Dallin sent a special surprise for Levi...
a pokemon card from his first convert Jose Daniel!
April 25, 2011
Hello everyone! This week has been very eventful! First off...CAMBIOS! I am leaving Bio Bio already!!!!!!! I am going to an area called Independencia. My companion will be Elder Lamb, from Utah. I was pretty shocked to hear that I would be leaving. This cambio was excellent. Time moves too fast. One of the days this week, it RAINED a LOT! We were not really prepared for it either. I put on all of my "waterproof" gear but it didnt do much. I had a classic movie scene happen to me. We had just left a visit and we started walking along the highway. i wasnt really paying attention to my position...and all of the sudden a car drove past and water shot at me like a waterfall and completely drenched me. It was pretty lame. This week I met a lady who is 100 years old. Shes a member, and shes still walking around and everything. I thought I would let you all know that...100 years old! Born in 1911! This week we had a huge let down with Norma. Everything was ready for the baptism, and on Saturday morning she somehow found her way to our house to tell us bad news. Shes not going to get baptized right now because everything is falling apart in her family. Her husband hasnt been happy with her decisions in the church. None of her kids want her to get baptized either. They had a family birthday party that the planned exactly at the time of her baptism also. She was going to get baptized regardless of all of this...but she decided that shes going to try to make things better with the family first. She wants to visit all of her kids in different parts of Chile and afterward get baptized in about a month. I hope and pray that she does. It breaks my heart to see someone who wants to follow the Savior so much not being supported by their family. Satan wants to destroy the family for real. I have seen that so apparently here. Dont let him get to your family! Stay strong! Enjoy each others company! We found a lot of new investigators this week. It will be really good for the new companion of Elder Hickman! He is going to be training! Hes a little nervous, but he will do great. We had some great opportunities to teach this week. I have gained a strong testimony of sharing the gospel ALL THE TIME! In every possible situation. We are all little scardy cats sometimes, when in reality, we WILL be guided every time we open our mouth to share the gospel. Thats a promise! So, my invitation to all of you, open your mouth! Dont be scared or ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is real and true and for EVERYONE! I love you all. Have a great week. Sorry this one is short. I will let you know how Independencia and Elder Lamb are next week. Elder Gomez -Norma and her huged eyed grandson :D -Me ready to chop wood -making alfajors (really good common junk food) -finished -Me and Gabriel, he served in Ohio in the United states. He translated for elder Oaks and hermana Swenson in conferences. He might be contacting dad, because he wants to get into the mba program at byu! -Familia Rivera Oyarzun. Two new members of the church. :) -Me and Francheska. Shes had such a change from when we first started teaching her! She is one of the people that you can tell like black and white that she has the spirit in her life now. -- *Elder Dallin Dean Gomez* Chile Concepcion South Mission O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503 Concepcion Bio-Bio Chile
April 18, 2011
Hola familia y amigos!!! Happy late birthday Jacob in March! Sorry I forgot earlier! I hope it was a good day. Happy Easter everyone! How is everyone doing? I hope really good. Unfortunately, this week I dont have a ton of time to write. This week was good. We have had some really great lessons with inactive members lately. Norma, our 60 year old investigator, is all ready to get baptized this Saturday. She is excited. We also had some more tremors. But of course I didnt feel any of them because they always happen while we are walking in the street. There were two on Friday night, apparently they were really strong. Stronger than the other one that I felt last week! The second coming is closer and closer by the minute! How exciting. There are a lot of inactive members here. What were trying to do is get the members of the ward to help us out a lot with visits and such. Members can have a great impact. We had a noche de talentos this week (talent show) and it was good. We had a lot of inactive members go, so that was really good. We also found Sandra this week. She is a lady who is really interested in our message. She is a lady who is looking for the truth. Just like it says in D y C 123:12. There are many who are kept from the truth "because they know not where to find it" That is Sandra exactly. We left a Book of Mormon with her and she said that she would get baptized if she found out it was true! That doesnt happy very often. There are a lot of people here who have a hard time with commitments, so it was so nice to find this lady who will honestly ACT if she finds that it is true. Acting is probably difficult part of the gospel isnt it? We read the Book of Mormon, but sometimes we