Last weekend we were blessed to see eleven people baptized in the mission. This weekend we saw another eight baptisms. We are experiencing a wonderful year and have been privileged to see the work continue to grow in Spain. In fact, a remarkable resurgence is happening across all of Europe, where convert baptisms have increased 30% over a year ago.
During the past week we conducted interviews with each of our wonderful missionaries serving in the Valencia, Elche, and Murcia Zones. Without exception, they are dedicated, hard-working, and spiritually mature missionaries. It is hot in the south - temperatures in Murcia have exceeded 120. We adjust the daily schedule somewhat in the summer to allow the missionaries a little more time in the morning, and a little less time during the heat of the day; and we encourage them to drink a lot of water and Gatorade. While this helps, it is still hot! But our faithful missionaries continue to work, to teach, to testify, and to magnify their calling. We are proud of all of them!
The photo at the right is the mission home and office. It is located in a quiet, leafy neighborhood in upper Barcelona, just a block from the metro and few blocks from the belt route that links us to the major highways in the mission. The office is on the ground floor (actually slightly below ground), while the home is on the first floor (what we would call the second floor in the United States).
We continue to witness many miracles. A few weeks ago a woman was walking down the street in Lérida and picked up a slip of paper from the sidewalk which advertised English classes being offered by the Elders at the chapel. She came to the class and stayed for the spiritual message which the Elders offer at the end of each class. The Elders spoke briefly about the the plan of salvation, and this woman's heart was touched. She asked if they would come and teach her more. Two weeks ago she was baptized; the Elders are now teaching several of her friends.
Saturday evening Sister Hinckley was lost in the Metro and approached a woman to ask directions. The woman pointed excitedly at Sister Hinckley's name tag, and when Sister Hinckley pulled out a pass-along card to give her, the woman reached in her purse and pulled out a card that had been given to her previously by a missionary. They exchanged telephone numbers and this morning she came to Church. We love this work!
This week we begin Zone Conferences, starting in Palma on Friday. We look forward to seeing all of our missionaries again at these conferences!
The lighthouse at Formentor, Mallorca
The background shows sidewalk tiles - "rajoles" - that pave the sidewalks throughout Barcelona. They were designed by architect Puig i Cadafalch for the entryway of a home. Since 1915, they have been used by the city to pave sidewalks, and have become emblematic of the city. One of the city's most famous chocolatiers, Enric Rovira, produces chocolate bars in the shape and design of these tiles.