Monday, June 16, 2014


This week, I AM THANKFUL FOR a dear, sweet husband who will help with whatever is needed.
We had fairly uneventful days on Monday and Tuesday.  Just the usual responsibilities with meal planning, shopping, running Elder Shumway, our zone leader, to the airport, and some house cleaning on our P-day.  We had our usual English Class on Tuesday night.  But Wednesday morning, when I had two large groups to prepare meals for, I found weevils in my lasagna noodles.  That is when Elder Larsen came to the rescue.  He jumped right in, without even being asked, and started de-weeviling. He removed everything from the pantry, scrubbed down every shelf, sprayed, and reorganized the pantry, all while keeping a smile on his face.  (I would also like to add that I am grateful for my huge walk-in pantry.)
Thank goodness, the weevils were only in the pasta, and they hadn't made it to the 5 kg bag of flour that I just bought.  Also, I was thankful that I had a box of lasagna noodles that were sealed in plastic inside of the box, that the weevils weren't able to get into, so I had enough noodles for my afternoon meal.

I made two large pans of lasagna, garlic bread, and salad.  For dessert we had our family favorite scotcheroos.  Too bad that only one of the six ingredients, sugar, is something that I can buy at a good price at the local grocery store.  Rice Krispies and peanut butter can be found at a few stores, but at a steep price, and corn syrup, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips are items that have been purchased in the States and brought over here.  I am thankful for the corn syrup that Hermana Buhler had on hand.

 A meal that tasted like home, even if I had to pay almost $2 a cup for the cottage cheese.  

It is a pleasure to cook for these missionaries who are always so thankful for everything I fix.

Elder Bird and Elder Shumway had a Zone Leader meeting in Madrid on Tuesday.  They gave a great meeting about the importance of 
Elder Antezana (Bolivia) and Elder Echegaráy 
after the announcement
 that they would not be able to watch any 
World Cup Games,
even if they were with investigators.

I'm proud of all of these missionaries for being so attentive in a meeting so late in the afternoon.

These three girls always make me smile.  They are the best!

We got back from our zone meeting about 6:30 p.m. and rushed to finish the next meal, spaghetti, garlic bread, broccoli, and chocolate cake, so that we could be out the door by 8:00 p.m.  The 5 kg sack of flour I bought was very inexpensive.  It actually is not as fine, so it is closer to the consistency of flour back home.  My chocolate cake was perfect.  Maybe I have found a solution to that problem.  

Cody gave the first Institute lesson for the summer.  He used Pres. Uchtdorf's talk, "Grateful in Any Circumstance."  He also shared a video about Chris Williams, whose wife, who was 6 months pregnant, and two of his children were killed by a teenage drunk driver.  This video is about 8 minutes long and is worth the time it takes to watch it.  What a great reminder of how we all need to be grateful for our blessings that are always there, even in times of trial!  Thanks, Elder Larsen, for a great lesson.

We had piano lessons and English Class on Thursday night.  We have such good people that attend our classes.  they are patient with me as I use my "broken" Spanish to try to teach them English.  I was sad to send one of my students to Elder Larsen's class.  Everything we were going over was a review for Stella, so I had to be unselfish and send this sweet lady on to the more advanced class.
Felix was so thoughtful to bring me a ream of paper for our English Class.

Hermana Caballero, Hermana Grover, and Hermana Irigoyen taught the lesson for Noche de Hogar.

I loved their diagram of the purpose of this life.  
We all are born and have two major problems to overcome,
Physical Death and Spritual Death.  
Jesus Christ provides the way to overcome both of these problems.
Christ is the bridge over Physical Death through 
His Atonement and Resurrection.

His Atonement also Provides a way for us as Sinners to Return to His Presence.
We overcome Spiritual Death, 
which comes about because of sin,
by having Faith Jesus Christ,
Repenting of our Sins,
Being Baptized, which opens the Doorway to the Path 
that leads us back to Christ.
After Baptism, we are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost
 to help us along that path.
Then we must Persevere to the Final Day,
Where by His Grace, 
We can live with Him again. 

A Great Lesson

Elder Shumway (Fran Marcos) and Elder Beuden
I was so proud of these missionaries for cutting up fresh melons for our refreshments.

Friday morning, I got brave and got my hair cut.  Elder Larsen had his haircut on Monday.  He decided to try the peluqueria that is just down the street from the church in Las Palmas.  He walked in and took the next available person, who happened to be a Chinese man, Ping, who speaks very little English, some Spanish, and lots of Chinese.  Elder Larsen opted to communicate in Spanish.  I wish I had a video of the way that he cuts hair.  His fingers are constantly moving as he opens and closes the scissors without ever stopping. Very interesting technique, but he probably gave Elder Larsen the best haircut he has had in several years.  He was very grateful, because all of his haircuts as a missionary 38 years ago earned him the title of "Buzzy" because his hair stuck out in every direction.  

So, on Friday, I decided to see how Ping could cut my hair.  I have struggled with my hair since we have been here because of the humidity.  I knew it would be a problem, so I had gone through the painful process of letting my layers grow out before we got here.  I wrote out how I wanted my hair cut, translated it into Spanish, had Elder Larsen review it, and took it with me to give to Ping.  One hour later, I had a haircut that was nothing like I had asked for.  It was actually how I had been wearing my hair before I let it grow out.  He did a very nice job of cutting it the way I didn't ask for.  At least it is cut well.  

