Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recent Miracle in Barcelona

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
I had a recent miracle a couple weeks ago when I was back in Barcelona visiting people.  I had heard that Mario and Magda, a couple Elder Keller and I baptized in Barcelona, had gone through some struggles and, subsequently, had become less active.  We arrived in Barcelona on a Saturday night and I was determined that we would pass by their house and help encourage them to come to church with us the next day.  We passed by their house, but they weren't home.  I called both of their numbers (the numbers that I had from a year and a half earlier), but both numbers had a message saying that the numbers no longer existed.

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
Wednesday morning I called the number I had for Mario and he said they had gone for a walk and were really sorry.  I was a little upset, but we rescheduled for later that night.  We went and saw some places and visited many other people and for our final visit at 10:00 p.m. we passed by Mario and Magda's house, and they weren't there, again.  I was more upset at this point because it was our last night and we were leaving early the next morning.  We found a locutorio (because our phone had run out of saldo earlier in the day) and I called the number for Mario.  He told me that they didn't live on the Rambla Badal but that they lived on another street and they'd love for us to come over.  At this point we were all really confused because he had said in a previous conversation that they hadn't moved, but still lived in the same house.  I had even asked him in a previous conversation if he was the Mario who was married to Magda that Elder Keller and I taught and he said yes.  We walked over to the new address we had, timbre'd, they opened the door, and we went up the elevator.  When we rang the doorbell a guy I didn't recognize answered the door.  I told him we were looking for Mario and he said, "Soy yo" (That's me).  I told him we were looking for another Mario that I had taught when I was a missionary, but they insisted we come in.
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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great miracle story! It's amazing the power of a visit! We were lucky to meet Ryan and his wife here in Palma. Missionaries carry such an incredible spirit, and returned missionaries with their wives do the same thing, just differently. Thanks.