Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 20, 2013

The LDS Church Building in Las Palmas
Dear Family!
I´m glad to hear that all is still well over yonder in Texas!! Not too much has happened here except for the fact that all is well. I´ve learned a lot and am trying to apply what I learned to the work! I hope that I can do it well and that I can have a mission experience different than what I have had in the past. Not saying that it was bad, just saying that I´d like to change a bit while here on the mission. Anyway, here´s what has happened here in Las Palmas, and here on Gran Canaria in general.

Tuesday we had P-Day with all of the missionaries from the Canary Islands so it was really cool!! I loved spending time with all of them, and was really happy to see Elder Forrest, Elder Wride, and Elder Argyle again!! It was really cool!! We went to the mission home first and had lunch with the Buhlers as well as with President and Hermana [Sister] Jackson! It was a good lunch. We then went to try to play fútbol [soccer], but then it started to sprinkle and so we went back to the mission home. We then drove all of the missionaries down to Las Palmas for a proselyting activity, and that worked out super well!! We went off with different companions and walked and contacted. It was really fun!! I went with Elder Cloward and we drove the Beast up to Escaleritas [little steps – probably a part of Las Palmas], parked it, and left it there while we contacted people. We found a deaf guy, and that was interesting! I did the same thing as the last time that I encountered a deaf person and took out my planner, and started "talking" to him. It was cool, and we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon so I hope that he will read it!! We then received a few more and at 9 we had to be at the JAS [young single adult] center. So we got there, drove the missionaries up to the Mission Home, and then went back to our piso [apartment].
The island "Beast"
So, Wednesday was a GREAT day!!! Elder Valenzuela and I got up early to be able to get to the Mission Home on time to be able to eat breakfast as well as take the missionaries down to the chapel and be there by 8:30. At 10:00 am, we had Mission Tour with Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy. We learned a lot about finding and how to feel the spirit in the lessons! It was pretty cool!! I really liked the way that he emphasized how much we have to change in order to be able to get different results. It made me think of how I do things and really made me want to change how I contact and teach a bit. It was AMAZING!!! After the amazing mission tour we took the missionaries of Tenerife to their boat and then dropped off the beast at the car rental place. It was fun to drive a beast again, but the Mission Tour was much better, and I´d prefer that over driving the beast any old day!! We then had a lesson with Fani and Anie accompanied us over there. It was more of a question answer lesson for Fani´s "boyfriend" that lives with her. His name is Gines, and he´s got some really good questions! I´m sure that he will be baptized a bit later on.
The Zone, with Elder Kearon (seated, front middle, next to President Jackson.)
Thursday we had a few lessons with some investigators and it was really cool!! Samuel we talked about how faith in Jesus Christ can help him quit smoking. We also gave him a quit smoking program and he´s really excited to try it out. We then met with Jose and talked about fasting. He told us a bit of how he has a medical issue with it, so we told him that if he can, he can do it, but if not, it´s not a problem either. We then talked to Juan about obedience and why it´s so important. We also confirmed with him to see if he was ready for his baptismal date, and he said that he is!! Hope all goes well. We then went to an intersection of a street to meet with a contact from Elder Wride and Elder Forrest from the proselyting activity called Angel. He´s a pretty cool guy and it was pretty cool to talk to him. We then passed by Maria to see how she was doing and see if she needed anything from us. It was a pretty good day!!

Friday we had Cristian and we talked to him about gratitude, and why it´s important to be grateful for all that we have. I think it may have opened his eyes a bit more to being grateful for Jesus Christ, but I think we will have to expound a bit more on Jesus Christ with him the next time so that he can more fully appreciate it. We then had Andres and he´s another less active because of work. We talked to him about being grateful as well, so it was a Thanksgiving Day...without the turkey. Oh well, it was better than turkey, it was a spiritual feast, hahaha. We then went back to that same intersection to meet Angel at the same time like planned, but he didn´t show up. We waited for about half an hour, but nothing. So we walked away, and I was a little bummed, but it´s happened before. About an hour later, we were talking to a guy in a store from Argentina, and in came Angel!! I was shocked and thought of it as a miracle!! It was super cool and I loved it!!! We then walked around and talked with him a bit, and the conversation got a bit weird, so we tried to get rid of him, and when we did, we decided not to meet with him again since he was a bit weird, but oh well. I hope to see him again and be able to talk to him about faith in Jesus Christ and that through Him, we can all change and leave the past behind. That was it for that day.


