Monday, January 26, 2015

Hello from Logroño!!!


Hello from Logroño!!! Ok I just need to start off by saying that when I came out to Spain I was so excited to leave the snow of Utah behind.... I am sorry, but I did not sign up to find it again in an even colder atmosphere!!! It is sooooooo cold out here!!! Logroño is the place where blue skies and sunshine cease to exist. It's all gray clouds, wind, rain, and snow.... well not necessarily snow, more like straight slush raining down on us in the coldest way imaginable!!! But, despite the cold, it is truly beautiful!! Logroño is surrounded by mountains and is its own little city set in the center of them. And the only time that the sun is visible is during the sunrise, after that, it is hidden until the next morning. I mean, it makes for a beautiful sunrise!
Anyway, well this week was a looooooot of walking around. Back in Valencia I was fortunate enough to have metro and auto buses to travel by... Logroño isn't a big enough city for a metro system... or bus system... so guess what I do???? I walk. Everywhere. In the bitter cold. Haha I am not complaining though. It's a new cold, and exciting adventure. In Valencia I was blessed with people who were ready to hear the gospel, so we spent the majority of the time in citas with investigators, or with members, or menos activos.... out here there is just a small ward, very little investigators at the moment, so that means contacting. all day, every day!!! Knocking doors, and stopping all those we pass in the streets!! My Spanish is getting better by the minute haha I have never stopped and talked to so many people in my life, but I love it. There is work to be done out here!!
So other than freezing my bootie off every day, and talking to everyone, not a whole lot has gone on. Nothing too exciting. I mean every minute with my crazy native companion is a moment to remember, but not a whole lot else. The members out here are amazing and strong, and the youth and young adults are fabulous. Great ward, great people, great place to be!!! Pray that I don't freeze to death this week!! lots of love!! besos!!!!
Hermana Stilson


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A phone call, and a seven hour train ride later

Long time, no talk!! I am so sorry for my period of absence, but that's what happens sometimes when transfer calls come. Well everyone, and I mean everyone, was absolutely sure I was staying in Valencia. Even President Pace told me I was going to stay there... but a phone call, and a seven hour train ride later and I am now in what is known as one of the coldest areas in Spain... bum bum bum.... is the anticipation killing you yet?? I'll give y'all a hint.... I am up north... haha that doesn't do much to help you, no one really will know what that means other than Marti and uncle D, so I'll just tell you. I am in Logroño!!!! Holy snot, it is so beautiful up here!!! And it's true what everyone says about it being cold, except cold is a huge understatement, it is FREEZING!!! Its rainy, cold, and the humidity absolutely bites!! But I love it already! I just have to pack on the layers in the morning and think warm thoughts when I walk out the door, but even with all the precautions it is still freezing!!!! Oh well, come what may and love it!!! 

Speaking of loving it, I have a new companion, and I kind of love her! Her name is Hermana Mendez, and she is straight up crazy!! Crazy in the best of ways! She is a native speaker, but to my relief, she is also fluent in English. She is from Guatemala. Oh she is just the funniest little thing. But we are out here in Logroño, an area that is very new to sister missionaries, and we are ready to work hard and bring in the miracles... and also try not to freeze to death in the process!!! Sorry this weekly update is so short, but that is all that really happened was I was transferred and I am now in the most beautiful parts of Spain. The north is truly incredible!!!

 I love you all so much, stay tuned for next time!!!

Besos!! Hna Stilson

Monday, January 12, 2015

I was the lucky one...