just read, and forget to apply. Ive realized that more and more in my own life and in my life as a missionary. The scriptures arent just filled with good "ideas". They are things to DO!!!!!!! If you are ever finding yourself struggling with your testimony...ask yourself- when was the last time I followed Moronis counsel at the end of the Book of Mormon and asked Heavenly Father in prayer if it is true. When was the last time I loved and forgave my enemy like Our Savior taught? When was the last time I thought of someone in need and helped them? Do we sometimes just read the scriptures and let the wise counsel sit there on the page and never apply it to our own lives? Unfortunately, I think so. We cant become the people we want to become, gain the testimony we desire, be as happy as we would like, have the peace that we are searching for....without DOING something!! We have to live it, not just read it. We have to pray about the Book of Mormon, we have to ACTUALLY serve others, we have to actually do good deeds, we have to actually control our temper, we have to DO more...and not just be spectators. Lets make a goal together (because I need to also) to start living the gospel more...EVERY PART of the gospel! Ive realized that just going to church on Sunday and reading a scripture here or there isnt enough! Its what it makes of us, what we become. Its who we are! So...WHOs WITH ME?! (I feel like Im in a pep assembly) but seriously, if anyone else wants to make this goal with me, you are cordially invited :) Thanks for everything that you all have done for me. I love you all a lot, everyone who reads this! Im sorry if Ive done mean things to you. I hope you will forgive me. Have a great week! :) Elder Gomez Pictures: -Me with the flower "Copihue" It is the national flower of Chile, and its illegal to pick it....but our investigator Norma had some, so I thought Id get a picture. Thats Norma in the background, she will be baptized on Saturday. -Us with an inactive family who have come back to church!
Hello everyone, Happy anniversary Aida and Steve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy birthday Steve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy birthday Carlos in two days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This week was good as usual. We had interviews with the president and he gave me some good advice. We were talking about how there's a lot of miserable people in the world, but the sad thing is that they don't know that they're miserable, because that's how they've always been. He said referring to that, "There are people who get it, who don't get it, and who don't get that they don't get it." Ha ha. I think a lot of people are in the last category. Actually....I know that they are. The other day we finally found a lady who we contacted about a month ago. She was just leaving her house though, so we only had enough time to talk to her on the way to the bus. We asked how she was, what's been going on, etc. She said that she's not particularly happy right now. She has a lot of problems...with her "pareja" (the person who you live with but are not married to) she has problems in work, her mom is sick....just a lot of things. You can tell that she lives a very fast pace and stressful life. Yeah, with that knowledge, I KNOW how she can receive peace and security and even happiness during all of these trials. It's called "The Gospel of Jesus Christ". The only problem is that SHE doesn't know that. So we have to tell her that and show her. That's basically our goal with everyone. To show them how happy they can be when they come to know the truth about this life, and that God really is Our Heavenly Father, and that He really does want us to be happy. And that He has given all of the tools to do so. We haven't talked to her since that short conversation, because she is always doing other things. Other things that stress her out and take up all of her time! This work is saddening. I feel some distress every single day when people don't exercise this little bit of faith and hear the gospel of Christ. And on the other end, I experience joy that is beyond description when they DO accept this message. So so happy. Speaking of which.... This weekend Cony and Francheska got baptized! They are so awesome. I'll attach pictures. I think I've talked in the past about their family a little bit...their mom was an inactive member, and has come back to church, and the gospel has changed the lives of her daughters now, especially Cony, the 14 year old. During the baptisms and confirmations the spirit was really strong. I love these moments!!! I have to say a little bit about Alberto. We were walking on a street one day....