Monday, December 8, 2014

Transfer #6

I am grateful this week for music, and for the role that it has played in my life.  I am spiritually inspired and uplifted by beautiful music, especially Christmas music.  I have enjoyed listening to Christmas music this week as I have been doing lots of sewing and lots of cooking.  I also have enjoyed practicing a beautiful arrangement of "Silent Night"  that one of our young adults, Jennifer Perera, is going to sing in church next week.  I have missed not having a choir to sing with this December.  The Christmas hymns help me feel the spirit of the season.  Here is a link to download five free Christmas songs performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Monday was a wonderful P-day.  Hermana Trone and Hermana West spent the day with us.  We started out with grocery shopping.

Because Hermana Trone introduced us to her favorite Turrone candy bar when she was staying with us, and we had two of them in one day, there has been a running joke about how she can't resist the candy aisle.  So, this is the first aisle you see in the grocery store, and she was putting rocher ferrero chocolates into her basket as fast as she could (only as a joke.)

 It is freezing cold in our house because the heaters don't really work, so we enjoyed some delicious clam chowder.  It is actually colder in our house than it is outside.

I just can't take the exposed legs in our cold house, so I made a fashion statement with my warm-up pants under my skirt and my warm-up jacket over my sweater.  Anything to keep warm.

I put the hermanas to work.  We are making blankets for Christmas for our young adults who are serving missions.  We have two girls who are serving in South America and we needed to get their blankets in the mail.  I was very grateful for their help with tying these two blankets.  I got the two blankets finished and we put their packages in the mail.

Hermana Trone decorated our Christmas tree for us.  We are very grateful to have a few decorations to put out to give our home a festive feeling.
We were also glad to have the sisters here with us to celebrate our Little Avery's 1st Birthday!  Her sweet, creative mother sent us "A Party in a Box."  It included color-coordintaed balloons, confetti, streamers, straws, candy, peanut butter chips for cookies, and a darling, clever game.  We had a picture for each month of Avery's life, and we had a to put them in order with the string and color coordinated clothes pins.  We had such a fun time.  Thank you Katie for including us on her special day!

Isn't she just the cutest little thing!

It has been raining almost everyday up here in the mountains.  Some days we get a heavy rain and other days it is just cloudy and misty.  Buy we have seen some beautiful rainbows.  On Monday we saw two.
 Once again, my photos don't really capture the beauty, but the rainbow coming up at of the water was amazing!

Then we got home and there was a beautiful rainbow stretching across the valley.

We had a zone training meeting on Wednesday so all of the missionaries were together on the island. It was a little sad because it is Elder Tanner's last week with us.  This was him sharing his testimony with us one last time.  I love hearing these missionaries share the love that they have for their Savior and the joy that they have experienced while they have been serving as missionaries.

We also found out that David Archuleta is coming to Madrid right before Christmas to give a concert.
We are all wishing that we could be there.

After the meeting, we enjoyed lasagne, salad, garlic bread, and scotcheroos.  Yum!
One last photo of our group all together before transfers.

These guys were happy to eat a few pumpkin cookies after Institute.

We had good group at English class on Thursday night.  I always enjoy the missionaries' help with the class.

I spent the majority of the week getting ready for our activity on Saturday.  We had to buy more fabric, which is difficult to find here.  We needed sewing notions, yarn, etc.  Then I had to cut and pin together the fabric for the other four blankets.  

Saturday was a crazy day.  President and Sister Duffin, who are in the temple presidency of the Madrid Temple, flew in on Saturday morning. Elder Larsen picked them up at the airport, and dropped them off at the church for them to speak to the youth at a special seminary activity.  Cody came home to help me with the meal preparation for our activity.  Then he went back to the church to pick up the Duffins and brought them back to the house to eat and rest.  We headed to the church with the food and blankets.  We fed our group sweet pork burritos and they absolutely loved them. They enjoyed the cinnamon rolls as well.  

Dario was wishing that his mission call would come.

 Then he got a message from his dad with a picture of his call.

To say he was excited was an understatement.
He had to wait about four hours for all of his family to get together.
He is going to the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission.  
He leaves on February 26th.
We are very excited for him.

After we ate, we worked on tying the blankets for a couple of hours.  I was so pleased with how willing everyone was to help.  (I can't believe I forgot to take pictures.)  After they got the first blanket tied, I told them to undo all of the safety pins.  I walked back into the room just in time to see them pull the two pieces of fabric apart.  I don't know how they did it, but not one of all the places they had tied had gone through the second layer of fabric.  

The look on my face must have scared them all, because they immediately started telling me that everything would be all right and that they would help me to fix it.  It took some time to redo, but they were wonderful about untying the one fabirc so we could pin it back together and start over again.  Oh my!

When we finished the blankets, everyone wrote letters to our missionaries.  It was a very productive afternoon.

There was also a baptism that afternoon for Loida.  She is a very sweet lady and is so happy to have the blessing of being baptized.  I played the piano for the hymns and the special song that the missionaries sang.  

That evening the Duffins spoke to the young adults.  It was very nice to have them there with us.  they are a wonderful couple and have had many opportunities to serve in the church.

Our young adults enjoyed visiting with President Duffin afterwards.  

We seem to have had a number of medical questions here lately.  Sister Duffin and I were examining Elder Moreland's bumps on his head.  We recommended medicated shampoo.  We will see if that helps.  Wasn't it nice of the other missionary to take a picture of the event!

 A fun picture of Elder Bybee and Fran, our ward mission leader. 

 Elder Bybee, Tanner, Moreland, and Hansen-a great group of elders

 Elder Tanner has finished his two years. We sure will miss him.

The Duffins spent the night with us on Saturday night, and then Elder Larsen took them to the airport on Sunday morning.  

We found out on Saturday night that Elder Thunell was going to be transferred, so this was his last sacrament meeting to translate for the Norwegians who live on the island for the winter.  Barbara wanted to share her testimony in the meeting.  She speaks very good English, so she spoke in English and Elder Thunell translated in Spanish.  As I was listening, I was thinking about how well Elder Thunell speaks Spanish now.  He has really improved in the last six months.  Just as I thought that, Elder Thunell was translating and said, "I have seven ojos-eyes instead of hijos-children."  It was so funny.  Of course, everyone laughed and then Barbara, who knows no Spanish, had to ask what everyone was laughing about.  Even with his funny mistake, Elder Thunell has done a great job of translating for these people and they have really appreciated him.  We will really miss him as well!  

We picked up Elder Tanner Sunday afternoon to take him to the airport.  
Elder Tanner and Elder Hansen were saying there final goodbyes.

 We have really enjoyed having Elder Tanner here.  We have grown close to him and have enjoyed many long talks with him.  Many times he said things that reminded us of one of our sons.  He says we are his "adopted parents" and we are happy to add him to our list.  We wish him all the best in his endeavors.
Elders Peterson, McAlister, Brownell and Hawks
This fun group of missionaries flew in Sunday night from Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.  Elder Hawks and Elder Brownell had early Monday morning flights to Madrid, so they were all spending the night with us.  Elder Peterson's and Elder McAlister's companions fly in Monday night.  They got to the mission home after dark and the two would be leaving before daylight.  They wanted to see the basketball court, so they went exploring outside with a flashlight.  This house is very interesting the way it is laid out.  I think they enjoyed their little adventure and the enjoyed a pot of clam chowder as well.  We enjoyed having them at the house. 

I love this time of the year.  What a wonderful opportunity to focus on the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ!  You might enjoy watching this broadcast of the annual Christmas Devotional.  It always helps me to feel the true spirit of Christmas.  

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