June 16, 2012
The weeks continue to go by and we continue to find more things to do. It's amazing to me that no matter how busy we are, there is always time to do more when the Lord calls on us and tells us that we must stretch ourselves more and more. We are being blessed every day as we are happy to serve in any way that is needed. We have such perfect examples all around us, as we associate and work with the missionaries in our area and also the members of our ward and stake. The gospel is true without a doubt and it is such a boost for our spirits to watch the gospel grow right before our eyes.
We had to say goodbye to some more of our missionaries this month. We get very close to some of these Elders and Sisters and then we have to let them leave us for another area. They will always be a part of our lives though and then we have more great ones take their places for another short time. Having them over for dinner is a great way for us to pay back for the blessings our own sons received while on their missions. We also get to know them better and truly love watching them eat like they truly enjoy every bite. What a pleasure it is to be able to help in such a small way, by filling their tummies!! They really know how to twist me around their little fingers by telling me how good my food is and asking if they can come to dinner again and again. I love it and if that's the only good thing I can do while here on my mission, then I will do it the best way I can and enjoy every minute of it.
We had a visit from Elder Ferguson a few weeks ago, who returned with his family to visit the areas he served in while here in Spain. It was wonderful to see him again and meet his family. What a joy to see some of the little kids run up to him and give him a big hug around his legs. These missionaries make lifelong friends and deep loving impressions on people whom they serve. They will never be forgotten.
We had a wonderful visit with Doug's son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Kelly, during the end of May and first part June. It was only a short four day visit, but we are happy they were able to be with us for that short time. What a nice surprise when they handed us a huge box of See's Chocolates!! The whole box was gone before they left us. I have to confess, most of the chocolates were eaten by Hermana Spainhower. I need to go on a major diet now!! We toured in Gibraltar to see the "Rock of Gibraltar", the streets of Malaga with its cathedrals and old castles and sidewalk cafes. It was fun to see some of our family and share a little of our mission with them. We were also blessed to have them help us with some great ideas for our Young Adult group. We hated to say goodbye to them so soon after they arrived.
Our FHE with the Jovens are changing a little. Before we came, they would just have a lesson, talk for an hour and then go home. I now take a treat or dessert and plan a game of some kind each week, which makes it more like a FHE we have with our families in the US. They seem to enjoy a little extra fun and sweets as part of their FHE. Most of them are so busy with school and work that it's difficult for them to spend a lot of time at church, so we try to get in as much as we can while they are there.
We had a wonderful Zone Conference on the 14th of June with 40 or more missionaries in attendance and it was an uplifting and spiritual day, as it always is. This day was a special one because our President Clegg and his wife are leaving for home after three years of serving here. We will truly miss their happy and go-get-um spirit that they carry with them all the time. They have had six grandchildren born while they have been gone. I can't even imagine missing out on those babies' births. What a sacrifice that would be. The Cleggs gave us all a ring with "PRO" inscribed on it, which means, "Pray, Read & Obey". That was their gift to us for doing the Lord's work.
You can check out the Malaga Mission Blog at: spainmalagamission.blogspot.com.es/ and see what's happening here in Spain. As you get into the site, you can see some pics of Elder Spainhower and me by going to: June listings and choosing [Zone Conference] & then choose ["There is a time for everything"]. Also in May listings: choose [Zone conference].
All of you know what tracting means, right? Well, Elder Spainhower and I went with two Sister Missionaries and our Joven President, David, to visit an inactive sister to invite her to join us at our activities and church. We were to walk to her piso so we started from our ward building at 7:40pm and we were still walking at 8:50 pm without finding this sister's piso. I sat down at a bus stop and said, "I'm sorry, I can't go any farther. I will take the bus back home." They told me it was only two more blocks so I jumped up, but not too fast though, and off we went again. My right foot was cramping and the groin in my right leg was completely done for, but I dragged myself off the seat and followed the leaders with Doug holding me up all the way. Did we find the lost sheep? NO!!
We called and found out we were not even close to where she lived. Our kind sister missionary kept apologizing and was so very sorry and even called a member of the ward to come and pick us up. So Elder Spainhower, I, and David rode back to the ward building in the comforts of an air conditioned BMW. Lots better than the city bus. By the time we arrived home it was almost 10:00 pm. Now that's what I call tracting, and "My shoes are not made for walking!!!" It did give us a taste of what these missionaries do all day long though.
This Saturday is Seminary graduation in Granada so we will travel to Granada on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 and won't return until very late. I will be playing the piano for a group to sing for the graduation. The graduation goes from 5 to 6:30, and then they will start dancing at 9:00. I have no idea what we will be doing during the time between graduation and the dance!! I made some bookmarks for the graduates, (with a little help from Doug and the Elders), which we will present to them that night. The bookmark tells them about our JAS program, activities, times, etc. We are excited to have these young adults join us. New blood is always a boost to any program.
Our Spanish is still progressing little by little. We will continue to study and pray we can make a difference somehow and in some small way as we serve here in Malaga.
We are always happy to hear news from home--we thank you for keeping us informed of new events and happenings in the lives of our families and friends.
May we all remember who we are and why we are here on this earth. We send our love and pray for your well being each and every day.