Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mar 24, 2014

Well the first couple of days last week were quiet because Larry needed to stay down and rest. It seemed to help him to really take it easy. He's gotten the pain under control and usually has very little pain when he sits or lays. He can't walk very far before he starts to have pain so that limits his activity. Pres. Jackson should have gotten his MRI disc today so maybe we'll hear soon what suggestions there are for treatment.

We did make it to district meeting Wed morning but the elders were the taxi service instead of Larry. We had a great meeting and all the missionaries said they would pray for your dad. I made banana bread and cut up fruit for the missionaries to eat before they left to return back to their own cities. Gotta keep those yunguns fed. We missed english class and  branch FHE later that evening. But Larry was hurting.

We were able to attend a baptism Fri. evening. I played the piano which tells you we are short on talent sometimes. I even played a special number the RS sisters sang. A darling 81 year old lady, named Tomasa, was baptized. She says when the elders started talking to her in the street she would normally have just walked on and said" I don't have time'" but she knew she needed to stop and listen to them. Then she said she knew she had been waiting to hear what they had to share with her. It was kind of scary getting her into the baptismal "font". You have to climb up a ladder and then down to get into the water. She just couldn't make the last rung to get all the way in so finally elder Bennett just lifted her all the way in. So sweet. I just love going to these convert baptisms. Such a feeling of joy that accompanies these new members.

Friday we went to Pontevedre and while we were there we took the hermanas in that town out for lunch. Larry loves taking the missionaries out to eat. He just wants to do something nice for them. I hadn't been to Pontevedre before so it was good to get familiar with another town in district.

Saturday we were able to go teach english. I actually took that time to practice hymns since there were plenty of teachers for the students we had. I need to get over to the church often and practice. I have been playing regularly for district meetings and baptisms.

Sunday was a long day since we visited Ferrol for their block of meetings. It's a two hour drive. We were able to meet with the JAS during Sunday School and talk about the campout in April and go over their list of JAS we were given by the district for that branch. We are trying to update the lists anyway we can.  After church we went with the Branch Pres. wife to see the property they have where we will have our campout. It is really just a huge fenced yard with a small orchard that is around their house. It should work just fine. Sister Amado said we could use their bathrooms. Very nice of her. They live in such a gorgeous area among hills and fields with wonderful views. They are actually close to the beach. Larry wants to get a hotel room on the beach for us because there is no way he can sleep out on the ground. It's going to take some doing to pull this campout off but hopefully well get it done. 

Today was P-day so we took the elders and hermanas to Tommy Mel's Diner for lunch. We had such a fun time with them. Transfers are coming up next week and we might lose as many as three of them so we thought we'd have a lunch together just in case. I know transfers are necessary but I just love these four missionaries we work with. Of course it will be wonderful to get to know different missionaries.

It's been good to talk to you on skype and keep in touch. Cam & Stacey we tried to call you today but no success. Let us know any news via skype or email. Take Care.

Mom and Dad

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mar 18, 2014

Hi all,

I've talked to all of you except Cameron so this will be redundant but I am keeping a journal via my emails.
A week ago Sunday we drove up to LaCaruna for church and to meet with the JAS during the sunday school hour. The branch members were so warm and welcoming and I think a bit disappointed we weren't going to be living in their branch. They had a senior couple there for two years that left in Jan. The Branch President asked us to say a few words during Sacrament Meeting so that was a little stressful (at least for me) as we were not prepared but it was fine. We met with the JAS and they are such a great group of young folks. One of the JAS reps is also the Elder's Quorum Pres. And the other is in the Primary. But we had a really good meeting with them. It is our hope to be able to organize our time and work out a schedule so we can meet with the three main branches once a month at church and for an activity. Of course we will do more with the Vigo group since we're right here. These branches have the largest groups of JAS. Then we'll do the best we can with the other branches.  

The two JAS reps in our branch were inspired and found a site for the district JAS campout in April. The Branch Pres. in Ferrol has a small farm and said we could have our campout there. They actually talked to his wife about it and she was more than happy to have us come. 

Monday we went with the hermanas, elders, and one of our JAS and her mom for a paseo. They took us outside of the city to a hill and we drove all the way to the top where there are awesome views from three sides. It was beautiful and even better because it was a crystal clear blue sky. We ate lunch in a little park and then climbed even higher to the very top and looked out from a different angle. Just amazing. You could see the entire city, the ocean, and across to the islands. Then we drove to the other side of the valley to see and old castle but the sight was closed on Mondays. It was a great day.

