6/23/14

Hey!
Sooo….we have no investigators and so I think the me members have taken pity on us because we have had the funnest times! Last week we went to a Chocolate Factory and then for my birthday, my favorite person in Spain invited all the Hermanas for Pancakes with Pablo (he´s my favorite person in Spain, by the way. He´s 14 and he reminds me exactly of Nate!) And a member invited our district to his mansion home in the campo and we all sang together, and today, Clara took us to Alicante where we were literally blown away by the fireworks! We stood around for 20 minutes and I asked Clara what we were waiting for because it was so hot outside. She just smiled at me. At then suddenly there was a ton of explosions of fireworks for 10 minutes! But no lights! Just sounds and it was so loud all the buildings were shaking and I was screaming so loud but I couldn´t hear myself! It was the craziest, coolest, most pointless thing I have ever experienced! So…we´re struggling but we have been very blessed!
Also, Transfers!!!!! I will be staying in Elche with Hermana Flake so that means I will get to kill her! Also, you are all invited to her homecoming in August! I would LOVE if you would meet her!!! She is my favorite comp!!! I will get her address as soon as possible!
So other than that, not much has happened. Even our eternigators don´t want to listen to us anymore so we seriously have not a single investigator but that´s been my whole mission so I´m not too stressed. Just the heat stresses me out. Because it´s so humid and I feel like a sweaty hog, but luckily, Hermana Flake gave me deodorant for my birthday so I son´t stink. That´s prolly the best gift anyone could ever give a missionary in Europe. I was very honored when she gave it to me!
Well, I love you all and I hope you have a good week! And thank you all for all the birthday wishes!!!!!
Con cariño.
Hermana Azul

6/16/14

Dad!Thank you!!!! I have a letter coming to you and Grandad! And Nate because his birthday letter never came.

I´m happy you all are going to Jack´s homecoming. It means a lot to me!

I hope your Father´s Day was awesome!

You wanna know what I´ve eaten in Spain: Clams, crab, octopus, snails, rabbit, cow cheek, tongue, shark, swordfish, and blood sausage. My favorite was the rabbit. But it has too many bones. =P

I love you!

6/9/14

Heylo!

Not must time this week to write! Hermana Flake has to go to Malaga to do residency. I would just like to announce to the world that I am officially illegal in Spain! Feels super cool. My card expired. So, Hermana will be gone for two days and I will be comps with a retured missionary for that time. Just just got home from the Barcelona mission. She even knew my comp from the Madrid MTC. I´m kind of nervous because we done have anything and it´s been a while since I´ve been comps with a native. It should be an adventure!
I´ll be sure to tell you all if something cool happens! It´s getting flipping hot and our piso is pretty much the devil. The North Pole is growing in the freezer, our sinks won´t drain in the kitchen, and it smells like the dead people and eggs, and our butano water heater thing looks like it´s gonna melt, and it´s soooooooo humid and sticky hot! But we managed to find the best Italian ice cream!
Blessings!
Love you all! Off to the buss station!
Love,
Blue

6/2/14

Happy Junio!!!

So first off, bithdays this month: Happy Birthday to Amber, Jack, Elder Warburton, Brad, and Curtis, I believe. And anyone else who I can´t remember!
Soooo….weird news, we got massages today, Hermana Flake and I! Not sure if that was a jack thing or not, but it was amazing! My shoulders are awful. A member did it for really cheap and for like 45 minutes. She said that I a ton of stress knots. Which I believe. We do hard stuff! First massage of my life and it was a blessing. Now we´re going to go play in the mountains! Not sure which ones though because there aren´t mountains here…
Blast form the past: One of my absolute favorite times on the mission, not sure if I told you about it, but it was on an intercombio with one of my favorite Hermanas and we went to visit an older man who was just rescued and was coming back to church. We was doing to well the first time I met him but Hermana Koonz told me that her got jumped and they stole his motorcycle and he fell back into drugs again and drinking. Well, we went to visit him in the park and her said he was having such a hard time and he felt so lost. I couldn´t speak Spanish very well at this time in the mission, but that this moment I bore my testimony about the atonement and let him know that some times Heavenly Father has to bring us lower to lift us higher. I told him that Heavenly Father loved him so much that He sent His son so that someone could understand him and help him. The man looked at me and started crying saying that he did feel that Heavenly Father really loved him and that he was happy I said that to him. I gave him some soft tissue that mom sent me and he smiled and said he was going to try to return to church again and become strong through Christ. That was one of the most power moments of my mission. Very simple. But I still remember it so clearly.
Question: Matt, daddy dear, I was wondering if you could sent me your conversion story? I´d like to share if with one of my favorite members here if that´s okay.  PS, I LOVE Isaiah in the Bible too! I have found nearly all the answers to my questions in Isaiah. I think I will name one of my sons Isaiah. I love you.
Carrie: You graduate tomorrow!!!!!!!! I have a letter on it´s way to you!!! I love you! I wish I could be there!
Jake: Congrats on the baptisms!!!!!!!! Savin´ souls!
Love you all! Hasta la semana que viene!
Con amor,
Me!

