7/26/10 - zone leader and new address

Family and Friends! So here´s the big news... I´m in Palma de Mallorca right now. I´m on the islands! So that ´s exciting. I´m nervous though for a few reasons. One, I´m zone leader, and I´m super young, and two, both the missionaries that were here both got transferred at the same time and my new companion Elder Jacinto and I both got put in here at the same time to be the zone leaders in the Baleares zone. I guess I just skipped the District Leader stage. I don´t know how it´ll go, but I´m sure it´ll go well. The Lord always prepares the way, but I´m still a little nervous. It was really sad leaving everyone in Castellón. I have a ton of photos. I don´t have my camera with me now though, so I can´t send any of them back. Sorry... I´ll try next week. I also want to get a CD or DVD made of them and send them out. I´ll do my best. There´s been a ton of crazy changes though, so I´m still adjusting. Anyways, last week in Castellón, Elder Estrada had to go to Madrid for residency problems, but it´s worked out now though. He was gone Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Tuesday Elder Cranford (the district leader out there) came and worked with me. On Wednesday I worked with Elder Cranford and Elder Johnson in their area and there weren´t any missionaries in Castellón. Then on Thursday I came back and worked with Armando in Castellón until Elder Estrada got back. It put us way behind so that by Saturday morning we only had 10 lessons. We worked hard though and ended with 22 lessons. It was incredible. We also found 15 new investigators last week, which is like six times the average in the mission. Also, Sunday we were able to set seven baptismal fechas with a bunch of new people. They come from two families, and both familes are Romanian. The other crazy thing is that Elder Estrada is going to train now. He only has 3 months and 3 weeks in the field. He entered the MTC the same day as Elder Parry. So yeah. It´s crazy. I´m so young and I´m a zone leader, he´s so young and he´s training. It should go good though. So, I can´t remember my address right now for my new piso. I forgot to write it down. I´ll see if I can get it though. So yeah, I had to say good bye to Armando, to Charo, to Alex, to Jairo, to Edgar, to Adina, to Elena (and neither Adina nor Elena ended up getting baptized last week, maybe in a couple weeks they will), to Alicia/Roxanna/Evelyn and fam., etc. I said bye to a lot of people and took a lot of pictures. I only have like 30 pictures left on my card, so mom, I´ll need you to send me a new card as soon as you can. So we came out here, got in at 6:00, then saw that we had a cita and 5:30, a meeting at 6:30, a cita at 7:00 and another cita at 8:00. So we had to leave right away. Everything fired though. Luckily we were able to get around to all of the areas though with the map we have. It´s just crazy though, because it´s the first time Elder Jacinto and I have been here, and it´s the first time either of us has been zone leader too. Okay, I just called some other Elders and got our address, it´s

C/ Gumersindo 11, 3
07004 - Palma de Mallorca
Spain / España

So I hope to get letters... haha. Anyways, now you have it. So the name of the branch where I´m out now is named Poniente. I hear there´s like 70-80 people that come more or less each week to church. We have our own building for the capilla! That´s awesome. Every other area it´s just been under Pisos. Like an apartment building and the bottom floor is the capilla (church). So yeah, this one has a soccer court, some grass outside, etc. It´ll be good. The other good news is that they were going to have 3 baptisms this past weekend. THey only had one, but the other two should happen this weekend! We still haven´t met them, but I´ll let you know how it all goes. Okay, so quick story about Wednesday when I was in Catarroja. I´m going to give a watered down version of it so I don´t use too much time. We were in the capilla, left, did a contact, she wanted to learn more, so we showed her the capilla and she was supposed to come to church on Sunday. That´s a miracle, but it´s even better. So we walk out after showing this lady and her son the capilla and there´s another lady and her son that walk by and say is this the mormon church? THey´d been looking for half an hour for it because the mom had heard about it and wanted to be invovled and integrated with the mormon church. So we gave her a tour of the church, then had a cita (visit) with her and I committer her and her son to be baptized on the 11th of August and she said that´s why she came, to be baptized. Anyways, they both accepted and will be baptized the 11th of August. So that´s cool. Then in Castellón we set 7 peole up for the 21st of August. Things are going really good now. Well, I miss Castellón. It´s like starting the mission all over again. I somewhere I don´t know, and I have to leave my family behind. Such is the work of the Lord though. I´m sure I´ll grow to love Palma de Mallorca as well, but I´ll definitely stay in contact with people in Castellón and visit there after my mission. Well, a ton of things have happened, but I don´t know what else to say. I´m going to write the indvidual letters now. Have a great week. ¡Chao!
