Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dallin's staying again :)

March 26, 2012 Email

Hey hey hey! 
I am going to start off by saying what happened yesterday in church. Church was great yesterday. The best and most spiritual part was sacrament meeting, which was fast and testimony meeting because of conference this next week. (by the way, I'm STOOOKKKEEDDD!) I was sitting in sacrament meeting and I was sitting next to Viviana, our 37 year old convert who was confirmed yesterday, and on my other side was Felipe, our 15 year old stud convert who is already impatient to go on his mission. On the bench right in front of me was three of our other converts, Marcelo, Cristian, and Nicolas, with their moms and grandma who were all reactivated since we've been here. Behind me was sitting Felipe's mom, Gladis. As sacrament meeting was starting, I was just filled with happiness and with the spirit just being there with all of these people who I love so much. I glanced at the bishop and he looked at me and I just couldnt get rid of my smile. He smiled big too. 
     It was finally time for the confirmation of Viviana and she was nervous. She went up nervously and the bishop did the confirmation. It was amazing and the spirit was present. When it was over we went and sat down and Viviana turned to me and said just these words: "Estoy feliz!" (with a huge smile on her face) I felt the spirit so strong right then and I knew that she was literally filled with the Holy Ghost in that moment. She is so great! Earlier in the week, we passed by her house to visit her and talk to her about her confirmation. (she was baptized last Saturday) and she said, "by the way, this week I have felt so good! I had some back pains and stress and stuff, but this week I have felt better." Then she said, "and....I promise you....the moment I felt better was the moment I came out of the water! I swear! right when I came out I felt a lot better." We were like "oh we believe you! and Viviana, we promise you that that feeling will be even stronger when you get comfirmed on Sunday!" The gospel is true. It is simple. All there is to it is FAITH, REPENTANCE, and BAPTISM. Then RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST, and endure to the end! That's all there is to it. Simple. And it can change EVERYTHING in one's life. It is the difference between being miserable and being happy, or being kinda-happy and completely happy. 
    Going back to sacament meeting, when it got time for the testimonies, the bishop got up and he mentioned me and how he looked down and saw me smiling surrounded by all of our fruits...all of the inactive members reactivated and all of the converts. He went on to share a super powerful testimony about the restored gospel. It was awesome. 
Then.....some really cool things happened. All of the sudden Felipe turned to me and said "what can my testimony be?" I said "whatever you know and feel..normally about Jesus Christ." He said "Can this be my testimony?..(then he bore a mini testimony to me)" I said "of course! that was great!" Then he said, "...uh....no I cant do it!" and he got all nervous. I could tell he wanted to though. He said to me "if you go up, I'll go up" in that second I got right up and went up to the stand and he follwed me. Also, in front of us, Christian (11) wanted to bear his testimony. His cousin Nicolas (12), got right up and bore his testimony as well. Then Cristian followed. All of these young men, let me tell you, bore fantastic testimonies!!! They were so powerfully. Cristian and Felipe were up their shaking, but they wanted to share their testimonies! It was so great! 122 members attended church so it's pretty nerve wracking. Also, Felipe and Nicolas were sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. After church, I was able to participate in giving Felipe the Aaronic priesthood, in the office of a teacher. He is AWESOME! After sacrament meeting Cristian and a few others started crying because Elder Strait is leaving. He will be missed.

My companion gave his last testimony in the ward...Oh yeah, WE GOT TRANSFERS!!! My companion is leaving! He is going to Pitrufquen, the far south of the mission, to the little zone that is the "hard zone of the mission" Yeah right! My companion will go dominate. It will be very sad to leave Elder Strait. We have been together for 4 months now and It's been awesome. I will be staying here with Ëlder Beatty. I think he is from Texas and he is big...not fat big but big big. Just grande in general. And someone else is also coming to my zone..... ELDER MCCONNELL!!!!!!! Finally after a year and a half we will be in the same zone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am very excited. 

