Opening My Mission Call

Opening My Mission Call
August 16, 2010

Friday, July 29, 2011


(Editor's note!  Steven would love to recieve some mail, even if it's just by email!)

July 25th - Um, Excuse me Mr. President!

Well what a week full of new experiences!!! It has been an amazing week. Right now I am in Ciudad Real and the whole district is together. We are doing our Internet right now and afterwards we are going to go play basketball. I am way excited, I haven't played basketball in months!!! It should be fun.
Well, if you saw the pictures, you know that I made some lasagna this past week. It was amazing!! We are extremely blessed to have Hermana Clegg in our area. She is an amazing person, but on top of it all she is an amazing pianist. We set up a thing where she comes to Puertollano every Wednesday and gives some of our members piano classes and then the Cleggs follow us around and be our members for us in lessons for a few hours. Well, this last Sunday we decided to bring over this man named León. His entire family got baptized about two years ago and he never joined them. Well after last Wednesday, almost out of nowhere, he opened up to all of us and we decided to try and set him up a fecha. His mother died four years ago on his birthday, and so the next day, Thursday we gave him a lesson about the Plan of Salvation and where his mother was and a nice happy birthday party. Then we told him of the amazing ordinances he can do for his mother in the temple and we set him up to get baptized.... this SATURDAY!!! The 30th!!! So we are all way excited about that. He has had some doubts.... well, a lot of doubts, but he is doing great. We fully think he will make that date.
The branch president, President Montes, has found a job finally. The crisis here is Spain is a lot worse than America. Almost NO ONE has a job. It was a great blessing and miracle that he got a job. The catch?? He works insane hours, sometimes including the midnight shift, and sometimes including Sunday mornings. Yesterday was one of those days. He wasn't able to attend and there are no counselors, technically the missionaries are, and so guess who presided and directed the meeting, yesterday?? That's right, me! It was an amazing experience. I had a lot of fun actually leading the meeting. I even had to give a talk, so I was up on the stand most of the time. It was really fun though. Thanking everyone for coming, announcements, announcing the hymns and order of the speakers, watching over the sacrament. I actually really enjoyed the experience. Then, Elder Hatch gave the Sunday School lesson, and he did an amazing job. Pretty much, everything is going amazingly well right now. Transfers are coming up in about two weeks, and I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE at allllll! A lot of people think I am leaving soon since I have been in this area for a long time, but to be honest, I wouldn't mind staying here in Puertollano, with Elder Hatch, and in the district of La Mancha for another 5 months! I would love it. But, things have to change, sometime....
Well, I wish I could share more. Usually, I bring a long list of things to talk about, but I forgot to bring that list with me, so my mind is slipping. Maybe next week I will share a lot more. But that is all for this week!! Thanks everyone for the support!! Adios!!
Elder Steven Card

July 18th - Ch-ch-changes!

Wow, so much has changed from the email I received!! What ward do I go to when I get back home??? I feel so... I don't even know. That's one of the great things of the mission though, I don't really have to worry about it until 2012 in December. I can't believe everything is getting moved around. Well, things are changing around here too in Puertollano!!!

First change: Time to update our piso!! Our piso was only lived in by the Elders since February so there were not that many "things" in the piso. Elder Hatch and I have been cooking a lot lately, and we have only had one spatula and one pan, so of course last Preparation Day we went and bought a bunch of new pans and pots and silverware. Now, we actually feel like an apartment. It's been great. The kitchen is a kitchen now. So of course, we need to make a nice home cooked meal as the first thing in our new kitchen. We baked a delicious lasagna!! It was a great team effort used with fresh Spanish ingredients. It turned out amazing! Who knew we were so talented in the kitchen??

Second change: What to do during our free time. Well, about a month ago Elder Hatch and I did a musical number for the branch and they just loved it. The branch is really blessed with musical talent, and I won't say I am really good, but it was nice to use some of our talents to bring the Spirit. Elder Hatch played on his recorder and I played the piano. Well, to get ready for the next musical number, Elder Hatch bought a new recorder, one that can play lower. Technically, I believe they call it a "Alto" Recorder haha. He gave me his Soprano Recorder and we have been practicing for our next musical number for the branch. It should be pretty good.

Well, I don't know if this next part really consist of changes, but....

We decided as a district, after district meeting we would all go out and eat at this Chinese Buffet. Wow! It was really good. I was surprised that it was some of the best Chinese food I have ever had. I don't know though... that might be because I haven't had Chinese food in over 7 months. We had an amazing district meeting that day. We talked about being consecrated missionaries, and one of the other missionaries of the district, Elder Bradley, actually took the time to make each of us "Tender Mercies" journals. Each of them are personalized, with each of our names in the front and they all have the story of the 10 lepers in the front and 1 Nephi 1:20 quoted. The purpose is for each of us to write in the blessings and tender mercies we see each day. It was a great idea.

