Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy 35th Anniversary to Us!

This week I am very grateful for my sweetheart, Cody Larsen.  On Saturday, we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary!  There are not words to express how much I love this man.  I hear people say that making the decision of who to marry was the hardest decision that they ever made.  But for us, it was the easiest.  I am so grateful that I have had this wonderful man by my side for all of these years. And it has been great to have him as my full-time companion for the past year.  We first started talking about serving a mission together as soon as we got engaged, and now we are enjoying this opportunity. 

Monday morning, we started "dark" and early as we had to take one of my favorite people to airport. Even though we were pretty sure that Hermana West was going to be leaving us, it was still hard to say goodbye to her after 6 months of being here on the island with us.  She will be serving in a suburb of Madrid, so we will be able to see her occasionally when we get to Madrid.  We do love Hermana West and we have thoroughly enjoyed serving with her.  

Because we had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to pick up the sisters and get to the airport, after we dropped off Hermana West, Elder Larsen, Hermana Rossberg and I went back to the mission home and slept for a couple of hours.  We had waffles for breakfast, yummy!  Then we went to the Botanical Gardens.  







I just loved all the flowers! 
Even though I am not a cactus lover, I thought the cactus blossoms were beautiful.

After we finished at the gardens, we headed to the airport to pick up Hermana Marsh, who is Hermana Rossberg's new companion.  She is from Murray, Utah.  She is enthusiastic and ready to work.  I think they will make a great companionship.

We also got to meet Elder Stevenson, who will be Elder Bigelow's new companion in Telde.  I am thankful for these young people.  They are so positive and so ready to serve.  They inspire me and make me want to be better.

We needed to drive the hermanas to get groceries before we took them to their apartment, so we decided to eat at a little hamburger place that we have been to a few times.  The hermanas seemed to like it too.

Tuesday night, after piano lessons and English classes, Elder Rawson and Elder Bartholomew gave the lesson for home evening.  

We played a game of grapevine.  We played this game when we very first got here, and I couldn't even understand the words in Spanish, let alone pass them on.  But this time, I actually understood the message and was able to pass it along.  But, of course, by the time the message made it down this long line, the message was completely wrong.

 Aren't these two hermanas the happiest things?

Wednesday, we had district meeting in Vecindario.  This is such a great group of missionaries.  And they all have a smile on their face because we had just finished our meal of apple pork chops, baked potatoes, salad, and Jewish Sweet Bread.  Or maybe it was the strawberry pie that brought the big smiles!

Afterwards, we inspected their apartments.  Elder Nash and Elder Guerra did a pretty good job on their apartment.  They only had a couple of little things to clean up.

And they even entertained us with their masks from the Chinese Wok.

Then we headed to the aparment in Telde.  We were a little disappointed with Elder Bigelow and Elder Stevenson's apartment.  Some things looked good, but there were several areas that were in need of some elbow grease.  They promised that they would get to work and report back when they had things cleaned up.  And they had smiles on their faces when we left.

Rafa, Evani, and Moroni invited us to have dinner with them on Saturday.  We enjoyed a delicious meal and we also enjoyed visiting with them.  It will be hard to leave these good people when we move to Spain.

Sunday morning, we attended church in Las Palmas.  We were asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting. I spoke about how we can become instruments in the Lord's hands.  That is something I have been thinking a lot about for the past few months.  I want to be able to serve others and reach those who the Lord would have me serve.  In this past general conference, Elder Ringwood gave a talk entitled, "Truly Good without Guile."  He said:

"The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined.  When we are baptized into the true fold of God, we begin the process of becoming new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17; Mosiah 27:26).  Each time we renew the covenant of baptism by partaking of the sacrament, we are one step closer to that ultimate goal."

Elder Larsen spoke about the Savior's atonement, and did a wonderful job, as usual.

And I had to snap a few photos of these great missionaries.

This is Yamilka.  She was at church today.  We just love this young woman.  She has attended English classes off and on since September.  Last week, I felt very inspired to ask her if she had ever visited with the missionaries about our beliefs and she said no.  When I asked her if she was interested in learning more about our beliefs, she said yes.  She has had two lessons with the missionaries and has attended church the past two Sundays.  She is interested in learning more.  She is such a sweet person.  I have felt so close to her.  These goodbyes are going to be so hard.

Yesterday, they had an activity to get the youth ready for the conference this summer.  The theme is "O Ye that Embark in the Service of God."  Eli was showing me the boat and posters they had made for the activity.

Mosiah got his mission call this week.  He has been called to serve in the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo West Mission.  He reports July 1st.  We are so excited for him.  He will be a great missionary.  

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