Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From President & Hermana Pace

Dear families of our new missionaries,

     We are pleased to inform you that your son has safely arrived in the Spain Barcelona Mission.  Hermana Pace and I, along with the two assistants, met him at the train station.  The group of missionaries we received are wonderful young men and women, ready to go to work. Their enthusiasm reflects their love for the Savior and we are grateful for the privilege of guiding them along as they serve the Lord.

     Every area in the Spain Barcelona Mission is unique and beautiful, rich in history and tradition.  More importantly, each city is full of children of our Heavenly Father, waiting to hear the glad news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

     Thank you for the trust you have put in us to shepherd your son.  Please know that we feel a great responsibility to guide and protect “our” missionaries.  We love your sons and daughters as if they were our own.  With the Lord’s help, we intend to make their mission experience in Barcelona the most memorable time of their lives.


President and Hermana Pace

All is well in Vitoria

Hey everybody!
So Vitoria is great! I have had a great first week, but it was also very frustrating! We spent most of the week contacting and talking to members. In the MTC I was pretty good at understanding people when they talked but here it is very hard! So now it feels like I am back to square one! Trying to understand and still trying to speak! Most of the people are very nice about it and try and help me, but it just sucks because I want to just be able to talk! ha ha It sucks! Im sure most of you know how I feel...
Church was kind of suprising to me! there is just a small branch here in Vitoria. I dont know why but I was expecting more people! The church here is pretty big so I was expecting it to be full but there were a lot of empty seats! There is a lot of work to be done! The ward mission leader here is amazing! He is setting a ton of stuff up for us! The ward is actually pretty decent, but the amount of people who actually come is little. All week we have been talking to inactive members. There are over 200 so it might take awhile! ha ha We are working hard though. We are settign up a "CCM" for the members next week after church and are going to teach them some of the "tricks" or "tactics" to sharign the gospel with friends or how to get others to come back to church! It should be pretty cool and the members are excited about it! There goal is to become a ward by the end of the year! I am excited because I will be here for awhile and will be able to see the process! It will be lots of work but I like staying busy! It is better than just sitting around!
During the week we played soccer with some members and investigators! It was really fun! It wasnt as fun as the MTC, but it was fun to get to know some of the members and some of the investigators! Its not the same obviously, but I had a lot of fun! The members here are amazing! They all came and were asking me all these questions, I had no idea what was going on, but we were all laughing together and having a good time!
This week we were teaching a members friend who was absolutely amazing! Her name is Kayla and she is 13 years old. We didnt even have to teach her anything! we were describing our beliefs and she was like ya, I already know all of this and believe the same thing! So me and my comp were just like alright lets just meet with her family and baptize her right now! ha ha We met with her mom and little sister and had a great lesson with the mom, but unfortunately her mom said she couldnt get baptized until she was 18... So that kinda blew...
Here is the answers to your questions...
Is your new address actually the address where u live or a nearby post office? Do u have a mailbox like at home. What if we send packages, will it go in a mailbox or sit outside u door and maybe get stolen?
If you sent a package to the address I gave you, I will get it. I have a mailbox... If I was home when they brought the package they would bring it up. If im not home, they would put a slip in my mailbox and we would go pick it up at the post office
Did u get the package from mom when u got to the mission? It had the converter in it. I also sent u an envelope with some stuff in it that was probably waiting for u at the mission office.
I did get the package with the converter and I got the package from Wendy (Thank you Wendy, sorry I forgot to mention this in the last letter home! I have already eaten everything you sent haha) As far as the envelope... I dont think I got it. I will probably get it at the next zone conference if it comes. What was in it?
What is the name of u ward?
Not sure... Its the branch in Vitoria Spain...
Does spain have siesta? Like in Chile when everything shuts down from 1-4pm
Spain does have a Siesta or Mediodia... During this time we usually go back to the Piso, eat, and do language study.
What are u eating, anything good? :)
So far I havent eaten anything good. Really I am back to eating like a college student ha ha and for some reason I didnt get a ton of money in my account this month so I need to be careful with it. Next month I will have a little more freedom.
Do u have dinner appt with members?
So far we havent had any dinner appointments :( Like I said, we have been contacting nonmembers all week... Everyone is really nice though! If you get in the house, You are definitely getting something to eat or drink.
Are u washing clothes by hand or machine? In u appt or laundry matte?
We have a washer in our Piso but no dryer... Everything hang drys!
What's weather and temp like?
The weather here is very unpredictable. Some days it is really hot, other days you cant go anywhere with out a sweatshirt. It kind of reminds me of Park City. In the winter here it snows a lot! In fact, the main part of the city reminds me of Park City! It is a cool little area! I will shoot you a picture next week. I forgot my camera today.
What's u typical day's schedule?
Contact, Meet with an inactive member, Eat. contact some more...
How is the music situation (ipod) in the field?
Music is good! Everyone loves my Ipod!
Did u find a paded envelope and a way to mail us the old ipod?
Ya. I just havent had the chance to send it yet, and I think I am going to send something less important first to see if it makes it... Tell me what you think.
Well fam, Thats it from Spain! Missionary work is tough, but I love it and feel the spirit everyday! I will send some pics next week and maybe send my first picture card home. Dad tell me what you think! Sounds like you all had a great time in Powell! Send me some pics :)
Love and miss you all mucho!
Elder Carrigan

