Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crrraaaaazzzyyyy Week!

June 25, 2012
Hey everyone, 

This week was CRAZY! One of the craziest weeks of my mission. On Monday and Tuesday we went through the entire process of receiving new missionaries and sending the oldies home. On monday evening we had dinner at the president's house with the oldies and also a family of one of the old missionaries (because his parents and sister came to get him and tour the mission) We took the old missionaries to the hotel and then went to get them in the morning and went to the airport....then we waited and got the new missionaries. We went to the mission president's house and we taught the new trainers who would be training. Then we ate lunch with the newbies and then took them to the airport and we got all of OUR stuff and headed to Los Angeles where we would begin our journey.

OHHH...also, there was only one new sister missionary who got to the mission this transfer and her name is sister Nelson. Erica Nelson, from Riverton, Utah. It just turns out that she is one of Caitlin Ellis' best friends and she actually came to the cabin with the the Deaners before I left on the mission....so I had already met her. Anyway, she is an awesome missionary who will make a great difference here in a Temuco!! 

On Wednesday we did interchanges with VILLA OBISPO!!!!!!!!!!! It was great. We set a baptismal date with Ana, the mom of Soledad, one of my most recent converts from that area. It was awesome. Ana wants me to baptize her. The coolest part is that we set the baptismal date for this month! She is so ready to get baptized...she has just been receiving a lot of opposition from her own husband and her kids. But...she is going to be ok!!!  The coolest part is that I was with Elder Taverneir! He is one of my good friends in the mission...he started with us in the MTC, but then went home for some personal reasons...and was able to come back months later, and now is one of the most powerful missionaries I have ever seen!!!! He is awesome. It was a good interchange. I was able to visit with Vicente also...he is the grandson of Edgardo, another one of my converts. He is getting baptized this Sunday! It is going to be awesome!...well I say "he is getting baptized" because I am writing like it's last wednesday. In reality...he GOT baptized yesterday (Sunday) So that is awesome. And I found out that ALL of his family came! All of them! So that is awesome. Even his dad who didnt give him permission for a lot time came...and he was crying during the service! and his super catholic grandma who detested us came too! They were all happy. That entire family will soon be getting baptized.

As for the other days....we went to another area in Los Angeles, with the other zone leaders, then we headed towards the south. We set many baptismal dates with investigators with the missionaries here so that was good. We are trying to set examples in all areas of the work...in conduct and in the actual teachings. On Friday we had a big challenge...we were in Temuco and it was raining a TON! It was pouring better said. The entire day...and it was a challenge because we were soaken wet and freezing, but we stayed out their contacting the whole time and it was good. I was with Elder Sanchez, from Mexico...it was funny because he is brand new to the area so he doesnt know anything or anyone. The only option we had was to contact and to hope somebody would let us in. We did find three people who are AWESOME. They are three future converts. One of them was a man who really didnt want anything at first, he was joking around about the devil, and God and he didnt really have any seriousness when it came to religion...but we learned that his wife passed away and also a son passed away, so its been a big challenge for him. We got started talking a little bit about the plan of salvation and he softened up a lot and he changed from being a guy who didnt want anything to all of the sudden being really sensitive and REALLY REALLY nice guy. It built my testimony that there are thousands of people who need us! Sometimes its hard to see that when so many people reject you...but if we just endure in the rain...then we will find them. 

