Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First Area - Cuatro Caminos in Madrid

Yes, the rumors are true. I have officially entered "el Campo Misionál" and it's really good! I'm serving in the Cuatro Caminos area of Madrid, which stretches from Cuatro Caminos on the south all the way to the northernmost border: la Plaza de Castilla where there stand four great "torres."

My companion is Elder Parry, who is an amazing missionary and teacher. I know this firsthand because last night I taught my first lesson! We taught this beautiful little family, the Mejia family. Ángel, the father, Helen, the mother, Ángel, the oldest son, all are members, but they're what we call "menos activos." We're focusing on the two younger boys, José and Júlian, 8 and 10. They've already set a baptismal date for the 13th, so we're just going over the commandments and everything. These two boys are so wonderful!!! They really like the missionaries apparently. I would have been done for if it weren't for my companion and his incredible teaching and Spanish skills, but my Spanish wasn't all that bad and I was able to understand *everything* so I really enjoyed it. The Spirit was very strong.

Today is p-day for us here. Our p-day is on Wednesday. Today for p-day, we went to El Plaza del Torro, where we took a guided tour of the bullfighting arena! It's actually quite interesting. We took lots of pictures with Elder Parry's camera because mine, as you all know, esta muerta. But it was cool, we got to hold the matador's cape and take pictures with it. As for sending pictures home, it's good to hear that the CDs FINALLY made it! I sent those ages ago! And don't worry about the arm sore. The photographic evidence is very misleading. That picture was taken at the beginning of my stay at the CCM. By now, it's completely gone! Yay!

Mom, thank you so much for the current news bits! I love those. And who knows? Maybe one day my knowledge of something in the news will be just what I need to get a golden contact! As for the other package, I was pleased with all the things that came in the last one! If you just did a repeat performance, that would be fine with me! I really love anything that is sent, especially things of the edible kind that remind me of home.

What more to apartment is nice. Small and run down, but acceptable. It works for me! We share it with two other elders, Elder Fronce and Elder Ostler. Here's an embarassing story: this morning I was super hungry because I hadn't had dinner, and I saw a breakfast burrito sitting there. I supposed that someone had just made breakfast for everyone already and I was the last one to get to it, seeing as I'd just gotten out of the shower. So, I ate it. It was really good and filling! Turns out that the burrito was for Elder Ostler and he ended up eating cereal instead. Shows how much of a newbie I am... all the other Elders thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever heard of though. I have to admit that if it hadn't been me, I probably would have thought it was really funny as well. But, as it turns out, it was just another thing that I needed to figure out.

There's so much to learn and so much to adapt to! I feel overwhelmed 80% of the time. The other 20% I'm preaching the gospel so I don't have time to feel overwhelmed. This is the real start of the adventure! And as soon as I get comfortable in my apartment, I'll be able to focus a bit more on the finer aspects of the work. As of now, I'm just observing everything and soaking it in. I'm a learning machine! My companion Elder Parry knows how to do this work, so I'm learning everything I possibly can from him. I know that the Lord has put me here to learn from him, so I'm doing my best to suck the marrow out of the opportunity.

Today I got my "golden ticket." It's a special metro ticket that will get me anywhere in my area for the entire month of Junio! This is nice because we use the metro probably 4 times a day. It cost me 46 euros, but that's one of the reimbursable things.

That's so good to hear from Elder Ogden! He's been out here awhile. Almost all the elders in my apartment know him. He's got a reputation in the mission for speaking some ridiculously good Spanish.

Well, I've got to get going now! Thanks so much for your support and love! Take care everyone!!!!

-Elder Knorr