Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, November 29, 2010

Elder Gomez email Nov 29, 2010

November 29, 2010
Hola everybody!
Happy late Thaksgiving. I didn´t even know it was Thanksgiving until the day
after. Sadness. Things are going good here on this side of the world! So
here in Chile, they don´t really have three meals a day. They have
Almuerzo,
which translates to lunch, except for here, their lunch is the MAIN meal. As
missionaries, almuerzo is the only meal we eat with members, and it´s the
only meal we eat until night time, so you get used to eating a LOT. I´ll
just write out the general meal schedule: Breakfast - 7-8 am, Almuerzo-
about 1-3 pm, and "once" which is like their dinner, is at 9:30-10pm
about.
But sometimes you don´t have time to eat at night because you have do other
things, so you have to just eat a lot for almuerzo. It´s good though because
eating is one of my talents!
I´m understanding more and more of the language each day and I can speak
more and more every day, so that´s good. I´ve probably said this before,
but
Chilenos speak really fast!
On Saturday we did service for a sister in our area who is inactive and we
cut down her weeds in her back yard for her...we had a pair of snippers (I
don´t know the correct word) and a Machete. I used the machete :) It was
fun, but it took forever.
On Sunday, we sang Christmas hymns in church and it made me so happy! I had
almost forgot that Christmas existed because nobody has decorations up or
anything. It reminded me of Christ and why we celebrate Christmas in the
first place. Then it reminded me of my purpose here as a missionary- to
invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored
gospel. A knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ changes lives!
Jose Daniel, who I wrote about in the last email, the 20 year old. Well,
he came to church and really liked it, and we visited him a few times this
week, and one of the times we talked about church, and how he felt there
and what he thought about it and such, and he said while he was there, he
had a "impresion distincto" in his exact words. A distinct impression that
it was true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet.
His parents are Catholic I think, and he stopped going to church with them
when he was younger because he never liked it, but when he came to the
true restored church of Jesus Christ, he knew it was just that. Way
awesome! Ya! In only a week, this 20 year old kid has changed so much. We
also have about 5 or 6 other investigators also who are progressing and
discovering the truth of Jesus Christ.
There are so many people in the world who need the gospel, the truth. Share
the gospel with everyone- your friends and family! On my first day here I
was way nervous to talk to people, when Elder Chavez handed me some
pass-along cards on the first day I just about fainted...but luckily I
made
it through. Ha ha. And now, all I want to do is talk to people. Heavenly
Father will help you when you have a desire to share the gospel. He
blesses
you with LOVE. Alma 30:33-35 says it all! Why do we share the gospel? Why am
I here? Is it to earn money? No! I´m the one paying. It´s solely because the
gospel makes me happy. And it makes me even happier to share that
happiness
with others! Doesn´t it make you all happy to hear about someone you know
joining the church? Of course! Now imagine how happy I am because I get to
do that all day and be a part of it :) I hope you're jealous now. Naw, not
really. But I hope you all try to be missionaries to people you know
because it´s seriously the happiest thing ever :)
That´s all for now. I hope you are all doing great!
Sincerely,
Elder Gomez
P.S.
I got mail finally on Friday! I got two letters from Mom and one from Jill
and some from dearelder.com but no packages yet. I´ll get mail again on December
23rd.

I had my interview with the president and it was good. I asked him about
Elder McConnell and my mtc friends and everyone is good. Elder Boman is too!

We started guitar classes this last week, Elder Chavez teaches. I offered to
teach English too so I´ll let you know how that goes as it happens.
-- *Elder Dallin Dean Gomez* Chile Concepcion South Mission O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503 Concepcion Bio-Bio Chile

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pday soccer in Chile and Infarto


Pictures are of:
-all of us elders who played soccer this morning.
-what cigarettes make you do here... actually, "infarto" means heart attack... ha ha. I think the general population of Chile is trying to lessen their smoking so they put things on each cigarette container like pictures of newborn babies in the hospital or "INFARTO" (heart attack)
-A dog gang. Ha ha. There are so many dogs all over the place!
-a dog who somehow manages to find us every day and follows us all over the place!


Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22 2010 Email

November 22, 2010 
Hola everyone! Here´s some information for you all:
Bus drivers are seriously crazy! They swerve all over the place, honk at
cars who are in their way, almost run into people...whoa, loco!
The most common phrases I hear are "Yo soy catholica" or "la verdad es que
no" or a combination- "la verdad es que yo soy catholica" or " Estoy
ocupado" But whichever of these answers we get while talking to people, "la
verdad" is that the gospel can bless there lives so much! AND, it´s true! :D

It´s really hard to get people to come to church here because there..isn´t a
church here! You have to take a 20 minute bus ride, which costs about a
dollar each direction to get to the church, and you have to wake up early
also. Church is at 9:30 here, and the normal time to get up is like ten or
eleven, I kid you not. So it´s a challenge. But once they get there, it´s
good :) On Saturday, we tracted into a 19 year old kid who doesn´t really do
much at this point in his life. Doesn´t have a job, doesn´t have
school...and he doesn´t have much of a belief in God. But he let us in to
his house right then! Normally the most that happens is they just agree to a
return appointment. It was cool. So we went in and started teaching him a
little bit, and his brother and friend walked in the house. His friend sat
down at the table. I guess names are good- Jose is the 19 year old, and
Tonio is his friend who walked in. Tonio is 20 years old. The coolest thing
happened! ... We gave them the Book of Mormon and we were teaching a little
about it, and they were both reading intently while we were telling them
about it, and I could see something so special about them....they are going
to be missionaries in the future! I don´t know how or when, but they are! I
could tell. Their eyes...I don´t even know. So we´ll see what happens, as
this was just two days ago! Anyway, so we finished talking about the Book of
Mormon and a little about the plan of salvation. Then we invited them to
church the next morning (yesterday) and they looked at the each other and
talked for a second and said they would come! So yesterday we went to their
house and they were getting ready, they had on collared shirts with ties and
they were all ready to go! It was really cool. We went to church, and they
could feel the Spirit, and they had a great experience, and they want to
come again next week! It was really cool, and I have a testimony that church really
is the place to be each week!
We have two baptisms that will hopefully happen, Alvaro (15) and Barbara
(12), brother and sister. Their mom, Iris, was baptized about a month ago
and is really strong. We watched the Testaments with them a couple weeks
ago, and the spirit was so strong. Barbara and her mom were sobbing. Iris
bore her testimony to her kids and it was really neat! Then we asked them if
they would be baptized and they accepted. BUT...now the difficult
things...their dad doesn´t really want his kids to be baptized, and they
need his permission. AND...they didn´t come to church yesterday or the week
before. I don´t know why! They came pretty regularly before that...but who
knows...there is opposition in all things!
Something that I have gained a testimony of this week is how the gospel
MAKES SENSE! There are a few men who we´ve met this week who are really
strong in their religion beliefs. Eduardo is Bahai, Vlademir is Catholic,
and Pastor Rolando is Baptista/Evangelica. But, in each of these cases,
especially for Eduardo, when we taught them about the Apostasy, and the
restoration, and the first vision, it makes sense to them! We´ve only taught
them the first lesson so far because we only met them this week, but the
gospel makes sense!
There are many other awesome people here, but I can´t talk about everyone
unfortunately! But people are awesome. That´s why I´m here; for everyone of
these people who need the gospel! Which are many!
Spanish is coming alright. There is so much more to learn, but I can
understand better and talk more everyday. I can almost understand
everything. Or at least get the gist of what people say.
That´s all for now. I hope everyone over on the other side of the world is
doing good :) I love you all!

