Thursday, April 14, 2011

First Week in the Field...

Hna Marin and Hna Lewis at the Mission Home
before heading out to Guadalajara


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,

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