Monday, August 24, 2015

I made it to Malaga! THIS CITY IS SO BEAUTIFUL!

August 24, 2015
Hello family!

This week sure was interesting, I moved! But before we go there let's jump back to Monday.

In Alicante it was a lot a lot of goodbyes. Man it was so hard!  The first one, and one of the hardest, was to my dear B. I have been praying so much for her that she can continue on in the church eventhough I won't be there to teach her any more. I cannot wait for that moment she can go to the temple! She made me promise never to forget her. I, of course, could never do that. When we parted she said the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard. It was so sweet and simple asking that we could always remember our time together and be kept safe. This work is so real!

We then had our last noche de hogar with the R family. Hermana Rocha and I put a lot of thought into the last message we wanted to share together. We decided to share the message that we are never truly alone. My favorite story from the Old Testament is in 2 kings 6:15-17. We never need to feel scared or alone because there are always more with us than there are with those against us. One thing that has struck me very powerfully since leaving is that when Christ suffered on the cross, He did so completely alone. In those moments of greatest anguish, our older brother suffered completely alone. But out of that suffering we never EVER need to suffer through anything alone. He can be with us every step of the way. It makes me think of something president Lovell shared something in the CCM that I have been thinking a lot about - How Christ didn't need to suffer for our afflictions. In what part of the plan was that necessary? The two problems were physical death and our own unworthiness, and to compensate for that, would be trial enough. But our perfect older brother volunteered to suffer also for our trials, so that when we are crying alone in our bed because of our trials in this life, He can be there to comfort us. How beautiful is the atonement and how perfect the man who preformed it.

Tuesday was a little interesting because we picked up Hermana Herrera and Hermana Swenson and they were with us all day because of transfers. We had our last district meeting together where we all bore our testimonies. Hermana Herrera was headed home. She is home now. But this was her last day, and she bore such a powerful testimony of being a representative of Jesus Christ. She asked us if we really understood what that meant, and if we were really doing all we could to live up to it and love it. That is something I am not going to forget. What an
honor it is to be wearing His name and I'm going to love every minute of it! We taught the C family for the last time and Ch made cade rio meat and it was so great! They got s kick out of me trying to tell water polo stories in Spanish:)   Really today was just a day of lasts -  last noche de hogar, last classes de ingles. It was sad to say goodbye but I got to leave everyone with the most precious gift I have, and that is my testimony.

Wednesday, I said goodbye to everyone at the train station and headed with Hermana Herrera to Malaga! It was an 8 hour bus ride but it was nice to just relax and sleep a little bit. We stopped in Granada for a quick break and Hermana Herrera and I made the mistake of trying to get Burger King. Fast food here is crazy expensive and not really fast. So we had to make a mad dash back to the bus, but no worries, we made it! I loved getting to meet some new people! I met an elder from Scotland and Finland and just loved getting to have a bunch of
missionaries on one bus!

Then the moment came, I made it to Malaga! THIS CITY IS SO BEAUTIFUL! Don't get me wrong Alicante is too, but I am already in love with Malaga. I also met Hermana Gallegos. Heavenly Father is being so good to me! SHE IS INCREDIBLE!  I absolutely adore her! She was baptized four years ago and is from Pueblo, Colorado. She said McKay should know where that's at... It was really funny because one of the first things we talked about was food, and she talked about how her last companion only liked milk, meat and hated fruit, and how that was hard for her :(
In my head I was thinking "Oh man, that's me!  But I am a new person!  I have been eating fruit every morning and loving it!  Hermana Gallegos is making me healthy!

After we met up at the train station I went to my first consejo de barrio and met the Bishop and everyone:)  It was the perfect way to start!  Then we went out working, contacting, and found some awesome people I cannot wait to teach!

Thursday, our first full day together,  began by singing the circle of life to wake up a little more, which was perfect because we laughed ourselves out of bed!  In Malaga every other day all the missionaries get together and play soccer for exercise in the morning. It was perfect! I'm still bad at it, but improving;)  Then we had weekly
planning and I realized just how much work we have to do here!  But both of us are here to work! We want to turn this area around and really give our all!  Afterwards we ordered Chinese food because it's a tradition for the first weekly planning.

Teaching was pretty interesting, right now we are going through our area book visiting everyone in there so we really know where we are at! So much work -  but we are going to get it done:)

Studying with Hermana Gallegos is one of my favorite things in the whole world. We both just try really hard to apply what we are learning. We have made a system to help us plan our lessons better, then review our lessons before we teach, then evaluate after we teach. It really has allowed us to include the Spirit and make every lesson

Hermana Gallegos and I love cooking together!  We always cook breakfast and lunch together. Also in Spanish there is a verb for having an afternoon snack -  how cool is that!? It is such a fun time for us to just relax and be a little crazy at the same time. During language study we have started doing 15 min of conjugation crunches when we feel a little sleepy. Basically, we conjugate verbs together while we do crunches;)

This week we had a miracle, one morning while planning we both felt so strongly that we needed to speak today about the remission of sins. How we can retain it through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well, we were teaching A's the lesson we had planned and he stopped and asked us if we had talked to his friend. We said no, of course not this was our first time even meeting Andrés. He then started to cry and said that we had brought an answer to many prayers. He had been studying the scriptures for weeks searching or an answer, and the Spirit allowed us
to show him the answer. HOW COOL!

This week we have also started to workout during medio dia and we have been doing some MMA videos -  it is hilarious to get into it screaming and punching!  We love working out together and just having a good time.  Saturday, after studies, we were on our way out the door and Hermana Gallegos starts laughing and I was so confused!  I was thinking. "I'm ready to go what's wrong?"  She turns to me and says, "Hermana, do you want to put on some shoes?"  We died laughing, then tried to leave again. This time, Hermana Gallegos had forgotten her iPad!  We made it almost out of the building, then it was my turn to laugh because Hermana Gallegos didn't have her chapa!  I am so glad to have a companion who can laugh when we mess up and work together to be better.

I also got my first chino chuches this week. In Spain these little chinos are everywhere and inside they have a wall of candies for like 10 c a piece so we go in and choose the ones we want:)

This week Hermana Gallegos and I have talked a lot about being the best missionaries we can be. We both have a desire to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities, even when it is hard. But part of that includes being patient with ourselves. I am so grateful that this Gospel is one of change!  I am so far from the woman I want to be, but
everyday I can repent and be better.  Every week I get to renew my covenant to follow the Savior and work harder to be more like Him.

Sunday, Hermana Gallegos and I gave our talks.  I shared the story about the lost boy (from her first talk as a missionary).  And my zone leader came up afterwords and told me I made him drop his pen because I used the subjunctive. It was pretty funny.

This mission is such a blessing. I am learning so much, and I am going to use every moment to become better and love this work!

I love you all so much. I really do not have the words to describe it.
Know there are prayers coming your way from Spain!

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