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)
-Giant beetle we found
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
-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)
-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
-Me and Elder Barton at salto de laja