Quoting “The District” is more than a hobby or fun pastime. It’s a way of life. It’s an all-consuming need. It’s a passion. If you don’t quote the District in normal conversation then you’re not a real missionary. And you don’t understand the Atonement.
Opposite side with Book of Mormon graphic: “We believe in the [Book of Mormon graphic] to be the Word of God . . .” --The District
Exchanges 24/3/15 (March 24, 2015)
Except we call them . . . intercambios.
I had my first/last intercambio with Hna. Boyer in Cataroja. It’s a magical little pueblo! On the 15 minute train-ride over all our visits failed. So we prayed, made some pass-bys, and saw miracles. She’s so loving and talks to everyone. She says I’m her hero. But she’s one of mine.
-240,000 miles from the Earth to the moon—an “argument” during exercise.
-Separated on the metro—two still-training missionaries. Eating chuches.
-Running across the beds . . .and being discovered because Hna. Stilson was hiding in the closet . . .
-A million member splits . . . helped me gain independence.
-President Pace’s phone-call on transfer night we were FREAKING OUT!!!
LOCK YOUR HEART
I Learned . . .
The miracle of exact obedience.
It was just after an intercamio/lunch cita [exchange/lunch appointment] out of our area, so we were doing language study on a bench and as it got closer to five, I suggested we get going. (Though we didn’t know exactly what we would do, we knew it was tracting time.) So we went forth in faith and -2 News, -4 lessons –The boyfriend of an investigator we hadn’t seen for a while. We call it our “Miracle Hour”.
“I’m a PIONEER!” –Mercedes after learning that the church has only been in Spain for 40 years.
Memorable Person: A SPANISH PIONEER
Mercedes Lopez Cervera
Mercedes is the choir director in our ward. Her boyfriend’s baptism was the first real “event” I attended in the mission. Under her direction, we sang for hospitals, conferences, and ward parties.
She’s and RM of many years, learned English on her mission, and helps us on visits whenever she can. She’s a great visiting teacher, a good Young Womens leader, and a good friend.
She’s a bit older, has a car, and is part of the ward’s favorite “future couple”.
We were reading in 2 Nephi 31 and teaching Allison about the Doctrine of Christ. When the time came (the right verse popped up) we asked her to do just that, and she said yes. And I remember wondering, can It really be that easy?
Yes. Yes it can.
Every morning I wake up so tired, sure that there’s NO WAY I can make it through the day without a nap or something. But I get up anyway. And as the day goes on, the strength comes.
“I just can’t wait to have a jawline again.” --Elder Keen
#chubbersprobs #missionlife #whatValenciasfamousfor
“Dios Esta” [God is here] --Genoveva
After her fall getting out of the font & when she was lost getting to church and we turned a corner/found her.
Hermana Terrazas and I have decided that Moroni should have added another verse to the Book of Mormon “Thou shalt not live with thy boyfriend”—that would make missionary work in Spain so much easier.
It’s easy to forget a pain you don’t FEEL. Was I blind to how much my companion suffered as we went on with the work?
A Baptism 28/3/15 A checklist with the following checked: Uplifted, Exhausted, Happy, Nervous, Stressed, Worried, Excited, Blessed
Yes. It really was all of those emotions! But also, incredibly rewarding. Almost everyone was late (including Genoveva), but it was also one of the most beautiful and personal services I’ve ever been to. She’s my 1st real convert! On my 5 month mark!
Allison was baptized! She was late, which was stressful, and it was at a weird time (3:30) so not a ton of people were there, but her Aunt, Mother, and Grandfather came to support her and the service went really well. She gave a simple “thank-amony.” AND she made treats . .. for her own baptism. How cute is that?
Preparation Day 3/3/15 (Aria’s Birthday!)
We went as a group, the Hermanas of Valencia and by some miracle (answer to prayer, hna. Manotas was still with us. We watched the Mascleta in the center with booming fireworks that echoed in your chest and all surrounding buildings. We climbed 207 stairs to the top of the oldest tower in Valencia. We took a million pictures. It was a great day.
Who: Hermana Terrazas & I
What: She had the Hiccups, and I said “I’ll just have to scare you to get rid of them . . .we’re ½ way through the transfer.”—Which isn’t even true . . . but her hiccups stopped.
When: In the afternoon, 24/4/15
Where: In the METRO (of all places) on the way to the hospital. . . .and again in Piso.
District Meeting 17/4/15
First one since they split us and we lost Castellon. (I’ve been here through a lot of different districts in Valencia.) We talked about improving Personal Study (helpful) and it was a good balance of spiritual and funny/awkward . . . .Like when E. Davis compared losing the spirit to having a chair pulled out from under you . . . which is what happened to Hna. Terrazas. So we laughed about that. Took another selfie.
April 14 (2015)
So last preparation day we went to Gulliver’s park as a zone(ish) activity. It was super fun. Hna. Terrazas fell . . . a couple of times, really hard the last time. As the week went on and it didn’t get better we decided to put all stubbornness aside and call (which was a little complicated because Hna Pace is recovering from eye surgery), so we had to call Hna. Flores who told us to go to the hospital como ya and got a same-day cita [appointment] for said hospital (which is super difficult here in Spain). We went, waited 4 hours for a 15 minute x-ray, and found out that there’s a small fracture in her tailbone.
So now we’re resting. Stuck in piso [apartment], and Hna T. has to lay on her back.
I’m embroidering the baptism sign on her butt-donut and we’re watching “The Testaments” and just . . . waiting to hear what to do.
It’s strange to just . . .be here, not out there doing things, and already the time blends together. We’ll just see what tomorrow brings.
Remember This: It was one afternoon, after a particularly . . . difficult companionship interview. She went to take a nap, I sat in the kitchen, eating and blasting whatever MOTAB combo CD my had sent. Hna Lamoreau busted through, stopped for a moment, looked around, and asked how I was doing. I hesitated . . . and then started crying. She had to go, and as I continued to listen to the CD I heard the words “He is known by oh, so many names, and will be forever more. Hope comes from the one with many names, and he’s not forgotten yours.” And it just hit me harder than it had ever before. That my Savior’s love was real, and that he knew exactly, exactly how I felt. So I knelt and said a prayer of gratitude for my Savior’s love and Atonement. It’s the first time I’ve cried for joy in a prayer, and the first time I remember praying just out of a sincere desire to communicate with my Father.