Saturday, January 1, 2011

Report on Christmas Phone Call with Elder Knorr

Another great phone call with Elder Knorr on Christmas Day! Since we were at Grandma and Grandpa Godfrey's home, we didn't record it this time, but here's a quick recap...

  • We made the call 15 mins. late, and when he picked up he explained they were just finishing up a lesson with their 2 hearing impaired investigators, husband and wife Isaac and Andrea.
  • We thought that was the best Christmas gift Elder Knorr could give his family - to lose track of time and forget about the call home because he was busy teaching the Gospel!
  • They said their goodbyes and we chatted as they began walking home...then "click" - the phone went dead.
  • We kept trying to call back and finally about 10 mins. later he answered again. The battery had gone dead and so they ran all the way back to their piso to plug it in! We continued and had a grand total of 45 minutes to talk and get caught up on all the goings-on.

  • Their Christmas Eve lunch plans with a family had fallen through so they fixed themselves a festive feast of pineapple, oranges, choriso (sausage) and cured ham on toasted breads and other local delicacies.
  • They ate their Christmas Day meal with a local family (dad Spanish/mom Finnish).
  • He continues to learn LSE (Spanish sign language). It differs from ASL in the order of the grammatical structure, as well as the Spanish vs. English spelling and phonetics.
  • Natalia, their young Spanish-Brazilian investigator, will be baptized on January 3rd!
  • Mariana (from Romania) progresses well. Despite the fact that she speaks little Spanish, they are able to communicate enough (with the Spirit's help) to get the message across. She reads the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, Romanian.
  • He says he feels totally safe from crime in Spain. He went on to describe it as a sort of "police state" with machine gun toting soldiers and muzzled German Shepherds a not-uncommon sight. He thinks the dogs have been trained to growl and bark at random people just to keep a fear of the police alive.
  • It's cold but not unbearable in Spain.
  • We asked about a short winter coat he was wearing in a recent photo and he said was a "piso-find" left behind by a former missionary. He says his other clothes are wearing thin but will last until the end.
  • There's a little confusion about his release date. When he said "I have 5 more months" I replied "Aren't you coming home April 5th?" (which is the date we received in an email from his mission president). He thinks it's closer to April 25th, and didn't want to dwell on it. He's guarding himself against getting "trunky" so we dropped the subject. I just said, "Well if you hear anything more definitive, just let us know." We of course are impatient for his return, but want him to end strong!
  • He hopes he stays in Villalba until the end of his mission, and is happy to get another General Conference in the mission field.
  • We all had a chance to talk with him (Grandma and Grandpa, Megan, Ethan, Mom and Dad). He listened with interest to our news too.
  • Before we said goodbye, he bore his testimony to us (in English this time). It was the perfect way to end a wonderful Christmas Day call.