Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last week's letter

What a miracle!!! I don´t have much time this week, but we had the coolest experience ever. 


We had absolutely no hopes in baptizing Andrea´s family. They left on Sunday morning to Belgium. It was Wednesday and we were teaching Maria the mom of Andrea and Gabriela who is her cousin. We knew they were leaving in literally four days. We showed up to the house with absolutely no idea what we were going to teach. We walk in and sit down and just start talking for a while. We had planned on talking about the holy ghost I think with Andrea. But for some reason during the middle of the lesson, we both felt a super strong impression to start talking about the requirements for baptism. It was a very clear impression. It was weird because I honestly never even dreamed or hoped that they would get baptized before they left. We didn´t even try to push them. But we felt like we should invite them to be baptized on Saturday morning, the day before the left to Belgium. So we went over DC 20:37 and talked about how the Nephites in 3rd Nephi didn´t wait one second to be baptized after Christ left for the first time...and we felt the spirit a ton in that lesson. We invited them, and they said no way... So I was a little disanimated. So we just invited them to pray and ask god that night if he wanted them to be baptized on saturday (which was three days away) and they said they would. So we leave and go back the next day (thursday) and somehow elder wiley ended up teaching gabriela in the corner and I was teaching maria with the rest of Andrea´s family. I couldnt´hear wiley at all. I had no idea what he was talking to her about. But I taught Maria and asked her about her prayer and she said that she felt God´s answer, but that she was afraid. So we went over the baptismal interview questions, and I honestly don´t even know what I said to her. But all of the sudden Maria just called out to Gabriela (who was with Wiley) across the room ¨Gabby, I am getting baptized this saturday!!" and then gabriela turned around and said ¨me too!!!¨ 

I about fell out of my chair. It was incredible. I was a little scared to baptize them that soon. But I knew and felt that it was what God wanted. So we did the interviews the next day on Friday, and they were baptized on Saturday morning and confirmed right afterwards ( we got special permission) and then they left the next day to Belgium. 

It was great. Seriously one of the coolest miracles I have seen on my mission. I am very worried about them though. We have already contacted their bishop in Belgium, and there are latinos there that will take care of them. The mother of Gabby and the sister of Maria didn´t get baptized because it was too soon for her. So the missionaries in Belgium will get that reference soon and will take care of them. And I will email them every week and make sure that they are ok. But I really don´t like not being with my recent converts after the baptism. I don´t care how many people I baptize, but I do care that they stay active and close to the gospel. So far all 13 are good in the church. But I am worried about the two in Belgium. Anyway. I really love this family. They are so amazing and It was REALLY hard for me to say goodbye to them. 

I know that God will take care of them for me. And I am not going to forget about them. 


Well I love you all. This is seriously the greatest time of my mission. Elche is the best

Not a Real Letter :)

I am way too tired to write out a long email talking about my week. 

Nothing too exciting has happened. It´s been a slow week work wise. But I think it was a week of personal victories for me. 

You two are so classy. I LOVED the photos of your anniversary trip. Seriously amazing. Let´s just go to washington and oregon together instead of europe. Haha. No but seriously you guys have class. SUPER cool vacation. I am really jealous. The doogers thing really was just salt on the wound. Seeing photos of that place makes it difficult for me to appreciate the natural beauty of Spain. It´s beautiful in its own way, but I am more drawn to deep green forests and stuff like that. I love rain and cold weather and clouds. Not hot sun with sandy beaches. But Spain is still super pretty. 

Anyway. Irish restaurant looks sweet. 

I am exhausted right now. I didn´t really sleep on the bus. We took it last night at 4 am and got here to malagaat 11 am. So I haven´t slept a whole lot. 

that´s ok though. 

Any questions for me? I am not going to write out a huge email. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Rooster

Dear Family, 

Hello!!!!!! ! ! ! ! How are you? Kyle is home. WOW. That´s crazy. I really wish I could see a picture or something. Well that´s it I guess. Next is Kayla right? And then Hunter. And then me. Weird. 

