Saturday, May 19, 2012


Mar 30, 2012
Dinner and games

John Rozan & Serjio Ama

Love the pop!

Watching the game! John, Naomi, Raul, Elizabeth
 April 13, 2012 - Birthday surprise
Happy Birthday surprise!

Gift from group - Box of note paper and little tin container with written notes from the kids.

3 birthdays - Andres, Janice, Martin

Having fun eating cake!

May 18, 2012 - Dinner & Fun - I prepared chicken & rice dinner

April 20th dinner - I prepared lasagna, salad, & peanut butter chocolate rice krispie treats. HUGE HIT!!
Patricia Soto birthday, sister Elena & madre. Patricia is going on a mission to Salt Lake in May 2012


First Zone Conference - Pres. Clegg & Ann in the middle. Jan & Doug on the right end. Elder & Sister O'Niel left for a new assignment in Alabama. We miss these sweet missionaries when they get transferred but to love the new transfers too.

Our last Zone Conference with President Clegg and wife, Ann. They leave the end of June for their home in Bountiful, Utah

 What a great bunch of missionaries. We love them and then they leave us for new transfers or for their homes. Then we get to know the new missionaries that come in and love them too. The hereafter will be a busy place when we meet again to say hello to our earth-life acquaintances once again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Highlights of days in Malaga

A stroll in our beautiful park after shopping.

Rose gardens in the park.

Remember our little "rubber tree" house plants. Here's one for you.

Yellow brillant colors in our park

Siesta time for the locals. The park is a great place to crash!

Looks uncomfortable to me!

We have big birds here!!

Parrots in our park. This one took a bath and is sunning after.

Local pigs legs for sale. Throw it over your shoulder and take it home and put it on your kitchen counter top and slice off a piece whenever you're hungry and then cover it with a cloth to keep the fly away!!

Sidewalk food sales. Take some fresh live snails home to eat!! Buy them by the pound. Yummy!!

Hey, someone moved the sidewalk!

It's nesting time for the parrots. They fly away for the winter and come back in the spring. Their green color blends in with the trees so it's difficult to see them, but there are flocks of them in the trees.

A protest of some sort right below our piso window. They happen quite often. Anything to get out of work!!

