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 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 

Oct 30 - Mormons and Maserati’s

Well its been a pretty solid week.
Highlight, well we found a new investigator who is really awesome he is the son of a less active lady in the ward. This week we were able to teach him twice and he came to a family night with us which was fun. His name is Jose Antonio but he goes by Nono. 19 years old and a really good kid. He and his mom both came to church yesterday which was amazing! Oh yeah so church was super interesting. First of all a guy came to drop his wife off at the church. So we are standing in the enternece welcoming people when we smell smoke strongly haha. The guy was standing right in the doorway where everyone enters just smokin a cigar. So the bishop made us go out there and tell him he couldn’t.. it was awkward haha. Then second hour we show up to the gospel principles class and the teacher never shows up so we have 2 investigators in there and a couple of less active members who came and no teacher. So we start flipping through the manual trying to find a good lesson to teach when a member of the bishopric came in and saved the day. His name is Andres, from Chile. He taught an amazing class just on the fly it was awesome. 

Anyways what else.. well Saturday morning we played soccer with the ward. It was way fun and for some reason I was just on my game that day. Somehow I ended up scoring 4 out of the 6 goals hahaha. So now everyone thinks im really good when it was mostly just a lucky day lol. It was fun though and they said now we will get invited back since we set a good first impression hah. Afterwards Juan invited us to breakfast and took us in his Maserati. Man that thing is powerful. It has a 450 horsepower Ferrari engine in it so he literally just taps on the gas pedal and it feels like you are lifting off. Reminded me of flying, it was fun. This guy Juan has basically the entire Book of Mormon memorized like you can open the book read any scripture and he can tell you what chapter its in. So I’ve started to do it myself. So far I have 1st and 2nd Nephi memorized so I know what happens in each chapter. I’m doing it with image mapping in my mind. Its pretty fun my companion quizzes me every night. Its already proved to be really useful so far. We get talking on a subject in the street with someone and I can just open right up to a scripture that explains it pretty cool. 

Yeah so thats basically it. The week was good. We visited and taught tons of members so I have gotten to know them all pretty well and we have some good references coming in. 

This week is going to be absolutely insane. First off tomorrow morning we leave here early at 5:30 to catch a train to Sevilla for a zone meeting with a member of the 70, Elder Bennasar. Then after that we get back and are here for Wednesday which will be our weekly planning for all the morning. Thursday we will travel again to a mission council meeting in Jerez, immediately followed by a trip to Málaga to go pick up my new ID card for residency. Which will be crazy because I have to take a train to Sevilla where I will stay the night then catch another early morning 6:00train down to Málaga. Then that afternoon back up to Sevilla then back down here to Cádiz. That’ll be a long day. So basically I will only be here for Wednesday afternoon and Saturday. Then my comp will be in San Fernando while I’m traveling all over the place.
 So yeah next week you can expect to hear some crazy traveling story, cause something always happens :) It’ll be fun though. 
Hope you all enjoy the photos and have a good week! 
Love ya! 

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Oct 23 - Welcome to Cádiz

Bienvenido a Cádiz! said Antonio, (the second counselor) over the phone Saturday night, followed by, hey..... could you give a talk in church tomorrow..? Haha yeah so I got to introduce myself and give a talk on my first day! Thank goodness I’m a missionary and can wing these kinda things :) turned out really good though, everyone always seems enjoy my analogies about flying haha. 

