Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018 ~ Transfer 15, Week 2

So this week has been interesting. All the weeks go by so fast now. 
Today we are going out to eat and see different parts of the island with some members.

On Monday, as we were doing pass by's, we saw someone that Elder Hydrick knew named Yarcia, as she was walking her dogs (and she had just arrived home). And to get to that spot in front of her house we had to go around a bunch of construction in the street but had we not gone around the construction, we wouldn't have seen her and been able to set up a lesson with her (and have her address). So that was really cool.

On Tuesday, we went to Granadilla and we met with Hermana Leidys and Angel. Angel came down with a broken TV in his hands and started trying to fix it on the kitchen table. Elder Hydrick helped him out while I talked to Hermana Leidys. And then Angel listened to a little message. We looked at our watch and realized we had 5 mins to get the bus but we just decided to share a message instead of sweat it with the bus. And then we ran and we got a different bus and did a little line switch. And we got home with good time. But it was interesting because we both felt that we shouldn't push with Angel and that we should take it slowly (we were going to teach the plan of salvation). We also both felt that when their daughter goes on a mission (which she is preparing to right now) it will help open his heart more to the gospel.

On Wednesday, we had district meeting over the phone again. This time was still weird haha. But it was good. We don't have a church building or Wi-Fi currently so over the phone is the only way. We talked about the spirit (in PMG ch.4) and receiving revelation for our areas. And it was interesting how the meeting changed according to the needs of the district (the meetings usually do) and that things were said that I wasn't expecting to say or to hear. But it was edifying for sure. I enjoyed it. I felt the spirit as we shared about stories in our lives about the influence of the spirit and examples of it. And how we've seen the hand of God in our lives.

On Thursday we were on the way back to Los Cristianos. 
Funny moment: tons of chavales (youth) were on the bus and right before hopping off at one stop, one dude looks at us and bows with his hands together and says "amen" (as a joke to make fun of us). And then he and his buddies get off and are laughing a ton. I laughed too haha. It was funny.

When we got back we sat in the foyer of our apartment building using the free Wi-Fi that we found from a nearby store (we do what we can to work smart and efficient haha) and we cleaned up the member records a bit. The funny thing is we probably met 10 neighbors as we sat there for 15-20 mins. And we also had to keep turning on the main light so that when our neighbors saw us, they went scared or surprised hahaha. But the main light turns off every 2 mins leaving us in the dark.... (so we pressed it about 10 times haha).

On Friday, we did correlation on the beach. It was nice and calm as we sat on some rocks over by the coastline talking about the work (it wasn't beach with like sand, instead it was lots of rocks like la Coruña). Apparently the ward mission leader wanted us to meet him at the old capilla location and I didn't know where it was at and I thought my companion knew. And apparently my companion didn't know and so the ward mission leader hermano Guzman says "next time I'm just speaking to you in English so I know you understand!" Haha and he does speak good English.

Then we quickly took the guagua (bus) to Adeje. We talked to people on the bus. I talked to an Andaluz from Sevilla and he was pretty cool. I shared the restoration briefly but he wasn't that interested. Then he gets off the bus and I realize that the two ladies behind me sound like they are speaking Russian. So I'm fighting myself for like 10 mins on how to ask them if they are Russian (because I'm really not THAT familiar with Russian). And so we get off the bus and I rush to catch up to them and say the word "ruski" (means Russian, it had been in my head since the beginning of the 10 min mental fight I had haha and it's not a word I usually remember so I felt it probably was the Spirit and I knew for that reason they probably actually were speaking Russian). 

Anyways, I say "ruski"? And they said something like "da". And then I said "cak de la?" (How are you?) And they said "atleechna" (great) and then proceeded to ask me a question about whether I was studying in the university nearby (or at least the word was pretty similar to university as well as the body language). I don't know Russian so I replied in Spanish and they didn't understand and then I tried English and they still didn't understand. But it was a cool experience. I hope it helped with something.

Then we passed by Gerelin. She has been pretty flojo with our texts so we decided to drop by. And it turned out to be a miracle. After a little talking at the door we were invited in. Gerelin's cousin, Mildre just got here 2 days ago from Colombia. And Mildre has desires to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Jose Smith was a prophet. It's really cool to see someone with those desires. The lesson was choppy at times but it was explained really well. It was hard to teach since I haven't taught a full restoration lesson in months. But it was a very thorough lesson and they understand what they need to do. I love when we actually get to teach people and when they are willing to just give things a try. All we ask is that they ask God if what we are telling them is true. And most people aren't willing to even try. But I know that if we ask, Heavenly Father does answer our prayers.

