It’s been another week! Es una locura! (It’s crazy!)
It has been great to get settled in and meet everyone in A Coruña. I really love it here. A Coruña is huge when your only transportation is your 2 feet and an occasional bus when you travel to a pueblo outside of the city.
The members of the church here are great. There are 4 youth with mission calls which is super exciting! And impressive considering there’s only about 70 active members in the branch. And this past weekend we welcomed another- Andrea! I feel so grateful to have witnessed that day. She is just a miracle. Seeing her come up out of the water, literally the cleanest person on the earth, brought tears to my eyes. She was spotless. No sin whatsoever! And so unbelievably happy. I’ll never forget her face. She is a special daughter of God. It made me think of the scripture in Alma that I had chosen to put on my mission plaque.
Alma 36:24 reads “Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
This moment was exactly why I chose this scripture to symbolize my whole mission. I have tasted this “exceeding joy” and I want everyone to partake in God’s love! But first I have to labor “without ceasing”.
Mission life in the field is exhausting, let me tell ya! Especially coming from sitting in a chair for 10 hours a day in the CCM. I never have had 8 hours of sleep consistently in my life, but somehow even with that I’m still tired! But what a good tired it is. I actually love the feeling. Because if I had more energy, then that would mean I wasn’t giving my everything.
So I’m not sure what is more tired.. my calves from the endless walking up hills or my head from concentrating so hard to understand all the Spanish being said around me. Probably the Spanish. I have to keep reminding myself I’ve only been here 2 weeks, and in Spain for 2 months (which by the way crazy- it’s been 2 months!!) because if not, I would be real frustrated that I can’t communicate properly. I appreciate so much every time I can talk in English now. So all of y’all in America- appreciate it!! Haha. But really, I can understand so much more Spanish now than before. But pray I can get this accent down and stop sounding like such a gringo por favor.
So this week was awesome leading up to Andrea’s baptism, but also really hard as so many of our appointments have failed. Peoples’ lives are all work here! It’s just sad. They can never be home with their families because they have to find money to provide for them.
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about priorities. What is your biggest priority? Where do you spend most of your time? Does what you cherish most and where you spend most your time correspond?
I taught a lesson this week on the 10 commandments, and related it back to a talked titles “no other gods before me” in October 2013 general conference. The talk is awesome! Christians all around the world believe in the 10 commandments. Memorize them by heart! However, a lot of the commandments are kept easily. No, I won’t kill anyone. No, I won’t commit adultery. Or even no, I won’t lie. But what about the first 2 commandments specifically? There is only one God. Do we bow down and worship anything else?
I see this all over in A Coruña. Some worship money. Or cigarettes and alcohol. Or new clothes. Or there are some really good people, but they still don’t prioritize time for God.
Mosiah 2:41 reads “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
We can get so busy with our lives that we think we have no time for Heavenly Father. We have no time to say our prayers, read our scriptures, attend church. But the promise is He will bless us both spiritually AND temporally if we are obeying His commandments. I promise this is true!
Another thing I see so much is that people think they are past the point of change. There are so many old people here, I don’t know why! Haha. Just tons of grandpas sitting on benches, smoking cigarettes, and gossiping with other grandpas. It’s hilarious. But each one of them think they are too old to change. Their lives are stuck where they are. A lot of young people have this mindset too. “My family has always been this way, so will I.” “My marriage is in bad shape and there’s nothing I can do to make it better.” “I’m addicted to alcohol and can’t love without it.” All wrong!
Ether 12:4 reads “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”
It’s never too late to hope for a better world! But first we must have faith. If I’ve learned one thing out here on my mission, it’s been that everything is a reflection of our faith. Nothing will change if we don’t have it. But I do know that faith brings miracles!!
One day, we were running home from a lesson so we could get back by 10. It had been a pretty rough day contacting people. Then all of a sudden, we hear a voice from behind us, “Are y’all missionaries?” (In Spanish of course). It was a girl named Valentina who was here for the summer and had been looking for the church. She was baptized just last November. I know that we were able to help her find the church because, even on that day when things were hard, we never lost faith!
Speaking of running, we’ve been running a lot. And I don’t mean marathon training. I mean running in a skirt across town so we aren’t late. Imagine that in your head and laugh, because it is funny. I felt like such a missionary this past week, specifically in this one moment. We had just had a lesson with a young woman and time was cutting close to our next appointment. Then of course, she offers us food. Kindly, we say sure but have to eat quickly. She pulls out the watermelon. Cuts me a giant plate full. Well me, not a fan of watermelon first of all. Second, haven’t had it since a watermelon eating contest when I was 15 and threw it up after. That brought back a lot of bad memories. So there I was chugging it down so I wouldn’t be late. Then ran to the next appointment. I felt so sick. And now I have been given watermelon every day since. But I can’t complain, it’s only watermelon.
Well thanks for all your letters and prayers this week. I love y’all! Be better tomorrow than you were today!
PDay from last week (7/13/15)
Pictures from this past week.