Sunday, September 29, 2013

Every single missionary is in this post!

Elders England and Johnson in Granada.

Elders Caceres, Mora and Proctor in Jaen.

Elders Chavez, Erickson and Sharp in Jerez.

Elders Quierolo and Hooper in Malaga 3.

Elders Berry and Wilson in Murcia 2.

Zone Conference in Malaga with the Malaga, Granada and La Mancha Zones.  Missing from this picture is Elder Castillo. 

Zone Conference in Murcia with the Cartagena, Alicante and Murcia Zones.

Zone Conference in Sevilla with the San Fernando, Sevilla 1 and 2 Zones.

When we took the photo in the Malaga conference, Elder Norton had stepped out, so here in an intimidating pose is our office staff:  Elder Norton the piso renter, Elder Crapo who will replace Elder Butler, and Elder Butler the ticket buyer.  He spends more money than anyone around here. 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Final 3 Visa waiters arrive

Elders Mercado, Easton and Rasmussen in Albacete.

Elders Sandelin and Vergara in Castelleja.

Hermanas Hendricks and Daly in Puerto de Santa Maria.

Elders Salmeron and Allen in Nerja.

Elders Lish and Mora in San Fernando.

Elders Sandelin and Crespo in Aljarafe.

These next pictures deserve announcement. For the first time since President Deere and I arrived in June of 2012, we have NO MORE VISA WAITERS!!  We received our last three on Tuesday.    Here they are:  two Elders who have been serving for 6 months in Peru, and one American (who is only 2 weeks late):

Elder Caceres will serve in Jaen with Elders Mora and Proctor.


Elder Chavez will serve in Jerez with Elders Sharp and Erickson.

Hermanas Daly and Hendricks will work with Hermana Hoffman (center).

On a personal note, our son Cameron finished his mission this week and returned "home" to us on Thursday.   Pictured is President Deere, me (Hermana Deere), Cameron, and President Hanni, the Stake President of the Granada Stake just moments after Cameron was released.  Pure joy for the mom and dad, and a little scary and sad for the missionary!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Dear family and friends of Spain Malaga missionaries:

I know you have questions, I just don't know what they are.  So feel free to ask by commenting on this entry, and I will answer them as quickly as I can. 

1.  What is the best way to send a package to my missionary?

Good question!  We can't predict when your package will arrive without any problems, or when it will be stopped (and possibly returned) by customs, or even disappear.  We've had huge, heavy boxes arrive without customs fines, and we've had small, light boxes arrive with fines.  But here are a few tips that may help:
  • Small boxes or envelopes are better than big boxes.  Big boxes seem to attract attention of customs agents. 
  • Mail packages to your missionary's apartment address, but ONLY AT THE BEGINNING OF A TRANSFER.  Ask your missionary for the address and timing. 
  • Complete the customs form required by the sender, and underestimate the value of the contents.
  • Don't use the title "Elder" when you ship--just address it to your missionary's name.
  • Never label your shipment as "medical supplies" or "medication".   Spanish laws prohibit individuals from receiving medication by mail. If you feel you must send some type of meds, label it as "vitamins" or "tablets".  Again, this is unpredictable.  One Elder received a 3-month supply of medication with no problem, and another mother sent a box labeled "medical supplies", which had simple first-aid supplies like bandaids and ointment, and it was returned to the sender.
  • If you are sending a pair of something, like shoes, consider sending them one at a time.  Then you can honestly state a very low value!
  • Please send mail to the mission office address below.  You can mail a package to the mission office also.  Usually packages and mail are delivered to individual  areas within two weeks.  When mailing packages to the mission office, always include the name of the mission, so that if it does get delivered with a fine, someone from the mission can retrieve it without having to get written permission from the missionary.   This is not so important for letters, as they never are assessed fines.  The mission office address:
Spain Malaga Mission
(missionary's name)
Edificio Ofisol
Avda Jesus Santos Rein, 2, 3 D-E
29640 Fuengirola
(Malaga) Spain
(I have changed the numbers after Santos Rein a few times, but this one is the real one.  Our letterhead is printed incorrectly.)

