El momento de ir vino ya.
Si guardamos la fe ̮en el gran Dios,
nos veremos aún más allá.
Más allá, más allá.
¡Oh hermanos, adiós, pues, adiós!
Más allá, más allá,
moraremos con Dios en amor."
Name: Hermana Twede
Location: Spain Málaga Mission
Assignment: Preach the good word of God
Difficulty: Bastante high
Well.......it's been a week. Or a month. Or a transfer. Or a whole year and a half of earth life. This week marked my last full week in the south of Spain and as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And it was great!
When one starts their mission, they kind of create a vision of what they'll look like at the end of their mission. For me? I imagined having grown a few inches, speaking Spanish perfectly, key indicators off the charts, baptizing like it's my job, and just having the time of my life. Well......not everything turns out the way you expect......I should have learned that a long time ago. As I've drawn to the end of this week, I come to realize I'm still 5'5.5", Spanish sometimes is still hard (like when you don't know how to say ostrich), key indicators were improved yet still on the charts, and not a lot of people were home due to festivos.......but one thing I can tell you is that miracles still exist. Even when life doesn't turn out the way you think, it's because God has something better waiting. Let me just let you in on some of the miracles this week.
Jóvenes. Once upon a time, Hna Sigcha and I were walking in the street and contacted one college age student and then his friend appeared from behind the bus stop. They are from Peru and Colombia and just got here a few months ago and still don't have Spain numbers so we set up a cita with them for Saturday. Well.....come Saturday, it was Dia de Los Reyes soooooo that means almost all of our plans fell through. We were sitting at the gate of the church, 10 minutes past the time our friends were supposed to come, and things were looking rough. We were gonna wait five more minutes.....and then a miracle happened. Two minutes before we were going to leave, two joven boys walked up.....OUR FRIENDS!!! I was so surprised I almost hugged them! 🚩? We had a killer lesson with them and then invited them to church the next day. Well Sunday comes and we were in class, not expecting them to show up, when the Zone Leaders called us out of class and THERE THEY WERE!!!! They came to church and everything!! I was so shocked. MILAGROS!! Literally they are so prepared. La lastima is that they live in He elders area but ITS OK THEY ARE GOING TO HEAR THE GOSPEL!!
Fechas. Once upon a time we contacted this cute family, had a lesson with them in which their friend came and listened and is literal GOLD!! We had a lesson with him on Tuesday and another on Saturday during which we taught the Plan of Salvation. At the end we invited him to be baptized and he replied with, "Yes yes yes I will be baptized. What do I need to do?"
Us: "Well the goal is to be baptized on February 10th."
Him: "Yes yes ok great but what do I need to do to do that."
Me: *Complete amazement at the scene before my eyes*
He is so prepared and has been searching for a long time for the peace that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. I had a secret hope/prayer to find someone who had been searching for the gospel. Well......we found him. And he's so ready.
Food. I have literally been stuffed full of food almost everyday this last weekend. Due to it being festivo all week practically, people have been extra generous. The miracle in this situation? I did not have to re-live/re-taste the food I ate if you know what I mean. Saturday it got to a point where is hurt to breathe. But hey......Heavenly Father blessed me to fit it all in my stomach.......and throats a little bit.
Years. Well......on January 6, 2017, I was in the exact same place that I was on January 6, 2018. Due to intercambios a year ago while serving in Elche, I was in Alicante on that day and due to being transferred 4 months ago, I was in Alicante again on that exact day. It was interesting to think about where I was one year ago and how much has happened since then. Having not even completed 6 months in the mission, I had no clue the adventure that was awaiting me. Now looking back, I'm glad I didn't know what was going to happen, but grateful that God did.
This week has a big week of reflection on the last 18 months of my life. I've had my highest highs and my lowest lows. I've had trials come that have brought me to my knees, but learned how to lean on my Savior to get back up. There's been blood, sweat, and tears. There's been prayers said out loud and in my head. There's been moments of vulnerability. There's been thoughts of why I'm even here. But along with all of that, there's been days where my cheeks hurt from smiling. There's been moments of humble submission to the will of the Lord. There's been a happiness found that I didn't know was even possible. There's been a love felt for the people here in Spain. There have been companions who have forever changed my life. There have been priesthood blessings that have corrected my course and given me hope. Overall that's what's there's been.....hope. If I've learned anything in my mission it's that there is hope. In Christ there is hope. In the gospel there is hope. Hope is the anchor of my soul. When there's no one to teach, hope keeps my head up. When there's no one in the streets to listen, hope keeps my feet going. When we get dropped, hope keeps me grounded. When it's too hard to stand, hope brings me to my knees in prayer to my Heavenly Father.
Brothers and sisters, hermanos y hermanas, and whoever else is reading this. There's one thing I hope you learn from reading this weird crazy letters and it is this: there is Hope. No matter what your difficulties may be, no matter how hard the storms of life are hitting you, no matter the thoughts Satan is putting in your head, there is hope. And that hope is found through Christ. So please, I invite you to find that hope again. Through Him. Don't go looking in the world, because you won't find it. If you've strayed from the path, I urge you to come unto Christ and find your way back. If you're testimony is feeling rocky, I invite you to get on your knees, and then open your scriptures and feel it become grounded again, one stone at a time. I know this gospel is true and that it's a gospel of hope. I know that Christ is my Savior. He's saved me so many times. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I will never tire of testifying of that very thing. Nor will I ever stop testifying that it's true even when I'm no longer to pin the chapa to my chest. Even when I won't be walking the streets of Spain as a representative of Jesus Christ. It will all still be true. And I will testify that it is until the day my lips can't move anymore.
Thank you for the support during all this time. Thanks for the love shown. It means a lot. I wish you all luck in your lives. See you on the flip side. ;)
P.S. For homecoming details.....ask Bea Twede:)
|Lunch with Arlex y Edilia|
|PAN DE BONO|
|Last time with Mina and Mina|
|LUIS! He's gold and also weirded out that we can't give besitos.|
|Roscon. What you eat on Dia de Los Reyes.|
|We hit that up with Marisol, Juan y Mayte|
|Friends! Guillermo y Alex y me feeling awkward.|
|The crew. Love this family.|
|Last lunch with Gaby. Love her.|