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.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Mid-Cycle Changes

Normally transfers happen only every six weeks. Normally. This has been an unusual month, as we have had several additional transfers/changes during the month. As reported earlier, Elder West arrived received his visa and arrived on May 15. This week Elder Hughes, who had been working in Wisconsin Milwaukee waiting for his visa, arrived. We were excited to receive yet another great missionary!

Elders Keller, Hughes and Awerkamp, our new three-some in Zaragoza!

On a sadder note, Hermana Skouson was experiencing some medical issues and returned home this morning to try an resolve them. It was a sad parting - she has been with us only about 4 months, but is a wonderful missionary and we have grown to love her! We feel confident that all will work out for her, and our hope is that she is back with us soon!

 Hermana Church bids farewell to her companion, Hermana Skouson, at the Barcelona airport

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Zone Conferences

It has been a busy week. Following zone conference in Palma and Barcelona, we drove south for zone conferences and interviews and spent five days traveling, but it was a great week meeting with wonderful missionaries! Zone conferences began in Palma and Barcelona before we headed down to Murcia, then up to Valencia.

In Palma - somehow we missed a complete photo, but representing the zone are Elders Henrie, Ramirez, Quinn and Pynes, surrounding Hna. Hinckley

 A big group: Barcelona and Hospitalet join forces for zone conference!

 A major focus of the conferences was understanding the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion - these notes on the blackboard summarize some of the scriptures we studied

 Just another beautiful day in Murcia - the Elche Zone gathers in front of the chapel after zone conference

 Elders Raban and Ponce, Elche Zone Leaders, posing with a van that looks like it ought to belong to the mission - El Faro!

We stopped in Elche for interviews on the way to Valencia: Hnas. Brown, Bently, Guerra and Eberly pose with Hna. Hinckley on the chapel grounds

 Last but not least, the great zone of Valencia!












Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elder West Gets His Visa!

Elder West may hold the record for having the greatest number of cancelled itineraries! When his visa did not arrive in time for him to leave the Provo MTC and travel to the Madrid MTC, he stayed in Provo. When he still did not have a visa at the end of his 9 weeks, he was assigned to Montana Billings and was scheduled to fly to Billings, but at the last minute the visa came and he travelled to Madrid. We thought he was in Billings when we received an email from Madrid asking when we wanted him to travel to Barcelona! The answer was ASAP! We arrived back in Barcelona from Palma late on Friday and met Elder West at the train station early Saturday morning!
 With Elder West at Estacio Sants
 
At Montjuic

 
In the mission home with Elder Morales

We are excited to have another wonderful missionary in the Spain Barcelona Mission!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Counsel to New Missionaries

Each transfer we invite the outgoing missionaries to share their thoughts and testimonies for the new missionaries just arriving. These comments were filmed on May 2 and 3, edited the evening of the 3rd and shown to the new missionaries when they arrived the next day.

video
Thanks to Elders Jensen and Bowers for putting this video together in record time!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Transfers!

Transfers again! We began doing exit interviews on Sunday and Monday with the 9 wonderful missionaries returning home. Tuesday the day began as Hna. Hinckley and I took our daughter Lizzie and her friend Angie to the airport - they had spent a wonderful week with us - then returned to the office in time to drive to the train station to meet 5 new elders arriving from the Madrid MTC.

In the meantime, Elder and Hna. Lund drove back out to the airport to pick up Hna. Rodriguez, coming back from Italy after being on medical leave for two months and the Ayundantes had a training meeting for the newly-called trainers. It was a rainy day, so we skipped the usual visit to Montjuic with the new missionaries and came directly back to the mission office and home for lunch (during which Pte. Hinckley conducted brief interviews with each of the new missionaries). Assignments were then made, the trainers came up and met their new companions, we had an orientation meeting, and sent them on their way to their new assignments about 4:00 p.m.

We had two hours to rearrange the house, set the table, and prepare for a final farewell dinner at 6:00 p.m. with the returning missionaries. At 7:00 some family members of returning missionaries joined us for a farewell meeting and testimonies, and then we all went down to Plaza Catalunia to "sing for the angels." It continued to rain, but we had a wonderful and memorable evening.

Wednesday morning we were up early and left for the airport at 7:10 a.m., where we said our last goodbyes to nine incredible missionaries! We miss them terribly, but the blow is softened by the great spirit of our five new elders and the return of Hna. Rodriguez!


 A bittersweet farewell in the mission home on the last night in Spain
Elders Miskin, Haymond, Worthen, Dillon, Forsgren, Burton, Davis and Groves surround Hna. O'Neill

Elder Atkin and Pte. Hinckley at the train station awaiting the arrival of the nuevos

 At the train station to pick up the nuevos, we crossed paths with 
several elders traveling to their new areas!

New Companions
Elder Egan and Elder Nasaeth
 
Elder Waite and Elder Gold

 Elder Jacinto and Elder Jimenez

 Elder Moss and Elder Romney

Elder Parry and Elder Sommerfeldt

 
The nuevos and their trainers - about to go to work!