Monday, August 8, 2016

Gandía week 4

Helloooooooo family and friends!

This week in Gandía has been the shortest of my life so far. It's not
fair! How is it possible that the time is flying by so quickly???
Soooooooooo not fair. That being said, I still have to pull out my
agenda to remind me what actually happened this week... Short term
memory loss is a real thing. Well, we got a reference from the Elders
this week that lead us to a new FAMILY! They're from Ecuador (which is
actually kind of rare here in Gandía) and they are SO prepared to hear
the gospel. They ask all kinds of really good, genuine questions that
makes us really feel the spirit a TON and gives us lots of
opportunities to testify, which is, in some ways, the most important
thing. Every time that we get the opportunity to speak with someone,
the more I learn that we, the missionaries, aren't the teachers.
Without the spirit, this work would be impossible. And there's no
feeling quite like being able to testify of the truthfulness of the
First Vision or the Restoration of the Gospel, and just to feel the
spirit flood the room. It's something so special. ALSO I CAN SO SURELY
TESTIFY OF THE POWER OF MIRACLES. Miracles happen every day, y'all.
That family, for instance, was a super great miracle. And on Monday,
when we were writing our emails, someone buzzed the timbre at the
church, so Hermana Stahl and I went to go see who it was. It was a
chica a little older than us, who was asking about English Class! She
and her mom both ended up coming on Tuesday to English class and asked
if we could meet with them again as well! They are so sweet and we
can't wait to meet with them again! On Wednesday morning, we had
Enfoque de Zona in Valencia, which is where all of us in the Valencia
Zone meet to get pumped up and set goals and talk about how we can
improve as missionaries. This week we had a goal of 30 INVITATIONS TO
BAPTISM FROM EVERY COMPANIONSHIP!!! Boooom! I loved that goal, because
it really helped us focus on our purpose as missionaries, which is to
invite others to come unto Christ and help them to receive the
restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement,
Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and
enduring (or persevering) to the end. Also, we as El Faro now have a
new motto! A slogan! A manner of living and a way of thinking! It's a
quote from Joseph F. Smith I think, but it's quite simply, "El Reino
de Dios, o NADA!!!" "The Kingdom of God, or Nothing!!" All good
reminders of what our purpose and goal is while on the mission and in
life in general.

Right after that we had a lesson with our investigator Jackeline, who
has been meeting with the missionaries for quite a while now. We
testified to her of the validity of our prophet, and we were actually
able to show her the video of President Monson speaking at the last
General Conference, which brought in the Spirit abundantemente, and we
were able to share our testimonies of the latter day prophets! I'm so
grateful that we are guided by a prophet today. I'm grateful for the
counsel and wisdom we receive from our Heavenly Father through him.
On Friday we were able to do a couple of Heart Attacks to a couple of
the ward members, which is one of my favorite things to do. Because
everyone lives in an apartment building here, it's a bit more
difficult to do than it was when I was a beehive in Young Women's, but
it just brings More miracles: every. Single. Time. That we do a heart
attack, we are able to get inside the building within 5 minutes. It's
amazing!! And then you post them up and you run away, and then you
just feel pretty good about life for a while. Hehehe and you get to
feel pretty sneaky. 😉 Friday for the afternoon we were able to go and
collect a couple of older members and accompany them to the church for
the baptism of the daughter of our new ward mission leader. It was
such a cute experience, and then one heck of a fiesta afterwards! Haha
not really, it's just that there was a TON of food and a TON of
Spaniards to talk to. Practically everyone in our ward is related by
blood or marriage! Spaniards tend to stay pretty close to home when
they are grown with their own families as well, so it's like a big
family reunion every time we have a meeting like that. It was fun to
get to know everyone a bit better! And it made me think about my own
baptism... Which was almost 12 years ago!!!!! That's crazy!!!! I still
remember it like it was yesterday. Ish. On Saturday we spend all day
contacting in the street, which is getting to be pretty difficult, as
it's the hottest point of the year and everyone is on vacation or at
the beach or sleeping in their houses from like 1-7:30. Then everyone
comes out of hiding. ;) but we got to go out and do a member split
with a couple of our members who are thinking about serving missions,
which was super great. Hermana Sebastiá, who was Hermana Stahl's first
trainer, came back to visit as well! She lives in Alicante, which is
about an hour south of here. That was really fun to get to talk to her
and hear about what she's up to!!! We had sports with her, and then we
got to meet up with her again on Sunday at Church. The dice landed
nicely for Hermana Stahl and I, so we got to teach Gospel Principles
AND Relief Society all in one day! Haha actually it was pretty fun,
and we got to study up a bit from the March 2008 version of the
Liahona, (not sure which month of the Ensign it was... March as well,
I guess?) all about the Savior. I LOVE IT! READ IT!

