Nicole Palafox continues to reflect on her time in Spain, sharing her weaknesses very candidly.
Honestly, I think one of my biggest blunders this trip was being homesick. And granted, I still get homesick from time to time, but Spain has been one of the biggest blessings God has given me. I’m by the beach, which is one of my favorite places to be in general and I’m with people who love me. I’m also learning so much and listening to God more.
Arianna talked to us about homesickness at one point and she said something along the lines of “He just wants to be with you…He’s jealous for you.” I had never thought of it that way, but after going through Song of Solomon, it made more sense that He would be jealous of me and my time and who I’m choosing to spend it with in the states. But here, I get time with Him and time with His people and getting to know more about this part of Spain. It is so beautiful and it is such a gift and I’m so grateful that this is my first mission’s trip. It won’t be my last.
One of the nicest people I know, I met in Spain. Her name is Susana and she is just the most wonderful human being. She loves to love others, she loves to give, and she loves to greet people. When I first met her, she literally welcomed me with open arms. She knows a lot about what we do because of Kelly and Gracie so she asked me my name and when she realized I spoke Spanish, she automatically felt more comfortable with me. But I realized through different interactions with her that there are not many people in the world like her. She treats her customers with respect and love. It is so incredible to watch. She had a competition for us and was going to choose her top three favorites but she couldn’t, so she made all of us breakfast. She is a great cook. I really am truly blessed to have met her and her husband Vidal. I hope to be able to come back and get to know her better and to pour more love into her life.
There is a very weak spiritual climate in Altea; there are two Catholic churches and other small churches spread out. I attended two Catholic masses and they were both short. The masses are even shorter than in the States, which is one hour at most. It was about thirty minutes long and the priest spoke so fast that it was difficult to understand him even though I understand a lot of Spanish. It makes me sad but the Spaniards were, for a long time, forced to practice Catholicism so most of the Spaniards are turned off to religion in general. There were mostly elders that attended church, which also says a lot about the younger generations and how it is not a prominent thought in their minds.