Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 30, 2013

Las Palmas from a hill above town.

Why hello there my family!!
Wow mom, I´m glad that you had a really crazy and awesome week full of amazingness and crazy stuff!! Long email too, but I loved reading it!! I didn´t really have much else to read either since this week has been pretty sad in receiving emails/letters. Not even the bulletin made it! So, that´s life here in the good old mission!!! Loving it, loving the 26ºC (78ºF) weather, loving the mountains here on the Island, and loving the ocean!!! The ocean is really cool!! I love seeing the ocean!! It´s blue and full of salt and living things!! It´s also really pretty!! Loving life here in the paradise of the mission!! Not much has been going on, but I´ve seen some miracles happen and have been trained by the zone leaders via a meeting via Polycam, and that´s about it!! But here´s my week in a nice polished nutshell. (I don´t know why polished, but oh well, take it or leave it.)

So Thursday you know what we started with. weekly planning, YAHOO!!!!! I know, same old same old. We then had a lesson at 4:30 with Jose and he´s doing great!! We talked a little bit more about tithing and the blessings that come from paying tithing. We pretty much helped him understand it more since he was having dudas [doubts] about it. (Yeah, I don´t know how to say dudas in Ingles [English], but you know what I mean.) We then tried to see Luciano and Leidi, but they weren´t there, so we went to Maria, the recent convert and she was doing great!!! We talked about how the Spirit works and watched the Mormon Message called, The Voice of the Spirit. Super cool and we also gave her a DVD full of Mormon Messages! She was happy to see us!!

Friday we started the day with Cristian, a less active member, and talked to him about a lesson in the George Albert Smith booklet about forgiveness. We also talked to him about tithing and why it´s so important for us and for the Lord. I guess this week has been full of tithing! We´re experts about that now, haa! We then had Medio-Día [lunch break] and ate and stuff. We then went over to Luciano´s house and talked to them about trials and stuff in our lives. Pretty much why we have trials and what they are for in our lives. We had the booklet of Spencer W. Kimball to help us out too!! It´s pretty crazy how a prophet can pass through so many trials in his early life!! I was shocked when I read that lesson!! Super cool though and it helped them out a lot!! It also helped us out to be able to answer questions in the future!! That was Friday!

Saturday we tried to pass by a new investigator, but she couldn´t talk to us at the time. We then tried to pass by some of the less active members as well as former investigators in the area and see if we could find someone. Not much, but some people were interested in listening to our message! We then ate at the Mission Leader´s home and it was really good food!! Rice with lentils, meat with a super good sauce, oh goodness, it was really good!!! Elder Valenzuela and I then had to go a bit early to meet the Elders of Vecindario and do a quick exchange so that Elder Valenzuela could do some baptismal interviews. So for the few hours of the day I was with Elder Lisonbee and we were here in Las Palmas. We tried to see Oscar at 6:00, but he wasn´t there. I was pretty bummed about that, especially since we haven´t seen him for about 2 weeks. Not much we could do, except for try to see him at another time. We then switched back and my companion and I went to see Fani! She´s doing good and we talked about honoring and sustaining the law. It was a good lesson and she understood it! Not much else that she has to learn to be able to get baptized, she just needs to get married and she´ll be good!!
Sunday we didn´t really do anything. We tried to see Jose, but he wasn´t home. At 7:00 we went to Franklyn´s house to have correlation and it was pretty good!! We talked about all of the investigators and also had chocolate cake!! Super good the cake, and the meeting so yeah. Double good!!! Not much else happened Sunday so yeah. That´s it.

