Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Sunday June 1st Church in Madrid
Sunday June 1, 2014 Church is a ten minute walk from my house. I found it pretty easily—people wearing white shirts and ties stand out a lot (although I did see quite a few people dressed nice on Sunday. I don’t know why…maybe church too?) I was a few minutes late, and they start with Relief Society (a meeting for just the women), but there were only 3 people there when I arrived. They started late, and about 10 min into it, people started coming. There were probably about 30 by the end—the room was pretty full. There were people from every Spanish speaking country, except Spain! I met a woman from the Dominican Republic. It was her first Sunday too, and when I told her I’d spent a semester in her country, she didn’t leave my side. She was so cute. There was a piano in there, but no one played, and they didn’t have anyone to lead the music, so I jumped up and did that. It sounded terrible though because they made me start singing it too, and I’m no good at that. I think next time I’ll volunteer to play the piano instead. Sacrament meeting (our main worship meeting) was packed. They opened the overflow, and it was still busting at the seams. And again, there were people from everywhere except Spain. I asked someone and they said there are 2 or maybe 3 members in the ward who are Spanish! I’d always heard the church isn’t as popular among Spaniards. There were lots of South Americans, some from the Carribean, and a few Americans. There are two wards in the building, and each ward has 8 missionaries! They’re really big wards. It was fun to meet people, and I can wait to get to know them better. Kathleen and I met up again at church, and we came back to my place after and ate some lentils I had made the day before, and then we decided to walk around the city. It was fun to stroll around on a Sunday. We ended up going to the Prado because it’s open for free for 2 hrs a day, so we took advantage of that. Kathleen studied art in college, so it was a treat to go to a museum like that with someone who’s knowledgable about it. We were starving by the end of the day, and I didn’t have much food left, so we decided to go to VIPS for dinner. It’s a chain both here and in Mexico. I’m not sure which country started it. It’s a Denny’s-style place, but the food is good, unlike Denny’s. We were so hungry, we each ordered a dinner-sized salad and a small burger, and we ate it all! Kathleen had stayed in a hostel the night before, and had a really bad experience, so I had her come stay in my apartment. We talked more about the camino, and by Monday morning I decided I’d go with her. I was soooooooo excited! It’s one of the things I’d most wanted to do in Spain, and I thought I’d have to wait until July to go. But no! We spent Monday getting ready to go—doing laundry, getting packed up, buying train tickets. We left on a sleeper train (hotel trains here—I love that name!), and got to Sarria early Tuesday morning.