Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring Changes in Lleida


The weather is already changing to spring! It has been about a comfortable 15 degrees or so celsius. And it´s only Febrero!

Today is transfers. Can you believe it?! Another six weeks passed! Time has just been flying by! Well I supposed I will cut to the chase. I am staying here in Lleida. However this morning, we dropped Elder Plaskett off at the train station. His new area is Granollers near Barcelona. It was sad seing him go. We have been doing so well together the past few weeks! But I look forward to a new companionship. I have decided that each new companionship is a new learning experience. In an hour we have to go drop off Elder Da Silva at the train station. He is going to serve in Bilboa in a tripanionship with the zone leaders there. (For anyone who hasn´t served a mission, mission presidents usually only ever do that for disciplinary actions). Elder Parrish is staying here. We will pick up our new companions when we drop Elder Da Silva off. Elder Parrish´s new companion is Elder Hughes. He was the first Barcelona missionary that I met (other than the ones I came in with). We met him on the train on our way from Madrid to Barcelona back in October....that seems like forever ago! However, I don´t know him too well. And my new companion is.....Elder Shields from Valencia! What are the chances of that?! I am super excited. It will be interesting since he has only one more transfer than me. But I am confident we will do well. Especially since the area is on fire right now!

Anyway so this week was really nice! We had another great week. It is a goal in the mission to get at least 20 lessons in a week. Here in Spain that can be difficult. Three weeks ago, Elder Plaskett and I accomplished that goal. Elder Plaskett said that would be cool if we ended the last 3 weeks of the transfer with 20 or more lessons per week. Being typical, pessimistic me, I laughed at him in my mind. BUT.... the first week we got 22, then our super good week we got 23, and last week we got 21! We did it! This week Elder Shields and I are on pace for 20 again! It is so much fun teaching people the Gospel and seeing them change for the better! It´s even more fun when you´re working really hard!

We also finally had entrevistas con Presidente esta semana. I LOVE President Hinckley. I walked into the interview ready to just release all my frustrations about the other elders, etc. But the Spirit is so strong with him that I walked into his office and instantly felt at peace. Instead of spending the interview complaining and tattling about the other elders, I talked to him about things that will help me be better. It was a great interview. One of the questions I asked him for advice on is, "where do you draw the line between being a pushover and being humble?" he found this question to be funny, but gave me a great answer. When you are humble you still stand strong and defend yourself; however you do it quietly and lovingly/nonconfrontational. My interview with President Hinckley was very refreshing and encouraging. I am so grateful to have him as my mission president! We also had training by the ayudantes as we waited for interviews. It was also very good!

On a sadder note...Thursday night Elder Plaskett and I were on our way home. We had had a cita and were rushing to get home on time at exactly 10:30. We were walking through the playground across from our piso when we saw a lady leaning against a tree. She looked like a typical homeless lady so we paid now attention to her. However out of the corner of my eye I noticed blood. I stopped Elder Plaskett and we went back to try to help her. She was drunk and is homeless. Her face was covered in blood and her right leg was broken or something. Her friend´s piso was about a 30 minute walk away. We helped her to a bench and tried calling her friend to pick her up, but noone answered. We don´t have any money to give her or call a taxi. Eventually we had to leave her there. It was really sad. It was also really humbling to think about all the times I have complained about life. I am so lucky in my life. I was born into a family that has a comfortable living style and has the restored gospel! I am going to try to complain less often about my life.

Also our friend Geraldo is in the hospital. He is the father of several of the menos activo families we are working with. He is also a ward missionary and in my opinion is one of the best members in Lleida. He´s from Ecuador. He came to Spain for the free healthcare because he had cancer. On friday he went to the hospital for a fever and they kept him there to restart chemo. It really sad because he thinks he is dying. (he has hinted at it before and especially now. He told us that he has been reading Moroni 10.) The amazing thing is that he seems to not be afraid to die. I can tell he is worried about his family, but other than that he seems perfectly at peace. Geraldo is truly someone with great faith! Fortunately he returns home tomorrow.

Well that is all for this week. It has overall been a great week. I am excited to work with Elder Shields.
¡Hasta Luego!

Elder Buchkovich

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