Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eight is Enough?

Is this one of the best baptism pictures you have ever seen? We baptize families in the Spain Malaga Mission. Elders Stowell, Long, Walton and Nally feel like they are in heaven with the Martinez Family. This family found Elder Nally and Elder Long because they were in the streets, contacting as they needed to be instead of going in for lunch 10 minutes early. It is a wonderful story of obedience, faith and enduring. We have more pictures at the end of the blog, but last night in Badajoz the heavens were opened.
They were also opened in Sevilla. Hna Crowder and Hna Carter enjoyed the fruits of hard work. This work is wonderful but also it takes a lot of effort and these two Hermanas work!
Elder Ferguson and Elder Manning had a wonderful baptism in Malaga. There were 60-70 people at her baptism. Many young single adults were there in support. It was wonderful.
Elder Staples and Elder Jones are smiling at the wonderful scene of a baptism of a mother and her son. Crevillente is growing and these two Elders are a big part of the success they are seeing there. They also feel the love and support of the Branch.
Elder Triana and the other Elder Jones held a very sweet baptism in Valdepenas. They love the members there and the members are feeling the excitement of seeing new people come into the church.
Now what is this? Elder Manning, you aren't going to eat all of that are you?
Elder Hoyos says you bet he is and so am I. This was Thanksgiving at the mission home but we shall have more of that later.
With Thanksgiving time comes the beginning of the Christmas season. The Hermanas in Cadiz are getting in the spirit of the season. You've got to love the tree.
Elder Staples is contacting and working with everyone. Missionaries are happy when they are doing missionary work.
Elder McGarry says, "Si"
Last week in Alicante we were so warmly greeted and welcomed and taken care of by the JAS leaders. This dear couple are serving a mission as the JAS leaders in Alicante. They also live in Alicante, natives to Spain, and serve with joy. They made us an empanada and a cake that was incredible and made our ride home a joy.
What are these 3 up to in the mission home?
"Hey Presidente, we are hear to help you in anyway we can." Actually, Elder Jordan and Elder Thornley from Algeciras and Elder Stoner from Sevilla are in the mission home because we are getting two new missionaries tomorrow and these 3 are the trainers. (Elders Thornley and Jordan are training as a triple.
After a good night sleep, they want Breakfast. Boy, did they want breakfast!!! Now Elder Jordan, save some for Elder Thornley.
And here they are, Elder Fowkes from Arizona and Elder Jackson from Utah. Two great young men who have been visa waiting for a little bit. Actually Elder Fowkes was in Salt Lake for 2 1/2 transfers and Elder Jackson was only waiting for 1/2 transfer. But both are glad to be in Spain.
As always, there are papers to fill out and things to be taught.
"Hey, can we come in now?" No fair peaking Elders, but o.k, the time to meet them has arrived.
Elder Stoner is so excited, his companion is...
Elder Fowkes and they are going to Sevilla.
And Elder Jackson is going to Algeciras. They are all excited.
A great looking group of Elders don't you think?
We decided to have a group picture of all who were at the mission home to help orient 2 missionaries. Can we say overload? Not really, we just always get so excited when new missionaries arrive in the mission.
Elder Jordan says, "Head 'em up, move 'em out"!! He's got Elder's Jackson's back and then some. Doesn't hurt to have a former All-State wrestler as your companion when you've been an All-State Football and Basketball player. Oh my, please be nice to Elder Thornley.
On Wednesday we went to Nerja and attended the District Meeting with the Elders of Nerja and Motril. We had a wonderful meeting followed by a great Italian meal in Nerja. Elders Rodriguez, Kirkham, Barney and Mendoza are great and working hard in these small branches. Not to say also what great November weather!
Later that night we were delighted with the visit of the Neibergall family. They came to visit Spain. Elder Neibergall served in the office from October-March. He was a great missionary and it was so fun to meet almost all his family. He has one brother currently serving in Mexico. His two older brothers also served in Mexico. They had a little trouble in Antequera where they were robbed. But they still were able to put on happy faces.
And no Elders, this is not his sister. He surprised us with the news that this is his fiancee as of 3 days ago. He proposed on the trip. Now that takes planning. Way to go Elder Neibergall.
He stopped by the office the next morning to visit with Elder Taylor and Elder Fagersten.
And what do you do for P-day on Thanksgiving Day? You play football in the backyard while the food is getting ready! The Malaga Zone chose to have their p-day at the mission home.
Hermana Stevens made pumpkin and apple pies.
Rolls are a part of every Thanksgiving meal.
Hna Massaro mashed the potatoes and brought a wonderful fruit salad.
