Sunday, July 17, 2011

Segovia 17 de Julio 2011

We got to Segovia this morning a half hour before church started and so Dendi sat outside of the building working on her pictures.  We find ourselves working, eating and sleeping in many random places! On the road is where you see the best and worst of people!

17 de julio 2011 10:25 de la manana Segovia (en route) Spain

Well it’s been a great couple of days, but a lot of learning because as profe Meredith told us in the culture shock process there comes a period of time when we are near the end and get excited to go home and just get sick of the trip. I have seen this happening all over the place!!! We have been getting on each other’’ nerves much easier than before, but I think when you are with the same people in such tight quarters (and with every city it gets tighter and tighter because of all the stuff we are buying!  I’ve pretty much taken up all the room I’m allowed and more!  I know that’s hard to imagine!)  and it’s been 4 weeks now it is really easy to be impatient, especially when we know we are going home  soon. I just keep trying to think “There’s only a few days left and we need to enjoy it!”  And so when we are getting impatient I ask for “disculpas” and try to be better and kinder!  We only have a few more days left to really enjoy it all so I need to try harder.

Anyway on a lighter note, we have had a ton of fun! 

We have been to so many cities that I am getting confused now.  We just came from Avila today and are in Segovia. We went to church today and there were only a few people that are in the branch. I felt like I was in my second area in the mission, but even there things got better. It is so hard here because the Catholic church is so strong. If you’re not Catholic here you are just weird.  I have learned so much about the Catholic church while being here.  I can imagine why it is a tradition. It goes way back generation after generation.  I am more firm in my testimony than ever of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  It has grown a lot here in the past few years.  I love the way the Lord works.  He puts us where we need to be and I, with a firmness believe that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  I know I was supposed to go on this trip. I was supposed to come to Spain to learn about the country, the people, the culture and about myself and my place in this vast world.  It is amazing to see how many people are looking for truth and how many people are good in the world. I’ve also really enjoyed looking at the differences in culture and realizing that no one is better than the other, we are just different. We are meant to be different and that makes us unique and needed. Just like the hand hath need of the finger and the foot etc…we need each other and the uniqueness we each personally and culturally bring to the world.  I am glad to be where I am in life and know who I am. I am a child of God. He is very conscious of all of His children and will help them to be exactly where they need to be with or without trials.  We will grow in the way we need to as we trust in His hand and guidance through the winding road of experience that life gives us.  I appreciate all the growth I have been able to see and achieve on this trip.  It has really opened up my eyes and every time Sunday rolls around and we are in a different part of Spain and a different Branch or Ward, the truth still comforts me and gives me this overwhelming peace that no matter what happens in life, if we hold onto the iron rod, we will be guided to the next step of life with care and when we stumble we will be able to get up and keep moving if we lean on the Lord.  I testify that Christ lives and He was resurrected  and because he died and lived again, took up his body again, we too can do that and so can our loved ones. 

I take for granted the truths I know and I forget that not everyone in the world knows all the things that I know that are so natural and comforting to me in my daily life.  I know that the resurrection is real and that one day I’ll see my dad again and anyone who has lost a loved one, which are many, will see their loved ones too. I’m grateful for families while I’ve been here.  I’ve been preocupada waiting to find out if my sister has had her baby yet and I’m grateful for my sister Melissa who has gotten back to me to let me know the details while Liz is busy getting ready for her new little one! I’ve been uplifted by emails from my family telling me that they love to read my blog and emails and I’ll do my best to bring back gifts adequate!  The space and weight limits in my luggage are about over capacity as is! 

I am also grateful for friends who lift me and keep me afloat and are patient with me even when I am not the nicest person to be around. I’m grateful in general for forgiveness of imperfections. It’s funny to think that when we judge someone for faults, they are working on their flaws and wish we would pardon them as we wish to be forgiven ourselves.  I have enjoyed this learning process on this trip.  It has been so humbling to experience and watch forgiveness happen.  I have been in awe watching my professor Meredith, who has been through more than one mortal man should have to pass through.  He has rarely been impatient and has given so much so that this could be an unforgettable experience for all of us.  He understands that time is valuable and the things you do during that time are just as valuable as the things you don’t do.  I appreciate him. 

Professor Knapp is an angel sent to my life at this time that I never knew existed.  I have no idea how one person can know so much, be so happy, kind and considerate of everyone she meets.  She is an example of courtesy and fun evenly balanced to a T.  I love her and appreciate the sacrifices she makes for us, especially being here, because her poor kids (though they get to be with their grandparents) don’t get their mom for a month! 

Needless to say, I have had a blast and have learned so much.  It has been unreal!  We are off to go see the aqueduct at night now that we’ve seen it during the day!!!  Life is good! (I got a nap in that is part of the beauty!)

Pretty much the branch minus a few people.

Now the branch with us added!  We doubled its size!  It was awesome we basically had a testimony meeting during sacrament today.  It was just what I needed!  And Prof Meredith gave the lesson in sunday school.

Beautiful Susy before church.

Carl contemplating the whens and wheres of our trip.

First glimpses of the acueduct! I was ecstatic!

I've sure drunk a lot of Fanta Naranja here and also taken a lot of pictures of them!  Do you love the glass?  I do and I am taking 2 home with me!  2 Fun stories to tell about how that came about and free!

Yummy.  Grape leaves with rice in them.  Very Greek. I'm surprised that I didn't have them while in Greece.  Thanks Dendi for helping culture me!  Dendi is amazing and very smart!!!

Pizza Margarita...Dendi told us where cheese pizza came from...Basically a queen in Italy, maybe a princess, decided she wanted cheese on her pizza, because back in the day it was just bread and sauce (like it is uruguay) and after she requested to add cheese, it was a hit and so they named it after her.

We had so much food on our table that we pretty much didn't know what to do with ourselves!

I love this one!

The first time I had to pay money to use the bano!  20 cents! Totally worth it!

Profe Knapp and me! I love that woman!

Profe Knapp doing what she loves to and learn.  We found a street on the map called el poso de Nieves.  Her name is Nieves (which means snow) and Poso means well (like the kind water is in) and she really wants one in her house like Cervantes had!  So I told her we should take this picture to show her husband that there is indeed a Poso de la Nieves and she needs one in her house!!  Good luck in Payson!
In anticipation to arrive in Segovia!! I've been waiting forever for this.  This trip has been so many dreams come true!

This is Santiago (he is pictured above with his dad and super profe) he is the best baby I have ever seen. He just sat there during church and didn't make a peep, only whined a little bit.  He was the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Avila 16 de Julio