Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 - Fingernail, Fútbol, and Portuguese

Hi everyone we'll this week was super busy a lot happened. First off our district meeting happened to fall on the 4th and our whole district is American here so we had a fun 4th of July themed meeting. It was pretty cool and a fun little way to celebrate. Afterwards we had the Elders from Cáceres stay here in Badajoz to do intercambios.

During our intercambios we saw some really awesome miracles. 
The first afternoon I went out to work with Elder Rich. We went by a lot of people but the citas we had fixed failed us so we ended up knocking doors and contacting people. During our conversation a less active in our branch came up she had moved here to Badajoz directly from the ward in Malaga where Elder Rich had been serving. She is about 60 years old and struggles with Spanish. Since she got here we have not had very much contact with her she had come to church about two times but didn't have interest in meeting with us. Anyways so I tried to call her to see if she had just a few minutes that we could pass by to see Elder Rich but she didn't answer. We decided to send her a text just so she could see what we wanted. Just about a minute after the text was sent she called back and said to meet her in a park. We got there sat down on a bench and Elder Rich asked how she was liking Badajoz. She said she wasn't enjoying it much because she didn't feel like she had many friends or people to talk to in Portuguese (she is from Brazil). Just in that moment out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the family from Brazil in our branch. So I waved for them to come over and we sat down with all of them there and shared a little message. They became good friends with her and having Elder Rich there with me helped us break the ice a little bit and gain a better relationship with her. A few days later she showed up to our English class then on Sunday to church! It was awesome to see how the lord put everything perfectly in place to have Elder Rich there with me that day. Then meet in that very park then have the other members come through at just the right moment. It was a great miracle! 
Elder Balukoff and Elder Stephenson also had a cool miracle happen. They went and knocked a door and right when it opened the people's dog took off running across the road and they started freaking out. Elder Balukoff and Stephenson were able to capture it and because of it the family allowed them in to teach them. They received the message well and we have a return cita this week! 

Straight off of those intercambios we went to Sevilla the next day to have ours with the Zone Leaders. They were pretty cool I learned a lot and we had some really powerful lessons. 

Now this was the more painful part of the week. So we went to play soccer with some of the guys in our branch on Friday night. As we were playing the last goal of the game I had the ball and was running up when out of nowhere Elder Nye came in from the side and I just got knocked to the ground. Somehow in the collision his foot came around and landed right on my finger. The impact hurt quite a bit but I just thought it was like a little jammed till I stood up and looked at it. My fingernail was bent up and back then the nail had creased and the arc of it was inside out. It was super nasty and stung really bad. So we headed to a members house and tried to clean it out as good as we could then proceeded to try to get it to flip back. We tried for a while but it hurt super bad and we didn't have any hemostats or anything so the members just wanted to take me to the hospital. We called the mission president's wife and she was like yeah definitely go to the hospital. So we got there, this hospital which is apparently pretty new was like super ghetto and sketchy, end up waiting for about an hour till they finally would see me. I walked in and this old doctor guy just took a huge bottle of iodine doused it then just started yanking on it until it finally flipped back and popped into place. It was rough haha I tried to ask him to numb it but he's like nahhh you're fine. (Yeah so free health care isn't all that great mom) I was so mad hahaha but yeah we didn't end up getting back to piso till like 12:30. It was rough.. 

Well yeah so that's about all... hope y'all enjoyed. Have a great week! 

- Elder Childers 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

June 19, 2017 Ghosttown

First off happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!

This ones gonna be short, not much has happened this week. We had transfers and the new missionary here is Elder Nye. He was Elder Hammond my first district leaders comp during that first transfer so I already know him. He's a super cool guy. Oh yeah so the day of transfers we were a trio for the day and we had a lesson with the other areas investigator named Norman. It was so awesome we were teaching him L3 the gospel of Jesus Christ. I asked him to read a scripture so he read it, we commented on it then he all the sudden just started reading the next one, then the next, then another. He ended up reading the entire chapter he didn't want to stop. It was pretty cool when he finished I asked him how he felt. He said he felt something so powerful as he was reading and that he didn't want to stop and that now he knows for sure that the book is inspired from God. It was a really awesome lesson. I wish I could go back to teach him again!
The rest of the week we have just been trying to do visits with the members to show them how the area plan for Europe works. Its gone well with the few visits we've had. That's the challenge though a lot of them have cancelled on us or just not been home when we went by. 
Its starting to get really really hot outside haha. Its not only that it's uncomfortable that is annoying but because if the heat there is no one out in the street during the day. From about 11 am till 9 pm the place is a ghost town. Everyone just goes in and sleeps for the day then goes out all night. So it's super loud at night cause everyones partying in the plaza right next to our building till about 4 am haha. Should be an interesting next few months since the heat is just starting 😅
The last thing that happened this week was they had a fund raiser activity for the young women's. We were in charge of the games and we thought up some pretty fun ideas. For most of them we used balloons so we had to blow up a pack of 100. I've never felt so light headed in my life haha. It was super fun though and the kids loved it. The branch president also brought just dance and everyone was going so hard it was hilarious. 
Yeah well that's about it for the week, love you guys have a good one! 

- Elder Childers 

June 12, 2017 HOT

Nine Months!!

