Opening My Mission Call

Opening My Mission Call
August 16, 2010

Monday, December 19, 2011


Well, Elder Hall officially left and Elder Wells is officially here. Talk about a weird change. It's strange when you go from someone that was a great companion for 18 weeks to someone different. Everyone who comes in always wants to make a few changes and so I am trying to be patient haha. For example, first thing Elder Wells does is completely change the layout of the house. In fact, we are going to Ikea later today to buy more things haha. Also, I am doing P90x in the mornings with him, and I am learning to cook a bunch of different things. So maybe change is good... 

Other than that we are just working right along. It is weird to have to be the one to show him around. While driving around, I surprised myself. I don't know how I learned all of this stuff so fast. I hope that I don't get transferred too quickly because our area is super unique. We have a car because we have about 10 different pueblos that we visit. So not only do you need to learn the layout of one but 10 areas. It's difficult. I've been here for 18 weeks and I still don't know all of the areas, but I am excited to try and teach him around, there is a lot of cool stuff to see. He has opened up my eyes though to a lot of things, for example.... Ikea. I have never gone in my whole life in an Ikea, and we have one in our area. So we decided to go, just for the sake of going. I fell in love. Why don't we have one in Medford?? And the food!! Sure, it's not gourmet but it's super cheap, I loved it. 

This weekend is Christmas and so it's going to be a lot of fun. We only work til 6pm on Christmas Eve and then we get all of Sunday off. I think we are going to go to a BBQ on Saturday night, eat Christmas lunch with a member, and then go to Sevilla and just spend good ole quality time with the other missionaries. I don't know what I am going to do yet for Christmas morning (well, open presents). Tomorrow we have a special zone conference and so I am excited for that as well. I get to see a lot of missionaries I haven't seen in months.

Church for us is only one hour and it's at noon, so the rest of the day will be relaxing. I'm not sure if we also will get to use the Internet on Monday since we are calling on Sunday, but if we don't, then you will know why I haven't written. The holidays here are fun, but not like home. They celebrate more the Three Kings and so it's still not as exciting. Plus, instead of having special sales all the time, Spain has reserved two times a year for Black Fridays. So basically that means though that prices are the same the rest of the year, so there isn't any cool Christmas sales or nothin. I need to wait for the Spain Black Friday (Rebajas) in January to get all the cool stuff I want. 

Well.... I hope that everyone has an AMAZING Christmas. I am super happy to be a missionary during Christmas. There are few things better. I just hope everyone knows that I am having a blast, and that I just love Spain so much! Sure, there is no snow and it's weird to think that in America everyone is just full of Christmas cheer and movies and all (And if you're not, you should be). Other than that I am just pumped. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thanks for all that you all do for me!

Elder Card

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Seven Stages of Grief

Yep... I felt those this week. Elder Hall is getting transferred!!! As soon as we got the call, I was devastated!!! Sure, we have been companions for 18 weeks, so we figured he was most likely going, but still. Actually, what made it worse was the way we found out. On Thursday, we were doing some good ole service at the farm of the Bishop. He has a nice little farm out in the country, so we went to help do so good ole work. Actually, it was really fun. He was making some new granite stairs for his front door and so we helped out with that. I felt like I was working on a temple, carving and chiseling away the granite stone. Very cool experience. Well, one of the other members of our missionary district called and told us that one of them was getting transferred! We didn't expect to receive calls on Thursday, and since President normally does calls at once, when we didn't receive a call for 5 hours, we assumed he was staying. So after that huge adrenalin rush, we all calmed down, and realized, look, 6 more weeks together as companions, and through the holidays! How awesome! Well... about 5 hours later, the zone leader called us and asked,
"Where is Elder Hall going?!?!" 
"What? What are you talking about?" I said.
"Yeah..... I already know his new companion......"
"Wait, you already know he is leaving?"
"Yeah.... oh.... you guys haven't been called yet...."

Then ten minutes later, Elder Hall's new companion calls...
"Hey can I talk to Elder Hall??"
I said, "Wait... Elder Peterson? Is that you? Are you going to be his new companion?"
"Yeah... oh... you guys haven't been called yet..."