Monday was okay. We didn´t really get too much of anything. We mostly passed by former investigators and less actives to see if we could find someone. Everyone was either gone, didn´t live there, or something. We found one member, but she was an active member so it didn´t really help too much. Later in the evening we went to Noche de Hogar [home evening] and it was pretty good!!! John and Josué gave the message and it was about service! I really liked it and hope to be able to apply it more in my life. Then while we were in the Guagua [bus], we got a call from a former investigatoer that we passed by earlier called Samuel! He talked to me and sounded really interested about the message that we share as missionaries!! We set a time up for today at 11:00 in the morning and it sounded really positive!!
Sunset over Las Palmas
Tuesday we had the zone meeting and it was really uplifting!!! I learned a lot even though it was pretty much setting goals and all of that, but they will help us grow as missionaries!! We then saw Oscar and talked to him about baptism and why he wants to do it. It was a pretty good lesson, but it would have been better if we had more of his participation rather than him just answering "yes", "no", and "I don´t know" to everything. We then committed him to baptism and he accepted!! Super cool and I hope that things work out for him in the end. We then visited a person called Juan, from Haiti. We visited him at the church, and there were members doing family history at that time, so we gave him a "tour" of the Family History Center and one of the members talked to him about why we do family history. It turned into a sort of bashing on Juan´s part, and testifying on the member´s part. It was really cool and it helped me see a bit of what Alma was saying when he said, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass" and how the simple things confound the wise!! Super awesome how that happened at that time. We then talked a bit about the restoration and also answered some of his questions and then set up another time to see him. Elder Valenzuela then had to do an interview for David, an investigator of the Hermanas [sisters]. He´s ready for baptism so it´s pretty exciting for us and the Hermanas! YAHOO!!!!!

Today we had the visit with Samuel and it turned out really well!! He talked most of the time, but at least we got to know him a bit more because of that. Now we´re here doing internet. Not much, but Samuel is our little miracle for the week!!! I love visiting with former investigators! Super cool!! I hope that your week is awesome again this week. Take care and I´ll talk to you soon. Love you all
Elder Bauer


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013

Wow, the birthday celebration for Elder Valenzuela just never ends.........

Why hello Mother of mine!!!

Well hey!!! First off mom, I think that your letters are starting to be longer than dad´s, but that´s okay!! It´s really entertaining for me!!! I love reading about all of your adventures there in Texas, with the y´all and all of that other stuff!!!   But oh well, life´s still good!! Oh, and thanks for the letters from:
Wil and Trey Frank
Micah (Elder) Hodges

View from the house we went to eat on Thursday! Super cool!!
So Thursday was a really good day!!! Planning of course, but after that we went to eat lunch at a member´s house who lives close to Almatriche, a pueblo not too far away from Las Palmas. It was a nice place, and a really cool quiet place to live. I would love to live there, but it´s too far away from anything, so then again, not really. But it was good, as well as the food!! Food is good, keeps us alive and going, especially if it´s good food, then you like it, then you just want to eat more of it, even though you may explode and stuff!! But that´s fine, so yeah, that´s my say on food!! We then got back to Las Palmas and tried to see José, but he wasn´t home. We then decided that we´d visit some former investigators, so we did that, and no success, but that´s fine. We´ll keep going! We then went to Luram´s house to see how he was doing and to have a lesson with him. He told us on Sunday that he wanted us to think and pray about a lesson for him.

So that´s what we did and that very morning Elder Valenzuela and I got it!! We both studied in Luke Chapter 15 and thought that the parable of the prodigal son would be good for him. He´s an inactive member, that has come by himself to church and has changed his life to be able to live according to the gospel. We pretty much are now helping him to do it and by reading that parable, he felt the spirit big time!!! It was amazing!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, it was just super cool and awesome and amazing and....just.........COOOOL!!!!!!!!! I can´t explain it, but it was just............yeah...I won´t even try to explain, so yeah, that´s how awesome it was!!!!!!!!! So there. We then went to a former investigator´s house to see if we could meet with him since he set that appointment up. He wasn´t there, but his father was, and he invited us in. He´s a really cool nice guy, and he´s also a member!!!! He´s been a member for a while, but inactive for a while too. Still strong and his testimony is burning, but I don´t know why he doesn´t go to church. Oh well, it was fun to talk to him for a bit and learn a bit more about Las Palmas from him!! Super cool day!!!

