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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wait No More...

More visa waiters arrive!

On September 21st, Hna. Fuentes and Elders Bennington and Greenburg finally arrived in Barcelona! It was a joyous occasion for all. Elders Bennington and Greenburg had been serving for several weeks in the U.S. waiting for their visas, and Hna. Fuentes actually came a little early to enable her to arrive with other missionaries. Unfortunately, Hna. Hinckley did not have her camera with her that day, so you will have to wait to see photos of these incredible missionaries...

Then on September 29th, Elders Abplanalp, Allphin and Garcia arrived in Barcelona after working stateside for a while! Hna. Hinckley did have her camera:

A beautiful morning on Montjuic with Elders Allphin, Abplanalp, and Garcia

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Every Week is Transfer Week!

 Or so it seems, as we have several missionaries waiting for visas, and when their visas arrive they follow shortly behind. After returning from 10 days of travel (Vitoria and Palma), we ran down to the train station to pick up three great new missionaries: Hna. Fuentes and Elders Bennington and Greenburg.

We arrived a few minutes early, which gave us a chance to do some contacting in the train station.

Elder Southwick engages a prospective investigator in conversation

Hna. Johns teaches about the importance of families

Watching the passengers arrive...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

District Conference in Palma

We returned home from a week in Vitoria on Friday, and on Saturday flew to Palma, Mallorca for district conference. We had a wonderful conference, organized by a great district presidency. Attendance at the Sunday general session was 10% greater than a year ago!

The bay of Palma from our hotel window

 Elders Jacinto and Sommerfeldt - our wonderful zone leaders - with brethren from Palma

 With the Malan siblings - Jared is putting in his missionary papers as we speak, and Sarayneth is considering going next year!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mini MTC in Vitoria

Because nearly every missionary currently serving with us will need to be a senior companion, trainer, or mission leader in the next two months, we have begun a series of special training seminars for all missionaries. We started in Vitoria - following the Vitoria Stake Conference we gathered for four days in the Vitoria Chapel and covered all eight lessons in the new "Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel: Teaching More Effectively." 

We concluded each day at 4:00 p.m. so that missionaries could spend the evening proselyting and practicing what they learned. It was a wonderful, if tiring, week!

Working the chapel: Elders Jiminez and Reynolds, Hna. Church and Culverwell, Elders Nye and Rasmussen

 What the missionaries hoped to learn during the conference

Taking a break around the piano with Elder Hardcastle 

Posing on the chapel grounds at the conclusions of the conference 


When portions of the former Spain Bilbao Mission became part of our mission in July, we began to hear rumors about a legendary pastry shop in Pamplona. Missionaries familiar with Pamplona would speak the name "Beatriz" with a quiet awe that made us wonder what this was all about. Could Beatriz' napolitanas really be that much better than the wonderful napolitanas available elsewhere in Spain?

The answer is, "Yes!" Once you have tasted a napolitana from Beatriz, nothing else will do. So when we held our training in Vitoria, Hnas. Church and Culverwell were kind enough to bring in a couple of kilos of Beatriz.

  Hnas. Culverwell and Church arrive with two kilos of Beatriz

10 euros a kilo, and worth every centimo!

 Hnas. Church, Ruz, Bennion and Culverwell

The Elders of the Vitoria Zone singing the praises of Hna. Beatriz!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vitoria Stake

Following the visit of Bishop Edgley and Elder Teixeira, the arrival of 9 new missionaries, and the departure of 5  missionaries completing their service, we hopped in the car and drove north to the beautiful city of Vitoria. 

The occasion was to attend the stake conference of the Vitoria Stake, exactly one year after the stake was organized. The Saturday afternoon/evening meetings were held in the stake center in Vitoria. The general session on Sunday was held in an auditorium at the Basque Country University in Las Arenas, about an hour north of Vitoria.

President and Sister Moore, president and matron of the Madrid Temple, also attended, and we drove up from Vitoria to Las Arenas together on Sunday.

It was a wonderful conference as we became acquainted with many of the great leaders and members of Spain's newest stake!

 With the Moores and a member family after the Sunday morning session

Making our way out of the auditorium

The Vitoria Stake consists of 8 units located in Santander, Bilbao, Las Arenas, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Pamplona, Logroño, and Burgos. It is beautiful country filled with beautiful people and marvelous Latter-day Saints!

Doing What We Do

Every once in a while - mostly during singing for the angels - we capture photographs of missionaries doing what we do - inviting people to come unto Christ. The night before missionaries return home we go down to Portal d'Angel at Plaza Cataluña and sing hymns while missionaries take turns contacting passers-by.

