Monday, February 12, 2018

Feb 12, 2018 - Carnival week

Well this week was pretty cool.
First of all we are like really on the hunt in our area right now. So one afternoon this week when all of our citas failed us we decided to walk the entire coastline of the island and contact everyone. It was just a little over 10 miles. We talked to tons and tons of people! Met some pretty interesting people but didn’t find many who live here. That was mostly because this week is carnival here in Cadiz. Oh my goodness this carnival is nuts. Well to start we had exchanges in Jerez on Friday and Saturday. They were super good and I’ll talk about them later. Anyways before we left the members were warning us like be super careful on the train back and stuff. So we were thinking it might be a little crazy but we underestimated it! Instead of the normal train they had attached 2 trains together to accommodate all the extra people headed to Cádiz. It was super super full, like hard to even move, and all just drunk people in costumes. Really interesting people watching experience. Anyways the past few days the island has just been packed with people from all over the place. Carnival is basically just a huge drinking fest so people have been really crazy. There aren’t very many restrooms available so the sidewalks have been covered in urine and puke its gross. Luckily it doesn’t get too crazy late at night and we live in the more tranquilo part of the city so it’s safe. 

Well anyway so yeah we went to Jerez and did exchanges this week and they were really fun. I got to work with Elder Wood. He served near me back in Elche so it was fun to be together again. We taught a really powerful lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ to a younger girl and her family. The rest of the appointments we had set failed so we contacted the rest of the day and found some pretty promising futures. 

Last of all I just want to share a little miracle that happened this week. So José Antonio our 19 year old investigator’s grandma was in the hospital. His Mom called and asked if we would come give her a blessing because she was apparently in bad shape. So we hurried over when we got back to Cádiz. When we got there she looked like she was in pretty bad condition. She was bleeding from some kind of infection she had on her lip, wasn’t breathing properly and apparently hadn’t been able to eat anything for the past 2 days. We tried talking to her but she wasn’t responsive. After talking with the family for a bit we decided to say a prayer together. As I finished the prayer she started to smile and started trying to signal something with her hands but didn’t have the strength to lift her arms up. So the next morning as we were walking to church we get a call from José Antonio’s Mom. She thanked us for coming and praying for the grandma. She said that the grandma was back to normal again and that José Antonio had told her that the improvement started right when we finished the prayer. Within the hour she was back to normal and responsive again. It was really a tender mercy for their family and we were grateful to be apart of the experience.

Yeah so that’s basically it for the week. Love you guys :)


- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Feb 5, 2018 - Mission Changes, road trip, baptism of Francesco

Hello everyone! 
Well as some of you may have heard as of July 1st my mission will no longer exist! Well it really won’t be that dramatic. We will be consolidated into the Madrid and Barcelona missions. So Spain will now just have two missions instead of three. Anyways this will not inflict a very large change for me since it will be during my very last transfer. The only difference will be that I will come home from a different mission home and I won’t know which one that will be until that last transfer day. Basically the area we are in when the change happens will determine which mission we will then be apart of. There will not be any dramatic area transfers or anything on July 1st,  just the borders will change. It should be pretty exciting, part of me wishes it could happen earlier so I could experience it a little more. It should still be pretty interesting having a new mission president for the last month though. 

Alright about the week now. 
My companion had to go down to Fuengirola to pick up his new residency card so we got to take a little road trip. I’m not sure if you remember Dad but when we went to the state police to get the background check for my visa we ran into an elderly couple headed to my mission. Well anyways their name is the Manwarings they are serving over at the Rota naval base, and they gave us a ride there. It was really cool cause we took the scenic route. We basically drove the whole southern coastline. We passed by Algeciras and could see Africa clearly from there it was a beautiful view! They also spoiled us with lots of good american snacks 😋

The most awesome part of the week though was when the elders in my district had a baptism! The guy’s name was Francesco and he is from Chile :) I had the opportunity to go over to Chiclana on Tuesday to do his baptismal interview. Man it was such a spiritual experience! We went through all the questions then at the end I shared D&C 20:37 with him. 

