Sky: A thing that airplanes fly throughSpain: An incredible European country, with half of my heart scattered around in it.
|First sighting on the escalator by the lady who had also come from Barcelona--and choreographed "High School Musical"|
|Last intercambio with Hermana Martinez|
I had my exit interview with President Dayton (which included a longer talk on marriage and dating than I was banking for) and then was free to visit my old area of Barcelona. And so I did. I was able to visit with Willy, who was wandering a bit on that straight and narrow path we'd shown him. I went with sweet Norma (Best Spanish member ever) and shared Alma 5:26, and now he's dedicated to start again.
|Willy and his family, in my Barcelona visit.|
|Dear sweet Norma. She's a missionary, just without the chapa. And so in an unplanned moment... I gave her mine.|
I also met with sweet Edy, ate gelato, reminisced, and caught up. On the last day I was able to stay with Hermana Manotas and O'Neill (a good friend going home with me) and catch up with whatever missionaries wandered through the Barce Sans Train Station.
|Barcelona, Valencia, Lleida. Hermanas Een, Manotas, and O'Neill|
1) Missionaries contact people: I talked with the sweet lady sitting next to me on my long flight.
2) Members contact missionaries: Almost the moment we sat down by our gate, different groups of member came and talked to us- congratulating us on our service and asking about our return, and one of them stayed with me through my connecting flights and on into Las Vegas.
|The Daytons on my last night|
|A last goodbye to Hermana Arauco|
|A last goodbye to Hermana Randall|
|Farewell at the mission home, which felt like mine|
|Saying goodbye at the gate, homeward bound!|
|The Barcelona sidewalk, my holy ground|
|The little brother that grew . . . and note the broken shoe strap.|
|Meeting with President Gutierrez to be released.|
|First temple trip as an RM|
|At David's swim meet, he cut 10 seconds of his backstroke and qualified for regionals, also bettered his time on the IM.|
The best way to describe this feeling, a heart torn between two good worlds, is said by a dear friend, Jack (from the musical, Into the Woods).
"When you're way up high, and you look below
At the world you've left and the things you know,
Little more than a glance is enough to show
You just how small you are.
When you're way up high
And you're on your own
In a world like none
That you've ever known,
Where the sky is lead
And the earth is stone,
You're free, to do
Whatever pleases you, (ok, not exactly, whitehandbook. Conversely, agency.)
Exploring things you'd never dare..." (Going to Spain, the mission, the untold adventures that follow)
(Then someday you go home and...)
"The roof, the house, and your Mother at the door.
The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore.
And you think of all of the things you've seen,
And you wish that you could live in between,
And you're back again,
Only different than before,
After the sky."
Thanks for coming along on the journey,
Love you all!
(No-longer-Hermana) Alayna Een
Oh ye who labor planting seeds... in the month since I've come home.