Monthly Archives: May 2014

E-Mail on 5/26/14 – “It’s even in Indiana Jones. Everybody knows that!”

So this week was pretty great! Hermana Masters and I have tried our very hardest to be the most obedient we could possibly be.  Remember when I said “obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles”?  Well we’ve seen some pretty great miracles!  We had 7 investigators in church on Sunday, 12 lessons with a member present (those are the best…obviously), 6 new investigators, and we have 4 baptismal fechas.  We exceeded almost all our goals we had set during weekly planning and the crazy part is… I have no idea how!  We just worked day by day, doing our best and the Lord really really blessed us.

Okay but there was this one crazy thing that happened.  Let’s get into that real quick.  We’ve been going through the Area Book little by little and passing by people.  We passed by this couple, Eliseo and Antonia.  Eliseo found it very amusing that we were there and he talked to us about how he had investigated the church years ago.  He’s read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.  He assigned us to read Zechariah and come back so we could discuss the things it says.  Okay but here is the first crazy part:  He’s a Jew.  A Jew that believes in Christ.  Didn’t think that was possible? Neither did I.  But there he was.  Okay so on to the next crazy thing.  We go back for our lesson Saturday afternoon.  We walk in and it feels super different… no longer warm and friendly.  No.  It feels bad.  We start talking a little bit and he brings up that we believe (know) that God has a body but he believes He’s just a spirit.  We pray and then start getting into that.  It didn’t go so well.  His wife was asking me to explain why I believe that and then Eliseo gets all mad and says that they don’t have to listen to these lies.  Then it gets uglier.  He pulls out a scripture in Isaiah about Jehovah being the first and the last type thing so God can’t have a body because who created God.  Deep doctrine here.  I read the chapter heading and mention “Oh well, this verse is talking about Jesus Christ.  Christ is Jehovah.”  Oops.  Not a good answer.  Eliseo jumps up and starts walking to the door, shouting at us to get up.  He kicks us out.  We got kicked out of his house.  I’ve never been so rattled in my life!  Party, right?  As we were reflecting on the “lesson”, I asked Hermana Masters if I was correct and Christ is Jehovah.  Her response was “It’s even in Indiana Jones.  Everybody knows that!”.  She kills me.

So we recovered from that and continued on finding really amazing people who told us that we were put in their path, they really needed to hear our message, etc.  Super great!  Great comeback from a disaster of a lesson.

Luz and her family are progressing pretty well.  ALL of them came to church together and they looked so cute and happy!  They’re going to get baptized very soon!  We’re helping them develop family habits like family scripture study and prayer, family home evening…things like that because Luz is worried about her family.  They’re so great!

Last week we had Specialized Training which was great!  It was weird to see Valencia because I’ve seen a lot of it through pictures from Hna. Tuttle.  This week we have Enfoque de Zona and Intercambios so that’ll be interesting too!

My companion is great.  I love her to pieces!  Her spanish is improving a tooonnnnn!  I’m so proud of her!  I’ve got a great little group to work with here.  The real challenge this week is to get the members to be excited about the work like we are!  We’ll see how it goes.  Wish us luck!

Les quiero!  Have a wonderful week!  Share the gospel today (and tomorrow and the next day…and so on)!

Hermana Durham

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E-Mail on 5/19/14 – It’s always sunny in Castellon

I’m going to try really hard this week to change my mind frame and be like “pfft… it feels like Antartica here!  I’m freezing!”  and maybe I can trick myself into enjoying the warmth.  So far it’s not so bad, but every single member has told me how much worse it’s going to get.  How exciting!

So I’m companions with Hermana Masters who was visa waiting in the Salt Lake City East mission for awhile and then she finally made it here!  So she’s been on her mission for 6 months but just got out of the training part here… kinda interesting, I know.  She’s hilarious.  Our biggest difficulty together will be trying to stay on task during planning because we get chatting.  A lot.  We’ll overcome it I’m sure.  We’ve decided that since we will be best friends after the mission, it’ll be okay to not chat as much during the rest of the day and all.

