Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More News from Segovia

Hi! Things continue to move forward here in Segovia! I'll start by briefly going over and responding to the questions in your email to me:

I have not received any packages recently, though I wait for them with great anticipation. I don't expect that they will have any chances to get them to me in the next week or so, seeing as we don't have any trips planned to Madrid and I don't think our district leaders will be seeing the zone leaders before next district meeting. I'm starting to get a feel for how the mail "trickles down" and can predict with a fair degree of accuracy when things will arrive. As usual, the mail to us tough, frontiersman pueblo elders is significantly more delayed than the mail to those spoiled, pampered inner city elders. (una broma, una broma...)

I got my hair cut recently as well, along with a little something extra! All thanks to the masterful skill of my companion Elder Zollinger and the hair clipper he bought on discount from a Chino Store, my hair is now a neat, short, presentable length. After he did the initial buzzing, I asked him if he could trim around my ears with some scissors. He did well on one ear, but when he went to the next one I felt an unexpected pinch, then heard "Um, I just cut your ear." I thought he was playing a joke at first, but then he said "Actually, it's about to drip..." He caught the drop on his finger and showed me that, in fact, my ear was bleeding at a rather fast rate. So we spent a couple of minutes washing it out (it was a small wound, no more) and putting a bandaid on it. It's kind of been a running joke now between the two of us, and the elders of our district. Hooray for new experiences! :)

[Elder Knorr's family is taking care of this next request.] I'm glad you mentioned Christmas songs, because I have nothing of the sort. Besides the fact that any kind of Christian music could apply to Christmas, I don't have any special seasonal music. I know it's a ways out still, but I would like a good, large amount of Christmas music probably about a month or two before Christmas. Any Mormon Tabernacle Choir would be good (of course) but I'd also like other Christmas music from home. I'll leave it up to your good taste and judgement to select exactly what to send me. The official rules are "no music with romantic lyrics or undertones" and "no beats that would drive away the Spirit." I think a lot of what we used to listen to would be ok for me now under those guidelines, omitting a select few songs.

I'm sorry, but I don't have the funds right now to prepare or send the pictures. We've had to do a ridiculous amount of traveling lately and, though we can get our travel expenses reimbursed, it does create something of a pinch in the present. I've been shopping very cheaply the past few weeks for food and still eaten well enough. I wasn't able to send very many letters last week because I lacked the money to pay postage. Today I'll probably have enough money for 5 or 6 stamps. The thing is that I don't want to pull any more money out of my home account. I've already done too much and I know the exchange rate is killing me! We're supposed to be allotted enough money for our food and travel needs monthly, so I figure the reason things haven't been flowing financially for me lately has got to be my fault at some point. I have a very strong commitment to pull no more money out of my home account, at least for the next two months, so I'll find some way to make things work out.

As for the taking of pictures, President Farnsworth asked us to only do it on Preparation Day so as to not look like tourists or waste time during the week. That rule has stuck around [with President Watkins] and for that reason I haven't been able to take very many pictures (Preparation Day is usually filled with other activities). I do have a fair amount of pictures that I've taken over the months though, that I think would be worth sending at this point, so as soon as I have the money I'll take care of that.

As for rules changing and remaining the same, the only one that's really changed has been the ban on sports for missionaries. We can now play certain sporting activities if approved by our district leaders in advance, and it must always be done with the intention to find new people to teach. There have also been various small changes as to how things are organized, how things are run, and how we do meetings. A few of these changes may make mail even a little slower for me here in Segovia, but that's just how it goes!

I'm glad to hear my blog is well-attended. I hope it continues to be a good and effective way for people to share my mission experience.

As for how things are going in the area lately: Angel has all but disappeared. We're not sure why, but it has troubled us a bit because he was so good before! Alfredo, on the other hand, is progressing towards his date on the 17th of October, and we teach him 3 times a week to prepare him. He's a very good, very humble man with real desires to learn and follow the truth he's taught. He's from Colombia (shout-out to Dad!) from an area called Narillo near the border with Ecuador, from a city called Tuqueres. Does that ring any bells? We continue to teach him and answer any questions he has. He likes his coffee every morning, so we've challenged him to go without it for a week and see if he can recognize the promised blessings in Doctrine and Covenants 89 in his life. With the rest of our time, we've been walking (what else is new?) and doing a lot of contacting on the street.

In other news, I failed at trying to bake bread two days ago. I used a recipe from the mission cookbook (submitted by Elder Ogden). I mixed together all of the ingredients, added too much flour, then didn't have enough time to let it rise enough or cook enough. So... it came out kind of floury and flat and doughy. But it more or less looked like a loaf of bread, and parts of it tasted like bread too, so it was a good learning experience. I'll do better next time!

Well, I've got to get going! I love you all and hope you all have a beatific day!

-Elder Knorr