Well it sure is beautiful here. We are basically on an island so there is water on all sides. Since the hermana area is closed right now we have the entire place to ourselves. We also have a little place on the other side of the bay called Puerto Real its pretty neat too. 
I arrived with not much trouble, besides 3 of the wheels breaking on my suitcases, thanks cobblestone roads. They clearly didn’t have missionary travel in mind when they designed the streets in this place! In Sevilla they are the worst and with the amount of tourists they have there I thought it was crazy. But I guess regular tourists don’t normally walk the 2 miles from the bus station to the train station so it’s not that big a deal. Yeah anyways my travel was a bus from Badajoz to Sevilla then a train from Sevilla to San Fernando then a Cercanías from there to here. Luckily the Cercanías station is right next to our piso here so I didn’t have to drag the bags much further. Got here at about 10 pm unpacked a few things and hit the hay. 
The past few days have been pretty good, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the members which has been cool. There are some really awesome families here. There’s also this guy in our ward named Juan who owns like 4 jewelry stores and a few piso buildings. So he’s pretty loaded haha he drives a Mazeratti and just bought a new wake boat that he was trying to get us to go out on. I was pretty tempted by the offer haha but withstood :) 
Oh yeah another crazy thing that happened, my first day here we went to visit with a kid that they had played soccer with earlier this week. He had given them his address and told them they could pass by so we did. When we knocked on the door his mom answered and was super mad that we knew where he lived. I explained that we just play soccer with him but she just kept yelling about how he was still a minor and she gets to choose his friends and she didn’t want people like us being them... so we said alright well we will leave. As we are waiting for the elevator the door suddenly flies open again and the dad comes out in fighting stance with his fists up. He was this short dude who didn’t look very threatening so I kinda smirked just like dude what are you doing we are leaving! Well he didn’t think my smile was funny haha he’s like “You laughin at me kid!? I’m just like no am I not allowed to be happy haha and told him to chill that we were leaving. So he just starts yelling saying never come around here again. I don’t want to see you anywhere near this building you understand me? Yeah so finally the elevator arrived and we got out of there, it was a fun little experience though. I just don’t understand some people.. 
Well yeah that basically sums it up. My new comp is Elder Zapata and I’m greenie breaking him but there’s not a whole lot of breaking to do cause he’s already a beast missionary. He already understands spanish perfectly cause his Dad is from Mexico and his Mom served a mission in Ecuador. So they would speak spanish together whenever they didn’t want the kids to know what they were talking about. Over time though the kids started to understand. 
So yep we’re just hangin out here I took a bunch of pictures today. Its a pretty touristy place. My first afternoon here there were 3 cruise ships in the port. We have also heard a ton of different languages being spoken around us. The coast is super pretty and the beaches looks awesome but we are supposed to avoid the main ones as much as possible cause ya know swimsuits are just too restrictive for the spanish culture, they prefer to let it all hang out.. yikes.

Well that’s about it. Hasta la próxima!
Have a great week, as always I send my love :)

- Elder Childers 

Intercambios, Interviews y Invierno

Hey guys! 
Well its been a good week. First off we had interviews with President Tuesday which was good. During mine President asked how the family was doing so I was telling him about how Mom and Dad got to be tour guides for the new temple and all. Then I told him how Zach was super happy to have shot a big elk. He got so excited and started bringing up all sorts of hunting stuff then paused and was like “Alright we’ve got to change the subject, you’re making me trunky Elder Childers” hahaha it was pretty funny. After our interview we taught Sister Andersen the Plan of Salvation and it went really well. Sometimes she travels around with him and just does little practice lessons with us then gives us advice on how we can improve. It was good that we got to teach lesson 2 this time cause it prepared us perfectly for our lesson we had last night with Jose Antonio. Oh and that lesson went soooo well it was great. His mom is a little bit less active but has been coming a little more since we started teaching him. Anyways normally when we go over there she stays in the other room while we talk in the kitchen or his bedroom. Yesterday we were about halfway through when she came in and asked if she could join. We were like “Claro que si!” And she ended up helping us out perfectly! She shared this really awesome experience and talked about how she had tried to quit smoking on her own for 30 years without success when finally one day she decided to pray with true intent for help.. The addictive feelings were lifted from her. She said the only way she could describe it was as if she had just forgotten completely that she was even a smoker. Suddenly she realized that it had been over a month since her last cigarette and she knelt down and thanked her Heavenly Father for what he had done to help her. 

The rest of the week was pretty good too. We had exchanges with the Elders in Jerez which was good. Saw some miracles there. I was working with Elder Quispe and our cita failed us so we were just out talking with people. We stopped this guy walking his dog named Daniel (he said “yeah I’m Daniel, like the prophet who got thrown in with the lions but they didn’t eat him, that guy.”) yep exactly right haha. This man liked to talk haha he ended up following us around for like the next hour and talking to people on the street with us. At the end were talking to this Guatemalan lady and her daughter and he cuts into the conversation and says. “I just love these ministers they are really nice guys, you really should listen to them.” Haha it was pretty awesome 👏🏽 good dude. 

