Here´s the letter to the President:

President Hinckley, this past week has been great here in Barcelona. Elder Bennington and I are getting along great and things are going really well in our area. We´ve had several miracle stories this week. I´m going to share the one that just happened yesterday. Yesterday Elder Bennington and I were walking to go pass by an investigator and we saw a women with her son walking. We started to walk with her and talk to her. The conversation quickly led to the church and we were able to figure out that she listened to missionaries for a while in the past. As we were talking we also figured out that she lives in the same building as Alberto, our recent convert. So we walked by her house and asked if she´d have a little bit of time right then that we could visit her. She said yes, but there wasn´t a guy in her house. Luckily, it was the same building as Alberto´s, so we went over to his house really quickly and asked if he could help us right then. We woke him up from a nap, but he came with us and we taught her. Her name is Ligiana. We figured out that she really wants to know which church is true, and that she had a daughter that died when she was 3 years old 12 years ago. It still hurts her. Her dad recently died as well. We were able to testify to her that through the restoration of the gospel she can live with her family again. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She goes back to her country the 20th of this month though, so we need to figure out what we´ll do with that, but at least she can start to work towards baptism. Also, she has a compañera de piso that we´re going to meet tonight when we go back for a follow up visit. Elder Bennington and I get along great. He´s really energetic, which is really good. I´ve been really tired lately, but he helps me stay excited about everything. This past week we also went up to the Teotuhican exhibition on the aztecs and handed out Book of Mormons. We only had half an hour, but Elder Johnson, Elder Call, Elder Bennington and I handed out 12 Book of Mormons and 20 folletos or so in that half hour. It was a lot of fun. We´ll see if anything comes of it soon. As far as our investigators with baptismal dates go I´m going to write about Arnold. Arnold is 26 and is from Chile. He´s in the military. He went down to Málaga this past week and because of that couldn´t come to church. He was going to go down there, but he also has some spine/dizziness problems and he passed out Saturday night and was in the emergency room and couldn´t go to church. He came back and the army has him detained for a week longer, because he went to Málaga without telling them. He will be able to leave on Saturday though. He really wants to come to church these next two weeks and get baptized the 25th of June. He´s been reading a lot from the Book of Mormon as well and has now read through page 140 or more. So he´s doing really well. We´ve also talked to Vladimir as well to see if he can visit him next week while we´re doing zone conferences to teach several things and he said he can. So that will be good. As far as recent converts I´m going to write about half of them. Mario and Magda are doing great. They brought their son, Christian, to church with them this past week. He´s the one that was taking all of the pictures at their baptism. He lives in Sabadell´s area, but when they called him he told them he´s going back to Perú soon and is going to wait until he goes there. He leaves in a couple weeks, but we´re going to help him get in contact with the missionaries out there. Mario and Magda are both doing great and have home teachers and visiting teachers. I think they still need callings, but we´ve let Vladimir know that already. Julio is also doing well. His wife came to the baptism this past Saturday, so we finally met her. She seems nice, but we can also see where she might create some opposition for him. We had Rosa Tuesta talk to her and she told Rosa that she´ll come to church this next Sunday, so that´s good. The only thing with Julio is that his wife said that he drinks alcohol. We don´t know if she´s thinking before he was baptized or after, but we´re going to reveiw the word of wisdom with Julio tonight to make sure he´s okay with that. Julio didn´t come to church this week, but it´s because of the elections for Peru. Next we have Rocío. She´s doing well. She´s read through into Jacob in the Book of Mormon. She didn´t come to church this past week, and we´re not sure why yet, but we´re going to call her today. Other than that though she´s doing great. We´ve taught her about half of lesson 5 now. Next we have Mila. She´s doing well. She came to church again, but can only come to the first hour. She paid her tithing /fast offerings for the 2nd time yesterday. She´s doing really well, but I think she feels a bit apart since she can´t stay for long, and it´s hard for us to visit her often now due to her work. We´re hoping she can find a way to come to all three hours of church. Elder Bennington is going to write about the other recent converts. Overall, things are going great. I love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt

Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here for me here in Barcelona. Elder Bennington and I didn´t actually have any baptisms this weekend, but Elder Johnson and Elder Call, and Elder Bronson and Elder Araujo (the four office elders) did. They´re in our ward. So that puts our ward at 15 baptisms for the year. That´s really good. Last year there were 6 total baptisms in our ward all year. So we´re excited. One of the people that was baptized is named George (Jorge). He was born in Spain, but grew up in the U.S. His wife is Ana and she also grew up in the U.S., but has parents from Cuba and Colombia. They both speak English and Spanish though. They´re really good people though. They always call me "Smiley." They say that´s my nickname because even when I´m serious I look like I´m smiling. They baptism went really well though.

