Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

Week # . . .  who knows?

Hello family! How´s it going? It´s so good to hear from you all again! You all are the best, you know?

So one week in B2 gone by. It´s been an interesting week. This area is pretty dang big! I still haven´t seen most of it and this last week I´ve just felt lost the whole time. But things are getting better. I´m starting to get the hang of it. We´ve spent some time passing by old investigators out of the area book so that helps me get to know the area. As it turns out some parts of Madrid do look a lot the same. I´ve been reminded a lot of all my past areas walking around here. It´s definitely different than all my past areas though, in different ways. For starters there are families here! A lot of families! We ran into a big old group of Spanish kids the other day that stopped us and asked who were were and what we were doing. It was pretty entertaining. So that´s something that´s really cool. The ward also has a lot more families, certainly than B5 anyways. It´s cool. 

The members are probably the best part about this area. We´ve been focused on visiting as many members as we can this past week because I´d heard about how great they are here and because I know it´s the best way to work, and it´s been awesome! The members here are so excited about missionary work, and so involved already! In B5 we had to gain the trust of the members and build their excitement before we started to see success, here it´s all already done. They are ready to go. We just need to visit and start working with as many of them as possible. We met with this one family in particular that hadn´t received a visit from the missionaries in about a month, and they spoke to us about 2 different families they know that they want to invite over to learn about the gospel. Wow. That does not happen often! But here it appears to happen a lot. I´m so stoked to just work closely with this amazing members right from the start. 

Which will be especially important because we have no investigators right now. Very few. But, we do have a baptism planned for this weekend. Well, actually, we still have to do all the actual planning, but she is getting baptized on Saturday. Alejandra is the wife of a recent convert, Hector. She has seen the huge changes in Hector and that is what started her interest in the gospel. Before, I´m told, she wouldn´t even listen when the missionaries came. Now she is super excited for her own baptism. I think she´s begun to see how the gospel is helping her change as well. She reads everyday with Hector and she says she feels peace when she prays. She was a little hesitant a few days ago saying that she didn´t feel ready to be baptized, but through prayer she has been able to overcome that and she has asked Hector to be the one to baptize her. We´ve visited with her nearly everyday since I got here and we want to everyday this week too to help her be totally ready. In such a short time I´ve gained a lot of respect and love for her by seeing her overcome her challenges. It´s a little weird. I don´t know if I feel like this is one of my baptisms or not. I guess in the end it doesn´t really matter. This is the part I have to play in her story and I´m glad to do it and I´m still so happy to see her baptized! They also have a 2 year old little girl who is more than a handful. But it will be beautiful to see a family united as members.

Other investigators, we have Joaquin who is awesome! Joaquin is Spanish, from right here in Madrid! In fact his mom (she is 87 years old and he lives with and takes care of her) was born on one of the streets I walked in B5, how cool is that?! The two of them are the best! There is something you have to know about me and that is that I absolutely love old Spanish women. I love Spanish in general, but old Spanish women are the greatest. They are always like Emilia (Joaquin´s mom), super old, but in great shape (she still walks around without trouble), super nice and just hilarious! We hit it right off (how could you not?) on the first visit and I just loved it being there with both of them. She has a bit of memory loss so I guess she was telling all the same stories she always tells (it´s true, we´ve been back since) and I was just loving it. I love hearing old people talk about their lives. All the things they´ve seen and done and thought and said! It´s amazing! Anyway, I´m rambling. So Joaquin has been investigating for a while, his problem has always been that he can´t come to church because he has to take care of Emilia. He can´t leave her alone. But when we went this week he told us that she wanted to go and that they were going to try getting there in the bus. So we called Saturday night to see how they felt about it and he said she really wants to go. So we set up to meet them at the bus stop. Long story short, they did it! They made it all the way there and we helped them walk (Emilia holding on my arm the whole way) from the bus stop to the church. We got there and got all settled in and they were super happy. We made it all the way to the sacrament hymn before we ran into to trouble. All of a sudden Emilia got really really dizzy and Joaquin and a woman from the ward helped her out. We followed after the sacrament and found them in the hall feeling a little bit better, but they decided to leave. So sad! But we went by that afternoon to visit them and Joaquin talked about how impressed he was with the members. He talked about how much he liked the heat he felt from the people, the sister that helped them out and got a glass of water. A brother got a seat and put it out in the hall for them without even saying anything. He was really touched by that. We talked and he said that he thinks that Emilia could adjust if she keeps going (it was just all the people and the noise and heat there that made her dizzy), so they decided they are going to keep coming every week, even if it´s only for a few minutes, and see if she adjusts. We promised them that the Lord would bless them for their efforts even as He did that day. In the end it was a good experience. Just like Arthur says, everything happens for a reason. 

Other than that Domingo and Raul are our investigators. Domingo is new and Raul is not really progressing, so pray for them both. 

Oh, I guess I better tell you about my companion. Elder Galeano is from Nebraska and I´m not really training him. He already has one transfer in the field so I´m just finishing his training. And he´s teaching me the area and everything. It´s crazy how much better he is at everything than I was when I first got here. Which is good, that´s how it should be. His dad is from Ecuador and his mom is from Puerto Rico, so the Spanish thing is not really an issue. Which is nice. We already have a pretty even rhythm in teaching and he has no problems with contacting people in the street. I feel like we´ll get a lot of good work done together here. Hopefully I don´t ruin him :P 

Sorry everybody´s back to school. That´s life. If you send an MP3 I shouldn´t have any trouble listening to it, but I don´t know if you can attach it or not. I´m glad Bekah got home safe and I hope she gets her stuff back soon. Thank you for the money! I wasn´t really expecting that. I bought some new shoes today for 50 euros (which I feel like was a good price), but I guess that´s covered already. Just so you know. That´s awesome that you met a woman from Barcelona!  

Well, I think that´s enough for this week. You must all be sleeping by now. :P I hope things are well. Good luck with school and don´t let the cold get you too down. "In the end it is only a passing thing, the shadow. The sun will shine again, and when it does it will shine out the brighter" 

Thanks for everything, take care, be safe, be good. I love you!!!

Elder Cousins

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