Saturday, October 17, 2009

Here are some of the pictures from the celebration that the Spanish ward and the international Branch had together. From the different flags you can see that we had many different countries represented there. The members were supppose to bring something from their country to show and to share. A lot of the Spanish members really come from others places than from just Spain, as you can see Brazil, Costa Rica, etc. The members really had a great time there. Several shared different foods from their countries. Sister Mellor, the mission president's wife made rice crispy treats and I made a chocolate cake, and they both went really really fast.
This was a national holiday for Spain and in America we celebrate it as Columbus Day. They mingled with each other for a while. They started in what is called Mediodia, the middle of the day. We didn't get there until after 2:00 and we left at 4:00 p.m. and they were still going strong.
They even put music on and danced, they did the flamigo, maracrena(sp) the one we do in the states also. The little kids were even out there dancing. They also do something like the bunny hop where they went in a long line dancing. It was very fun to watch and to mingle with the members. Of course we just watched and visited. The elders in the mission brought their investigators to
join in the celebration. The seminary teacher, Jorge, I'm not sure his last name even invited someone from Kurkhanstan to join us. When she saw what the others had done, she went back home and got things from her country to share. I was able to speak with her, Her English is very good. She met her husband in her country, I think he is from England or Spain, but they are living here now. They have a 6-7 year old daughter who is fluent now in several languages and they are having her learn others, like Chinese. She isn't a member but came and participated anyway. Roy and I talked with a lady from England who is a teacher, without a job right now. She sold her house in England and moved to Spain. She is also studing to be a Jehovah Witness and plans to be baptized with them in Feb. We talked with her anyway. She is a friend of the branch president's wife. She doesn't want to tell the JW'S that she went to a Mormon party. We tried to convince her to pray about it and to read the Book of Mormon that she has. Gee, if only she would read it sincerely she would know. I did talk with one of the elder's investigators because he is German but has lived in Spain for a long time, they elders are teaching him in Spanish and I think he has a baptismal date set.
The German member, Bro. Meyer talked with him a lot also. Bro Meyer is going back to Halle, German to pick up his wife and move their belongings to Marabella, which is just west of Fuengirola (about 30 minutes drive) where the branch is. They will be working for a very rich German. We went with the branch president to visit him on Wednesday night, just in case he needed a translator. He has a hard time understanding the branch president, Bro Brown, because he thinks he has an accent that is hard to follow, but I think it is mainly because he throws in Spanish words all the time. Bro Brown is married to a Spanish lady, Carmen, and they have a 4 month old baby girl, who is very big for a 4 month old. We were really impressed with Bro. Brown and the challenges he has had in life. They met in Colorado but moved to Spain. They have had their trials in life, but he is very spiritual. They had about 4 miscarriages before they were able to carry this little girl to term, and Carmen had to stay down the last part of her pregnancy. The baby weighed 9 1/2 lbs. He just lost his job when he was called to be called to be branch president. They are planning on moving back to the states in November.
When we drove out to Marabella to visit Bro Meyer, Roy got his first taste of driving on the freeway here in Spain. It went alright and we got back home safely but we had Bro. Brown with us to help us get back home.
We are enjoying ourselves here in Spain and hope to get to know the language better, but right now they need us in the international, or English branch to help out. We did have about 31 people at church on Sunday, but several were visitors from England and Canada, so it did seem like it was a little bigger. We meet about the same time as the Spanish ward, we start 1/2 hour earlier and start with Relief Society and Priesthood and the Spanish ward starts with Sacrament meeting in the chapel. We meet in the same room for Relief Society and then for Sunday School and everyone, even the youth meet with us, because there are only 2 unless there are visitors. We go into Sacrament meeting and then the Spanish members have Relief Society and Priesthood. It isn't a very big chapel, but we do have our own building and not like some of the others places that have to rent someplace to meet.