Monthly Archives: December 2014

New E-Mail From 12/29/14 – Feliz Navidad, Prospero Año y . . . Enfermedad

Christmas is always a wonderful time of year, isn’t it?  We spent the majority of our time rushing from place to place, enjoying the members (Judith and Marina, Christiana and Marcelo, Rosa, Clara and her family, the bishop and his family, Amparito and Fernando, the Johnson family) and eating way too much food!  It was a blast to visit everyone… so much fun in fact that it’s gotten us straight up ill.

Yeah… My companion was simply not okay on Friday.  What do we do?  Splits! Judith came and nursed my companion while I hit the streets with Kaoma.  We had an enjoyable day eating with Kim, wishing Esther a Merry Christmas, visiting with Victor, and then passing by the hospital to see how Rosario was doing.  Fun thing about that last plan…. on holidays they close the hospital at 9:30… and we definitely tried to leave that place at 9:32.  Very punctual people, eh?  So we got to go harass the nurses to let us out.  We went down to the creepy underground hall and Kaoma says “And here comes the Zombies…” and then we finally get out and get to walk across the huge, not so illuminated park to get home in time.  Stressful… but fun!

However… this made it so that I felt awful.  Saturday was spent inside ALL DAY.  Sleeping, eating soup (my soups are getting quite delicious, if I do say so myself) and tidying.  Busy work because we couldn’t leave.

So… Sunday came.  The sacrament is really important so we get put together.  I felt more or less better but my companion was still not doing great.  We went to church.  Victor came and he said he enjoyed it!  My cute little “companion” Kaoma was just as nervous when he wasn’t showing up and then just as excited when he finally came!  We had a good lesson on the priesthood and I was able to help the newbie out with explaining priesthood and women… I’m kinda a veteran when it comes to teaching.  Not to be prideful or whatever.  Then we went home.  Hermana Foncubierta wasn’t feeling super great so we had the amazing idea to ALL go to the Sabadell church (which starts at 4 in the afternoon… yuck…) and then she would return with my companion while I stayed with Hermana Reid.  A quick call to our district leader who made a quick call to the zone leader approved that and we were off on an adventure.  6 hours of church later, Hermana Reid and I had a jolly good time in Sabadell and then we were able to contact Vito and have a miracle member present in Terrassa.

Now today… I feel pretty dreadful again.  I’m not sure we’ll go out tonight.  Hopefully we can but it’d be better if we didn’t.  This week we have lots of things planned with the New Year and Zone Enfoque coming up so I gotta get better.  Ideally I’d never get sick and everything would work out but… life’s not perfect.

God lives.  He loves us.  He knows us.  There is always hope for a better life.  Now go share that with people.  Have a wonderful new year!  Make goals to share the good tidings of great joy!

Hermana Durham

E-mail on 12/22/14 – “Why would anyone WANT that phone?!”

So… remember how like a year ago on Christmas we lost our phone?  Yeah… So on our way home from a really incredible Zone Conference some really wonderful child of God STOLE OUR FLIPPIN PHONE IN THE METRO OF BARCELONA!!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  Seriously.  If you only knew how crappy these phones are… And the fact that it happened to me twice.  Same time of year and the same metro and EVERYTHING!  They also stole my travel pass and it was so convenient that at that moment they decided to check at the gates to make sure everyone had their passes, because if you don’t it’s a 50-100 euro fine.  Thankfully the man wasn’t completely heartless (but he wasn’t kind) and let me go.  But dang.  So… I cried on the train home with all the Terrassa and Sabadell missionaries trying to console me.  They decided I needed to open my christmas package from Grandma, which I initially denied but then they started opening it for me so I took it from them and opened it myself.  That ended up helping a little.  Sorry that I opened my present early, Grandma.  So Friday we went back down to Barcelona to get me a new pass and a new phone which is even worse but at least we have a fun.  And this time we didn’t have to change numbers.  Menos mal.

The Christmas party went pretty well.  It was refreshing to just show up, grab a plate of food, chat with the people and then leave with tupperware full of food.  We didn’t really have to do anything.  We offered to help but we were told “You work all the time, you do your job already.  We got it.”  I did get to share my not so talented talent of playing the piano one-handed for some overly stressed youth who didn’t know what to do without accompaniment.  The talent part came in with the fact that the piano bench was being used for seating and so I played standing up.  NAILED IT!  (More or less).  We as the missionaries sang “Cantan Santos Angeles” (Angels We Have Heard on High) in a quick “we never practiced anything and so… this is what we’re doing…” moment of thinking.  It turned out fine.  Mostly it was great to see a handful of less actives and investigators show up for the event.  YAY!

