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
Hello everyone! Things are going great here in Barcelona. It´s a little weird though because we just got back from the airport from taking 9 missionaries home... So the mission is very different now. Among those 9 missionaries is Elder Jacinto and Elder Hunsaker, my two companions from out in Palma. They were both great missionaries, and it was sad to see them leave. I´ll see them in a few months at BYU though since they´ll both be going there. We lost 9 missionaries though and only gained one hermana. So we went down a total of 8 missionaries this transfer. We had to close a few areas, but next transfer we only send home two and we get like 10 new missionaries or something like that, so we´ll be able to get back to where we were. The hermana that came in is named Hermana Soderquist, she knows two of the elders in our mission and was in Jen´s singles ward at BYU, so that´s fun. When we saw her at the train station I said I´m Elder Sommerfeldt, and she said, oh, you´re Jen´s friend, right? So that´s fun how many connections she has with everyone. Anyways, she´s going to be a really good missionary. She´s being trained by a native up in Pamplona, which is 5 hours away or so by train. Okay, next off General Conference was great this past week. I loved it. I don´t know if I´ve told you, but every time we have a conference or something we write down questions we have, and there´s a promise that if we have the question written down and we´re looking for the answer, that we´ll find it. So I had 4 questions written down and I got answers to all of them. So it was a beneficial conference. In Spain we watch the Saturday sessions and the Sunday morning session, but we don´t get to see the Sunday afternoon session because it starts at 10:00 on Sunday night. Maybe I´ll be able to see it or parts of it though since we´re in the office a substantial amount now. We´ll see. This past week with transfers we also had a lot to do. One of the most time consuming project was making the Viejos video. It´s not on the Mission Blog yet, but it should be within a week. It took us so long to make. We filmed all of them Sunday and Monday and made it all on Monday. We finished with it super late and didn´t get much sleep that night, then this morning we had to wake up early again to drive people down to the airport, so I´m really tired. Yesterday I was feeling a bit sick actually, like a really bad headache/dizzy, etc., but I´m feeling a lot better today, so that´s good. With our investigators things continue giong well. Rocio came to conference and liked it. She´s still going well for the 16th-April, except we were going to have a visit with her yesterday, but she wasn´t there, so we need to figure out what´s going on there. Next, Julio wasn´t able to come to conference because his wife made them do something, so we had to move his date to the 23rd, but we saw him last night, and he´s doing well. Next we have Angela and her family. I don´t know if I told you about them. Actually, I know I didn´t, we just set the date on Saturday. It´s a family from Ecuador. There´s a mom (Angela), a dad (Cesar) and two kids (Javier-27 yrs old and Jimmy-18 yrs old). The only one right now that´s official with the date is Angela. Cesar has to work Sundays, and the kids weren´t home when we had the visit where we set the baptismal dates. But Angela really wants them to be baptized too, and they´ve both read in the Book of Mormon quite a bit too, so I think for sure Angela and the 2 kids will be baptized the 30th of April, and if Cesar can get his work changed then hopefully he can too. They´re a really good family though. The biggest problem is that they´re always super busy, and there´s only one time each week when they´re all home, unless it´s at 11:00 at night, which is too late for us. But we´re going to start visiting the whole family on Saturdays and then visit with people individually once or twice during the week so they can all be ready by the 30th. They´re a really good family though. I´m excited for them. we also have several other investigators that are doing really well, and I think they´ll be baptized this month as well, but we haven´t been able to set baptismal dates with them yet. We will soon here though. We also finally got a hold of Nancy again. We´re going to visit her tomorrow. Then we´re going to talk about a time we can just meet her husband, not to teach or convince him or anything, mainly just to become friends and hopefuly gain his trust. We´ll see how it all goes. This Friday is Concilio, which is when all of the zone leaders fly in to Barcelona and we have a meeting. Elder Keller and I are in charge of an hour long meeting on Thursday night, and then on Friday we´re up in the mission home with the Hinckleys. It´ll be good. Overall, things are going great here. I can´t think of what else to say. Here´s a question though, when´s Easter? I was just curious. Oh, some other big news is that Ana María finally came to church this past week, to General Conference. The only funny part is that she came to the Priesthood Session... Oh well. In Spain some people are weird and there was like 10 girls there anyways, so it turned out okay. We´re going to talk with them this week and see how it went. She´s Alberto´s mom (Alberto´s the recent convert that Elder Keller and I baptized). Also, Iveris (Alberto´s sister) promised to come to church this next Sunday, so we´ll see what we can get going there. Basically, right now we´re just overwhelmed with a ton of things we need to do in the office, and we still have a ton of things going on in our area where we need to work a lot. It´s going though. It´s good to be busy. Well, I can´t think of much else new to say, so I think I´ll go ahead and wrap this up. I hope you all have great weeks though. I´ll talk to you later. ¡Chao! -Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt
Family and friends! How´s everyone doing out there! Things are going great here in Barcelona. So the good news is that yesterday we did the preliminary transfers with President Hinckley and Elder Keller and I will be together for one more transfer. We´re both really excited about that. He basically let us choose. Well, he let Elder Keller decide if he wanted to leave this transfer or wait one more. He also asked who I want to have as my companion for the next transfer. So I have six weeks or so to pick who will be my companion for my last transfer. I´ve got some ideas, but we´ll see what´s best over the next six weeks. Anyways, things are giong great in our area too. We have some bad news with Nancy. We haven´t been able to talk to her for 4-5 days. We´re not sure what´s wrong. We´ve called her, but she doesn´t answer anymore, and everyone time we´ve passed by her house she hasn´t been there. We think it´s one of two things. Either she got a job and really has zero time, or else she talked to her husband and her husband told her not to even visit with us anymore. We´re not sure, but we´ll keep on trying. She´s too good to just drop. With Juana, we re-set her date for the 30-April to be baptized. She´s actually moving today though to the Hermana´s area in Hospitalet. She lives right on the border of our area, and she´s moving over just two metro stops, but it puts her into their area. We´ve already warned the hermanas, so she´ll be fine. The other big news is that we have two new people who are both working towards the 16th of April to be baptized and are doing great. One of them is named Julio Vargas, and the other is Rocio Popo. Julio Vargas is a guy that was visited by missionaries about six months ago and he was preparing to be baptized. Then he had to go to Peru and never got baptized. He came back to Spain on Wednesday, and on Thursday bought a phone and found the card he´d saved from the missionaries six months ago, Elder Raban and Elder Southwick, and called us. So we visited with him on Sunday and he´s now going great for the 16th of April. He´s even going to help an older lady with cancer move today with the Elder´s Chorum,s o that´ll be good for him. Also, we have Rocio. She´s a room mate of Christian. I don´t know if I´ve said this, but in Spain, people rent out rooms, so there´s always multiple people /families living in the pisos. So we got fired on on Saturday and decided to pass by Christian, one of our investigators, and she was there. We´d invited her to listen in the past, but she´d always been busy. Anyways, this time she came in. Elder Keller and I taught better than I think we ever have, and the spirit was there super strong, and she accepted to be baptized on the 16th of April. She´s an active member of another church as well, and goes every Sunday and every Wednesday, but our visit was on Saturday, and the next day she didn´t go her church, and she came to our church instead. Christian, our investigator that´ll be baptized in Columbia, also told us that she got called to work Sunday morning, which here with the crisis people take work whenever they can, but she turned it down because she was coming to church. So she´s doing really well. We left her with 3 Nephi 11-26 to read, which is a lot, but she wanted to know all about when Christ visited the americas, so I´m really excited for her. She´s doing great. I never said with Julio either. The first day missionaries contacted him 7-8 months ago he had prayed that morning because he was having problems, and he said to God that he would go to the first church that God showed him. He´d gone throughout the day and had nothing, then Elder Raban and Elder Southwick were walking and they were with a member. The member had asked them how they know who they need to contact and in the middle of explaining it to the member they saw Julio and stopped him. He told them about his prayer and started right from there to prepare himself to be baptized. Miracles happen. I love this work. It´s clearly directed by God. So that´s the big update on our investigators for this week. Things are going great here in Barcelona. I love it. I´m so happy that Elder Keller and I get to stay together for another transfer as well. The other day we had an investigator that we ran into invite us to go to a Kebab place and get kebabs, so we did. While we were eating he was telling us that we were really good missionaries, and that you could just tell that we worked really well together and that we were really unified and worked for the same purpose. This was from Christian, the investigator that´s been investigating for 15 years and knows hundreds of missionaries. He´s going to be baptized in 2-3 weeks. Right after he goes back to Columbia. I don´t know if I ever told you, but we were pushing him to be baptized here, and then we just randomly read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with him one day, and it happened to be the only chapter where it talked about the people postponing the day of their baptism, so he´s going to wait now. It was a direct answer from God. It´s neat to see God answer prayers. I love it. I´m sorry BYU lost. That´s too bad. In Jimmer going to be playing for us again next year, or does he graduate? Well, I can´t think of much else I should say, so I´m going to go ahead and finish this up. Thanks for all of the e-mails and all of the prayers and support. I´ll write more next week. ¡Chao! -Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt
Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here for me. We just got done with all of the zone conferences. They were really good zone conferences. We talked a lot about working with members, extending commitments, and being consecrated missionaries. I learned a lot, especially since I got to be in 6 zone conferences within 2 weeks. Elder Keller and I had to teach a workshop on working effectively with the Ward Council. I think it actually went really well though. President Hinckley just asked us yesterday if tomorrow, on Saturday, we can share it in a meeting they´re having with all of the stake presidents in the mission, as well as Elder Paya, of the seventy. So we´ll have to do really good with it tomorrow. With all of the conferences we also had pizza from dominoes, so the Hinckleys, Elder Keller, and I all ate pizza a lot these past couple of weeks. Okay, so I have several stories to tell. The first is that on our way to Lleida with the Hinckleys they told us an interesting e-mail they had received. What happened is that a couple weeks ago when Elder Keller and I went to Bilbao, in the airport in Barcelona upon returning we contacted a mom and a daughter from Italy. They were really nice. We offered to help them with their bags and as it turned out the mom had just recently broke her arm and was really appreciative of our help. We also helped them find where they needed to go since they don´t speak spanish, and so we were with them 5 minutes or so. Anyways, then we left and we even commented that it was kind of sad that we´d probably never see them again. However, President Hinckley got an e-mail that said the following: Goodmorning, I'm an italian student from Rome,my name is Lavinia Rutigliano and I'm sending you an e-mail because I met two american boys who were very kind with me and my mum at Barcelona Airport.They helped us in carrying our luggage(my mum has a broken arm),they are missionaries,they told us they come from Utah and they're staying in Spain for two years.They gave us a card with this website www.sud.org.es
and an address : C/Marquès de Sentmenat 35-37 Metro:Plaça del Centre.We would like to contact them,unluckly we don't know their names,we only know that they are 21 and one of them studies chemistry and physics and the other one studies finances. We were in Bacelona for Comenius Project involving students of my mum's high school,Liceo Ginnasio Augusto in Rome and Joan Brossa's students in Barcelona,we thank you in advance if you will be able to keep us in touch with these american students. Our best regards. Lavinia Rutigliano Lucrezia Lopopolo So that was a lot of fun to see. We´re going to send them an e-mail and get missionaries out to them here soon. They had to have gone through a lot to be able to find President Hinckley´s e-mail. I don´t know how they did it. I´ll keep you updated on that though if I hear anything that happens with it. Okay, the other fun thing is that on the way from Lleida to Barcelona Elder Keller fell asleep and Hermana Hinckley was in and out of sleep, so I got to talk to President Hinckley and learn a lot more about him. I learned how he and Hermana Hinckley met, I learned what it was like when his dad became a general authority and an apostle, etc. It was fun. Anyways, after that we got to go to PALMA!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so fun. I had a blast. I was with Elder Bennington and Elder Keller was with Elder Hunsaker. We got to go to eat lunch with Damaris and Dana, so that was fun. It was sad though, because we got there late, and Dana had to leave 10 minutes later. I took a picture with her and she started crying and ran out the door crying without even saying good bye and said, you were supposed to come earlier as she walked out the door. She had to go to school, and was sad that she didn´t get to be there while I was there. Luckily though I got to see her the next day, because we worked it out so Damaris could meet us at the church and then I talked to Dana a bit more, then Damaris drove us to the airport. So it all turned out good in the end. In Palma I also got to see a bunch of other people, like Sergio, Lais and Paula, Yomaira and Edgar, Mabel and Robert, Luis, and Elizabeth. So that was fun to see everyone again. I was super sad leaving when we got on the plane. I love it there. The zone conference went super well too. Well, things continue going well here in our area as well. The only slight issue is that Nancy´s husband, Johnny, said she can´t be baptized. I think it´s just because he doesn´t know us yet. I bet after he gets to know us though that he´ll change. We´ll see what ends up happening. We have a visit with her tonight, and the Hinckleys actually had us invite Nancy and Johnny over to their house sometime, so that should hopefully help. Things continue the same with Juana. I hope everything goes well with her in the end, but we´ll see. Well, I need to wrap this up, but I hope everyone has a fantastic week. I´ll talk to you later. ¡Chao! -Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt P.S. GO BYU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!