June 4, 2015

Spain Bilbao Mission

Free resources about the Spain Bilbao Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: Spain LDS Missions.

Spain Bilbao Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Bilbao Mission. We try to keep this info up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

This mission no longer exists.

Spain Bilbao Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Spain Bilbao Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Bilbao Mission:

this mission no longer exists.

Videos with Spain Bilbao RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Spain Bilbao Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview

LDS-Friendly Videos about Spain

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Spain. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Spain, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

weather  places  history  food  nature  Major Cities  LDS Church

Spain Bilbao Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Bilbao Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

President & Sister Clegg spainbilbaomission.blogspot.com 2010
Elder & Sister Belnap dfbelnap.blogspot.com 2009
Elder Brett Hanson elderbretthanson.blogspot.com 2009

Spain Bilbao Mission Groups

Here are Bilbao Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Bilbao Mission.

  1. Spain Bilbao Mission Group (494 members)
  2. Spain Bilbao Mission President & Sister Clegg Group  (55 members)
  3. Spain Bilbao Mission Pelton Reunion 1999-2000 Group (26 members)

Spain Bilbao Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Spain Bilbao Mission!

Shirt designs include Bilbao Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Bilbao missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Bilbao Mission gifts

spain-bilbao-mission-shirt-1 spain-bilbao-mission-shirt-2 spain-bilbao-mission-shirt-3

Spain Bilbao Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Bilbao Mission.

  1. 2010, Spain Bilbao Mission was dissolved
  2. 2009-2010, Richard Reed Clegg
  3. 2006-2009, Kenneth L. DuVall *Listen to an interview with the DuValls
  4. 2003-2006, Claudio D. Zivic
  5. 2000-2003, Dale Herman Larkin
  6. 1997-2000, Derk Walter Pelton
  7. 1994-1997, Colin Harris Miller
  8. 1993-1994, Jerald C. Sherwood

Spain LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 52,747
  • Missions: 3
  • Temples: 1
  • Congregations: 141
  • Family History Centers: 55

Helpful Articles about Spain

Coming soon..

Spain Bilbao Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Spain Bilbao RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 1993-1995 (Alan)
  • 1994-1996 (Joseph)
  • 1988-1990 (Kimball)
  • 2003-2005 (Micah)
  • 2004-2006 (Chad)
  • 2002-2004 (Chase)
  • March 1993-August 1994 (Jill)
  • 1998-1999 (Angela)

Which areas did you serve in?

What were some favorite foods?

  • Paella, tortilla espanola, fabadas, palmeras, flan, and churros with chocolate. In Aviles, we ate Christmas dinner with a family and the Dad was a butcher. It was the best meal I have ever eaten…there were like 13 courses. (Alan)
  • Tortilla, the bread, paella. (Joseph)
  • Ponchos, tortilla de Patata, salchichas, jamón serrano, bocadillos, chorizo, castañas. (Kimball)
  • Napolitanas. Canas. Postres en general. Churros con chocolate. Empanada. Tortilla. Arroz con pollo. (Micah)
  • Fabada Asturiana, la tortilla, paella, chorizo, colo-cal, marzipan, la triángulo de Lugo (en la tienda León), napolitanas, empanadas, churros, everything really. (Chad)
  • Paella, chorizo, tortillas, pan. (Chase)
  • Tortilla de patata, paella, chorizo de Pamplona, palmeras con nata. (Jill)
  • Spanish Tortilla, Empanada, Paella, Chorizo, Napolitanas, Ochos, Palmeras, Garbanzo Beans, EL PAN! (the bread) 🙂 Trunkitos (a type of candy), all the gummy candy, turron (Christmas candy), polvorones (also Christmas treat). (Angela)

What was a funny experience?

  • Having paper airplane contests off the roof of our building after district meetings. Getting mistaken for Spaniards wearing Mormon missionary costumes during carnival. (Alan)
  • Initiation- for lack of a better word. My trainer and the other companionship set up a prank with the guys at the local pizza place for me my first day in my first area. (Joseph)
  • Street contacts with old Spaniard men. (Kimball)
  • Elder Babcock attacking me when I pretended to be a transient breaking into the piso (Gijon). (Micah)
  • As a greenie, first couple of days there, I had a man come up to me (in Lugo) super quick and jam something into my ribs and ask me for all my money. My papa (trainer) was really scared and I was too green to be worried at all. He kept asking for money using slang. I couldn’t understand anything he was saying and by the time I finally looked, he was holding a lighter up to my stomach but he had made us think it was a gun. He walked away and said let’s not tell anyone about this ok? Oopsies. (Chad)
  • A Missionary related a story of how he was a “cautionary” tale referenced in a priesthood session talk by President Hinckley. He said, follow my example by not following my example. (Chase)
  • Jumping in the bull ring and giving a Book of Mormon to Jesulin the bullfighter in Sandander. (Jill)

What was a crazy experience?