One of the first things I wrote in my journal was the cool Russian coasters I received from one of our Russian members. We went to her house to teach her, and she had a bunch of fresh squeezed orange juice and food waiting for us. After the lesson she allowed us to take with us one of her table coasters, and each of them had a picture of a unique place in Moscow. I took the one with the picture of the Kremlin. What an awesome gift!!

Our investigators have been doing good as of late. We have met a lot of new people, and some of our "progressing" investigators, to be honest, have been a bit disappointing. For example, we had a baptismal fecha this Saturday the 23rd but the lady won't be able to get baptized since she didn't come to church yesterday. Things like that are a bit frustrating. We got contacted on the street a few days ago by a lady who said, "Hey, I have talked to you guys in the past. The old elders always had a brownie recipe with them. Can you bring me one?" So we jumped on that opportunity and totally got a recipe and went to their house to teach them. As of now they are progressing pretty well. We also have been teaching this African man named Presley. He is actually very smart and knows a lot about the Bible. The only thing is that he thinks that there is no need on the Earth today for prophets, so we will work with him.

Well, I think when I get back to the piso I am going to take a nice nap considering that the past two days, the city of Puertollano has decided to throw free concerts that start at 11pm, and don't end til 3am. I know this because I have been up..... until..... 3am.... because the concerts are two blocks away from our piso. So I am dead tired right now. Thanks everyone for the support though. I will continue to cherish all the mail I receive!! Stay in touch!

Elder Card

PS The pictures are 1) The lasagna we made 2) Well.... Apple Juice is super cheap here, like 50 cents a liter, so I buy about 8 or 9 liters a week. That is a picture of how much I have drank in two weeks. 3) I got a haircut! (Pictures to be posted later)

Monday, July 11, 2011



Well this past week was amazing. Elder Hatch and I got to see so many miracles. First, I will just explain a little bit of what happened. First, on Monday we got our haircuts from the Branch President's wife. They are so extremely caring and charitable! They even sent us home with a huge box of potatoes.... Looks like I will have to learn some potato recipes. For our preparation day we traveled to "hang out" with the Elders in Valdepeñas. We had a good time together. We pretty much just did the exact same stuff we do in Puertollano but just with two more elders, it adds to the fun. 

Elder Hatch was gone at a District Leader Training in Málaga, well technically Fuengirola, on Tuesday and Wednesday so he left me in charge to run the District Meeting. It brought me back to the good ole days at the MTC where I had to prepare a little lesson haha. It went amazing though. We are starting a new zone focus. We are focusing on how to become more consecrated missionaries. We will work with all of our heart might mind and strength. Each week for the next month we will look more cloesly on each of those four aspects, so for the district meeting, I took the opportunity to do a brief overview of all four. I felt it went really well. My inspiration for it was the Consecration talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson from two conferences ago. I have found myself just inmersing myself in conference talks. I have been reading them all I can. There is a great talk I read from October 2008 for the first time (SInce I wasn't a member back then) called finding Joy in the Journey (or algo así) by Thomas S. Monson. It is a must read. I am sure all of you have heard it before, but it is a good one to go over if you haven't read it in awhile. One more thing before moving on: I am so blessed to be in the area I am in. In my district there is a Senior couple missionary. They are Calvin and Gayle Clegg (Clavin Clegg is cousins with President Richard Clegg of my mission). They are amazing. He used to be a mission president in Portugal and she used to be second counselor in the General Primary Board. Basically..... they know their stuff. They are filled with just a lot of great information and they help all of us here a lot.

Now for the investigators! Elder Hatch and I have been working extremely hard these past few weeks, and the fruits are finally starting to show. That, and God has been blessing us with the most miraculous of contacts. First off, we are teaching this 28 year old less-active member who is a little depressed. She was a missionary in London and she can speak really good English, but just over time she just stopped going to church. We had the Cleggs come with us to teach her and it went amazing. Hermna. Clegg had a "heart to heart" with her, and afterwards she basically committed her to reread the Book of Mormon and start coming to church again. She was at church yesterday and had already read all of first Nephi!! Miracle!

Another lady we met was named Matilde. There was pretty much no one in the street when we were contacting, so we just said, "Okay, we are going to contact whoever is on this next street." Well, there was no one except this lady sitting outside of her store. Usually, we don't contact people who are working, but we said, why not, no one else is around. Turns out this lady was an old investigator from two years ago and been waiting for missionaries again to talk with her. She still had her Book of Mormon and we committed her to read it and pray. We came back the next day and she read everything we assigned and she was ready to learn more!! We will see what happens with her, but I am excited! The reason we never found her before was because Puertollano used to be part of the Madrid mission, and when it got switched to the Málaga mission, the area book somehow got lost in the process. Point is, missionaries have been here for at least 20 years, but we only have a record of the area from December 2010. That is a little frustrating.

