Family and Friends,
I hope you've all had an amazing Christmas. I didn't really write that much last week, but here's a summary of the last two weeks. I've had some big testimony builders recently. Hermana Maza has been a huge example to me. Last Wednesday (1 1/2 weeks ago) morning she found out that her older sister passed away from cancer. Obviously a big trial to deal with, especially being away from family. We spent a day in the mission home and by Thursday afternoon were back to work. It was amazing to see and feel her testimony strengthen even more. I could feel the Spirit really strong during the lessons we taught the following days, a few even on the plan of salvation. I know Heavenly Father gives us trials so we can grow and progress. Sometimes it may be hard to understand in the moment, but He has a greater plan for us and knows what we need.
Another testimony builder happened Christmas Day. I started getting sick Christmas Eve, and by mid-morning on Christmas I had completely lost my voice. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to talk and communicate with my family over Skype. One of the elders kindly asked if I'd like a priesthood blessing. They gave me one, and I was able to speak with my family. The next day it was gone again besides a faint whisper. I'm grateful for the tender mercies of my Heavenly Father and for the restoration of the priesthood on the earth. As far as Christmas celebrations go, we had a lot of fun. Actually a small fact first is that people from Spain celebrate 'Día de los Reyes Magos' - wise men day- the 6th of January more than Christmas. That's when they open gifts. Christmas is still celebrated, but it's not as big. We had a Christmas dinner the week before at the church. We ate and had a talent show. There were a ton of people, many friends and family of the members. On Christmas Eve, all the missionaries from Madrid (100+) had an activity. We first had a spiritual devotional with scriptures and musical numbers and after food, white elephant, and caroling (singing on the steps of the 'temple square'). That evening we had Christmas Eve dinner with the Guzmans. Then Christmas Day we basically visited people and ate with them all day and Skyped family.
Yesterday we saw a cool miracle. We went to Arganda, one of the pueblos. On our way back home we past a churrería that a friend/investigator works at. He called us over and we talked for a minute. Then his boss came, and the truth is we were a little nervous because we were not sure if we should be there (we were on the back side talking while he worked). I looked at Hermana Maza and said, "should we go?" And she, always in tune with the Spirit, said, "I think we need to talk to his boss first." So we did. And turns out she is a member, with almost all her extended family members, but her immediate family no and has been inactive for over 20 years. She hasn't owned a Book of Mormon for years and was happy to accept one and set up a time to meet again.
I'm really grateful for all the experiences I have. I know our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and we must learn to follow the Spirit and do what He wants for us. That is what will make us truly happy and prepare us for the eternities.
Love you all! Happy New Year!
With the Guzmáns
With the Martins
Christmas pancake breakfast
...and after. Thanks everyone!
Love you all!
Christmas in Arganda