Next up, Elder Bennington and I did intercambios with the Bilbao elders this past week right before Concilio. We did it with all four of us here in Barcelona. I was with Elder Harris. I was his zone leader out on the island, so it was fun to be with him again. He´s doing really well. The mission in total is doing really well. I don´t know if I said this last week, but in the month of May we baptized 56 people, which is more than the mission has ever baptized in a month that we have record of. So it´s an exciting time. We´re going to try and do it again this month. We had concilio on Thursday night and Friday. On Thursday night Elder Bennington and I taught. We talked about District Leader responsibilities and doing baptismal interviews (since we had all of the district leaders come in for this concilio). I think it went pretty good, but we didn´t have very much time. On Friday all of the zone leaders talked about the month of May as well as their goals and plans for June. If you add all of the goals up for each zone it adds up to 90 baptisms. So we´re going to see how close we can get to that.

This next week we go to Vitoria, Lleida, and then Elder Bennington and I go to Zaragoza for intercambios. It´ll be good. We´re pretty busy for the next couple of weeks though. Last night we also found a lady named Ligia. I wrote about her in my letter to the president. So you can read about her there. She´s doing well though. We also have Mónica and Jimmy. Jimmy´s 13 years old and Mónica is his mom. They´re doing well, they just haven´t come to church yet, but we´re going to work with them so that they can come this week and every other week after. Overall, things are going great. I can´t think of much else to say. Oh, here´s something really interesting / good that happened. They dedicated the Barcelona Stake Center on Saturday. We went to it. Elder Teixeira came and dedicated it. It was really good. It really is a beautiful building. You should look it up online, I´m sure you can find pictures of it online. It´s really nice though. This past week we also ate lunch with the bishop´s wife again. We invited Julio to come with us too so that they could become friends. That went well. The food was really good too. This Saturday Luis and Julie (two young single adults in the ward, they´re boyfriend / girlfriend) invited us to eat as well in a restaurant. It´ll be the second time they´ve taken us there. It´s really good. Overall, our ward is just great. I love everyone in it. It has it´s weird things and things that are done that I just wonder what they´re thinking, but it really is a good ward with great members.

Well, I need to be going now. I´m going to go write all of the individual letters. Have a great week though.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


President Hinckley,
This week has been great here in Barcelona. Elder Bennington and I continue to get along great. The miracle story for the week would have to be with our newest investigator with a baptismal date named Arnold. Elder Bennington will tell more about him, but he was a contact that Barrio 3 did and we just taught him this past week. We talked about Christ with him in the first visit because he didn´t know if Christ really existed, and we left him with Alma 36 to read and "Finding Faith in Christ" to watch. He did both of those and really enjoyed it. Then we had another visit with him and talked about how through Christ we can be baptized and start over again and have direction in our life and he willingly accepted to be baptized. It was a miracle. Then to add to it, this past Monday in the Noche de Hogar, there was an american family that came and sang a lot of really good songs about Christ and it was exactly what he needed. So he´s doing great. It´s just been a miracle how we found him and how quickly he´s becoming converted. Elder Bennington and I get along great. Something I admire about him is how dedicated he is. He doesn´t like to ever do anything that´s not productive. Elder Keller and I used to go into the office most mornings and we always could get a computer and use it to do all the projects we have to do, but with so many people in the office now it´s almost impossible to use a computer. Elder Bennington hates being the office when we can´t be fulfilling our purpose. So I really like that. Today I´m going to write about Julio, who´s getting baptized this week, and Elder Bennington´s going to write about Dress and Arnold. Julio is doing incredible. He came to church this past week. Actually, Mario and Magda have helped him a lot as well. We called up Mario and asked if he could call and congratulate Julio, and they did, then without us saying anything they also invited Julio over to their house and arranged to go to church together the next day. So they´re helping us out a lot. Julio´s given out 15 invitations or so to friends and he´s solid for this week. Most of the friends he´s given them out to are already members. He says he doesn´t have very many non-member friends, but it´s good that he has such a good support system already. With our recent converts, Alberto continues to do well and helps us a lot with visits. He´s actually going to baptize Julio this next week, and he´s really excited to do so. We just had a visit with him last night and he already has all of the words memorized and all. So that will be really good for him. He also has home teachers, and he has a companion and is a home teacher. Next we have Sabrina, who is doing well, but her she hasn´t come to church now for a couple weeks. We´re continuing to work with her though, and the primary calls her when she doesn´t come to church. Mario and Magda are also doing incredible. Mario received the Priesthood this past week and was really happy about that. Also, Mario and Magda have received visits from home and visiting teachers. They´re doing incredible. Elder Bennington is going to write about Mila and Rocío. We continue teaching all of our recent converts about once a week, and we´ve taught through most of lesson 5 with all of them. The thing I read this past week in the white handbook that I want to repent of is to write the converts I taught occasionally. It´s been several months since I´ve written any of them, so I´m going to write them in the next couple weeks. Overall, things are going great for us. I´ve been feeling a bit sick, and Elder Bennington as well. I just have really bad allergies and so this past week I´ve just been dying from that and have had no energy, but I think it will get better here soon, hopefully. I have a goal to baptize 10 more people in my mission, and that means that after baptizing Dress and Julio that we still need to baptize 8 people in June, so we´ll see what we can do. Elder Bennington and I are working hard to make it possible. Overall, things are going great. I love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt

