Kathleen and her companion, Hna Baxter, in front of the Cathedral in Lugo, Spain.
Hna Sykes, celebrating Movember.
Hermana Baxter and a really big lunch!!
No, that is not Spanish in the title. It's Gallego. Not everyone speaks 100% Spanish up here. Actually the older generation can hardly speak Spanish. It's like I was transferred to another country. This week was pretty slow. We whitewashed the area, which means the elders were taken out of the area and replaced with sisters. We also took their piso (apartment), which was frightening. We spent most of the week cleaning it, much to the delight of our neighbor/land lady. She knocked on our door one day and we had a conversation that went something like this: "Oh, hello. Who are yo--" "Oh thank goodness they sent girls to live here! I was so worried about the boys that lived here before. I could smell their piso from my piso! I was so worried about them because they haven't opened the windows for four years! I noticed you took a bunch of bags of trash out, and I thought to myself 'Oh my goodness! What could they have found!?' I love it when they send Americans here! They are so nice, and charming, and polite!..." This went on for about 10 minutes and then she said we could knock on her door for anything because we could consider her our "mother." She liked us so much that she and her husband were going to get the piso cleaned professionally. We were so happy! For what little went on this week, we actually had a lot of success. The members trust us right off the bat. We received five phone numbers this week four of which are from members. They are also really good referrals! We taught A****** this week who is a long term investigator. The elders didn't visit her last transfer, but in the meantime, she has kept praying, she came to church a few times, and she tried really hard to give up coffee. She has a lot of potential. She's also really honest about her progress. She told us she hadn't been reading as much as she should have, but she knows she needs to get better. We really love her. She'll do great. We also met with a member named G******** this week. He got baptized about 4 years ago when he just decided to walk into a sacrament meeting. He got baptized 20 days later and has been a firm member ever since. He's half Spanish, half Gallegan, and has a really firm testimony. We also got to meet his mom, who is really nice. She loves art and poetry, so we got along right away. We taught her a little about the Book of Mormon and she accepted to have us back. We taught English classes, and an old investigator, J***** showed up. He appears to show some interest. He doesn't seem like he's quite ready to change religions quite yet, but he has some potential. We taught him how to pray this week. About 3 months ago, I ran into a girl on the train in Leganés who is a member, and wanted to be a missionary. She is in this branch! We met with her, and she's working on her papers to go on a mission. She got baptized 2 years ago, but wasn't confirmed until April of this year, so we're going to be working with her on mission preparation until she's ready to go on a mission. There is a student from Mexico, G********, who is attending this branch until she goes home in January. She's studying to be a veterinarian along with her room mate who is also studying abroad. Y***** is living with Geraldine and another member, and we went to visit them last night. I'm not quite sure what happened, but Y***** showed up in the middle of the conversation, and it seemed like she wanted to know more about the church! We were in the right place at the right time. It seemed like she was really curious, but was too shy to ask her room mates. Also, I'm pretty sure that her room mates didn't know how to start the conversation, but we were there! She loved what we shared with her. We left her with a Book of Mormon, and she was THRILLED. I hadn't quite seen that much excitement to get a Book of Mormon in a long time. When we gave it to her she had a big smile on her face and immediately said (without much of an invitation), "Yes! I'll read it!" We also met with an inactive member named M****. She admitted right off the bat that she was inactive, which struck us as really weird. Normally people don't admit it or try to hide it (which is hard when you're not coming to church). We went over to find out why, and we discovered she was having a really difficult family situation. I could tell that she was really worn down by the cares of the world, but I could see that there was a potential miracle here. She really wanted her whole family to be active, but she wasn't feeling the support of her husband or children, nor the branch. What's important is that she has the desires. If she has the drive, she will be able to work miracles in her family. We're excited to have a full and normal week here! Hasta la proxima semana! Hermana Sykes