Hello world on the other side of the world!
Things are great here! This morning we had rain and its the first sign we've seen that summer is cooling down. The bummer is that we had an awesome p-day that got pushed back a couple hours cuz of the rain.. It didn't end up causing problems though, we just took advantage of the waiting time to go over and talk about this CRAZY TRANSFER WEEK that we just had!
Monday, about half the trainers came into Malaga for a trainers training, and then left that evening back to their areas. We planned the travel in and the travel out and had a lunch prepped for them.
Tuesday, 36 new missionaries came in. 30 on a train from Madrid that arrived in Malaga at 10 am and the other 6 on a plane directly from the states. Those were 6 of the 7 that were visa waiting.. (the last just got her visa last night and will be coming next week). Before I go any further think with me for a second.. :) I'm sure you've all thought more or less of a group of 35 or 36 people... and how big it might be... well now make all those people 18 and 19 year olds.... and now imagine them after hours and hours of travel time/jet lag... and nooooww... imagine them with enough luggage to last them for 2 years....................... your image has changed a little bit hasn't it?? :D That last group that you have in your mind is the group we have been losing sleep over for the last transfer and its also the group that almost brought us to tears (good ones) waiting in the train station... Yes, they brought quite a few challenges and hurdles... but seeing 30 18-19 year olds get off that train and walk out into the world just reminds you of Helaman and his stripling warriors. It was a sight I will never forget. So anyways, while President starts on a rigorous 12 minute max interview schedule of 36 missionaries, us, the office staff and Hermana Deere, give the missionaries some orientation, some mission norms and rules games/skits, some roll play situations, some question and answer time, and so on.. At this point, counting president and his wife and the office staff with the group, we're 47 people in total. So we had lunch for 47, and then 47 at dinner time, at which point the Malaga church had an out-of-the-blue fire alarm from a random leak dripping onto open wires.... long story..... haha and we had to evacuate the chapel...... So anyways, during the orientation and lunch and dinner and fire in the Malaga church elder Butler and I were preparing residency papers and passports for the new missionaries, and that basically ended Tuesday. President finished all interviews and made decisions to be able to make assignments wednesday.
Wednesday, 16 new missionaries traveled from Fuengirola (where they slept) to Malaga by the subway while 12 missionaries were with my companion doing residency stuff in the city hall and police station.. and 8 others were at the mission home helping prepare food for huge quantity of people that we've been having to house and feed... and during this time the Malaga zone leaders elder Peters and elder Bird and I went to that same realtors agency as before and basically rented another apartment. Total from start to finish on the rent time was about 15 hours flat. MIRACLES FROM THE LORD... other long story that you'll have to ask me about one day... short version is I had two apartments left to rent out of the 20ish I started with to be able to house all of these new missionaries... and it was Tuesday of transfers... so I basically gave up and said, "dang, I wasn't able to get them all rented! I'm a failure!" And then the Lord stepped in and two awesome, new, apartments were rented in TWO DAYS.......... WOW... so anyways, that's what I was up to during that whole morning basically. We all went to the Fuengirola church where we ate lunch and had another workshop/Spanish practice thing with all the new missionaries and some youth from the Fuengirola ward... :D SO FUN! I played as a Spaniard as well and we'd have these little practices where I'd pretend I was an investigator or someone on the street and the new missionaries had to contact me or teach me... :) and I was playing as a spanish person. It was fun cuz I could watch them look back and forth at each other and speak english and say to each other " how do you say that?" ... or whatever, and then they'd turn to me and teach. haha Or I'd speak really really fast to see how they would react and then go back and help them understand the "whats whys and hows" of the Spanish or how to teach a concept or how to get a person's information when you talk to them on the street. :) Super fun stuff. Then elder butler and I went down to the subway station where, in theory, all 21 trainers (that were coming from different place) were supposed to get off the subway to be able to walk with us to the church building.. We were stressing a lot that they were going to miss the stop.. or catch an earlier or later subway and that we'd not catch them or be able to walk them to the church but ALL 21 WERE ON THE RIGHT SUBWAY!! Huge relief! So once again, we had a huge dinner with now about a group of 50 and then a training started with all the trainers and trainees.. and elder peters and a member and I left again and went to IKEA and bought two bunk beds and mattresses for the apartment we had rented (my first time in IKEA btw...) and then they didn't it fit in the van........ so we played tetris for like 30 minutes in the IKEA parking lot... haha and then we took it into Malaga right up to the apartment and elder peters realized he didn't have the key............. hahah so we left it all in the hallway outside the apartment front door. :D and they took care of it later that night.. aaaand that basically ended Wednesday.
Thursday, we were all up and going around 6:30 and we transported the 40 missionaries into Malgaga so they could catch their trains and buses out to their areas. We finished everything about noon. We came back to the office...... and SLEPT.............. :D We were alllll exhausted! and then about 8 hours later a group of missionaries came in to Fuengirola to sleep at the mission home to be able to take care of some residency stuff with elder Butler Friday morning. IT REALLY NEVER DOES END... :P
Since then we've basically been recuperating. Yesterday President invited us all to a restaurant here in Fuengirola to thank us for all of our work. Its been soo interesting to see a whole different side of President Deere being able to work so closely to him. I sat next to him at the restaurant and we all had a really good SIGH and some good conversations. Today's P-day was really nice. Lots of relaxing, we had waffles this morning at the Castillo's house (the same Elder Castillo) that called you, Adam).. and then he took us out to mini golf. Tonight he's taking us to a big meat restaurant... I think it'll be something like a Tucanos kind of a thing... and then its back to normal (as-normal-as-office-life-can-be). We've been trying really hard to stay in contact with our investigators and we're being soo blessed! The English lady, M, has been super super sick recently and I talked to her on the phone the other day and she goes, "I don't even care (if on not feeling well) I'm going to be at church on Sunday. O.o.... Elder Butler spoke with S, the Filipino lady and she's as excited as ever for her baptism on the 15th. Her daughter just got work! Blessing from the Lord... drawback is that she'll probably have to work Sundays....... :S We'll see how the Lord provides!!
Anyways, I'm happy! I'm healthy! Elder Keller, one of the APs, just hit his 18 month mark so we've had some increased desires to really work out...
Things in the office are going to be changing soon. I've got 2 and a half transfers here already.. and elder Butler has 3 and a half..... which means that the last three weeks of this transfer we"ll probably have another missionaries come into our companionship and elder Butler will be leaving in six weeks.... which also would mean that i'll be leaving the office in two transfers........ WEIRD. I just started here and I'm more than halfway done with my time here!
I hope all is well your part of ZION. Strengthen Zion's stakes. Strengthen Zion's wards. Strengthen Zion's families. Strengthen Zion's members.
I love you ALL!
Learn more about Heleman and his 2000 warriors HERE
Learn more about Heleman and his 2000 warriors HERE