Friday, December 28, 2012

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Canary Islands
Canary Island missionaries in a nativity scene:
Sister Marshall, and Elder Christensen appear to be playing the part of Mary and Joseph.
Elder Valenzuela appears to be a shepherd.
Who knows what the other three are supposed to be.
Instead of an e-mail this week, we Skyped with Alex.  That is far harder to share.  I hope all those who follow my son on this blog had a Merry Christmas.  Let me know if you know who the other three are supposed to be (since Alex never told me who they were).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

A visit to the botanical gardens on Las Palmas

One interesting plant on display at the botanical gardens was a cactus ...

... okay, it was a really big cactus (tree thing).

Hello family!!

Here´s what happened this week!! Get ready, it´s pretty crazy what has been happening here in Las Palmas!! You ready? Are you sure? Positive? Well ready or not, here we go!!

Thursday we had weekly planning, know always. HA =D Then we went and saw Jose and taught him the restoration with the help of the video so that he can understand it better. I´m not sure if he understands, but he always says after we teach him something that he knows most of the stuff, and that he wants to get baptized and same old stuff. Kind of funny actually. We didn´t have too much going on that day so that´s it.

Friday was pretty crazy! We visited Cristian and were a bit late considering we went to the church to clean and prepare for the baptismal services. We then went back to continue to prepare for the baptism, and then went to Hiper Dino to buy some food and stuff to make sopapillas, a Chilean sort of empanada. Well, the baptism started right on time, and it was cool!! Franklyn baptized Maria, and I baptized Liz, the little girl. She insisted that I did it, and Hermanas [Sisters] Marshall and Voemba tried to convince her to get someone else to do it, but it didn´t work. I had the privilege and honor to do it. Elder Valenzuela and I then did a musical number of "I´m Trying to be like Jesus" [or click here to hear it in Spanish] and it turned out pretty well. We sang a cappella and I liked it, but I´m not sure of the rest of the members there did. We then ate food and cleaned up, and the Hermanas[Sisters] gave us the extra chocolate cake and brownies that were left behind after the baptism. I ate most of it and finished it Monday. Super good day!!

The baptism of Liz

The baptism of Maria

Saturday was interesting and crazy! We had to go to Vecindario and interview two people for baptism and it was pretty cool. I did the interview because I was a District Leader recently so I knew how to do it. We then came back and ate with Nenad, a member that lives with Franklyn and his wife Raquel. We then went to see Oscar and taught him the second part of the restoration again. It´s difficult to teach him, but I´m learning a lot about teaching simply with him. He has a hard time paying attention so that´s the problem, but we just need to think of a way to help him pay attention. I´ll have to come up with something. I just got that idea of thinking as I was writing this. Super cool!!!

Then when we were waiting for the Guagua [bus] outside Oscar´s house, we heard a horn honking the tune "Jingle Bells." We were both confused and then all of a sudden the honking got louder and then we saw motorcyclists dressed in Santa costumes waving and stuff. There were like 30 of them driving together down the street. It was pretty funny!! Later on we went to see Fani and she enjoyed the baptism!! She went so we talked to her about that and also talked to her about the Plan of Salvation! It was pretty cool. When we were leaving Fani´s house, we saw the motorcycle Santas again, and it was pretty funny. I tried to get a picture of them, but it didn´t turn out too well. Oh well, "A" for "effort", as Elizabeth Goodman always says. We also got transfer information and Elder Valenzuela is now District Leader!!! No changes on Gran Canaria either. This transfer was a week shorter than the usual 6 weeks, but I´m sure that this next transfer will be a week longer than usual to make up for it.

fuzzy picture of motorcycle Santas

Sunday was normal, we had the two confirmations and participated in the circle to confirm Maria and Liz, members. It was really cool! We then saw Maria afterwards to help us fill out the baptismal record. We then saw Jose and taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was fine, but I´m sure that we could´ve done better. We then went to the JAS Noche de Hogar [young single adult home evening], and an American family gave the lesson from the Strength of Youth pamphlet. The guy is a Professional Basketball player for the Gran Canaria team so he´s pretty well known among the youth. He also mentioned that he will be playing against Valladolid this week and that´s pretty cool!! He´ll be going to where I started here in Spain!!

Brother and Sister Toolson with Elder Bauer
Brother Toolson is the professional basketball player who gave the lesson in the young single adult home evening

Monday we finally got empadronado [registered] and it was easy. I remember that Elder Valenzuela told me that it would be hard, but he doesn´t know who he´s talking to, the residency expert among missionaries in Gran Canaria. The other one is Elder Argyle on Tenerife, and the current one is learning to be the residency beast in Alcobendas, which is Elder Pluim. We then went to help Lusiano, a member, to take a couch up to his piso [apartment], and then we ate with him. He also invited over some non-members so we then also shared a bit about the Book of Mormon with them and it went pretty good. The guy didn´t show too much interest, but the son, Alejandro, I´m sure has potential. We then went from there, the Port, over to La Feria, where Oscar lives, and then talked to him about the important things that happened with the restoration. He has it all down and we left him the introduction of the Book of Mormon to read since he hasn´t done it.

We then went from there to contact near the Guagua [bus] station San Telmo, and we had an interesting contact. We had the impression to talk to this lady since she was reading my chapa [name tag], and she nodded her head no, and then pointed at her ears. She was deaf!!! I thought how are we going to talk to her. I then pointed at my chapa [name tag] where the name of the church is, then pointed at the Book of Mormon where it said, Mormon. She has never seen anything on our church before so we tried explaining to her what it was. Elder Valenzuela read with her the introduction and she understood. I then took out my agenda, and started writing on it to talk to her. We tried to get an address, but she just wrote the church address and the time that church started, so I wrote to her that we´ll see her Sunday then. We also left her a chapter to read and she smiled and said thank you, I´ll see you the 23rd. It was a cool experience. We then had Noche de Hogar [home evening] at Franklyn´s house and went home.

Yesterday we had the district meeting, and it was really good!!! I really liked it and learned a lot from it!! We then ate with a member, and they gave us a plate full of rice, and I mean it was like a mountain of rice!! I ate it all, and then they gave us dessert. We were so full!!! We then went to Oscar´s house just to see him, and we walked there. It was a 15 - 20 minute walk, but we needed it!! Half of it was downhill and the other half was uphill. We then met with Oscar and read with him the introduction and he understands it now. We then left with him 2 Nephi 2 so that we could have a little introduction to the Plan of Salvation. I hope that he could read it! We then went and tried to find a present for Maria considering it was her birthday and we wanted to give her something. We finally got a card and pictures of her baptism developed and then we saw Fausto and Delia. We shared with them the true meaning of Christmas and it was a pretty good lesson!! We then went to Maria´s house and she was so happy to receive something. She said that it was the first thing that she had received on her birthday. We then left and while we were waiting for the Guagua [bus], she called us and told us thank you for the card and picture. I was touched and happy that we had done that for her.

Well, today is P-Day, and we´re planning to go and see the Christmas Sand Art here in Gran Canaria!! Super cool, and I can´t wait to see it in person!! Elder Gonzalez was here and showed me pictures, but I can´t wait to see it for myself!!! How is everything going over there? I hope that all is going well and that everyone is happy!! Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012

Yes, it says "Do not bend" in two different languages...and it was still bent!
Que fuerte, as they say here.

