Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our Final Good-bye

We love baptisms always and many miracles have been happening in Malaga.  Elder Triana and Elder Thomas are working and obedient and the Lord is blessing Malaga with success.  

Elche is excited to see a baptism.  Elder Gomez and Elder Mardonnes have worked hard.
Elder Woodford and Elder Jackson keep seeing the fruits of teaching prepared people in Cordoba.
I am so sorry but Elder Woodford, you can't remove that knife.
Elder Salmeron has on his whole Zone's chapas, we think?  
Elder Jackson is finding many special places in this castle.
The Zone Leaders are ready to push the mission to new heights.
We had a great visit with the former Elder Fagersten and his parents and younger brother.  
We had a wonderful last family home evening with all our couples in the mission.  What great people they all are.
Elder Manning sent us a "I love you" shadow.  Thanks, we love you too.
What a great surprise from the office.  A new scripture bag.  I love it Elders.
An even though Presidente Clegg said you didn't need a parker pen to be a Spain Malaga Missionary.  The office thought he should have one to take home.  
We had a wonderful dinner and farewell with Presidente Munoz and his wife Teresa.  They are wonderful people who are leading the Granada Stake.
We took one final p-day to see some of the Malaga sights we had never taken the time to visit.
On Friday morning, June 29th, the Deere family arrived in Malaga.  What a great family and how excited we are for them to serve for the next 3 years.
The two presidents shake hands and decide it's time for the ceremonial transfer of the keys of the mission.  This was a very tender and sweet time as we let go of all our responsibilities of ministering in the Spain Malaga Mission.
So now the keys are passed.  We have given them our phones and showed them around the mission home & mission office.  
Our dear Elders Manning, Nally, Hall and Hunt take us to the airport to bid a farewell. 
And with all of our love we say Thank-you and good-bye to everyone.  To all the wonderful members who do so much and give of their time we say thank-you.  To all of the parents and families of our missionaries who so often send such kind messages of love and support we could not have done this without your faith and prayers.  And to the best missionaries in the entire world, WE LOVE YOU ALL AND WILL CHERISH YOU FOREVER.
And look who was in the Salt Lake Airport to greet us when we arrived home.  Our incredible 5 children and their spouses and all of our 15 grandchildren.  Leaving a mission is tender and tough, but coming home to this is priceless.  We love you all and look forward to meeting so many parents and new wives and husbands and children of all the missionaries who served in either Bilbao or Malaga.  This is the gospel of Jesus Christ, we know He lives and loves us all.  We are his sons and daughters. 
We testify that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration and that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today.  This is His church restored on the earth today.  We are forever grateful for this opportunity to serve.  We leave you our testimony and our love, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reunions are Great

 We always enjoy the miracle of baptism.  Elder Nunez and Elder Barahona are seeing incredible miracles in Valdepenas.  Many more are in the future for them.
Hermana Martin and Hermana Perera in Malaga 3 are always working to bring families together in the gospel. 
 Two great Elders make even better companions.  Elder Wright is doing a great job in training Elder Tenney.  They love Lorca.
 Lorca has a beautiful castle that sits on the top of a hill overlooking the city.  Lot's of miracles always happening in this town.
 Our missionaries are great always ready to give a little service to members and investigators alike.  Elder Hoyos looks like a pro with that paint roller.
 His companion, Elder Gochez also looks quite handy at painting himself.
 We have great hermanas that are always working hard and doing what they can to invite everyone to "Come Unto Christ."  We love all our hermanas in this mission.  They are great!!!
 Hermana Perera joins a little fan in saying "Go Espana".  They are now in the Semi-finals of the Euro Cup.  We are proud of the national team of Spain.
This pictures looks like two pilots for Iberia Air doesn't it?  Actually, it's what Elder Bailey and Elder Alejandre need to do for their weekly district meeting while they are in Africa.  
They are part of the district in the office.  It's their once a week contact with the rest of the mission.  They are all working hard to do the work of the Lord.
It was also time this week to say good-bye to our two wonderful office secretaries as they are finished training out the two new ones.  Elder Thornley and Elder Staples have been wonderful.  They are both going out to other areas to continue their great service here.  Such great missionaries.  They were responsible for making a mission video for everyone.  We love you both.
Just thought everyone would like to see how fresh dirt is delivered here in Spain.  The front yard of the mission home is getting a little re-do when we suddenly noticed a huge crane outside the house. 
The dirt is brought in large bags and the operator puts the bag where the gardeners want it.
Then they slit it open and let the dirt fall.  I quite like this system. 
Hey, now who are all these young adults and what are they doing IN the mission pool?
Hermanas in pants?  Now things are really changing around here.
Oh my, that is former Elder Sanchez and former Elder Del Molino and former Elder Bullen.  What do they all have in common?
They are among the other returned missionaries that attended the first missionary reunion of many we plan to have.  Only most of our reunions will be in Bountiful, Utah.  We decided to try to have a reunion with native missionaries from both the Bilbao and the Malaga Missions.  We spent Friday and Saturday eating, lot's of time in the pool for the returned missionaries, and a little bit of teaching by President Clegg.  

Former Elder Bullen, now Rich Bullen had to leave early to get back with his group in Spain.  He has come with a study abroad program which was in Granada.  How great to see him and catch up on what is going on.  He looked great.
Here's the rest of the group.  We had the former Elder Luke Phillips with his fiancee Avril, the former Hermana Cassandra Marin with her fiancee Marcos, the former Elder Iago Sanchez, the former Elder Reuban Del Molino, the former Hermana Rakel Calderon, the former Elder Benjamin Nestvogel and the former Elder Luiggi Leon.  There were more who tried to come but could not get here.  We missed those who couldn't come but we made up for it with the fun we all shared together. 
O.k., now this looks too much like a missionary.  What is Luke doing in a suit?
Everyone else says "Enough of that, you are going in the pool."
The former Elder Luke Phillips brought this old suit because he wanted so much to be able to go in the pool during his mission.  This one is for all the missionaries and he says, "I feel your pain."  Right, he enjoyed every minute of it.  So did we all.
Elder Manning and Elder Hall brought something up on their p-day and were delighted to see the former Elder Del Molino.  One of the traveling ayudantes when they started their mission.  Time just flies by fast. 

We also got a hello to all, sent by the former Hna Bailey Capener with the former Elder Daryl Bennett and the former  Hna Alicia Sturgess who ran into each other at a concert. 
The former Elder Austin Avellar and the former Elder Blaine Wells give a thumbs up to the entire Spain Malaga Mission.  They are excited that we are now half-way to our goal of 404 baptisms as we are over the 202 mark as of Sunday.
And the former Hna Laura Carter along with Bailey Capner and Alicia Sturgess are loco over the success we are having.
We spent our last Sunday in the mission in the ward of Dos Hermanas.  The flowers are everywhere along the highways in Spain.
Two former Bilbao Missionaries and companions for 3 transfers, the former Elder Miguel Roldan and the former Benjamin Nestvogel enjoyed a little reunion in Dos Hermanas, the ward that Miguel lives in now.  He couldn't make it to the mission home so we came to him.
The wonderful Bishop Roldan and his counselors and wives fixed us a wonderful farewell lunch after church.   It was delicious, especially the chocolate and carrot cakes.
And just a reminder to all, "We will Pray, Read, and Obey every day!!!  That's what we hope every missionary who ever served with President and Hermana Clegg will remember and do for the rest of their lives so we can all enjoy the blessings of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Elders Peters and Banbury and Hermanas Meldrum and Letendre will never forget!  And so, just one more blog, that will be the transition.  Wow, can't believe it is here. Why do 3 years have to go so fast?