Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here in Barcelona. This past week was a lot better week than the first week. We were able to teach a bit more, we have three investigators that have baptismal dates for February now, and we went to two zone conferences. On Monday we took our preparation day. It was pretty good. We did some things to be all the way moved into our new piso. I don´t know if I told you, but we moved pisos a week and a half ago. We used to live in a really old trashy piso, now we live where one of the senior couple missionaries lived that recently went home. It´s a lot nicer. I like it a lot. We just needed a few things though, like a bar for my closet, etc. So we did that last week. This week we´re going to have another short preparation day. We´re leaving here at like 5:00 or something like that, so we get like 2 hours cut off our preparation day, plus in the morning we had a meeting from 11:45-12:45, so we got like another hour cut off in the morning. We basically don´t have a good preparation day this week. That´s okay though, we´re going to go to a restaurant to eat to try and get a little bit of time to relax after we do e-mail. This past week though we visited our chinese investigator named Marina, and she said she talked to her dad and she can´t continue. She comes from a completely non-God background, so her dad doesn´t want her to continue. She´ll continue just a bit, but it´s going to take a lot for her to be baptized. We also started teaching a girl that lives in that same piso from Holland named Corinne. She seems like she might be good. She didn´t believe in God, but she committed to read. When we went back she had read, but she hadn´t prayed, so we left her to do that. We´ll see what happens there. Then we also set a baptismal date with a guy named Alberto. Alberto´s been coming to church for like a year and a half, but no one´s ever been able to help him get a baptismal date, but now he has one. We took two members with us and they basically did all of the work for us. They invited him and helped him get rid of all of his doubts. He came to a baptism that we went to in the new stake center here in Barcelona this past Saturday, and he´s doing really well. Anyways, we also started teaching a kid and his dad. The kid´s name is Fran and his dad is Ivan. They´re from Bolivia. They´re really good though. Fran will get baptized in February I think, but the parents might take a few weeks longer. We´ll see what happens there. He´s only 10 years old, but he´s super good. We´ve also been teaching an investigator named Eric from Africa. He´s not exactly the best though. We just had a visit with him yesterday and the whole time he was just trying to prove us wrong and the spirit wasn´t there the entire time. He just tried to argue, so we told him, you know what Eric, you´re never going to learn this for yourself if you don´t read The Book of Mormon and pray about it. So we said, we´re going to end now, and we want you to read, pray, and call when you´re done. We´ll see if he calls us back. Anyways, then on Wednesday we had a zone conference in Hospitalet. It turned out really well. I had to translate for half the time from English to Spanish. It was crazy how not hard it was. There were some words that were a little difficult, but it was actually kind of fun. Maybe Jen and I will both be able to translate after the mission... Anyways, right after the conference we drove up to Lleida and got ready for the conference there, then we visited some people that Elder Keller knew from back when he served there. He baptized like 10 people in Lleida, so we visited a bunch of them. That was fun. Then we had the zone conference there, then I went back to Zaragoza with Elder Ryser to do intercambios with him. That went well. The only bad thing is that it was in Zaragoza, and it was FREEZING there. I had a really nice coat that Elder Jacinto let me use, but I still froze. Anyways, I was there Thursday afternoon, then all day Friday. We set one baptismal date, and there´s like 3 or 4 other people praying about dates there now. So it was good. Then Saturday morning I came back to Barcelona. Yesterday, on Sunday, we visited a lady named Iveth. She´s really good. Elder Keller and Elder Southwick, the missionary that was here before me, contacted her a few weeks ago. We had the first visit with her though and it went super good. We didn´t even talk about Joseph Smith due to time, but we invited her to be baptized by someone holding the authority on the 19th of February and she said yes. I´m excited about that. Anyways, that´s that. That´s the gist of my week. This next week is going to be crazier. Tonight we fly to Bilbao, then tomorrow night we come back to Barcelona. We´ll have the conference here in Barcelona, then we go straight to Valencia for the conference on Thursday there. Then Elder Keller and I are doing intercambios with the zone leaders in Valencia on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday. So it´ll be a crazy week. It´s good though.

