E-Mail 8/22/13

Holy Hannah I can compose an email! This is going to be a great day then!

So last week we went to the Museo de Prado. It´s a massive art museum. It was HUGE with tons and tons of rooms full of beautiful pieces of art. We only had about an hour to see it all so I probably only got around to 1/4th of it. It was SO COOL! The trip there was cool too because we climbed out of the metro and boom! Madrid! The buildings here are way cooler than the buildings in Wisconsin, just fyi, because these buildings are older than Wisconsin. Everything is so green and muy muy bonita!

On Thursday, Elder Buttars found out his grandma has cancer, Hermana Thunborg heard her family was really struggling, and Hermana Fuller got a very cryptic, weird letter from her missionary boyfriend. It was a really rough and emotional day for our district. We had one of the best testimony meetings that night though after the devotional. Real heart to heart action there. The Elders gave E. Buttars, H. Thunborg, and H. Fuller blessings for comfort. It made us all cry. I was thinking of how amazing it was to see these darling young men able and anxious to jump to the aid of those in need. I am so grateful for the priesthood and for the men worthy to utilize such a powerful and important gift. So that started our meeting out really well. There were so many tears, so much pain, so much love and support. It was really beautiful and powerful.

Okay so I poorly explained this whole park thing. Every Saturday, all the missionaries saunter down to the metro and we proselyte on the metro and then we get to this gigantic park called Parque de Retiro… I think. Matt might remember and can help figure it out. So we spend about an hour and a half talking to people and then we all meet up at the fountain in the middle to sing for 20 minutes or so. It is so cool! We get a chance to run around and see this gorgeous park AND then we get to share the gospel with real people.  It’s so scary, but definitely cool. A taste of real missionary work. This last Saturday Hermana Green and I tried talking but it wasn´t going well. I don´t know Spanish and she knows even less. We decided to pick up trash and that lead us to an older woman and her son on a bench. We talked to them for a bit, the woman was very interested in teaching us how to speak Spanish. She comforted us and told us it would come in time if we just practiced. We gave them each pass along cards with Jesucristo on them and moved on. Next, we happened upon a cute little playground with a mom and her BEAUTIFUL baby. She figured out pretty quickly that the two white chicks with the name tags can´t speak Spanish so she switched over to her basically perfect English for us. She gave me the name of a Spanish author to read so that I could get better (I´ll have to wait until I get home though) and then we talked about religion. She doesn´t believe in God at all and she had some pretty interesting thoughts about religion in general. Her heart is not quite ready for the Gospel, but it´s all about planting seeds, right? While we were talking to her another family had come up and started playing on the playground. Once the woman we were talking to said she had to go, we went our seperate ways. I felt like we needed to turn around and go talk to the family that had come up early so we turned back. We began talking to the dad and he knew English so we did a pretty sad Spanglish message. We decided to talk about eternal families. He didn´t believe in God really so we told him the God is our loving Heavenly Father who wants us to succeed and return to live with Him. The guy was pretty surprised because he knew most religions are based on fear of God. We said we know his family can live together forever and I asked how that would make him feel. He said it sounded really great and he was pretty interested in knowing more. We gave him a card with the mormon.org website and a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation for him. He wasn´t too interested in talking to more missionaries but it was a start. We bore testimony, the Spirit was strong, I hope somehting comes of it.

This Sunday, in Relief Society we played a game. What game might you ask? Only the bestest game in the whole wide world. I want you all to prepare for the name of this game because I think you might be just as excited as I was when I heard it….It was…drum roll…. THE UNGAME! Yeah. Yeah I definitely laughed out loud. You´re funny Heavenly Father, thanks for the little family reminders! I taught the Sunday School lesson in our district about utilizing the footnotes, bible dictionary, and topical guide so that we can find and use Bible verses to support our Book of Mormon verses, especially because every one and their dog are Catholic or something like that. So using the Bible is pretty important. Then I was the lucky lucky girl who had to give a talk on repentance in Sacrament meeting. Yippee.

Okay so… class, class, learning, learning… Okay so this week we got new missionaries. The natives are here! Our room is back to 8 hermanas total. Boo hiss. But this time I have a bed and a closet so that is a whole lot better than the first week.

We have almost been here for a month and my district wants to celebrate but we don´t know how. There were suggestions of a candle lit study session but I doubt that will pass. All of the Hermanas wish we could make cookies but alas, no oven. It feels weird to know that in 2 weeks (a little less actually) we will be thrust out into the “real” world. It makes me so sad to say goodbye to these really awesome people who love to belt out “Tengo gozo en mi Alma Hoy” and like to tease each other and mess around. We promised to keep in touch and we´ll all be at each others weddings…supposedly… AH! TWO WEEKS!

Oh hey! This week we committed Carlos to be baptized in a month. We promised he´d be prepared by then because he was worried he didn´t know enough yet. I was on cloud nine when we walked away from that lesson. He was super happy about church and the BoM and he thinks he got an answer from God about it. We need to have the word of wisdom lesson though because he drinks coffee. Dang! But still…so awesome! Iratxe is coming along just fine. She went from not believing in a God to knowing He loves her and is her Heavenly Father. Yes! Woo! Go fake investigators!

This week has been kind of rough. I am definitely frustrated with the language and my inability to grasp it. Those stupid verbs and the stupid conjugations!! I am getting weary of it. But, it will all be well, right? I sure hope so.

Oh, and side note, it´s hot.  Like…hotter than Africa hot.

This weeks themes have been:

“I love you…in an appropriate way.”

“Satan is one dirty dirty dog.”

“Lock your heart!” (there are some flirtations going down in the CCM…scandalous!)

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

I love you all so very much! I hope you are well and happy and safe and enjoying life!

The one and only, Hermana Durham

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