I have been back in Vigo one week so it's time to start writing again to all of you back home. I spent a glorious two weeks with Mallory, Mark, and baby Griffin and felt so happy to be able to do that. I was glad to see all of you kids and grands. Thanks to the CA family and Wa family for making the trek to UT while I was there. It was great to spend the fourth with all of you and the extended Arnetts and a few extended Mortensens. It's been a while since we were all together on the 4th. Of course we missed Larry and Danny so I guess technically we weren't all together on the 4th. There is nothing better than spending time with family especially darling grandchildren. It was a smidge harder to come back and get in the swing than I had anticipated but one week later I feel adjusted back to missionary life.
I arrived in Madrid Wed. afternoon and it was so hot. Not much hotter than UT but it just seemed hotter. More humidity I think. There is a lot to be said for "dry heat." We had a hotel for the night near my old Residencia during my semester abroad days so we did some visiting of old haunts. After a short nap we went to dinner then took off walking to see all the old familiar places we could make it to in one evening. It was such a lot of fun to remember younger days and be glad for where we are in life now.
We headed back to Vigo Thursday morning and made two stops to visit the cities of Avila and Salamanca. Another hot day and we were out in the heat so much. Avila is the sight of an old Romanesque wall, built in Medieval times as a protection for the city. Avila is also filled with Gothic and Romanesque churches. It is one of Spain's several World Heritage Cities.I had been there back in "73" and I do remember the wall but nothing else seemed at all familiar to me. The next stop was Salamanca that boasts Spain's oldest University. Nothing about this city seemed familiar from my visit 41 years ago. As a side note I was jet lagged and very hot, so I wasn't that excited to be there but Larry enjoyed seeing everything and I think we'll need to go back and spend more time there in the fall, when it is cooler.
Thursday I crashed and burned trying to get over jet lag. I don't even remember doing much except restocking the fridge and cupboards with food from the grocery store. Larry's cousin's daughter (Maddi Moffat) came to stay the night from Leon where she had been studying Spanish with a group from ASU. She was on her way to Portugal to meet her brother and do some backpacking through a few other European countries. We picked her up at the train station during a rain storm and then took her home for dinner and chatting. She left the next morning around 9. We got a call from her as the train was pulling out that she had left one of her phones here with some of her stuff she had asked us to mail home for her. It was her European phone so she needed it. Larry made a last minute trip to Porto Portugal to meet her train and give her the phone. Good times!!!
It was so great to see everyone in the branch again morning at church. It is amazing how attached I feel to the members here in Vigo. Larry and I taught the YMYW /JAS School class. All together we probably had about 14 kids from ages 12 to 20 something. Interesting dynamic. Later that afternoon President Jakson's wife and 2 sons arrived in Vigo while Pres Jackson was with the District President at a meeting in another city. We had them all except President over for dinner then we took them out to see some of the gorgeous views around Vigo, to visit old town, and then to see the beach. Around 7 Pres Jackson was at our building doing temple recommend interviews and we ( the missionaries) were doing "pancake night" for members to bring their nonmember friends to eat pancakes and watch a church video. We had an awesome crowd that night because of all the people there for interviews.
we spent with the Jackson's taking them to Valenca in Portugal, Porto in Spain and then ending up in Baiona for lunch where we parted ways so they could have some time at the beach and then head to the airport and back to Madrid. We had such a good time with them and their sons. They are lovely people so dedicated to the missionary work here in Spain.
I had to get back in the food making swing for JAS that night and district meeting the next day. I baked 6 dozen snickerdoodles and made cheese balls for these activities. Everyone said how much they missed me as they were chowing down on the refreshments. Hmmmmm! For JAS we watched the movie the "Saratov Approach." We have several young men mission age that I hope were moved a little bit by the movie. There are some very powerful moments during the telling of the story of the missionaries' kidnapping.
District meeting was a shot in the arm that I was in need of. It was a timely reminder of the importance of this work we are here in Spain to do on behalf of the Lord. It was also great to get back together with the young elders and sisters. FHE was well attended last night as was english class. Not to be redundant, but I do feel back in the swing.
Today was a fun day for us. President Jackson asked us to find things for the senior couples to do in Vigo while they are here in August for a special two day conference. So we took the tour bus around the city to see what that was like so we could recommend it as a worthwhile activity. Even though it's a mission conference there will be a fair amount of free time to fill for relaxation and sightseeing. There were two cruise ships in port today so the bus was full of cruise ship tourists, mostly older couples (like us). However we were the only missionaries.
We just got back from taking the hermanas home for the night and then we're going to bed ourselves. We were up so early this morning that bedtime sounds really good to us.
Take Care and know we love you all.
Mom and Dad