Overall things are going really well here. There´s a lot going on, but I like it. I think I´m more lost in the work now than ever, just because there´s not time to not be lost in the work. Dad said something about how we´d be blessed if we keep working hard, and that´s something I´ve noticed. Even though we have a lot less time than normal, and there´s a lot of things going against us, I think that because we´re doing our best, even though we don´t have time, the Lord blesses us with a lot of miracles in the short time we do have so we can still be successful. It´s good. Well, I can´t think of what else to say. It´s my companion´s birthday this week on Friday. I won´t even see him though, because we´ll be on intercambios... I´ll give him something on Saturday I guess. I don´t know if I´ve told you about Elder Keller. He´s a really good missionary. We started together. We were in the same district in the Provo MTC and in the CCM in Madrid. He´s from Salt Lake. He actually went to East High, that´s where they filmed High School Musical. Also, just a little side note, his family is friends with Elder Holland, so he knows Elder Holland. That´s interesting. Well, overall, he´s a good missionary. I´m going to finish this e-mail now and write the individuals, but I hope you all have a fantastic week. Also, GO BYU!!!!! It´s good to hear they´re doing so well. Anyways, ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? So this week we´re taking our Preparation Day on Monday. It´s crazy though, because we didn´t really even start it until 1:00 due to meetings with President Hinckley, etc. It´s okay though. It´s fun still. Well, this week has been a good week. We taught less lessons than I´ve taught in a long time, but with transfers and everything we didn´t have as much time, and Elder Keller and I are both fairly new here. Elder Keller was here for 6 weeks, but he only worked in our area like 1-2 weeks of that due to conferences and his companion was sick with pnemeunia for 3 weeks. So yeah, we´re starting kind of new. It´s going well though. We have one investigator who´s working towards baptism right now who´s named Jean Pierre. He´s 11 years old and he´s the son of Isabel, the recent convert here. She was baptized like the 11th of December I think. So let´s see what´s new this week. Well, on Thursday and on Friday we had Concilio with all of the zone leaders, Elder Keller and I, and with President and Hermana Hinckley. So that was good. Elder Keller and I had to take about half an hour each day to talk about contacting in the first block, and to talk about how to be a more effective zone leader the second day. On Thursday we all took a field trip, and contacted people on the way, to the Christopher Columbus statue. When we got there President Hinckley shared with us a lot of neat stuff. We read the verse in the Book of Mormon that talks about the prophecy of Christopher Columbus going to the America´s, and how it was fulfilled. We also went to Palau Real, which is where Columbus gave the report to the king and queen. We talked about those prophecies, then we talked about prophecies that were made when Spain was opened, that their would be wards and stakes in Spain in the not too distant future. Anyways, all of those prophecies were fulfilled. Then we talked about some prophecies that have been made by the European Area Presidency about how the real harvest in Europe hasn´t happened, but it´s just beginning, and how the active membership in Europe will double in the next 10 years. Then we talked about what we need to do as a mission to bring about these prophecies. It was a really good meeting. Elder Keller and I also helped with the breakfast on Friday morning. We made the pancakes and the syrup. It was fun. We had to wake up early, but it was okay.

Anyways, we also made a video this past week of the missionaries that went home. It´s a video we made for the new missionaries coming in. We have 7 that were supposed to come, but 6 are still waiting for visas. THe other one got in Friday night. So we went and picked him up with the Hinckleys and we went and showed him around Barcelona, watched the video with him, gave him some orientation, and got him excited. He´s being trained by Elder Harris, who was in Mallorca with me, and he´s really good. So he´ll be really good. I called him today to see how he was doing too, and he´s really excited, so that´s good. It´s fun calling everyone up and seeing how they´re doing. On Mondays we call up everyone that did really good, or had a bad week, since we see their numbers and Sundays, and we try and help them with that. We don´t get to bed until like midnight or later on Sundays becuase we need to get all the numbers done. It´s alright though. I´m fine so far.

Anyways, we also visited a less active named Diego this past week, and we taught one of the other people living there named Marina. She´s from China. IT was a really good cita. She doesn´t have really any knowledge about God, but she feels like she needs to get closer to him. So We´re really excited about that. I´ve also always wanted to baptize someone from Asia, so this could be my chance. Last night we had a visit with a guy named Seydou, and he had invited 3 friends to hear us too. It went well there too. They´re all from Africa. THe only problem is that we have to teach in Spanish and in English, because all of them speak English best, except for Seydou, who speaks French and Spanish. It was a fun cita though.

Well, things are going fairly well here. We also moved pisos this past week. We moved from a really bad piso to a really nice piso. SO that´s really good. I´m excited about that. Also, we live with the office elders and one of them is named Elder Mark Johnson. He knows Ben Brockbank, and he´s heard the name Jamie Homewood. So you should tell the Brockbanks that we´re serving together. That´s fun.

