I heard a good one from a friend - -had to tell Dallin!
If two collars had a race how would it end???...In a tie!!!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Dec 26, 2011
This week was great. It was intense.
The highlight of the week was being able to talk to my mom and dad!!!! And family!!!! On skype!! what a great Christmas present. I am not sure what happened to my brother Carlos because the last time I talked to him his voice was higher and now he talks like a man! Pretty crazy!
This week we did a lot of contacting, we found a few good people but it seems like for the most part the people were all pretty caught up in the holidays to want to talk to two teenage boys talking about God. We found one family who was great. They moved into our area just last week. Honestly, we dont know too much about them, but I felt something special about them when we were talking to them. We found them outside their house in their car during the week and I started talking to the dad and realized that the mom and daughter were in the car also! I started talking to them also and they are really open to hearing our message. We are excited!
It seems like this week we also did a lot of clarifying thngs about our church. It seems as though we ran into many people who thought incorrect things about the mormon church, for example, that we dont believe in Jesus Christ???? or that we dont believe in the Bible....stuff like that. But I understand how gossip gets spread sometimes and people believe all of it. So as we've had the opportunity to clarify some things, we've actualy found some interested people.
for christmas eve, we had the opportunity to eat lunch and dinner with a family who the mom is a member and the dad isnt. We have been praying and fasting for this man a lot lately....we dont even konw why really, because we havent seen him very much...for a while he kind of avoided us, because of course, just like every other missionary who has passed by for the last few years, we want to teach him and help him make the decision to be baptized. but i think our fasting and prayers were truly answered when at church last week he invited us to spend Christmas Eve with them. We were able to get to know him a lot better and I think now we are going to be able to teach him. He knows he is going to get baptized because his wife always brings it up to him and he always just says, not yet, I've still got a few more years!
Marcelo, our investigator who is going to baptized this weekend, broke his arm on his new bike that his mom get him for Christmas. It was a good way for us to teach him though because we were teaching him about commandments, and his mom said "the commandments are like yesterday Marcelo, I told you not to go out again on the bike because it was late and you kept saying, JUST ONE MORE time around the block! I said No! No! But you went anyway and look! You came back like this!" (he had a giant cast on! ha ha) it was a great example to show how the commandments work. God says, no....dont play there...its dangerous. but we ignore him sometimes and then we get hurt....and we come back to him for help...or we are too ashamed so we try to solve it alone and it's really hard. Moral of the story: If you keep the commandments, you will prosper in the land!Those arent just the words of some old crazy guys....but they are the words of God revealed through his prophets!
For Christmas day we were able to eat a HUGE BBQ with president Martinez, my mission president, and his wife and family, and President Pauvif, the stake president, with his family, it was so amazing.
Tender Mercy from last week: The Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost is something so precious that God has given us to have success all our life if we just follow him.
Tender Mercy- Being able to see my mom and dad and my family and my two best friends who are about to leave on their missions! Congrats Aaron by the way! LONDON ENGLAND!!! and to you Dallin Hardy...PARAGUAY!!
I sure do love you all! Have a great week! And have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Remember the power of a smile. Remember the power of just being a friend to everyone, especially those who you dont already know well.
Elder Dallin Gomez
-Skype call-Me and my companion sporting the new hoodies we received from our families.
-Christmas dinner with my mission president and wife and the stake president and wife
-Lots of meat :)
-Christmas Eve BBQ with another family. (we ate a lot of meat this weekend)
-Getting ready for the BBQ
-another Dr. Pepper
-Studly companion (Elder Srait) with Dr. Pepper
Posted by ellisgomez at 11:31 AM
Monday, December 19, 2011
How is everyone doing?! I am so good. Me and my companion are so excited all the time and just going at it strong. Maybe a part of that is because of Christmas coming up?
by the way, we have the big christmas conference tomorrow, when we will get our letters and packages. so if you've written me a letter in the last month I still havent received it, but I will tomorrow!
