Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fire fire!

October 24, 2011 
Hello hello, 

This week was crazy! It started off with a Family home evening with one of the families of members here, The Figueroas. Sister Figueroa is the relief society president and Brother Figueroa is an active member but he has a problem with the word of wisdom. He falls sometimes to alcohol. He hasnt taken the sacrament for a long time because of it. They also have 3 kids- 29 years old, 17, and 11 who were with us. We went to their house and for the lesson we read in Alma 50:1-6. (this scripture talks about the defenses that Moroni made to the city to protect themselves from the Lamanites) We discussed how it related to us today because we are also in a war...a different type of war. A spiritual war of morality and standards and principles of the gospel that are being changed drastically. Satan is trying to get to us in any possible way, and for that reason we have to build our fortifications, our defenses. I would recommend everyone to read those 6 verses. Look how many things they built to protect themselves. Just like them, we must build our defenses up or the adversary WILL be able to enter. At the end of the lesson we challenged each of them to choose one "fortification" which they lack that they are going to build up/start doing better. Among the answers were: scripture study EVERY DAY, leaving bad friends with a negative influence, going to church every week, praying every day, obeying parents. Sounds good to me!

In our district meeting we talked a lot about our vision as missionaries to baptize and we refocused ourselves on the remission of sins through baptism by water and by the spirit for the remission of sins. Really, we dont have any hope in this world without that miraculous truth. The truth of repentance, and receiving the Holy Ghost through baptism and/or taking the sacrament. The truth is that we cant be completely happy in this life without the gospel. We will always have a hole that cant be filled. A hole that comes from sin, when we separate ourselves from our Heavenly Father. Not to mention, it is impossible to return to live with Him and be saved in His kingdom unless we repent and keep His commandments. And since He loves us so much and wants to bless us with all that He has, He WILL if we just come unto him. He cant abuse our gift of agency. But He WILL bless us abundantly if we come unto Him. I know that for a fact because I have seen it in action many many times here in the last year and in my own life. That is why baptism by water and by fire for the remission of sins is so important. 

We had a lesson with Daniela this week with the Contreras family like always. She is doing great after her baptism. We watched Legacy with them. This movie inspires me every time I watch it. I thought a lot about the sacrifice of the pioneers as I watched it and realized that there is NO excuse whatsoever why I cant endure to the end! It was really good for Daniela to watch also. She liked it a lot and the entire family recommitted to living the gospel more fully. This may sound funny but I realized also during the movie that the pioneers are real! They really lived and they really sacrificed everything and walked across the country and were persecuted even unto DEATH! But....I ask myself....WHY? I have come up with a few answers, but I would love to hear all of your answers. Whoever would like should send me an email back with their answers to that question. Why did they do what they did?

One day this week, I believe it was Thursday, we were walking around the whole town talking to people and trying to find people who we had previously contacted. It was blazing hot and we were tired, and NOBODY was home! We had no luck, but something said to just keep going. We ended up down on the main street in the town and so we knocked on the door of a recent convert, Angelica, who has been having lots of family problems (her daughter, Fernanda 16, left the house leaving her two younger children to the house). Her son Patricio answered the door and let us in. At one point, Patricio and his older sister were close to getting baptized but his older sister ended up not wanting to because of negative peer pressure, and so because of that Patricio followed her example and didnt either. Anyway, we talked to Patricio and he told us that he wants to get baptized and repent and confess his sins because he has been sinning pretty badly. (He's only 10 years-old!) We read in the Book of Mormon about forgiveness and repentance and then the remission of sins through baptism. We explained that Jesus Christ suffered for all of what we suffer, and we can be relieved of our pain when we repent and are baptized. He started crying and told us how much he missed Fernanda and how he wants to erase the past and he wants to erase his sins and have the spirit in his life. It was a big testimony builder for me that even someone so young can feel such strong feelings and be able to repent and receive the blessings of the atonement. We set a baptismal date with him and he is very anxious for the day.