Yeah well thats basically all, its starting to cool down here quite a bit. Its crazy cause it went to like really hot sweating all day to freezing bundling up in a period of 3 days. All the cockroaches are coming indoors now 🙃 Oh yeah and last night we were walking back home along the bay and saw a nocturn fishing competition which was kinda cool. 

Anyways thats about it, love ya’ll! 🤙🏼

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oct 16 2017 - Me voy a Cádiz


We got the transfer calls yesterday and I’m going to Cádiz! Its a little island well sort of its connected by a bridge but yeah its off the southern coast. It should be pretty cool. Rumor has is that as one of the signs of the second coming it will be sunk into the ocean.... still searching for the evidence so I’ll let ya’ll know when I find it haha. Anyways pray that it doesn’t happen for at least the next 6 months just to be safe :) 

Well I guess I’ll just tell ya’ll about this week. Nothing super exciting.. but here ya go. So for district meeting this week my companion and I gave a workshop as a companionship. It was pretty fun. We taught about how training has helped to lay a foundation for his mission and strengthen the foundations of mine. Focused on how training more than just the first 2 transfers, rather its the whole entire mission. There is always something you can work at. If you do it right the mission can be your training ground for the rest of your life. Throughout the mission I’ve been writing down quotes I like from all over. Some from conference talks, some from emails from family and friends emails (thanks mom 😘), companions, etc. Anyways the workshops are always a great place to share them.. so I’ll include the ones I shared here so you can all enjoy them :) 

“No matter if a tree grows to more than 1000 feet in height, each leaf, each day, must return to its roots for nourishment.” 

“Someone has said that courage is not the absence of fear but the mastery of it. At times, courage is needed to rise from failure, to strive again.” 

“You make mistakes, mistakes don’t make you.”

Well hope ya’ll enjoy those..

Other than that some cool things that happened this week.. 
we got to go out to Cerro Gordo and eat at Edisons house. They are the owners of Perrisabor the hot dog shop. Edison is the only active member in his family. His wife made us this really good plate of Columbian/ Mexican food. It was way good! Afterward we got to share a really great little message and she wanted to practice english with us for 10 minutes so we did that. It was really good. 
Later on in the week Elder Nye came back to visit with his family. It was weird seeing him since he’s only been gone for 5 week.. it was cool though Lourdes made us a really good meal and we got to meet his parents. 

We also went out super far to the edge of our area trying to search out some less active members and ended up getting lost haha. So to get back into the city we had to hike up this super steep hill of loose dirt to the castle wall where we walked along for a ways before finding a gate where we could finally enter haha. It turned into a fun little adventure and we were still able to arrive to our cita just in time. 

Yesterday Elder Cobbley gave his first talk in church. He did a really good job. His talk was happiness and he shared a really good personal story about how he was able to find comfort in the scriptures when his best friend passed away this past spring. 
(Pictures below)

Here it is for all you spanish speakers. 
Hola hermanas y hermanos. Hoy yo quiero hablar sobre el gran plan de felicidad que Dios nos dio. El nos da las enseñanzas del Evangelio, los madamientos, las ordenanzas del sacerdocio, las relaciones familiares, los profetas, los templos, y la oportunidad de experimentar la adversidad. Hoy yo quiero enfocar en la ultima frase- la oportunidad de experimentar la adversidad. 

Ruego la ayuda del espíritu Santo que me ayude a explicar este tema. 

Todo de la gente que vivieron o viviran pasan por pruebas y desafios. Eso es un parte de vida. Eso incluyo el perdido de familia, problemas para encontrar trabajo, culpa con los acciones pasado, o muchas otras luchas en este vida. Presidente Henry B. Eyering dijo, "Muchos de ustedes están pasando por pruebas físicas, mentales y emocionales que podrían hacerlos exclamar “Cuando toda mi vida he tratado de ser bueno, ¿por qué me ha sucedido esto a mí?”. 

Voy a tratar a explicar ese gran pregunta mediante un pequeño parte en mi vida. Para un gran parte de mi vida no tenìa pruebas muy dificiles. Es verdad que tenia problemas y estres con escuela o trabajo pero nada con gran transcendencia. Todo de eso cambio este año. 

