Family and friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here this week. We were able to see Sabrina, Mila, and Rocío all baptized last week. It was incredible. I´m going to attach photos of their baptisms. Okay, so the first one is of Sabrina and her whole family. Left to right it´s Israel (her dad), Coral (her sister), Teresa (her mom) Sabrina, me, and Elder Keller. The next one is just of Elder Keller, Sabrina, and me. The next one is of Me, Felipe (the member that baptized Rocío), Rocío, Mila, Rubén (the member that baptized Mila), and Elder Keller. The next one is me, Rocío and Elder Keller, then the last one is me, Mila, and Elder Keller. Sabrina got baptized on Friday, then Rocío and Mila got baptized on Saturday. They all turned out great. It was so fun to see them. They were all so happy too. That´s the biggest news. The next big news is that in a week and a half we´ll have 3 more baptisms. We met a couple named Mario and Magda. I told the story about it in my President´s Letter which I´ll just send to everyone. They´re doing great though. We visit them practically every day. They´re doing incredible though. Also, we have Julio for the 14th of May as well. I also talked about him in my Letter the the President. Next up we have Drés who will be baptized the 28th of May. I talked about him a bit in the letter to the President as well. We contacted Drés on Sunday in the street, and we walked to the church right then, had a tour, and invited him to be baptized. He´s doing really well. He used to drink and smoke, but he quit drinking after Sunday, and he´s dropped from 20 cigarettes a day to just 1 on Monday. So he´s doing really well. We´re really excited for all of them. Mario and Magda, and Julio will all be baptized Elder Keller´s last week here, so that´ll be fun. Also, some people asked about Jean Pierre, Isabel´s 11-year old son who she wants to do the first comunion. We´re still not sure. We had a visit on Sunday, and it was okay, but we´re not sure what´ll happen. He´ll be baptized before I leave, but there´s a chance it´s not until June. We´ll see what happens in the end. We also had to stop teaching Alberto´s family (Alberto´s the one that got baptized the 12th of February). They just weren´t progressing and they said they´d decided they weren´t going to read anymore, so we had to stop teaching them. It was sad, because we´d become good friends. We´re not here to find people and prepare them for baptism though, we´re here to find people that are ready to be baptized now. We´ve talked a lot about how the field is white all ready to harvest, and that´s what we´re focusing on. We´re looking for people that will be baptized this month. I don´t know if anyone´s interested, but I just realized I can attach the message that Elder Keller and I are writing this month in the newsletter. We write one every month. Here´s this months if you´re interested:
Dear fellow missionaries,
The Lord has declared, “The field is white all ready to harvest.” But what does this mean? How many believe you can baptize every month in the Spain Barcelona Mission regardless of where you serve? How many believe that there are at least four to five people who are prepared to accept baptism in your area each and every week?
The Lord and His angels are “declaring it unto many at this time in [Spain]; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word.” (Alma 13:24) Our missionary service is far too valuable to send missionaries to an area where they cannot baptize. In this the eleventh hour, we have been called to gather in the elect in preparation for the second coming of the Messiah. We are not in our assigned areas by accident; nor do we meet prepared individuals by coincidence. The “elect” may live in the same piso as a recent convert. They may have received a Book of Mormon during Sant Jordi. They may be on a bus, the metro, or a train. They may have family who are members. The Lord has said, “[I will] send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” (Jeremiah 16:16) We are the hunters. Certainly they are there.
We know that there are prepared people in every area, and not just one prepared person. The Lord prepares His children in family units. We believe this is true. We had a thrilling experience this last week running into a woman on the street. Her name is Magdalena. She was carrying heavy grocery bags and a car seat home and looked like she was struggling. We offered to help. She accepted. As we walked to her home together, she asked us who we were, where we were from, what we were doing here in Spain, etc. When we arrived to her home, the recent convert who was helping us for the afternoon asked if she had a few minutes right now to hear our unique message to the world. She gladly accepted the invitation. We entered, were introduced to her husband, Mario, and had a wonderful, spiritual lesson about the Restoration. Without doubting, they both accepted baptismal dates for two and a half weeks later. Mario and Magda attended church with us this last Sunday and are quickly progressing. This week they will be inviting their three children who live away from home to receive the missionaries. This recent miracle illustrates the two truths that the Lord is preparing His children everywhere, and He is preparing their families as well.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
B E ! ¡ E V E
Elder Keller y Elder Sommerfeldt
Here´s April´s if you want it too:
Dear Fellow Missionaries,
Every morning when we wake up and see the sun rising over Barcelona we are reminded how lucky we are to be missionaries serving in the Spain Barcelona Mission. We love being missionaries! In the faro there is a deeply bred culture of excellence. We´re exactly obedient; we have great members in our wards and branches and we work effectively with them; we are professional; we like to sip horchata on hot, summer days and snack on napolitanas; we even sweat through the spring in our jackets; and most importantly, WE BAPTIZE WORTHY CONVERTS!
These things are engrained into our culture, and they make us who we are. In recent months we have added even more to our already rich culture. We find ways to better involve members in our missionary purpose; we find, teach, and baptize worthy converted families; we strive to be fully consecrated missionaries; and we understand that the most important converts we make on our missions are ourselves.
This year we have the goal to help 450 worthy converts enter the waters of baptism. This is a big goal. Is it too big? No. Because of who we are as Spain Barcelona missionaries, we know it is possible to help 450 brothers and sisters be baptized this year. It is going to require that we unite together into a band of brothers and sisters. “This sort of brotherhood [and sisterhood] happens when people give their hearts, might, minds, and strength to a cause greater than themselves. When we work together in a bond of brotherhood [and sisterhood], when we love each other and are loyal and faithful to the great cause to which we have been called, the impossible becomes possible.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Band of Brothers) President Uchtdorf affirmed that “none of us can or should move the Lord’s work alone. But if we all stand close together in the place the Lord has appointed and lift where we stand, nothing can keep this divine work from moving upward and forward.” May we all unite into a band of brothers and sisters and lift where we stand. Somos el faro! We love you!
-Elder Keller y Elder Sommerfeldt
I hope you enjoy reading those. Maybe I´ll send January through March later if you want. Anyways though, we've talked a lot about how there´s 4-5 people that the Lord has prepared in every single area. It really is true, so we don´t have time to spend on people that aren´t prepared yet.
Anyways, on Monday and yesterday we were on intercambios. I was with Elder Ramírez. He´s from Ecuador, but grew up in Spain. It was fun. I was in Hospitalet, which is a suburb of Barcelona. It´s like Salt Lake and Sandy would be. It was good. We were able to visit with two people they´re teaching that will be baptized this month, and they´re both doing really well. One of them is getting baptized this Saturday and Elder Keller and I are going to go there with Mario and Magda so they can see a baptism before their own. Okay, with calling me this weekend, it looks like I can do it on Saturday, if it´s 9:00 p.m. my time, so I think that´d be 1:00 your time. If dad can go to his work, then all of you, brothers and sisters and in-laws, can be in on a conference call. That would be good. So yeah. I´ll plan on that. Well, I can´t think of anything else that I need to talk about. I´m doing great and I love being here as a missionary. Have a fantastic week and I´ll talk to you (at least family members) on Saturday, and the rest I´ll write next Wednesday. Have a great week. ¡Chao!
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt