Monday, March 31, 2014


I was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting about preparing for General Conference.  During my preparation for that talk, I was reminded that one of the best ways for me to humble myself and keep my heart open to what the Lord wants me to learn, is to concentrate on my many blessings, to  cultivate a sense of gratitude for my many blessings.  With my blessings in focus, in the forefront of my mind, it is easy for me to submit myself to the will of my gracious Heavenly Father.  This is an area I always seem to need work on.  Our missionaries have been such stellar examples of that attitude of gratitude.
A few months ago, the APs (assistants to the President for those unfamiliar with missionary lingo) were shifted to Malaga rather than Fuengirola.  That means they have a 1/2 hour drive when they come to work on transfers or 'do the numbers' (collect the statistics for the mission performance each week.  This info must be entered into the computer and so must be done in the office). They come to Fuengirola each Sunday night and then must be here Monday morning to finish their report and attend staff meeting.  In order to save them that hour of travel time each week, we have them come for supper Sunday evenings, they go to the office and work, then spend the night here.  In the morning, they exercise with Rod and then head back to the office.  We get the chance to spend time with some of the best missionaries in the mission and having someone else here gets Rod up to exercise.  Both are excellent returns on any investment of time we make.   They have all been very appreciative.  The current pair brought this a couple of weeks ago. 

A card, flowers, and chocolate.  They know how to make this girl feel appreciated.
Our office elders invited us over to their apartment for supper.  Again, what a sweet, thoughtful way to demonstrate their appreciation to Rod and I.  It really is a much greater sacrifice for them to feed us than visa versa.  Their time and resources are much more restricted.  I was deeply touched and thankful.

It was delicious too!! 
We got to go to zone conference in Murcia last week.  Having helped to cook for missionaries, I was impressed by the wonderful members that cook for the missionaries.  These are professional cooks of course and they are paid for their time and materials, but I suspect they are not getting paid top dollar.  They do, however, provide amazing meals for bout 80 missionaries. 
This is real paella.  It was delicious.
This was just the main dish.  There were side dishes and dessert too. The elders that you see are taking food into the rest of us, serving us our meal. 
I am thankful for my cute husband's sense of humor.  He brings a joy and energy to this mission that would be difficult to find otherwise.  He has been trying to get these two missionaries together since they arrived.  Look at the name tags.
They are Chapel and Ward.  We are hoping for an Elder Bishop to finish up the set. 
I had to grab a photo with this young lady.  She was baptized last Sunday.  She has been learning about the Church at least since we arrived.  She finally took the leap of faith and made those marvelous covenants.  How thankful I am to know her and others who have had the faith and strength to change their lives.  I am not sure I could if I hadn't been born to it.  How often we take our membership for granted!  How simple it seems to be baptized. 

Another miracle was manifest yesterday.  A sweet sister we have known for some time, came to church and held out her hand, inviting me to smell her new perfume.  It was a hand with no smell of cigarette smoke on it.  She was almost giddy with joy.  She told me that she quit cold turkey, and that smoke smells terrible to her now.  It has only been 3 days, but that is miracle enough.

So, now my heart is full and very tender, having counted so many blessings.  How greatly the Savior loves each of us.  How deeply he desires to give us 'all the Father hath', if we will only make the effort to qualify.  What a joy to share this wonderful good news with all the world. On top of it all, next weekend we will hear a Prophet speak!
We love you ALL!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Twins and a Ronda hike

Our little Relief Society had a fun service activity.  We quilted two darling quilts.  I may have mentioned our branch member that was expecting twins.  Well they got here just as we finished a little gift for them.  We bought fabric and gave it to Sister Chantrill (on the left) and she brought it back made into darling quilt tops.  She even quilted the straight lines by the machine and then we got the branch sisters together, those that were available on a week night, and they learned how to quilt.

Sister Chantrill, Bruna, Belinda and Hazele


It was a new skill for almost everyone.

They all did great work!
They turned out darling!

Here are the new owners.  It did my heart good to hold a tiny one, though for twins, they were big.  The one on the left was 6 lb 13oz and the other was 7 lb 3 oz.! The doctor induced her labor.  He thought she would have gone to term otherwise, about 3 more weeks. Yikes.


