Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 27, 2013 - Editor's Note

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.

April 22, 2013

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.
Tuesday we had four lessons set up so we were pretty happy! Unfortunately little by little, they went failing. Oh well, we did just as you probably thought! We knocked doors, just like the grand machines that we are!! We did teach Jose, the recent convert from the Dominican Republic, about Temples! Super cool and he looks happy like usual! Aside from that, knocking doors! Later on in the night we took the last bus to Madrid so that we could go to the Temple the next day!!! Speaking of Temples, haha.

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
Thursday was not weekly planning since I wasn´t with my companion. HA, tricked you guys!! We taught a cool Spanish guy! He´s super awesome and super cool!!!!! He pretty much said that the first visit was going to be to get to know each other and then we´d speak of religion a bit later. I thought, cool, that´s what the first lesson is for!! So we did just that, and then he asked us if we could share a 5 minute summary of what our message is. So, we did just that, pretty much putting everything together into a big mesh with the Plan of Salvation and mixing it up to make sense. Later he asked us what we would say to a guy that would have 5 minutes to live. Elder Shumway told him that he´d say that there´s the esperanza [hope] (English is bad) that he´d see his family again after death. Then he told us a bit of what Jesus Christ means for him. Super cool testimony!! We then talked over peanuts and Coca Cola. Super cool guy!! His wife is from Holland, and speaks English really well! Then guess what we did. If you guessed knock some more doors, you´re RIGHT!!!! You just won a prize!!! Go buy yourself a prize since I don´t have one for you. Hahaha. Elder Shumway then left and I was with Jose for 45 minutes until Elder Lyman came.

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".
Saturday we had English Classes with Sabrina and her friend Elio, then had a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Super cool lesson, but to me it felt a bit long. We then ate with Sabrina and Elio and as usual, the food was good!! We then did what you could guess, yup, knocked some more doors!!! All of the lessons failed again!

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
Today we went on a 7 km hike!! Super awesome!!!!! We pretty much left Cuenca and came back! Crazy stuff!! Anyway, I hope that all is going well over there in Texas! I´ll talk to you next week...but seriously...in person!!!! Love you...BYE!!!!!!

Elder Bauer

Cuenca from the surrounding hills

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April 15, 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
Tuesday we did quite a bit of finding out there on the streets of Cuenca! Some of the people are the ones that burn up in the sun and wither away. Others get eaten by the birds. Some actually take root, but then wither away since they were in shallow ground. One of them is among thorns and weeds, so we´re trying to help them grow and get rid of the weeds. Overall, we do have a few that have the potential of bearing fruit and we may be able to see the fruits of our labors! (I knew that you´d enjoy that dad. It wasn´t even my idea, Elder Lyman, my companion, gave me the idea.)

 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)
Thursday we had weekly planning and it was pretty good!! We planned for a lot of people since we found a lot of people (as mentioned above, haha)! We then went and helped a kid with English, but it didn´t help him out a lot since he doesn´t study...ever!! Oh well, but I really hope that he studies and then he wouldn´t feel the way he does. At four we went with Jose, and taught a new investigator, actually a less active member that works every Sunday.  We got to know her and it was pretty cool! She´s from the Dominican Republic and it was a cool little visit! We then tried to go and visit someone else, but they weren´t home, so we had to go to the bus station to go to Madrid for zone conference and so we did that. When we got to Madrid at 8:30 or 9, we went and visited someone from Barrio 8. Super cool family and they are members. It was a cool little visit!

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
Yesterday was church and we had testimony meeting. I bore mine on missionary work, of course, and it was good!! The whole meeting was good so yeah!! I liked it. We then met with a less active Dominican lady and she´s cool!! She has a bit of the desire to return and her husband is also Dominican and he has potential!! I have huge hopes for Cuenca!! Later on we saw an investigator in whom we had great expectations, and he doesn´t have as much hope as I had hoped for. He would take anything that we say or teach, and look it up on the internet. I told him that we have to look through prayer, to be able to get the answers and then committed him to read the pamphlet that we left him and pray about it. He accepted so I really hope that he does that. We finished the night with an investigator from Africa. We talked about how trials are like when Nephi built the boat [see 1 Nephi 17, and 1 Nephi 18]; we could either give up, or do as Nephi did and do what the Lord told him to do! Super cool!! I loved this week!! They just keep going by faster and faster!! Wednesday we have the opportunity to go back to Madrid and go to the Temple!! Super cool and exciting for me!! I can´t wait!! I hope that this next week is good for you guys!! Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 8, 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?

