Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 2, 2018 ~ Transfer 17, Week 1 - T minus 5 weeks :/

A lot has happened this week. 
First off, since Friday we now have a new mission president, President and Hermana Bussey, and all the new Malaga missionaries. So that's cool.

Second off, Spain got eliminated from the World Cup this week so hopefully proselyting might go a little better now haha.

Third off, I can't think of a third really important thing haha. But we have zone conference this week and get to meet the Busseys. It will be good. Things are going well here on the islands. It's still perfect weather and we are enjoying ourselves. My companion Elder Medeiros and I have a lot of fun so we are doing well. An overview of this week:
Monday-Wednesday - intercambio with Elder Rogers and waiting for my companion
The rest of the week was fairly normal work and our friends that we are teaching answered so that was nice.

Monday: We went to la oratava (my second time there). We passed by a less active who totally blew us off haha. And we also passed by some Russians that the missionaries there met the other day and the Russians were impressed with my Russian words hahaha. And one American that lives with them too haha. My 6-ish words in Russian really helped us hit it off right away haha. And we talked to people in the street about the Spain game because literally everyone was watching the game and so that makes things super unproductive haha.

Tuesday: we hiked 30mins up a steeeeep hill to get to a lesson. Had the lesson and because they had arrived about an hour late, we were an hour behind. We were late getting back to where the matrimony couple from gran canaria were going to pick us up and take us out to eat. We were supposed to meet at 1pm but we finished the lesson at 12:50pm. We ran down the hill and got down in 10mins. So we were good on time. But then when we were 2 mins away elder rogers feels the need to stop a guy resting on his bike. He moved here from the Czech republic. He starts out by saying, "I was testigo but now I'm evangelist. If you want, you can sit down and we can talk". And I said "tenemos prisa" ("were in a hurry", which was not an exaggeration). But he proceeded to share some miracles with us and answers he got from God. And wow. That's the first person that believing that I have met in a very long time here. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and shared quickly about the restoration and it all worked out (although we had some real prisa haha). That contact gave me hope that there really are people out there (on this island) that want the gospel. A ton who don't want it but there are a few who do want it. And we made it to go eat right when the matrimony couple found the place.)  :)

Wednesday-Friday, Sunday - all great days but I can't think of really funny/entertaining things to share right now.

Saturday: we ate with our favorite Peruvian family here in Los Cristianos (and only but besides the point haha). We ate cheviche and anticuchos. They were really, really good. I'll send a picture.

Funny rejection 1: 
Me:"what happened in the soccer game today?"
Them: "do you live here?" 
 Me:"we live in Los Cristianos" 
Them: "oh well I don't care"
He runs away haha

-Funny rejection 2: knocked a door, got rejected by a woman. Right after, we see another woman walking down the street with bird cage and we talk to her. 20 min later we see them walking together, and the one that rejected us is staring at a wall to reject us again.

-Funny rejection 3: talking to two ladies on the bus on the way back home... they are from a different faith and they didn't like us although we were nice to them. And they talked poorly about my companion under their breath the whole rest of the ride home. We thought it was pretty funny
Here are some quotes I enjoyed from a talk from general conference this week:

"Pure love is the true sign of every true disciple of Jesus Christ."

"Wherever they go, they bring the love of the Lord and peace to the hearts of others. True disciples love to obey the Lord’s commandments, and they obey because they love the Lord."

"True disciples know that the real blessings are not always what they want but rather what the Lord wants for them."

"“May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers. As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”'

"The love of those who serve silently and are not known to most of us but are well known to the Lord. The love of those who forgive all and always. The love of the ones who give more than they receive."

Christ's gospel is a gospel of love. Everything about it is about love. The commandments, the plan of salvation, the atonement. All was done because our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. 1 John 4:8 - "...God is love"
1 john 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

I love that the Lord love us and He really does want the best for us. Sometimes it's hard to believe but we must trust in Him and His plan for us. May we love one another more and truely love the Lord.

Have a great week!
Elder Openshaw

1) compy and I
2) cool pic
3&4) Peruvian food

June 25, 2018 ~ Transfer 16, Week 6

This past week has been an interesting one. Between holidays and the World Cup to makes it a little difficult for people to meet with us but we managed haha :) I would say this will probably be a short letter but it will probably be just as long as the other ones. :)

Transfers: my companion elder Hydrick is going to B9 in Madrid to be with Elder Gil (who I trained about a year ago). So he will enjoy that. I'm going to be with Elder Medeiros (from utah). And in 6 weeks I'll be coming home...yikes.

