Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spain at Last


Well i have forgetten pretty much all that has happened before thursday. thursday my travel group went to the spanish consolate to receive our visas. the spanish consul teaches at uvu so we met him there. is was really awkward walking through uvu because we got the oddest looks. while talking to the consul, he mentioned us leaving the next day, which is odd becasue we were supposed to leave tuesday. when we got back to the mtc, the travel office informed us that we were indeed leaving the next day. i had to hurridly pack and get ready. luckily i got terra´s cookies (which are delicious!). unfortunately i left my pillowcase from the lorain yw in my room. í´d very much like to get the back somehow.

we left provo bright and early in the morning. while waiting for our plane at the slc airport, we were like superstars. everyone kept waving and asking us where we were going. one couple even gave another elder and me a cinnamon roll. it was awesome. we flew to jfk where we had a 2 hr layover. and then we were off to spain. on the plane i had just sat down, when a spanish woman approached me. i had NO clue what she said and gave her a blank stare. she pointed at my nametag and said "¿hable español?" to which i feebly replied "un poco." luckily her husband knew some english between his broken english and my broken spanish we were able to communicate and ended up switching seats, which was nice because i ended up sitting closer to two of the other missionaries.

This morning at about 7:00 am in madrid, 1:00 am eastern and 11:00 pm mountain, we landed in madrid! It has been quite crazy. it´s so weird knowing i´m in spain, in europe. i don´t think it´s really sunk in yet. we got to the airport and had to wait quite a bit for our ride. as group travel leader, i was about to withdraw some euros from the atm to call the madrid mtc when the mtc president and director finally arrived. they are both really nice. we went straight to the madrid mtc, which really is right next door to the madrid temple. we were supposed to go to a park to proselyte this morning. however, it has been raining all day. so instead we got to take a much needed nap. although, the nap made me more tired than i already was. after the nap we ate lunch. they spanish cooks insist you take everything and then yell at you if you don´t eat everything. fortunately the food was all really good, however i may gain a few pounds here. after lunch we got to go to a session in the madrid temple. it was so awesome! the entire thing was in spanish of course. they gave us headphones with english to listen to, but most of the time i kept the volume on low and listened to the spanish. i could follow pretty well, but i don´t know if that means my spanish is good or if i just know the session really well.

the mtc is really cool. it´s really laid back, which is kind of sketchy at times. but it´s also really nice too. there aren´t many missionaries here at all. those of us arriving today probably doubled the numbers. there are now 3 sisters, 7 spanish-learning elders, 1 spanish elder learning english, and several italian elders serving in italy. the mtc is only a few floors of the building. it´s so weird being here after being in the huge provo mtc. the rooms are really nice. the bunks are wooden and they have REAL mattresses. the showers are also really nice, although i haven´t figured out yet how to get hot water. i love it here! district 16F in provo mtc would totally love it here too!

here is my schedule for the week. today we´re going to eat dinner and then go to bed. tomorrow is church. and i´m not sure what else we´re doing tomorrow. monday, we´re taking care of residency paperwork, etc. and then tuesday (october 12), we take a train to barcelona. yeah that´s right, i enter the field on tuesday! i´m super stoked!!! although i´m also freaking out about entering the mission field a week early.

Well i suppose that´s it for today. I do not know when my P-day will be in barcelona, entonces i do not know when my next email and letters will be sent out. Although apparently we can email anyday here in the mtc so i may send another one out before leaving. ¡Hasta luego!

Elder Buchkovich

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