August is vacation month in Spain, which makes it the best month of the year for missionary work. Our calling to is find the elect, and this is easier in August since most of the "non-elect" leave town, making the finding much easier. Furthermore, the elect have the month off and so we have time to teach them.
Hermana Rocio is a great example of this. Last week we mentioned that Hermana Hinckley met a woman in the Metro who came to Church the next day. She had met missionaries earlier, but didn't have time to meet with them. Since she is on vacation this month, the Elders were able to teach her this week. Thursday night she called the missionaries to say she had just been reading the Book of Mormon - they had asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 - and when she got to verse 23 she was overcome by a strong desire to repent and baptized just as the Lord had invited the Nephites. The feeling was so strong she began to cry, and had to call the Elders and tell them about it. Needless to say, the Elders were pretty excited about the call! This evening we went to a baptism service and Rocio came as well. She recounted the entire story to us, and added that the Elders explained to her that that feeling was the Holy Ghost. She is excited to come to Church tomorrow and to continue learning and preparing for baptism.
On the same day that Hermana. Hinckley met Rocio, she also contacted a woman by the name of Doris walking down our street. Doris came by the office in the afternoon to follow-up, and the Elders set an appointment to teach her on Tuesday night. We invited her to our home for the lesson, and the missionaries were kind enough - and brave enough - to let us teach one of the principles. We had a wonderful experience. At the end of the lesson, this sweet sister bore her own testimony - telling Sister Hinckley that it was not just by chance that she had stopped her on the street but that she had been sent by God to her so that she could learn about this church. Doris and her husband, Ramon, came to Church today and meet again with the missionaries tonight.
These are just a couple of miracles that we have seen personally this week. We hear about many more every day from the great missionaries of the Spain Barcelona Mission.
On Friday we had Zone Conference with the Palma Zone. Palma is the major city of Mallorca (or Majorca) in the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean, and is a major vacation destination of the rich and famous. The official summer palace of King Juan Carlos of Spain is in Palma, and many other royal families have summer residences there. We have a district in the Islands with five branches and 12 missionaries. They are an amazing group of missionaries! Two of them are the only missionaries on the island of Menorca, and they essentially are the Church on Menorca. They had a baptism two weeks ago and other one this weekend, and are having great success in building up the Church in this little outpost in the middle of the Mediterranean. We can report that the Palma Zone is doing great, and that every missionary in the zone is working hard!
This week we have zone conferences in the remainder of the mission - we will meet with the four zones in the north (Barcelona, Barcelona Nord, Hospitalet and Zaragoza) on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we will drive down South (a 6-7 hour drive) and meet with the Valencia, Elche and Murcia zones on Thursday and Friday. We look forward to a great week of meeting with missionaries!
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.