Thursday, December 29, 2016

Feliz Navidad!!

Hope everyone's Christmas was the best everrrr!! It was hard to be away from the family for the fist time this holiday but I'm so blessed that we have families here that took us in and tried to make us feel at home. We were able to have a huge lunch and dinner on Christmas Day as well as a fun party with the Palominos for Christmas Eve! It was also awesome to be able to skype the family yesterday. Super cool being able to talk to Dad In Spanish! 
We organized caroling with all the missionaries on Thursday and some ward members showed up so that was really cool. My comp and I also started some Christmas traditions for a few families here having secret santas and white elephant gift exchanges. I'm so grateful for my family and for the opportunities my parents have always given us to think of others and serve during the holiday season. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and the example he set for us. I hope you have been able to take part in the 25 days of service and seen some miracles along the way! Remember to keep looking for service opportunities throughout the course of this next year! 

Today for p day we climbed a mountain called pika-chu haha it was pretty fun, then we had another barbecue. While we were hiking the office called and asked if my comp could do his last interview in Murcia tonight at 6 so we hurried back to Elche changed in like 10 minutes then sprinted to the train station. We bought our tickets and started running down to the platform. All the people who had just got off were coming up the stairs so we were like pushing though the crowd running as fast as we could. We turned the corner and heard the alarm sounding for the doors to close them jumped on just in time. We asked the lady next to us if we were on the right train and she looked super scared, I'm pretty sure she thought we were CIA agents or something haha 
Anyways that's why my email is so late I love you guys sooo much have a great week!

Elder Childers

Rain go away come back another day!

So it's been raining here like the past 3 days on and off not really that hard but one thing I've learned about Spain is everyone is a bunch of wusses when it comes to rain. Like literally if it's just barely drizzling the streets are empty, the shops all close and if it's a Sunday nobody shows up to church. Anyways so today is the funniest thing, it's raining like a normal storm in Idaho no big deal and they canceled all of school and even the universities. However a city in our zone Orehuela has been having huge floods, like cars and trucks floating down the streets, I'll try to send the video I got from one of the members. For pday we went to Alicante to climb the castle it was pretty fun. This cool guy Joseph who comes to English class every week always wants to hangout with us so we invited him today and he came! He lived in Arizona for like a year with his cousin so he knows like perfect English. He isn't really interested in the gospel but he loves the english classes and he loves the missionaries, hopefully one day!

Other than that this week we had intercambios with the zone leaders this week in Alicante on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was cool because the first cita we went to at the end I asked this family if they would get baptized and they said yes!  Then Jessika called us that night, super excited and said she finished the Book of Mormon. My comp buys all of his converts a pair of nice scriptures after they are baptized so we ordered some for Jesika and we are hoping they will get here by Christmas. Thursday we got a big package from Elder Llavinas mom with matching Christmas outfits so we got to wear those for our ward party and we are going to wear them to the Christmas tri- zone conference, which was supposed to be tomorrow but got rescheduled to the 27th because of the rain lol oh yeah ward parties here are crazy! Of course they had a tv up on the stand with the fútbol game going haha then after the dinner they brought in these huge speakers to have a big dance party that apparently went till 3 AM it was a bummer we had to be back at piso by 11 cause we missed out on the talent show and the dancing since the dinner started. 
Just really excited for Christmas but also nervous to get my new companion! 
Love you all, I hope all is going well there and you're enjoying the snow and the Christmas season with your families. I send my love from Spain 💙

Elder Childers 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Converting and Cooking

Well I'll start off with the best news! Our investigator Jesika had her interview Saturday and she will be getting baptized this week! It's super cool to see how excited she is for it. Its been crazy to see the change in her life just the past 3 weeks that I've known her for. She has some crazy and horrible things happen in her life. Things that still effect her life every day. Its so awesome that through baptism she can be cleaned from her past and start new again. Its so cool to see how excited she is. The other day we went over to visit her and her and her mom made us Paraguayan food it was soooo good! It was so funny because Jesika's son Juan like loves us so much. Every time we leave he cries its so cute haha. The other day we had a family home evening at the Palominos. Jesika had to leave early and when she did Juan ran back in grabbed my comp and I and was trying to drag us out then when we walked back in he just like stared at the ground all sad haha he's so funny.

Oh yeah also this wednesday was crazy. The stake had a big leadership meeting so they asked all the missionaries to make a big lunch for all of them. They said there was going to be about 50 people so we made 9 kg of pasta, my comp and I made 100 cookies and all the other companionships brought everything from bread to soda to salads. It was crazy we had so much food. Then only like 30 people actually ended up coming. But it was alright because we had tons of leftovers and we had tons of cookies to give out to people haha.

