Monday, August 24, 2015

embarrassing experiences with fruit

August 10, 2015 
Querido familia miyo,

Wow!  I cannot believe that another week has flown by. It is the strangest thing. Our days seem to last for weeks, but the weeks have been passing like days. This past week has been absolutely amazing!  We had our struggles, but this really is the work of the Lord.

Monday we went and taught M. He is seriously my Spanish grandpa. He just turned 87 and is as cute as can be. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted which is crazy because normally old people in Spain don't even want to listen to us. It is sometimes a struggle to teach him because he is so old. But with the Spirit, anything is possible. 




Funny story, we were teaching one of our investigators about the 10 commandments - here's the thing,  Hermana Rocha has this special hand sign thing to teach it. So she starts teaching the first commandment, and leads on for me to teach the second one. But here's the thing, I don't know it!  So I just sat there and said, "Well the truth is, we are all learning together here."  So Hermana Rocha taught the second commandment and she kept trying to include me, not realizing, I literally didn't know them! So that's what the video on iCloud is all about:) 

We taught a noche de hogar (family home evening) on missionary work this week. It was so amazing!  I shared Mom's experience with the missionaries and all the things that came because of her conversion. The members were really touched and are super excited to help us befriend our investigators.

This week we had a ton of embarrassing experiences with fruit.  First off, let me say that since I have been in the mission field, I have eaten everything put in front of me.  All of it!  Including a paella
made with baby octopi in it. (It was so sad, they were so, so small!) but we were at an eating cita (appointment) and the members know how much Hermana Rocha loves watermelon, so they gave us a ton of watermelon and the daughter must have seen my face and asked me if I liked watermelon. With as much enthusiasm as I could muster, I said I LOVE it!  Hermana Rocha rolled her eyes and reminded me not to bare false witness, but since I don't know the 10 commandments, it's fine;) 


Then a different night we were eating with members and they brought out a dessert which is basically a huge bowl of mixed fruit.  I was like, 'Alright. I can do this.'  So I started to eat it. And Hermana Rocha didn't realize at first it was fruit.  Then mid-bite she starts dying of laughter. And everyone at the table stops and just looks at her.  She is just dying of laughter and says, "Hermana es fruta!" And I was like, "I know." begging her with my eyes not to say anything, but she did.  She told everyone there that I don't like fruit.  They all laughed and I was so embarrassed! Then the dad of the house said," Please Hermana, end your suffering!" (because I tried to play it off and kept eating the fruit) Then he got me an ice cream. 

Also I tried guacamole for the first time because F couldn't believe I had never had it!  She made me try it that moment.  I also tried some gazpacho which is basically blended salsa to drink.  So that was fun;)  I'm learning all about food over here in Spain;)

This week we had the amazing opportunity to teach J.  Literally every moment with this woman has been a miracle!  We contacted her on the street.  It was during our last moments of the day right after a prayer of gratitude for a lesson taught with the Spirit. When we ended the prayer, we both knew we had to talk to the next person we saw.  So we did.  J was walking with her daughter and stopped to listen and began sobbing.  She apologized, and said that she was emotional because she knew we were sent from God to guide her back to Him. So for the next month we went to her home almost every day (she lives right on the beach which is obviously the edge of our area but really far from everyone) and she wasn't there ever. We were quite discouraged. And had been praying every day to find Jusamin. Well one day we ended up in a different part of our area for one reason or another, (honestly we have no clue how we ended up there or why we were there at that time),
and we found J!  Let me repeat. We were walking on the street and found her!  We set up an appointment and taught the first lesson.  It was the most powerful lesson I have had the opportunity to be a part of.  She accepted a baptismal date without batting an eye. Amazing how the Lord prepares people for this work.