Our convert Nicole has been great too, she is the one with two little kids. She has been going to another ward for the last couple weeks, because they moved out of our ward boundaries. She is 100% active and is awesome! Felipe, her little brother, who is 18, who we have been working with for the last few months, told us some great news yesterday...HE'S GOING TO GET BAPTIZED! He is going to be one heck of a missionary too. He has always attended our ward, but now he finally is going to attend where he belongs, which will be great. He is studying in Concepcion in the university, and visits his mom throughout the week and comes to church with us every weekend...but now he is going to start going to institute in Concepcion and he's going to started attending church there. He's going to Santiago in April and he's going to get baptized by his uncle there. They are an amazing family!

This week was amazing. I love you all, sorry I dont have more details about the week, but sacrament meeting this week describes a lot of it, plus it was my favorite part of the week. I love going to church!!!

Tender Mercy- Love. God's love for us. This week I learned a lot about love....I love the people here demasiado (too much) because when I have to leave here I am going to be so sad. Also, I know that miracles are real! In this area, we have had ten people change their lives 100% and start coming to church and live the gospel and get baptized and they have literally left their nets to follow Christ. If that isnt a miracle I dont know what is. Human beings are extremely hard headed and hard hearted these days...but there are those who are prepared for the gospel!


Love you all, Elder Gomez

photos next week. I forgot the camera cord
-- 

Monday, March 19, 2012

semana buena

March 20, 2012 
Hey!! Say hi to Brother Pearson for me!
I'm just going to go ahead and apologize ahead of time....this morning I had two sneeze-attacks (where I sneeze about 20 times in a row) so I got pretty frustrated at my nose, so I took some benedril...and so I am feeling pretty tired now. Sorry if this email doesnt make sense :D 

This week was amazing. How it ended made it all worth it. At the beginning of the week, we had a conference with the mission's doctor. He gave us all flu shots. The night before the conference Presidente Martinez called me and asked me if I could translate for Dr. Welch. I felt very nervous, but in the end I didnt even end up translating, so that's good.
We had our weekly zone and district meeting together and it was amazing. We talked about the faith to work miracles. We challenged everyone to think of a name of one of their investigators who can get baptized in March. In the mission we are doing a lot better than we have been, so that's good. After everyone thought of at least one name, we wrote them all up on the board and we decided to pray for them as a zone so that a miracle can happen in their lives. 

We saw many many miracles this week thanks to the prayer list and a lot of hard work. There were several areas who called us and told us about what had happened that day with their investigators, and I am hear to tell you that miracles are real!

I will just get on the the climax of this week....so, this week we had to prepare four investigators for baptism. Gladis, Felipe, Cristian, and Viviana. Gladis and her sons looked really good for Saturday at the start of the week, but as it got closer and closer, the doubts began to come and Satan tried to get them to not be baptized. We saw trial after trial. Gladis, on Thursday, told us that she didnt want to get baptized on Saturday. That maybe she should wait a little longer until she is more prepared. Something told me to stay calm, and that everything would be alright. I knew for a fact that Gladis was ready to be baptized. We went in and listened to them very good. Viviana felt like she still hadnt completed the repentance process because she hasnt been able to ask her son for forgiveness (because when she was going through her separation with her husband, she said some really bad things to Felipe.) But she was completely repented in her heart. We followed along, praying our hearts out, and told her that the person to do the baptismal interview would be able to say whether or not she was ready. So...the next day, she got to the church. Finally Gladis came out after she was interviewed and she looked so happy. Her interview lasted about an hour! so we were pretty worried. She said that she told the missionary doing to interview that she didnt want to get baptized on Saturday...and the missionary, Elder Searle, told her to pray right there and ask. So, she did it. She described the experience to us by saying that she felt an amazing feeling come over her and she didnt want to leave the church (we were doing to interviews in the chapel) she said that after she prayed and felt the Holy Ghost really strongly, she said "I am going to get baptized tomorrow!" The Spirit rocks! 

So...then Viviana started getting opposition. She was up in Concepcion for the day working and she tried to come home on Friday night for the interviews....but there wasnt a single bus available that returned to Los Angeles on Friday. She called us really worried...not just for the baptismal interview but for her daughter who was home alone wih her babysitter. We began praying a lot and she was able to make it back. She talked to a policeman and he helped her by talking to the bus company and asking if they could take her standing up. Luckily the bus driver let her so that was nice. We had to interview her on Saturday morning, right before the baptism. 

