Saturday, April 27, 2013
Alex will be returning this Tuesday (April 30, 2013) and will be speaking in our ward on May 12, 2013. Those interested in attending the meeting (and he will speak in both the English and Spanish meetings) please let us know so we can give you more information on meeting times, and location.
|Cuenca is a United Nations World Heritage Site. It was established by the Moors in the 700s and has been walled ever since. It is a well preserved medieval Spanish city.|
Dad and Family,
This week has been full of buff fingers!! We´ve been tocando timbres [ringing doorbells] and knocking doors for a good while this week! Super cool, but also super crazy! We´ve become timbre [doorbell], door knocking machines here in Cuenca! I´m glad that all has gone well over there in Texas! So today I got my flight itinerary for the 30th of April. I got a crazy feeling of nerves as well as just missing Spain. It was pretty much the same feeling that I got when I opened my call, but not the whole shaking and nearly falling over on the floor dead, but the realization that I´m going home....just....crazy!!! Enya is calming me down as I write this email though so it´s all good. Haahahahahaaaaa. Anyway, on to my week!!
So Monday of last week we visited an investigator couple and it was a good visit, we actually ended the night with them. We talked about 3 Nephi 11 and watched the last scene of The Testaments and it was good. Little kids running around all of the time, but it´s really funny and I guess it´s okay if they are little kids. Before them we taught another couple and we pretty much talked about obedience to the commandments of God, especially the Word of Wisdom since he´s having trouble with that commandment. He´s a cool guy, but he just has a bit of trouble with that, and going to church, but his job doesn´t really allow him to do so. He did say that he´d come this next week.
|More of the walls surrounding the old town of Cuenca.|
Wednesday we started early since our session in the Temple was the first one, at 8:00 AM, so we left and took the bus over to Pavones. It was a cool little experience!! I just LOVE the Spain Madrid Temple!!! Super pretty and just amazing! I stayed in the celestial room for a long time since I knew it was the last time that I´d see that Temple. Super sad. =( I just noticed that I use the word super a lot, as well as the exclamation points, sort of overuse them super too super much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh well, it´s just that everything is super amazing and super cool that I just have to use the super word "super" a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As well as these ->! Anyway, moving on. We then did exchanges and I came back to Cuenca with Elder Shumway, our wonderful district leader and it was a great day of knocking doors. We had a good day too, but the lessons failed us again. We did have one lesson, and she´s pretty cool!! She´s known missionaries before and has a mini testimony of the truth, but it just needs to be nurtured a little bit more, just like in Alma 32!!! We then knocked doors some more!
|Elder Bauer in Cuenca|
Friday we actually had lessons!! But before that, we had weekly planning!! Super fun!!!! We then had medio día [lunch break], then we went to the lessons! We taught one of our couple investigator, but the husband wasn´t there. We took Jose with us so it was all good!! Super good!!! We pretty much asked her why she wanted to get baptized since she expressed desires for that. She pretty much just said that she would have to think about it and visit the church to make the decision. That´s fine, since I wouldn´t baptize someone that hasn´t gone to church. We then visited another couple, and that was a pretty stressful lesson. He was just sharing scriptures that didn´t have anything to do with the lesson and also asked really random questions. I eventually told him that he should listen to my companion since he was talking at the time. Since then he was pretty quiet. I´m not sure how things will work with them, but we´ll see. We ended the night with Petra and her husband. We shared the talk that Elder Holland gave, and they liked it!! They didn´t see it, but did watch General Conference. They missed the Sunday evening session, but that´s common here in Spain. We then ate with them.
|As Elder Bauer explains this picture, "it is a waterfall thingy".|
Sunday we had Church and it was good, but weird to think that it was my second to last Sunday in Spain! We then had lunch with President Vaquera and his family there at the church since they live in Madrid. Crazy how far they have to drive to get to their branch that they are assigned to go to. We then knocked doors until 7:30 when we went over to an investigator couple’s house. He was tired so we just talked for a while and that´s about it. We then went over to Ana’s house. She´s really awesome and just loves the missionaries. She is less active since she can´t go to church because of her handicapped son. We sang a hymn and shared a bit of the significance of the hymn and then ended with another hymn. Super cool since she loves the hymns!! We then walked home the long way.
|On a hike around Cuenca|
|Cuenca from the surrounding hills|
Saturday, April 20, 2013
|Cuenca from the bridge between the San Pablo Monastery (now Parador), and the city of Cuenca|
|Another view of Cuenca|
Hello all y´all!!