Elder Gomez

-- 
*Elder Dallin Dean Gomez*
Chile Concepcion South Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503
Concepcion
Bio-Bio
Chile

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dallin's snail mail description of the initial culture shock

Hola mi familia!  Holy toledo, there is so much to say I don't even know where to begin.  It's insane.  I'm in CHILE!!!  I have no idea what I'm doing here.  I barely understand anything.  I don't know where anything is.  Yeah. but que bueno. I guess the situation is this:  I know that in a few months I will understand and speak pretty much everything.  I guess I just worry about the next few months.  Am I just going to have no clue what's happening all the time?  That's what it's looking like so far.   I think I am still just in a daze.  It's hard, but I'm sure it's hard for my companion too because I don't speak much Espanol. It's just he and I in this little town.   I like seeing familiar faces (the other elders). I feel like I have something in common with them.  Tomorrow we have a zone conference and also a district meeting.  It will be good to see people.
Sorry if I don't write to everyone much in these first few months.  I feel like I have no time.  I haven't even written in my journal for the past few days.  So just in case, keep good track of this letter  and my first email, because these are some of the days I will want to remember the very most out of all of them, you think?  Maybe not. ha ha. It's hard here. I probably keep saying that, because that's what I've been thinking so far!
    I bought food -- rice, corn flakes, milk, peanut butter and jelly, and bon bons. 

There is no church building or post office in Labranza so we have to ride the bus thirty minutes north to Temuco for that.  Today we are here  - it's pday.  I am sitting at a mall at a table in the food court. I just had a weird hotdog and then I was still hungry so I bought a "McFlurry" from McDonalds.  You can interpret those quotation marks however you want. You're probably right.  
I made my first contact yesterday and it was alright. Then when we were tracting for a short time, we stopped at this man's house and he was going off about something in his backyard.  So he finally came to the door and started talking to us.  I didn't understand anything he said, so I asked Elder Chavez afterwards what he had said and apparently the man was really really drunk.  He just looked REALLY happy to me, he shook my hand and held onto it for a long long time and was just smiling.   So, yeah, he was drunk and I didn't catch on.  Funny though.
We also went and visited a member family - Los Castillos.  Nicole who is 14 is the only active one in the family.  They were all baptized 6 months ago.  It was good.  Nicole is very funny. (if I understood  her right.)
I am doing better, even just in one day since I started this letter I can see improvement in understanding people. Members are great!   Hopefully this makes it to you, as well as the letter I gave Sister Swenson at the mission home to mail to you.   Love, Elder Gomez

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pictures and more bits and pieces


Here are some pictures that Dallin sent with his email - as well as some more pieces of info I got in my email exchange with him this morning:  






The two pictures of me standing by a house are me next to the house I live
in. Another of me and a bunch of little houses all over the place is
Labranza. I attached a picture of a dog that looks like Darwin who is in the
streets quite often. Another of a TON of dogs that are just always in the
streets. They have their little gangs. Ha ha. Sorry I can´t attach more.
It´s pretty hard and takes time. I´ll try to keep them coming though. 
 
Things down here cost about the same. 1,000 pesos is 2 dollars. I sent a 1000 bill home 
just so you can see it. I need to buy a sweater, but I found one today and it was like 80 us dollars. Holy toledo. 
My companion and I are the only two missionaries in our town!- Labranza. We live on Los Caiquenes (street) last house on the left. 
By the big city of Temuco, if you want to try to google map it.
Labranza doesn´t have a mailbox so we have to send letters while we are here 
in Temuco. We come to a giant mall in Temuco for p-days with a lot of the elders in the zone. And so we have to get anything done that we need to here. It´s about 35 minutes from Labranza, by bus.
This morning we played soccer with all the elders here for a couple hours. 
It was fun.
The members are good to us. They feed us a lot. If you
say yes to seconds, they give you a whole giant plate more. We don´t cook,
just one main meal, almuerzo. I eat pb and j in the morning sometimes and
cereal.
The happiest times I´ve had so far are when we´re teaching people, and the spirit
is there, and we´re meeting people.Talking about their beliefs, and how the gospel 
can bless their lives. I like that part. I love that part. But we need to do it more often.
 