In Temuco on Saturday we had a really cool experience. It actually happened with Jamie McConnell's old companion, Elder Attridge. Elder Attridge is an awesome guy! He is seriously one of the nicest, most loving missionaries of all time. He is relatively new in the mission too. Anyway, I went with him to do service for a lady who they had found earlier in the week who needed someone to clean their chimney of all of the carbon...or soot that builds up..anyway, we went by and she was there but she said that she didnt have the tool to clean the chimney, so we asked if we could just share something. She said yes. Her name is Yvonne and her ten year old son is Emanuel. She is one of the nicest ladies I have met in Chile. She said that she was baptized two years ago in the Adventist church but right after she was baptized she felt like she went farther away from God and she felt like the members started trying to control her. She said that they basically told her that they were her new family, so it made her have to start choosing in between the church and family. She has started to go back to the adventist church a little bit now...because she feels the need to come closer to God. We testified that this gospel is for the family and that it's purpose is to help families be closer and be together forever. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel and priesthood power to baptize. We asked that when she when she receives the testimony of the restoration of the church, if she will be baptized with her son on the 28th of January and she said "hmm...that's really soon BUT I know that God can make it happen if he wants! So yes!" NICE! We invited her to a baptism that evening with a family from Labranza, and they went! And they also went to the church yesterday! 
The baptism of Labranza was great! I got to see many members from Labranza and they were all really happy and surpised to see me! It was awesome! I was happy! There was an older lady and a family who got baptized and the family had some opposition or a test of faith right before the baptism. Apparently right when they were preparing to leave, someone had an accident on their street so she had to drive them to the doctors office. A little baby had an accident...so as we were waiting in the chapel with all of the members and investigators...I got up and shared my testimony about service and how happy I was that this family was late because they were helping somebody in need. It was cool. I know that it helped the investigators there because it was a little awkward for them to be waiting for a while with nothing happening. 

We were able to go to another little town, Carahue. Between me and my companion with the two missionaries from Carahue, we set 5 baptismal dates yesterday! It was awesome! My companion set the dates with a family of three and another person and I set a date with a man whose wife is sick in the hospital in Santiago. It was a good interchange. It's been crazy!

Tender Mercy- When I was in Villa Obispo and we went to the house of Soledad and Ana, we walked in and Ana was so happy that she started crying. She is one of the most loving people of all time! She is awesome. It was really humbling to have her cry of happiness that I was here...then later on in the week, they called me to confirm the time for the baptism, and she started crying over the phone again. She is the sweetest lady. Very sensitive to the spirit now!

I love you all, 
Elder Gomez

photos next week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

transferred again!

June 18, 2012
Hey everyone!
This week was awesome! First off.....FELIZ DIA DEL PADRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you dad! 
Secondly.....we had transfers this week and I got transferred! After just one transfer in Catrihuala!! I am currently sitting in the mission office in Concepcion.
Presidente Martinez called me early Saturday morning to tell me the news that I am going to be one of his assistants who will travel around the mission doing companionship interchanges with the zone leaders to train them and teach them and "infect" them (with the baptismal virus! ha ha) I have to admit I am excited and very nervous. I have some of the obvious feelings of incapability that you get when you are called to do something big....but I figure, if the Lord put me here then it's for a reason...I will go I will do. It really will be tons of fun! First off, Elder Strait one of the other assistants, so I will be working with him a lot which is awesome! We are still trying to be companions again before I leave. I am going to be able to go back to four of my old areas to do interchanges....Labranza, Villa Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Catrihuala, so that will be good. 
My companion will be Elder Morales. A Latin American companion finally! My last 8 companions were American! But the coolest part is that Elder Morales is AMAZING. He is a machine! He was baptized a year before he came on his mission and he has a crazy story! It's basically a Alma the younger story. He is awesome. I have been able to get to know him already and he is great! I am really excited. We are stoked to go and do interchanges with all of the mission! We are going to work miracles in Chile! Yesterday right after church, I had to leave to the bus terminal. Usually transfers are on Tuesday but since we had a meeting with President this morning I had to travel early. I actually had to leave in the middle of the last class in church. On the way to the bus terminal, we had to stop by the mamita´s house to get my clothes (also the house of our ward mission leader) and a huge tender mercy happened to me....I wasnt going to be able to eat lunch because we had no time, and I forgot to buy food on Saturday night for the trip (because you cant buy on the Sabbath Day!)...the last bus that left from Temuco to Concepcion left at 2:15....so we swung by the house to get my last batch of clothes and the Gonzalez family had lunch READY for me and they sat me down and put a big plate of food in front of me and told me to eat really fast. Luckily we had about 15 minutes to spare so I was able to eat! It was a MIRACLE. I didnt have any other food! I knew somehow that the Lord would provide! I felt like Nephi in 1 Nephi 4:6. "and I was led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."  The Lord ALWAYS provides! Also, the bishop randomly offered me a ride to get my luggage and go to the terminal....which was a huge help to us! 

