Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Almost out of here, and into there!" - Final email from the CCM

It's good to hear that some of the mail made it through! So far I've replied by mail to every single letter that I've been sent. I'm really grateful for it so I guess the only way to keep it coming is to keep it coming on my end! I foresee a very happy day in the near future with the arrival of that package! Elder Langston's already gotten two packages since he's been here, but I don't feel like I'm missing out because he always shares his Fruit Roll Ups with me. Last time, he got some venison jerky from his dad, off of a deer that he (Elder Langston) killed earlier this year. He has a picture of it. It's amazing! I'm companions with a mighty hunter!

Speaking of companions, I'll be getting a new one in a bit now, with the great launch of my missionary life approaching. The harder I work to prepare myself for the field, the more I realize that there isn't any way to prepare myself for the field. It's going to be way different no matter how I look at it. So the best I can really do here is try to improve on my Spanish, build my own personal testimony and learn the lessons backwards and forwards. I'm sure the rest will come and the Lord has already worked wonders "shaping my back for the burden" so I trust that He'll come through for me again. I'll just give it my best effort and see how it goes!

Thanks so much for the current events! I really like those. I remember when you and I would just listen to NPR every morning going to work and then coming back as well. I miss knowing what's going on in the world a little bit, and thank you! The other missionaries always gather round when I get to that part of my email so that they can also know what's going on.

Well, this is going to be it! It's my last P-Day here in the CCM and I have a lot to do. Just this morning Elder Langston got a haircut. I got a haircut a couple of days ago, given to me by our very own Elder Raban. He's an amazing guy! And the haircut is really good too! He cuts his own hair even. He grew up on a horse farm, so he has all kinds of useful, practical skills like that.

Anyway, I'd better get going. I love you all and I thank you for your letters, love and support! Bye!!!

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Newsy Tidbits from Elder Knorr

We received 2 envelopes today with letters to Bob's Pop Pop (Ethan), Agent Orange (Dad) and Megan. Here are some short excerpts, answers to questions we've asked:

Greetings from Spain, the home of TRUE Spanish. Just kidding, just kidding. The Spanish here is actually spoken really fast and rather blended together. We just got a new elder from Ecuador headed to Italy, and his Spanish is wonderfully clear and easy to understand. His name is Elder Pastillo, and we're pretty much awesome friends. Oh yeah, and did I mention that he doesn't speak ANY English? I translate for him at meetings. It's fun!

I know the swine flu is basically over already, but word on the street was that handshaking was banned at the Provo MTC and maybe still is. We just want to spread the Truth, not some strain of swine flu!!

We just do endowments in the Madrid Temple, but I like them! I tried doing one in Spanish with the headset a week ago. It was a total mind workout! But I was still able to understand it all and I enjoyed it a whole lot.

It's not even that hard being DL [District Leader] for these missionaries. They make such a great district! Mostly, I act as a middleman between President Hill and all of the missionaries in my district. I've found that I really get into my calling when I'm looking for ways to bless and help them, though. It's wonderful!

For breakfast, we just choose between a wide variety of breakfast cereals, fruits, yogurts and toast. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, with a soup and an entree which is usually some variation on pork or fish. Dinner is very similar to lunch. then at 9:30 we're allowed to run up and have a little snack if we want to. For all meals, we can select little snacks or desserts out of this little refrigerated section. They have yogurt, fruit, sometimes Jello (pronounced "Hey-Oh") and these wonderful little cups of chocolate pudding with whipped cream on top called La Copa, which I enjoy. I also like this melon that they serve. No one has been able to identify it yet, but it basically tastes like canteloupe, honeydew and watermelon combined. Perhaps it's a SUPERMELON....

I love companion life! It's nice to have someone with you all the time, basically living the same life as you. Me and Elder Langston really enjoy each other's company and are having a great time!