Where in the world (Spain) is Elder Carrigan?

Elder Rio and Elder Carrigan

(sent on July 12, 2012 while we were in Lake Powell)

I have so much to tell you all and so little time. There is no way I am going to get it all down so I am just going to start typing and hopefully get through it all! ha ha
So Tuesday we traveled from Madrid to Barcelona on the high speed train. I was pretty sweet! I got to see what the terrain of Spain looks like. It actually reminded me a lot of like central Utahish. Lots of sagebrush and lots of hills. For some reason I was expecting all of Spain to be a lot more green and beautiful... It is, but I will get to this later :) So President picked us up at the train station and we went to the top of this mountain where a giant castle is. (Sorry I cant remember the name) It was absolutely amazing! We looked over the whole city and president described the history of the mission work in Spain and how there is still a
lot of work to be done! It just pumped me up! I learned a ton but I learned 2 things the most! Barcelona is HOT! and HUMID! I was constantly sweating! And number 2 I am no longer serving in Spain. Im serving in cataloyna (Not sure how to spell it ha ha) They were flying a huge catalan flag that over looked the city! They also played all the instructions they gave over the speaker 3 times. Once in Catalan, then in Spanish, then in English. We then went to the mission home where we had interviews with President, were bombarded with loads of information, and then introduced to our trainers. My trainers name is Elder Rios. I cant understand anyone, but i really cant understand him! He is from the southern part of spain and in the southern part of Spain, they cut the endings off of there words when they speak! So it has been super hard haha. I have heard from everyone that he is an awesome guy and also an awesome missionary, and from the time I have already spent with him, I cant tell he will be fun to be with! Im really excited!
Later that day we were sent to Hospitalet to stay the night with the zone leaders there because we didnt travel to our area until Wednesday afternoon. It was "interesting" to see how the zone leaders lived and how I will be living for the next two years. It is definitely not the CCM anymore haha. Plus it was so hot in their piso I thought I was going to die! We went and taught a family that night about the importance of baptism. It was cool to see "real" missionary work happening. They had me introduce myself to the family and say the closing prayer. Of course the family laughed a little but were very nice about teasign me. Some of them even tried to speak english. It was fun! We then went and sang to the "Angels" all the missionaries who were going home the next day! That was really fun! A lot of people stopped and watched us sing, me and my companion worked the crowd pretty well haha.
So then Wednesday we got on a train and left for our area. It was a 3 hour train ride followed by a 2 hour bus ride... Ya Im no longer in Catalonya. Any guesses... My first area in the Basque land. haha Its the city of Vitoria. It is the one of the coldest places in Spain in the summer and I am alright with that. Its perfect. Today was sweatshirt weather. Really nice. According to the other missionaries and the President this area is a great area. Has a great ward, really great investigators, and hard working missionaries. I hope to keep the reputation. Our Piso is great. We share it with normally with two other missionaries, but this week we are sharing with 4 other missionaries because the Elders from Pamplona had to coem here for a week because of the running of the bulls. Compared to the other Piso this one is amazing. It is really big and has 2 bathrooms. My companion says it is the nicest one in the mission.
So to sum it all up, I am in a great area, my trainer is awesome, my Piso is great, and my spanish still sucks! ha ha All is good! I am really excited to be here and we have our two lessons tonight! On with a member family and one with an investigator. My companion wants me to invite her to be baptized tonight, we will see how it goes...
Well I love you all! I hope you guys are havign or had a blast in Lake Powell! Love you guys a bunch!
Elder Carrigan!
This is my new address... I will be here for at least 12 weeks so go ahead and throw it up on Facebook for me! Thanks! :)
Elder Carrigan
Calle Eduardo Dato 17, 4B
01005 Vitoria
Also I think our P days are normally on Monday so I will talk to you guys again then! Love ya!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th everyone!