Hello everyone,

Well not a ton of stuff happened this week so I'm just going to keep
this one short.
We had another really good lesson with Godwin our investigator from
Nigeria in the end he said he would come to church but he didn't show
up. We tried to find him a ride because his house is a 45 minute walk
from here but the only few people with cars didn't have space or
couldn't for some other reason... He is a really awesome guy though.
Like the majority of the people here right now he has been out of work
for the past 10 months. So we are also looking our to find him work.
Its crazy how bad the economic situation is here. We were taking to a
guy yesterday in the branch about the crisis that happened here a few
years ago and it's crazy. Even now about half of the houses in the
town this guy lives in (Cerro Gordo) are vacant.
The best thing this week that happened was yesterday. We had a noche
misional, basically just like a family night with everyone. So we
assigned one person with a message and others with games, treats,
musical number, etc. It turned out super good we had about the same
amount of people who come to church show up! It was pretty fun and
everyone else seemed to enjoy it a lot too.
We also got transfer calls yesterday morning. Its crazy that 6 weeks
have already gone by since I got here. I will be staying here another
transfer with the same comp, Elder Balukoff. I'm happy about it, we
get along really well.
Just out here in the heat haha its supposed to hit 106 today. 😅
Everyone is like "oh this is nothin, summer hasn't even started
yet"..... 🔥🔥
Well love you guys, have a great week :)

- Elder Childers

June 5, 2017 Columbians and Rainbows

¡Hola a todos!

Well this week started off kind of funny haha. So Monday afternoon we went and played soccer with some guys we met last week that just randomly called and invited us. So we are there just talking with some of the guys while the others were still playing and we noticed that they all had their legs shaved. Thought it was kind of weird so I decided to ask. They told us "yeah of course we have our legs shaved, everyone shaves there legs here in the summer.. its so much cooler that way" Anyways so I'm sure you can see where this story is going, but that night inspired by our new spaniard friends we decided to try it out 😂 bad decision... hahaha it feels so freaking weird, yes it is a little bit cooler and it felt good for like the first day but then as soon as the hair starts growing back in it turned super itcy and annoying haha. Its alright though we tried it out and embraced the culture a little more... 😂

The rest of the week has also been pretty crazy. We met with this guy from Columbia who was completely nuts. He was part of a pirate gang in Columbia. He was just going off for like an hour about how he travelled all around south america with this gang that killed soccer referees. Pretty crazy stories.. we didn't really ever get the chance to say much cause he's one of those people who just likes to talk and talk and talk haha. It was kind of entertaining to listen to though. In our area book he was an old investigator and it said that he was a very religious person and everything. First thing he says when we sit down- "I am 100% against all religion, it is the great lie of the world." He went off about how Christ and Mary aren't even real and a whole bunch of other things. He named his kids Jesus Christ and Virgen Mary just to prove a point to his mom that the names aren't sacred. It was one of the most interesting experiences of my mission so far. Its always interesting to learn about all the crazy beliefs and ways of thinking. Anyways yeah so that was pretty cool. 

Another day this week we went out with one of the 17 year olds in the branch, Gabriel. He's working on his mission papers right now. The plan was just to pass by a bunch of addresses of members and old investigators with him and also go and teach Godwin the guy from Nigeria we met a few weeks ago. He said we could come over at 5 but he lives about an hour walk from us so we left at 4 and walked in the heat of the day. When we got there no one was home and he hasn't answered his phone since so thats kind of weird.. We continued on though and went by 12 other houses. Not a single one answered and there was no one in the street cause it was mediodía. We felt bad that we didn't really get any opportunities to talk to people or teach having Gabriel with us but it was fun talking to him about the mission. 

Our branch president took over the role of branch mission leader this week cause the other one we had just wasn't doing anything. So we had our first meeting with him this week. It was really cool, he talked about different things they did in his mission to get the members involved in the work. He wants us to base our efforts for the next couple of weeks solely on working with the members. He stressed on how we are called to teach. Not to find, friendship, retain recent converts and all of that. He said alot of time the people here mix that up they think "oh missionary work is only for the missionaries." When really its not. Every member is a missionary. Our job as full time missionaries is to help the members to bring their friends and families the gospel. They are the finders and friends, our calling is to teach. He said, yes when you aren't busy teaching then you should be out finding service and talking to people but that shouldn't be your main focus. So basically the new mission plan for the branch is to go visit all of the members and pass that message along. Show them how easy it is for them to share the gospel with others and gain their confidence as teachers. Should be good, we'll have to see how it goes..
This week here in Badajoz is the 2nd largest Gay festival in Spain. So thats a little bit crazy. There are literally rainbow flags everywhere. On every single store and like half the peoples balconies! It just started yesterday and we have already been hit on by two gay guys so that was weird.. haha this weeks gonna be interesting...

For our morning exercise this week we found this T25 workout video. Its a 25 minute workout but it freaking kills you haha. We were like oh perfect that can't be to bad so we decided to try it. By the end we were like dead on the ground and my calves and bum have been sore for the past 2 days 😂😂

Last of all Real Madrid won the champions league Saturday night. As we were walking back to piso all the sudden the whole city just freaked out. Everyone was honking kids are just sprinting up and down the roads yelling and fireworks were just going off everywhere. It was pretty crazy haha soccer is life here. 

Anyways thats about all for the week, were going to go play soccer for a bit then I'll be back to write some more :)
Love you all! 

- Elder Childers 

May 29, 2017 Vicente

Well hello everyone, 
Its been a pretty long and full week. First off we had zone conference in Sevilla that was a really long day. Left our piso at 6 AM and didn't get home till 10:45 PM. Super long day of meetings and bus rides. Then the next two days we had intercambios with the other elders here in Badajoz. I spent the whole afternoon with Elder Moore and not a single person we passed by answered the door. It was a long afternoon haha but it was good. 

Oh yeah funny story about Elder Moore, so he decided to buy a guitar last monday and tried to take out 650 euros from an ATM to buy it which of course instantly just froze his card. Later on in the afternoon though he figured out that it would let him take out 20 euros at a time. So he ends up doing that 20 times, gets 500 euros and goes and spends it all that afternoon. He's content though and I've enjoyed playing it haha 

We also had a pretty interesting street contact this week. The guys name was Vicente. The second crazy Vicente we've made contact with this week, ill talk about the first one after. So first of all it was pretty normal he's just asking us what we do as missionaries and how old we are and whatnot. Then as soon as we bring up Jesus Christ he just goes off. Apparently this guy is on level 23 of the illuminati, which is apparently higher than the level christ made it to....? Oh yeah and he also explained how he is planning on being mummitized like the Egyptian pharos. Which he explained to us are still alive, they are just in a special deep sleep. He said in 30 years he will wake back up and I quote in his own words "levanto incendio el móvil y vamos a fumar algo" (wake up, turn on the phone and we all go smoke somethin.) at that point I just started dying laughing. He just grins with a straight face and says see ya later my friends. It was awesome. 

