Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here. Our preparation day´s earlier on this week because this afternoon we´re headed off to Bilbao. Then tomorrow morning we´re catching a bus to Vitoria for the zone conference there. Then after the conference we´ll drive with the Hinckleys to Lleida for a zone conference there, then after that we drive back to Barcelona, but Elder Keller and I will just be dropped off at the airport to fly out to Palma. We´ll be in Palma all day Thursday doing intercambios with them. Then on Friday we have the conference in Palma and Friday night we´ll get back to Barcelona. So it´s fun stuff. Things are going great here though. We had an incredible week here in our area, and the mission´s doing really well too. Elder Keller and I got all of the standards of excellence this past week. That´s super hard to do as ayudantes, because we don´t have as much time. We got all of the standards of excellence and we taught 20 lessons. The standards of excellence is to have 2 investigators with a baptismal date (which is what we have), 5 investigators in church (which is what we had), 10 lessons to investigators with a member present (we had 11), 4 new investigators (we had 11). So we´re pretty excited about how well the week went. Nancy is doing great for the 26th of March. We´ve taught her everything, and she would be baptized sooner, but she needs to talk to her husband first. Mom, you asked if she needs permission from them to be baptized. We´re not supposed to baptize someone without their spouses consent. With kids under 18 the parents need to sign. In this case he doesn´t need to sign, but it just wouldn´t be good if she got baptized and he wasn´t okay with it. Nancy came to church this past week though, and she came a little bit late so there wasn´t a seat by Elder Keller and I, but she sat next to another lady who started talking to her, then she went to gospel principles and someone else sat by her, and overall she´s doing great. So we´re really excited. This next week with us being gone, we´re going to call her twice, but the other 4 days other hermanas in the relief society are going to call her and see how she´s doing, etc. She´ll be baptized in about 2 weeks. We´re still working with her daughter, Stefani, to hopefully help her be baptized as well.
We also continue working with Juana. She fired on her second visit because she had to go to Madrid. Then we passed by Saturday night to see if she was back (her phone broke, so we couldn´t call her), and she had a ton of people over for a party/dinner thing. We only had like 2 minutes but she insisted we come in and she presented us to all of her friends and all. So that´s good she´s not embarrassed about investigating the church. She´s set to be baptized the 9th of April, and she has an 8 year old son, Carlos, who I´m sure will be baptized with her. We also have Gina and Jorge who are doing well. Jorge´s a less-active member, and Gina, his wife, is not a member. She hasn´t accepted to be baptized yet, but we started taking a lady with us, Fabiola, who has helped a ton. Gina and Fabiola have become good friends, so I think Fabiola will be key in helping Gina get baptized.
So today for preparation day it´s going to be another day where we don´t do much. We have to go to a car place and get new cars. The church is having us renew all the cars. So that´ll be a fun day. Then we have to end our preparation day a little early so we can be to the airport on time. We also need to finish planning for the workshop we´re doing in all the zone conferences with working more effectively with members, so that will take up a bunch of our time. It´ll still be a good day though. Well, I can´t think of much else new. I think I might wrap this up. I think next week we´re taking our preparation day on Monday, so I´ll write more next week. Have a great week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt


Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? I´m doing great this morning here in Barcelona. We just got done studying and I feel so inspired and excited now, so that´s good. I decided this week I´m going to attach my letter to the President to everyone so that I don´t have to repeat as much stuff. So here it is:

President Hinckley, this past week has been incredible here in Barcelona. We continue to be blessed with miracles. Nancy continues working towards baptism, and we now have a lady named Juana who is also going to be baptized. Nancy´s daughter will also probably be baptized with her at the end of this month, and Juana´s 8 year old son will also probably be baptized with her on April 9th. We´re also starting to change how we work to see even more miracles. We just got done reading The Sister Susan Fulcher case and The Everett Ward in our personal and companionship studies. It went along perfectly with what we´ve been talking about the past few days. This past week Elder Keller and I have been talking about how we feel like we´ve been doing really well at contacting, and as a result we´re getting a lot of new investigators, teaching a lot, etc. However, many of the investigators really aren´t progressing. We were talking about how we feel like we need to work a lot more with the members and develop a better relationship with the members, then yesterday we got the e-mail from you with the Sister Susan Fulcher and the Everett Ward cases. It was perfect. We can really tell that you received revelation. We´ve already talked about some things that we´re going to start doing to be able to step up to the next level, where instead of having 4 missionaries in our ward, we can get everyone involved and essentially have over 100 missionaries. We´re going to learn a lot more about our current investigators so that the ward can help more with them and know who they are. WE´re also going to put pictures of the investigators on our informe de progresso, as well as a paragraph or two describing each of our progressing investigators. We´re also going to start visiting members. We´ve visited a few members, but we really haven´t developed a really good relationship with many members, we´re changing that now. I can hardly describe how excited I am now. I just see how much better we can become. This is something that as it gets hold around the whole mission is going to make us "much, much better." Also, I don´t know what the plans are for transfers, but Elder Keller and I have talked about it, and we would love to be able to stay together one more transfer. There is so much potential and I fell like we´re starting to see a lot of success come into our area and the mission as a whole. So if that´s an option we would love to stay together one more transfer. This past week we also did intercambios with the Barcelona Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Cannell. It went really well. My studies are going well. I continue reading in the Book of Mormon everyday and applying it to our area and the mission as a whole. I love it. Elder Keller and I get along great and we´ve become a very unified companionship. Overall, I love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt

