Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Taste of Home

We attended church last Sunday in Telde.  There are two Wards and one Branch on this island.  The Telde Branch is a very small congregation with only an average of 35 people in attendance.  They were a very friendly group and made us feel right at home.

This is Francesca Peña, the first person to be baptized as a member of the church on the island of Gran Canaria, in 1978.  That is the year that Elder Larsen came home from his mission.  She and her husband had joined the church.  He passed away 3 1/2 years ago, about the same time as my father.  She showed us a copy of the Book of Mormon that she had written her testimony in back in 1978.  What a very sweet lady!  A pioneer of the islands.  

When the bishop got up to announce the intermediate hymn, he said that afterwards the Larsen's would share some thoughts with the congregation.  I about died.  I could not think of a thing that I could say in Spanish.  So, I spoke first and told about our family, about how excited we were to be able to serve in the Canary Islands for two years, and I shared a very simple testimony of my love for the Savior and my desire to share this message with the people of this island.  I hope to have a little advanced notice to prepare for my next time to speak in church.  The speakers and teachers were all very well prepared and I was very uplifted by the messages that were shared.  It just goes to show that numbers don't matter.  It is the individual knowledge and testimony of each member.  

For our P-day this week, we decided to invite the missionaries from Las Palmas to come to our house. They don't have a lot of places to go or fun things to do on their day off, so we provided some food and some fun.  

Emails were written to families at home.

 Hermana Caballero, Hermana Grover,  Hermana Irigoyen 

Elder Shumway, Elder Beuden,  Elder Larsen

They played ping pong (no picture.)

They played basketball.
 Elder Beuden, Elder Shumway, Elder Brewer, Elder McWhorter

They played soccer.
 Elder McWhorter, Hermana Irigoyen, Elder Brewer, Hermana Caballero

They kicked the ball over the fence
Elder McWhorter went over the fence.

The other three looked on like little kids in a school yard who wanted to get away.

We fried chicken.

And it tasted like HOME!  Yum!!

Elder Beuden helped mash the potatoes.

Dinner was enjoyed by everyone.

We played Minute-to Win-It.

We devoured an Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream.

The hermanas with the balcony view.

The elders with a balcony view.
Island Attire?  Too Funny!

On Monday, I got a call from one of the hermanas on the other island.  She had been asked to sing for the upcoming Zone Conference and wanted me to accompany her.  She emailed me the music and I started my practicing before teaching piano lessons and after English class on Tuesday because I don't have a piano here at the house.  Elder Larsen and I are both having good attendance at our classes, and we actually see some progress with our students.  

Wednesday, we got to have our first District Meeting with the elders in Vecindario.  Elder Larsen attended there meeting, and I took advantage of the time to practice once again.  Elder Larsen had grilled some chicken and we used the barbeque sauce that we found at the store that said it was a Texas brand.  It is actually not too bad!  
Elder Rawlinson, Elder Echegaráy (Argentina), Elder Gentry, Elder Antezana (Brazil) , Elder Poulson, Elder Lopez (Mexico), Elder Larsen

So, I decided to make German Style Chicken for the young adults Wednesday.  I had not made it for years because of the calorie count, but we will forget about that and only think about how delicious it is.  But, there was a problem.  Well, actually a couple or problems.  First, the ovens here are strange, for several reasons, but I will only include one in this post.  There is a dial that you turn to the temperature setting and an indicator light comes on when you do this.  Then there is a selection dial for the heating element that you want to use.  But, you must turn the timer knob to some minutes before it will begin heating.  I think you know where I am going with this.  After over an hour with the chicken in the oven, I realized that I had not turned the timer knob on.  Two things were working in my favor.  One, I had browned the chicken earlier that day, and had put it in the liquid in the refrigerator.  Then, I heated it up right before putting it in the oven.  Two, I had just finished baking a cake, so the oven was hot when I put the food in.  It just started cooling at that point.  So, when I realized that the chicken was sitting in a cold oven, I put it back on the cooktop to heat it to boiling before starting the "Transporting Game."  I will share those details another day.  But in the removal of the pot of chicken at the church, week two of stuff on my clothes at Vecindario.  The blessing was the chicken was tender and delicious.

Just a few of the buttery spots on my white shirt and skirt.
Goal for next week:  No mishaps on Wednesday night.

We had several new young adults who joined us on.  We had a nice lesson, delicious, fattening chicken, and played Minute-to Win-It games afterwards.
Dario Umpierrez with a not so successful attempt at grabbing the pencils.

We also sang Happy Birthday to Elder Rawlinson for his 19th.  These guys are so young, 
but so dedicated!

Thursday night we had piano practice, piano lessons, English class and Family Night.
We played another silly group game with two ties, trying to catch up to each other.  I think the elders came up with this game just to get to take off their ties for a little while.  As you can tell, everyone gets into the games and they are very competitive.

Oudette (Senegal)   Felix

Marta Flores brought me homemade tortillas.  

We were supposed to go to the park with our Las Palmas group on Saturday night, but, the plans were changed at the last minute.  I had already purchased everything for hot dogs, so we stuck to the menu and had our picnic at the church.  You can buy hot dogs here, (some actually come in cans, but we did not opt for those.)  And I found some cans of chili. We bought baby gherkin pickles that tasted like straight vinegar and I added sugar to them.  After setting for several days, they tasted pretty sweet, so we chopped them up for relish.  We chopped onions, sliced cheese, and I even managed to make some decent baked beans with what I could find.  They have hot dog buns, but I found out as I was serving that they are not precut.  Several people already had theirs and they sliced it from the top.  They said that was how they always did it.  They had had hot dogs, but not with all the fixings.  They tried all the toppings and it was a total success.

 Sara Marcos, Aida Cruz, Joan Peña, Elder Larsen
Jhon Rodriguez, Josue Muñoz, Fran Marcos

The hermanas dropped in just in time to finish off the last dogs.

I practiced the piano before our meeting and then practiced with the hermanas on another song that they are going to sing.  At least it is just a hymn so no need for extra practice time.   

On Monday morning at 7:30 a.m., we are taking a ferry over to the island of Tenerife for a Zone Conference.  The directions that we could find on line were very sketchy, so on Saturday morning, we decided we needed to take a drive over to the port.  It is further north than we had ever driven.  The highway that we take to the church in Las Palmas is GC-1.  It runs right along the seawall.  These pictures were taken from around the other side of the point, looking back at GC-1.

We attended a baptism in Vecindario on Saturday evening.  It was a very nice meeting and José is part of our group on Wednesday nights.

This is the portable baptismal font that they used.  I had heard Elder Larsen tell the story about when they had a portable font, (not nearly as nice as this one) and they were baptizing a very, very large man. The sides of the font gave way and the room was flooded.  Nothing nearly so exciting happened for us. It was a very spiritual meeting instead.

Fabio Sanchez baptized José Sanchez.

We had another great week!


  1. Thanks Cheryl for sharing weekly mission experience with us. Kelly G

  2. Yes, thank you for sharing! Did you ever think you would be doing so much cooking???

    1. We thought that CES stood for Church Educational System, but in the MTC we were informed that it stood for Cooking Every Second. That isn't far from the truth. I sure am glad that Cody is a handy helper in the kitchen.

  3. You are going to need a whole new wardrobe at this rate!

  4. I had better let you know that , "then there were 2" is Kim and Sue