On Saturday we started the day off with a proselyting activity to help share the video “He is the Gift”.  We conveniently have someone who works in the government ask permission for us to be in a hot spot in town with a table and a banner.  Members brought their laptops and phones to go out and share the video.  A bunch of youth came to help pass out cards.  All in all, it went well.  We got numbers, got people thinking of Christmas, and even a few citas set up.  And I think we’re going to be in the Liahona coming up as part of the “Local News” because the bishop’s wife does that.  We got connections.

Later that night we hopped on a train to Barcelona to go see David Archuleta. We were able to bring Esther and her two daughters.  It was pretty cute because he’s just a sweetheart.  He spoke in Spanish which surprised our investigator, Esther.  We told her that it was because he had been a missionary like us in Chile.  He sang beautiful songs, a handful in English and one that is typical of Spain which he confessed he had never sung before.  It was a pretty cute little event.  I got to see a bunch of Barcelona and Vic people which made my day/week/month.

Adrian came to church on Sunday, which surprised a handful of people.  He told us he wanted to visit with us.  The bishop announced that the ward needs to embrace us, love us, and invite us into their homes during the holidays.  That was really thoughtful (but now we’re really booked…).  Amparito helped us with a few citas in the afternoon.  When we visited Esther she had told us that she came home and started listening to more of David Archuleta’s music…. cute!  Then we met a really prepared man named Victor who told us that he wasn’t sold on the catholic church and wanted to learn the truth.  We had two great family home evenings and I helped a cute little YW make cookies for her classmates.  I hope those turned out…

Tomorrow we have our Christmas district meeting.  I have to make pumpkin pie tonight.  Then this week is full of visiting the people we love who love us back this week.  It’s going to be great!  They’re taking good care of us.

I hope you share the gospel this week because the truth is… it’s the best gift you can give.  The world needs the message we have.  The light of Christmas is the Savior.  His Atonement.  His love.  God’s love.  Give that to those you meet by serving them and loving them enough to invite them to listen to the missionaries or to read the Book of Mormon (or both… why stop at one?).

I love you all, Merry Christmas!  Bon Nadal!  Feliz Navidad!

Hermana Durham.

E-Mail on 12/15/14 – David Archuleta is Coming to Town

This Saturday.  We got tickets and we’re bringing investigators.  What-what!  This should be really interesting.  It’s a special missionary event and an awesome excuse to party.  Not party.  Help people feel the spirit through the musical talents of a returned missionary.

This Friday we have the ward dinner and boy is that stressful for everyone involved.  I don’t want to be involved but I’ve been enlisted to play the piano for the youth as part of their talent.  And we have to do a talent…shoot!  We haven’t decided what that is going to be yet… And we need to buy a salad and chicken.  Oh gosh.

On church this Sunday, we got to enjoy the primary program.  The kids were really cute, as always.  They struggled a bit with some of the songs but all things considered, it was a beautiful program.  I loved it!  PLUS, a less active family we’ve been working with came!  I literally almost cried when they walked in the door.  Wow.  It was incredible.  Then Kim and Julian came which was a miracle because they’ve been a little bit hard to track down these days.  I also got to surprise teach a class.  I’m getting better at randomly coming up with lessons in 5 minutes or less.  Life skills from the mission.

Well… things are going.  We’re working with a lot of less active families and just trying to energize the ward.  It’s starting to be Christmas time and we’re getting our agendas filled up with meal citas so that’s exciting.  I play Christmas music everyday even though my companion doesn’t like it.  We’re going to have a good time!

I hope you are sharing the gift of Christmas with people.  Seriously.  Put that video on the internet.  Send it to friends and family.  Do it.  It’s important!

I love you all, Bones Festes!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 12/1/14 – And the Rains Came Tumbling Down

It’s rained a TON this week.  Am I well equipped with waterproof gear?  No.  Is it a daily adventure?  Of course!  It’s fine… it’s totally fine.  We’ll just get good at dancing in the rain.

Tuesday we had Thanksgiving “dinner” as a district after district meeting which was fun.  We went around and talked about why we were grateful for each other.  We’re just one big happy family!  (Sometimes. We fight sometimes too…)

On Thanksgiving we ate with the Johnson family.  THEY’RE THE BEST!  I love them just so very very much.  They make the best food, they always are willing to help us out, they speak English, they think I’m funny, they really hold this ward together.  I love them.  They have two missionaries out in the field so that’s also probably why.  Families with missionaries are really nice to the missionaries, in general.  They get it, because their kids are out there doing the same thing.