There´s the letter to the president. I hope you enjoy it. Also, I´m going to try and attach a few pictures. Actually, I don´t know why, but it won´t read my card. I´ll send home a DVD in a few weeks instead with 1000 pictures or so that you can see. Alright, so I said in my President´s Letter that Nancy and Juana both have baptismal dates. Nancy is doing incredible. We set the date last week, and she´s just completely changed. She´ll be baptized the 26th of March. WE´re also working a lot with her 16-year old daughter so that she can be baptized the same day. Her husband is in Perú right now, but he comes back the 15th of March, so we´ll see what we can do after he gets back. She said he´s not very religious, but we´ll get something worked out. Okay, what else. So a few days ago Elder Keller and I contacted a lady named Juana. We had a visit with her this past week and she´s incredible. She´s from the Dominican Republic. She has an 8-year old son named Carlos. She was living with a guy for a long time (I don´t think they were married, but they were pretty much a family), and then he died 3 years ago. Also, 5 years ago her mom died. She´s sad about it, but she´s still a really happy, fun person. She´s probably about 35 or so, and we invited her to be baptized and she accepted, as well as accepting to come to church every Sunday, to visit with us 3 times a week, and to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She also gave us the information of one of her friends to teach, and said she´s going to bring her son, Carlos to church. So we´ll hopefully get both of them baptized on April 9th. I´m super excited for them. We also continue working a lot with our other investigators. We have Jean Pierre, Isabel´s son, who´s doing really well. Also, Christian continues to do well, and could be baptized any day here. Things are just going great. THis next week we´re going to be gone almost all week with zone conferences, but we´ll keep in contact by phone with everyone. We´re flying to Bilbao Monday night, then on Tuesday we´ll have the zone conference in Bilbao, then we´ll drive with the Hinckleys to Lleida, have the zone conference there, then we´ll drive back to Barcelona and that same night Elder Keller and I will fly out to Palma! I´m going back finally! I´m so happy. We´ll do intercambios with them on Thursday, then on Friday we´ll have zone conference with them. I´ll get to see Damaris and Dana again, so that will be a lot of fun. Well, overall things are going great here. I love being a missionary. I´m going to end this though so I still have a little time to write the individuals. Have a great week! ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing over there? I´m hardly having a preparation day today, so this e-mail might not make a ton of sense because I´m thinking about a lot of things right now. Today we got a new missionary in, his name is Elder Hastings. He seems really good. You can probably look on the mission blog and see him and us there. We went down to the train station to pick him up. I had one of the most nerve-racking times of my mission today, because I had to drive. It was my first time driving with the Hinckleys, so it was super scary. Driving in Barcelona is very different from driving in the U.S. It´s good though. I had to drive a big van too because we had me, Elder Keller, the Browns (a senior couple), the new missionary, and the Hinckleys. It was crazy. We all made it alive though, so that´s good. So this past week we did intercambios. It went really well. I was here in Barcelona with Elder Bajaña. He´s from Ecuador. Elder Keller went up to be with Elder Bajaña´s compaion, Elder Awerkamp, in Bilbao. It´s an hour and a little bit flight. So we did that Tuesday, then on Thursday morning Elder Bajaña and I flew out there, then I was in the airport for an hour to get with Elder Keller again, then I flew right back. It was good. It was a day just full of traveling though. So I´m pretty tired, as always, but that´s good.

Alright, so let´s see what else is new. We still don´t have any investigators with a baptismal date, but we´re going to have some really soon. Just the other day we were going to have a visit with an investigator that has a baptismal date that some other missionaries visited and set the date. Her name´s Adriana, but she lives in our area, so now we´re going to start teaching her. She´ll be baptized here the 26th of March, so that´s good. I´m excited.

