Saturday, August 13, 2016

I'm pretty much a crocodile buff now

May 9, 2016

Well hey there again!

First off, big apology for the train wreck of a phone call -  It was so good to see all of you and just talk to you. Sometimes I forget that you guys are more than just a picture. I know that sounds silly, but it's just like two completely separate worlds. I didn't even know what to do with myself. Also Mom, I forgot to tell you! I did eat something weird - these little fish with their heads cut off that you eat everything but the tails like French fries. It was good except that I got poked in the mouth with a bunch of little fish ribs.

Alright this week was such a blur! I cannot even remember half of it! But yeah on Monday, we went to a crocodile park! It was just is huge park with tons of alligators and crocodiles. Fun fact, crocodiles open their mouths to control body temperature. So basically I'm pretty much a crocodile buff now. Just ask me. It was super fun then we headed to the mission home and ate. It was super fun to see so many friends from the mission. I honestly had forgotten how much I love being around other missionaries. The things you forget in a pueblo!

Consejo started and it was incredible, basically a big zone meeting but with President and better. But so many people were sick. Hermana Asay and I were both coughing like crazy, the ayudantes, President, Everyone! After the first block, Elder Jenkins told me he knew how to play Rock of ages on the piano. So Hermana Asay and I went over and sang and then all the sudden everyone was over there singing. It was super fun.

Also I mentioned this conversation I had with President, but we started talking a little bit about San Fernando. And honestly, since I have left there, I have been sadder and sadder that there were not any baptisms while I was there. Because I was in the area when we set the goal for the year, and I felt like we had fallen behind because I didn't work hard enough, or didn't do enough. But President told me that with the members we have there, and the missionaries that we have working there, there is no way we aren't baptizing because of lack of effort. We just need to trust in God's plan and love.

That night we had 12 Hermanas sleeping together - you can imagine the talking that went on. But I didn't feel too good so I just curled up on a bed and went to sleep. THe next morning we woke up early and ate breakfast and stared with consejo again. It was awesome!  It made me realize again just how much I have to learn. I hope that I can find the energy to make all of these changes. But I'm going to give it my best! I am always humbled by just how gently and lovingly that the Lord corrects us and helps us grow and change. It is wonderful how whenever we feel pride creeping into what we do and say, how we can just look at the big picture - the enormity of the work we have been called to do.  And remember how small we are, and how much we need our Father.

Then off we went to the office to pick up the things for our zones. We got there and had 12 boxes of things to bring back in the car. So we grabbed a bunch of boxes and some zone leaders to help us bring everything down to the car. We got in the elevator and headed down to the parking garage, but the elevator didn't take us all the way down
there were more stairs. So Elder Bates tried to use the key to send us down even more, but we ended up going back up to the first floor where there were a bunch of people waiting to use the elevator, so we got out and started walking up the stairs.  Then all the elders saw us dying, holding tons of boxes, and ran to help. Turns out the car wasn't in the parking garage at all!  And the poor elders where carrying boxes all over the place!  Yeah sorry for the long story that didn't make sense;) but it was funny!

Then we all ate together and got in the car and headed home. We sang lots of songs and had a grand old time. Elders Holman and Guispe are some of my favorites. When we got back to Murcia we headed over to our ward mission leaders ,R's, home to eat dinner with his family. R just turned in his mission papers and his family is the best and fed us super well!

Wednesday we heaved to one of our 9 pueblos to work. We got there and spent the morning contacting and talking in the streets. This area is so big it's kind of scaring me, but hey!  I'm putting things together. Then we went and ate with a recent RM V! She just got home from Madrid and is a rockstar! Her mom is less active and we got there and
she was like," Hermanas teach my mom about the Book of Mormon", it was such a good lesson.

That night we went to a different pueblo to teach our number one investigator U. He is awesome, he has a baptismal date and is progressing super well! He is from Africa and everytime I meet him, I love him a little more. He tells us all the time how he wants to learn everything super well so he can go back to his country and bring them the truth.

Then Thursday happened. Crazy! We weekly planned and then ran to an eating cita with J, a super cute old Spanish grandma. She asked us to help her by singing in a funeral on Friday and since Hermana Asay had to speak, we said sure!  She reminded us that we had to wear white shirts. Then we left running from her house to teach another less active member, all during medio dia. Then the real night started. We stopped a lady in the road who started the conversation telling us she didn't want anything. But as we explained more she took a Book of
Mormon and we have a cita with her! So awesome how the Lord works.

Friday morning we went to the chapel to play basketball and filmed an awesome movie for our taller during zone meeting. Then we had zone meeting! Yep, kinda lonely being the only Hermanas here, but we just mom all the elders.

For our taller we were talking about all the fundamentals to missionary work. So we filmed a video of Hermana Asay saying how much she wanted to win a game of basketball. But when she went to play it was obvious that she had no clue what she was doing. So then we did drills together and then at the end of it, she went and schooled all
the elders. Then we filmed another clip of the elders just sitting in the baptismal font talking about how much they wanted to baptize but how they didn't want to do anything else. We then talked about all training we have to do as missionaries so that in the end we can baptize. We talked about the best basketball players know they have to
practice the basics over and over. Then we ended saying, "everyone has the will to win, but few have the will to work to win, let's be among the few"  We thought we were pretty cool.

Then I did my first intercambios. That means that I was guiding another Hermana around our huge area (that I don't know) trying to help her the best I could, while trying not to panic that I was lost. It turned out just fine and it was super fun. That night I was with Hermana Giraldo. We had a super fun time and we didn't get too lost.

The next morning I was with Hermana Verdejo, and all our plans fell through but it was alright.  We contacted all morning together and I got to know her more and listen to her and just do my best to keep her excited about the mission.

Then the crazy night started. We went to the funeral and we ran into J and she said, "Hermanas you aren't wearing white!  Don't worry I brought you my clothes!" Then she walks out with these grandma clothes. Yeah those are the photos I sent home. But five minuets before the funeral started the bishop asked me to speak! So I threw something together it was super scary, but hey I did it and they loved it!

Then baptism, I already told you how Elder Blasi sang soprano with me and the members thought it was hilarious. We had some investigators come and it was awesome!

Sunday we were fasting and we had church, then we headed to the bus station to pick up Hermana Hojdholt - she was with us and we brought food for her and then ate at a park.

Then I talked with you lovelys!

Anyway I love you all so much! Today we played soccer with the elders - it was super fun:)

I love you all so much. I love the mission.

Hermana Smalley

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