"you dream and deserve
what we make it possible"
Funny story with that lesson, Hermana Rocha started reciting the first vision and it was so powerful and I started feeling wet.  I look over and J's daughter had unscrewed the cap on my hand sanitizer and it had spilled everywhere!  But not wanting to ruin the Spirit, I casually tried to clean it up with my skirt;)

We also had one of the most powerful zone meetings yet. It really got me thinking about what I have done this past month in the field.  Have I honestly given it my all?  What am I holding back from my God?  Can I honestly say I am satisfied with the work I have done? Yes, I am happy with the work I have done.  But I really am going to focus on giving my all every day. Because why am I here if I am just waiting for a year and a half to pass?  When I finish here, will I look back and wish for my time back?  Or truly know I gave it my all.  I want to know I did my best. 

I challenge all of you to look at where you are now, and not wait for Friday or this activity or even one hour to be happy.  Choose to be happy in this moment. With who you are and who you are becoming.  This week we said good bye to M,our mini-missionary.  She is going to serve in Lexi Rich's mission.  So I hope they can know each other because they are both so amazing!  She shared something with me that was very powerful.  She shared the story of her father who is a convert leaving on his mission.  His parents refused to support him and were so angry at him for leaving they dropped him off on the curb at the airport and left him there, a brand new missionary terrified and alone!  I realized right then and there how lucky I am to have all of you so ready and willing to support me. I love you all and cannot thank my Heavenly Father enough for each and everyone of you.

One night Hermana Rocha and I had extra food from a ward activity and we went looking for some homeless people to give it to. Wouldn't you know, there were none to be found!  The one time we had food to give! But we ran into a man and his daughter for the third time.  So we stopped and talked with them and gave them the food. The dad thanked us because he needed food for his daughter and didn't have time to make any. The Lord works in wonderful ways sometimes:)


This week we really have tried to include our investigators more with the ward. Well we decided to pray individually for each one of our investigators to know who could help us. After every prayer a name or a face came to both of us. It was seriously one of the most miraculous experiences of my life!  It has been amazing to see how those members have worked with us to really further the work here.  Revelation is real.


I attended my first baptism this week! One of my English students got baptized!  She showed up at the church on her own and asked to be taught the gospel! How amazing. I love her so much and am so happy to see her make this change. I'm sorry if my words seem superficial, but know this, I mean it with all my heart when I say there is nothing quite like watching someone who was so prepared to receive the gospel be baptized.


This week at church one of our investigators came to church.  J is amazing and loved it!  Our members were so perfect and invited her to their homes and sat with her.  It was so cool to see how our lessons and prayers worked together to make church for J awesome. Not going to lie, we were expecting 8 investigators and only 2 came. It was a little disheartening. We also had a lesson where the Spirit was there so strong and the investigator just refused to feel it. I couldn't get it out of my mind how amazing this woman was, and yet she just refuses to believe. Both Hermana Rocha and I were pretty down.  And then we decided, this is silly!  The miracles we have seen and the
work we are doing is very real.  We are the luckiest hermanas in the world!  We
worked together to get more prepared.


Last night our mission President called us. We were both terrified because we thought that one of us was leaving, but he just wanted to ask if he could put something I wrote in the mission letter.  it was a little embarrassing, but he didn't put my name so not that bad;)

This week I learned something amazing in Matt 14. I love this whole story but starting in verse 22. The apostles had been struggling all night against a storm and made no progress. Then when Christ came they were afraid.  How often are we being beat down or feel like we are going no where, does help come and we fear it, rather than embrace it?  It doesn't matter the kind of help, maybe a friend reaching out or an opportunity to serve, but we reject it in fear.  But we don't need to
fear!  Because we know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He knows best and loves us and knows exactly how to help!  Also interesting that He came only after the fourth watch. The latest one. How often do we need to endure a little while our trials, just to build our spiritual muscles. Then Christ comes and relieves us. I hope I explained that okay...


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JENN AND JOE!


Question of the week: what are some tips you have for when I'm feeling a little sleepy during study time?


Love you all so much!
Hermana Smalley

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