Monday, November 24, 2014

A Funeral and Finnish Food

Before I forget to mention it, it was my companion´s birthday a little while ago. There wasn´t much of a celebration besides a dinner and packages from his family which were basically all filled with food. So we all got to try tons of Finnish food. I will now list what I have now tried:

Salmiakki: It´s salty licorice-ish thing. It´s gross. Sorry Finland
Läkerol: Swedish candy with no sugar. Also not my thing.
Sulatejuusto (Brand name Koskenlaskija. It´s means someone who goes down rivers. There´s a picture of a guy riding a log with a log spear): and it´s like a spreadable cheese.
Sisu (Looks like Gifu. Old alphabet!): It´s "fresh" licorice. Very minty.
Leijona: Tar licorice. Tastes like smoke and mint. So good!
Ruis Sipsi: Rye chip scoops
Hapankorpu: Crisp rectangles of sour rye
Fazerina: Cocao oreos with chocolate truffle/orange filling
Piparkakku: Gingerbread cookies
And the stuff without names was a chocolate of the brand Karl Fazer and some "cream cheese" jazz. One flavor was smoked reindeer and the other was shrimp.

Ya, it was quite the taste testing spree and now you can see how awfully long most words are. Whenever I see his emails the average word length is like 8 letters.

There are now posters everywhere for "Sinsajo Parte 1" which is Mockingjay part 1. I looked up the word because it didn´t look familiar and they sometimes change the titles but it is literally a mixture of the words for mockingbird (sinsonte) and jay (arrandajo). Clever Spaniards. That will be later for me.

We had a gigantor zone conference on Thursday. All of Madrid was in one conference. More than 100 missionaries I think. Most people thought that it was for iPads, and so did I until I talked with the office elders and they told me it was just for convenience. Usually we have like 3 or 2 conferences. Although President Jackson tried to trick us by saying, "Well, I know you all have been waiting for this day for a while. After the meeting ends, we will all go to the cultural center and there you will find boxes of... pass along cards!" Cruel man. Not yet. Hopefully later. 

Well I have to go. It´s one of those more busy days. Partially because we had a pre-farewell party for a sister missionary. An elder made a gravestone cake with a candelabra and grave had her name on it. I don´t know if you all know that we refer to starting the mission as "birth" and ending as "death" and our training is "growing up" and so on and so forth. It´s very odd but we love it.

Love you all! Gotta go!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan

Monday, November 17, 2014

Water and Fire

Yes, we did indeed have a baptism! I´m very happy! It´s been a while. I didn´t want to mention it in case the baptism didn´t happen. Her name is Ana. She´s half Paraguayan and half Italian. She is in her 50´s and is just too sweet. When we met her she only said thanks in her prayers and nothing else because she thought it was too much to ask anything. She bought a white dress even before she tried on clothing for the baptism in case there wasn´t any and she brought food to her own baptism. When we asked her to give up coffee she started the very next day and has continued faithful. And there are many more wonderful things she did. She was just so prepared and wonderful. We love her so much! She wasn´t nervous at all in the baptism (she fasted). The water was cold as heck on the bottom and hot on top (I did the baptism) so it was interesting. And we had a sister missionary sing for a musical number and she´s a really good singer. Her career plan is to "become famous". Nothing else. But she sings fantastically so it might happen. But it was just a wonderful day. She´s so happy and so are we.

The cold doesn´t bother me except for right when I wake up. Showers are my cup of coffee in the morning. Before them I am basically dead and after I feel much better. So the heater was mostly for that. And for my cold companion.

We made chestnuts, but not over an open fire, but in a closed oven. They turned out wonderful anyways. We´ve eaten like 60 chestnuts each since the last email. We have it down now. They´re also pretty dang cheap here. Much cheaper than buying them off street vendors as well.

Well I was very confused who this "Natalie" character was for a bit. I was thinking Natalie from Indiana/Canada. But then I realized once you said girlfriend. I think I read her name once. And me and her are not exactly on a first name basis yet which is normal considering that we have never even talked or seen each other. For all I know, she could be the result of mutual planning and a bit of photoshop. Although for all she knows, I could be the same. Weird. Well, Hi Natalie! Treat my brother well. If you stick around long enough we can see each other.

