Sorry about last week, we didn't add to our blog, I had a cold and didn't feel very well, but I'm on the mend now. So just a recap of our last two weeks. The Wednesday before last we went out and checked apartments of the missionaries. It was really an all day affair because to get to the first one it took us over two hours to drive there and the others were close to each other, within a half hour or less between each one. The first one we went to was Jerez, with Elder Gleason, Elder Ross, Elder Lauener, and Elder Solari. We had met Elder Ross and Elder Solari in the MTC in Madrid. Elder Lauener is Switzerland and I was able to speak German with him, but his English is also very good.
The second one we went to was in San Fernando, where the zone leaders lived with two other missionaries. This second picture is Elder Hafen, Elder Beswick, then Elder Woodland, and Elder Larsen. They were great missionaries and fun it talk with. Elder Hafen has an egg in his hand that he was going to use for an object lesson on faith.
The next ones were in El Puerto de Santa Maria and we have Elder Phillips and Elder Basurto, who is our newest and now our shortest Elder. Elder Ruz was the shortest and he went home this thursday. Elder Basurto is from Spain, but was born in Ecuador and Elder Phillips is from England as well as the Elders Wallace, and Elder Woodland and they all knew each other in England before they came on their missions. These last elders didn't get changed during the transfers this last week.
We then went to Cadiz, which is a port city in Spain that is really just an island and was an old city, at the time of Christ. The sisters lived there and we have Sister King and Sister Campbell. They were delightful also to talk with. Sister King just got transfered to the Canary Islands and Sister Campbell had already been on the Islands.
We then went over to El Puerto de Santa Maria where Elder Ellis and Elder Wallace were serving. They had a very nice apartment and quite large compared to some of the other apartments. Elder Wallace Also got transfered to the Canary Islands on Thursday. We first met him in the MTC in Madrid while we were up there. It is really great to talk to these missionaries and see their excitment in serving a mission.
We plan to go this week to Algeciras, which is across the bay from the Rock of Gilbrator, so that should be an interesting trip also. We plan to do our Home Teaching on the back back, because Sister Allen lives closer to the that area and has to come all the way to Fuengirola to go to church. She really lives closer to Algeciras, but she wants to go to an English speaking ward. She just got back this week from England, and when I called her, she said she only got back 2 hours ago. She brings lots of enthusiasm into our branch. She is a widow and has moved to Spain to live. She is our activities chairman and already has planned an activity for us for the 13th of February.
This last picture is the newest member of our branch, Lydia Madera Duran. She is from the Philippines and is working here to earn enough to put her children through school. Right now she is with her boss in Madrid, I think they have a home there also and she has to go up there with them to work. She is a delightful new member and she is standing with the office missionaries Elder Barton and Elder Goings. They are a great companionship and we get to work with them in the office. Elder Barton is quite new to the office, he got transfered here in December and was trained by Elder Millerberg who left right after Christmas and went to Granada. Elder Barton is from Gilbert, Arizona. Elder Goings is from Richmond, Utah, up by Logan.
We have a busy week planned, meeting with the office elders, and the Assistants to the President and President and Sister Mellor on Monday. This usually happens every Monday if the Mellor's haven't gone to the Islands for Zone Conference. On Wednesday we first have a meeting with the branch missionary leader and the elders and afterwards we travel to Algeciras. We will be late in getting back that day and won't go into the office at all. Back to the office on Thursday and again on Friday. Friday night we are going with some of our branch members and members from the Spanish ward to the Madrid Temple. We take a bus late at night and travel to Madrid during the night, catching whatever sleep we can and then do a couple of sessions in the Madrid temple and travel back the Fuengirola and then try to be awake for church the next day. We will let you know how this goes.
We really love it over here and the missionary work is going great. They have great plans for the coming year even with fewer missionaries and hope to have more baptisms than last year. With the members help I know we can do it.