Hola!! I am officially in España! Serving in Tarragona which is just south of Barcelona and madre mia it is BEAUTIFUL AQUI. I have the best trainer also: Hermana Laine! She is from Finland and we are basically the same person haha. We laugh all the time and have such a good time together!
She just hit her 11 month mark today! We are both new to this area and were white washing because they haven't had sisters in this area since April! So lots of getting to know you type of things! We've gotten lost .... Quite a it hahaha but we get to know the area ! We are right along the coast and ahh it's so beautiful.
The members here are SO AMAZING. We weren't here for even 24 hours yet and we had so many people call us to come to their home for dinner! Our barrio (ward) has 200 people and they are all the most down to earth sweetest people ever. Oh and at church on Sunday I was so lost in all of our meetings... Haha I can't understand anyone here which has been kind of discouraging. BUT the spirit is the same everywhere which is what matters most!! Ah I have so much love for the people here already.
We met a man in the calle (street) this week who we were talking to and he was telling us how he's afraid of God because of all of the things he's done in his life, and we were trying to explain to him that through Jesus Christ we are able to change. He said to us "I don't know if I should punch you or cry" and we were like uhhhhhh just a little freaked out and Hermana Laine said its okay to cry. We asked if we could have a prayer with him and he said yes but wanted to do it in more of a private area so we walked down the street and turned the corner and there was a man just standing there peeing haha and Hermana and I were dying. But we had a prayer with him and after he said he
felt something burning in his chest and we helped him recognize that that's the spirit! We talked to him more and invited him to church and he said he would come! As we were saying goodbye he swooped his head down and kissed Hermana Laine's hand aha we didn't know what to do and then I went to shake his hand and he just patted my elbow hahaha. But anyway, I felt just so much love for him and wanted him to so badly know that through Christ he CAN change.... He didn't end up coming to church:(
I don't have a lot of time!! But I just wanted to update everyone and say hello and estoy aqui!!! Working, teaching, and loving it. It's been a hard transition but I know this is where I need to be! The church is true! Love you all!
It's WEEK 5 everybody & you know what that means... we're peacin' outta here and on Monday we head off to SPAIN! I'm so sad to leave my district, we've become super close:( BUT we're all super excited for this next adventure! I leave the MTC on Monday morning at 4:20 AM & fly from SLC to Chicago, then to Frankfurt, and then arrive in EPSANA on Tuesday at like 11:30 AM! Hahaha oh and since I'm the only Hermana traveling with our Elders, they said they're excited to act as my "bodyguards" and wait outside the women's restroom looking all tough hahahahah.
I am so grateful for the experience I've had here at the MTC & for all I've learned. This place truly is sacred ground and you can definitely feel it. It's been a very difficult 5-6 weeks with the language, my companion, and just adjusting to missionary life, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I've grown a lot from my experiences here and I have learned a lot about myself. The Lord really knows what he's doing, trust him:)
This week we taught our last time with our TRC investigator, Maribel! We were so so so sad to have to say goodbye to her, but so grateful for the opportunity to have met her here. Most of the time I felt like SHE was the one teaching US! She is a great example of faith and of knowing that God really knows her and has a plan for her. Everything she's had to go through in her life has testified to her that God lives and that this church is true. I will miss her so much! I'll attach a picture of her :)
Bonnie L. Oscarson spoke to us at Tuesday Devotional yesterday !! Something I really liked that she said and what I've heard my parents say to me a lot was: "Your mission is a training center for life". I just love that. She said God has a missionary (or life experience,in general) planned for each and every one of us. Every lesson we learn or experience we experience will help you accomplish the things we'll encounter here later in this life. Also, I forget what the video is called, but she showed the video of the talk of D. Todd Christofferson and the gardener and the bush... go find it on lds.org!! But what I liked from it was, though we feel like we may be able to do more in a different situation, HE knows us MORE than we do. I often feel like I'd be doing a lot more good if I was called English speaking because it is way more difficult for me to express myself in Spanish... but I know God has a specific plan and purpose to everything/place he leads us to. He provides a way, and he has great great things in store for all of us:) The Lord is our GARDENER and "he loves us enough to cut us down" so we can evenutally become who he wants us to be! GOD IS GOOD
Also, Alma 26:12...go read it! Seriously, this work would fail without our Heavenly Father's help. Gift of Tongues is so so so real...it just blows my mind to how much we can learn here. Without God and Jesus Christ, we'd fail!
