Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hermanas Everywhere

Actually, there aren't too many Hermanas here, but it was a double baptism. The office Elders, Elders Stoner and Moss and the Ayudantes, Elder Brian and Avellar each had a baptism. It was a great day in the Fuengirola Ward.
What, these aren't Hermanas! That's right, these are our two hard working, happy missionaries in Cordoba. We were there for a fireside Sunday night and they had to run out to get to a visit. As we were driving out of the town, we spotted them crossing the road. There is nothing better than to see two missionaries at work. Elder Hales and Elder Pratt, we love you both!
Again, these aren't Hermanas, but these are the two Elders that are serving in Dos Hermanas. (Two Sister) Elder Hatch and Elder Cooper are all smiles with Presidente Clegg there to add a smile or two. We had a great day in Dos Hermanas. A very special ward for many reasons.
One of which we have a granddaughter there? Not really, but this is former (Elder) Miguel Roldan, one of our missionaries in Bilbao and he lives in Dos Hermanas. This is his little niece, April. She is adorable.
Here is the proud mom and dad, the oldest sister to Miguel Roldan and her husband is the son of Faustino Lopez, our former mission counselor in Bilbao and the new District President in the Santiago District. We have family everywhere in Spain. We love it.
Still no Hermanas. Elder Brian and Elder Avellar love the children in the Fuengirola Ward. They are always the cutest future missionaries.
No Hermanas here but a baptism, now that is supreme. Elder Birmbaumer and Elder Barahona in Alicante had a wonderful baptism. Hey, is that the former Elder Vaninetti visiting us from Italy? It sure is.
Still no hermanas but Elder White and Elder Lignell keep the baptism fires going in Algeciras.
We have a few hermanas in Puertollano. The young boy and his mother were baptized by Elder Corradi and Elder Card.
Here is Elder and Sister Clegg with Victor, an investigator who is learning to play some songs of the church on his guitar. This is helping him feel comfortable and welcome into the church.
Well here are a few hermanas but they don't look like it in their p-day clothes. They were playing soccer with some members and investigators in Cadiz. The word on the street is Hermana Guerra scored two goals. You go girl!
Elder Brian? Thought he went home. He did but just before the office took a p-day at the Fuengirola Zoo and had a great day.
Nope, no Hermanas here, just Elder Stoner with his recent convert pulling faces at the Zoo.
Better watch out, Elder Avellar is on the prowl.
Still no Hermanas, but Elder Manning with a big smile and loving life in Badajoz.
The flowers are incredible in Spain in the springtime. Elder Manning again pointing out the beautiful.
Definitely no Hermanas here. This is a picture of the Elders when they ran into a bunch of Goblins. These guys are goofy looking for sure, not handsome like our missionaries.
We did find one of our Hermnas, Hna Capner with a wife who has been a member for years and finally her husband has decided to be baptized. A great day in Almeria.
Spain has it's share of Christ statues. This one is in a beautiful location in Almeria. If you look closely, you'll find Elder Bennett in the picture.
Here Elder Bennett is helping a paralysed man try to play the guitar. Dear acts of kindness are always being done by our missionaries.
Oh no, BYU and Utah in Spain? I don't think I will comment any further, because a picture is worth a thousand words, right Elder Manning and Elder Fagersten?
Now here we have Dos Hermanas in Dos Hermanas. But the reality is we have more.
Elder Waite and Elder Avellar look a little uncomfortable? What's going on in the mission home?
It's a misison leadership training for all the Hermanas. We are excited and so are they. 18 sisters and 3 couples to join in, it was a spiritual feast as well as a physical feast at times.
Hermana Massaro is happy to be at the training. We love our nurses and how they are helping our mission.
Hermana Hidalgo and Hermana Woffinden are all smiles.
The smiles are radiating everywhere. Hermana Stolk and Hermana Ackerman are excited to be the first Hermanas in Cartagena. They have huge goals and are ready to reach them.
Hermanas are always ready to help in the kitchen.
Hermana Bascope and Hermana Guerra are ready to help too, but there is no room for them at this moment.
Hermana Sturgess is catching a moment to study.
Los Clegg are so incredible. We love having them here from Ciudad Real to lift our spirits and teach us all.
The Hermanas are doing a little preparation. Every companionship taught a principle from the 8 lessons. It was fantastic and we all learned so much.
Hermana Sturgess, Capner and Carter are happy to be missionaries in Spain.
Hermanas Bascope and Rojas are reaquainting after serving together in Malaga. Hermana Rojas is now in Torrevieja.
Hermana Guerra and Hermana Carter used to be companions, so seeing each other again was a treat.
We have a generation picture. Hermana Frandsen, in the middle, trained both Hermana Capner and Hermana Bozeman. All are great missionaries.
And this one is even better, Hna Ramirez on the right, trained Hermana Stolk who trained Hermana Bascope. We are sad to see Hermana Ramirez leave us at the end of this transfer. She is dynamic and fantastic as a missionary.
We are the Hermanas in the Spain Malaga Mission and we invite all to "Come Unto Christ", and be baptized. Great force and strength in the mission.
This was a great group and the few days together were spiritual highs for all of us.
The Hermanas left their hearts on our door, filled with words of love and gratitude. We love all our missionaries in the Spain Malaga Mission, and our Hermanas are the BEST!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Long Version