As for the rest of the week....well, I have almost forgotten the other stuff this week due to the craziness of the last few days. But..I do remember that we worked very hard. We made sure that we talked to EVERYONE. It was a lot of fun! Elder Laird is also leaving Catrihuala, so two new missionaries will get there. It was hard to leave the ward. All of the members were really sad that we were leaving. I grew to love the members a lot in the last six weeks...so it was a bummer, but now the other missionaries are going to enjoy it. I was especially sad to leave the investigators and the less-active members who we are working with. Miguel was our golden investigator who we have been teaching and it was really hard for him that we were both leaving, but he's so awesome that he understood that it's something that needed to happen and he is going to stay strong. He is going to get baptized for sure. 

A really neat experience is: We were knocking doors one morning before we went to lunch and we saw this one guy who was out back working. Usually we are careful when we contact people who are doing construction or something because sometimes it doesnt end well when they are talking on the job....but we felt strongly like we should talk to this man. So we said "ALO!" and he came up and he said that he was busy..he was a little stubborn. But we just listened to him and he proceeded telling us that he practically doesnt believe in God now because he is abandoned. The spirit came so strong right then. We KNEW that we followed the spirit by talking to him and that we were EXACTLY where the Lord wanted us to be in that moment. He said that he has tons of problems and his daughter is emo and she is in a super bad emotional situation....he is very very depressed. He was bawling like a baby when he told us this. By the end of the conversation he just smiled and said how much we just helped him the in last few minutes. I think he was grateful that someone was here to listen to him and not criticize him and not give him more problems than he already has....but rather, give him solutions. I am so grateful that we were able to share with him a little bit of the plan of salvation
Right after this lesson, we went to lunch with a member family and during lunch, I felt impressed to share the experience with the 23 year-old daughter who is passing through some difficulties. I did and afterward she felt the spirit strong and she said "wow....its amazing how people are ready to hear the gospel always." she was very grateful that we shared the experience with her and I know that it strengthened her testimony. 

In church yesterday I was able to say goodbye to everyone and I went around to the different classes and took pictures with the classes and quorums. It was good. I am going to attach the pictures. 

Random facts:
-There was a lot of rain this week. One day I was on a minibus and the back door was open and the water in the street was splashing into the bus and it soaked this one girl who was a college student. I felt bad! Her back pack was open and it soaked everything...anyway, lots and lots of water. 
-All of the appliances in the Catrihuala house started to break towards the end of the transfer, so that was fun. We showered with cold water for the last week...unless we wanted to heat water up and have a sponge bath or something, which took forever. 
-All of the luggage I started the mission with is still working good....so no worries mom and dad. I got the shoes you sent too! THANK YOU! I needed them badly!

-Elder Alvarez...from Saltillo, Mexico, Elder Nelson...from San Antonio, Texas, and Elder Buentello...from Sabinas, Mexico, are all in the mission and they all know some of our Gomez cousins! Elder Alvarez knows Dina and her family and Rubi and her family, and also Marcos and Gema and family. Elder Nelson knows The Puentes, and Elder Buentello knows the Gema and Marco family too. They all say hi and it's been cool to talk to them!