Family,

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.)
As you know, I was sick on Monday, but it was a miracle that it left me before P-Day ended so I was fine to teach and walk around by 6:30. Super cool how that worked out for me. We had two lessons with less active sisters. With one of them we talked about what impedes her to go to church, and we found out that she gets bored all three hours of Church. We challenged her to come to sacrament meeting at least since it is the most important meeting in the church. She accepted the challenge and we´ll see if she comes. I hope that she does. We then met with the other and pretty much got to know her and see what her doubts were. She´s a lady from Africa and we went with Henry, since he´s from Africa too, super good friendship there. Anyway, we talked about the family and how it´s ordained of God. It was a good lesson, but it was long as well since she answered the phone and talked for 15 minutes or more. I just looked at my companion and we were just there for a long time. We finally got out and it was a good lesson in the end.

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
Right after we got out of his house, we walked a ways away, and sat at bench, and before we sat down, I told my companion, what if what the Temple President (mentioned above) said Sunday actually happened while we sat here on the bench. So I sat down with my companion, and I´m not kidding, 30 seconds later, this Dominican lady stops in front of us and asks us if we were missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was shocked!! I said that we were and she told us that she was a member, but less active that wants to come back to church and wants to know where it is. We told her where it was, and she also gave us her number and address. We found out that she is the owner of the piso [apartment] where Jose lives. We told her that a member lives in her apartment and that she could go to church with him! Super awesome how miracles just happen!!!
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).
Friday we had Noche de Hogar [home evening], with Henry, and that was good, but more of the branch should come, but of course, all of them work. Henry was the only one that showed up, so yeah. Just had it with him.

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.
Sunday we watched as much of conference as we could. We watched one session with Henry at his house, then got the key to watch it at the church in the branch president´s office. We then went back to the church to watch some more conference, then had a lesson with a new investigator. Daniel, we pretty much just got to know him and talked about the family with him since he has his family here. Really cool guy and I have great hope for him. We then watched a bit more conference, and went over to our new Peruvian investigators’ house. We taught them about faith, prayer, reading the scriptures, and going to church. Elder Lyman did the chicken with the towel and it was pretty cool!! There were kids there so it was fun for them. We also gained another investigator there with a friend of theirs. Super awesome!! We then watched as much of conference as we could until it got late and we had to go to the piso [apartment]. We got there at 10:00 PM, just on time.

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!!

Elder Bauer
The most famous of the hanging houses of Cuenca.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April 1, 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
So last P-Day we saw the old part of Cuenca, and it´s really cool!! I saw the casas colgantes [hanging houses] from the mountain that we were from. It was pretty cool! We also saw a cathedral and other cool stuff so yeah, super cool! Not too much has been going on, but this Sunday we did have the temple president come and talk to us about temples, and it was really curious because it helped me resolve many doubts that I had as far as opening Cuenca. It´s pretty cool how that happens! I left that meeting very uplifted and have thought of many things that I can do to improve!
Living on the edge in Cuenca
Elder Bauer overlooking the edge of Cuenca
We also saw a miracle this week!! So while we were doing the members list, we came across a piso [apartment] where there was a lady. There lived the member, but he wasn´t there at the time. We talked to the lady, and she had the missionaries before in Madrid, and loved the church!! Super cool and since then we´ve had a lesson and she came to the Noche de Hogar [home evening] at the church and went to church on Sunday!!! Super cool and I have a lot of hope for her!! Not much else so this is going to be really REALLY short! Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!! Love you all!

Elder Bauer
The cathedral in the plaza mayor in Cuenca
The former convent of San Pablo, and now a Parador Hotel

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 25, 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!
Wednesday we spent all morning organizing the three area books that we have of former investigators. We called as many of them that had phone numbers and also set up a few appointments with members, but only were only able to visit with Henry, a member from Africa, and an English teacher here in Cuenca. We also saw an investigator who is ready for baptism. Super fun day, but cold. Haha.

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
Friday we met with some antiguos [former investigators] and also Elvis, a member that has been baptized, but never confirmed. It´s been over a year, so he´d have to get baptized again. We hope to work with him too so that he can continue to want the baptism. It seems that he´s really good!! Not much else.

