Sunday, October 20, 2013

He dropped a quick line to let us know he is there. Sounds like fun but challenging.

Hey they told me to use a few minutes to tell you that I am in Barcelona for my first area in the 3rd ward. The building is freaking amazing. I can´t understand a dang thing, and my companion is from Argentina. He has one dialect then I was taught another dialect and a ton of people  speak Catalan or whatever which is a mixture of French, Spanish and like Italian or Romanian. It is messed up. I can´t believe any of this stuff.  My companions name is Elder Ferrer. He speaks some English but it is still super hard. Half the time I can´t say anything when we start talking to people. Anyways I'm here and doing good oh yeah and I don´t go to bed till 11 30 and wake up at 7 30 because Spain is a party place so they are all up late. Seriously though this is the hardest thing so far that I have ever done.
anyways  love you guys oh yeah and my area goes right up to the beach. 

I think you guys have the mission office address to send stuff to I will see if I can get my piso address on Monday. Oh yeah my piso is a load of crap.  when we cam in on Tuesday we stayed with temporary companions and did some work that night they had a super nice piso. My piso is crap and I live in the ghetto of Barcelona but my area is the rich neighborhood. When the president says think of this mission as part of South America with baptisms its because everyone and there mother moves here from South America. I have only contacted a few Spaniards. 

Love Elder Billingsley

He made it to Barcelona!!!

Well after a few days we finally received an e-mail from President and Sister Pace to let us know Blake made it to Barcelona and is ready to go to work.  So exciting to here these things for sure.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Madrid MTC Missionaries ~ 22 Sept 2013 ~ "Army of Helaman"

Last letter from the MTC! October 14th, 2013

hey yeah it is crazy I am leaving at 6 in the morning. I found my umbrella hidden in one of the pockets. I looked for the whole six weeks I was here for it. drove me nuts. Yes I have like 50 pounds of books to pack but lucky I have tons of room. I am almost done packing to. its not to bad. but I did have to figure out where to start with it all. yes I have gotten some letters from girls.  I will definitely send all my new info when I get it. and I am pretty sure that my p day is Monday. I am starting to get pretty good at the lisp with all the speaking I just have a hard time all around with everything. the lisp is called a theta. They pronounce it with za ce ci zo zu. it is just like the vowels. it is some crazy stuff. I don´t know how I am going to communicate with people . I am screwed if my comp is a native. and not a single person can pronounce my name yet. In the park Saturday me and my comp talked with this lady we contacted who spoke some English for like over an hour she took a Book of Mormon and we got here contact info then we contacted a guy from Argentina who is a professor at one of the colleges for a while and he took a Book of Mormon but didn´t really want us to contact him. He was more interested in just asking us about what we believe than wanting to talk more. 
I miss you guys. I have that pre game feeling again
Love Elder Billingsley
I can´t believe I am already going out to the filed. It is insane how fast the last six weeks has been.  There where times where it felt really long but sometimes where it felt really short. And right now is one of those short moments. Wish I had a few more weeks to get the language a little better. I already know that the first few months are going to be the worst for me. You start wondering if you are ready to actually do the real thing after doing all these practice lessons and contacting people in the park which really isn´t that hard especially since most of them flip us off in some form. It happens so much you just start to laugh every time it happens.  In fact I don´t think I have been flipped the bird so many times in my life. Oh and apparently we might get I pads in the nest 6 months to a year.  There might even be the possibility of us keeping them when we are done the mtc pres said. We will see. I guess tonight we get a pizza party. dominos pizza. I just want some Americanized grease right now. Even if I have gained weight since getting here. Last night we had a talent show. All the districts had to do something. My district redid the hey there Delilah song to dear john lyrics it was freakin awesome. Ours was the funniest one.
love blake