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? THings are going great here for me. Well, it´s been a good week, and a bad week. It´s been a good week because we taught 30 lessons and we got a ton of referrals, we have 15 that we need to contact. Here´s the bad news though. Both Elena and Adina, who were going to be baptized this Saturday don´t want to now. Elena can´t for sure this Saturday, because she didn´t come to church this week and she´s only come one other time, Adina there´s still hope that maybe she´ll change, so we´ll see what happens with that. It was frustrating though. They both told us the same day too. It´s alright though, we´ll help them change, and we´ll find new people that are prepared as well. So, I¨m going to attach a few pictures now. The first one is of an accident that we saw one day while we were walking. We didn´t see any ambulance or any people there, so it looks like by the time we got there anyone that was hurt was already gone. It was interesting though. I haven´t seen an accident for a long time. The next picture is of me this morning, I took it right before coming to do internet. I hope you like it. The next one is a picture that a little girl in our english class drew a few weeks ago, it was for Elder Parry and I. I´m the one saying "Prrrrr..." I was trying to teach them how to say purple. The next one is one that a member took when Elder Parry was down here, and because of the son it looks like I´m an angel. It was funny, so I copied it from her camera. It almost looks like Elder Parry and Elder Estrada are companions, and then they have the Holy Ghost with them. Anyways, that´s it for pictures this week. I hope you enjoy them, and ask mom and dad if you want to see them.
So this past week was a bit crazy. First off, on Wednesday morning Elder Estrada went up to Lleida and didn´t get back until Thursday afternoon. So all day Wednesday I was with either Fabio, a member, or Armando, another member. Then at night Armando took me to the train station, and I went to Valencia where I met the zone leaders and spent the night there with them. Then on Thursday morning the zone leaders took me back to the train station and I came back out to Castellón and met Fabio. Fabio was with me all morning, then I was with Armando in the afternoon until Elder Estrada got back. The worse part is that Elder Estrada had problems with getting everything done, so he´s going to have to back up in a week or two. I´m not sure if I´ll be here or not though when that happens. We´ll see what happens. Transfers are this upcoming week and I´m a little worried I´ll be transferred, but we´ll see. People can still send stuff here, but don´t send it after Tuesday probably. I´ll let you know next Tuesday if I was transferred or if I stayed. Anyways, this past week we got a new family of investigators. We were only able to visit them once though, so that´s kind of lame. Hopefully we´ll be able to visit them again this week. We just visited with that dad, José Antonio, and two of his kids, Juan David and Laura. His wife, Jenny, and his other son, José Antonio, weren´t able to be there. We also got a ton of references this past week. A lot of our references came from some members that went out yesterday and contacted in the park for a couple hours. So that was nice. THey even set a cita up for us. We´ll see how it all goes. That´s good to get references like that, but they´re a little less certain, since they´re references from a contact, and not actual friends of the members. We´ll see how it all turns out though. Alex is doing well. He has an interview set up for the Priesthood this week, and he´ll be able to get it this next Sunday. I also visited with Edith and Paul, I do´nt know if you remember them, but they´re a family that Elder Hancock and I started teaching, but they just did´nt progress enough. Anyways, they´re still about the same, so it was fun to visit with them, but they´re not prepared yet. Edith´s baby should´ve been born just a couple days ago though, so maybe that´ll help her.
Our class about missionary work continues going well too. WE had like 14 people show up this past week. It seems like there´s always new people. So that´s nice. Oh, I was going to tell you guys some things that maybe you don´t know about life here in Spain. FIrst one, it´s always so hot at night, and all we have is a fan, so we always have to sleep with all the windows open. It´s not a huge deal, except both Elder Estrada and I have bug bites all over our arms and legs, and we get new ones every night/morning. It´s interesting. It´s not bad though. There´s cockroaches here, but in our piso we don´t have any. We have a nicer piso, so they´re not in our building, but we see them on the street occassionally. The worse was today I was writing a letter and I was sitting on my bed and I saw the smallest spider I´ve ever seen crawling around and I realized there are probably quite a few of those on my bed and such,a nd that´s probably what I´m being bit by, so I washed my sheets. Hopefully that helps a bit. Anyways, this past week we also had an ispection by one of President Hinckley´s counselors. He just came after church to look at our piso and all, and it was good. So that was good. Well, I can´t think of much else to say, so I¨m going to go ahead and end this, but I hope you all have fantastic weeks and I´ll write you next Tuesday. ¡Chao!
