Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"I´m singing bass even though I should probably be in the tenors.... I just try to burp when we get to that low F part" Catching up with our Elder Sammy! and PHOTOS!

I'm a little behind with my blogging….
but, Elder Norton has had a great couple of weeks so 
take a minute and get caught up on his latest happenings!

Elder Norton with companions and friends from the ward

November 30, 2013
Hello! Hope you all had a very happy thanksgiving!

Both last year and this year I´ve been blessed to be in Málaga or the málaga area for thanksgiving. Last year we were having a conference on like the day before thanksgiving and one of the elders in málaga sorta assigned himself to organize a HUGE thanksgiving feast.. so the conference happened and then there was a feast after. This year, Hermana Deere kind of headed it up and organized a big thing. It turned out really well and there was a lot of food! Haha after, we (about 30 elders and president) went outside to a little tiny park down behind the back of the church and played a game of football. :D You HAVE to meet president someday. He is incredible. Spiritual, inspiring, friendly, etc... but when he doesn´t control it, his Jr. High Football Coach side comes out a little bit... :P so we´d huddle up and he was calling this great plays left and right! "You two line up on the left, and create a hole here. Elder, your find the hole they make and run a buttonhook. Turn around and I´ll hit you there...." :) or "Alright, Listen. Where´s my tall man? Elder bird! We need a first down. Run straight up the middle 6 yards. Eeeelder Crapo aaand elder turley, be there and you´re going to put your hands down at his knee level. He´ll step into your hands and you´ll lift him up as high as you can and I´m gonna throw it to him! BREAK!" :D Hahah best one by far those was a handoff to Annie, his 17 year old daughter. He handed it off to her and then yelled at the top of his lungs "DON´T TOUCH HER!!!" Hahaha she ran straight in for a touchdown. :P The Turkeybowl lives on. EVEN IN SPAIN.

So good to hear about your missionary work with your friend! Please keep me posted. Love the idea of doing a FHE with her. Be sure to play games! As silly as that sounds, the spirit is just as easily felt by being with pure and happy people than it is by learning pure and happy doctrine. Be the normal fun smiley you and she´ll feel the spirit.

As for a quick update of the mission, lots is going on. So, I´m going to try to give a quick update. Big picture, and personal.
Over the last 8ish months, the mission numbers have gone from 100 to right now we are at 231. About 90% of the areas have more than one companionship.. and about 80% percent of the areas have both elders and hermanas. I came into the office about 6 and a half months ago and since then have seen almost every single missionary in the entire mission. Between ZL and Sister trainers trainings, District Leader trainings, missionaries coming in to pick up their new companions, and the influx of 130 MORE missionaries. I personally know Every Single Missionary in the mission. We did some numbers the day before yesterday and with the tentative data we have right now, we are estimating a net drop of about 4 missionaries in the next 5 months... which means that Elder Flint, the new financiero may not rent one apartment during his time here. He´ll actually be CANCELING some. Hahah funny how that works....... During my time here, everyone (EVERYONE) has at least been transferred once. I am currently the missionary with the longest amount of time in my area. :P Some missionaries have been transferred twice and I think one or two have moved three times while i´ve been here. haha the members are starting to get suspicious... hah. The 4 missionaries that were supposed to go home at the start of January have been moved up to the middle of the transfer, the 12th of december, to be able to go home before Christmas. I´ll be leaving the office on that date too. They are all in trios right now, which was smart planning on president´s part, but I can now safely guess that my next companionship with be a threesome as well... cuz there won´t be any holes. When I get to this new area (don´t know where yet), I´ll have 2 and half transfers left and it will almost surely be my last area. WEIRD. I´ll probably see both of my companions leave, and the companion that comes will take over they area when I go home. I did the math and I´ll have been in 7 areas and had 16 companions. That´s a lot of both. Haha

Thats the update for now! I gotta head out.  
Love you all! See you soon enough! I´m puuumped for Christmas SKYPE TIME.

Élder Norton
P.S. I´m excited to come home and SHOW each of you how much I love you. 
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on every side,
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.
Elder Norton with friends

December 7, 2013
Hi everybody!