Tuesday we had a lot of down time so we organized our JAS info on the computer. Oh yes but the most important happening was getting the internet in our piso. No more trips to the church to correspond. We did some major shopping to restock water and other grocery items and we're still getting odds and ends for the piso. I made a list of Birthdays for JAS by month and branch so we can do some little something for them on their birthdays.

Wed. was district meeting. I must say these young missionaries do a great job of teaching, encouraging one another and helping build skills. I brought cake for their treat and it's fun to see them just gobble up anything. We taught Spanish at 7 and were getting ready for FHE with the branch when Larry pretty much collapsed in pain. He had been having pain but that seemed to be a turning point. He said there was no way he could walk home. We called the mission Pres. (He's a doctor) and he told us to go get some anti-inflammatory medication. Se we ran next door to the Pharmacy and got it (no need for prescriptions here) . He took it and after about 20 minutes he was able to make it home. The next day Pres. Jackson recommended prednisone (again no prescription needed). We kept Larry in bed for the next few days hoping the meds would work but by Sat. the pain got much worse and we had to take him to emergency. They did x rays which showed nothing then admitted him. They had him on IV with pain meds and other meds orally. Monday they did an MRI and today the DR. read it and said he had a herniated disc. The options are physical therapy which can work really well or surgery. Pres. Jackson wants to see his tests and send them to his colleagues in Provo and get their opinion. So that's where we are. Your dad is home and has a regime of meds to take for a while. The young elders here have been life savers the last few days. They have gotten us to and from the hospital and done lots of things for us in the interim. Great young men.

We feel terrible about the car for your sake Dana. All in all it's been one heck of a week. Love to you all and this too shall pass. 

Love Mom and Dad.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mar 8, 2014

Hi everyone,

We are here in English class and since your dad pretty much takes over I am writing to you guys and adding my 2 cents to the conversation when I feel like it. We have English classes for anyone who wants to learn English every Wed at7 pm and Sat. at 12. I really love working with the people that come to class. 

This evening at 7 there is a baptism for a young single mother that the hermanas have been teaching. We went with them Thu. evening to give her, Cristiana, her last discussion before baptism. She was so excited and looking forward to today. It will be a happy event. We are going to help set up the baptismal font today so we'll know how to do it. We'll do it right after English class.

Last Saturday a ward member Janet, from the Philipines, and Danny one of our JAS took us to lunch. We went to a nearby mall that has a food court. There was a Mediterranean buffet and that is where we had lunch. There were a lot of choices and most of what I had was pretty good. Larry really loved and the Elders say they have been there and they love it. Buffets are not my favorite. But it was so nice of Janet to take us and she absolutely would not let us pay. 

Monday a branch member, Sandra, invited the hermanas, elders, and us to brunch. It was hermana Fabrosa's birthday so it was a celebration also. The table was so full of food it was unbelievable. It was awesome! I couldn't believe all the preparation that had gone into the meal. Sandra is from Brazil and owns a hair salon-spa so that's where we had brunch. She is a recent convert of a few months. Hermana Barbosa is originally from Brazil so she and Sandra  have a strong bond. Sandra's a great person.

We had zone meeting in Santiago Wed. morning. We had the sisters ride up with us so they wouldn't have to take the bus. Poor elders we couldn't fit them in the car. The meeting was great. We have great zone leaders, Elder Pontoso is Spainish and Elder Ortiz is from Columbia. There are few native Spaniards serving missionaries. During the meeting we had to go out and street contact. It was awesome to watch 20 missionaries hit the streets. Larry and I did it too but we were not as good as the young missionaries. It was a good learning experience for us. We took the sisters out to lunch after the meeting. 

Your dad's back has really been bothering him since Tuesday and seems to be getting worse. Today he has some numbness in his left thigh. I am thinking we need to see a doctor. Luckily he can sit and lay without any trouble. He is living the Arnett motto.

We had the Elders over for lunch Thu. They are both from UT. I asked them what they would like me to prepare for lunch and they both said they would love roast beef, mashed potatoes, and corn. So that is what I made although I added carrots, green salad, and red velvet cake. I was going to serve ice cream but I couldn't find any cartons of just ice cream only bars and fancy frozen desserts. The Elders said ice cream cartons are available just not everywhere. They both had two full plates of food and two desserts. It was great to see them love the meal so much.

