Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 17, 2014

Why do we have so many holidays? Just to get out of work, right? Not in the mission. . . :) 

So I´m having a pretty hard time focusing today. I´ve had these really annoying allergies on and off for the last few weeks and today they came back in force. I say this just as disclaimer so that if this email seems a little weird you know why. 

Ok, first of all. I know I´m not like, the fútbol guru or anything, but I LIVE in Madrid and I can only think of 3 teams in la Liga. Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Rayo Vallecano. . . If you can tell me the fourth team and what neighborhood they are from I´ll be very impressed. ;) People do always ask what team you are for. I always respond Madrid, obviously. :) 

Pues, not a lot new from this week. The coolest experience was when we took Patricia to the temple to do a tour. It was a very spiritual tour, especially when we talked about how families can be together forever. You could see how much she wants that. Sitting in the waiting room of the temple at the end we just talked and she opened up to us about her life. About her doubts and worries, not just about the church, about everything. It was really cool to see how the spirit just put her at ease and we were able to talk with her. I´ve never heard her talk so much, she is usually so timid. She also told us there straight up that she wants to get baptized. After the tour we went to a baptism there in B6. She loved it. She kept saying afterwords that she felt good. She said that she thinks the the nerves will always be there, but that doesn´t mean she isn´t going to get baptized. She is so much more excited for her baptism this Saturday and much more sure about it, I think. Which is good. I´m pretty excited too. :)

Joaquin sadly couldn´t come to church this week, again because of his mom. She woke up late so he couldn´t get her all set up before he left. He also had a bad experience this week when he had to leave her for longer than he wanted to to go do something. When he got home she was really upset, to the point of almost leaving to go look for him. We could tell he was pretty worried by that and that he just doesn´t like leaving her at all. So we tried to help him raise his spirits a little and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith. It was sad to see him down in the dumps. Usually he is so happy and always focused on the blessings in his life. 

Finally we did have a new investigator come to church, which was awesome! Bryan is 16 and really wants to find friends who are good kids. We taught him and his mom about 2 or 3 weeks ago when she called us, if you can believe it! We haven´t been able to meet with them since but yesterday Bryan called to say he wanted to go to church. His mom couldn´t come because of work, but Bryan seemed to have a good experience. He was a little bored by the end of sacrament meeting (heck, I was too) but he really liked the young men´s class and left with some of the kids at the end of the meetings. Hopefully these good experiences will cause him to have interest in the doctrine as well so we can teach him. 

We are still looking for new people to teach. It´s weird, it´s easy to get references here, but none of them turn into lessons. Everyone in the district is having the same issue. But they will come. The Lord has always blessed me with people to teach when I keep working. Here will be no different. Just got to put in practice all that patience I´ve learned in the mission. ;) 

That´s the news for this week. Just doing the work and loving it! I love you guys too, even more than a million heart-shaped chocolate dipped shortbread cookies! :D (Any chance of me receiving a million heart-shaped chocolate dipped shortbread cookies? :P ) 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and don´t forget that I think about you and pray for you everyday. Thanks for everything! 

Elder Cousins

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 10, 2014

Hola, que hay? 

Wow I didn´t realize that that it was time for the Winter Olympics! I guess they do come in one form every 2 years huh? Fun stuff. This last week I realized I will still be here in Spain for the world cup. So stoked!! I can´t even tell you. It´s going to be nuts here. Spain´s so going to win! ¡Viva España! 

So the coolest moment of the week is that Joaquin came to church!!! That was so awesome seeing him sitting there in sacrament meeting when we got there. I was so happy sitting next to him all through the meeting! He had a great experience too. He just loves the church and has such a strong testimony! He especially loved how loving the people were. He ran into a woman from the church at the bus stop on the way home and she asked after his mom and everything. He said he was really impressed with how warm the people are. He loved it. I am so excited for him!! He has the biggest heart and he is so excited about being baptized. :D

Things are going well with Patricia as well. She is opening up a lot more, she is a lot less timid than before. Actually we found out that she had a bad experience with missionaries in Honduras who pressured her too much, and that has a lot to do with why she is hesitant to accept a fecha to be baptized. But she is warming up to it little by little. The only thing is that the 22 is coming up soon. But if we need to change it, no worries. She just needs to pray specifically to know and overcome her fear and she will be totally ready. And she will be a strong member. We had a noche de hogar with her and a bunch of members last night that was so much fun! I love stuff like that in the mission. 