Okay, also this past week we had Concilio. It was really good. It was a very spiritual meeting. Concilio is when the Hinckleys, us, and all the zone leaders get together and we have a meeting. We usually have breakfast together and then we have a meeting/instruction/discussion until 2:00-ish, then we have lunch, then we have about an hour left. We watched the video that Elder Keller and I made, that mom said she watched on the blog. I like it a lot. This movie turned out really well. That´s the second one that Elder Keller and I have made. We made it on Hermana Hinckleys mac, because apple has better video editing stuff.

Also, this past week has been a week full of miracles. We´ve had several people that will just call us that we gave them a pass-along card, but they were getting off the bus/metro, so we didn´t have time to get their info, and they´ll text of call us just wanting to give us their information so we can pass by them. It´s incredible. We´re in a time of miracles.

We have several people that are really close to being baptized. We have Jean Pierre (Isabel´s, a recent convert, son), Christian, Sabrina, Gina, and many other people that we just met this past week that are really promising. We´ve noticed that when we contact someone and we´re just super happy, that they´ll usually catch some of that and they become friendly and give us their information and end up wanting to learn more. It´s great.

Okay, well, I can´t think of much else to say. A lot more has happened, but there´s other missionaries here now so it´s hard to focus. Actually Elder Parry´s here, the missionary I trained, so it´s fun to see him again. His companion, Elder Anstenson, is going to train the new missionary, so Elder Parry´s being transferred out to Mataró. He´ll get out there just in time for three baptisms that will be his recent converts, so that´s fun. Well, I can´t think of much else to say, so I´m going to wrap this up. Have a great week. ¡Chao!

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt



Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing there in the United States! Things are going great here. I don´t know what all to say this week. It was transfers. I´m still here. It was fun being able to play a big role in transfers. Mom asked if Elder Keller and I have a say in transfers, and we actually do. President Hinckley has the final say, but we´ll throw out suggestions and he´ll often time use what we suggest. So that´s fun. It was really good, and I feel really good about the transfers.
So I´m putting some pictures on here. The first one is a picture when we taught Alberto, his mom, and his sister how to tie ties. It goes left to right: Elder Keller, Ana María (Alberto´s mom), Alberto, me, Íviris (Alberto´s sister). Things continue going well with them. They´re progressing slowly, but they´re progressing. The next picture is of me on a street that we took one night. The next is of (left to right) Vladimir (our ward mission leader), me, Elder Keller, Ana María, Alberto, and Jaime. It was at a ward activity for Valentines day. It went really well, and Alberto´s mom came, so that was fun. Now we just need to find a way to get her there on Sunday morning for church. The next picture is of President and Hermana Hinckley in front of a building that we think should be the temple site for the Spain Barcelona Temple. It´s on a hill/mountain called Tibidabo. Next is a street sign that explains what happens in the Spain Barcelona street. Alright. That´s it for pictures.
This past week Elder Keller and I taught 20 lessons! So that was good. It´s really hard with all of the other things we have to do to teach 20 lessons, but we were able to get it done. This week, with transfers and all, we´re a bit behind, but we´ll see if we can do it. All of the missionaries going home left this morning. Elder Keller and I didn´t get to go to the airport this time, because there were only four missionaries going, so they figured they could fit everyone in one van if we didn´t go. So that´s what happened. I don´t know if I told all of you, but I drive now. It´s crazy driving here too. There´s so much traffic, and the lanes are narrow, and they have huge multi-lane roundabouts, and motorcycles and scooters always are driving inbetween you, etc. It´s crazy. It´s fun though. Anyways, also with transfers Elder Keller and I had to film all of the missionaries going home for the movie we make each transfer. I don´t know if you know, but the Hinckleys said they put the movie up on the blog. I guess there´s a lot of stuff on the mission blog, so you should all follow that and you´ll know a lot more what it´s like here. Last night we had "Singing for the Angels," which is where we go down to Plaça Catalunya and sing. We have four companionships out contacting people when they stop to listen to us. I was contacting a guy yesterday that was really good. He was on a bike, but stopped to talk for a while. I gave him a Book of Mormon and he loved it. I hope he gets baptized soon. Anyways, I saw President Hinckley take a picture of me while I was contacting him, so you might be able to see that on the blog sometime soon.
Today we´re hopefully going to do something fun for Preparation Day. We might go see Tibidabo, which is a catholic church where tradition says is the mountain where Christ was taken when he was fasting. It overlooks Barcelona, and the traditions say that Satan took Christ up there and tempted him with the city of Barcelona. Anyways, if we go I´ll take pictures.
Well, I can´t think of much else to say. Things are going great here. I´m going to go write the individual letters now though. Have a great week.

-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt