Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

HOME AGAIN


Home again

Well hello to you all again! The last week has been pretty eventful.
On Monday I was able to attend a special meeting for leaders in the mission with our Area President. It was a meeting where leaders from the Concepcion mission were present and also from the Concepcion South mission (my mission)
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the first quorum of the seventy came and he instructed us. He presides the South America Southern area. (all of Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uraguay) It was an amazing meeting. I was a little bit nervous for the meeting because my mission president asked me to conduct the meeting.
I really enjoyed it because almost everything he talked about had to do with after the mission as well.
He truly is a man called of God to preside this area. He came over to me and put his arm around me for a while as he was talking to everyone in the room. It was a neat experience to feel of his power and authority.

After this special meeting, I reluctantly finalized the packing of my suitcases...it felt unreal that I was actually going to leave Chile the next morning. It didnt register to me. I had a really good interview with my mission president and at the end of the interview when President Martinez was saying the closing prayer all of the emotions got to me and I lost it! It was crazy. It hadnt hit me like that before.

We ate dinner at the mission home and we all told our most funny moments of the mission which was good. Then we shared our testimonies and President and Sister Martinez talked to us for a few minutes...some last words. Then it was off to the hotel! The beds were awesome.

In the morning they came and picked us up and we headed to the airport where we said our final goodbyes and boarded the airplane. It was hard to say goodbye to President and Elder Strait and some others....they are people who I have got to know very well. The only way that I was ok with it is knowing that I WILL see them in the future pretty soon.

The plane was good. We made it to Santiago and we spent the day there....the temple was CLOSED though which was horrible news! All of my mission I was excited to go to the Santiago temple but we could only see it from the outside. It was alright though. We met some cool people. The temple carpetting crew was there...they travel all over the world doing carpet in every temple. We also met the Chile MTC president, President Allred. He's a great man. We also went to get some Chilean souveneers for our families. ( I was with Elder Laird and Elder Searle, who were both coming home with me. Elder Laird was actually one of my companions)

Well....finally, in the evening we went back to the airport and started our long flight from Chile to Peru to the USA. It was good. I met some nice people on the way. I met a man named “Cactus Jack” that is apparently a really well-known lds singer. He was in the airport in LA with me for a couple hours and he told me about his life and stuff. It was interesting. When we got to Salt Lake City, my parents were waiting for me, and Cactus Jack came down the hallway and looked at my parents and family and said to them “thank you, thank you so much for coming” (he thought they were his fans) ha ha.
Then I came out and saw everyone and it was cool! It was a good moment! The girls were all crying...of course!

Now I have been home for a few days and it has been a cool experience. It is a little bit weird to not have a name tag on my shirt. In the interview with my parents and with my stake president, we talked about some really cool things but it was a little lame when he asked me to take my name tag off!
I was able to go to the lake and waterski and tube on my second day home! That was fun.

It's been cool to read the scriptures with a different focus now. My family can attest that I am lost during the day if I dont have stuff written down in my agenda. I went to the store to buy a few things and I had my missionary daily agenda with me and everyone looked at me weird! Ha ha.

I am excited to start schooling and I know that this time I've had as a missionary will bless me during these years to come. It will be hard to not do the same things that I have been doing for the last two years though!

Tender Mercy- Modern technology. It is a HUUUGGGEEE blessing to be able to communicate with all of the amazing converts, members, and other people from Chile.

“Brother Gomez”




























Saturday, August 11, 2012

LAST ONE!!