This week we saw some great things happen:
-Marcelo, our 9 year-old investigator whose mom is reactivating, has changed so much this week. From the first time we met him and his mom they wer different people. He was really shy and his mom, Ana, said "ï am evangelical" It's like everything has completely changed because now Ana looks again like her old active self. She is remembering everything and is so happy. If you didnt know her you'd thenk she was an active member for years.
(by the way, this keyboard isnt working very good so I am wasting a lot of time having to backspace and correct myself, but I dont have a whole lot of time now so I not going to correct myself any more for lack of time, sorry if its hard to read!)
-We had a Christmas musical devotional for the other stake on Saturday and President Martinez asked us to participate in it, so that was a good experience. All of us missionaries, about 25 of us, marched in as we sang "Called to Serve" and it was really neat. Then we sang the efy medley with the Chorus and then Me, my companion, and three others sang "Oh little town of Bethlehem" the spirit was so strong and ther were many people crying in he audience. Music can be so powerful!
-We did a service for one of the recent converts here. Her daughter, Nicole, who is 20 years old, is an investigator of ours. She may get baptized this weekend if a miracle happens. If not it will happen on the 7 most likely.
-This week I went to a litle town called Yumbel because I to do baptismal interviews with their baptismal candidates. It went good and they all passed their interviews. They were the first baptismal interviews I have done in my life. I've been thinking a lot lately about our calling as a misionary. It's so amazing that we are just20 year old kids who are here sharing hte gospel and affecting people so much. This week there was one member family we ate with who was just so happy that we came and they told us how much we help them and how the whole spirit in their house changes wehn we are there. There are several others in he ward who say the same also. And I just think, HOW?! I'm just an immature kid. But I know that our mantel is real and we have the authority to preach the gospel. And when we are obedient, we have power and we can confound the wise.
-We had a great oportuniy this week to have a lesson in the street with a man from another religion which also sends missionaries out to preach. The man wasnt preaching in this moment, he was selling paintings, but we had a great discussion. He was pretty aggressive in he way he preached, as are a lot of the other missionaries from the same religion, but we just were humble and listened to the spirit, and we testified of the truth, and he was "confounded" He told us a lot of things that had reason from the Bible..that we also believe...but we wer able to talk about the authority of the priesthood, how it was restored. Someone who reads the bible so much should know that nothing qualifies us to preach or to baptize of confirm the holy ghost except for the divine authority of God. The which was restored through Joseph Smith. And if there is someone who doesnt believe this, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon, read Joseph Smith History, read the Bible, but stop reading other garbage written by men inspired by Satan who dont have any type of authority to write about this type of stuff and who focus their lives on destroying other people's lives instead of living a happy life themselves. People who write about God and Jesus Christ about the prophet Joseph Smith like they know so perfectly the truth when in reality their minds and hearts are so closed that they are the last people who should write about it. I refer to any type of enemy against this church and anybody who decides to involve themselves in anything of the sort.
It's not a question of whether God lives or not, or whether the church is true or not, it's a matter of when you're going to know it's true. Because it's true! I testify it is! Pray about it. Jesus Christ lives! God is our literal Father in Heaven. God has restored his church through a 14 year-old pure-hearted farm boy, Joseph Smith. THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE!! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
-I love you all. I pray for you everyday, untl next week.
-sorry I couldnt write more!
-me and my companion making breakfast for some other elders in the zone who completed with their goals.
-singing in quartet
-weird chilean spiders with gnarly back legs
-giant palm trees
-me outside of the house in yumbel. they have a really pretty yard
Posted by ellisgomez at 8:12 PM
Monday, December 12, 2011
December 12, 2011
This week has been good. We really feel like we are being blessed with the spirit lately. We have been working so hard and the Lord is doing his part. We have been having to use every bit of energy to get into people's houses in creative ways to be able to find people to teach. We did many things, from caroling, to asking to use their bathroom, to asking for a glass of water, and other random things. Basically, anything we have to do to be able to spread this beautiful gospel to the people here!