Oh and guess what! So I went to the health center with my companion the other day and the lady at the front desk asked where we were serving and she freaked out and said her brother lives on an island called Mallorca and I was like "NO WAY, that's in my mission" and then we both freaked out together and she said her brother isn't active and lives there with his girlfriend. So she wrote down his address for me to take with me to Spain! TENDER MERCIES PEEPS!!!
In one of our lessons with our "investigator" (our teacher), we were talking about happiness and I just randomly quoted Natasha Bendingfield of her song "Happy" and it was kinda funny at first but also very applicable... there are so many beautiful reasons we have to be haaaaaappppyyy. hahaha
We had 3 Ayuno de Ingles (English fasts) this past week where we can only speak spanish all. day. long. hahaha let's just say there's a lot of charades and sign language going on!
Okay and last but DEF not least.... I want everyone to go and look up/read the "Ricarddi Letter" ( i think that's how you spell it)... THE BEST EVER. It's a letter from a missionary that talks about his companion who's from Italy and his name is Elder Ricarrdi. So many good lessons and experiences that are so inspirational. One of the highlights of my week was reading that. It's the bessssst, you won't regret it.
Also, I really liked this quote I read this week while preparing for a lesson : "Endurance us more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstances; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to 'act for ourselves' by MAGNIFYING what is allotted to us". -Neal A. Maxwell.
I love you alllllllll! You are all so special to me and I'm so excited (and nervous) but mostly excited to finally get to Spain!
Next time I write, I'll be coming at you LIVE in Espana! Hasta lavista!!
Con mucho amor,
p.s. my whole district calls me "hermana doe-THee" haha thanks to the spanish lisp ;)
Hellllooooooooooo family and friends! Wowza, this was a week filled with SO many things. We are busy, busy, busy, but lovin' it.
MIS AMIGAS ESTÁN AQUI!!! Sister Maddy Jones got here last Wednesday and Sister Haley Barbs got her TODAY! Ah so happy we're all together.
Last Wednesday we got 33 NEW missionaries in our zone, 6 of them are Hermanas! It's been so fun getting to know all of them...they're just the cutest and so sweet!!! And Hermana Jordan is in our zone!! We went to BYU-I together, so that's super fun!
Time is just insane here in the CCM. The days seem like forever, but it's absolutely crazy how fast P-Day comes around! Just one week is filled with so many different emotions and things that happened that it's difficult to sum it all up into one email. But overall, I feel like I've grown the closest I've ever been to my Heavenly Father and Savior. I've always kinda just known that he hears and answers our prayers, but there was a few experiences I had this week that I just KNEW, without a doubt, that he was listening and the spirit was just so strong. Prayer is so powerful and Heavenly Father is so real. He really does hear every. single. prayer. we give. And he is always willing to listen to whatever we have to say, no matter how big or small! Prayer is so powerful!
So every week we do a thing called TRC, where we get to teach invesitgators (some of them are fake, but most of them are real or use their real conversion story). it's so fun! My companion and I have been teaching an investigator named Maribel.... and oh boy, do i love her!!!!! She is an older lady from Mexico and i seriously feel like she is my mom here away from my real mama. She is just so loving and inviting! And she LOVES to talk and she smells good (both remind me of my real mama) haha. She is a golden investigator through and through. She is so incredibly humble and so willing to do whatever we commit her to. I feel the spirit so strongly in lessons with her... We taught her El Plan de Salvación and I happened to have a pic of my family in my scriptures and I just got so happy and filled with such a strong feeling of peace telling her about my family and how grateful I am for eternal families. AH I wish you all could just meet her. She's such a light.
