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.

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