Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012

Elder Soriano, or Elder Spongebob?!?
Why hello there!!!!!!

You guys mentioned that transfers should be coming up soon, and guess what, you´re right!! This Friday I will get all of the information on transfers for my district and be able to tell you where I go/if I stay!! But anyhow, on to my week!!

Thursday we had weekly planning and it was pretty good. Same old same old pretty much. We then went to eat with a member called Vanesia, and she´s a convert of about a year and is preparing her mission papers to go on a mission!! Pretty exciting for her, but also stressful. I´m sure that all will work out for her. We then tried to visit Jose y Yolanda, a less active family, but they couldn´t that day. So we did contacts and called references and that´s it. Not the most exciting day, but oh well. Friday not much either, but it was a bit better than Thursday. We went to see Carolina just to see how she was doing and just talked to her for a while. We also shared a video from the D&C seminary videos about Light and Truth. She really liked it and helped her out a lot. She said at the end of the visit that it was something that she needed to hear and that was cool!!! Not much else happened except for Noche de Hogar [home evening] and more contacts.

Saturday we had a piso [apartment] inspection!! The Ovards came, with their trainees, Elder Forsythe and Elder Johnson (temporary replacements until the senior couple that is supposed to replace them comes) and it was the funniest inspection ever!!! It´s something that you should have been there to see. So I followed Elder Forsythe around the piso [apartment] (taking over Elder Ovard´s position of piso [apartment] management) and when he entered a room, he would go through the routine. He would look at his paper, read what it said, and ask us if things were working/check if it was working. He would say, "Does the light switch work" switch the light on and off various times and say, "Good. Do the windows work, they look like they do. Do the outlets work?" Someone would say, yes and he´d move on, "Good. Is the floor broken or cracked?" he´d then step on the floor a bit and say, "Looks like it´s good. Is there any crackage on the ceiling? Looks like it´s all, there´s a huge mosquito there on your ceiling!! Just huge!!!" Hahahaa!!! He did the same thing with the bedroom, but there were two mosquitoes in that one! Hahahaaaa!! It was great!

When the Ovards and the two new office Elders left, the day was full of fijando citas [setting appointments] and then all of the appointments we made failed the same day.  So in the morning we called Ibeth to see if we could visit her, and she said that she could! Later, she called us back and said that something came up so that idea just died. We called Marcelino to see if we could pass by, but he said that it would be better another day. Then Gerard called us and told us that he wouldn´t be able to see us at 6, and to move it to Sunday. So in all, we had a ton of NOTHING. More contacts...yay (with an unenthusiastic voice).

Sunday was pretty good! We went to church, and there were quite a few new faces that I haven´t seen before!! Lots of less actives came and some investigators too so yeah! We then ate with Carmen, a Spanish member, and she always makes good food, and a lot of it. I left feeling like I would never eat again, haha. Later we went and saw Gerard to get to know him and talk to him a bit so that we could relate to him a bit more so yeah. It was pretty good!! We then went and passed by some former investigators and it rained a bit too!! Miracle of the week: It rained in Parla!!!
Rain in Parla!!!
 Temple from the CCM 6th floor. This was after the meeting Monday.

Monday was super good!!!!! All of the leaders in the mission had to go to a leadership training meeting so that meant that I had to go to that. It was really cool!!! The assistants to the president, all of the zone leaders, and all of the district leaders were there and it was really edifying. I can only say that I am more motivated to do better and become a better missionary!!! Super coolio!!! Later that day we went to see Yolanda, but she wasn´t there, so we did a few contacts. One of the contacts was a guy named Jorge, and he was from Peru and an Evangelist. He has a bit of interest in our message, but for the most part, he was the one talking the whole time. We stood talking to him for half an hour, and when he told us his name, and gave us his number, and then told us that some others had talked to him already to see him during the week, I told my companion that it sounds like WE are the ones that have the cita [appointment] with him. So we went to the piso [apartment] and looked at some of the registros [records] that we have, and sure enough, we were the ones that called him and set up the appointment with him. So we called him and told him that we are the missionaries that talked to him a few minutes ago and that we have the appointment with him Thursday so that was pretty fun!! Later we went to see Ibeth and had a pretty cool lesson with her. We showed her a Mormon Message about moving on and not giving up considering she´s had a hard life. Pretty cool!!
The Zone!!!