Okay. We lucked out BIG TIME here in the MTC! So a couple weeks ago, Bednar came a spoke to us... well, on Sunday, Matthew Holland of UVU spoke to us and then yesterday at Tuesday Devo, NEIL L. ANDERSEN spoke to us. IT WAS SO COOL. The whole devotional was broadcasted to all of the MTCs around the world. The spirit was so strong and it was so cool being apart of it all!!! It was Elder Andersen's bday, so the whole MTC sang "Happy Birthday" to him which was pretty sweet haha. He started off with the phrase, "Being a missionary is not complex, but it is not easy". I really took this lesson to heart because Europe is sorta known for being a lower amounts of conversions... He related it to hunting. When you're hunting, you have to believe they're there even when others don't see them. It takes WORK. We need to "BE CLEAN, BE OBEDIENT, BE BUSY". He said we need to BELIEVE in MIRACLES. The Lord is preparing people everywhere. We just need to be willing to search and OPEN our mouths. A scripture that really struck me was in Moses 7:62 (go read it!!). Sitting there in that devo with 3,000 other missionaries was such a neat experience knowing what a privilege and blessing it is to be apart of this amazing prophecy and being that enormous flood of people that are about to go out and gather God's elect from the 4 quarters of the earth. His testimony of Jesus Christ at the end was just an unreal feeling. I can't really tell you how it felt, but there was definitely a strong feeling present. Jesus Christ died for us. He is an actual resurrected being and He WILL come again. He guides this work across the earth--a special and preparatory work. My testimony and knowledge of the Savior have grown tremendously since I've been here!! I feel so lucky and humbled to be out here and be His disciple!
OH OH OH we get our flight plans on FRIDAY!!! SO INSANE. Insane how many times I've said the word insane in this email...insane. ANyway, LOVINNNNNN IT here and im soooo heppy. Thank you for all the emails and keeping me updated on your lives!
P.S. mom and dad, I told my roommates about the Addisonism thing and they are keeping it going for you... don't worry, im still me;)))) heehe
Have a great week!!! Les Quiero!
WOOOOOO we hit our halfway mark...3 MORE weeks to go and i'm off to Espana!!
Pues, pues, pues... there's sooo much I wanna write, but I accidentally left my notes and everything I wanted to write about back in my residence hall haha sooooo i'll do my best of remembering!
Oh yesterday night was devotional. LOVED it. And guess who spoke....BISHOP WADDELL! He used to be the mission president over Barcelona Spain Mission 10 years ago!!! So it was super neat to hear from him. At the beginning of the meeting he asked if there were any Spain missionaries, and he had the Barcelona missionaries stand up...hahaha there were like 6 of us and for those who really know me, know my face gets red really easily. Hahahaha soooo doing that in front of the MTC, super rojo. Anyway, to the important stuff... He focused on missionaries and our purpose a lot. Something I loved that he said was "We can't do WHAT the Savior did, but we can do AS the Savior did". When I accepted my call, I technically said what the Savior said "Here am I, send me". The Savior accepted his mission, without changing the conditions. On our missions it will be hard. There are a lot of things we can choose to complain about...however, the Savior never complained. He was perfect. He endured everything He went through by looking OUTWARD. And that is a goal of mine that I want to keep: to look OUTWARD. I find it easy sometimes for me to say "this food is gross, this bed is so uncomfy, I'm so tired, my companion and I are so different, the language is hard...." But that stuff doesn't matter and that's not why im on a mission. It's not about me, it's about the SAVIOR and others. If I look OUTWARD, I can gain the spiritual eyes to see the needs of others around me and I'll be able to SERVE a mission and not just GO on a mission. I also loved the quote Sister Waddell said "When you are on the Lord's errand, you are entitled to His blessings". Ah so much good stuff. Each of our missions are perfect for US. There is something special and specific for each of us to experience or do or whatever in each place we are called to. We may have a lot of baptisms and we may not have any at all--but what's important is that we keep our covenant we made with God and help others come unto Christ. AH Wish y'all could just be here with me. It's the bezzzzt!
This week was actually really sad also! Our zone lost 3 districts who all pretty much went out to Argentina! :( We seriously had the best zone, but I know they will bless so many people's lives just like they did for our zone! Haha so after they all left and pretty much having no one left in our zone, my companion and I were called as Sister Training Leaders! I am super humbled and super excited to be able to get to know all the Hermanas and serve them. It's crazy though--we have 33 NEW missionaries coming into our district today! So lot's of getting to know people. Can't wait!!