Friday was pretty good, but not too exciting. We did go to Cristian´s house to talk about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, but that´s all for Friday. We tried to find more former investigators, but that´s it. Saturday was pretty much just like Friday, but it´s okay. We did go and eat with the Ramos family and it was really good food again!! We then missed the lesson with José again, but whatever. It´s hard to get from place to place fast when the bus system here isn´t as good as it is in the peninsula, but oh well. We do the best we can. We then went to see Fani, and taught her about tithing. She´s really good and I wish that she was married so that she could be baptized soon, but oh well. Some day she will get there, and she´ll get there when it´s her time. That´s it for Saturday.

Sunday we went to church, of course!! We then had food with the Gomez family and it was good food once again!!! If you can´t tell, I just love FOOD!!!! I may still be super thin and stuff, but I eat, of course, who could deny food, especially yummy food!!! We then finally had the lesson with José about tithing, but he had a hard time thinking about paying 10% of what he earned when he´s in need. It hasn´t been hard for me, but for others it is, and I understand, but trust God that you will be able to survive if you give him a little bit, and then the rest will be fine. We were there for an hour and a half trying to help him understand, but he didn´t get it. Oh well, some time he will. We invited him to pray about it and read the folleto [brochure], but in the reverse order, read then pray. Yeah, that works better. We then went to correlation meeting and it´s crazy how long it takes the buses on weekends. We waited for the bus for 15 - 20 minutes. We kept having fun about it though. We kept saying, "Here comes the 91" when we needed bus number 9. Then when it finally came, we were so happy!!! I didn´t think I would be so happy to see those big yellow Guaguas [buses], but yeah!! Super fun!!

Monday we didn´t have anything. Well, we did and it was a great day, but also not really. We had a lesson with a less active called Gustavo, we don´t know him, but at around 4:00 PM. He said that he lives in a street, number 16, Bajo [downstairs] A. We went to that street, and when we got to the number, we looked on the apartment intercom doorbell thingy and there wasn´t a Bajo A. It started with 1ºA and went from there. We were confused and were running around La Feria trying to find this guy, and I swear that we pushed every single doorbell that was 16 and Bajo A. It was really funny! We then called him at 5:00 and told him that we had to leave it for another day since we had to go to the church for interviews, but we set up another day to visit him. We then took a bus down to the church for interviews with the Mission President! Super cool and awesome to see him!! President Jackson is awesome!!!! He even took time to talk to us about something that he received from Elder Russel M. Nelson and it was cool!!! It talked about a hastening in the work and how we´ve been blessed to live in this time and actually be able to be a part of the gathering of Israel. It was cool!! Then Hermana [sister] Jackson gave us a Christmas present from them, and it was Olive Oil from Jerusalem!!! They also talked about the symbolism of the Garden of Gethsemane, and I already knew about the symbolism since dad sent me a letter about a year and a half ago about that. So, I have olive oil, consecrated, grown, pressed, and everything, from Israel!!! Super cool!!! We then had our interviews and it was fun!! We then went to a Noche de Hogar [home evening] and it was cool!! That´s it!!
The Oil from Israel!!
Tuesday was amazing!!! District meeting was cool and fun since we learned how to make inspired questions for our investigators!! Amazing!!! It makes a difference when teaching so I hope to be able to put it into practice. Not much happened after, but we did try to teach Oscar, but for some reason he didn´t want to, and we were there in his house too!! SO, we will have to figure out what it is he needs/wants. Oh well. Today is P-Day and we´re planning to sleep. I´m really tired and just need a nap or something to help me keep my energy up! Well, I hope that all continues to go well. Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Friday, January 18, 2013

January 16, 2013

This week was Elder Valenzuela's birthday - Happy Birthday!!
Parties are an excuse to act crazy!

Dear Family,

Not much has happened, except that this past week was super AWESOME!!!!!! We had a total of 14 lessons, and that´s the highest amount that we´ve had since I´ve been here!!! Super cool!!! I´m glad that you guys had a good week, and that the stress is almost gone, but aside from that, it sounds all good!! Well, now on to my really AWESOME week!!!

