Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The week our attitude changed

Jan 18, 2016
Dear family,

This week looking back Hermana Peters and I realized that we had pretty much the same week this week as last week but our attitudes completely changed. I am sure I let on last week that it was kinda a rough week. And the situation hasn't changed much as far as number of lessons taught or anything, but we decided from the beginning of the week that we really wanted to focus on talking with everyone. But not just doing robotic contacts. And we did and just by turning out just that little bit everything changed. We were happier and had so much more hope about finding. It has been a good week lemme tell you about it :)

On Monday we had the awesome opportunity to be with President and Hermana Anderson. Oh my, it was wonderful. So we had to be there to open the chapel right at the beginning of the day. So we spent p-day there just hanging around all the missionaries and being with Hermana Anderson. It was honestly so good to just talk with her again. I haven't had the chance since we were in Malaga. My interview with President went really well, I mean I passed so I get to stay ;) sometimes I have so much to say that I just stress myself out ;) but President just laughed about how stressed I was and we had a nice chat. He talked to me about not missing the mark on consecration. How sometimes we demand more of ourselves than the Lord does. It honestly was just so good to sit with him and talk for a while.
Tuesday morning we had to come open the chapel again for President. We were hoping to get there early enough and as we were walking we turned and saw President and Hermana Anderson walking across the street from us. We got there together and Hermana Peters and I got to do companionship study with Hermana Anderson. That was super fun and just a little scary ;) Then off we went to Cadiz for district meeting. We had a really great one about setting goals and then making plans to follow through on those goals. I know it sounds silly but it was a big learning experience for me. I have set goals before obviously but thinking about the plans to make those goals happen was something I feel like I didn't understand before. Okay I know that sounds dumb. But I had always just thought that if I had enough faith and was obedient it would just work out ;) but now I am going to work on making super good plans :) ¡bautismos por 12 habrá!
This week we got to teach Ir and her mother! It was a miracle. Ir called us and said that she was in a bar with her mom waiting for us. Now okay, bars here are like cafes in the states. So yeah we went and got to teach her. It was awesome, we just aren't really sure how to help her progress. She knows everything but it almost sounds like she is waiting for her mom to be healed from cancer as her answer. But we will just keep trying. M, our other investigator who is ready to get baptized we have ended up giving her some space.

On Wednesday we went to Burger King with Rogelio because he loves Burger King. He's my Spanish grandpa. And bought us so much food we wanted to die but it's okay. Anyway they started telling us how church got started here in San Fernando. Apparently the missionaries had worked in Cadiz for two years without a single baptism. So yeah tried San Fernando. When they got here they met young Rogelio on the sidewalk. He invited them over, and he and his wife were so touched by the message of eternal families they were baptized. Then their hope became the church in San Fernando. Apparently in one room the elders taught. In another room baptismal interviews were being given and then there was a line going out the door for lessons to be given. How incredible is that! And that is how our cute little ward got started. Through the baptism of these two incredible people. They owned a company and gave The Book of Mormon to all their employees. And it all rolled forward from there.
This week we were super excited to teach a new investigator J. He told us to come to his work so he could visit with us on break so off we went. When we got there he told us that really unless we needed help finding a piso he didn't have time for us. Well we were a little discouraged but kept working and at the end of the day we ran into him on his way home. And he basically said. You are still out? What is it you do exactly? We ended up getting to teach him a great lesson and he had so many questions it was awesome.
We had a meal with the Garcia family this week as well and they told us their conversion story. They talked about the days when the church was first getting started here and then turned to us and said. Hermanas it can happen again. And we talked about how they could help us and all we needed to do it was awesome. It has been so humbling to hear all that these people went through to get the church started here. Especially where other churches have such a tight hold, it was incredibly hard. Many people like Paco were disowned when they left on missions. Or lost jobs, homes, ect. but the families they have raised here are beautiful and thriving. And their children are beginning to take over the responsibility. It is amazing to watch. I just finished reading our heritage from the missionary library. I was impressed by the amazing people that started the church in the world. Their strength and faith. And yet I look around me and see people who went through similar things to start the church. It is amazing to see.
We had correlation with David again and we had to tell him we have been working hard, but still had no investigators with a baptismal date. And he could tell we were embarrassed about it. He looked at us and said. Oh Hermanas it is fine. I want to tell you about my black transfer. He served in England and got transferred to open an area, train, and be a district leader all in the same area. He told us how he had never worked so hard in his life but they didn't have a single investigator. They finally had someone with a date. And he got transferred. I took a hard look at my area and realized we don't have it so bad ;) not so bad at all.
We got to teach a cute new family this week, they invited us in only for 10 min because they didn't have much time, but we ended up staying for 45 because they asked us so many questions. I am really excited to see how it goes. Their father is Muslim and their mother is Christian. It's a really interesting dynamic I haven't seen before.
Sunday was wonderful as normal. That night there was a conference worldwide for all of the young adults. Not something we would normally go to, but M wanted to go so we went with her. I was again struck as I sat in the chapel with about 20 youth from the 4 surrounding cities how incredible it was that they were there. 21-25 year olds taking the time out of their night to come listen to an apostle. It is just incredible to see what the church does for young people. The difference is so marked. I loved the conference. It was perfect for Maria. But we were sad to see her on her phone during some of the most beautiful parts. Now I realized how Heavenly Father must feel every time I pulled out my phone during church. Just as Hermana Peters and I wanted to scream TURN OFF THE DANG PHONE. Heavenly Father was probably doing the same to me. So yeah I get it now. Amazing the perspective you get from the mission.
I want to learn how to be “truly desperate” (as Sister Nelson said in her talk) to be the person God wants me to be. I feel like I do have that desperation but the kind of desperation that leads to action and change is what I need. Not the kind that just lets you sit there feeling sorry for how far you still have to go. President Nelson also taught me to expect to be asked to do the impossible, and expect to achieve it if you are aligned with God. Helping someone get baptized might seem impossible. But it can happen if we are worthy.
Anyway. This week has been awesome. Hermana Peters and I are both cringing because we know transfers are coming up soon and neither of us are ready to leave the other. But we just need to enjoy the time we have now and love it. Talking to Hermana Anderson made me realized just how lucky the two of us were during the holidays. We had such a fun time being together and doing things that we honestly had the best Christmas ever. But apparently mission-wide people were really sad and not doing well. I'm just so blessed to be here with her. She is like my best friend. I look at my companions. Hermana Rocha, Hermana Gallegos, Hermana Filer, Hermana Perez. Hermana Esplin and now Hermana Peters and I am just so grateful for each one of them. The examples they are and the things they have taught me. They have become my best friends and we have laughed so so much together.
You are the best! Love, Hermana Smalley

 The mission is wonderful :) I'm learning so much. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to be here in Spain I have to do a double check. Right. I live in Spain. Everyone here speaks Spanish. I speak Spanish. Looking down at my chapa I just smile and am so grateful.

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