We have been working with Francisca, a 10 year old girl who has a strong desire to follow Jesus christ. With her, the thing we fault is the support of her family. They are all members but they are in the process of reactivation. Her mom has been slowly by slowing losing herself in the false teachings of the world, and we were able to find her one night and we had an amazing lesson with her. She expressed that she doesnt think all of the little parts of the church are commandments from God, but from men only. Things such as going to church with skirts/dress. We really focused on just listening... We were patient and we were able to discover that her doubt really went beyond a dress code for Sunday but it was about modern revelation through a prophet of God on the earth. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God who has the very authority over the kingdom of God on the earth and that he receives revelation directly from God. We were able to realy help change this sister (sister Cuevas) and by the end of the lesson it was like the spirit had reentered into her life after taking a long detour. That is why I LOVE this gospel and this work! Watching people completely change for the better.
Speaking of change, I want to talk about Nicole. Nicole is a 20 year old who has two little babies and whose mom was just baptized last month. At first, when her mom was taking the missionary lessons and going to church, she didnt want anythng with the church. But in a couple short months, she is a different person now. I have a strong testimony about the power of one example in a family. One person can help the other members of their family so much! Nicole used to be a person who wasnt very friendly...she was hard to get along with. Especially at first. But the spirit has literally changed her into the most pleasant happy person who is always smiling. She now wants to get baptized also. It's funny because she doesnt really understand why before she didnt want to get baptized or why she didnt want anything with the church. It's because of the Holy Ghost. It's the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ that changes lives! I know for a FACT that Jesus Christ is literally our Redeemer and Savior. Without Him our lives dont have purpose. Nicole will be baptized on January 7th.
I want to talk for second about Marcelo also! Marcelo (9) is the son of an inactie member, Ana (45). Ana's family are also all members, all of them! But they have been inactive for years now. Something that I have really focused on lately is being a friendly person who the Holy Ghost can work through. Or in other words, a tool. Yes, I want to be a tool! We got into this house of the Gonzalez family and we focused on helping them feel the spirit again in their lives. We talked a lot to Ana, and she said that she doesnt go to our church anymore...but we just like of shrugged that off and kept talking to her and we set up a family home evening with her and her son Marcelo, who isnt a member. We went to their house and sang hymns and taught about the gospel of Jesus christ and the plan of Salvation and Ana got so excited to go back to church. On Sunday she came with Marcelo and she told us that her siblings are short to follow. We are really excited to help this family receive the blessings of the atonement in their lives. Marcelo is going to be baptized on the 7th of January.
We've had some really neat experiences with inactive members this week. We had one recent convert/inactive family return to church this week which made me so happy. We have been working with an inactive member, Mario, who is really awesome but he is passing through a really rough time in his life. It's like Satan is literally trying to take him down into his grasp. He thanked us in his tears for caring about him. For being there for him when nobody else is there.
Scripture of the week--- D&C 10:5! Read it! Do it!
-Us at a preparation day activity.
Please everyone, GO VISIT SOMEONE who needs you!!! Please please please. If someone didnt come to church on Sunday, be at their house right after church and ask them why they didnt come or if they are ok or if they need something. Dont let anyone fall away! These are the last days, things are getting worse and worse and we must be excellent disciples of Jesus Christ or we wont be ok. We just rescue our brothers and sisters. We cant just worry about ourselves, we have to worry about all of our brothers and sisters!