This week, Elder Larsen planted the seeds in the neglected garden plot that he has been working in.  He had also been looking for some tomato plants.  We stopped at a plant nursery and they told us to try the Farmer's Market that is held in downtown Santa Brígida every Friday and Saturday.  Success!  And we also bought some beautiful wave petunias.  

Friday night we had a baptism for Andrea.  She is such a beautiful, intelligent little girl.  Willie Roka baptized her.  He is her dance teacher and introduced her family to the church.    

What a happy day for all of them!

I was asked to accompany these cute little girls while they sang.

Saturday the missionaries were in charge of a big activity for our the Las Palmas Ward.  It took them most of the day Saturday to get the building set up.  I had offered to make the refreshments.  I had found some almond extract at the British-American Store that is just down the street from the Las Palmas building.  I decided to make Almond Puff.  It actually turned out great, I just need to get more almond extract because the little bottle I bought won't go to far.  Also, this week, the stores all got together and decided to raise their prices on Super Glass (powdered sugar.)  It had been running about $1.26 for two cups.  Overnight, all the stores got together and decided to start charging $1.70 for the same amount.  So, I found a recipe on the internet for chocolate icing that uses regular sugar instead of powdered sugar.  It isn't a light and fluffy icing, but it worked perfect for the Almond Puff.  I also made a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies.  My "cheap" flour worked well, and I used some of my precious brown sugar and chocolate chips.  
Elder Larsen and I showed up at the church with lunch for the missionaries: barbeque chicken sandwiches, coleslaw, carrot sticks, chips, and cookies.  They loved it!  Nice to cook for such an appreciative bunch.  

The activity simulated an airplane flight. 
The safety video told us the steps to pray,
always the safest thing to do in case of an emergency.
They showed a video of 
Elder Nelson talking about a flight he was on when the turbulence
was so bad that people thought they were going to die.  
The lady next to him was hysterical, but he felt calm,
knowing that he was ready to meet his maker, if it was his time to go.
After the video,
the plane crashed.  
(What great sound effects they had!  
What did we do before computers and the internet?)

We were told that our lives had all come to an end 
and that we would be shown the three kingdoms that people would be sent to.
Afterwards, we watched a video about our Savior 
and how He has made it possible for us all to repent and to
Come Unto Him.

Hermana Grover trying to get all the sound equipment to work.

The elders used multiple trashbags to section off the room to resemble and airplane. 
Elder McWhorter, Elder Beuden, And Elder Brewer demonstrating
 the airbags 
that they so cleverly figured out how to have 
fall from the ceiling of the airplane.

Hermana Irigoyen covering the windows of one of the classrooms.

Hermana Caballero arranging the sitting area for one of the kingdoms.

Elder Brewer, Fran Marcos, Elder Beuden, and Elder Shumway hard at work.

 Aida Cruz and Fran Marcos were our flight attendants.
Fran gave the directions in Spanish and then Aida gave them in English.
(She just returned from her mission in Leeds, England.)

Notice the strings hanging down from the ceiling.
The elders rigged a way to drop the oxygen masks during the crash.
So clever!

 Elder McWhorter read the scriptures describing the Telestial Kingdom.  
Elder Brewer played the part of a sin-racked murderer, thief, robber.
He was tormented by the wicked life that he had lived 
and knew it was too late to change.

Elder Shumway read the scriptures of those who will be in the Terestrial Kingdom.
Elder Beuden played the part of one who lived a good life, 
but did not value and honor the knowledge he had of Jesus Christ.
He felt remorse for not acting upon that knowledge.

 It was so beautiful when we walked into the Celestial Kingdom.  
The hermanas had covered everything in white. 

 A family sat together on the couch, 
representing a family that has been sealed together for eternity. 

Hermana Irigoyen read the scriptures about the Celestial Kingdom.
They gave a short message about the happiness we will feel
living in the presence of
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
There was such a feeling of peace and tranquility.

Lots of hard work, 
But a wonderful evening that was enjoyed by all.

Ana Torres, Primary President of Las Palmas Ward, has a friend who lives close to the church and loves to take random pictures of the missionaries.  This is one that Ana shared with me this week of Elder Beuden and Elder Shumway.

Elder Larsen spent the past two weeks getting ready for a special Father's Day.  (Here they celebrate Father's Day in March.)  He will remember it as the day he gave his first talk here in the Islands, at the Telde Branch.  He was a little worried about it, but he did a great job.  We always enjoy visiting in Telde. 


  1. This is so great to see our missionaries. Thank you so much for watching over them. It's always great to see the smiles on their faces. Especially Elder Beuden. I’m surprised they didn’t pump oxygen into the airbags. I bet they thought about it.

  2. I just wanted to let you know how much we love your son. He is a great missionary and this past
    week I have missed his cute smile and the twinkle in his eye. He always had a positive attitude and was ready and willing to work. I knew this would be the hard part of the mission for me and I don't like saying goodbye to these missionaries. You can be very proud of him. He is doing a great job!