Dear Familia y Amigos Who I Love So Dearly,
Hellllloooooooooo. This week was a super great one! I´m exhausted and ready to eat different food besides the five staple meals that they cycle through here at the CCM comedor, but besides that, life is muy bien here in Espana. We got a lot of new people here this week, which has been superbien (that´s my favorite word that my teacher Hermano Lopez uses. He also says “vale” more than he breathes, probably. Vale means ok. We counted how many times he said it yesterday, and in 20 minutes, he was up to 72. It was incredible). There are three new missionaries from Ukraine, 2 sisters and one elder. One of the sisters and the elder speak really good English, so it´s been pretty easy to communicate with them. The rest of the new people are about 6 or 7 elders that got transferred here from the Provo CCM. They are going to Russia on their missions. Yeah. Weird, right? They teach Spanish and Russian as second languages here, and then when Italian, Portuguese or French missionaries come and they will be speaking their language in their mission, they will bring teachers in that are Italian, Portuguese or French to teach them for the 2 weeks that they are here. It´s a confusing system but I guess it works. I like all the new people a lot! My Spaniard group is still mi favorite, though. I love the kids that have been here the whole time with me. They´re so great.
So this week, this week, this week. Hmm. Honestly, everything becomes such a blur after awhile here because every single day is basically the same. On Thursday we went to the temple and even though I slept (on accident) through a fair amount of the session, it worked out just fine. I love the Temple here, it´s so beautiful. Living next door to it is quite the privilege. On Saturday, we went to the Park, which is becoming easily my favorite part of the week. It feels like real missionary work, which is so awesome. We get different companions for the park and this week I was with the same Hermana that I was with the first week, Hermana Shake. Before going to the park I prayed that we would be able to have a better experience then we did the first time, because the first time was ROUGH. I prayed to be able to teach people and not just hand out pass along cards. Well, the prayers worked! We talked to four people, which isn´t a lot, but they were great conversations that I was really grateful for the experiences. One the way home on the metro, we sat across from a family. I tried to start a conversation with them, but they blatantly ignored me, which isn´t unusual but I still hate it when it happens. Not only that, though, but I had really felt like we picked the right part of the metro to get onto in order to talk to someone, and I was convinced it was going to be the family. After they played the invisible game with us, they got off a the next stop and we were then sitting by nobody. I looked around and I saw this guy and I really felt like I needed to talk to him, but he was a few benches away and looked super grumpy. I kept thinking and feeling like he was our guy, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to move over and talk to him. Lucky for us, he got off at the same stop as we did, and he started talking to us! It was great- Heavenly Father gave me a freebie on that one. He spoke English and was a Bishop for an Episcopalian church. He was so kind and we ended up giving him a Restoration pamphlet. I don´t know why I felt so strongly to talk to him, but I´m glad that I did… well, I guess he talked to me. But I´m grateful for that!
I probably forgot to mention this in previous forms of communication, mainly because it´s not very exciting, but I am currently serving as the CCM pianist extraordinaire. That means I play all the hymns, choose all the hymns that I then play, arrange musical numbers and play prelude for every single meeting we have. It´s way over my head and I play from the Spanish hymnbook, so when I´m playing prelude I don´t actually know what song it is until I am in the middle of playing it. So that has lead to a few Christmas longs in July. It´s been awesome. But really, I like having a calling here (besides the slightly less important call of missionary, I suppose :)
I love my teachers here. I´m mainly saying this because a few of them said they´re going to read the blog, so if they end up following through with that, hi Hermano y Hermana Giorgino! But for real, the teachers here are all so great. I have Hermana Ganazah, this cute, short, fiery Spaniard lady who talks so fast and teaches us all about Spanish and spiritual things. Then we have Hermano Lopez after lunch. He speaks super good English and seriously makes me laugh. He has a very serious, murderous resting face. But then he starts talking and you realize he is not, in fact, murderous but actually quite hilarious. Sound effects are his forte. And then there are the Giorginos. They´re this young, married Italiano couple who actually live here in the CCM with us. So they´re our friends. He plays soccer with us everyday and destroys. They both served missions in the US and speak perfect Spanish and I don´t know, we just love them. I´ll miss them when I leave the CCM. (There you go, guys, I laid it on pretty thick. Hope that suffices).
Ok, one last story and then I have to sign off for the week. So you walk into the park, and the first thing you see is a group of 5-7 black guys, sitting on the benches by the entrance. They´re there every week, and last week, my angel of a park companion, Hermana Jones and I, decided to talk to them. We walked up to one of them and we told him about the Church! He said, ¨”Yes, I know your church, I was baptized into your church in 1996.” Way cool. We asked him why he doesn’t come to church anymore, and he said that business didn’t allow him too. So we left after a little bit, but I started thinking about how we needed to go back and get his information so that we could have the missionaries contact him. Jones and I agreed that if he was still there when we left, we would get it from him. As we were leaving, we thought we saw him, so we ran back over there. But it wasn’t him. BUT! Some other guys told me to meet him next week with an English BOM. Well, surprise, the next week he wasn’t there. I was way bummed. Later, I was talking to Hmno. Giorgino about it, and guess what. Those guys are drug dealers. They were messing with us, naturally. The business that didn’t allow that guy to go to church anymore? It´s not that he works on Sundays, its that he sells drugs. Yeah. Drugs. Cool. No wonder. So, here I am. Sam Seegmiller from Riverton, Utah, preaching the Gospel to African drug dealers in Spain. Life rules.
The Church is true! Heavenly Father loves us all, so much. Be missionaries! Every day, remember who you are and how many people are watching and learning from you. I promise that it is more than you think. Life is the time to prepare to meet God again, but life is also a time to have joy! So, be happy! Start everyday with a smile and try to keep it there, smack in the center of your face, for as long as you can. It works. Heavenly Father loves all of us, whether we are drug dealers in Spain or BYU students from Riverton. He just loves us so much. (See how preachy I am getting? (Don´t you love it?) :)
I love you all!!
Love, Hermana Seeg