Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 7, 2016
Seventh of May Weakly report
Pres. Andersen

The week began busy. As you may recall late Saturday night or early Sunday morning last, the branch president's father died. He,and his family, were not at church on Sunday but it was mentioned that the viewing of the father would be all of Sunday morning and Sunday evening and the burial would be Monday morning. There would be a mass Monday morning at the Catholic church near his home on the south side of Cordova. 

On Sunday afternoon we had the Canero Family over for Sunday lunch and family home evening. The lunch was an amalgamation of my ideas and Spanish ingredients and did not turn out very well. However everyone was polite and ate their portion. Of course Sophia's dessert of fresh fruit and dulce de leche and pound cake was a wonderful success. We then had a family home evening in gaining a testimony of the book Mormon. Sophia felt that that was the most important work we have done since being in Spain. The 15-year-old daughter, Christina, is struggling with her teen years. She opened up to us about some of her fears. A wonderful success.

At 7 o'clock we went to the viewing. President Clavero is the only member in his family. He put on such a wonderful smile as we made ourselves through the crowd of family members and friends. Sister Clavero was equally overjoyed to see us. She gave sister Hopkins a hug and then just held her close for several minutes. The death was not a surprise but he was a father and a grandfather who will be missed enormously.

Again the next morning the four of us attended the mass and then later the placing of the casket in the vault. How sad life is for those who do not know of the gift of Christ atonement. Several Family members had to leave the area because they were overcome with the finality of death for them.

We knew we had the Gibsons coming Monday evening to spend the night but we also had plans to teach an investigator in our home at 8 o’clock.  We knew that they, the Gibsons, would not be opposed to it and would even enjoy participating in the lesson.  However the lesson canceled.  On Tuesday night we had just about called it a day when the elders called and asked if we could  attend a  meeting immediately. Are most usual answer was “of course! That is why we are here in Spain!” The contact had just gotten off work and needed to prepare dinner for the other older person that she cared for. She was to be at his home by 10 o'clock. All four of us squeezed into her home/ kitchen. Sometimes we cooked, sometimes we washed dishes, we were always talking and sometimes we bore testimony of the message we wanted to share with her. All in all We  gave a partial lesson on the plan of salvation and left her home shortly before 11. What a wonderful evening. (and this  from the couple who likes to be in bed by 9:30).

On Wednesday we fasted for another investigator and also for Christina. But the week was very much overshadowed with medicinal issues. We needed to get sister Hopkins into a doctor. The Spanish medical system is a labyrinth all of it's own. However once you have the correct names or notes this system can be greatly abbreviated. At one Dr. To whom we carried a note from an earlier doctor, without an appointment we were told to sit and they would squeeze us in. The couple right behind us needing the same procedure was told they would have to come back next week on Wednesday. A lot of time can be used up in trying to get through the labyrinth. Wednesday is also English Conversation classes. I made Rice crispy treats but they didn't go over very well. I had six beginners in my class. I realize for the beginers I need to have more material written down. The advanced class does not need as much preparation. Sophia uses the book Tom Sawyer for part of her class.

On Thursday evening we went to teach a part member family that lives 30 miles outside of town. They live in a small farming community of only 800 homes. She made us an infusion, her term, of six different ingredients. These included Orange peel, clove, cinnamon, and several others. We teased her that she was missing the tail of gnat, and the whiskers of a cat but the result was exceptional. We hope that she will come in and show Sophia how to make it.

Of course all this was overshadowed with my operation on Friday. We were told to be at the hospital at 1 o'clock fasting. By 11 o'clock I was ready to be there. And so shortly after 12 o'clock we left for the hospital on a somewhat roundabout path. We arrived to check in at 12:25 and the check in man was the same from two weeks earlier. He immediately knew who I was and said come this way. There was a group of probably 30 people all waiting for me so we could go up, Like a tour group, and be assigned to each of our individual rooms. The hospital orderly would take us each to our individual rooms, explain to us the proper functions and dress, hospital gowns, and told us they would be by to pick us up sometime later. By 10 to 1 I was ready. 

Just before 5 o'clock Carlos finally came to get me. I was wheeled Down to the operating area and a team of five people introduce themselves and made sure I was me and I wanted my left foot to be worked up. Felt tip markings we're put up my left hand and leg. At 5 o'clock the doctor began operating. At about 5:45 I woke up and he was sewing up the wound. I clearly remember him using A power saw on at least four different occasions during the operation. The vibrations would come up through my knee and leg and I could feel the vibrations but there was no pain. There are two long incisions between the fourth and fifth toe and the big toe and the second toe. My guess is the incision is over 3 inches long. I honestly was not impressed with his sewing job as there seems to be a large welt where the skin was brought together. He showed me a picture, An x-ray, he used four screws in each of the metatarsals. Each toe was shortened and you can distinguish where he made the cuts. Each screw was $100. One screw broke as it was going in but I still had to pay the hundred dollars for it. So much for the lifetime warranty.

Sophia spent the night in the hospital with me. It was so lovely having her nearby. It is now Saturday at 7:30 and there still is no pain and have not taken any of the pain medication that they gave for me. But you should also know though there is no feeling in the left foot. Maybe that is why there is no pain.

Breakfast was another unique experience. I was brought in one cup of warm milk. There was a normal bread roll and a small container of what looks like Green jam. It was a little bit larger, Perhaps twice as large, as a jam container in a restaurant in the states. But whatever was in side was very fluid. After opening we learned that was olive oil. So breakfast was want milk, a roll, and some olive oil. However I should say the service and the attention in the hospital was excellent. They were courteous they were concerned and helpful in every way possible.

Know that we are well! Getting to know the Spanish Health system is a new adventure. We are trying to listen to His Voice and we love where we are serving. Thank you for your friendships and prayers and rejoice in all the beauty and happiness that surrounds you.

Elder and sister Hopkins

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