Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29,2013  Paige will be transferred to the mission field in Malaga next Tues.  Keep her in your prayers!

Hola Familia!
So I´m not really sure what to write about this week. Haha. Things have become rather routine and frankly kind of uneventful here at the MTC. So let´s see if I can come up with some good stories so it´s not a totally boring email. we had pizza for lunch on friday. Hahaha oh gosh I can´t believe that that´s the story that I´m starting this email out with. But yeah, they have domino´s pizza here and so they bought so so so many pizzas for all of us and we ate pizza like we had never seen pizza before. We all left that meal like bloated and about to burst open. haha.
Saturday was interesting this week. As always we went to the park, but I had a native Spanish speaking companion that didn´t speak any English so that was interesting. And I didn´t realize how much Spanish I don´t know. I definitely have learned a lot and it is coming, slowly, but it´s hard to feel like you have no idea what people are saying and you can only catch the jist of what they´re trying to say. But I´m excited to be bi-lingual someday so that´ll be nice, and it´s hard, but this is the fastest way to learn so I guess I´d better be grateful right? Anyway, at the park there was lots of rejection and it was a little frustrating, but my companion and I kept each other’s spirits up as much as we could.
We did find this one couple to talk to though. At first we started walking toward them and they were making out and so I tried to avoid them, but my companion was like, ´´Hermana! We need to talk to them!´´ and so I said ok and we went for it. We of course started speaking to them in Spanish and I was trying to say something and it wasn´t coming out and then all the sudden they say ´´ we can speak in English if that´s easier for you´´ which obviously it was and so I got to talk to them for a while and share some thoughts and my testimony with them. The man was atheist and I have never seen a more accepting atheist than this man. We talked for a while and I gave them a restoration pamphlet and he said he would read it. He said he wouldn´t make any promises, but as a missionary I could (which is so much fun) and I promised him that if he prayed, he would know that God was there and he would know the truth of our message. I don´t know what happened, but I sure hope that something comes of this.
Just so you know, missionaries get the coolest devotionals! We´ve watched some of the most profound teachings of apostles that I´ve ever seen. I´m sad that you guys don´t get to see them, but I´ll share notes from them when I get home because they are so worth hearing.
So we learned about the Spanish holiday season yesterday in class and I am so so excited for it! I´ll tell you more about it when I actually get to experience it, but there´s something about Christmas in general, and then experiencing it in another culture that´s just so fun.  They don´t do house lights here but they string lights across all the streets so they are just everywhere. And they eat this chocolate called turrón (don´t worry I´ll send you some when it comes to that time of year) that has all this amazing stuff in it. They have some weird traditions too, but mostly just some fun ones. I don´t have a lot of time left so I´ll have to tell you about them later.
Anyway, that´s all the time I have for today. I love you all and hope you know the testimony that I have of this gospel. I know which all my heart that this is the truth. Everything I care about in my life comes from this gospel and I´m so grateful for that. Being on a mission has made me appreciate so many more things that I have in my life, most importantly my eternal family. I cannot imagine life without those I hold most dear in the world to come. I´m so grateful for the gift of families. I love you all and I´m sending my SD card home as soon as I can, but I don´t know exactly when that will be. I´ll let you know when I´ve sent it so you can keep an eye out for it and get some fun pictures. I love you! I pray for you and feel you around me always! Thank you for your love and prayers!
Hermana Walton

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22, 2013

No way am I doing spell checked...ha ha.  That is part of the fun seeing how things change as they are becoming bi-lingual.  She is doing great!