Family and Friends! How´s everything going there in The United States! Everything´s going great here in Barcelona. The only bad part is that I have REALLY bad allergies, so that´s been killing me lately, but I just started taking some medicine, so hopefully it get´s better soon. The good news is that this week Julio and Dress are both going to be baptized! I´m super excited for them. They´re both incredible. I talked a bit about Julio in the letter to the President, and with Dress, he´s also doing great. He quit smoking, he quit drinking a long time ago, and President Hinckley said that for his address we can use the shelter place where he eats food every day, so that´s what we´ll use until he can get a permanent place to stay. He´s such a good guy though. I´d send you pictures now, but I don´t have my camera. I´ll send pictures of the baptisms next week though. Everything´s going well for Elder Bennington and I as well. Last week we made the viejos video. I don´t know if it´s on the blog yet, but if it is, you should go look at it. It´s extra short this time, because only 2 missionaries went home.

The other big news is that this week we set another baptismal date with Arnold. He´s incredible. He´s from Chile. The missionaries in Barrio 3 contacted him and taught him a quick lesson a few weeks ago, and then figured out he lives in our area, so they passed off his information. We were finally able to get a visit with him. In the first visit we talked about Christ and in the second visit we talked about baptism. We´ve talked about the restoration, but not too in depth yet. He´s preparing to be baptized the 11th of June, although we may move it back one week since he´s going out of town for 5 days this next week and will miss church. He´s 26 though, he´s in the military, and he´s just a cool kid. He got in a car crash a while ago and it messed up his spine so he´s always dizzy, and he´s going to have an operation on that here soon. That would be another thing that could change when we do the baptism. He´s doing great though. He always does his reading and he loves it. So I´ll keep you updated on Arnold then.

Next up we have Gina and Jefferson and Mónica and a lot of other people that are kind of progressing, but just super slow. So we´ll see what happens with them. We´re hopefully going to start teaching Magda´s cousin this next week, so that´ll be good as well. Mario and Magda by the way are doing incredible. They´re super good. They just want to invite everyone to listen to us. Mario got the priesthood this past week and he was so excited. He came to church in a suit and all. Also, I don´t know if I said this, but Alberto, the 21 year old we baptized in February, is going to baptize Julio this Saturday. So that´ll be good for Julio and Alberto. This past week we also went and visited the bishop with Elder Bennington for about 15 minutes, and he said he was really happy with the missionaries we had in our ward right now and that they have no complaints. It was great to hear that because in the past it hasn´t always been that way. So that´s good. Things are just going great.

I can´t really think of what else I should write about. It´s starting to get really hot here. I think that´s making my allergies even worse, because we always have our windows open in our piso and we live right by a park with a ton of trees, so there´s always pollen in the air whether I´m inside or outside. Hopefully it get´s better soon though. It would be nice if it rained and could lower the pollen levels in the air. Oh well. Such is life. Elder Bennington and I are doing well together. We´re doing intercambios today and tomorrow with the Barcelona Zone Leaders, then next week we´re doing intercambios with the Bilbao zone leaders and we have Concilio as well. Then the week after that we start zone conferences which goes on for two weeks, we´ll do several intercambios with the zone conferences, then we´re to the last week of the transfer and we´ll have to figure out transfers for next transfer. So that´s where we´re at. It´s a lot of fun, and we´re kept very busy. Well, I can´t think of much else to say, but I hope you all have a great week. I´ll write more next week.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


Here´s the President´s Letter:

