Friday, February 8, 2013

February 6, 2013

Playing minature golf during P-day in ...

Puerto Rico (the one on the south side of Gran Canaria).
Hello Family!!

Well, this week has been crazy, and Monday has been long, but I don´t have my planner with me, so I´m going to have to do this by memory, which isn´t as good as doing it with my planner. Hmm........well........I don´t really remember too much actually so this is going to be a really short email. I hope that all keeps doing okay over yonder in Texas and that the stress stays low. Now off to my exciting and crazy week (which I forgot lots of details).

Elder Bauer perfecting his swing.
Umm....I´ll start with Saturday evening. Saturday the Hermanas [sisters] had a baptism, David is his name. It was really a good experience, except that the Branch Mission Leader didn´t begin filling up the font on time. He started filling it up about an hour before the baptism, so yeah. We were there trying to fill it up by getting bucket fulls of water from the cleaning closet to the font and doing it as fast as possible. Well, we had some investigators there too, and I hope that they weren´t scared away/get a bad impression of the church by that, but oh well. There has to be a crazy experience like that some time I guess. The services were wonderful and it was great to hear the speakers and see the service!! Hermano [Brother] Roka was happy to baptize and everyone was happy to see him enter the fold of God!! It was amazing how many people said that to him! I loved it!! Later on we found out transfers and this is what happened. So, Hermana [Sister] Marshall is staying, and Hermana [Sister] Voemba left to open a new area in Torrejón!!! I was shocked when I heard that!! Then Vecindario would have a whitewash!!! So both Elder Christiensen and Lisonbee left and Elders Wilson and Rockwood came in, brand new into the area! Vecindario has a car too so it will be interesting for them to get to know their area!! Super crazy!!

Sunday was his confirmation and it was cool!! I loved being part of the circle for that confirmation! He´s known about the church and has taken lessons with the missionaries for about 10 years!! So it was a great day to see him finally take that step! I also had the privilege of blessing the sacrament, and it´s the first time that I´ve done it in Spanish!! I know, all of this time, and I haven´t done it in Spanish, but oh well. Super cool!! After church we went to the Roka family´s house and ate lunch and David´s family was also there! The Hermanas [sisters], the Roka family, the family of David, and us. It was fun to share that moment with the two families!! Also the despedida [farewell] of Hermana [Sister] Voemba and that was pretty sad to see. We then went to the Noche de Hogar [home evening] with the JAS [young single adults] and said goodbye to Hermana [Sister] Voemba again and then went to the piso [apartment] so that we could sleep for the next day. The thing with this transfer is that since both of the Elders of Vecindario are leaving, they had to come to Las Palmas to sleep and then leave the car with me (YAHOO) until the new Elders arrive. So that´s what happened.

The Vecindario elders' car, in the good care and keeping of Elders Valenzuela and Bauer.
Monday we had to wake up at 4:30 to be able to go and drop off the Elders of Vecindario at the airport. It was really weird to me since I felt like the office Secretary again, dropping off and picking up. Anyway, so Elder Christiensen drove himself to the airport, for the last time, and then we went in to help them with their suitcases and stuff. We met the Hermanas [sisters] there too, so it was a super farewell to Hermana [Sister] Voemba!! Afterwards we went and paid for parking and I got in the driver’s seat of the Opel Corsa and drove us home! It was really fun to drive again, but it just made me grateful that we don´t have a car here in Las Palmas. We got home at about 6:45 and so we didn´t go back to sleep. We just stayed up and studied until about 9:00. We parked in paid parking, but it´s free until 9:00 in the morning, so we had to go and move it so that we wouldn´t have to pay. We also had to put gas in it, since the Vecindario Elders left it empty. So I went and put 20€ worth into the tank which filled it up half way. Now, this is the crazy part. Just driving here in Las Palmas is a hazard!! I thought Madrid was bad, the streets here are much smaller, more cars, more crosswalks, just insane!! Getting out of the gas station was horrible. We waited for 2 or 3 minutes just to be able to find a space that was big enough for my rusty manual transmission driving skills. I never killed the car, but I just reved the engine a bit more than usual. It took an eternity to get back to the piso [apartment] since the traffic was bad and just trying to drive at 9:00 is bad.

Las Palmas during a sand storm.
We finally got back and tried to find some breakfast, but nothing. So we bought food at a chino [convenience store] and by the time we got back to the piso [apartment] it was time to go. So we left for the airport and it was a pain to get on to the freeway. So many yield signs and bus lanes so I won´t go into that story. Ask me later about that and I´ll tell you more in detail. So we got on the freeway and got to the airport and waited for the new missionaries to come. The new couple came too!! The Buhlers, from Colorado, Hermana [Sister] Zitting, from Tennessee, Elder Rockwood, also from Colorado, and Elder Wilson, from Utah. Elder Wilson isn´t a new missionary, he´s been on the mission for almost as long as I have, but is new to the area. So we got their bags in the Corsa (the Elders of Vecindario´s bags I mean) and drove them to their new area. When we got there we helped them get their bags up the 4 flights of stairs and told them as much as we knew about their area. Then they were kind to drive us back to Las Palmas! The end of my driving here in the islands, and hopefully I don´t have to drive again. I like it, but it´s just too much here in Las Palmas. We met with Samuel and talked about the restoration. He´s a talker! If we ask him a question, or leave too big of a pause, he goes off on a tangent about the history of the bible and stuff. It´s interesting to teach him! We then took medio-día [lunch break], and I took a nap since I was as dead as a dead person.
We then woke up, I resurrected, haha, and looked outside and it was "foggy" but it wasn´t fog, it was sand in the air, blown from Africa!! It was the coolest, yet weirdest thing I´ve ever seen!! We then went to San Telmo to find a member and take him to a lesson with Jose and it was a good lesson!! Fernando is the member and he´s such a great guy!! I love his amabilidad [kindness] and just his forma de ser [character – literally “way of being”]!! Wow, super Spanglish!! Anyway we then went to Jesus´ house and talked to his wife about the message that we share and sadly she didn´t have too much interest, but said that she´d be willing to listen. Not much, but at least we tried. Later we had the Noche de Hogar [home evening] at a member´s house and that finished the night. Super long day!!
Another picture of Las Palmas during a sand storm.
Tuesday was a pretty good day!! District Meeting was great, and we had a few lessons! We also visited a member that was in the Hospital, Doctor Negrín, and it was great to see him! We then had a lesson with Oscar and it turned out pretty good!! It was about prayer and reading the scriptures and why it´s so important to do that. We then went and ate at Burger King since we had some coupons for it. Then we went over to the church and had a lesson with Juan, and he´s got potential! We set up a date with him to be baptized and it was great! He accepted the invitation!! We´re pretty happy, but didn´t get our hopes up. We then went to the JAS [young single adult] Center to talk to the Buhlers a bit and see how they were doing their first full day there. They are super cool and animado [enthusiastic] to work here in Las Palmas with the JAS [young single adults]. Not much else. I hope that everything is doing well over there!! Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!! Love you all!!

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