Me and Hna. Camacho.
ESTOY EN ESPANA Y ME ENCANTA! I AM IN SPAIN AND I LOVE IT!!!! I can´t remember exactly when i last wrote so let me catch you up! I was transferred English and the next day I found out that I really had my visa, and I really was going to the MTC and I really was going to Spain. Again the sad feeling of leaving the Utah Ogden Mission came back, but because I had just barely arrived in Ogden and didn´t really know anyone, it wasn´t too hard to leave. And I was still really feeling the excitement of Spain from my first trip to the MTC.
So I only served English for a few days. It was a good few days though. We visited some really sweet people, and I began to feel love for them and really want to help them. I have full confidence that Sisters Macmillan and Wright will do a good job. It was so fun to serve with them.
On Friday, Febuary 1st I made the trek once more to Provo to enter the MTC and recieve my Visa. I didn´t fly to Spain until monday, because for whatever reason, they do not fly missionaries on the weekends.
It was a little weird to be in the MTC again. It was hard to sit in class all day. I wanted to go talk to people and preach, not sit still. But I still had things to learn, and it was a good refresher to relearn some things. It was so fun to visit with some of my old teachers. Hna Camacho, it was WONDERFUL to see you. Hno. Tonson, I am sorry we did not have the chance to see each other, but know that I am praying very hard for you and your Mom.
I also got to see Elder Gines. My brother in every way except blood relation. He is such a great kid and it was so fun to see him one night at dinner and watch the Testaments with him. However, the best part was hearing him bear his testimony in Danish. I did not understand a word, but I felt the spirit very powerfully.
I also had a really cool experience in the MTC. We were in class with an advanced district (I am not sure if I would say my Spanish is that good, but I guess it is better than intermediate!) and our teacher was talking about the importance of talking to everyone. So he put me and my ¨companion¨ another visa waiter who had been serving in Mesa AZ as companions with Hermanas in the MTC to split up the companionships.
Me and a Hna. from Chile (but grew up in the U.S.) were companions and our teacher old us to go around the MTC and talk to everyone. To share a message with everyone. It was great because i got to go share the gospel which is what I was missing doing. Also, we had the most incredible experience. We went to visit some office workers in the main building. We walked into an office and had a nice conversation with a lady working there. At the end, I felt inspired to ask her if she knew anyone we could visit. I know how important it can be to ask for references in the field and figured it wasn´t that different. There could be someone feeling down or whatever.
She directed us to her friend and we shared a message with him and his coworkers. After, we made a few other visits but we went back and told the lady that we visited her friend and she told us that she already knew. She said he had called her and thanked her because it was exactly what he needed and he was very grateful that we had come over. I really felt like I had fulfilled my purpose of a missionary, ¨Invite others to come unto Christ¨ it doesnt say non members or people with problems, it just says others. Which means EVERYBODY.
As for my travel to Spain. It was quite the day :) I woke up 6:30 monday morning and did some good ol´ MTC stuff. At 1:30 we left for SLC. It was me and one other elder also going to Madrid.
Our flight did not leave until 5 so we got to call home for almost an hour. It was SO good to talk to everyone. Corinne, I hope you enjoyed my message!
The flight to Paris France was about 9.5 hours then we had a 4 hour layover. We were taken care of though. Our flight from SLC to France we met a member who served in France and was going back for business. He helped us find our gate and even bought us lunch!
The flight from Paris to Madrid was only 2 hours. After getting off the plane we found our baggage. We were also with a Senior couple who are serving in the Madrid Temple. While getting our baggage our concern, that we had realized earlier, became a bit important. Nobody told us who was picking us up or where. But, it did not take long for us to get our bags, and then we cleared customs and found President and Hermana Jackson waiting for us.
They took us to the mission home (by now it is about 5:30 Spain time, 8 hours ahead of Utah time and I had only had 2 or 3 hours of on and off sleep). They fed us dinner, trained us on a few things and then took us to the Mission office where we were trained a bit more.
I got your 6 month package mom. Thanks! I liked the prayers I said. Cute.
After we left the mission office we headed to our assigned areas. I am in Leganes Spain, just south of Madrid. My companion is Hna. Cockwell and it is her last transfer, so my list of companions will continue to grow.
But to get to Leganes, they helped me buy a metro ticket, then they put me on the metro and said “it´s about a 30 minute ride, be sure to get off at Leganes. Good luck.” I WAS TERRIFIED. I don´t like traveling alone. I was beyond tired. What if I fell asleep and missed my stop. What if my companion wasn´t there? But everything worked out just fine. A lady was even nice to carry one of my suitcases off so I only had to carry the other. She walked up to me as I was struggling to lift both of them. She asked if she could help me. I just looked up at her and said, “puede?” (can you?). Then I told her it was my first day in Spain and my first time riding the metro. I thanked her as I got off the train.
Then I heard screaming, “she is here shes here!” Three hermanas came running toward me to hug me and help me. We 4 live together and go to the same ward, it is a ward, but our area is split/being split. I don´t know a whole lot yet. So, I didn´t go to bed until midnight Spain time. Then I got woken up at 7:10 by my companion. I had slept through her alarm. I was tired. We do stay up until 11 and get up at 7:00 though. So I didn´t oversleep that bad. Plus i took a 2 hour nap today. So I am feeling a lot better.
Today we have hung out around the apartment, and gone shopping. The food here is different, but not completely foreign. Shopping was different though, many people don´t push the big carts that we do in America. Some, but not many. They mostly use the little baskets, but here they have wheels and you pull them behind you, rather than carrying them. So funny. Spain is beautiful, and our apartment is really nice! Nicer than any of my Utah apartments. We get an hour and a half to email. The door knobs are directly center on the doors. The sidewalks are really wide, and the streets more narrow. The buildings are beautiful! The city is beautiful!
Con Amor Hna. Olsen