Hello Everyone!
So Mom, I hope that you´re spell checking these emails before you put them on the blog because I´m pretty sure that though I´m attempting to learn spanish, but english is starting to fail in the process. It´s not good. Especially my spelling is starting to go way downhill, so we´ll see how this goes by the time I get finished with my mission. I may just not be able to speak english anymore, or at least write it.
Alright so I have to share with you my most favorite experience from this week which actually just happened last night. So the girls in my room are absolutely some of my favorite people on this planet. I´m so incredibly blessed to know them and to have their strength and their love in my life. There is such a strong bond in a sisterhood and I´m going to miss them all so much when we´re out of the MTC, they´re all going to the Barcelona mission so I won´t see them until we get home, but we´ve already planned reunions, haha. Anyway, one of the girls was really struggling last night with some things that she had left unresolved at home and we just spent an hour and a half (yeah we broke curfew, but it was something we needed and what´s loosing an hour of sleep right?) talking and trying to help her feel our love and comfort and hopefully help her know what to do. Anyway, there have been somethings that I´ve been praying for and needed, like patience and love for a girl in my district and forgivness of her, and it was so crazy to all of us that as we spoke, we learned things that were more for ourselves than they were to help her. We all heard things that were so so needed to us and it is so cool the way that the spirit works through so many ways. Just by her being willing to open up about her problem to us, we all received answers to prayers and we all became so much closer to each other. We didn´t know why we were prompted to say things, but after it was all said and done, we were amazed that we had all said something that someone absolutely needed to hear. Man I love this gospel! Heavenly Father truly does know what´s best for us and exactly how and when and by what means will be the best for us.
Ok so some other things. Last week we went to the Prado museum for p-day, let´s just say that that´s not a place that I´ll be taking you to when we come back to visit. It´s kind of a dark place, there are lots of dark pictures of Christ and it´s not very happy. Plus I´m not a creative person so my mind doesn´t understand why people would paint the kind of stuff they paint. I could see how it could be cool for someone who knows the history and importance of art, but for someone who doesn´t have a lot of interest in art, it´s not something I would suggest going to.
We also got to do a tour of the temple after our session last week which was so cool! That on the other hand is beautiful and I can´t wait to be in the celestial room someday with all of you right there with me. We got to go see the sealing rooms, the baptistry, and the hermanas got to see the bride´s room. It´s so so pretty and the colors are beautiful. I might just have to get married in the Madrid temple and then come back later and have my reception. Haha, maybe not.
So the whole thing that missionaries say about time being the weirdest concept while you´re out is absolutely true! The days aren´t too bad, but they can get pretty long. But the weeks go by like nobody´s business! I feel like I get to wednesday and say ´tomorrow´s p-day´ and then feel like I just said that yesterday. it´s so crazy, but kind of nice at the same time. I hope the time goes by quickly for you at home as well, because I know that it can drag on, but by finding the joy, time really will fly by, and we will be seeing each other again before you know it!
So I don´t know if I told you last week about the woman that we talked to at the park for 45 minutes who only wanted to talk about that Bible and like gave us a quiz on the bible before she would talk to us, but as the park this week we walked by her (she was already talking to elders or else I would´ve gone over to sit down with her again) and she remembered me from the previous week and waved me and my companion over to sit with her and the elders. She did the same thing this week and was just talking and talking and talking the whole time (this time for an hour and a half) and wouldn´t let us say a word. When we finally decided to cut her off and try to get a word in we tried to talk to her about the book of mormon. She wasn´t having any of it. She´s a devout evangelical and wasn´t budging. I bore a heartfelt testimony and I know that she felt the spirit as she did when I tried the same thing las week but she wasn´t going to listen to it. Sometimes as missionaries it´s hard to remember that people have their agency and that they can decide for themselves, but we just don´t want to accept that. It´s hard to see when someone needs the joy this gospel can bring, but they aren´t willing to even put forth an effort to receive it. It´s hard to see, but God knows what´s going to happen. And I can only hope and pray that someday her heart will change and she will remember the sister missionary in the park who loved her and wanted to share her testimony and that she´ll want that spirit with her always. I guess I won´t ever know what happens with her, but I´ll trust in the Lord that things will work out for her.
Well because of the whole strange time thing, I don´t really remember much of what happened this week and What I´ve already told you, haha, but I love you all and I´m praying for you always! I am so grateful for the gospel and for the chance that we have to be an eternal family, I wouldn´t want anything less than eternity with all of you. Thank you for your love and support and examples to me. I love you I love you I love you!
Hermana Walton

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20, 2013

Got a hand written letter from Paige yesterday.  Yahoo!  Found out about two blogs that have pictures of her...

Enjoy!  I know I did!

