Monday, January 12, 2015

Pablo is going to England

Dear Family, 

Hey :) I miss and love each of you so much. I feel so much appreciation for all of you right now. I hope you have had a good week. 

I am glad that our new ward isn´t as bad as you thought it would be ;) I don´t know what is up with the little boys though!! (Clayton looks taller than me in those I guess I shouldn´t be referring to him as little). Why won´t they talk with people?? That´s very strange to me. Don´t worry though. I won´t be shy. I am not like that anymore. Want to know something funny?? I have listened to my companions and missionaries in my zones and districts, and when they describe me, they use the words ¨super outgoing and extroverted¨. HA!! Isn´t that hilarious? Elder Weenig feels like I am so social that my presence hinders him from developing friendships with some of the people with whom we work....isn´t that insane? I always tell are so mistaken. My mother would NEVER describe me that way. I don´t feel like I particulary enjoy meeting new people and putting myself out there but I definitely do it often. One kind of has to as a missionary. So anyway, I will destroy the shy Sharp boy image that they are creating. 

I am very excited to work in this new ward. I have thought about it and I came to the conclusion that it won´t even feel like going home for me!! It will feel like being transferred to a new area!! I will be in a ward in which I know almost nobody and I will have to get up and introduce myself and all that.....ok maybe a little different but I find it humorous that I will get up and address a ward that doesn´t know me. Quite similar to life in the mission. 

I am feeling very happy and positive today. Weenig has rubbed off on me I suppose, because I feel much more optimistic and positive now as I have been with him for so long. I really love him. We are different and sometimes we disagree on things, but I have never had such an open, honest relationship with a companion. And...he´s going to leave me soon. Which is sad but he is ready to spread his wings and experience something new. 

President called last night and told me that I will be training to end my mission. Last transfer starts in a weird. But the time is going by just like it should. I can´t complain. Not too fast and not too slow. So my last companion will be fresh out of the MTC!!! I am really excited. I think it will help me to work even harder during my last transfer. I am going to try so hard. I want this missionary to have amazing habits and to learn from the beginning how to work effectively. I feel like he will be my last gift to this mission, so I want to train a champion. I am going to give everything I have. We´re going 100 percent. I am very excited. 

GUESS WHAT!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!! I received the greatest news this week. Just GLORIOUS. It´s up there with seeing a picture of a family that you found, taught, and baptized standing in white in front of the temple...

PABLO GOT HIS MISSION CALL!!! England, Burmingham. He reports on April 16th :D :D I cannot tell you how joyful it feels to know that he is going. I am so proud of him. I honestly don´t know why I am so lucky to have gotten to know some of these amazing people. Anyway. He reports in April, so you will meet him Mom Dad and Clayton :) :) Pablo is the blonde, Spanish young man from Jerez. Ah.....I am so happy. I rejoice in their successes and achievments. The missionary-convert relationship is very special. This gospel is incredible. Just a month after I finish my mission, someone that I taught and with whom I shared the gospel is going to start his own mission. What an incredible opportunity that people have to change. He was a normal Spanish kid with little hope in his life and not much interest in God. He has always been special and amazing, but the gospel has helped him so much. He will touch the hearts of many people. I Overwhelmed with joy. 

Nancy got a calling today. Primary Presidency :) She sent me a sweet email today about how happy she is for the gospel in her life. She says she is finally starting to realize what a treasure she has received in her life. She thanked us for being so persistent with her. She was leading a very....worldly life and she dropped EVERYTHING and changed in two weeks. And is now seeing tons of blessings because of her application of the gospel in her life. It really does change lives. 

My mission has been perfect. Perfect for me. I have been given everything that I needed to become converted to the gospel. All of my experiences and triumphs and hardships have just been....perfect for me. I couldn´t have asked for anything better. I obviously haven´t been a perfect missionary, and there are things that I regret, but I am very positive about my experience here in Spain. It is one of the most sacred things that I have. I will always treasure it. I also feel very positive about the future and the direction in which I am headed. I have really come to love the gospel and the joy that I feel as I live it. 

Well I don´t have an immense amount of time left. 