Tender Mercy- The lunch story on Sunday after church

Well, I have no more time...but I just want to tell you that this week was awesome and I am happy and I love you all and I will be talking to you later! 

photos:
-The zone, Temuco Nielol
-Baptism of Andres
-Me and my son, Elder Barton, who is now going to be a zone leader.
-The hermanas and their investigator who will get baptized this week...Eduardo. He is awesome! We have been working with him forever!
-With two investigators who would be baptized if they were MARRIED!!!! They will be baptized eventually.
-Sister in the ward...she accidentally came to the baptism with mismatching shoes.
-Us making little shirts for father's day (for the men in the ward)
-With Maryuri and Gabriel. Gabriel is a member, his wife isnt. They are from Ecuador. She will be baptized soon!
-Lunch with them....making fried bananas.
-With some of the members. 
-With the youth
-with the young single adults
-Us with the the investigators and the gospel principles teacher. She is the far right. The guy in the middle is MIGUEL!!!!!!!!
-Us with Mauricio, an investigator, he will be baptized in the next few weeks. He has had a HUUUGE change in his life.
-Us with the primary. 
-With a great family who just moved in. 
-With the Elder's quorum
-Familia YaƱez...they are awesome! We are teaching their dad.
-Us with Miguel. the STUD!
-Us with Brother Rivas.
-with the bishop
-DAVID
-With Elder Alvarez...from Dina and Rubi's ward.


























Sunday, June 17, 2012

A COLD WEEK!!

June 11, 2012
Hey everyone!
This week was very very COLD!
Wow, I cant believe that everyone is enjoying a vacation without me! No, I'm just kidding...you should all be jealous of me. Bahaha! It's been really good this week. I am still getting to know all of the members of the ward. There are so many and we dont have a ton of time to visit them...so every lunch and every Sunday and every opportunity we have to be with members, we try to build their testimonies so that we can achieve a real growth here in Catrihuala. Real growth in the church will always come from inside. As our spirits our strengthened, naturally everything else falls into place. It becomes more easy to keep the commandments, we are happier, and we have a bigger desire to share the gospel. 
The investigators who we have been working with are awesome. We have Francisco and Jordan, the two brothers who are crazy, but who are progressing little by little. They are great and they want to get baptized so so bad but we have to keep telling them no because frankly they're not ready...but we are praying a lot for them so that they can be ready. 

I told you all about the miracle with my wallet last week....well, let me tell you how it ended. We went to the house where my wallet was and a 25ish year old man came out. He is the brother of a recent convert and he got into the taxi where my wallet was. He picked it up and he saw that I was a missionary so he got excited because he realized that his brother had recently been baptized in our church. He felt like he shouldnt give it to the taxi driver because if he did it probably wouldnt get to me. So, he kept it and called his brother right away and quickly I was informed of where it was. Well...like I was saying, when I went to the houe, the guy was super excited to give it to me. He handed it to us and when he saw that it was me whose wallet it was he was overjoyed. He felt so good inside and I was really happy too. We are going to return to his house to share our message with him. (and baptize him of course)

I know that service is a divine principle that makes the world a better place. We were able to do several service projects this week. After lunch one day we saw two members chopping wood on a cold cold day...the relief society president (who is very pregnant) and her mom, who's about 55 years old or so. So we went to help them. It was pretty quick and then we went on our way. Just yesterday in church they told us how grateful they were. They said we were literally like angels that fell out of heaven at just in the right moment. I invite you all to go serve someone TODAY! It doesnt matter who it is or what it is..as long as it's not yourself! Could you all do that?

We also had an interchange of companions. I was with Elder Wray..from Salt Lake City. He is a great missionary. We saw a chubbier guy working in his yard so we offered our help. Jerson was his name He let us come and help him with the yard work and we started talking to him. Eventually we found out that he was a member and then that he was a MISSIONARY! What what what? Him and  4 of his 8 siblings were also missionaries. We are going to reactivate them. He actually hasnt been inactive for too long...just recently because of his job. He is 42 and not married still and he wants to a lot. He is the nicest guy...I feel bad for him He encouraged me to get married quick when I get home because if I dont it gets too hard. 
Anyway, I know that we must follow the spirit because we never would have met Jerson and the Ramirez family if we would have just passed on by! We actually passed him because we were on our way somewhere but I felt like we should go back. Listen to the spirit!

