Saturday, February 13, 2016

I don't know why I am here tonight to talk to you, I never talk to people like you

February 8, 2016
Dear family!

Wow what a week. I don't even know where to start. Probably with Monday that would be good ;) we spent some time saying goodbye to people for Hermana Peters. So lots of running around. We got to meet with Ir Monday night and she gave Hermana Peters a cute bracelet and we got to teach her about testimonies. That night Hermana Brown and Stevens came to stay with us because Hermana Brown and I had to go to Malaga the next morning.
Next morning 4:30 am we were up and getting out the door to Malaga. I was too scared to sleep on the train, but we had a good talk with our zone leader Elder Alexander who was our chaperone the whole day, because he had to go for residency. Needless to say Hermana Brown and I are getting pro at this Malaga trip together. We finally made it there and walked to the chapel. So good to be back in Malaga again. Literally jumping out of my seat. Love that city.

Anyway we got to the chapel and I got to see Elder Gonzalez. My very first zone leader on his last day. It is so strange to me he is going home. But we walked in and knew that our trainees were just sitting in the other room, but we weren't quite ready to meet them, we had to be trained first. So we went into the room with all the other trainers. I can't even express what I felt when I saw who else was training. Elder Tenorio is training and opening an area for his last two transfers and many of the people who were training when I came into the mission are training again. I can honestly say it was an honor to sit down with them. The ayudantes (Assistants to the President) sat down and told us that they were confident that the best missionaries of the mission were there training. Honestly looking around I felt really under qualified to be there. I mean I was sitting there with some of my HEROES of the Spain Malaga mission.

But after the meeting Elder Johnson stopped me, made fun of me of course, but then shared quickly the experience of picking trainers and that they had all felt strongly that I was ready and needed to train this transfer. So even though I felt a little out of my depth I know the Lord trusts me and that president knows I can do this.

Anyway during the meeting we talked about the things that the other missionaries had done during their times training before and just got to learn and grow from their wisdom. Then they asked us to name our trainers and something they taught us. When they got to me Elder Johnson just yelled SKIP! Because my training was just too crazy :) but I had amazing trainers who taught me so much! When talking about their trainers it surprised me how emotional people became. I really hope I can become that kind of trainer who really can help Hermana Cole that much!

Then the moment came! We went into the room and met all of the trainees. I honestly could have loved training all of them because they are all perfect but my new companion is cute Hermana Cole. She is from New Hampshire and yeah, a Boston fan. We had a nice chat about it.  ;) jk, she is incredible and I adore her!

 When the ayudantes were telling us about our new companions they said that there was one Hermana who got off the train and shook their hands so enthusiastically they thought she was gonna convert them again. Well ladies and gents, that's my companion. She is seriously the sweetest thing and so determined to work hard. After meeting her I felt so honored that president trusted me to train her. 

Right after we met our trainees we headed straight to Fuengirola to do residency. Which was an adventure and a half. Then off we went back to San Fernando. We got home at 9:30 and met the Elders and Hermana Peters and Stevens. It was a party. We ended up trying to sleep 6 in our piso which was a bad idea because we didn't have room. I slept on the baby couch. And well not much sleeping happened. But no worries! 

The next morning Hermana Peters and I did our last workout together and then we had to say goodbye. That was rough. But we survived. Then Hermana Cole and I just got to attack San Fernando. I won't pretend like this week was super easy. It wasn't, and poor Hermana Cole knows nothing else about missionary work. But I am really excited to see who she becomes just because this first week was so rough on us. But that didn't keep us from trying! We had correlation and she got to meet the bishop. 

We had an awesome weekly planning and slowly started catching up on sleep. But apparently I am a stress looser. Not of weight but of things. I lost my agenda and so many other things is week because I have been a little bit stressed. But miracle! Someone picked up my agenda on the street and gave it to a member because they thought she would know who it belonged to! So cool! Anyway Sunday was kinda crazy and I sat down to do numbers with our district leader and I think the week just kinda hit us both like a steam roller. We both were beat and discouraged. But we had a talk and we both decided that the best thing we could do would be to just keep moving forward so we attacked that night with double the energy and saw so many miracles!

 I called a random future that we had. A big scary man covered in tattoos. And he just happened to be able to meet with us that night so we met in a park. He came over and said. I don't know why I gave you my phone number I don't believe in God and I never talk to people like you. And I don't know why I am here tonight to talk to you for the same reasons but here I am. We had an awesome talk and a good first lesson. The whole time I just kept thinking what an amazing member he will be ;) so turns out he is gonna be watching our backs now in San Fernando. Sometimes you make friends with good people. 

We finished the night in a noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with the JAS (Young Adults) that was super fun. We played spoons and just had a blast. Heavenly Father blessed us so much!

I have learned on the mission that the times that I have been the saddest or the most discouraged are when I haven't felt like I am giving my all. Or when I felt like I wasn't doing enough. I have found that as hard as it can be to contact someone or wake up 5 min early so we can start workout on time, I always feel better when I do it. Because when I don't I will always be harder on myself than it would have been to just do it. I think that applies in life as well. As hard as it might be to push and give that last little bit. It is always worth it because you come out better than before. Or you can just spend the time regretting not doing it.

Anyway I love you all so much. I'm learning so much out here. It's insane. 
Hermana Smalley 

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