Hello to all of you and we hope everyone is doing well. We started the day today after study etc. by going over to the church and setting up everything the way we want it to look for the open house . We actually were figuring out the most practical and appealing way to have everything situated so the day of the open house we know what we're doing. One of our JAS guys came and helped us because his mom has a library key and all of our stuff was in the library. It took longer than I thought it would but was well worth the time spent to be better prepared for morning. We are hoping to have a lot of support from the branch, the JAS, and young missionaries. The open house has been talked about and announced quite a bit so we just need to have faith in the members and our prayers for the Lord's help. We treated Andriv (JAS) to lunch (lunch here is at 3), after he spent a few hours helping us.
Later this evening the hermanas came over with one of the YW and another girl whose parents are members but she isn't; however, she attends all the meetings and lives a "mormon" lifestyle. We watched the Joseph Smith Video and then the hermanas gave her a lesson about gaining a testimony and feeling the spirit. We had a wonderful discussion and shared personal experiences of gaining a testimony and the blessings of the gospel in our lives. I think she has a testimony already but just doesn't realize it yet. This young girl has an older sister JAS age, not a member either, that comes to Sacrament Meeting sometimes but rarely anything else. We have invited her many times to JAS activities with no luck whatsoever.
We had the most amazing Fast and Testimony meeting . It was the best meeting I've attended since being in Vigo. There were three babies blessed by their fathers and all three families are strong and active. One of the Fathers asked Larry to stand in the circle and help bless the baby. There hasn't been one single baby blessing since we arrived here in Vigo and then to have three precious little infants born so close together and blessed the same day was such a happy sweet event for this branch. There is another strong young family expecting a baby in 5 months so the branch is growing in more ways than just convert baptisms. There was such a feeling of joyousness at our meetings.
Speaking of convert baptisms, the hermanas had a sister baptized this past whom they had taught. This lady is a good friends with one of the women in our ward, which is always helpful when a member is involved in the teaching and fellowshipping. All of the new sister's children came to her baptism, which was exciting that she had so much support from her family. They also came to see her confirmation. The husband died a while back so it's just the mom and her kids who are all young adults. We took her home from church last week and had such a fun time talking on the ride to her home across the bay. She is from Venezuela and just full of the joy of life. Normally she takes a ferry to get to Vigo but they don't run on Sundays so we gave her a ride. It's 15 minutes by ferry and about 40 by car. Of course you have to get to and from the ferry.
We lost both of our sisters in Pontevedre and they won't be replaced because a huge group of hermanas are going home and not as many are coming in so there is a shortage. Elder Beuden the elder from AZ is our new district leader and he did a great job with his first district meeting . Larry likes him because he nixed wearing suits to district meeting. was transfers and elder Elder Hendrix, who was only here one transfer, was moved to A Caruna and is now one of our zone leaders. In his place came elder Daniels from ID just out of the Madrid MTC. His companion, Elder McAllister will be training him for the next six weeks.Larry was up early getting elders to the train station. Then around three we went to the bus station and picked up hermana Braithwait. Our hermana's companionship is now a trio with the addition of hermana Braithwait from ID. Sister Shouwman is going home mid transfer thus the trio for now,
We had all of the elders and hermanas over for lunch not knowing elder Hendrix would be leaving so I am glad we all got to spend that time together. We had a request from a couple of our JAS to come to lunch and bring a nonmember friend that is interested in the church. The girl interested in the church is from the Philipines and is here in Spain as a nanny to a Spanish family. I was a little panicked because I didn't see the message asking to have lunch with us the next day until after 9 night and by then all the stores were closed. Luckily I was able to come up with a fairly decent meal from what I had on hand but I was up pretty late getting things ready for lunch after our meetings the next day. Thank goodness for cake mixes that make an easy, quick, yummy dessert
It's been a good week and we are ever grateful to be here working with all the wonderful people we cross paths with. We learn so much each day and enjoy such glorious blessings being able to serve and have the influence of the spirit in our lives each day.We encourage all of you to live the best you can and take care of those wonderful grandkids of ours. You are all so blessed with wonderful children and meeting their needs and teaching them the gospel is your greatest responsibility. It's not an easy task and sometimes requires strength we may not have but when we bring children into the world it is up to us as their parents to see they get all that they need to grow and become happy functioning individuals.
Take care. We love you all so much. You are always in our prayers.
Mom and Dad