Anyways other than that, its so weird there's already so much snow there. Still short sleeve weather here during the day haha I miss the cold 😂 its been raining almost everyday this week and last night after our correllation meeting with the ward mission leader we were walking to the bus stop and a car drove through this huge puddle next to us and we got soaking wet from the big splash in our suits so that was fun 😂😂 

Christmas stuff has been good though its really easy to contact with the christmas cards plus its fun to have a new little video each day. 
I was reading another conference talk the other day in it was this story I liked:
“A group of religion instructors were taking a summer course on the life of the Savior and focusing particularly on the parables.
      “When the final exam time came, … the students arrived at the classroom to find a note that the exam would be given in another building across campus. Moreover, the note said, it must be finished within the two-hour time period that was starting almost at that moment.
      “The students hurried across campus. On the way they passed a little girl crying over a flat tire on her new bike. An old man hobbled painfully toward the library with a cane in one hand, spilling books from a stack he was trying to manage with the other. On a bench by the union building sat a shabbily dressed, bearded man [in obvious distress].
      “Rushing into the other classroom, the students were met by the professor, who announced they had all flunked the final exam.
      “The only true test of whether they understood the Savior’s life and teaching, he said, was how they treated people in need.
      “Their weeks of study at the feet of a capable professor had taught them a great deal of what Christ had said and done.” In their haste to finish the technicalities of the course, however, they failed to recognize the application represented by the three scenes that had been deliberately staged. They learned the letter but not the spirit. Their neglect of the little girl and the two men showed that the profound message of the course had not entered into their inward parts.
      We must at times search our own souls and discover what we really are. Our real character, much as we would wish, cannot be hidden. It shines from within us transparently. Attempts to deceive others only deceive ourselves. We are often like the emperor in the fairy tale who thought he was arrayed in beautiful garments when he was in fact unclothed.
Reading this story also made me think back on all the times I have been in a hurry to get somewhere or do something on my way seeing someone in need but thinking I've got more important things to tend to, I'm to busy right now, or I'm sure someone else is already on their way to help. How selfish I was sometimes. Then I thought about how many times people stopped to serve me, what opportunities were they missing out on? What did they put aside to come help me out? I challenge all of you especially during this special month of service to look out for little acts of service and kindness to do each day I promise you will receive blessings and you will feel good too. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" 😉

Much love from Spain! 🇪🇸 
-Elder Childers 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving in Spain!

Well this week has been pretty cool. First of all it was thanksgiving but since no one here celebrates it here my comp and I assigned all the other companionships to make stuff and we went searching for a turkey. So after asking like everyone we know and trying a bunch of stores we finally found this meat place that said they could specially order one for us. Thursday morning we went and picked it up, it was ginormous, the lady at the shop could barely lift it up 😂 anyways so we did our best to cook it based on the instructions my comps mom emailed him and it actually turned out pretty great and fed 14 missionaries with lots of leftovers! 

Anyways so there's this family in the ward, the Palominos that we always do family night with and they feed us every week. They're super cool one of the daughters served in Madrid and the other is awaiting her call. Then there is one other daughter who is 22 and is going to have her baptismal interview this week! She has a little girl named Vicky that is so crazy haha. So back to the story, after hearing about our turkey they wanted one too so we ordered another one for them. So on Saturday we went to pick it up for them because they were busy. We tried to put it in our freezer but it wouldn't fit so since we have the other elders backup keys we thought it would be funny to go leave it in there freezer. So we took it over and put it there. As you all know I like pranks and the other elders and us always prank each other so we put one of their alarm clocks on the floor in the hall and set one of the chairs on its side and left some of the lights on. So later that night they call us but we were in a cita so we just ignored the call. Right after the lesson we call them back and they're like "Hey can you guys come over we think our piso got robbed" my comp responds like "ohh I'm sorry man what did they take?" Then he's like "we don't know we just opened the door and the lights were on and my alarm clock was on the ground so we didn't go in, it's alright though the police are on their way" My comp- "NO DUDE YOU CALLED THE POLICE IT WAS US!!!!" Anyways long story short the police called back one more time to see if they still needed to come so they told them not to. But they has called the mission office too so one of the office elders called us and talked to us haha I'm pretty sure he thought it was funny but he had us read a verse haha
1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Then he just laughed and said, well just don't do it again elders. So yeah that was funny 😂 

Other than that the rest of this week was pretty good too! Our investigator Jesika is progressing really well still and is planning on getting baptized the 10th of December. It was really awesome because she came to the ward party this week and was like inviting everyone to her baptism!  She has her interview this week so hopefully that will go well! 

Also this week we started using the Christmas video which is super cool, if you haven't seen it go to and check it out or it's also on the gospel library app! Share it with all your friends it's only 2 minutes long! It talks about how we can do the things that Jesus did by serving those around us, I challenge you all to try to find at least one little act of service to do for someone each day, even something as little as helping someone with their groceries or calling an old friend to see how they are doing. I promise you will be blessed for it and you will feel the spirit more strongly throughout the day. 

Happy thanksgiving to everyone I hope you all enjoyed it 
I love you guys!

Elder Childers 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hola a todos!

This week has been pretty cool. So I arrived here in Elche on Wednesday. It was kind of a crazy trip because the office messed my tickets up. My first ticket from Mazarrón the bus left at 11:30 so I got to Murcia at like 1. When I pulled up my second ticket from Murcia to Elche it said it was for 11 am, before my first bus even left haha so I hung out in the Murcia bus station for a couple hours till they figured it out. Anyways finally I got a bus and made it to Elche where my new comp had been waiting all day too haha

