Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, May 28, 2012

STORM!

May 28, 2012
Hey everyone,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AIDA!!!!!!!!! 
This week was really good! We had several good things happen. 
First off, on Thursday night we got to the house and I was down stairs brushing my teeth and my companion got a phone call...he said it was for me so I went upstairs to get the phone and I said "hello" and I hear "HOLA!! How's it going cousin? You're talking to Alejandro Gomez!" (Alejandro Gomez is the nickname of Beto, one of my converts from Labranza who is the dad of a member family) I said "BETO!!! How's it going??" Apparently he got my number from another member who I saw a few weeks ago who used to be in this ward that I am in now, Catrihuala. He said that he is doing really good and that his family is doing great as well. He also said that HE IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE IN JULY TO BE SEALED TO HIS WIFE AND FAMILY!!!!!! I am so happy for him!!! It was a good phone call. 

This week there was a giant storm in Temuco, where I am. I dont know if you heard about it in the news or anything....probably not considering you are in the USA and I am in Chile and nobody hears about Chile news.   But just so you know, I am alright! Nothing happened besides lots and lots of rain and wind. It was one of those classic mission moments...one of our appointments fell and so we were going to take a bus to the other side of our area but no bus came for about 20 minutes, so we were just sitting there in the crazy wind and pouring rain SOAKED and we tried to talk to everyone who was there but they were all rushing to their houses and stuff. It was funny. 

We contacted one man in the street who was a very interesting...I'll mention this because it strengthened my testimony a TON. Also, I learned even better that the "philosophies of men" dont get us anywhere in this life. I walked up to this guy and said "hi, it's a pleasure to meet you!" He then said "no it's not" glaring at me. "why is it a pleasure? What's a pleasure?" (as he looked at us with a face like "why did you you just invade my time and space") I said "it's a pleasure to meet you sir!" Then he started talking to us about the United States and all of this weird stuff. He said he was agnostic and he went off about the philosophies of men, saying that he's not Cristian...and he continued by quoting a bunch of random philosophers who were apparently these genius'. Basically his message was "I am right and you are wrong. I am better than you. You dont really do anything to help humanity....etc...." 
It was interesting to see just how someone who supposedly knows a lot about life and how to help humanity and is educated in everything can be so incurteous and ungentlemanly and disrespectful. I know that Christ was in fact the Son of the Living God and our Savior and Redeemer, and not just a great philosopher. I know that the most important thing in this life is CHARITY!!--the pure love of Christ. 
Me and my companion learned a lot from this short encounter with this man. I know that the most important library or collection of books that a person can read in their entire lives are The Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Convenants, and the Pearl of Great Price! Only there will you find true happiness...(if you put into practice what you learn)

We had some amazing experiences this week with prayers and miracles. We have been praying a lot lately that God will lead us to families. And that they will be led to us. Everytime we have prayed for that purpose, we have found a family. It is awesome! "Ask and ye shall receive"
We went to a family night with a member as of 4 years, Paula, with her mom who isnt a member... and a few other members, some of whom are a little bit inactive. We shared a mormon message about the Book of Mormon and at the end, we asked Paula's mom how she felt and she really liked it. Then we started teaching her a little bit. For 4 years apparently Sonya (Paula´s 23 mom has been really standoff-ish against the church, but during this family home evening she was so different! She is catholic and she has been going to her catholic priest and telling him that she is learning more from us that she does in the Catholic church and asking him for advice. He has told her every time that she needs to stay away from us completely and she should stop learning anything from us, but she continues learning because she feels good here. She said that she feels like we actually care about helping her UNDERSTAND the things. She loves that we come to her house and teach her. We shared with her 2 Nephi 31:3 and told her that the reason she understands everything when she talks to us is because the Holy Ghost is present. And also because the Book of Mormon is true.
You could see how happy Paula was for her mom. She bore her testimony to her mom and it was one of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard! She gave a talk in church yesterday about the word of wisdom and it was amazing. I know that Sonya's time has come! She will be baptized soon...I know it. She has yet to go to church though, which is a problem. We are going to be praying a lot for her. She is the nicest lady. You can tell there is something special about her right now. You can tell that she is humble and willing to learn. I believe in miracles! 

