I'm calling this one "El Centro" because it's half way through my MTC (or CCM) experience and because, last Preparation day (those Thursdays when we take a bit of a break and do some normal things like email and be a tourist for a day) we went to El Centro- the ancient part of Madrid.
I've felt like I'm in a foreign country because of the little things people here do differently: the stall doors, window shutters, tall red buildings... it all seems a little off, and therefore foreign. But I guess I never felt like I was in SPAIN until we walked up, out of the metro, and saw the old city for the first time. There is NOTHING like it.
Elder Keen (oddly similar name, right?) said, "Oh come on, if you've seen one European city, you've seen them all." to which I could only reply, "Maybe so... but I've never seen a European city before."
What made it even better? It was raining, so I've officially felt " The rain in Spain."
In some parts, there's no difference between the sidewalk and the street. Everything is paved in gravity-checking cobblestone. The architecture is ancient and gorgeous, and EVERYTHING is worth photographing.
We got Churros and Chocolate at this famous place that´s been there since the 1800s. It's a "must do" in Spain, more for the culture of it than for the actual taste. One of the girls in my district told her AWESOME conversion story while we were waiting, and it's crazy to think that there might be a person like that out there for me.
Spain is awesome and I'll never be able to say enough about it, so I'll just stop there.
This week feels like it moved on fast-forward. Wasn't it JUST Sunday? It's insane.
Every Saturday we go to the park and practice contacting people and proselyting. I've never had tons of "success" because, well, I don't know the language, and I've never been comfortable just going up to people and talking them. I hate feeling like I'm interrupting them. This time I did better, held a couple of decent conversations, and felt a little better about it.
The thing is, I think we do more than we know. Earlier this week, I taught my companion the word for wind in Spanish (viento), and it helped her explain a gospel topic to a woman at the park who was having trouble believing in things she couldn't see... and a gust of wind blew by. Sometimes success isn't directly visible or measurable, but it's still there. I think we´ll be happy if we don´t worry about LOOKING for it, and just ... go and do.
Ok, that's enough of my soap-box rant.
Hey, remember in my first letter how I said my favorite phrase was¨"La lucha es real?" (the struggle is real) Well, we were singing a Hymn in class the other day (Put your shoulder to the wheel) and that EXACT phrase was in the third verse. All the girls in our district burst out in laughter and couldn't finish the song, all the guys looked SUPER confused, which just made it funnier.
Spiritual thought? Alma 32 (the whole chapter, really. It´s beyond awesome) 27.
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
Summary: Spain is beautiful and it finally feels like I'm here. Experiencing a bit more culture. MTC time is going fast, and I find joy in it whenever I can.
Love you guys!!!