The Spain Patient

April 23rd will be a day to remember for a long time to come. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to delete this detailed saga!!
 I woke at 5:00 am with horrible pain in my back and assuming it was the good old kidney stones I so familiar with, I took pain meds and planned on waiting it out. By Monday late afternoon the pain was severe and different than I've had before. More pain across my upper back and in the pit of my stomach. Finally Doug talked me into going to the emergency at a private hospital here in Malaga. It was only about 15 minutes away but not close enough! The pain was making me sick and the care ride and heat didn't help matters, so with plastic bag in hand, I began the hurling ten minutes into the care ride. Doug stopped the car at the entrance of the hospital and told me to get out and to drop the now loaded plastic bag into the garbage a few feet away. I got back into the car and we pulled into the ER entrance where Doug took me inside and found a lady, by the name of Lola who spoke English. She set us up to see a doctor but not before I had a chance to check out the nice bathrooms twice in the forty minutes we were waiting. At least I didn't have to use a plastic bag this time. Finally, we went in to see the doctor and he asked me a bunch of questions, during which, I was turning greener by the minute. I told him I thought it was my kidney stones acting up again and that I had had this problem many times before, but that the pain was different this time.
He sent me off to the x-ray room and then for an ultra-sound. I had so much jell on my stomach that it was running down my legs!! I didn't have enough paper towels to wipe it all off, so I just pulled on my pants anyway. As sick as I was, I couldn't have cared less. After waiting for an hour, the results of the tests came back and we were informed that it was not a kidney stone at all, but an inflamed gall bladder that was full of stones and needed to be removed. What a shock that was. I was just hoping for some stronger pain meds to get me through the whole ordeal!!
 So they picked out a private room for me with a view of more cement and tall buildings and hooked my right arm up to IV's, which helped the pain somewhat but not enough to make me comfortable. We heard earlier, from our mission nursing couple, that the doctors here were quite stingy with the pain medications, and that was no understatement. I spent the night anticipating surgery the next day.
At 1:00 pm, a male nurse came in to put another IV in my left arm and missed my vein three times before finally securing it. So now my black and blue forearm goes well with my all-over green color. Finally, at 2:00 pm, they wheeled me down to the operating room. While waiting in pre-op, I told the nurse I needed to go to the bathroom, so she helped me up, grabbed my hand like you would a little child, and hurriedly and impatiently drug me to the bathroom. I followed her back to my nice hard bed and climbed up for the ride to the cold operating room where the anesthesiologist grabbed my left arm and strapped it down. He then grabbed my right arm and plopped it down but it bounced off the board, so he picked it up again like a slab of ham, and strapped it down. I felt like I was being nailed to the cross! And the whole time, he's jabbering in Spanish to the surgeon and arguing with him about something. He must have been taking his frustration out on me. Finally, the gas! I sucked in deep and hard and was finally out of my misery.
 I woke up on my back gagging for air and new I was going to drown on the liquid in my throat. Then I felt the sucking air tube pulled from my throat and rip the side of my lip as it was removed so quickly. The gurgeling finally stopped. At least I wouldn't die by drowning, but my entire body was jerking and convulsing and I couldn't stop it no matter how hard I tried. It was a horrible feeling. Nothing like I've ever experienced before. I wasn't completely aware of my surroundings except for one fact, and that was, that I was totally naked, jerking around like a fish out of water, and lying there on a cold hard table like some weird specimen for a freakish observation. Then, after what seemed like an eternity, someone placed a sheet over me and the convulsions soon stopped. I waited that way for at least an hour and then I was wheeled back to my private room where Doug was waiting for me. He said he was getting worried because the nurses had told him I would be coming back to my room over an hour before that, so he was happy to know they hadn't disposed of me somewhere along the way. Needless to say, I was elated to see Doug again, as I wasn't so sure I ever would!! They hooked me up to pain killer, antibiotics, and a hydration drip. Doug stayed with me until late that night and then went home for some good rest.
All night long, every hour on the hour, I had to beep for the nurse to bring me a bed pan. They acted put out that I was bothering them. Like it was my fault they were pumping all that liquid into me. It was the longest night I have ever spent in my lifetime. They didn't speak much English but one nurse told me the bed pan was called a piz. I'm not so sure she was telling me the truth because I can't find that definition anywhere. I think she meant "piss" pan and was laughing at me when I called it that for the next eight hours.
