What have we here, two Elders, actually the Zone Leaders of the Leon Zone, Elders Quinn and Corbridge who are going with me to Benevente during the medio dia part of the day. Presidente Clegg has opened a new city in the mission, Benavente and the Zone Leaders are helping me move in a few things.
This is Benavente! Actually, this city had been opened, but for the last 6 years there haven't been full time missionaries there. There is a small branch there that has hung on and been functioning with about 12-14 people in attendance.
This is just one of the typical streets of the city. This one is by the capilla.
Here are the Elders unloading the van. These great Elders are from l. to r. , Elders Quinn, Roldan, Bingham, Smith and Corbridge. Elders Bingham and Smith are the two lucky Elders that get this opportunity to open the city. I know there are many Elders that would love this challenge. Elder Corbridge would love it for sure, as well as many more. Elder Roldan is the Branch President in Leon. His companion, Elder Nestvogel is in Ponferrada doing a baptismal interview, so Elder Roldan got to come with us.
As Elder Quinn was working on lunch, Elder Bingham is all smiles about the city. Their first report was for only 4 days and in those 4 days they taught 11 lessons, have 15 new investigators and 1 investigator who came to church with them. Not a bad start!
Lunch is ready!
No time to waste. Just enough to take a quick group shot. 5 incredible Elders who are all outstanding leaders and workers in the mission. We love our missionaries.
Elders Bingham and Smith say good-bye, and back to Leon for us to get to work.
Just a little more about Benavente. This is the Capilla. Presidente Clegg is with the Colina family. This family consists of the Branch President, the District Relief Society President, and their son who just left to serve a mission in the Spain Barcelona Mission. A great family.
We were in attendance on Sunday for the branch conference and afterwards, the Colina family invited everyone to her sisters house about 12 km outside of Benavente to eat. Beautiful scenic little town on the way.
Here is a view of the spread. We were 30 people for medio dia. We ate everything that the family makes. The one brother owns a cheese factory, hence, homemade cheese. Another sister's husband owns a sheep farm and so we ate lamb. Also, they make their own choriso, so homemade choriso. Another sister made the bread. We also had a wonderful salad put together from the garden. It was a great feast.
This is the District President, Presidente Martinez and his adorable family. They live in Ponferrada and were in Benavente for the branch conference. He is so enthusiastic about the work. We enjoy working with them. The only problem is he talks so fast, I can't read as fast as he talks. We laughed about it and he promised to try to slow down when he talks to me.
Another view of the table. I spy Presidente Clegg in the middle. He was asked to say the blessing on the food and he offered a wonderful prayer with a blessing on the members and the work that is to go forth in Benavente. There is so much excitement here.
Here are 4 missionaries. Well one of them just got released. Elders Bingham and Smith flank Elder Colina, (Robert) who had just been set apart by Presidente Clegg. Next to him is his cousin, Sheila (I don't think I spelled it right) who had just returned on the Thursday before from serving a mission in Chile. She was released by Presidente Clegg on this day. This tiny branch has sent out two missionaries, bien hecho!
Here we are with the wonderful Colina family. Their hospitality was tremendous, but their commitment to the gospel is incredible. They have quietly lead and we all hope that Benavente will be blessed with many new members in the near future. I didn't mention that day at church, the missionaries brought an investigator. Things are on the move in Benavente.