Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 68 - El Dia de Sant Jordi

This week we were able to basically run a ward activity for El Día de Sant Jordi.  So to explain what the Day of Saint George is in Cataluña, basically the girls are given roses and the guys are given books.  Every year they set up a market in the rambla (street or boulevard) to sell books and roses here in Vilafranca.  So the bishopric asked the town hall for a book selling spot in the Rambla in Vilafranca and we gave out copies of the Book of Mormon for free.  We gave away more than FORTY copies of the Book of Mormon.  The first councilor and I even got to give a Book of Mormon to the MAYOR of Vilafranca!!  It was incredible being side by side with the members talking to people about the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ.  It was a great experience.  
Also BREAKING NEWS:  The Spain Barcelona Mission is going to be 1 of the 15 missions in Europe who gets to be part of the continued testing program for iPads in missionary work!  The Spain Barcelona Mission as well as the other two missions in Spain will be the first Spanish-Speaking Missions to use digital devices!  There is no set date on when we will receive iPads but we have a conference explaining a bit more about them on May 5th.  Well I've got to go but have a great week and read Matthew 6:25-33, it's a great chunk of scriptures.

Photos - Giving Out Books of Mormon


Tikal & Elder Male giving out Books of Mormon at the Dia de Sant Jordi
(Notice the drawings at the bottom left of the new chapel which is to be built in Vilafranca)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 67 - Manel


This week has been good; we saw a great miracle with working with a member.  We took a member named Manel, with us to visit a lady in a pueblo whose boyfriend isn't very religious, so we've visited her while he was working. Anyway we were waiting for her to get back from walking her dogs and this young guy walked by; he stopped a little ways off and looked at us from a distance. Manel, noticed him staring and soon the guy came over.  He asked who we were and we responded we were missionaries. Manel then looked at me and asked if the Book of Mormon I was holding in my hand was a giveaway copy. I replied yes and he snatched it from my hand and gave it to this guy named Xavi. Manel then went on to explain what the Book of Mormon was. Just at that moment the lady who we were going to visit walked up and said, “Hi Xavi, these guys are really nice and the can help you get your life in order if you want to. You should set up another time to talk to them!" WOAH! It was incredible. Oh also one more thing, Manel came out to help us ON HIS BIRTHDAY. He is that member that everyone wants in their area. 

We were very busy this week with transfers and Stake Conference.  Stake Conference took up basically all our Saturday and our entire morning on Sunday.  It took place in Barcelona so it was harder to get investigators to but it was very good.  Latest update on Lana, her parents don't want her to come to church however she keeps reading the Book of Mormon and she is currently in the Book of Jacob.  She's doing great.

I invite you all to be that member for the missionaries in your wards at home!  Always be looking for opportunities to share the gospel!!

Photo - Working with Manel

Tikal & Elder Male working with a member named Manel in the town of Vilanova

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 66 - Still in Vilafranca

Well transfers were this week and Elder Male and I are both staying in Vilafranca for at least one more transfer.  Life's good and we keep seeing miracles!! With no time as always I'd just like to share something that I learned this week... 

This week I learned that the little compliments you give to people can make them warm up to you.  For example, the Elder's Quorum President here is a kind of grumpy looking man who says things the way they are.  On Sunday, I noticed he was wearing a very nice looking suit, so I went up to him and asked him where he had bought it because I would like to get one similar to it.  His face lit up and he asked with a big smile, if I really liked his suit!  I responded affirmatively.  He then told me he wasn't sure where it was from because his wife had bought it for him, but that it was some store here in Vilafranca.  It was amazing to see him change his normal stern face into a bright smile.

Just remember that you can make someone's day by just giving them a little compliment!!  Have a great week!  

PS Found out recently that my companion can do imitations of the apostles and prophet's voices super well.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 65 - Miracles, Miracles, Miracles


This week has seen so many miracles.  The biggest one for me was the opportunity we had to set a fecha (baptismal date) with Lana.  She is so prepared and always has a bunch of awesome questions. 

Yesterday she came to church at 10 thinking that conference started then but only Priesthood Session started at 11.  So we asked her if she had any questions, and she started off with "what are temples?"  From there we basically covered half of lesson 5 and most of the Commandments.  At the end she felt as though her questions had been sufficiently answered and so we took the opportunity to ask her a question.  We asked, "Lana, do you want to get baptized?"  She said yes without hesitation.  She then went on to explain how she would probably have to wait until she turned 18 (in one year) because she had already asked her parents if she could be baptized.  I thought that was incredible!!! 

Continuing on, I recalled the phrase I heard President Pace say the other day, "Hay para Dios alguna cosa difícil?" (Is there anything difficult for God?)  So I said to her, "I think you could be baptized before then."  We then went on to explain that the Lord helps us when we put our faith in him.  We asked her what day she thought she could get baptized.  And she responded that she didn't know.  We decided to get down on our knees and pray and ask the Lord what day we should set as a goal.  We asked her to pray and she said that she wasn't good at praying so we told her each of us would pray.  I started then Lana, then Elder Male.  I prayed, and she offered one of the most powerful prayers I have ever heard from an investigator, and then Elder Male prayed.  The Spirit was so strong, and without notice, she began to pray again!  It was incredible.  After she prayed, we got up, sat back down and she said, ok next month.  We then asked, what day? She said, well someday around the 20th.  The closest Saturday and the one the calendar on our phone was open to was the 23rd.  I felt a spiritual confirmation and said, "The 23rd then?"  Elder Male agreed as did Lana.  We then invited her to fast next week with us so that she could get baptized on that day.  She was very excited to do so. 

We then went to close the lesson, by offering a prayer; thanking the Lord for the answer we had received.  The Spirit we could feel was indescribable.  As we went to leave, Lana said, "No wait, I don't want to go yet!  I don't want to lose this feeling."  Elder Male then said to her, "When you get the Gift of the Holy Ghost you can feel this way always." She walked out of the room in the chapel, with a smile, holding her baptismal calendar and said, "Ok." She then followed up with, "by the way I invited a friend to the noche de hogar (family home evening), is that ok?"  Honestly she is incredible.  On a side note, after just over a week with the Book of Mormon, she is already into 2 Nephi....  She's so great.

No time as usual but that's what is going on in life here, I hope you all enjoyed conference and know that the family is the most important thing!

Photo: Ward Garden Harvest

Working in the Ward Garden in Vilafranca with their harvest of "Calçots" (green onions)