Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bike contacting

The Sagrada Familia! My first time going inside! And we got in for free because we told them we are a religious group. So they gave us free tickets and let us skip the line!!!

Me and my companion :) she changed her name to LarSON.

Hello everyone!

I am just super exhausted today and honestly don't know what to write.
But it has been an incredible week. I feel the Spirit so strong
sometimes, it's like how I feel when I'm at the temple. I love it. I
look forward to church and sacrament meeting like I never have in my
life. I really have felt like I'm coming closer to my Savior and it's
hard to describe but it makes me so happy.

This week we were walking at night in the ghetto, and I saw a guy
about to ride past us on his bike and I stopped him and he screeched
to a halt! We shared with him our message about Jesus Christ and set
up a return visit. He was a great young guy from Guatemala. We even
said a prayer with him. It was so funny to stop someone on their bike.
I know that the Lord puts people in our path and we have to be bold
enough to open our mouths and find them!

Also we had a ward activity this week because everyone had the day
off. We went to a park and had a barbecue. I bought two huge jump
ropes and we did double Dutch with everyone, it was super fun! This is
a great ward.

Please continue to pray for the missionary efforts. There are so many
people that are being prepared to accept the gospel, but they struggle
with temptations and difficulties and we need to pray for
opportunities to help them come unto Christ. I know that the Lord
works through us if we make ourselves available to it :)

Also, other super funny thing about this week: apparently it's a thing
here to have pet birds. But not only do you have a pet bird, you put
it in a little portable lunch-box looking thing and carry it around
the city. And when you reach a nice park, you unzip the flap on the
lunchbox and let your bird get some sun. It's so funny. I'll have to
get a picture sometime. Yesterday we saw an old man with three!

Lots of love,
Hermana Birch

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bring it on!

Went to the Rambla today! Best piso mates ever:)) my companion is the one on the right

Some say, "I do not like to do it, for we never began to build a
temple without the bells of hell beginning to ring." I want to hear
them ring again. -Brigham Young

I LOVE this quote by Brigham Young. I think of missionary work.
Literally nothing about missionary work is easy and Satan is at every
side trying to thwart and destroy the family and religion. But I want
to be like Brigham Young and say BRING IT ON!

My testimony of the gospel grows everyday, and it has grown so much. I
just think of my belief in Jesus Christ before the mission, and then
now, and it's incredible. And I am so excited for General Conference!
What a treat to hear the words of the apostles and our prophet as they
speak to us about Christ. I love this church. I have faith that this
is the only true church and that it was restored by Joseph Smith. I
would say I know, but if I know, then I don't have to have faith. And
my faith is what keeps me anchored. There are so many things I don't
know, but I know that Christ is our Savior and that He lived and died
to fulfill the glorious Plan Of Happiness that has been prepared for
us so that we can be happy with our families forever.

This week in Badalona was pretty exciting.

Number of times we got yelled at by drunk men: 2
Number of time guys were being inappropriate on the metro: 1 (and that
was enough)
Number of times we got sung to by gypsy kids: 1
Number of times a drunk guy stalked us/made faces at us through the
window of a store: 1 (and it was one too many)

I tell you these things because I think it's funny, not because I want
you to think I am going to get mugged, we are actually very safe ;)

Lots of love, Hermana Birch

Monday, March 14, 2016

In the hood

Cool graffiti in the hood.
Dear family and friends,

What an incredible week I've had here, my first one in Badalona! We
got here and I just decided we were going to go-go-go and we saw so
many miracles! It was amazing! My testimony just keeps growing that
when we plan and we tell the Lord where we are going to be, He puts
people in our path! I got here and we had NO visits set up and nothing
to do. So we hit the passby lists and we just went. We planned
beforehand which neighborhoods we were going to go by and I also
really asked for the Spirit to guide us and He did! We found so many
new investigators and we also found/contacted two very inactive
members that we are going to start working with. It was so funny, we
passed by an old investigator from past hermanas, Luis, and he wasn't
home. We were able to get into the building and knock his door though.
So we were about to leave but I just had this feeling that we should
knock the building, even though I really didn't want to, and I figured
we could just go try and finish the rest of the passbys, so we kept
leaving down the stairs, but I had the feeling again (and I remembered
what the Area Seventy said about how inspiration is a thought
confirmed by a feeling) so we went back up and knocked the building!
And we found a new investigator AND as we were leaving Luis, the guy
we had been looking for, popped out of nowhere when I was asking for
directions to the metro. And neither of us had ever met him, and he
gave us the directions, then we left, then he called from behind us
and recognized us as the missionaries!

One thing that's been really hard for me this week was adjusting to a
new companion. It's been really hard doing street contacts and lessons
with her because she's still so uncomfortable in Spanish, and I tend
to just take over and do everything. But I know the only way she's
going to learn is if I let her struggle for the words in the moment
and be patient with her. I'm super excited for what the rest of this
transfer will bring, I'm already learning so much about myself and how
to be a better person. I'm so grateful for the mission!

Also, being in this Ward is such a blessing. The Bishop is awesome and
I just love the people here. Even though it is super ghetto. There's
just a bunch of poor, poor people here. Lots of Muslims, Pakistanis,
gypsies, Africans, everything.

Love, Hermana Birch

We spent our Preparation Day helping someone move!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Yep that's right, I have been transferred! So sad and so hard to leave my favorite and the most beautiful area of the mission, and guess where I got called to go, Badalona! Which is the most ghetto area of the mission! It's famous for singing, cat-calling gypsies (that are notorious for being homeless, lazy, and drunk). So, that's comforting. Haha, I really am exciting to be here though. I'm finishing the training of my new companion! So she's only been out on the mission for 4 weeks, because this was a short transfer! But she's awesome, her Spanish is already so good, and she seems like an awesome missionary already, I think she came pretrained. ;)

It's so weird to be back in a big city, with a metro, 4 girls in our apartment, 2 wards that meet in our building! It's going to be awesome!

This last week in San Sebastián was so great! I was so nervous all week that I would be getting transferred! I have like a curse, I never have very long, like more than 2 transfers in an area anymore. Also I've had like 5 companions for just one transfer! It's so weird! I think it's because I just get bored, I need that change to switch things up. (Or maybe I'm just an awful companion and no one can handle me for more than 6 weeks...) But change makes me thrive! So I'm so grateful for the chance to grow and change this transfer!

Saying goodbye to everyone was so sad. I only cried a little bit though!

I love the mission so much! I got to talk to some missionaries who have been serving in my old areas today on the train, and I got to ask about my recent converts and my investigators and it's so hear that everyone is doing good! The gospel really has changed these people's lives!

This is Sonia, I taught her in Valencia, she got baptized a several weeks after I left, and apparently she's still going strong and coming to church every week! I love the gospel!

Love you all so much! The church is true, I've never been more sure of it in my life!
Hermana Birch
Hi everyone! This has been a crazy day! I woke up at 5am to take a 7
hour train from Bilbao to Barcelona! Insane!