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."


  1. That is the most amazing story! Hna. Rocio predated me slightly - I served in 96-97 - but what a miracle! El campo ya blanco esta!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I have many great memories of our mission and look forward to visiting again one day.

  3. Thanks for sharing-- I peek in on this blog every once in a while because I served in 96-97, too. What a beautiful picture of a family in white!!

  4. WoW!! Reading all these post brought back so many wonderful memories of the time I served in the Malaga Mission in 96/97, thenk you! The story with Rocio touched me the most! Our family had the privilege of living in El Puerto for a couple years where I got to know Rocio. She is a pillar in the church and in the community! We love her family and couldn't be happier for her or the wonderful Martinez Family!