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, February 25, 2010


In addition to Eastern Spain and the Balearic Islands, our mission includes the Principality of Andorra, high in the Pyrenees between Spain and France. There has been a small branch of the Church in Andorra for many years. For the past few years, the branch has actually met not in Andorra but in La Seu, a town in northern Spain where we rent a small store-front location for a chapel.

It is about a 3-hour drive to Andorra from Barcelona, and because we have no missionaries assigned to the branch, we had not visited the branch until last week. Between Zone Conferences we arranged to drive up and visit the branch over the weekend.

 We had ten adults and 5 children in attendance - two Bolivian families, a Paraguayan family, a Peruana sister, and a couple of Andorra natives. It was a wonderful meeting with a great spirit. These are faithful Latter-Day Saints a long ways from a stake or even another branch who meet together every Sunday in a Sacrament meeting and then hold an abbreviated Primary for the children. It was wonderful to be with them!

Zone Conferences - Elche and Valencia

We finished up the February Zone Conferences with the Elche Zone on Tuesday and the Valencia Zone on Wednesday. It is a 7-hour train ride to Murcia (where we hold the Elche Zone Conference, so we went down on Monday afternoon.
The Elche Zone in the Murcia Chapel

A recent convert (of one week) joined us for the last few minutes of the conference and shared her testimony briefly with us. This sweet sister somehow found the address of the Sister Missionaries on the Web - she went to their apartment four times before she finally found them home (the fact that they were there the 4th time was one of many miracles).

Hnas. Monte de Oca and Bowen with their recent convert, Hna. Alba and Hna. and Pte. Hinckley

After Zone Conference we headed on the train up to Valencia to get some sleep and prepare for the Valencia Zone Conference on Wednesday.

 Arriving at the Valencia train station

 The Valencia Zone - small in number, great in power!

After conference is was back to the train station and home to Barcelona. One of the great things about traveling by train is you can keep working during the travel time.
Elders Gogarty and Jensen taking care of business on the Euromed, somewhere between Valencia and Barcelona

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zone Conferences - February 2010

Palma on Tuesday, Barcelona on Wednesday, Hospitalet on Thursday. We have had wonderful conferences, learning how to better use the Book of Mormon, reviewing our improved planning skills, and talking about how to be more effective and powerful missionaries. It is always a wonderful experience to be in Zone Conference and feel the great spirit of these wonderful missionaries!

In the Palma chapel

The Barcelona Zone

The Hospitalet Zone
2009 was a remarkable year in the Spain Barcelona Mission, and our missionaries have set goals for this year that far surpass anything in the past. They are full of faith, they are obedient, and they work very hard! As a result, we see miracles every day.

At Zone Conference...

On Saturday we drive to Andorra, where we will spend the night and then meet with the members in our small branch on Sunday. Then on Monday it's the train to Murcia for the Elche Zone Conference on Tuesday, then up to Valencia for Zone Conference on Wednesday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hna. Montes de Oca Arrives!

It's true that we lost several experienced missionaries during the week, but as always, we were not left destitute - we received a new powerhouse missionary fresh from the Madrid MTC: Hna. Montes de Oca (who actually spent most of her life in Okinawa - her father was in the Marine Corps).

At the airport with Elder Jensen (who recently returned to Barcelona to serve as a new Assistant)

Getting ready to head to the train station - Hna. Montes de Oca has been assigned to Murcia with Hna. Bowen and they are already setting the place on fire!

So Long, Farewell

In spite of everything we do to prevent it, we have transfers every six weeks - which means saying goodby to some of the very best!

We enjoyed a little farewell fiesta with Elder Laney by walking over to Tomas de Sarria and having what are considered the best patatas bravas (think fries and fry sauce) in all of Spain.
Hna. Grimm at Plaza Catalunya where we "sing for the angels"
Hnas. Alfieri and Olson in the mission home on their last day
Elder Melgarejo in the mission home
Elder Peña
Elder Laney
Hna. Alfieri's parents - now we know where Hna. Alfieri gets that flair - from her mother!
Hna. Alfieri giving a "thumbs up"
With Elder Laney and Hna. Grimm at the airport
Last night in the mission...
Hna. Olson, Hna. Grimm, Hna. Alfieri, Elder Melgarejo, Hna. Jackson, Elder Peña, Elder Laney