August 11, 2012 
Hello everyone, 
I can't believe that this will be my last email to you all. This week was good. 
First off, from last week, I dont know if I mentioned that we had a zone leaders council and me and Elder Strait had to prepare two presentations. We planned and prayed all week and in the actual meeting they both turned out very well. We felt very good about them! During one of the presentations we were talking about the importance of talking to everyone and the importance of inviting everyone to repent and come unto Christ. The spirit was there so strongly and we were able to teach with power and authority. It was neat when one of the zone leaders, Elder Walker, raised his hand and shared a story that was amazing. He shared that the other day he was on a companionship interchange with another missionary and they walked by a house and someone was outside washing the car and they were in a bit of a hurry...but the thought came to his mind, "I should stop and talk to this person...if nothing else, to be a good example to this other missionary who I am with" He admitted that honestly he didnt have much faith that this person would be receptive, but when they started talking to the person, the man said that he was waiting for them to show up. He had had a dream the night before that they would come by, because in that moment this man was really sick and he was waiting for representatives for Jesus Christ to show up somehow. They showed up! And what followed was a series of miracles. When Elder Walker shared it, it was so powerful! He asked "where would the testimony of that man be if I hadn't of stopped to talk to him? Where would MY testimony be if I hadn't of stopped?" 
I know that the Spirit is constantly guiding us, and if we just listen then he will direct us in all things.
On Sunday when we were doing all of the numbers for the week, I received a lot of reports from the zone leaders that they have been putting into practice the things that we shared and showed during the presentation and they have had all sorts of amazing experiences. It was really good to hear that because some of the topics that we talked about were things that we wanted to get across to them for quite a while. 
We were able to do interchanges in Lebu, where we talked to tons of people and found some great potential people. It was my first time ever in Lebu, so I brought along the little cards from Aunt Chris (Quincy) that she sent me for her converts at the beginning of my mission. I think some of the people still live there so that will be good. I gave them to the missionaries in Lebu.
We were able to go to a little area called Los Alamos, very close to Lebu, where we had an AMAZING LESSON! There are two sisters there, Sister Haycock and Sister Calcina (who arrived in the mission only 2 weeks ago)  Sister Haycock is sick...she's had some abdominal problems for months now which makes it complicated to leave the house a lot. It was a very inspired companionship because she is so sick but President Martinez assigned her to train. They are doing a great job. We all met in the church where we taught a lesson to two sisters, Daniela and Maria Jose, and Alejandro, a recent convert. They are amazing people! Daniela is 17 and she is a spiritual giant! I dont know where she came from! She has the most sincere desire to repent and she has a solid testimony of the church. She is going to be baptized on August 25th. Maria Jose, who is 13, also has a strong testimony of the church. She is very sensitive to the spirit which is rare in a 13 year-old. She says that she still isn't ready to be baptized on the 25th, but we all know that she can definitely be ready by that day. They have been coming to church for some time now and they are truly repented. She is going to pray, asking if she should get baptized with her sister. 
What was the coolest part to me is when they both related the story of when the sister missionaries first got to their house. The family wasn't united, they fought a lot, and there wasn't a lot of love. When the sisters got there everything changed! Literally. The Holy Ghost was introduced in their lives. Everything has changed now! They both were very emotional when they related the story. 
"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." That is a true statement by Elder Packer! I know that the gospel is true. 

The next day we were able to go to Lota, a jam-packed city on the coast. It was awesome. We found some amazing people with Elder Wilcox! It was one of the best days I've had lately. It's been hard for me to be in the office a lot for the last month of so, so it was good to get into the streets! We found Jocelyn, a lady who is extremely prepared for the gospel. We had a feeling to talk to her so we did and she was receptive and led us to her house. We invited her to repent of her sins and we talked a lot about forgiveness because she has habits and pleasures in her life that she knows are bad but she doesnt know how to free herself from them. When we looked her in the eye and testified that she can be free from sin...that she can be clean, she was emotional and she expressed that she wants exactly that and she is willing to do whatever it takes to have it. She has attended the Evangelical church like the majority of Lota but it's never filled her up like our short message of truth did. She accepted the invitation to prepared to be baptized on the 8th of September. Before we had even brought it up she asked where our church was because she wants to come, if she can. Of COURSE you can Jocelyn!
We found some other good people as well whom I would love to tell you about, but I´ll tell you later, face to face :D 
Lota is a very difficult place right now. It is very set in its religious ways and in its sins. It's a BIG city with 6 missionaries there...but there have only been 3 people baptized this year there in total. It reminds me of the cities in the scriptures that are "hard-hearted and stiff-necked"  

I was able to go back and visit Independencia yesterday which was awesome! I was able to go back to the Rivera family, a member family who was a little bit inactive, especially Andrea, who is 28. Andrea didn't believe anything in the church and was really hard to get along with when I got there...very unbelieving....but through our humility and the BOOK OF MORMON she was able to change her heart. It was literally one of the coolest miracles that had happened to me up until that point of my mission, and still is one of my most precious memories. They were so surprised when I showed up randomly on their doorstep! It's been over a year. Andrea and Sister Rivera freaked out! They called Oliver and Carla to come home fast and they were surprised. They told Elder Strait some of the experiences that we had when I was there...and they thanked me for "changing Andrea" which I know really wasn't me...it was just Alma 32 and the Holy Ghost! 

