Monday, September 30, 2013

Zone conference and South Africans!

So this week went by incredibly fast! Last Monday feels like a couple of weeks  ago already. That´s what 2 days out of your area does to you. Tuesday we had Zone Conference with 2 other zones so there were a lot of missionaries in one place along with Pres and Sis Deere and the APs. The focus was on finding new investigators and reaching our goal of 555 baptisms this year. There is a photo of our zone on the blog ( I got a lot of personal self-instruction on what I need to change to be better and what we should start applying. And for lunch a HUGE paella made by one of the stake presidents, who by the way is an incredible man with a strong testimony who has been here since the beggining of the church in Spain. People like him are such good examples of patience, perseverance, and faith. 

This week we had a ton of lessons and plans fall through which was disappointing but on Friday we got a wonderful surprise. Since I´ve arrived here in May I have tried to get people to come to English class. We have put up a ton of flyers and passed out cards and done it by word of mouth as well. And nothing. No one barely ever came...except some members or our own investigators sometimes but even then not steadily. But Friday a good number of random people just walked into the chapel for English class and now we are teaching two classes and have some good prospects of future investigators from the group. After class on Friday 2 people came up to me and were asking questions about the BOM and if we were normal people or if we were like the polygamists they´ve seen on TV. One man, Carlos, stayed after and let us teach him. And boy is he ever a talker. The lesson went on and on and on breaking off into tangents I never knew were possible. All I wanted to do was introduce the Book of Mormon. That´s it. But I would say a few words and boom, cut off. It wins as the most frustrating teaching experience I´ve had. I should win a prize for overwhelming patience or something. And at the end he critiqued our teaching English and our Spanish abilities as well. What a man. But we will be teaching him again this week...wish us luck that his tongue will be bound? Haha. 

So Thursday we met our new mission leader, Joan Millán. He just returned home from the Madrid mission on Tuesday (after being an AP, so you know he´s a good missionary). Well, we are incredibly overjoyed to have his help. We ate with his family and another family from the branch and he basically directed the message afterwards for us and then told us when he was free to help and went in to all the branch and area details. At that point he didn´t even know he would be mission leader. I can´t express the happiness, I just wish he was here earlier, because now I´m leaving and don´t get the blessing for long...Sunday he went around talking to leaders for us and gave out mission prep books to the youth (who already had them haha) and talked to our investigators and helped out the in the class I had to teach. One helpful member seriously does makes a whole world of difference to the missionaries. Even a little support helps us so much. So remember that please! 

Sunday was really cool. 2 our older investigators, a mother and daughter (Estela and Angela) came to church with a member family and then the boyfriend of one of the youth as well. His name is Daniel and he is from South Africa. We met him last Sunday and yesterday ate at the member family´s house with him and his parents and brother. The members, are half British and Spanish, and the investigators half south African and half Spanish. So everyone in that house spoke both English and Spanish and it was soooo weird. I was confused a lot of the time trying to get my head straight. And like I´ve said before talking and teaching in English is super strange for me now. The family is incredibly cool and have a lot of the same morals so I am hoping to be able to teach them all. Daniel, the boyfriend, is already going to seminary, activities, and church, and is super spiritual and mature so it´s just a matter of setting up teaching appointments and I´m sure he´ll get baptised. My favorite part was when they couldn´t figure out my accent. They thought my English accent was from Norway (I still don´t understand that since I sound American) and then after I said the prayer they were like ¨whoa, how well you speak Spanish! you have no accent at all and that´s really hard to do!¨ so not to brag, but I was sooo happy to hear that, since I try really hard to speak well. And of course I still make a ton of mistakes especially when I am speaking fast or am nervous, but hey it´s progress. 

That experience was such a blessing though. That is the way missionary work should be and needs to be. That was honestly the first time that has happened since I´ve been out, where a member family invited over their non-member friends just to meet us during a meal. That is how the work progresses and how families are blessed! So I encourage you all to do it too! I know it seems scary and awkward but trust in the Lord and have faith that it will work out! Pray to know who to invite and then do it!

Well as for Miri, she said she was to busy to come to church on Sunday and that Itzayana was out of town so that she would come this Sunday coming up. We´ll see! I want to see her get confirmed before I leave in 2 weeks and since this week is conference it´s making me nervous. Keep praying! Love you all!

Oh and something funny/embarrassing for the week: The branch pres asked me to translate to a new Norwegian member in English to have him say the opening prayer. So I turned to him and asked him, but in Spanish. So basically I just turned to him and repeated the request in different words and after weird looks from the two, realized that it wasn´t in English and re said it. Haha, and the sad thing is that this isn´t the first time it´s happened. I never understood RMs who would come home and claim to have problems speaking English but I find myself relating to them more and more everyday as i start making more English mistakes and wording things weirdly. 

Anyway, have a good week and enjoy conference! Invite everyone to listen and share links online!

Hna Thompson

ps, pictures!
we went to a American style restaurant with Vicente this week (not that authentic but it was cool to see American things and hear oldies music...i mean not that we enjoyed the music...we aren´t allowed.)  i got to eat a real chocolate milkshake! happiness! and we brought home giant gumballs since we can´t chew gum in public and this is what happened...note that it got in my eyelashes haha

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