Monday, August 24, 2015

Yankees vs. Red Soxs ... in Spain!

August 3, 2015 
I love you all so much and another hello from Spain!

After I wrote you last week my companion and I went out looking for one of our investigators that we haven't been able to find. And I want to tell you about how important it is this we follow the spirit. 

As we were walking we passed this woman on the street with a bunch of luggage.  I felt so strongly we needed to talk to her.  And I was like, No, why would she want to talk to us?  She is busy and blah blah.  I got over myself and talked to her.  Her husband appeared out of nowhere and in English asked if we could please help them find their hotel.  They were a cute family from Holland who were completely lost and on the opposite side of the city from where they needed to be. We were able to help them find their way and get settled and talk about the church with them.  They were so funny, "So you walk the streets all day, is that why you know your way around?"  We explained more of what we do as missionaries.  I'm so glad Heavenly Father gave me the chance to help them and that their first experience with the church was a good one.

Tuesday we spent all day at the chapel!  It was actually the coolest day!  We had district meeting where we practiced contacting. Hermana Herrera said something I loved, " When all your appointments fall through and nothing seems to go right, contact, and you will feel the power you have a a missionary"  I love her attitude and I can testify that it works! There is something so powerful about testifying of Christ to people on the streets. I love that we don't look for types of people, we just talk to everyone!

We did some practices that were so funny! Elder Baker mixed up a fake child for a dog and we all died laughing!  Elder Baker taught us about how our words will have impact on those we haven't met yet.  Maybe they will remember our words during a hard time in their lives or maybe our children will teach someone with the words we taught them. But our words will be remembered.  So I want to make sure they are worth remembering.

After that President and Sister Anderson came.  I cannot even explain how much I love them!  I seriously feel like they are my parents while I am gone. I forgot that they also have left their country and their family. And it is special because we get to go through this change together:)  We had interviews and President Anderson said that he doesn't think he has seen a change come over someone as much as he has seen with me in the past 3 weeks. He said it was in a good way too;) which makes me so happy because I am trying so hard to change and be better.  My president is amazing!  And Hermana Anderson is the sweetest woman!  She sat in on English classes that night and we had the funniest time introducing ourselves and talking about adjectives. I love teaching English to the people here!  They are so excited to learn and we laugh at my Spanish when I mess up trying to teach;)  Siempre apredemos juntos (Always we learn together!)  I know that my mission president and his wife have been called of God to take care of this mission and I'm so excited to work with him and the Lord to bless these people.

Mom and Grandpa should like this. Every day I see at least one person sporting Yankees gear all over the place. It makes me smile because you don't see anything from Boston!;)
We are preparing someone for baptism this week and we were teaching the plan of salvation. We talked about temples and the work done there and she turned to me and said, "So I can bring my parents names to the temple?  And the Spirit just rushed into the room and we said "yes" and talked about missionary work in the spirit world and I was thinking that maybe even now as I am working with their daughter, my grandparents are working with her parents.

This week we went to Saint Vincent to teach an investigator and there was a mix up in time and she was not there. We didn't have time to wait so we were a little down.  As we were headed back to the train we ran right into our investigator! It was a miracle and we sat down and taught her a quick lesson:)

So this week I have been working on likening the scriptures to my life and I learned two really cool things! I have always been super harsh on Laman and Lemuel. When they left Jerusalem they were such whiners!  Like why couldn't they see God was taking them to the promised land?  Why couldn't they see the bigger picture?  The works of God sre so much grander than what they could see. Well, I had a humbling moment.  I can think of someone else who was asked to leave their home and serve God, who grumbled about how Spain is different than the USA, who couldn't see the bigger picture and the bigger plans that God has for us.  That would be me;)  But now I have realized that God sent me to this amazing country! His plans are so much bigger than what I can see!  What a blessing I have!  I would challenge each of you to remember that.  When you are in any circumstance and start to grumble, remember how annoying Laman and Lemuel are and try not to be them;)

The second thing is a scripture we have all read like ten billion times - Alma 32:28.  I tried to apply it to myself better and with the Spirit's help, I learned a lot! Let me show you, it might seem silly but it

changed my whole perspective:

28 "Now, we will compare the MISSION unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a MISSION may be planted in your heart, ( meaning we move aside all things that might be cluttering our heart, friends family and really put our whole selves here and in this work) behold, if it be a true MISSION, or a good MISSION,( obviously all missions are good so this applies to our own personal dedication if we are doing good work and being true to our call) if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, (you don't try to do it your own way, and listen to the Spirit) behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good MISSION or that the WORK  is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

This is how we can love our mission! (Or what ever situation we may find ourselves:) I got to sit down and talk with my Bishop this week. He is amazing man (and thank you so much for all of your advice)  We are going to work together to make Alicante 2 thrive!

Spencer I want to hear all about Palmyra because I remember that was one of the best experiences I have had! 

Family I love you all so much. The work is so good here in Alicante. I am meeting so many wonderful people and seeing miracles everyday. I have gained a new perspective on activities at the Church.  I honestly regret a lot not being more involved. Every program of the Church has a purpose. I am so exited to change when I go home and be super involved.
Much love, 
Hermana Smalley

PS if there is something you want me to tell you more about let me know. I'm kinda just shooting out in the dark with these emails;)

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