Stage 1: Shock and Denial

So yeah.... we got two subliminal messages that Elder Hall was leaving, but we never actually got the call. Talk about weird emotions. You think everything is staying the same, so you calm down, then a huge rumor, and then we receive no call. So we actually never received a call on Thursday, but eventually, President did call us Friday morning. Stage 2: Pain and Guilt. Well, it was more painful that he was leaving. I don't know about the guilt. Stage 3: Anger and Bargaining: Angry in the fact that it was right before Christmas, and I was thinking about calling President to offer him a deal haha. Step 4: Depression. That one I can't deny. I won't say it was real full on depression, but I was pretty down that he was leaving. Stage 5: The Upward Turn: The last few days I have just been realizing, "it won't be that bad." Step 6: Reconstruction and Hope: The transition of information has already been all given to me. I know my role as district leader, and I know what to do in the area for the first few weeks since I will be the only one familiar with the area and people. Step 7: Acceptance. Well, I am glad to say that I came into today, Monday, with an acceptance and hope that it will all be alright. Plus, I am sure I will see Elder Hall again anyways and we will be in touch. Anyways.... long story short, my new companion is Elder Wells! He is actually really old in the mission. He is going to "die" in this area, because he only has three transfers left. So now I am district leader and I need to make sure he "dies honorably". We'll see how that goes.

It's great to have the change, but I'll admit.. I didn't want this change! I loved Elder Hall, and now I have to readjust again. I guess that is one thing that the mission teaches you: how to deal with change. It's good that we at least ended with out best week ever!

On Monday we went to the great Sevilla Cathedral again. Mostly because no one else in our district has gone so we went again. This time I paid the extra €3 and bought the audio guide. Well worth it if you ask me. Then on Tuesday we all went to Huelva. The whole zone to have a special district meeting and to have a cosecha. Meaning all of us go out in Huelva to do contacts for them. Can you imagine? 16 missionaries all contacting in one city at one time. Pretty epic. Then, we hit a gold mine of investigators. The sister of one of our active members is a less active. And all of her kids are non-members so we taught them. One of them already has a date to be baptized and the others are all progressing. Not to mention, we had a Christmas concert on Saturday and that was just awesome. Well, at least we ended with a bang! I will miss him a lot, but it's okay. That's the mission life. I am excited for the future. (Can you tell I am trying to convince myself?) Haha. Well, thanks for all the support! Pray that Elder Wells and I will get along great! I am excited for it! Thanks for everything!

Elder Card

PS That family in the picture is the American family in the ward. The best people ever!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving in Spain... pretty much non-existent haha. Actually, the truth is that, I am pretty sure the ward threw a Thanksgiving Day dinner for us just because we were all feeling the homesickness a bit. It was really nice of them. On Thursday, the ward got together and we had a big party about Thanksgiving. We explained a little bit about the culture and history of the holiday then we began! Well.... instead of jumping into the turkey we had chicken... and instead of mashed potatoes we had potato puré (yes, there is a difference). Other than that... it was pretty much Thanksgiving. We all had the family feel and it was a great time. Everyone was expected to bring a dish, and well... as missionaries..... we were running a little behind and we were busy, so we did the next logical thing.... Order pizza with chicken on it for our dish. Nothing better than having two Telepizza pizzas among the other homemade dishes. But it gets better.....
The next day we had to do a baptismal interview in Dos Hermanas so we go over and do the interview and everything goes great. Well... afterwards, the missionaries in Dos Herms invite us over to this American's house. He invited everyone over from the American Air Force base over to have Thanksgiving dinner and THAT was Thanksgiving! It felt just like home minus the family and friends. Other than that, REAL turkey, AMAZING Honey baked ham, creamy mashed potatoes. It was heaven. We were super fortunate. It was a lot better than some of the other food we had earlier in the week....
We were teaching some Africans and they invited us to eat at their house. They ate some stuff I have never seen before in my life. There was one thing in particular. It looked, tasted, and felt like raw dough. Just one giant plate of dough. What they would do is grab some in their hands, dip it into a soup and then swallow it whole. No chewing involved. Apparently, it's a popular dish in Nigeria.... Yeah.... It was a great week though. All of our investigators are slowly progressing. We are trying to be teaching more, and this week we get presentation time in our ward correlation to present our ward mission plan. Yeah... well, it was a way good week. Thanks for all of the love and support. If there is anything that I can do for anyone let me know!!
Stay in touch!
Elder Card