Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Week 87: Pastora Amanka, Marilyn Monroe, and "Usted es sordo?"

Hello family and friends of the English speaking world!

This has been a week of hot weather, changes of plan, and a few let downs. One of those is losing the opportunity to baptize this transfer with Elder Barlow. Also of having the friends of ours who were teaching fire on us. But besides that we have some hope for this week!

Ester and Ester are on hold for a minute. The daughters been sick for three days and couldn't come to one of the visits nor church, but thankfully the mom has. The mother scared us by calling and getting a bit agitated that we didn't tell her about Joseph Smith and plural marriage. Thanks to the spirit and some good studying we calmed her fears down, and she came to church again! She's still in doubt about baptism (she's praying she says)(thanks for the scripture, it's really helpful), but we have hope for the daughter once she feels better.

A miracle we saw was spending the evening this Saturday with Karim, a recent convert of the hermanas who wanted to see some missionary work. While none of the planned visits worked out, we were able to, with his help, find some great new investigators, one of which accepted to be baptized (his names Kofi, from Ghana), when he feels ready. It really is a testimony booster, I still remember helping the missionaries out when I went splits with them before the mission.

Elder Barlow and I are doing good. After a great intercambio with the zone leaders (Elder Allen! Hadn't been with each other since the days of Santander, wow!) were focusing on getting to know our contacts better. Just from that we've found more people so that's been a blessing. I'm thankful for leaders who really do receive revelation for us.

Sunday morning we had the surprise of arriving at the house of Rose and Joy (two friends from Ghana who we found just outside of our piso), and finding them on their way to church! Well, we went with them. A bit strange as most African churches are, but we at least didn't have to combat anti-Mormon preaching. Pastora Amanka (this intense lady from Nigeria) spent the time teaching about authority and stalling for her husband, luckily we slipped out before he came, had a bad feeling about him. The two didn't come to church with us after as promised, but we’ll try them again this week. Also the church had a Marylyn Monroe clock. That's style.

I also asked a man if he was deaf while he was pointing to his ears doing the usual Spanish approach of saying ones deaf. Had a good laugh after thinking about the strangeness of asking a deaf person if he's deaf. Not going to get an answer most likely. 

Today for preparation day we spent the day exploring the underground ruins of the ancient Roman colony of Cesaragusta, named after, you guessed it, Cesar Agustus. 2000 years old and still there, it's pretty amazing to think about! Spent the day with Emily, a good member friend from Valencia 2 who came up to spend the weekend in Zaragoza with us and some members. Good times, the basilica here is huge!

As for something spiritual, I've talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ a lot this week. It's pretty basic, but we often forget two things, 1, that it's one gospel and not 5 steps, and 2, that it applies to us MORE as members. So keep repenting, taking the sacrament, do the small things and it will all work out. "The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined." 

Love and miss you all!

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒดElder Taylor Moulton๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

 Passed by a former investigator, obviously they don't live here anymore haha!


 The ruins of an amphitheater from the time of Caesar Augustus (2000 years ago)


 District ruin tour


 Emily from way back in Valencia came to visit here in Zaragoza!  Half our district served in Valencia 2 so it was fun to see her!

Picture in front of Pilar Basilica here in Zaragoza

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 86: Semana Santa, Julisbol, no me toques, and Peaches!

Hola family!

I'll be quick and to the point. The Semana Santa (aka Holy Week for
those of non-Spanish tongue), here in Spain, is crazy. While you
thought you couldn't get any stranger then maรฑos and gitanos, here
you've got people in KKK robes of all colors of graduation uniforms,
woman in the saddest of funeral attire, ark of the covenant style
coffins holding an idolistic jesus, funny food and cakes, music, and
every catholic who wasn't practicing beforehand now is fully active.
Fun week for missionary work, and on top of that we had miracles!
Spain’s the best, you're never bored when you spend your days preaching
to complete strangers on the streets. Also I met a messianic. If you
don't know what that is, google it. I'm still not understanding it.

