Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last Part of Interviews, Part 3

No, this isn't the new mission home in Malaga. While we were doing interviews we did take some time to go see a few other sites in Northern Spain. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting San Millan de la Cogolla. This is where it is said to have been the origins of the Spanish language, or at least some of the 1st writings in Spanish.
The monastery is situated at the base of these mountains in the area of La Rioja. It is really a beautiful setting to behold. This monastery wasn't the first thing here. There were two other places up in the hillside.
This is the 2nd location of the monks. This was a much more quaint sized place.
Here it is from the other side. But before this one, the 1st monk here, lived in some caves called suso up the mountain another 40 minutes. They started living here in the early 500's. The name of the first monk was Emiliano, or Millan, hence where this place derives it's name We didn't go there because of time, but the setting is so beautiful.
This is the view looking down to the valley. If you look closely you can see the steeple from the large monastery.
On the way out we also passed this typical Spanish monastery in the town of Canas. The entire countryside was full of places like this. It was a lovely afternoon.
But hey, then it is on to Leon. The missionaries here have been seeing miracle after miracle. Leon is a special city where so many people have been prepared to accept the gospel. Elder Pederson from UTAH, Elder Cairns, from Scotland, Elder Strickland from UTAH (and his mother is from Spain) and Elder Ciccio from Italy are a great looking group. Their faith and work has been a shinning example to the entire mission. They are baptizing their second entire family this coming weekend. The attendance in the Leon branch is now consistently around 50! It is wonderful to see.
Elder Flory from UTAH, Elder Driggs from UTAH, and Elder Nielson from UTAH are having incredible success in Ponferrada also. It must be the UTAH connection. Ponferrada is also seeing incredible growth. For that matter, the Leon District is being very blessed at this time.
I just had to put this picture in. As we were having a little meeting during the time the Presidente was interviewing we started with a song. We enjoyed it so much, we sang another one. I love hearing happy missionaries sing. They sing with such a special spirit. It was electrifying.
And we can't forget Elder Smith from UTAH and Elder Farnsworth from California. They are working hard in Benavente and had another baptism there. We are going to miss Elder Smith's happy smile.
The guapo Elders of Vigo are making a pose. Elder Quinn from Arizona, Elder Howard from UTAH is giving us the thumbs up, Elder Nelson from Virginia and Elder Aston from Idaho are all enjoying Vigo. We missed the Ourense missionaries before we were able to arrive so they will be interviewed later and I will have pictures of them too. Vigo is a wonderful city and these Elders are climbing the hills and finding people all the time to teach.
Vigo is also blessed with Hermanas. Hermana Fitches from California and Hermana Hunstman from North Carolina are doing great. They seem to have even more hills to climb, but they love it.
Hey, what's up with these two?
Elder Frank isn't quite sure because he isn't with his own companion. Elder Frank from UTAH and Elder Nye from UTAH are having an exchange with the Elders of Santiago. Pontevedra has seen several baptisms and are looking forward to another one soon.
Here is your companion Elder Frank. Elder Pyne from California and Elder Moya from Valencia, Spain are posing in front of the Santiago Capilla.
Now Elder Moya, that isn't a face a missionary should make! He likes to ham it up for the camera. Elder Pyne is getting a great laugh out of it. Happy missionaries are hard working.
Finally, we return to Bilbao to get this awesome group of missionaries. Elder Roldan from Dos Hermanas, Spain, Hermana Sandoval from Hospitalet, Spain, Hermana Patten from California and Elder Gerber from West Point, Virginia. Hard working is an understatement for all of them. They are perfect examples of missionaries with a purpose. We love our missionaries and know that whichever mission they go to, they will be loved and cared for by their new mission president and wife!

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