Sunday, October 6, 2013

August in Gran Canaria!

August started out with our son Rob and his wife, Katharine visiting us.  We met them in Madrid, toured Segovia and then flew back to Grand Canaria.  We took them sailing and it was quite the adventure!!  We had 42 knot winds, big waves and so many memories!!  Here is Katharine skippering through the tough conditions!!

I know that the picture doesn't show how big the waves were that day, but they were higher than the sail boat!

Katharine and I went camel riding while Reed and Rob went golfing.  We rode through the natural sand dunes on the south end of the island.  I am sorry that I don't have more pictures of Rob and Katharine, but they took most of the pictures and sent us many to put in frames on our desk.  We loved having them here and miss them tremendously!!

Every wednesday we have district meeting at the chapel in Las Palmas.  All of the missionaries from our island and the Elders on Lanzarote (who skype into the meeting) attend.  Afterwards I always make them a big lunch.  This is my friend Bernice Louvel's lasagna recipe.  They all loved it!!  Here are Elders Day and Larsen enjoying it!

I know that Hermana Hansen is going to kill me for posting this photo of her, but this shows exactly how excited she gets every wednesday to eat the lunch that I have made!  She makes me feel like I am the "Martha Stewart" of Gran Canaria!  Hermana Cassinat also shows a lot of love too!  Thanks Hermanas!

Elders Diez and Delgado also enjoying the lasagne!  Hermanas Schaumann and Floyd must of been helping out in the kitchen.

This is at Jonathan's Baptism!!  It was a great day!!  Jonathan is one of our awesome young adults!!  He has such a strong testimony and is such a great missionary already!!  Elder Buhler had the privilege to baptize him and Elders Larsen and Day taught him well.

August was our "baptismal month" on Gran Canaria.  Every missionary companionship had a baptism in August!  Here is Diane, one of our young adults, at her baptism in Telde.  Hermanas Hansen and Cassinat taught her.  Great day!!

Elder Buhler also had the privilege of baptizing Diane.  It was another great day in Telde!!

Hermana Smalley and her friend Miriam flew down to visit us for two days from Madrid.  They both are temple missionaries in the Madrid Temple.  We loved having them stay with us!  Hermana Smalley was the oldest missionary at the Provo MTC (78 years old) and the funniest too!!  She and I were at the Provo MTC together for 7 weeks in spanish immersion classes.  She made my life in those classes so much fun!!  We can't wait to see them the next time we get to go to the temple in Madrid!!  Oh, they are standing in front of Christopher Columbus's house in Las Palmas.

Yanira, one of our young adults went on a mission to the Malaga Mission.  Here we are saying good bye to her at the airport.  She was so excited to go and we hear that she is a fantastic missionary!!  We miss her, but wish her well on her mission!!

President Deniz (he was the 1st counselor in the Mission Presidency, but now is the new stake president) and his family had all of the missionaries over for lunch after one of our district meetings.  They live in Telde and here he is cooking us some great tasting meat!!

Here we are eating lunch in the backyard of the Deniz's home..  It was so delicious and we enjoyed there hospitality!  It was so much fun to just enjoy all of the missionaries at lunch.

 I know that this is a random picture, but this is the District Young Women Leaders doing their talent dance at the YW camp talent show at our house.  Yes,  both the Young Men and Young Women had their camps at our house for 3 days each!  It was a wild but great time at our house in August!!

August was a busy but great month!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We are still alive in the Canaries!! Life is good!

I am so sorry that I haven't blogged in ages!!  We have been so busy and then I did promise the missionaries that I would update my blog and we lost internet to our area where we live due to road construction repair.  After a few days of calling the internet company we finally have it back.  Yeah!!!  So I will be blogging every chance that I get to be updated!  I have so much to show and tell you about.  To all of you missionary mom and dad's, enjoy all of your wonderful sons and daughters!  They are the best and we love them just like they are our own!  To our family that thinks that our mission is a vacation, just remember that most of our photos are taken on P-day!  (I have to admit that our p-days are pretty awesome!)

This was back in July with our "around the island" P-day.  We rented a van and drove all the way around the island.  Our district looks so small!  This is before we ventured out and we are on our famous balcony that everyone takes pictures on.

Our first top was the cathedral in Arucas on the north end of the island.  We taught everyone how to "scrunch".  Check out Elder Blanchard in the middle, great scrunching!