2.  How do missionaries get their living money each month? If we wanted to put money into their account for Christmas instead of sending a package, how is the best way to do that?

The missionaries have a debit card issued to them by the mission, and they receive on that card 140 Euros each month.  That pays for food, haircuts, personal toiletries, etc.  They also use that money for bus and train tickets, but they are reimbursed for travel expenses.

Most missionaries come with a personal card from home, and that would certainly be the best way to give them money for Christmas.  You can deposit money in their personal account, or if they don't have a card at all, work with your bank to get one and send it to your missionary in the mail.  Be sure the bank knows that that card will be used in Spain. 

3.  What do U.S. missionaries wish they had brought with them once they get to Spain?

I will keep asking this question and update the blog with more answers, but here's what I heard from Elders Schoell, Bleazard and Wilson recently:

Deodorant.  Most missionaries (both Elders and Sisters) from the States don't like the deodorant here.  It's expensive, and it doesn't include an antiperspirant--it's only deodorant.  So bring a little extra, and put one in your next package to your missionary. We will all thank you!  ;)

Maple syrup extract.  We can buy maple syrup here, but it is hard to find and too expensive for a missionary's budget ($6-$8 for about 2 cups).  With one little bottle of this extract (costs about $2 in the States) they can make 48 cups of syrup.

Only bring one suit.  Nearly every Elder buys at least one Spanish suit.  It's a popular thing to do, it's less expensive, and because suits are cut differently here, the Elders feel like they fit in better with a locally-made suit.  If your missionary is 6"5' or taller, it will be difficult to find one here.  Smaller Elders, or those who are heavy won't have any problem finding a suit.

Pictures of family.  I think this is mentioned in the call packet, but a few of our newer missionaries said they didn't bring any, and they really wished they had a few family photos.  Many missionaries tape one inside their scriptures.  Members, investigators, and the Mission President's wife always like to see pictures of the missionary's family!

4.  How has the mission changed since President Monson announced the age change in October 2012?

We were sitting around the computer in October 2012 when President Monson made the historic announcement lowering the age requirement for missionaries.  Our jaws dropped and we reacted exactly the same as the young man in the Conference Center shown in the clip on  At the time we had about 100 missionaries.  In December we went down to 83.  Today (29 September 2013) we have 203.   So to show you what that means for a city, Seville, which is the largest city in our mission (1.2 million) had 8 missionaries last year.   Now there are 24 missionaries working there.    In Málaga last year there were 6 missionaries in the whole city, covering three wards.  Now there are 4 wards and 22 missionaries.  (More to come..)

We are baptizing

Elders Larios, Smith and Neira in Puertollano.

Elders Norton and  Butler in the English branch in Fuengirola.

Hermanas Johns and Chance in Jerez.

Elders Lucero, Walker, Ellsworth and Allsop in Molina.


Tex-Mex companionship.  Elder Allen (left) is from Texas and Elder Salmeron is from Mexico.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Tsunami: 37 arrive

Craziest week ever.  But baptisms first, as always:

Hermanas Noriega and Thompson in Benidorm.

Elders Flint and Curtis in Badajoz.

Elders Gonzales and Smith in Granada.

Hermanas Martin and Anderson in Jaen.

Elders Erickson and Sharp in Jerez.

Elders Quinn and Gomez in Malaga 2.

Elders Ellsworth and Walker in Molina.

Here's the happy Murcia District, who learned this week that it's very important to be sure the font drain is closed before filling the font with water.  With the help of a few buckets, they got the font filled with enough water in time for the baptism. 
Hermanas Thompson and Folsom had a font mishap too!  Hermana Thompson said, "Disaster with the baptismal font!
It was our first time trying out the plastic font and it fell a couple of hours before the baptism and flooded the entire chapel with 1-2 inches of water. It took mediodia to get all the water out but it was dry in time for the baptism."

