Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Times are Hot in Malaga

The weather is hot here in the south but so is the teaching and preaching of our missionaries. Wow, this looks like a serious lesson? If you don't know Elder Bennett and Larsen yet, you should. These two are having a great time in Dos Hermanas and they are really teaching, but not in this picture. It was a fun one so thanks for sending it Elder Bennett.
Almeria keeps baptizing, wow Elders, you are awesome!
Talk about awesome, we received Elder Redd to the mission. He has been waiting for his visa in the Provo Mission. He looks sharp and is ready for action here. He was teaching 30 lessons a week in Provo. What do we have to say to that? Piece of cake, we do it all the time in the New Spain Malaga Mission.
Elder Solari is there to help him with his luggage on another hot day in Spain.
Lunch on the terrace, it's never too hot for that.
Where is he going? ......drum roll please.....Cartagena 3 to be with Elder Fredrickson.
What a handsome looking Elder. He comes to us from Nampa, Idaho and he knows Hna Rudder (Hola to one of the greats of Bilbao!) We know he knows how to work and we sent him out to push the work forward in Spain.
Oh, the whole office wanted a group shot! Nice smiles Elders.
And the other new guy, hey wait, Elder Niebergall, you aren't new to the mission! But so, he is new to the office and we are loving having him here.
This picture should be "Guess where in the Mission this is?" Well, I'll tell you, Ciudad Real. What is that on the left? The first parking garage elevator that we have seen here in Spain. Yes folks, just drive your car in there and push the button to go down. We barely fit in there, and we don't have a big car. This was an experience for sure. I just hope the car doesn't decide to jump and get us stuck in there. (I know, silly joke.)
Great things are happening here in Puertollano. Elders Wiehe and Talbot are working both areas of Ciudad Real and Puertollano. They baptized this family of 3 and the father is hopefully getting baptized soon. Maurico Montes also helped to baptize. He is putting in his papers to serve a mission. He will be a great missionary.
Look at the great support of the little branch. Elder Becerra is also there along with his companion Elder Heywood who took the pictures.
That evening in Ciudad Real after a priesthood leadership meeting we took the 4 Elders out for something to eat.
Elder Wiehe says "Uncle Sam wants you but not me, I am German." Elder Wiehe, we want you to stay forever. What a great Elder he has been, an example to all of great leadership with a lot of kindness.
Sunday morning found us in the quaint city of Valdepenas. It has a wonderful branch and this is where Elders Bader and Siddiqui went.
Presidente Moreno was having a birthday and the branch members made him a cake and presented it to him after the meetings. We all enjoyed a small piece and it was great.
This is a 4 generation family in the church. They are the De Gennaro family from Argentina. The 3 to my right are the Grandmother, mother and son with his lovely wife. Next to Presidente is a friend, Juan, who was their Bishop at one time in Argentina and was here to visit them. The amazing thing about all of this is that the missionary who knocked on the door of Grandmother De Gennaro 28 years ago is someone Presidente and I know from our ward in Bountiful, Utah. His name is David Harmer and is a wonderful person. Such an incredibly small world in the church. Elders and Hermanas, I want you to know that the people that you baptize will remember you forever, so be great examples in all you do. Hey, where is the 4Th generation of this family?
Right here, darling Nicole. What a sweet young lady.
O.K., we end with something a little light and humorous. It's hard not to notice Presidente Clegg with his chapa in his mouth. But if you could read it, you would see that it is one of Hermana Clegg's Chapa's. When we left for Ciudad Real he had his jacket in the back of the car and he forgot to put his chapa on it. When we arrived up there he realized he didn't have one. I suggested he take one of mine, because I always have an extra one with me. He went Saturday and through all of church Sunday and no one noticed it didn't say Presidente Clegg on it. He showed it to Elder's Bader and Siddiqui and they all got a good laugh out of that one. Never a dull moment when you are with Presidente Clegg, that is for sure.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baptisms, Missionaries and Members

We start with a wonderful photo shared with us by Elder Andersson who is serving in the Cartegena 3 ward. Spain has some magnificent coast line.
We received quite a few baptism pictures. We love to see these. Murcia 1 was happy and so was Hermana's Montes de Oca and Gum.
Elders Burdette and Wilson were busy in the Cartegena l ward.
Huelva had a beautiful baptism with Elder Hamilton, Han and Thatcher. What a great way to start your first week in the mission Elder Hamilton.
Elder Fredrikson and Andersson are all smiles with these lovely new members in the Cartegena 3 ward.
Almeria is heaven on earth as Elder's Hurley and Marchello have found out.
More in Almeria
And more again in Almeria!
The middle of the week brought another new Elder to the mission, Elder Fagersten. He is one of the lucky ones who came right on time. Maybe there is light at the end of this tunnel and all the missionaries will be getting their visas better.
We took Elder Fagersten right outside to the plaza in Fuengirola. The office elevator was not working at the moment so we skipped the office and went up to the mission home.
What a great looking Elder from Iowa.
He is a fabulous piano player. He arranges his own songs and he played one for us. It was fantastic.
We took him to the mission home office to find out his first city in the mission. Presidente knows and so does Elder Bader. He is going to Almeria with Elder Adams as his trainer.
Once we were done it was off in the car and back to the train station to take the train to Malaga, and then a bus to Almeria. I think Elder Fagersten is as happy as we are to have him here.
The next day was Presidente's Birthday. He is receiving a card from Elder Solari and Elder DeMolino from Granada, but only Elder Solari is able to deliver it. We have a change in the office and Elder Solari is our newest ayudante. Elder Halverson is down with all of this!
Look closely and see what is in this picture. Do I see a Book of Mormon? Where did they get this card? (At a chino store, where else)
We also have another new face at the office. Elder Niebergall is being trained to replace Elder Stanley. Elder Stanley and Goodman are looking in with joy.
Saturday night we were in the lovely city of Granada. We had a missionary fireside. Afterwards we had a wonderful table of food to taste and to mingle with each other. Here are some of the youth of the ward and a few young moms. It was a wonderful night.
El Presidente is enjoying a little time talking with Hna Ramirez.
Hna Clegg is going for the food. It was wonderful.
One of the Zone Leaders, Elder De Molino is chatting with El Presidente. He is a great Elder from Bilbao who loves doing the work.
Bro. Agustino is a member of the High Council and also of the Granada ward.
And here we have one of the prettiest faces in Spain, Amaya, wife of Josue Sanchez, our residency expert. Josue had my camera and took some of these shots. He couldn't resist his beautiful wife. They are also members of the Granada ward.
We end with how we started with a beautiful shot of the Eastern coast of Spain. Much missionary work is being done here to bring these beautiful people unto Christ.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August Heat Just Can't Be Beat!

