Monday, May 16, 2016

Return and Report

Return: Go back to previously inhabited place or time
Report: give updates

A little bit of info on the week, and tips for those of you still in the field.
This week I've watched a lot of Marvel movies, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games. Tip for the future: You don't have to catch up with two years of cinema in a week. Or... ever. Disney movies, however, deserve to be caught up on.
We watched Star Wars:The Force Awakens which was quickly followed by the unfilmed but inevitable sequal, "The Alayna asleepens."
Working on the work situation and other boring life stuff.
Talking with the Relief Society was really neat. They had a sister preparing to serve speak, the current missionaries speak, me, and then Skyped in a missionary who had gone home from our ward with health challenges. It was really interesting to see the different levels of spiritual power that accompanied them all. I've decided that the RMs have an Avengers-worthy super power. You give me a word, ANY word, and I will SHOW you how the root of that word... can be related to a true principle of the gospel, of which I will then testify, give a scripture reference, show you a mormon message for, and refer you to the local missionaries for more information. BAM. Power. 

I gave my homecoming talk this weekend. It was funny to reflect on my Farewell as I gave my Homecoming and see the things that have and haven't changed.
1) Talking style- In my Farewell, I spent a full day writing a concise and perfectly scripted one-page talk, stood up and gave that talk.
In my Homecoming, I basically re-gave my "Lo que el Señor me ha enseñado" with mission experiences tossed in for flavor and the most "preparation" I did for the talk was spending the past 18 months as a missionary (which, to be fair, is quite a bit of prep!).  
2) Follow-up speakers: In my Farewell Sister Ballard spoke after me (and was a bit shocked I didn't talk longer). In my Homecoming, Bishop Ballard (her husband) spoke after me (and had a rather short talk). 
3) The color orange: That was a given. Everyone in my family wore it. Even Bishop Ballard went home after a meeting to change into an orange tie for the occasion. 
4) Photos with a Spanish Flag: We took them with people before I left, we took them with people today. My hair is longer and my face is a little thinner but everyone else seems to look about the same. 
5) Paella and Spanish food: Of course, for my farewell party we didn't actually know what paella was supposed to be like so it was nowhere NEAR authentic. Yesterday I slaved over tortilla de patata to varying degrees of success and my mom bought out the "taste of Spain" special in Smiths. 
6) Family musical numbers: We make the Sound of Music seem lame. Last time EFY medley, this time our good old mission song.

Anyway, it went a lot better than I thought it would, thanks to the spirit, and there were many improvements. 
I've communicated with some recent converts and investigators and members from Spain. I had a missed call from Manuela (CR, best recent convert on this side of the veil) and she said it was really important so I freaked out all night until she woke me up with a phone call the next morning just to say..."Thank you for teaching me, thank you for loving me, I love the gospel and I have a testimony. Have a nice day." It was really sweet. Almost gave me a heart-attack at first, but really sweet in the end.

No boys to report on other than the freakishly tall one I call my brother. I haven't made it to the singles ward yet but I'll get there eventually. I went to do baptisms and things with my family the other day and saw more baptisms in 30 minutes than I did in my entire mission. What a funny thing missionary work is. What a pleasure it is to do it in whatever form.

Food for thought:
You can only teach the teachable, but you can testify to everyone.
The best measure of success at the end of a day is if you can sing "Have I Done any Good in the World Today" from the top of your lungs and with all of your heart. (Preference to the Alex Boye one)
The gospel is a gospel of constant progression. There are always ways you can improve, repent, and be better. Find one.

We'll be doing a girls temple trip in California this week (trying to hit as many temples as we do beaches), so I've got that to look forward to.
Love and prayers being sent your way! Hope you have a great week!
-Hermana Alayna Een
A random non-member sent me flowers, so that's nice...?

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