Monday, September 12, 2016

September 8, 2016

I have gotten a little better at spelling.

What do you want to know about Madrid and my mission? I forget what I haven't told you yet.
I've loved having the Russian, Portuguese and French missionaries here. It's great to pick up little bits of language here and there. It makes soccer a whole lot more fun too.

Today we went to Puerta del Sol. Really cool. It's like a mini times square but in the 1500s. Check for my pictures, I got them uploaded today.

It's amazing to me how gentle, but powerful the Spirit can be. I have had so many promptings that I wasn't sure if there were just my thoughts or not but they were good things so I have acted on them. One night before bed I felt the need to tell two of our sisters to hold a Testimony meeting in their room before bed. I didn't know at the time, it felt really awkward to ask them to do it, but it was a prompting so I acted on it. The next morning was fast Sunday and someone bore their Testimony of how an Elder Openshaw told the sisters in their room to hold a Testimony meeting. And it was just what they needed because they felt prompted to share earlier in the day but didn't take the chance and don't get another chance until that night. It was such a gentle prompting but I could not deny it was there.

Also, thank you for your prayers. They have definitely been felt. I pray for you every night too. My back has been hurting quite a bit because I took a nice spill in soccer that shifted my hip the way it usually goes and now my back is out. Heavenly Father told me he would provide and that I needed to stop worrying about it and start helping the other Elders more. I guess that's what happens when you are more in tune with the spirit, you get more frank, clear conversation.

When I went to the Parque del Retiro this past Saturday I didn't have as much success with the language but still a great day. I was with another Russian bound Elder from Utah, Elder Anderson my zone leader. Great, powerful elder. That was his first day without being threatened at the park haha so it was a good day. I learned a lot from him. I learned that often one Elder will receive a promoting of where to go or what to do and that the other Elder must exercise faith to follow that prompting. We sing in the park after prozeletying and Elder Anderson and I were in charge of contacting people who stopped to listen. It was a great experience. Both times I have been with one of the Russian elders. And this past week, actually that morning 4 of the 8 Russian st. Petersburg bound elders had their missions changed to the Baltic states. And both elders in was at the park with were 2 of those 4. They were meant to come to the Madrid Spain CCM. Only their Russian district got sent here from the Provo MTC.  Not many times does that happen. They were here 6 weeks and before here Provo for 3.

My patience has been tested with the Spanish language and my patience tested in general. I have learned that in order to feel closer to God and his guidance I have need to stop being so hard on myself and really focus on helping lift up others. It's been great to be able to serve others. The other missionaries have strengthened my Testimony so much. It's amazing how many people don't know anything about the church out here in Spain. I love it. and they need it. 

The signature move of the Spaniards is the finger wag. I had to use that on some gypsies in the puerta del sol and the gypsies were so aggressive it didn't mean much haha. We went to the official real Madrid store, the Apple store, other cool places. Too bad most of my favorite soccer players are on Barca. And I'm trying to remember to take pictures with me in them, I got some awkward selfies at the end for you haha. 

The temple here is beautiful. It is very well lit up and so in the morning before the sun is up it is gorgeous.

I am having so many great experiences, the food is great, their are nice cars here which I have missed (we saw a jaguar today).

I love you all and miss YOU! 
I hope you are doing well. 

Elder Openshaw

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