The expression on Elder Crocker's face says it all, it is Thanksgiving and we are going to enjoy a feast. The San Sebastian Elders were being interviewed on Thanksgiving day and Elder Blazian thought we better have Thanksgiving dinner, so we were happy to stay a little longer and enjoy a great meal. These Elders are so happy too because just a few weeks ago they moved into their new piso. It is a beautiful place ready to host a meal fit for a bunch of hungry missionaries.
But when you move to a new place there are always things to go get. What, no can opener? Well Elder Nielsen and Elder Moore improvise because no one wants a Thanksgiving meal without cranberries do they?
Here we all are, ready to dig in. The Elders found a turkey, and made a salad, brownies and mashed potatoes. The ayudantes brought carrot crisp and I brought the pumpkin pie and cranberries. We sat down to a meal fit for a king and his court! (Well, really just 6 great missionaries and a lucky mission presidente and his wife) l.to r., me Elders Moore, Nielsen, Ashby, Pte. Clegg, Elders Blazian, Howard and Crocker.
Next stop was Saturday at the mission home with the Bilbao District and the Office Missionaries. We had 16 sitting down and it made for a lot of food to be eaten. We ordered a 25 lb turkey from the store, and most of it was eaten. Hna. Belnap made the homemade rolls and an apple pie and everyone else came to eat. The feast began with a welcome from Presidente Clegg and then we all indulged. Even our Spanish Elders loved the food. After it was all over, what else do you do but go to the backyard and try to play it off.
Hna. Johns seems to be enjoying herself. We were blessed with good weather and a backyard to play in.
Hey, Hermana Belnap is the last woman standing? I think she looks like she knows what she is doing.
Here we have our great looking group, happy and ready to go back to work after a big day of food and fun. Front row, l. to r. Hna. Johns, Elders Gordon, Moore and Ashby. Second row, l. to r. Hna. Fitches, Elders Nelson, Leon, Anderson, Strickland, Rowley, Woods and Cepeda.
That night after our Thanksgiving dinner we drove to Ponferrada for church the next day. We were graciously invited to go to Pte. Martinez, the District President's home for lunch after church. It was the branch's branch conference that day. Pictured here are the District Presidency and their wives along with the District Relief Society President and the District Primary President. We had a wonderful meal that was very typical Dominican Republic, where Pte. Martinez is originally from. Front row, l. to r. Pte Clegg, Pte Garnelo, Pte Martinez (Branch Presidente and brother of the District Presidente)Pte. Martinez. Second row, l to r., Hna's Clegg, Martinez, Garnelo(I know they have their own names but I can't find them here, sorry), Pte Aguado, his wife Rosa and Ana Martinez and Hna Martinez. O.k, I'm sure that was confusing, but let me just say they are all wonderful people with such dedication to the gospel. We left Ponferrada full and happy as all the men joined together and helped us change a burned out headlamp light on our car. We next drove to Gijon where we had been invited to spend a p-day with the Elders and Hna's from Aviles, Gijon and Oviedo.
It's Monday in Gijon and what on earth are all these missionaries doing on their knees?
They are watching the sharks being fed. We met at the Elder's piso in Gijon and walked to the aquarium. It was fun to go around and see the many different kinds of fishes. At 1:00 they fed the sharks, the main attraction for all of us.
Here is this fine looking group. We are standing in front of a big replica of a Blue Marlin. Glad it isn't real. L. to R. Pte Clegg, Hna Clegg, Elder Pederson, Hna's Roerig and Bell, Elders Barber, Aston, Probst, Sanchez, Hanson, Araya and Flory. What a great group and so fun to be with. Now that we have worked up another appetite, it is off to the piso for some food.
The Gijon piso is palatial. It has so much space and some nice details like a hidden wall safe and two doors to enter the piso. Here Elders Sanchez and Araya are mugging for me while Elders Hanson and Aston are having a chat with the Presidente while everyone awaits the final details being taken care of by Elder Probst. He is the main chef. I think he called me a few times during the week with cooking questions, but let me testify, he is a cook!
Here we are ready to dig in. We ate chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, salad and pie and cinnamon rolls. It was great again. Hey who said they didn't celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain. I think our waistlines can attest to the fact that they do. We left the missionaries as they were returning home to start the week of work. We had a wonderful time being with our missionaries and helping each other not miss home too much and just being able to share in the things we are all thankful for, our families and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.