Directly after this lesson we felt like going to another part of Santa Barbara and the first people we talked to were a family who let us in and said they would love to come to church. One of them has come a few years ago and she was telling the others how great it was. So they all commited to go. Where did these blessings come from?! Finding so many new people all at once...when just a couple hours before we had absolutely no luck with anybody! And for the last month or so we have struggled with finding new investigators! I know the guidance of the spirit is real. Patricio and the whole family who we found did end up coming to church on Sunday! :)

On Saturday we were eating lunch with a member (a young couple. The husband isnt a member. Also, the Wife's mom was there who is a member also) and all of the sudden I saw smoke out the window and it got thicker and thicker and I  said "What is that smoke from?" and so we all stood up to investigate and it was fire! The attic was catching on fire from the chimney of the fireplace! I called the firefighters (bomberos) told them we needed help! Ha ha. We went outside and the whole roof was smoking and the neighbors started to come over to see and help. The house sits right next to the highway too. Patricio, the non member husband (yes yes, I know, there are a lot of "Patricio"s here! :D) knocked the chimney out of the ceiling and there was a blaze up there so he filled up a pot and started throwing water onto the fire. It didnt do much because the fire was already spread a lot. We tried to put it out as much as we could and get important things out of the house. It was crazy! The bomberos finally got there and they got up on the house and put it out pretty good. In the end the house was left a mess but luckily everyone was ok and only a part of the roof was destroyed. We got to it really fast which was good or it would have been a lot worse. We stayed and helped clean up for a while and then came back in the afternoon and helped take off the broken roof and then with some ward members we came back on Sunday to help build to roof again. 

One day this week the missionaries from another area called us and had a great reference for us, Juakin. He's a 20 year old guy who lives here in Santa Barbara but went to church in another area with his friend for a religion class. He really liked it and wanted to know more and we were able to teach him this week about the restoration and he is excited to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it all.

We found Guadelupe (mom) and Pedro (son 21) and they let us in and we shared the restoration and gave them the Book of Mormon and invited them to church. At first Guadelupe was hesitant to accepting the invitation to come to church....because one time she went to another church that wasnt Catholic and it scared her really bad! The way they talked and did crazy stuff and sang, etc. And so we sang "I know that my Redeemer lives" at the end to show her how our hymns are. Afterward she said "Wow! That is so pretty! Yeah, I will come sometime!" Our hymns truly are inspired and carry the spirit with them.

In church, 32 people came! That is the most ever that I have seen her besides the 50 person ward conference we had, when many stake members came. I was so happy to see so many people. We had several investigators come and the ward members were great with welcoming them. The ward is showing a lot more unity than ever and I'm excited. They rallied together about the fire also and then in the afternoon several members went to help them. They were so grateful. It reminds me of something I have heard before:
In Oklahoma City some years ago when tornadoes struck and destroyed many buildings and homes, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of the first to send both supplies and people to the disaster area.
After some days, a local news reporting agency questioned inhabitants of the disaster area, as to where and who most of their assistance came from. One woman responded that there were two agencies that gave the most assistance. The first was the "Mormons;" and the other was the "Latter-day Saints."

Yesterday night we were able to finish the week off good by teaching Teresa 18 with the Contreras family (members) We watched the Restration video and talked about the importance of the restoration. Especially the importance of knowing if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Her whole life she has been really involved in a different church and its very different for her to hear about a prophet and especially the Book of Mormon. 2 Nefi 29:6-9 says it all very good. 

Tender Mercy- Strength that comes from living the gospel. It truly can give us the strength and ability to accomplish many good things. 

I love you all and miss you,

Elder Gomez

-family home evening with Figueroas
-with Patricio
-Inside right after the fire.
-poor roof
-I knew my construction skills would come in handy! (bad angle, sorry)
-After we took the burnt roof off.
-Brother Jaque, one of the faithful members in the ward, drinking mate!! Ha ha. I love this picture.
-I dont know why I like these pictures so much! Brother Jaque is awesome. 
-Ester, Paloma 4, Ania (they were the members who's house burned)


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

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dallin goes fishing :)