President Hinckley,
This past week has been incredible for us here in Barcelona. I would say the miracle story from our week would have to be the baptism of Mario and Magda. I think you´ve heard the story several times of how we found them and everything, but it really was a miracle how we found them and how fast they´ve been able to progress and become members of the church. They´re doing incredible. I think another miracle story would be with our investigator Gina. She´s been progressing, but really slowly. We had a visit this past week with her though and talked a lot about praying to receive an answer and when we finished we asked her exactly what she had to do, and she said, "I need to pray to know that the Book of Mormon is true and know that I need to be baptized." It was just incredible to see how she was able to see exactly what she needs to do, and she´s going to do it. I think she´ll be baptized within a few weeks. As far as something I admire about my compaion, I really like how dedicated Elder Bennington is. I´ve noticed that after being here for three transfers I´m even more tired than normal. Yesterday after the nuevos all left, but before singing for the angels we had about half an hour or so of time. I just wanted to relax a little bit and get some more energy, but Elder Bennington kept on asking me, now what can we do? So He´s really motivated to just keep working. I´m really sad that Elder Keller and I aren´t companions, since we got along so well and worked together perfectly, but I know that Elder Bennington and I as well will work well and be able to see a lot of success this transfer in our area and in the mission as a whole. We currently have two investigators with a baptismal date. We have Dres and Julio. I´m going to write about Dres. Dres is doing great. He´s so ready to be baptized and really wants to be. His date is for the 28th of May and the only thing we still need to teach him is tithing, fasting, and offerings. We have a visit for tomorrow where we´ll teach that. He´s doing great though. The only issue still is his housing situation. However, we figured out that we can leave notes at the place where he eats and they give them to him, and we can even call and leave them with messages to pass on to him. So I think we´ll be okay using that as his address. If that´s a problem let us know. He also visited with José Luis after the Noche de Hogar on Monday, so now the ward knows about his situation as well. I still need to figure out about that situation. With recent converts I´m going to talk about Alberto, Rocío, Mila, and Sabrina. Alberto continues doing great, and has a the assignment to help with the Noches de Hogar. We´re going to try and have him baptize Julio on the 28th of May. With Rocío, she is also doing great. She wasn´t able to come to church this past week because she got work for 10 days and couldn´t find someone to change with her on Sunday. She´s going to come this next week. She also has visiting and home teachers and is doing great. Mila is also doing great. Mila wants to come to all three hours of church, but she can´t yet because she has to take care of an older man. She´s there every week though for sacrament meeting. She also has visiting and home teachers. Mila, Rocío, Mario, and Magda all said they´d like to go to the temple in July with the ward. We told the ward council and they all seemed to think it was too fast, but in the end they decided they´ll teach a class in Gospel Principles about La Obra Vicaria and then if they want to go they´ll get them recommends and let them go. We also talked to the ward secretary this past week and gave him an informe of our´s and told him that every recent convert on there needs an interview with the bishop. He said he´d do it. So that´s good. Sabrina is doing well, but she didn´t come to church this past week. Her family is having a hard time, but we had a really good lesson guided by the spirit last week where we invited them to all give each other a compliment every night, and we started by doing it right there, and I think it really helped. Overall, things are going great here. We have a lot going on in our area and a lot going on in the mission. I still love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt

Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here. The bad news is that Elder Keller just left yesterday out to Lleida, so we´re no longer companions... He was a really good companion, it´s okay though, because we´ll still be in contact, and we´ll see each other after the mission a lot. The good news is that, first off, Mario and Magda got baptized!!!!!! It went SO well. It was the best baptismal service I think I´ve had. The Hinckley´s came too and were really impressed with it. They said it was the best baptismal service they´ve seen as well. I´m going to attach some photos. First off I put some photos form a week ago. First off is of us in the office. It´s Elder Araujo, Elder Corbitt, Elder Johnson, the Hinckleys, Me, and Elder Keller. The next one is of our last preparation day with me and Elder Keller and Parc Guëll. The next one is at the baptism with Me, Jared (a priest), Mario, Magda, Carlos (a priest), and Elder Keller. THe next one is of Me, Mario, Magda, and Elder Keller. And the last one is after the baptism with President Hinckley, me, Elder Keller, and Magda and Mario in front. It was a good baptism though, and I hope you enjoy the photos. Mario will get the priesthood this Sunday.
Okay, now you´re also all wondering who my new companion is, unless you read the letter to the president already. My new companion is Elder Bennington! I don´t know if you remember, but we were companions on the island. Elder Jacinto and I trained him for his first 3 weeks out there. He´s really good. So I´ll be with him for my last transfer. He´ll be a good companion. I´m excited. This past week was crazy though. We spent forever on transfers, but in the end got it all done. What we did too is that President wanted to call up each missionary that was going to be transferred and tell them about their new assignment. We thought it would take forever, but President thought we could do it pretty fast, and he was right. We did it in about an hour. Elder Keller and I would call people up on one of our cell phones or on Presidents and have them wait while President finished talking to someone, then we´d had President the phone once he finished and tell him who it was and he´d talk to them for 1-2 minutes each and tell them where they were going. It went really well and it was really fun. Then we had to make the viejos video for all of the missionaries going home. There were only two, so we were able to make it in only 4-5 hours about. Hermana Hinckley let us borrow her mac again, so that was nice of her. It was pretty good, but not as good, just because there were a lot fewer people. It´ll be on the blog within a week or so. Then on Tuesday we picked up the new missionaries. There were 8 of them! It was crazy fitting all of them and their luggage in the cars. We did it though. They´re really good. Of the 8 of them 4 of them are natives. I had to drive, and I´ll have to drive every time from now on because Elder Bennington doesn´t have a license, and he lost his American one, so he probably won´t be able to get an international one for a while, and I´ll be gone before he gets it. Anyways, it was a really good, but really stressful week. The most rewarding part was Mario and Magda´s baptism. They also invited a lot of their family. There were 8 or 9 family members that came with them. So that was fun to see. They live in other areas, but the missionaries there are going to start teaching them. Well, I need to go and write the individuals now, but have a great week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


Here´s the letter to the President:

