Monday, February 23, 2015

Musical Devotional

Today I am so very thankful that our musical devotional is over.  More details about it later in this post, but let me just say that I love music.  I love singing.  I love playing the piano.  And I used to love playing the flute.  Unfortunately, even with years of practice, my talent is only subpar.  So, performing can be very stressful for me.  Thus, I am grateful that our devotional is over!

Monday, Elder Larsen dropped me off with these two cute sisters, so that we could do some shopping.  He passed on shopping and went to the church instead to study for his Institute lesson. Hermana Trone bought a sweater and was very disappointed that a coat that she was in love with, didn't work out.  It was the right color, the right price, and it had a big hood fur-edging.  But there was one "big" problem.  We had unknowingly wandered into the maternity department.  After searching all over the store unsuccessfully for another coat that she would like, we went back to the maternity department.  She begged me to talked to the clerk and ask her if this same style of coat would be in another part of the store.  Here she is the missionary that is about to go home, and knows Spanish very well, and I have to talk to the store clerk.  But, I guess my Spanish isn't too bad because I asked the clerk and even understood her response that this brand was only for marternity clothes. No coat for Hermana Trone.

There are roundabouts everywhere with very interesting artwork.  Since we were not be here much longer, I decided to start taking pictures and posting them.  

After shopping, Elder Larsen picked us up and we stopped at this little shop 
just down from the church for a bite of lunch.

The Hermanas went very traditional Spanish and had Tortilla Española.

Monday night, we were invited to have home evening at the Palm's home.  
We were quite the international group.  On the left are the Edwards, who were just visiting here from England for a couple of weeks.  Then the Palms from Sweden,                     , 
The Erhiems for Norway, and Elder Larsen from the United States.  
 The Palms have a small net for the dining room table and the always play table tennis after the lesson.  The winner wins a chocolate bar.  Apparently,             , is the undefeated champion.  But, my sweetheart managed to win the candy bar for me.  I was very proud of my champion!

Elder Ruiz and Elder Priest were in charge of the lesson on Tuesday night.  I really enjoyed there message about having our faith in Jesus Christ, even when the world around us can be in such turmoil.  I love this quote from President Henry B. Eyring:

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, 
the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. 
In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. 
We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it."

We had our district meeting in Telde this week.  Elder Nash had us role play teaching discussions to each other, and trying to find a word that he had given us.  It was a great activity for practicing our listening skills.

I love these happy missionaries, Elders Norrell, Maxfield, Nash, and Sarango.

Saturday morning we taught a class for the ward in Vecindario about Indexing.  Then we took one of our JAS to lunch.  Afterwards, we headed back home to finish up chicken enchiladas and banana cake for Darío's Farewell Party.  Then we headed back to Vecindario for the party.  What a nice tribute they did for this amazing young man.  He leaves next week for the Argentina Bahía Blanca Mission.  We are really going to miss his quick smile and powerful spirit.  

Vecindario Ward

Sunday morning we attended Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School in Las Palmas.  I accompanied the Young Women in the meeting.  Then Cody taught a spur of the moment lesson to the young adults in Sunday School.  He did an amazing job.  How I wish I could speak Spanish like him!
Then we drove to Vecindario to teach our Institute class.  I practiced the piano during part of the lesson.

We had our musical devotional last night.  It went really well.  All of the songs and scripture narrations were testifying of Jesus Christ.  Even though my musical talent is not spectacular, I accompanied five groups and sang a solo.  Any of you who know me well, know that I do not have a spectacular solo voice.  But, singing "The Lord is My Shepherd," with the melody in the alto line, and with a very nice piano arrangement in the background, I was pleased with my performance.

The missionaries sang in several groups.

 Julia, my youngest piano student, sang a solo of "If the Savior Stood Beside Me."  
She was amazing!

At the end we watched this short video.  I hope you will take three minutes to watch here.  It is powerful and inspiring.  How grateful I am for all the blessings that I have in my life because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  And I am grateful to be serving Him for these two years.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Little Miracle

This week I am thankful for little miracles.  This group of missionaries have been wanting to go to Roque Nublo for a couple of months.  It seems like we have had cloudy, drizzly skies forever up in the mountains.  Sunday was rainy all day, but we woke up to beautiful blue skies on Monday.  We ran to the store for picnic-makings, the missionaries caught the bus up to our house, and we headed up to Roque Nublo.  We were sad that our missionaries in Vecindario and Telde were not able to join us.