Anyways, I can´t think of much else to say. Things are crazy still and I´m still learning, but it´s going well, and I´m having fun. This next week we have a bunch of zone conferences and intercambios that we´re doing. We have a zone conference in Hospitalet, then we´re going with the Hinckleys out to Lleida for a zone conference and doing intercambios right after. The week after we fly to Bilbao, and we have Barcelona, and we´ll have Valencia. We aren´t going to be able to go to the Palma zone conference which is where I really want to go. Hermana Hinckley said she wants us to go too, but we´re doing intercambios this week and there´ll be missionaries coming to our area and it´s not good enough now, so we need to have at least one day to work in it, so we won´t be able to go to Palma. We probably won´t even be able to go this transfer out there, but next transfer for sure, so that´s good. Well, I need to be going now and write the individual e-mails. Everything is going great though, and I´m sorry I haven´t been able to send pictures for a couple weeks. If I can I´ll send them sometime. Maybe I´ll make a DVD sometime too. Well, just know that everything´s going well for me and I´m loving my mission. I also figured out I´ll probably be here until the very end of my mission, so that´s interesting. Anyways, have a great week and I´ll talk to you all next week, probably on Monday again because of zone conferences. Anyways, ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here in Barcelona. I guess that´s the big news. I left Palma on Sunday afternoon to come out here to Barcelona as the ayudante to President Hinckley. I was in Damaris´s house on Saturday eating for medio día when he called and asked me to come out as the ayudante. I was completely shocked. I thought there was a good chance I was leaving, but I didn´t think I´d be the ayudante. When I told Damaris I was leaving she started to cry. I miss her and Dana already. They´re like my family. She invited us to go back on Sunday for medio día right before I left to eat with them again. They bought me a new shirt too. She´s probably spent hundreds of euros on me during the time I was there on food and gifts... They´re really nice. Well, I´m going to see if I can´t attach some pictures onto this e-mail. Okay, I have like 25 I´d like to send, but I just picked five of them. The first is of Jaime and me. Jaime is the friend of the king. Next is one of Lais, Paula, me, and Sergio. Next is one of me and Leticia. Next is one of Damaris, me, and Dana. Last is of Yaira, Luzmila, me, Luzmila´s sister, her daughter, and in the front Mihaela. That´s it. I hope you enjoy them. Actually, they all say "Attachment failed." They said it´s impossible to attach pictures here in the office right now. Sorry, maybe I´ll make a DVD in a bit.
> Okay, so just some quick news on how everything was in Palma. They now have 4 investigators working towards baptism: Junior, Juan, Marinela, and Godwin. So that´s really good. I´m excited for them. The whole island is doing really well. I actually get to see all the numbers for everyone now and as far as teaching and baptizing per companionship, etc., the islands is the best zone now. It used to be the worse zone. So that´s good. Anyways, I also talked to Elder Hunsaker today and he told me they have a visit with Dayana set, so hopefully they can help her accept another baptismal date and she´ll be able to get baptized here soon.
> Okay, so as ayudante I figured out I´m going to be even more tired than before. We´re doing stuff until late so we get to bed late, and we have to wake up early to do stuff. Today we had to wake up to go with Elder Corbitt, the Hinckleys, and the missionaries that just finished to the airport. It was fun, but we had to leave at 6:45. We usually sleep until 7:30. So that was hard. It wouldn´t be bad just once, but I think it happens a lot. Next, at the airport almost all of them had problems with their flights because they were going to fly through New York, but it´s closed or something, so they re-routed all of them through Atlanta. Also, Hermana Bustamante had problems and wasn´t able to leave, so they´re still working on her ticket. She probably won´t get to leave until hopefully tomorrow, if not the next day. It´s a lot of things going on at once, but it´s fun. I get to use a computer a lot more too. Actually, one of the things we´re doing is making a video for all of the new missionaries. It´s a video of an interview that we had with all of the missionaries that went home and we filmed it and what not. Hermana Hinckley is letting us use her Mac, so we´re making that video. I have a head ache right now and I´m tired, so if anything´s jumbled, I´m sorry.
> Here in Barcelona we have a lady named Isabel that got baptized last month and she has a son named Jean Pierre who wasn´t baptized. We talked with them and he´ll probably get baptized the 29th of this month. He`s 11 years old, which is the same age as Dana in Palma.
> Well, there´s some things I should say. My new address can be the office. The address for the office is C/ Calatrava 10-12 Bajos, 08017- Barcelona, Spain/España. Also, my preparation day here is not on Monday, but it´ll change every week probably. Apparently we usually try and do it on Wednesday, but it depends on the week. So it might be Tuesday, might be Thursday, Friday, etc. You could just keep writing on sunday and then I´ll reply when I can. That´s about it though. Thanks for being the best family ever. Well, I need to be going, sorry this is so short. Have a fantastic week though.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


