4 MONTHS IN (Week 16)

Four. Months. In. Wow time is flying and I can’t believe it! Soon the year will be over and then she will only have 11 months to go! Nice, long email from her this week and more pictures which is awesome! Sounds likes despite a few trials she is really enjoying life!

Hola all

Today was a good week, we spent a lot of time with the members over
our medio dias getting to know them and asking for references which
was good fun! We met with one member called Marta and she taught us
how to make her delicious barbecue pizza and it was amazing. Also we
had a NDH its my favourite families, it’s the Sanche zfamily and then
Lilianna and Nelson with their children! They are absolutely fabulous,
we’ve been working to reactivate them and they came to the ward
activity on Saturday! The activity was really fun and our menos
activos (less actives) came to the activity too and they really enjoyed it! It was a
fundraiser for the youth and so they had a barbecue which was amazing,
I thought English barbecues were good but Barrio 9 took it to a whole
new level, seriously. Then they had karaoke and a water fight!

Karaoke sounds about right I would have been so up for that!

We took 3 trips to Boadilla this week! I think it’s a record but it’s
because there is actually so much work out there! We were scrolling
through the phone and found a contact called Antiguo investigador Luz,
Boadilla. So we rang them and fixed an appointment and now we are
teaching them! She was having the lessons about 4 years ago and the
missionaries just stopped coming one day and she didn’t know why, we
can’t find a teaching record either for her so we have no idea! But
she’s fabulous and is already starting to give us references of her
friends for us to start teaching them too! But Hermana shaw is super
Vieja and old and tired in the mission so she fell asleep the whole
journey there haha and she practically fell asleep in a lesson during
a 3 minute video, Mercedes, the member, was absolutely crying with
laughter!😂

Man if ever you hit a gold mine with somebody, they clearly struck gold with this contact! Someone willing to listen and refer their friends is pretty impressive! I’m glad the member found it funny Louisa’s companion fell asleep – wake up H. Shaw!

I did my first ever piso knock. Hermana shaw doesn’t like street
contacting and so she wanted to piso knock one day, which is hard
because they just have an intercom system so you talk over the
intercom and hope they let you in and if they let you in you have no
idea who they are or what they’re like or if they’re creepy or not
until they’ve buzzed you into the building and you get the lift up to
their piso. So I outright refused the first time but we were walking
down a street and felt impressed to piso knock one of the buildings. I
timbre-d the first apartment in the building but we didn’t hear
anything so I assumed the pisos were vacant and then just rang all the
piso bells in succession. Well then we heard something…
Lots of neighbours came out asking us why we were ringing their pisos
and so we explained we were the missionaries etc and we were here to
share a message with them! And one of them listened! We have a return
appointment to start teaching her this week! Lesson learnt? Always
follow the spirit and don’t randomly toke people’s apartments. Turns
out they don’t like it. We think we’ll mostly stick to street
contacting now ahah!

H. Shaw street contacting is part of missionary work! Sometimes in life you have to do things that take you out of your comfort zone. I imagine piso knocking is weird haha just buzzing all the intercoms and see who answers especially as you don’t know who you will be seeing until you get up to the door.

We found another person as well this week! He is called Ulysses! He’s
South African. He was praying in a church and thanking God for life
and stuff and then he was walking down the street and we contacted
him, he’s from South Africa and speaks only English and he’s like wow.
This is a sign. It’s meant to be and so now we get to start teaching
him in English! Always following your promptings when contacting, or
in general really. The Lord doesn’t tell you to do things for no
reason.

Okay somethings spiritual for the week I guess, this morning I studied
in Mosiah 21 and the people here have lost 3 wars. After 3 wars and
rounds of death and suffering they humble themselves and pray to the
Lord. The Lord softens the hearts of the lamanites so that the burdens
on the Nephites are bearable. What’s interesting is it says the Lord
didn’t see fit at this time to free them. So they endured a little
longer and finally they run into Ammon who’s come from Zarahemla. He
preaches the gospel and they all have the desire to be baptised. Think
if the Lord hadn’t ask the people of Limhi to bear their burdens just
a little longer they and had instead freed them they might never have
met Ammon or heard the gospel! Remember, when the Lord asks you to
bear your burden just a little longer it’s because there is something
better in store for you than merely being freed of your burden. The
lord knows our need better than us, Limhi didn’t know his people
needed ammon and the gospel, but the Lord did. Bear your trials with
patience and humility, there are brighter times ahead!

