Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fuengirola and Malaga

Fuengirola Beach/nice and warm

Doug and our local fruit stand below our piso

Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 06:20:42 -0600
Week March 18 thru 22nd

Hola Family and friends,

Como esta usted y que pasa? Como le va?
We had an interesting experience the other day when we were in Fuengirola shopping. As we were looking at some coats in the last store we stopped at before going back home to Malaga, the owner of the shop noticed our badges and wanted to visit with us. We talked for an hour about the world and why some people are bad and others want to be good. Even in our own families. We are all raised and loved the same but some of us choose to be bad and others choose to be good. He was having a hard time understanding that there is an adversary tempting us and didn't believe in a pre-existence. We gave him a good conversation but I don't think anything will come of it, but you never know. Next time we go back there, we will take him some literature and maybe even a Book of Mormon. Although, I don't think he's ready for it. He believes in the "Koran" because he says it has never been changed like the bible has. BUT, he touched my face and said he wanted to talk to us because he saw something in our faces that made him want to draw close to us. There you go. That is the light of Christ shining through. That's why we need to live Christ-like lives at all times because you never know who might be watching!

We are loving our mission now that we have finally got settled in our little piso and got it furnished with the things we need for living. The youth we work with are strong in the church and are bringing the less active back also. They want to share with others what they have found themselves. We also spend time with the local missionaries and they are hard working dedicated young men. It is so inspiring to be around them all the time. They walk everywhere they go. No cars or bikes. It takes us about 15 min to walk to the closest church and 30min to drive to it because of all the one way streets and because we don't know our way around yet!! Crazy. We went to Spanish class last night. It took us 30min to get he car out of the underground parking because you have to drive into a car elevator and when you pull in or out, there is a wall in front of you so you have to make an L shape turn to get in or out of the elevator and our car the mission gave us is too big for it. It took about 8 times of backing up and pulling forward to get it in. Then the elevator doors kept shutting on us and hitting the sides of the car!! Yikes. We made it to our class an hour later. After class we met with the missionaries for the FHE at 8:00 and left for home at 9:00. We got lost, stopped at a gas station for instructions, said a prayer, (I cried a lot), and we finally made it home at 11:00pm and kissed the ground when we walked in the front door. I don't know if we will ever learn how to drive here. Too many one way roads, fast drivers & motorcycles that weave in and out, streets that go every which way but straight and stop lights in the middle of some streets instead of at the intersections. What an experience we are having. We have to laugh about it or we would not be very happy! Right?

We hear a lot of Spanish but don't understand much of anything. They tell us it will come in time. I hope so because it is frustrating. We are taking a two hour Spanish class once a week which I know will help a lot.

The food is good but hard to find products of U.S. recipes. I need a Spanish cooking teacher too!! The fruit is great and cheap. The weather is warming up finally. I don't like the cold but spring is here now and it's warming up a bit, but still cold at night. We get the ocean breeze, which is chilly this time of year.

We love the Lord and his gospel and are more and more grateful each day for the blessings we have and for having been born into this church. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a blessing in our lives. I know Jesus Christ died for me and all of us. He paid the price and I pray I can be worthy of that great gift and repay Him by obeying his commandments and serving Him the best way I can everyday of my life.

We hope all is well with all of you. Que le vaya bien! Hasta luego.

All our love, Elder and Hermana Spainhower/ mom and dad/grandma and grandpa

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Great week with Missionaries

Doug and 2 sisters waiting for finger printing in Madrid at the police station, In the middle is Sister Serenity Eyre. She knows Claire Swenson in our Utah Fruit Heights 1st Ward and plays the violin beautifully. Had an opportunity to play the piano with her and a soloist.

President and Sister Sitterud of the Madrid Mission

While waiting for our turn, Pres Sitterud talked to a local young lady and is sending missionaries to talk to her and her family.

Awsome Hermanas. Full of energy

These are the sisters that came to Malaga and from there to other parts of Spain with their new companions and trainers

Great Elders and fun to visit with

Doug and lunch at Pres Clegg home after orientation

Big plate fulls but they went back for 2nd and 3rds!

Beutiful view of Fuengirola from the Clegg patio

Still too cold to go for a dip!

What a view
Hola from Malaga,
We have met some of the youth we will be working with and they are such wonderful kids. They are anxious to learn so much and love meeting together as often as possible, which is sometimes five nights a week.
A great group of missionaries went with us to get the fingerprinting done in Madrid. That was quite the day. We left on the bullet train in Malaga in the morning and arrived 2 1/2 hours later in Madrid. No one was there to pick us up. They forgot us!! Can you imagine that? Crying face . We got a taxi to take us to the MTC. The only problem was, he couldn't speak English so we had to call someone at the MTC to give him directions. We make sure our seat belts are on because they drive like they are in the Indy 500! Holy Cow. Then to top it off, we tried to tell him to take us to the mall that is not too far down from the MTC and he couldn't find it and was getting hot under the collar. By the time we found the mall, the poor guy was ready to shoot us. He charged us a good sum for it though. We got out of the taxi and kissed the ground!! I told him "lo siento", which is, I'm sorry, but it didn't seem to put a smile on his face. I'm sure he will never pick an elderly couple with black name tags on to ride in his cab ever again. Too bad we didn't have an extra copy of the Book of Mormon!! I would have given him one. Went into the mall and got more mug shots done because we left the first set in Malaga!! Dumb! Then we all got on a bus and took a 30 min drive to the local police station where many others were waiting in line. About 2 hours later we headed back to Madrid MTC, ate dinner at 6:30 and took a taxi to the Madrid train station, and thank goodness we didn't get the same taxi driver but they still drive like they are going to a fire. We got back into Malaga around 11:30pm, and walked home, which is about 4 blocks from our piso. What a day!
On Friday, we rode with our friends, the Massaro's, to Fuengirola to see the Mission President and all the new missionaries coming in and have an orientation. It was great to see the new missionaries matched up with their new companions and trainers. They are all so excited to do the work. We had a great lunch after orientation, we cleaned up and then took all the missionaries to their train or bus to go to their assigned destinations. They don't waste any time in getting things done. We will go back to Fuengirola again on Monday for more paper work then we have to get registered or empadronized for our apartment here in Malaga. We have to do some of this process every 6 months.
Sundays are difficult because of the language barrier but we are trying to work on that as much as possible. Most people are very understanding and kind though. We bought a few more supplies for our piso, but we have a huge list of more things to get this week. We got our car last night, an Opal. Now we just have to muster up enough courage to start driving it in the city. It's crazy out there!!
We are beginning to feel at home in our piso and our surroundings. If I could learn the language, I would feel a lot more comfortable in living here. Oh well, if there isn't a challenge in some way or another, we would never grow to our potential. The weather is wonderful here. 60 and 70 and getting warmer each day. We are loving the fresh vegetables and fruits you can buy on every street corner.
Our address for our piso is:  Elder and Hermana Spainhower
                                          Calle Orfila 29  P02 A
                                          29002 Malaga
Write, we would love to hear from you!
We love you all and you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Hasta menana, Hermana and Elder Spainhower
Skype us at: janice.spainhower2 and remember, we are 8 hours ahead of you there in the US.