So, in the midst of the craziness here, I have forgotten to write any blogs as of late. Jaklyn has been doing such a great job posting pictures and updates of what we’re up to that I haven’t felt any urgency, but I figured I would give a little Grayson update.
Spain has been a lot more difficult and challenging than I expected. The last time I was here, I was a completely different person. The only real negative that I experienced last time I was here was loneliness because I didn’t really know anyone, so I figured being with my wife this time, it would be a cake walk for me as in enjoying my time here. Loneliness hasn’t really been a huge factor other than just missing the comfort of being able to communicate with everyone, but there have been a whole new slew of challenges. I’ve learned a ton about living day-to-day. Living for the big picture has helped in making me realize the importance of being here, but I have learned that unless I specifically look at each day, I will just try to look past my time here and neglect all the opportunities I have to share the Gospel with the people around me. None of that is really new, but I have some updates as to how this has been playing out as of late.
My conversations with Mercedes, our host mom, have slowly started to improve. For the first time, 2 nights ago, I was trying to explain something to Mercedes that I didn’t know the words for so I used circumlocution (using all the words I did know to explain in a round about way what I was trying to say). I have attempted to do this many times and she has just tuned me out and ignored me, but 2 nights ago, she hung in there with me and I was able to find out the words that I needed to say what I wanted to say! It was a breakthrough of sorts I realized that I could at least do this, so I have tried more and more to develop meaningful conversations. Deviating fromthe surface level like when it’s dinner, can I do anything to help, what channel do you want the tv to be on, ect. This is an exciting move forward! I’m still looking for opportunities to bring up Christ with her.
Another exciting update is I finally started meeting with an intercambio. Jaklyn has had 2 succesful connections made with girls from here, and I finally gave in and got one as well! During my first meeting, I started talking about my future job expecting the traditional apathetic responses I get here when I explain that I’m going to be a music pastor, but this guy was super excited that I was a Christian. He is a devout Catholic, and I was able to talk a lot about God and how hard it is to live here in a society for him when none of the people his age care at all about God or church. I learned in my present-day Spain class that less that 1% of people ages 18-34 think that the church has any truth to offer them. I explained to Rafa, (no, not Nadal, I wish ) that we do hold a lot of the same beliefs, but I look forward to explaining the hope in the gospel that is usually not present in the beliefs held by most catholics. This is extremely exciting for me! I’ve also been able to bring up the Gospel is some form or another in just about every class with one of my teachers who claims to believe in God but who doesn’t want to attend church of any kind. I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue trying to display the gospel through my actions and words here.
On a more light note, I have grown in my love for soccer I never really got into it in the U.S. but I have really enjoyed following both the English premiere league, La Liga, and the champions league! There is always something exciting going on!
Keep praying for us! Pray for our marriage, as the challenging environment always makes it easy to be testy with each other since it’s safe to take out frustrations on those you know are there for the long haul! 😉 Pray for us individually that we will have endurance here and not look passed the next two months! Pray for our minds as the constant struggle to learn and communicate in Spanish is an overload to our brains! And pray for our insight into opportunities to share the Gospel with those around us! Love you guys! Feel free to comment back on here or email us. Also, facebook is a good way to get in touch!