Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities and Meg Transferred to Barcelona

Letter to Meg from her companion in Palma:

"A couple of months ago me and Hna Bennett were walking home about to cross through the park and she stopped to turn around and contact someone. His name was Jesus (no I´m not kidding though I have to say his name with a Spanish accent otherwise I feel like I´m speaking blasphemy...) He seemed pretty open and nice but as we were contacting him it turned into the most awkward contact because someone else came up and was being kind of mocking/rude to us while we were contacting him. So we just got his number and quickly left. we tried setting up citas or different things but it always fell through and then he went to Germany for a trip and we kinda forgot about him. Well the other Friday after interviews and lunch with President Pace we were waiting for an investigator to come to the church. So I was calling different people and setting up citas and such when I saw his number in our phone, remembered that he´d returned from his trip, so I called and he answered me. He said he was busy the next few days but had time that night. So we set up to see him. I didn´t even recognize him!! but he came and luckily our most incredible member was there and stayed to help us with the cita.

Jesus is incredible!!! He´s from here, 22 years old, doesn´t have much but is incredibly faithful and happy. We talked about the Book of Mormon and he was so grateful to receive it and wanted to read it. Then the baptismal question was set up and they looked right at me so I took it and invited him to be baptized! He said yes. He wants to be baptized. He is one of those amazing contacts and investigators of gold who is just so prepared and ready. It was honestly one of the most amazing moments of my mission. He also told us that just recently he´s been looking for God more and had been praying right when I called him. He doesn´t believe in coincidences and neither do I. it was just all so incredible. He´ll be baptized on the 3rd of May. He came to the special conference we had on Sunday with Elder Evans of the Seventy and he just loved it! He´s been reading so much, loving it, told us that he didn´t know about the law of chastity or tithing but wants to live them (I don´t even know how he found out about them!!) and after the conference he went up to Elder Evans. This is how the conversation went (in English mind you!)
´´Thank you so much Elder Evans!´´
´´Thanks for coming! Now are you a member?´´
´´Are you planning on becoming one?´´
´´Yes! of course!´´
´´Well good! Congratulations!´´
. . .Jesus is kinda great.

 It´s been an incredible miracle for me because I´ve yet to see a baptism here on the mission and though I know that that´s not what makes a successful missionary, you still want to see success in seeing someone come into the waters of baptism. So I´ve been praying for it and asking God if it be His will to bless us with a miracle. He definitely did. And then we learned that Jesus lives in the other branch boundaries. So we passed him off and the elders just got the greatest most prepared man in all of Spain! Well, at least he´ll be baptized and I am thankful to have been part of this and to have witnessed what I did. ha, I guess I´ll just keep praying.

Just thought I´d share it with you, Hermana Bennett! love you and thanks for making this miracle happen! keep workin hun! Love you tons.
Hermana Carter

 Letter excerpt April 14th:

 That saying, "Days become weeks and weeks become days." is becoming very real to me. It has been a very full week, but full in the best way. I don't think I have ever poured my heart into a week so much in my life. Hermana Rhodes is very inspiring to work with. People tell us all the time we are twins, which I take as a huge compliment. Hermana Rhodes captures love so perfectly in everything she does, that's why she is so happy and enjoys the work so much and is so successful. When love, as opposed to numbers, or fear, truly becomes our motivation...that's when we can truly dive into the work. I think that is what it means to give the Lord "your heart might mind and strength."

We had some priceless moments this week. One of them with our now recent convert Gicela. It was the day of my birthday and for our physical activity we decided to go running to this big metal dragon/slide/street art thing with Gicela. We looked at it, wondered if it was really safe and threw caution to the wind. We climbed up it, took lots of pictures (we got a great one of a guy passing by stairing at us), and decided to be dare devils and head on down. We learned some quick math... the force of three 90-100lb girls + wet metel slide = very dumb. We hurtled down the slide and realized we were still gaining speed about 5 feet from the bottom. Once we got to the end of the slide...we continued to slide...across the cement sidewalk. This would be illegal in the States. We were definately being watched over though because we only suffered some ripped gloves and sore muscles the next day. Gicela told me she felt bad because she clung to me about half way down when she realized we were about to end badly... I don't recall a thing, I think I was in shock.