I am STAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! Yes. I really wanted to stay. Six more weeks in Elche. That´ll be four transfers. Which means I will have spent more time in Elche than in any other area. 

Andrea got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) It was the greatest baptismal service I have ever been to. I seriously loved it. Andrea is so special. I love her to death. I love her family too. She has tons of family here in Elche. Her mom and aunt and cousin are amazing. They all want to be baptized. But the problem is that they are moving to Belgium in a week. Andrea isn´t, she will be living with other members of her family here in Elche. But still. It´s really sad for me. But I keep reminding myself. It doesn´t matter WHO baptizes anyone. Thanks to God for guiding us to Andrea, her entire family will be baptized and receive the gospel within the next two years. No doubt about it. She will bring her entire family. And there are tons of them. We´ve met at least 10, and she has a lot of others here. It´s so wonderful. So althought it may not be me who is there to witness it all, that doesn´t matter. What matters is that these people have the chance to accept the gospel. I feel like Andrea will be the cause of SO many souls finding the gospel. 

I suppose I would rather just have the money. I can buy a cheap suit from HM or something. And then have that one when I get back. It will be nice to have at least one american suit that isn´t trashed. That poor black suit has seen it´s days. Guess what though? Still fits me. It was tight from the beginning. So were my baptism pants. I hadn´t put those bad boys on since September. I used them last night and they fit better than they did 8 months ago. Which is a relief. 

I don´t have a lot of time today. But I hope you are well. SOOOOO happy about Clayton. Seriously. That is the greatest news ever. I am glad that he felt the spirit. Feeling the spirit and crying are very different, but often we mix that up. Good thing Clayton has no tear ducts. He would never mistake crying for feeling the spirit. EFY is awesome. 

Hermana R has a crazy obsession with studying. In her free time she studies Heavenly Mother and stuff like that. She is...well...she really likes knowing things, and she struggles a little with the way that some things are. I admire her so much. She doesn´t want the priesthood or anything, she just wants to understand. But anyway. People send her all these crazy talks and stuff. I read a twenty page BYU study on Heavenly Mother. It´s fascinating. You should look it up. But yeah. Hermana Rawle is leaving. Which is sad. But that´s ok. I just really love the people that I have met here. 

Well what else do I say?? I got an awful haircut. AWFUL. I keep trying to ask members to do it so that I can save money but I decided that it´s just not going to work out. Three people worked on my hair, and the end result is at least not a hack job. But it´s a gross european haircut that makes me look like a rooster. That´s ok though. It grows fast. 

I am trying to convince Spencer to go to UVU. And then live with me in Provo. Fingers crossed. 

Well that´s about it. I love you all a lot. I miss you. Want to know something scary? After this transfer flies by, I will only have five left. My time is seriously ticking. It´s...scary. 

Love, elder sharp





Monday, June 9, 2014

Quenching Thirsts

3 totally different continents. This next skype call will be quite interesting!! That is if Brigham gets his visa. I will be praying so that he does. I am really proud of him. He is going to learn so much in Brazil!! I am super excited for him! Brigham looks really good. Such an attractive little man. Super happy and charming and charismatic. His life is practically perfect right now isn´t it?? Totally easy and carefree. Haha. I can´t wait till he experiences his first few months in the field, especially with the language. Finally someone will know what it´s like!! Brigam will probably baptize the most out of the three of us. I think the work is doing really well right now in Brazil. So that is good for him :) He got a really awesome call. Obviously it´s nowhere near as cool as Spain, but hey- it´s not like we choose we serve ;) Just kidding. Brazil is the perfect place for him, and he´ll love it. 

Elder Wiley and I are doing really really well. We´ve just been quenching our thirst with living water all week, and we feel great. Seriously though, this is the greatest time of my mission. I have never had so many desires to be a missionary!! Let me tell you about the miracles that we have been blessed with!!