Our sunday walk was soooo fun! I ran into a lot of familiar faces!!! AKA the Lewis family and Paige Mosman!!! It was so fun to see them and felt like a little piece of home.
Don't know what else to say, but to thank you for all supporting me and for your love and emails! We only have so much time to email on P-Day and I wish I could get back to all of you, but i can't...but I will eventually!!! Love you all sooooo much. Til next week!
Hermana Doezie <3
Hola! WOW wow wow. It's been a crazy week! So many things i want to share. FIRST OF ALL: big shout out to my lil sis HODOE...she turned 16 yesterday, so make sure you take her on a nice little date boys!
Okay Sunday: Sunday was amazing. I think that is my favorite day of the week by far, besides getting to email home like today. For devotional, we sang in the choir WITH the "Nashville Tribute Band"...no clue who they were before but they sing a bunch of church songs in their "country" style. The devotional was basically a musical devotional and they told the story of Joseph Smith through all of their songs. My testimony grew so much from this and the spirit was so so so so strong. At the end they sang a song about a missionary saying goodbye to their family and about his journey and then coming home to his family at the airport. After they sang that, they had everyone sing it with them again and i don't think there was one dry eye in there haha made me miss home a lot BUT also so excited for this adventure ahead of me.
Monday, my companion and I taught a lesson to our "investigator", Antonio, who is actually our teacher haha. It wasn't really a good day for me--the language wasn't coming and I felt very inadequate. I would start to say something and then I got a little lost and would stop mid-sentence and look at my companion to take over haha. HOWEVER, yesterday (Tuesday) we taught 4 lessons and wow. Let me just tell you. El Don de Lenguas es muy real (The gift of tongues very real). I was on a spiritual high yesterday. I just felt like there was so much unity between my companion and i, and we were able to work together. In our lessons, I was able to formulate sentences and felt like I was able to contribute a lot more than I had been able to. My Espanol is still very broken up and probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but the spirit was definitely present. Our teacher showed us a video about the importance of "Opening our Mouths". It's definitely way freaky talking in a foreign language and hoping you say soemthing right...but the promise that is made to us is that when we open our mouths, we are showing our faith in Heavenly Father that he will fill our mouths with the words he wants us to share. We will mess up 1,0000 times before we can get any better, but that is what will help us learn. We also had another devotional last night from Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy and something that i actually really loved that his wife said was "The spirit cannot be restrained when pure testimony of Christ is born". It's SO TRUE. Bear your testimony often, it is one of the most powerful tools we have!!!
In the CCM we have a lot of time to study AKA "CICLO". I love being able to read and study my scriptures and my patriarchal blessing. It is just so amazing how many more new things you can learn when you really study and dig deep. I have found a lot of comfort from reading those things, and we are so lucky to have those amazing tools. LOVE THEM and they are such a blessing.
As I have already said in my last email, I LOVE my district. We get the chance to bear our testimonies often and I learn so much from all of them. We've talked a lot on the topic of our missions and how we can make the best of them. Something I shared with them was a quote from I think Zane Smith's farewell and it goes "Do something your future self will thank you for". We all want to be able to look back on our missions years from now and have no regrets and know we put in everything we had. My teacher shared his motto he had which is "Su actitud determina sus resultados" ("Your attitude determines your results" Jeremiah 17:10). Being on a mission is one of the greatest blessings we have and we need to enjoy it!!!! We are spreading this happy word, so we need to be happy and embrace everything that comes our way. Another motto he gave us was "Esperar Milagros" (Expect Miracles). That's also apart of having a happy attitude. When we are hopeful, hard-working, and positive, others will notice a difference in us. Ahhh there's just so many inspirational things going on here haha sorry this is so long.