Finally, Wednesday morning and I was so happy to see Doug again. Now he could help me with the bed (piss) pan. Doug stayed with me all day and tried to keep my mind off of the horrible headache. He told the nurses about the headache, which I believe was from the pain medication, but they would just point at the IV to indicate they were giving me medicine for the pain. Of course, the pain just continued to get worse as the hours passed.
It was warm in my room because no air conditioning was running, so Doug kept opening the door to let some air in. One of the nurses scolded him, in Spanish, and told him the door had to stay shut. He obeyed some of the time!! I asked Doug to stay the night with me because I couldn't stand the thoughts of being left alone another night in a hospital where I couldn't communicate in English with anyone. It was comforting to know Doug was there, even though I know it must have been uncomfortable sleeping on his pull-out bed.
Thursday morning the doctor came to check on me and told me he wanted me to stay another night, but I asked him if I could go home. He told me they would need to do a blood test and if the results were good, then I could go home. They took some blood and proceeded with the test. In the meantime, Doug was trying to keep my mind off of my horrible headache and the nausea it was causing, by studying Spanish! Like that would help!! Word came back that I could go home. Hurray! The nurse took the IV's out of both arms and then rebandaged the three incisions. One in the naval and the other two on each side above my stomach. The nurse then pulled the drainage tube out, which was about two feet long, and as she pulled it out, it felt like my insides were coming with it and made a kind of slurping sound as it was removed.
As Doug and I were talking, we heard someone with a set of keys lock our door from the outside. We couldn't believe it. We had just been locked in our room. I told Doug not to make a fuss about it and to just wait for awhile. About two hours later, someone tried to get into our room to talk to us about my release from the hospital, but she couldn't open the door. Doug yelled through the door, "Yes, that's right, we've been locked in our room". A few minutes later, the same set of keys we heard lock the door, unlocked it and the nurse with keys in hand, came into our room and looked at us like, "so, you want to do something about it?" It was the very same nurse that scolded Doug for leaving the door open. She must have decided she would teach him a lesson for disobeying, by locking the door, or she was afraid we would leave the hospital without paying our bill. I don't know which, but that was a weird feeling. It was the closest I've ever felt to being locked up behind bars.
Doug helped me get dressed and then I waited in bed, trying to relax and get rid of the headache and nausea, while Doug took care of the release forms and the bill. Which, by the way, was around $9,000.00!  I tried to rest and ignore my headache, which had been non-stop for two days. He finally returned and we loaded up our things. As we stepped into the hallway, there was nothing but dead silence. I didn't even see a nurses station. No wheel chair service for this feeble old gringo. No in this hospital anyway. It was like we were in the "Twilight Zone" and everyone around us had disappeared into a black hole somewhere. Or was it us that was in the black hole?
 Into the elevator we went and down to the underground parking garage. Doug put me in the car and off we went for home. I could hardly wait to get out of there and be home in my little piso again and pretend it was all a bad dream, but the ride home proved to be less than a pleasant trip as I grabbed a few plastic bags so I could hurl one last time. "One for the road", so to speak. Home at last! Doug helped me to our piso and I made it to my bedroom, took a magic migraine pill, and went to sleep. I woke some hours later with headache gone!! Wow, what a great feeling.
It seems like it has taken me forever to get my strength back, but little by little it's coming. I was supposed to return to the hospital four days later, on Monday, but Doug couldn't talk me into going back again so soon. I still wasn't over my anxiety and fear of the whole experience. No way was I going back to that "Twilight Zone" again. Massaros, our mission nurse couple, came to visit and check on me later that week and I still looked like death warmed over with black circles under my eyes. I didn't care if I ever left my little piso or not, and forget putting makeup on or doing my hair! Not important at all.
Seventeen days later, it was time to have my sutures out and I was going to do it myself. Doug wouldn't let me and talked me into going to the hospital one last time. I did put makeup on and did my hair finally. We talked to our friend Lola, who looked at me and said,"Wow, you look wonderful." She hardly recognized me. Lola is the hospital financier, who speaks English very well and took good care of us while I was there for my stay. She had one of the nurses take the sutures out for me, which was painless and took less than five minutes. I was so relieved and anxious to leave the hospital for the last time.
Before we left, Doug talked to Lola about listening to our missionaries and she agreed and gave us her card. She is a great people person and so kind. She is the only good memory I have of this experience.
This saga will be in my memory forever and maybe one of these days I will be able to laugh about the whole ordeal, but as for now, I still have bad dreams of it all. Hopefully, there will be no more sagas like this to tell in the future.
Love you all, "The Patient"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