It contained our christmas tree - no worse for the wear!

Daddio and Family!!

I´m glad that all has been going well over yonder and that you guys have had a good week. I hope that things continue to go well and that the stress continues to go down. Nothing super new has been going on over here, except that this weekend we have a baptism and the Hermanas [Sisters] have one too so it will be super cool!!! This past week has been crazy and it was pretty cool!! Let me tell you about it in a nutshell.

Thursday we didn´t really have too much time to do weekly planning so we had to move it to Friday. Thursday we had lunch with the Mission Leader´s family and it was really good!! I was really full afterwards, but it´s okay, better to be full than hungry I guess. We then visited two new investigators, José, who is an older person that wants to be baptized really badly, but I think that he just wants to get baptized because if he doesn´t, the lady he lives with, who is a member, will leave him because they aren´t married. We´re still teaching him to see if he could gain a testimony and get baptized for the right reasons, but we´ll have to see how that goes. The other one is Oscar, and the rest of his family are members, except his mom, but he has a big desire to learn about the gospel and asks really good questions so he´s really good. We taught him the Restoration.

Friday we had our studies, then we went to Cristian´s house and helped him a bit with a lesson that he had in Priesthood about forgiving. He appreciated the help and it was cool to see his face light up when we read something cool! He was less active, but he´s been coming to church and so it´s cool to see that his life is changing! We then went back to the piso [apartment] for Medio Día [lunch break] and ate food. We then visited Fausto y Delia, a less active family, and Fausto wasn´t home. We taught Delia the same thing that we taught Fausto, about enduring to the end with a video. It was a good lesson. We then went over to Plaza España and waited for a member so that he could accompany us to a lesson, but then this less active Italian couple came up to us and talked to us for about 15 - 20 minutes. It was cool to meet them. They haven´t gone to church for medical issues, but now that he´s doing better, he still hasn´t come. Some other members know him, but yeah, he hasn´t come. We got his number and hopefully we can do something with him. We then found the member and went to Fani´s house. We taught her about the importance of the Book of Mormon since she didn´t read it. It was a pretty good lesson, but I would´ve liked to participate more. Not much else.

Saturday we had lunch with members and tried to have a lesson with Oscar, but he couldn´t since he left for something. We did have a lesson with Jonatan, and it was pretty cool!! We taught him about how when trials come our way, we shouldn´t fall, but know that there is help for anything a bit further ahead. We then were a bit discouraged because another lesson right after failed us, and we didn´t know what to do. Elder Valenzuela and I were pretty much about to give up, but I said, "No, let´s try contacting until 9:30. All of a sudden, I got the animo [motivation] to talk to people and it was pretty cool!!! I loved it!! I talked to a lot of people, but none of them had any interest. I was happy though.

Chocolate fountain for dessert - Thank you Roka family

Sunday was pretty good, but pretty crazy! We had church and then talked to Maria after. We had a lesson about the baptismal interview questions and it went pretty well!! We then had to go to the Roka family´s house to eat.  By bus it would´ve taken about 45 minutes to get up there. Fortunatly the Eynons were there and they took us in their car and we got there in about 20 minutes. The food was good and we ended the meal with a chocolate fountain for dessert. YUMMY!!!! We had a lesson with José at 4:30, but we knew we were going to be a bit late. We called him to tell him that we were going to be late, then went to the bus stop, but just as we were getting there, the bus passed. It was bad, but I pretty much just laughed about it. Then we were going to be super late!! We had to wait half an hour for the next bus to pass by. Not cool, but oh well. We got down there at 6:30, and he wasn´t home, but I don´t blame him. I wouldn´t have waited that long either. We then went to the piso [apartment], and then went to the JAS [young single adult] Center for the Noche de Hogar [home evening]. President Santana (Branch President) gave the lesson, and it was about the law of chastity! It was really good!!!! I liked it! We then had food and it was yummy!!! Eynon food is the best!!

The aftermath of a chocolate fountain on a future missionary

Monday we had a lot of nothing. We did have a lesson with Josue, a recent convert. He had a few doubts about the Plan of Salvation, so we taught him that lesson. It was really good!!! We then went to Franklin´s house (Franklin is the Branch Mission Leader) and had the Noche de Hogar [home evening] there. It was really good. The lesson was given by Cristian, and he does a good job with giving lessons!

Tuesday was exchanges!! I was with Elder Lisonbee for the day!! We had District Meeting, and that was really cool!!! I learned a lot, and when it came time for the practice, Hermana [Sister] Marshall said that I was really good!! We practiced how to do lessons shorter and so that the investigators could understand better. We had a choice to do one of two lessons to practice, we were paired up and did it. Hermana [Sister] Marshall did the Restoration, and she´s really good!! I then did the Plan of Salvation, and according to her, I did really well too. Then Elder Lisonbee and I had to run to Maria´s house so that we could do the interview with her and then we had to be at lunch with the Nacimiento family. The appointment for lunch, was at 2:00, but the interview started then. We ended up also getting lost and not knowing where there was a bus stop for the bus 21 that would get us there, so we got there at about 3:30. Not cool, but still an adventure, haha. I know where the bus stop is now, hehe. We didn´t have anything as far as lessons, but we talked to Jonatan a bit, but that´s it. When we got home, we tried playing a practical joke on the other Elders, acting as if we weren´t home, and we went to the roof so that we could watch them. We thought it would have been funny, but then we told them that we were back in the piso [apartment], and turned on the lights, and they thought we were out for a lesson. It didn´t work, the joke died, and Elder Lisonbee and I were pretty sad, but oh well. We still had fun.

Churros - Spanish study aids

Today not much has happened. We´re planning to get Churros, but that´s about it. How was everything with...everything. Haha. School, work, dance, whatnot, something, maybe...........yeah. Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Well, back to studying

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 5, 2012

Las Palmas with a blue Atlantic in the background

Alex with his new flag of Spain

Hello Family!!

Nothing new here, except that it looks like Christmas is coming since they are putting up lights over some of the streets and on some Palm Trees. And they´re selling Polvorones again!! A Polvoron is a Spanish candy/sweet that is made during Christmas time. Pretty much flour, sugar, and butter mixed together, but they´re really good!!! I´m addicted to them, hahaha!!! Well here´s my week!

Thursday we went to a new person´s house to see if we could meet with him, but he didn´t answer the door. Or he wasn´t there or he wasn´t interested. I´m not sure, but we then knocked on the doors around the area where supposedly members were living, but none of them were the right address. So after a while we went to a member´s house to eat lunch, then back to the piso [apartment] to have weekly planning. After planning, we went and saw Jonatan and then tried to see Fani, but she wasn´t home. Not much else happened Thursday.

Friday was pretty cool!!! I got to know Cristian, a less active JAS [young single adult] member, and we answered his questions. We also shared a video of how to feel the spirit and that’s pretty much what it does. It was a pretty cool lesson!! We then ate with Nenad, the same member as Thursday, and it was really good food again!! We then had Medio Dia [lunch break] and it was relaxing like usual. One cool experience is that we did contact a lady that had her mother die not too long ago and that she was sad about that. We told her that we knew where her mother was and we wanted to share that knowledge with her. She said that she would like to listen, but at a later time since she was busy. We got her number and left for Edward and his family. We´ve decided to drop them since they aren´t doing their part to progress in the Gospel and to really know if the things we are sharing are true. Stressful and sad, but it´s okay. I hope that soon they will realize what they´ve missed.

