Monday, July 29, 2013


We are busy visiting and saying goodbyes this week as we run to the finish line.  We had to say goodbye to Menorca a couple weeks ago and it was a little tough for both of us.  This island has the smallest branch in our district so visitors are such a welcome sight!  This last time, we both gave talks as well as a young man who is on vacation for 3 weeks in Menorca!  Steve forgot his chapa--he thought it was on his suit coat in the car, it wasn't!--so Elder Judd was good enough to make him a replacement to use while we were visiting.  We are so grateful for this little branch and the faithful leaders and members that keep it going even when it feels like they are so alone and isolated.  Presidente Bladimir  and Yomaira we love you!

the view from our hotel in menorca

thanks, elder judd, for the chapa!

boat parade in front of the hotel
celebrating a saint, of course!

Friday, July 12, 2013


We traveled to the island of Ibiza  a couple weeks ago for our last time and also for the first meetings in their new chapel--a renovated, rented space in the middle of town.  The branch is so excited to have a chapel of their very own and close to where most of them live, instead of the missionary's old apartment.  It was so wonderful to be with them for branch conference and see the chapel packed to overflowing!  They will probably grow out of this space within a year :)  We spent a preparation day with Elders Madson and Bozarth driving around and had a great hike to the tallest lighthouse in the Baleares.  So sad to say goodbye to this thriving little branch, but we are looking forward to following them on Facebook and watching them grow.

the ibiza chapel, packed to overflowing!

we could see it in the distance. . .
we made it--such a good looking group!

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Missionaries

For the past few weeks, we have been sending off missionaries from the JAS, our young adult group.  Lemar and John left to serve full time in the Madrid and Malaga missions, then Andrea was asked to serve a mini mission for 6 weeks in Barcelona.  Panchi has his call to Malaga and he wasn't supposed to leave until August, but was needed in our mission for a few weeks while Pres. Pace waits for missionaries without visas.  Juan's departure is on hold waiting for his visa to Australia--that was a 100+ page process!  It has been a crazy adjustment for our JAS program--our leaders are now in the mission field--so we have been trying to reassign leadership duties and get organized once again.  Mission Calls--a wonderful reason to have some challenges:)

our last mission prep class before john, lemar, & juan leave
sending andrea off at the airport

panchi is in terraza with elder dunaway

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

¡Tanto Tiempo!

It has been way to long and its time to write another post!  Lots of things have been happening in this crazy thing called a mission.  We celebrated our birthday for a whole week!  It started with a surprise party for family home evening, and Vanessa made us each our own cake--I didn't have to share:)--and they were beautiful as well as delicious.  I made a chocolate cake for English class the next night and we combined classes to learn/sing "Happy Birthday," in English, of course.  Thursday is our night in Manacor, and one of the members, Agostin, shares our birthday as well as Diego from Levante.  Together we shared pizza and postres with our group after Institute.  Here's to many more wonderful birthdays for all of us!

the gang ready to party

our own cakes

April was a time for weddings!  Jaz and Dempy from Andratx were married and we had such a great time visiting with Dempy's aunts and uncles after the ceremony and even said hi to her mom in Utah via Skype.  On a side note, their daughter Jasmin is the most beautiful baby ever--other than our grandkids, of course!  Next was Pablo--our fantastic institute teacher--and Delia's wedding.  They have been engaged almost a year, waiting for paperwork to clear.  The day finally arrived and it has been so much fun watching them be so happy together :-) They had a genuine Argentine asado, and we were lucky enough to be invited for some delicious food--Steve was very happy to eat and remember good times in Argentina.

dempy, baby jasmin, & jaz

pablo & delia with beautiful views of marratxi

Carli and her friend Amy came for a visit for a couple of days, and we had fun playing tourist  and showing them our beautiful island.  Usually we wear our visitors out, but Carli and Amy had so much energy, we needed some extra sleep when they left!  It was so wonderful to have them stay with us during their mini adventure of Europe.

amy & carli at le seu

love and miss you, carli!

Our last adventure was being able to go to Madrid and meet up with our fabulous neighbors for a couple of days of friendship--I really needed this boost!  We visited with missionaries, handed out pass-along cards, toured the CCM, and went to the temple, as well as some sights in Madrid.  We even stayed up late for dinner and Flamenco--a true test in Spain, dinner after 11pm.  We are so grateful for good friends and their words of encouragement. 

thank you for your love--i can do this:)

the gang in front of the madrid temple

Friday, April 5, 2013

More Visitors!

Tara, Wyatt, and Cody came for a visit for a short week and we had so much fun being together and experiencing some new things here on Mallorca.  One crazy adventure was on our way up the winding road from Sa Calobra the rain turned into snow and we were actually stuck behind a bus for four hours waiting for the guardia civil to help out.  We were so grateful for Cody and Wyatt and their strength as they pushed the car around the bus so we could finally be on our way and out of the 6 inches of snow that had fallen.  Who would have though we'd be stuck in a snowstorm on Mallorca?!  We had such a good time visiting sights, introducing them to our friends here, and especially just being together. We love our kids!

soaking wet after a hike to torent de pareis
the bus we were stuck behind
exploring castles

together at le seu
good food, siempre!
barcelona bus tour

Monday, March 11, 2013

la familia Balcazar

mari, paco, and sarai

The Balcazar family has adopted us and they invite us to do sightseeing adventures with them just about every month.  Mari is from Mallorca and she and her husband, Paco, along with daughter Sarai, know all the best places to visit and more important, the best places to eat!  A Saturday adventure with them is a wonderful food fest, with bakery treats and new things to try, as well as beautiful scenery.  This past weekend Sarai made us pancakes--delicious!-- and then we were off to the Santuari de San Joan to check out the views.  Next we tried a new restaurant started by some friends of Paco with typical Mallorquin food--the restaurant used to be a butcher shop and was redone so beautifully, but with some of the old details still visible.  After a late lunch with delicious food, we were off to a walk through a finca--farm/ranch--and saw an incredible sight!  We had quite a bit of snow last month, and when it melts,  it runs underground from the mountains and pops up in the middle of a forest, creating a very big river with gushing water.  This only lasts until the snow is all gone, so we had a window of about three days and it was so cool to see this gushing of water appear in the middle of nowhere--magic!  There are no rivers here on Mallorca, they only happen when it rains or the snow melts.  Wish it would have lasted longer so we could see it again, but I guess that is what makes it so special:)

the well at santuari de san joan

good friends--sarai, valentin, aurora
cute couple!
the start of a river in the middle of the finca

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The Manacor Elders--Gross and Batanero--wanted to go on a field trip with us for a Preparation Day so they could see a little more of the island and get out of Manacor.  So, yesterday the four of us went to Valldemossa and as we were driving up the mountain, we saw snow on the peaks behind the one we were driving on.  Elder Batanero said he had never seen snow before, so we decided that after lunch in Valldemossa we would go find some snow for him.  But, as we were paying the parking meter, it started to snow right then, big, fluffy flakes, in our hair, on our coats, and Elder Batanero was giddy with excitement that he was actually having snow fall all around and on him.  Elder Gross--from Michigan--and Steve and I actually got excited about snow again watching Elder Batanero experience snow for the first time.  We ate our favorite roasted chicken as the snow was falling and then took a quick tour of the city, and we were off to find more of the white stuff.  It was strange to be in the snow--especially when I know how hot it will be in just a few months--but it was just another of the many diverse characteristics of this beautiful island.  A beautiful day!
elder batanero with his camera catching snowflakes

elders batanero & gross with a handsome snowman