Monday, December 26, 2016

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad!
(I really need to learn the whold spanish version of that song bc newsflash....people don´t sing the english part here.....bc they don´t speak that much english)

Well MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! Hope it was white and lovely and bright! Hope Papa Noel brought you some great gifts this year because we all know you were good this year. We all have our moments.....but I think he believes in having mercy as well.

Well this week was just great. We had some really great lessons with investigators, members, and menos activos. We read Luke 2 a lot, but I never get tired of sharing the story about the birth of Christ. On Monday we got a surprise call from my former trainer Hermana Pastrana saying she missed her bus on the way to Málaga so they came and stayed with us that night. There was a bit of mad panic for 20 minutes to get the piso ready for them to come but it worked out. We made pancakes the next morning because we didn´t have any food (When you go to the Sierra Nevada you don´t have time to buy food), but it worked out.

Thursday we went to Málaga for our Christmas Zone Conference!! YAY! It was so much fun and so good to see everyone!! We had a talent show and that was really good. Then we had some talks/workshop type of things and those were really good. Then we ate chinese food and had a good time. On the bus ride home we had the elders from Jáen and Almeria with us and it was fun. I sat next to a lady from Granada and talked to her. She was very nice.

On La Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) we had 2 eating citas and gift exchanges. That was really good to spend time with the Elders and the members, celebrating the birth of Christ and just enjoying being together. On Christmas we woke up and opened some gifts then went to church. After church we went home and relaxed. THat was really nice and super weird. The entire time I couldn´t completely relax because I felt like I was wasting time and felt like there was something I was supposed to be doing.....the life of a missionary. Then we hopped on a bus to the church to SKYPE! WOOT! Pero....en camino to the church, a man came and sat next to us and started speaking english to us asking where we were from and then he told us, "I want to marry myself to you hahahah." And then you had Hma Moore and I with the awkward/uncomfortable laugh like, "Oh hehehehe great." Spain is always an adventure as American girls with light eyes and hair.

Also en camino to the capilla we got transfer calls! I´M HEADING OUT OF GRANADA AND GOING TO ALICANTE/VALENCIA COUNTRY!! My new area will be Elche 1B with Hermana Garcia who just finished up her training! Two baby missionaries running Elche yes! Crazy thing about this Elche is the exact area that my current companion Hermana Moore served before she came to Granada with me! So that will be exciting. I will be going from mountain area to the coast where my area is famous for the amount of palm trees they have.....Long shory stort I´m not complaining.....also it´s about 10 degrees warmer there which makes me happy as I sit here freezing in a sketchy locutorio.

Skyping with the fam bam was wonderful of course! Sometimes I forget I have a family so it was good to see they still exist! Family is just the greatest and idk where I would be without them.

Something that we talked about a lot in Zone Conference but also in our eating citas was gifts. At Zone Conference they asked us 3 questions:
What have you learned this year?
What did you give to Heavenly Father and Jesus this year?
What are you going to give them this upcoming year?
People gave their various answers but the more important question in my mind is the last one. It´s important to remember what we have given, and what we have learned, but it´s also important to be giving more. We have been given so often do we think about what we can give in return? We don´t have a lot to give....but even our smallest offerings are great in the eyes of our Father and older Brother. After pondering this question, I have decided on my gift to them this upcoming year. I am going to give them my fears. For those who know me, you know I like to have a plan; I like to know what´s going to happen and back up plans, etc. Something I have a hard time with is taking that step of faith when the future is all dark. I have a hard time putting my complete trust in Him and His plan for me. So this year, I am going to give him all my fears. Even if I don´t know the future, or don´t know His plan for the work I´m doing or for my own life, I´m going to put my trust in Him and take 1, 10, or 50 steps into the dark because I KNOW that He will be there with me the whole way. He knows what´s best, always has, and always will, and I know He will lead me where I need to go.

In light of the new year, I ask you to ponder these same first two questions and then ask yourself, "What will be my gift"?

Love you all so much! Thanks for the support! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hermana Twede

White Elephant Gifts for the Elders

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pictures from Pday Adventure in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Hermana Twede's Grumpy Cat face because she just walked through a deep snow bank with only her running shoes on.

Feeling like we are in Switzerland on Pday!

Finally getting a package Mom sent about 2 months ago.

Let it Snow

🎶Oh the weather outside is frightful,
And I can't say it's all that delightful,
And since we've got all the places to go,
Please don't snow, please don't snow, please don't snow.🎶

Hope you enjoyed that.....took a lot of thought and pondering the
words in my heart......and then asking Elder Egbert what the words are
to the song.

Well folks I write you today from the back of a bus, on our way up to
the Sierra Nevada! If you don't know what the Sierra Nevada is, they
are the mountains that surround us here in Granada (although if you're
from Utah they're just really tall hills), but they are currently
covered in snow so the Elders thought it would be a good idea to go
and play in the snow for a few hours. So here we are, 6 unprepared
missionaries (piso finds are a real thing), heading up the mountain to
play in snow at a balmy -10°C (15°F)!!! The drive up makes me feel
like driving through Provo canyon so that's a bit weird. So am I in
Utah today or Spain? The world may never know.