And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism--All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.”

As we read the scripture together I felt the spirit wash over me confirming that he was ready to make this step. I could tell that he felt it also. Such a powerful experience! He was baptized Saturday night and we were able to attend. It’s always a really awesome to be a firsthand witness of the joy these people feel when choosing to follow Christ’s example. 

Well yeah that’s basically all the good stuff this week. We are kinda in a hurry today cause lots of missionaries are coming to see Cadiz so we get to be tour guides again haha. I wish you all the best though, have a great week :)


- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Jan 29, 2018

This week has been kind of slow. We had lots of little visits with members and a couple of family nights but all of our citas with investigators failed. With the help of the new technology we were at least able to send Jose Antonio a little video and message him about it. 

We also had a zone council meeting up in Jerez this week. It was crazy because we were at the train station early in the morning trying to print off the tickets and it wasn’t working. It kept saying that our code was invalid. After trying all of the machines we just decided to run and hop on the train cause it was going to leave soon. Well about halfway through the trip we realized that the office had bought us tickets for the wrong day. Luckily nobody came by to check the tickets so we made it there alright and the office was able to get us some for the trip back. 

We did have another opportunity to go help out at the Jimenez home again. This time we took all of the branches we had cut down. Well the ones that weren’t big enough for firewood, wood chipped them and spread it around in the soil with compost. Learning lots about farming stuff it’s pretty cool. 

Well that’s basically all that happened this week. Sorry not too exciting haha

Love you all,


- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Jan 22, 2018 A Pretty Good Week


This week really has been pretty awesome! 
Started off with a really cool spiritual confirmation. I had been praying the past little while since President Monson passed away that I would be able to have a confirmation that the new prophet really was selected by the Lord. Well Tuesday afternoon as we were watching the announcement to the church members as soon as President Russel M. Nelson began to speak I felt the spirit wash over me in such a powerful way that I could not deny it. It is ever so amazing to me that God does really hear our prayers and answers them individually. What a blessing it is to have a prophet on the earth in our day and have the capability of knowing ourselves that he is just that, through personal revelation. God does still love us and for this reason he gives these great tools and teachers, to help us prepare to return to him. 

As a mission this week we received another really awesome tool. On Tuesday we attended a zone conference training meeting where we received the new smartphones. Finally we have received authorization to proselyte online. Along with the new smartphones we have received access to applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype to use in our teaching efforts. During the past couple of days we have already seen a huge increase in responsiveness to our messages! The communication is an essential part of this work and these new tools will allow us to reach out to more people on a much broader scale. 

 I’d like to finish up by sharing two cool little miracles that happened this week.   
First of all my companion and I have gotten back on the exercise grind lately getting meaningful workouts in to start of the day right. Haha we only had some small dumbbells so we were doing what we could with those but all the time wishing we had something more. Well this week we were helping a lady clean out and organize her storage room when I came upon an old bench and bar. She said she was going to throw it out and that if we wanted it we could take it. We were like YES we totally want it! Haha. So she gave it to us. It was pretty funny because we live like 30 minutes from her house so we were walking through the city trying to carry all this equipment and weight. We got a couple of funny looks haha. 

The second miracle is even better. We haven’t been able to get an investigator to church for quite a while now but Nono promised he would come this week and we were really excited. Well yesterday morning rolls around and we head over to his house to pick him up. We toke the door and nothing so we toke again and still no answer. It was getting pretty late and we had to get to the church so we decided to leave. As we were walking there I felt pretty disappointed because we were just so excited for him to finally come again. Anyways we show up to the church and start welcoming everyone. A random guy just randomly showed up so I introduced myself and invited him in to sit with us. Well he ended up staying all 3 hours and loved it. Turns out he is the grandson of an old member who lives out in Puerto Real. She is pretty sick and is confined to her house so he moved over to help take care of her. He got curious from all the stuff she told him and decided to come check it out!  So that was way awesome, now we have 2 citas with him this week :) 

So overall a pretty good week. I wish you all the best. Keeping you in my prayers always. 

