Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Universal Language

Hello Hello Hello!  Again, no pictures this week because I´m a slacker
and I left my Camera upstairs. But I have some good ones! Ok. Let me
pick up where we left off cause I didn´t get to finish about last
week. Madrid on P-day was AMAZING and I kind of wish that I could get
to Barcelona already so that I could fall in love with that city as
well. It is sooooo beautiful! It´s like New York City at a slightly
more sassy tempo, if that makes any sense. Also everyone speaks
lightning-fast Spanish and there aren´t quite so many billboards. But
we got to see Puerta Del Sol, Catedral Almundena, Calle Mayor, The
Opera House thing (PHANTOM) and the point from which all roads in
Spain are measured. (I think that´s what our guide said... my spanish
was worse a week ago than it is now, so I can´t say for sure. That´s
what I understood.)

There are so many different people and the
buildings are all old and european looking and every few buildings
there is another statue or monument for something that happened there.
Also there weren´t any cars in the city! Everyone walked, rode a
bicycle, or one of those stereotypical scooter things. It really sunk
in then that I was in SPAIN! So cool. And there are bread and
chocolate shops EVERYWHERE, so what can get better than that? Today
all of us are going to the mall to look around and maybe buy some
stuff. But it´ll mostly just be nice to get out of the building and
chill for a second. The schedule here is even more tight than in
Provo! There isn´t a time to write letters or relax or anything,
unless you choose to skip Sports for the day and use an hour there.
But there´s no way I´m doing that! I´ve played Fútbal EVERY DAY this
week, and I´m not ready to give up now. My goal (no pun intended) is
to be able to be a decent fútbal player by the time I get home. Hear
that Lauren? We´re going to need to play when I get home. It´s one of
the highlights of the day, cause we get to get out and stretch our
legs and release energy for a bit. I´ve been talking/hanging out quite
a bit with Hermana H, Hermana Malterre, and Elder Keen, but in this
last week I´ve also become fast friends with Hermana Goreeba (another
Parisian who, @Bailey Riggs, Libby Hill and Ali Jesperson, is another
Soul Buddy) and Elder Liptrott (another English Elder). Everyone here
is so great and it´s nice to be in a smaller MTC so that we can get to
know everyone. We got 2 russian sisters and a Ukrainian Elder this
week, and we´re going to be getting a few Italian missionaries
sometime in this next week. But they all are only here for 2 weeks, so
us Spanish-Learning missionaries are a bit jealous. Grateful for the
extra time, but a bit jealous. ;) Everything about this CCM is awesome
and I love it so much, the views, the people, the president and his
wife, the maestros, THE FOOD (I tried my first Pallella(?) this week!
Soooo delicious, and I am perfectly ok with eating it the rest of my
mission! Also on the menu, Chinese food done Spanish Style, Watermelon
Jello, 3 king´s day cake, and SO. MUCH. BREAD. YUSSS. Also lots of
Patatas. I really think I´m going to like it here!) But the best part
of this CCM is that every Saturday, from 2-4, we go into the park and
PRETENDING TO BE INVESTIGATORS!!! (Leandro was actually our teacher...
predictable, but disappointing.) It´s in this beautiful park like
central park in NYC, with lakes and statues and LOADS OF PEOPLE. But
it´s crazy. Last week was probably the hardest 2 hours of my life,
because I would walk around with my companion (we go on a mix up
splits thing, so I was with one sister from Tahiti who speaks a bit of
English but mostly French) and try to talk to people and people would
glare, shake their heads, cuss at us in spanish, walk away very
quickly, and just altogether be fairly unkind. It. was. horrible. I
swallowed back many many tears over the course of that 2 hours. But at
the end of it all, All the missionaries gathered together by a
fountain and just sang a few hymns. People of all shapes and sizes,
some of which who had hated on us beforehand, stopped to listen and
even would talk to the couple of missionaries we had designated
beforehand to communicate with the passers-by. The spirit was so
strong even with those few songs, it was amazing!!! Which makes me
think that, as much as the gift of tongues applies to Spanish (and it
has. I understand most everything now! Even though my spanish is
broken while speaking, it really is an incredible blessing and
miracle!) I think it must apply to Music as well. Music is the
universal Language! and I miss it so much. I need to find a CD player
somewhere in here. Time´s up, but I love you guys so much and think
about you always and Thank you for the prayers and fastings! It helps

so much and I can feel your love! Love you so much, -Hermana Larson.

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