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here in Castellón. We had a baptism this past Saturday! So that´s good. It turned out really good. He asked for a kid named Fabio to baptize him. Fabio is from Brasil. I think I´ve sent a picture of him in the past. So I´m trying to send some pictures home right now, but it´s not working now. I have a lame computer. We´ll see what we can do though. We had the baptism of Alex though. Everything´s going great with my new companion, Elder Estrada. We work really well together. We should be having at least two more baptisms in two weeks here. One is of Alex´s sister, Adina, and the other is of Elena, another lady from Romania that we´re teaching. So yeah, that´s good. Overall, things are going great here. We had another successful week too, with a baptism, 25 lessons, and yeah, everything´s going well. So this past week Elder Parry actually had to come down for a couple days. He had to come down on Tuesday because Wednesday morning he was going to do all of his fingerprints/paper work to be legal. So that´s what he was doing, but he couldn´t finish it on Wednesday morning, so he had to stay here an extra day and then we finished them up Thursday morning. It was a bit of a pain, but it´s done now. Now this next week my companion, Elder Estrada´s going to be going up to Lleida, where he was before, to do all of his paperwork and stuff. So yeah. So, with the photos, I can´t do it on my computer, but right at the end, I´m going to us the computer where Elder Estrada is, attach them, and send them off to mom and dad. So if anyone wants them, ask my mom and dad. Okay, so what else has happened this past week. Oh, we got new zone leaders. This past week is when they combined our mission with Bilbao. Well, we lost the stake of Elche, but we gained the stake of Bilbao. So there were a ton of changes this past week, one of which is that we got new zone leaders down here. Also, there´s this girl that was in my mission prep class at BYU named Rachel Patten and she´s in our mission now. So that´ll be cool talking to her. Because Elder Parry´s the secretary to the president he talks to a ton of people. So when he was down here he was telling me a story about someone that called from Bilbao named Hermana Patten, and I was like, her first name isn´t by chance Rachel is it? And he said it was. He actually saw a picture of her too, and I´m almost certain it´s the same one. THere´s also people that I knew in the CCM in Madrid who are in our mission now. So that´s cool. OUr class continues to go well that we´re teaching to the members. We had like 18 people or so this past week. Oh, I¨m going to tell about the baptism with more details now. So it was supposed to start at 7 and Alex was supposed to be there at 6:30. Well, 6:45 came around and he still wasn´t there, so we called him up and they had had some car problems, but we´re on their way. They had to go to the hospital because something had happened to their aunt that day and she had to go to the hospital (Satan sure doesn´t want people to get baptized, but God won, again). Anyways, long story short, everyone was there waiting from 7:00 until 7:30, which is when Alex finally got there. So then we took some pictures really fast, then we started. It went well. He had to be baptized 3 times though. THe first time the tie came out of the water, then the second time the guy baptizing missed one word, but other than that it was perfect. The family all liked it, their were like 30 people there (which is a lot compared to most baptisms), and overall it was just great. We got a new ward mission leader this week. I´m not a huge fan of him right now, but I´m trying to not notice the bad things too much, so that we can still be effective and work together, etc. I´m sure it´ll all turn out well in the end. Oh, so dad mentioned a bunch of you had a cold this past week. I thought I´d share with you guys some Spanish culture. In Spain, if you have a cough for an hour, you go to the hospital. If you have the slightest stomach ache, or head ache, you go to the hospital. It´s interesting. I think in the US we must just be tougher or something. Actually, I think it´s because they have socialized health care, so it´s all free for them. Anyways, it was nice to hear that you guys were all a little sick but that you didn´t go to the hospital. That´s how it ought to be. Oh, I almost forgot, YES! Spain did win the world cup!!!!!! It was fun. WE didn´t actually get to watch or anything, but it ended around 11:00 at night, when we were in piso, so we just were looking out the window yelling with everyone else. Cars just drive past honking, waving flags, people shoot of fireworks, etc. It was fun. We found some New Year´s celebration noise maker things we were blowing into to join into the party. I took a few videos and when I send home the DVD with all my pictures you can see them. It was fun. WEll, I´m going to go ahead and end this and send the individual letters now. Sorry this email´s shorter than normal. I can´t think of what to say. I´ll write more next week though. Have great weeks. -Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and Friends! HOw´s everyone doing? So first things first I think is that Elder Parry is no longer my companion. We got a call Monday night at 10:03 by President Hinckley telling us that he wanted Elder Parry to go up to Barcelona the next day to start training to be the