This week we received the news that President Boyd K. Packer died. He served as an apostle for 45 years. He was often referred to as a Master Teacher. I remember many of his talks through the years, as he would use analogies that helped me to understand the principles that he was teaching. He has been a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He truly spent his life serving the Lord. I enjoyed this short video about him. Watch here.
Monday, we were still in the North. We had spent the night in San Sebastián and spent a few minutes enjoying the beach before we headed south.
I love how they work together to carry their surfboards.
San Sebatián is a beautiful city. We loved the weather with cooler temperatures.
This area is known as the Basque region. It is the Northeastern area of Spain. Many historians believe that the Basque people inhabited this area during Roman times. They did not assimilate with other Western European groups. They have their own language, which looks nothing like Spanish, though they have adopted some Spanish words through the years. The parking meter by the hotel was only in Basque, though most signs were in Basque and Spanish. Here are a couple of examples.
It is also interesting that they use the word "parking" in Spanish.
I love the northern part of Spain. It is so green. I am posting my sad attempt at photos with my iPhone in a moving car. I hope it gives you some idea of how truly beautiful this area is.
Then we drove to Pamplona. This is the city where the famous running of the bulls takes place. This year it is from July 7th to July 14th. The city was preparing for the event. It actually takes place every morning at 8:00. We walked along the road where they run from a corral to the bull-fighting ring.
The corral is on the outskirts of town.
This is the sign for the famous street, and I am under the countdown clock. Only 6 more days!
These are the wooden fences that keep the bulls headed to the ring.
And this is where they enter into La Plaza de Toros.
This statue is amazing!
Pamplona is a very beautiful town. We enjoyed our visit there.
We also ran into this family from Lehi, Utah. They were traveling in Portugal and Spain with their two sons who were home from there missions. They saw my name tag and asked me where I was from. We had a fun conversation with them. It's a pretty small world when you run into someone from Lehi, Utah in Pamplona, Spain.
From there we headed to Olite, which is back in the hot, dry plains of Spain, where we visited a beautiful castle. I am pretty sure I have said this before, but we love castles! Most people refer to this as a castle, but some say it should more accurately be called a palace, as its main purpose was for courtly living, and not for military defense. It was started during the 13th century and was added onto throughout the years. It was actually burned by the Spanish army in 1813 to prevent it from being used by the French troops of Napoleon. They began the process of restoration in 1937.
An entrance into the old city and a model of the castle.
Some of the original tiles and a beautiful breezeway.
The Queen's Quarters and window seat looking over the gardens.
The King's Quarters
Views from multiple towers.
Here is my knight in shining armor!
What an unusual old White Mulberry tree! It is 300+ years old.
Once again I wished that my grandchildren were with us to explore this wonderful old castle!
Wednesday morning was our big day. Our new mission president and his family arrived in Spain. A big thank you to Hermana Clements and Hermana Bingham, for making the welcome posters.
The Packs are wonderful! We are so excited to have them here.
Caroline 15 and Jonathon 13
But with the changing of the guards,
We have to say goodbye to these wonderful people! We sure will miss them.
After we had our office meeting, we enjoyed a light brunch. I tried a new Cinnamon Crumble Cake that was delicious. I'm not sure if it was the butter, the pecans, or the brown sugar, but it sure was good!
Saturday, Elder Larsen was the chauffeur for a shopping trip with Caroline and Hermana Pack. We went to Alcampo (Spanish Walmart) and Makro (Spainsh Costco.) It was a lengthy trip as we were trying to educate them about the stores and the products. How Elder Larsen ever got all these groceries in our little car, I'll never know! We were very thankful that he worked his magic.
Saturday afternoon, I baked chocolate chip cookies for a July 4th gift for our missionaries. Elder Larsen was the delivery boy.
It was sad that we didn't get a picture of Hermana Harper and Hermana Staker with their cookies. They were teaching when we dropped off the cookies.
Saturday night we attended a barbeque with the temple missionaries. We tried to be festive with our red, white, and blue clothes. A white blouse, blue skirt, and red belt was the best I could come up with.
Thanks to Elder Leatham for the delicious meat, and for grilling in the heat.
So this weekend was transfers. Hermana Clements is leaving us to serve in Telde on the Island. We will certainly miss her.
Hermanas Larsen, Clements, Bingham, Pack, Harper, and Staker
Elder Voss is going to serve in Salamanca. Elder Hendricks and Elder Ridd are going home. We will really miss these good elders in the office.
We had a delicious meal of apple pork chops, Jewish Sweet Bread, fresh fruit and salad, with Red Velvet Cake for dessert. That was supposed to be Elder Larsen's Father's Day dessert. We were just a little late.
Elder Schwenke and Elder Ridd sang for us. I told Elder Ruiz he had two weeks to get ready to be Elder Schwenke's duet partner!