Monthly Archives: September 2014

E-Mail on 9/29/14 – I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

It’s been freaking cold this week!  In a completely,  I don’t mind one bit, kind of way.  It did rain a whole lot yesterday which ended in us getting soaked.  I ended up jumping in the puddle because there was no point in avoiding them.  It was definitely lucky that I was gifted an umbrella by a missionary because my companion didn’t have one so I had two!

We’ve been cleaning out our area book this week.  It’s a long, slow, not super fun process but it’s given us the opportunity to really appreciate the wonderful miracles that come along.  We’ve met a few pretty promising people with all our work and we’ve set up a pretty full week this week!  It sure beats the last week of absolutely nothing.

CONFERENCE IS THIS WEEKEND!  I’m pretty much super excited.  It would have been cooler if we could have gone to Barcelona to see it but we’ll be in Sabadell.  Which is fine too…just not as fun.  I like seeing my Barcelona pals.  But it’s going to be easier to see them because we’re so close and we go to Barcelona every Monday pretty much.

Wednesday we have Zone Focus which means I get to see Hermana Masters, Hermana Findlay and Hermana Hassett…. my favorite people in the mission.  Oh and Elder Miller is pretty great too.  It’s a zone full of mission buddies which I really love.

Sabadell has the bed bugs so the Hermanas are moving in tonight for the rest of the transfer.  Will that be hard?  Kinda.  Will it be AWESOME?!  YEEESSSSS!!!!  Hermana Masters!!!!!  We’ll try to make the most out of it… I mostly feel bad for them.  It totally sucks to live far from your area.

I still miss Castellon.  I’m slowly getting to know the area here, the people, the ward.  It’s a hard transition but it’s going okay.  I just liked where I was.  Poc a poc.  Relief society was actually really funny this week… I think it was the first time I actually caught on to all the jokes and everything.  Curse the language barrier that’s STILL causing problems!  I’m still, also, growing my testimony of Relief Society.

There is a really cute member here, Rosario, who invited us over to eat.  She blessed that the food wouldn’t make us fat.  She also prays that it won’t rain on us.  She also always prays for our food and our families.  She’s just a funny little old lady.  I love her!

This week a car honked at us and Hermana Rackham waved.  Four men shouted out the window and she said “Oh… I don’t know them…”.  The next time we had a car honk at us and men shouting, she proudly turned to me and said “Hey!  I didn’t wave this time!”  She cracks me up.  We celebrated by getting churros with love.  Adventures in Terrassa!  Those happen every day.  SHOOT!  I don’t have my cord otherwise I’d send a picture of our ghetto area.  Next time.

Well… the work goes on!  Even if it’s raining, even if it’s hard.  The Lord needs His servants.  I hope you’re all reading the Book of Mormon!  I love you all!

Hermana Durham

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E-Mail on 9/22/14 – Sugar and Spice

That sums up my new companionship.  I’m probably with the sweetest, sugariest sister missionary of all time.  Hermana Rackham is a doll.  I’ve played the mom role this whole mission so it’s really weird that now I have a mom… but she’s so great!  She likes making food.  She loves all the people so much.  She’s funny too.  Apparently she’s related to a famous pirate.  Calico Jack Rackham.  She was companions with Hermana Findlay in Barcelona (MY Barcelona!) so we have a good time chatting about that.

My district consists of Elder Wright (District Leader), Elder Weight (Super super SUPER new), Elder Pisciotta (Italian Mafia member), and Elder Gomez (he’s from Texas).  Elder Wright is basically like Jake Durham.  It weirds me out a little bit… my district leader is my cousin.  It’s a good little group.  Today we’re going down to Barcelona for preparation day… I think.  We’re still working out the kinks.

I woke up this morning with a fever and lots of aches.  I think switching climates really killed me… I actually know it did.  So this morning I was wrapped up in a blanket and cardigan to try and break the fever before the day started.  It worked!  I feel a lot better.  Plus Elder Miller is going to hook me up with some drugs.  And I bought orange juice.  Nothing like being a sick missionary.

