Greetings from Madrid
|Leaving Paris. Adios, Eiffel Tower.|
Sooo, yeah! I'm in Spain! I think the best way to approach this is to just answer the questions I've been asked by mom and dad, since their questions pretty much covered everyone else's.
To this day, I have no idea what the heck jet lag is. I've been awake and alert during the day, and had practically uninterrupted sleep at night since day one. Same thing goes for anxiety or whatever synonymous phrase that accompanies it. I am meant to be here. Why be anxious? I actually have a structured purpose in life again and it's amaaaazing!!! So stop worrying about that, please. I'm a big boy :P The change was good and well needed.
|The Plaza del Sol in Madrid. Statue: King Carlos III (r 1759–88)|
|Image of Plaza del Sol found on internet. Photo cred: S. Jones|
The MTC is absolutely tiny in regards to people. Currently, there are 30 missionaries (12 Elders, 18 Hermanas) total in the whole MTC. There are 7 learning Russian, 2 on the 3 week program for Portuguese, the rest are Spanish speaking. My district consists of 4 Elders and 4 Hermanas. Half of the district is going to Málaga, the rest will serve in Barcelona or Madrid. My companion is Elder Newman from Meridian. He is a bit more quiet and reserved, but his humor has great delivery, and his knowledge of Spanish is much greater than mine. We are getting along really well!
|Elder Newman and Elder Jensen|
Our lessons (when properly prepared) go really well. Every teacher is a native Spanish speaker with varying levels of English knowledge. My teacher during the night classes, por ejemplo, is from Armenia (that doesn't sound right, but I keep forgetting to ask her again) and 98% of our communication with her is in Spanish. Every Thursday, we attend the temple before our P-Day begins. It is absolutely beautiful inside and out. I also get to consistently see it on a daily basis. Being a part of the temple complex has its perks. Even more fun than that, every Saturday, we all go to Retiro Park, a park half the size of Central Park in NY, to proselyte with a different companion! That means every Saturday I get to experience real world, Spanish immersion, Spanish interpretation, guidance from the Spirit, etc, etc. I love it, and I've only done it once with a companion who speaks Russian and English. Last week, I handed out two BoMs, one in English to a family visiting, and one in Spanish to a Spanish musician named Jason. The gift of tongues is real, by the way.
The first three or four days were full of non-stop orientations, and meetings, making the days much longer. Spirit-filled, but longer. Now we are getting into the full swing of the standard MTC schedule and the days are going by much quicker. Granted, I did get to lose ANOTHER hour of the day because Spain doesn't change the time forward until the 24th-ish. In case you were wondering, yes. I have learned all of the Spanish. Kidding, I have plenty more to learn, but I'm getting a good handle on it! I've been consistently praying in Spanish since day 4, and I have Su Objetivo memorized.
|Excursion to the Plaza|
I'm enjoying all of this experience, and I'm struggling with practically none of it.
Thank you for writing, everyone! I appreciate it a lot. Just so you know, I am allowed to read my emails any given day of the week, so don't feel like you have to wait to write me, I would prefer that you didn't wait to write me. It's a good pick-me-up.
I love you guys so much!
Elder Jensen :)
I don't have much time, but our first P-Day, we went on excursion to the Plaza. I took a lot of pictures. It snowed. Let me know if you have any questions. I also need Maren's and Braeden's email.
I love you!
|Chocolate con churros!|