Well, I´m going to try something different today and respond to everything you wrote me first and then go on the news of the week.
The new piso is pretty sweet. It´s much more spacious. I honestly don´t remember now how many times I have moved in the mission, plus it all gets mixed up with how many times I moved other people while I was in the office. And yes we did just move about a month ago, but it was necessary to do again. Yeah, I just forgot to send you the new address last week. I´ll put it here just in case you want to send any sort of house warming correspondence (I am on my last stick of deodorant).
C/ Bravo Murillo 43, 4A Madrid 28010 ( C/ means Calle)
The weather here is starting to cool down a little as well, although it was pretty hot today. I´m not looking forward to winter, but everyone says fall is very nice. I don´t really remember it from last year. Have you been doing a lot of trail running, Dad? I want to try that when I get back. My companion has me running sometimes in the morning, and I´d like to get better when I get back.
School seems to be going well for everyone. I´m glad Sarah is getting really involved in the theater stuff. Good luck to her on her audition. How did the dance go? Did she have fun? I´m sure it´s worse for you, but it´s really, really weird seeing those pictures. Is she old enough to go to dances? Are you sure? She does look "guapísima" though :)
I love the pictures of Erin playing soccer! That´s so awesome that she´s back to playing a bunch. I´ve rediscovered my love for it in playing here. It really is the beautiful game. I like their uniforms too, very classy. What´s with "Domo" though? Also, those are some sharp cleats you got, Erin. I like.
I´m glad Bekah is doing well too, even though she has to deal with freshman. It´s OK, nobody likes freshman.
If you could pass me Cyrus´s email address, I´d love to drop him a line. Maybe I can give him a little "animo."
Just a random little insert here. I love Spanish. Like I really love it. I want to get so much better at it and I want to be able to keep speaking it after the mission too. Sometimes I feel like I can actually express myself better, or understand things better, in Spanish. Weird, huh? And let´s be honest, it´s way prettier than English is.
Bale! We did hear about him. I remember thinking that Mom would think that was cool because he´s Welsh. We saw on the TVs in the metro that he got bought by Madrid. For 90 million Euros. I believe it was the most expensive, holy cow! And yes, they do need both Ronaldo and Bale, because they need to be the best. Fact. (Funny story, Bale in Spanish would be pronounced exactly the same as "vale" which is a Spanish word that means "ok." So we were making jokes about what his cheers would be like. All of Santiago Bernabeu just nodding and saying "vale.")
Hey thank you honestly for keeping me updated on what´s going on at home. I know sometimes I don´t respond too much, but I really do love to hear about what everyone is doing.
Well, news from this side of the world. This morning we went to the Royal Palace right here in our area, the center of Madrid. But today we went in it! (And I saved 5 euros by using my student card, so thank you so much for sending it!) It was really quite cool. Impressive is the word, actually. It is the largest palace in Europe and it´s amazing inside. Everything is just super rich. All the ceilings are painted beautifully, like Sistine Chapel type stuff. There is a room where the walls and ceiling are covered in carved vines and animals and one where the whole room, but seriously the whole room, is covered in porcelain. It was amazing. Especially impressive were the throne room and the grand dining room. The throne room just took everything up a notch. The whole room, walls included, is covered in deep red carpet, like velvet it seems like. There are gold lions everywhere and two huge chandeliers. The dining room is just massive. A huge, long table, all set with like a million forks and glasses and plates. It was really cool! Unfortunately you can´t take pictures inside. We´ll have to go see it together when you come to pick me up.
As for missionary work, we have had a pretty awesome week. We jumped up in lessons, especially with members present, and the coolest part is that we had at least 3 lessons with members' friends that they set up--all new investigators, too. I´ve always wanted to have lessons in members' homes with members' friends and at the start of this transfer I set the goal to do so and last week we had 3. And we have 3 other members who have told us about specific people they are working with and who they are going to invite to meet with us. Super cool. This is how missionary work should be done.
So we´ve found some really cool investigators that way. And then there´s Mayte. We found Mayte last Sunday knocking doors and it was obvious she was good right then. We met for the first time on Thursday and taught one of the most amazing first lessons ever, all thanks to her. She is only 14 years old, but she absolutely loves learning about God. She has gone to many churches before, even been baptized in one, but became disillusioned with it and stopped going. She has really been looking for the truth and she recognized it when she heard it. She said after the first lesson, The Restoration, that it answered a bunch of questions and doubts she has always had. We gave a Book of Mormon and she was so happy! She said "I´ll read it everyday" before we invited her. By Saturday she had read through 1 Nephi 9, including the introduction, the witnesses and Joseph Smith´s testimony. Wow. We also got to see the other key part that members play in that lesson. We invited the Young Women´s president to be in that first lesson and it was perfect! She explained what young women´s was before we taught and invited her to the activity they had the next day. Then she went by to pick her up the next day and take her to the activity! Take about support from the ward. Mayte now knows all the young women in the ward and had a blast going out for an activity with them. The young women´s president also bore her testimony and helped teach a bunch in the lesson and said something really cool that I hadn´t thought of, that Joseph Smith was also 14 when he was looking for the truth. It was a miracle lesson and Mayte is a miracle herself. I´m so excited for her!
Sadly, Merci and her family didn´t come to church, and when we called they were very nice but said that they are so busy and don´t know their schedules so we can´t come by still. But we passed by their building and even though they weren´t there we knocked the building and got 7 references. Best of all, we found a South American family who has met with the missionaries before and who were really interested, right across the hall from Merci´s door. I get the feeling that maybe the Lord really wanted us to find this family, that maybe it´s not time right now for Merci´s family, and we were really being lead to this other family. Who knows?
Well, I am out of time, I´m sure there are other things from the week and I´m sorry I don´t have time to write them all, but just know that things are going great here. B5 is growing a ton and there is a ton of work here. The Lord is blessing us and we will see success and baptisms here. The members are the key to missionary work and the Lord prepares His children to hear. I know it. I love all of you and am more grateful to you than I can ever say. I pray for you all the time and hope you are always safe and happy. Take care, until next week.