Monday, June 29, 2015

Fwd: Hace calor!!






Querida Familia y Amigos,

This week has been so fun! And it is HOT! 

It is so hard to email you guys because I never know what to say. So many things happen everyday here that strengthen my testimony, it´s just impossible to put into words. 

We had a ward activity for a festivo here for Saint Juan. Everything was going great until it started RAINING so we all had to go inside the church. Haha, but it was really fun. I´ll try to send you the video of the skit that we did with the Elders!

We are getting a new mission president, so that´s exciting. We were all crying the last time we saw him. We sang our mission song, Brillan Rayos de Clemencia (Brightly Beams Our Father´s Mercy in English) and all the Hermanas were crying like babies. It was so sad, we love our mission president. He´s like an apostle.

We were walking on Saturday and it was superrr hot. We were on our way home for mediodia, starving and hot, and this guy contacts US. He clearly had a disability, he wasn´t all there, but he just immediately started talking to us about Jesus Christ. I immediately judged him though. I was really impatient with him and kind of rude. He really wanted to show us a religious book he has and he told us to wait and he was going to go get it but I was really blunt with him (like Spaniards always are to us, haha, learned from the best) and said ¨No we really don´t have any interest in that book, but we do have a book for you¨. 

So we exchanged numbers to meet with him later that day. He called us like 5 times before our next visit with him just to ask us about the Book Of Mormon. And then that night we showed him the Because He lives video of Jesus Christ and he got so excited about it, like a child. As I watched him watching the video I realized how innocent and childlike he is and I felt so bad for judging him. I started crying. I was so overcome. I couldn´t believe that I had been so rude to him. He came to church with us the next morning. He asked me during Sacrament meeting if he could go out for a smoke and I said he had to wait until the meeting was over, in 20 minutes. Then I gave him the Word Of Wisdom pamphlet that I was using to fan myself and he read it. But he said it would be very hard for him to quit smoking. He kept whispering to me at church about the Book of Mormon and asking to talk to the bishop. Haha. He´s so funny. I think that how we treat these people is a real test of how Christlike we really are. 

I am so grateful for the mission, literally there are no words to describe how great it is. We live by and are guided by the Spirit in everything we do and we work so hard and it´s only through the Lord´s help that I am here.

I love you all so much!

Have a fantastic week! Thanks for keeping in touch with me!!

Con amor,
Hermana Birch







--
Hermana Birch
Spain Barcelona Mission
C/ Calatrava 10 -12 bajos
Barcelona, 08017
España

Monday, June 22, 2015

Some pictures

District mtg

One TRUE Convert

Querido familia y amigos!




Happy Father´s Day and Happy Birthday to Branden and Dad!!! 

Something Hermana O´Neill has taught me this week that has absolutely helped me a ton: We are on our missions, yes, to convert others. But hopefully our one TRUE convert will be ourselves!! I love that so much. I think if my mission has done anything to me yet, it has done just that, converted myself. I´m so glad about this. I´m so glad to be serving a mission. Every night me and Hermana O´Neill before we go to bed we just talk about how much we LOVE being missionaries and being Mormon! haha

Que mas, que mas....a miracle we had this week. We had an AWESOME district meeting this week. It seriously was the best. I felt the Spirit so strong. We made a goal as a district to be the missionaries we wanted to be, you know the missionary in your head that does EVERYTHING right. Well we made a goal to do that for the rest of the week, and it was really awesome. I focused myself a lot on that. Me and Hermana O´Neill have started contacting people as we wait to cross the street, something that a veces is super awkward, but I think it´s really good. We actually found a really cute Spanish lady with two little girl twins who has great potential. Our bishop will be really happy because he wants more Españoles in the ward. 

Oh, we had an extremely Catalan dude that we were teaching. He has been to church like 4 times (before I got here) and so we want him to be baptized ASAP! Pero, he is SUPER Catalan pride and everything, he doesn´t like the church that much because he says it´s just all south americans and nobody speaks his language (catalan), which is super dumb to me because we all speak Spanish! So it´s been AWHILE since he´s been to church because of this, but we committed him to go this week. We had no idea but turns out that one of the speakers from Sacrament meeting ends up teaching the Gospel Doctrine class as a sub for his daughter who usually does it, and one of the first things he says to the class is in Catalan, which I´ve never heard anyone speak Catalan at church before. And I was sitting next to our super Catalan pride investigator dying inside. I couldn´t believe it. I know that our investigator felt a lot better about church that day. It was a little miracle to me.

Also I have really been focusing on the Spirit to tell me who to contact. We walk in the street and we walk by TONS of people. And sometimes knowing just WHO to contact is the hardest part. Because we don´t have time to contact EVERYONE but I´m trying not to be choosy about who to contact. Like we particularly like contacting south americans and moms with families. But I´m working on contacting spaniards and men, too. 

​I love you all so much!! I know that life is really hard sometimes, but with the help of the Lord, our burdens are made light!​ He truly does make our weaknesses strong, if we try! I feel this every single day of my mission!

​con mucho amor,
Hermana Birch​


--
Hermana Birch
Spain Barcelona Mission
C/ Calatrava 10 -12 bajos
Barcelona, 08017
España

Monday, June 8, 2015

Más

This week we knocked a lot of doors! We had knocked a lot of doors
this one day and I was so exhausted and it was hot. Finally a lady let
us into her house and we talked to her about the church. She was super
nice and I was just grateful for missionaries in Barcelona that had
made a good impression on her. She used to Live by a chapel so she saw
missionaries a lot but never talked to them and she said she had
always wanted to know what we believe, and bam here we are. It was a
short visit. It we have her information and she wants us to come by
again.