We have been focusing a lot on families. We have two main inactive families who we are helping to reactivate and we have several incomplete families. The progress is show but steady, the reason being that there are just so many people in this area! SO MUCH TO DO! 
I have had a hard time trying to learn how our area is laid out. It is really big and we dont have a map so I am confused. There are still many members who I have yet to meet also... We will be having some baptisms in no time though. 

Here's a miracles for you all:
An investigator, Francisca, came to church. She is the mom of 5 kids and many of them were baptized last year. She said that about a year ago, her daughter was sick with a serious blood disease that could have been cancer. Apparently she had to go to the doctor every 15 days for treatments. 
A missionary who was in this area a while ago, Elder Tanner (a great friend of mine) (Who is also one of the assistants to president Maritinez right now) gave her a priesthood blessing and in Francisca´s words, he did it with "a lot of faith." Anyway, at the next treatment they went to, the doctor was completely shocked and surprised, because this disease, he said, for some unlogical reason, had completely disappeared. Ever since then, her daughter has been completely healthy. 
After I heard this amazing story, I felt an impression to ask her if Elder Tanner was able to hear about this, or if he got transferred before he knew the results. She said that he still doesnt know about it (a year later) but that she wanted him to know. So just yesterday night I was able to call Elder Tanner and tell him that his blessing, pronouced with much faith, healed a young girl completely from having blood cancer! Elder Tanner was very emotional about it. It was good :)

Tender Mercy- The call from Beto. 

I have been thinking about the pioneers lately...I am so so so so grateful for their incredible sacrifices that they made so that the work of the Lord could go forward. They had amazing faith, and they saw many miracles happen. 

For lack of time I wont be able to tell you all the rest of the things that happened this week, but the work of the  Lord continues to go forth! This work is amazing. It is true. I love you all. I didnt take many pictures this week due to the pouring rain. 

BYE!
Elder Gomez

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

GREAT WEEK

May 22, 2012 
Hey family, 
How is it going this week? 
First off, if you havent noticed, p-day was changed to Tuesday this week because yesterday was a national holiday so all of the men were in their homes with their families, so we were able to take advantage of that. 

This week was good. I have been learning a lot lately. Being in a new area is always an exiting challenge. I miss the members and converts from Villa Obispo a lot, but Elder Beatty gave me an update, Edgardo and Felipe Hermosilla got the priesthood, and Felipe 19 blessed the sacrament this last week. Edgardo is going to bless the sacrament this week. Felipe 15 has been passing the sacrament since before I left the area. Gladis Astete (Felipe´s 15 mom) was called as a nursery leader. The Cruces family who we reactivated are great. Brother Cruces is now the ward executive secretary!!! His wife, Sister Cruces, is a primary teacher. And Mario Espinoza, also who reactivated, is the new ward mission leader! Booyah! Soledad is about to get a calling too....so that is all just awesome to hear. It made my day.

This work is truly the work of the Lord. There are a lot of challenges that may come in the way, but nothing can stop the work from progressing, like Joseph Smith said. I know he was truly a prophet and the church was really restored. God is really our Father in Heaven and He loves us. I feel His love and his Spirit while I serve him. Missionary work is very important and hopefully everyone who reads this participates in it!

I am so grateful to you, mom and dad, for the things that you taught me and all of us kids. Seriously, it makes me extremely sad to see so many bad things happening in the world right now. It makes me want to cry sometimes thinking about people who don´t have the gospel in their lives. It's so hard for them to live happily. I am so grateful that you two completed with Mosiah 4:14-15. It is so important. I can believe some of the parents in the world today. They say they want their kids to "be something" in life...but they´re too prideful to teach their kids anything about God, too prideful to be good examples for their kids. Kids have no discipline. And it's destroying the world little by little. Thank you for being such good examples to us and truly loving us! Not just saying it or acting like it in front of other people! Because of everything you have done now we will really "be someone" in this life. Titles or degrees from college and positions and popularity dont mean anything in this life...who we are inside is what matters. You rock!