Monday: we went to San Isidro for proselyting. And we got a reference by asking a guy on a phone call for Wi-Fi haha. It was what came to mind and so I asked and he said that he needed to talk to us so he gave us his number. And we gave out a book of Mormon to a Cuban we stopped on the way to the bus stop haha. People are funny. And they like free things. We also saw some familiar faces today, some people we've talked to before. 

Tuesday: We came home to hot water! The technician came and it got fixed! At least for tonight, we will see what happens tomorrow. (It is still going strong)

Wednesday: We woke up this morning and then we went to go help Hermano Guzman with moving a bunch of his stuff from a storage unit in his complex to a different storage unit and to his brother's house in (he has to move it because they are doing construction in his complex...reinforcing the structure with steel beams). It took us about 5 trips, 2 to the storage unit and 3 to the home. It was a Chinese buffet. And it was super good. I ate way too much haha. And then we did two loads after eating to finish up and I was dead. I fell asleep in the car and Guzman shouted "cuidado!" (Watch out!) as if we were going to crash haha. We had a fun time with Guzman.

Thursday: We did Pancarta this morning (we used a stand up board with a question written on it, "what makes you happy?" And we asked people to write on it). We saw some familiar faces. And we also had a JW talk to us again and give us a phamplet hahaha. He was the only person who recognized us as Mormons. We had people call us JWs a few times and the best was an english lady who said "look it's the omish-ism" And my companion said hello in English and she got really embarrassed haha. Super super funny. But we saw a bunch of the same people as before. It was kind of interesting. Different day but a lot of the same people passed us.

Friday: weekly planning and English class

Saturday: This morning we went to go play soccer. Felipe, Maria V. and Aurora V showed up. We threw around the football a little bit and taught them how to play 500/jackpot and that was interesting hahaha. It was a very non-competitive game haha. And then Hermana Maria asked a bunch of Chinese young men playing basketball if us 5 could play against them 5. She's amazing. Haha and so they agreed to let us play. We got wrecked at first. And then after they beat us it became a game of who can make the coolest shot haha. And then we made a come back and started drilling some shots (Aurora and Maria made quite a few actually haha and Felipe too). And then we switched up the teams and it was a lot of fun. They spoke a little bit of English and quite a bit of Spanish but most the time they spoke to each other in Chinese haha.

We also missed the bus, ran and missed it again just barely...but it turned out to be a blessing because we made some calls and 2 people picked up that usually don't and we now have a couple of great lessons set up for this week!

I also helped a Russian lady with directions this week haha she was so excited that I spoke a bit of Russian hahaha. But I didn't get very far. We did help her out though. Huge language barrier but if you can make hand gestures and use Google maps it works great haha.

I was studying a talk by elder bednar this week from October 2008 called "pray always" and here are some things that I liked:

"Morning and evening prayers—and all of the prayers in between—are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years. This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to “pray always”"

"After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone."

"Petitioning Heavenly Father for the blessings we desire in our personal lives is good and proper. However, praying earnestly for others, both those whom we love and those who despitefully use us, is also an important element of meaningful prayer. Just as expressing gratitude more often in our prayers enlarges the conduit for revelation, so praying for others with all of the energy of our souls increases our capacity to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord."

As the scriptures say, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" (Matthew 7:7). As we ask and seek for answer, we shall find answers and recieve answers to our prayers. We must also understand that sometimes something we see fit for us isn't what Heavenly Father sees that we need. His thoughts are higher and He sees the whole picture. We have a very limited view. But as we use prayer as a way of aligning our will with His will, we will come to see (or continue to see) that Heavenly Father really does love us and will guide us back home. He loves us. He loves you, me, each one of us. And He wants what's best for us. We just need to trust Him and have faith that He will guide us as we ask for His direction. I invite you to pray and seek for answers to questions you may have and use prayer as a time to align your will with God's. Ask for His guidance and help and you will be led. Heavenly Father answers every earnest prayer. Maybe not in the timing that we want but in His timing because He sees best.

