Thursday, June 27, 2013

Week 2 in Spain!

¡Hola de España!
Well I've made it through two weeks of the CCM so far and its going wonderful! I can't believe how much I have already learned and grown. Just as a quick update on my spanish skills, I now always pray in spanish, we sing all of our songs in spanish, I can actually have a decent conversation with people in spanish, and I have already given 13 half an hour lessons to our fake investigators purely in spanish! I have been learning a great deal of spanish, a lot about my self, and even more about the Gospel. My testimony continues to grow day after day while I am here. So as I said last time, we get to take trips on our P Days to cities in Madrid! Last week we went to El Sol which had some amazing historic buildings that we got to look at and tour around a little. Hopefully I'll be able to send some pictures of them to you. One funny thing that happened while I was there was that I wanted to buy a Real Madrid jersey but they were all something like 35 or 45 euros which is a dang good amount of american money. So I found these street vender guys that were selling them for 20 and talked him down to 15 in spanish which I was pretty happy about. Right after I bought it though, I heard the guys whispering something about ''la Policia'' and they hurriedly packed all of their stuff up and started walking away at the same time that a couple of police guys started walking up. I looked at my companion and just started laughing becuase I may or may not have just illegally purchased something haha. It was a great day though and I had a wonderful time.
This week has been amazing though. On saturday, we went to El Parque Retiro again and contacted a buuuunch of people sitting on benches and walking around! My companion was Elder Allen for the time we were there and although we didn't get a Book of Mormon handed out, we did get a referral! I had a blast and got to try out some more spanish which helped. 
I looove being here at the CCM because of the amount of time that we get to spend out side of the CCM building. Every day we get to go outside for actividad física and play futbol or volleyball which is great and then if we ever have free time and need to go buy something, we can walk across the street to the little tienda. It is so much fun though and the food, although we don't exactly know what it is, is really good. I remember just two days ago we had this soup stuff and as we were eating it I asked an Elder sitting across the table from me if he knew what the purple mystery meat was in our soup and he said he had no idea but it tasted great!! A lot of the meals we have here involve some sort of seafood which I love, but some of the other missionaries don't enjoy it as much. We dooo have peanut butter which is fantastic and there is always a big jar of nutella as well.
Something else really exciting happened just yesterday! So Elder Dunn and I walked down to our class and the President called us out into the hall. We were obviously super nervous because the President rarely does that. So we go out into the hall and the President introduced us to our new companion! He's straight out of some crazy city in Russia, and doesn't speak a lick of English or Spanish. I've never really felt a language barrier this big before but we get by with a lot of hand signals. His name is Elder Dolgolobov, I think, and he is super nice and is always really happy. The best thing about him is that he never gets frustrated without being able to talk to us, and he always just laughes it off. He has a translator and isn't with us when we are in class so its going good! Every time I hear him speak russian though it reminds me of how Ryan is learning and speaking that same language! I honestly have no idea how Ryan does it becuase it is soo hard! We've learned a few russian phrases and he has learned a little english which is great.
So today we finally got to go to the temple in Madrid!! I literally look out of the window every morning at it and now we finally got to go inside! It was absolutely amazing and it has really started my day off right. I can't wait to learn so much this week and I know that I have the Spirit working with me on my side. I have seen so many examples of the Spirit helping me learn and grow its absolutely amazing. My memory has never been better and I have learned more spanish within these first two weeks than I have in three years during high school. Coming on a mission has been the best decision I have made in my entire life. Its also the hardest thing I have done but I know that I can get through it and change the lives of the people that I teach. I am going to the famous Prado Museum today with the enitre CCM and its gunna be free which is great too! I am so lucky to have been called to this amazing country and could not have asked for a better place. I am loving all of your emails so keep sending them! The mail is pretty slow but it does come in around 7 days usually and I love getting letters! Thank you to those that have sent some. I love you guys with all my heart! Stay faithful in the Church.
 Love you guys!
Élder Franklyn

Thursday, June 20, 2013

 First week in Spain!:
Hey everyone!!!!!!