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
Sunday we met the branch at the church, yes, all nine active members. It´s the most humble branch I´ve seen, as well as united! I love this little branch! Super cool and nice!! The Branch President gave us names of people to pass by and teach/call and it was a list that we´ve pretty much passed by them all. We´ll continue to see what happens. We had a few lessons yesterday too!! With one investigator, we talked about Jesus Christ and what she thinks He wants her to do. She mentioned baptism and so we talked a bit about that and know that she´s ready!! I hope that she takes that step soon! We then met with two less actives and it´s just sad to see them fall away even when they are so good to us!! I hope that we can get at least one of them to come back.
 
And that has been the first week of opening Cuenca! Hard, cold, but rewarding as well!! I see potential here!! I hope that you guys continue to have a good week and a good time there in Texas!! Stay warm!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Sunset in Cuenca

Monday, March 18, 2013

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.

Hello Family,

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
So Sunday was the day that we all said goodbye and it was pretty heartbreaking for me and for my companion, as well as most of the members, all of the JAS [young single adults], and the investigators. Luram especially was super sad. He cried a lot and let me just say, just being away for a few hours, I miss them all so much!! Crazy, but life goes on. So that´s pretty much why there are many photos of me that have been tagged so yeah. I don´t really remember too much else about my week considering I´m in a new place. I can however tell you what happened today.
Raquel, Franklyn, y Nenad, Elder Valenzuela, and Elder Bauer
David, Elder Bauer (holding onto David Jr.), Sandra, and Elder Valenzuela
So today Monday, P-Day, we finished packing and went out to meet Elder Buhler so that he could take us to the Airport. Yes, they are white-washing Las Palmas Elders. So after getting down, we got the car loaded, and went off to the airport. It´s pretty sad to see the ocean the last day, especially when you don´t know when you will see it again. Well, we got to the airport, and saw that the Vecindario Elders were there to say goodbye as well. Elder Wilson and Elder Rockwood. We then went and looked around for the check in place, but it was nowhere to be found. We went to the other side of the airport and there it was. Hermana [sister] Buhler, Hermana [sister] Marshall and Hermana [sister] Zitting were there too since Hermana [sister] Marshall was also leaving the Island. Super sad day really. After some pictures, Hermana [sister] Marshall, Elder Valenzuela and I were off to the plane and I just watched as Gran Canaria disappeared.

A blue Atlantic on the way back to the peninsula.
I took a nap on the plane and when I woke up, we were in the Peninsula. I saw Toledo from the sky and that was pretty cool. When we landed we had quite a bit of crazy stuff happen. My new companion, Elder Lyman was there with two other missionaries and we started to go to Chamartin [train station – second largest in Madrid] to get Elder Lyman´s luggage. We had to be in Atocha [train station – the largest in Madrid] at 3:30 to get the train at 3:40. We didn´t make it to the train on time. We then didn´t know what to do, so we changed the ticket and decided to wait in Atocha for a bit longer until the other train to come. Then we get a call from Elder Winklecotter, the piso [apartment] office Elder, that the piso [apartment] in Cuenca isn´t ready yet, so we decided to stay here in Madrid for the night, and tomorrow go to Cuenca and begin working there. The piso [apartment] is pretty much ready down there and it´s going to be amazing!! I´m pretty excited al final [in the end], haha. Not much else that I could really say, but I´m hoping to have more for you guys next week. Take care and I hope to talk to you soon!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 11, 2013

Hello family,

I´m glad that all of you got to spend time with Grandma Lety and Grandpa Oscar over there in El Paso. Just hearing about the Mexican food makes me really want to eat some! I miss Mexican food, and the Mexican food here isn´t the best. Not much has been happening here in Las Palmas. The work has been slow and I am really getting frustrated with how hard it has gotten. This week we had 6 lessons total...and I just don´t like that. I feel that we´ve been doing all that we could but that nothing comes from it. We´ve received in the past 15 references (or phone numbers from people) that have been interested, but nothing came out of those 15 people!! Grrr, why can´t it be easier sometimes!! Oh well, I just know that I have to continue to be the best that I can, and not get too discouraged, and just continue onward.

Elder Wilson at lunch after district meeting
Tuesday of last week we had a miracle happen. Well, I applied for renewal of my residency card. I should get it about 2 weeks before I head back home. Well, so Sunday we had an appointment with Juan and we didn´t make it on time since we were in El Lasso, a part of Las Palmas, but far away from the Church. So, we made it half an hour late, and since he doesn´t have a phone, we couldn´t tell him. We tried going by his house and he wasn´t there any of the times that we passed by. Monday we did the same thing, but nothing. It was pretty crazy since we needed to meet with him at least every day of the week to help him get ready for his baptism on Saturday, the 9th. Tuesday I finished my residency renewal at about 1:30, and at 1:45 we waited for Juan at the Plaza La Feria since he told us that at around 2 he goes by there every day. So, we were there waiting for him, and my companion said, "Okay, let´s pray that we see him here." Just as he finished saying that, we saw him far away! We then walked really fast and saw him in a bar/cafeteria. We talked to him for a while and we were all happy to see each other and it was just amazing!! We then had the lesson with him and talked about baptism and confirmation and went over the baptismal questions! It was great and he was ready for baptism!! We also talked to Carlos, and Luram said this Sunday, that Carlos really liked the visit that we had with him! It made me happy to know that he liked the conversation that we had!

