Thursday, November 14, 2013


Okay, I am really late this week, or maybe just early for next week.  You pick.  You want the whole story???  Are you sure?   Well, Okay, just the highlights.
We got our new senior couple in last week!  Yea for extra help!  Senior couples are truly needed so if you can manage a mission, DO IT!  The Wiscombs got here on Tue.,  met President and then we brought them home to our house.  It was President's birthday and we thought they should get a little family time.  As a gift for he and Sister Deere, Rod painted a water color of the two of them.  It turned out really well, but we neglected to take a photo.  The missionaries were at their house for mission council that morning, so Rod found a bunch of black scrunchies and they wore them as arm bands.  Most of them didn't know the significance of black arm bands, but President did.  We loved it! 
This is the 'pre-party' at the office.  It was Rod's idea so they wouldn't expect the one the next morning.

The photos from the birthday party didn't turn out well so I just included a couple.

Sister Deere's birthday is in a few weeks, so she got some treats too.

We will blame the birthday celebration for a near 'dropped ball'.  Somehow, in all the excitement of the celebration, we forgot the need to get the residency papers started for the Wiscombs.  Luckily, Rod remembered that night and we were able to sweet talk the powers that be into doing what was needed even though we hadn't made the requisite appointment.  Yea!  The Lord watches out for us. Wednesday, we got the residency paperwork done, they visited with President, then we took them around the town, showed them the basics of 'driving in Spain', bought a few things they wanted, and got everything loaded up.  Thursday we headed off to parts north.  We filled our car with stuff for their apartment and lead the way with them following, to the northernmost  city in the mission, Alcazar de San Juan.  It takes over 4 hours to get there, but we made it, in spite of a disagreement with our gps. We got them settled, turned on the heat, showed them how to work appliances, and left them in the hands of the Elders.  It is a nice apartment, though we heard the heat went out that first night.  Always an adventure!

I loved this sculpture.  We need more round-abouts if only as places for public art.

They claim Don Quixote here and have preserved these windmills in his honor.

Next time we will have to get closer.

  Then we went to Granada.  We spent the night in a hotel in Granada so that we didn't have to drive back the next morning for their Friday soft ball game.  My husband has become very popular with all these games. We fixed the missionaries hot dogs after their Zone training and then we all walked to the field.  We had to crawl under the fence to get onto the field, but the gate was open when we left.  I didn't see anyone open it but apparently we were allowed to play there.  I picked up trash just to promote good will.  They had lots of fun with softball, but they ended up spending some time playing soccer too.

Our pitcher is the one whose knee was so bad.  I told him no running or twisting. It nearly killed him not to play soccer.

The Elders photo bombed a 'sisters' photo!
After the game they went back to work. We went into town to see the Arab quarter and get some supper.  Driving in down town Granada is always stressful, but we had fun once we got parked.
Queen Isabella and... Christopher himself.


This stream runs next to the church with these walk ways across it.

Don't tell him not to fall.

That crescent moon is an Arab symbol.  Fitting?

That is the Alhambra, seen from below.

The nuns in this church make treats to sell to support themselves.  They are secluded though so you never see them.  You put your order and money in the 'dumb waiter' and they sent you your treats.

This street performer had his puppet 'sing opera' 
We had our supper looking up at the Alhambra and they had heaters out cause it was getting cool.

 We were glad to finally get home that night. 

Saturday morning, I awoke to a surprise.  My right eye was swollen almost shut.  I thought I must have gotten stung by something, though I never saw where that might have happened.  A few hours later my whole face was swollen and starting to itch.  I started Benadryl but it didn't help.  Sunday morning I felt like Violet in Willie Wonka.  I stayed home from church, not because I felt so ill, but because I didn't want to disrupt meetings by showing my face.  I was surprised how much it bothered me to look so bad.  By this time there was a fine rash all over my neck and face, including my ear lobes.  Who ever heard of a rash on the ear lobes?  I ask you?  Really weird!

 I truly expected it to start going away by Monday morning, but instead it was spreading into my nostrils.  We went to the urgent care and the doctor gave me a shot of cortisone.
It was getting better when we took this photo.  Do I really want to remember this?

 Monday I stayed home again, but this time it started to get better.  The Dr warned me that I might have to come back, but I didn't.  Thank goodness.  After we got home, I remembered that I have a positive TB skin test and should avoid cortisone.  It probably means more the long term treatment, but I was glad not to have to make that kind of decision.  Anyway, if I come down with TB, we will know why. As the swelling went down my face got redder and rather tender.  Tuesday, I felt like my face had been rubbed with sand paper.  Who needs a fancy chemical peel treatment?  Not me.  I have decided that maybe my purse hand lotion had gotten old enough to cause the problem when I used it on my face Thur night.  That is a long gap though.  Who knows?  I haven't dared use anything on my skin but Vaseline since then, but I will have to find something soon.  My skin is so dry.