This week:
-Sandra, an investigator from another area in the zone, died on Saturday. I know that she will be blessed for her desire that she had to follow Christ. Her daughter, Camila, is still going to get baptized on the 2nd of June. 
-We taught a lot of great lessons to people who are awesome. Francisco and Jordan are two brothers who want to get baptized but they arent quite ready for baptism yet so we had to cancel their baptism for this weekend. Their dad is a marijuana smoker, and an alcoholic and an ex member of the church so that's lame. But he wants his kids to get baptized..his kids are awesome. You can see how much the Spirit is changing them which is really cool. 
-We have focused a lot on finding families to teach and teaching some fathers of families who are the only member of the family who arent members of the church. It's been good. We were able to talk to many! And Victor, the dad of the Vargas family, even came to church, which was exciting. 
-We gave some health blessings on Sunday, because there are some sick people in the ward. And another one we gave because Juanita, an investigator of the other missionaries in this ward, is about to get baptized and so she was doing a fast, and she had a huge headache that was hurting her a lot because she was on hour 22 or 23 of the fast, and she just felt sick, but she had so much faith that instead of going and eating something, she asked for a blessing. After the blessing she stood up with a huge smile on her face and whiping away her tears she said "It all went away! I feel great!" 

Miracles exist!! Really!

Tender Mercy- When Juanita was healed completely from her massive headache that was making her cry. The gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is AWESOME! Read it and you will believe me.

I have to go now, sorry for the lack of information, but I love you all! Thanks for everything you do for me and for all of the prayers. I need them every day! 

Elder Gomez

photos:
-playing tennis this morning with Elder Hess, one of the other two missionaries who we live with. (he is from Bear River High School and it turns out that we played each other in high school tennis matches. We played with some members and an investigator. These kids, Diego and Camila, are awesome, and their dad isnt a member, and Camila's boyfriend isnt a member, so we are going to work in there. It was fun to play.



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hey Hey !!

May 15, 2012
Hey everybody! This week was a good one because I was able to talk to you all on skype! It was great. I dont have a whole lot of time to write now because of it, but I just wanted to say that this week was really good...I have been getting to know Catrihuala, my new area. It is extremely looooonnnggggg so it takes forever to walk places. We are going to have to start working on certain parts of the area certain days. Elder Laird is awesome. He is a great guy. 
This week we were able to teach several people who are pretty good. They are mainly youth who we are teaching right now...with just a few adults. The youth who we are teaching are very good. There are two young men of 16 and 17 years old who will make great missionaries soon, there names are Francisco and Josias. They both came with us to do service on Saturday so that was good...there is nothing like changing a boy into a man like service.
We were able to have a zone leader conference yesterday and it was very inspiring. We talked about real growth, and working on finding families and men more. I felt the spirit so much in the conference. President Martinez is a very inspiring man. He is a very INSPIRED man too. You can always tell that he is always praying and searching for revelation, and because of it you can feel the truthfulness and the power of the things he shares. Me and my companion put the goal that we are going to go to all of the men...the fathers and husbands of members of the church who havent accepted the gospel still, and we are going to teach them. We are going to pray and pray and have the faith that they will really be able to change. I know that we are going to see miracles in the hearts of these men. I also know without a doubt that WITHOUT FAITH GOD CANNOT DO ANY MIRACLE!!!  If we have faith and if we ask, we will see all sorts of miracles happen. It has happened over and over and over again in the history of the world. But when the people have faith...amazing things can truly happen. 
This zone is great. Today we had our zone meeting and me and Elder Laird taught everyone about real growth and the plan of attack that we have as a zone to be able to complete with our missionary purpose better. Zion is establishing itself here in Chile! In the zone conference President Martinez showed a video that they just recently did about the growth of the church in Chile since it first entered the country in...1956 I think. It is incredible! The early saints here worked just like the pioneers...maybe not with the covered wagons and handcarts, but they preached the gospel and were examples of the believers..It started with just one member here and it has grown to more than 500,000 members in a short period of time and it keeps growing! This church is a marvalous work and a wonder for real!
I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! I am still getting in the hang of things in this area so in future weeks I will have more information and more experiences. 
I love you all!
Tender Mercy- The Lord always qualifies us when he calls us. He will never leave us hanging IF we do all that we can to magnify our calling and if we depend on Him. He loves us so much!

