Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September Zone Activity, Farewell and Welcome

Sept. 14 we had a tri-zone activity at the mission home.  The missionaries love to spend time together!

Hermanas eating lunch out on the terraza:  Hnas.Pulgar,Greer, Cook, Long, Benitez, Wilson, Perez, Read, Nielsen, Stokes and Carter


Three of the four Hermanas living in the Barrio 6/8 apartment.  Hermana Delgado designed these custom-made t-shirts to demonstrate to the world the unity of their companonships!  In this photo are Hnas. Jimenez, Delgado and Nielsen.  Hna. Moss is in the top photo also, but you can't see the t-shirts very well.

While the fronts are unified, the backs show their individuality!

On September 20, ten wonderful missionaries came to the mission home for their farewell dinner and testimony meeting.  Only nine were scheduled, but Elder Earnshaw broke his ankle and had to return home to have it operated on.  The following morning, three families arrived early to pick up their missionaries:  Elder Carter, Hna. Read and Hna. Long.  The others went to the airport to start their long trip home to start the next phase of their lives.  They have served faithfully and well and we know the Lord's blessings will be with them!

Back row: Pres. Watkins, Elders Earnshaw, Robertson, Carter, Benson and Kunkel
Front row:Hnas. Benitez, Nielsen, Long, Read, Watkins and Moulton

The Hermanas at dinner:  Hna. Watkins, Moulton, Long, Read, Nielsen and Benitez

The group singing EFY medley"As Sisters in Zion/Armies of Helaman". Glorious!

This group held an unusually high percentage of musically gifted missionaries - several violinists, pianists and singers.  They played and sang for an hour!

Welcoming New Missionaries

Tuesday after dropping the outgoing missionaries at the airport, we went to the MTC and picked up Elder Verdu and Elder Gonzalez.  Elder Verdu then went to Valladolid and Elder Gonzalez went to the Canary Islands.

On Monday, Elder and Hermana Knight arrived.  After getting their residency issues started, we sent them off to Tenerife to replace the Andrews who went home several months ago.  They are very excited to get involved the Center for Young Adults!

The following Tuesday we returned to the MTC to pick up Elder Bauer who has been serving in Salt Lake City while awaiting his visa.  It finally arrived and now he has arrived!  He was sent up to Valladolid.  Elder Bauer´s mother's grandparents were from Morelia, Mexico which was originally named Valladolid!  Sister Bauer is from Mexico City and attended school at the Benemerito de las Americas, the church school. 


This does NOT fit in this category, but it is such a cool photo I HAD to include it somewhere!!  This is quintessentially Spanish: four old men sitting on a park bench watching the world go by. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zone Conferences and Transfers August 2011

August was our month for quarterly zone conferences.  We started with the three Madrid Zones combined.
Combined Madrid Este, Madrid Sur and Cuatro Caminos Zones

The following week, Aug 8-9 we had transfers and farewells for another group of wonderful missionaries.  
Elder Tyndale-Biscoe was assigned to be a new Assistant to the President along with Elder Hodges.   Elder Cerro completed his assignment as AP and was sent up to Lugo in Galicia to continue the good work of Elders Anderson and Jeppson.  Elder Anderson was headed home, and Elder Jeppson came into the office to be the Mission Secretary.


                                                  Elders Tyndale-Biscoe, Hodges and Cerro

The following week, we held a zone conference in Santiago.  It is always a privilege to meet with these wonderful missionaries.  They love getting together and they share their talents and experience with each other.
Back row:  Elders Cerro, Holub, Coral, Benson, Perkins and Walters
Front row:  Elders Antola, Carter, Forrest, Cardoso and DeHaro
We flew home Friday night after the conference and then left Saturday afternoon for the Canary Islands for their zone conference.
Back row:  Hnas. Watkins, Kartchner, Tanner, Elders Ottesen, Nielsen, Jackson,  Hanson, Mills and Pte. Watkins
Front row:  Elders Simmons, Kunkel, White, Rodriguez and Alvarez

We flew home from the Islands Monday night arriving home at 2AM after a two hour delay!  On Wednesday we drove up to Leon for their zone conference.

Back row:  Elders Thurston,, Jones, Earnshaw, Mateer, Gabbitas, Iverson, Rose and Cunningham
Front row:  Elders Gaspar, Ramirez, McGrath, Rivera, Carey and Bermudez

As I said, it is a privilege to spend time with these good Elders.  They are quite isolated in these three zones, with usually only one companionship per town and all are a long way from Madrid.  They are mature, responsible representatives of the Savior whom they serve.                          

They do, however, continue to eat like the young men they are as witnessed in the following photos!

Setting up for the photo shoot in Leon.

 Meanwhile back in Madrid,  Pres. Watkins invited the youth living within the mission to serve three week mini-missions.  There were five young men and eight young women who took advantage of the opportunity. The following photo is of three of the young women from Vecendario, Gran Canaria.
Hnas. Ceballo, Perera and Morillo

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Landscaping at the Mission Home

All the plants to the right are new.  I love the rosemary lining the sidewalk

A longer shot of the Mission Home. 

The spire of the Temple seen through a 4th-floor window of the MTC.
(I know it doesn't go in this category, but I like it and it doesn't fit anywhere else either!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Here and there; this and that!

Elder Evans and Elder Zamora with their recent convert in Torrejon.

In the Spain Madrid Mission, as in every other mission in the world, we love to baptize!  These are two of the most recent. There are many more, but we only have these two photos.   
Elders Bermudez and Elder Earnshaw's recent baptisms in Valladolid!

