Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mission Presidents Seminar in Madrid Spain

We were able to attend the Mission Presidents' Seminar this year as it was held in Madrid, Spain.  We fell in love with Madrid.  At these seminars you spend 85% of the time in training with our wonderful Area Presdiency.  But one of the most exciting things about attending these training meetings is being able to attend the temple.
 The Madrid Temple (and temple complex) is so beautiful.  President had his iPhone camera so these pictures don't do the temple justice, but it was marvelous to see and then be inside.  If there is one thing that we dearly miss (certainly right up there with our family), it is being able to attend the temple.
 Going into the temple is always a great feeling.   Elder Teixeira, walking behind us, was always making sure that everyone was taken care of and that everything was perfect.  We love him and Sister Teixeira.
 This is the Madrid MTC.  It houses the missionaries, the MTC offices, classrooms and cafeteria.  The Temple President, MTC President and Senior Missionaries all live here as well.  It is also where the temple patrons stay when coming to the temple for extended days. It is a beautiful building with plenty of underground parking for patrons and buses.
 Opposite the MTC building are the Stake Centers.  This building houses two stakes.  Again, it is very nice and blends in perfectly with the surrounding neighborhood and with this complex.  The Church always does everything with great taste and design.
Not only were we able to visit the Madrid temple, but we were able to have a bus tour of the city.
 This statue is honoring Christopher Columbus.  Just opposite this is a center with three large monuments signifying the three ships that set sail with Columbus... the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.  Madrid is a beautiful city.
This is the new Train Station, and it is pretty nice.  This was bombed in 2004 by terrorists but is now beautiful and busy.  The entire Madrid transportation system is so very well designed.
Walking back to the Hotel, we saw something we have not seen in 28 months-  A Dunkin Doughnut shop.  Wow!   We just had to buy a couple of donuts and celebrate...
President sat on a rail to enjoy his "chocolate glazed wonder" and the Police were coming to get him to move as I took this picture.  He is always getting in trouble...
You know how we always say, "the world is a pretty large place except in the Church".   When you start talking to someone, you can always find someone you know in common or you are related somehow.  To prove that...
Elder and Sister Patrick Kearon, the First Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency.  They became dear friends to President and Sister Todd Larkin in the Washington Seattle Mission (he and President served together for 9 1/2 years in Las Vegas).  Elder Kearon also became close friends with President and Sister Jon Bunker of the California Santa Rosa Mission.  President Bunker, President Larkin and President Nielson all served together in the Las Vegas Lakes Stake.  Elder Kearon could not say enough great things about the Larkins and the Bunkers.  We agreed 100% with him!
Elder and Sister Kent F. Richards.  Elder Richards, the Second Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency, was so kind to come over a few weeks ago and visit with President just before my surgery.  That meant so very much to me and to President.  We also found out that Elder Richard's sister (Sister Powell) is in our stake back in Las Vegas.  She was in the Desert Breeze ward but after the realignment of the stake we aren't sure what ward she now lives in.  But we love Sister Powell and certainly her brother, Elder Richards and his wonderful wife, Marsha.
President and Sister Walker.  These are such great people.  He is currently the President of the MTC in Preston England.  They go home in January and the new MTC President will be Elder Keith Edwards, our former Stake President in Las Vegas!   President Walker helps so very much with the missionaries we send him.  He had a profound impact on Elder Gladun when we went to Preston.  President Walker was the temple President of the Salt Lake Temple and Sister Walker is a daughter to President and Sister Gordon B. Hinckley.  Also, President Walker's sister is Sister Vance in our stake in Las Vegas.  She and her husband are our dear friends.  What a small world.
Then there's President and Sister Don Evans, now serving in the Norway, Oslo Mission.  President Evans is from Mesa, Arizona.  His younger brother was a great friend to President Nielson at Westwood High years ago. President Nielson still remembers President Evans speaking at sacrament meeting as President Evans returned home from his mission.  President Nielson remembers thinking he wanted to go a mission and have that mighty change of heart, also.   Sister Evans grew up in the 18th ward,  President Evans in the 22nd ward and President Nielson in the 15th ward.  President Nielson was able to get caught up on many of his friends in Mesa and what great things they have and are accomplishing.
President and Sister Eric Freestone serving in the Greece Athens Mission.  Also another great man from Mesa, Arizona.  Only he and President Nielson were in the same ward-  Mesa 15th.   President Freestone is the age of President Nielson's older sister but certainly remembers him as an outstanding young man.  One thing they both remembered was Aunt Elberta's cinnamon rolls.
Dr. and Sister Merrill, our Area Medical Advisor.  This is one outstanding couple.  We would be lost without Dr. Merrill.  He was the first one that President Nielson called when I had my little episode a few weeks ago.  They have become dear friends that we will never forget and look forward to many fun times ahead.  We love this couple!
President and Sister Kosak of the Germany Berlin Mission.  President Kosak was the CES supervisor in Poland for many years and knows everyone.  We are so appreciative for the work he did in Poland and for his continued love and support of our members.  It was so much fun to talk and visit with them about all our members of a few years past.
President and Sister Roney of the France Lyon Mission.  President Roney was CEO of NuSkin and knows our son-in-law Scott and our daughter Devin very well.  We sat next to them at our seminar and became better acquainted with them.  These are wonderful people and so full of the spirit and enthusiasm for missionary work.
The Church is a small place because we are so connected with each other.  Just like families should be.   The great message of the gospel is... families are where happiness is found.  Eternal life is a family matter.  Share the message of the gospel with everyone.  We are so grateful for our family and our Church family.  We have made so many wonderful friends in the mission field.  We have some of the greatest friends serving along side us right now in Poland.  We are so blessed, AND we had a wonderful seminar with our tremendous Area Presidency.  We cannot wait to share instructions with our great missionaries whom we love and care for dearly.


  1. This is Elder Harris step-dad. President Walker was my second mission president when I served in the Indianapolis, Indiana mission. What a small world.

  2. Judy- reading your blog makes me mission-sick (home-sick for the mission). I'm so glad you got to meet the Kearon's! Wonderful people! Enjoy these last few months. It will be over before you know it.

    PS- So grateful for your miracle! We are praying for you both!


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