Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jan. 23, 2013

Hello vacationers!

Glad to hear your trip was good, sorry you had to return back to the cold. It sounds like winter is as bad as it always is there. I agree about the inversion, it´s disgusting. I suppose the air in Madrid is better, but it was still nice to get outside of the city last week (more on that later).
It sounds like Hawaii was a lot of fun and definitely something I would like to do. You´ll just have to go back with me sometime (better tell Grandma and Grandpa to put their names on the list again). That ranger hike sounds like it was awesome! I probably would have been all nerdy the whole time. You know I used to know the term for that, when a species is unique to one place. I´m losing all my knowledge, sad! That´s so cool that you got to see whales breaching too! Lucky! I can´t wait to see the pictures of all of it. I´m glad you guys got the chance to go.
That´s excellent that the visas are going through! We need the help and I´m sure the waiters are super excited to finally be coming. The bulletin today said that we would be getting 12 more missionaries this week, so I assume some of them will be from my group. Super cool! I´m not really surprised by the news about the universities having enrollment trouble, I think we all knew it was coming, but it´s still such a cool evidence that missionary work is increasing and moving forward. It´s awesome that so many more missionaries are serving. That´s something I love about the Church, that we never sit still where we are at. We are always raising the bar, pushing farther.
Well, on to the news of the week. First of all is last week´s P-day activity. The four of us in our piso took a day trip to Segovia. It was awesome! We took the train which was about an hour and half to 2 hour journey, but I enjoyed it on the way up. I got to see some of the countryside of Spain, which is a lot prettier and more varied than I thought. I really only been in and around Madrid, which is a desert and fairly boring. Segovia is to the north and is a lot greener. We passed through green hilly areas with huge rocks scattered across them (if you can picture what I mean). It made me think of Lord of the Rings. We even went through some mountains with snow on them! Past the mountains made me think of the Northwest, especially since it was raining the whole time. Then we arrived in Segovia. Segovia is famous for 3 things: the Roman aqueduct that runs through the city, a huge gothic cathedral, and a beautiful castle. Also suckling pig, but we didn´t try any of that. We did see everything else though, and it was incredible! The best was the castle. The inside is a museum that was pretty cool with suits of armor and cannons and all kinds of stuff. We also got to climb 250- something steps up a tiny spiral staircase to the highest tower of the castle. It opens out into a big platform at the top, and you can see the landscape all around and the whole city below you. It was amazing! I was geeking out through the whole thing, just to be inside an actual castle! So cool. I think I took about 200 pictures just in one day. It was a lot of fun.
Work-wise this week has been pretty good as well. We had a couple days last week where we contacted a lot, but it´s paying off. We have several new investigators that are really good. I wrote about Eduardo last week. We´ve met with him a couple more times now and with his wife there as well. The third lesson was awesome. It was the first time his wife was there so she was asking about what we had taught. We had taught the Restoration the last time with Eduardo. When she asked about what we had taught, Eduardo launched right in explaining Joseph Smith and the Restoration. He remembered everything, and he was excited to share it. It was great! It only got better too. His wife is a lot more spiritual, and she was really excited to listen and even asked if we could come back the next day to keep teaching. Unfortunately when we went back they hadn´t read, but I think they have got the desire to know and have definitely been prepared by the Lord.
Monday we found Oscar and Liset again after quite a while. They invited us in and we taught the Restoration. They seemed a little more skeptical, but Oscar talked a lot about how the many different religions confuse him and how he wants to know what is right. We were able to bear testimony that he can find answers in what we teach and in the Book of Mormon.
Yesterday we passed by a piso that a member gave us the address to. Grecco invited us in. As we started talking my companion asked if were bothering him, seeing as we had come by unexpected and everything. He said: No, I need to hear your message. We were shocked. As we talked more we realized that he has met with missionaries before and even had been to church activities. He has recognized the peace and hope that these messages bring to him. Again an individual that God has prepared to be taught. If we really focus on what he told us, I think he will progress well. I´m excited to teach him.
Basically things are starting to move along. I´ve learned two things this week. Contacting really does work and does pay off. Second, God does provide people who are prepared. He knows his children and when they are ready for His Gospel. I just hope I can be a good enough teacher and tool of the Spirit to help them see it.
Oh, before I go, I got the package yesterday. Thank you so much! The pictures are great, and it is wonderful to have music to listen to. You guys are the best! I love you all so, so much! Try not to freeze OK? Bye!

Elder Cousins

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