Maria Flores, who was the first member to be baptized here in Gandía,
invited all of the missionaries and Hermana Sebastiá over for food.
And she taught us how to make and eat REAL VALENCIANO PAELLA!!! For
the first time in my mission since the CCM, I actually ate paella!
Pretty good, apart from the Gambas (shrimp),  😉, but it was fun. That was a
good day. And then today, we made and executed a scavenger hunt in
Carrefour, which is a little like the European version of a Target. A
really big Target. Objects to find included most expensive thing,
manliest thing, and a natural Ginger. ;) It was pretty fun, and the
Hermanas ended up winning! Boo Yah!!!!

Also, I almost forgot, I have the things I learned from the month of
July about OBEDIENCE!!!
Here goes:

* Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and God gives abundantly to
* You can often gauge a man's ambition (and true obedience) by whether
he hates his alarm clock or considers it his best friend.
* Devoted discipleship, consecrated missionary.
* Comes from love of the Lord
* Not "giving up or letting yourself be controlled", but an active CHOICE
* STRIVING to do EVERYTHING that Heavenly Father would have me do
* Selective Obedience = No
* 2 Nephi 3:8
* 1 Nephi 3:7
* Obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings miracles
* "To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be
late is unacceptable" principle
* Doing more than what is simply "sufficient"
* Obedience=Wisdom
* The consequences of Disobedience are not always "punishments", but
natural results of choices we make ourselves. (i.e. Speeding leads to
accidents, drug use leads to health problems)
* We don't always need the "why" right now. Just need to have faith
and confidence that they are for our benefit
* Thinking more about others than of myself
* Perform EVERY WORD with exactness ---- Alma 57: 20-21
* Obedience is the first law of heaven
* Mosiah 2:22, 24
* If ye love me, keep my commandments
* It's an action, it's not passive
* Doctrine and Covenants 82:10
* Our will given for His will in all aspects of life
* I'll go where you want me to go
* 2 Kings 5:1-14
* Exact obedience is the only way we are accompanied by 100% of the Holy Ghost
* Not always about the letter of the law, it's about the spirit of the
Law as well
* True commitment
* Having lived to fulfill the commandments of God --Mosiah 29:45
* Willing to observe our covenants by sacrifice
* Obedience without faith/love/real intent is dead
* Those whom the Lord has qualified, he calls.
* "I will tell you that all your faith, religion, and profession of
religion will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of
our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now
teaching you. Go...and attend strictly to those things which we call
temporal... Otherwise your faith will be in vain."
* Overcoming Temptation and Fear
* Luke 1:6
* To do what we know is right by God, not by men.
* "The wisdom of God may appear as foolishness to Men, but the
greatest single lesson we can learn in Mortality is that when God
speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right. The leaders of
the church have spoken; we need only to obey. The blessings are sure
to follow."

Yep! That's July! August's theme is: Courage! Courage to be Obedient! ;)

Anyway, that's my week! Hope you had a FANTASTIC one as well, and
we'll talk to you soon!
Love you!!!!

-Hermana Larson

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