From the moment set foot outside the airport, I was greeted by four members of MISSAM , Spain. Their spanish hospitality was warm and welcoming. Although, we had just met for the very first time, I felt as though I had already known them. We stayed at the House in Madrid for two days before going to Granada. The next day all visitors who were staying there were taken on a tour of the city. The buildings, architecture, and sculptures are exquisite. There is so much history to learn that it is impossible to take it in all at one time. Two days in were spent Madrid with the other group of Lay missionaries from other countries. We then met up with the rest of the locals to collaborated on the same project (General Chapter XVlll.) in Granada.

I felt blessed start the day with Laudes, food for the soul and light breakfast prepared by the house, food for body. Then worked on the chapter. That went on for the remainder of our stay there before going to Pamplona. And of course we again got to see beautiful Granada and all of it’s splendor. Always thinking and missing my family overseas.

My experience at the Mother House in Granada is one that will forever remain my heart. We toured the house where she lived, walked, prayed. We were immersed in all of her personal affects, family photos, artifacts that were hers and her family. Copies of letters written by her own hand. Beautiful paintings were also on display. It all exudes María Emilia Riquelme. The house was designed and decorated beautifully with actual furniture of that time. It was surreal, I couldn’t believe that I was walking in the same spaces and observing all the love she put into making it what it is today. The Chapel was her main love because Jesus is always there waiting for us. I felt connected with our Founder whenever I was at Mass in the chapel perhaps because, I knew how much time María Emilia spent there. Working with MEL from other countries was a great. It was a learning experience, and questions I had before regarding the document became clear after attending our 20 day gathering. They explained, accompanied me, and were very helpful and patient as well.

We also shared the joy of watching live on UTube the election of Sr. Marian Macias who was elected as the new Mother General. That was exciting for me.

After we were united with the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Immaculate, we began to work cohesively with them to edit and improve the project.

Daily Mass, Laudes, Vespers, adoration was always part of our day. That was is heaven on earth. I believe in the power of prayer, and with so many prayer warriors in one place, our prayers will produce a good outcome. Daily Mass daily, along with a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament are like multivitamins for the soul. So I plan to remind myself to not to forget my vitamins.

After most of the work was done, we celebrated with entertainment from various countries, each one dressed in their native attire. I experience happiness watching everyone enjoying themselves. The planning group was phenomenal from the start of the project to the end. I will forever be grateful to them for the invitation. But most of all I thank God for this great opportunity of allowing me to travel to a strange country and meet many lovely people.

Marina Heiy