Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


It has been a fun and spiritual Christmas with the Missionaries.  The 6 Los Cristianos missionaries came to Santa Cruz Christmas Eve for a little caroling, a devotional and Christmas dinner.  Being together feels like family.  I am continually impressed with these great young adults who have committed a good chunk of their young lives to teaching Christ.  Their days are very structured.  They don't have a lot of free time for fun, so they enjoy the time they have.  Because they are in the trenches, our goal is to make their job easier and more enjoyable any way we can.  I am happily cooking for them and they are very appreciative of all that I do.  Elder Anderson washes more dishes than he every imagined.  It is hard to explain the spirit these young people carry with them.  The 4 Hermanas stayed with us last night and on Christmas morning we all had breakfast together. I made 4 dozen cinnamon rolls and 16 missionaries ate every last one along with scrambled eggs with bacon, a crock pot full of hash browns and cheese, and hot chocolate. Some of them stayed for some cards after. 
The Crazy picture of all after breakfast.  They still know how to have fun.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


After the big storm we wanted to see if we could see some snow on Teide from an overlook at the top of La Laguna.  It is only 15 minutes from our house.  The valley of La Laguna is amazingly green and lush from the rain.   We love this valley.
I will definitely paint this someday
Looking toward Teide, which is in the clouds on the right.
We waited for awhile and some of the clouds moved to give us a veiw of the top of Teide.  It doesn't look like much snow from this side.
We played games at FHE this week.  Our core group was otherwise occupied, but we had 4 great investigators and 1 recent convert and 8 missionaries, who are allowed to come if they bring an investigator.  They are working hard at finding JAS investigators lately.  We had a fun evening playing Jenga, cards and pingpong. There are more photos on the JAS site 

I have a pile of beach rocks from Los Cristianos, so I made each missionary a little Christmas momento.  It says:  Jesus - the Best Gift.  These great young people give that gift every day in amazing ways.  I put a Guanche (The indigenous people from the islands)  symbol on it and a greeting from us on the back.   The poinsettia is my only decoration. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The rain continued until Wednesday.  But we have had off and on sunshine since.  The weather is cool.  We wear a sweatshirt or jacket all day.  We hear reports of some deaths and serious destruction from flooding around the island during the week of torrential rains. 

We saw a little snow on Teide when we arrived in February last year but not this much.

Friends from Los Cristianos, Marlen and Guillermo, went to Teide to get cold and build a snowman..

The JAS made Popsicle stick nativities with sticks sent by my benefactor Bro. Money.

Elder Fransen gets the prize for the most original.  See more on the JAS site.
On Sunday night the missionaries have FHE in the Santa Cruz Ward.  Now that school has started we get a smaller group and few children, but we meet anyway because some come and we always have a nice time.  We made prayer rocks once and they loved it.  Tonight it was Nativities made with popsicle sticks for the Christmas tree.  This is our group.

These are the Nativities they made.  Everyone likes to do something original.  We still love doing third grade crafts. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


This has been a week of Torrential rains.  The island has been under high alert.  Because Tenerife is a desert island they are not used to this much rain, especially in the South.  We were in Los Cristianos for 6 months with one rain storm in February when we arrived and then nothing  until after we left.  There are dry washes everywhere here with little vegetation and they have been overflowing with mud and rocks going onto the roads.  Yesterday we saw a big waterfall coming off a ledge next to the freeway in Santa Cruz.  It was Elder Anderson's birthday on Wednesday, our district meeting day, and I made a cake and planned for a little celebration there, but we weren't sure we were going to have it.  The hour before our Zone leader said we were go so I was glad I had made the cake.  We ordered pizza and had our party after all.  24 hours later it is still raining.  The map looks like it might cease on Saturday.  At least it is not snow.  Here are some you tube videos that I could find.

 This is in Guaza close to Los Cristianos

Saturday, November 30, 2013


I hope we never have to repeat the pace of this week.  After a big JAS activity on Friday night making Sharpie Tye Dye, we drove to Los Cristianos the next morning to be there for our JAS Luis, who received his mission call to Barcelona.  Then we took sister Nydegger and Phillips to lunch, fearing someone might leave this transfer, and it happened.  Sister Phillips went back to Madrid on Monday.  We cried a lot.  On Saturday night one of our JAS was baptized. I take cake for everyone when one of our JAS is baptized because I think it is important to have a social after and celebrate the event.

