Monday, February 8, 2010

You are probably wondering why we haven't updated this blog this weekend. Yes it has been a very busy weekend. We caught a bus at our church at around 3:30 p.m. to go to stake Conference in Granada and didn't return home until 11:30 p.m. On Sunday we had to get up early and go to the church so we could drive to Malaga for Stake Conference. It was a Regional broadcast from Salt Lake City and we didn't have to go all the way to Granada again. We even got to hear it in English, they had a rooms set aside for English, German and the main congregation was able to hear it in Spanish. It was a great broadcast. We heard from Elder Kenneth Johnson from the Seventy, Sister Leiffert from the General Primary, Elder Alan Packer from the Seventy, who was also once the Mission President here in the Spain Malaga Mission. Then we also heard from Elder Russell M. Nelson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It was a great meeting and was enjoyed by all.
We had a couple, from Maryland, that rode with us , Ted and Linda Parker. There were here last week for church and joined us for conference, even the bus ride to Granada. Ted and Linda Parker are in the first picture. They were a very delightful couple and it seems like we are getting friends all over the world. They are trying to visit every temple in the world, besides visiting all their children around the world. They have been married for 10 'syears and she is a convert to the church. They were both married before and Ted's wife had died. I think they met on a cruise ship where Ted was a dance partner for those on the trip. He is from Montana and she is from Maryland.
The next two pictures are from our Zone Conference that was held Wednesday and we traveled into Malaga by train and then walk to the church, which is about 4-6 blocks away. It's hard to tell about blocks, because things in Spain are not laid out like Brigham Young laid cities out, with square blocks, so I'm trying to judge the number of blocks by the distance that we walk. It is very hard to find parking places around the church there in Malaga, because it is downtown and parking is at a premium. The mission president usually does two zones together for their zone conferences. That makes it so he only has to do 3 or 4 zone conferences every 6 weeks. I say 3 or 4, because the Canary Islands usually have separate Zone Conferences because of the travel, but this time they had a joint Zone Conference. We are included with the Malaga Zone because we work in the office. It was a great conference and all the missionaries were given another cheap Book of Mormon and were asked to reread the Book of Mormon and mark the scriptures with different colors. One color of each time the Savior was mentioned, another for his attributes, another for the words he spoke and another for doctrine or principles of the gospel. Then at district meetings there were to talk about new things they found in rereading the Book of Mormon. We even got some cheap Book of Mormons for the native Spanish speakers. We were to have a book in our native language. This was talked about in Preach My Gospel. We really enjoyed the conference and we also enjoyed getting to know more of the missionaries in the mission. We also have to listen hard, because most of it is spoken in Spanish. Sometimes I don't know if we will every get very fluent in Spanish. I guess we will sometime be able to understand, but working in the English branch doesn't make us speak Spanish. We are still reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish everyday out loud, so we are still working on it.
On Thursday we went home teaching, because it take 2 hours one way to go visit the Chapman's in a small village called Los Prados. We have visited them before and it was delightful to visit them again. They are a very nice couple and we enjoy visiting with them. They are less active, but have been very respective to us. They welcomed the Liahonas that we left with them and they asked about most of the members. We just wish that we could get them back to coming to church again. We did invite them to the supper that the branch is going to have on the 13th of Feb., but they called and said that they wouldn't be able to make it. We will keep trying though, because they are a wonderful couple.
The other two pictures are pictures of church that I took when I was walking around Fuengirola in the southern part of the town. Usually it take me about a 15 minute walk to go pick up the name tags for the missionaries that have to have their name engraven. The missionaries found a sports shop years ago that would put their names on the name tags. Well this time I decided that I wanted to walk a different way back to the office and so I did. I found out where the Zoo was and where the bull ring was here in this town. The churches were close to the Zoo so I snapped a couple of pictures. I usually see another Church on the way to the post office, but I hadn't seen these. I like wandering around the town to see what is here. I'm not a shopper, so I don't always pay attention to the stores, but there are lots of small shops all over the town. I think I should take more pictures of them so that all can see it. Well until next week, we wish you all a great and wonderful week. We are so grateful to be able to serve a mission here in Spain and we pray that all will go well for the missionaries, because the church is true and there are lots of people who still need to find the truth.