Monday, January 26, 2015

Shanda's 1st week out in the field

Hola a todos!! How is everyone doing?!?!? I am just fantastic! This has been a long and exciting week and a half since my last e-mail. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be in the CCM for six weeks. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I´m going to miss all the amazing people there, but I´m just as excited to share the gospel in the mission field. Our last day at the park we were able to be with our companions from the MTC, and it was a really good experience. My favorite one from that day is we started talking to this girl, she´s 19 years old, and she just got done teaching a roller-blading class(which everyone does here :) ), and we were just talking to her and she was so happy and smiling and laughing and she had to go, but we ended up giving her a Book of Mormon and she was so excited and said that she was going to go on the Metro right then and look at it. It´s amazing how the Lord just prepares people to hear and accept his Gospel. So that was my favorite experience at the park, though there were many good ones. So on Tuesday, we got up at about 4:45 and prepared to leave the CCM. We took a train to Malaga which took about two and a half hours, but it flew by. The landscape is absolute gorgeous also! I love seeing the rock fences in the fields and trees. They´re so much better looking than barbed-wire. ;) We also saw a castle on a hill off in the distance, which I loved! Seeing old castles and historical things is so cool to me! Malaga is really pretty. I already like it more than Madrid. It´s still a city, but it seems more open and the buildings aren´t as close together as in Madrid. I officially saw the ocean for the first time in my life this week! It was gorgeous! I couldn´t stop looking at it! We went to the church closest to the train station and that´s where our official missions basically started. I went out and proselyted with a Sister Missionary in that area for about an hour and we taught the first lesson to someone. Those whose areas were closer to the mission home received their companions right away and did their orientation and left. Those of us who were a little farther away received our companions a little later on in the day and stayed the night there so that we could apply for residency the next morning. I love my mission President and his wife. They´re awesome! My companion is Hermana Samuelson and she´s from Utah. She´s been out for a year and two months. She´s super fun and super crazy and super awesome! :)  So Wednesday we went to our area, which is Huelva. It´s on the west right next to Portugal. Our piso (house) is actually really nice. We each have our own bathrooms and everything. I heard that it was really warm in the Malaga mission, but where I´m at, I haven´t really warmed up all the way since I got here. All´s well though. I love it! I´ve met quite a few people here, investigators, less active members, and member, etc. Each one is completely different. It´s really sad to see some of these people´s lives. I want to help them so much, but the only way I can is to share the gospel with them and it´s up to them to accept it, but they don´t know how much it can change their lives! It´s so exciting though when people say that we can come see them or that we can come back! I love the people here! I can´t wait to meet more of them. I try to say ¨Hi¨ to everyone on the street and try to always have a smile on my face! Church on Sunday was definitely different than what I´m used to...that´s for sure. We had Relief Society first, Gospel Principles, and then Sacrament Meeting last. I had the opportunity to introduce myself to everyone in the ward during Sacrament Meeting, which was okay. Everyone is so different and interesting. It makes me laugh sometimes. We went to a member´s house for lunch on Saturday and had this soup dish, which was actually pretty good. I was a little scared at first, but I tried it and really liked it. That´s basically the only home-made dish I´ve had since I´ve been in the field. Huelva is kind of big, but not too big. There´s Chino stores everywhere and they´re really handy actually. We walk by the bull fighting ring here occasionally and I´m so tempted to go inside...not. ;) I´m excited to try a lot of new things here in the coming weeks and I´ll try to tell you all about it. There´s just so much to write and not enough time to write it or to remember it all, but I love you all and thank you so much for the many e-mails. I appreciate them! I hope everyone is doing great and I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Con amor, Hermana Rowley

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