Monday, November 25, 2013

New Transfer! and 8 months!

So, sorry all for the email not going through last week...weird, it was just waiting for me in my drafts and apparently never got sent. Well we have started a new transfer and no changes here. Except that it is getting more cold. The coldest it´s been was the 30s for a little while but with the humidity and wind it feels worse. Who knew Southern Spain was cold? I didn´t. This last week was a good one! But as I told my district leader, it wasn´t because of anything we did really. 

Monday started out with a Nigerian dinner/FHE. Aka we ate "fu fu" if I am spelling it right. Which could definitely not be the case. It is a mixture of potatoes and rice flour with hot water so it looks like mashed potatoes. You roll it up in your fingers and then scoop out of the other liquidy dish like it´s a spoon. The dish we ate was fish based and spicy. Good too, I liked it and the other Nigerian foods quite a bit actually. Nigerians seems to be our life recently. Once you start to know one or two you end up meeting more. Speaking of Nigerians we stopped by a less active recent convert who is Nigerian to drop off her baptismal photos but only her sister Silvia was home. I asked if we could come in and talk. We taught her the restoration and watched the Joseph Smith video and she said she thought it was true. I asked her to be baptized in December and she said yes! But apparently she has to ask her husband permission to go to our church since they already go to their own. But she has already been once with her sister and also attended the baptism so we will see what happens. 

This week we have also had a lot of random people start conversations with us and some of them were extra strange. But I like people talking to us, makes life interesting and you never know what will come out of it. The whole blonde american thing never seems to get old either apparently haha. 

We had a combined ward party this week that everyone from their countries brought food and presented, some even danced. I think the Flamenco from the Spaniards won though. Us American missionaries represented well though with brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and hot dog bites. We also sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" which was pretty awful haha and I´m pretty sure no one knew what we were singing but oh well. Argentina had the best food. Sorry again Phil and Carola...but we have this member from Argentina, Estela who has basically adopted us and loves to feed us delicious foods. She is like my favorite woman. There were a ton of countries represented, it´s incredible how many people immigrate here. And so many people attended too, I felt like I was on an episode from the District. 

Lina and her family said they would show up but they didn´t come :/ but she is still progressing and working on quitting smoking and coffee. Pray for her! It doesn´t help that the last lesson her husband was in there smoking the majority of the time. If I get lung cancer we will all know why. Everyone here smokes basically. 

We are also in the process of working on a miracle. One of the women in the ward, Soledad, who is from Málaga and was one of the early members when it was still a branch has a husband who never joined the church named Antonio. We always go over to eat with them and he is a very sweet and friendly man, he just doesn´t like religion too much. Well the last time we taught we decided to teach about the first vision. He doesn´t actually have too much knowledge about our church or doctrine so we are planning to teach him all the lessons and he basically agreed. Anyway, the spirit during the lesson was incredibly strong, his wife has tears in her eyes and I know he could feel the spirit as well. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon, reluctantly but he is a good man and I believe that he will. It takes some time to say yes after you have said no for over 20 years but his family has been praying forever and I am hoping this is his time. And less active son of a member that we are trying to work with also came to church on Sunday with his two sons after many years. Miracles happen! 

Well got to go! Love you all and have a great Thanksgiving! We will be eating as a zone with Pres Deere and his wife on Thursday :)

Hermana Thompson

us with Michael, Daniel, and Oliver 
eating fu fu

more photos! of the ward party! us and our american platter and also some flamenco dancers



¡Buenos Días!
I am no longer sickkk! Life is good. But I do think I might have gotten half the ward sick...ya never know. I tell them all I´m sick and not to give me besos but they don´t care and kiss me anyway...what can you do.

It´s cold. I don´t have a coat and our apt doesn´t have heat soooo I´m freezing but that´s okay I´m going to buy a bunch of warm things today. And by cold I mean like low 50s but it feels colder with the humidity and all the wind. Seriously, who knew that Málaga was so windy.
Remember how I said we are teaching a woman from Ukrainian name Lina? Well we set a baptismal date with her for January 18th. It´s far away because she seems a bit nervous about it and wants to be sure, but once we get her to come to church and be more comfortable maybe we can move it up. She has a ton of faith but also smokes so shes trying to quit. It doesn´t help that her husband always comes in and out of the lessons smoking. But we have the sweetest Ukrainian woman that helps us in the lessons from the ward and she even took us to a Russian/Ukrainian store and bought us food afterwards. Anyway pray for Lina! We also are teaching another woman named Teresa from Málaga whose daughter actually got baptized once upon a time and we just found that out. She doesn´t want to commit because of her husband but even though her mouth didn´t say yes her eyes definitely did, so we´ll see where that goes.
The Romanian part-member family are still my favorite people ever. We ate Romanian soup with them this week and played Bible charades. Good stuff. I love the other members here too they are so strong, it´s great. We kind of got stuck in one of our pueblos (small towns) because the bus never came...twice and then we ended up getting hot chocolate, cake, and a ride home. They have a daughter serving in California so they can sympathize.
Anyway, not much else is new. A member family invited us and the four elders over for thanksgiving and they are going to try and make it authentic so we´ll see! And no pictures this week, sorry for being lame.

Got to go buy a coat now. Don´t forget to feed the missionaries during the holidays ;)
Love you all, 
Hermana Thompson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Estoy resfriadaaaa :(

Apparently my body doesn´t respond well to mission life, because I am sick again! This time it´s a cold that is still going strong...It started on Thursday. But I´ll survive of course, people keep telling me to rest so I´ve started to listen to them. But the whole medicine thing is too much bother to worry about here. 

