Sunday, September 14, 2014


 Our current  Mission secretary, Elder D and Rod have gotten very close.  They share a lot of interests and have had some very deep conversations, plus they share the experience of being mission secretary.  Well, as always in the mission, the time has come for him to move on.  I have pondered how amazing it is that such deep and valued friendships have formed between people of such different ages and circumstances.    I have noticed this in other areas of church service... VT companions and teachees that have grown so dear, but were people I would never have gotten to know otherwise  comes to mind first.  However, the  mission is the most concentrated example.  People from across the world, sometimes without even a language in common, can become beloved life long friends.  They might be companions or people you teach or work with in branches or wards.  The only 'possessions' we can take with us to the other side are the relationships we form here.  The senior couple from Rod's first mission, the Taylors, were his escorts when we were married.  Their example had great impact on him and helped him through the trials of his first mission.  We got a card from Sister Taylor just before this mission started!
Now perhaps we are paying it forward to another generation.  The thing is, we are more greatly blessed knowing them than these missionaries can understand or believe.  I feel that this love will link to form chains across the earth and ultimately, I believe, be it's salvation.  Wow!

Okay,  back to the mundane.  Elder D wanted to see the Picasso museum so we went with the office elders and Sister Nielson.  Rod held a little workshop beforehand, about art and especially modern art.  He had them try to condense the first discussion into 15 words.  Then he pointed out that lots of important stuff had been left out, that some might not even recognize it as the same and that each person felt different words were important to include.  He drew the analogy between this and 'modern art'.  It's an interesting point.  I am privately of the opinion that Picasso was sometimes just lazy or teasing with some of his works, however he also mentioned thinking about how a baby might see his mother, her hugeness, nostril open, planes of her face's interesting.  One of the best features of the museum is a video they have running on a constant loop of Picasso painting on glass in front of a camera.  It is fascinating to watch a bird or bull form in 2-3 lines over 30-40 seconds.   The missionaries were shocked to see a couple of his very early works which show his capacity to paint.  The comment was.."he was able to paint like that but he chose to paint like this???"  Still a lot to learn.

Walking there we came across this street.  The balconies are not 2 feet from the walls across the street.

This is a public garden I especially admired as we walked past.
 You remember my husband's sense of humor, right?  Well we have an Elder whose name has been on billboards lately.  Too bad it's advertising alcohol.  Still it made a good photo.

Calling the world to repentance!!!
This week will be another transfer.  We are receiving 26 missionaries and I think 7 are headed home.  Nothing in this life is very long lasting.  That can be a comfort in trying circumstances and sorrow in joyful times.  We just have to keep the long perspective.  Eternity is before us!
Love you and miss you.  We're excited to get home and see you all. Oh, thank you Todd for the information about the Pissani brothers.  I love my kids!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


We had a fun busy week this past week.  Our Japanese exchange student from 12 years ago came to visit for a few days.  She and her sister got to explore a little of southern Spain and we got to catch up with them.  So Fun!  I always feel so cosmopolitan when I know people from other countries.  Mostly we just visited nearby sights.  Yes, she still likes 'shopping'.  However, they had read of a little town about an hour away called Frigiliana.  So I got to drive us.  Rod had other commitments in the office this week so it was just me and them for the sightseeing.  I am happy to report that, with the Lord's help, I found my way there and back again! I even found parking!!! (for those who know this area, that is truly miraculous)  Anyway, here are the photos.

This is the view from Gibralfaro, a fort that looks over the Malaga harbor.  This was the first 'sight' we visited on our first p-day and is still one of  my favorite.

We went to the Picasso museum and then actually went into the cathedral which I hadn't done before. We usually just walk around it. It is a beautiful cathedral too. 
I know, I am developing an obsession with doors. They are just so interesting here.
I hope you can see the detail of the ceiling.  I think it is among the best I have seen.  I mostly kept them out of the photo but the nets up at the top are to keep plaster/stone from falling on peoples heads.

The choir and the organ.

One of the chaples.

I really liked this display of the vestments.   Orrr were they 'taken'?

I wish I knew who did this pieta.  It was beautiful.

This is the framework they carry the effigies on during processions.
These are the photos of Frigiliana.  It is one of the 'white towns', towns perched on a hillside, and I expect, living on tourism.

Yes, I photographed a manhole cover. If paint splatters are art then this can be art too, right?  Besides, think of the technology there has to be to have the needed drainage under the steep streets of this ancient mountain town.

We wandered up stair cases/ sidewalks and explored the town.  It really was lovely.

How about an inflatable Castillo instead of a flat one?

A native taking a nap!

They have carved out a soccer field.  Where there's a will, right?

We had lunch on this balcony overlooking the steep hillside. So fun.

 Guess who demonstrated French braids!!!

Our last night together, we went out to a nice restaurant we know in Fuengirola.

Dad's steak was cooked at the table and served with flaked black salt on the side.  Delicious!

We sat outside where the street musicians perform and everyone walks past!

That's his 'Yummy' face.... I think...
We are so blessed to be here and have such great friends.  We love you all.  Pray for mission presidents.  I don't know of a harder job in the church!!!  Have a great week.