Hola a todos!
Crazy thing they don't tell you about Spain. There are cats EVERYWHERE. It's like in South America, where there's a million stray dogs, but instead it's a million cats. I'm not sure why, I think it had something to do with the Black Plague and the overbreeding of cats to kill all the mice. But now they're almost like a socially protected animal here. They're so tranquilo, though, and they just sit around in packs and mind their own business.
We are currently working on moving back into our old piso in Huercal-Overa so that we don't have to drive back and forth every day. If I havent talked about it before, we aren't living there because there were some serious mold and electricy problems. The elders living there were getting extremely sick and couldn't cook food. But we have been blasting the mold with vinegar, baking soda, and bleach (thanks dad) and so far the results look good. Our electricity is back to normal too, so pretty soon we might have to say goodbye to our beloved roommates, Elder Williamson and Elder Eastmond. But we're excited either way.Anyways, about the actual WORK. Our friends are progressing well and we are quite busy here, with little open time. We are working on getting our recent convert Carmen to the temple to do baptisms, and so we had a short lesson where we talked about family history and the importance of it. We had some members there who showed their family history and they seemed to really energize her. She told us when we started talking about the temple, "Yes, please! I want to hear more, because when I first heard about the Church, this is what caught my attention." She really wants to do her temple work for her mother and father, which we are more than happy to help with, but the eternal problem here in Spain is that she needs to find a free day off work to do it. But we have faith that she will reach her desire eventually!Also I may have witnessed and been part of a miracle this week. We had a visit with one of our members and it was lovely. She took us out to lunch and was SUPER kind. But as we were talking she mentioned her husband who was very sick lying in bed. She told us he hadn't gotten up or eaten in TWO days. She asked if we could give him a priesthood blessing, and so we agreed. We walked into his room, and the guy was in pretty bad shape. He had oxygen tubes connected to him, and looked pale and clammy. He was very grateful that we were there and, with some help from his wife, sat up to receive a priesthood blessing. I anointed him with oil (thats how we bless the sick and afflicted in the church,) and my companion blessed him. He blessed him that he would have strength in his body, that he would be able to move around. He also blessed him that he would have hunger and thirst, that he would desire to eat. And not only eat physically, but spiritually. We closed the blessing, and went on our way. Not 15 minutes later, we got a text from the woman. It was a picture of her husband eating pasta. Later that week, we saw him at church, active, moving around, and being spiritually fed. When we saw him there, me and my companion looked at each other with just the biggest smiles on our face, because we knew that it was the priesthood that got him to church. Being a missionary is SO COOL.
As a missionary, you get to see the effects of the gospel in peoples lives. I can literally see physical changes in people's appearances as they accept it and the changes it brings. Sometimes I wish I could take a before and after photo when we teach somebody, because they always look refreshed, edified, and loved. It kind of reminds me of a story I read this week in the Bible, where Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. Not only was that water turned into wine, but the governor of the feast reported that the wine was far better than the supposedly "good wine" that was served at the beginning. When I read this story, I thought about how we can truly be changed through Jesus Christ and His gospel. And sometimes that change can be just as miraculous as Him changing water into wine.
There are so many ways to "improve" yourself in the world right now. Thousands of influencers, celebrities, and experts claim they have the knowledge on how to give yourself confidence, happiness, purpose, how to be content with your life, relationships, and work. Sometimes, these strategies CAN help you, but using them in a solitary, worldly vacuum can only give you cheap "wine," so to speak, that leaves a temporary taste in your mouth and disappears quickly. In contrast, the gospel in your life brings you the BEST "wine" that is far more permanent, even eternal. I don't mean to put down some of the great tools that are out in the world right now, but using the gospel alongside some of these techniques can bring truly incredible results.
As an example, I look at myself now versus a year ago and how much the gospel has changed me as I have accepted it more into my life. I had the gospel, for sure, but I wasn't letting it change me. I was completely apathetic in nuturing my spiritual side. I was searching for meaning and purpose in the temporary, fleeting feelings that would make me "happy," and yet I was still plagued with feelings of fear, anxiety, worthlessness, and like I'd never be enough. Compared to right now, in the mission field, I can confidently say that I'm more confident, more happy, and more sure of myself and my purpose in life than ever before. And I can only say that because I've let Christ change me.
I know the gospel can change you. It will bring you purpose, contentment, peace, and will turn your life into the most delicious thing you've ever tasted.
Try it out today, completely free! Side effects may include feelings of hope, love, and charity for your fellow men. I heavily endorse it with the Elder Ritter seal of approval 👍
"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him"
¡Cristo vive! ¡El Libro de Mormón es verdadero!
A picture from the home of the woman who's husband we healed. He's sitting there with a cheetah.
Our young friend Ámbar, who loves to paint :)
Cool rusty old car we found
Compi in da monster truck
Us playing pool last pday