Domi is leaving for Menorca the 18 of Feb. We are a little sad. Things have been interesting with him. At the beginning of the week we went over with a member and he was a completely different person. It was scary. He had read 1 Nephi 4 where Nephi kills Laban and he was freaking out about it. He said he didn´t want to keep reading or learning anymore. We were able to calm him down and help him understand and by the end he was his old self again. But something was off. We will do everything we can this week and then pass him to the missionaries in Menorca, but it´s a little sad. He is a great guy, but there is something he needs to overcome in order to be able to accept the Gospel. Maybe now is not the time. 

It´s definitely a blessing being able to see everyone here in Madrid. That conference was so much fun! I´m going to talk with Bea and Kancho this week to see what their plans for the temple are. Yesterday Bea finished one year as a member! Can you believe it?! One year since my first baptism! I´m so excited to see them enter the temple and take the next step. As far as I understand they are still not married because they have to work through the embassies to do it and they are from, well, very different countries (Bulgaria and Peru). I don´t really understand it well either, but everyone says it just takes a long time. No worries. I´ll be there for their sealing whether it´s during my mission or not. 

Well, that´s about all the news for this week. We had a fun p-day bowling today. There was a big group that went and I got to hang out with almost everyone from B5 that I am so close to (including Weixler and Kinghorn). Seriously, some of the other missionaries there are now some of my closest friends in the whole world. They are amazing! So it was a lot of fun to see each other again. The pictures are first of: the shirts that Weixler and I made, 2nd: my district now (minus 2) and 3rd: some of my favorite people in the world! 

Address: Calle Miami 7, 3ºC Madrid

Thanks so much for everything! I think about you guys all the time and pray for you everyday. I love you so much! Thank you for all you do! Be safe.

Elder Cousins

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 3, 2014

Buenos días!! 

So, this may be a little shorter this week. We´ve been out and about on the town today! We went down to Sol and visited the Island and I got to see Elder Weixler and Hna Caballero from B5 again so that was sweet. Good times :) 

Well, let´s just start off with the best part of this week for me. Yesterday was Stake Conference so we all met in Pavones. And basically I got to see everyone I´ve ever met in my entire mission. It was awesome! I got to see everyone from B6 and B5. And best of all I walked in just in time to see Kancho stand up to be sustained in his advancement to the Melchizedek Priesthood and then after the meeting I was able to take part in the ordination. So cool!! He and Bea were so happy to see me again, and I was so happy to see them. There is something special about the two of them. Out of all the people I have baptized and love so much, there is something special about them. Maybe it has to do with the fact that, as Bea said yesterday, I´m always around in the important moments for them. Hopefully the next one will be for their endowments and sealing. As far as I know they still aren´t married (curse you governments!), but I am praying so hard that they will be able to be sealed while I am still here in the mission. But I will for sure be there no matter what, even if it doesn´t happen during my mission, just that that would be the crowning moment of the mission for sure. Also, they are almost eligible to enter the temple. Bea finishes 1 year next Sunday and Kancho a month from yesterday. Can you believe that?! Time has gone flying by! Speaking of which I hit my last 6 months on Saturday. Not cool. 

That was definitely the highlight of my week, but there were other good things as well. Domi came to stake conference with us! But I have my worries about him as well. I´m not sure if he understands fully what we are teaching or saying. Or he just doesn´t want to accept that things are the way we say they are. But we will continue forward with him. I think it´s just a matter of time. Patricia also came, which is awesome, but not really a surprise. :) She is so amazing! She should be baptized soon. She told us the last lesson we had that she believes in the church and that everything we have taught her is true. She feels like she needs to learn a lot more before baptism, but we will help her grow her confidence. Joaquin is reading more in the Book of Mormon now and every time we meet with them I am so impressed with how strong his testimony is and how well he understands the gospel. He will be a powerful member of the church and ward when he is baptized. 

All in all things are going well. We are trying to find more people to teach, but I feel like we can´t find people who are really interested. It´s easy to get references on the street here and from the members, but we can´t seem to find people with interest. But my companion said something interesting yesterday. He said he needs to remember to bear his testimony in contacts and every finding situation. I realized that was something I hadn´t thought about in a long time. It reminded me of the MTC when we talked about that kind of thing all the time and we all knew that testimony was the most important. Well, I had to remember that. I´m going to try to focus on that more as well as praying in the moment to know what to say. I need to remember that it is the Spirit not my experience that makes the difference. I know that, I just need to put it in practice. 

Well, I am out of time, sorry this week is short. Oh, I do know Elder Garcia by the way! I was never in the same area as him, but I got to know him in meetings and the like. He is a really great, humble guy. That´s cool that you met his sister! 

Pues, nada. I love you all and I am so happy to be here as a missionary. Thank you for your prayers for me and my investigators, converts, members, everyone. You guys are the best. Take care this week.

I love you!!!
Elder Cousins

PS That duet is amazing! Way to go Sarah! :D