Saturday morning Rod went hiking with the APs.  Some time ago, they had asked what they could do for him and he suggested a hike.  He was tired enough that he almost didn't want to go, but was so glad he did afterwards.  Hiking just renews his spirit. 

 Today is Thursday and I feel back to normal!  Jubilation!  Well, I still feel unusually tired, but there are lots of reasons for that.  My sweet husband held the fort without me, covering 'nursery' at church and keeping the office going.  I am so very blessed to have him.

I had to include these photos from the balcony of our office.  They aren't as frequent as the beautiful sunsets we have at home but they are still stunning!

Our prayers are with our family right now.  We have been so very greatly blessed!  Thank you for your love.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Missing: The month of October

I just don't know where it went.  One day it was here and the next it had disappeared.  I don't really need it back, I just thought I should report the disappearance. I am actually quite excited for next month as we will get another visit from kids, so Dec can't get here soon enough to suit me. 
This week was a week of meetings.  If you have learned another language, you know how tiring it is to listen. I had rather forgotten, but we have Sister Chantrill here and after our Specialized training meeting which was all in Spanish, she was 'done in'.  She was a real trooper though and let us go out to eat with some of the Elders before we finally got her home. We fed her too, but she was almost too tired to eat. I did finally get some photos of her.

 She is from Sheridan Wyoming, served a temple mission in Dominican Republic, and is now in charge of keeping our baptismal records up to date.  We are also hoping she will be able to do our referrals.  A funny thing here in Spain.  Almost no one uses their last name.  We always get referrals with just a first name and phone number.  The computer is not very happy about that.

We found marshmallows and rice krispies so I made Halloween treats for the office.  There are gum drop faces if you can't tell.  I tried to make them orange by adding red jello and trusting the yellow of the rice to turn it orange.  Not too bad.

The ghost bag has my first try at caramel corn.  You can't find corn syrup here so we tried a water sugar combination the internet suggested. It turned to sugar immediately so not really a success but it was still tasty. The second batch I used honey and that worked really well.

My best guy got nuts too.., cause I'm nuts for him ya know.

Our first group of trick or treaters .. Do you see their costumes?  They are 'elders'!  I loved it.  They had to learn how to tie a tie for their scarves.  So adorable.  We only got one actual group of  kids trick or treating, and that was all.  We have a pumpkin thanks to the Todds, but we didn't carve it.  I want to cook it and use the flesh.
 These photos are from our Specialized Training.  We don't actually see most of the missionaries very often, even the ones in Malaga, except at zone or stake meetings. The exceptions are the Fuengirola and office missionaries and APs.  It is so fun to see them all again.

There is never any drama either...

Here is Rod's baseball coach.  Remember My husband actually caught a fly ball last week.  There is another game planned for  this Fri in Granada.  We may have created a monster with these ball games, but every one loves having a zone activity that they don't have to plan.

Rod calls these his Clark Kents.

We went to Granada today for Stake Conference.   It is a 2 hour drive.  We are so spoiled in Mesa.  I love that the building and the members look just the same as at home, well except for the fact that there are men in the choir.

They had us on the stand cause Rod was backstopping Elder Norton as translator, anyway, this photo is from the stand looking back.  The Mission President spoke and so did Sister Deere, in Spanish! 
 President Deere pointed out that we have double the number of missionaries serving in the Granada Stake now from a year ago.  He asked the members for help.  First he said, Feed them.  That is good.  Better, give them people to teach. Best, invite someone over to eat dinner when missionaries come to eat, and help them teach in your home.  Great advice for all of us. 
After our meeting, we met .... The CASTILLO  family.

Rod remarked how much she looks like our Shane. Sister Castillo thought so too. We have family everywhere.
We sure do love all of you.  Know that we pray for you and are so very grateful for your prayers for us.  I want to tell you of another miracle.  We had an elder who had just arrived, who hurt his knee playing soccer.  Everyone there was sure he had blown out his ACL.  he was rushed to an ER and they wanted him seen by an Ortho, who happened to be there in the hospital right then.  That Dr was also sure it was a torn ACL, he just didn't know how bad.  He was seen in the Dr's office, and an MRI was ordered.  Our Elder missed his first MRI appointment because of transfers, but made the second.  When he went to the Dr to have it read this past week, the Dr was dumbfounded because there was no ACL tear.  He had done the exam at the time of the injury and again at the second visit and both indicated a tear which would have needed surgery and a return to the States.  The MRI was done just to learn the extent of the tear. The Dr read the report, didn't believe it and read the films himself and saw only some cartilage damage which can wait for repair for some time.   He will have 6 weeks of physical therapy, and should do fine. That is Your prayers at work!!!  So, Thank you one and all.  We are doing so very well and are grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Spain.  We are so glad for your support.  You are the BEST!