This week has been great here in Barcelona. Elder Bennington and I continue to get along great. The miracle story for the week would have to be with our newest investigator with a baptismal date named Arnold. Elder Bennington will tell more about him, but he was a contact that Barrio 3 did and we just taught him this past week. We talked about Christ with him in the first visit because he didn´t know if Christ really existed, and we left him with Alma 36 to read and "Finding Faith in Christ" to watch. He did both of those and really enjoyed it. Then we had another visit with him and talked about how through Christ we can be baptized and start over again and have direction in our life and he willingly accepted to be baptized. It was a miracle. Then to add to it, this past Monday in the Noche de Hogar, there was an american family that came and sang a lot of really good songs about Christ and it was exactly what he needed. So he´s doing great. It´s just been a miracle how we found him and how quickly he´s becoming converted. Elder Bennington and I get along great. Something I admire about him is how dedicated he is. He doesn´t like to ever do anything that´s not productive. Elder Keller and I used to go into the office most mornings and we always could get a computer and use it to do all the projects we have to do, but with so many people in the office now it´s almost impossible to use a computer. Elder Bennington hates being the office when we can´t be fulfilling our purpose. So I really like that. Today I´m going to write about Julio, who´s getting baptized this week, and Elder Bennington´s going to write about Dress and Arnold. Julio is doing incredible. He came to church this past week. Actually, Mario and Magda have helped him a lot as well. We called up Mario and asked if he could call and congratulate Julio, and they did, then without us saying anything they also invited Julio over to their house and arranged to go to church together the next day. So they´re helping us out a lot. Julio´s given out 15 invitations or so to friends and he´s solid for this week. Most of the friends he´s given them out to are already members. He says he doesn´t have very many non-member friends, but it´s good that he has such a good support system already. With our recent converts, Alberto continues to do well and helps us a lot with visits. He´s actually going to baptize Julio this next week, and he´s really excited to do so. We just had a visit with him last night and he already has all of the words memorized and all. So that will be really good for him. He also has home teachers, and he has a companion and is a home teacher. Next we have Sabrina, who is doing well, but her she hasn´t come to church now for a couple weeks. We´re continuing to work with her though, and the primary calls her when she doesn´t come to church. Mario and Magda are also doing incredible. Mario received the Priesthood this past week and was really happy about that. Also, Mario and Magda have received visits from home and visiting teachers. They´re doing incredible. Elder Bennington is going to write about Mila and Rocío. We continue teaching all of our recent converts about once a week, and we´ve taught through most of lesson 5 with all of them. The thing I read this past week in the white handbook that I want to repent of is to write the converts I taught occasionally. It´s been several months since I´ve written any of them, so I´m going to write them in the next couple weeks. Overall, things are going great for us. I´ve been feeling a bit sick, and Elder Bennington as well. I just have really bad allergies and so this past week I´ve just been dying from that and have had no energy, but I think it will get better here soon, hopefully. I have a goal to baptize 10 more people in my mission, and that means that after baptizing Dress and Julio that we still need to baptize 8 people in June, so we´ll see what we can do. Elder Bennington and I are working hard to make it possible. Overall, things are going great. I love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt
Family and Friends! How´s everything going there in The United States! Everything´s going great here in Barcelona. The only bad part is that I have REALLY bad allergies, so that´s been killing me lately, but I just started taking some medicine, so hopefully it get´s better soon. The good news is that this week Julio and Dress are both going to be baptized! I´m super excited for them. They´re both incredible. I talked a bit about Julio in the letter to the President, and with Dress, he´s also doing great. He quit smoking, he quit drinking a long time ago, and President Hinckley said that for his address we can use the shelter place where he eats food every day, so that´s what we´ll use until he can get a permanent place to stay. He´s such a good guy though. I´d send you pictures now, but I don´t have my camera. I´ll send pictures of the baptisms next week though. Everything´s going well for Elder Bennington and I as well. Last week we made the viejos video. I don´t know if it´s on the blog yet, but if it is, you should go look at it. It´s extra short this time, because only 2 missionaries went home.
The other big news is that this week we set another baptismal date with Arnold. He´s incredible. He´s from Chile. The missionaries in Barrio 3 contacted him and taught him a quick lesson a few weeks ago, and then figured out he lives in our area, so they passed off his information. We were finally able to get a visit with him. In the first visit we talked about Christ and in the second visit we talked about baptism. We´ve talked about the restoration, but not too in depth yet. He´s preparing to be baptized the 11th of June, although we may move it back one week since he´s going out of town for 5 days this next week and will miss church. He´s 26 though, he´s in the military, and he´s just a cool kid. He got in a car crash a while ago and it messed up his spine so he´s always dizzy, and he´s going to have an operation on that here soon. That would be another thing that could change when we do the baptism. He´s doing great though. He always does his reading and he loves it. So I´ll keep you updated on Arnold then.
Next up we have Gina and Jefferson and Mónica and a lot of other people that are kind of progressing, but just super slow. So we´ll see what happens with them. We´re hopefully going to start teaching Magda´s cousin this next week, so that´ll be good as well. Mario and Magda by the way are doing incredible. They´re super good. They just want to invite everyone to listen to us. Mario got the priesthood this past week and he was so excited. He came to church in a suit and all. Also, I don´t know if I said this, but Alberto, the 21 year old we baptized in February, is going to baptize Julio this Saturday. So that´ll be good for Julio and Alberto. This past week we also went and visited the bishop with Elder Bennington for about 15 minutes, and he said he was really happy with the missionaries we had in our ward right now and that they have no complaints. It was great to hear that because in the past it hasn´t always been that way. So that´s good. Things are just going great.
I can´t really think of what else I should write about. It´s starting to get really hot here. I think that´s making my allergies even worse, because we always have our windows open in our piso and we live right by a park with a ton of trees, so there´s always pollen in the air whether I´m inside or outside. Hopefully it get´s better soon though. It would be nice if it rained and could lower the pollen levels in the air. Oh well. Such is life. Elder Bennington and I are doing well together. We´re doing intercambios today and tomorrow with the Barcelona Zone Leaders, then next week we´re doing intercambios with the Bilbao zone leaders and we have Concilio as well. Then the week after that we start zone conferences which goes on for two weeks, we´ll do several intercambios with the zone conferences, then we´re to the last week of the transfer and we´ll have to figure out transfers for next transfer. So that´s where we´re at. It´s a lot of fun, and we´re kept very busy. Well, I can´t think of much else to say, but I hope you all have a great week. I´ll write more next week.
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt