Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, November 21, 2011

transferred and made zone leader



November 21, 2011

Hey everyone! 
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!

Elder Gomez













photos:


-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.
-Zone, Los Angeles South
-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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Scorpion and Beetle Week

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)

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

fotos:
-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)
-Scorpion!
-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
-Giant beetle we found
-Me and Elder Barton at salto de laja













Monday, November 7, 2011

last week pictures and this week's letter :)

Here are the pictures Dallin tried to send last week but that didn't make it till today :) 



 His companion shining his shoes......


Dallin with Elder McConnell...


Hey everyone!, 

Shout out to DALLIN HARDY!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS ON THE MISSION CALL!!! PARAGUAY!!! WHOOOH!!! 
And to LUIS FERNANDO! WHOOH NICARAGUA!!!! My joy is full!
This week was great. I dont have tons of time to write right now, but I will tell you some highlights:
We were walking one day just preaching the gospel and all of the sudden a carabinero vehicle told us to come over to them (carabineros are the Chilean police) So we came over there and they started asking us why we are here, so we started telling them! The main police guy asked about our message and he actually already knew a lot about it. We taught them the restoration. The main guy kept trying to ask us complicated questions that would make it so we couldnt answer easily, but we followed the spirit, and we "were not confounded before men" I know that that promise is true, that if we treasure up the words of God and pray dilligently, we will be able to teach with power and authority. It is a promise for every member of the church! It was neat to see it literally take place, that the "wise of the world will be thrashed by the power of the Holy Spirit" 

We had a great ward family home evening. Well...only three members came, and they are all older people, but it turned out great because we did role playing activities about how to invite friends/neighbors to church. They all did a good job and then all of the sudden as we were ending the family home evening, a random man walked in who nobody knew. He said he was called by God to come into the church, and he started saying a bunch of random things about different religions and God and such. You could tell that he had been really corrupted by all of the false doctrine circulating in the world, but we taught him about our message and his whole countenance started changing. He changed from being almost a psyco to being almost normal. You could literally see what the Spirit was doing to him in such a short amount of time! At the end, the older couple invited him to their house to eat! I was so happy to see the gospel in action and to see that the members did the right thing (teaching him, taking him in, feeding him, loving him) instead of just ignoring him and acting like he was crazy. "If ye have not charity, ye are nothing."

Me and Elder Barton were touched by the spirit to create a challenge for this branch. The challenge is that by the end of 2011, Dec. 31st, all of the members can be living all of the commandments of the gospel. We named it "the challenge of the end of 2011" And we listed all of the things that they must be doing by the last day of 2011. (family home evenings, scripture studies, prayer, go to church, etc. etc.) then we put D&C 82:10, and John 14:15 at the end. We are hoping and praying that it helps the branch be stronger disciples of Christ and live the gospel more fully.  One family that we took the challenge to responded by saying "always the same..." and I thought...yeah! Its so simple! God doesnt change! He´s not going to tell us one day that we dont have to keep the commandments anymore. We will always have to keep the commandments so that we can always be happy.

We had a neat experience at the end of the week to give a priesthood blessing to an older man, one of our neighbors, who is sick. We were passing by their house like always but we felt like we should talk to the older lady. We asked how she was and how her husband was. She said he wasnt good, he was in bed very sick. We asked if we could offer a prayer for him and she said yes. We went in and gave him a priesthood blessing and also while we were there we were able to teach a lesson to a man of a different faith who thought that we dont believe in God and that we dont believe in the gifts of the spirit. We shared with him several of the articles of faith and he was surprised. 
On the way out, the lady told us that as we passed by earlier, she felt a "burning in her chest" like we needed to come in...and just at that moment we came up and talked to her. She also said that after the blessing she felt a "burning in her chest" that specifically he would heal by tomorrow! (today) So we are really excited about that and happy and humbled that the spirit was able to work in these hearts. 
Tender Mercy- That the gospel is so perfect, the promises of the gospel are amazing. If we come unto Christ through faith and repentance, our lives will change for the better. We can receive the remission of our sins always. That is a tender mercy that is so priceless and impossible to find in any other place, only in, by, and through the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

I love you all, have a great week! 

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

Bio-Bio
Chile 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This week was INTENSE... Dallin says :)

November 1, 2011
Hello everyone,

This week was great. It was intense! Towards the beginning of the week, many things happened pretty close together. It all started with my companion losing his wallet! We ran around Santa Barbara (literally) trying to find it and we eventually did find it on the bus that we were one earlier that afternoon. To be able to get the wallet of my companion, we had to kick it cross country style across Santa Barbara, because we had to get to the bus terminal before the same bus we were on earlier took off again. By the time we got there we were drenched. It has been really hot lately here so that didnt help. For a few hours, my companion was one scared boy! His credit/debit cards were in there...finally when we found it he was so relieved so that was good. I thought about our Heavenly Father. How sad and worried He is when one of His children are lost. I know that he mourns and worries for that child. I thought of the joy that my companion had when he found his wallet. How happy he was can compare to how happy our Heavenly Father is when we come back to him (repent and change our lives) If my companion can be so happy about finding a piece of leather with a few plastic cards inside then our Father must be indescribably happy when we come back to Him.