October 10th, 2013 letter

wow Bria already looks a ton different. and it has only been just over a month.  1 out of 24 . I wish I could have been there to see her. I love it when people can´t control themselves.  I can´t believe that the hawks lost. I am disappointed but they still have a whole season. I got to go on another temple tour. I can honestly say that looking in the mirror across from the alter is kind of crazy it just goes and goes and goes.  I tried to do the temple in Spanish today but they didn´t have enough headsets. our sessions are in English.  so my card said Spanish on it so when I got to the veil I had to do it in Spanish. that was kind of crazy. I can honestly say my Spanish sucks.  I can understand what is going on when someone talks to me but my Spanish sucks I just can´t speak it. I only have a few days left here at the mtc. it has gone by so fast. I feel like I need another few weeks to really learn some stuff. my trainer is going to have to work hard because I feel like I know squat.
I think this general conference I got more out of it than I ever have. it is crazy how much more you get out of it when you are with the spirit 24/7. sorry for the typing these keyboards are messed up.  I thought there were a ton of good talks. I thought about Holland's talk on depression and wish that everyone where we live at least would here it.  that stuff is crazy.  I feel like every other talk was about missionary work. heck even elder Ballard gave us a shout out from the pulpit. it is kind of crazy to think that i shook his hand a few weeks ago and there were two other guys that spoke that where with him.  they talked so much about missionary work.  I can´t remember who said it but someone talked about everyone in the church needs to invite one person to attend activities before Christmas or something like that. that would be crazy if that happened. this is my last p day here so I figured I would get my hair cut and get already for the field.  I guess we might have to leave at like 6 in the morning here because of when trains leave to get to Barcelona. kind of crazy.
Dad you look good in glasses and that sweatshirt is bomb.  We get email time on Monday so I better get some more letters. I think they are giving us addresses to email you and stuff like that for our first area.  Can´t wait to get to the field even though I know absolutely no Spanish. 
love Blake
Holy crap it has gone by so fast. yes I have enjoyed the last month. it has been super hard and fun and all kinds of crazy emotions. ha ha you guys even forgot piano when I was home. Yes tell her to take the practice test, it is so important. I really wish I would have taken it. I will definitely tell you about everything during my mission and about my companions. As for my companions in the MTC. My first companion was Elder Ward. We got along really well. The companion I got when the new guys arrived is Elder Hally from Idaho Falls.  Oh yeah Elder Ward is from somewhere in Utah, but there are two guys I get along with really well here. Elder Schoen and Elder Poulsen.  Apparently we are such good friends that when we get back me and Elder Schoen have to help Poulsen propose to his girlfriend. lucky for him she is serving a mission in the Philippines so he has less time to get Dear Johned.  We give him so much crap about it.   I swear everyone else is from Utah though. There is this guy named Elder Roberts from Heber City Utah. He's a stud. I think I have met people from all over here. French Tahitian Russian German Portuguese Albanian and Italian.
How is Bria doing after her surgery? she is already getting huge.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

He finally sent some pictures from the MTC!! Looks like he is having fun!


Hey guys! I am doing great I guess. it feels like just ne big blur. The Spanish is coming very very slow. I can understand a basic conversation but after that it all goes down the drain. I do have a hard time speaking Spanish and it drives me nuts because I will say something in English and I realize latter that I could have said it in Spanish. Its definitely flu season here. Last week everyone here at the MTC was sick and some had to sleep it off for a day or two. I ended up with a sore throat but that is about it. I am ready to head off to Barcelona but still wish I had a few more weeks here to study. Provo might have been prison but the Madrid MTC is not in the best area. Yesterday we played soccer with a bunch of Spanish gang bangers. they were getting a little ticked off because a bunch of foreign white guys that couldn´t speak Spanish were kicking there butts.
I am glad BG is doing good and that my ducks and hawks are killing it. Me and this one Elder named elder Shoen are having withdrawals for football. he is for the Texans we are both serving in Barcelona.
I will try and send some pictures today. I did get a letter from Br. Furqueron. alright my companion´s name is elder Hally. he is from Idaho falls. we just got 5 Italian elders this week some temple session was in Italian. they were all taking out their own endowments. and yes they kill at soccer. its just like the movie kicking and screaming. "pass the ball to the Italians".  I don´t know what day I will have p day yet, but I will soon. so crazy that I have been here for almost 6 weeks.
yay they got my letters. I can´t believe how much Bria can say. she has already changed a ton I bet. I am glad that my drawing looks ok. I cant even remember what it is. I can´t wait for Coles letter. glad you guys are reading. I just finished Alma. it is hard to do personal reading with everything else. sometimes it is hard to focus when you are in a classroom for 10 hours a day. and I thought high school was do I get to call you and old man now that you have glasses. bifocals! I hope I never need those things. although I would probably look just as good in them. mom must kiss you more because you look smarter or something. maybe I should get some after all it might help me get  all kinds of kisses when I get back. today I think we are going to a museum to look at religious paintings of the trinity and the catholic church.
tell Cole it is ok to play dirty because its the only way I can play. Im screwed between the French and Italians. the French and Italians both have guys that almost played pro but didn't want to play on Sundays. one thing I have learned is that missionaries from other countries tend to work harder. me and some of the elders think it is because they are not expected to serve missions as much as the us missionaries. sometimes we have some crazy deep conversations about the church. in the end we all say the same thing. they church is simple, its true, if you do what the lord says you will be blessed.
elder Bannett says hi mom. he is this big old farm boy from Utah that has the most strongest worst accent ever. funniest thing to listen to him speak Spanish.