Sunday, August 28, 2011

We baptize in the Spain Malaga Mission

Alicante had a wonderful baptism of Sandra. Her husband joined the church back in February and now they have a goal of being sealed in the temple in 2012. Way to go Elder Forrest and Elder McGarry.
This wonderful mother is being a great example to her children about great choices. Elder Taylor and Elder Mervai are happy about what is happening in Lorca. They are also working very hard to continue to bring many wonderful people unto Christ.
Some of the members in Lorca are there to support the newest member of their branch.
This week Presidente and Hna Clegg visited the District meeting in Malaga. What a great job Elder Masterson did to bring the spirit to his District meeting and to instruct us all. Presidente Clegg shared some wonderful advice to help the Elders with their work.
What a great looking district of Elders and Hermanas. (Yea for Hna Massaro)
This is the crazy photo?!#? Whatever.
What is Elder Hunt showing Elder Massaro? If you are thinking he is training him for working in the office, that would be correct.
Hermana Hunt is busy training Hna Massaro so she can take over. Elder Moss is helping prepare Hna Massaro's computer to work with the office printers. We have a mission couple coming to work in the office. Their names are Elder and Hermana Stevens, but they are currently waiting for their visas. (So many of our missionaries can relate to this. ) So the Massaros are going to be in the office and handle the health and the apartments in the mission. They are wonderful and willing to do anything.
We brought some napolitanis to share for the last time with the Hunts. They will be missed.
We had a farewell lunch at the mission home for the Hunts. The office Elders were happy to come too. We are currently 6 because Elder Stoner is training Elder Fagersten and Elder Moss is training Elder Taylor. Elder Waite and Elder Fetzer are busy assisting the President and the missionaries anyway they can. Great Elders all of them.
We wanted to take a group shot. Oh my, there seems to be two Elders a little out of focus. That's o.k., they will find their way back:)
So long and farewell to two wonderful and unselfish people who have given two years of their life in service of the entire Malaga Mission. We wish them the best and will be anxious to hear where they go next. They plan to submit papers to go again in the near future. Vaya con Dios Los Hunt!
We were in Cadiz for the weekend. Our Hermanas are strong and working non-stop. Actually, Hermana Millan has prepared a box to be sent home. This is her last transfer in the mission. She will be missed! But Hermana Capener will be able to push onward and upward. Two wonderful Hermanas.
Cadiz is a beautiful city and we enjoyed our time with the members their. The ward members are dear and the spirit in our meetings was wonderful.
Just thought we would share with you an interesting picture taken in Arcos de la Frontera. We passed through there on our way to Cadiz. This is a sculpture in honor of "Semana Santa", otherwise known as Easter week. This is the biggest and most important holiday in Spain.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Morning Breaks

The morning breaks and baptisms begin in Spain. WOW!
Way to go Elders Mockler, Lignell and White in Algeciras. Their investigator was leaving that day and so they received permission to baptize him in the early hours of a beautiful Saturday morning. The symbolism of being reborn along with the beginning of the most beautiful day in the life of one of the newest members of the church in Spain.
We also love the "family picture" of the District in Ciudad Real. All in blue and white, way to coordinate! After this picture the entire district changed, Elder Rencher transfered to Almeria, Elder Card is in Aljarafe, the Hermanas have a new missionary, Hermana Gibson, Elder Bradley has a new Elder, Elder Triana, Elder Hatch has a new companion, Elder Seely, and Elder Crawford has a new companion, Elder White.
The Hermanas in Cadiz had a wonderful baptism. Where are you Hermana Capener and Hermana Millan?
Elder Barney and Elder Hunt had a fantastic baptism in Alcala. A very humble man who has found joy and rejoicing in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Tuesday we had the pleasure of visiting with the "former" Elder Phillips and his parents all the way from London. What a pleasure to meet his parents and visit again with one of our wonderful returned missionary.
Happy Birthday to Presidente Clegg. Wow, what a huge puff of air to blow out this candle? The office elders made a cake. They just didn't want to buy 59 candles and aren't we glad! August 18th, a great day for the Clegg family.
To celebrate his birthday we decided to take a p-day and go to the mountains. Yes, there are a few mountains, in fact the highest mountain range in Spain is the real Sierre Nevadas just outside of Granada. We found a wonderful ski village up there.