Algunos de Ustedes han eschudado esta historia antes pero yo quiero compartir con un poco mas detalle. Tuve un amigo que no fue un miembro de la iglesia pero el tuve alto normas y fue mas como un hermano a mi. Su nombre es Joey. Durante este ano pasado estuve asistiendo la universidad pero yo volvi durante navidad. Jose y yo hablamos mucho durante este tiempo sobre la vida y nuestros futuros. Eventualamente yo tuve que regrasar a la unviersidad y dije adios a mis amigos y Joey. Estuve muy seguro que yo iba ver ellos cuando la universidad termino en cuatro meses. 

Sin embargo, la salud de mi amigo empezo a peorar. En dos semenas mi amigo quien participo en deportes y nunca toco cosas malas en su cuerpo tuvo muchas problemas con su higado. El necesitaba un trasplante pero despues de mas examinaciones medicales los doctores descubieron que Él tuvo cancer. Todovìa los medicos tuvieron mucha esperanza para mi amigo. Me sentì muy solo porque yo fui tres mil kilometros lejos de El. Yo recuerdo un noche casi perfectamente en que yo no pude dormir porque yo tuve un montan de preocupaciones. Fue en este momento que yo senti un sentimiento a leer mis escrituras. Entonces yo abri mi libro de mormon a una pagina al azar. La escritura fue en Alma 14. En este capitulo Alma y Amulek estuve enseñando la gente en Ammoniah porque el pueblo alli fueron malos. 

En versiculo 1 y 2 dice  
1 Y sucedió que después que Alma concluyó de hablar a los del pueblo, muchos de ellos creyeron en sus palabras, y empezaron a arrepentirse y a escudriñar las Escrituras.
2 Pero la mayor parte de ellos deseaban destruir a Alma y a Amulek, porque estaban irritados con Alma a causa de la claridad de sus palabras a Zeezrom; y también decían que Amulek les había mentido, y había vituperado su ley, y también a sus abogados y jueces.

Y versiculo 8 dice, Y juntaron a sus esposas e hijos, y mandaron echar al fuego a todo aquel que creía, o al que se le había enseñado a creer en la palabra de Dios; y también trajeron sus anales, que contenían las Santas Escrituras, y los arrojaron también al fuego para ser quemados y destruidos por fuego.

A mi ese es muy dificl a imaginar. Luego, Alma y Amulek fueron hechados al cárcel donde no les dieron comida ni agua y les golpearon diariamente. Durante todo de eso Alma y Amulek sigieron teniendo fe en que Dios estaba en control y que El tuvo un plan. Los ultimos versiculos dicen, 

26 Y Alma clamó, diciendo: ¿Cuánto tiempo, oh Señor, sufriremos estas grandes aflicciones? ¡Oh Señor!, fortalécenos según nuestra fe que está en Cristo hasta tener el poder para librarnos. Y rompieron las cuerdas con las que estaban atados; y cuando los del pueblo vieron esto, empezaron a huir, porque el temor a la destrucción cayó sobre ellos.
27 Y aconteció que su temor fue tan grande que cayeron al suelo y no llegaron a la puerta que conducía fuera de la prisión; y la tierra se estremeció fuertemente, y los muros de la cárcel se partieron en dos y cayeron al suelo; y al caer mataron al juez superior y a los abogados y sacerdotes y maestros que habían golpeado a Alma y a Amulek.
28 Y Alma y Amulek salieron de la prisión, y no sufrieron daño, porque el Señor les había concedido poder según su fe que estaba en Cristo. Y salieron luego de la cárcel; y fueron soltados de sus ligaduras; y la prisión había caído a tierra, y todos los que estaban dentro de sus paredes murieron, menos Alma y Amulek; y estos se dirigieron luego a la ciudad.

Después de haber leído estas escrituras yo senti paz y consuelo que no puedo describir. Yo estaba preparado por cualquier cosa porque yo sabia que Dios estaba en control. La proxima dia a las siete en la mañana mi padre me llamo con la noticia que mi amigo habia fallecio durante la noche. 

Las proximas semenas despues pasaron muy rapido con la visitacion y funeral de mi amigo. Estuve triste y tuve pesar que yo no habia compartido el evangelio con El antes de su muerte. Fue muy dificil a ver las caras de sus padres y su un hermano. Fue en este momento que yo recorde los sentimientos de paz y consuelo. Ahora soy feliz porque yo sè el gran plan que nuestro Padre Celestial tiene para nosotros. Y con ese plan no necesitamos a ser triste. Ahora mi padre está enseñando los padres de mi amigo poco a un poco y espero que ellos aceptan sus palabras y participan en este increíble plan de felicidad. 