ANDREA!!! She is my favorite person alive. Seriously. 16 year old Ecuadorian girl. We found her while searching for an old investigator. The old investigator wasn´t home, so we knocked some doors and then started to leave. Then this lady named Vanessa? looked down the stairs from a higher floor and asked us who we were looking for. We contacted her, and she told us that she would let us come by another day. But she didn´t tell us which door was hers. So then while on an exchange with another missionary, Elder Datwyler and I went back looking for this elusive Vanessa. We knocked every door, and we didn´t find her. BUT we did find a 16 year old girl that told us we could come back another day when her mom was there. We talked to her a little bit about God and she told us that she was atheist. But we kept talking to her and invited her to pray. About a week or two later, we finally went back (we didn´t think there was much potential) and it turns out that she is AMAZING!!!!! Very prepared. She has felt the spirit so strongly and she came to church yesterday and loved it. Her and her mother Maria have fechas for the 29th of this month, but I think that we will move Andrea´s fecha to the 22nd because she is ready. She´s super funny. Very serious and quiet and intelligent. She cried during the testaments movie when the old prophet guy was killed. Which I thought was interesting. So we told her that he was killed for reading and preaching and protecting the very book that she holds in her hands (it was the BOM). It was a cool lesson. And she just loves Joseph Smith. After the second lesson she told us that she had already got an answer that he was a prophet. And she just kept talking about this ¨weird¨ feeling that she gets when she prays. It´s so great. She went from not praying at all and doubting God´s existance to praying, reading, and feeling the spirit every day. All in a few short weeks. God has really worked some miracles with her. Her mom is great too. Another plus is that Andrea has tons of cousins and family that live close by. YES. 

Cesar. Mexican boy of 14 years. STUD. We are having a hard time meeting with him. His mom Claudia is wonderful. SUPER catholic but that´s ok. We are working with them. It´s actually a family of five. C was married before, and had a kid- Cesar. Her ex husband is a member. But he left them when he found out that she was pregnant. Awesome, right? Yeah. Thank heavens for the Atonement. Anyway, she met this Spanish guy online and came to live here. So they had two daugters who are now 7 and 4. Cutest girls ever. The Spanish father, Manuel, is atheist. He won´t listen to us. But he´s a nice guy. We just want Cesar to come to church. He wants to get baptized and he really likes us. He has been praying too. But I think the mom is trying to make it difficult for us. UGH. C has a fecha for the 29th as well, but we´ll see what happens. 

M. Spaniard. 24 years old. Best friend of J, an investigator of ours. I love J to death. But she doesn´t really progress. She´s A´s sister. B is doing a bit better. Finally finished her tests. We´re going to try and help her come unto Christ this week. We´ve been giving her a break because of how stressed she was. But now we´re coming in like a wrecking ball. (they play that song all the time on the busses here) M has a fecha for July. But she is kind of hard to meet with too. And hasn´t been to church yet. But we´ll see. If she reads and prays, she´ll get an answer. And then she´ll want to be baptized. It´s as simple as that. 

We also have this cool couple from Cuba and Peru. But we found out yesterday that they are moving. A the wife is going back to Peru and M her Cuban husband will follow her shortly. So that´s kind of sad. But hopefully their life is better there. Their house almost burned down yesterday. A was alone and we were about to knock on her door when she came bursting out of the door crying saying that her house was on fire. There was lots of smoke and stuff. What had happened is she left a plastic bottle on the stove in a pot of hot water, and it ended up burning the entire baby bottle. And there was lots of smoke. It could have been poisonous. But we got that all taken care of. It was an exciting change of pace :) 

We found this really cool Columbian family. This little kid on the street gave us this reference. So we went by a few times and the mom just tried to keep us out but finally she decided to let us in. And she (her name is Y) said that it was the first time she had ever let any religious people in her house. She just felt like she should. She´s christian but she´s against churches. So yeah. Her husband is awesome. E. They have two kids. It´s one of the few put-together families with a good dad that I have found here in Spain. Usually the fathers here suck. We always find awesome women that would progress super well if it weren´t for their dumb husbands. But this guy is awesome. He´d be such a great priesthood holder. We´ll see what happens. They are moving to London in like five months, so we have to pick up the pace. 