  • Helping our land lord put her deceased father in his coffin. He died in his sleep and the mortuary wasn’t open on weekends. (Alan)
  • My companion and I were in a park and a guy started hitting a woman with his dog’s leash. My companion and I had to break it up. (Joseph)
  • See previous response :). Also, loaded gun to my face by a crazy dude in Gijon. (Micah)
  • My first night in my second city, my new companion offered to make some fries (I was exhausted and had ridden the party train from Lugo to SanSe). Well he came back into the room from the kitchen and was asking the normal first night kind of questions and went back to check on the fries (they’d been cooking for about 6 minutes or so at that point). All of the sudden, I hear all sorts of curses and as I turn the corner to see what’s going on, he had just thrown a container of water on the fire and a huge fireball explosion filled the room. Luckily that did kill the fire (but obviously not the best way to put out a fire). My companion ended up with burns everywhere but where his garments were. For the next 8 weeks or so, we had people in our piso “painting it” which meant listening to talk radio really loud, smoking on the porch and drinking, and then painting really fast the last 2 days. (Chad)
  • Nearly falling off the rocks at Puente Del Diablo. (Jill)
  • On New Year’s Day in La Coruna, we had planned on doing our service at the Soup Kitchen. Little did we realize all the drunks and crazies that would be out on the street that morning. We didn’t want to back out of our commitment, so we did a lot of praying and singing “Abide with Me” all the way there (about 20-25 min. away). (Angela)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Praying with an inactive member in her home when we first began visiting her. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room at the end of the prayer and she returned to church. (Alan)
  • Seeing Nancy’s transformation upon getting baptized in Gijon. (Micah)
  • I was the first (and to date only) descendant of my great grandpa to go back to Spain. (They were all Basque going back centuries and centuries). The closest town to their village Eibar was San Sebastián (Donostia), I had weekly bus rides to Pamplona for district meeting and literally every single time we rode by the village, I would wake up (I slept on every bus ride over 10 minutes). Every. Single. Time. Both ways too, it made me feel so close to my ancestors. I have since been able, with others, to do the temple work of more than 50 ancestors from there. I made my Mission Training Center goal to have 50+ baptisms 🙂 (Chad)
  • My companion and I were not having success…at all. We couldn’t even get a single person to stop and talk in Vigo. It was a record breaking heat at the time, which only made us more miserable. Three weeks with nary a contact to boast and our spirits were low. We prayed and determined to keep at it, which is all you could do sometimes. We stopped a gentleman, chatted with him for 10 minutes but he didn’t seem interested. My companion turned and started to walk away when I saw a Florida logo on the man’s polo. I asked him about it and he became really excited and started telling me a story about a trip he had to the United States…about that time his pregnant wife walked up and asked me who I was. I told her I was a missionary for Jesus Christ. She said “oh good. We are starting our family and have been looking for you.” (Chase)
  • Doing my companion’s genealogy in a convent at Santiana del Mar. We looked at books from the 1400s. (Jill)
  • One of the best spiritual experiences of my mission was when all four of us sisters in La Coruna did service for some less active brothers in the branch. They never cleaned their house, so we went over there and helped them clean-I mean like 5+ years of grease on the walls! It helped them feel the spirit to know some one loved them that much. They started coming back to church. (Angela)

What are some interesting facts about the Bilbao Mission?

  • There is no known origin for the Basque language in the North/Eastern part of Spain. Some people think that the Basque people are really part of the lost tribes. The Bilbao Mission bordered France on the east and Portugal on the west. Christopher Columbus died in a prison in Valladolid. (Alan)
  • Spaniards are the nicest people, until you talk about religion :). (Micah)
  • At the time, it was the only Spain mission that had 3 official languages spoken in it (Spanish, Basque, and Galician). Their first ever written Spanish and Basque came from a village near Logroño, a place called San Millan de Suso. (Chad)
  • Pais-Basco. (Chase)
  • It is green and beautiful! Spain is a mixture of many cultures, and northern Spain is loaded with unique differences from region to region, and even different languages. (Jill)
  • It is home of the oldest working lighthouse-Torre De Hercules in La Coruna. The heart of the mission was Pais Basco (Basque Country), where people speak Spanish as well as Basque, which is a completely different language than Spanish. Each little province/area had unique weather. It was like being transferred to a different state with a different climate each time. (Angela)

What was the weather like?

