Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jun 19, 2014

Hi dearest family.

The past few days in Vigo have been warm and we now know our apt can double as a giant oven. The sun pours in from the north and the east all morning until early afternoon, about 2 when it finally is past our windows. Our mornings begin cool because thankfully the nights are cool. We close up the blinds and windows as soon as the sun begins to shine through the glass and the coolness lasts a bit longer. But when the sun is directly on all the windows it heats up our metal blinds which in turns raises the temperature in our apartment until it is uncomfortable even with fans blowing constantly. Today we are having a respite from the heat with much cooler temps, slight cloudiness, and a mild breeze. It feels like heaven. 

Last Friday we spent our day with the elders and sisters painting a bedroom for a family in our branch. They are expecting a new baby in a week or so and the sisters volunteered to help with the painting so we all decided to join in. You know how much your dad likes painting?!! But he does know how to do it and he got us all organized after sending some of us to the store to get the right materials, and back again and again. He had us taping, draping and cutting in the edges before we knew it. We actually got three coats of paint on the walls and it looked very nice. It took us from 11-5 which included a lunch break at Domino's Pizza, while the elders went to lunch at a members house. The elders also scrubbed the mold off of the ceilings and walls in the bedroom we painted and two other bedrooms. Mold is a huge problem in this part of the world and so unhealthy especially for a new baby. The family seemed so appreciative of our help.

Saturday was the beginning of our District Conference. We had a visiting Area Authority Seventy, Elder Donaldson, from Wales. What an incredible man he is and what an impression he left here in just two short days. Larry had a two hour Priesthood Leadership meeting starting at 4 and then there was a special meeting for the JAS and YMYW with Elder Donaldson at 6pm. He came and sat down by us in the chapel before the meeting and chatted for a few minutes. He and Larry know some of the same people so it was fun to get to know him a bit. During the meeting he spoke with the young people in such a personal gentle way that involved humor and participation. It was a great meeting and I think everyone fell in love with him that night. Then we had the adult session at 8 and his approach was again so personal and engaging that anyone there couldn't help but feel the spirit and the strength of his message to bring our lost friends and family back to the fold. Sunday we drove up to Santiago for the Sunday session that took place in a large rented auditorium. As choir members we had to be there an hour early. This meeting was very powerful also hearing from Pres. Bamio, A counselor in the mission Presidency (forgot his name), Sister Rodrigues ( wife of a counselor in the district Presidency).  We also enjoyed testimonies from two YA preparing to serve missions. Brother Donaldson did not disappoint once again. He shared some very moving personal experiences, shared scriptures and likened them to our life and our experiences as parents, youth, and members who are trying to live the gospel each day, serve, and flourish in a world that in which it is difficult to live. He is a very kind and understanding man that speaks from his heart through the Spirit.

The sisters came over and made gourmet hamburgers for my birthday Monday and the elders made Skor bar cake for dessert. Everything was delicious and very enjoyable. Later that night some of the JAS came over and surprised me with roses and more cake to eat. Again lots of fun.

Tuesday we pretty much got ready for our JAS activity which was a Photo scavenger hunt. I was busy part of the day making refreshments for the activity and District meeting the next morning. I made mini fruit pizzas and cheesy pull apart bread and both seemed well liked by both groups.
Wed. was district meeting and after that we went to visit a ward member in the hospital that had just had her baby. It made me really antsy to get home and be with Mallory and her new baby. Later that day I made finger sandwiches for Branch FHE which doubled as a going away for Hermana Giler who will leave Vigo Sunday for Madrid and fly home to Barcelona Tuesday. We are going to miss her so much she is an excellent missionary and has been a joy to work with. Today we took her out to lunch for a more personal farewell.

Larry just left for guitar lessons. He is going to be doing that every Thursday at the church for anyone that is interested. We know one of our JAS is interested. He has a guitar and has had a couple of informal lessons with Larry so this will just be more formal and consistent. I better close for now so I can go to the store and pick up items to make dinner for the new mom just home from the hospital.

You all  take care.

We love you.

Mom and Dad

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