Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!

So! What a week! I have been pretty busy. Transfers were this week, so i now have a newcompanion-- hermana carter. i was able to go to Sevilla to pick her up on wednesday! It was great! it was sooooo great to see my MTC companion hermana crowder!! it was likeseeing a friend from home! i had forgotten how close we had gotten! we had so much fun together. we even got to go onsplits, and hermana crowder and i got to go out and teach a lesson to a less active member together. it was really fun toteach with her again!!! it was great! on thursday morning i went out with my newcompanion, hermana carter. she had to do some last minute errands in sevilla, so i get togo with her. she needed to finish up some of her residency things, so we had to go to the plaza deespaña. it was soooo beautiful! google it! it was amazing! i amgoing to attach some photos to this email so that you can see! it was sooo great! around the plaza, there are tile displays ofall of the bigger cities in spain, one of which is ciudad real!!! sowe got to take our picture with it! it was great!!! It was sad to leave hermana crowder in sevilla, but on thursday afternoon, weheaded back to ciudad real!
{{Valerie wasn't able to upload pictures. Below is a photo of Plaza de Espana in Sevilla thanks to wikipedia!}}
So, we have three fechas!!! In spanish, fecha means date. WE have three investigators that have baptisms planned on certain dates!!! these dates are more like goals than fixed dates of their baptisms, but it is a really good sign! we are really excited about these three poeple. they are all such great people, and it is so great teaching them!!! The hardest thing right now is getting them to church. I have realized so much on my mission how important it is to go to church. The Sacrament is the most important thing that we do all week. The sacrament is the only ordenance that we do every single week. We dont even renew our temple covenants as frequently as our baptismal covenants... it is so interesting to think about that. I love going to church... even when it is all in spanish! haha.

I am really starting to be able to speak and understand a lot more. it si great. i dont understand everything of course, but it is getting so much better! it is great! I have realized that I depended on Hermana Sturgess a lot and I didnt talk as much as I shoul dhave when I was with her because she really took the lead... but now that I am with Hermana Carter, I now have the chance to really speak a lot. It is great! Hermana Carter has been in the mission for a little over a year. It is nice to have another companion who has been out for a while!

This Saturday we had the stake christmas party... well not stake, but district... we are not big enough here in la mancha to call it a stake! it was soooo great! each ward did some kind of a skit. our branch did something goofy, and another branch did the nativity... it was great! they even used a real baby as baby jesus!! the baby was only 1 week old!!! it was such a fun party! they had sooo much food, and there was a gigantic paella!!! it was sooo good! dad, you would LOVE to see the giant pan that this paella was cooked in.. i am going to try to send it today, but im still not sure if i can get my pictures off of my camera...

Things are going great. i am really starting to love teaching, and i love working hard. it just feels so good to work hard as a missionary. the lord really blesses you when you work hard, and you just feel great!
oh, i get to go to malaga this week for another zone conference!! wooo hhoooo!!! we got to stay with hermana sturgess for the night! it is going to be soooo fun! I cant wait!!! oh, but we have gotten some sad news here. The senior missionary couple who lives here in ciudad real, the cleggs, are going to living up in madrid for the next few months!!!!!! they are going to act as interim president of the MTC in madrid while the new president waits in the US for his visa!!! they think they are only going to be there for a month or two, but it is soooooooo sad. it is a huge loss for us here in la mancha. they are a huge support and have become like my grandparents here. i love them so much. however, we are still going to be abelt o cal them when we want to, and i hope they come back before i leave la mancha!! it seems like i should be here in ciudad real for 12 more weeks, but well see!!!
I am happy, doing welll.... i love the people here-- the missionaries, the members, and the investigators. I am really loving reading the book of mormon. read it! i didnt realize before how wonderful it is to read it from cover to cover. it is amazing. the things that we can learn are just incredible. it is sooo inspired!! ok well i have to go!

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