Category Archives: 3rd Area: Gijon

7/12/16: Gijón es la Leche

I’ll skip right to the chase by saying my last week here in Gijon was absolutely incredible!  Yes, it was the last week of transfers and I get the nerve wracking phone call from President Pack last Saturday telling me I would be unassigned as sister training leader and leaving Gijon.

I’m on the train again, enjoying one last time in the green mountains as I head down to Madrid.  I will stay there until Tuesday afternoon when I go to the stake center for the incoming missionary meeting to meet my greenie!  Woohoo!  It’s about time Hermana Devereaux gets a real training experience 😄.  Then on Wednesday we will hop on about a 3 hour plane ride south to the Canary Islands!  We are white-washing, or in this case pink-washing, the elders out of a little town called La Laguna on the island of Tenerife.  I’m super pumped, and nervous, and sad to be leaving Gijon, but overall just ready to go make the most out of this last chunk of my mission.

We were really happy this week of all the progress we have seen in our friends.  Evelyn really opened up to us about some problems she is dealing with and it was beautiful to be able to testify of the loving nature of the Savior.  Linda (who has been investigating the church on and off for about 10 years) also confessed to us this week that this was the real do, and she was going all in, so that was a miracle.  When I left, I gave her a little framed sign that said, “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”  She loved it, and called me pesada.  Maria and Silvestre both came back from the grave.  They continue with the same issues, but with a new determination to serve the Lord.  It was great to see them again.  I also got to see the other Maria, from Romania.  That was a highlight of the week to see her big smile.  I’m so grateful for each of the people I’ve been able to teach, or in better words, learn from.  My testimony has been strengthened so much of the restored Gospel and of Jesus Christ as I have been able to share my witness of Him here.

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This is Maria.

There have been 2 scriptures in my head all week long.

The first comes from Alma chapter 13.  This is when Alma and Amulek are just showing off there bomb missionary skills.  Not really, but I absolutely love what they said here:

27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.

I’m pretty sure ‘procrastination’ has always been one of my least favorite words because I have always found myself guilty of it.  I don’t recommend procrastination studying for the bio organic chemistry exam, but like Amulek, I even more strongly don’t recommend procrastinating repentance.  Don’t let one day pass without being able to end it closer in your relationship to God than you were the day before.  I’m grateful for learning how to make the most out of each moment here in Gijon, and for being able to humble myself before the Lord little by little, to become more like Jesus Christ.

The second actually comes from the Living Christ.  Hermana Otto has been working on achieving her personal progress medallion since she was baptized after having the chance to do so.  One of the project ideas is to memorize the Living Christ, and I told her I was happy to do so because I love taking advantage of the awesome missionary mantel.  We have split it up into 4 weeks, but just working on the 1st 2 paragraphs this past week, I have already learned more about my Savior as I have engraved these words on my heart.  There is a line that says, “None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.”  It’s a very basic line, but each time I recite it I am reminded of the influence Jesus Chris that’s had upon my life.  I’m so grateful for the peace and the hope that the knowledge of His love and His Atonement bring to me.  Back to studying so many conference talks on the Atonement leading up to Easter, from praying over the challenges our investigators have faced asking for a better understanding to the Atonement, I’m grateful to have strengthened my relationship with my Savior during this time in Gijon.

I’m sorry for the incredibly long email this week, I could ramble for hours how much I love this place and the people.  They will always have a very special part of my heart.  I’m excited for these changes coming up, and I hope y’all all have as great and as exciting upcoming week as I do!

Love,

Hermana Brooke Devereaux


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One last picture of the cute capilla and it started dumping buckets, typical Asturias 🙂

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7/4/16: Spending the 4th in Spain

We celebrated today grilling hamburgers and corn dogs and playing games in the church in the genie pants we just purchased.  It was a great day.

Well, it hasn’t been too long since I last emailed on Wednesday, but I’ll tell ya what we’ve been up to this weekend!  We had an awesome district meeting this past Thursday focusing on the Book of Mormon in our teaching.  I was re-reading the intro and this quote really stuck out to me from Joseph Smith.  He said, “the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”  We shared this quote in a FHE with a new investigator and discussed with the members how the Book of Mormon has helped them come closer to God.  One said it teaches her more about His son Jesus Christ.  Another said it helps her understand the bible better.  And another said that there are so many verses she’s read right in the key moment that have helped her keep going.  Each answer is so true and I’m so grateful for all the guidance I’ve received from reading the scriptures.