Elder Gomez 

photos: 
(From Villa Obispo) 
-Me with my two Felipe converts. Two studs. Two future missionaries!!!!! I loves these guys.
-Felipe 19
-Felipe 15
-Me and the Cruces family! They are awesome! They were inactive when I got here and they had tons of problems getting back to the church...but they DID it!! He promised me before I left that he will never leave the church again. He suffered a lot when he did it. He is going to be a powerful man of God very soon! He is becoming one.
-The Hermosilla Valenzuela family. (Silvia, Nicol, and Felipe) They are the COOLEST converts!! I was so lucky to be able to teach them. They are an example for all active members...they havent missed a single Sunday since they started investigating the church over 6 months ago!!! This was a family who was very ununited and then was completely changed by the gospel and they are now extremely united! Such a beautiful miracle that happened in their hearts. Silvia told me that she is going to adopt me mom! I told her that I already have a mom, sorry...she still is determined though.
-Me with Soledad, recent convert.
-Me with the Kiger family, ex-ward mission leader, current 1st counselor in the ward. Baptized 1 1/2 years ago, AWESOME
-BEST FAMILY EVER!!! The Quezada family. They helped us so much! They are so actively involved in missionary work with us. She was our "mamita" also.. (the member who washed our clothes) The Sunday before I left he was called as the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. They both served missions. Him in Santiago and her in Bolivia.
-Ward activity. Talent show. We acted as Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, and Laban. I was King Laban. Elder Laird was Nephi. 
-"Mi nombre es" is a Chilean television talent show....the activity was a mini version.

-The Cid Donoso family. The men in this picture arent members...we are working with Brother Cid and we have gained a lot of confidence with him. We have had some really successful family home evenings with them...on my LAST day in the area....he said that he thinks his time is getting closer to join the church! :D YEAH!
-Fran Cuevas with her mom. She is our investigator who we taught for all six months of my time in Villa Obispo! She wants to get baptized a lot, but her parents needed strengthening. Her mom has had a huge turnaround since I got here. She was completely inactive and she had returned a little bit to her old Catholic ways...Satan is very sly...but we were able to help the little seed of faith grow and now she has come several weeks in a row to church! Fran will be able to get baptized very very soon!
-Me with Brother Catalan. This guy is awesome. He has been a member for a long time, and has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. For a little while when I was in this area, he struggled a little bit with his testimony because he started reading some books that were a little anti-God and stuff, and we could tell what was happening. Luckily he didnt read so deep into it...It really scared me and I could literally see the result if he KEPT reading it...I could see the two paths he could go. I felt sad for the family...and so me and my companion started pouring out our hearts for him and praying that he could start reading the truth....the scriptures, and we focused on being his friend. Satan always wants to destroy us!, but the power of God is infinitely more powerful and wonderful! He stopped reading that junk and he stayed strong with his testimony. It was a very emotional goodbye with him! He is awesome!
-Two recent converts, they are AWESOME! Gladis Astete (Felipe's mom) and Alexa, the wife of a long time member who was inactive for a time, but they came back STRONG and are very active now!
-Me with John, Alexa's husband.
-The new bishop (Bishop Sanhueza) and his wife!!!!! He is a man who is very humble, very awesome! He got ordained two days before I left. This is a shirt that Brother Cruces made me before I left.
-The farewell that all of the members and recent converts did for me when I left Villa Obispo. I love all of these people and I am sad to leave! I will seriously miss these people so much............. that's life I guess!!!!

















Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TRANSFERRED TO TEMUCO !!



Email May 7, 2012

Hey, this week was pretty good. The first reason is because it was DAD'S BIRTHDAY and MOM AND DAD'S ANNIVERSARY!!!! 
Nice. Happy birthday and anniversary! You guys rock! Way to go! 26 years!
The next thing is HOW LONG HAS AIDA BEEN PREGNANT?!?!?!?!?!

