Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stories from the field!

It's nice to be writing you all again, family and friends! It's been a good, though INCREDIBLY busy week. We're finally figuring things out in the area, meeting all of the members and investigators, understanding the streets and metro stops, and such things, and we've been setting up appointments like madmen!

This last Friday, Saturday and
Sunday were an especially crazy chain of days. We get stood-up a lot (bothersome) but among the many tares, there is wheat and we just have to keep looking for it.

I decided that I woul
d tell some "missionary stories" in this email. These are normal to me, but maybe you'll find them interesting.

So, back when Elder Becerra and I were still companions, we were riding in the Metro. There was an Evangelical missionary walking up and down the train yelling things like "hallelujah!" and "Jesus es el Rey! Rey de reyes, Señor de señores!" She more or less looked insane. (Don't get me wrong, it was all true doctrine, just presented a bit strangely.) Then she started yelling about all the problems in the world, especially with the youth, how they were all into drugs and bad stuff and all of that.
Then, as she passed us, she stopped and shouted at the top of her lungs to the whole train (translated) "Look at these two young men! They are not into drugs! They are not lost in darkness! The Light of Christ is in them! Can't you see the Light of Christ in them? Hallelujah!" Everyone in the Metro car was watching us, and it was kind of flattering but at the same time very embarrassing and just all around funny. She finally moved along and there was a young Spaniard sitting on a bench not too far away looking at us. I met his gaze and we exchanged an amused look about what had just happened, then my companion and I got off the train. It was a fun experience.

Another story: We were in the church having our District Meeting a few weeks ago, and after wrapping things up we were preparing the treats for afterwards, which this time was microwave popcorn. We popped one bag, and put in the second one. I put it in for 3 minutes and walked away. We got talking with the other Elders and were swapping references, when sudden
ly, Elder Sloan shouted "The popcorn!" I dashed into the kitchen to smell a terrible smell, and opened the microwave. A thick cloud of brown smoke billowed out of the microwave as I did so, and the smoke continued to curl out of the opening of the bag. I snatched it out and raced it to the exit, and once outside, I stomped it out on the pavement. As it turns out, it was on fire. Literally on FIRE. I stomped it and mixed it until it stopped smoking, then doused it with water from the kitchen sink before throwing it away. Supposedly, Elder Sloan walked into the kitchen and didn't think that 3 minutes was enough time for it to pop entirely, so he turned it up to 6. I'm personally just glad we averted a disaster, but the smell was terrible for the rest of that morning.

One more story: We were in the Muslim Mosque here in Madrid (a fun cultural activity) and were just looking around, reading posters, and learning more about one of the world's largest religions. [pictures below] We went to a place in the building (which was immense, by the way) where there was a locker for shoes and then a large, carpeted room with pillars and beautiful chandeliers. Removing our shoes to show respect for the customs, and leaving my camera there just in case I shouldn't take photos, we went in and looked around. Then, through a window on one side of the room, we saw a security guard running in our direction. All kinds of thoughts went through my head right then, like "Oh no, have we violated something? Are we in trouble?" With our nerves extremely tense, we went back to the door of the room to wait for him. Turns out that he just saw my camera there unattended and was afraid that I had forgotten it. :) They were all very kind and accommodating and polite there.

Well, that's enough stories for now. Things are going great here for us! We've found a few new investigators, but we're still working to find those that really want it.

Thanks for your letters, everyone! I got another one from the siblings and the parents, along with lots of nice pictures!

I love you all so much! Things are going very busily right now. It has been presenting many new challenges, but with the Lord's help I'm learning to overcome. I love the Lord and this Gospel. Until next time!

-Elder Knorr

Visit to the local mosque