Anyways my new comp is Elder Llavina he's super cool, he has been here in Elche since June so he knows everyone! When I got here we went straight to dinner at a members. They lived on the 5th floor and there wasn't an elevator so we had to carry my bags all the way up the stairs haha it was funny. Anyways that night I'm pretty sure we talked to more people than in all of my time in Mazarrón. Then later that night we were asked to go give blessings. So I gave my very first blessing in Spanish, well....Spanglish haha but it was really awesome. Now every time I see the girl she says "El mejor bendición de mi vida" and I just laugh. We have a couple of really great investigators, two of them especially have tons of potential it's been awesome to be able to finally teach some real lessons. the members here are so cool too we have been fed like almost every day so far. The second day I was here we were shopping and a member in the ward came up behind us at the checkout and payed for all of our groceries it was crazy we tried to tell her no but she wouldn't let us haha. There are 4 sets of missionaries in just our ward which is super cool. Our ward boundary is huge though 2 sets of elders are almost an hour from here! Other than all has been well, my new comp and I get along really well and we have some of the coolest comp studies. Before the mission sometimes reading the scriptures felt like a chore but now it's my favorite part of the day. Its so nice to have 2 hours every morning just devoted to studying. Its the best way to start off the day.

Elche is famous for its palm trees, it's really awesome they are all over. The church is in like an orchard of them its super cool anyways yeah I'll send a picture so y'all can see for yourself. Other than that, today for p day we went to a giant cathedral and that was pretty crazy, it's interesting to learn about different peoples beliefs here. We are planning thanksgiving right now deciding what everyone is going to make. Its fun to have other missionaries to hang out with on p day. 

Well anyways that's about all for the week.
I love you all and I'm praying for you always! 

Elder Childers 💙🇪🇸

Monday, November 14, 2016

Crazy Castle and Transfer Time

Hello everyone! 
Well not a whole lot has happened this week. We had a zone conference on Thursday in Cartagena. We got to watch the new christmas video the church made this year and it is soo awesome! It doesn't come out till the 25th of November so ya'll are going to have to wait a bit to watch it but yeah its sweet! 
I've still been reading a conference talk every day and earlier this week I learned something kind of cool. Joseph B. Wirthlin talked about how in the English language our most common farewell is the word "good-bye" this came to us over the years as an abbreviation of the expression "God be with you." I thought it was crazy that I never even knew that. I also realized that in Spanish the most common word is "A-dios." When translated that means "To-God." Anyways I just thought that was kind of cool. 

This week I finally got my comp to get up every morning and go running with me. We found some really cool houses carved out of rocks and a cool castle up in the mountains. When we looked over into the castle it was like an endless hole. When I threw a rock into it, it took like 6 or 7 seconds to hit the bottom!! I was telling Cielo the lady from my english class about it and she said it is an entrance to a really old mine. Her friend here is a geologist and knows a ton of stuff about all the old mines here. Apparently there are tunnels under a lot of Mazarrón. During the civil war here the people used them as bomb shelters! Interesting! 

Anyways this morning we got the call from our zone leaders and I am being transferred! I will be going to Elche not to far from here and my new comp will be Elder Llavina. The name doesn't sound like it but he's American. He was comps with Elder Hammond and he liked him a lot so it should be good. I head there Wednesday morning at 11. Unfortunately Elder Hammond got transferred too, to like the other side of the mission, so we probably wont be seeing each other for a while. Tonight we are going to stay with them one last time since we have our last district meeting tomorrow. Were gonna make crepes one more time and say our goodbyes so that'll be good. Hopefully I'll get to see him again before he goes home!

Well thats pretty much all thats happened this week, we got to meet with Angel once and Antonio finally called us yesterday wanting to meet to try to stop smoking again. I really hope he'll be able to get over it! 
Thanks for all of your support and prayers! 

 Elder Childers 

 P.S. this is the link to the icloud photoshare. I'll be putting all of my photos on there because it is a lot easier that way then emailing them a few at a time.  If you cant figure out to subscribe just shoot me an email and ill add you from my end :)

iCloud Photo Sharing

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Crazy is starting to become the new normal

Well its been another crazy week here.

First I'll start with the good stuff. So like I mentioned in the earlier emails we are in a really small town where most people work out in the fields so there is not ever much to do here during the day. We really have wanted to find some service so we had gone to the city hall like 3 different times and gave them our information and asked if they had any service for us to do but they never do. Anyway, so we were teaching english classes on Tuesday and only one person showed up for the advanced class, Cielo so her and I just started talking about random stuff so she can practice conversation since her english is really good. Somehow we got on the topic of how she volunteers at the red cross so I asked her if she knew of any service we could do for them. She got super excited because they were having a service project planting some bushes and stuff that Saturday. 

So on saturday we got picked up by the red cross ambulance at 8:30 and went to their building which is outside of town. We got there and one of the paramedics gave us a tour of the building, showed us all their boats and stuff which was pretty cool. After that a few more people had showed up and we started working. We ended up digging like a 75 ft long 1 foot deep trench with hoes and pickaxes cause the dirt here is super dry and rocky. I loved it cause we finally got to do something active haha but my comp not so much 😂😂 anyways once we got done digging the trench they told us we were going to get breakfast. So we all piled in the back of the ambulance and headed to a local restaurant. The owner is friends with the red cross people so they invited us right in to the kitchen and just told us to grab a plate and take whatever food we wanted. It was so weird like 20 super dirty volunteers just grabbing food out of pans with our bare hands definitely would not have passed sanitary health codes in America. Anyways we finished breakfast and headed back to the red cross where we finished up the work. They were all super happy to have us there and asked us if we could come help them teach classes about the dangers of drugs and alcohol with them in a few weeks so we said we would if we didn't get transferred. So we went upstairs and did some preparation for the classes with them. It was super cool cause they pretty much were teaching the word of wisdom haha they even talked about how coffee can be an addiction and everything. Basically all of them are already keeping the word of wisdom so hopefully we will be able to get some future investigators out of this. They asked tons of questions about missions and about the church all day! 
So after the class we went back to the restaurant to have lunch. Here at restaurants lunch is like a 5 course meal, i didn't know that... so the first course came out and it was a huge slice of spanish tortilla. Basically like a thick thing made of eggs and potatoes so I barely was able to finish that and looked over at my companion and said dude I'm stuffed, he just started laughing then told me there was 3 more courses coming still hahah. I don't understand how they put so much food down here its nuts.
So we decided we want to do more stuff for the red cross because apparently every time they buy everyone food!! 