President Hinckley, this past week has been great here in Barcelona. We´ve been really busy and we´ve been really blessed. We were in piso every single night before 10:00 and we were really able to see how much more effective we were able to be. I think the biggest miracle we saw this past week has to do with Mario and Magda, who will be baptized next week. This past week we taught them Tithing, and it didn´t go over so well. They said they didn´t think they´d be able to do it until next year due to their finances and we ended it basically just inviting them to pray and ask God how they could do it. The next day we went to a baptism in Hospitalet with them and had a quick visit afterwards. We asked them what they thought about tithing after reading the folleto and praying about it, and they told us that it wasn´t a problem anymore, and they were willing to make the sacrifice. They´re doing great, and Elder Keller I think is going to talk more about them in his letter. Elder Keller is probably the best companion I´ve ever had. He´s always working hard and really thinking about the people. He´s driven completely by love, and I´ll miss being able to be with him for this past transfer. We have two other investigators with baptismal dates right now. We have Drés and Sandy, both for the 28-May. Drés Chic is from Túnis, and is doing really well. He used to drink and smoke and he quit it all after the first visit with us. The only problem he has is that he is homeless. He´s in the process of getting his papers, but it could take some time. Elder Keller and I were wondering if you can baptize someone without a house or not. He told us that he does have an address where mail can be sent, but I think it´s just a P.O. Box. He´s currently praying so that he can be able to have a house and be baptized on the 28-May. Sandy Fajardo is from the Dominican Republic and is really nice. He works in an Italian restaurant as a chef. He lives above where Alina Vargas (a member) used to live. She gave us the information for him and his wife Kenya. We´ve only taught him the Restoration, and we haven´t had a second visit. It´s been difficult to visit with him, but we´re doing everything we can so that he and his wife can be baptized. The main thing with them is that we need to set up three visits a week and be able to visit with him and then he can be ready on time. With recent converts I´m going to write about Alberto Román and Mila Sabogal. Alberto was baptized in February and he´s doing great. He has an assignment to help set up and clean up with the noche de hogar on Monday that José Luis gave him. We´ve taught him all of lesson 5 and we´ve re-taught Lessons 1, 2, and 3. We just need to finish up teaching the commandments. He´s doing great though. The only thing he still needs is an interview with the bishop. This Sunday we decided we´re going to talk to the secretary of the ward and just ask if he can set up interviews with all of our recent converts. Mila Sabogal was baptized 2 weeks ago. She´s also doing great. We talked about eternal marriage and temples and she now has the goal to go to the temple in July with the ward for baptisms for the dead, and go again after a year. She´s doing great, the only problem is that she can only come to sacrament meeting right now due to work. I would say the main thing Elder Keller and I have repented of recently is being in piso at 10:00 and filling out the area book after. We´ve been really blessed by doing so. Our planning is better and subsequently the following day always goes better as well. Also, we´re updating the area book so we can now use that as a valuable resource for us and for missionaries in the future. Overall, things are going great here. I´m sad that Elder Keller and I won´t be companions again, but I´m excited to see what me and my new companion can do this next transfer. I have a goal to baptize 6 more people, so I´ll be working a lot, and hopefully I can help even more people than that be baptized. Overall, I still love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt

Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here in Barcelona. I can´t think of a lot to say after talking on the phone just a few days ago, so this may be shorter, I don´t know. Anyways, there is one thing that I was going to tell you that I didn´t tell you on the phone call. I wrote about it in the letter to the president though I just realized, so I´ll just leave it. It´s about the miracle that happened with Mario and Magda with tithing. I´m super excited for them. On Monday we visited with them and went over the interview questions and they´re good on all of them. Tonight we´re going to the family of the relief society president to have a Noche de Hogar (family home evening), then tomorrow morning will be their interviews and Saturday will be their baptisms, at 4:00. We made invitations too. I´ll attach the invitations actually so that you can see them. They turned out pretty well I think. We gave Mario and Magda 20 invitations to give to / invite their friends and families to the baptism, so we can hopefully start to teach even more people. I´m super excited for them though, and they´re excited too. They came to the Noche de Hogar in the church on Monday and we announced the baptism and they had them stand up and they were smiling and so happy. So that´s good. It´s fun too since we just met them 2 weeks ago. I love how the Lord is always preparing people to be baptized and enter into His church. The other news is that Julio, who was going to be baptized this week as well, is not going to be anymore. He didn´t come to church because his wife didn´t want him to go, since it was Mother´s Day. We had a visit with him though and he still wants to be baptized. He´ll be baptized either the 21st or the 28th of May. So that´s fun. Yesterday we had a specialized training for our zone. The zone leaders taught an hour workshop on the role of the spirit in conversion and it went really well. President and Hermana Hinckley taught the rest. Our new schedule in the mission is that one month there´s a zone conference, and that´s where we´ll do stuff, the next month is interviews, and the next month is this specialized zone training, which is basically like a short, less formal zone conference. So yeah, that´s that. It´s going well though. In this next month, in June, we´re going to do zone conferences, so I´ll get to travel all around the mission one more time. Anyways, after the training yesterday the Hinckley´s invited Elder Keller and I to eat with them and their daughter and son-in-law that are visiting. So we ate with them, then we worked on transfers for about 2.5-3 hours. We still have 1-2 hours more to do tomorrow. We´ve basically figured out who my new companion´s going to be, but I´m not going to say yet just in case it changes. I will say though that Elder Keller´s going to Lleida and will be training. He´s really excited. He served there about 8 months ago and it was his favorite area. The missionaries were pulled out for the last 3 weeks of the transfer, so he´ll be white-washing it, but since he already knows the area it will be really good. He´ll be really happy. Things will be good here too. I´ll let you know who my companion is next week, but if it´s the same as is set right now, it´ll be really fun. Well, I can´t think of much else to say. Things are going great here though. We´re still working a lot and we´re going to see a lot of miracles here this last transfer. Also, just so everyone knows, I may not write on Wednesday next week, with transfers and all. I´ll write on either Wednesday or Thursday though. Well, everything´s going great here for me. Have a fantastic week and I´ll write more next week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