I just had to practice my Texan accent if I´m going home in 2 weeks. I must say that I´m more nervous than excited about that, but I can honestly say that I´m not letting it get to my head so that I can continue being the missionary that God needs me to be! This week has been full of cool stuff, and long trips, but it´s been really cool!! I´m hoping that things continue to go well over there at home and that you guys have a good week this next week!! I´m really looking forward to the growth of Cuenca in the weeks and months to come!! Anyway on to my week!!
So Monday we went to an investigator’s house after we did the Cristo hike, but then her boyfriend left the house, so that meant that we would have to leave as well. Bummer since I wanted to get to know her a bit more before that happened. Oh well, rules are rules. We then went to another home. He is a less active member and I really hope to help him come back and gain a testimony! We haven´t been able to do too much with him, but we did teach him about faith, prayer, reading the scriptures and going to church. I hope that something comes out from that! Not too much else that day.
|Elder Bauer's set of keys|
Pretty cool how many people we have found in just two hours! Not too many, but more than normal since we contacted like machines!! We then went and ate with a member and it was good food like usual!! I like food!! Food is good! Makes your stomach all happy and stuff!! Anyway, we then taught an investigator a bit of Mosiah 24 since she´s having a few problems and basically the message was to help her see that there are examples of people that suffered in the Book of Mormon, so it was good! We then saw another investigator, and it´s pretty difficult to teach her, since she goes on about other things. We then had English Classes, and a lot more people came than last week!! We had a full class of 2 people.....HA, that´s not full. We haven´t really put in an effort to pass out little cards either, but oh well. We´d better get on that!! Well, that´s it for Tuesday.
Wednesday we didn´t have very much go on, but we did get to visit two people! We visited one of those that we found that was “among the weeds”, but we hope to be able to help her out of them. Her husband isn´t really interested in the message, and doesn´t show hope of understanding it. Adriana though, she has potential and I hope that the potential doesn´t die away. We basically got to know them and gave them the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet of the restoration. She started to read it while we were there, and she said that she really likes it and will read it!! I was really happy!!! Later we finished the night with a family from Peru! They are pretty cool, but the lesson could have gone a bit better on both of our parts. I have a lot to learn still. We pretty much just shared the restoration and they liked it! They then had us stay and we ate with them! It was really good food!! I just love the food here!
|A plant growing in the missionary apartment (hopefully that is the only thing growing in their apartment)|
Friday I saw the Temple from up close for the first time in 5 months!! It´s pretty cool how I really needed to be close to it after so long!! I just love the Temple!! Super cool and lovely! We then had the conference and it was one of the best ones that I´ve had on the mission!! I really enjoyed it!! I felt edified and it was just awesome!! We then ate Dominoes Pizza and it was good!! Elder Lyman and I then went to the bus station and tried to get the 4:30 bus, but it was full, so we had to wait until 6:30. We walked around and it was fine. We finally got back and contacted for the rest of the night.
Saturday we went to the church and did a "service project" which was move the ping pong table from the bottom floor to the top floor. We had to buy some tools to do it and we succeeded!! We had Jose there helping us so it wasn´t too hard. In the evening we saw an investigator and her friend. We committed her friend to come to church and he accepted so it was good! Later we saw another investigator and her husband and it was a mini English class. We left soon after that to go over to a member’s house, and visited her to help her animo [enthusiasm] go up! She hasn´t been to church for a month and so that could be a reason why she´s feeling sad and down. I hope that we helped her out. We then visited an investigator and it was a good visit. I´m not sure if he´ll progress, but we´ll see as time goes on.
|Madrid, Spain Temple|
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
|It's P-day. We are going to hike there. Yes, even on P-day we are inviting all to come unto Christ!|
|Okay - now can you see the statue on top of the hill?|
Well, this week was amazing!! I can honestly say that I´ve seen more miracles here in Cuenca this week than last week!! Super cool the conference, it was the great end to the week, but unfortunately we couldn´t see it all. We only saw all of the Saturday sessions, except for President Thomas S. Monson´s talk in the priesthood session, but I´ll have to find time to watch them. Well, like I said, this week has been great!! Let me tell you about it!!