On Saturday we played soccer and did a mini preach my gospel class for two youth here. And hermana Maria gave us a bunch of American food - she gave us herseys chocolate bars, a jar of reeses peanut butter and peanut butter cup cereal. It was an apology for not having the bottle of Hersheys chocolate syrup they promised hahaha. It was a well accepted apology haha.
On Sunday, it was our last day meeting in the hotel! We finally will have the capilla back in Los Cristianos, they finished the renovation.

And on Sunday evening we did a little door knocking. We prayed to find people who were prepared and who would talk to us. And we did. We had a very nice Russian lady let us in the building (I know that probably doesn't seem like anything to you but that doesn't happen much...) and I used the extent of my Russian this time too. I wish I knew more basic Russian haha. But I can have a 5-10 sec conversation and that's it. And then we found someone who listened to us and let us share our message. She didn't want anything but she was really nice and gave us water and a little crepe with nutella as a very snack. People here on the islands are way different than what I'm used to haha. They are very relaxed about just about everything.

This week I've thought a lot of Jesus Christ and about how He helps us in our trials. Most of the time, trials aren't taken away. Nor sometimes are they even made easier. But He strengthens us so that we can take on the trial and that it seems to become easier (although really it's only easier because we got stronger). He suffered for us and He knows each of us personally so that He can help us individually.

Alma 7:10-12
10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Spencer W. Kimball once said "Sometimes the solution is not to change our circumstance, but to change our attitude about that circumstance".

Have a great week!

With love,
Elder Openshaw

With Elder Hydrick and Members from the ward in Canary Islands:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

April 9,2018 ~ Transfer 15, Week - 1 las islas canarias

Hi everybody!

So transfers happened. But wow it took a while to get to the Canary Islands. I left Ponferrada Sunday night and finally got here in Tenerife Wednesday noon-ish. I spent a bit of time doing missionary work in the center of Madrid which was interesting. And I'm glad to be here haha.
Some funny stories:
Tuesday: We were heading towards Pavones with all our luggage and I had the 35 kilo one (about 75lbs) and the escalator was broken. So we were going down the stairs and I'm in the back. And our metro showed up. I ran down the stairs with that huge luggage, tripped and almost fell on the ground but in the end made it into the metro somehow. It was hilarious as I wobbled down the stairs with my luggage haha.

Then at Pavones (where the temple is) we had the district leader meeting (where I got to see a bunch of people for probably the last time). And then the next day I got on a plane and now I'm here :)

We ate with some members on Thursday and it was great. They are so nice. Wonderful food too. Ana and Mario. And there were some flies in the room and Ana starting chasing the flies around the room. It made me smile haha. And one fly landed on my tablet and she was ready to smack. I made sure to move that fly quickly haha.

The work here is a little different. People actually talk to us here and I love it. They are a lot nicer than what I'm used to. Also there are a lot of tourist which can sometimes make the work a little more complicated. And we also do a lot of traveling in the buses here. We cover the whole bottom half of the island.

Also, we have to drink out of bottled water so we get a bunch of 8 liter jugs at the start of each week :) and there is some great food here you can't find in the Pennisula - like clipper (a soft drink) and Mojo (a salsa). And gofio (a type of toasted corn flour).

Sunday comes around and I find out we don't have a church space right now....It's under construction for some changes. So that means we don't have Wi-Fi easily either haha. And it also means that you have sacrament meeting in a super super fancy hotel right under the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Americas haha. It's super nice. So we had sacrament meeting in a little conference room haha. And the members are great here. Very welcoming. Ward of about 50 with a really loving bishop.

Then after church we went with Hermano Villalobos to visit a family that I might in La Coruña on an intercambios. That was super cool to see them and find out that they are in the ward I serve in now hahaha. I remember eating at their house and luckily they remember me too haha.   But it's a small world.

