Greeting to all
This week I was SICK! I was in bed ALL afternoon on Tuesday. The stomach flu that Elder Hoyos had last week came again and found ME! No fun. I was drinking aquarius (which is a spanish sports drink) for 2 days. I didn´t eat anything else. After that I graduated to toast and soup and a potato. Now I´m fine. Thank goodness.
Hurray for CONFERENCE!!!!!!! It was SO AMAZING!!!!!!! I can´t believe I didn´t like conference as a child! What was I thinking? I guess its just like eating your vegetables. It comes with maturity. Matoority. (just like you say it mom) :) But even though I would have rather built a fort or play on the computer as a little kid I always KNEW that I should have been watching conference. That's the absolute best a parent can do. Just like how I tell my companions. My mom DID teach me to be more organized and less messy. Its just ME not heeding her perfect counsel. hehehehe How are you reacting to this now Mom? Just kidding. I´m a lot better than before. But I DO make sure that all imperfections I have do not spawn from negligent (spelling?) parents. They taught me good. I just don´t listen good.
I think one of my favorite talks was from Elder Nelson. He started talking about going to visit an aquarium and asking the attendant, "Who feeds all these fish?" She responds, "I do." Then he asks, "Have they ever THANKED you for feeding them?" "Not yet." Then he talked about how in our big fish tank of life we take for granted of the lovely pellets that show up when we need food. Little do we notice or think about He who feeds us. Our lovely little blessings just seems to come from no where but they actually come from a loving Father who knows our needs and is VERY conscious of our needs and knows exactly when to sprinkle the blessings into our tank. I loved that.
He also talked about the wonder and miracle the human body is. He actually knew what he was talking about. Then in response to some people´s belief of a big bang causing everything we have, he said, "Would an explosion in a printing shop create a dictionary? Much less a dictionary that can repair its torn pages?" I had a good laugh from that. But it is so true. Everything around us tells us that we with the animals and plants and EVERYTHING come from someone who had a creative plan. We´re not here just by coincidence.
We watched the first session Saturday afternoon in a locutorio (where we do email every week) then Sunday we went to Cádiz and watched the priesthood session, then Saturday afternoon, then Sunday morning LIVE. All of us missionaries made a big lunch between sessions. It was good. I also got to see one of my teachers in the Madrid MTC. She is from the Cádiz stake and she came to visit this week. Semana Santa that means virgins, crosses, and vacation. The country of Spain still revolves around Catholic holidays. I´m not complaining. This week people aren´t working or in school so we can TEACH them.
Last week I was in Jerez to do a baptism interview and since its a large city they have more processions. They had a little kid procession. There was a little virgin on top of their altar that they carried down the street. That was for the little kids. The REAL virgins and images are COVERED with gold and candles and EVERYTHING. People tell us that the people who carry them bleed from the hands and shoulders because they´re SO HEAVY. These people really have SO much faith and love for the images and statues. Its good. They just forget the rest of the year that they have that faith. Oh well. No one´s perfect. Oh I do think its kind of funny because the´ve set up little bleachers along the main roads so people can reserve their little area to watch the pasos.
If you would like to see more about what I´m talking about I bet you could google search "Semana Santa Pasos en Sevilla" I´m absolutely sure there will be a lot of videos and pictures. That's Spain for ya. And people are so surprised when they ask me what Semana Santa is like in the United States and I tell them that we don't have anything´like here. We mainly just celebrate Easter Sunday. The truth is during this week everyone is REALLY thinking about Christ and His sacrifice. Along with the virgins and sort, every day they have something of the last week of Christ´s life. Yesterday they had the statue of Christ riding in on the donkey. They will have "el cautivo" the captive Christ when he is brought to be judged. Then on Friday there will be Christ on the Cross. That's the most important to them. And I honestly don´t know what else since I´ve never experienced Semana Santa before. Its a tradition different from ours but I do appreciate and value the importance these people give to Christ´s sacrifice. My favorite is the Resurrected Christ. Not only did He suffer and die but He lived again and He STILL lives. He lives and directs His restored church and we had the opportunity to hear from His servants and prophet His will for us today.
I hope this week we can all think in what we are celebrating. The life, love and sacrifice of our Savior. What a great blessing to be a missionary. What a great blessing to know that He Lives and He Loves us. I know and testify that He does. What a blessing to know that because of His church and Priesthood and Temples I will be with my family forever.
My prayers are with you all. I love you all. Remember His arms are always open to us. No matter what.