovah's Witness, he hasn't celebrated or
had anyone celebrate his birthday in many, many years. So Elder
Woodmansee and I ran to a chino, bought some confetti cannons,
birthday hats and birthday whistle flutes, and surprised him at his
house! He started crying as we left, since we were the only ones to
have remembered his birthday, except for one member that morning. So
afterwards we got e gang together and had another party with cake and
the rest of the Rama calling him! He was super grateful for all of
this and we both felt we touched the life of someone that day!

For preparation day, since this is most likely my last on here in
Manresa, we made a bucket list of things to do for fun here that we
haven't done in the last 3 months, and did it! We played ping pong in
Plaza Catalunya, ate cupcakes at the cupcake cafe, shopped at the game
store(filled with every board game and toy known to man), and took old
time pics in front of a 14th century cathedral. All of that topped off
with a stop at a Chinese place we've been wanting to go to, and it has
been a great and relaxing dia de preparacion here in the land of

Spiritual thought!

This was a fairly hard week here in Manresa, we lost almost all of
baptism fechas, we lost several investigators, and it was both hot and
super rainy. But the key thing I've learned this week is to be
grateful in any circumstance! As well said in his April 2014 talk,
President Uchtdorf gives us three ways to be grateful; Be grateful in
our circumstances, be grateful for things, and having the faith to be
grateful! In missionary work, and especially here in Europe, it's
fairly easy to be ungrateful for the things we do have. Heck,
sometimes I forget that we walk between buildings that have more age
and history then the entire history of the United States! I forget
that every person we talk to has a story, that each contact we make
isn't an accident! The great truth of life, as said by President
Uchtdorf "How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow
before thanking God that there is rain?" The key to happiness, in life
and missionary work, is to stop comparing, to stop complaining, and to
start being grateful for the small things! We don't need to be pleased
with everything (I don't think I'll ever be pleased each time I get
yelled at by this old Catholic Spanish man named Jose from across the
street), but we can choose to be grateful and move on! A grateful and
intentional life is the life that each of us are here to live, and the
one our savior lived also! So I invite all of you to be grateful,
thankful, and happy with what you got, rather than what you not(rhyme

Love and miss you all, and I hope you have an
amazing/majestic(broadening my vocabulary haha) last week of May!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 #2 - Harry Potter Costume store!

 Countryside on the way to Navarcles
 First stop on the top eight things to do in Manresa - cupcakes!
 Angel enjoying this birthday cake!

 Superman plus Clark Kent!
 #3 - Dress like knights in front of a 14th century cathedral!

 Post Stake Conference investigators and recent convert meeting with President and Hermana Dayton! (And Mar - bright shirt on the right!)
 Happy Birthday Angel!

#6 - Lay on grass next to another cathedral on a sunny day!  Boom!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Week 38: Movie Power, Lots of Tears, and Glow-in-the-dark Stars

Hola family!!!

Dang it was heavy this week. We worked our posteriors off working with
members, spending lots of time with our progressing investigators, and
having the great experience of our phone almost dying because the cord
broke, leaving us running to catch a train on Saturday morning to the
district leaders piso to get it charged before we lost the phone,
phew! We had two investigators who's baptismal fechas were dropped
because they couldn't get to church too, we only had one who could
come. But at least there was one! But yea what's life in the mission
field without its highs and lows!

We had the sad opportunity to listen through the tears of one of our
investigators named Jennifer tell us she couldn't meet with us
anymore, with Hermano Toni one of the amazing member here who helped
us teach her there with us. Dang that hurt. That's the second time on
the mission when I've had an investigator tearfully tell us that they
couldn't continue with the lessons, it doesn't get any easier... But
hey, she's super nice, lives in our same building, and wants to meet
with us in the future!

