Monday, June 30, 2014

Cody's New Calling

This week I am grateful for my oldest son.  Thirty-three years ago, on Friday, I became a mother to a very determined baby boy.  We always knew that we needed to help him direct this determination for good.  It was not always a smooth ride, but what a fantastic husband, father, son, and brother this man is today.  We are so proud of him and all the good that he does!  I am very grateful for this oldest son of mine and love him with all my heart.

Because we had tranfers this week, Elder Larsen drove the taxi service.  He took Elder Beuden and Elder Brewer to the airport on Monday.  I wish I would have sent the camera with him as it must have been quite the sight watching two elders trying to get their bags down to the weight limit.  Elder Larsen came home with 25 lbs. of things that belonged to Elder Beuden.  We were charged with its safe keeping until someone heads to the peninsula.  

Elder Larsen also picked up Elder Thunell who will be Elder McWhorter's new companion.  He is from Arvada, Colorado.  (pictured below)

Tuesday, I started two new piano students who have pianos at their homes.  That makes it so much better for practicing and making progress, Denisse Roka Valido, who has been playing for a year and David Marquez who also has taken previously.  He is a young adult and wants to learn to play the hymns.  I also teach his younger sister, Paola Muñoz, on Tuesdays as well.  I love working with these young people because they are practicing and want to get better at the piano.  It was a holiday here in Las Palmas, so our English class was smaller than usual.  We also were surprised to find all the grocery stores were closed.  That did not help with our food planning and preparation.

Wednesday was busy as always.  We cooked in the morning, preparing a meal for the Las Palmas district meeting.  Elder Larsen dropped me off with the food, and then headed to the airport to pick up Elder Wiltbank, who is a new missionary from Wisconsin, and Elder Shumway will be his trainer.  We also had Elder Thunell with us for the first time at a district meeting.
Elder Wiltbank and Elder Thunell

Heremanas Irigoyen and Grover, Elders Thunell, McWhorter, Wiltbank, and Shumway

I wish I had words to describe how much I love these young people.
They are amazing!
They love the Lord and they want to serve Him.
Every time I see them, 
they have smiles on their faces.
They don't complain.  They are my heroes.  
I am grateful for the opportunity 
to serve with them.

Thursday was fairly routine.  I taught two piano lessons and English class.  Both of my students had practiced a lot during the week and were prepared for their lessons.  That always makes a piano teacher happy.  We played a game of Bingo in English Class.  Playing games makes learning more fun no matter what the age.

In a previous post, "Our First Trip to the Beach,"  I included pictures of the walk that we take up the mountain, almost everyday.  Almost at the top of the mountain, there are two large potato fields.  And almost everyday, Javier is out working in the fields.  He is usually moving the irrigation pipes.  Elder Larsen, in his very friendly way, has visited with Javier every time we see him. 
 We had noticed this week that the plants were beginning to yellow and new that it would soon be time for them to be harvested. (This picture was taken several weeks ago.)

 This is what the fields looked like on Friday morning.
(Javier is on the far right with the ball cap on.)
 This 78 year old gentleman, must be the owner of the fields
because he is the one 
who did the negotiating and set the price
when we asked to buy potatoes.

He told Cody it would be 8 euros for 28 lbs, 
but that we could always pay him a tip.
When we came back with the car and the money,
Cody tipped him 2 euros 
and they gave us about 15, big beautiful red potatoes.
The old man laughed and said,
"See what you get for paying a tip."

Friday was cooking day once again.  I made a big pot of pasta chicken salad and Jewish Sweet Bread.  
Because I can't get Italian Dressing here, I went online and found a recipe that is delicious.  Of course, it is not fat free, but with olive oil I can tell myself that it is healthy.  It does give a delicious flavor to the pasta.  We had a good group and Elder Larsen reviewed Elder Holland's talk from April Conference, "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship."  He did a great job and we had a good discussion.

Omar, Fran, David, Sara, Brian, Hermana Larsen, Elder Larsen, Aida, Christian, and Josué

Everyone enjoyed the food and they loved the snickerdoodles as usual.  
Here they are with their mouths literally stuffed with snickerdoodles!

A fun night with the Las Palmas Young Single Adults.

And we always enjoy a visit with the missionaries.

We actually had another Saturday without any meetings.  We were able to get some things done around the house.  We spent some more time cleaning the carpet and had the fans going to dry the carpet when
a man from church came by to measure the house to give the church a bid on how much it would cost
to replace part of the carpet with tile.  Even though I had just spent hours cleaning the carpet, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they pulled it up.  We doubt anything will be done, but the idea of new tile that I could actually keep clean sounds wonderful.  We will see!

We attended church today in Vecindario.  There was a lady there from Norway.  She has lived in Australia and the United States and she speaks very good English.  She was very happy to speak with us.  Elder Gentry spoke in sacrament meeting and of course his message was about missionary work. He shared an experience with us that he had when he was a teenager.  He has such a great attitude and is full of enthusiasm.  It was a great talk.  
Elder Gentry and Elder Rawlinson are our only missionaries in Vecindario.

Irenis Morillo is from the Vecindario Ward and she is leaving for the Barcelona Mission on July 22nd.

Tonight they had a Stake Priesthood meeting and Elder Larsen was sustained as a High Councilman. The stake was just organized in September.  Since we will be here for two years and Elder Larsen speaks Spanish fairly well, the Stake President felt like he could be a help to the stake.  We are waiting to find out exactly what his assignments will be.

It was also a special night for Fabio, one of our young adults. He was set apart as an Elder.

I have a story to share that happened one of the first weeks that we were here on the island.  It was either the first or second time that we had gone out for a walk.  There are many places where we walk that have rock walls like this.  As we walked along, I was closest to the wall, when all of the sudden from about 7 feet high, a lizard fell from the rocks, right in front of me, and hit its fat belly with a sickening thud on the pavement below, while his two friends scampered across the side of the walls and into some holes between the rocks.  The fall did not seem to faze the lizard as he quickly scampered off to continue his game of hide-and-seek with his friends.  Meanwhile, I was recuperating from the heart attack that I had just had.  When we got home, I went on line to find out about these lizards that I had seen.
It has taken some patience and lots of looking to finally get a picture of one of these lizards.
We see them all the time, but they scurry away very quickly.
They seem to be more afraid of me 
than I am of them.
And that's not a bad thing.

This lizard, Gallotia stehlini, is the largest species of lizard in the Canary Islands, and can grow to just over 30 inches.  I am grateful that the ones we have seen playing among the rocks have not been that big.  Our first day walking up to the white house, we took a wrong road and wound up hiking through the wilderness for about 20 minutes.  If you look back at the picture of the potato field, at the center of the picture, at the top of the hill, is where we took the dirt path to the left of the dirt road.  As we walked through some wilder areas, the entire time, I told myself not to think about lizards.  Elder Larsen was a wise man and did not point out the very large lizard that he saw while leading the way!

No comments:

Post a Comment