Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012

Elders on borrowed bikes in Parque Juan Carlos I

Sculture of fingers in Parque Juan Carlos I

Elder Bauer (Alex) on the ring finger of the sculpture

The view of Madrid from the Parque Juan Carlos I

Dear Family,

Special thanks for the letters from:
Mi familia [my family]
The Franks
Megan Eden

I don´t thank people for the letters very often so a big thanks for them. Well, this week has been rather interesting just to say the least!! Some exciting and surprising things have happened this past week. Here´s my week.

So Thursday was pretty crazy for me. We had to pick up Elder Inzunza from the train station at 8:00 in the morning, then Elder Ortiz from the airport at 10:00 in the morning to pick up their residency cards. All well right?...Sort of. Elder Inzunza got his residency card just fine after a slight problem that he had since he lost a paper that he shouldn´t have lost, but he got his card and all is well. Elder Ortiz on the other hand, he didn´t get his card because he got there too early to get it. Usually people could get their cards 40 - 45 days after putting in their fingerprint, and he got there 20 days after. That was a mistake on my part. So his trip from the Canaries was wasted, but Elder Inzunza´s wasn´t. Oh well, life goes on I guess. We ate lunch, stopped by the Distribution Center for a bit, then took Elder Ortiz to the airport, and Elder Inzunza back to the piso [apartment] with us (his night train didn´t leave until 10:00 that night so that´s why he stayed with us for the day.)

We then went into the office and had our second interview with President Watkins for the year. This is the surprising part for me and for you...ready! So the first thing he said is, "Elder Forrest says you are a great missionary!" Cool right, I´m glad that Elder Forrest says that about me. He then went on after talking a little bit, "Elder Bauer, how long have you been here in the office?" I answer that I´ve been in for two going on three transfers, or pretty much four months. He then said, "Well, I think that it´s time for Elder Bauer to take a little break. You will start training your replacement this Monday (the 7th of May) and will leave the office at the end of this transfer." I was surprised... shocked... weirded out... I don´t really know what I felt, I was just leaving much earlier than office elders usually leave. And usually office elders train the first three weeks of the transfer, not the last three. So I´ll get to know where I´m going early again!!! YAY!!! We usually stay here for about five transfers, or six months. Oh well, I´m pretty happy now, but at first I was sad since I started liking the office and I got advice this last P-Day on how I can do better. Life moves on though.

So Friday, Saturday and Sunday pass with me a bit worried of what I´m going to do, how I´m going to train, what I´m going to do, and where I´m going to go. Monday rolls around and my "son" in the office is Elder Argyle. Pretty new to the mission, but knows Spanish really well. He´s going to be a great office elder and I hope to teach him well!! Monday we got started. I told him what we normally do on a Monday and it was good. Sort emails, open a residency spreadsheet of all of the missionaries, key indicators into iMos, etc. I also taught him how to do other helpful things that he will need to know when I leave and when the new transfer starts so yeah. It´s been pretty fun teaching and helping him do what he needs to do! Hermana Watkins [Sister Watkins – the wife of President Watkins] asked me where I wanted to go after I left the office, and I told her that I wanted to go to the Canary Islands, so I can only hope!! Elder Gonzalez tells me that it´s super cool down there so I want to go down there too!!

For P-Day today we went to Parque Juan Carlos I, and it was pretty cool!! We got to rent bikes for free, but only for an hour. It felt so good being on a bike again and riding really fast on it too!! I also climbed a hill on the bike and I can tell that I´m out of shape for doing anything on a bike. I´m not as good as I used to be, oh boy!! Not much else has happened except that we set a baptismal date for the 26th of this month, but it seems a bit shakey for the moment. I hope that all goes well there and that he knows for himself that he needs this in his life! Take care and I´ll talk to you on Mother’s Day!! Love you all...BYE!!!!

Elder Bauer

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