Thursday, October 10, 2013

Madrid MTC Missionaries 6 October 2013

On October 6, 2013, the Madrid MTC missionaries sang hymns for members and non-members alike on the steps leading up to temple.

The Madrid MTC missionaries sing by the temple (click the photo to see it in full-screen view):

Current Madrid MTC missionaries (the first five or six rows), along with some of the past Madrid MTC missionaries (back rows) (click the photo to see it in full-screen view):

Scott and Beverly wish they had been able to get a video of their singing, but they were tied up in a meeting and didn't get to the missionary singing until it was almost over.

One way or another, these are surely great looking missionaries! We love seeing them in the temple each Thursday morning.

By the way, if you would like a full-sized copy of one or both of the photos above, send us an email at

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Madrid MTC Missionaries Sing "Army of Helaman" 22 Sept 2013

The elders and sisters of the Madrid MTC joined in singing hymns on the step to the Madrid Temple, with Elder Bruce Sullivan conducting and Sister Vivienne Sullivan accompaning:

Another view of the missionaries as they sing a hymn:

The entire group of missionaries pose with the MTC President and his wife, as well as with the Sullivans:

Closeup of the missionaries, President and Sister Sitterud, and Elder and Sister Sullivan:
Madrid MTC President and Sister Sitterud on left. MTC Presidency Counselor, Elder Bruce Sullivan, front row left. Sister Sullivan, front row right.
The missionaries sang, among other hymns, "Army of Helman." Watch all of this video to see the surprise ending. Click this link to see the YouTube video or click the Play button below:

If your son or daughter is shown here, leave a commend, and we will try to say hello him or her for you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Temple Missionary Conferences, August and September 2013

In August, our theme was "I Will Manifest Myself in This House." We built a simplified model of the Madrid temple using cubes of cardstock with photos Scott had taken of the temple and the temple missionaries:

The table decorations in blues and purples looked like this:

For the theme in September, "The Kingdom of God or Nothing," we made simplified models of the stained glass windows of the Madrid Temple. The windows show the three degrees of glory:

The table decorations in yellows and oranges looked like this:

The following are pictures of those in attendance at the September conference (except Scott, who took the pictures):
Elder Greg and Sister Monti Jones, Sister Terry Tenney, President Donald Tenney

President Carlos and Sister Somoza, Elder José María and Sister Loli López, Sister Otilia López

Elder José Gutiérrez, Elder Aquilino Duarte, Daniel Gutiérrez, Sister Gutiérrez

Sister Miriam de Schweinitz, Sister Lia Cioban, Elder Martin and Sister Karen Schellenberg, Sister Jean and Elder Joe Riggs (employment missionaries)

Elder Bruce and Sister Vivienne Sullivan (Young Single Adult missionaries), Sister Betty Jo Smalley, Beverly

Sister Gabriella and Elder Lamar Lloyd, Elder Kelly and Sister Zella Grieve, Elder and Sister Igual

The conferences are a wonderful opportunity to hear a message from our temple president and to socialize with fellow missionaries.The September conference was our last one to be in charge. We have enjoyed the challenge of creating a theme and decorations, assigning food and music, and conducting the meeting for the past 12 Temple Missionary Conferences.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Real Madrid Football (Soccer) Game

On the evening of August 22, 2013, Scott and Beverly attended a football (soccer) game between Real Madrid and Al-Sadd (of Qatar). It fulfilled one of our mission "bucket list" items, to attend a Real Madrid game.

When we got off the subway near the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, we found lots of booths selling paraphernalia of Real Madrid and their opponent. We bought a Real Madrid banner. Scott wanted to buy a Real Madrid jersey but they were too expensive (He bought one a day later from a street salesman at a much better price):

The people poured into the streets from all parts of Madrid and the surrounding areas:

Scott took this picture of Beverly about 30 minutes before the game started. (The game started at 10:30 pm!). The rabid fans, in their Real Madrid jerseys, were already filling the stadium, which holds 100,000 people:

During the opening festivities in the stadium, we enjoyed a full-moon rising in the sky above us:

Here we are with our Real Madrid banner. 

The huge stadium filled quickly:

This was a special night. The pregame festivities honored one of the most famous Spanish football players of all time and top all-time scorer for Real Madrid, Raúl (Raúl González Blanco). Raúl retired from Real Madrid in 2010 and he now plays for Al-Sadd. So this was his return to Madrid:

Amazingly, Al-Sadd let Raúl play the first half for Real Madrid. This is a picture of Raúl, in Real Madrid uniform, running onto the field (Al-Sadd is in black and Real Madrid is in white) to the applause of the players and fans:

The start of the game:

The celebration after Raúl scored the first point of the night, for Real Madrid:

Real Madrid won the game 5-0.

It was a great cultural experience for us to attend a game of one of the most respected and successful professional soccer teams in the world, Real Madrid.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Storks in Spain, including "Air Dancing."

During the summer we've seen white storks and stork nests in old buildings or tall trees. These storks fly north from Africa to their breeding range in Central Spain. Here are some pictures we have taken of these beautiful birds.

Stork nests on top of an old church in Alcalá de Henares (the birthplace of Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote), east of Madrid:

An adult stork watching its chicks in a nest on top of a tree in Mazanares El Real, north of Madrid:

In this photo, you can see three stork chicks in the same nest:

One of the adult storks sailed overhead, evidently in an attempt to distract us from the nest:

 Another stork joined in the effort:

 Then the two storks started to fly in "bomber" formation over our heads:

They flew in other types of formations as well, like the Navy's "Black Knights''. Here the two adult storks appear to be air dancing as they cross their legs and flap their wings in unison at us:

These are some storks on the top of an old wall of a church in Valladolid, two hours north of Madrid:

A stork does a "helicopter hover" just before joining its mate on top of the Cathedral of Valladolid:

A stork flying overhead in Valladolid:

Two dozen storks stand like sentinels on and around the statue of Christ on top of the Cathedral of Valladolid:

We've enjoyed watching and taking pictures of these beautiful birds, but we haven't seen them deliver any babies yet!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunflowers in Spain

Throughout central Spain, we have seen huge numbers of large and small fields of sunflowers, grown commercially for sunflower seeds and oil. The flowers and fields are beautiful.

These two sunflower fields are located near Cuenca, southeast of Madrid:

These two fields are located between Madrid and Valladolid in the north:

Nodding sunflowers backlit by the sun:

Another field located about an hour north of Madrid:

A closeup of a beautiful sunflower:

Spain is indeed a beautiful place.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Madrid MTC, 18 August 2013

On Sunday, August 18, we spent the day at the Madrid MTC. The MTC president, President Sitterud, asked Scott to conduct one of the two sacrament meetings because his two counselors were out of town. He also invited us to attend other meetings, have lunch at the MTC, and be the fireside speakers that night.

The day began at 9:00 am with Priesthood and Relief Society, which we enjoyed immensely. Sacrament meeting started at 10:40 and went until noon.

We then enjoyed lunch with the Sitteruds and all the young missionaries. In the evening, we spoke at the MTC fireside (held in the adjacent stake center) to around 90 missionaries.

The final activity was the weekly Sunday evening hymn singing by the missionaries on the steps leading to the temple and MTC area.

This is a video of one of the hymns, "Onward Christian Solders":

Here are photos of the missionaries. If you see your missionary here, please leave a comment below:

Scott and Beverly with Elder Ben Adamson, our step-nephew, and his companion Elder Sorenson:

Elder Adamson with his best friend from home, Elder Dan Farrell (how nice that they were at the MTC at the same time!):