First of all, I need to tell my little sister Maegan Happy Birthday! She is currently serving in the Melbourne Australia Mission and doing great. Love and miss her tons!! Hope you had an awesome birthday Maegan and enjoy no longer being a teenager!
Next, I had a MUCH harder start to my week, but it is all good. There were a few amazing moments that made up for the hard moments. All week long we had appointment fall through. We only taught about half as many lessons as the previous week. But that did mean Hermana Clements and I had time to do lots of contacting! I´ll be honest, not my favorite thing, but H Clements is the best at it so I have a great example to follow and learn from.
We received a reference of a lady, Maria, who lives in the pueblos. In all other areas of Madrid, all missionaries take the buses to the pueblos for lessons when needed. But we have the AP´s and office elders with cars so usually they drive out there. But we were encouraged to have sisters teach this lady, so H. Clements and I took it. The pueblos are awesome. There are actual houses with backyards! And they are in the country more. It is pretty. We were given the not most clear directions, so ended up going a little (ok 30 min) further than we needed too. So that was unfortunate, but it happens. We made it to Maria´s house and she is awesome! I am excited to teach her.
As far as lessons go - we had one with Nancy and Roger. They did AWESOME with their commitments to read and pray. We discussed the chapter in the BOM they read and they had great insight and it was wonderful. They are so great. Nancy came to church and loved it. Unfortunately, we did not know but Roger works as a life guard during this season, every Sunday, so we are trying to work through that obstacle now. But Nancy is still on track for baptism april 11. When we went to our second lesson with Magy, she had been reading the BOM - even marked it up and had great questions - and praying. She was very receptive of the next lesson we taught as well. She unfortunately got called into work Sunday so did not come to church, but that is totally an obstacle we can work through. She loves the things we teach her and I love our lessons with her. Karen and her 2 kids came to church. They already have friends there which is awesome. They are also doing great. They come to the ward FHE every Friday. She even asked if she could bring a treat to the one this week. She is the sweetest. Her faith is continuing to grow and it is great to see how the things we teach touch her life. That is all our investigators with a date. We have many others that are struggling with one thing or another, but they are also all great and I love them all!
The other two Hermanas in our area had a baptism for their investigator, Angel, Saturday. It was at in the stake center by the MTC. Karen (investigator) and her 2 kids came, it was a great experience for them and I think they really enjoyed it. The baptism was beautiful and Angel is such an amazing man, he was already helping us in lessons and I know will be a great benefit to the Alcobendas ward. After the baptism, I ran into two of the teachers from the MTC that I love - that was super fun to talk to them for a bit!
As far as the Spanish goes, I have a story from yesterday to help explain. Andy, the ward mission leader, was teaching gospel essentials. The lesson was on the gifts of the Spirit. A few minutes into his lesson he explains that he is going to call on the missionaries to explain the gifts of the spirit as we go through them. The first one was the gift on tongues. He turns to me and says Hermana Bingham, will you please explain the role of the gift of tongues in your life. Way to put me on the spot. So I struggled my way through explaining what it is and how important it is in my life now and I know it is real - I can always speak Spanish way better when I am teaching about the gospel or bearing my testimony. He said thanks then asked if everyone understood everything I said. A few brave souls raised their hands. then he asked who understood the just of what I was saying and everyone mumbled yes and shook their head. haha. So basically, I am far from speaking well but I can at least normally fumble my way through conversations - about the gospel at least. Normal day to day tasks are still a ways to come. I do love the spanish language and learning it though. It is coming along slowly.
We had lunch at a recent convert´s house yesterday. She wanted us to teach her how to make cookies after. We had given her the list of ingredients. But Latins, love them, but they cook very different than us and do not really follow recipes like we do. In fact, measuring cups are not even a thing here as far as I know. So she did not have all the ingredients. We tried anyway. When we had to leave there was a cookie fiasco. She turned it into the delicious dessert bread thing - bizcocho - and gave us some later than night. I have no idea how she did it, but it was great. I was impressed. We need to make really American cookies sometime though and prove we actually can.
Last thing for this week quickly. I read an article by Boyd K. Packer in the April 2015 Liahona about the Atonement. He shared, ´´As mortals, we may not, indeed cannot, understand fully HOW the Savior fulfilled His atoning sacrifice. But for now the HOW is not as important as the WHY of His suffering.´´ I really liked this. The Atonement is hard to fully comprehend. But what is important is that we know Christ suffered for us so that we do not have to suffer the price of our sins because HE LOVES US. I know this is true.
I love you all!