October 17, 2011
Hey everyone! 
How is everyone doing? Tali, how do you feel being a legal adult? What in the world! Time is whippin' on by!
This was a great week. Me and Elder Barton have seen how the Lord has been working through us as we continually put ourselves in the place where he wants us to be. 
This week we had a great lesson with Daniela, our investigator who is the girlfriend of one of the ward members here. We also found out that she is PREGNANT! I may have mentioned that last week. We had the suspision....but you know how it is...you dont ask a lady about those kinds of things :D Well, we taught her the law of tithing and the word of wisdom, which were the last two commandments that we needed to teach her. We also reviewed the baptismal interview to make sure she knew what she would be asked in it. She accepted them and we set up a time for her baptismal interview. On Thursday our district leader came out here with me and we had a companionship interchange. Her interview went exceptionally well...When she was asked about the restoration of the gospel and the actual prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, she said that she gained a testimony of them during general conference. :) She also said that she had a lot of doubts specifically about the restoration and Joseph Smith. Elder Merrell asked her how she was able to resolve her doubts...she said PRAYER. She prayed and asked a lot. I knew the interview was going to go well, because I have seen the most amazing change in Daniela! But it made me so happy when he told me everything that she said and felt, because we have fasted and prayed so much for Daniela. A few months ago she was the hardest most stubborn girl ever! It all started with her desire. Just like Alma 32 talks about. Even if you have the DESIRE to believe, let that desire work in you. I was also so happy because as we got closer to when her baptism was going to be, it seemed as though we couldnt find her anywhere. Lets just say that I really made myself mentally and emotionally exhausted last week because of her...whenever an investigator just disappears its not good news because it means that the adversary can really work on them and try to get them to choose the wrong. But I was so so so incredibly relieved and filled with complete happiness when we finally did find her and we found out that she still had all the desires to keep keeping the commandments and be baptized! She has truly been converted to the Lord Jesus Christ. It makes me so happy to see this type of conversion, even out in Santa Barbara in the middle of Chile! It strenghtens my testimony that the work of the Lord will just keep on moving forward. 

So after the interview, me and Elder Merrell went right next door to where Daniela was and we taught Teresa. She is 18 and is a member of the evangelical church. She is incredibly smart when it comes to the scriptures, but its crazy how even people who are so smart religiously lack so much of the fullness of the gospel! That is why the restoration was so important. The precious simple truths were restored in their perfect form. It has really humbled me being able to teach Teresa. I know the Lord just just using us to communicate his word to Teresa. In the lesson the spirit was so strong there...I really just wanted to cry of happiness throughout the whole thing. Just thinking about it now makes me want to cry of happiness also. Going into the lesson we werent thinking that she wouldnt accept a baptismal date still. We figured we should teach her some more before we invite her. "Oh man of little faith, why did you doubt?" -Matthew 14:31   We felt towards the end of the lesson we should challenge her to be baptized. We invited her that when she finds out that all of these things are true the next step would be to follow in this church. We asked "as you come to know that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the authority of God? She just looked tenderly forward and a moment later said softly "yes, I will" It was so neat. The spirit was literally working inside of her. It showed on the outside! 

The spirit is so amazing. As a companionship and even as a mission, we have really been focusing on doing missionary work in the right way...that is, WITH THE SPIRIT!! Which comes from...being OBEDIENT! There are no good excuses why its alright to break the commandments of the Lord and there never will be! That is the truth. Like it says in 1 Nefi 3:7, the Lord doesnt give commandments unless he gives the way to complete them. When we obey, we literally receive heaven's help and we can do anything we worthily desire. All of the great missionaries in the scriptures who did amazing things only were able to do them because they listened to and did what the Lord commanded with exactness. 

Training has been good. Elder Barton is a good man. I have seen the gift of tongues work in him also. Only a little over a month and Chile and he can already carry on a normal conversation with people. Experts will continue to be stunned...but we know the secret to why lds missionaries can learn so fast. ;) This companionship has been really good. We get along great, and I really love that we both have the same idea about this work. Keep the mission rules and go to work and the Lord will use us as instruments in his hands! 

I think I have been the most patient in the last couple months then I ever have been in my whole life! It feels good. Ether 12:27 is true. 

One day this week something interesting happened. We entered into a house of someone we know here. She is an investigator but hasnt ever really made much progression. Her mom, who is an older lady, is a member. We went outside to chop wood for her and about 20 mintues later we went in the house and there were some Jehovah's Witness missionaries sitting on the couch. We just said goodbye and left. Ha ha. I know that service has a strong impact on people. I hope it did this time.