Thursday was the usual, Weekly Planning, but then we had 100% of the lessons that we had planned!!! I also took my Medio-Dia [lunch break] organizing the area book and making a sheet so that we could use it to pass by some former investigators. We then visited Jose and he´s doing great!! He´s doing his part to get married and to eventually get baptized! Super cool guy!! We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and it went pretty well. He was a bit confused about if he could go into bars and stuff, but we cleared things up for him. Here in Spain, a bar isn´t what you would think a bar is. Here it´s like a café, a place where you could eat a little something, like churros or whatever. We then had a lesson with Oscar about the law of chastity and it went well. Then we saw Maria, the recent convert and it was great to see her still strong. She was a little sick, but doing better. I don´t remember what we taught her, but it was a pretty cool day!!

Friday we had Cristian in the morning, a less active, and we had the lesson on the Armor of God! Super cool, especially since he invited his mom to join us in the lesson and she really liked it!! I´m sure that his mom could get baptized soon if she listens to the lessons. We then went back to the piso [apartment] and I finished organizing the area book!! YAHOOO!!!!!! I was really excited to start using the sheet that I made.  I made a sheet, with the names of the former investigators, the address, and phone numbers.  I also organized it for where the street name comes up on the street map and put the square of the map on it. It´s really cool and handy to use!! We then started using it after Medio-Dia [lunch break] and went to the port since we had a lesson with Fausto, who lives down there. We met quite a few people, but not any of the former investigators. None of them were home, but we knocked the building to see if anyone would accept the message, but no one did. We did meet a really cool old guy though!! He was really nice and loved talking to us!! We stood there listening to him for about 30 minutes until we had to go. I want to go back and listen to him again! Really nice guy!! We then had the lesson with Fausto about Noche de Hogar [home evening]. We then went home.

Saturday was by far the best day EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we went to Escaleritas [stairs] to a building next door to the place where we were going to eat and decided to pass by a former investigator there. They weren´t there so we went to the top of the building, which was floor 12. We knocked doors all the way down to the 6th floor and no one answered. We got to the 5th floor, knocked on the first door, and no one answered. Then we moved on to the next door and we heard a vacuum cleaner, and thought that they wouldn´t accept since they were busy, but knocked anyway. This girl answered, about 5 - 8 years old, and got her mom. The vacuum turned off and her mom, called Adriana, came and listened to us a bit. She then said that she was catholic and that she was good where she was at. We then kept talking and she gave us her number and told us that we could call her later to talk to her at a different time. We talked a bit more, then she said, "You know, I have about 20 minutes, you guys could come in and I´ll listen to you guys." We were both shocked, but delighted to be able to do that!! We then taught her the whole restoration and she asked a lot of questions and it was amazing!!! She pretty much told us, "Wow, it all makes sense!!! I love talking to you guys!" We were super happy and she told us to call her later and that we could meet again the next Saturday!! SUPER AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We then ate at the member´s house and it was really good food!!! We then had the lesson with Oscar about following the prophet and it went really well!!! I liked the lesson at least!! I´m sure that he understood too which is the most important part. Then we went to visit Fani. We talked to her about reading, praying, and going to church and why it was so important to do the three things. Good lesson, but we learned that she won’t be able to get baptized until March or April, because she has to get married first. She´s planning to go to her country to get the papers she needs, but that won’t be until the 11 of March. So until then, we will continue to pass by and teach her, but the baptism will have to wait.

Sunday was a pretty good day!! Oscar finally came to church!!!!!!! I was really happy to see him there at church and I´m sure that he was happy to be there too!!! We then ate with a member family from Argentina and the food was really good!!! We then went to see if Jose would be there, but he wasn´t. He was working in the Taxi, so that meant that he wouldn´t be available for a while. We decided that we would go see Oscar and see what he thought of church. He liked it and learned more about the Trinity! I love the progress that we´re seeing in him! It´s slow, but it´s going!! We then had correlation with Franklyn and then we went with him, Raquel his wife, and Nenad to a member´s house. We ran into the hermanas [sisters] there and it was pretty fun!!! Dominican members are the best!!! That´s all I can say from that visit!!