Love you all,
Hermana Liddicott

Xxx

I bet Ulysses was glad to bump into them it sounds like he is interested and I bet Louisa is glad of an opportunity to speak English. Sometimes I like to imagine that when she comes home she will have forgotten English and only be able to speak Spanish haha!

Interesting thought about burdens, often when they get to their hardest point that is when they will be taken from us. Patience is hard though but usually the answer. I know that thought is pretty relevant to Louisa at the moment. Like they say the calm always comes AFTER the storm!

Pictures below! Until next week, adios! Maria x

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Staying in Barrio 9 (Week 15)

I was excited to get her email this week, because it was transfers on Saturday and I wanted to find out where/if she was moving/getting a new companion. She has quite a bit to say this week!

Hey guys

This was a cool week, we got a new investigator called William and he
has such a cute little daughter! After the lesson he gave us both a
mango but they were super ripe and they dropped mango juice allll over
the metro haha! And then by the time we got them home to Piso they
were not edible aha but it was fun all the same!

We had transfers this week and…
I’m in the CANARY ISLANDS!
Broma, jokes jokes, I’m still here in b9 and I’m super excited because
we have some great stuff going on! Pedro has his baptismal date for
the 10th September and so I will get to see that still which I’m super
grateful for! I’m still here with Hermana shaw my companion from last
transfer as well. They split our zone again and so we are back to the
carabanchel zone with only 18 or so missionaries and only 4 Hermanas!
Which is crazy as it’s just us and the sister training leaders. This
week we did lots of getting to know the members better and asking the,
for references! We are very excited because one of our reactivated
less actives and a recent convert have both started bringing their
friends to church! It’s so great when people want to share the gospel
with their friends!

What’s sad though is that we’ve had to leave some of our investigators
because they don’t want anything. That’s always the hardest part, when
you come to know someone and what the best for them and they choose
not to accept the gospel 😦

I got to eat some Russian food this week because we have a Russian
member in the ward called Olga! She’s so lovely and her food is
amazing, however we had the address for her old house so we went there
first and then had to walk half an hour over to the other side of the
pueblo to her actual house haha so we were only a little bit a lot
late! But she thought it was funny ahah!

This is us with our investigator Fran and a video about kebabs. Last
week there was a festival on Monday so nothing was open. Genuinely
nothing. I mean in England when we have bank holidays every thing is
open still but here nothing, not even the corner shops or super
markets, they know how to do fiesta days here for sure!

Hmmm also we were sat on the train this week and all of a sudden when
we’re waiting at a station we smell spray paint! What happened was two
kids jumped onto the tracks and started graffiting the train carriage!
Photos attached

Something spiritual:
There is a video called “la voluntad de dios ” I’m English it’s the
will of God I think. It’s based on a talk by D Todd christoferson.
It’s a story about a gooseberry bush and how God as the gardener knows
how best to make that happen. This week after sharing the video with
many people we had transfer calls and other things. Something I really
wanted, or thought would be best, didn’t happen and so I was upset and
then angry but then I remembered this video, and I realised it all
comes down to whether or not I believe it. Do I really believe God has
a plan for me and knows what’s best?
The answer is yes, I know our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and
everyone of us because we are his beloved sons and daughters and he is
excited to see us home again! I know my Saviour lives and I know that
God loves us.

Pictures are attached below. Unfortunately I can’t upload videos to here but if you have Louisa on fb you can watch them there!

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The video of The Will of God is below if any of you want to watch it, it is a really nice one!

Until next week! Adios!