Have a great week!
Elder Openshaw

1) you like my fanny pack? It's huge! I didn't buy it though haha
2) super nice car...
3) a funny diagram we found in the moving van haha
4&5) my companion and I

June 18, 2018 ~ Transfer 16, Week 5

Hi everyone,

Shout out to the best dad (and mom) in the world for father's day :)

I'd say not a ton happened this week...we are still without hot water.(this is going on week 4 without it haha, week 3 complete...a good 18-20 days without hot water haha). Last Pday we spent running around and cleaning the old piso to give back the keys today.

Tuesday morning we did Pancarta here in Los cristianos - we wrote on a board "what makes you happy?" And we actual found two people. One guy said he would come to church. And we met samuel who talked to us about religion and who said he would come to english class. And the first people to talk to us were testigos...haha but they were actually pretty nice about everything. And there was a cute couple that pointed to each other when we asked them what made them happy. Many people didn't stop and there were lots of tourists but it went pretty well (we also put our sign in English and Spanish for the tourists haha). It was a fun little time that we had.

Wednesday: we went to San Isidro. We got failed on today just before the lesson (and we realized that they said yes but there was no possible way it would have worked out in their schedule...that was annoying). And so we just did pass bys. And we knocked on a door next to the pass by because they were home and apparently Elders Hydrick and Meeks had knocked her door before. And we taught her (Rachel) what we could about the restoration. And she knows the bible well so that's good. Maybe she has potential. Hopefully she will listen to what we have to say.

Friday: And for lunch we went to el fraile to visit with Maria and orlando -and Maria's cousin "Juan" is now living with them. He just got here a week or so ago from Venezuela. And for the lesson we "threw an audible". We were going to talk about temples before but with the new person in the plans we thought of sharing the restoration. But then Orlando asked for a video and we thought of the video about father's. And it happened to be perfect for what "juan" needed. It's hard for him because he had to leave his family behind so that he can help bring them to a safer place. And so he feels bad and he misses them a lot. But the video really helped him process what it is that he needs to continue to do. Everything he does is for them. It was a cool spiritual moment we had there with them.

On Friday: English class, Samuel and Juan came! They are new from this week. We met Samuel on Tuesday while doing the pancarta and he asked if he could bring a friend to english class. (So it was them 2, Maria V, Aurora V and Jesus in English class today, the Romanian family is in Romania and no one else it was a small class today).

Right before starting the noche de hogar, Maria Villalobos and Jesus were talking up Mormons and missionaries the whole time before the song and after the prayer haha before starting the spiritual thought. It was pretty funny. We shared a simple message about the savior and his love for us and it seemed like it touched them or helped at least some people out. I felt the spirit at least and it helped me feel good. My companion said those noche de hogars are so good because they are a break for us too where we get to teach people who want to hear the word. And I agree. And both Maria V and Jesus invited Samuel and Juan to church (and Jesus the non-member asked before Maria V and Maria V told him he was more of a member than her hahahahaha it was super funny). Hopefully Samuel and Juan come to church too

Saturday: So while we were thinking about our day we first thought...well...we don't know who's coming to soccer (the Villalobos and Joseph said they wouldn't be there) so we were praying that someone showed up. And we got there to play soccer and we had a huge tender mercy. Christian and Carolina came to soccer today. They are less actives that we both met for the first time today. But what a tender mercy. And we threw around the football with Christian and then played soccer with some younger kids. It was fun. It was good to get to know them. And then Felipe showed up and we played 3 v 3 against some 10-12 year old kids. The teams were actually pretty matched/even haha us and Felipe versus them. They were really good haha. And they didn't want to split up their little team haha.

Then we got ready, ate, studied. I still wasn't excited for our day. And I called Sandra and she failed us...I figured. This is the second time. Well we decided to replan a bit and we went to go do pass bys in los cristianos and get to know it a little better. But we didn't quite make it. Right after walking out of piso we saw an English man and his son carrying a bunch of things up their stairs (they live in the pisos next door). We offered help and the father said sure. And then we brought it to the bottom of the stairs where he said it was fine and we asked to take it all the way of the 50 stairs haha. And after insisting he let us. So that was cool that we got to do some service. And the 11 year old "John" made fun of me for my American accent. He said "wow, you guys sound really American" and he mimicked the way I said Manchester hahaha. (I was explaining that my last name is English and cames from a city by Manchester). The father invited us to come back and talk to him another day if we would like. He doesn't seem interested but he seemed polite about allowing us a chance to chat. It was a polite thing for the 5-10mins we took to help him.

