Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Email June 28, 2011

 June 28, 2011

Hola mi querida famila y amigos,

This week has been full of events. We worked really hard here in Santa Barbara to start making change here, and we committed 7 investigators to going to church! So that was awesome! On Sunday....9 people showed up!.....9 members showed up :( And no investigators! It was a little disappointing that we worked all week long with inactive members, investigators, and members in general to get them going in the gospel again...but at the end of the week it was kind of a let down. A part of the problem was that on Sunday morning exactly, it was the coldest it has been this whole year! It was -7 degrees celsius, which is about 20 degrees fahrenheit. But it is seems a lot colder when there is no indoor heating here! It is as cold inside the house as outside. Even though it was a little disappointing to only see that many people, we were very happy that 2 inactive members who havent gone for years came to church! One specifically hasnt come for about ten years. It was really neat. OH, we also had an activity on Saturday, it was fun. Other than the branch presidency (us) three people came. But we decided that no matter how many people came we would have fun, so we did. We watched Princess and the Frog and talked about the purpose of the Sabbath Day. Princess and the Frog is definitely a tear jerker. But I love the message that it has. Tiana's dad says at the beginning that with some hard work, we can accomplish anything in life. That is so true! It really applies to missionary work too. It's been really cool that my mission president allows us to watch Disney movies here....which brings me to my next point of business...

This week (tomorrow) President and Sister Swenson are LEAVING! They are finishing their three year mission. They have been the most amazing leaders for me and us missionaries its incredible. We are all sad to say goodbye to them. Our new president will be Osvaldo Martinez from Los Angeles, Chile. Thats actually about right where I am, an hour from Los Angeles. I have never met him, but I have heard a lot about him and that he is really great. Yesterday we had our conference to say goodbye to them, and the entire mission was there. I got to see everyone it was so great! I saw Elder McConnell and Elder Boman! Woot. They are both doing great. Sister Swenson talked about our personal plans of salvation and our patriarchal blessings, and how they are a piece of our plan. It is our potential if we keep following the commandments and doing what is right. President Swenson talked about how in the mission we are able to become who we want to be in this life. And we have to think about that goal always and work toward it and if we do it and are obedient, we will become what we would like to become. .....and they said a TON more things too...unfortunately I dont have with me my study journal where I took notes. They were amazing talks though. Oh, also President Swenson talked about the fortifications in Alma 49 and 50 were the nephites make ALL sorts of preparations to combat against the Lamanites. He said said that he had always read over this part in the book or mormon pretty casually....but this time he really understood how it could apply to us. Its pretty cool actually, because I have taught this in the past to investigators and inactive members...how they can build the fortifications in their lives that they need to combat against Satan.

One of my favorite things to do is talk to everyone that I can...in all sorts of situations, on the bus, in the streets, in stores, our neighbors. People are getting acustomed to cold-hearted people who dont care about anybody but themselves, so when someone actually does talk to them they are so happy and they have an automatic friend! I love being that person, who gets to become everyone's friend. You can all do it too if you want! I would definitely recommend talking to everyone thats in your way. They are in your way for a reason. I recently read a story from one of President Monson's recent talks about a lady who was old and in a lot of pain, but she still wanted to help others, so she decided that if she couldnt do anything else, she could LISTEN...so she started visiting people and listening to them. Because lets face it, we all want someone to listen to us. And she said, "what a blessing was the lives of so many people." Ha ha. I feel the same way! It is always a blessing to get to know someone.

We are still really excited here in Santa Barbara. Like Joseph Smith said, "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing" Even though it can get a little delayed every now and then, it wont stop permanently ever, because the church is true. It is the church of Christ. Have you ever asked yourself before, "How could Joseph Smith say so many HUGE things like he did? How could he assume such amazing things?" Well I testify to you all that he wasnt crazy. He was a prophet of God. He spoke many times about how the gospel would cover every continent, country and people...that every ear would hear the gospel preached to them. And it is coming to pass!

A random funny thing that has happened this week- we had an old man sing to us today in the street. It was cool.

Tender Mercy for the week- God has given us the ability to repent, to be the most unhappy person alive, and to change everything and have SO MUCH JOY! What an amazing gift.

ALSO, I was able to talk to all of my converts from Labranza with Elder Chavez, my trainer!!! He is about to leave home! So we called everyone and we said hi! Luis and Beto are doing good, Jose Daniel is alright...he hasnt gone to church as much as he should, but he is going to keep going. Everyone else is good....they all completely loved to talk to us! I love that place...Labranza. It is amazing. I told Elder Chavez goodbye.....he was an awesome trainer and one of my best friends now.

I love you all, I love the gospel, I love Chile!
Just keep swimming! As Dory would say.

Elder Gomez

ps- I might not be sending pictures for a while due to some difficulties....but dont worry, you will get them in the future.

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