Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Biblao's turn for a Zone Conference!

It's a beautiful morning in Bilbao and the conference is getting close to starting.  Hna. Arizola from Geneve, Switzerland and Hna. Garcia from Madrid, Spain are happy to see each other.  They were companions until the latest transfer, but they are still in the same zone.  I enjoy speaking french with Hna. Arizola, we like to tease the missionaries and speak in front of them.  It's good to remind them that Spanish isn't the only language and that Hna Clegg can speak other languages intelligently. 
Here is Elder Castellon from Elche, Spain studying and preparing for the day.  We like to have the 10-15 minutes before Zone Conference start be a quiet time of meditation and reflection and getting ready for the spirit to teach us all.
I had to put this picture in as an image of 3 kinds of missionaries.  Elder Rumbolt, from Cyprus,California is going home this transfer, Elder Nelson from Arlington, Virginia has been here 1 year, and Elder Nye, from Layton, Utah is a new greenie.  Great Elders all of them just in very different places in their missions.
Here we have Elder Sorensen from Poway, California talking to the Belnaps and Elder Bingham.  Elder Sorensen is also going home this transfer.  Both Elder Sorensen and Rumbolt bore very powerful and sweet testimonies of their missions.  It is hard for them to think they are going home, but you can certainly tell from their testimonies they have been missionaries who have loved their time of service. 
Lunch time and just guess the menu.  Yep, taco salad, banana nut bread and peanut butter cookies.  For the last few weeks I have been cooking batches here and there and give thanks every day for the freezer in the mission home.
They all look happy.  If the food is good and fills them up, we are happy.  Thank heavens for Makro, it is Spain's version of Costco.
I think they are happy and ready to go on with the Zone Conference.  Baptisms is our focus and these Elders are very hard working.  We love them.
The San Sebastian Elders sing us a special number.  They are l. to r. Elder Crocker from Salt Lake City, Utah, Elder Nielsen from Wallsburg, Utah, Elder Ciccio from Cuneo, Italy and Elder Blazian from Redding, California.  That is an international group.  Elder Blazian on the far right has an incredible voice. 
We have to take the group photo.  This is a big group with the auydantes and the Belnaps in this Zone.  It was a great day that was very edifying.  Elders Alvarez and Stevens are the Zone Leaders and they ran a great meeting.  The Zone leaders conduct and present certain portions of the Zone Conference.  They are the leaders of their Zone and we depend on them to set the example and teach the other Elders many aspects of missionary work.  They are great.
At the end of each conference their is a little mingling and cleaning up.  There is always little bits of business to take care of.  Here Elder Strickland is going over residency papers with Elder Crocker.  I am beginning to look at the word "residency" as a bad word, but it is just a reality in our mission and we are glad Elder Strickland is on top of it.
 Elders Nielsen and Anderson are catching up while our new Elder Nye is getting to know someone.  They both came into the mission just a little over a year ago.  Two very diligent and hard working missionaries.  Elder Nielsen is one of the 4 trainers, probably the most important role of a missionary and Elder Andersen, our new mission secretary.  We sure love all our Elders.  Now it is time for us to hop in the car and drive the 3 1/2 hours to Leon for tomorrow's Zone Conference. 

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