Friday, July 8, 2011

July 5, 2011

~ Familia,
So I just ate a bocadillo (a sandwich with spanish bread) with horse meat, and it was way good. I heard that they sold Jamon de Caballo, and I had to try it. The taste is way unique and way strong, but in a sandwich with some good spanish cheese it´s amazing.
My comp isn´t new, he´s been here in this area for four months now. he´s called Elder Carey, and he´s from Bountiful and he´s awesome. It´s really a privilege to be here with him in Ponferrada, the mision is one big adventure, just like real life.
The other night we happened to be here for the annual night of the templar knights, and we live right next to the castle, and a huge parade of knights went right in front of our piso and they carried the arc of the covenant, and the holy grail into the castle and they lit fire works and it was cool. We took that as our 4th of July celebracion.
So in the mission I´ve gotten to like cutting my own hair, so if you see hair clippers in sam´s club or costco it would be cool to have one up at byu. We should come back here next year or in a couple of years so I can show you guys around Spain. I would love to see everyone again. I´m excited to see the lights of Vegas again. I think the first thing I wanna eat is a double double from "in n out" haha. But until then elder Carey and I are gunna work like crazy here in Ponferrada, thanks for everything. have a good day and a great week.
elder ross

June 29, 2011

~ The mission is one giant adventure. So I was sure that I would end my mission in Madrid, but friday the a.p´s called us and said that the transfers would be in our email by the end of the day, but I was so anxious I went right after the call to see if the changes were already in my email, to see who was going where. When I looked the changes weren´t there yet, but there was a train ticket to Leon with my name on it. so I couldn´t believe it, and later when we saw all the changes it was true, and i´m writing you guys from a locutorio in a city called Ponferrada. Which is to the west of Leon, which is to the north. so yeah... it was funny cause I was doing splits with elder Mateer who had been in the Canary Islands with me earlier, and we were talking about what might happen with the changes and everything, and in his mission he´s went from Malaga to the Canaries then to Leon and then to Madrid, and I said that´s crazy you got to know all the places, and then I said it would have been cool to serve in the north, but it didn´t even cross my mind at all that I would actually be sent up here.
It was so sad saying good by to everyone. Our district in Madrid is the best, and out of everyone I was the newest one, so before the changes I was trying to scare everyone else saying that for sure they would be transfered, and al final I was the only one that got transfered.
They were already talking about how bad they were going to get me in our last district meeting, but the president saved me from them all.
It´s weird cause two of the sisters both end at the end of this transfer too, and they are together, so we figured one of them would be transfered, but they both gunna end together. I made sure when I left that the district would still give them a hard time.
The ward I left is so awesome. I was there for only three months, but it was so sad to leave them. The night before all the single adults got together and we brought the lady that just got baptised, and one of her friends, and they gave me a going away party and it was awesome. They called one of the young men from Fuertevenura on a phone that had video, and I was able to see him and talk to him. It was a big surprise. I was going to see him cause he enters into the mtc this next month, and I was so excited but then I got transfered, so they called him and I talked to him and it was awesome. I´ve been surrounded by the best people all my life. My new comp is awesome just like every other comp I´ve had. We have to move pisos so we are moving everything over tomorrow. I was so sad to leave but i´m excited to work here. The mission is the best.
I´ll buy you olive oil, I was just wondering how much it costs you to buy olive oil in the store in the united states cause everyone says it´s expensive but I don´t think it will be too bad. I´m just thinking about cooking up at school wondering if it will be expensive to cook with olive oil, just cause I will wan´t to use if for everything now.
thanks for the recipes! we have vanilla extract in the piso, and I can find brown sugar in the latino stores. Right before I left madrid a bolivian family taught me how to make some cheese bread rolls that are amazing. I´ll have to see if I can find the stuff in the states. It calls for yucca flour. Anyways todo esta bien, estoy mas feliz i animado que nunca, a ver si podemos bautizar a uno mas porahi.
gracias por todo.
elder ross

