It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on our missionary, Shanna. She’s in Spain and is loving it! It’s finally starting to cool down a bit—those 110-plus-degree days didn’t sit very well with her—so that’s a nice thing, and she’s catching onto the language, which makes a huge difference in how comfortable she is and how much she enjoys interacting with the people she meets.
We get letters (usually e-mails) from Shanna once a week. She can only write—and receive mail—on her “P-day,” which is short for preparation day. That’s the day missionaries from our church have to do all the stuff they need to do to “prepare” for the upcoming week, stuff like laundry, cleaning their apartments, writing letters, and even a little sightseeing when they can fit it in. Their schedules during the rest of the week are pretty structured, so P-day is a much anticipated day!
Shanna’s P-day is Wednesday, and she’s eight or nine hours ahead of us, so I’ll write her an e-mail on Tuesday night before I go to bed, and she’ll get it when she wakes up on Wednesday. Then she’ll write an e-mail back, and I get to read it first thing when I get up on Wednesday, and it’s practically real time—everything is only a few hours old. So you can see why Wednesdays are one of my favorite days!
Her e-mails are full of news and stories and her testimony, and quite often requests. Before she left, she tried to stock up on things she would need that she might not be able to get over there, like skin care products and toothpaste and things like that. But she’s starting to run out of some of those things, as well as identify other things she’s missing that she didn’t realize she would, like WalMart Light packets for water and cake mixes and peanut butter. Of course, candy is always welcome too!
As I mentioned, missionaries only get their mail once a week, and she sent us a picture recently that showed how excited she was when she received three packages in one week!
I thought it was touching to see how excited she was about receiving things that are really very simple and basic, things that I take for granted. Nothing like living a simple life focused on serving and teaching others to make you realize how blessed you are!
This other picture shows her and her companion (missionaries for our church always work in pairs and are never supposed to go outside without their companion) on a P-day doing a little sightseeing. It’s a wonderful opportunity for her to be in Spain, and she loves meeting the people and experiencing the country on a much deeper level than tourists are able to.
So that’s our Shanna update! She’s only got about a year left—but who’s counting? (smile)