Family and friends!!!! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here, more or less. I´ll talk a bit about why it´s not, but overall it´s good. I´m going to start with some pictures though. Okay, first off is of Elder Hunsaker and Dayana. Dayana is Dana´s older sister, Damaris´s (my mom here in Palma) daughter. She´s not a member, yet. Dayana´s birthday was the 28th of December and my companions was the 30th of December, so on the 29th we had a little dinner for both of them combined. The next four pictures are of us with New Year´s Eve. We ate with Damaris, Dayana, and Dana, and Luis (a member in the branch) came as well. So the second picture is of me with Lobster (one of the food items we ate). The next is of Elder Hunsaker, Elder Keeler, and Elder Bennington. The next is of Damaris, Dayana, Dana, and Luis. The next is of me eating octopus. It was a pretty good meal, except that I don´t like sea food, but it wasn´t bad. It was a fun experience. I feel bad though because I know she probably spent A TON of money on that meal. She loves us I guess. Okay, now I¨m going to attach some other pictures. Okay, so these next five are from today, Preparation Day. Okay, so the first one is of me in an archway at the castle that´s by the cathedral here in Palma, the next is of a window thing, and I´m inside of it if you zoom in. The next is of me with a giant bubble coming at me (there was a guy doing it trying to get money, so we took some pictures and left a bit of money in his hat), the next is of Elder Hunsaker and I walking down one of the narrow streets in black and white, and the last is of me in the Arab Baths (this place that was made by the arabs in the 10th century). It was a fun preparation day.

Okay, so I hope you enjoy my pictures. So new stuff this week. We started teaching a few new people. One of them is named Peter from Nigeria, another is named Encarna from here in Spain, and the other is a lady named Elizabeth who used to come to English Classes, she´s doing really well. Anyways, so as you saw from the pictures, we went to Damaris´s this past week to celebrate my companion and Dayana´s birthdays. It was a lot of fun. Then we went back two days later for New Year´s Eve. We couldn´t stay until midnight, but we could until 11:30, so that was fun. For midnight we were in our piso, actually on top of the building. It was crazy. At midnight everyone started launching big fireworks. THey were exploding right by us. I dropped to the ground a couple times because they were exploding like 20 feet away right at our eyelevel. It felt like being in a war zone, but it was a fun experience. I made a 10 minute video you can see when I come home. Anyways, the dinner with Damaris, Dayana, and Dana was a lot of fun. We ate A TON of food. We started with salad and turkey, then she brought out squid (I was super nervous, but it wasn´t bad), then we ate lobster, then octopus, then a bunch of shell fish. It was crazy and I was stuffed at the end, and I learned to eat lots of seafood. It was a lot of fun though. Damaris, Dayana, and Dana all dressed up too since it was new years eve, so we weren´t the only one dressed up this time. All four of us missionaries went, as well as a guy named Luis (he´s a member that helps us a lot). He´s not married or anything and has no family here, so he goes with us to places on holidays. Anyways, so that´s that. Before that though, on Friday we had this amazing cita with Dayana and she realized she´d received an answer and said she´d been thinking about it and that she wanted me to baptize her before I left. I can hardly even explain how happy I was. My goal has been to help her get baptized before I leave. So we set the baptismal date for this Saturday. Then this past Sunday she didn´t come, so we called her and she said she had to go work in a place far away, and long story short, she probably won´t be able to come back, and probably won´t be able to be baptized this week. I had the hardest hour of my mission after that. It was crazy. I literally just wanted to cry the whole time during fast and testimony meeting. I still don´t know what´s going to happen, but I guess we´ll see what we can do. I´ll let you know next week. I think I¨ll probably be transferred this week, but maybe not. Hey, I¨m sorry, but because of attaching the pictures, I´m really short on time now. I hope you all have fantastic weeks though. I bought presents for many of you today, since this may be my last Preparation Day in Mallorca. You´ll see what they are in June. Our other investigators are doing okay, but no one is doing super good right now. Junior and Juan didn´t come to church, so we need to reset their baptismal dates. Anyways, I¨m going to go now, but have fantastic weeks and I´ll write more next week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt