Tuesday, June 9, 2015

May 30, 2015

Your dad and I just got home from a short trip to the region of Spain known as Asturias. It is east of the northern part of Galicia. We first stopped in Gijon which is a city right on the north Atlantic coast. We walked along the top of the sea wall and looked at the gorgeous blue waters of the Bay of Biscay, the beach, and the part of the city that lines the sea wall. The wind was blowing quite strongly so the waves were large and the water rough. When we arrived in Feb. of 2014 Gijon and other cities along the northern Atlantic were having furious storms and the water was coming up over the sea walls into the cities. We found a pretty good Mexican restaurant on the street facing the ocean and enjoyed the 2nd time we've had Mexican food in Spain. We stayed overnight in Oviedo which is about 20 miles inland and just walked around the city's charming old town, beautiful main park, and admired the quaint architecture up and down the streets. It was almost like being in Switzerland.

Our YSA group has been dwindling for a while but attendance is improving a bit. One of the young women in the branch turned 18 so we had a birthday/welcome to YSA activity for her. He older nonmember sister has been coming with her so that is nice. This girl had come to YSA for a while and then stopped so it's good to have her back. We also have a new YSA from Cuba that was just recently baptized along with her mother. She never misses anything. She comes to YSA, FHE, english class, and choir practice plus all her Sunday meetings. She is quite a wonderful addition to the group. This past Tuesday after watching a conference talk we took all the kids to get a frozen yogurt and had a nice chat with them as we walked and as we ate at the yogurt place. The sister missionaries are teaching a YSA age girl from Guatemala, although she works most evenings until 8 ,but we're trying to get her to an activity. Saturday is her only day off so she hasn't been able to come to church so that is very unfortunate. Such a hard life some people live with less choices than we're accustomed to having.

Three adults from our advanced english class have had the first missionary lesson as of last Friday. We went along with the elders to their home to be supportive and add any comments or testimony. One married couple and the wife's sister come to english twice a week. The sister's husband came to the lesson so that was a nice surprise. I think it went really well. The agreed to read the BofM and the sisters agreed to pray. One husband is agnostic but of very high moral character and the other believes but doesn't practice religion. We'll just have to see. They are such a good family with so much love for each other.They told us they were coming to our District Conference tomorrow in Santiago. (like Stake Conference) They came to the baptism of the mother and daughter a couple weeks ago. It's very exciting.
Pioneer Barbie

Last Saturday the Relief Society celebrated the anniversary of the founding of our great organization with a pioneer theme. We met two weeks before to make pioneer bonnets, aprons, and some made long skirts for the big day. Some of the ladies learned a line dance and performed it. Another group sang and 2 women and the RS president spoke. Everyone brought something to eat from appetizers to mains, sides and a few sweet treats. We have a lady from the Philippines in our branch and her sister delivered 100 spring rolls right as we began eating and there were none left on the plate after about 5 minutes. Luckily a lady sitting by me went and got some on a plate and shared with those around her so I got to have a couple. They were so delicious. I was asked to make a big red velvet sheet cake to serve everyone. It was a bit o
f a struggle to get it made, trimmed and frosted to look like only one cake, (I made two cake mixes in a big roasting pan and did that again and put both large cakes together)and then delivered to the church, but with the help of the elders to carry it in from the car we made it fine and it was a hit. I think the cream cheese frosting is the best part of the cake myself. It was a really well planned and fun activity.

We had a guest for a few days last week. He is a former missionary from this mission although he never served in Vigo. He has been writing a young woman whose family lives in Vigo and attend the branch. She goes to the a University in Madrid and lives in Alcala just outside Madrid and he served there which is how they met. They've gotten serious so he came to spend some time with her and then here to meet her family. We didn't see him much because he mainly just slept at our house and then was with her and her family the rest of the time. She's going back to the states to do the same for a couple of months. I don't think they are "officially" engaged but I know she shopped for a wedding dress while she was in Vigo. He is a great guy and she is a wonderful girl so I hope that everything works out right for them.

Larry is at the church for Priesthood Leadership meeting and then we have the adult session of conference following at 7 so I had better get going. I hope you all have a wonderful week and your families stay well.
Mom and Dad