|20 May 2012|
Jose Maria Oliveira, B. F. Fotheringham, Smith B. Griffin,
Marion G. Romney, Sterling Nixon, Dean Hunger (?)
On 20 May 2012, the 43rd anniversary of the opening of the work, the first branch of church on the island of Ibiza was organized. Ibiza is a small island in the Baleares Islands. The first branch on Mallorca, the largest of the islands, was created in 1980, but Ibiza - with a reputation as a destination resort for young revelers - has never had missionaries or a branch until this year. The first missionaries arrived at the end of January 2012. Now, just 3 1/2 months later, a branch has been organized.
The branch was approved two weeks ago. We traveled to Ibiza on Saturday afternoon in company with Pte. Gomez of the Baleares District. We met Elder and Sister McArthur (2nd counselor in the mission presidency) and Pte. Balcazar (of the Poniente Branch, which includes Ibiza), who flew in from Palma. Pte. Carballo, first counselor in the district presidency, joined us on Sunday from Formentera, a small island near Ibiza, where his currently working.
I had requested interviews with each active priesthood holder on Saturday afternoon. We interviewed 10 wonderful brethren, called a branch president, and retired to our hotel. On Sunday morning we extended calls to additional brethren to serve as counselors in the presidency, a branch clerk, and Elders quorum president. Then in Sacrament meeting we sustained the leaders. Following the meetings we ordained two new elders and set apart five brethren as branch leaders.
We had approximately 50 people in attendance. Having just been organized, this is today a stronger branch with more leadership than some branches in the mission that have been in existence for many years!
|Branch members following Sunday meetings|
1st C: Luis Velastegui Davila
Pte: Horacio Balda Quiroz
2nd C: Adrian Romero Perez
Sec: Julio Gomez Lopez
Not Pictured: EQP Eduardo Gomez Gonzales
The results were miraculous. From the day of their arrival, the missionaries were seen by one member after another, none of whom knew there were other members on the island! Several family members of these formerly "less active" members were baptized, and within three months we had a thriving group of over 40 members! Today we have a fully organized branch of the Church. Missionaries have left the island for the summer tourist season, but we expect they will return in the Fall and continue to build the Church on the island of Ibiza. In the meantime, members on Ibiza now have priesthood leaders who hold priesthood keys and can enjoy the blessings which come from belonging to an organized branch of the Church.
|The Velastegui family. Luis has been a member for many years and was found the missionaries in February. His daughter was baptized two months ago and his wife was baptized one month ago. They are preparing to go to the temple in a year.|
|Pte. Balcazar, the McArthurs, Emilse and Adrian Romero, the Hinckleys|