 Elders Hadley and Perry talk to an interesting couple

 Elder Southwick presents the Book of Mormon

Elder Awerkamp helps Elder Pericle explain our message

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cantando para los Angeles

New arrivals means saying goodby to others. After picking up our 9 wonderful new missionaries in the morning, interviewing them, doing a brief orientation, and sending them out with their new companions, it was time to say farewell to 6 incredible missionaries who were completing their service: Elders Cranford, Morales, Cepeda, Cairns and Lindsey, and Hna. Camarero.
 Last dinner at the mission home
 Elder Morales, off to medical school in Andalucía; Elder Cairns, off to his wee home in the glen; Elder Lindsey, Catarroja will never be the same; Elder Cepeda, a future leader of the Cadiz Stake; Elder Cranford, I always think of you as being in Alcoy; Hna. Camarero, la roca de la Mancha (Note to Hna. Notario, cuídela bien).

 Posing in the living room
Following a farewell meeting, we boarded the metro and headed for Portal d´Angel at Plaza Catalunya for the traditional evening of singing hymns and contacting.
 Elder Morales sings with choir
 Hna. Camarero poses with Elders Raban and Atkin
"Para siempre Dios esté con vos"

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Transfers

Within a couple of hours of dropping off Bishop Edgley, Elder Teixeira and Elder Wirthlin at the airport, transfers began again. This was a large transfer, with 9 new missionaries arriving from the Madrid MTC on Wednesday morning.
 With the nuevos at Estacio Sants. They are as excited to here as we are to have them here!

 Hna. Martín gives a "thumbs up" and we bring the bags to the parking garage

 Loading 36 pieces of luggage into the cars!

 The traditional photo on top of Montjuic. ¡Bienvenidos a Barcelona!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Visitors from Abroad

We had a wonderful visit from Bishop Richard C. Edgley and Elder Jose Teixeira in early September. They were joined by Joseph B. Wirthlin, Jr., the Director of Temporal Affairs and were spending 4-5 days in Spain to assess building needs and related issued.

 In front of the Barrio 2 chapel

We picked up our visitors at the airport on Monday night (6 September) and drove them through two hours of traffic to their hotel! Tuesday morning we picked them up and drove them across town to the Hospitalet Stake Center for a meeting with all the missionaries in the Barcelona area. We had a wonderful missionary meeting, then visited the Barcelona Barrio 2 chapel where Elder and Sister Hadley gave them a tour of the Center for Young Single Adults.
Sagrada Família by Antoni Gaudi, hyperboloid d...Follow the Barrio 2 tour we returned to the mission home for a delicious paella lunch, then gave our visitors a little break by taking them to see the Sagrada Familia. From there we drove over to the new Barcelona Stake Center - recently completed but not yet occupied as we wait for the occupancy permit from the city. It is a stunningly beautiful facility! We then dropped our visitors off at their hotel for a brief rest and some dinner, then picked them up and drove back to the Hospitalet Stake Center where they spoke to a standing-room-only crowd. It was a full day, especially for those who were still suffering from jet lag! It was a grueling couple of days for our visitors, but a wonderful day for us, for our missionaries, and for the members!

Wednesday morning we drove them to the airport and said goodby. Then it was off to the train station to pick up new missionaries arriving from the Madrid MTC. But that's another post!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday Nights in the Office

Every Sunday night the zone leaders phone in their reports for the week to the Ayudantes. Hna. Hinckley provides some chips and bean dip keep energy levels up as the office staff compiles the reports.

 Elder Southwick enters the data while the bean dip waits...

 Elder Raban mans the phones

 Ah, time at last to taste the bean dip!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


More visas cleared, and Hna. Reed and Elder McKinnon made it to Barcelona!

Hna. Reed arrived just in time to replace a short-term missionary from Bilbao that filled a gap for the month of August, and Hna. Reed was then assigned to work with Hna. Snow in Valencia.

Elder McKinnon is being trained by the legendary Elder Roos Terrassa.

Hna. Reed and Elder McKinnon arrive at Estació Sants

Pte y Hna Hinckley with Hna Reed, Elder McKinnon and the Mediterranean

With their new companions - Hna. Snow and Elder Roos

September Concilio

We now hold Zone Leader Council monthly where each zone leader gives an accounting of the work in the zone and we set goals and make plans for the coming month.

As is our custom, we began with a pancake breakfast, then went to work!

 Elder Raban prepares the breakfast

  At work...

 The "official" photo