These next few pictures are just a sample of the last few days and the wonderful experiences that we have every day in the mission. Pictured with us is this wonderful woman, Sister Teresa Lopez Gonzalez. She was baptized into the church over 20 years ago. She showed me and the Presidente her pictures with the missionaries who baptized her and many of the past mission presidents here in the Spain Bilbao Mission. She is adorable. She reminded me a little bit of my Grandmere from France. She has a smile that welcomes the world. She truly represents the spirit of these wonderful pioneers in Spain. We were with her in Ferrol for church this past Sunday.
This is a picture of the countryside between the cities of Pamplona and Logrono. We had to run some Books of Mormon down to the Elders in Pamplona and then we were going to Logrono to set apart the new 2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency. We are so excited to have this wonderful men at the side of Presidente to help further the missionary effort in our mission. I just love this beautiful rolling countryside full of vineyards and farmland and beautiful Spanish Cathedrals.
Here we are with the former District President and now current 2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency, Presidente Ruiz de Mendoza and his lovely wife. Presidente set him apart and then we enjoyed a wonderful dinner together. Their stories of their conversions are incredible. They both joined when they were young adults. They have been the backbone of the church in Northern Spain from the beginning. As they shared their stories the thoughts came to our minds of how precious and stalwart these two are and how honored we are to be able to serve with them. A wonderful night to always remember.
The next day was a true missionary day for Presidente and I. Presidente went all afternoon and evening with the Auydantes and I went with the Hermanas in Bilbao, Hermana Johns in her first month of the mission and Hermana Garcia in her last month of her mission. This is the second time I have done this and I wish I could do it every day. The Hermanas and I climbed all over the hills of Bilbao, doing Amigo Flechas, street contacting and visits. We got fiared (no-one there) and in the picture above, we were waiting on this bench for a girl to come home. I think we walked up 300 flights of stairs to get there (I don't think I am exaggerating) We did get in a piso from knocking doors and taught an introduction to the gospel and made an appointment to return, taught the mother of Jose and Alejandro who were baptized last month and she is progressing well, then the end of the evening was with a family who the father and son are going to be baptized in two weeks. The spirit was so sweet in the home as we talked about the plan of salvation. At each home I do share some things and it seems like I always get asked to pray. I love being with our Hermanas and with these wonderful people who are listening to and coming into the church. It is great.
Wow, what a sight to come out of the Metro just before 10:00 p.m. and see these 3 handsome Elders smiling at me. What did I do to deserve this? They were so excited to tell me that they extended another invitation to get baptized and the man accepted. Such a great night! I think Elder Ashby and Moore have 3 baptisms for this month with another one possibly before the month is out and 3-4 other soft commitments, meaning people who have said they will get baptized when they are ready, but have some things in their lives to change before a baptismal date can be set. It looks like the Elders had as good a night as the Hermanas did.
We just had to take pictures to help us remember the joy and excitement to see the gospel in action and see these missionaries find such success. They are applying the principles taught in Preach My Gospel and what we have been teaching in Zone Conference and they are having people placed in their paths and many miracles occurring. People all over the world need the gospel, they just don't know where or how to find it. That is our challenge to find them and be available for the Lord to place them in our paths.
I want every parent of the missionaries of the Spain Bilbao Mission to know that their missionary is working as hard if not harder than our auydantes. We have the BEST missionaries in the world. They are out their doing the work and reaching many people. They get ignored and many don't want to even stop, but they are finding people and we are so proud of each one of them. They are filled with the spirit of the Lord and are such great young men and women. They are healthy and happy and are great representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank-you for raising them so well and trusting us for their care. WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH!