Monday, December 14, 2015

6th Month - December

December 14, 2015

Buenas Family & Friends! 

Crazy news...IM GOING TO BE A MOM!!!  In the Mission hehe!  And in a trio!  It's hard to believe, I was being trained only four weeks ago and now I'm going to be training!  In a trio...oh my...

Fun news for the week:
Being so close to the Temple and the Stake Center we meet people from all over the world.  The Temple serves Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Germany but Madrid is a melting pot so we have met people from all over Africa and other European countries as well.  As Hermanas of B6 we give Temple tours and this week we had the opportunity to meet and tour over a hundred youth from Barcelona this weekend.  I love the youth! 

Just a quick blerp:
This week I pondered the Christ-like attribute of humility, and its opposite, pride.  Pride affects all of us in various ways and in various degrees.  I used to think of pride as arrogance and self -centeredness, but understand it a little better now as a state of opposition.  When we are prideful we are selfish and we are concerned how things will affect "me".  Pride also affects our relationships and especially our relationship with our Father in Heaven.  I believe if we have pride in our hearts, we could miss something important, because the proud are not easily taught! Choose to be humble and build others!  We can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble, but blessed are they that choose (Alma 32:16).

I'm super content that I'm staying another transfer in Barrio 6!  There's lots of work and we have amazing investigators right now.  Excited to be training with Hermana Harper.  It's funny, I asked to go on splits because we are becoming really busy and we were blessed with another companion! 

How's everyone's Family History search? 

Thank you for your prayers!  Study your scriptures! 
Venga, Nos Vemos!
Iré y Haré y Seré

Con Amor,

Hermana Charlesworth

       Investigator! Learned how to make Maiz Morado. AKA: Delicious sugary purple corn goo.

(December 1, 2015)

Hola Family & Friends!

Another beso for me this week hehe!  Oh dear Spanish men... Speedily leading the way to an appointment, I had Hermana Harper, the Elders and a member in camino right behind me when a Spanish man stopped me to ask if I was a missionary (being stopped instead of doing the stopping is always a dream).  "Si" I said proudly! Long story short he wasn't interested in the lessons and as we started to leave he pulled me in for smooch!  Gah!  Everyone gasped in unison and the member screamed to scare him. Super funny, we still giggle about it. 

We had a great week!  We're finding a lot of good people so we're going to start doing splits to teach everyone.  I love the people we're working with!!!  The Ward is great and they're a huge support. 

Short thoughts/tender mercies/happy moments from the week:
-We passed by a family of members and at the end of our lesson we asked how their reading was as a family.  "Good" they replied.  Then we asked where they were (because this is the real question to see how their reading is!) and in unison they said "2 Nephi 11".  I was impressed. Does everyone know where they are reading right now?  And as a family too?
-Our menos activo we reactivated a couple of months ago gave a strong talk in church.
-Another young menos activo we reactivated is preparing for a mission.
-The weather is freezing at nights!  (7 degrees c!) I didn't bring boots or leggings (don't worry I have some now!) and getting ready to leave an appointment with an investigator she noticed I was bootless!  She ran back to her room and came out with tights and boots for me.  The people have big hearts. 

Thank you for your prayers.  Study your scriptures!  I love you! 

Venga! Nos Vemos!
Iré y Haré y Seré

Hermana Charlesworth 

Thanksgiving!  My first chicken Foot!  You break off all the toes with your hands, pop em in your mouth one by one then suck off the skin and all the ligaments. Yummmm.

This week was a week of trying new foods.

Had the opportunity to share an old talent and taught my friend a quick lil lesson to get her started. Future pro.

Only in the mission.

Monday, November 9, 2015

5th Month - November

(Nov. 23, 2015)

Hola Buenas Family and Friends!                                                                 

This week was ride. We housed girls from Madrid coming to get residency and we housed more later in the week from Barcelona!  Lots of fun.

Elder Christian from the 70 also came to speak to the missionaries and the Madrid Stakes.  He and his wife are amazing.  They encouraged the people to work with the missionaries-and feed them!  Hehe! 