Saturday was a crazy, awesome and wonderful day!! We decided to go to Arucas, a pueblo here in Gran Canaria, that is about 45 minutes away on bus, but yeah!! We visited less actives of the church, that went inactive when they closed the branch there. It was sad to see that there were some faithful members there, but that are inactive because of that. Oh well, that´s life I guess. We visited Claudina, an elderly lady, and Antonia, who is that faithful member. I hope that all goes well with her and that she is better. She wants her kids to get baptized, but with the lack of money, she can´t take a bus down since it costs about 2€ per person to get down, so 12€ round trip with her, and her two kids. Insane amount of money, but I hope that she can come by some other means some time soon. We then went back to Las Palmas, and since the 1st of February up until the 17th, there has been a carnival going on. And, that pretty much means, that people dress up, and go and have "fun." Pretty scary actually, especially on the ride back from Arucas, because everyone was going to the carnival. And guys are dressed up as girls and men dressed like women, and it´s just too crazy. So, when we got home, we saw that the carnival had come up to a street really close to our piso [apartment], so we decided to stay in for the night.

Sunday we went to church and it went well. Not many investigators came either, but oh well, I hope that they could come next time. We tried to have a lesson with Jose, but that didn´t work out. We also had correlation, and that was good. We talked about all of the investigators and what we could do to help them. We then went to the Noche de Hogar [home evening] and the Buhlers made enchiladas!! They were really good, but not as good as mom´s. Too much cheese for my taste, but that´s okay.
Monday, we contacted all day!! We talked to people on the street all day, and tried to get someone that was interested to listen to us, but it didn´t work out too well. We got two people´s numbers, out of like 50 or 75 people that we talked to. Oh well, that´s something that I need to work on. Tuesday we did exchanges and I went to Vecindario! It was pretty cool!! I learned how to do more effective contacts from Elder Rockwood, and it was pretty fun!! We had lots of lessons set up, but none of them worked out. So we contacted, and it was amazing!!! We also got a reference of a lady called Sonia, yeah, super cool!! She´s Canarian, and has a kid, and has a lot of potential!! Super awesome! We then did end up teaching two lessons, one with recent converts, which were two kids, and another one with less actives. Super fun!!
Elder Bauer, Luram and Elder Valenzuela
Today was an interesting day. We drove (I drove) up to Las Palmas to make the change again and we then walked out of the piso [apartment] to do email. Elder Valenzuela closed the door to the piso [apartment], and asked if I had the keys. I didn´t since I was gone, and he didn´t either. So, we were locked out of our piso. I must admit, that I could have gotten angry and such, but I learned from Elder Kearon that I need to enjoy every moment of the mission and of life. I just laughed and hoped that we would get in somehow. We left and did internet a bit, but I didn´t have time to write this email, so we had to leave and do other things. We ended up talking to Guadalupe, a contact we had since November, and she´s from MEXICO!!!! Super cool!!! We talked about the restoration and how it´s a great acontecimiento [event] (I don´t know how to say that in English) and I´m sure that she felt the spirit. We then left her with a Book of Mormon and committed her to read it. It was a good little lesson. We then met with the Buhlers and Elder Buhler helped us out with some money to pay the guy to open the door for our piso [apartment]. We then called the guy and he opened our piso [apartment] door, and then we talked to him about the gospel a bit, and he accepted to read the pamphlet about the restoration. He said that he was ateo [atheist] (another word I don´t know in English) but that he liked to read about different religions. Now we´re here emailing again. I hope that your week was great and I hope that you have another great week!! Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 12, 2013

View from the top of the cathedral in Las Palmas

Why hello family!!

I can see that I neglected to tell you that my P-Day for this week was on Tuesday. I´m really sorry for that, and I hope that you could forgive me. I´m just going to write a bit of what has been going on for the week and that´s it since in a little bit I´m going to have to pay for parking. You may ask how it is that I´m having to pay for parking, but here´s the explanation.
Another view from the top of the Cathedral in Las Palmas

So, I didn´t bring my planner this week, so you´ll have to deal with what has happened today. So, today we woke up at 7:00, nothing new, but we had to go to the JAS [young single adult] Center at 8:30 to go and rent an Opel Vivaro (Furgoneta). It´s a bit different from the office Furgoneta since it has 9 seats instead of 7, but it´s okay. I call it the Island Beast!! So, we picked that up and filled it with gas and then we dropped off the Buhlers at their car, and we were off. We had to go to Puerto de las Nieves near a town here called Agaete and that was interesting. It´s about 30 - 45 minutes from Las Palmas. Las Palmas is on the extreme east side of the island, and Agaete is on the extreme west side of the island. Pretty fun, but I´m not sure if I want to do that again. We had to pick up 4 of the missionaries coming from Tenerife because they missed their original boat, so they took a Fred Olsen Express boat, and got there a good hour and 15 minutes earlier than the others. We then drove all the way back to Las Palmas to the Port here in Las Palmas to pick up the rest of the missionaries. We then went to the Mission Home and got a little lost, but it wasn´t too bad. We ate lunch, then we tried to play soccer, but that didn´t work out too well since it started raining on us and the court got slippery, but it´s okay. We all survived. We then went back to the mission home to change and now we´re doing email.

