Monday, September 28, 2009

Zone Conferences in Vitoria and Bilbao

Thought I would start with the group shot first.  Zone Conference week is so fun because that is when in a matter of 4 days we see the entire mission.  We love it.  Starting in Vitoria is the plan and we are greeted with eager, excited missionaries.  This is a great Zone lead by Elders Griffith and Olds
We always recognize those that have had birthdays over the past 6 weeks since that last transfer.  Hna Sanchez and Elders Bartholomew, Renshaw and Frank all had a birthday.  We sing a spanish happy birthday song which is always done with a lot of pizazz.
After singing the song we like to ask any of the missionaries to tell us a few things they admire about each missionary.  Always good things to say because we have great missionaries.
Cute Hermana's don't know that Elders Southwick and Driggs are smiling in the background.  Hna Truscott, Johnson, Miskin and Patten are all darling and hard working.
Wow, what Hermana's.  Everyone always loves to mug for the camera.  Hna Truscott, Arizola, Johnson, Sanchez, Patten, and Miskin ham it up a bit.  They are quite international with Hna Arizola from Switzerland and Hna Sanchez from Spain, while the other 4 are from Washington, California and Utah. 
Hna Johnson is going home at the end of this transfer and Hna Arizola is a little sad at the thought.  The missionaries truly become friends in their work and don't like to say good-bye.
Three departing missionaries who bore such wonderful heartfelt testimonies.  They all shared their thoughts on their love for the people, how they have all changed and how fast it has gone.  That is how it always is.  3 missionaries who can return home with honor.  After this conference we returned home to get ready for tomorrow's conference.
Who is this group?  Why it is the Bilbao Zone.  The next day we are in Bilbao, enjoying another round of great missionaries.   This Zone is lead by Elder Alvarez and Rowley, two fine leaders.
Hmn, Elder Ashby, the newest assistant is enjoying lunch with a few sisters?   Homemade stew, bread and homemade cookies were the lunch of the day.  It was filling and good.  Thanks to Hna Belnap's help, we got the food all cooked and ready to go.   
Fed Elders are happy Elders.  From r. are Elders Gordon, Farnsworth, Blazian, Nye, Ciccio, Alvarez, Nielson, Crocker.  But who is that hiding behind Elder Crocker?
Yes Elder Nielsen, that is Elder Anderson.  He is our super office Secretary and today we are going to celebrate his birthday.  
Happy Birthday Elder Anderson.  He has a twin brother serving in the Philippines.  What different missions each one of them are serving.
The Bilbao District did a special number.  Red must have been the color of the day.  l. to r. are Elder Nelson, Alvarez,  Hna Garcia and Johns, Elder Gordon and Castellon with Elder Rowley on the piano.
We sisters have to stick together.  L. to r. Hna's Fragga, Clegg, Belnap Stosich, Garcia and Johns  Hna's Stosich and Johns are new to the mission and we are so happy to have them here.
All these Elders pictured here came out at the same time.  Great Elders everyone of them.  L. to R. are Elders Nielsen, Ashby, Ciccio, Castellon, Blazian and Anderson.  This group is international too with Elder Ciccio from Italy and Elder Castellon from Spain.  Then we have them from Utah, Arizona, California and Mississippi.  Whew, all over!
These two incredible sisters, Hna Fragga and Garcia also bore their last testimonies.  It can't be possible that they are going home.  They both begged to stay, but the answer is always the same, even though we wish we could keep them.  One from Utah and one from Spain.  We finished the day invigorated and ready to drive on.  We actually left this zone conference and drove the 3 1/2 hours to Leon for tomorrow's conference.

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