Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Farewell Photos From Castellon

Ready to Take on Las Arenas

Elder Farah's New Address

C/ Ibaigane 13, 4, D
48930 Las Arenas, Getxo

So Many Miracles

Hello From LA!!!

Well this week was pretty crazy to figure everything out. It is a whole new world up here. It is so beautiful.  Everything’s green and it is the richer part of Spain so it is very pretty. The only thing that worries me here is the branch.  There was a good 30 of them in church maybe and they are all really struggling.  They are all a little sad and have given up hope a little bit because this area hasn’t seen a baptism since September of last year. Every time I told someone I was excited to be here and work they all looked at me funny because they know it is difficult to have 0 baptisms.   The Branch president is 26 years old; he is super young and got called at 23.  So we just need to pick up the animo and excitement here, I tried to bring that on Sunday to cheer these people up.  But it is definitely very different.  And the church is located on a plaza with like 4 bars.  The church was there first, and now it is surrounded by bars. Pretty funny. 

But my companion is great; he is just starting his third transfer, so he has about 4 months in the mission. He is still learning, but he is already great.  Elder Frederich is from Kentucky.  The best part is that he has no fear talking to anybody and contacting the world.  So we have been talking to so many people trying to pick it up.  We just got to do work and go hard, this place has baptisms waiting

Alright well we have already seen so many miracles together in this short time but I have a huge one to tell you. We found a Peruvian family of 6, a pareja and 4 children from 17 years old to 23. We went and visited the mom one day, and just had a visit with her so then I told her that we were going to come back and teach her and her husband and her family. I was really bold and kind strong with her and just invited us back the next day to see the family, but she liked the idea.  So we went back and the 2 kids wanted to listen to us and so did the husband. We taught the restoration and focused alto on Jesus Christ and baptism. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted. So 4 fechas right there!! The only problem is that the dad said that if we are going to do this, he wants to do it as a family. PERFECTO!!! So Tuesday we are going back and hope to put the other 2 on date, a family off six being baptized would be a huge miracle. But I know it is going to happen, and this is what the branch needs. We are praying so very hard to have this family get baptized, we are on our way!!  A family of 6 getting baptized would change this area, and make a lot of noise in the mission.  We already made a lot of noise this week.

We also put another Bolivian lady with a fecha as well, she is so prepared.  So right now we are working with 5 fechas, just in the first week!! And we have a lot more people that we are working with from the contacts we made this week.  We sent our numbers into the office and they were shocked with the numbers we put up in one week.  This place is changing, and we are going to baptize so many people.  We are gonna make some noise here and in the mission!!! 

My district is big, 4 hermanas and 4 elders, so ten of us in total and a senior couple that is up here in Las Arenas so I guess 12 in the district.  They are a big help for the ward and have been fixing so much.  And I really like my zone leaders, I knew them from before in the mission and we are working really good together with lots of unity. 

Other than that, I am just trying to get comfortable here in this beautiful city.  The piso is more brand new pisos for me ( ha ha welcome back to reality).  I just ask that you all pray for the Parado family to be baptized on the 17 of August as a family.  We’re going after the grand slam!!  Love you all and have a great week

Elder Farah

Castellon en mi corazon

Bon Día!!!

Well I have finally moved from Castellon.  After 6 months of working there, I am now in an area called Las Arenas. LA son!!! But I am so sad to have left Castellon, so many people cried on Sunday and Monday when I was saying good bye to everyone (myself included).  The bishop even had me share my testimony in sacrament meeting at the end and I might have almost lost it.  It is incredible how close you grow to the ward during a mission. They are like my family and I love them so much.  I really didn’t want to go and I came here to Las Arenas dragging my feet.  The train ride was so long yesterday, 3 hours to Barcelona and then 6 to Bilbao.  The members didn’t want me to go. I passed by like 15 houses Monday and I still was missing people and they all gave me so much stuff.  I poured my heart out down there, and did it for the people.  They always gave me the animo to work hard and do it for them.  They all said that they will miss me and my stupid jokes and how nice I am to everyone. 

It was like a paradise up there, eat with the members everyday, brand new piso we found, and all my peeps.  And of course this last week we had the best week of the entire transfer, taught over 20 lessons and have 2 fechas with more on the way, and found a bunch of people.  But I am glad that I left my Chileno with lots of work now, he was pretty nervous to be in charge.  But it is not what I want, it is what the Lord wants and he needs me in Las Arenas now.

Up here is a huge change.  It is a branch of like 30 active people.  The city is beautiful, but the work is really hard.  And there have been 0 baptisms in the ward all year so that says that the work is really tough up here!! And the piso is a typical old Spanish piso, really old, and it is just me and my companion Elder Fredercih.  He just finished training and has 3 months in the field and he is from Kentucky.  But he is a great missionary and a very nice kid.  We are going to be fine together.  But it is a grinder area, and it will rain everyday in the winter, and has random downpours at any point during the day now.  It is hot, but not near as hot as Castellon.  We will see how this goes, I just wanna get the first thing down and get familiar with my area, but I will never forget about Castellon.   

Elder Farah

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Getting Hot in Here...

