Monday, July 29, 2013

"The Spirit is an interesting friend .... He guides us, literally at times, and sometimes we don´t even realize it." (Sam)

Hello family and friends!

I hope you all had a great week. Mine went toooo quickly.. but it was good.

   Transfer week went... smoothly... kinda. :) It actually did go really well and we were very efficient and wise about the whos wheres whens and hows of everything. I think I mentioned last time but to give you an idea imagine 21 missionaries coming from all parts of spain to malaga, 19 missionaries coming on train from madrid to malaga, 1 missionary flying into malaga from the states, 1 missionary flying into malaga from argentina, residency and legal paperwork to be done for all of them, assignments and trainers to be decided, 8 missionaries going home, and the whole time, almost 60 other normal missionaries are moving or opening new areas.... that all happens between monday and thursday. It is honestly the craziest and the most fun week of the transfer. And I say that being completely honest. I love it. I know there are people that don´t.. :D but I love it.

   I did hear about the train wreck that took place up in the madrid mission and although I didn´t know the missionary that was involved in it I still feel connected to him in a way. I consider myself to be a trusting person but I have realized that I trust even more those that wear the same nametag I do. I don´t know the missionary that was in the wreck, in fact I´ve never even seen a picture of him, but I feel like we´re brothers or like I´m his trainer or companion. Its probably from working with and watching over the groups of new missionaries as they come in and out. I would not be surprised to find out that I worked with missionaries that were probably in the madrid MTC with this Elder. We´re all one big team and to hear about something like that, especially so close, is stomach twisting... You wanna hear to coolest part?????

   Our branch president in the International English Branch of Mijas (our current area) is named Pres. Shaun Tyndale-Bisco. His son Jack served in the Madrid mission and actually served as the AP for a while. He finished his mission just over a year ago and is still in contact with some of the missionaries that he met that are still serving. He spoke with the mission secretary who is in charge of planning and buying the travel of the missionaries. We were told that this mission secretary that bought the missionary´s ticket, uses this train quite a bit. Jack later said that he´s been on this same train over 30 times. The mission secretary said that when he buys seats on this train he always buys tickets in car number 4... meaning of the 8 cars connected together to make the train, he always puts the missionaries in car 4... but that day, when he bought this missionary´s ticket, he simple changed his mind and bought the ticket in car 8. He said it wasn´t a spiritual prompting or experience, he simple chose to put the missionary in car 8... What significance does this have?... if you go back and look at the video... which cars fall and hit first????? and which cars end up catching fire?? and where did most of the casualties happen?... Cars 3, 4, and 5. The Spirit is an interesting friend. And I´m glad and comforted to be able to put ´´friend´´ as his title. He guides us, literally at times, and sometimes we don´t even realize it. I´m sure you´ve heard more than I have about it, we honestly don´t hear about anything in the mission... :\ but last i heard the Elder is doing alright. He´s currently in the mission home I believe. Huuge relief.

   In other news, R was baptized! He was the hermanas investigator and he´s doing well. I saw him today at church. I think he was confirmed today in the spanish ward. The APs had a baptism the same day as R and so the little girl got confirmed too. Its fun to see baptism. Fuengirola baptizes a lot.

   Nate, Kevin, Clay, and I have an email stream between us! Funnest thing ever! The bummer is that their p-day is monday, and they are more or less in the same times zone, and my pday is saturday and i´m like 8 hours off of them... haha.... so i got all of the emails in their email stream... the whole conversation... but by the time I got on they were all gone. Haha whatev, still fun to hear from them. Ryan Fonseca is currently in the madrid mtc. He´s gonna serve in the madrid mission. Nate´s got till october...... which means like 2 transfers... WOWOWOW. and clay´s currently serving along the laurent river up in canada. Doing well. And Kevin´s in some really hot part of brasil. He said close to the equator. A member in one of the Málaga wards got called to the France Leon mission. I wanna room with Will after the mission. Him and Sam Johnson and a kid from my mission named elder walker. :) That would be a fun group.. plus Will and Sam could teach me french. I am honestly more set than ever on learning french after the mission... I guess we´ll see.

   The new AP is really cool. He´s from Idaho and his name is Elder Keller. Great kid. We all get along really well in the office. We´ve got a great group.
   Yesterday we had a youth activity in the english branch that we had to start earlier than planned and that´s why we weren´t able to email. It went really well and everyone that attended the activity, member or non member, attended church today. We´ve not been able to get in touch at all with the estonian family recently. The two sons were going to come to the activity yesterday and I think the mom was supposed to come to fuengirola today but we haven´t seen or hear from them. We´ve (us and the branch) have been calling and texting and emailing.. :( no luck. We´re hopeful. We haven´t been able to meet with our german friend that we set a baptismal date with.. :\ we met with him late last week and he told us he wasn´t gonna be able to come to church.  We told him we´d swing by on monday, he wasn´t there, we tried another day as well, he wasn´t there. He didn´t come to church today. The hard thing is that he doesn´t have electricity so he cant charge his little old phone. He leaves it off all the time so the battery doesn´t die... and so we can´t ever get a hold of him. Anyways, we´ll keep trying...

We´re good here in the office! I´m loving the mission and love hearing from you all! Hilary, you´re una máquina! No sé si dicen eso allí también pero aquí es como.. ¡eres lo mejor! o ¡eres una máquina! como ¡eres asombrosa! tus emails me asombran cada semana... te quiero y oro por tí cada día! ¡Sigue siendo una máquina y nos veremos dentro de poquito!

I love you all! Dare you to pray for 10 minutes tonight... :) it´ll make your conversation a little more REAL. Tell me about it in your next emails.

Élder Norton

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