Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Delays and Double Takes

Delays: always unexpected. A natural part of life. How you react during a delay real shows your personality (hint: People are a lot less patient than they seem...)
Double Takes: a split-second second chance to recognize something important or see something as it really is.

This week we had concilio [leadership meeting] (hence the Tuesday email) and I had the great opportunity of going down to Barcelona again... This time, in plane. (More on that later)
August 31, 2015 Concilio (way too excited to have an Hermana taller than me)

 So the festival here in Bilbao came to a close on Saturday night (more like Sunday morning...) and although it was fun to see the world walking around with blue bandanas, soccer jerseys, blue knee-length skirts, and pins of a woman win her arms raised... I'm glad to see things settle down and hopefully see a growth in the missionary work here. The end of Aste Nagusia.
Marijaia, the symbol of the festivities.  They say that her hands are raised into the air as a sign of optimism and to symbolize dancing.   They burn Marijaia at the end of the festival . . . like the Fallas in Valencia, it seems.

I got to go on an intercambio with Hermana Ratliff this week. She's one transfer ahead of me in the mission, loves Batman, wants to work better with the members, and is a very strong and confident teacher. I also got to talk with Elder Vickery (my District Leader my first transfer in Barcelona) which was great.

Ward members in Bilbao at a BBQ
Delays? We took the plane (1 hour trip) back to Bilbao after Concilio... And it was delayed for 3 hours. We got home at 2 am which is definitely the latest I've stayed up as a missionary. I thought the other passengers were ready to riot.

Just a sampling of some weird Basque street names.
I think my favorite miracle this week was with a Bulgarian man named Momchil. The Elders contacted him a couple of weeks ago and he came to church my first week here. We set up a cita [appointment] (which he failed on) and sort of lost contact after that until Saturday afternoon. I was busy on the phone and saw that someone was trying to get out attention. I stopped walking but was really distracted and after a few awkward seconds of waiting (thinking he was just another beggar on the street) sort of waved him away, and he left. Moments later the phone all ended, and Hermana Randall said "wasn't that Momchil?" My heart dropped and we ran after him. I apologized for not recognizing him, and we were able to talk. We heard more of his story and about how hard of a time he's had, but also helped him realize how God has been there to help him along the way. He's run into missionaries SEVERAL times in the past few years, and every time he gets a little bit closer. We invited him to a baptism that night, and he came. As I was sitting next to him during the service, I saw him fingering his copy of the Book of Mormon. As he flipped open the front cover I recognized the handwriting of one of the testimonies and asked to see it better. It was from a missionary in my MTC district (Hermana Braun), serving in Madrid! As we talked with him afterwards, it was so interesting to see how God has been reaching out to him, through several sets of missionaries throughout the years. It was just another testimony to me that this is His work, and we have the sacred privilege of being his instruments in preparing His children.

.... And that I almost missed the chance to be a part of it, because I waved him away. In my defense, I didn't recognize him and was carrying on a conversation in Spanish on the phone. I was lucky to have a companion paying better attention. But it made me wonder how many incredible experiences I may have missed because I wasn't paying attention, didn't recognize it, and didn't have that spiritual double-take.

And I was reading in John (I LOVE John) when he asks Peter three times, "do you love me?" Sometimes we need things more than once. But I want to get to the point someday where I can do it on the first try, where he only has to tell me once. It won't be this week or month, and may not happen on my mission or even in the coming years, but I want to try.

So that's been my week!

Wishing you all a great one as well!

-Hermana Een

No comments:

Post a Comment