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