This last week was transfers. The first transfers with President and Hermana Andersen. Transfers basically are a three day period of little sleep, hundreds (literally) of phone calls, and a lot of improvisation. Starting on Tuesday, the transfer started having problems. A trainer on the far side of the mission missed her bus. Which was fine, and I actually thought that that was the only thing that could go wrong. But I was definitely mistaken. Very, very mistaken. Right after getting that phone call, we drove down with the Andersens to the Málaga train station to pick up the new missionaries. Everything went smooth there, and my companion took the new missionaries on the subway system to go to Fuengirola, where they would meet their trainers, while I went back with the Andersens. While we drove back, I got a call telling me that they had accidentally gotten on the wrong train, and now were in a small town on the outskirts of Malaga with no way to get back. So all of the new missionaries were now stranded and out of our reach, with little to no way to get back. We decided to send the Assistants to the President out to look for them in order to bring them back in their car. Which we thought would work, until I got a call from the AP´s telling me that their car had broken down! Which resulted in them having to wait until another train came through (about an hour later) to come back into Fuengirola. Crazy. Because of this, I took the Andersens to the airport on my own to pick up a missionary coming from Utah. This was especially cool, because I had flashbacks to my first day in the field. I was so excited when I first saw the Deeres from the glass and was really excited to be able to do that for a new missionary. Unfortunately, the new missionary wasn´t looking through in the right direction, and was walking around the baggage claim airport, and we had no way to communicate with him. Which resulted in me jumping up and down in front of the glass shouting for the Elder to look (which he eventually did). Well, it worked, it just attracted a LOT of stares from around the airport. Oh well. :)
Anyway, we ended up getting everyone to the mission home, which was a miracle in itself. I think that the biggest miracle was that the rest of the transfer went almost perfectly. It was a huge relief. I will not lie. I was really, really, really relieved when the last phone call came confirming that the transfer had ended.
Now keep all of that in mind as I tell you about what I consider to be one of the biggest miracles of my mission. There is a man who has been coming to church for a few weeks, named Manolo. I started talking to him and we got onto the subject of where he was from. He told me he was from Algeciras. When I told him that I had lived there in a little city close to there, called La Línea. He started to smile and told me that that was where he was born! A Linense! (I´m not sure what we would call that in English. It´s a person from la Linea). We started talking about the city and what it was like. I have missed La Línea so much. There really isn´t anything that can replace seeing the Rock of Gibraltar and occasionally Africa everyday. As we started to talk even more, I realized that he wasn´t a member. I talked to the other Elders in our district who said that they had been teaching him, but that he hadn´t been baptized. That was a few weeks ago. Manolo kept coming to church, but didn´t have a baptismal date or anything. This last week, we whitewashed Fuengirola (what that means is to come into an area where neither of the two elders had previously served). On Tuesday, we had almost no time, but I had this overwhelming feeling that we needed to go and visit Manolo. We ended up having about ten minutes where we could wait for the trainer who had missed her bus, or we could run to his house. We decided to go to his house. We got there, apologized for not having much time, and asked if we could talk to him briefly. He told us that that would be fine. We sat down and I felt that we needed to ask him to be baptized on Saturday. We said the prayer, and then after a moment of silence, I looked at him and said, ¨Manolo, we feel like you are prepared to be baptized this Saturday. Will you be baptized by someone holding the authority of God?¨ He looked at us for a few seconds then said "yes". We smiled, apologized once more, and said that we really had to get going, but that we would be back to set up the details of the baptism. We came back the next couple of days and finished teaching him all that he needed to be baptized. Incredible. And so, in an hour, we will be going over to the chapel for his baptism. So I can´t tell you how amazing this is. Just an incredible amount of blessings.
It really is a great day to be a missionary.
I love you all!
|Aerial view of Malaga|