Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Mini Miracle

This week, I am grateful to a mother who taught me how to cook.  I am also grateful that I enjoy cooking, because I am doing a lot of it, and almost always with a smile on my face.  I do cook for people who seem to like my food, and are very appreciative, so that helps.

Last Monday, I had two piano students.  One is new and has never taken any lessons before, but she is very bright and caught on very quickly.  Both of these girls were a pleasure to work with.

I came up with a new game for English Class, and it was very well received.  It is good when we can have fun and learn at the same time.  Even adult learners like to have fun.

We had a little miracle on Wednesday night.  We had just got everyone seated with their food and drinks, when one end of the table collapsed.  The miracle was that even though the one end went to the floor, the only thing that fell off was the water jug.  Not one bit of Chicken Cacciatore, noodles, green beans, or bread came off of the plates.  I am pretty sure that can be classified as a miracle.

 Elder Larsen cleaning up the water with a smile on his face.

 Kimberly and Irenis
Inzo and Fabio

We had a small group, but Elder Larsen gave a good lesson using Matthew 11:28-30.  We had a good discussion and everyone enjoyed the food. 

Thursday we did more piso inspections.  Even though it wasn't July 4th, I thought the Elders would enjoy some chocolate chip cookies.  I have to share the game that Elder Larsen told the missionaries that we were going to play while doing the inspections.  He shared with them that there was a time when our children were little, and rowdy during church.  To help motivate them to be quiet, we started rewarding them with ice cream after church.  If they were quiet, they could have 4 scoops of ice cream. If they were acting up and wouldn't listen to us, then we just held up 3 fingers, and they knew they had lost one scoop of ice cream, then 2 fingers, etc.  Most of the time, this worked really well, but we did have certain children who sometimes got down to no scoops, and the motivation was gone.  Nothing is perfect!  Anyway, we had a list from the office telling us what to look for  in the apartments.  Elder Larsen told the missionaries that for each item that wasn't clean, they would lose a cookie.  All of the missionaries were happy to find out that he was only kidding!
Hermana Larsen, Elder Poulson, Elder Dyer

Elders Rawlinson, Gentry, and Larsen

All of the missionaries worked hard on their apartments, 
and I don't think I can pick a 
cleanest apartment.
But I most definitely can pick the most interesting apartment.
I had to take pictures of this very interesting architecture!

 Ceiling in the living room.
 Archway between living room and eating area.
 Interesting rock work on various places throughout the apartment.
And look at the 
Ironing Board 
that these elders actually use!

Very custom kitchen 
Dishwasher, Built-in Oven, and Built in Microwave!
And isn't this exactly the color your would like to wake up to everyday?

Along with the piso inspections, we did talk about the importance of keeping collars clean and white. So, Elder McWhorter came up with his own ingenious idea of how to keep his collars white.  At least he gets points for creativity!

Thursday night, after English Classes, we had Family Home Evening.  The sisters were in charge of the lesson.  
 Hermana Irigoyen

Hermana Grover

I told them this photo looks like the "Vana White" version of a spiritual lesson!

 Elder Thunell and Elder Wiltbank

Elder Shumway and Elder McWhorter

Elder Wiltbank and Elder Shumway
were in charge of refreshments.
They were rather impressed 
with themselves that they had made sandwiches.
Even Elder McWhorter
wanted some credit!

Friday night, we had our largest group of young adults ever.  Elder Larsen gave a great lesson, we had some good discussion, and afterwards we gave them a good meal.  It was a very fun night.
Omar, Jhon, Naomí, Sara,Gabriella, Jonathon, Elder Larsen, Sara
Fran, David, Andres, Josué (who always has an interesting look for photos)
Aida had already left.

Saturday, we had a Young Single Adult Activity at the house for Vecindario and Las Palmas.  We thought that if we could get 15 here, it would be a good turn out.  We had 21, four who were friends. What a great turn out.  Was I ever glad that I had prepared a lot of food!  We had hot dogs with all the fixings, Barbecue Chicken sandwiches, potato salad with the fresh potatoes that we bought, yum yum! baked beans, 7 layer dip, chips, snickerdoodles, and Chocolate Lush, with Spanish substitutes.  They loved it all.

Afterwards, we formed two teams and played Minute-to-Win-It.  Lots of friendly competition.
 Gabriela and Aida trying out a game

 Aida explaining the rules.

 Team #1

 Team #2







 Sara, Irenis, Gabriela

Fran and Jonathon

They even had Elder Larsen and I do a game to break a tie.

Team #1 won Minute-to-Win-It, so the got to start the Treasure Hunt 2 minutes sooner than Team #2.
Elder Larsen made a very difficult 10 clue Treasure Hunt that took them all over the house and outside.
 Kimberly, Gabriela, and Sara

Sara, Omar, Jhon and Fabio

Even without the headstart, Team #2 came out victorious!

Irenis is leaving for her mission on July 22nd, so we had our activity as a farewell to her. 
We wish her the best.
She will be a great missionary in the Spain Barcelona Misison.

 After the games, Irenis opened the journal that the group gave her.  Everyone wrote in her journal.

Then we enjoyed a few minutes just to rest and relax after our busy games.
 David doesn't looked too relaxed with Sara about to hit him!

 Fabio, Inzo, Omar

 Kimberly, Jhon, Irenis


 Hermana Larsen and Gabriela

 Elder Larsen, Fran, Jonathon
 Hermana Larsen and  Sara
 The Girls!

The Guys!

A special thanks to
 Aida and Sara 
for planning a successful activity!

Elder Larsen had his first high council assignment to speak at the Telde Branch today, so we got to see these two wonderful elders.
 Elders Dyer, Larsen, Poulson

Then we headed over to Vecindario for the rest of our meetings. and we got to see these two wonderful missionaries.  We also had a Family Home Evening with them tonight with Fabio's brothers and sisters. We had a wonderful lesson on gratitude.  An attitude of gratitude truly can make us a better people. And I am grateful for all of the good people we have the opportunity to interact with here on the island.

Elder Rawlinson and Elder Gentry


  1. SO much fun! Can't believe all the cooking you're doing - quite a change from just cooking for you and Cody! You are both amazing!!!

  2. We thought that a CES mission was for Church Education System, but we found out at the MTC that it means Cooking Every Second. That is literally the truth here. So glad my husband is a good helper in the kitchen!

  3. Thank you so much for creating this blog where we, as parents of these fine missionaries, can get another glimpse into what the work is like on the canary islands. Thank you for all the pictures that you have posted and for all the kind words that have been written. My missionary is Elder Poulson and he has had some some very kind things to say about you, Bro and Sis Larsen, and all the wonderful times he's had with you. Thank you for taking care of my son and all the other missionaries in the field. ~Forever grateful for your kindness - Becky Poulson

  4. It is so fun to connect with some of the parents of these wonderful missionaries. We have four sons who served missions, so it is interesting to be on this side of the work. We love these missionaries. It is really sad when they are transferred and leave the island, because we most likely will not see them again during the mission. How grateful we are to have such wonderful missionaries to work with! You raised a good son. He is even a good helper in the kitchen.