Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Sunday, March 31, 2013

FIRST ACTIVITY - Red Mountain Hike

We are at the "Everything is a first" phase.  On Saturday we climbed Red Mountain again, this time with a group of 11 other members of our branch.  This is our first JAS activity.  7 of the group were young adults and we couldn't be more pleased to get that many participating.  The first week we arrived here we met with Dayde and Valery, two wonderful young adults in the branch, who tried previously to get the group going.  They told us it was pretty much hopeless, because of various issues.  We told them we would give it our all, that we would have good food and lots of fun activities and hopefully we could get it going.  We have had 7 young adults at both of our activities and it was not the same 7 so we have lots of hope.

This is our group at the top.  The two men in the middle are brother Mendoza and brother Camargo our Branch President.  Our Missionaries Elder Cloward and Elder Anderson are at the top left.  

The Hike Begins

Luis Illescas giving us all a bit of a show

Valery Linares gave the spiritual message at the top.  She passed around the bible and everyone read parts of the creation, very appropriate, as we sat on top of the world.  
We were worried about the sun but the big problem was the wind.  This beach is famous for its wind and wind surfing.  It was Easter weekend and the wind cooperated as hundreds were there taking advantage of the stiff breeze.
Wind Surfing looked very fun.

 A view of the volcano Teidi on our way up.

We had a picnic by the beach after.  I made chicken croissant sandwiches, carrot sticks, potato salad and rice crispy treats (with my recent find, marshmallows) It reminded me of windy Easter picnics, we used to have in Moab, when I was a kid.  We ate a bit of sand.

Our last windy photo.  Lots of pictures were taken that day.  It was great fun!  We look forward to many more good days together...and hopefully with an even bigger group. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


 The group at our first Noche De Hogar

On Saturday night we had our first Family Home Evening.  I worked hard to make a nice dinner.  We had it at the home of the Branch President.  We hoped to get more of the young adults out but we had a nice group and it was fun, which was our goal.  I should have had someone else take pictures because I was too distracted with other things to get many.   After dinner we taught them the card game Scum but called it Peón.  It was loud.  I think everyone had fun. 

The Aultmans from Santa Cruz told us they play Jenga and the kids love it so we got a Janga game.  It was good fun.  Everyone cheered and laughed.  Here is Valarie, Ángel, and Dayde.  These girls are the force behind the Young Adult group and better girls don't exist.

Dayde gave the spiritual thought.  At the end she asked for comments and 3 of the young adults bore a beautiful testimony.

Luis on the far right invited his friend Lucia, in the blue and her mother Monica, here next to Mike.  They are not members but had a great time with the group.  Dayde asked Monica to read a scripture in her spiritual thought and she did, gladly.

Brother Mendoza, the branch counselor in charge of JAS, is in the front next to our Branch President Brother Comargo.  It was Valerie,s birthday and Brother Mendoza  brought a birthday cake for her.

 Mike teaching the group to play "Scum" or Peón our Spanish name for it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This is Luis with Elder Cloward and Elder Anderson on a P-Day activity this week

Luis Illescas is a great young man in our Branch.  He is working towards serving a full time mission but in the meantime he often does splits with our full time Elders.  He is a great missionary in his own right as he shares the gospel with many of his friends and often brings one of them to church or to church activities.  His facebook has many testimonies of the gospel.

In our District meeting, each week, we share a miracle that happened to us that week.  The young Elders have many wonderful miracles to share.  We had one this week.  We bought a TV and a DVD player to use in our JAS activities.  We called our Elders Anderson and Cloward to bring us a DVD to see if it worked.  They brought over a stack of church videos.  We laughed, "We only needed one."   "Well, you never know when you might need one."  they said.  And they were right.  A few days later Luis was on facebook at the same time Mike was and sent Mike a message that he needed a video about the Plan of Salvation for a friend that was at his house and had questions. We had just the video, thanks to the Elders.   He lives close to us so we said we would bring it over.  I had just baked cookies to take around to the Young Adults as we visit them, so I took a pile of cookies and we went to their home.  Luis wanted us to come in and help answer questions, which we did.  Mike did some gospel explanations in Spanish, even.  We passed out the cookies.  Luis put in a movie and we all had a great missionary experience. 