Elder Wilson and a Navajo taco

Wednesday was great!! We had district meeting and it was really a good meeting! Afterwards the Elders of Vecindario just stuck around since they had to do the baptismal interview with Juan. We played Fussball or something like that. You know, the table with the people and it´s like soccer, but in a table. Elder Valenzuela and I just dominate at that game. I´m getting better at it, but I´m really not that good. Just watch Elder Wilson and I play against each other. We´re both not good at the game, and it´s just hilarious to watch. We then went to the church to have the interview and it was good!! Juan passed his interview, and the baptism went through as planned. We then had the lesson with Fani and we talked about Temples. It was really nice and cool to see her interest in temples.
Thursday we tried to do splits, but nothing happened with that, so yeah. We had a lesson with Juan and talked about priesthood. He still thinks that it´s the power to teach, and we´re just like, um...no, it´s the power of God to bless His children here on earth. He´ll get it someday. We then went to see Maria, our recent convert and she´s doing great. She´s a bit down in her afflictions, so we shared the scripture in Mosiah 24:13-16. She really liked it and understood what it means. I love Maria, she´s just so humble and submissive. She´ll be able to endure to the end! That was Thursday, as well as weekly planning...like always.

A happy new member of the church

Friday was an empty day. Nothing interesting happened that day. Saturday was way too crazy trying to prepare for the baptism of Juan Denis. We had to get the baptismal program done and ready, we had to print it and copy it, fill the font. Too much to do, so little time. It all went well, but it was pretty hard. After the ordinance of baptism, and I had the opportunity to baptize him, he told me that all he felt was overwhelming joy and happiness!!! It was great to hear him say that and see the change that came to him just with that little ordinance. Through small and simple things, are great things come to pass. I´ve learned that that promise is true!! Sunday was his confirmation! Not much was done Sunday except for giving a blessing to a member. Super cool week when I think about it, but still kind of...empty. I like days that are full of stuff, and I guess that´s what I have to do, fill it with people to see and places to be. I hope that you guys have a good week and that all is well!! Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer
Sunset over Las Palmas

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 8, 2013

A quick editor's note:

We received an e-mail from the missionary department with the proposed itinerary for Elder Bauer to return home.  He is currently scheduled to return at 5:15 PM on April 30th.

In many ways I can't believe it is almost over.

March 4, 2013

Las Palmas from the hills above town, and near the caves


Family!

I´m having too much fun out here, I almost don´t know what I´ll do when I return home, but I´m sure that I´ll find something. I may get companion deprived, as well as stick shift deprived, as well as other things, but yeah. You get the deal. Oh well, on to my week, and it will be a nutshell.
The hills around the caves visited by the Las Palmas district.

So, Thursday was a very busy day! We had a lot more planned than we could both go to. We had to do splits with members so that we could get to all of the appointments that we had on time, but that didn´t matter. At least we had some good lessons! So, we did the splits. We called as many members that we could think of, and we only had one member that could go with us. I then had the idea to call the Buhlers to see if they could help us out. It was amazing because they could and it all worked out!! So we met at the church and started from there. We headed out, Elder Valenzuela with Nenad, and me with Elder Buhler. We first went to see if Jose was there, but he ended up not being there. I was kind of sad about that, but Elder Buhler (who served in the Spain Sevilla Mission) just smiled and said, "Well, the missionary work hasn´t changed much in 30 years." It was just funny to me since he wasn´t angry or anything. So we went to the JAS [Young Single Adult] Center so that I could explain a bit of the residency process to them so that they could get things done when the time comes. At about 5:30 we started heading up to Luram´s house to teach him a lesson about Enduring to the End. I didn´t know why he needed that lesson, but that morning, I just had the idea to show him a video and to talk about it.

