Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Almería, Murcia, Sevilla, Alcalá ... where do I even live?

October 3, 2016
Dear family,

What a crazy week yet again. The last 6 weeks have been so adventure filled and crazy!  I don't even know where the time has gone. But I am so full of gratitude for all that I have learned this transfer and for all that I have been able to take part in. I cannot believe it is over and that I have to say goodbye to one of my best friends this week. Hermana Clark has been absolutely incredible. She is gonna do amazing things out there in the real world. 

Anyway let's get back to the fact. Last Monday we went to a members home and had a BBQ and we had a water fight on the side of the pool. Literally the pool was mocking me the whole time. 

Tuesday morning we had a meeting with President about transfers and everything changed yet again but we had to leave early to go to a little pueblo for an eating cita with some less active members. They have recently been coming a little bit more and the change in both of them is incredible. The son has done a complete 180 change. He went from not caring at all about the church to asking us what more he could do to be better and serve Christ. It was so touching. 

After we headed to The chapel to plan trainers training with the ayudantes and we all piled into the car and headed to correlation. Joshua is awesome! He is working so hard to involve the ward in everything we are doing and he made us a cake:) so I mean. He is awesome. 

Wednesday morning we had an incredible miracle. We passed by a future that we have been trying to see for quite some time. Her name is L and she is the cutest mom you have ever seen. She let us in and we explained the Book of Mormon and gave our testimonies. We then gave her one. She gasped and asked us if we were kidding she was so happy to be able to read for herself and see if what we had said was true. When we closed with a prayer she started to cry. She felt so good, we could tell she was embarrassed for getting emotional but it was so tender for us. We then headed to an awesome district meeting where we talked about lessons of the mission and the ones going home bore their final testimonies. 

We then went to eat with R. She is a neighbor to the elders, and since not all 4 of us can go she invites us over and then passes plates into the piso of the elders. Pretty funny. Then we welcomed the Hermanas from Murica. Which you may remember are both companions of mine and I love them both. Hermana Gale and Hermana Brown. It was so good to be with both of them again! 

I got to work with Hermana Brown that night, it wasn't exactly the night we were expecting, but when is it ever? We got to go see Cynthia and talk a little bit about the Book of Mormon and read some more with her. Her son was running around screaming as usual;) what a cutie. I got to sit down with Hermana Brown and talk for a while about the mission. It will never cease to amaze me just how far we have come from those two girls who entered the MTC. the way the Lord has taught me and helped me change is incredible to me. Anyway I realized during this talk I haven't been making time for the things that matter most. Often I get so caught up in my own thoughts and what is happening in my mind that I forget to turn out and reach out. I forget to show the people I care about most how much I really do care for them. It was a good reflection point for me. That night we all got to talk a lot and just be girls for a bit. It felt pretty good. 

Thursday morning I was with my dear Hermana Gale. I love that lady. We talked a lot about life and the mission. I will be forever grateful for such an amazing friend. We then helped them on their way and headed to Bishop's house to eat with his family. Always an adventure. That night we headed to the church at 8 with all of our stuff and all piled into the car to go to Almería. And by all I mean elders: Quispe Bussell and Alverez, my compie and I. It was fun but the car ride to Almería was pretty uneventful because we were all writing our tallers. We got to Almería and stayed with Hermana Núñez and Verdejo. They are both so sweet and I was so happy to spend some time with them. Bright and early we continued on our journey to Murica. Super fun to be back there. We went so that we could do a trainers training. President had some stuff to do so we were running the meeting. We were a little nervous that without President the missionaries wouldn't really respect us. But I was so happy with the spirit that was there and we all learned so much. 

I gave a taller on being the kind of missionary that your mother thinks you are and that the mother of your companion is praying you will be. I tied that the consecration and continual repentance. It was one of those that Hermana Smalley learned more planning the taller than pretty much everyone else. I also got to see Elder Garcia and Elder Andrus. Oh my!  I am so proud of both of them and the elders they are. We finished the meeting and then hopped back into the car and went on our way to Lorca. We made some epic music videos and had a good time then slept on the way to Almería. On the way back to Malaga I got everyone in the car holding their breath through the tunnels. Oh my!  There were so many! We all almost passed out but it kept life interesting. Reading the Book of Mormon while holding my breath was a new experience. 

Anyway we got to Malaga and picked up Hermana Walter and she spent the night with us. Bright and early the next morning we headed with President to trainers training in Sevilla where we gave the same tallers over again but this time President was with us. I think the meeting went pretty well. Mom, Elder Adcock said that your letter really helped him a lot. So thanks for doing that. It was pretty sad to say goodbye to friends for the last time, but I'm grateful for the chance I had to know them.
We drove home during the showing of women's conference so I'll be making that up when I can but we got home just in time to start the first session. Wow. It was incredible!  I was actually brought to tears by how perfect the messages were for me. The Lord really poured out tender mercies on me this week. That night we went and taught L and M. They are some new investigators who are awesome. They love the word of God a lot. 

Sunday morning we got to work. You may remember how much I love working Sunday mornings because we always see so many Miracles. Well it happened again. We went to teach A and she brought her sister for us to teach who was super interested - it was awesome! Anyway, then we went to the C family to eat before conference. And we had such an awesome time talking about conference and then we got to watch the second session. During the last session of conference, C came and brought her little boy. You can only imagine one little toddler screaming through the room full of missionaries while a talk on righteous judgement was given, brought a lot of laughter. 

Today was probably one of my favorite p days. We went to Ronda! And just went adventuring. My goodness. So much fun. I love you all so much. 

Just before I go. A couple thoughts. I mentioned how much the Lord has helped me this week. A lot of lessons have been taught. One of the biggest lessons is that my whole mission I have thought that I could somehow consecrate myself. I thought that if I was just obedient enough or good enough I could do it. I have always just tried to rely on myself and that is why I have always been so hard on myself. But this week I have realized that a huge part of consecration, maybe even the key, is recognizing that there is infinite space between us and God. We cannot consecrate ourselves. But we can without rationalizing repent. And get up the next day and promise to be better and give all again. I have also learned that it is through a pure act of consecration that Christ gave us our greatest hope, the Atonement.  And it is through that act of consecration that our imperfect acts can help us become consecrated. 

I love the mission and all I have been learning. The closeness I have felt to my Savior has become a treasure to me. I hope to continue developing this relationship throughout my life. 

Love you! 
Hermana Smalley 
 from my mission. 

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