 Hey y'all!! So this week was great, as usual out here in Valencia. Trio is still going strong, but it is crazier than ever!! But hey, it's working out, and leaving me with no room to complain!! I love the Hermanas I get to work with, they are both so strong and bring so much to the lessons that we teach. If y'all thought that teaching with one companion was strong, just imagine how much better it can be when you add another disciple of Christ to it!!! Trios bring miracles that you wouldn't normally see in a regular companionship. It has been quite the experience. We work well together, and know how to make the work fun. I truly adore Hermana Manwill and Een!!!
Well, I ate some pretty interesting things this week.... For one, I was unfortunate enough to be the one to eat Chicken lungs and heart at a huge eating cita on dia de los reyes... that is a huge holiday out here, it's basically their Christmas.... but let's just say that I was eating it just fine, until they congratulated me on being the lucky one to eat what I did, and me not knowing enough Spanish, kept eating it. That is until one of the elders leaned over and said, you are a trooper for eating that. and I was all, it's just chicken. Then he started laughing and said, yes, but you just ate its lungs and heart... let's just say I spent the next 5 min in the bathroom bent over the toilet!! What a treat!!! Now for the next dish I had at another members house was pasta con gato.... for those of you who don't know what gato is, it is CAT. Yes, you read that right, cat. I ate a freaking cat in pasta!!! Gag me with a spoon, it was nasty!!! I mean, I hate cats. but I don't hate them enough to cook them up and put them in my dinner. It was gross. But I do need to consider myself lucky, it could be a lot worse!! I'll just cross my fingers that it doesn't!!!
Ok, now for my favorite part of the week. We received a phone call from a recent convert from the other Hermanas ward, and she asked us if we could come  and see her after her surgery. She had to have a kidney stone removed. I for one, was all for it, I just really wanted to see her incision sights and check them out. So we head out to her home, and we start talking to her and share a message with her, all that good stuff. Then, in her lying down, recovering
from surgery, state, she says, ok the real reason why I called you to come here is I really need help. I am supposed to have someone help me clean, check, and redress my incision sights, but everyone I have asked said it was too gross or they didn't have time for it. Can you please do it for me?? Well, Hermana Een is super squeamish so she was ready to bolt from the room. Hermana Manwill thought she was kidding, but can you guess what did?? I ran to the bathroom, washed
my hands, gloved up, and was all ready and excited to help her. haha I know it was just cleaning it all, but it was so fun!!! I am taking it as a spiritual revelation from above confirming that my decision to be a surgeon is the right path for me after mission life!

Que mas.... well my big spiritual moment this week hit me when I read an old conference talk... I know I am terrible, but I can't remember the title of the talk, who gave it, or when it was given, but it was good. It was all about making the decision to change. The Lord is so ready and willing to help us change and become the person he wants us to be, but he can't do it all for us, we have to take the first step and make the decision. So now I am full of this new motivation and desire to change and become a better missionary. It is time to rededicate myself to this incredible work, and then act on it..... so that is what I have been doing, and I may have taken it a bit too far... so remember when I told you all that I got a little chucky out here in Valencia. Well no more of that!! No more chubber tubbers!!! I took the conference talk to heart and applied it to my life concerning my body as well haha. I think my companions are going to kill me. Oh the joys of being in a trio. I drag them out of piso every morning to go running, or to go to the park to do some nice good crossfit workouts!! They might kill me in my sleep, but they will thank me later when we leave weight gaining Valencia all nice and skinny!! haha
Well that's all I have for this week. Thanks for the steady stream of love and support and prayers!!! I love you all, and can't wait to update you all next week!!! besos!!! 
Love, Hermana Stilson

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello friends and family!!!
Well week one of being in a trio was a success!! Now don´t let that fool you, I said success. Notice how I did not say that it was easy. It is a lot of work!! But I wouldn't have it any other way... well that is kind of a lie, if I had it my way, I would still be with Hermana Gillette.... but since I can't have the absolute best, I will work with the next best thing!!!! Being in a trio is stressful, hard, tiring, rough, and yet so rewarding. We are seeing so many miracles, and little things that makes the hard work worth every second of it!!! It is so amazing to see how the Lord continually blesses his missionaries, especially during their hard times. But I had a very humbling experience this week since being in a trio. I realized just how much I still have to do, and learn. and being in a trio and being the only one to know my area and ward of the three of us really forced me to step it up. I can't be the one sitting back and watching the other Hermanas do all the work. That's not why I am here. It's not what the lord wants me to do. It's time for me to set aside my fears and give the Lord everything that I have and trust that he will make  up where I fall short. I have a lot of work to do, but I won't be doing it alone. I am here to serve the Lord with all that I have, and that is what I am going to do. Look out Spain, here I come!!!
Love and miss you all!!!
Hermana Stilson

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Day...OH HOW AMAZING!!!

