Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marvelous Malaga

We are feeling settled in Malaga now, so I thought I would share some of the great things about living here.  First things we like about this apartment.   It is quiet.  We are very near the train station and it's shopping but we are on a small side street so we don't have the traffic noise.  In addition, either the neighbors are quieter or the rooms are set up so that we don't hear noise from the neighbors through the walls.  In the rooms with windows onto the central open area you can hear people who are talking near their own windows, but the bedroom and family room are quiet too.  Yea!  I love having counter space and room in the kitchen to move around.  We even eat in there.  It keeps the food mess more confined, plus I can reach the fridge without getting up.  We are very comfortable here.
We are working on walking every day.  On one of our walks we went to our park and found a festival going.  There were kids performing on a stage and lots of little booths.  We were there just at sunset.  I loved seeing the birds flying across the red clouds.
The park has this cool lite house.

There was a whole flock of birds but by the time I took the photo only a couple were left.
 We went back on Friday night and ate dinner there, food from Senegal.  We also bought some rather expensive candy, Turkish delight, which I have read about in stories from England.  It was okay... not sweet enough for American taste.
Likely we would have made it anyway, but because we are here in Malaga, we were able to go see Los Miserables. (Les Miserables )  It was wonderfully well done, even though I missed some of the words.  We enjoyed the ambiance of the venue, much smaller than we are used to at home.

This is Sister Nielson and I outside the theatre.

We enlisted a random stranger to take our photo.

Look, real box seats in the balcony.

This is the ceiling.  The words say 'honor to the fine arts'.

We ate afterwards, fashionably late. We sat outside and ate in the shadow of a beautiful old church.

These columns and balcony caught my fancy... so ornate.  This was on one of our walks  into the old section of downtown.
The carving on this door caught my eye too, but the key hole was what called for a photo. The key has to be in the shape of a number 3.
There are lots of street performers.  I thought the makeup on these two was amazing.

We drive into Fuengirola now and one morning it was covered with fog!
 We have seen the fog here in Malaga but there is more smoke with it.... yup, smog.  Oh well.
We are doing well.  The new couple are settling in well and will make a big difference.  We are so grateful for this gospel and our amazing opportunity to serve Heavenly Fathers beloved children here in Spain.  We are thankful for our beloved children and all the family support we enjoy.  Keep up the good work!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Moving days

Yes, we moved again.  Usually, senior couples don't move from place to place during their missions.  We're old you know, and it is hard to move.  We started out in Malaga, as some of you will remember,  because that is where the apartment was that the previous nurse couple lived in.  A month later we moved into Fuengirola and took over the Stevens' apartment.  We thoroughly enjoyed living there.  I loved the town and the warmth and friendliness we found there.  Everyone in the building knew us and where we lived. It was a large apt and it had internet!!!
Now we are turning over the office work to the new couple, the Coombs, who arrived last tue. They are marvelous and will do a great job. It made sense to have them in 'our' apartment, so we  have spent the last 2 weeks looking for, renting and moving into a new apartment half an hour away, in Malaga. No, Elena, it is not easier with a smaller place.... well really, it is but this was complex because we had to separate our stuff from the landlord's stuff, then decide what to leave there, toss, move, and or send home.  I have been packing boxes for over a month.  There was a surprising amount to throw away too.  I'm better at tossing other peoples stuff than my own junk I guess. 

That is just one room!

Good bye yellow!

The kitchen is the worst!

The new place has a much smaller bedroom.
Now to the other meaning of moving..... We had a baptism!!!  A moving experience for sure!          
A beautiful young lady joined the church and was baptized at her aunt's home in their pool.  Her aunt is a member and was so delighted for her niece to join too.  She was baptized by her cousin.

They live almost an hour away from Malaga city, out in the country.  A beautiful setting.

After we got there, our Relief Society president, Bruna, recognized 'the aunt'.  She had been to her baptism 10 years earlier, shortly after Bruna's arrival in Spain.  It is a small world.

The aunt and her son with our new member in the middle.

Auntie put on a wonder meal of snacks too. 

