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