On the cliff overlooking the other side of the island.  There isn't much on the other side of the island but beautiful cliffs, ocean views and a very narrow, windy road that really makes driving exciting!

This is our Elders "urban pose".  They did a pretty good job posing!

Our last stop was in Puerto Mogan, a city on the south end of the island.  It is the "Venice" of Grand Canaria because of it's harbor and canal that runs through it.  It is very beautiful and touristy!  We had lunch overlooking the beautiful harbor.  

Hermanas Floyd and Zitting sharing their Marisco Paella for lunch.  They said it was awesome!

This was a very sad day because we lost Hermanas Zitting and Shepard and Elder Blanchard to transfers.  Elders Day, Delgado and Diez are there for support!  We miss them all so much!!  This is at the airport.

This is Hermanas Zitting and Shepard on our way to the airport.  Hermana Zitting was transferred to an area in Madrid and Hermana Shepard finished her mission and returned to Darby, England.  We love and miss you!

Welcome Elder Larsen!!  We were excited to have Elder Larsen join our missionary family the next day!  Elder Day is Elder Larsen's companion.  

Welcome Hermana Schaumann!!!  Here is Hermana Floyd, her companion, on the street in front of their piso (apartment) in Las Palmas.  We are always excited to get additional Hermanas!!

Welcome Hermana Cassinat!  Hermana Cassinat came to us from the Madrid area.  Hermana Hansen is her companion and here they are in front of their piso (apartment) in Telde.  We now have four Hermanas on our island!!  

  We had a young adult ping pong tournament in Telde that was put on by Patricio (he is in the green shirt).  He did a fantastic job and everyone enjoyed it!  Thanks Pato!

Here are our winners of the Ping Pong tournament!  Pato even had a gold, silver and bronze medals made to give to the winners!  Congrats winners!

Jaime's baptism!!  Elder Buhler had the privilege of baptizing Jaime on July 31st.  Elder Buhler and I met Jaime our first week here on the island back in February.  He was our waiter at an Italian restaurant.  He was so excited to see us and recognized that we were missionaries for our church.  We helped the Hermanas teach him and here we are at his baptism in the Las Palmas Chapel.  Great day! He is such a strong member and we love him so much!!  The other girl in the picture is Desiree that was baptized a month later.

Everyone eating and visiting after Jaime's baptism!

Elder Buhler and I had the privilege of going to Madrid to go through the Temple with Yanira, one of our young adults, before she left on her mission.  It was an awesome experience!  While we were there, we were invited to attend all of the sunday meetings in the MTC in Madrid.  We even were invited to speak at their sunday afternoon devotional.  This is sunday night where all of the missionaries stand on the steps of the Madrid Temple and sing Hymns to the community.  There were over 100 missionaries there while we were there and wow, they can sing!!  Sister Sitterud, the MTC President's wife is on the left in the white jacket.  We really enjoyed out short time back at the MTC in Madrid!  

While we were in Madrid we visited Segovia, the ancient capital of Spain.  It is a beautiful city in the mountains.  This is a huge monastery right next to Segovia.  It was so beautiful!  Quite a change from what we are used to here on Gran Canaria!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

ZONE CONFERENCE!!! July 8th and 9th

We had zone conference and there was 30 of us missionaries that were there!  President and Sister Jackson and the AP's flew down from Madrid. The Andersons, another senior couple, and all of the Elders from Tenerife came by ferry. The Lanzarote Elders also flew in from their island. Everyone arrived on monday, our P-day. We started out with a BBQ of real "American" hamburgers! Here we are getting ready to eat. Hermanas Buhler, Jackson, Floyd, Zitting, Hansen and Sheperd.

Hungry Elders lining up in our kitchen to eat!!
The Tenerife Elders even showed up with their own "island" shirts!!  Elder Rockwood, who is serving on Lanzarote, is sporting his spanish "futbol" (soccer) shirt!  They played basketball, soccer, ping-pong and volleyball after lunch!!

Hungry but happy Elders!!

Some of the desserts that we had for them.  We tried to make it like a 4th of July BBQ since obviously they don't celebrate the 4th here!

After a fun day full of playing sports, everyone showered for the zone testimony meeting that we had with President and Sister Jackson.

More Elders!!  Nothing better than having Sisters and Elders fill up your house!!

The Andersons with even more Elders!!

and some Sisters!!!!

