Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hola from Espana!

You may be wondering why you haven't heard back from me. (And if you aren't, I still love you.) Just so you know, I was wondering the same thing. I already know that Spanish keyboards are strange (for example, I'm pretty sure that I'm using and accent mark instead of an apostrophe) but it turns out that sometimes the emails just don't send. Last week I wrote a beautiful email to my family about how beautiful Spain is, how great chocolate in Switzerland is, and how fantastically tired I was when the mission president said we could write our families (by the way, I thought he meant we could ONLY write our families, so there was only ONE email that day). On Thursday I found out that, not only was my email not sent, but that my family was (understandably) freaking out. Guilt guilt guilt. And now I can't even find that letter in my drafts so it´s like it never existed.
Readers Digest version: Sleeping on a plane is no fun. Food on a plane is not that bad. Everywhere in Europe has chocolate. Guys wear scarfs ALL the time. All of the buildings in Madrid are made of red bricks that glow with the rising sun. It´s a beautiful sight, but the skyline still seems empty without the mountains I've always been surrounded by.

The CCM (MTC or missionary training center in Spain)
My companion is Hermana Curtis. She´s blonde, 19, and from Texas. She thinks I'm funny and gets my references so we get along really well. ;) In all seriousness though, she has a really strong grasp of the scriptures and has a really good spirit about her.

They really like to get the fire under you here, because we're already supposed to be praying in Spanish (which takes like 10Xs longer and I end up switching to English when I don't know how to say something), we started teaching practice investigators (Gospel role-playing with teachers) in Spanish on our 4th day, I think. My Spanish has definitely been put to the test, but I'm adjusting.
I've already learned how to say the really important things like "Evangelio,"  "Jesucristo," and "La lucha es real" (The struggle is real). ;)

On Saturday, as is tradition in the CCM, we were thrown out of our comfort zones and into the real world: we went tracting in the park (Retiro). It´s a BEAUTIFUL park, filled with unbelievable statues and architecture and fountains and... people. I carried on a pretty good conversation with a Spanish man in the metro (he was VERY patient with me and I understood almost everything he said, he helped with my Spanish inflection, etc) but it was cut short because otherwise I would have missed my stop. Anyway, it´s a cool experience, we walked, sang, and talked to people. I even sort-of placed a Book of Mormon (on a library exchange shelf. It totally counts). One of the teachers got pictures of it, so Mom will like that.

Our days are pretty packed, lots of time in lessons and study, and we're encouraged to speak in Spanish whenever possible. I'm in the Amulek district (they're all named after BOM prophets) which is the most advanced in language... go figure. More about them in my next emails, I'm sure. 
I love you guys, thanks for the emails and support! I´ll try and keep you updated as much as I can... as long as the stupid emails send. :(
Oh, Thursday is my P-Day. So... that´s when you'll hear from me in the next 5ish weeks.

I know the church is true, otherwise I wouldn't be here.

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