Family (and friends)!! How is everyone doing? THings are going great here in Vilafranca. THis past week Belkis was baptized and in the end it went really well. This past week she slipped one time and smoked a little and we didn´t think she could be baptized. So we called the Zone Leaders who were going to do the interview and told them not to worry about coming out this week. Anyways, what happened is they told us it´s not actually a rule that you can´t smoke a week before your baptism, and apparently President had just told them a story about a guy that smoked his last cigarette on his way to the baptism. Anyways, they asked for her number to give her a call and see what should be done. They called us back a bit later and said that she was repentant and felt bad for smoking and all (which we knew), then they said she was still good to be baptized on Saturday! SO that was good.
Saturday we had the baptism and she was really nervous right before, but in the end it all went well and she got baptized Saturday (by Elder Nelson) and confirmed on Sunday (by me). It was way good. We´re going to continue visiting her frequently and all to help her with all she needs.

Okay, so this past week Elder Nelson and I were trying to get 30 lessons to investigators, recent converts, and less actives. We ended with 28, but that´s still way way good. 20 is what the goal is for the mission. We led the mission a couple weeks ago with 23 or something, so I´m happy with 28, and 30 will come someday. THe most important I think is that we were able to have a baptism this past week.
Okay, so I have a few thing written down to tell you about, so that was the first one with Belkis´ baptism. The second one is with Karlita and Raquel, the sisters that were baptized in November. THis happened a while ago, but I don´t think I ever told you. So where we teach them there´s a chair where I sit every single time, it´s pretty comfortable. Anyways, back in December I told them I wanted them to make a sign with my name on it and put in on the chair, since it´s my chair. And since the beginning of December there´s been a sign there that says "E. Somerfeldt." They spelled Sommerfeldt wrong, but that´s fine. Anyways, that´s just a fun, interesting thing you probably haven´t heard. They´re doing well too. They´ve come to church both weeks since they got back from Peru.
Okay, next thing I was going to talk about is this past week we had a day with 7 lessons planned, 5 of which were going to member presents. By the end of the day we had so many people cancel on us and we only got 3 lessons with 1 member present. It was a long day. It´s rough having the days where everyone cancels. The next day though we got 6 lessons. I have a theory that the first day I was worried about the number, so I didn´t get it. THe second day I was just working hard and we got 6. So I try not to worry about numbers so much, and rather than that just do the best we can.
Okay, the last thing I was going to tell you about is about the Apablaza family, from Chile. They were inactive for a while for work, transportation, not knowing where the church is, etc. They´ve been coming for the past 4 weeks or so though and are doing great. They live in a Pueblo of Vilafranca called Vilanova. They help us a lot when we go out there with visiting people, etc. Their daughter, Javiera, is 8 years old and is going to baptized Feb. 14th probably. It doesn´t actually count as our baptism since both parents are members, but it´s kind of fun since we´ve been working with the family and we´ll get to see her get baptized. The parents also have a goal to get sealed in the temple this year too, so they´re a great family. We ate there this past Sunday too, and they said when I come back to visit after my mission that we can stay at their house if I want. So maybe I´ll do that, we´ll see. But yeah, that´s that.
Let´s see, what else has happened. Oh, mom asked about the family in vilanova, Alex, Olga, Romina, and Sebastian. We don´t know. We taught them once, then had two citas lined up and both times something came up. WE talked to him recently and he said after our first cita he started getting a ton of calls for work, etc. So yeah. We´re hopefully going to visit with them this week, but they aren´t progressing quite as fast as we´d hoped. That´s alright though, they`ll hopefully still be able to progress here soon. So yeah. He also told us he read and really liked it, and asked us to leave him with even more chapters, so we left them with five more chapters from the Book of Mormon. I´ll keep you uptdated with what hpapens there though.
So yeah, that´s the gist of my week. I can´t think of much else to say, so I´ll go ahead and end it there. Oh, I have to say too that I´m glad to here that BYU basketball is doing so well, I hope they keep it up. Anyways, have a great week and I´ll write more next week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? THings are going great here in Vilafranca. I just got back from Barcelona. I had to go there to get my DNI, which is like my ID here. So now I have a Spanish ID and all. It´s pretty cool.
Let´s see, what else is new this week. THat guy that called us who had the pamphlet, we went out to visit them on Wednesday and it´s a whole family! THere´s Alex (the dad), Olga (the mom), Romina (the daughter, 16 years old), and Sebastian (the son, 4 or 5 years old). So yeah. That´s that. We were going to have another cita with them on Friday, but the dad had to work, and Sunday was the same, but we have another one scheduled for the Wednesday. It´s going to be a home evening thing in the house of some other members, so we´ll see if we can´t help them to get baptized here soon.
