Me leaving the Utah Ogden Mission. My companions, and 2 other sisters.
Hola Familia y Amigos,
I have officially been in Spain for one week and am now starting my second week. It seems so crazy. Part of me feels like I just got here, that is crazy. But I feel like I have been here FOREVER. I think I feel that way because I feel home. I really feel like I am where I am supposed to be. I love Spain so much!
Things about Spain. We use the metro all the time. They have the best bread ever! They don´t use dryers. They either dry their clothes with a drying rack or they hang them out the window. I love seeing clothes hang out the window. I think it is beautiful because it reminds me that I am in Spain. The sidewalks are beautiful. Not clean and fancy, but they are usually little tiles and they often have patterns. THey are beautiful compared to sidewalks in the States. The streets are usually really narrow.
The shops are so cute. You can always tell just what it is by what it is called. A bakery is a Panderia because pan means bread. A barber shop is a peluqueria. Pelu is like pelo which means hair. There are a bunch of little parks everywhere with colorful painted fences. Nobody lives in houses really. Almost everyone lives in a Piso or apartment. The shops are integrated into piso areas. Shops can be on the bottom level with pisos above. The shops are really colorful. There is a lot of grafiti. I´m not sure if all of it is vandalism or some of it is art?
This week has been really good! We have worked really hard. I have been pretty tired all week, but a lot better the last few days. So, we wake up at 7 and go to bed at 11. It is a schedule I am still adjusting to. We live in Leganes a suburb of Madrid, but our area is mostly in Getafe. The Leganes area just got split. That is why we live with another companionship. But our piso has 2 floors and is practically 2 apartments. We only share the kitchen and laundry and living room. So we don´t ever really see the other sisters.
I really like my companion, Hna. Coakwell. She is from everywhere because her dad is medial in the military. She was born in Toledo Ohio, but her family is currently in Germany. She finishes her mission this transfer so she has like 4 1/2 weeks left. I am so glad she wants to work hard to the end. She is not trunky. One of the other sisters is on her last transfer as well, but she is not working as hard. We hear them get up late, and she was companions with Hna. Coakwell before me, and she tells me that the other sister is not all that obedient. But me and Hna. Coakwell work well together. We get along well, and have fun talking. She isn´t exactly training me, but she is helping me learn the ways of Spain. Sometimes she will make me navigate the metro and find the persons house.
Because the area split, it is actually just like when Logan and Hyde Park Split, we don´t have much work. The other sisters got the area with all the investigators. But they gave us a few, and we have found more. So we have more work than when I was in Hyde park. And we are continually finding. But we are teaching a good amount too. The people are really nice and we don´t get fed as much as when I was in Logan, but often enough. We have been fed about 5 times. And we don´t ask for dinners. People either volunteer or just start cooking.
I want to talk about contacting. In Utah, we would knock doors, and I was actually starting to get comfortable with that. Here we street contact, because we can´t knock doors. Every piso has a door that you have to enter to get in to the actual door of somebody´s piso. And you can only get in if a resident unlocks the door. Outside of every building is a little intercom for each piso, labeled with the floor they live on and the letter of their apartment. You can talk to people and ask them to get in or share a message with them, but we never do it, because Hna. Coakwell says it is not effective.
So we street contact. We go to a busy corner or plaza and try to stop people and talk to them. It is soooo scary! I am not very good at it. Sometimes I just stand around and watch Hna. Coakwell contact. But I have done it. It is better when we creatively contact. Once, we went and sang hymns and we brought some members so that we could contact and keep the music going. This was really fun. All 4 of us had pass along cards, tarjitas, and we all gave them to people. We found a less active that lost the church when she moved to Spain. That happens a lot. They get converted in a different country and then when they move here they can´t find the church. Especially if they move to a really small town in Spain where the church doesn´t really exist. So when they move to the city, they re-activate.
Spain is pretty diverse. There are a lot of Latinos. Mostly from Peru and Ecuador. But we have also met people from Nigeria, Bulgaria, and Romania. My Spanish is definitely improving. I still speak English with my companion a bit, but we are working on that one. But grocery shopping and all around is Spanish. I´m learning how to talk like a Spaniard too. I love it! Once a week, we teach English class. Last week we only had 1 student, but we just started doing it, and we told a lot of people about it, so hopefully this Friday will be better.
Tomorrow we have a mission tour. A member of the 70 is coming, so the whole mission, except the canary islands (he is visiting them today) is getting together. I´m excited to meet everyone!
I really have had a great week. It has been a transition. Sometimes I really miss the Utah Ogden Mission, but I know I am where I supposed to be! I also miss milk. THey have it here, but it is different. NOt bad, just different :)