Last week we did see the Elders in Malaga, but for some reason I didn't get their picture up. This is a wonderful group of Elders. Elder De Molino is from Bilbao and we know his family and love them. Next to him is Elder Siddiqui who is a convert from England along with another from England, Elder Phillips. In the rear is Elder Hughes, a great young man from Nevada. This is a strong group of missionaries.
We started our week by welcoming 3 new Elders to the Spain Malaga Mission. We were excited to have them arrive. They come to us from Madrid via the fast train. We are waiting for 8 more, due to visa problems. 4 will be coming next week but 4 more are re-assigned temporarily in the United States. Elders Marchello, Bennett, and Ferguson look ready to go to work.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the patio. Here's to wonderful summer weather in Fuengirola. The mission home and office are located in Fuengirola, a wonderful pueblo on the Mediterranean.
After a little orientation they are off to contact with the ayudantes and secretaries. I think they look excited.
Later that evening they found out their assignments and they were definitely excited. Elder Bennett actually guessed where he was going. I think the ayudantes were wondering how he knew? Just beginners luck.
They spent the night at the mission home and now they are rested and ready to work. We have high hopes and expectations from these wonderful missionaries. What a great start for a great week.
Hey, are we eating again? Actually that very afternoon we had 12 missionaries come to the mission home as they were all going home the next day. We didn't know them very well but we sure wish they could stay a little longer. We decided to have pizza and drinks along with homemade cookies and ice cream. They all seemed to enjoy it, even though it wasn't fancy.
Here we are with the leaving dozen! We spent a wonderful evening with them. After we shared a nice bit of advice, the whole group took a vote on what they wanted to do their last few hours in the mission.
Watch Spain defeat Germany to make it to the finals in the World Cup. This is the first time that Spain has made it this far and with 3 natives in the group, they were so anxious to see history being made. We had a great time together watching the second half.
Elder Leon had to get his Spain flag as Spain won and is now in the finals. He is definitely happy!
Early that next morning Elders Brossa and Leon had to leave to catch their flights. It still wasn't light, but their smiles were giving us enough light for a picture.
We took the rest to the airport a little later and look who we found, Elder Himmer's parents. They sure look happy. There is nothing better than seeing your son or daughter after they have served faithfully for 2 years. What a pleasure to meet them and experience a little of their joy.
Such a wonderful group that have great futures ahead of them. Stay strong Elders and go forward with faith. We are grateful we at least got to meet all of you. Cuidense!
We left the airport and started a two day trip to visit the rest of the missionaries. Here we are in Lorca with two incredibly good looking Elders. Wow, we sure found Elders Gold and Waite in fine shape and very happy. We were visiting the Elche Stake this day. This stake and missionaries are what we received from the Barcelona Mission. We were thankful that we could finally meet them. Even though it had been only one week, we felt like it had been too long.
Elder Bedar, is that red purse the new look for Elders? He just can't quit helping me with my things. Even after it was a sad day for Elder Bedar. He is from Germany and Spain defeated Germany to go to the finals. There is always four years later to try again.
We drove up to Murcia where we found our Zone Leaders Elder Nielson and Ponce. Elder Nielson was part of a transfer, so we already met him. Elder Ponce is from Sevilla, a city in our mission, but he will be going home soon, so we won't have to worry about him serving in his home town. We are still going to have to wait to meet Elder Romney. Oh well. The wonderful Hermana Gum and Montes de Oca were there to make us feel welcome. We feel like we have won the world cup of missionaries because everywhere we went we could feel the love and strength of these great servants of the Lord.
Cartagena was next on the schedule with 3 wards and 6 wonderful missionaries. Elders Black, Taylor, Burdette, Wilson, Fredrickson and Brian. Again we see two Elders from the Malaga side of the mission have moved over to Cartegena and two others have moved elsewhere in the mission. We need to mix them up so that we can all learn from each other and feel like one mission. These missionaries are doing great things in Cartegena. The wards offer great support which is always a plus for missionary work.
You've got to love the Hermanas. Here I am with 4 wonderful Hermanas in a beautiful forest of Palm Trees. The Elche Stake Center is nestled in this beautiful forest. What a wonderful place for a chapel. Hermanas Bentley, Brown, Eberly and Guerra are such a delight to be with. They shine with such beauty and hope.
We had half of the Elche Zone meet in the Elche Stake Center. We were so excited to meet them and be with them. Two of the Elders are from the North of Spain (Elder Serrano and Ferreira). It was fun to see them here. The Elders pictured are Elder Velasquez, Smithson, Moss, West, Paolinelli, Serrano, Ferreira and Christensen. Then again the Hermanas Brown, Eberly, Bentley and Guerra. We spent a wonderful hour getting to know them and love them instantly. We drove west for a few hours after spending the entire day getting to these different cities in the Elche Stake.
The next morning we found these 3 super missionaries in Ciudad Real. This is in the area of La Mancha. It is beautiful up there, an agriculture area with all types of food being grown. This is a small district and we plan to get more missionaries here to help the area. Pictured with us are Elders Adams from Cache Valley, Elder Becerra from Bolivia and Elder Wehe from Germany. Quite a diverse group and a group of Elders working hard.
Pushing west we found the church in Caceres. We visited two wonderful Hermanas, Ball and Cannuci. Hermana Cannuci is from Italy. We also were delighted to meet the Branch President there, Pres. Blanco. A wonderful devoted man.
Our last stop on our whirlwind drive around Spain was in Badajoz. We were also greeted by the Branch President and his wife, Pres. Silva. The 4 Elders that are working here were super. Elders Wallace, Giler, Sanchez and Froberg. Elder Sanchez is from A Coruna in the north again. We love finding missionaries from our old home. There was a lot of enthusiasm in this branch and we felt it. It took us 4 hours after this to get back to the mission home. In 2 days we drove from the Southern tip of Spain over to the east coast and then across the entire country of Spain to Badajoz which boarders Portugal and back home. Quite a triangle to make but we so much wanted to meet all the missionaries. We still haven't met a few as they were transfered just before we got to them, but don't worry mom's, they will be pictured in the zone conference pictures in a week and a half.
Saturday night we went to the capilla in Fuengirola for a baptism of a young woman named Anahis. She was very excited. Our office secretaries, Elder Goodman and Stanley were the ones who taught her. It was great to be a part of her baptism.
On the way home we drove by the beach road of Fuengirola. You can see the sign that is over the street. There is a lot of excitement as Spain is playing in the finals of the World Cup.
You can see the flag of Spain flown everywhere. This country is so excited as Spain has never has been here before. Viva Espana!!!
As the sun was setting of the side of the mission home, it brought about the end of a very busy week. Actually, a very typical week in the life of the Spain Malaga Mission. The missionaries are working hard and are happy. We love being here and have been so warmly welcomed by members and missionaries alike. We are going to like it here and are ready to do all we can to move the work forward.