Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3rd

And the new companion is.....HERMANA KNOWLES!! She is really cool. She is from Boise and went to BYU-Hawaii for a year, but she´s going to byu after. I really like her. She is like ridiculously beautiful (everybody kee`ps calling her "La Mormona Guapa"). She is still learning Spanish, but is picking it up so fast. I really am enjoying having her- we have GREAT goals, work hard and have so much fun! And its fun having hermana andrus here with us.
Do you remember S.. from back when I got here? The guy who left jail and was really repentant, had a baptismal date and dropped us? HE´S BACK!! We met with him a few times this week and he is ready for the gospel right now. He accepted another baptismal date for november 22nd and is really progressing. He even told his friends from his old church that he is really interested in learning about the mormon church and finding hte truth. I love moments like this.
I´ve been having chili cravings, but it LITERALLY doesn´t exist here.  My food list: sushi, ivars, pasta, steak and potatos, thai food, gnocchi soup. Uhmm next week i´ll bring my list with me so you can get the full effect. I really want tacos too.
We´re now going through the new investigators deciding who is progressing and who is not and we are shifting our focus around on some people and off of others. Its great. I really have a great feeling about this transfer! My comp and I work great together and are just going hard on our area!! I honestly don´t feel like I go home in just 6 weeks. But I want to keep that feeling so I just keep working hard and focusing until the end. This is such a blessing training right now!

You better be grateful I already committed to going back to school in january because if not I would have asked to extend a transfer. I love my companion. Knowing already that we will only have this transfer together makes me so sad and seeing that she has her whole mission ahead of her makes me want to continue and do it with her too. So count your blessings that I can´t extend because I seriously considered it when I met the new missionaries!
This week i´ve been studying the war chapters in Alma and I´ve been comparing it a lot with the war with satan. What a big difference it makes when we are all unitied from the inside out and prepared, because the adversary cannot even enter into our territory. BUT the second we begin to let up and think we are alright, he strikes and its much easier to maintain your land than to win it back, so we should always be prepared!!
My message for you this week is one of my favorite scriptures righ tnow. D6C 128:15. Our ancestors are waiting for us and they need us and we need them. We cannot be saved alone nor can they. We all need to connect the links between the generations adn do our family histroy work and do their work in the temple. I know that the day that we choose to follow Christ, our ancestors began to REJOICE in teh spirit world knowing they became one step closer to salvation.
i love you all.

hermana folsom

October 27th

So this week is FINALLY transfers! Okay that sounds like I´ve been waiting for it. It's just weird cause I knew 2 weeks ago what was happening with me so its been an odd wait. I´m bummed that Hermana Hurtado is leaving though:( We love each other. She is going to SEVILLA! So jealous... BUT the plot has thickened with me... Remember my redheaded hija, Hermana Andrus? Well she has foot problems and has to spend some time down so she is coming to live with me and my new hija and she will study and sleep with us but then during proselyting time, she´ll go to the office and be the first ever "Office Sister."

This week was finding week again for the Misión de España Málaga. Our goal this week: 888 new investigators in one week. Each companionship needed to find 9 new investigators in one week. Our week started out great- we met person after person after person. THEN we hit a ROUGH patch on Wednesday and didn´t find ANYBODY all day wednesday and thursday. I actually kinda broke a little on Wednesday. But Friday we woke up and did a GREAT weekly planning and decided that it was a new day. And in 1 day we found SEVEN NEW INVESTIGATORS!! By the end of the week we as a companionship had found 14 news. It was truly a week of miracles. We worked so hard and saw incredible things happen and now we have a LARGE pool of investigators to teach which will be great for my new hija who comes on Tuesday!