We're getting new elders all the time here. This week, we got Elder Pastillo as well as Elders Kober and Magistro. They're all going to Italy, and between all of them they know about 10 languages. Elder Pastillo knows Spanish and some Italian, along with this crazy Ecuadorian tribal language. Elder Kober speaks good English, but he's from Austria (German). He also knows Latin. Elder Magistro is from Tuscany in Italy and speaks "survival English." All the other elders joke that they're the "Tower of Babel" companionship because the three of them can hardly understand each other. It's hilarious!

The park that we contact in is ENORMOUS. I find new stuff every time I go there. There's all kinds of people jogging or walking their dog or just sitting down on a bench reading the newspaper "El Mundo" or something. We always go for the bench-sitters because they are easier to start a conversation with. Sometimes you'll get a good one, but often they don't want to talk about the Church or religion. We still try though!

We found this discount clothes shop a couple of weeks back. Me and Elder Langston went there and I bought a SWEET tie! It's black and silver stripes and looks deadly-classy when I wear it with my pinstripes. Best thing is that I got it for 4 Euro. It was marked at 5 but the shop lady said "Para vosotros, cuatro" [for you, 4]. I'll bet we're her best customers, "we" being CCM missionaries :)

People ACTUALLY use vosotros [formal form of Spanish] here. From my previous experience, I'm still not totally used to it yet. And people are very friendly too! They are also wonderfully straightforward and honest, which I actually appreciate.

Here is a bird's eye view of Madrid Temple Plaza.

We live on Plantas 4,5 & 6 of the red brick building next to the temple. Floor 4 is where the sacrament hall, classes and secretary's office are. Also, there's the library, which we call the Armory because of it's exceedingly many Book of Mormons. Floor 5 is sleeping quarters, and Floor 6 is the cafeteria. I love it here! I love studying the scriptures so much.

My favorite Spanish food is this white rice they cook with a little bit of oil. When they put this red tomato sauce on it, it's DELICIOUS. I always ask for seconds, and our Spanish-speaking cooks always reply "Si, por supuesto" [Yes, of course]. I love those wonderful old's true. They're good at what they do. And I'm grateful they do it!

My favorite scripture at this point in time is probably the story of Ammon the missionary, just because it's so applicable to my life right now.

I'm still doing really well here. I'm nervous and excited that I'm actually going to be in the field in two weeks! [Less than one week now.] So far I've just been in training. In 2 weeks, I'll be in the field for real! I'm really nervous, but I know Heavenly Father will help me do the work that He's called me to do.

I'm loving the mission! I never knew there was so much I could get out of the scriptures! This really is the True Church, and it can help everyone.

Elder Knorr

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spanish Officials Hear Elder Knorr Sing

Elder Knorr's vocal quartet "4 Ordained" sang on May 19th, 2009 for government dignitaries as they visited Madrid Temple Square to celebrate the Church's 40th anniversary in Spain. Click HERE for the Church News article, including a photo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

4 Ordained, Elder Ogden, and blessing others through the Priesthood - 2 weeks to go at the Madrid MTC

It's always so good to hear from you! :) Just a quick little thing that I thought you guys back home might find amusing: I've formed a men's quartet here at the CCM consisting of me, Elder Ames, Elder Brian and Elder Ketchum. We've been having a blast! Last Sunday, we sang "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy" in Spanish for sacrament meeting. Elder Ketchum sang the melody (he sings really well; he has a rich, operatic voice), I sang the bass line, Elder Ames sang the tenor line, and Elder Brian took the way-up-high descant line and did a great job with it. It went so well that we soon found the CCM personnel were asking us to sing it for all kinds of other meetings! Hermano Arjona asked us to sing a song about Jesus Christ for his Doctrine Devotional on Wednesday, so we picked "I Need Thee Every Hour" in Spanish. We can only really sing songs that have men's arrangements, but when we do, it sounds quite good. I feel so blessed to have been put in the same place as this talented bunch of Elders!