  • During the summer months, the weather was fairly mild, it was rarely hot. During the winter, it was very rainy and it always felt colder than it really was. I only saw snow once. (Alan)
  • There were all four seasons. (Joseph)
  • Mild. (Micah)
  • Like Utah, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, nice in the spring and fall. Each city had its own differences: Lugo is nonstop rain, SanSe is a paradise always perfect temperatures, Logroño is very chilly in the winter, Oviedo was beautiful in the spring and summer, Ourense is miserable in the summer…got over 50°C when I was there and never less than 35°C, Santander was a lot like SanSe but not quite as perfect weather, and Burgos is super cold in the winter below 0°C. (Chad)
  • Exactly like northern Utah weather. (Chase)
  • I stayed on the coast, so it rained a lot. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Like Utah, but with rain. (Jill)
  • The weather was different in each place I served. I was in Northern Spain and it rained a lot in some places, like Oviedo. That’s why it was so green and beautiful. Vitoria was hot and humid with huge thunderstorms in the Summer. La Coruna was cold and windy in the Winter (right on the ocean). Oviedo was wet and mild. Valladolid was hot and dry during the Summer. Santander was pretty mild in the Fall. (Angela)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • I love the Spanish people and the culture. They showed me so much love, even though most of them consider their religion (Catholicism) to be like their race, something they can’t change. I have never been anywhere that has such a long, proud history. There were always interesting events or sites to see on preparation day. (Alan)
  • Spanish people are wonderful. Hard to reach but once you get through the rough exterior, you find they have hearts of gold! (Joseph)
  • Very historical and quaint. Hard to explain the majestic feeling I got as I tracked through small towns on the outskirts of northern Spain. (Micah)
  • I loved them all and for different reasons. I loved the food, I love the culture, I love Castilian Spanish, the castles were amazing. Just a really incredible and beautiful place. (Chad)
  • So kind and polite, except when you want to talk about religion. If not religion, I’ve literally been offered, by a complete stranger, to let me stay at their home and have dinner with them. (Chase)
  • Rich in ancient history and culture. Loved the architecture, cathedrals, streets, and old structures. The people are brusque, but loving once they trust you. (Jill)
  • It was beautiful in Northern Spain. The countryside was like nothing I had ever seen and all the old buildings, churches, etc. were amazing! The people were awesome! Some people may come across rude at first, but they are not. It is just a different culture than America. And once you get to know people, they love you and remember you forever. (Angela)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • The most important item to have is a good pair of shoes. You need something with a good solid sole and something that can be waterproofed from rain. Expect to put many mile on your shoes every day – you walk everywhere. If I were to do it all over again, I would have taken Doc Martins. You should also have a good winter coat, overcoats were widely used, just make sure that have some kind of insulation for the winter months. (Alan)
  • Don’t waste money in the United States on suits (like from Mr Mac). Buy one from the Deseret Industries and use your suit money in Spain. You can get a tailored handmade amazing suit for easily half the cost and it is way, way, way better. Also January/February, July/August Rebajas starts and you can get all sorts of amazing clothing for half off and sometimes even 80% off. Example, I bought a suit that was tailored to me on Rebajas for 25 Euros and now 10 years later it is still in great shape. Seriously, the clothing there is way better than what you’d get in the United States. I could have bought at least 5 suits for how much I spent on 2 at Mr Mac or Men’s Warehouse before I left (can’t remember which one). (Chad)
  • Don’t buy a raincoat. Don’t buy an umbrella. Buy any electrical devices in the country. That way you don’t have to worry about the voltage. (Chase)
  • Pack for all four seasons. (Jill)
  • Pack for all types of weather. I needed a heavy coat and thermals in the winter, but it was roasting in the Summer. (Angela)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • The biggest blessing I received was an increase in my own testimony. They say that the most important conversion to make on your mission is your own – how true that is. I was also saturated with the Spanish language, which I use almost daily in business. But, I also would not have married my wife of 20 years if I never learned Spanish. Her parents immigrated from Mexico and she wanted a husband who could hold a conversation with her parents. (Alan)
  • Wonderful friendships-still 20 years later. My testimony grew a lot, I became a better cook, I still can get by with my Spanish. (Joseph)
  • I finally learned Spanish. I was able to find a ton, ton, ton of genealogy for my Spanish ancestors. I learned how to cook. I made lifetime friends. I was able to learn the value and joy of hard work. Like Elder Holland, I can truly say every single blessing I’ve gotten since has come about as a direct result of my mission and it means everything to me. (Chad)
  • Not enough room here to list. (Chase)
  • Meeting children of God from all over the world. Made eternal friendships. (Jill)
  • I learned how to truly love others, especially those who are different from me or people I didn’t think I could love. When I loved like Christ would, then I found I could love everyone. (Angela)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Completely fluent and literate in the Spanish language. Ability to talk to strangers about anything. Deeper understanding and cultural awareness of others. Increased determination in the face of rejection. Ability to get along with just about anybody. (Alan)
  • Hard work, how to keep a positive attitude in the face of difficulty, fluent Spanish, leadership skills, ability to make small talk with anyone, anywhere about anything. (Chad)
  • Leadership. Determination in the face of defeat. Empathy and love for complete strangers. Spanish language. Public speaking. Organization. (Chase)
  • Increased my Spanish speaking abilities that became my career. I’m still using it in my home business. (Jill)
  • I learned to speak Spanish! I also gained a greater ability to express my testimony and knowledge of the Gospel. I learned to love and treat all people with kindness and respect. I learned to come out of my comfort zone and talk to people and engage them in a conversation about the Gospel. (Angela)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • I wish I had graduated from seminary. I felt like I was at a disadvantage in the Mission Training Center and in the field when compared with other missionaries who had a better mastery of the scriptures. (Alan)
  • I wish I had taken the language learning more seriously. I should have spoken Spanish only right from the start. (Joseph)
  • How to cook. To better express the love I had for the people to them. How to understand what people were saying. To be a better a companion to everyone I served with. (Chad)
  • Work hard but understand that success is NOT based on baptisms or conversions. If you put your best efforts forward, and you don’t get to baptize anyone—the Lord will know and he will welcome you as much as the missionary who baptized thousands. Learn to commune with God, it’s worth the effort. Study the language or it won’t matter how much you have to offer; the people won’t accept what they can’t understand. The majority of people will reject your message. Love them anyway. Convincing missionaries to give up bad habits can be harder than getting potential converts to give up smoking/drinking/coffee. (Chase)
  • Relax! Keep the rules, but go with the flow. Don’t be afraid. Talk to everyone. I was shy. I’m not now. Compliment people. Engage them in conversation. (Jill)
  • I think baptism by fire is a good thing. I was going to say I wish I had know how hard it was going to be, but I’m glad I didn’t know. I was able to live on faith and that helped my testimony to grow immensely. I do wish I had known how hard walking everywhere would be for the first couple of weeks-I got huge blisters!!! 🙂 (Angela)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Bilbao?

