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

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