Love y’all, 

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Jan 15, 2018 Service and Social Media

Its been a pretty fun week, we were able to find some good service opportunities (my fav). We helped with two moves and met some really cool people through them. 

Then we were also able to help one of the members, Enrique in his campo. He got polio when he was a kid so one of his legs is pretty messed up and he walks with a crutch all the time. This man is a beast though. He knows how to do literally everything and he is self taught. First of he started with a shoe store. He figured out how to repair shoes and opened up a shop. He ended up running the place for 40 years! He saved most of his money and when he retired he went across to Puerto Real just on the other side of the bay and bought a plot of land. When he bought the land it was just dirt. He has done so much to it! Including building their entire house themselves! They started off just with one room, which is now the living room. They would use it for everything. The tractor was even parked in there! It was truly impressive, and it is still a work in progress. They are adding on two new rooms for visiting family on the side. We went there to cut wood because the house is only heated by a fire burning stove. So we cut a ton of firewood and stacked it so it can dry over the summer and be usable next winter. Since they are not connected to the power grid the electricity is provided by solar panels on the roof. They also have hot water thanks to a cool solar water heating contraption they’ve got. Elder Moffat and I just loved being out there playing around with axes and wheelbarrows, it brought back tons of fun memories. We are hoping to go back sometime soon because they promised to teach us how they slaughter the chickens haha. 

Well we also received some other crazy news this week. We are now an online proselytizing mission. On Wednesday we got facebook on our iPads and its super weird! This upcoming Wednesday we are having a conference where we will be trained in how to use it and also receive the new smartphones. Really exciting stuff! I was thinking the other day how many changes have happened during just my time in the mission and it's crazy. The Lords work is rolling forward and filling the whole earth as prophesied. It will be a great blessing for us to have these new tools that will enable us to reach out to even more people. 

Thank you for the love and prayers! 

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Jan 8, 2018 Dia de los Magos

Well this week has seriously been all over the place. 
Most people have been super busy with the holidays because it was dia de los reyes magos. Basically their Christmas here. Instead of santa bringing gifts the 3 wise men bring them. Its pretty interesting how Christ has been completely taken out of the picture though. A lot like how Christmas in the states becomes more about Santa and less about Christ every year. Oh yeah so we decided to make cookies for all of the people who live in our building for New Years and they loved it! Now we are great friends with all of them. We’ve seen a bunch of them in the street the past couple of days and most of them have stopped to greet us which is cool. 
With the holidays everyone has been super busy with family and parties so we ended up in the street a lot contacting people and knocking doors. We were able to have a lesson with Jose Antonio which went pretty well. We changed his baptismal date to the 27th because he said he didn’t feel quite ready yet. On Sunday he was sick with a fever and wasn’t able to make it to church. Hopefully he will get better and we can meet some more this week. 

I have still been listening to conference talks almost every morning while I get ready. I was cooking breakfast Wednesday morning and it just so happened that two of Thomas S. Monson’s talks came on. One from Saturday afternoon and the other in priesthood session. They both included stories he’s shared a few times and I like a lot. I was thinking about how much I loved his talks because they are always humorous yet powerful. I thought back on watching the priesthood session with Dad when he gave the talk “Examples of Righteousness” during which he wiggled his ears. About 20 minutes later as we were doing our daily planning we got the call that he had passed away. It was really sad because he’s the first prophet that I really remember well. I’m sure he is in a better place now though, happy with his loved ones. My companion and I watched the short film the church has made that is available on the gospel library application. It’s called  “On the Lords Errand: The Life of Thomas S. Monson.” It is way good! When you have a little bit of time watch it! He truly was a prophet of the lord, I love teaching that principle to people. If God called prophets in biblical times, why would he leave us in the dark nowadays? The answer is, he hasn’t! “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” It is such a blessing to have living prophets in the latter days. I’m so grateful for the teachings of the prophet Thomas S. Monson that have truly effected my life. I invite all to study his talks and teachings they will change your life. 

