Tuesday, October 20, 2015

¡Viva Granada!

Fall is finally upon us here in Andalucia. We are finally having to put on sweaters, the leaves are starting to fall off the trees, the rain in Spain is coming in off of the plain, the residency situation is going well for the Spain Malaga Mission, and there is a new zone leader here in Granada.

Yup, you may have noticed that I am now writing to you on Monday, because I have left the office. President told me last Monday that I would be leaving on Wednesday. It was pretty crazy to get ready to leave in about 24 hours. It was sad to say goodbye to Martins and his family, but I was really glad that they will still be in my stake and I will see them soon at stake conference.

Granada. There are so many things that I could say about this city. I have wanted to serve here my entire mission. Granada means 'pomegranate' which I think is something everyone likes (unless your name is Persephone). Really though, Granada is the cultural center of Southern Spain. Home to the Alhambra, and nestled in Sierra Nevada mountains, it's the site where Ferdinand and Isabel expelled the Moors from Spain. It was actually the capital of the old Moorish empire here. For me, it is literally the perfect place.  My companions are already annoyed with me getting super excited about seeing the Alhambra every day. (Also, our apartment has a drier! A real clothes drier! I'm so excited! I haven't had one my whole mission and now I will be able to finish my whole load of laundry in one go. I'm quite excited.) My first night here was one of the most memorable in my mission. My companions thought it would be funny to play a prank with some of the members. They did it very well. We went to visit a member family, and when we walked through the door, the mom was shouting in very Andalusian Spanish, and the father was complaining about the food she had prepared. During the dinner, the mother kept throwing her leftover food on my plate and the father kept making crazy remarks and jokes. The entire family seemed absolutely crazy, with the shouting and food throwing, and I was just about to leave the house running when the dad broke down and told me it had all been an elaborate joke. Welcome to Granada, Elder Weenig.

Yes, companions in the plural. We are a trio of zone leaders which is pretty unusual. But President felt pretty good about it. I am now with Elder McConnaughey from Southern California and Elder Black from Scotland. Elder McConnaughey will be heading home at the end of this transfer, so afterwards it will be just Elder Black and I.  They are awesome, and we are going to be seeing a lot of miracles together. A couple of really great guys. They came down with me to Malaga to retake my driving test. Unfortunately, after the hour and a little bit of driving, we find out that my ID has had some problems in renovation and we had to turn right back and drive back to Granada. (Elder Black has a UK drivers license which is valid in Spain). This driving test has turned into a very large problem. To the point of discouragement. Well. Like F Scott Fitzgerald once said, "Trouble has no necessary correlation with discouragement, discouragement has a germ of its own." Which is the key. We can't let ourselves focus too much on what we are not able to do. We trust that God has a perfect plan for us. Sometimes our vision of what perfection is is not at all what God's view of perfection is. So we smile, recognize that yes, there are times of trouble, but we don't have to let them become times of discouragement.

We saw a lot of miracles this past week. A recently reactivated member named Pepe has been coming on splits with us so we are able to cover a lot more ground and speak with a lot of people about the gospel. We have a great new friend, named Antonio that was actually found almost by mistake. We were calling old investigators in our phone when we found Antonio. He agreed to meet with us, so we set a baptismal date on the first lesson, and he is progressing very well. It's really great. The ward here is incredibly strong. We are going to be seeing a lot of miracles. We have a great zone, and I'm really excited to be able to serve the missionaries here. It's going to be a great experience. Even in the rain. I can honestly say that it is a great day to be a missionary.

Love you all,
Elder Weenig

Palomo Family

Saying Goodbye

With Elder Black (Scotland)