So, I've been told the first week is the worst week of your life and it was definitely leaning towards that. I've been sick for a few weeks but we don't know what it is yet. Tests are coming back soon. Some guesses were things like Mono. Part of it is I'm not getting REM sleep, they think, and so it's kind of rough doing such hard work. Whatever it is, I'm still going to work and stay until I can't physically do the mission work. And a lot of people spread around a nice cold which seems to like me a lot and wants to stay a week longer than everyone else. And apparently the second most popular activity in Spain after breathing is smoking. Not really but there are a lot of smokers here which doesn't help much. We live in the southeast area of Madrid which is the ghetto. There are lots of Spanish gypsies which are much different than the Romanian gypsies who lie and beg more money and whatnot. Nothing got stolen.
After a series of events, we have almost no investigators from the start so it's been a lot of contacting on the streets. The investigators we have can be frustrating. There's a guy from Africa who is angry at some people in the ward over misunderstandings and we have to help him get more of a testimony of the priesthood. We have this awesome guy John Anthony who has taken the lessons, he's just trying to quit smoking. He's doing well. He started at 20 per day around when I got here and now he's only doing 5. He wants to get baptized on his birthday which is the third of next month. Hopefully that will work out. He calls us 5 times a day to talk shortly. He always says, "Hello my friend" in his deep Spanish voice in English whenever he starts talking to anyone. He once called us to basically tell us that he was at work and couldn't talk and had to go. He's a sweet guy. We´re getting more contacts to hopefully it will be better. We went to a member's house and apparently we had talked to the husband at church, the hermanas talked to the wife at church, and the hometeachers just came over so we all taught at once and had a good laugh about accidentally overlapping.
Our apartment is a mess. It came from not so clean elders sooooo, ya. Dishwashing soap is expensive so we use the sink, people don't wash that much, and we have very few dishes so finding a clean dish around here is hard. We're trying to fix that. We do have air conditioning which is a blessing. And the weather is getting better. We finally got hand soap and laundry detergent so that will be nicer. Ah, the ghetto. But hey, it's home. Since our scale is sketchy, I'm not sure how much I've lost but I think I lost 10 to 20 pounds this week. It's a lot of work and we don´t eat big meals. Any illusion I had about cooking or using any simple recipe are out the window. It's just been things that require no cooking or can be heated in the microwave. The milk's not too bad. Most liquids come in a 1 liter box. All the ingredients are expensive, not worth getting for a short amount of time, and/or I have no time. I´m eating all my food groups, though. We were fed by a member once. It was really nice and made me happy. They were nice members from the north visiting the temple who knew my companion.
I went to my first Sunday in a ward. It was nice. I can't understand much but I get what I can. I got to talk a bit this Sunday. Our ward building is the one on temple grounds so I see the MTC a lot and get nostalgic. I miss that place now. Especially the people. Strange how it's that way for most everyone. When you're in, you want out. When you're out, you want in. My companion's nice. He´s very patient and understanding. He's very experienced. He doesn't like people to bring it up, but he leaves in 12 weeks right after he trains me. Elder Shumway. It's a good sign that he thinks that way. It means he'll go good until the end. I'm getting better little by little. They say the mission gets better and faster as you go on, so all I can do is keep working. It's a bit slow and rough right now. I definitely need prayers and support.
Sorry that I didn't respond to anything or stuff. I'm pretty exhausted physically, emotionally, mentally, and whatnot. I'll write better emails when I'm well, rested, and doing better. Spain is gorgeous. Every street is tree lined. There are many flavors of cobblestones. The good ones have good grip but aren't a rockslide. We have 10 missionaries in our ward. 6 hermanas and 4 elders. One of the hermanas, Hermana Seastrand, turned out to be Mr. Seastrand's niece I think. He's a teacher at Orem High. We use the public transport system like none other. Mom, I got your letter that you meant to reach me in the MTC but I got it now. Thanks for it, it helped. So, I'm pooped. I'll write more next week and hopefully more coherently. Tell me if any of this doesn't make sense and I'll explain it next week and probably tell more next week. How things are changing, it'll be much better, Wish me luck! Or rather pray me luck.
P.S. The liking/loving system goes like so:
Me gusta - I like (whatever or whoever)
Me encanta - I really like (whatever or whoever)
Te/Le quiero - I love you (really friends way or slightly romantic)
Te/Le amo - I love you (Family and significant others.)
Now you are bilingual..
Elder Morgan the Younger