 We love these young adults!! We have the greatest job in the world!

Soccer day with our young adults from Almeria & Malaga  (some of our group left before the pic) darn!

Too much fun! Notice the uncontrollable laughing!!

Those girls are scrappers! We loved it.

Our goalie, Missionary Ferguson, throws the ball all the way to the other goal. That was their strategy for victory!!

3 of our missionaries (in front). They were so sore the next day, they could hardly walk!!

Felipe & Rafael (in front) Elder Peterson (far back)

Waiting their turn & cheering for their favorite team. John Rozan & Elizabeth Andarico foreground

Doug and Granada Stake representative, Claudio Segovia

(Left to right) Elders Roa, Peterson, Barahona, Doug, & Ferguson (who's covering BYU logo. He's a Utah fan!)

Young adults from Almeria

Even some of the older men got involved. They're still young at heart!


Malaga, our winning team of girls. Nicolia & sister Rocio, & Eva DeLuna (returned missionary & now married)

Misael Mayano accepting the trophy for our Malaga mens team from our Joven president, David Aparicio

A big lunch afterward for the hungry players and the fan in blue!

Monday, May 14, 2012

April / May Happenings

Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 10:21:30 -0600

Hola Family and Friends,

We are still here in Spain!! It's been a long time since I wrote last and a lot has been happening. I will try to get you up-to-date on a few things. Our joven group are a great bunch of young adults and are so patient with us and our lack of knowledge for the Spanish language. They are always happy to talk with us and help us understand what they are saying to us. We had a tri-stake Institute class a few weeks ago in Granada and drove carrying one of the young married couples with us following two other cars loaded with young adults. It is about two hours and 30 minutes from Malaga and a beautiful drive. The countryside is full of olive orchards, citrus groves and beautiful farmland on the hillsides everywhere. It was nice to see something besides tall buildings and cement everywhere! The meeting was great for these youth. They love to be instructed on the gospel principles. Elder Spainhower and I were asked to bear our testimonies, which we did with a translator by our side. We love these young adults more and more as we become part of their lives in our daily living here. One of our hermanas just returned from a mission here in Spain and was married last week to a returned missionary from the US who served here in Spain also. They were sealed in the Madrid temple but the laws here require that they marry civilly first because they don't recognize the temple marriage. We have two more of our young adults getting married in August. One couple from our joven group will be sealed in the temple and one sister is marrying outside the church. She is very active and diligent in living the gospel, so we know she is a great example to her fiancee, but evidently, he is not ready for the message yet. We hope he will be one of these days for we know how much it would mean to her to have him be part of her life in that area. We have about eight more young adults coming into our group who have turned 18 years of age. The numbers just keep growing.

One of our sisters will be leaving on her mission next month for Salt Lake City, Utah. She doesn't speak any more English than we do Spanish!! But she is so excited to go and serve. Also, one of our brothers is leaving for BYU Idaho in a month. Good things are happening to these young adults and they know it's because of the blessings of the gospel in their lives and their being true and faithful in all things.

Every Friday night is our Institute class and we always have a dinner afterward. To my surprise, they celebrated my birthday, along with two of the young adults. What a delight to feel part of the celebration. They honored me with a note from each of the young adults there that night, with a box of note paper and a little keepsake box. The sisters take turns being in charge of dinner each Friday. They like the pasta, tomato sauce, or potato and tomato sauce topped with corn, and either tuna fish or cut up hot dogs. The side dish is potato chips and mini cracker sticks. Then they use their fork and stir it all up into one big mixture of food. AND WOW, DO THEY EAT A LOT. Girls and boys alike. Their favorite dessert to serve is pre-made flan in a little cup like pudding or yogurt comes in. So then they gave me a turn to prepare the dinner. I fixed Lasagna, tossed green salad and rice krispie peanut butter bars. There was not a drop of food left so I guess they enjoyed it. Many of them wanted to take a rice kripie treat home to their mom, brother, sister, aunt & uncle. You get my drift! I love it. There's nothing more satisfying to me than making someone happy through their tummies!! 

On Easter Sunday and my birthday, we went to Fuenigrola to the English speaking branch for the first time. It was nice to listen to English again!! It is a very small branch with only about eight sisters in RS. We drove back to Malaga along the coastline and enjoyed the beautiful ocean scenery. It was the first warm day we've had since living here.

We finally got our paper work for our impodernization. Now all we have to do is go back to Madrid for our citizen cards. Hopefully, that will be the end of the long string of paper work. We were supposed to go to Madrid on April 26th with all the missionaries here in our zone, but we missed going, as I was in the local hospital for gall bladder surgery. We will have to go by ourselves next week and hopefully we can figure out the whole thing on our own. Yikes!
We have a District meeting with the Elder and Sister missionaries every Tuesday morning and their energy and excitement for missionary work is contagious. They are having a baptisms almost every Sunday. It's great to see the light of Christ in these new converts faces as they enter the waters of baptism. It brings tears to my every time we witness it. The Cubans are accepting the gospel rapidly and staying strong in their commitments they have made at their baptism. We have enjoyed bowling with all the missionaries on Monday for their P-day. They are kind enough to include us old folks so we treat them to ice cream after at Burger King. Elder Ferguson ended his mission and left for his home in Utah. We were sad to see him go. Sister Woodward's companion left for a new area so she was alone for about six hours until her new companion arrived. That meant she needed to be with me as her companion until her new companion arrived. I was lucky to go to an investigators appointment with her. It was exciting for me to actually be part of teaching an investigator. Of course I didn't understand a thing that was said, and I just sat there with a grin on my face. I must have been bad for luck for the day because the lady we were suppose to teach, met us outside her apartment building and wouldn't even let us come up to her apartment. We sat in the hot sun on a park bench and she began her story of why she wasn't interested at this time. She was very kind about the whole thing and we were disappointed but I know she will come across the missionaries again one of these days and maybe she will be ready to listen then.
The weather is warming up a little more each week and the parrots are nesting in the trees. It's great to watch them with their bright green color sitting in the trees and happily chattering away.
We love and miss you, Elder and Hermana Spainhower

Janice Butler Spainhower
Skype address: janice.spainhower2
PHONE:  801-544-4804

ADDRESS:  Calle Orfila 29 2A
                 29002 Malaga