Me with Elder Lopez! He´s super cool and I wish I could be his companion, but he´s leaving at the end of this transfer. We became super good friends in a heartbeat!
 Tuesday we had zone meeting (not zone conference, that´s different) and it was also really edifying and awesome!! We learned a lot about obedience to the horario [schedule] and it was really good!! The zone leaders then got up and talked about the meeting on Monday and all of the things that we learned! It was pretty cool!! We then had a visit with Yolanda and her family and they are doing really well!! We taught them about the importance of reading, praying, and going to church. We then committed them to pray every day and then when we come back. We´ll see how it all went. We then took both of my suits and one pair of pants to get dry cleaned and then went to Erick and Yulliana´s house. We taught them about baptism and the Holy Ghost and it was all good!! They´re a great family!! We then went home and during the night it rained some more!!

Today we´re planning to go to the Toledo store and that´s it. Has the stress level gone down a bit? How´s everything? Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012

Do you remember the pata de jamón [literally leg of ham]?

Day two of the pata in an apartment with four hungry missionaries

By the end of the day on Friday - picked clean!


So just to say that the game yesterday was super AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Real Madrid vs. Manchester City!!! Madrid won 3-2 and it was pretty intense!! I´ll tell you about it when I get to Tuesday but for now let’s go to Thursday the 13th.

Thursday we saw Vincent and Carolina and Ibeth. Everyone is doing great so all is well!! I played with Carolina and Ibeth´s little cat too and got scratched up all over my hand. It was fun though. The lesson with Carolina and Ibeth was on being an example, and I used my laser for the lesson!! So I shined my laser up on their ceiling and pretty much compared it to Christ´s birth and how the light of the new star gave them light and guided the wise men as well as shepherds to where the babe laid. I also related the story with how Jesus was our example and our light. Then I asked everyone, how we could be examples to the people that we know. I then said that with our good examples we could bring others to Christ and have that light spread to others. I put a certain kind of lens on my laser and had it shine on to the ceiling again and it looked like a planetarium with all of the points of green light. Their cat was going crazy at that point and wanted to catch one of the little green points on the ceiling. It was cool, and funny!!

Friday we had Marcelino and he is hilarious!! I love to listen to him talk about random stuff!! The only problem is that he talks and talks a lot so we can´t really share too much since he talks a lot, but oh well, not much we can do about it. We then ate with Yuliana and her food is always good!! We then had an evening without anything until 7:30 and 8:00. At 7:30 we had Rocio and at 8:00 we had Carlos. Carlos has really good intentions!! He wants to learn more and actually mentioned baptism a lot!! He also wants to see the Temple one day so it sounds good!!! We then had the Noche de Hogar [home evening], and went home! Really good day!

Saturday I had intercambios [companionship exchanges] with the tiny Mexican Elder Soriano!! We did contacts and got two great referrals and got to see Otilia! She said that she´ll come to church, but in the end she didn´t which made me pretty sad. She even promised!!!! =( Oh well, I hope that next week we can do something to get her animated [His word choice of animated is kind of Spanglish – he means to say enthused]!! We also saw Gerard and he´s really good!! We got to know him a bit more and he seems like he has great intentions too so I´m really glad to have found him! Sunday was pretty empty. We went to church and then ate lunch with the branch president´s family, contacted, then ate dinner with Ibeth.

Monday we had intercambios [companionship exchanges] with the other Zone Leader Elder McGrath!!!! Let me just say that he´s really good!!! He´s a maquina at contacting [contacting machine]!! We got 10 references received that day and it was just amazing!!! We also saw Melisa for the first time in about a week! She´s doing well and Elder McGrath committed her to invite her family to a little activity where we make brownies. It sounds good and yeah! It sounds pretty yummy too, hehe. Tuesday morning we switched companions back so I got Elder Alvarez back and it was pretty good!! The sisters of Leganes 2 wanted me to do a baptismal interview at 11:30 at the Leganes chapel for an investigator getting baptized this weekend!! The first interview I have ever done, but turned out really well!! The guy is from Haiti and his testimony is super strong!!! I can just see it in his eyes! After the interview we took pictures with him and it was super cool!! We started district meeting and talked about Chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel. Pretty much about the Book of Mormon and how to use it in the lessons!! It was a really good district meeting!!
The Leganes LDS Chapel
From L to R: Hermana Carter, Me, Joseph (investigator and baptismal candidate), and Hermana Piedade.