Right after this happened we got a call from the zone leaders with a special announcement. They said that President Martinez has prayed a lot and had a revelation that there are people who we are teaching who are ready to receive a remission of their sins through baptism by water and by fire, who dont have the sufficient amount of church attendances. In missionary work today, generally an investigator must come to church at least 3 times in order to be baptized. He said that there were people in our areas who didnt have 3 attendances but yes, should be baptized to receieve the remission of their sins. They challenged us to go to all of our investigators who this applies to and challenge them to be baptized this weekend. So we to work right away. We went to Margaret's house, who was planning on being baptized in another week or two, and we challenged her to be baptized. We told her about what had happened and the revelation that our mission president had received and we challenged her to get baptized the coming weekend. She was hesitant just a second or so and then something came over her like, "yes, this is what you need to do" and her expression changed and she said, "yes! I will!" and she got really really excited. We had her break three cigarettes in half and stomp them into the ground hard and she commited to never smoke another cigarette as long as she lives!  Russell M. Nelson said in this last general conference  "The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a covenant keeper." Soooo true! I am glad that Margaret has decided to make this covenant with her Heavenly Father.

We had a family night for the ward on the same night as all of these other things happened as well. We ended up having to kick it one more time cross country style to get a key to the chapel that we needed in time for the family night. The family night was great. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and we had so much food that we couldnt even eat it all. It was one of the most successful activities I have seen here! Very exciting.

Me and Elder Barton traveled up to Concepcion his week for a special trainers/trainees conference. It was great and at the end of the conference President Martinez told us that the whole mission will have a conference on the 10th of November with someone very special! He said that when our guests arrive, we should stand up and wait until he sits down to sit down. And at the end, we must stand up and not leave or move until he has left. (that means one of the apostles/prophets is going to come) I am very excited! Elder Scott was President Martinez's mission president so it could possibly be him?

On the way home from this trainers meeting, we were sitting on the bus next to a girl and we started talking to her. Her name is Evelyn and she's 19 years old. She asked us some questions about our message and about life and we shared quite a bit of the gospel. By the time she left she had been touched at least a little bit by the spirit because she said that she wants to learn more about our religion now and come to church one day. We asked for her number to pass on to the missionaries who live in Renaico (where she's from) and she gave it to us and then got off the bus. Right then I called the missionaries in Renaico and gave them the reference and Elder Montalban told me yesterday that they called her and talked to her and she came to church on Sunday!!! I was so stoked to hear that! It made my already-good-day even better!

Margaret was baptized and confirmed and it was very neat. We found her two and a half months ago and she was one prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel. The best part was that my companion was able to have his first baptism! It was so good to see him in white and wet.

We went to Quilaco, a little town outside of Santa Barabara, on Sunday for lunch with a member family and on the way back the bus broke down and it wouldnt move. As we were sitting I got the impression, "stand up, open your mouth and preach the gospel!" I was thinking....oh geez...not now...I'm tired... but I knew that we had to do it, so we stood up and we said that we had a message to share and an invitation for everyone. We shared a little about our message and bore our testimonies and invited everyone to church. It was a little nerve wracking but it was great! Afterward there were three people who we started talking to and they were somewhat interested. They all live in towns really far away though so that's a bummer. The gospel will reach them more accessibly one day!

The last major event that happened this week was the giant mission activity that we had in a town called Renaico (randomly the same town where the girl we talked to on the bus lives) We all went to a stadium and we played futbol, volleyball, american football, and ulitmate frisbee. We also played a bunch of games and did some great activities. One of the highlights was when President Martinez told all of the men missionaries to meet in the middle of the soccer field and the sister missionaries went with Sister Martinez. We all came and sat down in the middle of the field and we were burning up because it was really hot. President Martinez had us all be silent and close our eyes because he was going to supposedly tell us a secret or something. He said on the count of three he was going to say something quietly so we had to listen for it, it was really important, then he went "one"...."two!"...."THREE!" and all of the sudden something just started drenching us all from all sides and we looked up to see all of the sister missionaries throwing water balloons at us. It was a pretty good prank I have to admit. I was excited for what the secret was going to be. It felt great since it was so hot outside.

There were many other funny things that happened like crazy little kids on buses yelling "HELLO!!! HELLO!! HELLO!!!" and squishing our cheeks and stuff like that :D One crazy man on the street passed our whole zone on the street and started talking to us. He kept talking about Chile and his country and money and stuff. The funniest thing he said was "Yo no soy malo! Soy Chileno!"

Tender Mercy- One the way back to Santa Barbara from some sort of meeting, I was looking out the window pondering and it just hit me, "I am completely broke, out in a town in the middle of Chile, on the opposite side of the world ............I love life!!!!"  That was about what my thought process was. :D I had a confirming feeling that this is exactly where I am supposed to be and exactly what I am supposed to be doing at this moment in my life. Even though where I am and why I'm here would be, to normal people, completely insane, it is so awesome to me! The fact that I am in the middle of a foreign country is so special because of what I am doing. It's so....I dont know how to explain it. Its so amazing....or just delicious, desirable, the feelings I have felt here. I am so lucky to be where I am right now!
(mom, I am not broke anymore, dont worry. ha ha)

Love ya'll,
Elder Gomez

photos:
-Me and Elder McConnell. Lake Point, REPRESENT! (which we really didn't get...  trying to get dallin to try again)
-My zone, Los Angeles South! Our shirts were the best!
-Margaret's baptism!
-Another of baptism
-Zone meeting we had outside (it was a first)