Love, Elder Gomez

November 15 Dallin's Email

November 15, 2010
Hola everyone.
Hopefully you´re all doing great. Well...things are good down on this end of
the world. Here´s info from this week:
Little kids and people in general like to say English swear words sometimes.
I´ve heard them at the most random times. For instance, during the
sacrament. :D
There are stray dogs EVERYWHERE here. Seriously! It´s crazy. I'm working on
sending some pictures home of some of the dogs.
Chilenos talk really fast. I think I mentioned it last week but it´s still
true. I´m actually starting to understand though! Whoo. I understand a lot
more than the people think sometimes and also than my companion thinks. Ha
ha. All is well though. Everyone is obsessed with Mayonaise. I don´t know
why, it´s not THAT good...
Anyway...this week I´ve learned a lot. Definitely more than I can fit in
this email, but to sum it up, this work is real! The church is true. We have
the answers to questions of life and religion that people are searching for.
That´s our job. To find those people and teach them the truth. It´s hard
sometimes here. Me and my companion are the only two in our house...in our
little town of Labranza. It´s hard when I want to express myself, but I
just...simply....CAN´T! Because my companion doesn´t speak English. And I
don´t speak enough Spanish yet. Through all of this struggle, however, the
best times are when we are teaching people the restored gospel! A lot of
people know about the bible thoroughly, and they have strong beliefs. I
love it when they do though, because they are searching for truth. And
that´s why we´re here. To bring them the parts that they are missing! The
more we are talking to people and teaching people, the more comfortable I
feel here! So I try to do that as often as I can!
Sorry this is so short! But maybe that´s good for you all so you don´t have
to read so much!
I love you all,
Elder Gomez

--
*Elder Dallin Dean Gomez*
Chile Concepcion South Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503
Concepcion
Bio-Bio
Chile

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Email from his mission president



Dear Family of Elder Dallin Gomez:

We want to let you know your son arrived Saturday safe and sound and smiling. We
picked him and 16 other missionaries up at the airport, came to the mission home for
lunch and an orientation, then to a chapel where they met their trainers. Elder
Dallin Gomez will be working with the amazing Elder Jeffrey Chavez (from Santiago,
Chile) in the city of Labranza.

This mission extends from Talcahuano in the north to Loncoche in the south, about 5
hours by car. There are 203 missionaries, a 50/50 mix of Latinos and North
Americans, plus a few from Europe and other areas of the world. Missionaries teach
an average of 30 lessons a week and each companionship visits 10 inactive families
each week, so they stay busy. The food and water are safe and the countryside
magnificent.

There has never been a better time or place to serve a mission than right here,
right now. Following the earthquake and the announcement of a temple here, the
people and the land have been prepared for the Gospel message brought to their door
by your handsome son. It's a privilege to serve with him in this wonderful work of
the Lord. Thanks for your support and prayers.

Sincerely,

President & Hermana Swenson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elder Gomez first email from Chile :)

