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

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