So for the first one, he's this guy I met my first week here in their street. So we call him the other day and he rejects it. A few minutes later he sends us a text that says "Right now I can't talk, my mother is crazy and is thinking of locking me up" so I just text back and say like no worries just call us when you can haha he replies a few minutes later.. " If they end up locking me up I will most likely be in the infantil psychiatric center, if I don't send a signal within the next two days bust in throwing punches and we out." 
Yeah so that was interesting too, the people in this country are a little crazy. I think it's because of all the drugs and alcoholism..

Anyways yeah we were gone or in the other elders area almost all of this week so we didn't find a whole lot of new people. We were able to teach Pedro twice though, he's the guy who got baptized the week before I got here. That was good cause he's like the busiest guy ever and hasn't been able to meet at all. 

Yesterday night we did a little ward missionary activity. We basically just went over the area plan of Europe and helped them set goals to complete it. Later on we showed them how easy it is to share the gospel through social media and helped them to link the church videos and other quotes they liked to their social media threads. It was pretty fun we had a good turnout like 13 people came!

Other than that nothin much, it reached 97 degrees this week. Really hot haha I've never wanted to go jump in a lake so bad. Today we are just here in the church playing ping pong with the he branch president. Instead of basketball gyms here in Spain every church just has a ping pong table to set up in the sacrament room 😂

Well love you guys, until next week ✌🏽

May 22, 2017 Godwin from Nigeria

It was a good week, not a whole lot of excitement or anything but it was good. It is starting to get really really hot here already the other day it reached 94 degrees. Crazy it's only May!

We got a new investigator this week and he is super cool. The missionary who I replaced here met him on his bus out of town. His name is Godwin and he is from Nigeria. We had our first lesson with him yesterday and it was really awesome. It was really weird teaching him in English I was like translating the entire time in my mind from Spanish back into English. He is married to a Spaniard woman and they have to little children. His wife doesn't believe in god and didn't want to listen but they were all really nice. I cant wait to go back and talk more with them this week!

Other than that we have been passing by all of the members houses here. We only have like 8 more left on our list so we have been all over the place. Walked a ton this week always hunting for shade haha the heat is killer. 

Funny thing this week, I tried to teach my comp to cut his own hair... it was so funny we are so bummed we didn't get any pictures before I fixed it up haha all over the top it was just all different lengths, we had a good laugh about it. Its a good skill to learn though, I'm glad Elder Llavina taught me. 

We also ate at Augustines house again this week. This time it was a seafood soup. It was very interesting to say the least. It was crawling with all sorts of weird seafood I have never seen before.. on top of that it was like just below boiling point temperature. I guess at least that probably killed off all of the bacteria. It basically just tasted like scalding hot ocean water though it was so salty. Haha I'm trying new things... 😆

Our branch president here is a total homie. Today he took us to a sweet castle out in Burguillos del Cerro, about an hour from Badajoz. It was pretty cool, Spain has so much history it's crazy. Lots of castles everywhere from lots of different civilizations. 

Yeah well that's about it. Love y'all! 

- Elder Childers 

Monday, May 15, 2017

This week was kind of a weird one but good too.
Our district leader is one of the missionaries in the other companionship here and they had district leader training this week so he had to go down to malaga. So his companion was with us Wednesday and Thursday. It was pretty interesting because we were running back and forth between our two areas for two days. The other elder, Moore is really new to the mission so he really doesn't speak or understand hardly any Spanish yet. So it was interesting trying to teach their investigators that I didn't know much about. It was fun though and it was kind of cool that I was able to understand everything perfectly and be able to lead the lessons. 

My companion and I have been focusing on helping the members in the branch get involved with us. So this week we started a 21 day plan thing some members in Elche shared with me. Its been pretty fun getting to know the members here and listening to each one of their stories. Oh yeah and we also ate what was so far the nastiest thing for me on the mission. It was literally a solid 2 inches thick slab of pig fat, literally there was no real meat on it. The guy told us it was the neck part of a pig. It was disgusting, just about threw up 😂

On Saturday we had to get up at 5:30 to catch the 6:30 bus to Sevilla. We went out there and had interviews with president. They were really short this time but went really well. It was also kind of fun for me because during the interviews we practice teaching his wife different little lessons in English. This time I got assigned to translate for the native companionships. It was a challenge because I'm starting to forget a lot of English words and a lot of the types of sayings they use don't have a direct translation. It was a cool opportunity though! 

Shout out to the Madison's who came through town on Saturday. Unfortunately I wasn't there because I had to be in Sevilla for the day. The branch president here and his family were able to meet with them though and loved it. Thanks for the gift :)

Oh yeah I also got to give a talk in church yesterday. It was about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It was pretty cool to give a talk without using a ton of notes for the first time. I've relied on the gift of tongues a lot throughout the mission and especially to be able to give that talk yesterday.

Last but definitely not least, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all the mothers out there, (especially to mine, the best one 😘) got to Skype home yesterday! Super fun talking to Dad in Spanish and seeing all of them. So crazy how fast Levi and Emmett are growing up! 
Love you guys! 

Well that's about it. Thanks for the emails, have a great week! :)
Love you guys 💙

- Elder Childers 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hello from Badajoz!

Hello from Badajoz!

Well this place is pretty cool, first time I have seen real grass since the MTC! Even then though it's basically just fields of crab grass I wouldn't dare walking on it barefoot. It is nice to have some greenery around though. Its weird that it's so much greener on this side of the country because it is wayyyy hotter here. I was worried about the summer in Elche, well here it's a lot hotter... going to die haha. 