Monday, March 18, 2013


We are trying to walk different places when we can.  I know it looks like we are on vacation, but we only walk for an hour or so every morning.  We are hoping to find some fun places, on our end of the island, to take the Young Adults for activities.  There is a wilderness area a 5 minute walk from our apartment.  We discovered that it has dozens of trails that we will soon discover.

This is the trail head area.

Of course the trail is full of cactus and the many local plants I have never seen before.

These are old garden walls, which were built to farm (I hope to find out their age).  There are many around the island crumbling away, no longer in use.  They have been replaced with the huge mesh greenhouses I posted pictures of previously.  There are dozens of these walls in this walking area.  Most of the trails probably were created to service these gardens.

The vegetation we pass.

We often see an English couple with their dogs in the area close to our apartment.  They told us about an old volcanic caldera, which you can see in the distance.  We hiked to it along the beach, which is a 5 min. drive from our apartment.

Along the trail.  Mike would like to have a go here.

There are not too many sandy beaches.  The trail weaves through this.

The coastline is mostly hard black volcanic rock.

 Mustard colored moss on the rocks.

The view of Costa del Silencio from the top of the Caldera.

The top of the Caldera looking toward Red Mountain.

Behind me you can see into the center of the old volcano - the Caldera.

After seeing Costa del Silencio from the top of the Caldera walk we decided to drive to the city on our P-Day and found this great fountain - very clever.  It must spray at night.

The Elders told us that sometimes they spin around on the pipes below the water.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Our Branch President scheduled a Friday night Family Home Evening/Young Adult Meeting.  The ones that came watched a movie while the young adult group met to  make plans for a couple of activities and talk about how we are going to get our group numbers up.  The island Branch is spread out and most of the young adults do not have cars so it makes getting together hard for them.  Many of them must take the bus to get to church or anything else. The pictures here are not good quality.  We were using Mike's camera and didn't have on the flash, so when I lightened them they were washed out but are still valuable.

After the meeting we played a fun tie game while waiting for the movie to end.  You stand in a circle with two ties going in different directions.  One tie has to be tied in one loop and the other in two loops and then you clap once and pass it on.  The last one holding the tie when the opposite direction finishes has to do some command like dance or crawl backwards.  We had a lot of fun.  The missionaries were with us.

 This is Elder Anderson, one of our young elders having fun with us.  The girl Valerie Mendoza is applying to BYU this year.

Our other missionary, Elder Cloward,  is dressing up one of the children in a tie and his name tag to be a missionary.  Luis Illecas is looking on.  He plans to put in his own missionary papers soon.

Valerie Linares is our Young Adult President.  She is a wonderful young lady of 22,  the Primary President also, and goes to school, riding the bus 35 miles away.  We are amazed at her spirit and dedication to the gospel.

 The movie group, enjoying the food.  I made a huge layered bean dip, which they were suspect of at first but ended up eating all of it.  I was also able to make a cake and some cookies in my new mini-oven.

This is Maria Villalba and her daughter Aurora  .  They are eating Paella made by her husband Brother Villalobos who is in the District Presidency.  (The women in Spain keep their maiden names)  Brother Villalobos is responsible for getting us here.  Maria teaches children English in elementary school so she is a great asset to me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


We are walking for an hour, every morning we can, as we did when we were home.  We have been trying to find some new interesting places close.  These are some things we have seen.

 We finally hiked to the top of Red Mountain.  The view was spectacular

We heard this cove is a nude beach but we were there too early in the morning to know.  Maybe they come in the summer.

There is a beautiful mustard colored moss growing on the rocks.