secretary to the president. Long story short, we finally got to bed at 2:30 after packing all his stuff, then we had to wake up at 4:30 to catch the train that left at 6:06. I came back and we arrived back in Castellón around 1:30 p.m. with my new companion Elder Estrada. I was super tired. I traveled for like 6 hours, and I only got like 2 hours of sleep. I´m doing better now though. It´s sad that Elder Parry had to leave. He was a good companion and I¨ll miss him, but Elder Estrada´s also good. He started the mission at the same time as Elder Parry, but his parents are both from Guatamala, and he lived there between the ages 2 and 8, so he speaks Spanish perfectly, and English perfectly. So we´ll see if I can improve my Spanish more now. Well, I´m going to attach some pictures now. The first one is of me and my new companion Elder Estrada, we took it this morning right before coming here. The next one is of Elder Parry and I at Valeria´s house, a member we ran and said bye too Monday night after we got the call. The next is of me, Valeria, Elder Parry, Guadalupe, and Armando. The last picture is of Roxanna, Armando, and Elder Parry. I hope you enjoy the pictures. So yeah. Things have been a bit different here getting adjusted to a new companion and all, but things are going well. We´re still going good with Alex, he´ll be baptized this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. It should go really well. WE also set a baptismal date with his sister, Adina for the 24th of July, so hopefully that goes well too. So the worse thing that happened this past week was probably on Tuesday. On Tuesday is when we switched companions. We got back in at 1:30, ate lunch, then we went out to work for the afternoon. WE had 5 citas lined up and every single one of them fired on us. We ended up being able to visit Charo, a recent convert, but she was the only one. I felt bad because it was the first day for Elder Estrada and all, but the rest of the week went well. I feel bad for him too because he left with 7 baptismal fechas in Lleida where he was. We´re at 4 now though, so it´s not bad. We have Alex for this Saturday, then for the 24th we have his sister Adina, a lady named Elena, and a girl named Josi. Alex and Adina are both from Romania, but have lived here for like 7 years now. Alex is 14 and Adina is 13. We´ll still working with the parents and getting them baptized. Elena is also from Romania. She´s probably about 40 years old or so, maybe like 38. THen we have Josi, I´m guessing she´s 25-28 years old. Josi´s from Brasil. So those are our people with fechas now. We also had Kenny, but on Saturday he told us he didn´t want to be baptized on the tenth, so that was lame. We´re still working with him though to hopefully help him get baptized here soon. This past week we got 3 new investigators named Fany, Alejandra, and Juan Diego. Fany and Alejandra are friends of Roxanna (a member). WE´ve just visited with them once. THen we have Juan Diego. Juan Diego is Charo´s son (Charo´s a recent convert). Missionaries have never been able to teach him before. He´s way friendly, but he just doesn´t want anything to do with religion basically. Anyways, we went there and asked if Charo was there, he said no, so then we asked if we could talk to him, he said he was about to leave, so we said, what about just 5 minutes, and he agreed. So we talked about how The Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul. WE read through some questions that Preach My Gospel lists and one of them he said that´s a question I have. So we left him with a chapter to read from the Book of Mormon and he´s going to read it. We´ll have our second cita with him tonight. We´re going a little slower with him, but I´m excited about working with him. This past week we also did something different. We made a paper that had the scriptures Mosiah 27:14 and Alma 6:6 on it. Then we put the names of all of our investigators with baptismal dates on it. WE handed them out to people in Elder´s Quorum and in Relief Society and asked all the members to pray for all the people on the list by name every day. So that should help a lot. We also taught our class "Cada Miembro Un Misionero" and it went well again. WE taught the Plan of Salvation. We´re trying to help the members here know all of the missionary lessons so they can help their friends and help us in the misisonary work. All of you should learn all of them too. YOu should hear "The Restoration" and know what the eight points are that Preach My Gospel talks about with that. If the missionaries and the members are more unified that the missionary work goes a lot better. Well, those are some updates from here in Castellón. Barcelona was fun for the hour I was in the train station. We actually met a guy wearing a BYU hat who was there with his family, and he served in the Barcelona mission about 17 years ago or so. So that was kind of fun. Oh, so another thing that´s happening this week. I´m going to be Elder Parry´s companion again for one day! He has to come down here to do finger prints for his residency card, and Elder Estrada has to go up to Lleida to do his, so they´re going to switch for a day and Elder Parry and I will be together another day. That should be pretty fun. Well, I can´t think of much more to say. I guess I´ll end this and write the individuals. I hope you all have fantastic weeks though. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt