Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dec 10, 2014

I have really neglected my writing and let almost three weeks slip by. I'm not sure I can remember all that we've done but I'll catch up as best I can.

Thanksgiving day 2014 Vigo Spain
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. We picked up the turkey the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and it was so big. We gave an approximate weight when we ordered it and it was bigger than we asked for but turkeys are not sold like in the states so we were glad to have it. I brined it and roasted it without an oven bag which I haven't done in years. It turned out absolutely delicious. It took me three days to get ready for Thanksgiving. Since I was making everything and given the size of my kitchen oven etc. I did a lot ahead of time. One day I spent making rolls and froze them. We only needed a couple of dozen so I used the rest of the dough for cinnamon rolls for district meeting and JAS treats. The next day I made pies although the sisters did come and help peel and slice the apples for 1 of the pies. I made four different pies because we love a varied pie selection. I also made the sweet potatoes and green beans the night before to be heated up while the turkey was resting. And yes I found Stove Top stuffing at the import store and use that instead of making stuffing from scratch.The young elders and sisters here in Vigo shared the day with us and we had a wonderful time. They were only allowed their regular two hour lunch time so it wasn't really the whole day.

There was a young man baptized a couple of weeks ago that is JAS age and we are so thrilled to have him as part of our group. He was friends with Andriv the young man that went to Mexico on a mission in Sept. He came to Andriv's goodbye FHE party and said he loved how he felt when he was there. After that the missionaries started teaching him. He immediately felt good about what he was being taught but felt like he should wait to join the church until he had finished at the university and wasn't so busy. The elders continued working with him and he kept coming to meetings and finally decided to be baptized. He is a Spaniard which is unusual because the majority of the members in Spain are Latin American so it is good to have a native Spaniard join the church.

We went with the sisters again to see the lady from the cruise ship that I previously incorrectly said was Portuguese. She is actually from Brazil. She is struggling in her life especially with her living situation and at one point was going to quit having the lessons so she could figure out what to do. One of the members here met with her along with the sisters and talked to her about how the gospel has helped her through many difficult times in her life and how the power of prayer has helped her  resolve problems and making decisions. So she met with us again and we read the book of Enos with her and talked a lot about prayer and receiving guidance from the Lord for our life choices. She seemed troubled but hopeful.

There was a big family history fair here in Vigo last Saturday. The FH reps for all of Spain came and brought their equipment and we met and had time to learn indexing, utilizing Family Search and other pertinent things. The JAS were in charge of a display about memories. We basically had old family photos displayed in some large antiqued frames we made and other photos clothes pinned to jute around the room. Then we made a really large frame that people could stand behind to take photos of them holding a heart with D&C 110:15 and the name of family member past or present they cared about. I think everyone really enjoyed our room as just a nice place to see photos and chat.

Sister Nydegger and Elder Daniels prior to Departure
This past weekend was transfers. One sister left to go home and an elder was transferred. Their train left just an hour and a half after the block on Sunday so they said their goodbyes at the branch came here to eat a quick lunch and then we took them to the train. The remaining elder went to Pontevedre until his companion arrived yesterday and sister Bennett came and stayed with us. Everyone arrived in Vigo Monday around 1:30 and came here for lunch and emailing since it was a holiday and all the stores with computers for public use were closed. We finally got them all delivered to their apts. around 5:30.

Sister Hillman (in green) and Elder McFarland (in the Sweater)
are the new arrivals. The holdovers are Sister Bennett and
Elder Rawson.
Yesterday was pretty much our P-day and we just grocery shopped and went to the import store to get items for the missionaries Christmas stockings. I also did some baking for the week. And we just studied and did odds and ends. It was nice to have a quiet day.

Our district has shrunk once again as they closed the city of Ourense and we lost two more elders. When we first arrived we had fourteen missionaries in our district and now we are down to eight. Two cities have been closed Vilagarcia and Ourense as mentioned before and the sisters taken from Pontevedre. I miss having the larger group of missionaries to meet with once a week and really miss having two more sisters in our district. Such is missionary life I am finding out.

David Archuleta is coming to Madrid the 21st to give a Christmas concert for the missionaries and some of their investigators. Unfortunately it is only for the missionaries in or near Madrid so we will miss out but I know I will survive although it would have been a nice evening. The rumor is the mission President in Paris knows him and got him to come and do at least two concerts in the Europe area that we have heard about. Madrid and Paris.

JAS Gratitude night
Our last few JAS activities have been well attended. Some come every week and others when they can but we are getting fairly large groups consistently and feel like we are helping to build some camaraderie among these kids and hopefully helping their testimonies of the gospel grow stronger. We love them so much and just want the very best for them. They are great kids with so much potential. Being able to teach them each week in Sunday School has been a real blessing for us and them. We get to talk about gospel subjects in greater depth than we could at a weekly activity.

Well I had better send this off so I'll say good bye for now.

Love to you all.

Mom and Dad

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