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