Our JAS group at Jorge's baptism.

Elder Christensen and Elder Eskelson taught Jorge after he requested missionaries from the internet.  I need to find out more of his story.

On Sunday the Mendoza family from the South came to dinner.  (I am not sure when I found time to cook).  Valerie is leaving for Utah in a week.  We have been helping her with her English for 6 months (3 by Skype)  She is enrolled in a 9 month English course at BYU.  We love their family dearly. When they left we went to Santa Cruz for FHE.

Then on Monday morning 3 of our island missionaries were flying back to Madrid as per transfers and the Missionaries wanted to get together, so I made breakfast for all of them.  I was on busy overload and forgot to take pictures.  Then we went to the airport and later picked up Sister Christian, who will be serving in Los Cristianos with sister Nydegger, and drove the two hours down and back. 

Then I started on Thanksgiving dinner.  We ordered roasted chickens from the African Market and I made stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, a vegetable dish, fresh rolls, cranberry chutney, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie and a carrot apple cake with my Grandmother's vinegar dip (my favorite)  Mike brought us sunflowers from the African Market but my real sunflowers are sisters Judy and Money.

This is our new elder, Bohne with the food but not the deserts.

Ready to chow down.  The missionaries had to eat, visit a little, and head back to work. They don't get many holidays. We wanted the missionaries from the South to join us but couldn't get permission.  Then on Friday night we had a going away party for Alejandro, who is leaving for a mission to Mexico next week, but he was hung up in Madrid working on Visa problems and didn't arrive until 10:30 PM.  We played ping pong and games with the group but had to visit with him when he arrived, and so we didn't get home until after midnight.  Then the next morning we went to Institute at 9:00 AM.  I take a snack.  (Thank heaven for leftover carrot cake)  Today I spent most of the day napping and catching up on blogs.  Thank you dear Heavenly Father for the energy to do all I need and want to do and for the awesome people we get to be associated with here.  

And I didn't even mention 3 nights of English classes and District meeting.

Mike ordered this HLJ ring (Spanish CTR)  to present to Alejandro before leaving to Mexico.

Monday, November 25, 2013


In keeping with our decision to have an art or craft project once a month with the JAS it has kept me hopping to come up with ideas.  Those months roll around very quickly.  Thanks to Pinterest I have been able to find some fun things.  Last Friday we did Sharpie tie dye art.   I ordered some pens and had them sent to Leif before he came to visit .  They were just in time for this month's activity.  Basically you draw a design on fabric and then drop or spray alcohol and the colors run and spread in interesting ways.  It was lots of fun.

Click on the slide show for larger pictures.


Last week our youngest son Leif and his girlfriend Stephanie visited for 5 days.  We had a great time showing them the island and playing some cards.  (Stephanie was the champ)  We went to Anaga, at the top of the ducks head, which we hadn't visited before and it was beautiful. Click on photos for a full screen slide show.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


On p-day Monday 6 missionaries from Los Cristianos and 6 from Santa Cruz went to Monkey Park in Los Cristianos.  Mike and I never went when we lived there but it never would have been this fun with just the two of us.  The Lemurs roam free in a little area of the park and you can entice them to climb on your shoulder or lap.  One little Lemur was especially friendly.  Once we got it to climb on someone he would crawl from person to person if we got close together.  He didn't like to be petted as Elder Anderson can attest to since he got bit trying and a young Elder also.  In another area one of the  monkeys would hold your hand if you reached for his.  Everyone managed to get a turn and he never seemed to tire of reaching out.  The crocodiles and iguanas were cool and a very cute friendly turtle and many fat guinea pigs of various colors. (Because we all bought a bag of food that no one but the pigs would eat.   It was a lot of fun.  Being with the young missionaries is the best!