First things first, I'm getting transferred!!!!!! Today is officially my last day in Villa Obispo. I am very sad to leave. Sad because I am leaving so many people who are amazing and who I love. I am going to miss all of my recent converts and all of the members. I am going to TEMUCO!!!! I will be in an area called "Catrihuala" and I will be with Elder Laird. Elder Laird was in my district in the MTC. He is the really tall big one that played football for Idaho State Universary. I think dad actually met him in the airport before we flew out to Chile. I am really excited...especially for the fact that I will be closer to Labranza now so I will be able to go visit at the end of my mission. It should be a fun transfer. I will also be missing Elder Beatty a lot. This transfer went by really fast. 

I was able to work with Elder Barton one of the days this week because he was passing by this area over night because they were traveling, so he came here and we did splits. I trained Elder Barton while I was in Santa Barbara. He is doing so good which makes me happy!

This week was a good working week. We worked and worked all week long and at the very end of the week we saw the blessings. My companion has to go to physical therapy a couple times a week...I dont know if I have mentioned that before. We have gotten to know the physical therapist pretty good in about 8 or 9 visits, and now we brought her the Book of Mormon. She believes in Jesus Christ a lot, but had some mixed up ideas about the Momons. So we have been teaching her little by little since then and we gave her a Book of Mormon with the commitment to read 3 Nephi 11. She seemed really amazed that Jesus Christ came to the Americas. I wont be here to see how it was for her, but I hope it goes well.

We were working all day on Thursday without many results, and we had an appointment in the evening with a family that we found last week. We went to their house, hoping that they had read in the Book of Mormon like we invited them too...they had! It doesnt even matter that the day wasnt that good because this appointment made up for everything! We taught them about the restoration of the gospel, focused on the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit was very strong. It is a family of four...named Ronny, Marcela (parents), and Matias, and Martin (kids) Matias is 14 years old and we've never met him because he is very shy and he has never come down stairs when we come., but close.. Ronny and Marcela are so good. As we explained everything, Ronny would ask the classic, "alright, let me get this straight....if I understand correctly, you are saying that.....etc. etc." and we would say "yes, that's exactly what we are saying", and he would sit there looking in awe for a second as the Spirit testified to him that it was true. We asked Marcela how she felt that Jesus Christ came to the Americas and she said "Very good....it shows us that he loves everyone the same." Simple answer but great because it shows that she understands it good.
We focused mostly on the spiritual part of the Book of Mormon, because that is the real way to gain a testimony of it's truthfullness. We invited them to read it and focus on how they feel while they are reading it, then to pray and ask God to know that it's true. They said they would do it. We promised them that they would receive an answer. Then, Marcela asked us a Golden question, "How are we going to get the answer from God?" We explained to them about the Holy Ghost and how it answers us. We set up an appointment and we invited them to church and they said they would come, and.. THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!! Whooohhh!!  I am sad that I am leaving now!

In the month of April in the entire mission, our zone had the most amount of baptisms, which is awesome! We reached our baptismal goal and went past it. Our zone was great, and I am happy that I had the opportunity to serve all of the elders and sisters in the zone, but I am looking forward to help the zone of Temuco Nielol.

It's been fun to keep teaching Edgardo and Soledad this week. We have had so many neat moments with Edgardo. He is an incredible man. This week he decided that he wants to fast this weekend for fast Sunday. He has diabetes so we told him that if he has to eat something every now and then he can...He rejected a barbeque from his family and he fasted the whole 24 hours!!!! A 68 year old man with diabetes! Stud.
We were with him when we got the call for transfers...he is very sad that I am going and I am equally sad.. But I am so happy that I was able to find him and teach him. He is proof that listening to the spirit is SO important! We wouldnt have found him if I would have just ignored the impression that I felt to turn around and knock on that house! 
Edgardo told me that when he told Vicente, his grandson (our investigator) that I was leaving, Vicente got really sad and said "grandpa, will you come in my room and pray with me?" so they went in his room and Vicente prayed for me and he started crying a bunch.
He also told us that his wife told him that she thinks its amazing all of the changes that he's doing in his life and that if she keeps seeing good changes in him, then she too, will follow this religion :) He is probably the most converted convert I have taught! At the end of one of the visits he said "I hope that down in Temuco there are many more Edgardo's in your way!" I was thinking, I hope so too!! 