I forgot to mention last time: thanks for the news bytes. It's good to know kind of what's going on. That's great that we are making interfaith bonds. That's where it's at! Just this week, actually, they hosted some high level dignitaries from the Spanish government on Temple Plaza here in Madrid in order to celebrate the 40th year anniversary. They got tours of the temple grounds, the stake center, and then the CCM. We were all waiting in the Sala Grande (our main meeting room) and singing hymns when they came in. The dignitaries said a few words to us in Spanish, telling us how happy they were to be hosting us in their country and how blessed they feel to have religious freedom, and then they had our quartet get up and sing "Brillan Rayos de Clemencia" (Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy). The members who were also part of the tour said that it was the highlight for them, and we can only hope that the dignitaries were able to feel the Spirit as well.

More big news: I SAW ELDER JONATHAN OGDEN!!!!!!! Right after I got out of the temple this morning, Elder MacArthur told me to wait because someone wanted to meet me. Then, out of the Stake Center came a beaming Elder Ogden! We ran up and hugged each other and I have to admit I must have sounded like quite an idiot because I was at such a loss for words! We mostly just stood there smiling and tried to have a short conversation before he had to go into his meeting. He gets out of his meeting at 5, at which point I plan to head out and meet him again, and maybe say something useful this time! :) I feel so blessed.

Today has been an awesome day all around. Elder Langston got his ties dry-cleaned, Elder Ogden, emails from my family and also FAJITAS for lunch! They're delicious! I smother mine in guacamole. Yeah, I know, that may surprise some of you because I'm normally not a huge guac fan but I've really gained an appreciation for it here! The only part about today that wasn't great was the fact that Burger King was closed. Elder Langston and I found it last time we went to the mall and also got some coupons for it. We were planning on actually buying some American-style burgers today, but they were closed! At lunchtime! This country is pretty crazy sometimes. We were just excited to eat some charbroiled 100% beef burgers because honestly, the burgers they sometimes feed us in the comedor aren't that great. They're half beef, half ham, but because no one likes them, all the elders call them "Cat Burgers" as a joke. It's always fun to actually convince the newcoming elders that they are, in fact, made of cat flesh.

So, yesterday I had a neat experience. One of the elders here who is normally a pretty fun-loving guy who likes to talk and joke with me, but yesterday he wasn't being quite so outgoing. During the devotional he passed me a note asking if Elder Ames and I would give him a priesthood blessing. I agreed and let Elder Ames know. I knew he'd been having some trouble with homesickness lately and I could tell he was having a tough time. So in between classes, the three of us went upstairs and pulled up a chair and he sat down. I quickly checked the white handbook just to make sure I knew what to do and then we put our hands on his head and gave him a blessing of comfort and counsel. I was the one who did the speaking, but I know that the blessing came from the Lord. The words just came out and I think I said something that he needed to hear because he was crying afterwards. He thanked us for the blessing and I felt really glad that I had the priesthood and was able to literally bless others with it. It was a great experience!

Oh, by the way, I just remembered the name we decided to give our little singing group: 4 Ordained. Pretty sweet, huh? :) Elder MacArthur jokingly said he was going to form a quartet of his own so that we could have a "battle of the men's quartets." His quartet will consist of him, Elder Langston (my companion), our Italian native elder going to Italy named Elder Magnifesto, and Carlos Santana. I tell them that it's ON, but only as soon as Santana makes it here.

I've got two weeks left in the MTC!!! Jitters! I'm trying to work the hardest I can to be ready, but more and more I feel like there's nothing that can fully prepare me for the real mission field. I just really hope that I get an awesome trainer, which I'm sure I will.

I ran out of my American deoderant. I went to Ahorra Mas to buy some more, but they don't have any like we do here. The only kind they have is blue, wet, and it smells like alcohol. In fact, it mainly consists of alcohol, which works well, but I'm worried about possible side effects of having my skin constantly exposed to it. I finally know what it means in the Word of Wisdom when it talks about strong drinks being for the "cleaning of the body." We'll just see what happens, I guess! [Note from Elder Knorr's family - don't worry, we're sending some this week in a care package.]