This week we saw miracles, the biggest one was this Nicaragรผense mom
and daughter Ester and Ester, who we are teaching and are heading
towards baptism, came to church! They told us at the last minute that
they'd arrive after sacrament meeting, and then they only arrived
thirty minutes late! Thankfully they heard the talks and had a
terrific class in gospel principle over the original church of Jesus
Christ. We also had some great visits with Paul, a man from Ghana the
other elders found who's super receptive, accepted the restoration and
Book of Mormon (because he heard it before and lost contact with the
elders), and is going to read the book this week since he works in the
mine industry. Just a miracle to find people who are so receptive. He
also gave us jars of delicious peaches. I love peaches.

Fun moment, we're ringing the doorbell of a man we're teaching, and
out comes this slightly drunk man, who upon seeing us invites us
in(he's gay), and started rubbing  and grabbing my arm. Of course not
looking to be in Christ-like in this situation, I pretty frankly told
him "no me toques"(don't touch me), to which he responds " well don't
touch the timbres", and well, since we weren't going to leave without
talking with this friend of ours, kept going. He went away angry. So
yea, just your normal Spanish drunk man with a love for my arm.

Today for preparation day we took a hike as a district to a place
called Julisbol (a small town at the edge of Zaragoza with houses built
into the mountains, cliffs, limestone, a big marsh, and yea). Good
time just to go swinging on tire swings, hike and be out in the sun in
shorts, I love shorts.

We also had zone conference this week, with teachings centered on
Contacting, Joseph Smith, studying better, and manners. Hermana Dayton
taught that last part, basically we all as a mission need to improve
and become more Christ-like in our eating visits. I'm working on
introducing people better (and in the proper order and way), and eating
in a classier way. The most powerful message was President Dayton’s on
Joseph Smith. This line stood out from the rest:"from the first vision
to his death he never had a day of peace". But my thoughts after, he
brought back so much peace to a dark and crazy world, and all thanks
to his calling as the first prophet of this dispensation. For that I
felt the spirit testify strongly as we sang "Praise to the man, who
communed with Jehovah"; because hey it's true. And if you're not sure,
read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and you'll know.

Love and miss you all this Easter week!

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒดElder Taylor Moulton๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ



 Kebab with Victor and Elana, giant kebab












 Zone Conference with the Ileida Zone
 Boom, paella!

 Waiting for our investigator to come into the room, bloods dripping out of the fridge - normal day in Zaragoza!
 Glasses from Daniel
 Yeah that would be a small child-sized Jesus in a coffin - Semana Santa in Zaragoza!




Hiking in Julisbol with the district!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 85: "I have Eternal Life!", Spanish Rain, and (almost) second round food poisoning!

Hello family!

Haha it's been a slightly hard but wonderfully crazy week here in
Zaragoza. But hey, it's never boring. We met two refugees from
Bulgaria and Croatia (one looks like Daniel Craig), we talked to a lot
of gitanos and goofy evangelicals (they all think they know what the
Book of Mormon is, but really have no clue), and it's hot.

Fun experience, we were in a hurry to one our investigator’s
houses, and BOOM! A pile of spit landed on my hand from the sky. To
all those who don't know, this is called Spanish rain. The reason
being that since there are many tall buildings with balconies, you
really never know what's going to land on you(cigarettes, alcohol,
food, dirt, water, pee..), so you wouldn't believe my surprise getting
splattered. The funny part, other than me laughing about it was
refusing to shake Juaquins hand in the door since it was soaked and
rather ran into the bathroom. Just so you know, cuidado with the
Spanish skies, you never know what you'll get.

This week in Zaragoza we've been working hard on teaching the doctrine
of Christ. In almost every one of our visits this week we've taught
lesson three, first to Joaquin and Consuelo, then to Ester and Ester,
then Daylen, the Colombian joven we found last week. Thankfully it's
been good to practice, and in the process I've learned more about the
gospel, especially in our lesson with Ester and Ester. While the
daughter has been open to baptism, the mother still doesn't see the
need to be baptized again. After explaining why, she still wasn't
feeling it. In fact, she proudly proclaimed with hands in the air on a
park bench in the middle of downtown Zaragoza "I have eternal life!"
I'm almost certain she doesn't have her calling and election made
sure, so it was pretty funny. We invited her to pray about it and to
read, and prayed that she'd do it sincerely. The miracle was that the
next day she called to apologize for being so stubborn, and later said
that she's praying reading the book (which she didn't have time for
before). While she canceled at the last minute for church, it was
amazing to see that change! And I tried conguitos (search it, they're
good)!

