"And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities, which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat."
|First eight missionaries in Barcelona, October 1969|
In the Sunday session, as I stood at the pulpit and looked out over the congregation - chapel, cultural hall, and onto the stage - I was reminded of the beginning of the work here in Barcelona. In October of 1969, eight missionaries traveled from Madrid to Barcelona to open the work. They arrived early on a Saturday morning so they would have time to find a place to stay that night. They held the first sacrament meeting on the beach early on Sunday morning, presided over by Elder Michael Duffin who served as the zone leader and branch president. They soon located space on the second floor of a building near the Sagrada Familia and hired a contractor to build some partitions for classrooms. They then petitioned President Smith B. Griffin of the Paris France Mission (which included Spain) for 40 chairs for the new little chapel. President Griffin questioned the need for so many chairs when the little branch consisted of only eight missionaries and two or three investigators. But the elders promised that they would fill the 40 chairs.
As I looked over the congregation in the stake center on Sunday, I noted that we had at least 40 chairs on the stage at the back of the cultural hall! We owe a special debt of gratitude to those first eight elders - in so many ways, we are the recipients of their pioneering work.
|Early missionaries in Barcelona|