I had a really cool story about following the spirit. Me and my companion were walking along one street one day and we were on our way to a person's house whose birthday it was. We were going to sing to him and give him some candy. The thought flashed through my mind, "listen to the Spirit" So I tried to listen to the spirit. I didnt know why it hit me right then...then all of the sudden, as we were walking pretty quickly along a street filled with houses on both sides, I stopped at random house and we yelled "alo!" and they came out and said that they were getting ready for a party because it was someone's birthday. I said "what a coincedence because we are actually wishing a few people happy birthday at this very moment! Can we come in and sing a Christmas hymn for his birthday?" They let us in right away. All this time my companion didnt know that I had randomly stopped and hadnt even turned around because we werent planning on tracting right then...so he turned around and he came over and we went into the house and we taught a family of many people about the gospel and we set up an appointment to come back. It was so cool! The Holy Ghost is very real! People hardly ever let us in their house...why did I randomly stop at this house out of the tons of houses on the street...randomly on our way to wish people happy birthday? The Spirit!!!!
I'm freaking out...because I completed 15 months in the mission this week. That is a lot! Time goes by so fast!
Tender Mercy- As left a house, a cute 3 year-old little boy followed us. He ran with us as his mom came out and watched him and called after him. The little boy ran in front of us and stopped at a patch of dandilions. He bent down and picked two and then came and one to me and one to my companion. I was like "aawwwww" Ha ha. It was so nice and cute. It erased anything bad that happened this week!
I love you all, have a great week. Write me!
Posted by ellisgomez at 7:44 AM
Monday, December 5, 2011
December 5, 2011
How is it going over on that side of the world!?
Things are good here. This week we were able to see many miracles happen. I have learned that if we do all we can, the Lord takes care of the rest. Since I was in the hospital with my companion for a few days, this week was shorter, but we saw great things happen. We are being so blessed with people to teach.
The coolest part about this new ward, Villa Obispo, is the members. There are lots of members in this ward who are willing to give us references and work with us the work of the Lord. One family gave us 4 references.
We were able to give about 7 health blessings this week. One of the most special blessings we gave was to our ward mission leader. He is an amazing member who was baptized just about a year ago. He was investigating the church for 9 years and finally was converted and he is so strong now. He got sick this week and so yesterday after church us and the bishop gave him a blessing. The bishop asked him if he believes that he will be healed "absolutely, or I wouldnt be here" and the bishop gave him a really special blessing.
In this ward there are more young couples about 30 years old than any other ward I have ever seen. The bishop and his wife are young, the stake president and his wife, who are also in Villa Obispo, are young, Our mission president who was in this ward was young! And there tons of others! It is awesome.
I'll try to spice up the emails a little bit from now on....especially because I have a terrible memory and the days pass by really fast and I couldnt tell you what happened on Thursday or Friday or Tuesday. I forgot to bring my journal this time to cheat off of for this email. Ha ha.
-We ate a lot of food this week because the members always give us food.
-With the Villagran family, the mom of the family put a giant piece of lamb on my plate, so I ate the whole thing. Then they tried to give us like 4 different desserts!
-The Lord blessed us as we were able to find many people. We are going to work a lot this week with our new investigatos together with the members.
-We are going paintballing today with the zone, our first zone activity as zone leaders. It should be great.
I will write more next week about how our investigators are all doing. Se que esta obra es la obra del Señor y que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador! Se que por medio de este evangelio tengo la oportunidad de estar con mi familia para siempre. Les amo y estoy animado para verles en 3 semanas!
Tender Mercy- Finding this computer place. We are supposed to ALWAYS use computer places that we can see our companion's screen in. Almost all of them are cubicles, especially here in Los Angeles. So I prayed and prayed on the way to downtown that the Lord would help us find a good place with the computer screens outwards and finally we were able to find one which I was very grateful for.
I love you all, have a great week.
Elder Dallin Gomez
-Me and Elder Strait with the two assistants of the president
-Us with the Villagran familiy and their weekend paradaise out in the country. We had a bbq with them yesterday for lunch. The place is amazing!
-Us cutting tomatoes and tossing salad.