Lots of tender little mercies this week.  If you listen and follow the promptings of the spirit, you will strengthen your relationship with him.  As you continue to seek him he will trust you and give you more guidance! 

We also had inter-combios and I got to know our Hermana Training Leader better, Hermana Staker!  We're convinced we were friends in the pre-existence. 

I love my Family!  Dad, Mom, Syd, Summerlin, Jimmy!  And I love my Father in Heaven. I love being an Hermana and I love serving and teaching the people of Spain, however I think they're teaching me more than they realize!

Sorry it's a lil short, no time!  Make this week great! 

Venga, Nos Vemos!
Iré y Haré y Seré
Hermana Charlesworth 

Ps thank you for your prayers and birthday wishes!

Hermana Staker on the right and my old CCM teacher in the middle


Nigerian Members

Barcelona Hermanas

(Nov. 16, 2015)

Hola Friends and Family!                                                                                               

Busy week! Different week. We had transfers and I'm now leading the area!  My greeny-breaker is Hermana Harper.  We're a fairly young companionship, she only has two months on me.  We're learning a lot!

I had the opportunity to practice my Spanish this week and I spoke in our District and Zone meetings and then again in Relief Society (Our relief society is huge! Around 70 women in attendance every week).  Before this would have scared me to death!  However, when we study our scriptures and pray daily, we strengthen our testimonies, so when the time comes to share them (sometimes unexpectedly) we are prepared, and the Lord will not let us fail. 

Tender lil mercy from last week, Hermana Hill and I met someone really neat in the metro a month back, but because he was not in our area we had to pass his information on. We found out that he was baptized just last week!  You never know the seeds you plant, friends:) 

Just a quick thought,
I was sitting intrigued in the Barrio's(ward's) Noche De Hogar(Family Home Evening) this week listening to the teachers talk about Family History work, and I was pondering why doing my Family History had never interested me before. Simply because I didn't understand the importance or urgency to think beyond myself and the living family that surrounds me!  How wonderful a blessing and an opportunity to have the technology to not only know the pioneers of our family, but after to complete their work for their eternal salvation!  I'm positive they know us and probably surround us.  Do we know them?  I was daydreaming about being greeted by generations of family when I arrived in Heaven, thinking perhaps I would be confused and little embarrassed that I was selfishly unaware of our relationship.  How much better would it be to know those who greeted me!  I imagine sharing a moment of gratitude with them, and that our love and relationship would be much deeper because I made time to learn about them.  I challenge you to make time this month to do Family History!  Find someone from your family and study them.  I'm curious to know what you find, keep me updated. 

I love my family, I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven, and I love you! Make this week great! 

Study your scriptures!
Iré y Haré y Seré
Hermana Charlesworth

Pictures of pictures! I've been using the camera more lately. 

Our amigas de Nicaragua! 

Hola Family & Friends! 

The members here cannot pronounce my name. Not only is it squished on my chapa, but it has a mouthful of letters the people of Spain cannot seem to wrap their heads around.   It usually starts out with "Hermana Scharles" and progressively after a few more tries reaches "Hermana Charleswert", and after jumps straight to "Hermana Barbie".   So right now my name is Hermana Barbie…. hehe. 

A few short stories before I gotta leave! 

We have a very special investigator from the Dominican Republic!   This is my first time meeting someone that is searching, and thirsting for the truth.  It's like the veil is being lifted when we talk to him.  He's very interactive, and always follows through with our commitments. He has a date for the end of November! 

Another is a lil old granny from Spain.  We pick her up from her apartment (I always walk her and she holds my arm, kinda reminds me of Grandma Pat) and stroll down to the park, or to her favorite cafe were everyone knows her name.  It was so funny, we were walking out of the park last week and two guys on bikes slowed down to enter the gates.  When the first came through he slowed down when we made eye contact, and shortly after his buddy bumped into him on the bike and they both stopped and smiled at me with a silly open mouth.  This made our lil Grandma laugh so hard she turned to me and said, "They thought they saw an Angel!" And I replayed, "I know, how did they know you where from Heaven." And then all of us had a little giggling fit right there in the street.  I'm laughing just thinking about it.

Love you all. Study your scriptures on the daily!
Iré y Haré y Seré 
Hermana Charlesworth

Friday, October 23, 2015

4th Month - October

Fam & Friends!   

This week was a lil slow! There is a joke here that every door knocked in Spain is a baptism in South America.  Haha....ha....mmmm.  However, we are incredibly blessed.  This week I worked on trying to listen and follow the soft and quiet whispering of the spirit.  Although the Holy Ghost is a gift, we need to be worthy of His presence.  Being completely submersed in everything gospel on the mission, it's incredible to me how strong I have been able to feel Him in my life.  

Pre mission I wouldn't say I didn't live unworthily to have him, but I realize more clearly now that the world (sometimes unknowingly) dulls our senses and in those moments the spirit can leave.  We need to work to keep ourselves clean and fill our minds with the positive! We need the spirit with us at every moment.  I hear a song, I would have jammed to before and now I flinch hehe.  Again, not bad music (because the jovens are playing it now in the gym at the church lol) it's just not edifying, it's empty.  Pick something spiritually you want to be better at. Allow yourself to change.  It's incredible.  We don't need the music, movies, books, clothes, shoes (okay maybe shoes..) of the world anyway. We are different, embrace it, love it, live it! The spirit can enlighten and edify when we listen to him and trust him. 

An extra tidbit if you haven't fallen asleep already:

More or less I was talking to my mom this week about social media, but I thought it would be good to share with you guys as well! 
President Bednar said (more or less) "you will never come across anything on the Internet without a warning from the Holy Ghost first." This should be the case if we are doing what we should to keep the spirit with us! 

We also talked a little about all the things the world bombards us with. We shouldn't except a worldly status and freely be fed the ugly words and sinful visuals of the world.  Although we should ignore them we shouldn't just do nothing.  We need to fight back.  Even if we are unaware, the things of the world dulls are senses, and the spirit can reside from us if we are not careful.  When you get the chance review the talk in General Conference by Devin G. Durante!  He talks more about this and how we can fight back. Take his challenge!  Every week find a scripture, any scripture.  You don't have to memorize it, just put it somewhere where you can read it daily.  When the things of the world come creeping into our minds we can think of the scripture and ponder its words.  I think this idea is fantastic because it takes are minds to a higher place of thinking!  As we do this our knowledge is deepened and light fills our minds. 

Love you!  Study the scriptures on the daily!
Iré y Haré y Seré

Hermana Charlesworth 

Hola Familia y Amigos! Sorry this letter is super short!

This week was a lil tougher!  Hermana Hill has been sick and the weather is getting colder.  We also got a new schedule and a bundle of new rules we've had to adjust to.  Just when I thought I was getting everything down!

Quick short story:
Last night we were on our way to a lesson and we got lost, the more we walked the darker it got, and the more tangled in a forest of pisos we became.  As we rushed trying to find the building number we passed a lady on a set of steps, she looked a little sad.  Hermana Hill knows the sad (and the homeless) people get me!  It makes me sad to see other people sad!  As we hurried past her I slowed my pace and Hermana Hill stopped in front of me to look at her watch with a "we're late!" face!
"Ahorra!  It can't wait." I said.
"Pues vale"

When we went back to our friend on the steps, she had big tears in the corner of her eyes. When we introduced ourselves she started to cry.  Every day I am reminded how blessed we are, and how the Lord continues to prepare his children and guide them to us (sometimes in ways unexpected).  And that he loves all of us, every single one, and he has commanded that we love one another as he loves us.  Eso es un amor super fuerte!  The love our older brother has for us is unimaginable!  And as we are told, we should have this same love for our brothers and sisters.