5/26/14

I´m an aunt!!!! Amber, Feliz Babe!!!!!!! She is so beautiful! And so little! I can´t wait to meet her! Aaron you are probably so proud! Ya´ll are parents!! And thank you for the pictures!!!! I am so happy for all of us!!!! And, mom, I bet you are just the happiest of everyone! =P
So, that´s all crazy news. I feel like anything I´s say would be boring if I said it now. So, this week was normal. I love Hermana Flake. There are no words to describe how much I love her! Oh, hey random side note: If someone could change my Facebook profile to that pic of Hermana Birnbaumer and I, I would be very grateful. I have been blessed with the best comps. Hermana Birnbaumer and Hermana Flake are my favorite comps in the world. We have seen the craziest things together! Oh, goodness, I have the biggest testimony that Heavenly Father puts us with people for a reason. Having a good comp makes all the difference. Because even though we are struggling to find work, when you just laugh through the hard times with a comp, it makes everything better. Hermana Flake is the funniest, harest working person I have ever met. She has taught me so much.
Mom: I bet you are just very pleased to be a grandma! Are you going to go by grandma?
Matt: I heard the Lower Lights! Oh my gosh!!!!! It sounds like Mumford and Sons! Heh… you´re a granddad now…
Aaron: You´re a Dad!!!!!! So weird! I remember when you would push ME around in shopping carts in Walmart. Now, you have a daughter!!
Amber: She came so soon! Gotta say, you are a fierce woman!  I will send you a letter soon! Did you ever get my last one?
Carrie: You are gonna graduate!!!! Ahhhhh! I´m so sad that I can´t be there. You are my best friend and I miss you!
Nate: I heard a secret about you from Jake! Oh you!!!
Cody: Little uncle! In Spain, the word uncle is tio. But it also means dude. Cody the dude! I love you!
Aaralyn: Welcome to the family!!! I can´t wait to meet you!
Well, final note of randomness: I ate rabbit the other day. It wasn´t bad. Just too many bones.
I love you all! Have a good week!!!!!
Con amor,
Hermana la tia

5/19/14

Hola!

New Comp!!!! Hermana Flake is the beeeeeeeeest!!!!!!!!!  Heavenly Father send me an angel!!! I swear she is the funniest, cutest, wittiest comp! She´s like mix of Hermana Birnbaumer and Hermana Koonz! And I just love her! Can I just say that one more time? I LOVE her! Hermana Haleigh Flake is from Park City, she´s 23 and she´s studying to be a teacher at BYU, she has a boyfriend named Cory and she has 6 weeks more than me in the mission. She used to be an hermana zone leader so she knows all sorts of cool ticks to planning and teaching and finding. I haven´t had much time here in Elche so we´re both learning the area together. She´s so funny and has the cutest accent when she speaks Spanish! I´m so excited to be here with her. She dies in August and I really home I get to kill her. I´d be jealous if anyone else did.
So, we went  to go teach one of our investigators named Roberta. She´s a gypsy from Romania. She is married with three little girls. She used to be listening to the Jehovah´s witnesses and a few lessons ago she was kind of attacking us saying she wanted to read from the bible and not read the Book of Mormon and so we said okay and looked up something in the Bible and found the same thing in the Book of Mormon and told her that The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach the same thing. That it´s like when someone witnesses something they saw the same thing but the story obviously is going to be from their point of view, but that they both testify of Christ. She didn´t have any questions after that. So we were teaching her about agency and how we get to choose. And why Adam and Eve fell and without the bitter we wouldn´t know the sweet. And we had a member with us and as we were teaching  and the spirit was so strong and she was telling us how she feels a difference when we speak and testify and that she wants to come to church, she just whips her breasts out and starts breast feeding her 2 year old! The member kind of tries not to laugh and looks over at me looks very confused and amused and we were all very uncomfortable and trying to look any where else as we tried to keep teaching. Then her daughter gets up and walks away and Roberta looks and us and says with a smile “I guess she´s done”, and she just leaves her breasts out as we finish with a prayer and leave. We leave the piso and the member burst out laughing and says “Well if Roberta comes to church we´ll have to remind who ever says the prayer to bless the food!”
Yeah….crazy times in the mish. We could not stop laughing. Sorry, slightly awkward story, but not the awkwardest. Nudity seems to follow me on the mission. We all pray the Roberta comes to church with menos pecho.
I love you all! I feel like this will be a great transfer!
Con cariño.
Hermana Hendricks

5/5/14

Buenos Días!!!!!!!