June 22, 2011

~ Familia mía,
today for p´day we went to the mision home, and played a bunch of sports. two of the hermanas challenge elder mateer (the other british elder in our apartment) and I to a tennis match, and they played good but we defended our honor and beat them. Then we played american football for a little bit and then we played fútbol sala with everyone. We made up four teams and we played king of the court. The first team to score two goals stayed on to keep playing. My comp and I were the best ones, we scored quite a few goals. Even though we ended feeling tired it was a great way to release stress.
There´s some awesome missionaries in Madrid. Our district is especially awesome. We´re all worried that someone from our district is going to be transfered this next week and we hope it doesn´t happen. Every week after district meeting we eat lunch, and everyone brings food. This last week my comp and I made tortilla de papas which is one of the most common spanish dishes and the two, we made turned out amazing. Everyone was impressed. One of the sisters made Sal Morejo which is a cold soup like gazpacho, and then we made this watermelon drink that a colombian member showed us how to make and it was amazing. One of the elders is going home in a week and this was his last district meeting, so we gave him a hard time the whole time. I spoke in district meeting on the importance to get married after the mission, and it was funny cause I said it wasn´t my council but actually the council of the apostels and prophets, and read from the conference talks and Dallin H. oaks talks about it in his talk desire and Richard G. Scott talks about it in his talk about eternal marriage, and the prophet talks about it in his talk to the preisthood, and it was hilarios. They basically all said that anyone who´s in the age of getting married should put it as his number one priority find a wife and get married. It was hilarious. Then the sisters made a cake, and on top of the cake put a wedding cake ornament of a man and a women getting married and that also was way funny. The mission is the best.
Trevor McDonough wrote me a letter in spanish and it was hilarious, I´ll have to talk to him in spanish when I get back.
I´m excited to start this next transfer, and I hope I can consecrate myself to the lord and give everything I have to the work. Thanks for everything. the picture of the dogs is great, I hope the little one isn´t too big when by the time I get back.
elder ross

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June, 15, 2011

~ The baptism was amazing. The whole week we were kinda stressed getting it all ready, and there was quite a bit of opposicion, and the day of the baptism we were running around like crazy getting everything set up and the food taken care of, but when the time came everything fell into place, just perfectly. The spirit was strong, and Koritza was so happy. Right after our baptism the elders that live with us had a baptism too, and we had a bunch of food left over so we used it for their baptism and it was great. The two ladies that got baptised are awesome. They were confirmed on sunday and they were both so happy.
You gotta ask the Johnsons what´s the name of the professor because if it´s professor Lopez I know his brothers and his dad who's an area seventy here in spain. I know one of them teaches spanish at byu and they´re from spain so he´ld speak Spain Spanish. I hope I can pass that test then cause that would be awesome. I love spanish and I´ve always tried to do my best to speak it. I really don´t want to go home and speak english. I don´t know why but english feels so different now. Everyone here tells me they want to learn english and I always tell them that spanish is better and they tell me I´m crazy. Everything is going good. We are just now starting to teach quite a few people. We´ve found some less actives in the street and some other investigators and we´re teaching some friends from members so I hope we can set some more baptism dates before I go or at least prepare some more people.
I can´t wait to see this new little dog, and the garden and the fruit trees and the cactuses.
I gotta warn you guys I´m out of money this month so I may have to use my other card a few times. I have all the food I need for the month, and I spent a lot on the food for the baptism and now I don´t have anything, I hope I don´t have to use it at all and I´ll try not too. sorry for wasting your money all the time, I hope I can pay you guys back some day.
Thanks for everything, your time, your strength and your examples. we´ll see you later.
elder ross

