Monday, October 6, 2014

"Hermana, Que Dijo Ella..? (Sister, What Did She Say..?)

Thank you so much for sharing your favorite talk from General Conference! I actually really wanted that talk but it wasn’t yet available on THANK YOU…THANK YOU! I really enjoyed conference! Did you listen to the talks in Spanish? All the missionaries were so excited to hear this conference in Spanish. I stayed in the room and watched & listened it in English instead; so that I can get the most out of conference. In fact, I know that all conference messages are directed and guided by the Spirit which God talks to us through the Spirit. So, no matter what language we listen, the Spirit will touch our hearts based on our personal desires and preparation. In all honesty, WE NEED to ACT UPON and STUDY these talks! Actually, they are NOT intended to be heard once but rather over and over again. That is only ONE reason conferences are available to us - the other reason, is for us to STUDY and APPLY the teachings; and ultimately, these messages will help us improve our lives! It is indeed a privilege and blessing to have a living prophet and apostles to guide us in this latter days! I just LOVE conference.

For the first time in history, it was super awesome to have men and women talk in their native languages. Although, I don’t have a favorite talk yet, I really liked the message from our prophet. It’s crazy because the past two months being on my mission, I have been thinking on the most important attributes and qualities that I need to focus on since there is so much to do. I am reminded of the following scripture: “….what kind of men ye ought to be, thus saith the Lord, Even as I am”. So, lately I have been praying and pondering about that scripture! Likewise, as a missionary I need to develop certain attributes needed to do the Lord's work and hope to become an example to others as our Savior did. As a matter of fact, it felt so good and my heart rejoiced when President Monson mentioned this very same subject in his talk. As if Christ was looking at me and answering my prayers. I love that we have a modern day “profeta” that leads and guides us today. I love our “profeta” and all that he does for us. I really like how the talks focused a good bit on the home. I know that the home is so important and that parents are the prime teachers to children. Home is where it all starts!!
This week has been a little hard but we are picking up more “investigadores” and our teaching pool is growing-- which is awesome! We have two baptisms coming up, so I’m really excited about that. We are still working and pressing hard!  

You know how the people in Spain has “Z” (pronounced as “theta”); well by now, I can understand about 75% of any given conversation. That being said, the other night we were talking in a “cita” (an appointment) when this lady stopped us and started talking to us. I tried SO HARD to understand AT LEAST ONE thing she said, but I couldn’t get anything out of it, other than “Dios”, which is God. Oh my goodness I felt so sad and discouraged! To top it off, this lady had a strong Spanish accent and she had no teeth making even more difficult to understand anything that came out of her mouth. It was so funny, having no teeth + a really bad Spanish accent = ONE confused missionary trying to understand this poor 92 year old lady. After we left that appointment; I asked my companion: “Hermana, what in the world did she just say..?” and my companion answered: “..Hermana Arce, I have no idea what she said..” After that incident, we simply laughed our hearts out and kept walking. On the other hand, when we meet people who are from South America, I get so happy because they talk with such a cleaner Spanish and I just love it!! It seems as their words are much clearer and well-pronounced. However, people in Spain have strong accents which naturally makes it hard to understand. The “Ss”, “Zs” and “Cs” and ALL seems so crazy—enough of that “theta” madness!

On a separate note, I met “una familia de Chile” and I told them that my “Papi” is from Chile and EVERYONE I come across, keep saying that I don’t look “American”. I then explain that my father is from Chile and they are like—“Oh, yeah! we can see it that now”. Of course, it’s an instant connection and it's an automatic LOVE... What can I say! 

A funny story this week: So, we were walking back to our “piso” (floor) and we heard loud drums going off. I was like, my goodness what is that??? And my companion casually explained: "Oh, that’s right-- it’s just the Virgin parade" and then my companion further explains that all virgin girls in Malaga get together and celebrate as a tribute to the Virgin Mary—It is a Catholic event. Then, I said: “Are you kidding me?...” and I said: “Hermana, let’s run-- we gotta catch up and join the parade!” To my disappointment, when we arrived at the parade, there were a couple of floats and all was decorated nicely and a statue of the Virgin Mary was placed on top of a float. It seemed as the people were like worshiping her and a band playing music and everyone was dancing around the floats. It was super freaky, but still funny!! I just looked at my companion and I said: “Hermana, we are NOT in Kansas anymore—We ARE in Spain”….

Love you all!

Hermana Arce, Sissy, e Hija