Tuesday evening I made up a couple of batches of cookie dough because I never know when I am going to need treats so I want to be ready. I did bake enough peanut butter cookies for zone meeting. They were a hit. 

We had a skype meeting Sunday evening with the Stake pres. counselor over JAS (Jovenes Adultos Solteros) or young single adults. They are having a district wide JAS campout in April so we need to get started planning it. We have another skype meeting this afternoon. I am a little concerned about the time frame because as of Sunday they hadn't secured a location. And since it is Easter week it will be a bit more difficult.

Anyway except for Larry's back problem all is well. We have had three gorgeous days of blue sky and sunshine so that makes life good. You all take care and know we think about you and love you.

Mom and Dad

Monday, March 3, 2014

Feb 28, 2014

Hello to you all,

I haven't written for a week so I need to stop and think what has been going on. With your dad's posts you probably have a pretty good idea but I'll catch you all up.

Last Saturday we went to Santiago because your dad needed to attend a district counsel meeting. I happened to get there and was able to participate in the afternoon part of SS with the YMYW. They had a pretty good group there but so many are unable to come because of transportation problems. The district pres. wife spoke to them about the importance of education. She is pretty hilarious and animated so the youth really seemed to like her presentation. At least they laughed a lot and responded to discussion questions. There were a few YSA there so I was able to meet them. Two of them were actually from our branch.

Sunday they sustained your dad as a district council member. We met Roberto Hernandez and his wife and family at church. He has a darling family. Three kids two boys and one girl. His wife is Primary Pres. She seems very nice. They are moving to Germany in a month so we won't see them much longer. He works for Bosch, the automotive parts dept. Who knew??? We also attended a baptism, an 8 year old boy from the branch. You saw the pix of the font. Your dad was fascinated. We went to institute and met some more YSA. There is quite a group in this branch and I wish we could get them all together at the same time. We're working on it.

Tuesday we had a YSA FHE at out apt. with quite a good turnout. Well 6 and 4 more counting the Elders and the Hermanas. Everyone's schedules are so different it's hard to find a good time that works for everyone. It was a pretty fun evening and they ate everything I served except they didn't like raw broccoli with ranch dressing. Of course Larry made everyone try some saying it was an American custom. I then told them he had never eaten broccoli since I had known him and they thought that was quite amusing.

Wed we left at 3:30 on the train to Madrid. We got there at 10pm and to the hotel about 11:30. It was a late night for everyone. We traveled up with all the Hermanas and Elders from the district. Don't know if you saw the pix. We had to be up the next morning at 7 for breakfast at the hotel. Then we left at 8 for the mission tour conference. It started at 10 but Elder Sullivan (he and his wife work with the YSA in Madrid) (plus he is an ex MoTab member) taught all the missionaries a special number for the meeting. It was We'll Bring the World HIs Truth. The Hermanas sang a descant for part of the song. It was beautiful. The meetings were amazing. I am sure the young missionaries left feeling so inspired. I know we did. Elder Tiexierau spoke along with Pres. Jackson, his wife, and sister Tiexierau. We met the Hunts another YSA couple in Oveido and had a good talk with them. We are going to try to get together every month or so. We live 4 hours from each other so we'll meet somewhere in the middle. They feel alone and in need of other adults and I think it will be good for us also. We can also share ideas. We came home on the train this morning. We had to be at the metro by 6 to be on the train by 7:20. So another early morning. We arrived in Vigo at 1:30 and I felt like I was home. We live very near the train station so we can walk.

We just met with the district employment rep. and a counselor in the district pres. and planned how we are going to approach getting the information to the members about how to improve their employment possibilities, how to look for a job, and the importance of preparing for the future. So many of the YSA here in Spain are neither working or going to school. It's a very big problem. Especially since unemployment in Spain is so high.

Tomorrow we only have English class here at the church at 12pm so I think we'll rest up a bit. We are doing great and really enjoying everything we are doing. We love getting to know these YSA. I hope all the travelers to Vegas, Dana, Devry, and Ashley have a great weekend. Enjoy Celine and each other. Mallory and Mark good luck moving. I hope you found some help. Ryan, Cameron, and Quinn take good care of the kids while their moms are off having a break. Stacey have a fun weekend with your boys. Danny make a lot of money at your show.

We love you guys.

Mom and Dad.