Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Un Besino

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

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

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