Saturday not much happened except for tons of contacts. We had two new people planned, but they failed us. We knocked on doors near Edward´s home and no one answered or no one was interested. So then we passed by the Roka family and they are solid as steel!!!! They are really active and happy members because they live the gospel!!! It was awesome what they are like!! We then got a call from Jonatan and he said that he got an answer to his prayers in the form of a dream!! So after the Roka family, we went to the JAS [young single adult] Center and talked to him a bit as well as prepare for a fast for Jonatan. The Eynon´s made food for us to eat and it was really good as usual. We then started our fast!

Canarian Churros!!!

Sunday we had church and then had a lesson with Maria. She´s getting baptized on the 15 of this month!! Super cool!! We then had Medio Dia [lunch break] and then went to the Noche de Hogar [home evening] at the JAS [young single adult] Center. It was cool!! We broke our fast and ate some more Eynon food which is really good as usual! Not much else, but we did teach another lesson that day, but I don´t remember who it was. Oh well...I´m an old man on the mission so I guess it´s okay to start forgetting things now and then, hahahaaa!!!

Monday was pretty good!!!! 3 lessons!!! At first it was a pretty bad day since I tried printing stuff for Empadronamiento [registering with the authorities], but it didn´t work out too well. We then, after Medio Dia [lunch break], had a lesson set up with Almudena, the lady that had her mother die, but she failed us. I´m sure that she has a lot going on with her kids and stuff so it´s okay. We then went to see Roberto and Lola, an older less active couple that can´t go to church because of health. We shared a video with them about patience, even though they have patience, but it´s okay. They then gave us a little sandwich as well as a few sweets and a hot chocolate. It was really good! OH, and Roberto has been to Germany so he has one of those German Christmas thingys, but multiple stories!! It was pretty cool!! We then went to see Oscar, a JAS [young single adult], but not a member. His family is a member, but not him. Pretty cool since he´s gotten interest in listening to us!! We then went to a Noche de Hogar [home evening] to finish off the day!

It´s Christmas time in the JAS Center!! The Elders of the District!
From left to right:  Elders Bauer, Lisonbee, Christensen, Valenzuela

Tuesday was District Meeting and it was cool!! I learned how to teach simply and for understanding and it was cool!! We then went and visited Andres, a less active recent convert JAS [young single adult], but he´s really good!! He´s less active because of his job. He´s a fútbol [soccer] player and so he must get paid a lot, but yeah, that´s why he´s less active. We shared with him a Mormon Message about Standing Alone, a message by President Monson! Super cool and I really liked the lesson!! We then went to the JAS [young single adult] Center and talked to Jonatan about Fran. Fran is passing through a bit of a difficult time because his famliy is passing through a tough time and also don´t want Fran listening to us. He also saw a bit of Anti-Mormon stuff on the internet, but I´m sure that if he starts looking, he´ll find his way back. Today is P-Day and I think we´re going on a drive to tour the north part of the Island. If you ask why we´re doing it again, it´s because we never did that last P-Day. We did go to a restaurant with the Eynons and the District. I also bought pants and two ties! So yeah. How have you guys been? Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Alex with Tony Roma ribs (with Elders Christensen and Lisonbee in the background)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving with the Eynons

Thanksgiving dinner in the Canary Islands (thanks Eynons)

Thanks is written all over Elder Bauer's face

Why hello Family!!

My week was good!! It will be shorter than usual since Thanksgiving I already wrote to you guys! Thanksgiving was great though since the Eynons invited us over for dinner that day!! LOT´S of food too!!!! I got really full that it hurt, but that didn´t matter since it was food from the Eynons!! Friday was pretty full of running around and stuff!! We were canceled by Cristian, but that was fine. We had extra time to contact and find more people. That wasn´t too successful either, but it´s okay. Later after Medio-Dia [lunch break] we went to Soila, but we got the message that she doesn´t want anything anymore so we´ve dropped her for now. I´m sure in the future she´ll progress. We then took the Guagua [bus] over to Maria Jose, a less active lady from Sevilla, and we had a member come with us! The funny thing about this one is that she wanted a blessing, but we couldn´t find where she lived. We got in the right building, but just couldn´t find the door on the 4th floor. We knocked on all but one of the doors when Elder Valenzuela said that he didn´t know if it was that building or a different one. So we called a few people to see if they knew where she lived.

In the end, it turned out that the only door that we didn´t knock on, was her. We pretty much said sorry, about being late and not being able to stay for very long because we had a lesson somewhere else. All for nothing pretty much, but it was fun! We then had to go to the Port where Fausto and Deila live. They´re a less active family and we were there for 30 minutes, taught a short lesson, and went to Fani, a new investigator´s house. We taught her the restoration with candles, just to try it out. It was pretty good so yeah!! Fani is the type that likes to talk a lot so it was hard to keep it short, but at 9:30 we got out and took the Guagua [bus] back home.

Las Palmas

Saturday was another day that was pretty empty. We tried to see some people, but none of them were available at the times that we had set up so we didn´t have too much of anything. At 6:30 we had Jonatan and Fran and we talked to them a bit about their doubts and answered their questions. It took quite a while to end the lesson, but we ended it at around 8:30. Unfortunately we didn´t get to another appointment that we had set up. We tried calling, but nothing. We ended up getting off of the Guagua [bus] and walking back to the piso [apartment]. We got back at 9:15ish.

Las Palmas (and the Atlantic Ocean)

Sunday was a pretty good day as far as the morning and the evening!! This Sunday I pretty much presented myself to the branch and it was pretty good!! I told them that I feel blessed to serve in the Islands, and to escape the cold, haha. It was good!! Right after church we had a lesson with Maria about the importance of reading, praying, and going to church. It was a good lesson, even though she was in a slight hurry since she had to work. We even talked a bit about her baptism and she said that she´d have to look at her schedule to see if it´s still okay. We then had Medio-Dia [lunch break] and afterwards we went to the JAS [young single adults] Center to wait for Cristian. He failed us again that day, but it´s okay. We left to do some contacts and it wasn´t really very effective, but it´s okay. We then went to the conclusion of Noche de Hogar de los JAS [home evening for the young single adults] in the JAS Center. The Eynons always bring good food there and that´s pretty much what we go for, haha. It was Shepherd´s Pie and OH GOODNESS!!!! YUMMY!!!!! We then spent a bit of time there with the JAS [young single adults] and went back to the piso [apartment].

Elder Ezra A. Bauer and Elder Kent F. Richards

Monday was an awesome day!!!!!!! So we had a Mission Tour here in the Spain Madrid Mission, and it was great!!! If you remember back in the visa waiting days, I had one of those there in SLC and Elder Paul V. Johnson came. This time we had Elder Kent F. Richards of the Second Quorum of the Seventy come and talk to us!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got to shake his hand too which was awesome!! He talked to us about how to more effectively find and then how to teach for understanding. I learned a lot from him!! President Jackson was there too and it was fun to have him with us as well. The whole Zone of the Canary Islands was there too so I got to meet the new guys as well as see Elder Wride again!! We then ate super yummy food and it was good!! We then went and had a Noche de Hogar [home evening] at a member´s home and it was pretty good!! I was really excited to work after Elder Kent F. Richards so it was really good!!!

