Monday, October 31, 2016

Gettin' old

Good news is, I had a FANTASTIC birthday!!!! 
The bad news is, that means I'm officially OLD. I'm TWENTY years old. Weird. So weird. Hasn't really sunk in, but it's all good. 

Here's how we celebrated!!!

I was sick for a couple days, unfortunately. Those days haven't stuck very well in my brain.... so... yes. That was monday and tuesday. 

Thursday we had an Intercambio! Hermana McBride went up to Valencia and Hermana Iregui, who is from Colombia and who came here in the group before me, came down for the day! It was really fun to get to know her better, and we spent the day contacting and finding new people to teach. We found a lot of really great miracles, and at the end of the day, to pump us up, our District Leader told us that we needed to call someone in our district and just scream into the phone and hang up, once for every lesson that we had with a member to accompany us. That was pretty fun, actually!!! Haha very therapeutic. 
Then we had Noche de Barrio where we talked about the Holy Ghost and how in order to receive an answer, we really need to be listening for it! Then we played "Do you love your neighbor", (which is a really fun game that i dont really have time to explain, but I'm sure there's a youtube demonstration out there somewhere.) and ended the night with a lot of laughs. :) 

Friday morning Hermana Iregui and I woke up, made breakfast, and sat down for studies. As I was delving into the new testament, hermana Iregui snuck out of our study room, grabbed a HUGE confetti Cannon that she had been hiding, and SHOT ME WITH IT! Hahah not really. It was shot OVER me. But there was (and still is) Confetti in EVERY nook and cranny in our study room, which is a nice reminder of how scared out of my mind i was, hahaha. After the initial shock, it was a nice birthday surprise. :) 



After that, we had to take her to the train station, and we had just enough time to stop by one of my favorite Burger joints here for a milkshake before she had to catch the train. I finished up my studies as I waited for Hermana McBride, and we grabbed a frozen pizza from the grocery store on our way back to piso for lunch. Jeje
Later that day we were at the church setting up a few things for the Karaoke Activity that we were in charge of (more on that in a second) when we got a call from one of our members who asked if we had time to meet with her and her boyfriend, (who's not a member), because he wanted to start taking the Charlas. (I guess we've got time for that...) So we planned on meeting at the church, and what we had planned on being about a 30 minute lesson, because they didn't have much time, turned out to be a close to 2 hour question and answer session! IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!!! Javier is his name, and he is really really truly searching to become closer to God, and he thinks that this might be the way to do it! He asks real, searching questions, and he is so ready to listen and learn! We gave him a Libro de Mormon, and he said he'll read it and we'll hopefully get to meet with him again this week. He's so great!!!!  Afterwards as we were all leaving, they found out that it was my birthday, and they ran out and brought me back a couple of birthday presents!!! So sweet. (We snagged a picture as well, haha.) They are so great, I love them both so much!!!
Afterwards, we were in the church trying to set up again, when a couple of our JAS members came over and surprised me with a birthday cake! Haha THEN to top it all off, on our way back to piso, we stopped by my favorite bakery here in Gandia and my sweet companion bought me a piece of my favorite cake! We went back to piso, feasted on our sweets, and hung up birthday decorations to celebrate. All in all, a FANTASTIC birthday, I couldn't have asked for a better one. :) 
The next day we spent ALL DAY at the church and running back and forth from different stores buying things for the activity. We set it all up, and at 7:30, we started the Karaoke activity! Now, to be completely honest here, we weren't really sure how to feel about the whole thing a few months ago when we started planning it.  We had wanted to do a ward activity, but when we found out that Karaoke was the only one of our ideas that they hadn't already done here, we thought the activity might be a flop. As the weeks passed and the date got closer, we turned into giant balls of stress and anxiety, and we talked about it with EVERYONE. EVERY single person we invited- investigators, people on the street, members, all of them. At 7:30, when it started, was when I got the most nervous, because only about 20 people had shown up. But as the night got going, more and more people came, and we ended up having about 130 people show up to the activity, with no fault (I think she means "lack".  It's "falta" in Spanish!  haha!) of people asking to sing their favorite song! It was a hit, which can definitely be attributed to the willingness of members of our ward council to break the ice and make it a truly fun night. We got a few investigators there as well, and it was just a super great night!!!



 We missionaries had to run home at 10, (exact obedience, you know) so we missed out on the cleaning up part of it... darn. ;) but on Sunday morning, everything in the church was back where it was, spotlessly clean, and members told us about how it had gone on until about 11:15 that night. Haha these people are part of one of the biggest Party cultures in the world, I think. SO now we're more relaxed, we've got a fantastic new investigator, lots of places to go to find people, and we're on a roller coaster that only goes up! :) 
Spiritual thought of the week comes from an article that we found on the LDS website, called something like "are you living the perfect lie?" It really captures something that I think a lot of people, especially members of the church, and maybe especially missionaries, deal with a lot of the time! 
The perfect lie had me believing that it was up to me to change. That if I could just work a little harder, do a little more, be a little more disciplined, do more, be more—that somehow I would eventually get there. That if I could just try harder I would be better.But this is false! This is the lie!Nowhere in the scriptures does Christ say that our efforts are inadequate. Never does He say, “If you don’t work hard enough, you’ll never be enough.”No. His truth and His invitation is “Come unto me, for my grace is sufficient.”
Click here to read the entire article. It's a good one!
I know this church is true. I know that my savior lives and that this is HIS church. I know that He is at the helm, and that He is always there with outstretched arms for us. I love you all, and i hope you have a good week! 

Carpe Diem!
Love, 

Hermana Larson

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