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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


"Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them." - Jeremiah 16:16

A pair of Hermanas just called to relate an interesting experience. They had gone back to their apartment this afternoon as one of the Hermanas had a severe headache. While they were resting, the doorbell rang. Standing at the door were a woman and her daughter, who inquired if this where the Mormon Church held meetings. The Hermanas explained that it was just their apartment, but that they were Mormon missionaries. The woman at the door went on to question them: "So there is a modern prophet today?" "We can learn the truth by studying and praying, and the Holy Ghost will bear witness to us?" The Hermanas assured them that all this was correct, invited them to follow the example of the Savior by being baptized by one who holds the priesthood authority of God, and made arrangements to begin teaching them.

I have spent some memorable times fishing, and have had more luck on some days than on others, but I never remember a fishing trip where the fish jumped into the boat! We love this work!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why We Are Here

Last Saturday Hermana Hinckley and I attended the baptism of Carme Antolinos and her daughter Mar Ribera. They were baptized by Pere Ribera, who was baptized two weeks ago and ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood so he could baptize his wife and daughter. Carme had asked Hermana Hinckley to bear her testimony in the baptism service. It doesn't get much better than this!

Pere, Mar, and Carme - a beautiful Catalan family in the Sabadell 1st Ward

The Ribera family in white with Hermanas Camarero and Konopinski (who taught them)

Interviews / Entrevistas

This week and next week are interviews. We began on Tuesday by flying in the early morning to Palma where we met with the 10 missionaries on the Island as well as the Thompsons. The Baleares Zone is small but mighty!

Elder Roos with Elder and HermanaThompson
Elders Burton, Quinn, Burdette, and Hermana O'Neill

After the interviews we walked with the Thompsons to a little bakery for a quick lunch. It was a bit surreal - next door neighbors from Harvard Avenue grabbing a quick lunch together in a neighborhood bakery in Palma!

Wednesday and Thursday we were back in Barcelona interviewing the Barcelona and Hospitalet Zones.

Elders Evans, Serrano, Groves and Gallegos in the office awaiting interviews

Elders Chavez and Gallegos. Elder Gallegos is showing off his crutches due to a very nasty sprained ankle as a result of a little too aggressive soccer game on preparation day...

Elders Keller, Serrano and Brian in the office

Elder Groves modeling his new Spanish Suit and Spanish Shoes which he purchased during the big semi-annual sales. Missionaries love "rebajas"!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

¡Los Thompson!

Elder and Sister Thompson arrived in Barcelona on Thursday evening after a pleasant 3-hour trip from Madrid on the high speed train.

The Thompsons at Estació Sants in Barcelona

Pointing to their assigned field of labor: Mallorca!

Harvard Avenue neighbors on the ramparts of the castle overlooking Barcelona

In the metro

The Thompsons spent the night in the mission home, then on Friday did the usual orientation - copying their passports, getting them a mobile phone, planners and Area Book, reviewing residency requirements, etc. We then made a trip to Montjuic for views of the mission field, followed by lunch at the mission home with the Hadleys (CES couple) and Lunds (office couple). In the afternoon we took them to El Corte Ingles for a few items - a hair dryer, a hair curler, and a GPS!

Since they are taking a car with them to Mallorca (they will be assigned to the Inca and Manacor branches in the center of the island), we booked them on the overnight ferry to Palma. We had quite an adventure finding the ferry - we knew how to get to the ticket office on the pier to get their tickets, but finding our way around the maze of streets in the port area to get the right dock was a challenge! Fortunately, we had programmed in enough time to allow for some errors, and with the help of Elder Ames we finally got their Opel Corsa (loaded to capacity with suitcases and supplies) to Dock C and the ferry to Palma. We watched as they drove the little Corsa up the ramp into the bowels of the enormous ship, and headed back home.

We expect a stake in Mallorca soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Missionaries bring a lunch with them to Zone Conference, which they prepare and eat during the lunch break. More often than not, this consists of a simple ham bocadillo. But a few missionaries always do something a little more elaborate...


Elders Lindsey, Cranford and Bowers preparing some lunch

Some of the better bocadillos - with cheese and fresh tomatoes!

But Elders Lammi and Close went all out with homemade pizza! And the brought enough for Pres. and Hna. Hinckley and the Ayudantes!

Every meetinghouse kitchen everywhere in the world has a little sign something like this:
"If you turn it on - turn it off"
"If you use it - put it away"
"If you dirty it - clean it"
"If you bring it - take it home"
"If you open it - close it"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"That's how God works"

Elder Johnson was in the train station last week waiting for a train and contacted the man next to him who had no interest in the Church. While talking he noticed another man standing a little ways off and felt like he should talk to him, so he walked over and struck up a conversation, telling him he was from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The man responded, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? My parents have been going to that church and called me to tell I needed to go. I have the name of the Church on a slip of paper in my wallet, but have not been able to find the Church." Elder Johnson said, "Well, I had a feeling I should get up and talk with you," and the man replied, "Yes, that's how God works. I had a feeling that I should talk to you and your companion but I thought you were Jehova's Witnesses and I'm not looking for them!"

Thanks, Elder Johnson, for listening to the Spirit and acting on your promptings!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January Zone Conferences

This past week we finished the January round of zone conferences. It has been a while since we have had a "traditional" zone conference - in November we had Elder Kopischke at the conferences, and in December we did special Christmas conferences. We met with Palma, Barcelona and Hospitalet a week ago, and Elche and Valencia this week.

The Elche Zone, all smiles in the Murcia chapel

The Valencia Zone - son pocos pero fuertes

The Ayudantes in the Valencia conference

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Year

We held our first mission council of the year on January 1. What better way to start the new year than spending the day together discussing how we can magnify our calling to baptize worthy converts! The Assistants and Zone Leaders were joined by Hermanas Church and Camarero, and we had a very productive day together as we made plans for the coming months.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We Welcome Los Lund!

Elder and Hermana Lund arrived just in time for Christmas - after a grueling trip that included several stops along the way. Their luggage, of course, did not arrive with them, but it did arrive a few days later, for which we are all grateful!

With the arrival of the Lunds we now have someone in the office with more than 1-hour of training on iMOS, the new internet-based Mission Office System. And we have been able to send a pair of young Elders back into full-time proselyting mode.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Every Six Weeks...

...we send some great missionaries home. And we receive some great new missionaries!

On December 29 we said "adios" to Elders Lee, Sharpe and Coons. Elder Harris left on December 19. It was sad to see them go - all were great missionaries and they have left a gaping hole in the mission.

Elders Coons, Lee and Sharpe at Porta del Angel on their last night in Spain

Elder Harris at the airport about to board a plane for home

But not to worry - we received three new amazing missionaries: Hna. Rodriquez (from Italy/Argentina), Elder Ferreira (from Spain/Uruguay), and Elder Gallegos (from Spain).

Elder Gallegos, Hna. Rodriquez, los Hinckley, and Elder Ferreira on Montjuic with Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea in the background

Hna. Rogdriguez pointing to Torrevieja, her first assignment. She was the only Sister at the Madrid MTC, so she brought along her own companion, complete with chapa!