So Terrassa is pretty good.  There is a LOT of work to be done here.  It’s a pretty difficult area.  At every turn I kept thinking “Jeez… I miss Castellon.  I miss the members.  I miss my investigators.  I miss the people I love.”  It’s been a harder transition than I thought.  It’s going to be a hard few months but it’ll be good.  Hard work keeps you focused.  Lots of contacting… lots of trying to win over the members… lots of everything.  Poco a poco.

That’s about all… Are you reading the Book of Mormon?  You should be!  It’s important!  I love you all, be good, do good things, share the gospel!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 9/16/14 – ¿Para Donde Vas, Muchacha?

Well after a nice 3 transfers in the heat of Castellón, I am off on a new adventure, in a new place.  I am called to serve in Terrassa which is a small-ish place near Barcelona.  I’m definitely excited to start in a new place, get to know new people and keep on working hard.

The last transfer ended with a bang.  We had the dedication of the chapel.  I got to bear my testimony and I was crying before I even got up to say anything.  That’s always hard.  Then we had the baptisms of Gianella and Helen.  FINALLY!  It was probably the most hectic day of my life and I would never, ever choose to re-live it…but it happened.  Two girls are now baptized members of the church and that makes me happy!

Had to say goodbye to everyone yesterday and I missed a couple people that I wish I hadn’t but… there are only so many hours in the day.  I hope the members understand.  I love them all very much but I am only one girl.  It was hard to say goodbye… I’m not good at it.  It’s easier for me to just wave at them all and walk away.  It feels like dragging out the pain when I have to see them over and over and over.  Harder.  But it was good.  I got to see the Rojas family, love them a ton.  Said goodbye to Sorin which was hard because I just want him to be back in church already.  Sara and Janet.  Ivonne and her kids.  Marius and Carlos met us outside our piso right before it was time up and that was a fun surprise.  This morning we were accompanied to the train station by Carlos, Marius, Roxana, and Melanie.  Waiting at the train station was Rita, Priscilla, Jason, and Emilio.  It was a fun little gathering.  Marius and Carlos earn a big gold sticker for dragging my luggage all around because it’s HEAVY.  My arms are KILLING ME because I had to lug it up and down the stairs to get out to Terrassa!  My poor companion.

Speaking of, her name is Hermana Rackham.  She has one transfer left but she’s like me and doesn’t like to talk about it.  She was companions with Hermana Findlay in Barcelona so we have a lot to talk about.  I can already tell we’re gonna get along just great. She’s a doll.

Also, I’m back in the Barcelona zone and in Catalunya.  Way to end it where it started.  I also am in the same zone as Hermana Masters.  STOKED!  I love that kid.  And Elder Miller.  Stoked!  Love that kid too!

I have big goals for this area.  I’m changing a lot because I learned a lot about how I can improve in Castellón.  I’m going to work hard.  I have a personal goal of (at least) 6 baptisms here to make it a nice 3, 4, 5, 6 pattern.  Mostly though, I want to help people find hope.  Hope is needed.

Love you all, do work!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 9/8/14 – Outta the Loop

Zone Conference was last week and it was quite nice.  We focused a lot on getting people to come to church because, well, church is important.  Duh.  It was nice to see Hermana and President Pace, as usual.  They’re pretty great.  At Zone Conference we found out that we DIDN’T have Zone Focus on Thursday and that it would be the following week… way to let us in on THAT one…

Today I’m actually emailing from Catarroja because we’re having a zone activity down here.  I think volleyball and water balloons are involved.  We almost didn’t get invited to this thing either.  Castellon is just too far from real life I guess.

It’s been wicked hot out here.  Everyone says it’s weird because it should be cooling down by now… and it’s definitely not.

This week Gianella and Helen are getting baptized!  The Uncle from L.A. is in fact here in Castellon!  Now… I haven’t seen him with my own eyes but that’s the word on the street.  Whooooop!  Baptisms are the best!