I am so happy to say that I am officially in SPAIN!!! As you probably heard from my last email, I had some difficulty getting here but I did make it to the CCM. I am doing sooo great! First off, my district has 4 Élderes in it and 4 Hermanas. They are all really awesome and I´m getting to know all of them so well! The Élderes that are in my district are Élder Dunn (my companion), Élder Holt, and Élder Benton. Élder Benton is from Essex which is near London and he has the coolest British accent and now I can finally say that I know someone from England. Élder Dunn and Élder Holt are both from Utah and hanging out with them is a blast. The Hermanas that are in my district are Hermana Nydegger, Hermana Fowers, Hermana Mather, and Hermana Heims. They are all amaaazing sister missionaries and I learn and grow from their testimonies everyday. So I sleep in a room with 4 bunk beds but only 6 Élderes are living in their right now. We may get some native spanish speakers at around 2 weeks before we enter the field but I´m not sure. The other two Élderes that live in my room are Élder Singerman who is hilarious and pretty good at spanish, and Élder Davis who is awesome and a super nice guy. He actually reminds me of Nathan a lot which is funny but true!
Life in the CCM (which is pronounced the the eme with the 'the's pronounced with a lisp) is great!! The food here is super good actually. They give us this awesome juice and fruit for breakfast and then lunch we usually have a plate with meat and vegetables and then another plate of either a soup or salad which is always really awesome. Oh and they always give us these pastries that they have that are fantastic. The croissants that they have here are uuuuuunnreal!! )I hope I spelled that right. Dinner is similar to lunch but just with different food, most of which, we have nooo idea what it is, but everything tastes great. I could have eaten all sorts of animals this week, but I enjoyed it!!
Learning the language is definitely tough but I feel like it is getting better. The day after we got here, we were already asked to give a lesson to our fake investigators in spanish. Élder Dunn and I have definitely been putting our heads together to figure it out and I´m pulling a lot of stuff out of my head from high school spanish. The two of us are kinda considered the most knowledgable ones in the class but the other Élderes and Hermanas are learning so fast too. So we have two investigators that we teach in a real life scenario and at first it was pretty scary but now we are usually really excited to teach them! We have already taught 6 lessons, three to each of them, and they are progressing wonderfully! We actually just asked one of ours, Elizabeth, if she would like to be baptized and although she didn´t exactly say yes, we are very determined and she told us that she is going to pray about it which is great! Our other investigator, Kike is very interested in the Book of Mormon which is great! We are gunna teach him about the Plan of Salvation next! Everything in my day is revolved around our investigators. Even during our sport time, actividad física, I´m thinking about how Kike likes to play soccer. Silly, I know, because they aren't even real investigators haha but I am learning soo much from this experience.
So Saturdays are reallly interesting in the CCM! We wake up and do our normal stuff but then at around 10 we head down to El Parque Retiro, yes mom, the big one on the map!, its right next to the center of Madrid! So we take the metro down there from the CCM and they basically just let us loose to test out our spanish and proselyte! We switch up our companions too so I was with Élder Evans! We handed out a buunch of pamphlets and pass along cards and our spanish was actually better than I thought it would be! Towards the end of the day we actually gave a lady a Book of Mormon and she seemed excited to read it!! It felt just like in The Best Two Years when the elder gives out the Book of Mormon to their investigator. It was so much fun!
So today is P Day obviously and in the CCM we usually go to the temple in the morning but its being renovated for about two weeks so we won't be able to go untilnext thursday but I am so excited! Oh and also, we get to take a trip every P Day to an area in Madrid and today we are going to El Sol or the center of Madrid to check it out! I wanna buy some awesome jerseys or some t shirts because we play futbol almost every day.
Well I apologize for this being kind of long but I just have so much to tell! Keep sending me emails and I would love to hear from all of you and see how you are all doing back in America!! Just know that I am doing fantastic, learning so much, and loving being a missionary. This is the moment I've been waiting for my whole life and its more amazing and harder than I imagined at the same time! I hope all of you are doing well. Email me or write me a letter back! Oh and Dear Elder does work but it is going to cost some money. I'm not sure how much but I would love to hear from you in anyway!
 Love you guys so much!

Élder Franklyn

Monday, June 17, 2013

He made it to Spain! (Finally!!)

Elder Franklyn missed his flight from NYC to Madrid, so he arrived at the MTC one day later than most of the other missionaries. After being stuck in New York City for 24 hrs he finally got on another flight and made it to Spain! This is the first email from him so far! Short and sweet haha. 


      I am finally in the CCM! I just barely arrived and we took a tour around the area a little to see the temple and some local parks. It was a lot of fun! We also started learning Spanish right away which was good. Our instructors speak in mostly Spanish which is good and I´m already learning a ton! I hope all is well in California and wherever any one is reading this. I can´t write much because I´m a little limited on time but just know that I am okay and finally in Madrid! Oh and my companion is Elder Dunn from Sandy Utah and he is really cool! We are already getting a long well.
Love you!!
Elder Franklyn