November 8, 2010  
Hola familia y amigos. I am in Chile now. After a long time of traveling.
Wow...there is a lot to say. First off, this will have bad punctuation
because this keyboard is in Spanish.
Well, I´m in a city called Labranza. It´s a small town just outside Temuco.
It´s five hours south of Concepcion. When I arrived in Concepcion and met
the mission president and his wife, I thought my travels were about
over...they weren´t. I still had 5 more hours! My companion´s name is Elder
Chávez, from Santiago Chile. Yeah, I´m lucky! Native Chileno as my first
companion in the field! It´s been really good. I´ll just say that Chilenos
speak really really really fast! It´s pretty hard to understand them
sometimes.
I guess I´ll just go through what happened. So, I left from Utah at 6 in the
morning on Friday. I arrived in L.A. at 11:30 or so. We left from there to
Lima, Peru at about 2 or 2:30. We made it Peru about 9 hours later. Then we
sat on the airplane for about an hour until we left to Santiago. It took
about 5 hours to get to Santiago. Then we were there for a couple hours
until we caught our final flight to Concepcion which was about an hour and a
half. We got off the plain, picked up our baggage. Met President and sister
Swensen there. They took us to the mission home, which was WAY nice. There
were 14 in our travel group, and one Elder from Argentina met us in
Santiago, so in total, 15 of us arrived at the same time. We had a meeting
at the mission home and learned some things about the Chile Concepcion
mission, then we ate a late lunch with them and President Swensen
interviewed everyone pretty fast. I saw a picture of Elder McConnell on the
board. Que bueno! I haven´t seen him here yet though. By the way, president
and sister Swensen are way nice. They are awesome. Then we headed to a
church where we were going to meet our trainers! Basically this whole time,
throughout all of the things which I have mentioned so far, I was freaking
out. Not in a bad way, but I was really excited and curious for the unknown.
So...drum roll. I´m with Elder Chavez from Santiago. He´s been out 14
months. We are in a Labranza like I said before, which was another 5 hours
south. It´s COLD in Labranza. I hope it warms up soon (as we are just
starting summer here). 5 other elders from my group went to Labranza also.
And one sister. I´ve seen a couple of them today because it´s p-day, and all
the elders tend to go to the mall on p-day.
Yeah....so, we made it to Labranza WAY late. I´m in a little house, it was
pretty messy when I first got there. The last elder left a lot of
stuff...garbage...some clothes. But I´ve slowly been cleaning it all up. I´m
still not fully unpacked. So that was on Saturday night that I arrived. We
finally got to bed around 2:30am. Yikes. And the next morning was Sunday.
Basically, my feelings as I was going to bed were: I´m completely filthy
because I´ve been traveling for 2 days and I haven´t changed out of my suit.
I´m WAAAAY tired and I just want to go to sleep. I have NO idea what I´m
doing here. I´m in a little tiny town in southern Chile and I can´t
understand anything. I don´t know how to talk to my companion! I´m freezing
my butt off down here. I´m on the other side of the world as my family and
friends. And more things along those lines. So for awhile it was a lot of me´s and
my´s and I´s...I´ve had to really remember why I´m here! Everything was
great at home, I was super excited, the MTC was different but still not EVEN
hard....then I´m sitting here in Chile not knowing what in the world is
going on and finally I feel completely like a little child again. I really
need to read my scriptures right now. I haven´t had an opportunity yet. We
had early church on the first morning, we didn´t eat breakfast or anything.
We just went straight there. The members are really nice and talk REALLY
fast. We had two investigators show up to church. That was cool. The new
members here are really cool. One lady is a very recent convert as of just a
week or two and she´s way strong.
I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting....yeah...it was nerve-wracking but
I knew I would regret it if I didn´t. We went home after church and then to
a members house for lunch. They were a very nice family with four kids and
fed us a lot. And of course....they spoke really fast! We stayed there for a
long time. I think longer than we should!
Finally, we went back to the house and then contacted for a couple hours. My
first contact was crazy. I was so nervous. But it was good. I can hardly
even remember it. My companion helped me out whenever I needed it. Which was
all the time. We got two or three people who were interested in learning
more, so we´re going to come back to them. And we got a member referral
(which I asked for!) I know, way awesome. :)
Now it´s p-day. We still haven´t even had personal study, and I´m missing it
pretty bad. We just read some things as a companionship and then got ready
for p-day and left to the mall. So I really really want to read my
scriptures. I was going to only read my scriptures in Spanish, or try, but
now all I want to do is read my English scriptures because I´m sick of
spanish right now. Ha ha. That´s horrible but true.
It´s just a big trial of your faith to get dropped off in a different country
where everybody speaks a different language and you´re there for DOS AÑOS.
I´m definitely still adjusting. I know it will be good here though. It´s
only my second day here! I met some other gringo elders in our zone at the
mall, we all met there and played pool and ate, it was pretty fun. All of
the american elders can speak great spanish but all of them have told me
that their first few months they had a hard time. So that was comforting. I
also saw three of my friends from the MTC at the mall. Elder Lusk, Elder
Laird, and Sister Noxon. So we all compared first two days experiences. I
was so happy to see them.
I´m afraid this is coming to an end. I miss and love you all. Keep praying
for me and I´ll keep praying for you. Good deal, no? :)
This won´t be long as my time is running out. I have an hour now. I
am writing a hand-written letter right now to the family. I haven´t had much
time to do anything here (write in my journal, unpack, etc.) so it´s a
struggle. I´m alright though. Trusting in the Lord.
I love you,

