Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hey Family!

Haha, sorry I spoiled you last week. It does seems like it´s been forever since I´ve heard from you. It´s nice to hear how things are going.

The adjustment to Spain has not been easy, but it´s all going well now. Time seems a little more normal here. The days are still long, but I can actually believe it´s been a week. Jet-lag was really tough for a few days, but I´m over it now. Now I´m just normal-missionary tired all the time. 

Honestly I don´t mind too much how few missionaries there are. Class is way better because of it. It´s practically one-on-one with the teacher, since there only two of us learning Spanish. The only thing that is difficult is having a district of only 2 missionaries and only 2 districts (the other has 6). I found out Sunday morning that I had to teach all our district meetings and conduct devotional, which was a little stressful. In end it was all good, though. My companion and I just shared what we had learned during the week and the conducting was in English. Most of our meetings all together are in English, so that it can be translated for the French. Some of the French elders know English really well, so I have been able to get to know them better. Somehow (with lots of translation) we all get along and have a lot of fun together. Since there are so few of us we do almost everything together, so we have grown pretty close over the week.

The teachers here are incredible and we are moving at such a faster pace than in Provo. I love my teachers! They have helped not only my Spanish, but my teaching so much! My Spanish is miles ahead of where it was in Provo already. Talking with native speakers makes such a difference and they actually force us to say it in Spanish. In fact some of them don´t speak English that well, so you have to figure out how to explain it in Spanish. It´s helping me so much and I love it!

Because we are the only companionship learning Spanish, we have 4 investigators to teach instead of the normal 2. It´s a little crazy keeping track and teaching all the time, but it is helping so much. Also, they give us feedback after nearly ever lesson, which is not something that happened in Provo. My teaching is improving so much and so much faster. Mom and Dad, I can´t thank you enough for getting my visa finished early. Being here is already helping me feel more prepared for the field. Oh, we are supposed to have a group of native Spanish missionaries coming in 2 weeks, so that will also help with the language and we´ll have quite a few more people here.

The temple was interesting with the headset. But I could do the repetition part in English so it was fine. I don´t know about doing it all in Spanish, today was the first time I could do almost all the words in English. It would be a really cool experience though. 

I´ve decided the Madrid temple is my new favorite. It is absolutely beautiful! Of all the temples I have been in, I think it´s the most beautiful. Obviously I can´t send pictures of the inside, but I have some of the outside that I will have to get to you. 

We didn´t get to see much of the city last week, we just walked to a store nearby and bought some stamps, but we are planning on going out this afternoon. I´m not sure if we are going to the center or somewhere else, but there should be plenty to see either way. Next week I definitely am going to the center though. I want to see all the cool stuff, like the royal palace. I´m going to have lots of pictures.
We did go out in the park on Saturday and it was quite the experience. It´s very different talking to actual people who have never heard the gospel. Most of them wanted nothing to do with us, but I feel like we were really good about talking to everyone anyway. In the end we were able to place 3 copies of the Book of Mormon and I´ve been praying since that they will read it and feel the spirit. It was a great experience and I´m excited for the next one, and to do better connecting with people and helping them see how much this can bless their lives. 

One last quick thing to end on a spiritual note. Last night we watched a talk by Elder Holland. It was so powerful! One part stood out to me. He was talking about why it was so hard and he explained that salvation is not a cheap experience. It was never easy for Christ. If we want to be like Him, we have to face some of what he did. I realized then, that missionary work is the same work that Christ preformed. He provided the means for salvation for everyone, and that is what we do as missionaries. We are not Saviors and Redeemers, but we will save and we will redeem. My testimony of this work has been strengthened so much. 

Anyway, I hope that helped someone, or meant something to someone. I love you all, friends and family. Thank you for all your support! I miss you, but there is nothing better than serving the Lord.

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