Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

A visit to the botanical gardens on Las Palmas

One interesting plant on display at the botanical gardens was a cactus ...

... okay, it was a really big cactus (tree thing).

Hello family!!

Here´s what happened this week!! Get ready, it´s pretty crazy what has been happening here in Las Palmas!! You ready? Are you sure? Positive? Well ready or not, here we go!!

Thursday we had weekly planning, know always. HA =D Then we went and saw Jose and taught him the restoration with the help of the video so that he can understand it better. I´m not sure if he understands, but he always says after we teach him something that he knows most of the stuff, and that he wants to get baptized and same old stuff. Kind of funny actually. We didn´t have too much going on that day so that´s it.

Friday was pretty crazy! We visited Cristian and were a bit late considering we went to the church to clean and prepare for the baptismal services. We then went back to continue to prepare for the baptism, and then went to Hiper Dino to buy some food and stuff to make sopapillas, a Chilean sort of empanada. Well, the baptism started right on time, and it was cool!! Franklyn baptized Maria, and I baptized Liz, the little girl. She insisted that I did it, and Hermanas [Sisters] Marshall and Voemba tried to convince her to get someone else to do it, but it didn´t work. I had the privilege and honor to do it. Elder Valenzuela and I then did a musical number of "I´m Trying to be like Jesus" [or click here to hear it in Spanish] and it turned out pretty well. We sang a cappella and I liked it, but I´m not sure of the rest of the members there did. We then ate food and cleaned up, and the Hermanas[Sisters] gave us the extra chocolate cake and brownies that were left behind after the baptism. I ate most of it and finished it Monday. Super good day!!

The baptism of Liz

The baptism of Maria

Saturday was interesting and crazy! We had to go to Vecindario and interview two people for baptism and it was pretty cool. I did the interview because I was a District Leader recently so I knew how to do it. We then came back and ate with Nenad, a member that lives with Franklyn and his wife Raquel. We then went to see Oscar and taught him the second part of the restoration again. It´s difficult to teach him, but I´m learning a lot about teaching simply with him. He has a hard time paying attention so that´s the problem, but we just need to think of a way to help him pay attention. I´ll have to come up with something. I just got that idea of thinking as I was writing this. Super cool!!!

Then when we were waiting for the Guagua [bus] outside Oscar´s house, we heard a horn honking the tune "Jingle Bells." We were both confused and then all of a sudden the honking got louder and then we saw motorcyclists dressed in Santa costumes waving and stuff. There were like 30 of them driving together down the street. It was pretty funny!! Later on we went to see Fani and she enjoyed the baptism!! She went so we talked to her about that and also talked to her about the Plan of Salvation! It was pretty cool. When we were leaving Fani´s house, we saw the motorcycle Santas again, and it was pretty funny. I tried to get a picture of them, but it didn´t turn out too well. Oh well, "A" for "effort", as Elizabeth Goodman always says. We also got transfer information and Elder Valenzuela is now District Leader!!! No changes on Gran Canaria either. This transfer was a week shorter than the usual 6 weeks, but I´m sure that this next transfer will be a week longer than usual to make up for it.

fuzzy picture of motorcycle Santas

Sunday was normal, we had the two confirmations and participated in the circle to confirm Maria and Liz, members. It was really cool! We then saw Maria afterwards to help us fill out the baptismal record. We then saw Jose and taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was fine, but I´m sure that we could´ve done better. We then went to the JAS Noche de Hogar [young single adult home evening], and an American family gave the lesson from the Strength of Youth pamphlet. The guy is a Professional Basketball player for the Gran Canaria team so he´s pretty well known among the youth. He also mentioned that he will be playing against Valladolid this week and that´s pretty cool!! He´ll be going to where I started here in Spain!!

Brother and Sister Toolson with Elder Bauer
Brother Toolson is the professional basketball player who gave the lesson in the young single adult home evening

Monday we finally got empadronado [registered] and it was easy. I remember that Elder Valenzuela told me that it would be hard, but he doesn´t know who he´s talking to, the residency expert among missionaries in Gran Canaria. The other one is Elder Argyle on Tenerife, and the current one is learning to be the residency beast in Alcobendas, which is Elder Pluim. We then went to help Lusiano, a member, to take a couch up to his piso [apartment], and then we ate with him. He also invited over some non-members so we then also shared a bit about the Book of Mormon with them and it went pretty good. The guy didn´t show too much interest, but the son, Alejandro, I´m sure has potential. We then went from there, the Port, over to La Feria, where Oscar lives, and then talked to him about the important things that happened with the restoration. He has it all down and we left him the introduction of the Book of Mormon to read since he hasn´t done it.

We then went from there to contact near the Guagua [bus] station San Telmo, and we had an interesting contact. We had the impression to talk to this lady since she was reading my chapa [name tag], and she nodded her head no, and then pointed at her ears. She was deaf!!! I thought how are we going to talk to her. I then pointed at my chapa [name tag] where the name of the church is, then pointed at the Book of Mormon where it said, Mormon. She has never seen anything on our church before so we tried explaining to her what it was. Elder Valenzuela read with her the introduction and she understood. I then took out my agenda, and started writing on it to talk to her. We tried to get an address, but she just wrote the church address and the time that church started, so I wrote to her that we´ll see her Sunday then. We also left her a chapter to read and she smiled and said thank you, I´ll see you the 23rd. It was a cool experience. We then had Noche de Hogar [home evening] at Franklyn´s house and went home.

Yesterday we had the district meeting, and it was really good!!! I really liked it and learned a lot from it!! We then ate with a member, and they gave us a plate full of rice, and I mean it was like a mountain of rice!! I ate it all, and then they gave us dessert. We were so full!!! We then went to Oscar´s house just to see him, and we walked there. It was a 15 - 20 minute walk, but we needed it!! Half of it was downhill and the other half was uphill. We then met with Oscar and read with him the introduction and he understands it now. We then left with him 2 Nephi 2 so that we could have a little introduction to the Plan of Salvation. I hope that he could read it! We then went and tried to find a present for Maria considering it was her birthday and we wanted to give her something. We finally got a card and pictures of her baptism developed and then we saw Fausto and Delia. We shared with them the true meaning of Christmas and it was a pretty good lesson!! We then went to Maria´s house and she was so happy to receive something. She said that it was the first thing that she had received on her birthday. We then left and while we were waiting for the Guagua [bus], she called us and told us thank you for the card and picture. I was touched and happy that we had done that for her.

Well, today is P-Day, and we´re planning to go and see the Christmas Sand Art here in Gran Canaria!! Super cool, and I can´t wait to see it in person!! Elder Gonzalez was here and showed me pictures, but I can´t wait to see it for myself!!! How is everything going over there? I hope that all is going well and that everyone is happy!! Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

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