-another shot of the Villagran's house
-This is what the little fleas can do to you if you dont take care of yourself! (the back of another Elder who lives with us)
Posted by ellisgomez at 6:36 AM
Thursday, December 1, 2011
December 1, 2011
This week was a big adventure! Me and Elder Strait are both new as zone leaders, and we are both new to our area! We arent sure what's going on or what President Martinez was thinking! Ha ha. On top of everything, we are in Villa Obispo, which is President and Sister Martinez's home ward! So we just got thrown into some new territory! It's been fun...it's extremey different than being in Santa Barbara. This is a big ward, with about 130 people on average who assist weekly.
The first few days we walked around confused, with our noses in the area map. The elders before us left some investigators so we tried to find them and found a few of them who are really good. The first day in the new area, the zone leaders had a conference in concepcion in the mission home, so we went up there and were trained by the assistants and president Martinez. I cant say I understood all of what they were saying. We had a giant pan of sea food for lunch which was interesting. It looked really expensive. I'll attach a picture.
The day after the conference we had a zone/district meeting which was good.....me and my companion are both still young missionaries and we have many missionaries in our zone who have more time or the same amount of time in our zone...and we are supposed to encourage them and pump them up to go find, teach, and baptize for the remission of sins. It is a challenge, but it's been good.
One of the days this week we gave four priesthood blessings of heath! We gave three to babies that were sick, and one to Carlos, a nonmember dad of a ward member who was hospitalized. The blessing to him was really good because just yesterday, the missionaries from a different area called us and said the blessing we gave to Carlos a few days ago worked and he loved our short visit. So they want us to stop by again! The other really awesome blessing was to Paola's son. Paola is one of our really good investigators. Its a long story, but basically, she was a reference to a different area, Avenida Alemania, from the headquarters of the church. She wants to get baptized. Avenida Alemania was actually in the same district as Santa Barbara, so in my district meetings, I had heard about Paola. One week in our district meeting, the missionaries in Avenida Alemania told us they had some news...that they found out that Paola is actually from the zone, in the area of Villa Obispo...so they passed them the reference. Our district was a little said but they did the right thing....then Ka-POW! All of the sudden I am in Villa Obispo! So that worked out awesome! We passed by Paola's house and we gave a blessing to her sick baby...the baby cried all through the blessing, then at the end he stopped crying. We left right after the blessing and then that night, Paola called us very emotional and said thank you so much for the blessing! She apologized that she had us leave so fast after the blessing and she just thanked us a lot for the blessing. So that was really cool!
So....the next major thing that happened.... wait, first, Sunday was good, we had stake conference, we didnt know anyone there still but it was good to meet so many members. .......yeah, so on P-day, we played soccer in the morning against another zone, and afterward my companion said that his stomach was on fire. My companion wont complain about anything unless its serious because he's a very tough man. He is buff. So he kept getting sicker and sicker. We tried to make it home on a bus, but we had to stop and get off so he could throw up. He kept throwing up and throwing up and we finally made it to the house were he rested for some hours. Then the mission president called us to crack the news that one of the missionaries in the zone has to go home. So that was lame...but we also told the mission president in that phone call that Elder Strait was extremely sick....since this is his home ward, President called some members and had them come and pick us up and take us to the emergency room. So...my companion went and ended up being there for about 5 hours. We gave him a blessing with a member and he got a little better. We got out at about 11 at night...then the next morning he still felt bad and Sister Martinez wanted to do some more exams on him, so we went to the hospital where we were there for 3 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!! So that's were I was for the last three days...we just barely got out. That is also why I didnt get on email on Monday. But...everything is alright. The hospital was really nice....almost like a hotel. It was boring but we laughed a lot. We tried to teach the gospel to all of the nurses. Ha ha. I'll tell you what, if a missionary ever doesnt want to work, just put him in the hospital for three days and he'll be dying to go out and work!
That's about all for now, I love you all, have a great week!
-Rich seafood from the zone leader conference! Mmm
-Pictures from the hospital.
