Thursday, October 16, 2014

Closing scenes from Madrid

This may well be our last blog, depending on how hectic things get next week.  There are so many experiences that never made it on here; I feel bad.  But they're locked away in our memories of this wonderful place called Spain and will never be forgotten.  Most of them evolve around the people we have met, from literally all over the world, while serving here.
But here are a few shots:
Our last Sunday evening missionary singing time on the Temple steps.  This group was about 1/2 going to missions in Russia and 1/2 going to missions in Spain.  We sang both in Russian and Spanish.  And they sounded awesome even without our piano, which was shipped home several weeks ago.
Only 4 Elders going to Spain, the rest to Russia.  About 2/3 of the Sisters are going to Spain.  The Spanish missionary ratio was something like 18:4, Sisters to Elders.
2.  We finished inspecting 18 (or was is 16?) missionary apartments this past month.  Wonderful to see lots of missionaries.  Fun to see where they live, and HOW they live.  Most of them do quite well for first time away from home.  Some need a little instruction.  By and large the Sisters do just fine

Sister Toone from our Stake, in Madrid MTC, called to serve in Madrid
Rolf and Ruth Crapo with their son, Cade, just off his mission to Malaga, shopping in Sol district of Madrid. Rolf Crapo grew up in our ward in Sandy. Now his baby is a return missionary
Last Young Single Adult dance for us.  This was the scene in the Stake Center the last Friday of every month.  Usually had about 100-150 YSAs.

One of my favorite positions, listening to conference talk with my frozen peas ice pack on my knee

Elder Larsen getting a haircut.  I've done well over 1,000 haircuts while here.

My last excursion around the city.  Fun looking wood shop on calle Mayor

On last excursion, found the oldest church still standing in Madrid.  From the 1200s.

Bell tower was the main thing still standing.  Wanted to go inside, but unfortunately many of the churches are closed on Mondays, our P-day
One of the old Spanish guitar makers in Madrid.  The proprietor was inside working on his latest guitar order, with lots of sound boards and specialty woods laying all around the 3 rooms of his workshop.  This is a 3rd generation shop; some of the family lives upstairs.
Oldest market in Madrid, next to Plaza Mayor.

Inside the San Miguel Market.  Busy place at lunch time.  

Spanish lunch at my favorite restaurant next to the Plaza Opera.  We had lunch here with Dave and Heather and the boys when they visited us.  Best baked potato in Madrid, and the sausage - muy buena

Our favorite little girls in Spain - Mikaela and Juliana.  Their mom is from Italy and works in the Temple

Favorite Mexican restaurant - Rosa Negra

Rosa Negra with some of the missionaries, Riggs, Chapples and friend Stephanie Wenger

Going home on the bus at night, about 9:30.  Spaniard stay out late, having dinner about 9:00 pm most evenings, so it's a busy time on public transportation

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Pix

The Hermanas of B6 with a girl who will be baptized.

The District--H. Rojas, E. Ridd, E. McWhorter, H. Fowers, H. Galvez, H. Clements, H. Hadley, E. Larsen, E. Nickerl.

Basketball on P-day--it's a vicious sport!
Here are some more random pictures of what we do.

Hermanas Sanchez and Frost in Segovia (I think that is Hermana Riggs peaking over Bruce's shoulder).

Hermanas Braithwaite, me, Schaumann, and Nydegger

Being the nurse.

She fell down the stairs and broke her ankle (not me).

With Elder Barlow--his grandparents were our dorm parents and we used to babysit his father when he was a baby.

One of the highlights of the week--singing by the temple.  We will miss this.  Our piano leaves for home next week!

With Elder Bartholomew--his mother is a friend of mine.

The Elders collect ties.  This Hermana collects scarves!

Giancarlo and Carla Giorgino--a very special couple from Italy that taught in the MTC

With our special friends the Giorginos.

These are boxes of petunias arranged to look like a bush.

Our dear friends Jack Tyndale and Marta Brossa on their sealing day.

Random Pictures

Here are just a few things that we have been doing lately, including piso inspections.  Have to make sure the living quarters of our missionaries are clean and safe.
With Herman Meredith Grace Christian on her last Sunday in Spain.

Live wires in an apartment.

Broken door.

Broken vanity

Las chicas de oro.  Maria Jesus, Maria Carmen, Presi, and Maltilda

The Elders need to learn how to dust!



Love this painting in the Hermana's apartment.

This one also!