The Fred Olsen Express ferry from Tenerife

This week in all, was pretty good!! We had more lessons than the past weeks so this area is slowly making it´s way up there. Samuel is a really humble guy and I just love the fact that he´s willing to listen. Yesterday though, he invited a "friend" over and his friend just talked about religion and stuff. He mostly talked about the New Testament and how he just loved it. We tried to talk to him about the restoration, but any scripture that we pulled out of the Bible, he would say that it didn´t say that, and pulled out another scripture that would contradict what we said. We ended by bearing our testimony about the Book of Mormon and about how the truth has been restored, but that´s about all we got to do. Samuel is a good guy though. He really has that curiosity to learn and stuff. I´m sure that someday he´ll be baptized. Later we also had a lesson with Juan, and he´s a really good investigator. He´s a Bible studier, and has studied the Bible a lot, but still is humble enough to learn more. We talked to him about the Light of Christ/how the Spirit reveals truths to us. We used the three videos of Elder David A. Bednar talking about the light of Christ and it was really good and super spiritual!! Juan also said that he will continue to read, pray, and go to church so it was amazing!!! He´s really growing spiritually!!
Canary Island missionaries:  Sisters Marshall and Zitting, and the Buhlers
So, tomorrow is another Mission Tour! We´re going to hear from Elder Kearon, of the Seventy/Area Presidency is coming to talk to us and it will be super cool!! I´m super excited for this spiritual feast that we will all have as a Zone together and how awesome it will be. I remember that when Elder Richards came, it gave me even more animo [fired up] to go out there and to talk to everyone that I saw about the message that we have to share with the world!! I love this message, I love the restoration!! I know that this church is true, and that the Book of Mormon is true!! I know, with all of my heart, that this is what everyone is looking for, and that it will make them happy! I love the chance that I have to share this message with everyone! Take care my family and I´ll talk to you guys soon!! Love you all!!

    ~Elder Bauer~
    Called to Serve:
Spain Madrid Mission
The rented nine passenger "island beast"

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 6, 2013

Playing minature golf during P-day in ...

Puerto Rico (the one on the south side of Gran Canaria).
Hello Family!!

Well, this week has been crazy, and Monday has been long, but I don´t have my planner with me, so I´m going to have to do this by memory, which isn´t as good as doing it with my planner. Hmm........well........I don´t really remember too much actually so this is going to be a really short email. I hope that all keeps doing okay over yonder in Texas and that the stress stays low. Now off to my exciting and crazy week (which I forgot lots of details).

Elder Bauer perfecting his swing.
Umm....I´ll start with Saturday evening. Saturday the Hermanas [sisters] had a baptism, David is his name. It was really a good experience, except that the Branch Mission Leader didn´t begin filling up the font on time. He started filling it up about an hour before the baptism, so yeah. We were there trying to fill it up by getting bucket fulls of water from the cleaning closet to the font and doing it as fast as possible. Well, we had some investigators there too, and I hope that they weren´t scared away/get a bad impression of the church by that, but oh well. There has to be a crazy experience like that some time I guess. The services were wonderful and it was great to hear the speakers and see the service!! Hermano [Brother] Roka was happy to baptize and everyone was happy to see him enter the fold of God!! It was amazing how many people said that to him! I loved it!! Later on we found out transfers and this is what happened. So, Hermana [Sister] Marshall is staying, and Hermana [Sister] Voemba left to open a new area in Torrejón!!! I was shocked when I heard that!! Then Vecindario would have a whitewash!!! So both Elder Christiensen and Lisonbee left and Elders Wilson and Rockwood came in, brand new into the area! Vecindario has a car too so it will be interesting for them to get to know their area!! Super crazy!!

Sunday was his confirmation and it was cool!! I loved being part of the circle for that confirmation! He´s known about the church and has taken lessons with the missionaries for about 10 years!! So it was a great day to see him finally take that step! I also had the privilege of blessing the sacrament, and it´s the first time that I´ve done it in Spanish!! I know, all of this time, and I haven´t done it in Spanish, but oh well. Super cool!! After church we went to the Roka family´s house and ate lunch and David´s family was also there! The Hermanas [sisters], the Roka family, the family of David, and us. It was fun to share that moment with the two families!! Also the despedida [farewell] of Hermana [Sister] Voemba and that was pretty sad to see. We then went to the Noche de Hogar [home evening] with the JAS [young single adults] and said goodbye to Hermana [Sister] Voemba again and then went to the piso [apartment] so that we could sleep for the next day. The thing with this transfer is that since both of the Elders of Vecindario are leaving, they had to come to Las Palmas to sleep and then leave the car with me (YAHOO) until the new Elders arrive. So that´s what happened.