So, I don´t remember if I told you, but last week on Sunday, we had the Madrid Temple President come and talk to us about the temples and missionary work. He related experiences about when he was mission president of the Spain Barcelona Mission and it was really cool! He related an experience where the zone of these two missionaries set a goal for so many baptisms. It was the end of the month, and they didn´t get their goal, they were one away. So these missionaries decided to miss their Sunday meetings to find this baptism. While they were sitting on a bench, this person gets off of a bus and asks them if they were missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They said that they were, and the person said that he had all of the lessons and that was ready for baptism. They reviewed all of the lessons to make sure, and he was baptized the same Sunday. Super cool story that comes into play later into my week.
|Coming to Christ does lift you above the common place. (View of Cuenca from the hike.)|
Tuesday we did contacts in the morning and it wasn´t the best thing since it´s so cold and rainy all of the time, but we found some people. During medio-día [lunch break] we had lunch with a member and her daughter who´s an investigator, and it was great! We then had a lesson with another investigator about the restoration. She´s super good. Later on we had a lesson with Jose, the recent convert, and he took us to his "house" to teach him about priesthood and about his calling as branch mission leader. He´s so good! I just love that guy!!
|We made it. We came unto Christ|
Wednesday we had district meeting over the phone since Madrid is a 2.5 hour bus ride. So we had it over the phone, but it was okay, not the best, but okay. Not too much else happened that day. We tried to have lessons, but it wasn´t too successful that day.
Thursday we had weekly planning and it was good, especially since we thought about some prospective new investigators. After planning, we had medio-día [lunch break] in our piso [apartment] and then went over to have a lesson with an investigator. We talked about the Book of Mormon and also a bit of what the plan of salvation is. We also committed her to read 2 Nephi 2 so that she could have a bit of an intro to what we would talk about the next time. It was good. We then taught English to the 14 year old son of an investigator and he´s pretty good, even though he doesn´t take it super serious, but it´s okay, he´s 14 so what should we expect. We ended the night with Petra and her family! Spanish member family, but the two guys are less active. We´re trying to help them come back. It was a good lesson and we talked about how reading the scriptures, prayer, and going to church helps us to have a firm testimony. We then ate dinner with them and it was really good! The dessert was especially good!!
|View from the top of the hill (at the foot of the Cristo statue).|
Saturday we had 3 lessons. One with two new investigators who we met on the street and it was GREAT!! They are from Peru, and they have heard the missionaries before and are wanting to know and learn a bit more. We then went over to an investigator’s house to teach her English and had a lesson after and we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We extended an invitation to be baptized, but she said that she couldn´t until May. She´ll take that step, but not until then. It´s fine, but yeah, we´ll see what happens. She´s prepared so it should happen soon. We then had another lesson with another investigator, and we read with her 2 Nephi 2 since she didn´t read it. We also explained it and she liked it. We met with her at her new piso [apartment], even though she´s just renting a room. We ate sweets with her after. Good day!
|The edge of town from the valley below Cuenca.|
Today we saw the hanging houses as well as going on a hike and saw the Cristo at the top of a mountain, and then saw really cool rock formations in the mountains on our way down to the hanging houses. I hope that all of you are doing good!! Take care and I´ll talk to you next week. Long letter and short on time. Love you all!!
|The most famous of the hanging houses of Cuenca.|
Saturday, April 6, 2013
|Old part of Cuenca|
|A picture from the older portion of Cuenca|
Dad and Family,
Well, today I don´t have my agenda with me, but that´s fine since the week wouldn´t be sharing the whole thing. Let’s just say that it was a good, but very hard week!! We finished the former investigators and the members list, so now we are going to have to contact a lot more than I have ever contacted in my life. Oh well, I´m sure that someone is out there waiting. We have met some pretty cool people, but we´ll see if anything comes from them!
|One of the famous casas colgantes (hanging houses) of Cuenca|
|A neighborhood of hanging houses of Cuenca|
|Living on the edge in Cuenca|
|Elder Bauer overlooking the edge of Cuenca|
|The cathedral in the plaza mayor in Cuenca|
|The former convent of San Pablo, and now a Parador Hotel|
Sunday, March 31, 2013
|Our neighborhood in Cuenca|
Hello there Family!!
