Hola mi familia y mis amigos! Thank you everyone for your prayers and for your letters! So, where to start?
(A part of a letter that came earlier in the week) - I wanted to talk more
about the devotional and video clip from Elder Holland. He said so many cool
things! He talked about the question "Why is missionary work so hard?" It's
so true and wonderful and complete and it makes so much sense, so why is
it so hard? Why isn't the only problem in the mission field pneumonia from
being in the font too long? :) and he came up with an answer. "Because
salvation is not a cheap experience!" How can we believe that it
will possibly be easy for us when it was never easy for Jesus Christ. We only
have to spend a few seconds in Gethsemene or on Calvary to know somewhat
of the price that was paid. The atonement will carry us missionaries perhaps
even more than it carries our investigators. As we're spat on, hated, rejected,
we still have reason to STAND TALL. The Lord has not called us to "hold the line"
but to CHARGE! to serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength! He told
us to make these two years our finest hour.
That was just a tiny part of what was said. I took so many notes. It was amazing.
My district had a testimony meeting after the devotional, and it was so spiritual.
We're all finding our places here in the mission, and after the devotional, it
almost changed us! We had a week to get used to things, now it's time to
GO TO WORK!
(From his email) This week flew by pretty fast. I'll start off with last week.
p-day was great. We finally got to do our laundry and all of the other preparation we needed to do for the week. But in my opinion, the most important preparation we did was going to the temple! It was incredible. And the great thing is it's p-day again today and so I get to go! The next day, Friday...honestly I can't even remember what happened. It was a normal day here. Every Saturday we do service and that is really cool. Also on Saturday, we found out that we're losing one of our teachers- Hermano Timothy! :'( He was way cool. He's just moving to another district. He was way good at teaching us and he had the spirit with him so strong. He served in Guaralahara, Mexico (if I spelled that right) BUT, because we lost a teacher, we got another one! His name is Hermano Ramirez, and he's FROM Guaralahara, Mexico :) He's still learning English, so it's great to have a native speaker teaching us. I've learned a lot from him. Also, our other teacher that we've had for the whole time is Hermano Latimer. I don't know how to explain him....I think he has ADD. His mannerisms remind me of a squirrel's. Ha ha. But it doesn't matter, he still teaches with such power and I've learned so much already. You'd be surprised how much you learn in such a short time here! I can basically already speak Spanish!....ha ha.. not really. But we have learned a lot. I'm not going to give a demonstration though, because my time is limited on here. I will, however, apologize ahead of time for any misspellings or random Spanish words that I add, because Spanish makes your English skills go out of whack! And Dad, I will be understanding your letters shortly!
My companion is doing good. Elder Pung. He, as well as me and others, is finally getting into the mode of things and working hard. Which is great. It's hard because you're thrown into a life that is completely different from how you've been living your life so far. You want to know what does make it easier though? Letters. So write me! I don't know anything that's going on in your life anymore. So a few of the highlights of the week are: TRC-training resource center. Every Tuesday, an investigator comes in and we have the opportunity to teach them. Because it gets a little repetetive just practicing on other Elders and Sisters. It was my second TRC, and it went great! We started the lesson off a little rough, (since the first part is in Spanish), and then you just have to remember your purpose...to invite others to come unto Christ. and when you focus on that, teaching is so much easier and better, and the Spirit can be there. And it was! The lesson got so good, and it was great.
Funny story!!! So one of the branch presidency memebers talked to us the other night, and he's this old funny guy who is OBSESSED with shining his shoes! Basically his whole message was about shining shoes, and then after, he gave us a demonstration! This man is SERIOUS about his shoe shining. He didn't have a small nice shoe shining kit, he had an army bag full of supplies! And then he told us a story about how the brush he uses has been with him for over 50 years, because he bought it with is own money when he was 8! Anyway, if there was a shoe shining Olympics, everyone better just not show up because they would be embarrassed. So, now I know how to shine my shoes perfectly and efficiently! The Devotional-it was so good. Elder Paul V. Johnson of the seventy spoke to us, and he talked to everyone how we can have the spirit. The answer- obedience, following rules with exactness, dilligence, faith. And honestly, I have seen in the two weeks I've been here, that being so true! Sometimes you're just exhausted and you don't want to work, and the spirit isn't with you. But on the other side, I have had a few spiritual experiences where I KNOW that it was because of my dilligence and faith. D&C 82:10. The Lord will bless you if you are doing what you're supposed to. He's promised it. And I testify that that promise is true. I've seen it plainly and simply here many times. It's like the Liahona. It worked upon faith and diligence (1 Nephi 16 I think) And if they lacked in those aspects, it stopped working.
Food- Where to start? It's good, sometimes :) They have a lot of choices everyday. Food isn't even important, so I'll move on. Ha ha.
Guess what? I almost forgot facebook existed until you mentioned it in your
letter. And my phone... the first phantom vibration I had was two days ago!
I went a week not even thinking about it. I could have sworn I felt a
vibration in my pocket, but I didn't. Really, those things DON'T matter.
And they don't have anything to do with achieving salvation.
For exercise I do 50 pushups every night and a couple ab exercises and pullups
sometimes. That's all I have time for.
Thanks for the advice about using water to iron my shirts! It helped me a
ton getting it done in time, and it has helped a bunch of other elders too!:)
By the way familia, thanks so much for the invite to SAN DIEGO! Sheesh. Why did the boy throw a stick of butter out the window? Because he wanted to see a butter fly :D *Tender mercy of the week*- Answers to prayers. They are amazing. Almost all of them come in personal study every day. Read your scriptures, and I promise you that your life will be so richly blessed! Thanks again for everything you all have done for me and still do. You know who you are! Elder Gomez
P.S. Just so you know, no donut and no carbonation has touched my lips!