We finished the week with a baptism, which made any stress, grief, sadness (if there was any) go away! It was amazing. We were a little bumbed out that practically no members came to see it, but it was still very special for her. I was able to baptize her and I asked her how she felt afterward and she just said "good" with a giant smile on her face. Her and Ricardo are so awesome. (her boyfriend) They are planning on getting married next month, and then a year later, they will be sealed in the temple with their baby! 
I love families! Shoutout to mine! Then on Sunday during the confirmation I felt the most peaceful feeling, testifying to me that YES, God is with us, He has sent his Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to be with us always. Daniela was so happy and her eyes were lit up after the prayer was over.

The last thing that has been on my mind is "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me." I just want to testify to all of you of the reality of this phrase. We found an inactive lady who hasnt come to church for quite some time because she doesnt like another lady. The other lady supposedly did so much stuff to her...even though before they were good friends. Well...we told her that she needs to come back to church and forgive this other sister. She said that she will, but she is going to go "for the things of God, not for Sister So-and-so" We said, "Sister Julia, forgiving her definitely counts "a thing of God"" 
Its made me think a lot this week about how we treat people. I thought of the scipture at the beginning of this paragraph. I thought....what if we go our whole life being such good people to everyone we possible know and ever come into contact with....except for one person. Who we just avoid for some ridiculous reason. Maybe their social class, or maybe they smell bad, or maybe they are "just too annoying" or any other reason. What if we do good to every single person except for one? Well, we know what Christ said about it. If we do it to anyone, we did it to Him. Like the scriptures say, "I you have not charity, you are nothing." I testify that is true. Charity is all that matters. 

Today we went fishing and we got soaked wet but it was great. God truly created this world on which we live.

Tender Mercy- How God always is faithful and keeps his end of covenants and promises- always. He will make us into our best selves if we come unto him. One major way we do that is by prayer. It can be such a special experience every single day if we pray from our hearts.

Elder Gomez 

-Daniela's baptism
-Fishing today for p-day! I love Santa Barbara
-Me getting in the water to go unhook the lure that my companion got stuck :D
-Supposedly the most dangerous street in Santa Barbara. We live really close to this street, and people always say, "oh my goodness! You live THERE?! That is so dangerous!" But nothing bad has happened to us :D
-Patricio and his bigger fish.
-Beautiful Chile

The WORKS of God will go forth boldly, nobly....

  I had a wave of missing Dallin this weekend -   the boy I raised, the big brother around here, the goofball jokester, his playfulness and competitiveness.    But I realize that there are tradeoffs that I would miss if I had him here in the flesh, that actually allow me to feel closer to him now than ever before.... The tradeoff of most impact would be not having his awesome letters of growth and testimony every week.   I will miss that when he is home... no doubt.

To console myself I went to my scriptures and got pumped up with the stuff that pumps him up right now; the truths that make two years sound like two minutes....  and 6000 miles away seem like just around the corner.   And most importantly  - my selfishness very petty :)

First I read Joseph Smith:  "The standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing;  persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

Then to D&C 3:1and 3 "The works and designs and purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.  Remember it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men."

Mormon 8:22 "For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled."

D&C 121:33 "How long can rolling waters remain impure?  What power shall stay the heavens?  As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in it's decreed course, or to turn it upstream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints."

Yahoo - GO DALLIN!!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Dallin's Question and Answer Assignment from Jill