This last week has been great. I feel like I say that every week. I love my mission.
   I´ve actually been thinking a lot about my mission lately. I´ll be completely honest with you all. Its been kinda tough recently with my current situation. (every single missionary could say that right at this moment. Lots of tough things in the mission).. I think it has to do with my somewhat extended stay/long amount of time in the office... cuz I feel very stagnant right now. I know its coming to a close and that the office work is super important, but this last week I´ve been thinking about that so that´s what I´m writing about. Its fun cuz I get to see the future secretaries of the mission really settling in and learning but "training" someone to take your spot just puts you in the weird awkward spot. Haha the old AP (they´re in a three some right now) and I call ourselves/president started calling us the "lame ducks" :P thought that was clever. Elder Bird, the AP thats going home leaves midweek this week, which was the original date that I was going to leave the office. Like I mentioned earlier, Elder Castillo talked to president and changed my date just a little so I could come to the concert. :D I´ll be leaving the office I think next saturday or sunday. Don´t know where I´m goin yet! :\
 So, about the christmas concert. A choir of missionaries is being put together for an annual christmas concert that´s held in the granada stake center. I guess missionaries don´t usually perform but they asked for a huge group this year and Elder Castillo and his wife have headed it up. We have a group of like 40 missionaries from
Fuengirola, Málaga, Almería, and Granada that are all practicing 4 or 5 different christmas songs, all in english, to perform them in Granada in a week. There´s that triple quartet that´s gonna perform too. Total of like 12 people, 3 of each singing part. Its gonna be a blast. Hah I´m singing bass even though I should probably be in the tenors. They needed bass.. guess I´m gonna have to stretch a little.. we get down to a low F... :\ or maybe I should say THEY get down to a low F... I just try to burp when we get to that part cuz its the only way I can get down. :)

   The hike was good today. After, we came back to the church grounds and played some soccer and basketball on the court/parking lot.

   Don´t worry about the packages. They´ll get here. And if not before I leave, the Castillos are planning on (THEY ARE THE BEST) doing a "mission tour" as they call it, and just drive everywhere basically just a couple days before Christmas and drop off the packages to everyone that hasn´t gotten theirs yet. Haha so don´t worry. Funny side-note about packages and working in the office. Everyone sends packages to the mission office... which works... its not the greatest way to do it.... cuz technically the person that is receiving the package has to be there to present the package....... :\ but the mail people know us now.. but anyways. Our numbers have gone up to 229 missionaries. There is a family behind each one of those missionaries......... and you can imagine the mail company (called correos) when they start receiving ridiculous amounts of packages all for the same office building. Haha its been hilarious cuz Elder Flint and I had to run to Correos one day to send some stuff and when they saw us they were like.. "Oh yes!! You´re here! DO YOU HAVE A CAR??? Look how many packages we´ve received for you guys!!" and they wheel out a full grocery cart and another smaller cart full of them.... We went back to the office with like 16 packages all addressed to OTHER PEOPLE. Good thing we´re really charitable and didn´t open them and eat all the candy....... O.o So hah needless to say, its been fun cuz every day the mailman comes with another cart of boxes... I think he´s getting pretty ticket actually cuz they´re probably paying him the same as the mail-lady for the next block. :P
   Good to hear that Adam is playing what he loves. I loved and will love hanging out with him again and it makes me happy that he is excelling in basketball. (HEY adam, I was shooting today and am totally off. HELP ME with my three when I get home alright???)
   Last couple of things. Tell the Rice family I love them (I HOPE YOU´RE READING THIS ANYWAYS) and that Jennica will be in my prayers. Also, mom, I read your story. Love it. I love that it started with one who many would see as less capable. Good for him. Lastly, my release date is the 2nd of April. I obviously don´t really know that much yet but usually people fly out thursday mornings. I´ll probably leave here (málaga) thursday (3rd or april) morning at like 4am here. Pretty sure notification papers will be sent withing the next monthish or two maybe.

Love you All!!

Élder Norton

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