On Saturday, we found out that Gladis and Felipe and Cristian had returned to their house and visitors came and started telling them not to be baptized in our church. Apparently Gladis told them 4 times to stop talking about that, and finally, after they wouldnt be quiet, she told them to leave her house. She definitely passed her trial of faith! 

On Saturday morning, President Martinez got their with Angelo, his son, who also was about to be baptized. It was a great baptismal service, all of our investigators made it and they were excited. The program was great. President Martinez's kids shared little things, and there was a musical number by Sister Martinez. The baptisms happened. I was able to baptize Gladis and Viviana, so that was a great privelege. Elder Strait baptized Felipe and Cristian.

After the baptisms, A lady from the united States sang two songs...it just turns out that she was actually Elder Strait's teacher from the MTC, so it was cool for him to see her. She ended up marrying a chilean. She sang so amazingly. Also, the other amazing thing that happened was that Elder Bustos, from Viña del Mar, who served in this mission until the end of last year, came to the baptism. He was a good friend of president martinez because he was an assistant to president and he also served in this ward about a year ago while President Martinez was the bishop here. It just so happens that he was the missionary who first knocked on the door of Viviana. Now, he was able to see her get baptized. He didnt know that she was going to be one of the people getting baptized so it was a great surprise for him. He was able to see the fruit from his seeds that he planted! Also in the baptism, President and Sister Martinez and their family had prepared many refreshments for everyone. It was the most crowed baptism I have ever been to! It was great. Also, the Martinezes invited a lot of their old neighbors and friends who arent members so we got so many references. President Martinez was introducing all of them to us. Me and Elder Strait and our area is doing really well. In fact, we are leading the entire mission in baptisms for this year so we are happy. We are going to keep working hard and helping people come unto Christ!

We had THREE inactive families come to church. All of whom we have been working with for the last four months. They finally came to church! We were so happy and shocked to see all three of the families at chruch, while for the last 4 months they havent come once. This work is true. Sometimes it requires our patience, but we will always see blessings from obeying the commandments of God! 

Tender Mercy- Elder Bustos being able to see Viviana get baptized, a year after he found her!

Love ya'll, 
Elder Gomez

photos-
-Bautism of Angelo Martinez, Viviana, Gladis, Felipe, and Cristian


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yeah an email from Dallin!




March 13, 2012 


Great week!!
Say "hi" to Elder Pearson for me and "bye" to Elder Hardy!!!!!
Hey everyone sorry about not writing yesterday...we had interviews with the mission president so our p-day was moved to today. The interviews went great. I didnt know what to say to president because everything is going great at this point in the mission for me....for us. So I just said I was happy! That's really all there is too it. 

We had several companionship interchanges this week which were good. On the interchanges, the new missionaries who I was with were able to see new ways to work and how to be more effective and help more people come unto Christ. In the mission right now there are many many new missionaries. In fact, I am the oldest missionary in the zone (with two others with the same time as me) and the rest are all newbies. It's a good challenge to help all of the other missionaries become effective servants of the Lord. 

We have been working with several investigators who do not currently have a baptismal date, but we are trying to help them take that step...the main ones are:
-Lily. She is an awesome lady who has been investigating the church for about a year. All of her friends are members of the church and she knows she is going to get baptized one day but she doesnt think that it's her moment still. She has had a struggle with prayer and with scripture reading so that makes it hard to gain a testimony! 
-Felipe. He is the younger brother of Nicole, who was baptized last month. He is 18 years old and has come to church EVERY SUNDAY for more than 4 months! He really likes the church, and this week we were able to talk to him about the gospel and it turned out that he didnt have a Book of Mormon yet!!! I dont know how that happened! I was sure that we had given him one about 4 months ago but he said that he didnt have one, but he'd like to have a copy so he can read it more, instead of having to use his mom's (Silvia, recent convert) or Nicole's. This family is seriously amazing. They are completely active and love the gospel so much...and it has literally changed them 100%. Before they were VERY ununified. They have come so far since they met the gospel. It's honestly a privelege to know them....I feel that about so many people here. I dont know how I got so lucky as to be able to meet such awesome people. 
-Lina. Lina is a 60 year old woman who's husband is very...burly....no...he's like a buffalo. I dont know how else to describe him. He's bigger and he's one of those guys who you think is the opposite of charming and romantic. He's great though! He doesnt know if God exists and he has a hard time believing it because of so many challenges that he has been through in his life. It all started with his father, who was a beast of a man...a huge jerk. Anyway, Lina is a sweet lady who is very prepared for the gospel, but she wants to do things with her husband...she wants to go to church with him. She has been praying so hard with a lot of faith so that God can work a miracle in his heart, and it is literall happening little by little. Prayer is awesome! If done sincerely, it is literal communication with God. 
-Mari. Mari is the 60 year old lady who we found in the street who is sad for her husband who passed away two years ago. She has been receiving us very good and we were able to do a service project this week with Felipe (another Felipe), our investigator who is getting baptized this weekend. Mari is coming along great, and she wants to come to church a lot, but she hasnt been able to still. 