Then we also tried getting the bus back to Los cristianos yesterday and while waiting there was a teenager who had a shop cart, and he rolls it down the hill a bit to test it out. And then he hops in it and starts going down the hill. He rolls quite slowly - probably about 40-50 feet. And then he gets bored so he hops out and picks up the cart and throws it over the side of the bridge right next to him hahaha. It was hilarious. And then he looks around and walks away.

I'm super excited to be here and learn some great things. Recently I just started a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in the same amount of time that it took Joseph Smith to translate it - 85 days. I know the Book of Mormon is true. And because of that I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that Heavenly Father has restored His church in our days once again. I know there is a prophet who leads us and guides us in today's day. I invite you to read the Book of Mormon and give it a try! The promise is that if you read it, think about it's message and then ask God if it's true , you will recieve an answer from God of its truthfulness. And I have done just that and have come to know for myself that it is true :)

Moroni 10:3-5
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Have a wonderful week!

With love,
Elder Openshaw

1) A view of the beach and coastline

Transfer to the Canary Islands - Tenerife, Los cristianos

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018 ~ TRANSFERS ~ Transfer 14, Week 6


So I am going to be transferred. I'm super sad to be leaving the people here because they are so awesome. The members are the best and take care of us super well. I will miss them. So I'm heading to the Canary Islands! To the Island of Tenerife. Los Cristianos. I'm pretty excited for the changes and for learning new things.

And this week was Semana Santa so there were a lot of processions and activities going on in the city, which also means there are a bunch of people to talk to in the streets. And we had a couple cool lessons this week.

One day, in the middle of companionship study we got a call from Luis (a former investigator) saying he had 30 mins right at that moment (he called at 4:30pm on the dot) and so we tried to get there as quick as possible. By the time we got there he only had 5 mins so we couldn't teach him anything but we set up a lesson for Monday at 6-6:30pm. And then the very next day he called at 4:00pm and told us he had an hour. So we went and talked with him. And its been about 3 months since we had contact with him. So that's really cool that he called us out of the blue.

Also we have another friend named Joel and we finally got to meet with him. He told us to meet him at the barber shop but we went to the wrong one and ended up finding him in the end. He's super cool. We talked about the restoration with him and about how the Book of Mormon is evidence of a living prophet and he's hyped about the book of Mormon. He already had started reading different parts while we were explaining it to him.

We also found out that the people who own the car wash near the church are from the French part of Switzerland (where my companion is from,  although he's from the northern part of Switzerland). So that was really cool to find out haha.

And we had general conference this weekend. General conference is something we have every 6 months where we have the opportunity to hear from the prophet and the apostles. It was super good. I'll send some quotes next week. Or look on and the conference should be on there too :)

It will be interesting with the changes that will be happening soon but I'm excited for them. I will definitely miss the members and people I met in Ponferrada. Such a wonderful time with them. I'm excited for more good times to come. And here's a little scripture that gives me strength to move on when things get hard.

Romans 8
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
31...If God be for us, who can be against us?

I know I shared this recently but it's one of my favorite scriptures. If we love God, all things, even trials and sickness and afflictions will be for our good and will give us experience. I hope that you have a wonderful week!

With care,
Elder Openshaw

1) the Vilela's, they are awesome
2) costillas adobadas - marinated ribs, really good.

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 26, 2018 ~ Transfer 14, Week 5

Hi everyone!

So this week was an interesting week. I just finished getting over being sick - the weather's been fluctuating a lot and a ton of rain. People wondered where the rain was and now we have it! haha 

I just want to share with you that I know that Heavenly Father love and knows you personally. Just so you know :) He really is in the details of our lives.

I'll share what you might find interesting from this week but I'm not sure if it's funny, interesting, etc. Have fun reading haha

We talked to people. We asked for a locutorio and a Venezuelan lady helped us out. But she realized that there was a closer one than the one that she pointed us to so she walked quickly back to try to help us out and she directs us to the other one. Very unexpected. We find out that she's friends with Rosana and that she knows the missionaries a bit. So that was cool.

Then we walked around and went into an antique shop and we talked to a old guy in there for a while. His name is Angel. And he doesn't like religion. Nor does he hear very well haha. But it was fun just walking into a store and letting him talk about his life and store and interests and try to help him out.

Funny moments: doing Rock, paper, scissors to figure out who does certain things. It's been elder Kamber and I's way of making decisions haha especially if it has to be done and no one wants to do it haha.

A gypsy stopped us and told us her pastor wanted to talk to us. Super sketchy and funny at the same time... Then studies. Then pancarta. And we talked to a ton of Dominicans about basketball and about Pollito (one of the Dominicans here) and they all know him hahaha. We have seen a lot of people that we already know. And the normal testigos (JWs) talked to us that we usually see. When they were leaving I accidental told them - "no se enfrien" (which means something along the lines of don't get cold hearted) when I meant to say like don't freeze (it was cold) haha. I messed up haha. But it's good. They understand the struggle is real in Spanish sometimes haha.

We got talking with some old guys including the same old guy who told us he was a testigo and that he wanted to get out of their church and change religions. He recognized us and talked to us. Of lot of people are starting to recognize us and talk to us a lot more haha. It's funny. If we've had a conversation with them they generally are open to talking again.

So this morning we walked and talked in the street. We talked to quite a few people. There's lots of old people haha. There's a lot of rain and wind today. One guy actually knew who the Yankees were - whereing a Yankees cap (that rarely happens) and another guy started talking about "smoke on the water" while walking away from us haha. I said hi and he said "smoke on the water" in English hahaha it was funny. And we went into the Dominican Barbershop to talk to the Dominicans there about getting a haircut and about playing basketball. And it was pretty funny because I walked in and the dude starts talking in English to me haha. And we talk briefly and I'm trying to walk out the door and I hit my head on the flat skinny side of the door, straight on. It hurt haha. But not as bad as it should have hurt. And we kept talking to people. 

Then we went to visit Joaquin and Loli. And we've now got it down where we were able to have a wonderful lesson today. We shared the restoration and talked about how to help them with sharing the gospel - specifically. And they actually were thinking about it more. And now we are going to be able to help them out better because the problem has been addressed. And I was able to figure out how to involve myself in the conversation and jump in when needed (cutting them off when needed too). It was cool to finally be able to feel that I was managing the conversation even though I've only been practicing/conscious of my lack of the skill (cutting people off) for a couple weeks.

Then we walked home and did Lang study. And then we headed over to English conversations in the Bar Coherencia. And people were there this time! It was fun to get to talk in English and help people out. And we are getting to the point where they are curious about who we are and why we have a name tag haha. They still haven't asked about the chapa yet but they love when we are there.

I hope you found something interesting or encouraging or enjoyable in this haha.

I just want to say I love you guys and tell you that I know that God is always there for us. Easter is such a great time to remember the Savior and His resurrection. He is there through the thick and the thin. And I know that He loves us and that He has restored His gospel in its fullness on the earth today. He has restored His church with the same organization that existed before.

I know there is a modern prophet who guides us in today's day because Heavenly Father hasn't stopped giving us guidance. The evidence is the Book of Mormon. 

Also, this weekend on March 31 and April 1, we have the opportunity to listen to the guidance of the prophet President Nelson and the apostles. You can see it online at the link below. And I invite you to listen :) Even if it's only for a few moments. I love it and bringing questions to have answered. Because it's one way of getting answers to our hardest questions. Listen with faith and you can find your answers to your questions! :)

Here's the link:

Have a great week!
Elder Openshaw 

1,2)a hike today
3)the Pizarros

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New Mission Address

Elder Martin R. Openshaw
Avenida de Tenerife, 11
28703 San Sebastián de los Reyes
Madrid, España

For packages - go to: and order there so you can avoid customs

Items should be mailed before June 15th so he can receive them before he comes home.
Return date TBD - Probably August 8th

March 19, 2018 ~ Transfer 14, Week 4

Hi all!

This week was pretty eventful. And it involved a lot of rain and wind.

On Monday we headed down to Madrid for the mission tour where Elder Sabin of the Seventy came to talk to the whole mission. We got to stay in B9 with Elder Snyder (a former companion).

The neighbors of the B9 elders are really nice. There was this really nice old lady who saw us with our luggage trying to figure out how to get in the building (the elders left the key under their door mat and we just had to get in the front door of the building). And the lady says "hey, are you trying to get in? Let me help you" and she opens the door just to open it for us. And then she's off on her way down the street. It was sooo nice. Then we had to buy groceries to last a couple days so we had to figure out again how to get in and thankfully we buzzed someone and they reluctantly let us in haha.