Soledad is doing good too. Yesterday we went to her house to say goodbye to her, her daughter, and to her mom, Ana. We thanked them for everything, especially for all of the food that Ana prepared for us. She stays in her house all day because she is of age, and she loves making us stuff. Since we got to her house, she has been very hospitalbe to us. As we were about to leave, she started crying and crying. As she was crying she thanked us for everything and she said that she thinks of us as her sons. They are a great family!

At church we had great things happen like always. Testimony meeting was great. There were some powerful testimonies of Jesus Christ given. AND...we got a bishop! Hermano Sanhueza is the new bishop. He will do a great joy. I will attach pictures. 

Tender Mercy- D&C 122:7. Even when we think that things are so hard for no reason....we will always receive blessings at the end! Almost all of the people who I have found in the mission and baptized have been from exactly that, working all day and at the last minute, in the hardest moment, we find them...the blessings come. 

Well, I have to go now, sorry it's not a very long email! I will see you on Sunday :)
I love you, Elder Gomez

-Me with Enzo, the newborn son of a less active member and an investigator.
-The zone in the baptismal font
-The zone in the mirror in the font
-The district! We worked our tails off and we were able to pass our baptismal goal as a district. The goal was 7 for April and we had 11 people enter the waters of baptism in April!
-The Paredes family, the youngest was baptized last year and the family was  
-Me and Elder Merrell..who leaves this week. He was Elder McConnell's companion in the MTC

-does this look good to Tali?? It tasted pretty good. We were stuck in the terminal for about 4 hours after a zone leaders conference, so we got hungry.
-Luis and Gladis (recent convert). They are AWESOME! This is what a Chilean policeman looks like. 
-Me with a member who we have helped a lot over the last 6 months. Their dad isnt a member.
-Me with RONNY AND MARCELA!!! The family who we found last week who are awesome and who CAME TO CHURCH! They are really excited. They live across the street from of a member family.
-Me with the the two stake secretaries. AH I am going to miss everyone.
-Me with one of the best families ever! The Concha family. He was the old bishop here. His young son's name is Nephi. They are great.
-Me with Brother Fierro. He is the 1st couselor of the other ward that asists our building. He is so great. 
-Me and recent converst from the other ward, Rosa and her son. They are great. 
-Brother Quezada (new 2nd counselor to the bishop), with the stake president and the bishop. Does the new bishop look nervous???
-Me and Angelo and Lexlie Villagran, a member from this ward....Angelo is one of my good friends because he was in the ward of Labranza and he got home from his mission while I was there, now he is going to get married to Lexlie, from this ward.
-Villagran family. Classic! We had barbeques there all the time! Whenever we had lunch with them, they would come and pick us up and take us out to their country house.
-Another Villagran photo
-Me with Vicente and Martin. Vicente is Edgardo's grandson and Martin was a less-active member who we reactivated. I love these two kids so much! They are going to be awesome missionaries.
-
-Me, Edgardo, and Vicente. They are AWESOME

I also want to say that during the sacrament meeting, as the stake president was announcing the new bishop, the spirit was so strong. It was awesome. The whole ward felt it. The ward chorister (stake president's wife) got up to bare her testimony and she said that as he was reading the name of the new bishop, she was watching the eyes of everyone and she could tell that everyone was feeling the spirit. It's true! It was a cool experience. I know that he was literally chose by God. 
This work is real and it will keep going and nothing can stop it! It is true. 
I repeat an invitation that I have extended before with all of the love and desire of my heart...that is, READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!! You are losing something so special if you dont read it every day. Please do it. I know that it is true, and that it was translated by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God. Read it!!! Please.

Another tender Mercy for the week also: 
As I was writing this email, a recent convert, Valentina, called us randomly because she saw us pass by down town. We told her that we were here in the computer place and she was close so she came over. It is a tender mercy because if she wouldnt have been here, I may have never seen her again in my life! She doesnt live here in Los Angeles, she lives in a little town about 40 minutes from here. I was able to share my testimony to her one last time and she told me some good news...that she is reading the Book of Mormon a lot these days because she has been passing through hard times and it is really helping her. 

Alrighty well, I will talk to you all later!