All of the members here were able to travel down to the temple this past Saturday.  It amazes me the sacrifices these members make without giving it a second thought.  They took a 7 hour bus ride down leaving at 12 am in an uncomfortable bus, in church clothes, spent the day at the temple, and got right back on the bus at 4 pm that afternoon.  Everyone was at church the next day with swollen feet and aching backs but with the biggest smiles.  It made me even so much more grateful for the easy access I’ve had to attend the temple throughout my life and strengthen my testimony that the temple is truly the house of the lord here on the earth.

Well, while Gladis and Florin were gone, we decided that it was time to give back a big thank you for everything they’ve done for us.  For the past 5ish months I’ve been here in Gijon, I can think of few Sunday’s that she’s hasn’t fed us a 4 course meal.  They literally give the shirts off their backs to help us.  So we spent our Mediodia Saturday buying a ton of food and cooking.  We snuck into their apartment and left it ready in the fridge to set on the table the next day.  I was amazed we were able to pull off a big meal that pleased each one, the Lord helped us out big time.  Service bring the most happiness in our lives, it’s as simple as that.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and an awesome week!

Love,

Hermana Devereaux

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We made hamburgers and hot dogs to celebrate the 4th of July.
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Modeling our new gypsy pants we bought to celebrate the 4th of July.

 

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Yesterday we cooked food for Sunday lunch for all 10 of us to say
thanks for feeding us every Sunday, I’ve never cooked so much in my
life. We made taco soup and chicken enchiladas and they all loved it!

 

6/29/16: Feliz Día de San Pedro!

Hola a todos!

We got permission to switch our p-day this week because today is a big Spanish holiday today and all the members asked if we could to something together, so that explains the lack of email on Monday.

So to put my head back a week and a half ago when I last wrote, wow a lot has happened!  We have heard close to nothing from Silvestre and Maria.  So we have been pretty worried for them, but have kept working hard and have seen many miracles on the way.

I told y’all a little about this cool teenage girl from Ecuador named Dayana that came to church last Sunday.  She’s doing super good.  On intercambios last week, Hermana Ibáñez and I went and took her brownies to the hospital after she had a little operation on her hip.  It was a great experience because we got to meet the rest of her family and some friends and share with them what we do as missionaries.  It made me remember once again how much I truly love this work, and with any little sacrifice I have made here, I have been blessed 100 times more.

That same day on intercambios, we also met a woman named Evelyn, who’s from Bolivia.  She has a little kid named Liam, and I’ve probably said this before, but I mean it when I say he is the cutest little kid I’ve ever seen.  And he loves fruit, so every time we leave, we leave with a stomach full of fruit, haha.  Well more than fruit and a cute little boy, she is so so prepared.  She has been distanced from God for awhile, but knows that is what she is missing and wants to center her life more on Christ.

Well the mission is great.  I wish I had more time to share experiences.  Zone conference was awesome, we talked a lot about what a successful missionary really is.  It was also super special to be here for Enrique’s baptism.  I love that old man.  Every day is an adventure and I’m just trying to make the most of every second!

Have a great week!

Hermana Devereaux

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We had zone conference last week! (Well, 2 weeks ago now!)
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Enrique got baptized! He told me this last Sunday, “Hermana Devereaux- you are more than my spiritual hermana, you are a grand friend to me” it just about melted my heart.

6/20/16: Salvation ain’t Cheap

What a week it was!  For some reason it decided to go back to February weather and be cold, rainy, and windy for 3 days.  I broke 2 umbrellas and was almost convinced by a member to wear her sketcher shape-ups because my sandals were sopping wet and my feet were so cold, haha.  But today it’s back to summer and we had a nice picnic in the sun at a hidden beach in La Providencia.  That’s Asturias for ya.

Well more than crazy weather, it was probably one of the most dramatic weeks of the mission.  We started the week off having 2 practice baptismal interviews and planning for 3 baptisms this Saturday, but due to many events Maria and Silvestre will be waiting a little longer to be baptized.  We are still super excited to see Enrique be baptized, and that Silvestre and Maria will both continue preparing themselves.

This morning I re-read a talk from Elder Holland called “Missionaries and the Atonement” and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  He makes a joke that the only hard or dangerous part about missionary work should be the risk of pneumonia from being wet in a baptismal font all day haha.  After the roller coaster of emotions and efforts this week, that makes the joke even more funny.  Elder Holland tells us why this work is meant to be challenging.  He said “missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.  Salvation never was easy.”  It wasn’t an easy experience for our Savior, and we must feel a little microscopic taste of what He felt.  I wish the outcomes of this week had of been different, but I know that Maria, Silvestre, and most certainly I, learned a lot about what the Atonement really means.  Elder Holland ends with this, “I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free.”