Sacrificing our Divine Heritage for Lentils (Week 14)

So firstly apologies for last week’s really late blog post and even later email. I had sent the email out but had mailed it accidentally to my sister instead of the group email haha so that’s why it was behind, but we are on track this week!

14 weeks or three and a half months! Time is speeding by! She seems to have had another good week and has lots to say about it!

Hey everyone!

This week has been fuego! We have 5 new investigators! One of our new
investigators is from Romania and so it’s kind of difficult to teach
him because he doesn’t speak Spanish very much, but he is so
interested in the gospel. We met him street contacting when he rescued
us from a seedy guy who’d grabbed hold of me and was trying to get us
to go with him somewhere, and then boom our Romanian friend rescued
us, we invited him to church and now we’re teaching him! And he’s
getting BAPTISED! He has set a date for baptism with us for 10th of
September! And we only started teaching him this week! The Lord really
does help us find prepared people when we are acting in faith! But
he’s Romanian and so he reads from his Romanian Book of Mormon and we
read in the Spanish and so we think he gets everything but we are
going to start skyping the Romanian missionaries so they can help us
teach him!

By the way fuego means fire. It’s something her and Soeur McKenna used to say all the time if something was amazing it would be “pure fire” haha. I’m glad Louisa got rescued from the seedy guy and even gladder the guy turned out to be interested in their message it worked out really well for them. A little bit of a challenge with the language barrier but they have a way to work with it which is good.

My friend wrote to me a little while back about being bold. And really
that’s all the lord requires of us and so I decided to try it and
start inviting people in the street to activities and to to church
which is how we found another of our new investigators! We had an
activity on at church that night so I invited him to come to that, he
couldn’t make it but said he’d take the lessons with us instead which
is sweet!
We found a family as well! They are the most wonderful people ever, I
street contacted them one night and they invited us to come to their
home and share our message. Then this week when we went we found out
her husband had never ever let religious people or missionaries into
their home before! We were the first in their entire lives! But they
had wanted to listen because we seemed so happy! This truly is the
lords gospel and it brings total happiness in this life, and others
can see it through your example every day!

They seem to be having lots of success at the moment with finding new people to teach about the gospel. It’s especially cool about the family who had never had any kind of missionaries into their home before!

This week we had zone capacitación, I don’t really know what it is in
English? Zone training I guess..? Either way it was great! They used a
clip from a film called We are Giants I think, it’s about American
football anyway. One of the players has to carry on his back a 160lb
man whilst crawling blindfolded across the football pitch to get to
the other side. The coach the whole time is shouting him on, repeating
the same messages of encouragement, and really it’s the same with the
gospel! Each of us needs to blindfold ourselves to the distractions of
the world so that we can listen more fully to these voices if the
trainers in our lives. My trainers are my family, the Lord, each and
everyone one of you reading this email, my friends, my companions, my
district, everyone. In reality, anyone who encourages us in this life
can represent the encouraging voice of the trainer but today I want to
thank each one of you for the voice of encouragement you are for me
whilst I’m serving this mission.

This week the elders needed to give us our pedidos, that’s like
resources we needed, and so instead of walking down the stairs they
decided to put them in their paper bun and lower them out of their
window on the 3rd floor, which was interesting. Pictures attached.
Also one of our investigators called us serpents and told us we were
like the Pharisees because we just talk of Christ and we haven’t
sacrificed our lives for him like the apostles did…

The last bit was interesting, that they got called serpents. If serving a mission isn’t a sacrifice than I really don’t know what is. She’s giving up family and regular life for 18 months to serve the Lord.  There isn’t much call for dying for your religion in the Western world these days…

Sadly I read in the bible this week that it’s a sin to love sleep!
Proverbs 20:13 “13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open
thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” Sad times right?
Bread over sleep? 😭😭😭

I laughed at this bit because Louisa LOVES her sleep. Even when she wasn’t sleeping if you couldn’t find her she would be sat in her bed! She also loves bread though so I don’t think it’ll work out too badly for her.