My district leader is Elder Ferrer who just so happens to be my best friend from back in Barcelona.  We were in the same district my first transfer, then in the same zone the next two.  Yet another example of Heavenly Father being kind to me with the whole “change” thing.  New area, new companion, new stake, familiar faces.

The ward is pretty great.  I haven’t met everyone, of course, but there are some pretty awesome people here who are very involved in the work.  They’re in the process of moving churches but we’re waiting on some papers.  Curse these papers!  Anyway… they have this super beautiful church.  Like a church church church.  Not just a bajos or a room somewhere in some building.  No! Like our churches back home.  It’s beautiful!  It also happens to be a 45 minute walk away… Hurdles.  We’ll have some hurdles with that.  BUT the Lord’s work cannot be stopped!  There will be a way around it!  I have faith in that!

I wish I had more to say but unfortunately I just don’t know much about this place right now.  I have a bug bite that I just got.  I need to buy sunscreen.  I have this eternal cough going on…so I could easily die.  I dunno… I’m trying to figure out how to be a senior companion and all which is stressful.  We have this awkward “You’re the senior companion, what do we do?”  “You’re the one who knows the people and the places, what do we do?” thing going on so that’s fun.  We laugh a lot about it though.  In a couple weeks, we’ll get into the groove of things and see miracles.  There are some very prepared people here who just need a little push!  That’s what I’m here to do.  Push people out of their comfort zone.  I love doing that.  I love sitting in silence and waiting for people to pray.  It’s the best feeling because they’re so uncomfortable and you know that they HAVE TO PRAY, so you just deal with the awkward until they pray and then you ALL feel better.  Stoked for that.

Oh yeah we set a fecha with someone who’s super prepared.  Her name is Luz.  We’re going to try to set a fecha with the rest of the family tomorrow afternoon.  A big beautiful, Colombian family of 5!  That would make a lovely baptism, don’t you think?  I’m praying for it.  They’ve progressed a lot apparently so it’s a matter of time now.

Well, I love you all!  Keep reading, praying, going to church.  Stay happy, count your blessings, look for miracles!  Wash your ears, eat your vegetables, smile lots!  Share the gospel!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 5/13/14 – Transfers!

So today is transfers and I’m off to Castellon which is in the Valencia Zone.  It’s hot down there.  It’s almost summer too.  I could very well die.

I don’t have time to write too much today because we’re off to Barcelona in 20 minutes and then the train to my new area is 5 hours so that will take up all my Preparation Day time.  But that’s okay!  Not a whole lot happened this week…just lots of goodbyes, lots of tears, lots of laughs.  I’m very very grateful for the time I had to serve here in Vic.  It’s a really great place with even greater people.  A big chunk of my heart is going to stay here.

I’m off to be a Senior companion now… that poor girl.  Hermana Masters.  I hope she’s prepared.  I know I’m not.  Everything fit in my bags for the most part but they’re heavy as heck!

I love you all!  Be good!  Thanks for your love!

Hermana Durham

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E-Mail from 5/5/14 – Walking in the shadows

Because it’s so freaking hot outside!  Actually… it is and it isn’t.  That’s what makes it hard.  It’ll be cold in the morning, hot all afternoon, then cold right at the end of the night.  So we’re walking around like vampires basically, trying our best not to melt away.  It’s hard to ask people to listen to our message when we’re all sweaty and squinty-eyed.

In Spain it was Mother’s Day yesterday.  We had nice lessons about covenants and marriage.  The women got treats as mothers and future mothers.  It was a nice day for the most part.  I mean, everything and everyone decided they didn’t want to meet with us basically, but hey.  You can’t win them all, right?