Tuesday was amazing!!!! We knocked a building and of the 3 people that answered the door, 2 wanted us to come back a different day and talk to them about the gospel!! It was awesome!!! Seriously I think that the Mission Tour helped my attitude a lot and now we´re both working on making things simple for everyone so that they could all understand!! I loved it!! We then met with a less active member called Cristo, and it was a pretty good message! I don´t really remember what we did, but it was good!! We then went to the JAS [young single adults] Center to have a lesson with Jonatan and Fran and it was really good!! We did the Restoration again and showed the short video of the Restoration. At the end of the video, Fran said that he felt something, and that he really liked the movie. We told him that he felt the Spirit and it was a cool experience!!! I love teaching simply!!! It´s amazing the miracles that come from it!! Today we had something planned, but it was changed to something else so I don´t know what we will do. Since Christmas is coming, when would be a good time to do Skype over yonder? I´m not really sure what our plans are, but it´s okay. Just tell me what you guys think. Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22, 2012

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as seen from Pico de Bandama

View of the Atlantic near Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 


The Canary Islands are AMAZING!!!!!!! So last P-Day we went on a hike somewhere near here and close to the Mission Home in the Islands. The Canary Islands used to be its own mission so there´s a Mission Home here where the Eynons live. I didn´t bring my agenda this time so I´m not going to be able to give you a big weekly email like usual, but I can give you a bit of what happened and the people we are visiting.

Mission Home in Las Palmas

Mission Home in Las Palmas

So Wednesday we did the hike that I told you about and it was pretty cool!! Elder Eynon brought his Frisbee and we played with it as we went down. It was pretty cool since the weather was just right to run down and up and stuff. Elder Eynon then told us to climb on a rock so that they could take a picture of the District from below. Then we went down a little further and there were old houses or buildings and it was weird, but it´s okay. Elder Eynon then asked us if we could climb on a tree limb so that he could take another picture of the district. So we did and it was pretty cool and fun, hehe. Every time that Elder Eynon gives us a challenge, we always do it and it´s just fun!! He´s like a teenager but older, haha. Then we did a Manger scene in one of the old buildings there, it was Elder Eynon´s idea, and it was pretty funny how it turned out, and then hiked back up. Oh, and one of the older Frisbees of Elder Eynon was stuck in a Palm Tree and so Elder Lisonbee, Christiensen and I tried to get it down. Elder Lisonbee almost got it once, but didn´t succeed. When we hiked back up we drove to a peak where you could see the entire place and it was really cool!!! The view was amazing from up there and you could see the ocean super clear! We then drove back to the Mission Home and had lasagna made by Hermana [Sister] Eynon which was really good!!! We then came back to Las Palmas and worked the rest of the day.
The district on a tree.
From L to R: Elders Christiensen, Bauer, Valenzuela, Lisonbee, Hermanas Voemba, and Marshall.

Thursday was Weekly Planning and we planned for the week (duh, the name says it all). We then had food with la familia Nacimiento, from Brazil. I think they said that they were from Sau Palo, but I´m not sure. Their food was good!! (I just stole Elder Valenzuela´s agenda so I can tell you my week with more detail.) Then at 5:30 we went to see Jonatan y Fran, which are two jovenes [young men] that are investigators and Jonatan is getting ready for baptism!!! Exciting!!!!!!!!!! Fran is there to learn too and they´re both pretty awesome!! We then went to see a new investigator and just got to know her. Her name is Fani and that´s all I really know about her. Not too bad of a day so yeah!!!

Friday was a pretty empty day as far as lessons are concerned. We tried to set something up with Andres, a JAS (Joven Adulto Soltero [young single adult]) but it didn´t work out so we just had one lesson, which was with Edward and his family. The two younger kids Yiesi and Maicol have potential to get baptized, and the two older ones, Carmen, not really wanting to do her part, and Edward Jr. same as Carmen, except that he´s a less active member. Edward Sr. is about the same as Carmen and it´s just frustrating when no one wants to do anything for their own good. To get to their house we have to take a bus and it´s high up on a hill so you could see the ocean as well as a different part of Las Palmas! We always go there at night so we never really see anything. Just so you know, here in the Islands it gets dark at about 6:30 so by 7:00 it looks like it´s 9:00. Pretty crazy!

Saturday was a pretty good day! In the morning we played Fútbol [soccer] with some JAS [young single adult]and their friends and that was pretty fun. Then at 1:30 we went to la familia Romero´s house to eat foodlets (say that one to Giselle), and it was pretty good!! Later on we tried again with Andres, but nothing, so at about 5:30 we went to see Soila, which is an investigator, and we taught her the Plan of Salvation! It was pretty good since according to Elder Valenzuela, she didn´t open up the first two lessons until now. It was cool to know that she was more open! I´m sure that she has potential to progress!! Later at night we saw Jonatan and Fran so that we could go over the baptismal interview questions with Jonatan to get him ready for the interview. Those lessons always turn out really well.
"Jesus wants me for a sunbeam"

Sunday we had church and it started at 10:00, which was really weird for me since every place that I´ve been here in Spain, church started at 10:30, but it´s okay. Right after church we met with another investigator that is getting ready for baptism called Maria. We shared with her the law of tithing and she accepted to live it after her baptism. We then ate with la familia Marguez and it was good too!! All of the food was good!! Then later in the evening we went to see Edward and his family and at the end of the lesson, I put emphasis on the importance of praying to find out about the truthfulness of what we were teaching. We then went to the JAS [young single adults] center for the end of the Noche de Hogar [home evening] that the JAS [young single adults] have there. It was pretty fun!! I got to know different JAS and Fran challenged me to an arm wrestling match. I told him that I´m going to lose anyway and so why even try, but everyone then went against me and so I sat down and the match started. Surprisingly I "won" because he gave up in the end. During the match, I guess that I had my arm in a good position so that I could use minimal strength to keep my arm in a vertical position and he could push all he wanted, but wouldn´t move my arm. That would´ve exhausted his strength and not much of mine so that in the end I could just easily push his arm down. But he gave up, so I won easily, hehe. Plus I´ve been doing morning exercises so yeah.

Monday we didn´t do too much of anything. We went to the Ayuntamiento [city hall] to try to get a map of Las Palmas with a list of the streets on the back, but that wasn´t successful at all since they ran out of maps. We then went to a part of Las Palmas, by bus, to pass by less active families and it was pretty cool and successful! We found 3 less actives and are planning to pass by 2 of the 3! We then had Medio-Dia [lunch break] and it was relaxing, then went to the JAS Center to use the computer there to find streets. From there we went to the Branch Mission Leader´s (Fran, not the Fran that is the investigator, but Fran the Mission Leader) home to have a Noche de Hogar [home evening] and we talked about patriarchal blessings. It was pretty cool and according to the Hermanas, spiritual too. We then went home and slept, and that was the end of the day of Monday.