Transfers are this Saturday and I really hope I’m not leaving! But
it’s cool, the members have said they’ll hide me and feed me Peruvian
food for the rest of my mission if they try to transfer me so that I
can stay serving in B9! 😎The people here really have become my
family! ☺️

I feel like she might get transferred, though I know she’d really like to stay – she might not feel too bad though if she gets to go to the Canary Islands!

Something spiritual
This week I have been pondering on Genesis 25 which is the story of
Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of lentils.

29 ¶And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red
pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit
shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he
sold his birthright unto Jacob.

I’d risk it for a biscuit on occasion, but would you sell your divine
heritage for a bowl of lentils? Maria, not being a fan of lentils,
definitely wouldn’t 😉 But today I want to share what I’ve been
reading about spiritual pottage, which in this world represents the
temporal and immediate gratification.
We are all sons and daughters of The Most High God. We have the
potential to become Gods and Goddesses, Kings and Queens, Priests and
Priestesses, heirs to all that the Father hath and yet what are we
doing on a day to day basis to fulfill this divine potential? Are we
striving to develop patterns of study and prayer that will invite the
Holy Ghost and ensuing revelation into our lives? Do we ask “what lack
I yet?” And then work on it? Are we striving to more fully live our
covenants so that we can prepare for the eternities?

Or are we trading our divine potential for spiritual pottage. That is
to say are we sacrificing our divine rights in order to receive
immediate satisfaction in this world? When we sin or choose not to
choose the right, or choose not to actively seek to progress in this
life, we find ourselves moving further and further away from our
Heavenly Father and we stop fulfilling our divine potential. We wind
up selling our rich spiritual heritage for things like worldly gain,
popularity, partying and things that provide immediate but not lasting
happiness.

The psalmist said
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most
High. (Psalms 82)

This has been a great thought on my mind recently. The balance of happiness now and for eternity. Often the two coincide but often they don’t, it’s a delicate balance. Often we feel it is easier and more painless to have what we want now even knowing that if we waited we would be given more. It’s all about perspective and patience.

 

Live it! Believe it! And don’t sell yourself short! I testify that
each and everyone one of you is a beloved and known child of God. He
loves you more than you know and is excited for the day that you can
return to him having learnt from your life here on earth so that you
can live together forever.

God is anxious to be with His eternal family too. Even when it seems
hard, even when you can’t see the blessings of choosing the right,
even if it’s easier to follow the world we need to choose to live up
to our divine birthright. Don’t trade it for spiritual pottage, you
can do it! Siempre Es vale la pena! (2 Nephi 31:20 tells you the
blessings!)

I liked when she put “God is anxious to be with His eternal family too”. So often we see it as our journey back to Him, with us doing the work and He has no particualr interest but is just sat there waiting and checking us all off as we die. It’s nice to consider that He is excited for us to return to Him and waits anxiously for us to be reunited. He is after all our Father and we have been away for a long time, no doubt He wants us home and close with Him.

I love you guys, please keep being so awesome!

Have a great week guys!
Stay cool!
Hermana Liddicott 🇪🇸🇬🇧

A nice email! Long, detailed and she is happy!

More from her next week where we will find out if she has been transferred or not!

Adios! M.

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Lowering the perdidos to her companion
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Louisa and her companion
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Zone Capacitacion

Longest email ever = YES (Week 13)

Apologies for this week being late, I was on holiday and really needed my laptop to sort all of this out my phone screen was just frustrating to say the least haha!

Anyways she had a lot to say this week which was ace! And some more photos!

Hey guys!

This is probably the longest group email I’ve ever written, Lo siento!

It was a pretty quiet week this week again! Lots of people are away on
holiday still here in the ward, both members and investigators so
we’ve begun to do a cleanse of the ward list which is huge, like 41
pages long and it’s still missing a lot of members. A lot of the
people don’t live here anymore either, like I phoned one family and
fixed a family home evening with them because we don’t know them, when
we phoned for their address it turns out they live in Guardalajara
which is super far away and definitely not in our area, not even in
our zone in fact it’s 56km away hahaaa! So the ward cleanse has been
interesting!

