Thursday, January 23, 2014

 Playing Futsal - It doesn't get better than this!
 On the street in Madrid
View of the Madrid temple from the CCM

Week 2

Buenos Dias Everybody!
This past week has been fantastic!!  I am just loving it here in Madrid! Last P-Day we went to see downtown Madrid.  We rode the Metro (Subway) in to town and we got to walk around the town.  Madrid is such an amzing city!  We got to go inside the giant cathedral, and got to meet a preist and he was super friendly and his English was fantastic!  Right next to the Cathedral was the Royal Palace which was just massive!  It was so cool to see!!
On Saturday we got to go to the park and try to get contacts and place copies of the Book of Mormon.  This week was hard.  I was paired with Elder Kyle Gill from Kaysville, UT and we were both really nervous.  We ended up getting lucky and finding a pair of girls from Texas who spoke English.  So we proceeded to unload basically all of our English Pamphlets on them!  I hope they read them and contact the missionaries while here, but if not there is a quote here in the CCM that reads, "Most people require 7 missionary encounters before they will start taking discussions."  Hopefully we were one of those encounters!
On Sunday we had meetings as usual, but on Monday we had a big sending off Dominos Pizza party for the Sitteruds (The MTC President and his wife) and the Portugese Elders.  It was a taste of home that I really enjoyed!!  Whilst eating our pizza, Elder Stapleton and I got talking about life in Utah.  Just a refresher, Elder Stapleton is from Orange County, California and is a year ahead of me in school so has already attended BYU for two semesters.  He is also in the Kilmer's ward for my mother´s reference.  Anyway we were talking about how I played soccer for Lehi High School, and he said, "Lehi High School, huh?  Did you happen to know a girl named Amanda..." he then paused with a questioning tone.  "McHenry?" I asked.  He then got this look of pure astonishment and proceeded to tell me that he had dated her while he was at BYU!!!  In fact, come to find out, he was dating her WHILE SHE WAS SITTING BEHIND ME IN MY ENGLISH CLASS!!!!  This world is too small!! It made me laugh pretty hard!
On Tuesday the Sitteruds and Portugese left for home and their respective missions.  We gave the Portugese Elders hugs, and sister a handshake and then returned to class rather sad.  My district (all 3 of us) and I then had to teach an "investigator" we were teaching her and were planing to talk about the Plan of Salvation and then out of the blue the question came, "Why do you not drink wine when taking the Sacrament?"  All three of us looked like deer in the headlights.  Suddenly we were saved when there was a knock on the door saying that the Sitteruds were leaving.  All the missionaries filed out into the hallway and we sang a capella God Be With You Til We Meet Again in Spanish and man I teared up and felt the Spirit so strongly.  Hymns bring the spirit so much and we couldn't even understand what we were saying!  I love hymns!!
Yesterday we went to class as normal and some new Russian Speaking Missionaries got here!  It'll be cool to get to know them better as time goes by!  One of my favorite things we get to do here is play soccer about 4 times a week!!  On Wednesday we got to the court and it was taken so we ran a little farther down the road to ANOTHER FUTSAL COURT!!  It was so cool!
Concerning the Language.  Basically the only thing I trust myself to do in our lessons is bear my testimony in Spanish.  Which as far as things I could know how to say in Spanish that's a pretty good one!  I love all of the Elders and Sisters here and they all have such strong testimonies.  They help strengthen mine.  Today we are going to tour the Santiago Bernebeu (the Real Madrid Soccer Stadium) so I've got to go!  I love you all!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
P.S.  Sorry for any mistakes with my English it is getting worse.  I have to use very easy words to spell when writing now...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tikal with his companion in the park
Contacting potential investigators in Madrid's central park

