Monday, November 28, 2016

Santander 3

FELIZ DIA DE ACCIÓN DE GRACIAS!!!!! (Kinda...)

Ok.. so I´m a little late. But Happy Thanksgiving anyway! And HAPPY BEGINNING OF CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!! This last week Hermana Nelson and I discovered the new Church initiative #lighttheworld or, in spanish, #IluminaelMundo! We. LOVE. It. It's been so much fun to get into the christmas spirit by spreading the news to serve others! We can't wait to start the 25 day challenge. This week has been FULL to bursting of visits with investigators, members, activities, and just in-betweens. Some highlights...

We've been eating. A lot. It's not even funny. We've been really blessed with a lot of really amazing members who want to feed us a lot of really amazing food. For Thanksgiving, for example, we got to spend it with a member family that we have here from Colombia. With the two of us, the mom, her two daughters and their one son (their dad couldn't make it) it actually felt a lot like Thanksgiving at home! (You know... with all those girls.) It's so weird to think about how quickly the time passes! 
Wait. I'm getting distracted. Back to food. So we had Thanksgiving with this amazing family, with Potato purée, Gravy, Chicken disguised as turkey, pumpkin soup, stuffing (kind of), and flan. That's about as Espamerican as you can get! It was super super tasty. :) We also had a visit where we were given Paella de Marisco (serious shellfish stuff) and Ceviche, which is basically chunks of raw fish with lemon and raw onion. This was really good quality stuff, but anyone who knows me knows that seafood is... a personal difficulty. So that was a little trial of faith for me. Haha really though, it was tasty, but won't be going on my top 10 favorite foods anytime soon.



Kinda going along on that theme, we had a noche de Culturas this week as a ward activity, which was REALLY fun! We have people from at least 10 different countries in our ward, so each family brought something to share and we all just kinda laughed and talked and watched people sing and dance and everything. We, Hermana Nelson and Elder Nelson and I, sang the National Anthem for everyone, which was an adventure. I just have fallen in love with this ward already!

Jaime was doing pretty well in his goal of quitting smoking, but he had a bit of a relapse this last week that kinda got him down. We've had some really fantastic visits with him, though, and he's seguiring adelante! He has a fecha for the 10th, and we're working with him almost every day with different members and everything. He's so fantastic, and he wants to get baptized so badly! Prayers for him, please. We have been seeing so many miracles over the last little while, with people just walking up to us and asking us if they can meet with us, and getting references with the members, that we actually haven't had time to contact... THIS IS THE STRANGEST AND KIND OF BEST THING EVER. This is what every missionary dreams of. So Hermana Nelson and I have just been running to and from and back and forth and up and down and we're LOVING it. More adventures to come! 

I love you all! Illuminate the world and serve and enjoy this Christmas Season! I know that He was born and that He lived and that He died and was resurrected for us. I know that He lives now. And I know that we are here on this Earth to learn to follow His footsteps and make it back to the Father with our Families! I'm grateful for this Gospel and for all of you and for the Mission de Barcelona, España. I love being a missionary! 
Love, 

Hermana Larson

Monday, November 21, 2016

Santander

Ok! The last two weeks in the life of Hermana Larson can be summed up in about 4 words. 

"Alright. What just happened?"

My last week in Gandía passed VERY quickly, and before I knew it, I was on my way to the train station! The JAS met us there at the train, and gave us some very sweet gifts and I definitely had to hold back tears as we boarded Monday night. We headed to Valencia to spend the night, and then early the next morning we woke up and headed back to the train station. I was so sad to leave Hermana McBride in Gandía! It was super weird to think we wouldn't be working together anymore. It took us a little over 3 hours to get to Barcelona, where we waited and caught up with everyone until our next train. We boarded at 3:30 and finally got to Bilbao at 10:30 ish. That is TOO LONG to be on a train, my friends. I started feeling super sick about halfway through, and spent the next few hours focusing on not throwing up. Finally we made up it to beautiful (and super cold) Bilbao, where my incredible new companion, Hermana Nelson, ran over and tackled me! Haha love that Hermana. 😊 we dragged my suitcases over to the Hermanas Piso in Bilbao to spend the night, and woke up the next morning to take a bus an hour and a half to our area, Santander. I was absolutely glued to the window the WHOLE time. It's SO BEAUTIFUL HERE. We're right on the coast, so everything is green and fresh and full of life! And history! Every few seconds we'd see another old rock-made house on a hill, or cute little pueblo. It reminds me a little bit of Washington, but more like the movies or tv shows that you see of what Europe really is like. Haha. So beautiful. We got to Santander, and I just absolutely fell in love with it. It has all these old looking white and cream colored buildings with iron-work railings, with super cute pijo little shops on the ground floor. They're setting up for Christmas, so there are lights strung up everywhere, across all the streets, and each storefront is LOADED with Christmas stuff. I love it!!! 
We hit the ground running, with just enough time to bring my suitcases to Piso before our first appointment. We ran to the house of a part-member family to help them practice English, then we came back to Piso to eat, than ran out again to visit with a couple of our investigators. We have a couple who are right on the brink of Baptism!!!! Jaime is from here, and he's got his fecha set for December 3rd. He's all set, with a SUPER powerful testimony of the Gospel and he's SO excited to be baptized and become a member. He just needs to quit smoking, which he's working it REALLY hard. He's gone 5 days now without smoking, for the first time in 20 years, so he's doing great! Keep him in your prayers please! He's SO smart. He teaches himself how to speak different languages until he's fluent, so he can speak Spanish, Portugués, French, Italian, English, and German. He's currently working on Russian. 😂 
We're also working with an investigator named Saul, who's from Peru. He's a professional chef, so he's helping us learn about really good food, haha, and we're helping him learn more about the gospel! He wants to be baptized, he just needs to come to church, which he can't right now due to work. He's so funny though! He lives with a family that's new to our ward, who just got here from Venezuela. I. LOVE. them. I love them I love them. They are so humble and so happy, so willing to help and who are truly truly dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They invited us over to dinner the other night and made real Venezuelan Arrepas.... oh my word. The BEST food I've had on my mission so far. They were so. good. And then the mom of the family, Virginia, told us that she wants to knock her building with us to introduce us to all her neighbors, *tears*.... they're fantastic. Every day we've been running home to Piso at the end of the day, because there never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do! We're booking it from visit to visit, and we're seeing so many miracles daily. Here in Santander there's a ward, which is/has been growing so much that they've built a chapel for us! They're still finishing it off, so we can't meet there yet, but we're hoping to keep growing and growing and growing some more! The ward here is so cute, I love them all already. I think they're tired of me already, because I keep trying to convince them that I'm from Guayaquil, Ecuador, or Tegucigalpa, Honduras.... they're not buying it. Maybe I'll lose my Spanish theta here, haha. :) I love love LOVE Hermana Nelson. She's a fantastic missionary and fabulous companion!! We never run out of things to talk about, and we have eerily parallel lives.... it's a little weird sometimes, haha. She's incredible, and we're going to see some incredible, phenomenal, unbelievable miracles as we head into the Christmas Season. 
I'm so grateful for the chance that I have to be here, to serve the Lord and to share the Gospel. I know that the Savior lives. I know that this is His church, and that the Atonement is real and personal for each of us. I love this Gospel with all of my heart, and I know that it can and does change lives. 
I love you all!!! 
Have a good week!
Hermana Larson 


🇪🇸¡El Reino De Dios o Nada!🇪🇸






Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BILBAO SANTANDER

Hey family! Can't talk much today, we're TRAVELING all day! Hermana McBride is staying in Gandía to take care of our investigators and members, and I'm heading up NORTH FOR CHRISTMAS!!  I'm going to Santander, which is clear on the other side of the mission from Gandía. 

I'm going to be with the FABULOUS  Hermana Nelson, who I took out on her first night!!! (I honestly can't wait. I already love that Hermana!) And, even funnier, I'm taking the spot of my MTC companion, Hermana Humbert! Funny how things work out, haha. So we spent 4 hours on a train heading to Barcelona, and now we're sitting here waiting for our next train which will leave at 3 and will get us to Bilbao at about 11 tonight, and then a bus for an hour and a half to Santander tomorrow. Thus, I don't have much time to write. But I just want to say that I LOVED Gandía, and that I'm so grateful for the chance that I had to be there! And I'm so excited to go up to the rainy, rainy north! Hahaha. 

I know this work is the work of the Lord, and that this is His church! I know that He lives!!! 
Love, 
Hermana Larson 


🇪🇸¡El Reino De Dios o Nada!🇪🇸





Monday, November 7, 2016

Hey family, lo siento muchísimo i can't write a ton today, we're on a train back to Gandía from Valencia and we're just barely gonna have time to send these before we go get back to work. This week has been good! I've been thinking a lot about miracles lately, because there's been a heck of a lot of wind lately and I've been seeing TONS of "miracles" in the street. :) (sorry... family joke) and we've seen tons of incredible miracles this week. 
For example.... WE FOUND YANA!!  
I can't remember if that was last week or this week, but I think it was this week. Anyway, we found her! We went and passed by her house, and she welcomed us in and we picked up right back where we left off! Now the trick is getting her to read the scriptures and pray consistently, but she's doing great and hopefully we'll see her progress even more in her testimony! 
We also keep running into people in the street that we need to talk to! We'll be walking around in the street and we'll see investigator after investigator after investigator and finding new people to teach and testify to. It's always an incredible miracle to find someone new to talk to about this amazing plan that God has for us! 
This week, Hermana McBride and I have also been taught how to make real Spanish "buñuelos y chocolate", which is a couple of glorified terms for "diabetes in the form of doughnuts and hot chocolate pudding." LOTS of sugar. Tons. But it was fun! 

 

Now we know how to make those and tortilla de patata and paella, so you can basically call us Valencianas. 
Speaking of which, transfers are this next week.... crazy!!! It's probably my turn to go, but we'll find out next Tuesday. :) 
Tune in next week! :) 
Love you all!!! 
Hna. Larson 

Sent from my iPad