This big chimp managed the best trick I have ever seen, all on his own.  He was pushing the red plastic thing (it looked like a smashed gas can) around and around the cement floor of the large area where he was caged.  It made a horrible noise but he was having  a lot of fun doing it.  It kind of looked like his skate board.  We all stood there in a little group watching.  After a few minutes he stopped and went to a corner to get a drink.  Then he ambled around and when we were all standing there having a nice little chat he took a flying leap high upon the fence and sprayed the water from his mouth all over us.  Some of us got quite a lot.  I was surprised he had that much water that he was holding in his mouth because it was a couple of minutes from drink to the spit.  It was hilarious.  He then got his little toy and started pushing it again.  We were all quite impressed.  He managed to spray us again but we had moved away a little further the next time and he didn't have as much water in his mouth.  I think he sneaked a quick drink hoping to surprise us again.

When we arrived in Los Cristianos last February this beautiful Bougainvillaea, shaped like a Dinosaur or maybe a monkey, was growing across the top of the entrance to Monkey Park. (you can see how large it is as per the cars)  Sadly a large windstorm blew it down some months later.
Here is a link to the pictures on Picasa if you want to copy any of them

Sunday, November 10, 2013


We had such a great turnout last week for our Halloween party (32 at one count) that I was very nervous for this week wondering if we would have a big group again and I would have enough food.  I cooked for 20 and that is how many ate.  I didn't want to depend on the "loaves and the fishes" too many times.  We have a ping pong table and thought it was time to get it out but only a small number can play at a time so we made paper airplanes besides.  They had a lot of fun.  Two of our young adults are getting baptized soon and the last two weeks we have had several investigators come with the missionaries.  We are pleased in that only 3 were attending when we arrived..."if you build it they will come."  

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Last P-day the missionaries met at Puerto De La Cruz, which is about 20 minutes north of us.  It may be the most charming resort city on the island.  It was a short day with not much time to shop like we wanted, mostly we looked for each other  and had lunch, but for us it is always a joy to be with these young missionaries.  The Elders from the South had been to Loro Park and met us for lunch and a photo opp. As we were leaving our Chinese buffet we met a young LDS couple from Norway.  He had served a mission in Salt Lake and his wife was from Iran.  They were fun to talk to and very excited to meet some missionaries on their Canary vacation.

Puerto has many beautiful ocean fed pools.
The Sisters came in their harem pants and the Elders wore these Polynesian lava lavas? provided by Elder Lopez's (first elder on the left) mother
Sister's Judy, Phillips, Nydegger and Money, totally awesome missionaries

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Last night we had a young adult Halloween Party.  A women, who attends our English class, has been a professional make up artist.  She volunteered to bring her makeup and paint faces.  She was amazing!  I couldn't believe how fast she was, and so creative.  Everyone had a riot goofing around and taking photos.  We usually get about 10-12 out, but at one point of the night we had 32 people there, including missionaries, who are allowed to come if they bring an investigator.  We counted more investigators than members.  I was glad we ordered Pizza because I never would have cooked enough for that many.  I did make sugar cookies to frost and decorate.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Here is a smattering of recent goings on in our mission.

Today Hermanas Money and Judy had their first Baptism.  They met Jesús in the street and he told them right off that their book wasn´t true, but when they challenged him to read it he was hooked...a very special day for all.

This week our Young Adult core group added two great returned missionaries; Efrain on the left end, returned from Arizona on Thursday and Romina second to the last on the right returned last week from Barcelona. Alejandro, in the blue shirt, will be leaving for a mission to Mexico in one month.
Romina returned last week from serving in the Barcelona Mission.  She is the first sister to serve from that Branch, now a ward.  The JAS kids spent 2 weeks making banners for the airport for the two returning missionaries.

 Once a month we have planned to do an art or craft project.  Last month we painted rocks.  This month I found wire sculpted jewelry on Pinterest and thought it would be easy and fun.  It was harder than I thought but we all had fun and they made some good things.

We are also having a cooking class once a month.  One of the girls made a 3 layer Mousse cake with about a pound and a half of chocolate.  She made it in a machine I have never seen before that blends and cooks at the same time.  I am going to try to do it in a double boiler.  It was very good...maybe for Thanksgiving.

