Monday, July 27, 2015

Pioneer Day

I am grateful that President Pack challenged us to read a wonderful talk that was given in 1995, by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, entitled "Swallowed up in the Will of the Father."  I have read and listened to this talk several times this week.  I have written down numerous quotes that have impressed me, and I continue to write down things that I can do to be more willing to submit to the Lord's will.  I know that our true source of happiness is to submit to the Lord's will.  It seems so simple that we would be happiest if we obeyed, God, our Father.  But somehow, putting it into practice can be difficult.  Here is the video and talk.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes:
     *Some of us are so busy checking on our own temperatures that we do not notice the burning
       fevers of others.
     *Consecration is not shoulder-shrugging acceptance, but, instead, shoulder-squaring to better
       bear the yoke.
     *The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's         altar.
Monday, Elder Larsen worked some at the office, but I stayed home and worked out, did laundry, cleaned the apartment, and baked cinnamon rolls. I wanted to make some cinnamon rolls on Saturday to take to a barbecue, but I wanted to try them out since I had not made them since we had been here in Madrid.  They turned out pretty good, but I just can't get them to rise the way they do at home.  I did some reading on line, and apparently bread floor has more gluten and that helps dough to rise more.  Maybe this flour has less gluten!  I took some over to the Packs and the Verbukens and they thought the cinnamon rolls were wonderful.

Tuesday we had a zone leader and sister trainer leader meeting at the mission home.  I got there at 8:00 a.m. to help with making pancakes for breakfast.  Hermana Pack had 3 boxes of pancake mix from the American store.  They were yummy pancakes, and of course, the pricey maple syrup was a hit.  The syrup is produced in the USA, but we don't understand Mississippi Belle, and Minnesota. Kind of funny!

After breakfast, they started the meeting.  Caroline was my trusty helper again.  We have a great time together in the kitchen!  Hermana Pack had started pork in the crockpot the night before.  When it was tender, we shredded it for sandwiches. She also had an enormous batch of pasta salad.  I added some ingredients and salad dressing for that.  Caroline and I made 3 batches of banana pudding and we cut up watermelon for the crowd of 40.  We had the snacks out and ready at the break and then we had the meal ready to eat at 2:00.  By 3:30 we were cleaned up and headed to the office.  We worked at the office until 9:30.  Needless to say, we were more than exhausted when we headed home that night.  

I didn't think about taking pictures until we were ready to leave, so I only got these two quick shots. These are good missionaries who are our leaders.  They inspire me with their desire to serve.  

On Wednesday, our APs, Elder Schwenke and Elder Ruiz came to the office with matching ties. Apparently, they bought them for 2 euros and were happy to be matching.  They are a great team!

We had our office meeting, and then Hermana Pack drove President Pack to the airport.  We had bocadillos from the little shop close to the office.  The sandwich and a can of pop is only 2 euros (about $2.) The bread is fresh and the bocadillos have lots of meat and cheese. They are yummy! What a deal!  Jonathon was pleased.  Then we got some great work out of him.  Elder Larsen had him inventory some of our supplies, and then he helped me with getting packets ready for the 41 missionaries that we have coming in September. We got the packets started, and I am hoping he will be available to help me some more this next week.  Thank you Jonathon!

On Friday, we met Aida Cruz at the temple.  Aida is one of our young adults from Las Palmas.  She is going to be a counselor for youth conference this week.  We ate at an Italian restaurant, and we enjoyed visiting with her.

We love this photo Aida took of the temple.  

Saturday I made banana bread for the office elders, and two pans of cinnamon rolls.  Saturday night, we headed over to the Pioneer Day celebration with the temple missionaries.  We appreciate the Duffins who are so good about organizing these get togethers.  We had pulled pork sandwiches, salads, watermelon, chips, and desserts.  Lots of good food and fun conversation.  Afterwards, we watched, "Meet the Mormons."  It was a very nice evening.

And we always love the opportunity to see the temple at night.  
Beautiful temples inspire me to seek for the things of the Lord.  

These good men all have smiles on their faces, but it was not really a happy occasion.  Elder Schwenke swiped a car as he was parallel parking.  Elder Larsen is holding the accident report.  Glad they all could smile about it.

Elder Barlow and Elder Daniels are probably smiling because they weren't involved.  

The hermanas came for dinner.  Elder Larsen surprised them with letters and Hermana Olsen had a package.  As you can see by the look on Hermana Bingham's face, she did not get a package or a letter.  Poor thing!

I tried something for the first time here in Spain.  I made Chicken Bundles.  At home, I make them with crescent roll dough, you know, the kind you can buy in the refrigerator section.  They do not sell that here.  I did find some prepared dough at the German grocery store.  It wasn't the same, but pretty close.  So, we enjoyed Spain Chicken Bundles, rice, gravy, salad with honey-garlic dressing, and fresh fruit.

We thought we were surprising the girls with root beer floats.  But as soon as we said we were having something different for dessert, they grinned and asked if it was the same thing that the elders had the week before.  They were very excited.  And the floats were yummy!

We have four awesome missionaries!  These girls are the best!  I always enjoy the opportunity to visit with them.  They have such positive attitudes and they want to work hard to share the message of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible.  

We also had another great thing finally happen this week, the big 9-seater van that was ordered a year ago, finally arrived.  We were just sad that the Jacksons never got to see this happy day.

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