May 30, 2011
Hola family and friends, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW AIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How is everyone doing? This week was alright. From Wednesday to about Friday or Saturday Elder Lamb was pretty sick, so we were home bound for a good amount of time. During that time I tried to keep myself occupied between the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, etc. Basically just like a really long personal study. I have learned a lot. I listened to Elder Hollands talk from the Oct. 2009 conference, "Safety for the Soul" about the Book of Mormon. I have listened to it countless times already but everytime I learn something new in a powerful way that I didnt get the time before. In reality, the Book of Mormon is true, and it is the keystone to the restored gospel of Christ. Some members of another church talked to us the other day and talked about the Bible and their usual info about their religion. But I keep realizing, EVERYONE already has the Bible! It is a great volume of scripture, but until you have read the Book of Mormon, you wouldnt even be able to try to convince me of anything else! But anyway, the Book of Mormon is true. This week I have been thinking a lot about taking upon us the name of Christ. Too often in the church today people have been offended by a member of the church. Way too often. A lot of people have the mentality, "well that is their fault if they decide to leave, nobody can force them to come to church." Well in reality, its OUR FAULT TOO if we arent forgiving them and helping them. We have to go search for the lost sheep, not leave them out their alone. It really DOESNT MATTER what they have done against us or what we have done against them, it is time to suck it up and forgive them. If you really claim that you represent Jesus Christ, you will go help WHOEVER is in need. Jesus Christ taught us that if we dont forgive others of their offenses against us, then He wont forgive us of our offenses. How clear is that? This really hit me this week....I had a very powerful experience that really woke me up: We found Magali, a 45ish year old lady in the street about a month ago. She has a lot of problems in her life. Probably more than anyone who is reading this. She has a bad bad family background, she is a very heavy smoker, and she is schizophrenic. Anyway, we have seen her in the street several times since the first, and we always invite her to church and commit her to go, and we have stopped by her house two Sundays already...and just yesterday we stopped by for the final chance and she was there and ready to come with us! So I talked to her all the way to the church and she lit up a cigarette right before we got to the church so we waiting a second until she would throw it away...she was really nervous and she has somewhat of an attention deficit disorder also. So we finally got their and went in and sat down in the sacrament meeting room. She sat down and looked really nervous and really uncomfortable. After a few people came and said hi to her, all before the meeting had even started, she stood up to leave, she said, "i have to go I have to go." And so i got up and followed her to help her calm down. A recently returned missionary in the ward, Rodrigo, followed me to help her also. She was very panicky. She kind of mumbled to me that they are cheaters and liars...because apparently she has had bad experiences with at least one of the ladies at some point, and now she is all of the sudden being called "sister" by the same people who have done wrong to her before. She was really upset. It also turns out that she came to church a couple weeks ago and she was rejected by one of the members. In the end, she left, and she didnt come back. I felt horrible, and just about broke down crying. Luckily Rodrigo and Juanito, two recently returned missionaries were their with me and they could see how sad I was and my voice started choking up pretty bad so they put their arms around me and helped me out a lot. This could have been the strongest feeling I have felt since Ive been in the mission. Complete sadness and horribleness. She was in the church and then left. She was so close to having her life begin to change, and then she LEFT. I was crushed. Completely crushed. It was powerful. I understand a little better how Jesus Christ felt when he suffered everything for us. The Son of God Himself took upon him these things. I was very grateful for the opportunity that I had immediately after this experience to take the sacrament. And I gained a powerful testimony of how we, as individuals, can CHANGE PEOPLES LIVES. What if Magali would have walked into the room and seen a lady and would have thought "Hey, there is the lady who said hi to me the other day and asked me how I was doing" instead of "Hey, that lady is a hypocrite because...! And then she wouldnt let me come in her church last week!" Jesus Christ said that unless we BECOME LIKE HIM, we cannot take upon ourselves His name and be counted with His fold. This gospel is more than just not drinking and smoking, its more than giving ten percent of our money for tithing-- Its how we love people. Its how we serve people. Its how we give up everything we have, all of our talents, gifts, abilities, EVERYTHING for the cause of Christ. He said, "Feed My Sheep" So lets do it! I love you all, keep being awesome, Elder Gomez
Pictures-An awesome family that we are working with. Claudia, the mom, is an inactive member, and Renaldo, the crazy skinny guy with a knife is not a member. He has become one of my really really good friends here in Chile, regardless of the scary pictures :D And they feed us SOOOO much food! This is a picture of tacos that they made. -A ten year old genius, Macarena. She is really smart and studies like 5 hours per day! I told her that she could take a break for ten or 15 minutes and read the Book of Mormon and she would do EVEN BETTER in school. She is a member but isnt active. But she came to church yesterday! -Me and Elder Lamb, him with his never ending coke! -Me and a giant sandwich, also from Renaldo and Claudia.