Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 75: Addiction Recovery, 14th Century Castles, cat pee, and changes!

Hola familia!

The work in Vic is now starting up again. With Geraldo and his family
failing to come to church for the third week in a row, we've been
forced to give them a lesson z and put them on the back burner.
Luckily, we've been blessed with some very promising new
investigators. Julio from Ecuador was one, who's had questions about
the Catholic Church and has already gotten excited about the church
since it's so close to his house. We also found a Spanish couple, Jose
and Rosa, who while they may be battling a few addictions, already
accepted invitaciones to get rid of them, to clean their house (they
made that one themselves), read the Book of Mormon, and Jose prayed in
the lesson in their house. So while our past investigators are falling
off track, these new ones are giving us some hope.

The Rama is going to try and improve also. The third hour meeting was
spent talking about the attendance issues, helping out the less
actives and recent converts, and paying tithing. The branch presidency
did a good job with it, and we all left with the spirit and the
members are excited to repent (the counselor in the presidency
literally called them to repentance, dang) and start over.

Today for preparation day we hiked to the Santi Marti Castle, which
looks a bit like Lord of the Rings since it's up on the top of a cliff
with ravens circling it. I kid you not, I have video evidence. But it
was a blast! Also, it was 20 degrees out so that made it great. It's
spring time in January!

So the cat pee. Well Jose and Rosa, when they said they'd clean the
house, really have a problem. Their place is really nice to be honest,
except it's dirty, there's clothes everywhere, and they have a room
just for the cats. You already know without having to open the door,
it's that bad. Let's just say that cats need baths too, and clean
toilets. We're praying that they follow through with that

So I have to finish up, but here's a quote to ponder about hope from
Neal A. Maxwell. "Thus, real hope is much more than wishful musing. It
stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. It is composed, not
giddy, eager without being naive, and pleasantly steady without being
smug. Hope is realistic anticipation taking the form of
determination--a determination not merely to survive but to “endure …
well” to the end".

Love you all!

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

 Castillo de Sant Marti de Centelles

 Lunch with a view!

The good burger!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 74: Mountain Pueblo Miracles, Pastor Problems, and Moist Spanish Contacting!

Hola family,

Well, it rained here this week. Quite a bit. But the good news is that
the mountains are covered in snow around us, making it look like we
are in Utah or something. Elder Tobias and I had a good time
contacting every human soul that breathed in the streets (with little
success, but most of Vic now has their very own Jesus Christ pass-along
card and the address of the church!). People are mean sometimes though
haha. My favorite thing to do is if I see they're not interested, I
asks if they’ve read the Book of Mormon (in my hand). They usually say
yes (especially if they're from Ghana or Nigeria), and then I follow
that up with asking them if they know the book’s true. When they say
yes, we invite them to be baptized (they're left stunned, confused and
surprised at the question), and surprisingly a few accept! The most
prepared people we find are the ones who are the least prepared for
the contact. So you make the most of it.

Well, Geraldo’s family will probably be baptized in a little bit, we're
planning to give them a lesson if they keep going to their pastor
with questions. We've taught them all get the lessons, but the pastor’s
been giving them lots of doubts and because of it it’s been hard to keep
the spirit in the lessons when Geraldo shares random scriptures from
his pastor meant to prove us wrong (even though they just confuse his
family even more). We have faith that they'll pull though, but we'll
have to give them space if they pastor makes them any more confused.

In other aspects of missionary work, we've been working hard. Even the
rain couldn't stop us from us having the most amazing miracle! So a
few weeks back during an intercambio, Elder Tobias heard some lady
speaking Portugese on the train to Vic. After talking to her we got
their address, but she wasn’t too interested to hear anymore. That is,
until Saturday when we decided to pass by again, and we met her niece,
Linara who's 27. Even after just meeting her, she wanted to come to
church since she's heard of us before in Brazil. And she did! She
loved the meetings even if she can't understand Spanish very well, she
had great questions, and she's coming to a family home evening
tomorrow evening with us! I love passby miracles!

