Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I am not sure if we are getting good at waiting, but we are having a lot of experience.  Ten months for a visa, 2 weeks for a residency permit in Madrid and now we are going on 2 weeks waiting for an apartment.  This one is getting expensive as we wait in a hotel.  So today we decided to play tourist and and visit some of the island.  We are here in Los Gigantes, where the Princess Bride was filmed.

The bougainvillaea is beautiful here.  This is the entrance to the Monkey Park where someone has sculpted it.  I am not sure if it is suppose to look like a monkey but it looks like a dino to me.

There are hundreds of these large mesh covered greenhouses on the island.  Some of them are several acres large.  They grow tomato vines 7-8 foot tall poled up and palm trees.  They might grow other things but that is all we have seen.

There are not a lot of trees on Tenerife, mostly these low growing bushes but this tree was blooming.  When you get higher up on the mountains their are long needled pine trees.

 There are many rock terraced hills on the island.  I am not sure if they were used to grow things in the past because now they seem overgrown with the indigenous plants.   I can't see any other reason to terrace them.

Because the island is volcanic there are zillions of rocks and they are used everywhere to construct many things.

This is a desert island 100 miles from the Sahara...lots of cactus

This is the harbor of Los Cristianos, the city where the church building is located.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


These impressive young men are in our district From left to right Elders, Wride, Louie, Cloward, Anderson, Argyle and Cook.  Elder Cloward and Anderson are assigned to our branch in Los Cristianos and we will be working closely with them.  The other Elders are an hour away in Santa Cruz, which is a bigger city.  They report each week their activities and miracles they have observed.  It is obvious that they are working hard and having success.

 Sister Aultman  (with Brother Aultman's help) cooks lunch for the Elders every week when they all meet in Santa Cruz for District Meeting.  I plan to help her, as this is a big job. The Aultmans are Young Adult leaders in Santa Cruz.

Brother Aultman

Chowing down.  They can put away a lot of food.


We have walked most mornings from our Hotel.  We had to cross over this roundabout in front of our hotel to get to some places to walk.  This roundabout has a constant stream of cars day and night.  It amazes me how many cars go around this.  We can see it from our balcony and the noise is quite irritating.  Notice Red Mountain in the distance.

 We learned from the young Elders that you can hike around here and even to the top of Red Mountain, which you can see from our balcony.  Tenerife Sur (South) has a huge volcano and the terrain here is moon like volcanic.   The vegetation is very much like a desert.  We haven't hiked to the top yet but around the cliffs by the beach.

 Rock art

At the base of Red Mountain by the beach

 The view of  Medano  (We are staying in San Isidro) from Red Mt. trails

 Mike on the Beach

Rock art on these beaches is mostly in the form of walls not cairns like we do in the states.

Friday, February 22, 2013


 Another Saturday at Retiro Park for the Missionaries

 President  of the Madrid MTC, Elder Sitterud and his wife,  They are Awesome and it turns out Jay Sitterud and I attended CEU at the same time.  He was a basketball player for the school team but we didn't know each other.
 View of Madrid from Retiro Park
 The Elders making a contact and Elder Sitterud

We finally received our residency on Monday and flew to the Canaries on Tuesday evening.  The Santa Cruz Elders gave us their car for a couple of weeks and then we are getting a new one.  The Sr. Missionaries in Santa Cruz, the Altmans, let us stay with them on Tuesday night and we had a nice visit with them on Wednesday, had lunch with the Elders and the Altmans and then drove to the Hotel we had scheduled, while we look for an apartment in South Teneriffe.  This hotel ended up to be a bust with terrible internet and a cramped smelly room.  We moved down the street to a better place with internet that is allowing me to post this.
 A view from Altman's terrace in Santa Cruz (ocean in the distance)
They are about an hour from us and it is the biggest city on the Island.

 Los Altmans on their P-day - Awesome Missionaries serving with the young adults.