Elder Cerro (AP), Elders Soliz, Howard, Ross, Hoskins, Hodges (AP, in front), Sauñé, and Tynedale-Biscoe
On screen:  Elders Kunkel, Sanchez, Holub, Carter, Thurston and Rivera

Every month we have a Zone Council with all our Zone Leaders.  Every other month, the District Leaders are also invited.  Since we are SO spread out, the Zone Leaders from Santiago, Leon and the Canary Islands join us by videoconference.  We are a high-tech mission!

Back Row:  Elders L.Anderson, Carter, Z.Anderson, Coral, Hoskins, and Cunningham
Front Row:  Elders Woodbury, Soliz, DeHaro, Lopez, Hodges and Holub 

Santiago Zone at Zone Conference

Elders Reist, Hilton and Veintimilla, and Hermanas Long and Farías

The Elders and Hermanas of Barrio 4 joined some recent converts in doing baptisms for the dead at the Temple.

Elder Woodbury, new financial secretary replacing Elder Jackson, Pte. Watkins and Elder Vogel, Mission Secretary

After serving in the mission office faithfully for six months, Elder Jackson was reassigned to work in the Canary Islands and Elder Woodbury was brought down from Lugo to replace him.  We certainly appreciate the hard work our office Elders do to support the entire mission.

A zone activity at the mission home; too many missionaries to name!

Hermana Judy Anderson, half of our wonderful directors of the Center for Young Adults in Madrid, celebrated her birthday with about 50 of the JAS (jovenes adultos solteros; YSA)  They run a swinging scene in the Institute on Temple Square

Hermana Long, Watkins and Pérez after a baptism in Barrio 1

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Comings and Goings....or should I say, Goings and Comings?!?

Well done, thou good and faithful servants!

On June 24, another group of missionaries finished up their faithful service and prepared to return home for the next phase of their life's journeys. 

Back row:  Elders Crocker, Aston, Bundy, and Scott
Front row:  Hna. Watkins, Pte. Watkins, Elder Driggs and Elder Stone
  The following day, after dropping the outgoing missionaries at the airport, we went to the MTC to pick up the group of new missionaries prepared to enter the field!
Back row:  Pte. Watkins, Elders Hilton, Walters, Perkins and Rodriguez
Front row:  Elder Smith, Hnas. Piedade, Carter and Watkins

Monday, July 11, 2011

And more Comings!

On July 7, one week after our regular transfer and receiving new missionaries from the MTC, we received two MORE new missionaries:  Elder Gaspar from Virginia and Hermana Hernandez from Las Vegas.  They were waiting for visas which finally arrived. 

Elder Gaspar with his two new companions, Elders Hodges and Cerro, the Assistants to the President.  Lucky Elder!

Hermana Hernandez with her two new companions, Hermana Londoño and Hermana Peterson.  Lucky Hermana

We are grateful to receive these two fine new missionaries!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Canary Islands

We have the unusual opportunity to have the Canary Islands as part of our mission.  They are a group of seven islands sixty miles off the coast of the Sahara Desert of Africa, separated from the rest of the mission by a 2-1/2 hour plane ride.  I thought it would be nice to post a few pictures of the six islands we have visited so far.  All are volcanic in origin and each is uniquely beautiful. So from east to west:

El Hierro is a triangular shaped, mountainous island.  At one time it was used to mark the central meridian of time before it was moved to Greenwich, England.  We passed through seven distinct micro-climates on this small island of fewer than 12,000 inhabitants.  The native people were the bambaches.

Dropping down out of the high mountain pass into the one relatively level settled area. called La Frontera.

A reconstructed bambache village.

The three active members of the church on the island, Piti and Dick  and Marcos.

 La Palma, not to be confused with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is called "La Isla Bonita", the Beautiful Island, for a reason:  it is beautiful.  It is north and a little east of El Hierro.  There is a small branch on this island of about 15 people.

The Post Office

A full-size, authentic sailing ship mounted as a monument about a block from our small chapel overlooking the sea..

The rocky, volcanic shoreline.

View of the capital city of La Palma from airplane.

Gran Canaria is the regional capital of the islands and is in a central position.  Columbus stopped here to resupply his ships before heading west to discover the American continent. 
A statue on the beach of the folk costume of the 'Canarios'.

A couple coming from a wedding where all the guests wore traditional folk costumes.

Typical traditional balconies

Colorful houses line the streets in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Trees in a downtown park.  I wish I knew their name.

Outdoor cafe in the park 

Tenerife is the duck shaped island east of Gran Canaria.  (I also served on this island for five months on my first mission.)  It has a split personality - it is half Arizona and half Hawaii.  There are three branches on this island with two companionships of Elders and a Senior Couple, the Andrews, serving here.

[I don't have photos of Tenerife right now.  I'll have to take some and insert later.]

Fuerteventura  is the long island closest to Africa.  It has wonderful beaches and sand dunes, but not much vegetation.  The early inhabitants were the Guanches.  ( I served for five months on this island during my first mission, and I love it!)
The harbor at sunset

Aerial view of north end of island.

Not much vegetation..

Two native Fuerteventura señoras dressed for the Día de las Canarias party.  The lady on the right made her own outfit with all the beautiful lace and cutwork.

 Lanzarote  is the smaller island to the north of Fuerteventura.  There is an island ordinance that requires all houses to be painted white to maintain its picturesque state.
View of the beach (our hotel was second from the right)

Volcanic shoreline