Monday, May 12, 2014

A Day in the Life of an Office Missionary in Spain

The walkway by the Mediterranean I enjoy

So you may ask, what is it like to be on an office mission in Spain?
Well, I usually wake up when I wake up, around 6:30 or 7 or so. Then I read scriptures, maybe write in my journal, then do exercises. Right now that consists of MWF doing major muscle strength training with weights, then I run the 6 flights of stairs in our apartment building 10 times, then stagger into our piso (apartment). Tu/Th I work on the more minor muscles and do some band (elastic) exercises. I haven't figured out cardio yet.

Our front door and my nemesis THE STAIRS

Then it’s breakfast (oatmeal with fruit of coarse for those who know me) and shower, then get ready for the day. We usually get to the office around 10, then I check to see if there are any new referrals, and do any of them (send them to the right mission if it’s not in ours, or to the right Elders/Sisters if it is), then work on my project to get the Spanish missionaries ready to take the English test at the end of their mission. I’m still working on getting the referral system and my other project up and running well, but once that’s done I’ll find more to do. Right now there are just us two single sisters, one couple (which includes the nurse), and two office elders in the office. Another couple should come in a couple of months, which will help. We work until 2pm, then take a two hour “mediodia” (as per Spanish custom), then it’s back to work at 4 for another couple hours or so. It’s pretty relaxed though - if not much is going on and we need something, we’ll take off to get it, or whatever. Right now we don’t have internet at our piso, so anything we want to do online has to be done at the office. So sometimes we stay a bit extra. Like I said, pretty relaxed. Then it’s home for a snack (the major meal of the day is mediodia) - for me usually some VERY yummy bread with cheese (I’m trying different ones - yesterday I found some goat/sheep/cow cheese that’s actually pretty darn good!) and some fruit.
One of the many local fruit stands

Then I like to take a walk along the Mediterranean, maybe write some, study Spanish, or whatever else I need to get done. Then bed by about 10:30 until the next day. Some “specials”:  Every Monday we meet with President Deere and go over any planning or changes that need to happen in the office. Then once a month is “concilio” where all the younger missionary leaders come for training, then two Hermana (sister) missionaries come to stay at our place for a night, which is fun. Then there are transfer days, and days when new missionaries come in, which get kind of wild (although not particularly for us). That’s all I’ve come across so far. Then there are the fun days. Once in a while we’ll go with the office elders on a P day (my Pdays are on Saturday) to somewhere for fun, and sometimes all the senior missionaries get together for some fun. I’m looking forward to those days :)  This next Saturday we’re going to the Jerez horse show (which I guess is pretty famous) that I’ll try and report on.
I do have a companion, Hermana Chantrill, who has already been here about 7 months. whom I really enjoy. We have a lot in common, and I enjoy her personality, and she even does fairly well keeping up with me, even though she’s a fair amount older. We share thoughts from what we’ve learned in scripture study that morning, and plan to have FHE together. She was pretty lonely before I came, so I felt pretty welcome :). This is her second mission. The first was a temple mission for 2 years in the Dominican Republic and today she cooked mediodia from things she learned there, incl. plantains (cooked kind of like mashed potatoes), and poached eggs and veggies and salad. It was very good and I had no trouble eating my share :).  I did the cooking last week, and actually made my own spagetti sauce instead of going the jar route, so that’s something new for me. Like I said, the bread and pasteries here are to die for (yes, I’ve tried the chocolate wrapped in a light pastery like a crescaunt, which is SO good and the "hot chocolate" [very thick so you can dip your churros in it and so rich I could only finish half]), so I have to limit the bread to once a day, and freeze most of the loaf for later.
Yummy hot chocolate and churros

 It’s actually much easier to cook this time than when I first got to Switzerland, which is a relief. And there are TONS of fresh fruits and vegetables in little stores all over which I have really been enjoying (I try to get a new and unusual fruit when I go there too. It’s been interesting and very good :)). All in all I’m having a GREAT time, and have also been enjoying the awesome spirit of the great people here I work with too. No better place to be!

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