Nada de eso es posible sin el gran sacrificio de Jesucristo y Su Expiación. Élder Bednar dijo, "No hay dolor físico, no hay herida espiritual, no hay angustia de alma, pena, enfermedad ni debilidad que ustedes y yo afrontemos en la vida terrenal que el Salvador no haya experimentado primero. En un momento de debilidad quizá clamemos: “Nadie sabe lo que se siente; nadie entiende”. Pero el Hijo de Dios sabe y entiende perfectamente, ya que Él ha sentido y llevado las cargas de cada uno; y gracias a Su infinito y eterno sacrificio (véase Alma 34:14), tiene perfecta empatía y nos puede extender Su brazo de misericordia. Él puede tendernos la mano, conmovernos, socorrernos, sanarnos y fortalecernos para ser más de lo que podríamos ser y hacer lo que no podríamos si nos valiésemos únicamente de nuestro propio poder. En efecto, Su yugo es fácil y ligera Su carga."

Hermanos y hermanos si confiamos en Jesucristo y el gran plan de felicidad no hay nada que no podemos superar. 

Un otra vez presidente Eyring dijo, Si tenemos fe en Jesucristo, los tiempos más difíciles de la vida, así como los más fáciles, pueden ser una bendición. En todas las situaciones, podemos elegir lo justo con la guía del Espíritu. Tenemos el evangelio de Jesucristo para dar forma y guía a nuestra vida si así lo decidimos. Y con los profetas que nos revelan nuestro lugar en el plan de salvación podemos vivir con perfecta esperanza y con un sentimiento de paz. Nunca tenemos que sentir que estamos solos ni que no se nos ama cuando estamos al servicio del Señor, porque nunca es así. Podemos sentir el amor de Dios. El Salvador ha prometido ángeles a nuestra diestra y a nuestra siniestra para sostenernos. Él siempre cumple Su palabra.

Yo quiero testificar que el plan de felicidad esta aquí para nosotros. Mediante este evangelio podemos superar las pruebas de la vida. Las escrituras nos dan consuelo y dirección. Presidente Thomas S. Monson es el profeta en la tierra hoy. Digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén

Well thats pretty much it. We had a really good broadcast by Elder Holland from Germany for the Europe Area. The transmission was cutting out for like 75% of the time so that was really annoying but the few little snippets we got to hear were really good! 

Well hasta la proxima, desde Cádiz!

Love ya’ll 💙💙 

Monday, October 9, 2017

¡Viva España! 🇪🇸🇪🇸

Hey everyone, well it was a kind of crazy week. 

We did two sets of intercambios one here in Badajoz and one up in Cáceres. They both turned out pretty well and I got to spend some time with Elder Mamani which was super awesome. He's one of the best missionaries I have ever met. He has such a great desire to share the gospel and is a great leader teaching by example. 
All of the citas for the day failed so we ended up just going out and contacting. We were out for the whole afternoon, contacted over 50 people and only were able to get one future. It was rough. We learned some good things from the intercambio though. Contacting is not a good finding method for the area and we are going to talk to president about getting the areas reorganized because the way they are set up here in Badajoz is very inefficient. 
Watching General Conference

The intercambios up in Cáceres also were good. Our time was a bit short since we bussed up there arriving at 6 then had to leave at 2 but we made the best of the time we had. The first afternoon I worked with Elder Wilson. We taught an awesome English class up there. A group of 8 college students came and three of them spoke perfect English so I just got to talk with them for a while. It was pretty fun hearing all their stories. They are all here on scholarships from the government studying for their masters. One was from Columbia, one from Argentina and the other from Senegal. 
When the Elders from Sevilla bring you Mac and Cheese from Costco!
At first they were worried that we were going to like force religion on them but we assured them that it was just a free service we offer and that if they had questions they could ask but we wouldn't force it at all. As always about halfway through the questions started coming haha. So basically I ended up teaching the restoration and sharing my testimony. The next morning I worked with Elder Rich and we had a crazy miracle happen. So a guy had called and said he wanted to meet with us. He said"Elders" so we just assumed he was like a member or something but didn't really know. When we showed up to the church he was waiting outside. So when we sat down we kind of just asked him like what we could help him with. He goes "well I met with the missionaries about 20 years ago and I want to be baptized now, so what are the requisites for that, I'll do whatever you need me to." I had to put my hand on my chin to keep my jaw from dropping haha. We're just like, well yeah we can do that for you... and explained the process. We prayed together and set a baptismal date for November 4th. 
The other crazy thing that happened yesterday, President Silva got released. So that was super sad but I mean it was time he's been the branch president for almost 9 years straight now! So now Daniel is the new branch president. He'll be good too he's a really young guy, just turned 27. 
Last of all I don't know how big of news this is over there but its crazy here. So Catalonia, Valencia, and País Basco are all trying to declare independence from Spain right now. So recently everyone has been hanging Spanish flags on their balconies there has been tons of Spanish pride parades and lots of military demonstrations. Its pretty cool cause they've been doing these flybys with the fighter jets like every day super low and fast over the city.   

