Saturday, December 26, 2015

I will never be sorry because I got to know them

December 14, 2015
 Hello family,

Wow looking back on this week I cannot believe all the things that have happened! So much so, I better just get started. I'm so sorry I don't have more pictures they just are on my camera and for now I cannot get them off. But I have some!

Anyway Monday night we went over to N’s house to eat beautiful food and say goodbye. We got there and Hermana Esplin played Christmas music while we sang and with the lights in the house and all it was one of the most lovely moments ever. Until we heard a knock on the door and it was Elder Hanson and Elder Adcock. Awkward. Because we were in their area ;) but hey members are free game so they couldn't come in and got a glass of water and were sent on their way. I love Nubia so much she is such an amazing example to me and I will miss her so much!

Tuesday we had our last morning soccer. I was so excited and then we showed up and guess what. There was no ball. Turns out if I'm leaving the district can't play soccer ;) so we played pig pong that morning not really the best but we ran so... Tuesday morning I had to say goodbye to Marlene. O my gosh. It was the worst. We went over and she made
arroz con leche because she knows how much I love it. It was the best I have ever had. She told us her life story. And I was struck again by just how lucky I was to be with her and to help her find the gospel. She talked about how she felt so lost and dark and how she has found so much joy through the gospel. All I can say is I am so grateful for the chance I have had to know her and work with her. She was my one rock when I didn't have a companion and I just really can't express what I feel for her.

Then we headed to district meeting my last one. It was super sad saying goodbye but hey it's all good we will see each other next week for zone conference. That night we went and ate with G and M. I feel like you will get tired of me saying it was so hard to say goodbye but I am so grateful for the time we had together. Same story for A. I had to go and say goodbye to them. Oh my. Let's just say Tuesday was rough for me. But I will never be sorry because I got to know them.

Wednesday morning we woke up early to get the train station. Well we had a couple issues getting there. We missed busses ex. So we ended up taking a taxi to get there with the Elders. They were super nice and woke up to come with me even though they didn't need to go later. I said goodbye and then struggled with my suitcases on an adventure through Spain on the train all alone. My first time traveling alone. It went well though I made it to San Fernando.

Alright. Let me just tell you that San Fernando is beautiful and I am in love. There are Christmas lights all the way up through the streets and they play Christmas music through the streets and it is basically impossible to be sad here. My area is huge! Which is different coming from teeny Malaga. But that's okay I love it. There is so much potential and I love it.

Also Hermana Peters is one of the best missionaries I have ever met. She has so many ganas to do this work well and give her whole heart to these people. I adore her and cannot wait to get to work and just see our little area go. She is actually from South Jordan and I am finishing the last little bit of her training.

When I got to San Fernando I ended up working in a trio with Hermana Browns new companion. Oh yeah. HERMANA BROWN LIVES THE NEXT TOWN OVER FROM ME. Yeah it's awesome!

I got to meet our cute investigator M who literally is so prepared to be baptized and I just love. We just need to help her talk to her parents about baptism. She wants to get baptized with her mother so we are going to work really hard to make that happen :) they invited us over to help make decorations for their tree and we shared a message about Samuel’s prophecies of the birth of Christ. Mom they all say you look like a Spanish woman :) it was such a fun time to be with this cute family.

This week we spent a lot of time working with members because Hermana Peters and I want to work really hard. So of course we want the ward on board. And honestly I have never quite seen anything like this ward. Everyone is so willing to help. They offer their homes, their time. Whatever we may need to help this work go forward. When we met with consejo they told us the same. I am so excited and hope that I can become the missionary these people really deserve. They are so ready to do their part so we just need to do ours :) there is an old Spanish man here that reminds me so much of grandpa. He is pretty much super awesome.

This Sunday we got to watch the Christmas devotional. It was absolutely amazing. I loved it so much. And to top it off right after they dedicated the building here in San Fernando as a stake center. Pause. The chapel here in San Fernando is bigger than any I have ever seen. It is white and honestly looks just like a temple. It is brand new and the members are so proud of it. It was such a fight to get it they just love it. I have never been in a dedication like that before the prayer was absolutely amazing.

During the prayer I was struck by the thought, that this is really the only time in my life where I can focus everything I am and have to becoming more like the savior. All day I should be trying to find those people who choose to be elect to teach them of someone who loved them so deeply as to give their life and the perfect example. Accordingly don't I need to be willing to give my life and at least to try to be a perfect example to teach of such a sacrifice? This is my chance to feel as close to the savior as I have yet done in my life. I had to ask myself, am I using it? Am I really taking advantage of this time where all our cares are set aside and I am allowed to improve myself by completely forgetting myself? I have to say no. I get focused on me too often. Focus on being tired, focused on being hungry, focused on numbers, whatever it may be. I want to commit myself yet again to be better, I know my amazing companion will help me and that together we can see miracles here. Wrought maybe not in numbers but certainly in ourselves. I hope I can become the kind of missionary these people deserve.

We have the faith, God has the power. Now it's time to put our heads down and work and watch Gods work roll forth.

I love you all so much. I love Spain and by the way happy almost Christmas.

Hermana Smalley

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