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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Comings and Goings

Tuesday transfer days are busy days in the mission. They actually begin on Monday when the newly called trainers come to the mission home for dinner and orientation. This week we received the last large group of missionaries we expect to receive for some time. We have a remarkable group of trainers - including a former Assistant and former Zone Leader - as these new missionaries will set the tone for the mission over the next two years.

The new trainers pose with Pte. and Hna. Hinckley following dinner and orientation

The fun continues on Tuesday morning we go to the airport to meet our new missionaries, fresh from the Madrid MTC! After a few missteps getting all the luggage, the group was ready to head back into town.

At the Barcelona Airport

Before going to the office and mission home, we stopped by Montjuic, a high hill near the center of town capped by an old castle/fort with views of the entire Barcelona area and the Mediterranean. There the new missionaries saw a panoramic view of their new field of labor!

At Montjuic, with Barcelona and the Mediterranean in the background

Back at the mission home, the new Elders had a hearty lunch, received their debit cards, signed their residency papers, were briefed by the Assistants, and ultimately received their assignment and their new companion!

Elder Keller sees his assignment on the assignment board

Once the new missionaries were on their way with their new companions, we cleared the table and prepared to have dinner with the six wonderful Elders and three Hemanas going home. We had a delicious dinner, sharing stories and talking nonstop about the experiences of the past two years, then conluded with some final instruction from the President and testimonies. It was a memorable meeting, filled with many mixed emotions.

Following a long-standing tradition, we then hopped on the Metro and went to the Plaza Catalunya, where the other missionaries from the Barcelona area together with many local members, were singing hymns in the Plaza while some of the missionaries talked about the Church to people passing by. As the departing missionaries arrived, they sang "God Be With You
Till We Meet Again." It is a wonderful tradition which we call "cantando para los angeles" - singing for the angels. These departing missionaries are indeed angels! We will miss them, and it is only a knowledge of the strength and power of the newly arrived missionaries that enables us to let them go!

Cantando para los angeles, Plaza Catalunya

Wednesday morning we were up early to drive the departing missionaries to the airport and say a last goodbye. We will miss them!

Having a wonderful time; wish you were here!


  1. Presidente e Hermana Hinckley,

    We just heard about your FANTASTIC mission blog......what an awesome surprise to know this exists. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

    !Muchisimas gracias por haber tomado el tiempo hacer este hermoso blog!!! Pueden imaginar el animo y gratitud que tuvimos hace unos minutos cuando vimos a nuestro hijo, Elder Logan Keller, con ustedes en el aeropuerto, arriba de la ciudad y especialmente con ustedes en la oficina mirando a los misioneros y ciudades y zonas....y con una sonrisa grande sobre su cara!

    No podrian ser mejores Padres Misionales que Clark y Kathleen Hinckley! Seriosamente, no podrian ser! Imposible!

    Les mandamos abrazos muy grandes de Holladay City hasta Barcelona. Recuerden que siempre estan en nuestros pensamientos y oraciones. Tambien, muchas gracias a su familia por haberles dejado servir a nuestro hijo en Espana. Que el Senor les bendiga por el legacy que estan viendo crecer desde los 40 anos cuando Espana tenia 2 miembros y 4 misioneros.

    Con amor,

    Ken & Kristen Keller

  2. Who is taking the pictures? I love the picture of you guys in your element: at the transfer board. So classic! I love it. Your missionaries look wonderful! I love the tradition in the plaza, it is so sweet. Remember how I love Barcelona so much but I've never been there?!