One of our news is C... He was found in a member´s home last week and we called and met with him for the first time on Tuesday. C.. is from Colombia and works as a waiter at a restaurant. He doesn´t have a lot of time, but is super interested. We read with him the promise in the Book of Mormon and it really interested him and he read 3 Nephi 11 like 3 times! He said he wanted to continue, but really wanted to understand what we left him and he even related it to his life and had been pondering it for a few days. He said after he read, he tried to remember the 3 things we invited him to do, but couldn´t find the promise again in the book, so we re-explained it and he committed to pray about the book! He is so sincere and I can see he really wants to know if its true. His friend asked me about him on Sunday and he was so happy and they actually had been talking about the book too! Its great cause his member friend is less active and is coming back to church, so its great for him too to be able to support his friend! I love this work!
 I ate feijoada this week! Did you ever eat that on your mission? We ate it with a Portuguese member who just moved from the elders´ area to ours (poor elders... ;) ) and has already invited us 3 times over to eat at her house just this week! She said its a little different than Brazilian feijoada but still the same principle. It was surprisingly good! And we have a brazilian member who also lives right next to us who is going to prepare us a Brazilian feast soon:)
An.. and Se.. are still waiting for a date. The juzgado takes forever cause everybody goes there cause its free. Teh ayuntamiento costs like 100€ but they can do it in like a week. an anonymous donor from the ward has offered to help them with that so they can get married faster, but idk if they´ll accept it! They are looking up about that this week.
 My scripture for you is Alma 37:44. This way really is so easy. All we have to do is like the children of Israel in the desert when they were plagued with the snakes and just had to look upon the cane and live. All we have to do is look to Christ and follow 5 simple steps and live. But we aren´t even capable of that sometimes! I get frustrated with people here because we give them simple answers to their problems: read, pray and come to church and the Lord will tell you this is true and help you. But they won't! It frustrates me, but also helps me see how I want the rest of my life to be as well. I love this work. I love this gospel.
LOVE YOU SO MUCH FAMBAM!! HAve a great week!!

Hermana Folsom

October 20th

Ra... SUCH A ROLLERCOASTER! On Tuesday, he was GLOWING. Seriously, he had this incredible spirit about him all weekend and we were excitedly planning his baptism. Wednesday was excellent and he found out that he was going to be able to stay in the kiosk during the winter too! BUT then there were some family trials.  He cried all day Thursday and Friday because of what family members said and did and when we went over on Saturday it was like back at square 1 with him. The glow was EXTINGUISHED. We had planned to go to his house for the first time and had a member with us who is preparing to go on her mission in December so we could go in his car and everything, but when we got their, he said he didn´t feel like talking religion and that we could just go to a restaurant and talk. So we went to a restaurant and the first thing he did was look us in the eyes and order a beer! The spirit was NOT there. The longer we spent their talking with him, the oddest thing happened to me. I had this odd heat spread from my stomach up to my ears and the more time we spent, the less I could hear until we reached a point when I couldn´t hear ANYTHING they were saying, it was just a loud noise in my ears. I cut him off as he was explaining to us what happened with his family and I said, "I cannot hear a THING any of you are saying. We have to leave. Now." So they all got up real quick (I guess I said it kinda strongly...) and we went to the church. As soon as we entered into the church, the ringing in my ears left and the spirit FLOODED into all of us. We had a great lesson with him and helped him see that during hard times is the WORST time to forsake God. He was really repentant and committed to coming to church and to prepare to be baptized next weekend. I am so grateful that we got to bring him to teh church because it changed EVERYTHING! We called him before church to make sure he was coming and he goes, "Hermanas, where are you! I´ve been here for 30 minutes already!" HE CAME TO CHURCH EARLY TO MAKE SURE HE WOULD COME!
We went with S.. and An.. to the townhall and witnessed their papers so they will get a date on Wednesday! We had a perfect lesson with them afterwards at the mission home with the Deeres. I can´t wait to be an awesome member present like them someday! It was perfect and they helped them so much. I love this little couple. And the YM are all obsessed with S..! Haha they are all asking to come over and hang out with them! Its hilarious. Almost every week they have somebody over. Its because they are the only young couple in the ward and S.. is super fun. I am so happy. He cracks me up cause he goes, "I just know taht the second I have my rights as a member, I am going to get a calling in YMs." And its so true. Ha I love that couple!
So the other day I was asking myself, "Really, how many people from how many different countries have I taught?" So I started writing it down. I HAVE TAUGHT PEOPLE FROM 42 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES DURING MY MISSION!! What the heck! I don´t think you could say that anywhere else in the world but in Spain. I love this multiculture madness here.