Here we all are!!  Hermana Jackson and I are on the stairs taking this picture!!  Sorry that it is so shaded but the sun was on it's way to setting for the night.  The best zone in the mission!!!

This picture was taken the next morning before heading down to Las Palmas to the Chapel for the Conference.  These are the Elders from Tenerife and Lanzarote.  The Elders and Sisters that serve on Gran Canaria were at their own apartments and met us at the chapel.

Elder Anderson and Elder Rockwood, both serve on Lanzarote.  This is on our balcony overlooking Santa Brigida.

Gathering their things to go to the Conference.  We had a total of 22 missionaries that spent the night at our house.  (this included us, the Andersons, President and Sister Jackson and all of the Elders from Tenerife, Lanzarote and the AP's) Our house turned up side down with Elders, but oh how great it was!!  I just love having zone conference!!

Our special musical number at the conference by the Gran Canaria district and one Tenerife Elder.  They sang so beautiful!!!  Elder Blanchard was playing the piano.

Zone Conference in the chapel in Las Palmas.

After Zone Conference, we all had lunch before everyone had to go back to their areas.  A Sister from the Las Palmas branch made lunch for us.  She makes great Canarian food!!

Patiently waiting in line to eat lunch.  They were spiritually well fed but now they were physically hungry!!

In honor of the 4th of July, the Canarian Sister also made us an "American" cake!!  It was so appreciated by all of the Americans!!  Thanks so much!!

                                                       The Best Zone in the Mission!!!!!

Our daughter, Amy, and her husband, Jared, came to visit for one week!  Here we are getting ready to go deep sea fishing on our P-day!!

Jared reeling in his tuna!!  They are harder to reel in than you think!!  They are pretty heavy and they put up a fight!

Amy reeling in her catch of the day!

Jared and Reed getting their tunas!!

Jared with his catch of the day!!  It was fantastic eating!!
We also saw a whale, a dolphin, flying fish and many sea turtles!  It was a wonderful day!!

President Jackson gave us permission to travel to Marrekech, Morocco with our daughter and son in-law for basically 1 1/2 days.  The flight is not very long and you fly on a prop plane.  Here we are in the Medina (the old city dating back to the 12th century) in the main plaza with snake charmers!  Yes, that is a live cobra that he is "charming"!  I was scared to death!!  It was cool to see, but I am so afraid of snakes!!

These are the "water" guys!  They have brass cups and water for you to drink.  Don't worry, we didn't drink any of the water but just took pictures with them.  I guess this is the traditional water wear for any of you that are wanting to keep up with the traditional Morrocan fashion!  Love those hats!

Amy and Jared looking "vogue" in their water hats!

Typical architecture in the Medina.  It is very beautiful!  Check out the birds on top of the building.  They are storks with their nests!!

A better picture of the storks on top of this building with their nests.  Who knew that Marrekech had so many storks?

Amy and Jared are in a traditional Moroccan pharmacy.  Basically it has many spices that Morocco is famous for.  They not only have spices to cook with but have a spice to cure any ailment/illness that you have.  Very interesting!!

Another picture of the pharmacy with it's walls lined with spices!!  Check out the beautiful tile on the walls!

We also visited the traditional tanneries where they use the hides of goats, sheep and cows to make purses, briefcases, etc.  They put the hides in these pools and stomp on them.  The smell of this place was horrendous!!  They gave us fresh mint leaves to smell the whole time that we were touring to try and help with the horrible smell!

These are goat hides drying.  Lovely?!!

Morroco is famous for their beautiful rugs! Mainly the women weave the rugs.  Here is a woman weaving a rug.  They have certain symbols that they weave in to show where they are from.

At our hotel getting ready to fly home from our quick trip!!  I never thought that I could do a quick trip to Morroco!!  I still can't believe that we live so close to Africa!!  Love Gran Canaria!!

We went sailing the last day that Amy and Jared were here.  It turns out that Amy and Jared are really good sailors!!  Here Jared is being taught the fine art of skippering from Domigo, a gold medalist sailor!!

Amy sailing through the rough seas!!  We didn't know that good sailors runs in the family!  Domingo is a great teacher!!

Reed enjoying the ride!  He loves to sail!!!
We had to say to goodbye to Amy and Jared later that day. We had so much fun with them!!!   It was sad to say goodbye!!