Singing with the other MTC missionaries at the Madrid Temple

Friday, January 17, 2014

Week 1 - My First Contact

First off I would like to say that I am typing all of this on a Spanish keyboard, covered with Russian letters...and my that my English is kind of starting to get worse. 
Ok WOW!!!  Life in the MTC is so fantastic here in Madrid!!  I love everything about it and everyone in it!  It is so amazing just being in Spain, let alone the fact that I get to preach the gospel in España!!  Something unique about the Madrid MTC is that on Saturdays we get to go to the GIANT park in the middle of Madrid and try to contact people, give out pass a long cards, and place copies of El Libro de Mormon!  Such an amazing experience!!!
Ok now for the particulars.  For the first two and a half days in the MTC, I didn´t have a companion because Elder Sadler's flight got cancelled.  So I was in a threesme with Elder Ward and Elder Stapleton who are our Zone Leaders.  I got to be companions with Elder Stapleton in the Parke on Saturday.  Anyway my companion Elder Sadler is great!!  He has a fantastic testimony and can do a really accurate and creepy Mickey Mouse voice imitation... I am a District President over the "Alma" District, which is just myself, Elder Sadler, and Hermana Costagliola (Coast-a-lee-o-la) from Italy.  My district is the "Advanced" spanish district, and it is super hard because all of the teachers talk only in Spanish!  I have already learned so much from one week here!!  It is insane!
In my room we have 5 Elders, My self and Elder Sadler, and a threesome of Elders Ward, Nickerl, and Stapleton.  They are so fantastic!!  Elder Stapleton actually lives in the Kilmers ward!! Its crazy how small this world seems at times!  One of my best experiences here so far was getting contact information from a family on the Metro with Elder Stapleton on the way to the Park!  It was the first person we had every tried to even talk to and we (in our extremely broken Spanish) somehow managed to get their contact information!  It was a huge reminder for me that it sure isn't me teaching about the gospel, its the Lord.
Another great experience I had, was going through the Madrid temple.  It is now my favorite temple.  I say that because, one: It´s in Spain, two: It is the most beautiful temple I have ever been in, and three: because of the most amazing feeling I got there.  I love having a temple so close and everytime I go up the stairs from my classes at night to my room, I walk by a window that you can see the temple all lit up through!  It is so beautiful! 
Ok, a less spiritual thing now, almost every day here we have time for actividad física (physical activities) and almost everytime we go jog to this park in Madrid where there is this dug down into the ground, outdoor, ghetto, grafiti everywhere, FUTSAL COURT!!!!  It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!!! It makes me giddy everytime I see it!!  It is so great!!!!  All of the teachers who come play with us are SO good, and all of the other missionaries are actually getting better, but it is a dream come true!! I don't have a picture but I will try to get one and send it next week!
Also in the MTC we have a couple Portugese elders and a sister!  It is so cool, only one speaks english and the others we do a bunch of charades to figure out what they are saying!! Its awesome, also they are really good at soccer!!
Thank you everyone for all of the little sticky notes, they are so great to find throughout all of my luggage and I'm sure I haven't found them all! It reminds me of how much I love each of you! 
Also the food here is great!  I love it, we eat a lot of meat and potatoes here!  But most of all the melon here is divine.  It is like honeydew on steriods!!
Today we get to tour Madrid!  I may even get to see the Real Madrid Stadium, which would be awesome!  It is so great to hear from you all and I love reading your emails. 
In regard to Letters, I currently don´t have any stamps or envelopes but I'm working on that, give me some time.
I hope you all have had a good week, because I sure have!!
Con amor,
Elder Jonson
PS I'm positive I've missed talking about some stuff so if you have any questions feel free to email or write me.  :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week 0: I made it!!

Just writing this email to say I made it to the MTC, sorry for not calling in Paris, but I really did not have time.  Notice I am not using contractions, because I can not figure out how to use the apostrophe on this Spanish keyboard...ah well.  All the buildings here in Spain seem to be red, was my first observation.  I am tired and hungry, but they are going to feed us and then we are going to go play sports to stay awake.  I am going to sleep so well tonight! Flight was really long, and I got very little sleep.  Its kind of daunting, there is a timer counting down from one hour in the top right corner of the page.  I am going to go meet with the mission president now.  I will email back as soon as I can!
Love you all!
Elder Jonson
P.S.  All of the Elders I traveled with are awesome!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

With President Lyman and Bishop Moss prior to being set apart as an Elder.

Tikal took the required map photo at the Provo MTC when he was there to meet with the Spanish Consul.