On the day of Tuesday we had district meeting in the JAS Center and it was good. I had a talk on how to find new investigators and it´s something that I need to work on more. Then Hermana [Sister] Voemba had the practice on how to use the scriptures and it was really good!! I learned a lot that day!! Super good district meeting!!! Right after District Meeting the Hermanas [sisters], my companion and I had to go to an eating appointment, but I had to get a new Guagua (that´s how they say Autobus, or bus here, pronounced wawa) bono [card] of 10 trips. So I got it and we met the Hermanas [sisters] on the Guagua!! We then got to the eating appointment and the food was good, like usual, and we shared a message and it was all good!!!!! We then went to see Andres, and it worked out this time!!! YAHOO!!! I got to know him and he seems like a good guy!! We taught him about how we need to apply the Gospel in our lives and how it will help us out in the end!! It was a good lesson! At 8:00 we had the interview with Jonatan and I did the interview and he´s good to go. He gives me really elaborate answers and understands everything, but he´s got a problem with his father and him not wanting Jonatan to get baptized. Jonatan has faith that all will work out though so it´s pretty cool how much faith he has!!

Wednesday was NOT P-Day, but Weekly Planning. Later on we saw Cristo, a less active guy and we talked to him about following the prophet. Then we tried contacting, but it didn´t work out too well. There was no one out in the streets. Today is Thursday, Thanksgiving, and an all day P-Day!!!! We´re planning to go to a science museum and then at 4:00 go to the Eynon´s house to have a Thanksgiving dinner!!! I´m really excited to go and do that!!! It will be fun!! How have you guys been? How was Thanksgiving? Was it good? Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 14, 2012

First view of Las Palmas, Canary Islands

Why Hello Family!!

Well first things first, the big fill-in-the-blank that you left for me to fill as far as where I´m serving. I have gone out of Parla, and out of Madrid in general. I am now serving in the Canary Islands!!!! I know what you guys are thinking, but it´s TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I´m serving in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria!!!!!!!! It´s much warmer here than in Madrid (duh) and I really like it!! Unfortunately since I´ve been here, the days have been cloudy and sad, but it´s okay!! I´m on an Island!!!! I´m really REALLY happy to be here and I´m excited to get to know the place!! I also got to work in San Sebastían de los Reyes for a day with Elder Wride, and it was fun, but first starting with the week from Thursday.

Thursday was a crazy day!!! We had weekly planning and Medio Dia [lunch break], but after that it got to be interesting. We actually ate with a member called Angel there in Parla. The Hermanas [sisters] of Leganes needed me to do a baptismal interview with a girl called Belén at 4:30 and we had a lesson at 6. So after eating we had to do exchanges so that I could do the interview and Elder Alvarez could go to the lesson. So I went with Elder Cunningham and we had to take the Renfe [commuter train] over to Las Margaritas and be there before 4:30. We got there at like 4:15 and had to wait for the Hermanas [sisters]  for about 20 - 25 minutes before they got there which was pretty annoying, but it´s okay. I did the interview and got back to Parla at about 7:00. We had a lesson at 7:30 and had to meet Elder Alvarez and Elder Rose at a Tranvia [transfer] stop so that Elder Alvarez could get on, and Elder Cunningham could get off. We then went to Cleme y Selena and had dinner with them which was really good!!! Professionally done too!!!

I don´t remember too much of what happened Friday except that it was pretty good! I got the phone call from the zone leaders about transfers and it was pretty intense for me!! I asked them about everyone in my district before I knew where I was going. Elder Alvarez stayed in Parla, with Elder Perez going over there, Elder Cunningham goes home, Elder Rose went to Alcala de Henares with Elder Verdu, Hermana Farías and Piedade going home, Hermana Sicán staying in Leganes with Hermana Miron going there, and Hermana Voemba going to the Canary Islands, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. I then asked where I would go, and Elder Perkins told me, "You are going to the Canary Islands, to Las Palmas!" I couldn´t believe my ears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was smiling and rejoicing the rest of the time in Parla!!! I then called Elder Argyle and asked him how he feels about leaving San Sebastian de los Reyes, and he feels sad to leave, like usual. He´s training Elder Pluim to be the new beast secretary of the mission!! Elder Argyle then told me that I will be going to work in Alcobendas with Elder Wride on Monday!! I got even more excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get to go to the best area that I´ve had on my mission, and then get to go to Gran Canaria to have an even better area!!!! It was COOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday and Sunday was spent saying goodbye to members and investigators. Among them were Erick y Yulliana, Melisa, Cleme y Selena, Manuel from Cuba, and others there at church. I also got to say goodbye to Ana which was awesome!! Not too much that I can say about those days considering I don´t have my old agenda. It was pretty sad, but cool at the same time.

Four generations of mission secretaries: 
Elders Jeppson, Bauer, Argyle and Pluim.

Monday was a crazy day!! I was all packed in my new suitcases and ready to get going to San Sebastian de los Reyes and to Gran Canaria. I had to go to the stake center at 9:30 or 10:00 and I stayed there until about 12:00 or 1:00 waiting for Elder Wride to arrive. When he got there, I was happy to see him and he was happy to see me as well!! It was awesome!! We were given keys to the piso [apartment] there in San Sebastian de los Reyes and got on our way to Alcobendas! When we got there, the first thing we did was go to the piso and leave our stuff there. I missed the view that the piso has there!! It was pretty awesome!! We then were off to visit some people that Elder Wride got to know and I also got to visit people that I got to know. We first passed by two places where some investigators/members lived, but they moved from those two locations. We were then walking and we ran into the member that Elder Wride wanted to visit!! It was a miracle that happened!!! We then went with him to Natalia´s house to see how she was doing since the missionaries serving there couldn´t ever get contact with her.

View from the apartment in Alcobendas

We arrived and Elder Wride didn´t remember what number it was, but we eventually found her and visited with her. She´s gone less active since September which broke our hearts, but we´re both sure that she´ll come back to church some day. She was really happy to see us!! We then went over to the church, and it was open!! We only found the office elders (which in Alcobendas, all of the missionaries are office elders) Elder Argyle, Elder Bagley, and Elder Pluim. We wanted to see if we could see some members that we know and they said that they were going to have a Noche de Hogar [home evening] in Segundo´s house. So while we waited we went out and did a few contacts and saw Alberto working out in his favorite gym. We then went with Elder Bagley to Segundo´s house and it was fun to see Segundo´s expression when he saw us!! He was suprised to see us and we talked to him about life and stuff!! It was awesome!! Eventually two other jovenes [young people] that we got to know there, one of which is a recent convert, as well as Fousto and his wife came and we talked to them!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We then visited a few other people and were picked up by the other Office Elders, Elder Forsythe and Elder Johnson. SUPER FUN DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Madrid from the air (if you look closely - you can see the temple)

Tuesday was a long day but fun!! We had to get up at 4:30 am to get ready and stuff, and get out of there by 5:00 ish. We left at 5:00 ish, Elder Wride, Bagley and I, and met Elder Argyle and Pluim down with the Furgoneta (aka the BEAST) ready to be loaded with our stuff. We then had to go to the piso of the Hermanas in Barrio 6 [6th ward] to pick up Hermana Voemba to go to the Islands as well. We then went back over to the airport and got checked in and it was all good!! Elder Wride was going to Tenerife so he wasn´t on the same flight as us. Hermana Voemba and I though were on the same flight to Gran Canaria so it was pretty cool!! The flight left at 8:30 Madrid time and got here at 10:00 Canary time, so a flight of 2.5 hours. Not too bad. We got there and the Elders of Vecindario and Elder Valenzuela greeted us and we got up to parking and met the Eynons!!! They are a senior couple that I´ve heard so much about and they seem cool!!!! I can´t wait to get to know them!! So the Elders of Vecindario have a car and the Eynons have one too so with the two of us we got to Las Palmas and I put my stuff in the piso. It´s a huge piso too!!! WOW!!!!!! We then had district meeting in the Centro de JAS [Young Single Adult Cener] where the Eynon couple work. We then took Medio Dia and I slept a bit, then we went out to do contacts and stuff! I also saw the church bajo [downstairs] and it looks pretty big!!! I also got to meet some of the members there which are pretty cool!!!!!!!!! The ones that were there that night all welcomed me warmly and I just know that I´m going to have a good transfer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gran Canaria Airport, Canary Islands

Today is P-Day. I´m not sure what we are going to do, but I´m sure we´ll do something!! How are you all doing? Anything cool going on? Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!!! Love you all!!

