Hello. Buenos Días. ¿Que tal? Saludos de Sanlúcar.
As we speak my fingers are FREEZING while typing this letter. Its rare, almost impossible to find a building or house with central heating and air in Spain. New AND old. Almost every night this week we have had below freezing temperatures. AHHH! COLD!
Let me tell you how Spaniards stay warm. Its quite ingenious and I´m thinking about introducing it into my own home in the future. In Spanish culture its normal to have a little kitchen with a little breakfast table. Most of them can fold down for more space. There's no space in Spain. Then in the main living room (Salón or Comedor) you have a 2 couches around a normal height table. But these aren´t any NORMAL tables. They have THICK THICK table cloths that hang down to the floor and a shelf about 2 inches off the floor to put your feet on. Then comes the magic. In the shelf there´s a hole where you put a circular HEATER (copa). And you sit around the copa on the couches and you pull the table cloth basically blanket that keeps the heat trapped inside and you warm yourself. I LOVE it. As a cold missionary you put your scriptures on the table (perfect reading height) and pull the blanket over your torso and hands and feet and you read and teach and stay warm. Thank you España. We have made our own copa that doesn't work so well because we only have bed sheets and a wee little heater but we stay warm when we study in the morning. That's the magic of the Copa.
Well this week has been EXTREMELY difficult. We have been using almost ALL of our time in knocking doors and chasing down people on the streets and planning the fireside we´re having this week. President Clegg is going to come so yesterday Elder Pearce and I did splits with the Mission leader and Elders Quorum President. We went to all the members houses and invited them to the fireside and gave them invitations to give to their friends to come too. We did reach our lesson goal though because we got the work done twice as fast on splits. We just wish this week we will have more investigator lessons.
One of our investigators (she´s young) is dating a young man member but we have heard by ANOTHER youth that he´s going to break up with her to start focusing on preparing for a mission yay. So we shall see. If she keeps going to church every week (her parents won't let her get baptized, she´s already passed her interview) her parents will see that she´s really interested in the gospel and not her boyfriend.
Its been a hard week. Its very VERY easy for me (and every missionary) to feel very inadequate and down on themselves. Its been one of those weeks, but we have faith that if we work and do EVERYTHING we can, the Lord will work through us and what needs to be done and what needs to happen will happen.
I was reading an OLD church magazine, and they put local church news in the Liahonas here. Well I was reading that in 1998 there was a branch in a city called Murcia. Now Murcia is a Stake. The church is growing in Spain and in all of Europe. There will soon be temples in Portugal, Italy, France who all share the temple in Madrid, and before 1999 when the Madrid temple was built- they went to Switzerland!!!!!! The church is growing. In 40 years Spain has gone from a dictatorship without religious freedom (everyone being forced to be Catholic) to having a temple. It is so sad to hear so many people who hate and have NO trust in God or religion because it was so closely related to the government. The gospel will spread throughout ALL the world. And that's what I´m doing. :D
Well I love you all. Stay warm. I´m praying for you. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings joy truly to our lives.