Well thats about it for the week. Love ya'll have a great day :) 

-Elder Childers 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Oct 2, 2017 Mes de Miedo

Well we made it to October, and another good week.
Started off on tuesday we had Elder Cobbleys birthday so we got some food and ice cream at the Irish Pub right under our piso. Its become a little birthday tradition here in badajoz haha. 

We finally got another cita set up with Godwin the nigerian guy we had been teaching and I talked to him that morning to confirm it but when we showed up he wasn't home again. We are probably going to have to drop him because he lives so far away and we lose a lot of time walking all the way out there when he always fails our appointments. 

On thursday we went to Sevilla again. Yeah I know always seems like we are going there haha almost every week. Anyways we had interviews with president which was good. He just asked what we learned from the Holland Conference and recommended I start studying the New Testament alongside the Book of Mormon. So now I am splitting my personal study time up studying both with the institute manuals which provide some really great insights. 

After interviews we hadn't had lunch yet and Elder Van Moose has a bus card with a miraculous amount of money on it, and there's a Costco in Seville...🤔...😮...😎. We bussed ourselves on over to that little slice of America in bulk, stormed right up to that food counter, and I ordered myself a chicken basket (Yeah. They have a chicken basket.), and that old familiar Kirtland Signature Brand slice of pizza refillable soft drink included--all costing me about 5€ in a country where 5€ at a restaurant will normally get you a non-refillable, 250 ml bottle of juice and a piece of toast. Gosh I love my country! Probs the most satisfying lunch I've bought here."

Friday was pretty interesting. We decided to leave all of our valuables in piso and go to the kind of sketchy poorer part of our area. It was pretty crazy. We thought that the people would be a little bit more humble and nicer but it was pretty much the same. We also saw some crazy stuff. One thing that was weird was we saw one of those metal x things that they tie horses to and make them walk in circles to exercise them or something. Anyways we saw one of those but with greyhound dogs tied to it and a gypsy man out there cracking a whip to make them go around. I guess thats one way to walk your dogs.....

Last of all General Conference was really good. We had a cool but also disappointing thing happen. A random couple came walking in during it and sat down by us. The guy leaned over and asked if it was the Evangelical church so I explained it wasn't but that it was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I told them they were welcome to stay and watch so they did. It was really awesome because he looked at his wife and said "Phones". They both turned off their phones and watched really attentively. This is the disappointing part. All of the members there were super irreverent and not a single one even said hello to them! They kept taking calls, texting or doing other stuff on their phones. Then on top of that, these visitors were sitting right by the door and multiple people came in looked at them for a second then just walked over and found a seat. I was feeling so frustrated. They ended up leaving about two talks before the end so I chased them out onto the street and tried to give them a Book of Mormon but the guy refused. He said a lot of the conference was good but he just has some contrasting beliefs. I tried my best to at least get their contact info but he just wasn't having it.. 
I was so disappointed about how the members had acted but it was good because I promised myself that I will always be attentive to reach out to visitors at church and not allow technology to be a distraction in church meetings. 

Hope you all enjoyed conference, have a great week! 
Elder Childers

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sept 25, 2017 Residency


Well this week was really weird because I was gone for like half of it
but here's the main points.

So Tuesday morning we had zone meeting in Sevilla which was really
good except for having to leave piso at 5 to get there on time. It was
really long cause all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders
each gave their own separate workshops. Which were all really good
just took quite a while haha. Afterwards was good though, we got a
little taste of America with Costco pizzas!!

