Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Mike and Charmaine Anderson

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Last photo with President and Sister Jackson

We are home and the mission is finished.    I may post our homecoming talks when they are complete.  We have a couple of weeks to work on them and we are grateful for that time to review our experiences.  It is hard to know how to feel right now other than tired.

This is our favorite scene on the Island, La Laguna valley with Teide in the background.

Faces of all the missionaries and JAS on my last prayer rock

Our special friend Efrain

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


We are having lots of lasts this week.  We just had our last district meeting.  We love these wonderful missionaries and will miss watching them do so many good things. 

Back Row L-R  Bohne, Larkin, Parkinson, Bird, Money, Burgos, Heims & King  - Front, Wells & Wilson

I am totally fascinated with this beautiful plant that is blooming in front of the Santa Cruz church.
This is our advanced English Class.  Elder Anderson is such a great teacher that they will miss him greatly.  Two of them have Canary roots but lived in Venezuela for many years.  One is from Italy, One from Bolivia, one from Guatamala, and only one true Canarian.  Such is the melting pot of Santa Cruz.

On Monday we had our last P-day with the 4 Hermanas.  We went to Puerto de la Cruz, Orotava, and then to the Dragon Tree.  We will miss our little adventures with them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Prayer Rocks, Baptism and More

Today was the 8th JAS baptism since we arrived almost 7 months ago.  Pablo has a special story.  He is painfully shy and withdrawn.  The Elders met him in the street and began teaching him.  At Christmas he came to a JAS activity and his parents accompanied him and stayed for the evening.  It was fun to have them there.  I think they wanted to check us out since Pablo is an only child.  After that the mother and father began taking the lessons also.  The mother was baptized a couple of months ago and has been a stalwart member.  She is even teaching the investigator Sunday School class, doing a great job.  2 weeks ago the father was baptized and they made him a Priest so he was able to baptize Pablo today.  It was a wonderful baptism and Pablo's countenance has changed.  He regularly attends our activities and he smiles more and we are beginning to see him come out a little.  This family will be a great asset to the Ward.

This is Pablo with his family with Elder Wells and Elder Wilson

On a rare clear day, we like to make a run to the top of the La Laguna Valley hoping to see Teide in the distance.  It is especially nice now since it has snow.  I will always remember and love this beautiful view.

I will be remembered for two things here,  my Chocolate Cake and Prayer Rocks.  I think we have made them 6 times with different groups.  Usually we paint them but this time we decorated them with Sharpie pens, brought to me by my son Leif when he visited.  Everyone always enjoys doing a little art project. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014


This Saturday we had 2 more JAS Baptisms, which puts our total to 7 since we arrived in late August.  We hope to have one or two more before we leave.

Romina is one of our Awesome JAS girls who returned from her mission 3 or 4 months ago and started dating an old friend and John was baptized yesterday.

Elder Bohne and Elder Larkin baptized John, who has been attending our activities with Romina.

This is the first baptism for Hermana King and Hermana Heims.  Lady is a JAS and she is anxious to begin attending our activities.

On Friday night Romina did a class on "Cultivating Seeds of Faith"  and the group decorated jars for planting the object lesson seeds.  It is amazing how much fun they had doing a 3rd grade project.  Also Adriana, who is from Venezuela where they make Arepas, demonstrated how to make them and we ate them with pulled chicken and all the fixings.  It was a good night.  We had 2 investigators. 

Adriana and her cousin Legna made about 40 Arepas for the group.  They are made with a fine corn meal mixed with a little oil, salt and water and formed into about 5 inch patties and baked on a griddle.  Then you split them and fill them with meat and cheese or whatever.  There are many restaurants on the island which serve them and you can also buy them from street vendors.   Here is my recipe:  Arepas  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


The missionaries sang this song during the Zone Mission Tour in Gran Canaria.  We have some nice voices in this group.  It is not the best recording but the missionaries are beautiful and awesome.  This is the practice session.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


On Thursday afternoon all 16 of the Tenerife missionaries took the ferry to Gran Canaria for a yearly Mission Tour.  We usually take the Armas ferry, which takes 3 hours, but the boat  is large and doesn't rock much.  We have taken it in the past and it can actually be quite fun.  You can sit on the deck and enjoy a nice little cruise.  Well this time we took the Fred Olsen ferry, which takes 80 minutes.  The boat is smaller and narrower but oh me, we were all sick by the time we got there.   For some of us it was all we could do to keep from losing it all and on the trip home I did lose it.

The Hermanas waiting to board the boat.

The group shuffling their stuff and finding their tickets and ID

Some of the Hermanas, ready for a nice relaxing trip, which wasn't to be.

The Elders, recovering from the ferry ride.

The Hermanas with sister Buhler

Hermana Burgos and Hermana Money getting warm.  The old mission home is quite high up on a hill and it is very cold this time of year.