I'm so proud of Megan! It sounds like she's really taking school seriously, which will get her a lot of places in life. Plus, I imagine that she feels pretty good about her accomplishments. About the dance studio, I've seen Megan bust a pretty slick move before so I have confidence that she can be a great dancer. :) Megan, if you read this, just remember "my" dance move. Thinking about it now? Good. You're welcome for making your day. :)

My second companion, Elder Arnold, was a lacrosse player in high school and he loved it! From his descriptions of the sport, it sounds super fun, maybe even something that I'd be interested in playing when I get back. Of course, by that time Ethan will probably be amazing and will destroy me, but whatever! I hope he has a great time learning a new sport!

Well, I'd better get going now. I love you all very much and I'm very grateful to have you all as family and friends! Take care of yourselves and each other!

-Elder Knorr

Friday, May 15, 2009

Short Email from Elder Knorr

To Friends and Family: Hello!

Yes, it is I, Elder Knorr. Things are going really well for me here at the Madrid MTC. I got a phone call for Mother's Day, which was really very nice! Also, I received a goodly amount of mail this week, all of which I am very grateful for. And, as always, I would be more than glad to receive yet more mail.

I love my family SO MUCH. I can't even adequately express. It's funny, I've realized that Ethan was probably my best friend while I was back at home. :) Let him know that for me, will you please?

A few bits of news: The CCM supervisor finally got me a plug adapter for my speakers. We went up to my room to try it out. At first, things seemed to be going well, then I noticed a strange smell and a humming noise, and then.... POP! The power supply for my speakers burned out. The smell was awful!!! The whole situation was kind of funny. Since they couldn't find an American voltage power supply to match my speakers, they just bought me some new ones. They're smaller than my last, but they work nonetheless and I'm happy to have them.

I had a great experience contacting in the park. We met a wonderful 55 year old woman named Amelia who actually wanted to talk with us! It was wonderful. We got to the first vision and bore testimony of it and everything! The Spirit was so strong! We invited her to come to the temple grounds and hear us sing, but she didn't show up. Oh well, that's just how the work goes. At least we planted a seed!

Wow, very little time today. I love you all and hope to hear from you!

Elder Knorr

Monday, May 11, 2009

First Letter Mailed from Spain

One month down, 23 to go! But who's counting?

Life is challenging but still good here in the Madrid MTC. They feed us a lot of white rice, a lot of fish, and a smorgasbord of other foods. I've put on 10 pounds since I started my mission. I'm thinking of scaling back a little, because it would be really lame if I started to not fit into my clothes.

I've been working hard here with my studies. I've learned to really appreciate the scriptures and I'm finding that they have a whole new plane of relevance now that I'm a missionary. So far, I've memorized the First Vision in Spanish, Santiago 1:5, D&C 4 (in English, not in Spanish yet...) and the first tres Artículos de Fe [three Articles of Faith]. My Español is really coming along too! I love listening to and trying to speak to native Spanish-speakers. I feel that I'm getting a better and better grasp on it. Also, I've been learning how to let the Spirit guide my teaching and how to focus on the needs of the investigator in the lessons. Basically, it's an all-around Gospel Boot Camp and I'm loving it!

I'm looking everywhere for Elder Ogden. A friend of Hermana Martinez said that he might be in Caraces (not sure if that's the name - it's SW of Madrid). I couldn't find a picture of him in the big CCM photo album. I'll keep looking.

I admit it would be wonderful to get mail from ANYONE right now. Mail is by far the most desired and sought-after stuff for any of the missionaries.

Speaking of which, a certain Elder Siddiqui over here gets no mail from his family (or support, because they're all Muslim and they don't approve of what he's doing.) Could you maybe send him something? That's Elder Siddiqui.