A miracle that happened this week is just another example of how
prayers get answered! It was Saturday night, our lessons had almost
all fired on us, and we were on our way to some back up visits. We had
prayed before we left for help to find some new investigators, because
we had had a hard time with that the few days before. We headed down
this one steep hill in town with a few cafes and a bunch of Muslims,
and up on a balcony was this super nice old lady named Maria Angeles.
We talked to her for a bit about what we do, and she invited us back
on Wednesday, yes! 10 feet later(not exaggerating) we were
individually contacted by two people, a Cuban man who owned the bar,
who Elder Woodmansee talked to, and me with a middle aged Spaniard
woman named Montse, who was there with her 10 year old Nieto Orion!
She had had some bad experiences with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and had
5 of her close family members, including her husband, die in the last
few years too! I ended up testifying to her and her grandson about the
plan God has for us, and she gave us her address, accepted a Book of
Mormon, so did the Cuban man, and we continued on with our night! We
also found another new named Laura a little while later! I now know
that the Lord answers our prayers in line with our faith, that he will
not leave us alone to fight the fight, and that those four children of
God were not there in our path by accident!

We also showed Mar, our bright and happy investigator who's still set
for the 28th to be baptized, "The Testaments". She's been really
sensitive to videos before, especially the one of Christ's birth, but
dang this woman was in tears at the end of that one. Seriously, I love
that movie, and she loved it so much too that she's requested a copy,
even if she doesn't have a DVD player herself! She's so good, our only
struggle is helping her to understand that baptisms are the beginning, and
that she doesn't have to wait until November 29(her birthday) to do it
haha! Long story there haha!

Time management, I've never been the best at this one. I'm fairly
certain President Dayton knew that too about us missionaries when he
wrote for his weekly newsletter last week all about management our
time and the Lord's time as well. As well put by Spencer W. Kimball,
"wise time management is really wise management of ourselves!".  If we
use the small amount of time we have on the earth to do something
good, positive and sometimes life-changingly amazing, we can look back
in 50 years and be grateful for the time we had, rather than
regretting the time we didn't use to its fullest! I hit 9 months in
the mission field this week, dang. And it surprises me still how each
month that I'm out goes by faster and faster, no thanks to the fact
that we've been working and using our time to our fullest the entire
day here in Manresa(we could still do better but hey effort!). Now if
one were to look for someone with the wisest use of time in their
lives(my mom, since she's always gotten me out the door on time!), it
would be Jesus Christ! "I thank him for his marvelous management of
time, for never missing a moment, even moments of meditation. Even
his seconds showed his stewardship!" Neal A. Maxwell  Are we using our
seconds? I invite all of you, and I'm part of this too, to take a
moment to think, and pray for the ability to use our time for the best
things in life, to plan our days to live without regrettably wasted
time, and to show our love for the Savior by using this life to make a
difference(however big or small it is!)!

Another fun thing this week was when we had to stop by a chino(dollar
store) to get some things for the piso. We found in the maze of aisles
a stack of glow in the dark stars, for like barely nothing! Our inner
five years olds burst out with excitement, and now we have the Milky
Way above us as we sleep. We find some strange ways to entertain
ourselves here in Manresa! Overall a long, testimony building, and
great week in the mission, and I'm pumped to head into the last two
weeks of the transfer!

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 What happens with too much soap in the washer...Ooops!
 Getting tons of food from Ninfa!
 Afternoons throwing a frisbee in the park above the European countryside....Priceless!
 Ninfa's delicious shrimp and fish skillet - amazing!
 Crazy sunset we saw while contacting!

European gelato!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 37: Chastity belt, Royal Friends, Arabic, and Cucarachas in the Bread!

Hola familia!

Well I felt like we just talked haha, but it's been a pretty great and
interesting week in Manresa! We gave out five baptismal fechas, 4 are
still good because one didn't show up to church :(. But besides that,
we had some amazing lessons, found some news in miraculous ways(like
helping a gypsie family take down a fridge from the piso that they
found abandoned). Sadly, Javier, the man who we planned to baptize
this week revealed to us in the most untimely of manner, even after
the law of chastity lesson, that he is gay. Like gay. So sadly he can't
get baptized this week, but we still plan on visiting him to help him
progress to it!

This week was amazing also for the fact that while we did lose the
baptismal date of one of our investigators, we invited four more in
his place. The most miraculous of these is Ginny, a 20 something year
old lady from the Dominican Republic, who we contacted in the street a
few weeks ago and had written her number as a future. A week ago, we
found the number again and called, and she was ready to meet with us!
When we taught her, we found out that she had had a fairly prophetic
dream that she should leave the Catholic Church where she was, and
find the true church of God. She had tried out the evangelicals, but
wasn't feeling the spirit there, but soon after leaving there, she
found us in the street! Through several lessons and a branch activity,
she's grown to love church and the teachings, and she accepted a
baptismal fecha more easily than any investigator I've seen before,
because there's no doubt in our mind that she was prepared for us
meeting with her(she reads and prays daily!). I'm so grateful to be
part of the miracle of this daughter of God finding the church, and us
being able to help her on the path to baptism this month!