Someone from the branch had arranged for us to see an apartment.  It was very nice except the kitchen was so small two people would be cramped in it.  I just couldn't take it.  Mike has spent hours on the internet looking for a larger kitchen, which it rare here.  Finding these places was going to be a trial.  We left messages on the internet so we could make arrangements to see some pisos.  This morning one of the agents called us and we went to see an apartment in the one place we knew how to find.  It turned out to be awesome.  We are very excited.  It is in a new complex with a very nice kitchen, a dishwasher (rare) A washer with a dryer (rare)  The place is almost new and an amazingly good price.  It has a view of the ocean, a swimming pool but we won't find out until Monday for sure but we don't see any hangups.  I will post pictures when I can.  We are feeling more comfortable tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


 Hermano and Hermana Diaz
This newly married couple met in Portugal and come to teach at the MTC for 3 weeks.  They know at least 3 languages and have both served missions.  Their spirit and commitment to the church is wonderful.  Hermana Diaz has been a model and has a law degree and Bro. Diaz has his own business.  She has a fun conversion story. 

This has been a good week.  We have been busy but not stressed.  We found some great walking paths in a close park, which we have walked most mornings in a jacket.  Madrid has St. George weather.  We study Spanish when there is nothing else to do.  We talked in church on Sunday, in English, with a lot of translating going on as there is French, Portuguese and Spanish being taught here now.  Most of the instructors are bi-lingual.  Most of them come in for 3 week stints.  They are amazing young people.  We attend most of the meetings and firesides that the young missionaries attend.  Sunday was nonstop. 

This is not Provo MTC food.  They have one or two choices at lunch, which is the big meal and then a very light fare at dinner.  It is marginal at the best but mostly edible.  They have very little in desserts, just a few pudding cups, which are only replenished every few days and ice cream cups on Sunday.  There is no pop or sugar drinks.  Only water is served, but not enough vegetables.   

There is a foyer outside our room facing the temple where I can photograph the temple.  Every night there has been a beautiful sunset.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


When we arrived here five days ago I was wishing that we could move on quickly instead of staying here to wait for our residency permit.  We have a dorm room in the Madrid MTC with a view of the lovely Madrid Temple from a close foyer.  But being here with the young sisters and teachers has been wonderful.  They are quite amazing and it gives me hope for the church in Europe.  There are missionaries from Cape Verde, which is off the coast of Africa, not far from the Canaries, including one sister.  They speak Portuguese.  Then we have some sisters and elders from Tahiti, who speak French and will be serving in France.  An elder from England, who is happy to have someone speak English to him. And there is a boy from Italy.  Both of them will be serving in Spain along with and Swedish sister who speaks fluent English.  Most of the language tutors come in for three weeks to help with the language.  They are amazing young people. 

 Someone willing to listen to 2 young men who speak Portuguese

Every Saturday the missionaries go to Retiro Park in downtown Madrid to practice their missionary skills for 2 hours.  They take Books of Mormon and pass them out.  They gave away 30 on this day.  Mike and I went with the MTC mission president to "observe" the proceedings.  Some of these missionaries have only learned a little Spanish but they went to meet people anyway.  It was a joy to see them in action.  At the end of 2 hours they meet to sing hymns.  Everyone sings in their own language.  I am glad we were able to be here.  If we are here next week we will go again and maybe get into the action.

Singing Hymns in the Park
A very fun puppet show.  This is Elvis singing and dancing.  This is clever enough to be lucrative for those in the 50% young adult unemployment group.

Music Performers
One of the lions on the lake

It is fun to watch the kids chase the huge bubbles

Elder and Sister Diaz from Portugal.  A recently married returned missionary couple.  They are language tutors in 3 week stints at the Madrid MTC, coming from their home in Portugal.  They are multi-lingual, awesome young people.  Members like them will change the world. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


 With President Jackson and his wife

The Madrid Temple at sunset from our MTC room.  Our digs while we wait for a residency permit.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


 We are leaving this....

 for this!
(Thanks to Elder Scott Zimmerman, serving in the Madrid temple, for this photo he took on Tenerife recently.) 

We are flying off day after tomorrow.  We are 10 days short of 1 year since our first call to Scotland.  Our Canary Island call came 5 weeks later.  It has been so long that I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that we are actually going.  I am scared and excited at the same time.  Right now we shuffle stuff in suitcases trying to keep them in the 50 lb. weight limit.  The vitamins I am taking weigh a lot.  

Our friend Linda Hoffman, serving in the Monterey Mexico temple, sent me the following and I believe it describes our journey.  We are looking forward to what is on the other side of the NEW DOOR!  And forgetting life on the other side of the door is probably good.

This explains it all--
Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was?
Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.
Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what's known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next.
Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.
It's not aging, it's the damn door! Thank goodness for studies like this.