Well, I can honestly say that Cuenca is much COLDER than Las Palmas. I´m freezing, but it´s also good. I´m trying to have a good attitude about it by telling myself that I missed the cold. I also have a cold, the sickness, which is not cool either. Oh well, all part of the experience. Cuenca is a small town, and it compares to Parla in smallness. It´s cooler than Parla though, since it has old buildings and stuff. My new companion is Elder Lyman, from Utah! He´s a really cool, chill sort of guy!! He´s a really hard worker and also is very diligent in his work!! I was hoping to train my last transfer, but I know that Elder Lyman is my companion for a reason, and I´ll learn all I can from him! We both have pretty high expectations for Cuenca and I´m excited to work with him a bit more these next few weeks!! Nine members came to church and we have a goal that by the end of the transfer it will go up to 20 or 25. We also have a goal for 2 baptisms here in Cuenca before the transfer ends. Super cool and I´m super excited.
|Elder Lyman (next to an old mini Cooper)|
Anyway, as you already know, we didn´t make it to Cuenca on Monday since we didn´t make it to the train on time. Tuesday we did make it!! We went in an Alvia Train, which hit a top speed of 252 KPH which was pretty cool!! When we made it here, our piso dueño [landlord] picked us up and took us to our piso [apartment]. It´s pretty far out of town, but really nice!! It´s brand new as well!! We visited a few members and that was it for the night.
|Note how you can see mountains from our neighborhood!|
Thursday we had weekly planning, and we planned during the morning hours and have great expectations for this area. We then went out and visited a Dominican family who are less active, and Jose, a recent convert and Branch Mission Leader, brought a friend over who is an 86 year old Spaniard. The lesson was interesting, but it was a fun experience. We also met a member family that lives just 2 blocks away from our piso [apartment]! They are a Spanish family with a daughter that is a return missionary!! Super nice family, but the husband and son are less active. We´ll work with them along with other less actives.
|A view of old town Cuenca|
Saturday we met with one former investigator. He´s a joven [young man] and stopped listening to the missionaries because he studies a lot. We´ll have to see about him. We then kept passing by former investigators and while we were knocking a building, we met a Spaniard who invited us in. He´s super nice and had a Book of Mormon, but wasn´t interested in the message. Oh well, so far just planting seeds.
|The branch meetinghouse in Cuenca|
|Sunset in Cuenca|
Monday, March 18, 2013
|The Las Palmas district (before transfers). |
From left to right: Sisters Marshall, Zitting, Buhler, and Elders Buhler, Bauer, Valenzuela, Wilson and Rockwood.
This week has been full of surprises and I can´t even think straight with the huge shock that I´ve gotten. So, the shocking news is that I have been transferred from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to Cuenca, in the Peninsula. I honestly couldn't believe it!! And just to mention, Cuenca is a new area, so it hasn´t had missionaries for at least a year and a half. So me and my new companion, Elder Lyman, are opening a new area. Pretty crazy and sad. I was really hoping to stay in Las Palmas for the rest of my mission. I am pretty excited to be going to Cuenca though. It looks and sounds like a super cool place, even though it´s just as small as Parla, or smaller. Even if I only get to serve there for 6 weeks, it´s fine!! New things aren´t bad, but sometimes it isn´t good either, haha.
|Elder Valenzuela, Luram, and Elder Bauer|
|Elder Valenzuela, Yeinira, and Elder Bauer|
|Raquel, Franklyn, y Nenad, Elder Valenzuela, and Elder Bauer|
|David, Elder Bauer (holding onto David Jr.), Sandra, and Elder Valenzuela|
|A blue Atlantic on the way back to the peninsula.|