Monday, October 5, 2015

First Week in Valladolid!!

Hello everybody

I am finally in the mission field!! It's so cool to be here in Valladolid!! It's a pretty good sized city, not as big as Madrid but President Pack said maybe about 200,000 people?? It kinda reminds me of a mini NYC but the Spanish version. So, I'll start by talking about one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life..... Say goodbye to the MTC!! Holy cow who knew that would be so hard!! I figured out why they have an MTC to train missionaries. Everyone there misses their families so much and so you have no choice but to pull together as a new family and help each other out. That's definitely what I learned to do these past 6 weeks. So the hardest goodbye was definitely elder Hammond... I woke up really early on Tuesday morning and helped everyone with their bags and what not. Then as we were waiting on the corner of temple square for the busses to come pick up all the Malaga and Barcelona kids, I just hugged elder Hammond and lost it haha. What a great man, brother, son, and missionary he is!! I'm so glad we had these 6 weeks together  and other goodbyes were hard too, but when the bus drove away and we were both waving to each other as he drove off, part of my heart (rhyme) went with him! Okay enough sad stuff. Psych, there's more. Just wait.

So we were bussed to the mission home where we received training on lots of stuff, and we also received our iPads! We had lunch and stuff then went back to the stake center where we met our trainers and headed off to our new areas!! There were a couple greenies that got assigned to the Canary Islands, most of the Provo mtc elders stayed in Madrid, and the rest went up north! I'm an hour outside of Madrid, so I'm not all the way north but still. My trainers name is Elder Peña and he is from Peru! He is an inch shorter than me. He doesn't really speak English but he tries to learn while I'm studying my Spanish. He has been out for 14 months and when I met him, I just wondered to myself, can I honestly do this for the next 22ish months? He expressed to me he felt a little overwhelmed because 1. He is the district leader 2. He is training an elder who knows very little Spanish and he doesn't know English 3. We are reopening an area that has been closed for 6 months 4. His sister who was 25, passed away last week from stomach cancer and 5. he is the only member in his family. I thought I had problems and I was stressed. When he told me all of this, especially the part about his sister, I started bawling. I started to think about Kenna and Ellie and I honestly don't think I could do it if that happened to them. But here's this 21 year old kid from Peru who gets out of bed every morning ready to go find the people that the Lord has prepared. I get really stressed with the language really fast because I'm such a perfectionist. He just looked at me the other day and said, "you have a grand privilege". He wants to know English so bad and he only gets an hour a day to work on it, but I have the PRIVILEGE of living Spanish every day for the next 2 years :) We were talking a little about our houses and stuff and I said mine was nice, I have my own car and room and stuff at home. Then he said his was really tiny, he doesn't have a bed, and he has a skateboard. That's it!! Seriously Elder Peña is a stud and I love him. We just finished hiking a "mountain" haha it was whimpy but it was fun. We have a good group here in Valladolid :) haha it was a bit windy today as you can tell from the pictures.

Our Piso is actually pretty nice, we have lots of space and a full sized living room with everything we need. It's on the 7th floor and we have a patio so that's kinda neat :)  We are both new to the area so it takes us a while to remember where we live haha but we get around just fine. There are some Hermana's here in the area too that live about 20 minutes from us. One of them is from Ecuador and the other from Canada, so whenever we get together I just talk to the one from Canada because we both enjoy English :) hahaha. My first night here we had dinner at the branch presidents house and it was so good! I officially have The nickname "José Smith" hahaha, he has a couple kids and they were just running around the house screaming "José Smith Es aqui,
José Smith Es aqui!"  We have been watching onference at the branch building, which I have to stream through my iPad into English haha but it's all good. Conference has a total different meaning when you are a missionary, I have taken so many notes and stuff and I can really feel the Holy Ghost helping me get the things that I need to hear. I'm praying for president monson.... :( 

This mission is not easy.  I miss Bountiful every single day, but I’ve found that when I turn my thoughts toward others, focus on improving my Spanish, and remember who I’m representing, I am much more happy.  Thank you all so much for your love and support?  Yo se que esta iglesia Es verdadero.  Estoy my agradecido for la oportunidad yo tengo compartir este evangelio con todas personas aqui in espana y Valladolid.  Yo se que vive mi senor, y Dios nos ama mucho.  Mediante la Expiacion de juescristo, podemos regresar vivir con padre celestial Otra ves!!

Much Love
Elder Brady Craig Smith
Me on the balcony of the 7th floor

Elder Pena and I

Our hike with the Sisters in Valladolid

 the "mountain"

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