Saturday, February 23, 2013

Working with the Youth in Madrid

One of our main callings thus far has been working with the Youth in Madrid.  So far (not counting the very first time we met them and they didn't know a senior couple had arrived and been assigned to be with them, so hardly anyone showed up) we have had 2 activities with them; a St. Valentine's Dance a week ago and a WI party last night at the Institute building.  We had 150 at the dance and over 51 last night, which was packed to the walls.  We ran out of prepared refreshments and everything else in the kitchen before the night was over.  They are fantastic young people
Some of these are teachers in the MTC.  All are returned missionaries.  The girl on the far left is married to the boy on the far right.  They are the Diaz's.  She is a convert, speaks beautiful English and has a degree in law.  They are from Portugal and teach the missionaries going to Portugal.
Here are some of our youth having fun at the St. Valentine's Day Dance in the Stake Center
The girl on the far right is Anna Nalbandyan a convert from Armenia.  Her family found the Gospel here in Madrid, she served a mission in the States and is engaged to be married to an LDS returned missionary she met in Salt Lake City.  She is moving to the U.S. and getting married in the Salt Lake Temple in August.  We hope to keep up the friendship when we return home since she'll be living there.  The boy in the wheelchair is Julio Lopez.  His father is an Area Seventy, Elder Faustino Lopez, and incredible man and one of the first converts to the Church after Spain was opened to missionary work, about 1970.  He teaches and runs the Institute program here in Madrid.
A shot of some of the 150 youth at the dance.  We know some of them, but not all yet.
Ricardo in the foreground.  A terrific young man getting ready to go on a mission. Doing a "Wi" dance. This is the room at the Institute building where the Youth can "hang out.  The kitchen is behind me.  We make lots of treats for them which they love.  Tonight Vivienne made "Riisipuuro".  It was all gone in minutes.
Eva, on the left, recently returned missionary in Madrid and teacher in the MTC, 3 youth visiting from Manchester, U.K., and Armine Nalbandyan on the right.  There are 3 Nalbandyan sisters, converts, whose family, as mentioned,  immigrated from Armenia and then found the Gospel.  They are terrific.
Can't remember the names of the 2 girls on the left, but they are so helpful and just sweet.  They were there at the party an hour early.   Most of these youth are unemployed, many are students but not all.  Some can't afford to even go to school, but they travel on the Metro or by bus and come, some from as far as 1 hour away, just to be together.
They loved playing and dancing with the "Wi".

1 comment:

  1. Waiting to see some pictures of Elder Sullivan playing the dance game. Eli says he knows you can do it!