Now, the tsunami: 37 missionaries arrived, and none departed.   

 They arrived by train at 10am,
and by plane at 1pm.
Put your arms around our new missionaries (according to the guidelines in the Manual Misional, please) and welcome them to the best mission in the world.  Here they are, in no particular order:
Elder Queirolo will be trained by Elder Hooper in Malaga 3.

Elder Hill will be working in Algeciras with Elder Mambo.

Elder Metcalf is headed to Aljarafe with Elder Vergara.

Hermana Rawle and Hermana Wilcox are headed to Badajoz.

Hermana Brown (our third one!) will be trained by Hermana Johnson in Huelva.

Hermana Lionetti is headed to Cádiz with Hermana Reed (center) and Hermana Coloma.

Elder Bassett (left) and Elder Rojas (right) will train Elder Guarcax in Cordoba.

Elder Pomazon will be trained by Elder Flint in Badajoz.

Hermana Brown will train Hermana Wooley in Granada.

Hermana Lyons and Hermana Martín are headed to Jaen.

Hermana Hansen will be trained in Jerez by Hermana Brimhall and Hermana Johns (not pictured).

Elder Bird and Elder Peters will train Elder Reynolds in Malaga 1.

Hermana Black will be trained by Hermanas Ramsay and Poulton in Malaga 1 also.

Hermana Andrew will work in Malaga 2 with Hermana Roan.

Elder Cortés will train Elder Farrell in Malaga 4.

Hermana Daines will be trained by Hermana Moreno Cáceres.
Elder Mercado and Elder Easton will train Elder Rasmussen in Albacete.

Elder Tudela is headed to Alcoy with Elder Orr. 

Hermana Flanders will train Hermana Morris in Alicante 1.

Elder Dansie will train Elder Day in Alicante 2.

Hermana Camacho will train Hermana  Parilla in Alicante 2.

Elder Webb is headed to Elche 1 with Elder Adams.

Hermana Cameron (and Hermana Kunz) will train Hermana Hubbard in Elche 1.

Elder Rodriguez will train Elder Oliver in Torrevieja.

Hermana Flake will train Hermana Bangerter in Cartagena 1.

Elder Flores will train Elder Datwyler in Lorca.

Elder Galarza and Elder Adamson are headed to Murcia 1.

Hermana Jarvis and Hermana Walton are also going to Murcia 1.

Elder Ellsworth and Elder Allsop are going to Molina.

Elder Brewer will train Elder Landinez in Ciudad Real.

Hermana Israelsen will train Hermana Heaton in Valdepeñas.  It also looks like our assistants are having a little too much with all the excitement.   

Elder Berrett will train Elder Chapple in Almeria.

Elder Bastian will train Elder Bird in Almeria.  (And yes, we have another Elder Bird, and he´s bigger than the first Elder Bird!)

Elder Patterson and Elder Church are headed to Málaga 1.

Elder Olsen and Elder Buttars are in Sevilla 1.  There are now 4 companionships in Sevilla 1st Ward.  Nice Elder Góchez..

Hermana Muse and Hermana Guerrero are headed to Sevilla 2.

I can't end this entry without a shout-out to our amazing office staff that have been working long days getting ready for this historic week.  Elders Butler, Norton, the Castillos, and Elders Gochez and Keller have been preparing all summer for this week.  Elder Norton found and rented 32 new apartments.  Elder Butler bought tickets and moved almost the entire mission this week.  Elders Gochez and Keller, besides making faces in the photos when we assign to areas, work tirelessly with and for the missionaries, and Elder and Sister Castillo, well, we just feel like they are at the right place at the right time.  We don't even know how we would do it without them.  We love you!  

 The formidable Elder Norton with 17 new phones.  That means 17 new areas opened this week!