The bus ride to here was 13 hours long! So that was pretty rough, I had to switch busses 4 times. So I won the award for longest traveler this transfer, literally went from one side of the country to the other. I left Elche at 8:30 AM and didn't arrive here until 11 PM... long day! 

Anyways yeah so after the full day of traveling I finally arrived here in Badajoz! My new comp is awesome, he's from.... BOISE IDAHO! Yeah so we are idahomies :) Elder Balukoff . This is his 4th transfer in the mission so I'm senior comp now. He still is at that point where he can't really communicate much so it's really pushing me to improve my Spanish. It's good for both of us though. It's been pretty fun these past few days trying to figure it all out. 
When I first got to the piso it was a wreck, there was so much junk just piled up in every room and the place looked like it hadn't been cleaned in about a year. So we took a few hours to really deep clean it. The bathtub was the worst part. I wish I had taken pictures before I cleaned it up. It was like nasty brown green color and mold growing down the whole wall and on the faucet. I got some steel wool and just went at it. Found out the bathtub really was white :) anyways now the place looks brand new 👍🏾

The branch here is pretty cool though I think I'm going to like it. It's just going to take a little getting used to coming from Elche where there was 2 wards to here where there are just like 25-30 active members. It's cool though, the members I have met so far are all really great. I already got assigned to give a talk this next Sunday so that'll be cool.

Today for P-day we walked out to the Portugal border, it was kinda cool. Pretty funny it's basically like going from one state to another in America. No border patrol, nothing just a sign. Pretty cool how close we are though, we just walked out to it. 

Well that's about it, love y'all!

- Elder Childers 
On the border between Spain and Portugal!

Friday, May 5, 2017

May 1, 2017 Off to Badajoz! Goodbyes

Well first things first! We got the transfer calls yesterday, I'm going to Badajoz! Its all the way over on the other side of the country, my new piso is 5 minutes from the border of Portugal! Yeah so that's pretty crazy. My new comp is Elder Balukoff, he's pretty new in the mission so nobody I have talked to knows him. So I guess it will be a surprise to see how he is. Excited to see some new places but not excited for packing my bags and the 13 hour bus ride... 

Anyways this week has been pretty good here in Elche. We've gotten a ton of stuff done. We helped with 3 different moves, found 9 new investigators and taught a ton of lessons. We have literally been going non-stop. It all started off pretty good with free waffles. One of our investigators is Colombian and her family owns a waffle shop here so she invited us to come have waffles for breakfast. They were soooo good! They had this filling stuff that was like gooey cookie dough 😋 Oh yeah and we also ate two large meals back to back and I almost died from it haha. So we are at the Garcia's eating lunch and the sister missionaries called us like 4 times so I decided I better answer it thinking it was an emergency or something. Turns out some people in the other ward had invited the other elders over to lunch but they were in Alicante. So the lady was like, the food is already done so you guys just come right now while it's still warm. So we literally sprint all the way across the city to get to their house then they load up our plates like a mountain of food, then we have to sprint to our next appointment. I just about died I was cramping so bad hahaha

Later on in the week we did lots of service with the moves and helped Fransais with the construction stuff. Poor guy had a renter who broke into his tool room the other night, stole a bunch of his machines like his electric saws, welder and sanders. Took them out and sold them in the street and bought a bunch of alcohol/drugs. He is a super cool guy though he said if we come back we can stay in his house however long we like and they will feed us and everything. 

Last night was Jacobs farewell/open house. It was really cool, he is going to serve in Córdoba, Argentina. It was also perfect cause the whole ward was there so I got all my goodbye pictures too :) Today for P day we are here at the church playing fútbol and volleyball with Jacob and all his friends.
Anyways that's about all! Love you guys! 

- Elder Childers 

April 24, 2017 Cookie Deliveries and Patience

Well I'm going to try to keep this email short and sweet.

So first of all this week for district meeting I was assigned to give a workshop on patience, it was a good subject for me to study because I struggle with it a veces. During my preparation I realized that there are two different types of patience that usually co-exist. Patience with your surroundings and patience with yourself. This transfer I have learned a lot about both from having this companion. Anyways what I figured out is that through patience, real self control, you can find peace in any situation. It's really hard sometimes but if you really focus on it and trust in the lord everything  will work out. You just have to remember it's on his time, not yours. You can't expect yourself to change into a perfect person or a perfect missionary overnight. That's unrealistic, so you also have to be careful when judging others. Some just take longer to figure things out. 

Also this week we had the opportunity to teach Joseph with the old mission president of Argentina! It was pretty cool but also a little bit nerve racking for me haha. The lesson went great thought, one of the coolest teaching experiences so far. 

We have continued with the cookies this week. Also made the famous family recipe rice pudding haha and everyone loved it. We've made like 300 total now mini cookies and delivered them to like everyone we know. It's pretty funny people don't know what to do when you give them cookies like that haha we've had tons of them try to pay us. People here just don't expect little acts of service like that, interesting. 

We also were able to have intercambios this week. It was nice to be able to work with some other people for a couple days. I got to go work with Elder Erickson and Liza. It was really cool, learned a lot and saw some new places. Funny story, Erickson and I are teaching this guy on a bench in the park and this drunk guy just walks up and starts peeing on the wall like right next to us.. there sure are a lot of crazies in

So we have found multiple things in the street these past few weeks. First of all the keys, then this week first a nice Samsung phone then later on a baby bag with their wallet keys and other important documents. With the phone we were able to call the guys wife and return it that way. For the baby bag luckily it had a package in it from China of a selfie stick haha anyways so we used that address to find the house and returned it along with cookies :) pretty cool they were all so great up we were the ones that found them. 

Today for P- day we climbed a massive mountain with an awesome view of the sea and all the surrounding cities. It was pretty awesome. Well that's about all. 
Love you guys! 

- Elder Childers 

April 17th, 2017 Semana Santa (looks like KKK!)

Well this week has been pretty good. I'm exhausted though haha I feel like we have been going non-stop. 