Sorry story cut short, gotta run!  Keep reading your scriptures

Iré y Haré y Seré
Hermana Charlesworth

Our District at Parque Europa.  Scaled size Tower Bridge and other European Icons

When the heat doesn't work you wear all the old sweaters in the piso... when the hot water doesn't work you boil water to wash your face!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 12

Hermana Hill and I were fortunate to see a lot of little miracles and tender mercies this week!  All of our plans and appointments with investigators, members, and recent converts all worked out 3 days in a row!  Believe me, that’s a miracle.  We also met the Mission Standards of Excellence numbers as set by the President.  This was Hermana Hill’s first time hitting the goal also, so we both were super stoked.  We also had 4 people say yes to baptism—no dates set yet.  This week was a perfect example of the blessings and miracles that come from hard work.  God will give us success but we have to work, work, and work.  Hermana Hill and I also talked a lot about prayer this week so I wanted to share a little about what I learned.

We know when we pray we talk to God.  What an amazing blessing we are given to communicate our thoughts, desires, and fears to a waiting and loving father.  We are taught, and reminded in the scriptures to strive to pray sincerely, with real intent, and with “all the energy of heart”.  An effective prayer requires effort.

Moroni 7:9,  “And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart, yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.” 

Any mundane, repetitive prayer that is mumbled half asleep, drooling on our pillow, God does not receive.  We need to stay awake!  Speak sincerely.  Have a heart full of gratitude and voice your thanks for the gifts and talents we have been given.  Pray for guidance, pray to overcome temptation, pray for your family.  Then listen and wait and be willing to act on the answer you receive, which could be instant, or in time.

One of my favorite quotes my Mom sent me is by President Eyring :  “Before you begin your prayer, take a few moments to think about what you want to say.  Consider questions you might have or things that have been bothering you—you can even write them down so you don’t forget.  Use this time to clear your mind from the rukus of the day so you can focus on the gentle impressions of the Holy Ghost.  If your mind tends to wander while you pray, try to visualize Heavenly Father listening.  Speak in specifics.  Also, leave a few minutes at the end of the prayer to listen to the promptings of the Spirit.  You might write down your impressions in your journal.”

I remember my parents (mostly Mom, hehe) would stay up and wait for me when I got home late on the weekends.  We would talk, sometimes laugh and cry, and talk a little bit about the day.  Our Heavenly Father is waiting for us to do the same.

Also, start preparing for conference and keep reading your scriptures!
The Church is true and the book is blue.
Ire’ y Hare’ y Sere’
Hermana Charlesworth

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 11

We continue to work hard and are setting high goals.  We make a lot of contacts, but we wish we were teaching more.  We did a little celebration for Rebecca’s baptism this week in conjunction with Mexico’s Independence Day. Oh my, what great food!  I haven’t had salsa since I’ve left home and of course the Spaniards don’t eat it, but what a treat. 

For P-Day we had a chance to see one of the Royal Palaces called the Pardo, where Franco lived when he was in power.  It was amazing to see all the tapestries, paintings, and furniture from the 1800’s.  It has Goyos work inside in which I remember studying in Humanities for school.  The palace is still in use on special occasions for when royalty comes into town.

I hope all is well, have a great week, and brighten someone’s day!  Love Hermana C

Celebrating Rebecca's Baptism (In black sombrero) and Mexico Independence Day!

My companion Hermana Hill and myself.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 10

This week has been fantastico!  I’ve experienced our first baptism, Rebecca.  She is the one who my companion Hermana Hill and myself refer to her as, our Spanish Grandma, but really she is from Mexico.  From the first day that we taught her she has always made me feel welcome, and she told me, “mi casa es su casa” (my house is your house).  Her baptism was a very special day!

Madrid is truly an international city, because the majority of the members and people we are teaching are from either Peru, Ecuador, or Columbia.  They feed us well when we are invited over, and I’m eating some interesting things.  I find they like to serve warm juice, and the most different by far is a Peruvian homemade drink consisting of purple corn, lemon pulp, and sugar.  I’ve learned to ask for it hot and with extra sugar, it’s definitely much better.  My dad was right, even the milk is served warm.  Gag!

Until next week, may your heart be full of joy!  Love Hermana Mik

My Companion, Hermana Hill, Newly Baptized Rebecca, and myself.