Elder and Hna Stevens picked the turkey's clean. We had to cook two 12 pound turkeys.
Yes, Hna Clegg is making the gravy and almost going crazy to get all the food out at once. Thank heavens for many helping hands, feeding a group of twenty takes a little planning and a lot of help.
Elder Dangerfield seems to be consoling Elder Ferreira because it isn't the office p-day. But I don't think Elder Ferreira minds, he just wants to experience a real American Holiday or maybe he just wants a great lunch.
The table is ready.
Hermana Bozeman says all is ready and it looks like a thumbs up.
And there you have it, the food is ready to be devoured.
Oh the pains of a full stomach. Who is that under the quilt? Not quite sure, but he was on his way soon as Malaga had to get back home and to work that evening. We all felt more thank-full for our many blessings and for all the Lord has blessed us with. Hopefully everyone throughout the mission were able to do something to celebrate Thanksgiving. But we know that all are thank-full for many many blessings.
What are the 4 Elders in Badajoz doing? It's called a branch party where we celebrated all the nationalities in the branch. There were many. They shared chili and banana bread and brownies from the United States. Mostly it was Arizona as Elders Stowell, Walton and Nally are all from Arizona. Elder Long was there to represent Utah. (Along with Pte and Hna Clegg and Elder and Hna Clegg)
This is the one of the sweetest stories every told. Hna Rocio from Jerez, 16 years ago taught Bro. Martinez and his wife and family of 4 the gospel. They moved to South America before they could be baptized. After 16 years and 3 more children, they moved back to Spain and live in Badajoz. Bro. Martinez found Elders Long and Elder Nally in the street one day and told the Elders he and his family wanted to be taught again and become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Elder Long was shown the 16 year old picture of the Hermanas that taught them in Alicante and Elder Long, who had served in Jerez recognized Rocio and she was contacted and with her husband they drove up to Badajoz for the baptism. Such a wonderful story.
Pte. Koh of the mission presidency is talking with some of the Badajoz members. We were having a branch conference with a branch activity on Saturday night. The baptism followed the activity.
Here are 7 of the family members with Elder Long. They are getting excited for their baptism.
Elder Nally is bringing in all the white clothes. This took organization on the part of the 4 Elders to get enough baptismal clothes.
Here is the entire family of 8, ready to be baptized.
And even though we have all 4 of the missionaries on the first of the blog with the family, we had to have the first missionary, Rocio, who taught mom and dad and 4 children 16 years ago. Wow, this was so incredible. All solid and converted and ready to be baptized.
Before Rocio left we took a few pictures with her husband and daughter with Elder and Hna Clegg who were in Badajoz with us for the Branch Conference.
And we end with the missionaries who helped this miracle come to pass, with a lot of inspiration from the Lord. Don't anyone doubt that the Lord loves his children and is mindful of many ways to bless those who serve him faithfully, especially his wonderful missionaries. It was a great weekend in Badajoz. We had over 75 people in the church on Sunday and probably even a few more at the baptism. It was incredible. This church is true!!! And it's a great time to be a missionary in the best mission in the church, the Spain Malaga Mission. "Bautismos por mi les habra."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hooray for Zone Conferences

As every week goes by in the mission, we have baptisms. Fuengirola is baptizing again. Elder Fetzer and Elder Ferreira are always inviting people to be baptized and two angel women accepted.
And the same goes for Elder Alejandre and Elder Waite, the two Zone Leaders in Sevilla. They know and understand their purpose as missionaries.
Elder Thornley and Elder Jordan baptized a beautiful couple in Algeciras. There is never any doubt that they know why they came on a mission.
Alcazar is seeing white again. Maybe it is because Elder White likes to bring others unto Christ.
He and his companion Elder Peterson, the two Zone Leaders in LaMancha, are doing all they can and working with sincere hearts and real intent. The Lord will always make up the difference.
Elder Bennett and Elder Malgarejo are finding those to baptize in Murcia. Way to train your new companion Elder Bennett! We have heard that Elder Malgarejo is all about talking to everyone and doing his best. That's what missionaries do in the Spain Malaga Mission.
A wonderful old Roman bridge in Murcia along with the Cathedral reminds us of the beauty that is all over Spain.
These are some of the saints that come into Murcia once in a while and then other times the Missionaries go out to them to take them the sacrament. The wards are growing and in the near future there should be another ward in Murcia. That is great news.
The windmills of LaMancha are always something to be fascinated by. Elder Peterson is tall enough to catch one of the panels of the windmill. Maybe he is going to push it faster?
Whoa, you didn't have to whip it that fast Elder Peterson. Elder White is trying to stay grounded against the wind. Notice his tie being blown back.