Also we witnessed a little dog trying to jump on top of a curb but
instead run headfirst into it. Haha Elder Barlow and I were dying!


Also, we visited the member that got me food poisoned. Ignoring my
better judgement, we went into the kitchen to eat the food she'd made
for us (she's from Guinea Equatorial), and it was the same food! Elder
Barlow and I almost died that we were pulled into this again (at least
this time the food wasn't leftovers from the fridge). Crying and
laughing we finished it haha!

Other than that, a good week. Lots of interesting experiences, and
lots of answers to my prayers as I've been studying the conference
talks. My favorite talk now is "then Jesus beholding him loved him".
The message is simple, we need to love the people with problems and
who bother us, not because we're better than them, but because it's
what Christ does with us, every day. He's patient loving, and he never
gives up on us. For that reason we can never feel hard feeling against
our investigators.

Love and miss you all!

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒดElder Taylor Moulton๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

 Happy Easter to me!
 Tacos and Football!
 Our zone after Zone Enfoque at the Good Burger, boom Elder Morley!
 Our church

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Week 84: Double Dragon, Shellfish, la Aljaferia, and el Cierzo!

Hola family!

Well crazy week. As usual, I mean I say that every week so my crazy is
pretty normal. Lots of maรฑos, gitanos, morracans and wind(aka el
Cierzo). Like so much wind. The weather here changes by the hour. Friday
we had massive thunderstorms, Sunday it was freezing, today is hot,
Friday morning it poured. Our weather app doesn't help much as you can
tell. The good news is that the people are used to it so we can
usually find someone outside to listen to us. If or if not random old
homeless people interrupt the contact, that's up to them (true story).

We ate shellfish this week. Strange food, like sucking up a snail out
of salt water, with a touch of spicy tomato sauce to make things
better. The member was super good, her names Maria Angeles, she's from
lleida, and was baptized four years ago. I also got food poisoned this
week (not from her food). Thank goodness for a good companion who let
me pass out on the couch in a coma. I couldn't eat for two days so I
had no energy.

Our two friends with fechas, Juaquin and Consuelo, ended up not being
able to come to conference at the last minute, so well have to re-
invite them to be baptized later this month. We hope to passby them
tonight. But the miracle was Ester and Ester, a mom and daughter who
we've taught twice now from Nicaragua. The daughter has already
decided to be baptized at the end of April, but the mom still isn't
convinced about being baptized a second time. For that, I definitely
was grateful for the talks from this conference. I was surprised at the
simplicity and power of them this time, seemed a lot easier to find a
way to apply each of them to my life and the work. This mother and
daughter arrived late for the Sunday morning session, but were just in
time to hear Elder Oak’s message about the Godhead. With some of the
clearest teachings about the three I've heard in a long time, they
both left with a lot more knowledge about the doctrine of the church
and the three Godhead. For that, I know that conference answers prayers.

We also found by complete accident a Colombian man named Daylen, who's
19 and super interested in the message! Might sound normal but you
don't find a 19 year old investigator too often here! He's a bit
fruity (by his personality), so we're hoping nothing comes bad from
that, but boom teaching the jovenes!

I really enjoyed President Nelson’s talk about focusing on Jesus
Christ. With this new Easter video campaign the church is doing, it’s a
good time to focus on what our church is all about, Christ.
Immediately after I read the Living Christ too. Hadn't read it too
deeply before, it's worth doing!

For preparation day we cleaned the bathroom and headed to the
Aljaferia Palace in the city center. Great castle, lots of Moroccan
architecture. I want to go to Morocco so bad!

Love and miss you all!

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒดElder Taylor Moulton๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

 District meeting and crepes!

 La Aljaferia Castle - amazing Moroccan architecture!

 A big well inside