Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 20, 2017 ~ Transfer 5 Week 6

Hi all!

Last Monday we played soccer with the MTC elders which was pretty fun. They think we are so cool because we've already been in the field and they ask funny questions like if we have hot water (yes) and stuff like that =) Tuesday, we had an intercambio with the zone leaders (and one of them was called to be an AP) and we had a miracle happen. Elder Campbell and I were together and we were passing by member's homes to see if they still live where the directory says they live. And we took a nice detour thinking it was a shortcut and it wasn't. So we found our way to the piso we were searching for and nobody was home. And right then someone walks up to the door to go in and we stopped and asked for directions to the next home. Little did we know that this lady was a member who moved here from Boliva 13 years ago and never had her records moved (so nobody knew she lived her). And we got to invite her to church and the B8 elders will visit her soon. The only reason we found her was because of the detour we took, if we hadn't taken it we would have missed meeting this lady.

Funny moments this week:
Sometimes members don't really understand our purpose as missionaries. We went to someone's home this past week thinking that we were helping with a English class (the lady teaches English to children) and then we thought after maybe 15-20 mins we can teach a quick lesson and go (because the little girl who is learning English really loves talking about Jesus). Little did we realize that the whole reason we were there was just because we are native English speakers and she wanted to use us to teach the class. So after a while we realized what was going on and the lady was going over asking us questions about what we like. And thankfully she said "ask them if they like to pray". And so I was able to say "yes we love to pray and we would like to say a prayer right now because we have to go". Haha =) 

One of the members we ate with yesterday wouldn't let us eat unless we were wearing our pink ties and even though she was joking, we changed our ties to be funny.

This week I also found another person that knows my Grandpa O, someone else from Peru.

For food this week we had a lot. We had 2 meals with members or investagators everyday because Elder Weiss was leaving. One day we survived 4 meals but that was pretty miserable. The food was great =) We went to a buffet sushi place (and I took pictures, also there was miso soup). We had an amazing homemade pizza and Venasulan arepas. We also had paella, Italian brucheta and so many other great foods. I bought stuff to make chicha morada this coming week.

This week was transfers. 
My companion is going home because he has served for two years and has now finished his mission. My new companion is Elder Wither who actually was already living with us (we have two companionship's and he was in the other one). He didn't have to move far =) And then the Assistant's to the President got moved to the same zone and church building I'm at (they are in the other ward, Barrio 8). And then the other companionship in Piso were called to be zone leaders in Barrio 6. So it's probably a little confusing by now, but in my Piso my companion left and we got one new elder who will be the other zone leader. 

I was called as the District leader. I feel very humbled to serve in this capacity. We have 9 people in the district and have to Skype in 2 elders who live about 1.5 hours away by bus. 7 are serving here in Barrio 6 with 3 Hermanas (Sisters) and 4 Elders.

I know that Heavenly Father does His own work. It's amazing how much He is involved in the work (and sometimes it's hard to notice in the moment but looking back we can see it a lot better). 

We had two moments this week where we couldn't find someone to come with us to a lesson and we couldn't enter without them. The first one worked out a lot easier than the second. The second time we searched and searched and 15 minutes before the lesson we still couldn't find anyone to accompany us. I prayed if it was Heavenly Father's will that we could find someone to help us out and just then some senior missionaries drove by. It was an answer to prayer. They were able to help us out and we even got to the lesson early (we would have been late without the car).

This week I really saw the difference between living the Gospel and just following the Gospel as a checklist of rules.

 As missionaries we see and teach all kinds of people, but in Madrid we teach quite a few more lessons than in Oviedo  (my previous area). Those who really struggle with finding happiness in living the Gospel are the ones who I've seen be upset at the "checklist of rules": Reading scriptures and pray everyday, going to church, not doing drugs, etc. Those who I have seen fight the "rules" are the ones who miss out on the blessings of true happiness. And in contrast I have seen the opposite of the "checklist followers". Those who truly LIVE the Gospel and they recognize the "rules" as standards or guidelines to help us receive the joy our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy. They don't fight the guidelines but accept them and try their best to stay within them because they know that is where joy is found. They don't push to see how far they can go before they are breaking rules but they LIVE and enjoy their lives within the limits so they can have joy. 

Look for how you can live within the limits of what you know is right. Heavenly Father will bless you so much more. I know that we have the guidelines that we have so that we can truly be happy. The Gospel isn't just a checklist of rules but instead a way of living.

Have a great week! 

Elder Openshaw

Calle Fuerteventura 4, 2, Oficina 8B
28703 San Sebastián de los Reyes
Madrid, España

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