Hola otra vez!
Whew. Long time no talk! So so so much has happened and I wish I had more time. But we have to catch a train pretty soon. So I am in Benidorm. I am the farthest away you can possibly be in our mission, fun eh? And guess what else? We are opening the area...and my companion, Hermana Martín, is from Madrid so basically we only ever can speak Spanish to each other. Oh and I am sick on top of that. So my life is pretty...interesting. We are in the Alicante zone and we are the only missionaries in our area of Benidorm. There are no Elders because in the summer there are tons of tourists and beach goers. We have a small little branch to work with, there were about 33 people there including kids and us on Sunday but the people are really nice and it´s like a little family. Our piso (apartment) has a sweet view of the city and the ocean but it has a ton of random stuff in it from the owner and the most dust I have ever seen in my life. So we spent all morning cleaning it. Since we are opening the area we have a lot of work to do, there were Elders in the area about a month before us but it´s hard sifting through the area book and finding people. We haven´t really given any real lessons yet though. We gave 2 kind of but one of them was to an inactive member who started talking about obscure things like the free masons and told me my celtic knot ring from Ireland was a sign of the devil. Yep. And everyone only talks to Hermana Martín because she speaks better Spanish and then they speak faster and faster. And at the moment I can´t actually speak pretty much at all since my throat is in bad shape. We met up with some Elders today and they gave me a blessing and I´m hoping I get better soon so that we can work more. Benidorm is kind of similar to Miami in a way but also totally different. You should all look it up. There are only tons of ghetto skyscrapers that line the streets and some of the areas are pretty sketchy but not in a dangerous way. Oh and there are a TON of Jehovah Witnesses here in Spain, especially in our area. I swear we see them like 2 or 3 times a day. And every time we talk to someone they mention them and ask if we are like the same. So it someone (dad or phil) wants to send me some info on Jehovah Witnesses so I can get familiar with them a little bit more that would be so helpful. My companion tries to explain what she can but it´s all in Spanish so I am missing bits and pieces.
Spanish. Oh Spanish. What I wouldn´t give to be able to speak English all day. I love Spain but boy am I jealous of all the lucky missionaries serving English speaking. Audrey, and all you people who learned languages like Russian and Chinese- kudos to you! I don´t know how you all did it! I recognize almost all the words and I can get by speaking ok but there are so many times when I don´t understand the meaning of what they are saying and I feel so restricted in what I can do. But I am way better off than most of the new missionaries. So I have a lot to be grateful for. But they all can speak English in their pisos and when I am home I still have to speak Spanish because of Hermana Martín. We get by fine though. But oh how I love the English language. Ok enough of my whining. I know it´ll come with time so I am trying to learn patience but I hate feeling like a waste of a missionary since I can´t teach how I want to yet.
I don´t know if i mentioned this before but i got a package in the Provo mtc from a random lady that i guess was told by someone in the Naples ward that i am serving in Spain and it was about her sister that is not a member and she wanted me to visit her family and I never thought I would be in that area, BUT she lives in Alicante which is in my zone! Not in my area but there are Elders there so I will work something out.
Before we came to Benidorm we were at the mission home and with the missionaries in Fuengirola (where the mission home is next to Malaga). I went on splits to a ward party and ate paella and got tons and tons of besos. It was nice to have a couple of days of down time and get fed lots of good food. But now I miss seeing other missionaries!
Well, missions are hard but I am hanging in there. Keep praying for me and send me letters. Here is my new address (send packages here too):
Av. Beniarda 2
Plaz. Playmont 1, 11º2
Benidorm, Alicante 03502
Love you all,
ps- pictures above are of my district in the Spain mtc, Hermana Johnson and I with elders Day and Vogel, and the group of us that stayed in Malaga for a couple of days at Mijas.
view from our piso in Benidorm
My Trainer Hermana Martin (from Madrid)