Monday, April 11, 2016

Buenas Tardes Familia!

(My Spanish is progressing, huh? We're moving up from just "Hola". ;)
This week was a Roller coaster of emotions and blessings and trials
and miracles. To be quite honest I don't really know where to start! I
guess we'll go from the bottom and work our way up. To start off, we
had a very interesting visit this week with one of our newer
investigators, a young adult from Romania. It was interesting
primarily because we had to speak in English with him rather than
Spanish, in which we (Hermana Birch and I) were a bit out of practice.
(At least in Gospel-related terminology) And while at first the visit
seemed promising, as this young man was very well acquainted with the
bible and was looking for a church to join and was excited to learn
more, our testimonies and the message of the restoration could not
resound with him because he was so thoroughly convinced that we
couldn't be the true church, because we practice the Sabbath on
Sunday. And because of this, he tried to convince us that we were
being lied to, that really our church was "the den of wolves in
sheep's clothing." Well, that got some fire in us! We simply testified
once more of what we knew to be true, the validity of this gospel and
the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and the authority and power of
the Prophets, and explained that we weren't going to be able to visit
him anymore but that we would love to see him in passing. He said he
couldn't wait until the judgement day when he would get to see our
faces....that was pretty awkward. We were really disappointed as we
walked out of there, and all week we have been pondering about that
experience. I still haven't really arrived at any certain conclusion
other than that I know that this gospel is true. I know that the Book
of Mormon is the word of God and that Christ really did visit the
people in the Americas, and no amount of "logic" or bible-bashing is
going to change that. AFTER THAT we had a few really good visits! One
was with this Peruvian/Equadorian family that we found because we
contacted the Abuelo in the street. When we went to go visit him, we
ended up meeting his son who is absolutely eager to learn about the
gospel! It turns out that he has met with Missionaries before and they
had lost track of him when he had moved to Badalona but he is still so
excited to learn! We've had a couple of short little lessons with him
in the Puerta, but this time we were finally able to go inside because
his wife was there and we ended up having a lesson with the whole
family, including the Abuelo that we had found originally. A couple of
them were skeptical at first, but we shared with them the Attributes
of Christ video which led into a discussion about prophets and
authority. Hermana Birch and I agree with you, mom, that Authority
really is one of the biggest things that sets us apart from anyone
else in the world. We scheduled another appointment with them and they
asked us for pamphlets and things they could read in between that
time! Bam! Milagros. As we were walking to our next cita from there,
we were stopped by a tall Pakistani man who asked us if we had any
reading material about Christ. HA BOY HOWDY DID YOU STOP THE RIGHT
MISSIONARIES OR WHAT. We gave him a pamphlet and one of our brand
spankin' new capilla cards (did I already show you a picture of
those?) and he said that he was searching for a church and he wants to
learn more about Christianity. He has lived in Spain for about 15
years now, but he speaks a bit more English than he does Spanish so
we'll probably be talking to him in a solid Spanglish when we meet
with him this week. He also said something that struck me, because he
commented that he has seen us a couple of times in the street and that
we should be "stopping people and telling them where you're from and
what you are doing here! People want to know!" That took us a second
to swallow, as, well, that's what we do on a daily basis! But I
started realizing that I tend to avoid what we call "awkward
situations", where I don't tend to contact people who are clearly of a
different religion or people who I think probably won't accept us. I
needed a little kick for that! True, we have had a couple pretty
difficult interactions with people, but I realized that I really
shouldn't have been judging for myself who I thought would accept the
gospel and who wouldn't. I don't know anything! So I'm going to try
and be better at contacting EVERYONE from now on! It's a bit like a
game of hide and seek, I think. We go up to people and the gist of it
is we say "Hi! We're missionaries. Are you the one I'm looking for?"
And they say "no" or "not right now" and then you find the few that
say "yeah! I think I am!" And then BOOM! Magic. Spirit. Faith.
Repentance. Baptism. Holy Ghost. Perseverance to the end. Eternal Pen
Pals. (I'm pretty sure that's how it goes, anyway. I'll let you know
when I get to that point.)

Things you should know about Spain:
-If you've ever wondered what riding on an autobus is like in
Badalona, it is basically EXACTLY like riding on the Spider-Man ride
in Florida Universal Studios or the Indiana jones ride in Disney land.
These gigantic busses, they just come HAULING down these little one
lane roads lined on BOTH sides with cars and trees and people who
cross whenever and wherever they need to. It really is a sight to
behold and an experience to be had.
-They love brownies and they don't know how to make them. Bake a batch
for them and you're instantly their best friend.
-Jamon. They LOVE Jamon. It's everywhere. They have Jamon restaurants
in the mall, Jamon flavored Everything, we even found Jamon scented
perfume. Though I'm (97%) sure it's a joke.
-All the kids these days are wearing sweat suits. Nike, preferably, in
gray or crazy patterns of colors. You're not a kid in Spain if you
don't wear one of them at least 4/7 days of the week. And the other 3
days you're wearing denim on denim. It's like we're back in the 90's!
-Also in Fashion right now... Pasty skin and dark hair! Boom. Guess
you could say I fit in here.
-Also people are VERY SHORT. I am on the Taller side here. Do you
understand what that means? Most people are 5'2 and UNDER. I love it.
-Tuna pizza. Did I already mention that? Tuna. Pizza. Mom, I have
eaten more tuna in these last 4 months than I think I've eaten before
in my life combined.
-They have Holidays about every 2 weeks, including Sant Jordy this
month, where all the girls give the boys books and all the boys give
the girls a flower. We're going to set up a stand and SPREAD THE

Anyway, that's the update for this week! I love you all and I miss you
all and I know this gospel is true! I love this work and these people
and my Savior! Have a good week and I'll talk to you later!
Te amo,
-Hermana Larson

Hermanas Birch, Larsen, Larson, and Francisco

We rode bikes around Arc de Triumph!  So fun!

Does this look like Cali to you?

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