Friday we had a little miracle.  A couple weeks ago we got contacted by a man in the train station because he recognized our chapas.  We sat together on the train on our way to Ripoll, he offered us some of his lunch, he gave us his number and told us if we ever needed anything we could stop by his house (which he pointed out).  Friday we were in Ripoll to eat with President and Hermana Merchan and we decided to swing by the house right before we left.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so excited in my life!  He graciously welcomed us into his home and said he was so grateful we stopped by.  We talked for awhile with his cute little family and got to know them a little better.  We asked when we could come by again and they said they could come to church the 11th if that was alright.  What the heck?  Of course that’s alright!  We hadn’t even invited them to church, they just offered to go!  Wow.  So we’re praying really hard for that to work out.  Super cute family.

Thursday we had a branch activity that was a dessert competition.  We had other little games and activities involving lots of sugar and sweets.  I think I’m still recovering from the overload.  I have lots of videos.  My cheesecake won best overall for the desserts but the prizes were for the members so I actually didn’t really win… bragging right, I guess?  I’m okay with that.

It’s slow work still… lots of working with the recent converts.  Lots of headache with them actually.  Just one.  David.  Yeah.  I don’t have time to get into details but we’re just praying really hard that he doesn’t go off and start his own church.  I keep suggesting a lightening bolt come and strike him down… but that´s just me.

It was a pretty good week, next Sunday is Mother’s Day!  WOO!  This Saturday is transfer calls and I’m getting all worked up about it.  I’ve started to try and pack up a few things because I’m pretty sure I’m gone.  Still unsure though.  Crazier things have happened!

Have a wonderful week, I love you all lots and lots.  Don’t forget to share the gospel this week!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail from 4/28/14

Entonces, debo escribir este carta completamente en español.  Jajaja, no.  Broma, broma.

But yeah that’s the most exciting thing going on.  We started Friday and we’re going until Wednesday evening.  Today was sort of a cheat day considering it was Preparation day.  We went to Barcelona as a district to enjoy the April Fair thing they do because it had a main focus on the culture from Andalucia and that is where Elder Sadler is “from”.  His mom anyway.  He connects with the culture, we decided to let him enjoy it.  It was alright, mostly nothing was open or functional, as is the usual for our Monday preparation days.  I ate some tasty paella, we sorta saw some flamenco dancing.  Mostly we saw lots of cute old ladies in their flamenco dresses.  Super adorable.  It was a pretty decent day, nice bonding time.

Yeah so…we’re back to rama drama.  This time I feel a lot more withdrawn and a lot less emotional about it.  It’s at the point where it’s annoying and childish and I really just expected more out of these adults.  Lots of children here.  That’s why you shouldn’t put your faith in people because they let you down.  Ugh.  But whatever.  God loves them, repentance exists.  Nobody is perfect.

The work is going.  Slowly.  We’re trying really hard to get Eber baptized right away because we don’t want to put off his daughter getting baptized any longer than we have to.  That would be bad.  That’s our main focus this week.  We have another branch activity coming up on Thursday because it’s another holiday.  I don’t get these Spaniards and their holidays.  It’s an interesting lifestyle, they take lots of breaks.

I’m 9 months in, 9 months to go.  I feel like I’ve hit a wall and it’s hard.  I’m trying to figure out what exactly is my problem so that I can fix it and get back to what I’m here to do.  It’s hard to be a missionary sometimes.  A lot of times.  It’s hard to be motivated to talk to people when it’s just kind of terrifying.  It’s hard to focus on the work sometimes.  I want to though.  I have to figure that out.

Basically that’s all folks.  Sad, huh?  Yeah.  This is why I need to figure out what my problem is so that I can get back on track and having fun and exciting things to write about.  I don’t want to be wasting time.  It feels like I’ve been wasting lots of time lately.  BOO!  NO MORE!

Les quiero mucho y espero que todo esté bien.  La misión es lo mejor todavía, me encanta.  Tengan una buena semana!  Cuídense!

Hermana Durham