Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's all about the attitude!

October 17, 2016
Dearest family,

Wow what a week it has been here in Malaga! We have managed to stay in our area and actually get a whole lot done! It has been a whirlwind and I can't quite believe it has all ended but hey here we go. 

Monday like I said we spent p-day exploring the castle. It was a party and then we got to teach C. We had an awesome lesson with him on prayer. He has a lot of trials right now and because of them he has been pulling away from God a little bit. We talked to him about how prayer can turn into his most powerful asset in these hard times and as we draw closer to God we can gain strength from Him to continue. I was so touched by the last conference talk that talked of how even when we fail to listen to the Spirit, the moment we say, "Heavenly Father," He is already listening. 

Tuesday was when the crazy started. We got to do intercambios with Jerez. I was with my dear Hermana Rollins again. We went to go teach F and F loved Hermana Rollins! He seriously talked about her for the rest of the week. But we got to teach him about the plan of salvation and honestly every time that I teach that lesson since conference, it  has made me so happy that we have the knowledge we do. Then that night we got to teach G about the importance of prayer and he shared how some of his prayers had been answered. It was so tender to see him open up a little bit more. Talking with Hermana Rollins as always was such a good experience. She is so incredible and teaches me so much every time I get to talk to her. 

Then next morning was a little crazy! We woke up and one of the Hermanas that was with us had an allergic reaction. So off we went to the hospital. It was not quite the plans we had, but everything turned out fine and I stayed in with her that morning. Talking with her was so fun. We got to just throw open the windows and listen to the rain. Oh yeah... ps... the rain has officially come back to Malaga. I hope my sandals can handle 4 more weeks:) That night we saw so many Miracles. Again it was pouring rain so we walked to the chapel and no one came for English, so we bundled up and headed out but right as we did, a less active member came with her little brother and asked for English help. We got to start forming a relationship with her which was awesome! They left early so again we were ready to head out and then an investigator family walks in and asks for lessons. We happily sat down and taught them. As we finished the less active member came back and handed us 2 umbrellas she had bought for us. It was the sweetest thing. That night we had noche de hogar and Elder Frost gave an awesome lesson about the sacrament. 

He mentioned something hat I have thought about a lot. Just that the prayer said over the bread is very demanding. It requires perfect obedience for the Spirit to be with us. Just as Christ was perfect in the flesh. But the prayer over the water only requires that we remember Him, how merciful is that promise? And it is through the blood of Christ that we are able to receive that mercy. There is just so much symbolism. I love it. 

Thursday we had zone meeting and La Mancha came down so our whole zone got to be together and I got to see Elder Kroff! Our zone leaders did an incredible job - it was such an edifying meeting! Then we all went out to eat and we got to talk a lot. It was weird to say some final goodbyes to missionaries that I had just met. I won't lie, I didn't like it realizing that I wouldn't really form a part of the mission they would come to know. Weird stuff. 

That night we got to teach S again! We taught about the power of the priesthood and how it needs to be cultivated and looked after. It has been so fun to see his excitement for the church come back and how hard he is trying. That night Hermana Martin and Hermana Peters spent the night with us. It was a party. 

Friday, weekly planning. Yay. Then we went out to el palo to teach K and F. They are seriously some of my favorite members even if they think that I am 16 years old:)  We got to teach them about the Savior. We shared some scriptures, but mostly just testified of His ability and desire to be there for us every step of this life even when we feel alone. When I looked up I noticed that F was crying. I was a little taken aback and he quickly explained how every time we come we bring some small message that answers a question he had been struggling with. It just proves to me that when we are looking for answers and are ready, the Spirit can teach us through any source. 

We then got home right at 5 and the Hermanas from Malaga came for intercambios.  I was with Hermana Burrell. We got tot each some awesome lessons and then we got to sit and talk just for a moment about how the mission is going. I was so humbled to listen to her tell me of all she is trying to do and trying to be. It is always my favorite part of intercambios to sit down with these hermanas and help them realize how much good they are doing.  I love listening to them and hearing all they are learning through all of this. Hermana Burrell is incredible and I'm so grateful for the time we got to talk. 

Hermana Stephens and I got to work together the next morning. I don't know why but it always seems that we go see people who just love to talk!  When we went, our member asked if she could make some bread really quickly and we thought she meant toast so we said yes, but then she started baking bread!  We died laughing at the circumstance and did our best to get out of the cita.  Hermana Stephens is awesome at taking control of the lesson and showing love while doing it. 

Saturday was F's birthday! We went over with some members and gave him brownies and we all shared our favorite memory of him. It was so cute. That night was a long night of finding those elect and we loved it. 

Sunday was awesome we got to bring J to church with us for an amazing session of ward conference and then we went with G to J's house and did a noche de hogar where we talked about what we can do in return for the Savior's sacrifice. Then we got to play gestures. It was interesting in Spanish and we defiantly had some language barriers but it was fun. Then back to the church for consejo and for numbers. My phone died so we got to do cuentas through FaceTime. 

Alright really quick last thing but this week, I had I guess my first major freak out. I was just thinking about what I had done on my mission and I just started thinking... What if i didn't do everything I was supposed to? What if I had been more focused could I have done more? Here are some thoughts I had 
1. My cute companion turned to me and told me, " I think it makes God happy to see you happy" and I realized it would have been such a shame to waste such a beautiful gift from God by being stressed out the whole time. The mission is not meant to be suffered though but we are supposed to love giving our all and just because I am having fun doesn't mean I'm sinning. 

2. I realized that God is the judge. I cannot judge what I have done because that is His job, I can only give my small offering and hope that He can make it what he needs of it. 

3. I also realized that God doesn't need me as a driving force. He is God. He is the driving force but I can be an instrument of His and as long as I was always looking for His will and doing my best, He wouldn't let me mess up too badly. 

I thought of a lot more things but I can't remember them right now. I am just so grateful for this chance I have had, for the things I have learned and that my small offering is enough.  It didn't change the world but it did change me. 

Love you all! 

Hermana Smalley 

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