My least favorite thing about the mission has been decided: having to pretend to like people´s dogs. I am just done with that. Have I written about that before? I don´t know. But I am ready to be done with that aspect of it :) Everyone and their dog owns a dog here in Spain....haha..that was kind of a pun. Anyway, it´s true. And they lick me, my hands, my clothes, and get hair all over me and I honestly cannot wait until I can bid farewell to all of these Spanish dogs. I will not miss them :P 

Something that actually is difficult about the mission. Heartache. Thursday was a really hard day for us. Weenig was very sad and discouraged. We got a text from our Philipinos saying that they don´t want us to come by their house anymore. They don´t want to change religions. We got failed by two futures with lots of potential. And our golden number one investigator, a Dominican named Luis, hadn´t answered his phone in 4 days and just wasn´t calling us back. It was very discouraging. Our area crumbles so easily. And it just explodes so easily as well. Thursday was a crumbling day. Nobody wanted anything. And it was hard. I spent the whole day trying to tell Elder Weenig that everything was fine and that it wasn´t because we are doing something wrong, that it just happens sometimes in the mission. But after we got home and planned I just walked into my bedroom and started praying before even getting ready for bed. I was there a long time. I remember just feeling so much.....heartache for the people that didn´t want anything. Literal, physical pain. All we do is worry about other people in the mission. And when they don´t want anything, it hurts. I get sick sometimes. I get attached to people really easily, and it really really hurts when they reject us and decide that the gospel isn´t for them, even when I KNOW that they have felt the spirit. Sometimes I just don´t understand. As I was praying for Luis, I remember feeling TOTALLY overwhelmed with worry, stress, and pain. Our area is doing alright now, but that day it seemed like we had nothing. And I didn´t know what to do. In that moment of overwhelming pressure, I kind of just took a step back and laughed. How awesome that I have become capable to feel that for another person! Before the mission, I didn´t care much about anybody besides myself and the people that loved me. And now I am literally aching for the welfare of others. What a miracle. I hate it. I hate that other people can make our lives so hard. But we do choose to be affected by it. Honestly it´s impossible not to be frustrated when that happens. But I also love it. I love caring so much about others. Perhaps the argument could be made that it´s selfish because we only worry about them for our own wellbeing, because without them our lives are hard. However, I don´t think so. I think most of us missionaries genuinely feel for and care about the people we teach. Anyway. I realized that everything was fine. God sent peace to my soul, and it was all fine. Even if everyone left us, we would find more people. But I never cease to be amazed by the amount of physical pain that one can feel in his heart. I never felt that before the mission, but it´s real. 

We ended up finding Luis again. He should be baptized soon. He is very accepting and wants the gospel in his life. Everyone else from the ¨thursday tragedy ¨ still don´t want anything. But that´s ok. We will keep finding. 

We have a baptism this Saturday. Her name is Teki. She´s a 10 year old Uruguayan girl. She is a funny situation. Her parents are members so it hasn´t been a very authentic missionary experience. But she is very sincere and bore a powerful testimony last week in church. I am excited for her. 

I am very happy!!! We are going to punch this next transfer in the face. My new comp and I are going to work so hard. And I am very hopeful for the future. 

We met these two girls from Finland and Wales the other day. They were speaking english, so we asked them we they were from and we started talking and they were looking for the police station so we helped them out. They are here just to live. It´s weird. 17 and 19 and they just randomly decided to come live in Spain. They are looking for work right now and have their own piso and everything. Anyway, we asked them what they thought about God and they said that they didn´t really think much about him. Ha. Anyway. We gave them our number just in case they needed help again finding the police, and we pointed them in the right direction and sent them on their way. The funny thing is that this morning we got a text from them. Hahaha. They told us that they ¨really enjoyed meeting us¨ and they invited us to go and get a coffee with them sometime soon. Weenig and I thought it was hysterical. They really didn´t seem like the type of girls that would be interested in hearing more about the gospel. And we made it very clear that we were missionaries. We suspect that their intentions aren´t very spiritual :P But we´re going to invite them to learn about the gospel of course. You really never know who God has prepared!!

We played tennis today for P-day. Again. I am not a huge fan but Elder Weenig loves it. I am slowly getting better though :P 

That´s all folks. We are happy and healthy. I am so proud of all of you and I miss you a ton!! I pray for you all every day. I feel your prayers. Thanks for all of your support. 

All my love, 

Elder Sharp

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