First off we had our interviews with president this week. This interview was really different but I liked it a lot. Instead of just talking a whole lot about a certain topic or just about the area it was more just like a friendly conversation. We talked about our families, things going on back in Idaho like the new temple announced in Pocatello and the Meridian one that's going to be dedicated this year. Woot woot! :) Anyways yeah it was just really chill, he told me he was proud of the changes he has seen in me and that he is impressed with all the things I have done here in Elche. Oh yeah he also asked if I was considering running for Mayor here since I've been here 6 months now haha. He said its almost certain I will be transferred in two weeks. 

Okay so here's a kind of funny and a little bit awkward story. So the first day here for my new comp I contacted this black lady named Jane on the street. Turned out she speaks English. So anyways we finally had gotten a cita with her last week so we went and it all went really well and we set a return appointment for this week. So we went back this week and taught her and her 3 kids the restoration. The lesson went super great and at the end we invited her to be baptized. She's like "oh yeah, I was already baptized in your church 13 years ago." Hahaha I'm like whatttt? Haha she's not on our ward records or anything cause she moved and never notified anyone. Anyways though it's really great we were able to find her because none of her children have had the opportunity to hear the gospel. So we will see what comes of all of it over the next few weeks!

Oh yeah so this week here was the Semana Santa which is like super scary haha. It's basically the whole week the people parade the streets for the death of Jesus. They march in these big parades with these scary costumes on that look like the KKK. It's honestly really creepy haha anyways yeah you'll have to look it up on the internet to see what I'm talking about because I wasn't able to get any pictures. 

One other cool thing we decided to do this week was make cookies for our neighbors. We took them to them and told them that it is a custom to take a treat to new neighbors haha so we told them now we are officially neighbors. It was really cool though, they were all super surprised because like most people don't even know their neighbors here which is weird because they live like 5 feet from each other. We have 3 families who live on the 5th floor of our building with us. This week we are going to take some more for the people on the sixth and fourth floor too. Anyways we got one teaching visit from it and the other neighbors made us a Spanish tortilla for lunch one day! 

To finish off the week with a bang we had stake conference. It was super powerful. Our stake president here is a beast. He speaks with so much power and shares so many cool experiences. He just got back from his mission like 12 years ago so he's a really young guy. 

For P-day today we climbed up Mount Pikachu for my second time. It was pretty fun, Joseph came with us. Now for the rest of the day today we have a ward activity because it's another holiday. Día de la Mona, I've asked like 30 people what it's for and nobody knows. I swear they just make up random holidays here to have an excuse to not go to work. There is literally a holiday almost every week!

Well that's about all! Miss and love you all a ton! Praying for all of you, especially those being affected by the flooding in Boise right now. Hope all is well! 

- Elder Childers 

April 10,2017 Missionary "Movie" Stars

What's up everybody! 

Pretty crazy week this week.
All started off on Wednesday morning when we got interviewed and filmed by a university news crew this week. It was pretty cool, they asked us about the life of a missionary and filmed us contacting some people in the street. A couple of cool miracles have already come from it. First of all every single one of the people from the film crew, well besides the director cause she is a member in the other ward here. Anyways all of them have accepted to listen to the message now. So they are all being taught by the missionaries now. Unfortunately none of them live in our area. 

The second awesome thing that happened though was with our second contact. The guy standing by the bench in my photos this week. So we talked to him for a few minutes and he was really nice. Anyways later that night we were walking back to piso and found a pair of keys on the ground. So we decided we would take them to the police station the next day after. So we show up to the station the next day and we are walking around the building to the entrance when suddenly a window opens and the guys from the video yells "Hey guys! what's up?" In English. The same guy from the park, Joann. So we talked to him for a little bit and gave him the keys. Now him and another officer that was there with him are both going to come to our English classes! Pretty awesome. 

Another thing that happened this week which was interesting is apparently the states like bombed Syria or something.  Not really sure what happened but everyone here is freaking out about it. They all hate Trump so much and they all want to tell us how much they hate him haha. Anyways yeah I have no idea what's going on or what to believe, there are just too many crazy rumors  😂

Oh speaking of crazy rumors, I'm not sure if it was the same in the states but here in Spain there was a huge rumor that the Prophet died. Some members like called all of the missionaries so we all thought so until the next morning when they called us back and said it was just a rumor. Like everybody thought so though because someone sent it to the leadership group message for the stake. 

Okay one more cool experience, Saturday morning we planned a basketball game with some members and investigators. So my comp and I get up and head to the church. We tried to call the other Elders to make sure they were still coming that morning because they had the ball. So we are on the bus heading to the church and this guys gets on walks up to me shakes my hand then walks to the back of the bus and sits down. I knew his face from somewhere but I could not remember and I felt super bad for forgetting haha so eventually I walked back and was just like " I'm so sorry we meet so many people every day, I cannot remember where I know you from." He told me he had come to English class one time like 3 months ago. I asked him how his day was going and he said it was great he had just finished a basketball game. So I invited him to come play with us and literally right then the bus got to our stop so we all got off. As we were walking to the church the other elders call is and said they were super sick so they weren't going to be able to come. So we were about to cancel it all cause we didn't have a ball when the guy from the bus, William is like "No problem I have one in my backpack!" We played a couple of games and shared a really good message with him. Next week he is coming again and bringing some friends with him! 

Well yeah that's about all I have time to write about, we are going back early today to make cookies for all of our neighbors, investigators and some members that have been helping us out this week. Anyways I love you all, thanks for all of the emails and prayers! Have a great week :)

- Elder Childers 

April 3, 2017 Goodbyes, Giraffes and General Conference

Okay this week has been super packed with stuff. One of the most busy of my mission. 

First off we tried to call President to get permission to use the bikes here but he said no because the roads are too dangerous... bummer haha 
We have still been working hard taking flyers around all over the city for English conversations classes. We are starting to see some success, we have gotten a few calls and a couple of new people coming to the class which is cool! 