Posted by ellisgomez at 8:24 PM
Monday, November 21, 2011
November 21, 2011
We got some news this week about transfers! I am leaving Santa Barbara! Nooo! Just kidding, it will be good. I've been in Santa Barbara for about 6 months now. I am going only an hour away to a place called "Villa Obispo" ...it is a ward in Los Angeles. So I will be in the city. And another surprise, I am going to be a zone leader! Crazy stuff. It will be great though. My companion is going to be Elder Strait. He is awesome! I have been on companion interchanges with him and he is great. He has about the same time as me in the mission. He is from Utah I think...he is a BYU fan so we're good :) And he was a personal trainer before the mission and he's buff. It's a funny story because just barely we were at a conference and we were saying how we should be companions some day. Just a few days later, we are called to be companions! Nice. It will be great.
This week we had lots of good things happen like normal. We had a family home evening with Patricio and Alejandra, and they were arguing over who had to give the spiritual thought, so I made them both do it...which I was really glad about because they both shared some really cool miracles. Alejandra said that a few months ago, her, Patricio, and Xander (their 7 year-old son) went fishing on a beautiful Saturday morning. One of those days where you just KNOW you're going to catch many fish. They left the house without saying a prayer of anything. Well, they fished all morning and they didnt get ANYTHING. Hours and hours passed by and they went way up the river, and nothing. Well...it got about time for lunch, and they were pretty bummed out that they hadnt gotten anything yet, but they decided that they would eat the lunch they had packed along. They remembered to say a prayer this time, and they thanked their Heavenly Father for the food and for the beautiful day and they asked, if it is His will, that they could catch at least one fish to have something to eat in the evening. So right after lunch Patricio went to a spot where he thought he could get some fish, a spot they had already fished at earlier that morning....and the first throw in water, he caught a giant salmon about 18 inches long! Then he threw it in again and he got another one right away even BIGGER! It reminded me of Matt. 7:7-11. God truly does answers prayers.
One day this week, we went the church to get ready for the ward family home evening and it started to pour all of the sudden. They the lightning started. It was an electical storm. Me and my companion were in the bathroom and all of the sudden all of the lights went out and we heard a huge crash of thunder right on top of us!!! It was so loud and scary and it shook us! I felt a little shock go through my fingers. The lightning hit the steeple of the church! Luckily, the church's steeple in Santa Barbara is not on top of the church, its outside in front, and luckily the church puts a giant metal wire in the steeple that goes underground which is specifically made for lightning strikes. It was crazy! Now I've been in a building that got struck by lightning and a house that started on fire!
We have been focusing a lot on a great family! Gloria is the mom, and we had a great lesson with them this week. Gloria and Milton are living together but arent married. She wants to get baptized and so she is either going to get married or get separated. This week four from her family came to church so that was great! Her sister in law Corina loves church, and Milton likes it a lot. Anita and Jorge, the two younger kids, have baptismal dates for the 3rd of December, and the rest in the family will shortly follow. The blessings that come from living each commandment are so amazing.
This week....actually more in the last couple days, my allergies have been KILLING ME!!! (not literally) but they have been crazy. Yesterday, Sunday, I was sneezing the whole day. Its complicated when you are out walking in the middle of the country side and you have no tissues :D
At church we had another great assistance of 37 people with 4 investigators! I was glad to see a lot of people for my last week here. I hope and pray that Santa Barbara keeps growing. I have gained a strong testimony that there are people everyone prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Santa Barbara was one of those famous areas that everyone talks bad about. It was one of the "worste areas" One of it's nicknames was "Chanta" Barbara. ("chanta" means "sucky" or "lame") But I made a promise to myself that if I went to an area like that, I would never fall in to that trap of listening to gossip and having a bad attitude. There are no such things as bad areas! I got here and only 11 people came to church, including us. It just showed me that there was a lot of work to do! And for the last six months I've just treated it like any other area, giving my all and preaching the gospel always without stop! We've seen a lot of miracles happen, including a wedding and five baptisms, and many people have reactivated. I'm so grateful that the gospel is true!
