Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Of Bread and Disney

It's been a while since I've written - long enough that it took a bit to remember how to get to my blog...  so it made me think, why a blog? It's definitely not for the "fame" - I know relatively few people read this, or really care much if I do it or not. And that's not what I care about anyway. A better reason might be as a record of my mission - but I have my journal for that. One good thing about a blog is that hopefully it strengthens the connection between me and my family and friends. And just perhaps, it might encourage someone to take a look at serving a senior mission themselves.  Besides, I find writing and taking pictures rather fun! It can just be a challenge finding the time to do it sometimes! Enough of my "excuses" :)
Today I'm going to focus on some of the "perks" of serving a mission. First and foremost, it seems like the Spirit is just there, without me having to do anything special, and often without me even realizing anything is "special" or "different". For example, the other day it was my companion's week to cook our main meal of the day, "mediodia" (which we usually eat around 3 or so).
I didn't really need anything, but I was getting a bit low on bread (I usually buy a 5 pack of thin loaves, then cut it up into smallish pieces and freeze), and thought I needed a few other things, but when I got to the store I couldn't think of anything I really needed, and they didn't have any of the whole-ish wheat bread I like (as close as they come here to whole wheat). Most people here are really spoiled and picky about their bread and like it hot out of the oven, so they don't make a whole lot at a time so they can bring small hot lots out probably a couple times a day. Anyway, they DID have some very hot, fresh, "old fashioned" round loaf so I couldn't resist grabbing some, thinking if the lines were too long I'd just run it back. Well, I found a nice short line and so ended up getting it. I also stopped by the fruit and vegetable store to get some stuff, and threw in a couple potatoes. When I got home, I found out that Hna Chantrill had gone shopping for mediodia, but was distracted because of her lost debit card, and while she had gotten sandwich fixings, she had forgotten the bread AND the potatoes she needed for her soup.  It's cool how the Lord helps out, even in the small things! There have been quite a few other times I've found the urge to do misc. things, like ask a missionary about a certain person (a referral) who it turns out had been forgotten somehow and really wanted and needed to be contacted, or look  a certain place where I find something that had been left that really was needed right then, or make a needed comment to someone. And it really doesn't feel like anything particularly significant, just something that would be a good idea to do. It's been pretty neat :)
Zone conference (3 zones, in Málaga)

Another "perk" is being able to associate with such wonderful people - both young and not-so-young. Today was transfers and we got 21 brand new missionaries in. That makes for a very long, but very wonderful day! And I knew many of the trainers from either being here when they came in, or from concillio (Mission leadership council I think in the states), or whatever. It's hard to believe I've been here almost 9 months already!  It has gone by SO fast!
And of course there is the beach and other delights associated with serving here in Spain. Speaking of which, I guess I'll write a bit about the holidays here.
A couple weeks before Christmas we started hearing very loud firecrackers, which continued well into the new year. Sometimes in the middle of the night!  Christmas is cool - they don't give more than 1 or 2 presents for Christmas, so it is easier to focus on the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. And they don't have school from before Christmas until after Jan 6, which is "Kings Day".
 That is the day they give gifts to each other, celebrating the coming of the 3 wise men / Kings to give gifts to the Christ child. And the night before they have a big parade, which went down the street right next to our little street. The parade consisted of mostly Disney-themed floats plus one for each of three kings (Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior).
Balthasar - a crowd favorite

There were bunches of kids on each who were made up and costumed to go along with the float and were supplied huge amounts of candy to throw at the watchers. EVERYONE (young and old) was scrambling to get their share, and there was so much, all the kids got tons, so nobody felt bad. I spent most of my time taking pictures and several times got pelted with bunches of candy, so I got a couple pockets full to (mostly) bring into the office. It was a lot of fun!
So now Christmas and King´s Day are over and it´s time to settle back down to the routine of the office. Which is rarely routine. Mission life is awesome!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you keep a blog! It is really a great record, especially with all your fun photos. You are right about having the spirit while on a mission. I think it takes a bit more work as you get further on but it is still much easier than at home.