One day up in the mountain town of Ripoll, two missionaries, a gringo
and a Brazilian, were walking down a skinny European street. While the
Brazilian was on the phone, the gringo had the impression to try
opening this random door. It opened, to his and their surprise, so
they went to the top floor and knocked on the door. A Spanish woman
opened up (named Carmen), and to their surprise she had been praying
for help, since she was sick, alone and knew the Catholic Church
wasn't true. With mouths wide open, they wrote down her number, gave
her a pamphlet, prayed, and left. Both were left surprised, and
feeling blessed to have been in that little town of Ripoll that night
to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. Tomorrow we're hoping to
have a good lesson with her!

So yea, good, but hard week, and with the worldwide missionary
broadcast this week, interviews, and maybe snow on the way, this
should be an amazing week.

My spiritual thought is a quote from a quote from a talk by Dallin H
Oaks in Oct. 2000. "All that I have I desire to give you--not only my
wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have
I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for
yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I
have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws
and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow
my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am,
and all that I have will be yours.”

"From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just
an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts--what we have done.
It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and
thoughts--what we have become."

I love and miss you all!

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

 District Meeting

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 73: Cleaning out the Jehovah's Witnesses' basement, Snow, and Miracle on the Renfe!

Hola family

Pretty slow week here in Vic. But the good news is that at least it
wasn't boring. It almost never is in a small town in Spain so that's a

We've hit a wall with the family of Geraldo. They still have the goal
to be baptized this week on Saturday, but at the last minute Geraldo
gave into temptation and went back to his old church. Since we've
taught them all the lessons, the daughters literally testified to
him this last lesson that the church is true, and he still went back,
we've enlisted the help of Melvin Marchan for this next lesson to help
him out. They're going to be such strong members, just with the way
he's asks us questions and reads the assigned chapters every lesson
helps me know that all this work will be worth it. Now it's all about
getting him to choose. With Christina and James (from Ghana, accepted
an invitation to be baptized the first time we talked to them) we were
able to teach James more about the Book of Mormon, and invite them to
church, but because of her work schedule it's been difficult to find
the two of them together. The good news is that they've still shown
desire to get baptized!

One of the most miraculous things this week happened when we arrived
at the train station a little early to visit a pueblo. We had just sat
down next to the anden when these two young Honduran women came up
and asked us where the church is. Suprised, since that question alone
is a miracle, we found out that Demarias was a less active recent
convert in Honduras, and had moved to a small town near Vic three
month ago to live with her sister. After exchanging numbers she came
to the Relief Society activity Saturday and church on Sunday, and
we're planning to meet with her and her non-member sister this week!

Saturday morning we went out with Pedro from Ecuador to clean out his
mom's new "storage unit" in the outskirts of Vic. By storage unit in
Spain, that usually means a small room in an old garage or building
with Harry Potter doors that someone built this last century. We got
covered in dust and cobwebs in the process (and rolled old tires down
the street), and then noticed a bunch of people in nice clothing
coming up the street giving us strange looks (I had on my BYU
sweatshirt so maybe that's why). We then noticed that the garage was
directly below a Jehovah's Witness chapel. They were heading out for
Saturday contacting in the streets. What made the situation funny is
that they kept sending people out at random, especially this one older
man to ask us what we were doing (they knew we were the Mormon elders).
By the end they asked us twice if we moved in right above the
chapel (with the nervous look on his face when he asked I was almost
tempted to say yes haha), but when they found out we were just helping
a friend out they relaxed. But hey now I can say we cleaned out the
Jehovah's Witnesses’ basement!

