Ryan Sommerfeldt and his wife, Jen, recently returned to Spain where they spent Christmas in Palma. Ryan recounted the following experience he had while they were in Barcelona at year end.
|Elders Keller and Sommerfeldt with Mario and Magda,|
Singing for the Angels, 28 June 2011
The next day in church Mario and Magda weren't there, but there were sister missionaries who now cover the area where Elder Keller and I used to work. They were both newer in the area and hadn't personally met Mario or Magda. They had a number in their planner for Mario and gave it to me so I could call them to see if they had moved or where they were. I called the number and we set up a visit for Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. We went to their piso on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and to our dismay nobody answered the door again. I was getting nervous because the next day was our last day.
|Elder Sommerfeldt with his group at Montjuic on their first day first day in Barcelona|
|At the airport headed home|
We went in (me, my wife, and my parents) and Mario, his wife Marta (which explains why he said he was married to Magda), his daughter, and his daughter's friend were there to listen to us. They had to have been one of the best families I've ever taught. We talked to them for a while and they were investigators. They hadn't been visited for about a month and a half because of his work schedule during December, but they were going to be visited the next day by the Hermanas. We talked to them about The Book of Mormon and what their favorite parts were and questions they had. Then I asked if the missionaries had talked to them about baptism at all and he said they had talked about it a little bit, but not very much. We talked to them for the next 15 minutes all about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and committed them to ask the missionaries the next day how they can prepare to be baptized. Afterwards the dad said to the daughter to make sure to write that down in their book of questions they had for the missionaries. It was an amazing visit.
In our conversation the dad also said that they had seen pictures of a missionary's family before and the missionary had told them how his family was a source of strength for him, and the family had always wanted to meet a missionary's family. They told us that our visit was like an answer to their prayers. I asked if the dad could offer a closing prayer and in his prayer he thanked God for "sending this family from so far away to visit them." It was a very spiritual visit and a special experience for my wife and I. Jen was able to see what being a missionary is like, and I was able to return to feeling like a missionary with my wife as my companion. It was a great miracle, and even though we were frustrated throughout the week, God knew that we needed to see that family while we were there. Milagros ocurren!
Ryan served in Cornellá, Vilafranca, Barcelona 1, Castellón, Poniente, and Barcelona 2. He returned home in June 2011. He and Jennifer Parks were married on December 16, 2011. Ryan is currently enrolled at BYU.