Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"The Missionary Speaks" - First Baptisms!

I got the package!! It's awesome! The food all looks delicious and I'm going to save it and see how long I can get it to stretch out. Thanks for the Koolaid too! I was looking for a way to make my 1.5 liters of water per day more savory.

And the camera seems like it's exactly what I need! I've been snapping new pictures all day. Up until now, Elder Parry has been taking pictures of me. I'll be sure to copy the ones of me off of his camera and send them along with the next batch, which may still be a while in the future. I want to get about 150 pictures on this current, new card before going into the photo shop. As for more pictures of me... I don't know. We'll see. It's just that those 10 pounds of extra weight all seem to have gone to my face and I don't want everyone to think I'm Fatty McGee over here!

The baptism of José and Júlian went great! Elder Parry said it was one of the least stressful and least problematic baptisms he's ever seen. It all went well and everything, except for as I went up into the font I nailed my head against the mirror that hangs over it and it made a huge BANG and it was kind of embarrassing... The prayer went ok though and I said it all correctly. Both boys were confirmed in sacrament meeting on the following day. It's great to see how these baptisms have reactivated this wonderful family!

As for the other José, we haven't been able to teach him again because he hasn't shown up for his appointments. It's kind of sad. But we're going to keep trying with him because we both feel like he still has a lot of potential! A funny story though: as we were walking the streets a few days back, we saw him and his wife taking a walk and waved and said hello. I noticed he was fidgeting with something small and black and I realized it was a cell phone. We asked him why and he said it was because he dropped it and it had fallen apart and he couldn't get it back together right. Now, anyone who knows me well will know that I have this habit of taking things like cell phones apart and putting them back together without thinking much about it. It's a way I used to keep my mind occupied when I was bored in class or something. Anyway, I took a look at the cell phone and was able to fix it in a couple of seconds. They were grateful and I think it helped us build a better relationship with them. Who knew that all that time I spent fidgeting with my cell phone was preparing me for my mission? :)

The language and teaching skills are... coming. Slowly, but they're coming. I work hard to speak the language and learn words that I don't know or aren't familiar with. As for teaching, I'm slowly taking over more and more of the lessons. I have noticed my fluidity with speaking has gone up recently. I'm still making lots of mistakes, but at least I'm making them faster :) I...think that's a good thing.

No big foibles this week. I'm sure that I'll have twice as many this coming week to make up for it, though.

Elder Ogden hasn't come yet, but he's going to come today, if I'm not mistaken. It will undoubtedly be a lot of fun to talk to him and find out about how his mission has been so far and also speak in nothing but inside jokes.

As for my equipment, everything is working just fine! My paraguas has come in handy several times as it's rained almost once a week. Other than that, it is HOT here! Muggy, muggy hot. I usually get really sweaty by the end of the day. It's ok though, it doesn't bother me much. I'm adapting. What IS hard to adapt to is the heat during the night. It makes it rather hard to sleep.

How's the economy back home? We talk to a TON of people here who are out of work. "La Crisis" is what they call it, and it's a big deal. I think it's definitely worse here than it is over there in the United States, though I admit that I don't really know. I just know that there are a ton of people who are out of a job over here.

The Temple really is a great blessing. We get to attend once every transfer (6 weeks) and I really enjoy it. The Madrid Temple really is beautiful and it's made more beautiful by remembering why it's here. There's just a wonderful peace about it.

We went over to the Mission Home for interviews yesterday. It was awesome! President and Hermana Farnsworth put on a good ol' American style BBQ, complete with grilled cheeseburgers, root beer floats, watermelon and smores. It was truly glorious, and reminded me of how we used to eat around the 4th of July. Camping out on the parade route was always fun too, as was Summerfest.

Hermana Farnsworth asked us earlier to bring an old tie to donate to a quilt she's making. Since I don't really have any ties that I'm not planning on using, I didn't donate. But it should be a pretty cool quilt!

Well, time to be logging off. I love the mission! I'm doing my best to prioritize and remembering to enjoy every moment! Thanks for the letters and packages and emails and love! It's nice and it helps me remember that I'm loved. Back to work! Bye!

-Elder Knorr