Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lot's of White Happening in Malaga

We are not the only ones that think the Book of Mormon is the "cat's meow!"
Baptisms, baptisms, in the New Malaga Mission we baptize! Alicante is leading the way.
Alcala had some great baptims
More baptisms, it's what we do.
Malaga can't be left out!
Murcia likes the look of white.
They just don't want to quit, they baptize in Murcia.
The Priesthood is alive and well in Murcia.
One of the many castles all over Spain. This one was sent to us by Elder Bennett who is currently serving in Jerez.
What are you taking aim at Elder Bennett with an umbrella?
This week we welcomed Hna Sturgess to the New Malaga Mission. She loves to smile and we are all smiles to welcome her here.
The office came to welcome her to the mission.
Her orientation went well. So many details to learn, but that is what a trainer is for.
Where is she going? This is the best part of orientation.
She's excited to be going to Elche and serve with Hna Cluff. Welcome to the best mission on the planet!
She worked the night with the Hermanas in Malaga and was on her bus in the morning for Elche.
This doesn't mean too much to people at home, but this means a lot to me. It means I passed my driving exam. It took a lot longer than needed because when we left Bilbao I was in the process of getting my new I.D. I had to wait until December to do the driving test and this week I passed it. Most new drivers have to have the L on the car, but because we are experienced drivers, we don't have to, but it's great to have. I've earned it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We Are Specialized

There are many beautiful cities in our mission and I thought a picture of one of the oldest cities known as Cadiz would be fun. It is a very old city and is full of history with Roman ruins and mosques and cathedrals. It is completely surrounded by water except for one small strip of land that is part of the city and which connects it to the rest of Spain. It has beautiful sandy beaches and is a favorite tourist spot for many people.
But we are not here for the beaches, we are here to bring souls unto Christ. Elders Bennett and Waite are continuing the wonderful work that is going on in Jerez.
Elders Ferriera and Masterson had a wonderful baptism in Algeciras. They have 6 more baptismal fechas. Way to work Elders.
Elders Travis and Pratt are enjoying the fruits of their success in Cartegena 1.
And then for the work of the week, Specialized training in every zone. We started off the week in Malaga where the missionaries are practicing their invitations to baptize. Elder Thatcher and Hna Rojas are learning from each other.
Of course, at the end of each training, we have to sing the mission song.
The Malaga Zone is working hard and we felt a wonderful spirit there on Monday.
Elder Sanchez treated the whole zone to brownies. O.K. Zone Leaders everywhere I think this is a good example of a Zone Leader loving his Zone, don't you think?
We loaded the car for the next 5 days of traveling throughout the mission. We almost didn't have enough room for the ayudantes. Are you back there Elders Solari and Brian?
We were so pumped in Granada. We had a wonderful training on Tuesday.
Things were going great in Elche. Hna's Ackerman and Woffinden were testing their skills with their Zone Leader Elder Kusseling. I think Elder Brian approved.
This half of the Elche Zone are always ready to extend baptismal invitations with all the people they are finding in Elche.
That night I was able to be a missionary with Hna Cluff. We visited with Elder Castellon (a former Bilbao missionary) and his bride Estefani and his mother and younger brothers. We had a great family home evening with them.
Hna Cluff was a great sport to take her "oldie" around with her!!
As we said good-bye we had to take a picture of all of us. Hermanas rock!
The next day in Murcia we found missionaries ready to learn and to commit to do better.
The second half of the Elche Zone are a great looking bunch of Elders and Hermanas. It's fun to see a few new faces in the crowd.
On to Sevilla which is the biggest zone in the mission. They are also studying just before we begin the training. It is important to stay focused as a missionary.
Here is the entire zone smiling except we didn't get our picture taken before Elder Burdette and Stowell had to leave. They are in the picture earlier in the back on the right side. They were just being diligent to get back to their area in time to continue teaching their investigators with baptismal dates. They have two right now. Hey, but someone else is also missing.
Hermana Ramirez, we don't want to forget you. She and Hna Hidalgo are doing great things in Casares.
Finally on to San Fernando where we find Elder Masterson in a new suit with a new look! Yes, you would look different too if you had lost 30 lbs or so since you came to the mission in July. Rebajas is the time to buy and he found a great suit that fits.
Elder Langston also found a great new suit but he didn't loose 30 lbs. He was the trainer of Elder Masterson and Elder Masterson just wanted to look like his papa!
Elder Waite surprised us with a harmonica accompaniment to the guitar with Elder Bennett. They performed "The Army of Helaman." We told Elder Waite we didn't know he played harmonica. His response was, "Neither did I till I bought one at the chino store last week."
Everyone in the San Fernando Zone is ready to be consecrated missionaries as is the rest of the mission. We returned home tired, but happy to feel of the wonderful spirit of the mission and how each and every missionary is ready to teach and preach with more purpose and more determination to do the will of the Lord.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Missionaries Bring Excitement

