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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

El Clarín: June 2011

From President Hinckley´s message in the June issue of El Clarín:
May was a month of many miracles. The Savior said to the Twelve, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep” (John 10:14). To the Nephites He said, “For behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered” (3 Nephi 18:31). He knows his sheep, He knows where they are, and He knows when they are ready for the message of the restored gospel.
Two missionaries prayed recently about where they should go to find the elect when they had some free time. Each missionary selected three streets in their area, and when they compared streets they observed that two of them intersected. They decided to start at that intersection. When they arrived at the corner they saw a woman with her children and felt impressed to contact her. She said her family had been looking for a church to attend and invited them over. During the first visit she told them that she is looking for a place where her daughter, who has never been baptized, could be baptized. The family members now have baptismal dates.
In another city in the mission, the elders were in a meeting at the chapel when a family came by and entered the building. They had many questions, like, “Why are there so many churches?” and “Shouldn’t we pay tithing?” They came to church the following Sunday, signed up on the list to feed the missionaries, and signed up to take the bus to stake conference!
The entire issue of El Clarín is now available on the blog. See the link in the right-hand column.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Month of Miracles 2

The month of May was a month of miracles. We were blessed to see 56 people enter the waters of baptism and be confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the most successful single month in terms of convert baptisms of any month for which we have records.

Elders Bennington and Sommerfeldt with Hnos. Julio and Dres
at the baptism of Julio and Dres
Every one of those 56 converts is a miracle. Here is just one story. About 7 months ago, two missionaries were with a young priest on their way to visit. They had been contacting some people along the way, and the young priest asked one of the missionaries how they know who they should contact when the sidewalk is filled with people. The missionary began to explain that you look at the people walking and watch for someone.. Then he stopped abruptly and said, "Wait just a minute, I need to talk to that man." He approached a man on the sidewalk, tapped him on the shoulder, and began a conversation.

Julio, the man on the sidewalk, was surprised. He said he had prayed the night before to know which Church he should join. The elders invited him to accompany them immediately to the chapel (just a couple of blocks away) where they taught him and invited him to be baptized.

But before his baptism, Julio had to return to his native country in South America and lost contact with the Church and the missionaries for several months. Then three weeks ago a new set of elders in the same area received a telephone call from a man who introduced himself as Julio and said he was back in town and ready to prepare for his baptism! He was baptized last Saturday and confirmed on Sunday, one of the 56 great miracles of the month of May!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

¡Nueva!

On Friday Hna. Moulton arrived, after spending a week in the Utah Ogden Mission and a week in Madrid working on her residency.



She arrived on the 11:22 AVE from Madrid, and immediately Hnas. Culverwell and Preston took her contacting in the metro and at Plaza España, before we all went to Montjuic together.

Hna. Moulton is serving in Valencia 2 with Hnas. Ruz and Fuentes, so after lunch and a brief orientation, she was back on the train headed to Valencia, and spent the night with her new companions. We are thrilled to have this great new sister join the ranks of El Faro!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Month of Miracles

Hermano Kumar, pictured below with Elder Keeler (in white) and Elders Oldroyd and Hastings was baptized and confirmed in the Vitoria Branch this past weekend.

He is one of 47 wonderful new converts baptized so far this month. May has already been a month of great miracles, and we still have a week left! We are so grateful for the privilege and blessing of helping these wonderful, prepared children of our Father in Heaven prepare for and receive the saving ordinance of baptism.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why We Love this Work!

About six or seven weeks ago a pair of hermanas gave a pass-along card to a woman they met on the street. Three weeks later, she called them and said she would like to visit and learn more. Last Saturday she was baptized. Tomorrow she joins other ward members for a trip to the Madrid Temple where she will participate in baptisms!

I received a note from one of our branch presidents (in a mission district) that a member of his branch who lives on the island of Ibiza is traveling to Columbia to visit family in July and would like to get a temple recommend so that she can receive her endowment at Bogota Columbia Temple. This is the same sister that telephoned Elder Brian on his birthday in late 2009 asking to be baptized that week while she was in town (we have no missionaries on the island of Ibiza where she lives). She was baptized, returned to Ibiza, has met faithfully each Sunday with our handful of members there (it is not an organized branch but a small group that  meets in a member's apartment).

It is always exciting to see these miracle baptisms prepare for and take the next big step in their life by going to the temple!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Despedida


Elder Southwick and Elder Hansen returned home to today. Both were outstanding missionaries and will be greatly missed! We look forward to many great things from both of them over the years to come!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eight New Missionaries!

Tuesday morning we received eight wonderful new Elders from the Madrid MTC.

At the train station

The entry to Castell de Montjuic

On the ramparts overlooking the city

Listening to the story of Columbus

Castell de Montjuic
This is a great group of new Elders - four are from the United States and four from Spain, and all are able, dedicated, and excited to get to work in their first real missionary area!

Elder Dalton with Elder Swenson - Gerona

Elder Manotas with Elder Rasmussen - Cornella

Elder Bascopé with Elder Roos - Barcelona 3

Elders Pericle and Keller surrond Elder Shiflet - Lleida

Elder Middleton with Elder Gross - Gandía

Elder Nye and Elder Batanero - Menorca

Elder Bowers and Elder Galán - Alcoy

Elder Allphin and Elder Salmon - Tarragona

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Reminder

On Saturday night we went down to the office to call out the transfer changes to missionaries. In the office lobby we met a missionary who served here nearly 15 years ago and was in Spain on business. It was an emotional visit for him, and he reminded the Assistants that when they return home, they will discover that not everyone has the same mission experience as missionaries in the Spain Barcelona Mission.

¡el faro!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturdays in Barcelona

Saturday is the best day in the mission, as most baptisms take place on Saturday. Every baptism is a miracle, and it is always an inspiring event to attend a baptism service and watch someone receive this sacred ordinance.


This afternoon in the Barcelona 2nd Ward, Hno. Chau and his wife, Hna. Diaz, were baptized. Elders Keller and Sommerfeldt has seen Hna. Diaz on the sidewalk carrying groceries home and offered to help her with her bags. Two and half weeks later she and her husband were baptized. Their children and siblings attended the service, and we are praying that more members of this wonderful family will accept the gospel!

And the walls come tumbling down...

With our office couple, the Lunds, just weeks away from returning home, we have some remodeling that needs to be done in the office in order to have an office configuration that complies with Church standards (no computers in enclosed offices). So today a wall in the office is coming down.

Rubble...


The wall around Elder Lund's office (the financial secretary)
begins to disappear

None of this deters Elders Corbitt and Araujo, who are working this morning
to organize the transfer travel and purchase tickets.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Interviews

Under the new guidelines for missions, we do personal interviews once each quarter with every missionary. We completed a round of interviews in late April / early May, beginning in the Barcelona area and the Lleida zone, then Bilbao,  Valencia,  and Palma.

Elders Southwick, Harris, and Gallegos in Bilbao


Elders Benito, Matherus, Krasnoselsky, and Parris in Bilbao

Elders Keyes, Reeder, Benito, Krasnoselsky,
and Hnas. Rodriquez and Soderquist

Palma: Hnas. Bennion, Martin, Elders Egan, Bennington, Farley, Bodily,
and the Thompsons