Monday, February 2, 2015

Fwd: 1st week in Valencia (my first area)

01 27 2015

The mission, Valencia and Spain so far in general//

. lots of orange trees growing in the streets
. number of men i´ve seen peeing on the road (or metro station) = 2
. lots of old people walking their white fluffy dogs
. dog poop in the sidewalks because there´s NO GRASS anywhere (oh and dog pee)
. waking up early every single day and it´s SO HARD. luckily my comp. is AMAZING and jumps out of bed and kneels to pray. WHAT AN EXAMPLE
. COLD showers!! and our piso is always cold. good thing we´re like never home. 
. fresh bread from consum!! soo good!
. people dumpster diving (literally)
. RUSHING and being BUSY always!! I never have a moment just to relax. its one thing after another after another. SO DIFFERENT than what I´m used to. but it´s so good and keeps us focused. but I literally never have time to just lounge on the couch, not even for a second. how crazy is that? my trainer is super focused and we do NOT waste time! 
. my feet and legs are just always SORE 
.´tengo prisa´ is everyone´s favorite thing to say to us. just means I´m busy.
. riding the metro is AWESOME. love contacting on there too because they can´t escape us! well sometimes they do. I tried contacting a guy on the metro and I was being so persistent that he walked to another part of the metro. haha.
. GRAFFITI everywhere!! 
. apparently my comp. likes to play the ukulele too!! so we´re going to go find one today before preparation day ends!! so excited!!
. this first week was a little bit different. we had intercambios because my comp is a STL so I went to Catorroja with Hermana O´Neill. 
. number of doors we knocked = way too many
. number of doors where someone was in there bathrobe or pjs or a dog ran out and wanted to kill us = all of them
. number of doors that were even the slight bit interested = CERO

When I was assigned to this area I was a little bit bummed. I had really wanted to be with Hermana Diorgia in Barcelona, who I was with for the first night at the mission home. Our lessons and street contacts had just gone SO WELL and I loved that she didn´t speak English because it forced me to learn Spanish that much better. I just LOVED our time together I felt like we really worked hard and would work really well together. So I was praying for her to be my trainer. And it was a righteous desire and I was so sure God would let me have it. Then I was so upset when I got an English speaking companion, to be honest. Haha, I know that´s bad but I really wanted that. I love Hermana Lamoreaux though. She is good at Spanish and we work really hard. We never waste time, we walk fast to everything and she pushes me to always be on time and to go quicker and be more effective which is what I need. I´m kind of a slow person :) 

Last night we finally had an AWESOME street contact!! I had been in Catorrja all day for intercambios with Hna O Neill, and was feeling discouraged. We knocked so many doors and nothing. And we street contacted ALL DAY LONG and we didn´t get ANY references. It was a really really long day of just walking and knocking and climbing stairs. It was rough. So I was feeling the rejection, but Hna Lamoreaux came back from the conference with so much enthusiasm and faith, it was so contagious. So after I picked her up at the train station we dropped stuff off at piso and then we had the last hour before curfew to contact. So we ended up talking to this girl who was walking her dog at like 9:45pm. She was so cool! It was GOLDEN! Her name was Paula and then her friend Jose joined us. I gave her a Book Of Mormon and we got her information to meet with her again. It was really cool, it was the best contact we´ve had. She said she´d read and share it with her Grandma because she would find it interesting as well. I just couldn´t believe that Paula let us talk to her for so long and that she didn´t even try to leave. We testified and told about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ and I know Paula felt the Spirit. I´m so grateful for that contact. It happened as soon as I restored my faith and enthusiasm again for missionary work after a rough day of rejection. That was a big lesson for me. And I´m so grateful for my AWESOME comp. who loves this work so much! I love the work too, I just still can´t understand what anyone is saying!! I mean I´m getting better. And I can definitely understand the gist of the conversation. It´s just the details and also the actual Spaniards talk SO fast and their ¨lisp´ is rough to catch up on. So I can understand the south americans we run into, oh and there´s so many Nigerians here as well, I can understand their Spanish too. But the actual Not yet. 

Oh and I just want to say. It doesn´t matter WHERE you go on your mission. Literally the only people that talk to us are the HUMBLEST of humble people. We talk to so many Nigerians and old people. Old, sick people and poor people, also people with disabilities. The other people here who are well off and have good jobs are too busy for us. It´s sad because EVERYBODY needs this message!

Oh and we listen to THE BEST TWO YEARS SOUNDTRACK in our piso everday. It´s so good. That movie is the best.

I can notice a really big difference in how my day goes depending on my attitude. When I have the Spirit during lessons and contacts, it´s AMAZING the things that come into my mind to say. When I feel sad, discouraged or like giving up, the Spirit leaves, and I´m of no help to anyone, not my companion and certainly not the people who need this message. 

The Elders in our area had a baptism this week, so that was awesome. Oh and one of the Elders was in the CCM with me. He looks just like Luis and Juan Mejia, and he´s from Colombia. Haha. Doesn´t speak any English and so we teach him words and it´s so fun. 

Con mucho amor, Hermana Birch

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