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.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This happens every six weeks

It has been transfer week again in the mission. It is a time filled with many mixed emotions as new missionaries arrive, missionaries whose time has been completed return home, and many missionaries receive new companions in new areas. This week we welcomed 4 new missionaries and said goodbye to 3 missionaries - this set in motion a domino effect that resulted in changes in 23 companionships (out of 54). We try to keep a missionary in the same are for 6-8 months so that they can build a strong relationship with the members and ward leaders, but this is not always possible.

On Sunday we announce the changes by telephone to all the Zone Leaders who, in turn, contact the missionaries in their zone. On Monday those missionaries who are moving pack up and travel to their new assignments. Those called as trainers of new missionaries come into the office where we meet with them for a dinner and a training session on Monday evening.

Our new trainers: Elders Worthen, Harris, Paolinelli, and Morales, with the Hinckleys

Tuesday morning we are up early to go to the airport to pick up the new missionaries. This is always an exciting moment. With four missionaries coming in we took two cars - our large van and our Toyota. On the way home from the airport we stop at Montjuic, a castle high on a hill overlooking Barcelona and the Mediterranean, from where they can see much of the mission field.

At the airport with Elders Kusseling, Ramirez, Colinas, and Roos, along with los Hinckley and Elder Lee

At Castell Montjuic

On the ramparts

At the transfer board

After lunch at the mission home and a brief orientation, the new Elders were on their way with their new companions and it was time for the President to have a final interview with the three missionaries going home. We will miss Hna. Henderson, Elder Majc, and Elder Kempkens more than we can say. They were wonderful missionaries who contributed to the great spirit of the mission and we diligent to the very end - all of them baptized in the last two weeks! Following our final interview we had a lovely dinner and a testimony meeting, then all went down to Plaza Catalunya for one last time where the other missionaries from the area and many of the members gather to sing hymns and bid farewell to these wonderful departing missionaries.

Cantando para los angeles: Hna. Henderson smiles for the camera at the Plaza Catalunya

Early Wednesday morning the office staff drove Elder Kempkens to the airport where he boarded a flight to Germany. He would be home with his family in Duisburg in time for lunch! Pte. and Hna. Hinckley drove Hna. Henderson to the airport a couple of hours later where she began a longer trip - all the way to Pocatello, Idaho. Elder Majc is from Slovenia, and his family drove over to pick him up. We had a wonderful visit with this remarkable family before they headed back home.

Thursday we breath. Friday we hold our regular Mission Council with the mission leaders, beginning with a breakfast at 9:00 a.m. and concluding about 4:00 p.m. This is a great work!

Today, Thursday, Pte. and Hna. Hinckley celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. What could be better than living in Barcelona with 112 of the greatest young missionaries on the planet!


  1. Thank you for your service Pres. & Sis. Hinckley! If I hadn't seen my own parents go through transfers and zone conferences--I would never have conceived how much time and effort it takes (and I was only watching). And thank you for taking care of Elder Laney. He loves you both so much.

  2. Great pictures! I can't wait to be there for the next transfers!