Funny you should talk about continuing at home. I´ve begun my list of people with whom I need to share the gospel with when I get back. I think those few weeks I´m at home will be some busy ones. The problem is I DON´T KNOW HOW TO BE A MEMBER MISSIONARY! It will be odd taking the backseat in lessons and backing up what the missionaries teach. But I still have a LOT of time to be the missionary still!
Hmm we teach this persian guy that works at a bar by our house and in his downtime, we go teach him inside while his clients all get drunk outside (bars are different here than in the states. It's like more of a restaurant or a cafe) and he always gives us hot chocolate or herbal tea or something and so we were sitting inside by the counter talking to him yesterday when this DRUNK woman staggers in to pay her bill. She starts speaking in really broken Spanish and I asked where she was from and she told me she´s scottish, so we started talking in english. She ordered another drink and points at it, looks at me and goes, "Oh shoot. This is my 3rd. Tomorrow, just hot chocolate and a chocolate cake. I´m going to regret this later." And she proceeded to tell me the story of her life. She was so drunk but like really rational and was like, "You know what, my daughter lives in Ireland with her mormon aunt and uncle. Here is my number. Lets talk next week. I need God in my life."
I look forward to being able to talk to people whenever I want (like friends and fam) but I´m going to miss being so involved in this work. I love seeing people change and seeing the joy that comes from them accepting the gospel. Even being a member missionary, its not the same.
My scripture for you is Alma 31:26-35,38. I need to improve my personal prayers. This prayer by Alma is incredible. He sincerely prays for the people who he was there to serve and he is really just TALKING to his Father in heaven. I included verse 38 too because this really hit me this week, they were exceedingly blessed during their ministry among the zoramites and this is the reason we are given why: "Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith." Prayer has SO much power. As we pray in faith, miracles really do happen!
I love you all so much. I want you all to know how much I love this work. I loved Elder Bednar´s talk from Conference because it perfectly explained why I am here. Sometimes members tell us, "Oh thats so nice you came out here to experience the world and to learn." And I get a little annoyed when they say that and try to say (with as much love as I can put into my voice) "I am not here to experience life. I am not here to learn Spanish. I am not here to enjoy Europe. I am here to invite others to come unto Christ. I am here to help in the work of salvation. I came out that I might save but one soul. I am here for the eternal salvation of my brothers and sisters." I testify that this is the work of salvation, this is not my work, but His and He is here to help us in it. I am so grateful to be here serving Him as a full-time missionary and SO grateful He has permitted me to be but a small part in the salvation of His children. I love this work. I love you all!

Hermana Folsom

October 13th

 This week was the feria of Fuengirola, aka it was a crazy week filled with horse-drawn carriages, flamenco-clad women  and NOISY but COOL attractions. It was a fun week, but interesting work-wise!

First of all... on Saturday I received a phone call from President Deere and... I´M GOING TO TRAIN... again. I´m going to start the training of a new hermana for my last transfer. Woah. Well this means NO being trunky for me cause you can´t be trunky with a newbie, you have to work hard and be nice. Haha President is a smart man.
We called Ra.. on Wednesday and he goes, "Hermanas, I´ve been thinking and I´m going to get baptized with you." WHAT?!?! Then he said he made a promise to God that his priorities from now on will be God, family, church and then work. HE IS INCREDIBLE!! The ward LOVED him yesterday and they are great. He has a fecha for this Saturday, so here´s for hoping that all goes well and as planned. He gave us this HUGE bag of gifts- he gave each of us these nice pens that everybody uses here and a bunch of stuff from his kiosk. He loves us and we love him! Hopefully next week I´ll be sending you teh pictures of the baptism!! He´s so cute, he goes "If I had to choose between winning the lottery and meeting you two, I would pick you both any day. I am so grateful you entered my life and brought me the gospel!" GOLDEN! He´s going to make a great member... SOON!
S.. and An.. got their papers this week!! They will find out on Wednesday the date of the wedding. i´m praying it will be SOON!! Pray for that too!
We went to the English branch yesterday and hearing church is English again sounded so odd to me. I actually didn´t like it. I don´t want to leave Spain!
We met this Nigerian man last week and met with him for the first time on Saturday and he had read the introduction of the BoM already before our lesson to prepare and he had a bunch of questions. when I invited him to come to church, he said no. Haha I testified and promised him blessings if he came and he still said no. we were getting ready to leave after the spanish ward and then I saw Uc.. inside with teh English branch! We ran back inside and sat with him during sacrament meeting. He liked it, but wanted to know why we don´t do worship and praise sessions. I was like, "Its really reverent here." He´s cool. We have another cita with him this week. here we go!