My distrcit is all Espana missionaries except two that are going to Texas. We got notified last week that we were getting our visas today and our teacher said that usually when we get it this early it means we will be moved back to the Madrid MTC hahahaha so we took our "last" district pic yesterday with our teachers and we found out today we're still staying here for the rest of the 4 weeks hahahaha BUT we got our visas so that was exciting! BTW our zone had a cereal eat-a-thon thing for dinner last week cuz they wanted to break the record of how many bowls of cereal could be eaten...and the total number of bowls of cereal eaten was 300!!!!! HAHA everyone was not feelin too great after.
hmmm I don't know what else to say... too many things! I love it here!!!! And I'm so excited for my girls Maddy and Haley to get here in the next TWO WEEKS! I know this is where I need to be! The Lord really knows what he's doing and I know he qualifies the called, he doesn't call the qualified. otherwise I'd be soooooo lost here haha. I can definitely see the Lord's hand in my life and this is all his work. Everything I have been able to do so far is only because of him and the spirit. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, I can definitely feel them! I miss you all and I think of you all the time!
Til next week!!! XOXO
HOLA familia y amigos!
It's official, I'm a missionary!!! The spirit is so strong here. Everyone is so kind and welcoming and so eager to help you with anything. The first couple days, not gonna lie, were THE LONGEST DAYS EVER. haha. Everyone kept saying, "just make it to Sunday", and they were right! Sunday was amazing. Every week for sacrament meeting, we have to prepare talks. right after we take the sacrament, our branch pres will get up and call on random people to come up and give a talk. None of us new-bee missionaries were called on, so we were all relieved haha. My whole zone is amazing. I love them so much and I've gotten to know so many of them. Our zone made it a "thing" that we all go and sing in the choir. Oh my gosh, singing with some-thousand missionaries is the most amazing feeling and the spirit is so strong. Sunday night devotional was crazy amazing. So, we all watched the video of Elder David A. Bednar's talk given in the MTC some years ago called "The Character of Christ"--I think my most favorite talk ever. But that wasn't all......we all thought the meeting was over but nope. Bednar WALKED IN and surprised us all and did a Q&A with everyone. Wow. The spirit was so strong:) My companion is Hermana Christensen! She's from Georgia and I love her. We are very different in every way and we have different ways of doing things, but I am trying my best to just love her and work hard together. She's amazing at Spanish and I'm pretty rusty haha. So she helps me a lot which is nice. We've given 2 lessons so far which went okay. I want to be able to contribute and express myself so bad, but I freeze up and end up reading from my script and i get so frustrated with myself! But I have to remind myself that I have been here only one week and it's crazy to see how far i've come in such little time. Here in the MTC, we are constantly being spiritually fed and uplifted with so many wonderful speakers and teachers. There is so much that I want to share, but something that has stood out to me the most this week is the word: OBEDIENCE. Obedience is the doorway to endless opportunities. When we are EXACTLY obedient, the Lord will bless us and we can have the spirit to be with us to make the right decisions. Also in the Tuesday night devo, i really liked the quote "Diligence is more important than intelligence". I have realized that people are not going to look back and be like "that missionary was really good at Spanish", but they will look back and remember "that missionary had such a great spirit with her". When I am doing the things that I need to be doing and working hard, I can have the spirit to be with me and with my investigators and that's enough. I just love being a missionary. I am growing everyday and learning a lot. I am so happy. Sorry this email is so disorganized haha. So much to say, so little time. I love my district. We have all become so close and we all work hard together. Hermana Christensen and I are the only sisters in our district and the rest are elders and I love them hahaha.
Exercise time is really fun. I usually like to run around the track, or play volleyball or four-square with my district. It gets intense haha.Gym time is very therapeutic. It's been nice to see so many familiar faces here en the CCM! I've also gotten to meet so many new friends...everyone is SO NICE here! The food is okay here haha, I've been living off of PB&J sandwiches and they are muy bueno. P>S Thank you mama for the care package. The girls in my dorm are very grateful and we love you!!!
I love being a missionary. I am so happy here. I miss you all so much. The only time I get homesick is when I am going to sleep because that's the only time I get to take a break and think. but I wake up the next morning and get back to work! It's hard but the feelings and experiences I have here are so worth it. Sorry again for my bad spelling and grammar and disorganized email. I know this church is true and I'm am so grateful for this privilege to be a representative of Christ and be a tool in His hands. This work isn't mine, It's His. I've learned that it's not about what I want my mission to be like or anything about what I want, but it's about what the Lord wants. Ahhh I'm so happy! Miss you all. Be safe and make good choices!