Also, this Sunday is the dedication of the new church so it will be a lovely little event.  I think it makes it better that it’s the last Sunday of the transfer so that if any of us leave, we at least get a party.  And I was volunteered to make cookies.  Surprise there, right?

We are going to be doing lots of finding this week… we have practically no one to work with.  But that’s okay!  It’s part of the work.  You can’t just have perfect weeks all the time… you have to work hard before you can harvest.  So yeah.  This week we’re going to focus and work real hard!

Sorry that this email is lame.  There just wasn’t a whole lot to say about the last week… But because this week will be so awesome, I’m sure I’ll have more to say next Tuesday.  Keep on working hard, doing what you gotta.  I love you all!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 9/1/14 – And then the police showed up

This week was an interesting one.  It’s interesting because I don’t really remember a WHOLE lot what happened…

We’re not sleeping well here.  A part of it is the heat, another part are the bug bites, another part the stress, another part is that we’re just both breaking down as we getting closer to the inevitable… Exhaustion is a big part of our life right now.  It’s jolly good fun!

Marius is doing really well.  In fact, yesterday, he went with us to visit a Romanian family.  He talked about the church (in Romanian… so we think it was good things… he said “I told them to stay away from you guys” but I don’t think he did…maybe…) and then said the closing prayer.  CUTE!  He’s been great.  He doesn’t like when we make him read with us so much but it’s growing on him I think.  We read in Romanian for him.  We try to anyway.  It’s a really hard language!  He promised us he would pray in English sometime.  So proud of him… he’s my best friend here, seriously!

Juan Carlos is still struggling with the dejar de fumar thing.  We made him a box of scripture cigarettes because we’re girls and we do crafty things like that.  We’ll see if that works.  Poco a poco.

Rita opened her mission call and is going to Chile.  She’s really great!  She’s probably one of the craziest people I know, but she does really well in lessons with people.  She knows her stuff and she’ll be an incredible missionary.  This means we have a missionary leaving in September (Diego, the bishop’s son, Argentina), October (Rita, Chile), and November (Maria Christina, England).  Fun couple months for the ward!  Especially because a handful are coming home too!  WOW!

Luz is struggling.  We’re trying really hard to help out the family but it’s not progressing as well as we would like.  I don’t know what to do.  We’re trying to save a broken family but it’s hard because we’re restricted in what we CAN do and the language barrier thing really gets in the way when it comes to talking about this stuff.  We’re hoping for the best though, pushing through!

This Saturday we went to sports and I gave a tour of the church with Jonathan and Maria Laura (one of the young women) while everyone was playing.  I don’t know how it happened but he ended up accepting to get baptized… kind of a miracle really.  No.  Big miracle, actually.  Afterwards, we were cleaning up and getting ready to go home when a cop car pulled up and the cops got out.  They asked if they could see the church because they’re always driving by and were curious about what goes on.  We showed them around, they liked it a lot and we ended up in the sacrament room.  We invited them to church (like we do) and then I asked if we could end with a prayer.  Everyone thinks I’m weird when I do that, but I really just love saying prayers whenever with whoever.  So I said a prayer with two cops and a bunch of young folks in sports clothes in the sacrament room and then we left.  Nothing huge, but really incredible that we were able to show off the church a little.

It was a good week with lots of little miracles!  We have very wonderful members here in Castellon who help us out a ton.  Melanie and Rita saved us this week and did splits on Saturday night.  Marius helped out too!  I don’t know what we’d do without the JAS, they’re fantastic!  It’s a good ward here.

This week we have Zone Conference and Zone Focus so we’re headed to Valencia twice this week.  Woo.  This transfer is going by real fast… we have two weeks left.  I can’t believe it!  Time flies.  It’s September folks.  Woah.  Well…  I love you all, do good work this week!

Hermana Durham

Oh and one more thought:  As a mission and with all the stakes in our mission we are doing a Book of Mormon reading challenge to read it all by the end of the year.  To do so you have to read two chapters everyday.  I invite you to join in on our challenge!  Here is the calendar (it’s in Spanish… sorry… use google translate!  Except you Elder Bascopé).  Have fun!