Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 42 - Transfers bring 1st Native Companion

Well this last week has been fun!!  I got to go on a companion exchange with Elder Skousen from my home stake!  Shout out to Lehi North!  And I got to go with Elder Ahlstrom as he said goodbye to all the members in the ward.  He got transferred and my new companion is Elder Loaiza!  My first native companion!  He is from my MTC "group" and so now our zone has basically all my group in it....fun stuff!!!!!  He is from Colombia but has lived in Madrid for 13 years.  He's great and is working really hard at learning English and actually knows quite a bit!!  He's a champ!  I can't wait to see miracles!!
Anyway stories from last week.  Well last Monday, we had a visit fail and so we passed by a recent convert from Cuba (he's not a huge America fan, but he now loves American missionaries) and he let us in and fed us!!  Big miracle but on top of that, he occasionally works as security for Barcelona soccer games.  So he gave us each an official Barcelona pin!  He got the pins when he was on security duty for a Barça/Madrid game where they were playing for the league title!  Pep Guardiola (the Barcelona head coach) after the game came up to him and gave him a couple pins to thank him for his work!  So I now have a pin from the hand of Pep Guardiola!!!  Anyway good stuff!!  I'll send some pictures next week, my computer in this internet cafe can't connect with my camera so ya....anyway have a great week and don't forget to read the Book of Mormon!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

Photo - Tikal with the Ortega Family

Tikal & Elder Ahlstrom with the Ortega Family
(the Dad was taking the Picture)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 41 - Camp Nou

The work here is going well.  We are starting to get more lessons now and we are developing great relationships with the members.  The members here are so amazing with missionary work!  They are always sharing the gospel!  There are 4 RMs in this ward who got back recently who all speak English and Spanish and are incredible!  They help us a ton.  Also the youth really help the work here. 
On preparation day we took a tour of the Barcelona stadium, Camp Nou.  It was great!!!  My favorite part was the commentary box.....it was amazing!!! It was a self guided tour, and we had to move quick to get back to Sabadell to go back to work on time.  I probably won't get to watch a game there until I come back to Spain after my mission. 
We have an investigator that we are teaching right now whose name is Paula.  She is 18 and is incredible.  We just want to get her family involved a little more before she is baptized.  To give you and idea, she likes learning even when we are not there teaching her, so the members help her out.  She goes to institute every week and all the youth activities and she saw conference.  Funny story about her, she found out that as members of the church we fast every first Sunday of the month so she FASTED right before Conference!!!!  She's great!  We're hoping she'll get baptized during the next month or two. 
Elder Jonson

Week 40 - Member References


Well I don't know if it didn't send or if I forgot to send it....anyway.  These last two weeks have been great!  My companion and I are getting along quite well and we are starting to see success!  We had the most amazing thing happen to us yesterday at church.  To give some background, the ward here in Sabadell 2 is the best member missionary ward in the Spain if not the world.  Like, the ward here functions better than anything the District videos could ever come up with.  An example of this would be the 17 investigators in church yesterday between two companionships.  Almost every single one was brought by the members....but after church yesterday, the Primary President's daughter (age 9) came up to Elder Ahlstrom and asked him if we covered a certain city in our area, Saint Cugat.  He replied that we did.  She then pulled out a folded strip of paper and said, "I gave a Book of Mormon to my favorite teacher and I want you guys to go help her."  That small strip of paper had a woman's name and address written in perfect lettering.  It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  Truly the members are the Angels spoken of in Alma 13:24.  I invite you all to share the gospel with someone in your lives and give them the chance to hear the gospel!  The members are the real missionaries in the world.  Let your light shine.  Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Jonson

Photos of Camp Nou


Tikal at the Barcelona Stadium, Camp Nou - the Largest stadium in Europe

The pitch at the stadium
Inside the Broadcast Booth
Tikal with Elder Skousen - Great Lehi Boys

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week 39 - My Surroundings

Here is a little about my apartment and my new area.  Our piso is on the top floor and our piso has two floors, we sleep on the upper of the two.  It is a good sized piso and is fun being in there with 4 of us.  There aren't street vendors here like in the islands, but there are Kebab restaurants, which are not like the normal kebabs that we have back home.  Honestly I don't know what they are, but I don't think they're legal in the USA.  They're good though! 

We take the bus and the train systems all the time.  Our area is quite large so it is necessary.  Well this week the work is improving and conference was great!  It's fun to be able to understand people in Spanish!

We could not listen to either of the afternoon sessions as they did not start until late at night for us.  We will have to try to catch up in an internet cafe this week. On Sunday, we went to eat with the Ozcariz family and an investigator before conference.  Afterwards, we went to Bishop Merril’s house to watch conference in English.  Bishop Merril is from the state of Washington and he is in Spain with his family working for Hewlett Packard.  They are great!!  The ward here is incredible!! I am so happy to be here.  I hope you all have a great week and that the Lord will bless you.

Con Amor

Elder Jonson

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 38 - Teaching English

Hi everyone well this week has been great!!   We are working in the southern part of Sabadell, a city called Sant Cugat and a city called Cerdanyola for most of the time. We've gotten a couple new investigators and gotten fed a ton by the members here!!!  They are honestly the best!!! 
Sabadell is fantastic.

A lot of the people speak both Spanish and Catalan.  Catalan is basically a mix of English, Spanish, Portugese, French and who knows what.  It is a very deep throated language and so most people's voices here are generally deeper.  In Spanish its Buenos Dias, in Catalan its Bon Dia, or poco a poco (little by little in Spanish) is "poc a poc."  Those are some of the close ones to Spanish that I can remember and use with Catalan people.  I can get the basic idea of what they are saying but I don't understand everything.  I can understand the basic idea in a conversation in both Brasilian Portugeuse and Catalan but can't understand it all or speak it.  

Well for random experience for the week, my companion and I are still trying to get to know our area and so we were looking for a menos activo's house and took a wrong turn....so we had to hike through this forest that you can see on the right of the photo.  We were pretty proud of ourselves for making it through, while it was raining mind you and so Elder Ahlstrom posed for picture.  This week has been a blast and I've gotten to already love the members here in Sabadell so much!

Now for the subject line, for this past week we have been really working with Elder Skousen's companion.  Elder Cifuentes is a great Elder from Argentina who has lived in Spain for about 5 years, he has a girlfriend who speaks both English and Spanish but has never really been able to learn English.  Now we are helping him learn english and he's actually getting it!!  Being 18 and 19 year olds we obviously had to teach him so very applicable phrases for after the mission.  My favorite being "I am a lady slayer,"  meaning all the girls are dying to be his boyfriend.  It's been fun, and his English has improved quite a bit!  And I really enjoy helping and serving other missionaries as well as the people of Spain.  

This week I would invite you all to watch conference and take notes.  Then take the notes and things you learned and APPLY them to life.  Rembember OLA (Read, pray and go to church) and to look for opportunities to serve everyone around you.  Always be willing to share the gospel!  Have a great week and enjoy General Conference!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
Letters and Packages:
C/Calatrava 10-12 Bajos
Barcelona 08017

Photos - Week 38

 Elder Ahlstrom posing by the forested area they walked through while
trying to find a member's house

 Tikal in his CE Sabadell FC Jersey (the local soccer team)

Sabadell as seen from Tikal's Apartment
(courtesy of Elder Skousen)