Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Are you are telling me that there is a prophet on the earth?”

Nov 2, 2015
Hello dearest family :)

I honestly cannot believe we are entering week 6 on this transfer! Where has all the time gone? It just doesn't even seem possible. But alas it is. And I find myself kinda scared because I don't want the, to take me away from my dear Malaga! Haha anyway I'll stop now.

I cannot believe that Joel is actually home! I hope you are loving it as much as I wish I was there I love it here and wouldn't change a thing. It was funny last week I was talking to the Elders saying that Joel was going home and Elder Adcock told me that around the time Joel would meet with the family I would feel something. He called the mission bond break ;) well I laughed it off. When much to my surprise sitting doing area book I literally felt my heart hurt a little. Later I looked at the photos mom put up on the iCloud. Same time. It really weirded me out.

Anyway last Monday we got to teach our investigator H and his cute wife G. But it was such a powerful lesson because we brought the Elders to give G a blessing. The Elders bore a simple testimony about priesthood and faith. And before we even taught anything the spirit was there so strong. Hermana Esplin and I then got to teach about the restoration. It brought me so much joy to see this spark inside H as he started to understand more fully what we were teaching.

Tuesday we went to district meeting. Elder Adcock put me in charge of the preach my gospel search, and the "quiz" (basically you come up with some really intense scriptural questions and see who can get even one point) anyway I gave the district what I thought would be an easier question. "How did Joshua win the battle of Jericho?" Here are some of my favorite responses: "CON VALOR!", Elder Tenorio (he was pretty put out I didn't accept that); "They sent a small army and the other team killed themselves", Elder Adcock. And the only correct answer: "and the walls came tumbling down" Hermana Esplin. The quiz was super fun but, I ended up threatening to take away points for the next person to argue with me ;)

I don't know if you remember me telling you last week we set a goal to find 100 new future investigators. Well the results came in and we found 143! It was awesome. Elder Adcock challenged us to up our game and turn at least 40 of those people into investigators this week. We will see how it goes.

Tuesday night we tried to get a Skype going for one of our investigators so she could talk to missionaries in Bulgaria. But she ended up not being able to. It was a little frustrating but we tried to make the best of it. We taught a lesson to someone from Bulgaria and then headed to teach someone from China and then a cute family from Ecuador. I seriously love the south of Spain because you find people from all over the world, and from all sorts of different cultures.

Wednesday morning we got to go teach J and F they are from Nigeria. Teaching J was honestly one of the coolest experiences of my mission. He started the lesson saying he didn't need to be baptized because he was baptized 2 years ago. Well we taught the restoration. He stopped us and asked us, "you are telling me that there is a prophet on the earth? What is his name? Can he help lead me to God and salvation?" It was one of the sweetest moments to simply testify of Thomas S Monson as a prophet on the earth who is here to guide us to Christ who can help us be saved. J then quietly asked what he needed to do to be baptized with authority from God. God is so good to us.

This week for noche de hogar (family home evening) we brought back an old family game. Blow pong! We played a tournament and people really loved it. I was mostly in the corner dying of laughter. It brought back so many memories of playing with the missionaries in New Jersey. Where you would end up spitting a mint across the table instead of blowing the ball.

We also got to meet with cute A this week. She is just the best. She was confirmed a member of the church this Sunday. It was such a special moment for me to be here with her. Sometimes it gets a little scary thinking about making sure she learns everything. It’s the same with all recent converts, but then I always try to remind myself that God wants to help in every aspect of this work. This week in church, my joy was so full to be sitting with G, M, and A all around me. I love them all so dearly and just want to protect them from all bad. I know that sounds silly especially because they could all be my mother ;)

Alright miracle time. So this week we really wanted to work hard to meet the district goal for the amount of new investigators. But it was Friday and we only had 1 new investigator. So we started praying. Well wouldn't you know, God blessed us with 5 on Friday and another 5 on Saturday. I really don't know how it happened. But it was such a testimony to me that God loves us. He knows when we set worthy goals and wants to help us fulfill them. It was funny – as we went to the park to teach M, he was there sitting with two ladies talking to them about God. He looked up at us with an incredulous look on our face and said, "they don't believe in God, come talk to them, make them see". We did in fact talk with them and taught a lesson. It was so cool to see M be so bold in defending God and the things we had taught him.

Halloween in Spain. Alright I will just come out and say it. Not my favorite holiday to be a missionary. We started the afternoon with a cita (appointment) every hour. Well one by one they all canceled on us because of parties and such. Everyone we passed by was out of casa. And yet there was no one on the street. The few that were on the streets were all dressed as zombies. I'm not kidding. I didn't see one cute costume. Just zombies. Made for an interesting contacting night. Hermana Esplin and I started singing, "this is the night that never ends!" As much of a downer as it was, we actually a fun night. We found a bunch of new people to teach and I can't wait to keep working with them.

Sunday was wonderful as always. Hermana Esplin and I were in a park waiting for an investigator when suddenly literally out of nowhere it started to down pour. We sat there with no jackets or umbrellas and looked at each other and just started to laugh. It was cold so Hermana Esplin’s glasses started fogging up and she couldn't see a thing. We just laughed, and kept going. We stopped by some investigators that ended up not being home and then finished in a members home. When we showed up for our cita (appointment) completely drenched but still laughing they took us in and gave us warm milk and towels :) later we realized that Sunday afternoon could have turned into a really sad night. But when you can choose to laugh or cry. Why not laugh? Life is better that way. I'm so glad for a companion who will just laugh with me.

Today for p-day (preparation day) we headed to the country side with a member to just relax and look for adventure. It was a much needed day of rest and fun:)

I just want you all to know how grateful I am for this chance I have to serve a mission. I know this email may have come across silly, but really I am so grateful for this chance I have to serve the lord. There is a quote I love that says "If you let him, God can make a masterpiece of you, where you can only make a smudge" sometimes this work is hard. You literally feel like you are just beating you head against the same door over and over and that despite all your effort, no real work is happening. But I think the most cunning way satan gets people to stop making a difference is by making them feel as if they aren't making any. Don't you ever let him tell you what you are doing isn't worth it. We know that's not how God communicates with us. So instead of letting those thoughts or feelings get you down. Let them do the opposite. Be happy. You are ruining the Devils plans made for you and those around you, keep fighting and pushing forward. That is how God can shape you and make you into a masterpiece. But not giving up, choosing to push forward. I know God has plans for me and for all of you. Let him fulfill them :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Much love Hermana Smalley

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