We have a new investigator called Alejandra and she is amazing! We
street contacted her but she was about to go on holiday, so we rang
her (Americans don’t use the term to ring someone, strange right?) and
she wanted to meet when she came home! In the lesson she was a bit
sceptical to start off with the Joseph smith part but when we bore our
testimonies the spirit was just so strong! She cried and then the
lesson was just onwards and upwards from there and we get to meet with
her on Tuesday again so we are super excited! Also one of the best
parts about being a missionary here in Barrio 9 is that we do loads of
lessons in cafes and ice cream shops when we first get to know
investigators so we get to eat some great food! Like we went to eat
with the elders and our less active, she’s called Sajianna, who is
absolutely fabulous and she took us to a Bolivian restaurant. We tried
sopa de platano, which is not banana soup. It was plantain soup which
is somehow different and delicious!

We no longer get to teach gospel principles as they’ve called a
teacher from the ward to do it, which is nice but it makes me a bit
sad because although I ended up teaching it by myself a lot this
transfer…it was actually kind of fun and I did really enjoy it. Last
p day we played volleyball in mostales, well they played and I kept
score as my sporting ability is practically non existent. This week
we’re off to Segovia which is kind of far but is very beautiful! I’ll
send you all some pictures later!

The members here in Barrio 9 are phenomenal they feel just like my
family, I’m honestly so blessed to serve here. I really never want to
leave B9! And the people in the streets are equally as caring, even if
they don’t want anything they try to give us food in the streets!! We
have a new family in the ward too and a woman has moved over for a
month from America so I translate for her at church which is exciting
but nerve racking because not only did I have to translate in classes
for her but also when she got up to bare her testimony I had to
translate right there and then on the spot in front of everyone which
was scary! But also exciting, I actually kind of enjoyed translating!
☺

On Saturday the elders had a baptism! It was Nubias baptism and it was
such a sweet experience! Nubia has such a powerful testimony and such
a fire to share the gospel! She’s sharing the gospel with everyone,
it’s amazing to see how the gospel changes people’s lives and it’s an
even bigger blessing when they realise how their lives have changed
and want their family to have it too! 😊

On Saturday as well we took a trip out to a pueblo called Boadilla
which is like an hour away and met with Sylvia which was great. And we
went to dominos pizza out there, it’s cool because they have this
whole eat all you want drink all you want fare here for like €7, but
they give you cardboard triangles and you eat your slices off those,
it’s the strangest invention I’ve ever seen…But she might be moving
to the part of Switzerland in the France Lyon mission and so she might
get to meet Jemima, tag teaming even when we’re countries apart!!
☺😎👊🏻

Cool story for this week was that we saw them filming a film or an
advert or something. We have, in truth, no idea what they were filming
or if there were famous people there or not but it was cool to see it
nonetheless. Also our investigator who was going to be baptised this
Saturday, now isn’t going to be baptised 😦 so we are really sad about
that but it’s their decision in the end. We had another investigator
come to church on Sunday which was so exciting! She’s very ill but
she’s progressing so so much! It was such a blessing to have her their
this Sunday and to see her feeling the love of the members and the
love of God!

More interesting things of the week? So we street contacted a family
and were talking about how we have the restored church and we have
prophets and the dad was like woah no way so do we! And so we asked
him if he was a church member and he said no but his church also had
prophets. Then pointing to his wife, proudly told us she was one of
the prophets of their church…it was kind of awkward and I don’t know
if he was joking or not, but he said if we came to his church with him
he’d come to ours so we’re going to ask zone leader permission to do
this because they’d be such great members! Also we’ve been dropping
thank you cards to members and less actives and one of the less
actives photocopied it and gave us a copy back with the grammar
corrected! Super useful, but super awkward and super funny 💔😂

Okay something spiritual this week:

What is it about women?

This past week we taught the gospel principles class about the
priesthood. Unsurprisingly the theme of women and the priesthood came
up, yet what surprised me was the ensuing discussion. (Many people
find it sexist that God would allow only males to have the priesthood
and fail to see why it should be a “patriarchal religion.” Yet as a
woman I have never felt oppressed in any such way for not having the
priesthood.)

However in this class all the members expressed their sincere love for
their mothers and women in their lives, agreeing that men and women,
although were equals in the church, are different. Meaning that to men
was given the priesthood and the right to preside in the home but to
women was given the right of motherhood and the responsibility to
raise and nurture the children in love and righteousness. And that
both roles were of equal importance.

Yet how does his apply to women on the whole? Many women are single or
do not yet have children of their own, how then does this divine role
of motherhood apply to them? I came across the answer while studying
in the Liahona, it was a talk by Neill F Marriott in the last general
conference and she says:

“Eve was called a “mother” before she had children. I believe that “to
mother” means “to give life.” Think of the many ways you give life. It
could mean giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to
the doubter. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an
emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected,
and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the
kingdom of God. Sisters, all of us came to earth with these
life-giving, nurturing, maternal gifts because that is God’s plan.”

I think in reality all women are mothers and that Motherhood is the
embodiment of charity. Jeffrey R Holland once talked about how a
mothers love is the closest thing on earth to the saviours love for
us. “Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before:
that no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love
of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her
child.”
As a Hermana in the Spain Madrid mission I’m learning more about
motherhood everyday. As I learn to have charity for those I teach, for
my companion and even for strangers on the street I begin to care
about them! When someone rejects me on the street I don’t feel
embarrassed, I feel sad for them! Or when an investigator isn’t
progressing I find myself worrying about them. This is something I’ve
learnt from my mum, charity isn’t about words it’s about action. My
mum taught by example and loved by actions just like the saviour did!

And so this week I want to extend an invitation to you all, that we
can be more like our mothers. That although we may not have children,
or even be women, that we can make place in our hearts for the
disconsolate and the weary, that they can come unto us and we can give
them rest, that we can spiritually or emotionally give somebody life
this week! That we can learn to have this motherly love, something so
close to the divine it has merited comparison with the perfect love of
the saviour, for all those around us.

Entonces, ¿haréis esto? 😉

I really enjoyed reading her email she did so much this week and is super happy which is great! Lots of good experiences with investigators and people that they are teaching! I don’t envy her having to translate for the American woman, ah standing up in front of so many people! Good on her though!

More next week!

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Slowly slowly (Week 12)

Well she has officially been out three months now! It has both gone super fast and really slowly, fifteen months left on the clock for her! Not so much happened this week; she says:

Hey so not much has gone down really since last Wednesday but that’s
cool you know!
We’ve got a great new set of investigators called grace and Jose and
another young one called Brian and so that’s really cool. We found
them all as street contacts and so that’s such a blessing to see the
fruits of our work and so it’s so nice to see the blessings and
miracles of the work!

Guess what! We went to Jacqueline’s house and we didn’t miss the
bus!!, who knew it was possible hey!?
On Friday we set a new baptismal fecha with Clementina for the 13th
August which was super exciting and we fasted with her on Saturday and
Sunday so that she can feel ready for this baptismal fecha that we
have with her! We had a NDH with the Barrio as well which was really
nice and then we did Zumba afterwards except we did it in skirts
because we forgot to bring shoes and stuff like that.
We had a lot of people fail us actually his week but on the plus side
we got to contact loads which was super fun and we get to have some
cool conversations. I think we got likened to Isis a few times this
week and we ate some super delicious food with Sajianna.
Guys I’m sorry my week was lame and I don’t have any cool stories 😭
Here’s some cool photos of a park where we teach and a photo of us
with Sylvia and her daughter

I forgot to ask what an NDH was haha I’ll try and remember for next week!

Hopefully she has a good week this week!

Send her an email! Let her know what you have been up to!

Until next week! (I just remembered I’m on holiday next week so the blog might not be up straight away, depends on wifi/data signal)

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