Monday, August 24, 2015

Chinese hair!

We cut our hair today! It was awesome. It was at a chinese hair place and it was so funny, we forgot to bring cash and so we had to leave and come back to pay. I left my iPad with her so that she was sure we would come back, it was so funny. I was like, no we're Christians, I promise we'll come back!

One of the highlights of our week is teaching Benjamin, he has grown up in the church but we are teaching him the lessons before his baptism. And his mom always makes us lots of good food for after the lesson! She taught me how to make my favorite Spanish food, tortilla de patata this week. As Hermana Manotas says, "typical espanish food".

We are working a lot with the members in the ward. There's lots of YSA but there's no set activities during the week for them so we asked this family to hold a Family Home Evening for the YSA on Sunday.

And they made us "pethcadito frito"! Really really good, my palate has changed a lot!!

Something that the Lord has taught me this week is that He cares about the little things in our lives. And also that if we are very specific in our prayers he answers. Haha it was something really small and kind of dumb but I prayed about it and the next day it wasn't even a problem anymore. Also when I first came to this area my feet were literally killing me all the time, and I realized that my prayers were answered, my feet are totally fine now.

The Lord lets us go through hard times, so that we can appreciate the good. I had a really bad day this week, I was feeling lots of sadness for people that we know. As missionaries, we spend so much time with other people and hearing about their problems and their lives and I just felt so sad for some of these people. Also these people have so little but they sacrifice so much for the church and for the missionaries. And I just felt so overwhelmed and I felt their weight on my shoulders (well, you know what I mean). I literally was crying in the street and I just felt so hopeless. But it strengthened my testimony of the Savior because I know He is the only one who can relieve our burdens.

I prayed that I would be able to feel more joy and the next day I was completely the opposite, I felt so happy that I was crying. I'm telling you, the mission is a rollercoaster of emotions, no, lo siguiente.

Thank you for your prayers and love. I'm so grateful to be in Spain serving a mission, this is the best mission in the world!

"And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work." I love this scripture, I was thinking what I need to do and be to be more worthy of my calling, and this is the answer.

Lots of love,
Hermana Birch

Hola Familia!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fwd: Chinese buffet = muerte

The Chinese restaurant, Zone Conference and little Melanie.

Fwd: Sunset

More pics!

Fwd: Castillo

HOLA Family And Friends!

The week started off great, with a trip to a Chinese buffet for Preparation Day. Fun fun. But AFTERWARDS I got super sick and could not work for two whole days! I have never felt so sick in my life, haha. Couldn´t sleep, couldn´t move, couldn´t eat, diarrhea. It was really bad. But I drank lots of Aquarius (Gatorade here) and took some medicine and now I´m back in action.

This week is transfer week. And I´m staying here in Lleida with my companion! I´m so glad! I didn´t want to leave! And we are planning a ward activity and other fun stuff is happening, so I´m glad I´m staying.

Also we got to go the Castle finally! You can see it from basically wherever you are in town and we´ve always wanted to go. So we went inside and toured it with the other missionaries today. It was cool! We kept thinking we were in Hogwarts or something or in the Sound Of Music.

As far as missionary work goes, everyday we do the same things and sometimes it´s a really big mental fight to keep going. Don´t get me wrong, I love what we do. And when we are in lessons I can always feel that what we are saying is being guided by the Spirit, and that´s an amazing feeling. But my body is always so tired, we are on our feet all day long. But we are meeting with a lot of awesome people. There´s a guy, Richard, from a Portuguese speaking African colony, that is working on giving up alcohol. I told him to start small. That he can only drink one glass of wine a day instead of two, and we´ll go from there. Also we are teaching a younger Peruvian guy. He works in his convenience store and we teach him as he checks out customers. Haha it´s awesome. He´s really nice. And I always buy an icecream or Aquarius when we are there. Also there´s a family of a mom and her two daughters that we ALWAYS see. Every single day we run into them in the street. It´s the funniest thing. We visit them in their home or in the street sometimes too. We taught them the Plan of Salvation with the little pictures that Hermana Manotas has, and they loved it. But the mom doesn´t see the importance of the Book of Mormon, even though we have given her one in her language and we read it with them and we invite them to read it. But wha I´m learning is that we can only do so much. And once we have done what we can, that´s all we can do.

Everyday we see miracles and we meet new people who are willing to listen to the message we have. I know that the gospel blesses peoples lives, and it changes lives, because it has changed mine. The mission experience is hard. It´s not easy. But it´s making me a better person and I´m forever grateful for the trust Heavenly Father has in me to be here in Spain to serve. But the longer time I have in the mission, I realize that the mission is more for me spiritually than for any of the people we are teaching. It does more for me and for the rest of my life I´ll be a stronger person and a better member of the church from my mission experience. I´m doing things I never thought I could do! It´s amazing. 

Love you all so much!
Hermana Birch

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fwd: Pics

Querido Familia y Amigos,

This week was the WEEK of eating visits!! Hermana Manotas loves to make cookies and ¨heart attack¨ the doors of the members, and I think it´s working!! We ate lots of good food, arroz con leche, arroz con pollo, y tortilla de patata!

We had a miracle and had lots of people at church on Sunday! Like Orlando! He´s really quiet and really a good boy. We are teaching him poco a poco. He has a goal to be baptized this week, the 15th! I love his Dominican accent. ¨Ya tu sabes¨ y ¨Que lo que!¨

Also our investigator Richard from Angola (Portuguese speaking African country) came to church! We found him on the street a few weeks ago. It´s noticeable that he has an alcohol problem and he came to church reeking of beer. We tried to get him to come to the second hour class, Gospel Principles. But he didn´t want to come because he was tired. So he was just sitting in the foyer by himself. We kept asking him to come and he finally did. And just GUESS what the lesson was about.....THE WORD OF WISDOM. Haha!! It was awesome. It was so funny because it was so perfect for what he needed to hear. We have only taught him The Restoration and about the Book Of Mormon, so he had never heard about the Word Of Wisdom. We have plans to set a baptismal fecha with him.

Me and Hermana Manotas had a really good companionship inventory and our relationship has improved by leaps and bounds. I am grateful to have her. I have lots of faults that I´m trying to resolve. And I´m trying to be more humble and malleable. I read a really good talk about pride and it basically listed a whole bunch of things that I never thought of before as pride, but things like ¨witholding compliments¨ and ¨holding grudges in our hearts¨ are all prideful things. Hermana Manotas is teaching me that if there´s a problem, TALK about it. We don´t need to hold everything in. We can compromise together to find a better way.

I´m so grateful to be serving a mission here in this area. I´m learning so much about the gospel, missionary work and how to be a better person. There were a few days this week when I literally didn´t know how I was going to continue on. Me and my companion got pretty huffy with eachother and it resulted in both of us crying in the street waiting for the bus and I literally thought to myself ¨this is a huge problem and I don´t know what to do¨. But when we pray and humble ourselves, God helps us! 

Hermana Birch