Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spain takes a Vacation

So glad to hear from you! I'll start off by answering all the questions:

From what I understand, all of the mail to all of the missionaries goes to the mission office. So yes, please keep sending things there. The office elders and the assistants then distribute it to zone leaders, who in turn distribute it to district leaders, who in turn give it to us in our district meetings. We get it earlier if there are opportunities, but being out here in the "pueblo" of Segovia, our district leader doesn't get as much opportunity to see the zone leaders and get mail. For instance, I didn't get any mail this last week because we just live so far away from the office and it's hard to get it to us. But I'll for sure get it next week so I'm not worried. I'm excited to get my hands on that package! :)

Only Elder Zollinger and I are in Segovia and the surrounding region. The next closest missionaries are Elder Monson and Elder Moreno. They're serving in Villalba, and they're the other two missionaries who comprise our district. As a matter of fact, this last week we had companion exchanges, which is nothing more than trading companions and proselyting areas for 24 hours. I went and spent the night in Villalba, and Elder Monson came to Segovia and worked here. It was way fun! My temporary companion was Elder Moreno. He's a native Spaniard and is one of the funniest missionaries I've met, despite his initial solemn and serious appearance. He's always cracking hilarious jokes! We spoke in Spanish the whole time, and it was really flowing for me! Villalba is even smaller than Segovia, and much less touristy. Elder Moreno is also amazing at contacting people in the street and has a really natural way of talking and sharing the gospel with them. I learned a lot from him.

We haven't found any new families to teach, but we have found a couple of new leads that we plan on pursuing. Overall, we're still spending a lot of time contacting and trying to find more opportunities to teach. It's really slow because in August EVERYONE here closes up shop and goes on vacation. It's some kind of tradition that they practice. I don't know how things keep running! In any case, there's a lot less people and we have a bit of a harder time doing conventional missionary work.

So, what do we do? We try a bit of unconventional missionary work! President Watkins actually asked us to carry out a "meet the neighbors" activity for our apartment block. We've been spending some time in the past week going from door to door, contacting as many of our "vecinos" as we can, inviting them to this thing, where we're planning on just being out in the main plaza with a big stand-up poster explaining what the Church is all about and having a table of pamphlets for them to take. We're doing it Thursday at 8:30pm and we think that it's going to work out great!

I've been out in the sun a LOT more in the past few weeks and I've come to appreciate sunscreen on a whole new level. I've got some sweet 50 spf stuff that I put on just about every day, and while it's not keeping me pasty white, it's at least keeping me from being burned.

I've also seen pictures of missionaries with sunglasses. Personally, I don't know if it's a rule or not. I don't think I'd ever wear them while out working because it kind of creates a barrier between me and the person I'm trying to talk to. I would suppose they'd be ok to wear, however, during preparation day activities, and definitely while taking pictures to send home because, let's face it, sunglasses just look way cool!

I haven't been bothered by insects thus far on the mission. Mosquitos aren't incredibly common here. We did have some roaches in Barrio 1 but that was more entertainment than anything else, trying to catch them and kill them! Ahhh, I'm laughing just thinking about it.

Thanks, Mom, for trying to help my English spelling and grammer, and I'll do my best, but I don't think there's anything that can be done to prevent the slow decay of my English skills. I do appreciate the effort, though!

Well, I'd better be on my way. I love you all and hope this email finds you well! Onward and Upward!

-Elder Knorr