As we were driving up the mountains, the clouds moved in.  By the time we got to the picnic area, it looked like we were in a thick fog and it was 48°F.  We had told the missionaries that it would be cold.  Some of them didn't believe us, and some of them hadn't brought warm clothes to the island.  Let's just say, they were freezing.


We had about decided to drive back down the mountain, but at the last minute we decided to keep going.  We had not driven five minutes when the clouds parted and we were looking at beautiful skies.  And there was Roque Nublo.


And here we have the missionaries touching the rock and making a wish.

After lots of photos and seeing some beautiful views, the clouds started to move in again.

By the time we got back down to the parking lot, it looked like this.
How grateful we were for this little miracle!

Next Sunday, we are having a musical devotional.  We have had lots of music practices this week.  I am so grateful to have Elder Bartholomew and Elder Ruiz who also play the piano.  It is nice to have them help with some of the accompanying.  

At one of our pracitces we accidentally looked "matchy-matchy!"

Tuesday night, we had a good old-fashioned game of Musical Chairs.  It's funny to see adults be so competitive.

                                                    Hermana West walked away from the final round with a smile!
I played the music for the game.

I finally remembered to take a picture at one of our Adult Institute classes.  These are a few of the people that attend.  We have really enjoyed studying Church History with them this year.

This week, the Jacksons flew down on Thursday to do interviews, so we had our district meeting after that.  It was wonderful to have the Jacksons with us. They bring a wonderful spirit with them and they are a great inspiration to all of us.  

Afterward, we had chicken pasta salad, Jewish Sweet Bread, and pecan pie.  Yum!

So happy to serve with these wonderful people
 E. Sarango, Ruiz, H. West, E. Maxfield, H. Trone, E. Moreland, Pres. & H. Jackson, E. Priest, E. Norrell, E. Larsen, E. Bartholomew, H. Larsen, E. Nash

Another photo of these great elders!

Friday night we attended Salim's baptism.  There was a wonderful spirit as always.

 Afterwards there was a ward Valentine/ Carnaval Party.  As you can see, they dress up in costumes for Carnaval.  A few ladies had planned together to be Minnie Mouse, and then they arrived at the church to find that everyone had the same idea.  Aren't they cute?

The missionaries were in charge of games for the little ones.

 Two of our young adults, Josué and John, enjoying the sugar cookies I made.

Saturday I baked cookies for our home teaching families and for a baptism. We drove down to Port Mogan, on the west side of the island to visit the Herhiems. This is the view from their street. Amazing!

We found out that the baptism had been cancelled, so since it was Valentine's Day, my sweetheart took me to the Faro Restaurant where we had been before with the Palms.  Since it was in the early evening, we were able to enjoy the beautiful view.  Because the weather is always beautiful on this end of the island, it is an open-air restaurant.

This was my view from our table.  Just wonderful, including my sweetheart!

Then we took a nice walk down to the lighthouse.

We were pleasantly surprised to run into the Cruz family from Las Palmas.

And then we came across these amazing sand sculptures.  
This would be the favorite of some of my grandkids.

But I was most impressed with this rendition of the Last Supper.  What talent!

We had Institute after church.  I am so impressed with the young adults who will spend three hours in church and then they are happy to stay for 1 1/2 hours more for our class.  We do have sandwiches in between and today we had banana cake for Kimberly's birhtday!

Even though our schedule is basically the same every week with piano lessons, English classes, Institute classes, district meetings, and Addiction Recovery Classes, as you can tell from our blog, every week seems to have something extra going on.  We love that!  I love when I feel the Spirit bearing witness to me that what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord.  I love to hear the testimonies of our young adults.  I love the opportunity we have right now to be teaching the missionary discussions to a young man.  The gospel of Jesus Christ brings joy and peace to my life.  It gives eternal purpose to the things that I do everyday.  How blessed I am!