(ok, that's really vague since that's what we do everyday) Ha ha, but we were walking one day and there was a drunk man laying face down sleeping on the side of the road. We felt that we should help him, so we got him up, talked to him a little bit and told him that he needs to go to his house and sleep. We started talking to him and finding out a little bit about him. We gave him some food and told him that were are his friends and we are here to help him and to change his life. That through Christ and the message that we have, he can be happy and change his life and stop drinking. He started crying a little bit when we told him we were his friends. We helped him walk to his house, and when we got there, we talked to his step daughter a little bit about him and that we are here to teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that he wants to repent and change his life...but he needs help. He is about 50 years old and this step daughter about 25 or so. He went to sleep and it was good that he was not in the street anymore. We found out that he doesn't live in our area, but he's from the area of the missionaries who live with us. So we told them all about him and they were really excited. They've had a rough time lately with finding people. So they stopped by and taught him a lesson, and they set a baptismal date with him! They were so happy. They invited him to church and told him that they would stop by on Sunday to get him. So they stopped by yesterday morning....but no one was home...(That happens quite a bit) they were pretty bummed out. So they show up to church, and he was there!!!!!! (that is REALLY rare!!!!) He was there and all of the members were taking good care of him (befriending him) SO COOL!! I'm so happy for the other elders! And it's cool to see that it started because me and my companion had the impression to stop and help a little man in the street. If you have the opportunity to help someone in need, DON'T let it pass by!!!! You won't regret it. AH! I almost forgot! I felt an EARTHQUAKE!! Ha ha. I was so happy! Alright...it was more of a tremor, but it was cool. I was studying and all of the sudden everything started to move and shake. I guess that's why they call it an earthquake! We have another baptism on the 23rd - Norma. She's a 60 year old lady who has a strong desire to follow Jesus Christ. It's a bit of a challenge to teach her though because she LOVES to be the one talking. Literally, if you try to say something, she'll just keep talking. But I honestly think that in her life, she hasn't had a whole lot of people who listen to her. I think we have helped her a whole lot just by listening to her ramble and tell stories of the Bible and her life. We also were able to give her a priesthood blessing of health last week which was neat. She was crying when we finished and she felt the Holy Ghost tell her that it was a literally a blessing from God. Also this last visit, as she was rambling on, she started choking up all of the sudden, and started crying and shared her testimony of the first vision and it was so neat. Everyone is so different, but everyone can still know that this 14 year old boy say Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because they had to restore their gospel to the earth. I also testify that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because They came down from the heavens to tell him of the work which was to come forth. A work of which I am a part of currently as a missionary of the Lord. I love you all. Keep choosing the right. Elder Gomez PHOTOS -Baptism, Me, Cony, Francheska, and Elder Hickman -A few of the young men and leaders in the ward -Me making fried cheese empanadas with some members -Baptism -At a birthday party for Javiera, Cony and Francheskas little sister. -Javiera -An inactive family that we have been working with, the Conejeros. -- *Elder Dallin Dean Gomez* Chile Concepcion South Mission O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503 Concepcion Bio-Bio Chile
April 4, 2011
Hey everyone, Wasnt this week great? It was pretty great down here in Hualpen, Chile. This week we worked a lot with the members. Weve been working really hard to get the members involved in missionary work here. Almost every day we left to appointments with members, so that was really neat. We had an amazing experience with Patricia and Jisenia. Patricia is the lady, about 40 years old, who I think I mentioned last time. We stopped by her house before church to pick her up but she wasnt going to come because she was angry because something had just happened in the house. A fight or something. So we stopped by later in the week with the same member, Sister Cofre, and we had a great lesson. Patricia and also her daughter, Jesenia were there. We talked about prayer and its importance. We talked a lot about Christ, and the only way we can be completely happy in this life is if we follow his example. Sister Cofre bore a strong testimony to her and shared some personal experiences. Patricia NEEDS something in her life. She is the opposite of happy. She is angry all the time, shes raises her voice a LOT, and she has no patience. She wants to change, but she just lacks the DOING it part. So at the end of the lesson, we invited Jesenia to say the prayer. Jesenia is 21 and has a deformation with her face. She had never prayed before. She didnt want to say it and she kept saying that she still didnt know how to, but we kept encouraging her to.. I finally said that I would say a short first prayer, and then she could say one right after it like it. So I said a prayer, and then she was still a little hesitant, and finally, she started to say it. She repeated a couple of