Elder Ezra A. Bauer

The new district! From L to R: Elder Valenzuela (the new companion - from Chile), me, Hermana Marshall, Hermana Voemba, Elder Christiensen, Elder Lisonbee

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012

Well at least he has been praying!

Alex eating a Porra con Chocolate!! It was good, but fattening!

Elders Alvarez and Cunningham in front of the meetinghouse in Parla

Hello Family!!!

This week has been pretty good/stressful for me. Not much has happened, but it was still pretty fun and recently stressful!! I´ve seen all over the place about the stuff with Hurricane Sandy and it didn´t look good at all. I hope that all goes well with it and that the cleaning of the mess and of the flooding. On to my week!!

Thursday was pretty good for me!! Weekly planning of course and then we went to Yolanda´s house!! She's less active with her family, also less active, but we´re working with them little by little. We did the packet of tea lesson about faith and lighting it on fire!! I´m a pyro so what can I say, I like fire, hehe. Nothing else happened so yeah. Friday was a really fun day!!!! I did exchanges with Elder Perkins in Barrio 3 [Madrid 3rd Ward] and it was fun!!!! I was in Madrid City for the first time ever working there!!! Okay, so not the FIRST time, since back about a year ago when Elder Gallego went home, I worked in Barrio 6 [Madrid 6th Ward] for about 4 - 5 days so yeah. So anyway we did quite a bit of contacting and I learned how to contact effectively in a public transportation vehicle so yeah!! I´m excited to try it out some time!!! We then ate with a part member family and their food was really good!!! YUMMY!!! We then had a lesson with them and went back to the piso [apartment] to rest. Then we had English Classes from 6:30 - 7:30 and then from 7:30 - 8:30 Noche de Hogar [home evening] and it was pretty fun!!! We contacted on the way to the church which was pretty cool!! OH and Elder Perkins and Rodriguez-Silva are both beasts at contacting and lessons!!! Wow, I need to learn a lot still!!

Saturday we had correlation with Gerardo Gordon, and it was pretty disappointing really. He doesn´t worry about the investigators at all so it was pretty sad since we have some pretty good people and he just passes them like nothing. Oh well. We then had Melisa at about 1:00 and it was the same lesson as with Yolanda which was pretty good!! She´s not looking forward to me leaving since I´m the first missionary along with Elder Soriano that she got to know here in Spain. It´s okay though, I know my companion is staying so yeah. We then ate with Ronald and Mira and that food was really good!!! After that not much happened.

Sunday we had church and then we went to Venesia´s house to eat!! She invited one of her aunts over to eat and she is really interested in the church and in what we are doing as missionaries!! She´s really interested in missionaries in particular because Venesia is planning to serve a mission and it´s pretty cool!! She´s put in her papers and is ready to go pretty much!!! We then later had a family home evening with Andy´s family and it was pretty fun!! We did the faith lesson and then had a flour lesson combined!! It was pretty cool!! So you pack flour into a cup and then you turn it upside down on a plate and it´s like a sand castle. You then put a coin and the first person to make the coin fall, has to fish it out with their mouth. It was really funny to see Aarón, Andy´s older kid, with flour on his face! We then played Uno and I didn´t lose!! Haha!! We then went home.

Monday was a pretty cool, but crazy day for us!! We had lunch at 1:30 with Erick y Yulliana and it was really good!! Cielo, their older girl that is about 7 years old, just loves me, and I don´t know why! Every time she sees me, she drops everything and gives me a hug. I think it´s pretty funny, but cute. She´s not happy about the possibility of me leaving, but it´s like a 90% chance that I will leave. We then went over to Valdemoro so that Elder Alvarez could get to know Amador, the Branch Mission Leader of Aranjuez and so that I could say goodbye to him. It was pretty cool and fun to go back into that home, but I´m going to miss Amador.

Alex with Amador

Tuesday ended up being a stressful day for me. So, the Hermanas [Sisters] of Leganes 1 [Leganes 1st Ward] have to have 2 baptismal interviews done before this Saturday, and they set up the interview times without me knowing. So I had two interviews right after District Meeting and I had to be in Parla at 5 since I had a cita [appointment] with Erick y Yulliana. I told them that I could only do one and the other one would have to wait for another day. They were okay with that so that´s what I did. district meeting was pretty much a testimony meeting for the ones leaving and it was really cool!! I could feel the spirit strongly there. I then did the interview!! It was a guy called Andres, from Guayaquil, Ecuador and he was ready!! He´s planning to go to England for work, and asked me if the church was there, and so I´m sure that he´s solid and strong for life. Later on, I got a call from the  Leganes 1 [Leganes 1st Ward]  sisters and I told them that Thursday at about 4:00 or 4:30 I could do the interview, but that I wasn´t sure. So they went ahead and put it at 4:30 and it turns out that it didn´t work out for us, so I tried changing the time, but they told me, no. So in the end after a lot of stress, I worked it out with my companion, but I felt like I was back in the office, hahaha.

Today was P-Day and we went to the mission home!! It was pretty cool since I once again got to walk through the streets of San Sebastían de los Reyes!! I loved it and got super office trunky (or in other words, I really started to miss being in the office, more for the area than for the office stress). It was a good activity and President and Sister Jackson were there!! I just think that is soo cool how President and Sister Jackson are at the activities!! I like that. That´s all. How´s everything going over yonder in Texas? Anything new or just the same old same old? Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31, 2012

Hello Family!

To begin with thanks for the letters from:
Micah (Elder) Hodges
Megan Eden

Just to let you guys know, this is the 5th week of the transfer so next week is probably when I´ll be moved from Parla since I´ve been here a long time. We´ll see what happens though! Now on to my week!!!

So Thursday of last week was a crazy day!! So, weekly planning didn´t happen since at 11 we had a lesson set up, which ended up failing us, but it´s okay, not much we can do. We didn´t do too much after that except for contacts until 1:00, since we had a lesson at 1:00 with a new investigator. It was the first member reference that we got here in Parla, so things are looking up!!!! She´s really good too!!! She´s gone to church in Ecuador and remembers a bit of what it was like so that´s good!!! We then ate with Venesia at 3:00 and then went from there to Getafe Centro to meet the Hermanas [sisters] to pick up Informes de Progresso [progress report forms] since we didn´t have any in the piso [apartment]. It was pretty crazy since we didn´t know if we´d have a lesson at 6:00 or not, and we got to Getafe at around 4:50.