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 15, 2013

Wow I can´t believe that after this weekend I only have 2 weeks left in the MTC. We leave on tuesday morning on the 3rd of september which is crazy. Time is definitely starting to fly by now which is a fun feeling. Let´s see...what´s happened this week? Well last week for p-day we went and took a tour of the REAL Madrid fútbol stadium which was pretty cool. Spain has such a passion for fútbol and it´s cool to be able to experience that. We got to go down on the edge of the field and see the locker rooms and the trophy halls (yes, they have more than one) and it was cool to feel that passion for the game even though I´ve never really had a passion for soccer.
On friday we taught our first set of fake investigators for the last time and one of the teachers we taught, who I absolutely adore, told hermana swenson and I that she honestly believes that we are here only to learn spanish, she told us that we are ready to teach and that we will be awesome missionaries. That would have been enough for me! But then yesterday after a lesson we taught to one of our new investigators, she told the 3 of us that in her 6 months here at the MTC, she´s never felt anything so strongly and that no matter what anyone tries to tell us, we are amazing teachers and we will do great things. That was so cool to hear! Both of those teachers are teachers that I love and look up to and that I appreciate so much in my life. It´s always nice to hear that you´re doing well too, it was just good to know that I was doing well in the thing that I´ve chosen to do.
That´s so cool that you got to watch the youtube video of us! Sorry the music was in the way, but I sent you a letter a while ago, hopefully you get it soon (and I´m sending new ones here soon too whenever I can find some downtime to write them haha) and it has some blogs on the back of it for the mtc presidency and they should have some pictures and videos and stuff like that. We sing every sunday which is fun! Sundays are great! Thursday (p-day), saturday (park day), and sunday are my favorite days. It´s nice to get out of the normal routine of classes forever and do something different and fun.
Spanish is slowly coming. I´ve caught myself a few times saying things and then after not really being sure how I said them. The gift of tongues is real. I wish it would work a little faster sometimes, but it definitely works! They just throw so much information at you all at the same time and with hardly any study time and no reviews of what you´ve learned, it´s hard sometimes, but I´m sure it´ll be just fine. I´m excited for 6 or 7 or however many months later that I can finally speak fluently and be able to speak to people.
So we were really in a funny mood one day at lunch and we all started sharing our weird talents. Hermana Swenson can make a noise like a weed wacker and there´s an Elder who can make smoke come out of his mouth. Dad,  I stole your talent and showed everyone how to be a human bag-pipe. They all enjoyed that quite a bit. It was pretty fun.
So Whitney had mentioned the new temple video, they aren´t taking it internationally for a year because they haven´t translated it into other languages yet. Yes, we get to watch it in English, but there are headphones that they give to other people who want different languages and they don´t have the translations for them, so since I won´t be going to the temple once I get out in the field, I won´t see it until I get home. Which means the day after I get home, we´re going to the temple, that´s my request. Thanks!
I´m not sure what else to tell you right now, but I´ll hopefully have some more time later to write and if I think of anything else then I´ll send another email. I love you all and miss you a whole bunch! But I hope you´re feeling the blessings from the sacrifice you guys are making as well. Please write letter! They are so fun to get! Love you love you love you love you!
Hermana Walton

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14, 2013

So a friend showed me something sooo cool the other day! In an email Paige references her group singing on the Madrid Temple stairs and wouldn't you know it...there it is big as life on YouTube!  Here is the link...enjoy!

