I wanted to share a couple of photos of something for which we are very grateful. We have a parking space in the parking garage, right by the exit door. If you will look closely, you can see that we have a very large parking space. The painted white rectangle would be a normal space, and we get all the extra as well. That is a big deal in Spain! And something to be grateful for everyday!
I had to share this parking space. I would hate to pull into that one with that van!
This week we went to the Taste of America store. They were out of Karo Syrup, which they do usually carry. I snapped a picture of this 7 oz. bag of coconut, which would be over $6. The coconut here is very different. It is like little tiny, dehydrated pieces. I haven't been making any recipes that call for coconut.
This week the mission Ipads finally arrived. The elders stacked the boxes up like the temple. They even put a box at the bottom for the entrance.
Elders Nielsen, Hendricks, and Daniels
There is a meat market a couple blocks away from the office that specializes in selling jamón serrano, which is a traditional meat here in Spain. It is covered in salt for two weeks, and then it hangs to dry for six months. Then it is put in a dry, cool place for another six to eighteen months. The drying sheds are usually built at higher elevations in the mountains. I don't care for jamón serrano. It is too chewy for me, but they also sell bocadillos, (sandwiches served on fresh, crusty bread.) They have turkey and cheese, or regular ham and cheese, and a drink for $2. It is the best deal around, and it is quite the experience going in to get our sandwiches.
Tuesday morning we went to the Spain MTC with Elder Hendricks, to sign papers and show our passports to renew our residency cards for living in Madrid. We were able to visit with President and Sister Lovell. Elder Larsen and President Lovell grew up together in Bartlesville and they even roomed together at BYU. We were very impressed with their new sign.
Wednesday night, I had another opportunity to teach with Hermana Clements and Her Bingham. They taught a great lesson about priorities. They showed the object lesson of sand, or rice, representing all the little things we do in our lives, and larger rocks that represent the most important things that we need to do, like our prayers, scripture study, church attendance, and service. If you put in the small items into the jar first, there is no room for the larger items. But if we put the larger items in first, and we do these important things first in our day, as our priority, we can still fit in all of the smaller items as well. Then Hermana Clements challenged them to set a goal of something they could improve on. This is always a good reminder.
This is the elevator that we rode down in. It was more than scrunchy with the three of us in there.
Saturday afternoon Elder Larsen and I attended the temple again. We are grateful to have a temple close by and love the peace that we feel when we are there. We attended a baptism that evening for Caren and her son David. The building in Alcobendas, where we attend church does not have a baptismal font. They have to drive to the larger building by the temple for baptisms, except for in the summer. The bishop of the ward has a pool in his backyard, and they use the pool for the baptisms. They had just filled the pool this week, and we have had a couple of cool nights, so the water was pretty chilly, but the Spirit was strong.
Hermanas Bingham and Clements, Caren, David, Alison, and Elder Gentry
Elder Ridd and Hermana Clements sang a beautiful duet, with Elder Ridd on the ukulele.
They are both very talented.
Our four sisters serving in Alcobendas.
Hermanas Bingham, Clements, Staker, and Pavez
Elders Ridd and Daniels
Elders Hendricks, Nielsen, and Ecklund
After the baptism, the Jacksons invited us over to visit with the elders from the office who are being transferred or are going home. The Jacksons live right next door to the bishop. Hermana Jackson made a delicious Chocolate Eclair Cake. It was yummy and I will have to try making it.
On Sunday we enjoyed a delicious dinner of Sweet Pork Burritos, Cilantro Rice, Texas Caviar, and Apple Cake, with these great missionaries. The kitchen is tiny, but I am managing to cook in it. This week I baked banana bread for the office elders, scotcheroos for Elder Ecklund's birthday, and chocolate cookies for the baptism.
Hermana Pavez is being transferred to another ward in Madrid. Hermana Staker will get her new companion on Wednesday, a new missionary from the CCM. Elder Ecklund is going to the island of Tenerife, and Elder Bohne (and Elder Nielsen pictured above) fly home on Tuesday. Always changes!
In my scripture studies this week, I read 1 Timothy 4:12:
Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
I love this message. I hope that I can live by these words. I want my example to show my love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that the things that I say will be a reflection of Christ's teaching. As our little children sing in Primary, "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus."