Hola Familia y Amigos,
Today is my “cumple mes” or my month anniversary. I officially have 8 months in the mission! CRAZY! I hate it. I wish I had 4. I never want this mission-life to end.
Big news. Remember how I was talking about the possibility of a visa waiter. Well I got one. And yeah, she had been visa waiting, but only for 2 weeks. And she is Norwegian, so she was visa-waiting in Norway. Her English is better than her Spanish, but she is really learning both. So it is kind of hard to communicate with her. Also, I am now serving in Pavones. So I am white washing an area with her. I moved my stuff to Pavones on Wednesday, so it has been a long week. I´m surviving though. But I will say, training and white washing with only 2 months in Spain is HARD. Good thing I have the Lord´s help!
SO, before the emergency transfer when I was still in Leganes, we had the coolest lesson with Vlad. He is Russian and has been investigating the church for 3.5 years! Crazy. But, he is getting baptized on April 20th! He wouldnt get baptized because he is living with his "wife" who hates Mormons. So she wont marry him because he would then get baptized. He has no money so he cant move out.
We had a great lesson about faith and putting God first so that He will provide the way. We told Vlad that we wanted to help him put God first. He said he wanted to but didnt see how. We told him he had to make the decision and act, and that we would like to give him a baptism date. He said okay. We said we had been praying and thinking about him every day and we were about to give him the date when he stopped us. He looked at us and asked, so humbly and sincerely, "Que dijo, Dios?" "What did God say?" We asked him to be baptized on April 20 and he said yes. He was soooo happy. He kept saying no problem, and that it was so simple.
That was about all that happened before I left Leganes. Leaving was crazy. I had just gotten out of the shower and President called with the news. He asked me to take all my stuff to the zone meeting, which started in 2 1/2 hours and we lived an hour away. If you do the math correctly I had an hour and a half to finish getting ready, and pack my whole life up. So, I DID. I packed and got read in an hour and a half! What´s up!
This week we taught 2 lessons with a new investigator. Other than that, we have contacted. But we received 12 references. That is what I call working hard! Especially these past few nights. Last night, I had a really bad stomach ache all night (we contacted for about 4 hours) but I kept going. I was able to find joy in talking to people and finding even though I was in pain. And the night before we contacted for hours, and I was more tired than I had ever been, every footstep hurt. I have never felt like that before, but again, I persevered. I kept walking. I kept contacting. I felt good at the end of the day.
Dad, you wanted to hear about some Spain Culture and a bit about the economy. Nobody has work. You see people sitting on street corners or in ally ways living in boxes, or nothing. People stand outside of grocery stores and beg for food. People beg on the Metro a lot too. They will tell their sob story and ask for money, try to sell something, or perform. I like the performances the best. Some people sing really well and the songs are super beautiful. It is sad to see the people suffering though. My heart goes out to them every time. I realized the other day though, that although i cannot give them food or money, I can give the people something better. I can give them God´s true church and SALVATION! What’s a life of trials and difficulties when you can have eternal life IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD!
As for the culture of Spain, they buy daily bread to eat with their meals (its like a small loaf of french bread and it goes rock hard if you don´t eat it that day). We use the metro a lot to travel. They dont really have peanut butter (they do, but it is super expensive) Lunch is around 2 or 3 and dinner 8ish. Lunch is huge and dinner is small (but still pretty big). We take medio dia from 2-4 normaly.
I dont really know what time they wake up and go to bed. I just follow the missionary schedule. Which changed by the way. We are on the summer schedule so we wake up at 7:30 and go to bed at 11:30. I don´t really like it, but oh well. We go home at 10 or 10:30 if we are in a lesson.
As for me and the culture of Spain, I LOVE IT. I feel myself wanting to be a Spaniard. I love buying the daily bread and I really dont miss american things (except milk) but that is okay. Im getting used to the milk here. They have really good hot chocolate mix, the worlds best ham, and I really dont miss anything american.
This week, we had a really funny experience! We were helping some elders by filling the baptism font for one of their baptisms because they weren´t going to have time before. Our district leader was teaching us how to fill the font and all the faucets to fill the font are in the mens bathroom. So here we are 2 hermanas in the mens bathroom. This boy opens the door, sees us, freaks out, and leaves. oops.
Then a minute or so passes and we continue figuring out the font. We hear a knock on the door, tell them to enter, but nothing happens. When we leave we open the door and see 7 or 8 men standing outside waiting. When they saw us, they were shocked! Girls in the Mens bathroom, ahhhhh! I was embarrassed so I muttered something about a baptism. But now I just think it is funny!
Saturday night me and Hna. Hansen (my new companion) bought candy for easter. Sunday, we got back from church first, and I hid it throughout the apartment for the other Hermanas to find. There are 6 of us that live in Pavones. They had so much fun looking for the candy! I felt good to do this service. 2 of them are native spanish speakers so they really enjoyed the "americanized" celebration of easter.
So I was super sad to leave Leganes but i LOVE Pavones. The Temple is right there; I can see it from my bedroom window! And we are working hard to build up the area. Friday there was a huge Easter concert in Pavones and i got to see some of my Leganes people. And I should get to see more next weekend for General Conference.
For P-day today, we came to Leganes so that I could get my package (they ask for identification). So I got that today. Mom, it is PERFECT. I LOVED the cookies. They almost made me cry. And you sent the perfect amount of easter candy! I looked in several stores for some cadbury but could not find it! So I was really glad to see some of that. 7 of us hung out in leganes all day today. So I got to share my cookies and the little pack of cadbury mini eggs. I made 5 American girls very happy! Homemade cookies and cadbury. Everyone loved it, so thanks! I´m so excited to dye easter eggs! The package is perfect! And the plan of Salvation map is PERFECT. I LOVE it. But spirits that are not colored would be better. I LOVe the world and the tomb and everything though. It is sooo beautiful.
APRIL FOOLS! My companion is not brand new. She IS from Norway, but speaks perfect English. She has 5 months in the mission too, so her Spanish is just as good as mine, even a little better I think. I did get emergency transferred, and we are pretty much white washing (Hna Hansen has 2 weeks in Pavones). But I am not training. Her companion went home sick, so that is why I got transferred. Good joke, right. hehe.