Well, this week we had the Week of Consecration! Where we consecrated our obedience, studies, prayers, and energy to find! And guess what! We found 4 new investigators!!! But, okay, why are there so many people from Romania here in Elche? Like, every person we contacted was from Romania. Luckily we have a ton of Books of Mormon already, so that was nice. They can´t speak Spanish very well, so it´s like of hard will the whole language barrier, but the Spirit speaks every language! We´ll pray for that!
We learned something that I thought was really cool in District meeting this week. Well, maybe I´m just a nerd and it´s not terribly cool, but I thought it was the coolest thing. We read the story of Ammon which is very famous among missionaries. But Elder Peña pointed out little details so we could learn how to work more with the members. Ammon, a missionary, came into this strange land to preach, and instantly, with his love of the land and the people gained the confidence of the King. And so he was put to work with the servants. As he and the servants were watching the sheep the Lamanites come and start scattering the sheep. And then the servants start crying, saying the king is going to kill us. That was quite the situation for Ammon. Lots of stress. But what does the scripture say. If says his heart took courage in this so that he might show an example (Soemthing like that, I´m translating from a Spanish talk a week ago from memory =P) And then Ammon says We will go and gather the sheep. Imagine if the story was And Ammon said go and gather the sheep and I´ll wait here. Oh look there´s one.Go get it, quick. Bahhhh, oh look there´s another! Sometimes we feel that way with the members. Go get the sheep. We´ll wait here. But the word that Ammon said was WE shall go gather the sheep. Together we go to find the lost sheep of the world. I loved that.
He then explained that there are 3 types of missionaries:
1 The missionary that said has his body in the mission but his heard and heart at home.
2 The missionary who baptizes a ton and wants all the praise for the amazingsork he has done.
3 The missionary who is like the tec crew of the theater. What do they do? They pull the curtain, set things just right, get the lights, the props, and make the stage perfect for the actors. Or, in other words, sets the stage for the members.
We should be the tec crew for the members so we can work together. I thought that was cool and wanted to share that with ya´ll!
Well, Wre get our transfer calls this Saturday! Hermana Theobald will be leaving we´re sure. But I´ll let you know Sunday becaaaaaaaause Mother´s Day!!!!!!! See you all during my Skype at noon on Sunday!!!!!
Love you!!!

4/28/14

 ONE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep. Gonna hit one year this Thursday! I will no longer count the months when I hit my mark, vale?

Mom! Hope you had a great birthday! I´m so happy the letter made it!!

I would like to wish a happy birthday to the following in this month: Mallory! RJ! Victoria! Cherro! Anthony! Happy Birthday!

And I´m not entirely sure but I believe Robyn and Beverlee´s birthdays passed in April. If so Happy birthday! If not, happy birthday anyway!
Sooooo, I learned an odd lesson. I got a blessing last week. The first blessing I´ve received in Spanish from my district leader. He´s from Colombia, but now lives in Holland. I learned an interesting lesson about humility and the priesthood:
My comp Hermana Theobald is amazing. I love her so much! But I also know that she´s struggling with the same things I struggle with on the mission. Like knowing spanish and if we´re good missionaries, what more can we do, etc. So I let her know that she could get a blessing, that they´ve helped me so much in the mission. But she let me know that she didn´t trust the elders. I told her that, yes, the elders can be very dumb, but the have the priesthood and have the authority to give us a blessing of comfort from Heavenly Father.
So I decided that I´d get a blessing from the elders to let thier know that she can trust them. But, the night I asked for the blessing, they (the elders, my district leader and his comp) were both joking around and being really inappropriate. So I told them I didn´t want the blessing anymore. I was annoyed and disappointed and felt dumb for thinking that Hermana Theobald should get a blessing form these kids. Then, that day, I got sick. Like, really sick. My district leader called me and I told him that I didn´t want to talk to him. I was sick for four days. And Monday night, at about 11 my district leader called and told me I have to give a talk in district meeting the next morning on Charity. I was mad and sick and annoyed.
But the next day, I gave my talk and I sniffled through it all like a big baby. (But my Spanish wasn´t too bad =P) At the end of district meeting, while our comps were playing the piano and singing, I apologized to my DL for my attitude. He offered to give me the blessing. I felt prompted over and over to let him give me the blessing. And I gave him every excuse I could think of, not wanting to let him give me that blessing even though I was so sick. And I was all crying ad congested. Ew. He finally told me that maybe I should get the blessing to help my comps know that I was okay. So gave in and said yes.
I can´t remember all if the blessing. But it was amazing. As he placed his hands on my head, the Holy Ghost felt water pour in me. He told me that Heavenly Father has me in His mind. He told me that I should look for God´s love and hand in my life in nature, the trees, the air and clouds. He told me that I have been called to Elche to reach out to my comps and help them and strengthen them in their unity. He told me that living is a privilege and a blessing. And the last thing I remember him saying was my body will have strength once again. Instantly, I felt well. Still sniffly, but well.
It was amazing, in all honestly. I know that God calls us in our weaknesses. And it was a beautiful feeling understanding his Spanish perfectly. And being able to communicate exactly how I felt in Spanish to him without translating once in my mind.

