Tuesday, December 30, 2014

La Primera Navidad

First Christmas in Spain.

"You can't say no to a running missionary in a Santa Hat on Christmas!"
Running. There was a LOT of running this week, and especially on Christmas Day as we tried to pull things together for Xiomara's baptism. Leaving the baptism dress at the piso, having to make and print the program in 20 minutes, missing the metros and pulling together a musical number; It was a fanatic day, but a fantastic one, and I learned that even when things don´t go perfectly... you can still have perfect moments.

 Hermana Gillette (The other Sister Training Leader and part of the other companionship in our piso) finished her mission today. Her poor companion is having a rough go of it. We're going to be a trio until the next transfer in 3 weeks. Then MY companion will go home and two others will be brought in for us. But until then, we are three missionaries (two newbies and one old timer) covering two areas, two different wards, and (probably) having all kinds of adventures.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year!

Spiritual thought: I love the Christmas story. Christmas Day is over, but the message and the spirit doesn't have to leave (especially since here, we still have Dia de los Reyes). Read Luke 2 again and remember these two little Christmas phrases.
- Are you part of the "Inn" crowd, or one of the "Stable" few?
-Wise men still seek Him.

Summary: Christmas isn't really over, and changes happen quickly.

Bonus email:
Spain has Dia de los Reyes... as you already know. So the nice thing about that, is that it is still socially acceptable to wish people "Feliz Navidad" and they still play Christmas music (AMERICAN music) in the stores.

Christmas Eve was weird (they call it "Noche Buena" here.) Thanks to the famous Spanish punctuality, our dinner at the church (with other misfit members who had no where else to go) started two hours late and we had 15 minutes to eat before BOOKING it out of the church to get home in time, planning to take a taxi. We walk out there and everything is DEAD. No metro. No bus.  I could have laid in the streets of the third largest city in Spain and not been hit. Things picked up again midway through Christmas day, but it was a surreal experience.

I'm not sure how New Year works here, other than they stay up late and eat 12 Grapes to welcome it in at Midnight.

I'm supposed to teach Piano to this little girl on Saturdays for an hour (something that Hna. Gillette used to do and now falls to the only other pianist-ish missionary) so... that's fun. It's hard to teach in Spanish when you don´t even know the word for "measure."

My companionship and two companionships of Elders are over "Barrio One." Hermana Stilson is over Barrio 2, so we'll be going to her church for the next couple of weeks as well. (6 hours of church in another language... yay?) Hers is morning, ours is night... it'll be a full day.

I loved getting to see you guys on Christmas, and I think it went pretty well. I didn't really plan what to say, it all just sort-of came out... but I'm glad it worked well. Y'all are awesome.

Lots of love for the new year!
Hermana Een

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