We also went and delivered firewood to some older ladies in the ward who dont have the ability to buy wood. That was fun.

The coolest service project we did was going to an old folks home with some of the sister from the relief society and we gave them dinner. It was great. The relief society ladies here are awesome!

We were able to teach several investigators...Miguel is awesome and he is progressing and in a lesson this week he told me "I for sure want to get baptized. In the mormon church." It's so cool watching the spirit in him. We are working with several incomplete families. Especially the nonmember spouses of active members. We are going to have some miracles happen this week.

This week I had a crazy experience one night right before bed. I was praying for converts and thinking about my last area, Villa Obispo...and I cant believe how much I love everyone there. I miss them so much and I dont like thinking that I wont be able to spend much time with them ever again. It makes me really sad. I know that President Martinez will allow me to go visit them in Villa Obispo and the people in Labranza and Bio Bio and Independencia and Santa Barbara before I return home...but it will be so hard to leave them. I never thought before I came here that I could make such amazing friends. Anyway, I am trying not to think too much about anyone else except for the people who are in this area.
I love the mission! And I am so grateful for modern technology....SKYPE!!!

Tender Mercy- The tender mercy of the week is how the Lord helped me this week be excited. Sometimes I feel like me and my companion are literally the only people in this whole area of tens of thousands of people who are excited and anxious to serve and do good. I know it's probably not true but sometimes it feels like it walking down the street looking at everyone like zombies. Satan is trying his best to make people miserable! Let's be happy!!!
The other tender mercy is going to the old folks home. Those older people arent treated very good at this certain home....it's actually almost been shut down for mistreating of elderly people and we could why when we went. Several of the older men started crying when we were there and they looked at us so grateful for what we do..they also looked very sad and painfully.

I love you all, hope you enjoy the vacation!!!
Elder Gomez

photos:
-old folks home
-zone leaders council....bowling with Elder Boman, Elder Laird, and President Martinez

Sorry...I've been bad at taking pictures in this area.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Summer!


June 5, 2012
Hey everyone, how are you all? How is your summer? I cant believe that the school year already passed by! That makes two school years that have passed for me!
Sorry I wasnt able to write yesterday...we were at a zone leader meeting in Concepcion. They always get planned on p-day so we have to email another day. 
This week has bee really good. 
First off, I found out some more news from Villa Obispo. Apparently Nicol 20, the recent convert who was baptized in February, I dont know if you all remember, anyway, she was called to be the teacher of the gospel principles class!!!! :) :) :) Just the other month she was a new student in the class, and now she is teaching the class! I love the gospel. I also am really grateful for the bishopric in Villa Obispo who seek revelation when they extend callings, and they really listen for the spirit to testify who should take which calling. I know that Nicol is prepared for it and that she will be a great teacher! It makes me so happy! "My joy is full"