Then we headed towards the bus and because it's a Saturday our schedule on the app is we had to wait for the bus to come. And as we got on the bus, Madeline, an Antigua investagator of the hermanas stopped us and said "hey, I know the hermanas, are you the missionaries?" And we've invited her to a noche de hogar or two but she has never been able to come. And we found out today that she has more potential than we thought. We talked to her on the bus and with her friend Borja. They both are super cool. Hopefully Madeline will be able to come to a noche de hogar or meet with us soon.

Sunday: We also had a Moroccan guy who spoke English, Spanish, Arabic and German to us from his window. We had about 2-3 contacts from the window that day haha. I didn't understand a thing he was trying to say but he thought I knew what he was saying...

So much for not having much to share haha.

Here's a quote from a general conference talk that I really like and am trying to internalize:

"Life is different for each of us. We all have a time of trials, a time for happiness, a time for making decisions, a time for overcoming obstacles, and a time for taking advantage of opportunities.
Whatever our personal situations may be, I testify that our Heavenly Father is constantly saying, “I love you. I sustain you. I am with you. Do not give up. Repent and endure in the path that I have shown you. And I assure you that we will see each other again in our celestial home.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen"

("He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved" - elder zivic)

I really like that. The mission is hard, it really is. I'd be lying if I said it was easy. And I've had an especially difficult time. But it's kind of like a mini example of life. Life is hard. But there are good times and happy times and sad times and times where things seem impossible to overcome. It makes me feel a lot better that the Lord is there for us and that He constantly is saying, “I love you. I sustain you. I am with you. Do not give up. Repent and endure in the path that I have shown you. And I assure you that we will see each other again in our celestial home.”. Internalize those words. Let them ring true. And I know that He loves us even during those times that we forget or don't remember it or it doesn't seem like it. Just keep going. Just keep trying and things will all work out.

Have an awesome week!
Elder Openshaw

1) intercambios with La Palma 
2) a great pizza we ate this week
3) a hilarious video from a pizza company here in Spain (not made with actual missionaries)

Video: Will add soon

June 11, 2018 ~ Transfer 16, Week 4

Hi all!

So the start of this week we were on Gran Canaria (a different island than where we live) for a zone conference and interviews with the Packs. It was our last zone conference with them so it was bitter-sweet. It was an amazing conference, probably one of the most uplifting ones on my mission. I will definately miss the Packs. They have served with so much love and they have helped me out so much.

This week for taught a few cool lessons. One over video call (while in Gran Canaria, right before interviews haha). And the others in person. But we actually had a very action filled week. I'm not sure if I mentioned the ants or the cold water but...our new piso has an infestation of ants and we are finally getting it under control. Apparently they disappeared last week and this week they were back. And the cold water...we did have hot water for about 1-2 days. And then it went out again. And they didn't get someone out here until today...we've gone a good 2-3 weeks with freezing cold showers each morning hahaha. We will see how long the hot water lasts...

About the lessons, we've got a couple of investagators who are progressing steadily. Little by little they are coming along. This past week we had an intense lessons where one let us know that they didn't know if God existed because of all the bad that has happened in their life. And they said they would pray and things would just get worse, not better. We pleaded with them to keep going, to keep fighting. And to continue until they see the light and happiness that God can offer them. One of my favorite scriptures: 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."

Most times, Heavenly Father doesn't take away the trial. He lets us learn from it and become stronger from it. And sometimes that means it may seem like the trial is too much. But He never will give us anything beyond what He knows we can handle/manage (however difficult it may be). He loves us and wants to best for us. We just have to trust that He is there to guide us and help us when things get difficult, when life seems impossible and when things really aren't going your way. I know Heavenly Father truly does love us and that He wants the best for us. Even when we aren't capable of seeing His love or help in the moment (I feel like gratitude and recognizing our blessings helps with seeing just how much Heavenly Father loves us). So if you are feeling down, count your blessings. And you will be able to feel/see how truely blessed you are.