Then we went to Ronda for P-day

 We had been to Ronda before with the other senior couples last November.  It is a beautiful little town with this canyon running through the middle.  Rod had wanted to hike down that first visit, but we didn't take the time then.  Several of the missionaries wanted to see the town and take the hike, so we got together and did it.

This view is from the bridge that unites the two halves of the town.

Our office elders, the APS and the sisters came, as well as the Fuen elders and ZLs from Malaga.

The missionaries insisted on taking our photo together, so this one is for you kids.
 Umm there are a few more too. 

The flowering tree in the background is an almond.  The tiny nuts look just like my peaches do at first.
 I was intrigued.  It appears they are in the same family.  Who knew?

They even have an arch.

I don't know of a more picturesque place even with the power lines. 

There were a few posed photos of course....  Sorry, my angle was a little off.

We had a steep hike in a few places.

I just love that there was actually water in the river.

Trying to be artistic.

We made the missionaries turn their eyes away, except the photographer of course. 

We were impressed with the climbers from far away, then we saw the staples in the wall.

Here is our Gollum with his 'precious'.  Elder E was the only one who would fit in the hole.

The moss on the rocks was positively plush.

Rod thought the flower should be behind his ear.  I couldn't believe how big they were.

Our boys know why these elders are smiling so broadly.  They are Elder D and F who are currently serving with us in the office.

We had a wonderful time.  I love getting to know the missionaries in a less formal setting and they really do need some 'down' time to just be goofy and act their ages.  They work so hard to do everything correctly, because they really do love the Lord and so want to serve His children here in Spain.  They are doing a fantastic work here, and we love them!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A 'Rally' Fun Malaga Museum

I am a week behind again.  We had a couple of fun 'p-day' activities so here is the evidence.  Two weeks ago we headed to Malaga to see a museum we had noticed a sign for some time ago.  The original plan was to see this one and the Picasso Museum.  However, we ended up spending all our time here.  It was a truly inspired combination, because they have some gorgeous, authentic dresses and hats from bygone eras and then examples of autos through the years, generally the luxury models and the haute couture that the women  in them might have worn. 
 This is the display at the start of the exhibits.  That is my hubby showing the elders some of the finer points of dress construction.  Yes the beading and sequins were done all by hand.
They were just stunning!

This is the one that I wanted to wear.  Those tiny pleats go all the way around.  ( He was NOT touching it!  I promise)

Here are some of the first models displayed.

The manikins were cool.  I really want that cape too.

This model has a 'mother-in-law seat.  That is really what it was called.

There were plaques for each car and  also each dress telling about the designer and people who wore/drove them. 

Don't you love the horn on this car?  (the snake)

This one was popular because of the storage for parcels.

I was intrigued with the gears and push buttons of this one.
This was a race car.  I think the gear train was out of leather, and there is a basket just behind the driver's elbow,  I think for the umbrella.

This was a mini car with just 3 wheels.

Another 'mini'.

This was a real Rolls Royce!  ( Not mini!)

This car was supposed to be one of the fastest of it's time, and you can tell by the expression.
I think the artists from 'Cars' must have studied here.
This car was left in the condition it was found in.  There are bullet holes in the back seat.  It survived the bombing of London.
The photo on the wall behind this car shows the artist that painted it standing next to it.  She was well known but of course I have forgotten her name.  It was before color photography though. 
"My Grandpa had one like this!"

"Look at that interior"

There are some amazing hood ornaments too.  Do you know this one?
It was just an inspired pairing: cars and dresses.  I quit taking so many photos as we got to the more modern cars but they were amazing too.  Another interesting note.  I saw several grease spots on the floor.  I suspect that many of these cars are in running order!
I will post photos of our trip to Ronda next week.  We maybe leaving  this Thursday for zone conference  in the northern zones. Then we will stay in Granada Friday night as we have an institute meeting there on Saturday.  Next week we start preparations for the next transfer.  Life is moving FAST.

I have to post a special thank you.  Our darling office elders, Elder F and Elder D, invited us to dinner tonight.  We had a wonderful time.  You must understand.  Having us come to their apartment means they have worked hard to get it spotlessly clean as well as them buying, cooking and feeding us dinner.  They did it as a thank you for all we do for them.  Well, maybe also so we could admire their work getting it clean too. Previous elders had not left it that way.  I was really touched.  I will post photos next week.  Just know that our missionaries are taking care of us too.  We sure do love them!!!