Thursday, April 18, 2013

Week 5! Madrid!

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!
It´s finally P-day! It´s 8am and we are about to go to the temple for our morning session. It apparently will be in Italian because we just got a group of Italians in here at the MTC and they are all getting their endowments out for the first time for their mission since this is their closest temple. The temple here is gorgeous! We are literally only a few yards away and we see it from our windows everytime we look out, and for exercise we just walk around the temple square. (We could go play soccer or run, but those are not my thing). So we just like to walk around and say hola to real life people, because those actually exist here. We are going to the Prado Museum for our P-day activities and I am so excited! Art! Ahhh so happy. There are other excursions people at the MTC can go on too. They even let us go to the store on non P-days too. And I am going to pick up some stamps today. So you all can write me! Apparently it takes between 5-7 days for mail and I´ve heard you can use DearElder and it gets here in 4. The MTC food here is interesting too...they love grease, potatoes, and fried things. We´ve also been served swordfish, salmon, and squid nuggets (i think?), all of which I ate by the way. A lot of the food is gross but some of it has been way good.
So I´ve finally learned to like this MTC more, especially since we are more close with our new district but I do still miss Provo of course. And there are +/- to both places for sure. Our teachers here are hilarious. Oh my goodness, I am just laughing the whole time. Especially Hermana Delgado. She is from Sevilla and has the thickest accent- she drops all her s´s and uses a really strong lisp. But she understands when I saw meowing or purring in Spanish so I love that. And my dark chocolate açai berries are such a hit here. That teacher started singing the american national anthem in broken English  in a funny little accent and said they were celestial chocolate. But now I am out haha. I don´t get much studying in here because it is so distracting and undisciplined but our teachers are there three times a day and teach us a lot of grammar which is really useful. And we´ve already taught four lessons to our two different teachers. When we taught Hermana Delgado for the first time as (get this) Encarnacion(!!!!) she had a carton of cigarettes and was wearing a robe and took of all indications of being a teacher. So helpful for the roleplaying. But as soon as we came up to the door she lit up a cigarette and pretended to smoke. Our faces were priceless I´m sure. Mind you this was not only inside a building  but inside a church building  down the hall from the MTC president. And I guess she thought there wasn´t enough smoke so she lit it again and waved it in our faces while we were teaching. It got so thick we all started laughing and broke character and she had to go put it out in the bathroom. But everyone kept peaking through the window in our door because they could smell the smoke haha. But the lesson went really well. We taught the Restoration and it had such a strong spirit. It was the first time we had quoted the words from Joseph Smith from memory with real intention and when Hermana Johnson said the words (Vi una columna de luz...) chills ran all down my body (and the investigator´s) and I felt an overwhelming spirit come over me. I have never had an experience that sudden, not only with the first vision but with anything in the church. The power that story brings is incredible.
So after I emailed you all last week on Saturday we went to a city square called the Goya to proselyte. I´m not gonna lie, it was really rough and discouraging. I was paired with another companion, Hermana Grant, who doesn´t speak much Spanish yet and we were supposed to talk to people on the metro and in the city. Some companionships had good experiences but mine not so much. I only talked to Spainards who didn´t speak english at all and were not friendly. And I was the one speaking basically the whole time to all these people. We gave out some pass along cards, church info, and had some nice conversations. But the last woman we talked to at a bus stop was the hardest. I tried to strike up conversation and that should´ve been my first cue that she didn´t want to talk but I kept persevering  Then came the yelling in rapid Spanish. We told her our purpose as missionaries and things like God loves you and we can have peace through Jesus Christ. She said no to every testimony we had to bear and said I was too young to understand anything. That there were people dying, starving, and Spain was in horrible shape. I tried to explain to her in the best way possible but nothing helped. There was a lot I didn´t understand but she is just one of those people you can´t reach. I felt so badly afterwards, like a failure, like I should´ve said more. But at least I had that experience and will get hardened to it since it will happen more and more. This Saturday our zone will be going to the park instead of the Goya where it is easier and people are nicer since they aren´t all busy.
So I didn´t have time to finish this email earlier so I actually have already been to the temple by this point. It was lovely. The session was actually in Spanish since there weren´t that many Italians, so I listened to the whole thing in Spanish and then did the very last part in English. The celestial room was really pretty, especially the ceiling.

All of you all should email me and give me details even if I can´t respond much because I can print off emails here and read them later and I would love to hear about your lives.
The pictures I am attaching are of our whole districts last night together, the four remaining from our district that got sent to Spain in front of the Madrid Temple, my companion and I in front of the temple.

I will send more in another email. Love you all and keep praying for me!
Love Hermana Thompson

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