We then had our number one investigator from Nicaragua really wanting to go to church but she wasn't sure how it could be done. We then taught her about the power of fasting and we told her that we would fast for her this coming Sunday so she could get to church. Well we started our fast and called her to let her know, and then she said, "Oh... I thought you meant should fast, so I am fasting." We were shocked! That is so awesome, we replied. Just keep fasting and praying! Well, not only did she find a way to church for the first time, it was the most people I have ever seen in our branch since I have been here!! What a great church meeting for her first one. And! I had to give a talk haha. A little nerve-wracking, but it was great. 

Well, I know if we have faith we can do so much. I have learned that over the past few weeks. Elder Hatch and I are loving life right now. Now, we are going to go to Mercadona and buy some ingredients and make some lasagna to celebrate our week ha. Well, thanks again for all the love and support! I will write you again all next week! 

Elder Steven Card

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Elder Hatch

This past week had a lot of interesting events. Elder Hatch and I are just rollin through Puertollano like champs. We are getting along great and having a great time.
Well, last P-Day I found a cookie recipe on the Internet, so I wanted to try it out. One problem: We have no measuring cups. Have you ever tried to eye out the recipe in the metric system?? Not that easy.... not that easy..... Well, long story short...... the kitchen somehow afterwards smelled like popcorn, and I apparently can't measure out 3 grams of baking soda or power or something correctly because they didn't rise at all, and yeah..... Worst tasting cookies ever. That was just a test run though, I will try and buy measuring cups today.
Afterward Elder Hatch and I went on a hike on the tallest point in Puertollano. Elder Hatch really loves nature and stuff like that so he really wanted to do it. I was hesitant but I agreed to go since I could tell he really wanted to. The hike was a bit brutal. There was no real path, and the weeds were very high and itchy to walk through haha. My legs got pretty cut up but once we got to the top wow! What a view!!! It was amazing, and we stayed up top for awhile.
I then showered off, and we went to work. We stopped by this old lady's house and she was cleaning her windows outside. Well, she was just cleaning and she saw us and was like Hola!!! Then out of nowhere a burst of wind and the door closed on her. In Spain, the doors lock automatically so she was locked out. She said, no problem, she will just jump the wall. We are looking at this lady who is like 60 something and we are just like umm..... yeah, I think we can do that for you. Elder Hatch gave me a boost and I jumped on the roof. Well, then I realized it was a straight drop down, with no stairs or ladder or anything. She wanted me to drop down a story and a half to a concrete patio below.... I tried hugging the wall, but yeah.... you could see where this is going. Scrapes and soreness after the drop. It was all good though. Nothing broken. She was, we can say, extremely thankful. She went from wanting nothing to do with us, to now having an appointment to come back and teach her on Wednesday. She just loves us now. In fact we saw her yesterday and she was still saying thank you for jumping the wall, she was almost in tears.
We then did an intercambio with the elders from Valdepeñas and that was a good time. I have learned a lot from Elder Bradley who is from Provo Utah. He is awesome. Well, we then all regrouped in Ciudad Real to switch back to our comps, and then Hatch and I were going to take the train to Puertollano. Well, the guy selling the tickets could not run Hatch's card correctly. I got my ticket and was waiting for ten minutes, while he tried to pay. Well, they closed the security gate and we missed the train. We ended up waiting in the station for an hour and a half chit chattin away. It was fun though.
Then that night we  were walking the streets and we were about to go into the piso when we heard English, but an American accent!! We turned around and chased down the two men. It turns out they were working in Spain in a solar power plant for the next few days. We got talking to them a little bit. That was my first non-member American accent I have heard in over half a year. They were from Boston, and they were extremely nice. Father and son. We talked for about 20 minutes and went our separate ways. Now maybe if they see Elder Ellis they won't be afraid to talk to Mormons now.
Then, I did something completely stupid on Saturday. Without thinking I locked ourselves out. I left the keys in the piso and it was a stupid slip up. The slip up cost us €50 though. An expensive one. The locksmith was a funny guy though. He made us go down the stairs because we couldn't see what he was doing. Then less than 15 seconds later. BAM He gets in the door. 15 seconds.... 50 euros.... What a job. Well, afterwards, Presidente Montes and his wife, Alicia, was with us. They then went inside our piso and just chatted. Somehow it got brought up that I can't sew. Well, to be fair, I knew and I learned in middle school, but I lost the skill. She re taught me how to sew, and that night I just loved it. I thought it was fun and I sewed all of my pants, socks, shirts and backpack. A lot of things had holes in them so I just extended the life of all of my stuff. I even offered to sew Elder Hatch's things, I think it is fun haha.
Well, that is really all. Today is 4th of July and no one says anything about it here, not that they would. Nothing is going on. We might BBQ some hamburgers or hot dogs or something. Anyways, thanks for all the love and support. I cherish every email and letter!! Keep em coming!!!
Elder Steven Card