So this week was just grand. We had intercambios in Málaga and that
was super great and waaaay warmer than Granada. The first night we
were there I was with Hermana Stephens and she took me into El Centro
where they had some INCREDIBLE lights and we got to watch the light
show. It was soooo cool. Let's just say SLC needs to step up their
game. So intercambios were great and while I was taking some pics of
the giant Christmas tree, a lady started talking to us bc she noticed
we speak English and was going to offer us drinks in her restaurant
but instead, when she found out we were Mormons, asked us to tell her
about us. So we did, gave her a Book of Mormon and she told us she
would start reading it right away. Then she asked if there was a time
we could meet with her and talk more about our religion. COOLEST THING
EVER! So we (Hma Stephens) got her number and set an appointment for
the next day! QUÈ GUAY!! So that was really cool.
(Ok this bus is going on these super windy roads and giving me motion
sickness....pray for my stomach we still have 10 minutes of this or
more) This weekend was also SUPER great. We had another baptism and
gosh the spirit is just so strong during those things I love it. But
the night before (Friday) our bishop had a dinner with the
missionaries and it's just an opportunity for them to help the
missionaries so we invite menos activos and investigators and they get
to know the bishop and his family and the other missionaries and other
people and it's just great. Well we invited our 2 investigators and
THEY BOTH CAME!! Then the next day we had the baptism and then a ward
And the ward was so good and welcoming and it was just great. Then,
GOOD!! Hermana Moore and I were so stoked. So REALLY good weekend with
lots of blessings and miracles.

So now I am sitting in a cute little cafe drinking a Cola Cao and it's
snowing outside. Not like Utah snow when a blizzard hits you like a
brick wall, but a cute snow that just falls delicately like in movies.
We just got back from scaling the snowy mountain in tennis shoes and
jeans. But all the cabins up here look very European so pretty much we
spent Pday in Switzerland.

Wow I just love the mission so much and with Christmas approaching I
feel so very blessed to have the opportunity to share La Luz de Cristo
with everyone here. Something that one of my STL's taught me this week
was to enjoy the mission. Take advantage of moments to create memories
and just enjoy the life we have. This life really is a gift and we
were meant to have joy. SO DISFRUTA SU VIDA Y FELIZ NAVIDAD🎄🎄🎄🎄
Love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Twede

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Whole New World

Ok so today is just BEAUTIFUL here in Granada and it's cold but it's
fine bc we just got back from, drum roll please.............THE
ALHAMBRA!!! POR FIN!!! After 3 transfers of being here and almost 4
months, I FINALLY went to the Alhambra. And let me tell you, it did
not disappoint. 100% worth the money and the views and artwork were so
amazing!!! Aaahhhh so good. We got up to the top of one of the towers
and you just over look all of Granada and it's gorgeous. I just
thought, "Ugh.....I love Spain." No, we did not have a tour I know as much about the Alhambra as someone who has only
seen pics of it on great. But it's fine. It was really
nice to look at and take a combined total of over 400 pictures so
that's great. So yes that was a good Pday today.


These two have so much fun together.

Elders waiting for Hermanas to finish taking pictures.

Ok but really this week was so great. We had a Christmas concert on
Saturday and it was AMAAAAZZZZZINNNNGGG!!! Like a band came and we
pretty much just hosted the building but one of our Elders got to
sing!! Like a couple hours before he needed a singer for white
Christmas and someone was like "He can sing." He practiced twice with
them and they loved it!! He did such a good job!!! They had a little
children's choir and they were all adorable. At the end they had the
audience sing "Little Drummer Boy" with them and it is SOOO much
better in Spanish. Literally had chills the whole time. AH SO GREAT!!
Also shoutout to my band homies at Westlake High School bc they played
Russian Christmas at the concert and I've never been so stoked to hear that piece

On Friday the investigator of the Elders got baptized!! Woohoo!!!
Super great!! It was my fist ever baptism that I've witnessed in the
mission and holy cow the spirit was so strong! Me and my comp went and
looked at the font before it started and I looked at her and just
said, "Hermana. Tonight someone's life is going to change." Oh man
chills the whole time!!

This week I had a very personal experience with the love our Heavenly
Father has for each and every one of us and the power of prayer. At
one point this week I was on my knees in my changing room in our piso,
pouring my heart out to my Father in Heaven with tears spilling down
my cheeks and I just felt this overwhelming sense of love fill my
entire body to the point of bursting. It was such an incredible
experience for me and a testimony to me that He IS there and He IS
listening. If you don't know it already, GOD LOVES YOU!! How fortunate
are we to have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He gives us
a way to communicate DIRECTLY with Him AT ALL TIMES!! He knows your
pains, your afflictions, your joys, your anxieties, EVERYTHING! He
knows it all and so does your brother Jesus Christ. They know YOU on a
level so personal that you can't even imagine. And THEY LOVE YOU!! All
of you! My mission has opened my eyes to all my faults and all my
weaknesses so the point where it's overwhelming.....but it has also
opened my eyes to how God gives us weaknesses so that we may be humble
and then He takes those weaknesses and makes them strengths. If I
could take every person I meet and just transfer my experiences with
God's love and Christ's Atonement so that they could feel it and just
have an idea of what this is all about I would. But instead I get to
do the next best thing and help them experience it for themselves.
This work is so real and so incredibly important. I love it with every
fiber of my very being and wouldn't want to be anywhere in the world
right now than on a mission in Spain. The days are long, weeks
sometimes feel like eternities, you're hungry, no one wants to listen
to you, and sometimes you're fed up with it all. But then you
experience someone change their life, you get a front row seat to the
creation of their testimony, then you see them take those first steps
towards their Savior, and it makes it all worth it. If you're thinking
about going on a mission.....GO. You won't regret it. I haven't. And I
never will. I love this gospel with all of my heart and I am so
grateful for this opportunity to bear the name of my Savior, Jesus
Christ on my chest for these next 18 months. The gospel is true.
Christ suffered and died for everyone of us. And God loves you. Now go
share that message with the world.
Love you all and have a great week!!

Hermana Twede

Monday, December 5, 2016

Getting Ready for Christmas

Ok so this week was super great!!
First off we decorated for Christmas today POR FIN!!

Ok first off funny story. This just explains my life here in Spain and
how I have yet to learn from mistakes. So we were going back to piso
after our last cita and we get on the bus we usually get on and we're
facing the back of the bus but seated in like the middle ish. I'm
looking forward/backward and there's a group of teenage boys sitting
and singing some songs not in Spanish idk what it was. But then I just
kinda zoned out and was staring off into space but something caught my
attention. The boys were giving me the huge smiles and waving at me. I
just looked at my comp and we both kinda shook our heads and then I
made a mistake. I looked back and kinda raised my hand barely in a
wave and while I'm doing this my head is telling me, "Nope. Don't do
it Hermana. That's a mistake. Nope. Stop. Stop. Sto- oh gosh. Well you
asked for that." After I did that all those boys starting cat calling
and making kissing faces and I just put my head down bc that was THE
COMPLETE WRONG THING TO DO. Hma Moore just shook her head and says,
"That was a mistake. A very big mistake." Then we both just started
laughing, me out of embarrassment and her bc her comp had just made an
idiot out of herself.

Oh but the story does not end no no. Why would it when you
are Hermana Twede?? A few seconds later, THE BUS SHUTS DOWN!! I was
just like, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" Bus turns back on and we
get to our stop and hop off. But guess who else gets off?? STINKIN
JÓVENES!! And no they did not stop the cat calling or anything. So
most of the walk back to piso we were being trailed by 4 teenage boys.
The whole time I just kept mumbling, "I hate my life. Why? why do I do
this to myself?" While my companion was ready to pee herself laughing.
Needless to say it was a glorious night.

Spiritual side. We had just gotten out of a lesson with an
investigator that had gone well ish but not as great as we would have
liked so we were both a little salty. But I just had the thought to go
to the piso of one of our less actives who've we've been trying to
meet with for the last 2 weeks. We were already walking on her street
to contact so we stopped at her building and went up. We had never met
her before but her mom answered the door and said she wasn't home. She
was about to shut the door when I said, "Can we share a quick message
with you?" She looked uneasy. "It's only a quick video about
Christmas." She thought about it then let us in. We ended up having a
really good visit with her and while we were there her daughter called
and her mom was just saying, "Yeah the missionaries are here and THEY
ARE SO NICE!!" Her daughter started trying to quickly get home from
work so that she could meet with us but we had to go but when we asked
the mom if there was anything we could do for her she just told us to
come back again. So that was really cool and just shows that God
blesses you when you follow the prompting of the spirit.

Ok now for something that's been on my mind lately. Member missionary work.
I know I've talked about this before but I see it so much when
all the missionary work responsibility is put on the shoulders of the
missionaries. People don't give up on your friends
who've stopped coming to church for one reason or another.
Show them you makes a much bigger difference than
if the missionaries are just doing it. A lot of the time I feel like a mom
because when we tell people to come to church, they think, "yeah ok.
They are missionaries they have to say that." It's like when your mom
tells you you look cute and you think,
"Well she's my mom she has to say that." It's a whole other thing when
a friend tells you, because then you start to believe it. Same goes
for coming to church. We missionaries can tell them that people at
church miss them and want to see them but if no one is actually
reaching out to them, you will never see them in the chapel. So don't
give up. And start inviting your friends to church.
Show them how the gospel has changed your life and help them make that
change in theirs. The world needs this gospel. They just don't know it
yet. So show them.

Ok well I love you guys so much and thanks for all the support!! Have
a great week!!

Hermana Twede

1. Granada district sporting Justin Bieber on the top of the pyramid.
Did you guys know the JB is on a mission in Spain? Well now you do.
2.  So the people of Spain have like a stove thing that they have
built under their tables and then they put a thick table cloth over
the table to trap the heat. So we literally just walk into to people's
houses, sit down, and curl up to the table. It's glorious. And
probably a fire hazard but I enjoy it.