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.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Specialized Training Conferences

We concluded the specialized training conferences this week with two days in Bilbao and two days in Valencia. The focus of this training was largely on two topics: leveraging the power of members, and using the power of the Book of Mormon.

Much of the training focused on specific investigators
with baptismal dates in the coming weeks. These are from the Vitoria Zone.

We eat way to much pizza at conferences!

The Guggenheim Museum in the early morning mist...

Most of the time was spent in "hives" - tables with two companionships
where they discussed principles and practiced applying them.

Working in their "hives."

Off to lunch!

On the second day of training, the local Relief Society  sisters
provided us with lunch - so much better than Domino's!

And Valencia, of course, means the Valencia train station. What a great town!
It has been a great month, spending two days in each zone and being taught by the Spirit! The promise of the Lord was fulfilled: "And it shall come to pass, that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together" (D&C 44:2).

Next Monday we will gather with all of the zone leaders in our monthly Concilio, and then prepare for transfers the following week. We have 10 missionaries returning home on March 7th - 6 hermanas and 4 elders. They are all wonderful, effective missionaries and will be sorely missed, but they are headed off to bigger and better things!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Scenes from Barcelona Zone Specialized Training

The entire zone!

Elders Hadley and Middleton help(?) Hnas. Soderquist and Roberts make the salad

Elders Olson, Huaman, Gonzalez and Oldroyd doing a role-play


Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Standards of Excellence

During the January mission council meeting, the mission leaders discussed and developed new Standards of Excellence for 2012. These represent a substantial increase in the pace of the work, and will stretch us, but many companionships have already demonstrated that is possible to work at this level.

Click here to read the 2012 Standards of Excellence.

Also included here are our four areas of emphasis, or cornerstones, for 2012. We are excited about this great second harvest!

Specialized Training

February is "specialized training" month, and this month we are launching the new year with a 2-day "mini MTC" in every zone. Specialized training usually focuses and skill-development - learning and practicing how to teach and work more effectively. Our emphasis in these training meetings is primarily on two key issues: how to leverage the power of members, and how to use the power of the Book of Mormon.

We began in Lleida and had a wonderful two days. The weather was very cold, but the Spirit was warm!
Preparing in the hotel room in Lleida

Elders Bronson, Saldaña, Galan and Parry doing a role-play in Lleida
Saturday night we flew to Palma so we could attend district conference there (which was a satellite broadcast from Salt Lake with Pres. Uchtdorf, Elder Christofferson, Elder Zwick, and Sister Dalton). To our great suprise we awoke on Sunday morning to two inches of snow in Palma! But again, we were warmed by the spirit of the conference.
Pres. Hinckley makes a snowball in Palma!

The Baleares Zone: Missionaries from three islands gather in Palma!

Hermanas Dalton, Mancera, and Hinckley are awesome!