Preparation day. We went to the temple and that was great. And then we played some sports in B6 (where I served before). And then to end pday we went to go see some friends from B6, one who was recently baptized! So that was cool.

Then that evening we went to a self-reliance training and we learned how to facilitate the self-reliance class in a branch so we can help out the local units better. And that was cool to be able to ask questions and get clarification on what we actually are doing. Basically the idea is that we will be able to facilitate the classes and help people in learning skills for job interviews, personal finances, starting a business, etc.

We had the conference with Elder Sabin and it was a wonderful conference. It went by a lot faster than I remember past conferences - I'm getting used to getting through long periods of time sitting haha. Elder Sabin used a lot of short powerful quotes. And he was very authentic and real with us. He's a funny guy. And he had some amazing advice. The biggest thing I took away from the meeting is: be happy - we are professors of happiness, and to "attack the day" (go at it hard, NOT drifting through). Also life is an exciting, happy journey (worry less).

Skip Thursday and Friday.... they weren't that interesting.

This morning we did Pancarta with the members! (the "pancarta" is a big picture of Jesus, we set it on a tripod and talk to people - and we also had a table with pamphlets and cards to take). It was a learning experience for sure haha. The spot where we originally were going to put the pancarta, nobody passes through there so we set it up in a different spot a little further down (in the "median" so we had 3 streets to contact on). And then we moved it again because we realized not many people passed by there either. And so after about 30-45mins we've got the spot chosen and set haha. And while this is going on it is sprinkling so we stick the umbrella down on the table to protect the pamphlets that we set out (we had the pancarta and a table that we were using). And the umbrella worked fine until the wind came...haha. And then all of a sudden it got really really cold. At one point it hailed. And it was even sunny for a few minutes haha. So the weather was doing crazy things. If the weather were consistent it would have been a lot easier...but it made it more fun for sure. And when it got windy we tried putting coins on top of the pamphlet pages and the Book of Mormon so that the pages wouldn't keep getting bent but that resulted in coins catapulting when a large gust of wind came. And it was cool to be able to contact with the members. They make it a lot easier because they expect you to talk with everyone and if you can get someone to stop the members make it a lot more normal haha. And to make things even more funny there was a protest (for raising pensions) that went through on the same street as we were on hahaha. And the ayuntamiento (city hall) told us that it would be okay to do the pancarta and that nothing else was going on...haha oh well. We saw a lot of people with whom we have talked with before. And a lot of rejection haha. But I enjoyed it despite the challenges we had haha.

We had some fun foods with the members. We ate "carne al toro" (toro=bull but it wasn't made out of bull haha). And we had a sweet bean pudding (excuse my English translations of these doesn't do them any justice). And church as always. Church went great and we had some wonderful classes yesterday.

Just some cool things I learned and had reinforced this week during the conference with Elder Sabin:
-"You know you are on the right path if its uphill"
-"No one has sinned tomorrow"
-‎He told us that with whatever time that we have left in the mission to tell ourselves that we have been called on a mission for that amount of time (just now you have more experience). For example, I've got 5 months and I'm being called on a 5 month mission (instead of saying I have 5 months left). It's a different point of view that makes me continue to want to give it more all.
- Elder Sabin told a story about Chocolate chip pancakes and how he made them for his grandchildren but one grandson couldn't eat them for one reason: "grandpa, they have burnt spots! I'm not eating them!" He related the story to how trials are consecrated for our gain for those who love the Lord. Trial sometimes look like burnt spots on pancakes although they really are the things that help us to grow the most and recieve more blessings in the future.
"Stretch but don't stress" - do the best you can and then turn it over to the Lord

D&C 90:24:Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.

I was really impressed by Elder Sabin's overall message that we can be happy no matter the circumstances. He's truly an example of that and has been through a lot in his life. I know that our Heavenly Father truly does love us and He hears our prayers. I also know that God once again has called a prophet in our day and guides him to help us know how to live in our times,  just as prophets of old. Pretty soon we will have the opportunity to listen to him in General Conference the first weekend of April :)

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Openshaw

1)doing the pancarta
2)the castle - the wind is super loud with those flags!

Mom needs to figure out how to add this :)

3)video- my companion got some little sticky worm things and we've been flinging all over the place. We decided to take a video. And then a missionary added the clip from the district on after seeing it haha. Not planned.