1. Where has been your favorite area to serve in?  Well, that's a hard one because each area has different great things... but I'll say Labranza, my first area.
2. What is your favorite color tie?  yellow and blue stripped.
3. What is the craziest natural/weather experience you have had?  Giant hail storms.. but actually, the other night we had thunder that shook the earth like a tremor and lasted like 10 seconds! 
4. What gospel principle or promise have you gained a greater testimony of recently?  The importance of obeying the commandments.  
5. What did you eat for dinner last night?  Dihvenes and empanadas (dihvenes are a type of fungus that grows on a certain type of tree here in the mountains of Chile).
6. Do you have any callings or other responsibilities in the ward/branch you are serving in? Yes.
7. If yes, then what is it?  we are the 1st and 2nd counselors to the bishop (branch president). I play the piano in church and I teach the adult sunday school class.  There is no high priest group leader either or ward mission leader or primary teachers  - so we cover all of that. 
8. What principle of the gospel do you enjoy teaching the most?  Obedience = happiness.  Book of Mormon.  Law of chastity. 
9. What principle seems to be the most difficult to teach people?   Sanctifying the Sabbath Day. 
10. Have you recently spoke in a sacrament meeting or other setting? Yes, many times here in Santa Barbara.  What did you speak on?  Faith.
11.  What did you eat for breakfast today?  Chocolate cereal with yogurt instead of milk. 
12. Are you on a bike, walking or have a car?  Haaa!  Walking :)
13. If driving, how many miles do you get each month?  N/A
14. What has been your favorite service opportunity on your mission?  (Besides the obvious teaching the gospel you do every day - but like a project you have helped with?)  Chopping wood..or  hoeing a giant garden for an old man.  
15. What has been your favorite thing to do or see on a pday?  Here in Santa Barbara we have roamed all over the hills and mountains.  They are beautiful.  Yesterday we searched for dihvenes (fungus) and then ate them.   We go with an awesome member here. 
16. Who did you receive letters from last week?  Some friends on their missions, family and other friends. 
17. What is a recent tender mercy you have experienced in the past week?  God has really helped my capacity grow here in Santa Barbara.   Especially when it comes to service or callings in church.  I have seen that we can do ANYTHING IF we are humble and accept God's will.  He qualifies who He calls.  For example my newbie companion who couldn't speak anything in Spanish 3 weeks ago can already converse with people now.   Everyone here is amazed at our Spanish. That's one example of God qualifying someone:) 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dallin Email October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011
Hello everyone, 

Shoutout to TALI who will be 18 years-old on Friday! Happy birthday!

So, this week was a busy week. We had a lot of stuff going on. First off, we have transfers tomorrow and we got the news that I am going to stay here in Santa Barbara for another transfer with my son, Elder Barton. We were both really happy about that because things are going great here and we have two investigators who will be getting baptized this coming transfer, Margaret and Daniela. 
We found out this week that Daniela is pregnant! So when she gets baptized it will be two people at once :D Her and Ricardo (member) are planning on getting married next month so thats exciting. I know that the best thing for Daniela to do right now is get baptized so she can start her family off with the spirit. The gospel truly blesses families. Here in Santa Barbara there are a lot of broken families and a major reason is because of a lack of three simple things... 1- Daily family prayer, 2- Daily family scripture study, and 3- Weekly family home evenings. I promise everyone who can here my voice that if you do these three things in your family that you will see miracles happen in your family! 

We had a conference this week and it was so good. President Martinez talked about the importance of obedience. At the end of his talk he started getting all worked up and excited and all of the sudden he ripped out a tunic from his suit coat and he tore it in half and it read, "in memory of our religion, our God, our family.....etc". He urged us all to make this oath....the oath to obey the commandments of God. He told an awesome story about when he was on his mission (in Santiago) He was a new missionary and his senior companion was from the USA and his companion started teaching him English. He gave him a list of words to practice and he said to master those words to start. So at the first zone conference they had, his companion told him, "now is the time to put it into practice!" So President Martinez started to use the words he had just learned. As he said some of the words and phrases, nearly everyone there started laughing at him. One elder, named Elder Palmer took him over to the side and said, "do you know what you are saying?" and President Martinez said, "I'm saying the English that my companion taught me all week" And Elder Palmer said that the words he was saying were words that a missionary should never ever say. (Something that is awesome is that Elder Palmer's nephew, another Elder Palmer, is in my mission right now and he was in the conference also.) President Martinez said that because this missionary knew the importance of obedience on his mission, he has always been successful in his life from then on. And the nephew Elder Palmer testified to that as well. I know also that if we are 100% obedient with the commandments of God, he will pour out blessings upon us and we will PROSPER IN THE LAND....but when we are not obedient, we have no such promise! (Malachi 3:10, Alma 37:13, D&C 82:10)