All is well here. Our district is getting along too well. We´re still happy about Ana and it looks like a good week. And it´s getting cold! Yay! Love you all!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan the Younger

Monday, November 10, 2014

Double Temple Trip!

I went to two temples! The first one is of our church. On completely, absolutely, unrelated news, we got to see a certain different video around the same time with a certain bald friend--to specify which video we saw--and Joseph Smith as one of the actors. It was so cool! I liked many parts of it more but a few parts still less. A certain blonde woman had weird acting including a crying/smiling combo. But I like it better overall that the other new one we´ve seen. I still miss the old one.

The other temple was gifted to a Spanish king from some ruler of Egypt, so there´s a random part with a random little Egyptian temple in the middle. I took pictures but they´re not with me currently. It´s called the Temple of Debod, if I am correct. It´s quite confusing but it was fun.

On Sunday we just had the primary program. Oh. My. Goodness. Too adorable. It´s basically just like the ones at home but with Spanish. Kids can´t sit still or sit in their chairs. They try to make a break for it to their parents and sometimes they make it only to be carried back. They wave to their family and cry and scream. The patient shepherds that are the primary teachers try to hold the little flock on the stand. The big kids get the longer parts and the smaller ones get like one line. And they are super cute as well. The youngest was the ward mission leader´s daughter who is American and his daughter is 20 months old I believe. It was so cute because her mom whispered it to her so in her tiny voice she whispered one word at a time, "Yo... sé... que... Dios... me... ama." (I know God loves me) Or at least that´s what it sounded most like. There were many Aww´s that day.

Well about the mission work. I feel like it´s people´s personal lives and I feel weird just proclaiming to all nations what is going on in their lives. I know you guys want to hear but I don´t know what to do. Maybe after the mission in person I can talk about people. It´s in my journal and my mind. I´ll just say it´s going well here and I´ll tell you if anything big happens. But yes, we do find many daily miracles and subtley help the work and us along.

We found the switch for our heaters so now we sleep well. It´s reaching freezing now, I think. Even though I wear a sweater people still ask how I am still alive basically. Poor little cold Latinos and Spaniards. 

And on a random note, this district is full of movie quoters and the amount of daily quotes are escalating ridiculously. They´re now in normal conversation.

Today we´re going to my old home of Torrejón de Ardoz to visit some members. I´m so excited! Thus I am writing so early. If anyone´s on the computer late on Sunday night they might get to read this a day early. It´s still weird that it´s Sunday there. 

Umm... not much else. Love you all!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan the Younger

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Lead Us Not into Temptation..."

Well the Christmas food has come to the stores. I may die. It´s all delicious extremely unhealthy food. It´s so hard. I may have mentioned these last here but here are the main ones. Polvorones are like super dang powdery shortbread cookies that come in a bajillion flavors. Panettone is a giant bread, muffin thing that´s like a foot high and a foot wide and usually filled with orange bits and raisins or chocolate bits although they just released some with chocolate cream inside--that´s so evil. And there´s turrón which is just a candy bar thingamajig that has no equivalent in the states. It´s just... turrón. It´s good.

Yes, we made pumpkins. It was beautiful. We didn´t put candles inside them and nature put it´s own decoration. Mold. It was like black and white spider webs were falling from the top. And it all happened the same day for everyone almost instantly. But we had a nice little Halloween party on Saturday. There was food and games and music and all that jazz. Like always, the Filipinos arrived on time with tons of food and all the Latinos arrived very late but brought most of the people and got the party going.

And I saw a little "gas station" for electric cars. It was a parking spot next to a special charging booth and I just felt very futuristic seeing that. Someday there might be many more here.

And this week was pretty scary for our phone. It suffered some great falls, but like always, Nokia will persevere and it´s still indestructable. 

Umm.. it´s kind of an uneventful email, but that´s all there really was out of the ordinary. Oh, and I´m on my way to getting my second year of residency so I am no longer illegal. Take that, police. Nothing else. Love you all!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan the Younger