Wow these past few days have been crazy!! Saturday was pretty hard to leave the MTC. I learned to LOVE that place and it was actually hard to leave. I grew comfortable there and learned to love the teachers and the routine and the other missionaries. Well, I eventually had to go, and so I departed at 5am in the morning and then left for the SLC airport. When I got there I rushed through security so I could get a nice meal and what not, and so I got my first meal in months: Burger King breakfast, oh yeah.... that was delicious. I then boarded my flight to Dallas.
On the flight I was bombarded with attention and gifts haha. First, the flight attendent gave me free food and always specifically asked if I needed anything. Then the couple I met and sat next to on the plane at the very end of the flight stood up and extended a hand. As I went to go shake the man's hand he said, "Go do work out there son, we are proud of you." And then he handed me money! Haha. I tried to refuse but I was in the middle of the airplane and so I went with it, and got myself a nice meal at Dallas. I ate at what USAToday was, "The best place to eat at the Dallas airport" and went all out. Finally, on the flight from Dallas to Birmingham I met this airline attendent. She was really nice. Her son was currently on a mission and so came up to me and gave me water and food. It was really nice of her. When I landed in Birmingham I was met by a senior couple missionary and they took me out to Ruby Tuesday.
After dinner, we drove to the mission office - met with the President very briefly - and then were dropped off with a companionship. Right then they took me to an appointment with them in Spanish!! I was freaking out in my head but I finally calmed down and was able to share my testimony about the Atonement and talked to them briefly about principles. I thought I did not bad, and was surprised with myself. But then of course what happens? You get humbled....
Yesterday, I went to Spanish Branch Testimony Meeting was completely lost and what was going on. I didn't know what the members were saying. Afterwards, the Preisdent picked me up and we drove to my first real area which was like an hour away in... Tuscaloosa!!! I am in the heart of SEC country and can see the University of Alabama football stadium all the time!! It is awesome. Today, the president told my companion that he had a special assignment. He was oredered to 1) Take me to see the stadium and 2) Take me to the best BBQ place in town.
Anyways, yesterday we went out tracting and I was just not there mentally. I kinda understood like 90% of what was being said, but I myself couldnt speak. I was like a deer in the headlights. It was so bad. Then we tracted into this one guy standing outside of a church crying. He was getting divorced and was sad. We talked to him for like an hour! Well.... my comp talked to him for about an hour. Yesterday was pretty hard on my morale. I feel like I don't know as much Spanish as I thought I did, and it is hard. Plus, I am starting to feel the homesickness and then on top of it all I am in a trio! I feel like I am just the third wheel on a date every appointment, and that I am more of a burden. Plus, since I am a visa waiter it is hard to tell how long I will actually be here. It is all kind of scary, and I am hoping it gets better in the next week! I understand it is going to be hard, but I just hope, that I personally, can understand what is going on more. I am trying really hard though. Anyways, I just wanted everyone to know that I am alive in Alabama and trying to cope with this new culture. There are seriously waffle houses every block, it is insane! Alright, well I hope to hear from you all soon!! Thanks again for all the support!!
Elder Steven Card