Last Monday the Elders planned a surprise for us.  “Us” ended up being me and Hermana Masters because our companions wanted to stay and have a more restful day.  We went to an awesome park with a labyrinth and then we went to the Rambla to eat “mini menus”.  They’re famous to us now.  It was a fun day!  Then TODAY we went to Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate Elder Gomez’s birthday.  With 12 of us the bill came to a total of a lot of money…. but it’s fine.  We’ll just be frugal these coming weeks.

We had a HUGE miracle yesterday!  Remember Adrian?  He’s kinda seemed not so serious about the lessons and all.  We decided that he needed a little bit of time.  A break, digamos.  We decided for a week we wouldn’t call him and if he didn’t notice, well then he’s not really all that interested.  The idea was to have members invite him to things still (don’t worry… we didn’t completely abandon him).  On Sunday, during church, we received 3 missed calls from him.  I was finally able to call back and he said “Why haven’t you invited me to church or called me?  I’m outside.”  We invited him in (even though church was over) and told him about the baptism of Fernando (Remember the wedding?  YAY!  He’s baptized now!).  He willingly agreed to go and offered to drive us and two members.  Well… it rained a LOT and he was worried his car wouldn’t make it but we said we’d give it a try and pray.  We got right outside the church in Sabadell and his car died.  Not ideal, but hey!  We made it to the baptism!  He sat there listening to the talks, asked my companion how he was supposed to feel if he wanted to get baptized, congratulated the convert and just enjoyed the evening.  After the service he told us we better find some other way home because his car was dead.  I told him to have faith, the car will go!  He rolled his eyes and handed me the keys in defeat.  We ran out to the car (it was still dumping rain), he took the keys back (he didn’t think I would ACTUALLY make him go back out to check), and I think I’ve never prayed so hard in my life as I watched him turn the  keys.  The car started, we screamed and ran to get the members.  We offered one more prayer before heading out.  The car died twice in route but started up each time without problems.  We sang hymns the whole time to help the poor kid calm down.  Everyone made it home safely and we have a cita with him tomorrow.  Baptism?  I think so.  If I could just wrap my mission up with a ribbon, that ribbon would be prayer.  Prayers can do ANYTHING.

This morning I decorated for Christmas and blasted Christmas music because I have been banned from doing so because it wasn’t December.  NOW I can really get into the holiday spirit.

The mission is great.  Even in the rain.  Even when everything fires.  Even when everything fires and it’s raining and you walk around in the rain for 2 1/2 hours and no one is opening their doors.  Even when all the world comes crashing down, because you know what?  Christ suffered more than that.  He knows us.  He knows what we need.  He places people in our lives to help keep us together.  My district is incredible.  The ward is fantastic.  Our piso mates are awesome.  President and Hermana Pace are phenomenal.  So let the hard days come, because the good days are even more rewarding!

I love you, I hope you have a great week!  Next week is transfers (that happened REAL fast) so it’ll be Tuesday that I write again.  Share the Gospel because Christ is the Gift (go to lds.org… watch the movie… do good things with it)

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 11/24/14 – Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

Soooooo… this week was incredible!  We got to meet with Elder Cook on Saturday morning and almost the entire mission was there too.  Crazy to see everyone!  I got to hear all about Vic and about Castellón and I hear about Barcelona often now too so it was nice to catch up on that.  Saw Elder Ferrer, Elder Burnett, and Elder Benton.  Saw Hermana Hemsley, Hermana Scoville, and Hermana Gillette.  It was a nice little time we had.  Mostly, we learned a lot!  My favorite line was: Make something out of your mission.

Then of course we were the lucky ones who were part of the conference.  Juana and Alex (I love Alex with all my heart… he’s the cutest kid ever.  If I could adopt him, I would) came on Saturday night with us and then Esther, Kim, Paco and Honorina came on Sunday.  AHHH! Huge miracles.  Kim told us that she felt something during the meeting.  The messages were perfect for our investigators.  Exactly what they needed.  And then also perfect for our ward!  It was just so inspired and incredible and amazing!  A once in a lifetime experience.

This week is going to be good.  I don’t exactly know how but it will be.  We had a powerful weekend and that can only bring good things.

I’m sorry this is short and lame.  We had an interesting day in Barcelona.  I’ll write more next week!  I love you all very much!  Be good, do good!

Hermana Durham