Something that Neil Maxwell said reminds me of what your mission president said, "the only thing we have to give to God is our desires." The only thing that He has not given us that we can give back to Him is our hearts and our desires. I really liked that.
I went to Malaga on intercambios this week and young couples from my ward when I served there a year ago all have babies now. Its odd seeing changes even during my mission!
I love you so much. Have excellent weeks! Live long and prosper.
Hermana FOlsom

October 6th

Conference was the best! We got to go to the Deere´s and had a conference brunch all us from Fuen on Sunday morning and we watched the Saturday afternoon session. I felt like I was in the states! We even ate CINNAMON ROLLS! Best day ever. I learned so much and I am excited to watch the Sunday afternoon session later this week (we have to watch it during studies...)
We met this INCREDIBLE couple this week. C.. is from Uruguay and L.. is from Ukrania and they are so humble and so prepared. She is 7th day adventist, but hasn´t gone to her church in awhile and when we contacted C.. in the street and he talked to her about us, she felt she needed to talk to us. We met at the church on Saturday and gave them a tour and they loved it. They felt the Spirit so strong. They are seriously golden. Just ONE problem. Go ahead. Guess it. THEY AREN´T MARRIED. Grrr.. Our ward keeps calling us the matrimoniadas (matchmakers, like the wedding girls) because we keep finding perfect people who just need to get married. Everybody is asking me on the wedding process here now! Hahaha I have fame here I guess! They are so humble and have an incredible knowledge of the Bible. I can already see them as members participating in Sunday School classes!
Ra.. is progressing like no other right now! He says he believes that the Book of Mormon is true. We had a really great lesson this week when we explained baptism and read about Christ´s baptism and he goes, "This is my next step, isn´t it?" And we were all, "YUP!" And so he said that if he feels peace at conference on Sunday that he will get baptized on October 18th. He called us a few days later and said that he made a promise to God that he will come to church! Then when we talked to him after Conference, he goes, "That was it?? I want more! It was too fast!" And he was so impressed by President Monson. AND HE FELT PEACE!! He´s getting baptized on October 18th:) I love that little old man and he loves us. He is like my Spanish grandpa. I can´t wait for his baptism!!
So we do english class at 7 on Thursdays when we teach English and share a message. Then the elders come at 8 and members and whoever else wants to come and we have a short message by us or the elders and a game and a snack. Its a chill FHE but its a really great activity that most of the areas in our mission do cause it allows investigators and less actives to come to an activity that is chill but still spiritual and gets them involved with members. Something I´ve learned on my mission is that good activities don´t have to be huge. Just that there is SOMETHING for people to be doing. But of course, the big activities are the ones you always remember, but small things keep people involved and happy! We don´t have church on conference weekend, but its actually better for people cause its later in the day (6pm) and so they ALL come and bring friends:)

My favorite speakers were Elder Kienghat (sp?) and his talk about spirit self esteem and also Elder Robbins and his question "Which way do you face?" I loved conference. We watched the women´s conference during priesthood but I didn´t have the option of watching in English since I was the only one which made me sad, but I´ll print and read President Uchtdorf´s talk in my language later. I LOVE my mission language, but the Spirit speaks to me better in English, ya know?
I COUNTED HOW MANY TIMES THEY QUOTED HELAMAN 5:12 TOO! They also quoted it int eh Women´s conference. Also they talked a LOT about how the 2nd coming is coming FAST and we need to prepare... now!