Alright, now for our investigators who are getting baptized this week!: 
We have the Monseca Astete family who are AMAZING!!! They are Luis 37, Gladis 38, Felipe 15, and Cristian 8. So...Gladis and Felipe and Cristian have been progressing the best, and they are so so excited for their baptisms. This week we passed by with the Elder's quorum president and his wife, who is the relief society president, (the Arriagada family) and also we had a family night with the Pauvif family (the best family in our ward! Literally! (stake president's family. They are all (the kids) so well behaved, super mature, and super awesome. The kids are 14, 10, 9, and 5 years old. They are so great. Here's an examle. A few years ago a sister in the ward was sick and all of them....ALL of them, kids and all, got dressed and went over to the sister's house at 3 in the morning to give her a priesthood blessing and to SING a primary song to her! Such a great family. Anyway, sorry, I just want you all at home to know the people I know here!! Anyway, the family night with our investigators was awesome! We talked about the Word of Wisdom and they all commited to live the word of wisdom. The dad, Luis, wasnt able to come. He hasnt participated with anything in the gospel until....on Saturday night when we brought Felipe back from accompanying us to teach lessons...Luis was there and he said "I'm going to go to church tomorrow with my wife and kids. HE made the decision alone! He did come to church and he LOVED it!! It's great, because we talked about obedience in Sunday school in church and he is a carabinero (chilean policeman) and so we just related how GOD'S LAWS protect us and help us and are necessary just like the laws of the land do the same!! 
Just last night we had a lesson with them and his family brought up baptism and he said he is going to get baptized! But he doesnt know when. He is very nervous to stop smoking and drinking...especially because all of the carabineros (policemen) smoke and so its just so normal to relieve the stress from the job. We invited him to be baptized on Christ's birthday, April 6th. He said that he may...he just doesnt know yet. We havent taught him many lessons so we will teach him and help him leave his vices and prepare for the best change he can make in his life! 
As for Gladis and Felipe and Cristian, they are completely secure and excited for the baptism. They are so excited. And the best part, we are going to be baptizing them in the same baptismal service as the baptism of President Martinez's son, Angelo!!!!! We are so excited! We will have a baptismal picture with our mission president and the awesome family we are teaching!!! We also will have the baptism of VIVIANA!
Viviana is 38. She is the awesome lady who cried about the children in Africa suffering and dying. She has such a good heart! She has had the biggest desire to follow God's commandments, and she was only waiting to GET MARRIED! And she did it! On Saturday she got married! Whooooohhhhh!!!!! We are so happy for her. And we will be seeing her this Thursday, after her honeymoon. 

I have a strong testimony that we ust act with faith in all things. Because....whoever invented lemon pie had to have acted on faith to try to invent it. Whoever wanted to know what an apple tasted like had to try it first! We all have acted on faith, and it is NECESSARY if we want to be happy in this life. We know nothing as humans! Regardless of what we THINK we know...we know nothing...in comparison to how big the universe is. Faith needs to be planted....then it will grow. We can plant our faith by reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church. 

This week I completed 18 months as a missionary, which freaked me out, because it seems like just last week I wrote and said that I have 17 months now as a missionary. Time is getting quicker every day! We must enjoy every minute of every day before we are old fogies! 

