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

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸŒ΄Elder Taylor Moulton🌲πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

 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 jΓ³venes, 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!

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸŒ΄Elder Taylor Moulton🌲πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

 Going to a Roman ruin in Vic in the rain!

 First District meeting - boom!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Week 64: Leaving Getxo to work in the land of milk and honey!

Hola family!

I have to be pretty brief this week, since I don't have much time to write, but summary is that I've been transferred out of Las Arenas after 6 months, and I'm now serving in Vic (the land of milk and honey as President Dayton put it). Pretty excited to work here, this place is beautiful, the people look like fun, my companion Elder Bowles is a stud (he's also from Elder Perry’s group), and yea, I'm back in Catalunya!

It was also sad to leave Elder Perry and Las Arenas. Our district of four had a great run together, and it was sad to see Elder Kimball go home. But I have faith that those two will keep the areas running, they're pretty solid. I'll miss those members though, the Valerde family, Manolo y fe, Neyla, the Castellanos, it was tough. But I'm grateful to have left on a good note, finding a bunch of miraculous investigators (being fired on by 5 investigators in a row, contacting the first building and finding two fuerte news!), and saying goodbye to the members. I also gave a 10 minute talk on a whim (they told me like 1 minute before the meeting started), which I gave on being a disciple of Christ.

I love and miss you all, you're all the best, and good luck with Trump as president!

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸŒ΄Elder Taylor Moulton🌲πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ
 I've been called to Vic in Cataluna to be district leader!


 Our piso!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 63: Sweet Dreams, Lugging Colchones, Miraculous timbres and Fartones!

Hola Family!
Pretty tough week in terms of missionary work. Lots of contacting in the rain, coming doors, and trying to find less actives and members. All of this was made better by the first few days of the week being spent moving to our beautiful new piso (which doesn't smell of mildew and yogurt!). It's small, but it has an exorbitant amount of closet space, mate storage, and fridges (it has two! Yea!). And it's in a better location for both of our areas, making life a bit easier for us all (also the blinds work too!). It was pretty funny though, one of which being us four walking across las arenas, each with a mattress on their head, along with Blanca cheering us on (a recent convert). Pretty great. It was also amazing to have a couch, which we didn't have before. But life's a bit better now, and even though Elder Kimball and I will only be able to use this piso for another week (transfers are coming....), it's worth it!
Fun story, before we built our bunk beds, we spent two nights of us sleeping on the floor on our mattresses in the new piso. On one of the nights, Elder Kimball, the lighter sleeper, woke up to find Elder Jacobson snoring inches from his ear (he having rolled onto his bed), me sleep talking as usual, and Elder Perry pacing around the room in his sleep. He probably thinks we're crazy, but hey at least it's never boring in the Las Arenas district!
Also Spanish cuisine of the week, Fartones (sticks of sweet dough dipped in powdered sugar), and torta de arroz, a Columbian dish which is a tortilla wrapped ball of pulled pork and rice. Both amazing, so look up the recipes of you'd like to try them.
For investigators, were running low at the moment. It's been pretty difficult to find anyone who's interested, and Joel the man who was supposed to be baptized this last week becoming pretty disinterested. But we've found a great less active family who's come back to church, and some fun news. One of them being Moosa, a man from Mali who we found in one of the bigger cities in our area called Leioa. We had pressed the timbre of a less active in the building, and upon not finding him at home we were thinking of going in to our next appointment. But after feeling impressed to try and get in, we pushed the top timbre, and almost immediately the door opened! The man who opened didn't want much, just spoke loudly in euskera (an alien language haha)and shut the door, but his neighbor Moosa let us sit down and teach him! We were able to teach a bit about prayer, find a better time to meet, and get to know him a bit, and we're planning to meet with him tomorrow. I'm so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord, letting us know that he's there through the simplest things, even if it's a single door opening.
We also had the surprising revelation that Alicia a recent convert got married on her month long trip to Bolivia. Surprise! She's back now, but she's going to move back to Bolivia in six months with Oyer Helen and the gang, so that'll be sad. The good news it's that he's a very Christian man, and has a great job so they'll have a good time there. But yea, that was unexpected.
Something I learned this week was to take time to commune with God. (Luke 6:12) Sounds complicated, but it's really as simple as sincerely praying to him, talking to him about your needs and what you're grateful for, and to take time to ponder afterwards. I hadn't done the whole pondering thing in a while (you know me, I can't stay still), but when I did this, it's amazing the burden lifted off my shoulders. I also grew after reading the talk "Fourth floor last door" from President Ucthdorf from the women's session this last conference. Even if our prayers don't get answered immediately, even if every door gets slammed in our faces, keep going! Keep fighting and walking with confidence in Him until that fourth floor last door, and that's where the miracles happen. It's that simple. Just keep knocking, keep enduring. Enos's prayer didn't get answered after just an hour, Alma the younger didn't change right away, Joseph Smith didn't immediately get freed from liberty jail... it just keeps going. So if life seems hard, I invite you to keep going a little more, because it will get better!
I love you family! Thank you for your love and prayers!
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸŒ΄Elder Taylor Moulton🌲πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ
 Dinner party in the new piso after building the furniture!

 Non alcoholic wine!
 This might be the best pair of pajamas ever!
 My tie collection!
Torts de arroz to celebrate the last night in the old piso!