Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Not to jinx anything, but this was one of the craziest weeks of my whole life!

September 12, 2016

Dearest family,

I think I challenged the fates last week when I said that was the craziest week of my mission! Not to jinx anything, but this was one of the craziest weeks of my whole life. And we loved it.

Monday night we got to go visit a member who lives pretty far out in the campo (countryside). It was so fun because we got to see the stars and actually be in a home. She is the sweetest little mom who just sent of her son
on the mission. She stuffed us so full of food! For p day we made paella and had already eaten a ton so we literally ate ourselves sick but we liked it. Also in making the paella we forgot stuff to cut the
peppers and chicken and so I used a spoon. What an adventure!

Tuesday morning my companion and I fell apart -  we both started getting sick, but we did weekly planning and then tried to feel better. Then we went out and taught C and helped get her ready for her baptism.  It was pretty good. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she told us that every time she reads it, she feels the Holy Spirit. Then we got to teach Cs again.  It was awesome!  He is progressing so well! He loved what we had to say about the plan of salvation.

Alright here is where the crazy starts.Wednesday morning we had a district leader training. We gave a taller (lesson) about how Elders need to work with Hermanas. I actually learned so much about how to be a better leader for these Hermanas. It was pretty humbling to think about just how much I need to improve and do better. But I am really excited to apply what I learned about -  how to lead by example and seek revelation to bless the lives of these Hermanas.

Then we went on intercambios (exchanges) with Hermana Peters and Hermana Portas.  They are both so awesome! I was with Hermana Peters and we got to be together that night. She hasn't changed, still such hard worker and just wants to do the best she can. We caught up on old times and just had an awesome time. At night we also had Hermana Lake and Hermana Sabin staying with us, so Hermana Clark took the couch and I got the
floor. It was fun having a full house.

We then got some pretty sad calls that night that some Hermanas in the mission are really struggling and  Hermana Clark and I both felt very strongly that we needed to go see them. The only problem is that they were in extremadura - pretty much as far away as you can get. So the next morning we got up and jumped into the car to go to Sevilla with the assistants. Elder Bussell and I had an awesome talk on the way there about why we decided to come on the mission and what we have learned. Once we got to Sevilla, we hopped on a bus to head up to Badajoz. It was a 3 hour bus ride and my poor companion got so sick. But we enjoyed it. We met a member from North Carolina, who was completely inactive, who was celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. We asked him how and he just said, " it's easy when two people love each other!"  It was so cute!

Then we got to Badajoz and got to be with those amazing Hermanas! I will never stop being amazed with the caliber of Hermanas that surround me and their pure desires to serve God. We tried our best to love and help these sweet Hermanas and it looks like it did help at least a little bit.

Friday morning President picked us up in his brand new car! It was pretty fun!  It almost felt like a family car ride stopping in gas stations for snacks and all that. It was really fun to just talk with them. I got to talk to him about San Fernando a lot and it was super fun. Mom, Hermana Andersen loves the quilt we made!  When we finally got back to Malaga, President dropped us off right at the chapel to teach Cs. He is awesome!  We taught him lesson 3 and invited him to be baptized and he accepted! Yay!

Saturday morning we had district meeting.  We have a pretty awesome district, if I don't say so:)  That night was a lot of looking for elects and keeping our spirits up.

Sunday was awesome! We had lots of our friends come to church and they had a really good time! Then we ate with a member family. They all speak perfect English and it was awesomeness. Then we went to the chapel and had to clean it all night in preparation for Elder Zwick coming. We went and picked up the Alicante Hermanas and threw ourselves in bed!

Then Monday came! We all got up got ready and then headed to the church for consejo. It was so fun to see so many old friends and then meet elder Zwick!  We got to shake his hand individually and man, I hope he liked what he saw inside of me. He told me and Hermana Clark that we a two drops of water (two peas in a pod in Spanish).

The meeting was incredible! I learned so much, but my biggest take away was that I need to be striving to apply what I am learning. I need to be changed by what I learn, not just receive great insight and not do a thing about it! That invites the Spirit more. I also learned that I am a resource of good things from God. Not the source. We ended the meeting sharing our testimonies and it was so powerful. I am so grateful to be serving here!

I love you all so much!

Hermana Smalley

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