Monday, February 13, 2017

There and back again

Pues Familia here we are again! 
These last two weeks have been CRAZY on CRAZY with a side of CRAZY. 
Mas o menos, what happened was that we spent all day Sunday and Monday visiting and fixing visits for people who wanted to say goodbye to Hermana Nelson cause she's amazing, and then preparing for her to leave and for a brand new missionary to come in. On Monday Night we went to Bilbao to spend the night with the Hermanas there, which was really fun, but we went to sleep WAY too late and had to wake up WAY too early to see everyone off to the airport and train station. Taking Hermana Nelson to the airport was super not fun.... I'm gonna miss that hermana! After that, the 3 of us remaining hermanas went to a cafe and grabbed some breakfast and wandered around until it was time to pick up the 4th companion from the train station and for Hermana Burkinshaw (who is serving in San Sebastián right now) and I to head off on our own 7 hour train ride to Barcelona. We finally got to Barce at about 10:45 that night.... super tired and hungry and just a little bit stir crazy, but excited to see our friends! We got to spend the night in the piso of the one-and-only Hermana McBride, my last trainee!!!! It was so fun getting to catch up with everyone and meet a couple of new hermanas, and, again, we went to sleep far too late (or, should I say, early in the morning.) The next morning we went to the office accidentally an hour too early for the meeting, so we just talked and ate pastries and waited for the other trainers to come. We had the trainer's meeting and ate lunch with all the trainees and had a meeting with all of us together, and FINALLY we did the El Faro tradition of receiving your new companion! Elder Jones walked in with a briefcase and gloves and handed President a shiny gold envelope, and one by one President read off the names of every trainer and had them come up and point out where they are serving on the map. Then he announces who is going to be serving with that missionary and you try to tackle them and wrap them up in a big bear hug and it's great.  He announced that my new companion is the fantastic Hermana Dinkelman! She's from Washington DC but she's lived in MANY different places (including but not limited to Mexico, Turkey, and Nassau!) It's been super fun getting to know her over the last few days and I can already tell that this transfer is going to be a blast. She's a hard worker and a strong spirit and she's going to be a fantastic missionary! 

We spent the night in the Barcelona piso again and got up early the next morning to catch our train to Santander. This one was super fun because we had the two of us, Hermana Burkinshaw and her new companion, and Elder de Leon (who is also serving in Santander) and his new companion all together. We made it 5 hours into our trip when we stopped and it was announced that there was a problem with our train and we all needed to take our bags over to a big tour bus that was going to take us the final hours to Bilbao. Yay! Traveling! So we did so, finally made it, then made our way across town to the other bus station so that we could take another bus an hour and a half to our area. We were SO TIRED. But hermana Dinkelman's a trooper and we headed out to go do coordination and a couple of pass-by's to end the night. Then, the next morning, we headed BACK TO BILBAO for District meeting. Hahahaha.... you can get a prettty good idea of our week from that. Lots of traveling, yay! But it's been good. :) 
in other news...
Alassana came to church again this week! Yay!!! He's doing great, making some great progress, and we'll be meeting with him on Tuesday to hopefully invite him to be baptized on a specific date! 
 We were in the new Church taking a look around, when all of a sudden the doorbell rang! (Yes... every building has a doorbell here in Spain. Including the church buildings.) There was a couple there who said that they had just been driving by and that they had felt curious about this "beautiful new building" and they were just wondering what it was! Of course, we were more than happy to take them around and show them a little bit of it. ;) and explain a little bit more about what we believe and why we are here. SO MANY BLESSINGS ARE COMING FROM THIS CHURCH BUILDING!!! Have I already told you that that has happened before, about 5 months ago, and that the person who asked about the building was baptized and is now a super faithful and strong member of the Church?? I'm telling you. Miracles. 
Today for preparation day we got all of our chores done and headed over to the Magdalena which is this little island-type thing at the edge of Santander. As we were sitting there, looking around at all the beauty that Santander holds, I came to a great conclusion. 
I love it here. 
I love it I love it! It's just been a blast these last transfers, and I'm so excited to see what my time here still holds!!! 
Well... that's about all for this week. I love you and I miss you and I know that this gospel is true! I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I know that God hears and answers our prayers, I know that He loves us. I know that this life is about having true happiness!!!! 
Have a FANTASTIC week!

Hermana Larson

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