New Year, New Update

Well it has been quite a while since I've written. 2 months actually. Oops! :)

I'll try to give a short update of the last two months, but I'm sure this post will be a long one!

December:
I finished off my first semester of Spanish and passed my A1 exams (YAY!). Christmas was really good. I spent half of it with a Canadian family and the other half exploring Spain with the Guatemalan couple that I live with. It was an amazing time, even with the moments of homesickness here and there. Below are a few pictures of that time.

                                       Baking Christmas Cookies with Friends from School
                                                 Christmas Lights with Josue and Laura
                                                        Christmas with the Sapelaks

January:
I began a new semester at Alcalingua in A2. This semester has been quite different from the last one. A lot more about grammar and a lot less of about new words. It has been exciting to see how I have been growing in the language, but I am also hitting the point of frustration. It's harder to see progress and I am also almost at 6 months in Spain and the 4-6 month wall of adjusting to a new culture has been hard. On the positive side, I enjoying celebrating New Years in Spain and doing some of the traditions they have here including eating 12 grapes on the twelve ticks of midnight. I spent this night with Josue and Laura and their Guatemalan tradition is to stay up really late (or early), so we ended up staying up until 6am (only 2 hrs short of midnight in Alberta!). Needless to say the next day was a write off! Following that, we celebrated 3 Kings Day. This is the Spanish version of Christmas and this year it was on January 6th. We saw a VERY small parade (the one in Madrid goes on for hours and hours!) and celebrated with churros and chocolate! On January 27th I was also invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with my Chinese friend Ting and her friends. It was a great time and the food was AMAZING!
                                                                Chinese New Year!

February:
This month has been crazy busy! To start out with we had a family come on a vision trip to see if God is calling them to Spain. Following that, 4 days after they left, we had two new families arrive on the field. The Barkmans are from the States and have been living with me since the 8th. Yesterday they moved into their own apartment and after helping them move in, we had Tapas (Spanish supper - it's small plates of food). I was very proud to say that I tried new things and pushed myself outside my comfort zone eating pig's ear for the first time and whole fish! Check out the picture below.
 We also have a family who arrived from Honduras, the Ceballos. They are a family with two children, but one is 20 and didn't come along. It has been great getting to know them. Last weekend two really cool things happened. 1, the 15 min Bible study that I was having with my classmates has changed. The ladies decided that 15 mins was enough time (and I heartily agreed) and so we have switched to once a week at my house including lunch. We began this last weekend. We had lunch, and then ended up studying the bible for 4 hrs before I had to kick them out because I had another meeting. It was really encouraging and challenging at the same time! I am so grateful to God for this time. Following that, the next day, we had a field wide prayer day. So everyone in SEND Spain came to our house and we spent the whole morning praying together for our field, for SEND and for the world. It was really amazing. I also made a decision this week to quit Alcalingua next semester and get a tutor. There were lots of discussions that went into this decision but the biggest one being that my International Driver's License is going to expire and so I need to get my Spanish Driver's License. This semester ends March 17, and so after I finish that I will be taking 2 weeks off to focus on passing the written exam and then jumping in with a Language tutor. Having a language tutor also gives me a bit more freedom in my work schedule and so I am thankful for this. Please pray for me as I decided how to fill my language hours and in the decision of choosing the right language teacher.
                                                                    Fried whole Fish!
                                                                         Pig's Ear

Well that is me! I'll talk to you again next time!

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