Ok! The last two weeks in the life of Hermana Larson can be summed up in about 4 words.
"Alright. What just happened?"
My last week in Gandía passed VERY quickly, and before I knew it, I was on my way to the train station! The JAS met us there at the train, and gave us some very sweet gifts and I definitely had to hold back tears as we boarded Monday night. We headed to Valencia to spend the night, and then early the next morning we woke up and headed back to the train station. I was so sad to leave Hermana McBride in Gandía! It was super weird to think we wouldn't be working together anymore. It took us a little over 3 hours to get to Barcelona, where we waited and caught up with everyone until our next train. We boarded at 3:30 and finally got to Bilbao at 10:30 ish. That is TOO LONG to be on a train, my friends. I started feeling super sick about halfway through, and spent the next few hours focusing on not throwing up. Finally we made up it to beautiful (and super cold) Bilbao, where my incredible new companion, Hermana Nelson, ran over and tackled me! Haha love that Hermana. 😊 we dragged my suitcases over to the Hermanas Piso in Bilbao to spend the night, and woke up the next morning to take a bus an hour and a half to our area, Santander. I was absolutely glued to the window the WHOLE time. It's SO BEAUTIFUL HERE. We're right on the coast, so everything is green and fresh and full of life! And history! Every few seconds we'd see another old rock-made house on a hill, or cute little pueblo. It reminds me a little bit of Washington, but more like the movies or tv shows that you see of what Europe really is like. Haha. So beautiful. We got to Santander, and I just absolutely fell in love with it. It has all these old looking white and cream colored buildings with iron-work railings, with super cute pijo little shops on the ground floor. They're setting up for Christmas, so there are lights strung up everywhere, across all the streets, and each storefront is LOADED with Christmas stuff. I love it!!!
We hit the ground running, with just enough time to bring my suitcases to Piso before our first appointment. We ran to the house of a part-member family to help them practice English, then we came back to Piso to eat, than ran out again to visit with a couple of our investigators. We have a couple who are right on the brink of Baptism!!!! Jaime is from here, and he's got his fecha set for December 3rd. He's all set, with a SUPER powerful testimony of the Gospel and he's SO excited to be baptized and become a member. He just needs to quit smoking, which he's working it REALLY hard. He's gone 5 days now without smoking, for the first time in 20 years, so he's doing great! Keep him in your prayers please! He's SO smart. He teaches himself how to speak different languages until he's fluent, so he can speak Spanish, Portugués, French, Italian, English, and German. He's currently working on Russian. 😂
We're also working with an investigator named Saul, who's from Peru. He's a professional chef, so he's helping us learn about really good food, haha, and we're helping him learn more about the gospel! He wants to be baptized, he just needs to come to church, which he can't right now due to work. He's so funny though! He lives with a family that's new to our ward, who just got here from Venezuela. I. LOVE. them. I love them I love them. They are so humble and so happy, so willing to help and who are truly truly dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They invited us over to dinner the other night and made real Venezuelan Arrepas.... oh my word. The BEST food I've had on my mission so far. They were so. good. And then the mom of the family, Virginia, told us that she wants to knock her building with us to introduce us to all her neighbors, *tears*.... they're fantastic. Every day we've been running home to Piso at the end of the day, because there never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do! We're booking it from visit to visit, and we're seeing so many miracles daily. Here in Santander there's a ward, which is/has been growing so much that they've built a chapel for us! They're still finishing it off, so we can't meet there yet, but we're hoping to keep growing and growing and growing some more! The ward here is so cute, I love them all already. I think they're tired of me already, because I keep trying to convince them that I'm from Guayaquil, Ecuador, or Tegucigalpa, Honduras.... they're not buying it. Maybe I'll lose my Spanish theta here, haha. :) I love love LOVE Hermana Nelson. She's a fantastic missionary and fabulous companion!! We never run out of things to talk about, and we have eerily parallel lives.... it's a little weird sometimes, haha. She's incredible, and we're going to see some incredible, phenomenal, unbelievable miracles as we head into the Christmas Season.
I'm so grateful for the chance that I have to be here, to serve the Lord and to share the Gospel. I know that the Savior lives. I know that this is His church, and that the Atonement is real and personal for each of us. I love this Gospel with all of my heart, and I know that it can and does change lives.
I love you all!!!
Have a good week!
🇪🇸¡El Reino De Dios o Nada!🇪🇸