Tuesday, October 27, 2015

La Sagrada Familia!

All of the returned missionaries in the stake shared their testimonies, like 6 of them, and it was super powerful! The stake president then invited all of us missionaries serving to stand up so everyone could see us. Then he said that every single person who could serve a mission or start their papers right now, needed to do it and get going on it immediately! Missionary work is the best!

We also had interviews with our mission president this week. Really fun because while everyone was waiting to be interviewed, we talked to President Dayton's wife and she had music and a table set up with homemade banana bread and Halloween candy :) she's like our mom, and she is the most loving, generous, sweet person I have ever met.

After interviews we ate a a burger place in Barcelona! These burgers were huge, and really good too! And cheap!

Me and my companion are finally seeing some more success! We found a whole bunch of new investigators this week and our agenda is already full of appointments for the coming week! Whoo hoo! Kind of a miracle actually.

We are working with a less active that got baptized in her country, Bolivia, but hasn't been to church here in Spain since she moved here like 8 years ago. We contacted her in the street, not knowing that she was already a member! Miracle! She is so sweet and has a beautiful baby daughter. The only problem is that when we were visiting her in her house, her husband called. We could hear the conversation and we noticed that he is very controlling and very bad tempered. When she got off the phone I asked her if it was ok we were here, and she said no, so we left real fast! And we have seen her with bruises on her face and we are kind of worried about how he treats her. Like she was going to come to church last week, so we stopped by in the morning to pick her up, but she said her husband wouldn't let her. It's just so hard, we don't know what to do or how to help. Also we have an investigator who wants to be baptized, but her husband won't let her because he's Orthodox. Also the husband of a less active who recently has been reactivated, because her teenage daughter got baptized, has no interest, but we go to their house every Monday for Family Home Evening, but he doesn't stay for the lesson. We are just praying that the hearts of these women's husbands will be softened! It's like the general conference talks about women, and how the strong women of the church are the backbone.

Guess what! It's Christmas time again! I'm just slightly obsessed with these individually wrapped cookies that they sell only this time of year. I don't know what they would be called in English, but it's like an almond cookie, but comes in different flavors. Reminds me of the MTC because that's where I first tried them!

Something funny this week that me and Hermana Canales have been feeling is that we are really pesadas (annoying). Now that it gets dark super early, and it's cold, and nobody is in the street, we have to resort to door knocking. I just feel horribly annoying knocking on people's doors when they just want to be sleeping. But that's just something about the mission life. Our message is much more important than whatever anyone could be doing in their house.

Sometimes I feel really annoying because even when people tell us they're not interested I keep talking, until they slam the door in my face! It's just that they're saying no to something but they don't even know what it is! But president in my interview confirmed to me what I have been doing, he told me to be like Ammon. To be bold. Because the thing is, the church IS true! So this message is the most important message they will ever hear, and they might not get another chance in this life to hear it!

Sorry for the longish email this week!
Love you all so much!
Hermana BirchThis was a great week for us here! Everyday I love the mission more
and more, if that's even possible!

We had Stake Conference in Barcelona, which was awesome.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 3 Granollers

I keep getting the feeling that I need to trust more in the Lord. I think that the Lord is literally testing me. I can feel it. The mission.....ah I love it. You can like feel the eyes of the Lord on you at all times, He is literally here. Often times, when we are in a lesson or in the street, and I need help, I say "Heavenly Father, I know you're here right now, so can you help us with what to say, because I really don't know what this person needs" and I always feel the Spirit after and the person we are talking to receives exactly why they needed.

Halloween Cat in the casa de un miembro por Mediodia.

Creepy weird statues like this by every school. It's a weird Catalunya thing. Gotta love it.

We have contacted some great people this week. One guy when we gave him the card and he saw that there was a DVD he got super excited and so we are going to show him The Restoration tonight for the first visit! He's an old man, and the elders have visited him before, but I think it's been years. He says that his friend from Granollers works for Disney and helped on Frozen, Jesus Canal, you can look on the credits and see if it's true :)

Today we hiked to this mount of Tres Cruces with our friend, she is less active. We had a cool experience this week with her. We were in her area, but we never passby her house without calling first, but I had a feeling we should go. So we did and she was on the street with a friend, and at first we almost turned around because he was a guy and we didn't want to interrupt them, but I decided we should just go say hi. So we did and she said bye to her friend, invited us to her house and she opened up to us for the first time about her life and about her testimony. How she was super depressed but prayed and felt that God was there and now she's trying to come back to church again. We also shared Soy Mormon videos with her, which she loved! Great having an iPad.

I am healthy, and safe. But it has been really cold! And we don't have heat in piso. So lots of Colacaos (hot chocolate) and fuzzy socks. Also we think we are going to be super sore tomorrow from our hike today, pero Bueno!

This isn't sacrilegious at all. Well, this week has been another rough one. We are doing what we can
to improve the situation here. We went through the Area Book and got
all the names and addresses of ALL the past or potential investigators
that ever existed in this area and put them in our iPads. So that when
we are in the street we can stop by their houses when we don't have
other visits. Also to gain trust and love with the members we made
cookies for and have been heart attacking recent converts and less
actives. (Thank you Hermana Manotas) We are also planning a ward

Monday, October 5, 2015

Theater dining

4 Blessed art thou, [Hermana Birch] for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

And it really comforted me.

On Saturday we were invited to eat at a member's house. She met us at a corner and walked us the rest of the way to her house, but when we arrived and she got out her key, we weren't at a house. It was a horribly rundown building, but I couldn't tell what it was. We walked into a dirty foyer and as we walked in further and we found ourselves in the stands of a dark, dilapidated theater. There was an ancient piano towards the front, by the stage. And other random things like a workout machine fit between some of the theater chairs. But directly to my left, in the back corner of the theater, was what appeared to be the dwelling of this woman. There was a small gas stove with food cooking, a round wooden table set for 3, a fridge and a tiny pantry stocked with humble food. Wooden planks were set up for privacy and one light bulb hung above the table for light.

I was flipping out. This woman actually lives here! And she's feeding US!

I watched the first session of General Conference on my iPad in English, in another room of the chapel, with a Nigerian woman and her little boy :) and then I watched the next one in Spanish.

I loved General Conference. I loved the testimonies of the three new apostles, you can feel that their testimonies are very strong. I am grateful to be guided by a prophet and apostles called of God. I know that whenever problems and difficulties come in my life, I will turn to the words of the prophets for comfort.

I also loved when the choir sang The Spirit Of God with the trio of three men. Was really cool! They don't usually do stuff like that.

For Preparation Day today we went shopping in Barcelona. I'm pretty sure you could google the best places to shop in the world and Barcelona would be up on the list! It's incredible!

Remember when I was a vegetarian?? Haha well that ship has sailed! Look at these pig legs of jamón! These are everywhere, I've never actually had jamón straight off the leg, but I buy it already sliced, it's delicious on pan con tomate!

Some cool sights in my awesome new area, Granollers!

I love being a Mormon, I love the gospel and I love you!
Hermana BirchFirst of all, we have been facing a lot of rejection. Like more than
usual for missionaries. And Saturday night I was feeling kind of
bugged, like why are we not finding people? Is it my fault? What do I
need to change? And then Sunday morning in study I read this: