This week was kind of bad to be honest, not that we did anything wrong! So it started off Monday I went on an exchange with our district leader to Olviedo, just close by Gijón about 30min bus ride. And it looked so different, it actually looks like what I would've expected Spain to look like! I took a couple pictures I'll send later. So we arrived and immediately had a lesson with a man who is trying to stop drinking. We thought we were going to read a little bit and head out but something I found out in missionary work is you plan for one kind of lesson and you end up having to teach a different one...so we ended up on the law of chastity and we were telling him how much of a sin it is to break it and such and before we could talk about repentance he got scared cause he has already broken it and asked us to give him a priesthood blessing so he wouldn't go straight to hell but we told him he has to repent and such and he became calm and thanked us for helping him get over something that really bothered him! Despues, I got back to my area on Tuesday and I got sick because I slept in a bed where another Elder got sick a week earlier!! So I decided to tough it out for the day and we were able to get some lessons but on Wednesday we got home for medio día and I laid down and when I woke up I had a 103 fever! And I was shaking like CRAZY!!! At this point I accepted my death on my mission and in the paradise of Spain, I'd be going straight to the celestial kingdom! But no, I survived and had to stay home the next day after asking our mission presidents wife what to do. So Friday when I got better Elder Saltzman my companion, his toe is literally destroyed! He has an ingrown toenail that in all honesty would look better chopped off! So he couldn't walk and we had to sit down in a park for a while so I played soccer with some kids and he was recuperating. Saturday, we were both better and decided to take on the world but we felt super raro! Everywhere we looked there was something weird happening. A woman spanking her husband out of frustration. People doing the Spanish spider. Beggars, and gypsies. We had no clue what was going on! Until a woman called us over and asked us why we don't have crosses so we told her why and she tried to get us to come to her testigo church...we aren't testigos!! Another woman we stopped was a legit Rastafarian, she was white, blonde with dreads and was wearing weird clothes and she seemed pretty interested but she was trying to get us to go to her church too! I thought we were the ones trying to convert people here!? Me and Elder Saltzman have decided to use basketball as a new finding activity since he is good at basketball and I just look cool😎 as for the work this area apparently struggles a lot. There hasn't been a new investigator here or a baptism in about 7 transfers! So far the ward loves us because we are finally getting things together so we are happy about that! Every Friday Saltzman and I teach an English class which is hilarious because it's hard for him to speak English now and I speak English with slang so we probably aren't the best teachers hahaha. We were able to visit an investigator this week who apparently isn't progressing and after talking to him Saltzman told me he's never seen him talk so much before, because he was talking to me literally devastated that I know so much Spanish in 3 weeks then he said next time we come over he will have fish because I told him I like to eat fish haha so we are hoping this opens up a way to get him progressing! Not much else I can think of, I'll send pictures later.
So with my spiritual thought this week I decided to take up an invitation given by President Ballard (from home) to study the three words Faith, Hope, and Charity. In Moroni 7, Moroni is testifying of the words said by his father Mormon on Faith, Hope, and Charity. Specifically these couple of verses 39-47.
"39 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.
40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."
These are 3 things I have come to realize that are NECESSARY if we "want" to be descendants of Christ, I say "want" because the Lord gives us the agency to choose these things, and for example if you decide that maybe you don't want to be charitable then "ye are nothing" and the things which you do are in vain. From last conference these are the words from Elder L. Whitney Clayton
"Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us. Belief is something we choose--we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it. We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing. We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments."
Which goes right along a quote from president James E. Faust
Which goes right along a quote from president James E. Faust
"Everything has a price. There is a price to pay for success, fulfillment, accomplishment, and joy. There are no freebies. If you don’t pay the price that is needed for success, you will pay the price of failure."
These are things we need to search for, ponder, and understand. As I have studied these things I have come to see the charity in those who have nothing. The faith in those who once before didn't believe. And hope in those that felt like everything was over. Which leads into the final verse of Moroni chapter 7:48
"48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."
In the words of Joseph Smith
“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary [to lead] unto life and salvation."
To understand these things we must give our time, our thoughts, and our heart to know them. It's one thing to seem righteous but it's another to live righteously.
I hope everyone is doing alright and had a good week and has an even better week to come! I love you all and miss you so much!😎👼🏽🙏🏽🙌🏽
Con muchisimo amor,