I love you all!
Con amor,
Hermana Emmy Jean

4/21/14

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!

And Mom, Happy Birthday!!!!!!! I have a card on it´s way to you!!
So, long week. Especially in Spain. They make Easter a week long party and they close everything down and parade through the streets in these weird KKK costumes. It´s kind of creepy. I tried to get a picture of it, but we mostly avoided it. During sacrament meeting all these fireworks were going off during the talks. That will probably be the only time in my life that I will here fireworks during talks about Christ.
So, we pretty much have no work here. Nada. No investigators. But for me, that´s been my whole mission. But I know it´s hard for my comps. By not having much work, you learn to study a lot to keep motivated. I can honestly say that studying has been one of my favorite parts of the mission. I know what faith is. I know what the Atonement is, how to use it, who Christ is. How to get the attributes that Christ has. How to have Charity and how to build people up. So at the very least if I learn nothing but that on the mission, it´ll be okay.
The other week I was in a play! Never thought I´d be able to say that on my mission. It was on Family History. It was fun. I was a pioneer daughter who met the missionaries. Don´t know if I´ll ever get to be in a play in Spanish or in Spain again so will definitely cherish the memory.
Hey! We went on Intercambios with other hermanas in Alicante and guess what! It was with Hermana Johnson! I went to high school with her! We were in Theater together. Small world. Also Nate Manning was in this mission. I went to high school with him as well. So weird. It was a fun intercambio! She´s a great missionary!
Well, I must be off! I love you all and I hope you are well! Hope Easter was good!
Con Amor,
Hermana Azul

4/7/14

Elche!!!!

So my new area, Elche, is famous of it´s millions of palm trees! It has the most palm trees in all out Europe! Heavenly Father must have known how much I love palm trees!
So Wednesday, I had to catch a train with Elder Alomia, and we nearly missed it because it stared to leave early. So we had to get on the last cart and drag out suitcases to the other end of the train while it was moving! It was so exhausting!!! Then after the 2 and a half hour ride to Granada we took a taxi to the bus station where we waited for two hours and then I and 4 elders took a 5 hour bus ride to Elche. It was crazy! There I met my comps Hermana Amelia Theobald who is 21 from Provo, and is studying engineering at BYU, and Hermana Faviola Becerra who is also 21 and is from Bolivia but is now living in Barcelona  and is in hair school. She doesn´t speak any english. They´re both really shy, so piso is reaaaaally quiet. And they don´t have a thing to play music so, it´s just me talking and singing to myself most of the time. But they´re both really nice, so I think the transfer will be good.
So, the capilla here is so pretty! Tons of palm trees! And this is the first time in the mish that I´ll be in a ward and not a branch! I´m pretty excited about that!!! And I´m obviously in a new district. I´m gonna miss the old elders, but that´s the mission, right. No more deep doctrine talks with Elder Warburton anymore. I´ll miss that. I don´t really know how to talk deep doctrine in Spanish.
LA CONFERENCIA GENERAL!  Was it amazing or what?! I tried to watching the Relief Society session in English but it kept freezing so Hermana Theobald and I just read the talks. It was so crazy that all the young girls were there! Loved LOVED the talk my Richard G. Scott! Although, he´s my favorite always. Um…does anyone else feel like something intense is coming our way? Everyone talked about faith, forgiveness, gratitude, and stuff like that. Strap on your spiritual armor, everyone!
I love you all!!! And I shall keep you in my prayers!
Love,
Me! Hermana!