We have other people, but my time is way up. 

So things are going well. I really am just loving life. The mission is the best. I really really really love Spain. I will cry so hard when I leave this place. I am glad that I still have time left! I still have so much left to do and learn. 

I´ve been studying the Savior lately. And the Holy Ghost. And I just love teaching people that want to learn. The Book of Mormon is still true, just so you guys know. The mission has CHANGED my life. It´s insane. 

Love you all

Brigham- you´re a stud. I am going to write you a letter about what you can do to prepare. 

I am glad that Quincey´s birthay was so great :) He is seriously the cutest kid. I love the fedora. What a classy little guy. I miss him a ton. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Brigham's Jaleo (Letter from May 26)

This may be a really short email because my keyboard really doesn´t work very well. It´s the space key that has problems. Quite unfortunate :) 

How are you?? I am glad that you survived your week!! It sounds like it was just filled with...fun experiences ;) I definitely had a very different week than that! 


The Spanish language is more intelligent than the english language. Or at least the english that we as americans speak. The way in which the spanish speakers form their sentences and all of the vocabulary is just more sophisticated. The spanish that I have heard (spanish from pretty much every spanish-speaking country in the world) is kind of like 18th century english. They think more about what they say and how they say it. There isn´t as much slang.   If Spanish were translated exactly it would be very proper english. ¨ The reason for which I wish to purchase this plane ticket has much to do with the desires that I have to see my dear son again.¨   I don´t know how to explain it. But it is a  more correct language. And it hasn´t changed as much as english has. 


I really hope that all of that jaleo with Brigham´s immunizations doesn´t affect his call. Although the US is a WONDERFUL place to serve as a missionary. Uncle James once told me that the very worst and the very best get sent to the States. I could see how that is true. But I feel like we all have different things to learn. 

I am doing phenomenal. Fantastic. Really it´s been a great week. We still don´t have any baptismal dates, but we found a lot of new investigators this week. We found some mexicans. I love mexicans. Seriously. C and her son C. Really nice people. We´ll see how interested they are in our message. We found a Romanian family of seven. They seem quite interested and very sincere. So I am excited to see what happens with them. We also found a Cuban kid named L. And this kid from Ecuador called A. And this Spanish lady called A.  But I don´t know how much she really wants to listen to our message. Spaniards are hard to find. You can really only get to a spaniard if it is a reference from a member. And I think that´s pretty much the truth. But we are still hanging in there. We decided that we weren´t really getting anywhere with the investigators that we were teaching. So as I said we would do, we only went by B's house once. And we made really good use of our time. So we found like 12 new investigators. It was a really cool week. We have a goal of setting 3 fechas this week. And getting four people to church. So we are determined to do that. I really am enjoying my time here with Elder Wiley. He is a lot like me. And we motivate each other really well. 

I feel super inpsired right now. I don´t know why. Reading Kylie´s email was really inspiring.  You should read it mom. I SERIOUSLY loved what Elder Holland told her mission president. ¨I don´t know how many baptisms we will have, but can you, mission presidents, promise me at least 200 converts??¨   That statistic about return missionaries hurts me deeply. I actually cried a little when I read that. But I can see it happening around me. I can totally see it. I think it´s because so many people go through the motions. They just get sick of talking about the gospel all of the time because it´s not becoming part of them. The same thing happens with all members that just go through the motions. But it is especially sad that some young men and women spend 2 years of their lives and get little or nothing from it. 

I think it´s important that all missionaries keep that in mind. The only person that we really can convert is ourselves. It´s great to baptize and do all of that. It´s important. But it serves for nothing if we aren´t changed forever in the process. Can I get a little ¨First Great Commandment¨ action up in here? I think so: ¨I include in that call to fixed faithfulness every returned missionary who ever stood in a baptismal font and with arm to the square said, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ.” That commission was to have changed your convert forever, but it was surely supposed to have changed you forever as well.¨ Jeffrey R.U KIDDING ME Holland. 

