June 4, 2015
So, I have an iPad! Starting next week emails will be better because I can write as the week goes on and I can read emails too – I can just only reply on Thursdays.
Um, for starters – this CCM (Madrid MTC) is LUXURY compared to BYU-H. Shout out to my Hale Six boys, get buckets! The travel over here was brutal – I spent almost a full 24 hours traveling in a suit by myself. I saw a bunch of missionaries, Elders and Sisters, but I didn’t talk to them until after we landed in Madrid and I got my bags. We got to the CCM, but didn’t do much on that Tuesday. I couldn’t sleep the first night due to time difference, so I spent the whole night lying in bed thinking about what I was doing here, how long two years is, and how badly I wanted to go home. I finally fell asleep for two hours. Woke up the next day super stoked and have been pretty chill ever since and sleeping like a baby.
Wednesday, I got to talk with President Lovell, the president of the CCM, and he made me a Zone Leader. Wow! There are only 23 missionaries here – 7 going to Russia, 1 going to France, 3 going to Portugal, and 12 going to Spain. Six of the Spain missionaries are going to Barcelona.
Español is coming. I can say I have learned more Español here in these few days than my years of Spanish at Woodbridge. I’m still not fluent but I can converse and I can understand a whole lot, I just can’t always get my thoughts out completely. Pretty frustrating – but it has also only been a week. So I had been learning/speaking Spanish for just three days and then on Saturday they took us to the park to proselyte in Español. Wow. Needless to say, I didn’t baptize anyone yet, but it was a super cool experience. My companion was an Elder that is from Brazil going to Portugal. He speaks almost no English other than “Steph Curry, MVP” but we communicate super well, and he is one of my best friends here, along with an Elder from Australia – you all know my obsession with Australians. All three of us sit next to each other and actually we can communicate very well with the Elder from Brasil.
The Elders in our two districts, the Spain districts, are way sick. Not as sick as my Hale Six boys, but still all great guys. My companion graduated from high school less than a week before we got here. He is from Utah – I still love him, though. Side note: even girls here tell me I smell good … shout out Old Spice Aqua Reef.
Sunsets here are something else. The only way they could be better if the beach was here. Hopefully I get transferred somewhere where I can see a beach sunset. They’re still way sick. They happen at like 9:30 – it gets dark so late here it’s pretty sick!
Sunday was super sick. One of the most spiritual days I’ve had! I’m so stoked on the temple. We got to go last Thursday and we get to go tomorrow as well.
This has easily been the hardest thing I have ever done. Pretty much everything else in my life has been super easy and kinda handed to me. I’ve been super blessed. It’s crazy how seeing or hearing a thing can make us think about a person or place. I’ve noticed how much that happens being out here away from all familiarity. I thought I would come out here and forget everything back home and it wouldn’t be an issue. That is not the case. Sometimes it gets really lonely out here and I’m grateful for that because then I really notice the comfort I receive from my Heavenly Father. Just like the “Footprints in the Sand” says, when I am at my lowest I feel myself being lifted up out of the darkness. It’s incredible. It is in our human nature to feel surrounded by darkness sometimes. But God promises that he will never leave us.
Three things that I want to touch on are prayers, the spirit, and covenants. All of which are very cool. Prayer is awesome. It is literally having a conversation with God. You can tell him anything and he is listening. You can ask for anything and he is listening. Prayer brings great peace to my heart and praying allows us to have the spirit stronger in our lives.
The spirit is AMAZING. I get so so so so so so sooo much help and comfort through the spirit. The spirit is what helps me to make it throughout the day. I’m so grateful for the presence of the Holy Spirit, God, and Christ in my life. In John 14:18 Jesus says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” I can honestly say this is the truth. Another cool scripture on the subject is Galatians 5:22-23. It talks about the Spirit and the ways we can recognize it in our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” I think we sometimes expect huge signs and feelings when it comes to the Spirit. That is not the case. Doctrine is simple. Doctrine is fundamental. Doctrine is foundational. These fundamental truths seem to get obscured, that is why we need to read the scriptures. Having the spirit has helped me develop a huge love for everyone – people here, people at home, people I don’t even know. I just love them all because we are all children of God.
Finally, covenants. Covenants are sick because they are straight forward. They are a two way promise. God will not break his promises. If we do what we say we will do, He will do what he says He will do. I know this because I have asked Him for things knowing that I am following through with what he asked and I have seen, felt, and experienced those things coming true.
There is no way for me to send pictures yet which bums me out cuz I have taken some classic ones. I will work on that for next week. Grandma – I got your letter.
I’m working hard. Loving it all. Love and miss my family and I hope you all are doing well. I know you all are. Keep it real. Email me whenever, everyone. Thanks.