Friday, April 1, 2016

On to Cordoba

Although this is being written on April 1 it is not an April fools trick. I am sitting at home waiting for Sophia to return from the office. We have a mission van packed with most of our things. We have been moved to the city of Córdoba. I say most of our things only because the last of them have yet to be put in containers or boxes or bags to go into the van. These last weeks have been very Busy. 
I'm sorry that my blogs are not very interesting. I have heard from one of the readers, whose opinion I value, and they wished that I could make them more exciting. Several of our friends also on missions we're shared with me as examples of more pizzazz, I don't even usually include pictures. Pizzazz and excitement don't naturally occur to me. Anyway this will be what it is and I will try to get back, If I had ever accomplished, to a weekly (or should that be weakly) publishing. Hopefully Sophia Will be able to assist me in getting some of her pictures into the blog.
Sophia is very sad to leave the mission office. We have a wonderful chance to meet the mission leaders at the monthly leadership conference. We also then get to house six of them for the one night. Then when new missionaries arrive we are part of the greeting and the instruction to the new missionaries. Again six of the missionaries we'll then spend one or two nights with us. I however have found the amount of work not only daunting but even nearly impossible for me to get through. The amount of technology that is required is foreign to me. So I am grateful for Pres. Andersen's decision to put a senior couple into Córdoba.
Cordova is Spain's 10th largest city. It has beautiful Roman ruins. The church only has a small branch in this lovely city. The branch is a lovely rented building just a short five minute walk from the Roman historical area. Just a few years ago this little branch Had over 100 active members, but with the serious recession that Spain has suffered they have left the this agricultural Area and have gone to where there's a greater likelihood of jobs. Last Sunday there were probably 32 members in the congregation. One of the very bright spots is at the branch leadership is well established.
Normally there are only two missionaries in the city. But with the recent arrival of 16 missionaries there are two sets of Young elders. However the total number of missionaries is decreasing in just three more weeks and so Córdoba Will have the one set of young missionaries and one senior couple (us).
Our new apartment is on the street, called Calle Pintor Espinoza #12. Just across the street is a lovely park and we are just a short 10 minute walk to the Roman ruins area. We will be having a car but our plan is to walk directly to church. Parking in that area can become difficult.
This city has many fountains and many parks in part because Cordova is the hottest area of Spain. We were fortunate in having the mission president decide that all missionaries should have air conditioning. So are three-bedroom apartment does have air-conditioning. The building I believe is seven stories high, you may not believe this but I did not count how many floors where in the building, and has an incredible view from the roof. We are on the fifth floor. Clothes dryers are seldom found it apartments. Therefore each apartment has an area of the roof where there are clotheslines. We went and yes the clotheslines are very acceptable but the view is much nicer. Normally After we do a laundry we have portable aluminum drying racks, they are made of an aluminum Frame with clothesline material cording through the frame, this is where we usually dry our clothes.
I am going to publish this on the blog even though I just made available the blog written at the end of February. If I don't this may also sit around for a month before I put it into the block. We are very blessed to have such wonderful friends and we think of you surprisingly often. Oh yes I forgot to tell you. Last week, maybe it was 10 days ago, Sophia thought she might be having a heart attack so we have gotten to know the Spanish healthcare system a Little bit. Yesterday sheTook the stress test and passed with flying colors. It was only stress and the uncertainty of the things that we're going on here. I mean, while have rebroken my fourth metatarsal of my left foot. We are not going to care for it until we get to Córdoba. After reviewing the x-rays I believe the best thing to do is the take off my fourth toe and pull it out that part of the metatarsal that is causing problems to the ball of my left foot. We have not yet met with the surgeon to see if that is possible. I broke my foot, actually we really don't know when or where, but believe it happened when we were walking in Córdoba. But it took two days before the swelling and the blood pooling in my toes told us that something was wrong. 
Also you may be aware that we have had now three good size earthquakes since the first of the year. The first one was the most recognizable. It clearly woke us from our sleep and we had to discuss what we should do and where should we should go (no where). The second one woke us up and we had four missionaries staying with us and I wondered if I should awaken them them and have get dressed. We did not. The third one last night did not even wake me up yet it was the strongest one so far. It was 6.3.

until next time from cordoba. oh yes i put up two posts today.
This was written in late feb.  i am only getting it posted now (April 1).  Soon i will have another. 
Another three weeks have gone by, how the time flies. Sophia gave an excellent talk last Sunday in sacrament meeting. She read most of the talk but did a wonderful job. It seems that they're going to make her the nursery teacher. She will have a class of four students. The branch president was changed two weeks ago. It was a necessary change and probably was quite overdue. So very much is asked of the leaders in the small struggling units. I have been asked to be the branch presidents first counselor. The stake turned down the request the first week hoping that it could be filled by local member. But that is not the case, so my name has been again presented. We will see tomorrow what will happen. (it happened)

Two weeks ago on Tuesday the president asked if we could stop what we were doing and make a run to a small community 2+ hours to the east. An Elder has been playing soccer hit the ball with his head and received a concussion. He is had a history of concussions from the other activities that he's participated in. The parents we're very understanding knew that we were doing the best we could.The headaches had gotten worse and worse, the medicine from a local doctor was not helping and the president wanted the mission paramedic to be with him as a neurologist examined him. As we visited with them and they went to the hospital we made spaghetti and a salad for when they got home. The neurologist in the states wish shared the x-rays and visited over the phone with the neurologist that was treating him here. We even had medicine hand carried from the US to try to treat him.Now today 20 February the elder arrived home yesterday at six in the evening. It was a very difficult decision to make for the president and the elder did not wish to go home. But he could not do missionary work he could barely stay standing for an hour at a time.

We have also had our first Group of missionaries return to the states and also our first group of missionaries arrive. We now are two missionaries more then we were. The city that was opened was the city of Nerja where we go on Sunday. It is wonderful to have them there. We also had our first additional senior couple arrive. They are going to the far western part of the mission to an area called Cacares. Since they were arriving we invited the other senior couples to also come in and we had an afternoon together. We went to one of the local tourist spots a deep cave discovered in the 1950s. Then we had lunch together, a late lunch for us. And everybody returned home.

Other things to keep us busy we had my accounting contact from Germany come and spend three days with us in the office. I also was given an assistant. This has relieved me of so many daily pressures.