I have been thinking a lot lately about sharing the gospel with people. Specifically the normal members of the church, and specifically the message of the Restoration. How incredible our message to the world is!! Seriously, think about it. What purpose do we have to our lives if we take away the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, if we take away the Book of Mormon? There is no purpose to our life!! We wouldnt know where we are going or why we're here or where we came from...and even if we did, we wouldnt have the way to receive it!! 
But the truth is that God is our Father and we have divine purposes here on the earth...to return to live with Him and with our families for eternity and to be HAPPY! I will testify that YES, the world does have a Creator. And YES, that Creator is our Father, through his son, Jesus Christ. YES we are accountable for our actions on this earth! And YES, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only way to happiness, was RESTORED to the earth in its fullness through the prophet, Joseph Smith, beginning with the first vision when he was only 14 years-old. Carlos' age! Here are a few of his own words that are a huge part of my testimony.
"I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two aPersonages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was bhated and cpersecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true."
"I soon found, however, that my telling the story....was the cause of great apersecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an bobscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution"    

Even unto his death he testified...and sealed his testimony with his blood!

“I am going like a alamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a bconscience cvoid of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood.”

And the Book of Mormon is the biggest evidence of all of these things. The Book of Mormon is so true. I have read it and studied it over again and it has changed my life! 

This week we found a really neat family. We actually have a lesson with them tonight so we are excited. One of the daughters (Yasmin) is especially interested and a friend of the family (Teresa) is the most interested out of all of them. The coolest part is that they live next door to the branch president's family and they are good friends of them. Teresa is really smart when it comes to the Bible and religion and she has another religion that she participates in. She started asking all sorts of questions about the church and they were all just impressing her so much, we taught them about the retoration and by the end when we invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith she was so stoked! They both agreed and supposedly today Teresa will have a giant list of questions for us. In part of the lesson we shared the scripture in Amos 8 about how there will be HUNGER on the earth...not of bread or water, but hearing the word of God. She just got quiet for a second and said, "that is EXACTLY how I have felt in my church!" She explained that she knows that the pastor doesnt teach 100% doctrine...and she has never been able to satisfy that "hunger"   (not until NOW!!!)

I love this work. This week was hard one, but hard work pays off. (mom and dad, are you both thinking "why didn't he learn this before the mission?!" :D) It's true though. My emotions were pretty alive this week...In the sense that I have felt a lot of sorrow for people rejecting the gospel. I had one moment with one of the inactive members here that was pretty intense. She started going off about all of the problems here and how she gets really mad at this and that and all sorts of things...I said that the only thing that we can all do is keep our baptismal covenant...without gossip, without hate, without resentment, but with forgiveness and love. It was cool and intense...I got pretty emotional about it. I have been trying so hard to help everyone here for months...to help them just forgive and ENDURE to the end! 

We had a good testimony meeting yesterday. Many members bore their testimony about how they all need to start being better members of Christ's true church. How they need to reunite here as a branch. I think it helped a lot of them! They are awesome members...its just we all get too comfortable sometimes and we forget to do the simple necesities of the gospel. For that reason exists repentance!

Tender Mercy- 
I got a surprise call last night from someone who I didnt recognize for a second. It turned out to be BETO!!!!!!!!! From Labranza. He is one of the amazing people who I was able to teach and baptize! Him and his family are still going actively to church which just made me so happy! I was super super pumped to hear from and talk to him..just ask Elder Barton! By the way, Elder Barton is doing good. He has progressed a lot from the beginning of his first transfer to the end. But yeah...Beto calling was a huge tender mercy for me, especially to hear that he is still active in the church and everything is going great. It was especially good to hear from him after a bumby week. 

I love you all. Have a great week. Tali, its weird that you are 18 now, but I am happy for you!

Elder Gomez

Me and my long lost Colombian cousin!
My distict this transfer
My zone from this transfer
All at a conference

Monday, October 3, 2011


October 3, 2011

Hola family and friends, 

This week was fun. It started off by walking back to our little apartment and there was a little boy standing in the bed of a truck peeing into the middle of the street. No shame! 

