Today I am writing on a bus as I’m headed to MADRID! You heard it right, I’ve left my beautiful A Coruña and am headed back down south. I’m going to a little town to the east of Madrid called Azuqueca. The only things I know about it was the random picture of a red brick building on google maps, it snows there in the winter, and it supposedly has the best members of the church in all of Spain! And even more awesome, my new companion is from Ecuador! (Yes Halie, I have been wearing the bracelet you gave me from your study abroad there and I can’t wait to show her!) Well, I guess this means good bye to English for a while. Pray for me as my 5 months of Spanish have to make due for communication skills. Yes mom, I’m super nervous!
Well y’all will hear more about Azuqueca and Hermana Romero next week. For now, I have to tell you how awesome this week was!!
So last week I talked a little bit about our sweet Mari. So we met with her Monday night and the first thing she said was “cuéntame” or “tell me” referring to the Book of Mormon. She’s the cutest! We had left one with her the Saturday before but only had a little bit of time to explain. She read the chapter in 3 Nephi 11 about the visit of Jesus Christ to God’s children in the Americas after His resurrection. I loved this visit because we weren’t just teaching a lesson, but rather Hermana Spencer and I were just talking about our favorite book and how it came about. It was Mari’s birthday this week and she invited us over to celebrate. With no time and no money, we splurged on a 2€ chocolate cake from the local supermarket, but this woman was so touched! I had only known her for 4 days, but I felt like we were family. I love how powerful bonds can be when Christ is the center of your relationship. Mari came to church this past Sunday and shocked all of us when she stood up and walked up to the pulpit during testimony meeting! She said, “I’m not Mormon, but I’m a believer in Christ. I want to read the Book of Mormon so I can learn more about Him. I’m so grateful for these chicas that help me feel the love of Christ in my life. And I’m excited to meet all of you because it feels like a family here.” Ah man, tears just came down my face! A woman that has a lifetime full of faith, and one week’s knowledge of the restored gospel, and put it all into simple, perfect words! I was so sad to say goodbye to Mari, but grateful for the resources we have today (and a promise from her that she will visit Texas) so I know we will be lifelong friends!
So along with Mari, was a whole bunch more good-byes. Or in better words “hasta luego”. A Coruña became a home for me. I took pictures with some of my favorite people here and wanted to tell y’all why I love them so much and what special things they helped me learn.
Nadya- my cute little Russian that breaks all stereotypes and giggles and snuggles. Gets me to tears in almost every lesson, from both laughing and crying. And someone that I’ve truly felt the love from Heavenly Father through me so strongly.
Magaly cut my hair for me this past week (Por fin!!!). She is a great example to me of goals combined with action and prayer through every step. She wanted to be able to come to church on Sunday’s even though she used to have to work, but with a lot of faith and trials, she is able to come to church every Sunday now and is even a teacher in the Relief Society.
Jessica and Kathi are 2 of the YSA’s here. They are such good examples to all those around them, especially their families. They have shown me what a powerful impact young people can be for their family members. And you can stand up for your standards in a place where there are few.
I couldn’t even force a smile with this one! If I was 10, these 2 girls would be my best friends. Well actually I’m almost 20, and they still are! Celeste gives the best hugs and Candela teaches me new Spanish words, plus we have matching boots. I love them!
These are a few of the members of the Relief Society here. These sisters work so hard. And they would do anything for one another. I’m so grateful for the example of the Relief Society President, Merchi especially. She said to me at the beginning of my mission, “it’s hard to find people to teach here. But is God on your team? Yes! So ask Him where to find them, and He WILL show you.”
Miguel! My grandpa from Galicia! This guy is a hoot. He was baptized 3 years ago, and let me tell you, that is rare for an old Spanish man. In the words of Hermana Pack, “that takes work to grow those type of eyebrows”. And it honestly wouldn’t surprise me, because he is the hardest working, cleverest, and just most talented 75-year-old I’ve ever met.
Berta and Jose Luis are your cool aunt and uncle here. They live on the 14th floor of a huge apartment building with the coolest view of the ocean. Jose Luis makes the best food (and never makes me eat sea food️). Berta was baptized 2 years ago strictly because she loves doing family history work and the rest of her testimony followed right behind.
Gladys! We met her one day just on the street as she was walking with headphones in listening to 80s rock music. She’s so cool, haha. Turns out she has been a member for years and years but ever since she moved to Spain she has been less active. Gladys taught me the meaning behind the words of an Apostle saying “there is a danger in someday”. We know we have to follow the example of Jesus if we want to return to live with Heavenly Father, so are we doing the things to prepare now? I think Gladys is the cutest, hippest, 4’10 Peruvian woman in all of A Coruña.
Esperanza woke up at 5 am to come say goodbye to me at the bus station this morning! And gave me the cutest little snow globe of A Coruña. Esperanza is our go to anytime we need help with anything, our favorite person to hang out with on p-day, and just the best example and friend to me.
And lastly but surely not least, Andrea and Amable. My mama de Galicia and my long lost sister. The first people on my mission I got to witness enter the water of baptism and receive the Holy Ghost and see the incredible changes in their lives. I think Amable has a bigger heart than just about anyone I’ve ever met. And Andrea, ah she is going to be the best missionary one day!
There is my wrap up of A Coruña. Which really didn’t even brush the surface because I didn’t talk about Josema or Isolinas families, or any other investigators- it’ll due for now! I’m sad, scared, nervous, excited, and at the same time feel so much peace as I end one chapter of my mission and start another.
Love you all.
And here’s some more pictures from this past week. You might also go back to last week’s blog to see the pictures I added later.
Have an awesome week!