Friday, April 30, 2010

Vitoria is Quilting

Saturday, April 24th I drove to Vitoria to spend the afternoon with the wonderful women of the Vitoria Branch. I was going to attempt to teach them how to quilt. To my delight and surprise I found the primary in the midst of an activity. They were dressed with rabbit ears and finding eggs. They are a cute group of young people and it was fun to see them "jumping" around the grounds trying to find the eggs.
Now I just don't think this will be a permanent attire for the Hermanas but they look cute with their ears. Hermana Bell and Stosich were helping with the activity. Two wonderful Hermanas who are doing wonderful things in Vitoria.
The women came and we went to work. I decided to take a simple square pattern and we made a hot pad. They were incredible. I just started to teach them and they just took off. They helped each other and moved forward.
Cutting, sewing, quilting, all so much fun on a Saturday afternoon. They worked together to make sure everyone was able to do their square.
"Look at the great work they were doing! Here Hermana Graciela and Ruth are working hard. Ruth, on the left, is an investigator and added a wonderful spirit to the day.
Hermana Sophia was doing great while Hermana Sandra looked on. Hermana Sandra is a professional seamstress and does fantastic work.
Nora in the levi shirt has a baptismal date in a few weeks. Hermana Cleide is also getting finished. You go girls!
Hermana Rosana is the Relief Society President who asked if I could come. She, along with her mother, Hermana Teresa plus her two adorable girls Sara and Marium were all there. A 3 generation family!
Here is the whole group showing their work of the afternoon. We had such a wonderful time'
Afterwards, to finish the night off right, they were having a baptism in the Branch. Alejandro was baptized. It was a sweet baptism that touched my heart. Elder Nestvogel baptized him. Elder McClanahan and Elder Nestvogel are the Zone Leaders in Vitoria and are doing great. What a great finish to a wonderful day.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

There's Always Time for Zone Conference

Zone Conference got started in real style in Vitoria. We combined the Bilbao and Vitoria Zones for this conference and it turned out wonderful. The entire Bilbao Zone treated us to a musical number. It was great as usual!
Hermana Johns is with her new "greenie" Hermana Gonzalez. She is a wonderful missionary and we are so excited to have her with us. She is originally from Bolivia and I am convinced that the sweetest people seem to come from Bolivia lately. Hermana Johns thinks so too.
Elder Zamora, on the left is also from Bolivia. He has been in the mission since November, but he is welcoming another new missionary, Elder Bajana. He is originally from Ecuador and comes to us ready to work. He was trained at first by Elder Ashby and is now working with Elder Sayaz.
I wanted to honor all our wonderful Hermanas in this post. They work as hard as the Elders and we wish we could put them in some of the leadership positions because they are great teachers. We actually have had an Hermana companioship in the last two Zone Conferences present a small lesson. It has been greatly enjoyed and all the Hermanas have done a super job.
Here is a picture of the two Zones together. Elders Roldan and Gerber are leading the Bilbao Zone while Elder Nestvogel and McClanahan are doing a fine job as the Vitoria Zone Leaders. We had a great day and were greatly inspired. Planning was the theme of the conference which is a topic we can always work on being better at.
Elder McClanahan is sending us off with peace as we leave Vitoria to travel to Leon.
These 3 great Hermanas of the Leon Zone are Hna Roerig sporting her new short hair, Hna Abellan and another new missionary, Hna Marin. These 3 Hermanas taught and also did a beautiful special number. They love being a trio and are working extra hard in Gijon.
We have another trio in the mission and this time it is up to Elder Driggs, in the middle to keep a handle on his companions Elder Flory and Nielsen. It was a wonderful surprise for Elder Flory and Nielsen to come together for their last two transfers. They are both from Wallsburg, Utah and have been friends for life, but now they are companions in Ponferrada. Look out Ponferrada, this is truly a dynamic trio!!
Caught the Hermanas cleaning up in the kitchen. They are the best.
I am not sure if these 3 are solving a mystery or posing for GQ magazine? Elder Farnsworth, Cairns and Ciccio are good at striking a pose don't you think?
Oh Elder Smith, we are going to miss your great grin. This is his last transfer in the mission. Elder Dredge is trying to help him through this.
A great looking Zone lead by Elders Cairns and Pederson. Leon Zone has been leading the mission for months. They are hard working and faithful, just the way we like our missionaries to be.
Elders Jackson and Southwick I caught you both with my phone!! They just wanted to call Elder Gerber and say hi since he was no longer in their Zone. Now Elders!!
A wave good-bye from Elder Pederson and Cairns and we are on our way to Santiago for the Vigo Zone Conference.
I caught you Elder Esteves-Garcia. Yea, you and Elder Frank look like you stole all the candy and Elder Blazian and Howard are left out in the cold! Now Elders we need to share.
An unusually serious side of Elder Frank as he is showing something to his greenie and our newest missionary, Elder Pyne. He is from Tustin, California and we are thrilled to have him here.
The Hermanas in the Santiago Zone are doing great. Hna Sieverts and Moraza are handling A Coruna while Hna Fitches and Huntsman are enjoying the hills of Vigo. Again, great sisters who are always willing to do what they are asked to do and then some.
Watching missionaries take pictures of themselves is always fun.
A great looking group in the Vigo Zone. We love their enthusiasm and willingness to move the work forward. Elders Nelson and Aston are doing a great job as the Zone Leaders here.
And then it is time to pack up the tables, put back the chairs, and go back to work. We drive home the long 7 hours yet our hearts are full and rewarded by the wonderful spirit felt in each Zone Conference. Sadness also enters in as we realize we have only one more Zone Conference in the Spain Bilbao Mission. Wow!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Consejo and Then Some