Speaking of chastity, we were teaching this lady named Mar(soon to be
baptized too!) the law of chastity, and began with the question of
what do you think of when you hear chastity? Well, she went straight to
a chastity belt from back in the day, leaving us dying with laughter
as we tried to explain what the law of chastity really is(it's not a
belt haha). She's amazing though, super goofy, love able, and
faithful, now it’s all about getting her to read! And she's Spaniard,
so yes!

Funny story this week about food. I was on an intercambio with Elder
Miller in Terrassa on Tuesday, having a good old time, until we
miraculously found this old investigator of theirs. Manuel, I think
that was his named invited us in, and in the usual Ecuadorian way he
stuffed our hands full of juices boxes, soup, cheese and a huge bag of
bread while we were sitting on the couch. We each picked a piece of
bread, and were eating it with some cheese when Elder Miller, with a
look of pure horror I've never seen on him before, pointed to the
paper bag, and the cockroaches coming out.... Flip! On the verge of
getting sick, we starting laughing and quickly put the bag to the
side. Thinking our problems would be over, we started eating some pork
and vegetable soup he made, and it wasn't long before I noticed the
meat was a bit chewy. We finished it fast to be able to make it to the
next visit, but not before he kept handing us more of that bread from
the bag! We made sure to tear the bread loaves first before eating it
now, but dang that was one of the craziest eating visits I've had in a
long time, and Elder Miller and I laughed so hard afterwards about
it, until it came back to haunt me later that night... Enough said
there but an interesting intercambio in the cities of Terrassa and

I also learned some Arabic during that intercambio! I practiced on an
investigator we have named Ahmed, but he just gave me this confused
and shocked expression after a few shots, so I'll have to practice
more later haha. Elder Woodmansee did have this fun contact though
with this morracan man named Fisle, who yelled at us in English down
this steep hill in town! We talked to him for a few minutes with him
and his drunk buddies at the bar, and found out that he's royal(sorta,
his name is), but hey now we can say we've met a famous Arab man named

Envy. It isn't good, and sadly I'll admit, I've been no stranger to it
during my life and mission. So have a lot of people though, since it's
something that most people don't realize that they have until way into
the future. It's the act of comparing yourself against other people,
and desiring what they have and you don't. When I came to the
realization of what envy is, I immediately began to look back at
myself on how I could change, and in the process found the talk by
Jeffery R. Holland titled "The Other Prodigal" from the April 2002
general conference. The message is simple, stop comparing and start
being who you are! The blessings and personality that God has blessed
you with will not and are not the same as the next person, therefore
there's no point in negatively comparing yourself to others, it will
only bring you more sadness and less self esteem. "I testify that no
one of us is less treasured or cherished of God then another!" I
invite all of you to take a look at yourself, who you are, what skills
you've been blessed with, and live life free of comparison and envy!
That is the way Christ lived, and the key to a happy and less
stressful life!

Overall a great week, and made better by an amazing FaceTime to the
family, especially mom! Happy late Mother's Day!


Elder Taylor Moulton

 Lobo be staring (top middle if you can't find it haha)

 Eating a breakfast of McDonald's in front of the Sagrada Familia (#lifegoals)
 Noche de Rama!

 Zone Enfoque
Sagrada Familia

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 36: Que Lindo, Take him to Sabadell!, We're Dunking Ginny Weasley, and Jehovah's Witness Encounters!

Hola family!

Well from the title this week, it's pretty easy to say it was a fun
week, we have Javier set to be baptized this week(Mar disappeared,
still working on that one haha), and we have some new great
investigators along with some of ours who are going to be baptized! Now
it's all about preparing Javier for his interview to be
baptized(tomorrow, no pressure...hopefully he's been truthful in all
of our lessons!). But other than that, we've been out of the count for
a bunch of time this week with going to doctors citas for Elder
Woodmansee in Barcelona twice, district meeting, and Elder Woodmansee
being sick on Wednesday. But through all of that we had some amazing
lessons so it's ok!