Monday we saw Jose and talked about following the prophet. He understands and still wants to be baptized. He went on his normal routine of that we wants - to get baptized so yeah. We then tried to set something up with Jonatan, but in the end, it didn´t work out, so we went to Noche de Hogar [home evening] at Jesus´ house. It was a pretty good message/lesson, but it was a bit too long. I was glad that we were sitting next to Yanira, because if not, I would have gotten bored. Not much else happened Monday, oh, but we did see a huge cockroach while waiting for the bus to go home from the Noche de Hogar [home evening]. Super nasty, but at least I can say that I´ve seen a cockroach big enough to lift a refrigerator too, hahahaa!!!!

A BYU shirt as a birthday present?  Oh, I get it, there are gag gifts!

Tuesday was Elder Valenzuela´s Birthday!!!! He´s now 26 years old!!! He´s pretty happy and had a blast yesterday with some members!! We had an eating appointment and the members, as well as their non member mom, gave him a gift. Super cool and fun as well!!! We didn´t have anything else really. Pretty bad day, but good at the same time. I had to teach English Classes at the JAS [young single adult] Center too, but it wasn´t too bad. It was pretty fun, even though I don´t like teaching English too much, but it was still fun! Not much more.

A birthday lemon cream pie!
 Today is P-Day. I bought my companion a lemon cream pie for his birthday and it´s really good!!! He likes it too so yeah. Not much more, but we´ll see if we could see Oscar and Fani. Not much else so yeah. I hope that all of you guys have a good week!!! Take care and I´ll talk to you guys soon!!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 9, 2013

The apartment decorated for Christmas

Hey Family

I hope that everyone has had a good Christmas Break and that all is well over yonder in Texas!! Here there was also Three Kings Party!! In fact, it was a crazy Three Kings Party!!! Everyone here in Spain makes it a HUGE deal, which is okay since it´s a pretty dope holiday!! (I stole the word "dope" from Elder Jeppson, he emailed me recently.) Not too much else that has been crazy here, but I´ve had a really great week this week. Check it out!!!!!

Thursday we didn´t have much of anything. Weekly planning and that was pretty much it. The two appointments we had failed, but we still tried contacting people. Not much, but oh well. Friday was pretty cool!!! We didn´t have too many lessons, but it was still a pretty intense day!! So we visited Cristian in the morning and had a really good lesson about the priesthood! Super cool and he really liked it too!! We then went to see Jonatan. Super cool guy, age 23 so he´s JAS [young single adult]. Not a member, but wants to be baptized soon, unfortunately his father is a bit against him being baptized so out of respect for his dad, he hasn´t gotten baptized. We spent pretty much the rest of the evening with him, from 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm, doing service. It was awesome because he helps people in need where he lives which is a place that is lower class. It´s also a maze since anyone that doesn´t know the place, could get lost. It´s up in a hill too so we climbed a lot of stairs with boxes and stuff so we got pretty tired. Super cool though!!

We then had to leave to go to another person´s house to see them and teach them. We contacted them in a building a little earlier in the week and they told us to go back at a different time. We got there and they weren´t home, so we were pretty bummed about that. Not much we could´ve done though. Later in the night we went to Vecindario to spend the night there so that we could do exchanges there. My companion since he´s district leader, had to do three baptismal interviews there, and I came back with Elder Lisonbee to work in Las Palmas. While we were there in Vecindario we did a little barbecue and it was really good!!

Saturday Elder Lisonbee and I returned to Las Palmas and we worked like missionaries do!! We actually had fútbol [soccer] planned in the morning, but no one was there in the cancha [field] to play so we returned back to the piso [apartment] and tried to contact some former Investigators. No one really answered, but we did get some together to take with us to close to the port so that we could pass by them. We then took medio-dia [lunch break] then went to see Oscar. We got there at 4:15 and were a bit early for the lesson, but then decided to knock doors of their building. Not much happened in that time. We then went back to find out that Oscar was still not there. We stayed there to wait for him and Gabi to get back, but they got back pretty late, and Gabi had a birthday party, turning 19 years old, and so we couldn´t really teach Oscar. We left since we had another appointment at 8:00 with Fani. We also had some registros [record] of former Investigators with us and decided to try to pass by them. We didn´t really have any success since everyone was going from their homes to see the Three Kings Parade. It was crazy!!! Pretty much everywhere else was empty except for one street where everyone was going to see the parade.

