Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stake Conference and Company

This week I am grateful for these two young women.  I am grateful for their smiling faces.  I am grateful for their desire to share the joyful message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Spain.

Monday evening we drove them to "Door #66."  They had gotten this address as a reference of someone who is interested in learning more about the gospel.  The picture does not show how is door is right on the side of a curvy mountain road.  Unfortunately, no one was home.

Elder Larsen was kind enough to take us to get an ice cream afterwards.
Hermanas West, Larsen, and Rossberg

I love these missionaries who are always such a help at our English classes.

Tomás and Hermana Rossberg                                                          

Elder Rawson and Juan Carlos

Hermana West and Antonio

Desiree and Elder Bartholomew

We played a fun game of Concentration on Tuesday night to review some of our vocabulary words. Elder Priest was helping Antonio, and when the previous person missed a match, Elder Priest was so excited to tell Antonio what two numbers he needed to pick.  And he was wrong.  Let's just say he was a little embarrassed.  But we all still love him!  Even his companion still loves him.

We had a good district meeting on Wednesday with the Las Palmas District.  I was asked to give a spiritual thought.  It was nice that my Spanish has improved enough that I was able to share my message without having to read it.  The theme of my message was how to be an instrument in God's hands.  I have given that a lot of thought lately.  I always have that desire, but particularly while we are called as full-time missionaries, I want to receive inspiration and be able to act upon it.  I love this scripture form 2 Timothy 2:19-22:

19 . . . The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

"Meet for the Master's use."  I love that phrase.  I obviously still have some work to do!

We had barbecue chicken sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, and chocolate lush for dessert. Very yummy! Elder Larsen splurged and bought a bottle of real pickle relish at the British/American store, $3.30 for 10 oz.  We had been sweetening the pickles that they have here, and then chopping the up. That works okay, but the real thing was so much better! 

Elder Ruiz couldn't finish his dessert, so I caught him feeding it to his companion, Elder Priest.  
Too funny!

Elders Bartholomew and Rawson, Hermanas Rossberg and West

Wednesday afternoon, we made our long drive to Puerto Mogan to visit the Airhimes.  He made us vaffels, topped with strawberries and whip cream.  They were absolutely delicious and he shared the recipe.

We always enjoy our visit with them, and their beautiful view.

Then we drove back to Vecindario for piano lessons and Institute.  We had a great class with these young adults.  They have such a wonderful spirit about them.  They come to class ready to learn.

And I remembered to take a picture of our morning Adult Institute calss on Thursday.  
We had a good group for our evening class as well, but no photo.
 Jesús, Jonathon, Gabby, Los Dos Santos, Elder Larsen, Loida, and Tomás

Thursday night for English classes, Elder Priest was in Vecindario, so Elder Nash joined us.
 Elders Ruiz, Rawson, Nash, and Bartholomew

 Hermana Rossberg and Hermana West

Friday morning, Rafa had asked Elder Larsen if he could pick up a hedgehog from a man who lived in San Mateo, not too far from us.  What a very unusual pet!  Rafa already has a hedgehog, and was very happy to get another one.  

He also wanted a picture with Elder Larsen holding the hedgehog. 

We have had another week of rainy, cool weather, but we did enjoy several rainbows on our drive to the church on Friday night.  Too bad my camera doesn't show how truly beautiful the colors were.

When we got to the church, these elders were just headed out in the rain with smiles on their faces.
Saturday, we cleaned and cooked, and then met President and Sister Jackson, and their daughter Megan at the airport to give them a car.  Elder Larsen took me back home, and then went to his stake leadership meetings in Las Palmas.  I was busy finishing up laundry, making cookies, and getting things prepared for the muffin-tin omelettes that we were going to have the next morning.  Elder Larsen came back and picked me up for the evening session of stake conference.  We had a very inspiring meeting with some very good talks.

Elder Ruiz de Mendoza was our Area Authority.  I was able to get a picture of him with Elder Guerra and Elder Nash.  Afterwards, he visited with Elder Larsen and me for a little bit.  He speaks perfect British English.  He is actually a professor of linguistics.  He does all of his study and writing in English, so he was interested in hearing us speak English.  He said that Elder Larsen's Oklahoma accent was much stronger than my Texas accent.

We also got to see the Las Palmas elders and the Telde elders.
Elders Rawson, Bartholemew, Bigelow, and Norrell

Afterwards, we went out to eat with the Jacksons. Hermana Megan Jackson had just finished her Spanish speaking mission in Florida.  She flew to Madrid to spend a few weeks with her parents, before returning home to Utah.  We enjoyed the opportunity to get to know her.  We ate at a restaurant on the boardwalk and she wanted to walk barefoot in the sand.

Sunday morning, we attend the morning session of stake conference.  I was able to get a quick photo of Kimberly and Ruth from Vecindario.

Hermana Ruth Jackson, Hermana Megan Jackson, and President Jackson

Hermanas West, Rossberg, Elders Norrell, Rawson, Bigelow, Bartholomew, Ruiz, and Priest

After the meetings, President Deniz and his wife invited us over for a lovely dinner at their home.

After our delicious dinner, we took turns playing a hymn while everyone sang, and then the Deniz girls, Andrea, Maria, and Vicki, each played a song for us.  They are very talented and are working hard at the piano.  They take turns playing for Sacrament Meeting in Telde.

President Deniz has such a beautiful family.  He is such a dedicated man to serving the Lord and helping the church grow here in the islands.  His wife and daughters are so supportive and have such a sweet spirit about them.  It was a privilege to be in their home.
Andrea, Doli, Vicki, President Deniz, Maria

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