It snowed yesterday morning too! Christmas miracle! First time in the
mission too. Elder Tobias flipped out as we were walking to the

Other than that, a normal week of contacting Punjabi people, Morracan
men, Ghanaians, and Spanish people. This last week too I had the
opportunity to make some goals for this year. After looking back at my
almost hilariously big goals from last year, I decided to head in the
opposite direction. For that my goals include drink 2 liters of water
a day, memorize one scripture a week, leave every room cleaner then
you found it, practice good handwriting for 5 minutes a day, and so
on. I've been good this year doing 100 push-ups every morning, with a
goal of 250 by July. They're little things, but it's been way better
to see the change in doing these small little things every day, and
knowing that I'm achieving my goals, and not writing down dreams. It's
like the quote I wrote on my goal book here:
If you can't read that it says (thank you David A Bednar) "Ordinary people who consistently do small and simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results". Pretty good motto I think.
I love and miss you all, thanks for all your love and support, and happy MLK day (I celebrated by eating a sandwich and drinking guava juice with milk).

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

 A few more pics from last week

A new sweater and a haircut!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 72: My Brazilian friend touched snow, The Body of Christ, and I'm super dizzy writing this letter!

Hola familia!

I'm sorry if this letter is a bit short, but I'll explain why. We're
now in the car of our branch president, President Flores and his wife
after spending the afternoon up at the top of the Pyrenees Mountains.
At a ski resort named La Molina, we took the opportunity to take the
cable car to the top of the mountain, peaking out at a hefty 8000
feet (it was high). Not a bad way for Elder Tobias to touch snow. He
was quite excited. The cable car rocked (literally, a bit scary haha).
But yea so while on the highways here I can't write much since I might
get sick.

Anyways, busy week. We went to Barcelona on Wednesday for our monthly
zone meeting. After which, I went on an intercambio with my old friend
Elder Tyson (my old district leader from Manresa who's now our zone
leader) to Vic. Pretty fun times, talked to a bunch of people, got the
Spanish bird from a man (pretty intense haha, they're not casual about
it like in the United states).

Fun cultural note: We've talked to a few people this week from India,
specifically from Punjab (a region there). Super nice people, don't
know much English or Spanish so it's hard to talk to them. But the
good news is that I know how to say hi to them. It's "Sashrical". Good
word to know next time I'm in India or Catalonia.

This week we made big progress with the family of Geraldo. While we
had to move their baptismal date up to the 21st, they made it to
church again, the daughters received pretty strong answers to their
prayers about the church, and we've made it almost all the way to
lesson 5. Geraldo is being held back by both his fear for the change,
and because of doubts that his pastors have  given him. Mainly about the
scripture that we are all the body of Christ. Even after he's told us
the fruits of the church are good, with prophets and apostles and the
Book of Mormon, he's held back by these doubts and his expectations
for an answer. After all of our efforts this week to explain how the
Holy Ghost answers prayers, we're hopeful that he'll receive his
answer this week. Also he's had some pretty interesting dreams, but
that's another story.

One miracle we had this week was this mom and son named Christina and
James from Ghana. We contacted them on the street, and applying the
invitation from the zone leaders to invite at least one person to be
baptized a day, we asked them if they'd been baptized. Surprisingly
they hadn't, so we invited them, they accepted, and we later had a
great lesson on the restoration! The only issue we see is the people
living in their piso, who come from other churches and weren’t too
interested in our message. But lesson learned, we shouldn't ever be
afraid to invite. They might even say yes!

Fun thing I do with my spare time, I have a notebook filled with
interesting experiences in the mission on one side, and the other
filled with things I've learned while a missionary.  So far, I have about 200
things  I've learned this year, including but not
limited to 1) you can’t eat fufu with your left hand, 2) February has
an r after the b, 3) it's better to say no to something than to say
yes but know you'll be there late, 4) you need to touch your hand to
your heart after shaking the hand of a man from Morocco, the list goes
on. Elder Tyson taught me one this week in his call to me last night
about district stuff.  He finished with the question "Do you believe
you've done everything in your power to fulfill your purpose to invite
others to come unto Christ this week?".  It's a good question.  Did I do
everything in my power to help someone come to know Jesus Christ? Did
I pray as fervently as I could for the spirit to touch the hearts of
the people? I gave a rookie district leader answer yes, but realized
after that it probably wasn't true. So I want to ask you all the
question, “Have you done everything in your power to have a great day?
To serve someone else? To be the best you can be?” If not, do what
I'm going to start doing now and also God if you've done your best,
and humbly ask "What lack I yet?"