So after the conference I had to hurry on over to the train station to
catch my train to Malaga which I jumped on with like 30 seconds to
spare! Basically as soon as I sat down I was out so I got a nice
little nap for about half the trip. When I got there we still had
about an hour of pros time so we just went out and contacted people in
the city. We met a pretty cool guy who took the Book of Mormon and is
going to meet with them this week. Residency was good all I did was go
sit down in a chair sign one paper scan my left and right pointer
finger then give them a passport picture. Kinda funny we have to make
14 hours of bus trips for that.

The bus ride back was kinda crazy. There were three guys in the back
that were smoking the whole way which was really annoying. Its
technically not allowed but since 95% of the population smokes no one
besides me really cared haha. I did sit next to this girl who was
originally from Korea but had been studying in England for the past 5
years so she spoke pretty good english. It was pretty cool she has
seen missionaries on her campus but hasn't talked to them before so
she promised me next time she sees them she will say hi.
Today there is a national police exhibition thing going on so we got
to go see that. It was pretty cool, got to talk to a police helicopter
pilot and see an Audi R8.

Nothing much else going on, tomorrow is my comps birthday so we are
excited for that haha gonna go get some more ice cream.
Well yeah excited for general conference too!
Have a great week love ya'll!

- Elder Childers

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sept 18, 2017 Elder Holland visits - wonderful

Hello everyone,

Well this past Saturday was the coolest thing ever so I'm just gonna tell y'all about it.
So saturday morning we caught the bus down from sevilla to malaga. The mission just chartered a whole bus for all the missionaries in our zone so that was pretty cool. Anyways yeah so the bus left from Sevilla at like 8ish. We finally arrived in Malaga at about 10:45 where about half the missionaries had already arrived and they were in the courtyard of the chapel arranging everyone to take the big mission picture. We got lined up and were getting ready to take the picture when Elder Hollands car pulled up. Still one of the busses, the one with the missionaries from Cartagena hadn't showed up but we took the picture of us with him anyways. Afterwards we all filed out in rows and one by one were able to shake his hand as he asked us our names and where we were from. We moved through the line of handshakes, his followed by the Europe area president and his wife then President and Hermana Andersen. It was funny because the area president is like a big deal but right after shaking an apostles hand everyone was just in so much shock that we kinda forgot how cool it was that we were meeting the area president too haha. 

So then the conference started, I will just share some of the quotes I wrote down and elaborate on them. 

First off Sister Johnson spoke. She is the wife of the Area president. Her talk was very short and was basically just her testimony, which was very powerful. She spoke alot on the book of mormon and the power that it has. She also spoke of her love for the hymns, especially in spanish because they served as district presidents in Chile some time ago. My favorite quote that she had though was "What greater mission rule is there than love?" It made me think on the scripture in the bible where the lawyer asks Christ- "Which is the greater commandment in the law?" Then Christ replies "Love God with all thy heart soul and mind" then continues- "The second is like unto it, love thy neighbor as thyself." What greater rule is there to live by!?

Second Elder Johnson spoke. First of all he had the microphone passed around and asked everyone what characteristics of good leadership we saw in the Andersens. There were many replies but the majority were based on their love for us and dedication to their calling. Then he had us all turn to 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 we read from verse 3 to verse 13 stopping and examining each verse. 


3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

 So I underlined some of the main parts he mentioned but basically he said it describes our work as missionaries today in a perfect form. How we have been trusted with the gospel and are humbly sacrificing this part of our lives to help others to receive the truth, the word of God. How we go about with love, comforting and charging everyone we meet with the invitation to ask God for themselves because we know that he will answer them if they ask with real intent. 

Elder Holland

"So you all know the song Tengo Gozo right?" 
"Pues yo tengo gozo en mi alma hoy." 
(Translation for those of you who don't speak spanish, tengo gozo means- I'm joyful. In english the hymn is Sunshine in my soul but the spanish translation means- I have joy in my soul today.)
"Well I do know some spanish but its not very good"
"Here lets see, La Hermana Andersen es muy linda. Presidente Andersen es muy inteligente". 
(Sister Andersen is very beautiful, President Andersen is very intelligent.) 
He went off with a few other things but I didn't get them all written down haha but it was super funny cause he was saying them in the most gringo accent but purposefully haha everyone was dying laughing. 
Alright so here's some of the next quotes

"People join the church from what they feel"

"They CAN learn without feeling but CANNOT feel without learning" 

"I pray every night for the return of the Savior- for my sake, yours, our children's and grandchildren's" 

"We know that one of the prerequisites for the second coming of Christ is the spread of the gospel to all nations. I'm not sure if that is literally every nation or if there is a certain limit of how many people we have reached or how many countries. I do not know the quota but that is the main prerequisites." 