the things I said, and then all of the sudden she started praying out of her heart and she started crying. It was one of the best prayers that I have heard in a long time. The Spirit was so strong!! It was incredible. Thats why Im here! To have these kinds of moments when people come to know their Heavenly Father. And He indeed is our Father in Heaven. We always push people to pray, even right there during the lesson, because the minute they pray with a sincere heart, they will come to know God. If you dont know Him, and you question if He exists and loves you, ask yourself when the last time you prayed from your heart was. We push people to pray because we know that they will feel the love of their Father in Heaven when they do so. Another great thing that happened this week... We went to an appointment with a member, and afterward he took us back to our little house. We had just a little while before it would 10, which is when we normally enter the house, and we were really tired. We almost stayed in the house...but then we had a feeling that we should just go work for a few more minutes. We both started walking in a random direction together. We didnt question eachother or anything about where we should or anything...we just WENT. We kept walking until we came to this apartment building (theyre called blocks here, each block has 16 apartments) We came to this block and it was locked, so we knocked on the window of one of the houses on the bottom floor, and Eugenia answered. She is about 45 or 50 years old. She is...WAS an inactive member.
>:) We started talking to her and she said she was inactive because people never really came to visit her much, and she was sick and nobody came from the church. She said that she still considers it her church though and shes never forgotten her testimony. She told us some awesome experiences that shes had with the Holy Ghost and feeling His influence. She got all excited to go to conference and she was so happy that we stopped by. Yesterday we stopped by and picked her up for conference, and after the session I found her and she told me the most incredible thing ever!!! She said that her testimony is now complete. She had a couple doubts and questions, but she said that they were all answered during the conference (Sunday morning session) She started crying a little bit and told me that she knows this church is true and she wants to share her testimony with her kids and bring them to church next week. I said that would be awesome. Plus, fast and testimony meeting is next week. She is really excited. Im so happy that this happened! She has been away from the church for years now. The words of the messengers of God, his prophets and apostles, are so powerful. Also, I learned the importance of following the spirit! If we would not have left that night that we normally wouldnt have, we would not have found Eugenia. FOLLOW THE HOLY GHOST! I cant possible deny that this gospel is true when amazing things happen to me all the time. On the contrary, I know that its true! This conference was awesome, wasnt it?? I especially loved...well...I especially loved a ton of the talks! How about C. Scott Grow (awesome name :D) His talk about the atonement was so good. That was a neat story about his brother who died just last month who was literally borne again. We can all be borne again if we repent and change and come unto Christ. There is always hope. I know it takes a little bit of effort, but its worth it. Just pick up that Book of Mormon which I know is true and start reading it. Kneel down when you have an opportunity and pray to God, your Heavenly Father. Pray to Him! And you wont regret it. Cony and Francheska, our investigators who will be baptized this weekend are doing good. They are really excited. Cony has had an amazing change happen in her life in the last month or so. She is really really popular and has a lot of friends, and she wasnt making the best decisions...she put her friends before her family. She didnt even greet her family when she got home, just went straight to her room (which is really not normal for this country) She was always angry also... then one of her friends Roxanna, a member in the ward, invited her to church and seminary, and she went. Cony says that the second she stepped in the church everything changed. In that moment! She had been in a lot of other churches but didnt like any of them. But the minute she entered the church of Jesus Christ, she felt the Holy Ghost so strong that her problems didnt seem big anymore, she knew everything would be alright. She also knew that she needed to start loving her family more. And from there it was a black to white change. She is completely different know. And best of all, shes coming to know Jesus Christ as her Savior and Heavenly Father as her Father in Heaven. I love being a missionary and seeing people change!!!!! Thanks for all of you and your impacts on me to change when I need to. Keep in touch! I love you all, Elder Dallin Gomez Photos: -Elder Merrell from Provo, with red hair, and Elder Bernal, from Colombia. They live in our house. -Beware of tsunamis -Familia Conejeros -Us in the back of the presidents asistants truck. Ha ha.