Anyway, it's good to hear that you're all doing fine. Thank you for the uplifting stories and the family photos (even if I look a bit queer in some of them). Could you maybe send me come current news events so I know more or less what's going on in the world? That would be killer.

I look forward to hearing from you all again.

Take care!!!

Elder Knorr

P.S. I'll make a CD of pictures and send it next P-day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers' Day Phone Call from Elder Knorr

Click below if you'd like to listen to the 25 minute phone call that Elder Knorr made home today from the Madrid CCM.

Friday, May 8, 2009

More Info from the CCM

I saw a lizard today! A HUGE one!!!! It was in the building too, in the stairwell! One of the Hermanas almost stepped on it, and then it scurried up the wall and we tried to catch it but then it just hid in this little alcove on the ceiling and wouldn't come down. But it was way exciting! It was a big one too. It would fit just perfectly into your hand, legs and all, but it's long tail would probably flop over the end.

Right now I'm at the Brigado getting my residence permit. We have a nice lawyer named Javier who helps us. He's really close to our age. He's a pretty cool dude. We so have to convert him...But seriously, that would rule.

I've really been digging into the doctrine here in the CCM. I love the scriptures! There's a lot in them that I've taken for granted before that is really applicable to me in my life right now. I'm never going to have the opportunity to be this studious of the scriptures ever again in my life! We get about 4 hours a day just to study doctrine! So I'm trying to make the best of it.

Spain is a beautiful country; all-in-all, it isn't that different from Utah climate-wise because Madrid is in a desert area so it's pretty arid and it's all the same latitude so the temperatures are about the same. It just all feels older. The skies look like paintings out of some kind of storybook. It's really wonderful. Plus, the temple is literally right next door. I can see it from my bedroom window. And this temple seriously has the most beautiful celestial room ever!!! We get to go in once a week. I wish I could do more though!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fresh Email from the CCM - only 15 minutes old!

Thank you for the email!! And I can't wait to get some mail from, well, anyone! I sent the family a letter. I'm sorry if it wasn't very long or comprehensive: I was counting on writing a long email. Also, I put photos onto two CDs which I'll be mailing, along with another letter, maybe letters to individual family members. At least, that's the plan right now!

Yes, we will get to talk Sunday! I get the phone at 6:00 PM, which will be 10 AM your time, and I'll have it for 30 minutes. I thought that would be good timing, because it's right before church so everyone should be home and hopefully together. Expect a call!

Thanks for Elena's parents' address. I kind of doubt she's still living at home, but I'll mail her a short letter in Spanish and maybe they'll forward it to her current address. It would be nice to see how she's doing!

Don't worry about Elder Ogden's address. I learned that I can just take it to the office here, with his name written on it, and they'll send it to him from there. Easy beasy! Light and breezy!

I'm going to get mail??? YAAAAY!!!! Mail always makes me very happy. And I haven't gotten a whole lot here, but I suppose that's to be expected considering the whole trans-Atlantic thing. But it doesn't necessarily bother me that people send mail before I've been able to send them any *hint hint*. There's nothing in particular that I miss from the United States (except for Dad's chocolate chip cookies) though I do miss lots of people. How about sending me a couple of my friends and maybe Ethan in the mail? :)

Yes, I've met Elder Ketchum! He seems like a pretty awesome missionary. He only arrived yesterday, so I'm still getting to know him. We both think it's pretty weird that our mothers know each other and we don't... :)

The missionaries here are awesome, especially my district. We've got a new Elder Ames who's been 'assimilated' into our district. My companion Elder Langston and I are getting along even better, which is really saying something because we get along great already! And then there's the 4 Hermanas: Sharp, Gum, Oliphant and Nuckols. The fact that we have more Hermanas than Elders has really helped keep us more on task and well behaved, because they are generally more mature than us. It's a known fact.