There is no one better to travel with than Mike Anderson.  He researches interesting places to see and trails to walk.  This Mountain trail is about 15 minutes from our apartment and you might believe that you were hiking in Park City.  And the view of the city out to the ocean was spectacular. 


It seems like our district has changed so often lately that it has been difficult to keep up but this is us as of 2 weeks ago...hopefully we will stay for awhile but the transfer ends in one month and for sure things will change then.  Missions are about change.  These missionaries are all AWESOME!

L-R - Hermanas Judy and Money, Elders, Eskelson, Christensen, Franson, Wilson, Schmidtlein and Ponsoda

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The week before we took the sisters to Teide Mike and I did a little trip up the coast about 20 minutes from us to the charming pueblo of Orotava and the beaches at Bajamar.  Orotava has many beautiful old buildings including the famous Casa de los Balcones, which now has several gift shops in it and a wonderful old courtyard very much preserved.  Bajamar has several ocean front pools that collect water from the waves crashing into them.  We plan to try them out some time.  We also got a spectacular view of Teide with brilliant clouds floating around it.  I see me painting this someday. 

Teide in the distance
Ocean fed pools at Bajamar

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


On Monday we rented a van and took all of the sisters to Teide.  The sisters from Los Cristianos came up on Sunday night and stayed over and we spent a fun P-day together.  We drove to Orotava and did a little trinket shopping in the Casa de los Balcones, dating from the 1600's, then we drove through the charming city of Puerto de la Cruz, with a promise to come back and spend more time and then on to Teide, stopping for a few pictures on the way.  The road there is very windy.  We took the gondola to the top, which we haven't done before, because the line was always too long.  We drove down the other side of Teide and took the Los Cristianos sisters home and then back to Santa Cruz.  We had to get the sisters back by 6:30 so they could work.  We made it, but we were all very tired.  I don't know how they did it, especially since we never had time to eat anything except a few snacks we had in the car. 
The Hermanas in Orotava

Our group at the top

The gondola gets you this far.  You can hike the rest with a permit.

Click on the slide show to find a full screen option.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Our JAS group painted "prayer rocks" on Friday night.  This is the third time we have painted rocks.  It is always a big hit.  We all have a little artist in us  We brought a box of rocks from the beach in the South so we could paint with this group.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Hermana Money's father offered to send me anything that my heart desired, so I ordered Chocolate Chips, which are non-existent on this island.  This week I received my CC plus a large bag of yeast, also difficult to find here.  Thank you, thank you dear people.  The missionaries and the members that I cook for will enjoy your generous gift. 


This is the entire Zone on the stairs of the Old Mission Home

This picture was posted on facebook, taken at the end of the conference.  You can see Sister Nydegger, me, Mike and Sister Money's face in front of Mike and Sister Judy standing down the row with the long hair.  The hall was pretty much full.

President Jackson asked the Island missionaries to come up and sing "Armies of Helaman"  during his talk.  Valerie Mendoza from Los Cristianos took this photo of our Hermanas.

Sister Nydegger and Phillips from Los Cristianos spent Monday (p-day) with us.  We went to lunch, played cards and they spent 2 hours in the streets that evening with sister Judy and Money.  They split up and traded partners a few times.  They had a goal to get 30 phone numbers and they achieved their goal.  They returned home with more excitement than I have ever seen on missionaries, with lots of stories about the events and contacts of the night.

Last Sunday all the Tenerife missionaries and many of the members here took the ferry to Gran Canaria to attend the conference that made all of the Canary Islands a Stake.  The sisters from Los Cristianos rode the bus up and stayed over with us for a few days.  We got up bright and early and caught the ferry for the 3 hour ride.  We were picked up by the Buhlers from the Old Mission Home and taken to the rented conference center for the historic meeting.  Then the Buhlers invited us all to lunch at the OM Home.  I carried 2 cakes, waiting to be frosted, to help her out.  We had a great lunch and a nice visit with all of the missionaries and some other invited guests who served here previously when it was its own mission.  Then we were taken back to the ferry, just at sunset, and had a 3 hour ride back.  The missionaries sat outside on the deck and visited and we crashed in a seat.  It was a wonderful day.