Hola a todos!
Another super great week here! And a very happy late Valentine’s Day! For those who wondered, they do celebrate Valentine’s in Spain, but it’s nothing like it is in the states. I saw very minimal bouquets of flowers and not one giant, oversized stuffed animal, haha. But we had fun posting paper cut-out hearts on the members’ doors and cookies to spread the love around. We were even able to meet one of the members’ neighbors and she helped us decorate their door. I love when you meet people through lending service!
So since my email last week was basically me reminiscing all on A Coruña, I’ll tell y’all a little about my compi here and brag about how incredible Gijon is. 😄 Hermana Rossberg is awesome. She is from Riverton, Utah and we have lots of fun together doing missionary work and I love hearing her testimony of the Gospel; she’s taught me so much in just 2 short weeks. Gijon is such a pretty city. It’s right along the beach and has lots of pretty architecture, but like always- I’ve fallen in love with it for the people.
There’s just a small branch here of about 40 strong, active members. The president of the branch is named Florin. He’s from Romania, and his wife, Gladis, is from Columbia. They were baptized just about 5 short years ago and love the Gospel so much. They are the most service oriented people I’ve ever met. (Quick side story to show you how great they are: It was time to go home, and me and Hermana Rossberg were hiking up the last hill to our apartment in the pouring rain and wind with our wimpy little pocket umbrellas when a car pulls over and we see President Florin. He starts laughing and says “I never want to see you 2 with those umbrellas again”, gives us his 2 nice ones and says wait here. He’s back in 5 minutes with his wife and takes us home. Little miracles!)
Then there is our goofy mission leader, Santi. He says he owns the record for the longest amount of time investigating the church- 21 years! But he finally got baptized and loves His Savior and his missionaries! He takes good care of us. And with that, I’ll tell y’all more about the members as the transfer goes on.
We are teaching one guy that I wanted to tell y’all a little about. So he actually has a super cool way of how he found the church. He worked as a nurse in an old folks home nearby and one of the residents there would leave each Sunday morning to attend church. This really impressed him. He has always grown up in another religion and was very faithful, but one day he asked her why it was so important she went every Sunday. She answered, and since then he has been meeting with the missionaries! He has developed such a strong love for the Savior and for the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful I can be here teaching and learning with him. Right now he is struggling with really depending on the Lord, not just in spiritual things- but also on things like work. He wants to get baptized, but thinks it would be better to wait until after his big work project is over. This made me really stop and think how the Gospel and the guidance of the Holy Ghost can help us in all times. The promise in the scriptures is not that the Holy Ghost will tell you all the spiritual things you should do, but all things!
About 2 weeks ago, the President of the mission challenged all of us to take a new copy of the Book of Mormon, write a question at the front, and look for answers to that question while reading it and put the goal to finish before General Conference at the beginning of April. My question is how I can align my will with the will of God. It has been the coolest experience and I have been able to find so many things that I didn’t notice before or just take on a new meaning now. I also love putting an end goal, that way I’m pushed to not just read a little everyday- but how much time can I find to read every day. And when I do find those random 5 minutes, I love it!
In 1 Nephi 19:3 it says “I, Nephi, received a commandment”. Sometimes when we think of commandments I just jump straight to the 10 given in Exodus or the ones we talk about at church or mutual but overlook the “personal commandments” that the Lord gives personally to me. These personal commandments are some of the most important, and given from the Lord straight to us by thoughts and feelings. A lot of times we don’t understand the why or how but we have to remember what Nephi said, “Which purposes are known unto the Lord.” By following the personal commandments He gives to me, I can align my will with His.
Well, I hope everyone has a great week there! And stays dry, because it’s raining cántaros (..or pitchers) here!
Hermana Brooke Devereaux
P.S. I asked Hermana Rossberg what I should title the email and that’s what she said. Maybe I’ll tell the meaning behind it next week. Love y’all!
Here are a few pictures from my p-day in Covadonga 🙂