The Vecindario elders' car, in the good care and keeping of Elders Valenzuela and Bauer.
Monday we had to wake up at 4:30 to be able to go and drop off the Elders of Vecindario at the airport. It was really weird to me since I felt like the office Secretary again, dropping off and picking up. Anyway, so Elder Christiensen drove himself to the airport, for the last time, and then we went in to help them with their suitcases and stuff. We met the Hermanas [sisters] there too, so it was a super farewell to Hermana [Sister] Voemba!! Afterwards we went and paid for parking and I got in the driver’s seat of the Opel Corsa and drove us home! It was really fun to drive again, but it just made me grateful that we don´t have a car here in Las Palmas. We got home at about 6:45 and so we didn´t go back to sleep. We just stayed up and studied until about 9:00. We parked in paid parking, but it´s free until 9:00 in the morning, so we had to go and move it so that we wouldn´t have to pay. We also had to put gas in it, since the Vecindario Elders left it empty. So I went and put 20€ worth into the tank which filled it up half way. Now, this is the crazy part. Just driving here in Las Palmas is a hazard!! I thought Madrid was bad, the streets here are much smaller, more cars, more crosswalks, just insane!! Getting out of the gas station was horrible. We waited for 2 or 3 minutes just to be able to find a space that was big enough for my rusty manual transmission driving skills. I never killed the car, but I just reved the engine a bit more than usual. It took an eternity to get back to the piso [apartment] since the traffic was bad and just trying to drive at 9:00 is bad.

Las Palmas during a sand storm.
We finally got back and tried to find some breakfast, but nothing. So we bought food at a chino [convenience store] and by the time we got back to the piso [apartment] it was time to go. So we left for the airport and it was a pain to get on to the freeway. So many yield signs and bus lanes so I won´t go into that story. Ask me later about that and I´ll tell you more in detail. So we got on the freeway and got to the airport and waited for the new missionaries to come. The new couple came too!! The Buhlers, from Colorado, Hermana [Sister] Zitting, from Tennessee, Elder Rockwood, also from Colorado, and Elder Wilson, from Utah. Elder Wilson isn´t a new missionary, he´s been on the mission for almost as long as I have, but is new to the area. So we got their bags in the Corsa (the Elders of Vecindario´s bags I mean) and drove them to their new area. When we got there we helped them get their bags up the 4 flights of stairs and told them as much as we knew about their area. Then they were kind to drive us back to Las Palmas! The end of my driving here in the islands, and hopefully I don´t have to drive again. I like it, but it´s just too much here in Las Palmas. We met with Samuel and talked about the restoration. He´s a talker! If we ask him a question, or leave too big of a pause, he goes off on a tangent about the history of the bible and stuff. It´s interesting to teach him! We then took medio-día [lunch break], and I took a nap since I was as dead as a dead person.
We then woke up, I resurrected, haha, and looked outside and it was "foggy" but it wasn´t fog, it was sand in the air, blown from Africa!! It was the coolest, yet weirdest thing I´ve ever seen!! We then went to San Telmo to find a member and take him to a lesson with Jose and it was a good lesson!! Fernando is the member and he´s such a great guy!! I love his amabilidad [kindness] and just his forma de ser [character – literally “way of being”]!! Wow, super Spanglish!! Anyway we then went to Jesus´ house and talked to his wife about the message that we share and sadly she didn´t have too much interest, but said that she´d be willing to listen. Not much, but at least we tried. Later we had the Noche de Hogar [home evening] at a member´s house and that finished the night. Super long day!!
Another picture of Las Palmas during a sand storm.
Tuesday was a pretty good day!! District Meeting was great, and we had a few lessons! We also visited a member that was in the Hospital, Doctor Negrín, and it was great to see him! We then had a lesson with Oscar and it turned out pretty good!! It was about prayer and reading the scriptures and why it´s so important to do that. We then went and ate at Burger King since we had some coupons for it. Then we went over to the church and had a lesson with Juan, and he´s got potential! We set up a date with him to be baptized and it was great! He accepted the invitation!! We´re pretty happy, but didn´t get our hopes up. We then went to the JAS [young single adult] Center to talk to the Buhlers a bit and see how they were doing their first full day there. They are super cool and animado [enthusiastic] to work here in Las Palmas with the JAS [young single adults]. Not much else. I hope that everything is doing well over there!! Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!