Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

...a beautiful day for a neighbor. Won't you be mine? Won't you be mine?

Yes, things are all just sunshine and butterflies for us right now in Segovia. OK, so maybe the weather has been cold and rainy. And I haven't technically seen any butterflies...but things are very very good right now. :) Allow me to elaborate.

OK then, you know how they say that the best way to do missionary work is through the member
s? Well, about a week ago, we had a lesson with Presidente Galera and his wife Hermana Loli. A friend of Hermana Loli's was there, a 55-year-old, very polite Spanish woman named Mercedes, and they were working on some kind of craft together. Mercedes saw us come in and said she'd be on her way, but Hermana Loli (may her name be praised) asked her to stay and listen to the lesson. So she did. We taught a lesson about the family, using the Proclamation to the World, and sung them a hymn to end it. The Spirit was strong! Hermana Loli said she'd give Mercedes a call the next time we were going to come over, and Mercedes consented. And, the next time we visited them, guess who was present? Mercedes! We taught the first lesson, focusing on the Book of Mormon and the importance of reading and praying about it to gain a testimony. We challenged Mercedes to do it and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. The next time we went over, guess who was there yet again? :) and guess who kept her commitment to read and pray? :) :) :) And guess who got an answer to her prayer? :D :D :D :D Yup, you guessed it! Mercedes!!! We taught her about the first part of the Plan of Salvation, ending with the Atonement, bearing testimony of everything as we went and asking her good questions. We ended by challenging her to be baptized on the 20th of March. After a short pause, a smile and a little laugh, she said "Si"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was awesome. So we're now working towards that baptismal date, and we all feel really good about it. Me and my companion have been ecstatic, gamboling [jumping] and crying out in joy every now and then. :)

Unfortunately, the 27th is no longer when Alfredo is getting baptized. He missed quite a few lessons last week and now we don't have enough time. But, when he came to Church this Sunday, guess who was with him? His son William! :) We had a good talk and William told us that he would be there at the lesson on Wednesday. We believe that now that William is back in the groove, Alfredo will probably be full steam ahead for baptism. He didn't want to get baptized without his son.

Anyway, that's pretty much it for investigators. We haven't been able to teach Hector and his fa
mily for a while due to some misunderstanding on when we were supposed to meet. But we'll keep trying. Also, the first counselor's daughter, Kelly, has been showing a bit more interest in the Church so we've been working with her as well. All in all, things are looking pretty good in Segovia investigator-wise.

Recently, we've been working a lot with Elder and Hermana Jewell, a senior missionary couple who have come to live in Segovia and work with us. We're very excited to have them here! We're hopi
ng that they can stoke up the fire in some of the Menos Activos that we've got here and get them to come to Church. Last time there was a senior couple working in Segovia, the branch had 12 baptisms! We've spent the last few days getting them settled in and up-to-speed on how things are going in the area and how they can help. They've got the heart and they've got the drive! Elder Jewell coordinated the translation of the LDS version of the Reina Valera Spanish Bible, so I've been picking his brain by asking him questions about the process. And Hermana Jewell is an excellent cook, and has made us yummy food twice! She made us some very tasty pork chops the other day. Deeeeelicious! :) They are the Mother and Father of 5 children and the grandparents of 18 nietos.

Everyone in the Mission is talking about the upcoming changes of mission boundaries. From what I understand, and from what Elder and Hermana Jewell have let us know, it looks like we'll get most of the Bilbao mission west of Santander. We don't know for sure if we're getting Santander or not yet, but we definitely won't get Bilbao itself. And, of course, we're getting the Canary Islands, so there's potential for me to get transferred to an island! :O We'll be losing a lot of southern cities to the Malaga mission, including the majority of La Mancha ("To dream the impossible dream..." *sung in a sad, minor, key*) including the missionaries who will be serving there at the time. I hope it's not me! Sure, it would be fun to get to know all of the south of Spain, but at the same time, I like the Spain Madrid Mission and I don't want to leave! All in all, crazy stuff going on there. But it's not until July so there's no need to flip out just yet.

#1 rule of transportation in Spain: Cars are faster. We learned this yesterday when we went with los Jewell [the Jewells] to District meeting in Villalba in their nice, new car. It was about 30% faster! And it wasn't quite so loud and shaky as the train. And I brought along a disk of Handel's Messiah that we rocked out to on the way (OK, more like "enjoyed in a well-mannered fashion). All in all, I think that's the way we'll be getting to district meeting, zone conference, and maybe even transfers from here on out.

Over the past few weeks, the weather has been 100% crazy! Once, it was sunny, rainy, snowy, haily and windy all in the same day! But that's what it's always like, apparently. Coming into March, it should stabilize a bit. Today, it's quite nice, actually. It smells like spring is coming.

Nice to hear that my letters are well-received! I do enjoy writing them and reading all of your responses. I'll probably be sending some more today to various family members and friends who I have not yet responded to. Thanks for continuing to write me, all of you wonderful people you! I love you all very much and I'm very happy and satisfied with where I am and what I'm doing. Thank you for your support, it really helps.

Ever your humble servant,

-Elder Knorr