This week I was able to baptize Patricio. He is the son of Angelica, a recent convert as as of about 6 months. Patricio has had a lot of pain in his life. His older sister left the house and it's been really hard for him. He had some things that have been weighing him down for some time now that he has been waiting to repent for, and he was able to do it as he entered into the waters of baptism on Saturday.
Tender Mercy- The Holy Ghost as a comforter. Sometimes I forget that one of the main purposes of the Holy Ghost is to comfort us when we are in need. I have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost several times this week when I needed it.
Love you all, hope to hear from you soon!
-Zone, Los Angeles South
-baptism of Patricio
-another of baptism
-Me with Brother and Sister Jaque, two of the strongest members in Santa Barbara. We ate lunch with them every single Friday.
-Mondaca family. This family is awesome! The parents were baptized just a year or two ago, but they are super super strong and have been married in the temple already. Barbara, the daughter, on the right, was baptized years ago. The other teenager is their cousin, who isnt a member, but it turns out that she lives RIGHT NEXT to the house in Villa Obispo that I am going to!-Us with President Contreras. He is the branch president in Santa Barbara for the last 8 years. They are a great family!
-At a zone conference, the assistants did an object lesson with soccer.
-Us with Franci and her mom, a lady who owned a business that we frequently went to for supplies. She loooooved it when the missionaries came by. We have invited her to church so many times, but she has had a really bad experience with an unnamed religion in the past...which has made it hard for her to accept our message. She's coming around though.-Us with Patrcio, Ania, Paloma, and Ester, whose roof was the roof that burned down. Patricio isnt a member. We have been teaching him. He's become a lot more receptive lately!
- Me and Elder Bustos, one of the assistants to the president. He is Chilean and is going home today! He was a great example to me and was an excellent missionary.
Posted by ellisgomez at 2:20 PM
Monday, November 14, 2011
November 14, 2011
This week was great. It was really rainy toward the beginning of the week, but it turned pretty again...then it got scorching hot. (just in case you wanted to know the weather)
-Me and Elder Barton at salto de laja
This week was great. It was really rainy toward the beginning of the week, but it turned pretty again...then it got scorching hot. (just in case you wanted to know the weather)
-Giant beetle we found
On Tuesday at our district meeting, Elder Pliler, my zone leader, shared a story about how he was in an area that was hard...they worked every day and they didnt see any "success" It was extremely hard for him and he cried sometimes as he prayed to Heavenly Father asking for guidance and strenth. Well...he said that months later, (at the giant mission activity) the missionary who is now in that area, came up to him and said that someone who he was teaching months ago was baptized over the weekend. He was really emotional about it but he shared that we should never let ourselves be down. In life there WILL be hard times, but thats when we must focus on the things that are important (the gospel) and have patience. It was really neat and I know its true, we cant get down on ourselves!!! Our trials are never in vain.
We found a scorpion in our house! What! We named him "squirtle"
This week we had the privilege to hear from Bishop Keith B. McMullen from the presiding bishopric. It was a great talk and we were able to also from Elder Jorge F. Zeballos of the seventy. They are men truly called by God. Right after the conference I came out and outside in a car was a few members from my old area, Bio Bio, so I ran and talked to them with a few other missionaries who also know them. They are awesome members and it was so good to see them. (we had to come up to Talcahuano to go to the conference)
We had an awesome lesson with some members, Luz and Pancho. They have lived together for 20 years and havent gotten married. They are both married to other people but they could easily separate and get married. Luz is stubborn and she says that if she gets married then Pancho will change for the worse. I think she secretly knows thats not true and she is just making up an excuse for some reason....we read with them Ether 12:6 and James 2:17 and assured them that if they get married, there is no way things will get worse if they try their hardest to make it work. God is obligated to do his part IF WE DO OURS FIRST. Plus, they will be able to take the sacrament again and they will have the gift of the Holy Ghost in their lives, they will be able to have callings in the church, and they will be able to go to the temple. We helped them understand that if they already made it happily through 20 years, who will things get WORSE by keeping the commandments of God now? Its impossible! So we are hoping they can take that leap of faith!