  • Work hard, obey the mission rules (yes, all of them) and love everyone you come in contact with even if they make it difficult for you to do so. (Alan)
  • Learn to love the people as early as you can. (Joseph)
  • Study the culture. Spaniards will love that you know anything about their country. (Micah)
  • The harder you work the hotter your wife (or husband for the herms). It’s literally true. Work with every last ounce of energy you possess and put your whole soul into every minute of every day. You’ll avoid having even a single regret. Love everyone, even the people that might spit on you, throw things at you, lie to you, or fallar (basically let down) you, they are all children of God and he puts you in their path for a reason. Always make studying a priority and before you feel ready to do it, if you study in Spanish you’ll learn the language faster than anything. Practice your accent, you’ll be surprised how many more doors you’ll get into when people know you’re trying to get the accent right. Be yourself and have fun. The Lord called YOU to the mission not a robot. There are people that need to hear the gospel from YOU specifically. Find them and share it with them. Never give up on any investigator just because they aren’t progressing as fast as you want. It isn’t about you, it’s about them. As long as they are willing to read, pray, and meet with you, they will be feeling the spirit and a lot of times, they eventually join the church. Never give up on an eternal investigator because you think you won’t baptize them. Don’t be selfish, your the Lord’s servant, do what he would do. (Chad)
  • Dig in. Love it even though it will be tough. Learn to cook. It will pay off. Read the Book of Mormon and internalize its teachings. Don’t neglect your Bible study either. (Chase)
  • Go into the mission with a positive attitude and don’t expect the people to be anything like people at home. Spain is a different country, with a different culture. They will do and say things you have never seen or heard before. The people say things bluntly (like “you are fat”), but they don’t do it to offend, like in America. They are just stating a fact. The food is different, the smells, the sounds, but if you have a positive attitude, then you see how wonderful it all is and what special and amazing people they are. (Angela)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • I made several language mistakes, most of them would not be able to be appropriately explained here. Just don’t try using any slang as a missionary. (Alan)
  • ¿Hola caballo tienes un momento? (Hello horse, do you have a moment), caballero is how you say gentlemen. (Chad)
  • Remember 1 Nephi 3:7 is VERY different from 3 Nephi 3:7. (Chase)
  • I knew Spanish before arriving, but the accent really threw me off at first. (Jill)
  • One time, when I was in Valladolid, my companion and I decided to make some new foods we had never made before. We needed ingredients that we didn’t really know the names of and couldn’t find the names of (like green onions). We went to the fruit/veggies store and we were butchering everything we were saying because we didn’t know what to ask for and she couldn’t understand how we were describing it. We left feeling foolish and embarrassed. The next week, we went back to the same place and didn’t have any problems speaking. The lady was amazed and said, “Wow! Your Spanish sure has improved in just one week!” It was funny! (Angela)