This week meant Zone Conferences. We are so excited to get started. As we drive up to the capilla in Sevilla most of the San Fernando Zone was arriving. What a great looking group of excited missionaries.
Always happy to have lunch after a great morning of being taught and doing several practices. The role plays were wonderful and we know all of the missionaries learned from practicing.
Are Elder Rodriguez and Elder Crawford happy or what? Great missionaries are happy missionaries and these two are great.
This table of missionaries are also happy to be fed after the great morning.
We enjoy singing Happy Birthday to those who have had birthdays since the last Zone Conference. We had a lot this time.
So nice to have Hna. Crowder to play the piano for the special number. Elder Geest offered to help turn the pages.
The Sevilla District along with the Hermanas from Cadiz sang a beautiful song that set the tone for the afternoon.
Didn't we see these two happy Elders earlier? Yes, but look, matching Chino ties. They are really the dynamic duo.
More matching ties but these two are not companions. Elder Jordan and Elder Pederson received these ties from the former Elder Del Molino and Elder Solari who are home now. Just a little hello to two former soldiers!
The Sevilla and San Fernando Zone Conference was wonderful. We felt the spirit and learned so much from each other. Thanks to some 31 missionaries for all the work they are doing to bring as many people unto Christ as possible.
Wow, now we can let our hair down and sigh a sigh of relief after a big day:)
On to Malaga where we had the Malaga Zone, the Granada Zone and the LaMancha Zone all together. This will be our biggest group. The tables are set with homemade empanadas from one of the members in the Malaga 1 Ward.
Here he is taking a picture of a group of happy missionaries. Want to see them?
3 cheers for a great lunch! They are all ready to eat.
We had an equally wonderful conference in Malaga. Elder Kirkham and Elder Walton enjoy seeing each other again. Can you just see how happy and hard working they are! What a great representation of all of our missionaries. We are having a wonderful time serving the Lord in Spain.
Elder Ferguson and Elder Peterson are pointing the way to each other. This looks serious.
Elder Hoyos and Elder Mendoza are sharing their great smiles for everyone.
Now we have the tall and the short of it. 3 of the tallest Elders with 2 of the menos tallest Elders. We love every one of our missionaries no matter what the physical size because they all have big hearts of gold. Elder Taylor, Elder Gomez, Elder Peterson, Elder Basurto and Elder Hatch are all super!
"Mom, please help me", is what Elder Manning seems to be saying. Actually he and Elder Ferguson, our two Malaga Zone Leaders are happy that all went well during the conference. They were in charge of the food and the set up. Great job Elders.
Two more Zone Leaders, Elder Dunoskovic and Elder Birmbaumer did a great job in teaching at the Zone Conference. Hey, we even got Elder Birmbaumer to smile a little bit more. Good-looking and hard working these two Elders are. Granada is exploding.
Elder Long says "Go Tigers" (He and Elder Seeley's home team of Hurricane High just won the state football championship but he doesn't know that yet) He and Elder White are showing all the world that Elders everywhere who have the Spirit with them are happy.
Now this is an impressive group. But would you believe it, someone is missing. Do you know who?
Why it was Elder Massaro. We are glad we found you.
The next day came fast as we found ourselves with 4 happy Hermanas in Murcia. Hna Rojas, Hna Vasquez, Hna Vega and Hna Bascope are as happy as can be. All super missionaries.
Two other great Hermanas, Hna Woffinden and Hna Sypherd are with Elder Hunt, Elder Bradley and Elder Phillips as we all enjoyed another great lunch served by some of the wonderful members in Murcia.
"MMM good" say the 4 Zone Leaders, Elders Lignell, Bailey, Shaver and Forrest. Along with Elders Estrada and Hamilton and Bennett.
Some more thumbs up from Elder Masterson, Elder McGarry, Elder Banbury, Elder Valenzuela and Elder Bennett again?
Can't leave out our other Hermana companionship, Hna Woodward and Hna Ross are always lighting up the room when they come in. Looking great Hermanas!
Elder Mockler and Elder Marchello, you know, Elders M & M, look like they are feeding Elder Taylor Elder Marchello's birthday candy. Elder Taylor wouldn't mind that.
And desert is great according to Elder Bennett and Elder Malgarejo.
We ended happy and healthy and ready to be the AVE'S we can be. (You would have to be there to understand.) The Murcia and Alicante Zones are up for anything and continue to set feches, teach people not lessons and bring many many souls unto the Savior. We are happy in the Spain Malaga Mission and we are baptizing in the Spain Malaga Mission because we know what "OUR PURPOSE" is.