The beautiful miracles of 2011 have begun as we are seeing wonderful new members "Come Unto Christ" and choose to be baptized. Huelva was a miracle! Just ask Elders Han and Fagersten.
Elders Solari and Brian would agree too, that there are miracles happening in Fuengirola for the second time already this year.
All we can continue to say is that there are miracles in Almeria that Elders Hamilton and Adams are enjoying.
With new missionaries coming finally this week it was time for Elder Velasquez and Alejandre to go and open Cuenca. This is a big assignment for two wonderful missionaries to take on. We were able to escort them up to Ciudad Real on the AVE. This is the high speed train in Spain. Elders Solari and Brian were real excited to be able to come along for the training that we were doing with the LaMancha District.
It was an eventful day filled with loosing the keys, loosing the car and loosing Pte. Cleggs computer. But all was resolved after a lot of prayers were said. Hermanas Stolk and Bescope were the bearers of great news when they brought the computer to Pres. and Elder Clegg.
This is such a special District with very faithful, hard working missionaries. We were also blessed with Mauricio who is leaving on his mission to Uruguay in a month. He is standing by Hna Bescope. He attended the Specialized Training and will do a mini mission with the Elders Fetzer and Basurto in Alcazar.
Oh look out Hna Clegg, don't get hit by the AVE. These are fast trains. We were traveling at 300 kilometers an hour at top speed. We needed to get back to Fuengirola because we were receiving a great gift to start the new year.
Missionaries!!! 6 of them at one time It has been since July that we have gotten that many at once. Oh it feels good and they look great. They didn't arrive until after 7 p.m., so we took them to the mission home for dinner, a little orientation and interviews and then to bed!
The next morning was breakfast and more orientation and the most anticipated moment, assignment to your area.
Elder Niebergall knows where he is assigned, so what is the big deal? Don't we all love Elder Niebergall. We don't thank him enough for all he and Elder Bullen are doing in the office. And this week they are going to teach 20 lessons. It is their goal and they are going to make it!
Who's going first? Looks like it will be Elder Taylor.
He did pick the green area, good choice. And yes, another Elder Taylor is going to Alcala and to be with Elder Redd. And he is even tall! The other Elder Taylor just left to go to Murcia, so we are sure the ward will be excited to have an Elder Taylor again. Taylor is a great name in the church and the posterity is living up to that name.
Hna Woffinden is excited to be going to Elche to be with Hna Ackerman.
Elder Hatch can't quite decide where he might be going. Hint of the day, HERMANAS? Yes, but not to be companions with them, but to the city of Dos Hermanas to be trained by Elder LeBaron.
Elder Hall got a little prompting from Pres. Clegg to go east. Cartegena, one of the garden spots of the Elche Stake. They will love him there and Elder Fredrickson will be a fantastic trainer.
Elder Shrewsbury gets to go on the AVE again. He is going north to Valdepenas to be with Elder Wilson. We know he is going to enjoy it there.
Elder Biamont is going to be with Elder Avellar in Motril. What a power companionship. And get this, they both played the trombone in the marching band in their home towns. Elder Biamont has been working in Tuscan for 2 months, he is our longest visa waiter of this group and we are so fortunate that he was able to get here. Many tender mercies come our way each day and this was certainly one of them.
A parting picture of a great group of missionaries. L. to R. Elder Taylor, Elder Hatch, Elder Hall, Elder Shrewsbury, Elder Biamont and Hna Woffinden. What a great spirit of joy and happiness they brought to the Malaga Mission. We love them already and know they will help this mission succeed in our goal of 25+ a month.