Now here are a few photos of the new apartment.  We are a 5 minute walk from the train station and 10 minute walk from the beach.  We have 2 grocery stores close, have found a good chino (for those who haven't visited, a chino is like a super dollar store and an essential source for all kinds of treasures) and a bakery.  Best of all, 2 days after we moved in, we got internet with wireless wifi!

The living room

and another view of the same room.
The kitchen is larger with twice the counter space. 

And the master bedroom.  The doors just barely open all the way.

Another view of the bedroom.  You can see out to our little sun room.

Only 1 bathroom, no tub :(
There are 2 other bedrooms, each with storage and a nice entry way.  We like this apartment quite a bit and will have room to invite the YA kids over.  We hope they will come. 
We love you all and miss you.  We pray for you and are grateful for all your support and love.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moving day

We have moved!!!  Again!!!
 Most senior couples don't get transferred. Of course we are not 'most senior couples' and therefore we have been transferred to the city of M├ílaga.  We have spent the last week finding an apartment and renting it, packing, moving, and unpacking.  Today we got internet in the new place and so are feeling more at home.  I will add more info and of course photos later.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thirty Five Roses!

 Some of you will already know what these 35 roses mean.  For those who haven't been around our house on the 30th of June,  I have gotten red roses every year on that day to celebrate the number of years I have been married to this amazing man, Rod Castillo!  He is always so thoughtful and gives me flowers and other gifts.  Normally, I have forgotten all about it, at least on the day itself, but he never has.  The smartest thing I have ever done in my life was to say 'Yes!' when he asked me to marry him 35 years ago last May first.  He promised me that he would try to make me laugh every day which I believe he has done admirably.  He promised me that our children would be amazing.  You will have to  judge that one for yourself but I count it as a fact. And finally, he committed that we would be together forever!!!   Thirty five years have not been nearly enough, so  I am holding him to that last one.  He constantly enjoys the moment, especially while we have been here in Spain.  He delights in serving others.  He is always sensitive to my and others needs, and constantly gives me praise and credit for the work I do.  He works to be cheerful, loves to serve, and always has a joke or a profound comment, which ever is appropriate. He is a wonderful story teller.  He can make even some of the traumatic experiences of his childhood light hearted learning opportunities for others.  He seems to always know the right thing to say, and you would not believe how often his calls to say 'I was thinking of you' come at just the right time to support, comfort or encourage our missionaries.    He was definitely worth waiting for!  Thank you my darling for 35 wonderful years and the hope of an eternity together!!!

Our sweet Sister Deere made a cake, half chocolate for Elder O's birthday, and half vanilla for our anniversary.  Our anniversary fell on mission council day.  We cooked  and served the food for the  35 people here for that meeting so it wasn't exactly a relaxing day, but it was gratifying as always to be around these superb young people. 

There is a 20 on his side and a 35 on ours. 
Behind us you can see the 'transfer board'.  The one in the mission home is used to plan transfers, this one is for us to keep track of what is going on.

You can see in the background of this photo all the books and orders the missionaries have requested.  Filling those orders is part of our job.  We will be handing that part of our job over to the new couple that are coming in 2 weeks.  We will miss talking to everyone, but we are excited to get to work with the young single adults too.  Life is change!

Saturday we went up to Mijas Pueblo.  It is a very picturesque little town at the top of the mountain overlooking the coast.  The laborers used to ride their donkeys home from work.  The tourists would stop them to take photos and then tip them.  They found that the money from this was greater than their jobs, and thus was born the burro taxi service this town is known for.
 This sign tickled me.  The red circle with white dash means 'Do not enter'.  Above it is 'exit public parking.'  With the burros 'parked' there it just made me laugh.
We walked passed this grape arbor over some one's court yard.  There are actual grapes hanging down. Wow! It isn't just in paintings! You can see a large bunch in the middle at the very top.

I finally caught a photo of a 3 wheeled delivery truck.  They also have these tiny pick up trucks.  They almost seem toy size to me.
 We have picked a new apartment in Malaga and will see if the contract can be arranged.  If so, we will start moving next weekend.  Wish us luck.  Love you all and hope you had a wonderful July 4th!