Sunday, July 27, 2014

Worldwide Indexing

This week I am grateful for the Mormon Pioneers who sacrificed so much to settle in the Utah Valley, and allow the church to grow.  I am grateful for their love for the Lord, their desire to follow the counsel of a living prophet, and their willingness to sacrifice everything for the Lord.  July 24th wasn't a big celebration day here, of course, but we had a nice message from the missionaries at our Family Home Evening.  Though it has been 167 year since the first groups arrival in the Utah Valley, it is always good to remember the example of those who have gone before us.

We wanted to share a little with you about the the town that we drive through to get to our house.  The two lane highway winds through a little town, Monte Lentiscal.  The roads are so narrow, and there are no easement restrictions.

Here is the front of this home.

Elder Larsen is now standing at the front door.
We have come by many times at night 
when someone is standing in the street,
trying to unlock their door.

He was grateful that this truck was not coming by as he was standing there.

And here is the bus stop right at the end of our hill.  
Not quite sure where you are supposed to stand while you are waiting for the bus.

We started off our week with a wonderful activity with our young adults in Las Palmas.  Four of them came to the church and spent four hours, including a quick lunch break with sandwiches and of course a batch of snickerdoodles, participating in the Worldwide Indexing Event.  Indexing is transcribing information from historical documents to make it searchable online.  Once a record has been indexed by two volunteers, an arbitrator checks them before the records are live online. The previous one-day record set in 2012 was 49,025 contributors.  Monday, there were 66,500 participants, and we were proud of our group for their hard work. 
Sara, Elder Larsen, Fran

Omar, Hermana Larsen, Josué

Josué and I committed to each other that we would continue to index two batches of names a week. We are hoping that some of the other young adults, and Elder Larsen will join us in our commitment.

We had a wonderful district meeting with the elders from Vecindario and Telde on Wednesday.  I am always very inspired by the testimonies of the wonderful young men.  Elder Larsen gave us a wonderful message from a talk by Elder Bednar, "Converted to the Lord," about the difference between having a testimony of Christ and truly being converted to Christ.  I will share just one line from that talk.  "Conversion is an offering of self, of love, and of loyalty we give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony."  I think we were all very inspired by Elder Larsen's message.  

And after the spiritual feast, we had a temporal feast of apple pork chops, baked potatoes (from the potatoes that we bought from the local farmer), green beans, and a favorite, Jewish Sweet Bread, topped off with chocolate cake.  I love these missionaries!
Elders Dyer, Gentry, Rawlinson, and Poulson
These happy missionaries are holding their portion of the leftover Jewish Sweet Bread.
Elder Poulson is holding some vanilla extract that he asked for.

We had a good group of young adults for our Institute meeting in Vecindario.  Cody gave an excellent lesson about faith, and then they feasted on spaghetti.  It amazes me how much some of these guys can eat.
This seems to be the only picture I took that night.
Elder Gentry and Dario

We had piano lessons Thursday night and then English class.  I had a wonderful surprise.  Elder Wiltbank's mother sent him a package for his birthday, and in it, she included a package of chocolate chips for me.  What a wonderful present!  Thank you, thank you Sister Wiltbank.

 Elder Shumway and Elder Wiltbank giving us a lesson about the Pioneers.

Hermana Grover and Hermana Irigoyen explaining our "Signs" game.

Rafa with his friendly smile.

Elder McWhorter was "It" for a very long time.

Thursday was Elder McWhorter's Hump Day.  
He has been out one year.  
I found out minutes before we left for piano lessons,
so he got the one piece of leftover chocolate cake.
He ate it so fast,
that I didn't even get a picture of it.
But, here he is, happy with Elder Thunell.

Friday night, we had a first, and it was not a good first.  We only had two young adults who came to Intsitute and I had food for fifteen.  So, Friday night, these two young adults became my favorites!  We were truly, truly grateful that they came.  We had a wonderful lesson, and Elder Shumway and Elder Thunell joined us with their investigator, José, to eat.  There was more than enough food for everyone. I had been inspired to bring plastic containers with me, so we gave leftovers to the three sets of missionaries.  
 Josué and Sara

We had a wonderful day on Saturday.  Elder Poulson and Elder Dyer, from Telde, had asked us if we could meet with an investigator couple, Maria and Ignacio.  A couple of weeks ago, when we were with the elders, everyone was speculating as to who would be transferred next.  Elder Poulson has been here a long time, and I am very sure he will leave us on the next transfer.  He doesn't want to leave, so he made a friendly wager.  He heard that I had made an apple pie for Hermana Grover's birthday, and he asked if I would make one for him if he stays.  If he gets transferred, he is going to send me something valuable from the States, when he gets home, (something precious like brown sugar, chocolate chips, or some cans of green chiles!)   Anyway, I had offered to bring a dessert to the investigator's house and decided I could make an apple pie and that way Elder Poulson could have some, even though he is most likely going to be transferred.   Was I ever surprised when we pulled up to the church in Telde and Elder Dyer walked out with Elder Gentry!  Elder Poulson had to go to Vecindario to give an interview to an investigator.  

We had a wonderful visit with Maria and Ignacio.  They are such a friendly couple, even though Ignacio does not appear friendly on first sight because of his size.  Maria had fixed a huge pot of paella, and we also enjoyed her homemade mojo sauce.  It was all delicious.  Afterwards, we enjoyed some watermelon, and then somehow found room for the apple pie.  Elder Poulson was lucky that there was a piece left to send home for him.

Elder Dyer attempted to stand up to more than his full height.

We got home just in time to bake a batch of cookies and head to Vecindario for Cris' baptism, where I had been asked to play the piano.  He was baptized by Luis, his cousin and another one of our young adults.  We are very excited for Cris.

We attended church in Vecindario today.  I played the piano for Sacrament Meeting.  Cody taught the Young Adult Sunday School class while I attended the class with an investigator, Dominga.  It is nice to be getting to know these people better.  My Spanish is improving some, but it still has a long way to go.  We did get to visit with a couple from Denmark who is here for vacation.  They were happy to speak English with us.  

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