5/3/2011 (pictures under "Additional Pictures")

Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here this week. We were able to see Sabrina, Mila, and Rocío all baptized last week. It was incredible. I´m going to attach photos of their baptisms. Okay, so the first one is of Sabrina and her whole family. Left to right it´s Israel (her dad), Coral (her sister), Teresa (her mom) Sabrina, me, and Elder Keller. The next one is just of Elder Keller, Sabrina, and me. The next one is of Me, Felipe (the member that baptized Rocío), Rocío, Mila, Rubén (the member that baptized Mila), and Elder Keller. The next one is me, Rocío and Elder Keller, then the last one is me, Mila, and Elder Keller. Sabrina got baptized on Friday, then Rocío and Mila got baptized on Saturday. They all turned out great. It was so fun to see them. They were all so happy too. That´s the biggest news. The next big news is that in a week and a half we´ll have 3 more baptisms. We met a couple named Mario and Magda. I told the story about it in my President´s Letter which I´ll just send to everyone. They´re doing great though. We visit them practically every day. They´re doing incredible though. Also, we have Julio for the 14th of May as well. I also talked about him in my Letter the the President. Next up we have Drés who will be baptized the 28th of May. I talked about him a bit in the letter to the President as well. We contacted Drés on Sunday in the street, and we walked to the church right then, had a tour, and invited him to be baptized. He´s doing really well. He used to drink and smoke, but he quit drinking after Sunday, and he´s dropped from 20 cigarettes a day to just 1 on Monday. So he´s doing really well. We´re really excited for all of them. Mario and Magda, and Julio will all be baptized Elder Keller´s last week here, so that´ll be fun. Also, some people asked about Jean Pierre, Isabel´s 11-year old son who she wants to do the first comunion. We´re still not sure. We had a visit on Sunday, and it was okay, but we´re not sure what´ll happen. He´ll be baptized before I leave, but there´s a chance it´s not until June. We´ll see what happens in the end. We also had to stop teaching Alberto´s family (Alberto´s the one that got baptized the 12th of February). They just weren´t progressing and they said they´d decided they weren´t going to read anymore, so we had to stop teaching them. It was sad, because we´d become good friends. We´re not here to find people and prepare them for baptism though, we´re here to find people that are ready to be baptized now. We´ve talked a lot about how the field is white all ready to harvest, and that´s what we´re focusing on. We´re looking for people that will be baptized this month. I don´t know if anyone´s interested, but I just realized I can attach the message that Elder Keller and I are writing this month in the newsletter. We write one every month. Here´s this months if you´re interested:

Dear fellow missionaries,

The Lord has declared, “The field is white all ready to harvest.” But what does this mean? How many believe you can baptize every month in the Spain Barcelona Mission regardless of where you serve? How many believe that there are at least four to five people who are prepared to accept baptism in your area each and every week?

The Lord and His angels are “declaring it unto many at this time in [Spain]; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word.” (Alma 13:24) Our missionary service is far too valuable to send missionaries to an area where they cannot baptize. In this the eleventh hour, we have been called to gather in the elect in preparation for the second coming of the Messiah. We are not in our assigned areas by accident; nor do we meet prepared individuals by coincidence. The “elect” may live in the same piso as a recent convert. They may have received a Book of Mormon during Sant Jordi. They may be on a bus, the metro, or a train. They may have family who are members. The Lord has said, “[I will] send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” (Jeremiah 16:16) We are the hunters. Certainly they are there.

