Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Running of the Bulls

I am thankful for music and the way that I feel the Lord's spirit through music.  The office elders and APs came to dinner this week and they sang "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy."  This hymn is one of my more recent favorites because of a talk that President Packer gave in General Conference in October 2012.  It just goes to show that things mean more do us when we have some background knowledge.  You can listen to his talk here, as he explains the treacherous boat ride he had when someone did not "keep the lower light" burning. Christ is the light from the lighthouse, guiding us back to Him.  Perhaps we can be the lower light that can help someone see how to align their life with Christ's light, by teaching them about His gospel.  That is our purpose and desire as missionaries, and I appreciate these elders sharing this beautiful song with us this week.

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Monday, Elder Larsen was still regaining his energy, so we had a pretty quiet Pday. I did get my hair cut and we bought some groceries, but that was about it.  Tuesday was a busy day at the office, especially as Elder Larsen was trying to catch up from being gone so many days.  

Wednesday morning, I stayed home from the office to cook for the missionaries.  We had missed two Sundays in a row of not having them to dinner.  So, I decided to cook for the group at district meeting. 

We had barbecue chicken sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, chips and chocolate cookies.

Everyone was happy!

Thursday morning, we decided to participate in a little bit of the culture of Spain.  Most everyone has heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.  But they actually have this event throughout Spain. We currently live in a suburb of Madrid, San Sebastián de los Reyes, and this week was their big festivo.  They had a carnival that ran all week long.  They party until the wee hours of the morning. The elders and sisters apartments are closer to that area.  We are grateful to be a little further away. We were only bothered by the fireworks one night!

I do not understand why people are so fascinated with participating in this event.  Just this summer, 12 people have died by being gored by a bull.  That doesn't count all the ones who have been injured.
I was grateful that the most excitement I saw was a guy falling down on a turn, but he was way ahead of the bulls.

If you look at the railing in the second picture, I was across the street, but kneeling down, looking above the bottom slat.  these are the photos I took from that angle.  The bull was a little too close. 

Jonathon Pack took these photos.  He was sitting on top of the railing.  A balcony view would have been preferable.  

And within a few short seconds, it was all over!

Thursday afternoon, we went to the temple with Annie Torrez and Saray (Hermana) Caballero.  It is truly a blessing to be in the temple with people that we love.  Afterwards we went out to dinner.  

On Sunday, we taught our marriage class.  I also had a chance to share a few stories with the Primary children.  I did not know in advance that they were going to talk about President Monson.  But, as she shared some things about President Monson, I just felt like I needed to share the experiences that Sawyer and Cooper, two of my grandsons, had with President Monson when they lived in his ward. I know my Spanish wasn't perfect because I had not thought about it in advance.  But the children understood me and I believe they felt the love that President Monson has for all the little children.  I know if he had the opportunity, he would take each one of them on his lap and read them a story, just as he did with Cooper.  I was glad that I was able to share.

The elders came for dinner.  We had Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad, Jewish Sweet Bread, fresh fruit, and for the first time in Spain, I made Country Cream Cake.  It was delicious.  I had some coconut sent to me from home.  The coconut here is very different and just won't work in most of my recipes. The meal was delicious, and then we enjoyed the beautiful hymn by the elders.  They are great young men!

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