We then tried to see Fani, but she wasn´t home, and so we tried to contact people on the way to the bus stop, but since they were all in the Kings mood, they didn´t want anything. At around 8:15 or 8:30 we decided to walk back to the piso [apartment] since all of the buses were full. It took us 45 minutes to get back and it was a pain to get to the door of the piso [apartment] building since there were cars parked everywhere, even on the sidewalk!!! Crazy!!! Not much happened except that we switched back companions and went to bed.

All the missionaries gather to say good-bye to the Eynons!

Sunday was pretty cool too!!! Even with it being Three Kings Day, 102 people went to church and it was pretty full!! One investigator in church though, but yeah. Also an inactive came back to church as well as a less active family which was amazing!!! I loved it and hope to see them again next week!! At 6:00 we went with Jonatan to take gifts to two families that are in need and can´t buy gifts for their own families. It was amazing to see the expressions on the faces of all of the kids!! It was amazing to do that service!!! We spent pretty much all evening doing that and it was one of the best Three Kings Days that I´ve had!!!

Monday was a pretty empty day, but we did all that we could! We took some former investigators records from the area book and went to a place that was a central place where they were living and started from there. We knocked on one of their doors, but they weren´t there, so we knocked the whole building. Three people answered their doors, were really nice, but didn´t want anything. At least we know where all of the nice people live though!! We then went back home and took our medio-dia [lunch break]. We then went to teach Jose about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the lesson turned out super good!!!! He´s understanding everything and is doing all the stuff he needs to do to get married so that he could get baptized!! I love that guy!! He´s 70 years old, Catholic, Spaniard, but just awesome and wants to get baptized because he loves the church. We´ll hopefully be able to help him with that desire!!

Tuesday was even better than EVER!!!! We had zone meeting via Polycam with the whole zone. It really made me think a lot about how to be a better missionary and it was just awesome!! It really gave me a lot of animo [motivation] to go through the area book and visit some of the former investigators!! I started a list and will eventually use it to pass by some people in an area if someone fails us on a visit! I´m super excited!!!! We then had 100% of the lessons planned!! That almost NEVER happens!!! I was really happy!!! We taught Andres, a less active, about service!! He´s less active because he plays professional fútbol [soccer], but he´s really strong in the faith. When we talked about service, and how home teachers are part of service, he wanted to be part of that! We then went over to visit Oscar and talked to him about the Word of Wisdom! It´s awesome to see how he´s growing to love the Gospel!! We left him Alma 32 the last time, and he was sharing the scriptures that he really liked with us for the first 15 minutes of the lesson!! I just love it when people get that big of an interest in learning about the Gospel!!!

We then went over to the mission leader´s house to talk to him about the investigators that we have. It´s amazing to think that we have 4 people with a baptismal date!! I´m loving Las Palmas!! He then had to go take his wife Raquel to drop her off at the port so that she could go to Tenerife. It´s pretty cool to see the huge ARMAS boats and how they load the cars into the boats and how they close the doors too!! Super fun!! We then were dropped off near Maria, a recent convert, and visited her after visiting a nearby less active. We talked to Maria about the importance of family history work, and it was pretty cool!! Her son was there too, and he isn´t a member, so when he asked questions, we answered them very boldly!! Even though sometimes he would ask it in a joking manner, we answered boldly and it would change his entire attitude! At one point I was talking to him and it was just amazing to feel what I felt for him!! I just saw him as my brother and wanted him to comprehend that through his faith in Jesus Christ, he could leave all of his mistakes and stuff behind and just continue forward!! It was an amazing experience and I hope that someday he could be baptized!! I´m sure that he will!!

El Corte Ingles (a department store) decorated for the holidays

 Today we went to three different malls here. El Mirador, Las Terrasas, and Las Arenas. It was pretty fun since we spent time with the Elders of Vecindario. Super fun!! Not much, but I´m glad that you guys had a cool week too!! Take care and I hope to talk to you soon!! Love you all!!!

Elder Bauer

Las Palmas from El Mirador

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2, 2013

Las Canteras beach ...

... at sunset.

Well hello everyone over yonder!!!

