Here´s the letter to the President:
President Hinckley, this past week has been great here in Barcelona. Elder Bennington and I are getting along great and things are going really well in our area. We´ve had several miracle stories this week. I´m going to share the one that just happened yesterday. Yesterday Elder Bennington and I were walking to go pass by an investigator and we saw a women with her son walking. We started to walk with her and talk to her. The conversation quickly led to the church and we were able to figure out that she listened to missionaries for a while in the past. As we were talking we also figured out that she lives in the same building as Alberto, our recent convert. So we walked by her house and asked if she´d have a little bit of time right then that we could visit her. She said yes, but there wasn´t a guy in her house. Luckily, it was the same building as Alberto´s, so we went over to his house really quickly and asked if he could help us right then. We woke him up from a nap, but he came with us and we taught her. Her name is Ligiana. We figured out that she really wants to know which church is true, and that she had a daughter that died when she was 3 years old 12 years ago. It still hurts her. Her dad recently died as well. We were able to testify to her that through the restoration of the gospel she can live with her family again. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She goes back to her country the 20th of this month though, so we need to figure out what we´ll do with that, but at least she can start to work towards baptism. Also, she has a compañera de piso that we´re going to meet tonight when we go back for a follow up visit. Elder Bennington and I get along great. He´s really energetic, which is really good. I´ve been really tired lately, but he helps me stay excited about everything. This past week we also went up to the Teotuhican exhibition on the aztecs and handed out Book of Mormons. We only had half an hour, but Elder Johnson, Elder Call, Elder Bennington and I handed out 12 Book of Mormons and 20 folletos or so in that half hour. It was a lot of fun. We´ll see if anything comes of it soon. As far as our investigators with baptismal dates go I´m going to write about Arnold. Arnold is 26 and is from Chile. He´s in the military. He went down to Málaga this past week and because of that couldn´t come to church. He was going to go down there, but he also has some spine/dizziness problems and he passed out Saturday night and was in the emergency room and couldn´t go to church. He came back and the army has him detained for a week longer, because he went to Málaga without telling them. He will be able to leave on Saturday though. He really wants to come to church these next two weeks and get baptized the 25th of June. He´s been reading a lot from the Book of Mormon as well and has now read through page 140 or more. So he´s doing really well. We´ve also talked to Vladimir as well to see if he can visit him next week while we´re doing zone conferences to teach several things and he said he can. So that will be good. As far as recent converts I´m going to write about half of them. Mario and Magda are doing great. They brought their son, Christian, to church with them this past week. He´s the one that was taking all of the pictures at their baptism. He lives in Sabadell´s area, but when they called him he told them he´s going back to Perú soon and is going to wait until he goes there. He leaves in a couple weeks, but we´re going to help him get in contact with the missionaries out there. Mario and Magda are both doing great and have home teachers and visiting teachers. I think they still need callings, but we´ve let Vladimir know that already. Julio is also doing well. His wife came to the baptism this past Saturday, so we finally met her. She seems nice, but we can also see where she might create some opposition for him. We had Rosa Tuesta talk to her and she told Rosa that she´ll come to church this next Sunday, so that´s good. The only thing with Julio is that his wife said that he drinks alcohol. We don´t know if she´s thinking before he was baptized or after, but we´re going to reveiw the word of wisdom with Julio tonight to make sure he´s okay with that. Julio didn´t come to church this week, but it´s because of the elections for Peru. Next we have Rocío. She´s doing well. She´s read through into Jacob in the Book of Mormon. She didn´t come to church this past week, and we´re not sure why yet, but we´re going to call her today. Other than that though she´s doing great. We´ve taught her about half of lesson 5 now. Next we have Mila. She´s doing well. She came to church again, but can only come to the first hour. She paid her tithing /fast offerings for the 2nd time yesterday. She´s doing really well, but I think she feels a bit apart since she can´t stay for long, and it´s hard for us to visit her often now due to her work. We´re hoping she can find a way to come to all three hours of church. Elder Bennington is going to write about the other recent converts. Overall, things are going great. I love being a missionary. Thanks for all you do.
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt
Family and Friends! How´s everyone doing? Things are going great here for me here in Barcelona. Elder Bennington and I didn´t actually have any baptisms this weekend, but Elder Johnson and Elder Call, and Elder Bronson and Elder Araujo (the four office elders) did. They´re in our ward. So that puts our ward at 15 baptisms for the year. That´s really good. Last year there were 6 total baptisms in our ward all year. So we´re excited. One of the people that was baptized is named George (Jorge). He was born in Spain, but grew up in the U.S. His wife is Ana and she also grew up in the U.S., but has parents from Cuba and Colombia. They both speak English and Spanish though. They´re really good people though. They always call me "Smiley." They say that´s my nickname because even when I´m serious I look like I´m smiling. They baptism went really well though.
Next up, Elder Bennington and I did intercambios with the Bilbao elders this past week right before Concilio. We did it with all four of us here in Barcelona. I was with Elder Harris. I was his zone leader out on the island, so it was fun to be with him again. He´s doing really well. The mission in total is doing really well. I don´t know if I said this last week, but in the month of May we baptized 56 people, which is more than the mission has ever baptized in a month that we have record of. So it´s an exciting time. We´re going to try and do it again this month. We had concilio on Thursday night and Friday. On Thursday night Elder Bennington and I taught. We talked about District Leader responsibilities and doing baptismal interviews (since we had all of the district leaders come in for this concilio). I think it went pretty good, but we didn´t have very much time. On Friday all of the zone leaders talked about the month of May as well as their goals and plans for June. If you add all of the goals up for each zone it adds up to 90 baptisms. So we´re going to see how close we can get to that.
This next week we go to Vitoria, Lleida, and then Elder Bennington and I go to Zaragoza for intercambios. It´ll be good. We´re pretty busy for the next couple of weeks though. Last night we also found a lady named Ligia. I wrote about her in my letter to the president. So you can read about her there. She´s doing well though. We also have Mónica and Jimmy. Jimmy´s 13 years old and Mónica is his mom. They´re doing well, they just haven´t come to church yet, but we´re going to work with them so that they can come this week and every other week after. Overall, things are going great. I can´t think of much else to say. Oh, here´s something really interesting / good that happened. They dedicated the Barcelona Stake Center on Saturday. We went to it. Elder Teixeira came and dedicated it. It was really good. It really is a beautiful building. You should look it up online, I´m sure you can find pictures of it online. It´s really nice though. This past week we also ate lunch with the bishop´s wife again. We invited Julio to come with us too so that they could become friends. That went well. The food was really good too. This Saturday Luis and Julie (two young single adults in the ward, they´re boyfriend / girlfriend) invited us to eat as well in a restaurant. It´ll be the second time they´ve taken us there. It´s really good. Overall, our ward is just great. I love everyone in it. It has it´s weird things and things that are done that I just wonder what they´re thinking, but it really is a good ward with great members.
Well, I need to be going now. I´m going to go write all of the individual letters. Have a great week though.
-Elder Ryan Sommerfeldt