Funny moments: little kid comes over during the lesson in the park with Lily (investagator) and we all say hi to him and he has one purpose...stone faced he goes over and tries to kick the soccer ball out from under Lily's little brother (he's sitting on it). And it was so funny. And the mom was so upset with the little munchkin but he still didn't change his facial expression haha

Also, I got hung up on 4 times (that day)...haha. People just kept hanging up while I was still talking to them. Even in situations where people normally stay on the line (like with members and such haha). But it was funny.

We also had a ward activity on Saturday and it went super well. There were more non-members than there were members. It was a lot of fun. We did a little cultural sharing night where everyone brought a typical dish from their country. We brought brownies and made them look like a soccer field haha. But there was a lot of great food there.

Have an amazing week!
Elder Openshaw

Zone pday, zone conference, some of the many people at the activity (the one where both my comp and I have blue ties haha)

June 4, 2018 ~ Transfer 16, Week 3

Hi Everyone!

Here are some highlights from the week. A little bit of everything...funny, sad, happy, etc. That's basically how the mission is in general. A mix of everything. But the good and happy moments stand out the most.

We got to the airport in the north (because we have to fly for intercambios on another island) and we had an horrific experience. We got to the front counter and the lady asked for our flight info and we tell her everything and she says "are you sure? There isn't a flight at that time." Then we found out we were supposed to leave out of the south airport... And we were horrified because that meant we would miss the flight... and we spent 1 hour on the bus more than what was needed! So we ruined our Pday. The office never flies us out of the South airport because it is so expensive. But today wasn't our lucky day...So we had to change the flight and wait in the customer service line. But it all worked out in the end. Yay! What a blessing!

(Intercambio -Monday / Tuesday)
And we met Juan el canario - some drunk dude who claimed to know everyone in the neighborhood. Elder Hamilton asked if he knew the person we were looking for and he said "ya, she's leaving in that car right now." He waved down the car and then they (a guy and girl) rolled down the window and the dude shouted "I'm atheist" and went away hahaha. And then juan said "look, here comes her sister" And Elder Hamilton asked and it wasn't the sister hahaha. And we ask him for his name and he said "soy Juan. Juan...el canario". Haha it was funny.

We went to Guzman's home (he's the ward mission leader) to eat really really good food. He likes Asian style everything haha. And he has nunchucks and a samari sword which are super cool haha. He was a little rusty on the nunchucks but still knows how to use them haha.

That evening, we passed by a less active family and they were home (our first pass by that answered today let us in! MIRACLE!). That hardly happens that we pass by someone and then let us in without a fight haha. They were nice. And it was kind of fun because he opened the door and said "come in elders". And they talked about all the members that they know and the good times that they have had.

As we went home, we went to the old piso to pick up a load. And we found the box of Book of Mormons that were taken! (Let me explain, we were moving and the box didn't fit in the car so we left it in the foyer thinking it would be safe...and it wasn't there when we brought down the second load...). They didn't try to hide that it was opened but at least they returned it to the same spot as before and we found it! Haha miracle! I don't think that they were expecting a bunch of religious books haha.

Then we passed by "Edison" an Antiguo investagator. Funny guy. He answered the door and said, "hey I'm going to get in the shower. Here's some juice. I'll be right back. You're welcome." He moved here from Nigeria. He's an interesting guy. He told us he knows the LDS church is the true church but he was going to another church because no one came and invited him to church again (he used to come all the time).

English class. one. 7pm the regular people. 7:30pm Andrea comes with 4 friends. We ended up having 15 people there (including us)! That was so cool! And Maria V invited the friends of Andrea to come to the activity and to church haha. And there is a girl Aurora's age - they just moved here from Colombia. We didn't even have to do the fellowshiping! It was awesome! They all exchanged numbers and we just smiled and wished that all members would do missionary work like them. They are wonderful. It's the little things that count.

Then we did pass bys in San Isidro and we actually found two less actives that we don't have their numbers. The first, Felipe C. And it was hilarious because we asked him for help with an address and we asked if he had seen missionaries before and he said he was Mormon already hahahaha. And we had a really good conversation with him.

And the second, if we had passed by 2 mins later, she would have been gone. She was coming out of the house when we got to her door (the timbre doesn't work, and the community/association doors here on the island are often left unlocked or opened). Today we ran into the right people at the right moment. It was great.

This morning we had a Multi-stake conference - for Western Europe. And some people came from Manchester to visit. And we talked about the city of "Openshaw" haha. Apparently it's not a great place to live....haha.