Charming stores and restaurants to choose from.
Lots of hotels for the loads of skiers and snowboarders who come for winter pleasure and a few of us who also enjoy hiking in the hills during the summertime.
We decided to take the gondola to the top.
No Presidente, there isn't any snow and you don't have any skis on. You have to know that Presidente Clegg is more comfortable on a pair of skis on a beautiful powder day than anything else. Oh 3 years without skiing, that is a little sacrifice.
That's the view from the top of the gondola. It looks like some fun intermediate runs. We decided we would hike down the mountain.
"Hey, when is the lift going to start working?" Hermana Clegg is having a hard time keeping up with her "mountain goat" husband. He skis down fast and he hikes down fast.
We are half-way down now, enjoying the view. Just after this picture, somewhere on the hill, Hermana Clegg's phone fell out of her purse. We didn't find out until we were in the car on our way to Huercal-Overa. We figured her phone had returned to nature, never to return. But if you can believe it, a man from Barcelona found it the next day, called us and we were able to meet up with him Sunday afternoon. Wow, tender little miracles happen all the time.
We had a great fireside with the members of the newest branch in Spain in Huercal-Overa. Even some of the saints from Lorca came for the fireside.
Such a wonderful family. Little Freddie, the 12 year old is such a great future missionary. He wanted to touch Presidente Clegg's head because Pte. Henry Eyring called us on our mission. He knows the apostles and prophets and is doing all he can to prepare himself to serve a mission one day. His little brother will too because he will have Freddie as his example.
Another recent convert who is has already been to the temple to do baptisms and is planning to go in January to receive her endowments. Many faithful members in this little branch.
Elder Taylor is trying to hide behind someone's fan. It's not going to work, we can see you Elder Taylor.
The Elders of Lorca and Huercal-Overa are looking great. They have several baptismal dates set and they are working hard. Elder Faerguson looks like he knows something we all don't know? Elder Long, Elder Mervai and Elder Taylor will have to find out.
We did our best to get a group shot of some of the most faithful saints. We are sure this little branch is going to keep on growing.
The next morning, Sunday, we were on our way to Crevillente to go to church. On the way we passed this incredibly different statue on a roundabout that we have ever seen. Boy, who comes up with these?
Elder Rodriguez and Elder Staples are doing great things in Crevillente. They had an investigator in church we were able to meet. Keep working hard Elders and keep things going well there. We love all our missionaries and know they are working hard with urgency because we have so many people to find and teach and baptize in the Spain Malaga Mission!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Missionaries are Coming and Going!

No, we are not in LaMancha, we are in the beautiful town of Torrevieja. Such a lovely place to visit but more importantly, a great branch where two of our wonderful sisters are hard at work.
We want to introduce the mission to Hna Vasquez from El Salvador. She is one of the 5 new missionaries in the mission as of this week. She received the assignment to serve in Torrevieja along with Hna Rojas. You will see a few pictures of our new missionaries but I want everyone to know we had camera problems this week. For some reason my computer decided to eat a few pictures. I don't know what happened, it has never happened before, but almost all of the pictures of our new missionaries are lost in space. So as we visit the others in a few weeks I will take more pictures and introduce them better to everyone. Hna Vasquez speaks perfect Spanish, claro, as well as perfect English because she lived in the USA for 8 years.
But before we get into the new missionaries, we have to feature some of our baptisms. In Huelva Elder Mendoza and Elder Becerra are seeing some great success.
As well in Cartagena 3, Elder Thornley and Elder Lyman were thrilled with their baptism of Manolo. Looks like a lot of family support here.
This is our baptism that got away. Elder Peterson and Elder Cooper in Dos Hermanas taught the young woman with her daughter on her lap. She was getting baptized there but then had to move up north where she has been baptized in Oviedo. But we wanted to put her here anyway. Elder Solari is in this picture as he was visiting as one of the traveling ayudantes.
But never fear, Elder Cooper and Elder Peterson had a wonderful baptism with Victoria. Some of her family are members and others not.
Isn't she precious!
In Chiclana, after a few hours of service an inactive member made these t-shirts for Elder Staples and Elder Gibson. They look delighted.
Wow, even personalized. I hope you thanked him!!!.
Our trainers for the upcoming new missionaries were all excited to be at the mission home for the Trainer Training. Elder Rencher's companion is currently one of the visa waiters, but we wanted him to come too. Hermana Sturgess and Hermana Ross will be training together. Hermanas Bascope, Rojas and Ackerman are excited. These are all wonderful missionaries who are up for the task.
And here they are. Don't they look great. From your left to right is Hermana Gibson, Presidente, Hermana Sypherd, Hermana Torres, Hermana Clegg, Hermana Vasquez and Elder Triana. Normally there are more Elders than Hermanas so this was a different group. They are all fantastic. Hermana Gibson and Hermana Sypherd are from the States and Hermana Torres is from Barcelona. Elder Triana is from Las Palmas and as we said earlier, Hermana Vasquez is from El Salvador.
The Massaros came and gave them a few health tips.
The trainers were receiving their last bit of training and bearing testimony.
Where are the new companions? Elder Bradley and Elder Rencher think they are over that way, but no. And....this is where all the pictures got lost. We had a great time giving out the assignments and off they all went to their areas. We will have more pictures in September of the new ones unless some of the missionaries send me their pictures.
So on to the time to say good-by to 7 missionaries.
Can you believe that Elder Solari and Elder Del Molino are going home? No, please say it isn't so. They have done a wonderful job going around most of the mission, helping to train and raise the level of the mission. You will both be missed.
One last phone call for Elder Solari. It must be a good one because we have the thumbs up sign.
Three good Elders, being good young men on their last night in the mission. Now, do you want to know what will happen to them if they do something wrong when they get home?
Hermana Clegg will have them by the neck!! Just kidding. But they promised to be good.
After a wonderful testimony meeting we enjoyed desert. Hermana Cannuci and Hermana Guerra seem to be happy.
Same with Elder Kusseling, Elder Del Molino, Hermana Hidalgo and Hermana Stolk. We wish them all the best and our love.
The next morning we had the pleasure of visiting with the Del Molino Family. What a treat for us as we worked and associated with them in Bilbao. A wonderful, stalwart family in the church in Spain. Thanks for raising such a fine son, we will miss him as we have missed all our friends in Bilbao. Just another week in the best mission on the face of the planet, The Spain Malaga Mission.