We start this blog off with one of the last things we did this week, that of attending church in Almeria. But the happy smiles on the faces of Elder Hurley and Marchello were just how we wanted to start. We smile because we are happy in the New Spain Malaga Mission.
It is hot in Southern Spain this time of year but it doesn't discourage our missionaries. Even at the saying good-bye to Elder Hughes. Hna's Hidalgo and Stolk got a chance to see Elder Hughes before he left this past Monday. No Presidente, he is not putting his arms around the sisters.
We went out to finish interviews this week. We arrived in Sevilla were they were finishing their District Meeting. It was 120 outside. Yikes!!
What is this, T-Shirts for the Zone? Hna's Nelson and Cluff had something to do with this. Oh yea, Elder Langston is showing one of the chocolate chip cookies I brought them.
Some of the Elders ran out and bought bread and meats for sandwiches for after the interviews. Such good workers!! Elders Thatcher, Han, Halverson and Masterson are a great assembly line of Missionaries!
Hna's Cluff and Nelson are waiting for lunch along with Elder Vaninetti! The Elders should be serving the Hermanas.
One of the best part of Interviews or Zone Conferences is getting the mail! Elder Birnbaumer is excited for his package from home.
The next day we were in San Fernando to finish up with the interviews.
This is a great zone that is seeing some great success.
Elder Avellar volunteered to fix "White Lightning Soup." It is a favorite Mexican recipe that his sister taught him. It was great!
Elder Ward and Elder Salls are giving it the thumbs up!
Happy Missionaries are those that get fed well
After we returned home we had the pleasure of welcoming Elder Hamilton to the mission. He had been serving in Tuscan, Arizona, awaiting his visa to come through, and it finally came. I don't know who is more happy, him or us, but he is finally here.
Just your usual hot day in Fuengirola as we surface from the train station. It is nice that the CCM in Madrid sends the missionaries here by train. The train station is directly across from the mission office.
We brought him up to the house for Lasagna and a small orientation.
And of course, his assignment, Huelva with Elder Han. Hey wait a minute. Elder Hamilton with Elder Han in Huelva. I like the H thing going on here!
Now this is the coolest thing yet. I told Elder Hamilton I liked his tie. He answered, "Oh, it is my blow-up tie." What? Yes, it actually blows up and could serve as a small pillow. What will they think of next.
Take our pictures and then it was off for the train station. He looks great and is so excited. We love getting new missionaries, they are such a boost for all of us, and Elder Hamilton was no exception.
Just had to put a picture of Elder Bader on here for everyone to see. He is leaving the office next week and we are going to miss him. He is going up to the La Mancha area to Valdepenas. We are sure he will help the area explode. He is going to be going there with Elder Siddiqui. What a team.
This is a picture sent to me from the Hna's in Malaga. Does Elder Romney and Phillips think they are going to contact someone here?
The next day after Elder Hamilton arrived we have to say good-bye to Elders Smithson and Watts. Two wonderful Elders who have fulfilled honorable missions. Elder Watts was worried that his parents didn't read their e-mail that he was coming home a few days early due to a possible airline strike. So Presidente called to make sure they were expecting him. They were, no worries Elder Watts.
We had a wonderful night sharing our feelings and testimonies of this great work. Best of luck to both of you in your future.
And yes, we do baptize in the Malaga Mission. Hey Elders and Hna's, send me your photos! Elder Bader and Halverson are working hard to bring more people unto Christ.
We love baptisms!
The end of the week took us to Almeria for church. We had a wonderful time meeting the members and finding out something very special. Elders and Hna's, we want you to know that you have a huge impact on the lives of those you baptize. This dear Sister Filomena was baptized over 25 years ago. She has in the front of her scriptures pictures of children and grandchildren and the two Elders at her baptism. The wonderful thing is one of the Elders pictured here is our neighbor back home in Utah and our current Stake President. What a small world in the church.
This is the wonderful Moraza family. Their wonderful daughter, Hna Moraza is currently a missionary in the Madrid Mission. But 11 months ago we welcomed her to the Bilbao Mission. What a tender mercy to meet the family of one of our dear missionaries. This is a fun part of this change that we are enjoying!
This is also Hna Moraza's aunt. She was also baptized by our neighbor back home. These people are the pioneers of the church in Almeria.
Two other wonderful members. We were welcomed with such love in this ward. They are the gospel in action.
Finally, this is the perfect picture to end this week's post. Two Hna's that look like the angels they are. I love this picture because they really look like they are glowing, and they are because they know that serving a mission is the best decision they could have made. We love all our missionaries, you are the best!