Dear Family and Friends,

My miracle from the week was yesterday. We went to visit this member who now isn’t able to come to church because she has work. But just recently her son has arrived from Venezuela and so I really want to teach him. We have been trying and trying and trying to see him but for whatever reason he wasn’t home or was really shy to talk to us. But I know that this woman has a lot of respect for the Bishop. So in our priesthood meeting Sunday morning before church I asked him to come with us after church in the afternoon and he said “no problem, con gusto,” so we went and visited them. And all I got to say is that the Bishop is a powerful man and is so involved in the work here. He talked with this lady and her son and bore pure testimony to this kid that we share a message that changes lives, and then said the Elders will be here Tuesday to visit you and he accepted. I was in shock!! I know that we found this new investigator because of the Bishop and his help for us. I love the Bishop here; he is such a great man and is always asking us about our work and wanting to help. And it didn’t hurt that me and the Bishop get along really well.  I respect him so much.  That is one of the great things about being in an area so long; you get to build great relationships with all the people.

So transfers are next week, and this Saturday night we will find out where we are going. I hope I stay one more transfer!! One more would be like the max amount of time; 5, that is pretty rare around here. The ward on Sunday all told me I had to let them know Saturday night what happens. This one might be rough!! But I will just do work this week and not worry about it. 

Other than that our Colombian kid came to church and everything, and we saw him once last week before he got sick for a few days.  He has a few doubts; he is just scared of changing from Catholic to Christian because his whole family for generations has been Catholic.  So we just need to work with him a little more, but I still really think he will be baptized. And he loves all the things that we do in the church, because if you really take a second to think, our church does a ton!! It is just all pure love, service and sacrifice that we do for our Lord. I love it.

The sun has been pretty hot, and we are right under it.  And I just sweat nonstop.  And when we are in buildings knocking doors in the stairwells it is like an oven because there are no windows, just lights and concrete so it is pretty toasty.  But anything for the Lord!! And it is only going to get hotter, and with the humidity of Castellon, it can make us pretty soaked, but no worries.

Hope all is well and everyone is enjoying the summer. Love you!!

Elder Farah

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hace Calor....

Wow, I have such an amazing miracle to share with you guys!!  The day of interviews, right before president got to the church we were out contacting because we hard extra time in the park across the street. I saw this kid looking at us with a smile so I thought maybe he had talked with the missionaries before. So I went up and contacted him and he said we had never seen or heard of us so I said ok we would love to talk with you. We set the visit for 2 days later in the morning at the church. He showed up and we set a fecha with him!! He is 21 years old from Columbia. He said he wants to leave the bad influences of the world. He even asked if it was disrespectful to have earrings in our church. And I was hesitant to say anything because it was our first visit with him, but then he just took them out and apologized for having them. It was amazing!! Then he came to church the next day (the sauna that we have with our broken a/c) then even came to choir later that day and loved every second with it. And by him coming to choir and church he was able to get to know a lot of the members and meet the bishop and everything. It is amazing that all this happened because I opened my mouth and said hola. I pray that he will be baptized and it could be my first baptism from a pure contact!!  It is just the Lord blessing us for all of our hard hard work

It is just getting super-hot here and we just sweat all day every day, I wake up sweating sometimes and then when Ii pray on my knees I sweat, it is pretty funny.  But it’s all good; I just have to pass these 3 months and then take on the freezing cold in the winter.  And interviews with president were way good; it is always so good to see him.  He thanked me for all the work I have done here in Castellon so far, I have experienced a lot and I have seen this place change so much!! Form the groundbreaking of the church, to the new elders, the baptisms and all the good stuff. 

This week also went by really quick, I have been doing exchanges with the district lately (one of the things I have to do) to try and help them out and get them working hard.  This week they all really improved and all have fechas, so things are going good.
Alright I love you all, pray for us to have clouds in the sky every now and then. 


Elder Farah

P.S. the picture is the extent of our Fourth of July, it was a very uneventful day....a member made the treat for us.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Que Pasa!!!

Que pasa!!

So it is finally starting to get really hot here in Spain, and we still are going to get a lot more heat.  But that is all part of the adventure!! We just sweat a ton, but no worries.  I was finally able to leave my bed this week on Wednesday; I was stuck in it for like 4 days. I would have done anything to have watched a Disney movie or something ha ha. I was so happy just to be able to leave and work again, I felt so useless in the bed doing nothing.  

But my miracle from this week has to be about the people in Teruel. As you know we go out there with some members of the ward the last Sunday of every month to hold a small sacrament meeting with some members out there, and there is always friends there as well. I just am so astonished by how much faith these people have and how much they love this gospel. Even though the sacrament meeting is held in a house, with 20 people mas o menos, they are so grateful to be able to receive the sacrament and have such incredible faith. What examples they are to me. And maybe sometime soon they will open a small branch out there.

That is really all from the week, we are just working really hard to pick this place up and find new people!! But we saw little miracles here and there this past week and we arelooking forward to working hard this week now that I am not stuck on the toilet....

Happy Fourth of July to America, obviously here that holiday doesn’t exist. But I love this work!! And my opportunity to be here!!

Elder Farah