Monday, November 24, 2014

Baptisms all over the place!!! Smiles is a good match with Valencia.That is a bunch of white going on!

BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!  What a week. A rollercoaster of a week.
Monday we had 2 excellent lessons.
Tuesday 2 more great visits.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were full of fired visits and people dropping us. It was a frustrating few days. Saturday we went to Barcelona to listen to Elder Cook then we went to the baptism that evening.
Elder Jones baptized Vicent and Roque. They loved it. Then Sunday the miracles just poured in. Noris (Who we had lost contact with since Monday) was ready to go when we passed by her house of complete faith. Mayra (Yes buckle up) came to church and acted like nothing had happened. She then said that she would like to be baptized. Reyna (A reference from Hna. Manwill) came with us to church for the afternoon ward and loved it. Lee (A Chinese contact of Elder Jones (Elder Jones took a year of Chinese in high school so we try to get by) and I. Yes I did scream ¨Come on Lee¨ from the movie “Rush Hour” when we saw him. hahaha Full of miracles and the area is on fire!!!
I will start with Elder cook first. What a blessing to listen to an apostle. His testimony was heart throbbing. He said a few things that I want all to know. He said ¨If missionaries have more faith they will have more success¨, nothing about testimony or work ethic or knowledge, all about faith, the first principle of the gospel. He then told us how the church started in Europe. It was because of a lack of work in England so Joseph Smith sent missionaries. He said what a blessing to be in this situation in Spain with a hard economic time. Last was his testimony. He said that with experiences too spiritual to tell he knows the saviors voice. That is incredible.
One thing I learned this week was to not be a Nephite _____. In my case it´s a Nephite missionary. When we are having lots of success sometimes we get caught up that we don´t have to be as obedient or work as hard or that it is because of our own strength. I´ve learned that, and I have a testimony of that.
Latest news on Menorca. The elders there came up to me in Barcelona and said that Manuel is now the second counselor in the branch presidency and Stiven is the executive secretary. I love that place!
Just so you know Elder Jones can rap. He is incredible. The other night we were on the street and talked to a black man. He was saying how he liked rap then began to rap a little then all of sudden Elder Jones throws down and kind of puts it in his face. The friend of the man who rap battled was like ¨OHHHHHH!!!!!¨ then gave Elder Jones a hug. It was priceless.
Side note. For the afternoon ward we arrived about 10 minutes early and instead of conversing or anything we decided it would be best if we sat down and read the scriptures. Our friend (Reyna) joined us and then the meeting started, they passed the sacrament and we read and prayed during that. Simple acts but it turned a simple sacrament meeting into a spiritual witness to me that the church was true. Isn´t that interesting.
What a blessing to be a missionary in this blessed mission.
Thank you for your support and prayers and love! Love all of you!
If you would please pray for:
Noris, Mayra, and Reyna. 
Thank you and Love y´all!!!

Élder Smiley
That is a bunch of white, looks like everybody is in on this.  Elder Alder is in the far right, companion from Menorca

Look how tall Smiles looks!  

On the missionary caliber "sleeper car" on the train.  Sisters in the window taking the photo.  I'm sure there is no posing!!

E-Mail to Chris from the Mission Office --- Oh what a relief!!

Sister Smiley,

Yes we did receive Elder Smiley´s package, and with the size of it it looks like he´ll be happy!

Elder Gill

Last weeks Post - I did not get it posted

What a week. I am sorry to say that Mayra just fell off the face of the earth. It was very sad to see that but the Lord has blessed us with even more miracles.
Noris. The street contact miracle came to the Hermana´s baptism on Saturday. She loved it!! We talked to her about it and asked her if she would like to do the same and she said ¨Yes! The only question is when.¨ What a blessing of the Lord. She then came to church and loved it even more. She is going extremely well.
Vicent. He came to church on Sunday and after we asked him if he still wanted to be baptized this Saturday. He looked at me as if I had 8 eyes. ¨Why wouldn´t I want to be baptized?¨ He is very excited for this wonderful opportunity. 
The miracle this week was when we decided to pass by a recent convert who lives with all Muslims. Right before we started Elder Jones asked if any of them wanted to listen and me knowing that they were all Muslims would say no, all of sudden one said yes. He came up and listened, liked it, is reading in the Book of Mormon and came to church with us on Sunday. I want to repent for getting comfortable and thank my companion for finding when we are teaching. His name is Kamano, but when he first said it, it sounded like ¨Comando¨. We laughed about it and asked him if he likes call of duty and we all got a good laugh out of it. He only speaks French so we are going about 98 percent on the spirit while teaching him. 
President came down for a zone conference this week and it was extremely spiritual and I loved it! He then finished up by telling us that Elder Cook would be coming to Barcelona and he wants to meet us. So we are going up Saturday morning to meet an apostle! What a blessing to be a missionary!
Thank you for your wonderful prayers and fasts in my behalf and the behalf of my friends that I am teaching. Thank you so much! I love all of you and pray for all of you! 
I would like y´all to pray for:
1.Vicent. Baptism saturday.
2. Noris. Baptism 29th, and that we can teach her all.
3. Kamano. That we can have the gift of tongues and he can accept a fecha.