Happy 4th everyone!
First off, Happy birthday to the greatest Mom on earth! Sorry I cant be there for it, but you will be in Powell so I dont feel bad! ha ha I hope its a good one! Eat a bite of cake for me! :)
So... Spain to has a 4th of July... They just dont celebrate with BBQs, Fireworks, and Parades! the whole day all the American missionaries here were singing as many patriotic songs about US as we could. We all wore Red, White, and Blue ties and drew "fireworks" on the board ha ha. It was really interesting because before my mission the 4th was never a huge deal to me, but now all of a sudden when there is no 4th of July I was liek what the heck! There were mixed reactions from the teachers here. Some played along with us and let us sing the hymns about America in the english hymn books and some were very strict! One of our teachers even got mad! She lectured us for like 30 minutes about how we live in Spain now and how we need to become Spanish and how we need to do this and that and blah blah blah... I agree with her to a point but im not going to forget im American! Lets be honest! ha ha She went to England on her mission. She was probably just disappointed that that Brits didnt win the Revelutionary War... Well, it sucks to suck!  Go America! Bottom line, Im proud to be an American and Im glad that I am able to say that I am from the United States of America! USA! USA! USA!
So being here for the Euro cup was awesome! The country literally watches the game together! When the game is going on, everyone opens there windows so when Spain gets close to scoring a goal and everyone groans, its like the whole counrty groans... its hard to explain, but you can almost like see the game without watching the game because you can hear everything that is going on ha ha. it was funny because all the natives in the MTC were dying they wanted to watch so bad! There was a TV across the street and they were all trying to use their zoom on their cameras to watch the game... It is in one of the videos I am going to send home. Its awesome look for the little tv in the video... That is what they were trying to watch ha ha.
I am bummed my letters havent been making it home... I will start sending them with more stamps on them. Sorry everyone! I didnt know if you all just didnt love me anymore or if they just werent making it home! ha ha just kidding! I know you all love me, well I dont know... I will have some time on the train on Tuesday so I will see if I can whip some out...
So I am super jealous that you guys are headed to Powell this week! The desktop photos on this computer are all of Lake Powell and every time one comes up I die inside! ha ha All is good though! make sure you guys email me some photos of the trip! I want to see your spot and set up and how nice the boat looks with all the boats and jet skies around it! Just send me a little piece of heaven! :)
I am way stoked to get to Barcelona but I am kinda nervious as well! Mainly just because I dont know what to expect and I still dont know Spanish! ha ha The whole time I have been in the MTC I have been like man get me out of here, but now that I am leaving I am like, Dont make me leave! haha
So I will explain these pictures really quick. There are two from the 4th of July, we are all wearing out USA gear! We were defiitely proud to be Americans! The other one is me holding my companions weed! ha ha Just kidding! It is some kind drink he and an Elder from Paraguay drink every night. He is from Argentina and I guess they drink it all the time in Argentina and Paraguay. It is called Maté?? I think. It just looks like weed (not that i know what weed looks like)  ha ha and the straw they drink it from looks like a bong (not that I know what this looks like either) so we give them both crap...
Well.. Thats all from Spain this week...I hope all is well back at home! I love all of you guys and pray for you guys everyday! I definitely feel your prayers for me! Thanks for all your support! I love you all!
Love Elder Carrigan!