Hola from Spain!
Well it has been crazy here at the CCM. Actually the craziness all began on the journey here...
First of all our flight out of Denver got delayed a couple of hours because a storm forced it to reroute and land in Colorado Springs for a few hours. Luckily enough for Elder Stephenson and I, a couple of other missionaries were supposed to be on the flight with us so we had some friends to hangout with. After getting dinner in another terminal we returned to our gate just as they announced we would be receiving a voucher for dinner because of the inconvenience. Since we had just eaten, Elder Stephenson and I decided to use the $15 we each had received at the sweet shop. Sooo we bought $30 worth of cookies, doughnuts and jellybeans... Don't worry Mom, we didn't eat them all. We went around the terminal and offered them to random strangers. At one point a kid probably 10 years old came running up to me. "Are you a missionary!? I replied yes and he replied "For which church?" When I told him The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he gave me a look of confusion and stared at me for about 10 seconds before asking "Like Mormon?" Haha, I replied yes and he started jumping up and down "I'm Mormon too!" He motioned for us to follow and headed toward his mom. Turns out she was deaf so he signed to her for a few moments then explained that she wanted us to write where we were from and what missions we were headed to in her notebook. It was awesome to see her reaction as she read what we had written.
After a couple more hours we finally were able to board the plane to Frankfurt. I sat next to Sister Berry who apparently was roommates and close friends with Madi Bruneel! We were all super jealous of Elder Stephenson because he got to sit next to a Swiss hypnotist who was super interested in the church! We all kind of listened in on the conversation and occasionally Jake leaned across the aisle to ask if we knew the answers to some of the harder questions.
Finally we arrived in Germany where we were informed we would be split onto two separate flights since we had missed the one we were supposed to be on 2 hours prior. Half of us would be leaving at 5 and the others at 9. Of course with my luck I was selected for the 9 o'clock flight. It turned out to be a blessing though because about 10 minutes after the 5 o'clock flight left we ran into a ton of athletes from the German Olympic team! They even let us hold their medals; it was awesome! 😍
At 1 AM we got to the CCM exhausted and they told us we had 5 minutes to email our families then to get to bed because we would be getting up at 6:30 the next morning.😅 The next few days were pretty rough. I have never fallen asleep in school but in some of the classes here I fell asleep like 10 times. I wasn't alone though. Every time I woke up I'd glance back and see half of the class asleep too. The teachers are nice about it and just let us sleep. They said it is normal for the first few days adjusting to the time and that they feel extra bad for us since we only got a couple of hours our first night. On Sunday it was so funny because elder Simmons (who is Grant Reeves' cousin) was asked to give a talk in church, he fell asleep on the stand and when it was time for him to speak the bishop had to shake him awake it was hilarious 😂😂 The schedule here at the CCM is 6:30-10:30 but out in the field it will be set forward an hour. So that'll be nice being able to sleep till 7:30!
On Saturday we all take the metro to the park and get a different companion to proselytize with for the day. This park is ginormous like it is crazy huge! My assigned companion was Elder Dias he is from Portugal he's 25 years old and the only member in his family. The challenge for us was that he only speaks Portuguese and just a little bit of English. It was super hard to communicate with each other but the gift of tongues is real! We were able to place two book of Mormons both in Spanish and get two referrals. We even ran into some Portuguese people in the park and were able to give them a pass along card and a pamphlet!
Every Thursday we have P day except since we got here last Tuesday we didn't get one last week. But how it works is one zone emails in the morning which is my zone this week so midnight your time and the other in the afternoon 9 AM your time. Today is our excursion to the city center in Madrid. I'm so excited to finally get out and see the city! But what I'm most excited for is getting a new pillow haha the ones provided here at the CCM are about as thick as a hymn book.
Okay, now it's time to talk about the food...
We have had some pretty interesting meals here. Yesterday was the first time I could actually identify all the meat on my plate and it was such a blessing haha
Most of the time I just try to fill up on the hard boiled eggs because those are the only thing that keep me full for a while and the mystery meats are just plain scary 😂 the other day I bit into what I thought was a ground beef patty and it was crunchy... I decided to just have a protein bar for dinner instead. Luckily we don't get fed a whole lot once we are out in the field apparently so I'll be able to make my own meals haha can't wait!!
On Thursday we went to get fingerprinted for our residency cards. The police station was an old prison hospital that they turned into an office building it was pretty cool. We each went to a separate desk and it was to confusing trying to understand their Spanish. When he told me to put my finger on the scanner he kept saying firma firma! Which means harder I was pushing so hard I felt like the plastic was going to crack under my fingers but he continued FIRMA! And pushed down on my fingers until the machine finally chimed. Yeah it was kinda scary haha he was like yelling at me, but the teacher said that's just how most of the police officers talk.
Anyways back to the temple it is so awesome! I knew it was like right next to the CCM but I didn't know it was this close! It's literally like 10 steps away! Three of the Portuguese missionaries had never been yet so they got to go through for the first time ever on Thursday and it was an awesome experience for everyone.
Okay one more funny story. One of the other missionaries, Elder Rodrigues, had never done laundry himself in his life. He washed all his garments with his socks and his garments are now like a dark gray it was so funny we just heard him yell from the laundry room WHAT THE HECKKK!!! We were all dying laughing for like 20 minutes straight.
Okay sorry I don't have much time but here's a few really cool scriptures I found this week!
Dad this is the one I would like on my plaque-
1 Nephi 13:37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.
Another awesome one about missionary work-
4 Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.
5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
7 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
8 And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.
12 Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end.
I love you all!!!