It is so different to read and remember those words as a missionary. It was really easy to quote it as a teenager, but now that I am here doing it...well it takes on a completely different meaning. This is the only time in our lives that we will do anything like this. And after two short years, it´s gone. Forever! I will never be able to stop someone in the street and introduce myself as a representative of Jesus Christ. I won´t be able to invite anyone to be baptized. It will never be the same again. Even on all of the missions that I will serve with my wife; it just won´t be the same. And my beloved time is ticking. 

So that´s why I am making the most of it. :) I am super excited for this next week. Something exciting that is coming up for me? Well...We are going to teach the Romanian family in about an hour. And then I get to do an intercambio with Elder Chapple this week. I don´t know. Nothing super thrilling. We´re just going to spend the week finding, teaching, and baptizing. Calling people to repentance. Actually, I can´t think of a better way to spend this next week. Feel free to be jealous ;) 

I am super stoked for Brigham to get his call. Get this- I will have to email on wednesday morning next week, the same day that brigham SHOULD get his call. But the mission president finds out before the missionary. SOO I could very easily find out from President Deere that morning in the mission home if another Elder Sharp will be coming to the Spain Malaga mission. Now wouldn´t that be interesting?? I am not saying that he will come here or anything. But that´d be crazy right? 

I had the chance to give two blessings this week. We were teaching this less active girl with her mother there. We teach lots of less actives here in Elche. Much more than investigators. And way too many of them are return missionaries. Thankfully this girl isn´t. She finally burst out in frustration telling us that she wouldn´t read the BoM, and that she didn´t even believe in God. She is 21. It was sad for me. It hit me like a brick wall. I was totally caught off guard. She comes from a very active family. And then I thought about my future family. What a terribly frightening situation. What if one of my children were to ever say those same words to me? I don´t know what I would do. But I know that all I can do right now is prepare myself to be the best husband and father that I can possibly become. I hope to be the best example for my children. And I hope that, like my parents to me, my unshaking faith in God (because one day my faith will be unwavering) will help them to build their own foundations of faith in a Divine Creator, and His Son. I have spoken to lots of Muslims lately. I respect that people. But they are SO SURE that Christ wasn´t the son of God. They openly tell that to us, often. And I know that they are wrong. After we finished teaching her, and bearing testimony, her mother asked us to give her a blessing. I gave it. I was afraid. But I hope that it helped. 

I gave another blessing to an active member. She is married and about 25. I don´t know what she needed a blessing for. But her husband was working and she was at the church with us and just asked us for it. I gave the blessing, and afterwards I really had no idea what I had said. I think the channel was clearer that time. I wasn´t as nervous or self-conscious as I usually am as I give blessing, and instead of thinking so much about how it sounds, I thought more about her. I felt very guided. And she definitely felt the spirit. L, the wife of D. (just so I remember it. these emails are going to be part of my journal) 

Wiley is good at praying. I always used to feel a little rushed when we had comp prayers. But Wiley says even longer prayers than I do. Our prayers are more sincere. And I think that has helped me to feel the guidance of the Spirit more as a missionary. 

I watched a documentary on Jehovah´s Witnesses, which is a huge church here in Spain. It was produced by them, so it wasn´t bashing them or anything. Just information. Like the restoration video. The thing that shocked me was that they don´t claim ANY divine inspiration. They acknowledge that their church was founded by men trying to follow the Bible. Which is great. They are very sincere honest people that follow the Bible better than any of us. But I could never believe in a church that didn´t claim divine visitations and revelation. The very thing that makes our church difficult to believe in is the only thing that is worth believing. It´s the only thing that makes sense. If God really were going to have a church in these days, He would make it known. It would be restored by Him, by His direction. Not by that of men. It was actually a huge testimony builder. 

This really is His church. His work. And we have made very important covenants with Him; covenants that will make or break our eternal state of happiness!!  I seriously cannot wait to go to the temple again. 

I should go. I love all of you. Thank you for the prayers and support!! I will talk to you in 9 days!!!!!! 


