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).
|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!