The District. From L to R: Elder Soriano, Hermanas Farias, Carter, Piedade, Elders Cunningham, Alvarez and me.
 Later Tuesday evening at around 6, we dropped my companion off with a member since he didn´t buy tickets to the game. We got to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium at about 7:30, just in time for the doors to open and we got in! I was just super excited at that time!!! FÚTBAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We climbed the stairs, and the view was super good!!! We got a view of the whole stadium on the west side, long side of the field!! I sat next may have guessed it...ELDER FORREST!!!! Office comps forever I guess since we always seem to be near eachother. For the first 45 minutes none of the teams scored a goal so Elder Forrest and I were pretty bummed about that. After halftime though, Manchester City scores a goal and that was not cool!!! Hermana Hernandez is hilarious!! She was screaming in Spanglish that time just like pretty much any other time. HAA. Then Madrid scores a goal, so 1-1. The whole stadium pretty much just bursts in a huge cheer and I don´t think I´ve ever cheared and yelled as loud as I did when Madrid scored!! Then Manchester scored again after a while and we were a bit bummed again. Then Madrid scores again!!! Again yelling and screaming out of my mind!!! Then it´s really intense and after a while and near the end...MADRID SCORED AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ending score, 3-2 Madrid won!!! I screamed like never before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was great!!!!!!!
Elder (Alex) Bauer, and Elder Forrest
Today my vocal chords are fine, but when I yawn my vocal muscles hurt. I´m not really sure what they are, but whatever. We went to the temple and got a district picture in front of the temple! Now we´re e-mailing, duh!! How are you guys doing? Have a good week so far? Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!!
       ~Elder Bauer~
       Called to Serve:
   Spain Madrid Mission
       District Leader
              of the
       District of Parla

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 12,2012

Plaza de Toros in Parla

Renfe coming into Parla from near the Plaza de Toros

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Elder Cunningham with his Pata de Jamón [Spanish Ham]

Me with Elder Cunningham´s Pata de Jamón [Spanish Ham]
Hello family!!!!

I started typing this email in a store called Media Markt so yeah! I'm typing on one of the new iPads and it's pretty cool! I'm glad that all is going well over yonder in Texas! I hope that all continues to go well and that everyone continues to have fun!! So not too much has happened that's too exciting, but I'll start with Thursday.

So Thursday was weekly planning so nothing too exciting there. We visited Carolina and Ibeth for a little Noche de Hogar [home evening] and it was pretty cool!! I then played with their cat with my green laser pointer and it was really funny how it chased after it and meowed at it, hahahaa!! Yes, if I haven´t told you about it, I got a green laser pointer at a chino [convenience store] for 11.95€ so yeah. I can pop balloons with it too so it´s really fun!! Friday we went to eat at the house of Erik and Yuliana and they make some of the best spicy salsa that I have ever tried since I left Valladolid! So I was also on intercambios [companionship exchanges] with Elder Cunningham, and while we were waiting for the food to come out, the AP´s called us and told us that President Jackson has approved of us going to a Fútball [soccer] game of Real Madrid vs. Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid!!! Elder Cunningham and I were freaking out since it was weird and since President Watkins would never think of doing something like that, but we got permission!! The tickets are 75€ so not too bad for a game live!!! Later on we saw Emanuel, a joven [means young, but either refers to youth or young single adult] in Elder Cunningham´s "area" and then had Noche de Hogar [home evening].

Saturday we saw Vincent for the first time in three weeks and it was pretty good!! He said that he would come to church on Sunday, and he did!! Not much else happened on Saturday. Sunday we went to church and that was it. Monday was a pretty good day!! We finally met Yolanda and Jose Luis, a less active family that we´ve never gotten a hold of, and they were really cool!! So they´ve been less active for about 12 years and have lost their jobs so it´s been pretty hard on them. We told them about the importance of going to church and she said that it was true and that she knows that it is something that is missing in her life. So pretty much she promised us that she´d come this Sunday!! She also said that we gave her strength and that was awesome to hear!! I loved that meeting. We then went to Gerard, a former investigator and joven [young single adult], who seems pretty cool too!! We got to know him a bit and he´s pretty interested in learning a bit more! So we gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read the introduction. He´s going to do it, I´m pretty sure! It was pretty cool! We then saw Carolina and Ibeth and it was a pretty cool little visit. Carolina also gave me a haircut and it looks really good!!

