Our President's Seminar in Madrid

This is a very late blog entry.  On October 30-November 2, 2012 we were in Madrid, Spain for the Annual Mission President's Seminar for all the Mission Presidents in the European Area.  We spent the time with the Area Presidency and 30 wonderful couples from all over the European Area, as well as all the support staff from Frankfurt and the Mission Presidents from the two MTC's in Europe, Preston, England and Madrid.  

We attended sessions where the Area Presidency taught and trained us on many things.  I feel the most outstanding was announcing the 'flood' of missionaries that would be coming in the late winter and early spring.  All missions will increase in size.  Our compliments will increase, perhaps double.  We are definitely excited.  We have in increase of sister missionaries coming on April 30, 2013 and again on June 11, 2013.  These are the Young Women that put their applications in for a mission the week following the announcement at General Conference in October.  
Following are pictures of Madrid. Between sessions of training, we went to the Palace and the Palace grounds for tours.  We went to the temple one evening and saw the MTC in Madrid also.  The missionaries from the MTC sang to us to welcome us.  We met and made many friends.  These are my new friends for three years---and eternity!

Here Goes-------

One of the 'old' main gates to the city.

 Columbus Square
It is believed that near this square that Columbus 
came to Queen Isabella to get the financial support
to purchase the necessary supplies to
set sail to find the Indies by sailing west.

 Between the two building you can see the statue of Columbus

 Back side of the statue of Columbus

 An old church that is now the Post Office
They call this building "The Wedding Cake" building.

 One of many fountains in the city.

 The building is Metropolis--where is Superman?

 The Palace from the outside.

 All the 'Men in black' are Mission Presidents and Wives.  Yes, 70 of us really made an impression as we walked around.

 The Guard outside the gate.

 The entry Gate

 The Palace from inside the grounds.

 Sister Robinson

 Opposite the entrance of the Palace is the front of the Catholic Church of the Royal Family. For a wedding, the coach will pick them up at the front of the Palace and drive them across the square to the front gates of the Church.

 Waiting for our tickets

 President waiting at the front of the Palace.

 Sister Robinson, Sister Fluckiger. 
 We first met in the MTC during the Spring when we went to study our respective languages, Dutch for me, Portuguese for her.  President Fluckiger and Sister Fluckiger are serving in Portugal. 

 President's favorite display--the romance of Europe!

From an outdoor balcony, Madrid behind us--beautiful view.

 At the Church there is a statue of Peter holding the Keys.

Above was a fresco of Peter and the others casting their nets where the Savior instructed them to cast, after a night of empty nets.  The miracle--the nets were filled to almost sinking of the ships. 

 We all saw the symbolism.  So, we had all the mission presidents and the Area Authority Presidency line up for a picture.  These are the men with the keys, and these are the men that have be authorized by a Prophet of God to go forth and cast their nets to be fishers of men.

 As we were taking this picture, many people began to gather around.  They sensed that these men were important.

Others began to take pictures of this group of Priesthood leaders also.

I caught a picture of the wives taking the pictures of their husbands.  I should have gotten one of the other people who stopped to take a picture.

 President Robinson

 Sister Robinson

 Here is the Catholic Church from the street side.

 One of many plazas.

 Between training sessions.

 Time to visit and catch up.

 Area Presidency, missing Elder Kearon

 President and Sister Walker, the Mission President for the England MTC.  Sister Walker is President Hinckley's daughter.  They train some of our missionaries and so we share notes over missionaries they have trained and sent to us.

 The Neptune Fountain is just outside the Hotel.

 Here we are, in Madrid.

 President Robinson with Elder Merrill and Sister Merrill.  Elder Merrill is a doctor and he and his wife are called to Mission Medical in Frankfurt.  I so appreciate having this kind of support to help me keep the missionaries healthy and happy.

President was happy because he was able to finally meet "Vince Lombardi".

It was a wonderful week.  It gave us a chance to catch our breath and regenerate our batteries.  For that we are grateful.  But the Spirit and blessing to be taught by the Seventy is another of the many ways we feel so humbled and blessed.  Thank you, Heavenly Father for your love for us and your trust in us.

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