We went to Maria afterward....which was one of the coolest moments of my mission. Maria is the lady whose son, Pancho, was a member but who didn't want anything to do with the church for years. But she started changing and repenting big time when I was there and she wanted to be baptized. She was baptized two weeks after I left the area. (I remember being really bummed out....because I only had ONE transfer in the area and I got changed after only a month and a half!)    When we showed up at her doorstep last night she was shocked! She didn't think I would return ever. She now is a relief society teacher and her HUSBAND, Victor, who didn't want anything with the church when I was there was baptized two weeks ago!!! Now there are sisters instead of Elders in the ward. She looks different then when I was there. She looks HAPPY and full of the spirit! And Pancho is on a mission now! Wow...time flies. She started crying and she said that she has never forgotten me..she knows I was there for a small amount of time, but she said that if I hadn't of been there she probably wouldn't have been baptized. She said that she saw that God worked through me in her life. It was very humbling. I was so happy that I went back to see her. I have never forgotten her either because her conversion is something so important and special to me. It was especially important to me because my companion in that time was very disobedient and I struggled a lot for that reason, but I tried my best to be 100% obedient and the blessings came.

I love the mission!!!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRRRR.....
Alright, well I will see you soon. 
Wait, tender mercy- Being able to do some interchanges this week for the last time ever. I was able to have some great working days and raise my voice like the sound of a trumpet. I know that they were a tender mercy from God. I love this work. 

Bye for the last time!
Elder Gomez

fotos:
-Tano and Barbara from BIO BIO! They showed up in Hualpencillo (my ward) randomly! It was good to see them.
-Lota...like I said, jam-packed!
-After the lesson with Daniela, Maria Jose, and Alejandro, from Los Alamos, with the sister missionaries.
-Same picture, but I thought you would all enjoy the face of my companion.
-Elder Strait dumped cereal all over himself....the funniest part is that he did it WHILE he was making fun of me :D
-Beach of Lota
-With the Rivera family, Sister Rivera, Andrea, me, Oliver, Carla, and a member from the ward, Kote.
-With MARIA AND VICTOR!! :)
-Playing basketball this morning with the assistants and officer workers from the Concepcion mission. We have played some Saturdays in the morning. I was in the MTC with Elder Miller, he is a great guy. He is the really muscular one apart from Elder Strait. Ha ha. Elder Fuller, the really tall one, played for the U of U before the mission. He won every single game of 21 that we played. 
-Me and Elder Strait in the office.
-Pretty church in Lota. 













Saturday, August 4, 2012

Birthday Letter

Hey everyone! Thank you for all of the birthday wishes! 21....wow.....I am only one year younger than Camilla. YES!! 
This week has been very good. One of the main reasons why it was so good is because yesterday night I was able to go back to Labranza!!!!!!!!! and today I was in Villa Obispo!!!!!!!!! It was good. I called a few people from Labranza ahead of time and arranged that a few families be together in one house to be able to say goodbye to everyone, because I didnt have much time. It was good. It was nice being able to see BETO and his family. They were just sealed in the temple about two weeks ago! I cant believe how he has progressed...from being a rebellious man who didnt want much to do with the church to now...being a sensitive man sealed to his family and endowed with power in the temple!! The gospel does miracles in people's lives. I know that it is true. It is very false to think that sin doesnt really exist and that we are free to do whatever we want and we wont have to suffer consequences. In reality, sin DOES exist and when we commit sins, it takes us away from the presence of God and away from true happiness. And on the contrary to that, we can ALWAYS repent and come back unto Jesus Christ. He is waiting with open arms. I know that He is our Savior. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that he was born of  a virgin, Mary. I know that He lived a perfect life and that he died for our sins. I know that on the third day he resurrected from the dead. He lives today. He will come again. He is real! I know that He established His kingdom on earth and that he has a prophet who guides and directs His church on earth. I know that Thomas S. Monson and the quorum of the twelve are Special Witnesses of Jesus Christ. I know that I was called by a living prophet by revelation to the Chile Concepcion South mission! God is our Heavenly Father. He loves us. He is the father of our spirits. I know that Jesus left his gospel on earth, that we MUST have faith in Him and repent of our sins and be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Everyone needs the guidance of the Holy Ghost in their life. And everyone needs to live the gospel to return to live with God one day. Jesus is my Savior. I KNOW IT. I have never seen Him but I have felt the Spirit testify to me that He lives. 
Also as part of my testimony, I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true. It is a simple book that has changed my life. It is the word of God. I hope that nobody is foolish enough to ignore this book and to ignore where it came from. It would be the biggest mistake of their life. It came from a prophet of God, Joseph Smith, who saw God and Jesus Christ in physical form. He was a humble boy who was 14 years-old. Just younger than Carlos.  Please read the Book of Mormon. Don't let another day pass by without reading it. 