This week we continued with all of the rain, it was great. Ha ha. Even with the wetness we were able to accomplish many good things. We are, afterall, on the Lord´s errand on the Lord´s time and He helps us everyday. Not to mention all of your awesome prayers help! 
We found Miguel this week. He was a referral from a member. She rents her upstairs and there is a 27 year-old man named Miguel renting it. My companion, Elder Laird, and Elder Strait (my old companion, who is now an assistant to Presidente Martinez) went to visit him for the first time and they told us in the nighttime when we met back up that they had one of the best lessons they've ever had! Apparently the spirit was very strong and he is just awesome. They talked about the atonement and the faith, repentance, and baptism, and he commited to be baptized this month. A couple days later me and Elder Laird went by to teach him and we taught him about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost and the Sabbath Day and also about the restoration. He really is amazing and in the lesson the Spirit was so strong that he was receiving all of this understanding and answers to his questions. It was great. I know that the Holy Ghost truly teaches us all things and reminds us of all things (John 14:26) It was happening in this lesson! He commited to go to church and read the Book of Mormon and on Sunday morning we went to pick him up and he was completely ready and he came with us and he loved church! Now I want to share a little bit about what happened at church.
First of all, we must understand that on Saturday, this ward, Catrihuala, went to the temple. They have 2 temple trips every year and it takes 8-10 hours to get to Santiago from here. There were actually lots more than usual who went this time....more than 50. Anyway, it being fast Sunday, tons of members wanted to share their testimony in Sacrament meeting. I dont know if I have ever been to a sacrament meeting so powerful! It was amazing. I have never seen so many people so anxious to share their testimonies either. One member in specific, Marcos, who was baptized a year ago, and whose wife was already a member, was able to be sealed to his wife, Mabel, and his two sons, one of which has mental problems, for time and all eternity! He stood up to bear his testimony and it was amazing. He had been attending church for more than 20 years now but never got baptized. Finally he did it and he is one of the best members there is! He is the Elders quorum president. He was so emotional when he got up there. He just shared a few short feelings of what he felt when he was in the temple with his family. It was powerful. Other youth shared their testimonies about the temple as well...many of which have been struggling a lot in their lives or who have had questions lately. They all testified of the revelation that they received in the temple and shared their feelings as well. Their testimonies were so powerful! I keep saying powerful because that is literally what I felt in the meeting. The ward was filled with light and power. I realized that all of the blessings from the temple that are promised to us in D&C 109 are real...I could see first hand that all of the members were endowed with power. Some of the families who went were struggling a lot too...but now their problems arent big...they are resolvable. I know that the light that we have is real...well, the light that we CAN have, if we are living worthy of it. In D&C 88:67-68Mosiah 13:5D&C 115:5, andMatthew 5:14-16 it talks about this light. 

I hope you all back in Utah of you who are closer than 10 hours away from a temple are really really grateful for the opportunity that you have to have a house of God so close to your house. Not everyone has that blessing. I am so grateful that the faithful members here will have the privelege of having a temple in Concepcion in the next year of so...being only 4 hours away. Appreciate your temples! Attend regularly! Pray for further understanding!

We have a goal as missionaries in my zone that we are going to get to know everyone's names in the ward. Christ knows us all by name, should we not do the same with others? Hopefully all of you back home decide to get to know EVERY SINGLE member in the whole ward! That starts with knowing their name and the basics. We are excited to put it into practice.

My tender mercy is a good one! So, as we were hurrying on Sunday to be able to make the bus to go to Concepcion, I lost my wallet. I figured that it might have been left in a taxi that we took at one point, or in the house, or on the mini bus on the way to the terminal. Anyway, it was lost. I called the other missionaries who live with us who confirmed that it wasnt in our house. Two sister missionaries also traveled up to Concepcion with a group of us zone leaders, and when one of the sisters, Sister Miller, overheard me talking to my companion about my wallet she suggested that I pray. I probably would have remembered to pray anyway in a few more minutes, but it was cool that she told me, because I did pray and about two hours later, on the bus on the way to Concepcion, I got a call from the other two missionaries who we live with saying that a member in our ward had found a wallet in a taxi that belonged to one of us. It was safe and sound with a member of the church. What a MIRACLE! I dont think the member is active in the church...let's do the math here, I lose my wallet in a taxi in a city of almost 300,000 people, which is full of taxis and buses and people, and only two hours later it's in the house of a member of the church. What are the chances that a member would get in that exact taxi? What are the chances that the member lived in our ward? Coincedence? I dont think so. It's not every day you lose your wallet. I told the Sister who reminded me to pray and it was cool for her to hear it because she was the one who reminded me to pray. 
Another cool thing is that for having lost my wallet, I was very very calm. I didnt ever think for one minute that I would never see it again. For some reason, I had a certainty that it would be fine and I would see it soon. I think that was the Holy Ghost. This is my tender mercy of the week!

I love you all, thanks for everything you do for me!
Are you all doing your daily prayers and scripture study, personally and with the family? If not, will you start doing them today?

Love you, Elder Gomez