Eating isn't the only thing we do at Consejo, but it is usually enjoyed by 12 hungry Elders and one Hermana. This was the first Consejo that we had one of the Hermana's with us. Hermana Roerig was still recovering from her foot problem and so we were delighted to have her attend.
You will find her in this photo. The morning was great as all the Zone Leaders presented their focus for the next transfer. All the Zones have been working hard and all of the leaders are doing a great job in helping them to be better missionaries. The Presidente taught them about repentance which was a very powerful presentation. All of the missionaries seemed to enjoy it and learn a lot.
It was such a beautiful spring day so we decided to go outside afterwards to take a picture and just enjoy the sun for a moment. This was Elder Aston's first Consejo as a new zone leader in Vigo. His companion, Elder Nelson and Elder Pederson and Cairns are looking on.
Elder Nestvogel is taking a moment to throw the frisbee. Elder Nestvogel is a fantastic zone leader in Vitoria. We aren't looking forward to sending him home, he is such a hard worker and a great example to all of the missionaries in his Zone.
We decided it was just too good of day to take our picture inside. Everyone wanted to make sure that we got Hermana Roerig's shoes in the picture. She needed to wear them to protect her foot. We actually went to the Doctor in the morning and received some great news. The next day after Consejo she was on the bus back to Gijon. We did enjoy having her and she added so much to Consejo.
We traveled out to Vigo the next day and had the privledge of attending the baptism of Luis. His wife, Fabiola was already a member. They have this adorable daughter. A wonderful note about this family is a cousin of the Fabiola lives in Ponferrada. The missionaries contacted her and she was baptized. Her name is Blanca and Fabiola is her cousin.
Elder Howard and Elder Quinn were two happy missionaries on this beautiful day. This is a beginning of an eternal family.
These two sisters were happy to be there and support the baptism. Hna Beatrice and Hna Mirta both carry the spirit with them.
This was also a very special occasion. Pres. Hernadez on the left is the District President. Pres. Justino Gonzales, Pres. Clegg and Pres. Ruiz de Mendoza make up the mission presidency. Because of distances they are never all together. This night Pres. Ruiz de Mendoza was in Vigo for work. After the baptism he did a wonderful presentation on the Book of Mormon. It was a great night to be in Vigo.
Finally, this past Monday Elder Hansen celebrated his birthday. He was spoiled by Hna Belnap who fixed us all a wonderful lunch in the office and made Elder Hansen a delicious apple pie. Wow, what is more American than that!
The only thing more American is to add vanilla ice cream. Definitely a treat for all. Also in the picture you can see Nico. He is an auditor for the church and was in our office to do the annual audit. Unfortunately for him he got caught in the airline stoppage and couldn't get home to England for over 6 days. He even missed his anniversary. Well at least he got to experience the apple pie!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do You Have To Take Ten?

