Today is the last day for all of the missionaries currently in the Madrid, Spain MTC. Tomorrow they all ship out for their various assignments in the 3 different missions in Spain, Barcelona, Malaga and Madrid. For a few hours on Tuesday the MTC will be completely empty of missionaries before the first tidal wave of the "new" era of missionary work arrives. 55 missionaries arrive Wednesday, which will be the smallest amount we have in the MTC for the rest of this year. In a few more weeks, we will be closer to 100 missionaries where we will stay. The tricky part is that the MTC was only built to accommodate 72 missionaries, maximum. We'll learn how to make it work, like where they are going to sleep, how they will have shower and toilet facilities, when and where they will eat, where we will hold classes and what we will do about Sunday Services.
To help in this the Brethren of the Area Authority in Frankfurt, Germany have called another counselor in the Mission Presidency, so now there is a full Presidency with President Sitterud, me as First Counselor and Brother Javier Benito as Second Counselor. Brother Benito is an awesome convert to the Church, a native of Spain, whose wife, also a convert, is from England.
Our current assignments in the mission are:
1. Counselor in Mission Presidency of the Madrid MTC (Bruce), and Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency of the Madrid MTC (Vivienne),
2. Advisors to the Young Single Adults of the Madrid Spain Central Stake (a few hundred of them scattered around Madrid and neighboring cities)
3. Advisors to the Madrid Institute located on "Temple Square" in Madrid. Kids come from all over to the to Institute. They have classes in the evenings Tuesday thru Friday. Brother Faustino Lopez is the instructor. He's an Area Seventy and a wonderful man. We have "Family Home Evening" every Monday night at the Institute with a lesson and then refreshments (cooked and prepared by Vivienne; you can't believe how these kids love to eat her food) and an activity on Fridays after classes which again includes lots of refreshments. If any of you have any great recipes for treats made with ingredients available in Spain we would love them. We had no idea we would be spending so much of our time on our mission fixing food for young adults, but we love it.
4. Temple workers on Thursdays for 1/2 day.
Other than that we really don't have a lot to do........LOL.
Occasionally we find time to clean our apartment and do our laundry (which, without a dryer is a real adventure) and do the grocery shopping. We carry our groceries from the store to our apartment in this little cart. Everyone has one. It holds about 5 days worth of food, but that's all that will fit in out tiny kitchen anyway, and since it's not possible to physically carry any more than that, we go shopping a couple of times a week, rain, wind or whatever. We bought a lovely purple one. KareBear, you would like it:
Our frig after shopping today.
Hey, there's veggies in the veggie tray; it's not just soda pop, really.
Below I'm fulfilling my promise to carry Vivienne's "Little Black Bag" of medical supplies on our misson. We had to go help one of the sisters with a problem. I look good as a nurse's assistant, don't you think?
Here's our whole group of missionaries last Sunday singing in the early evening on the steps from the Temple going onto the public sidewalk. People stop and listen as we sing; it's fun and the missionaries love getting outside on Sunday when they sit in so many meetings. We have music conducting class with them, we teach them (some of them) how to sing and then we go outside and practice on the people!
Below, left to right, are Sisters Peterson (from Sweden going to Barcelona Mission), Norton (from Colorado going to Madrid Mission) and Seastrand (from Salt Lake, also going to Madrid Mission)
Some Institute Young Adults watching a movie last Friday. They went through about 5 dozen cookies and 9 bags of popcorn
We plan on doing a little site seeing around Madrid tomorrow after the missionaries leave and before the tsunami of missionary arrivals starts on Wednesday. So maybe next time I'll have pictures of some of the more "touristy" things in Madrid.
Saludos a todos!