Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Burn Notice: Barcelona Bound

My name is Hermana Een. I used to be a missionary in Valencia.

Until, "You're being transferred to Barcelona"

When you’re transferred, you’ve got nothing. No cash (especially at the end of the month), no credit, no job history (no one here really KNOWS you).

You’re stuck in whatever city they decide to dump you in. “Where am I?” BARCELONA

You do whatever work comes your way. (Missionary work doesn't really change that much. The people and places do.)

You rely on anyone who’s still talking to you. (Weekly emails, my friends)

“Someone needs your help, Hermana.”

 Bottom line, until you've done the work here (and at LEAST until the next transfer cycle), you’re not going anywhere.

Well, there it is. I've been transferred to Barcelona. It's still a little bit weird (seeing as this is actually only my first couple of hours here). I used to joke with the members that I'd stay in Valencia for all of my mission. Turns out a part of me actually believed it. But here we are.
More on that later, first a quick miracle story...

This week we had an incredible miracle related to obedience and follow-up. We had a cita [appointment] to meet with a man we'd met knocking doors, but were unable to find a member to go with us and, being Hermanas, had to explain that we could still teach... but that we would be sitting in the hallway. He was a little confused and wasn't all that willing, but brought out chairs and that was that. We had an incredible first lesson with him, and as we were wrapping up (answering some of the questions he had) his neighbor squeezed by to retrieve something from his piso) and just before he left again (having somewhat of a prisa [hurry]) said he was listening a little bit from below, that he wanted us to come by sometime and teach him too, and asked if we could give him something to read before the cita. We gave him a pamphlet of the Restoration, took down his name and number, and set up a cita for the following week.
Yes, it was a little bit awkward to have to sit in the hallway and teach. But we always see miracles when we choose obedience.

I KNOW that's true.

It's been a good week.
Saying goodbye is weird as well. My heart really felt it but my mind still isn't convinced that this is really is "Goodbye." Hermana Terrazas really helped with that, keeping busy, run for the bus, rip the bandaid.
I was suddenly very glad to have my information printed on little business cards, as people I barely knew came out of the woodwork suddenly very keen to stay in touch (EVERYONE needs a business card with Hermana Een sitting awkwardly in the corner, right?)
Sometimes, when you're up close, it's hard to see. But with the perspective of time and leaving I really can see something beautiful. I've made a difference here.
It isn't huge. We didn't baptize the world or have so much success that they split the area or anything crazy like that, but the light that has come (or come back) into the lives of individual people.
It's a nice feeling.
Genoveva & the ADORABLE kids she nannies, David & Saira

"El Faro" - As in, "I served in el faro," or "Somos el faro," or "He is a true el faro missionary!" Faro means lighthouse. It is reported that some years ago Elder F. Burton Howard was touring the mission and referred to the mission as the lighthouse of Europe. Ever since then, missionaries have referred to the mission as "el faro." The phrase has emerged to represent all that we hold dear about the Spain Barcelona mission. "El faro" is difficult to define or describe, but every missionary who has served here knows what it means!

Our piso, the Hermanas of Valencia

Ok, back to the night of transfer calls.
You know it's big news when the President of the mission calls you. (Which, fun fact, has happened 4 out of my now 5 transfers)
He thanked me for the work I've done in Valencia. He asked me to move to Barcelona and be companions with Hermana Wiseman.
"And we'd like to call you to be a Sister Training Leader."

And so that's what I'll do. I still don't know exactly what that means (It probably means that you shouldn't quote TV shows in your weekly emails home...), so I'll let you know as I figure it out more. It's basically the female equivalent to a Zone/District leader. You go on a lot of companion exchanges and go to a large mission meeting once a month.
And I know that whatever it is... it's a humbling calling, a trust, and a privilege.

So... That's that.
I'll share with you the scripture I've shared with my friends I've left in the mission field.
Alma 17:13 And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken.
Great is the work we've undertaken.
We'll meet again.
In heaven, at least.

I love you all. Wish me luck!
Hermana Een

New address
Calle Provencia 501, 1
08025 Barcelona, Spain

(Photos next time)
A last hurrah with cute Stephanie Smith, she took us to Lladró.

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