Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Sand Castles

I am so grateful to be serving a mission at this Christmas season.  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for the gift of His son, that our Heavenly Father gave us.  The birth of our Savior was just the beginning of His perfect life, showing us the way we need to live here on this earth.  I am so thankful for His atoning sacrifice, a gift to all mankind.  It is so wonderful to have this opportunity to share our love for the Savior with the people of the Grand Canaries.  You might enjoy watching this video of "Angels We Have Heard on High," with a group of over 1000 in a live nativity. 

Monday, we went to Las Canteras, a beach right in Las Palmas with the missionaries.  We were able to see an amazing, annual, sand sculpture display.  

Afterwards, we ate at a Chinese Restaurant where the missionaries had been before.  It was very delicious.

 The food was yummy, but Elder Moreland doesn't look too happy about it!
Hermana Trone pulled out her note cards in the restaurant.
She is serious about getting better at the piano.
And Hermana West was a successfully photo-bomber!

Hermana West was particularly happy that day because she got a package from home.  She is thrilled with one of her favorite "Canadian Candy Bars."  She also shared some yummy caramels with us.
 Here she is with some more candy and was having a great time with Hermana Trone, making Christmas decorations that were in her package.

Here we have Elder Priest reading from the scriptures at our home evening lesson.

Amazing to see how everyone gets into playing the silly group games!

And Elder Bybee is really getting into serving the refreshments!

These are our two new missionaries.  Elder Norrell is serving in Telde and Elder Nash is serving in Vecindario.  They were very happy missionaries who got to eat some delicious American food.  We had Chicken Noodle soup with homemade noodles and Apple Cake with caramel sauce.  It is always a hit with the missionaries.  

Of course Elder Maxfield and Elder Sarango were happy as well.

Thursday at English class, we played a fun game of Pictionary with the Christmas words we have been learning.  

Elder Hansen was so proud of his drawing of an angel!

The hermanas had a little project this week.  They glued poker chips to the bottom of their shower curtain to weigh it down.  They are trying to prevent the shower curtain from attacking them.  
I don't know that they have had much success with their efforts.  

But at least they were happy while they were working on it!

Friday night we attended the Ward Christmas Party in Las Palmas.  This is a group entertained us with some beautiful Christmas songs.

We caught Hermana Trone dancing to the music in the back of the room.
We had to leave early because Elder Larsen had a Ward Council meeting in Vecindario, so we missed the dinner.

Saturday we spent the morning cooking and cleaning to get ready for our young adult Christmas Party.  We enjoyed a delicious lasagne dinner with Christmas cookies for dessert.

 Elder Larsen gave us a nice Christmas message.

 Joan, Andres, Fabio and Fran

 Christian, Jhon and Josué

 We had a White Elephant Christmas exchange. 


Then we played a fun game where you there are five different ways that you had to get your team to guess a word or phrase.  Definitely the funniest ones were where we were trying to lip read, which was hard for everyone, but absolutely impossible for Elder Larsen and me.  
It was good for lots of laughs!

Fabio announced to the group that he has turned his papers in for his mission and he is just waiting to receive his call and find out when and where he will serve.  We are so happy for him!

We finished up with Joan and Josué on one team, 
 and Aida and Kimberly on the other.  
They had to wrap the presents using only one of each of their arms, while the other two were tied together.  

 I think it is easy to see who won the present wrapping contest.  

 Aida, Kimberly, Enzo, Joan, Andres, Christian
Fran, Fabio, Jhon, and Josué

What a great group of young people!

Saturday night, we attended the Ward Christmas party in Vecindario.  They had a wonderful Christmas Pageant.  The kids were precious.  

 It was good to see Amado and Ricardo, two or our young adults.

 And always good to see Elder Nash and Elder Sarango.

Sunday morning we flew to Tenerife for Cody to talk in the Santa Cruz Ward.  I was so surprised and happy to see Loida walk in.  She just got baptized on December 6th.  She was in Tenerife visiting family and came to church by herself.  She was happy to see me as well, and it gave me someone to sit with during the meetings.  

Because the winter is so mild here, "Eternal Spring," they plant poinsettias outside for Christmas decorations.  There are literally thousands and thousands of them.

And this is in the round-about into Santa Brígida.  
Merry Christmas!