We also got invited to an English school a guy runs out of his home and helped him talking to his students it was pretty fun. The teachers name was Jesus and he is obsessed with Glen Beck, I'm pretty sure he has every book, video, cd and anything else Glen Beck has ever made. Pretty cool guy though. 

Sports this week were pretty cool too. We started our own basketball game saturday mornings. We invite all the young guys we see in the street every day just like we do for soccer. This was the first week of basketball and we had 3 guys show up. They are all coming again and bringing friends next week so that'll be cool. They are all really more open to our message after a good game of fútbol or basketball! This week a new guy showed up at soccer. He is from Lithuania, he lived in New York for 6 months though illegally haha so he can speak pretty good English. He had lots of cool stories from there too haha. Oh and his name is really cool, Vaijah.

Thursday I finally got around to getting my permanent retainer taken care of. Its been broken for like 2 months now and I was finally fed up with it so we went around and checked out a couple of different dentists. The first one said they couldn't do it and  the second wanted to charge 100€ just to take it out! So finally we went and found this little sketchy one that was a converted piso on the second floor of an apartment building. They took it out for 30€ haha so that was a good deal. It was one of the scarier experiences of my life though. First of all the lady looked like she was 17 and second of all she was just going crazy with the drill in my mouth while water was spraying all over my face 😂😂 but it all turned out alright in the end, I think haha. 

Oh yeah and while we were standing in the street looking for dentists this crazy old  lady from the other ward comes up and starts telling us about her mission. Then as she's leaving she walks up to the door next to us and rings all 20 doorbells at the same time. Then she's just like "that's how the mission is" and walks off leaving us to deal with all the angry people on the other side of the intercoms hahahah

Friday was Monica Palominos 50th birthday so we went over to surprise her. They had a mariachi band so that's was super cool. The younger guy in the band was from Nicaragua and was super cool. He is going to come to soccer with us this next week! 

Everyone left these past few days, Benjamin left back to Columbia Sunday morning and the Palominos left back to Ecuador this morning. Sad to see them all go but the time I've had to get to know these guys was the best! 

Last but not least! General Conference. We got up Sunday morning to go to the church and walked out of our piso to find out all of the roads are closed on our side of the city for a marathon! So we ended it having to make the 40 minute walk to the church and got there just as it was starting. It was kind of cool to see all the marathoners though. Anyways it's such an awesome thing as a missionary to watch conference, I think just because we share basically the same message as they are so it applies even more. I thought it was interesting the two main topics were overcoming the world and obtaining charity the pure love of Christ. The two things that I am learning most on the mission. We watched the first session in Spanish then decided it was just too much to be trying to focus and takes notes at the same time so we had them help us get a broadcast in English for the rest. We were able to watch the Priesthood session, all of Saturday and the first half of Sunday. The last session we have to watch on our own time over the next couple of weeks. 

After conference thought we had a miracle phone call. So we just started yesterday night just calling all of the contacts that are in our phone. There are like 200. So we call like the third name, Angie, and a lady picks up. She starts yelling at us "How so you have this phone number?" "When did you meet with my sister?" "This is completely absurd." I'm just like "Hey calm down we are just missionaries, I'm from the United States, we are just here sharing a message about Jesus Christ, we aren't forcing anybody we just offer his message to people because it had blessed our lives and we want that for others......." yada yada. Then the response I didn't expect at all -"Okay so how does this work, when can we meet?" Conversation completely turned around. She is bringing her family and we are all meeting in the church on Tuesday to teach them! 
Yeah so that that was the miracle for the week! 

For P day we went to a zoo here in Elche. It wasn't much but we did have a cool experience with this giraffe that was like reaching its head over the wall to each food out of these little kids hands. It was pretty cool we got right up and personal with it. 

Well love you guys have a great week! 
¡Hasta la próxima! 🙂

- Elder Childers 

March 27, 2017 Hello from the palm tree capital of Europe!

Well it's been an interesting week 

First of all before Elder Yates left we went by Fransuah's, the guy who we helped organize his construction stuff, and they made us a Paella. It was a seafood one with tons of squids and other weird seafood things in it. It didn't taste super bad but just wayyyy salty. Its cool to see how much they have changed just from our service though. When I first went by his house in December with Elder Llavina he was like, go away. Now after helping him with so much stuff they treat us like family. They told us that when we come back to Spain we can stay there in one of the rooms or two if we bring family or friends for as long as we want for free. They also said if we need anything, like anything to call them that we are like their nephews now haha. Pretty cool how people just take you in as family. 

On Thursday my new comp got here. His name is Elder Hildebrandt.  He's an interesting guy haha. He reminds me of Elder Kalhoon from the Best Two Years. That's basically his personality. He is from Utah and has been out for a year and a half. He speaks only Spanish 24/7. I think he started trying to learn the more complicated parts of the language two early though because he still struggles with just the basic conjugations and stuff it's weird. The other day we were teaching Jesika and she told him he needed to practice his Spanish more so he could speak like me. I felt really good about my Spanish but also really bad for him. I don't know he's just a little different I'm just trying to be really patient and just go with his flow. He really is a good guy we just have different personalities. Part of the mission experience though is learning how to get along and work with other people thought, im sure I'll be grateful for what I learn from him someday. At least he's like in the way that he likes to be clean, so our piso is absolutely spotless now. 

We were at the church the other night and we met this member who was a Spanish teacher in Utah for 3 years. He is going back there this summer to teach again. Anyways he was full of great ideas for us. First of all we learned about these bikes that are all over Elche. They cost 3€ a month. Basically there are stations all over the city and you have 30 mins to ride the bike then leave it at another station. But you can use them as many times as you want a day. Its awesome, way better than the 27€  bus card and we will get to be outside. I'm excited! 
He also had a great idea for our English classes. Basically we changed it now so instead of teaching English basics we are going to offer conversation clases. Basic classes just draw more members and we really can't teach that well. What we can do though is talk. Most of the people at colleges stores and hospitals here need to be able to speak English. They know the vocabulary but they don't know how to talk well. So we have been going around to all the points of interest and posting flyers. We are excited to see how it turns out. 

