Wow this transfer has gone by so fast. It´s crazy to think about it. This past week has gone by fast too. I can remember when we were playing basketball and soccer last preparation day. It´s so weird how crazy the time flies on the mission. It doesn´t really fly when you’re just contacting, but if you have a lot of visits, then it goes by super quick. Oh by the way it has been a little more than 6 months since I have been on the mission. 6 MONTHS!!!!! wow I didn´t even realize it until the day after when an investigator was asking me how long I have been in spain and all of a sudden it hit me, 6 months.
So answering a few of dad´s questions:
How are the pharmacies different there in Spain from what you are used to seeing here?: They sell only simple medicine and baby products and beauty products like weight loss stuff and skin care stuff. I would want to work here. Also they are on every corner. Just look for the green neon signs.
Have you gone in to buy any medications there?: Yes I bought some vicks last week for my nose and one my first weeks I got some simple medicine that hardly works to clear out my nose and open my ears.
Do they have any brands that you are familiar with? like Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Tums, Chap stick, Colgate, mouth wash, etc.: Yes they sell ibuprofen but only in a 30 amount supply at 600mg in pill and also in a powder you add to a drink. No tylenol and I haven´t looked for tums yet but they do have chap stick and colgate and crest toothpaste plus mouth wash.
How are your clothes holding out? (I just realized that you have been out for 6 months already, isn't that crazy? ): they are doing fine. The washers here are less than par and leave yellow stains on them, but it´s better than hand washing. My socks have seen better days. I think these washers do more damage to my clothes than I do.
Are the members there feeding you as much as in your last area?:The members here never fed us. We might get one meal a week, and I was sick 2 weeks ago and missed that meal. We ran out of food last week on thursday and so I had to spend a few more euros at the DÍA to keep us alive for the rest of the week. It´s four elders in one piso sharing the same food.
Are the members as diverse( from different countries) as in your last ward?: Yes we have a russian bishop, lots of members from Equador, a few from boliva and chile. We´re trying to get some more members active again from the dominican Republic. We´re trying to get some Romanians baptized, so yeah a really diverse ward. oh and one from mexico!
Have you given a talk in church yet?:no :)
This week has been super crazy. First we had to go to the hospital so Elder Streiff could visit a dermatologist for his really bad acne problem and then we later went back on wednesday to get some blood drawn for him before he takes his medicine. We found out that he´ll be starting one acutane, or something like that. I was really trying to remember my schooling on why he would need to get a blood draw for an acne medication and it hit me that the medicine is supposed to clear his whole skin and this medicine can hurt his kidneys and stuff. Also, it felt nice to be in a hospital again. I felt a little normal, minus the fact we had our mission insurance denied on us a few times and we were fighting the evil battle of insurance and hospitals!!!!
Also something else that was super weird that happened this week was that there was an emergency transfer of the hermanas that were in our ward. I guess that there was some conflict within the companionship and that one of the hermanas had a really bad anxiety attack. One hermana stayed and moved into a trio in barrio 1 (just so you all know I´m in Badalona 2) and the other went to another area in the zone. I bought them a pastry to help lift their spirit the day of the transfer.
We also are going to have specialized training this week on thursday and Friday. It´s going to be so good. We will be combining with the barcelona zone for this and we´ll be taught by president and sister pace and the other leaders!!! I´m so excited.
On saturday we had to help the same lady, tanya, that we had to move the washer from her 4th floor piso building 2 weeks ago. This time we had to move two bedframes like a half mile to her piso across town and up to her 4th floor. It wasn´t too bad until the her dad, who is a bishop for the barcelona 3rd ward, started getting mad at me and started shouting at me in spanish/catalan because I don´t have the skills of a moving man. I´m a missionary!!! Oh I had to use a lot of patience with that man and his daughter. We finally got back to piso and changed and got ready for the afternoon. We visited a recent convert and her family. Her daughter was baptized last year too and was visiting for the weekend. She and her mother were just hitting me hard with the fact that I can´t speak spanish (castellano) very good. They would say "oh, how cute, he can´t speak spanish" a lot of humiliating and not so nice things. I really wanted to just punch these people, but again I had to use patience and force a smile on. That day was tough, but I learned a lot about patience and have to endure pressure and knowing that the Lord is on your side and that he will help you as you put your faith and trust in him. Also, thank Heavenly Father for the blessings that he has given you every day.
Well Family, this is all for now. I love you all so much and will write to you all next week. Have a great week.
Love, Elder Gonzalez