We couldn't put last week's blog on because I didn't have my power cord, so here is the longer version. Don't you love seeing Hna Montes de Oca with her feet in the pool? The reason she could do this was because Pte. Clegg released her from her full time service as a missionary after our testimony meeting. When she returned to Japan with her family, her District President was going to be out of town for two weeks so it was decided to have Pte. Clegg release her.
Elder Ferguson looks so pensive in the early morning dawn of light. He and Elder Thomas have just reopened Nerja and were not in their apartment yet. They had to take an early morning bus to get to church on time so they took this great picture by the "Balcony of Europe."

Our group of 4 great missionaries arrived in the morning from Madrid. Such a great looking group of missionaries. We are so excited to have them arrive.
They are excited to be able to get the "birdseye view" of Fuengirola.
First Elder Brian shared a few thoughts. Then Presidente Clegg welcomes them to the "real" beginning of their mission, the excitement to get started is felt by all.
The 4 trainers are anxious to hear whom they will be training. Of course, Hna Millan knows who she will train, but they are all still very excited.
Hna Ross is going to Ciudad Real with our wonderful Hna Millan. They are excited.
Elder Ferreira is excited to train Elder Roa. They will be a great companionship.
They are excited to be working in Elche together. Elder Ferreira will be busy as a trainer and a Zone Leader.
Elder Alejandre is going to be a great trainer with Elder Rodriguez. They will be in Elche where Elder Alejandre is also the District Leader.
Elder Becerra will be marvelous with Elder Mendoza in Huelva. They are excited to get to work.
After a lunch of lasagna it was off to their areas and time to go to work.
We thought we would take a picture of the ayudantes with Pte. Clegg because Elder Brian is going home this week.
Now Elder Avellar is a little alone, who is going to be his companion and the next assistant?
Meet the Virginians. Actually, Elder Moss and Elder Stoner are the office missionaries and are from Virginia. Welcome Elder Waite, also from Virginia, who is Elder Avellar's companion. We are happy to have him in the office and expect a lot of energy and work from him, which we are sure he will do.
The departing missionaries are in the home doing their last minute things before we eat and have our testimony meeting.
Dear Hna Montes de Oca, always smiling, even through the many rough times on her mission. She dealt with a very difficult ankle injury and just hung in there until the end of her mission, working as hard as always.
Elder Velasquez is excited and nervous about going home, like so many of the missionaries. But we know his future is bright. He served so well and made a difference in so many peoples lives.
Would everyone come and get ready for the final picture please.
Leave it to Elder Brian to try to get the last word in and to direct us all. We will miss you Elder Brian.
A great group of missionaries. L. to R. Elders Velasquez, Travis, Giler, Pte. and Hna Clegg, Hna Montes de Oca, Elder Smith, Goodman and Brian. Farewell to all and till we meet again.
We traveled that weekend to Lorca where the earthquake took place a week earlier. All things were cleaned up but here are a few pictures of some of the damage. This is the street where the church was located.
This is the church building from across the street. Most of the damage happened on the main floors of building and with lots of bricks falling. The cement pillars that hold up the buildings are all that are left of the first floors, but most of these buildings have been condemed. This is the building the church was in.
This is the entrance to the capilla in Lorca. As you can see, it is not usable at this time.
And finally, a side view of where the capilla was. Fortunately no members were hurt but many of them are looking for new places to live. Fortunately our missionaries weren't in Lorca during the quake, rather they were working in Huercal Overa, a nearby town where a new branch just opened a few weeks before the quake. Now both branches are meeting in Huercal Overa, and happy to have that capilla to attend their meetings in.