Also, there´s a guy named Jose Luis that lives out there in Vilanova too who was taught by the missionaries in Bilbao. THings are going well with him as well. I hope we can get all these people baptized before I get transferred from here. THere´s a chance I get transferred like Feb. 8th, if not then it´d be the end of march. So yeah. Speaking of that, if anyone sends me packages for my birthday, if it´s here before Feb. 8th then it´s for sure good, if not it might be better to send it to the office in Barcelona. We´ll see what happens though. That´s the thing with transfers, is you have no idea what´s going to happen. So yeah.
Anyways, what else is new here. Oh, we went to Alicante at the beginning of the week. We had to go there because that´s where Elder Nelson was impodronized, meaning that´s where legally it said he was living, and it hasn´t changed yet, so he has to do all the government stuff down there where he was living. Kind of interesting, but that´s how it is. THat´s why I had to go to Barcelona to get my DNI instead of doing it here in Vilafranca, because I´m impodronized as if I´m living in the office. So yeah. The whole papers and everything is a little annoying because it takes time sometimes, but we have to be legal I guess.
So Belkis is still on to be baptized this Saturday. Everything should hopefully go well with that too. She´s stopped smoking and drinking coffee, but if for some reason she slips then it would be delayed a week or two. We´ll be having daily visits with her though, so hopefully everything goes well with her.
Last week remember how I said Elder Nelson and I led the mission? We had 23 citas. Well, this past week we had 25. I don´t know if we led the mission or not, but it was another really good week. The other thing that happened this past week is that we've been trying to contact our ward misison leader for the past 4 days or so and haven´t been able to. He didn´t come to church either, and as it turns out it´s the missionary work sacrament meeting and he was supposed to have things prepared. Anyways, he didn´t, so we ended up not having any speakers, so guess who had 10 minutes or so to prepare a talk... Me and Elder Nelson. It went well though I think. We were the only two people that spoke and we took up the whole time. Elder Nelson timed mine and said it was like 15 minutes and 36 seconds. So that´s not bad for being in Spanish and not having time to prepare I guess.
Also, yesterday Ibraham got the priesthood. THere was a bit of a problem because we didn´t figure out who was going to do it, so guess who had to do it last minute... Me. I´d never done it before, so I had to hurry and review it in the missionary handbook, but it wasn´t bad, and it went really well I think. I also had to translate for his interview with the branch president. I was going to ask you dad, is there a rule with that? I don´t know if I should technically be there for the interview, but where the Branch PResident doesn´t speak English, and Ibraham doesn´t speak Spanish, what do you do?
Anyways, so that´s that. I´m going to wrap this up and write the individuals now. I hope you all have great weeks, enjoy the snow, and go skiing if you can. I´ll write again next week.

-Elder Sommerfeldt



Family and Friends! HOw´s everyone doing? So right now I´m not in Vilafranca. I´m here in Barcelona! Elder Nelson has to go to Alicante, about 5-6 hours away in train, and we leave this afternoon, so we came out to Barcelona for our Preparation Day. We won´t be back in Vilafranca until Tuesday evening, just in time to be able to teach English Class at 8:30. SO this morning we went to the Sagrada Familia. It was pretty cool. I took a whole bunch of pictures and such, so when I send home pictures you guys can see them. It was pretty cool. I also saw the giant bullet building. I don´t know what it´s actually called, but that´s what it looks like, and at night it lights up and all. So yeah, that was fun.
Last week, I also got to go McDonalds for lunch, we walked about 20 minutes to get there, but it was well worth it. Okay, now for the most important news of the week, this past week Ibraham (you pronounce it Abraham, but it´s spelled with an I for some reason) was baptized! It was really good. He´s from Ghana and is friends with another recent convert that was baptized last March. So that all went well. You can see pictures of that too when I send home a CD. THis past week we also did really good with lessons. We had 23 lessons in total with 12 member presents. We were in the office this morning to drop off some paper work from the baptism and the ayudantes told us we led the mission this week in citas, so that was pretty cool. Belkis is still doing well, so hopefully she will be able to be baptized the 23rd of January as scheduled. She just needs to stop smoking, but we taught it this past week and went really well, so now we just need to help her all we can.
Also this past week we went out to Vilanova twice, it´s a pueblo or neighboring town to vilafranca. I´d never been there but we have a menos activo family out there. Anyways, on Sunday we met a guy there whose name we got from missionaries in Bilbao, they taught him and he was going to be baptized out there, but he had to move, so we´ll probably baptize him the end of this month too. Also, this past week while we were out there we were passing by some names we had and at one we just talked a bit but he wasn´t too interested. We left him with a folleto (pamphlet) though and this morning he called and wants us to go out there this WEdnesday to meet with him about it. THat rarely happens, so that´s really cool. We´re really blessed by the Lord as missionaries. People get prepared, then we help them continue following the Lord. So, what else new happened.