June 8, 2011

~ I was wondering how many stakes there are in Las Vegas, I know there´s a lot but I don´t know how many. I feel crazy saying there´s 15 cause here there´s two in all of Madrid. Anyways the family from Ecuador is doing good, ´we taught them this last monday and we were able to explain to the dad about the Book of Mormon really well cause he wasn´t sure if it was a bad thing to read it or what but we had a member with us who shared a really good example. He said that as a parent you give the same general council to all your children fitted around their own personal needs right? And he said yes and then the member explain that the Book of Mormon is God´s council to his other children. We´re excited for them. On Saturday Koritza from Venezuela is going to get baptized, and the last two weeks have been amazing. She has been prepared to receive the gospel for so long. she is awesome. We bought here a triple and a bible and the magazine with the conference talks and she wrote us a letter. She´s a journalist and a teacher so she´s crazy smart and way good at expressing herself. She told us that this saturday she would be saying yes to God´s love. She´s awesome. yesterday we went through the temple and it was fun, we learned a lot like always. But yeah everything´s going great, i´ll let you know how the baptism goes.
elder ross

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011

~ Hey, I really liked the story you sent me last week about the mound of gold flakes that the wise man had collected over time. It is something that I´ve been thinking of these past months. Ever since I started practicing golf it´s been a topic that´s fascinated me, and these past months I´ve been realizing just how powerful is diligence, and just how powerful are the good habits that we create. If we do a little bit everyday it´s amazing what we can accomplish. The mission has made me love reading and studying the gospel. It is such an interesting topic. I wan´t to study the gospel everyday of my life. I´m starting to understand what Nephi meant when he said that his heart pondereth continualy upon the things of the Lord. The scriptures are awesome. One of my old MTC teachers teaches sunday school and sometimes preisthood on sundays, and this sunday he said that the spirit is like the refiners fire, that purifies us, and as we search diligently to have him in our lives more often he will purify us and will take away our impurities. The spirit will take away our desire to sin, and purify us from all wrong tendencies. I know that´s true, and I know that when i´m striving everyday and every minute to have the Holy Ghost in my heart I want nothing more than to do good, and to help those around me. Being diligent and constant is hard but you just got to make up your mind and do it. Like two weeks ago I found a scripture that basically explains this and I thought it was cool, it´s in alma 13: 26-28 or something like that, it´s towards the end of the chapter. It talks about praying always and then it says that the more that we have the spirit, the more it will make us humble and meek and submissive The same teacher at the very end of sunday school recited to us the first vision, I can honestly say that I know that God the Father and Jesus, the creators of the universe appeared to Joseph Smith and talk with him.
We found a family of five from Ecuador that are golden. We think they all might be baptized besides the baby. Everything´s going great, it´s been lame cause we´ve had bad allergies the last month and a half, but I think they´re almost over. I have Zyrtech and claritin that someone left here, and I take them but they don´t help as much as they did when I used to take them in the states but it´s all good, I´m feeling way better than I did two weeks ago. Thanks for giving me this oportunity to escape from the world to know the One True God.
elder ross

May 11 - 18, 2011

~ Thanks for everything. Zone conference was awesome, I hadn´t seen so many missionerys since the mtc in provo. We taught good, and our demostracion was cool. It was good to hear from you on the phone. We have some good investigators that are progressing quite a bit. Everything is going good, and today we had a great p´day we went to a huge park and rented bikes for free and rode everywhere, and then we played ultimate frisbee and that was awesome after so much time without playing. Everything is going great thanks for everything and the shirts and ties and the singing card, and for raising me in the gospel.
elder ross

~¡Familia mía!
so seeing my trainer with his fiance was amazing. One of the coolest lunches I´ve ever had. It was so crazy seeing his face again we just kept looking at each other and laughing, there were sooooo many stories that we talked about it was awesome, he´s such a great kid. So I gotta go, we´re going to make arepas with a venezuelan guy. and then we have some lesson we´re going to teach. The ham is definitely not all gone yet, I don´t even think it´s close to half way, and it´s so good. So our best investigator asked us if she could talk to us after sacrament meeting, and we were kinda scared, but then she asked us if she could get baptised in June, and we were speechless. It was so awesome to hear someone want to follow Christ. She is going to be a member really strong in the church and we´re stoked to be in the service of the Lord.
elder ross
I love you guys!