Lots of love, Feliz día de los Reyes! Have a great week :) 

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Hey!

Wow thats so crazy the ward splitting again already. So much growth going on around there. What families did we lose/ gain in the ward that I would know? 
Thats great the brother warner is the bishop, he will do a good job, great guy. 

Real bummer that its been such a bad snow year. Sorry guys, I guess its all just being saved for me next year! Can’t wait to hit the slopes with ya’ll again :) 

I’m glad you mentioned that about Nelson, I thought that he might the one who sealed you but I wasn’t sure. Thats so awesome! Yeah I’m curious to see who the counselors will be too, my guess is he keeps them the same.. but we’ll have to wait and see! 

It looks like I will be here for the next 6 weeks. My companion and I are both staying this transfer so that’s nice. I was a little stressed thinking I might have to pack everything up and move again. I got the package with the Nutella this week and its soooo good! Its a huge glass jar! Should last us for quite a while, thanks :) 
Thanks for informing me about the christmas money too, rebajas start today so I’m going to try to find some slides and stuff cause mine keep falling apart. 

Anyways thanks also for sending the master tonic recipe. I’m going to try to find the ingredients at the store today. That stuff is the best :) 

Also yeah thanks for getting on that new calendar too. I’ve been just trying to note down a couple things each day in a notebook so i can fill in when it gets here. 

Hey we talked about Moses chapter 1 in church yesterday! Really cool section :) 
There is power in the lords name! 

Love you :) 

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dec 4, 2017 Light the World

Well the week started off good in both our eating citas we got cooking lessons. The Santos family taught Elder Zapata and I how to make Bollito Balón. Its basically a corn flour dumpling filled with chicken. Super good Venezuelan food. Then the next day after district meeting Milagrosa taught us how to make a classic spanish dish. The tortilla de patata. Can’t wait to make it with real Idaho potatoes haha. We also made some rice pudding this week so lots of fun cooking haha. 

We were finally able to teach Nono again this week. He is just a little low on motivation, like he normally keeps his commitments but he lacks the inner desire. Its hard to explain. Anyways we taught his the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went pretty good. We are going to teach him again this week though and just make sure he understands that baptism is just the beginning not the end goal. His mom came to church so that was awesome but he was feeling sick and stayed home sleeping. 

Oh yeah so my new companion got here this week. Elder Moffat, he’s from Las Vegas. So far we have gotten along pretty well. He’s a big talker so we are always having interesting conversations which is fun. Mostly about business type stuff, studies and such which is good because we are both trying to figure out what in the world we want to do in life. 

On Saturday we had interviews with President which went really well. He told me its getting close to time where I should start thinking a little bit and setting goals for the future. Figuring out what I want to study and whatnot because soon it will be time to apply for scholarships and register for school. It’s crazy how fast the time is going now, feels like November was just a week long. He goes home June 25th so I will have one transfer with the new mission president which will be weird. 

My favorite thing this week was the service project we did. We painted our investigator Cipriano’s house. It was a really dark purple and we painted it a cream/yellow color. It completely changed the place, doesn’t even look like his house anymore. It was fun we invited some other members to come a a couple came. Fernando had been a painter for a few years so he taught us all of the techniques it was cool. Sounds like we are going to be painting another house soon because the Santos want to do theirs now. Good useful skill to learn. 

This past week we have especially been sharing the Light the World video with everyone we talk to. Its a really great video, if you haven’t seen it go check it out at mormon.org. My favorite thing about the video is it shows people serving one another in various ways then it begins to show the savior preforming all of his miracles. It helped make me realize that the little acts of service we do each day can actually be the answers to prayers and miracles in other peoples lives. It think sometimes we see Christ as this great figure that is just so much greater than us that it is simply impossible for us to rise up to his level. What we really need to see though is that even though we may not be able to do the same exact things he did, we can do similar acts with similar results. If you haven’t seen the video go check it out! And get started on the 25 days 25 ways, its never too late! 🎄


- Élder Alex M. Childers Dec