I also translated into English from the English to Spanish translation. That was difficult haha. I translated the end of the conference because they came at the usual hour church starts and we had to start the conference an hour earlier than usual. But I translated both Elder Kearon and Elder Utchdorf's talks. It was interesting because I could read their lips and see bits and parts of what they said in English but I had to listen to the Spanish translation which was 2-4 seconds behind. So that was difficult haha. There were quite a few times I had to drop ideas and just keep going with the translating. I gave the watered - down version of the talks haha. But a lot better than trying to translate the poem from last week haha.

Here's some things I learned this week. From the conference from yesterday, Elder Hallstrom talked about if we want to feel the power that comes from living the gospel, we need to study the scriptures, think about their words and ask God if it's true. And we will recieve an answer. Elder utchdorf emphasised the same point that no matter who we are, our background, our culture, etc. all people must read, think about the doctrine, and with faith, pray to recieve a witness or testimony of the truthfulness and we will recieve an answer. Here's a scripture to back that up:
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.
(Moroni 10:3-5)

I know that Heavenly Father keeps His promises. And I know that when we ask, He answers us.

It was also emphasized that people who follow the prophet, listen to his counsels and changes their life to be in accordance with his guidance. And those who do not follow the prophet, normally accept/follow his counsels to the point of what fits with their ideas and thoughts. But when there is a contradicting counsel to their ideas, they throw away the counsel as uninspired and they make their situation an exception (they justify it). Also, the members were counseled to stay strong to their beliefs because if they don't hold on or value the gospel, they will no longer have it as part of their lives. As we put God first, all things will fall out of or into their proper place in our lives.

Have a great week!
Elder Openshaw

1) going on a hike as a zone today to roque nublo or something like that. I'll have to look the name up again haha
2) Teide and clouds
3) eating with some members! They are awesome!

Mary 28, 2018 ~ Transfer 16, Week 2

So this week has been really long haha. It feels like last morning and the events of that day were weeks ago.

I'll start off explaining what's new missionary work-wise. We started teaching someone named belen and we had a great first lesson. She doesn't believe in God at all and it seems like she wants to know if He exists. But I don't know if she understands why it might be important in her life.

With also got dropped by someone named Maria who we had been meeting with. Basically she has a friend from her church that told her she can't meet with us that's sad. Especially because Maria knows what her friend said is wrong about us and what we have taught her. But the even sadder part is that Maria still doesn't want to keep meeting because she wants to keep her friend from her church happy (or at least not mad at her).

We also had an amazing lesson with someone named Ana and her family. We got to the house and the son answered the door (we will call him Adriano) and said "Hey remember me??" And we talked with him in the door for a little bit. It was a little awkward because he wasn't expecting us. He thought we found him by chance while knocking doors. But he invited us in and we taught him and one of his sisters (the other one didn't want to listen, yet haha). We taught them on the porch next to their pool haha. And Ana wasn't there. We taught them about the restoration and they understood! Like actually understood! We asked questions and they would explain back to us what we had taught them and add their thoughts. And Ana came running in at the end right after explaining everything and she was super sorry she was late. And then she asked "okay, what's going on?" And "Adriano" explained to her the restoration with basically all the points that we had explained! It was so cool that he got it! And then we had to run to catch the bus but both Ana and Adriano are curious to learn more and said they would read the introduction. It was a super super cool lesson. We will see how we can help them.

One day this week we ate Choripan (an Argentine meal of a chorizo sandwich with French bread, really good) with the obispo here. He had some great advice about how right now everything is structured but when we go home it's not and we have to choose what to make of our lives. As well as things that are unexpected will get in the way and we won't be able to plan our life as we might want. Everything happens in the time of the Lord and not necessarily our timing.

This week we also walked into the church to find a huge puddle on the floor. We thought it was a cleaning bucket with a hole in the bottom. But we later found out that there is a broken pipe or something in the wall and that water kept leaking we cleaned it up multiple times and let bishop know. In the end, we used the baptism font ladder as our step stool and we turned off the main water valves where bishop instructed us they might be.