I´m Elder Bauer still and I´m still here in Las Palmas. I know, that is a little of a duh moment, but whatever. Well, since I didn´t send you guys an email with pictures last week, I´ll send you a little something this week of what happened last week and Christmas week! It was all super fun!!! I´ll start with Monday, the 24th, how about that!!

Well, it was a pretty good day even though we didn´t really have anything planned in the morning. Just studies and we also did a bit of contacting since we didn´t have anything else to do. We did go and visit Oscar, Gabriela, Josue, and Cristian and had a little Christmas message about the Savior. Super cool!! We then went to a member´s house to eat Christmas dinner - Yanira´s house with her family that is, I don´t know their last name, but it´s okay, you get the point, we ate with members. The Eynon´s and the Hermanas [sisters] also came and it was a full house!! We were the members, which were about 7 or 8, and 6 missionaries! CrAzY rIgHt!!! Yeah!! We read the birth of Jesus Christ first before we ate according to their tradition and it was pretty cool!! We started eating at 9:00 and didn´t get out of there until 11:15. Pretty crazy and yeah. Not cool, but oh well. We were then picked up by the Elders of Vecindario and that was good!! We got to the mission home at around 12:00 midnight and didn´t get to sleep until 1:00.

Christmas themed sand art ...

... also at Canteras beach.

Tuesday the 25th was Christmas Day!!!! YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I woke up at around 6:00 and couldn´t get back to sleep. At 7:00 the cellphone alarms went off and we got up and got ready for the day. At 8:30 I went out to the living room and found Hermana [Sister] Voemba there already reading. I then started to read my scriptures too, and study and stuff. Then the rest of the missionaries pretty much came out and did the same thing. At around 9:00 or 9:30 we ate a breakfast casserole and it was really good!! We then went around the room and all of us shared a scripture about the birth of the Savior. We then did the "white elephant" gift exchange and it was pretty fun and funny!! I ended up with cookies made by Hermana [Sister] Eynon. We then opened the gifts that the Eynons gave us and they were pretty cool!! I got a tie that was a Texas tie so I´m ready to get to Texas, hahahahahaa!! Then I also got a BYU shirt which is great because it adds to my P-Day clothes, haha. I then talked to you guys and it was fun to see you guys. I was just thinking that every time I called you guys, you were in a different place. Hahaha, pretty funny!! We also ate dinner and it was really good as well. Hermana [Sister] Eynon makes really good food!!! I love it!! We then had a little Noche de Hogar [home evening] with the Nealson Family and they were also nice enough to drive us home after! We got home at 8:00 pm and it was really not a good idea to do any contacts because no one was out. We pretty much walked around for a while and at 9:15 we went back to the piso [apartment].

Gifts:  A Texas tie, and a BYU t-shirt [yes, my son has been corrupted] ...

...but everyone in the district was equally corrupted.
[The blog editor attended the University of Utah - this is meant in jest.]

Wednesday we ate with a member from Chile and it was pretty fun!! We then tried passing by some people but no one was at home. We did visit Fani, and that was pretty cool!!! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was pretty cool how she´s understanding everything!! I love it!!! Super cool, but that´s it.

The view from the mission home in Las Palmas.

Evidently, the place is for sale - Any takers?

Thursday was started with...Weekly planning!!! We then went out and had lunch with Lourdes and her family (Gabriela, Josue, and Oscar), and shared a scripture with them! They are a super cool family!! We then left and went to see Jose and talked to him about the Law of Chastity and he understood everything, but now, instead of saying his classic, I want to get baptized and I´m going to get baptized, he´s saying, now I can´t get baptized because I have to get married. We´ve kept telling him that he can and he will, but he has to live the commandments. Pretty hard sometimes to be able to teach him, but we´ll continue until he gets an understanding. We then went back to Oscar and taught him the Plan of Salvation. We made a mistake by teaching him the whole thing, but it´s fine, we learn from our mistakes. I´m trying to think of ways to make him participate more in the lessons. I´ll continue thinking, but it´s something that I would really like to master. Later on we went to the Port and shared a message with Maria. It was pretty cool and I liked it. It was the same as with Lourdes and her family earlier.