Love, Elder Sharp

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tears for BBQ

Dear Family, 


Good luck this week, with my cousins there and Dad gone :) I hope it all goes well. 

My week was good. I enjoy being companions with Elder Wiley. We get along pretty well. It was very weird going from Tudela to Wiley. They are like polar opposites. Sometimes I feel like being companions with Elder Wiley is like being companions with myself. We are pretty similar. Elder Wiley is 23, and will return to BYU in fall of 2015 as a senior, and I will be a sophomore. He played lacrosse at BYU and he´s just a really cool guy. He´s from Seattle, which is super cool. He´s really mature. Which is kind of difficult to find in a missionary these days. 

The Elche zone is doing better. I think with the change of companionships in our zone things will start improving. The companionship that didn´t ever leave their piso has started to work and their area has already seen major improvment. Hermana Flake (my favorite Hermana from the MTC) is here in Elche as well, and she is a machine and is working very well. I worry about only one companionship in my zone. But we are doing what we can. I am starting to like being zone leader for the first time. I feel like I have been living under my potential for a long time. I could have been doing so much more to help these missionaries. 

I really am doing well. I love the mission. I love the Spanish language. It´s a lot better than english. I love Spain. I love Elche. I love the missionaries that I am serving with. I really couldn´t ask for anything more right now. Oftentimes during my mission I have asked myself ¨WHAT AM I DOING WRONG??¨ Why are we not baptizing? Why is our only progressing investigator going to move away for work AGAIN!!!? This is LITERALLY the 4th time that this has happened to me in this city. BUT.....I am trying not to be frustrated. Or discouraged. Elder Wiley and I had a really good week this week, and I know that we will soon have other progressing investigators. I am realizing that it isn´t about what I am doing wrong. It´s not always that. Rather, the question is: have I been doing things the right way for long enough? It´s a patience thing. 

I do love it though. I am very excited for this transfer. Things are going very well. I am learning a lot. I would say it´s the best time of my mission. I think I am learning about how to really measure success in the mission. It´s not about baptisms or anything like that. It´s about how much I give and how hard I work. And how I obey. I think I am a really slow learner. Other people learn lessons a lot faster than I do, it seems like. Oh well though. I am trying. 

Brigham should get his call two weeks from this wednesday. But I am wrong more than I am right. So I wouldn´t trust myself too much ;) 

Mom- I think that just because we don´t talk a lot about food, you think that we don´t miss our mother´s kitchen. HA. Quite mistaken. The food here doesn´t compare WHATSOEVER to what I grew up with. Not in the slightest. Everyone in Spain thinks that ¨one eats very well in Spain¨ but it´s only because they have never left Spain. I REALLY miss your mexican food. And I really really really miss casseroles. I would love to eat black bean and pineapple enchilidas right now. I miss BBQ. Sometimes I get tears in my eyes when I think about BBQ. I really really really really miss cafe rio. I miss chiken niko. And pork chops o brien. Holy flount I would love to eat pork chops o brien right now. I also miss this other dish that I can´t remember the name of. I miss those delicious salads you used to make. I can kind of replicate it here, but it´s just super expensive. I don´t really miss a whole lot of desserts. Honestly I think my sweet tooth is going away. I haven´t had ice cream for so long. Dessert kind of sucks in Spain, and it honestly doesn´t bother me. Maybe I grew out of it ;D Who knows?? I miss normal food. Your food. That´s another reason why I don´t want to get married. I will try not to judge my wife´s cooking , but I know that in my heart I will be disappointed. Who couldn´t be disappointed?? No one can take my mother´s place. 

Wanna know something funny?? I have had about half of my companions (and even some missionaries who aren´t my companions) tell me that they think that I care too much about what my parents think. Specifically my mother. They think that parents should stay out of their kids affairs, especially about relationships.  I don´t really understand why. I guess we´re just a little bit different. So feel good about yourselves. Because I really do care about what you guys think. I try hard to please you. When it comes to important life decisions, your opinions mean VERY MUCH to me. And it´s evident to those who are around me, because comments are often made. 

