Saturday, October 31, 2009

This picture got cut off of the last blog and would be that last picture I talked about. Have a super fantastic day.
Love JoAnne

Friday, October 30, 2009

This first pictures is the pictures of the garbage and recycling containers that are right outside of our apartment. These are the ones that they pick up in the middle of the night that used to wake us up at 2 or 4 in the morning. The green one is for glass and you can hear the people dropping their glass bottles into that one. The next one, blue is for paper and cardboard. The Yellow one is for plastic containers, which there is a lot of, like water, juice bottles, etc. The last one is for the rest of the garbage. They have these kind of containers throughout the cities in various location. This ones doesn't just serve our apartment, but others in the area.
The next picture is a picture of the Mission president, Elder Mellor and his wife Claire Mellor on the very far right and then in the middle is Elder Harper who was going home with his parents. They live in Georgia, but his Dad was born in Barcelona. They said he was a very good missionary, and we only met him that day. There are lots of excellent missionaries here in our mission. This picture was taken in the mission office that is right in downtown Fuengirola. We have 2 suites on the 3rd floor, but in America we would call it the 4th floor. There are 54 steps going up there. I usually walk up them and I let Roy ride the elevator. The elders just laugh at me. You know me and how I like to run up the steps, well I am a little more dignified that at home. I don't really run up them, but try to walk fast up them. I can go down them pretty fast also. At our apartment there are only 40 steps up to our level
Ila wanted to see some of the beach. This city wraps around the beach. It is long city, but narrow and there is miles of beach along here. I made it down to the beach one time trying to find some yarn to knit with and I took some pictures of the beach and the umbrellas they sit under. I took the two close beach pictures about a month ago. There are still lots of people using the beach, but probably not as many as during the summer. There are still lots of tourists here in Fuengirola. Generally you can tell because they are wearing shorts, etc. Most of the Spanish people here now are dressed warmer. In fact about a week ago it rained and was very windy, my umbrella turned inside out. It was warm to us, but we saw Spaniards dressed in coats. For them I guess it was cold. It is still in the 70's here, so to us it isn't very cold. Sister Mellor is worried that I will be cold in the apartment, mainly because of all the tile floors. They get cold and don't warm up, but we haven't experienced that yet. They don't heat or cool these apartments unless you buy you own airconditioner and install it on the outside of the building. We see lots of these throughout the city.
The next two pictures are taken at the top of the castle that we went to last week so that you can see that the beach is right below the castle. It is built on top of a small hill. I think you can see how the city wraps around the beach in the first picture. The other picture was taken through an opening in the castle wall at the top where they could look out and defend their castle. On this first picture you can see a bridge going over the river out to the Mediterrean Sea. I think the funnel it underneath the beach here, because the beach brings in money to the town. They do groom the beach, we saw a tractor once with a blade on the back of it, smoothing out the sand.
The picture of the lady is Sister Scott from Scotland that I told you about in the last blog. She was amazing and the Elders were very impressed with her because she came up to the church on Saturday to find out what time church was. And she came and stayed to all of the meeting and then she came back that afternoon for a baptism for the Spanish ward. She enjoyed it, even though she didn't understand what was being said. She especially enjoyed the music. She is the choir director back in Scotland. She told us about her conversion. She was born in South Africa, Zimbamwae. She didn't join the church there, but when she was little and could go and visit friends, she would always pass by this brown meeting and always had the desire to enter and see what was in the building. This went on for years, and then she moved to England or Scotland. She then tried to find a church to go to and I think she went to an Epistola church and as she went and kept studying the Bible she would go to the pastor and talk with him about the things she was reading in the Bible and wasn't found in the churches. He would pat her on the shoulder and tell her to wait. She did this for several years and after she found the LDS church and decided to join, she went back to this pastor to tell him that she was joining the Mormons. He patted her on the shoulder and said: "Now you know." She was very friendly and invited us to come and stay with her in Scotland if we went home that way. She and her husband work in the temple in Preston England. They had a calling for that for 5 years and now they go and spend a couple of weeks at a time down there. I was impressed with her testimony. She was born about the same place as our second counselor in the Branch presidency.e His name is Shawn Tyndale-Biscoe and he related to her about the same experience that he had with the same brown building. He and his wife are members and have been here 7 years. He doesn't have a job right now, but his wife Belinda is teaching English for some Spanish children and some resource children. She is also an amazing lady. We will tell about her later.
The last picture is a picture of the office Elders and Juan Pablo who was getting baptized that afternoon, but there was a 12 year girl, Lucia, that finally got permission from her Dad in Italy to be baptized, just the night before, so the Elders were happy. The Elder in the dark tie, Elder Dold was transfered to the Canary Island this week. He went to Tenerife, and he was training Elder Going, the one in the white pants. I found out he was from Richmond, Utah, not Murray like I said last week.
I hope this finds everyone well and happy. We love it over here and we hope we will be making a difference even if it is only in the Branch where they need us so desperately. The Gospel is true and will make a difference in the lives of the people who join the church. Have a wonderful and pleasant week. Til later. Love JoAnne

