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Elder Ritter - 1/31/2023

Hola a todos!

So, actually, I lied. I'm actually not in Huercal-Overa. Or, more accurately, I'm not living in Huercal-Overa because we have a mold problem in the piso there. Right now, we're living in Lorca with 2 other elders, and driving to our area every morning. Yeah that's right, we got a CAR finally. It's been such a fun time so far, because we basically just hang out every night, play card games, and eat together. And they're all super funny too. My new companion is Elder Golightly, who's a beast on the piano and can play totally by ear, which is a phenomenon that is completely a mystery to me. We've jammed quite a few times together. Elder Eastmond and Williamson are the other conpanionship in there as well, and they're a party. Super grateful and kinda sad for the time when we leave them for our piso when it gets cleaned. 

Now about Huercal-Overa. It's literally in the boonies. I thought Jaén was small, but I don't think any of the buildings in Huercal are over 3 stories. And if you drive 5 minutes all it is is desert land and abandoned buildings. For some reason here, people just leave old buildings and never tear them down. So the countryside is just littered with old crumbling buildings that we totally don't explore in our free time. But it's really pretty at sunset when we are driving through the campo. It totally reminds me of inland California with all the shrubs and short trees, except instead of Joshua trees there are olive trees! Super stoked to explore the campo and have a different experience.

The branch here (a very small group of members, it's a little different than a ward) is super strong and they've already welcomed me in with open arms. It also helps that I can actually communicate now! I've gotten a lot of compliments on my Spanish from almost every member I've talked to, so BLESS UP for the gift of tongues. Sometimes I still have trouble understanding but it's leagues above what I've been able to do in the past. The work here is strong and we are working with a couple people, including a baptismal date from Colombia! Her name is Carmen and she's super strong in the faith and she's super ready to enter the waters of baptism. 

Just to close up, I wanted to talk a little bit about a scripture that I've been really liking recently. I've struggled sometimes out in the mission trying to remain focused, remembering my purpose, and I've totally felt the adversary attacking me at every angle, trying to distract me. Sometimes it feels so overwhelming, but in the Book of Mormon it says, 

"Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul...Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation." 

I love that line "give place no more for the enemy of my soul." As I've learned more about trusting in God and pouring more of my will into his, I've realized that Satan doesn't have any power that we cannot resist. With God, anything is possible. With God, we do not have to let the adversary dwell within us. With God, we can cast Satan out and truly be happy. I know that of a surety. 

¡Cristo vive! ¡El Libro de Mormón es verdadero! 

¡Os amo!

Elder Ritter


Beach finally, our car cow and duck, cool sunset en campo, rama party, cool pue lo view, an old abandoned house, I'm really good at golf the card game apparently, my last views of Jaén :(

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