Monday, July 28, 2014

Running of the Bulls

Firstly, my typing skills are flying out the window. I got to know the backspace bar very well this email.

Well I obviously hit my year mark! We ate the funfetti pancakes with bacon and eggs and the 1 year candle. :) Turns out that our city had a running of the bulls that morning too! So we ran outside to see that. I tried to fit the photos, even zipped, but they didn´t fit. I sat on the fence and got great videos. When I get home I´ll show you the videos. You get to see all the types of guys who run from the bulls. There´s the guys who casually jog in front of everyone, the guys who run normally, the guys who bail out when the bulls get close, and my favorite are the guys right in front of the bulls who are sprinting with adrenaline powered legs and have a face of panic. On one of the videos I got there was a guy who was missed being gored by a bull by a few inches because he jumped onto the fence at the last second. But it was pretty dang awesome to see that cliché Spanish culture even though it´s not in Pamplona. Oh, and Hermana Vargas who is from Cádiz (Side note. I thought Cádiz was pronounced Cah-DEEZ. It´s CAH-deeth.) told us the reason nobody got hurt was because the one in Pamplona is long and people get gored on the corners because they´re the hardest. We didn´t see the bull fight because I´d rather see a soccer game than a bull fight and those are just stupidly gorey. We ate lunch at Burger King and at night I burned a shirt according to tradition. Don´t worry Mom, it already had a burn from the iron so it wasn´t wasted. I learned many things that night. Don´t fold shirts that you want to burn all the way, it takes a long time. And buttons are very flammable. And we might have had to call the fire department. Just kidding! It was all on an old cookie sheet so nothing bad happened.
By the way, I don´t think I´ve mentioned who´s in my district before. Obviously I´m here. My companion, Elder Weeks, is from South Jordan. Hermana Manner is from Rexburg, Idaho and is ending very soon. Her companion is Hermana Peña Vargas from Cádiz, Spain. Danny would love her because she´s one of those people who pronounces all S´s like Th´s. Elder Sargent is from Fruit Heights (It´s near Kaysville) Utah. Elder Muller was born in Argentina but moved to the states when he was 5 so he´s basically American and he lives in Pleasant Grove. And speaking of my district, there´s transfers next Saturday so I´ll know what´s happening by the next time I write. There´s definitely a chance of me moving. And in September the biggest group of the year like my group is coming in September so that makes transfers interesting.

So, we don´t have much work, but we have a few potencial baptisms. But one lady wants to be extra sure, two of them are super solid kids but the best we can get from permission from their parents in a date in a few months. One man lives forever away and is very sick, and then basically the rest won´t answer their phones. So we don´t have much to report on but what we have is good. I also get to know the streets very well. The only other thing we do is visit this cute little old couple in the ward to make sure they´re ok. The wife is 98 and the husband is 95 so they´re struggling sometimes but they´re sweet. The ward takes good care of them at church and some people visit them to help.

The farewell party was for Hermana Seastrand who was in Barrio 8/Vallecas in the beginning of my mission. And Heather and Wesley probably are wondering if I asked if she´s related to Mr. Seastrand from Orem High and yes, he is her uncle. Small world.

Well I´m already kind of exhausted and my companion has been waiting for me for a while so I gotta split. I´ll send photos next week! I love you all loads!

Os quiero un montón,
-Elder Morgan the Younger

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day at the Park

I´m saving the one year package for my 1 year mark. Which is in 4 days. Eww. It´s especially weird because most people are younger than me in the mission despite my median age. We´ll have a fun year mark party on Thursday and try to remember all the 40-odd people that were in our group to wish them a happy birthday. And more and more people from my group have trained so the stork is getting closer and closer to me. And today we went to Parque Retiro where we were contacting our 3rd day in Spain almost exactly a year ago and we barely understood anything that was going on. It was very sentimental and nostalgic. Which actually makes me sad so I won´t dwell upon such things.

And today we just had a farewell "party" in Parque Retiro, that giant park in Madrid. We ate food and played sports and talked and did other jazz. It was very simple but pretty great. I also got to see the missionaries from Torrejón and other missionaries that I haven´t seen in a while. It was too bad that it wasn´t longer. 

The old man (Francisco) just always squints. He says he has cataracts because he was a stone cutter so he got stone flecks shot back at him.

Daniel's investigator, Francisco, who looks like the man in "Up"!
There´s not much news here. Nobody loves us in the streets so we´ve become very good friends with our Area Book to find more investigators. We bought a fan! No more sleeping in an oven! And we actually had a bit of glorious rain and clouds. Best. Weather. Ever. 

And I gots to run. The day is ending and I´m still in Madrid (Which is gorgeous). I´ll send more pictures later! I love you all!

Os quiero,
-Elder Morgan the Younger

District from May/June

Beautiful monastery in El Escorial

"pharmacy sign that says it´s dang cold every day"

Beautiful pueblo by Villalba

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monolith Paragraph

Yes, I realized my Revelation mistake (no "s" at the end) once I left. In my defense, I have not read that as the book title for a year. I´ve been reading the title Apocalipsis. And I´m feeling like writing just one, big chunky paragraph. And so it shall be.