So anyway, later that night we had told Celia we would stop by to talk because her and her husband are having lots of problems. Her husband is Antonio the guy who we have been trying to help keep the word of wisdom so he can get confirmed, since he smoked the day after his baptism. So anyway we were at their house having a good discussion about the scriptures when Antonio came in and they got in a huge argument. Celia wants a divorce because she feels like she's given him tons of opportunities to change and he hasn't, its just a difficult situation because she loves the church and the gospel so much but Antonio is starting to become anti because he doesn't want to follow the rules and stuff.  It was really scary because he was yelling and jumped up out of his chair and I thought he was going to hit her or something because she's told us he has abused her before, so I was like getting ready to jump up if he did, it was crazy. My comp used the fake phone call thing we have on our mission phones to pretend we were getting a call and went outside to call Richard our branch president for help. He was in Murcia like a half hour away so he told us to just stay there till he could get there and help. Somehow he was there in like 15 minutes we have no idea how but it was a miracle. When he got there we were finally able to leave because it was already past our bedtime. 

We found out the next day at church that after Richard left at like midnight Antonio went into a rage and almost got into a fight with Hector, Celia'
s brother who lives with them, then got in his car and drove off. They haven't seen him since.  Anyways so that whole deal was kind of scary and really sad.

Oh yeah one more funny story, so yesterday after church Hector and Celia invited us over for lunch so we were on our way to their house and stopped by Celia's store to get some meat. They parked the car on the side of the road then went into the store while elder maldonado and I just waited in the car. So anyways we're just sitting there when a big truck comes around the corner and totally side swipes the back bumper of the car. It was super loud and the car was shaking a ton and stuff. So i jumped out of the car to see the damage and the truck just starts driving off so i grab my iPad and started sprinting down the road after it trying to get a picture of the license plate. When they saw me taking the picture they stopped and the guy in the passenger seat jumped out, you can see him in the picture ill send haha anyways he was like why are you taking a picture haha but i didn't know how to say "dude you just hit our car" in spanish so i just kinda like pointed at the car and hit my hands together to symbolize like a crash haha at this point Celia and Hector had come out of the store so we showed them. They were both like "oh no pasa nada" My comp and I were like what!? Your car is all scraped up and you don't even care!? They didn't care a bit, it was so weird haha they just acted like it was a completely normal thing... 

Other than that not much has happened here, we still haven't found any new investigatiors so that is kind of disappointing. Transfers are this next week so maybe I'll get moved somewhere where there's more people to teach. Apparently Mazarron is like the smallest town in our whole mission so not much ever happens here. The recent converts we have are the first ones here in the past 6 years. 

I forgot my camera when we went to the red cross but they took a bunch of pictures so I will try to get some next time from them and send them.

Love you guys.

Elder Childers
Here is a picture of our dumpster which got burned completely the night of Halloween.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Stake Conference in an Opera House

Wow this week flew by. We are always traveling haha since my comp and I are out here alone in Mazzaron we have to bus to Cartagena every week at least once for meetings. 

Anyways so this week Elder Hammond's comp had to travel to Malaga to renew his residency so he came here to Mazzaron to stay the night with us. It was super fun we taught the english classes and since there were 3 of us we were able to do 3 different levels of classes this week which was much needed. After the english classes we went to the piso and decided to try making crepes, we made a huge mess but they turned out really good we tripled the recipe and ate all of them in one sitting hahaha

Thursday morning we headed back to Cartegena with Elder Hammond. Since President came into town for our stake conference this week he decided to have interviews with all the missionaries here. So we had our interviews on Friday. It was great I could feel the spirit so strongly as we talked, he helped answer all of my questions and gave me some great advice. He's an amazing man I love him.

So then friday afternoon the stake president's son was getting married so we got invited to the wedding. Its interesting here because you have to get married like the traditional way before you are allowed to go get married in the temple. So we got to go to the wedding it was really cool. It was weird though because like in the middle of the wedding ceremony people in the audience would just like randomly yell out random stuff and everyone would cheer hahah but anyways it was fun.

Saturday morning we went to visit a guy in the ward with the elders we were staying with (Hammond and Nye) haha they're both so cool. Anyways this guy lived in the coolest place ever its like right next to a huge ruins of a castle and an amphitheater. Thats where the pictures of the whole port and city were taken it was a pretty sweet spot. 

So then saturday night the first session of the stake conference started. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, this stake conference was special because a new stake president was called. But yeah it was weird because like less people than my ward at home showed up for the saturday night session. The stake boundary is so huge since there are so few members that some people had to drive for hours to get to the church in cartagena. Anyways the meeting was great, it was cool because our extension presidents wife was asked to get up and bear her testimony and she talked about Antonio and how his whole family was baptized and how awesome it was to see all the members be super inviting and loving to them in the branch. 