So, we arrived and found him there at home, and it was a good little lesson!!! I loved it actually! Really cool experience. We then went down to the church and I had to stay at the church while my companion went with Elder Buhler to another lesson, just in case some people wanting English classes came. No one came at 8:00, so I didn´t know what to do. Some contact from the street came in at that point and I decided to teach him, even though he seemed a little weird. After the lesson, I was informed about him, and I decided that I will not teach him again. Then going home, we saw a dead person on the street, but covered up with a white sheet. Pretty creepy.
Okay it was quite a hike to the caves on a P-Day!

Friday was another day where we did splits, but then one of the lessons fell through, so we got back together. We went to see Cristian. I hope that all goes well with him. Later on we saw Juan, and he´s going to get baptized this next week, the 9th of March! I´m pretty happy and I´m sure that he´s pretty happy too!! We taught him about tithing and fast offerings. He accepted it and we committed him to fast and donate tithes and offerings after he´s baptized. Super cool guy!! Nothing else happened that day.

Saturday we had to do splits once again! We had Jose and Juan at the same time. So we got two members and met them there at Parque San Telmo. We then went our own way and Fernando and I went to Jose, and Elder Valenzuela and Nenad, went to Juan. With Jose, the biggest challenge is that he´s 70 years old, and wants to get baptized. The only thing is, that he doesn´t understand that he needs to change his lifestyle to be able to be baptized. We´re really trying, but I don´t know how it will all work out. He has a visit with President Santana on Wednesday so we´ll see what happens. Later on we went to see Fani, and she´s doing great!! She´s pretty much a member, but the only thing that has to happen, is that she has to get married to her "boyfriend" that she´s living with. They are planning to go to her country so that they could get married there, but they are planning to go in June!! Long ways away from now, but then again, not really. We talked to her about the Atonement and it was a great lesson over all. She said that she´ll come to church.
But it was an uplifiting experience to visit the caves as a district.

Sunday was a great day!! We got an answer to our prayers about if Juan should get baptized, and we had the confirmation of the spirit. We announced it in church, and Juan is pretty happy about that! Fani and Jose came as well so we had quite a few investigators! Later on in the evening, my companion and I were planning, and thinking of what we could do to find more people to teach. We´ve been working hard to find new people, but haven´t found anyone. I was a little disappointed, but my companion was a bit more discouraged. When we went out of the piso [apartment] at about 8:00, we were walking to the JAS [Young Single Adult] Center, as usual, and I decided to set a personal goal to talk to at least 5 people on the way, before getting to the JAS Center. Not many people are out and about on a Sunday night, but I still felt like I could do it. I talked to as many people as I could, but only got to 4. We reached the JAS Center and I saw a lady walking on the other side of the street, and I talked to her and that made 5 people!! The goal was achieved, and it gave me some sort of jolt of joy!!

It was still a little early and we didn´t want to interrupt the Noche de Hogar [home evening] that was going on, so I decided to do the same thing, set a goal to talk to people, but not just 5, but 10 people, before 8:30, and at that time, it was 8:18. So I decided to voice my idea to my companion, and he decided to join me in my efforts! We talked to as many people as we could find, and we got to 8. It was past 8:30 at that point, and so I decided to adjust the goal, talk to 2 more people before getting to the JAS [Young Single Adult] Center, and have one of them give us their number/reference. We talked to 1 more person before getting to the JAS Center, and no reference. I was feeling a bit down, but happy at the same time for doing a bit more work than I thought I could have on a day like yesterday. When we got to the JAS Center, we found Carlos, a friend of Luram that we´ve met before. I talked to him a bit as I ate. He´s a really cool guy! At the end of the night, just before we went to the piso [apartment], he asked me, out of the blue, when we could meet him at his house! I was shocked, and told him that at any time when he has some time. He gave me his number and his address, and off we went to the piso [apartment]. While going over my day in the piso [apartment], I realized that I had achieved the goal that I set for both of us in a way! I talked to those 10 people, and got 1 referral, but by the end of the night!! It was really cool!!
The Buhlers were also uplifed by the experience - or maybe Sister Buhler is just uplifting to all others!

I´m happy to say that I´m doing the best that I can. Just a little scripture that came to mind that I personally like. Mosiah 4:27, since my work has been full of effort, and yours has too, I just love that the Lord says that "...it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength..." BUT "...it is expedient that he should be diligent..." I just love that. I hope that your week is good and that all is well. Take care and I love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February 27, 2013

Elder Bauer, your tour guide this week on a tour of the LDS chapel in Las Palmas!

