Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mastering the Job, Awesome Investigators, American Store!

Hello one and all from Alcobendas. It's been a good week. There is so much to do!

Well, that's scary about the forest fires in Galicia. And Mom, in all honesty, I do
n't think I'll be going north to Galicia. Elder Whitesides served here in the office for 10 months. If that's any indicator, it means this is my last area. I've kind of had to come to grips with that over the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, the flood of constant work from the office has kept my mind off of it, as have the many contacting and teaching opportunities here in Alcobendas. But yes, I accept that Alcobendas could me my last area and I'll be ending in the office. It won't be too bad if that happens, I suppose.

I'm slowly starting to master many aspects of my job (though some remain enormous looming monsters) and I'm getting a lot of work done and taken care of what should have been done a long time ago. We've been able to manage things in a timely manner and it seems that no one from our mission will have to go home due to residency issues. However, we are still behind and are fighting to get back up to speed.

In another arena, references have begun to stack up and have become a huge task. Sometimes missionaries will send me a name and a number of a person who doesn't live in their area, and I have to try to get a hold of them to see where they live. Other times, they'll just give a street name and a name and I have to do some detective work to see which elders the reference should go to. Multiply these cases by 50 each and you get an idea of what I have before me. I'm thinking that the system needs to change so that the missionaries themselves take more responsibility for their own references, but that's a project that's still pending.

In other news, we went to El Escorial today,
a huge monastery/cathedral where over four centuries of Spanish Monarchy are buried. We went into the mausoleum and were impressed as we stood in a tall, round room and looked at the names and marble coffins of the kings and queens of the Spanish past. It was pretty cool, and awe-inspiring too.
As for the work here i
n Alcobendas, we are continually amazed by how many people there are here willing to listen and commit!

Last night, we set a baptismal date with a woman named Elvia for the 4th of September. She said that she had felt the Spirit in the church meetings and wanted to be baptized! :D

We also had a great experience with a 17-year-old Spanish atheist who sat down and listened to us on a bench right there, then came to a Family Home Evening activity a few days later. His name is Alfonso and we're teaching him again tonight. We're going to put a lot of emphasis on church to see if we can get him to come this Sunday. We'll see how it goes. He's a good guy.

Other stunning news: a block away from our apartment, we found an American-Filipino store. They opened up a week ago and are still getting things imported, but in that wondrous store we found A&W Root Beer, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Betty Crocker Cake, Brownie and Cookie mixes, Maple Syrup, Hershey's Syrup, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, all of which are IMPOSSIBLE to find in Spain! Sure it all comes at a slightly marked-up price, but I bought a box of Mac and Cheese which I just enjoyed this afternoon. Mmm, delicious! :)

Here they are chugging some rootbeer -

We're surviving quite well in our 4-man (built for 2) apartment.
We position a fan right there in the window of the bedroom (which is also the front room and dining room and study room) and crank it up full blast as we sleep. By morning, things are almost chilly in there! Today I cleaned the bathroom with mucho cariño.

Well, that's about all there is to report on now, and all I have time for. Thanks for everything you do for me and help me with. I love you all lots!

-Elder Knorr