Until next time-
Elder Gomez

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last Email from Dallin at the MTC

Family, friends, how are you doing?
I am doing terrific. Because I'm leaving to CHILE tomorrow! Wow. I can't
believe it. I don't think I will until I'm actually there. Or maybe on the
airplane.
Well, I made it through the MTC without a single bite of a donut (which they
serve every single day for every meal) and without a sip of carbonation
(same) That in and of itself is reason for me to be happy!
It's very sad that I'm going to be splitting up from my district in a couple
days. I will miss them! It's awesome how the gospel brings people together.
I've made so many friends for life already and I'm not even in the field
yet!
This week for our devotional we had Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve
come and speak to us. Talk about a good way to finish off the MTC! The last
three weeks we had three apostles, Elder Nelson, Elder Scott, and now Elder
Ballard. That's not at all very common here! I'm lucky. Elder Ballard talked
about being friends with everyone. And talked so plainly and simply about
contacting people and sharing the truth with them in a very friendly manner.
Well, when he talked about it it seemed simple. But it's NOT! It's one of
the hardest things to talk to someone you don't even know and invite them to
come unto Christ. We really have to stick to our testimony. That's what I've
decided for myself. If it ever seems hard to go talk to someone, just
remember how strongly you feel about this gospel and how it can bless their
lives. With that remembrance, you will have the courage to talk to everyone.

He shared a story that happened only a few hours before he came to talk to
us. He was meeting with a man very high up in the world. He is projected to
be the next Warren Buffett. He wanted to talk to one of the leaders of the
church to thank them for their business. Anyway, they had this long
discussion about different things and towards the end they started talking
about religion. This man is Catholic, so he asked what the difference was
between your church and mine. Elder Ballard said, if only you would have
asked that at the beginning of our discussion! Ha ha. But he talked about
our beliefs and the man was interested. When he left, he had a Book of
Mormon and a copy of "Our Search for Happiness" (a book written by Elder
Ballard, which is one of the few books we read on the mission) Elder Ballard
said that everything else he needed to know was in there, and he asked him
if he would read it, and he said he would. It's only 126 pages, so he said
he would read it on his flight home.
This experience happened only a few hours before Elder Ballard was talking
to us! It's so important to be friends to everyone and to share the gospel
with everyone. Pretty soon, this gospel WILL fill the whole earth. It is
definitely on its way! I love reading scriptures about our day that talk
about what is going on EXACTLY right now.
I know that this gospel is true! Please everyone read the Book of Mormon.
Pray about it. Be a part of what it talks about in D&C 90:11. And 2 Nephi
30:8. I found these scriptures studying them this week. They're being
fulfilled right now. That is talking about ME going to Chile, and my friends
and your friends going to Asia, and Europe, and Africa, and Australia, and
North and South America. Read those verses, read the whole Book of Mormon.
Because it's the TRUTH! I testify that it is and I promise you that I would
not be leaving TOMORROW across the WORLD if it was not! Joseph Smith saw
what he said he saw, and we don't have to just "trust" him. There is
evidence, tangible and spiritual, that the truth has been restored. If you
want to know if something is true, then study IT, not something else. If
it's true or not, you will know when you read and study it. And I testify
that it is true. You can know the truth of the universe if you come unto
Christ. Be happy, and come unto him and read the scriptures.
I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all. :)
Elder Gomez