4. Mayra. That she can be led back to the truth.

Elder Jones and Smiles in Xativa
Spain train stations do not look like Japanese train stations!!!

Elders street contacting in Valencia

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pretty great week in Valencia. We had some great miracles, and some great things happen. First of all Mayra could not be baptized because she had to work so we set a new date for this Saturday. A couple great experiences this week.
1. Elder Jones had to go into Barcelona to get his Card and so did Elder Streiff´s companion so he got to come down and work with me. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with him and to work with him. I love that kid! While I was working with him we taught a less active that Elder Jones and I had found on the street that hadn´t seen missionaries for more than a year. We taught her and as we taught you could see the light that was missing in her life that she wanted back so bad. It was one of the most spiritual lessons that I had ever been in. What an incredible experience.
2. We contacted a super old lady on the street the other day and as we were talking with her she started to lose interest and as we were about to leave, her daughter came around the corner and asked what we do. We presented ourselves and she asked if we could come over another day. We passed by and taught them the restoration and they gladly accepted the message and are reading in the Book of Mormon. I am sure you will hear more about them.
3. The miracle street contact that came to church last Sunday we met with and taught her the restoration and invited her to be baptized and she accepted with ease. She is a women prepared of the Lord. 
Valencia is treating me well even though it isn´t cold and I feel like it should coming up fast on Thanksgiving and all but I´m not complaining. It has just been a wonderful two weeks and I am realizing how many prepared people there really are here. 
I hope everything is going well over there. It seams to me like it is. I love all of you and I am praying for you that everything is ok and that you can all enjoy this wonderful time to serve and be served. I wish you all the best of times and many opportunities to help others and share the gospel. 
If you could pray for
Mayra to be baptized this Saturday.
Vicent the 22nd baptism.
Noris the 29th baptism.
Rosario to accept a fecha tomorow.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Élder Smiley

Chris asked for a photo, he snapped a selfie in the internet cafe.   A real action shot!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Things are cookin' in Valencia

This week went by super slow. I don´t know why, and I don´t know how, but it seemed to drag a bit. Maybe it was because I just don´t know the area and I seem like I am just following like a dumb dog, or just the fact that I was beat to a pulp because we walked so much talking with the whole world. 
Halloween this past weekend!   Super different here. The adults still dress up and get super drunk and then ridicule and threaten the missionaries! The kids also dress up and go to parties of some sort (we did not see attend any of these parties so I give no details) and no one goes asking for candy even if some of the kids have a bucket or a bag of some sort. Strange!
The 3rd ward did a party of some sort, but we only took our investigators (friends) to it then left them to go and teach some other lessons. They told us they enjoyed it and that it ended up being very funny.
This week was also very strange because everyone that was progressing before I got here fired on us, but we found tons of new people that were super prepared. We have some good investigators right now and I am very excited. I´ve got some good stories and miracles for this week.
1. Elder Jones contacted a man about 3 weeks ago that was Muslim but is now wanting to change, and we just got around to calling him Saturday night, he told us he would meet us in the spot we meet everyone (metro de Patraix) before going to church. Elder Jones had forgotten what he looked like. He showed up and was kind of sitting there by the metro stop and we just thought it was another man sitting there. After a couple of minutes of waiting he came over and asked if we were the people that had called him and invited him to church. We also had forgotten so we were kind of like, ¨Ya I guess so.¨ Super great!
2. A contact on Friday night said that the missionaries had talked to her earlier but never called her. She said that she really did want to hear more but they never called her. We invited her to church and she came and loved it. It was an incredible testimony meeting.
3. Testimony meeting. One thing I have learned from the mission is what a testimony is. It is something the Holy Ghost has testified to you that is true. Obviously we as members get that mixed up with story time during fast and testimony meeting. Here they are not. They all bore there strong but short testimonies and the spirit was incredible and it just testified that this church was true and the Book of Mormon is scripture. It was incredible.
4. We visited with an investigator of ours that we hadn´t been able to visit with until Saturday and to start out the visit we asked her when she would like to be baptized and she said that she had been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon for the past week and that it was true and that she wanted to be baptized the 8th, this Saturday. Boom! What a huge miracle! I loved it so much! It made me so happy.
This area is looking very good and we are seeing miracles every hour of every day. Love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support. Thank you for your letters and emails of encouragement and love. God bless!
Pray list.
1.Mayra. That everything is ok and that she can be baptized the 8th.
2.Noris. Accept a fecha and continue to listen.
3. Richard. Read, Pray and come to church. baptized 22nd.
4. That the ward can have the Lord´s help in carrying out their ward mission plan.
Love you all!!!!
Let´s baptize the world!

Élder Smiley