Sunday, August 3, 2014

Roque Nublo

WARNING!  There are lots of pictures in this post.

This week I am grateful for the wonderful missionaries that are serving here on the island that we had the privilege of spending our P-day with.  These young people are awesome, and we feel blessed to have had this time to serve with them.

Monday we all drove to Roque Nublo, one of the highest points on the island, 5948 feet above sea level.  It was over an hour drive on some very windy, mountain roads, but the views were incredible. After finally arriving at the area, we had to have our picnic lunch from the back of our car because there was nowhere to eat.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the sandwiches, chips, potato salad, and chocolate chip cookies.  

Then we had a 45 minute hike to get to the top.  Of course, we had to stop along the way for some photos.

 Unusual volcanic rock formation
We finally made it to the top.  Roque Nublo is 262 feet high.

Amazing views!

You will notice in the next set of pictures that you do not see Elder Larsen.  Between his fear of heights and his fear of other people making poor decisions, he did not want to hike around to the cliff side of the rock.  I must say that I was very proud of our missionaries for being very safe, and Elder Larsen missed an amazing view!

 Hermana Grover

 Hermanas Larsen and Irigoyen

 Hermana Grover, Elder Poulson, Hermana Irigoyen
 Hermanas Larsen and Grover

 Elder Rawlinson

 Elder Poulson and Hermana Larsen

 Elders Rawlinson, Dyer, Shumway, McWhorter, Thunell, 
Hermanas Irigoyen, Grover, Elders Rawlinson and Poulson

 We all wondered how people live in these very islolated areas.

Elder Wiltbank

 Elder Poulson

 Hermana Larsen
 Elder Dyer

 Elder Thunell and Elder McWhorter 
won the prize for the wildest P-day clothes.

Elder Dyer, Poulson and Hermana Grover

 Hermana Irigoyen

Happy Hermanas

Elder Shumway and Hermana Grover crying repentance to the world.

 View from the opposite side.  Notice the lake and dam in the background.

 The Missionaries of the Island of Gran Canaria

A great group of missionaries!

Two views of Las Palmas and the ocean on our drive down.

Monday night, Tuesday night, and Thursday night I teach piano lessons.  I love working with students who are committed to learning and putting forth the practice it takes to make progress.  I love music and I love the piano.  I am hoping to help my students develop their abilities to the point that they can play hymns for their church meetings by the time I leave.  

Tuesday and Thursday we also have our English classes.  Our attendance has been down the past couple of weeks, probably due to vacations.  But, those who are there are learning and seem to be enjoying themselves.

Wednesday we had our last district meeting with Elder Shumway.  
He flies home to Utah on Tuesday.
He has been a wonderful missionary.
He has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ,
he has served faithfully,
and he loves his Savior.
He will be missed!

 Elders Larsen, Wiltbank, Shumway, Thunell, McWhorter
Elder Thunell, Wiltbank, Hermana Grover and Irigoyen
(Hermana Grover swears she was not as bored as she looks in this picture!)

Happy people after lasagna, salad, Jewish Sweet Bread, and scotcheroos.

Wednesday night we had Institute in Vecindario.  Elder Larsen gave us a great lesson about the importance of receiving personal revelation in our lives.  Dario and Inzo left after the lesson, but we found two hungry bishopric members that we convinced to join us.  
Walter, Fabio, Noemí, Kimberly, Jon (from Las Palmas) Luis and Bishop Popitti

Thursday, after piano lessons and English classes, we had our Home Evening Lesson by the sisters.
Before the lesson began, Desiré was braiding Hermana Grover's hair.

Hermana Irigoyen shared such a sweet testimony of her love for her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Afterwards, it was time for a game.  As you can see in this photo, we were going to play Hangman.
If Elder McWhorter and Elder Thunell could spell, or count spaces, or remember where letters go, this game would have been gone smoother, but would have been much less entertaining.

 Instead, they were more like Laurel and Hardy as neither one of them 
could figure out what letters belonged in what words.
They were really very funny!

 The final, most entertaining round came as they had written the spaces for 
The Iron Rod
Which is Spanish would be
La Barra de Hierro
But when we were guessing letters, 
they had gotten confused with the masculine and feminine 
and had filled in letters for 
El Barro de Hierro.
All the Spaniards were completely stumped, and finally Elder Larsen figured out their mistake.

 Elder Shumway splurged with some extra money and bought popsicles and ice cream treats.  Yum!

 Cynthia and Victor

 Airam and Elder Shumway

Elder Thunell and Elder McWhorter, hanging their heads in shame.

Friday night we had a wonderful activity in Las Palmas.  Hermana Grover and Hermana Irigoyen put it together.  Everyone brought food from their country, which we have many countries represented in this ward.  I am sad that I didn't think to take pictures of all the wonderful food.  It was amazing to see and taste all of the delicious foods that people brought.

I made barbecue chicken sliders and of course, what could be more American than chocolate chip cookies.  The cutest thing was a little three-year-old saw my cookies through the container as we were walking into the building.  She squealed with delight and said in Spanish, "Cookies with chocolate!"  I wish I had a picture of the smile on her face.  

Hermana Irigoyen made delicious empanadas from Argentina.

Afterwards, some dances were performed.

And now, the sad part of our week.  Saturday night we found out about transfers.  We have big changes taking place.  Of course, we knew that Elder Shumway was going home.  Elder McWhorter and Elder Rawlinson are going to Madrid.  Elder Poulson is going to Talavera.  They are getting rid of a companionship in Las Palmas, so Elder Thunell is moving to Vecindario with Elder Gentry.  Elder Bybee will be Elder Wiltbank's new companion and Elder Hansen will be Elder Dyer's companion.  I have really grown close to the Elders.  It is very hard to see them go.  I know they will serve well wherever they are, but we will miss them greatly.  I do not like this part of the mission!

As part of Elder Larsen's high council assignment to the Vecindario Ward, he is helping to train the bishopric.  This morning, we were in Vecindario by 8:00 a.m. so that Elder Larsen could attend their bishopric meeting.  We also had driven to Vecindario on Friday night, after the Las Palmas activity, so that Elder Larsen could attend their ward council meeting.  There are good people in this ward.  They love the Lord and are striving to serve Him in a pleasing manner.  

I played the piano for sacrament meeting and Elder Larsen taught the young adult Sunday School class.  He has done that for the past several weeks now and really does a good job.  We studied 2 Kings 2.  We had a very good discussion with our class.  Elder Larsen drove Elder Shumway to the airport this afternoon.  I couldn't be there to say goodbye because Elder Larsen had meetings in Las Palmas right after he dropped him off.  He has had a very long, busy day.  
Best Wishes Elder Shumway!  You will be missed.

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