Awesome-  I was able to go on divisions with one of the assistants to president this week (just yesterday) and we had some great moments. We passed by one older lady in the ward who we havent ever passed by and we asked about her conversion story. Then we asked her to make a list of all of her friends and family who arent members. Then we said that what we want to do is kneel down, and pray to Heavenly Father, asking him for revelation right there to know which of those people is ready to hear the gospel. We knelt down and I offered a prayer...during the prayer I waited several seconds in silent. When the prayer ended. We looked up but the sister who we were with kept her head down and eyes looking at the list. Tears started falling down from her face and after a good two or three minutes, she finally looked up and said "thank you" as tears went down her face. She said that she felt something amazing all over her body...and that two of the people on the list came to her mind. We planned a lesson with her and her friend who she is going to invite and she is very excited. When she received that witness that that specific friend is prepared for the gospel, I dont thnk there is any doubt that she is going to do everything she can now to help them. The spirit is so powerful! It is real people!

Quote of the week: From Gladis: " I dont know what is happening to me, I am ALWAYS SMILING!! I know that when I get baptized, I will lose many friends, friends who just call me on the weekends to leave with them. But I dont want to leave with them any more. And I am not afraid to lose their friendship, because I know that I am going to gain so many new real friends. All I want is that Saturday comes faster!" 

Best quote ever :) The spirit is so powerful!

Tender Mercy- Seeing the change in the Monseca Astete family..especially when the dad, Luis, told us that he was going to come to church with his family. 

I love you all, have a great one, 
Elder Gomez

photos:
-Rodrigo, an investigator from Santa Barbara that I found here in LA! I was so happy to see him! He was one of my best friends there!
-Family night with the Pauvif family with Gladis, Felipe, and Cristian.
-First solo BBQ. It was great. I was nervous at first. (it was today...we had a zone activity in a ward member's house)
-Zone activity today for p-day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A small message from Dallin... then more came :)


Dallin emailed today - -but not a big letter.   We talked about his BYU plans he discussed with his mission president, who wants him to come home in time for Fall semester (two weeks early) and his wrist he hurt playing soccer last week and again playing tennis today :0  

About this week he said:  The week was awesome! A LOT of stuff happened this week!









March 5, 2012
This week was full of a lot of good stuff! 
Random fact: This morning I played tennis for the first time in 18 months on a CLAY COURT!!!
Anyway, happy two years in the mission Elder Pearson! (on the 3rd) Time has definitely flown on by!
And.....Dallin Hardy, prepare for the best two years of your life! You are in my prayers! 

This week I was on an interchange with another Elder in my zone and we found a lady named Maria who is completely prepared to receive the gospel. We contacted her in the street and asked if one day we could pass by to share a message with her. She asked us "could you come by tonight?!" We said of course and we stopped by in the evening. She told us that the reason she wanted us to come back was because she feels very lonely. Her house is giant and its very nice, but she lives alone. Her husband died two years ago but she still hasnt accepted it completely. She cried pretty good when she told us about her loneliness that she gets. She has a lot of pain still. We taught her a little bit about the atonement and when she heard that Jesus Christ suffered for her pain it comforted her a lot. She said that at this point in her life, she is waiting until God shows her some path to take so that she can be happier, because she lacks something in her life. She said she is waiting for Him to "illuminate a path for her". I testified with all my heart that this message, this gospel is exactly what she has been waiting for! We set up a return appointment right when we had splits planned with the stake president! Me and President Pauvif came later to her house and she was with very low strength from depression. Her daughters were there helping her. We were able to share a message with all of them and we gave her a priesthood blessing. It was great. She immediately started feeling much better. She wasnt able to come to church this Sunday but she will be coming in the future! While I was with the stake president, my companion was with our bishop. We have gained a lot of confidence with the bishop through service and hard work....and the ward is starting to better itself little by little. A happy bishop is a happy ward! He helped us a lot in the appointment with my companion that they went to. They went to an investigator named Lily and they taught the restoration and afterward Lily said she believes that the church was restored through Joseph Smith. The spirit was very strong. 

