Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I know that I send you my emails to my family, but I feel like I should write you a little something extra!
And maybe once you get to Russia, I will write you actual letters, it is cheaper, and faster to send letters within Europe than to the U.S. But maybe it will be too expensive since you will be way east in Russia, and not Moscow.
I had a friend who spent a few months in Russia last year (I'm not sure if it was study abroad, or if she was teaching English or what she was doing) and I know that she loved every minute of it, and that she was really sad to leave all the people. I'm sure that you will love it just as much, if not more.
My last week at the MTC in Spain, we kept expecting a missionary from Russia to show up. I think that the missionaries have to leave the country to renew their visas or something, so sometimes they go to the MTC for a few days during that process. I don't think she ever came while I was there, but maybe there will be a chance that you will have to come to Spain while I am here! Wouldn't that be fun!
I know that you will be amazing missionaries in Russia! And that you will love every minute of it! All of the missionaries I have met have a special love for the senior missionaries, (plus we are all a little jealous since your rules are way less strict than ours. For example, the senior sisters who were at the MTC with us could leave whenever they wanted and see the city, and one would take the elevator up to dinner and the other would take the stairs. I had to be with my companions all the time, so if one insisted on the elevator, we would have to take the elevator.) But we love the senior missionaries regardless.
Good luck with all of your preparations, these next three months will go really fast.
Love you lots! Amber
Hna. Marín is from Valencia. She has an older brother. Her parents are both members of the church, and she has been a member all of her life. She actually started her mission in Bilbao, but came to Madrid when they redid the missions. I don't know if her being a Spainard makes a difference, but I can tell that there is a difference in our contacts because she speaks Spanish. When we would contact in the park, I would just sort of keep talking and testifying becuase I knew that I couldn't understand what they were saying. Our contacts definitely feel more like conversations and less like preaching.
Today we went to Alaclá again and bought somethings for our piso, and then we went on a last minute trip to Madrid. (It's only like 40 minutes from where we were to the temple.) Hna. Marín has an old companion who is flying to Utah tomorrow to go to BYU, and she was at the temple today. Plus, the companion got engaged today. So while we were at the mall, Hna Marín found out about her companion, and we decided to go to Madrid. We had met up with some of the elders in our district, and our district leader told us to go. So we went. We had a few other things planned for today, but I guess we will have to do them later.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I'm glad to hear that you are all enjoying your spring break, and I hope that you enjoy the campus tour!
I think that it will be best just to send stuff to the office. It will just be easier that way, and I won't have to worry about mail when I get transferred.
The language is coming along. I can understand more and more every time we have a lesson. Some of it is that I am can recognize individual voices, which makes understanding easier, but I am understanding.
Hna. Marín and I are getting along really well. And I am learning a lot. We have gotten into a routine, mostly, and that has been pretty good. We get ready and eat breakfast, and then we study. We usually leave the apartment at 11:30. And then we will teach or contact for a few hours. At about 2:00 we have mediodía. So we come back to the apartment and eat and I finish my language study. I do 30 min in the morning and 30 min during mediodía. After that we go back out and teach and contact more. We get back at about 10:00 and then we plan and go to bed.
Some days are a little crazy though. Some mornings we have appointments during
our study time. (We try to avoid that but that is the only time some people are able to meet with us.) And Tuesday we have district meeting in a different city, and it takes us about one hour to get there, so we do our studies on the bus and on the train.
We have been teaching a lot this past week, which is good. I do participate in the lessons, and I do more in every lesson. It is most difficult for me to be able to respond to a question because I have to be able to understand what they are asking. But when they don't ask really weird questions, and we can follow our plan, Hna. Marín finds a way for me to teach, even if it is just a little bit.
Jorge is getting baptized this Saturday, and we are really excited. Especially Hna. Marín, because she has been teaching him the whole time, and has really been able to see him change. Jorge was looking for the evangelical church, and found our chapel one Sunday, and the Hnas. started teaching him. They didn't contact him in the street, and a friend did encourage him
to come. He was looking for a different religion and found us!
Evelyn has two kids, and Ana has a little boy. They are both really great, but with the two little boys it can get a little crazy. It is also difficult because we are teaching them two different things. Evelyn is a recent convert, and Ana is an investiagtor, so they are at different places in their understanding of the gospel. But the kids are so cute. Evelyn's daughter, Maria José, was
also baptized, she is about twelve, and her little boy must be about five. He likes to sing with us and give the prayer. Ana's son can't be more than two. He walks but I don't think he has learned to talk yet.
Last week for P-day, we cleaned the apartment, and went grocery shopping. Hna. Marín also needed a few other things like shirts and stuff. And then she wrote letters to her family, and I wrote in my journal and studied. It was pretty relaxing. Today we went to Alcalá. (which is where we have our district meetings.) Some of the other Hnas. from Madrid came out here for their P-day. They wanted to come see some of the stuff here. Especially Hna. Wilson, who had to read Don Quixote for one of her Spanish classes at BYU. Alacalá is where Cervantes was born. We met up with the Hnas. and two of the Elders from our district for a few hours. We walked by Cervantes' house, and looked at some ruins and some archeological stuff that they wanted to see.
I haven't really missed the temple yet. Time moves differently here, it doesn't really feel like I've been here for a week, and yet it seems like I've been here for two months. One P-day a transfer we get to go to the temple. I think we might go next week but I don't know. We also get to have a big P-day and travel to another city to see and do stuff. (Like the Hnas. from Madrid who came to see us.)
Guadalajara is great! I would definitely call it a city, it is fairly large, but more of a city like Provo or Orem. A commercial area or two, and a lot of houses and schools. Everybody lives in an apartment, so there are apartment buildings everywhere. And usually the ground floor has shops and stuff. But it is really beautiful. The streets are super confusing though, especially in the downtown area. I think it is mostly because the city is old, but there isn't any sort of grid or numbering system, at least I haven't found one yet. We do a lot of walking, and the city is built on hills, so there is a lot of up and down.
I think that is it for this week (still no shoes yet, but I think that they are at the office and I will get them next week at our district meeting).
Lots of love,
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
My trainer is going to be Hna. Marín, and we will be serving in Guadalajara. It's about as far away from Madrid as sisters get. She's a native Spaniard, so I know that my Spanish will improve very quickly, as will her English, because all the natives are encouraged to learn. Everybody tells me that she is a great missionary.
(I don't really know, they were speaking in Spanish very fast) They told me that she makes the best juice in the world, and that her food is some of the best. I think they said something about eating there this week, I don't really know. But they said that her house is the best!
He and I knew each other from High School, and I met another Elder I went to school with, Elder Stone. (He was one of my driving buddies when we practiced on the range at school.) So we took a picture of the three Timpanogos kids serving in Madrid. He found it funny that I go into the field the week he leaves. It might get posted on his blog, so keep an eye out for that.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Sunday we will watch three sessions of conference. President Earl lets the sisters watch
This week Hna Greer joined us! She just got here about two hours ago actually, and she came with six more Elders! We are so excited for more missionaries!
Thanks for all the love and support! I am glad to hear that everyone is doing great, and that you all think of me often! I think about all of you!
I only have a week and a half left in the MTC! I'm excited and nervous at the same time! But mostly excited! It is just a little weird to think that it won't be too much longer, because the MTC has felt like it has been really long.
Love you lots!