Monday, March 16, 2015

Bad Days, Black Cats, Bull Fights, and Brownies

Bad Days: Everybody has them. You take it one down, you sing a sad song just to turn it around...
Black Cats: Typically a sign of misfortune, especially when one crosses your path. At night. On Friday the 13th.
Bull Fights: Well, it is SPAIN, after all. There was one scheduled for this Preparation day and I had an internal moral conflict about whether to go or not but the fact that it was super expensive and hard to get tickets sort-of settled that deal. And I think I'm glad.
Brownies: The magical substance "dulces de mi pais" [sweets of my country] that missionaries (Hermanas, anyway) make for special people. They summon miracles and we have a super-secret recipe that is criminally simple.
[1 cup sugar
1cup flour
1 cup cola cao
3/4 cup oil
splash of milk, pinch of salt]

My week: in no chronological order
This week (Wednesday) we had the pleasure of getting a mission conference from a visiting area 70 (Olssen). A bunch of missionaries from surrounding areas came in for the conference and I got to see Hermana Fenn (a friend from the MTC) again, which was a pleasure. That, and it's SUPER nice to hug someone taller than I am (she´s 6 foot 2).
Conference with Elder and Sister Olssen

We had a crazy, accidental miracle. I was trying to call MA [menos activos] (a short-hand way of saying less-active) Pamela in our phone and accidentally ended up calling MA Patti... someone I've never met. But I invited her to come to church, our quick conversation ended, and we went on with the day. I would have totally forgotten about it, but she actually CAME to church... AND brought a friend. So we set up a visit with her friend for this Friday.
Funny how things work out.

Friday the 13th! Yes, a black cat did cross our path at 9 at night... but luck was on our side, because we had an EXCELLENT lesson with Allison, and she agreed to be baptized. It was almost too easy. The next day we had a lesson with her mom which also went incredibly well.

Saturday was PI day. 3/14/15 (if you do it the American way.) And although they don't really have pie here, we did our best with pudding, crushed Maria cookies, and a pre-made cheesecake. #nerdforthewin.

The Fallas [a festival unique to Valencia] are in FULL SWING around here, and I'm understanding them a little better because of a Wikipedia article my mom sent me through snail mail (thanks for that). There are giant "Ninots" [“dolls” in Catalan, a dialect in Spain] on almost every street corner... including the one right outside our piso [apartment] (so we can watch it burn from our front window... which is insanely cool). We went to the Mascleta (firework/soundcannon show) today... along with everyone else in Spain. It's quite the unique experience. I enjoy it... but I'm also ready for things to get back to almost-normal next week.

Tuesday we had our cita with Silvia. We sang a song, shared testimony, talked and smiled. We had a member there who shared her own testimony and conversion story and did everything right. But her mind was made, and this was "goodbye." So I wrote an inscription in her Book of Mormon (trying to pour out my soul in words without triggering tears), we ate the brownies we had made, and left. We bought chocolate bars and decided to pass by names on the ward list (to clear out those who don't live there anymore... which was pretty much everyone). Every time the person we were looking for didn't live there, didn't answer, or we got rejected, we ate a little square of the chocolate bar... and almost finished it. All in all, it was a day with all the potential to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But miraculously, it wasn't. Somehow we managed to be... well, happy. Because we decided to be, and we kept each other up. And sometimes that really is all it takes.
The scripture I want to share this week is Mosiah 2:41 (in the Book of Mormon).
 Mosiah 2:41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
It's a scripture I've come to love through my mission, not only because it's the perfect scripture to share on eating citas with members but because it's always applicable to my own life as well. We CAN have happiness, we CAN have joy. Living the commandments -being good- isn't insurance against the hard times, but it gives you the promise of strength to be happy in spite of them.

Pursuit of Happiness... it really is that easy, and that difficult, and that important.

-Hermana Een

Summary: Fallas  are in full swing, lots of cultural stuff. Silvia dropped us and we had a bad day that ended up being ok anyway. Still a nerd, for pi day. Little daily miracles/mistakes abound.

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