In case the link doesn't work...go to YouTube/Madrid MTC/Aug. 4th singing of Army of Heleman.
Here is Paige's (ahem) Hermana Walton's latest email...enjoy! 
Hola Sweet Family!
Man how I love and miss you all. So an interesting experience that I had this week, there was some unneeded drama with a companionship in our district that wasn´t working and the sister requested to be switched, I won´t give you all the gory details, but it was not a happy monday. Anyway one of the girls got put in a 3-some with hermana swenson and me. They wanted to switch all of our rooms around and make some big changes to accomidate this companion change, and it was a whole big mess. Anyway, yesterday was moving day to switch rooms and I really just wasn´t feeling it. I was kind of at the end of my rope and just didn´t want to do any of it, but the one thing that I really didn´t want to do and had prayed that I wouldn´t have to do was to move rooms. I needed those girls that I room with, they´ve gotten me throught so much and I honestly thought it would make things worse for me to move rooms. So yesterday, when I couldn´t do it anymore, my sweet companion hermana swenson came into my room and said, we worked it all out, you don´t have to switch rooms! And i´m sure she could tell that I didn´t want to move, but I don´t think she knew how much. It was such a testimony to me that Christ will be there for us, and even though sometimes he may make us wait until we´ve done all we can on our own, he will be there to help us and to bouy us up. My new companion is hermana hubbard, she´s really sweet and I´m excited to get to know her more.
Ok so at the park this week I had a super cool experience with one of the people we talked to. Well first of all, we placed 3 book of mormons and had some awesome contact which was way cool! But there was one guys from Syria who converted himself to christianity because the qorahn (is that how you spell it?) talks more of Christ than of ala apparently so he decided to become a christian which was way cool. It was nice to finally have some success and be able to feel like I was really doing something.
Last week for p-day we went to the puerta del sol and the plaza mayor and other really cool sites in downtown Madrid. It was so nice to actually see the city and to not feel so confined in my little MTC bubble. Today we are going to the REAL Madrid soccer stadium which will be really cool! I so wish I could send you pictures of what all of thest things look like, but you´ll get them eventually.
There are some more stories in your letter mom and on the postcard that I sent home on Monday so you should be getting that soon hopefully.
I met the Orr´s cousin (Elder Orr) he´s such a cool guy! I like him a lot. There are so many other cool people here too! I met one of Claire´s friends from the U who she used to dance with, she´s way sweet. And I don´t know if you heard about the train accident in Madrid a little while ago, but the Elder from Utah that survived was here for a while recovering. He went home this week because he was losing feeling in his hands, which obviously is not a good thing if you have a neck injury, but he hope he´ll be ok.
So for those of you reading this who are planning to serve missions in the future, here´s some advice. Push yourself to do something new and strange more often! Going on a mission seems like it´ll be mostly good, and it is, but there are a lot of hard things too that you don´t understand until you get out here. So try to get out of your comfort zone and do things that scare you, I really wish I would´ve done that more. And make up your mind before you go on whether or not the hard times will bring you home or not. No matter what kind of missionary you are, there will be hard trials that will make you want to go home, but making up your mind and having a strong relationship with your companion will make it easier to chose to stay, and please chose to stay!
The temple here is just the best! Honestly I can´t say enough good things about it! When I am struggling, it brings me the peace that I need to be able to keep going, it´ll be hard to leave the temple behind once I leave the MTC.
Thank you all for your sweet prayers and for your thoughts of me. Knowing I have people at home rooting and cheering for me makes things just a little more easy. I love you all and I hope you all know of the testimony that I have of this gospel! The gospel is the only way to happiness and is the only way to ensure that our families are together forever, which I am so grateful for, that´s the best gift my heavenly father could give me.
Hermana Walton

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1, 2013:  Heard from her this morning.  Looks like emails will come in around 4:30 a.m.  Yikes!  She sounds good!

Hello My family!
I love you all so much. I wanted you to know that first. Alright, so I just want to say how much I love the temple! We just got out of another temple session a little while ago. It has brought so much peace to me and I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to go to the temple. Last week, I was feeling pretty sick before we went to the temple and I wasn´t sure that I was feeling up to it, but I decided that skipping it was not an option. When the time came to head over, I still wasn´t feeling great, but as soon as we started walking towards the temple, it was completely gone which was such a blessing because going to the temple was exactly what I needed that day, and today as well.
So let´s see...we definitely are keeping very busy and we do a lot of teaching and a lot of learning. We have grammer and gospel classes everyday and we have 2 investigators that are really our teachers but we teach them everyday. One of our investigators we are finally starting to progress with, and the other one we have already committed to baptism! Yes, I know it´s not real, but it was still really fun to have her say yes! As for spanish, wow. It´s definitely more difficult than I thought it would be. Maybe it´s just because I feel like I´ve already been here for like 3 months, but it´s only been a week, but I feel like my spanish isn´t where I want it to be, but I think I´m doing pretty well for only being here a week.
I love my companion and the girls I room with. There are 5 hermanas in my room, Hermanas Gillete (the one from PC), Green, Carter, and Scoville. They are all so sweet and loving and they are such a comfort to me. My companion and I have to live across from each other because there are too many sisters to have us in the same room. When we got here we had just over 80 missionaries with us and we just got some new missionaries from provo who got their visas approved finally and so now we have I think 92 missionaries in an MTC that only houses 72 missionaries, so they´ve moved some of the missionaries off campus to a hotel.
Saturday was interesting, we went to a huge park, like probably 3 square miles all covered with trees, it´s gorgeous! There we exchanged companions and went tracting. No one would talk to me and my companion which was hard. It´s hard to hear people turn down a message that they have no idea what it was. We could barely ever get past telling them we were missionaries before they sent us away, so I guess we´ll have to try a different approach next time.
Sunday was great, devotionals all day and church, and we got to sing on the temple steps which was cool, lots of people around came to listen and the missionaries currently serving in Madrid came to reap the benefits.
I won´t be able to send any pictures while I´m in the MTC by the way. Apparently because of viruses, they won´t let us plug in our cameras, but I promise I´ll get you some soon.
Well I don´t have much time today, I hopefully will get a little more time later in the day, but for now I have to go.
I love you all and amd praying for you everyday!
Hermana Walton