Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 2012

The "Beast"

Madrid's Temple Square, with the CCM (Missionary Training Center) on the left, and the Madrid Stake Center on the right.

Elder Forrest trying to do his hair like Alex

The Opel Corsa gets a car wash


Well, this past week has been crazy!! Friday was transfers and we got 12 new missionaries!!! 10 Elders and 2 Hermanas (Sisters). So guess what I did all day Friday? I drove all over Madrid!! It was pretty fun! Then today we got 5 more missionaries from Chile and Mexico. By the way, thanks for the letters from:

Martina Harris
Megan Eden

Anyway, most of this email will consist of Friday just because there was a lot that had to be done that day, but starting with Thursday.

Thursday I don´t really remember too much of what we did except for pick up the Furgoneta at the Mission Home. Elder Forrest drove the little Opel Corsa that we have over to the Mission Home, and I drove "The Beast" back to San Sebastian. We filled it up with Diesel (which should tell you that it really is a BEAST) and parked it near our piso (apartment). There was a parking spot, just big enough for it, unfortunately it was a parallel parking spot. So Elder Forrest got out and it took about 5 or 10 minutes to park that thing, not even joking. A smaller car would have been easier, but the Furgoneta, oh boy. We then did English classes and went to bed.

Friday morning we woke up bright and early at 6:30 am. We had to be at the Madrid-Chamartin train station by 8:00 AM and it takes about half an hour to get there from our piso if there isn´t any traffic. Well, there was traffic so we left at 7:15ish and got there at about 7:50. And yes, I drove there. We got there and picked  up the luggage of the people that came from the Santiago Zone which is the part of Spain right above Portugal. They took a hotel train and were on the train all night long, from about 10:00 PM until the time that we picked up their luggage at 8:15 AM. So we loaded the Furgoneta up with all of the luggage and they were going to take the metro to the stake center which is about an hour away on the metro, but like 20 - 30 minutes away in a car. So we headed to the stake center and the traffic was crazy so we got there at 9:00 AM and were supposed to be there at around 8:30 AM for the new missionary meeting. And yes, I drove there. We got there and as the office elders we had a part in that meeting. Elder Forrest, as the finance guy, (like you dad, haha) talked about the JP Morgan Chase card that all of us get, then I, as the secretary in charge of residency, talked about residency and what they are supposed to do. After all was said and done, we all went to the stake center and unloaded the Furgoneta, just to re-load it with baggage for the people taking a bus to go to the Santiago Zone. They had to be at the bus station at 10:15 AM to catch their bus which left at 10:30 AM. And yes, I drove them there. We then drove back to the stake center to see if we were going to pick up more bags for people that were going to the Canary Islands, but we ended up not having to; so we drove to the office. And yes, I drove to both of those places.

At 1:30 PM we drove back to the CCM (Missionary Training Center in Madrid) to pick up 3 missionaries to get their fingerprints taken so that they could get their residency card soon. So we got there at 2:00 PM and got the 3 and drove them to the Oficina de Extranjeria (Foreigners Office) to get that done. There was a senior couple that were going up to Santiago Zone to get the JAS (Jovenes Adultos Solteros – Young Single Adults) started up there as well as an Elder that was going to Barcelona. We dropped them off and then looked for parking. And guess what, yes, I drove again!! We got in the Oficina de Extranjeria to find that my little group of missionaries was pretty much done with everything. The police officers let us through the metal detectors without really taking anything out of our pockets or anything, even when it rang, they said, "Just go, you´re fine" so it was awesome!!! After helping them out and after talking to a lady about the gospel and giving her a card, we drove them back to the CCM and guess who drove them. If you guessed´re right!! After all of that, we drove "The Beast" to the office again and got a few other things done and did a few contacts before we had to be at the stake center all over again. And if you guessed that I drove back to the office, you guessed right!! Then we realized that we didn´t eat lunch so we got a little something to eat at a Dia (a food store, not my favorite, but hey, it was the closest one). We didn´t really stay for very long and went back to the Furgoneta to get to the stake center at 6:00 PM.

At around 6:10 PM we got everyone in "The Beast" and drove them to the airport to get them to the Canary Islands! They´re a great group of fine young missionaries!! Elder Fowler was among the group of 3 and he´s a really fun little guy!! He´s going to be great down there. OH, and guess who drove to the stake center AND to the airport! If you guessed´re RIGHT!!!! Wow, you guys are good!! After dropping them off we drove back to the Mission Home to leave behind the baggage of the missionaries going to the Canaries. AND guess what...I drove them there too!!!! After leaving the baggage there, and dropping off the key to "The Beast" we drove back to the piso in our little blue Corsa. And guess who drove back to the piso!! If you guessed´re wrong. Hahahaaaa!!! Gottcha there didn´t I!! Yes, Elder Forrest drove back to the piso because I was super tired after a long day of driving everywhere!!! We then had the family home evening at the church like we do every Friday and then I was dead. I fell asleep on the couch for half an hour and then woke up and realized that I needed to shower so yeah. That´s how dead I was!

Monday and Tuesday were regular days except that I had to buy a ticket for a missionary coming down to Madrid from Santiago Zone, and for a missionary going up there. We also took the car to get a car wash at a pretty intense car wash. It´s pretty clean now, and it rained today too so we could´ve gotten a car wash free, dang it. Today we got 5 new missionaries like I mentioned at the beginning and they´re all pretty cool!!! Elder Wride, my district leader, is training one of them named Elder Torres, which is pretty cool!! Elder Torres is from Chile, is 26 years old, almost 27. His name is the same as my trainer in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission, Elder Torres, but they are probably not related. Today we went to the meeting of new missionaries and trainers at the CCM and I drove the little Corsa over. We gave our little speech about the credit card and the residency and whatnot. It was pretty good. We then drove the new companionship back to the piso and he got settled, we bought some food, and now we´re here, emailing in the office. After this, we´re going to have to take a phone to Barrio 1 (first ward) and to our other companions in the piso. There are 6 missionaries in the piso so yeah. Crazy!!!

Anyway, this is probably the longest little email that I´ve sent out since I´ve been in the MTC in Provo, heck maybe even THE longest one ever!! I hope you enjoy reading about my epic week.

Elder Bauer

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