Monday, August 1, 2016

Gandía week 3

Hola familia!!!

This week was fabulous!! We started off Tuesday with interviews with
President and Hermana Dayton. Since Valencia is a little far away from
Barcelona, they came down here and since Valencia is ALSO a little
ways away from our cute little Gandía, we went and spent Monday night
with the Hermanas in their piso. It was fun to be in the city again
and to use the metro, but I realized I still like pueblos and suburbs
a little more. ;) But it was great! Hermana Dayton made Rice Krispie
treats for everyone, and President made us all cry from feeling the
spirit, and all in all it was a great morning. THEN we had District
meeting here on Thursday, which then melded into an intercambio, so I
got sent to Castillon! To get to Castillon from Gandía, I had to take
the hour and a half train to Valencia, and then another hour and 45
minute train to Castillon, and then do the same thing on the way back,
so I got a solid 5+ hour scripture study done from Thursday to Friday.
;) The intercambio was GREAT, and it was really fun to be with Hermana
Arauco, who was my sister training leader and good friend up in
Badalona, so it was GREAT to get to spend the day with her. We
contacted for a while, then taught English class and acted out Beach
terminology so that the students could say the word in English. Then
we headed to their piso, accompanied on the walk by a few of their
members, and picked and ate wild blackberries on the way home. I love
Valencia for that... There's always random fruit everywhere!
(Sometimes we're smart enough to not eat it. But most of the time
we're to hot and hungry to care.) The next morning we contacted some
more with one of their members, Carlos, who just got back from his
mission in Malaga. That was great, EXCEPT that I had forgotten my
proselyting shoes at home... I was wearing my nicer shoes that I
normally only wear for meetings and conferences, so by the end of it
all, my feet were bleeding pretty badly, not going to lie. Woot woot,
BATTLE WOUNDS! Take that, Satan! Haha actually, we had to stop by a
members house on the way to the train station to steal some band aids.
That wasn't very fun. But it's a fun memory! Haha. Then, another few
hours of traveling later, I got back to be with my amazing Companion

I just realized I haven't talked very much about her! She's 26,
she's Swiss/French, but she speaks English like a born and bred
American, she is the oldest of 4, with 2 younger brothers and a
younger sister. Her younger brother is currently on his mission in
Lyon, France right now, and it's fun to get to hear the stories from
just across the Pyrenees! She loves to cook, and so I've been eating
REALLY well this transfer... A little too well.  ;) We're starting a
health plan tomorrow, complete with restrictions on postres, and a
really intense exercise plan donated by Elder Castro, one of the
elders here in Gandía. (We have him and elder Becerra here with us.
Elder Becerra is from Barce, and he's a mini missionary, so he'll go
home after this transfer.) so we're gonna be SUPER FIT pretty soon.
I'm super pumped. Mirel's fecha fell through, but we're still working
with him, and hopefully we'll see his baptism this month! Which will
also mark my 8th month here in the mission.... Word. I'm feeling a
little anxious about how fast the time seems to be going lately.
ANYWAY not gonna talk about that, let's move on! Here in Gandía, we
don't really have any hills or anything, so we mostly just walk
everywhere. There's a bus that can take us to the playa if we want to
go there, but there are enough tourists (and... Ahem.... Naturalist
beaches...) at this time of the year that we don't really go there
very often. We have a few little towns in our area that we can get to
by train or through the generosity of a member who can drive, but we
have to plan ahead and we haven't been there yet. COMING SOON. Our
area consists mostly of Spaniards and Bolivians, which is FANTASTIC
because I'm hearing about a bunch of different cities and customs,
learning more about people, and trying a bunch of different foods that
I still can't pronounce. I still haven't had paella yet, but I'm told
that I'll be eating it this coming Sunday, so BOOM. Stay tuned. What
else.... Today we went on a "hike" with the Elders and one of their
recent converts, Elaine, and it was SOOOOOO HOT. 

Valencia got up to 35
degrees Celsius this week, which is about SUPER FLIPPIN HOT in
Fahrenheit. It's really humid and there's a nice hot wind that blows
at about 5 PM, so... Everyone goes inside and sleeps until about
7:30/8. Contacting outside is tough these days, but we've seen a lot
of miracles!! One of them, Ariel, is coming to English class this
Wednesday, and then we have a movie night for Noche de Barrio. I
started this thing a while back, which I call my "small plates." It's
a little notebook that I have with me at all times, where I can write
out all the thoughts and impressions that hit me especially strongly
during studies, proselyting, conferences, etc. and one thing that
REALLY stood out to me this week, was what I found in 4th Nefi 1:
15-18. It's the key to happiness and success! Study it. Love it. Etc.
anyway, I gotta go, but I love you all! Have a good week!


-Hna. Larson

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