Elder Austin Jay Weenig has been called to serve in the Spain, Málaga Mission from 2014-2016. This is Austin's mission blog to share his experiences while serving the Lord as he shares the good news of the gospel to the people in Spain.
Monday, January 26, 2015
On the Line
Hello Everyone, It has been quite the week. Quite the week, quite the week.
Last week, I left Alicante. It was very, very hard. I love the people there a lot, and it was extremely difficult for me to leave behind a lot of the people -- so many of them are just fantastic. I will miss them. I have learned a lot there, from my companion Elder Sharp, from the other missionaries, and from the people I´ve been able to be with.
The bus ride from Alicante to La Linea adds up to be about 11 hours of traveling. It was pretty cool, we got to stop in Granada, which is my favorite spot in our mission, and eventually got to Algecires, a district just outside of La Linea. We had to stay there with four other Elders while the landlords were preparing our apartment. When we finally were able to move in on Saturday, we got to our apartment, and were very, very surprised. There weren´t any dishes, and only one bed that was big enough. We ended up having to go over to the landlord´s mother´s house where we got a mattress and a bed frame. We were able to throw together another bed before we got to sleep, but mostly our goal for these past couple of days has been getting the essentials to live.
But La Linea is fantastic. It´s a very Spanish town with some cool buildings and a lot of cool culture here. It´s going to be a great area. We are completely opening the area. Starting completely from scratch. No other missionaries have touched this area for a very long time. We also have Gibraltar in our area, which is absolutely fantastic. We were able to go there last night, and it is a completely different world there. Everyone speaks English. EVERYONE. It was completely weird. The also use the pound there. I was not ready to start hearing, "It costs ten pounds" Instead of Euros.
It´s been a crazy, crazy week. I don´t even know where to start. Basically, we have been talking with a lot of people. Almost no one here has even heard of Mormons nor seen a Mormon missionary before, so we are the first. The people here are very helpful. Really, if you ask for directions, often they will walk with you to the place where you need to go. They are fantastic. They´re also really hospitable. A lady invited us to her house to eat, without knowing anything about the church or about missionaries, and fed us authentic Peruvian food. It was delicious.
It´s been a week full of changes. It´s been difficult, but it´s also been a lot of good experiences. I know that this work is God´s work. I know that he is in the details of our lives, because even though it might not seem like we can overcome challenges, we can. I know that he gives us challenges so that our weaknesses can become strengths. It won´t be easy. It really, really won´t. I know because I have been stretched a lot this week. But I´ve also come to know my Savior more. When I´ve been really stressed, hurting, or struggling, I remember that no matter what, he is always there. I remember this last week looking at a picture of Christ I received from home, and sitting there in our bare floored apartment, I really truly felt how much God loves us. No matter what. No matter how weak or under qualified we are. He truly, truly does love us.
I´m sorry this email´s a little bit short, I don´t have much time. I love you all so much. Thank you for all that you do and for the support that you give me. You all have made such a huge impact on my life and for that I´m grateful.