I’m so grateful for my savior.  I’m grateful I can lean on Him in all of my hardest moments.  I’m grateful for my companion that supported me and made me laugh in all the low points of the week.  I’m grateful for all these experiences on my mission that I know are shaping me to become stronger and more faithful.

But just when you think things are getting bad, God sends you blessings and reminds you how much He loves you.  We have been blessed with meeting some awesome new people!  A cute 17-year-old investigator came to church and we got to go to young women’s because she was there.  And Amanda, who is a recent-ish convert that was grounded for a while and wasn’t allowed to come to church but is now able to come again!  And so many more I wish I was able to share.  Just like Mosiah 24 promises, God visits us and strengthens us in our trials.

I hope everyone has an awesome week!

Hermana Devereaux


Some pictures from this week

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Random picture from last week hiking to Cristo
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Another picture from last p-day 🙂
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Our famous picture from Elder Bednar’s trip to Spain!
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Intercambios this week with the wonderful Hermana Snyder (ignore my awful hair – that’s what happens when it pours rain for 3 days straight)
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So this past week our water heater went out, and the man to come fix it said he would be there between the hours of 4-7. Well that doesn’t work very well with missionary schedules, so this is how many cards we wrote our information on by the time he finally came. Bright side, we will be good on pass along cards for the rest of the transfer and we don’t have to take ice cold showers!

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Another good day at the Providencia!

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Elder Maxfield said, “What’s more awkward… the gap between the rocks or the missionaries?”

6/13/16: Choose to be bitter or better

What a week it was!

First off, Concilio was absolutely just awesome. (I travel to Madrid once a month to Concilio, our mission leadership council.) We talked a lot about the attributes of Christ and really just gave me more motivation to work as hard as I can to be the best servant of Christ I can possibly be. I know the most important convert on my mission is me, who is really the only person I have the power to change.

It’s always a good moment getting off the bus and walking into that fresh Gijon air. And my poor companion who has been in Leon more than her own area. Well ever since we got back Wednesday afternoon, it’s basically just been running around to catch up.

I read a verse in Jacob 4:10 that says, “Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.”

My Dad reminded me last week of good counsel from Elder Holland: “You can have what you want, or you can have something better.” That’s how I felt listening to our mission president and the leaders of the mission at Concilio, and throughout this week seeing our investigators. We aren’t just going to wind-up becoming like our Savior. We have to take action.

Both Silvestre and Maria are scheduled to be baptized on Saturday the 25th and I couldn’t be more proud of the changes I’ve seen in the 2 of them. They have ‘sacrificed’ many things of their old lives to prepare for their baptism and have let the hand of God mold them.

I’m so grateful for this Gospel and to know that there is hope that we can become better! I love being able to testify to all these awesome people here in Gijon.

Love y’all tons. Qué tengan una buena semana!

❤️ Hermana Devereaux

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Sorry I haven’t taken too many pictures lately!

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My new companion, Hermana Otto from Indiana.  She rocks the pixie cut!  We were on our way to Concilio in Madrid last week.
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I was able to meet up with Hermana Rossberg in Madrid last week, with some other missionaries too.  This is a restaurant called Tierra, which is basically a Spain version of Chipotle.

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Today for PDay, we hiked back up to this statue of Christ.

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Concilio last week in Madrid!

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We had district leader meeting last week too, and when your zone spans a 6-hour drive, you do a 4-way Skype!

5/30/16: Goodbye Hermana Rossberg 😢

Welp, just like that, we start another transfer!  Saturday morning, we were hoping to not get a phone call from president (because we knew that meant he would be releasing one of us as a sister training leader and transfer us to another area), but 5 minutes before studies ended the phone rang and he told us what would happen.  After 3 awesome transfers with Hermana Rossberg, and as much as he knew we would love to stay together, he is bringing her back down to Madrid for her last transfer.  And for me, I will stay in Gijón (whoop whoop) and be the one and only sister training leader and I will be greenie breaking (missionary lingo for being companions with someone for their 3rd transfer) Hermana Otto.  And it is super cool because Hermana Braun was her trainer just like me!  Hermana Otto is super cute, she is from Indiana and is a convert to the church of 2 years.  She went on a study abroad her senior year of high school and a new friend shared with her a restored truth and it touched her heart so much she was baptized a few months after.  Share the gospel with everyone!  I am excited for a good transfer with her.