After the meeting we were all starving and I think Elder Nye was sad he missed out on the crepe party the first night so we decided to make them again haha. So we got back to the piso and realize we have like none of the ingredients and that they dont even have measuring cups. So we gather up all our spare change and Elder Hammond and I head to the Chino store, Chino stores are basically like dollar stores they are all run by Chinese people and they are like little sketchy stores all over, haha anyways so we go to the store and all the lights are off except the one at the counter. We were confused because the store said open until midnight on the window so we go to the counter and ask the lady if they have measuring cups. She points to the back of the store and hands us literally the crappiest flashlight I have ever seen in my life haha so were like wandering around this big store in the pitch black trying to find measuring cups with this trashy little flashlight. We looked for about 10 minutes and couldn't find anything except for this weird pitcher looking thing that looked like it belonged in a science lab haha but it had measurements in cubic centimeters on it which we have on our conversion app so we just gave up and bought that. So anyways we got back and made the batter in a pot since they didn't have any bowls then mixed it up with this weird blender stick thing we found in the closet. Haha it was crazy but we made it work and they turned out really good. We decided to make it a tradition every time we go to cartagena so were gonna be making crepes alot lol but thanks for the recipe dad everybody loves them! 

Anyways so yesterday we had stake conference and since all the chapels in spain are tiny they rented out an opera theater for it. It was so weird to go in there sit in movie theater seats and listen to the talks. Especially because there was no pulpet just a microphone haha I felt like I was back at an EFY devotional. But anyways it was super awesome and even though i could only understand like two thirds of what was being said I could feel the spirit super strong as each of the new members of the stake presidency spoke and bore their testimonies. 

So after conference we hitched a ride back to Mazzaron with some members in our branch. And now were just here for the day making brownies with the extension presidents family and emailing, then later today at 8 we will catch the bus back to cartagena for district meetings and a soccer game with some guys in their ward tomorrow haha like I said we are always on the move! But at least this time we get to stay for soccer I'm stoked for that! 

Well I love you all I hope things are going great back home! Thanks for all your letters! 

Elder Childers ✌🏾️

Madre Mia!!

Okay so this week has been crazy haha every week is but this one was like really crazy. So right after I emailed you guys last week the bishop in cartagena asked us to go visit this guy in the ward. The reason: he had sent a pornographic video to the ward group message.... Haha this guy was seriously nuts. Right before we walk in my comp tells me dude don't touch anything you might get sick. Immediately when we open the door this horrible stench of wet dog/smoke/ I don't even know what fills the air. Anyways so I tried to hold my breath for like an hour while Elder Hammond went through his phone and deleted all the porn hahah  he kept trying to tell us someone steals his phone and puts the porn on there to try to frame him. Finally we convinced him its better to just tell the truth and go talk to the bishop. But yeah this guy was crazy! He has a dog probably 8 years old and he has never given it a bath or had its hair cut, it was nasty. Oh and halfway through our lesson the dog was just yipping nonstop so he gets up, grabs a flipper and starts beating the dog with it. It was so sad and I felt so bad for the poor dog. Then he had this red heart light nailed on the shelf and he had written Madre Mia on it. When we asked him why it said that he yells "MADRE MIA!!! Why does everyone always ask that?"  Hence the subject line of this email.. Needless to say it was quite an interesting experience. 

So then as if our trip to Cartagena hadn't been crazy enough the next morning we get on the bus back to Mazarron and the whole entire bus ride, with a full bus full of people the people in the seat next to us were making out intensely the whole ride like it was nobody's business. It was disgusting haha I wanted to throw up. Its so weird there's no such thing as PDA here. Actually there is no such thing as PDAnything here, the other day we are walking down the street and this guy just whips his you know what out an starts peeing all over the sidewalk.. And everybody just walks around him like its a normal thing. Haha i was just like dumbfounded, like did I really just see that!? My companion thought it was hilarious.  

Okay so last crazy story of the week, the other day we are in a recent converts shop just talking to her and suddenly a drunk guy comes in starts yelling at us and calling my comp gay and all sorts of bad stuff. I couldn't really understand what he was saying because his speech was slurred and he was like yelling but he kept getting right up to my face and yelling stuff about Jesus and the church. It was scary we had no where to go because we were like in the front corner of the store. I wanted so badly to just punch this guy in the gut and run haha but I had to just keep telling myself "I'm a missionary, I'm a missionary, there's lots of good people watching me right now" haha. It was so hard but I just stayed silent and let him finish. Then he ran over to the fridge stole a can of beer and left. It was a crazy experience. This whole week has been crazy.

Anyways so we have been sharing lots of stuff from the recent conference talks with our investigators and recent converts. Personally I really like the talk "The Lord Teaches us to Pray". With the story about Machu Pichu. It really made me think about my prayers, I am definitely guilty of having repetitious prayers, especially now in spanish because I just get used to repeating the phrases I know. So this past week I have been trying to really make my prayers personal, a conversation with heavenly father like they should be. I would like to challenge all of you to do the same, I already have noticed a huge difference in the meaning of my prayers and its been awesome. 