Taking that leap of faith is important for all of us with our challenges in life. It could be simply praying, leaving a group of friends who arent a good influence, start paying tithing, start going to church every Sunday, reading scriptures, leaving a bad situation that could be potentially dangerous morally, leaving a movie that isnt in harmony with God's standards, going on a mission, getting baptized, apologizing to someone, telling the truth when you are tempted to lie....etc etc. But, if we take the step of faith, we will be forever strengthened. Dont give in to temptation! Read Genesis 39:7-12 and think about what what would have happened if this person didnt make the right decision. I love the man in this story and he will forever be one of my heroes!
One of the biggest miracles I have seen happened this week... we went to visit an inactive member, Lorena, and her family. Her husband, Manuel, is also a member but he has a drinking problem and he wasnt the most pleasant guy to be around. He hasnt come to church in years. But we went there and I had a feeling to keep talking to the husband and so I kept talking to him about whatever came to mind, soccer...scorpions...whatever, and then we shared something with them and he completely changed! At the end of the lesson we mentioned cooking and family nights, so I said, we should have a family night...and Manuel said quickly "but it will have to be after Monday when I'm home!" and then kind of looked at his wife and kids a little awkwardly because he hasnt been excited about the gospel in years! It was so great! And at the end of the visit, HE said the closing prayer and it was amazing! His wife Lorena kept looking at me with a happy look on her face! I love the gospel. The great change of heart is so important in this life.
We really put our trust in the Lord this week and went to work, and we were able to see a lot of good things happen. We had a visit with Gloria, a lady who owns a night club and has some problems herself with the law of chastity, her son Matias 17 who is a really great member, her daughter Anita 9, her sister in law Corina 26, her husband Milton, and some other random people. This family is so awesome! Gloria is the nicest lady and our lessons have been having a HUGE impact on her and she is going to leave the trap she's in. Her daughter Anita wants to get baptized a lot. Matias was baptized about 3 years ago. We had an amazing family night with them and we watched the Testaments. At the end when Christ heals Helam, the Spirit was SO STRONG! Gloria started crying and everyone was shocked at how good they felt! They all came to church on Sunday and I was little nervous because the branch president asked me to speak on the law of Chastity! I was nervous because like half the people at church werent married to the people they live with! But it was good and I knew I just needed to trust in the Lord's gospel. Be not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
We had a very good day at church! A record! We had 6 investigators in church and 38 people in total! This little branch is growing and IT CANT STOP!! Whooh! Ha ha. I am sad because I'll probably be leaving from here in a week.
We gave two blessings this week. One to a little cute baby girl who swallowed a staple on Friday, who seems to be ok now, and another lady Natalia, who has problems with diabetes and some other diseases. She's from out in the country and was visiting a member family. She had some strange religious beliefs and was a little stubborn at first, but we just shared with her how it really is and she was a little hesitant at what we shared about Christ and God our Father and prayer and stuff...but after the blessing she was crying and she thanked us a ton and she said whenever she is in town she will come to church and to the branch family home evenings. Testimony to me about how QUICK the gospel and TRUE DOCTRINE can change people. It's because the gospel is true!
Thanks for everything that you all do for me. I love you all, Be happy, I hope you have a great week. The Book of Mormon is awesome!
Sincerely, Elder Gomez
-Me and Elder Reeves, my second companion, who is leaving in less than a week! He is going to go home to Mexico because his parents are mission presidents there, and then he's returning to BYU ladies!
-The zone at Salto de Laja (earlier today)
-Another zone shot
-Me and Hermana Noxon, who have been in the same zone as me for my entire mission...It appears as though this transfer we'll be in different zones for the first time. She's a crack up and is OBSESSED with the Utah Jazz.
-Elder Barton modeling
-Me and Elder Barton at salto de laja
Posted by ellisgomez at 4:46 PM