"I shake your hands to interview you. I don't know if any of you know this but back in the day a member of the 12 would interview every missionary every year. We no longer are able to do that with the vast number of you. However we are given that gift to be able to interview you as we shake your hand and most of us choose to do so. So when I shook your hand you may have noticed I looked you right in the eyes for anywhere between 5-10 seconds and peered into your soul for that moment. I didn't really care what your name was or where you were from that much because by the time I'm three people down the line I have already forgotten it. I just some excuse to hold your hand and look into your eyes for those few seconds." 

"Now I didn't sense any real problems in this mission, just some minor things like overwhelming homesickness and some slight depression, but nothing too serious or unfixable. If you weren't such a wonderful group of missionaries this would not be a pleasant meeting. I am famous for going CRAZY, pulpit tipped over, lights knocked out etc. Absolutely Bonkers!" 

"I don't know if you realize this but you are Apostolic"
"You have the same commission as I do, 24 hours a day 7 days a week you are engaged in the most important work in the universe."
"Do not miss this one chance. Leave it all on the field."

When he was in college at Yale a champion swimmer came to swim for their high ranking team. He said that when the kid arrived they had a little interview type thing that Elder Holland was able to slip into the back of the room to see. The interviewer asked him a cheesy interviewer question like, "So what does it take to become a champion swimmer?"  The kid replied with a phrase that has stuck with Elder Holland throughout his life. 
"You've got to kick when you don't wanna kick and stroke when you don't wanna stroke."

"You've got to be what a missionary is supposed to be, even when the going gets tough." 

"LOOK, (bang) THIS IS REAL LIFE" - (the bang was from his hand smacking the pulpit.)

"I never would have ever used to talk to missionaries about going home. I was afraid it would make them trunky or something. Now this is my message to you. Think about going home, what are you going to tell your future spouse and children, what stories are you going to tell your kids when you cuddle up on the couch with them?" 
"You need to live your mission in anticipation of being home." 
"Think about your younger siblings, the younger children in your ward. You need to be the example for them. They have no idea what you are doing right now they think you are somewhere over Spain with an S on your chest and a cape. (Put his arms out like wings and swayed back in forth like he was flying) - in deep voice- "I see evil, I will go down." Haha 

Then he had a whiteboard brought in and asked someone to give a summary of 1 nephi 1 without looking. He continued on through the first few chapters of the Nephi like that as he wrote words on the board. He wrote them in spanish but I'll just write them in english for your sakes :) 

600 B.C. 

"What does this look like to you guys?"
Someone in the audience. "I think Joseph Smith"
"Of course its Joseph Smith! And every other prophet there ever was! 

1 Nephi chapter 2 


"Turn to 1 Nephi 4"
(Had an Elder read these scriptures)

6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.

10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit

12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again

18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit

Chapter 5 verse 21-22

21 And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.

22 Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us, as we journeyed in the wilderness towards the land of promise.

"Records- Importance of the scriptures."
"Great worth, wisdom of the lord."

Chapt 6: things of God

Chapt 7: visión tree of life. 

"Only 14 pages in and we already have so much proof of God speaking to man."

Killing of Laban- test of obedience to the spirit.

Be prepared to pay any price to obey the spirit. 

"I have NOT given my life to a fairytale!"
"This IS the TRUTH." 

"If you are able to be close enough to me when I die, right up next to my almost non-functioning lips, you will hear this same testimony."

"May God bless your work, may you remember to love this work without regrets."

Grateful for the opportunity to be in the presence and shake the hand of an Apostle this week. It was definitely a life changing experience and a great testimony builder. 

Sorry this email is so long. I'm sure you're all bored by now but I hope you got at least some little piece of inspiration from my notes. Love you all, have a great week! :)

- Elder Childers