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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.