The Hermanas [sisters] didn´t get there until later too, so we called the cita [appointment] and told them not to worry about having to be there since we wouldn´t be there either. When the Hermanas [sisters] got there and we got the informes [progress reports] from them and talked a bit, then headed back to Parla. We contacted a bit and then went to the church since we were invited by the seminary teacher to share our testimonies. We did, and it was pretty good since each of us had something different to say about seminary and such. We then had to go from there to the Gordon family´s house to have correlation meeting. It was pretty good since we haven´t had a correlation meeting for a while since our branch mission leader now works at the CCM [Missionary Training Center] teaching. Crazy but cool!

Friday was a crazy yet depressing day for everyone. For one thing, I started to lose my voice out of the blue, and Elder Cunningham and Elder Rose within 3 days lost all of their investigators, which is worse than getting sick!! Elena just said that she didn´t want to learn more and tried to return the books that she got from Elders Cunningham and Rose, but they told her to keep them. Then Friday morning, Elder Cunningham got a text from Ana, a really good, prepared lady saying that she didn´t want to take the lessons anymore because she doesn´t want to feel like a criminal sinning all of the time. That day was the worst for Elder Cunningham. Elder Alvarez and I couldn´t really do any contacts since it was just so sad to see Elder Cunningham depressed like crazy!

We then went to the eating appointment with Andy, and Elder Cunningham got better as far as his happy level is concerned. He likes eating with the members since he get´s happy with them, and it shows!!! When Elder Alvarez and I got back to the piso [apartment], we had our weekly planning meeting and then went to see Rocio!! It was great to see her again since she doesn´t live here and lives within the Barcelona Mission. We visited with them and it was cool, but we had to leave at 10:00 and we didn´t get to eat so they invited us over Saturday during lunch time.

Saturday I did exchanges with Elder Cunningham and it was really cool!! We did a few contacts in the morning and we recieved 2 references!! Elder Cunningham was happy I could tell! At 2:00 we then went over to Carolina and Ibeth´s house to eat and see Rocio again. The food was really good!! At 4:00 we had a 1st lesson with a Nigerian called Jose. He´s really cool and we talked a bit about the restoration and he seems interested. We then went and rested a bit since we didn´t really have time for that earlier and at around 7:30 or 8:00 we went to Ana´s house. We just wanted to see her and see what was going on. After about an hour and a half of sharing and her telling us everything, we left our email addresses and facebook to her since I don´t know if I´ll see her again. It was a good lesson, but she needs time to breathe and so we´ll leave her for a bit.

Elders Alvarez and Cunningham busy painting

Sunday we had church, then we ate at the Branch President´s house and it was yummy food!!! Dominican food too!!! We then contacted and got two references from it, and that was it. Monday we had a lesson/message about faith with Carolina, you know, the one where we use the tea bag and light it on fire and see if they have faith that it will fly off!! Yeah, that one!!!!! We did that and it was cool!! Rocio was there too which was cool and she got the lesson too!! I also got a haircut from Carolina and it turned out good, but shorter than usual, haha. We then went to eat with familia Gordon and it was good food!! Later at 3:00 we went back to Carolina´s house to help them paint it from white, to a pistachio colored green. It took quite a while for that to happen and I was pretty tired by the end of the day!! At 9:00, yes it took that long to paint, and no, we didn´t finish either, they gave us a bit to eat and we shared a scripture and left.

Elder Alex painting with his new haircut (Elder Cunningham is in the background)

Tuesday was a great day!!!!! We had Zone Meeting at the Barrio 3 & 9 [3rd and 9th ward] building and it started at 10:00. It was really good!! I was edified as well as many others I´m sure! One of the talks/practices was really creative, funny, and awesome!! So it was about companionship unity, and Elder Bermudez and Elder Hilton were the ones giving the talk/practice. They needed two companionships to help them out and the thing that they needed to do was make a sandwich, cut it in half and take a bite out of it. Doesn´t sound as hard as it seems, right? Well, here´s the catch, when they got the voulenteers, Elders Perkins and Rodriguez-Silva vs. Hermanas Mercado and Hernandez, they put the Elders side by side, and tied their two hands together, and they did the same with the sisters. The two companionships had to use their outer hands to make the sandwich, and it was really funny!!! I took a video of it so it would be easier to show that to you than to explain it all, but long story short, the sisters won, haha. We then had a cita [appointment] with Erick and Yulliana at 6:00 and it was pretty good. Yulliana told us a long story of something that she didn´t like about the members, but then Elder Alvarez and I talked about how we should go to church for the Lord, and not for the members. It turned out pretty good!!!

The District of Parla with the two Zone Leaders!! From L to R starting with Elders:
Elder Perkins (ZL), Elder Me (DL), Elder Rose, Elder Rodriguez-Silva (ZL), Elder Alvarez, and Elder Cunningham. Then Hermanas Farías, Sicán, Voemba, and Piedade.

Today was P-Day!! We went to the temple and that was about it! Now let me answer your questions mother!!

Question:  Is Leganes in my area?   Answer:  No, Leganes is a different area with Sister Missionaries, but it´s in my district area. 

Question:  Is Leganes far? Answer:  Not really, but at the same time it is. It´s about a 40 minute trip.

Question:  Do I take the train? How does that work? Answer:  Yes we take the train over to Leganes. We take the Renfe for 10 - 20 minutes, or two stops, and get off at Getafe Centro. We then change from the Renfe to Metro and take the Metro for about 6 - 7 stops and get off at Casa del Reloj, which is were the Leganes Chapel is located. How it works is here in Parla, we have a Renfe station, and since we have monthly bonos [passes], we just feed that through the machine and it lets us in, then we go and take the train. In Getafe Centro, the Renfe and Metro station are combined, but to change from the Renfe to Metro, you have to use the bono to get out of one, and into the other. If that´s confusing, I can explain it differently some other time.

Anymore questions? Take care and I hope to talk to you guys soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 23, 2012

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Parla

Well hey there family!!!

Not too much that´s going on, but we´re doing the work as well as we can. I´m hoping that the stress continues going down and that everything is doing okay as far as working on the house and making it pretty! Here´s my week as far as cool stuff is concerned!

Thursday we did weekly planning and then tried to figure out who signed up as far as eating with the members was concerned since the calendar just said "Rodriguez". We called everyone that we knew named Rodriguez, but not one of them was the one. So, since "no one" signed up, we went to Mercadona to buy food for the week since we didn´t have time on P-Day to do it. When we were at the check out stand, Marisol, a member that works there, told us that we had to hurry to the dinner appointment since we were late. I told her that we called everyone that had that last name, but no one was the person that signed up. She finally told me that it was a Brazilian couple, and then it clicked!!

We ran faster than the speed of light to try to get there soon, and we even called to ask them to forgive us for getting there late. We got there and they are a really nice couple. They told us stories of their conversion and of the things that they would do to the missionaries and I had a fun time!! At about 6:00 we went to Erick and Yulliana´s house to see how they are doing since we didn´t see them for a week since they didn´t have time. It´s been crazy for them and I really hope that everything can calm down with all that is happening. We then went to see Fabian and Maria after a miracle call from them and they are doing pretty good!! They told us that they called us because they wanted to see how we were doing and that they felt different when we didn´t come by. They also expressed that they were passing through a difficult time without work and so we shared with them Mosiah 24 when Alma and his converts get into bondage and how they are freed from it. Next time I think we´ll talk about the spirit and how it works.