Megan was transferred to Barcelona, which was NOT an April Fool's Joke!

Excerpt from April 1st letter:
Great news about transfers... I am being transferred to Barcelona, right in the heart of the mission where the office is, which means the office Elders are in my district (the office Elders are always incredible, President likes to keep the top quality elders nearby). Elder Singerman, an incredible Elder  from my MTC group, will be my district leader. Elder McMahon my old incredible District and Zone Leader (yes, at the same time) from the islands will be my Zone Leader again with Elder Sutten (my Zone leader for 1 week in Sabadell). I feel like I am coming come. Last but not least...I have the companion of my dreams. Her name is Hermana  Rhodes, she stayed with us for one week in Sabadell for transfers, so we have already taught together and love being together. We clicked immediately and I had been hoping to be her companion ever since. The overall feeling I cannot seem to ignore is, now its time to work.  I have been practically jumping up and down wanting to leave piso because my last companion was sick for the past 3 weeks, I did however get really good at setting up members to come out with me, which was inspired because Hermana Rhode is a sister training Leader. That means about once a week she travels to another place in the mission to work with and train other hermanas... which also means she is the best of the best. I remember thinking when she came to my piso 4 transfers ago, it felt like she was a sister training leader coming to train us. She is so loving and one of those naturally cute, happy people. she is a cute tall blonde, we just look like companions. I am excited beyond words to be with her.

Notice Meg in the background taking this picture of Sister Rhodes, ha!

Megan and missionary headed to Brazil.
Note from April:
Megan finally received her Christmas packages, one in March and one the week of her birthday! What a relief.

Letters from Meg while still in Palma

Excerpt from March 24th letter while in Palma:

This week I had probably one of the biggest miracles of my mission so far. Gwenneth is doing incredible! During our cita this week we went a little more in depth about The Book of Mormon. We explained that we can come to know it is true by reading and praying, thru the spirit. As Hermana Carter went on explaining Gwenneth put her hand to her heart and said "Oh!" she continued to touch her arms and her face in shock as she felt the spirit for possibly the first time. I was blessed to be able to look into her eyes and simply testify that it was the spirit testifying to her that the things we have taught her are true. She came to church for the third hour on Sunday. Almost in tears at the end of the meeting she looked at me and said, "Ive got that feeling again." I just hugged her. She is praying about being baptized and is going to begin reading the Book of Mormon. She does not live in our area so we will be passing her off to the Elders this week if it feels right. I am so excited for her. It is helping me see we just have to be patient and diligent and we will find those who have been prepared. 

Excerpt from March 10th letter while in Palma:

I think I can safely say this has been one of the most successful weeks on my mission so far.
I am overjoyed to report that our Investigator Elena has been reading and praying! I sill never forget sitting there in our cita, asking her if she had read...she said yes. Then we asked if she had prayed and received an answer (to know if the Book of Momon is true)...she looked at me and said she had. The ceilind opened up, the clouds parted, little rays of sunshine hit her face and I am pretty sure I heard angels singing. She mentioned she wasn't sure about the answer she received, she wasnt sure if it was the Holy Ghost or her head, but she thinks (get ready for a plot twister) the Catholic church is true...gaaah! The ceiling smacked me in the head as it closed back up. The angels ran away crying and I think I saw lightning strike outside. I almost started laughing at my suprise. We talked thru how to pray and how we recieve answers. I think we really cleared some things up for her and we are excited to see her continue progressing. She truly wants to know and has very sincere questions.  Keep her in your prayers :)

Excerpt from March 3rd letter while in Palma:

I want to be sure you all know that I am doing very well. Hermana Carter is magnificent, my area is wonderful, and hardly a day goes by when we don't see miracles of the Lord's work, and not one day goes by when I don't feel grateful that I am serving as a missionary for the Lord in the Spain Barcelona Mission.

We had a great week and looking back I can hardly believe how much we fit between Monday and Sunday.

It has been festivos (holidays) here in Spain. They have a lot to celebrate here in Spain, there is a holiday for each area, kind of like in Utah how each city has a holiday when there are parades and stuff. Well for "Dia de los Baleares" people dress up, like we do for Halloween, and its an all day event. There are concerts set up thru out the island, and carnivals, and little vending stands set up everywhere (which is very tempting as a missionary because I just want to eat EVERYTHING). All that stuff is set up in the touristy part of our Area, which we spend quite a bit of time in looking for menos activos (less actives). We  learned in our Specialized Zone training how to make separate lists to sort out our area so we can do pass by's when we have time. We made our lists and had at it, trying to locate all the less actives to see to update the branch directory. Hermana Carter testified in front of our zone the other week that when we do these lists and pass by's we don't always see blessings directly related with what we are doing, but they do come. This week was no exception, while we ended up just crossing off a lot of addresses instead of finding people, when Sunday came we had 4 menos activos and 1 investigator come.  I was overjoyed as I saw each of them come in and even happier as I saw the members giving them a warm welcome back. We may not have had all our investigators at church, but for me the joy is the same. As we work with them and are inspired in our studies about what to share with them, we get a glimpse of exactly how much the Lord loves his children. The work we do and see is just the tip of the ice berg, the Lord is doing a lot of work with their hearts and it is a blessing to see.

An investigator accepting the Word of Wisdom.

Excerpt from February 3rd letter while in Palma:

It was a roller coaster of a week, full funny moments! One day we had called a recent convert whom we had never met before and told him to meet us in a plaza. We were a little early and were just standing there doing calls and busy work until he showed up, we assumed he would just walk right up to us, and sure enough, a man walked right up to us, we chatted for a bit and asked if he wanted to sit down, he said he didn't have much time, a couple of teenagers came up to us while we were chatting and stood there waiting anxiously for our attention. I was a little worried so I tried my best not to pay attention to them and continued talking. After Frank left, the boys confused stood there and said "hello" one of them pointing to the other saying, this is frank. We were so surprised! It turns out the man we were talking to was not the person we were waiting for at all, it was just some random guy who had come up to us. We never get contacted! I confessed what had happened to the real Frank and we all had a good laugh!

Video of P-day Fun

Work hard, play hard and Kim will be Kim :)

Kim Really Enjoying Companion Sister Payne

Story from Kim's letter April 21st:

"Easter was pretty spectacular. We were headed across the street to go to dinner at bishop Mali's. At the crosswalk, the red hand was blinking and we were running behind, so we knew we had to run to make it across without holding any cars up. However, we still talk to everyone and we see this man in a wheelchair and ask, "How is your Easter?" as we rush by. He says quietly, "terrible!" We turn around immediately and came running back. "Why? What happened?" We asked. He seemed all the
more distraught and said, "Well, I've been beat up twice today and I just need to go to the hospital, but my wheelchair isn't working!" We were shocked and a little humbled by this man's plight. Another stranger also helped him. The stranger stopped the bus just in time. The driver came out to assess the situation and immediately went to work lowering a ramp for him. Now, you should know, this was a BIG guy. All 3 of us pushed with our might and somehow got him all secured onto the bus as onlookers stared. As we went to exit the bus, we went to give a card to the man so the bus could leave. The kind stranger agreed to ride with him all the way to the hospital!  and he says to us, " I can't read it! I can't see." Wow. I've never gotten to serve God like that. But as we exited the bus, sister Payne and I were just staring at each other in total amazement.