Thursday, June 24, 2010

Madrid SPAIN MTC 06/24/2010

Dear Family,
Yeah, we got to Atlanta Georgia on time and then waited for the employees to "clean out the plane". So two hours after that we left. I couldn´t sleep and was super bored. I went to bed last night at 7pm and woke up exactly at 3am. My internal clock only let me have 8 hours. So i just got to be bored until 6.

In Provo MTC, missionaries are always ready to leave the place. First of all, it's very crowded - there are like 1000s of missionaries (the full capacity is about 4000) and second, we have so many little rules and procedures to follow and the staff members just cram so much in a short period of time. Here in Madrid MTC, it feels like it's more personal.

There are 3 main buildings: The temple, the stake center and a really big building that includes a hotel, living space for temple missionaries, a cafieteria and it comes with an underground parking lot.
The top 3 stories are the MTC with class-rooms, Sacrament Meeting room, living spaces/laundry room, and the dinging room-piano.
It's so much nicer than having to run everywhere and having every second dictated. It's more personal and intimate here. So much nicer!!!

The showers and the food in Provo were OK but over here they are spacious and quality. We do have 2 Gourmet chefs and they make us all sorts of food. I have hated all the fruits I´ve eaten so far. The yougurt has no sugar already in it, the meat is different but super tasty, we get huge dishes of different things... like yesterday was chinese fried rice with shrimp, chicken, pork chops, and a whole lot of french fries. We get continental breakfast, which is great. We have all sorts of juices, a huge bucket of nutella, and all sorts of pastries I´ve never even tried or heard of. I like the crossant filled with nutella.

We currently have like 15 missionaries here. Including the 6 that arrived yesterday. Elder fuergonson (spelled wrong) was my travel companion, and Elder Macarthus(barely resembles his real name) was our honorary trio member cause he had no companion.

Elder Fuergonsen said we might go directly into the field cuz his companion who left the Provo MTC on time, came here 2 weeks then was sent directly into the field in Malaga.After our first orientation, the MTC director took Elder Fuergonson into his office and explained to him that his Povo MTC companion (mentionned above) left Malaga that morning and took a bus to the Madrid airport to go home cuz he was tired of being a missionary! So we hopped in the van to go look for him at the airport to convince him not to leave (since elder Fuergonson and him were buds, we were hoping it will help to convince him to stay). Luckily the missionary returned to the MTC. Now I don't have to be in a trio.

In provo we're not allowed to leave the campus and we had specific/assigned places to do every activity. Here, the town is our campus. For gym we have the option of going to the park on the right, or the one on the left, or the huge track across the street or whatever we want. We went to a park about 2 blocks away that had ping pong tables and an amphitheater with a soccer field. it was a ghetto with tons of graffiti, (the whole city is) but it was really fun. We played with local little kids and they were better than any of us and they were like 9.

The whole city has really good publlic transportation, with entrances to the underground train everywhere and many busses on the same street as us. It's really an awesome city wth everything really close. It's got a ton of people everywhere, not as much walking the streets of New-York but a lot. They drive on the right side of the road, but they drive super fast and their roads are super tiny. The cars are all dinged on the bumpers and sides just like in Paris-FRANCE. The weather they say was unusally hot, but it felt exactly like a hot day in SLC. It will probably be a ton more humid in the city of Seville.

The consulate said we were extremely lucky to get our visas when we did. (well not the consulate, he´s on a huge vacation but his wife.) She said that it used to take 8 to 9 months, cause all the visas would go to LA and they´d sit on somebody´s desk until they decide they are bored enough to actually do it. When Spain gets the Visas it signs and returns them within about 5 business days. The breakdown is with the intern at LA. It's not as bad as it used to be because of the new Utah consulate, but the person in LA just takes a long time I suppose.

We get an hour of email here at the Madrid MTC, and we don´t have a set time on p-day where we´re required to do it. We can do it any time of the day that's not in conflict with studies. My companion, Elder Marchiello (the same roommate who left last week) and I are going to go all over madrid for our p-day. We´re going to run some errands such as haircut, shopping then other stuff.

I´m not allowed to check out the blog. I mean these computers don´t have the same restrictions as Provo (in Provo there is absolutely no way to go into a new page and it boots you off after 30 min) but here, we have free reign but I probably shouldn´t.

I was suprised that our mission president and all the staff speak as much english as possible. The staff don´t really know or speak that much english but they try. In Provo we got punished for speaking english.

Well, bye for now! Elder Bennett.

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