Dinner with a member family, the Benitez, they have all served missions.  Ashley likes my hair. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 9

Whew, it’s been a busy week!  Long 15 hour days between scripture study, language, finding, and teaching.  Our investigators continue to make progress.  We decided to reward ourselves with a fun P-Day and visit the city of Toledo.  It’s about 1 ½ hours south of Madrid by train.
The city of Toledo is set majestically on a hill and a wall circumferences the city like a fortress.  There is also the Tagus River that runs around it like a mote, and it’s a beautiful city with a lot of history.  The city is one of the most important centers of European medieval history.  Because of this, it is known for its metal making of swords, which has been handed down over the centuries starting with the Roman occupancy in the 3rd Century.  The famous painter, “El Greco” from the Spanish Renaissance period lived and worked in Toledo also.  Toledo happens to be one of the most visited cities in Spain.

Have a good week.  Keep the faith and do a good deed for someone.  Love Hermana Charlesworth

The beautiful and majestic city of Toledo with the Tagus River Below

My new friend Luis in Toledo and I have something in common!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 8

It’s been an exciting week teaching and making contacts.  I like talking to everyone we meet on the streets, even when we are headed to an appointment.  I think I’ve surprised my companion by my boldness, because she said we’ve broken her companionship record for the most contacts made in a day.  The CCM prepared me well to have no fear, however, once into an in depth conversation and the Spanairds speak so fast, I signal for my companion to take over.  The language is still coming.  I’m strong spirited but the flesh is week and the mouth won’t do what I want it to do.

We have 2 new investigators that we are teaching from scratch and we’ve already set a baptismal date.  Magali is from Venezuela and Rebecca who is my Spanish Grandma is from Mexico.  They are both fantastic!  I’ll keep you posted on their progress.

Have to run.  Love you guys.  The church is true and the book is blue!  Hermana C

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week 7

I’m officially out of the CCM and have spent my 1st week in the field.  I have been born into Barrio 6 (ward), and my Madre (Trainer) is Hermana Hill.  She is from Missouri.  My oh my, do I love my Madre!!!  Hermana Hill is the perfect example of exact obedience.  We are two peas in a pod, best friends, peanut butter and jelly, and the best companions!  After having left the CCM we went to the Mission President’s home, had lunch, a devotional, and he announced our companionship’s and out the door we went.  We zipped straight to an appointment first thing.  Quick transition indeed!
This world couldn’t be any smaller.  Tell me the chances of this?  I met one of my Dad’s missionary companions (from his mission while serving in Spain) this week in Madrid.  My Dad hadn’t spoken to him since his mission, he had brought his family here on vacation and we ran into each other on the Temple grounds. 

I can read my email during the week, but I’m unable to respond until P-Day’s which are on Mondays.  I don’t mind regular mail either.  I will have my parents post my current mailing address and email on the blog.  Please keep in touch and don’t forget to read your scriptures!

Nos Vemos, Hermana Mik

Mission President and Sister Pack with Hermana Mikaela Charlesworth

Mission President and Missionaries

Grocery shopping on P-Day with my Madre (Trainer) Herman Hill from Missouri

Friday, August 21, 2015

Week 6

I can’t believe I’ve been here 6 weeks!  My time in the CCM has been one of both spiritual and physical growth.  I’ve gained 5 pounds, but some of the Elders up to 30 pounds.  It’s exciting to be leaving the CCM, but also sad to leave my new CCM amigos.  They are my Spanish familia.  There are some words in Spanish that by changing one vowel or letter can mean a whole different word.  I just wanted to share a few of those where the Elders have made us laugh not knowing those differences.  “Our Dear Heavenly Father” has been said, “Our Purple Heavenly Father”, “God has a body of flesh and bone”, turned into, “God has a body of flesh and cheese”, and my favorite, “I’m so embarrassed”, has been said, “I’m so pregnant”.

This week we changed things up a bit while proselyting in the park.  We sang hymns as a group and it was fun!  I got a picture with the CCM Mission President Lovell and his wife before leaving the CCM.  I’m excited to see where my first assignment will be.  My P-Day will be changing from Thursdays to Mondays.  I love your emails and letters and don’t forget to send me pictures.  Have a great week!  Con carino, Hermana Mik.