This twisty plant grows everywhere.

This is a hill overlooking Los Cristianos and there are trails all over it.  We climbed it once but probably never again.  I thought Farmington-Fruit Heights was Rock Heaven but I was mistaken.  It is only the Telestial Kingdom.  This place is the Celestial.  There is almost no dirt on this hill.  It was a tough walk but the views were worth it.

Rock art at our top.  Look above my head you can see the tip of Teide, the volcano on the island.

At the top overlooking Los Cristianos harbor.

Teide with snow on it, which is rare.  We had a week of big rain storms, which is also unusual.  Actually, Teide is covered by clouds most days so it was fun to get this clear view of it. 

This is a huge live Lamb Topiary.  I wish they wouldn't park cars in front of it but it does give you perspective.  Also see Mike on the right, and don't you love the color of this house!  I think this is a vegetable market or greenhouse on the left of the house but wasn't operating when we were here.

Another view of the Topiary.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


The 3 missionary couples serving on the islands are in the back, us, the Buhlers on Gran Canaria, and the Aultmans serving in Santa Cruz on our island.  We are all assigned to young adults.  The others are member of several branches on the various islands assigned to help with the program.  The man in the brown jacket on the far right is Elder Sorano who is a church employee in charge of the program and its training meetings.

On Saturday we flew to Gran Canaria,  with a small group from here to a conference to be trained in the church’s employment program.  The unemployment rate is 20% plus in Spain and 50% in young adults.  The church has created a very ambitious program to help people get jobs and training they need to get a job.  We will be helping individuals who are interested in getting in the system to fill out a resume.  They will have other programs to help the individual be prepared for interviews and ideas of jobs they might pursue.   It is a wonderful thing.  The flight to Gran Canaria is only 20 minutes in the air.  It is more of a big city and I am glad we are here. 

 I gave my blog address to all the Elders in our district so they could have their mothers come by to see pictures.  I have heard from some of the mothers, who are thrilled, so I want to make sure I post their faces in action often.  This is our second district meeting.  If all missionaries are like these young men we are flying.  

 Eating again.  They do love food.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


How we came to be here-  I know missionaries are not suppose to have places this nice but we lucked out and it wasn't an easy do.  I won't tell the long story but it was the 3rd place we looked at and we knew this was worth the trouble.  Especially since the price was as good or better than anything else we had seen or researched and not half as nice or big, especially the kitchen.

This place was built to be an 800 unit resort that suffered a sad death in the downturn of the economy.  At least 700 of the units are sitting idle.  Because they were meant to be a resort destination the amenities and interior designs were upgraded.  They have rented out about 100 units on the front edges of the resort.

There are various designs and sizes of buildings.  We are in this 3 story building on the ground floor.   There are 3 units on the bottom, one level and 4 on the top that have stairs to the bedrooms.

Mike at the Front Door

My very sad discovery was that my exciting kitchen doesn't have an oven, which I didn't notice. (evidently there are lots of Spanish homes with no kitchens, I can't imagine why.)   It has a dishwasher (rare) and more space than your average Spanish kitchen.  We were even able to have a table and 2 chairs that you can't see.  I bought a portable oven that holds a 9x13 baking dish and with the use of the church kitchen I should be OK.

My precious dryer.  Almost no one in Spain has a dryer.

The view from our back patio.  We do have a pool and Seniors can swim.

Our living room open to the dining area.

There are 2 large bedrooms and 2 bathrooms this is the master bath.

The King bed is rare but you can find King sheets and pads so you can put two singles together.

The computer center in the second bedroom. 

Our parking is 335 steps from our front door but it is a nice walk along this tree lined path.  This is our shopping cart that we keep in the car to tote our groceries.  There are a few large grocery shopping carts inside the gate if we have anything bigger or heavier. 

This is our car which we absconded from some of the young elders.  We are going to get a new car soon and they will get theirs back.