Oh, this past week we had a Zone Conference and it was really good. They talked about asking references from everyone, the Book of Mormon, etc. With the Book of Mormon we learned that 99% of the Book of Mormon was written by 4 people, Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni. Anyways, all four of them saw Christ. So at least 99% of The Book of Mormon is written by peole who saw Christ. As a gift for los magos (it´s what they do for Christmas here jkind of) they gave us all new Book of Mormons in our native language and told us to read through marking wherever it says Christ or a pronoun (the Lord, the Lamb, Him, etc.), wherever it gives an attribute of Christ in a different color, and wherever Christ is talking in a different color. It´s going really well right now and it´s crazy just how much The BOok of MOrmon really does talk about Christ. Afterall, it´s Another Testament of Jesus Christ. So everything´s going well here. Also this past week I got a ton of packages!!!!!! I finally got Grandma and Grandpa´s package and it was super good, and I also got the packages from Kevin and Bruce, and the one from Michelle. So that was a lot of fun. Well, I can´t htink of much else now, so I´m going to start writing the individuals. Have a great week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Sommerfeldt



Family! How´s everything doing there? THings are going great here. My new companion is named Elder Nelson, he´s from Phoenix, Arizona, and he´s a Suns fan. Let´s see, he went to BYU for two years before his mission studying first Chemistry, but then switched to Biology and is going to go to dental school to be a dentist. So yeah. He´s also a tennis player and took like second in state or something like that his senior year. So let´s see, this past week Elder Morales left. It was pretty sad. We were really good friends, but I guess that´s what had to happen. I mentioned a little about it in my letter to president last week and he wrote me back this week saying that Elder Morales and I were a model companionship and that perhaps it needed to spread out to other missionaries. SO that´s good I guess. So I´m just doing my best to still work as hard as I did with Elder Morales, especially since I¨m leadering the area a lot now since Elder Nelson is new. I don´t know if I said earlier, but he´s been out for about a year and a half, he has 4-5 transfers left. So lets see, what else. Abraham still has his baptismal fecha for this Saturday and things seem to be going really well with him. We figured out the whole program and all this past week, so I think we shouldn´t have any problems there. Also, this past week we were walking the first day Elder Nelson was here and this lady, Belkis, stopped us with a couple of her family members. Anyways, what ended up happening is that she has a son and the son and his girlfriend and members of the church. I guess the son told her to investigate our church, so she went to where the church used to be, but couldn´t find it. Her cousin had heard from missionaries before and helped her find where the church used to be. Then she was walking with her cousin the day after they went there and her cousin said to her, I think those are the mormons, or something like that, so they stopped us. We´ve taught her two times since then and she´s doing really well and now has a baptismal date for the 23rd of January. So that´s really good. Let´s see, what else is new for me. Oh, on New Years Eve we went to the church where they had a little ward activity, we had permission to stay out until 11:30, so that was fun. We just ate and some of the members danced, but we couldn´t. It was fun. THen we went home and we got ready for bed and at midnight did a famous Spain tradition. You have 12 grapes and you eat a grape on each of the 12 dongs to celebrate the new year. It´s interesting. I think I made a video of it that you guys can see when I mail a CD or DVD home with pictures and such. Then New Years Day the Branch President invited us over for lunch. Afterwards we played a little ping pong because he has a table, and I did terrible. I lost every game I played. I don´t know why, I´m losing my talent though. I´ll have to practice a bunch when I come back, but that´s not too important right now. Let´s see, what else. Things continue going well with Montse and Susana, it was Montse´s birthday this past week and we visited her and brought her a little present and they pulled out some food for us, but we were fasting because it was the weekend of fast sunday. Here everyone starts fasting Saturday after lunch, which we eat at 2 or 3, then fasts until Sunday when they eat lunch again. Because here lunch is the big meal. So yeah. Oh, also this past week I was able to go to the office and they had a scale so I weighed myself, I was only 165 lbs., crazy. Elder Bodily, my companion from the CCM who weighed like five pounds less than me in the CCM now weighs like 15-20 more. Oh well I guess. They say your weight fluctuates a lot on your mission depending on your area and how often you eat with members etc., and here we don´t eat a ton with members, so that would explain why I don´t weigh as much now. Anyways, I also got Jen´s package at the office. It was a way good package, so that was fun. Iris also sent me a package, so mom and dad, if you can thank her, I don´t really want to pay postage, it´s expensive if I mail a whole bunch of things home. Also thank the Larsens, they sent me a Christmas card that was fun. So yeah. That´s the gist of my week. Everything´s going well, we´ll have a baptism this next week, and we continue finding people to teach who are ready. So yeah, it´s good. I can´t think of anything else to say now, so I´m going to go ahead and end this. I hope you all have a fantastic week and a happy new year! ¡Chao!
-Elder Sommerfeldt