Old subway car

Hermana Toone from our stake now in the Madrid MTC

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sevilla, Spain

June 11 and 12 we traveled to Sevilla, the ancient and long-standing capital of the autonomous community of Andalucia in southern Spain, one of 17 autonomous communities that make up modern-day Spain.  Located along the River Guadalquivir, the only truly navigable river in Spain, it was built on the foundation of the Roman city of Hispalis, which was later expanded during the occupation of the Moors, Muslims from North Africa, from 712 A.D. to 1248 A.D.  At that time it was brought under the Christian kingdom of Castille and later made the seat of government under the reign of Isabella and Ferdinand.
With the discovery of the New World, Sevilla became one of the economic centers of the world,  as its port monopolized the trans-oceanic trade for centuries. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville for the first circumnavigation of the Earth.  It is a city rich in history and amazing architecture, and while we were not able to see all of it, we saw enough to truly fall in love with it.  Following are only a few of the many, many pictures we took while there for 2 days.

We had a very comfortable hotel suite with 14-foot ceilings, well air-conditioned and a fabulous bed.

Courtyard entrance into our hotel rooms.

Streets outside our hotel.  We stayed in the Santa Justa part of the city; old and charming with narrow streets and lots of alluring shops. Here the workers were putting up shade screens to give some relief from the heat.  Narrow streets actually help because they have shade most of the day.

Looking through the portal of the "Gate of Forgiveness", across the Court of Oranges and at the north facade of the famous Sevilla Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the 3 largest cathedral overall.  Loved this shot of the flying buttresses, so typical of Gothic architecture.  Michelle you would have loved this place; Sevilla was made for you.  Lots of shops and amazing history and architecture.  This stuff is OLD!

Another shot of the cathedral.  The horse carriages hang out on this side because of the shade.

Antonio, our horse carriage driver and well-informed guide of the city.  If you go to Sevilla, definitely take the buggy ride; you'll see a lot more of the city than you'll ever cover on foot, and learn a lot more about what you're seeing from the driver.  At least if it's Antonio.

Torre del Oro, situated on the banks of the river where the Old Spanish galeóns docked with their New World treasures.

Our favorite restaurant in Sevilla.  You're right, it's not typical Spanish food, but it was GOOD Mexican.

Relaxing in the air-conditioned comfort of Iguanas Ranas waiting for the delicious food.  Beautiful tile work, for which Sevilla is world-famous.  More on that later

Giralda tower, the icon of the city.  Bell tower of the Cathedral of Sevilla.  When the bells chimed it was pretty neat.

Plaza Mayor of Sevilla.  Just a part; it stretched for a few blocks.

Viv's favorite dress shop.  A flamenco dress almost identical to the one on the doll that her dad brought her from Spain back in the 60's.  And by the way, the ladies still wear these for fiestas in all imaginable colors and patterns.  Beautiful.

Inside the Cathedral of Sevilla

Tomb of Christopher Columbus inside the Cathedral

Main Choir Vault located in the center of the Cathedral.  I can't describe the exquisite woodwork contained here.  The organ is one of the finest instruments in all of Europe, and we got to hear it.  It was awesome!

One of the two large chambers of organ pipes, one on each side of the main vaulted columns of the nave.

Amazing altar of pure silver housed inside the cathedral in one of the side chapels.

Some of the treasures and relics in the treasury of the Cathedral.  There were rooms full of stuff, all amazing; art and works of gold and silver, just kind of mind-boggling.

An example of the relics and treasures in the Cathedral.

Across the river in the Triana section of Sevilla, famous for its tile and ceramics.  When you park in our driveway at home you'll be able to see what we bought here.

One of the many ceramic/porcelain shops in Triana, and the one where we purchased our keepsake.

It felt like we stopped at every dress shop in Sevilla.  Viv saw these little aprons in the window and I couldn't say "no".  We also bought our Flamenco tickets from this lady-to a little "off the beaten path" authentic Flamenco show later that night.

Arriving at Case de la Guitarra for the Flamenco.  Wonderful air conditioning which put us in a good mood for the show.  This place was tiny.  It's a museum of guitars of Spain back to about 1800 showing the evolution of the Flamenco guitar.  They also put on authentic shows, not the big tourist production type shows.  The guitarist was absolutely amazing and my favorite part of the show.

The stage.  One guitarist, one singer, and one dancer; all amazing.  No pictures or videos were allowed of the actual performance.  Sad.

Walking back to our hotel in the evening we ran into a neighborhood fiesta.  I think they were celebrating hundreds of years of a local beer or wine brand, I'm not sure which.  I'm sure they had named it after some local saint (they're are countless celebrations in all parts of Spain and they're always named after some local saint).  But the music was great as they marched down the streets singing and playing.

Dresses in the neighborhood fiesta

And what's a neighborhood fiesta without Andalusian horses????