Saturday, May 31, 2008

First update from Joel

You all don't have to read this, but I know a lot of family members want to be kept in the loop with what is going on in Spain. Joel got into Barcelona around 7:00 am Spain time this morning, but that was 11:00 pm our time. He had to wait in the airport for 8 hours for the bus to pick him up to take him to the hotel with the other participants that arrived today. Obviously, he used most of that time to sleep.

Here is the email he sent today:

Hi Honey Puck,

I'm emailing you from a conducting buddy's computer - no computer access in town unfortunately. I just got finished eating rabbit - I ordered it from a Spanish restaurant, it was delicious. The food is amazing here. Of course, I start my email to you talking about food - sorry!

Well, here's the low down. The "random" letter of the alphabet was just chosen for tomorrow and it was "B" and since there are no "A" named conductors, we will start in exact alphabetical order tomorrow - I conduct at 6:20 pm in the teatru. We are expected to conduct the movement (which THEY choose) all the way through and then rehearse it. The bad news they just announced is that because only 29 people are here for the preliminary auditions, they decided to mathematically adjust the number who will make it to .... SIX!? Yep, only six of us 29 will make it, not 10. Keep your fingers crossed and your arms folded!

On the plane ride here I sat next to a guy from Barcelona and the first thing he asked (after chatting for a couple minutes), was "Tell me about the Mormon church." It was a hand-picked missionary opportunity. We talked for about 3 hours straight! He's not interested in religion but it was great for me to at least get my feet wet explaining Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, etc. He was convinced that Mormons and the FLDS are the same thing - I had to strongly deny the charge.

It's been fun so far - I've been hanging out with the Americans exclusively. There are about 5 of us. I've pretty much brought up the church and my mission constantly, maybe 10 times to various people. It's a great missionary opportunity doing something like this.

It was a pain being at the airport all day - I fell asleep in about 10 different positions on the same chair, I was soo soo tired. I was there for 8 hours! Not fun at all.

Well, I miss you, too, honey. You would absolutely love it here. The weather is very cool and the terrain quite hilly - it reminds me a lot of San Francisco.

Tell the girls I love them so much and can't wait to see them again.

I love you, honey - the next time I email (tomorrow night) I will know if I'm one of the six. Pray for me.



Meanwhile, I have been having lots of fun with my kids, as promised. It is good, because I am extremely nervous about the whole Spain thing (and Joel just gave me even more reason to be nervous with the number SIX in there). Yesterday after I dropped him off at the airport, the girls and I went to one of my best friend's house. She has an uber fun backyard, so the kids played hard while we caught up and held her brand newest baby.

This morning we went to my nephew's coach pitch game, ate ice cream and enjoyed the sun. When we got back, we helped my parents do the weeding in their big backyard. Bria and Chloe (and Sophie, too) discovered all the tons of snails and were enamored of them. I will have to blog about that in more detail and with pictures, if I can figure out how to upload and resize on my parents' computer.

Have a great weekend!
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. I can't believe I'm the first person to leave a comment.
    Lara we will pray for you and Joel. I love that you are willing to writing about this, Have Faith we will too. I told Tanner about this and when he was saying his prayer he closed by saying "Help my mom's cousin Joel so he can wave the wand like Curious George but, in the place in Spain." Thank you for give me and my family faith. Love you guys.So sorry this is so long.

  2. The hard part of faith is you have no idea WHY he is there. To promote the church? To promote himse? To meet someone? To drive you insane? THE EXCITEMENT IS KILLING ME. Oh, the suspense.
    Love you Lara, everything will be good. :)

  3. Lara, Joel will be i our Prayers! I KNOW HE IS THE BEST ONE THERE so there is no doubt he will go far! Hang in there and we are anxious to see the results!!! Have fun.


  4. We will be praying and hoping for him. My mom saw him conduct at graduation and commented on him and she didn't even know that I knew him, but she said that she just loved watching him conduct. He will do GREAT.

  5. I'm nervous, too.... Thinking of you all!

  6. Crossing my fingers!!! I'll be checking back for more updates soon!