We had to move this week (on Saturday)...I'm going to borrow the words of my companion to explain how it went:
"This has definitely been one of the longest weeks of my mission... I think I've mentioned it in my earlier emails but, we received a call from the mission office a while ago and they told us we had to move apartments. They found an apartment and told us we had 3 more preparation days before we had to be moved out of the old apartment and have it cleaned and ready to go. Then, we found out we had to travel today for intercambios, and next preparation day we will be traveling again for zone conference... So we had to move this Saturday. We have been packing at night, after we are done working and before we have to go to bed for the past week or so, so we were able to start the move at 9am and we didn't finish until 9pm. We did have a nice 2 hour lunch break where hermano villalobos took us out to eat which was super nice of him. A few aspects of this move were different, being that we are in Europe. 

For anyone who has ever moved, you can imagine the awkwardness of the move with these conditions:
- we lived on the 5th floor of the building we moved out of 
- we moved into a an apartment on the 6th floor of the building we are now living in.
- we had a member with a European sized car help us move...
-every load has to be loaded into an elevator, then into the car, then into the other elevator, and then into the other apartment.
- the funniest part was that the new buildings elevator doesn't go to our floor... We had to go to the 8th floor and then carry everything down 2 flights of stairs.

So the move was super exhausting, and then we got back to work on Sunday and now we're traveling so we haven't been able to unpack at all, which means our apartment is kind of a mess right now, but all things considered elder Openshaw and I are having a lot of fun. We're a bit tired physically, but very happy:)"

The move was a long process haha. And we found out in our new piso we have an obvious problem with ants that we weren't told about as well as no hot water. So that's's a nice piso though. And it's got a wonderful view of Los Cristianos.

On Sunday, we had church. And I had the opportunity to translate the end of sacrament (I had to give a talk so I couldn't do all of it haha. And I also got to translated for 2nd hour which was a little better than sacrament meeting for me (someone read a really long poem for their talk and I couldn't keep up with all the poetic language that didn't translate directly).

Something I liked this week:
Mark 2:1-12 (this is the whole story if you want it)
I enjoy analizing how the Lord ministered to people. He was the perfect minister and he addressed people's needs and desires. He didn't only help them a little but he did the best that He could to help them. And He helped them despite opposition to other people. He worked many miracles and helped many people. It's so cool that we have such a great example as the Savior of the world. I know He died to pay for our sins so that we can live with our Heavenly Father again after this life. What an amazing blessing and something we can't fully comprehend how much He really did for us.
1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Have a great week!
Elder Openshaw 

1) the boxes in the car
2) eating out with Thomas and Hermano Villalobos as a lunch break
3) my soda can wouldn't open because the tab I had to punch it open with my pen haha
4) fixing the leaking water issue in the church...

May 21, 2018 ~ Transfer 16, Week 1

Hi everyone!

As I was reviewing my journal I realized that this week as been very interesting. The people are what make and break missionary work. And people are hilarious. I will explain.

Example #1: Monday we met who we will call Marijuana Tim. We asked him for directions and he said "sorry I don't live here" and we started talking and it came up that he has friends in la Palma that have a garden where they grow " know potatoes, cabbage, carrot...and marijuana". The way he said it... I just died haha. It was super funny. He wasn't too interested in our message haha

Example #2: Then as we left the church, there was a beer can that Elder Hydrick and taken in and thrown away because it was in the entrance of the church. He threw it in a trashcan without a bag so as we left we figured the members would freak out if they saw the beer can in the church, so we put it into a bag but in the process I spilled beer every where (it wasn't completely empty)... And so we had to clean that up haha. And while throwing it away we found two crates that will be super helpful for moving so (we are moving pisos) win right? Haha
Wednesday: while we were on our way to the bus station, a lady named Jacqueline stopped us and said "hey I'm Mormon. Where's the church? I live in Puerto Santiago" so we got her number and we are looking at a day if it's even possible to visit her (she lives super far away). But it was cool that she stopped us and talked with us.

(Wednesday afternoon)
Then as we sat in a park putting in the lessons we just had, I got smacked in the face by a soccer ball...a 10-12 year old kid was kicking it around and he doesn't aim well...and I got wrecked. And my companion saw it going for my head but didn't warn me or stop it at all haha it didn't occur to him until after.