Que lindo, Javier is what you'd call a flower. We found out that lindo
meant cute or pretty, and that he's been saying it a ton, so that was
funny to find out haha, but hey he's got faith and has been at church
for two weeks now! Yay!!!

One of the more miraculous miracles that happened this week was the
events around getting Javier, to the baptismal service of the elders
in Terrassa on Saturday. When we heard about the service earlier this
week, and were asked if we could bring anyone, our minds immediately
went to Javier, but we knew instantly that it'd take a bit of work on
our part to get him from his pueblo in Navarcles all the way to the
Sabadell building. But through a series of miraculous events, good
planning, and a lot of faith on the part of Javier, he and us made it
to the baptism just as it was starting! And that was even with getting
led off course by some bad navigation, and missing the bus from the
Renfe station! It paid off in the end, since it was a spiritually
powerful baptism, short, direct, and very happy as the lady Xiomena,
was baptized! Javier was very touched by it also, and because of lots
of support there, and from the members here in Manresa for getting him
home from it too, he became a lot more excited for the baptism! He
will be interviewed this week, and even if the branch council isn't
too excited about his baptism being for this week, I know that the
Rama supports him in his desires to be baptized!

One of the new people that we began teaching this week was Ginny(yes
like the Weasley one form Harry Potter haha), from the beautiful
island nation of the Dominican Republic! She's had two lessons with
us now, is reading, and was at the branch activity last night(a very
successful one too, the gracias and Augustine and Bonny, a couple we
were teaching were there too! We played a bunch of strange games like
do you like your neighbor and tutti fruity, it was great too since it
got these investigators to get to know the members!). She's great
though, she even had a dream a while back that she needed to find a
new church, and the evangelicals weren't her thing so here we are
with her! The only thing holding her back from baptism is that she
can't get to church because of work, gosh dang it Spanish schedule!
But it's ok! The Lord always finds a way eventually!

Jehovahs witnesses, they're everywhere! Whether it's telling an
investigator what to say as she's dropping us on the phone, coming
into the middle of a lesson with an Arab man to just make fun of us
for not using our first names, or making us have to leave Ninfa
because she's still holding on to those beliefs, they've been a bit of
a struggle. They're super nice though, but that's been the struggle
here haha.

This week I made the landmark jump from my first study journal to my
second(it's red and bigger too so it'll be easier to write in, I have
some strangely big hand so the other one was a bit tough to use).
But before I switched over, I decided to do a bit of reading through
the journal to see how much I've changed and how much I've grown since
I started using it in the MTC. For one thing my confidence in the
language has changed drastically, but also I've found that over the
last 8.5 months, I could see my testimony grow to where it is now. And
it wasn't overnight either, definitely not, rather it was through many
meetings, conference talks, prayers, spiritual experiences on the
streets, and study times that my testimony grew from, and because of
that I've come to know of the importance of writing down impressions
as you study. Some find it to be a burden to write down their thoughts
and things that stood out to them in meetings and other gatherings and
times, but I found that the more I wrote down these impressions, the
more impactful they became to my life. And because of the diligence I
had to write them down, I've been able to go back and apply what I've
learned to now! So that's what I'd like to invite all of you to start
today! Find a notebook, whether it be with pandas, bunnies, horses or
origami shapes on the cover, and to write down those impressions that
the spirit gives you during your study's and lessons in church or
other places! As well said by Elder Richard G Scott, "I believe that
you can leave the most precious, personal direction of the Spirit
unheard because you do not respond to, record, and apply the first
promptings that come to you."(To Aquire Spiritual Guidance April
2009). So write down those thoughts!

Overall it's been a fun, and emotionally and spiritually long week!
Keep our investigators in your prayers, because you wouldn't believe
the struggles we find here with them, but the longer I've been here,
the more I've grown to love the goofy people of this little town of
miracles(Muslim, Spanish, Gypsies, all of them!).

Love and miss you all, and happy early Mother's Day!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 The craziest sunset ever on the way home from Sabadell

 Next Sunday, be ready by ..... (So excited to talk with him on Mother's Day!!)
 The hills above Manresa