After re-reading most of the conference talks from a few weeks ago I realized I love them so much I decided I am going to read every single conference talk since the October 1997 session, the first session I was alive for! haha Anyway, there are around 630 so If I read one every day I should be able to finish by the end of my mission plus I only started yesterday and I've already read the first 4. It was cool as I started reading the first talk last night, Drawing nearer to the Lord, by Gordon B Hinkley. It was interesting. As I read it, suddenly I realized in my head I could hear President Hinkley's voice as if he himself were giving the talk. Pretty cool that I could still remember his voice that vividly.

So I challenge you all to look back on some conference talks, I know you guys are busy but maybe set aside some time each Sunday to pick one talk to read each week or something. 

Oh also I thought i should let you know my pushups are paying off. Today we had a district arm wrestling contest and I went undefeated! haha it was tight 

Well anyways I love you all so much! Thanks for your support and prayers!!

Love, Elder Childers

Monday, October 17, 2016

Alex's gourmet brownies

Hello everyone!
Well not a whole lot happened this week but ill fill you in on some of the details.
So on Tuesday we had english classes again, my favorite part of the week always, anyways so 2 new women probably in their 20's came this week. They have been taking english classes once a week for 3 years at an academy so they knew how to speak pretty well they just wanted to learn pronunciation since their teacher here is Spanish so she can't teach them properly. Anyway, so we split up into two classes Elder Maldonado taught all the beginner english learners and I just practiced talking with the two women. It was awesome about 10 minutes into the conversation they started asking all kinds of questions about the church and missions. They were amazed by all the sacrifices we make to come on missions and they asked why I wanted to serve a mission. I was able to bear my testimony in english to them. The spirit was super strong and afterward one of them said "I want to believe in something that strongly". It was soo amazing today since we are in Cartagena for P-day I am getting some english pamphlets to go along with the spanish ones we have back at the piso so they can practice english and learn about the church at the same time! We'll see how it goes!! 

Wednesday was a holiday here in Spain so we had a party at the church and everyone brought food. I made brownies for it and everyone was freaking out over them and asking for the recipe. It was so funny, we have since made 6 more batches lol anyways it was hilarious because at the party they were dancing and playing the most inappropriate english music ever like rap songs that had tons of swear words and the bishop and all the ward members are just dancing because they have no idea what the words mean. haha It was hilarious I was the only one there who had any idea 😂

Okay what more, on Thursday we had a zone meeting. The meeting itself was great but we had to wake up two and a half hours earlier than usual to catch the bus to get to it so that kind of killed my energy for the rest of the week.

Church here is so different than back home, for example yesterday during sacrament meeting the bishop goes up to the stand and asks everyone to sing feliz cumpleaños (happy birthday) for the stake president. So in the middle of sacrament meeting we all stand up and sing while he videos us with his phone hahahaha it was so weird but funny. Everyone there didn't think anything of it. 😂 

Well nothing much more is happening here we have mostly been working really hard to help our recent convert Antonio stop smoking again, he is really struggling and keeps trying to come up with different excuses why he should be exempt from the word of wisdom haha 

Anyways so if y'all could pray for him that would be awesome!! 

Love you all sooooooooo much!!!! 
Elder Childers 😘

Sunday, October 16, 2016

More Mazarron pictures

Mazarron church, skyline, laundry room, missionary training group, city life, goodbye to hometown friend Elder Stephenson at the train station

First week in Mazarron

So wow this week has been crazy!! We left the CCM at 5 to go to the train station. At the station we split up from the Barcelona group, it was sad to say bye to Elder Stephenson. Having him at the CCM was like bringing a little piece of home with me. Anyway, so we rode the bullet train for a couple of hours to Malaga. When we arrived, president and the APs (assistants to the president) were waiting for us. We locked up our bags and left them in the station for the night. We all headed to the church
from there. I was surprised when it was just like a little thing on the first floor of an apartment building haha it was weird. So there we received our iPads had interviews with president then where assigned our trainers. Not going to lie when my trainer first walked in I was like uh oh because his hair was died and he was wearing a tuxedo vest with a pocket watch which are all against the mission
rules. Haha anyways he is from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala!!!!!!!!! How crazy is that haha the exact city Victoria just got called to haha when I found out I freaked out lol. So after we ate dinner we went to stay with some missionaries in Malaga for the night, their apartment was so disgusting I almost died haha I'm scared to get a messy companion lucky Elder Maldonado is pretty clean. So next morning take a 9 hour bus ride to Mazarron. Our area is a tiny little town. We are the only missionaries here and the next nearest ones are about 45 minutes away. Since almost everyone here works in the fields the city is like a ghost town during the day anyways because of the culture here in Spain our schedule is different than most missions. I wake up at 7:30, exercise shower and study until about 9 when my comp usually wakes up. (haha, like I said he struggles a little bit with the rules but we are working on it) Then we make breakfast do comp study, some language study and then we go out and usually visit some recent converts who own a store and contact anyone we see in the
street. We return to the piso at 2 and do studies/make lunch until 5, this is the medio dia/ siesta time where everyone here takes naps, after that we go visit recent converts members or investigators if any
are available. On Tuesdays and Thursday's we teach English
classes. Oh my gosh so funny story to tell haha, so on Thursday we were teaching an English class in the church. The church, by the way, is an old bar haha and we live on the second floor. There are only 20 members so it's not even considered a branch, it's
called an extension. Church is only 2 hours long. First Sunday
school/young women's then sacrament meeting. There are no young men and almost
all of them are from Central/ South America. Anyways back to the story, so we are teaching the English class and we were showing themhow say their birthdays so we looked up the word month in the dictionary and I started to read the example then about half way
through I realized what it was saying and I just burst out laughing! haha Here's what it said--   "No quiere ir a nadar porque está con el mes.  — She doesn't want to go swimming because she has her period."
😂😂😂😂 oh man it was so funny/embarrassing everyone started dying

