Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Soooo..... how is that missionary stuff going?

The "Senior Missionary" Conference at the Mission Home
The Wiscombs, the Deeres, the Guffies, me, Hermana Chantrill, the Castillos, and the Wilsons.

AWESOME is how it is going!   President and Sister Deere are inspired and inspiring, we have terrific, hard working missionaries, and we have a great, fun to work with office staff who are fast becoming (seemingly) long-time close friends. Can you tell I love what I do?  I am staying pretty busy with the referral program, and English for Spanish speaking missionaries. 
This last week was a “finding” week and we more than doubled the referrals the missionaries called in to the office as of now, around 60 or 70. I type those into the computer, then send them to the mission (if not in ours) or area they belong to, and then call everyone that has an active referral in their area to see how things are going with them. That is probably the best part of the job as I get to talk to the missionaries, who are inveriably cheerful and eager to help. I also get to try out my Spanish with the English learners, which is a lot of fun. Sometimes we have to resay the phone numbers etc. several times to get them right (they trying out their English numbers and me trying out my Spanish). And it’s SO much fun when they come into the office and I get to connect the faces with the names I’ve been calling. Great young men and women!  I’m also sending out letters and emails to the Spanish speakers to encourage them to learn English. Some are really excited about it, which makes me excited too!  Then before they go home I administer a computer test that earns them a certificate that will help them with later employment. I really feel like I am making a difference, which is pretty cool.  
Some neat “tender mercies”:   
One investigator contacted is really interested, but has no idea how we got her contact information - she said that she didn’t know the person who referred her, and the only person she had given her phone number to was her sister in New York. Pretty crazy!  But if you’re ready, the Lord with find you!
Sometimes the referrals come close to home - missionaries who are referring their parents or other family who are not members. We try and keep close track of those to let them know how things are going - it helps me realize how very important every one of those referrals I’m sending out are. Not only will bringing them into the gospel bring them greater joy and peace in this life, it has eternal consequences too. There is absolutely NOTHING more important than that.

And then there are the people who seek our missionaries out - those are pretty sweet and very golden!  A missionary lives to teach people like this, and also friends and families of members.  Whether it is the close association with the fine members of the church that brings the readiness, or the fact that they are ready that leads the Lord to bring them in contact with church members, I don’t know. But I do know that the Lord is actively gathering those who love him, and providing them with as much truth as they are willing to accept.  All we have to do is keep our eyes open and “ears” peeled to hear the messages the Lord is trying to send us. Pretty cool.

This last week we had a "Senior Missionary Conference" at the mission home where we got together to learn more about what we can do to support the younger missionaries, and to have a bit of fun. We went to Malaga to the car museum, which was pretty cool as they not only had lots of vintage cars, they also had period women's dresses to go along with them. It was a lot of fun!
I’ll end with a random “Spain Holiday” -      One night we were sitting around when all of the sudden there was a LOT of whinnying outside of 
our balcony. Random whinnies are fairly routine as there are quite a few horse-drawn carriages running around, but this was way more than normal. So we ran out onto our balcony, and there on the street that intersects ours was a small “parade” of gypsys, horses with riders in costume, a couple of decorated wagons, and a bunch of costumed riders. I hurried to get my camera, but didn’t get much. This will give you 
an idea though!  The impromptu “parades” aren’t always the best though…  the World Cup (Futbol - or Soccer) is on now, and Spain lost Friday 1-5, the worst loss by a champion in the preliminary rounds ever. Then last night (Sat) there were shouting people with banging drums and I think even a trumpet about every hour  down the same street because a game turned out that gives them a better chance. Needless to say I spent a lot of time nodding off in church today!  Ah well. Comes with the territory.  

I’ll end with one last picture - there was a reddish full moon (or close to it) Sat, so I ran down to the beach and took some pictures. They aren’t nearly as impressive as seeing the real thing, but still, it shows how blessed I consider myself at being able to serve the Lord here is Spain. It’s simply, absolutely, and totally the BEST!!!

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