Then we walked to Las Galletas and Costa del Silencio to do pass bys. Not much luck with pass bys (it was literally a maze of buildings...) but we did find some people to teach. There were 2 Cubans we got to talk to. I turned around after walking by them and said "hey, you got a baseball shirt on, you like baseball?" And we got them talking. The more interested of the two ended up getting a phone call that lasted 10mins or so and at one point both guys were on the phone hahaha. So we waited until one got off and then we were waiting forever for the more interested guy to get off the phone and finally he does. We asked for his number and then he got another phone call...but his friend gave us his number and we were all good haha. We will see when we can meet with them. In their 20s. Pretty cool guys.

Then we went and we visited a member named Juan. We had tried to meet with him 3 times before but he would say yes and that he would call us but nothing ever happened. And we tried to get in his building with absolutely 0 possibilities. No timbre, no button to get in. Nothing. The place is locked down... So we called him and he has us come in and he shares his story with us about why he hasn't been at church and his testimony about how he knows it's true. It was a good little visit.

Funny moment: we were talking to two Russian workers who were fixing the sidewalk. We asked for directions in the maze of buildings. They said "Español, no. Sorry." Then they asked "Ruski?"
Me: No.
Me: No. English?
Them: No.
Me: oh... "coc de la?"("How are you" in Russian). Haha they enjoyed that haha. They thought it was cool that I knew a little bit of Russian
Comp study in the park. There were a couple flies but not that many.
Then we met with Maria and we met on the same bench that we did comp study on. Flies came and attacked again like last time! Wow! There were a ton of flies and they weren't there before! We are hoping that she understands what and why we are teaching these things, we taught the plan of salvation today. She understands when she reads but not when we explain things to her. So that can be a little frustrating haha

Funny moment: we were walking back home and I got hissed at by a "snake" from a 4th story balcony. Haha "snakes" are girls that are super flirty with the missionaries. But like she actually hissed haha. I guess it was like some sort of cat call. And then she blew some kisses when I realized where the sound was coming from. She was around 15 I think hahaha.
Then we had English class and "Elder" Hendrix had come back to visit (he was comps with Elder Wither at one point). So that was cool.
And then we looked for cardboard boxes to do the move. We've found boxes here and there to put our stuff in for the move. Where do we get the boxes from? From the trash. They usually pile them up next to the trashcans and we try to find the very cleanest ones haha.

Then we taught Lily over video call. Her faith is being strengthened and she's feeling better again. She told us sí o sí (100%/absolutely) she would be at church next week because she misses going. We are excited for the progress that she is making.

Church. I got to translate today in sacrament meeting. It is interesting the things that I've learned. For example, the need to finish my sentence by saying something even if I didn't catch everything that the speaker said (that way if you really get lost you don't have to sound as dumb or lose your listeners when you abandon the idea and start with a new one haha).

It's been cool this week to see the blessings we recieve everyday and how much Heavenly Father really does bless us. Elder Holland said something in a talk from Oct. 2006 that I really liked: ( I know the quote is a little long but it's totally worth it)
"If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God’s goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens—even if some days it doesn’t seem so." ... "Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be."

My favorite part...."There will always be more blessings than burdens—even if some days it doesn’t seem so."" Some day it doesn't seem like there are more blessings than burdens but Heavenly Father is there for us to help us. I know that. He's only a prayer away no matter who we are or what we believe or how imperfect we may feel or if we think He won't want to talk to us. He does want to hear from us. He's always there and wants the best for us. It's hard sometimes because I'm sure if He could, He would let us have a perfect little life with no problems at all. Heavenly Father is our father, the father of our spirits and wants the best for us like any great father. But life doesn't work that way. If things were easy, we wouldn't grow, we wouldn't progress, we wouldn't change. And because Heavenly Father knows what is best for us He knows we have to change and grow because we aren't perfect yet and that we need a little push sometimes to change. Growing isn't usually pleasant but it's the purpose of why we are here in life. Alma 34:32 says: "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." We prepare to meet God as we become more like Him and change with His help, trusting in Him (also known as repentance). And like it says in Mosiah 29:20 He "extend[s] the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him."

Have a wonderful week!

With care,
Elder Openshaw

Photos - I don't have any in missionary clothes from this week haha. But here's a couple from this past Monday at Teide and a bunch of fruit we bought because it was wayyyyy cheaper than usual (and we freeze it so it won't go bad. Don't worry :P).

PS. Sorry this is way long but if you got to the end you get some brownie points for sure. --86 BROWNIE POINTS -- sound good to you?