Thank you all for your letters and prayers, they definitely don't go unnoticed!

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

 Went to La Molina up by the French border, 8000 feet!  With Branch President Flores and his wife.

 Three Kings Day cake.  If you get a little king in your piece you get a wish (and you're king), or if you get the deed, you pay for the cake!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 71: Drifting Polar Bears, Hot Dogs in a Bar, Grapes, and Senegal Meat!

Hola family!

Happy late new year! Kinda a crazy week with the holidays and all
that, but it's been pretty good. Lots of days contacting and knocking
doors in the cold with my very Brazilian companion Elder Tobias. He's
fun though, likes sugar, has a super bubbly personality around
members, has a lot of energy, and yea it's been great. To finish the
week today we went to the little town of Olot in the mountains to go
ice skating with some members and the hermanas. There I had the
opportunity to drift, a little polar bear they leave around for the
little kids. Crossed that one off the bucket list. We also ate
pastries so overall a good day.

With Geraldo and his family, we've been moving up and down the steps
towards baptism as they've been reading, praying to know about the
truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and Joseph smith, and them
canceling at the last minute on coming to church. When we visited them
last night however, he told us rather unexpectedly at the end of the
lesson that he's done holding back, and that he knew he needed to be
baptized (and his daughters too). It came out of nowhere but the good
news is we're still on track for the family getting baptized on the
14th, with them knowing that they need to attend our church in order
to both be baptized and feel that change they want. We've also met
with a nice Ghanaian man named Joseph who's got some good desires to
learn about the Book of Mormon, but it takes a bit to teach him with
him not knowing English too well (he speaks two)(Elder Tobias and I
have been practicing English lessons for Joseph to help).

Other than that, we had an interesting district meeting playing get to
know you games, eating delicious German style hotdogs with crispy
onions and bacon. You can't beat that!

Between it all, the talking to people on the streets, from all walks of
life (you get them all, high, low, Ghanaian, Muslim, Catalan, British
student..), we celebrated the new year! We did so by eating at a
recent coverts house (John and Jamilet), going home, getting a pile of
twelve grapes ready(with seeds dang it), and ate one grape to each
ring of the gong and wishing for something. Sounds easier than you
think, that's a lot of grapes. And a lot of wishes (I gave up by the
end haha). It's a true Spanish tradition to do it, like everyone here
does it (they also sell grapes in twelve packets for the day). I'll
definitely keep that tradition up after the mission.

Fun experience last night, our branch president called us, picked us
up in his car, drops elder Tobias at the house of a recent convert to
do a family home evening which we thought was canceled with his
daughter and her member boyfriend, leaving me with him and his wife,
President Flores then drove us into the hills around Vic to a client
of his wife, to teach them the gospel. After starting however we found
ourselves in an awkward place when this Senegalen family turned out to
be Muslim, and refused to listen. We may have failed to talk for a
while about the gospel, but we still we able to get to know
them (parents and two little daughters), over a meal of couscous with
yogurt, and a platter of meat (steak!!). Fatima, the youngest and I had
a little fight with our forks to eat the meat but it turned out to be
delicious in the end. So lesson learned, Senegal meat is delicious,
and our branch presidents the bomb!

Overall a good week, getting ready to set some goals, and we have our
zone meeting this Wednesday meaning a trip to Barcelona! My spiritual
thought to you all is found in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. Basically, this
is a new year, no matter what comes, love it, and remember to live for
the short time that has been given you.

I love and miss you all!

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

 The Spanish tradition, 12 grapes for the twelve gongs at midnight, with a wish for every gong!

 Eating hot dogs at a bar after district meeting
 Preparation day spent skating in Olot