Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lunch with the Bybees

How blessed I feel!  I am very thankful for the opportunity we have to serve with the Packs.  They literally have hit the ground running, with so many things to do with transfers this week.  The Packs are here to serve.  We have already seen their love for the Lord and their love for the missionaries.

Monday, we had 28 missionaries come to the mission home for the their farewell dinner and testimony meeting.  I had the privilege of helping Caroline and Hermana Pack with the food.  We make a great team.  

Five of the missionaries who were going home had served on Gran Canaria with us.  These are wonderful young men, and I am grateful for the time we had to serve together.
   Elders McWhorter, Stevenson, Gentry, Hansen, and Bybee

What a beautiful experience to hear this room full of missionaries sing "Called to Serve" in Spanish!  The music was beautiful and the spirit was so strong.  

Elder Ward accompanied them on the piano.  He is such an amazing pianist.  It was always a privilege to hear him play.  He is somewhat of a celebrity in our mission.  He was the new elder that was on his way to his first area, on the train that was going too fast, and went off the tracks.  He fractured a vertebrae.  So grateful that he survived the train crash and he has now finished his two years of service.

It was a wonderful experience to hear these missionaries share their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They expressed how their love for the Savior has grown over the past two years.  They expressed the joy that they have felt from sharing the beautiful message of Christ's gospel with the people of Spain.  They expressed their gratitude for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and how they better understand this beautiful gift that He has given us.  They expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve.

We had 27 elders and just one hermana.
 Hermana Pack, Caroline, Hermana Costagliola

What an amazing group of missionaries!

We finished up at the mission home about 11:30 pm and then spent 30 minutes driving around in circles, trying to get to the Hermanas Staker's and Harper's apartment, where Hermana Costagliola would spend the night.  There are so many one-way streets here and GPS always wants us to "enter" the "do not enter."  We finally were about a block away, and the hermanas walked out to meet us. They had their usual bright smiles on their face, even at that time of night.  Sure do love these girls.

Tuesday morning, we were up early to pick up Hermana Costagliola, see the other missionaries off on the bus, and then drive Hermana Costagliola to the airport.  She was flying home out of a different terminal to Italy.  I was back at the mission home to help with the food for the incoming group of missionaries.  I love working in the kitchen with Caroline. It was nice to have this small group of 5. They are excited to head to their new areas and begin their service as missionaries.
Hermanas Devereaux, Shaw, Pack, Pres. Pack and Elders Wither, Trantham, and Malolo

After working at the office for a few hours, we had to drop something off for the Packs at the mission home.  The APs were there and we were blessed with a beautiful song.  It is so nice to be around these talented young men.

Wednesday morning. we had our office meeting, and then rode to the airport with the office elders and the Packs.  The Packs and the APs flew to Vigo for a zone conference.  I was really wishing I could have stowed away in a suitcase and gone with them.  We drove the Packs car back from the airport.  Then we had lunch downtown with Elder Bybee and his parents.  They came to tour Spain with him on his way home from the mission.  We have communicated with his parents by Facebook and it was fun to finally meet them.  What wonderful people and wonderful parents!  It was a pleasure getting to visit with them.  And we loved spending some time with Elder Bybee.  He is an amazing young man!
Delicious Food!

And, they came bearing presents.  They gave me 2 big bags of precious pecans and 8 packets of Ranch Dressing mix.  Who would have known that these items would be such a precious commodity? Thank you, Bybees for the gifts, and for the wonderful afternoon!

Thursday morning, we drove about 45 minutes to Leganes.  They have had two separate water issues in their apartment.  The damage done to this wall was from hair in the bathroom drain.  (Let me just say that the drain systems are very different here.)  The other damage was done to the wood floor from a broken hot water heater.  The landlord wanted to meet with someone in charge.  Currently, that would be Elder Larsen, as we are now over apartments, as well as our office responsibilities, until they can find another couple to take over the apartments.  (We are praying that will be soon!)

I was happy for the opportunity to see Hermana West and visit with her for a few minutes.  I baked them some cookies, and she gave me some homemade maple syrup!  Not quite as good as the real maple syrup she received in a package from home, while she was on the Island, but it is still delicious.  Another one of the "precious commodities" that remind us of home!

These missionaries were happy that I had some cookies for them as well. 
 Always a nice ending to a district meeting.
Hermanas Olsen (She took Hermana Clements place who is now serving on the Island in Telde.) Harper, Staker, and Bingham, Elders Daniels and Barlow

I taught with these hermanas on Friday and Elder Larsen surprised us with a chocolate muffin.

I always love their happy smiling faces

We had the hermanas over for dinner on Sunday.  

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad, Jewish Sweet Bread, and Fresh Fruit, with Chocolate Eclair Cake for dessert (no photo, but it was yummy!)

So blessed to work with these great missionaries!

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