Okay so I'll just tell you guys all the other random/weird stuff here. haha

First of all the water heater. The first day I woke up exercised then went to take a shower and it was freezing cold, I was like are you kidding me no hot water haha. Turns out there is a water heater but it
is seriously the sketchiest thing ever. There is a burner like a stove top burner thing outside where the water pipe comes into the piso so you hook a propane tank up to the burner then light it with a
match then the flame from the burner heats up the metal pipe the water
runs through so the water gets a little bit warm haha it's nuts! I expected Spain to be a lot nicer than it is. It reminds me of my time in Cambodia. There is trash everywhere and everything has spray paint on it.

The thing that's killing me the most is my germ phobia. It's so bad the first few days I got so sick just trying to eat the food I had to run to the bathroom ton of times, the kitchen and everything is so nasty
there is mold and dirt and stuff everywhere oh man it's bad. Please pray for me to be able to get over the germs. I didn't realize how bad I was until I start trying to live here. I thought we would at least have like hot water to wash the dishes and stuff with. Speaking of the water, it tastes so bad here, the missionaries call it Mal Agua instead of Malaga because the water is so gross haha. That's going to take a little to get used to.

Anyways yeah so today I got a haircut and the guy did it all with a straight up razor blade it was crazy haha we walk in I sit down and he like sprays some stuff on the blade lights it on fire to clean it then holds it against a comb and combs through my hair!! It was scary and crazy but it worked fine. It was an interesting experience but my hair looks fine so I'm happy. Afterward we hiked up to this Christ statue, it was weird because it was covered in spray paint, like everything else here. No one respects anything. It's weird.

Oh one more thing I can read emails any day of the week that we have wifi and two of the families in the extension have it so we usually go check most days, but I can only reply on personal days but yeah send them throughout the week if you want because I love to read them!!

My Spanish is coming along pretty well. I can understand most of what people are saying it's just hard to find the words to reply.

Anyway, thanks for all the emails and prayers!
I look forward to writing again next week!


Sunday, October 9, 2016

    We were so happy to welcome your amazing son into our wonderful mission last Tuesday. We can already tell that he is going to be a great missionary! Elder Childers will be serving in Mazarrón with Elder Maldonado. This is a beautiful area and we're sure he is going to come to love it and the people there.
    We love your son and will always want what is best for him. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you in regards to his welfare. Thanks you so much for sending him here to us.
Presidente and Hermana Andersen

Misión España Málaga 

Off to Mazarrón!

Alex completed his training at the Madrid Missionary Training Center and has left for the Malaga Spain Mission. The first area he will be serving in is the city of Mazarrón. This is a picture with the leaders at the missionary training center.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Wheels Up!

Hey guys!!

Wow, everything has been so crazy here this week. It’s unbelievable that I’ll be in the field in 4 days! I feel like its been forever sometimes, but others I feel like it's only been a week. I’m super stoked to get out into the field but also really really nervous! Please pray that I will get a good trainer!

Other than that nothing much new has happened here. I received both packages on Monday. My district thanks you for the beef jerkey, haha, I gave everyone a couple of pieces. My feet feel 1 million times better with the insoles. Thank you so much!!

Oh yeah, we figured out why the food has been so terrible. Apparently the head cook left on vacation a week before we got here and is returning one day before we leave. Like what in the world is this???? Hahaha, my luck. It’s whatever! I can’t wait to finally cook some of my own food!

We are all just super excited for general conference!! It’s weird here because of the time difference, we will watch the night session the next morning and it will all be off by a half a day.

Oh, one of our teachers is from the coolest city ever.  Look up Cuenca Spain. It’s known for its ¨hanging houses”. They are houses that they build off the side of cliffs. Man! Anyways, its super awesome--look it up.

We just went through the temple again today. Sadly, it was my last time for two years Pretty crazy. I love the temple here so much. It is so beautiful. I’m jealous of the Madrid missionaries--they get to go through every six months.

Thanks for all your letters and prayers.

Elder Alejandro Childers

Friday, September 23, 2016

Adios English

I don’t have much time to email today because our temple session started late. This past Sunday we decided no more english haha, it has been soooo rough…easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. For every English word you say in my district you have to conjugate a verb in
all the tenses on the whiteboard. So far I’ve only had to do that once. But it has definitely been the loneliest week of my life not being able to talk to anyone in english.

I've been mostly eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches but we have finally had a few good meals this week so thats great.

About my comp, Elder Knapp. He is from Kansas and his dad was their stake president and is in charge of most of the seminaries around the nation. He doesn't really talk very much because he is really shy. But I figured out that he really likes tea, so this week I started this thing where every night before bed we go up and make tea, study, talk, and write in our journals. It’s good because he finally has opened up a little. He didn't ever have any Mormon friends at his high school and never had a cell phone!  It’s crazy! But he is really cool and easygoing also amazing at Spanish and a great teacher!  