 This is the group practicing to sing Army of Helaman in Spanish.  Soon I will post a video of the song. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


La Laguna got their first Hermanas in many years, Hermana Heims and Hermana King.  We picked them up at the airport and drove them to our favorite spot overlooking the La Laguna hills.  They are darling girls with a wonderful missionary aura of goodness.  We are excited to work with them.

There are yellow flowers growing all over the hills of La Laguna, not sure if they are weeds, but they make everything look a spectacular green.   This is my favorite scene in the islands.

We live up the hill, on a hill in La Laguna about 15 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz.  This is the scene we see as we drive to the city on many days of the week.  I enjoy the changing clouds around the port and the changing light on the hills and city buildings.

This is another view with light on the hills and pink clouds.  This island has clouds and more clouds moving and changing all day.  In the South those clouds never rain.  Up here they rain often, at least this winter they have.

We took one of our JAS kids home today 20 minutes further North than we are.  This is the view of Teide right now, on a rare cloudless day, with lots of snow even on some of the lower surrounding hills. 

This lookout is less than 10 minutes from the La Laguna Church so we often drive up here to show people.  We have taken this picture of us several times but can't ever seem to appear to have hair.  

They build amazing Sand castles on the beach in Los Cristianos and people throw coins to take photos.  This is the Last Supper and as you will see they are still working on it. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Our JAS had a Valentines Day party.  We ended up with 5 investigators in the end.  Not counting the missionaries, they outnumbered the members.  I made a tree with photographs on hearts of the JAS members from past activities and some Origami hearts we made last week.  We played games and ate.  We were missing some of our core group for some reason but it was fun.

 These are the ones who came on time.  I got busy and didn´t take more photos.

Ayelen is our 5th JAS Baptism in 6 months.  Hermana Burgos and Hermana Money taught her.  Elder Bird baptized her.  Much to our surprise Hermana Money is going to stay in Santa Cruz for another transfer.  She came soon after us and will leave soon after us.  We love her dearly and look forward to 6 more weeks.

Elder Schmidtlein and Elder Bird from Santa Cruz taught Chari and she was baptized on Saturday also.  We are sad to be losing Elder S. on Monday.

On P-Day this week the Santa Cruz and La Laguna Missionaries and the 2 sisters from Los Cristianos went to Anaga with President Jackson and his wife, who were here for interviews.  It was foggy, cloudy, windy and a little cool but we had a very fun day together. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014


First the bad.  For about 3 weeks we have worried that Mike had Pancreatic Cancer.  After a routine check the Dr. here found a 2 inch tumor on his pancreas.  If you research this cancer it is pretty much a death sentence.  We waited 10 days to see a doctor that spoke good English, which was a mistake because it gave us too much time to think and stress.  On Thursday we found out that it is a fatty tumor on the outside of the pancreas and is not affecting the surrounding tissues.  It is still a bit of a worry and next week we will know more about treatment, but for now we don't have to go home immediately.  So this is the bad and ultimately the wonderful all wrapped up together.

I lay on my bed to rest this week with a constant prayer in my heart, I dozed a little and when I opened my eyes this rainbow appeared in our bedroom window...a symbol of hope I needed.

 This is the view, from our office window, that we see while on the computer.  I decided that the Canaries have 2 seasons, Summer and Spring.  Trees have been blooming for the last month.  The bougainvillea bloom profusely all year long.  Since the rain started a month ago the hills in La Laguna are covered with a profusion  of yellow flowers.  We are looking forward to warmer days but the signs of spring have been around for some time.

Yureny is our 4th young adult baptism in the almost 6 months we have been here.  She is the aunt of Adriana, on the right.  They moved here together a few months ago, Adriana from Venezuela and Yureny from the small island of El Hierro.  Recently another cousin of Adriana's, Legna was baptized.  They all attend our JAS activities.  We were with the missionaries the night they committed Yureny to baptism and it was a wonderful experience.  Elder Larkin and Bohne taught them.

Luis, one of our young adults from Los Cristianos left on his mission to Barcelona this week and we were able to attend his setting apart.  He has been an active missionary while waiting for his call. 

This is our darling recent convert, Isabel.  She is teaching us how to make an African desert.  You mash bananas until smooth and mix in some flour but more bananas than flour, add a little baking powder and drop them in hot oil to fry.  They were very tasty.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


We had a great FHE with our JAS group this week.  We made flour tortillas.  We mixed 4 or 5 batches of 12 and baked them in the frying pan.  Everyone rolled and baked and we ate them with re-fried beans and pulled chicken and some with nutella.  We had 4 investigators.  It was a fun evening even if there was flour everywhere. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


See below for the information on the JAS scavenger hunt.  These are the photos from the 2nd place winners.