MTC President and Sister Lovell with Hermana Charlesworth

Talking to anyone who will listen

Singing hymns in the park

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 5

Hey Family and Friends!  I can’t believe 1 month down, 17 to go.  The days in the CCM are slow but the weeks fly by fast.  I’m learning so much, and I’m surrounded by the best Elders and Hermanas in the world!  As mentioned before, we proselyte in the park on Saturdays for a few hours.  I was able to teach a 1st discussion in Spanglish on the metro while on our way to the park.  This park is HUGE!

They have a peacock garden for live peacocks, turtle ponds, and architecture that makes your hear melt.  While the view is breathtaking, the people are a bit hardened.  I have a lot of people tell me they are Catholic, and they will die Catholic, but they do not practice.  When asked about religion, it’s not uncommon for them to say “It’s not in my heart”.  (Brings light to the meaning hardened of heart)  I meet a handful of people who are willing to talk, and sadly the majority of these people have had tragic and rough childhoods.  We are so blessed to have been born of goodly parents who love the Lord and the gospel.  Don’t take it for granted.  I love the people of Spain, stubborn or not!

I stick out more than I thought I would.  A lot of people here are short, darker hair, and olive skin.  I feel like a giant next to them.  The teachers in the CCM cut hair, and are not professionals by any means.  A teacher, Hermana Griotti was trimming my hair and I told her to take about an inch off.  She held up 3 inches of cut hair and asked, “How much is an inch?”  I had to laugh, “close enough” I told her.  I forget they use the metric system in Spain.
Have a great week, and remember to give thanks for having the gospel in your life.  Nos Vemos,

Hermana Charlesworth

Teaching a 1st discussion on metro in Spanglish

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week 4

Hi Everyone, Wow this is easily the hardest thing I have ever done physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but it is also the most rewarding.  I see how I’m growing in all of these areas.  Learning the language is more difficult than I expected, but it’s getting better each day.  I finally got my residency here in Spain and I was able to leave the CCM for P-Day.  I’ve included some photos of the beautiful city of Madrid.  The history and architecture of the buildings are amazing!  There’s one of the Real Madrid Soccer Stadium that seats 80,000 people and we got a private tour.  I hope you all have a good week and stay up on your scripture reading.  Love you!  Hermana C

Madrid Roundabout

Overlooking Madrid's Rooftops

Missionary's at the Entrance of the Metro (Subway)

Real Madrid Soccer Stadium

Week 3

Hey Guys!  Love you and miss you sooo much.  I literally have no time, but know I love your emails and pictures, they are the best, and they keep me going.  The CCM (MTC) is insane, we study for 14 hours a day.  We’ve already been teaching 2 progressive investigators in Spanish, Giovanni and Cristina.  Our new investigators are Micaela and Jose.  We also spend Saturdays in the park proselyting, it’s so scary!  I love you all, I think of you and pray for you each day.  The gospel is truly amazing and we are so incredibly blessed to have it in our lives.  Keep praying and moving forward.  Love you bunches.  Hermana C.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week 1 & 2

The CCM (MTC) is very...snug! I’ve looked up a picture online of the Spain CCM, you will notice we are actually located on the Temple grounds which is pretty fantastic. The CCM only takes up the 4, 5, and 6th floors of the building!  I apologize this is short, I don’t get long to write, but I did read everyone’s emails, thank you so much, that is literally the highlight of the week. Send pictures too! I love looking at them.
Although this is already the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I feel like I have literally been here for a month, I know that I am extremely lucky and blessed to be here. We have people from Spain, Italy and Russia that come here, we make 40 missionaries all together. The Elders in our district consist of 4 companionships, they are stinking hilarious, and they make us laugh, but pack a spiritual punch.  All of the teachers are native which is great because we get a taste of the accents and real phrases.
We email Thursday and proselyte on Saturdays in the park! We also teach investigators every day in Spanish, which is super intimidating as well. 
Dang gotta go, love you!  Hermana Mik