It's funny remembering my moments before making covenants with God or doing big things and it puts me in the place of my investigators. Often times we ARE prepared to do things like this and in the end it will GREATLY benefit us, but for some reason we are hestitant to just take the step and DO it! Investigators feel the same way. But once we´ve done it, we are like, "duh, why didn´t i do this sooner?" I laugh when I remember when I went through the temple. I received my call at the end of January and mom and dad made plans to come to UT just a week later to do a session for me to receive my endowments. When they made those plans, I was like, "oh my gosh. There is NO way I will be ready to do this in a month!" But mom and dad were both so supportive and helped me to prepare. I went to temple prep, I talked to my bishop and stake president and I seriously fasted and prayed and I found that when the date in february came to go to the temple that i WAS ready!
My thought for you comes from the talk by thtat guy from Uruguay who spoke in Spanish. I loved the question he presented, "What would you do if you were to have a personal interview with the Savior in 1 minute?" It reminded me of soemthing that I studied this week as I read the Book of Mormon, Alma 5:27, "Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?" We should always be ready.
I love you all dearly and hope you have an excellent week!

September 29th

I decided this week the top three things I am trunky for: 1) AFFECTION 2) iPhone. I keep having dreams that I get home and I use the same phone I have here on the mission and I throw fits until you buy me an iPhone. its weird. I guess I´m superficial. 3) Dad´s cooking. oh. I forget the REAL number one. I´ll call it 0) THE TEMPLE. Just so you can get a little peek into my head right now:)

On Monday, we witnessed the most beautiful thing ever. S.. and An.. invited us, the R.. and Je.. (a joven that comes with us all the time) to their house for FHE and S.. said he had a special lesson for all of us to hear. He opened up reading a scripture about marriage and then told us a little bit about his and An..´s story. Then he GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE AND PROPOSED TO ANDREA!! It was so awesome. WE were all screaming and crying and she was more surprised than all of us. It was beautiful. I feel honored to have been thought of as one of the people that had to be there that night. I love this family. They should be getting the papers from Argentina TODAY and then all they have to do is ask for an appointment and THEY ARE GETTING MARRIED!! I am stoked. Then TO THE WATER!!!

Since we started doing a missionary FHE every Thursday last week, we saw some real growth this week! We had 9 people including the missionaries last week (ahhaahha) but this week we had like 20!! And they LOVED it, we played zip bong (the game where you can´t show your teeth) and they were all dying. Its cool seeing how excited people are getting about coming to church AND Ra.. came! We had talked to him earlier this week and he had told us that he was going to come if it rained on sunday and the Lord made it RAIN and he still didn´t come. Turns out he sold NOTHING during the 3 hours of church and said that clearly the Lord wanted him at church. We said, "you said it, not us!" it was great. He BETTER come to church this sunday or else...
 Get this: WE are doing a conference brunch at the mission home for everybody in fuen. I am STOKED. IT will be like being at home!
Okay one cool insight from my studies this morning: I was reading Alma 32 and LOVING this parable of the seed. But as I read v.35-36 it reminded me of another scripture I love a lot, 2 Nephi 31:19. Both basically say that after exercising faith, repenting and acting on this by being baptized that "behold I say unto you nay" it is not all! And then both chapters finish off talking about being patient and diligent to the end and WE WILL PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT and rejoice in the celestial kingdom. It was cool drawing parallels between two of my favorite chapteres in the Book of Mormon.
I had my last zone conference on Friday (they only do them every other transfer) and it was really good though- both President and Hermana Deere gave their talks in English which was different. but they said that they both felt they needed to. For me, it was a GREAT experience. I understand Spanish perfectly, but something about your own language just touches you. There are a lot of new missionaries right now so thats why they did it.
Wait what peruvian food is de moda right now? Sweet cause i am learning how to cook it like a maniac right now! one day I cook and the next day she does and we teach each other our foods. She´s pretty obsessed with my spaghetti carbonara and i´m obsessed with  EVERYTHING SHE MAKES! We eat rice at every meal. I feel like i´m finally serving in south america.
 My scripture for you this week is Mosiah 2:20-22. Even if we spent all of our time, talents, energy and EVERYTHING in serving and praising the Lord, we would not pay the SMALLEST part of what He has given us. WE really are nothing in compared to Him. We can do nothing in comparison to what He has done. But despite all that He could ask us to do for Him, the only thing He asks us for is our OBEDIENCE. In this perspective, I am willing to do anything for Him, I am completely willing to obey knowing that He has given me all that I have and am. I love this gospel. I love my Savior. I testify taht this is HIS work and that as we do it with Him, we will never fail.