We had a fun activity with our young adult group this week.  We have a recently Returned Missionary who served in Arizona.  He helps us a lot.  He served in a single’s Ward there and taught us how to have a photo scavenger hunt.  We had 3 groups with a list that contained things like:  Get a photo of your group in a reflection, someone with a mannequin, someone proposing to someone on the street. (if they say yes you get an extra 15 points)  someone with a shopping bag,  a yellow flower in someone’s teeth, etc.   You get the point.  They had about an hour to do it then we tallied up the points of each group.  I have posted the winner’s photos since they used our camera. I hope to get the other’s soon.  They had a lot of fun.  We had 13-14 JAS attend, with 8 missionaries and us.  We always eat after.  I never know how many will be there, so there are times when I have to depended on the "loaves and the fishes" and somehow it works out when we have a big group like this week.  

This is our group after dinner.  The girl with the redish hair on the left is from the island of El Hierro.  She visited her member JAS relative Adriana ( on the left, back in blue) for a month during Christmas.  She attended several of our activities then.  The missionaries have been teaching her via Skype since and she is here this weekend to be baptized, which happened on Saturday.  She is the 3rd JAS baptism in the 5 months we have been here and we have a couple of others with dates. 5 of this group here are investigators.  
Elder Larkin, Elder Bohne and Legna (angel backwards)
JAS members, Yureny, who will be baptized on Feb. 5, Legna and Adriana, who has been a great missionary to her family.

We always have a spiritual thought before we begin the activity.  This is our JAS room and we really don't fit in here anymore.  There a few more pictures on the JAS site.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Last week week the mission changed as it always does every six weeks.  It is hard to see missionaries go, but it is always exciting to see what will happen next.  
This is the airport group saying goodbye to Elder Lopez, Elder Ponsoda, Elder Christensen and Hermana Nydegger.  

 This is our new District, Hermana Money, Hermana Burgos, Elder Larkin, Elder Wilson, Elder Franson, Elder Bohne,  Elder Schmidtlein and Elder Bird

We had Karaoke night at our house.  It was wild and crazy.  The missionaries were not allowed to come because we had pop music.  The Hermanas came for a minute to be with their investigator.  They did get to eat and left. 

Natalia (in the middle) is getting a group hug before she leaves this next week for 3 months to be with her sister in Oklahoma and learn English.

Our new sister Burgos, originally from Ecuador, had never eaten Chili, imagine that.  She and sister Money are going to be great together.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Puerto de la Cruz and Orotava are about 20 minutes away from us.  We wanted to see their Christmas decorations so took a little drive up there one p-day afternoon.  There were lots of tourists on the streets of Puerto but not many decorations.  The waves were very high that day and we hear they increased to a dangerous level. A JAS, who lives in Puerto posted this picture on facebook. It looks a little unreal like tsunami level .

Orotava has a wonderful life size Nativity with all of the scenes that you might see during that time in Bethlehem.   Teide is beautifully visible from Orotava on the rare occasion when there aren't clouds around it, but we were a little too late for much light on it.  

Friday, January 3, 2014


We wanted Hermana Judy and Money to see La Laguna Valley and Anaga before Kayla flew out on Wednesday, so on Monday, her last P-day, we made the trip.  It was a beautiful sunny day when we left but there was mist and clouds on the top of Anaga and on the ocean valley of Taganga.  We had a great day and a nice lunch at a seaside restaurant.  See the post below for more pictures of the area from our previous trip a few weeks ago.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Hermana Judy is a jewel of a woman and a wonderful missionary.  Spending the last 4 months with her has been delightful.  We will miss her greatly, but know she will move on to the waiting arms of her family and many good accomplishments in her life.  We look forward to seeing her again in the future.  Elder Gutierrez, serving in Los Cristianos, is also returning home to Mexico.  We met at the airport for final pictures and joyful and tearful goodbys. 


We took the young adult group Christmas Caroling in the city center of Santa Cruz a couple of weeks before Christmas.  It wasn't quite a flash mob but we did have some people on the street join us in singing some of the songs.  I didn't take my camera and wanted to take some pictures so on New Years Eve Mike and I decided to walk around the streets and go to dinner in the city.  We were shock that there were very few people on the street and no restaurants open.  We are not sure where everyone went for the evening.  Surely they didn't all stay home...nothing like America.    I did get pictures of their fun decorations and we found a Chinese restaurant open close to our piso.  The Chinese are the only capitalistic people in Spain. 



One of our JAS had the idea to make snowmen on the beach during the Christmas Holidays.  It was a fun day.  It was raining on an off while we were there but we were still had a good time and constructed some great snowmen.  The missionaries are not allowed to go to the beach in Tenerife because some Elders were swept away by a wave a few years ago.   By the time we were finished it was snowing steadily so we went to the church to have our picnic.  Mike constructed our snowman while I carried a little water and took pictures.  It was a good activity.