First off to answer some questions from Dad:
How are the barber shops different there in Spain?: They are run by people not from this country. They are normally Romanians or like the shop I went to 2 weeks ago in which the guy was from Pakistan and spoke really good english.
do you feel that you are getting a good cut?:yes
Do the barbers use a blade to shave around the ears?:yeah, it´s like they use a kitchen knife and scrape your skin off. But the guy we went to has this motorized hand glove and gives massages for free afterwards for only 5€!
do they use alcohol to clean you up?: no, just some powder
Do you have access to the Church magazines?: yep, once a month we get stuff from the mission office and we get church magazines.
Does your piso have glass windows on the front of the building?: It has a glass door with a small glass wall.
Does it have the numbers 37-39 on the front door? just wandering I was googling the other day.: yes
Is there a big park east of your neighborhood?: Yes
Are any of the members of your ward into bullfighting?: I´m not sure.
Did you hear last weekend about a toxic cloud somewhere in your area?: Yes there was a daughter of a member here and she lives with her dad in the country just north of here and had to evacuate from school because of it, but I don´t really know any more than that.
Are you still running?: Yes we just went running this morning. Every week we go running to the beach and run on this cool boardwalk that has a statue of a monkey with a beer bottle and so we call it the "monkey run". I took a picture this morning.
now questions from Mom:
When you carry home groceries, do you use a plastic bag? If not, what is utilized in Spain?: We get plastic bags at the store, but they give us a strange look like "you tree killer", so we have the big reusable bags which help a lot because we buy a lot of food for four elders.
You're in a ward that split last summer. Do both wards meet in the same building?:um...yes but we meet at 11:30 rather than at 9 =)
Why did the ward split if only 50-60 attend on Sunday? : There are more on the ward list but got lost/confused when the ward split and don´t know what ward they are in and either go to the other ward or went inactive. For example we visited a lady and her daughter the other day and she thought she was part of ward one, but we had to tell her that she is in ward two.
Do you feel that the native Spaniards comprise as much as 50% of the membership? I know that you mentioned how many members are actually immigrants, like your Russian Bishop.: the number of actual spaniards who are members is like 20-30% here, and so, no there are not that many spaniards. And the ones we do have are older and were the pioneers that are still alive and active from when the church made it´s true growth in the 60´s and 70´s.
Have you worn your coat more than a week's worth?: No, but I still need to keep it until next February because if I get transferred to the north next winter, I´ll die!!! But no I haven´t used my coat, only like 3 times. But I have used the inside liner which is nice and light weight.
Well this week has been really fun and very spiritual. I have felt my testimony grow stronger. I enjoy this work, I really do. I have seen so many blessing that I am grateful for. For example, I´m grateful to have the time to read from the scriptures for an hour every day. It is truly a blessing to be spiritually nourished by the word of God. We can´t do this work without the blessings from heaven. I love the blessings that we get.
We had a visit with Rafael last week and it was frustrating because he turned a little sour because he went off on how we don´t understand his circumstances and that we are not in tune with normal life, but in fact we are. We see the world in a different view than anyone else. We can see the effects of sin and wrong choices. For example I see TOO MANY ways of how smoking and drinking have destroyed the hearts and souls of the people here. There are some people who are just existing, not really even living. It´s so sad. I just want to dump this information of the gospel in their heads, but it´s impossible because they are to use their agency and act rather than be acted upon.
Well, I need to go. I love you all and pray for you guys. This gospel is true and I know that Christ lives and that we can talk with God, our Father in Heaven, through prayer. Prayer is real and we will always have "10G" with it. I know that we can´t grow without trials. I´m grateful to have to learn a new language and have to rely on the Lord for my strength and success because he is the way and the truth and the light and there is no other way. He is our Lord and master. We can do all thing through Christ.
I love you all and will write to you all on tuesday because next week is transfers.
ps we saw "meet the mormons" this week it was great!
pps we had a bbq at a member’s house who´s from ecuador and it was SOOOO good. Sadly, I didn´t take pictures, but it was super good.