Sunday, September 14, 2014

Transfer #4

My mother had her birthday this week.  I am so thankful for this wonderful woman.  She has spent her life in the service of others, always sacrificing for her children.  She has been my example to follow throughout my lifetime and I love and appreciate her more each day.

Elder Larsen had an assignment to work with the ward in Vecindario.  Most Sunday mornings, we are driving to Vecindario, and we have seen some beautiful sunrises over the ocean.  This is one I captured this week.

I am grateful that there is a sewing machine here in the mission home.  I have had to mend a couple of my things already, and I was able to mend Elder Thunell's pants for him.

Monday, we had the best Pday (preparation day) ever.  My sweetheart, who does not like the beach, took me to the beach and even pretended like he enjoyed himself.  It was a beautiful day, very little wind and a nice temperature.

We rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella, and relaxed!

 I can hardly wait for the next time!

 The bougainvillea are so beautiful!

Tuesday the missionaries were on splits, so Elder Wiltbank and Elder Hansen taught my English class while we watched a satellite broadcast of a meeting held in Germany, that was for all of the women of Europe.  Elder Bednar and Elder Ballard spoke, along with some other church leaders.  I happened to have my Ipad with me, and at the beginning of the meeting, which was being translated into Spanish, I started searching and found a live feed in English.  Hermana Grover and I went to another room and listened to the meeting.  We got so much more out of hearing it in English.  The messages were wonderful.  I needed that spiritual feast.  I liked a thought that Sister Kearon shared.  She talked about putting sheets on a bed, particularly on a top bunk bed.  She used to hate to put the sheets on that bed.  (If you have had bunk beds, you will be able to relate to this analogy.)  It took her a long time to realize that if you start putting the fitted sheet on at the corner that is closest to you, and leave the furtherest, hardest corner for last, it is almost impossible to get the sheet on.  But, if she started with the hardest corner first, she had enough sheet to pull and work with, to get it on the closest, easiest corner.  She encouraged us to face the hardest things first, to tackle our problems head on with the Lord's help, and that we could come off conquerors.  I love the scripture that says, "Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work."  A great thought for the next time that you are putting sheets on the bed!
Luis, Elder Wiltbank, and Elder Hansen

Wednesday, we had our last district meeting before transfers, and we forgot to take a picture of everyone together.  Here are our four Las Palmas missionaries who were still around when I remembered pictures.  
 Elder Bybee, Elder Wiltbank, Hermana Irigoyen and Hermana Grover

I grabbed a photo of Elder Gentry and Elder Thunell Wednesday night while we were in Vecindario for Institute class.  They found an amazing sale on ties and have had fun wearing their matching ties.

Kimberly, Abinadi, Ricardo, Dario, and Fabio were all in attendance for our first Institute class. Elder Larsen gave us a wonderful lesson.  We love these young people.

In my English classes, we start off our lesson talking about Texas, because I am a proud Texan, and it gives us some new vocabulary words to go over.  Someone had posted a Texas food pyramid on Facebook, and it had some of my favorite things on it, one being pecan pie.  I had shown it to my class and they wanted me to make them a pecan pie.  Ever since we got here, I have been on a search for pecans.  You cannot find them here.  At first, everyone thought I meant walnuts, but when I showed them a picture of pecans, they realized that stores do not carry them.  There are a few kinds of ice cream that have pecans in it, and we have found one brand of cereal that has pecans, but it would take a lot of boxes of cereal to get a cup of pecans for a pie.  So every time we go into a store, I look for pecans, and this week it happened.  In a bin, marked as Californian nuts, there were some pecans.  We bought a few, came home and shelled them to make sure they were good, and then went back to get more pecans.  Unfortunately, there were not very many left, but we bought all they had. As promised, I made a pie for my class.  I did not tell them in advance, and wouldn't you know it, we had our biggest turnout in forever.  We each only got a tiny sliver of a piece and everyone wants some more, especially me.  Funny how we come to appreciate things more when we can't have them.

 It just may have been the best pecan pie ever!
 A happy class!

This week we started two Adult Institute classes.  One is on Thursday morning, and one on Thursday night.  I didn't think to take a picture at the morning class, but this was our night class.  Elder Larsen did a great job of teaching and we had some good discussion.

We also had an Institute class on Friday night, but I didn't get a picture of our young adults.  We had nine people there, so we were pleased with the turnout.  Elder Larsen taught, but only as a substitute for Hermana Guerra who was out of town.

Saturday, we drove to Port Mogan to visit a retired Norwegian couple who lives here 9 months out of the year.  They speak some English and no Spanish.  When we asked them how many children they have and he said what sounded like 17, we thought his English was off.  But no, they are the parents of 17 children.  Unbelievable!  We had a very nice visit with them and they served us Norwegian waffles that were delicious.  Here are the views from their home.

 I can see why they chose to retire here to get away from the cold.  They regularly have family members who come to visit and friends from Norway who spend the winter months here as well.

Port Mogan is on the southern end of the island.  As you can see from the pictures, it is very dry. There is seldom a cloud in the sky and it never rains, which makes it perfect for all the resorts.  It is mostly volcanic rock, with very little green.  I am very thankful that we live in the mountains on the northern end of the island where we have some green.

Elder Larsen had leadership meetings Saturday afternoon and then we both attended the evening session of conference.  It was a great meeting with wonderful messages.  We are grateful for the technology that they use that allows people from all of the islands to view the conference at the same time.  This conference took place in Tenerife, but there were some speakers from here as well.

After the meeting, the missionaries gathered around Elder Larsen's computer to get their new assignments for this next transfer.  Elder Gentry is headed to Madrid. It was no surprise since he has been here since before we got here.  We will be sad to see him go.  Elder Hansen will move from Telde to Las Palmas with a new companion.  Elder Dyer will stay in Telde and train a new missionary.  Elder Thunell will have a new companion in Vecindario and Hermana Grover is headed to Madrid as well.  She arrived 1 1/2 weeks after we got here.  I have grown very close to her, and will miss her smiling face.  Her family plans to come for a visit in May, so we will look forward to a happy reunion then!  Have I mentioned before that I don't like transfers?!

It will be very different without Hermana Grover. 
 Tomorrow we meet Hermana Irigoyen's new companion.

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