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.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dia de Sant Jordi

Flooding the world with the Book of Mormon

Today is the Dia de Sant Jordi - St. George's Day - in Spain. St. George, the dragonslayer, is the patron saint of Catalunya and is a popular figure throughout Spain. This day has evolved into a great celebration where men give a red rose to their sweetheart, and woman give their best man a book (it is also International Booksellers Day). Florists and booksellers set up tables and booths throughout the city selling roses and books, and we take advantage of the celebration to distribute copies of the Book of Mormon.

Table at the doors of the Barcelona Stake Center

Hnas. Fernley and Culverwell (hidden) talk to a
passerby about the Book of Mormon

Elders Call and Roos talk and walk

Missionaries with Hno. Lindomar, a recent convert

We drove over to the Barcelona Stake Center at mediodia to see the missionaries and see how the day was going. They had already given away nearly 300 copies of the Book of Mormon. Because the Dia de Sant Jordi falls on Easter weekend this year, most people thought the holiday would fizzle. But by the end of the day the missionaries at the stake center had distributed 462 copies in Spanish plus a few others in other languages. In addition, at least 198 copies were distributed by missionaries in other locations. A great day for flooding the world with the Book of Mormon!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Notes from the Field

Outside the Vitoria chapel
"We experienced a miracle on Thursday."

The Elders in Vitoria had an interesting experience this week. They were talking with the manager of a locutorio (an Internet cafe where they write their emails home). They discussed the gospel with her briefly, but she had a number of customers and they did not get a chance to obtain her contact information.

Three days later they were on the other side of town looking up a former investigator. The investigator was not home so they decided to ring a few bells to see if they could get in the building and talk with someone. A woman answered when they rang the first bell, they asked if they could come up and visit with her, and she let them in. When she opened the door to her apartment, she was as surprised as they were - it was the manager of the locutorio whom they had contacted earlier in the week! They confirmed an appointment to come back and teach her.

We love miracles!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Leadership Training

This past week we held a 3-day leadership training workshop. This is the second time we have done this in the past year. The purpose is to insure that the principles of "Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel: Teaching More Effectively" take root in the mission before we begin to receive new missionaries from the MTC who have been trained using these principles (we receive our first such group the end of June).

We had a marvelous and spiritually uplifting 3 days with 32 of our missionaries, included four hermanas. On Tuesday morning, the first day of the training, we spent some time reviewing principles of finding people to teach. For lunch, every missionary received a little cash to buy a sandwich, and they fanned out from the stake center to find both food and people and teach!

Elders Jimenez and Rhead teach
a man from Córdoba

Hermanas Rodriquez and Soderquist visit
with a woman on the sidewalk

Elders Hadley and Corbitt write down the contact
information of a potential investigator
The agenda for the three days included lessons, discussions, and role-plays covering the following topics:

  1. Our Missionary Purpose - The Doctrine of Christ
  2. The Role of the Holy Ghost in Conversion
  3. The Process of Revelation
    1. Revelation through Prayer
    2. Revelation through the Book of Mormon
    3. Revelation through Church Attendance
  4. Teach People, Not Just Lessons
  5. We Invite, They Commit, We Follow Up
  6. How to Begin Teaching
  7. The Faith to Find - Finding People to Teach
  8. Leveraging the Power of Members
  9. Planning to Baptize
In addition, we watched one of our favorite movies: The District. If you haven't seen it, we highly recommend it, as well as The District 2. These are live, unscripted, videos of real missionaries and real investigators, filmed by camera crews who spent several weeks filming virtually everything the missionaries did. The are awe-inspiring!

Final day of leadership training

The meeting concluded with messages from Hna. and Pte. Hinckley and a wonderful testimony meeting. We left having been taught and edified by the Spirit, and rejoicing together!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


In keeping with the theme that every week is transfer week, we received a marvelous new elder this week: Elder Jared Malan from Palma de Mallorca. Elder Malan is actually assigned to the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission, but is still waiting for his visa to travel to the Provo MTC, so he has been assigned to serve here until his visa arrives.

The best part of this is that Elder Malan is a member of the Levante Branch of the Baleares District. President Hinckley flew to Palma on Sunday (10 April) to set him apart!

Elder Malan with his family and Pres. Hinckley,
after being set apart in Palma
This is the first time we have had a visa-waiter in our mission. Usually our missionaries are waiting for their visas somewhere else! We are thrilled to have this great new elder in our mission, even if he is only with us for a few weeks!

P.S. Elder Malan is serving in Zaragoza with the zone leaders, Elders Jiminez and Rhead.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Concilio - April 2011

The new transfer begins with a zone leader counsel and training of new zone leaders. This time we also invited two hermanas: Hna. Culverwell and Hna. Garcia. We had a wonderful day together talking about and planning for the coming month. Expect miracles!

On the terrace of our "city condo" - the mission home in Barcelona!

El Canto de los Angeles

Tuesday night we had our traditional farewell - singing and contacting at Plaza Catalunya.

Old friends: Elder Raban and the Hinckleys are joined by  (Elder) Jorge Chavez,
who is currently studying English in London!


Hermanas are awesome!

Llegada - One New Angel Arrives

We lost nine seasoned Elders, but gained one incredible Hermana: Hna. Soderquist! Her new companion, Hna. Rodriquez, went with us to the train station to pick up Hna. Soderquist who arrived Tuesday morning on the 11:22 AVE from Madrid.

At the station: Elders Keller and Sommerfeldt,
Pte and Hna Hinckley,
Hnas Soderquist and Rodriquez

Eager to get started!

At Montjuic. Welcome to Barcelona!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Despedida - Nine Angels Return Home

On Wednesday, 6 April 2011, nine wonderful Elders boarded the airplane at BCN headed for home, served faithfully and well to the end!

Elders Ames, Gerber, Jacinto, Johnson, Awerkamp, Flores, Hunsaker, Nasaeth, and Raban - thank you for your life-changing service, for your faith in miracles, for your example, for your friendship, and for the great legacy which you have left in El Faro!

In the office prior to leaving for the airport on Wednesday morning
At the airport