Either way, I've really been enjoying my time here. It's a rare opportunity to be able to study the scriptures so frequently. I realize that I'll never be able to do this again, so I'm doing my best to 'suck the marrow' out of this experience. Also, my ability to teach simply and in a smooth manner, in the Spanish language as well, is improving greatly. I'm starting to gain a great appreciation for missionaries out in the field and their ability to teach by the spirit, in Spanish. I'm normally OK at teaching in English, and I can speak Spanish pretty well, but put the two together and I start having some issues!

Alright then, time for the futbol update. We won against the natives again!! It was amazing. Difficult, but amazing. These ones looked scary! These ones were all 26-30, shirtless, tatooed, and growing ferocious looking beards. In between games, they took swigs from their beer bottles and took a couple drags on their cigarettes. They were basically anti-missionaries. But they were really fun to play with and hopefully we made a good impression, if they weren't too crushed by the fact that we beat them! :D I'm sorry, I shouldn't boast in my own strength. It was just a big deal.

So I hear that there's some kind of Mexican Swine Flu going around. I haven't heard about any nearby occurrences, but then again, I don't hear a whole lot in here. We're still kind of partitioned away from mainstream society.

EXCITING NEWS!!! I have located Elder Ogden. He's serving in Cacares. My mission president and his wife, Pres. and Hermana Farnsworth, came to address the CCM missionaries a few days ago and Hermana Farnsworth told me that Elder Ogden was very excited to hear that I was in Spain! I sent a message back down the grapevine that I was also very excited. Hopefully I'll get to see him at least once while I'm here. I feel like I've been on his trail this whole time. Hopefully that results in me finally finding him.

The work is wonderful here! Last Saturday at the park, I talked to an accordion playing man and asked him to come and listen to us sing on Madrid Temple Square on Sunday. He seemed really interested, but he didn't come! I think I'm going to follow up this coming Saturday and ask him why he didn't show. Maybe I can get him to come. Who knows!

I went to the Brigada today and signed the papers that make me an official resident here in Spain, at least for a year. I'll need to go in again halfway through the mission and then I'll be all set.

I'm so excited to get out into the field! President Farnsworth seems like an amazing man and I already have a lot of respect for him.

Well, time is running short. I love and miss all of you! Take care of yourselves and each other. The Church is true!!!

-Elder Knorr

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thru the Grapevine...

One of Christopher's best friends, Elder Jonathan Ogden, has been serving in the Spain Madrid Mission for over a year now. He wrote the following home in his weekly email:

"Sister Farnsworth [mission mom] sent me a small note from Elder Knorr saying that he is in the CCM, that he had met President and Sister Farnsworth and that he is excited to come out to the field. He will enter the mission on June 2 (the transfer starts June 1). That will be the last transfer for President and Sister Farnsworth."

Here are a couple of pre-mission pictures of Christopher and Jonathan. Elder Knorr really hopes to see Elder Ogden in Madrid and maybe even serve in the same area!

Friday, May 1, 2009

2nd Email from the CCM

Ok, I'll start by answering all your questions:

Yes, I know two Elders who are still stuck in Provo without their visas. However, talking with them I heard that they really waited to put their paperwork in. I think I got mine on time because we were so on top of it. I don't remember exact numbers... there was one Hermana and one Elder from my district who were coming to Madrid with me, but the Elder got delayed. Our travel group had 8, all of us going to Madrid. There were others in our district going to Guatemala, Chile, and Anahiem. The composition is basically all American, over half of those are Utahn, and then we have two British Elders, Elder Phillips and Elder Siddiqui. Elder Siddiqui is a convert from the Muslim faith: extremely rare.

The language is coming great! I feel blessed that I can understand pretty much everything that is said to me and respond back naturally in 75% of cases.

My arm is doing well. It fluctuates, but lately it's almost totally disappeared, so we'll see what happens.

I've been able to attend the temple twice since I got here. It is beautiful. Absolutely wonderful! And it's right next door too. It has the most beautiful celestial room I have ever seen.