Tuesday was district meeting and the AP´s came and shared something really great with us about faith!! They told Hermana [Sister] Piedade to sit in a chair far away from them and told her to move a Book of Mormon from where she was sitting, without doing anything, and of course, she couldn´t, no one can. They then explain that with faith, you have to have action, and started to ask us what some acts of faith we demonstrate everyday! Getting up, leaving the piso [apartment], studying, etc. They then used that to explain obedience and it was really good!! It´s one of those times when you have to have been there to know how it went! I then did a practice of Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel and it was pretty good! We then ate as a district and had three lessons yesterday!! Rocio, Erik and Yuliana, then Noche de Hogar [home evening] with Carolina e Ibeth, and Erik and Yuliana. We were having some technical difficulties with my DVD but eventually we got to see the Mormon Message that we wanted to see, with some parts chopped off. It was good though, it got the message across so yeah.

Today was P-Day, and all we did was go to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to buy tickets to the game!! I thought that since this is a one time opportunity to see a game in Madrid, I´d go so yeah, I´m going to see a Fútball [soccer] game next Tuesday!!!! I´m pretty excited!! That´s all we did for P-Day! How are you guys doing? Anything new? Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012

The Parla District with visiting zone leaders:  Left to Right: Sisters Farias, Carter, Piedade, and Elders Bauer, Perkins, Alvarez, Soriano, Cunningham, and Elder Rodriguez is in front of everyone.

Elder Perkins and Alex near the end of the exchange.

The Barbecue at the 3rd and 9th ward chapel.


Well thanks for the news from home that was BLANK!! [see editor's note at the end of the e-mail!] I now know exactly what´s going on, haha!!! No worries. Thanks for the emails from the following wonderful people:

Cory Simmons (Elder Simmons)
Micah Hodges (Elder Hodges)

I appreciated getting emails from my RM District Leader Elder Simmons and RM Maquina y Fabrica del Universo [machine and manufacturer of the universe?] companion of mine and Zone Leader Elder Hodges. It was great to hear from those two great missionaries!! Well, here´s my week in a nutshell, but a bigger nutshell than what you guys gave me since nothing must have happened. =)
Thursday we had weekly planning and then had a new investigator which was pretty cool!! She´s a bit timid, but it´s okay, we´ll see what happens with her. Friday we had lunch with Yuliana, the investigator and her pareja [partner]. It was pretty good, especially since they had a hot sauce and that was really yummy!! At 6:00 we taught Melisa and it was really good!! We taught her that by small and simple means, great things come to pass so it was really good!!! Later we had Noche de Hogar [home evening] at the chapel so yeah. Saturday we had contacts, contacts, and more contacts.

Sunday we had Church and that was really cool! Not much after that. Monday we had two lessons set up, but both failed us. It was pretty sad, but it´s okay. Contacts. Tuesday was district meeting and we got two new/old Hermanas [sisters]. New because they came in by surprise, but old because they´ve both been in Leganes before. Hermana Sican, and Hermana Piedade are their names and it has been pretty fun! Elder Perkins, the Zone Leader, and his companion Elder Rodriguez came too so that we could do exchanges and Elder Perkins came to Parla while Elder Alvarez went to Barrio 3 [3rd ward chapel]. Later we taught Erik and Yuliana a great lesson!! We taught them about obedience and I used a kite example! If we´re obedient to God´s commandments (the string and the person flying the kite is God) we (the kite) will be able to fly higher, but if we cut the string because we think that will set us free and let us go higher, we will just fall to the ground. They then asked us a few questions and we answered them as best we could. We then ate with a member and it was really good!!!

Today was P-Day and Elder Perkins and I left Parla at around 10:15 to get to Barrio 3 to pick up Elder Alvarez and make the change. We then went to a BBQ at the Barrio 3 y 9 [3rd and 9th ward] chapel and it was pretty good!! Not much else happened today so yeah. So you see, my week was pretty uneventful. The exchange was awesome though!! Elder Perkins entered the MTC the same day I did, so we have just as much time as I do! Pretty cool!! What´s going on over there? I hope you send me an email tellling me everything before 7 pm my time so that I could see what´s going on. Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!

Elder Bauer

[Editor’s note:  I generally start writing a letter to Alex on Sunday, and it grows, so that by Tuesday when I send it, it is a substantial e-mail message.  I write it in Word.  Then I copy and paste into the e-mail program.  This week, I must have copied, but forgot to paste – since he got a blank e-mail.  I was online when his e-mail came, and had the original e-mail message, which I sent.  So he got it right after sending this.  I know he received it because I asked him specific questions to which he responded half an hour later.]