Monday, January 2, 2017


Hello fellow humans of Planet Earth.
Well.....between scalding my mouth with mate (yes the South American
drink), sprinting to citas with Hma Moore in Granada, miraculously
packing up all the things, traveling 6 hours sola, sprinting to a
baptism, talking to a crazy man who tells me he has special gifts,
watching church movies on New Year's Eve, playing fútbol, planning in
British accents, losing my coat and one of my earrings, and freezing
my bum off here in could say it's been a crazy week!!

So yes, I had to say goodbye to the Motherland of Granada on Wednesday
and that was sad.....but all good things come to an end (unless it's
the gospel....that just brings you eternal happiness). On Wednesday
morning at about 8:55 AM, I said goodbye to the district and my
beloved companion Hermana Moore, and shipped out on a bus heading for
Elche. Traveling 6 hours by yourself wouldn't be weird in a normal
situation....but seeing as I'm on a mission, it was quite the
experience. Mostly just passed out and tried not to drool or snore.

I arrived in Elche at around 3 PM and met my new companion Hermana
Garcia from good ol state of Idaho!!

Since that day it's been an adventure. In my last email, I was praising
the fact that it is 10 degrees warmer in Elche....what I wasn't counting on was that it is
humid here......and cold.....which makes for a colder Hermana Twede
here in Elche than in Granada. But no pasa nada. Also pretty sure I
lost my coat the other day so bueno.....sweaters work fine for the
rest of the winter right?? (My mom is freaking out right about now but
it's fine)

I'll just tell y'all a little bit our life here in the good old city
of Elche: we play soccer every Thursday night and lots of non-members
come, but they get real serious about it over here so it's a little
stressful when a bunch of spaniards are yelling at you; we hold
English classes on Wednesdays and Fridays; our neighbors have a crazy
dog that barks at you whenever you leave or come back; none of the
timbres are marked with letters or numbers here so it's a little
difficult to find piso 4°B; Pday is taken VERY seriously here so it
gets planned in advance and today we went and played paddle ball; they
have a festivo for a virgin and like to set off fireworks that ,are
you feel like you're in a war zone; don't climb the
chimeneas.....that's illegal; going to San Anton or the Palmerales is
a big No No; everyone wants to feed the Hermanas; and if this guy Joe
asks for your name and the city where you live, make it up.

So long shory stort, life is pretty good in the hood of Elche. The
members are super nice and my comp is just great. We are almost the
same person so we think of the same thing at the same time and it's
just great. There are an insane amount of palm trees here in
Elche.....pretty much puts Hawaii to shame. No joke. No i have not yet
seen the ocean....maybe when we go to intercambios this week we will
be blessed to have that experience.

So something a bit more on the spiritual side. When I got the call
that I was going to Elche to be companions with a Hermana Garcia, it
brought mixed feelings. New place, new people, and a companion who
just finished her training. I was excited and nervous because I knew I
was going to be senior companion and therefore had a little more
Spanish under my belt. Which also made me really nervous because I am
not very confident in my abilities regarding this language. My whole
time in Granada I didn't really see significant growth in what I could
understand and how much I could speak. And it was hard because a lot
of the people there (including myself) still saw the
first-transfer-in-the-field Hermana, who couldn't understand Spanish
para nada, and this made seeing progression difficult. I also had a
native companion and a companion who spoke a lot of Spanish who I
relied on A LOT. This further increased my anxiety of leaving because
I knew I wouldn't have that "crutch" anymore. But now that I'm here, I
understand that it was essential for me to leave my home (that is what
Granada became for me here in Spain) so that I could understand how
far I've come with the language and how much God has blessed me. I
cannot explain how it felt when I realized how much I could understand
and speak since being here. Given, I still have a VERY long way to go,
but I'm now seeing how much God was helping me when I was in Granada.
It was like He was telling me, "Ok Hermana, right now we are just
filling your head up with this Spanish. I know how you feel and I know
you're frustrated, but you just keep studying and keep practicing. You
won't use a ton of it here in Granada but there will come a time  when
you'll be able to start using it so just be patient." This last half
of the week has really opened my eyes to see this change and I feel
like God is helping me even more right now so that I can help my
companion. I guess my point in all of this is that God is mindful of
us. ALL. THE. TIME. Even when it seems like He's not listening, even
when it seems like He's given up on you, even when you're ready to
give up yourself, HE IS THERE. HE IS LISTENING. Don't give up. Keep
pushing forward. He's got your blessings locked and loaded, He's just
waiting for the right time, all He needs is for you to hang on a
little longer. Exercise that faith just a little more. Take one more
step in the darkness, and soon you'll be standing on a mountain top in
broad daylight. Our Heavenly Father loves you. He is helping you. And
when the road seems the hardest, when the burden feels too much too
handle, that's when he's carrying you. Keep the faith. Never give up.
Love you all so much! Hope you have a great week!!

Hermana Twede

Dinner after a baptism

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