What, no one mugging for the camera? Never when there is fresh mail. Missionaries love mail and packages from home. They do get their e-mails but there is nothing like a letter to hold and read and re-read.
Guapo elders! The Elders of Pamplona are such hard working elders. I always feel power in their righteousness. It doesn't hurt that they are hard working elders who are always so appreciative of the little treats and food that we bring them.
Our beautiful Spanish hermanas! Hna Sanchez, on the left is training Hna Moraza who just came into the mission two days ago. They will be a dynamite team. Hna Moraza's mother served in Burgos some 25 years ago and this is where Hna Moraza gets to start. Tender mercies abound in the mission field.
Our blonde contrast to the dark Spaniards. Elders Holmes and Driggs are waiting for their interviews with the Presidente. Two happy elders who work hard. Burgos has seen the fruits of hard working elders and sisters. Since we came in July they have had 4 baptisms with 3 baptismal dates set for the next month. Wow, keep it up.
Here is a poster made by the Hermanas of the recent baptisms. Such animo in the branch. It is nice to see.
The Leon Elders are lined up to get their marching orders from Presidente Clegg. Actually he is just sharing a scriptural passage and thought. But wait a minute, one of these elders, the second on the left is Elder Anderson from the office. Why in Leon? Oh yes, the wonderful word we all learn to live with, Residency paper work. But where is Elder Roldan? Elders Quinn and Corbridge are the Zone leaders and Elder Nestvogel is the District Leader and Elder Roldan is the branch president of the Leon branch. Maybe he is up in the office at the end of the hall?
Yes, her he is with names or paperwork or something. Always things to do to keep these branches running. Elder Roldan is a great Branch President as well as a fine Elder.
Is the Presidente getting after Elder Smith? I don't think so from the smiles on their faces. Elders Smith and Bingham are the Elders who have re-opened Benavente. The entire District was fasting for this small branch to aid in the work and pray for their success. Well, last week they had 18 new investigators with a family, a man and his friends and I think someone else at church. They nearly doubled the little branch attendance this past Sunday. The Lord will pour out his blessings on those who seek to do his will. We will keep you in our prayers as well as all of the missionaries in the Spain Bilbao Mission, we need the help of the Lord daily.
These darling children are from the Ponferrada branch. Starting from the left is Elvis, Lady and Camilla. Camilla is the daughter of the Branch President while the other two are there with their parents who are going to the temple to be sealed. Such a sweet family.
Here we are with Thomas and his family after their interviews. This dear family is originally from Ecuador and now have lived in Spain for I think 4-5 years, maybe more. They are excited to go to the temple. Lady is especially smiling with joy.
These are our Elders in Ponferrada, Elders Hanson, Rodriquez, Luz Maria and Elder Woods. Luz Maria is getting baptized this next weekend. She was there for her interview. She is also from Ecuador. Her husband is a member and now she is ready to be baptized. We also have a wonderful bit of news from Ponferrada. Presidente Carnelo's wife, who isn't a member has now decided to be baptized. He has been a faithful member for 10 years, now a member of the District Presidency. His wife has been taught many times and started again with the Elders. She decided she was ready now, and this coming Saturday, along with Luz Maria, she will be baptized. Many tears of joy are being shed and so much excitement in Ponferrada. They had another baptism two weeks ago, and a few more fechas for the up coming weeks. Lot's of faith and prayers and hard work going on in this wonderful city.
Wow, this looks like Utah? No, we just didn't fly the coup. This is on the drive between Leon and Oviedo. Such varied country. On the Leon side it is much drier and really does look like a hillside in Utah, on the other side is lush, green jagged mountains that look just like Switzerland, or should I say, Northern Spain. Lots of diversity.
OVIEDO seems to be coming out of Elder Aston's mouth. He actually just got this wonderful package from home. Elder Harris and Skidmore are eyeing the taco seasoning and taco shells. All the little things that you might be able to find here or might not, but if they are in the stores, way to expensive.
On to Aviles with Elders Barber and Pederson. Look, they made us a treat, apple bread. And of course, Elder Pederson's package from home, what is inside?
Great stuff mom, Elder Pederson is loving life now.
Here is Elder Flory with his new "son" Elder Araya from Southern Spain. They are in Gijon together. Such a new dynamic team. Elder Flory, did you ever think when you were riding horses on the hills of Wallsburg, Utah that you would be doing this?
And the second part of this wonderful group in Gijon, Elder Sanchez, the new "son" from Barcelona and Elder Probst from Heber City, Utah. Hey wait, a Wasatch County-Spain connection! I think it works.
Let's not forget our hard working Hermanas Bell and Rudder. After the interviews I went out with them for about 3 hours. This investigator couldn't see us but we did teach a lesson with a lovely little girl named Stacy, who is getting baptized at the end of the month. Great sisters in Gijon.
Sunday we spent in church in Gijon and were so kindly invited to dinner with Rosa and Carlos. They are the ones next to us. He serves in the District Presidency as well as Rosa is the District Primary President. Great strong members. The other two are a nice man, David from Barcelona who was visiting Marissa. She is adorable and is also the counselor in the District Primary. Lovely people who served us an incredible meal. We left happy and full and were on our way home.
I'll end this blog with another picture, one of the many, many bridges in Spain. This is just a road over the freeway, as you are getting close to Santander. They do bridges so well. The art that is displayed along the highways is so enjoyable to see. Well home for two nights and then on the the second half of the mission.