We are on our 4th flight itinerary since last October. If all goes well, we meet with the Spanish Consul tomorrow morning at 10:30 and finally get our visas and passports. Church travel has booked us on a flight to Atlanta Friday morning and after a 4 hour layover, on straight to Madrid.
When one takes a minute to reflect on all the events that have occurred in our life since October it's easy to see this is the right time for us to be leaving for Spain. The greatest thing is our improved Spanish. And to be able to attend a family funeral (Carol DuBriell) and another of a close friend (Joyce Frederickson). To be able to participate with the little Spanish Branch in Draper during their Christmas program and other holiday events and get to know them better. To hear some life-changing devotional talks here at the MTC, among which were seminal talks by Elder Holland and Elder Bednar. To be here at the same time as a close sister friend and offer some needed comfort. And then to be able to say goodbye to so many wonderful people, once, twice, ten or maybe even 20 times! Even when we had to leave our home when the Hofs moved in was not so bad. Being housed at the Provo Marriott is very nice. And we DO NOT miss the daily commute from Sandy . Clean towels and sheets every day; the room is clean and picked up by someone else. I'm going to miss it.
But every day I look at the weather in Madrid and a little part of me aches that I'm not there. We've just lived through one of the coldest Januarys on record in Salt Lake City. The average monthly HIGH has been 24 degrees, and it has averaged around 0 degrees overnight nearly all month. But the real bummer has been the "sludge" we have had to breathe in the never-ending inversion layer. Meantime the average daily temperature in Madrid has been around 48-49 with overnight lows around 32-33. That translates to a 25 degree swing during the days and a 30 degree swing during the nights. I am SO looking forward to Madrid!