We know that there are prepared people in every area, and not just one prepared person. The Lord prepares His children in family units. We believe this is true. We had a thrilling experience this last week running into a woman on the street. Her name is Magdalena. She was carrying heavy grocery bags and a car seat home and looked like she was struggling. We offered to help. She accepted. As we walked to her home together, she asked us who we were, where we were from, what we were doing here in Spain, etc. When we arrived to her home, the recent convert who was helping us for the afternoon asked if she had a few minutes right now to hear our unique message to the world. She gladly accepted the invitation. We entered, were introduced to her husband, Mario, and had a wonderful, spiritual lesson about the Restoration. Without doubting, they both accepted baptismal dates for two and a half weeks later. Mario and Magda attended church with us this last Sunday and are quickly progressing. This week they will be inviting their three children who live away from home to receive the missionaries. This recent miracle illustrates the two truths that the Lord is preparing His children everywhere, and He is preparing their families as well.

Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

B E ! ¡ E V E

Elder Keller y Elder Sommerfeldt

Here´s April´s if you want it too:

Dear Fellow Missionaries,
Every morning when we wake up and see the sun rising over Barcelona we are reminded how lucky we are to be missionaries serving in the Spain Barcelona Mission. We love being missionaries! In the faro there is a deeply bred culture of excellence. We´re exactly obedient; we have great members in our wards and branches and we work effectively with them; we are professional; we like to sip horchata on hot, summer days and snack on napolitanas; we even sweat through the spring in our jackets; and most importantly, WE BAPTIZE WORTHY CONVERTS!
These things are engrained into our culture, and they make us who we are. In recent months we have added even more to our already rich culture. We find ways to better involve members in our missionary purpose; we find, teach, and baptize worthy converted families; we strive to be fully consecrated missionaries; and we understand that the most important converts we make on our missions are ourselves.
This year we have the goal to help 450 worthy converts enter the waters of baptism. This is a big goal. Is it too big? No. Because of who we are as Spain Barcelona missionaries, we know it is possible to help 450 brothers and sisters be baptized this year. It is going to require that we unite together into a band of brothers and sisters. “This sort of brotherhood [and sisterhood] happens when people give their hearts, might, minds, and strength to a cause greater than themselves. When we work together in a bond of brotherhood [and sisterhood], when we love each other and are loyal and faithful to the great cause to which we have been called, the impossible becomes possible.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Band of Brothers) President Uchtdorf affirmed that “none of us can or should move the Lord’s work alone. But if we all stand close together in the place the Lord has appointed and lift where we stand, nothing can keep this divine work from moving upward and forward.” May we all unite into a band of brothers and sisters and lift where we stand. Somos el faro! We love you!
-Elder Keller y Elder Sommerfeldt

I hope you enjoy reading those. Maybe I´ll send January through March later if you want. Anyways though, we've talked a lot about how there´s 4-5 people that the Lord has prepared in every single area. It really is true, so we don´t have time to spend on people that aren´t prepared yet.

Anyways, on Monday and yesterday we were on intercambios. I was with Elder Ramírez. He´s from Ecuador, but grew up in Spain. It was fun. I was in Hospitalet, which is a suburb of Barcelona. It´s like Salt Lake and Sandy would be. It was good. We were able to visit with two people they´re teaching that will be baptized this month, and they´re both doing really well. One of them is getting baptized this Saturday and Elder Keller and I are going to go there with Mario and Magda so they can see a baptism before their own. Okay, with calling me this weekend, it looks like I can do it on Saturday, if it´s 9:00 p.m. my time, so I think that´d be 1:00 your time. If dad can go to his work, then all of you, brothers and sisters and in-laws, can be in on a conference call. That would be good. So yeah. I´ll plan on that. Well, I can´t think of anything else that I need to talk about. I´m doing great and I love being here as a missionary. Have a fantastic week and I´ll talk to you (at least family members) on Saturday, and the rest I´ll write next Wednesday. Have a great week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here. We had an incredible week last week and we have a lot of things that´ll be happening this week. Rocío didn´t get baptized last week, but she´s probably going to be baptized this week, along with two other people, Mila and Sabrina. Rocío Popo is from Colombia. We met her about a month ago, and she´s incredible. She´s had this sickness for a long time though that really impedes her reading as much as she needs to, etc., but she´s ready to be baptized this Saturday. I´m 90% sure she will be. Next up we have Mila Sabogal. She´s for sure getting baptized. Rubén (a member from the ward) is going to baptize her. Both Rocío and Mila will be baptized on Saturday at 6:00. Sabrina Ledo was going to be baptized on Saturday as well, but she´s a 9-year old and last night her mom said she wants her to wait until next week and be baptized during the week so it´s just her that gets baptized. We were able to capitilize on that though and instead of moving her baptism back a week, we moved it up to Friday. So she´ll be baptized this Friday at 8:30. The other exciting news is that she wants me to baptize her. I thought I was never going to be able to baptize anyone the rest of my mission because our bishop doesn´t like the missionaries baptizing people, but she asked if I would, so hopefully the Bishop´s okay with that. So that´s good. Also, her dad is doing incredible. He used to never talk to us, but now we´re great friends and all. It´s great. Anyways, I´ll send pictures of all three baptisms home next week. Well, that´s the biggest part of what´s going on here. We also have Jean Pierre, Isabel´s 11 year old son who´s getting ready to be baptized the 14-May. The only issue there is that Isabel finally confessed that he´s been preparing for the first comunion for a long time, so we´re seeing what we can do to help her realize that he shouldn´t do the first comunion, and that he should just be baptized instead. We´ll see how it all goes.