Hello, hello family and friends. What a fun week that we had. Christmas as a missionary truly was an amazing experience.  As a district we were able to travel to stay together all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and it was a blast. Christmas eve we started out the morning by hitting up the metro, busting out our himnos and belting out Christmas hymns for all those around us. We may not have sounded the best, but we definitely brought the spirit... and the Christmas spirit. We sang everywhere we went, on the metro, in the streets, on the buses, and even at a hospital. That was probably one of my favorite things that we did because it reminded me of the times that all the cousins would go with Grandma and Grandpa and sing at the resting home in Ferron and decorate Christmas trees with the residents. It was a fun way to bring happiness to others, and good memories to myself. Then  in between being fed by a million members, we went around to recent converts, members, less actives, and investigators pisos and shared a small Christmas program with them. It was full of the birth of Christ, scriptures, and hymns to go along with the program. it was so beautiful, and I was so glad that we were able to share the wonderful message of Christ with so many people. 
And then we had Christmas day... OH HOW AMAZING!!!! It was full of more festivities and singing with the district, sharing our Christmas program, eating more and more, and then finally being able to talk with my beautiful family. Oh man, it was so incredible to see and hear the voices of my family, and be able to Skype my brother as well. I don't have words to describe just how special that Skype session was for me. My brother is the reason I was able to make it out on my mission and to able to talk to him while we are both serving was so incredible. He is an amazing disciple of Christ, and he radiates his light. He is such a strong example to me and the rest of my family. I couldn't be more thankful for having such a strong older brother to look up to. He is a pure servant of the lord with a strong testimony. He builds me up and gives me the strength to rely on the Lord. Oh my goodness, Christmas was just perfect in every way.
The day after Christmas was interesting to say the least... Our district was hit with a batch of food poisoning, so guess who's district was out sick again... yea, that was unfortunate. I mean, I would have been happy with a good night's rest after the holiday festivities, but me and my companions stomach thought otherwise. I spent the better part of the night camped out on the bathroom floor with the toilet in reach to catch all the cookies I was tossing up. Yay, sick district. Tis the season. But no worries, we puked it out, then hit the streets to continue the work that we are here to do. 
Well the last thing that happened this week is I had to say goodbye to my companion. Ugh, not going to lie, that was the hardest thing that I have had to do out here. She is my other half. Basically my best friend. But she served a full mission, and is returning with honor. I am so proud of her, and I was so blessed to have the opportunity to know her and serve with her. The Lord knew I needed a strong trainer, and he gave me just that. She is incredible!! But now I am in a trio for the next three weeks with the other two Hermanas that I live in piso with Hermana Manwill, and Harmana Een. They are both great, and I know that I am going to learn so much for them. yes it will be rough trying to manage two areas and two wards between the 3 of us, but we will see so many miracles while working together!!! Then in three weeks we will have to see what else the Lord has in store for me. Well I love you all, thank you again and always for your love support and prayers. You are great. Keep the faith. Talk to you all next week! 
 Hermana Stilson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry "ChristMAS"

Yay, I finally got my Package!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Well alls I can say is that it has been an amazing week. Everyone around us is preparing for Christmas. I am in Spain, and I am serving the Lord and I couldn't be happier right now. We are being fed left and right by all the sweet members out here, so no worries mom, I have plenty of Spanish moms out here taking care of me while you can't. I don't have a lot to say, mainly due to the fact that I will just say it all when I get to talk to my family in a few days, so I am sorry this is lame and short. But remember to think of Christ this week. I don't know how many of you know this, but más in Spanish means more.... so when I write ¨ChristMAS¨ just sit and think about that, and try to think of a way that you can add more Christ into your holiday season this week. I love and miss you all, and I can't wait to talk to my family this week!!! Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Bon Natal!!!! You are all in my thoughts and prayers!!!!! 
Love Hermana Shea Stilson



So happy she finally sent us a few more pictures!