Friday we saw Cristian and taught him about Priesthood and it was good that we did. He didn´t know that with the Melchizedek Priesthood he could give blessings and stuff. We taught him a little bit about that and he was really interested and amazed. We then didn´t have anything else planned so we did contacting and got 4 references which was really cool!!!! That´s the most references that we´ve gotten in a day since I´ve been here!!

Elder Claus (I mean Valenzuela)

Saturday we played a bit of fútbol [soccer] with some non-members and it was pretty fun, but at the same time it was way too cold to play. We then went and got ready for the day and then saw Gabriela and helped her with her talk. It was the first talk that she gave in sacrament meeting and she wanted us to go over and help her out. Later on we went and saw Fani and talked to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! She keeps saying, "So, when I get baptized..." and it´s really cool that she has that mind set. She understands everything that we teach her too so I´m sure that she will get baptized soon!!! That´s it for the day!!

Sunday we went to church and it was a 5th Sunday so we had 3rd hour combined! The branch president shared the plan that he has for the Branch and it was presented really well!! He´s a really good public speaker! We then went to eat at a member´s house who lives near 7 Palmas, still in Las Palmas, but it´s a section of the city called 7 Palmas. We then were driven back down to be able to meet with Jose and he said the same things that he did last time about not being able to get baptized until he gets married. We were planning to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but held off on that to explain a bit more of what the Law of Chastity is. I´m not sure if he understood or not, but that´s fine. We got him to start the process of marriage, so he´s understanding little by little. We then had correlation meeting and then went to the last Noche de Hogar [home evening] that the Eynons are having. It was pretty sad too, but it´s something necessary.

Elder Bauer trying to look as good as his father.  I give him some credit for the pocket square, but where is the bowtie?!

Monday was a day of nothing. Well, not quite, we did help Jonatan with a bit of his service to others. We helped him take clothes to a family in need and we will also pass by later to give them a little treat! When we said that, their faces lit up like little children when they get presents! It was awesome!! We´re going to see if something comes out of that and if they will listen to the message we have. We then went to Fran and Raquel´s house to eat and the food was good!! Pasta with tomato sauce. Right after that, we went over to Jesus´ house and ate tamales. Super good, but we were super full!!! We then decided to walk to Gabriela´s house and see her, but there wasn´t a guy at home so we couldn´t. So since we were still full, we decided to walk home. It was a pretty long walk, like 45 minutes to an hour, but at least the food went down, haha.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It´s 2013!!!! That´s crazy to think about. Time has gone by so fast, like seriously!! I remember a year ago I was in Valladolid, and then I realized that in 2012 I was in every single one of my areas in Spain!! Valladolid, Alcobendas (San Sebastían de los Reyes), Parla, and here, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria!! This is probably the warmest January I´m going to have in my life!! Not much went on, but we did visit Oscar and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He´s getting better at understanding and so it´s all good!!! I´m glad that he´s wanting to do everything. He read too so that´s a double thumbs up!!! Wait...he read TWICE!!! Quadruple thumbs up, even though I don´t have 4 thumbs, but oh well, do it anyway!! Super cool, but he still needs to go to church. I hope that he does that soon!! We then went to San Telmo to try to get our January bonos [monthly bus pass] because we sort of started the New Year in a dumb way. We put in our December bonos to use the Guaguas [bus], but it didn´t work. I thought, "That´s kind of weird," but then I realized that it was not December anymore, but January. The place to buy the bono was closed too, so we had to wait until today. We´ll go see if it´s open later, but who knows. We then went to see Roberto y Lola and shared with them a New Year message!! Super cool!! That´s it.

Really long email, so I´ll just end it here. Today is P-Day and we´re cleaning the piso [apartment] really well. Deep cleaning!! Elder Eynon said yesterday after the district meeting that he was going to check pisos on Friday morning. I´m tired of cleaning, seriously. I spent all morning on my super dirty bathtub since other missionaries don´t know how to clean it. It´s now shiny and clean, more or less. Well, have fun reading this eternal letter. Love you bye!!!

Elder Bauer
Ending where we started ...

... with a Canteras beach sunset.