Yeah other than that not much, we had a little Zone Conference about the new Easter video, its awesome, but we don't actually get it till the 31st. 
Then today we just went out to a turf field and played spikeball, two hand touch footaball (with a rugby ball) and a game of soccer with all the missionaries and Joseph and his brother Adrian. It was pretty fun but really hot and exhausting haha. 
Joseph is going to watch conference with us this week so that'll be cool! 

Love you guys! 

- Elder Childers 

March 20, 2017

Well my comp was sick almost all of this week so we spent a lot of time just in piso. At first it was really boring and I wanted to just go out but after a while I started to get really into my studies! I read a little bit of everything this week and learned a lot. By the end of each day Elder Beckstrom was usually feeling up to just going out for a few hours so we were able to go to English class and a family night. Our friend Joseph who lived in Arizona for a few months came. From living in the states he knows English really well so he comes sometimes to class just to talk to the missionaries and keep up on it. He has also come and joined us on some of our P day activities, he's super cool. He really likes hanging out with us but he has never been too interested in the message. This week after English we invited him to the baptism the Elda elders were having on Saturday. He ended up showing up, after the baptism he was asking all the recent converts about their experiences and it was super cool. Then Sunday the meeting was just starting and he walked in! It was perfect because it was fast and testimony meeting so I was able to get up and bear my testimony along with many of the other members. We ended up talking in the hall with him for about an hour after church just answering his questions. He's going to start reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon a day and praying about it. Please everyone keep him in your prayers :)
Today for P day we went and played tennis with him it was really fun. I gotta admit though I lost a lot of my skills haha. Oh yeah today we got transfer calls from the zone leaders. My companion is leaving already! Its crazy he's only been here for 6 weeks. He literally just finished unpacking his bags all the way. I'm going to miss him he's a great guy and we've had a lot of fun together. My new comp will be Elder Yates, I don't know who he is but apparently he is cool. I'm glad I will be able to be here for Precilla's baptism though and see Elder LLavina again!
Anyways thanks for the emails and prayers! 
Love you all have an awesome week! 

-Elder Childers 

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 Summertime

Okay I'm going to make this one short and sweet cause writing emails feels like such a chore now haha.

This week we finally found some service to do, we helped an old investigator named Fransuah organize the top floor of his building. This guy has a four story piso that he has been remodeling for the past 10 years. It has 10 rooms that he rents out to random people. Its actually really cool and he has put a ton of work into it. Its by far the nicest building I have seen here in Spain. Still that's not saying much though. The thing I've learned about Spain is that it's a first-world country on the outside but on the inside it's third-world. They are really good at faking it though haha. Anyways so this guy has been remodeling this place and using the top floor for all the building materials. Tiles, sand, concrete, random furniture he's found on the street, you name it. So we came and moved everything around. It was a good workout lifting all the concrete mix and sand bags. 30 minutes a day without any weights just doesn't quite cut it, I'm getting weak 😂 yeah but it was fun and he told us all sorts of funny story's.

Oh yeah there was also a riot thing in the street this week because the students here want more vacation days. I don't know why though there is already like at least one holiday per month here 😂 and their school starts at 8:30 and goes till 1:30, ridiculous...

Thursday we had a bbq for Diana Palominos birthday, it was pretty fun. She turned 20 and I was thinking like wow that's so old, then I realized I'll be that age in 4 months. I don't want to grow up 😭 while we were there though a water pipe right next to us just like burst. Hernan and us tried to fix it forever but couldn't get it to stop, soaking wet we finally gave up and just called the police to figure it out haha.

Friday and Saturday we had intercambios in Elda this week. It was pretty cool I got to teach this awesome Colombian family. Its cool to hear all of these peoples different story's of coming to Spain. Always really interesting, this country is a mixing pot we have met people from almost every part of the world.

This whole week has been super hot, it's crazy it feels like a switch flipped. Like a week or so ago we were wearing jackets for the mornings and after it got dark. Now during that time it feels like the middle of summer 😅 I'm scared for actual summer. Going to die haha

Well anyways that's about all. Today it's pouring rain so we can't really do anything for P day outside. We are just hanging out at the mall.
Love you all!

- Elder Childers

March 6, 2017 Andretti Jr.

This week has been packed full. First of all we had Zone Conference, it was interesting and I learned a lot but realllyyyy long haha. There's just a point after like the first 4 hours when your focus just goes 😂 the meeting started at 10:30 pm and ended at 6:00 pm we had an hour break for lunch but the food just made me more tired haha. Basically it was about focusing our efforts on the youth because they are a lot more receptive to us.

Other than that let's see... we had an activity this week with the ward. It was supposed to be super awesome and we had invited tons of people. It was part investigators and also just a free meal for any people who are in need. So we basically invited every homeless person we saw. In Spain I'm pretty sure that's like 10% of the population, they are everywhere! Anyways so the day finally arrived for the activity and.... IT RAINED :( when it rains in Spain, nobody goes out.. so only a handful of people ended up coming... that was a bummer. I especially felt really bad for our stake mission leader because he had put so much work into it.

Recently my comp and I have been focusing on trying to find service. Its hard here because there isn't a whole lot you can do for service. We've passed by a lot of organizations but they don't really want our help. We did find a guy here though that is restoring a building by himself, he has been working on it for the past 10 years! Anyways so we set a time to come back this week and help him for an hour or so. I'm super excited for that!

Okay I'll explain the pictures real quick,

The big leg is a ham leg, it is like a big delicacy in Spain, they range from seventy to the thousands of euros, its like aged wine haha so basically how they make it is just take a raw meat leg and stick it in salt, then leave it there for 1-10 years! The people here think it is like the best thing ever. I just think it tastes like salt haha anyways so we ate that at Jose and Encarnis house along with a lot of other typical Spanish food like the potato tortilla.

The other pictures just the train on the way to zone meeting, soccer on Thursday nights here at the chapel then the go karts we did today for p-day because it was one of the Elders Birthday. It was super fun and I won by a lot hahaha (got all my speedy driving skills from Terri Andretti Childers.) thanks mom 😘

Well love you guys! Have a good week :)

- Elder Childers

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 27, 2017 Carnival

Well not a whole lot happened this week mainly because I was superrrr sick for like the first half. My sore throats finally went away like on Wednesday but my whole body was just super tight and I was exhausted so I did a lot of yoga haha. Then this weekend was carnival here. Basically everyone just dresses up in really weird costumes and goes out and parties for 3 days straight. Pretty crazy stuff...

Other than that Jesika's sister got here from Paraguay this week. She is like insanely good at soccer. She actually moved here because she got a offer to play for a team here. We only have gotten to meet her once and she is pretty shy like Jesika was but hopefully she will open up more. We are going to try to get her to come to the church soccer this week. I'm sure if she does she will wreck everyone haha.

Anyways since I was sick I studied A TON haha like I'm pretty sure I read more this week than the rest of my life combined. So I read like half of the Book of Mormon, all three volumes of Answers to Gospel questions that we have in piso, the pocketbook for missionaries and world religions, a ton of the Bible and a whole session of conference. Super interesting, I learned a lot

This Saturday for the morning we went and helped out with the primary programs little carnival for the kids at the church. I was in charge of the "angry birds" station, so basically I just set up boxes and but balloons in the holes then the kids threw tennis balls at it. Its fun to talk to the little kids because out Spanish is about on the same level 😂

Right now we are planning a big activity we will do this next Saturday. "Conocer los Mormones" Meet the Mormonslike the movie. We are going to give a tour of the church and teach just some brief points of our beliefs then have a dinner there. It should be cool, my comp and I are going to help with The Restoration and Family History. 

Anyways yeah that's basically all that's going on right now. Oh and we also have interviews with president and a zone conference in Murcia this week so it should be pretty busy. 

Love and miss you all, keeping you in my prayers! 

- Elder Childers 

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20, 2017 The return of Elder Llavina

Well this week started out pretty great.. on Tuesday we had our district meeting, before it started though we decided to go to the care center for old people that is right across the street. It was super cool we sang some songs then went around and talked to them. They all kept telling us we were angels haha they were so cute. After seeing how miserable that place looked though I decided I want to die before I get that old 😂 
Anyways though it was a cool experience and we could tell they really appreciated someone coming to visit them. There was also this really old dude that dressed up as Cupid and was hilarious. I don't have a lot of pictures from it because after we took a few we found out we weren't allowed to.. 

As for the rest of the week, the highlight was Friday. Pricilla was baptized! And Elder Llavina, well now it's Samuel, came and baptized her! It was really awesome. Anyways so that was really cool but then after that pretty much everything went downhill. Well it really started like Thursday afternoon me throat started bugging me a little bit. By the end of the day it hurt pretty bad. Then the next morning when I woke up I felt pretty sick but it was the baptism and we had to get to the church early to fill up the font cause it takes 3 hours and the baptism was at 10. So I just took some ibuprofen and went. But after the baptism and lunch I felt terrible. Anyways these past few days I've just been miserably sick, I don't even know what it is i have like a sore throat but also my whole body is just super super achey and tight. So we've basically been in piso for the past few days just studying a lot and sleeping. 

I did have a really cool experience from it though. The other night I was getting into bed early and saying my nighttime prayer. When I finished I started getting into bed when I got the prompting to ask for a blessing. I though about it and decided I would just ask my comp and the other missionaries to give it to me in the morning cause I had already climbed into bed. Then in that exact moment our doorbell rang. We opened it and no one was there but there was kebab in a bag on the ground. My como went to pick it up and the other elders jumped out from around the corner haha. Anyways they were able to all give me a blessing and I was finally able to sleep some that night. I told them how I had just been prompted to ask for a blessing and they told me they had the feeling they had needed to stop by to see how I was. I'm thankful to have a Heavenly Father who listens to my prayers and answers them. 
I love you guys, you're all in my prayers! Have a great week! 

-Elder Childers 

Feb 13, 2017 Comps - Out with the old, in with the new

Well hello everyone once again,
This week was interesting to say the least. Elder Beckstrom left early Wednesday morning so a Monday night and a Tuesday were just full of goodbyes and packing up his stuff. It was weird he only went one transfer here. We were both sad he had to go so soon. I'm sure the Lord has reason in it though. Anyways so Beckstrom left early in the morning and my new comp Elder Yates came all the way from malaga. So I spent the day with Elder Gomez the native from the other companionship here in Elche. We mostly just deep cleaned our pisos all day till my comp came into town. 
When Elder Yates arrived we got right to work. He's from California so I was a little worried... 😉 haha no he's a beast though, we literally have street contacted over 100 people each day since he got here and averaged 13 miles walking. I've never been so exhausted in my life. Its good though, kind of satisfying to know you really have put in all your effort at the end of the day. I've also learned that if you want to have an interesting mission you have to talk to people on the street. Boy we have meet some interesting people. The two funniest this week were first, we contacted this bigger guy and gave him a picture of Jesus. He proceeded to start taking off his shirt to show us his tat of Jesus that apparently was "Perfectísimo." The second weird one was some random girls in their 20's tried to offer us money to kiss them haha don't worry we didn't take up the offer!
Anyways yeah this week has pretty much killed me. Today for P-day Joseph took is to this really cool old dam thing. It was really pretty and we had a little picnic up there. 
Oh yeah and coolest of all this Friday Precilla is getting baptized! My comp Elder Llavina is flying back to do the baptism so I'll get to see him in a few days I'm super excited!! 
Anyways I hope you're all having a good weekend! Keeping you in my prayers as always!

-Elder Childers