Well today we are going to have a zone p day. We will eat cookies and play card games and talk about things unrelated to missionary work. 

But I really like the work. The ward is changing slowly. We are trying to align the keys of the stake president and the mission president. I love my life right now. Really- I am getting better at contacting in the streets. And we are seeing small miracles every day. 

I do love this work. I can´t imagine what my life would have been like without this experience that I am having. I am immensely grateful for it. Even though it´s difficult. It really isn´t a sacrifice when looked at from the right perspective. 

Well I must go. I love you all a ton. Brigham- it frustrates me so much to read about you doing the same stupid things that I did when I was your age. I wish I could give you some of the knowledge that I have obtained over the past year and a half. Just pull it out of my brain and put it into the pensieve and just shove your head into it. I feel like I will have this same sensation a lot as I parent my teenage children. So that´s something to look forward to. Not. Really though. I don´t think you´ll change your mind anytime soon. But soon you´ll give yourself realization. And you´ll probably regret your actions a bit. That´s ok though. That´s the only way that dumb people like us learn. 

I love you mom. And Dad. And brothers. You´re the best. 

elder sharp

Monday, May 12, 2014

Who Can Resist Coldplay?

Dear Family,
 
 
Well mother I feel like I didn´t emphasize enough the fact that yesterday was mother´s day. I hope it was an amazing day for you :) I really really miss you. The good thing is that yesterday was the last mother´s day that I will ever spend without my mother. I find a lot of comfort in that.
 
I felt very weird about our phone call. I feel like we just talked about random things and the time just FLEW by like nothing. I felt really sad afterwards. I LOVED getting to see my talented little brothers. I seriously can´t believe how much Clayton has changed. It seriously kept me up last night thinking about it. I cannot fathom how someone can change so much in so short a time. I am so proud of that guy. And of Quincey and Lincoln. They are just so wonderful. Brigham still hasn´t changed at all :) Haha. I love that kid. I have accepted the fact that I will NEVER be as good-looking as him, so he doesn´t have to keep telling me that ;) I hate the fact that I won´t see him in person for 27-28 months. It´s a very long time. Also I loved seeing Grammie and Grandpa and Grammy there. I have the greatest grandparents in the world. Honestly I just have the greatest family in the world. It seriously isn´t fair for everyone else. I am just so spoiled.
 
What worried me is that I didn´t even cry at all! I didn´t even feel emotional in the slightest. I just felt disoriented after I hung up and had to rush to that meeting with my drill sergeant new ward mission leader. I didn´t feel homesick at all after the call. It just made me happy knowing that you were all doing well, and that you´re all as beautiful as you were when I left you. Happy, Healthy, and doing well in the gospel. That´s about all that matters. But I feel like I should be missing you more than I am?? I don´t know. I honestly don´t feel jealous of Kyle at all. I would probably hate life if I knew I was going home in less than a month. I just have so much left to do. I guess that´s a good thing. But for the first year of my misson, I just missed my family so much that it hurt!! And I still miss you of course, but it´s different now. I don´t know. Maybe I am just finally focused on the work. I don´t know.
I just know that I don´t want to leave this place. It makes me sick to think that I have less than ten months left. It is going by way too fast. I look at Tudela and just feel pity for him. Poor guy. Hopefully I will want to go home in nine months. If not, we will have some serious issues.
 
Coldplay is playing on the radio right now in the internet cafe. Trying hard not to listen to it.......trying..sooo..hard
 
Well Tudela is leaving me. I hate it when this happens. I am going to miss this chilean swede so much. I have never had such an open relationship with a companion. We don´t hold anything back. And I love it. I love him. 
 
Anyway. Tudela is leaving me. Wiley is coming. He´s cool. I think we´ll get along. I am excited to be in charge again. I do so much better as a missionary when I am senior companion. I don´t know why. I just take the back seat when I am junior comp, and don´t contribute as much as I should. One of my many flaws.
 