Hello Mother and Family,

Well, this week has been pretty interesting.  I´m glad that you have been doing great and that all is well over there. So, just before I start my rant on my week, I just want to tell you guys that from here on out, or after today, P-Days will be on Mondays, not Wednesdays. So, next week I´ll be writing you guys on Monday, as well as the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that, etc...so yeah, just so you know. Now, on to my week!!
The exterior of the Las Palmas meetinghouse.
Well, my week hasn´t been too interesting for you guys as it was for me. I´ll just tell you about the cool experiences that I´ve had and hope that it would be good enough. So, mostly we are trying to change a lot of how we do things, and I think it´s been having an effect. We haven´t been able to teach as much as I´d like, but at least I can say that I will be prepared to go home, when I go home. We´ve changed a bit of how we plan and if you look at my agenda, you´ll be able to tell what has changed as far as planning. We´ve put back up plans as well as plans on every hour of the day, as well as filling up the day with things to do! I´m very proud of my agenda! And it´s all thanks to Elder Wilson, one of the new missionaries here in the island, who was AP just before. We´ve done exchanges with him, and I´ve learned a lot.

Friday was one of those days that we did exchanges and I was with him in Vecindario! I loved my time with him there and I learned a lot from him. I learned how to follow the spirit and how to work the back up plans, it was amazing!! The lessons that we had were really good and we had a great deal of unity in the lessons! At the end of the exchanges, I wanted to get feedback from him on things that I can work on, but he didn´t really have any for me in specific. I was a little disappointed, but I still learned a lot from him. I hope to be able to do at least one more exchange with him before I head out so that I can learn even more from him.

The plaque, so you know whose church it is.
Monday we had a huge miracle happen. So it all started before personal study. I noticed that I had my one card out of 20 - 45 cards with our phone number written on it. I had written our number on it a while back, and put it in my stack of cards to give it out to someone, and I had faith that it would appear when it would be the best time, for the right person. But in this case, it was the first one that I would pull out, and I didn´t think that the first person would be "the one" that would need the card. I almost reshuffled it into my pile and put them in my pocket, but had a small feeling that it would be well used. I left it there and put the cards into my shirt pocket and started studying.

At about 11am, we started walking toward the main Guagua stop, and had to take Guagua 11. It came right as we got there, which is a miracle in itself. We got on, and sat down near the back of the bus, where the chairs face the back. Not too far into our bus ride, this guy sitting on the final row asks me if I have information about the church, and I said that we did, and gave him the card that had our number on it. He thanked us, and started looking at the card. In the mean time, my companion (who was sitting next to me) took out a pamphlet on the restoration, and started writing the address of the church, when it starts, and other information so that this gentleman can get to church if he wishes. When my companion finished writing, he got up, and gave the guy the pamphlet and explained to him what it is and what it talks about.

The chapel in the Las Palmas church building
While my companion was up talking to this guy about the pamphlet, an African guy sat in the seat next to me, where my companion had been sitting. At that point I thought, "Now where will my companion sit, and what´s going to happen!" When my companion turned around to sit back down next to me, he saw the African guy sitting next to me. He just grabbed his backpack, and sat on the back row, in between this guy that asked for the card, and an African woman, and continued to talk to the guy. I then decided to make a move with the guy sitting next to me and asked him how his day went. He then told me that he doesn´t understand Spanish.  So I asked him if he spoke English. He did!!

A centered picture of the chapel in the Las Palmas church building
So we started talking, and I asked him questions, sharing the message of the restoration with him, as well as explaining what the Book of Mormon is. He got interested and I decided to leave him with a card with our phone number, but I also asked him if he wanted us to drop by some other time. So I got his number and we talked a bit more about his life so as to get to know him a bit more! When he got off, I looked back at my companion, talking to the lady in English!! I was happy and was glad that we´ve been practicing English in the piso [apartment]. After a while, she got off and we sat together and pretty much reported on what had happened. It was amazing since all three gave us their number, have interest, and are looking for something in life. It looks like this next week will be amazing!!! So, just a bunch of miracles happened in a matter of 20 - 30 minutes in a bus!! Super amazing and a great way to start the week!!!

Another picutre from inside the Las Palmas meetinghouse.
That´s pretty much all that I wanted to share with you guys!! I can honestly say that I was guided by the spirit in that occasion, and that we shouldn´t doubt. If we think it´s revelation from God, or inspiration, we can pray and ask if it is His will, and if we still aren´t sure, just act. I´m very glad that I acted and that we did that on Monday! Take care my wonderful family and I´ll talk to you soon!!

Love you all!!!
Elder Bauer