So starting Saturday morning, it was a bunch of running around saying goodbyes for Hermana Rossberg.  These members here are so awesome.

We keep pushing forward with our investigators.  The strength of every one of them has amazed me.  We had some really powerful lessons with Maria this week.  We taught more about Gods perfect plan he has for us and how we can put our lives more in harmony with his teachings.  And although that often means sacrificing various habits, she has the desires to follow her Savior, Jesus Christ.

We also had a really cool district meeting this past week.  Our district leader asked us to study diligence and humility in preach my gospel and then we simply just shared what we learned.  It’s so cool to me how much we can learn from others, and mostly the things that aren’t said at all, but are just little thoughts that come to us through the Holy Ghost.  I realized the best thing I can do to stay diligent is to look for all the blessings my Heavenly Father constantly gives me.

I’m so so grateful to be a part of this incredible work.  I know I say that every week, but I’m just constantly amazed by the little tender mercies God gives us as He brings to pass His great work.

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Devereaux


Here are some pictures from this week!

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I cumplir’ed 1 year in the mission. Weird. That called for pancakes shaped in the number 1!

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Peque is my favorite little girl ever. If I were 7, we would be best friends.

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The gang going to Mikes Burgers one last time before transfer calls. (Also -excuse my baldness, we forget umbrellas and it started dumping buckets on the way there).
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This past Saturday we were in charge of the mutual activity over missionary work!
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Last sleepover in the living room and chocolate cereal to wake up to.
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Peque and Daniella
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Leni, Manuel, and Peque
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Our choir group!

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So Liz is obsessed with my little ponies, and I mean obsessed!  And so she begged us to teach her how to make rainbow cupcakes.  I haven’t just learned a lot about missionary work here in Gijon, but way more than I need to know about ponies and how to make frosting and cake batter from scratch with no recipe haha.

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5/23/16: No coincidences, just tender mercies

Good week here, we are now heading into the last week before transfers again and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone.

Our new friend Maria is doing really good.  She came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it.  Her and the Elders’ investigator, Josef, were sitting next to each other and we were sitting right behind.  I could see the side of Josef’s face just beaming as the teacher was talking about baptism and I leaned over and told Elder Lords that and then he leans back and says your’s is crying.  Good moment.  But I’ve learned a lot while visiting Maria.  Including how to make a Spanish tortilla.  It’s about time!

We also met with Manuel a couple of times this week.  On Wednesday night when we walked in, little Peque shouts, “hermanas, tengo la sorpresa más bonita!”  And goes on to tell us this “pretty surprise” was seeing Manuel read the scriptures the night before.  It was just the most absolute adorable thing ever.  And we were happy to see there was no way that Manuel was lying about keeping the commitments we’ve extended.

We also had intercambios again this week.  I was with Hermana Ibáñez.  She taught me more hip Spanish lingo and together learned more about being better, more consecrated servants.  Then finished the day off with a big slumber party in the living room.  And it just so happened that the elders had intercambios too, so we all woke up early to play soccer and eat French toast after.  It was fun to be around all the missionaries for a little bit.

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Intercambios.. So we saw how many mattresses we could fit in our living room.

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I wanted to share a really sweet moment that happened this week.  One night we were heading home and it started raining relatively hard.  I see a couple yards in front of me, a woman trying to keep cover with her little purse, so I ran up and put my umbrella over her.  She wrapped her arm around mine, and I told her we could walk her home.  She asks us the typical “de donde sois?” question and compliments our mediocre Spanish and then tells us a little bit about her life.  Turns out her husband passed away a couple of months ago from Alzheimer’s.  I asked her if she was religious.  She said of some sort.  Then looked at me and asked so sincerely if I believed her husband was looking over her right then.  I simply said “yes” and that I knew they will see each other again one day.  It was so simple but the Holy Ghost testified to me of the truthfulness of those words so strongly.  She disappeared moments after, but I know there is a reason that Heavenly Father put me on that street to tell another one of his children a little message from him.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Love,

Hermana Devereaux


Here are some pictures from this week…

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Today we went to this pueblo called Llastres. It was super pretty!

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We are guessing this is how / where they did their laundry in the olden days… Or now because the water still worked?
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This is how you proselyte in Spain!
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I love my compi and the coast of Spain!
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We found this flag. We decided it must be the Llastres flag so we took a picture with it.

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I’m really happy in this picture!

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It says “one of the prettiest towns in all of Spain”