This morning I had “Round Two” of trying to get my visa turned in at the Plaza de España in downtown Sevilla. My co-worker Dan and I set out at 7:00 am to beat the traffic that hit me leaving at 7:30am last Thursday. This week we started out on a good foot. Sunday I had a good week back leading the music at Puebla Evangelical Church, and Monday night we had a nice FIEIDE Pastor’s meeting in Sevilla, where I got some good counsel about my residency process from other missionaries. So Dan and I left first thing this morning, and we got ahead of the traffic, though the line at Plaza de España was just as long as last time. This time when we got to the receptionist at the front window, she gave me a number, and after waiting another hour or so, after 10am, my number was called and I was attended by a much, much nicer and helpful lady, than the Franco who attended me on Thursday. I now wonder if it was the receptionists fault on Thursday for sending me to that awful man. This time it was a different receptionist, and she just gave me that ticket with a number on it, so it made things much easier. The first lady took my documents and she and another lady needed to see when I entered the country so I had to find the stamp in my passport from October 6th. I found it, they hadn’t seen it since it was on a different page from other stamps, and it was stamped in Lisboa, not Madrid or Sevilla. So they were satisfied to see that stamp and see that I had recently been granted my visa from the Consulate of Los Angeles, as they filled in a form about me on their computer. I turned in the necessary papers, like I tried to on Thursday, but these ladies did know what I was doing, where the other guy acted like I was dumb for showing him my visa and documents. I was directed by the Funcionario lady to the next office, she gave me a piece of paper where I could either call and try to make an appointment, or wait to make one in person. I chose to try to do it right then, and today it was successful! Dan and I DID have to wait even longer in the hallway where I got stared down at on Thursday, and by this time the morning was gone. After a long wait and seeing people with a number for that office go in ahead of us, Dan suggested we just try calling in. I asked as politely as I could, when I saw the Guard of the door wasn’t busy, if he could tell us when Miguel the appointment man was free, to remind him that’s why we had sat there for half-an-hour or longer. He did feel bad for us, and shouted down the hall at the other guard to not send down anymore people with numbers yet. That gave us a gap in the flow of people to get in to see the appointment man. It was the same man I needed an appointment from last time, but they didn’t tell me how to ask for it Thursday, this time, the other lady gave us a paper to show what we needed from him. I told him about how the front desk didn’t know the form he told me about last time, so he sent me to a lady across the room, next to the awful civil servant who had insulted me. She helped me both make my appointment to pick up my ID card and to find me the form that I needed. I was very grateful for her help and thanked her loudly, hoping her awful co-worker would here my gratitude. Dan let out a “Whoop” of celebration when we got past the crowd in the entrance of the office. By then it was almost noon and there were tour groups from China and Scandanavia touring the Plaza de España. We marched back to the parking garage and Dan didn’t let me pay parking, and we didn’t have time to get Starbucks like I had offered him, so we agreed I could take him and Joan out to the Chinese restaurant by their house.
Speaking of Chinese: Last Night, at the pastor’s meeting, Dan and I were enthused to see a good group of Chinese Evangelical Christians meeting at 10:00 pm at the church in Sevilla. I made sure to shake as many of their hands as I could, to make them all feel welcome, some men coming in looked lost and were looking around, so I guessed that they were visitors of other Chinese men who seemed more at home in the church. So I’m grateful for Dan my co-worker for being a good-luck charm this time. We had a nice conversation with an Arab man from Argel and I hope we got to be a witness. He was very nice to us when we saw him later in the building, and even offered his seat to Dan, which was a nice gesture since the office was jam-packed with shoulder to shoulder Immigrants. I now have my appointment to receive my residency card, and it will be much more smooth sailing for me from this point on! Praise God for helping me to work through this!!