On Monday I had an interview with President Martinez. It was extremely short. I asked him about goals. He helped me out a lot and I was able to set some goals that have helped me. 

Sister Obreque, from my first area, Labranza, came up to Concepcion to say goodbye to about 4 missionaries who were leaving who were in Labranza at some point of their missions. She related me the experience of the sealing of Beto. She said that before they went in, she gave Daniela a case of tissues. Daniela asked "what are these for??" and Sister Obreque said "you are going to bawl your eyes out! Your heart is going to come out of your mouth!" Daniela responded confidently that she wouldnt need them. Ha ha. Anyway, it turns out that at a certain point in the sealing that she got really emotional and she and Beto started crying and crying and crying of joy and the spirit. Sister Obreque said "I TOLD YOU!" as Daniela's masquera was all over her face. 
Daniela, for many years, never thought that the day would come when she would be in HER sealing. Miracles exist!

We were able to say goodbye to 10 missionaries who are going home and 14 new missionaries who got here. It's amazing seeing the difference between the missionaries who are leaving. If they were obedient in their mission of not....if they lived the gospel and had a change of heart or not. Luckily I can say that the majority of them were missionaries who were great...but there were a couple that didnt give their hearts to the Lord, and the difference is huge. I love this work, and it's still not real that I will be ending this time soon. I will keep working hard until the last day. 

Embarrassing story of the week- I called a missionary, a sister missionary, to say happy birthday from the office. Well...I forgot that the day before was transfer day and she got transferred out of her area....so I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER MATEOS!!!!! And it wasnt Sister Mateos..it was Sister Ortiz. That's embarrassing. The sisters got a pretty good laugh out of it.

Tender Mercy- I was able to see some of the fruits that have come from being in Labranza and Villa Obispo. I was so amazed in Villa Obispo as I talked to Edgardo and Soledad and Silvia and the Gonzalez family and many others. Converts that now have SO MUCH FAITH!!! And because of their examples, each one has witnessed at least one person in their family get baptized and be converted. This gospel is amazing. I was so happy to visit our area of Villa Obispo with Elder Strait after we were there for almost 5 months. 

Love, Elder Gomez
-The two traveling assistants and the office workers.
-Elder Strait with the shoe shining guy in the airport.
-Elder Strait and his yellow shirt. ha ha
-Elder Strait and Elder Boman! Familiar faces
-Visiting CAMILA from Labranza!!!
-Me with Daniela and Beto (he is a completely different man now!) and Brother Obreque
-With the Catalan family

-Funny
-With Soledad and family.
-With the grandma who gave us the referral of her grandson, Felipe, who was baptized with his mom and brother. They are an awesome family! Mine and Elder Strait's golden family. She thanked us a ton for helping to change her son.
-With the John and Alexa family and their two girls and 1/2 boy, Edgardo, and the Kiger family. I love these people!!!! Edgardo is doing so good! I amazed at how far he's come since the first day we knocked on his door. He is awesome. 
-More Labranza people! Brandon is about to go on his mission. 
-Gonzalez family
-With Sister Quezada and one of my birthday presents from them.
-With Fernandita
-With Elder Arjona and Elder Tavernier....the two lucky missionaries who are in Villa Obispo now! Two great friends!!! Elder Arjona is from Spain.
-Silvia made me a cake. She is a professional baker. It was delicious!
-With the Quezada familia. The coolest family in Chile!