Presidente looks happy surrounded by a lot of our Hermanas. What is going on? Hermana Roerig, who is by the Presidente has been experiencing a foot problem and needed to spend a week in the mission home to recover, 4 Hermanas are going home, and the Bilbao Hermanas, Hna Patten and Sandovol were here to take Hna Roerig to be with them for a day. But we all had to sit down to some beef stew and some girl time! It was so fun to have so many wonderful young women in the home. I wish we could do this a little bit more, but alas, not to be.
They all spent the night, but bright and early these 3 Hermanas are getting ready to work after breakfast. I drove them back to Bilbao where Hna Roerig would be with them until the next day. These are 3 great Hermanas who all love being missionaries and are doing a fantastic work.
So why do we have this great picture of the puppy? Well the 4 Hermanas that are leaving and I decided to do a short tour of the Guggenheim before we went into the office this morning. 3 of the 4 Hermanas had already had their exit interview and so we had a little time. A beautiful spring morning in Bilbao was the order of the day.
Hna's Miskin, Rudder, Sanchez and Calderon are all hugging this statue of a former president of Paiz Vasco. Are they getting anxious to go home and get back into the dating world?
We get to the office to find the rest of the Elders. Elder Webb seems to be ordering someone around! Elder Stevens is just taking it all in.
After all the interviews are completed it is lunch time.
Then it is off to the vista with this wonderful group. They are R. to L. Hnas Miskin, Rudder, Sanchez and Calderon. Elders Corbridge, Stevens, Webb, Hanson, Rowley and Moore with El Presidente and me. It was a beautiful day for a last look of Bilbao.
Elder Webb was demonstrating some of his skills.
Wow, what a great looking group of Elders. All served incredible missions, we are really going to miss them.
Back at the mission home we are so grateful for the help of the Belnaps. When we do Navajo Tacos, Hna Belnap is always ready to help.
Ghee, is Elder Webb in a pensive mood? Maybe just a little bit. What a wonderful and fun Elder. He will be missed by all. He is what legends are made of!!!
Elder Rowley took a little time in the backyard to throw a frisbee with Elder Corbridge. Less than 24 hours before heading home. Elder Rowley, we wish we could keep you longer!
Leave it to Hna Rudder to come up with a fun idea. Great desert, huh?
After a wonderful, heartfelt testimony meeting, we are posing for one of our last shots. Time is running out and emotions are running high.
Didn't we already take a picture of these great looking Elders. Just couldn't resist again.
Yea, we needed one of the Hermanas. Boy we are going to miss every one of them. It is so exciting for what lies ahead, but always hard to let go. I guess this is what life is about.
And finally, when they were all checked in, it was the time for one last picture. This was an incredible group of missionaries that had a huge impact on the mission. Everyone of these Elders were Trainers, District Leaders, Zone Leaders and just plain great old missionaries who loved the work. Elders Corbridge and Moore served as our Traveling Trainers for 3 months and made a huge impact on the mission. These Hermanas were examples to all of work and diligent efforts. We said good-bye and didn't know what a tender mercy the Lord would allow us to have. This was the very day of the closing of so many of the airports in Europe because of the volcano in Iceland, but everyone got home. The Americans left Germany just hours before everything was halted. Moms, we are so happy for you that they didn't get stalled. Just please give them all a huge and a kiss from Presidente and Hna Clegg. They really did "Return with Honor!"