Monday, October 28, 2013

¡La Semana de MILAGROS!

Man, I love Málaga! It´s a great place, you guys should definitely come visit. So for those of you don´t know Spanish, the title of this email is Week of Miracles! I loved these past 7 days, little miracles keep popping up everywhere! First of all we found 11 new investigators all in this week and it would´ve been even more if some of the people we taught agreed to a return appointment. But get this they are all either from Africa or Romania...this week my Spanish didn´t help anything haha. English did though since all the Nigerians speak English. It seemed like every person we passed by let us in without a prior appointment and a lot of our backup plans turned into actual teaching opportunities. Which is definitely not the norm even in Málaga. My face probably showed my surprise every time someone said "come in" to us. And then even more surprise by the amount of people who were there when we did come in.
I want to share about one experience in particular. There is a Romanian family in our ward called the Patars. The four children are all baptized and the parents would like to be but are saving up money to make a trip back to Romania to get married first. The missionaries first started teaching them over a year ago and they have been actively coming to church ever since. Florina, the mother, barely knew any Spanish and also didn´t even know how to read in Romanian. But in order to attend church and read the Book of Mormon she has been learning. The family is incredible. I have never seen people like them. They live in poor, humble circumstances, but have extremely strong testimonies. They children (ages 8 to 14) are always eager to learn and pray and sing and are so sweet. They read the Book of Mormon on their own everyday and always ask us for more pamphlets to fill out the questions in the back. They literally melt my heart.
Anyway, we passed by an old reference from that family to see if they were home so we could meet them. Her friend´s name is Andrea ironically enough. She was home and let us in. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the gospel. She brought out her BOM that she already had in Romanian but told us she didn´t know how to read. She also barely understood what we were saying in Spanish. But we setup a return appt for Sunday evening and asked Florina and two of her daughters to accompany us. When we showed up they let us in and there were a ton of people. The sister, mother, husband, brother-in-law, her 3 kids, and her 3 nephews. There were also other people coming in and out of back rooms...I think I counted around 13 or 14 people in that small apartment. So I was sitting there like "holy cow...what do we do...I´ve never seen this many people in one place and they all speak Romanian..." Florina explained who we were a little bit better and some basics. I tried to watch the Restoration DVD since it was in Romanian and there were a lot of kids, but as always, it didn´t work. I swear Satan controls all technology in every investigator house we enter haha. Anyway, Florina summarized the story of the Restoration for us in her own words and then I asked her to explain the book of Mormon. She was like...I already did it. So I asked her to share her experience finding out it was true and her testimony, and she was like...I already did it. She is seriously so great. We read a little in the Book of Mormon and invited them all to read and pray and come to church. And I just wish you could´ve seen their faces- full of hope and welcome to our message. I wanted so badly to be able to communicate more fully to all of them in the moment but I knew they understood and at least the children can understand and read. But here I was listening to this woman, who is not even baptized but has been actively coming to church for a year, share her testimony in Romanian and feeling the spirit so strongly. At the end she said "we could all talk forever! when I talk about God my heart feels warm" and all the Romanian women were smiling back at me. She has incredible faith and they are all such good examples to me. I´ll let you know what happens from here!
Nigerians are interesting. They are also very receptive and humble. It´s definitely weird teaching so many lessons in English. Plus they are all men too so that makes our life difficult. Oh, there is also a recent convert here from Haiti! She has family in Florida and so we talk about that sometimes. She is so sweet and has such a great testimony. They let us stay to eat last time we visited :) Well there are other things but I´ve got to go! We are going to the castle today! And apparently we are supposed to be having a Halloween party in the chapel so we´ll see how that goes haha.
Love you all!
Hna Thompson

one member, Patricia, had a turtle and a cat so we were playing with them after FHE. That´s Michael by the way, a recent convert from Nigeria. 

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