Anyway, I still love Málaga and our ward. It´s just great. We even had ward council yesterday so life doesn´t get much better than this haha. So as for the Romanians...I have no idea what is going on exactly. On Tuesday we paid a surprise visit in the morning since the Sunday visit fell through. It was just Andrea there and so I was like well she doesn´t understand enough Spanish for us to teach the Plan of Salvation so we might as well just talk about baptism. So I asked her if she knew the word and she said no. Ok. I tried explaining it with my hands in other words. She thought I was talking about fishing. Perfect. I finally got her to understand what it was and then asked her if she would be baptized when she knows what we´ve taught her is true, and she said "creo, creo" (I believe, I believe) while pointing to the BOM. So we committed her to the 30th of November and set up a return appointment. We walked away hoping she actually understood haha but also amazed are her willingness despite the language and reading barrier. When we went back for the return appointment with Lorena (a 10 yr old member) the family members wouldn´t answer...umm yeah. So we are going to try and go back when only Andrea is there in the mornings and see what happens. We´ve also started teaching a woman from the Ukraine named Lina so we´ll see what happens with her! Again, we seem to only teach people from other non-Spanish speaking countries here oddly enough. 

Let´s see, not a lot of interesting things happened this week. Oh wait, I almost forgot our lesson with the jehovah´s witness, Marcelo! I told you about him last time but we taught him again with the help of a member and this time the topic was the Plan of Salvation. First of all you have to understand that he a bit on the older side and has some health problems and that I made sure we had really good scriptural references to back us up. So when we showed him certain verses in the Bible that he didn´t know existed about the spirit world and baptisms for the dead he started getting a bit sweaty and nervous and was holding his heart. And I was sitting there like uhhh I really hope he doesn´t die right here in front of us while talking about the plan of salvation. We stopped short for his benefit without getting to talk about the 3 kingdoms of glory, but I don´t think we´ll be going back again. He wouldn´t let us pray again but this time his excuse was because we are women...yeahhh.

So last Pday we went to the Catholic Cathedral in central Málaga. It was funny because they weren´t going to let us in for free at first because we technically aren´t what they recognize as "priests" or "clergy", but one of the elders from our group was like, well in our church we are priests sooo...and then we got in for free. The architecture was gorgeous of course, like all of them are, but the absence of the spirit was definitely notable. 

Anyway, today we won´t do much since I am sick but I do have a request from any of you wonderful family members who wants to do research for me! I wanna go to the Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga and another art museum with the initials MAUS to see a Shepard Fairey exhibit if I can get will someone email me the addresses, entrance fees, and phone numbers please?? ¡Gracías!

Love you all and have a good week! Also if you want longer responses to your emails, send me handwritten letters instead ;)

Hna Thompson

ps photos!
1. and 2. inside and outside of the cathedral
3. and Michael (recent convert) and I on the exercise equipment they have out in the public parks here haha. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Busy week in Malaga....

So this week had a ton of interesting things all packed into one. Castle for Pday, Halloween, special training with President, exchanges, and stake conference in Granada. So this week went by super fast.
First of all, remember how we got 11 new investigators last week? Well all the the follow-up appointments with them this week went through. So we will try again this week and see what happens. For pday we went to the Málaga castle with a bunch of missionaries so that was fun, I´ll include some photos :) And I got Halloween here after all! We tried inviting all the people we teach to come to the combined ward activity but apparently in Romania and Nigeria it´s more of a bad thing sooo I left out the part that it´s my favorite holiday. They are more under the impression that it´s evil or something. Spaniards still haven´t figured out the whole costume thing yet either haha, they all dress up as the same things...witches, devils, or dead people. But the activity was actually pretty good considering.
We also ate with the Romanian part-member family this week! And the appt wasn´t at the normal time so us being stupid ate lunch beforehand and then when I got there I was already full. Every bite was painful. But they made THE best bread, but the food was pretty strong (but good) and there was a lot of it so it was so hard to keep eating, I felt so bad. And then after that we had another meal scheduled...I wanted to die. It´s funny because all the members here think we are like the elders and can eat a lot and so when we say we are full they think we are lying...
In other news, we taught a lesson with a Jehovah´s Witness man from Africa this week...who doesn´t even let us pray or give him a Book of Mormon, that was actually the first lesson I´ve brought out the Bible to teach. But we had a super awesome member to help us with the lesson. We´ll see what happens with him. Oh and Dan- we keep eating with a Brazilian member who has a super thick accent and I have the hardest time understanding her but she is so good to us and always feeds us :) Speaking of food...Phil and Carola- the Argentinians are winning...sorry but overall I always get better food with them than the Chileans but there is still time left for them to change my mind.
Friday we had a special training meeting from President Deere and the APs and after that I went on exchanges with our sister leaders in the area. Which reminded me how much more I need to contact people on the street, so that´s what we are focusing on this week. Let´s see if I pluck up more courage. I have no time left but Stake Conf was awesome! The Granada chapel is HUGE and gorgeous, even better than ours at home. Well love you all and send me letters if you can instead of emails so I can respond with more ;)
Hna Thompson
1. us and some elders from our district, one of which is Elder Chumbipuma, best name ever right?
2. hna Andrew and I at the castle
3. view of Malaga

the halloween party, elder england bobbing for apples

us and all the ward 1 and 2 missionaries (missing the APs though)
and another pic of the castle