My teachers are both native Spaniards. Hermana Martinez and Hermano Lopez. They are both amazing teachers. Hermana Martinez says the most amazing and profound things in English, even though I don't think she knows it because she's still working on her English skills. Hermano Lopez really gets down to business and teaches fast, but he knows how to make it fun and interesting for us too. Both of them are helping me a lot.

Our district is composed of three Elders, and four Hermanas. It makes it really nice because the Hermanas are much better behaved than most Elders so I have the easiest time managing the class. Oh, did I mention they called me to be district leader? Yeah. It's been a new experience but the Lord's helping me out. I just hope I don't mess up or anything.

We get double the email time here in Madrid but we have to take it in two groups of 30. I'm almost out of my first 30 and the window will shut on me, so I'm going to close this email and then immediately send another.

Ok, so here's the second email.

Yes, I have been having a great time here. The food is really good, maybe even too good, because I've put on 7 pounds since arriving a week and two days ago. I've decided to be a little more careful with my portion sizes and such so as to not outgrow my clothing. Speaking of clothing, it drizzled a little today so I wore my Calvin Klein jacket and it works really well, and also looks extremely nice.

I left my shampoo at the Provo MTC cause it was too big and heavy, and I needed more breathmints, spray and wash, sunscreen, q-tips and pez for the way awesome pez dispenser that Kristen sent me, so I went shopping yesterday during our gym time instead of playing futbol or basketball like I usually do. We went to this ghetto looking indoor mall where the air was 50% smoke, 50% real air (remind anyone of our Europe trip?) and found a supermarket where I was able to buy everything I needed for about 20 euro. It was the sunscreen that really killed me: 12 euro!!! Anyway, it was a fun experience. People stare at me a lot when I wear this nametag.

We play futbol at this little coloseum down the street that we affectionately call THE PIT. It's basically a concrete pit with steps on one side, where there probably isn't a 5 foot by 5 foot square of un-graffitied concrete. It's fun though because there's a couple goals in there and there's usually four or five natives there who will play against us. We always have a really fun time! It's always a humbling experience playing the native Spaniards in futbol, but we actually beat them the last time we played because we got an Elder who used to play soccer in High School. He rolled his ankle though and now we're too afraid to play them again without him. I made one of those head-goals last time. You know, when a teammate kicks it up in the air and you knock it into the goal with your head? Yeah, I did that. I felt pretty cool. :)

Every Sabado [Saturday], we all go to this huge park that's closer to the city center and practice our street contacting. It's probably the most terrifying thing I've ever done in my life: just approaching a random stranger who only knows Espanol and striking up a conversation with them about Dios y Jesucristo. We'll be going again tomorrow and I'm way excited. Last time we actually gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon. It was awesome!

Oh, the reason that this email is so late is because el 1 de Mayo is an international Labor Day in Spain and most of Europe. No one works, including the CCM personel, so they decided to move our p-day to today to coordinate with that. It's nice, I can get some laundry done and write letters. We also went to the Plaza de Espana today and also went to this Ancient Egyptian temple that they have here. I don't know why it's here, and I think our temple is better, but yeah, I got some sweet pictures anyway. We rode the metro to get there. It totally reminded me of the Europe trip.

My companion is Elder Langston. He's one of the quietest people I've ever met, and he is generally faster than me at just about everything. It's kind of a flip-flop from my last companionship. He's really committed to the work and I'm learning a lot from him. We also have Elder Silva, who's kind of our pseudo-companion. He speaks almost nothing but Portuguese and broken English. He'll be serving in Lisbon. It's really fun to try and communicate with him, but we somehow manage. It helps that Portuguese and Spanish have a lot of words in common.

Well, my time is almost up! I miss you all, but I'm sure you're doing fine and I'm kept very busy here so don't worry about me! Send more mail!!! It doesn't even matter if you have anything to say, just send mail! Getting a letter makes my day easily.

I love you! Bye!
-Elder Knorr