Also I was feeling super sick the other day. We walked 30 minutes to
stop by an investigator and I was literally dying with every step. My
stomach hurt and I felt nauseous, like I could just fall over. When we
got to her house I was so weak, but we were only there for 10 min,
just enough time to invite her to English class the. We had to walk 30
minutes back to the chapel for the class. And I was so weak and sick.
So we sat on a bench and I said a prayer for strength and health that
I could just make it to the chapel. And then as we were walking I
started feeling better and I had energy again. Even though we didn't
have any water or food. I know God is here with and loves His
missionaries.

Hermana Birch
Sent from my iPad

Chapel Lleida

video

Us in a bar on our iPads checking emails on preparation day

video

iPads and what

Hola a todos!

Some fun things are happening in the mission! We got iPads! Kind of
exciting! Kind of weird too haha.

La obra misional es muy duro. It is super hot outside and we aren't
working with that many people, but it's still good. We work really
hard we walk a lot. We talk to lots of people. We have an English
class in the church on Sunday evenings.

This week I'm just really grateful for the members of this ward.
There's a convert of two years who loves the gospel so much. She
shares it with everybody. She was so excited to show us her
certificate from being sealed in the Venezuela temple and she was the
first one to bear her testimony in both sacrament and relief society.
She is such a good missionary, she brought two people to church on
Sunday, that's more than we could get to church!! We are trying to
find people like her in Lleida who are ready to accept and live the
gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have been knocking doors, something that I didn't have to do in
Valencia. So the days feel a lot longer and they're a lot harder to
get through. Haha. We get so many uninterested and then there will be
one golden person but then they work a lot and they can't meet with us
until Saturday which is a long time for us. One lady let us into her
home when we were knocking, that had never happened to me before. She
was super nice. She said that she wanted to know what what we believe
and that she has seen lots of missionaries because she lived by a
chapel in Barcelona.

There was a futbol game and Barcelona won so the city was going NUTS.
People were honking their horns on their cars every time they drove
past this bar right by our piso until like after midnight. It was so
loud!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Holaaaaaa


Pictures still aren´t working so.....This is an old picture from Valencia. ¨Mormon metro¨. There´s no metro in Lleida, I miss it! 


Querido familia y amigos,

This was my first week in Lleida! Wow, it is so different from Valencia. I actually love this area, it is really pretty. It´s small but it´s cute. There´s a castle! 

As far as missionary work goes though, this area is kind of rough. We haven´t had one lesson with an investigator since I´ve been here, besides contacts we´ve had on the street. That´s so crazy. I´m trying to not let it get me down! What a big change, to go from Valencia which is like the freaking promised land to Lleida, this little town with very little investigators...yet

Oh I´m sick again. We had to go to the doctor to make sure it wasn´t strep. We had to go to Zaragoza which is like an hour away by train. And we had to navigate ourselves to the hospital with the bus system all on our own. DANG THAT WAS HARD It was intense and we spent like the whole day. I was so sick, I was dying. And then we came back home and we had a ward activity that we had to hurry and help the elders finish setting up! It was an intense day, to say the least. But still fun! 


​another old pic APOSTASY (apostasy is whenever missionaries do something that maybe they shouldn´t be doing. like playing ukulele on a park bench with an investigator)

When we were in the train station, my throat was killing me so we went to a restaurant to get an Aquarius (gatorade in europe). It was really expensive so I didn´t get it, but there was a guy sitting there who bought it for me, turns out he´s a member of the church! It was super cool! Like what were the chances of us bumping into a member of the church, I mean we´re in SPAIN, there´s like no members here. Haha, it was awesome. And he was super nice to buy it for me.

Lleida is great. So far we´ve had a Pakistani ask us if we want to smoke with him sometime, someone yell out to us from their car ¨Your church is false! Your church is false!¨ and Hermana O´Neill got hit on by a drunk guy who was obsessed with her blue eyes. We laugh so hard that we cry like three times a day. 

We had a really good lesson with a less active, she´s from Bolivia (I LOVE BOLIVIANS), she is trying to prepare to go to the temple, but she doesn´t come to church on Sundays. So we talked about how Satan always uses the influences of the world, to make us feel like we´re not good enough or we´re not ready. Like how I felt before coming on a mission. Obviously it´s against Satan´s plan for anyone to go to the temple or serve missions. So we just have to find solace in the scriptures and through prayer, and not look to the world to find answers, because the world will tell you that these things that are so important to our happiness in this life and in the life to come, aren´t important at all. 

We´re still trying to find Nigerians or Bolivians to teach here in Lleida. Haha. But really. There are so many MUSLIMS here! It´s ridiculous! And they´re all super nice and willing to listen, but they don´t want to change. It´s so difficult! Also can you send me the wikipedia article about what Muslims believe. I really want to know. I have an idea but I´d like an article. 

Also I come into this area right, and apparently there is a bus system here, but we don´t know how to use it. Like we don´t know when the buses come and we don´t know where to get a bus map, so we just WALK everywhere. It´s crazy. But it´s really fun. Like Sunday morning we walked 40 MINUTES to pick up an investigator to come to church with us, and then we get there and she DROPPED us. Which means she´s not interested anymore, she prefers the Testigos de Jehovah. (Jdubs, Jehovah Witnesses). 

Also church was really fun, I didn´t have to play piano or teach a lesson. But wow, so sad to hear about L. Tom Perry. He´s so cute. Me and Hermana Oneill are super sad. Our district thinks Tad McAllister is the next apostle. Puede ser.

Anyway, I love you all! If you have time, send me your favorite Conference talk, old or new. Something that would help me as a missionary! I love you!!

Con amor,
Hermana Birch

--
Hermana Birch
Spain Barcelona Mission
C/ Calatrava 10 -12 bajos
Barcelona, 08017
España