Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Crying like a Baby & Singing in the Rain

September 7, 2015
Hola familia,
Wow what a week we have had here. It was so crazy time literally flew by because we had so much going on.

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! You are absolutely amazing and I hope this day is as awesome as you are! And oh my goodness the newest addition to our family is the cutest thing big kisses to little Jeremy.

The month of September I decided I wanted to study faith. I want to focus this whole month on having more faith and developing what I have. If you can I want to invite you all to do it with me. In preach my gospel there is a personal evaluation type thing at the end of chapter 6 and then there is a section on faith. The hints I am learning and trying to apply are amazing. What I have learned so far
is that through faith we can literally do all things.

Everything God has called us to do is possible , we just need to trust enough to recognize that every task we have been given was put into our lives
for our own personal gain. I am going to keep studying and get back to you guys at then end of the month with the news on how it went:) I'd love to do it with you if you all have the time.

This week M, a member, took us all over the place to teach our investigators. She was amazing! She served her mission a while ago in the Canary Islands and is the perfect example on how to apply the mission to the rest of our lives. She does everything she can to serve the ward and invite people to come to the church. It is really such an example to me. 

After a lesson with one of our investigators I was feeling a little drained. And I found out the elders had planned a contacting activity and there were two sisters from the ward on their way to come meet us and go contacting. The natural man may have taken over a little and I was dreading it. I was thinking man, I'm going to have to put on a happy face and pretend to be all excited when in reality I'm dead tired. What a selfish state of mind I was in. To my surprise when those two cute sisters came to contact us I felt a rush of love for them. They had taken time out of their crazy lives to help us do the work of the lord. My excitement became real! I really do love doing this work and showing others how fun it really can be. It was like a completely different person took over and I had a blast with Angeles. I was again struck with how merciful is to me. Even when I get absorbed in myself he provides the opportunity for me to change and turn out.

We started Wednesday off right with some MMA fight moves for workout:) we always feel pretty cool after doing that. Then we met M and she drove us to this cute little pueblo called casabermejas. This is where our lovely G lives. It was a super beautiful car right and honestly reminded me a ton of water polo trips and all of our road trips as a family. Anyway we met with G and she told us she was not going to be able to come Sunday. We were so bummed out! Her baptism was scheduled for Sunday :/  She was so sad at she couldn't that she said "Hermanas can we just do it Friday. I don't want to wait another week". Hermana Gallegos and I just looked at each other and smiled. Of course we could do that. Planning a baptism in two days is kinda crazy but we would do anything for G! Anyway more about that later. 

Wednesday for mediodia we made pallea with Annie. I tried with all my might to learn how to make this amazing food, but she just moved so quickly with the spices and everything. But one day I will know:)  We bore testimony of repentance to her, she was really touched and is going to try it for herself. During that lesson I learned again just how important the spirit is in this work. I can't teach this gospel without it. There is no way.

Wednesday night president Anderson came to give Hermana Gallegos a blessing. It is always such a special experience to be with him. We also got the chance to invite him to our baptism!

Thursday was crazy! We woke up got ready and left to go to the hospital to get some blood work done for Hermana Gallegos. Being in the hospital made me feel right at home. It really didn't matter that everything was in Spanish. It was just like slipping back into some old shoes I knew exactly what was going on there. So I guess it's good I, going into the medical field or it would be a little weird how much I like hospitals. We also got to explore Malaga for ages looking for a locotorio (place to print things) we found out that by the end of the day we had been in 6 different areas of Malaga. It was quite the adventure! I've learned again and again so maybe someday I'll be able to apply it always, that the only way to really be happy is to just turn out. Worry about other people not myself. I got to practice it a lot that day as we were walking around. I also learned just how much I have come to depend on our study time! Oh my goodness I felt so vulnerable and exposed without it. 

This week Hermana Gallegos and I realized a dream we have both had. Here in Spain at night time everyone goes out to eat tapas and just sit and talk. As missionaries that really isn't included in our
purpose, unless, M invites you to teach over tapas! We went with her and met our investigator Mar and had a great lesson enjoying tapas and feeling very Spanish. The only thing I'll pass on next time are the shrimp. Here they don't cut the head or legs off, so they just kinda stare at you. M got a kick out of trying to teach me to eat them.

Then came the craziest day of all. Friday. We left Pizo at 8 to meet the elders and fill up the font. Then Hermana Gallegos and I stayed there and got everything ready including ourselves. Then G came and we taught her one last lesson and then she had her interview. While she was in her interview president Anderson and Hermana Anderson came! Oh and I forgot to mention, the baptism was at 11 and zone meeting was at 12. Poor G was worried no one would come because we changed the date so quickly, so we had Elder Johnson invite the whole zone! So we had a chapel full of missionaries to support her. We all sang for her and she loved it! I cannot even explain how beautiful it was to see her be baptized and hear her testimony. 

G was literally a storybook investigator. She was a reference from Madrid that the elders received
and they invited her to church. She came and sat down by M and M invited G to her home to hear the missionaries. G took everything so perfectly! She always did the extra studies on the
pamphlets and was just so prepared to receive the gospel, it made my jaw drop. On the day of her baptism during her testimony she talked about how she was so grateful for the savior who had redeemed her soul and given her a fresh start through baptism. You better believe I was crying like a baby.

After the baptism all the missionaries just shuffled on through to zone meeting. And President Anderson stayed to be with us. I was again astounded at what a simple principle faith is. And how beautiful it is that through real faith we can do anything. We can find the people to teach and have the words to teach them. Our zone leaders showed a clip from facing the Giants. I know you know it, it's the part where the coach blindfolds Brock and makes him do the death crawl and tells him to go to the 50 yard line. Well because of the blindfold Brock didn't stop at the 50 he made it to the end zone.

This is pretty inspiring from a missionary standpoint. Sometimes we might be tempted to look at
what we have done, and say oh fine that's good enough. But no!! Not at all! What we have done doesn't justify what we could be doing. Just as the coach asked for Brock's heart the Savior is asking for mine. He calls to us, "give me everything. I need your heart"! And I'm going to give it to him. I am learning more and more that this work requires the heart. There is no way around it. You cannot hold back from it or you will just be wasting your time being unhappy. I know it will be a process but I'm going to really give everything all that I used to be or hoped to become to the Lord and let Him make me what he needs here. 

We also had intercambios this week. I was with Hermana Giler. She is probably the cutest spukiest missionary ever! I learned so much from her about being happy all the time. Just choosing to love the mission rather than being stressed about it. This week we had a super fun volleyball activity where the whole ward got together and played. I'm still not too great at it but it was defiantly fun to try. Also the missionaries of my district made it their goal to make me better at the keep ups. I made a total of three so that's progress!

Today for p day we went to the castle in Malaga. But it was pouring rain. But that wasn't about to stop us. So you will be happy to know me and Hermana Gallegos got really good at singing the song singing in the rain and rhythmically splashing water. It was so fun to just go a little crazy, maybe even fall down a stone ramp that was super slippery. But who else can say that they slipped and fell while hiking to a castle in a rain storm in Spain. I'm not sure ;)

Love you all so much!
Hermana Smalley

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