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.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Nuevos

This was a big week - we received 5 new elders and 3 new hermanas! And what made things even better, no missionaries returned home this week. So we now have 103 missionaries - 84 elders and 19 hermanas - in addition to our two wonderful couples. This is the largest complement of missionaries we have had in a long time - we are clawing our way back from a low of 78 missionaries in July 2010.

As is our tradition, we traveled from the train station to Montjuic to take in a view of the mission field and hear the story of Columbus.

Overlooking the city on a cloudy day
 After lunch and orientation at the mission home, each of the new missionaries spent the afternoon and evening with a pair of missionaries in the Barcelona area. It was their first real experience proselyting, and it was great fun. Elder Castillo was able to meet with a father and husband whose wife was recently reactivated and whose two children were recently baptized. They had a powerful visit and Elder Castillo was able to invite this brother to be baptized. He is preparing for November 19th!

On Wednesday morning we introduced the new missionaries to their trainers, then spent a couple of hours studying the doctrine of Christ and practicing inviting investigators to be baptized (because that is what we do).

Hna. Ratcliff (from Auckland, NZ) practices the baptismal invitation
with her trainer, Hna. Soderquist.
 In the background, Elder Rios (Granada, Spain),
practices with his trainer, Elder Gallegos

Elder Cerqueira (Elvas, Portugal), practices with his trainer, Elder Greep.
Hna. Farrell (Rolling Hills Estates, CA) practices with Hna. Boone.

Trainers (back row): Elders Gallegos, Greep, Hnas. Boone, Soderquist, Ruz, Elders Keller, Bennington, Buchkovich.
Nuevos (front row): Elders Rios, Cerqueira, Hnas. Farrell, Ratcliff, Mancera, Elders Castillo, Arce, Gonzalez
Elders Gallegos / Rios: Manacor
Elders Greep / Cerqueira: Mataro
Hnas. Boone / Farrell: Benidorm
Hnas. Soderquist / Ratcliff: Sabadell 1
Hnas. Ruz / Mancera: Inca
Elders Keller / Castillo: Menorca
Elders Bennington / Arce: Albacete
Elders Buchkovich / Gonzalez: Granollers

Albacete hasn't had missionaries for about 7 years, so Elders Bennington and Arce have an exciting few months ahead of them as the build up this little branch! (Note to ex-misioneros del faro: if you would like to listen to the "secret Albacete tape" just let me know!)


  1. Albacete! I would love to hear that secret tape. I've been through that area book a million times. That's crazy exciting! Do good work!

  2. WOW! That is a lot of missionaries!

  3. Could you let me listen to the secret Albacete tape? My email is Love you both!

  4. I would like to listen to that secret tape as well! My email is I miss you two! Tell Elder Arce hi for me. Not sure if he'll remember me, but hey, worth a shot :D

  5. Oh man! I remember everyone wished they could open up Albacete. I also remember E. Lee and I trying to convince you to open it back in October of 2009. It was fun to listen to the secret tape and hear all the Barcelona missionary vocabulary again. I love this mission! Good luck to those missionaries in Albacete!