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, July 6, 2011

June: Transfers!

All good things must come to an end, and so it was with the month of June. And for some missionaries, it was the end of a wonderful two years! It is always sad to say goodbye, but we are so proud of these fine young men who have given there all and now return to even greater things. As we remind our departing missionaries, these have been the best two years - so far. The best is yet to come!

For others, transfers means finally arriving in the Spain Barcelona Missionary. Our new missionaries have had their calls for many months, and the reality of actually arriving in Barcelona is pretty exciting!

And for many others, transfers means a new city, a new companion, a new assignment, and new ward or branch. Change is a big part of missionary life!

After President Hinckley determines the changes, the transfers are announced by telephone to all the missionaries who will have a change. The Ayudantes meet with him in the office, and while the President is talking to one missionary on the phone, the Ayundantes have the next missionary on hold...

Notifying missionaries of transfers
Transfer calls were made on Saturday night (25 June), even though transfers did not officially take place until the following Tuesday. This was a "big" transfer - 11 missionaries going home and 11 new missionaries arriving - so most of the companionships saw some change. The transfer including calling a new Ayudante and 5 new zone leaders, 11 new trainers, while still providing trainers for the 9 new missionaries who arrived last transfer!

Interviews with departing missionaries took place on Sunday and Monday. Then on Tuesday morning we met our new missionaries at the train station (they come on the high-speed train from Madrid). We took all four cars, including the mission van with all seats removed. We filled the van with luggage, put the new missionaries in the other cars, and drove them to Montjuic for the traditional view of the mission and orientation.

An amazing group of new missionaries at Montjuic!
After lunch, interviews, and a brief orientation at the mission home, all the new missionaries went out with missionaries in the Barcelona area to get a flavor for "real" missionary work before a more detailed orientation on Wednesday.

With the nuevos out working, the "viejos" - the missionaries returning home on Wednesday - came back to the mission home where we had dinner and testimony meeting before going down to Plaza Catalunya for the traditional canto de los ángeles - singing for the angels.

Taking the metro to Plaza Catalunya
Early on Wednesday morning we headed out to the airport for a final farewell. Because of the size of the group, we rented a bus that would accommodate the luggage. This insured that everyone could link up quickly with their luggage when we arrived at the airport!

Our bus pulls up in front of the mission home

At the airport...
We are so proud of these wonderful elders who have served with such dedication and effectiveness! And we will especially miss Elder and Hermana Lund who have been our companions in the office for the past 18 months! We look forward to great things in the future from these wonderful missionaries!


  1. Wow! I remember when they arrived at the airport. I can't believe they are home now. An awesome group of missionaries....including the famous "sweeper", Elder Cannell. :)

  2. HA! I can't believe you had to rent a bus!