This week one of the highlights was teaching Pablo. A man who we found who lost his wife a few years ago. We took a member with us and it was great. We taught about the restoration of the gospel and focused on the importance of prophets. We wanted him to have the desire to come to general conference. during the lesson, patricio shared his testimony about the prophet which really touched me. He said that about ten years all of the members here had the opportunity to go to Santiago to see the prophet in a big stadium. On the day of, it was pouring rain and everyone was getting soaked. When it came time for the prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, to walk in, everyone stood up, and he entered. Patricio said that everyone watched President Hinckley pray and put his hands up into the air, and suddenly it stopped raining. completely! The sun came out and they had a great meeting out of the rain. at the end of the special meeting, as president Hinckley was leaving, he said, "now it can rain" and shortly after it started pouring once again. 
Patricio said that since then he has never doubted the reality and truthfulness of the living prophets, whoever they may be. 
Pablo has received many answers to his questions through the Holy Ghost in such a short period of time. its amazing how the gospel does that. 

I know the gospel is true. People can search their whole life without finding much...never receiving a convincing answer to questions...but then when us two missionaries come into the house and bring the Holy Spirit, their search comes to an end! Difficult questions are answered and they are left there amazed...the only thing  left to do is follow the gospel- repent and be baptized to receive the Holy Ghost. 

The conference yesterday and Saturday was amazing! The church of Christ never changed. We still have the same foundation as He himself established. My testimony gets stronger and stronger of that every time i am able to watch His servants speak. 

This week we had a lesson with Margaret. It was a bold lesson...because she hasnt been coming to church and keeping her commitments. We needed to help her understand the importance of everything. She has a testimony of the gospel and the book of mormon and joseph smith and the savior jesus Christ, but she doesnt understand completely faith and how we need to keep the commandments regardless of our circumstances. She is especially having a hard time with going to church. We asked her. Do you have faith? Do you believe that God will help you have the ability to go to church? Well then....you can do it. 
The culture of the world is changing drastically...in the sense that nobody wants to commit to do anything...which puts a little extra challenge to missionary work, since the way God works is with commitments and covenants! Many say "I cant commit to that" well why in the world not?! Of course you can commit to something! I believe in you! :) Many say that they dont want to commit because then if they dont do it they will be liars. Yes, you will liars, but its a choice! You dont have to be! some have the mentality that if they plan for something and it doesnt end up happening, it was because God didnt want it to....yeah right! Its because you chose not to do it! Many say that they cant commit because they may have some other plans come up...well that's what we're trying to do right now...make a plan that cant be interupted for any other thing. I just want to say to the world, that YES, YOU CAN MAKE AND KEEP A COMMITMENT!!!! It's possible! And its the only way that we can be saved as well. (as you can tell, this has been a topic on my mind lately) its been a challenge for me lately to help people make and keep commitments.

We told margaret that if she wants to get baptized, she has to commit and covenant with God to follow his commandments, even when its hard. We read her a few scriptures to help teach her this principle. We asked her if she has faith in Jesus Christ, then read Moroni 7:33-34. then we read 1 nefi 17:50-51. 
The truth: If God asked us to do it, then it is possible.

Another really cool thing from this week was when Sister Alvarez, from uruguay, gave a spiritual thought in a conference. She shared Mosiah 14:3-5 about Jesus Christ and his atonement. She got really emotional and shared her testimony about how she knows it is true and how today we cause Jesus Christ to suffer. We have to repent, and come unto him. And "with his stripes we are healed." i know that to be true also. Lets all repent together. 

I hope everyone is happy! its the only way to be. if youre sad then just be happy and go serve someone! Or go serve someone and then you'll become happy. 

This week we focused a lot on getting people to general conference, and in the end two investigators came. It was happy but a little disappointing for us because we had invited basically everyone in this town! (not really) But we did invite a lot...many inactive members and investigators...and in the end two investigators and no inactive members came. We were sad that the others didnt have the opportunity to listen to what the living prophets were inspired to share with them. 

i hope my letter didnt sound too scattered around today. my brain is exhausted...its a good feeling though I think because it means that its been worked hard for the week. 
Pray for us here in Santa Barbara! We need prayers! I love you all. Have a great week.


Tender mercy- That we are made stronger as we endure challenges. it doesnt matter how many times you fall, it matters how many times you pick yourself back UP!

-playing conference bingo
-me and Elder Barton
-watching general conference
-zone activity this morning. we had a breakfast to bid farewell to Elder Tonumaipe'a, from New zealand, who is going home in a week! (he is the samoan one)
-He's so excited to be able to kiss again in a week that he's already practicing on dogs!