Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

Hey family,

One more week has passed faster that imaginable. I can't even remember what we've been doing because the days just seem to run together. We had a really fun "girls night in" last Thursday and ate delicious crepes then the girls wanted to see our wedding photos which led to looking at family photos and such. I think some were pretty surprised at how much we have changed over the years. It is a fact that time takes it's toll on our appearances. We have such a darling group of girls in our branch that are so busy and it's hard to get them together so last week was a real treat for all of us.

All six of us missionaries gave the last hour lesson during the block this past Sunday. We spoke about the importance of branch members and missionaries working together. We showed the video "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go"  then the elders and sisters gave some good ideas of ways members can share the gospel with family and friends. Larry spoke about following up quoting Elder Ballard's conference talk. I basically just bore my testimony of the many small miracles that happen as branch members and missionaries work together to bring others to the gospel. It went well but we went a little over time which to me is a big no no in my book. 

The elders came for dinner after church because they had no where else to go and Larry felt sorry for them. I had planned on just grilling some chicken for us but didn't have enough for us and two hungry elders so we had scrambled eggs, bacon, muffins, pineapple and ice cream. Not the most elegant or healthy lunch but the elders seemed just fine with it.

We had our last institute class Sunday night for the year. This branch has such a wonderful dedicated teacher that is two months from having her third baby so this was good timing for everyone involved. I'm not sure if she'll continue in the fall. I hope so because her lessons are really well thought out and she does a good job just getting down to the teaching of gospel principles. This Saturday is seminary and institute graduation in Santiago. We're driving kids up from the branch and then helping with some mixers at the party after the graduation. 

Monday Larry drove the elders and sisters to Valenca Portugal which is only 18 miles away. They all wanted to go  to Portugal before transfers this next Monday because there is a chance that some or all might leave this area. So I told Larry to just take them all and I stayed home since our car only seats five. We had planned on taking the hermanas one week and the elders another but we just ran out of time. They had a great time and it was beautiful from the pictures I saw and of course they were shared on Facebook.

We had a great FHE with the JAS here at out apt. Tuesday night. We watched some I'm a mormon videos and played a scripture game. After that Larry practiced with the kids for the branch talent show. He is playing Besa me Mucho on the guitar and they are singing. They were a little hesitant at first but then they really got into it and are planning costumes and props. They actually sounded pretty good after a few times going through the song. One of the young men brought his guitar so Larry gave him his first guitar lesson. I made lemon cupcakes and chips and salsa for treats. I have found Rotel here so I bought all the cans in the American Food Store. I wasn't sure the kids would like the salsa but they really loved it and ate three bags of chips along with it. 

One of our young men, Andriv, received his mission call to Mexico city North. He opened his letter last night at ten o'clock at the church. There was a big group of JAS there, his family and other branch members. He waited so late because that's what time his sister got out of her classes in Madrid and they wanted her to Skype with them when he read his call. It was such a sweet, exciting moment for everyone when he read Mexico, a big cheer went up. He is such a great kid, articulate, funny,  faithful, and he'll be a great missionary. We will miss having him as part of our JAS group. Happily for us he won't leave until mid September.

The sisters and I had a meeting with Teo, our African investigator at 8 this evening. Finally at 8:45 when he still hadn't shown up we called him and he said he had walked too much today, his leg was hurting, and he needed to treat it so he wasn't coming. We set up another appt. for 7 tomorrow which he'll hopefully make. He is a really kind and humble guy with  not a lot going for him as far as the world's standards. Life is so hard for some people in ways that are hard to even relate to because it is a completely different experience than what I have been exposed to. 

We went out to lunch with the elders and hermanas today because it was Elder Sargent's birthday. We went to a Chinese restaurant with a pretty decent buffet. When we were all serving ourselves at the buffet a gentleman (the only other person in the restaurant except us) jumped up from his chair and walked towards the buffet pointing at the elders and Larry  yelling "There are one, two, three of you!" and a few other things I didn't understand. (all in spanish) Then he sat down and continued to talk loudly giving us all dirty looks. Finally the server went to his table and told him he needed to settle down which he did but would still give us ugly looks when any of us would go back to the buffet. That was the first time I had seen any kind of negative reaction from someone towards missionaries. The elders say it happens to them a lot. The sisters not so much.

We are enjoying our mission so much and feel so blessed to be having such a wonderful experience serving here in Vigo. We love the branch, the JAS, and the young missionaries we serve with. We love you all so very much and you are in our prayers constantly. We appreciated that you keep in touch with us and abreast of all that is going on in your lives. Take care.

Mom and Dad

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