Monday, January 7, 2013

"Everyone tells me that I have the Andelucía accent which is like more.... more.. hick ish.." (Sam)

"I don't talk like no hick!"

Good morning family and friends!
   The ESPAÑA MÁLAGA mission is the best!

   Things are great! Alcoy is a very hard area but Elder Pascua and I are tearing it up! :) ¡Estamos a fuegote! (we're on fire!) :) Later in the email I´ll update you on everything.
   First things first... Papa, about picking us up from our missions.. I´m easy. I´ll do what the mayoría wants. My opinion would be wait till after and visit both places like you said. They advise us to not be picked up directly from the mission.. and I think more than anything its because it messes with the visas. And with the visas... how they are... I don´t want to be adding to the problem. I think it would be better that way anyways. Me da equal if we go to Ecuador or España first... I´m good with either way... but I would LOVE to go see ecuador. Ohh! I would love to. Anyways, thats my opinion.. but like I said, I´m easy.

   Ok, anyways! I sent you my address just barely in another email... and we are waiting for a couple things for Elder Pascua here at that address so we will be here a while. We both hope to change pisos after he gets his stuff though so I´ll keep you updated. I´m really glad you got my package! Hah it totally arrived late.. but just cuz I didn´t send it with enough time before christmas. The mail systems get all clogged up, I know, but I had to learn it the hard way. hah I don´t know if you remember during our phone call on christmas, I paused for a second like I was going to ask you something and then I said.. oh nevermind....... haha I was going to ask if you had gotten the package.... haha but you hadn´t said anything about it so I left it alone.... so that it´d be a surprise! :) I´m glad you enjoyed it. Sorry the presents are kinda dumb.. haha I couldn´t send too big of things cuz it costs a ton but I found what I could. :)

   Elder Hafen has called me a couple times with questions or little things and he said that the day I left (I left early in the morning) two letters arrived to our piso.. hah.... one from you guys.. probably the christmas card, and one from the Luis´, the family in our ward I think. I still don´t have them but i´ll get´em soon. No os preocupéis.

   Ok, a little update. Last week was great! Los estandartes de excelencia de la misión or The Mission Standards of Excelence are the goals that we want to achieve every week. We set specific goals for our areas every week as companionships but Los estandartes and mission-wide general goals.. The goal for amount of lessons taught in one week is 20 and obviously depending on the area and the missionaries and everything its different.. but this last week we taught 14 and we are very content with that. We are reopening the area.. the missionaries from before left us with........ nada.. basically.. haha and we have also heard that ´´when alcoy was part of the barcelona mission it was a dead area..´´ PSH! WE LOVE THIS PLACE. :) yes its hard but that doesn't mean its dead! It just means you gotta look harder and smarter in the places you haven´t looked yet! We´re really enjoying this place and we have several awesome families we´re working with right now.

   The ward here is good. We have heard that there may have been some confusion somewhere in the past here that helped the branch receive its own capilla and become a ´´ward´´..  There are few priesthood holders.. many many less actives...... its a very interesting situation.. ... Anyways, there are great people here! Really. .........  We´ll see how everything goes! Jacob 2:11-14&19-22......

   Elder Pascua and I are getting along great. I´ve been really tired lately and every once and a while I´ll get kinda sick of speaking spanish all the time and he´s really good cuz he´s more than happy to switch over the english and work on his english. Thats one thing we need to do more of is practice his english. He knows bastante but we just need to practice more. The language here is cool. This part of spain is super prideful and there is a huge part of spain that considers itself its one country... like not part of spain. Or they are trying to separate themselves from Spain or something dumb.. but they all speak this other language, Catalán.. and then there´s another separation inside of Cataluña (the part that wants to separate)... and thats Valencia.. and they speak valenciano...... which is the exactly the same language as catalán.. its just they are too prideful to agree on a name.. so anyways, here, ´´they speak valenciano´´ cuz they get offended if you call it catalán.. and Elder Pascua grew up in Barcelona learning Catalán so he´s teaching me. Everyone speaks both languages here. Valenciano (catalán) and Spanish (castellano they call it). Its super complicated but everyone speaks the spanish i´ve been learning my whole mission down more south in murcia and malaga and whatnot. Haha its funny though. Everyone tells me that I have the Andelucía accent which is like more.... more.. hick ish.. or more just like a different accent. One of the first member families that we ate with was commenting on my accent and everything and how they liked it and thought it was funny and one of the older women said to me.. ´´I´ll be honest, its better to have the accent that you have.´´ She was like... ´´You don´t have an american accent at all...´´ :) Yaaay!!! That made me super happy! I´ve been working really hard on my accent and that it flows out fluidly and not all choppy and that felt really good to hear that. Dad, what did you think of the lispy ´´graTHias´´ ´´diTHe´´ accent?´´ :) Did you notice it? It´ll be really fun to all speak spanish together!

   Oh, a couple things...
-Pops, I got the jump drive thing. Its awesome! There is actually some music still left on it. Like rock or country or somethin.. haha can I erase what i want? Thanks again, it works great!
-THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL MY CHRISTMAS STUFF. I never really thanked you for everything. WOW. Thank you so much for the candy the presents the notes the cards and letters and clothes, everything! Thank you!
-Oh, hah.. I thought of something the other day.. next time a package comes my way could you stuff so good beef jerky in the box. :) No rush.. just the next one. That would rock.

-Could you please send me my priesthood line? If you could, I would like a smallish page or something with my priesthood line back to Jesus Christ. We obviously teach that point a lot and its one thing to explain the unbroken chain to Christ, and its another thing to show them la cadena ininterrumpida. :) Maybe something the size of like an english Book of Mormon cover. That size of paper. I have a side bag that I carry with me and a paper that size would be awesome. Ask me if you have specific questions of how you should do it. I trust your judgement.

-annnd thats all.
   I love you all very much! Thanks for your support and prayers! We feel it.
   Read daily! It will give you strength.
-Elder Norton

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