Things are going well here in Elche. Really, we have found some amazing people lately. I don´t see them getting baptized very soon, but I think that they will be able to progress. One is a young spanish girl named P. She´s nineteen, and is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. We contacted her on a bus. She is a pro swimmer too. She is also a scientist, and the girl that travels to other countries doing charity work, a red cross volunteer, studying to be a nurse, and has read the bible, torah, and koran. She´s a pretty incredible person. But I just don´t know how receptive she is to the Spirit :( But we are trying.
 
We rescued A yesterday!! She get a calling and everything! I am super happy about it. We are working with other families and people that are less active and lots are progressing really well. We have like 7 progressing less actives.
 
Good knews. Two people that I found are getting baptized in Almeria. YES. It makes me feel like I actually did SOMETHING there in Almeria.
 
B is doing well. Working every sunday. But as soon as june starts, she will start coming to church. I hope to baptize her before I leave. Only God will be able to pull off that miracle though. We have some other investigators that have potential. We are just trying to be patient.
 
I honestly feel nervous. I don´t know what I am doing as a zone leader. And I always feel like we should be doing more to help the zone. And now I have to train a new zone leader. My zone is currently not in good shape. I have two companionships that are struggling really really bad. One doesn´t even leave the piso to go out and work. Even harder is that he is older than me and an x zone leader. So it´s a tricky situation. I don´t know how to lift this zone up. But I have spent lots of time on my knees to find out how, and I know that I will continue to do so. But this is going to be the hardest time of my mission I think. I can use all of the prayers I can get.
 
Spiritually, I am doing phenomenal. Really. Best time of my mission. The week of consecration really helped me. I have tried to get better at every aspect of my mission. I wasn´t ever really disobedient or anything, but I didn´t always exercise. And I sometimes slept in for five-ten minutes. And I was basically always five minutes late to everything. I think I just decided that if it´s acceptable for my companion to do it, then it is not that bad. But I changed my mindset. And I have felt a lot closer to the spirit. I have had some INCREDIBLE spiritual witnesses lately. One happened as I was reading mom´s email today, and the other was ....yesterday. I just love feeling close to the spirit. And feeling close to the Savior. I feel happy. A little bit scared and discouraged, but happy. I am excited for these last ten months. It´s gonna be awesome.
 
This is probably the worst email I have ever written. It´s just that I wrote it really fast without really thinking before writing. Sorry. Well I love you. I wish I could skype with you every month. But I can´t.
 
I AM SOOOOO HAPPY ABOUT CLAYTON!!! Seriously. What an amazing blessing.
 
And I am super excited to hear where Brig goes. He needs to get out into the field :)
 
Well that´s all. I love you both so much. I miss a lot of things about home. But the thing that I miss the most are my parents. I have the best parents in the world. Thanks for all that you do for me. You are my heroes. And I really look to you as the best examples in my life.
 
Sorry for failing at communication. I know I have lots to improve on. But trust me, it´s kind of hard.
 
This church is true! I know it. My faith and testimony has grown so much over the course of my mission. And I am starting to see the WHYs about the gospel. Why we come to church, why we strive so much to live the gospel, why we take the sacrament, why we read the book of mormon, why we give up everything for two years. It´s really incredible.
 
I am thankful for the Savior. If I have learned anything on my mission, it has been a deeper comprehension of His sacrifice. It is becoming personal to me. I have learned that the moments in which we truly come to know the Savior are those in which we are struggling- those moments when we have doubts, trials, temptations, or when we just feel discouraged. It is in those moments that I kneel down and plead to God for help and strength from Him who is mighty to save. And I have felt that divine help. I know that it is available to all of us. Because without that help, we could not do it. God doesn´t give us anything that is too hard, too complex, or too much for us to bear. This statement is only true when we are relying upon the Savior. Without Him, life would be practically unbearable. How blessed are we that we don´t have to go through life without the enabling power of the atonement? I find a great deal of comfort in that knowledge.
 
 
I am way out of time. Ugh.  I love you all. So much!
 
love,
 
elder sharp
 
 
PS- Derek Hansen is a stud