Me and Hna O´Keeffe after the temple.
Me wearing pants while in the Piso cause it was COLD. Oh yea, we seem to have beat the worst of the heat. It is COLD in the mornings. It is still pretty hot and miserable during the day, but the mornings are nice. I sleep with a thin blanket too. Much better!Villa de Vallecas celebration of a Spanish Virgin. They had drums beating and people walking in a parade. It was some real Spain culture that was cool to see
Hola Familia y todos,
We had an INCREDIBLE week. We worked hard, and have truly seen miracles. Justino and Oscar, recent converts are progressing well.
We continue to work hard with those that are not progressing as well. We have found so many people, now we just need to work to find those that are prepared for this message. The hardest thing for people is to come to church. They have work, or they cant afford it, or something comes up. But we are starting to really try and focus on the importance of keeping commitments.
We are trying to teach with the Spirit. We are trying to teach better and use the book of Mormon more. We did not teach much this week, but the lessons we had were amazing!
I love the mission so much. There is one very special experience that I want to share with you all. This week, Saturday, we were very blessed to be in the presence of Elder Ballard, an Apostle of the Lord. He was in Europe doing Priesthood training and organizing stakes and what not. He did not think he would have time, but he rearranged his schedule to meet with the Madrid missionaries and all the missionaries in the MTC. He also shook each and every one of our hands.
This is where the amazingness begins. He is shaking hands and saying good morning, or asking people how they are. Just expressing nice phrases. I walk up to him to shake his hand and I don´t remember who spoke first but I said thank you, and he said one word, ¨"Beautiful"
Stunned, not sure I heard correctly, I sat back down. Hna. O´Keeffe joins me and whispers, did Elder Ballard say Beautiful to you? She had heard it too! How special and blessed I felt.
I don´t know why this happened, there are about 50 hnas in the mission and I think they are just as beautiful if not more so in looks and in Spirit. But God blessed me with this experience. I dont think I needed it, nor was I looking for it. But it has given me confidence. How can you not feel confident after an apostle has told you you are beautiful!
And he gave the BEST talk. He talked about desire. He read a lot in D&C 11 and talked about desire. If our desire is right, we will have success. He talked about the importance of using our time well, and turning it all over to Him. He talked about studying the gospel and really knowing it, so that we could use it. And he talked about Gethsemane. He talked about the Atonement, and it changed my life.
Elder Ballard told us flat out that he was tired. He said he asked himself why an 85 year old man should be running around Europe like so. He said his body was tired and sometimes he just wanted to rest. He talked about how tired he was and how his body ached sometimes and he wanted to rest. Then he looked up, and looked at us and said (more or less a quote) "But I keep going, because I understand Gethsemane."
He then told us that he had a picture of Jesus Christ that he always had with him. Whenever he felt slightly disanimo-ed (dissapointed, discouraged algo asi....) he would pull out this picture and think about how NOTHING God asks us to do, could ever come close to what He asked His Son to do.
So I found a picture of Christ that I LOVE. I now carry it around with me. I invite all of you to do the same. Look for one in an ensign, the internet, an art store. Carry it around with you. Look at it. Remember what He did. Think about Him more often.
I LOVE my Savior. This week, and the rest of my mission and LIFE I am striving to strengthen my desire to show Him my love. I am going to serve Him the best I can, because I have felt His love for me SO STRONGLY that I have to do all I can to return that. and I WANT to do all I can. I know this church is true. I love it with all my heart. It really is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the fullness and completeness of His teachings.
On sunday, we watched the long Joseph Smith movie with Oscar. I felt and feel so strongly that these things are true. My testimony grows every day! I never want these feelings to end! I love the mission and all the blessings and experiences God has given me!