Funny story- We were walking on the sidewalk one day this week and there was a bush blocking the sidewalk. My companion said "REAL men dont move for bushes" and he walked through it and it kicked his butt. He was like "OW! OUCH!! OOF!!!" Ha ha ha. We both got a pretty good laugh out of it. 

We received a call on Wednesday morning from another Area, the zone leaders of another zone, with a referal for us. We were excited because they said the reference came from a man in Santiago who wants us to pass by his friend. We went by Maria Jose and she is a single mom about 30 years old and she is SUPER RECEPTIVE! She was also just waiting for the gospel to find her somehow. She said that she has been to other churches. She was Catholic for a lot of years (like almost everyone here) but she got bored of it because of the people and she never felt her heart get full of the spirit or anything....We promised her that reading, praying, and coming to church, will help her become full of the love of God. She accepted to get baptized. She was going to come to church this week but on Thursday she got very sick so she wasnt able to. We came by her house after church with the stake president and his wife with their 5 year-old daughter (Maria Jose also has a 5 year-old) and we shared a message with her. She said that she read what we left her and when she read it she felt peace. The stake president's wife invited her to a family night with them and with us, so that will be great! We are excited for these new investigators who we are finding. 

Random fact- This week our water heater broke so I have been becoming a man...by showering with freezing cold water in the morning. 

We have an awesome ward mission leader! It seems as though all of the priesthood leaders have been learning their duties a lot better recently and they have been helping us a ton. They have been helping us a lot with our golden family who we are teaching, Gladis 38, Felipe 15, and Cristian 8. On Saturday morning we had a great appointment with Gladis (Felipe wasnt home) were we commited her to be baptized with her sons on the 17th of March. She accepted. We taught her about the plan of salvation and the reality of the atonement, that we can be forgiven of our sins. She really opened up to us in the lesson and it was amazing what the scriptures were able to do for her. We read several scriptures about the atonement in the Book of Mormon and the spirit was very strong. She is very happy and humbled that Christ literally paid for her sins and she can receive forgiveness for them. They are going to get baptized together! Yay for families!!!!!!!!! And the BEST part is, later, we found out that my mission president's son, Angelo, will also be getting baptized on the 17th of March!!! So we are going to have a baptismal service together. (he is from this ward) It will be quite the baptismal service! :)

We had a zone leader's meeting in President Martinez's home this week. It was amazing. We discussed how we can "wake up the giant" (help missionary work to really explode here in CONCEPCION SOUTH!) President truly has the spirit of prophesy and revelation. The way he speaks and the way you can understand eveything he says and you know it's true. It's like listening to a general authority to me! Speaking of President Martinez, when we went to the stake president's house after church to take them to Maria Jose's house, we walked into the house and President Martinez was sitting there! We've had lots of opportunities to talk to him this week. He kind of hinted to me that next transfer I will be going to Temuco! That may or may not happen, but it sounded real. But if I do, I will be able to visit LABRANZA for the first time! It's been more than a year since I've been there! 

Nicole (our recent convert) had her baby presented in the church. It made me so happy! It's amazing to see investigators progress so much in the gospel. They are extremely faithful new members! They have never missed a week while I've been here!

Felipe, our investigator, just enrolled yeterday in seminary! NICE!

Tender Mercy- The many opportunities that God gives us to progress in the gospel. Callings, service opportunities, etc. He truly wants us to be the best we can be. 

I love you all, thanks for everything you do for me! Hope to hear from you soon, 
Elder Gomez

photos:
-tennis shot
-another tennis shot
-another
-The bishop, his wife, and his two kids playing on a trampoline.
-All of my original district from he MTC who are zone leaders

-stake president's house. I was so happy to see Liahona's on te table with plastic coverings!
-Ailyn, a girl who I sat next to on the way home from Concepcion. I taught her how to pray and we played tic tac toe. Her parents seemed very happy to have her distracted for a few hours. Ha ha.
-With the bishop's kids.
-With Felipe, a 14 year old relative of members here. He is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He looks Latin but he actually speaks perfectly in English. We reactivated him!
-Elder Hanes (huge) with Sister Audelina, a strong active old lady in the ward. She was baptized 7 years ago and has been strong ever since.
-Playing phase ten on p-day