I love you all so very much. I hope you enjoy conference as much as I am going to and that you learn SO much! LOVE YOU!!

Hermana FOlsom

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 22

We  had some cool stuff happen this week, A.. and S.. sent the money to Argentina and they should be getting the papers from his mom on Friday so then all they have to do is go to the townhall and ask for a date!!!! THEY ARE GETTING MARRIED SO SOON!! They called his mom while we were there and we all cried when she said that she was getting the papers this week and sending them out tomorrow. It is so ridiculously exciting! The ward is already planning their reception:) I AM SO HAPPY.

R.., the man from the kiosk, is beginning to progress again! He loves us, he´s like our cute little old grandpa here in Fuen. He said he can´t put the book of Mormon down and he received an answer that its true! The only thing holding him back right now is that he works every Sunday. He said the day it rains, he´ll come to church. Well we prayed all week and it rained on Sunday... and he didn´t come:( I´m actually pretty bummed. But he is really feeling the excitement and learning so much right now. ITs cool to see him progress again. Just gotta make it rain next Sunday too I guess!
Since I invited you all to share something from your studies this week with me, I thought I would share something as well. I have the goal to finish the Book of Mormon before December and as I am going through it, my love for this book grows so much. I love how often the first authors of the book, Nephi, Jacob and Enos all speak about how it is for a wise purpose and that they are writing it so that we may not forget that they believed in Christ, that they followed Him and they taught their children of Him. It is so incredible that the whole book was written for their brothers, teh Lamanites, and while they are writing this great work for them out of love so that one day they may come to the truth, the lamanites persecute and try to kill the nephites! That is some pure love of Christ right there! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, written for our days and that by living the principles we find in it, we can be worthy to return and live with God again!
RANDOM THINGS (gleanings from her paragraphs to individual family members)

I definitely agree with what you said about teaching them to recognize the spirit is the most important thing they can learn. We´ve been studying that a lot this week in training and its so true. To know that what we are teaching is true, all they have to do is read some of the Book of Mormon, and pray to know if its true. The hard part is so often they wait for an experience like Joseph Smith, when many times is just a feeling. ITs the hardest thing getting people to recognize their answers, but when they do, thats when conversion happen. There is a phrase that I love in Lesson 1 of PMG, "As we begin to feel that what we are learning is true, we will desire to know all that we can about the Restoration." And its so true!!

You should read "the Continuous Atonement" by Brad Wilcox. His daughter served in our mission and gifted it to all her comps and I took her place in Dos Hermanas when she finished her mission, so I read it while I was there. ITs really good!

Don´t be too sure that being on my feet for 13 hours is normal. I actually prefer sitting because it means we are TEACHING! The weeks when my tan begins to fade are my favorite weeks cause it means that we were inside most of the day teaching. But yeah I do also have days when we just WALK AND WALK AND WALK and nobody loves us. Haha then we go to members and ask referrals and they give us water and let us use their bathroom.
My favorite part of being a missionary is that EVERYTHING that I do has a purpose: Invite others to come unto Christ. My life is simple because all that I do connects to this. Every moment of my day is planned and I have an entire manual, the scriptures and the Lord telling me what I should be doing. Being a missionary is actually easy in that aspect because you don´t have to second-guess. This is the salvation of His children, so the Lord makes things pretty clear on what to do!
I miss Dad´s cooking, just in general. HE cooks really well (PORK ROAST AND MASHED POTATOES). I will most miss the culture and the history here. The US doesn´t have as much of that. Actually we don´t really have history like they have it here in Europe.
I love you all so much and hope you have excellent weeks!

Hermana Folsom