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The first picture here is our district in Fuengirola, it consists of the AP's, the office elders and us who also work in the office. On the top right going counterclockwise are first the AP's, Elder Barraza from Barcelona Spain, then Elder Lundin from St. George, Utah. We are very impressed with both of these elders. Next comes Elder Dold, who comes from the state of Washington and who is over the finances of the mission for right now and will be transfered this week to the Canary Island. He has been in the office for 8 months so he is excited about getting back to more missionary work, even though they have investigators here and have baptisms. Then comes Elder Millerberg from Sandy, Utah, he is over everything else in the mission office except the finances, like an executive secretary, like over the residency, baptisms, etc. Sitting by me is Elder Going who is going to be over the finances and has been here a transfer learning the ropes of the finances, and I think he might be from Murray, Utah, but I'm not really sure. We sure have enjoyed working with these Elders here in Fuengirola. We hold district meeting every Saturday before the Elders play basketball or soccer with whomever wants to play, usually investigators. They hold the meeting in Spanish and I'm still having a hard time learning the Spanish, I catch several words that I know, but without all of them together I don't get the whole meeting was what is going on. But I haven't given up yet. Roy and I still read out of the Book of Mormon in Spanish everyday. It will come eventually if we keep trying, but we have been able to get by just fine without knowing much at all.
The next pictures are taken of the castle that is here in Fuengirola that is very old and is now mostly just a shell as you can see by the pictures. There are some very old cannons that are up there as you can see in the pictures and behind me you can see how close the mountains are and some of the city and cities that are up on the hill. This is quite a big city in population, there are lots of high rise apartments that people live in. In fact we live in a 6-7 story one ourselves. I say 6-7 because there are really seven but the bottom floor is not the first floor but the bottom floor, and not a basement. We live on the 3rd story but here it is called the second floor. The castle was built a long time ago, after the Roman were here. It was built by the Moors. They have found some Roman ruins just below the castle though. The beach is just below the castle. Fuengirola has lots of beaches and lots of apartments or hotels along the beach where lots of people come for vacation or holiday as the people call it over here. The castle is now a tourist place and they do hold events here at night, There was a picture of an orchestra in the brochure we were given as we went in. It was also in English. They do hold other festival events here.
We are surely enjoying our work here in Spain and the life here. We are happy and we seem to keep busy. To let you know about our branch here. Even though it is in Fuengirola it is called the Mijas International Branch, which is the name of the town just north of here. Very very international. In fact they just reorganized the Relief Society Presidency here. The President is American, the first counselor is German, just moved here on Friday, the second counselor is from the Philippines. The two teachers for Relief Society are from England. We have visitors almost everyweek from somewhere, mostly from the United Kingdom. Today we had a family from Germany and they knew the son of the !st counselor, but she is an American and he is from Austria and they are living in Bonn. They brought another sister with them from Spain, I think who served a mission in Oakland three years ago. There was also a Sister Scott from Scotland and she knew someone that one of the members from England knew. It is a very small world.