I tried to look at the blog but the website is blocked. Today for p-day we went to the Spanish naval museum it was actually sooo cool. There was tons of really old stuff.  I took a lot of pictures. They even had Christopher Columbus’  journal and amazing huge models of ships. The
swords were my favorite part… its amazing how much work and detail they were able to put into them with the technology back then!  

 Oh yeah, this week we were playing soccer and I kicked the ball really hard. It went flying out of the court and nailed a car. The driver slammed on his brakes jumped out and yelled ¿qué paso? It was hilarious. He didn’t really get mad though. He drove off before I even got to the road to
get the ball. (btw quo paso means what happened!) I also broke my thumb toe this week playing soccer. I went to kick the ball and me and one of the sisters, Sister Hazard who is amazing at soccer, kicked each others feet. It hurt so bad! My toe swelled up really big and now makes popping noises when I walk. Hopefully it will heal up soon!

I had an Italian comp in the park this week but we didn't have much success. People are really rude here to missionaries, before we even start talking they just look away and wave the
famous Spanish finger at us… but it’s alright. We met one Spanish girl who was an exchange student last year in Utah and gave her a Book of Mormon. Anyways sorry this letter is all over the place. I'm trying to type really fast and gather my thoughts. I love you all can’t wait to

hear from you next week!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hola amigos

I don't have a lot to talk about this week but things are going great here. It finally cooled down the past few days here and rained for the first time. My Spanish is coming along pretty well. It's really weird speaking with the theta. haha! We decided that this is the MTC where they not only teach you to speak Spanish, but they teach you how to do it with a speech impediment. It's so funny to hear everyone talk here because it just sounds like we all have really bad lisps. 
Anyway I committed my whole district, well the Elders at least, to join me in doing the 100 push up challenge morning and night. So we are all going to be ripped by the time we get home. Hopefully.... 

 The coolest experience this week was in the park on Saturday. My comp and I found a refugee family in the middle of the park surrounded by their suitcases. They had just arrived in Spain and they thought it was so awesome that we believe in eternal families. They took a Book of Mormon in english and in spanish along with all the different pamphlets we had. It was awesome! When we shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and eternal families, the mom started to cry. We could feel the spirit so strongly testifying to them that the things we had said were true. It was such an amazing experience!

Second best part of the week was Tuesday. The Portuguese and Russian elders left and since they had to leave so early in the morning we got to go to bed an hour earlier than usual the night before! It was awesome! haha Not much sleeping usually happens around here.

Today we went to the Prado for Pday (personal day). It was freakin awesome the paintings there are amazing!! Plus now i can say that I've seen a 150 million dollar painting in person, pretty cool huh ;)

 After the prado we got to go through the temple in Spanish for the first time. It was crazy confusing but the spirit was the same. I love the temple. It is such an amazing place

Anyway, I love you all! Thank you for all of your letters
Cant wait to hear from you again next week!

Love, Elder Childers

Saturday, September 10, 2016

HP bringing friends together!

First, I want to apologize, there is no way I will have time to read and respond to all the emails this week because it seriously takes forever to type on this iPad and we only have an hour. Thank you all for your emails it made me so happy to open my account and see all of them! I love you guys!!  

So super crazy story, last P-day right after I emailed we went on our P-day excursion to downtown Madrid where there are tons of shops and a giant mall. We were looking in a technology store trying to find a Bluetooth keyboard for my comp when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something weird so I turned around and looked closer and guess what?? Connor and Ella Van Alfen right there in that store in the heart of Madrid. On a box!! Yep I was freaking out. No one would believe me until I showed them the pictures (which I attached in the email).  Yeah, I could not believe it! So of course I had to get a picture with it. So we got a bunch of weird looks as I posed with a printer box in the middle of the mall, haha, it was great. 

Still just doing the same stuff here: basically sleep, breakfast, classes, lunch, classes, exercise, dinner, class, role play lesson,  repeat.  I can't wait to get out in the field.

It's been crazy this week because we play sports at 4 pm which is pretty much the hottest part of the day and it has been like 103-105 all week! 

Today for P-day we rented a turf field and played soccer for two hours. It was really fun and hot. The people here are so good at soccer it's nuts. One of the other missionaries here from Brazil is actually a professional and played with Neymar before coming on the mish!

Okay so here's a cool story this week when we went to the park. I was paired up with Elder Fowler and it was so awesome. At first we were really nervous to talk to people because we aren't that great at Spanish yet. But after talking to a few people along the path we saw a girl sitting on a bench getting ready to read a book, so we decided to hurry over and try to talk to her before she started. We walked up and introduced ourselves as missionaries in Spanish and she gave us a funky look and said, "Sorry I don't speak Spanish." My comp excitingly said,  "us either!!!" Haha, it was super funny!  She invited us to sit with her and we shared our message about the Book of Mormon. She told us she had seen the play, and right as she said it Elder Fowler remembered a saying his brother had used on his mission when the play first came out. He said, "Well I've heard that the book is always better than the play" and handed her the book. It was so perfect. We talked with her and she decided she wanted to have lessons from the missionaries in London when she returned home later that week. So she wrote down her information for us to give to them. About an hour later we passed by the area where she was sitting and saw that she was still reading the Book of Mormon! It was so awesome to finally have someone be truly interested in our message. 

Anyways I love you all I look forward to writing you next week!