We got to celebrate two investigator birthdays in a row! So it was a happy week. And I make snickerdoodles for one which were a hit. Although the process was a bit interesting in a smaller house with not much equipment to bake. Even though I know things I make here could be much better, these people haven´t tried it so I can get away with what I can do here. :) For all they know I´m a master chef. :)  I heard about the games and people showed us clips from the World Cup. Turns out that Germany won against Argentina 1-0 in overtime. And Germany absolutely destroyed Brasil 7-1 last week. The news showed people burning buses and rioting after the loss. Dang. Well it turns out the World Cup wasn´t during my year mark but it was happening during my year-left mark. Speaking of which, I got the package for my year mark! I was happily surprised. I didn´t think I would get a package. I loved it all and I actually still have the funfetti pancake mix so that´ll be the "birthday" cake for me and my companion. We get to celebrate together! So my companion is Elder Weeks from South Jordan Utah. He was in the MTC with me. Although I didn´t see him much since we were 102 people at the end. He´s a good hardworker and enjoys contacting. There´s not anything like being Persian or surfer to relate so that´s why I just put nice because he is. I finally met a Paraguayan (I think that´s the word in English?)! I´ve been waiting to meet one my whole mission but I never have until Saturday. He and his friend came to play soccer when we were there so they played with us. I finally got to mention that my brother was there and a couple of his areas but there wasn´t time for much else because we were playing soccer. We were passing by some old contacts from the former missionaries and I found a couple interesting ones. One was apparently on the fifth floor and it turned out that the address was a one floor house. The other one was impossible to find that day because the road to get there didn´t seem to exist anymore. The part of the wall where it should open up just was just a 20 foot wide diiferent style wall. I was excited to go to my companion and say "There´s a wall there. Trust me." I hope you all know what that´s from.* So in the glorious tradition of having a ridiculous amount of holidays for random things, this is apparently the week of concerts so last night we were serenaded with a violin-cello-bass-guitar band which was actually pretty cool. While listening to it I actually dropped my flip-flop on the optometrist´s sign below on the first floor. So I bent a wire hanger and tied it to our very long clothes line and I got to play flip flop fishing before going to bed which is interesting at that height with a lot of wind. And I went on two exchanges (weird english missionary words!) this week with Elder Brewer from Segovia and one of our beloved zone leaders from Madrid named Elder Iñiguez. And being near the end of the transfer the number of inside jokes increases daily, but they would take too long to explain. Anyways, this is plenty long. See you later! I love you all!

.Elder Morgan

*It's a quote from "The Emperor's New Groove."

Elder Morgan apparently forgot to tell the English family he was bringing a family of four investigators. This is his apology.

Monday, July 7, 2014


I haven´t had a p-day with nothing in a long time. It´s always been a trip or sports or something else that takes up most of the day. Today we are just cruising at our own pace and I have plenty of time to write. I´ve sort of followed the pattern of the the New Testament books by getting smaller and smaller. Well, here´s Revelations! Although not as profound, confusing, or prophetic. 

Well, in a year from now I will have left Spain and be on my home. AAAHHH! That´s scary. It was just yesterday that we were talking in the MTC about how the World Cup would be our halfway point. My mind is so confused. It seems like time doesn´t exist. If I ever talk about things that I happened before the mission I don´t account for the time on the mission and talk like today is the first day of the mission. It's also amazing to be hitting my year IN the mission on the 24th. 

Well the 4th of July was exciting but not. I made a boss American breakfast of lots of eggs and well cooked bacon and toast and a giant box (They come in 1 liter man-juice-box sizes here) of orange juice. We went up to the other elder´s piso because they had an American flag drawn on their whiteboard and we sang the Star-Spangled Banner loud and proud which was followed by the pledge of allegiance. For lunch we ate at a American styled restaurant called Foster´s Hollywood. Then we happened to pass by the English Family´s house and reminded them what day it is. And by the way, they want me to correct my past sins of calling them a Scottish family. They want to be called English even though they´re all a mix of Scottish, English, and Spanish. And we happened to find 8 sparklers in our closet and we lit those to finish off the day. It was all little things but we loved it.

I tried to make poppyseed bread! So, there were two problems. One, the recipe I have from home says to add 1/2 tsp. of each extract to the glaze which made it brown and taste like extract without sugar. Maybe also because the almond extract comes in 2 mL vials so it might be more powerful (Could you research that for me? They´re made by Dr. Oetker). And the ovens here cooked it weird so the knife came out clean when it was "done" but it was still pretty uncooked in some parts. But the second loaf came out partially edible and I didn´t add the extracts for that one. :)

So I had another boss European moment this week. There´s an open air market for fruit and clothing and jazz that fills the plaza here twice a week. So I went and bought peaches the old school way from a man that owned a fruit stand with coins from my coin pouch. I felt like a boss. And I bought a yierbabuena (No idea what the translation is. It´s kind of like mint) plant to grow for making herbal tea that tastes really good. So far it´s alive. On the way back from buying it some man snuck up behind me, rubbed his fingers on the the leaves, and told me that it was good and kept on turning around after walking away to give me a thumbs up. Random. 

Oh dang straight I´ve taught a class, but only English class. Our ward´s pretty solid. We´re getting a chapel in the near future, but that´s probably after I leave. But they don´t have us do much in church. In Segovia they only have 20 people so the missionaries have to do the sacrament and teach every once in a while. But so far it´s just been wards for me. Maybe later I´ll be in the branches in the north. Who knows. I´ve just given up on trying to guess. Transfers are so random, I might just get sent to Portugal.

That´s nuts to hear about all the mission calls. It´s so cool! I was happy to see people on that list you sent. Although that does mean I´ll be pretty lonely when I get back friends-wise. But it´s worth it. I´m so excited to talk to them after our missions.

Nevermind, that wasn´t Revelations status but I´ll finish the other chapters later. I love you all!

Os quiero!
-Elder Morgan the Younger