Friday I did exchanges with Elder Rose and was able to see some things that I pretty much already knew. It was one of the longest days that I´ve had here in Parla. We just walked around, and he was talking to me, and not contacting. We may have talked to 4 people that whole day, and it was just bad. At 5 we had a lesson with Ana and we based the lesson on how the spirit works and comforting her with the things that are going on in Venezuela since her family lives there. I told her many times that everything in the end will be okay, just wait for God to put His hand when He thinks it may be necessary. After the lesson we went to the Noche de Hogar [home evening] and then went to the piso [apartment].

Paella made by Carmen

Baptism in Leganes

Saturday was a pretty empty day except for eating with Carmen, a fun Spanish lady, then we went to a baptism in Leganes. The girl that was getting baptized was a member from birth, but wanted a missionary to baptize her, so I had the honor of doing it. It was really cool too! When I got her out of the water, she turned to me and said, "Gracias Hermano [thank you, Brother]." I felt really good to be able to do that for her and for her to be able to feel the spirit there. We then went back to Parla, and to the piso [apartment]. Sunday was a long day, but after contacting all day, we received 3 references and it was pretty cool!! That´s it. =)

Monday was pretty empty too, but it was better than Sunday. We got to visit Melisa and she´s doing really well. She´s going to go to church this Sunday, but with all of the studies that she has to do for University, it´s hard for her, but she does come every now and then, and when she comes, she likes it. We then contacted for the whole day and got 2 references. Just getting all of the references, and having people come up to us asking about what we are doing, is just awesome!! It shows me that even when you think that you´re doing all you can in an area and it´s just not going anywhere in the moment, in the end, it will. Super cool how that works!!

Tuesday was a really awesome and edifying day for me as well as all of the Zone of Madrid West!! We had Zone Conference and it was really cool!! We got there really early, but that was fine, I took lots of pictures of the Temple!! We then went in, and studied, and then Zone Conference started at 10:00. It was all based on Elder Holland´s talk in General Conference and on how we should "Feed His Sheep." It was really awesome!! When President Jackson´s turn came to share with us his words, he got up, and told his wife to come up as well. She did and he gave her a hug and a kiss and said, okay, you may sit down now. She just said, "That´s all you wanted?" expecting it to be that he needed her help. Hahahaaa!!! It was just funny to me! =D The Zone Conference ended with a musical number done by Hermanas [Sisters] Vouemba, Hernandez, Piedade, and Elders Perkins, Rose, Rodriguez-Silva, me, Berthon, and Hilton, singing "Abide with Me". We sang acapella too which was cool!! We then ate in the Temple and when we got back to Parla, we had a lesson with Erick and Yulliana, and we watched "Finding Faith in Christ" and it was cool!! Yulliana had lots of questions through the movie, and we´d answer them and yeah. We then saw Cleme, and talked to her and that was it.

Today was P-Day, and all we did was sleep and relax, as well as buy things and send emails. We also had a lesson with a less active, and that went pretty well, but not the best. I hope that all is well over in Texas, and that everything continues to calm down and that you guys can settle. How´s everyone? Is Giselle still completly destroying her algebra Class? Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012

Alex on a hike overlooking San Lorenzo de El Escorial

The town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (the large building is called El Escorial)

El Escorial (a monastery and palace built by Felipe II)

Alex in El Escorial

El Escorial

El Escorial from the back

Why hello familia!!!

My week has been pretty cool, crazy, empty, but cool at the same time!!! Here it is all!!!

So Thursday was a pretty empty day. We didn´t have anything, like seriously zero, nothing, nada de nada [nothing of nothing], no lessons, no contacted, NOTHING!!! We did have weekly planning, but that´s it. Friday was the P-Day where we went to El Escorial!! SUPER COOL PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, if you guys ever come to Spain, I´ll take you there!! First we took a hike up a hill where Felipe II made a "throne" to overlook El Escorial. The branch came too so it was fun with all of the members and kids there. There were also a lot of rocks and it was really pretty there!! It was pretty chilly too, but that didn´t really matter. Up on the hill we had a little spiritual thought given by me, and then we hiked back down. We did spend a good hour up there though so it was pretty cool!! We came down and ate lunch and took the bus (the branch rented out a bus to take us up there. The first time that I took a charter bus since I was up in Valladolid) and went to El Escorial, got to see the inside and it was pretty cool!! So we saw a bit of how it was built, and it was pretty much built from the inside out. Pretty intense how big it is too!! I took a ton of pictures too!! We then got back, completely exhausted from hiking, climbing rocks, running around, and hiking some more, that we just died in bed. I was really sore the next few days.

Saturday we just had a lesson with Carolina and Ibeth, but I don´t really remember too much about it. We did get a pretty cool guy as a contact though. Juan, from Ecuador, and he seems really cool!! We set up a visit for today and I´ll tell you how that went in just a bit. I´m just keeping you interested!! Hahahahaaa!! Sunday was a pretty good day too. We had church and had lunch with a member called Fabiola from Colombia. She made really good food!! We also got a referral.

Monday we saw Cleme, from Colombia as well. She´s a member, but her granddaughter isn´t, but comes to church every week and really likes it, but her parents don´t let her move on quite yet. Some day I´m sure that she will get baptized like Ana in Valladolid did. Just a matter of time.

Tuesday was pretty cool!! We had District Meeting and the Zone Leaders Elder Perkins and Elder Rodriguez-Silva came and did a practice that took up all of the time. It was a practice of how to use each of our attributes to help out our companion and us achieve a common goal. First the Elders, or in other words, me and Elder Alvarez together, and Elder Cunningham and Elder Rose together. The Zone Leaders then took us back to back and tied a string around both of our heals. We then had to go over a table, walk around some chairs which were set up as an obstacle and it was pretty hard, especially since I fell off of the table twice, the second time landing on the floor, but on my hands so it was good. So we had to work together to finish before the others.

Then the Hermanas [sisters]. Hermanas Sicán and Farías were blindfolded and Hermanas Voemba and Piedade had to guide them through obstacles speaking in their native languages (French and Portuguese respectively). It was pretty funny to see them frustrated, but succeed in the end, hahahaaa!! It was really good!! We then ate lunch and went back home and had a miracle evening!!! So we had a lesson with Rocio about random stuff and such, then one with Yolanda, a less active family about example. Used the laser too, super cool lesson!! I loved how it turned out!! We then went out contacting, and not many people out on the street, but we managed to get 3 interested people!!!! I was pretty suprised to be honest!! Super cool!!!

The zone leaders join district meeting.
Elder Perkins (on the left) and Elder Rodriguez-Silva (on Right)

Today was P-Day and Elder Rose and I went to Pavones to practice for a musical number for Zone Conference. So for Zone Conference the Zone Leaders wanted to do a musical number, and I was drafted into singing, but it´s okay, I like singing!! We practiced, and tried out a lot of hymns, from Brightly Beams Our Father´s Mercy, to Peace Be Still. We chose the hymn Acompañame [Abide with Me], number 99 in the Spanish hymnal [#166 in the English hymnal click here to hear it in Spanish]. I don´t know what it´s called in English, but yeah. It turned out good!! At 7:00 we had the appointment with Juan and it was really cool!!! He´s a really good guy and is just prepared!! I´m sure that he´ll get baptized!! Now we´re here emailing!! How has your day been? Heck, how has your week been? Any new adventures? What´s Jonathan going to try to attack this week? Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer