Our last three JAS activities have been fairly well attended considering how busy some of these kids are with school. They all seem to have classes at night. I think it is just normal here that they spend their day and evening at school. The University here is so far out of town but not all of them go to the University some go to other institutions. One week the sisters taught the kids how to make pancakes and then we just played games and socialized. The next week President Bamio (District President) came and talked about the Book of Mormon and gave a power point presentation about Lehi's journey from Jerusalem to the Americas and showed pictures of the actual places they traveled before crossing the ocean. We spent a wonderful hour with him learning so many things about this wonderful book and the incredible faith of Lehi and Nephi as they led the families to the Promised Land. We hope it helped to enthuse our young adults to accept the challenge to read the Book of Mormon before we leave at the end of June. This last Tuesday we had a birthday celebration for Jhosias and your dad. We decorated Valentine cookies, played ping pong, ate pizza, and had a quiz about "Who knows Elder Arnett the best." That brought a lot of laughs and the kids were surprised by some of the things they learned.
President and Sister Jackson were here last week for personal interviews with the young Elders and Sisters. They also sat in on our district meeting then took us all to lunch before flying back to Madrid. They had been up in the "north" visiting all the districts and doing interviews. It is always good to have them visit and give encouragement and counsel.
Last Friday Larry was asked to baptize a young girl in the branch who turned 8 named Maria. She is Andriv's younger sister (JAS missionary in Mexico) so we have gotten close to the family. Maria's mom asked me if I would make red velvet cakes for the refreshments after the baptism. They usually serve something to eat after baptisms here. I was happy to do it for her. It took 4 cake mixes and tons of cream cheese for the frosting but everyone said it was so delicious. Everyone is always so fascinated by the red velvet cakes. They always think there is some amazing ingredient that is the reason for the color. I always hate to tell them it is just food coloring. Then they want the recipe and I have to admit it is a cake a mix. I have found recipes in spanish on the internet and given that to some of those that have asked.
We had the young women JAS for Sunday dinner a couple of weeks ago and the next Sunday the guys came. I made two very different meals for each group. For the girls we had Italian chicken, pasta with roasted vegetables, spinach mango salad with orange dressing, and angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. The girls loved it and they just oooed and aaahed over everything. For the guys we had bacon cheeseburgers, potato salad, chips and salsa, with chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for dessert. I had a hard time keeping up with the bacon for the burgers but they seemed to enjoy everything. We have too many JAS to have them all here for dinner at one time so we thought it would be fun to have guy and girl dinners and it seemed to give them a chance to really talk and spend time together. Totally different atmospheres at the two dinners.
I am getting ready to make some more valentine sugar cookies so the we along with the sisters can take plates around to some of the branch members tomorrow. I made about 5 dozen for our JAS activity Tuesday and will probably make about the same today. The difference is I'll be frosting and decorating these by myself. Luckily the dough is made and I just need to roll it out and bake them.
You all take care and know we love you and pray for you.
Mom and Dad