That´s the gist of my week though. We also have a lot of other people, like Gina, Roxana (the girl Elder Keller contacted last week that works in the meat shop), Lidia, etc. So we´ll keep helping people come unto Christ by helping them be baptized worthy converts. Let´s see, this past week we also had a holiday in Spain. Well, it was easter, but also semana santa. On top of that, the 23-April is a holiday called Sant Jordi, where guys buy roses and give them to girls (don´t worry, I didn´t participate in that part), and where girls buy books to give to guys. In this one all of the missionaries participated. We set up a stand at the new Stake Center in Barcelona and handed out Book of Mormon´s all day. We were only there in the morning, but throughout the day they handed out over 400 Book of Mormons, so that was really neat. They had 4 people that just walked into church the next day that had received a Book of Mormon the previous day.
We also had a little issue with some missionaries in Lleida (2 hours away driving) and we had to go up there and help them get moved out and clean the piso too, so that took up our entire day on Monday. It´s crazy how every day´s a different day here. We also have something to do. So yeah, we´re busy, but I´m loving it. Well, I can´t think of much else to say about my week, so I´m going to send this off. Have a great week and I´ll write more next week.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here. We just got done with a three-day leadership training conference that we had. We pulled in all of the zone leaders, district leaders, trainers and new missionaries, into Barcelona for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We reviewed all of the eight lessons that are newer with Preach My Gospel. The Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel, is what they´re called. Starting in May they´ll be teaching these lessons to everyone in the MTC´s all around the world. Elder Keller and I didn´t have to do too much, except for assign everyone that traveled in a place to work in the afternoons. The conference only went from 9:30 until 4:00 each day, so in the afternoons we had to assign other missionaries to go work in other missionaries´ areas. It worked out well. We also had to translate again for the conference. We have a microphone, and then all of the natives have head-sets that they use and they hear us as we translate. I actually like translating, it´s fun to see that the Spanish words come to me so fast, usually at least. It was a really good conference though. We talked a lot about having the faith that we can baptize every month in every area of the mission. So speaking of that, guess who´s getting baptized this week... Rocio! She´s so good. It was close though, because last week she was still a little bit shaky on Joseph Smith, so on Tuesday we watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration." Then we talked about it. Then on Wednesday we talked about The Book of Mormon and how it´s evidence of Joseph Smith, and she was praying about it, and we don´t know how, but she has no doubts about Joseph Smith now, so that´s good. She´s super good. I feel bad for her though. She has a sickness. We think it´s cancer, but she hasn´t told us all of the details, but we know that she has to go to the hospital three times a week for 3-4 hours a time. She´s a really good lady though. She´s from Columbia. I´ll send pictures next week. She´s doing great now though. We also have a ton of other people that are doing great. We have Jean Pierre, Isabel´s son, who finally set a baptismal date. He´ll be baptized the 14-May. It´s pretty far out there, but it´s the day he came to Spain, and we couldn´t get them to move it up. Then we have Mila Sabogal who will be baptized the 7-May, but we´re probably going to move it up to the 30-April because she´s so prepared. Then we have a bunch of other people that are so close. We had a lady named Angela that we were working with who was going to be baptized the 30-april, but she´s fired on all of her visits, so I don´t know what will end up happening with her. I´m trying to think of what else has happened this week, but I can´t think of what else to write. It´s been a super busy week, but I can´t remember everything we did. Oh, last Friday we had Concilio. Concilio went really well. On Thursday night Elder Keller and I taught an hour session, then the rest was on Friday. I didn´t have to do anything on Friday except translate. It was a good Concilio though. We have 4 new zone leaders, so we have a lot of new missionaries. In the group on 9 missionaries that went home we lost 4 zone leaders and 5 district leaders, so we have a lot of new leaders this transfer. We´re working on making sure they´ll all trained in their duties so that we can continue progressing as a mission. We also were able to visit with Nancy. She´s going to come to church this Sunday. So hopefully we can get her into the habit of doing that again, and then hopefully her husband will let her be baptized here soon. Things are also going well with Alberto´s family. Iveris, his 17-year old sister, finally came to church this past Sunday, and it looks like she´ll come again this next Sunday. She´s praying every day to know if she should be baptized. So that´s the news on things here. Everything´s going great. I love being a missionary. Also, I was going to say, congratulations to Rachel! That´s super neat. I´ll be there this time. Well, I hope everyone has a great week and I´ll talk to you next week. I think my preparation day will be on Wednesday next week. Anyways, ¡Chao! -Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt